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I will not say that I have done trembling for the ark of the Lord, or that I think it in no danger. It is more than possible, that the uncircumcised will yet come in an evil hour, and carry it away; or that the two tables of the law may be sacrilegiously taken out of it, and dashed in pieces, by the hands of our own people, before our eyes. Some of the signs of the times are certainly portentous. But I have no fears that the kingdom of Christ will be permanently or materially depressed, by any mere political change which may yet betide the world. Was there now to be one frightful and universal crash of falling thrones and principalities ;were all the existing governments on earth to be shaken down at once, the church would not perish. The love of Christ would not be extinguished, or even abated in any truly loyal bosom. His kingdom would stand immoveable upon its own eternal basis, and might, flourish more chan ever, under the new order of things, which would be sure to follow such vast and terrible convulsions.
6. The kingdom of Christ is not bounded by rivers, mountains, or even oceans, but it is destined to fill the whole earth. Hitherto, there has been no universal monarchy. It is one thing, nominally, to reign from the Indus to the pillars of Hercules, and quite another, to sway the seeptre over five continents, and a thousand islands. Even the proud mistress of the world upon her seven hills, never ruled over one quarter of the globe. Nor, in my apprehension, is it at all probable, that any human government will ever become universal. Such an extension of civil and political power, is next to impossible, if not absolutely so, in the nature of things. Wherever the seat of empire might be, all the more distant dwellers upon the face of the earth, would be too
far away, either to recognize the authority of the central government, or to receive its protection. Like some vast and unwieldy machine, it would fall to pieces by its own weight.
Almost equally improbable is it, I think, that any particular form of civil government, will ever prevail all over the world. Were it left to us to decide, whether the monarchical, or republican form shall exist in China, or Japan, five hundred years hence, we sliould perhaps unhesitatingly choose the latter. But who can be sure that this could be a wise decision? Who knows whether our favorite model of government, or any other single model, can ever be adapted to the habits and condition of all mankind ? Certainly in the present state of the world, that which is best for one nation, would not be best for all. And I can conceive, that even in the millennium, men widely separated from each other by oceans or languages; may live and be happy under different political constitutions, as they will no doubt continue to exist in separate coinmunities.
But the kingdom of Christ will form a glorious exception--will differ from all others in this respect, that it will become universal. Nothing is better settled by the sure word of prophecy. Saith Jehovah, I have set my king upon my holy hill of Zion. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possossion. He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, like the showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish, and abundance of peace, so long as the inoon endureth. He shall have dominion,
also, from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. Yea, all kings shall fall down before him, and all nations shall serve him. So shall they fear the name of the Lord from the west, and his glory from the rising sun. Thou sawest, till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. And the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.'
Now all these animating predictions can and will be fulfilled. For no such obstacles as circumscribe the kingdoms of this world, exist to hinder the universal spread of the Gospel. The principles of Christ's spiritual government are adapted to the condition of man wherever found. Just as perfectly to the Hindoo, as to the European, to the tribes of central Africa, as to the United States of America. All that is required anywhere, is the surrendry of the heart to the Lord. This, when the duty is made plain, can be done as well by one man as another ;-as well by the children of Ham, as of Japheth, by the dwellers under Arctic skies, as in spicy groves. Divine and holy love is everywhere the same, and the universal prevalence of this heaven-born principle is synonymous with the establishment of Messiah's dominion, from sea to sea, and from shore to shore.
This dominion, moreover, is just as efficient in one province of his spiritual empire as another--in the lone Pacific Isle, as on Mount Zion itself. No local residence has he fixed, no central administration has he established. His promises to his disciples, wherever they may dwell, are, Lo I am with you alway, even unto the end of the
world. Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.'
7. The kingdom of Christ will riever be overthrown. Other kingdoms, like the rulers themselves, pass from youth to manhood, and thence down to decrepitude and the tomb. They rise, they flourish, they decline, they fall. This is their short and monitory history. Where is Babylon? Where is the sceptre of the Macedonian conqueror ? Where the throne of the Cæsars? The Eternal City, what is she now? Of all the great empires of antiquity, not one remains. Even within the few last centuries, hundreds of revolutions are marked upon the page of history. And where is the existing government which is sure of standing a thousand years longer, or even the fourth part of it? The strongest earthly sceptre may be suddenly broken. The proudest and mightiest among the nations may in a liçtle while live only in story
But the kingdom of Christ will stand forever. It has within it the principle of ever-during vitality. It rests on a deeper foundation than the everlasting hills. “: Often has it been assailed by the confederates of this and of the nether world, and brought apparently to the brink of ruin. The same confederacy still exists in active correspondence, and may at any time renew its assaults more fiercely than ever. Even now I seem to hear the dreadful note of preparation. Possibly the woman may again be compelled to flee into the wilderness from the face of the great red dragon ; but she will not be destroyed.
The kingdom of Christ has already stood for thousands of years, and it will stand when all its enemies shall have been finally discomfited. Its strength and glory will increase, as centuries roll on, and it will not have passed
the prime of its immortality; when the heavens shall wax old and vanish away.'
I saw,' saith Daniel in the night vision, and behold one like the Son of man came in the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought hirn near before him. And there was given him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations and languages should serve him ; his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed. “Thy sun,' saith Isaiah, shall no more go down, neither shall thy moon withdraw itself; for the Lord shall be thine everlasting light, and the days of thy mourning shall be ended. Thy people also shall be all righteous : they shall inherit the land forever, the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be, glorified. A little one shall be coine a thousand, and a small one a strong nation,-I the Lord will hasten it in his time.' And to add only one prediction more :--saith John in the Apocalypse, "The seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, and he shall reign forever and ever.'
Thus, whatever view we take of the kingdom of Christ whether we regard its origin, the foundation upon which it rests, the means by which it was established and has been preserved, or its extent and perpetuity, we see how widely -and radically it differs from all the kingdorns of this world. But while it thus asserts its divine constitution, and refuses all political and state alliances, it is so far from being hostile to any tolerable form of civil government, that it breathes a spirit of universal benevolence. The angelic heraldry which preceded its establishment, was, Glory