Gospel-conversation: wherein is shewed, I. How the conversation of believers must be above what could be by the light of nature. II. Beyond those that lived under the law. III. And suitable to what truths the Gospel holds forth. By Jeremiah Burroughs, preacher of the Gospel to Stepney and Criplegate, London. Being the third book published by Thomas Goodwyn, William Greenhil, Sydrach Simpson, Philip Nye, William Bridge, John Yates, William Adderly.
Burroughs, Jeremiah, 1599-1646., Goodwin, Thomas, 1600-1680.
Page  134

SERMON I.

IF you please to reflect back upon the last daies Exercise, when we finished that Scripture in the Philippians, that teaches us to walk as becomes the Gospel; in the prosecution of which we shewed what it was the Gospel principally did hold forh unto us; and what Conversations ought to be in the Professors of it sutable unto those things the Gospel holds forth; and among those, this was one parti∣cular of great moment, that we did then but hint out un∣to you in a word or two, That the Kingdom of Christ was not of this world. They are Christs own words. Now because it is a consideration of very great use, I would be loth the benefit of it should be lost: therefore I have now pickt out that to speak to more largely, and to open the meaning of it unto you from this Scripture;

JOHN, 18. 36. Jesus answered and said, My Kingdom is not of this world.

THE words are a part of the story of Christs arraignment be∣fore Pilat. Behold here the King of Heaven and Earth stands arraigned at the Barr of a wicked man. In this Arraignment we find a special Charge which his Adver∣saries bring against Him, which was this: THAT HE MADE HIMSELF THE KING OF THE JEWS. Page  135He was an enemy to Government. The usual charge that the world hath had against the Saints, that they are enemies to Govern∣ment. They fare no worse here than Christ did.

Pilat requires of him to answer to the Charge, (whether it were so or no, that He hath made Himself a King.) Now you shall find in the answer of Christ, He doth not deny the thing, but implicitly grants it, neither doth he answer him fully to his mind, but saith, My Kingdom is not of this world.

My Kingdom] As if he should say, I acknowledg that I have a Kingdom, as mean and low as I am brought now, though I stand here before you as a despised man, a Carpenters son, yet I confess I have a Kingdom, but it is not of this world.

Not of this world] He doth not say, not IN this world, but saith, it is not OF this world, it is not a worldly Kingdom. We have in the words these two things.

First, That Christ hath a Kingdom.

Secondly, What kind of Kingdom Christs is, Not of this world.

I shall not here speak much unto the former, and so to han∣dle the common place of Christs Kingly Office, but only hint it to you as it makes way to the latter, there we shall stay a while.

Christ he hath a Kingdom, He is anointed by the Father to be King, as well as Priest, and Prophet of His Church: Psal. 45. 6. Thy Throne O God, is for ever and ever, the Scepter of thy King∣dom is a right Scepter: (that Psalm is a Prophesie of Christ:) And in the 19. of Revel. 16. Christ is there called, The King of Kings, and Lord of Lords; Christ God-man, is the King of Hea∣ven and Earth, Christ God-man, is the King of Angels and o∣ver all the World; and we must know Christ as a King, and act our faith upon him as a King or else we know Him not a∣right, we have not the true work of faith except (I say) our faith act upon Him as a King as well as a Savior: In Acts, 2. 36. God hath made Him (saith the text) both Lord and Christ: Mark, He it not only Christ, but Lord and Christ; though it is true, that in the word Christ all His Offices are implyed, which signifies, anointed to them all; but yet this is expressed by its self, Lord and Christ, for indeed properly He is Christ unto His Church; Page  136 but He is also Lord over all the World in some sense.

But then you will say, How doth He say, that His Kingdom is not of this world, if He he Lord over all the world?

Now that I might come to that point that I have chosen the text for, we are to know that Christ hath a double Kingdom.

First, Together with the Father He hath a Providential King∣dom (as I may so say for distinction sake.)

Secondly, He hath a Mediatory Kingdom (as Divines call it.)

