KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
PATRIARCHAL AGE OF THE WORLD
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The world has its infancy as well as man. Families preceded nations. Family
worship was, therefore, the first religious institution.
At the head of this institution naturally stood the father of every
family. From necessity and from choice, he was the prophet, the priest,
and the king of his household. As a prophet, he instructed his household
in the knowledge of God, and in the history of man. As a priest, he
officiated at his family altar, interceded for those under his care, and
pronounced benedictions upon his children. As a lawgiver and
king, he commanded his children and servants, and rewarded them according
to merit. By a divine ordinance, the first fathers of mankind were
thus constituted prophets, priests, and kings. Hence, the first religious
and political institution is properly called "the Patriarchal."
Family worship was, then, the first social worship; and during the
first ages of the world (for at least 2500 years) it was the only social
worship, of divine authority. Though other institutions have since been
added, this has never been superseded. Having its foundation in the matrimonial
compact, the most ancient of all religious and political institutions, and
this being founded on nature itself, it never can be superseded. While the
forms of this worship have always been adapted to the genius of the various
revelations of God vouchsafed to mankind, it has continued through all the
changes of six thousand years, and will continue till the day when men, like
angels of God, shall neither marry nor give in marriage.
Family worship, so long as it continued the only social worship, underwent
no material change; and this is the period which is properly called the
Patriarchal age of the world. So long as the descendants of one man and
one woman continued under the paternal roof, or until they became heads of
families themselves, they continued under this religious and political
administration. And if, after marriage, they did not migrate to a great distance
from the patrimonial inheritance, the paternal authority was still acknowledged
and acquiesced in. Thus, in process of time, he who at first was only the
head of a single family, if his days were prolonged and his progeny multiplied,
became the paternal prince, or chief patriarch of a tribe.
In the youth of time and freshness of human nature, families soon became
large; and as the father and head could not always be present while he lived,
and as he might die before all his children could have become heads of families,
it became necessary that a substitute in his absence, and a successor in
case of his premature death, should be appointed to fill his place and administer
the affairs of the family. Nature and reason alike pointed to the first born
son, and religion consecrated him his vicegerent. Hence, the privileges and
honours of the first born son were both religious and political; and thus
the duties devolving upon him gave him a right to a double portion of the
inheritance. Esau was, therefore, both prodigal and profane
in selling his birthright for a meal of pottage.
The antiquity of this arrangement appeared from the envy and jealousy of
Cain, roused at the rejection of his offering and the acceptance of that
of Abel. That jealousy seems to have been kindled into rage because
of his birthright. This is fairly implied in God's address to Cain, when
that address is fairly translated and understood. "If ye do well, shall you
not have the excellency; and if you do not well, sin precludes you (from
the excellency.) And (Abel shall be subject to you) to you shall be his desire,
and you shall rule over him."2
The moral and religious institutions of the patriarchal or family worship,
which continued from the fall of Adam to the covenant of circumcision, were
the Sabbath, the service of the altar, oral instruction, prayer, praise,
and benediction. With the addition of circumcision in the family of one
patriarch, for special purposes these were the parts of that system which
continued for two thousand five hundred years.
The religious observance of weeks or Sabbaths in commemoration of Creation,
and prospective of an eternal rest, to arise out of the sacrificial and typical
institution, was religiously observed to the giving of the law, or the erection
of the Jewish institution. Thus the law of the Sabbath commences with the
words, "Remember the Sabbath." The righteous always remembered the
weeks, and regarded the conclusion of the week as holy to the Lord. Hence,
even after the apostasy, which issued in the neglect of family worship, in
consequence of the sons of God intermarrying with the daughters of men, and
which brought a flood of water upon the world of the ungodly - we find Noah
religiously counting his weeks even while incarcerated in the ark. In the
wilderness of Sin, before the giving of the law, we also find the Jews observing
the Sabbath. And to facilitate the observance of it, God wrought three special
miracles during the peregrinations of Israel. He gave two days' portion of
manna on the sixth day - none on the seventh - and preserved from putrefaction
that portion laid up for the Sabbath.3
Sin offerings and thank offerings, on altars both of stone and earth, were
presented to the Lord - the former in faith of the promise concerning the
bruising the serpent's head by the offspring of the woman - the latter in
grateful acknowledgment of the goodness of God in creation and providence.
Cain, without faith in the promised redemption, like many deists and natural
religionists in our time, did acknowledge the goodness and care of God by
a thank-offering; but Abel, by faith in that promise, not only offered
his thank offering, but a lamb as a sin offering: therefore, while God respected
not Cain's oblation without faith in that promise, he testified in favour
of the gifts of Abel - he accepted his sin offering and his thank
In the very brief and general outlines of almost two thousand five hundred
years given us in the book of Genesis, we find sundry allusions to this part
of the patriarchal institution. Immediately after his egress from the ark,
we find Noah rearing his altar upon the baptized earth, and of every clean
bird and beast offering to the Lord whole burnt offerings. Thus began Noah,
after the deluge, to worship the Lord according to the patriarchal institution.
And thus we find Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Job, and other patriarchs presenting
their sacrifices to the Lord, while the family worship was the only religious
institution to the world.
Even libations, drink offerings, and anointing as token of gratitude and
consecration, are found in this most ancient and venerable, institution.
"Jacob rose up early in the morning, took the stone which he had put for
his pillow, set it up for a pillar, and poured oil upon the top of
it."4 "And Jacob set up a pillar in the place
where God talked with him, even a pillar of stone, and he poured a drink
offering thereon, and he poured oil
A beautiful and instructive instance of ancient family worship, and of the
sacerdotal functions, as exercised by the patriarchs in reference to the
altar, we have in that most ancient of books, supposed by many to have
been written by Moses while in the land of Midian; but according to others,
by Job himself, who was certainly contemporary with Eliphaz the
Temanite. Eliphaz was the son of Teman, who was the son of Eliphaz, who
was the first son of Esau, the son of Isaac, the son of Abraham. He therefore
lived before Moses. Thus we find him also officiating at the altar. We are
told that "his sons went and feasted in each other's houses, every one his
day, and sent and called for their sisters to eat and drink with them. And
it was so, that when the days of their feasting had gone about, that Job
sent and sanctified them, and rose up early in the morning and offered burnt
offerings according to the number of them all: for Job said, It may be that
my sons have sinned and cursed God in their hearts. Thus acted Job
The same Job, by divine appointment, acted as priest or intercessor in behalf
of his three friends, princes of Edom: for having spoken amiss, they were
commanded to take seven bullocks and seven rams, and go to Job, the servant
of God, and to offer them up for themselves; and "Job my servant shall pray
for you." "Job prayed for them, and the Lord accepted his prayer, and forgave
Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar." "The Lord also accepted and blessed Job after
he had prayed for these his friends, and the Lord turned again the captivity
During this period of the world, there was but one high or general priest,
specially called and sent by God. "He was King of Salem and Priest of the
Most High God." To him the patriarch Abraham paid tithes or gave the tenth
of the spoils taken in war, and Melchizedek blessed him. He was of an order
of his own sort. He had no predecessor, successor, nor equal in the age of
From all these facts and documents we learn that the service of the altar
belonged first to the father of the family - next, to his eldest son - that
it consisted in presenting sin offerings and thank offerings of various sorts
in behalf of himself or family - that all pious sons and individuals might
for themselves erect altars, offer sacrifices, and pour out libations
and thank offerings to the Lord; - that these sacrificial observances were
generally, if not always, accompanied with prayer, intercession, and
thanksgivings; - and that intercession in behalf of those under the care
of any father or patriarch was a part of the first institution.
Benediction also was one of the first duties of this office. Fathers pronounced
blessings on their children. Superiors in age and standing blessed their
inferiors. Melchizedek blessed Abraham, Isaac blessed Jacob, and Jacob blessed
the twelve patriarchs. The invocations of blessings and the imposition of
hands upon the head, were parts of the family worship institution.
Concerning prayer and praise, as we cannot imagine a religion without them,
it is unnecessary to speak particularly of them as parts of the patriarchal
institution. Jubal soon taught men to handle the harp and organ, and piety
soon consecrated them to the praise of God. The melodies of nature soon taught
men to tune his voice to God. Isaac went into the fields at eventide for
secret prayer. Abraham interceded for Sodom until he was ashamed to push
his importunities farther; and for Abimelech, king of Egypt, and his family,
he made his requests to God. Of him and his patriarchal character God said,
"I know Abraham that he will command his children, and his household after
him, and they shall keep the ways of the Lord, to do justice and judgment,
that the Lord may bring upon Abraham that which he has spoken of
Prophets of a public character were occasionally raised up to bring men back
to the primitive simplicity of the patriarchal institution, as well as to
lead them forward to the future developments of God's purposes in reference
to this work of redemption. Amongst these the most conspicuous were Enoch,
Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob. To all these were given new visions of the future,
and thus they were all preachers of righteousness and reformers in their
From these gleanings from the book of Genesis, one may learn that the family
worship institution, which was divinely instituted in the first age of the
world, embraced the observance of the Sabbath, the service of the altar,
oral instruction, prayer, intercession, thanksgiving, and benediction. It
contemplated no other bond of union than the marriage covenant, and the relations
springing out of it. Doing justly, loving mercy, and walking humbly with
God, were enforced in all its maxims, and in the examples of those whom God
honoured and approved.
There was, during the long period of this family institution, no community
separated from the world larger than a single household - no public altars
- no temples - no established order of public teachers; therefore, there
were no initiating or separating institutions. There was no
circumcision for the infant, nor washing of regeneration for
the instructed. These institutions of latter times had respect to public
professing communities; and therefore, for two thousand years there was no
initiating rite or ordinance amongst men.
Wherever the family curtains were spread and a tent erected, the devout father
built his own altar to the Lord, gathered his own children and domestics
around him, instructed them in the knowledge of God the creator and preserver
of all; and in the history of man, his origin and destiny, as far as revealed
to them. They offered their thank offerings, acknowledgments of favours received;
and when conscious of sin, they presented their sin offering, with confessions,
and in faith of God's promise, supplicated pardon. Such are the essential
attributes of the patriarchal institution, and of the family worship, as
learned from the writings of Moses.
But as the root of all subsequent dispensations of God's mercy and favour
to man was planted in the patriarchal institution, it is necessary to our
plan, before we advance farther, to pay some attention to one of the patriarchs,
whose fame is eternal, on whom God bestowed an honour above all earthly honour,
and who stands enrolled in the annals of time as THE FRIEND OF
GOD. The intelligent reader needs not to be informed that we now
call his attention specially to
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Reader, attend! "I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of
Jacob: this is my name forever, and this is my memorial to all generations."
And shall not the name, the calling, the blessing, and the history of Abraham
always occupy large space in the records of God's government of man, and
in all the details of his redemption!
Because of his unprecedented faith in God's promises and exalted piety, he
was constituted the father of all believers; and his whole life is
made a model for all the children of God, as far as walking by faith in God's
promises is an ornament to human character.
Sufficient, then, to our present purpose, we observe, that during the
family worship institution, a little after the commencement of the third
Millennium, about the seventy-fifth year of his life, God appeared to Abraham
while he yet lived in Ur of Chaldea, and commanded him to depart out of that
country, and that he would do for him certain things. Abraham obeyed. God
gratuitously tendered him two promises, not only interesting and valuable
to Abraham himself, but to all the human race.
These two promises were intended to be the basis of a two-fold relation to
God, and the foundation of two distinct religious institutions, called "the
Old Testament and the New," "the Old Covenant and the New," "the Two Covenants,"
and "the Covenants of Promise." These are contemplated in them the constitution
for a temporal and spiritual kingdom of God - a kingdom of God of this world,
and a kingdom of God not of this world. Be it, therefore, always remembered,
when we attempt to form correct views of the whole economy of God's redemption,
that these two promises were made while the patriarchal institution was yet
standing and several centuries before its close. What, then, it will be asked,
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We find them in their most simple form in the beginning of the twelth chapter
of Genesis. The first -
"I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee and make thy
name great, and thou shalt be a blessing. I will bless them that bless thee,
curse them that curse thee."
The second - "In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed."
These promises, when fully developed, contained numerous blessings. They
are, however, in all their details separate and distinct from each other.
Abraham's family alone are personally concerned in the first - all families
of the earth in the second. Temporal and earthly are the blessings of the
former - spiritual and eternal are the blessings of the latter. Paul calls
the second, "The gospel preached to Abraham," and "The covenant confirmed
by God in reference to the Messiah, four hundred and thirty years before
the giving of the law." The Jewish kingdom in all its glory was but the
development of the first - the Christian kingdom in its present and future
blessings is the consummation of the second.
COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION.
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In pursuance of the first promise, and in order to its exact and literal
accomplishment, about twenty-four years after its promulgation of "Covenant
of Circumcision" was established. This "covenant in the flesh," marked
out and defined the natural descendants of Abraham, and gave to the world
a full proof of the faithfulness of God, putting it in the power of every
one to ascertain how God keeps his covenant of promise with his people. This
gave to the descendants of Abraham the title of "The Circumcision," and
beautifully represented the separation of God's people from the children
of this world.
The land of Canaan, as the inheritance of this nation, is repeatedly
promised to Abraham; and as soon as Isaac, the child of promise, is born
and circumcised, the promise of the "SEED" in which all nations
were to be blessed, is confined to him. Not in Ishmael, but "in Isaac, shall
thy seed be called."9
After the death of Abraham and towards the close of the life of Isaac, his
father's God gave him a second edition of these two promises. The first is
considerably amplified in its details, while the second is repeated almost
in the same words. That which was first to be accomplished is first developed,
and its provisions pointed out. "I will be with thee and will bless thee;
for unto thee and to thy seed I will give all these countries, and I will
perform all the oath which I sware to Abraham thy father; and will make thy
seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give to thy seed all these
countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed:
because Abraham obeyed my voice, and kept my charge, my commandments, my
statutes, and my laws."10
The same two promises are repeated in almost the same words to Jacob, the
son of Isaac at the time he had the vision of the ladder reaching from earth
to heaven, while, in obedience to a command given him by his parents, he
was on his way to Padan-aram in quest of a wife. On these three great
occasions - to Abraham - to Isaac - to Jacob - these two promises are solemnly
pronounced; always standing in the same order - never confounded; but as
distinct as earth and heaven - as time and eternity.
Four hundred and thirty years after the first solemn declaration of these
promises, the descendants of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, in virtue of the
promise, were redeemed out of bondage, in Egypt, and saved from the tyranny
and cruelty of Pharaoh. Then, in order to the full completion of its
stipulations, God, by the hand of Moses, proposed a covenant with all Israel
at Sinai; in which he guarantees to do all for them contemplated in the promise,
confirmed by an oath to Abraham, in being a God to his seed after him. This
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constituted them a kingdom of God, a holy nation, a peculiar people. All
the blessings comprehended in the first promise to Abraham, or that could
grow out of the relation to God, which it contemplated, were in full detail
carried out into this transaction, and secured to the whole nation. The relation
was, however, temporal, and its blessings temporal and earthly. The second
promise made no part of the Jewish institution or covenant at Sinai, more
than it did of the patriarchal or antecedent institution. The typical or
figurative part of the family worship, enlarged and improved, was translated
into the national institution and made a part of it; and whatever
spiritual privilege was enjoyed by the Jew, was enjoyed upon the same
principle with the patriarch - by faith in the second promise, and by an
intelligent and believing attendance upon all the appointed means which either
prefigured the coming redemption, or realised the blessings which were to
be derived through the promised seed.
The SEED in which all the families of the earth were to be
blessed, was in the nation, but in no other sense than as it was in the people
while in Egypt, or in the patriarchs before they went down into Egypt. It
was in the nation, but no element of the national institution. They had the
second promise made to their fathers, and all the faithful and approved among
them believed that promise, and acted conformably to it. Thus amongst the
Jews, even before the coming of the Messiah, they were
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the natural and the spiritual children of Abraham. The whole nation were
his literal and natural children; and such of them as believed the second
promise and understood it were not only his natural children, but his children
in the same sense in which all believing Gentiles are by virtue of
the second promise constituted the children of Abraham. The first, like Ishmael,
were born according to the flesh - the fleshy seed of Abraham; the second,
like Isaac, were the children of faith in the promise: and thus Abraham is
the constituted father of all who believe in that promise, whether of his
flesh or not.
But the second promise was not fulfilled for nearly one thousand five hundred
years after the first, or after the national institution was confirmed at
Sinai; and therefore
THE BLESSING OF ABRAHAM,
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which as to come on the nations through his seed, through faith in the
accomplished promises, was to be the basis and the substance of a new
institution. This "blessing of Abraham" includes all the spiritual and eternal
blessings which are laid up in his seed, who is the ark of this new constitution,
in whom all the promises of God are verified, and in whom they are deposited
for the comfort and salvation of all the faithful children of God. Whatever
concerned the family of Abraham, coming through the first promise, descended
upon the family principle which is only flesh; but whatever concerns
all saints of all nations descends upon the new principle of faith.
"They who are of faith," says Paul, "are blessed with believing Abraham."
And "If you be Christ's, then" and only then, "are you Abraham's seed and
heirs according to the promise."
The blessing of Abraham was then promised in the patriarchal age antecedent
to the Jewish national institution, and independent of it; therefore that
institution cannot affect, much less disannul, the blessings promised in
the covenant, confirmed before by God, respecting the Messiah, in the time
of family worship, and four hundred and thirty years before the Jewish
In calling Abraham, and in making him the father of many nations, and the
depository of still more precious promises and revelations, God did not supersede
the family worship. He only added to the stock of religious knowledge,
strengthened the faith, and enlarged the hopes of that single family. The
family institution continued without the slightest change, except in one
particular specified in the covenant of circumcision, as respected the single
family of Abraham, for four hundred and thirty years after the charter concerning
his seed and that concerning the Messiah were secured to this renowned patriarch.
Thus we have traced the continuance of the family religion, or patriarchal
economy, for two thousand five hundred years, and are now prepared to make
a few remarks on the Jewish national institution, though we have already
anticipated almost all that is necessary to our present object. Still, however,
we shall make it the object of a distinct notice.
THE JEWISH INSTITUTION.
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In this age of improvement of divine institutions, we read and hear much
of "two dispensations of the covenant of grace;" thus making the Jewish and
the Christian institutions dispensations of one "covenant of grace." Why
not make the patriarchal, (still more venerable for its antiquity, and which
continued a thousand years longer than the Jewish,) also a dispensation of
the covenant of grace, and then we should have had three dispensations
of one covenant? This is but a "show of wisdom." The Holy Spirit calls
them "two covenants," or "two institutions," and not two modifications of
one covenant; and it speaks of each as established upon promises. The Jewish
was established upon temporal and earthly promises, contained in the first
promise made to Abraham; but the new, says Paul, "is established upon better
promises," growing out of that concerning the blessing of the
nations in the promised seed.11
The Jewish institution commenced and continued about 1500 years before the
Reign of Heaven began. It was not substituted for the family worship, but
added to it; affecting, however, the patriarchal institution in some respects,
as far as concerned the single family of Abraham. The individual families
of the nation of the Jews, as such, had still their family worship
- still the worship of God was heard in the dwellings of the righteous; and,
like Joshua, every good Israelite said, "As for me and my family, we will
serve the Lord."
In four hundred years the family of Abraham had, in the line of Isaac and
Jacob, in fulfilment of the first promise, grown up into millions. Not less
than two millions12 came up out of Egypt under
the conduct of Moses. The heavenly Father, in progressive development of
his plan of blessing all nations, leaves all the world under the family worship
institution, and erects the whole progeny of Abraham that came up out of
Egypt into one great national institution. He condescends to appear in the
character of King of the Jews, and to make them a kingdom of God,
as preparatory to the appearance of his Son, who is predestined to
be the King of the whole earth, and to have a kingdom which shall ultimately
embrace all the nations of the world.
The twelve tribes were brought into the form of one great worshipping family,
presenting through the common High Priest their united worship to God. This
gave rise to the erection of one public house consecrated to the Lord, as
the place of meeting in their social and national character. A constitution,
political, moral, and religious, was submitted to the people; and on their
adoption of it, they became the covenanted people of God. This constitutional
kingdom was built upon precepts and promises; and its worship when fully
developed was little more than the extension of the family worship to one
great national family. They had one king, one high priest, one national altar,
one national house of God, one morning and evening service, one great national
sacrifice, and one great annual atonement. The nation was a family of families,
and whatever pertained to a single family in its family worship was extended
and accommodated to this great confederate family.
Various mystic and significant institutions distinguished this nation from
all others; for it was one principal object of its institution to keep its
subjects separate and distinct from all other people till Messiah (the promised
seed) should come. Another object was, to picture out in appropriate types
the spiritual worship of the kingdom of heaven, and to exhibit the great
doctrines of faith, repentance, remission, adoption, and inheritance, by
picturesque images, ingeniously devised to adumbrate the whole doctrine of
reconciliation and sanctification to God.
The Jewish institution is not to be regarded only in its political, moral,
and religious aspects, but especially in its figurative and prospective
character. God so wisely and benevolently contrived it from its origin to
its close, that its whole history - the fates and fortunes of its subjects
from their descent into Egypt, their travels thence to Canaan and settlement
in the land of promise - their fortunes in that land to their final catastrophe,
should exactly and impressively shadow forth the new institution with the
fates and fortunes of the subjects of this new and more glorious order of
things. "All these things happened to them for types," (examples,)
says Paul, "and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of
the world have come." The same great commentator on this institution not
only presents the history of its subjects as instructive to the citizens
of the new institution, but of the tabernacle he says, "It was a figurative
representation for the time then present," and the furniture thereof "the
patterns of things in the heavens." "The law," he adds, "contained only a
shadow of the good things to come." A shadow, indeed, proceeding from a man,
a house, a tree, is not, and cannot be, an exact image or representation
of them; yet, when explained by a verbal description, it greatly facilitates
an easy and correct conception of them.
So full of the doctrine of the new institution was the old, that we find
all the Apostles and Christian writers unceremoniously applying every thing
they quote from the law, the prophets, and the psalms, to the Messiah, his
kingdom, and the fortunes of his people; as if the Jewish writings had no
other object than to unfold the kingdom of heaven. Jesus begins with Abraham
seeing his day on Mount Moriah in the typical resurrection of Isaac. Paul
regards Hagar, Ishmael, Sarah, Isaac, as the best illustration of the two
institutions; and John ends with the description of the descent of Jerusalem
Every one, then, who would accurately understand the Christian institution
must approach it through the Mosaic; and he that would be a proficient in
the Jewish, must make Paul his commentator. While the mere politician, moralist,
or religionist, contemplate the one without the other, though he may find
much to admire in both, he will never understand either. A veil, thick as
that which concealed the glory of the face of Moses from the Israelites,
will hide the glory of the Jewish and Christian institutions from his view.
Not only did the tabernacle, the temple, their furniture, the service of
both, the priests, the sacrifices, the festivals, the convocations, and all
the ordinances of that Ritual, together with the history of that people,
assume the picturesque and figurative character, but almost all the illustrious
and highly distinguished personages of that institution were made prophetic
or typical of the Messiah or of the great incidents of his life, sufferings,
and triumphs, and the leading affairs of his government. Amongst
persons in the patriarchal and Jewish ages who, in one or more prominent
characters or incidents, or in their general history adumbrated the Messiah
and his reign, the following group occupy a lofty eminence: - Adam, Abel,
Noah, Melchisedek, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, Samson, David,
Jonah. Of things of this class, as well as persons highly figurative
and instructive, are the visions of Jacob's ladder - the burning bush - the
pillar of cloud and fire - the manna - the rock Horeb, a fountain of living
water in the wilderness - the veil of Moses - the brazen serpent - the victory
over the nations of Canaan, and the land of Canaan itself. And of
ordinances, the passover, the scape-goat, the red heifer, the year
of jubilee, the law of the leper, the kinsman redeemer, the cities of refuge;
together with all the sacrifices, washings, anointings, and consecrations
of the holy nation.
But a third object of the Jewish institution, of paramount importance to
the world, was the furnishing of a new alphabet and language (the elements
of heavenly science,) without which it would appear to have been almost,
if not altogether, impossible to learn the spiritual things, or to make any
proficiency in the knowledge of those relations which Christianity unfolds.
The language of the new institution is therefore explained by that of the
old. No one can understand the dialect of the kingdom of heaven who has not
studied the dialect of the antecedent administrations of heaven over the
patriarchs and Jews. The most striking and characteristic attribute of the
sacred dialect is, that the elements of it are composed of the incidents
of history, or what we call remarkable providences.
