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he dealt not fo with any nation.” Whence is it that the gofpel comes to one nation, and not to another? Why was it given to the Jews under the Old Testament, when it was de nied to the Gentiles? And whence is it, that now, under the New Testament, the gospel is preached to the Gentiles, when it is denied to the Jews? And whence is it, that the gospel is sent to us in this land, when many nations are worthipping the devil, for want of the knowledge of God and of his mind? Why, this is just an act of the sovereign power and pleasure of Zion's King.
2. By his royal authority he has appointed what form of goyernment is to be observed in his visible kingdom. He has not left his church in a state of anarchy, or confusion, or to be moulded according to the fancies of men, as may best serve 'their politic views and designs. Now, every piece of the Old Testament tabernacle was to be placed according to the pattern shewed in the holy mount, much more the New Testa ment church, which is called “ the true tabernacle of David," Acts xv. 16. compared with Amos ix. 11. What that form of government is, has been stated from the word of God, and solemnly sword to by all ranks of the land, since our reforma. tion from Popery. It is true, there are a set of men in the land, that set up for other schemes of government: but they that remove these land-marks, they will do it to their cost,
3. His appointing officers, both ordinary and extraordinary, is another act of the royal authority of the King of Zion. We have an account of these officers of bath kinds, Eph. iv. 11. 12. “When he ascended up on high, (whenever he had fitten down upon his throne of glory above), he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and fome, evangelifts; and some, pastors and teachers ; for the edifying of his body.” Ye know it is the prerogative of the king to nominate and call, and appoint, whom he pleases as officers civil or military, under him in the government of the kingdom; and no man dare, upon his highest peril, assume any of these offices, from the highest to the lowest, without the king's commission; if he Mould, he would be found guilty of treason, and of usurping the king's prerogative: so is it in the kingdom of Christ ; it is his prerogative to call, and send our officers to serve him, "and no man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron." Christ himself did not go without his Father's commission, to act as his viceroy, “I the Lord have called thee, I will hold thine hand, and will help thee;" and if Christ would not run without his Father's commiffion and call, it must be dangerous for any to intrude themselves into
the sacred offices of his kingdom, without his call and commilfion.
4. His appointing and ordaining the way how his officers are to be chosen, and installed visibly in their office, is another act of Christ's royal power and authority, as King of Zion. As it is he that gives gifts unto men, for the edifying of his subjects ; so he has given it as his pleasure, that his visible subjects, or these that are fo in the judgement of charity, should be the electors of the office-bearers in his visible church or kingdom. It has been made evident from Acts i. that when an apoftle was to be chosen in the room of Judas, the hundred 'and twenty persons did nominate and present two to the apostles, and one of these was pitched upon by an immediate determination from heaven, because he was to be an extraordinary officer. It is clear from Acts vi. like a sun-beam, that the multitude of the disciples did elect the seven deacons, and present them for ordination to the apostles. It is contended again it this, that the manner of electing deacons, who were to have the charge of the poor, and of the public money appointed for iheir relief, is no argument for the election of mi. nisters and elders, who are superior officers. But to this it is easily answered, that if it be the privilege of the visible church, and of Christ's visible and credible fubjects, to have the choice of these that are to have the care of their money, much more of those that are to have the care and charge of their precious fouls, which are far more valuable. The argument, from the less to the greater, is strong in this matter. It has been also cleared from Acts xiv. 23. that the apostles, when going through and visiting the churches, which they had formerly, planted, ordained elders, or prefbyters, in every city, by chier. otonie, or stretching out of the hand, which was the common way of taking the voices of the people at that time, both in civil and sacred affairs. So that the manner of electing ministers and other officers in :he church, is not left to a patron, a presbytery, or to men that are heritors in this world ; no, but it is a privilege that belongs unto the subjects of Christ's king. dom, or to the community of these who are vilbly of, and in, the communion of the church of Christ, and who are walk. ing according to his laws; by which means all ignorant, erroneous, or scandalous persons, or these that are not of the communion of the church, are evidently excluded. And this privilege of electing ministers and officers to the church, continued in the church till about seven hundred years after Christ, when it was violently wretted from them by the usurpations of Popery. 5. Another act of Christ's royal power and authority in his
viable church, is his appointing ordinances for worship to be dispensed by ministers of the gospel, such as the public preaching of the gospel; “ Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” This is the great ordinance of God for gathering of subjects unto Christ's kingdom, and for the edifying of these that are brought in. And then there is the ordinance of baptism to be dispensed " in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghoft."" The ordinance of the supper, “What we received of the Lord, that we are to deliver," i Cor. xi. 23. And there is public prayer and praise, catechifing, both in public, and teaching from house to house. These and the like ordinances, for edification and worship, Christ, as King of Zion, has appointed to be dispensed by ministers in his visible kingdom .
