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phanius informs us, “ that the most, | The nature of Christ's kingdom and its and those pious men, look upon the outward circumstances are two very difMillennium, mentioned by St. John, as ferent things. Though his kingdom true indeed, but to be taken in a spiri- has hitherto, for the most part, been tual sense.'
in suffering circumstances; yet outward I should have taken no notice of sufferings are not of the nature of his these things, were it not that the mo. | kingdom, but righteousness and peace, dern Millennarians have recourse to and joy in the Holy Ghost, Rom. xiv. them, to show the antiquity of their | 17. When the Churches in Judea, Jiteral scheme; though it is certain that Samaria, and Galilee had rest, was the they differ in many things both from nature of Christ's kingdom changed the opinions of the ancient Millenna among them ? quite the reverse, Acts rians, and also among themselves, so ix. 31. Though outward persecution that none of their present schemes have should cease while Satan is bound, how any just claim to antiquity.
will this change of circumstances alter One of the present literal schemes of the nature of Christ's kingdom? Does the Millennium may be shortly stated the nature of his kingdom depend upon thus, " That Jesus Christ will come in the malice and rage of Satan and his person from heaven, to destroy Anti- instruments? We have present peace, christ, to bind Satan, and to raise the | and we bless God for it; are we theresaints from the grave, that they may fore not of Christ's kingdom? It is · reign with him a thousand years on the said, earth. That at the end of that period, "The notion of a prosperous state of Satan shall be loosed, and lead on his Christ's kingdom in the world is founded forces of Gog and Magog against the on a mistake about the prophecies, simi. reigning glorified saints; but that they lar to what was entertained by the Jews, shall be destroyed by fire from heaven. particularly those prophecies which After this the wickedl dead shall be under high metaphors held forth the raised, and the world finally judged.” spiritual grandeur of Messiah's reign, In examining the subject, I shall, and which were understood of a worldly
1. Answer the arguments brought for kingdom," Ans. The very reverse is the literal sense of the Millennium. . the truth. It was the ancient Millen
II. State some objections to it. narians who took up the Jewish carnal
I. The literal view has been com- sense of the prophecies, and applied prized in the following proposition: them to the resurrection state, wherein “That the reign of the saints with they expected the most luxurious earthly Christ on earth, shall take place at his enjoyments. Whereas Origen, DionyPersonal coming, and the literal resur sius and others, who opposed this carrection of the just." In support of this nal view, explained the prophecies in a it is urged,
spiritual sense, and so were . termed 1. “That Christ's kingdom is not Allegorists by the other party. Can of this world, but the kingdom of hea- Christ's kingdom have no other prosven—that it cometh not with observa- perity in this world but a carnal one ? tion that it is a nation bringing forth Further, it is arguer, the fruits thereof-that its subjects are 2. “That the state of things on the strangers scattered abroad--a holy na- earth, during the Millennium, is position."* Ans. True; but how does all tively a reign of the saints with Christ this prove that Christ's kingdom will over the nations; and how is this connever prosper or be extended in this sistent with a low and depressed state ? life, or till Christ come personally and It is represented as succeeding this raise the saints ? None of these texts state, Dan. ii. 44. ch. vii. 27." Ans. either express or imply any such thing. During the Millennium the kingdom of Must Christ's kingdom be of this world, Christ will not be in a low and depressed if it prospers in this world?
state, and therefore there is no occasion But, « It is connected with affliction to make it consistent with such a state. and patience; and it is asked, Is the na- The Scriptures speak of a depressed and ture of this kingdom to be changed be- of a prosperous state of Christ's kingdom, fore Christ's personal coming ?" Ans. I and that too in this world. Its pros
* The reader should be told, that here, and in what follows, Mr. M.Lean quotes and answers a paper that was drawn up by one of his own friends, in defence of the personal
perous state, I conceive, consists in its | kingdoms of this world shall become our outward peace, in the universal spread Lord's and his Christ's. We read Acts of the gospel, in the power of the Spirit iii. 19, 20, 21. of times of refreshing, and accompanying it, subduing sinners to times of restitution: the heavens must Christ, and thus bringing in the fulness receive Christ till then, when he shall be both of the Jews and Gentiles; and sent from heaven.” Ans. The question there is nothing worldly or carnal in all of the disciples respected a worldly kingthis.