I cannot explain myself better, not render my readers a more essential service,
than by illustrating by an actual detail of sacred history, the following
proposition, viz.: - That sacred history or the remarkable instances of
God's providence to the Jews and Patriarchs, are the foundation of the sacred
dialect of the new institution. Or, if the reader will understand it
better, it may be expressed - All the leading words and phrases of the
New Testament are to be explained and understood by the history of the Jewish
nation and God's government of them. Take the following as a mere specimen:-
God called Abram out of Ur, and changed his name into Abraham;
and the name of his wife Sarai into Sarah. He promised Isaac
as the person in whom his seed should be called. God did
tempt Abraham, commanding him to offer Isaac for a burnt offering
- Isaac had two sons - Esau the elder, and Jacob the younger. Esau
despised his birthright and sold it to Jacob. Jacob
wrestled with God, and prevailed; he obtained a blessing, and was
therefore called Israel. He had twelve sons: of these Joseph
was his favourite. His brethren envied him, and sold him for
twenty pieces of silver. Joseph found grace in the sight of his master.
The Lord was with Joseph. He was cast into prison, and from thence
was elevated to the governor of Egypt under Pharaoh. A famine in Canaan
compelled Jacob and his sons into Egypt for bread, and Joseph was made
known to his brethren. Joseph died in Egypt and left his father's house
in the land. They multiplied exceedingly, and the Egyptians greatly
afflicted and oppressed the Israelites. Moses was born
and exposed: Pharaoh's daughter found him and adopted him for a son.
Moses fled into Midian, and married the daughter of the priest or prince
of Midian, and kept his father-in-law's flock in the desert, and came
to Horeb, the mountain of God. The Lord appeared to him in a flame
of fire in a bush. The bush burned and was not consumed. Moses drew
near, and then first stood on holy ground. God sent him
to Egypt to lead his people out of bondage.
God made him say to the children of Israel, "I AM has
sent me to you. Gather the elders of Israel and say to them, The
Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham," etc., "has sent me to
you. I will smite Egypt with my wonders, and bring you up
out of the afflictions of Egypt. Tell Pharaoh, Israel is my son -
my first born. Take Aaron with thee, and thou shalt put words into
his mouth; and I will be with thy mouth and with his mouth: he
shall be to thee instead of a mouth, and thou shalt be to him instead
of God. Take thy rod in thy hand. The Lord sent Aaron to
Moses: he met him in the mount and kissed him. And the Lord
visited his people. And the people believed when they heard
that the Lord had looked upon their affliction. Pharaoh oppressed
them still more. The Lord said, with a strong hand shall he let them
go. I will redeem them with a stretched out arm, and with great
judgments. I will give you Canaan for a heritage; I will take
you to me for a people. I will be your God."
Moses said, I am a man of uncircumcised lips, and how shall Pharaoh
hearken to me? I have made thee a god to Pharaoh, and Aaron
thy prophet. I will multiply my signs, and bring out my
people, and harden Pharaoh's heart. When he says, "Show me a miracle,"
cast your rod before him, and it shall become a serpent. Still Pharaoh
refused, and hardened his heart. The magicians overcome with the
signs, said, This is the finger of God. The God of the
Hebrews said, Let my people go. I have roused thee up (as
a lion) to show in you my power, and to make my name known through
all the earth. The Lord slew all the first born of Egypt after
he had plagued them exceedingly. Pharaoh commanded them to depart;
but he pursued them to the Red Sea. Israel fainted at the sight before and
behind them. Moses said, Stand still and see the salvation of God.
The sea was divided. Covered with a cloud, Israel marched through as on dry
ground. The waters stood on either side as a wall. Pharaoh pursued with his
chariots and horsemen, but the waters returned, and they were drowned. Thus
the Lord redeemed, saved, delivered, and brought Israel out of bondage.
After this deliverance, Moses and the children of Israel sang, "The Lord
is become my salvation; he is my God. Thou hast overthrown
them that rose up against thee. Thou hast led forth thy people
whom thou hast redeemed. Thou hast guided them in thy strength
to thy holy habitation. The inhabitants of Canaan shall be still as
a stone till thy people pass over, O Lord, the people thou hast
purchased. Thou shalt plant them in the mountain of thine
inheritance; in the sanctuary which thy hands have
They came into the wilderness of Sin. They cried for bread, and God
rained bread from heaven upon them, that he might prove them
whether or not they would walk in his law, and they did eat manna
forty years till they came to the borders of Canaan.
They complained for water, and tempted God. And Moses smote the rock
in Horeb, and water gushed out. But Moses was wroth, and smote the rock twice,
and he and Aaron thus rebelled against God, and fell in the wilderness.
The Lord made a covenant with the whole nation at Sinai, and made them a
peculiar treasure above all people - a kingdom of priests,
a holy nation; and God spake all the words of the law, written
on two tables of stone; and spake to Israel from heaven.
The Lord, by Moses, gave them directions for rearing a tabernacle,
and a pattern for all its furniture. And as a ransom for his soul,
every man, rich and poor, was to pay half a shekel as an offering to the
Lord to make an atonement for his soul; and it was given for the
service of the tabernacle. When the tabernacle was reared and finished,
the glory of the Lord filled the tabernacle and the cloud covered
it. And when the cloud was taken up, they journeyed; but until it
was taken up, they journeyed not. The cloud was on the tabernacle
by day, and fire was on it by night, in the sight of all Israel throughout
all their journeys.
And before Moses died he laid his hands upon Joshua, and gave him
a charge as the Lord commanded; and thus put honour
upon him, that the children of Israel might be obedient to him as
their saviour. "As I was with Moses, so will I be with
thee," saith God: "I will not fail thee nor forsake thee."
Could we thus proceed with the history of this people, and add to their history
the observance of their religious institutions, we should find out the true
meaning of the sacred style of the New Testament with more accuracy and
certainty, than from all the commentators of ancient and modern times. This,
as a sample, must suffice for our present purpose.
From the premises now before us, the specifications of the outlines of the
Sinaitic and national institution, and the terms and phrases found in the
history of this people, we may discover in what relation they stood
to God, and what favours he bestowed upon them in that relation.
They were called and chosen, or the elect of God as
a nation. As such, they were delivered, saved, bought, or
purchased, and redeemed. God is said to have created, made,
formed, and begotten them. As such he is called their
Father, their God, their Redeemer, their King,
their Saviour, their Salvation; and they are called his
children, sons and daughters; born to him, his house, people,
inheritance, family, servants.
As a chartered and congregated people, they are called the city,
the holy city, the city of the Lord, Jerusalem, Zion, Mount Zion, the city
of David. Other nations in contrast with them, are called not a people,
aliens, strangers, enemies, far off, unclean.
Various similitudes expressive of the kind relation in which they stood to
God are also found in the pages of the ancient institutions - such as
husband and wife, shepherd and flock, vine and
vineyard, mother and children. They are said to be
written or enrolled in the book of God; to be planted,
washed, sanctified, clean, separated to God; they are called the house,
building, sanctuary, dwelling place of God; a kingdom of priests,
a holy nation, a peculiar people, saints, etc.
Those who are curious to trace these phrases descriptive of the relation
and privileges of this ancient kingdom of God, had better (in addition to
the passages quoted in their history from Egypt to the Jordan,) examine the
following passages: - Exodus xiv. 30. xv. 16. xix. 6. Deuteronomy iv. 37.
vii. 6. x. 15. xiv. 1. i. 31. vii. 5. xxxii. 6, 18, 19. xviii. 7. iii. 18,
20. xii. 9. 1 Kings iii. 8. Psalms cv. 6. xxxiii. 13. cv. 43. cvi. 5, 21.
l lxxiv. 2. cxlix. 2. Isaiah lxi. 8, 9. xliii. 1, 3, 5, 7. li. 2, 4. xli.
1, 6, 7 Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the Psalms of David throughout, etc.
Unless we should write a full treatise on these antecedent institutions,
we cannot with propriety descend farther into details. The outlines, as far
as subordinate to the theme of this essay, are now before the reader; and
with this preparation we shall now invite his attention to THE KINGDOM
And why, an American would say, is it not called the Republic
of Heaven, and the Chief called the President of a Celestial Republic?
Certainly there were the Republics of Greece and Rome before the doctrine
of this Kingdom was first promulgated, and the Gentiles as well as the Jews
could have understood the figure of a Republic as well as that of a Kingdom.
It was not, then, because there was not in society a model or type of this
sort; but because such a type would have been inapposite to the nature of
History testifies that Republics are better adapted to peace than war, and
that they are forced and unnatural organizations of society. Aristocracies
and Republics owe all their attractions to the excessive corruptions of the
governments under which they have originated. They are the reaction of force
and fraud, of cruelty and oppression, and are sustained by the remembrance
and apprehension of the evils which occasioned them. They have always been
extolled or admired either in contrast with vices and enormities of degenerate
and profligate monarchies, or in the freshness of the recollections of the
wrongs and outrages which have occasioned them; and men have generally tired
of them when they became corrupt and forgetful of the oppressions and crimes
which forced them into being. So that the corruptions of monarchies have
given birth to Republics, and the corruptions of these have originated monarchies
In these last days of degeneracy, Republics are great blessings to mankind,
as good physicians are blessings in times of pestilence; but yet it must
be confessed that it would be a greater blessing to be without plagues and
doctors. While men are, however, so degenerate, and while selfishness and
injustice are so rampant in society, republican officers are better than
kings - because we can get rid of them sooner. They are indeed, kings under
another name, with a short-leased authority; and our experience fully
demonstrates that in these degenerate days the reigns of our republican kings
are nearly long enough. Till the King of kings comes, we Christians ought
to be good republicans, under the conviction that human governments seldom
grow better, and that the popular doctrine of our country is true - that
political authority generally makes a man worse, and public favours almost
invariably corrupt the heart. Rapid rotation in office is the practical influence
of the republican theory; and the experiment proves that, brief as republican
authority is, it is sometimes too long for republican virtue to sustain without
deterioration. Now if this be true of republican virtue, the brightest and
the best, what earthly virtue can long resist the contamination of long
Monarchy is the only form of government, however, which nature recognises.
It was the first, and it will be the last. A government with three or thirty
heads is a monster; and therefore the beast that represents it comes out
of the sea with a plurality of horns as well as heads.
The most approved theory of human nature and of human government now current
wherever the English language is spoken, either in the Old World or in the
New, is that a monarchy would be always the best government, because the
cheapest, the most efficient, and the most dignified; provided only, that
the crown was placed on the wisest head and the sceptre wielded by the purest
hands. Could we always secure this we would be monarchists: because we cannot,
we are all republicans.
But, after this apology for the phrase Kingdom of Heaven, we would
recall the attention of the reader to the concession, made by republicans
themselves, that a kingdom is better adapted to a state of war, than a republic;
and that this beautiful, though most appropriate figure, which occurs in
the New Testament more than one hundred and fifty times, and very often in
the Old, presupposes a state of war as existing in the universe. But for
the reasons assigned in preference of a monarchy, the natural government
of the universe always was, is, and evermore shall be monarchy. God himself
is of necessity absolute monarch of the universe. Had he not essentially
sustained that relation to all his creatures, there never could have been
rebellion nor sin in his dominions. The systems of nature are all after this
model. Every sun is a king over the system which it controls; and in every
sphere there is one controlling and supreme principles. It will be the last
government; for when the episode in the great drama of rational existence
which sin occasioned, shall have been completed, the government of the universe
will assume its ancient order, and God be supreme monarch again. But this
will not be till Jesus gives up the kingdom to God which a preternatural
state of things put into his hands. This cannot be till he has subdued man
to his rightful allegiance, or destroyed forever every opponent to the absolute
monarchy of the Eternal Supreme: "for Jesus must reign till all his enemies
be put under his feet."
The kingdom which Jesus has received from his Father, however heavenly, sublime,
and glorious it may be regarded, is only temporal. It had a beginning, and
it will have an end; for he must reign only till all enemies are put
under his feet. But the transition of the sceptre into the hands of Emmanuel
has not changed the government. He is now the hereditary Monarch of the universe,
as well as the proper King of his own kingdom. He now reigns as absolutely
over all principalities, hierarchies, and powers, celestial and terrestrial,
as did the great God and Father of the universe, before he was invested with
the regal authority.
We have said it was a preternatural state of things which originated the
kingdom of Jesus: therefore the object of this remedial reign is to destroy
that preternatural state of things - to put down sin. Now as all human
governments presuppose disorder, and as the kingdoms of this world generally
have risen out of confusion and war, the kingdom of heaven of which we are
to speak owes its origin to the celestial and terrestrial apostasies - the
revolt of Satan and of Adam. Were there no justice within, or violence without,
civil government would be wholly unnecessary, and its appendages an excresence
upon society. Had there not been such a revolt and rebellion as sacred history
records, there would have been no such kingdom of heaven as that over which
Jesus the Messiah now presides. Now as both this King and kingdom, and all
that appertains to them, were occasioned by such a preternatural state of
things, we must view them in all their attributes and details, with reference
to those circumstances which called them into being.
