And he that stealeth a man, and selleth him, or if he be found in his hand, he shall surely be put to death.—Exodus 21.16.

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A
D I S S V A S I V E
FROM THE
E R R O U R S
Of the
T I M E:
Wherein  the  Tenets  of  the  principall
Sects, especially of the Independents, are drawn to-
gether in one Map, for the most part, in the words of
their own Authours, and their maine principles
are examined by the Touch-stone of
the Holy Scriptures.


By ROBERT BAYLIE Minister at Glasgow.

JER. 9.3. They are not valiant for the Truth upon the earth.
JUDE ver. 3. It was needfull for me to write unto you and exhort you, that you should earnestly contend for the faith, which was once delivered unto the Saints; for there are certaine men crept in unawares, &c.

Published by Authority.

L O N D O N,
Printed for SAMUEL GELLIBRAND at the Brasen
Serpent in Pauls Church-yard, 1645.

CHAPTER XI.

The thousand years of Christ his visible Reign
upon earth, is against Scripture.


The Original and progress of Chiliasm.

AMONG all the Sparkles of new light wherewith our Brethren do entertain their own and the people’s fancy, there is none more pleasant than that of the thousand years; a conceit of the most Ancient and gross Heretic Cerinthus, a little purged by Papias, and by him transmitted to some of the Greek and Latin Fathers, but quickly declared, both by the Greek and Latin Church to be a great errour, if not an heresy. Since the days of Augustine unto our time, it went under no other notion, and was embraced by no Christian we hear of, till some of the Anabaptists did draw it out of its grave: for a long time after its resurrection, it was by all Protestants contemned; only Alstedius, after his long abode in Transylvania, began in his last times to fall into liking with some parts thereof, pretending some passages of Piscator for his encouragement. Alstedius’ Heterodox Writings were not long abroad when Mr. Meade at Cambridge was gained to follow him: yet both these Divines were far from dreaming of any personal reign of Christ upon earth: only Mr. Archer, and his Colleague, T.G. at Arnheim, were bold to set up the whole Fabric of Chiliasm, which Mr. Burrows in his London Lectures upon Hosea doth press as a necessary and most comfortable ground of Christian Religion, to be infused into the hearts of all children by the care of every parent at the Catechising of their family.

The mind of the Independent Chiliasts.

Our Brethren’s mind in this point, as I conceive, they have Printed; is this, That in the year 1650, or at furthest, 1695, Christ in his human nature and present glory is to come from heaven unto Jerusalem where he was crucified; at that time the heaven and earth, and all the works therein, are to be burnt and purged by that fire of conflagration, mentioned by Peter, 2 Epistle, Chapter 3. At the same time all the Martyrs, and many of the Saints both of the Old and New Testament are to rise in their bodies; The Jews from all the places where now they are {225} scattered shall return to Canaan and build Jerusalem: in that City Christ is to reign for a full thousand years; from thence he is to go out in person to subdue with great bloodshed by his own hand all the disobedient Nations; when all are conquered, except some few lurking in corners, then the Church of Jews and Gentiles shall live without any disturbance from any enemy, either without or within; all Christians then shall live without sin, without the Word and Sacraments or any Ordinance: they shall pass these thousand years in great worldly delights, begetting many children, eating and drinking and enjoying all the lawful pleasures which all the creatures then redeemed from their ancient slavery can afford. In this Earthly happiness shall the Church continue till the end of the thousand years when the relics of the Turkish and Heathenish Nations shall besiege the new Jerusalem, and Christ with fire from heaven shall destroy them: afterwards followeth the second resurrection of all the dead good and bad for the last judgment. Thus far the Independent Preach and Print: further Cerinthus himself went not, if you will except the Polygamy and sacrifices of the old Israelites. What truth may be in these things, let arguments which are usually brought, either pro or contra, declare.

Our first reason against the Chiliasts is, that Christ from his ascension to the last judgment abides in the heaven.

Against the mentioned Tenet I reason, first, He that remains in the heaven unto the last Judgment comes not down to the earth a thousand years before the last Judgment. But, Christ remains in the heaven unto the last Judgment. Ergo,———————. The Major [proposition] is unquestionable; the Minor [proposition] is proved from the Article of our Creed: From that place he shall come to judge the quick and the dead, importing that Christ from the time of his ascension doth abide in the heaven at the right hand of the Father, and cometh not down from that place to the earth till he descend in the last day to judge the quick and the dead.

I know they are not moved with the authority of any human Creed, yet they would do well to speak out their mind of this Article, as they do of some others. Surely to say that Christ shall come from heaven in his human nature, to abide a thousand years on the earth, and then to return again to the heaven, that he may descend the third time from the heaven in the last day to judge the quick and the dead, is so evident a perverting of that {226} Article that Mr. Mead their great Doctor and leader in this Tenet, to eschew it, falleth into a very strange and singular conceit, wherein I doubt whether any of the Independents will be pleased to follow him; with all other Orthodox Divines he makes but two comings of Christ from the heaven to the earth; the first at the Incarnation, the second at the day of Judgment: but this day of Judgment he extends to a round thousand years, and this day to him is the only time of the Millenary reign. We need not refute this fancy; for the best arguments which are brought for it, are some testimonies from the Talmudick Rabbins, and these, as I conceive, understood against the true sense of the Authors. The stream of Scripture and Reason run more against this conceit than any other part of Chiliasm, as the most of the Chiliasts themselves will confess.

However, what I brought from the Apostolick Creed of Christ his abode in the heaven till the last day, I prove it from Scripture, Acts 3.21, Whom the heavens must receive till the time of the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy Prophets since the world began. This place proveth clearly the abode of Christ’s body in the heaven till the time of the restitution of all things. So much our Brethren grant, but they deny our assumption that the time of the restitution of all things is the last day; this therefore we prove not by the Testimony of all the reformed, who unanimously bring this place as a main ground against the Papists and Lutherans in the questions of Transubstantiation and Ubiquity, but by three reasons from the Text itself. First, that time here is understood when all things that are spoken of by the Prophets, are performed: But, all things spoken of by all the Prophets, are not performed till the last day. Master Burrows alledgeance that all the Prophets are frequent and large upon the Reign of the 1000 years, but rare and sparing upon the doctrine of the last Judgment and life eternal, might well have been spared for the one half of it, and left to the Socino-Remonstrants; but suppose it were all true, yet if any of the Prophets have spoken anything at all of the last Judgment, as the Apostle Jude puts it out of question even of Enoch, it is clear that the time of the performing of all things, which any of the Prophets have spoken, cannot possibly exist before the last Judgment, {227} as we may see, Romans 8, verse 21, compared with verses 18,23, where the restitution of the creatures to their desired liberty comes not before the redemption of our bodies, and the glory to be revealed upon the whole Church at the last day.

