Of the millennium, or personal reign of christ with the saints on the new earth a thousand years


John Gill


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I have treated already of the kingly office of Christ, as executed by him in various dispensations, particularly under the gospel dispensation, see 4topics on 983 and have observed, there are two branches of it yet to come; one called the "spiritual", the other the "personal reign"; the former has been considered, and this is a proper place to treat of the latter; which I shall do by showing,


1. That Christ will have a special, peculiar, glorious, and visible kingdom, in which he will reign personally on earth.


1a. I call it a special, peculiar kingdom, different from other kingdoms of Christ; from the kingdom of nature and providence, which lies in the government of this world; which he, as God, has an equal right to with his Father; but when this kingdom will take place, this present world will be at an end: and from his spiritual kingdom, which belongs to him as Mediator; which rule he has exercised in the hearts of his people from the beginning of the world; and which has been, under the gospel dispensation, more large and manifest; and will be more so in the latter day, when his spiritual reign will take place; but this is different from that.


1b. It will be very glorious and visible; Christ's kingdom, in the spiritual reign, will be very glorious, when all the glorious things spoken of it, will be fulfilled; and it will be very visible, when exalted above all the mountains and hills, the kingdoms of this world: but this will be more so, since Christ will be in it; not only by his Spirit, and the effusions of his grace, but he will personally appear in all his glory, and reign gloriously before his ancients; hence his "appearing" and "kingdom", are put together, as contemporary, #2Ti 4:1 he in person will appear, and his tabernacle be with men on earth.


1c. This kingdom will be after all the enemies of Christ, and of his people, are removed out of the way. In his spiritual reign antichrist will be destroyed, "with the Spirit", or breath of Christ, his gospel; and with "the brightness of his coming", that clear light which will attend his coming, by the effusion of his Spirit {1}; which will be with such spiritual efficacy, as to dispel all darkness, Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan; and cause an universal reception of the gospel; which will open the way for the Christian princes, to carry their victorious arms every where, and seize upon, and possess all the antichristian states; and in this order things lie in the prophecy of Daniel, #Da 7:1-28 where, after the vision of the "fourth" beast, of the judgment of it, of the slaying it, and burning its body, the Roman empire, and the remains of it, in antichrist, and the antichristian states; Daniel, had a vision of Christ, the Son of man, coming in the clouds of heaven, and having an universal kingdom given him, which will not be succeeded by any other. And in the same order things lie in the book of the #Re 19:1-21 where the beast, antichrist, and the kings of the earth, the antichristian princes, are represented as gathering together, to make war with Christ, described as an illustrious Warrior; when the beast and false prophet, antichrist, in both his civil and ecclesiastic characters, are taken and destroyed, and the rest slain, by the sword of Christ's mouth: all which will be done, with the ruin of the Turk, the Eastern antichrist, at the beginning of the spiritual reign: but still there will remain a most potent enemy, Satan, with his principalities and powers; wherefore, in #Re 20:1-15 an angel descends from heaven, who is no other than Christ, who will then personally descend from thence; described as having a great chain, and a key in his hand; the one to bind Satan and all his angels; the other to open the bottomless pit, and cast them in it, and lock it up; that they may neither deceive the nations, nor disturb the saints, for the space of a thousand years {2}. And all enemies being thus out of the way, follows the account of the Millennium, or personal reign of Christ.


1d. This glorious and visible kingdom of Christ, will not take place till after the resurrection of the just, and the renovation of the world {3}. As soon as Christ personally appears, the dead in him will rise first; this is the first resurrection, which they that have a part in, shall reign with Christ a thousand years; as appears from the above place in the Revelation referred unto. These "children of the resurrection", as Christ calls them, #Lu 20:35,36 and who will be worthy of "that world", the new world, in which Christ and they will reign, will be like the angels, die no more; nor will they eat and drink, in a corporal sense; nor marry and be given in marriage; carnal appetites will not be indulged; nor carnal pleasures enjoyed: in this state, nothing but pure, refined, spiritual pleasures, will be had, suited to the bodies and souls of men, united in the resurrection state. Our Lord, indeed, speaks of his disciples eating and drinking at his table, in his kingdom; and of his drinking new wine in his Father's kingdom, which is the same, #Lu 22:30 Mt 26:29 but then all this is to be understood of divine repasts, of spiritual joys and pleasures, they shall then partake of. The Jews, it seems, had very carnal notions of the kingdom of God, of a great affluence of meats and drinks in it, and of rich and delicious living; hence a certain person said, "Blessed is he that shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!" #Lu 14:15 meaning, that shall live deliciously there. And such gross and carnal conceptions, some that have bore the Christian name, have entertained of the millennium, as well ancient {4} as modern writers, at least, as represented by their adversaries; and therefore it has been objected to them, as if their notion savoured more of a Turkish paradise, than of a kingdom of Christ; and which has brought disgrace upon the doctrine of the kingdom, and given disgust to pious and spiritual minds; as it did to Austin {5}, who had some light into it, and owned, that could it be restrained to spiritual delights and pleasures, it might be allowed: but now the manner in which I conceive it, clears it from such absurdities, and represents it as quite unclogged, and free from such an objection. All the prophesies of temporal blessings in the latter day, as length of life, a numerous offspring of the people of God, plenty of corporal food, an affluence of wealth and riches, will have their accomplishment in the spiritual reign, or latter day glory; when there will be such au effusion of the Spirit of God, as will be a counterbalance to such earthly enjoyments, that they will not do the hurt they would in the present circumstances of things; and even then, when the influences of the Spirit shall go off, and be withdrawn, that state will gradually sink into lukewarmness, pride, self-conceit, and carnality, #Re 3:15,16. But nothing of this kind will appear in the millennium.


1e. This kingdom of Christ will be bounded by two resurrections; by the first resurrection, or the resurrection of the just, at which it will begin; and by the second resurrection, or the resurrection of the wicked, at which it will end, or nearly; for it is expressly said, that "the rest of the dead", that is, the wicked, "lived not again until the thousand years were finished": now in the interval between the resurrection of the one, and the resurrection of the other, will be the millennium, or thousand years reign of Christ and his people together.


