« AnteriorContinuar »
to read, and search the Prophecy of this Book (how deep Joever the Mseries thereof be) wheiein the Glory of Christ's Kingdom is so conipicubully held forth unte uS.
Therefore it is (candid Reader) that I have, in these insuing Sheets, presented thee with a short Exposition of many Texts of Scriptures out of the Old and New Testament which do treat so much upon that glorious Subject, of tbe Kingdom of Christ.
The Method which I have used, in the Explanation of those Texts, is, (as you may find) First, To prove the '« ertainty; Secondly, The Manner; Thirdly, The Nearness of this blessed Time: Each one of which does greatly concern all those, who love the Lord Jesus Christ, to beacquainted about.
As to the Certainty of such a Kingdom to be in this World, I w< uld appeal unto all (who are not bigotted to a contrary Opinion) and do desire them to tell me, whether there be any one Point of Doctrine, which the Holy Scriptures treateth upon more than this glorious Kingdom.
And if so j Why should any , f the dear Saints call this precious Truth into question? Why then should it by others be so much opposed and quarrelled against?
As to the Truth of such a glorious State to be in this World, you have here a Cloud- of Witnesses bearing Testimony unto the Reality thereof, as it were on every Side. If the Lord hath recorded nothing in vain, or superfluous in his Word (as vove vithovt Blajj hemy dare fay there is) than the Glory of Christ's K ingdom, \vhich is founded upon such a Multitude of Divine Promises and Prophe
v • • :.-'■">) . • - ties,
cjcs, stands as an unmoveable Rock (against aU tfce battering Rams of Opposition) in the Holy Scriptures of Truth.
Besides the Account which we have given us in the Word of God, 1 find that there has been some eminent Persons in the Church, who have believed the Truth of Christ's Kingdom to be in this World, from the Time of the Apostles. 1 shall mention three or four.
First, The Council of Nice was for the Opinion of the Mlllevarians (as it has been reproachfully called) which Council was by the Appointment of Constantiims the Great, wherein they did set forth certain Form's of Ecclesiastical Doctrines; according to whichj all Teachers in the Church were to frame their Discourse: Some of which Forms are recorded by Gelajius Cyzicevus. 'Among which there is this Form for the Doctrine of the Resurrection, which is, ' That the World was made more mi
* nute, or viler, because of Fore-knowledge j for 'God saw that Man would Sin: Therefore we ex4 pect new Heavens, and a new Earth, according 'to the Holy Scriptures, when shall shine forth
* the Appearance and Kingdom of the Gieat God,
* and our Saviour Jesus Christ. And then, as Da1 viel faith, the Saints of the most High stall takk 'the Kingdom, Chap. vii. 18. And there shall be a c Pure Earth, Holy, a Land of the Living, not of
* the Dead j which David foreseeing, by the Eye 'of Faith, cries out, Pj'dl, xxvii. i^. I believe to
* fee the Goodness of the Lord in the Land of the
* Living; a Land of the Meek and Humble: For*. 1 faith Christ, Matt.v.%. Blesed are the Meek, ]or
* they stall pojsefs the Earth j and the Feet of the
. ' Meek 'Meek and Humble shall tread upon it, Isa.xxvi. '. 6. This being the Opinion of the whole Ortho'dox Christian Church, in the Age immediately « following the Death of St. John , when yet Poly'carp, and many of the Apostles Disciples were livirg) '. as Justin Martyr expresly affirms. A Testimony 'without all Comparison, to perswade such as 'rely upon Authority and Antiquity. And there'fore it is to be admired (Jaith Mr. Mede) that 'an Opinion, once so generally received in the * Church, fionld ever be so cried down and buried. Secondly, Justin Martyr who flourished about the Year aster Christ's Birth, 140. (many os those who was conversant with the Apostles were then living) was of this Opinion of the Millemrians, with many others, as he affirms, beside himself. I shall give you some of his own Words as quoted byDr.Homes. 