Secondly, the time here spoken of is when the Jews to whom Peter did speak, were to be refreshed, by the Lord’s presence; but this shall not be before the General resurrection; for the Chiliasts do maintain that all the Jews shall not rise, neither that any of them to whom the Apostle did then speak, shall be partakers of the first resurrection, unless some of them who were Martyrs; for the honour and Glory of this first resurrection, the most of them make it so rare and singular a privilege, that Daniel himself does not obtain it but by a special promise.

Thirdly, The time when God doth solemnly before Men, and Angels declare the absolution and blotting out of the sins of all his people, is not before the last day. But this is the time whereof the Apostle Peter speaks in the present place, as appears by the 19th verse; That your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.

Take but one other place for Christ’s abode in the heaven till the last day, John 14.2,3, I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be. Behold Christ goes to the heaven and comes back again but once, for this very end, to take his Disciples with him, not to abide with them upon the earth, but to place them in the Mansions of his Father’s House in the Heavens, which he went to prepare for them, wherein all the time of his absence he himself was to remain.

Our second reason is builded on Christ’s sitting at the right hand of God till the day of judgment.

A Second argument we take from Christ’s sitting at the right hand of God. This errour how innocent soever it seem to some, yet it perverts the true sense of sundry articles of our Creed, and forceth its followers to coin new and false senses to a great many Scriptures whereupon these articles were builded. This was the reason why neither Piscator nor Alstedius nor Mead when they laid too fast hold upon some of the branches of Chiliasm, yet the bulk and root of that Tree, Christ’s coming down to the earth in his human nature a thousand years before the last day, they durst never touch: but our Brethren have more venturous Spirits, they see much further than their Masters, {228} they scruple nothing to make all these things popular and Catechetick doctrine. The reason I spoke of, is this, Christ sits at the right hand of God till the last day. Ergo, he comes not to reign on earth a thousand years before the last day. The consequence is builded upon this Proposition, Christ’s sitting at the right hand of the Father is not in earth but in heaven, which many Scriptures prove: Ephes. 1.20, He set him at his own right hand in heavenly places. Heb. 1.3, He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high. Heb. 8.1, He is set on the right hand of the Throne of the Majesty in the heavens. The antecedent I prove thus, He sits at the right hand of God till all his enemies be made his footstool. So speaks the Psalmist, Psalm 110.1. But all his enemies are not made his footstool till the last day: for till then, Satan, Sin, Death, and all wicked men are not fully destroyed.

Our third reason is grounded on the resurrection of the dead; the godly and ungodly do all rise together at the last day.

Our third argument we take from the resurrection of the dead. All the Godly at Christ’s coming from heaven do rise immediately to a Heavenly Glory. Ergo, none of them do arise to a Temporal glory of a thousand years upon earth. The antecedent see in Heb. 9.28, Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Christ hath but two times of coming to the earth, first in weakness to die upon the Cross; The second time in glory to give eternal Salvation without distinction to all believers who look for his coming.

Also, 1 Thess. 4.14, Them which sleep in Jesus, will he bring with him. The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we be ever with the Lord. The ground of comfort which the Apostle propounds to the Thessalonians for all their dead, as well Martyrs as others, was their resurrection not before the Lord’s coming with the voice of the Archangel, but at that time when all the dead in Christ without exception do arise, and none of them abide on the earth, but all are caught up in the air to meet the Lord, and all remain with him eternally thereafter without any separation.

See also, 1 Cor. 15.22, In Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order; Christ the first-fruits, afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming; then cometh the end when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God. The Apostle here speaks {229} of the Resurrection of all, and particularly of the Martyrs such as with the Apostle died daily and every hour were in jeopardy and fought with Beasts; although he professes to distinguish the diversity of order that might be in this great work of the Resurrection: yet he affirms that these who are Christ’s do not arise till his coming; and his coming he makes not to be till the last day when Christ renders up his Oeconomick Kingdom, having destroyed all his enemies, especially death, & fully perfected the work of his mediation. This Resurrection is after the sound of the last Trumpet, when all the godly rise, and are changed, and put on incorruption and immortality, when death is swallowed up into victory, and the godly inherit the Kingdom of God; these things are done at the last day, not a thousand years before it, as John 6, Christ avoweth thrice, in the end, verses 39,40,44, I will raise him up at the last day. At that time the judgment is universal, both of the godly and wicked; and the execution of both their sentences is immediately by the present glorification of the one and the destruction of the other as we have it, Matth. 25.31, When the Son of man shall come in his glory, before him shall be gathered all Nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the Goats.

Our fourth reason is builded on Christ’s Kingdom which is Spiritual and not earthly.

Fourthly, we reason from the nature of Christ’s Kingdom. The conceit of the thousand years makes Christ’s Kingdom to be earthly, and most observable for all worldly glory; but the Scripture makes it to be Spiritual without all worldly pomp; neither doth the Word of God make the Kingdom of the Mediator of two kinds, and of a different nature, but one, uniform from the beginning to the end, Luke 1.32, The Lord shall give him the throne of his Father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever. 1 Cor. 15.25, He must reign till he have put all things under his feet; here there is but one Kingdom, and one way of ruling, a Kingdom merely Spiritual, and nowise worldly. Luke 17.20, The Kingdom of God cometh not with observation, neither shall they say, lo here, or lo there, but the Kingdom of God is within you. John 18.36, My Kingdom is not of this world; if my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight; but now is my Kingdom not from hence. Romans 14.17, The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousness, peace, and joy of the {230} holy Ghost. Ephes. 1.20, He raised him from the dead and set him at his right hand in heavenly places, and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all to the Church. The Millenaries make his Kingdom to appear in Armies and Battles, in feasts and pleasures, in worldly pomp and power, and will not have his Kingdom to stand in any of that spiritual power which since his ascension he hath executed on principalities and powers, or shall perform upon the souls of men, till these thousand years of worldly power and earthly glory visible to the eyes of men shall begin.

Our fifth reason is taken from the nature of the Church.

We take our fifth argument from the nature of the Church; Scripture makes the Church of God so long as it is upon the earth to be a mixed multitude, of Elect and Reprobate, good and bad, a company of people under the cross and subject to various temptations, a company that hath need of the Word and Sacraments, of Prayer and Ordinances, that hath Christ a High Priest within the vail of heaven interceding for them. But, the Doctrine in hand changes the nature of the Church, and makes it for a thousand years together to consist only of good and gracious persons, without all trouble, without all Ordinances, without any need of Christ’s intercession.

Which ever on earth is mixt of good and evil.

For the first, That Scripture makes the Church always to be a mixed company, See Matth. 13.40, As the tares are gathered and burnt in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send forth his Angels, and they shall gather out of his Kingdom all things that offend and that do iniquity: and verse 49, So shall it be in the end of the world, the Angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just. Also, Chapter 24, verse 11, Many false Prophets shall arise and deceive many, & because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Luke 18.8, When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith upon the earth? These places declare the mixture of the wicked with the godly in the Church to the world’s end, and most about the end.

