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several passages, already quoted, promised to take away the reproach of his people. This is Gilgal the great, “ to roll away the reproach from Israel.” In the day when the Jews shall be converted, “ten men shall take hold of one Jew;"I therefore it is said divers times in the Revelation, that “the saints shall have the name of their father in their foreheads." Yea
Yea “ kings shall be thy nurses ;"s and “the glory of Lebanon, &c. shall come to beautify my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious.” t The Church shall be as the stones of a crown lifted up.”u “The governors of Judah shall say in their hearts, The inhabitants of Jerusalem, my strength in the Lord of Hosts."v We know that of late days, governors have put reproachful names upon the saints and churches of the purest judgement and profession; (as faction, schism, puritans, &c;) but the time is at hand when they shall be convinced, and shall know that saints are the best men, the interest and the stay of kingdoms.
Let the consideration of these privileges make us walk like them that shall see these times ! Let the dawning be upon us, now the sun is about to rise ; cleaving to Christ in ordinances, and to one another in love ; honouring them most, that have most holiness! Yea, let this comfort us, that all the glorious promises, and prophecies shall then be fulfilled !
q Zech. viii, 23.
t Isa. lx, 13,
r Chap. xiv, 1; xxii, 4. s Isa. xlix, 23.
u Zech. ix, 16. v Zech xii, 5.
The object of the following Exercitations is to reply to some queries; and to remove some difficulties and obscurities, experienced by the observant Reader, in the course of this Treatise : and further to rectify certain misapprehensions, which some well minded and godly persons have fallen into, to the great prejudice of this glorious truth.
THE CONFLAGRATION OF THE WORLD,
2 PETER III. 10-14.
It is on all hands agreed, that doctrine he was about to deliver, material fire shall be the dividing touching the burning of the world, point between this present world was the same which the holy proand the world to come; as formerl phets had before spoken of.
For water was between the first old example, Isa. ix, 5,—“Every battle world, and this present. But here of the warrior is with confused is the question : whether this fire ' noise and garments rolled in blood, shall annihilate this world, or only but this (battle of Christ) shall be renovate it ?—Whether again it with burning and fuel of fire." shall not happen till the ultimate Again, Isa. Ixvi, 15, 16.-"For beday of universal judgement on all 'hold the Lord shall come with fire, the wicked, when Christ shall lay and with his chariots like a whirldown all his power; or at the very 'wind, to render his anger with beginning of Christ's restoring all 'fury, and his rebuke with flames things, when his kingdom is mani- of fire. For by fire and with his fested.
sword (or by his sword of fire) will In proceeding to expound this the Lord plead with all flesh; and the text, we must take heed, that our slain of the Lord (because so immeexposition may harmonize with (yea, diately slain by him) shall be many. " be educed out of) the prophets of The context shews, that this is prothe Old Testament. This rule is phesied as a transcendent comfort undeniably evident from verse 2: to the faithful ; and in the last
-“ That ye may be mindful of the times, after the conversion of the words which were spoken before by Jews, v. 7, 8. Daniel likewise has the holy prophets, and of the com- this declared unto hi in a vision, • mandment of us the apostles of chapter vii, 9, 10.-" The thrones • the Lord and Saviour.” Here the were cast down (or rather set up) apostle tells us plainly, that the • and the Ancient of days did sit,
' &c. his throne like the fiery flame, burning must belong to the same ' his wheels as burning fire. A fiery times as those referred to by the • stream issued and came forth from Prophets.
