Meditations On The Sacred Humanity Of The Blessed Redeemer – Chapter 11
KING OF KINGS
Chapter Eleven from the book ‘Meditations on the Sacred Humanity of The Blessed Redeemer’
By J. C. Philpot
If favoured with that “anointing” from above which “teacheth of all things, and is truth, and is no lie,” dropping into our heart and from our pen, our “meditation of him will be sweet” to both writer and reader. And indeed, if in any art of our Meditations on this sacred subject we especially need the unction of his grace to lead us into the truth, to endue us with the spirit of faith so as to receive into a believing heart what the Holy Ghost has revealed in the inspired word, to be kept from unhallowed, presumptuous speculation, whilst treading such sacred ground, and to unfold with any measure of holy and heavenly wisdom the mysteries of the kingdom of grace and glory of our risen and ascended Lord, it is now, when we approach that part of our subject where we have to contemplate him as seated at the right hand of the Father. We have seen him rising from the dead and ascending up on high, and our last view of him was his triumphant entry into the courts of heaven, or, as the Holy Ghost expresses it, “received up into glory.” (1 Timothy 3:16) The subject, then, of our present Meditation will be a view by faith of what Jesus now is at the right hand of the Majesty on high.
But before we enter upon this most blessed theme, as the proposed subject of our Meditations was “The Sacred Humanity of our adorable Redeemer,” it may not be out of place to cast a glance at this sacred humanity in its present exalted state of majesty and glory.
The exaltation of human nature, what the scripture calls “the flesh and blood of the children,” Hebrews 2:14, meaning thereby the whole of our humanity, body and soul, as a necessary but most blessed consequence of its intimate and indissoluble union with the divine Person of the Son of God, is the greatest display of the wisdom, love, and grace of a Triune Jehovah that could be afforded to men or angels. In our present time-state, whilst groaning in our earthly house of this tabernacle, surrounded by evils innumerable without, and burdened with a body of sin and death within, we can only apprehend and realise by faith what our nature now is in union with the Person of the Son of God, and what it hereafter will be in that great day when he shall come “to be glorified in his saints and to be admired in all them that believe,” when he “shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able even to subdue all things unto himself.” (Philippians 3:21.)
Viewed, however, by mortal eyes, as an object of existing sight and sense, human nature can now only be seen in its debased, degraded condition. The original beauty and glory of man, as made in God’s image, after his own likeness, were utterly lost in the Adam fall. Sin has marred body and soul, filling the former with disease and pain, and the latter with pollution and corruption. Of this we have daily experience, not only in its most pressing and painful form as the poison in our own body and soul, often making us groan, being burdened, as regards ourselves, but as witnessing also with grief the pain and misery of others by which we are surrounded, and seeing spread before our eyes the vile abominations which run down our streets like water. But this is not all. Though even of this world’s present misery and sin but an infinitely small fraction has pressed on our heart or entered our eyes or ears, we have not seen, and God grant we never may see, how human nature thoroughly let loose can both sin and suffer. What sins it is capable of we feel in ourselves, for in our own hearts lie deeply imbedded and struggling for life and growth the vital seeds of every foul and damnable crime; what it has done, and is ever greedily, exultingly, remorselessly doing in others, abandoned to its lusts, we see or read in daily act. Even in this civilised land what foul crimes are continually surging up to view, as if from a bottomless deep, where sin is ever seething and boiling as in a flaming cauldron.
But in this present life human nature is no more what it will be hereafter in the unregenerate, than what it will be hereafter in the regenerate. Its future capacity for sin is no more known by the iniquities which it now throws up into open view than the depths of the sea by the seaweed cast upon the shore. Take all the depths unfathomed, unfathomable, of your own heart, or look at the vilest wretch whom sins of every shape and name have debased to the lowest pitch, steeped to the neck in blood and crime, so sworn a foe of all laws, human and divine, that, if to be taken in no other way, he must be shot down like a wild beast for the security of the lives of the community; when you have probed the depths of your own heart, or painted in your own imagination the blackest wretch that the hulks have ever held, or vomited forth on a penal colony, you have not then seen or imagined in your mind the millionth part of what human nature really is as sunk and debased by the Adam fall. The very present constitution of the human body, the limited powers of the mind, the laws of society, the restraint of God’s providence, and a thousand other visible or invisible checks, now keep human nature shut up in itself, as a wild beast in an iron cage. Nor will earth ever witness the full outburst of the fury of sin as blazing forth in the body and soul of man to its utmost height. Hell, and hell alone will fully manifest, as hell, and hell alone will fully develop human nature as burning with the most intense and unquenchable enmity and blasphemy against God and the Lamb.
