« PreviousContinue »
ported on the one hand by powerfull and weighty Part 2 Reasons, and to be oppofed on the other by weak and slender ones. Those Gentlemen have the plurality of voices on their Gide, and are doubtless men of worth and learning. 'Tis nevertheless true, that they have suffered themselves to be: born down with the stream, without much mind
1. Fitf, they say, that the Scriptare speaking of Firft oba Chrif's second coming., never speaks of any other. Ehtigt not than that, when he shall appear in the Clouds of ro come, Heaven, attended with Angels and Archangels to day of rhaise mankind,and judge the quick and dead. Where
jugement, as we suppose a kind of a clandestine coming of Christ, to settle a Kingdom upon Earth, which the Scripture knows nothing of: for it speaks of no future Kingdom of Christ, that is yet to be, save that which he shall have in Heaven; after the distribution of Eternal Rewards and Punishments: 1 answer. 1. These men suppose by this Argument, a Kingdom of Christ in Heaven after the lait judgement; but there is no such Kingdom; neither shall there ever be any; on the contrary, St. Paul doth expresly tell us, that he shall then cease to reign, and give up ihe Kingdom into the hands of his father. 1 Cor.194 So that since we are assured from Scripture of Christs coming to reign, it muft be before the end of the World; for the Kingdom of Christ the Me. diator shall then be finisht. 2. 'Tis supposed in this objection, that the Scripture speaks of no møre than one coming of Christ, which shall be accompanied with the voice of the Arch-angel, to summon the Dead to judgement. This is plainly to suppose the thing in Question: and thofe who have read the fore-going Chapters , with attention, and without prejudice, will still bélieve, that therei
Part 2. is a firft coming of Christ
, and it may be a firft Refura rection.' 3. Lastly, who can be certain, that this coming of Christ, to establish his Kingdom upon Earth,
shall not be in that manner, with the voice of an Arch-angel, and in great magnificence and Glory? Who can prove, that at that first coming of Christ he shall not raise some of the dead, as St. Tobni seems exprefly to have fore-told? all the little reaTons pretended from Conveniency and Inconveniency, which are here alledged, will have much ado to resist the evidence of so expressa Text ; and of that, Matth. 19. Verily, I say unto you, that in the Regeneration, when the son of man shall be sat on the Throne of bis Glory., jon shall also fit on twelve
Thrones, judging tbetwelve Tribes of Israel. 2.Obje&. - 2. The next thingalledged, is that the Heavens Chrift is to are to contain Jefus Christ till the restitution of all Heaven till things. The restitution of all things, that they say the world is the End of the World ; and fo Jesus Christ must be
confined to Heaven till the end of the world : and consequently, shall not come to settle a Kingdom upon Earth for a thousand years. If this were true, that Christ muit Itay in Heaven till the end of the World, might be not deftroy his Enemies, give Peace to his
Church, and govern it in Peace by his Prophets and Servants, without coming in Person from Heaven? Moreover, in cafe our Lord should for a short space come down from Heaven, to eftablisha Kingdom for a thousand years, and to give his seal to the Conversion of all Nations, by some glorious Apparition, returning back to Heaven immediately after ; might it not be faid, notwithftans ding this, that the Heavens Thallcontain him till the
end of Time? So fmall an interruption of his abode in Heaven could not hinder, but that the heavens may still be reckon'd the place of his abode.
Lastly, how will they prove, that by the Reftitution Part 2 of all Things, the end of the World is to be underitood ? on the contrary, that end is represented as the Overturning, and not the Restitution of all things. The Heavens, the Stars, the Elements shall be burnt up, and destroyed by fire. Tistrue, afrer this there shall be new Heavens, and a new Earth; but the Scripture doth more frequently describe the end of the world, by an universal confufion, and Overturning, than by the new. Heavens which shall follow. And the new Heavens in molt places of Scripturefignify the Renavation of the Church, in its last Þeriod of a thousand years. So that I hardly make any a Chap. 8. Afts, we are to understand the Establish. ment of the Church, before the end ofthe World.
3. The third" Argument of the Anti-millenaries is this that
such a fate of Peace and tranquillity, as we Beace and promise to the Church, doth not at all agree with
what are not to the H.Scripture speaks of the Persecution and affliétia be the LOR ons, that the Church and the Faithful are alzways to Church, meet within this world.
