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by Dr. John Thomas
The physical is subordinated to the intellectual and moral; and as men, among whom it is being prepared, are so earthly and sensual, the mental progresses much more slowly than the physical; and therefore, a kingdom founded upon moral principles requires longer to prepare, but is more enduring when completed.
In the following pages my endeavour will be to set forth an answer to the question in detail.
A kingdom is the dominion of a king.
An empire is also the dominion of a king, but with this difference: the kingdom proper, or "the first dominion," is restricted to a regally constituted territory; while the empire, or secondary dominion, though belonging to the same king, extends over other peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues, than those of the royal domain.
This is illustrated in the case of the British kingdoms and empire.
The kingdoms are restricted to England and Scotland, which are by constitution regal territories; but the empire is a secondary dominion of the same united crowns, extending over Canada, Hindostan, and other parts of the globe, with all the nations, languages, and people, they contain.
There are various elements necessary to the constitution of a well-organized kingdom.
In the first place, a kingdom must have a territory.
This is only saying, in other terms, that something must be somewhere.
To maintain the opposite would be to contend that something is nowhere.
A kingdom is not located in feeling, or in heart; though a belief of its future existence, a comprehension of its nature, or an attachment to it, may exist there.
It must have a place, a locality, as well as a name.
It would be highly absurd to say that the kingdom of England and the throne of her sovereign were in Spain; yet this would be as reasonable as to say that the kingdom and throne of David are beyond the skies! -- an othodox dogma contained in the fiction that Jesus is now sitting upon the throne of his father David!
What conceit after this is too ridiculous for creed-makers and systematizers to promulge?
In addition to a territory, a kingdom requires subjects, which compose the nation over whom there is the king.
But, simply to set up a man and call him "king" would be unwise.
It would be consonant only with the barbarism of savage tribes.
A well-regulated monarchy requires graduation of ranks, and orders of the best men, with whom the king may divide his power, and glory, and administer the laws of the kingdom.
These laws should be in conformity with the provisions and spirit of the constitution; which defines the principles, and creates and combines the elements, of the State.
Now it is worthy of remark, that the subjects of a kingdom do not possess the kingdom.
They are simply the inhabitants of the territory, who are defended against external aggression, and protected as civilians by the power, and laws, of the State.
The possessors of the kingdom are the king, and those with whom he is pleased to share his authority.
This is an important distinction, and must not be forgotten in studying "the things of the kingdom of God".