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prophecy? Mr. Faber, who does not concur with me in the view of the personal reign, admits, nevertheless, of this prophecy, that it must be literal, “and designed, by its circumstantial clearness, to cut off the possibility of figurative interpretation.”k And immediately after this prophecy it is added _“And the Lord shall be King over all the earth”l-proving most decidedly, when the kingdom will be manifest; (viz. at his coming with the saints, before named;) and where, viz. on earth.
Many other Scriptures prove that the Lord's kingdom is to be manifested on earth: for example, Jer. xxiii. 5,-"A king shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth.” Again, Ezek. xliii. 7, when the Lord, on granting to him a vision of Jerusalem, says,—“Son of man, the place of my throne, and the place of the soles of my feet.” Wherefore our Lord forbids his disciples to swear by Jerusalem, because it is THE CITY OF THE GREAT KING." Nor must I omit to notice, when speaking of the throne, that Isaiah says: “Of the increase of his government there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom.” Thus the angel Gabriel announces to Mary;—“He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father DAVID.". And where was the throne of David? surely not in heaven; for St. Peter tells us plainly, “that David is not ascended into the heavens;" but that, “being a prophet, he knew that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne.”p The Lord, however, certainly did not sit on David's throne at his first coming; for Herod was then in it: and this promise therefore remains to be fulfilled at his second coming.
2. It is now time that I should notice an objection, which it will be useful to consider, not merely in reference to this particular argument, but likewise as affecting in some measure general principles of interpretation.
There are passages of Scripture, relating to this matter, which are undoubtedly to be understood only in a spiritual sense, and must be so interpreted. Such, for example, as when St. Paul says of gentile believers, “that they are fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, and are built upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; in whom all the building fitly framed together groweth unto a holy temple in the Lord; in whom ye also are builded together for a habitation of God through the
Vol. vii. p. 267. i Zech. xiv. 9. m Matt. v. 35. Isa, ix. 7. o Luke i.32. p Acts ii. 30, 34, &c.
supplications for the holy mountain of his God,” couples together the following phrases—“thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain;"_“Jerusalem, even thy people”_"thy city, even thy people, * are called by Thy NAME,"x_that these terms are in the first place explanatory of each other; and, secondly, that there is a reference in them, both to the household of God, and to the place of their congregating and future manifestation. So in the following passage, “Remember thy congregation, which thou hast purchased of old; the rod of thine inheritance, which thou hast redeemed; this mount Zion, wherein thou hast dwelt;'y mount Zion and the congregation are made as one by implication; whilst yet the context shews, that Zion literally, as well as the congregation, are both distinctly referred to.
I add here some texts, shewing the practical use, which the Apostles made of the doctrine of the Kingdom and Inheritance to be manifested on the earth. I could greatly increase the list were I to turn to the Old Testament; (particularly in reference to the land, the promise of which, in one Psalm only,z is practically applied six different times;) but, for obvious reasons, I prefer keeping at present to the New Testament. Grounded then on these truths are Exhortations
to Repentance. “And saying, Repent ye: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matt. iii. 1.
“Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God." 1 Cor. vi.
“Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulation, wrath, strife, sedition, heresies, envyings, murders, drunkenness, revellings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” Gal. v. 19—21.
“For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man, who is an idolater, hath
inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.” Ephes. v. 5.
to Holiness and to seek Grace. “Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God." John iii. 3.
Dan. ix. 16-20. y Ps. lxxiv. 2. 2 Ps. xxxvii. * In both these instances, I take the vau of the Hebrew, and the xes of the Septuagint necessarily to mean even, (as they often do,) not and.
“Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of
John iii. 5. “Wherefore we, receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.” Heb. xii. 28.
PARTICULAR GRACES EXCITED.
Obedience to God, “Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven." Matt. vii. 21.
Obedience to Parents, “Children, obey your parents in the Lord: for this is right. Honour thy father and thy mother; (for this is the first commandment with promise;) that it may be well with thee, and thou mayest live long on the earth.” Ephes. vi. 1—3.