And subject to crosses.

As for Crosses, See Psalm 34.20, Many are the afflictions of the righteous. Matt. 5.4, Blessed are they that mourn and that are persecuted for righteousness. Acts 14.23, By many tribulations we must enter into the Kingdom of heaven. Romans 8.17, If so we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together. 2 Tim. 3.12, All that will live {231} godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution. Heb. 12.6, Whom the Lord loves, he correcteth, and he scourgeth every child that he receives. Many such places shew the condition of the Church in this life that she is ever subject to tribulation.

Having need of Ordinances.

Concerning Ordinances, that they must continue to the last day, See Eph. 4.11, He gave some Pastors and Teachers for the perfecting of the Saints, for the work of the Ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come to a perfect man. And for the continuance of the Sacraments, 1 Cor. 11.26, As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord’s death till he come.

Because of her sinful infirmities.

That in the most godly while they live on earth, sin doth remain, and that always we have need of Christ’s intercession in the heaven with the Father, it is clear from 1 John 1.8, If we say we have no sin, the truth of God is not in us. And Chapter 2, verse 1, But if any man sin, we have an Advocate with the Father. Heb. 9.24, Christ is entered into the heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us.

Thus the Scripture describes the condition of the Church on earth; but the Doctrine in hand alters much the nature of it for a great part of its time here: for of the 2650 years which they give to the Church from the coming of Christ to the last judgment, they make her to consist for a whole thousand years only of godly persons, without the mixture of any one wicked; and all the millions who are born in the Church in that large time, they are free from their birth to their death of all crosses, of all sorrows, of all temptations, and as it seems of all sin also; for that is the time of the restitution of all things when old things are past and all things become new: They make them to have need neither of Word nor Sacraments, or any Church Ordinance, neither of Christ’s Intercession in the heavens with the Father; for they have him among them in the earth, and they are freed from all sin; and all misery.

A Sixth reason from the secrecy of the time of Christ’s coming.

A sixth Argument. Scripture makes the time of Christ’s second coming to be secret and hid, not only to men, but to the very Angels, and to Christ himself as he is man, Mark 13.32, But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the Angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. But this Doctrine makes {232} that day open, and tells the time of it punctually; for they make the thousand years to begin with the 1650 year, or else with the 1695, and the day of Judgment to be at the end of the thousand years; so if their count do hold, every child in the Church might tell us that Christ will come to Judgment in the beginning of the 2651 year, or at farthest in the beginning of the 2696.

A Seventh, from the heavenly and eternal reward of the Martyrs.

A seventh Argument. The reward of the Martyrs is eternal life in the heavens, promised to them at Christ’s coming to judge the just and the unjust. Ergo, It is not temporal in an earthly Kingdom of a thousand years. The Antecedent is proved from Matth. 5.10, Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the Kingdom of heaven, 2 Tim. 4.6, I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is near; I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous judge shall give at that day, &c. The reward that Paul expects after his Martyrdom, is the Crown which Christ at the last day gives to all that wait for his coming at that time when he takes vengeance on the wicked, as we have it, 2 Thes. 1.6-10, where the rest and retribution of the Martyrs, of Paul himself and those who at that time were troubled for the Gospel, is said to be at Christ’s coming to take vengeance in flaming fire on all the wicked, and to be glorified in all the Saints, and admired in all them that believe, which without all doubt is not before the last Judgment; and if it were otherwise, the Martyrs would be at a loss, for instead of a reward, a punishment should be put upon them, their condition should be made worse than that of the common Saints, who during the time of the thousand years remain in the heavens among the Angels, beholding and enjoying the Trinity, while the souls of the Martyrs are brought down to the earth, and return to a body, not like to the glorious body of Christ, nor unto these incorruptible, immortal, Spiritual bodies, which yet are promised to the least of the faithful at their resurrection, 1 Cor. 15, but unto such a body that eats, drinks, sleeps, fights, delights in fleshly pleasures, and converses with beasts and earthly creatures, in such a Paradise whereof the Turkish Alcoran and the Jewish Talmud doth speak much; but to a godly soul is very tasteless, and to a soul that hath been in {233} heaven, or to one that enjoys the presence of Christ, is exceeding burdensome and bitter.

An eighth reason, the restoration of an earthly Jerusalem brings back the abolished figures of the Law.

An eighth reason. The opinion of the Millenaries supposeth the restoration of Jerusalem and of the Jewish Kingdom after their destruction by the Romans. But, Scripture denies this, Ezek. 16.53,55, When I shall bring again the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy daughters in the midst of them. When thy Sister Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estates, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. The Jews are never to be restored to their ancient outward estate, much less to a greater and more glorious Kingdom. Jerusalem was to be rebuilt, and the spiritual glory of the second Temple was to be greater than the first; and in the end of this same chapter, the restitution of the Jews after the Babylonish captivity, by the virtue of the new covenant is promised; but the outward estate of that people was never to be restored to its ancient lustre more than Samaria, or Sodom, as Amos speaks of Samaria, chapter 5.2, The Virgin Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise. And Isaiah of Jerusalem, The transgression thereof shall be heavy, and it shall fall and not rise again, according to the Prophesy of Jacob, Gen. 49.10, The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah till Shiloh come. Importing that the Tribe of Judah should ever have some outward visible rule till the coming of Christ in the flesh; but thereafter the Scepter and power of the Church should be only spiritual in the hand of Shiloh the Messias; he was the substance and the body of all these Types; the restoration of Jerusalem and the erecting of a new Monarchy in Judah, for the Jews, were to bring back the old evanished shadows contrary to the doctrine and nature of the Gospel.

A ninth, Antichrist is not abolished till the day of Judgment.

One other reason. The Millenaries lay it for a ground, that Antichrist shall be destroyed and fully abolished before their thousand years begin; but Scripture makes Antichrist to continue to the day of Judgment, 2 Thes. 2.8, Then shall that wicked man be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. The brightness of Christ’s coming is not before the last day, as before is proved. {234} See also, Revel. 19.20, The beast was taken, and with him the false Prophet; these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with Brimstone. Compare it with verse 7, Let us be glad and rejoice, for the Marriage of the Lamb is come. Antichrist is cast alive into the lake at the Marriage of the Lamb; no living men are cast into hell before the last day; and Christ’s Marriage with his Church is not solemnized with a part of the Elect, but with the whole body at the general resurrection.

The Chiliasts first reason is from Revel. 20.4.

For the opposite Tenet divers Scriptures are brought; above all, Rev. 20.4-6, And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; but the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished; this is the first resurrection. Hence they do infer Christ’s personal reign upon the earth for a thousand years; also the resurrection of the Martyrs, and of some others a thousand years before the general resurrection: Divers such conclusions do they draw from this place. We Answer,

First, that the resurrection here is mentioned only occasionally; also this place, as the most of this Book, is Mystical and Allegorical; besides, it is without all controversy, the words cited are among the most obscure and difficult places of the whole Scripture: the most of the places alleged in the former arguments did speak of the resurrection purposely and at large; also in proper terms, without any Tropes or Figures, and were all clear without obscurity; it is not reasonable to bring an Argument from one place where a point is handled only by the way and that in Mystical and exceeding obscure terms, against a multitude of places wherein the matter is handled of purpose largely and clearly.

