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ing with preparatory instructions, the awakening consideration of the coming of the “ great and notable day of the Lord,” with the great and terrible events then to take place.* And in his next discourse, this same apostle awakens his hearers by preaching to them of the time coming, when“ he [the Lord] shall send Jesus which before was preached unto” them, “whom the heaven must receive, until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began.”+ This is indeed an inspired explanation of the spirit and substance of the doctrine of “all” the “ holy prophets since the world began,” and that they are all to be understood as foretelling the great events of the coming again of Jesus from “heaven," “ at the restitution of all things." And sure there can be no such " restitution,” till the kingdom of God shall “ come” and be " set up" on earth, the curse removed the wicked cast out in its becoming again a paradise, and restored to the people of God its lawful owners, through faith in the promise of Christ as the seed of Abraham.
Again, the apostle Peter writes very impressively of “the great day of the Lord," and the certainty of its coming " as a thief in the night,” when “ the heavens being on fire shall be dissolv. ed, and the earth, and the works which are therein, shall be burred up;" and connects with it “the new heavens” and “ new earth," then to be created. Nothing, it would seem, could be plainer than that this prophecy of Peter is precisely the same as those of Daniel and Christ, while Peter uses his own language to record the great and terrible things taught him by the Holy Ghost, which things shall come to pass at the Lord's own coming again to set up his glorious kingdom on earth. It should be remembered also, that no record is given that Peter ever intimated a word of “the gospel dispensation, or the Christian church' set up,'” nor explained the kingdom foretold by Christ and the prophets as having its place in this world, knowing that Christ had expressly said it was " not of this world.” Had Peter, or Christ, or the prophets foretold, or preached the events of the Christian dispensation now “ come," instead of “the judgment” to “ come,” the latter of which they did do, their doctrine would no more have made such men as “ Felix” to “ tremble,” than it does the wicked now, who hear it without trembling, but rather with a proud exultation over the saints thus depressed
Paul, also, dwelt largely in his epistles on “the resurrection of the dead," at the coming of Christ, at the changing and glorification of all the then remaining saints, “ in a twinkling," to“ be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And in the same connexion, he describes “the Lord himself” as actually
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then descending, or coming down from heaven to earth, “ with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God," carefully joining with it the resurrection of the dead in Christ,” as those “who sleep in Jesus."* And the last record which inspiration has given us of this distinguished servant of the Lord, after his having become “ Paul the aged,” in Rome, is, that he had then there “ dwelt two whole years in his own hired house, -preaching the kingdom of God, and teaching those things which concern the Lord Jesus Christ, with all confidence, no man forbidding him.”+ And we shall find, on carefully examining Paul's writings in general, that he was in the constant habit of preaching really the everlasting kingdom of God, as Daniel did it, and as Christ did it, and that he preached it “at hand," as Christ had bid him do it. And in his preaching continually day and night, and year after year, this kingdom of God, we learn by his epistles, that he did it by constantly keeping fresh before the minds of his hearers, the great joyful and terrible events to take place at the coming of this glorious kingdom; such as of Christ's coming to judgment,“ with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ,” &c. And thus he speaks of the certainty of our all finally standing“ before the judgment seat of Christ;">$ the “judgment to come ;"|| the “crown of righteousness," at Christ’s “ appearing ;"I the saints entering “into the kingdom of God through much tribulation."** Neither did Paul, as appears from all which is recorded of him in the New Testament, ever intimate the modern tradition that the gospel dispensation then come, was the foretold kingdom of God set up; nor that a latter day spiritual reign of Christ in this world, or during a temporal millennium, was to be this kingdom set up. And in his constantly thus preaching the everlasting and infinite realities of God's own literal and glorious kingdom, while publicly on trial for heresy in his thus preaching, he affirms, that he has "continued steadfast until this day, witnessing both to small and great, saying none other things than those which the prophets and Moses did say should come.”tt Let others then say what they will in proof, that the Old Testament is nearly if not quite silent as to the kingdom of God yet to come, and of the judgment to come,” this apostle here explains these writings as foretelling all the things of this kingdom, &c., which he was always keeping vividly before his hearers and readers. Then must we not of course understand Moses and the prophets as speaking literally, especially in all cases where they literally and expressly foretel and describe the same infinite realities of the kingdom and judgment to come ?
* 1 Cor. xv. 12-53 ; 1 Thess. iii. 18; iv. 14–17; 2 Thess. ü. 8. | Acts xxviii. 30, 31. 12 Thess. ii. 7–10. S Rom. xiv. 10; 2 Cor. v. 10. || Acts xxiv, 25. 1 2 Tim. iv. 8. ** Acts xiv. 22. H Acts xxvi. 22.
The APOSTLE to the HEBREWS in no instance attempts to comfort the people of God with an assurance of their promised land, reign with Christ, or inheritance in this world; but declares rather, that “there remaineth therefore a rest to the people of God,"* i. e. the “rest," or inheritance promised to Abraham and his seed, (including all the saints,) remains yet to be fulfilled, in a future heavenly inheritance; or in “ a better country” than this fleeting world affords, “ that is, a heavenly,” including “the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem.”+
JAMES also dwells on the great subject of the kingdom yet to come on earth, which is certainly to come with the Lord, the King and Judge of the world. For thus this apostle writes, touching the subject, saying to the saints, “ Be patient, establish your hearts,
for the coming of the Lord draueth nigh. Behold the Judge standeth before the door.”! This is no less than preaching the Lord, or King of the heavenly kingdom at hand, or as drawing “nigh," and even as already “at the door." · Peter, again, wrote in language plain and forcible of the same things of the kingdom of God in connexion with the coming “day of the Lord,” saying, “ But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night, in the which, the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works which are therein, shall be burned up. Nevertheless, we according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness."] All these events of the coming “ day of the Lord,” are most surely the same as those in Daniel and elsewhere described as coming to pass when “the God of heaven shall set up” his everlasting “ kingdom" on the earth, then to be, as Peter here explains it,“ a new earth,” and when God's will is to be done by all “ on earth, as it is in heaven."
