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And when He bringeth again the passage
in Corinthians--" Then “ first begotten into the world, He “ cometh the end, when he shall saith, and let all the angels of God
have delivered up the kingdom to worship him :" (not tahiv de orav,
God, eyen the Father; when he but orav oɛ tali, &c.) which refers shall have put down all rule and to his coming a second time into the all authority and power
" When the Son also himself shall In St. Luke's gospel the Lord “ be subject unto him that put all describes the signs which shall ter- things under him, that God may minate the times of the Gentiles,
« be all in all."f and usher in the coming of the Son 1. The kingdom of Christ has of Man with power and great glory; evidently a beginning subsequent to upon which, when they see them the creation of the world, because it come to pass, they are to under- is the subject of promise at various stand, that their redemption and the periods since; and therefore the unkingdom of God are nigh at hand.'b acknowledged sovereignty of God, The advent and the kingdom are
who ruleth and over-ruleth, canconnected together when our Lord not be what is intended, because first declares to the disciples, that it that did exist from the beginning : is the good pleasure of their heavenly and further, to this sovereignty there Father to give them the kingdom; will never be an end. 2. The reign and then exhorts them to sit so and kingdom of Christ cannot be loosely to the things of this world, that spiritual dominion, which he that they may be as men that wait exercises in the hearts of his people ; for their Lord, when he will return whether it relate to this time, or to a from the wedding.c
larger measure of it in the MillenThat saying of the thief upon the nium. For first, this spiritual power cross is literally in the original, has been exerted in the hearts of his “ Lord remember me, when thou people from their first acquaintance comest in (not into) thy kingdom ;”d with him by the Spirit; whereas the (Μνησθητί με, Κύριε, οταν ελθες EN Ikingdom whereof I inquire did not τη βασιλεια σε.) And finally the commence, as we have seen, either at Apostle Paul gives a solemn charge the birth or ascension of Christ, but to Timothy, before God and the is still future. And secondly, the Lord Jesus Christ; “ who (he says) rule of Christ is to end; whereas shall judge the quick and dead at this ruling by the Spirit in his his appearing and his kingdom;"e people is never to end. It will be thus making the Epiphany, the “ He in them and they in Him” kingdom and the judgment of quick throughout eternity. 3. And if any and dead synchronous. This view would nevertheless insist, that the of the time of the kingdom will be kingdom is no more than a great further cleared I trust, when I come revival of religion, in the generation to consider the place or scene of its which shall live at the Millennium ; manifestation, &c. I shall
I oppose those Scriptures so recently therefore bring this paper to a quoted, which shew, that the kingclose ; first requesting the Reader, dom is introduced by the personal whilst I recapitulate the sum of the advent of the Lord Jesus. argument, to keep his eye upon that I shall now reply to one or
• Matt. xxi, 24-31.
c Luke xii, 32–36. d chap. xxiii, 42.
24 and 28.
e 2 Tim. iv, 1.
two objections, which I deem it best together :i but attention to the conto anticipate in this place.
text, and a comparison with it of 1. The kingdom of heaven is another Scripture, will shew, that it spoken of as being at hand”. is not the commencement of the
nigh” -"even at the doors;" &c. period of glorious manifestation that Whence some infer, that it must is meant; but a visible earnest and have existed either in our Saviour's specimen of it. This saying, in all time, or soon after. But this is no the three gospels where it occurs, is more than is stated of other events; immediately followed by the relation, which we nevertheless believe are that Jesus, about eight days after even yet to come. For example: (that is, eight days after this saying " The LORD is at hand"-" the as if to mark its connexion with coming of the Lord draweth near”. the event narrated) took Peter, " the end of all things is at hand.” James, and John up into a mountain The former places concerning the apart, and appeared before them in kingdom, may indeed have some glory, together with Moses and reference to the work of preparation Elijah. And this very transaction
-the introduction of the gospel St. Peter, who was one of the three, kingdom ; but they may also be ex- calls, the POWER and coming of our plained in that way, in which we Lord Jesus Christ; the Majesty of are compelled to explain the latter : which he says) he was viz. by concluding that the Holy witness of, when he was with him in Ghost would have us speak of these the holy mount.k * events in such manner, as that we 3. The last Scripture, which I may stand prepared for them and shall now notice as an objection, waiting their approach.