before him, &c. and ten thou- It must also be noted carefully, 'sand times ten thousand stood be that our Apostle mainly intends, in 'fore him. I beheld till the beast this chapter, a parallel between the was slain, and his body destroyed, destruction of the old world by
and given to the burning flame.' water, and of this world by fire, as The fuel for this fire, (viz. the body to the degree of that destruction : of the fourth beast,) is demonstra- viz, that as then, all was not anni. tion enough, to us of these last times, hilated, (neither all men, nor all when this burning shall be. We creatures ;) so neither will they be will add but one place more, viz. at this destruction by fire. This Malachi iv, 1.- Forbehold the part of the rule is so plain in the
day cometh, that shall burn as an context, that I need not enlarge. oven ; and all the proud, yea, and For though the Apostle uses a strong ' all that do wickedly, shall be stub- word, (v. 6) touching the destruction
ble, and the day cometh that shall of the old world; (viz. Afwleto • burn them up, &c. and shall leave perished ;) yet we know by the histhem neither root nor branch.” tory of Genesis, that that perishing
We must also expound this text was chiefly of ungodly men; and according to some ancient promise, that after the flood the world was which God hath made by his pro- renewed and fresh peopled. So our phets, touching this estate of which Apostle, speaking (v. 7) of reserving we speak. This rule is evident also these heavens and this earth unto in v. 13.-" Nevertheless we ac- fire, saith distinctly, it is for the cording to his promise, look for perdition of ungodly men : and after new heavens, and a new earth,” this (v. 13) there shall be a &c. But before St. Peter's time, heaven and a new earth, wherein we have no promise of this new hea.. shall inhabit righteousness," which vens and new earth, except that in must of necessity signify righteous Isaiah lxv, 17; and lxvi, 22, &c: in And as in the deluge of water which places, the Lord promises, on the old world, the starry heavens that “ he will create and make new suffered not at all; so, in the destrucheavens and a new earth, &c.” The tion by fire, those starry heavens circumstances thereunto annexed, are not by Peter included in the (as, dwelling on earth, rejoicing at word heavens, used in this chapter. Jerusalem, with external worship of For the Apostle tells us, (v. 13) that God from new moon to new moon, the catastrophe and intent of this &c.) do invincibly prove, that this fiery destruction is, to make new state can signify no other than a heavens and a new earth, wherein glorious state on earth. Thus the should dwell righteousness :* but in discourse of Peter concerning this the starry heavens there dwells no
* For the better understanding of this, note, that the ancient Hebrew had no one word to signify the system or frame of the superior and inferior bodies, which we call world: but use these two words y789 DIDV (heaven and earth) joined together. So that when St. Peter saith, “ The world that then was, being overflowed by water, perished : but the heavens and earth which now are, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire;' in both places he means the same thing. So the antithesis runs,the world, or heaven and earth, that then was, perished by water, and the heaven and earth, or world, that now is, shall perish by fire.
unrighteousness; therefore these soexela (verse 10.) which our trans. heavens cannot be they that are lators interpret elements.' But it here meant.
cannot in this place (nor in divers It must be further observed, that others) signify those physical things though there be mention in verse 7, commonly called elements.--viz. of the day of judgement; yet the fire, air, water, earth. For, first, the Apostle means not the ultimate world is here divided into heaven judgement,--the great day of judge- and earth, (which include at least ment, when all the deceased wicked three of them-earth, water and shall be raised, and eternally judged. air ;) and yet soixela elements are For he does not say, in the language distinguished from them both : he wrote, την ημεραν, or της κρισεως,
“ The heavens shall pass away with —the day, or day of the judgement; a great noise, the elements shall melt but ημερας κρισεως, ,
a day of with fervent heat, the earth Also judgement,” or a day of judging, as shall be burnt (note the distinction the succeeding copulative (and) and of this word also) and the works that the next word (perdition) do strong- are therein. The mode likewise by ly intimate. The whole together which all shall be affected is also would fairly run thus : The heavens distinguished : the heavens shall pass and earth that now are, &c. are re- away with a noise, the elements shall served unto fire at a day of judging melt with fervent heat, and the earth, and destroying ungodly men, &c. &c. shall be burnt. As for the We decline not to name the entrance fourth element, viz. fire, that is also into this glorious estate, a day of clearly distinguished from the ele. judgement, for we acknowledge it to ments to be burned, being that be such a day, wherein all open which is to burn them. and obstinate ungodly men then Secondly, the heavens and the elealive shall be destroyed, and all the ments are set in contradistinction to deceased saints shall be raised; who, the earth and the works that are with all the saints then found alive therein. Therefore, as works signify on earth (being changed) shall be things on the earth, not the earth made happy in soul and body. But itself; so elements must signify the I would have the Reader understand, things under the starry heaven, or that St. Peter does not here intend in the airy heaven, not the air itself. the ultimate and great day of judge. The word soixela, here rendered ment; since he clearly tells us, that elements, must therefore signify the after this day of firing these hea- furniture belonging to the heaven of vens and earth, there shall follow, the air ; as the works on earth sig. not only new heavens, but a new nify the building and whole furni. earth also : and intimates (verse 8,) ture of creatures belonging to the that the space of the continuance earth, called in Scripture between this first judgement, which host of them.”a To prove this to I but now mentioned, and the last be the true meaning of the Apostle, judgement, is a day of a thousand (who, being a Hebrew, would také years; as does also St. John, Rev. such Greek words as would suit the X, 4, compared with verse 7, &c. Hebrew expressions) note, that Hy
The chief difficulty with some tsaba signifies to stand or march in in regard to this text, is the word a military posture ; and so corres
a Gen. ii, 1 ; Joel ii, 25.
