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reverence-that it is only in conjunction not what else can be done, than to urge with the faith which justifies, that the love upon you the great propitiation of the New of gratitude, and the love of moral esteem, Testament-nor are we aware of any exare made to arise in the bosom of regene-pedient by which all the cold and freezing rated man; and, therefore, to bring down sensations of legality can be done away, the virtues of heaven, as well as the peace but by your thankful and unconditional acof heaven, into this lower world, we know Iceptance of Jesus Christ, and him crucified.


The Nature of the Kingdom of God. “For the kingdom of God is not in word, but in power.”—1 Corinthians iv. 20. THERE is a most important lesson to be larity and of the world, looks as if he had derived from the variety of senses in which been cast over again in another mould, and the phrases "kingdom of God," and "king- come out breathing godly desires, and aspirdom of heaven,” are evidently made use of ing, with a newly created fervour, after in the New Testament. If it, at one time, I godly enjoyments. And so, without any carry our thoughts to that place where God such conversion as this, heaven may still be sits in visible glory, and where, surrounded conceived to minister a set of very refined by the family of the blessed, he presides in and intellectual gratifications. One may full and spiritual authority-it, at another figure it so formed, as to adapt itself to the time, turns our thoughts inwardly upon senses of man, though he should possess ourselves, and instead of leading us to say, not one single virtue of the temple, or of Lo, here, or lo, there, as if to some local the sanctuary; and one may figure it to be habitation at a distance, it leads us, by the so formed, as, though alike destitute of these declaration, that the "kingdom of God is virtues, to adapt itself even to the spirit of within us, to look for it into our own man, and to many of the loftier principles breast, and to examine whether heavenly and capacities of his nature. His taste may affections have been substituted there in the find an ever-recurring delight in the panoplace of earthly ones. Such is the tendency / rama of its sensible glories; and his fancy of our imagination upon this subject, that wander untired among all the realities and the kingdom of heaven is never mentioned, all the possibilities of created excellence; without our minds being impelled thereby and his understanding be feasted to ecstacy to take an upward direction—to go aloft to among those endless varieties of truth, that place of spaciousness, and of splendour, which are ever pouring in a rich flood of and of psalmody, which forms the residence discovery, upon his mind; and even his of angels; and where the praises both of heart be kept in a glow of warm and kindly redeemed and unfallen creatures, rise in one affection among the cordialities of that beanthem of gratulation to the Father, who nevolence, by which he is surrounded. All rejoices over them all.

this is possible to be conceived of heaven; Now, it is evident, that in dwelling upon and when we add its secure and everlasting such an elysium as this, the mind can pic-1 exemption from the agonies of hell, let us ture to itself a thousand delicious accom- not wonder, that such a heaven should be paniments, which, apart from moral and vehemently desired by those who have not spiritual character altogether, are fitted to advanced by the very humblest degree of regale animal, and sensitive, and unrenewed spiritual preparation, for the real heaven of man. There may be sights of beauty and the New Testament—who have not the brilliancy for the eye. There may be sounds | least congeniality of feeling with that which of sweetest melody for the ear. There may forms its most essential and characteristic be innumerable sensations of delight, from blessedness—who cannot sustain on earth the adaptation which obtains between the for a very short interval of retirement, the materialism of surrounding heaven, and the labour and the weariness of communion materialism of our own transformed and with God-who, though they could relish glorified bodies. There may even be poured to the uttermost, all the sensible and all the upon us, in richest abundance, a higher and intellectual joys of heaven, yet hold no taste a nobler class of enjoyments and separate of sympathy whatever, with its hallelujahs, still from the possession of holiness, of that and its songs of raptured adoration--and peculiar quality, by the accession of which who, therefore, if transported at this moa sinner is turned into a saint, and the man ment, or if transported after death, with the who, before, had an entire aspect of secu- frame and character of soul that they have at this moment, to the New Jerusalem, and cumbrance of a vile body, the spiritual repast the city of the living God, would positively which is thus provided, is not without its mixfind themselves aliens, and out of their kin-tures, and without its mitigation. In a word, dred and rejoicing element, however much the essential elements of heaven's reward, they may sigh after a paradise of pleasure, and of heaven's felicity, are all in his possesor a paradise of poetry.

