On the Kingdom of Christ

A Dying Man’s Meditation on the Glory of Christ’s Kingdom, by George Hall (1745-1810). The following comes from the May 1810 edition of the Baptist Magazine, page 286. The language has been slightly modernized.

The following Paper will be read with great interest by many of our Readers, as the last production of our late excellent Friend, the Rev. George Hall of Ipswich, it was written for the Baptist Magazine, but did not reach us till after his death.

They shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom.–Psalm 145:11. What a pleasing theme! What a precious topic this! It is said that, Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks. Hence, if my readers are the Lord’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, they will not only praise and bless the Lord, but speak of the glory of his kingdom, and talk of his power. Of this glorious kingdom Christ is King, his government as God reaches to all his creatures, his kingdom as mediator (the subject now before us) is special, he reigns over and on behalf of a certain number of persons collectively called Zion, individually they are Saints. (Ps. 2:6. Rev. 4:3.) These are the honoured subjects of this spiritual kingdom, through the energy of divine grace. But my chief design is to mention a few things wherein the Glory of this kingdom consist. That there is a glory attached to it, none can doubt, who truly know the Scriptures and have seen the king in his beauty; for, Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.

First. The Glory of it lies, in the greatness, magnificence, and majesty of its King; in the transcendent beauties of his person, his qualifications, and suitableness and fitness (as a king) to rule over his subjects, and make them happy; being immensely rich, supremely wise, infinitely powerful, exceedingly affectionate, very compassionate, altogether just and righteous, and unremitting in his care over and concern for the welfare of his subjects. All the appendages of a monarch essentially belong to him; he was appointed by the Father, anointed by the Spirit, being crowned, he sits on his throne; he has no less than three Palaces, one in heaven, another in his Church, and a third in the hearts of his Saints, for there he reigns. Angels are his attendants, ministers are his ambassadors, his word is his sceptre, by the ministration hereof, through glorious doctrines propagated, truths preached, and ordinances administered, he executes his kingly office.

Secondly. The Glory of this kingdom in part consists in the excellency and salutary nature of its Laws; these are admirably calculated to promote the honour and glory of its King, and the safety, peace, purity, and pleasure, of all his people. The Bible is the saint’s magna charta, here injunctions and rules which respect their duty to their adored sovereign, to their fellow subjects and others are laid down, and it is their glory and interest to conform thereto. Ezekiel 43: 10, 11, 12.

Thirdly. The Glory of this kingdom consists in the desirable tenor of its Constitution. Here we view the spirituality of it. It is not of this world, it lies not in outward things, as meat and drink, but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost: as it is diametrically opposite to Satan’s kingdom, so also, to every earthly one, for it is neither constituted, nor supported by carnal policy, human wisdom, worldly influence, or outward weapons.

Fourthly. The Glory of this kingdom consists also, in the extensiveness thereof. Solomon’s kingdom was a large and peaceable one, but what was that to this? Christ’s dominions are large now, but will be far more extensive soon, when the kingdoms of this world shall become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ: and he shall reign from shore to shore. This kingdom embraces persons of every clime and colour, consists of a number that no man can reckon; Jesus sways or will sway his sceptre in every land; by it he conquers and wins the heart; blessed be his glorious name, this is a progressive, an increasing kingdom; yes, when the Lord shall build up Zion he shall appear in his glory.

Fifthly. That this is a glorious kingdom, appears from and in part consists in the privileges of its subjects, and the dignity conferred on them. They are all beloved by their King, dear to and known of him, he grants them a plenitude of spiritual provision, of the best and richest kind, and yet to be had freely, without money and without price. These subjects can never be arrested for debt, or thrown into prison where the rebels against the king dwell forever. It is true, they have run solemnly and deeply in debt, but Jesus has amply answered for all, and delivered them by an infinite ransom. Moreover, they can never be finally conquered, for they are led forth to conquest and a crown; they have likewise ready access to their king, he grants them every one admission to his presence, and often feasts them at his table, promising they shall sit with him on his throne.

Sixthly. The Glory of his kingdom consists in the honourable and peculiar character of all its subjects. They are all freemen; free of the city of God, and can never be disfranchised. They are all soldiers, equipped with suitable armor and clothing, yea richly clothed, for though they are all servants, yet are they princes, king’s sons and daughters, who are all glorious within, and their clothing of wrought gold, and they enter the king’s palaces. These persons though in themselves poor, yet are rich, all merchants, who trade by faith to heaven, have a valuable stock of grace always in use, and glory in prospect. In their dealings they buy the best of commodities, and that without money or price, and what is very singular, the chief of their trade consists in buying and not selling. Buy the truth, sell it not. They should live in peace, and yet be always at war. They all know and love their King though not always alike or as they ought.

Seventhly. The Glory of this kingdom consists in its duration. Other kingdoms have had their times and turns, their rise and ruin; the crown has fallen sooner or later from their monarch’s head, and the sceptre out of his hands. Other kingdoms totter and fall, and not a trace of them is left. But things are not so here; this is a kingdom that shall last forever; it is an everlasting one. Then how blessed are they that belong to it. Reader art thou of this number? Then be obedient, faithful, and affectionate, and so glorify thy King.