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which he claims sovereignty; and he have reigned as man before he was waits for the time when they shall made man. That the kingdom and say, like Judah to David, Return glory to be manifested are especially thou and all thy servants.”y
assigned over to him as man, II. I next proceed to inquire con- evident from other scripture testicerning the time when this kingdom monies. In Corinthians, the Apostle may be properly said to have been says of him, that God hath put all
a right apprehension of things under his feet:”d which saying which will materially assist our is indeed a quotation (as also Hebrews determination of other points.
ii, 5-8,) of Psalm viü; wherein he 1. Many refer the kingdom of is thus spoken of,
- What is man God to his now reigning by his that thou art mindful of him? power and providence ;-over-ruling " the son of man that thou visitest so much of the wrath of ungodly “ him? Thou madest him a little men, as he suffers to escape, and “ lower (or for a little while lower] restraining the remainder of it: so “ than the angels : thou crownedst that the Jews unconsciously obeyed “ him with glory and honour, and even when crucifying Jesus; whereof “ didst set him over the works of the Holy Ghost cries in anticipation, " thine hand: thou hastput all things
Why do the heathen rage and the " in subjection under his feet.” St. people imagine a vain thing? yet Matthew also, as we have seen, calls
have I set my king upon my holy it “ The kingdom of the Son of “ hill of Zion.". It must be admitted Man.” Jesus declared,
that auas beyond dispute by those who thority was given to him to execute believe the Scriptures, that the judgment also, because he was the
Tost High ruleth in the kingdom of “Son of Man."e And St. Paul men," "and that God is the governor affirms, that God hath given to him, among the nations :”a but if this be on account of his obedience and the kingdom intended, it was set up at humiliation in the flesh, a name the creation of the world; for there which is above every name; that at never was a period from the begin- the name of Jesus every knee should ning, in which God has not thus bow of things in heaven, and things ruled and over-ruled mankind : in earth, and things under the earth.f whereas the kingdom of which I am He who thought it not robbery to be speaking was the subject of promise, equal with God, must have previously certainly as late as the time of possessed that sovereignty of the Daniel ;b a circumstance quite in- universe, which has been mentioned : compatible with its existence then but this kingdom is the reward of and previously.
the righteous obedience and humilia2. Neither could it have been set tion of the Christ; in consequence up at any period between the time of which the Father hath determined of Daniel and our Lord's incarnation: for a while to make manifest his own for it is the Son of Man to whom, glory in him, and to put ALL THINGS according to Daniel,c the dominion under him ; He only being excepted, is given ; and it is impossible he can who thus puts all under him.8 *
y 2 Sam. xix, 9-14. z Psalm xxii, 28; Psalm ii, 1–6. aDan. iv, 17. b See the whole of the seventh chapter. c chap. vii, 13, 14. di Cor. xv, 27. e John v, 27. f Phil. ii, 1–11. 8 1 Cor. xv, 27, 28.
* It is to be regretted, that, owing to an excessive jealousy, the humanity of Christ is not so much meditated on by christians as it ought to be : thouglı the consideration hi Isaiah xlix, 7, Lviii, 19. i Luke xix, 11. j 1 Cor. iv, 8.
