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known these laws, and to see that they are regularly and impartially observed, and to exercise proper discipline, he has appointed proper officers. Matt. 18:17, 18; 1 Cor. 12: 28. These laws he also administers to his people internally. Christ our King is Immanuel, God as well as man, and he makes his laws to reach the inner man as well as the outward ear.

He sets up his kingdom where no other can reach. He rules the will and affections; his power binds the conscience, and he subdues men's lusts. Micah, 7: 19. He writes his law in their hearts, and powerfully inclines and overrules them, by his Spirit, unto obedience. Isa. 30: 21; Heb. 8: 10.

This law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ Jesus, makes them free from the law of sin and death. Rom. 8:2. Here is much strictness, but no bondage; for the law is not only written in Christ's statute-book, the Bible, but copied out by his Spirit upon the hearts of his subjects in correspondent principles; which makes obedience a pleasure, and self-denial easy. Christ's yoke is lined with love, so that it never galls the necks of his people. 1 John, 5:3. His commandments are not grievous.

$ 3. He gives them necessary support and help under all their sufferings, troubles, and temptations." In all their afflictions he was afflicted, and the angel of his presence saved them : in his love and in his pity he redeemed them; and he bare them, and carried them all the days of old." Isa. 63:9. He can employ all creatures, all elements, for the good of his people. Hence the earth helped the woman; and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth.” Rev. 12:16. And of the angels he says, "Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation ?" Heb. 1:14.

There are many temptations Satan uses to draw Christ's subjects from their allegiance to himself. Believers, therefore, need to be preserved and supported under them, that

they may not prove their ruin. Thus Christ, their King, manages the affairs of his kingdom for their advantage, and they frequently realize the truth of the apostle's declaration, “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, ho will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape,

ye may

be able to bear it.” 1 Cor. 10:13.

§ 4. Christ corrects his people for their sins.

Though afflictions, absolutely considered, are not to be desired, nevertheless, since they are sometimes needful, 1 Pet. 1:6, and conducive to our spiritual advantage, they are included in the blessings of the covenant of grace. How much soever nature dreads them, yet Christ's subjects consider them as designed for their good, and therefore not only submit to them, but conclude that herein he deals well with them. Hence, when he visits their transgressions with the rod, and their iniquities with stripes, they reckon that he deals with them as a merciful and gracious sovereign, and not as an enemy; since his design is to heal their backslidings and prevent a worse evil.

He withdraws peace and takes away joy from the spirits of his people. The hidings of his face are sore rebukes. However, all is for emendation, and not for destruction. And it is not the least privilege of Christ's subjects to have a seasonable and sanctified rod to reduce them from the ways of sin. Psa. 23 : 3." Thy rod and thy staff they com. fort me.” Others are suffered to go on stubbornly in the way of their own hearts; Christ will not spend a rod upon them for their good, will not call them to account for any of their transgressions, but will reckon with them for all together in hell.

§ 5. He defends and preserves them from their enemies.

As he has a sceptre to rule them with, so shield to defend them. " Thou, O Lord, art a shield for me." Psa. 3:3. The kingdom of Christ always had, and

also a

ever will have many enemies; such as the devil, the flesh, and the world; but he preserves his people, notwithstanding all their cunning and furious attempts. He preserves his kingdom as a spark in the ocean, as a flock of sheep amongst wolves. He shuts the mouths of lions, and re. strains the fiery furnace; as the bush, though it burned, would not consume. “ I the Lord keep it; I will water it every moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night and day.” Isa. 27:3. Zech. 2: 5. Yea, he defends and preserves every particular believer. It was the Messiah that appeared unto Moses in the flaming bush, and preserved it from being consumed. The bush signified our people in Egypt; the fire flaming in it, the exquisite sufferings they endured; the safety of the bush amidst the flames, the Lord's wonderful care and protection over that suffering people. This was a striking emblem of Messiah's conduct to his subjects, and is confirmed by promise; "I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand.” John, 10:28.

