« AnteriorContinuar »
preservation, if so they may be induced to repent; as was done in the ancient synagogue, John ix. 22. 34. xii. 42. Matt. xviii. 17. if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican. 1 Cor. v. 5. deliver such an one unto Satan' (that is, give him over again to the world, which, as being out of the pale of the church, is the kingdom of Satan,) • for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.' 2 Cor. ii. 7, 8. so that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such an one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow. xull. 10. therefore I write these things, being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction.' 2 Thess. iii. 15. yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother.' 1 Tim. i. 20. whom I have de- . livered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blas- · pheme.' Rev. ll. 2. I know thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil.
There are some, however, who may justly be considered irrecoverable. 1 Cor. xvi. 22. if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema, Maran-atha ;' by which form of words an incurable sinner is abandoned to the dreadful judgment of the Lord at his final advent. 1 John v. 16. there is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it.'
The civil power differs from the ecclesiastical in the following respects. First, every man is subject to the civil power; that is to say, in matters properly civil. Rom. xiii. 1: 'let every soul be subject unto the higher powers.' On the contrary, none but the
members of the church are subject to ecclesiastical power, and that only in religious matters, with a liability to ecclesiastical punishment alone, that is, to punishment inflicted by their own body: Matt. xviii. 15, 16. “if thy brother shall trespass against thee...... tell it unto the church; if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican.' John viii. 11. óneither do I condemn thee.' 1 Cor. v. 11-13. now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator.....with such an one no not to eat: for what have I to do to judge also them that are without ?" Secondly, the civil power has dominion only over the body and external faculties of man ; the ecclesiastical is exercised exclusively on the faculties of the mind, which acknowledge no other jurisdiction.* Luke xii. 14. “who made me a judge or a divider over you?' Acts v. 4. 'whiles it remained, was it not thine own?' 1 Cor. vi. 4. 'if then ye have judgments of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church. 2 Cor. X. 3, 4. 5though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are
* Especially for that the church hath in her immediate cure those inner parts and affections of the mind, where the seat of reason is.' Peason of Church Government, &c. Prose Works, I. 79. "The magistrate bath only to deal with the outward part....God hath committed this other office, of preserving in healthful constitution the inner man, to his spiritual deputy, the minister of each congregation,' &c. Ibid. 134. Christ hath a government of his own....It deals only with the inward man and his actions, which are all spiritual and to outward force not liable. Treatise of Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, III. 331.
............ this attracts the soul,
That other o'er the body only reigns. Paradise Regained, II. 476. VOL. II.
not carnal, James iv. 12. there is one lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy; who art thou that judgest another?" Nay, we are expressly enjoined not to suffer ourselves to be governed by the commandments of men in matters of religion. 1 Cor. vii. 23. “ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Thirdly, the civil power punishes even such as confess their faults; the ecclesiastical, on the contrary, pardons all who are penitent. John viii. 7. when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her.'
The power of the church against those who despise her discipline is exceedingly great and extensive. 2 Cor. x. 4, &c. "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds ; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience.
It is therefore highly derogatory to the power of the church, as well as an utter want of faith, to suppose that her government cannot be properly administered without the intervention of the civil magistrate.
OF PERFECT GLORIFICATION, INCLUDING THE SECOND
ADVENT OF CHRIST, THE RESURRECTION OF THE
In the twenty-fifth chapter I treated of that imperfect glorification to which believers attain in this life. I now proceed to consider, lastly, that perfect glorification which is effected in eternity.
Before the law this was typified by the translation of Enoch, Gen. v. 24. as it was under the law by that of Elijah, 2 Kings ii. 11.
Its fulfilment and consummation will commence from the period of Christ's second coming to judgment, and the resurrection of the dead. Luke xxi. 28. "when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh. 2 Thess. i. 7. to you who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven.'
The coming of the Lord to judgment, when he shall judge the world with his holy angels, was predicted, first, by Enoch and the prophets; afterwards v by Christ himself and his apostles. Jude 14, 15.
Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying; Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. Dan. vii. 22.
until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High.' Matt. xxv. 31. “the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him.' Acts i. 11. this same Jesus... shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven.' x. 42. it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead. xvii. 31. he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained.....in that he hath raised him from the dead.' 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.'
The day and hour of Christ's coming are known to the Father only. Matt. xxiv. 36. Mark xiii. 32. of that day and that hour knoweth no man.' Acts i. 7. “it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power. Dan. xii. 8, 9. then said I, O my lord, what shall be the end of these things ? and he said, Go thy- way, Daniel ; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.' The treatise of Zanchius De fine sæculi, tom. vii. may be likewise advantageously consulted on this subject.
Hence it will be sudden. Matt. xxv. 6. ‘at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.' Luke xvii. 26, &c.