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attain to this dignity. I will teach you, if it please God, the good and the right way: but I must previously draw your attention to another coronation, distinct from either of the two which we have yet considered.
In the former instances we have seen, that by this ceremony the authority of the person crowned was acknowledged; but the coronation, to which I am about to allude, has this remarkable difference,-that the person crowned was thus distinguished, as a mark that his people disowned his authority, and preferred to be the slaves of a tyrant! He was the most legitimate of all kings; and came to the people who professed to be waiting for him; yet was he despised and rejected!
How then was the ceremony conducted? Did they set a crown of pure gold upon his head? No; rude and barbarous hands plaited a crown of thorns and forced them into his brows! Did they anoint him with oil? No; filthy sinners spat in his face, and covered him with loathsome rheum! Did they put a sceptre in his hand? No; it was a reed, with which they afterwards beat the head they had insulted! Thus mocked and cruelly entreated, he was brought forth to the people; and he who led him cried, "Behold your king!” And what then? did they clap their hands and shout, God save the king"? no; they cried, Away with him, crucify him!" And O! to what sort of a banquet did they then lead him ?--and what nobility surrounded him ?--and who was the champion that rode forth on his behalf? Alas! alas!—his banquet was gall, and vinegar, and the bitterness of death!-those who were placed at his right and left hand were malefactors and outcasts !-nor was
there a voice raised in his defence : even "his lovers and kinsmen stood afar off!" Thus," he came to his own, but his own received him not.'
Nevertheless, (strange, my brethren, as it may appear,) to this personage, thus despised and rejected, I must direct you. He is still the King of glory; and his submitting to this last act of abasement for our sakes, is the crown of all his glory. It is on this very account, that God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name; that at the name of JESUS every knee should bow, of things in heaven and things in earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." o
If then you would be crowned in the world to come, you must make him your crown of rejoicing here. If you would sit down to the banquet in glory, you must first eat his flesh and drink his blood in his spiritual kingdom. To him we must look for every rich and spiritual blessing: for the pardon of our sins; for that righteousness, which must be our title to eternal life; and for that strength which can alone enable us to keep his commandments, and become fitted for his heavenly kingdom. We must likewise submit, in some measure, to be crowned by the world even as he was. We must be content to endure his reproach, to deny ourselves, and to be despised and rejected by them who despised No cross, no and rejected him. crown: if we would reign with him, we must also suffer with him." But if we do enter into the spirit of his life and conversation, we shall find, that he will crown us with mercy and loving kindness in this life; and make us sit down with him
o Philippians ii, 9, 10.
in his throne in the life to come. Behold, then, the way, the truth, and the life!" Look unto him as the author and finisher of your faith: He is the creator of all thrones, whether in heaven or earth and in his presence those who are heirs of glory take off their crowns and cast them before him.
Let me now make a few concluding remarks; and may the Spirit of the Lord be with us and render them profitable !