They are kept by the mighty power of God, through faith, unto salvation. 1 Pet. 1: 5. Kept as in a garrison, according to the import of that word. None are better de. fended, none more safe, than the people of God. They are preserved in Christ Jesus. Jude, 1. It is not their own grace that secures them, but Christ's care and continual watchfulness. Our own graces, left to themselves, would quickly prove but weights sinking us to our own ruin, as one speaks. This is his covenant, Jer. 32: 40; "I will put my

fear in their hearts, that they shall not depart from me." 96. Christ bestows many privileges upon his people, and rewards them for their services.

There is nothing lost in serving him. He always gives them inward peace and joy, and sometimes riches and honor, even in this life; and, in the world to come, " an eternal weight of glory,” 2 Cor. 4: 17, and a crown of life. "Godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of

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the life that now is, and of that which is to come." 1 Tim. 4:8. Though all they do for Christ be duty, yet he has united their comfort with their duty; " This I had, because I kept thy precepts." Psa. 119:56. He is a bountiful "rewarder of them that diligently seek him.” Heb. 11:6.

§ 7. He receives, at death, all and every one of his subjects unto glory.

He who guides them now by his counsel, will afterward receive them to glory. The kingdom of grace trains up children for the kingdom of glory; it is the kingdom of heaven begun here below; the difference betwixt them is not in kind, but only in degree. The King is the same, and the subjects the same; the subjects of the kingdom of grace, at death, inherit the kingdom of glory.

I proceed now to consider Christ's administration with respect to his enemies.

$ 8. He has them entirely under his control. He

possesses all power in heaven and on earth. Devils cannot stir without his permission; they could not enter the herd of swine till he gave them leave. Well might the apos. tle say, " If God be for us, who can be against us?" Rom. 8:31.

§ 9. He uses them for the good of his people. Rom. 8: 28. Herein much of his wisdom as well as of his kindness is manifested.

Nothing displays more remarkably the admirable counsel of heaven, than snaring the wicked in the work of their own hands. History abounds with examples of those who were ministers of Providence in accomplishing purposes directly contrary to those they had in view. Instance the cruelty of the sons of Jacob. Thus the wrath of Pharaoh against the Israelites, and his unjust attempts to detain them in bondage, proved the occasion of bringing them forth from the land of slavery. Thus the inhuman plot which Haman had formed for the ruin of Mordecai, and extirpating the whole of the Jewish nation, proved the way for Mordecai's high promotion. Job, 5:12, 13.

Sometimes, indeed, we cannot see from the beginning of an afflictive providence the end thereof, or what advantage he designs thereby; but the words of Christ to Peter are applicable to all his subjects; “What I do thou knowest not now; but thou shalt know hereafter.” John, 13:7. Hereafter we shall see how every step which Christ has taken in the management of his government has had a subserviency to promote our spiritual advantage here, and our everlasting salvation hereafter.

10. He frequently restrains their enemies. Though they are permitted to annoy his people, yet he sets bounds to their power, as he does to the raging waves of the sea, over which they cannot pass. Job, 1:10; Psa. 76: 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." Rev. 2:10. They would have cast them into their graves, but it should only be into prison; they would have stretched out their hands upon them all, but only some of them shall be exposed; and they would have kept them there perpetually, but it must be for ten days only. Similar are the words of Jehovah by the prophet Ezekiel; “Behold, the princes of Israel, every one were in thee to their power to shed blood.". Ezek. 22:6; they went as far as they had power to go, but not as far as they had inclination. Again, four hundred and thirty years were determined upon our fathers in Egypt, and then, even in the very night, God brought them forth, for then the time of the promise was come. Acts, 7 : 17.

$11. Christ will ultimately destroy them, and completely triumph over them. As he has a golden sceptre to rule his people in love, so also he has an iron rod to break his enemies in wrath. Psa. 2; Rev. 17:12, 14. His enemies may set up their standard, but Christ would set up his trophies. Rev. 14:18, 19. They shall be his footstool. Psa. 110: 1. As Joshua put his feet upon the necks of the conquered kings, so will Christ put his feet upon the necks of all his

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