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His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, God the Mighty, the Father of the world to come, the Prince of Peace. His empire shall be multiplied, and there shall be no end of peace.” 1 And again: “In the last days the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared on the top of mountains, and it shall be exalted above the hills, and all nation's shall flow into it. And many people shall go, and say: Come and let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths : for the law shall come forth from Sion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. And He shall judge the Gentiles, and rebuke many people: and they shall turn their swords into plough-shares, and their spears into sickles : nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they be exercised any more to war.” ?
And again : “ The wolf and the lamb shall feed together : the lion and the ox shall eat straw; and dust shall be the serpent's food : they shall not hurt nor kill in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord." 3 The prophet David thus speaks of Christ and of His kingdom : “He will speak peace unto His people: and unto His saints: and unto them that are converted to the heart. Surely His salvation is near to them that fear Him: that glory may dwell in our land. Mercy and truth have met each other : justice and peace have kissed. Truth is sprung up out of the earth : and justice hath looked down from Heaven. For the Lord will give goodness, and our earth shall yield her fruit. Justice shall walk before Him': and shall set His
| Isa. ix. 6, 7.
3 Ib, ü. 2-4.
3 Ib. Ixv. 25.
steps in the way.” 1 And again : “Come ye and behold the works of the Lord, what wonders He hath done upon earth, making wars to cease even to the end of the earth. He shall destroy the bow, and break the weapons; and the shield He shall burn in the fire. Be still and see that I am God; I will be exalted amongst the nations, and I will be exalted in the earth." 2
The prophet Micheas uses similar language: “ It shall come to pass in the last days, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be prepared in the top of mountains, and high above the hills : and people shall flow to it. And many nations shall come in haste and say: Come let us go up to the mountain of the Lord, and to the house of the God of Jacob, and He will teach us His ways, and we will walk in His paths : for the law shall go forth out of Sion, and the word of the Lord out of Jerusalem. And He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off: and they shall beat their swords into plough. shares, and their spears into spades : nation shall not take sword against nation : neither shall they learn war any more. And every man shall sit under his vine, and under his fig-tree, and there shall be none to make them afraid : for the mouth of the Lord of Hosts hath spoken. For all people will walk every one in the name of his God, but we will walk in the name of the Lord our God for ever and ever." 3
When the Lord Jesus shall sit on His throne to rule and judge in holiness and justice, and all the nations of the earth shall dwell in peace, then shall be literally fulfilled the prophecy of 1 Psalm lxxxiv. 9-14.
? Ib. xlv. 9, 10, 11. 3 Micheas iv. 1-5.
holy David, where he says: “The meek shall inherit the land, and shall delight in abundance of peace.” 1
The principal objections against the Millennium are
examined. To complete our discussion on the kingdom of Christ upon earth, and that the opinion of the Millenarians may appear in its full light, it now remains that we examine the principal objections which are brought against it. The chief aim of this article is to show that the Millennium, such as we have explained it, is not a damnable error, but an open question in the Church.
Objections draron from the authority of Holy Scripture.
There is no doubt that the Millennium invented by Cerinthus, Nepos, and their followers, is most repugnant to Holy Scripture; but far different is the case concerning the Millennium which, as we have said, claims the authority of several ancient martyrs and other ecclesiastical men.
However, since there are some passages in the inspired writings which are supposed to militate against it, we will here examine and explain them.
In the first place, it is objected that our Lord, on being asked by Pilate whether He was the King of the Jews, answered : “My kingdom is not of this world. . . . . My kingdom is not from hence.”? This ground is quickly cleared by the observation of St. Jerome, that Christ did not 1 Psalm xxxvi. 11.
2 John xviii. 36.
"My kingdom is not in this world,” but “is not from this world :" neither did He say, “My kingdom is not here,” but “ My kingdom is not from hence." Christ here declares that He did not receive His kingdom from any man of this world, but from God, who gave unto Him the throne of David His father, that He might reign in the house of Jacob for ever. He received it from God, who gave to Him for His inheritance all the nations, that He might "rule from sea to sea, and from the river unto the end of the earth.”
Secondly, it may be objected that the idea of the kingdom of Christ with His saints before the universal judgment, is expressly condemned by the Holy Scripture, which says that the elect will be called by Christ to the possession of the kingdom only at the universal judgment : blessed of My Father, possess the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.” 1
We answer, that the heavenly and eternal kingdom, which at the universal judgment will be granted as a most precious inheritance to all the elect of God, is by no means incompatible with a kingdom of Christ upon earth together with His saints before the universal judgment; for this kingdom will extend to mortal men still travailing upon earth in their mortal flesh, and will last only for a certain period of time, when the Church will attain her highest triumph; and consequently it does not affect the heavenly kingdom, which will be entirely composed of glorious and immortal beings, and will be granted to all the elect of God in the celestial Jerusalem for all eternity.
1 Matt. xxv. 34.
Besides, if the words of Christ render it impossible to possess in any way the kingdom of God before the universal judgment, what must we say of those saints who rose with Christ at his resurrection, and accompanied Him to heaven at His ascension ? Would it not be wrong to say that they are and will be altogether excluded from the possession of the kingdom of God until the time of the universal judgment ?
In the next place, it may be objected that the doctrine of the Millennium contradicts the promises of Christ to the apostles and their successors respecting the firmness of the supreme chair of St. Peter, and the perpetuity of the apostolic ministry. “Behold I am with you," said our Lord to the apostles, “ all days, even to the consummation of the world.”i Our answer is, that the kingdom of Christ upon earth together with His saints will make no alteration in the sacred ministry, whether as to its nature or to its duration, but the pastors of the Church will continue to preside and rule over the flock intrusted to their care, which Christ has purchased with His own blood. For this kingdom is not unto destruction, but unto edification. Its only aim is fully to endue all the nations and people of the earth with the spirit of Christ, and to cause them to fulfil the Gospel law in its greatest perfection. Wherefore, what Christ has appointed respecting the ministration of pastors and doctors of His flock, far from undergoing any alteration, will attain a greater perfection. As Christ, the Bishop of our souls, is Priest for ever, according to the order of Melchisedech, so his ministers, whom He has associated to Himself for the edifying of His body, will con
1 Matt. xxviii. 20.