But take the converse. We have taken a glimpse at human nature debased and degraded, polluted by sin and set on fire of hell. Now view human nature pure and holy, unspotted, unfallen, and especially look at it as exalted above angels, principalities, and powers in the glorious Person of Immanuel, God with us. There we see humanity in intimate personal and indissoluble union with Deity. O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God in suffering man, made after his own image, to sink so low, and in the Person of his dear Son to exalt it so high that the same nature should be in hell and in heaven; in hell, outvying devils in blasphemy in heaven, in union with Deity. It is at human nature thus exalted that we would now chiefly look; and if we have thus briefly touched upon man as debased and degraded by sin, we have thrown in these gloomy colours merely by way of contrast. As in a picture the dark shades set off and more clearly bring out the bright lights, so the very degradation of human nature by sin and its miserable consequences only more clearly brings out into open view the stupendous grace displayed in its glorious exaltation in the Person of the Son of God.
These thoughts, though at first sight perhaps somewhat discursive and foreign to our subject, may, with God’s blessing, prepare our minds to approach that portion of our heavenly theme on which we now attempt to enter.
We have, in our past Meditations, beheld the blessed Lord ascend up on high, and have by faith traced his course up to the very gates of heaven; we have seen his angelic convoy, viewed his dismayed foes, and heard the shouts of exultation from the heavenly host which welcomed him home. We have now, then, to consider the place to which he thus triumphantly ascended, and the end and object of his triumphant entry there.
The place into which he ascended is heaven, by which we mean the immediate residence of God in all his majesty and glory. The blessed Lord is said (Hebrews 4:14) to have “passed into,” or rather, as the word literally means, ” through the heavens,” i.e., the material heavens, both the watery heavens, (Genesis 7:11; Deuteronomy 28:12; Job 38:29; Job 38:37), and the starry heavens (Psalm 8:3; Psalm 19:1); and to be “made higher” than they, that is, not only actually but locally. (Hebrews 7:26) It is, then, into “the heaven of heavens,” (Psalm 148:4), or “the third heaven,” (2 Corinthians 2:12), that the Lord ascended when he went up on high. He is therefore said to be “set on the right hand of the Majesty in the heavens.” (Hebrews 8:1)
We shall chiefly direct our present thoughts to the blessed Lord in the immediate presence of God as Zion’s enthroned King.
Just before the Lord ascended up on high he “came and spake” unto his eleven disciples: “All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.” (Matthew 28:18) Previous to his resurrection his was a state of humiliation and suffering, for “he was made a little lower than the angels;” (Hebrews 2:9); “humbled himself, and became obedient unto death;” (Philippians 2:8); was “a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief;” (Isaiah 53:3); yea, “a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despised of the people.” (Ps. 22:6). But when he arose from the dead, his humiliation was past, and his glory began, as Peter speaks, “Who by him do believe in God, who raised him from the dead and gave him glory.” (1 Peter 1:21) Thus his resurrection was the commencement of his mediatorial reign, and his ascension and going up into heaven was the entering into possession of it, as he himself said to the two disciples, when journeying with them to Emmaus: “Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory?” (Luke 4:26)
When, then, he entered into glory, he took possession of the throne of David, according to the promise made of him unto the Virgin Mary: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end.” (Luke 1:32,33) He was then “called the Son of the Highest,” i.e., openly proclaimed as the Son of God, at and by his resurrection, for he was then “declared to be the Son of God with power by the resurrection from the dead;” (Romans 1:4); and when he went up on high, and was set “at God’s right hand in the heavenly places,” (Psalm 47:4; Psalm 68:18; Ephesians 1:20), he “received the kingdom,” as he intimated in the parable of the nobleman and his ten servants: “He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.” (Luke 19:12) The “far country” is heaven; the “kingdom” received is his present mediatorial reign; and his returning is his second coming. He received the kingdom not only as a kingdom of grace and glory, but as a kingdom of authority and power. All things were then put under his feet, and all power given him in heaven and earth.
