« PreviousContinue »
ACCORDING TO LUKE.
THE gospel of Luke does not diminish the testimony, for he sets out with establishing this important fact, “ and the angel said unto her, fear not Mary, for thou hast found favor with God, and be. hold thou shalt conceive and bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his name Jesus-he shall be great and called the son of the highest and the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his Father David ; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob, forever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end."
And Zachariah had expressly asserted, that the coming of Christ was to perform the mercy to our fathers, and to remember his holy covenant, the oath which he swear to our father Abraham." What was this covenant and oath; but that he should inherit the land of Cannan, and that in his seed all the nations of the earth should be blessed. And when Jesus addressed his disciples on the propriety or rather the necessity of taking up their cross daily to follow him, he adds, “ whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words, of him shall the son of man be ashamed when he shall come in his own glory, and in his father's, and of the holy angels.”
Our Lord himself also taught his disciples very early to look forward to this great event, by making
it their duty in their daily prayers, to pray, thy kingdom come, thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, for thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.”_Jesus Christ encourages his people, “ fear not little flock, says he, it is your father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom-let your loins be girded about and your light burning; and ye yourselves like unto men, who wait for their Lord, when he will return from the wedding; that when he cometh and knocketh you may open to him immediately; blessed are those servants, whom the Lord when he cometh, shall find watching."
The Lord was then with them, and therefore he must bave had reference to his going away and his after return. The parable of the nobleman going into a far country, to receive for bimself a kingdom and to return, further confirms the doctrine and the consequences to the careless and slothful servant. Christ continues the same language, “ be ye
therefore also ready, for the son of man (who was then speaking to them) cometh at an hour, when ye think not; for as the lightening, that lighteneth out of one part under the heavens shineth unto the other, so shall also the son of man be, in his day; but first, he must suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation (or as it should be, of this nation) and as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it also be in the days of the son of man; they did eat, they drank, they mar. ried wives, they were given in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood
came and destroyed them all: even thus shall it be, in the day when the son of man is revealed. And there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon and in the stars, and upon earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring-men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things, wbich are coming upon the earth—for the
powers of heaven shall be shaken, and then shall be seen, the son of man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory: when these things begin to come to pass, then look up and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.* -Our blessed Lord then, notwithstanding his humble appearance and low state not having a place to lay his head, informed his disciples “ that he appointed to them a kingdom, as his father had appointed unto him, that they might eat and drink at his table in his king.
• The order of time in which the events predicted by our Lord are to follow each other is, first the powers of heaven, or the kingdoms and governments of Europe shall be shaken, that is, they shall be removed from the political universe second, they shall then see the son of man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory-thirdly, when these things begin to come to pass,
and lift your heads, for your redeemer draweth nigh-But Matthew says, in (or after) the tribulation of those days, the sun shall be darkened, &c.
Dr. Sykes says, when speaking on these words, “ when ye see and know that these things are come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand,” when ye perceive that the monarchies of Europe, and aristocracies of the world are falling to pieces, be assured that the Messiah is coming in his kingdom.
dom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."
This has never yet come to pass, and therefore must relate to a fulfillment at his second coming in glory, and after the first resurrection: this being absolutely necessary to the completion of it-Enjoying a kingdom, eating and drinking at their master's table, and sitting on the seat of judgment and actually trying those who are to be acquitted or condemned, cannot with any propriety be referred to a merely spiritual state, or a heavenly and spiritual world.
ACCORDING TO JOHN.
THE beloved apostle John, who leaned on his master's bosom, and was continued in life the longest of any of the apostles of our Lord, wrote his gospel at the age of ninety-eight years, and upwards of sixty years after the crucifixion. He lived to see many absurd tenets advanced in the church of Christ, by heretics, and enemies to the truth as it is in Jesus, and established the doctrine we are examining, when he inforins us that Christ told his disciples, “ that in his Father's house (or kingdom) were many mansions; if it had not been so, he would have told them. Igo, says he, to prepare a place for you I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also.” He earnestly invokes his father in the most pathetic terms, “ Father I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." Those whom God had given to Christ would certainly behold his glory in heaven or the place of departed spirits; but it was bis glory as the Messiah in this world, when he should see the travail of his soul and be satisfied, that they were to behold, when they should be re.