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we know by Scripture and experi- with v. 7, 8; viz. that whereas the ence was not abolished.
thousand years of the Church's reThe measure or degree of this stauration, is called there one day, burning shall be dissolving and and a day of judgement; this fire * melting'—" the elements (or hosts) is kindled in the beginning of that shall be dissolved and melt with fer- day, in order to make it also a day vent heat.” The Apostle uses a of ruining judgement to the obstinate metaphor from the refining of metals, wicked; as it will be also a happy which is dissolved and melted with rewarding judgement on them that fire in order to be purified. To believe, when the earth is purified. this the word aupejevo, harmoni. For most evidently the Apostle there ously agrees : for when the Psalmist makes this glorious time to follow several times uses 773 to refine, that great burning, and this burn(as Ps. xii, 6.) the Septuagint ing to precede that; or he needed expresses it by a upow. And whence not to have inserted so emphatically indeed is our word pure, but of the his nevertheless'—to prevent misLatin purus ? and whence is the takings or misgivings of heart in Latin purus,
but of the Greek Tup them that hope for a glorious state or fire ?
of the Church on earth, according But though the starry heavens to the tenor of all the prophecies. shall not be touched with this fire ; (Compare Rev. xix, 3, with xx, 1, yet, by the refining of the airy hea. 2, &c.) And why else does the ven, the aspect of the starry heavens Apostle tell us of new heavens and a may be more clarified to our sight. new earth, and such as wherein All the stars and planets may ap- should dwell righteousness ? and pear more glorious, as transmitting how shall they be so new, their beams through a purer medium; habitation of such righteousness, so that the heavens may seem as a
but because this fire shall so purge new light, and the world as a new them of their dross, and make them thing. And in regard to those wicked spirits, mentioned Eph. vi, I have given the most literal, and 12, which we observed are part of therefore the most congruous sense the elements or hosts of this lower of this text : for according to the old heaven; the efficacy of the fire shall rule, we are not to seek an allegorinot reach their substance, so as to cal interpretation, when a plain and burn them; yet shall they so far literal one is at hand. Our Lord suffer by this fire, as to be cast indeed speaks in hyperbolical landown from those higher mansions, guage in Matt. xxiv, 29 in relation and confined in some lower place. to the heavenly bodies ; because litThus St. Jude intimates, -" The erally the stars cannot fall from heaangels which kept not their first ven, having no space to fall to big estate, but left their own (or proper) enough to receive them. And in habitation, he hath reserved to be such passages as Isaiah li, 15—19; boundd with everlasting chains of and xxxiv, 2–5; Jer. iv, Hab. darkness, at the judgement of the ii, 6; there is evidence from the congreat day." (v. 6.)
text that the mention of the heavens The time when this fire shall be is figurative. And even were we to kindled is shown by comparing v. 13 account these expressions in Peter
d Compare Rev, xx, 1.
figurative, it would amount to much be, that they may be preserved the same thing; considering that the during the conflagration of the hosts of the figurative heavens and earth, and the works thereof? earth are the inhabitants and politi- (2 Peter iii, 10.) that as Noah cal rulers thereof. For in both senses • and his family were preserved the body of the earth, and the from the deluge, by being lifted heaven of stars, are reserved from 'up above the waters in the ark; the fire : so that nothing is burnt, so should the saints at the con. but what is noxious to the Church, 'flagration, be lifted up in the and impedes her happy estate on clouds, unto their ark Christ, earth.