The universal power, the spiritual nature, and the eternal duration of this kingdom are no less clearly than beautifully unfolded in Psalm 72: “He shall judge the poor of the people, he shall save the children of the needy, and shall break in pieces the oppressor. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass; as showers that water the earth. In his days shall the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. He shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth. They that dwell in the wilderness shall bow before him; and his enemies shall lick the dust. For he shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall save the souls of the needy. His name shall endure for ever; his name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in him; all nations shall call him blessed.” And that this exaltation to the right hand of God is for the good of his people, and that he might be the spiritual, ever-living Head of his church, is blessedly unfolded by the apostle where, speaking of Christ’s resurrection, he says that God “raised him from the dead, and set him at his own right hand in the heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come; and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the church, which is his body, the fulness of him that filleth all in all.” (Ephesians 1:20-23)
Men have unhappily thrown discredit upon this most blessed doctrine of the kingship of Christ, which, as revealed in the scriptures, is full of sweet consolation to the exercised family of God, by carnalising it into an earthly millennium. No doubt there are glories in this sovereign rule of Jesus to be one day more fully manifested, but it is proposed to our faith all through the New Testament as an object of our present spiritual experience; for as Zion’s enthroned King he is the Head of his body the church, and as such supplies her out of his own inexhaustible fulness. He died that we might never die. To him, as raised from the dead, we are married that we might “bring forth fruit unto God.” (Romans 7:4) “Because he lives we shall live also.” (John 14:19) To him, as our enthroned King, we give the allegiance of our hearts; before his feet, as our rightful Sovereign, we humbly lie; and we beg of him, as possessed of all power, to subdue our iniquities, subdue our rebellious lusts, and sway his peaceful sceptre over every faculty of our soul.
That he should thus reign and rule, and that over all flesh, (Matthew 28:18; John 17:2; 1 Corinthians 15:25,26; Hebrews 2:8), was the promise made unto him in Psalm 2, the subject of which is the exaltation of the Son of God as the anointed King of Zion. This exaltation of the Son of God in our nature made “the heathen rage, and the people [i.e., the Jewish people] imagine a vain thing,” which was, that by their rebellion and disobedience they could “break the bands asunder, and cast away the cords” in which they were bound by God’s firm decree, when he said, “I have set my King upon my holy hill of Zion.” This exaltation of the Son of God in our nature, as of the seed of David, Peter preached in that Pentecostal sermon which the Holy Ghost so inspired and so honoured: “This Jesus hath God raised up, whereof we all are witnesses; therefore, being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear; for David is not ascended into the heavens; but he saith himself. The Lord said unto my Lord, Sit thou on my right hand until I make thy foes thy footstool. Therefore let all the house of Israel know assuredly that God hath made that same Jesus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts 2:32-36.) Jesus is here declared to be made by the Father “both Lord and Christ,” that is. King and Priest “Lord,” as invested with sovereign and supreme dominion, “Christ,” as the anointed High Priest over the house of God.
This exaltation of the Lord Jesus was given him as a reward for his incarnation, humiliation, and suffering obedience, as the apostle so beautifully speaks, “And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Wherefore God hath also highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.” (Philippians 2:8-11)
This exaltation wherewith God hath so “highly exalted him,” is to his own right hand; and “the name which he hath given him, which is above every name,” is that of “Lord,” that in our nature as God-man he might rule and reign, and exercise supreme dominion and sovereign authority over things in heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth. The mystery of grace and glory contained in and made manifest by this exaltation of the Son of God is not that he reigns and rules as one with the Father and the Holy Ghost, for this he did as one with them in essence, power, and glory before the foundation of the world; but that he reigns and rules as God-man as the Son of God and yet the Son of man, as David’s Lord and yet as David’s Son. See the following scriptures: (Matthew 22:42-45; John 10:26,27; Acts 7:55,56; Romans 1:3,4; Romans 14:9; Ephesians 1:20-23; Hebrews 2:9).