ponds well and suits with serxw, power of the air,”b and his host " the which is expounded by the learned rulers of the world,” and “wicked to march in a military posture.* spirits in heavenly places,"c Nor is And accordingly the Septuagint it altogether improbable, that St. render the verb 3 tsaba by ma- Paul, in Gal. iv. 8, 9, may mean in patattopai, to stand in an ordered part by " the elements of the world,” battalio. Now if this be the cor- (τοιχεια το κοσμο) wicked spirits, respondency of the verbs, why their suggestions and doctrines : should there not be a similar cor- for he plainly makes the antithesis respondency in the nouns ? For if so,-- When ye knew not God, ye the noun x3 is oft rendered a host did service to them which by naor army of creatures ; why should ture are no Gods (for they were not the Apostle take sorgelov to sig- idols and worship, taught them by nify the same ? Indeed the Gentile the devil ; and thus they worshiped Greeks do use sexos
· the devil in them ; see 1 Cor. x, ing of the same verb serxw) in that “20.) But now after that ye have very sense, viz. for military order. known God, how turn ye again to Further, in the Chaldee version of " weak and beggarly elements ?" the Wisdom of Solomon (which And in Col. ii, 8: Take heed lest Apocrypha I quote only for the use any spoil you through philosophy, of a word) in chap. vii, 7, there is after the elements of the world;" mention of anbio, the same with (see the margin.) Philosophy cannot the Hebrew robin which signifies here signify the true doctrine of the planets and stars, which are God's works of creation, but must the host of heaven. The Greek signify the theology of heathen phiSeptuagint renders this by kvepyelav losophers, touching the doctrine of SOIXelwy, the operation of the elements, demons, &c. as our English has it; but it must It will immediately be perceived, of necessity signify, according to that it is not the empyrean heaven of the intent of the Chaldee, the oper- glory, neither the etherial heavens ation of the host of heaven.
of the stars, that shall be burned ; Now it is granted on all hands, but only the aerial or sublunary heathat as there are three heavens (ac- ven with its elements or hosts. The cording to 2 Cor. xii, 2) so each of manner or posture of this heaven at them hath its host. In the highest the period when it shall cease, is heaven of glory is the host of the described as a passing away : glorious angels and blessed spirits. which is a usual Hebraism to signify In the next below, the ethereal any change of a thing; Thus in heaven, is the host of the planets Psalm cii, 26, speaking of the and stars. In the lowest or aerial heavens, that they shall be changed; heaven, there is both a visible and the Hebrew word is 72377, which an invisible host: the visible con- the Arabic renders shall pass away. sisting of the clouds and meteors, So that this phrase signifies not the and also the fowls of heaven; and utter abolition of this heaven; any the invisible consisting of wicked more than the word 'perished' (verse spirits and devils,whose prince, 6) signifies the utter annihilation of Satan, is called “ the prince of the the earth by Noah's flood; which
* ETEIXW EV Tačel mapayıvojai, in ordine militari incedo. Scap. ex Etymol.
b Ephes. ii, 2. c Ephes. vi, 12. See margin.