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Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth. In which second part, we shall pass by these steps ; Superceniet Spiritus, the Holy Ghost shall come upon you, the Spirit shall witness to your spirit, and rectify your conscience; and then, by that, you shall receive power; a new power besides the power you have from the state, and that power shall enable you, to be witnesses of Christ, that is, to make his doctrine the more credible, by your testimony, when you conform yourselves to him, and do as he did ; and this witness you shall bear, this conformity you shall declare, first in Jerusalem, in this city; and in Judea, in all the parts of the kingdom ; and in Samaria, even amongst them who are departed from the true worship of God, the papists; and to the uttermost part of the earth, to those poor souls, to whom you are continually sending. Summarily, if from the Holy Ghost you have a good testimony in your own conscience, you shall be witnesses for Christ, that is, as he did, you shall give satisfaction to all, to the city, to the country, to the calumniating adversary, and the naturals of the place, to whom you shall present both spiritual and temporal benefit. And so you have the model of the whole frame, and of the partitions; we proceed now to the furnishing of the particular rooms.
First then, this first word, but, excludes a temporal kingdom; the apostles had filled themselves with an expectation, with an ambition of it; but that was not intended them. It was no wonder, that a woman could conceive such an expectation, and such an ambition, as to have her two sons sit at Christ's righthand, and at his left, in his kingdom', when the apostles expected such a kingdom, as might afford them honours and preferment upon earth. More than once they were in that disputation, in which Christ deprehended them, Which of them should be the greatest in his kingdom”. Neither hath the bishop of Rome, anything, wherein he may so properly call himself apostolical, as this error of the apostles, this their infirmity, that he is evermore too conversant upon the contemplation of temporal kingdoms. They did it all the way, when Christ was with them, and now at his last step, Cum actu ascendissets, when Christ was i Matt, XX. 21. * Matt. xviii, 1.
not ascending, but in part ascended, when one foot was upon the earth, and the other in the cloud that took him up, they ask him now, Wilt thou at this time, restore the kingdom? so women put their husbands, and men their fathers, and friends, upon their torture, at their last gasp, and make their death-bed a rack to make them stretch and increase jointures, and portions, and llegacies, and sign schedules and codicils, with their hand, when his hand that presents them, is ready to close his eyes, that should sign them: and when they are upon the wing for heaven, men tie lead to their feet, and when they are laying hand fast upon Abraham's bosom, they must pull their hand out of his bosom again, to obey importunities of men, and sign their papers : so underminable is the love of this world, which determines every minute. God, as he is three persons, hath three kingdoms; there is Regnum potentiæ, The kingdom of power; and this we attribute to the Father ; it is power and providence : there is Regnum gloriæ, The kingdom of glory; this we attribute to the Son and to his purchase ; for he is the king that shall say, Come ye blessed of my Father,'inherit the kingdom prepared for you, from the foundation of the world“. And then between these three is Regnum gratiæ, The kingdom of grace, and this we attribute to the Holy Ghost ; he takes them, whom the king of power, Almighty God, hath rescued from the Gentiles, and as the king of grace, He gives them the knowledge of the mystery of the kingdom of God, that is, of future glory', by sanctifying them with his grace, in his church. The two first kingdoms are in this world, but yet neither of them are of this world, because both they refer to the kingdom of glory. The kingdom of the Father, which is the providence of God, does but preserve us; the kingdom of the Holy Ghost, which is the grace of God, does but prepare us to the kingdom of the Son, which is the glory of God; and that is in heaven. And therefore, though to good men, this world be the way to that kingdom, yet this kingdom is not of this world, says Christ himselfo: though the apostles themselves, as good a school as they were bred in, could never take out that lesson, yet that lesson Christ gives, and repeats to all, You seek a temporal kingdom, but, says the text, stop there, a kingdom you must not have. • Matt. xxv. 34. : Mark iv, 11.
John xviii. 36.
Beloved in him, whose kingdom, and Gospel you seek to advance, in this plantation, our Lord and Saviour Christ Jesus, if you seek to establish a temporal kingdom there, you are not rectified, if you seek to be kings in either acceptation of the word; to be a king signifies liberty and independency, and supremacy, to be under no man, and to be a king signifies abundance, and Omnisufficiency, to need no man. If those that govern there, would establish such a government, as should not depend upon this, or if those that go thither, propose to themselves an exemption from laws, to live at their liberty, this is to be kings, to divest allegiance, to be under no man: and if those that adventure thither, propose to themselves present benefit, and profit, a sudden way to be rich, and an abundance of all desirable commodities from thence, this is to be sufficient of themselves, and to need no man: and to be under no man and to need no man, are the two acceptations of being kings. Whom liberty draws to go, or present profit draws to adventure, are not yet in the right way. O, if you could once bring a catechism to be as good ware amongst them as a bugle, as a knife, as a hatchet: 0, if you would be as ready to hearken at the return of a ship, how many Indians were converted to Christ Jesus, as what trees, or drugs, or dyes that ship had brought, then you were in your right way, and not till then ; liberty and abundance, are characters of kingdoms, and a kingdom is excluded in the text; the apostles were not to look for it, in their employment, nor you in this your plantation.
