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empire of the Cæsars with fame that no modern kingdom, empire, or republic, has been able to eclipse.
“A few years before the birth of Christ, Julius Cæsar perished in the senate chamber at Rome, pierced by the daggers of Brutus and other assassins. At the great victory of Pharsalia, Cæsar had struck down his only rival, Pompey, and had concentrated the power of the world in his single hand. His nephew, Octavius, the second Cæsar, surnamed Augustus, or the August, was, at the time Jesus was born, the monarch of the world. Notwithstanding a few nominal restraints, he was an absolute sovereign, without any constitutional checks. It is not too much to say that his power was unlimited. He could do what he pleased with the property, liberty, and the life of every man, woman, and child of more than three hundred millions, composing the Roman empire. Such power no mortal had ever swayed before. Little did this Roman emperor imagine, as he sat enthroned in his gorgeous palace upon the Capitoline Hill, that a babe slumbering in a manger at Bethlehem, an obscure hamlet in the remote province of Syria, and whose infant wailings fade away.
perhaps blended with the bleating of the goats or the lowing of the kine, was to establish an empire, before which all the power of the Cæsars was to dwindle into insignificance.
“But so it was, Jesus the babe of Bethlehem, has become, beyond all others, whether philosophers, warriors, or kings, the most conspicuous being who ever trod this globe. Before the name of Jesus of Nazareth all others
Uneducated, he has introduced principles which have overthrown the proudest system of ancient philosophy. By the utterance of a few words, all of which can be written on half a dozen pages, he has demolished all the pagan systems which pride and passion and power had then enthroned. The Roman gods and goddesses-Jupiter, Juno, Venus, Bacchus, Diana-have fled before the approach of the religion of Jesus, as fabled specters vanish before the dawn. Jesus, the “Son of man' and Son of God,' has introduced a system of religion so comprehensive, that it is adapted to every 'conceivable situation in life; so simple, that the most unlearned, and even children, can comprehend it. This babe of Bethlehem, whose words were so few, whose brief life was $0:soon ended, and whose sacrificial death upon the cross was so wonderful, though dead, still lives and reigns in this world-a monarch more influential than any other, or all other sovereigns upon the globe. His empire has advanced majestically, with ever-increasing power, down the path of eighteen centuries.
“The Cæsars have perished, and their palaces are in ruins. The empire of Charlemagne has risen, like one of those gorgeous clouds we often admire, brilliant with the radiance of the setting sun; and like that cloud, it has vanished forever. Charles V has marshaled the armies of Europe around his throne, and has almost rivaled the Cæsars in the majesty of his sway; and, like a dream, the vision of his universal empire has fled. But the kingdom of Jesus has survived all these wrecks of empires. Without a palace or a court; without a bayonet or a saber; without any emoluments of rank or wealth or power offered by Jesus to his subjects, his kingdom has advanced steadily, resistlessly, increasing in strength every hour, crushing all opposition, triumphing over all time's changes; so that, at the present moment, the kingdom of Jesus is a stronger kingdom, more potent in all the elements of influence over the human heart, than all other governments of earth.
“There is not a man upon this globe who would now lay down his life from love for any one of the numerous monarchs of Rome; but there are thousands who would go joyfully to the dungeon or the stake from love for that Jesus who commenced his earthly career in the manger of a country inn, whose whole life was but a scene of poverty and suffering, and who finally perished upon the cross in the endurance of a cruel death with malefactors.
“As this child, from the period of whose birth time itself is now dated, was passing through the season of infancy and childhood, naval fleets swept the Mediterranean Sea, and Roman legions trampled bloodily over subjugated provinces. There were conflagrations of cities, ravages of fields, fierce battles, slaughter, misery, and death. Nearly all these events are now forgotten; but the name of Jesus of Nazareth grows more lustrous as the ages roll on.''Abbott's History of Christianity,
The Government of the Church.
The government of the church of God is a theocracy. God himself works “all in all” the members. It will be remembered that this was God's plan under the legal dispensation. He said to Israel, “I am your King,” and it was his design to be the supreme king and governor of his people in that dispensation. But the Israelites rebelled and took the government out of his hands and set over them earthly kings and rulers. It was prophesied that in this dispensation of divine grace the God of heaven would set up an everlasting kingdom, and in that kingdom he reigns supreme, the King of kings and Lord of lords. He is declared to be the King of saints.
As he is king and head over all things to the church, the government necessarily rests upon his shoulders. Accordingly, we read, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace. Of the increase of his govern