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You may obferve that in this Argument about the Reftauration of the Jews, these Interpreters mutilate and diminish the Promifes of God in a twofold manner. They transfer to the Chriftians those things which regard the Jews, according to the genuine Signification of the Words, and accommodate them only to the former. And then they cut off those temporal Bleffings, which the Prophets mention together with fpiritual ones, and reftrain them wholly to fpiritual and celeftial things. In both these ways they flee to Allegories. When they except and exclude the Jews, they feem to do it directly against the Words of the Prophets, and the Nature of Things and Times which are pointed out, as well as the exprefs Names of Places and People, as we have obferved before. And then they omit temporal good things, or change them into heavenly ones, they caft away the other Part of the Promises; for the Prophets often mention these alfo. I am of Opinion that Chrift is yet to be the King of the Jews in a more eminent manner than hitherto, that fo these prophetic Prophecies may not fail in any refpect. It is certain he never rejected this Title, And it was also by the Divine Providence affixed to the Crofs when he was expiring; and the chief Priefts and Scribes then upbraided him with it. When he was acknowledged to be the King of the Jews, either by the Ifraelites (Mark xi. 10. John xii. 13.) or Heathens, (Mat. ii. 2.) our Saviour did not deny or fay any thing against it. And when the Difciples were proclaiming him King, he was fo far from checking them that he faid, if they held their Peace the very Stones would cry out. (Luke xix. 40.) Laftly, when Chrift himself was asked by Pilate, whether he was the King of the Jews, he did not deny it, but claimed that Title as being the Meffias; and
confirmed that Report which was generally received concerning him.
Let us know, I pray, in what Sense Christ told Pilate that he was the King of the Jews, was it in a literal or allegorical one? The Queftion was propounded in a literal Senfe, and did Chrift anfwer Equivocally? No certainly, but in that Sense wherein he declared himself to be the Messiah, in the very fame did he fay that he was the King of the Jews; according to the Predictions of the Prophets where thefe two are joined together. But the Jews were mistaken as to the times of his Kingdom, and did not rightly confider the Difference between his preparatory and glorious Kingdom: The Apostles also fell into the fame Error. (Acts i. 6.)
Let us farther, with reference to this Subject, confider the Dialogue between Jefus and Pilate, as it is fully related by St. John. (c. xviii.) When Pilate entered the fecond time into the Judgment Hall he asked Jefus, Art thou the King of the Jews? (v. 33, &c.) Then Jefus before he answered him as to this, asked him, whether he faid this thing of himself, or others had told it him. Thy own Nation, fays Pilate, and the chief Priests have delivered thee unto me, what haft thou done? Jesus answered, My Kingdom is not of this World; if my Kingdom were of this World then would my Servants fight, that I fhould not be delivered to the Jews, but now is my Kingdom not from hence.
Then Pilate replied, Art thou a King then? Jefus anfwered, Thou fayeft that I am a King. To this End was I born, and for this Caufe came I into the World, that I should bear Witness unto the Truth: or teftify what is Truth.
Now what Truth does he here bear Witness to, if not to that abovementioned, namely, that he was the King of the Jews? And this is the very Tef
timony which St. Paul had in his Eye, when he exhorts Timothy not to fhun Martyrdom, or defert his Profeffion for fear of Death, citing the Example of Chrift, who owned himself to be the King of the Jews, tho' it was with the Danger of his Life.
But you may obferve that our Saviour fomewhat qualifies his Affertion, by obferving that he did not at present actually enjoy his Kingdom, or majeftic Royalty. Otherwife, fays he, my Servants, my Guards would have defended me, but now is my Kingdom not from hence. As if Jefus had faid, Now I claim my Right, the Kingdom which God has promised me, tho' I do not exercise my regal Authority, ἐν τῷ νῦν αἰῶνι, in this prefent Age; fo that the Romans need fear nothing from my Empire. So that thofe Words, not of this World, and now, feem to me to denote not the Nature or Quality of Chrift's Kingdom, but the time of his exercifing it. See the Parable concerning Chrift in the nineteenth Chapter of St. Luke's Gofpel. -(v. 12.)