This exaltation of Jesus to the throne of glory was typified by the glorious throne which Solomon made for himself, and on which he sat in royal state: “Moreover the king made a great throne of ivory, and overlaid it with the best gold. The throne had six steps, and the top of the throne was round behind; and there were stays on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. And twelve lions stood there, on the one side and on the other upon the six steps. There was not the like made in any kingdom.” (1 Kings 10:18-20.) It was “a great throne,” to show the greatness of his power and dominion; made of “ivory,” to denote purity and perfection; and “overlaid with the best gold,” to signify value and preciousness. It had “six steps,” to denote elevation; and “the top was round behind,” to signify that past and present were alike open to view, that there was no escaping the sight and power of him who sat on it, for the throne being round, he could turn his eyes and hands in all directions. There were “stays on either side on the place of the seat,” to signify the firmness of the throne; and the two lions beside the stays and the twelve lions on the six steps denoted the power and authority of him who sat thereon, for he is the Lion of Judah. (Revelation 5:5; Genesis 49:9.)
This aspect of the exaltation of the Lord Jesus as the enthroned King of Zion is a blessed subject of meditation when we consider its bearing upon the helpless, defenceless condition of the church of God. She stands surrounded by foes, internal, external, infernal; and all armed against her with deadly enmity. “Behold, I send you forth,” said the blessed Lord, “as sheep among wolves.” (Matthew 10:16) What would have become of the flock, especially in those early times, when persecution so raged on every side, unless the Lord Jesus, at the right hand of the Father, had guarded the fold? Never could the church have more loudly sung the song of preserving power: “If it had not been the Lord who was on our side, now may Israel say; if it had not been the Lord who was on our side, when men rose up against us; then they had swallowed us up quick, when their wrath was kindled against us; the stream had gone over our soul; then the proud waters had gone over our soul.” (Psalm 124:1-5) And even now, when the strong arm of the law protects them from external violence, what would become of the saints of God had they no sovereign Protector, who, in their nature, as their Head and Husband, rules and reigns on their behalf in the courts of heaven? We are encompassed with foes; for “we wrestle” not only “against flesh and blood”—strong in others, but far more strong and subtle in ourselves but—”against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.” (Ephesians 6:12) What hope or help, then, can we have but in that all-seeing eye, which sees; that all-sympathising heart, which feels; that all-powerful hand, which delivers the objects of his love from all the snares and wiles, and defeats all the plans and projects of these mighty, implacable foes?
As our enthroned King, also, Jesus is the especial object of our faith. We daily and hourly feel the workings of mighty sins, raging lusts, powerful temptations, besetting evils, against the least and feeblest of which we have no strength. But as the eye of faith views our blessed Lord at the right hand of the Father, we are led by the power of his grace to look unto him, hang upon him, and seek help out of him. Trials in providence, afflictions in the family, sickness and infirmities in the tabernacle, crooked things in the church, opposition and persecution from the world, a vile, unbelieving heart, which we can neither sanctify nor subdue, a rough and rugged path, increasing in difficulty as we journey onward, doubts, fears, and misgivings in our own bosom, inward slips and falls, wanderings, starlings aside, and hourly backslidings from the strait and narrow path, jealous enemies watching for our halting, with no eye to pity, nor arm to help, but the Lord’s how all these foes and fears make us feel our need of an enthroned King, Head, and Husband, whose tender heart is soft to pity, whose mighty arm is strong to relieve!
