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them both.' This passage significantly indicates the specific character of Christ's rule as one of spiritual potency. As a priest He received the kingdom, as a priest He will rule over it. By sacrificial suffering He acquired it, as Christ crucified He will win the hearts of men, and reign over them. By the cross his crown was won, and the cross shall be the sceptre of his sway. Hence, just before his crucifixion, and in anticipation of its results, did Jesus exclaim, "The hour is come that John xii. 23, 31, the Son of Man should be glorified. Now is the crisis of this world ; now shall the Prince of this world be cast out; and I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me.' * This he said, adds the Evangelist, signifying by what manner of death He was about to die.' Having once for all offered sacrifice for sins, the Great High Priest for ever sat down on the right hand of God, from henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his Heb. i. 12, 13. footstool.
In further elucidation of this point, and with special reference to our Lord's expression, Now shall the Prince of this world be cast out, it is important to notice that the redemptive process is represented in Holy Scripture as a bringing to nought, through death, of him that hath the power Hev. ii. 14. of death, that is, the devil. Moreover, the kingdom of Christ is spoken of as being set up to put an end to the usurpation of Satan, as the god of this world. * For this purpose, it is said, 'the Son of God was manifested, that He might bring to nought (aúon) 1 John üü. 8. the works of the devil.'
The Fall, with death as its consequence, was the
Rom, v, 12.
Heb. ii. 14.
Rom, v. 18.
work of the devil. "Through one man sin entered into the world, and through sin death ; and thus death passed through unto all men, for that all sinned.' As the first tempter to sin, and as the continuous instigator to sin, the wages whereof is death, Satan is said to have the power of death.' Forasmuch, then, as the children were partakers of flesh and blood, He who undertook their redemption was manifested in the flesh, that through his own death He might bring to nought this work of the devil ; that as the Last Adam He might, by his obedience, even so far as death, counteract and repair the consequences of the disobedience of the First Adam. “As through one trespass the issue was unto all men to condemnation, even so through one righteous act the issue was unto all men to justification of life.'
But further. The Fall of man brought in not the reign of death only, but the reign of evil. Henceforth Satan acquired a fatal ascendancy, and became .'
the god of this world. Scripture distinctly recognizes a satanic kingdom, an organized power arrayed against and in conflict with the kingdom of the Son of Man. Moreover, because the world is in rebellion against God, and because Satan is the spirit that worketh in the children of disobedience,' therefore is the world spoken of as lying in the wicked one' ¿v TÔ Trovnpo, and he is designated the prince of this world, and the god of this world, who hath blinded the understandings of the unbelieving. For this purpose, then, the Son of God was manifested, even to counteract and bring to nought this kingdom of evil, and to cast out
2 Cor. iv. 4.
Eph. ii. 2.
1 John v. 19.
John xiv. 30.
2 Cor. iv. 4.
Satan as the prince of this world. To re-establish righteousness, truth, and peace in the realm which sin had disorganized and ruined,—this is the great end of the kingdom of the Son of God. Hence, converted souls are described as those who have been delivered from out of the power of Satan, and Col. i. 13. translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son. Hence, too, because his casting out of devils from the possessed was an earnest of this, therefore did Christ say to the Jews, If I by the Spirit of God cast out devils, then is the kingdom of God come Luke mr. 20. upon you.'
In view, then, of the special character and scope of the kingdom given to the Son of Man, how momentous is the significance of that prayer which Christ Himself bade us use, Thy kingdom come.' The design of that kingdom is the re-establishment of righteousness and peace in the whole universe of God. But that purpose is far from being yet accomplished. However just and undeniable the right of Christ as a King, that right is as yet only partially vindicated and recognized. However real his rule in the hearts of those who love and serve Him, their number is at present very small in relation to the whole race of man. We see not yet all things put Heb. ii. 8. under Him' in the way of actual submission and obedience. The kingdom of God, then, has still to come in respect of universal acknowledgment and sway. To say, therefore, “Thy kingdom come,' is to pray for the full development of the kingdom, and its supremacy over all creation. And to pray for this is to pray for the salvation of the world; for salvation is deliverance from sin and its misery,
18 Character and Purpose of Christ's Kingdom.
THE UNIVERSALITY OF CHRIST'S KINGDOM, AND
ITS ULTIMATE COMPLETE TRIUMPH.
The kingdom of Christ is a universal one; universal in the range of its authority and power ;
universal in the results contemplated by, and to be accomplished under it. Nothing less than supreme and universal can be the dominion of Him, of whom it is said that the Father loveth the Son and hath given all things into his hand ; that all things John iii. 25. have been committed unto Him by his Father ; Luke x. 22. that God hath appointed his Son heir of all things; Heb. i. 2. that all power has been given to Him in heaven Matt. xxviii. 18 and on earth; that all things have been put under 1 Cor. xv. 27. his feet; that angels and authorities and powers have been made subject unto Him; that He hath 1 Pet. iii. 22. been set above all rule and authority and power and Eph. i. 20-22. lordship ; that the heathen have been given to Him Ps. ü. 8. for an inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession ; that He must reign until all enemies have been put under his feet; and that 1 Cor. xv. 25. with the exception of Him who made all things subject unto Him, there is nothing left that is not Heb. i. 8. put in subjection to Him. And this dominion has been conferred upon Him as the Christ. Because John v. 27. He is the Son of Man, authority to execute judg