1f. This kingdom will be before the general judgment, especially of the wicked. There is a particular judgment that passes on every man at death; "After death, judgment!" and there will be a virtual judgment immediately upon the appearance of Christ, who will come to judge both "quick" and "dead". Dead saints will be raised, and living saints changed, and both be with Christ; which will be virtually pronouncing them righteous; and as for the wicked, their bodies will be burnt in the conflagration of the earth, and their souls will be shut up with Satan and his angels in the bottomless pit; which will be virtually pronouncing them guilty: but the formal judgment will proceed afterwards. Indeed, in the thousand years reign, will be the judgment of the saints, as will be seen hereafter; and some time after the close of the millennium, will come on the general judgment of the wicked; for John, after he had given an account of the former, #Re 20:1-15 relates a vision of the latter.


1g. This glorious, visible kingdom of Christ, will be on earth, and not in heaven; and so is distinct from the kingdom of heaven, or the ultimate glory: the souls of the martyrs, and others, said to reign with Christ a thousand years, cannot be understood of their reigning with him in heaven; for so they had reigned with him from the time of the death of their bodies; and was their reigning with him in heaven meant, there would have been no need of binding Satan and his angels, and shutting them up in the bottomless pit; as not to deceive the nations, so not to molest them; since being in heaven, they were out of their reach, and could not be disturbed by them: but it is on earth they are to reign with Christ; of which the living creatures, and four and twenty elders, the representatives of gospel churches, and the redeemed of the Lamb, express their strong faith; "And hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth"; meaning, no doubt, in the millennium; for they speak of it as future, saying, not "we do", but "we shall reign on earth"; and that the millennium reign will be there, is clear, since the Gog and Magog army, at the end of the thousand years, are said to go up "on the breadth of the earth", and "compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city"; the same with the saints before described as reigning with Christ, which therefore must be on the earth; and the same with the holy city John saw descending from God out of heaven, that is, on earth, with whom his tabernacle is said to be, and he to dwell with them, #Re 20:4,6,8,9 21:2,3. But then this kingdom will not be upon this present earth, or upon this earth in its present circumstances; the present heavens and earth will be burnt up before this kingdom takes place; this world is not good enough for the second Adam, and his saints, to dwell in; the curse must be removed from it, and it must be refined, and new fitted up, for such inhabitants; and all the wicked of it be no more in it, as unfit to dwell where such persons do. Christ's kingdom is not of this world, nor never will be. This has been the mistake of many, fancying that the millennium will be in the present earth; which have given the adversaries of this doctrine, an occasion to object unto it; as subversive of civil government, and as encouraging sedition and rebellion in commonwealths, and as giving just umbrage to the kings and princes of the earth, and to all civil magistrates. And, indeed, in the seventeenth century, in this nation, there were a set of men, called "fifth monarchy men", and who were levellers, and riotous persons, were for pulling down civil magistracy, and all order of civil government, and setting up what they called a kingdom of Christ; which brought the doctrine of the millennium into great contempt, and under which it has much lain ever since. But putting it upon the footing I have, that this kingdom will not be in the present earth, the kings of it have nothing to fear from it; it will not interfere with theirs; civil government will not be hurt by it; for it will not be till that is no more, and the world itself at an end; and so can give no encouragement and countenance to persons of a riotous and seditious disposition. Indeed, in the spiritual reign, the dominion under the whole heaven, will be given to the people of the saints of the most High, which will last to the end of the world: but then there will be no alteration made in the order of civil government, much less will that be destroyed; it will only be translated into other hands; only Christian princes shall possess it; there will be no more pagan princes, nor papal kings, nor Mahometan emperors; only such who are not only nominal but truly Christian princes, according to #Ps 72:10,11 Isa 49:23 #Isa 60:3,10,16. But as for the personal reign of Christ with his saints, that will be on the new earth, wherein will "dwell righteousness", and that only; that is, Christ, who is the Lord, the Righteousness of his people; and they who are made righteous by him, #2Pe 3:13 so the new heavens and new earth John had a vision of, are, according to that vision, the seat of the new "Jerusalem", or church of God, and of Christ, who will there tabernacle with them, #Re 21:1-3 and then the Lord will be King over all the earth; there will be no offset; there will be one Lord, and his name one, #Zec 14:9.


Having explained the nature of Christ's kingdom, I shall proceed to give the proof that there will be such a glorious, visible kingdom of Christ on earth: this proof, as it depends on prophesies of future things, cannot be expected to be so full and clear in all respects, as a proof may be of things past or present; the prophesies respecting the first coming of Christ, doubtless, did not appear so clear and plain before their fulfilment, as since: so the prophesies of the second coming of Christ, and of his kingdom, may not be so evident as they will be, the nearer is the approach of it; or as when it will be. Besides, the prophesies of the Old Testament are delivered in very general, concise, and comprehensive terms; and sometimes include both his first and second coming, and things that intervene between them; and therefore it should be no objection to a proof of Christ's second coming and kingdom, that there are some things in the context which respect his first coming; and others which respect the spiritual reign; but these are to be separated, and distinctly considered; and what belongs to the one, should be applied to that; and what belongs to another, should be appropriated to that. Now the proof of this point, may be taken from various passages in the Psalms, in the Prophets, and in the books of the New Testament.


1g1. First, from some passages in the Psalms; and to begin with

the #Ps 45:1-17, which was made "concerning the King", the

King Messiah, who is called "the King", by way of eminence,

the famous King; and who is described as a divine Person, as

God, whose throne is for ever and ever; and as graceful, and

full of grace, as Man and Mediator; and as a most potent

Prince, riding in great majesty, and as a triumphant

conqueror. And though some things said of him may agree with

the conquests of his grace, in the first and after ages of

Christianity; yet they will have their full accomplishment

at his second coming, when all his enemies shall be subdued

by him. His court is represented in the Psalm as a very

brilliant one; some in it have the name of queen, others are

called honourable women, or maids of honour; and among

those, kings daughters, and others the rich among the

people; which may respect the different degrees of honour

among the saints, in the resurrection and kingdom state,

which will only obtain then; not in the ultimate glory. The

glory and purity of the church are strongly expressed; the

"queen" is said to be at the King's right hand, "in gold of

Ophir", her clothing of pure gold; which agrees with the

new Jerusalem, on the new earth, a city of pure gold. The

King's daughter, the same, is said to be "all glorious

within", being perfectly pure and holy; such as the new

Jerusalem will be, into which nothing sinful, defiling, and

abominable, shall enter. The church is also, in the Psalm,

represented as introduced into the King's presence, in a

magnificent manner, "in raiment of needlework", as well as

in "clothing of wrought gold"; which fitly agrees with the

kingdom state, in which Christ will present his church to

himself a glorious church, being as a bride adorned for her

husband; not only having on the robe of his righteousness,

but the shining garments of immortality and bliss. Moreover,

at this time he will make his people "princes in all the

earth"; which shows that this his kingdom will be on earth,

and agrees with the faith and expectation of his saints,

that as they are made by him "kings and priests unto God",

they shall "reign on earth".


