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THE REFORMERS NOT MILLENNARIANS.

STRICTURES ON ABDIEL.

erroneous.

To the Editor of the Investigator. he may be present with all, and fully

furnishes all things: as St. Paul Sir,

doth say.” I feel persuaded, that your cor- In answer to the question “ Why respondent Abdiel would not wish is Christ our Lord thus conveyed to mislead any of your readers by away from the sight of our eyes, and erroneous statements, respecting the what profit (do) we take by his views of our Reformers, upon what going up to heaven?” are the folhe has termed the doctrines of lowing remarkable words, to which modern millennarians. At the same we shall do well to take heed : time I am at a loss to conceive, how The chief cause thereof was to he could think of representing the pluck out of us that false opinion, chief persons

as in the Church as hold- which sometimes deceived the Aposing and generally teaching these tles themselves; that Christ should views at the time of the Reformation. in earth visibly reign, as kings and

A reference to the writings of the ruffling princes of this world. This Reformers will I think at once prove ERROR he minded to have utterly this representation to be altogether suppressed in us, and that we should

In fact the very cate- think his kingdom to consist in higher chism which Abdiel quotes, as having things," &c. been drawn up by the prelates in And forasmuch as he is not the time of Edward the 6th-but king of some one country alone, but which was confessedly written by of heaven and earth, of quick and Dean Nowell-contains such ex- dead, it was most convenient that pressions as evidently shew, that the his kingdom should be otherwise goauthor and approvers of it could not verned, than OUR SENSES may attain entertain the sentiments attributed unto. For else he should have been to them. I know not from what constrained, sometimes to have been edition Abdiel quotes--the language carried up to heaven, sometimes to differing materially from the original be driven down to the earth ; form in which it was approved by remove sometimes into one country, King Edward 6th—but if he will sometimes into another; and, like trouble himself to refer to an au- an earthly prince to be carried thorized copy he will find the fol- hither and thither by divers changes lowing sentences.

of affairs. For he could not be preAlthough he is already gone sently with all at once, unless his up into heaven, nevertheless, by body were so turned into Godhead, his nature of Godhead and by his that he might be in all, or in many Spirit, he shall always be present in places together;" &c. his Church, even to the end of the " It is for men to rule their comworld,” &c. &c.

monwealths by a certain civil policy - The sun always keeps the of men; but for Christ and God, by heavens; yet do we say, that it is a heavenly godlike order," &c. present also in the world. So Christ In Edward 6th's articles is the is lifted up above all heavens, that following declaration. They that

to

go about to renew the fable of the inspection some extracts from Bale's Heretics called Millennarii be re- Image of both Churches, which will pugnant to Holy Scripture and cast clearly prove what were his sentithemselves headlong into a Jewish ments; and it must be borne in dotage."

mind that Bale was highly esteemed I do not pretend to decide upon by the Reformers for his learning the correctness of the views taken as well as for his piety. Upon Rev. by the Reformers upon this subject; xx, he observes :nor do I consider, that any important Like a most valiant captain fell advantage would be gained by either he upon that strong armed houseparty succeeding in shewing, that watcher and overcame him, dethese great and good men thought priving him both of weapon and with them respecting the second spoil. For a thousand years was advent and kingdom of Christ : but this restraint. Mark, besides the I do think it of great importance mystery, the time from the ascension that the pages of the Investigator of Christ unto the days of Silvester, should be free from statements, which the second Bishop of Rome of that are contradicted by facts.

name," &c.

Consider for the Now it would not be difficult to time that he was thus bound the bring forward abundant evidence constant faith of the christians, and that the principal Reformers differed the invincible hearts of the martyrs, widely in opinion from modern and ye shall find them far different Millennarians-indeed I am per- from them which hath been since." suaded, that no one, acquainted with While the Dragon was thus their writings, would have made the tied up and thrown into the bottomassertion contained in your first less pit for a thousand years space, Number.

a certain continuance of being the I will simply refer Abdiel to a elect number had, whose peaceable few passages which will I trust con- estate and condition for that time vince him of his error. Bishop the text here following declareth, Hooper's Declaration of Christ-in by manner of recapitulation.” “This the chapter on

