Accordingly many of them, while placing their hope for the future upon Messiah and His eagerly expected return in power, might seek assurance of present forgiveness of daily offences and cleansing of conscience in the old mediatorial system.
The specific feature of Christianity is its mediatorial element, its profound feeling of the striving of the finite individual to reach the unity of the infinite whole, and its conception of the way in which Deity deals with this effort by mediatorial agencies, which are both divine and human.
It is the religion of mediatorial salvation, and, as Schleiermacher emphatically taught in his riper works, of salvation through the mediation of Christ; that is, its possessors are conscious of having been delivered by Jesus of Nazareth from a condition in which their religious consciousness was overridden by the sense-consciousness of the world and put into one in which it dominates, and everything is subordinated to it.
While the latter developed their great picture of Israel the mediatorial nation, the systematic and priestly mind of Ezekiel had shaped a more material conception of the religious vocation of Israel in that picture of the new theocracy where the temple and its ritual occupy the largest place, with a sanctity which is set in express contrast to the older conception of the holiness of the city of Jerusalem (cf.
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