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them ?* I tell you that he will avenge them speedily. Nevertheless, when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Luke xviii, 7, 8. We ourselves glory in you in the churches of God for your patience and faith in all your persecutions and tribulations that ye endure; which is a manifest token of the righteous judgement of God, that ye may be counted worthy of the kingdom of God, for which ye also suffer: seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, &c." 2 Thess. i, 4, 7.
For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise: for yet a little while and He that shall come will come and will not tarry." Heb. x, 36, 37.
Be patient therefore, brethren, unto the coming of the Lord. Behold the husbandman waiteth for the precious fruit of the earth, and hath long patience for it, until he receive the early and latter rain. Be ye also patient—stablish your hearts— for the coming of the Lord draweth 8. nigh." James v, 7,
"Wherein (in the salvation ready to be revealed in the last time) ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations; that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Pet. i, 6, 7.
Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you; but re
to ministerial Fidelity & Diligence; Who is a faithful and wise servant, whom his lord hath made ruler over his household to give them meat in due season? Blessed is that servant whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing." Mat. xxiv, 46. For what is our hope, or joy, or crown of rejoicing; are not even ye, in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, at his coming?" 1 Thess.
I give thee charge in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things; and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession; that thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukeable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ." 1 Tim. vi, 13, 14.
I charge thee therefore before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing and his kingdom; preach the word; be instant in season, out of season; reprove, rebuke, exhort, with all long suffering 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 you I exhort, who am also an elder, and a witness of the sufferings of Christ, and also a partaker of the glory that shall be revealed: feed the flock of God which is among you; taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as lords over God's heritage, but being ensamples to the flock: and when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away." 1 Pet. v, 1,4.
certainty of death, of the truth of which event they have daily evidence. will seem a more likely method of awakening them than to plead an Advent and a Resurrection: but to act thus is surely inconsistent in the spiritual man, who is the minister of a
Gospel that especially addresses itself to the eye of faith: and a ministry thus conducted must be proportionably less fruitful, than one which more implicity relies on what is written.
I say not that death is altogether an unscriptural subject of exhortation; but that it is a truth not to be compared, in regard to its prominency, with the Advent, Resurrection, &c. I must admit also, that so far as the mere determination of a man's future condition is concerned, the day of his death is virtually to him as the day of resurrection or judgement : but without entering into the proof, that it is not so influential in other respects, it ought to be enough for every christian mind to know, that it is not the scripture mode of stating these truths. It may be tolerable as a private opinion, or in the way of additional argument; but the reverse is acted upon this private opinion has jostled the testimony of the Spirit from its place in the pulpit; and the Advent and Resurrection and Kingdom of Christ are degraded to the private station.
May the voice of the betrothed spouse of Christ again be heard, crying with the Spirit, COME! May those who have the first fruits of the Spirit be found in every instance groaning within themselves, and waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of their body!
ON THE ADVENT AND KINGDOM OF CHRIST,
AND THE EVENTS CONNECTED THEREWITH.
The Time of the Kingdom.
In proceeding to the more immediate consideration of the Millennium, the circumstance which I shall first notice is THE KINGDOM, concerning which so much is said in the Holy Scriptures.
In regard to this point I must request the patient attention of the Reader, while I endeavour to lead him step by step through what through what is written concerning it in the Bible. If our views be not clear in respect to this particular, we shall never arrive at a proper conclusion in regard to other matters. For the question at issue depends not (as some would insist) upon doubtful passages in the Book of Revelation; nor shall I rest my interpretation of the kingdom and resurrection, or any other doctrine, upon any merely symbolical or figurative texts: but if there are passages in the Word of God, which unprejudiced persons must at once confess ought to be understood in a plain and literal sense, (abating of course that tropical use of words which is inseparable from ordinary conversation,) to such passages I
INVESTIGATOR, No. II.
* 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.
shall appeal, and by such I desire to be guided in my course.
I. I need not unnecessarily occupy the time by proving, that the Messiah, or Christ was, according to the Old Testament Scriptures, to be a King, as well as Prophet and Priest;* and that in various places (more especially in the Book of Daniela) the same Scriptures further speak of the kingdom, dominion and power which should be given him.
