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that the obsesyn the baptist, en. But will he Messiah ?
m of hehe kingdom" kingd been alread
of heaven suffereth violence, and the violent take it by force.” It must have existed, or it could not have been a subject of this violence. It must be admitted, that the observation of Christ, in the verse before this, respecting John the baptist, implies, that he (John) was not in the kingdom of heaven. But will any one contend, that he was not in the kingdom of the Messiah ? Certainly he was a subject of this kingdom. Promises, predictions, and facts, as they have been already called into view, prove, that it had long existed, and that it would not be discontinued. And it is not pretended that there are two kingdoms, over which Christ maintains a mediatorial government. He is head over all things unto the Church. This is his one body, the fullness of him who filleth all in all. The phrase then, kingdom of heaven, must have an appropriate meaning. And it seems to intend, Zion, at a particular period of her existence; in her greater enlargement, spirituality, light, and beauty ; derived from the Redeemer's presence, and instructions, and the more abundant effusions, of the Holy Ghost, which were to be given. The day of the Messiah was to be, and in fact was, a luminous day, far beyond any preceding parallel. Motives were multiplied, types were answered, the leading promises of the former dispensation were fulfilled; the Messiah was come; the spirit was richly given, and grace was glorified. So great was this augmentation of glory, to which the Church was raised, as to justify the figura. tive representation of the prophet, Isaiah, xxx. 26. “Moreover the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun shall be sevenfold, as the light of seven dsys, in the day that the Lord bind. eth up the breach of his people, and heateth the stroke of their wound.” This was somewhat like the setting up of a new kingdom, yet it was in fact only the increase of one long establishted.*
* 66 John the forerunner of Christ, was the first who administered baptism, under the new dispensation," Baldwin on Baptism, page 193. Perhaps I do not rightly apprehend what Dr. Baldwin means here by new dispensation. At any rate this position implies, that the dispensation was in existence prior to John's beginning to baptize.
ration lies asture, and facovenant, in se Dr.
Again it is objected, that the prophecy of Dainel, Dan. ii. 44, “ And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed, &c.” implies the erection of a kingdom,original, and new ; and, as this kingdom is acknowledged to be the kingdom of the Messiah, under the latter dis. pensation, this kingdom cannot be a continuity of the Israelitish Church. This Dr. Baldwin has advanced as an argument against the sameness of the Jewish and Chris. tian Churches. The whole force of the argument depends upon the words set up. If these terms mean, to found originally, there is some plausibility in the argument. But demonstration lies against this interpretation. The whole current of scripture, and facts, in perpetual succession, forbid it. As making a covenant, in scripá. ture phraseology, according to the concession of Dr. Gill, sometimes means, only the renewing, or farther confirming a covenant already established, why may not setting up a kingdom, mean merely, the exaltation, and greater extension of a kingdom, already in existence ? On consulting the Seventy, I find the original word translated, set up, rendered by them kvæolnoki ; and Poole renders it suscitabit. Chrysostom renders it into the very same word. (Suscitabit Deus celi regnum.) Schrevellius renders aviolnui, excito; and Williams, in his Concordance, by the English verb, to arise. Neither of these renderings suggests the idea of originating a thing as entirely new. The passage, therefore, ex. hibits no proof against the theory we have established.
But Dr. Balwin imagines that there is proof, that Christ did originate a kingdom, as an entirely new
Aftér noting so far, I am astonished to find at the bottom of the page, that * John was sent to introduce the new dispensation of the Savior." Thus he was to introduce it, and yet baptized under it. So difficult it is to find when this supposed new kingdom began to be. If the advocates of the opinion that an entirely new kingdom was now set up by Jesus, in the persons of his first followers, and when they were collected as such, will turn to Luke, xxii. 18, they will find, I think, decisive proof that their opinion is erroneous. “ For I say unto you, I will not drink of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God shall come." This was at the institution of the supper, on the very night in which Christ was betrayed. Yet he speaks of the kingdom of God as to come, a future event. If this phrase means a new kingdom to be originally erected, why then, the kingdom of the Messiah, had not even now an existence. This construction must be given up. It involves gross contradictions.
thing, from the fact, which I have introduced to prove the contrary ; viz. that he gathered disciples, and placed himself at the head of them, in distinction froin the body of unbelieving Jews. The question is, What were these disciples anterior to their being thus collected ? Did they belong to the heathen world ? Were they not all native Jews ? Were they not of the visible people of God, the Israel whom he loved, and redeemed ? Is there not demonstration that some of them at least, and much reason to conclude, that nearly all of them, were subjects of real religion ? Was not this the case with John and his disciples ? Was it not the case with Joseph, and Mary, and Simeon, and An. na, Zacharias, and Elizabeth ? And why should it not be supposed to have been the case with many others ? Some we are told believed in Christ, who did not confess him ; i. e. did not publicly follow him. Now to what society did these persons belong ? Why the evasion is, that they belonged to the nation of the Jews ; a na. tion, in the civil acceptation of that term. But we have proved that Israel was not a nation, in this sense ; that it was a religious society, of which Christ was the im. mediate head. When he came to his own, he did not come to subjects of a civil government; but to those who stood in visible relation to him by the bonds of the Abrahamic covenant. It is true, as Dr. Baldwin says, that a large proportion of the Jews hated Christ, and rejected him; that he did not consult their pleasure, or act in concert with them. What then ? Still they were his own, just as hypocrites in the Church are now, “ He came unto his own; and his own received him not.” They were his subjects; but they proved them. selves to be rebellious subjects, just as a multitude of their fathers had been ; and were cut off accordingly. If they had not been his, he could not have cut them off. All that the Savior did, therefore, in thus separat. ing the holy from the vile, proves, that a kingdom was not now originally formed. Let my brother, and let the reader remember, that the Messiah was to order, and establish forever, a kingdom, already existing. To purge, and purify, and exonerate, in this manner, was to order and establish. But to set up an entirely new kingdom, would be quite a different thing. The principle here contended for, as a matter of fact will be much confirmed as we proceed. I will therefore de. tain the reader no longer in this place.
Mespecting the rejection of the unbelieving part of Israel, and
the translation of the Messiah's kingdom into the Gentile world, in which the union of believing Jews and Gentiles, under his immediate reign, is illustrated,
UNDER the ministration of Christ, we have seen a part of the Jewish people, following him as their king, and acknowledged by him as the sheep of his fold. In them we have seen his kingdom perpetu. ated, ordered, and established. We have seen another part, and this the largest, hardened in impenitence and unbelief, rising up in rebellion against their own Messiah, refusing his claims, and fatally casting him out of the vineyard. We are now to see how these two por. tions of the Jewish people are disposed of. We will begin with the unbelieving part. Upon them, Christ, during his ininistry, fixed uncommon, and as it would seem, with respect to the most of them, unpardonable guilt. “If I had not spoken unto them, they had not had sin ; but now they have no cloak for their sin." Mat. xxiii. 31. “Wherefore ye be witnesses unto
yourselves, that ye are the children of them which kil. ·led the prophets. Fill ye up then the measure of your
fathers ; Ye serpents, .ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell ?» Upon them espe. cially, must have rested the awful denunciations of their lawgiver Moses, Deut. xxviii. 6, and on. “And it shall come to pass that as the Lord rejoiced over you to do you good, and to multiply you ; so the Lord will rejoice over you to destroy you, and to bring you to nought, and to pluck you off from the good land, whither ye go to possess it. And the Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth even unte