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ported on the one hand by powerfull and weighty Part 2. Reasons, and to be oppofed on the other by weak and flender ones. Those Gentlemen have the plurality of voices on their fide, and are doubtless men of worth and learning. 'Tis nevertheless. true, that they have fuffered themselves to be born down with the ftream; without much minding it.
but at the
1. Firt, they fay, that the Scripture speaking of First ob Chrift's fecond coming, never fpeaks of any other connot than that, when he fhall appear in the Clouds of to come, Heaven, attended with Angels and Archangels to raife mankind,and judge the quick and dead. Where- jugdment, as we suppose a kind of a clandeftine coming of Chrift, to fettle a Kingdom upon Earth, which the Scripture knows nothing of: for it fpeaks of no future Kingdom of Chrift, that is yet to be, fave that which he fhall have in Heaven; after the diftribution of Eternal Rewards and Punishments. I an fwer.. These men fuppofe by this Argument, a Kingdom of Chrift in Heaven after the lalt judgement; but there is no fuch Kingdom, neither fhall there ever be any; on the contrary, St. Paul doth exprefly tell us, that he fhall then cease to reign, and give up the Kingdom into the hands of his Father. x Cor.17 So that fince we are affured from Scripture of Chrifts coming to reign, it must be before the end of the World; for the Kingdom of Chrift the Mediator fhall then be finifht. 2. 'Tis fuppofed in this objection, that the Scripture speaks of no more than one coming of Chrift, which fhall be accompanied with the voice of the Arch-angel, to fummon the Dead to judgement. This is plainly to fuppofe the thing in Question: and thofe who have read the fore-going Chapters, with attention, and without prejudice, will ftill believe, that there
Chap. 25. Part 2. is a firft coming of Chrift, and it may be a first Refur rection. 3. Lastly, who can be certain, that this coming of Chrift, to establish his Kingdom upen Earth, fhall not be in that manner, with the voice of an Arch-angel, and in great magnificence and Glory? Who can prove, that at that firft coming of Chrift he fhall not raise fome of the dead, as St. John feems exprefly to have fore-told? all the little rea❤ fons pretended from Conveniency and Inconvemiency, which are here alledged, will have much ado to refift the evidence of fo exprefsa Text; and of that, Matth. 19. Verily, I say unto you, that in the Regeneration, when the Son of man shall be fat on the Throne of his Glory, you shall alfo fit on twelve Thrones, judging the twelve Tribes of Ifrael.
2.Object. Chrift is to remain in
the end of
-12. The next thing alledged, is that the Heavens are to contain Jefus Chrift till the reftitution of all Heaven,till things. The reftitution of all things, that they fay the world is the End of the World; and fo Jefus Chrift must be confined to Heaven till the end of the world: and confequently, fhall not come to fettle a Kingdom upon Earth for a thousand years. If this were true, that Christ must ftay in Heaven till the end of the World, might he not deftroy his Enemies, give Peace to his Church, and govern it in Peace by his Prophets and Servants, without coming in Perfon from Heaven? Moreover, in cafe our Lord should for afhort space come down from Heaven, to establifha Kingdom for a thousand years, and to give his feal to the Converfion of all Nations, by some glorious Apparition, returning backto Heaven immediately after; might it not be faid, notwithftanding this, that the Heavens fhall contain 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. Laftly
Laftly, how will they prove, that by the Reftitution Part 2. of all Things, the end of the World is to be underftood? on the contrary, that end is reprefented as the Overturning, and not the Reftitution of all things. The Heavens, the Stars, the Elements fhall be burnt up, and deftroyed by fire. Tis true, after this there shall be new Heavens, and a new Earth, but the Scripture doth more frequently defcribe the end of the world, by an univerfal confusion, and Overturning, than by the new Heavens which fhall follow. And the new Heavens in moft places of Scripturefignify the Renovation of the Church,in its laft Period of a thousand years. So that I hardly make any doubt, but that by the Reftantion of all things, Chap. 8. Ats, we are to understand the Establish ment of the Church, before the end of the World.
