"MY KINGDOM IS NOT OF THIS WORLD"
Notes of a Sermon Delivered by SAMUEL TUKE, York Meeting, England, 19th of 2nd
Memoirs of Samuel Tuke, With Notices of Some of His Ancestors and Descendants.
London: Printed for Use of the Family Only, 1860, Vol. 2, pages 220-222.
This is The Quaker Homiletics Online Anthology, Part 3: The 19th Century.
When our blessed Lord was brought before the tribunal of Pilate, and the charge was laid against
him of having assumed to himself the title of King, he admitted the assumption, declaring to his
accusers, "My kingdom is not of this world: if my kingdom were of this world, then would my
servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence."
As these declarations have been brought before the view of my mind, and I have been led a little
to consider the subject, I have believed that the words were not only memorable as descriptive of
the object they were no doubt, at the time they were spoken, especially designed to
convey--namely, that our Saviour's kingdom was a peaceable kingdom--but also that it was not
indeed of this world. That it was totally opposed to such an one as the Jews were looking for and
desiring in totally opposed to a worldly kingdom, worldly greatness, and worldly pomp and show.
He declared that his kingdom should be in men, and that it came not with observation. Oh, how
much time, and talent, and zeal, and learning, and human wisdom, have men expended in
searching for outward demonstrations of the Heavenly kingdom! How have they sought to satisfy
their minds by making professions of religion! How have they in various ways sought to fulfil the
Divine commands, or what they believed to be the Divine commands, some in the taking of food
in one way, some in another, and some in divers washings. But the Apostle tells us that the
kingdom of God is not in meats, and in drinks, and in divers washings; and he does not leave us
with merely the negative, but he tells us in what it does consist, namely in righteousness, in peace,
and in joy in the Holy Ghost. Men may make a great profession of religion without having
experienced any change of heart; they may build upon their former lusts, the lust of the flesh, the
lust of the eye, and the pride of life; but these war against the soul. And, my dear friends, we
cannot build upon. The building must first come down, before we can be built up a spiritual
house. We must be changed, we must individually come to know our own portion in the heavenly
kingdom. And what do we know of it? These are the blessed days to which the promises are
attached. They were foretold by prophets and apostles, and they have been witnessed by
individuals to be such for upwards of 1800 years; and yet where are we? Are we witnessing the
fulfilment of the promises in ourselves? Do we really feel that the kingdom of Christ is within us?
Are we opening the doors of our hearts to Him, who says, "If a man hear my voice and open the
door, I will come in and sup with him, and he with me?" What condescension!--what matchless
condescension!--that the King himself-the King immortal--should stand at the door of our hearts
and knock: and shall we refuse him an entrance? Oh, what a difference would there be, did we
allow Christ to come into our hearts, and rule there! He would guide us, he would enlighten us;
for he is the Light, which enlighteneth every man that cometh into the world. If man individually,
submitted to his righteous government, what a difference would there be in nations, who are the
aggregate of men! How would political feeling be brought down--how would all wars and
fightings cease for "My kingdom is not of this world, else would my servants fight"--But now is
my kingdom not from hence. How beautifully simple was the commission given by our Lord to his
immediate followers, when he sent them forth, two and two,--"Go ye into the cities and villages,
saying,--Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand!" Blessed be God, who hath not left us
without a knowledge of the way to the kingdom. The first step therein is repentance, and they
who feel the burden of their sins, and who sincerely desire a change of heart, these are the
repentant: and the second step in the way, is to take the yoke of Christ upon us--and then is the
kingdom of heaven at hand.
Oh, however helpless, however poor, weary, and heavy laden, any may feel themselves to be, the
gracious language is unto them,--"Come unto me, all ye that are weary and heavy-laden"--unto
me, and not unto another--"and I will give you. rest."--"Take my yoke upon you," ye young,
middle aged, and aged (for the invitation is alike extended to all) "Take my yoke upon you, and
learn of me, and ye shall find rest unto your souls!"
If men were willing individually to take the yoke of Christ upon them, and to wait to be taught of
him, they would experience in themselves a deliverance from sin, and the kingdoms of this world
would become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ.