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together with the changed Saints, shall meet the Lord Jesus in the air, coming again from heaven, never more to be parted.
Then shall all the wicked be raised up, from Cain to the last wicked man that is found on the earth : and now shall be the Judgment, which we call the Day of Judgment; which being finished, the Saints shall be carried with Christ for ever into heaven, and the wicked sent ith the Devil into hell : which hel not be the same, which is now so called; but another : this being now but as a prison ; that, the place of execution and torment; the hell, that now is, serving only to reserve condemned spirits, which have no bodies, till the execution at the Last Day: at wbich time, this hell shall cease and be swallowed up. The bell, that shall be for tor. ment, shall be all this lower and visible world of earth, waters, and the lower heavens, reduced by God then to their first chaos of confusion.
Now this kingdom of Christ, though for the evening or the first part of it, it is expressly determined to last a thousand years, or ten generations : yet the Dawning or latter part of it is not expressed in Scripture, how long it shall endure; but, doubtless, will fast a long time: and though called but a Day of Judgment, yet it may last a thousand years, as the other is to do; because this is the time, in which God's mercy, justice, truth, power is to be gloriously revealed before all men and devils; so as every sinner is to be silenced in his reasonings, or convinced; which must require much time. Secondly, this is the time, in which Jesus Christ is to triumph and lord it over all reasonable creatures; to be worshipped and acknowledged, by every one in heaven, earth, and under the earth. Thirdly, the solemnity of it were to little purpose, if it were not to last long: as we deride great preparations and pomp for a short show. Lastly, every act of reasonable creatures being immortal, shall not only abide for ever in heaven or hell, but be revived and brought forth in that day before all the world ; and all these acts, from Adam to the last of mankind, shall be orderly and clearly proceeded in by books as in a Court of Justice.
When all this is done, and the final sentence pronounced upon all creatures, both blessed and cursed, then will Christ resign his kingdom to the Father ; and this world, together with his kingdom, shall end.
For the beginning of this monarchy of Christ, it must be set up, saith he, the last in the world, after the other four are passed; whereof the Roman is the last : that being divided into the Eastern and Western Monarchy; and, out of the Western, Ten Horns or kingdoms arising; and, among them, another Little Horn most blasphemous, which is the Papacy. When these Ten Kingdoms and the Papacy shall be put to an end, then is the beginning of this Kingdom of Christ; which, saith he, by comparing of Daniel with the Revelation, shall be Anno 1666; the Number of the Beast, only the thousand, because it comes seldom, left out. Three years and a half before this 1666, the papal power shall have support in Europe: all the Ten Kingdoms apostatizing to Popery ; and yet one of them shall return to the truth. In the years of Christ 1650, or 1656, the Israelites are to be delivered, by being called to Christianity ; both Jews which were Two Tribes, and the Ten Tribes of Israel : both which shall, after their conversion for forty-five years after, suffer great trouble from Mahometans, Heathens, Papists. Upon all which computations, it is likely, saith he, that Christ's coming from heaven, and the raising the dead, and beginning his kingdom, and the Thousand Years, will be about the year of our Lord 1700: for it is to be about forty-five years after 1650, or 1656.
Now it being found out when Christ's kingdom, or the Thousand Years, shall begin, it is easy, he saith, to guess when the time of the last General Judgment and the world's end shall be: which neither angel, nor Christ himself as man, did, in those days, when the Disciples asked the question, know; for it was locked up in the Father's secrets. But, after Christ's sufferings and ascension, all the Father's secrets were revealed to him : for he was worthy ; and he reveals them to the Churches by John: opening the meaning of Daniel's time, times, and half a time, which no creature could expound, to be forty-two months, or one thousand two hundred and sirty days. He tells us expressly, that his kingdom should last, after it was fully settled, a thousand years; and then should be a little disturbance: so as we have some comfort, that there is hope the troubles of us Gentile-Christians shall cease about 1666: but, till those days, we are like to see sad times; for it is to be feared that Popery shall again overrun Europe, and bring back under papal power every king in Europe, and suppress all their opposers in every kingdom. By this revolting of the kingdoms to Popery, it comes that the Witnesses are slain, and lie dead in the streets. But ere Antichrist can have time to triumph four years, the Witnesses shall be raised up, and one of the Ten Kingdoms fall off from him, and ruin the city of Rome. But, yet, the Papacy shall breathe ; and, by degrees, get head, and join with Turk, Tartar, and the Christians in Europe : but, from this danger, will Christ save all Christians, by his coming, and setting up of his kingdom.