Secondly, they who from this place reason against the common Tenet, do differ all of them among themselves in sundry material conclusions, the old Chiliasts from the late, and the late one form another Alstedius, Mead, Archer, Goodwin, Burrows, Matton; every one of them have their proper conceits wherein they differ from the rest, as will be found by any who compare their Writings.

Thirdly, In all this Chapter there is not one syllable to prove Christ’s being upon the earth, but that one word of the Saints reigning with Christ. Suppose the Text had expressed that they who {235} did reign with Christ, had been upon earth themselves; this would not prove that Christ (because they are said to reign with him) was upon earth with them; for Romans 8.17, If children, then joint-heirs with Christ, if so be, that we suffer with him that we may be also glorified together. There is here in one verse three parallel phrases with that in hand, Heirs with Christ, Suffering with Christ, Glorified with Christ; and a fourth, Ephes. 1.3, Who hath blessed us with all Spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ; Will it hence follow that Christ’s human nature was then upon earth with them who suffered with him, were heirs with him, were blessed in him in heavenly places with all spiritual graces, and were to be glorified with him? if none of these four phrases imply a personal presence of Christ upon earth with men, much less will the place controverted do it; for they speak expressly of men living upon the earth, but it speaks as expressly of the souls of men that were in the heaven; the same that are mentioned, Revel. 6.9, I saw under the Altar the souls of them that were slain for the Word of God. This place then is so far from proving Christ’s personal presence upon earth, that it imports the contrary, both because they that are said to reign with him, were not upon the earth, but under the Altar in heaven; and also because in verse 11, Christ’s Throne whereupon he judges the quick and the dead, is mentioned after the reign of these thousand years. Now we have proved from many Scriptures that Christ remains in the heavens till he come down in the last day to sit upon that Throne.

Fourthly, We deny that there is anything in this place which imports a bodily resurrection. They can produce no scripture where the first resurrection is ever applied to the body; there be sundry places to prove a spiritual resurrection of the soul, from the death and grave of sin, of errors and corruptions, before the last resurrection of the body, Col. 2.12, You are risen with him through faith: also 3.1, If then ye be risen with Christ, &c. But a first resurrection of the body no scripture intimates; for so there should be not only a first and second, but a third resurrection, as they tell us of a first, second, and third coming of Christ to the earth. Further, the resurrection here spoken of is attributed to the Souls of them that were beheaded; these are not capable {236} of a bodily resurrection, in propriety of speech; and if to these souls, men at their own pleasure without any warrant from scripture, will ascribe a body, they fall into a great inconvenience: for their love to this imagined first resurrection of the body, they overthrow both the heaven and the hell which hitherto have been believed; and make no scruple to create a new heaven and a new hell of their own invention, to the dangerous scandal of all Christians.

Our new Chiliasts are inventers of a new heaven and of a new hell.

Master Archer seeing well the absurdity to bring a soul from heaven back again to an earthly condition, tells us plainly That no soul at all went ever to that which we call heaven; That the Soul of Christ at his death, and of the good thief went only to an Elementary Paradise, a place below the Moon, in the region of the air, or at highest in the Element of the fire; That Enoch and Elias are gone no higher; That no soul of any of the Saints goes to the third heavens where Christ is, unto the last day. As for hell, he tells us that all Christians but the Independent his followers, have been in an errour about it; he teaches that the hell whither the wicked now goes, is not that fire prepared for the Devil and his Angels, whither at the last Judgment they shall be sent; but only a place of prison in the Low region of the air, or in some part of the Sea, where the souls of the wicked are kept till the day of Judgment; but at the day of Judgment, he tells us of a second hell, very large, and far higher than the present heaven of the Saints, the whole body of the four Elements, all the heavens of the Planets and fixed Stars, and whatever else is below the third heavens the habitation of God; he turns it all into the first Chaos, and makes all that confused body without any distinction, to be hell. In all this, the man is so confident, as if there were nothing in these strange novelties to be called in question.

Fifthly, We deny that in this place there is one syllable for any earthly Kingdom. They all reign with Christ, therefore they shall reign with him upon earth: this is an addition to the Text. For, suppose the words did import a reigning upon earth, yet this would not infer an earthly reign, for the Kingdom of Christ is spiritual; like his Priesthood, and these two are here conjoined, verse 6, They shall be Priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign {237} with him. Christians on earth are Priests, but not to offer bodily sacrifice; and while they are upon earth they are Kings, but not to rule men’s outward estates: for if so, then there should be all these thousand years many more Kings than Subjects. Master Archer tells us confidently without any scruple, that not the Martyrs alone, and some few privileged Saints, as his Colleague T.G. would have it, but that all the godly without any exception, shall rise and be Kings to rule and judge the Saints, who shall be born in the thousand years. Suppose it should be no disparagement for all these who then shall be born, to be excluded, while they live from all places of authority and power: yet would it not be some piece of disorder to have more Kings to command than Subjects to obey, for I suppose that the godly of all bygone ages arising together will be many more than the Saints in any one age of these thousand years.

Sixthly, we deny that a thousand years in any propriety of speech, can be applied to Christ’s personal reign; for if we speak of his reign either in his nature or Person, it is eternal, and not to be measured by any years or time; and if we speak of his regal office as Mediatour, it must be much longer than a thousand years; for although we should cut off from his Monarchy all the years that are past since his birth to this day, which were much against the current of scripture, since all this while he hath been sitting upon the Throne of his Father David, and ruling his Church as King and Monarch thereof; yet it were uncomely to confine the time of his reign to come to a thousand years; this were too small an endurance for his Monarchy. Many human Principalities, sundry States and Empires which have been and this day are in the world, might contend for a longer continuance, for this cause it seems to be that Master Archer the most resolute Doctor in this question that I have met with, makes the thousand years we debate of, to be only the evening of Christ’s Personal reign; but to the morning thereof wherein at leisure all the processes of the Last Judgment are gone through, he ascribes a great many more years, readily another thousand; and why not two or three or more thousands? It is good to be wise to sobriety; arrogant curiosity and presumptuous wantonness of wit is detestable, though in the best men.