I take no notice of #Ps 72:1-20 for though it relates to

Christ and his kingdom, yet to that branch of it, his

spiritual reign, and expresses the prosperity, peace, glory,

extensiveness, and duration of it. But #Ps 96:1-13 must not

be overlooked; which begins, "The Lord reigneth, let the

earth rejoice!" which shows that the psalm respects the

kingdom of Christ on earth; and which will take place at his

coming to judge the world, as appears by its connection with

the last verse of the preceding psalm; and which coming of

his, as hereafter described, will be in the clouds of

heaven, and with flames of fire, as has been observed in a

preceding chapter. The #Ps 145:1-21 treats of the kingdom of

Christ, and the glory of it, and represents the saints as

speaking to one another of it; of its glory, majesty, and

duration, #Ps 145:11-13 which can suit no state so well as

this; in which the saints will be employed in converse with

each other, about the glory of their King, the glory of his

coming to his kingdom, of his glorious acts done by him in

it, and of the glorious things they enjoy therein.


1g2. Secondly, from various passages in the prophets: and,


1g2a. From #Isa 24:23. "Then the moon shall be confounded", &c.

this glorious reign will take place after the punishment of

the "kings of the earth upon the earth", #Isa 24:21 by whom

may be meant the beast and the false prophet, with the kings

of the earth, the antichristian kings; who will make war

with the Lamb, and be overcome and slain by him, #Re 17:14

#Re 19:20,21 and whose army may be called "the host of the

high ones that are on high"; being in high places, and in great

power and dignity; and may be also very well applied to

Satan, and his principalities and powers, those "spiritual

wickednesses in high places"; and what is said in

#Isa 24:22 of the shutting of them up and confining them as

in a prison, and then after many days visiting them, very aptly

agrees with the binding of Satan and his angels, and the

shutting of them up in the bottomless pit; and then after a

thousand years letting them loose for a short time, which

will issue in their everlasting punishment; see #Re 20:2,3.

Moreover this reign will not take place until the utter

dissolution of the earth, when it shall fall and not rise again

in the form it now is, #Isa 24:19,20 the person reigning

is the Lord of hosts, the Lord of the armies of the heavens,

the angels, and of the inhabitants of the earth, the greatest

among them; who is King of kings and Lord of lords; all which

is true of Christ, who reigns now in the kingdom of providence

as God, and the Creator of all things; and in the kingdom of

grace, as Mediator in the hearts of his people; and in his

churches, where he will reign more illustriously in the

latter day; but this is still a more glorious reign that is

here spoken of: the place where he will reign is in Zion and

Jerusalem, which may be literally understood of that spot of

ground where these cities were, which may be the chief

residence of Christ in this his kingdom; or mystically of

that Zion where he and the one hundred and forty four thousand,

having his Father's name on their foreheads, stood; and the

new Jerusalem, that will come down from heaven, among whom his

tabernacle will be, #Re 14:1 21:2,3.  The persons "before"

whom, and in whose sight he will reign, for this kingdom will

be visible, are his ancients; not his ancient people the Jews

only, but all his elect that have been from the beginning of

the world; Adam, Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, the

prophets of the Old Testament, and the apostles of the New;

and the four and twenty elders, the representatives of gospel

churches; and even all those ancient ones whom God has loved

with an everlasting love, chose in Christ before the foundation

of the world, called the "ancient people", #Isa 44:7 with

these Christ will reign "gloriously", or "in glory"; he will

appear in glory, in the glory of his deity, and in the glory

of his human nature, and in the glory of his kingly office;

and such will be his lustre and splendour, that the "sun" and

"moon" will be "ashamed" and "confounded"; they will blush

and withdraw their light, as it were, or that will not be

comparable to his; and that city, the new Jerusalem, where he

will reign, will stand in no need of their light, for the

Lamb will be the light of it, #Re 21:23.


1g2b. With this agrees another prophecy in #Isa 30:26. "Moreover

the light of the moon shall be as the light of the sun", &c.

this prophecy will not be fulfilled until "the day of the great

slaughter is over", the great slaughter of the antichristian

kings, captains, and mighty men; which carnage of them is

called the supper of the great God, to which the fowls of the

air are invited to prey upon, #Re 19:17,18 "when the towers

fall", when the city of Babylon or Rome, with its towers, and

the cities of the nations, of the antichristian nations, with

their towers, will fall, #Re 16:19 nor will it be fully

accomplished until "the name of the Lord", or the Lord

himself, comes "with the flame of a devouring fire", to burn

up the world, and all things in it, #Isa 30:27,30 and so much

respect the second coming of Christ, which will be from

heaven with flames of fire: and another criterion of the

fulfilment of this prophecy is, that it will be when the Lord

will "bind" up and "heal" the "wounds" of "his people"; that

is, forgive their iniquities, which in the kingdom state will

be publicly and completely done; the sins of God's people

will be so fully blotted out, that they shall not be seen by

themselves, nor by others, any more; see #Ac 3:19-21 and

though great will be the light and knowledge of men in the

spiritual reign, the first branch of Christ's kingdom; yet

this sevenfold light, which is expressive of a perfection of

it, best agrees with that state, the light whereof exceeds

that of the sun and moon; and when the Lord shall be the

everlasting light of his people, and their God their glory,

#Isa 60:19,20 a prophecy which respects the same thing.


1g2c. There is another prophecy which seems to belong to this

glorious kingdom of Christ on earth in #Jer 23:5,6.

"Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise

unto David a righteous branch", &c.; there can be no doubt

but Christ is here meant, who is the Lord our righteousness,

the author of righteousness to his people; he is the man

whose name is the Branch, and is raised up to David as such,

and a righteous one he is; a King that shall reign in

righteousness, and so prosper as to be king over all the

earth; and on the earth this his reign will be, since it is

"in the earth" he will execute judgment and justice: and

though his saints, who are meant by Judah and Israel, are

always safe under his protection, being in his hands, and

kept by his power; yet what state or period can be named

wherein they will dwell in more safety, and in such freedom

from the oppression and molestation of their enemies, as in

the millennium? when all their enemies will be no more, and

even Satan and his angels will be bound and shut up in the

bottomless pit for a thousand years, and so during that time

can give them no disturbance.