3. A more
common notion in shall be of such a character, as that regard to the kingdom is, that it was none can mistake, that the Lord is set up at the birth of Jesus: for ruler in it: His glory shall be indeed it is written, Where is he openly shewed in the sight of the that is born King of the Jews.” heathen.” Whereas Isaiah says of Something may be conceded to this the adversaries of the Lord, Thou opinion, in regard to that gospel and never barest rule over them; they means of grace so soon afterwards were not called by thy name : :” provided; which, as I have before and of the Lord he says, in respect observed, is called by divines the to his first advent, that he is to be kingdom of grace: but surely, if the
servant of rulers."h Indeed acknowledgment of authority, and if our Lord himself spake a parable, obedience to authority, be essential to
some then thought that the honor and reality of dominion, the the kingdom of
of God was
imkingdom was not set up then. Who mediately to appear; in which he can name the nation, which acknow- refers to himself, as to a man, who had ledged the Lord as king at the time first to go into a far country :i to of his first appearing ? Even the which I will only add, that the very Jews did not acknowledge him: prayer which he taught his disciples
He came to his own, but his own proves, that the kingdom was then received him not !” They declared future ; for he directs them to pray, that they would not have this man Thy kingdom come.” to rule over them; and insisting, that 4. The parable just adverted to they had no king but Cæsar, they might be sufficient to prove further, crucified the Lord of glory!” Louis that the kingdom did not commence XVI had the legitimate title to immediately after the ascension of the kingdom of France when he Christ : which many do nevertheless was guillotined ; and there were also suppose ; and that the saints do individuals, who adhered to him likewise now enjoy the kingdom and among the people : but it is extrava- reign with him. Would to God gant to say, that he was in possession (saith the Apostle) that ye did reign, of the kingdom, when the nation that we also might reign with you.”j dis-owned and executed him. When It is necessary however to conChrist's kingdom shall be set up, it sider here the present condition of our
thereof, as also of his godhead, is full of comfort to the soul : the Unitarians, looking too exclusively on those texts which speak of Christ's humanity, have invented a system which shuts out his deity; and thus they have denied the LORD that bought them : but christians frequently go to an opposite extreme, and by viewing Jesus exclusively as God, they are sometimes led practically to deny, that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh. It is a most wonderful and edifying truth to ponder in the heart, that A MAN is now seated at the right hand of the throne of God; that A MAN is now exalted far above thrones, and principalities, and powers! Yet there are some who neglect and fear to speak of Jesus as man ; as though they considered it would degrade Him so to do. Numbers would set him down as a Socinian, who, upon his first preaching to a people who had never heard of Christ, should speak of Him as “ that man, whom God hath ordained to judge the world in righteousness :"
yet this is
more than what St. Paul did at Athens. (Acts xvii, 31.) I hope the Reader will pardon this digression, from one heartily believing in his Lord as God; but a right apprehension of Jesus, as' very man,' will lead us to a more correct understanding of those Scriptures which speak of His Kingdom ; and especially one Scripture, (1 Cor. xv, 24.) which cannot be well explained without it.
Lord Jesus. I cannot dispute, that
I cannot dispute, that his saints must be of an acknowledged He is now glorified; that He is seated and manifest character: and in what on the right hand of the Majesty on part of the globe is that the case high; that the principalities and even now ? By far the largest part powers in heavenly places are subject of the world is still heathen in name; to him; and that he reigns as the and over that part even, which surMediator, Advocate, and Saviour of names itself with the name of Christ, his people. But I must repeat, that he cannot be said to bear rule. this is not that glory nor that reign, Even in this country, where religion which are the special subjects of prevails perhaps as much as in any promise both to him and his saints. If other, our laws are rarely framed and those passages in Revelation (chap.v, administered in the fear of Christ : 10 and vi, 9–11,)refer to the state of to say nothing of the great majority the redeemed church in heaven, it is of individuals, who live in disobedimanifest, that theirs is a state of ex- ence;—who openly deny his divinity, pectation, in which they look for the his power, his authority, his laws, time when they shall reign, and his people. It is degrading to the that they are not now reigning with Lord Jesus to call this his dominion their Lord. In the same Book the over the nations. There is no king Lord clearly distinguishes between among men but would deem it quite that throne on which he is now incompatible with his honor, to allow seated, and the throne on which he any to despise his laws, or to live in shall hereafter be manifested : “ To habitualrebellion. And shall the Man “ him that overcometh will I grant who is made God's fellow,--shall " to sit with me in my throne; even the King of Kings and Lord of Lords,
as I also overcame, and am set only rule over a few, who are des“ down with my Father in urs pised and persecuted for their obedithrone.”k In the Gospel of St. John ence ? No: when he takes up his also he seems to distinguish between iron rod, he will dash his enemies to his own divine glory which he had be- atoms as a potter's vessel ;—then he fore the world was; (xvii, 6,) and that shall have the greatness of the kingglory, which God has given to him dom under the whole heaven ; as Messiah, and which he gives unto
ALL KINGS shall fall down his people: (verse 22.) Certainly His before him, and ALL NATIONS shall condition, as regards the promised serve him ;''n. all the ends of the kingdom, is also one of expectation :
- world shall remember and turn He waits for the time when his “ unto the Lord, and all the kindred enemies shall become his footstool, • of the nations shall worship before and it shall be said, Rule thou in him ;'04" I live saith the Lord the midst of them.'
