“‘Shall Christ Be King of the Nation?’” The American Sentinel 5, 16, pp. 124, 125.

THIS is the title of a production by Jenny Bland Beauchamp, which we find in the Union Signal of February 6, 1890. It is rich in sense and in nonsense, and the two are about equally divided, with a third portion which strongly bears toward that which is worse than nonsense. It begins by saying that “every loyal Christian heart must answer this question in the affirmative,” which is not true. Christ never will be king of this Nation, nor of any other nation except that “holy nation” which he will redeem from among the unholy nations of which this is one. Then she inquires, “But in what sense will Christ be king of the Nation? and proceeds to answer her question thus:—

The proud, world-renowned city of Florence, at one time, moved by the eloquence of Savonarola, actually elected Jesus Christ king of Florence. They did it by a fair count and a free vote, just as a nation would declare its allegiance to a foreign prince. They had dethroned the perfidious Medici, and, removing the shields of the King of France and the Pope of Rome, placed the name of Jesus on a tablet over the entrance into the palace. Did that make him king of Florence?

Would it make Jesus king of America to put his name on the tablet of our Constitution? Jesus himself rejects such hypocrisy, saying, “Why call ye me Lord! Lord! and do not the things I command?” We could not make him king of America by making the distinctively New Testament laws civil laws. The distinctively New Testament laws are baptism, and the Lord’s Supper, and laws in regard to church order and church officers. The laws primarily founded upon the decalogue are not distinctively New Testament laws; nor is the new commandment, “ye shall love one another,” for the Saviour tells us this is a brief compendium of the moral law. Nor can we make him king of this Nation by incorporating the morality of the gospel into our civil code. For instance, how could we convict and punish a man for what the Saviour defines the crime of adultery? The laws of Christ were made for a spiritual kingdom, and could not possibly be executed by a civil magistrate. Jesus was an obedient subject of the Hebrew commonwealth, paid his taxes, fled when the Jews would have made him a king, and refused to support his authority by the secular sword.

We do not worship a dead Christ. Jesus lives and is to-day more intimately connected with the affairs of the nations than when he walked the hills of Judea. He is not here in person, but the Church is here to represent his body. He has not changed his idea in regard to secular matters, so the Church should not accept any civil authority. We are all agreed on that point. All nations are to be given to Christ; Jesus is going to reign over the hearts of his people through the gospel.

Now this is sense, and it is good sense too. There is more good, sound, genuine sense in that than we have seen from National Reform or Union Signal sources since—well, we don’t know when.

Next we print the portion which immediately follows the above and it runs thus:—

The gospel will supersede the law, i.e. the moral law, and our civil code is primarily based upon this. The gospel will so permeate the masses as to be a controlling factor in government. The gospel contains all the morality of the decalogue. If the law compels one to go a mile, a free man in Christ Jesus will go two. If it takes away his coast he will let it have his cloak too. He will do this [125] because of the abounding love in his heart. So far from injuring his neighbor he will seek in all possible ways to bless and benefit mankind. The gospel will bring in the universal reign of love. Love not only fulfills the law but in its beneficence goes far beyond it.

Now this is worse than is worse than nonsense. The idea that the gospel shall supersede the moral law is destructive of the moral law, of morality, and even of the gospel itself. The is ordained to maintain the integrity of the moral law, and yet enable God to save the transgressor of the law. The gospel is ordained that God may be just and yett the justifier of the unjust who believe in Jesus Christ, who is the embodiment of the gospel. The gospel is declared to be “the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth.” That salvation is salvation from sin but sin is defined by the word of God to be “the transgression of the law.” The gospel being ordained to save men from the transgression of the law, would be robbed of all its force if the law be superseded which points out the sin. Again it is written, “By the law is the knowledge of sin.” The gospel, being the power of God to save from sin, would be robbed of all its force if the law be superseded by which alone is the knowledge of sin. Once more, it is written, “Where no law is there is no transgression,” and “sin is not imputed when there is no law.” Now by any means to supersede or take away the law is to take away all transgression or imputation of sin, which at once nullifies the gospel; because it is alone the remedy for sin, and is the power of God unto salvation from sin. If there be no sin there can be no gospel. To offer pardon to the innocent, is an imposition and an insult; and therefore any proposition to supersede the law by the gospel, or by any other means, is worse than nonsense, because it strikes at the foundation of God’s throne which is justice and judgment, and so uproots all morality. God is the source of morality, the foundation of his throne is justice and judgment, and the gospel is ordained in order that he might be just and yet the justifier of him who believeth in Jesus.