It is good also to bear in mind that Jesus, as Zion’s exalted King, has received “gifts for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell among them.” This Peter puts prominently forward in that sermon which he preached on the memorable day of Pentecost. “Therefore being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.” (Acts 2:33) It was as our enthroned King, that he received and shed forth the gifts and graces of the Holy Ghost, the promised Comforter. The same blessed truth is asserted and unfolded by the apostle Paul, Ephesians 4: “Wherefore he saith, When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men. Now that he ascended, what is it but that he also descended first into the lower parts of the earth? He that descended is the same also that ascended up far above all heavens, that he might fill all things.” (Eph. 4:8-10.) The apostle is here alluding to the prophetic declaration in (Psalm 68:18.) One expression in this declaration is very sweet and beautiful, according to the marginal rendering. “Thou hast received gifts for men” is in the margin, “in the man,” i.e., in his human nature, in which he is exalted as our anointed King.
The gift of the Comforter was, so to speak, dependent on the resurrection, ascension, and exaltation of Jesus. “Nevertheless, I tell you the truth; it is expedient for you that I go away; for if I go not away the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart I will send him unto you.” (John 16:7) Thus he is said to send the Comforter, (John 15:26), which he only does by virtue of his exaltation and glorification at the right hand of God, as holy John speaks: “But this spake he of the Spirit, which they that believe on him should receive; for the Holy Ghost was not yet given, because that Jesus was not yet glorified.” (John 7:36) No heart can conceive or tongue describe the blessedness of this gift—the gift of the Comforter. How effectual his teachings! how divine his operations! how heavenly his influences! how sacred his anointings! how sweet his consolations, and yet how deep his convictions! how earnest his cries! how fervent his breathings! how unutterable his groanings! What could we know, or feel, or be, or have, or do; what could we think or say; how could we believe, or hope, or love; repent, or watch, or pray; submit, or suffer; preach, or hear, or write; how could we live; and, above all, and last of all, how could we die, without this holy and blessed Comforter?
But were Jesus not exalted as Zion’s King, this shedding forth of the gifts and graces of the blessed Spirit could not and would not be. It is because God “hath given him power over all flesh, that he gives eternal life to as many as God has given him.” This “eternal life” is spiritual life; for its very being and blessedness is that they to whom he imparts it “may know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.” (John 17:2,3) But this life, and this saving knowledge of the Father and of the Son, are given by the Spirit, whom Jesus sends, and who glorifies him by coming to testify of him; for he receives of Christ’s and shows it to his people. (John 16:14)
Thus, as Jesus is exalted to the right hand of the Father, he becomes a gracious and glorious head of influence to the mystical members of his body. This was prophesied of him under the figure of Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah, “And it shall come to pass in that day that I will call my servant Eliakim, the son of Hilkiah; and I will clothe him with thy robe, and strengthen him with thy girdle; and I will commit thy government into his hand; and he shall be a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah. And the key of the house of David will I lay upon his shoulder; so he shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open. And I will fasten him as a nail in a sure place; and he shall be for a glorious throne to his father’s house.” (Isaiah 22:20-23) The Lord, therefore, who appeared in so glorious a manner to John, Revelation 1 as the exalted Head of the church, (for though he was still the Son of man, Revelation 1:13, his countenance was as the sun shining in his strength; and though he was once dead yet he liveth and is alive for evermore, and has the keys of hell and death), and said of himself, in his message to the church at Philadelphia, “And to the angel of the church at Philadelphia write, These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth, and shutteth and no man openeth.” It were good for us to be looking up to the blessed Lord as our enthroned King not only that he might sway his sceptre over our hearts, controlling our rebellious wills, and subduing us to his gentle might, but as Lord over all our enemies, external, internal, infernal.