THE ELEMENTS OF A KINGDOM.
Back to the beginning
We must understand the type, or we cannot understand the antitype. We must
understand that which is natural before we can understand that which is
spiritual. What, then are the essential elements of a kingdom as existing
among men? They are five, viz: King, Constitution, Subjects, Laws, and Territory.
Such are the essential parts of every political kingdom, perfect in its kind,
now existing on earth.
In forming a state, the essential elements are people and country.
The people make a constitution, and this makes a President or King, citizens
or subjects, and every thing else belonging to a state. It is, then, the
relation into which the people resolve themselves, which make it a republic,
an aristocracy, a monarchy. Do they choose a monarchy? They first make a
constitution, and this places one upon the throne - makes them subjects,
and then gives them laws. Although the constitution is first, in the order
of nature, of all the elements of a kingdom, for it makes one man a king
and the rest subjects; yet we cannot imagine a constitution in reference
to a kingdom, without king and subjects. In speaking of them in detail, we
cannot then speak of any one of them as existing without the others - we
must regard them as correlates, and as coming into existence contemporaneously.
There is no husband nor wife before marriage, neither can there be a husband
without a wife; yet one of the parties must be made before the other. Marriage
makes a husband out of a bridegroom, and a wife out of the bride. So the
constitution makes the king or the governor; the citizens or subjects, out
of the people, as the case may be; for there never can be a king or subject
without a constitution, or, what is the same thing, an agreement, verbal
or written, for certain privileges stipulated and conditioned. In every well
regulated political kingdom, in the order of nature, the elements
stand thus. 1. Constitution; 2. king; 3. subjects; 4. laws; 5. territory.
In the kingdom which God set up by Moses, the elements stood in this order.
The constitution was first proposed under which God condescended to be their
King, and they were to be regarded as his people or subjects; he then gave
them laws and established them in the territory before promised.
But in the kingdom of nature, or in the original kingdom of God, the elements
are only four, and the order in which they stand are: 1. King; 2. subjects;
3. laws; 4. territory. As Father and Creator of the kingdom, God himself
was absolute Sovereign, whose will is the supreme law of the whole realm
Having ascertained the essential elements of a kingdom, and marked
the order in which they stand, before we particularly attend to those elements
in order, we shall ask, Why this kingdom is called the kingdom of
Back to the beginning
Heaven, and the Kingdom of Heaven are not one and the same thing. God is
not the Kingdom of God. But as the kingdom of God is something pertaining
to God, so the Kingdom of Heaven is something pertaining to heaven, and
consequently to God. Whether always the phrases "the Kingdom of God" and
the "Kingdom of heaven" exactly represent the same thing, certain it is that
both phrases are often applied to the same
This is true of them, whether translated reign or kingdom;
and it is very evident that frequently the original world basileia
ought in preference to be rendered reign, inasmuch as this term better
suits all those passages where coming or approaching is spoken
of: for while reigns or administrations approach and recede, kingdoms have
attributes and boundaries which are stationary. Reign and Kingdom of God,
though sometimes applicable to the same subject, never contemplate it in
the same light. They are, indeed, as intimately connected as the reign of
king William and the kingdom of Great Britain. The former represents the
administration of the kingdom, and the latter the state over which this
Two good reasons may be offered why Matthew, the oldest Christian writer,
generally prefers Kingdom or Reign of Heaven, to the phrase Kingdom
or Reign of God: I say generally, for he occasionally uses
both designations.14 He wrote to Jews
in Judea who expected a Messiah, a King, and a Kingdom of God on
earth, a mere improvement of the Jewish system; and therefore to raise
their conception he delights to call it the Reign or Kingdom of
Heaven, in contrast with that earthly Kingdom of God, of which they
were so long in possession.
He also found a good reason in the idiom of the Jewish prophets for using
the word Heaven (both in the singular and plural form)for God.
Daniel told the Assyrian monarch that his kingdom would be sure to him when
he should have learned that"the Heavens do rule;" yet in the preceding verse
he says, "till thou knowest that the Most High rules in the kingdom of men,"
- thus using Heavens and the Most High as synonymous. The Psalmist
says, "The wicked set their mouths against the Heavens," The Prodigal
confessed that he had "sinned against Heaven," and Jesus himself asked
whether the baptism of John was "from Heaven or from men." Thus he
was authorised from the Jewish use of the word to regard it as equivalent
to God. If, then, Matthew had meant no more by the phrase "Kingdom
of Heaven" than the "Kingdom of God", he was justified, by Jewish use of
the word heaven, to apply it in that sense. Some may object to all
these remarks on Matthew's manner, that it was Jesus Christ and the preachers
he commissioned who called it the Kingdom of Heaven, and not Matthew Levi,
To such we reply that the other sacred writers uniformly,in reciting all
the same parables and incidents, use the phrase "Kingdom of God," and
never the phrase "Kingdom of Heaven."
From the use of the phrase "Kingdom of God," we must, I think, regard him
as having special reference to the reason first assigned. He does not say
the Kingdom of Heaven shall be taken from the Jews; but "the Kingdom
of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the
fruits of it:" for although it might with propriety, in his acceptation,
be said that the Jews already had the kingdom of God, it could not be said
that they had the kingdom of heaven as proclaimed by
When compared with the earthly Kingdom of God among the Jews, it is certainly
the Kingdom of Heaven; for Jesus alleges that his kingdom is not of
this world; and Daniel affirmed that in the days of the last worldly empire
the God of heaven would set up a kingdom unlike all others then on earth;
in which, as Paul teaches, men are "blessed with every spiritual blessing
in heavenly places in Christ;"16 for he has
raised us Jews and Gentiles, and "has set us down together in the heavenly
places by Christ Jesus."17
There is, in the superior and heavenly privileges and honours bestowed upon
the citizens of this kingdom, the best reason why it should have first been
presented to the world under this title, rather than any other; and for the
same reasons which influenced Matthew to usher it into notice in Judea, under
this designation, we ought now to prefer it, because many of our contemporaries,
like the ancient Jews, see as much of heaven and glory in the veiled grace
of the Mosaic institution, as in the unveiled grace of the Christian kingdom.
The pertinency of this title will appear still more evident as we develop
the constitutional privileges of this kingdom.
But most evidently the kingdom of heaven is "the Kingdom of Christ and
of God."18 It is the kingdom of God, because
he set it up,19 gave the constitution and King,
and all the materials out of which it is
erected.20 It is the kingdom of Christ, because
God the Father gave it to him as his Son, and as the heir of all things,
and therefore, "all that is the Father's is mine," says Jesus, "and I am
his."21 God created all things
BY Jesus Christ and FOR him.
Having, then, noticed the reasons for the characteristic titles of
this kingdom, and having already ascertained what are the elements absolutely
essential to a kingdom, distinguished from those merely circumstantial or
accidental, we shall now proceed to consider in the order suggested, the
Constitution, King, Subjects, Laws, and Territory of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Back to the beginning
God himself, after the gracious counsels of his own will, proposed and tendered
the constitution of this kingdom to his own Son. This "glory he had with
the father before the world was." He that was "in the beginning with God"
- "the wisdom and power of God" - was set up [constituted] from
everlasting, or ever the earth was. "Then was I with God, as one brought
up with him; I was daily his delight, rejoicing always before him - rejoicing
in the habitable parts of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of
men."22 Therefore, he who was to be "ruler
in Israel" was with God in counsel "in the beginning of all his ways;"
for "his goings forth were from of old, even from the day of
It was TO DO THE WILL, or fulfil the items of this constitution,
that "the WORD was made flesh and dwelt among us."
I came to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish "the
work given me to do." "I have power to lay down my life, and I have
power to resume it; this commandment I received from my Father." The Father
"commissioned and sent him forth into the world." He "came down from heaven."
"Thou hast given me power over all flesh, that I might give eternal life
to all that thou hast given me."
These, and many other passages, which the reader will easily remember,
unequivocally evince that an understanding and agreement existed ere time
began between God and the WORD of God - or, as now revealed,
between the FATHER and the SON, respecting
the kingdom. In consequence of which, "the Word was made flesh and
dwelt among us" - in consequence of which "he divested himself" of his antecedent
glory - "took upon him the form of a bond-servant" - "was made in the likeness
of sinful flesh" - "took part with us in flesh and blood." In consequence
of which agreement, and the promised glory, for "the joy set before him in
the promise," of "seeing his seed the travail of his soul, and being satisfied,"
he "endured the cross, despising the shame," and was "made perfect through
sufferings to lead many sons to glory."
To the stipulations concerning eternal life, propounded in the constitution
of the Kingdom of Heaven, frequent allusions are made in the Apostolic writings.
Thus the believers were "elected in him before the foundation of the
world," and "eternal life was promised before the times of the ages," "according
to the benevolent purposes which he purposed in himself for the
administration of the fulness of the appointed times, to gather together
all under Christ - all in the heavens and all on the earth, under him. He
formerly marked us out for an adoption through Jesus Christ to himself, according
to his purpose, who effectually works all things according to the counsel
of his will.24
From all these sayings and allusions, we must trace the constitution of this
kingdom into eternity - before time began. We must date it from
everlasting, and resolve it into the absolute gracious will of the
eternal God. In reference to all the prospective developments of time, "known
to God from the beginning," it proposed to make the WORD flesh,
and then to make the Incarnate Word, called Emmanuel, of Jesus Christ, the
King, to give him all who should be reconciled to God by him for
subjects, to put under him all the angelic hosts, and constitute him
monarch of earth, lawgiver to the universe; and thus make him heir
and Lord of all things.
As a constitution brings all the elements of a kingdom into a new relation
to one another, so it is the measure and guarantee of all the privileges,
immunities, and obligations accruing to all the parties in that relation.
It prescribes, arranges, and secures all the privileges, duties, obligations,
honours, and emoluments of the King and the subjects. Neither of them can
claim more than it stipulates and guarantees, and neither of them can rightfully
be deprived of any of them.
From the premises now before us, and the light given to us in these scriptures
and those in the margin, we learn -
First. That God is the author of the constitution of the Kingdom of
Heaven; that he propounded it to the WORD that was made flesh,
before the world was, in prospect of all the developments of creation.
Second. That the WORD accepted it, because the will
of God was always his delight; therefore he said, "I come to do thy will,
O God!" Hence "God has so loved the world as to give his only begotten
Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but obtain eternal life."
Third. That in consequence "all authority in heaven and earth"
was given to Jesus Christ, and all orders of intelligence subjected to him,
that he might be King over all, and have the power of giving eternal
life to his people.25
Fourth. That the earth is now the Lord's, the present temporal territory
of his kingdom; that the heathen people are given to him for his inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession; that all ends of
the earth are his, and all dominions, kindreds, tribes, tongues, and people
shall yet serve him on earth and glorify him in
Fifth. That all that he redeems are his seed - his subjects: that
he will have their faith, confidence, esteem, admiration, and gratitude forever;
that he will be worshipped, honoured, and revered by them in a world without
end: that God, angels, and saints will delight in him for ever and
ever.27 He has, therefore, to raise the dead,
judge the world, and to present the redeemed pure, holy, happy, and triumphant
before his Father, and then to give up his kingdom to God.
To comprehend in any adequate idea, the constitution of this kingdom, we
must learn more than its history, or the way in which it was introduced and
propounded. We must regard all the elements of the kingdom as
constitutional elements - the King as constitutional King; the subjects,
laws, and territory, including the ultimate inheritance, as constitutional
subjects, laws, territory, inheritance; and, therefore, we shall speak of
them in detail.
Back to the beginning
The Lord Jesus Christ is the constitutional monarch of the Kingdom of Heaven.
The privileges guaranteed to him in reference to the kingdom are as follows:
As King, he is to be the oracle of God - to have the disposal of the
Holy Spirit - to be Prophet and High Priest of the Temple of God - to have
the throne of his Father - to be governor of all nations on earth, and head
of all hierarchs and powers in heaven - the supreme Lawgiver, the only Saviour
- the resurrection and the life, the ultimate and final Judge of all, and
the Heir of all things.
These honours, privileges, and powers, are secured to him by the irrevocable
grant of the God and Father of all; therefore, as said Isaiah, "The Lord
cometh with a strong hand, and his arm shall rule for him. Behold his reward
is with him, and his work before him." "I have set my King upon my holy hill
of Zion." "Ask of me, and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance,
and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." "I have made him
a leader and commander of the people" - "a light to the Gentiles" - "salvation
to the ends of the earth" - "a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek,"
"Sit thou at my right hand till I make thy foes thy footstool." "The government
shall be upon his shoulders." "All things are delivered to me by my Father."