1g2d. There are some passages in Ezekiel which seem to have

respect to this kingdom state; as in #Eze 21:27. "I will

overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more

until he come, whose right it is, and I will give it him";

which may be understood not only of the overturnings in the

Jewish state before the first coming of Christ, but also of

the overturnings of empires before his second coming; and

being expressed three times, may denote the overturning of

the Pagan, Papal, and Mahometan empires, which when

overturned will be no more; and after Christ will come, who

is heir of all things, and by the designation of his Father,

will be king over all the earth. In #Eze 48:1-35 there is a

prophecy of a city, the dimensions of which are such as

cannot agree with any city on earth literally taken; but

must be understood either of the gospel church state; or it

may be rather of the city of the new Jerusalem, described in

#Re 21:1-27 in which Christ will reign, and his saints with

him, in a most glorious manner; and the rather this may be

meant, since the name of the city is "Jehovah shammah", the

Lord is there, #Eze 48:35 and in the new Jerusalem will be

the tabernacle of Christ with men on earth, where he is

said to be with his saints, and dwell with them, #Re 21:3.


1g2e. There are some prophecies in Daniel which respect the

kingdom of Christ, as in #Da 2:1-49 the image Nebuchadnezzar

saw in his dream is explained by Daniel as an emblem of the

four monarchies, Babylonian, Persian, Grecian, and Roman;

and in #Da 2:44 it is said, "In the days of these kings,

shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom", &c. that is,

after these kings have reigned, and their kingdoms are

ended, as Junius {6} interprets it; for this kingdom could

not be set up in the days of them all, since their kingdoms

were successive. Nebuchadnezzar also saw in his dream, "a

stone cut out without hands, which smote the image, and

became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth"; which

must be understood of Christ, both in his human nature,

which is a tabernacle not made with hands; and which God

pitched, and not man; and in his kingdom, which was very

small in its first beginning, but by degrees increased, and

will still more increase, and become a great mountain, a

mighty kingdom, and fill the whole earth, and so jostle out

all other kingdoms: this will be, in part, fulfilled in the

spiritual reign of Christ, when the kingdoms of this world

shall become his; but most completely in the millennium,

when he shall be King over all the earth. There is a

prophecy of the same kind in #Da 7:1-28 where Daniel had a

vision of four beasts coming up out of the sea; which design

the same four monarchies rising up successively in the

world: and after this, he had a vision of a judicial

process, issuing in the slaying of the fourth beast, the

destruction of the Roman monarchy; and the burning of the

body of the beast, the remains of that monarchy, antichrist,

and the antichristian states: after which he has a vision of

Christ, the Son of man, coming in the clouds of heaven; and

so it must respect the second coming of Christ, and of his

then having a dominion, and glorious kingdom given him,

which is an everlasting one, that is, which shall not be

left to another people, as in #Da 2:1-49 nor be succeeded by

another kingdom; but shall continue until the kingdom of

heaven, or the ultimate glory, takes place; and this kingdom

will not be in heaven, but "under the whole heaven"; as in

#Da 2:27.


1g2f. There is a passage which has been frequently referred to,

and belongs to this kingdom state, in #Zec 14:9. "And the

Lord shall be king over all the earth; in that day shall

there be one Lord, and his name one". This kingdom will be

on earth; and will be when there is no other; and when the

homage and worship paid to Christ, this King, will be

universally the same. And though there may be some passages

in this chapter which belong to the spiritual reign, the

first branch of Christ's kingdom; yet there are others, as

well as this, which can only agree with his personal reign,

upon his second coming; for it is expressly said, "The Lord

my God shall come, and all the saints with thee"; which will

be fulfilled, and not before, when Christ shall descend from

heaven, and bring all his saints with him, #1Th 3:13 4:14,16.

And this reign of Christ over all the earth, will be when the

saints are in a perfect state; and so not before his second

coming, and the resurrection of the just. Holiness will now

be so universal, that, proverbially speaking, it will be

written on "the bells of the horses"; and every member in the

new Jerusalem church state, into which nothing defiling shall

enter, meant by "every pot in Jerusalem and Judah, shall be

holiness to the Lord", or be completely holy; and there shall

be "no Canaanite", neither a profane sinner, nor a carnal

professor, in the house and church of God; nor any sinful

lust in any of its inhabitants.


1g3. Thirdly, The proof of this glorious kingdom of Christ, may

be given from various passages in the New Testament; and,


1g3a. From #Mt 6:10. "Thy kingdom come; thy will be done in

earth, as it is in heaven". To this, as a proof, it may be

objected, at first sight, that this is the kingdom of the

Father; since it is "Our Father which art in heaven", the

petitions arc directed to. To which it may be replied, that

the same kingdom may he called, the kingdom of the Father,

and the kingdom of Christ, as it is certain this kingdom we

arc treating of is so called; as appears by comparing

#Mt 26:29 with #Lu 22:30 and there is a good reason to

be given for it; because this kingdom is a kingdom which the

Father had appointed to Christ, and which will be given him by

him, #Lu 22:29 Da 7:14 and for the same reason the Father

calls him his King, because appointed and set by him as king

over his holy hill of Zion, #Ps 2:6 this kingdom may be

called his. Now this is a kingdom yet to come, and is prayed for

as being future; and so cannot design neither the kingdom of

providence, nor the kingdom of grace, nor the gospel

dispensation; and though it may include the spiritual reign,

the first branch of Christ's kingdom, yet will not be fulfilled

in that; since it respects a perfect state, when the will of

God will be done on earth by men, as it is in heaven by the

angels; the saints, in the kingdom state, will serve Christ

their king constantly and incessantly, and so perfectly; and

this will be a kingdom on earth, where the will of God will

be perfectly done, as it is in heaven, and so is a distinct

state from that. To all which may be added, that the coming

of this kingdom is to be prayed for {7}; not only the first

branch of it, in the spiritual reign, as in #Isa 62:6,7 but

the second coming of Christ, to take possession of his

kingdom personally, saving, "Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly!"

and this may, and should be a prayer of faith; for since he

has directed his people to pray daily for the coming of this

kingdom, it may be assured that it certainly will come; for

Christ would not direct his saints to pray for that which

never will be.