Humility, “Blessed are the poor in Spirit; for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
Matt. v. 3. “Hearken, my beloved brethren; Hath not God chosen the poor of this world, rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? But ye have despised the poor.” James ii. 5, 6.
Meekness, “Blessed are the meek: for they shall inherit the earth.” 5.
Patience, "Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness' sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Matt. v. 10.
“These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth. For they that say such things declare plainly, that they seek a country.” (Tetpide.) Heb.
(πατριδα.) Ηeb. xi. 13, 14. “Let us go forth therefore unto him without the camp, bearing his reproach.
For here we have no continuing city, but we seek one to come.” Heb. xiii. 12, 14.
“Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.” Luke xii. 32.
Perseverance, “He that overcometh shall inherit all things; and I will be his God, and he shall be my son.” Rev. xxi. 7.
Diligence, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.” 2 Pet. iii. 13, 14.
General Holy Walking, “Ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of promse, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession, unto the praise of his glory.”_"Grieve not [therefore] the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.” Ephes. i. 13, 14; and iv. 30.
“Walk worthy of God, who hath called you unto His kingdom and glory.” 1 Thess. ii. 12.
Thankfulness, “Giving thanks unto the Father, which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light: who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son." Col. i. 12, 13.
Prayer. “And he said unto them, when ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done, as in heaven, so in earth.” Luke xi. 2.
NOTE, that almost the whole of these texts, by making the kingdom and inheritance the subjects of promise, do likewise expressly make them future.
The Participation of the Saints.
Though much of the evidence brought to bear on the points which have now been considered, must already have led to the conclusion, that the saints in general will participate in the glorious state of things to be revealed in the Millennium; yet I consider it to be a matter of so much importance and interest to the Church, that I have reserved many Scripture testimonies for the purpose of proving it more distinctly; which testimonies will likewise further corroborate the view I have taken of the Kingdom of the Son of Man. I proceed therefore to shew, that the promises of this glory belong equally to the saints of the Old and New Testaments, and of every age of the Church. I. This point is the more necessary to be insisted on,
because there are many, who, whilst they admit a Millennium of glory on earth, confine it nevertheless to a portion only of the Church of God. Some, for instance, limit it to the Jews; some to those only who have suffered martyrdom for Christ; and some to that generation only, who shall be living at the commencement of the Millennium, excluding all the departed saints, and the Lord Jesus himself, from any visible participation. I conclude, however, that the whole of the saints, from the days of the first Adam up to the period of the glorious advent of the second Adam, will together enjoy their resurrection glory at the beginning of the Millennium; and that their glory is altogether distinct from the condition of that portion of Israel, who will then be redeemed in the flesh; and also from the spiritual state of those gentile nations, who shall then likewise still be in the flesh. I have only to request of the reader, if difficulties and objections present themselves to his mind on the perusal of this statement, that he will at least suspend them, until I have gone through the whole series of Essays in which I am now engaged; in the course of which it is probable, that some of those difficulties may be removed.
I trust it is not necessary to dwell long upon the antediluvian saints: these may be all included in one verse of Jude's Epistle;—“Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied to these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with myriads of his saints, to execute judgment, &c." This was therefore the expectation of the Church in Enoch's time. And as respects the saints from the time of Noah to Abraham, we may clearly infer their expectation from the eleventh chapter of Hebrews: Noah being instanced, at the seventh verse, as one of those of whom, in the thirty-ninth and following verses, it is said, that they obtained a good report through faith, but received not the promise; God having designed, that they without us should not be perfected.
In regard to the promises to Abraham and to his seed, I have already proved that Christ is “the seed" principally intended, and, by a necessary consequence, all those who are his members. This is further evident from the Epistle to the Romans. The Millennarian will not I think deny, that the glory to which the Apostle frequently alludes in this Epistle, is that which is to be revealed at the manifestation of the sons of God, treated of in chapter viii. ; and of course the promise spoken of has reference to that glory. Yet in chap. iv. the apostle contends, "that the promise that he should be the heir of the world, was not to Abraham or to his seed through the law, (which has especial respect to the Gentile dispensation,) but through the righteousness of faith. That it is of faith, that it might be by grace;
2 υ. 14. προεφητευσε τετοις.