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Benjamin Lyon Smith
The Millennial Harbinger Abridged (1902)



      God himself, after the gracious counsels of his own will, proposed and tendered the constitution of this kingdom to his own Son. This "glory he had with the Father before the world was." He that was "in the beginning with God"--"the wisdom and power of God"--was "set up [constituted] from everlasting, or ever the earth was." "Then was I with God, as one brought up with him; I was daily his delight, [241] rejoicing always before him--rejoicing in the habitable parts of his earth; and my delights were with the sons of men."1 Therefore he who was to be "ruler in Israel" was with God in counsel "in the beginning of all his ways;" for "his goings forth were from old, even from the days of eternity."2

      It was TO DO THE WILL, or fulfill the items in this constitution, that "the WORD was made flesh and dwelt among us." "I came to do the will of him that sent me," and to finish "the work given me to do." "I have the power to lay down my life, and I have power to resume it; this commandment I received from my Father." The Father "commissioned and sent him forth into the world." He "came down from heaven." "Thou hast given me power over all flesh, that I might give eternal life to all that thou hast given me."

      These, and many other passages which the reader will easily remember, unequivocally evince that an understanding and agreement existed ere time began between God and the WORD of God--or, as now revealed, between the FATHER and the SON, respecting this kingdom. In consequence of which, "the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us"--in consequence of which, "he divested himself" of his antecedent glory--"took upon him the form of a bond-servant"--"was made in the likeness of sinful flesh"--"took part with us in flesh and blood." In consequence of which agreement, and the promised glory, for "the joy set before him in the promise," of "seeing his seed, the travail of his soul, and being satisfied," "he endured the cross, despising the shame," and "was made perfect through sufferings to lead many sons to glory."

      To the stipulations concerning eternal life, propounded in the constitution of the kingdom of heaven, frequent allusions are made in the Apostles' writings. Thus the believers were "elected in him before the foundation of the world," and "eternal life was promised before the times of the ages," "according to the benevolent purpose which he purposed in himself for the administration of the fulness of the appointed times, to gather together all under Christ--all in the heavens and all on the earth, under him." He formerly marked us out for an adoption through Jesus Christ to himself, according to his purpose, who effectually works all things according to the counsel of his will.3

      From all these sayings and allusions, we must trace the constitution of this kingdom into the days of eternity--before time began. We must date it from everlasting, and resolve it into the absolute gracious will of the eternal God. In reference to all the prospective developments of time, "known to God from the beginning," it proposed to make the WORD flesh, and then to make, the incarnate Word, [242] called Emanuel, or Jesus Christ, the King, to give him all who should be reconciled to God by him for subjects, to put under him all the angelic hosts, and constitute him monarch of heaven and earth, lawgiver to the universe; and thus make him heir and Lord of all things.

      As a constitution brings all the elements of a kingdom into a new relation to one another, so it is the measure and guarantee of all the privileges, immunities, and obligations accruing to all the parties In that relation. It prescribes, arranges, and secures all the privileges, duties, obligations, honors, and emoluments of the King and the subjects. Neither of them can claim more than it stipulates and guarantees, and neither of them can rightfully be deprived of any of them.

      From the premises now before us, and the light given to us in these Scriptures and those in the margin, we learn--

      1. That God is the author of the constitution of the kingdom of heaven; that he propounded it to the WORD that was made flesh, before the world was, in prospect of all the developments of creation.

      2. That the WORD accepted it, because the will of God was always his delight; therefore he said, "I come to do thy will, O God!" Hence "God has so loved the world as to give his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes on him may not perish, but obtain eternal life."

      3. That in consequence "all authority in heaven and earth" was given to Jesus Christ, and all orders of intelligence subjected to him, that he might be King over all, and have the power of giving eternal life to his people.4

      4. That the earth is now the Lord's, the present temporal territory of his kingdom; that the heathen people are given to him for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession; that all ends of the earth are his, and all dominions, kindreds, tribes, tongues and people shall yet serve him on earth, and glorify him in heaven.5

      5. That all he redeems are his seed--his subjects: that he will have their faith, confidence, esteem, admiration, and gratitude forever: that he will be worshiped, honored, and revered by them in a world without end: that God, angels and saints will delight in him for ever and ever.6 He has, therefore, to raise the dead, judge the world, and to present the redeemed pure, holy, happy and triumphant before his Father, and then to give up the kingdom to God.

      To comprehend, in any adequate degree, the constitution of this kingdom, we must learn more than its history, or the way in which it was introduced and propounded. We must regard all the elements of the kingdom as constitutional elements--the King as a constitutional King; the subjects, laws and territory, including the ultimate [243] inheritance, as constitutional subjects, laws, territory, inheritance: and, therefore, we shall speak of them in detail.

[A. C.]      

      1 Prov. viii. 23-31. [242]
      2 Mic. v. 21. [242]
      3 Eph. i. 3-12. [242]
      4 Matt. xxviii. id. ii. 44; vii. 27. [243]
      5 Ps. ii. 6-8; lxxii. 2-18; Daniel. [243]
      6 Rev. v. 9-14; xiv. 1-5; xvi. 3, 4; xxi. 9-27; Eph. i. 20, 21. [243]

      Alexander Campbell. "Constitution." The Millennial Harbinger Extra 5 (August 1834): 406-407.


[MHA1 241-244]

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Benjamin Lyon Smith
The Millennial Harbinger Abridged (1902)