Try out the new BibleStudyTools.com. Click here!

The Kingdom of God and Its Coming

XXXV.

THE KlNGDOM OF GOD AND lTS COMlNG.*

The ancient world was full of unconscious prophecies of Christ. Long before the "Desire of all nations" had come, philosophy was waiting to lay her unsolved problems before the mighty Prophet, and the polytheistic religions were seeking for the Priest who could give atoning efficacy to their sacrifices. And not less was it true that all the political systems of the earth, confessing their own poverty and imperfection, were standing in sileut expectation of his advent who was King by right divine. All kingdoms that preceded his, were in some sort types and prefiguratious of the coming kingdom of God. The very end for which the Jewish kingdom existed under David and Solomon, was to fix in the mind of a select people the idea of a monarchy grander far in unity, strength and splendor. And the vast world-empires of Chaldsea, Greece and Rome, were they of no use or value to the humanity that bore their heavy burdens? Let us not so deny the providential ordering of history. These were but the vain attempts of human nature to anticipate God's great plan of universal dominion — attempts permitted by God to prepare mankind for the kingdom of his Son. Yes, all the self-deifying schemes of world-wide conquest which Nebuchadnezzar, Alexander and Augustus ever formed were but dim prefigurations of the coming reign of Christ. These men were but the representatives of universal longings and aspirations. Rome would never have grasped at the empire of the world, had there not been an answering instinct of monarchy in the world's great heart,—her name among the nations and her gigantic sway rested upon that deep principle of human nature which moves the race to seek blindly for the restoration of its primal unity, — her magic influence over all lands and the terror of her imperial decrees would never have been possible, had she not been the specious counterfeit of another world-wide kingdom of spiritual influences and of living dependence upon an invisible head.

Rome was not herself the kingdom for which the nations longed. She was rather the great dragon of the Revelation, seeking to devour the feeble child who was the true hope of the world. But though the dragon's material supremacy was represented by the seven crowns upon its seven heads, and its control over the world's spiritual lights and rulers by the third part of the stars of heaven which were carried off by the sweep of its tail, yet this feeble child, seemingly so easy a prey, was to escape its jaws and, nourished secretly by God, was at length to rule the nations with a rod of iron — so to rule as to break their hostility and to bring them into willing subjection to its government and laws. The coming of Christ has antiquated the notion

*A Sermon before the Judaon Society of Missionary Inquiry, Brown University Providence, R. I., August 31,18(19.

of any universal monarchy except his own. It is already dimly seen that the sublime ambition of reducing the whole earth under one head, and fusing its heterogeneous populations into one great empire, is hopeless of accomplishment except by the hands of him who adds to all human perfections the power and wisdom of a God.

The Psalms, in their language of magnificent metaphor, speak of the governments of the world as the "great mountains," and of warlike, oppressive, robbing states as " mountains of prey,"—and who would deny that the ancient mountains that lift their white heads above the clouds and plant their feet at the centre of the earth, watching in moveless majesty the dawning and death of the centuries, are apt emblems of those dynasties that have ruled the race for ages? But when the prophetic Scriptures would describe the kingdom of Christ, the figure is immeasurably expanded and exalted. That kingdom is a mountain also, but a mountain that grows from the smallest beginnings to an inconceivable greatness. First a stone cut out of the hillside without any agency of man and by the invisible hand of God, it rolls onward, increasing as it goes, until it crushes into dust the images men have built to take its place, and becomes a great mountain that not only overtops and swallows up every mountain of the world, but fills at last the whole circuit of the earth. In such grand symbolic language does inspiration set forth to us the truth that Christ shall reign until all enemies shall be put beneath his feet, all humanity shall be united in him as its head, and his universal monarchy shall embrace earth as well as heaven.

