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backwards, He must be seen to be the goal of all pre-Christian prophecy in human nature and history. The consideration of the history of religion shows how the religious history of humanity turns on one point-the search after the true and perfect union of God and man, or the God-man. To such a degree is Jesus Christ the fulfilment of pre-Christian history and prophecy, that the best longings of human nature, as well as its religious aberrations, only receive their explanation through Him. On this point, therefore, it is needless to linger. On the other hand, casting a glance forwards at the history of humanity after Christ, we ought certainly to keep in view that the course of the development of Christianity among mankind requires an ethical process, is conditioned by human freedom, and for this very reason, in its extensive diffusion and intensive operation, as well as in the elaboration of its contents, remains subject to the law of gradual progress. regard to the influence of Christ's manifestation, testimony is borne in another way, namely, by history after Him, to Him as the manifested Perfecter of religion and humanity, and to the truth of His declarations concerning Himself. If heathens and Jews found each other in Him, He must be the reconciling medium and higher unity of both. And if the knowledge of heathen and Jew as to their needs being satisfied in Him, their sin and guilt expiated and subdued by Him, holds good of all who by faith join themselves to Him, so that unrest of conscience, nay, the unrest of the religioushistoric process altogether, comes to an end through Christ's manifestation received in living faith, then must a redeeming, reconciling energy, a higher substantive vital power, have issued from Him, then can He not have revealed a mere idea, such as would simply impart doctrines and impose duties. Thus history, as it is affected and determined by Him, agrees with what He asserts of Himself. He is for the good of humanity, and is revealed in it as saving, redeeming righteous

But further, that conquest of heathenism and Judaism did not merely take place once for all, but is continually taking place. Both, as has been shown, have not merely the significance of the historic forms bearing these names in the first instance. They are withal the universal principles or fundamental forms of human sin and human error. In their historic manifestation, the universal principle of sin and error was concentrated in its two main forms. Christianity then having vanquished both these by its appearance, the only task of apologetic labour is in every new opposition raised against Christianity to discover the recurrence in new form of old principles already vanquished by Christianity, and thus to prepare ever renewed triumphs for Christianity in its process of perpetual rejuvenescence.

1$ 64 cf. with § 62 ; next, SS 65-68.


5. Finally, the predicates belonging to the definition of revelation' pertain in quite a special manner to Christianitythe character of Originality and withal Historicality, special Individuality distinguishing it from all other religions, and, on the other hand, Universality. It shows its Originality and Novelty in distinction from all other religions, especially by its idea of God and the God-man, by the idea of sonship to God, yea, and especially by its power always to lead one who gives himself up to it away to the supreme divine fountain, to direct divine fellowship, and to open up in its true confessors a distinct spiritual well of life. And despite this Novelty, it shows its Historic character in an eminent degree in this, that the entire remaining history of religion leads up as a preparation to it, that it joins on strictly to existing susceptibility and longing, that it penetrates into history with such force as no other phenomenon does. Further, by that which forms its centre it is marked on one side by sharp distinction from everything non-Christian, by unique Individuality and distinctiveness, and at the same time by Universality, because that which is peculiar to it (although not realized even seminally in any other form of faith) carries in itself the destination and the power to become the common possession of all, to summon up in the natural human race the true humanity, birth from God or sonship to God, and thus to bring about that the Christian communion of faith and humanity shall be coextensive. A negative feature of universality is freedom from all sensuous and telluric admixtures which have a particularizing effect. The Christian religion is the only one adapted to the nations of the north and south, whereas all other religions still carry in their root, so to speak, the soil 18 51.

2 John iv. 14, vii. 39; 2 Cor. v. 17.

from which they sprang.

But this freedom from external limits has its reason in what is inward and positive, in the free spirituality and inexhaustible fulness of this religion. It is the religion of the eternal life resident in humanity. Despite this spiritual character, it is not spiritualistic, but transcends with victorious power all contrarieties of races, ages, and nations,-not destroying, but informing and renewing them. Without loss to itself, it is able, as it has proved and proves, to enter into the most manifold forms, by its vital forces to lay hold of and fructify the most diverse individualities. But every individuality penetrated by it testifies that it has found in it the principle of emancipation and perfection. In the same way it is adapted to all forms of government. It has enriched and civilized all departments of life, marriage and the family, private intercourse, the State, art and science. Christian piety possesses eternal youth, because its nature and element is to be in course of perpetual rejuvenescence, and more and more to live in Him from whose fulness it receives grace for grace. But what is most important and replaceable by no demonstration is this: Christianity only continues to subsist through continuous divine action, through the perpetuation of the divine act of its founding, through the Holy Spirit. Through the Holy Spirit it is that Christ is as it were born anew in believers, that believers know themselves to be indissolubly united in Christ with the Father, and to share in the indissoluble, essential unity with God set forth to view in the Son of His love. From this fundamental knowledge, which is withal a form of Being, rich in grace, issues, as explained in the Phenomenological Part, all higher religious knowledge as from its organic centre. Thus we have again arrived at faith, in whose intuition is wrapped up all radical knowledge, nay, a totality divine and human, of a subjective and objective kind. But this immediate intuition of faith we have attempted to expound scientifically and reconcile with thought, by considering theas to substance--mutually corresponding doctrinal and historical course of the matter, in order in this way to religious to add scientific certainty concerning the God-man as the fixed objective principle of the Christian religion. This principle now awaits from the Second Part of Dogmatics its

exposition with special reference to sin, and therewith awaits the concrete demonstration that life and light, indissolubly blended in the incarnate Logos, stream forth from Him, in order, through illumination, reconciliation, redemption from error and sin, to effect the consummation of the individual and the race in the kingdom of God.







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