EVERY knee shall bow to me, and I must return again to the state
every tongue shall confess to ment, that the reign of Christ with - God."'p *
m Dan vii, 27.
n Psalm lxxii, 2.
o Psalm xvii, 27.
k Rev. iii, 21. Heb. x, 13. P Isaiah xlv, 23; Rom. xiv. 2.
* I might here avail myself of an important argument from Daniel to shew, that the setting up of this kingdom (by which I mean its visible commencement) must be future : but as it is based upon the interpretation of a symbolical passage of Scripture, which may, of course, be questioned, I waive insisting on it. Nevertheless I mention it thus in passing, for the consideration of those who agree in the general correctness of the expositions of commentators, in regard to the meaning of the image seen by Nebuchadnezzar. (Dan. ii, 31-15.) The stone cut out without hands, which smites the image and then becomes a great mountain and fills the earth, is usually interpreted to signify Messiah's kingdom ; which, according to the notions of some, smote the image at the establishment of Christianity. But such a view does in no way accord with the description given. For, 1st, the smiting is destructive, even to annihilation ; no place is found for it;' (v. 35 ;) whereas the Roman or fourth monarchy, symbolized by the legs and feet of the image, has in some shape or other continued ever since, 2dly. The stone smites the image on the feet; (1.34;) the toes of which signify the ten kingdoms, into which Rome was divided. These must therefore be in existence at the period of attack : whereas they existed not until after the days of Constantine. 3dly. The whole four monarchies symbolized by the gold, silver, brass, iron, &c. must in some way or other be upon the stage together, each in an independent form ; both when the smiting takes place, and when the God of heaven sets up his kingdom. (Compare verses 35 and 44.) This was not the case at the first coming of Christ, neither in the time of Constantine, nor at any period since. There appears indeed a probability of the thing occurring now: Persia has all along been preserved ; the power which holds Euphrates has long since become independent; and the Greek monarchy is reviving. 4thly. No sooner does the stone smite the image, than these kingdoms are succeeded by the fifth monarchy solely—a state of things never yet witnessed, and which can only come to pass after the destruction of Antichrist.
We have some further light, in but that they were to be witnesses of regard to the time of this kingdom him unto the uttermost parts of the being future, from a comparison of earth :t just as in another place he a passage in the first Epistle to the declares, that the Gospel of the kingCorinthians with one in Hebrews. dom must first be preached in all In the former it is declared, “ that all nations for a testimony unto them.u things shall be put under Christ:"4 in The Apostle Paul exhorted the the latter the Apostle notices, that Thessalonians “ to walk worthy of we see not yet all things put under « God, who had called them to his him:”r whence we must conclude, “ kingdom and glory;" andthat his kingdom is not yet come. “ to walk, so as that they might be In another part of the same chapter " counted worthy of the kingdom of in Corinthians he says, " that flesh “ God for which they suffered.”v and blood cannot inherit the kingdom James speaks of believers, of God; but that we must first being heirs of the kingdom have our immortal and incorruptible " which God hath promised to them body.''s
os that love him :'w all which pasThere are other Scriptures equally sages imply, that the kingdom tending to shew, that the kingdom was yet future, when they wrote. did not commence at the ascension: Finally, the words of Jesus to for in the very hour of his ascension Pilate (as I apprehend them) comChrist was asked by his disciples, pletely set this point at rest : “ My if he would at that time restore the kingdom is not of this world."** kingdom to Israel; and his reply Satan is “ the prince of this world;" plainly leads to the inference, that and has a kingdom in it at variance it was not to commence at that time; with our Lord's.y Which kingdom