Christ as a King.” is that first resurrection unto life, to Abp. Cranmer's Catechismon the rise from sin to repentance, from igclause in the Lord's Prayer, “ Thy norance to godly knowledge, and kingdom come.” Thos. Becon's News from darkness to faith."--"And thus out of Heaven. Fox, in the beginning shall they reign with Christ, their of his 5th book of Acts and Monu- merciful Saviour and Redeemer for ments. Bishop Latimer's 3d Sermon the space of the thousand on the Lord's Prayer, (a most excel- afore-named.” lent practical discourse,) in which In Chap. 21 he says :he plainly asserts “ these words (thy I beheld now last of all (saith kingdom come) are not to be under- Saint John) that heaven was clean stood of Christ's inferior, of his altered from that it was before, and earthly kingdom-no, we pray not became all new, and so was the earth for his inferior kingdom to come, for also, and became the same. Not it is come already. The kingdom only became they now spiritual, by that he speaketh of is a spiritual a true belief in the Gospel, that afore kingdom, which kingdom doth con- were carnal ; but also in the end of sist in righteousness and justice,” the world shall the whole bodies of &c.

heaven and earth as gold is (in) the Lastly I will copy out for Abdiel's furnace, be purged from filthiness,

years

And so

by fire going before the judge, which they shall be then as the angels are both are now defiled with the wick- now in heaven, whose office it is to edness of the creature. After both be both here and there, sorts shall they be delivered from much the rather, that they shall be the corruption, here of sin and there then all one. So shall the earth be of death and damnation, and so be new as the heavens. And needs it restored into the glorious liberty of must be to some purpose. Never God's children, “ It followeth would Isaiah and Peter have said, here in this voice, that he hath de- that righteousness should dwell in termined of favourable love and them, if they should not occupy them mercy to dwell with them, assisting both. It is said here also, that the them here in this life by his Spirit, new Jerusalem shall come down and in the life to come shall he sa- from heaven. But not so that it tisfy them by his eternal presence.” shall not go up again. For Christ's &c.

elect shall be where he is, when they “ Behold I will make all things shall be upon the earth ; no let or fresh and new .Never more shall impediment shall they have to be they be as they were afore when also in heaven, both they being one. they were yet old. Never shall be Such agility and perfection shall be more eating nor drinking, wining then in their bodies, as now is in the nor banqueting, traveling nor sleep- the glorious body of Christ, or in the ing, nor other things pertaining to spiritual nature of the angels." the corruptive life." Much to and I cordially approve of the objects fro hath been among the school doc- of the Investigator, as expressed on tors, and is yet to this day, whether your last page; and earnestly desire the saved multitude shall reign here that the Divine blessing may rest upon earth with Christ, or above in upon your labors. Doubtless it heaven after the judgement day: will if you are enabled to adhere which is easy to be perceived if the to your plan, and simply, in deScriptures be diligently conferred; pendence upon the wisdom that therefore search diligently the Scrip- cometh from above, to be the Intures for they bear witness of all vestigator of scriptural truth. truth. Christ hath in Matthew that

Yours, &c.

P. R.

REVIEW OF BOOKS.

TREATISES ON THE APOCALYPSE.

The Christian, who is only just be discouraged at this difficulty ; for entering on the investigation of pro- it may in a great measure be acphecy, may perhaps be startled to counted for. meet with so many systems of in- It is the opinion of some, that the terpretation of the BOOK OF REVELA- Apocalypse is so constructed, that it TION, all more or less differing from was designed to afford direction each other ;—some varying from and consolation to the church at difformer and subsequent treatises in ferent periods; its principal features the whole construction of the Book ; being susceptible of an interpretaothers only in some important fea- tion, which might with equal protures of it. He must not however priety be applied to pagan Rome, to

one

more

tems.

papal Rome, and to infidel Rome; a special blessing is pronounced, is involving thus the three great eras silently passed by ! Acting upon the of the church. We rather question same principle we have known pious the legitimacy of this view : not individuals, who, in their family serthat these three several aspects of vices, will read every portion of the the persecuting power are to be found Scriptures, excepting this; at which in the Book; but that they are so

when they arrive, they systematically inwrapped, that what in the early turn back and begin afresh. history of the Church applies to The consequence of all this is, series of events, in

that the minds of christians are not advanced periods of history may be even familiar with the symbols, and applied with greater definiteness to imagery, and connexion of the Apoothers; just as naturalists inform calypse, as they are with the other us, that the form and rudiments of Scriptures ; which is a more serious the last state of metamorphosis disadvantage than at first appears. of some insects may be traced in For though the meaning of the patheir previous conditions of the rables is not generally understood larva and chrysalis.

