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as re-discovered to men by express revelation,') we may expect that she will detect and expel from within her pale, as with touch of the spear of Ithuriel, every the most specious heresy: and that so, at the last great day of Christ's collecting together his jewels, the memorial of Zion shall be hers yet more abundantly, that“ many were born in her, and that the Most High did establish
And might not a word be fitly added also of solemn practical application of the lessons of this prophecy to other churches, orthodox and unorthodox, among us ?In the anticipation of some tremendous approaching conflict, (if such anticipation seem warranted by the prophecy,) and yet more in the view of this condict of the nations as but a prelude to the fearful and fiery judgments that are to accompany the Lord's own coming, do we not see motives pre-eminently cogent for union among all that love the Lord Jesus in sincerity? And does it not appear lamentable that, whether from political or ecclesiastical differences of opinion, there should be cherished by any such in the Protestant dissenting body a feeling of bitterness against our Anglican Church ; a Church which they yet allow to be in its doctrines and profession of faith eminently scriptural and evangelic : especially considering that the supposition of Christ's declaration,
My kingdom is not of this world,” militating against a national established Church, depends on an inference from that text very questionable ;3 and indeed, unless
See my Vol. i. pp. 270, 271, and Vol. ii. pp. 39–43. 2 Psalm lxxxvii. 5. 3 With regard to this famous text, John xviii. 36, “ My kingdom is not of this world,” (“Η βασιλεια ή εμη ουκ εσιν εκ του κοσμου τουτου,) it seems essential to its right understanding, that we consider it in the light not only of its immediate context, but also of the larger context of Scripture (especially New Testament Scripture) in which Messiah's kingdom, called also the kingdom of God, or the kingdom of heaven, * is a topic perpetually recurring.
And this must, I think, at once strike a considerate inquirer, that as in Daniel's first celebrated prophecy respecting it (a prophecy probably whence the phrase kingdom of heaven chiefly originated) there was figured the distinction between the regnum lapidis and the regnum montis, t—the primary humbler state of Mes
• In St. Matthew we find it generally called the kingdom of heaven, in St. Mark and St. Luke the kingdom of God.
+ Dan. ii. 34, 35. I use Mede's well-known Latin.
my solution of the vision of Apoc. x, xi can be refuted, that the establishment of the Anglican, as well as of the German and other reformed Churches of the 16th cen
siah's kingdom, as a stone (the temple's destined corner-stone®) cut out without hands, and its ultimate triumphant state, after shivering the world's great image to pieces, and as a mountain (the mountain of the Lord's house, t I suppose,) filling with its glory the whole earth,—so this twofold state and phase of Jesus Christ's kingdom is prominently set forth by Christ himself and his apostles in the New Testament. The first is that which had its commencement from after the King's presentation of himself in human form on earth, rejection by those that deemed themselves the master-builders in Israel, suffering as man's redemption-price from the kingdom of darkness; I and then absenting himself for a while, with a view to receive investiture of the kingdom, $ and both to prepare his people for it, and it for his people. And it is described as the preparatory state of the kingdom's proclamation and heralding over the earth, with earnest invitation from the King to all to enter it: a state this which answers to the seed. scattering and net-throwing of the Parable ; ** with the foreseen result of a pro. miscuous gathering of bad and good, false as well as true: and which includes prominently among its characteristics a provision for the meet spiritual education and nourishment of all its true members; while still sojourners, far away from the King and kingdom of their hearts, in a world under the dominion of the Evil One.tt The second state and phase described is that of its manifestation in the heavenly power and majesty prefigured at the transfiguration ; 11 and establishment on the ruins of Antichrist's kingdom, $$ and of each other dominion allied with the Prince of darkness. It is this same for which Christ has bid us pray incessantly, “ Thy kingdom come:" one that is to be ushered in by the King's own visible return in glory; the retinue of all his faithful saints and subjects of every age rising to attend him, in reflected lustre like as of the sun, and to the exclusion of the insincere and false : |||| but which even the saints themselves in flesh and blood cannot inherit; [[ and with a view to their entrance on which the
• Matt. xxi. 42, Luke xx. 17. In what our Lord adds, as recorded both by St. Matthew and St. Luke, “ On whomsoever it shall fall Ankungei autov,' we have I think a very interesting connecting link between David's prophecy about the corner-stone (Ps. cxviii. 22, “ The stone which the builders rejected, &c.") here quoted by Christ, and Daniel's about the image-smiting stone. For kunder is not exactly rendered in our translation," it shall grind him to powder.” It should rather be," it shall reduce him to dust like as of winnowed chaff from the threshing-floor.” The similarity of which to Dan. ii. 35 is so evident and striking that I cannot think it unintended : “ The stone smote the image upon his feet of iron and clay; and then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor; and the wind carried them away." It is the self-same word that is used in the Septuagint, Dan. ii: λικμησει και λεπτυνει πασας τας βασιλειας. + Is. ii. 2, Mic. iv. I. Compare Apoc. xxi. 10.
