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The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes

A. Conan Doyle

Esoteric Buddhism

A. P. Sinnett

The Pictorial Key to the Tarot

Arthur Edward Waite

Further Adventures of an Irish R. M.

Edith Somerville and Martin Ross

Eschatology. Indexes

by Francis Joseph Hall


• On the later Jewish developments, see E. C. Dewick, Pt. II; W. Fairweather, in Hastings, Dic. of Bib., extra vol., pp. 302-307; R. H. Charles, op. cit., and in Hastings, op. cit., s.v. "Eschatology of the Apocryphal and Apocalyptic Literature"; S. C. Gayford, ch. iL

• On which, see S. D. F. Salmond, Bk. II; E. C. Dewick, Pt. Ill; Hastings, Dic. of Christ, s.v. "Eschatology"; E. W. Winstanley, Jesus and the Future.

runner, St. John the Baptist, with a call to repentance and to belief in the Gospel because of the prophesied Kingdom of God being at hand.1 And on a certain occasion He summarized the purpose of His Incarnation in the words, "I came that they may have life, and may have it abundantly." 2

The Kingdom and eternal life were exhibited as beginning in this world — indeed as already present and available, because of His own coming into the world. And He claimed to be the promised Messiah, the King, and the source to all of life everlasting. In brief, the future of men was to be determined by their relation to Himself. But the consummation of the Kingdom and the full enjoyment of life therein, according to His doctrine, lay in the future. It was to be initiated by a cataclysmic end of this world, when He was to come again in the clouds of heaven and judge all men, they being raised from the dead and either rewarded or punished, according to their deeds, either with unending life or with everlasting fire.3

Speaking as Son of Man, He disclaimed knowledge as to when this final cataclysm would occur;4 but is apparently represented in the Gospels as saying that it would take place before the then existing generation passed away — a prediction not verified by the event. In view of our Lord's Person we cannot

i St. Mark i. 14-15, etc. Cf. St. Matt. iii. 1-2. * St. John x. 10.

3 The Church, pp. 101-104.

4 St. Mark xiii. 32. Cf. St. Matt. xxiv. 36.

rationally infer that He erred in such a matter, nor is it the only available conclusion.1 He placed strong emphasis upon the suddenness of the end, and upon the need of watchful readiness at all times. From the prophetic standpoint time is foreshortened, and in view of death, after which repentance is impossible,'the end of all things is truly "at hand" in determinative effect. This sufficiently justifies the interimsethic said to characterize our Lord's moral teaching. It requires no particular conviction as to when Christ will come to justify the view that for individuals this world affords only a brief probationary interim, external fortunes in which are important only as providential conditions of preparation for the world to come.2

Concerning the condition and place of the dead previously to the consummation our Lord gives no directly definite teaching, although the parable of the rich man and Lazarus 3 appears to throw indirect light on the intermediate state. Even if the picture there given is accommodated to current imagery and ought not to be pressed literally, we cannot rightly think that Christ would have committed Himself to a misleading portrayal, and certain conditions after death are unmistakably taken for granted by Him in the parable — for example a sep

1 See pp. 133-135. below.

2 On Christ's interimsethic, see Incarnation, p. 274, n. 4; E. D. La Touche, Person of Christ in Modern Thought, pp. 163-167; C. W. Emmet, in The Expositor, Nov., 1012.

» St. Luke xvi. 10-31. Cf. M. F. Sadler and Cornelius A. Lapide, in loc., and R. C. Trench, Parables, § 26.

aration between the righteous and the wicked, the former being comforted and the latter suffering, memory of the past, concern for the living and prayer even by the wicked for the salvation of those left behind. Both our Lord and His listeners were chiefly concerned with the final consummation, and the intermediate state did not in that age engage the large attention which it secured in later centuries.

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