"He is Lord of the dead and living." "Angels, authorities, and powers are
subjected to him." "The Father gave the Spirit without measure to him." "He
received of the Father the promise of the Holy Spirit." "The kingdom is the
Lord's, and he is the governor among the nations." "He shall have dominion
from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates to the ends of the earth." "They
shall fear thee as long as sun and moon endure to all generations." "The
Father has committed all judgments to the Son."
But, not to weary the reader with quotations and proofs, we shall give but
another: - "Behold my servant, whom I uphold; my elect, in whom my soul delights.
I have put my Spirit upon him. He shall bring forth judgment unto truth.
He shall not fail nor be discouraged till he have set judgment in the earth;
and the Isles shall wait for his law." - "I, the Lord, have called thee in
righteousness, and will hold thy hand and keep thee, and give thee for a
covenant [a CONSTITUTION] of the people, for a
light to the Gentiles - to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners
from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house."
THE SUBJECTS OF THE KINGDOM.
Back to the beginning
They are all born again. Their privileges and honours are the following:-
First. Their constitutional King is the only begotten Son of God;
whose titles and honours are - Image of the invisible God - Effulgence of
the Father's glory - Emmanuel - Upholder of the universe - Prophet of the
Prophets - High Priest of the temple of God - King of kings - Lord of lords
- the only Potentate - Commander and Covenant of the people - Captain of
Salvation - Counsellor, Lawgiver, Redeemer, Deliverer, Mediator, Saviour,
Advocate, Judge. He is the Sun of Righteousness, Prince of Peace, Lamb of
God, Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root and Offspring of David, the Bright
and Morning Star, Light of the World, the Faithful and True Witness, Bishop
of Souls, Great Shepherd of the Sheep, Head of the Church, Lord of all, Heir
of the Universe, the Resurrection and the Life, the Son of Man, the Alpha
and Omega, the Beginning and the end, the Amen, etc., etc. Such is the
Christian's King, whose assistance in all these characters, offices, and
relations, as exhibited, under all these figures, is guaranteed to him in
the Constitution. Indeed it is all expressed in one promise - "I will
be your God, and you shall be my people."
Second. It is guaranteed that "their sins and iniquities are to be
remembered no more." "There is no condemnation to them who are under Christ."
"Sin shall have no dominion, nor lord it over them." The Lord imputeth to
them no sin. They are all pardoned, justified, and saved from sin.
Third. They are adopted into the family of God; made sons and daughters
of the Lord Almighty, children of God, and heirs - joint heirs with Christ.
They have an Advocate in the heavens, through whom their persons and prayers
Fourth. They all know the Lord. "All thy children shall be taught
of God." The Holy Spirit of God writes the law of God upon their hearts,
and inscribes it upon their understanding: so that they need not teach every
one his fellow citizen to know the Lord, "for they all know him from the
least to the greatest." They are sanctified through the truth - separated
and consecrated to God.
Fifth. They have the promise of a resurrection from the dead, and
eternal life; an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and unfading - new
heavens and a new earth, in which righteousness alone shall dwell forever.
Such are the constitutional rights and privileges of the citizens of the
Kingdom of Heaven. All these have obtained for them the following titles
and honours: - Kingdom of Heaven; Israel of God; chosen generation; body
of Christ; children of God; habitation of God; family of God; Jerusalem from
above; Mount Zion; peculiar people; the elect of God; holy nation; temple
of the Holy Spirit; house of God; city of the living God; pillar and ground
of the truth; living stones; seed of Abraham; citizens of heaven; lights
of the world; salt of the earth; heirs of God; joint heirs with Christ, etc.
THE LAWS OF THE KINGDOM.
The privileges, honours, and emoluments belong to every citizen of the Kingdom
of Heaven. Indeed, they are all comprehended in the summary which Paul (from
Jeremiah) lays before the believing Hebrews: - "This is the constitution
which I will make with the house of Israel for those days: I will put my
laws into their mind, and inscribe them upon their hearts; and I will be
to them a God, and they shall be to me a people. And they shall not teach
every man his fellow citizen, and every man his brother, saying, Know the
Lord; for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest of them;
because I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and
iniquities I will remember no more."28 To this
summary the reader may add those scriptures in the margin, as confirmatory
of the above.29
Back to the beginning
The supreme law of the kingdom is love - love to the King and love
to each other. From this law all its religious homage and morality flow.
Precepts and examples innumerable present this to the mind of all the citizens.
The Kingdom of Heaven is divided into small societies, called
churches, or congregations of the Lord. Each of these communities
in the reception of members, in the education and discipline of them, or
in excluding them when necessary, is to be governed by the apostolic
instructions: for to the Apostles the Saviour committed the management of
his kingdom. After they had made citizens by preaching the gospel and baptizing,
they were commanded to teach them to observe whatsoever the Saviour had commanded
These laws and usages of the Apostles must be learned from what the Apostles
published to the world, after the ascension and coronation of the King, as
they are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles and Epistles: for we shall
see in the sequel that the gospel was fully developed, and the whole doctrine
of the Reign of Christ began to be proclaimed in Jerusalem, on the
first Pentecost after the ascension.
The old or Jewish constitution was promulgated first on Sinai on the first
Pentecost after the redemption of Israel from Egyptian bondage; and from
that day, and what is written after it in Exodus and Leviticus, Numbers and
Deuteronomy, all the laws, manners, and customs authorized by the national
constitution are to be found. They are not to be sought after in Genesis,
nor in the antecedent economy. Neither are the statutes and laws of the Christian
kingdom to be sought for in the Jewish scriptures, nor antecedent to the
day of Pentecost; except so far as our Lord himself, during his life time,
propounded the doctrine of his reign. But of this when we ascertain the
commencement of this kingdom.
There is one universal law of naturalization, or for making citizens out
of all nations, enjoined upon those citizens of the kingdom who are engaged
in the work of proselytism; but the laws of this kingdom, like the laws of
every other kingdom, are obligatory only on the citizens.
The weekly celebration of the death and resurrection of Jesus, and the weekly
meeting of the disciples of Christ for this purpose, and for the edification
of one another in their most holy faith, are the only positive statutes of
the kingdom; and, therefore, there is no law, statute, or observance in this
kingdom, that in the least retards its extension from East to West, from
North to South, or that can prevent its progress in all nations of the world.
It is, however, worthy of observation, that every part of the Christian worship,
in the small communities spread over the territory of the Kingdom of Heaven,
like so many candlesticks in a large edifice, are designed to enlighten and
convert the world; and, therefore, in all the meetings of the family of God,
they are to keep this supremely in view; and to regard themselves as the
"pillar and ground of the truth."
Concerning the details of the laws of the kingdom, we cannot now speak
particularly. "The favour of God which brings salvation, teaches all the
citizens of heaven, that, denying all ungodliness and worldly lusts, they
should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world, expecting
the blessed hope - namely, the appearing of the glory of the great God, and
of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us, that he might redeem
us from all iniquity, and purify to himself a peculiar people, zealous of
good works." These things the Bishops of every community should teach and
enforce; for such is the spirit, and such is the object of all the laws and
statutes of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Back to the beginning
In all other kingdoms, except the Kingdom of Heaven, the territory is the
national domain and inheritance. It was so in the first Kingdom of God under
the constitution from Sinai. But in the typical kingdom they lived at a distance
from their inheritance for one generation. During these forty years, in which
they pitched their tents in the wilderness, God was their inheritance.
He rained bread from heaven upon them, and sent them flesh upon the east
wind. He made the flinty rock Horeb a living spring, whose stream followed
them all the way to Jordan. He renewed their garments every day, so that
for forty years they grew not old, not needed a single patch. A pillar of
fire by night and a cloud by day guided them towards Canaan, the land of
The whole earth is the present territory of the Kingdom of Heaven, but the
new heavens and earth are to be its inheritance. The earth, indeed,
is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; but the children of God and the children
of the wicked one - the wheat and the darnel, are both planted
in it, and must grow till the harvest. The righteous have their bread and
water guaranteed to them while they live; for "godliness is profitable to
all things, having promise of the life that now is, as well as of
that which is to come." But the joint heirs of Christ are never taught to
regard the earth as their inheritance. They may indeed, say, though poor
and penniless, "All things are ours; whether Paul or Apollos, or Cephas,
or the world, or life, or death, or things present, or things to come - all
are ours, and we are Christ's, and Christ is God's." But, like the Jews on
their journey to Canaan, "they seek a better country" - "they seek a city
yet to come." "My kingdom," says Jesus, "is not of this world." And, therefore,
in the world, Christians are strangers and pilgrims, and may expect tribulation.
There earth is the present theatre of war; therefore all Christians
in the territory are soldiers. Their expenses, their rations are allowed,
the arms and munitions of war are supplied them from the magazines in Mount
Zion, the strong hold and fortress of the kingdom; where the King, the heads
of departments, and all the legions of angels are resident. So that on entering
the army of the faith every soldier is panoplied with the armour of God;
and when inducted into the heavenly tactics under the Captain of Salvation,
he is expected to be a good soldier of Jesus Christ, and to fight the good
fight of faith courageously and victoriously.
The Kingdom of Heaven on this territory is greatly opposed by the kingdom
of Satan, which ever seeks to make an inheritance out of the territory
of the militant kingdom of righteousness; and therefore, the citizens have
not to wrestle with flesh and blood, but with the rulers of the darkness
of this world - with spiritual wickedness in high places.
Ever since the commencement of this kingdom, the governments of this world
have either been directly opposed to it, or at best, pretended friends; and
therefore their influence has always been opposed to the true Spirit and
genius of the Christian institution. Christians have nothing to expect from
them except liberty of conscience and protection from violence, while leading
peaceable and quiet lives, in all godliness and honesty, till Jesus take
to himself his great power, and hurl all these potentates from their thrones
and make his cause triumphant - a consummation devoutly to be wished, and
which cannot now be regarded as far distant.
MANNER AND CUSTOMS.
Back to the beginning
Touching the manners and customs of the Kingdom of Heaven, they are
such as generally obtained in the land of Judea and in the East at the time
of its erection: or, rather, they are the simple manners and customs of the
family worship age of the world. These are consecrated by simply
performing them with a regard to Jesus Christ, or from the motives prompted
by the doctrine of the Reign of Heaven. As we treat our natural brothers
and sisters in public and in private - as we address, salute, and converse
with them - as we transact all family business, and conduct the affairs of
the household - so are Christians to treat one another. There is no other
virtue or utility in these, than as they cherish brotherly kindness and love,
and are regarded to the Lord.
INDUCTION INTO THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
Back to the beginning
Into every kingdom, human or divine, there is a legal door of admission.
That is, in the statute book of Heaven, called a birth. Into the kingdom
of nature we are born. Into the future and ultimate kingdom of glory we enter,
soul and body, by being born from the grave. As Christ, the first born from
the dead, entered the heavenly kingdom, so must all his brethren. And as
to this kingdom of which we speak, as now existing in this world, Jesus himself
taught that into it no person can legally enter who is not born again, or
"born of water and the Spirit."30 The
analogy is complete between the kingdoms of nature - of grace - and of glory.
Hence we have natural birth, metaphorical or spiritual birth, and supernatural
birth. There is a being born of the flesh - born of the Spirit - born of
the grave; and there is a kingdom for the flesh - a kingdom for the Spirit
- and a kingdom for the glorified man.
This second, or new birth, which inducts into the Kingdom of God, is always
subsequent to a death and burial, as it will be into the everlasting kingdom
of glory. It is indeed, a literal death and burial before a literal resurrection,
into the heavenly and eternal kingdom. It is also a metaphorical or figurative
death and burial, before the figurative resurrection or new birth into the
Kingdom of Heaven. Water is the element in which this burial and resurrection
are performed, according to the constitutional laws of the Kingdom of Heaven.
Hence Jesus connects the water and the Spirit when speaking of entering the
Kingdom of God.
In naturalizing aliens, the commandment of the King is first - submit to
them the Constitution, or preach to them the gospel of the kingdom,
Soon as they understand and believe this, and are desirous of being translated
into the Kingdom of Christ and of God, that "they many receive the remission
of sins and inheritance among all that are sanctified," they are to be buried
in water into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and raised out
of it confessing their death to sin, their faith in Christ's sacrifice and
resurrection: and thus they are born of water and the Spirit, and constituted
citizens of the kingdom of heaven. To as many as thus receive him he gives
privilege to become the children of God; for they are "born of God"
- born of God, when born of water and the Spirit, because this is
the institution of God.
THE COMING OF THE KINGDOM.
