« AnteriorContinuar »
them ?* I tell you that he willavenge joice, inasmuch as ye are partakers them speedily. Nevertheless, when of Christ's sufferings; that when his the Son of Man cometh, shall he find glory shall be revealed, ye may be faith on the earth?” Luke xviii, 7, 8. glad also with exceeding joy.” Ibid,
We ourselves glory in you in iv, 12, 13. the churches of God for your patience to Moderation and Sobriety ; and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure; which
“ Let your moderation be known is a manifest token of the righteous unto all men : the Lord is at hand.”
Phil. iv, 5. judgement of God, that ye may
be counted worthy of the kingdom of
“ Gird up the loins of your mind, God, for which ye also suffer :
be sober, and hope to the end for the seeing it is a righteous thing with grace that is to be brought unto you God to recompense tribulation to
at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” them that trouble you ; and to you
1 Pet. i, 13. who are troubled rest with us, when against censorious Judgement; the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from " Therefore judge nothing before heaven, &c.” 2 Thess. i, 4, 7.
time, until the Lord come, &c." For ye have need of patience,
1 Cor. iv, 5. that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise: to ministerial Fidelity & Diligence ; for yet a little while and He that Who is a faithful and wise sershall come will come and will not vant, whom his lord hath made ru. tarry.” Heb. x, 36, 37.
ler over his household to give them Be patient therefore, brethren, meat in due season? Blessed is that unto the coming of the Lord. Be- servant whom his lord when he cometh hold the husbandman waiteth for the shall find so doing.” Mat. xxiv, 46. precious fruit of the earth, and hath “ For what is our hope, or joy, or long patience for it, until he receive crown of rejoicing; are not even ye, the early and latter rain. Be ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus also patient-stablish your hearts- Christ, at his coming?" 1 Thess. for the coming of the Lord draweth
II. 19. nigh.” James v, 7, 8.
“I give thee charge in the sight “ Wherein (in the salvation ready of God, who quickeneth all things; to be revealed in the last time) ye and before Christ Jesus, who before greatly rejoice, though now for a Pontius Pilate witnessed a good conseason, if need be, ye are in heaviness fession; that thou keep this comthrough manifold temptations; that mandment without spot, unrebukethe trial of your faith, being much able, until the appearing of our Lord more precious than of gold that Jesus Christ.” I Tim. vi, 13, 14. perisheth, though it be tried with
I charge thee therefore before fire, might be found unto praise and God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, honour and glory at the appearing of who shall judge the quick and the Jesus Christ.”. 1 Pet. i, 6, 7. dead at his appearing and his king
Beloved, think it not strange dom ; preach the word; be instant concerning the fiery trial which is to in season, out of season ; reprove, try you, as though some strange rebuke, exhort, with all long sufferthing happened unto you; but re- ing and doctrine.” 2 Tim. iv. 1, 2.
* This text may be explained by 2 Pet. ii, 9, 15. “ The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance."-" Account the longsuffering of the Lord salvation."
The elders which are among certainty of death, of the truth of you I exhort, who am also an elder, which event they have daily evidence. and a witness of the sufferings of will seem a more likely method of Christ, and also a partaker of the awakening them than to plead an glory that shall be revealed : feed the Advent and a Resurrection : but to flock of God which is among you; act thus is surely inconsistent in the taking the oversight thereof, not by spiritual man, who is the minister of constraint, but willingly; not for a Gospel that especially addresses filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; itself to the eye of faith: and a neither as lords over God's heritage, ministry thus conducted must be but being ensamples to the flock: proportionably less fruitful, than one and when the chief Shepherd shall ap- which more implicity relies on what pear, ye shall receive a crown of glory is written. that fadeth not away.” 1 Pet. v, 1,4. I say not that death is altogether
an unscriptural subject of exhortato observe Prophecy.
tion ; but that it is a truth not to be “ Behold, I come quickly : blessed compared, in regard to its prominenis he that keepeth the sayings of the cy, with the Advent, Resurrection, &c. prophecy of this Book.” Rev. xxii, 7. I must admit also, that so far as the
mere determination of a man's future
condition is concerned, the day of I reserve those passages which his death is virtually to him as the practically improve the doctrine of day of resurrection or judgement: the resurrection of the saints, until I but without entering into the proof, come to treat more fully on that that it is not so influential in other subject: in the mean while I earnestly respects, it ought to be enough for beseech the Reader, especially if he every christian mind to know, that it bea Minister, dispassionately to con- is not the scripture mode of stating sider what has been already advanced. these truths. It may be tolerable It may be that in regard to some five as a private opinion, or in the way or sis texts, he may differ from me, of additional argument; but the as to their interpretation and con- reverse is acted upon : this private sequent pertinence : but the great opinion has jostled the testimony of mass of evidence is such, as I am the Spirit from its place in the pulpit; persuaded cannot be successfully and the Advent and Resurrection controverted.
