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AT THE REFORMATION.
Open Milner's Church History, and ceeding in showing, that the Reformsee how he traces the existence of the ers thought with them respecting distinguishing doctrines of the Gos- the second advent and kingdom of pel, still held by various of the Fa- Christ :" for after all the Scriptures thers, at a time when they began to of God must be our guide, and not be obscured by much rubbish, and the views and statements of fallible were often contradicted by opposite men. Therefore the matter of sentiments in the same writer. It chief importance is, that we form would be wrong to say, because of and correct our sentiments by divine these inconsistencies, that there is no Revelation. proof of the existence of the doctrine; If in any thing I have, in my turn, though it may nevertheless not be misapprehended P. R, I would here explicitly and clearly recognized. apologize for it: the kind tone of his
In conclusion I coincide with communication makes me feel quite P. R.
that no important advantage easy in this respect. would be gained by either party suc
ON THE ADVENT AND KINGDOM OF CHRIST,
AND THE EVENTS CONNECTED THERE WITH.
An objection of some weight the judgement, if only it be rightly appears, at first view, to lie against understood. The single idea enterthe doctrine of the first resurrection, tained by most persons
this arising from the numerous Scriptures point, is that of a great assizes, at which set forth Christ, as coming which the Lord Jesus will preside, to judge the world at his second and at which all mankind will be advent;
which circumstance is put upon their trial. But God has thought incompatible with the
with the revealed to us far more than this. wicked not being raised and judged The characteristics of a JUDGE, as at the same time. The difficulty given to us in Scripture, are as however consists, in the circum
follow : to rule and govern as a stance of our having departed from king—to deliver and protect his peothe scriptural view of judgement; plemand to avenge them on their which commentators have been enemies : whence it follows, that gradually compelled to do, from the judgement must consist, not only in necessity of evading the obvious vengeance or punishment, but also testimony of a host of texts to the in deliverance and government. personal reign of the Lord on earth : First then I observe, that the for there is perhaps no doctrine of Judges who were over Israel before Scripture which more directly sup- the time of Saul, the first king, a ports this view, than the doctrine of were all of them men raised up as
a Judges ii, 16--18.
deliverers and avengers; as Gideon, herit all nations,” e - For He (the Sampson, Jephtha, and others; in Lord) cometh, for he cometh to which character they were also types judge the earth : he shall judge of the Lord Jesus. And when the the world with righteousness, and Israelites demanded a king, it was ' the people with his truth.”f “For not so much a change in the nature tlie Lord cometh to judge the earth: of the office which they desired, as with righteousness shall he judge a more complete and fixed state of the world, and the people with it : for they would not be any equity.”g—" He shall judge the longer dependent upon the Lord, ei- world in righteousness, he shall ther to fight their battles, or to raise minister judgement to the people in them up Saviours ; but they cried, uprightness."h “ O let the nations • We will have a king over us, that 'be glad and sing for joy! for thou we also may be like all the na- ' shalt judge the people righteously, tions ; and that our king may and govern the nations upon earth.”i judge us, and go out before us, and Other prophets afford
afford a similar fight our battles.” b Thus the
Thus the testimony. Thus Isaiah and Micah king was still to be the Judge : declare of him : He shall judge just as St. Paul, speaking of our all among many people and rebuke standing before the judgement seat strong nations afar off :" j and of Christ, says-" that to this end Jeremiah says “ Behold—a king
Christ both died and rose and re- · shall reign and prosper; and shall vived, that he might be LORD execute judgement and justice in the both of the dead and living ”Commons earth.” k The same truth may be the same thing as Judge both of gathered also from that text in quick and dead.”
Corinthians, which speaks of the The chief prophecies concern- termination of his judgement: for ing the Christ as Judge will fur- the Apostle says, that he shall then ther shew, that princely rule and lay down all rule, authority and government are connected with his power ;l which shews, that rule, judgement; and that it will be a authority and the like are connected continued office among or over the with his previous judgement: nations. Take the following pas- as Christ himself says,—that the sages in the Psalms; and let it be ob- Father hath given him authority served in them, that the judgement to execute judgement.”m This tesor righteous government spoken of timony may be summed up in one therein is evidently to be upon the passage of Scripture : “ The Lord earth. Give the King thy judge. is our Judge—the Lord is our Lawiments, O God, and thy righteous- giver-the Lord is our King-he
ness unto the king's son. He shall will save us. * judge thy people with righteous- And as we have seen, that though ness, and thy poor with judgements. he declared he was a KING, being
-For he shall judge the poor of the born to that end ;0 yet that he refused people, he shall save the children of to let the people come and make the needy, and shall break in pieces him a king, and would not at that
the oppressor.”d Arise, O God, time exercise his royal prerogative :P * judge the earth; for thou shalt in- so also, though he declared that all
b 1 Sam. viii, 19, 20. c Rom. xiv, 9. d Ps. Ixxii, 1 & 4. e lxxxii, 8. fxcvi, 13. & xcviii, 9. i ix, 8. j lxvii, 4. k Mic. iv, 3; Is. ii. 4. 1 Jer, xxiii, 5. m Cor xv, 24. mi John y, 27. n Isaiah xxxiii, 32. o John xviii, 37.
