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possession of the promised land, for His elect people. The Holy Spirit maintains the reign of righteousness, we know, but He does not represent it as His Glory, even a spiritual reign; but the Glory of Christ, who sent this Comforter, to speak for Him, and shew His disciples things to come.
It is our own fault, if we are destitute of the knowledge of Christ, as the Messiah, who will come in the glory of His Father, and the holy angels, to judge the quick and the dead: the quick at His coming to save Israel : the dead after the millennium, or His reign of a thousand years.
It is folly to attenipt a refutation of this scriptural doctrine: we cannot possibly do it; and to confess that we cannot understand it literally, is to own that we do not know Christ, nor the power of His resurrection, have no fellowship with His sufferings, nor are made conformable to His death : we forget that He endured the shame, the pain, the ignominy of the cross, for the joy set before Him, in becoming Heir of all things; and that His body, raised from the dead, should be glorified, with the glory which He had with the Father before ever the world was,
How can we expect to “ have boldness in the day of judgment,” if we deny His person, in this time of our probation? And is it not a denial of His person, to say His reign of righteousness upon earth, is conducted by the Spirit, in the absence of His bodily presence? Do we blame the Jews for rejecting Jesus of Nazareth, when He hung bleeding upon the cross, while we virtually deny the glory of His personal resurrection from the dead? How awful is the case, that we hold a chalice beneath the ac
cursed tree, to catch some drops of that powerful blood, which maketh atonement for our sins, and turn away from the precious body, as not worthy of our notice? Do we not forget that He prayed for that body, that God would glorify it? Is it not criminal to pretend that its glory in the resurrection is only spiritual, when He reminds us that a ghost hath not flesh and bones, as He had, after He came out of the tomb ?
Some persons who refuse the doctrine of the personal reign of Jesus Christ, upon the throne of David, yet profess that they believe the literality of His resurrection from the dead. Worse and worse, I must say; for there is no sense at all in their system : it actually destroys the subject they profess to maintain ; for a literal resurrection of the body of Christ from the dead, is an evidence by itself, that the promise of God, which “He swore to David by an oath, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, He would raise up Messiah to sit upon his throne;" and David by the Spirit saw the resurrection of Christ, and spake of it, “ that His soul was not left in hell, neither did His flesh see corruption." On this account Peter said, by the Holy Ghost, “ Therefore, let all the house of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same JEsus, whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ :” yea, the very Man, who is the second Adam, is constituted both Jehovah, and His Anointed, by God the Father ; and for this Jesus prayed; and His prayer is answered. His holy flesh knew no sin. He was a perfect Adam: He endured His probation: He died for our race; and conquered death for
His body was raised in glory; and is glorified with God, so, that in Him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily; and by Him who received the promise of the Holy Ghost, was the power of the Spirit shed forth upon His apostles, as Peter testified on the day of Penticost.
Glorious doctrine ! its brightness chases away the dark clouds of superstition and infidelity wherever it is cherished; and the bow is set in the cloud of promise,“ that Israel shall blossom again, and fill the face of the world with fruit." This doctrine is the corner stone of apostolic preaching of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, while the remembrance of His suffering upon the cross was fresh in the mind of favored Peter, whom Jesus so named, to signify, that upon the preaching of that apostle, by the Holy Ghost, His church should be built; and the gates of hell should never prevail against it; for the reign of sin the Messiah would destroy at His second appearing; and Peter preached repentance upon this foundation, declaring there was no other Name given amongst men, wherein is salvation, but by JESUS, who is made of God, both Lord and Christ. A true and stedfast adherence to this doctrine, is a distinguished characteristic of Paul also, who speaks of himself as magnifying his office, when he speaks to the Gentiles upon this precious theme, at the same time confessing that he is the apostle of the Gentiles. This devoted and zealous servant of Christ, labored faithfully with the church of God at Rome, to prevent them from glorying at the fall of his nation, and their blindness concerning Christ. He proclaims the restoration of his people to their own
Olive Tree, by the coming of the Deliverer; and quotes to the ancient covenant of God, for evidence of the validity of his faith in Christ, as the Hope of Israel, and their king.
Peter, when writing to them who had attained to like precious faith with the apostles, plainly refers to Paul's maintainance of this doctrine. Peter foretold the apostacy of the last days; and mentions the long-suffering of the Lord, toward scoffers who would deride and reject the promise of His coming, as a mean of salvation to those who believe, that they might have time to prepare for that day; and he then says,
“even as our beloved brother Paul, also, according to the wisdom given unto him, hath written unto you; as also, in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things, in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable, wrest as they do also the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.” Peter knew the sentiments of his brother Paul, respecting the Day of God, and that they were in perfect unison with his own. Both of them were taught by Jesus Christ, and inspired by the Holy Ghost to publish the Gospel of God. They were equally “mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets;" and exhorted their hearers to do the
The burden of their testimony was the sufferings of Christ, and the Glory that should follow, and His person was sacred with them, upon the cross, and in His kingdom, which is the kingdom of God. They had the mind of Christ, and were willing to die for His Namesake, believing that by Him they should be raised again, to die no more.
We profess to believe in the Gospel they preached. Do we really believe it? Do we esteem Christ honorable, precious, valuable, in the literal sense of the word, that is, Messiah; and are we engaged in prayer for His appearing, and His kingdom? If this is our state, we shall bear in our minds the testimony of Gabriel to Mary, and the prophesy of good old Simeon, in the temple. All who "wait for the Son from Heaven,” should expect Him to sit upon David's throne, as the glory of Israel. On this wise we understand who are the elect, by Divine Sovereignty; and thus we are prepared to acknowledge that the outward congregation of Jews will be joined by an outward assembly of the ten lost tribes of Israel, who were carried off from Samaria, twenty-five hundred years ago, by a heathen king, and were cast out of sight. Our faith in the Great King leads to serious inquiry after His subjects, and while a part of them are visible in the people called Jews, whom we own are yet living witnesses to the truth of God's word of judgment, in their dispersions abroad, or their adversity in Jerusalem, our attention is awakened concerning the flock so long lost from the fold, over which David was appointed the Shepherd, as a type of Christ, by Divine election of the God of Jacob. According to the testimony of one of the prophets of Israel, they are sifted among all nations like as corn is sifted in a sieve; and the decree of God secures the least grain from falling upon the earth; of course they are a distinct people in the sight of their Redeemer; and after all this work of sifting, still it appears there is corn left in the sieve. It is evident there