is the answer given by our Lord, 2. Another objection is grounded when demanded of the Pharisees, upon that Scripture, There be When the kingdom of God should some standing here who shall not
“The kingdom of God • taste of death, until they see the " cometh not with observation kingdom of God
with " neither shall they say, lo here ! power;'h from whence it is con- or, lo there! for behold the kingcluded that the kingdom must have “ dom of God is within you.”l been set up, and even manifested, There is an acknowledged diffibefore all the persons died, who culty with this passage, whatever were then standing in the presence interpretation may be given to it; of Jesus. I doubt not but the and did it seem to speak more clearly passage has a direct reference to for the other side of the question the glorious manifestation of the than it does, yet, considering the kingdom; because St. Matthew calls
mass of testimony brought forward it seeing the Son of Man coming in support of the view I have taken, in his kingdom"-another proof that sound principles of exposition require the advent and kingdom take place of us, that we should seek a meaning
g Matt. iii, 2; iv, 17; x, 7; Mark i, 15; &c. h Mark ix, 1. i chap. xvi. 28. k 2 Pet.
* Some explain this specimen of the kingdom as follows : that Moses was the representative of those who rise from the dead with glorified bodies ; Elijah, who was translated without seeing death, was the pattern of those who shall be changed when the Lord comes; whilst the apostles were a specimen of men who shall still remain in the flesh.
1 Luke xvii, 20, 21.
in this text reconcileable with and been said to be waiting for it, not destructive of the numerous had it been among them. And places I have adduced. The ordi- this plainly indicates that the nary explanation given by com- promises concerning the kingdom mentators is, that the kingdom of are not to be limited to the means God within them, must signify the of grace, or the work of grace, dominion of grace in the heart; though they may include it; but against which interpretation the that they have a reference to its following exceptions may be taken. glorious manifestation and prevaFirst it would imply, that Joseph of lence. In the spiritual sense, the Arimathea, who was still waiting for kingdom cometh not with observathe kingdom,m was without this in- tion; for the spirit is like the wind : ward grace, which the Pharisees we cannot see from whence it possessed. Therefore some would in- cometh nor whither it goeth :" but terpret it, the kingdom of God is in regard to the manifestation of the among you : but it does not appear kingdom, our Lord has described that the word rendered within is the signs, by which we may observe ever used by the Greek writers of its approach, and know that the the Old or New Testaments in the kingdom of God draweth nigh. sense contended for; and it is ex- Let the Reader examine himself, tremely doubtful if profane writers whether he have this spiritual so use it.n
Certainly Joseph could carnest of the inheritance ;”. not have been waiting for the king- whether it may be said of him, dom, in that spirit of faith which " that the kingdom of God is not the mention of him seems to imply, in word only but in power ;”—and unless the kingdom of God had been " that God hath thus translated also within him in a spiritual sense : him into the kingdom of his dear nor could he with propriety have
THE SPEECH OF ST. STEPHEN. Acts vii.
Commentators upon the chapter Scott calls it—" rather an introducof the Acts of the Apostles, which tion to his main subject, than the contains the Speech of Stephen be- " whole of his intended discourse." fore the Jewish Council, have given And Doddridge, whilst he condemns very conflicting and unsatisfactory Le Clerc, because he charges it with expositions of it.
The generality containing much which is not to the of these writers consider the speech 'purpose,' does nevertheless treat it as incomplete. Dr. Adam Clarke as imperfect. says, “ How far St. Stephen would
I dissent from these conclusions, “ have proceeded, or to what issue, first, on the ground of internal evi“ he would have brought his dis- dence to the contrary in the discourse course, we can only conjecture.” itself.
For to me it appears concluded, as to the subject matter, at it heightens our surprise at the awful the end of the fiftieth verse; after infatuation of that spirit in his enewhich commences the peroration : mies, which was only rendered the and it is incorrect to say of a speech, more malignant and furious by the which has proceeded through a re
m Mark iv, 13.
1) See Parkhurst on the word l'TOG.
01 Cor. iv. 20; Col. 1, 13.
demonstrations of truth. Nor do gular and orderly course, and even I doubt, but the drift of St. Steenters upon the application, that it phen's discourse was understood, and is only an exordium, or introduc- that indirect vein of application felt, tion to the main subject.”
which, according to my apprehension, My second ground of objection pervades it throughout-indepento the view of its being an incom- dently of the more formal application plete discourse, leaving us to con- at the conclusion. jecture as to its scope or drift, is, I am aware that there are incithat it is not consistent with its being dental difficulties to be met with in a part of the Revelation of God. I this discourse; but with these it is not acknowledge, that the Holy Spirit my intention to meddle, seeing that might only design to shew us the learned ingenuity and criticism have murderous character of that self- been lavish upon them. I am also righteousness, which led the Jews aware, that interpretations are ofto interrupt the Martyr in the midst fered by most commentators of the of his harangue, and to stone him intent and meaning of particular to death; but were this the sole portions : but these again I shall not object, it could have been accom- enter into; for they may be to a plished by a mere relation of the fact, certain extent true, and compatible —that Stephen made a speech, in the with the principle design of the midst of which his enemies broke in speech; and yet not that principle upon him and destroyed him. I hold design itself. My own opinion is, it to be an important axiom, in re- that so much difficulty would not gard to Scripture, that there is no- have been experienced in this matthing wasted or superfluous in it; ter, had we been more mindful of and therefore, that, if upwards of fifty the things revealed in Scripture conlong verses are occupied with par. cerning the future manifestation of ticulars, the whole of those particu- Christ, as king and judge, and the lars-every jot and tittle of them- manifestation also of his glorified are calculated to instruct.
