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the Saints too, for to reign with Chrift in Heaven, than to come down from thence to reign with him on the Earth? I know that this seems to have a great found in the Ears of many.
But what is there of Weight in all this? If it be the Will of Jehovah that so it shall be; (as it bath been proved, in the following Discourse from many Texts of Scriptures;) then this with all the Objections, that by Men, can be made against it, will flee away as the Chaff of the Suminer threshing Floor before the Wind. Besides, what Weakness is it. to say, or think, that Christ's Coming from Heaven to reign upon Earth, will be a Leslening of his Glory? I would fain know of such, what is it that makes any Place to be Heaven? Sure this can be no other than the Display, Manifestation, or the Eradiation of the Eternal Deity, or God going forth and manifeffing of himself in a way of Mercy, Love, and Favour? It is nothing less than the Fruition and Enjoyment of the Divine Prefence, that can make Heaven. Was God to go forth in a Way of Mercy, and display his glorious Grace, in the Manifestation of his divine Presence, unto the damned ; sure it would make that place which we call Hell, to be no less than Heaven? Well then seeing it is the glorious Presence of God in his love, shining through the Mediator, that makes Heaven; wherein then can the Lord Jesus Christ's Coming from Heaven, to reign upon the Earth, be a Leftening of his, or the Saints Glory? It is a common Expression among us, That where the King is there is the Court; sure I am, that where Christ is (in his Personal Glory) there is Heaven, Heaven is in him, he is a Heaven of Eternal Glory to himself, his Presence makes Heaven; the Lord
Fehovah, or God in Chrift, is the Heaven of the Saints
Yet some may further object and say, If this be so, that the Lord Jesus Christ, with all the Saints and Angels shall come down from Heaven, to live and reign for a thoufand Years upon the Earth : What then must that glorious Place called the Third, or the Imperial Heaven, be left'empty for so long a Time? Such needless Questions as these may be sooner asked than they can be answered by Seven Men that can render a Reason. We ought not to be wise above what is written; And therefore not too curicusly search into that which is a Secret. As for the Imperial or Third Heaven (if I may modestly give my Thoughts) I believe will not be left empty in this time, because the way between Earth and Heaven, will be so wonderfully opened in that Day, by the Coming of the Lord Jesus Chrift, with all the Saints and glorious Angels, (the Impediment of Sin, Weakness, and Mörtality, being wholly removed there will be, (upon all Occasions) a continual egress and regress, by the Saints then (as well as now there is by tře Angels) from Earth to Heaven, and from Heaven to the Earth, by the Appointment of Christ, during the Time of that glorious Reign. But let this be how it will, we must leave that until the Day comes, which will make these Mysteries more plain and conspicuous. This is certain that Chrift will have a Kingdom, in which he will reign with the Sairits, or they shall reign with him, in that blessed Mille. nium, or thoufand Years Glory, according to the Scriptures.
As to the second Thing treated upon, touching the Manner of the Kingdom, I have indeed given
my. my Thoughts, but with as much Humility and Moderation as possible I could. And that because I believe the Manner of that Kingdom, how it shall be in all the particular Parts and Branches of it, will not be known by any of the Saints, nor those who have the greatest Light into it, until that glorious Time comes. But what then? That should be no Discouragement unto us from believing or searching into this Kingdom, which the Word is so full in proving the Certainty thereof. Something we may know of the Manner, and the more we search into it (which is but our Duty) the more I believe we shall know how this Kingdom shall be. As for those who do speak, or write upon this glorious Time, each one have the Liberty of Speaking or Writing according to what their Light is: If so be that they are not too positive in asserting their Opinions. We cannot make others see with our Eyes; no more then we can see with theirs. In this therefore it is good to be moderate; and to let our Moderation be known unto all Men; the Lord is' at hand, who will when he comes put all Things into rights, Phil. iv. s.'
As to what I have said, with respe&t unto the first · Branch of Christ's Kingdom, in his spiritual Glory, it is no more than what most believe (excepting a fem) we all look for a greater pouring down of the Spirit of God; for Anti-christ to be destroyed, and the Jews to be converted: A greater Glory to come upon the . Churches of Christ, than has yet been, before his com ing to Judgment.
