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UR Author not only afferts, but proves, That the Millenary Reign of Christ was an uncontested orthodox Doctrine, conveyed thro' all the Primitive Ages*. And he well obferves farther, that," The Corruptions introduced by the "prefent Millenarians, who have fixed upon a more "modern Situation, and have taken care for pre"fent Felicity equal to their Wishes, have warmed "feveral Fanatic Imaginations, and blown their vain "Hopes into Tumults, to the Offence and Scandal of wife and difcreet Men, and have caft a Slur upon this innocent, tho' in fome measure hated "Opinion +
This juft Obfervation of Dr. Burnet's was felf evident during the time of our Civil Wars, in almost every enthufiaftic Freak of the fifth-monarchy-Sect, into whofe Conduct we shall make fome Enquiry, as being very applicable to our prefent Purpose.
In the Year 1643, one of the chief Paftors among those People, and who (in the Stile of the Times) called himself a London Divine, was Mr. John Archer; he published a Book, Of the Perfonal Reign of Chrift on Earth, laying forth and proving that Jefus Christ, together with the Saints, fhould vifibly poffefs a monar
See Mr. Earbery's Tranflation of The State of the Dead, Vol. II. P 7 + Ibid.
chical State and Kingdom in this World. This Book was, about feven Years after, judiciously and thoroughly examined by an Anonymous Writer, as fully appears by its Imprimatur *.
He gives us a regular Abstract of Mr. Archer's Performance, and declares, that he was One efteemed of fo great Sanctity and Worth, as that no mean Perfon doubted to file him amongst Men as precious as any the Earth bore in his time; I shall fearlefly (adds he) take his Word for the Point in hand; and hall firft fum up his Doctrine concerning this Subject, and then fhew the Improbabilities and Incongruities of it; the rather for that I perceive his Conceptions pafs generally for the current Tenet of the Fautors of this plaufible Opinion.
Mr. Archer lays for his Foundation, that there is a Three-fold Kingdom of Chrift; one Providential, which is that univerfal Soveraignty by which Jefus Chrift manageth the Affairs of all the World, both in Heaven and Earth; another Spiritual, which is that Soveraignty which he exercifes over the Confciences of fome People, and in fpecial the Elect; fubduing them by his Word and Spirit to an univerfal Obedience of him ; a third Monarchical, wherein Chrift when he enters upon it, will govern as earthly Monarchs do; that is univerfally over the World, and in a worldly, vifible and earthly Glory; not by Tyranny and Oppreffion, and Senfually, but with Honour, Peace, Riches, and whatfoever
The Title of the Piece here referred to is as follows, viz. The Revelation Unrevealed, concerning the thousand Years Reign of the Saints with Chrift upon Earth. 12o. 1650.
"I have perufed this Polemical Difcourfe against the Tenets "of the Millenaries, and find it to be fo learned and judicious, "and penned with fuch sweet Sobriety and Gall-lefs Moderation, that I approve it very well worthy the Printing and Publifhing.
in, and of, the World is not finful; fo as Chrift fhall adminifter this Soveraignty over all the Earth, in a vifible, and worldly Manner, for Splendor, Riches, Peace, &c. tho' not in a fleshly or finful Manner: He thence defcends to the Confideration of the Manner of this Kingdom of Christ, both in the Extent and Qualities of it. The Extent of it he makes to be unto all reasonable Creatures, Angels, Devils and Men; fhewing that the high ones of the Earth, Kings, and their Monarchies fhall fall before the Lord, both Sun and Moon. Majefty of an higher and lower Rank fhall vanish before him; he fhall change all worldly Cuftom, and fo all kingly Glory; and fet up a new, even his own Glory. Secondly, for the opening of the Quality of it, he makes a double-Day-of-Judgment; one ftrictly for a partial Judgment of fome, not all; wherein many, both Saints and Sinners, shall be judged, and that with great Terror and Solemnity; the other general, wherein all Men and Devils fhall be judged; bringing a World of Saints and Sinners firft to the Bar of that more partial and strictlytaken Judgment, long before the last and general Day.