sion. He tastes the happiness of heaven in It may go to dissipate this sentimental kind, though not in its full and finished deillusion, if we ponder well the meaning gree. When he gets to heaven above, he will which is often assigned to the kingdom of not meet there with a happiness differing in heaven in the Bible; if we reflect, that it is character from that which he now feels; but often made to attach personally to a hu- only higher in gradation. There may be man creature upon earth, as well as to be crowns of material splendour. There may be situated locally in soine distant and myste-trees of unfading loveliness. There may be rious region away from us--that to be the pavements of emerald-and canopies of subject of such a kingdom, it is not indis- brightest radiance-and gardens of deep and pensible that our residence be within the tranquil security--and palaces of proud and limits of an assigned territory, any more, in stately decoration-and a city of lofty pinfact, than that the subject of an earthly nacles, through which there unceasing flows sovereign should not remain so, though a river of gladness, and where jubilee is travelling, for a time, beyond the confines ever rung with the concord of seraphic of his master's jurisdiction. He may, though voices. But these are only the accessaries away from his country in person, carry of heaven. They form not the materials about with him in mind a full principle of its substantial blessedness. Of this the of allegiance to his country's sovereign; man who toils in humble drudgery, an utter and may, both in respect of legal duty, and stranger to the delights of sensible pleasure, of his own most willing and affectionate or the fascinations of sensible glory, has got compliance with it, remain associated with already a foretaste in his heart. It consists him both in heart and in political relation- not in the enjoyment of created good, nor ship. He is still a member of that king- in the survey of created magnificence. It is dom in the domains of which he was born; drawn in a direct stream, through the chanand in the very same way, may a man be nels of love and of contemplation, from the travelling the journey of life in this world, fullness of the Creator. It emanates from the and be all the while a member of the king-countenance of God, manifesting the spiritudom of heaven. The being who reigns in / al glories of his holy and perfect character, supreme authority there may, even in this on those whose characters are kindred to his land of exile and alienation, have some one own. And if on earth there is no tendency devoted subject, who renders, to the same towards such a character--no process of authority the deference of his heart, and restoration to the lost image of the Godhead the subordination of his whole practice. --no delight in prayer--no relish for the The will of God may possess such a moral sweets of intercourse with our Father, now ascendency over his will, as that when the unseen, but then to be revealed to the view one commands, the other promptly and of his immediate worshippers--then, let cheerfully obeys. The character of God our imaginations kindle as they may, with may stand revealed in such charms of per- the beatitudes of our fictitious heaven, the fection and gracefulness to the eye of his true heaven of the Bible is what we shall mind, that by ever looking to him he both never reach, because it is a heaven that we loves and is made like unto him. A sense are not fitted to enjoy. of God may pervade his every hour, and! But such a view of the matter seems not every employment, even as it is the hand merely to dissipate a sentimental illusion of God which preserves him continually, which obtains upon the subject. It also and through the actual power of God, that serves to dissipate a theological illusion, he lives and moves, as well as has his being. Ere we can enter heaven, there must be Such a man, if such a man there be on the granted to us a legal capacity of admission face of our world, has the kingdom of God -and Christ by his atoning death, and set up in his heart. He is already one of perfect righteousness, has purchased this the children of the kingdom. He is not capacity for those who believe; and they, locally in heaven, and yet his heaven is be-by the very act of believing, are held to be gun. He has in his eye the glories of hea in possession of it, just as a man by stretchven ; though, as yet, he sees them through | ing out his hand to a deed or a passport a glass darkly. He feels in his bosom the becomes vested with all the privileges which principles of heaven ; though, still at war are thereby conveyed to the holder. Now, with the propensities of nature, they do not in the zeal of controversialists, (and it is a vet reign in all the freeness of an undis-point most assuredly about which they puted ascendency. He carries in his heart cannot be too zealous)--in their zeal to The peace, and the joy, and the love, and the clear up and to demonstrate the ground on elevation of heaven; though under the in- I which the sinner's legal capacity must rest,


