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it began to be preached at hand. And no man may change the word of God; unless he can show Gospel warrant. (Rev. 22: 18.) (Gal. 1 : 8. "If we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other Gospel unto you→→→ let him be accursed.")
The Lord Jesus has three offices, Prophet, Priest, and King, of which he finished the first on the cross. (John 19: 30) The second he is fulfilling in glory. (1 John 2: 1. Heb. 8: 4.) And the third is in the kingdom of heaven yet to come. (Heb. 10: 12, 37; and 2: 68.) The kingdom of heaven is drawing near, because it is constantly prayed for in the words of the King: "Thy Kingdom come, thy will be done in earth, as in heaven." Mat. 6: 10. And we may expect the answer according to 2 Pet. 3: 13; and Is. 65: 17, in eternal life.
The Gospel enjoins repentance for the express reason, that the kingdom of heaven is at hand: It is a sound legal maxim "If the reason ceases, the law ceases." And by the same rule, if the kingdom of heaven ceases to be at hand, the law of repentance should cease to be enforced, which is absurd.
The kingdom of heaven is at hand and drawing near; because the curse is not removed from the earth; and the Gospel is our glad tidings, that the God of peace will bruise Satan under the feet of the faithful, shortly; (Rom. 16: 20.) and that "there shall be no more curse." (Rev. 22: 3.)
The modern doctrine of the church's being this kingdom, and of the Gospel's being glad tidings of itself, instead of the kingdom of heaven, is an invention of Egypt, adopted into the church by the Man of sin, which was not received before the general apostacy of the church.
The whole Gospel is one instrument, or sweet piece of heavenly music, which has its key note, the same which the Lord our King himself first struck with exalted voice; and which alone he gave his Apostles charge to sound aloud in all Judea, and to the ends of the earth: orI NYIKE η Βασιλεια των ουρανων "For the kingdom of heaven has drawn near.' This is the key note of the Gospel, to which, if due attention is paid, all other Gospel notes will harmonize with sweet symphony, and brotherly love and concord may be restored, where now discord and confusion reign among the followers of the Lord.
And what am I, that it should fall on me to recall the scattered flock of Christ from following after many names, to return, in the unity of the spirit, to "the faith once delivered to the saints ?" (Jude 3.) A sinful man, having hope only in the mercy of God through our Lord Jesus Christ. But notwithstanding my utter unworthiness, it pleased the Most High, on a former occasion, to discover through me to the world
the grossness of the imposture, which palmed itself on mankind, in the name of all the saints and sages of antiquity, for the work of the wisest man, and for the light of heaven, and for the thing next best to our holy religion and to bring to public view the singular fact, that an institution of so proud claims, and embracing on its roll the most illustrious names of this and of the past age, in both civil and ecclesiastical life, had not its own name known in the literature of any people before the seventeenth century. Those who recollect the spirit and power and understanding, and many friends the Lord gave me ten years ago, to contend with the dragon of Freemasonry (which institution has now the public seal of character then stamped upon it in the Antimasonic Review,) will believe that I come not rashly before the public, to speak what the Lord has showed me, in his word, respecting the Kingdom of his glory and eternal life.
What is the kingdom of his glory, except it be the state of restitution of all things, which Moses, the Psalms, and the Prophets agree with the Gospel to promise; when God shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you, (Acts 3: 20,) and “he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end?" (Luke 1: 33.) It is the kingdom of Jesus and of the resurrection of the dead, which Paul preached and for the hope of which he was bound, and imprisoned, and tried for his life, before both Jews and Romans.
Preach the preaching that I bid thee" is the word to Jonah; "and as ye go, Preach, saying: for the kingdom of heaven is at hand :" is the Lord's word to his ministers, the Apostles. No man may change that word for any equivalent.