dom to the nation of Israel; and if this But it is said, that the millennial is to be answered or accomplished when reign "is positively a reign of the saints Christ comes personally from heaven to with Christ over the nations." I admit begin the millennial reign, it follows, that that some prophecies taken literally, or a worldly kingdom shall then be restored in the Jewish sense, will favour this to the nation of Israel. This was ipview; yet even the Jews, carnal as they deed the opinion of the carnal Jews and were, did not suppose this to be in tle of the first Millennarians. The only resurrection state. But here it is af difference lay in this, that the former exfirmed, that after the saints are raised pected this worldly kingdom before the from the dead and glorified with Christ, resurrection of the just; the latter after they shall reign over the wicked nations it. But Christ's kingdom is not of this of this world who are yet in their mor- world either at present, or when it shall tal bodies. Now this reign of the glo- | be so enlarged that the kingdoms of this rified saints must either be a spiritual world shall become his. When the Lord or a worldly reign over the nations. But himself, or in person, shall descend it cannot be a spiritual reign, because from heaven, the thousand years reign the wicked nations are not capable of will be over; for then the dead shall be such a reign; for a spiritual reign re- | raised, and the world judged, 1 Thess. iv. quires spiritual subjects. It must there- | 16, 17. compared with Mat. xiv. $1. &c. fore be a worldly reign; and it belongs And then cometh the end, when he shall to the literal Millenparians to infurm have delivered up the kingdom to God, us, whether it will be a mild or a tyran even the Father, 1Cor. xv. 23, 24. Agam, nical reign. We may, in a perfect con- it is asserted, sistency with the spiritual nature of 4. “ That this reign of Christ and Christ's kingdom, admit, that civil ma- his saints shall take place at the resurgistracy will be lodged in the hands ofrection of the just, Dan. xii. 11. &c. Rev. ihe saints during the Millennium, which v. 10. 1 Cor. xv. 22. &c. Rev. xi. 15. Rev. may partly account for the universal | XX. 4—7." Ans. Some of these texts peace that shall then prevail; but to speak of the reign of the saints, and transfer their reign to their resurrection others of them of the resurrectioni; but and glorified state, and that too over none of them speak of his reign as tak. the reprobate nations, whose day of ing place at the resurrection of the just; grace is past, and who for a thousand except Rev.sx. 4—7. the sense of which years are producing one generation after is the very point in question, and mus! another to certain damnation, appears riot be taken for granted. It must first to me a wild, incongruous and shocking be proved that the resurrection men votion; and indeed inconsistent with tioned there is a proper and literal resul. the happiness of the glorified saints. I rection, and not a figurative one, as It is affirmed,
frequently mentioned in the prophets, 3. “That this reign is connected with and twice before in this figurative book the personal coming of Christ-he shall see Isa. ixvi. 19. Hos. yi. 2. Ezek.XXXVII, stand on the earth, Job xix. 23.-The 1–15. Rev. xiii. 15. chap. xi. 11. but Lord himself shall descend, &c. 1 Thess. we are told that, iv. 16.” Ans. Though these Scriptures “This xxth chapter ought all to speak of the personal coming of Christ, / interpreted the same way, and no yet they do not connect it with the one half metaphorically and the or millennial reign on this earth, and con- / literally.” Ans. There are ackg sequently are not in point. It is said, ledged metaphors at the beginning
“That the question put by his disciples this chapter, and also at the end o after Christ's resurrection, Wilt thou at And there is good reason for understo this time restore again the kingdom to ing the first resurrection metaphor Israel ? Acts i. 6. will be answered when for it is no where else to be found Christ's reign begins, and when the in this mystical book. But the gen
resurrection and judgment, at the end, and is termed the great and bright day of the chapter, cannot be understood of the Lord, Act. ii. 20. and this event metaphorically, because they are the is a key to several references to it in the same with what is plainly and literally | Epistles. Christ frequently thrcatens set forth in the gospels and epistles. the Churches with his coming; coming It is further asserted,
5. “That Christ's personal appearance to chastise them, except they repent, finally destroys Antichrist, Dan. vii. 9. Rev. ii. 5, 16. chap. iii. 3, 11. And in &c. The Ancient of days means Christ, proportion to the greatness of the event as Rev. xix. 11. &c. The Son of man, ver. and its consequences, is the majesty and 13. is the emblem of the saints. Anti- and grandeur of his coming to accomchrist is said to be destroyed, ver. 11. plish it, set forth. -Destroyed with the brightness of his [To be concluded in our next.) coming, 2 Thes. ii. 8. see also Mat. xxv. Luke xii. 35, 36. If we do not find Christ's second personal coming at the destruc NOTE ON I COR. III. 9. tion of' Antichrist, Rev. xix. it is not to “ For we are labourers together wilh God." be found in the Revelation of John. Besides, in no one place of the New
The meaning of the apostle in these Testament, (except when it relates to the
words, seems to be very generally mis. destruction of Jerusalem) is the term
apprehended in our day; and the mis.. Christ's coming applied to any event but
take has given rise to a bold and daring his final appearing."