John also in his epistles corroborates the same things virtually, of Christ, and his kingdom yet to come, and says, "When he shall appear, we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.”'ll This, in being literally understood, must be considered the same as foretold by Daniel, Christ, and others of God's kingdom, with himself the King to come; for it is most certain, according to all the prophecies, that when Christ shall again“ appear” on earth, and all the saints shall be like him, and shall actually “ see him as he is,” his kingdom will then have come with him, when this same John shall appear also, and be one of the number, as he foretold, who shall then really “ see" Christ as he is, in his kingdom of glory.
JUDE, the last of the apostles whose writings we have, says-“ Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all.” This, and the passage of its connexion,
Heb. iv. 9. Heb. xi. 16; xii. 22. James v. 8, 9. $2 Peter iii. 10 13 || 1 John iii. 2. 1 Jude 14, 15.
Jude quotes from the prophecy of“ Enoch, the seventh from Adam," which is certainly as clear a prophecy of the coming kingdom of God, including the ten thousand or innumerable multitude of its glorious heavenly subjects, as could be given. And all the apos tles who have written, have told us virtually of the same things of the future coming of the kingdom as that foretold by Daniel in our text, and in his writings generally, as is naturally understood by their several explanatory connexions. And most certain it is, that in no instance has one of the apostles left for us a word of any thing expressive of their conviction of the kingdom of God as having already come, in the setting up of the gospel dispensation, or church upon earth. Neither did one of them ever explain the kingdom of God to come, as any thing else than what it literally is, and as described by Daniel, as a most powerful, a heavenly and everlasting kingdom, finally to come on the earth, in the utter casting out and destruction of all its present opposing kingdoms.
V. We are to look at the book of Revelation for proof, that the kingdom of God, in Daniel and the other prophets, is uniformly none other than literally God's everlasting heavenly kingdom, not yet, but now soon to come on earth, at the consummation or fulfilling of all the prophecies.
“ And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and ever.")*
Though men may differ in their interpretation of this passage, its whole connexion and parallel passages most certainly explain it only as a prophetical description of the Lord's final coming on earth with his everlasting kingdom then to be set up, when suddenly all the present kingdoms of this world will actually become the Lord's conquered kingdoms, fairly subdued by his almighty power, and put " under his feet.”+ Then Christ, as God, shall reign over all, and with his saints on the earth, (which is then created anew,) “ for ever and ever,” gloriously, as this passage declares. And so our text says that “ The God of heaven shall set up a kingdon--and it shall stund for ever.”
* Another passage in REVELATION is as follows: “And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse; and he that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war. ... And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses. ... And out of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations."I This passage also, literally understood, foretels and describes the second coming
and kingdom of Christ, with the great events of that terrible day of the Lord, then to come. The same passage continues describing the coming of Christ and “ the judgment to come,” including the universal smiting, by the “sharp sword” of the coming “ king eternal,” of all “the kings” and “armies” of the unbelieving, “ both free and bond, both small and great," and their also being “ cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” At that time, of course, Christ comes to judgment, with all the kingdom of God, from heaven to earth, when, as our text foretels, “ The God of heaven shall set up a kingdom”—“ and it shall stand for ever."
Although the book of Revelation contains very many equally vivid prophetic descriptions of the great events of God's kingdom yet to come literally upon earth, when there shall be a "new earth,” without any such prophecies of the mere affairs of the gospel dispensation, the few specimens now given will be sufficient for the present purpose. In all these prophecies concerning “ the kingdom of God," from Daniel to the close of the sacred volume, when literally and rightly understood, are perfectly harmonious in revealing to us the infinite and everlasting things of the Lord's own personal and glorious coming to judgment. Then he will bring with him from heaven to the “new earth,” all the hosts of “ the kingdom of heaven," "angels,” and “ saints.” Then they, with the living saints, are to “possess the” whole new created earth, or “ kingdom,” and to reign on it with Christ the great King of heaven, for ever and ever. And when, of course, all unbelievers must be cast out, and “punished with an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power.” Our subject may be closed by a brief
As our Saviour, while on earth, always urged these infinitely vast considerations of the kingdom of God, to awaken all classes of the careless to immediate repentance, saying : “ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand ;” and as all his inspired prophets and apostles have, in substance, always preached precisely the same vast considerations of the kingdom of God for the same purpose, how important! yea, how amazingly important! that without one moment's further delay, we all be fully prepared, in heart and life, suddenly to meet this great and terrible day of the Lord's own coming; for most surely, as the foretold signs of its special near approach are mostly fulfilled and now fast fulfilling, it must be very nigh to all mankind, and so nigh, as to render it highly probable that most of us now present may be “ alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord.” As to the set time, though I look and earnestly pray for the hastening of the solemn event; I can