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comes that the Witneffes are flain, and lie dead in the Streets; but before Antichrift can have time to triumph four Years, the Witneffes fhall be raised up, and one of the ten Kingdoms fall off from him and ruin the City of Rome. But yet the Papacy fhall breathe and by degrees get head and join with Turk, Tartar, and the Christians in Europe; but from this Danger will Chrift fave all Chriftians by his coming, and fetting up of his Kingdom.
Thus I have faithfully related the Opinion, and fummarily contracted Mr. Archer's whole Difcourfe.
I fhall firft obferve; That which is the general Fault, not only of this Author, but of all others that look towards the Millenary-Way, and which is indeed the main Ground of all their Heterodoxy in this Point, that they put a merely-literal Conftruction upon the Prophecies and Promises of Scripture, which the Holy Ghoft intended only to be fpiritually understood; hence it is, that those frequent Predictions, which we meet in every Page of the Prophets, concerning the Kingdom of Chrift, the re-edifying of the Jewish Cities, the Pomp and Magnificence of restored Ifrael, their large Privileges and marvelous Atchievements, are altogether drawn to a grofs, corporal, and fyllabical Senfe ; which the Judgment of the whole Chriftian Church, feconded by the Event, hath upon good Grounds ever conftructed not of the Letter, but the Spirit. I remember fome thirty Years, or more, ago, a learned Gentleman, an eminent Serjeant at Law, a Man very skilful in the holy Tongue, and that profeffed no lefs Acquaintance with the Laws of God, than of Man, published a large Volume concerning, not the imminent Converfion only, but alfo the Royal State of the Jews, their abfolute, and univerfal Monarchy, their awful Sovereignty
over all the Kings of the Earth, the Glory of their
not as well add that which followeth; And Sharon Shall be a Field of Flocks, and the Valley of Achor a Place for the Herds to lie down in; but ye are they that forfake the Lord, that forget my holy Mountain: Surely if one of them be applicable to the new Ferufalem, the other must be fo alfo: The Truth is, thefe Prophecies have their Reference either to God's merciful Dealing with Jerufalem upon their Return from their Babylonifh Captivity; or by an unusual Allegory, exprefs his gracious Purpose to the Church under the Gospel, without any refpect at all to an earthly Re-establishment of the Jewish Nation in their long-fince forgotten Poffeffions: It were as eafy as tedious to pass thro' all thofe Scriptures which are wont to be alledged in this Cafe; whereof I dare fay there is scarce any one, whofe either Words or Context do not evidently bewray their mis-application; or, if that did not, yet the Event would; for as much as the time is now at hand, wherein thefe Promises of the general Call, and outward Magnificence of these ancient People of God, fhould according to the Conftruction of our new Chiliafts be either well forward or accomplished (as we shall fee in the Sequel) whereas there is not yet the leaft Motion towards it in all the World.
Befides fome of their mif-conftrued Texts will neceffarily cross the way of us, upon occafion of the feveral Paffages which we are about to examine.
Of Paradoxes let it be the first but not the least, that Chrift the Son of God now glorified fhall come and perfonally fet up, and adminifter a Monarchical State of a Kingdom here upon Earth in a vifible and worldly Manner, for Splendor, Riches, Peace, &c.
I thought we had heard him fay, My Kingdom is not of this World; now, to what World do Riches
and Honour and earthly Contentments belong, if not to this? If he govern as earthly Monarchs have done, in a worldly, vifible, earthly Glory (fuch are the Words) how is his Kingdom not of this World: Surely this is more than ever the very Jews expected, or dreamed of; they have looked for a Meffiah, that fhould exercife kingly Authority in the World; but they never looked for a glorified Meffiah to come down from Heaven to rule upon Earth. Zebedee's Wife certainly never thought of fuch a Kingdom, wherein her Sons fhould be the primier Peers: Neither did the good Thief think of fuch a State, when he faid, Lord, remember me when thou comeft into thy Kingdom; we have heard of an abfolute Soveraignty of Chrift, as God; of a delegated Soveraignty as Mediator; we have heard of his Rule in the Heart, of his Rule in the Church, but of his Monarchical Rule in the World, for a whole thousand Years in a worldly, vifible, earthly Glory, we never yet heard, and think it very strange News to Chriftian Ears.
But much more ftrange News it is, that all the Prophets fince the World began have spoken of this marvellous Monarchy, and yet that we never heard of it in the Writings of all the Fathers and Doctors of the Chriftian Church, till this Day: It is no whit ftrange, that God's People fhould be abufed by the feigned Gloffes of Men, drawing thofe Scrip tures which fpeak of Chrift's coming to the final Judgment of the World, to the Senfe of that imaginary Kingdom which hath being no where but in their own Brain; but without any Intention of a formal Confutation, I purpofe only to give fome light touches at thofe paradoxal and unwarrantable Pofitions, which I meet with in this Difcourfe.
That in this visible Monarchy of Christ he shall change all worldly Cuftoms, and put down all
kingly Power and Greatnefs (however juft) and fet up a new; fo as there fhall be no more Lords but he, even as the earthly Monarchies fwallowed all kingly Power under them, may well pafs for a fufficient Paradox: We grant indeed, there fhall be none in Competition with him, even in his fpiritual Rule; but that there fhall be none in Subordination to him in his fuppofed vifible Monarchy, were too bold a Word.
That there fhall be a double Judgment, one a thousand Years before the other; the one wherein many, both Saints and Sinners, fhall be judged, and that with great Terror and Solemnity, which fhall be a general Judging (tho' not to the fecond Death) of all the Ungodly in the World; at least of all that will not ftoop to Chrift's Scepter; the other of all Devils and Men, upon the Expiration of thofe thousand Years, in that univerfal Appearance before God at that great Day, is an Affertion as bold asgroundless.
We have heard of a particular Doom paffing upon every Soul immediately upon the Parting from. this House of Clay; and of a general Judicature in thofe common Affizes of the World; but of a middle Seffions, betwixt both thefe, in which all the ungodly fhall be arraigned, and fentenced to a temporal Death, or perpetual Vaffalage, was never either fpoken of by God, or heard of by Men.
That there is a threefold coming of Chrift. The firft, when he came to take our Nature; the fecond, when he comes to receive his Kingdom; the third, when he comes to Judge all, and end the World, may well pafs for a Paradox, not inferior to the reft; befides, the metaphorical comings of Chrift to any Soul, or Nation, whether in Mercy, or Judgment; we have ever heard of one coming of our Saviour, paft, in human Weaknefs; another to