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there has, with many, been a sad overlook-man happy in heaven, it would suffice sim-
ing of what is no less indispensable, even ply to transmit him there with the same
his personal capacity. And yet even on the taste, and to surround him with the same
lowest and grossest conceptions of what circumstances. But God has not so order-
that is which constitutes the felicity of hea- ed heaven. He will not suit the circum-
ven, it would be no heaven, and no place stances of heaven to the character of man;
of enjoyment at all, without a personal and therefore to make it, that man can be
adaptation on the part of its occupiers, to the happy there, nothing remains but to suit
kind of happiness which is current there. the character of man to the circumstances
If that happiness consisted entirely in sights of heaven; and, therefore it is, that to bring
of magnificence, of what use would it be to about heaven to a sinner, it is not enough
confer a title-deed of entry on a man who that there be the preparation of a place for
was blind? To make it heaven to him, his him; there must be a preparation of him
eyes must be opened. Or, if that happiness for the place--it is not enough that he be
consisted in sounds of melody, of what use meet in law, he must be meet in person
would a passport be to the man who was it is not enough that there be a change in
deaf? To make out a heaven for him, a his forensic relation towards God, there
change must be made on the person which must be a change in the actual disposition
he wears, as well as in the place which he of his heart towards him; and unless deli-
occupies, and his ears must be unstopped. vered from his earth-born propensities-
Or, is that happiness consisted in fresh and unless a clean heart be created, and a right
perpetual accessions of new and delightful spirit renewed--unless transformed into a
truth to the understanding, what would rights holy and godlike character, it is quite in
and legal privileges avail to him who was vain to have put a deed of entry into his
sunk in helpless idiotism ? To provide him hands—heaven will have no charm for
with a heaven, it is not enough that he be him--all its notes of rapture will fall
transported to a place among the mansions with tasteless insipidity upon his ear--and
of the celestial : he must be provided with justification itself will cease to be a privi-
a new faculty, and as before a change be- lege.
hooved to be made upon the senses ; solLet us cease to wonder, then, at the fre-
now, ere heaven can be heaven to its occu- quent application, in Scripture, of this
pier, a change must be made upon his phrase to a state of personal feeling and
mind. And, in like manner, my brethren, character upon earth ; and rather let us
if that happiness shall consist in the love press upon our remembrance the important
of God for his goodness, and in the love of | lessons which are to be gathered from such
God for the moral and spiritual excellence an application. In that passage where it
which belongs to him-if it shall consist in is said, that the “kingdom of God is not
the play and exercise of affections directed meat and drink, but righteousness, and
to such objects as are alone worthy of their peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost,” there
most exalted regard--if it shall consist in can be no doubt that the reference is alto-
the movements of a heart now attracted in gether personal, for the apostle is here con-
reverence and admiration towards all that trasting the man who, in these things,
is noble, and righteous, and holy-it is not serveth Christ, with the man who eateth
enough to constitute a heaven for the sin unto the Lord, or who eateth not unto the
ner, that God is there in visible manifesta- | Lord. And in the passage now before us,
tion, or that heaven is lighted up to him in there can be as little doubt, that the refer-
a blaze of spiritual glory. His heart must ence is to the kingdom of God, as fixed and
be made a fit recipient for the impression substantiated upon the character of the
of that glory. Of what possible enjoyment human soul. He was just before alluding
to him is heaven, as his purchased inherit- to those who could talk of the things of
ance, if heaven be not also his precious and Christ, while it remained questionable
his much-loved home? To create enjoy- whether there was any change or any effect
ment for a man, there must be a suitable that could at all attest the power of these
ness between the taste that is in him, and things upon their person and character.
the objects that are around him. To make This is the point which he proposed to
a natural man happy upon earth, we may ascertain on his next visit to them. “I
let his taste alone, and surround him with will come to you shortly, if the Lord will,
favourable circumstances with smiling and will know not the speech of them
abundance, and merry companionship, which are puffed up, but the power. For
and bright anticipations of fortune or of the kingdom of God is not in word, but in
fame, and the salutations of public respect, power.” It is not enough to mark you as
and the gaieties of fashionable amusement, the children of this kingdom ; or as those
and the countless other pleasures of a over whose hearts the reign of God is es-
world, which yields so much to delight and tablished ; or as those in whom a prepara-
to diversify the short-lived period of its tion is going on here for a place of glory and
fleeting generations. To make the same blessedness hereaster--that you know the


be a

by the



terms of orthodoxy, or that you can speak | dom of God cometh to them in word only
its language. If even an actual belief in while not in power.
its doctrine could reside in your mind, But again, what is translated word in this
without fruit and without influence, this verse, is also capable of being rendered by
would as little avail you. But it is well to the term reason. It may not only denote
know, both from experience and from the that which constitutes the material vehicle
information of him who knew what was in by which the argument conceived in the
man, that an actual belief of the Gospel, is mind of one man is translated into the
at all times an effectual belief-that upon mind of another; it may also denote the
the entrance of such a belief, the kingdom argument itself; and when rendered in
of God comes to us with power, being that this way, it offers to our notice a very in-
which availeth, even faith, working by love, teresting case, of which there are not want-
and purifying the heart, and overcoming | ing many exemplifications. In the case
the world.

