Imágenes de páginas

copious upon this subject in the seventh book of his Divine Institutions. He faith, 'Because

all the works of God were finished in fix

days, it is necessary that the world should rei main in this state fix ages, that is fix thou' sand years.' And again,' because having finished " the works he rested on the seventh day, and · blessed it; it is necessary that at the end of " the fix thousandth year all wickedness should · be abolished out of the earth, and justice

Nould reign for a thousand years. He faith, · When the Son of God shall have destroyed

injustice, and shall have restored the just to

life, he shall be conversant among men a ' thousand years, and shall rule them with most just government. At the same time the

prince of devils Thall be bound with chains, and • Thall be in custody the thousand years of the

heavenly kingdom, while justice shall reign in the world, left he should attempt any evil against the people of God. He faith, · When

[ocr errors]

neceffeeft, ut in fine sexti millefi- dæmonum- catenis vincietur, mianni malitia omnis aboleatur et erit cuftodia nille annis é terra, et regnet per annos mille cæleftis imperii, quo justitia in juftitia. Cap. 14. Verum ille, orbe regnabit, ne quod malum cum deleverit injuftitiam,--ac adversus populam Dei moliajustos, qui a principio fuerunt, tur. Cap. 24. Sed idem, cum ad vitam reftauraverit, mille mille anni regni, hoc eft feptem annis inter homines versabitur, millia cæperint terminari ; fol. eosque justiflimo imperio raget.-- vetur denuo,&c. Cum vero comSubidem tempus etiam princeps pleti fuerint mille anni, fiet, 4


[ocr errors][ocr errors]

r the thousand years of the kingdom, that is

seven thousand years shall draw towards a

conclusion, Satan fhall be loosed again : and 6.when the thousand years shall be completed, ? then shall be that second and public resurrec' tion of all, wherein the unjust shall be raised

to everlasting torments.' And having inlarged upon these topics he concludes, " This is the

doctrin of the holy prophets which we Chris(tians follow; this is our wisdom.' In short the doctrin of the millennium was generally believed in the three first and purest ages; and this belief, as the (7) learned Dodwell hath justly observed, was one principal cause of the fortitude of the primitive Christians; they even coveted martyrdom, in hopes of being partakers of the privileges and glories of the martyrs in the first resurrection.

Afterwards this doctrin grew into disrepute for various reasons. Some both Jewish and Christian writers have debased it with a mix

ture fecunda illa, et publica om tiani. Et ut juftorum propriam nium resurrectio, in qua ex eam crediderunt resurrectionem, citabuntar injusti ad cruciatus ita martyrum in ea portionem sempiternos. -Hæc eft doctrina longe effe præcipuam.Hæc san&torum prophetarum, quam

cum ita crederentur, dici nequit Christiani fequimur; hæc nof- quantum martyres illius ætatis tra sapientia. Cap. 26. martyrii ftudio infanımarint.

(7) Jam in millennii regno pri. Dodwelli Differt. Cyprian.XII. mam fore resurrectionem corpo. De Martyrum fortitudine. Sect. rum credideruntprimævi Chrif- 20, 21,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]


(8) See

ture of fables ; they have described the king . dom more like a sensual than a spiritual kingdom, and thereby they have not only exposed themselves, but (what is infinitely worse) the doctrin itself to contempt and ridicule. It hath suffered by the misrepresentations of its enemies, as well as by the indiscretions of its friends; many, like (8) Jerome, have charged the millennarians with absurd and impious opinions which they never held; and rather than they would admit the truth of the doctrin, they have not scrupled to call in question the genuinness of the Revelation. It hath been abused even to worse purposes; it hath been made an engin of faction ; and turbulent fanatics, under the pretence of saints, have aspired to dominion, and disturbed the peace of civil fociety. Besides wherever the influence and authority of the church of Rome have extended, she hath endevored by all means to discredit this doctrins and indeed not without sufficient reason, this kingdom of Christ being founded on the ruins of the kingdom of Antichrift. No wonder therefore that this doctrin lay depressed for mány ages, but it sprang up again at the Reformation, and will florith together with the study of the Revelation. All the danger is,

on (8) See Mede’s Works, B. 5. Chap, 5. D. Hieronymi Pro


on one side, of pruning and lopping it too short, and on the other, of suffering it to grow too wild and luxuriant. Great caution, soberness, and judgment are required, to keep the middle course. We should neither with some interpret it into an allegory, nor depart from the litteral sense of scripture without absolute necessity for so doing. Neither should we with others indulge an extravagant fancy, nor explain too curiously the manner and circumstances of this future state. It is fafest and best faithfully to adhere to the words of scripture, or to fair deductions from scripture; and to rest contented with the general account, till time shall accomplish and eclaircise all the particulars.

7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison,

8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle; the number of whom is as the fand of the sea.

9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the canp

of the saints about, and the beloved city; and

fire nunciata de Dogmate millennariorum. p. 897.

(9) Burnet's

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

fire came down from God out of heaven,
and devoured them.

10 And the devil that deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

At the expiration of the thousand years (ver. 7-10,) the restraint shall be taken off from wickedness, for a little season as it was said before, (ver. 3.) Satan shall be loosed out of his prifon, and make one effort more to re-establish his kingdom. As he deceived our first. parents in the paradisiacal state, so he shall have the artifice to deceive the nations in this millenial kingdom, to show that no state or condition

upon earth is exempted and secured from finning. The nations, whom he shall deceive, are described as living in the remotest parts of the world, in the four quarters of the earth, $1,7@15 TEOO&PT! ywnais. Tas yns, in the four angles or corners of the earth; and they are distinguished by the name of Gog and Magog, and are said to be, as numerous as the sand of the fea. Gog and Magog seem to have been formerly the general name of the northern națions of Europe and Asia, as the Scythians have been since, and the


« AnteriorContinuar »