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For not only our words spoken, but also our works performed by such light are a part of the life. As a man's life is made up of works either performed or directed by him, so is the life of Christ : the works of piety and charity wrought in obedience to his precepts are as much a part of his life as the miracles that he wrought by his word, or the ordinary works of his hands: they will be so taken by the Father, namely as works wrought by him; and all that is not so wrought will be rejected by the Father, as filth, abomination and refuse.
Our affinity and subordination to Christ, and acceptance with the Father in him, that is as members of Christ, making us liege subjects and multiple mediates of the Kingdom of God upon earth, is the very essence of Gospel doctrine and living, or of Christian Modes of thinking and doing. It is the true secret of the Passover and of the Eucharist: “For we are made partakers of Christ, if we hold the beginning of our confidence steadfast unto the end” (Heb. iii. 14). It is the principal drift of divine revelation in both Testaments as far as it regards the salvation and recovery of all mankind, who were lost in one by the only means of one, and also in him.
“For as by one man's disobedience many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous” (Rom. v. 19). It was by their confidence in this one that the fathers lived before: “for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them; and that rock was Christ” (Cor. I. x. 4). It was by their confidence in this one that many subjects or disciples lived with him, daily hearing and seeing, as he says, what many prophets and kings had desired to see (Luke x. 24). It is by their confidence in this one, that so many following both him and them live and bave lived believing on him through their word (John xvii. 20; xx. 29): and that all together are one in him-by necessity or implication as before explained *.
* Vol. I. p. 130.
If according to the common acceptation of the word any one may call himself Christ's, and arrogate to himself the honourable appellation of a Christian, who tacitly admits the truth of Christianity, though it be a concern that he has either wholly neglected, or never been duly qualified to consider—that acceptation is more common than just. It is not by common acceptation any more than by empty profession, that our Christianity is to be tested; nor yet by self conceit, but by CHRISTIAN MODES OF
“Let us search, and try OUR WAYS” (Lam. iii. 40) says the prophet. “Yea; and why even of yourselves judge ye not what is right?” says our Lord (Luke xii. 57). “For not every one that saith unto me Lord, Lord, shall enter into the Kingdom of Heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in Heaven” (Matt. vii. 21). That is Christianity, and its subject or doer--a Christian, or one with Christ by an unity of Spirit, as above specified. “ Now if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his” (Rom. viii. 9): he is one of the sort, class, or relation to be next considered.
RELATIONS OF THE KINGDOM.
OBJECTIVE OR DEGRADED.
1. Primitive.--2. Derivative.
“ He is cast forth as a branch.”_JOHN xv. 6.
If we consider what may be called the Shading or Transition of relations in the Kingdom from one class or degree to another, downward, we shall find, that however decided either of the three, namely Subjective, mediate and objective, here specified may be in itself, and however distinct each from its successor-as the Subjective from the mediate, and the mediate from the objective-either of them shall still enter and be entered by other receiving and received, without any alteration or confusion either of character or substance. And if we look into the nature of government, of which a kingdom is one species, we may see in that very term examples of this reciprocity from highest to lowest, either relation being here included equally with the other two: as; first, the subjective or supreme power is the government; so 2, is the mediate or ministry with all its means of governing; so 3, is the objective or antithesis of the subjective, whether considered as persons, places or things. Thus a viceroy goes to his government, being himself only the medium of an authority which is understood in him. So that it would seem as if the objective relation, at which we are now arrived, and which it is of consequence to distinguish from the very lowest shade of the mediate immediately preceding it, was referable by inference not only to every shade of that relation, but also by means of that in a degree to the Subjective or Highest. So day and night are referable to all the earth ; and there is not a part of the same but partakes in these vicissitudes, albeit they are perfectly distinct in themselves, and not more distinct than the relation just dismissed and that which we are now considering may be made by means of a single criterion.
This single criterion consisting in obedience to the faith of Christ (Rom. i. 5), if single, is not insulated or independent, however; but a symptom or forerunner of many in its way, which are not to be met with or expected in the objective relation. For all government supposes an opposition in as well as towards its object, and proceeds entirely on that supposition-having for its end to prevent evil, and “knowing this, that the law is not made for a righteous man, but for the lawless and disobedient; for the ungodly and for sinners, for unholy and profane, for murderers of fathers and murderers of mothers, for manslayers, for whoremongers, for them that defile themselves with mankind, for men stealers, for liars, for perjured persons, and if there be any other thing (PRACTICAL of course like the rest) that is contrary to sound doctrine” (Tim. I. i. 9, 10), or to "the light of the glorious gospel of Christ” (Cor. II. iv. 4). “For (as he says himself) every one that doeth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. But he that doeth truth cometh to the light, that his deeds may be made manifest, that they are wrought in God” (John iii, 20, 21).
The objective relation is a state of night-of“ such as sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, being fast bound in misery and iron ; because they rebelled against the words of the Lord, and lightly regarded the counsel of the most Highest.” (Ps. cvii. 10, 11). And the end of true government is, not to restrain or confine its subjects in darkness, but “to open the blind eyes, to bring out the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house” (Isai. xlii. 7). A true government is properly the light of the subject : and as it is the province of light to chase away darkness from the earth, so is it of every true government to chase away evil, to diminish the number of objectives in its sphere by converting them into mediates.
Objectives cannot in the nature of things be those who willingly cooperate, and are in a manner identified with government by such cooperation and a sameness of spirit: they must therefore be those who oppose the government, and to whom the government is opposed, as aforesaid, and as intimated again by St. Paul in another place, where he says that "rulers are not a terror to good works, but to the evil ” (Rom. xiii. 3). And of this mutual opposition of the Subjective and objective through the mediate relation we have an apposite illustration considering the derivation of Objective, in a saying also of our Saviour's; where, alluding to his own rejection by his countrymen, like "the Stone which the builders rejected,” he adds,“ Whosoever shall fall on this stone shall be broken : but on whomsoever it shall fall, it will grind him to powder” (Matt. xxi. 44). Whoever shall set his face against the truth in Jesus will begin an assault upon himself, or his own principles; and by the same breach the insulted majesty of truth will soon complete his moral dissolution.
From what has been premised then it may appear, how the objectives in the relation of government will be simply its opponents, those of the divine including naturally all mankind; though God forbid that they should be all and always his enemies ! its friends and advocates being generally taken up in the relation of mediates just considered,