1g3b. From #Mt 20:21-23. "Then came to him the mother of

Zebedee's children, desiring that her two sons may sit the

one on Christ's right hand, and the other on the left, in

his kingdom". The same request is made by the two sons

themselves, #Mr 10:35-40. Now though these petitioners were

tinctured with the national notion of the Messiah setting up

a temporal kingdom on earth, at the time of his first

coming; and with which all the apostles seem, more or less,

tinctured, until the Spirit was poured down upon them on the

day of Pentecost; yet our Lord does not deny, but rather

owns, there would be a kingdom of his, in which distinctions

of honour would be made, and peculiar privileges, and marks

of respect, bestowed on some; but that these would only be

given to such for whom they were prepared by his Father: he

blames them for their pride and ambition, in affecting to

have preeminence above their brethren; and suggests, that

their petition was an unseasonable one; it was not a time to

think of, and expect honours and preferments, they being now

in a suffering state, and must expect sufferings for his

sake; yea, that he himself must drink of a bitter cup, and

be baptized with a bloody baptism, before he entered into

his kingdom and glory; and this would also be their case:

this glorious kingdom of Christ, and honours in it, are not

to be expected in a militant suffering state; the saints

must suffer with Christ first, before they reign and are

glorified together with him; the crown of righteousness will

not be given, till the good fight of faith is fought; and

not before the glorious appearing of Christ, and only to

them that love that: this cannot be understood of the

kingdom of heaven, or a kingdom there, because there is no

sitting at Christ's right hand there; he is set down indeed

in his Father's throne, and sits at his right hand, where no

creatures, angels nor men, are admitted: but in the

kingdom state, he will have a throne distinct from his

Father, in which his saints will sit with him, #Re 3:21

on his right and left; and in which state will be thrones,

whereon some will sit, being distinguished from others, with

some matins of honour and esteem; for such there will be in

this kingdom of Christ, though what they will be is not easy

to say; they are signified by one being a ruler over ten

cities, and another a ruler over live cities; which is not

to be understood literally, but of some posts of honour, and

distinctive marks of respect some will have; for as one star

differs from another star in glory, so will be the

resurrection of the dead; or such a distinction be in the

resurrection state----in this glorious kingdom of Christ. In

#Mr 10:37 instead of, "In thy kingdom", it is, "In thy



1g3c. From #Lu 1:32,33. "The Lord God shall give unto him the

throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the

house of Jacob for ever; and of his kingdom there shall be

no end!" These words were spoken by the angel to the virgin,

concerning her son, who should be great, and be called, "the

Son of the Highest"; and which respects him, not in his

incarnate state on earth, for then he appeared; not great,

but mean; and his kingdom was not with observation: but

hereafter, in the latter day, when his name should be great

among the Gentiles, from the rising of the sun to the going

down of the same, #Mal 1:11 and especially at his second

coming, which will be with power and great glory; and he

will appear, as the Son of the Highest, as the great God,

and our Saviour; and whereas he was the Son of David,

according to the flesh, it is foretold, that he should have

the throne of his father David, not literally, but mystically;

which will have its accomplishment, in part, at the conversion

of the Jews in the last day, when they shall seek the Lord

their God, and David their king, the true Messiah, and yield

subjection to him; but more fully when all the elect of God

are gathered in, both Jews and Gentiles, over whom be will

reign, even over the house of Jacob, that Jacob, the Lord has

chosen for himself; and this his kingdom will be for ever; it

will not give way to, nor be succeeded by another; in the

same sense as in the prophecy of Daniel, it is said to be an

everlasting kingdom; there will be no end of it; for when

Christ has reigned with his people on earth a thousand years,

he will reign with them, and they with him, in heaven, to all

eternity; see #Mic 4:7.


1g3d. From #Lu 22:29,30. "As my Father hath appointed unto me a

kingdom", &c. Here is a special and peculiar kingdom of

Christ, which he calls, "my kingdom"; and which he has by

the designation and appointment of his Father; and which was

yet to come, as well as that he appointed to his followers;

in which kingdom there will be a table, at which all Christ's

people will sit, and eat and drink; not temporally, but

spiritually, and shall feed upon a divine repast, suited to

their resurrection state; for at this table shall sit Abraham,

Isaac, and Jacob, and multitudes from divers parts, and who

have lived in the several periods of time; and here will be

thrones placed, on which the saints shall sit; for they will

now be "kings and priests unto God", and shall reign as such,

and have judgment given them, and on some distinct honours

will be conferred.


1g3e. From #Lu 23:42,43. "And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember

me when thou comest into thy kingdom!" The light and faith

the penitent thief had in the kingdom of Christ, and in his

future coming to it, were very great; for though Christ

appeared now very mean and despicable, suffering a shameful

death, and lying under the greatest reproach and ignominy;

yet he believed that he would come again, and take

possession of a kingdom that belonged to him; and desires

that he might be remembered by him at his appearing and

kingdom: to which an answer is returned; "And Jesus said

unto him, verily I say unto thee, today shall thou be with

me in paradise": signifying, that he should not stay so long

without partaking of his favours; for that day he should be

with him in the third heaven, and continue with him till his

second coming; and then he, with all his saints, should come

with him, and share in the glories of his kingdom.


1g3f. From #Ac 1:6. "Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the

kingdom unto Israel?" The sceptre, according to ancient

prophecy, was now departed from Judah, and Judea was become

a province to the Roman empire; now the Jews had a notion,

that when the Messiah came, he would restore the kingdom,

and redeem them from the Roman yoke, and make them a happy

people, as to temporal things; and with this notion, the

disciples themselves were tinctured; and as they believed

that Jesus was the Messiah, they had raised expectations of

this matter; but when he was dead, their hopes seem to be

almost quite gone, #Lu 24:21 but Christ being raised from

the dead, their hopes revived: and it was a notion that

prevailed with the Jews, and does to this day, that the

coming of the king Messiah, to deliver them, and the

resurrection of the dead, will be at the same time: and,

indeed, Christ's personal reign will take place after the

resurrection of the just. And now there having been a

resurrection of many of the saints, #Mt 27:52,53 and

especially Christ himself being risen, and also had spoken

to his disciples of things pertaining to the kingdom of God,

#Mt 27:3 they might hope that this was the time the

kingdom would be restored. Now though they had very obscure

and carnal notions of the kingdom; yet Christ does not deny

that there would be a kingdom hereafter he should enjoy, and

which should be restored to Israel; only blames them for

their curiosity in enquiring into the time of it, #Mt 27:7

and which shows that this kingdom will not be till Christ

comes to judge the quick and dead, which time none knows but

the Father only, #Mt 24:36 and exactly agrees with this



1g3g. From #2Ti 4:1. "I charge thee therefore before God, and the

Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and dead at his

appearing, and his kingdom". This appearing of Christ cannot

be meant of his first appearing in human nature, that was

past, this future; that was not to judge the world, this

will be: nor did his kingdom then appear, now it will: but

of his appearing a second time to those that look for him,

#Heb 9:28 and then his personal reign, and glorious kingdom

will take place, he now personally appearing in his glory;

