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of righteousness, for this reason, because it is a kingdom founded, based in righteousness. This is how the prophecies speak of it. “In righteousness shalt thou be established';" "in mercy shall the throne be established,” “by liberal things shall He stand." "A king shall reign in righteousness, and princes shall rule in judgment." Righteousness shall be the girdle of His loins, and faithfulness the girdle of His reins." It is a kingdom which, from first to last, in every age, endures because of the righteousness which is in it. Earthly kingdoms are founded, not in justice, but in injustice. They are created by the sword, by robbery, cruelty, perjury, craft, and fraud. There never was a kingdom, except Christ's, which was not conceived and born, nurtured and educated, in sin. There never was a state but was committed to acts and maxims which it is its crime to maintain, and its ruin to abandon. What monarchy is there but began in invasion or usurpation? What revolution has been effected without self-will, violence, or hypocrisy? What popular government but is blown about by every wind, as if it had no conscience and no responsibilities? What dominion of the few but is selfish and unscrupulous ? Where is military strength without the passion for war? Where is trade without the love of filthy lucre, which is the root of all evil? But Christ's kingdom was of another sort. It was destined to be powerful and wide-spreading above other kingdoms; it was to be the abode of proud, covetous, ambitious, sensual hearts; it was to look like the kingdoms of this world, first, because of its wealth and power; next, because there were many among its subjects who sought these things. But this is the indelible distinction between it and all other kingdoms, that they spring from evil, and depend on evil; they have their life and strength in bold deeds and bad principles : but that the life of the Church lies, not in inflicting evil, but in receiving it; not in doing, but in suffering; in all those things which the world despises, as being fitter in themselves to pull down an empire than to build it up; in patience, in simplicity, in innocence, in concession, in passiveness, in resignation.
1 Isa. liv. 14.
* Isaxvi. 5; xxxii. 8.
True it is that numberless offences occur in the kingdom; but when its members sin, its original principle is abandoned, and its life is imperilled : on the other hand, by truth, by justice, by mercy, by sanctity, it arose, it gained power, and it keeps it. It awes men into obedience, not by strength of arm, by a soldiery, implements of war, strongholds, silver and gold; for of these it has none : but by its visible tokens of a Divine ministry; by the weapons of God. When the Church displays her proper gifts, she prospers: when she disuses them, she declines. “Put up again thy sword into his place," said our Lord to St. Peter, “for all they that take the sword shall perish with the sword.” “Lord," said James and John, “wilt Thou that we command fire to come down from heaven and consume them, even as Elias did? And He turned and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of; for the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them !.” We conquer by turning the cheek to the smiter; by repaying good for evil; by praying for the persecutor; by giving to him that asks; by suffering for the feeble; by sheltering the widow and the fatherless; by being champions of the poor; by fortitude, firmness, constancy, disinterestedness, fairness, moderation, nobleness, bountifulness, self-sacrifice, and self-command; by patience in enduring ill, and perseverance in doing well. Thus the heavenly kingdom rose at the first : thus, and thus only, in spite of its untrue members, which cumber it, is it still maintained. Thus it fulfils the paradox of being a holy Church, yet containing “not only vessels of gold and of silver, but also of wood and of earth; and some to honour, and some to dishonouro.
1 Matt. vi. 52.
2. What has been said brings to mind another paradox, which is fulfilled in the kingdom of Christ, and which may require some explanation. In the Gospel, Christ's followers are represented as poor, despised, weak, and helpless :—such pre-eminently were the Apostles ; but in the Prophets, especially in Isaiah, the kingdom is represented as rich, and flourishing, and honoured, and powerful, and happy. So much is this the language of prophecy, that the Apostles, till our Lord enlightened them, thought that, in being rulers in His kingdom, they were to inherit the goods of this world. They had been led to look out for a throne like David's, and a king's house like Solomon's : but far different is the nature of Christ's kingdom. At length they learned, what is the truth, that under the 1 Luke ix. 54–56.
9 2 Tim. ü. 20.
Gospel, they who look out for such a throne and such a palace, do never obtain them, or, if so, obtain them to their harm, not to their benefit. In truth, so has it been ordered by Divine Providence, that in the Gospel kingdom is instanced a remarkable law of ethics, which is well known to all who have given their minds to the subject. All virtue and goodness tend to make men powerful in this world ; but they who aim at the power have not the virtue. Again : virtue is its own reward, and brings with it the truest and highest pleasures; but they who cultivate it for the pleasuresake are selfish, not religious, and will never gain the pleasure, because they never can have the virtue. So is it with the Church of Christ. If she were to seek power, wealth, and honour, this were to fall from grace; but it is not less true that she will have them, though she seeks them not, or, rather, if she seeks them not. For when men see disinterested goodness, and holiness which has no selfish aims, and conscientiousness which is strictly bound by a sense of duty, and faith which sacrifices this world for the next, they cannot help giving to those who display these excellences that which such persons are content to lose, and for which they ask not,-credit and influence. He who withdraws himself, is courted; he who solicits favour, is disdained. Satan offered our Lord the glory of all the kingdoms of the world, and He repelled the Evil One; but He gained from His Father what He refused from the Tempter.
So is it with all His followers. The Saints live in sackcloth, and they are buried in silk and jewels. The Church refuses the gifts of this world, but these gifts come to her unbidden. Power, and influence, and credit, and authority, and wealth flow into her, because she does not ask for them : she has, because she does not seek: but let her seek them, and she loses them. She cannot help the accumulation of worldly goods, except by seeking them, except by showing anxiety about them. Men aim at robbing her of them, when they see that she prizes them. They envy her them, when she makes much of them. They grudge her them, and stint her of them, when they see that her ministers squander them on themselves, on their own persons, on their families, their relations, and their dependents; when they convert them into private property, and desecrate them, and leave them away by will for purposes not religious. In this way indeed the Church can keep herself from power and dignity, by making them the direct object of her thoughts. And this the Holy Apostles at first supposed they ought to do. And so is it with the kingdoms of this world. Revenue and property, tribute and tax, are weighty matters necessarily with states and governments; and power, dignity, and honour, wealth and splendour, are considered great prizes by the children of men. But so must it not be with us. “ Before honour is humility." “ Ye know," says our Lord, “that the princes of the Gentiles exercise dominion over them, and they that are great exercise authority upon them. But it shall not be so among you; but whosoever will be great among you, let him be your minister. And whosoever will be chief among you, let him be your servant Even as the Son of man came, not to be ministered