First, A Providential Kingdom together with the Father where∣by He mannages all the affairs of the world. (I say) God-man, the second Person in Trinity doth mannage all the affairs of the world, His Scepter ruleth over all: as God did make all things by Christ, so He doth govern all things by Him; if God had not deputed the second Person in Trinity God man the Media∣tor to have been the Governor of all things, the holiness and justice of God according to the Covenant of works by which he had to deal with man would have destroyed the world upon mans sin; had not the ordering and governing of the world been put into the hand of the second Person in Trinity God-man the Mediator, for though he was not manifested in the flesh, He had not actually taken our humane Nature upon Him, yet He was look'd upon as God-man with the Father even before the foundation of the world was laid, and so all things were committed to Him; And hence the world notwithstanding the sin that hath been in it hath been preserved so as it hath been to this day; Christ therefore hath a Providential Kingdom to∣gether with the Father, and so he is King, not over the Churches only, the King of the Saints, but He is over all the Heathen, o∣ver all the world, from the rising of the Sun to the setting there∣of: And the Civil Magistrate (as I may so say) is the Deputy of Christ in this his Providential Kingdom, Gods Vicegerent upon Earth, all Magistrates whatsoever are Officers subordinate un∣der Him.

But now, there's another Kingdom of Christ that this Scrip∣ture speaks of, My Kingdom is not of this world. That is, the Kingdom of the Mediator (as Divines calls it,) that more pro∣perly concerns His Church in the execution of His Mediatory Page  137 Office: Now this Kingdom of Christ it was ever since there was a Church, but it was very dark under clouds and curtains, the glory of it was little till the second Person came to be manife∣sted in the flesh, then indeed this Mediatory Kingdom of Christ came to be revealed abundantly, more cleerly than before, and Christ exercised it more fully; this is that which the Scripture so often in the Gospel cals the Kingdom of Heaven. Repent for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand: 'tis not of this world, but it's cal'd the Kingdom of Heaven; the Mediatory Kingdom of Christ is not of this world; there's a great deal of difference between a worldly kingdom and this Kingdom of Christ. And that's the subject that I am now to open to you, How Christs Kingdom is not of this world, the vast difference between world∣ly kingdoms and Christs Kingdom, which you will find to be a point of very great use.

First, Christs Kingdom hath not that pomp and glory, that brave∣ry and galantry that the Kingdoms of the world have; you know in the Kingdoms of the world there's a great deal of outward pomp and glory; Bernice and Agrippa, they came in great pomp (the text saith;) the Kings of the earth have glorious at∣tendance. Christ hath no such thing, His attendance was a few poor Fisher-men: Kings have great Courts, and crouded with Courtiers: His Court was but small, only a few of such kind of men, mean and contemptible, taken from the hedges, and out of the high waies: They have sumptuous Pallaces: Christ had not a place to hide His head here in this world; He saith himself, that the Foxes have holes, and the Birds of the air have nests, but the Son of Man hath not wherewithal to hide His head, and yet a great King for all that: Surely it was not of this world. The Kings of the earth have all kind of delicates that this world can afford, they carry things in great state: It was not so with Christ, Zech. 9. 9. Rejoyce greatly, Oh Daughter of Zion, shout Oh Daughter of Jerusalem; behold thy King cometh unto thee, He is just, and having salvation, lowly, and riding upon an Ass, and upon a Colt, the foal of an Ass. He comes lowly and mean, the way of Christ in this His kindom is a way of humility and outward meanness and lowliness, it is a way of outward con∣tempt, scorn and dirision, this is the way of the kingdom of Page  138 Christ, by poverty, and lowliness He would overcome the world, not by bravery and magnificence, nor by great pomp and glory, He doth not dazle the eyes of men by such means; but His glory consists in self-denial, in emptying of Himself, in becoming poor; & therfore His Kingdom is not of this world. Luke, 17. 20. The Kingdom of God (saith the text there) comes not with observation: that's the word: the meaning of it is this: It is not a thing that by any outward pompous Ceremonies can be observed. Now Kings when they go from one place to another, by their attendance, and by a great many ceremonies that are used for the setting out of their pomp and glory, they are taken notice of and observed; you may know the King comes here, say the people, when they see such things. But saith the text there, The Kingdom of God comes not by observation; there's no such outward pomp and glory, there's nothing but outward meaness and baseness to the eye of the flesh, in the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. He that is in Himself the most glorious King, and from whom all other Kings have their power, yet He hath a Kingdom that is not of this world, that hath nothing but mea∣ness, poverty, and lowliness that doth appear in it to the eyes of men.