Thus have I faithfully related the opinion, and summarily contracted the larger discourse, of Mr. Archer: who, upon the grounds of Alstenius and Mede, runs his own descant plausibly enough; for every clause of his Tractate, calling up the testiinonies of the Sacred Scripture.
The several allegations whereof, upon every passage, I could be most willing thoroughly to SCAN, if I had less care to spare myself, than the reader.
For whose satisfaction, that I may be neither unpardonably tedious, nor in any sort deficient, in the managing of this subject, I shall, first, shew that UniveRSAL STRAIN AND GROUND OF ERROR, which runs through the whole writing of this author: then, I shall note some of the chief of those BOLD PARADOXAL AND UNWAR. RANTABLE ASSERTIONS, which I meet with in this opinion and discourse : in the third place, I shall lay forth those STRANGELY IMPROBABLE CONSEQUENTS which will inevitably follow upon both : and, lastly, I shall subjoin such FAIR, SAFF, AND ORTHODOX CONSTRUCTIONS, as may be warrantably admitted of that dark passage of Scripture, the misprision whereof is guilty of this controversy.
That strain of er- For the first, that which is the general fault nat ror, which runs
of this author only, but of all other that look through the whole discourse of Mr.
towards the Millenary way, and indeed the main Archer; and is ground of all their heterodoxy in this point, is, thie common that they put a merely-literal construction upon ground of this
the prophecies and promises of Scripture, which mis-opinior.
the Holy Ghost intended only to be spiritually un
derstood. Hence it is, that those frequent predictions, which we meet in every page of the Prophets, concerning the kingdom of Christ, the re-edifying of the Jewish cities, the pomp and maguificence of restored Israel, their large privileges and marvellous atchievements, are altogether drawn to a gross, corporal, and syllabical sense ; which the judgment of the whole Cliristian Church, seconded by the event, hath, upon good grounds, ever construed not of the leta ter, but the spirit.
I remember some thirty years or more ago, a learned gentleman, an eminent Serjeant at Law, a man very skilful in the holy tongue, and that professed no less acquaintance with the laws of God than of man, published a large volume concerning, not the imminert conversion only, but also the royal state of the Jews, their absolute and universal monarchy, their aiful sovereignty over all the kings of the earth, the glory of their empire, the splendour of their court and cities ; gathering up, to this purpose, all the glorious promises, which occur every where in the Prophets : at the sight whereof, that deeply judicious King James, of precious memory, was highly offended; and, after the perusal of some offensive passages, commanded me, then attending him, to carry the book to the Synod at Westminster then sitting, for their censure ; who, upon a serious examination, with much zeal unanimously sentenced it to a speedy suppression, as that which did harere in cortice, and savoured too strong of the flesh, as being too servilely ada dicted to the letter.
And, now, those very texts, whose misunderstanding hath hither. to led the Jews into a Fool's Paradise, by expecting an earthly
glory, are no less confidently taken up by the favourers of this opi. nion, as the main ground of their defence.
For instance, the Lord, by his Prophet Zechariah, hath said ; The Lord shall inherit Judah his portion in the Holy Land ; and shall choose Jerusalem ugain. Sing and rejoice, ( daughter of Zion: for, lo, I come, and will dwell in the midst of thee, saith the Lord; Zech. ii. 12, 10: this is, by the author of “ Zion's Joy," applied to that repaired and happy estate of the city of Jerusalem, at this second coming of Christ in glory: whereas the Prophet only foretells the restoration of that city and country, after their then-present captivity; and, under that figure, describes the comfortable condition of the Evangelical Church.