In these days of apostasy men have sought out many inventions. Some have
attempted to get into the Kingdom of Heaven without being born at all. Others
imagine that they can be born of the Spirit, without water, and that the
king is well pleased with them who have been born without a mother, as those
who are lawfully born of father and mother. Others think that neither Spirit
nor water is necessary; but if they are politically born of the flesh, they
can enter the kingdom as rightfully as the Jewish circumcised infants enter
the earthly kingdom of Israel. But as we have no faith in any modern improvements
of the gospel, change or amendment of the constitution of the Kingdom of
Heaven, we must leave them to account to the King himself, who "have
transgressed the law, changed the ordinance, and broken the everlasting
covenant;"31 and proceed to the question,
Back to the beginning
When did the Kingdom of Heaven commence? "With the ministry of John," says
one: "With the ministry of Jesus," says another: "With the first sending
out of the Twelve Apostles," says a third: "At the resurrection of Jesus,"
says a fourth: "At none of them; but by degrees from the baptism of John
till the fall of Jerusalem," says a fifth.
The reader will please remember that there are at least five elements
essential to a perfectly organized kingdom, and that it may be contemplated
in reference to one or more of these component parts. Hence the numerous
and various parables of the Saviour. Sometimes he speaks of the administration
of its affairs - of its principles in the heart - of its subjects - of its
King - of its territory - of its progress - of various incidents in its history.
Hence the parable of the sower - of wheat and darnel - of the leaven - of
the merchant seeking goodly pearls - of the grain of mustard seed - of the
sweep net - of the marriage of a king's son - of a nobleman going into a
far country - of the ten virgins - of the talents - of the sheep and goats,
present to our view the Kingdom of Heaven in different attitudes, either
in its elements or in its history - its commencement or its close.
The approaching or the coming of the Reign of Heaven, can properly have respect
only to one or two of the elements of a kingdom; or to the formal exhibition
of that whole organization of society which we call a kingdom. It
can have no proper allusion to its territory; for that was created and located
before man was created. It cannot allude either to the persons who were
constituted subjects, for they too were in existence before the kingdom
commenced. It cannot allude to the birth or baptism of the King, for it was
not till after these that Jesus began to proclaim its coming or approach.
It cannot have reference to the ministry of John or of Jesus, any more than
to the patriarchal or Jewish dispensations; because Jesus did not begin to
proclaim the coming of this reign till after John was cast into prison.
This is a fact of so much importance, that Matthew, Mark, and Luke distinctly
and substantially declare, that, in conformity to ancient predictions, Jesus
was to begin to proclaim in Galilee, and that he did not commence
to proclaim the doctrine or the gospel of the coming of the Reign, till after
John's ministry ceased and he was cast into prison. In this assertion
the Evangelists agree: "Now Jesus [after his baptism and temptation in the
wilderness] hearing that John was imprisoned, retired into Galilee; and having
left Nazareth, resided at Capernaum. For thus saith the Prophet," etc. From
that time Jesus began to proclaim, saying, "Reform for the Reign of
Heaven approaches;" or, "The Kingdom of Heaven is at hand," as says the common
Some Baptists, for the sake of immersion, and some of our brethren
in the Reformation, for the sake of immersion for the remission of sins,
seem desirous to have John in the Kingdom of Heaven, and to date the commencement
of the Christian dispensation with the first appearance of John the Immerser.
They allege in support of this hypothesis that Jesus said, "The Law and the
Prophets continued till John," (the only instructors of men;) "since that
time the Kingdom of God is preached, and every man presses into it." "Publicans
and harlots show you the way into the Kingdom of Heaven," said Jesus to the
Pharisees. Again, "Alas! for you Scribes and Pharisees! for you shut the
Kingdom of Heaven against men, and will neither enter yourselves, nor permit
others that would to enter." "The Kingdom of God is within you." "The Kingdom
of Heaven has overtaken you." From these premises they infer that the Kingdom
of Heaven was actually set up by John the Baptist: "For," say they, "how
could men and women enter into a kingdom which was not set up? And
did not John immerse for the remission of sins, and call upon men to repent
and reform in order to baptism?"
The Pedobaprists, too, will have Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, Moses, David,
and all the circumcised Jews in the Kingdom of Heaven, because Jesus said,
"Before Abraham was, I am;" "Abraham saw my day and was glad;" and Paul says
Moses esteemed the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures
of Egypt, and forsook Egypt in faith of the Christian recompense of reward.
Yes, and Paul affirms that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob and their families, who
dwelt in tents in the promised land, looked not only to the rest in Canaan,
but they sought a heavenly country, and expected the city of foundations,
whose builder and maker is God. Thus the Jews had Christ in the manna and
in the rock, and baptism in the cloud and in the sea.
The mistake is specifically the same. Christ was promised and prefigured
before he came, and the Kingdom of Heaven was promised and preached by John,
by Jesus, the Twelve, and the Seventy, (who went about proclaiming the glad
tidings of the Reign), before the Reign of Christ, or Kingdom of Heaven
commenced. Because Christ was promised and prefigured in the patriarchal
and Jewish ages, the Pedobaprists will have the Kingdom of Heaven on earth
since the days of Abel; and because the glad tidings of the Reign and Kingdom
of Heaven and the principles of the new and heavenly order of society were
promulgated by John, the Baptists will have John the Baptist in the Kingdom
of Heaven, and the very person who set it up.
Let us, then, examine this matter with all candour: and first, we shall place
the passages above quoted out of the testimonies of the Evangelists on one
side, and the following passages on the other side; and then see if we can
reconcile them. John says, "Reform, for the Reign of God approaches." Jesus
began to proclaim, saying "Reform, for the Reign or Kingdom of Heaven is
at hand." He also commanded the Twelve and the Seventy to peregrinate all
Judea, making the same proclamation.33 Of John
the Baptist he said, though greater than all the Prophets, "The least in
the Kingdom of Heaven is greater than he."
Thus, after John was beheaded, we have some eighty-four preachers daily
proclaiming the nigh approach of the Reign of God; and Jesus often assuring
his disciples that the Kingdom of God was soon to appear, and that some of
his companions would see him enter upon his Reign before they died - and
yet the Kingdom was set up by John! Scribes and Pharisees were shutting the
kingdom against men, when Jesus had only given the keys to Peter! John the
Baptist was in the kingdom, and the least in the kingdom is greater than
he! More than eighty preachers say, "Reform, for the Reign of Heaven is at
hand;" and John the Baptist before he died, introduced all Judea and Jerusalem
into it! How, then, shall we reconcile these apparent contradictions? Make
both sides figurative, and it may be done. Regard both sides literally, and
it cannot be done! To say that the kingdom came in one point of view at one
time, and in another point of view at another time, is only to say that it
came in different senses - literally and figuratively. For our part, we must
believe that the Kingdom of Heaven began, or the Reign of Heaven literally
and truly commenced in one day.
Many of its principles were developed by the ancient Prophets; David, Isaiah,
and others wrote much concerning it; John the Baptist proclaimed its immediate
and near approach, and more fully developed its spiritual design; therefore
he was superior to them. Jesus often unfolded its character and design in
various similitudes; and every one who understood and received these
principles was said to "press into the kingdom," or to have "the kingdom
within them;" and wherever these principles were promulgated, "the Kingdom
of Heaven" was said to "come nigh" to the people, or to have "overtaken them;"
and those who opposed these principles and interposed their authority, to
prevent others from receiving them, were said to "shut the Kingdom of Heaven
against men;" and thus all these scriptures must of necessity be understood
from the contexts in which they stand: for it is impossible that the Reign
of Heaven could literally commence "till Jesus was glorified," "received
the promise of the Holy Spirit," was "made Lord and Christ," and "sat down
with his Father upon the throne" - for he left the earth to receive a
To make this, if possible, still more evident, we ask When did the Kingdom
of God, established by Moses amongst the seed of Abraham, cease? This
question penetrates the whole nature and necessity of the case: for will
any one suppose that there were two Kingdoms of God on earth at one and the
same time? Certainly the one ceased before the other began.
Now, that the kingdom of God, ministered by Moses, had not ceased during
the personal ministry of the Messiah on earth, is, we think, abundantly evident
from the following facts and documents:-
First. Jesus was to have appeared, and did appear, "in the end
of the world," or last days of the first Kingdom of God. "In the conclusion
of the age has he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself."
The "world to come" was one the names of the gospel age. He has not subjected
"the world to come" to angels, as he did the world past, says Paul to the
Hebrews. He appeared, then, not in the beginning of the gospel age, but in
the end of the Jewish age.
Second. The Temple was the house of God to the very close of the life
of Jesus. For it was not till the Jewish ministry conspired to kill him that
he deserted it. At the last festival of his life, and immediately before
he fell into their hands, on walking out of the Temple, he said, "Behold
your house is deserted, for you shall not see me henceforth till you shall
say, Blessed be he that comes in the name of the Lord!" It was his Father's
house, the house of God, till that moment. Then, indeed, the glory departed.
Third. The Jewish offerings and service, as a divine institution,
continued till the condemnation of Jesus. He sent the cleansed leper to the
priest to make the offering commanded in the law. He commanded the people
to hear the doctors of the law who sat in Moses' chair. He paid the didrachma.
He was a minister of the circumcision. He lived under, not
after the law. He kept all its ordinances, and caused all his disciples
to regard it in its primitive import and authority to the last passover.
Indeed, it could not be disannulled, for it was not consummated till on
the cross he said, "IT IS FINISHED."
Fourth. When he visited Jerusalem the last time, and in the last parable
pronounced to them, he told them plainly that "the Kingdom of God should
be taken from them" and given to a nation who should make a better use of
the honours of the kingdom; consequently at the time the Jews had the Kingdom
Fifth. It was not until his death that the veil of the Temple was
rent; that the things "which could be shaken were shaken." It was then, and
not till then, that he nailed the legal institution to the cross. Then, and
not till then, was the middle wall of partition broken down. The last Sabbath
he slept in the grave. From the moment of his death there was no life
in the old Kingdom of God. The Temple was deserted, its veil rent, its
foundation shaken, the city devoted, the ritual abolished, and as after death
the judgment - the Temple, city, and nation waited for the day of his vengeance.
The Kingdom of God was evidently in the Jewish institution till Jesus died.
Hence the Kingdom of Heaven came not while Jesus lived. In anticipation,
they who believed the gospel of the kingdom received the Kingdom of God,
just as in anticipation he said, "I have finished the work which thou gavest
me to do" before he began to suffer; and as he said, "This cup is the new
testament in my blood, shed for the remission of the sins of many," before
it was shed. So while the doctrines of this reign - faith, repentance, baptism,
and a new principle of sonship to Abraham were promulgating by John, the
Twelve, the Seventy, and by Himself, the Kingdom of Heaven was approaching;
and those who received these principles by anticipation were said to enter
into the kingdom, or to have the kingdom within them.
The principles of any reign or revolution are always promulgated, debated,
and canvassed before a new order of things is set up. A party is formed upon
these principles before strength is acquired, or a leader obtained competent
to the commencement of a new order of things. In society, as in nature, we
have first the blade, next the stem, and then the ripe corn in the ear. We
call it wheat, or we call it corn, when we have only the promise in the blade.
By such a figure of speech, the Kingdom of God was spoken of, while as yet
only its principles were promulgating.
When these American states were colonial subjects of the king of England,
and long before the setting up of a republic, republican doctrines were
promulgated and debated. The believers and advocates of these doctrines were
called republicans, while as yet there was not a republic on this continent.
He who dates the commencement of the Kingdom of Heaven from the ministry
of John the Baptist sympathises with him who dates the American republics
from the first promulgation of the republican principles, or from the formation
of a republican party in the British colonies. But as a faithful and intelligent
historian, in writing the history of the American republics, commences with
the history of the first promulgation of these principles, and records the
sayings and deeds of the first promulgers of the new doctrines; so the sacred
historians began their history of the Kingdom of Heaven with the appearance
of John in the wilderness of Judea, preaching the Messiah, faith, repentance,
a holy life, and raising up a new race of Israelites on the principle
of faith rather than of flesh; for this in truth was the "blade" of the
Kingdom of Heaven.
Having from all these considerations seen that until the death of the Messiah
his kingdom could not commence; and having seen from the record itself
that it did not commence before his resurrection, we proceed to the
development of things after his resurrection, to ascertain the day on which
this kingdom was set up, or the Reign of Heaven began.
