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Spiritual Religion Not Dependent on System

Spiritual Religion Not Dependent on System

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Published by glennpease
BY BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.

THE HOUR COMETH, WHEN YE SHALL NEITHER IN
THIS MOUNTAIN, NOR YET AT JERUSALEM, WORSHIP
THE FATHER. JOHN iv. 21. xjrift
BY BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.

THE HOUR COMETH, WHEN YE SHALL NEITHER IN
THIS MOUNTAIN, NOR YET AT JERUSALEM, WORSHIP
THE FATHER. JOHN iv. 21. xjrift

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Published by: glennpease on Feb 27, 2014
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SPIRITUAL RELIGION NOT DEPENDENT ON SYSTEM BY BENJAMIN JOWETT, M.A.THE HOUR COMETH, WHEN YE SHALL NEITHER IN THIS MOUNTAIN, NOR YET AT JERUSALEM, WORSHIP THE FATHER. JOHN iv. 21. xjrift THESE words have a revolutionary sound, and are startling in quiet times and to ordinary minds. Yet they do not stand alone in the Gospel, nor are they applicable only to the age in which Christ lived. There is a great deal more of the same language both in the Old and New Testament. When Christ says, k My kingdom is not of this world, else would My servants fight for it; but now is My kingdom not from hence, He means substantially the same thing. He does not mean to say that His disciples were not to fight now, and that the time would come when they ought to fight (at the Crusades, for example) ; but that the Kingdom of God is spiritual, and founded on a belief that God is a Spirit. And when He speaks of His disciples as united with God and separated from 1 Preached at Balliol.
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x.1 CHRIST S REVOLUTIONARY SAYINGS 175 the world (* I in them, and thou in Me, that they may be made perfect in one ), He is certainly not thinking of them as established in a church or united by a priest hood and common form of worship. He is taking another and a higher point of view : * Where two or three are gathered together in My Name, there am I in the midst of them, and Forbid him not ; for there is no man that shall cast out devils in My Name that can lightly speak evil of Me. And when men, as their manner is, are putting the outward in the place of the inward, the carnal body in the place of the spiritual body, like one grieved at their stupidity and hardness of heart, He says to them, * It is the spirit that quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing. These are some of the revolutionary sayings of Christ. There are many others, such as those about the rich and the poor; about the Sabbath Day; about the temple ; about the immediate coming of the Spirit. And if we pass from the New Testament to the Old we shall hear a similar voice speaking to us in the prophets. We have only to turn to the first chapter of the prophet Isaiah, there to read other words, unlike in form but like in meaning : * Bring no more vain
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oblations ; incense is an abomination unto Me ; the new moons and sabbaths, the calling of assemblies, I cannot away with ; it is iniquity, even the solemn meeting. . . . Wash you, make you clean ; put away the evil of your doings from before Mine eyes ; cease to do evil ; learn to do well ; seek judgement, relieve the 176 RELIGION AND SYSTEM [x. oppressed, judge the fatherless, plead for the widow. Here indeed is a war against existing institutions, some of which were believed to have been sanctioned by God Himself. Here is a repetition of that lesson which, however old, is always needed in all ages and in all countries, the danger of putting the outward in the place of the inward, the local and temporal in the place of the spiritual and moral. In this sermon I shall draw your attention to the tremendous import of the words of Christ, The hour cometh, when neither in this mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, shall ye worship the Father, and of other like words which occur elsewhere in Scripture. What is the meaning of them ? Are they to be taken
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