Kingship

Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king! To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I should bear witness unto the truth: everyone that is of the truth hearest my voice.

— — John 18:37

What then is the kingdom over which the Lord cares to reign, for he says he came into the world to be a king? I answer, a kingdom of kings, and no other. Where every man is a king, there only does the Lord care to reign, in the name of his father. A king must rule over his own kind. Jesus is a king in virtue of no conquest, inheritance, or election, but in right of essential being; and he cares for no subjects but such as are his subjects in the same right. His subjects must be, in their very nature and essence, kings. The Lord’s is a kingdom in which no man seeks to be above another. He says, “I am a king, for I was born for the purpose, I came into the world with the object of bearing witness to the truth. Everyone that is of my kind, that is of the truth, hears my voice. He is a king like me, and makes one of my subjects.” Pilate thereupon—as would most Christians nowadays, instead of setting about being true—requests a definition of truth, a presentation to his intellect; but instantly, whether confident of the uselessness of the inquiry, or intending to resume it when he has set the Lord at liberty, goes out to the people to tell them he finds no fault in him.  Whatever interpretation we put on his action here, he must be far less worthy of blame than those “Christians” who, instead of setting themselves to be pure “even as he is pure,” to be their brother and sister’s keeper, and to serve God by being honorable in their place of work, proceed to “serve” him, some by going to church, some by condemning the opinions of their neighbors, some by teaching others what they do not themselves heed.