just now adverted to, the mere word is in
One of the simplest cases of the kingdom the mouth, without its corresponding idea
of God in word, and not in power, is that being in the mind; but in the case imme-
of a child, with its memory stored in pas- diately before us, ideas are present as well
sages of Scriptures, and in all the answers as words, and every intellectual faculty is
to all the questions of a substantial and at its post, for the purpose of entertaining
well-digested catechism. In such an in-them--the attention most thoroughly awake
stance, the tongue may be able to rehearse -and the curiosity on the stretch of its ut-
the whole expression of evangelical truth, most eagerness--and the judgment most
while neither the meaning of the truth is busily employed in the work of comparing
perceived by the understanding, nor, of one doctrine, and one declaration with an-
consequence, can the moral influence of the other and the reason conducting its long
truth be felt in the heart. The learner has or its intricate processes; and, in a word,
got words, but nothing more. This is the the whole machinery of the mind as power-
whole fruit of his acquisition; nor would / fully stimulated by a theological, as it ever
it make any difference, in as far as the ef- can be by a natural or scientific specula-
fect at the time is concerned, though, in- / tion-and yet, with this seeming advance-
stead of words adapted to the expression ment that it makes from the language of
of Christian doctrine, they had been the Christianity to the substance of Chris-
words of a song, or a fable, or any secular tianity, what shall we think of it, if there
narrative and performance whatever. This be no advancement whatever in the power
is all undeniable enough-if we could only of Christianity-no accession to the soul
prevail on many men, and many women, of any one of those three ingredients,
not to deny its application to themselves which, taken together, make up the apos-
if we could only convince our grown-up tle's definition of the kingdom of God-no
children of the absolute futility of many of augmentation either of its righteousness, or
their exercises—if we could only arouse its peace, or its joy in the Holy Ghost
from their dormancy our listless readers the man, no doubt, very much engrossed and
of the Bible our men, who make a mere exercised with the subject of divinity, but
piece-work of their Christianity ; who, in with as little of the real spirit and charac-
making way through the Scriptnres, do it ter of divinity, thereby transferred into his
by the page, and, in addressing prayers to own spirit, and his own character, as if he
their Maker, do it by the sentence; with were equally engrossed and equally exer-
whom the perusal of the sacred volume, is cised with the subject of mathematics--16-
absolutely little better than a mere exercise maining, in short, after all his doctrinal
of the lip, or of the eye; and a preference acquisitions of the truth, an utter stranger
for orthodoxy is little better than a prefer- to the moral influence of the truth ; and
ence for certain familiar and well-known proving, in the fact of his being practically
sounds; where the thinking principle is al- and personally the very same man as be-
most never in contact with the matter of fore, that if the kingdom of God is not
theological truth, however conversant both in word, it is as little in argument, but in
their mouths and their memories may be power.
with the language of it-so that in fact the If it be of importance to know, that a
doctrine by the knowledge of which, and man may lay hold, by his memory, of all
the power of which it is, that we are saved, the language of Christianity, and yet not
lies as effectually hidden from their minds, be a Christian--it is also of importance to
as if it lay wrapt in hieroglyphical obscu-I know that a man may lay hold by bis un-
rity: or, as if their intellectual organ was derstanding, of all the doctrine of Chris
shut against all communication with any tianity, and yet not be a Christian. It is
thing without them; and thus it is, that our opinion, that in this case the man has
what is not perceived by the mental eye, only an apparent belief, without having an
having no possible operation upon the men- actual belief-that all the doctrine is con-
tal feelings, or mental purposes, the king-Iceived by him, without being credited by