I address this evening a society of young men whose organization derives dignity and worth from its connection with this kingdom of God. It seeks by inquiry into the condition of the world, and the forces which God has prepared to subdue it, to determine the truest direction and methods of coming efforts for the advancement of Christ's cause. These early days of preparation for the work of life may well be spent in such inquiry, and the name that is emblazoned on your banner, the name of the greatest modern missionary laborer, may well serve for your example and inspiration. I bring to you, therefore, to stimulate your search for truth and point to you the way of duty, this prayer and promise of Christ. There is no sentence in the book of inspiration which more clearly expresses the ultimate aim of God, and thus the great end of life for us. It constitutes the dominant thought of the Lord's prayer — the thought indeed that meets us at the very threshold of it. When he who was the type and model of humanity left a type and model for men's prayers, he began, not with the expression of human wants, but with petitions for God's glory,— not first, "give us this day our daily bread, forgive us our trespasses, lead us not into temptation,"—but "hallowed be thy name,— thy kingdom come!" And this because the moment that prayer "thy kingdom come" is answered, the satisfaction of all human wants is sure. We cannot then in any way so enlarge our hearts or prepare us for our coming work as by contemplating this one petition into which all our human prayers, so far as they avail anything, may be resolved. May this contemplation help us to see with greater clearness the magnificence of God's kingdom, and, so seeing, to pray and labor with stronger heart that earth may be reconciled to heaven, and that both may be made the perfect instrument of God's sovereignty and revelation.

First, then, we ask "what is this kingdom ?" and the most obvious reply is that the kingdom of God is a kingdom in the soul. You cannot mark out on any mav> its geographical limits. You cannot hound it by mountain ranges, or measure it by the length of continents. It has nothing to do with any of the natural divisions of the earth, for it is a spiritual not an earthly kingdom, and all lands are to come within its boundaries at last only because all the souls of men are to be subject to its dominion. When Nicodemus imagines it confined to a chosen land or people, he must learn that neither one's physical dwelling-place nor connection with any nation makes one partaker of its rights and privileges. "The kingdom of God is within you," says Jesus, and no protracted pilgrimages nor outward professions nor priestly manipulations will bring us into it. It is a kingdom of spirits, whose King is a Spirit, ruling not by deputies but directly by his spiritual presence in the hearts of his subjects. In earthly kingdoms, the rule is external, by written laws, by subordinate authorities. The King cannot be everywhere at once — he must delegate his power. But God is everywhere, and needs no representative or viceroy. The Holy Spirit, whose indwelling in the soul is the evidence of our naturalization in this kingdom, is no simple divine influence apart from God, but is the very presence of the King himself. This is the greatness of human nature, that the high and lofty One who inbabiteth eternity will make the soul of man his palace and his temple.

Of this reign of God in the soul and his constant working and revelation there, all the methods of his rule and operation in nature are but echoes and symbols. There is a concurrence of God needful to support my physical organism in every breath I draw, whether I sleep or wake. The Hebrew prophets were far nearer the truth than our rationalizing philosophers, when they heard God's voice in the thunder and saw his beauty in the cloud-lit skies. Not only in the wrathful moods of nature, when fire and earthquake speed forth on errands of justice, but in the broad sweep of productive agencies which furnish food to the sower and bread to the eater, God is present — no passive spectator, but working hitherto and forever, the motive power of all that moves, the life of all that lives. But all this indwelling and co-working of God in nature is only the rough picture-card by which he teaches us who are children, how great and blessed a thing is his indwelling and co-working in the soul. The earthly bread by which he sustains us is but a faint symbol of the true Bread that came down from heaven to nourish and feed our souls. The earthly vine to which he gives life that it may keep alive its branches is but the faint symbol of that true original archetypal Vine which has its roots in heaven, not on earth, and to which all the scattered, half-withered branches of humanity are to be reunited that they may again have life divine.

