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between the Jew and Gentile was broken down and the people were justified and made one family unto God by faith. Then the setting up of the gospel kingdom was not referred to by Paul in 2 Tim. iv. 1; but another event in which Christ shall judge the living and dead. The reader may peruse and collate the following passages, teaching the kingdom of Christ: Ps. ii. 6; lxxxix. 19; cx. 1–3. Is. ix. 6, 7. Dan. vii. 14. Luke i. 32. John xvii. 2. Eph. i. 20, 21. Heb. ii. 8. Rev. xi. 15. 2. “At his appearing and his kingdom,” as used in the text, does not necessarily refer to the setting up, or beginning of the gospel kingdom ; but to the appearing of Christ at the end of the world, and to the full extension and establishment of his kingdom. We have already given one incontrovertible reason, why it must refer to an event subsequent to the beginning of the gospel economy, for a different period of time is referred to. At the time of the appearing of Christ and at his kingdom, Christ shall be Judge and arraign before his tribunal, the quick and dead, or the whole human race. These scenes will transpire at the same time or in swift succession. What is therefore to be understood by the phrase, “his appearing " The term “appearing” is used in various passages, and in such connections as preclude the possibility of referring to the setting up of his kingdom. It implies his “second coming” and that is still future. 2 Thess. ii. 8. “Then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall destroy with the brightness of his coming”—literally by his appearing. All respectable Biblical interpreters refer this passage to the downfall and overthrow of Roman Catholicism ; this wicked Power shall be destroyed at the appearing of Christ; but this Roman Beast still reigns and sits in the temple of God, therefore the second coming of Christ is still in the future. Had the second coming of Christ taken place at the beginning of the mediatorial reign of the Savior, then the Roman Beast would have been destroyed before he existed, which is absurd. - Paul exhorts Timothy, (1 Tim. vi. 14.) “That thou keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.” Paul still anticipates the appearing of Christ, but Universalists put it in the past. Titus ii. 13. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” The Apostle looked forward to the time, when his race should be run, his battle fought, and his faith perfected; and then he expected to lay hold on the crown of glory, as the reward of fidelity to be bestowed by Christ the righteous Judge, and all others should likewise be rewarded who loved his appearing at that day—the day of judgment. (2 Tim. iv. 7.8.) The appearing of Christ refers to his second coming, and all rules of interpretations which would make his first coming literal and personal, will, when applied, teach his second appearing as literal and personal. The same reasons exist for the latter, which exist for the former. “And his kingdom.” Christ came into the world, he has sent forth his proclamation of submission and mercy, and the Spirit is still convicting of sin, of righteousness and of Judgment; all this had a view to the establishment of the kingdom of Christ on earth—the beginning is made, but the completion is still in the future. And when fully established, it will be manifest to the universe. The saints shall be purified, his enemies be made his footstool, and death and the empire of the grave vanquished; then shall “his kingdom” be finished, and that feature of it which is mediatorial, shall be surrendered to God, or be abrogated, and the Savior's kingly dominion shall have no end. Paul says, “Thou hast put all things in subjection under his feet, &c.—But now we see not yet all things put under him.” (Heb. ii. 8.) This kingdom is not yet completed, but it will be at the second appearing of Christ, the great God, when he shall judge the living and dead. 3. Christ cannot judge the living and the dead until his mediatorial reign shall be terminated. The living, those who are alive on the earth, and the dead, those who are held by the empire of death, when the second appearing of Christ shall take place, all will be judged by him; but before the dead can be judged, they must be raised, therefore the time of his appearing, and his kingdom, and the Judgment, will be at, and after the resurrection. However, Universalists intimate that the living and the dead refer to the spiritually alive, or the christian, and to the morally dead or the sinner; and for proof they cite 1 Peter iv. 5, 6. “Who shall give account to him that is ready to judge the quick and dead. For, for this cause was the gospel preached also to them that are dead, &c.” The apostle addressed christians and the elect of God, through sanctification of the spirit and obedience, and spoke of the contumely they endured in consequence of their strict piety; but their motives, principles and life would be vindicated and justified when they should render up their stewardship to Christ, who is well prepared and qualified to judge the human race—not the then living only, but also all the dead, including the rational and accountable world. That those, who are already dead, might also be judged with the living, they had the gospel also preached to them. Those dead who had the gospel preached unto them while living, shall be judged by Christ by the rule of the gospel, and those who died under the law and those who only enJoyed the light of nature, shall be judged by the truths and light they had, but all shall stand in the Judgment. It is unquestionable, that the phrase, “the living and the
dead,” refers only to the living on the earth and the naturally dead. It is so used and understood by Paul; (Rom. xiv. 9.) and by the angels “Why seek ye the living among the dead;” (Luke xxiv. 5.) 4. It is inconsistent for Christ to be the Mediator, Advocate and Judge, at the same time. He came the first time, to save the world, therefore he came to mediate and advocate our cause; and not to condemn the world, hence he did not assume the character and tribunal of the Judge. John iii. 17. “For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world, through him might be saved.” He must first needs judge before he can condemn; but this was not his purpose, for while he stands forth as Mediator and Savior, he cannot be the Judge. When the economy of redemption shall end, and Christ shall conquer all his foes beneath his feet and break the empire of death, then he shall display at his second coming the power and glory of his kingdom, and judge the world in righteousness. Another portion of Scripture on which Universalists greatly rely to prove the Judgment at the beginning, and not at the consummation of the kingdom of Christ on earth, is found recorded in Matth. xvi. 27, 28. “For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels, and then he shall reward every man according to his works. Verily, I say unto you, There be some standing here which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” The reader may refer to the parallel: passages as recorded by the other Evangelists, teaching mainly the same sentiments, with a little variation of language. Mark viii. 38; ix. 1. Luke ix. 26, 27. Universalists use the passage, “There be some standing here, &c.” as the key to interpret this Scripture, and apply it to the destruction of Jerusalem, which was overthrown
in the life-time of some who heard Christ; and as the coming of Christ is spoken of in connection, therefore they infer that He came to Judgment at the same time. The description in Matth. xxv., of the coming of Christ in glory and with the holy angels, they interpret in the same manner and apply it to the same event. Hence, it appears that Matth. xvi. 27, 28. is their starting point, and the foundation of their theory of the Judgment. Different commentators apply the passages to different events—some to the overthrow of Jerusalem and the Jewish polity, while others disconnect the passages, and apply verse 26 to the end of the world and the final Judgment, and verse 27 to the full development and spread of the gospel. We shall venture our views in as condensed a space as possible, and yet cover sufficient ground to develop the truth.
1. The import of the kingdom of God.
Wheneverit is called the kingdom of God, it has reference to God as its author; or of Christ, it refers to him as the administrator of the kingdom; or of heaven, as divine and spiritual in contrast with the kingdoms of the earth. That system of law, government and administration which God has instituted, and is constantly administering over the limits of his empire, is called a KINGDOM. It affects the general movements of the inanimate creation, it includes and directs divine providences, and extends its truths, inducements and persuasions over the rational world. To govern and promote the happiness of accountable intelligences, was the chief object of the institution, and is still the grand design of the administration of the kingdom of God. The reins of government, placed in the hands of the Messiah, were designed to control the whole machinery of the Universe—all authority and right to rule in heaven and earth, were given to Christ. All the arrangements, instru