So, again, by the Prophet Isaiah, God saith ; I will bring forth a seed out of Jacob, and out of Judah an inherior of my mountain ; and mine elect shall inherit it, and any servants shall dwell there ; Isa. Ixv. 9. This, the same author cites, in a literal way, to make good the re-settlement of the Jews in that ancient city of their inheritance.
Why doth he not as well add that which followeth ? And Sharon shall be a fold of flocks, and the valley of Achór a place for the herds to lie down in. But ye are they, tlout forsake the Lord, that forget my holy mountain. Surely, if one of them be applicable to the New Jerusalem, the other must be so also.
The truth is, these prophecies have their reference either to God's merciful dealing with Jerusalem, upon their return from their Babylonish captivity : or, by an usual allegory, express bis gracious purpose to the Church under the Gospel; without any respect at all to an earthly re-establishment of the Jewish Nation, in their long-since forgotten possessions.
It were as easy, as tedious, to pass through all those Scriptures, which are wont to be alleged in this case : whereof I dare say there is scarce any one, whose either words or context do not evidently bewray their misapplication : or, if that did not, yet the event would; forasmuch as the time is now at hand, wherein these promises, of the general call and outward magnificence of these ancient people of God, should, according to the construction of our new Chiliasts, be either well forward or accomplished, as we shall see in the sequel ; whereas there is not yet the least motion towards it in all the world. Besides, some of their mis-construed texts will necessarily cross the way of us, upon occasion of the se veral passages which we are about to examine.
The First Para- OP PARADOXES, let it be the first, but not the least, dox of Millena- that Christ, the Son of God, now glorified, shall rism. A Monarchical State
come and personally set up and adininister a moof Christ's
narchical state of a kingdom here upon earth, in a
kingdom, in a vi- visible and worldly manner, for splendor, riches, sible and worldly
I had thought we had heard him say, My kingdom is not of this world. Now to what world do riches, and hunour, and earthly contentments belorg, if not to this? If he govern as eartbly monarchs have done, in a worldly, visible, earthly glory (such are the words) how is his kingdom not of this world? Surely, this is more than ever the very Jews expected, or dreamed of. They have looked for a Messiah, that should exercise kingly authority in the world : but they never looked for a glorified Messiah, to come down from heaven to rule upon earth. Zebedee's wife certainly never thought of such a kingdom, wherein her sons should be the primere peers. Neither did the good thief think of such a state, when he said, Lord, remember me, when thou comest into thy kingdom. We have heard of an absolute sovereignty of Christ, as God; of a delegated sovereignty, as Mediator: we have heard of his rule in the Heart, of his rule in the Church : but of his monarchical rule in the World, for a whole thousand years, in a worldly, visible, earthly glory, we never yet heard, and think it very strange news to Christian ears. But, much more strange news it is, that all the Prophets, since the world began *, haye spoken of this marvellous monarchy, and yet, that we never heard of it in the writings of all the Fathers and Doctors of the Christian Church, till this day. It is no whit strange, that God's people should be abused by the feigned glosses of men, drawing those Scriptures, which speak of Christ's coming to the final judgment of the world, to the sense of that imaginary kingdom, which hath being no where but in their own brain. But, without any intention of a formal confutation, I purpose only to give some light touches at those paradoxal and unwarrantable positions, which meet with me in this Discourse. Second Paradox. That, in this visible monarchy of Christ, he shall The change of all change all worldly customs, and put down all wordly custom, kingly power and greatness, however just, and set and putting down kingly
up a new; so as there shall be no more lords but power.
he; even as the earthy monarchies swallowed all
kingly power under them; may well pass for a sufficient paradox.
We grant, indeed, there shall be none in competition with him, even in his spiritual rule; but that there shall be none in subordination to him in his supposed visible monarchy, were too bold a word. Third Paradox. That there shall be a double judgment, one a A Double Judg
thousand years before the other: the one, wherein ment.
many, both saints and sinners, shall be judged, and that with great terror and solemnity, which shall be a general judging (though not to the second death) of all the ungodly ip the world; at least of all that will not stoop to Christ's sceptre : the other, of all devils and men, upon the expiration of those thou.
* Acts üi, 21.