It may church. I doubt if the early Fathers indeed happen, that we may not be experienced thedifficulty, which is felt able to perceive the meaning and in- by modern commentators; because tent of them ; but this does not fol- their view of divine truth would aflow, that the only point intended to ford them the ready key to interprebe conveyed by them is, the abstract tation : and I am the more strengthcircumstance that Stephen began a ened in this conclusion by observing, speech and was interrupted in it. that in Mayer's “ Treasury of EccleWe find St. Paul similarly inter- siastical Expositions of doubtful rupted ;--they gave him audience and difficult places in the four Gosdown to a certain sentence, and then pels and Acts of the Apostles; (a all was tumult, and they would scarce work, printed in 1622, conequally have murdered him, had he taining the glosses of the early Fanot been protected: but in the thers ;) though he brings forward speech of Paul we may understand many extracts respecting these diffithe drift of his argument from that culties, which arise from apparent portion of it which is related; and discrepancies between the Septua
gint and Hebrew copies of the Scrip- hopeless condition ;-that he had tures, &c. no difficulty is hinted at no child when the promise of a seed in regard to the drift and scope of to him was made ; and that instead the discourse itself. I offer however of possessing the land, God gave the following brief observations on him not then so much as to set his the chapter, rather in the way of foot on. And Abraham finally died humble conjecture than otherwise; in circumstances, which appeared as having a greater desire to elicit the desperate as those of Christ;" he opinions of your readers, than to im- “ obtained a good report through pose my own.
faith, but he received not the First must be noticed the state of “ promise :" and the expectation of of the Jewish mind at this period in the orthodox Jews therefore was (as regard to Christ. St. Paul tells us, appears from the works of the Rabthat it was Christ crucified, which bins,) that Abraham, and those was the stumbling block to them. patriarchs who had not possessed the (1 Cor. i, 23.) The more malignant land, would still inherit it at the opposers of Christianity conceived, resurrection of the dead. that it had received its death blow
In regard to a portion of the seed, by the execution of its Leader : they enjoyed possession of the land whilst those who were disposed to by way of type and earnest to the consider the wonderful circumstances rest; but these also (as is shewn by daily challenging attention, were yet verses 6, 7, and afterwards in verses expecting of their Messiah that he 17--19,) had to pass first through - would restore the kingdom unto the furnace of affliction; next their “ Israel ;” in regard to which ex- oppressors were judged ; and then pectation they would be confounded they came forth and served him in by the death of Christ, and the hum- that land. All this is an exact type ble and persecuted state of his fol- of what had to befall the Christian lowers. The first and main object, church: they were to be led into bondtherefore, of St. Stephen seems to age and to be evil entreated; their be, to exhibit the greatest of the Fa- oppressors have to be judged; and thers, and the more eminent types after that they shall come forth.” of Christ, as also the Church, passing 2. Having in verse 8 introduced through a previous state of trial and the twelve patriarchs, in verse 9-16 affliction; their hope being sustained he singles out JOSEPH, so eminent throughout, or their ultimate triumph a type of a suffering Christ, that accomplished; and the punishment some of the Rabbins figure two also following of those, who became Christs-one to be Messiah Ben their persecutors.
Joseph, the other Messiah Ben 1. He begins with ABRAHAM, with David. He begins by noticing the whom God first made the covenant envy of the brethren of Joseph, so exof promise, and of whom they actly paralleled by that of the Jews boasted—“ We be Abraham's seed.' towards Christ; of which it is writTo the end of verse 8 he shews, ten, that Pilate “knew that for envy that God had promised to give the they had delivered him.” Joseph land to him for a possession and to was ultimately to be exalted, but he his seed; which promise he emi- must first like his antitype “ be made nently confirmed by the covenant of perfect through suffering.” To hucircumcision ;-that, notwithstand- man eye he was now smitten of God ing this, the affairs of Abraham and forsaken; but Stephen notices, continued, humanly speaking, in a that nevertheless
that nevertheless “ God was with