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Part 2. Forts, and Governours, fpread throughout the Earth; but it fhall be the principal feat, whence fhall flow the Orders and Oracles of Iefus Chrift, whereby the whole World fhall be governed.

5. Doubt

&ter. The

5. Lastly, I will not determine, how long this fall Chara- Kingdom shall last. A thousand years are expreft: duration of oftentimes determinate numbers are put for inde this King finite. But I fee no inconvenience will follow, if we take that number in its natural fignification, and I am of that opinion.

dom.

After this Reign of a thousand years, there is a great Event to be brought about, fet forth in thefe words.

Chap. 20.

V.7. And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loofed out of his prison.

V. 8. And shall go out to deceive the Nations, which are in the four quarters of the Earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battel; the number of whom is as the fand of the Sea.

V. 9. And they went up on the breadth of the Earth, and compassed the Camp of the Saints about, and the beloved City: andfire came down from God out of Heaven,and devoured them.

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happen after the

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I fee but one fenfe can be given to this: that you may comprehend it, you must know, that we are thousand not to take thofe promises of the converfion of all plained. Nations, and of all men in perticular, in such a strict and rigid fenfe, as to admit of no exception. I have already told you, that the Church fhall then as far exceed the World, and the Good the wicked, as now the World and the Men of the World do the Good. Therefore there fhall then be fome remaining people not converted. They fhall be fuppreft and kept under during the thousand years, and fhall not moleft either the Peace or Purity of the Church. But at the end of this Period, their num

bers

bers fhall be increaft, and become.very confidera- Part 2. ble. And before the end of the World, a cruel perfecution against the Church fhall arife from them; and because the number of three and half is fatal for perfecutions, 'tis not unlikely that this fhall alfo laft three years and half before the end of the World. During three natural years and half, the Sanctuary was thut up, and prophaned by Antiochus. For three years and half, Iefus Chrift preacht in an afflicted ftate: for three prophetical years and half, the two witnesses prophecied clothed in fackcloth for three prophetical days and half, i, e. three natural years and half, thefe two witnesses fhould remain dead in the streets of the City.

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So to me it seems probable, that the laft Perfecution, after the thousand years of Reft, fhall laft three years and half, and then may come the Antichrift of St. Irenaus; whom I will fo far honour, as to believe that he had learnt the Myftery of this laft Perfecution from fome Apoftolical Perfons, which he confounded with the reign of the Apocaliptical Beast, for 1260 days. Neither is it improbable, but that the Ring-leader of this laft Perfecution may be a lew for there is no mean to be found among that People, they are all either very Good or very Bad. They who fhall live when the Iews fhall be converted, fhall be able to Divine fomething of it. For if they then fee a remnantof obftinate Iews, cantonize themselves in fome corner ofthe World, and refift the general stream of Conversion, there will be fome ground to believe, that this shall be the first bud of that Great Rebellion, which the Providence of God referves for the end of the World. And fo it may be there fhall arife a few,

as

Part 2. as St. Irenaus faid, pretending to be the Meffiah, who fhall perfecute the Church, and reign for three years and half before the end of the World, and be deftroyed within a few days before the laft Iudgement: This fhall be the Diminutive of the great Antichrift, which should not be confounded with the Man of fin, of whom Saint Paul speaks, nor with the Beast, in Revel. 13. nor with the Woman, chap. 17. nor with Babylon, chap. 18. The Fathers who lived near the Apoftles time, it may be heard fome discourse of this, and that probably gave occafion to the mistake. This is the moft that can be said with any pretence of reason, to excuse St. Irenaus, and those of the Ancients who followed him, in the defcription of Antichrift. Gog and Magog are names borrowed from Ezekiel, which in my opinion do not fignify the fame People in both places. Here it denotes in general the Enemies of the Church. Nevertheless, I know nothing concerning it with any great certainty.

СНАР.

X X V.

An Answer to the reasons of the Anti-millinaries, against the Reign of a thousand years.

to the Method of a Regular Difputation, Icome now to answer the Reasons of the Anti-millinaries. But most of them are fo weak,that they hardly deferve to be confidered; but that the mention of 'em will ferve as a further proof, to confirm the truth of our feventh Period. For 'tis a very good Argument for any opinion, to be fup

ported

ported on the one hand by powerfull and weighty Part 2. Reasons, and to be oppofed on the other by weak and flender ones. Those Gentlemen have the plurality of voices on their fide, and are doubtless men of worth and learning. 'Tis nevertheless true, that they have fuffered themselves to be born down with the ftream, without much minding it.

:.

but at the

day of

1. First, they fay, that the Scripture fpeaking of First ob. Chrift's fecond coming, never fpeaks of any other Chrift not than that, when he fhall appear in the Clouds of to come, Heaven, attended with Angels and Archangels to raife mankind,and judge the quick and dead. Where- jugdment, as we fuppofe a kind of a clandeftine coming of Chrift, to fettle a Kingdom upon Earth, which the Scripture knows nothing of: for it fpeaks of no future Kingdom of Chrift, that is yet to be, fave that which he shall have in Heaven, after the diftribution of Eternal Rewards and Punishments. I anfwer.. These men fuppofe by this Argument, a Kingdom of Chrift in Heaven after the lalt judgement; but there is no fuch Kingdom, neither fhall there ever be any; on the contrary, St. Paul doth exprefly tell us, that he fhall then cease to reign, and give up the Kingdom into the hands of his Father. 1 Cor.17 So that fince we are affured from Scripture of Chrifts coming to reign, it must be before the end of the World, for the Kingdom of Chrift the Mediator fhall then be finifht. 2. 'Tis fuppofed in this objection, that the Scripture fpeaks of no more than one coming of Chrift, which fhall be accompanied with the voice of the Arch-angel, to fummon the Dead to judgement. This is plainly to suppose the thing in Queftion: and thofe who have read the fore-going Chapters, with attention, and without prejudice, will ftill believe, that there

Part 2. is a first coming of Chrift, and it may be a first Refurrection. 3. Lastly, who can be certain, that this coming of Chrift, to establish his Kingdom upen Earth, fhall not be in that manner, with the voice of an Arch-angel, and in great magnificence and Glory? Who can prove, that at that first coming of Christ he shall not raise some of the dead, as St. John feems exprefly to have fore-told? all the little reafons pretended from Conveniency and Inconveniency, which are here alledged, will have much ado to refift the evidence of fo exprefsa Text; and of that, Matth. 19. Verily, I say unto you, that in the Regeneration, when the Son of man shall be fat on the Throne of his Glory, you shall also fit on twelve Thrones, judging the twelve Tribes of Ifrael.

2.Object. Chrift is to remain in

end of

-12. The next thing alledged, is that the Heavens are to contain Jefus Chrift till the restitution of all Heaven,till things. The reftitution of all things, that they fay the world, is the End of the World; and fo Jefus Chrift must be confined to Heaven till the end of the world: and confequently, fhall not come to fettle a Kingdom upon Earth for a thousand years. If this were true, that Chrift muft ftay in Heaven till the end of the World, might he not deftroy his Enemies, give .. Peace to his Church, and govern it in Peace by his Prophets and Servants, without coming in Perfon from Heaven? Moreover, in cafe our Lord fhould for afhort space come down from Heaven, to establifha Kingdom for a thousand years, and to give his feal to the Converfion ofall Nations, by some glorious Apparition returning back to Heaven immediately after might it not be faid, notwithftanding this, that the Heavens fhall contain him till the end of Time? Sofmall an interruption of his abode in Heaven could not hinder, but that the heavens may still be reckon'd the place of his abode.

Laftly,

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