Seventhly, the place makes Satan to be bound up only from {238} seducing the Nations, that he should not be able as before the coming of Christ he was, to mislead the Nations of the whole world to Idolatry, a free door then being opened to the Gospel in every Nation for their conversion to the truth; but our new Doctors extend the place much further; they will have Satan bound up for a 1000 years, not only from seducing Nations to Idolatry, but from tempting any person to any sin; this is contrary to these Scriptures which make every Saint in all ages, to fight not only with flesh and blood, but with Principalities and Powers: which makes Satan always to go about like a roaring Lion seeking whom he may devour; and that so boldly that in the very presence of Christ, he doth seek to winnow the best of his Disciples: yea, the place in hand gives to Satan in the very time of the thousand years, so great power upon multitudes of men who never were sanctified, but ever his vassals, led by him at his will, that he makes them compass the holy City, and the Camp of the Saints to fight against God, till fire from heaven did destroy them.

The second reason from Daniel 12.

Beside this famous place, Master Archer, Master Mattoun and T.G. in his glimpse, bring a number of other scriptures for their Tenet, wherewith we need not meddle: for Master Petree, and Master Hayne in peculiar treatises have answered them all; only the chief of them, which Master Burrows in his treatise upon Hos. 1, is pleased to choose out, we will consider. He builds much upon Daniel 12, as if it did prove the resurrection of some of the godly to an earthly glory a thousand years before the last Judgment; he borroweth from the glimpse four arguments, word by word; there is a fifth also in the glimpse, which the most of that party do much insist upon; the first is taken from the second verse of that 12th chapter. At the last Judgment say they, all shall rise; but, in that place, many do rise, not all.

We Answer.

Answer. We prove that the Prophet speaks here of the last resurrection, by two grounds which our Brethren will not deny. First, the resurrection unto life eternal is only at the last day; but the resurrection whereof Daniel speaks, is expressly to life eternal; not that prior resurrection which our Brethren aim at, to a temporal Kingdom of a thousand years. Secondly, the resurrection of the wicked to eternal shame, is only at the last day; for according to our Brethren’s Doctrine, the wicked have no part of the first resurrection, and rise not till the thousand {239} years be ended; now, the resurrection whereof Daniel speaks in verse 2, is expressly of the wicked to shame and death, as well as of the godly to life and glory. As for their Argument from the word Many, it proves not that all did not rise, but only that these that did rise, were many and a great multitude. Therefore Deodate Translates the words well according to the sense of the Original, The multitude of these that sleep in the dust. The Collectives, omnes & multi, are sometimes Synonemy’s, according to the matter in hand; as omnes must sometimes be taken for multi; so multi must sometimes be taken for omnes.

Secondly, They reason from the third verse, that in the last resurrection the bodies of all the Saints shall shine as the Sun; But in the resurrection whereof the Prophet speaks, no body shines as the Sun, but some as the Stars, others as the Firmament. Answer. The preceding verse evinces unanswerably, that the Prophet here is speaking of the last resurrection to life everlasting; as for the argument, it doth not follow that they who here are said to have so much glory, may not elsewhere be said to have more; for that which here the Prophet intends to express is not the absolute but the comparative glory of the Saints; however the least disciple should shine as the Sun, yet if ye compare his glory with the greater light of another, you may express the glory of both in the similitude of lightsome bodies less glorious than the Sun, if so these bodies differ one from another in degrees of glory; for all that the Prophet here aims at, is only this difference of glory. Christ in the Gospel makes all the Saints to shine as the Sun, yet the Apostle, 1 Cor. 15.45, distinguishing the different degrees of glory that is among the Saints, scruples not to express the glory of the most of them in the similitude of bodies less glorious than the Sun; There is one glory of the Sun, another glory of the Moon, another of the Stars; for one Star differeth from another Star in glory; so also is the resurrection from the dead. Further, will our Brethren affirm that the bodies of the Saints on earth during the time of those thousand years, shall be so far changed, as to shine like the Stars, and yet to eat, drink, and sleep? so much glory can hardly stand with so much baseness.

Thirdly, They reason from the fourth verse; The last resurrection {240} is no mystery nor any secret to be sealed up to the end of the vision. But, the resurrection here spoken of, is such a mystery as must be sealed up.

Answer. First, according to Mr. Burrows’ express profession in the same place, the Argument may be inverted; for the first resurrection to the thousand years of glory, he makes a Doctrine very well known and much insisted upon by all the Prophets before Christ; but the General resurrection and life everlasting he makes to be a hid and secret Doctrine which the Prophets in the old Testament do scarcely touch. Secondly, Life eternal and death eternal, heaven and hell, are to this day very great Mysteries to the most of the world; and Scriptures concerning these, are hid and closed above any other. Thirdly, The words speak not only of the resurrection, but of the whole preceding Prophecy, especially of the people’s deliverance by Michael the Prince from the oppression of Antiochus, which was not much to be understood till it came to pass.

Fourthly, They reason from the last verse, Life eternal is common to all the Saints, and no singular privilege of Daniel’s. But, the resurrection here spoken of, is promised to Daniel as a singular favour.

Answer. Mr. Archer who is deepest learned in these Mysteries, affirms, That all the godly as well as Daniel, had their part in the first resurrection; and indeed, if once you begin to distinguish, it will be hard to find satisfactory grounds to give this glory to Daniel, and to deny it to David, to Moses, to Abraham and many others. Secondly, We may well say that life eternal albeit common to all the Saints, yet is so divine, so rare and singular a mercy to every one that gets it, that it may be propounded to Daniel and every Saint as a sovereign comfort against the bitterness of all their troubles. Thirdly, The place according to the best Interpreters, speaks nothing at all of any resurrection; only it imports a promise to Daniel to live in peace all his days, that notwithstanding all the troubles, of the Church which he saw in these visions (as Diodate Translates it) yet so far as concerned himself he should go on to his end, and rest, stand, or continue in his present honours and prosperous condition to his death, and [to the end of] his days. {241}

Fifthly, from the 11th and 12th verses they conclude peremptorily the beginning of these thousand years to be in the year 1650; or at furthest 1695 for they make the 1290 years to be so many years, and the 1335 days to be 45 years more; these they make to begin in the reign of Julian the Apostate who after Constantine’s death, did re-establish Paganism in the Empire, and encouraged the Jews to build the Temple of Jerusalem, till God hindered them by an Earthquake which did cast up the foundation-stones of the old Temple. Beginning their account at this time, the end of their first number falls on the year 1650, and of the second on the year 1695. This is Archer’s calculation, which T.G. and others follow precisely.