91 Cor. iv, 27. r Heb. ii, 8. s vv. 50, 53. t Acts i, 6–9. u Matt. xxiv, 14.
v 1 Epis. ii, 12; 2 Epis. i, 5. w James ii, 5. x John xviii, 36. y Luke xi, 18; John xiv, 30.
* In a question of this kind, which concerns the universal Church, the doctrine held in any one individual church cannot be with propriety advanced in the way of argument. As however the Church of England is admired by many of her members, because, among other things, she speaks on most controverted points in the generalized language of Scripture, it may be interesting to those individuals if I point out, how, in all her offices, the Church of England speaks of the kingdom as future:
is now set up must be judged of, not tion, that those that are Christ's by inquiring into the respective shall at his coming be raised; and power of the princes of each king that then shall follow the end, when dom; but into the prevalence of the he shall have delivered up the kingprinciples of each. No doubt will dom.z then remain, that Satan still rules. Now there must be some period We know that there is one stronger of time in which the saints shall than the strong man armed, who possess the kingdom and the Lord could at any time put out his power shall reign.—We have seen that to bruise his adversary under his this period cannot be in the prefeet; and even now he proves himself sent dispensation; and after the greater in the hearts of his people, advent, which closes this dispensathan he that is in the world. Yea tion, is to follow 'the end when HE when on earth he gave some strik- SHALL HAVE REIGNED. The interval ing and open indications of his therefore must be between the future kingly power; as when he advent and that resigning of the cleansed the temple, ruled the ele- kingdom unto God, who shall then ments, forbad the devils to speak, &c. be all in all. This period I call the Nevertheless, the time is not yet ar- millennial dispensation; and shall rived when this kingdom is to shine endeavour at least to prove, that at forth in splendor : we still have to the Lord's coming is the manifestawrestle, not only with flesh and tion of his kingdom. blood, “but against principalities, Jesus tells us, " When the Son of “against powers, against the rulers “Man shall come in his glory, and all “ of the darkness of this world, “ the holy angels with him THEN
against spiritual wickedness in shall he sit upon the throne of his “high places: wherefore (Reader) glory;" and further on he adds, “ take unto you the whole armour “ Then shall the King say unto them
of God, that ye may be able on his right hand, come ye bless" to withstand in the evil day, and ed of my Father, inherit the king
having done all to stand.” Ephes. dom prepared for you from the vi, 12, 13.
beginning of the world.”a From III. Let us now inquire at what this Scripture it is evident, that particular time this kingdom will Jesus will then (let the time be when appear.
This I infer to be at the it may,) be personally on the throne second advent of the Lord Jesus : of his glory; and that the saints will for the Apostle informs us, when only then receive the kingdom. describing the order of the resurrec- Hebrews i, 6, is in the original,
At BAPTISM the prayer for the neophyte is, “ that finally, with the residue of thy " Church, he may be an inheritor of thine everlasting kingdom.”
At CONFIRMATION the Bishop prays : “Defend, O Lord, this thy child, &c. may " he daily increase in thy Spirit more and more, until he come unto thy everlasting • kingdom.”
At the COMMUNION we pray for grace to follow the good example of those departed this life, “ that with them we may be partakers of thy heavenly kingdom.'
At MATRIMONY the prayer for the newly married couple is : " Grant them to inherit thine everlasting kingdom.”
And in the BURIAL service the prayer is: “That it may please Thee of thy gracious " goodness shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect and to hasten thy o kingdom." -A testimony quite decided as respects the point I am aiming at.
2 1 Cor. iv, 23, 24.
a liatt. XXV, 31, 31.