But some of the practical value of the true doctrine of the kingdom may be learned from the consideration, that any word of God to be fruitful in the heart must be received into the understanding, as well as the ears. The kingdom being understood to be the Gospel dispensation, throws the great doctrines of repentance, faith, salvation, and the resurrection, into inextricable confusion; and constrains the preacher to encumber them with a load of unprofitable matter, and through them to darken the hearer's mind with thick clouds of human theology, instead of pouring into it a flood of heavenly light, through the good news of the kingdom of heaven at hand, by which the simplest child may be enabled to understand the duty of repentance, the life of faith, the joy of salvation, and the hope of the resurrection of the dead.
Multiplied divisions and dissensions between brethren grow out of the present error, respecting the church, as the kingdom of heaven,
which fall and vanish before the true light of the coming king in his kingdom a light no less strong and powerful to arrest the attention of the impenitent, than to dissipate the mazy errors of the household of faith; and also to bring home to the heart and understanding of the ignorant heathen, the entire word of God, even through the doctrine of the kingdom of Jesus and of heaven at hand. Death is an object that man learns to regard with indifference: but not so the coming of the Son of man in his kingdom. An argument so vast, mysterious, and overwhelming, no mortal can admit, and still despise it. The world is of little value to him, Christian or Pagan, who believes that Messiah is drawing near in his kingdom, to purify all things by fire, to cast the wicked into hell, and to give reward to his saints. and to all that fear his name, both small and great.
This is the faith once delivered to the saints, and it is still mighty to overthrow the powers of darkness. For the first three centuries triumphed; and again the Spirit of truth will seal it with power upon all hearts; whether to convict the unbelieving, or to break the believer's grasp from this perishing world.
In this effort to explain the doctrine of Christ, I regard the kingdom of this world, under God, in the hands of the Enemy who wrought the fall and ruin of this world. Jesus Christ" gave himself for our sins, that he might deliver us from this present evil world," (Gal. 1: 4.) and give us an inheritance with him in "the world to come." (Heb. 2: 5, and 6:5.) "The whole world lieth in wickedness:" (1 John 5: 19.) and the promises in Christ all show, that, in the appointed time, he will take the dominion from the Adversary, and will destroy this world in its wickedness, and make all things new, in the resurrection of the dead, and the kingdom of heaven in the world to come.
This is the Gospel of God, Evangellion, the good news of the kingdom, that the ruin made by the Serpent, sin, and death, shall be consummated in the righteous judgment of God upon the Devil, and his followers, and his works, by our LORD JESUS CHRIST; at whose coming this heaven and earth shall perish: "and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed." (Heb. 1: 12.) Then a new order of things will arise, with the dead out of the graves, called "the restitution of all things," in the "new heavens and new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness." (2 Pet 3: 13.) This is eternal life.
And God has raised up Jesus Christ from the dead, and exalted him to his own right hand in glory; and has sent the Holy Spirit in Jesus' name, for the strong assurance of the believer, that the times of reviving shall soon come from the
presence of the Lord, "and he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you;" (Acts 3: 20.) with power and great glory, to change this present world into the world to come, which is to be without end, and capable of affording to all saints, with faithful Abraham, an everlasting possession, in that city whose builder and maker is God. (Heb. 11: 10 to 16.)
JESUS, OUR LORD, THE APPOINTED HEIR OF ALL THINGS.
"God, who at sundry times and in divers manners, spake in time past unto the fathers by the prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds." (Heb. 1: 1, 2.) He made this world, lovely as the garden of Eden. The Serpent, by Adam's disobedience, brought sin and death and the curse, not only upon Adam and his race; but on the whole world, and all things in it; of which our Lord Jesus is the appointed heir: not to receive and possess in the fallen state; not to inherit in the condition the Serpent has placed it, with sin in the heart, corruption in the flesh, poison in the air, and the briar out of the ground; but to take it wholly from the dominion of the Adversary; and, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, (Eph. 1.) to make all things new. This is the promise of God spoken to the fathers by the prophets; this is the Gospel preached unto us by his Son, the Gospel of the kingdom of heaven.
By his word, who is more honorable than all men, and is incapable of deceit, we have assurance, that God speaking at sundry times and in divers manners unto the fathers by the prophets, always foretold the coming and kingdom of his Son, whom he has appointed heir of all things. For it is also written, that, when he had by himself purged our sins, he sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on High, according to