Answer, We marvel at the rashness of men who by the example of many before them, will not learn greater wisdom; if they needs must determine peremptorily of times and seasons, That they do not extend their period beyond their own days, That they be not, as some before them, laughed at before their own Eyes, when they have lived to see the vanity of their too confident Predictions; however, in this calculation, there seems nothing to be sound; neither the beginning, nor the middle, nor the later end. If the thousand years begin in the 1650 year, if Christ then come in person to the earth, what will keep him from perfecting his Kingdom to the 1695 year thereafter; will he spend whole 45 years in war against the Nations, before they be subdued to his Scepter? Secondly, What warrant have they to begin their account with the Empire of Julian? Did he set up any abomination at all in the Church of God? He opened again in the Territories of his Empire the Pagan Temples, which by Constantine had been closed; by counsel and example he allured men to idolatry; but he troubled not any Christians in the liberty of their profession, he did not set up idolatry in any Christian Congregation; The Lord did quickly kill him and so prevented his intended persecution of Christians. But although it could be verified of him, that he set up the abomination of desolation in the Temple, yet how made he the daily Sacrifice to cease? he was so far from this, that to the uttermost of his power he laboured to set up again the daily Sacrifice which some hundred years ceased. Scripture speaks only of two times wherein the {242} solemn sacrifice was made to cease, and the abomination of desolation was set up. First, by Antiochus Epiphanes, and then by Titus Vespasian; but of Julian his making the sacrifice to cease, Scripture speaks nothing. That Story of the Earthquake whereupon Mr. Archer builds, albeit reported by some of the Ancients, seems to be a great fable; Certainly, the application of it to Christ’s Prophesy of the Gospel, A stone shall not be left upon a stone, as if this had not been fulfilled till that Earthquake had cast up all the foundation-stones of the ancient Temple, is very temerarious [rash, careless]. As The beginning and end of their calculation is groundless, so also the midst and the whole body of it is frivolous. What necessity is there to expound days by years especially in that place, where years are divided into days? In the very preceding words, verse 7, the days here mentioned are expressed, by a time, times, and a half a time: can they shew in any place of Scripture that ever a day is put for a year, where years, and days are conjoined, and a few years are extended in the enumeration of all the days that are in these years?1

The words of the Prophet Daniel are clear, if they be taken as they lie; but if they be strained to a Mystical sense, they become inexplicable. The Lord is comforting the Prophet and the whole Church by the short endurance of the desolations which Antiochus was to bring upon them; for from the time of his scattering of the Jews, and discharging of the solemn sacrifice, unto the breaking of the yoke of his Tyranny, it should be but three years and a half with a few more days: yea, unto that happy time when the plague of God should fall on his person, it should be but 45 days more. The History of Josephus and the Maccabees, makes the event accord with this prediction. Why then should we strain the Text any further to a new sense which neither agrees with the event nor with the words?

Their third argument.

Another place alleged by Mr. Burrows, is Psalm 102.16, When the Lord shall build up Sion, he shall appear in his glory; As if this did import both the building again of Sion and also Christ’s glorious appearance upon the earth.

Answer. This place speaks of no such things; the ordinary Exposition of late and old Interpreters, agrees so well with the contexture of the whole Psalm, that to drive it farther, were needless; {243} the places speaks of the Babylonish Captivity, and of the earnest desire of the godly at that time to have Jerusalem and Sion then in the dust, again restored. This desire of the Saints is granted, and a promise is made to them that Sion should be again builded, and that the Lord by this act of mercy should get great glory. But for any third building of Sion after the days of the Messias, or for any personal reign of Christ upon earth, no syllable in this place doth appear.

Their fourth place.

His next place is Romans 11.12, If the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them be the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fullness?

Answer. There is nothing here for the point in hand: we grant willingly that the Nation of the Jews shall be converted to the faith of Christ; and that the fullness of the Gentiles is to come in with them to the Christian Church; also that the quickening of the dead and rotten member, shall be a matter of exceeding joy to the whole Church. But That the converted Jews shall return to Canaan to build Jerusalem; That Christ shall come from the heaven to reign among them for a thousand years, there is no such thing intimated in the scriptures in hand.

Their fifth place.

Master Burrows' fifth place, is Acts 3.20,21, He shall send Jesus Christ whom the heavens must receive unto the times of the restitution of all things.

Answer. That these words are to be understood of Christ’s coming to the last Judgment, and not of his coming to any Temporal Kingdom on earth, we did before prove.

Their sixth place.

His sixth place, is 2 Pet. 3.10,13, 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 that are therein, shall be burnt up: nevertheless we according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.

Answer. First it would be remembered that our Brethren do add among many other things, this also unto the Tenet of the old Chiliasts, That before their golden age, the earth and all things therein must be destroyed; That the earth wherein they are to reign, that the Beasts, Fouls, Fishes, Trees and all other creatures they are to make use of in their thousand years, are to be of new created, {244} all the old creatures in their whole kinds being burnt to ashes, and destroyed.

We say secondly, That this place is miserably misinterpreted; for all that the Apostle is saying, is in answer to the scoffers’ cavil, verse 4, requiring in scorn the performance of the promise of Christ’s coming, not unto this thousand years reign, but to the day of Judgment and perdition of ungodly men, as the Apostle speaks expressly, verse 7. Now, all the Chiliasts confess that this Judgment and that perdition, is not till after the thousand years; so the burning of necessity according to their own grounds, cannot precede, but must follow them.

Thirdly, the time whereof the Apostles speaks, is called the day of the Lord, the usual description of Christ’s coming to Judgment; also the day that comes on the world as a thief in the night, which phrase oftentimes in scripture is attributed unto Christ’s coming unto Judgment, but is not true of his coming to the Millenary reign: for the calculation of that time is so well known, that it is preached and printed to be at such a year, if not such a month or day. Also, this dissolving of the heavens and Elements with fire, is a concomitant of Christ his coming to the last Judgment, as is expressly intimated, 2 Thes. 1.8,9.

As for the words whereupon alone they ground their argument, the new Earth wherein dwells righteousness. As if these words could not be true after the last Judgment: no righteous man then dwelling upon the earth. If they had looked upon the original, they would have seen the weakness of their collection; for the words run thus, We in whom righteousness dwells, look for new Heavens and a new Earth; The habitation of righteousness referring neither to the heavens nor to the earth, but to the godly and righteous persons who did wait for the performance of the promise of new heavens and a new earth, as our late annotations do observe; And though you would read them according to our English Translation, yet that inhabitation needs not refer to the earth, but to the heavens only, as Junius well observes. For it is not in qua terra, but in quibus cœlis; and our Brethren if they believe Mr. Archer, must refer the Pronoun not to both the Substantives, but only to the one; for he teaches That during the thousand years no righteous soul inhabits the {245} heaven: and thereafter, that no righteous soul does inhabit either the earth or the heavens wherein now the souls of the godly are, all these [heavens] being turned into hell the habitation of unrighteous men and devils.

Their seventh place.

Mr. Burrows seventh place, Isa. 65.21, And they shall build houses and inhabit them, and they shall plant Vineyards and eat the fruit of them, and verse 17, Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, &c. Hence concluding not only a new heaven and a new earth for the Millenary reign, but a planting of Vineyards, a building of houses; which cannot be after the day of Judgment.

Answer. First, Master Burrows refers this place to the former passage of Peter; if therefore Peter’s new heavens and new earth must be understood of the life to come; Isaiah’s new heavens and new earth must be understood of the same.

