Page images



mark them which cause divisions and offences contrary to the doctrine which ye have learned, and avoid them." 1 Cor. v. 11. "with such an one no not to eat." 2 Thess. iii. 6. we command you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye withdraw yourselves from every brother that walketh disorderly, and not after the tradition which he received of us.' v. 14. “if any man obey not our word by this epistle, note that man, and have no company with him, that he may be ashamed." 2 John 10, 11. "if there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house, neither bid him God speed; for he that biddeth him God speed, is partaker of his evil deeds." Rev. ii. 14. "I have a few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam."

Or even, lastly, in ejecting them from the church; not however for their destruction, but rather for their preservation, if so they may be induced to repent; as was done in the ancient synagogue, John ix. 22, 34. xii. 42. Matt. xviii. 17.

"if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." 1 Cor. v. 5.7" deliver such an one unto Satan" (that is, give him over again to the world, which, as being out of the pale of the church, is the kingdom of Satan) "for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus." 2 Cor. ii. 7, 8. so that contrariwise ye ought rather to forgive him, and comfort him, lest perhaps such an one should be swallowed up with overmuch sorrow." xiii. 10. therefore I write these things, being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the power which the Lord hath given me to edification, and not to destruction." 2 Thess. iii. 15.



[ocr errors]

yet count him not as an enemy, but admonish him as a brother." 1 Tim. i. 20. " whom I have delivered unto Satan, that they may learn not to blaspheme." Rev. ii. 2. "I know

6' Quos ecclesiæ est e cœtu fidelium ejicere, non magistratuum e civitate pellere, siquidem in leges civiles non peccant.' Pro Populo Anglicano Defensio. Prose Works, Symmons' ed. V. 47. The various degrees of church censure, its design, and its effects, are described in a most eloquent passage of the treatise on Church Government, &c. II. 497-499. Compare also pp. 412, 413. Of Reformation in England.

7 Milton gives the same explanation of this text, in his Treatise of Civil Power, &c. II. 446. Hey's interpretation is nearly similar. See Lectures, Book IV. Art. 33. Sect. 13.

thy patience, and how thou canst not bear them that are evil."

There are some, however, who may justly be considered irrecoverable. 1 Cor. xvi. 22. "if any man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema," Maran-atha; by which form of words an incurable sinner is abandoned to the

dreadful judgement of the Lord at his final advent. 1 John v. 16. "there is a sin unto death; I do not say that he shall pray for it."

The civil power differs from the ecclesiastical in the following respects. First, every man is subject to the civil power; that is to say, in matters properly civil. Rom. xiii. 1. “let every soul be subject unto the higher powers." On the contrary, none but the members of the church are subject to ecclesiastical power, and that only in religious matters, with a liability to ecclesiastical punishment alone, that is, to punishment inflicted by their own body: Matt. xviii. 15, 16. “if thy brother shall trespass against thee.... tell it unto the church; if he neglect to hear the church, let him be unto thee as an heathen man and a publican." John viii. 11. "neither do I condemn thee." 1 Cor. v. 11-13. "now I have written unto you not to keep company, if any man that is called a brother be a fornicator .... with such an one no not to eat for what have I to do to judge also them that are without?" Secondly, the civil power has dominion only over the body and external faculties of man; the ecclesiastical is exercised exclusively on the faculties of the mind, which acknowledge no other jurisdiction. Luke xii. 14. "who made me a judge or a divider over you?" Acts v. 4. “ whiles

[ocr errors]


Especially for that the church hath in immediate cure those inner parts and affections of the mind, where the seat of reason is.' Reason of Church Government, &c. Prose Works, II. 440. 'The magistrate hath only to deal with the outward part.... God hath committed this other office, of preserving in healthful constitution the inner man, to his spiritual deputy, the minister of each congregation,' &c. Ibid. 490. 'Christ hath a government of his own.... It deals only with the inward man and his actions, which are all spiritual, and to outward force not liable.' Treatise Civil Power in Ecclesiastical Causes, Ibid. 533.

this attracts the soul,

Governs the inner man, the nobler part;

That other o'er the body only reigns.

Paradise Regained, II. 476.

1 Cor. vi. 4. "if then

it remained, was it not thine own?" ye have judgements of things pertaining to this life, set them to judge who are least esteemed in the church."