' to be preserved there from the That we may have the full intent deluge of fire, wherein the wickof the Apostle in this text, note that ed shall be consumed.” And the verse 14, (“Seeing ye look for such most learned of the Jews hold an things, be diligent that ye be found opinion agreeing with this, derived of him in peace
without spot and from Elias, a Jewish doctor, who blameless,') suggests a query that lived under the second temple. He must be answered; viz. what is the says : " When the blessed God place and state of the saints in the • shall renew this world ; 'when the time of this burning ? We answer; • lofty looks of man shall be humthat the Lord can miraculously keep bled, and the haughtiness of men his people in this fire, as he did the shall be bowed down, and the three children in the fiery oven;e • Lord alone shall be exalted ;' then and the Israelites in Goshen, whilst (as Isaiah xl, 3) 'they that wait fiery judgements were spread over for the Lord shall renew their all the land of Egypt round about.f strength, they shall mount up with Respecting these and similar preser-'wings as eagles ;' or like as eagles vations it is said, “We went through do on their wings. For it is said, fire and water, but thou broughtest * Psalm xivi, 2, · Therefore shall us into a place of refreshing."g we not fear, when the earth shall And it is promised for the future, be changed.'” " When thou passest through the The Apostle concludes with infire thou shalt not be burnt, &c. I struction to the godly; for unto am thy Saviour, that gave Egypt such he expressly bends his speech, for thy ransom.'h He can carry calling them beloved. So that here, them through this fire, by taking we that believe have a morsel of them up into the air at his coming importance to chew; that though according to 1 Thess. iv, 17—“We we have certainly the truth of which are alive and remain, shall be saving grace, and an apostle to ascaught up together with them in the sure us thereof, yet the consideraclouds to meet the Lord in the air.” tion of the conflagration of the On which words learned Mr. Mede world and the renovation of it for hath this; “ I will add what may our use, is of great consequence to • be conceived to be the cause of this As if the Apostle should say: rapture or taking up the saints Ye that have truth of grace, though
then alive, to meet the Lord in the ye cannot be damned, yet it is not * clouds, rather than to wait his sufficient to dismiss all care from coming to the earth. What if it your heads, nor fear out of your
e Dan. iii, 25.
f Exodus ix, 23.
8 Psalm lxvi, 12.
h Isaiah xliii, 2.
hearts, touching your salvation, ness, &c.” (vv. 11-18.) In both at the deluge of fire burning the we must not be professors at large ; whole world. The method the A- --not such wheat as is like the postle uses in pressing believers to tares. Towards the end of the hara deep consideration of this point, vest there must be a sensible differis by an argument consisting of ante- ence between the lowest saint and cedent and consequence : Seeing the highest moralist; between the 'these things shall be dissolved, (v. meanest true professor and the most
11,) and seeing ye look for such guilded hypocrite. This pre-emi' things, (v. 14.) as the renovation nence in matters of piety Peter pre
of the world ; it concerns you to scribes in seven particulars, viz. (1.) ' look to yourselves now, in prepar- “ In all holy conversation :” it is not ‘ation for that great day of burn- enough to say,“ my heart is good,” 'ing. Though I will not tell you, but our conversation must prove it
what may be the great thoughts to be so.i And that not only in of heart in all dilatory saints, at honesty, (which all moralists have,) ' that day of burning ; yet you have but in holiness, as acted by a holy cause to have serious thoughts a- rule and to a holy end.j (2.) “ In all bout it now, to your lives' end, godliness:" that is, in a godly inside. seeing such saints shall be con- (3.) “ Looking for, and hasting to cerned in that fire ; even as my the coming of the day of God :" • brother Paul saith, 1 Cor. iii, 13. that is to say, to meet Christ.k (4.) So that whatever antinomian spi- “ Be found of him in peace;” viz. rits may dream, the Apostle plainly peace with God and in your own would have believers consider argu- conscience, and not terrified. (5.) ments of dread, as well as arguments “ Without spot and blameless.”m of comfort.
(6.) “Be not led away with the The effect to be produced from error of the wicked ;” viz. the scofbelieving and looking for these fers and doubters of verses 3, 4: things, is expressed in the form of (7.) “ but grow in grace;” viz. by a question and exhortation : “ What addition and augmentation, accord
manner of persons ought ye to be ing to chapter i, 5–8. ' in all holy conversation and godli
i Matt. xi. 24, 37. j James 111, 17. k Matt. xxv. 1, 3. i Rom, v. l--3. m See Eph. v. 27 ; Col. 1. 23 ; 1 Tim. vi. 6; Titus 11. 5; Jude 24.
GOG AND MAGOG.
The occasion of this second exer- mer and his bands, the house of citation springs from the first ; viz. Togarmah of the north quarters, and how or whence shall be left remain- all his bands, and many people with ing on earth, after the thousand thee :''n whence you have a fair years of the glorious state of the prospect to see who Gog is, with Church, such a wicked offspring as his variety of nations embodied with Gog and Magog, if there shall be him ; as also what he is, viz, such as such universal burning of the world, God will set himself against. as shall transform it into a new But then the grand question heaven and a new earth? To solve essarily falls in, How can it conthis knot, we must first know, who sist with that glorious state and Gog and Magog are.