The writer to whom we are most indebted for an orderly and continued narrative
of the affairs of the Kingdom of Heaven is the Evangelist Luke. His history
begins with the angelic annunciations of the nativity of John and Jesus,
and ends with the appearance of the great standard-bearer of the Cross in
Imperial Rome, A.D. 64. That part of the history to which we now look as
a guide, to the affairs of the commencement of the Reign, is the notices
which he makes of the forty days which the Lord spent in his crucified
body, previous to his ascension. The reader ought not to be told (for he
ought to know) that Jesus rose in the same body in which he was crucified,
and in the reanimated fleshly body did eat, drink, and converse with his
Apostles and friends for forty days. That body was not changed till, like
the living saints who shall be on the earth at his second personal coming,
it was made spiritual, incorruptible and glorious at the instant of his
ascension. So that the man Christ Jesus was make like to all his brethren
in his death, burial, resurrection, transfiguration, ascension, and
glorification; or, rather, they shall be made to resemble him in all these
The Apostles testify that they saw him ascend - that a cloud received him
out of their sight - that angels descended to inform them that he was taken
up into heaven, not to return for a long time - that he ascended far above
the visible heavens, and now fills all things. Stephen, when dying, saw him
standing on the right hand of God.
Much attention is due to all the incidents of these forty days - as much
at least, as to the forty days spent by Moses in the Mount with God in the
affairs of the preceding Kingdom of God. For the risen Messiah makes the
affairs of his approaching kingdom the principal topic of these forty
days.35 Towards the close of these days, and
immediately before his ascension, he gave the commission to his Apostles
concerning the setting up of this kingdom. "All authority in heaven and in
earth is given to me: go, therefore," said he, "convert the nations,"
[announce the gospel to every creature] "immersing them into the name of
the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe
all the things which I have commanded you; and, behold! I am with
you always, even to the conclusion of this
state."36 "But continue in the city of Jerusalem
until you be invested with power from on high." Thus according to his promise
and the ancient prophecy, it was to "begin at
The risen Saviour thus directs our attention to Jerusalem as the
place, and to a period distant "not many days" as the time,
of the beginning of his reign. The great facts of the death, burial, and
resurrection of Jesus, not being yet fully developed to his Apostles, they
were not qualified to take any steps to the setting up of a kingdom which
was to be founded upon Christ crucified. They needed an interpreter
of these facts, and a supernatural advocate of the pretensions of the King,
before they could lay the foundation of his kingdom.
Again, the King himself must be glorified before his authority could be
established on earth; for till he received the promise of the Spirit from
his Father, and was placed on his throne, the Apostles could not receive
it; so that Christ's ascension to heaven, and coronation were indispensable
to the commencement of this Reign of Heaven.
Here let us pause for a moment - leave the earth, and on the wings of faith
in the testimony of Prophets and Apostles, the two witnesses for Jesus, let
us follow him to heaven and ascertain his reception into the heaven of heavens,
and exaltation to the right hand of God.
THE ASCENSION OF THE MESSIAH.
Back to the beginning
Prophets and Apostles must now be heard. David, by the Spirit, says, "The
chariots of God are twenty thousand, even thousands of angels; the Lord is
among them as in Sinai in the holy place. Thou hast ascended on high; thou
hast led captivity captive; thou has received gifts for men; yea, for the
rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among
them."38 The same Prophet in speaking of the
solemn and joyful procession at the carrying up of the ark of the ancient
constitution to Mount Zion, turns his eye from the type to the antitype,
and thus describes the entrance of the Messiah into Heaven: - "Who shall
ascend into the hill of God?" The attendant angels in the train of the Messiah,
approaching the heaven of heavens, shout, "Lift up your heads, O you gates!
be lift up, you everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in."
Those within, filled with astonishment that any one
should so confidently demand admission into those gates so long barred against
the sons of men, responsive shout, "Who is the King of glory?" The angels
in attendance upon the Messiah reply in strains as triumphant, "The Lord,
strong and mighty! the Lord, mighty in battle!" and still more exultingly
triumphant, shout, "Lift up your heads, O you gates! even lift them up, you
everlasting doors, and the King of glory shall come in. Who is the King of
glory? He is the Lord of hosts! he is the King of
CORONATION OF THE MESSIAH.
Back to the beginning
Every thing in its proper place. He that ascended first descended. Jesus
died, was buried, raised from the dead, ascended, and was crowned Lord of
all. In the presence of all the heavenly hierarchs, the four living creatures,
the twenty-four seniors, and ten thousands times ten thousand angels, he
presents himself before the throne. So soon as the First Born from the dead
appears in the palace royal of the universe, his Father and his God, in his
inaugural address, when anointing him Lord of all, says, "Let all the angels
of God worship him" - "Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thy enemies
thy footstool." "Jehovah shall send out of Zion [Jerusalem] the rod of thy
strength: rule thou in the midst of thine enemies, [the city of thy strongest
foes."] "Thy people, willing in the day of thy power, shall come to thee.
In the beauty of holiness, more than the womb of the morning, shalt thou
have the dew of thy progeny. The Lord hath sworn, and will not repent. Thou
art a Priest forever after the order of Melchizedek. The Lord at thy right
hand shall strike through kings [that oppose thee] in the day of his wrath."
"Thy throne, O God, endures forever: the sceptre
of thy kingdom is a sceptre of rectitude. Thou hast loved righteousness and
hated iniquity; therefore God, thy God, has anointed thee with the oil of
joy above thy fellows. Thou Lord in the beginning hast laid the foundations
of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hand: they shall perish,
but thou remainest; and they shall all grow old as does a garment, and as
a vesture, shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art
the same, and thy years shall not fail."40
Thus God highly exalted him, and did set him over all the works of his hands,
and gave him a name and an honour above every name in heaven and on earth,
that at the name of Jesus glorified every knee shall bow, and every tongue
confess, to the glory of God.
"Now we see Jesus, who was made a little lower than the angels, that he might
taste death for all, on account of the sufferings of death, crowned with
glory and honour" - Now "angels, authorities, principalities, and powers
are subjected to him." "His enemies will I clothe with shame, but upon himself
shall his crown flourish."
The Holy Spirit sent down by Jesus from heaven, on the Pentecost after his
resurrection, to the disciples in attendance in Jerusalem, informs the Apostles
of all that had been transacted in heaven during the week after his ascension,
and till that day. Peter now filled with that promised Spirit, informs the
immense concourse assembled on the great day of Pentecost, that God had made
that Jesus whom they had crucified both Lord and Christ - exalted him a
PRINCE and a Saviour to grant repentance to Israel and remission
The first act of his reign was the bestowment of the Holy Spirit, according
to the Prophecy of Joel and his own promise. So soon as he received the kingdom
from God his Father, he poured out the blessings of his favour upon his friends;
he fulfilled all his promises to the Apostles, and forgave three thousand
of his fiercest enemies. He received pardons and gifts for them that
did rebel, and shed forth abundantly all spiritual gifts on the little flock
to whom it pleased the Father to give the kingdom. Thus commenced the Reign
of Heaven, on the day of Pentecost, in the person of the Messiah, the Son
of God, and the anointed Monarch of the universe. Under him his people, saved
from their sins, have received a kingdom which cannot be shaken nor removed.
But as the erection of the Jewish tabernacle, after the commencement of the
first Kingdom of God, was the work of some time, and of united and combined
effort, on the part of those raised up and qualified for the work; so was
the complete erection of the new temple of God. The Apostles, as wise master
builders, laid the foundation - promulged the constitution, laws, and
institutions of the King, and raised the standard of the kingdom in many
towns, cities, and countries, for the space of forty years. Some of them
not only saw "the Son of Man enter upon his reign," and the Kingdom of God
commence on Pentecost, and carry his conquests over Judea, Samaria, and the
uttermost parts of the earth; but they saw the Lord "come with power" and
awful glory, and accomplish all his predictions on the deserted and devoted
temple, city and people. Thus they saw a bright display of the golden sceptre
of his grace in forgiving those who bowed to his authority, and an appalling
exhibition of the iron rod of his wrath in taking vengeance on his enemies
who would not have him to reign over them.
PRESENT ADMINISTRATION OF THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN.
Back to the beginning
During the personal absence of the King, he has committed the management
of this kingdom to stewards. These were first Apostles; next to them, Prophets;
next, teachers; then, assistants, or helpers; then directors or presidents,
all furnished with gifts, knowledge, and character, suited to their respective
functions. Besides these, many persons possessed of miraculous powers - gifts
of healing and speaking foreign languages, were employed in setting up and
putting in order the communities composing the Kingdom of Heaven. Angels
also were employed, and are still employed, under the great King in administering
to them who are heirs of salvation. For Jesus now, as Lord of all, has the
Holy Spirit at his disposal, and all the angels of God; and these are employed
by him in the affairs of the kingdom.41
The Apostles were plenipotentiaries and ambassadors for Jesus, and had all
authority delegated to them from the King. Hence every thing was first taught
and enjoined by them. They were the first preachers, teachers, pastors,
overseers, and ministers in the kingdom, and had the direction and management
of all its affairs.42
The communities collected and set in order by the Apostles were called the
congregation of Christ, and all these taken together are sometimes
called the Kingdom of God. But the phrases "church of God," or
"congregation of Christ," and the phrases "Kingdom of Heaven" or "Kingdom
of God," do not always nor exactly represent the same thing. The elements
of the Kingdom of Heaven, it will be remembered, are not simply its subjects,
and therefore not simply the congregations of disciples of Christ. But as
these communities possess the oracles of God, are under the laws and institutions
of the King, and therefore enjoy the blessings of the present salvation,
they are in the records of the Kingdom, regarded as the only constitutional
citizens of the Kingdom of Heaven; and to them exclusively belongs all
the present salvation. Their King is now in heaven, but present with
them by his Spirit in their hearts and in all the institutions of his kingdom.
Every immersed believer, of good behaviour, is, by the constitution, a free
and full citizen of the Kingdom of Heaven, and entitled to all the social
privileges and honours of that kingdom. Such of these as meet together statedly
in one place in obedience to the King, or his ambassadors the Apostles, for
the observance of all the institutions of the King, compose a family, or
house, or congregation of Christ; and all these families or congregations,
thus organized, constitute the present Kingdom of God in this world. So far
the phrases Kingdom of Heaven and the congregation or body
of Christ are equivalent in
Now in gathering these communities, and in setting them in order, the Apostles
had, when alive, and when dead, by their writings still have, the sole right
of legislating, ordering, and disposing of all things. But it is not the
will of Jesus Christ, because it is not adapted to human nature, nor to the
present state of his kingdom as administered in his absence, that the church
should be governed by a written document alone. Hence in every city,
town, and country where the Apostles gathered a community by their own personal
labours, or by their assistants, in setting them in order, for their edification,
and for their usefulness and influence in this world, they uniformly appointed
elders, or overseers to labour in the word and teaching, and to preside over
the whole affairs of the community. To these also were added deacons,
or public ministers of the congregation, who, under the direction
of the overseers, were to manage all the affairs of these individual families
of God. This the very names Bishop and Deacon, and all
qualifications enjoyed, fairly and fully import.
But as all the citizens of the kingdom are free men under Christ they all
have a voice in the selection of the persons whom the Apostles appoint to
the offices. The Apostles still appoint all persons so elected, possessing
the qualifications which they by the Holy Spirit prescribed. And
if a congregation will not elect to these offices the persons possessing
these qualifications; or if by a waywardness and selfishness of their own,
they should elect those unqualified, and thus disparage those marked out
by the possession of those gifts; in either case, they despise the authority
of the Ambassadors of Christ and must suffer for it. It is, indeed, the
Holy Spirit, and not the congregations, which creates Bishops and Deacons.
The Spirit gives the qualifications, both natural and acquired; and, speaking
to the congregations in the written oracles, commands their ordination or
appointment to the work.44
In the present administration of the Kingdom of God, faith is the
PRINCIPLE, and ordinances the MEANS
of all spiritual enjoyment. Without faith in the testimony of God,
a person is without God, without Christ, and without hope in the world. A
Christless universe, as respects spiritual life and joy, is the most perfect
blank which fancy can create. Without faith, nothing in the Bible can be
enjoyed; and without it, there is to man no Kingdom of Heaven in all the
dominions of God.
In the kingdom of nature sense is the principle, and
ordinances the means, of enjoyment. Without sense, or sensation,
nothing in nature can be known or enjoyed. All the creative, recuperative,
and renovating power, wisdom, and goodness of God, exhibited in nature, are
contained in ordinances. The sun, moon, and stars - the clouds, the air,
the water, the seasons, day and night, are therefore denominated the
ordinances of heaven, because God's power, wisdom, and goodness are
in them, and felt by us only through
them.45 Now sense, without the ordinances of
nature, like faith without the ordinances of religion, would be no
principle of enjoyment; and the ordinances of nature, without sense,
would be no means of enjoyment. These are the unalterable decrees
of God. There is no exception to them; and there is no reversion of them.
