William Wilson on Christ’s church as a spiritual kingdom

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Reformed Covenanter

Cancelled Commissioner
These views of the anti-scriptural character of patronage, and its incompatibility with the government which Christ has instituted in his Church, will in some measure be confirmed and established when we consider that Christ calls his Church a Kingdom, as in that passage in which he declares in answer to Pilate “My kingdom is not of this world.” There can be no doubt from the circumstance in which this statement was made, that by his kingdom Christ meant his Church upon the earth, and that not merely in their individual capacity, but as associated together, and formed into a society regulated by distinct laws. This name which he gives to his Church presupposes that it is entirely free and independent in its government.

That is not a kingdom in any proper sense of the term whose laws are prescribed by those who do not belong to it, or whose officers are nominated by a foreign power. When this is the case, it loses the character of a kingdom, and becomes a province or colony of some more extensive and powerful empire. Now, we could desire no better proof of the anti-scriptural nature of patronage, than is derived from the name which Christ here bestows upon his Church. Patronage may accord with the views of those who regard the Church as a mere engine of state policy, and its Ministers as a kind of moral police, for training the populace to habits of order and good citizenship; but it is utterly irreconcilable with the idea that the Church is a kingdom.

For the reference, see William Wilson on Christ’s church as a spiritual kingdom.
 
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