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by no other than the Sovereign of the Universe, the greatest, the wisest, and the best of beings. It originated not in selfishness, but in benevolence; not in avarice, but in generosity; not in pride, but in condescension; and its establishment called into exercise, power irresistible, wisdom unerring, knowledge unlimited, justice inflexible, holiness immaculate, and benevolence boundless. It sprung from no wish to ag. grandise its founder, or to immortalize his name, but from a desire to promote his subjects' substantial good and unfading glory.

The kingdom of the First-born transcends those of the carth, not only in its origin, but also in the means of its establishment and support. Rising on the ruin of former empires, earthly kingdoms have in general been founded in rapine and bloodshed. In their establishment, means, the most profigate, have been adopted, and deeds, the most wicked, perpetrated. The ancient Romans, to secure an increase of population, constituted their territority an asylum for outlaws and outcasts. Mohammed established his empire by cruelty and imposture; on the one hand, terrifying mankind into submission by the havoc of the sword; and, on the other, alluring them by the dissolute but delusive promise of an immortality of licentious pleasure. The British dominions in America, and in India, were founded in murder, plunder, and slavery. Many a tale, too horrifying for recital, is told of the agents by whom, and the means by which, our conquests were achieved. Many a life, not long since, was sacrificed to rear a throne for an usurper, who earned for himself the inglorious distinction of the Scourge of Europe. The heartless cruelties of the present tyrant of the North, prove what kings will do for the extension of empire. In whatever manuer, and by whatever means established, secular kingdoms are upheld by the sword, and supported by compulsory exactions. How different from all this is the kingdom of the First-born? In founding his kingdom, he shed no blood

but his own; subverted no empire, but Satan's; employed no agents, but the pious and the GOOD; and no means, but such as benevolence suggested. All his conquests were deliverances; and all his victories were for the good of the vanquished. He blesses all whom he conquers, and conquers only for the sake of blessing. In extending his Empire, be sanctions and will bless the employment of no force but truth; no constraint but love; no weapons but reason; and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God. For the support of his cause, he demands tribute, not from aliens, but from subjects; and will accept of nothing but what is cheerfully given, according to ability and a sense of duty.

In the Third place, the First-born is higher than the kings of the earth, as to the nature of his kingdom, and mode of his administration.

Secular power is for the protection of life, liberty, and property. Having regard exclusively to man's temporal concerns, it

may not assume authority over his conscience, interfere with his eternal interests, or in any way interpose between him and his God. It may not, except in special cases, meddle with the manner in which he employs bis time, the use be makes of his means, or with any of the privacies of domestic life. Much less may it dictate what religious principles man should profess, or what homage he should pay to God. It has to do but with his actions, and with these, only in so far as they may affect the interests of society. It demands only outward obedience, and affords but temporal immunities. The kingdom of the First-born is of a nobler nature. It is not of this world, but spiritual. Established for man's eternal benefit, its laws bind the conscience, control the affections, extend to the most private actions, and to the most secret musings, and regulate all intercourse with God. It prescribes the religious principles man should embrace and profess, and the worship he should render his Creator. It demands the homage of the heart, as well as the obedience of the life. Its immunities are spiritual—peace that passeth all understanding; hope, full of immortality; and joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Secular kingdoms are for the body, that of the First-born is for both body and soul. They are for time~his is for both time and eternity ; they are for the interests of a life, which, at the longest, is but a span, and, at the best, vanityhis is for the concerns not only of the life that now is, but of a life of immortal honour and happiness in the heavens. As much as the soul is more valuable than the body, eternity longer than time, and the concerns of the future life more important than the interests of the present, in so far does the kingdom of the First-born transcend those of the kings of the earth.

The kingdom of the First-born is not less superior as to the mode of its administration. The authority of the monarch, in every well constituted State, is limited; and without this there can be no security for life and liberty. But the most perfect earthly administration is defectivebeing partial, constituting privileged classes-selfish, loving more the possession of power than its legitimate use-unjust, enacting unequitable laws inefficient, incapable of securing universal obedience, of affording universal protection, and of giving universal satisfaction. The First-born is indeed an absolute Sovereign, subject to no control, responsible to no tribunal. But ruling with perfect rectitude; exercising power without tyranny; justice without severity; mercy without danger to the stability of the throne ; authority mingled with tenderness and love-limitation of his power

is as unnecessary and as little desired by his people, as it is impossible. Being “no respecter of persons,” he dispenses the honour and blessings of his reign, according to the several wants and capacities of his subjects. Disinterested and generous, his power and authority, and every prerogative of office, are ever exercised for his people's good. Righteous in all his ways, and just in all his administrations, his laws are all“ holy, and just, and good," the dictate of wisdom, equity, and love. Able to mould the buman heart to his pleasure, he can make his people “ willing in the day of his power," to yield him obedience, cordial, unreserved, and universal. Having at his command all that can be done, he affords them all requisite protection; and possessed of all that can be enjoyed, be fills them with perfect satisfaction. Convinced that all his commands are reasonable and beneficial ; sure that every wrong shall be redressed, every burden lightened, every want supplied, every holy wish gratified, every pure hope realized-they love bis person, delight in his law, approve of every principle of his government, and act of his administration.

In the Fourth place, the First-born is higher than the kings of the earth, as to the character and privileges of his subjects.

Earthly kings regard as their subjects those who have been born, or who reside within certain geographical boundaries, without respect to their character or attainments. On some of them they bestow the adventitious nobility which kings can give, and which is too often conferred, not as the reward of merit, but as the wages of iniquity. Others they elevate to stations of honour and emolument, not because they are the most enlightened, disinterested, and upright, and the best qualified to promote the interests of the many; but the most politic and unprincipled, and the best adapted to maintain and extend the privileges of the few. The subjects of earthly kings are respected, more for the sake of their wealth and station in society, than for that which constitutes real worth, intellectual and moral excellence. At the best, secular kingdoms consist of a promiscuous multitude-the noble and the mean, the rich and the poor, the learned and the ignorant, the loyal and the disaffected, the pious and the profane, friends and foes. In the kingdom of the First-born, men are constituted subjects, not by birth or residence, but in virtue of a renewed mind and renovated character ; and are esteemed, not on account of adventitious wealth, or fictitious titles, but for the sake of the graces of character, the riches of faith and good works, the robe of charity and humility, and the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price." The subjects of this kingdom are

” all noble, being sons of God, kings and priests--all rich, being heirs to an incorruptible inheritance-all enlightened, being wise unto salvation-all loyal, being willing to submit to any privation, or to endure any hardship in the service of their King—all pious, being redeemed from iniquity, and purified, a peculiar people, zealous of good works-all friends, being brethren and members of one holy and happy family.

in privilege as well as in character, the subjects of the First-born surpass those of the kings of the earth. Few of the latter are personally known to their Sovereign, or. bave access to his presence. Many of them are in want, and without liberty; while others, who, to the fullest extent, enjoy freedom, both civil and religious, are the degraded slaves of debasing passions. Their honours and immunities are limited by time, and bounded by the grave. But the subjects of the First-born are all personally known to him. Familiar with every circumstance in their condition, they never feel a want nor experience a wo, nor contend with a difficulty, but He is with them to afford all requisite supply, sympathy, and aid. They have free access at all times to his presence, liberty to ask whatever they need, and assurance that nothing really conducive to their good will be withheld. Belonging to the family of God, they enjoy the abundant provision, the glorious liberty, and the eternal honours of his children.


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