Jesus, like all those of his own nation who were really in earnest, was profoundly conscious of the great antithesis between the kingdom of God and that kingdom of the world in which he saw the reign of evil and the evil one. This was no mere image or empty idea * it was a truth which he saw and felt most vividly. He was certain, then, that the kingdom of the world must perish and be destroyed. But nothing short of a battle can effect it. With dramatic intensity battle and victory stand like a picture before his soul, drawn in those large firm lines in which the prophets had seen them. At the close of the drama he sees himself seated at the right hand of his Father, and his twelve disciples on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel; so objective was this picture to him, so completely in harmony with the ideas of his time. Now we may take the view— and not a few of us take it—that in these dramatic pictures, with their hard colours and contrasts, we have the actual purport of Jesus’ message and the fundamental form which it took; and that all his other statements of it must be simply regarded as secondary. We may say that they are all variations of it more or less edifying, variations which were added, perhaps, only by later reporters; but that the only positive factor is the dramatic hope for the future. In this view I cannot concur. It is considered a perverse procedure in similar cases to judge eminent, epoch-making personalities first and foremost by what they share with their contemporaries, and on the other hand to put what is great and characteristic in them into the background. The tendency as far as possible to reduce everything to one level, and to efface what is special and individual, may spring in some minds from a praiseworthy sense of truth, but it has proved misleading. More frequently, however, we get the endeavour, conscious or unconscious, to refuse greatness any recognition at all, and to throw down anything that is exalted. There can be no doubt about the fact that the idea of the two kingdoms, of God and of the devil, and their conflicts, and of that last conflict at some future time when the devil, long since cast out of heaven, will be also defeated on earth, was an idea which Jesus simply shared with his contemporaries. He did not start it, but he grew up in it and he retained it. The other view, however, that the kingdom of God “cometh not with observation,” that it is already here, was his own.