FAITH IN CHRIST.
As the Jews were always talking about the Messiah, so they were always talking, we know, about God. And they believed in God's Messiah after their notion of him, because they believed in God after their notion of him;—but both notions were wrong. All their aspirations were now turned towards the Messiah; whoever would do them good, must first change their ideal of the Messiah. But their ideal of God's Messiah depended upon their notion of God. This notion was now false, like their ideal of the Messiah; but once it had been true, or, at least, true comparatively;—once Israel had had the intuition of God as the Eternal that loveth righteousness. And the intuition had never been so lost but that it was capable of being revived. To change their dangerous and misleading ideal of God's Messiah, therefore, and to make the Jews believe in the true Messiah, could only be accomplished by bringing them back to a truer notion of God and his righteousness. By this it could, perhaps, be accomplished, but by this only.
And this is what Jesus sought to do. He sought to do it in the way we have seen, by his 'method' and his 'secret.' First, by his 'method' of a change of the inner man. 'Do not be all abroad, do not be in the air,' he said to his nation. 'You look for the kingdom of God. The kingdom of God is the reign of righteousness, God s will done by all mankind.