1. Ought not this to be mutually granted, that the whole is to be denomina. ted from the major part? for fix thousand years the Church was to be perfecuted, and in a low Condi. , ţion; and in a seventh Period, the shall have Reff: And shall we count it strange, that the Holy Ghost doth for the most part, speaking of the state of the Churcb here below, as a low and miserablecondi. tion,and that he faith very little of her state of Glo
since the difference between the first and second state, is as fix to one? 2. I answer, that they suppose that which is not true, viz. that the Scripture speaks of the Church, as being alway in a state of suffering. On the contrary,
more places can be brought wherein her Prosperity and Peace
, are promised, than Tt 2
4. Obje&t. yvhen Christ shal
Part s. of those where she is threatned with calamity and
persecution. We may see'the truth of this in the preceding Chapters, where I have shown that Empire, and a Kingdom, Peace,and Prosperity, are promised to the Church of Christ, in such a manner aš hath never hitherto been fulfilled.
4. After this, they tell us, that when Goddescribes these Times, which
shall immediately precede come, the the end of the World, instead of representing them as shall be a golden
Age, they are painted out as an Age of Iron molt cor- and darkness. Iniquiry shall abound, the love of many
shall wax cold ; falfé Prophets and false Christs shall
arise, they shall work.figns and wonders oro deceive if Math. 24. possible the very Elečt. The coming of the Son of man 1.12. 24. shall be as the days of Noah. When the Son of maiz Luke 18. shall come, he shall not find
faith upon Earth.And 2 Ep. Thessal.z.'chap.’tis said the Lord Mail destroy the man of fin, by the brightness of his caming. But all this is grounded on a false supposition; viz. that there Ihall be no other coming of Christ, but for the last & final Judgement, which is not true : the coming of Christ here spoken of, is that to settle the Peace and Glory, and Kingdom of his Church; and we may be certain, that this is meant in almost all the Passages, where the coming of Christ is spoken of. It is true, that when Chrilt shall come to destroy the Antichristian Kingdom, he shall not find true Faith upon Earth, that is, very little of it. Experience confirms this;for we are now in that very time. Farther, when Christ shall come the third and last time, for the last Judgment, it may well be, that there shall be a great scarcity of faith & fiery in the World at that time: for Gog and Magog shall be increas't, there shall be a great seduction upon Earth, and a great affliction upon the Church. Sothat these Prophecies shall have their accomplishment whenever, Christ comes.
They were fulfilled at his firft coming when he came Part1." in the flesh; for the Church was then exceedingly corrupted; and fo at his second coming,when he shaib come to destroy the Antichristian Kingdom: Forix our days, there isavery greai cerruption, and shall be at histhird coming; for at the end of the world, there shall be an Insurrection against the Church, and against the Son of God.
5. It will farther follow, say thesë Gentlemen, s. Objekt that the Hoiur and the day of Fudgement would notaban Modecome be unknown, as our Lord J.Christ'hath said it is. For would not ifjuftafter the fallof the Antichristian Empire,, the unknown. reign of Christ for a thousand years muit take place, we likewise know, that at the end of that Reign of a thousand years, shall be the day of Judgment. First, ġou must know that our LordJ.Chriftfaith not, that
the day of the last Judgment shall be alway conceatĆ ed: heohily faith; that no'man thenknew it; concernai
ing that day, faithhe,knoweth no man. That depends on the fixing the time of the 1 260 years, for the reign of Antichrift. Now no man knew for certain at that time, when the 1 260 years 1hould begin. God did not permit that it should be wellknownytill this tast Age, which is as alfo the haft of the reign of Antichrist for 1260 years. Moreover, after having well fixtthe Epocha of the birth of Antichrist that we may discover his end, yet can we not thereby come to the exact knowledge of the day of Iudgement. 1. Because we know not whether the thousand years of the reigy of the Church; must begin just at the end of the 1260 years of the reign of
: We may say the contrary, without saying any thing that is im. probable, that the thousand years are not to be computed, but from the compleat establishment of the Kingdom of Cbrift. 2. We cannot tell whether the Period of a thousand years is to be exa&tly so muchas