Imágenes de páginas



of the body. What can be tainty in language, and more express than the doc- every doctrine of the Scriptrine of our Saviour Him- ture may be thrown into self upon this subject ? “My doubt and obscurity. WithFlesh is meat indeed, and out faith, as it hath already My Blood is drink indeed— been argued in the proper He that eateth Me, even he place, the language of the shall live by Mel;” that Scripture never is, shall live with a new ever will be admitted in its and divine life, as really true sense ; but with it, it as his body lives and is is clear enough to every nourished by his daily reader. bread. Unless these words This first head of my do signify, that a real prin- subject is so copious, that ciple of life and strength is I must conclude here, and derived to us from the body defer what remains to the of Christ, whereof we par- next Lecture. take, there can be no cer

1 John vi. 51, &C.






TнE former Lecture, bodily life is a pattern and would not allow me room shadow of his spiritual life, to explain the figures which and is applied to illustrate the Scripture hath borrowed it in many instances. from the natural world and From his natural, we the objects of common life; must now go forward to though I determined to his social, civil, or political select such of them only life, as a citizen, subject, as might be thought most and member of society ; important and instructive : together with his worldly and even now, the subject condition, relations, offices, is so copious, that I must and occupations. leave many which I should The spiritual state, or be glad to treat of.

kingdom of heaven, is reFrom the consideration presented to us under the of the heavens, the elements emblem of an earthly kingand the seasons, we de- dom, in which God is the scended to man, whose supreme Governor and



Judge, ruling all His crea- such had a claim to the tures with infinite power, allegiance of His subjects. and according to the laws Their rebellious treatment of justice, goodness, and of Him and His ambasmercy.

sadors is represented in the The Church is a spiritual parable of the marriage of kingdom under Christ its the king's son b; whose head; and its ministers are invitation they rejected, and ambassadors, commissioned abused his servants. In to treat with the world, and consequence of this his propose terms of reconci- armies were sent out, to do liation from God, with execution upon them as Whom they are by nature murderers, and burn up at enmity. St. Paul, having their city: all of which occasion to speak of his was fulfilled upon the apocommission under Jesus state Jews, and their city Christ, saith, “ for Whom Jerusalem : and having reI am

an ambassador in jected Him, they are to bonds a.” This was a strange this day without a king, case ; and he mentions it as without laws, without a such;

because the persons country. of ambassadors were There is another parable counted sacred, and it was of the same kind, which against the law of nations admits of a more general to do any violence to them : application,


and but the world, while it home to ourselves. Christ keeps good faith with itself, ascended into heaven, there keeps none with God. Our to receive all power, and blessed Saviour, as Pilate return invested with it to truly entitled Him upon the general judgment, is the Cross, was the King of signified under the person the Jews, though not after of "a nobleman who went the form and authority of into a far country, to reworldly kingdoms; and as ceive for himself a king

a Eph. vi. 20.


b Matt. xxii.

dom and to return-But | defiance ; while others exhis citizens hated him, and plain away the sense and sent a message after him, authority of His kingdom saying, We will not have with subtilties of logic and this man to reign over us.” a mask of piety. But let Thus insolently and un- them speak or gratefully doth a wicked they please, the proudest world treat the authority of them all are under the of Christ in His absence : power of Jesus Christ : but He shall return; and those who do not allow of then the authority they His spiritual authority in will not admit for their His kingdom the Church, good, will be turned to are still within the reach their destruction—“ Those of His justice. Happiest mine enemies which would are they, in whose hearts not that I should reign the kingdom of God is over them, bring hither and established, according to slay them before med.” Not those words which were all the powers upon earth spoken of it—“the kingcan hinder the execution of dom of God is within you €;" this command—bring them and who can pray daily, as hither—wherever these of- they are commanded, that fenders shall then be, they His kingdom may come; will all be found ; even the that it may prevail over our grave shall not hide them, affections, and direct all the dust shall not cover our doings, till at length them ; but the ministers of it shall be manifested over vengeance will drag them all, and the King Himself forth, and present them shall appear in His glory. before that King whom The judgment passed by they hated and affronted. the magistrate in this world Some there are, who send against crimes is founded their message after Him in on the law of God, and is terms of open treason and an administration of His

reason as

o Luke xix. 12.

d Luke xix. 27.

e Luke xyii. 21.

[ocr errors]


justice for the time being ; | hazardous, to which all an earnest of that more Christians are enlisted unequal and perfect adminis- der the “captain of their tration which is to come. salvation ,” against enemies Every tribunal before which whom no man can see ; criminals are summoned is active, subtle, vigilant, maa prelude to the day of lignant spirits : for, doom, when “the judg- wrestle not against flesh ment shall sit, and the and blood, but against dead small and great shall principalities and powers.” stand before God, and the As men prepare for an dead shall be judged out earthly war, so are we to of those things that are prepare ourselves that we written f.” This may seem may “stand in the evil distant to us now, in our dayk :" we are to put on blind way of considering the whole armour of God,” things; but in the lan- as the Apostle hath deguage of the Scripture it scribed it; we are to take is otherwise: “behold,” saith the “shield of faith,” the St. James, the Judge sword of God's word, the standeth before the door,” |“helmet of salvation;" and ready to enter, and to bring to pray that we may be every secret work, and every inspired with fortitude, and neglected and perverted assisted in the use of them. cause, into judgment. We have treachery as well

Other figures of the Scrip- as force to guard against. ture are taken from the There are deceitful lusts state in which mankind are which assume the mask of engaged under the dangers pleasure, while they are of war. As men are troubled “warring against the soul",” with violence and treachery as it were by sap, to unfrom one another ; so is dermine and destroy it. there another warfare more No man can use a sword

[ocr errors]

& Chap. v. 9. i Eph. vi. 12.

* Eph. vi.

f Rev. xx. 12.

h Heb. ii. 10. 11 Pet. ii. 11.

« AnteriorContinuar »