are not to
3. The third Argument of the Anti-millenaries is this,that fuch a fate of Peace and tranquillity, as we Peace and promife to the Church,doth not at all agree with what the H.Scripture peaks of the Perfecution and afflicti- be the Lo ons, that the Church and the Faithful are always 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 tion; and in a feventh Period, the fhall have Reft: And fhall we count it ftrange, that the Holy Ghoft doth for the most part, fpeaking of the ftate of the Church here below, as a low and miferable condition,and that he faith very little of her state of Glory; fince the difference between the first and fecond ftate, is as fix to one? 2. Ianfwer, that they fuppofe that which is not true, viz. that the Scripture speaks of the Church, as being alway in a state of fuffering. On the contrary, more places can be brought wherein her Profperity and Peace are promised, than Τι 2 of
Chap. 25. Part 2. of thofe where the is threatned with calamity and perfecution. We may fee the truth of this in the preceding Chapters, where I have fhown that Empire, and a Kingdom, Peace,and Profperity, are promifed to the Church of Christ, in fuch a manner as hath never hitherto been fulfilled.;
a. Object. Yvhen
Math. 24. V. 12. 24. Luke 18.
4. After this, they tell us, that when God deTcribesthofe Times, which shall immediately precede Come, the the end of the World, inftead of reprefenting them as Church a golden Age, they are painted out as an Age of Iron moft cor- and darkness. Iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold; falfe Prophets and falfe Chrifts shall arife, they shall work figns and wonders to deceive if poffible the very Elect. The coming of the Son of man shall be as the days of Noah. When the Son of man shall come, he shall not find faith upon Earth.And 2 Ep. Theffal.2.'chap 'tis faid,the Lord shall destroy the man of fin, by the brightness of his coming. But all this is grounded on a falfe fuppofition; viz. that there Thall be no other coming of Chrift, but for the laft & final Judgement, which is not true: the coming of Chrift here spoken of, is that to fettle the Peace,and Glory, and Kingdom of his Church; and we may be certain, that this is meant in almost all the Paffages, where the coming of Chrift is fpoken of. It is true, that when Chrift fhall come to deftroy the Antichriftian Kingdom, he fhall 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 fearcity of faith & piety in the World at that time: for Gog and Magog fhall be increas't, there fhall be a great feduction upon Earth, and a great affliction upon the Church. So that thefe Prophecies fhall have their accomplishment whenever Chrift comes.
393 "They were fulfilled at his firft coming,when he came Part 1.1 in the flesh; for the Church was then exceedingly corrupted; and fo at his fecond coming, when he fhalt come to destroy the Antichristian Kingdom: Forin our days, there is a very great corruption, and fhall be at his third coming; for at the end of the world,there fhall be an Infurrection against the Church, and against the Son of God....
5. It will farther follow, fay thefe Gentlemen, s. Object. that the Hour and the day of Iudgement would not then judgement, be unknown, as our Lord J.Chrift hath faid it is. For would not ifjuft after the fall of the Antichriftian Empire, the unknown. reign of Chrift for a thousand years mult take place, we likewife know, that at the end of that Reign of a thousand years, fhall be the day of Judgment.Art, you must know,that our Lord J.Chrift faith not, that the day of the laft Judgment shall be alway conceal ed: he only faith, that no man then knew it, concern. ing that day, faith he,knoweth no man. That depends on the fixing the time of the 1260 years, for the reign of Antichrift. Now no man knew for certain, at that time, when the 1260years thould begin. God did not permit that it should be well known,till this Laft Age, which is as alfo the left of the reign of Antichrift for 1260 years. Moreover, after having well fixttheEpocha of the birth of Antichrift,that we may difcover his end, yet can we not thereby come to the exact knowledge of the day of Iudgement. i.Becaufe we know not whether the thousand years of the reign of the Church, must begin just at the end of the 1260 years of the reign of Antichrift. We may fay the contrary, without faying any thing that is improbable, that the thousand years are not to be computed, but from the compleat establishment of the Kingdom of Chrift. 2. We cannot tell whether the Period of a thousand years is to be exactly so much,