Again,2dly, As to what hath been said,concerning the 2d Part of the Kingdom of Christ in his Personal Reign, as running contemporary with the Time of the Judgment. Something of these are believed by all who profess Faith in the Lord Jesus. . We all believe that the Lord Jesus Christ will come again from Heaven,
the second Time, without Sin, unto Salvation. And that his Coming will be Personal, in the Clouds of Heaven with Power and great Glory. We all believe that at this Time of his Coming the dead Saints Mhall be raised and the living Saints shall be changed in a Moment, in the Twinkling of an Eye, at the Sound of the laft Trumpat. We all believe that the Change of the Saints, both living and raised, will be into a State of Incorruptibility and Immortality, like the glorious Body of Christ : And that they shall be caught up in the Clouds to meet the Lord in the Air, and so shall be for ever with the Lord. We all believe that the Coming of Christ will be in Alaming Fire, rendring Vengeance upon the wicked, who know not God, nor have obeyed the . Gospel. We all believe that there will be a Day of Judgment both amongst the Godly and Ungodly; and that we must all appear before the Judgment Seat of Jefus Christ, to give an Account of what we have done in the Body, whether it be good or bad. We all believe that Christ must reign, until all his Enemies are put under his Feet, and that after the last Judg. ment is over he will deliver up the Kingdom to the Father. That God may be all in all; and that then the... Wicked must go away into everlasting Punishment, but the Righteous into Life Eternal. Herein I think with some other thing, we are all agreed, who believe. the Scriptnres to be the Word of God. And tho' we do differ in some other particular Point, in relation to the Personal Reign of Christ with the Saints, in the Glory of his Kingdom for a thousand Years; yet I defire that this may not hinder thee from Reading, nor take off thy Mind from a serious Confideration of the Marter contained in the Book : But that thou wouldest patiently Read, and beg of God to give thee UnderItanding...
Thirdly, As to what I have expressed concerning the Nearness of this Time, I have given thee undeniable Proof out of the Word of God; ift, From plain Scrip: ture. Affertion. 2dly, From Scripture Arguments, 3dly, From Scripture Signs: With an Observation of
the Providence of God, concurring in their Fulfilment; and so confequently shewing the Time to be near, even at the Door: Which Mould stir each one of us up to a greater Diligence, to see that we are found ready, having Oyl in our Veffels with our Lamps, that so we may enter in with Christ into the Marriage.
But it may be fome will be ready to say, Seeing that so many great and learned Men have writ upon this Subject, there was no feed for me to write about so mysterious' a Point. I must acknowledge, (and the Lord hath made me fenGble in fome Measure) that I am a poor, weak, nothing Creature. But that hath been some Encouragement to me, the Confideration that the Lord blessed Barley Bread for the Feeding of many thousands. Now if ihe Lord will be pleased to blefs my weak Endeavours, how despicable foever it is in it felf, yet with his Divine Blessing it may be made of Use to some, which is, and hath been my Cry unto the Lord.
And now Christian Reader, this I earneftty beg of thee, that what Weakness thou mayest find in this little Piece, thou wouldst cover it with the Mantle of Chriftian Love; and also if thou findest any thing that is not agreeable to thy Judgment, or if thou thinkeft it is not according to the Mind of God in his Word; be not too hafty in condemning it; but give thy self á little Thought of Consideration, whether thefe Things may be ro, or no. And if thou thinkest they are not, yet thou oughtest to forgive me, or at least be favourable in thy Censure; because I do not affert these Things as an Article of Faith, or that the believing of them is absolutely necefsary to Salvation, but have only given my Thoughts upon such Places wherein the Kingdom of Christ is asserted, with all Humility and Moderation, leaving thee to thy Liberty, either to accept or refuse as thou shalt see Occasion. *
That which has made me the more earnest in the Proof of the Kingdom of Christ, that fuch a glorious State and Time will certainly be in this World, was first, from the full Satisfation which I had, in my own
absolute houghts on pered, wit Liberty