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fhine like the stars, yea, like the sun in the kingdom of their Father. . .
4. The kingdom of Christ in this world is a kingdom of light. The church is called the valley of vision," because of the light of the revelation that shines in it. ; Wherever Christ rets up his kingdom in a land, though it “ fat in dark. nels," the people of it are 'made to “ see great light.” Light arifes to them that " får in the regions of the fladow of death.". And all that are thë trứe subjects of Christ's Kingdom, they are "trandated out of darkness into his marvellous light;" the light of the glory of God, in the face of Christ, shines into their hearts.,
§. It is a heavenly kingdom. Matth. lii. 2. fays John Bap? tist, when Christ was come to set up Kis Itandard, and sway his fceptre among the Jews, “ Repent ye; for the kingdom of heaven is at hand." And Heb. xii. 22. « Yé até come unto mount Zion, unto the heavenly Jerufalem.” An the loyal subjects of the kingdom are heaven-born, &c. ; they are all pointing toward heaven in their way, and walk, and traffic, their “ conversation is in heaven;" and they are looking for "à better country, that is, an heavenly," Heb. xi. 16.
6. It is a regular and well governed kingdom: " Jerusalem is a city compa&tly built together. We have a description of the regularity and good order of the kingdom of Christ, under the notion of a city built four-square, Rev. xxi. "See to this purpose, Eph. iv. 16. There are many irregularities and diforders in the church of Christ, as she is managed by the hands of men, a's sad expérience testifies among us at this day; but as she is under the administration of the great King tlat God has fet in the midst of her, there is nothing but beauty and order. If the church of Christ were, even his viâblé militant church, governed exactly according to Zion's laws, by her prerended ollicers, there would be nothing but order and beauty in the whole kingdom; but when men go about to make other laws than the laws of Christ, and to make their will the standard of government, rather than the will of the greaf King, this casts all into confusion, and yet even these consue sions are managed by the King for the advantage of his true kingdom and subjects, and in due time he will bring light out of darkness, and order out of confusion.* . 7. The true kingdom of Christ is a kingdom that is much hated by the devil and the world. She is just the eye-fore of hell, and all its confederates ; hence we are told in the begin. ning of this pfalm, that when Christ comes to set up his kinga dom, " The Heathen rage, the people imagine mischief, the kings of the earth, and princes thereof, take counfel" how
to suppress this kingdom of Christ. ·. The gates of hell wage war against the kingdom of Christ. The world loves its own, who are under the government of the “ god of this world,” and who "' walk according to the course of this world ;” but they hate the laws, the ordinances, the discipline, and subjects of Christ's kingdom; they are intolerable unto them, and therefore they are always tryiog to make themselves rid of chem: hence are all the reproaches, afflictions, persecutions, and mafsacres of the followers of Christ, that we read of both in sacred and profane history. ; 8. Notwithstanding of this, the kingdom of Christ, is a stable, firm, and everlasting kingdom ; it is like the " little stone cut out of the mountain,” that dalhes all the kingdoms of the earth in pieces, and yet itself is not dashed or broken. As the King of Zion is himself "the everlasting God," so his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and of his dominion there shall be no end.” He shall "rule over the house of Jacob for ever and ever.”
9. The kingdom which Christ governs is a holy kingdom. The church of Christ, even his visible church, is a fančtified society, federally holy ; you see in the text it is called the holy kill of Zion. All the members of the viâble church are dedicate to God in baptism, in which ordinance we renounce all filthiness both of the flesh and spirit, and are folemnly engaged to wage war against Tin, and to “relift it even unto blood." The design of all church discipline, and of all ordinances, ministers, officers, and judicatories, is to preserve the church, or kingdom of Chrilt, from.corruption, either in principle or practice, that she may be a holy lump unto him. Whenever any scandal breaks out in a church, it is to be purged out by the discipline of Christ's appointment, left that leaven leaven the whole lump, and provoke the Lord, the holy One of Israel, to depart from her. ' i Cor. iii. 17. the church is called the temple of God: “ The teniple of God is holy; and if any man defile the temple of God, him will God destroy.” If this word of God be true, as I am sure it is, they stand but a sorry chance at this day, who are defiling the church of Christ, by complicated and multiplied Scandals, of which I have taken notice in the preceding part of this discourse. ::
The fourth thing here was, to discourse a little concerning the actual execution and administration of the kingdom of Christ, as Mediator. Now, this falls under a twofold conlideration. I. We may consider it as having a respect unto his general mediatory kingdom, over all things for his church. Ör, 2. With respect unto his special mediatory kingdom, os administration in and over his church.
First, I say, we may consider Christ's government, as it relates, unto his general mediatory kingdom. And so it takes in all things in heaven; earth, and hell, for "things in heaven, things on earth, and things under the earth, must bow at the name of Jesus, and every tongue muft confess, thrat he is the Lord, and that he hath all power and authority in heaven and in earth.” Now, considering Christ's kingdom in this extensive view, his government and administration takes in these few things following. .
1. His sustaining and ' upholding of all things by the word of his power, as the apostle speaks, Heb. m. 3. Our Redeeme er, our Almighty King of Zion, is none other than the great God that made the heavens and the earth : John i. 3. “ With. out him was not any thing made that was made. By the word of the Lord, were the heavens made: and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth.” And as he made all things by a word, so by the word of his power he upholdeth them in their being ; “ by him all things confift," Col. i. 17. This world is like a great theatre, upon which a glorious scene was to be acted, for the glory and honour of the free grace of God, in the salvation of a certain number of the loft race of Adam; and whenever the scene is ended, in the salvation of the last eled soul, the theatre is to be taken down, and then “ the heavens will pass away with a great noise,” &c.; but, until the scene be ended, the theatre, and all things in it, is upheld by the royal power and authority of the King of Zion...
