XII. The Kingdom First.

MATT. vi. 35. “Seek ye
first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness, and all these
things shall be added unto you.”

IT is a part of the confusion with which our world is
crowded, that the order of things has been inverted. The
wrong order of right things is often the most serious of evil.
Disproportionate truth is the worst of error. Therefore we
are expressly told that one feature in the restored world
will be that “the last will be first, and the first will be
last! “One of the greatest purposes of Divine truth is to
re-establish the series, to tell us which is to be first, and
which is to be second.
This text is an instance of one of these rectifyings of
human calculation.
I. The promise given here to those who treat religion as
the first object of life. The promise which God attaches
to any duty is not therefore to be made the motive why
that duty is done. The only motive with which we are
to do anything is the glory of God. An objection made
against this promise of God is, that by securing to every
Christian, as a consequence of his piety, a supply of his
worldly wants, an inducement to indolence in a man’s
business appears to be held out. But the man most in
earnest about his soul is always the man who is most in
earnest about everything.
The poor man who is tempted to think that God has
not been faithful to His promises in his case has not read
this text aright. He has been fed and clothed, and there
is no more promised in the context. God promises cloth-
ing and feeding.
II. Whatever be the engagements of life let it be re-
membered that there is a prior one.
In every matter there are a thousand littlenesses to dis-
turb and to warp the soul. But in every matter there is
God, judgment and eternity. With these first you must
be occupied.
III. Let no one think that this world and the next are
two things, so that what is good for the one is unprofitable
for the other.
If this present world were all, still the most religious
stand in the vantage.
Give the promise of life to God, and let that which is
furthest in time be the nearest in intention, and so the little
space which lies between this moment and heaven will be
all arched over with this promise : “All these things shall
be added unto you.”
James Vaughan, M.A.