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XII.

THE INDESTRUCTIBLE KINGDOM.

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Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever : the sceptre of thy

kingdom is a right sceptre.”—Ps. xlv. 6.

The Lord is a great King above all gods. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom endureth from generation to generation. He doeth according to his will in the army of Heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, “What doest thou ?

Yet what do we see in the world around us? What do we see when we look into our own natural hearts? And what do we find written in the word of Him who pondereth all our goings, and who weigheth the spirits ? If he be a King and a Master, where is his fear? Why does the Son of God teach his disciples to pray, “Thy kingdom come”? Is his will done on earth as it is in heaven? Who has not said in his heart, “What is the Almighty that we should serve him?"

m?" Who is there, from Adam downwards, that has not more or less cast God's law behind him?

Now, inasmuch as God is wise in heart, and mighty in strength, there is surely none who can harden himself against Him, and prosper. God is a righteous Judge, no less than King of kings, it is easier for heaven and earth to pass than for one tittle of the law to fail,—how then shall we account for his forbearance, that sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily?

The truth is, we are in this world under a mediatorial system. An almighty Mediator, who is both God and man, stands between God and sinners, and lays his hand, as it were, on both. He has opened a way of reconciliation. He has obtained for all a day of grace, during which he invites them to return; and for those who obey

i his call, and will have him to reign over them, he secures peace with God, and all the blessings of his kingdom. He reinstates them in his favour, brings them back to their allegiance, and finally, when his government as Mediator shall cease, he shall place them with him in his Throne, and reign with them in that Kingdom which shall never be destroyed. To Christ is given all power in heaven and in earth, and he is appointed heir of all things in the world to come. Willingly or unwillingly, every knee shall bow to Him whom God hath set as King upon his holy hill of Zion. His arrows are sharp in the heart of the King's enemies, and the people are subdued unto him. He wounds by creating a godly sorrow which works repentance not to be repented of; or, if a man turn not, he ordains them instruments of death.

Now, it is of the Kingdom of Christ, as Godman, that David, in the passage before us, wrote as he was moved by the Holy Ghost. We are taught by the same Spirit, in St. Paul's Epistle to the Hebrews, that it is unto the Son the words are addressed, “Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom.” The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy; and all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning him. That good matter which, by inspiration of God, the heart of David indited, and which he has written in the Psalm before us, is a matter touching that King who is fairer than the children of men, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens,-into whose lips grace is poured, who spake as never man spake, and who has the words of eternal life --whom God has blessed for ever, for in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily, and he has received gifts for men, even for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them. He is represented as a King, going forth conquering and to conquer,--travelling in the greatness of his strength, yet as one whose Kingdom is not of this world, and the weapons of whose warfare are not carnal; who triumphs over the Powers of Darkness by the Word of truth, of meekness, and of righteousness,- and who must reign until he has put all enemies beneath his feet.

There are two characteristics of Christ's kingdom stated in the text: First, its eternity,—the throne is “for ever and ever;" and secondly, its equity,--the sceptre is “a right sceptre."

Brethren, Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever. A Prince and a Saviour, in

all ages

of the world he has been to them who are called, the power of God and the wisdom of God; but to those who stumble at the word, being disobedient, a stone of stumbling and a rock of offence. Many who have professed to build the house of God, which is the church of the living God, have laid other foundation than that which God has laid ; but it is in Christ that all the building, fitly framed together, groweth unto an holy temple in the Lord. The builders have often disallowed this stone, but God has made Him the Head-stone of the corner. Many kings of the earth have stood up, and the rulers taken counsel together, against the Lord and against his Christ; but He that dwelleth in the Heavens laughs them to scorn. Many have said, and are saying every day, “ We will not have this man to reign over us;" but it is a vain thing that they imagine.

The Lord is indeed long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance,-he came not to destroy men's lives, but to save them. But he is not slack concerning his promise. Though he is as

. one gone into a far country, he will return. Nay, he stands even now before the door. He comes quickly, and his reward is with him. For those who love his appearing there is laid up a crown of righteousness; but as for his enemies, who will not that he should reign over them, they are slain before him,--he dashes them in pieces like a potter's vessel. Be not deceived: God is not mocked. We may say, “Who is Lord over us ?" But it is we who are deceived, not God. He has made a covenant with his Chosen, and has sworn by his holiness he will not lie. He has established

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