time, included within the one thouVerses 8, 9 state, “ that at the sand years, that after it, even immeend of the thousand years, Sa- diately at the very end thereof, there tan, being loosed, shall go out to shall be extant such a crew as this? deceive the nations which are in the I confess this has been to me the four corners of the earth, Gog and most intricate knot throughout the Magog ;" whence we can rationally whole doctrine of the Millennium. deduce no less, than that Gog and I was not thereby (as some learned Magog are not this or that nation, men acknowledged to me they were) but an extract and collection of the kept off from embracing so much of dregs and dross of many nations. that doctrine as was revealed to me; This the Prophet Ezekiel signally yet it still perplexed me as a labyrconfirms : “ Son of man set thy inthian difficulty. I must thereface against Gog in the land of Ma- fore prophesy of this submissively, gog, the chief prince of Meshech and leaving the Church of Christ to Tubal, and prophesy against him ; judge. For besides that in mysand say, thus saith the Lord, I am teries of this nature, Christ hath against thee, O Gog, the chief prince usually some reserves, which he will of Meshech and Tubal; and I will not unveil till near the very time of turn thee back, and put hooks into fulfilling the whole; there is also thy jaws, and will bring thee forth, a peculiar method in Christ's disand all thy army, horses and horse- coveries of such great things as men, and all of them clothed with these, whilst he intends and is intent all sorts of armour, even a great to reveal. So that, as the world was company, with bucklers and shields, made orderly and successively in all of them handling swords ; Persia six days, as an introduction to the and Ethiopia, and Libya with them, Sabbath of rest; and several months all of them with shield helmet; Go- are appointed for the product of several fruits and flowers, (the preface is a sinless time, and withal, a sorto a complete summer,) Christ like- rowless time; and that the raised wise is pleased to tell us his mind in and changed saints shall not be sundry times or parcels. If there. brought into such a dim glory or fore this be the day or the month in cold comfort, as to have adjacent to which a clear light is to spring forth them, or interjacent among them, in relation to this point, clearing the men of sinful hearts. If believers way to that millennian Sabbatism ;P now have a great spirit of discerning what I can receive of it by prayer men, how much more will they and scrutiny into the Scriptures, I have it then : discernment of false shall cautiously communicate to the brethren amongst them, would, in apocalyptical students among the every respect, be incongruous to a expectant saints.
n Ezek. xxxviii, 2--7.
glorious estate. Christ, indeed, and Many to whom I have propound- the angels conversed on earth, unpoled this gordian knot to be loosed, luted, but not ungrieved : and surely, centre towards this opinion-That in the same sense as angels are said there shall be in the time of the to joy at mens' conversion,u they also thousand years a remnant of smooth grieve at their transgressions. And hypocrites, extant upon the earth, as if Christ hated hypocrites equally, if the hidden putrid matter or spawn; not more, than the profane, (when he which at last, by the devil's influen- said, that the publicans and harlots tial brooding and hatching, shall be enter into heaven before them ; and generated into Gog and Magog. that the burning of the world is an They that are apt to conceive this universal deluge of fire on all evil remnant shall be a distinct body by persons, that obey not the gospel themselves, seem to have in their of Christ,w and on all evil things, eye some such passages as these : even to the very hay and stubble
of he that is filthy, let him be filthy errors in his own elect;x) it cannot still :"9—" no unclean thing shall be fairly probable, that he will leave enter : "r—" without there shall be among his glorified saints such a dogs."'s
Others, who think that corrupt brood, who often do more this remnant shall be a mixture mischief secretly than the open sprinkled among the glorified saints wicked ;-as Paul hints in his comon earth, hanker after such notions plaint of false brethren. as these : that as the Gibeonites, Now we hold, on the contrary, were hewers of wood and drawers that there shall be no men on earth of water to the Jewish Church, so during this period, but such as shall these to the glorified Church shall attain to a perfect freedom in one be servile,-and that if the saints kind or other from sin, and so from must reign, they must have some- mortality also, throughout that time. body to reign over ;-and if they For as all they, who, under the must rule the nations, there must covenant of grace, have been incorbe a communion, such as is between porated into Christ by the spirit of the governors and the governed. faith, shall be raised or changed
I must however adhere to my into an immutable state of perfection, principle before laid down (p. 281 ;) never to be altered for the worse that this time of the thousand years but for the better; so there shall be
o Heb. i, 1. p Heb. iv, 9. 9 Rev. xxii, 11. u Luke xv, W 2 Thess, i, 8. x 1 Cor, iii, 12--15.
r Rev. xxi, 27.
s Rev. xxii, 15.