To illustrate and enforce the doctrine of this single paragraph is worthy
of a volume. The essence, the whole essence of that reformation for which
we contend, is wrapped up in this decree as above expressed. If it be true,
the ground on which we stand is firm and unchangeable as the Rock of Ages;
if it be false, we build upon the sand. Reader, examine it well!
In the Kingdom of Heaven, faith is, then, the principle, and ordinances
the means of enjoyment; because all the wisdom; power, love, mercy,
compassion, or grace of God, is in the ordinances of the Kingdom of
Heaven; and if all grace be in them, it can only be enjoined through them.
What, then, under the present administration of the Kingdom of Heaven, are
the ordinances which contain the grace of God? They are preaching the gospel
- immersion in the name of Jesus, into the name of the Father, and of the
Son, and of the Holy Spirit - the reading and teaching the Living Oracles
- the Lord's day - the Lord's supper - fasting - prayer - confession of sins
- and praise. To these may be added other appointments of God, such as
exhortation, admonition, discipline, etc.: for these also are ordinances
of God; and indeed all statutes and commandments are
ordinances:46 but we speak not at present of
those ordinances which concern the good order of the Kingdom, but of those
which are primary means of enjoyment. These primary and sacred ordinances
of the Kingdom of Heaven are the means of our individual enjoyment of the
present salvation of God.
Without the sun, there is no solar influence; without the moon, there is
no lunar influence; without the stars, there is no sidereal influence; without
the clouds, there can be no rain; and without the ordinances of the Kingdom
of Heaven, there can be no heavenly influence exhibited or felt. There is
a peculiar and distinctive influence exerted by the sun, moon, and stars;
yet they all give light. So in the ordinances of the Kingdom of Heaven -
although they all agree in producing certain similar effects on the subjects
of the kingdom, there is something distinctive and peculiar in each of them,
so that no one of them can be substituted for another. Not one of them can
be dispensed with; they are all necessary to the full enjoyment of the Reign
In nature and in religion, all the blessings of God bestowed on man are properly
classed under two heads. These may be called, for illustration,
antecedent and consequent. The antecedent include all those
blessings bestowed on man to prepare him for action and to induce him to
action. The consequent are those which God bestows on man through a course
of action correspondent to these antecedent blessings. For example, all that
God did for Adam in creating for him the earth and all that it contains,
animal, vegetable, mineral; in forming him in his own image; giving him for
all his physical, intellectual, and moral powers, and investing him with
all the personal and real estate which elevated him above all sublunary beings,
were antecedent to any act of Adam; and these furnished him with inducements
to love, honour, and obey his Creator and benefactor. All that God did for
Abraham in promises and precepts before his obedience - all that he did for
the Israelites in bringing them up out of Egypt, and redeeming them from
the tyranny of Pharaoh, was antecedent to the duties and observances which
he enjoined upon them. And all the blessings which Adam, Abraham, the Israelites
enjoyed through conformity to the institutions under which they were placed,
were consequent upon that state of mind and course of action which the antecedent
favours demanded and occasioned. God never commanded any being to do any
thing, but the power and motives were derived from something God had done
In the Kingdom of Heaven the antecedent blessings are the constitution of
grace, the King, and all that he did, suffered, and sustained for our redemption.
These were finished before we came upon the stage of action. This is all
favour, pure favour, sovereign favour: for there can be no favour that is
not free and sovereign. But the remission of our sins, our adoption into
the family of God, our being made heirs and inheritors of the kingdom of
glory, are consequent upon faith and the obedience of faith.
Organization and life of any sort are of necessity the gifts of God; but
health and continued enjoyment of life, and all its various and numerous
blessings are consequent upon the proper exercise of these. He that will
not breathe, eat, drink, sleep, exercise, cannot enjoy animal life. God has
bestowed animal organization and life antecedent to any action of the living
creature; but the creature may throw away his life by refusing to sustain
it by the means essential to its preservation and comfort.
God made but one man out of the earth, and one earthly nature of every
sort, by a positive, direct, and immediate agency, of wisdom, power, and
goodness. He gave these the power according to his own constitution or
system of nature, of reproducing and multiplying to an indefinite
extent. But still this life is transmitted, diffused, and sustained by God
operating through the system of nature. So Jesus in the new creation, by
his Spirit sent down from heaven after his glorification, did by a positive,
direct, and immediate agency, create one congregation, one mystical, or spiritual
body; and, according to the constitution or system of the Kingdom of Heaven,
did give to that mystical body, created in Jerusalem, out of the more ancient
earthly Kingdom of God, the power of reproducing and multiplying to an indefinite
extent. But still this new and spiritual life is transmitted, diffused and
sustained by the Spirit of God, operating through the constitution, or system
of grace, ordained in the Kingdom of Heaven.
Hence, in setting up the Kingdom of Heaven, as in setting up the kingdom
of nature, there was a display of divinity, compared with every thing subsequent,
properly supernatural. Hence the array of Apostles, prophets, extraordinary
teachers, gifts, powers, miracles, etc., etc. But after this new mystical
body of Christ was created and made, it had, and yet has, according to the
system of grace under the present administration of the Kingdom of Heaven,
the power of multiplying and replenishing the whole earth, and will do
it; for as God breathed into the nostrils of Adam the spirit of life,
after he had raised him out of the dust; and as he bestowed on his beloved
Son Jesus, after he rose out of the water, the Holy Spirit without measure;
so on the formation of the first congregation, figuratively called the body
of Christ, Jesus did breathe into it the Holy Spirit to animate and inhabit
it till he come again. The only temple and habitation on earth, since Jesus
pronounced desolation on that in Jerusalem, is the body of Christ.
Now, the first congregation of Christ, thus filled with the Spirit of God,
had the power of raising other congregations of Christ; or, what is the same
thing, of causing the body of Christ to grow and increase. Thus we see that
other congregations were soon raised up in Judea and Samaria by the members
of the Jerusalem body. Many were begotten to God by the Spirit of God, through
the members of the first congregation. And since the Spirit himself ceased
to operate in all those splendid displays of supernatural grandeur, by still
keeping the disciples of Christ always in remembrance of the things spoken
by the holy Apostles, and by all the arguments derived from the antecedent
blessings bestowed, working in them both to will and do according to the
benevolence of God, he is still causing the body of Christ to grow and increase
in stature, as well as in knowledge and favour of God. Thus the church
of Christ, inspired with his Spirit, and having the oracles and ordinances
of the Reign of Heaven, is fully adequate to the conversion of the whole
world, if she prove not recreant to her Lord.
In the work of conversion, her Evangelists, or those whom she sends beyond
the precincts of her weekly meetings, have, under the influence of the Spirit
of God, simply to propose the constitution, or the glad tidings of the Reign,
to those without; and by all the arguments which the oracles of God, and
the times and occasions suggest, to beseech and persuade men to be reconciled
to God, to kiss the Son, to accept the constitution, to bow to him who is
ordained a Prince and a Saviour to grant repentance and remission of sins
to all who submit to his government. Thus they, and the congregation who
sends them forth and sustains them in the work, beget children to God by
the gospel, and enlarge the body of Christ.
With all these documents before us, may we not say, that, as Eve was the
mother of all living, so "Jerusalem is the mother of us all?" And thus, to
use the language of Paul, "Men are begotten to God by the gospel" through
the instrumentality of the congregations of Christ.
Under the present administration of the Kingdom of Heaven, a great apostasy
has occurred, as foretold by the Apostles. As the church, compared to a city,
is called "Mount Zion," the apostate church is called "Babylon the Great."
Like Babylon the type, "Mystery Babylon" the antitype, is to be destroyed
by a Cyrus that knows not God. She is to fall by the sword of infidels, supported
by the fierce judgments of God. "The Holy City" is still trodden under foot,
and the sanctuary is filled with corruptions. It is, indeed, a den of thieves;
but strong is the Lord that judges the apostate city. Till that great and
notable day of the Lord come, we cannot, from the prophetic word, anticipate
a universal return to the original gospel, nor a general restoration of all
the institutions of the Kingdom of Heaven in their primitive character; and,
consequently, we cannot promise to ourselves the universal subjugation of
the nations to the sceptre of Jesus.
But were we to enter upon the consideration of the administration of the
affairs of the kingdom after the fall and overthrow of the apostate city
and the conversion of the Jews, we should have to launch upon a wide and
tempestuous ocean, for which our slender bark is not at this time sufficiently
equipped. This may yet deserve the construction of a large vessel in a more
propitious season. Meanwhile the original gospel is extensively proclaimed,
and many thousands are preparing for the day of the Lord; and these are taught
by the "Faithful and True Witness" that the day of the Lord will come as
a thief in the night, and that their happiness and safety alike consist in
being prepared for his second advent.
1 These essays do not appear in the
order in which they were written and published. We place the last-written
first; because, in the natural order of things, general views of the nature
of the Christian kingdom ought to precede the special development of its
peculiar institutions. They appeared first in the form of extras to
the regular series of the Millennial Harbinger; and as we thought it expedient
to preserve them, as much as possible, in their original form, this will
apologise for several repetitions which may appear in them.
All the leading and characteristic principles of that reformation for which
we plead, as far as the gospel institution is concerned, may be learned from
them. Much, indeed, of the proof of some of the propositions found in these
essays, lies scattered over the face of several volumes; but such a miniature
view of the evidence by which they are sustained, as, in most cases, is
sufficient to the conviction of the reader, will be found embodied in them.
Those, however, who may not be perfectly satisfied with the arguments offered,
must be referred to the various discussions of these principles found in
the Christian Baptist and Millennial Harbinger.
2 Genesis iv. 7
3 Exodus xvi. 15-27
4 Genesis xxviii.
5 Genesis xxxv.
6 Job i. 4, 5
7 Job xlii. 8-10
8 Genesis xviii.
9 Genesis xxi. 12
10 Genesis xxvi.
11 Jeremiah xxxi.
12 Men fit for
war are never more than the third or fourth part of any population. There
were six hundred thousand men of this class when they came to Mount Sinai.
13 If the following
passages are carefully examined and compared, it will appear that both these
phrases often represent the same thing:- Matt. iii. 17. Mark i. 15. Luke
iv. 43. - Matt. xiii. 11. Mark iv. 11. Luke viii. 10, - Matt. xi. 11. Luke
vii. 28. To these three distinct evidence many more might be added. What
Matthew calls "the Kingdom of Heaven," Mark and Luke call "the Kingdom
14 See chapters
vi. 33. xii. 28. xix. 24. xxi. 31, 43.
15 Matt. xxi. 43
16 Eph. i. 3
17 Eph. ii. 6
18 Eph. v. 5
19 Daniel ii.
20 Jer. xxxi.
21 John xvi.
22 Prov. viii.
23 Micah v. 2
24 Eph. i. 3-12
25 Matt. xxviii.
18; Daniel ii. 44; vii. 27.
26 Psalms ii. 6-8;
27 Rev. v. 9-14;
xiv. 1-5; xv. 3, 4; xxi. 9-27; Eph. i. 20, 21
28 Hebrews viii.
29 Rom. vi. 5,
6, 14; viii. 1, 33-39. 1.Cor. vi. 11. Eph i. 7; ii. 6, 19, 21, 22.
Col. i. 13, 14. 1.Peter ii. 5, 7. 2.Peter i. 10, 11. 1.John iii. 2.
30 John iii.
5. Titus iii. 5
31 Isaiah xxiv.
32 Matt. iv. 12;
Mark i. 14; iv. 14
33 Matt. x. 8;
Luke x. 1-11. When eating the last supper he distinctly said that the Reign
of God was then future. Luke xxii. 18
34 Luke xix. 11-15
35 Acts i. 3
36 Matt. xxviii.
18-20. Mark xvi. 15, 16. Luke xxiv. 47, 48
37 Isaiah ii.
3. Mic. iv. 2
38 Psalm lxviii.
39 Psalm xxiv.
40 Psalm xlv. Hebrews
41 1.Cor. xii.
28. Eph. iv. 11. Heb. i. 14
42 2.Cor. iii.
6. v. 18-20
43 Rom. xii. 4-8.
1.Cor. xii. 27. Heb iii. 6
44 Acts vi. 2-7;
xiv. 23; xx. 17; 1.Tim. iii. 1-13; Titus i. 5-10; Heb. xiii. 7, 17, 24.
45 Jeremiah xxxi.
35, 36 Job xxxviii. 31, 33. Jeremiah xxxiii. 33:25
46 James i.