and when he will judge both quick and dead, will virtually

judge, as has been before observed, the dead and living

saints, by raising the one and changing the other, when he

shall descend from heaven, and thus appear; and the wicked

also, by burning their bodies in the general conflagration

which now will be, and by shutting up their souls with

Satan, in the bottomless pit. And moreover, the actual

judgment, both of the righteous and the wicked, will follow

on this appearing of his kingdom; the judgment of the saints

will be at the beginning of it, and in it, and the judgment

of the wicked at the end of it.


1g3h. From #Heb 2:5. "For unto the angels hath he not put in

subjection the world to come, whereof we speak"; though the

"world to come", may be understood of the gospel dispensation

the apostle had been speaking of in the preceding verses, in

distinction from the legal, or Jewish dispensation, angels

had a concern in; whereas they have none in the ministry of

the gospel. And the Jewish dispensation is sometimes called

"the world", the end of which fell upon the times of Christ

and his apostles, #Heb 9:26 1Co 10:11 and with respect to

which, the gospel dispensation may be called "the world to

come", it being usual with the Jews, to call the days of the

Messiah by this name; which may take in the whole time

between the first and second coming of Christ. But though the

apostle may have respect to what he was speaking of in the

preceding verses, yet so as to include what he was going on

to speak of in the following verses, concerning the second

Adam's world; for the proof of which he refers to the eighth

Psalm; which is spoken, not of the first Adam, not even in

his state of innocence; the name of the Lord was not then so

excellent in all the earth as it has been since, and especially

will be; nor were there then babes and sucklings, out of

whose mouth strength, or praise, could be ordained; nor was

Satan, the enemy and avenger, stilled, he soon got the

advantage over Adam; nor could Adam be called then Enosh, a

frail mortal man, as that word is thought to signify; nor was

he a son of man; nor were the works of God's hands so universally

put under him as is said, not the angels: but Christ, the

second Adam, is meant, with whom everything agrees; though,

as yet, all things, in the fullest sense, are not in subjection

to him, nor will be, till his second coming, till after the

binding of Satan, and the resurrection of the dead; and then

the last enemy, death, will be destroyed, and his glorious

kingdom take place, which angels will have no concern in;

they will be employed at the beginning of it, in gathering

together the risen saints; and at the end of it, in casting

the wicked into hell; but not in the kingdom itself; nor will

they be needed. Moreover, this world to come, seems to

include the new world, the new heavens and the new earth, the

apostle Peter speaks of; for his beloved brother Paul, he

says, had wrote and spoke of those to the same persons the

apostle Peter wrote unto; now he wrote to the converted Jews,

scattered abroad in various places, and therefore must refer

to the epistle to the Hebrews, written by the apostle Paul;

and where, in that epistle, can he be thought to speak of

this new world, the heavens and the earth, but in this

passage under consideration? and which may be very well

rendered, as it is by Dr. Burnets {8}, "the habitable earth

to come"; which will be the seat of Christ's personal reign.


I take no notice now of the proof from the passages

#Re 5:10 20:4-6 which are very plain, because I have already

made mention of them, and shall have occasion to make more

use of them; though Socinus {9} thinks this kingdom cannot be

proved from #Re 20:1-15 since the whole place, he says, must

be taken and explained in an allegorical way; but he owns,

that should he be asked, what is the allegorical interpretation

of it, he is not ashamed to confess his ignorance of it. But

that it is to be taken in a literal sense, will appear hereafter.

I go on,


2. To show, that in this glorious, visible, and personal reign of Christ, all the saints will have a share; they will "reign with him", #Re 20:4,6. I shall not dwell long on the proof of this; because those scriptures which speak of Christ's kingdom, give plain and clear hints of the reign of his saints in it.


