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Verse 18. For I reckon that the Suffering of this present Time, is not worthy to be compared with the Glory whi b fliall be revealed in us. Here we may observe, First, That the Saints do indeed meet with Sutterings in this world, and some very great ones too; as the Word of God doth declare, and the Experience of the Saints in all Ages do testifie. But secondly, These Sufferings of the Saints (as before) are not in Wrath but in Love; not as a Pur nishment for Sin, but as á Father in Love chaftiseth his Children, that Sin might be made bitter to us, and we made Partakers of his Holiness. Heb. xii. 10. Thirdly, All these Sufferings of the Saints are but for the Time present; they reach no further than this Life; not one Suffering will follow them out of this World ; they shall not be found upon any of the Saints after Death, nor be
touched then with one Affliction any more for ever. · Fourthly, Tho' the Sufferings of the Children of
God are, and have been great in this World ; , yet the Glory which liall be revealed in us, and in that Day put upon us, will be infinitely greater, and therefore not to be compared with them: For that Glory which the Lord Jesus Christ will reveal in, and put upon the Saints, at the Time of his personal Coming from Heaven, will more abundantly'. exceed than the Cceau exceeds the Drop of a Bucket : So as no Comparison can be made; the Glory infinitely exceeds all their Sufferings.
Verse 19. For the earnest Expeétation of ihe Creature waiteth for the Manifestation of the Sons of God. By the Creature in this place I understand all those Creatures, which are upon the Earth and in the visible Heavens, who suffered, and came under the
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Bondage of Corruption for the Sin of Man; whether they be sensitive or insensitive Creatures : For it is certain that by the Creature in these Words cannot be meant the Saints, because they are plainly distinguished froin them, as being called the Sons of God: Neither can it be understood of the Wicked, either Men or Devils ; unless we will believe that they shall be restored, and brought into this glorious Liberty: Therefore it must take in all those Creatures who for the Use of Man were created, and for Man's Sin came under the Bondage of Corruption; who ihall again be restored unto their primitive Excellency, as at the firt, at tbis time of the Manifestation or Revelation of the Sins of God." But then here lies fome Difficulty how these Creafures should expect or wait for the Time of this blessed Restoration: This I understand to be meant only of some secret Instinct that is in the Nature of those Creatures, of being, or desiring to be delivered fiom their Suffering and Bondage, which is called an Expectation or a Waiting for the Manifestation of the Sons of God, because that will be the Time that they shall be delivered.
Now the Manifestaiion of the Sins of Ged signifies 'the Revelation or Manifestation of that wonderful Glory, whic' at this time will by the Lord Jesus be put upon the Caints, that will in a visible, glorious, and unspeakable way demonstrate them, in Face of all the World, to be the Children of Grd.
Verse 20. For the Creature was made subje&t to Vanity, not willirgly, but by reason of him who hath subjected the fame in Hope. All these dumb and sensitive Creatures suffer for cur fakes, and are subje&t to Vanity for the Sin of Man. For as there would
have been no Suffering among us, so neither would there have been any among them, had it not been for our Sins. They are now indeed, and have been, ever since the Fall, subject to Vanity, not willingly (it was not by their own Act or Choice) but by reason of him who hath subje&ed the same in Hope. Man's Sin was the instrumental Cause of this Vanity in the Creature, and the Bondage of Corruption which to this day it lies under : But it is the Lord who over-rules the Vaniiy of the Creature, and bath subje&ted the same in Hope; a secret Hope, we know not how, unpresciable unto us, hath the Lord put or planted in the Nature of the Creature, of their Dellverance.
Verse 21. Because the Creature it self also shall be deliiered from the Bondage of Corruption, into the glorious Liberty of the Children of God. This 2ift Verse is given us as a Reason why the Creature paitetb with such an earnest Desire or Expectation for the Manifestation of the Sons of God, because they also shall be deliver'd from that Bondage and Cor. gruption which now they groan under; that they may be brought into this glorious Liberty of the Saints, free from that Vanity which until then they will be subject to; free from thatSuffering and Bondage which still they are under; and that they may be restored unto their primitive Beauty and Excellency which was at the first upon them. This will be their Paradisical State which they were in before the Fall,
A sweet Harmony and Agreement there will be a·mong all the Creatures, answering more than they · have yet done, the glorious End of Jehovab, in
their Creation. What Use they shall be of at that time, unto the Saints, we must not be too curious
by prying into it; but doubtless they will be of some use then, as they would have been if Man had not fell ; and will wonderfully set off the Glo: ry of the New World, or inbance the Glory of Christ's Visible Kingdom. This Restoration of the Creaturę will begin in the First Branch of that spiritual Glory, but will not (as I conceive) be perfe&ted or compleated, until the full Manifestation of the sins of
God, at the personal Appearance of the Lord Jesus - Christ. How wonderfully doth the Prophet Isaiah
speak of this blessed Restoration, in the Eleventh
And the Cow and the Bear Mal feed, their young ones
the Wolf and the Lion against Man, seeking their
Prey, to devour one another, will at this glorious : Restitution be taken out of the Nature of all these,
cruelCreatues, so as that they Mall quietly feed with
will they lie down together. Verse 3. And the sucki ing Child Mall play 01 the Hole of the Asp, and the 1 yeaned Child floall put his Hand on the Cockatrice's,
Den. These Creatures which now have their Ņaiture filled with bitter Poison, so hiirtful, as being 21 full of Enmity, shall then be familiar with Man s and with one another also ; infomuch, that a Child ; without Harm may 'play on the Hile of the Adder's
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Den. Therefore it followeth (v. 9.) They fall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy Mountain : For the Earth shall be full of the Knowledge of the Lord, as Waters cover the Sea. Well! If this is to be fo, as we see it will in these Verses, who then will dare to gainsay the Truth fo clearly held forth to us in God's Word? For these Texts do preach the Kingdom of Christ in this World, as clear as the Sun at Noon-day, when there is no Clouds. But if Men will still oppose it, notwithstanding such undeniable Scriptures are brought for proof, I cannot see but they may as well deny the Scriptures, or at least put what Sense they themselves please upon them. And then what Errors are there which we shall not bein danger of running into ? For in my Apprehenfion the Word of God is never in more darger of being abus'd, than when Men come with their learned Glosses, and put a figurative Sense upon it, when there is no Neceffity, and so make the Sciiptures speak directly contrary to what the Spirit of God hath in plain Words expressed. But let all those who have the greatest Faculty in this figurative way of Exposition, come and tell me what Sense they will give upon these Texts in Isaiah and Romans, with many other Places, concerning the Restoration of the Creature, and the Kingdom of Christ, if they must not be understood literally ? For first we read here of the Restoration of the Creature from that Vanity, Bondage, and Corruption, which for ourSin they were brought into. Secondly, How that cruel Enmity which is still in them, againft Man and one another, shall at this time be taken out of the Nature of all the Creatures, except the Serpent, who, eins, Thall still feed upon the Nourilament of