Col. i. 13, 14. Luke xix. 12.
| John xiv. 2. Matt. iv. 23, Acts xxviii. 31, &c. I need hardly observe that anpvoceiv, usually rendered to preach, is literally to proclaim as a herald. ** Matt, xiii. 24, 47.
tt i John v. 19. 11 Mark ix. l; “ There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter and James and John up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them ; &c." Compare 2 Pet. i. 16–18.
$$ Dan. ii. 44, vii. 26, 27. III i Thess. v. 16, 17; Matt. xxv, 31, 34; xiii. 41-43. 11 I Cor. xv. 50, tury, seems expressly noted in the Apocalyptic figurations as the Lord's own doing. The same as to the
robing of incorruption is provided for them, and the world to be made a new world wherein dwelleth righteousness.*
Conformably with all which the text under discussion is, I conceive, thus to be explained : “ My kingdom is not of this world,” might be said by Christ to Pilate, Ist. with reference to the principle of its constitution; as neither seeking for its object the grandeurs, dignities, or secular supremacy of the kingdoms of this world, nor involving disobedience or violation of allegiance in secular matters to the earthly sovereign :t but only vindicating to itself the empire of the heart: —2dly. in respect of its constituency, as including those only who in heart“ are of the truth,” in contrast with a world of which he had the night before said, that “the Spirit of truth the world could not receive;"I its members being thus “not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world :"-3rdly. in respect of the mode of its propagation and advancement, as not by force or the sword, like this world's kingdoms, “ else would my servants fight:"-4thly. in respect of the time of its proper manifestation and establishment ; as not during the existence of the world that now is, but in the world to come, as says St. Paul, s at the end of the present age; || in the regeneration, or new creation, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory; f the new heaven and new earth, of which speak Isaiah and St. Peter.**
Supposing which explanation of the text correct, it seems, although what might be called a decidedly spiritual explanation, yet to involve no precept or argument against a national establishment of the orthodox faith. For the rich and the noble and kings are no more excluded from the offer of a part in Christ's kingdom than the ignoble and the poor. And in case of their accepting the offer, and becoming members of it, they are surely as much bound as any others to promote the interests of the kingdom, by such legitimate means as God may have put within their power: including especially, on the part of Christian kings, the provision of a gospel-ministry and an evangelic worship, throughout the countries ruled by them. Can the Queen of the Sandwich islands have violated any principle of duty involved in Christ's declaration to Pilate, in making provision for them in her distant territory? Or our pious King Edward at the Reformation in England ?
See my Vol. ii. p. 184, 185, &c. on the paßdos, or rod of authority, given by the Angel to the representative man, St. John.—“ The Elector John,” says Milner, in a passage quoted by me, Vol. ii. p. 187, “assuming to himself that supremacy in ecclesiastical matters which is the natural right of every lawful sovereign, exercised it with resolution and activity, in forming new ecclesiastical constitutions, modelled on the principles of the great Reformer."-How in the Anglican church this same principle was acted on is notorious, and may be seen in Burnet
[After the publication of my 1st Edition, my argument from the paßdos was impugned as an unfounded fancy of the Author's, both in the Patriot and other dissenting publications : but on my calling for proof of incorrectness in my Apocalyptic inference and argument, none was given. Subsequently, and since the publication of my 2nd Edition, Dr. Candlish has argued elaborately against it, in the second of his Four Letters addrest to me on certain subjects in the Horæ. I beg to refer the reader to his Letter and my Reply. Certainly the result does not seem to me to be the overthrow, but rather the confirmation, of my interpretation and argument. 3rd Ed.]
2 Pet. iii. 13. + Compare Rom. xiii. 1; 1 Pet. ii. 13, 17. # John xiv. 17.
και “Η οικουμανη ή μελλουσα, Ηeb. ii. 5. || Matt. xiii. 39.
Matt. xix. 28. *** Compare Justin Martyr, Apol. ii; Υμεις ακουσαντες βασιλειαν προσδοκώντας ήμασ ακριτως ανθρωπινον λεγειν ημας υπειληφατε, ήμων την μετα Θεου λεγοντων.