[ocr errors]


2 Cor. x. 3, 4. though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh; for the weapons of our warfare are not carnal-." James iv. 12. "there is one lawgiver who is able to save and to destroy who art thou that judgest another?" Nay, we are expressly enjoined not to suffer ourselves to be governed by the commandments of men in matters of religion. 1 Cor. vii. 23. "ye are bought with a price; be not ye the servants of men. Thirdly, the civil power punishes even such as confess their faults; the ecclesiastical, on the contrary, pardons all who are penitent. John viii. 7. “ 'when they continued asking him, he lifted up himself, and said unto them, He that is without sin among you, let him first cast a stone at her."

[ocr errors]

The power of the church against those who despise her discipline is exceedingly great and extensive. 2 Cor. x. 4, &c. "the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds; casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ; and having in a readiness to revenge all disobedience."

It is therefore highly derogatory to the power of the church, as well as an utter want of faith, to suppose that her government cannot be properly administered without the intervention of the civil magistrate.


IN the twenty-fifth chapter I treated of that IMPERFECT GLORIFICATION to which believers attain in this life. I now proceed to consider, lastly, that PERFECT GLORIFICATION Which is effected in eternity.

Before the law this was typified by the translation of Enoch, Gen. v. 24. as it was under the law by that of Elijah, 2 Kings ii. 11.

Its fulfilment and consummatiou will commence from the period of Christ's second coming to judgement, and the

resurrection of the dead. Luke xxi. 28. "when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads,

[ocr errors]

for your redemption draweth nigh. 2 Thess. i. 7. "to you

who are troubled rest with us, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven."

THE COMING OF THE LORD TO JUDGEMENT, when he shall judge the world with his holy angels, was predicted, first, by Enoch and the prophets; afterwards by Christ himself and his apostles. Jude 14, 15. “Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Dan. vii. 22. "until the Ancient of days came, and judgement was given to the saints of the most High." Matt. XXV. 31. "the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him." Acts i. 11. "this same Jesus

shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." x. 42. "it is he which was ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead." xvii. 31. "he hath appointed a day in the which he will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom he hath ordained. . . . in that he hath raised him from the dead." 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. "the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels.'


The day and hour of Christ's coming are known to the Father only. Matt. xxiv. 36. Mark xiii. 32. "of that day and that hour knoweth no man.' "" Acts i. 7. "it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." Dan. xii. 8, 9. "then said I, O my lord, what shall be the end of these things? and he said, Go thy way, Daniel; for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end." The treatise of Zanchius De fine sæculi, tom. vii. may be likewise advantageously consulted on this subject.

Hence it will be sudden. Matt. xxv. 6. "at midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him." Luke xvii. 26, &c." as it was in the days of Noe.... likewise also as it was in the days of Lot." xxi. 34, 35. "take heed to yourselves, lest at any time, &c... .. and so that day come upon you unawares; for as a snare shall it

come upon all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." 1 Thess. v. 2, 3. "for yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night: for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them."

Certain signs however are pointed out by Christ and his apostles as indicative of its approach; Matt. xxiv. 3—27. Mark xiii. Luke xxi. These signs are either general or peculiar.

The general signs are those which relate equally to the destruction of Jerusalem, the type of Christ's advent, and to the advent itself; such as false prophets, false Christs, wars, earthquakes, persecutions, pestilence, famine, and the gradual decay of faith and charity, down to the very day itself. Matt. xxiv. 3-27. 2 Tim. iii. 1, &c.

The peculiar signs are, first, an extreme recklessness and impiety, and an almost universal apostasy. Luke xviii. 8. “when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” 2 Thess. ii. 3. "that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first." Compare also 1 Tim. iv. 1.

Secondly, the revealing of antichrist, and his destruction by the spirit of the mouth of Christ. 2 Thess. ii. 3. "that man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition." v. 8. " and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."

Some refer to the same event another sign, namely, the calling of the entire nation of the Jews, as well as of the ter dispersed tribes.' Isai. xi. 11, 12. "it shall come to pass in


truth shall retire

Bestuck with sland'rous darts, and works of faith
Rarely be found: so shall the world go on,

To good malignant, to bad men benign,

Under her own weight groaning: till the day

Appear of respiration to the just,
And vengeance to the wicked.

Paradise Lost, XII. 535.

1 Compare Paradise Regained, III. 433. especially with reference to the passage quoted from Isaiah xxvii.

Yet he at length (time to himself best known)
Rememb'ring Abraham, by some wond'rous cali
May bring them back, repentant and sincere.
And at their passing cleave the Assyrian flood,

« PreviousContinue »