And here is God's true reign and kingdom, not in nature. In nature he has never ceased to reign,— his life sustains even the bodies of those who sin against him. But he has humbled himself to give man an independent will, by which he may cut his soul loose from God's spiritual rule, though he never can break the bond of physical dependence. This kingdom in the souls of earth's revolted millions God would restore, and it is this kingdom which we pray may come. It is little for God to rule in nature, so long as he rules not in the heart. For the soul of man is greater and grander, when judged by the standards of eternity, than all the physical universe beside. Only spiritual existence is of everlasting significance; the soul shall live, when the stars shall fade and die. Nature is unchanging — she has no capacity for growth; but man has powers capable of indefinite expansion; his is the fearful heritage of an endless progress towards good or ill. All our figurative representations of the breadth of his nature, and the variety of his endowments, only mock the reality. There are continents within him which no Columbus has ever yet discovered, and heights of capacity which the eagle's eye hath not seen. He has a will which is the strongest thing in the universe next to God — a will which measures its strength too often by resisting God and resisting him forever. A whole heaven, a whole hell, may be found within the compass of that single soul. And the majesty of God, when throned and templed in that single soul, is greater than when he sits upon the circle of the heavens and all the shining orbs of his material creation weave their mazy dance beneath his feet.

But if the kingdom of God be ever set up in this soul of man, it must be a kingdom of grace and not a kingdom of force. Once gain a proper conception of it as a spiritual kingdom, and from that moment you perceive that it is its essential glory to exclude all thought of compulsory obedience. It is not so with earthly governments, even though they be the best. How often has the monarch's rule been little else than the sway of a malignant might like that of Satan! During the reign of the last king of Naples, the stranger in his capital observed that the fortress which juts out into that beautiful bay to protect the city from the attack of a foreign fleet, instead of pointing its guns toward the sea, had turned them all inward upon the town. It was easy for him to mark the scowl of hatred that crossed the faces of the people as their eyes fell upon those cannon, so admirably planted to sweep with grape and canister the principal streets of the city, and if need be, to batter down the houses of rich and poor alike with a rain of shot and shell. The silent mouths of those great guns uttered a continual menace — they spoke no language but that of threats, and it was no wonder that the people, when their time had come, rose like Samson, broke the green withes with which tyranny had bound them, and flung them to the winds forever.

The world imagines that God's government maintains its supremacy by main force in like manner, and that his law, like Neapolitan cannon, utters only the language of threatening and wrath. But this is man's slander and detraction of God's kingdom,—it is not a kingdom of power and justice merely, — the very art and wisdom of God consist in demonstrating to blinded hearts that it is a kingdom of pure and infinite grace. In what wondrous ways does God conduct this demonstration! Could human imagination ever have dreamed in its wildest flights that the "eternal Sovereign, the incorruptible, invisible, only God," would become man, accept the limitations of human nature, make humanity a part of himself forever, in order that a race that maligned his government and character might understand him, and thus be led to love him? Yet this is the very thing which God has done. The King of kings has come down from his place of power, has become one of this same sinning, suffering race, has known in his own body what the pains and trials and temptations of human nature are, has proved, by personal contact with the sinners and by endless ministries of love, how great is his sympathy with their needs, and then, feeling their depravity and hatred as none but he who was holiness and love could feel them, has yet put himself in their place of guilt and shame, has borne the dreadful chastisement due to their offences, has paid their debts by pouring out his blood, and then has lain a mangled corpse in the very grave where all mankind were doomed to hopeless burial. And now this brother-man, having conquered death for us, and having risen for our redemption, with a brother's sympathizing heart, and more than a brother's claims to love, sits upon the throne of the universe, all power in heaven and earth being given into his hand. Oh, who can mistake God any longer! As we gaze upon our crowned and sceptered Savior, with the human tears scarce dry upon his cheeks and the brother's compassion still beaming from his eye, we see that God is not a God of power and justice only, but a God of infinite self-sacrifice. For let us never forget that God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself,— it is only in Christ that we can see or know the Father. We have no other God and no other King but him whose character and government are revealed in the God-man, Christ Jesus.