At least Christ expresses himself thus far, in this answer, that if he would give them a kingdom, he would not give it them yet. They ask him, Wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom? and he answers, It is not for you to know the times : whatsoever God will do, man must not appoint him his time. The apostles thought of a kingdom presently after Christ's departure; the coming of the Holy Ghost, who led them into all truths, soon delivered them of that error. Other men in favour of the Jews, interpreting all the prophecies, which are of a spiritual kingdom, the kingdom of the Gospel, into which, the Jews shall be admitted) in a literal sense, have thought that the Jews shall have, not only a temporal king
dom in the same place, in Jerusalem again, but because they find that kingdom which is promised, (that is the kingdom of the Gospel) to be expressed in large phrases, and in an abundant manner, applying all that largeness to a temporal kingdom, they think that the Jews shall have such a kingdom, as shall swallow and annihilate all other kingdoms, and be the sole empire and monarchy of the world. After this, very great men in the church upon these words, Of one thousand years after the resurrection?, have imagined a temporal kingdom of the saints of God here upon earth, before they entered the joys of heaven : and St. Augustine himselfs, had at first some declinations towards that opinion, though he dispute powerfully against it, after: that there should be Sabbatismus in terris; that as the world was to last six thousand years in troubles, there should be a seventh thousand in such joys as this world could give.
And some others, who have avoided both the temporal kingdom imagined by the apostles, presently after the ascension, and the imperial kingdom of the Jews, before the resurrection, and the carnal kingdom of the Chiliasts, the Millennarians, after the resurrection, though they speak of no kingdom, but the true kingdom, the kingdom of glory, yet they err as much in assigning a certain time when that kingdom shall begin, when the end of this world, when the resurrection, when the judgment shall be. Non est vestrum nosse tempora, says Christ to his apostles then; and lest it might be thought, that they might know these things, when the Holy Ghost came upon them, Christ denies that he himself knew that, as man ; and as man, Christ knew more, than ever the apostles knew. Whatsoever therefore Christ intended to his apostles here, he would not give it presently, non adhuc, he would not bind himself to a certain time, Non est vestrum nosse tempora, It belongs not to us to know God's times.
Beloved, use godly means, and give God his leisure. You cannot beget a son, and tell the mother, I will have this son born within five months; nor, when he is born, say, you will have him past danger of wardship within five years. You cannot sow your corn to-day, and say it shall be above ground to-morrow, and in my barn next week. How soon the best husbandman
7 Rev. xx.
8 De Civitat. Dei, xx. 7.
sowed the best seed, in the best ground; God cast the promise of a Messias, as the seed of all, in paradise ; In semine mulieris, The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent's head; and yet this plant was four thousand years after before it appeared; this Messias four thousand years before he came. God showed the ground where that should grow, two thousand years after the promise ; in Abraham's family; In semine tuo, In thy seed all nations shall be blessed. God hedged in this ground almost one thousand years after that; in Micah's time, Et tu Bethlem, Thou Bethlem shalt be the place; and God watered that, and weeded that, refreshed that dry expectation, with a succession of prophets; and yet it was so long before this expectation of nations, this Messias came. So God promised the Jews a kingdom, in Jacob's prophecy to Judea, That the sceptre should not depart from his tribe'. In two hundred years more, he says no more of it; then he ordains some institutions for their king, when they should have one". And then it was four hundred years after that, before they had a king. God meant from the first hour, to people the whole earth ; and God could have made men of clay, as fast as they made bricks of clay in Egypt; but he began upon two, and when they had been multiplying and replenishing the earth one thousand six hundred years, the flood washed all that away, and God was almost to begin again upon eight persons; and they have served to people earth and heaven too; be not you discouraged, if the promises which you have made to yourselves, or to others, be not so soon discharged; though you see not your money, though you see not your men, though a flood, a flood of blood have broken in upon them, be not discouraged. Great creatures lie long in the womb; lions are littered perfect, but bear whelps licked unto their shape; actions which kings undertake, are cast in a mould; they have their perfection quickly ; actions of private men, and private purses, require more hammering, and more filing to their perfection. Only let your principal end be the propagation of the glorious Gospel, and though there be an exclusive in the text, God does not promise you a kingdom, ease, and abundance in all things, and that which he does intend to you, he does not promise presently, yet there is an ' Gen. xlix. 10.
10 Deut. xvii. 14.