The Advantages of Civil Government Contrasted with the Blessings of the Spiritual Kingdom of Jesus Christ
2 Samuel 7:16-17
And your house and your kingdom shall be established for ever before you: your throne shall be established for ever.

I. THE FIRST AND PRIMARY ADVANTAGE EXPECTED FROM EVERY WELL-CONSTITUTED HUMAN GOVERNMENT IS SECURITY AND THE SENSE OF SECURITY. The depravity of our nature has introduced such a universal selfishness and rapacity among mankind is their natural state, that men in every age and country have been convinced of the expediency and necessity of attempting to organise some form of government for the purpose of their common security. While every individual is left to exert his own power as he chooses, none can be secure either in his property or person: it becomes absolutely indispensable, therefore, if men would escape the intolerable evils of such a state, to collect and embody this scattered and uncertain force of the many, in some public depository of power: such a provision is necessary for the protection and preservation of every community. Hence almost all nations, even the most uncivilised, have attempted some constitution of this kind, however rude, for the prevention or the redress of those injuries to which the subjects were continually liable by the passions of our nature. But the utmost degree of personal security that can be enjoyed under any form of civil power, is a most imperfect shadow of the safety which Jesus Christ bestows upon the subjects of his spiritual reign. Until a man submits to His mediatorial authority, he remains exposed to unutterable evils.

II. THE SECOND BENEFIT EXPECTED FROM HUMAN GOVERNMENTS IS LIBERTY. So far as this. advantage is consistent with the former, or with the public security, the more largely it is enjoyed the better. But, suppose the utmost possible degree of civil liberty enjoyed, what is it in comparison with that spiritual, real freedom, which Jesus Christ confers? The former is, at the best, only an external, circumstantial blessing; it does not enter into the inner man. But "if the Son shall make you free, you shall be free indeed": "where the Spirit of the Lord is," there is the only true liberty. The Christian is the genuine freeman, and none beside is such except in name.

III. THE NEXT ADVANTAGE DERIVED FROM A GOOD GOVERNMENT IS PLENTY. To secure this advantage, you are aware that there are arrangements in nature, in a great measure independent of human institutions, and beyond the control of human policy. But perhaps, in this respect, there has been often much error on the part of those in power. But in the kingdom of Jesus Christ there exists an infinite plenty of all the provisions that can be desired for all the wants of the soul. None are neglected here: the poorest may be enriched beyond the most splendid opulence of this world, even with "the unsearchable riches of Christ;" as the apostles, "though poor, could make many rich, — though they had nothing, they possessed all things." For in Jesus Christ "all fulness" dwells, for the supply of spiritual destitution.

IV. A TENDENCY TO IMPROVEMENT IN ITS SOCIAL INSTITUTIONS, is a fourth benefit which ought to accompany every well-ordered government. The best of these institutions are such as will be at once permanent and progressive, by their intrinsic wisdom and excellence, — by their adaptation to all the varying circumstances of the nation, — by their power of providing for unseen and possible emergencies: they will gradually rise from security to convenience, and then exalt convenience into ornament — into just refinement and diffused illumination: such has been the aim of the greatest legislators. But the difference between the most moral and the most flagitious of natural characters, is less than the difference that subsists between the subjects of Jesus Christ and the children of this world; because the latter is the difference between the spiritually dead and living.

V. THE FIFTH AND LAST REQUISITE OF A WELL-CONSTITUTED GOVERNMENT IS STABILITY: this is the crown of all its other advantages. Nothing can be wanting to such a reign but that it should last: and this is what the text emphatically expresses — "Thy throne shall he established for ever": as the Psalmist says of the Messiah, "He shall reign as long as the sun and moon endure." In this the kingdom of David was an emblem, however faint, of that which would be erected by Jesus Christ; wonderfully preserved as was the throne of Judah, while the greatest monarchies were marked by perpetual vicissitudes: the kings of Israel were ever changing in their line, while the descendants of David maintained a direct succession,

(R. Hall, M. A.)

Parallel Verses
KJV: And thine house and thy kingdom shall be established for ever before thee: thy throne shall be established for ever.

WEB: Your house and your kingdom shall be made sure forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever."'"

Glimpses of the King Messiah
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