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figurative one. It surely denotes some real dominion appertaining to Christ, a dominion exercised and acknowledged now, but to have a wider range and recognition in the ages to come. What then is this kingdom, and what its special character and scope ? That is the subject now to be discussed. And in the treatment of it I desire unreservedly to submit myself to the guidance of the Inspired Word. Let me crave, then, the reader's careful and candid attention, while I set before him what that Word seems to me to reveal concerning Christ's kingdom, as to its present aspect and operation, its future
manifestations and developments, and its ultimate Cor. xv. 24–28. issue and consummation. He must reign, we are
told, till He hath put all his enemies under his feet. Then cometh the end, when, all things having been made subject unto Him, He shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and Himself become subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.
Now the first point, and one carefully to be noted, is this, that the kingdom of Christ as such, the kingdom, i.e., which appertains to Him as the Christ, is ever spoken of as an acquired kingdom, a kingdom that He received, a kingdom conferred
Thus, for instance, just before his Matt. zzviii. 18. ascension, Christ said to his disciples, 'All power
is given unto me in heaven and in earth.' 'Him,' said St. Peter to the Jews, hath God exalted to be a Prince.' More explicitly still is this truth set forth by St. Paul, as when, for instance, he prays
for the Ephesians that the God of our Lord Jesus E h. i. 17–23.
Christ, the Father of Glory, would enlighten them
A ts v. 31.
to know the exceeding greatness of his power to usward who believe, according to the working of his mighty power, which He wrought in Christ when He raised Him from the dead, and made Him sit at his right hand in the heavenly places, above all rule and authority and power and lordship, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come, and put all things in subjection under his feet, and gave Him to be head over all things to the Church, which is his body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.
The dominion of Christ, then, it seems clear from these and kindred passages, is one conferred upon Him ; it is a dominion that as Christ He had not before. Hence some have sought to raise an argument upon this, prejudicial to the deity of Christ. It is argued that exaltation implies previous inferiority to and dependence on Him who confers it; that if Christ were truly God He could not be exalted, or receive what He had not before. But this will be no difficulty to those who have a clear apprehension of the Incarnation of the Son of God, and of its mediatorial purpose. To be the mediator between God and man, and to effect the redemption of man, the Son of God became Man ; uniting in his one person, as the Christ, two whole and perfect natures, the Godhead and the Manhood. In this his mediatorial person and capacity, He subordinated Himself to the will of his father for a special work, receiving for that work special qualifications, and earning by its accomplishment à specific reward. My meat,' He said unto his disciples, 'is to do the will of Him that sent me, John iv. 34.
Isa. ri. 2.
Isa, lci. 1-3.
Heb. ii. 2.
and to finish his work. To qualify Him for this his divine mission, the spirit of the Lord did rest upon Him, the spirit of wisdom and understanding, the spirit of counsel and might, the spirit of knowledge and of the fear of the Lord. This qualification Christ distinctly recognized and claimed, when in the synagogue of Nazareth He applied and appropriated to Himself that prophecy, The spirit of the Lord is upon me, because He hath anointed me to preach good tidings to the meek,' etc. And as a special qualification was imparted to Him for his mission, so was a specific reward associated with it. That mission involved humiliation and death. But for the joy that was set before Him He endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God. The way to the crown lay through the cross. Therefore did He say to the two disciples, who were perplexed and distressed by the death of Him whom they had regarded as the Messiah, 'Was it not necessary that the Christ should suffer these things, and enter into his glory?' This meritorious relation of the exaltation of Christ to his suffering and death is very clearly and decidedly set forth by St. Paul : ‘Let
this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, Phil. ii. 5–11. who, though He was in the form of God, regarded
not the being equal with God a thing to be grasped at, but emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, being made in the likeness of men ; and when found in fashion as a man He humbled Himself by becoming obedient even to the extent of death, and that the death of the cross. Wherefore also God highly exalted Him, and gave Him
Leche xxiv. 26.
the name which is above every name, in order that in the name of Jesus every knee should bend, of those in heaven and those on earth and those under the earth, and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.'
The foregoing passage leads us on to a further truth concerning the kingdom. It tells us that the great end and purpose of Christ's exaltation was the glory of God the Father, in the homage and submission to be rendered in the name of Jesus by all things in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and in their acknowledgment of the sovereignty of the Saviour King. And with this agree numerous other passages, which speak of the kingdom and its design. Unto us a Child is born, unto Isa. ic. 6, 7. us a Son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever.' • Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will Jer. xxiii. 6, 7. raise unto David a righteous Branch, and a King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth ; and this is his name, whereby He shall be called, The Lord our Righteousness. “I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one Dun. vii. 13, 14. like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. . And there was given Him
dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.' Immediately before his ascension “Jesus came and spake unto his disciples, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. And the reason, for this his investiture with supreme power, is significantly enough indicated in the words that follow, Go ye, therefore, make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost, teaching them to observe and do all things whatsoever I command you.' And, to refer to one more passage, St. Paul distinctly intimates that all things have been put under the feet
of Christ, in order that all things may be brought 1 Cor. xv. 24–28. into subjection to Him ; that his reign must last,
until every enemy has been done away ; that when that has been accomplished, when all things shall have become subject to Him, then will He deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and Himself become subject to Him who invested Him with supreme dominion, that God may be all in all.
A further truth concerning the kingdom is dis
closed in the following passage : « Thus speaketh Zech. vi. 12–13. the Lord of Hosts, saying, Behold the Man whose
name is The Branch : and He shall grow up out of his place, and He shall build the temple of the Lord ; even He shall build the temple of the Lord, and He shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne : and He shall be a priest upon his throne, and the counsel of peace shall be between