P vi, 15.
judgement was committed to the with fetters of iron." Such is Son,q yet did he not then assume implied in Rev. ii, 26, just referred the character of judge. He tells Ni- to, where in addition to "
power codemus, that God sent not his Son over the nations" it is said, they into the world to condemn the shall rule them with a rod of iron; world." He refused to judge in the as the vessels of a potter shall they case of the woman taken in adultery;s · be broken to shivers.” Again it is
and he rebuked another, who written, Ye shall tread down the would have anticipated his rule, wicked; for they shall be ashes with the words—“ Man, who made under the soles of your feet ;" a me a judge or a divider over you ?”'t and “ the righteous shall wash his It will be further evident, that feet in the blood of the wicked :"b
"b what is most frequently called in all which passages, though studded Scripture "the udgement" is no with metaphor, and in the Revelaother than the kingdom and rule of tion veiled in symbols, do signify Christ, when it is considered, that a coercive power and restraint, which the saints are to have part in it. shall be exercised at that time by For first Enoch prophesied, " Behold the righteous. the Lord cometh with myriads of Those who deny the future kinghis saints, to execute judgement dom of our Lord and his saints are upon all.”'u David says, that to nevertheless compelled to admit, ' execute the judgement written is an that the saints will in some way or honor, which all the saints are to other be joined with him in the have."w Isaiah says, “ Behold, a judgement. But how? If the king shall reign in righteousness, judgement is only to be a kind of and princes shall rule in judge- trial, in which rewards and punishment."x In the vision which
ments are to be determined by the Daniel had, Judgement was given Lord, the saints will themselves
to the saints of the Most High, stand before the judgement seat of ' when the ancient of days came.”y Christ, and give account of the deeds And finally St. Paul declares most done in the body; and then the positively, " that the saints shall secrets of all hearts shall be rejudge the world.”And it should vealed, and every one shall be be observed in these passages, that rewarded according to his works.c the participation of the saints in the Besides which, it is evident that judgement is not confined merely to there is to be a difference in degree their receiving power over the of rank and authority among the nations” to rule ; but that they are saints in this judgement; as when apparently to be made instrumental our Lord says of his apostles, that in inflicting the vengeance also. “they shall sit on twelve thrones Such is the context of the testimony judging the twelve tribes of Israel;" in the 149th Psalm, which declares —which tribes I apprehend to be that they have “ a two-edged sword the redeemed Israel, and therefore in their hand, to execute vengeance themselves to partake in the judgeupon the heathen and punishments ment. upon the people; to bind their But if we understand by the kings with chains, and their nobles judgement rule and authority, then
9 John v, 22. riii, 17. 8 viii, 3. t Luke xii, 14. u Jude 14, 15. w Ps. cxlix, 5-9. x Is. xxxii, 1. y Dan. vii, 22. z 1 Cor vi, 2, 3. a Mal. iv, 3. b Ps. lviii, 10. c Rom. xiv, 10-12; 2 Cor, v, 10. d Matt. xix, 28 ; Luke xxii, 30.
these things are perfectly reconcile- a space of four and twenty hours ; able; and an eminent pattern is af- yet in prophetical language it has a forded us, how one star may differ very different meaning, and frefrom another star in glory, in that quently even in narrative. Any pegreat monarchy of Darius : wherein, riod of time, during which events or besides ordinary governors and cap- actings of a uniform character take tains and sheriffs and the like, there place, are called the day thereof. were appointed over the whole king- There
are innumerable passages dom one hundred and twenty princes, which speak of such a duration of and over these three presidents, and time as a day ; but as many of them over these the king. I can only re- may be said rather to mark the comconcile with this view of it the
mencement of such a period than its Lord's declaring, that one shall be continuation, (which perhaps is not ruler over five cities, and anothershall unfrequently the case,)
I will instance have authority over ten cities, &c. e some which are the least ambiguous.
