Зображення сторінки

which closes with the close of the septenary of the trumpets, and that of the vials. These notable periods resulting from both the divisions appear to be furnished from plain facts; as will be seen by casting an eye upon the first chart. The first period commences with the seals, in the first century. The second, with the trumpets, in the fourth century. The third with the first woe, in the seventh century. The fourth, with the second woe, in the fourteenth century, The fifth, with the period of the vials, in the sixteenth century. The sixth, with the rise of the Antichristian Beast from the bottomless pit, in the eighteenth century.

And the seventh with the battle of that great day of God Almighty. It has been our lot to behold the commencement of the sixth period, and fifth vial, in the rise of the Antichristian Beast from the bottomless pit, filling the Papal kingdom with dark


13. The following remarks are subjoined, relative to events, which occupied the long space of time between the fifth and sixth trumpets, or the first and sec. ond woes; as six of the vials occupy the space be. tween the sixth and seventh trumpets, or the second and third woes.

The reign of sin, under the Christian era, and before the Millennium, was to occupy about two thousand years. Among the various divisions and judgnients of this long period, there were to be three signal ones called woes; as bas been shewn, section i, chapter ii. The first was introduced about the close of the first third of the above long period; or about the year 666. The second woe was introduced about the close of the second third of the above two thousand years; or in the year 1332. What then does analogy suggest rela:ive to the time of the third woe? It suggests that it might naturally be expected to take place not long before the close of the two thousand years. According :o this analogy, it must be still future, and is to be at too late a period to comprise all the vials. It has been shown in section i, chapter ii, that the battle of the great day may probably take


On the Millennial Kingdom of Jesus Christ.

SECTION I. Introductory remarks, to ascertain the true sense of

the Kingdom of grace. It is a sublime sentiment of revelation, that God gov. erns the world. “The Lord reigns, let the earth rejoice,” is an epitome of the language of inspiration, upon this subject. God made all things; and made them for himself

. And all creatures and things, in heaven and earth, he has subordinated to a wise and good purpose. And he governs all things to the accomplishment of this purpose. Revelation and the light of nature conspire to evince the particular, the universal, and the absolute government of God; his government relative to every creature, thing and event. God governs the natural world; or the laws of nature; the heavens and the earth; the vegetable system; the ani. mal; all insects; all the tribes of animated nature in the sea; every thing on land, wherein is the breath of life. He numbers our hairs; and sustains our frowns.

Is the moral world then overlooked of God? Is it without the circuit of the divine government? No ver. ily! The kings heart is in the hands of the Lord, we are assured. And every man's heart is in the hands of the Lord: And as the streams of water he turneth it whithersoever he will. “The preparation of the heart of man, and the answer of the tongue, is from the Lord.” The mode of the divine government is such, as to accord with that free moral agency, and just accountability, attributed to us in the word of God, and of which we are conscious. But the government of God exercised over the moral world, is entire and per. fect. “There are many devices in a man's heart; nevertheless the counsel of the Lord that shall stand.” "My counsel shall stand; and I will do all my pleas

ure." "He doeth his will in the armies of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none can stay his hand.” “Man's goings are of the Lord." I know, O Lord, that the way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. "All things are of God.” “A man's heart deviseth his way; but the Lord directeth his steps:” “According to the purpose of him, who worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” “For of him, and through him, and to him are all things; to whom be glory forever.”

This sentiment is the glory of heaven; the joy of the saints; the salvation of Zion; and the terror of the world of darkness. The Kingdom or government of God is in the hands of Christ, in his glorified humanity. His Kingdom ruleth over all. This wicked world, and devils, are perfectly in his hands. “Rule thou in the midst of thine enemies."

But this universal divine government is not the Kingdom, which is to be the subject of this chapter. This universal divine government is essential to the Kingdom of grace. It is that, which will secure the Kingdom of grace; and without which the millennial Kingdom never would be introduced.

But the Kingdoms are two, and distinct. When we are taught to pray, “Thy Kingdom come;" the sense is not this; that God would govern the world. For this is not an object of prayer; but of everlasting praise; being an immutable fact, from the beginning to the end of time. And this Kingdom of God, extending over the universe, lays a blessed foundation for prayer, that the kingdom, now to be ascertained, may come.

What then, is the Kingdom of Christ, for which we are daily to pray? We read much of the Kingdom of God, and of heaven. In some passages it means the Gospel dispensation. “Repent; for the Kingdom of heaven is at hand." Here it meant that new and last dispensation of the covenant of grace, then about to be introduced. It sometimes means the privileges of the visible Church of God on earth, either under the Old or New Testament. This was the sense, when Christ

[ocr errors]


said to the Jews, "The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation, bringing forth the fruit thereof." And, "Suffer the little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the Kingdom of heaven.” “The Kingdom of heaven is like unto à net cast into the sea." - The Kingdom here, means the gracious cause of God on earth, from the time of the promise of Christ to Adam, to the end of the world.

It sometimes means the Kingdom of glory. “There shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth, when ye shall see Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, in the Kingdom of God; and you yourselves thrust

“Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God's

From thesc remarks it appears, that the different comings of the Kingdom of grace, are but different de. grees of the advancement of the same gracious Kingdom, which has existed from the days of Adam. This Kingdom of grace is the Church, in distinction from the world. It is the government of Christ in the hearts of a willing people, by his word and Spirit; with all the privileges of his visible Church.

This is the Kingdom of Christ, which is not of this world. "My Kingdom is not of this world.” While he governs the whole world, yet his Kingdom of grace is a different system, under different government.

And this Kingdem of grace was to pass through various grades or degrees, from its first establishment, soon after the fall of man, to its consummation in heaveo. Some of these grades were to be very signal. And these most signal grades or advances are repeatedly called the coming of that Kingdom. It was only in this sense, that the commencement of the gospel dispensation was called the coming of the Kingdom of heaven. While it was the coming of the Kingdom of heaven; it was attended at the same time with the taking of the Kingdom of heaven from the Jews, and giving it to a nation bringing forth the fruit thereof: Which shows that that coming of the Kingdom of heaven was not the coming of any new Kingdom; but



[ocr errors]

was only a greater advancement of the same Kingdom of grace, which had been from the beginning.

Our Lord informed his disciples, that there were some standing there, “who should not taste of death, till they see the Kingdom of God.” This must have related to a still further advancement of the same Kingdom, future of the commencement of the gospel dis. pensation. For the latter was then just at hand; and nearly all then present probably lived to see it. But when he says, "I tell you of a truth, that there be some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Kingdom of God;" we may conclude he related to that still further advancement of the Kingdom of God, which followed upon the destruction of Jerusalem. For in a parallel passage it is, that some were standing there, who should not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his Kingdom; which must have related to his coming in the destruction of the Jews.

Hence it appears certain, that those different comings of the Kingdoms related only to the different ad. vances of one and the same Kingdom. Accordingly we read, Rev. xii, 10, upon the event of the reformation from Popery, of voices in heaven, saying, “Now is come salvation and strength, and the Kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ.” Here, in the 16th century, was a new coming of the Kingdom of our God, in the language of Inspiration.

Upon the same principle it is, that the Millennium is abundantly predicted as the coming of the Kingdom of Christ. Not because it will be a new Kingdom; but a new advancement (and to a far greater degree than ever) of the Kingdom of grace and salvation. The preceding advancements were but shadows of it. That event is a great object in the prophecies; as will be noted in the next section. And it is represented as the coming of the Kingdom of God. “In the days of those kings, shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom.”. Upon the giving of the body of Antichrist to the burning fame, we read, “And behold one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven

« НазадПродовжити »