Secondly, The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world, in regard of His Subjects. Look what subjects Christ hath, they are such as are not of this world: So Christ tels His Disciples, as you may find in the 17. of John, I am not of the world: and you are not of the world. Kings, they have for their subjects, Nobles, Peers, and great Personages, especially those that are near about them: but now the subjects that Christ hath for His Kingdom (for the ge∣nerality of them) they are of the poor, mean, base, & contemp∣tible men of the world, such as are look'd upon, as the off-scou∣ring of all things, these are His subjects: as in the second of James, 5. verse, Hearken my beloved brethren: Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom? The poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the Kingdom: they are the great hears, even the poor of this world. You know what an offence it was unto the Jews, say they, Do any of the Rulers beleeve in him? but this multitude, which is accursed. A com∣pany of poor women, illiterat people they flock after Jesus Christ.Page  139 The subjects of Christ are men chosen out of this world, he him∣self appeared not with the glory of the world. And secondly, His subjects are men chosen out of the world.

Thirdly, The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world; that is, the rule that Christ hath in His subjects, and over these His subjects in this His Kingdom it is not of this world, the rule it is spiri∣tual, It is principally upon the hearts, the wills, the conscien∣ces of those that are His subjects, every subject of Christ hath his will and heart subdued to Jesus Christ. It is not so in this world, men may be subject to the Kings of this world meerly by constraint because they dare not do otherwise, many Kings in this world have subjects whose hearts are not with them, who love them not, the Kings of this world they rule only the outward man▪ But Christs Kingdom is another kind of King∣dom, He rules in the hearts of men, there is His Throne, in the wills, in the affections of men, in the consciences of men, Christ swaies His Scepter in mens souls: men by conquest they subdue subjects to themselves; Christ he subdues too in a way of con∣quest, but he doth not subdue the outward man so much as the inward man, the will is subdued to Christ, He swaies His Scepter in their hearts: this is a great mystery of godliness, the swaying of the Scepter of Jesus Christ in the hearts of the Saints; and therefore the Scripture tels us, That the Kingdom of God is within us, it is an inward Kingdom. That's the third thing wherein the difference between Christs Kingdom and the Kingdoms of the world consists.

Fourthly, The Laws of Christ are Spiritual. Observe the dif∣ference between the Laws of Christ in the government of His Church, and the Laws that are for the government of the world, it will be of very great use for you to know: The Lord in His Providential Kingdom appointing Magistrates to govern here in the world in His room, He leaves them to make Laws accor∣ding to the general rules of prudence and justice, such Laws are sufficient for the governing of the outward man, and for the attaining to a Civil end for which their government is appoin∣ted; But now Jesus Christ in His Mediatory Kingdom, in His Church He makes all the Laws Himself, He doth not leave it unto the Church to make new Laws, according to the rules of Page  140 their own prudence, what they conceive to be fit in way of pru∣dence, no, but they must fetch the Laws out of His Word, and impose none but the same Laws that are in His Word, they must have a Scriptum est, it is written, here are these and these texts of Scripture for what is enjoyned, nothing must be added unto what He hath in His Word revealed, only there are Divine Laws for the government of His Church: now 'tis true, that the Church because they are a society of men, they have some things natural, and some things civil among them, so far as they have need of natural and civil helps, so far there may be Laws made according to rules of prudence and justice, and Magistrates may come in to be helpful to the Church, so far as they have need here of natural and civil helps as a society of men; But now to speak properly to that which belongs to them meerly as they are the Church of Christ, besides that that they have need of as they are men, and natural and civil societies, (I say) what belongs to them, meerly considered as a Church of Christ, they are to be governed only by the Laws of Jesus Christ who is the only Law-giver, only by the Laws of the Word; and there is not that liberty of making new Laws in the Church as there is of making new Laws in the Common-wealth and State; and that's a great difference between the Kingdom of Christ and the Kingdoms of this world. That's a fourth; The Laws are dif∣ferent. The Laws are different, not only that they are by Di∣vine revelation in the one, and left to humane prudence in the other: But 2ly in the one the Laws bind conscience, in the o∣ther they do not, they do not bind conscience any further than the nature of the thing that is required binds, except it be in case of scandal and contempt, so our Divines that have been the most orthodox have gone; that the Laws of men in the State they bind not conscience, that is, if a man should not do the thing that is required, he should in conscience be bound over to eternal death for not doing it, this is a very hard bondage, a cruel yoke: but thus, if the thing that is required be right and just, then the nature of the thing may bind conscience, for then there comes in a Law of God, if the thing be just and right that is required: or however, if I know nothing to the contrary but it may be just and right, I must not break the Laws of man Page  141 so as to give scandal, or in a way of contempt; but if it be pri∣vatly, so as it be no scandal, nor no contempt, and the nature of the thing bind me not, then my conscience is not bound over as guilty of eternal death, if so be I do not every thing that man requires. But now the Laws of Christ they are such as bind con∣science as they come from him, he is such a King that (I say) be∣cause they come from him and from his Will, though we see no reason in the matter of the thing, though they have nothing in the nature of the thing but meerly the Will of Christ, it's e∣nough to tye conscience, and to bind us even upon pain of eter∣nal death to obedience.

