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effect of such incidentals) do not become by habit constituents of the kingdom, they will become at least very troublesome inmates. It is very evident, that no subject with material properties can enter the kingdom of heaven in substance, but only by its notion or image; and how this may be, it is also worth while to consider, but not here. It will be shewn in another chapter how notions are related to their subjects, and how through or by means of such relation the notions of earthly objects, and even of others more foreign, may enter into and constitute portions of the kingdom of heaven; but at present it must suffice if enough has been said to shew, that such objects are not constituents with those to whom they appertain.
THE KINGDOM OF GOD IN CHRIST.
1. Accidents.-- 2. Properties.- 3. Elements.- 4. Parts. -- 5. Contents or
Individuals. – 6. Periods or States.
“ No man can find out the work that God maketh from the beginning unto the end."--EccLEs. iii. 11.
From the confines of the kingdom, the sandy desert of fortune, as it may be called, we enter by what may be called its frontiers or outskirts; being in fact the lowest order of its constituents. But first it will be right to pause, and take a general idea of the subject in the distance, where it is first discerned. The power of abstracting its objects as fast as they are collected, in which the apprehension or inner sight corresponds with the outer, is convenient for all who think much, and especially for the scholar, as it enables him to be something more than “a walking library,” however such a fabric may be prized. For the largest library that was ever collected would not comprehend the tenth part of the ideas that are amassed
frequently in the course of one man's reading and experience: and consequently, what such a one would seem to require is, not to multiply words without knowledge (Job xxxv.16), so much as to find a good selection of ideas for use, and a good mental method, or "walking index,” by which such selection and use may both be promoted; avoiding at the
same time such illusions as the power or faculty of abstraction would naturally create, if it was not corrected continually by judgment and experience. This part duly performed would save us the trouble of unseating the phantoms that we have been multiplying and seating instead of facts on the ledges of the brain, and of creating after our wont objects which nature or fact never created, or which have no place in nature, but only in the observer's perception; as we make a silver orb of the moon, e. g., at one time; another time, an orb of gold; though in fact it be neither, any more than the earth is; but diversified probably with brown, and green, and red; as well as with yellow, and white-with brown valleys, green meadows, and red deserts; as well as with shining cliffs and white topped mountains.
But a regular condensation of knowledge from the minutest particulars to a point, is more like what a continued abstracting by maps of the minutest features of the earth to such a scale as should be less than the palm of one's hand would make, if it were possible.-And if so much as that be not possible, it is still possible enough, to take a general map in your hand, and turn by its direction to more particular ; from these again to others, and so on by one zone after another continually, until you : arrive at the spot you were seeking, and are enabled noti only to investigate the particulars of the same, but also to comprehend its relations on every side.
If instead of the slow process of reason, men were gifted with the rapid faculty of intuition; which flies over the magnitude of a subject in an instant, and in the same instant dissects it and penetrates like lightning into -itsminutest recesses, it is by this nearing method that we should proceed, and if we liked, to survey the riches of the Kingdom of God and perambulate the wonderful walks of Omnipotence. Or if on the other hand, a being en- i dowed with that sublime faculty should descend from the glorious region of the divine presence to the speck that: we mortals inhabit, which is but as a silver stud in the
throne of the Most High, it is thus that he would observe the earth and its inhabitants, with a particular view perhaps to their most interesting business, the honour and worship of the Creator. First, e.g., should be seen where “ he hath made the round world so fast, that it cannot be moved” (Ps. xcvi. 10), with its relative position among the heavenly host. Then piercing its atmosphere or firmament, he views the distinction of land and sea ; of valleys, woods, and mountains. Approaching still nearer, he scans the fair lot of God's inheritance. And now the praises of the great congregation salute his ear. He almost thinks himself at home. And even the peaceful hermitage with its withered recluse are not overlooked. Then soaring again above the earth, he passes with different feelings over the unfortunately wide domain of ignorance and superstition : to which, if aught of the kind should invite his attention in these dreary abodes, again descending, he pursues the route of his inquiry for flocks in the desert, for handfuls of believers among hosts of infidels; and their lonely shepherd too is not one of the least interesting objects of his sublime perception. “How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings, that publisheth peace; that bringeth good tidings of good, that publisheth salvation !” (Isai. lii. 7). He notes the shepherd's manner, at once sedate and diligent-his look, serious, but not austere-his whole exterior, in short, placid as a summer evening, and modest as the gloom of twilight. Nor stops he at the exterior, but by the aid of that intuitive faculty, we may suppose, will carry forward his researches to the inner man : and here the view expands before him, over an heavenly champaign; and beams of righteousness descending on a faithful heart, present a glorious sight to the admiring traveller, who might long to see so fair a province reunited to its parent state, as much as ever any saint himself could long to be “absent from the body, that he might be present with the Lord” (Cor. II. v. 8).
It is possible to conceive an ampler scope of observation than the seraph's, if we think of THAT ALL-SEEING EYE to which all things are present at once in their minutest existence, and even before they begin to exist: while ourselves, to see a thing only from beginning to end, or from end to beginning, are fain to take our stand as it were in the midst, and select accordingly, after that we have formed our abstract. Thus with regard to the subject before us, v. g., the kingdom of God in Christ; an abstract is first made of the particulars to be hereafter recited, which abstract we call a mystery: then another abstract of the mystery, which we call a subject. And this, v. g., the abstract subject, is a thing that ought to be slightly surveyed or comprehended, before we look into particulars; as in a survey extraordinary of the earth, like that above supposed, first, its atmosphere would be observed, and then its substance.
A subject then is one of four principal parts; subject, object, medium, end, which there are in every relation, and may therefore be considered either absolutely or relatively
1. Absolutely considered, a subject itself is of all subjects the most abstract and indefinite, applying equally to every thing. So that, if one should be asked, What is a subject? it might be answered, Everything -whatever you can mention: and a better definition of the subject could not perhaps be given. But whatever one can mention is specifically nothing: it is an immense blank, if one blank can be more so than another. And though we pretend to define a subject, yet truly nothing can be more indefinite : it is like grasping the air, when we try to apprehend it; 'tis emptiness—’tis nothing: and yet in this nothing, whatever it may be, is contained every thing that ever was, or is, or can be thought of. For if there be many things that were never thought of, there will also, as before observed, be many thought of that never were. The definition of a subject therefore is beyond that