« ÎnapoiContinuați »
OF THE KINGDOM OF GLORY.
SECTION I...... The New World.
HE world to come, of which all the prophets have spoken; and which is the express object of all the promises, and the grand article of the faith of the just; will be, in all respects, a new world. “ He that sat upon the throne, said, “ Behold, I make all things new.” And though this world will be filled with the glory of God, and its powers will equal, and, doubtless, far surpass those of the original angelic heavens; still, it will be a proper world, having all the congenial accom'nodations of a habitation for man; such as, in the wisdom of God, were prepared for him in the first creation; and it will be as really the world of inan, as was that before the flood, or as the world that now is. It will be composed of heavens and an earth, of city and countries, of rulers and subjects, and of every thing necessary to constitute a proper world and kingdom.
Some have supposed, because this country is called an heavenly, and its city is the heavenly Jcrusalem; and because it possesses such heavenly
powers, that it must be the world of spirits above; and not like this, a proper world of heavens and earth. But when the Scriptures are carefully compared, it will appear beyond controversy, that this world to come" is called “an heaven“ ly,” because it is put in subjection to the "se«cond Adam,” who is the “the Lord from heav“ en;" and for the same reason that the gospel church, already set up in the world, is called the
Kingdom of God, and the “ Kingdom of “ Heaven," viz. that it is now, by the gospelword, subject to the high authority of the Lord Jesus Christ.
It is acknowledged by all, that the land of Canaan was shewn to Abraham as the premises named to him in the promise ; and that he regarded it, to say the least, as a pledge of the country which he desired for an everlasting settlement. But of what service to Abraham could be a country, particularly bounded by Euphrates and the river of Egypt, either as a pledge, or as affording an idea of the desirableness, even in a shadow, of some etherial region, the bounds of which can never be nearer delined than that it is somewhere beyond the stars.
“ They that wait upon the Lord shall inherit “ the earth.” Psal. xxxvii. 9. 6. The meek shall
« inherit the earth.” Ver. 11, and Matt. v.5. 1 « Such as be blessed of him shall inherit the “ earth.” Ver.* 22. ". The righteous shall in“ herit the land, and dwell therein for ever. Ver. 20. This cannot be understood of the present world, for it is not worth inheriting; the righteous loathe it, and here they “would not live “ alway.” This world is more properly the portion of the wicked, and it is given into their. hands. Job ix. 24. And it cannot be better explained, by supposing that this world is pointed to as a figure of heaven; for what propriety, could there be in using this dunghill world as a figure of the celestial mansions above. But there is no obscurity as to this subject in the scriptures. See Isai. Ixv. 17. “ For, behold, I create new « heavens and a new earth: and the former shall "" not be remembered, nor come into mind." And Ixvi. 22. “For as the new heavens, and the “ new earth, which I will make, shall remain be“fore me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain.” 2 Pet. ü. 13.
“ Never“theless," i, e, although the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; "we according to his “promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, “ wherein dwelleth righteousness." John saw this new heaven and nen earth. Rev. xxi. 1. And Abraham and the prophets saw them afar off"; and all believers, by the promise which they have embraced, have been persuaded of them, and have looked for them, and have been justified as. princely inheritors of them. This world to come, its realins and its Lord, has ever been the grand object of faith; and the truth of this new world explains fully the otherwise inexplicable style of the Scriptures, such as is used in the often repeated promise, above quoted, that the “righte<< ous shall inherit the earth;" for these heavens and earth are worthy of God to promise, and of his people to esteem, for in them shall dwell righteousness..
Respecting the particular proofs that there will exist a new-world, succeeding this after the conflagration, in like manner as the present, after the flood, succeeded to the primitive world then destroyed; and what will be the constitution of this world to come, which is the grand theme of all the prophets.... what the natyre of its kingdom, its heavenly power, and transcendant glory, I refer the reader to my Lectures upon the coming
and kingdom of Christ. My opponents may af fect to treat that book with indifference, but they have it not in their power fairly to answer the arguments therein adduced; and may it not be presumed that they know it would be a serious task to be undertaken, when after a lapse of fifteen years; and it has been known, that numbers have adopted the sentiment, some of whom are of note in the churches; yet no one has come forward, publicly, to examine the sentiment supported in those lectures, and refute the copious proofs therein offered from the plainest sense of the Scriptures ? I have met with no argument against the millennarian sentiment, advanced in the Lectures, of more weight than the following, which was offered in a public conversation, and for which I thanked the learned gentleman, viz. That this sentiment was generally enbraced in the primitive age of the church, and it was ever held in repute until very lately; nhen, tho' it possessed these advantages, it has been generally exploded by the greater light of the present day; and therefore it must be an error.
SECTION II........ The saved Nations.
AS the worlds were framed by and for Jesus Christ, it appears that the object of the whole creation is an exhibition, through him, of mediatorial glory. The world to come will unfold this truth perfectly; it will be in the highest possible degree a mediatorial world; and therefore, in the most unlimitted sense, the world and
kingdom of glory. I admit that the descriptions given of the millennial world, do altogether conform to the mediatorial plan.
But why should it be inferred, from this circumstance, that it is not a state of the most perfect glory? Many people, unhappily, are in a habit of conceiving of the glory of Christ, as being somewhat inferior to the glory of God; and of the mediatorial constitution and kingdom as subordinate to a state of more perfect felicity ; but the Scriptures shew, that Jesus Christ is the brightness of God's glory; and the coming world will shew who is “ the blessed and only potentate.” « Who only. hath iinmortality;" “ whom" belongs “honour and power everlast-ing.” God has set up the mediatorial institution as the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and end.
The great and dreadful day of God, which is fast approaching, will offer an occasion forethe most ample and finished display of the mediatorial authority........The glory of the sovereign Judge of all will then be displayed in Christ; and the glory of an exalted Christ will be displayed in his saints. The whole exhibition will conspire to shew the efficacy of the mediatorial establishment; and in this view, above all others, the adorable scene will strike the eyes of a wondering universe. The mediatorial work of Noah saved his house; and the mediatorial hand of Moses saved Israel ; but this will be the great salvation, in which will appear the matchless glory of the hand of Christ.
Respecting this salvation, two questions have arisen, viz.
1st, How will the saints be saved, when the world shall be all on fire?
The answer to this question is obvious; they will be saved by supernatural power, in a way as