First, with regard to that coronation which I presume has taken place; I would ask the question,— Do you, my brethren, take any interest in it? and, if so, I would next inquire, What sort of interest do you feel? The pomp and pageantry, of which we read, consist in things which perish with the using, and a few hours bring them to an end. Have we then no interest in the transactions of the day, beyond the present moment ? Is the mere enjoyment of a show, or of a feast, all we have to do with the coronation of our King? Is it not a concern to us, that what is solemn and sacred in the proceedings of the day, should so far outweigh what is only glitter and ceremony, as to leave the heart of the Sovereign deeply impressed with the importance and responsibility of his trust? It is of great concern. If we are really christians, and, more especially, if we are members of the Church of England, we cannot be ignorant, "that the hearts of kings are in God's rule and governance; and that he disposes and turns them as seemeth best "to his godly wisdom." The Scriptures likewise seem to imply, that whether we are to have a king, who shall reign in righteousness, and
watch over the dearest and best interests of his people, depends, in a measure, upon the righteousness of the whole lump, out of which he is chosen. If ye follow the Lord," saith the Prophet," then shall the king that reigneth over you continue to follow the Lord; but if ye will not obey the voice of the Lord, then shall the hand of the Lord be against you." p Observe upon what depends a nation's happiness: not upon its wealth, its fleets, its armies, its commerce, its public credit, nor its laws; but upon attention and obedience to the commandments of God. Now one commandment of Scripture is, "to pray for kings, and for all who are in authority;" but, alas! what is it we behold instead? The prevailing disposition of the age is to scoff at kings, to murmur at governments, and to resist or cavil at the powers which be. O, what an anomaly in a christian country! How many seem to resemble those of whom St. Peter says, that they despise government, are presumptuous, selfwilled, and are not afraid to speak evil of dignities!"'r
2. In the next place, I have shewn, in the progress of this disdiscourse, that we ourselves may all become kings and priests unto God. Let me then ask, how it is, that so few appear desirous of obtaining that crown, or of sitting down to the marriage supper of the Lamb. We see many in earnest to obtain a little worldly distinction or wealth ;—they are eager for those things which in the long run must perish and come to nought;-and they often fret themselves through life about that, which, after all, they never possess: but the things which are eternal, within their grasp, which the Lord hath made sure in Jesus, and which
p 1 Sam. xii, 14. 9 1 Tim. ii, 2. r 2 Pet. ii, 10.
(let them raise their expectations as they please) will still exceed all that they can ask or think,-these things are neglected and despised! It is want of faith: they cannot enter in because of unbelief. It is one thing to talk about loving Christ, and being with him: it is quite another to shew, by holy obedience, that we do really desire what we profess. When one who sat at meat with Jesus cried, Blessed are they “who shall eat bread in the kingdom of heaven," Jesus immediately spake the parable of the certain man who made a great supper; whereby he shewed, how many of the professing friends of God, although invited to come and down, do nevertheless make cuse, and prefer the world. And how frequently do we now see it the case, that people can talk well of religion; and yet, when they are called upon to act it, they shrink back and make some excuse ! We behold them in their ordinary life and conversation, as it were without God; they make no effort to imitate the example of Christ;-they prefer their own will, and their own way. The real language of their hearts is, "We will not have this man to rule over us." They seem to think they have no king but Cæsar: i. e. they obey the laws of an earthly monarch; but make no account of Him who sitteth at the right hand of God.
The conduct of some appears even still more inconsistent. They are called to be kings, and to reign with Christ; they profess in words to be
looking for his appearing : but how cold and indifferent they betray themselves to be in regard to that appearing and kingdom;-how some will make light of it, when the subject is seriously brought before them ;-how they neglect and turn from those prophecies which speak of it! How are we to reconcile this with that Spirit of adoption, which is the earnest of the inheritance ?— with that Spirit, which waits for the manifestation of the sons of God, and groans for the redemption of the body?
Go then, my hearers, such of you as want faith to believe the glorious things spoken of Zion—and such as want hearts to relish the gracious and spiritual things of God-go and pray, that you may have the Spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of God,-that you may know the hope of your calling,—the riches of Christ's inheritance in the saints, and the exceeding power which worketh in them that believe to prepare them for the inheritance. Go also and pray for grace, to enable you to take up the cross,-to deny and mortify all fleshly and worldly lusts,—and to be conformed to the blessed nature of Jesus.
ON THE ADVENT AND KINGDOM OF CHRIST,
AND THE EVENTS CONNECTED THEREWITH.
The Participation of the Saints.
It will be useful, before we proceed further, just to notice in the way of summary those principal circumstances, which I trust have now been demonstrated. First, it has been shewn, that the expectation of the Church is (throughout the Scriptures, and the New Testament more especially) connected with the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to which event the saints' hope of reward and glory is generally referred. Secondly, that the promises concerning the kingdom of God and Christ, however they may include the intermediate gospel dispensation, do principally make the manifestation of the kingdom to be future. Thirdly, that the scene of that manifestation is to be the earth in a renewed state, and more especially Palestina and Jerusalem.