Scotch Free Church in its relation to the National Church of Scotland. For if the perfect healing of the breach be hopeless, that has been caused by the lamented secession from the latter of so large and influential a body of its members, inclusive of many of its most eminent and excellent ministers, it should surely be remembered how small the grounds of separation of heart, in comparison with those of union :-seeing that it is not on questions involving the essentials of Christian faith that the disruption has arisen, but on questions of ecclesiastical constitution and government, never perfectly to be resolved in a world where all is imperfect, and on which sincere and enlightened Christians may reasonably hold different opinions ;—that the objected Erastianism2 of the Established Church, in so far as it attached also to the
1 I mean in regard of the chief disputed points on which the disruption arose. Thus, first, if the principle of patronage be objected to, and the popular call or nomination be preferred, as the prerequisite to ordination to a benefice, is not the doubt both permissible and reasonable whether the latter be not to the full as liable to abuse as the former, or even more so ?--Again, if on questions involving both secular and ecclesiastical rights, in combination such as to make their enjoyment separately the one from the other in practice absurd and almost impossible, so as in the case of a presenteè to the fruits of a benefice, in his character of pastor of the congregation,-if, I say, on such questions, the supremacy of the highest ecclesiastical over the highest civil court, to all practical intents and purposes, be on the one side advocated, is it unreasonable to doubt on the other side whether this constitution of things might not as probably be abused to ecclesiastical tyranny, and even oppression of the truth, as the supremacy of the civil court? The operation and result of Gratian's law, mentioned by me in a Note Vol. iii. p. 168, by which exclusive jurisdiction over the clergy was assigned to the higher ecclesiastical or episcopal court, altogether distinctively and apart from the secular, is to my own mind a very instructive and striking fact; especially when considered in contrast with the satisfaction it was hailed with by the clergy of the day, as a great boon. For it laid the foundation of their ultimately almost hopeless enthralment to their episcopal superiors, and of these latter to the Popes. Does not the Free Church, or rather do not able and excellent writers associated with it, speak freely of the arbitrariness and despotism of the General Assembly, or Scotch supreme Ecclesiastical court, towards the inferior Presbyteries, when acting altogether independently of the Civil courts, during the ascendancy of Dr. Robertson in the last century? On the other hand has not the supremacy of the Civil court in England been on more than one important occasion within the last century a defence, not only of the beneficed clergy personally, but even of the truth itself, against the abuse of episcopal authority ?
2 Erastus was a German divine of the xvith century. Neal, in his History of the Puritans, Vol. ii. Pref. p. ix,-after observing on the two Houses of Parliament, during the civil war, being almost all of the principles of Erastus, who maintained that Christ and his apostles had prescribed no particular form of discipline for his Church, but had left it in the hands of the civil magistrate to appoint such particular forms of church government as might most subserve the welfare of the Commonwealth,-adds, “ These were the sentiments of the Re
primary constitutions of the German or other Churches of the Reformation, can rightly be viewed as no subject of the Divine disapprobation, supposing my explanation correct (as already just before remarked) of the Apocalyptic symbol of St. John's measuring the Temple, under the Covenant Angel's express regard and direction ;'that as regards Christ's headship and kingship over his Church, the doctrine in the highest and most scriptural sense of those phrases, nay, and even in a more earthly
formers, from Cranmer down to Bancroft.”—This last statement, however, needs the important modification of the magistrate doing nothing contrary to the Bible.
With regard to Erastus' doctrine, it may be useful further to give Archbishop Whateley's explanation of Erastianism. “ Erastianism has always been considered as consisting in making the State as such,—the civil magistrate by virtue of his office,-prescribe to the people what they shall believe, and how worship God." (Kingdom of Christ, p. 266.) Now if this be correct, then the inapplicability of the charge of Erastianism made by the seceders against the Scotch Established Church, will be evident. For has the State attempted to impose new Articles of Belief on the Church? Or have the seceders, in consequence of such Erastian pretensions, left the Establishment ? * Dr. Candlish, however, on the other hand, (Letters on Horæ, p. 120) asserts that “neither articles of belief nor manner of worship came into question at all in the Erastian Controversy, properly so called; that it is more than doubtful if the earlier and more intelligent Erastians would have asserted, or even conceded, the civil magistrate's jurisdiction in these departments; and that it was on the lawfulness, according to Scripture and right reason, of the civil magistrate's jurisdiction in the exercise of Church discipline, particularly in the acts of excommunication, and of admitting to membership and office in the Church, that the dispute about which Erastus was concerned really turned.”
At any rate it must be allowed that Erastianism is a just cause of reproach, in so far only as it can be proved to be anti-scriptural. And in such a case as the famous Marnoch and Strathbogie one, where the two jurisdictions met and conflicted, was God's revealed will so clear as that a Christian man, wishing to judge by that rule, might not honestly differ from the opinion of the majority in the General Assembly, who subsequently seceded from the Established Church?
See Note ? p.294 suprà.— I have said above, “in so far as the objected Erastianism attached also to the primary constitutions of the German or other Churches of the Reformation," because it is to these that the Apocalyptic symbol (if I am correct) relates; not to such changes in their ecclesiastical constitutions as may have been made at any later epoch. Moreover my argument from the Apocalyptic symbol has reference of course only to main points in the constitution of the Reformed Churches, not to details.
2 It may be well to subjoin, with a view to a right judgment on the scriptural sense of the phrase, all the passages in the New Testament which speak of Christ's headship over the Church.
And first we have Christ figured to us as the head corner-stone of his temple
* Let me contrast the case of the Ministres demissionaires, now Ministers of the Free Church in the Canton de Vaud. Here the first and grand step of the secular government towards the oppression of the Vaudois Church was the abolition by it in 1839, at one fell swoop, and altogether by its own authority, of the Helvetic Confession of Faith.