Christ was anointed to be King, but he had not yet fo much in Fact as in Right, exhibited himself as a King, being afterwards to receive a fuller Dominion, as David who was a Type of him. (1 Sam. xvi. 12.) According to the prophetic Oracles, the King of the Jews and the Meffiah were the fame. Perfon; and thus the Prophecy of Micah is explained by St. Matthew, (c. ii. 6.) For out of thee, he is fpeaking of Bethlehem, fhall come a Governor that shall rule my People Ifrael.
If you understand this of a fpiritual Kingdom, it belongs to the Gentiles as well as Ifrael; indeed Chrift has not as yet reigned over the Jews either literally or fpiritually. For they, as we have before obferved, ftill remain Rebellious against Christ
their King, and altogether averfe to the Chriftian Faith; having caft off the Yoke of Chrift in every respect.
Altho' we have not feen thefe temporal or fpiritual good things fulfilled, at leaft with reference to the Jews, we are not therefore to wonder, much lefs to defpair about the Truth of the Promises. There is an appointed time when every particular Promife of God fhall be fulfilled, and the fet time for these Prophecies is not yet come. The Fulness of the Gentiles is not yet come in, as the Apoftle fpeaks. (Rom. xi. 25.) And Chrift foretold, that Ferufalem should be trodden down till the times of the Gentiles were compleated; and when they were accomplished, the Veils which had been drawn over the Hearts of the Jews fhould be taken away, together with that Blindness which happened to Ifrael. (2 Cor. iii. 15, 16.) And then shall Chrift reign over the Houfe of Jacob, as well literally as fpiritually; according to the Prophecies which have been repeated out of the Old and New Teftament.
You fee we take in an external and temporal Kingdom, when the Apostles asked our Saviour after his Refurrection, whether he would at that time reftore the Kingdom to Ifrael: They mean a temporal Kingdom.
Now what Anfwer does Chrift make? Ye err (fays he) not knowing the Scriptures. He does not tell them that he was not to reign over Ifrael. His Reply does not fuppofe, that the Disciples were in any Mistake as to the Matter itself, but only as to the Seafon; and he checks their Curiofity in Enquiring after the particular times. It is not (fays he) for you to know the Times, or the Seasons, which the Father has put in his own Power; nor did he reprove, inftruct, or inform them otherwife.
In like manner when the Sons of Zebedee defired the chief Seats in the Kingdom of Chrift, they fpake concerning an external and temporal Kingdom; nor did Chrift deny that he was to have fuch a one, or blame the Sons of Zebedee for their Faith in this Matter, but left thofe Honours, and Dignities to be difpofed of by his Father. From thefe and fuch like Places we learn that Chrift, when opportunity offered, never denied that he was to have a future Kingdom, he never renounced his Right and Title, nor transferred the Predictions of the Prophets, concerning his Reign, to a mere fpiritual Signification.
Here is no room for Metaphors. Chrift no more denied that he was the King of the Jews, than that he was God. If the Angel in his Addrefs to the bleffed Virgin, when he was about to conceive, had faid, God fhall give him the Throne of his Father ·David in a fpiritual Manner, and he fhall Spiritually reign over the Houfe of Jacob, then there had been fome Reason for reftraining the ancient Prophecies. But fince the ancient Prophets fpeak about his temporal as well as fpiritual Kingdom and Glory; nor was there afterwards any Restriction, or new Interpretation, made either by the Words of the Angel when he was declaring the Royal Dignity of Chrift, then about to be born, nor yet by the Words of Chrift himself, when he was publickly or privately difcourfing about his Kingdom; nor laftly, by any other facred Authority; fince, I fay, things are thus, I do not fee what hinders but that the future glorious Kingdom of Chrift which we have mentioned before, fhould be understood in both Senfes. What hinders, did I fay? nay all Circumstances on every fide perfuade, confirm and convince us that it must be fo. Nor is there any Promise oftener repeated in the Old Teftament (at least if you ex