with clearness; yet the ready acThere are however other circum- quaintance, which most persons have stances, respecting the interpreta- with their particulars and phraseotion of the Apocalypse, which, if logy, leads them to be upon the look they be well considered, will further out for the meaning of such portions account for these discordant sys- of Scripture, and commonly enables

First we notice, that as pro- them to detect, when an interpretaphecy in general has been too much tion is not consistent. From the want discountenanced, during the dark therefore of this same acquaintance and subsequent ages of the Church ; with the Apocalypse, any sort of exso that the Apocalypse has suf- position is liable either to bewilder fered from this circumstance to a or impose upon them. Every solugreater extent, than any other

por- tion of a matter, which they do not tion of the Divine word.

understand, and of which they have remarkable, that, in the apportion- no connected impression in the ment of Scripture, appointed to be mind, will appear to many a correct read daily in the lessons at morning one. An interpreter may not only and evening service of the Church inconsistently explain a series of of England, the whole of the Old symbols, but he may even omit imTestament comes to be read once in portant portions of the prophecy, or every year, excepting the Song of he may bring them forward out of Solomon; and the whole of the New their context and proper order, and Testament is read through four times yet be detected by very few. in the year, excepting the BOOK OF Nor is this want of familiarity REVELATION, which is entirely omit- with the contents of the Apocalypse ted !* Even the Apocrypha, against to be confined to readers and hearers which, as adding to God's Word, a only : it is even betrayed by some curse is declared, is appointed to who frequently quote the Book in take its turn ; whilst the Apocalypse, their writings ; yea, who have even on the reading and hearing of which formally treated on portions of the

It is re

# We of course except two or three small portions of the Book, which occur in the services of particular days: viz. the Epistles for Trinity Sunday, The Innocents' Day, St. Michael and All Angels' Day, and Al Saints' Day.

Revelation it contains. They seem ters themselves. Much that we to have run through the Book, just have seen put forward, at the reas some travellers hurry through vival of prophetical investigation, foreign countries,-taking a cur

has been forced, unnatural, fanciful, sory glance at the surrounding ob- capricious, contradictory, and offendjects, stopping a day or two at cer- ing against some of the most obtain towns, and walking through vious principles of Scripture anathe public buildings; and then they logy, and biblical criticism. conceive themselves competent to But now, though we thus write, write a history.

it must not be supposed by such of Another circumstance, operating our Readers as are uninformed on to the prejudice of this mysterious this subject, that nothing has been Book, is the want of acquaintance written to the purpose. This leads with ecclesiastical history, and spe- us to notice one other important circially with the history of Romish cumstance, which has prevented a domination and corruption. How complete understanding of the infew protestants, compared with the teresting prophecy in question. In total number, are qualified by a the judgement of men, who in competent knowledge of their own our own estimation have written church doctrines and history to de- ably on the subject, the Apocalypse tect even the most impudent state- was not designed to be fully underments of papists and infidels, and to stood until the latter days. This vindicate their own professed princi- was decidedly the opinion of the great ples. And when it is considered, that Sir Isaac Newton; and he argued, every interpretation of Daniel or of ra that it made for the credit of this the Apocalypse, entitled to serious re- prophecy." He further says, “The gard, is connected with the secular time is not yet come forunderstandand ecclesiastical history of Rome; 'ing the prophets perfectly, because it is no wonder, that uninformed per- the main revolution predicted in sons are misled by statements, of 'them is not yet come to pass.” the consistency and general propriety (P. 252.) If these observations be of which they cannot judge. Super- just, (and it appears difficult to conficial persons cannot be more tossed trovert them,) the imperfection of about by waves and winds of doc- many of those treatises to which we trine, than they are by the facts of have alluded, is necessarily accountten adduced to support particular ed for. views of prophecy. They can rarely But have all these Treatises been contradict them; they remain un- without use ? and are we still living disputed therefore, till a succeeding in times previous to that “main revointerpreter exposes their fallacy, and lution ?". We feel no hesitation in offers a more plausible hypothesis ; replying to these questions. Newton the heterogeneous particles of which has two other sentences in the page are again fated to crumble under before quoted, which are worthy the hand of some other expositor ;

of observation. He says:

But if and so on.

the last age, the age of opening We may add here, that, owing to these things, be now approaching, the neglect into which prophecy had (as by the great success of late infallen until latterly, the very princi- terpreters it seems to be,) we have ples of interpretation have been lost

more encouragement than ever to sight of, and are now only begin- · look into these things.” Again :ning to be understood by interpre- " Among the Interpreters of the last

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