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represented four monarchies, or kingdoms of the earth earthy. But, instead of a fifth beast, there next is seen, in the vision of the prophet, when their time is at an end, the Ancient of days seated on his throne like the fiery flame, his wheels burning fire. The Son of man comes with the clouds of heaven, and is brought near before the Ancient of days, and there is given him a dominion and glory, and a kingdom which shall not be destroyed—and the greatness of the kingdom is given to the people of the saints of the Most High. And if confirmatory words may be added to the truth, and to the interpretation which is sure, those of Jesus

may

sink into the ears and hearts of those to whom his words are spirit and life, as his promises are sure. I appoint unto you a kingdom as my Father hath appointed me. - - Be thou faithful unto the death, and I will give thee a crown of life. He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches; he that overcometh shall not be hurt of the second death. He that overcometh and keepeth my words unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations, and he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers : even as I have received of my Father. And I will give him the morning star.— To him that overcometh — as the last recorded promise to the churches bears—will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne. He that hath an ear let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Exceeding great and precious are the promises whence rises the lively and the blessed hope, to which all the faithful are begotten again by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Of the blessedness, and glory, and holiness of the kingdom the testimony is full. Not a prophet since the beginning of the world has kept silence concerning that salvation which is the end of every true Christian's faith, the restitution of all things, when hope shall be turned into fruition, and faith into sight. Already there are no powers on earth, though all were combined together, like the power of the world to come. It has conquered them all; and it will conquer them again, till they shall vanish, and that better and heavenly country shall be entered. Blessed is he that overcometh. Christ gives him his peace; he shall never taste of death; and from the time he departs there is a crown of glory laid up for him—which the righteous Judge in that day will give to all them that look for his coming, and love his appearing.

Thrones, crowns, sceptres, are but symbols of power. A subject might sit upon a throne, with a crown on his head, and a sceptre in his hand : yet would he be no more a king than any fettered prisoner. But the subjects of Christ's kingdom now, shall then sit with him on his throne, and reign with him in his kingdom, for their kingdom is Christ's, and the kingdom of the Son is the kingdom of the Father.

Some testimonies may here be given, as borne by one who could tell, how the glories of an earthly kingdom vanish in the prospect; and how these could not suffice to keep down the longings of a more glorious hope, or satisfy the soul that felt it. The sweet Psalmist of Israel, who knew how to tune the harp of Zion, and who made many a psalm to suit it, was the first who sat on Zion's throne, from which he ruled all the tribes of Israel. Raised to that throne from keeping a few sheep in the wilderness, and thus experiencing a wondrous elevation from the lowest to the highest state, the prophet-king could rise higher in his songs of praise. He who could say, Oh that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away and be at rest—could also sing, Thou wilt show me the path of life: in thy presence is fullness of joy; at thy right hand are pleasures for evermore.Deliver

my soul from the wicked - from men of the world which have their portion in this life.

As for me, I will behold thy face in righteousness : I shall be satisfied, when I awake, with thy likeness. Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning. - I saw thrones and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them. - They lived and reigned with Christ.—

Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.

Psalms xvi. 11 ; xvii. 14, 15; xlix. 14.

CHAPTER XIV.

THE FIRST RESURRECTION COMPARED WITH OTHER

SCRIPTURES.

This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection : on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years. Rev. xx. 5, 6.

Another topic, that of the first resurrection, is here introduced ; a further definition is given, blessed and holy is he that hath part in it. When the power of the enemies of God comes to an end, the witnesses of Jesus have their reward. While the beast and the false prophet, that made war with the Lamb, have their place in the lake of fire, and an abyss, sealed on him, shuts up the old serpent, those whom they wore out and persecuted even to the death, have their portion in the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in it. If any man live godly in Christ Jesus he must suffer persecution; but when persecutors meet their doom, and tribulation is recompensed to them, they who are with Christ, and have part in the first resurrection, are blessed as they are holy.

These things, are not unknown to those who search the Scriptures; and rest their faith on them alone. As other topics are thus introduced, other criterions are here supplied, whereby, on comparing scripture with scripture, it may be seen what previous testimonies are also summed up, as they are tached to this curtain of the tabernacle, at the drawing up of which at last, the kingdom shall be revealed in its glory. To the law and to the testimony, without which there is no alternative but darkness, whatever fancies might vanish at its light, and imaginations of the heart give way. The appeal is at once to faith and to reason, provided only that Christ's word be remembered, that the Scriptures can not be broken, and that the divine testimony can not err, though mere human reasoning may fail.

This is the first resurrection. Paul thus testifies, by inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and tells believers of things of which he would not have thern to be ignorant. I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with hin. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God : and THE DEAD IN CHRIST SHALL RISE FIRST: then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air ; and so shall we ever be with the Lord.—But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you, For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say,

Peace and safety ; then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape.

But

ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief. Ye are all the children of light, and the children of the day : we are not of the night, nor of darkness.—The very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit, and soul, and body, be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

The dead in Christ shall rise first. This is the first resurrection. The apostle prays that they who formed the church of the Thessalonians might be sanctified whollyeven their whole spirit, and soul, and body.—And he adds, Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it. But he that sanctifieth, and they who are sanctified (made holy) are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them brethren. Holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.—Them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him—the dead in Christ shall rise first—they shall be caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall they be ever with the Lord. They live and reign with Christon such the second death hath no power.

The coming of the Lord, as here twice spoken of, is so 1 1 Thes. iv. 13–18; v. 1-5, 23.

Heb. ii. 11.

P*

identified with the first resurrection, that the dead in Christ that shall rise first, shall meet the Lord in the air. The faithful in Thessalonica knew perfectly that the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night-when sudden destruction shall come upon the wicked, and they shall not escape; though that day shall not overtake, as a thief in the night, the watchful children of the light and of the day. Thus the bride, the Lamb's wife, hath made herself ready, when that day of his coming, and of his wrath, brings unlookedfor and inevitable destruction on his enemies; but lookedfor, and sure salvation to them that, found watching, are with him.

When the resurrection, both of the righteous and of the wicked, of the just and of the unjust, is recorded in the same passages, that of the righteous is uniformly mentioned first.

As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order : Christ the first fruits : afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shals have put down all rule, and all authority, and power, &c. In recording the things that shall befall his people in the latter days, Daniel testifies—Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. -The hour is coming, said the Judge of the quick and of the dead, in the which all that are in the graves shall come forth; they that have donc good unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation 3 _ Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye

blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you

from the foundation of the world, &c.—Then shall He say unto them on the left hand, Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels. _ There shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.

The dead in Christ shall rise first :-Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ's at his coming ; some shall arise to everlasting life; they that have done good to the resurrection of life ; come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the

5

11 Cor. xv. 22-24.
4 Matt. xxv. 34, 41.

2 Dan. xii. 2.
5 Acts xxiv. 15.

3 John v. 28, 29.

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