Fiftly, Christs Kingdom is not of this world: That homage that the Saints do unto Christ it is not worldly but spiritual, the Worship of Christ, and the Ordinances of Christ they are not worldly but spiritual. Now the Kings of this world they may appoint what kind of worship they please, that is, what Cere∣monies they will, whereby their subject, should tender up their homage to them: and now men have ventured to be so bold with Christ the King, because men may tender up their homage unto their earthly Kings by any waies invented of their own, therefore they have thought that they might pre∣sume to tender up their homage to Christ their spiritual King by any waies of invented worship; and therein was a great er∣ror, they lookt upon the Kingdom of Christ only in a carnal way, whereas the Kingdom of Christ is such as all our homage that we tender up to Him must be Spiritual, it must be Hea∣venly, it must be from Heaven, it must be from Christ Himself, it must be from some Institution and Appointment of Jesus Christ: and the more the kingdom of Christ doth prevail, the more Spiritual shall that homage be that the subjects tender up to Him: & therefore you shall find that when the holy Ghost speaks of the Kingdom of Christ in the new Testament, with reference unto that which was then in the old Testament, He calls, even those waies of worship in the old Testament worldly, in comparison of the worship and homage that the Saints ten∣der to Christ in the new Testament, as in Gal. 4. 3. Even so we, when we were children, were in bondage under the elements of the Page  142 world. The ceremonies of the Law are call'd here the elements of the world, that we were in bondage to, while we were chil∣dren, for though we were subject to Christ then, yet we were but in our non-age; and indeed in comparison of what we are in the times of the Gospel we were slaves rather than subjects; we were then in bondage: and then in Col. 2. 8. Beware lest any man spoil you through Phylosophy and vain deceit, after the tradi∣tion of men, after the rudiments of the world, and not after Christ. [after the rudiments of the world] These rudiments of the world they had some reference (as it appears in reading this Chapter) unto the ceremonies of the Law, and together with them there was mixture of mens own inventions, they were the rudiments of the world, not after Christ; you do not acknowledge Christ to be a King when you worship him in a worldly way, after the rudiments of the world; As now for instance, be∣cause men were wont to honor the Presence Chamber where the King sits, when you go into it you are to be uncovered: Now like unto that (according to the way of the world) men think that because they meet here for Religious ends to worship God, that when they come (as any time in the week) into such a place as this is, they must come uncovered; now this is after the rudiments of the world, you think to worship this King after the same way, but his way of worship is no such low in∣stitution. And as they bowed to the Chair of State, and so they would bow with cap and knee to the Communion Table that they cal'd the Altar; now these are according to the rudi∣ments of the world; but Christs Kingdom is not of this world, His worship must be spiritual, in Heb. 9. 1. Then verily the first Covenant had also Ordinances of Divine Service, and a worldly Sanctuary. Mark, in the time of the Law it was but a worldly Sanctuary in comparison of what is now in the times of the Go∣spel; those waies of worship though they were once appointed by God, Christ the King of His Church in the new Testament would not have His homage tendered up by these waies of worship, they were too worldly for Him; then surely to have the inventions of men in the worship of Christ, in the new Testa∣ment especially, it is too worldly for Christ: No it must be Page  143 Divine and Spiritual, he that worships, must worship in spirit and in truth: al that worship and homage we tender up to Jesus Christ, we must look to have it spiritual and not worldly; and so the Ordinances, though they have something external, as the Sacraments, yet if we stick to the outward part, we do not worship Christ as our King in a right way; but we must be spi∣ritual in all, look upon the spiritual part in al Ordinances, or else (I say) we do not tender up that homage to Christ that is due to Him, as the King of His Church.