2a. First, there are various passages of scripture, which give plain intimations of the reign of the saints with Christ in his kingdom; these are they which he will then "make princes in all the earth", #Ps 45:16 these, however mean in their original, are, through his grace, set among princes, and shall inherit the throne of glory; and these princes are altogether kings; and being such, shall reign with Christ on earth; for when he, the King, shall "reign in righteousness", these are the "princes" that shall "rule in judgment", #Isa 32:1. In the same prophecy of Daniel, which speaks of the kingdom that shall be given to Christ, upon his coming in the clouds of heaven, #Da 7:14 it is also said, #Da 7:27. "And the kingdom, and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom"; all which is expressive of a glorious kingdom under the whole heaven; and so not a kingdom in heaven, but under it, on earth, and which will extend to all the earth. Such a kingdom "shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High"; to the people and saints of Christ, who is Jehovah, the most High in all the earth; such a kingdom they never had yet, nor never will have, till the Son of man comes in the clouds of heaven; "Whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominion shall serve and obey him": which shows, that this kingdom is of the same nature, extent, and duration, with Christ's, #Da 7:14 and in which the saints will share with him.  Brenius {10} thinks, that by one "like the Son of man", #Da 7:13 is not meant Christ personally, but his glorious kingdom in the latter day; that as the four preceding monarchies are represented by beasts, for their fierceness, cruelty, and tyranny; his by a man, for the mildness, gentleness, lenity, and humanity of it: and that coming in the clouds of heaven, denotes the divine and heavenly original of it not rising out of the sea, or earth, as the other kingdoms: and he supposes the Son of man, and the people of the saints of the most High, #Da 7:27 to be the same to whom the dominion will be given. There is a passage in #Mic 4:7,8 which plainly intimates, that when Christ reigns, his church and people shall reign also; "The Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion, from henceforth even for ever"; to which reference seems to be had by the angel, in #Lu 1:32 and then it follows; "And thou, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion"; which may be understood of Christ, the tower and strong hold of his people: "Unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion"; he shall have the first, the chief, the principal share in this reign; yet also, "the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem", the church of God, the new Jerusalem, the holy city of the saints. Our Lord tells his disciples, "That ye which have followed me", who had embraced him as the Messiah, and received his doctrines, and submitted to his ordinances: here should be a stop, and then another clause begin: "in the regeneration"; meaning, not the grace of regeneration, or the new birth; but a new state of things, the resurrection state {11}: the word paliggenesia, is used by Greek writers, both philosophers and the Christian fathers {12}, for the renovation of the world; and the Syriac version of it here, is, "in the new world", that is, the new heavens and the new earth, the apostle Peter speaks of; in which new state, the Son of man shall sit on the throne of his glory, reign in it before his ancients gloriously; and then "also", adds he, "ye shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel"; should have posts and places of honour in the church of God, #Mt 19:28 similar to this, is what Christ says to them in #Lu 22:29,30 that as his Father had appointed him a kingdom, so he appointed one to them, in which they should "eat and drink at his table, and sit on thrones", &c. which is expressive of great nearness to him, communion with him in his kingdom, and of great honour conferred upon them. The saying of Christ, in #Lu 20:35 refers to this state; where he speaks of some that "shall be counted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection from the dead"; by which is meant the world to come, in distinction from this present world, #Lu 22:34 even the new world, the apostle Peter's new heavens and new earth, which will take place upon the resurrection of the dead; and they that are worthy of the first resurrection, through the grace of Christ, those shall obtain, possess, inherit, and dwell in the new world, and reign with Christ in it. The kingdom to be restored to Israel, #Ac 1:6 which Christ seems to allow will be, is what will be restored and given to the mystical Israel, even the whole Israel of God, all his elect, consisting of Jews and Gentiles. When the apostle Paul speaks of saints that suffer with Christ, being "glorified together", #Ro 8:17 he elsewhere expresses, by their "reigning with him", #2Ti 2:12 and to this reigning together with Christ, he may well be thought to have respect in #1Co 4:8. "Ye have reigned as kings without us"; treating him, and his fellow ministers, with some degree of contempt, as if they were below them, and they stood in no need of them: and adds, "I would to God that you did reign", in the best sense, and in the highest degree, even with Christ, in his personal reign; "that we also might reign with you"; in which state the saints will all reign together. Once more, Christ promises, #Re 3:21. "To him that overcometh, will I grant to sit with me on my throne; even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne": this promise will be made good to every overcomer; to everyone that is made more than a conqueror through Christ; and will be fulfilled in the kingdom state, when he will have a throne of his own; now he sits on his Father's throne with him; then he will sit on his own throne, and this will be large enough for all his saints to sit upon with him; which is as strongly expressive of reigning with him, as words can possibly be. To all which may be added, the relations and characters the saints bear in scripture, which will strengthen the proof of their sharing with Christ in the glories of his kingdom. "They are", and will then appear to be, "the children of God, being the children of the resurrection", #Lu 20:36 as Christ was declared to be the Son of God by his resurrection from the dead; so they will be declared also to be the sons of God, by their resurrection from the dead; "And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ", #Ro 8:17. Christ is heir of all things, and they are joint heirs with him; he is heir of the world, and the world is theirs, Christ being theirs; not the present world, in which they have but a small share; but the world to come, the new world, the world that Abraham was heir of, through the righteousness of faith; as are also all his spiritual seed, even they that are Christ's; and these are heirs according to the promise, and shall inherit the new earth, and reign with Christ in it. The church and people of God, stand in the relation of a bride to Christ, being espoused to him; hence as he is king, the church is queen; and not only stands at his right hand in gold of Ophir, but sits on the same throne with him; and as she bears the same name with him, #Jer 23:5,6 33:16 she shares in his honour, dignity, and glory. The saints have the character of kings, being made so by Christ to God; and they have the regalia of kings, have thrones to sit on, crowns on their heads, and shall not want a kingdom; being kings, they shall reign on earth, and reign with Christ there, #Re 1:6 3:21 4:4 5:10 20:4.


2b. Secondly, all the saints will share in the glories of Christ's kingdom; though some will have distinguished honours, yet all will reign with Christ. Some think only the martyrs will rise first, and reign; and, according to the opinion of some, not on earth neither; but shall ascend to heaven, and reign there, while the other saints, during the millennium, are on earth; and which is grounded on a passage in #Re 20:4. "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them", those next described; "and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God--and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years". That these were martyrs, no doubt is to be made; they suffered death for the testimony they bore to Jesus and his gospel; and by the manner of their death, beheading, it appears that such are designed who suffered under the persecutions of the Roman pagan emperors, this being a Roman punishment; hence the axe used to be carried before the Roman magistrates; and this one sort of death is put for all others that Christians, in those times, were put to: and these souls seem to be the same with those in #Re 6:9,10 such, indeed, who have been slain in the cause of Christ, shall "live", that is, live again; their bodies shall be raised and united to their souls, and "reign with Christ" in their whole person, body, and soul: but not a word is here said, or elsewhere, of their ascension to heaven, and reigning there; but, on the contrary, those who are said to dwell with Christ, and he with them, are said to come down from God out of heaven, #Re 21:2,3 and that there should be two sorts of persons in the millennium, one in heaven and the other on earth; or, as others imagine, that there shall be on earth some in an immortal, perfect state, and others in a mortal and imperfect one; some having the word and ordinances among them, and others not, are mere chimeras, for which there is no foundation: and what communion can saints have with each other, who are either at such a distance from one another, or in such different circumstances? and as to the martyrs, it is certain, there are others besides them who shall live and reign with Christ a thousand years: and who are mentioned in the same text; for it follows, "And which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image; neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they", as well as the martyrs before described, "lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years"; these are not represented as sufferers for Christ, only as confessors and professors of his name; who bore their testimony against the papacy, in every shape of it, and did not yield unto it, neither by word nor deed; and may include all such persons, who, in every age and period of time, abstain from all corrupt worship, false doctrines, and ordinances of men. The reason why such who suffered under Rome pagan, and those who submitted not to Rome papal, are particularly pointed at and described, is, because the book of the Revelation is chiefly concerned with the state of the church, from the resurrection of Christ to his second coming. Otherwise, all the Old Testament saints, as well as new, will have a part in the first resurrection, and share in the millennium reign; even all the saints that have been from the beginning of the world, now are, or shall be, to the end of it; for,


2b1. All the saints will come with Christ, who have departed this

life, when he comes a second time; this is asserted both in

the Old and New Testament, #Zec 14:5 1Th 3:13 4:14.


