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point. And he expresses it also as St. John himself does, by the emblem of “life from the dead,” (161) or a figurative resurrection of a whole nation, involved in the long enduring calamity of a spiritual death.

Upon the supposition that a real resurrection of the saints, which were slain for the witness of jesus and for the word of God, (that, according to the literal interpretation of Daniel (vii. 27), “they my take the kingdom under the whole heaven,”) is the real meaning of Rev. xx. 4, contrary to the general tenor of the whole Apocalypse, and contrary to the former prophetical application and use of the figure of a resurrection, to signify the restoration of God's ancient and sacred people, “beloved for the Father's sake,”—declared in express terms “God’s witnesses;–a people formed for himself; and holy to the Lord,”— that is, his sai Nts; upon such a supposition, the obvious question occurs, cui bono 2"—For what particular purpose is so strange a viola

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tion of the established laws of nature, and the hitherto known oeconomy of God towards mankind to be admitted, which could not have been answered as well by the usual means, and in the ordinary course of things to

The divine power, although infinite, is sparing of miracles, and conforms in all things to the settled oeconomy and laws of nature, except on great and urgent occasions; and even then reverts as soon as may be into the usual channel of its operations. “The kingdom of beaven,” said our Lord, speaking of the dispensation of the gospel times, “cometh not with observation;”—and he also said, “my. Ringdom is not of this world;” meaning that it was of a figurative and spiritual, and even inward nature; for “the kingdom of God,” said he again, “is within you.” From which several expressions the lowest inference is, that the kingdom of Messiah would not interfere: with the ordinary oeconomy of the world or the regal governments upon earth, farther than to ameliorate the wicked and tyrannical principles upon which they had too generally been set up, and perpetuated. The Mosaic heavens, 207 or the jewish government in church and state, were to be “rolled up as a scroll,” (162) according to the figurative language of prophecy; yet they did not pass away in that violent manner, but with a silent and gradual motion; and the new beavens and the new earth, or recreation of all things, (that is the christian dispensation) were substituted in the place of them long before the fall of Jerusalem and the ceasing of the temple service; and without any interruption, or material change in the usual course of worldly affairs. (163) The probability is therefore equally great, that the kingdom of Christ in the millennium will still be “not of this world;” and that the resurrection of the saints will be figuratively fulfilled. For our Lord's declaration was delivered in general terms, without any reserve or exception of a future time when his kingdom would be otherwise constituted. The predicted tumultuary and unfortunate ending of that long reign of the saints, by a great increase of wickedness and nearly total denial

- (162) Isaiah xxxiv. 4.—Jeremiah iv. 23.-Rev. vi. 14. (163) Matthew xxiv. 14.—Mark xiv. 9.

of the faith, (164) and an assemblage of countless myriads coming up against the holy city, and the camp of the faints in arms for its protection, from the impious rage of the infidel crew; these are things absolutely irreconcileable with the literal construction and sense of

the prophecies of the millennium. (165) The

(164) Luke xviii. 8. (165) The difficulties which the advocates of the literal

resurrection of saints have to encounter, are very formidable and numerous also. Dr Burnet's system places the raised saints in a new created world after the conflagration of the present earth. But this saddles him with a new and greater difficultv, viz, how Gog and Magog should get into this new earth, the wicked being all consumed in those flames P. He is not hary enough to say, that this is the poetical tale of the G1Ants, though he says it hath great affinity with it, (p. 21.) He therefore sets to work and produces these men, according to the philosophy of Lucretius and Mr Hobbs, (p. 220) from the slime of the earth, and the heat of the run, as brute creaturer were at first. St Paul says of the resurrection, 1 Thes. iv. 16, 17. “the deadin Christ shall rise first,” that is the martyrs and saints and all the pious, -“ then we which are alive (at that time) shall be changed,”—we that have not yet slept, nuu, o, Çayrs; ot rtexturoutvo. Place now the millennium after the conflagration, and where will you find these pious living mortals, or how will you preserve them when the world is on fire 2 To this new difficulty Dr Burnet has nothing to say. Burnet b, iv. chap. 4.-Whitby on Millennium p. 697:

admission by St. John, that wickedness and error, in their old and well known form, (166) will still keep a footing upon earth during the whole time of the millennium, notwithstanding conversion shall be very extensive and very perfect in its kind, and the consequent peace, and harmony, and comfort of pious and good men very great, and very durable; so much so, as to give to that age the peculiar title of the MILLENNIUM, or Iooo years reign of the saints;—yet this single admission entirely overthrows the literal interpretation, and proves that all this is to be received and interpreted in a manner consistent with the known divine government of the world, and the natural incapability of persection in all sublunary things. It gives but little satisfaction, in accounting for the predicted decay of righteousness and faith, and the attempted subversion of the saintly thrones, (only snatched from ruin by a divine interposition,) to attribute this woful change of affairs to the loosing of Satan from his imprisonment. , For the looting of Satan,

(166) See the proof of this in Section lix. WOL. III, D d

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