The last sentence, “Love not only fulfills the law, but in its beneficence goes far beyond it,” is worse than nonsense because it is an insult to the law of God and to its Author. It is written, “Love is the fulfilling of the law.” That law being supreme, and love being the fulfillment it, it is impossible for love to go beyond it to any degree whatever; for wherever genuine love is, it is nothing less than the expression of the law, the fulfillment of which is love. More than this, the law of God is but the expression of his will. It is only the reflection of his character. And “God is love.” To say, then, that love goes far beyond the law which is but the reflection of the mind and will of him who is love, is to say that loves goes far beyond God, and that to deny God, and is not far removed from blasphemy, even though we wot that through ignorance she said it.

The next portion of this production is as follows:—

When men are holy, wars will cease, litigations will cease. The criminal officers will lose their occupation, for there will be no civil offenses. The secular sword will rust in its sheath. Jails and penitentiaries will stand open for want of an inmate. The judge will convene the court only to find nothing on the docket. The State, rid of the depredations of evildoers, will be free to work out her mission on a higher plane. She will expend her wealth and her energies in directing and ennobling her people—in educating the young, in improving and beautifying the public domain, in fulfilling her beneficent mission among the nations. Then our temples of justice will be converted into temples of love. The reign of love will actually supersede the reign of law. Then will Christ be the king of this Nation and the civil power, acknowledging his allegiance, will exclaim with the apostate Julian, “Oh, Gallilean, thou hast conquered!”

That is considerably mixed. It is true that when men, if it be all men, are holy, wars will cease and litigation will cease. But the time will never come in this world when that will be so. The Scriptures declare that when this world ends, multitudes of men will yet be wicked, and will then be destroyed because they are wicked. When all the holy people shall be gathered unto the kingdom of God there will be neither criminal officers nor civil offenses. There will be no secular sword to rust in its sheath even if there were a sheath. There will be neither jails nor penitentiaries to stand open. There will be neither earthly judge nor earthly court. There will be no State to have a mission, nor to have money, nor to educate the young, nor will there be a “public domain.” The reign of love will never supersede the reign of the law, because the expression of the supreme law is love itself. Christ will never be king of this Nation; and though the civil power should acknowledge such allegiance and make such an exclamation, it would not be true in any such sense as is here conveyed.

Besides this, Julian was no more of an apostate than were Constantine and his “pious sons” and many others of that ilk whom we might name. And more than this, Julian never exclaimed, “Oh, Gallilean, thou hast conquered!”

The last of the article is as follows:—

So Christ will become king of this Nation, not by putting his name in the Constitution, nor by making New Testament laws the fundamental laws of the land, nor by turning court-houses into churches, nor magistrates into bishops. His reign will not come in by civil commotion. It will come silently as the dew, and gently as the blessed sunlight.

“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.”

In the councils of eternity the Father and the Son entered into a covenant called the covenant of redemption. By virtue of this covenant the Son was to make an atonement for sin by the death on the cross, in consideration to which the Father was to give him all the nations of the earth. “Ask of me and I will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.”

So the nation that finally rejects his authority is doomed to destruction. “Be wise now therefore, oh ye kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Kiss the Son, lest he be angry and ye perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little.

The scriptures that are quoted there are good, and sound, and true. But all of it that is not actual Scripture is actual nonsense. And how any one could start out with so clear a statement of sound sense, as this writer does, and then close up with such a medley of bad sense and worse doctrine, interlarded with good scripture, is a mystery.

A. T. J.

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