A slight acquaintance only with the New Testament will likewise be sufficient to satisfy the Reader, that the Jewish mind was prepossessed with the notion of a kingdom and a king. Thus Nathaniel, when brought to believe in Jesus as the Messiah, confessed, "Rabbi, thou art the Son of God ;—thou art the King of Israel." Thus also, when the Lord exhibited his power by feeding the five thousand, the whole multitude would have taken him by force and made him king, had he not withdrawn from them.c Thus again, when he rode into Jerusalem on the ass, the people cried : Blessed be the king
b John i, 49. c John vi, 15.
that cometh in the name of the Lord!”—“ Blessed be the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the Lord."'d And what is more to the point, when Christ was accused before Pilate for claiming to be a king, he plainly declared that he was a king, and that he expected a kingdom.e
It must be still more obvious to persons familiar with the New Testament, that it does continually, and almost exclusively, refer the blessings and the glory therein announced to this kingdom. Jesus we are told went about preaching the gospel (or glad tidings) of the kingdom in all the cities and villages of Judea ; f—he sent his disciples to preach the same ;g-he spake of the things pertaining to it after his resurrection;h-St. Paul resolves the whole of his preaching into the same subject; i—and, in brief, the entire Word of God is called " The word of the kingdom."j
Against this part of the statement an objection must be anticipated in the outset; viz. that the kingdom of God' and 'the kingdom of heaven' are phrases constantly made use of in the Scriptures; but that these do not mean the kingdom of the Son of Man,' or of Christ.' A comparison however of scripture testimonies will shew, that these terms do nevertheless all of them refer to one and the same kingdom.
For instance; that the kingdom of heaven and the kingdom of God are one and the same, will be evident from a comparison of the following parallel passages. St. Matthew says, "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven :"k
d Compare Mark xi, 10, and
f Matt. ix, 35.
j Matt. xiii, 9. n chap. iv, 11,
but St. Luke says, "Blessed be ye poor, for yours is the kingdom of God." Again St. Matthew says, It is given unto you to know the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven :"m whereas the parallel passage in St. Mark is, Unto you it is
given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God." The phrase kingdom of heaven' is indeed a form of speech peculiar to St. Matthew, and only to be met with in his gospel; the same thing being invariably called by St. Mark and St. Luke kingdom of God.' And St. Matthew himself also uses the two phrases indiscriminately, as may be seen in the following passage:
Verily I say unto you, that a rich man shall hardly enter into the kingdom of heaven. And again I say unto you, it is easier for a "camel to go through the eye of a needle, than for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of God.”o That the kingdom of God and the kingdom of the Christ mean the same, will appear from a similar process. Speaking of the Transfiguration, the Lord, in St. Matthew's gospel, says, "Verily I say "unto you there be some standing "here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of "Man coming in His kingdom."p "But I tell tell you of St. Luke has it, a truth there
be some standing
g Luke ix, 2.
k chap. v, 3. • chap. xix, 23, 24.
h Acts i, 3.
1 chap. vi,
chap. ix, 1.
e John xviii, 36, 37. i Acts xx, 5; xxviii, 23, 31. 20. m chap. xiii, 2.
4 chap. ix, 27.
P Matt. xvi, 28.
From these various passages I conclude, that only one kingdom is spoken of; and that if it be sometimes called the kingdom of the Father, it is in regard to his having expressly appointed it to the Son of Man; even as Jesus says, "I ap'point unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed unto me."'u I must notice also in regard to this subject, that divines (not the Scriptures) often speak of the kingdom of grace: but this is only by way of distinguishing those passages, which refer to the visible church or present dispensation, in which souls are prepared, by the means of grace and the Holy Spirit, to become meet partakers of the inheritance to which God has called them. Our Lord seems to refer to this dispensation of grace, when he likens the kingdom of heaven to tares growing with the wheat, and to good and bad fish caught in a net. In several other passages it is thus spoken of.v And it
is a truth, which, as it appears to me, ought to be affirmed constantly; viz. that the glorious appearing of our God and Saviour can never be enjoyed by any other, than those in whose hearts he now reigns by the Spirit.
But though this is an obvious and undeniable use of the terms kingdom of God and heaven; yet can it only refer to an incipient and invisible state. The great purpose of God in regard to this kingdom is the MANIFESTATION of the power, glory, and sovereignty of Christ, so that all flesh may visibly behold it, and the righteous shine forth in it like the It is to this manifestation of the kingdom, which is called its coming with power," that the great bulk of those passages seem to refer which speak of the kingdom, and to which all are subordinate; and certainly those Scriptures which advert to it as yet future, must at least refer to a dispensation different from the present.
We may imperfectly illustrate the two states of the kingdom by the case of a prince in exile, who is nevertheless making formidable preparations to assert and vindicate his rights. The king, though not enthroned, is acknowledged by many partisans over these he already rules, and these he receives under his protection: but he is not yet acknowledged by the nations over
* 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, εV τῇ βασιλείᾳ τε Χριss και Θεό, 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, 43. See Mark ix, 1, 2; and 2 Pet. i, 16.