assumption on the part of some young Ans. Some of the texts cited say
ministers, which is very censurable. It nothing of the destruction of Antichrist,
is often made the ground of a kind of and it cannot be shewn that those of
partnership between them and the Deity, them that do mention this. fix it at in the work of evangelizing the world Christ's personal and final appearing;
an idea from which even the apostles yet the whole argument hinges upon
shrank with horror! The words of the supposed connection of these two
the original, however, hold a far different things. Though we should not find language. The whole verse ruus thus: Christ's personal coming in 2 Thes. ii. 8. / “ We are fellow labourers (not with, but) or Rev. xix. yet we may find itafter this in of God. Ye are the husbandry of God; the Revelation of John, chap. xx. 11. 12. / re are the building of God.” The plain &e. And if any should still say that
meaning is, that those who planted the this is not termed his coming, let them
churches, were all alike, the joint serturn to the parallel passage in Mat. xxv.
vants of the Lord; engaged in a work 31, 32. &c. "When the Son of man shall
which was not their own but his, and come in his glory, and all the holy angels
the fruit of which redounded in no rewith him, then shall he sit on the throne
spect to their praise, but brought a of his glory. And before him shall be revenue of glory to God. gathered all nations, &c.” This is cer- the same remarks are equally applitainly Christ's personal and final coming,
| cable to 2 Cor. vi. 1. “We then as and not that which is to take place more I workers together with him, beseech you," than a thousand years before this, at the
&c. Here the meaning is, “ We then, destruction of Antichrist. But it is said
to whom the ministry of reconciliation that there is no one place in the New
hath been coinmitted, or entrusted, Testament, (except when it relates to
being all of us engaged in the same the destruction of Jerusalem) where
labour, and uniting our earnest endeaChrist's coming is applied to any event
vours, go on to execute the office to but his final appearing. This is a mis- / which God has called us, and in which take. As it is common in the Old Tes-, he has joined us together as one." tament, to represent some notable dispensation either of judgment or mercy as affected by the Lord's coming ; so the
A QUERY. New Testament uses the same language. Does the playing of Chess comport Christ promising to send the Spirit, says, with the character of those who are dis"I will not leave you comfortless; I will tinguished as the followers of Christ? come to you," John xiv. 18. The destruc- | tion of Jerusalem is said to be effected | Lymington,
J. F. by Christ's coming, Mat. xxiv. 27, 28. Feb. 9th, 1822.
Review of Orme's Memoirs of the Life, Hebrews.” If the 130th Psalm, which Writinys, &c. of John Owen, D.D. contains only eight short verses, the.
import of which is as obvious as the [Article concluded from page 83.]
sun at noon-day, afforded the Doctor, In drawing our remarks on these scope for a quarto, it is not to be woninteresting Memoirs to a close, we find dered at if the Epistle to the Hebrews it more necessary to study brevity than required four closely printed folios. we had anticipated. The latter part of Owen's productions are certainly admiDr. Owen's life, it is true, was much rable specimens of the kind of writing more of a retired nature than the former that formed the order of his day. had been; but it was by far the most “ The writers of that period seldom productive of those proofs which he has knew when to stop. They never supleft behind him, of his abilities as a posed they could exhaust a subject. writer, and his piely as a Christian. They were never satisfied till they had The reader will find appended to Mr. produced a folio or a quarto, and had Orme's work a chronological list of said every thing that could be said on Owen's publications, the great length the point in hand.” Indeed it was of of which prevents our inserting it in small moment to them what the subject this place; nor can we here attempt was on which they were to write: a more than a bare glance at one or two complete system of divinity must be of the Doctor's leading productions. introduced at all events; and for this We freely confess our inability to ex-l purpose a single verse would have anpress ourselves respecting the writings swered quite as well as any one book in, of Owen in such lofty terms as those the whole Bible. In eulogizing Owen's, sometimes used by Mr. Orme; at the principal performance—“The Esposi. same time, it is but justice to say, that tion of the Epistle to the Hebrews," he appears perfectly aware of the nume- Mr. Ormè takes occasion to refer to rous faults that run throughout his other works of the same kind; in some voluminous treatises, and that this has of which, he says, there is a greater, drawn from him some excellent remarks parade of learning, but neither of them, on the prolixity, verbosity, and diffusive-lhe adds, as a whole, admits of compa-, Dess of Owen's style.