Sixthly, Christs Kingdom is not of this world: that is, The Officers that Christ hath appointed, for the government of His Church, are not of this world, are not to be of this world; but they are all to be by Divine Institution. Observe the difference in the Ad∣ministration of Christs Kingdom, and the worldly Kingdoms: In the kingdoms of this world men may invent as many new Officers as they please, they may errect new Officers in a State and Common-wealth: But al the men in the world cannot er∣rect any one new Office in the Church, cannot make one new Officer otherwise than is in the Word; we do not reade of any such name as Tryers there: Now though we do not find Officers of States in the Word, yet a Human Creation is enough, as the Apostle cals it,*Be subject to every Ordinance of men. You have it in Peter, the word that is there translated, Ordinance of men, it is, a Humane Creation.* In the Church there can be no new Officers created: Christ hath made Pastors, and Teachers, Elders, and Decons, and Widdows in the Church; and not any new sort can be added by all the men in the world. And therfore it was heretofore, as in Popery, so in Prelacy, they would errect a new kind of Religion (as they cal'd it) more spiritual, and so made the Kingdom of Christ like unto the kingdoms of the world, and thought that they had power to make as many new Officers in the Church as they pleased. Certainly this was a derogation from the kingdom of Christ, they made it too worldly. A second difference in the Church-Officers from the Officers in the kingdoms of the world, is this, If once they be put into such a place in the Church, they have the ful power of the place. As supose now a Pastor or a Teacher hath as much power as any one Pastor or Teacher upon the face of the earth; there cannot be a difference Page  144 between one Officer and another of the same kind in the Church as in the State: Now the State may limit their Officers as they please, in some Countries they may make Justices of the Peace for one use, and in another Country for another use, they may limit them according as they please, how they shall execute their places, and when they must leave their Offices to others: But in the Church, one Pastor (whatsoever he be) hath as much power of Christ in him as any that live, for as there can be no new Of∣fices in this kingdom of Christ but by Divine Institution, so there can be no limitation of their Office but according to the Institu∣tion of Jesus Christ. So His Kingdom is not of this world. It's true, if so be that the Magistrate shall come in by Law to help the Church, so far as they shall come in to give Civil help to the Church they may appoint Officers, to see that their power be not abused; but not any that are properly Church Officers, to administer any spiritual Ordinances in the Church, but such as are by Divine Institution.

Seventhly, The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world; the wea∣pons by which Christ doth fight with His adversaries to main∣tain His Kingdom, are not the weapons of the world; in that notable Scripture 2 Cor. 10. 4, 5. For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong bolds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing, that exalteth it self against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ. Mark, here's the weapons of the Kingdom of Christ, Christ brings into captivity every thought, easts down strong holds, whatsoever strong hold, or high thing is lifted up against the Kingdom of Christ, Christ hath weapons in His Kingdom to cast it down; but saith he, the weapons of our warfare (there is a warfare) they are not carnal but spi∣ritual.

Christ in His kingdom He doth not appoint carnal weapons, He gives not unto His Church weapons of the flesh, to make men beleeve whether they will or no.

You will say, If there be not such weapons that are outward to force men, then all will be to no purpose, it will be nothing?

Yes saith the Apostle, Our weapons are not carnal, but Spiritual; and he answers that objection, That men will not care for Page  145 them if they do not come in an outward compulsary way, by imprisonments, and fyning, and such kind of waies.