2. Christ, the King of Zion, by virtue of his general mediatory power and authority, permits devils and wicked nien to be, and act as they do ; for “ the deceived and the deceiver are his,” Job xii. 16. There we are told, that he suffered all nations to walk in their own way; he suffers the devil and perfecutors sometimes, for holy and wise ends, cruelly to harass and persecute the righteous; to this purpose is that which he fays to the church of Smyrna, Rev. ii. 10.“ Fear none of those things which thou shalt suffer: behold, the devil shall cast some of you into prison, that ye may be tried; and ye shall have tribulation ten days : but be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life.” Thus, Rev. xii. he suffered the old dragon “ to make war with the woman, and her feed, which kėpt the commandments of God, and the testimony of Jesus.” This permillive power and providence, which Chrill, as King of Zion, exercises with relation to the enemies of his church and people, is a glorious ground of encouragement to them in all their trials and troubles, that it is the Lord that allows the enemy to do this or that; especially if it be cons
3. That 3. That by this absolute power of the King of Zion; he rea straias and bridles up devils and men, and fàys to them, as he doth to the proud waves of the sea; 'Hitherto "shalt thou come, but no further." Psal. Ixxvi. To:« The wrath of man shall praise thee: and the remainder of his wrath wilt thou restrain." Thus he restrained both Laban's and Efau's refentment against Jacob, and Sennacherib in his destructive des signs against the whole kingdom of Judah and Jerusalem. Christ, as King of Zion, he has his chain about the devil's neck, and the necks of all his wicked instruments in the world, and whenever they have gone the length of the link of the chain, which he has ordained, he gives the chain à pull, and then they are obliged to stop; the remainder of their wrath he doth reftrain and bind up. We see this in the case of fob; when the devil was let loose to harafs him, he went ay as far as his chain allowed him, but then he could go to further, till his chain was lengthened; and the same is the cafe with rea? spect unto his church and people: Rev. *$. 1 3. he lays hold on the dragoni, that old serpent, the devil; and binds him a thousand years with a great chain. The devil and his in. struments at this day are burdened with the word of Christ's patience and testimony, and gladly would they destroy the witnesses, and all that cleave to his testimony; but they are like so many dogs, or lions chained by the King of Zion, they can go no further than he allows them; and he will allow them to 'go no further than" he sees for his glory, and his people's good.
4. Another act of Christ's royal and abfolute power, as King of Zion, is his protecting and defending his church in the midst of the most threatening and imminent dangers ; hence they are called by the apostle Jude, the preserved in Chrift Jesus." You know when Christ appeared unto Moses in the bush, he faw the bush burning in the midst of the fire, yet the bush was not confumed'; the thing represented thereby unto Mofes was, the present situation of the church of Ifrael in Egypt, they were under sharp and exquisite sufferings under their cruel taskmasters; and the safety of the bush in the midst of the flames, represented the fafety of Israel in the midst of all these troubles, under the care and tuition of Christ, that he would not suffer them to be fwallowed up by their cruel enemies; no, he would fee to their fafety, " in the floods of great waters they shall not be overwhelmed," and in the hote' test flames they shall not be confumied, &c. .
5. By the royal authority of Zion's King, he over-rules and governs all creatures, and all their actions, yea, the most dark and cloudy dispensations, for his own and his Father's glory,
and for the good and advantage of his church and people, according to that promise, Rom. viii. 28.! All things shall work together for good, to them that love God.” We see at this day very ftrange things casting up in the wheel of provi, dence; we hear of wars and rumours of wars abroad; we fee the mighty pulled out of their seats by death ; we see figns in the heavens above, much like these that were seen before the destruction of Jerusalem ; we see the winds blowing in the barn of the vibble church, much chaff casting up, many blown away from their former profession ; wę seę God making a separation between there that fear him, and others that are void of his fear; we see the enemy raging in the Lord's fanctuary, breaking down the carved work of the temple, and the crown of Chrilt profaned, and let upon the head of a mortal creature. Well, sense and reason, when it Gts judge of these and the like dispensations, it is put to a nonplus; but if the eye of faith be opened, it will see the King of Zion, by his power, ruling and over-ruling all these ups and downs to the advantage of his kingdom, and the on-carrying of the designs of his glory in the salvation of his mystical body.
6. By his royal power, as King of Zion, he avenges himself and his church upon all his and their enemies, as we see in the close of this psalm, “He shall break them as with a rod of iron, and dash them in pieces as a potter's vessel.” The beast and the falle prophet, and the great whore, Gog, and Magog, death and hell, shall be "caft into the lake of fire and brimstone,” Rev. xx. Pfal, cx.' he will make his enemies his footstool, he will strike through kings in the day of his wrath, fill the places with dead bodies, and wound the heads over many nations."
7. He will, at last, finaily liberate his church and people. from all these evils, sorrows, and troubles, under which ihe groans, Rev. xxi. 3. 4. These are some of the acts of Christ's: government, in his general mediatory, kingdom, over all things.
But, secondly, i come, more particularly, to congder the go, vernment of the King of Zion in his church, and among his, people, which is his particular kingdom, And here again, with respect to his invisible kingdom of believers, there are these acts of his royal power that he puts forth.
1. He fubdues them to himself. By, nature they are the vasals of hell,'' walking according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit that rules in the children of disobedience.” But in a day of his power, by swaying the rod of his strength, he makes of rebels 4 willing people; he convinces them of fin and misery, makes his arrows, tarp: in the heart of his enemies; he enlightens their