Having thus far, as I trust, cleared First, as to narrative. The work this matter, I would next notice of Creation is divided into periods that the period of judgement must called days, and said to be finished necessarily include the whole pe- in six of them: but in Genesis ii, 4 riod of the saints' rule on earth; the whole period in which the heaand likewise that tribulation or vens, the earth, the plants and herbs wrath upon the nations which ushers were created is called a day. This it in, together with that final visita- augmentation of the term, however tion which closes it. This, what inconsiderable it may be, at least ever may be the events to be enact- proves, that a day is not necessarily ed of a judicial character—whe- to be limited to a period of twenty ther the wrath by plague, pestilence, four hours; but that its duration famine, sword, revolution, or fire, must be determined by the context. upon the wicked ; or the authority, So in Psalm xcv, mention is made of power and government given to the “ day of temptation (or trial) in the saints ;—all this, I repeat, is in the wilderness, which is stated in my apprehension of it intended by the context to have continued forty
Before however I years :f and this period is likened by enter more particularly upon the the Apostle to the whole period of consideration of the events included trial to the christian Church, in the judgement, I will first meet while it is said, to day if ye will the objections which are made to hear is voice.”'g This is still clearer this extension of its period.
in the following chapter of Hebrews; First then it is argued, that the for he there argues, that because Dawhole time of judgement is called vid had limited a certain day, (saying
the day of the Lord, that great in David, to day, after so long a time,) day;" which expressions are consi- there must remain a rest dered incompatible with its continu- TISM—to the people of God.h I will ance through upwards of a thousand not dispute, whether this sabbatism years.
But this objection proceeds refers to rest in the Gospel promises from the want of acquaintance with or ordinances, under the christian the scriptural import of the word dispensation ; to the rest of disemboday. Though often, in historical died or of glorified saints in heaven; narrative, it includes no more than or to the great septennary of a thou
e Luke xix, 17-19.
f vv. 8-11.
8 Heb. iii, 7--15.
h Ibid. iv, 1-11.
sand years ; all of which have been night being spent, and the day apvariously contended for: but, let a proaching. This night is the whole man select which he will, this must period of trial to the Church, and be evident, that a period of at least the day is the everlasting kingdom a thousand years must in this in- of our Lord and Saviour. * stance be intended by the term day. Some further object, (and among
In the latter testimony I have al- them the Rev. Dr. Wardlaw,) that in ready stepped beyond the bounds of John v, 28, 29, the resurrection and strict narrative; but I have one or judgement are limited to an hour ; two other instances under the next the hour is coming in the which class which I must still urge. In ' all that are in the graves shall hear Ecclesiastes xii, 1, we read, Re- his voice, and shall come forth; they memberthy Creatorin the days of thy " that have done good unto the reyouth, while the evil days come not ; ' surrection of life, and they that and these evil days are immediately have done evil unto the resurrecafter explained to be
tion of damnation ;'-and therefore when the keepers of the house trem- they argue, that the day of judgement ble, &c.”—alluding in highly figu- must necessarily be limited to a rative language to the whole period small portion of time. It happens of declining life and its infirmities. however that the term hour has preAnother Scripture saith, I have cisely the
same indefinite · heard thee in a time accepted, and in attached to it, in a great variety of ' the day of salvation have I succour- instances, as the word day. It is ed thee: behold, now is the ac- obvious that in the text containing cepted time; behold, now is the the objection, it is not to be limited day of salvation.”i This is gene- to the twenty-fourth part of a day; rally interpreted to refer to the but corresponds with the day of the whole period of divine forbearance resurrection and judgement, whatunder the Gospel dispensation; ever period of time that may prove which is therefore called—"the day to be. Owing however to the word of salvation.” In another place the hora (upa) not being always transApostle says, The night is far lated hour, but sometimes rendered spent, the day is at hand ;'k which by the words season and time, the words night and day have a double English reader loses sight of those meaning: for first they evidently numerous passages, in which it is refer to the character of two differ- placed for an independent period. I ent dispensations, the one being a must therefore instance a few. It time of darkness and trial, the other is translated season in the following of light and glory; and they as passages; John v, 35; 2 Cor. vii, 8; clearly refer to duration of time, the
Philemon xv, 9. In the first in
i 2 Cor. vi, 2. k Rom. xiii, 11. * It has been pleaded, with some appearance of probability, that the proper limitation of the word day is really 1000 years. This is argued first from that passage which has been so often quoted to this effect by the Jewish Rabbins—" a thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday ;” (Psalm sc, 4;) and secondly from that of 2 Pet. iii, 8, as frequently appealed to by the early Millennarians,—" one day with the Lord is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” On the strength of these texts it is argued, that the denunciation against Adam" in the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die" —was literally fulfilled, since he died within a thousand years : which all his posterity have likewise done, excepting Methuselah. This argument however I do not press, because it does not admit of that clear demonstration which I seek after.