We speak not what power the Civil State hath, but Christ hath committed no such thing to the Church, as the Church: and these weapons the Apostle speaks of, though they be not carnal but spiritual, yet they are mighty through God, and the more spiritual they are, the more mighty they are to cast down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth its self against the knowledg of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

The weapons, What are they? They are the two edged sword of the Spirit, the Word of God in the Name of Christ, and with the authority of Christ preached to the people in the Word of God, binding men in a dogmatical way, these are our Spiri∣tual weapons; Christ hath never appointed his Church to de∣fend its self by carnal weapons, the Church goes no further than Spiritual weapons, it's in the very text that I have read to you, My Kingdom is not of this world: Mark what follows, What were the weapons Christ had to defend His Kingdom? surely no worldly weapons, My Kingdom is not of this world; if my King∣dom were (saith he) of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews; but now is my kingdom not from hence; if my Kingdom were from hence, I should have the like weapons to defend me as the Kings of the world have to de∣fend themselves.

Q. You will say, What's the fighting and Wars for now? May there not be Wars and fighting for the maintainance of Religion and the Kingdom of Christ?

A. Now to that I answer thus, That the Church hath not these weapons, as a Church they have only spiritual, yea and were it that any Church of God were in any place where they had not a Civil Right to the exercise of their Religion, then I confess (meerly for their Religion when the Civil right of the State is against it) if they should take up arms and fight for it, I think they should go beyond the Commission of Jesus Christ: they should trust Christ for His Kingdom; and we find no Warrant in all the Book of God for to take up weapons meerly for the defence of Religion. And therefore in the primitive times, Page  146 never took up weapons, all their armor were prayers and tears.

Obj. But we do (you'l say) now; Are not our Wars for the defence of Religion.

Ans. Now to that it's cleerly answered thus, Our Wars are for the defence of the Civil Right we have to the outward pra∣ctice of our Religion, and so by weapons we may defend our Civil Right, that is, if we live in such a State where we have Civil Right by the Laws of the Sate to the peacable enjoyment of our Religion, if any shall come to disturb us, then by the vertue of our Civil Right we may take up weapons to sight and defend our selves with; I but this is not as a Church, nor meer∣ly for Religion, for if now the Civil State should be so chan∣ged that the Supream Power should be against the waies of Reli∣gion, yet for Civil things they would defend us, but for the waies of Religion they were against us in it, I confess in such a case for men that have no Civil authority at all to take up weapons, to force any practice, or way of Religion, this would not be warrantable by Christ, and by this we should fight for the kingdom of Christ by other weapons than ever Christ hath appointed; but now, when we have the Civil Po∣wer, the Civil Magistrate may grant Civil Liberty, and Civil Liberty for the outward practice of Religion, and so we may defend such a Right as this for the peaceable practice of our Re∣ligion, that none should come to force any other false Religi∣on upon us. But now, the kingdom of Christ is not of this world, the weapons of Christs kingdom are spiritual weapons; and in those times when there were no outward weapons to de∣fend the kingdom of Christ, as in the Primitive times when all Civil States were against the kingdom of Jesus Christ, Did it not thrive? We are ready to say, Al Religion will be taken away ex∣cept there be such compulsary waies; I do not say but there may be compulsion to keep men from mischieving of others in things that are against the foundation. But now for the raising up of the Kingdom of Christ we know that when there was no compulsary waies, yet the kingdom of Jesus Christ went on and flourished as much as ever it hath done since, so that the kingdom of Christ is not of this world, He hath not com∣mitted to His Church those weapons that are carnal, all their Page  147 weapons are weapons that are spiritual, to prevail with the hearts and consciences of men and no further: And if we did un∣derstand this aright, it would mightily quiet our spirits; and the more we did rest upon the weapons Christ hath appointed in his Word, the more we did look into the Armory of the Go∣spel to find what weapons there are there against errors and a∣buses in his Church, the more we should have the Kingdom of Christ prevail amongst us.

Eightly, The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world: that is, the Priviledges of Christs kingdom are not worldly priviledges, but Spiritual, and Divine, and Heavenly Priviledges. Men that live in several kingdoms have several priviledges, some in one way, and some in another; so every society of men, and every king∣dom have priviledges, men that are subjects of such a Kingdom, they have the priviledges that belong to such a kingdom. We plead for many priviledges as we are the free born Subjects of England, that the people have a right to by their freedoms, be∣ing born free Subjects, as those that are above them have a right to that power that they have. So now in the kingdom of Christ, there are some priviledges that those that are in the kingdom of Christ have that others have not.