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him—that it is the object of his fancy, and its departed excellence. The one is
without being the object of his faith-and what faith will do on the other side of
that, as on the one hand, if the conviction time. But the other just as certainly faith
be real, the consequence of another heart, must do on this side of time. It is here
and another character, will be sure; so, on that heaven begins. It is here that eternal
the other hand, and on the principle, of life is entered upon. It is here that man
" by their fruits shall ye know them," if he first breathes the air of immortality. It is
want the fruit, it is just because he is in upon earth that he learns the rudiments of
want of the foundation--if there be no pro- a celestial character, and first tastes of ce-
want of the fo
duce, it is because there is no principle; lestial enjoyments. It is here, that the well
having experienced no salvation from sin of water is struck out in the heart of reno-
bere, he shall experience no salvation from vated man, and that fruit is made to grow
the abode of sinners hereafter. If faith unto holiness, and then, in the end, there is
were present with him, he would be kept life everlasting. The man whose thread-
by the powers of it unto salvation, from bare orthodoxy is made up of meagre and
both; bat destitute as he proves himself to unfruitful positions, may think that he
be now of the faith which sanctifies, he will walks in clearness, while he is only walk-
be found then, in the midst of all his sem-ing in the cold light of speculation. He
blances, and all his delusions, to have been walks in the feeble sparks of his own kin-
equally destitute of the faith which justifies.dling. Were it fire from the sanctuary, it

And it is, perhaps, not so difficult to stir would impart, to his unregenerated bosom,
up in the mind of the learned controver- of the heat, and spirit, and love of the sanc-
sialist, and the deeply-exercised scholar, the tuary. This is the sure result of the faith
suspicion, that with all his acquirements that is unseigned and all that a feigned
in the lore of theology, he is, in respect of faith can possibly make out, will be a ficti-
its personal influence upon himself, still in tious title deed, which will not stand before
a state of moral and spiritual unsoundness, the light of the great day of final examina-
it is not so difficult to raise this feeling of tion. And thus will it be found, I fear, in
self-condemnation in his mind, as it is to do many cases of marked and ostentatious pro-
it in the mind of him who has selected his fessorship, how possible a thing it is to
one favourite article, and there, resolved, if have an appearance of the kingdom of God
die he must, to die hard, has taken up his in word, and the kingdom of God in letter,
obstinate and immoveable position and and the kingdom of God in controversy
retiring within the intrenchment of a few while the kingdom of God is not in power,
verses of the Bible, will defy all the truth But once more---instead of laying a false
* and all the thunder of its remaining decla- security upon one article, it is possible to
rations; and with an orthodoxy which car- have a mind familiarized to all the articles
ries on all its play in his head, without one ---to admit the need of holiness, and to
moving or one sostening touch upon his demonstrate the channel of influence by
heart, will stand out to the eye of the world, which it is brought down from heaven
both in avowed principle, and in its corres- upon the hearts of believers---to cast an eye
ponding practice, a secure, sturdy, firm, of intelligence over the whole symphony
impregnable Antinomian. He thinks that and extent of Christian doctrine---io lay
he will have heaven, because he has faith. bare those ligaments of connection by
But if his faith do not bring the virtues of which a true faith in the mind is ever sure
heaven into his heart, it will never spread to bring a new spirit and a new practice
either the glory or the security of heaven along with it: and to hold up the lights
around his person. The region to which both of Scripture and of experience, over the
he vainly thinks of looking forward, is a whole process of man's regeneration. It is
region of spirituality; and he himself must possible for one to do all this--and yet to
be spiritualized, ere it can prove to him a have no part in that regeneration---to de-
region of enjoyment. If he count on a clare with ability and effect the Gospel to
different paradise from this, he is as widely others, and yet himself be cast away-to
mistaken as they who dream of the luxury unravel the whole of that spiritual mechan-
that awaits them in the paradise of Maho-ism, by which a sinner is transformed into
met. He misinterprets the whole under a saint, while he does not exemplify that
taking of Jesus Christ. He degrades the mechanism upon his own person--io ex-
salvation which He hath achieved, into a plain what must be done, what must be
salvation from animal pain. He transforms undergone in the process of becoming one
the heaven which He has opened into a of the children of the kingdom, while he
heaven of animal gratifications. He for- remains one of the children of this world,
gets, that on the great errand of man's re- To him the kingdom of God hath come in
storation, it is not more necessary to recall word, and it hath come in letter, and it
our departed species to the heaven from hath come in natural discernment; but it
which they had wandered, than it is to re- hath not come in power. He may have
cal to the bosom of man its departed worth, 1 profoundly studied the whole doctrine of

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