'Jesus (faith he) commanded us to love our Enemies,which is by Isaiah published in many "Words, in which is the Mystery of our Renovation, and of all absolutely, that expect Christ to appear h\ Jerusalem, and do endeavour to please him by their Works. And in another Place, this Jesus is he of whom we know Heaven and Earth was made, and by whom the Father will make new the Heaven and Earth. This is he that shall shine in Jerusalem as an eternal Light. Again, speaking in Opposition to the fiaducees who denied the ResurreBiov, Mark xii. 18. If 'there be any that are in all things Orthodox * Christians in Opinion; we all know well the 'Resurrection of the Flesh, and the thousand Tears 1 in Jerusalem built again, and beautified, and en1 larged, as the Prophets Ezekiel, Isaias} and others 'declare. 'And
c And furthermore, a certain Man among us c (.sneaking of him as living in his Time) whose 'Nameisjo^w, one of the 12 Disciples of Christ, 'hath foretold in that Revelation that was given
* to him, that those that believe in our Christ, 'Jl)allfnijh a thousand Tears in Jerusalem. Justin 'Martyr writing unto one Tryjho faith, That 'many, who are not of the Pure and Pious Judg'ment of real Christians, deny this Opinion of the 'thousand Years-, but all Christians who were
* Sound and Orthodox did believe it. . And so, ac'cording to Justin Martyr's Opinion, All those 1 who denied such a Kingdom to be in this World, 'were looked upon by him as Heterodox, and of 'an unsound Judgment.
Again, one Jreneus famous for Piety and Learning, who flourished about the Year of Christ, 178. hath these Expressions, ' in how many Days this 'World was made, in so many thousand Years it
* is perfected: For if the Day of tb# Lord be as it 1 were a 1000 Years, and in fix Days those Things 1 that were made, were finished, it is manifest 'that the perfecting of those Things is the six 1 thousand Year. When Anti-christ reigning z 1 Years, and 6 Months, shall have wasted all
* Things in the World, "this must mean the Latter End, or just upon the Expiration of his Reign, in which time be will be more desperate, and in which 7 Days and an Half the Witnesses are to be slain) ' then shall the Lord come from Heaven 'in the-Ckv.'s in the Qbry of . is Father, cast'irg Ant*-'' rst, a Ad tV>m ''a*- obey- Sim into 'thVl alcsi < ">"n* ■ but' bs • gin tot], fust the « Times of ih As/Jam that is t..t Res1, or ?ab
* bath, the Seventh Day sanctified, and restoring « to Abraham the ixomise of his Inheritance. Thus
What wonderful Things hath Tertvlliaji expressed concerning this blessed Kingdom? who flourished about the Year 181. Take his own Words.
* For, we also confess, that a Kingdom again is 'promised us on Earth, but before that in Heaven, 'and in another State; to wit, after the Resur
* rection, for a thousand Years, in the City of Di
* vine TTorkmavpip; Jerusalem brought down from 1 Heaven: Which the Apostle also Points out to be
* our Mother above. And pronouncing our Poli'teuma, that is our Traffick to be in Heaven,
* doth indeed assign the fame to some heavenly
* City* and this Ezekiel knew, and the Apostle
* John saw. This we fay was provided of God, 4 for the receiving of the Saints at the Resurrecti1 on, and the refreshing of them, with all spiritual 4 good Thines, in Recompence of those Things e which in the World we either despised, or lost; 1 for it is both just and well beseeming the Lord,
* that there also his Servants should triumph,
* where they have been afflicted for his Name. 'This is the Manner of the Heavenly Kingdom. 'After the thousand Years, whereof within which 'is included the Resurrection of the Saints. -Ri'sing sooner or later, according to their deserts, \ then also the Destruction of the World, and the 'Burning of the Day of Judgment being executed -y
* we being in a Moment changed into an angelical
* Substance (to wit, by that incorruptible Cloath
* ing upon) shall be translated into the Celestial
* Kingdom. Thus far TertvUian.