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unto Daniel. In which Dream we have the four Monarchies represented under the Form of an Image: Which was to continue successively one after another until Christ should come to set up his Kingdom.
The first Monarchy was Nebuchadnezzar, signified by the Head of Gold. The second, the Medes and Persians, prefigured by the Breast and Arms of Silver. The third is look'd upon to be Alexander the Great, and all his Succeslbrs in the Grecian Empire, represented by the Brass, which should bear Rule ever all .the Earth. The fourth is the Roman Monarchy, set forth by the Iron which breakethhim in Pieces, and subdueth all things. Now in the Days of these Kings shall the God of Heaven set up a Kingdom that never ihall be destroyed. By this Kingdom, I do not understand the Kingdom of Grace within us to be meant; because Christ's spiritual Kingdom was in being before any of these four Monarchies appeared in the World i Christ hath had a spiritual Kingdom in all Ages, from the Fall of Adam: Neither can it be referr'd to the Time, or Dispensation of the Gospel, because those wonderful Things which are here spoke of, that are to be done upon the setting up of this Kingdom, have not yet been, nor will, until the breaking forth of the latter Day Glory.
Therefore by this Kingdom, I humbly conceive, that both a spiritual and personal Kingdom of Christ must be understood, standing in all its Eeauty, Glory, and Excellency, as great as the .Spirit of God hath described in Multitude of Promises and Scripture Prophecies. Now that this must be so, appears very plain from the wonderful Effects
this Kingdom hath when set up; and that is, it shall break in Pieces and consume all those Kingdoms that were before it, and it shall stand tor ever-, v. 45. forasmuch as thou sawest that a Stone was cut out of the Mountain without Hands (by which we, are to understand the Lord Jesus Christ) smote the Image os the sour Monarchies; and shews us that this will be done by his own divine Power, as followeth, And theft it brake in Pieces the Iron, the Brass, the Clay, the Silver, and the Gold. But at theTimeof Christ's firstcoming,it ascertain none of these Effects did come to pass j Christ did not destroy those Monarchies at that Time, nor yet to this Day: The Roman Empire that was then upon the Stage, doth under some Consideration continue still; though indeed he is come, and hath a long Time been upon his Toes of Iron and Clay partly strong, and partly broken.
That which may be objected by some, is the first Part of the "Words, because it is said, In the Days of those Kings fiall the Ged of Heaven set up a Kingdom, &c But here is no Difficulty, if a Disaffection to this Kingdom doth not make it one. For I humbly conceive, that in the Day of those Kings, or before the last Menarchy ihall be totally destroyed, and become as the Chaff of t1 e Summer's threshing Floor, the God of Heaven will set up a Kingdom; that is, the first Branch of Christ's Kingdom will begin to appear in the World, hy the wonderful and extraordinary Pouring down of the Spirit of God upon' all Flesh •, the Conversion otjews and Gentiles, the Preaching of the- everlasting Gospel to every Kindred, Tongue, Peaple and Nation-, -which will end in Antichrist's
final Destruction. This I look upon to be the first Part or Branch of the Kingdom of Christ, (before his personal Coming) and will begin to have its Appearance (with Respect to its spiritual Glory) before the last of those Monarchies are wholly extirpated, and therefore may be said to be set up in the Days, or begin to be set up in the Days of those Kings.
That this must be the Meaning of the Words, is very plain (to me) from the great and wonderful Effects this Kingdom will have when once set up •, and that is the utter Ruin and Destruction of the preceding Monarchy, for it shall break in Pieces and consume all these Kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever; that is, it shall never be destroyed, nor left to be succeeded by any other.
But for the Readers better understanding that Christ will have a glorious Kingdom in this World, and is held forth to us in this Text, I shall briefly lay down these following Particulars:
First, That here is a blessed Kingdom to be set up, which for the Glory and Greatness thereof, will appear visible on the Earth, as we fee plainly expressed in these Words; And in the Days of those Kings, stall the God os Heaven set vp a Kingdom which stall never be destroyed, or lest to another People, &c.
Secondly, The Person who is to set up this Kingdom, and that is the God of Heaven, or God in the Mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ. First, (as before observ'd) in the great and wonderful Effusion of his Spirit. Secondly, By his Personal Coming.
and Magnificency of Christ's Kingdom; which will be, not in one Corner of the World, but over all the Earth •, as it is very full in that Expression, and filled the whole Earth. Tothis agrees those Words in Isaiah xxv. v. 6. And in this Mountain stall the Lord of Host snake unto all People a Feast of fat Things, of Wines on the Lees well retired, &c. This Mountain can be understood of nothing less than the visible Glory of the Kingdom of Christ in this World, as that whole Chapter does sufficiently demonstrate.
Again, here we may take Notice of a plain Distinction between the two Parts and Branches of Christ's Kingdom: The first Part is when this Stone ihall smite the Image, and the Lord in an extraordinary Manner spirit his People to fall upon Bahylon, so as that they shall utterly destroy her; which must be before the Stone becomes a great Mountain, to fill the whole Earth.
The second Part is, when the Stone hath done smiting the four Monarchies, carrying them wholly off the Stage, that they may appear no more in this World •, then it is that the Stone will become a great Mountain, and fill the whole Earth $ which can mean no other than the personal Reign and Kingdom of Christ in the Glory of the thousand Years.
Well! Thus we fee, with Respect unto the Nature of this Kingdom, which is to be set up, that it will be both spiritual and personal, visible and glorious. The four Monarchies were not more-real and visible in their particular Times and Seasons successively after each other, than Christ's Kingdom will be real and visible in his Time: But the