Though much of the evidence brought to bear on these points must already have led to the conclusion, that the saints in generul will participate in this glorious state of things; yet I consider it to be a matter of so much importance and interest to the Church to have it proved distinctly, that I have reserved many scripture testimonies for this purpose; which testimonies will likewise further corroborate the view which I have taken of the kingdom of the Son of man.
I proceed therefore to shew, that all the promises of this glory belong equally to the saints of the Old and New Testaments, in whatsoever age of the Church they may have lived.
I. This point is the more necessary
to be insisted on, because there are many, who, whilst they admit a Millennium of glory on earth, confine it nevertheless to a portion only of the Church of God. Some for instance limit it to the Jews, some to those only who have suffered martyrdom for Christ, and some to that generation, which shall be living at the commencement of the Millennium; excluding all the departed saints, and the Lord Jesus himself, from any visible participation. I conclude however, that the whole of the saints, from the days of the first Adam up to the period of the glorious advent of the second Adam, will together enjoy their resurrection glory at the beginning of the Millennium; and that their glory is altogether distinct from the condition of that portion of Israel, who will then be redeemed in the flesh; and also from the spiritual state of those gentile nations, who shall then likewise be in the flesh. I have only to request of the Reader, if difficulties and objections present themselves to his mind on the perusal of this statement, that he will at least suspend them, until I have gone through the whole series of essays in which I am now engaged; in the course of which it is probable that some of those difficulties may be removed.
1. I trust it is not necessary to dwell long upon the antediluvian saints: these may be all included in one verse of Jude's Epistle ;"Enoch also, the seventh from "Adam, prophesied to these, say
ing, Behold the Lord cometh with myriads of his saints, to execute judgement, &c."a This was therefore the expectation of the Church in Enoch's time. And as respects the saints from the time of Noah to Abraham, we may clearly infer their expectation from the eleventh chapter of Hebrews; Noah being at the seventh verse instanced as one of those, of whom in the thirty-ninth and following verses it is said, that they obtained a good report through faith, but received not the promise; God having designed, that they should be perfected with us.
2. In regard to the promises to Abraham and to his seed, I have already proved that Christ is the seed principally intended, and by consequence all those who are his members. This is further evident from Romans iv, 16, in which place the Apostle tells us, that the promise is not only to be made sure to that seed which is of the law, "but to "that also which is of the faith "of Abraham, who is the father of us all." So also in Galatians: "Know ye therefore, that they "which are of faith, the same are "the children of Abraham.”b And again, Ye are all the children of God by faith in Christ Jesus, &c. "there is neither Jew nor Greek, "bond nor free, male nor female; "for ye are all one in Christ Jesus:
and if ye be Christ's, then are ye "Abraham's seed and heirs according “to the promise."
3. When the Church afterwards assumed a still more distinct and separate form in the Israelitish nation, to whom all the promises then appear to be more immediately addressed, I grant that a greater degree of obscurity is thrown over this circumstance. Nor do I
a v. 14. b Gal. iii, 7.
mean to deny, (though we are now enabled clearly to infer the facts above stated,) that in the previous periods the mystery of the fulness of the gentiles was in great measure hidden for the Apostle tells us, "that in other ages was not made
known unto the sons of men, as it is "now revealed unto the holy apostles
and prophets by the Spirit, that "the gentiles should be fellow-heirs,
and of the same body, and partakers "of his promise in Christ by the
Gospel." But the same Apostle does nevertheless quote, in the ninth chapter of his Epistle to the Romans, many places, from which it might have been inferred, that the Gentile was to rejoice with the Jew; among which I would especially instance one. The chief particular in the promise to the seed of Abraham was, that God engaged himself to be their God, and by consequence to make them HIS PEOPLE. From Hosea therefore might every Jew have decidedly concluded, that the time would arrive when the Gentiles would be called in: for so Paul presses on them the words Co ; I will call them my people which were "not my people; and her beloved, which was not beloved; and it
c Ibid. iii, 26-29. Rom. ix, 25, 26.