Secondly, Its very new and harsh divinity to say that after the heavens have passed away with a noise, and the earth with all the works thereof are burnt up, that men shall plant Vineyards, and build houses upon the new earth; Therefore Master Burrows notwithstanding his argument and reference of Isaiah to Peter, seems in that same place to retract and acknowledge that the new heavens and the new earth must be expounded by a Metaphor, and import no more than the doing of so glorious things by God for the Church, in the latter days, as shall manifest his glorious and creating power, as if he did make new heavens and a new earth. This is far from the burning of the heavens and earth that now are. It is no more than what the Apostle Peter brings from the Prophet Joel: Acts 2.19, And I will show wonders in heaven above, and signs in the earth beneath, blood and fire, and vapour of smoke; the Sun shall be turned into darkness and the Moon into blood. All which Peter makes to be performed upon the day of the Pentecost. It is no more than that of Haggai 2.6, Yet once it is a little while and I will shake the heavens and the earth, and the sea, and all the dry land; which the Apostle, Heb. 12.26,27, makes to be performed at the first coming of Christ.

Thirdly, That the matter of this 65th chapter of Isaiah, verse 16, is to be referred to Christ’s first coming; and the Apostles first preaching unto the Gentiles, is clear by comparing the first verse of this chapter, I am found of them that sought me not, with the 20th verse of the {246} tenth to the Romans; But Isaiah was very bold, and saith, I was found &c.

Fourthly, to expound the Prophets in this fashion, were to stumble the Jews, and to give them too great an excuse for their long misbelief, and too pregnant arguments for to delay their faith while [until] the Messias come to perform these promises upon earth, till their Jerusalem were again builded, and they put in possession of the holy land, to build their houses and plant their Vineyards therein; till they saw themselves put in possession of their present carnal & legal hopes. Yea, T.G. his literal exposition of this and the like places goes beyond the most of the Jewish apprehensions. For that any of the Talmudists do dream that at the coming of the Messias, the Lion shall eat straw, that the Leopard and the Lamb, the Serpent and the sucking child shall be brought to such a sympathy of natures, as not to have the least disposition to do harm the one to the other; That the life of men shall be so much at that time prolonged, as one of an hundred years must be taken but for an Infant, and a child; that the most fabulous of the Rabbins have gone thus far in a literal belief, I do not know.

Their eighth place.

His eighth place, is Heb. 2.5,8, For unto the Angels he hath not put in subjection the world to come; but now we see not yet all things put under him; whence he infers that Christ in the world to come, is to reign and to have all things put under his feet, which is not now performed, the Apostle saying expressly that now all things are not put under him; neither is this true in the life to come; for then the Kingdom of Christ is rendered up to the Father.

Answer. The world to come is not that imaginary world of the 1000 years, whereof the Scripture speaks nothing; but the days of the Gospel of which the Apostle is there speaking, and shewing that the Gospel was administered not by Angels as the Law had been upon Mount Sinai, but by the Son of God himself: This new world under the Gospel did differ more from the old world under the Law, than the earth in the days of Noah and the Patriarchs after the flood, from the earth in the days of Noah before the flood. This new world of the Gospel began with Christ’s first coming in the flesh; it was demonstrated in his Resurrection, When all power in heaven and earth was given to him, {247} Matt. 28.18. When all the Angels of God did worship him, Heb. 1.6. When he was set far above all Principalities and Powers, Eph. 1.21. The accomplishment of this world is not till the Last day, when Death, Hell, and Satan, which yet are not made Christ’s footstool, shall fully be conquered. These things cannot be verified of the thousand years. For according to Mr. Burrows grounds, before they begin, many things are annihilated, and so not made subject; The heavens and elements are melted with fervent heat; The earth and the works thereof are burnt up with fire; Also, during these thousand years, Christ’s chief enemies are not fully subdued; death still hath dominion over men; the devil is only bound, but yet alive, and not cast into the lake.

The ninth place.

His ninth place, is Jer. 3.16,17, They shall say no more, The Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, neither shall it come to mind, neither shall they remember it; at that time they shall call Jerusalem the throne of the Lord, and all the Nations shall be gathered unto it, neither shall they walk any more after the imagination of their evil heart. Hence, he infers, A state of the Church in the Last days so glorious, that all things bypast shall be forgot; That Judah and Israel shall return from their captivity to Jerusalem; That all Nations shall join with them; That they shall no more walk after their old sins; That Jerusalem which before times was at best but the footstool of God, shall then become a throne of glory.

Answer. There is no word here of Christ’s abode upon earth for a thousand years. Secondly, the old things that are to be forgotten, are expressed to be the Ceremonies of the Law, but no Ordinance of the Gospel. The Prophet names the Ark and the Temple which by Christ’s first coming were removed. Thirdly, The walking of Judah and Israel together, and the Nations joining with them, Imports no more but the calling of Jews and Gentiles by the Gospel to the Christian Church the heavenly Jerusalem: The same which the Prophet Isaiah hath in his second chapter, verse 5, The establishing (in the Last days) of the House of God on the top of the mountains; the flowing of all Nations thereto; for out of Sion shall go forth a Law, and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem; These Last days, were the days of the Apostles, when they from Sion and Jerusalem did blow the Trumpet of the Gospel to all the Nations. These were the times whereof Jeremy {248} in the 15th verse of the Chapter in hand doth speak. I will give you Pastors according to my heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding. The Pastors there promised, were Christ and his Apostles; better Pastors than these God never sent, neither ever shall send to his Church. Fourthly, Walking after God’s own heart, doth not import a freedom from all sin; but only a state of grace, wherein according to the new Covenant, God gives his people a new heart, and writes his Laws upon the same. Fifthly, That whereupon the greatest weight of the argument is laid, seems to be a very groundless conceit, That Jerusalem, when it is a throne of glory, must be the old Jerusalem builded again; as if Jerusalem under the Law, and Jerusalem in the days of the Gospel (the Church in the new Testament, the mother of us all) were but the footstool of God. This is a doctrine expressly against Scripture; for in divers places, Jerusalem, Sion, and the Ark, even in the old Testament, are called not only the footstool, but the throne of God, Jer. 14.21, Do not abhor us for thy name’s sake; do not disgrace the throne of thy glory. Also, Chapter 17, verse 12, A glorious high throne from the beginning is the place of our Sanctuary. The Lord did as it were sit upon the Mercy Seat as upon a chair of State, under the Canopy of the wings of the Cherubims within the Sanctuary the chamber of his most Majestuous presence. Jerusalem under the new Testament, is called not only the throne of God, but his footstool, Isaiah 40.14, To beautify the place of my Sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious. This place our Brethren expound of the Sanctuary during the time of the thousand years. However, it is clear it must be expounded of the Church in the same times whereof Jeremiah speaks in his third Chapter whence the Argument in hand is brought.

Their tenth place.

The tenth place is Dan. 2.44, And in the days of these Kings shall the God of heaven set up a Kingdom which shall never be destroyed, and it shall stand forever. Whence, is inferred an everlasting Kingdom of Christ, & a joy of Jerusalem unchangeable to any sorrow.