But one point we must ever bear in mind, for indeed it will surely be taught us if we are amongst the number of his loyal subjects, that however great may be the benefits and blessings of having such a King as our gracious and glorious Sovereign, we can only truly know, and experimentally realise them as we are brought into the obedience of faith. Let us not deceive ourselves by merely seeing and acknowledging his dominion when our heart is destitute of submission to his sceptre. “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.” (Matthew 7:21) The Holy Ghost, in Psalm 18:44, draws a distinction between the true obedience of Christ’s “people” and the “strangers” to God and godliness. “As soon as they the people hear of me they shall obey me; the strangers shall submit themselves “lie, or yield feigned obedience,” marginal reading unto me.” But the same grace which makes the heart honest, and bows it in willing obedience to Christ’s sceptre; the same holy anointing which, by revealing the love and blood of the cross, reconciles the stubborn will and softens and meekens the obdurate spirit, opens also the eyes of the child of God to see and his soul to feel his daily need of Jesus as his gracious King. His sceptre is felt to be a sceptre of grace; his kingdom an inward kingdom, (Luke 17:21), which is “not in word but in power” (1 Corinthians 4:20); “not meat and drink” legal observances and fleshly obedience “but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” (Romans 14:17)
But that this blessed kingdom may be set up with power in our hearts, we are led into trials and temptations, and thrust, as it were, into a very host of foes, that we may prove for ourselves the reality and blessedness of such a kingdom and such a King. Every child of God is surrounded by a host of enemies without and within, who, unless they be overcome for him and by him, will most certainly overcome him. There is no neutrality in this warfare; it is a fight for life or death; for certain victory or certain defeat. All the promises are made to him that overcometh, (Revelation 3:12), and that most glorious one of all: “To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.” (Revelation 3:21) But to be overcome is to be lost, for ever lost, and to perish under the wrath of God. How then shall we overcome but by faith in our risen Head; but by calling upon our enthroned King to fight our battles, who must reign till he hath put all enemies under his feet?
If we belong to Jesus and walk in obedience to his will and word we shall surely have many outward foes, “for all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (2 Timothy 3:12) But let them pass; they cannot really hurt us, for “who is he that will harm you if ye be followers of that which is good?” (1 Peter 3:13) There are much more numerous and mightier enemies within than any foes without; and of these we may truly say with Judah of old, in the presence of the embattled host, “O, our God, wilt thou not judge them? for we have no might against this great company that cometh against us; neither know we what to do; but our eyes are upon thee.” (2 Chronicles 20:12) And well it is when we can look up in faith and prayer to the blessed Lord as our risen Head and enthroned King, and, from a believing view of his surpassing grace and almighty power, ready to be stretched out on our behalf, can say, “Our eyes are upon thee.” When we feel the power of sin, the tyranny of our vile lusts and passions, and what our nature is capable of if left to its own will and way, how sweet and suitable is the promise, “He will turn again; he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities.” (Micah 7:19)
When, then, our blessed Joshua brings the captive kings out of the cave, and by his Spirit and grace puts our feet upon their necks, (Joshua 10:24), then he becomes endeared to us as our sceptred King; for in these favoured moments we can truly say, “O Lord our God, other lords beside thee have had dominion over us; but by thee only will we make mention of thy name.” (Isaiah 26:13) “Lord,” we say, “subdue our iniquities; bend our wills to thine; reign and rule over and in us as our Lord and God; bring into captivity every rebellious thought to the obedience of Christ; come into our soul in thy love, and blood, and grace; conform us to thine image; make us to walk in thy footsteps, and let not any sin have dominion over us.” When thus subdued by the sceptre of his all-conquering grace, we can lie humbly and resignedly at his feet, and, yielding the obedience of a believing, loving heart, commit all we are and have into his sacred hands as our most blessed rightful Sovereign; then we prove that the present kingship of Jesus at the right hand of the Father is no dry doctrine, nor mere speculative notion, but, as received into a feeling, believing heart, is a matter of vital and daily experience. This is the reign of grace (Romans 5:21); the building of the spiritual temple, in which there is heard neither hammer nor axe, (1 Kings 6:7), but noiselessly carried on in believing hearts by our glorious Joshua, of whom we read: “Behold the man whose name is the Branch; and he shall grow up out of his place, and he shall build the temple of the Lord; even he shall build the temple of the Lord; and he shall bear the glory, and shall sit and rule upon his throne; and he shall be a priest upon his throne; and the counsel of peace shall be between them both.” (Zechariah 6:12,13)