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anto, but to minister, and to give His life a ransom for many!.” “Ile became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross;" and therefore “God also hath highly exalted Him, and given Him a Name which is above every name.” So is it with us; we rise by selfabasement.
The case is the same in the matter of eating, drinking, and clothing. If we seck them not, we shall have them. “Take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or what shall we drink? or wherewithal shall we be clothed ? For after all these things do the Gentiles seek ; for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you !." We are to seck, not temporal things, but God's righteousness; and temporal things will come, as it were, of their own accord.
Again; what is the command given us about the riches of this world ? “Love not the world, neither the things that are in the world : if any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world“.” Such is the Church's rule. But now, let us hear from the Prophet what the result of it is. “The multitude of camels shall cover thee, the dromedaries of Midian and Ephab. All they from Sheba shall come: they shall bring gold and incense; and they shall show forth the praises of the Lord." What is this but to
· Phil. ii. 8, 9.
I Matt. xx. 25-28.
4 1 John ii. 15, 16.
3 Matt. vi. 31-33.
6 Isa, Ix. 6.
say, that while gold and silver are applied by the Church to the purpose of showing forth the praises of the Lord, they will be given, and may be accepted; but that directly they are loved for their own sake, then they return to their original dust, lose their sanctification, and become "not of the Father, but of the world” ?
Again, universal dominion, or Catholicity, is what all empires of this world have sought after; and what the Church alone has obtained, and obtained from the first: and how? I said it just now, by the bond of gentleness and charity. Other empires have attempted it by ambition; but the kingdom of God by meekness. And such was our Lord's declaration before He set it up. “Blessed are the meek,” He said, “for they shall inherit the earth'.” They shall gain without effort, what the children of men have ever with great efforts been seeking. They shrink and flee from the episcopate of the world, and they are crowned with an ecumenical dominion: they write themselves servants of servants, and they become vicars of Christ. “Lift up thine eyes round about, and see: all they gather themselves together : they come to thee: thy sons shall come from far, and thy daughters shall be nursed at thy side. Then shalt thou see, and flow together, and thine heart shall fear, and be enlarged; because the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto thee, the forces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee?." « Then shalt thou
in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children, and
children, and am desolate, a captive, and I Matt. v. 5,
2 Isa. lx. 45.
removing to and fro? and who hath brought up these ? Behold, I was left alone; these, where had they been '?” The Church finds what she sought not for; and hence our Lord says to St. Peter, « There is no man that hath left house, or brethren, or sisters, or father, or mother, or wife, or children, or lands, for My sake and the Gospel's, but he shall receive an hundredfold, now in this time, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mothers, and children, and lands, with persecutions ?." And in this respect, the Christian Church is prefigured in the history of Solomon, to whom God appeared in a dream, and said, "Ask what I shall give thee;" and next, when he asked for an understanding heart, answered, “Because thou hast not asked for thyself long life, neither hast asked riches for thyself, nor hast asked the life of thine enemies, but hast asked for thyself understanding to discern judgment; behold, I have done according to thy words: Lo, I have given thee a wise and an understanding heart ... and I have also given thee that which thou hast not asked, both riches and honour.”
Such, then, is the law of Christ's kingdom, such the paradox which is seen in its history. It belongs to the poor in spirit; it belongs to the persecuted ; it is possessed by the meek; it is sustained by the patient. It conquers by suffering; it advances by retiring; it is made wise through foolishness. “If any
among you secmeth to be wise in this world, let him become a fool, that he may be wise." Again : “Ye see your calling, brethren, how that not many wise
i Isa. xlix. 21.
; Mark x. 29.
1 Cor. iii. 18.
men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise : and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty; and base things of the world, and things which are despised, hath God chosen ; yea, and things which are not, to bring to nought things that are : that no flesh should glory in His presence '.” Or, as He says elsewhere, contrasting their apparent weakness with their real power, “By houour and dishonour; by evil report and good report; as deceivers, and yet true; as unknown, and yet well known; as dying, and, behold, we live; as chastened, and not killed ; as sorrowful, yet alway rejoicing; as poor, yet making many rich;
as having nothing, and yet possessing all things?."
But here we are brought to a third and very large question, with some mention of which I shall conclude.
3. Temporal power and wealth, though not essential to the Church, are almost necessary attendants on it, as I have already implied. They cannot long be absent from it; it is but a matter of time, as we speak, when they will be added. But if so, the question rises, whether, for instance, Ilerod had not cause to fear Him who was born King of the Jews in Bethlehem. For if the spiritual power of the Gospel Kingdom is followed, as a matter of necessity, by temporal power, what matter to him wiether such temporal power was of the essence of the Church or not? He did not care for theological distinctions; any 1 1 Cor. i. 26-29.
32 Cor. vi. 8-10,
how it belonged to the Church, or was henceforth to belong; that was the practical issue of the whole matter, and it was enough for him to know this. If so, he was right in being jealous of One who was going to resume in His own person, and delegate to His ministers, all power, temporal and spiritual, all over the earth. And again, the Romans too had cause to be jealous, and the cry of the Jews would seem to have reason in it: “Whosoever maketh himself a king speaketh against Cæsar;" and all this in spite of our Lord's most solemn and impressive statement, “My kingdom is not of this world.” Such is the objection.
I answer, in the first place, by granting that Herod and other irreligious kings and states certainly had much reason to fear what was coming on them : especially since we have the plain prophecy in Scripture addressed to the Church, “The nation and kingdom that will not serve thee shall perish.” And the event confirms this conclusion. The Roman power would not serve the Church. It was sagacious enough to discern her aggressive, imperial character from the first. It followed the steps of Herod and Pilate, and it inflicted a series of cruel persecutions upon her. We know well what resulted. The prophecy was accomplished. The nation and kingdom that did not serve the Church perished. The empire was broken; the Church tri. umphed; and then the empire humbled itself. It fell down and worshipped the King of the new kingdom, and it was allowed to live. It rose from its ruins. Rome, that guilty Pagan city, lives to this day (though Babylon is destroyed), because it has become Christian,