As now, When any man comes into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ, Oh he comes to partake of a great many excellent pri∣viledges, being once made a free Denizon in this Kingdom of Christ, he comes to have a great many priviledges that others have not. But of these I shall treat more particularly after∣wards.

Ninthly, The Kingdom of Christ is not of this world; the penal∣ties and punishments that Christ hath in his Church are not worldly; I do not mean only external ones, for they may be refer'd to that head of the weapons of Christ; but we take them under another notion; Those that are truly the Subjects of Christ they may be under penalties: You think that those that are beleevers cannot be chastised for their sin; as if there were no penalties in Christs kingdom; I confess they are delivered from the penalties of the Law; But Christs inflicts penalties as he is King, there may be penalties in Christs kingdom. And the right understanding of this would much help us in that point; Page  148 Whether Beleevers may be chastised for sin or no, though they be Beleevers.

Oh they will say, No. Why? Because Christ hath satisfied the Lawfully, and how can God require it in them?

I confess the Law cannot; I but Jesus Christ in His admini∣stration as He is King, not as He is the Judge of the Law, but as He is the King over them, He may inflict chastisements upon them; they may in Christs kingdom have some chastisements, they cannot be carried out of that kingdom to have the chastise∣ments of the Law, but in Christs kingdom Jesus Christ many times inflicts spiritual chastisements upon them, by hiding his face from them for sin, and by many spiritual discertions; and such men as are but by outward profession under the kingdom of Christ, and do seem to be His Subjects, and are not so indeed, the Lord inflicts spiritual judgments upon them, as hardness of heart, blindness of mind, reprobate sences; and I beseech you observe it, The Lord Christ doth not so much observe the way of outward judgements upon wicked men that are in the bosom of the Church, as He doth observe to inflict out∣ward judgments upon the Heathens and others that are out of the bosom of the Church; no, Christ hath other manner of pu∣nishments for those that are in the Church, though now and then Christ doth inflict outward judgments upon them; but the main thing that Christ looks at in His Church, is, To re∣ward with spiritual rewards; as righteousness and peace, and joy in the holy Ghost and the like; so He doth inflict spiritual punishments; Those that are professors in the Church & naught and vile, it may be God may prosper them for a while as well as others outwardly, Oh but the punishments of Christ in His kingdom they are spiritual, your souls are bound over to eternal death, your hearts are hardned, your consciences are benum'd, and that's more dreadful wrath a great deal than if the Lord Christ should punish your bodies, or take away your estates, those are punishments in Christs providential King∣dom, but the penalties as Christ is the King of the Church they are ever spiritual punishments which we should more fear and tremble at a great deal. Thus the kingdom of Christ is not of this world.

Page  149 Now I should have shewed you how this kingdom of Jesus Christ will certainly prevail in the world, let the world do what they can. In the 2d Psal. Yet have I set My King upon My holy Hill. It will at length prevail over all the world, and bring under all the kingdoms of the world to it; but when it hath done so, then there shall be a new world: Certainly there is a time that Christ shall have the kingdoms of this world to reign over them in another manner than now He hath, and that is at the end of the world; I will give you a Scripture or two a∣bout that. Revel. 11. 15. The seventh Angel sounded, and there were great voices in Heaven, saying, The Kingdoms of this world are be∣come the Kingdoms of our Lord, and of His Christ; and He shall reign for ever and ever. That is, He shall subdue the kingdoms that were of this world, and then He shall reign; He shall reign for ever and ever. Now they are the kingdoms of this world, but when He reigns it is in this manner that is here spoken of, it is in another world, as appears in Heb. 2. 5. For unto the Angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak. Here the Apostle shews that Christ is above the Angels, for he hath not put in subjection the world to come unto the Angels; therefore there is a world to come wherein Christ shall have a further dominion than yet he hath: and Adam was a type of Jesus Christ in this, Adam he had the command of this present, world. Now in this world Christ doth rule but in the midest of his Adversaries, but there is a time coming that Christ shall have all under him; as Adam in his innocency had the whol world under his feet: And Christ doth promise unto his people in the 3. of Revel 21. 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 Fa∣ther in his Throne. Mark, it seems there is a Throne of Christ yet that hath not been, for here's a promise that he will set them upon his Throne as he sits upon his Fathers Throne: Now Christ rules together with his Father, but saith he, You that are my Saints, and my Subjects now, you shall sit upon my Throne.