So the King became man,—but there is a greater wonder still — he became man that men might become kings. God took to himself human nature, that human nature might be reunited to God. Ah, we have failed to see the grandeur of the divine kingdom, if we have not perceived that it consists in an actual union with the life of God in Jesus Christ. The submission which it seeks is not the submission which degrades. Its law is the law of liberty and love, written on the heart by Christ the King. It is a kingdom of free spirits, whose freedom is assured and exalted by partaking of the divine nature, and by receiving evermore the currents of the divine life to nourish and sustain their own. More intimate and indissoluble than the union of husband and wife, or of the stock and branches of the vine, is the union of our souls with Christ. We are in Christ as the very element in which we live and move and have our being, and Christ is in us the very spring of all our life and activity. The truth of which Pantheism is but the blind and unhallowed perversion — the truth that God is all and in all — is not only the very foundation of the Christian scheme, but in Christianity is first made a matter of living experience and consciousness.

The very central truth of all theology, and of all religion, is the union of the believer with God in Jesus Christ — not the union that destroys or confounds, but the union that preserves and glorifies the personality of God and the personality of the human soul. By this union, the subject of the divine kingdom comes to participate in the character and blessedness of God,—for God's righteousness, peace and joy are his. By this union he comes to participate in the divine glory. Even here he is a citizen of heaven, a son of God, on whose brow the angels see glittering a crown of immortality. And what earthly eye hath seen, or what earthly tongue can tell, the future majesty and greatness of those to whom it is the Father's good pleasure to give the kingdom! They are to sit with Christ upon his throne — they are to judge angels — they are to be kings and priests unto God. They are to shine as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. They are to have spiritual organisms like that glorified body of Christ which John saw ,on the Isle of Patmos. Having given up all to Christ, they are to receive all things from him. Having lifted up the gates of the soul to welcome the universal Sovereign to supreme dominion, they are to find themselves kings in his kingdom. In the Apocalypse, there is a vision of a woman clothed with the sun, with a crown of twelve stars upon her head, and the moon beneath her feet. It is the symbol of the church of Christ, girt about with divine and celestial glory, having heaven's own light for hers, and so lifted up above the corruption and darkness of this lower sphere that she puts beneath her feet all that earth reckons dazzling and attractive. Such is the kingdom of Christ in the soul — a kingdom of inexhaustible and inconceivable grace.

But this kingdom of grace is not many,— it is one. That perfect glory of unity which has been imaged forth in poetry and architecture, in church hierarchies and universal empires, finds its archetype and realization only here. It is not a kingdom set up here and there in isolated souls, but a kingdom compact in organization and permeated with one life. It is th« grandeur of human government that it approximates to the control of individual wills, and to some degree secures the subordination of men to law. To hold the reins of the fierce and uncertain winds so that they obey one's call, and speed forth upon one's errands, would be something marvelous,— but to guide and control millions of human wills more fickle and changeful than the winds, making them all yield homage to just law and reducing their wild impulses to order, is a task immeasurably greater. Only the divine kingdom blends all these diverse elements into complete and perfect unity. The kingdom of God contemplates nothing less than a gathering together, in one harmonious and blissful society, of all holy souls of all lauds and ages.

It is a significant fact that the Bible does not end with the gospels and their setting forth of Christ's life and teachings, — does not end with the Acts of the Apostles and its proclamation of salvation to the nations through the crucified and risen Redeemer,— does not end with the epistles and their profound exposition of the indwelling of Christ in his church,— but ends with the Revelation of St. John, in which we see, through the glass of prophecy, the final victory of the Lamb over all the combined hosts of the world'n opposition and rebellion, and the gathering of all the saints into the City of God. The salvation of the individual is not the great end of God's economy of redemption, but rather the erection of a glorious community of innumerable holy souls, bound together as here by a common character and destiny and life, and forever united there in a closeness of intercourse, a rapture of worship, and an intensity of loving activity, compared with which the streaming tides of life that meet and mingle in modern London, or that swept through the forum of Ancient Rome at the trinmphal entries of her world-famed victors, were but mean and insignificant. Not isolation, but blessed and endless companionship, is to be the law of the kingdom of God.