and Kingdom of Christ are degraded And is the general tone or style to the private station. of preaching consistent with these May the voice of the betrothed extracts ? Has not the wisdom of spouse of Christ again be heard, man substituted its own invention crying with the Spirit, COME ! for the wisdom of God ? I grant May those who have the first fruits that to the natural man an object of of the Spirit be found in every insense will always appear better suited stance groaning within themselves, to exercise a practical influence, than and waiting for the adoption, to wit, an object of faith ; and therefore, to the redemption of their body! press home upon the thoughtless the
ON THE ADVENT AND KINGDOM OF CHRIST,
AND THE EVENTS CONNECTED THEREWITH.
The Time of the Kingdom.
In proceeding to the more im- shall appeal, and by such I desire mediate consideration of the Mil- to be guided in my course. lennium, the circumstance which I I. I need not unnecessarily oca shall first notice is THE KINGDOM, cupy the time by proving, that the concerning which so much is said Messiah, or Christ was, according in the Holy Scriptures.
to the Old Testament Scriptures, to In regard to this point I must be a King, as well as Prophet and request the patient attention of the Priest ;* and that in various places Reader, while I endeavour to lead (more especially in the Book of him step by step through what Daniela) the same Scriptures further is written concerning it in the speak of the kingdom, dominion and Bible. If our views be not clear in
power which should be given him. respect to this particular, we shall A slight acquaintance only with never arrive at a proper conclusion the New Testament will likewise in regard to other matters. For be sufficient to satisfy the Reader, the question at issue depends not that the Jewish mind was prepos(as some would insist) upon doubt- sessed with the notion of a kingdom ful passages in the Book of Reve- and a king. Thus Nathaniel, when lation; nor shall I rest my inter- brought to believe in Jesus as the pretation of the kingdom and re- Messiah, confessed, Rabbi, thou surrection, or any other doctrine, art the Son of God ;-thou art upon any merely symbolical or fi- the King of Israel,”b Thus also, gurative texts : but if there are when the Lord exhibited his powpassages in the Word of God, which er by feeding the five thousand, unprejudiced persons must at once the whole multitude would have confess ought to be understood in taken him by force and made him a plain and literal sense, (abating king, had he not withdrawn from of course that tropical use of words them.c Thus again, when he rode which is inseparable from ordinary into Jerusalem on the ass, the conversation, to such passages I people cried : “Blessed be the king
* Besides the numerous passages in which God is addressed as KING, all of which I take to intend Messiah, the prophetical parts of the Old Testament abound with special references to him in this character. The Reader may at his leisure consult the following. Numbers xxiii, 21 ; xxiv, 7; 1 Sam. ii, 10 ; Psalms ii, 6 ; xxi, 1; xiv, 7-10; xlv; lxxii ; cxlv, 1 ; cxlix, 2 ; Isaiah vi, 5 ; xxxii, 1 ; xxxiii, 17 ; Jer. xxiii, 5; Zech. ix, 9 ; xiv, 16.
a Dan, vii, 13, 14.
b John i, 49.
c John vi, 15.
INVESTIGATOR, No. II.
Unto you it is
that cometh in the name of the but St. Luke
« Blessed be ye Lord !”—“Blessed be the kingdom of poor, for yours is the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in God.”1 Again St. Matthew says, the name of the Lord.”d And what It is given unto you to know the is more to the point, when Christ mysteries of the kingdom of heawas accused before Pilate for claim- ven :'m whereas the parallel passage ing to be a king, he plainly declared in St. Mark is, that he was a king, and that he ex- given to know the mysteries of the pected a kingdom.e
kingdom of God.”! The phrase It must be still more obvious to kingdom of heaven' is indeed a persons familiar with the New Tes- form of speech peculiar to St. Mattament, that it does continually, thew, and only to be met with in and almost exclusively, refer the his gospel; the same thing being blessings and the glory therein an- invariably called by St. Mark and nounced to this kingdom. Jesus St. Luke' kingdom of God.' And we are told went about preaching St. Matthew himself also uses the the gospel (or glad tidings) of the two phrases indiscriminately, as may kingdom in all the cities and villages be seen in the following passage : of Judea ;f-he sent his disciples to · Verily I say unto you, that a rich preach the same ;g—he spake of the man shall hardly enter into the things pertaining to it after his re- kingdom of heaven. And again surrection ;h-St. Paul resolves the I say unto you, it is easier for a whole of his preaching into the same
camel to go through the eye of a subject; i--and, in brief, the entire needle, than for a rich man to Word of God is called «The word enter into the kingdom of God.” of the kingdom.”'j
That the kingdom of God and Against this part of the state- the kingdom of the Christ mean ment an objection must be antici- the same, will appear from a similar pated in the outset; viz. that 'the process. Speaking of the Transkingdom of God' and 'the kingdom figuration, the Lord, in St. Matof heaven' are phrases constantly thew's gospel, says, “Verily I say made use of in the Scriptures; but “ unto you there be some standing that these do not mean
- here which shall not taste of dom of the Son of Man,' or of "s death, till they see the Son of Christ.' A comparison however of “ Man coming in His kingdom."p scripture testimonies will shew, that St. Luke has it,
But I tell you of these terms do nevertheless all of a truth there be some standing them refer to one and the same here, which shall not taste of kingdom.
