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Life of Jesus Christ in Its Historical Connexion and Historical Developement.
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§ 150. Moral Result of Entering the Kingdom of God, viz.: ThePure in Heart see God.”

The preceding beatitudes point out the moral requisites for entering into the kingdom of God; but it must not be inferred that they are demanded only on entrance into it, and no longer. Rather, as our appropriation of the kingdom can never be a finished act while we remain on earth, must its moral requisites continue, nay, continually grow in strength. We can discern already, in their connexion, the peculiar essence of Christianity. The Christian it conscious of no moral or spiritual ability of his own, needing only to be rightly applied to gain the wished-for end; on the contrary he feels that he has, of himself, nothing but want and weakness, insufficiency and wretchedness. Already Christ announces redemption as his own peculiar work.

Presupposing, then, that those who are endowed with these requisites will enter his kingdom, satisfy their spiritual need, and share in his saving power, Christ describes them, in consequence, as “pure in heart” (pure, however, not according to the standard of legal piety). And to those who possess this purity he promises that “they shall see God.” They shall have perfect communion with Him, and that complete and intuitive knowledge of his nature which, founded in such communion, forms the bliss of everlasting life.

This promise refers, it is true, to that full communion with God which shall be realized in eternal life, or in the consummation of the kingdom of God only. But this by no means excludes its application to that participation in the kingdom which begins during our earthly life; just as the preceding promises were to be gradually and progressively fulfilled until their consummation. The prominent connexion of thought is, that the knowledge of Divine things must spring from the life, from that purity of heart which fits men for communion with God that in our life on earth we are to be prepared, by purification of heart, for complete Divine knowledge. For the rest, this promise leads over to those which relate to the future everlasting life (the consummation of the kingdom).

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