Answer. Christ’s Everlasting Kingdom, is merely spiritual and heavenly. That dominion which the Father gave to the Son at his Incarnation, Luke 1.32,33, The Lord shall give unto him the throne of his Father David, and he shall reign over the House of {249} Jacob forever. This Kingdom for the matter of it, is truly everlasting, being the glory which Christ and his Saints enjoy for ever in the heavens; albeit for the manner of the administration thereof it be rendered up by the Son to the Father, when the work of mediation is perfected, and all enemies are fully destroyed. To deny the beginning of Christ’s Kingdom over his Church unto [until] the thousand years, is many ways absurd; And, because of the eternal endurance of his dominion and glory in the heavens, to make the Church on earth in which he reigns, to be void of all tribulation, of all changes, to have a perpetual day without any darkness, is contrary to the Scriptures alleged in the former arguments.

Their eleventh place.

In the eleventh place, he allegeth Revel. 19.13, And he was clothed with a vesture dipped in blood; And Ezek. 21.28, And there shall be no more a pricking brier unto the house of Israel, nor any grieving them of all that are round about them. Whence, they infer That in the beginning of the thousand years, Christ with his own hands shall kill so many of the wicked, that his garments shall be dipped in blood, and not one of them left to trouble the Church.

Answer. It is a very strange conception to make the Lord Jesus imbrue his holy hands in the blood of so many men. That these battles are not fought with the hands of Christ, in a literal way, will appear by a parallel place, Isaiah 63.1, Who is this that cometh from Edom, with died garments from Bozra? Unto Christ here are ascribed garments died in blood, because of the slaughter of the Edomites, a little after the Babylonish captivity, at which time Christ had neither a body nor a garment in propriety of speech. As these battles were fought by Christ, not in his own person nor upon the earth; so neither these battles of the Revelation which so much the less can be literally expounded, as in the 14th and 15th verses of the 19th Chapter, the instrument whereby Christ is said to fight these battles, is not any Sword in his hand, but the two-edged Sword of his mouth; and the Soldiers who he leads out to these battles are not armed with Sword and Spear, but ride upon White Horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean.

As for that of Ezekiel, if you consult either with the original, or the best Interpreters, it must be expounded first and principally, if not solely of the Town of Sidon, which the Lord was {250} to destroy, that it might no more be a thorn in the side of Israel.

From this, to infer the purging of the Christian Church of all other enemies in this life, and that by killing of them all as cursed Canaanites: were a dangerous conclusion, far from the justice and innocence of Christians in all bygone times, the belief whereof would quickly renew unto us the horrible tragedies of the Anabaptists.

The twelfth place.

In the twelfth place, he cites Rev. 21.23,24, And the City had no need of the Sun, neither of the Moon to shine in it; and the Kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour unto it. Also Chapter 22, verses 1-3, and he shewed me a pure river of the water of life, &c.

Answer. The Divines who apply these two chapters to the condition of the Church upon earth after the calling of the Jews, take the most of the passages in a figurative and allegorical sense. To expound them literally and properly, of any Church on earth, the Text will not permit. Shall ever the Church on earth be so free of sorrow and death, as not to sorrow for sin, or to have none of its members mortal? Shall they so immediately see the face of God, as the use of Temples, Tabernacles, or any ordinance, shall be needless? shall ever man upon earth, be without the Sun and the Moon? These things are true in a proper sense, only of the Saints in heaven. What is here alleged to the contrary, That the Kings of the earth bring not their riches and honours to the Heavens; we say, it is but a part of the Allegory, to express under that similitude the glory & wealth of the life to come; as in the same place the Spirit of God expresses the happiness of heaven by the Metaphors of gold and precious stones, of rivers and fountains, of trees and fruits. To expound all these in a literal sense, of any Church either in earth or heaven, were incommodious; except our Brethren would put us upon more fancies than any of them yet have spoke of.

Their last place.

In the last place, they cite for the gifts of the Saints, Zach. 12.8, He that is feeble among them, in that day, shall be like David; and the house of David shall be as God: and for the honour of the Saints that in the thousand years they shall be taken into private familiarity by Princes and great men, Rev. 11.12, And they heard a great voice from heaven saying unto them, come up hither; and they ascended up to heaven in a cloud, and their enemies beheld them. {251}

Answer. The gifts meant by Zachary, are such as are poured upon all the Saints of the New Testament with the spirit of grace and supplication, which makes the least of the Kingdom of Heaven to be like unto David, to Elijah, and greater than John the Baptist, as Christ speaks. But what is this unto the imaginary glory of the Chiliastick Kingdom? The honour they speak of, cannot be fetched out of that eleventh of the Revelation, For who but themselves will expound heaven in that place, of the Thrones of Kings, of the Privy Chambers of Princes and great men? The calling up of the two witnesses to heaven, by none else but them, will be taken for the Saints familiarity with great Statesmen: And according to their own Tenets, in the Chiliastick Kingdom there is no such degrees of honour, as in this world. For there Christ in his own Person is King, and all the Saints do shine at least as the firmament; and the glory of these Saints is greatest whose grace is most eminent. Familiarity with Princes and worldly Statesmen, is then for no purpose. Beside, the ascension of the two witnesses to the heavens, is before the fall of the tenth part of Rome, and so before the thousand years begin.

There be yet some more places cited by Master Burrows and others for their Tenet; but these which we have answered, are the principal: and if they be cleared, there is no difficulty in the rest.

Besides Scriptures, Master Burrows takes from the Glimpse of T.G. sundry testimonies of antiquity; all which, T.G. does borrow from Alstedius. To the which I answer, That no Protestants build their faith upon human testimonies; and, no men in the world make so small account of antiquity as our Brethren, [the Independents]. It is marvelous if in earnest they should encourage themselves in their Tenet by such testimonies of the Fathers, as by the Catholick consent of all posterior antiquity and the unanimous profession both of Protestants and Papists this day, are censured of error.

Who pleases to know the mind of antiquity in this subject, Let him consult especially with Augustine, de civitate dei, Book 20, almost through the whole; and the Commentaries of Vives, and Cequens thereupon. If human authorities either ancient or modern, could give our Brethren any satisfaction in this question, it were easy to present them with great store thereof. {252}

Thus far had I proceeded when by my Superiours I was called away from these Studies to another employment, so what I intended to have spoken to of the Anabaptists, the Antinomians, the Erastians, and especially to the remainder of the Popish and Prelatical Malignants I must remit it to another Season.


F I N I S.


Footnote:

1. Here it may be that our author could be answered from scripture, with instances of days being put for years in prophetic terms, even according to many anti-chiliast authors; yet it is certain that much suspicion is due to the arbitrary expositions of the Chiliasts, when at one moment they take days for years and in the next take days for days, without any reason to do so but their own pleasure & prejudice.