But even that former fhall be, he faith, a general Judging (tho' not to the fecond Death) of all the Ungodly in the World, at leaft of all that will not ftoop to Chrift's Scepter; and Secondly, adjudging to the Saints alive, who fhall be blamed for their former failings.
Now these two Times and Degrees of Judgment begin and end Chrift's Kingdom or Monarchies; fo as all the time of his reign may be fitly called a Day of Judgment, wherein there is an Evening and Morning, anfwerable to the natural Day: In the Evening or first Part of Chrift's Kingdom there is firft an end, or withdrawing and ceafing of the
Light and Glory of the fore-going Day; fo Chrift's Kingdom fhall begin with the withdrawing of Peace and Comfort, and in following Darkness; in that great Troubles fhall begin to arife upon thofe, who Thall be the Subjects of Chrift's Monarchy, both believing Gentiles and Jews, with Ifraelites, or the ten Tribes, who fhall be all converted, and greatly troubled; but when that Trouble is at the height, then comes the beginning of Chrift's Kingdom. At the first fetting up then of this Kingdom, Chrift fhall come from Heaven vifibly, even as he went thither; which yet is not his laft coming to the laft Judgment, but a middle coming betwixt the two other; for Christ, he faith, hath three comings; the firft when he came to take our Nature; the fecond when he comes to receive his Kingdom, for the receiving of which he went to Heaven; the third when he comes to judge All and end the World: This fecond coming of Chrift shall be long before his coming to the laft Judgment. In which fecond coming Chrift will do thefe three things. First, he will raise up the Saints which are dead before this his coming, not only fuch as have been martyred as fome think, but all Saints who have died in the Faith; for which caufe he is faid to come with all his Saints. (Zach. xiv. 5.) But all the Dead which are not Saints, fhall lie ftill in the Duft, till the laft and general Judgment, for the fecond Death.
The Saints which are thus raifed in the very first Refurrection, fhall not return to a mortal State of Body again, nor yet be fo perfectly glorified as they fhall be afterwards; for then the People on Earth could not bear their Prefence, for they shall shine as the Sun, but they fhall be in a middle State, betwixt Glory and Mortality, as Chrift was after his Refurrection, before his Afcenfion: Secondly, he
will deftroy the wicked People on Earth, for they about the time of his coming fhall combine against the Saints; and then will Chrift fuddenly furprise them to their Ruin; now this Ruin of the wicked, shall not be as yet univerfal to every one; only now he will ruin the Armies of them, and fo he will break the Head and Arm of them, as it was with the Egyptians at the Red Sea, and the reft he will make Slaves to the Churches; and it feems that fome wicked fhall be left for a Seed to these Nations, because by the End of Chrift's Kingdom, Gog and Magog fhall rife against the Saints, which cannot arife out of fuch as prove Hypocrites, or excommunicated, for there fhall be none fuch there; but thefe wicked ones left, fhall be the Nations ruled with Iron. (Rev. ii. 27.)
Thirdly, he fhall examine, blame and fhame the Saints who are alive at his coming, if they be found to have walked loofely; he will not kill them, nor change them in a moment, but shame them; therefore Peter exhorts to be holy, that we be not blamed at his coming.
Now when Chrift hath thus done, and put his Kingdom into Form, he will withdraw to Heaven again, and leave the Government to the dead Saints. raifed up; among whom the Apostles fhall be chief, and they fhall have the Government of those Saints which are found alive; that is, they and all Believers fhall rule the World, in which the twelve Tribes fhall be chief, and they fhall not only rule as Kings, but as Priefts; that is, difcipline their Souls as well as their Bodies.
Now for that it might feem to be no fmall Damage for the Souls of Saints dead to be fetched from Heaven to live again upon Earth, with Men, in their Bodies; he tells us that it is likely the Souls of the departed Saints are not in the highest Heaven, but