I but you will say, That is in Heaven? (in Heaven indeed the Saints shall reign.)

Nay, It connot be meant of a kingdom wherein the Saints Page  150 shall sit eternally with Christ in Heaven; I might give you ma∣ny Scriptures for that, but I will only give you one Scripture, 1 Cor 15. 28. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him, that put all things under Him, that God may be All in All. Here he tells us that there is a time that God shall be All in All, both unto Christ, and unto His Saints; yea, and you shall find in this chapter, that Jesus Christ shall give up the kingdom unto the Father, (speaking of the time of the resurrection) When all shall rise again; and when that shall come, the kingdom shall be delivered up unto the Father; so that this is a time before the general resurrecti∣on, that Christ shall sit upon the Throne, there is yet a time between this and the Saints being in Heaven, when the Saints shall sit upon Christs Throne (as he upon his Fathers) in ano∣ther manner than now they do: Therefore surely Christ shall have the kingdoms of this world subdued unto him in another manner than yet he hath; and for the proof of it, do but reade the 7th chapter of the book of Daniel, and you shall find abun∣dant of proof, there shall be abundant deal of glory in that kingdom of his, there he shall have attendants to purpose, thou∣sand thousands administred unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Christ; and though there was a Judg∣ment, and the Books were brought, yet its apparant afterwards, that the Scripture speaks of a time that should be before the Saints should come to Heaven; for he saith this, That as concer∣ning the rest of the Beasts, they had their Dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season: Therefore it is not meant at that time when the Saints shall ascend up into Heaven with Je∣sus Christ, for the Beasts had their lives prolonged for a season and time after that: But saith he in the 18. ver. The Saints of the most High shall take your Kingdom, and possess it for ever, even for ever and ever. And in the 21. ver. I beheld, and the same born made war with the Saints, and prevailed against them until the Ancient of daies came, and Judgment was given unto the Saints of the most High; and the time came that the Saints possessed the Kingdom. And then in the 27. ver. And the Kingdom and dominion, and the greatest of the king∣dom under the whol Heaven, shall be given to the people of the Saints of the most High, whose Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, and all Page  151 Dominions shall serve and obey him. What Dominions shall there be when the Saints are in the highest Heavens, to serve and obey Christ? He means the Dominions that are here upon the earth, shall serve and obey Christ: Therefore the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not of this world, nor be said hereafter to be such a world as this is: but when there shall be another world, then Christ shall have a kingdom that shall have such glory as shall be apparent to all; and such a Kingdom as the Kings of the earth shall come and bring their glory to it; as in 21. of Reve∣lations, you shal find, that it's said, of the Kings of the earth. Reade but that description of the glorious condition of the Church of God there, and you shall see this true: And the Nations of them which are saved, shal walk in the light of it: and the Kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor to it. But that is in another world, not that world that Christ speaks of here in this place of John.

Only now, do but consider a little of the excellency of this point by way of preparation to you for the next time. It would be a notable Scripture to take off our hearts from all the things of this world: The right understanding of this would spiritualize the hearts of the Saints, would take away the of∣fence of the Crosse of Jesus Christ, would help them to carry themselves through this world with a great deal of joy and tri∣umph, and not much to regard how things go here below. I through the mercy of God am brought into the Kingdom of Jesus Christ. And I find the whole tenor of Scripture carries it so, that the Kingdom of Jesus Christ is not of this world, but in a spiritual way: Oh then, let me have spiritual mercies, let me enjoy Je∣sus Christ in way of His spiritual Kingdom; and farewell the world and all things under Christ. Truly, Christians are not acquainted with this point of the spiritual Government of Je∣sus Christ in His Church, and how God the Father hath so or∣dered things, that In this world Christ should have a Kingdom, but not Of this world.

And blessed are they that have by the holy Ghost an enlight∣ning to understand this Mystery, to see the reality of it indeed, That the Kingdom of Christ is not of this world.