6. Christ, as King of Zion, has appointed censures for difcipline and good order in his kingdom, for the removal of of. fences, and preventing the leaven of fin and scandal from running through and defiling his church, such as private and public admonition, reproof,exhortation, and:the sentences of great: er and leffer excommunication. These are called “the keys of the kingdom ; and when these keys, or censures, are exercised according to Christ's appointment, by the officers of his king, dom, " what they bind on earth, is bound in heaven, and what they loose on earth, is loosed in heaven.” The apostle wris ting to the Corinthians anent the scandal of inceit, he appoints such a person to be excommunicate, and delivered over to Satan, 1 Cor. V. 4. 5.; and the reason he gives for pafling such a censure, with respect to the church, is, that she might not be defiled with that impure leaven, “Know ye not that a little leaven leaveneth the whole lump?” And it is the opinion of Dr Owen, in his treatise upon schism, that, whenever a vigible church comes to that pass, that she will not, or cannot, purge herself of notour and evident scandals, the, in that case, is to be departed from ; and the reason is, because the has lost or caft away the keys of the kingdom, committed to her by her great King, and then error and scandal runs without controul, till the whole mass be defiled.
7. Christ, as King of his visible church, has authorised the officers of his kingdom to meet in a judicative capacity, in his
name and authority, for the better and joint regulating of · the affairs of his kingdom. I cannot now ftand to illustrate
this head ; it is done to excellent purpose by the Westminlter Allembly, and approven by the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in the year ices, bound in with our Confeilion of Faith, entided, The Form of Preíbyitrial Church-government; to which I refur.
8. Chirit 8. Chrift by his authority, as King of Zion, has bounded and limited all the courts and officers of his kingdom, to govern his subjects, and to teach them no other thing than he has commanded, Matth. xxviij. 19. 20. “ Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you." So that, if the officers, or courts of Christ's kingdom, begin to « teach for doctrines the commandments of men,” ot to impose any laws upon his subjects than what Christ has given, they have good reason to alk, By what authority such or such things are done ? and to disregard all such laws or impositions.
9. Christ, as King of Zion, has given express orders unto all his fubjects, to examine all spirits, all doctrines, all laws and impositions, at the bar of the word, and to contend earnestly for the purity of his truth and worship, ordinances and institutions ; Jude 3. “ Contend earnestly for the faith delis vered unto the saints." Where it is considerable, that the keeping of the truth and purity of doctrine, is not simply com. mitted to ministers, or officers of his house, but to faints, i. es to the whole visible church; it is a trust for which they are to be accountable, if, through their neglect, it fall in the Areets ; therefore commanded to contend par neflly for it. And as fot Christian liberty, they are to do the fame, as is plain from Gal. v. 1. “ Stand fait in the liberties wherewith Chrift hath made you free, that you be not entangled," &cIn these things every subject of Christ is to be a soldier. .
10. Christ acts as King of Zion, when he refents injuries done to his kingdom or subjects, and sent and called officers. Sometimes the King of Zion has resented vilble injuries done to his visible church, in a very open and vilible manner; he “ makes Jerusalem å burdensome stone unto her enemies," Zech. xii. 3. : and ver. 2. he “ makes Jerusalem a cup of trembling unto all the people found about ;” for the injuries done to Jerusalem God pulls down the nobles of Babylon, and dashes the Babylonith empire in pieces. So, for his true and loyal subjects he gives a charge unto the world, to beware of offending them, or doing them hurt ; for, says he, “ it were better for them," that do it, “that a millstone were hanged about their necks, and they caft into the midst of the fear" And as for the ministers and office-bearers, he says, “ Touch hot mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." They that receive them, coming in their Mafter's name, they receive himself, and his Father, and they that despise them, despise him, and him that sent him. The sound of their King's feet is behind them, when going his errands, Matth. xxvii. ult. "Lo, I am with you alway even unto the end of the world."
And it is our hearty prayer to God, that none who flight or despise us may fall under the resentment of our great and glo, rious King, but that his mercy may speedily prevent it by their repentance.
11. Christ, as King of Zion, removes his royal standard from one people or nation to another. When a people have long enjoyed the gospel, and the ordinances of his worship, and continue barren under them, and flight his ordinances, officers, and laws, in that case, by his royal authority, he translates the seat of his visible kingdom, and the badges of his presence, else. where : hence Christ tells the Jews, that his kingdom was to be taken from them, and given to a people that would make, better use of it.. So dealt he with the churches of the Lesser Asia ; so has he dealt with many famous and once flourishing churches; to this purpose is what you read concerning “the vineyard of the Lord of hosts, the house of Israel," Il. v. Thus I have given you an acoount of some of the royal actings of the King of Zion, with respect to his church as The is a viable society of men and women, profelling allegiance to him. . I shall conclude this head of Christ's royal administration, as King of Zion, by giving you an account of fome of his royal and kingly actings at the end of the world, when his mystical body is consummate and perfected. As, . 1. He will then “ descend from heaven," in an awful manner, “ with a fhout, wich the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God.” And when he comes he will shake heaven and earth: 2 Pet. ii. 10-12. 6. The day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night, in the which the heavens shall pass away, with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burnt up," &c. His kingdom will then come with observation to all the world : Rev. i. 7. “Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him."
2. He will erect his throne of judgement in the clouds or visible heavens, how awful will the bench of judgement be, when he takes his seat ! Dan, vii. And,
3. He will raise the dead, “ All that sleep in the grave shall come forth, Dan. xii. 2. &c. Not an infant of a span long, that was ever endowed with a rational soul, shall be left behind in the grave. : 4. He will gather all nations to him, and make a separation between the righteous and the wicked, setting the one upon his left hand, and the other on his right hand. is. There will be a public trial of all persons, and of all their adions; “ he will bring every work into judgement, with ever Vol. II. ... 3 Z