rison with Owen's. Now, although we These truly judicious observations of really think there is no small parade of Mr. Orme's relate chiefly to Owen's learning occasionally displayed in Owen's “Practical Erposition of the isoth Psalm ;" work, we do not feel at all inclined to. but we think they are equally applicable dispute the point with him respecting to all his other writings; particularly Pierce and Hallet; but we must enter to the “ Treatise on Communion," the our decided protest against the propriety “Discourse on the Holy Spirit,” the work of his designating the Commentary on “On Indwelling Sin;' but above all, to this same Epistle, by Mr. Archibald “The Exposition of the Epistle to the M'Lean of Edinburgh, a dry work.* It
* M Lean's Commentary on the Hebrews, a dry toork! We were so much surprised on first reading this remark, that for some time it quite pot us to a stand; and the more we reflected on it, the more unaccountable it appeared to us. Different men, no doubt, will form different judgments respecting human productions; and we immediately began to recollect ourselves, whether we could not adduce some respectable authorities in opposition to this opinion of Mr. Orme. While thus musing, one of the first things that occurred to us, was the judgment passed upon Mr. M'Lean's book by a certain reviewer in the London Christian Instructor for July 1819-a publication in which we now and then observe the name of Mr. Orme introduced among the list of contributors. As the paragraph may possibly have escaped his recollection, we are quite sure he will not be displeased with us for again laying it before him. Speaking of the different Expositions of the Epistle to the Hebrews wbich bave been written in our language, and estimating, their comparative merits, the reviewer thus proceeds:
is true, there is in the latter no parade , tators, it is far from approaching to the of learning whatever; not the smallest barshness of the didactic. To Chrisattempt at display in any way; the tians in general, and to students of author was an utter stranger to such divinity in particular, we hesitate not things: his deep experimental acquaint- to say, that if a clear understanding of ence with those doctrines which centre one of the most interesting and imporin the Cross of Christ, led him, like tant parts of divine truth be their aim; the author of the epistle which he so if they do not object to perspicuity, ably illustrates, to throw himself into strength, plain dess, and neatness of exobscurity, that he might the more pression; and if an immense saving of effectually employ those remarkable time be at all an object with them; as talents with which the great Head of a help for the attainment of such an the Church had furnished him, in ex-end, M'Lean's Commentary on the hibiting the glory of His character who Epistle to the Hebrews stands unri. is King of kings, and LORD of lords. valled. In fact his hand rendered lumi. But if Mr. M Lean in his Commentary nous whatever subject he touched. studies conciseness, in opposition to the We have already seen that Owen's excessive diffuseness and prolixity of eminence drew forth a large share of Owen, he gives his readers ideas with the envy and bitterness of some of his his words: he was a profound and close contemporaries. This seems to have thinker; and to this we attribute that been his lot to his latest hour; and it is most felicitous faculty which he pos. | by no means to the credit of Richard sessed, and which we have never yet Baxter, that he stands almost foremost seen equalled in the writings of any in the list of the Doctor's opponents. commentator extant, of rendering sub- Baxter was a non-descript in the relijects apparently difficult and abstruse, gious world; a man of great acuteness, familiar and luminous by a few plain and fond of wrangling; and, from his remarks. When he wrote, his heart evident dislike of Owen, always prewas full of his subject; and this ren- pared to find him in the wrong. He dered all his words expressive: and tormented him with his controversies while his style is free from those super-while living; praised him when dead : fluities which enfeeble and obscure the but in a very short time after his head Writings of most scripture commen- 1 was laid in the grave, strenuously ex
“The work of Owen overwhelms us with its prolixity ;-that of Pierce vexes us with its coldness, and occasionally ingenious misapplication ;--and the clumsy Arminianism of Macknight is scarcely compensated by the aid which he sometimes affords us. A work on this Epistle, brief, judicious, and orthodox, was still wanted; but has now been most satisfactorily supplied by the volumes on our table.
"The late Mr. ARCHIBALD MʻLEAN, of Edinburgh, brought to the examination of this apostolical letter no ordinary advantages. He possessed a mind uncommonly acute and penetrating; excellent general views of scripture doctrine, and most extensive knowledge of scripture language; he was patient and laborious in his researches, and capable of expressing himself with great precision and simplicity: to all these advantages he added a very competent portion of self-acquired learning, and the matured experience of more than half a century, during which he had been engaged in studying and preaching the word of God. These are qualifications which have fallen to the lot of few who have erpounded the Scriptures; and their vast importance is sufficiently apparent in the present work, which was the favourite production of its author, and the chef d'euvre of his pen.
“A work of this nature admits neither of analysis por abridgment; and any extract we could give would afford but an imperfect specimen of its execution, We can only therefore express our opinion of its merits, which we trust all our ministerial readers especially will speedily verify, by procuring it for themselves. We are acquainted with no expository work in our language, which, within so small a compass, contains so much valuable matter, and truly scriptural illustration. It is not a work of imagination, but of judgment. It deals not in conjectures, or random interpretations: but in solid, judicious investigation. It discovers no fondness for novelty, nor any silly attachment to the suffrage of antiquity. It is uniformly calm, serious, and scriptural. The illustrations of the divinity, the sacrifice, the prieshood, and the covenant of our Lord Jesus Christ, are most excellent, though on some points he differs from expositors of established reputation. Some of the subjects on which he rather dissents from very generally received opinions, are taken up io an appendix to the second volume."