"O scenes surpassing fable, and yet true!
Scenes of accomplished bliss! which who can see,
Though but in distant prospect, and not feel
His soul refreshed with foretaste of the joy!"

Nor is the kingdom a kingdom of this earth alone. Included in the broad design is the renovation of this sin-burdened planet, and the union of its life and history with those of other orders of creation. For man is not the sole offspring of Jehovah. The universe is broad and full of glitteringworlds. Our earth is but a speck in the vast expanse. We sometimes wonder whether the planets and suns of the Milky Way are inhabited. Astronomy cannot answer,— but the Scriptures assure us that, whether possessed of local habitations or not, there are in this universe myriads of majestic intelligences who pass to and fro on divine missions, and are specially interested in the grand drama that is representing on the earth. These principalities and powers in heavenly places, these ranks of unfallen illustrious angelic spirits, bend down from their lofty seats and peer into the mysterious progress of events upon this little globe,— for the planet where the King of glory bore the cross, though it is not the physical centre, must yet be the spiritual centre, of creation. Milton could not have been greatly wrong when he represented the unfallen Adam as blessed with the converse and instruction of angels. Our Savior, we have reason to believe, was declaring not only his own glory, but the normal and destined glory of human nature in him, when he asserted that his disciples should yet see the heavens opened, as they were in Jacob's dream of the heavenly ladder, and the angels ascending aud descending upon the Son of man. But how fallen are we from our first estate! Still, as in Eden,

"Millions of spiritual creatures walk the earth.
Unseen, both when we wake and when we sleep,"—

but our eyesight is not keen enough to behold them. The earth is not now a watch-tower, from which we may descry the pursuits of the glorified and observe the dealings of God with other spheres, but rather a prison-house, through whose bars we get only dim and faint glimpses of the great creation spread around us.

"Why is it," asks a late writer on astronomical discovery, "why is it, that man is doomed to this isolation in space, with no boud of sympathy between him and other worlds? Ah, it is sin that has made the earth a prison, instead of au abode of liberty where we might hold converse with other pure and glorious spirits. But are we doomed to this isolation forever? No, the yearnings of our own hearts and the teachings of revelation alike assure us that one grand aim of the scheme of redemption is to remedy and perfect the bond of sympathy that was broken by the fall, and to bring us into closer alliance with all the various grades of moral intelligences throughout the universe. The great system is like a magnificent harp, all whose strings are in tune but one. That one string out of tune makes a jar in the whole. The whole universe will feel the effects of redemption, when once this jarring world is put in tune by the hand of love and mercy." God's kingdom will not be fully come, until all things in the universe are gathered together and harmonized in Christ,—

•'And earth is changed to heaven, and heaven to earth,—
One kingdom, joy, and union, without end."

For this kingdom, once established, shall never be destroyed. The causes that bring decrepitude and death to earthly monarchies shall never exist there. The infinite reaches of eternity shall be the arena which the inventive mind of God shall fill with revelations, and histories, and new creations. But all these ages shall be one. All dispensations as well as all worlds shall be reconciled in Christ. The saints shall sing the song of Moses and the Lamb, not because the song of Moses at the Red Sea will fully express the rapture of God's redeemed, but because they shall see all God's great deliverances, from the days of Pharaoh's overthrow to the time of Satan's final downfall, to be all parts of one great whole, and all to be deliverances through the Lamb. To them God's incomprehensible designs shall be unveiled,— to them the mystery shall be finished. Taking in the wide prospect of God's universal empire, they shall behold in God's earliest dealings with the race the seeds and prophecies of all the future, aud throughout the whole course of history shall perceive the order and beauty of an infinitely wise and symmetrical plan. Then they shall see that there has been a Christ in history, from the beginning to the end, working through history, and making known the glories and perfections of the one living and true God. The kingdom of God shall be the perfect revelation of himself in and to his creatures,— aud therefore it shall be, not only a kingdom of righteousness, but a kingdom of eternity. The events of this little world with all its wondrous history are but a single part, though they may be the initial or central part, of a sublimer unity. The kingdom of God for which the old Hebrews looked in the midst of the ages, is not a kingdom of this world alone, or of all present worlds alone, but a kingdom of far-reaching ages, including all past, aud present, and future worlds, with all their histories,— a kingdom not of space only, but also of duration, all-comprehending aud infinite. For unto the Son hath the eternal Father said: "Thy throne, O God, is forever aud ever!"' The kingdom of grace shall be merged at last in the kingdom of glory,— but the laying down of Christ's mediatorial sceptre over this revolted province of his empire shall only inaugurate the fuller splendors of that perfected reign in which the trinne God shall be all in all to his creatures.

