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to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will to men.' Nor from that moment to the present, has Messiah deviated in the slightest degree from the spirit of this high proclamation, in administering the affairs of his kingdom. He makes it flourish, not by weakening the foundations of civil government—not by encroaching upon the legitimate prerogatives of other rulers-not by corrupting the intellectual and moral energies of any people, but by means and measures of directly the opposite characterby sustaining righteous authority, by giving new efficacy to good and wholesome laws, by increasing the intelligence, the wealth, the power, and the happiness of nations, and by requiring all the subjects of his spiritual kingdom tò conform to the holy and benevolent principles of his Gospel. In a word, the kingdom of Christ sustains substantially the same relations to the kingdoms of this world, which the sun does to every land on which it shines. For as that broad luminary imparts light and warmth toall people, while it will never come down from its high tabernacle,' to hide its glories and travel on in its dark eclipse; so the Sun of Righteousness blesses all the pations, as fast as he rises upon them; but never stoops from his holy orb, to shroud his glorious majesty in the mirky atmosphere which surrounds them.
But while the kingdom of Christ cherishes the most friendly regard towards all political sovereignties, as such, there is one great power to which it is decidedly hostile. I mean the empire of Satan-of the prince of the power of the air, that now worketh in the bearts of the children of disobedience.' Between these two, the kingdom of light and the kingdom of darkness, there is, and must be, continual war, as there was between the house of David and the house of Saul. For . what con
cord hath Christ with Belial?' What friendship can exist between sin and holiness? Once there was a war in heaven, because foul rebellion lifted up its head before the eternal throne. The same spirit of rebellion and high defiance peryades the kingdom of darkness in this world. Vain and impotent defiance! Since for this very 'purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might detroy the works of the devil.' The struggle may be long and desperate; but the issue cannot for a moment be doubtful. For saith the apocalyptic seer, near the close of his vision, 'I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse and against his army. And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet. These both were cast into a lake of fire, burning with brimstone. And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand, and he laid hold of the dragon, that old serpent which is the devil, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut hin up, and set a seal
And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them; and judgment was given unto them, and they reigned a thousand years.? O how fearful, how glorious this prophetic vision! And, 'He that testifieth is faithful and true.'
Having thus delineated some of the most remarkable and distinctive features in the constitution of Messiah's kingdom, I proceed now,
II. To speak of the duties, responsibility, and rewards of his ministers. In extending the boundaries of his kingdom and managing all its affairs, he could doubtless, if he saw fit, dispense with huinan agents altogether. He could bring the most refractory and discordant tribes
under his peaceful sway by a direct and independent influence ; and could raise his kingdom to the highest summit of prosperity, without employing men or angels in the administration. But such is not the economy of his government. He does that from choice and for our advantage, which temporal princes are constrained to do by necessity. As they surround themselves with public servants; as they employ secretaries, ambassadors, and other confidential agents, so the Lord Jesus Christ has thought fit to call in the aid of his servants—to invest them with specific subordinate powers, to assign them their several stations, to make them responsible for their fidelity, and to encourage them by his smiles and his promises. Whatever different arrangement might have been made, this is the plan of Messiah's administration. Thus does he condescend to make room for our humble instrumentality. He calls into his service a host of sacred functionaries, and expects them explicitly to follow his directions. They cannot all serve him in the same place, and he employs them in one province, or another of his kingdom, according to his sovereign pleasure. He sends them to the east and the west, to the north and the south. One he locates in the city, and another in the country. This man he sends up to the highest watch
the walls of Zion, and that man he stations upon a much humbler eminence. To the pastoral care of one minister he commits three thousand souls, and to that of another, but a few hundred. While one is called from sabbath to sabbath, to address the rich, the polished, the exalted in station and the mighty in intellect, his more favored brother, (may I not say ?) is in some obscure hamlet, or narrow alley, preaching the gospel to the poor !!
There stands an envied and popular preacher upon a slippery eminence, enveloped and almost suffocated with clouds of incense, and far below, you may see a servant of the same master, buffeting the popular current, and struggling with innumerable discouragements. And of those who are employed in foreign service, one goes out as an ambassador for Christ' to Hindostan, another to China, a third to the Holy Land, a fourth to the Isles of the Pacific, and a -fifth to some bleeding tribe of Africa, One pitches his tent under the awful frownings of Juggernaut, and another beneath the waning cresent of the 'false prophet.' One is sent to strengthen his brethren, who have long been engaged in translating and making known the gracious proclamation of their Sovereign, amid deserts of snow and mountains of ice, while another finds himself panting under a tropical sun, and the only representative of his Master, among twenty millions of people.
But wherever the King of Zion employs his servants, whether in lands already brought under his sway, or to extend farther his spiritual dominion, he requires them to be active; to endure hardness as good soldiers ;' and to stand up fearlessly for his cause, whoever may assail it. And as he expects them to go cheerfully at his bidding to the right hand, or to the left, to cultivate new fields, or to enter into other men's labors, so he requires them to devote the best of their tinie and talents to their high and holy calling. He has no sinecures to fill. He does not permit his ministers anywhere to consult their own ease, in their daily or weekly arrangements ; to covet the shades of literary retirement; or to subordinate their sacred vocation to any other interest or pursuit. The measure of their ability to advance the interests of
his spiritual kingdom, is the measure of their duty. Upon the spiritual laborer, if upon any man in the world, is the exhortation imperative, Whatsoever thine hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.' * Nor does our divine Master leave it with any of his sacred functionaries, to adopt suck measures and use such means as they might think best calculated to strengthen his kingdom and extend its boundaries. They may do nothing without his written instructions. The Bible, and the Bible alone, contains their credentials. These they are bound to study with all diligence, and by these they must abide at all hazards. 'No annunciation of wrath must be suppressed ; none must be extenuated. Whatever any legate of the skies' may think of the wisdom or expediency of those parts of his commission, which rebels hate, and which they are liable to wrest to their own destruction, there is but one course for him to puro
He may not go beyond the word of the Lord, to say less or more.'
For his life, for bis soul, he may not !
Never, surely, were duties so momentous devolved by any temporal prince upon his most confidential servants, as those which devolve upon every minister of Christ. Never were such mighty interests suspended upon a single word, or action. Never in the proudest days of Assyrian, or Persian glory, did those who stood nearest the throne, aet under such amazing responsibility. Never were such rewards promised, to good and faithful servants. Think, O think, of the unspeakable difference! A minister of state may, by his wisdom and fidelity, gain a new province for his master, or may lose half the kingdom by his treachery or neglect. An ambassador may, by a skilful and timely negotiation, dissipate or turn away the