“ death till they see the Kingdom For instance; that the kingdom of God.” And St. Mark, “ There of heaven and the kingdom of God "o be some which stand here which are one and the same, will be evident shall not taste of death, till they from a comparison of the following “ have seen the kingdom of God parallel passages. St. Matthew says, come with power.”Again, in the “ Blessed are the poor in spirit, for parable of the tares, St. Matthew theirs is the kingdom of heaven :”k writes,
writes, “ that at the end of the world
d Compare Mark xi, 10, and Luke xix, 38. e John xviii, 36, 37. f Matt. ix, 35. 8 Luke ix, 2. h Acts i, 3. i Acts xx, 5; xxviii, 23, 31. j Matt, xiii, 9. k chap. v, 3. 1 chap. vi, 20. i chap. xiii, 2. n chap. iv, 11, 0 chap. xis, 23, 24. P Matt. xvi, 28. q chap. ix, 27.
I char. iv, 1.
" the Son of Man shall send forth is a truth, which, as it appears to me, “his angels, and they shall gather ought to be affirmed constantly; viz. “out of his kingdom all things that that the glorious appearing of our
offend ;” and immediately he adds, God and Saviour can never be en
then shall the righteous shine joyed by any other, than those in “ forth as the sun in the kingdom whose hearts he now reigns by the
of tñeir Father :"s thus making Spirit. the kingdom of the Father and of But though this is an obvious and the Son of Man the same;
undeniable use of the terms kingdom St. Paul to the Ephesians calls it of God and heaven; yet can it only “ The kingdom of Christ and of refer to an incipient and invisible God.”t *
The great purpose of God in From these various passages I regard to this kingdom is the conclude, that only one kingdom is MANIFESTATION of the power, glory, spoken of; and that if it be some- and sovereignty of Christ, so that all times called the kingdom of the flesh may visibly behold it, and the Father, it is in regard to his having righteous shine forth in it like the expressly appointed it to the Son of
It is to this manifestation of Man; even as Jesus says,
the kingdom, which is called its point unto you a kingdom, as my coming with power,”s that the “Father hath appointed unto me.”u great bulk of those passages seem to
I must notice also in regard to refer which speak of the kingdom, this subject, that divines (not the and to which all are subordinate ; Scriptures) often speak of the king- and certainly those Scriptures which dom of grace : but this is only by way advert to it as yet future, must at of distinguishing those passages, least refer to a dispensation different which refer to the visible church or from the present. present dispensation, in which souls We may imperfectly illustrate the are prepared, by the means of grace two states of the kingdom by the and the Holy Spirit, to become meet case of a prince in exile, who is partakers of the inheritance to which nevertheless making formidable preGod has called them. Our Lord parations to assert and vindicate his seems to refer to this dispensation of rights. The king, though not engrace, when he likens the kingdom throned, is acknowledged by many of heaven to tares growing with the partisans ; over these he already wheat, and to good and bad fish rules, and these he receives under caught in a net. In several other pas- his protection : but he is not yet sages it is thus spoken of.v And it acknowledged by the nations over
s Matt. viii, 41, 43. tchap. V, 5.
* I am quite convinced, from a perusal of Granville Sharp's Treatise on the use of the definite Article in the Greek New Testament, that the original of this passage, ev Tį Baoiletą T8 Xp158 kai Osz, should be translated, “ In the Kingdom of the Christ and God;" the relative positions of the article and conjunction indicating, that one and the same person is meant. But this, instead of making against my argument, confirms it: for as it proves that God and Christ are the same; so, by parity of reasoning, the Kingdom of God and Christ are one. Lactantius in his Treatise De Institutionibus, in the seventh book of which he enters at large upon the subject now before us, repeatedly speaks of God and His Kingdom, when he evidently intends Christ.
u Luke xxii, 30. v See for example, Matt. xii, 28 ; xxi, 43; Mark xii, 34; Luke x, 9, 11; xi, 20. W Matt. xiii, 13. See Mark ix, 1, 2; and 2 Pet. 1, 16.