Thus our thoughts are led on and on, as we contemplate the nature and extent of God's kingdom, till the greatness of it is overburdening and our weak faith staggers, even amid the intensity of our desire for its coming. Let us then betake ourselves to the prayer which our Lord has taught us: "Thy kingdom come." That teaches us three lessons; first, that the kingdom of Christ shall come,— it is God's design to answer that prayer, since no such prayer would ever have been left by Christ to his church, had it net been the purpose of him who inspired it to bring about its complete and perfect fulfilment. Secondly, the effectual power that is to secure the trinmph of this kingdom is not of man but of God,—since we are taught to look to God in prayer for the exertion of his power, through the agencies he has appointed, namely, his word, his church, and his Spirit. Thirdly,

— and to this lesson of the Lord's prayer, I must confine your thoughts for the few remaining moments of my address — the coming of the kingdom of God has been made dependent upon the prayers and labors of his people,

— when he bids us pray "thy kingdom come," he intimates that our I'rayer shall ensure a blessing which otherwise would never be bestowed, — while he has ordained in his eternal purpose the certain triumph of his kingdom, he has ordained also that prayer shall be the intermediate agency through which that triumph shall be secured. That prayer which is the voice not of the lips but of the inner being, which is the expression of the permanent desires of the soul, which carries with it not ouly the heart's devotion but the self-sacrificing labors of the life — that prayer God has decreed shall be the channel through which all blessing flows to the church and the world. While we admire the greatness of the divine plans and the certainty of their execution, let us remember that we can be no idle spectators of God's working,— a responsibility rests on us as vast as the interests at stake,—the honor of God and the salvation of a world are made to hang on the faithfulness and zeal of Christ's disciples,—the kingdom is near or far, just in proportion to the love and faith and prayerful toil of the church.

And the sooner we wake up to the fact that for all purposes of practical duty and privilege, we are the church of Christ, the better it will be for us, and the better for the kingdom. There is a mock-humility that shirks duty and stifles faith. Brethren of the Judson Society, this prayer, "thy kingdom come," is our trumpet-call to arms and to battle for the kingdom of God. Not one of us can truly pray "thy kingdom come," without giving himself body and soul to that work in which he can best promote the coming of the kingdom. By just so much as Christ has endowed us with native ability and with opportunities of culture, by just so much are strengthened his claims to the use of our gifts in the building-up of his sovereignty on earth. In this day when autos-da-fe have ceased and papal fulminations have lost their terror, in this day when the opposition of Satan is so exclusively intellectual, there is need, as never before, of educated talent in the ministry and church of Christ. To every young man entering upon life, the question ought to come: "How can I use my powers for God and the salvation of the world with greatest economy of force,— how can I most surely make every faculty and attainment bear directly upon the coming of the kingdom of God?" Be sure that Christ has portioned out, to each of us who are his followers, some share in the work he is accomplishing on earth. Seeking earnestly to know where our work lies, whether in secular or in sacred duties, at home or abroad, and falling in with the plan of Christ whenever it is made known to us, we may have the assurance and comfort, in labor, in suffering, and in death, that our lives have not been wasted in the service of the world, but have contributed, however humbly, to bring about

"That one far off divine event
To which the whole creation moves."

My brethren, the greatness and power of God and the majesty of his kingdom are revealed to us not to give us excuse for idleness, but to furnish incitement to arduous and self-forgetful labor. The certainty of triumph is the greatest stimulus to earnest warfnre. The grandest victories for the truth which the world has seen have been gained by men who were strong in the thought of God's eternal purposes, and who found in Jehovah the motive power of their lives. When the Jewish people were enslaved under Antiochus Epiphanes, that monster of successful iniquity — so enslaved that the sacred Scriptures were a forbidden book which it was death to possess or read, and the statue of the heathen Jupiter was set up for worship in the plundered sanctuary of the temple—-the Asamonean family, one reverend old man and five heroic sons, called upon the nation to rise for religion and freedom. Thousands gathered round them and vowed to '' stand for the Law " till death. Uoon the banner which was borne before the patriot host were inscribed those stirring Hebrew words from the book of Exodus: Mi Camoka Baalim Jehovah t '' Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods ? "—and from the initial letters of that inscription—"M," "C," "B"—the Maccabees took their name. The motto of their standard became the inspiration of their war for independence. Trusting as their ancestors did in the omnipotence of God, they were enabled to shake off the yoke of the oppressor and to lift the nation from lethargy and apostasy to a religions zeal which had been unknown for centuries. And the Maccabees themselves — what examples of splendid devotion to religion and country have they left to after ages! My brethren, God has revealed to us his power and purpose to set up his kingdom for this same end that we, like that Asamonean family, may call upon him for great and mighty things, and then, believing his word and promise, may undertake great things for his glory. Let us combine with the motto of the Maccabees, "Who is like unto thee, O Lord, among the gods?" that other motto of Paul's, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me," and then let us go forth to do battle for the kingdom of God.

To do battle till we die, or the kingdom fully come. No rest for the soldiers of the cross, till the enemy is ours. No halt to the advancing army, till the world is conquered for Christ. Though the standard-bearers fall, though the years glide by and yet the promised end seems fur away, aye, though seeming defeat may cloud our banners, stdl let the sacramental host press on. For Christ never dies; Christ never desponds; Christ never is defeated; and the Spirit of Christ is the Spirit of the Church. In the days of Queen Elizabeth, when the Jesuits were essaying by every art to restore in England that reign of papal darkness which the rising sun of the Reformation had just turned to day, they entered into solemn vows, that so long as there was any one of them left for the gallows, the torture, or the dungeon, they would never cease their endeavors to set up the Catholic religion in that kingdom. That miscalled Society of Jesus has left to the church, the true Society of Jesus, an example in this regard, which if we do not follow, we are false to our vows, false to ourselves, false to humanity, and false to Christ our King. Rather shall we not follow it, concentrating every faculty and power upon the work of Christ, and resolving never for one moment to remit our toil till his supreme dominion is set up in every human heart? With the mighty noise of this conflict of the ages in our ears, with the looming grandeur of the throne of God before us, with the vast sweep of eternity for our dwelling-place, let ns not give our lives to ease or to profit or to human fame, but to the end for which Christ lived, the end for which Christ died— the interests and the triumph of the kingdom of God. If we thus live and thus die, it will make little matter whether our names are honored on earth,—we shall have the honor that comes from God, and we shall reign with Christ forever and ever,— for the kingdom that comes from heaven, and that makes heaven on earth, shall end at last in heaven. But whether we be true subjects or not, whether we give our lives to the kingdom or not, the kingdom shall come. To those who welcome it and labor for it, it shall be a kingdom of eternal blessedness and glory,— but upon whomsoever this stone shall fall, it shall grind him to powder. Christ will subdue us by the might and loveliness of his grace if may be, but if not by his grace, yet still he will subdue us. For "at the name of Jesus, every knee shall bow, of things in heaven and things in earth and things under the earth, and every tongue shall confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father."