2b2. All that are Christ's shall rise from the dead at his

coming, #1Co 15:23 and, in consequence of their

resurrection, shall reign with him. Now all the people of

God, from the beginning of the world to the end of it, all

true believers in Christ, are his, belong to him; he has an

interest in them, and they in him; and when he comes a

second time, they will rise first; and having a part in the

first resurrection, shall reign with Christ a thousand

years, #Re 20:4,6.


2b3. All the elect of God, and the redeemed of the Lamb, are

kings and priests; and being such, shall reign on earth;

those that are a "chosen generation", or who are "elect

according to the foreknowledge of God", are a "royal

priesthood", or are kings and priests, #1Pe 1:2 2:9 and all

that are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb, "out of every

kindred, tongue, people, and nation, are made unto God kings

and priests", and "shall reign on earth", on the new earth,

with Christ, a thousand years; even all of them, all that

are chosen, all that are redeemed, #Re 5:9,10 20:6.


2b4. The whole church of God, and the members of it, in every

dispensation, shall have a share in the kingdom of Christ.

Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, will have a

seat in it, and multitudes from all parts of the world, and

who have lived in different ages, shall come and sit down

with them, #Mt 8:11 Lu 11:28,29. The four and twenty elders,

the representatives of the gospel church, under the New

Testament dispensation, being redeemed out of every nation,

and being kings and priests, declare their strong faith that

they shall reign on earth; and accordingly, are sometimes

represented as having on their heads crowns of gold, as well

as clothed in white, the raiment of priests arid princes,

#Re 4:4 5:9,10. In a word, the whole body of the elect, and

redeemed of the Lamb, the church universal, consisting of

all its members, not one wanting; and so a bride, completely

prepared and adorned for her husband; even the holy city and

new Jerusalem, will descend from God, out of heaven, on

earth; arid the tabernacle of God, of Immanuel, will be with

them; and he will dwell and reign with them, and they with

him, #Re 21:2,3 compared with #Re 20:9.


2c. Thirdly, in what sense the saints, even all the saints, will reign with Christ, may be next considered. This will not be after the manner of his spiritual reign among his saints; that is a reign in them, this is a reigning "with" them, and of them with him. His reign of grace takes place at the conversion of men, when, as King, he sets up his throne in their hearts, and reigns there; and such a reign has been from the beginning of the world, as soon as the first man was called by grace; and has continued ever since, more or less, in every dispensation, and will continue until the last man is converted. Nor does this reign we are treating of, take place in the separate state of the soul in heaven, before the resurrection: that state is expressed, by a "being with Christ", #Lu 23:42 2Co 5:8 Php 1:23 but never, as I remember, by "reigning with him". This reign will not be until the resurrection, till soul and body are reunited; for there can be no proper reigning while the body is under the power of death and the grave, at least not fully and completely: the saints will first "live", that is, live again in their bodies, have a part in the first resurrection, and then reign with Christ, soul and body, a thousand years, #Re 20:4,6. And so,


2c1. This will be a reign "with Christ" personally and visibly;

he will appear in person, and be visible by them; and they

shall appear with him, in a most glorious manner, in soul

and body; and will be "like him", being glorified, and

reigning together with him; and shall see him as he is,

personally and visibly, in the glory of his person, as

God man, reigning before his ancients gloriously; see

#Col 3:4 1Jo 3:2.


2c2. This reigning with Christ, implies some kind of share with

him in the glories of his kingdom; hence "thrones" are said

to be set for them to sit upon; and "judgment given them",

which denotes regal power to be exercised by them; yea, they

are said to sit on the same throne with Christ, on "his

throne", and to "eat and drink at his table, in his kingdom":

all which expresses a great share of honour and dignity, and

of large enjoyments; see #Re 20:4 3:21 Lu 22:30.


2c3. This supposes dominion over all their enemies; as Christ

will now have all enemies put under his feet, being subdued

by him; so all enemies will be put under the feet of the

saints, and they will have dominion over them. "Sin" will

now be no more troublesome to them. Their power over sin, in

the present state, is expressed rather negatively, by sin

"not having dominion over them"; than affirmatively, by

their having dominion over sin; nay, they are sometimes so

far from it, that they are brought "into captivity by it":

but now the straggle for dominion will be over, the warfare

will be accomplished, and an entire victory obtained over

sin, which will be no more. Satan, and his principalities

and powers, though spoiled and bruised by Christ, and

triumphed over by him, yet there is a wrestling and combat

between the saints and them in the present life; and though

the devil cannot devour and destroy them, yet he greatly

disturbs and distresses them; but now he will be bruised

under their feet also; when he, and his angels, shall be

shut up in the bottomless pit, where they will remain during

the thousand years Christ and his saints shall reign

together in the world, in which the saints have now so much

tribulation; and the "wicked" men of it, from whom they meet

with so much persecution, in one shape or another, shall be

trodden down by them, and be ashes under the soles of their

feet, their bodies being burnt up in the general conflagration;

and their souls in no capacity to hurt or molest them, being

shut up with Satan in the bottomless pit. The last enemy,

"death", will now be destroyed, being "swallowed up in

victory", by the resurrection of the dead; so that the risen

saints, reigning with Christ say, "O death, where is thy

sting? O grave, where is thy victory?" and, indeed of this,

and every other enemy, they may say, "Thanks be to God, which

giveth us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ!"

#1Co 15:26,54,55,57.


3. The description of the persons that shall thus reign with Christ, as given #Re 20:6.


3a. First, they are such who have "part in the first resurrection"; which, what that is, must be enquired into.


3a1. First, this cannot be understood of a spiritual resurrection,

or of a resurrection from the death of sin to a life of

grace, which men are made partakers of at regeneration; such

a resurrection cannot be intended here; for,


3a1a. As this was a vision of something future, that John saw, be

it afterwards when it may, it could never be the first

resurrection of this sort; since there had been thousands of

instances of this, from the beginning of the world to the

times of John; and therefore could be nothing uncommon,

rare, and wonderful, to be shown him, if this was the case.


3a1b. This can never be the first resurrection, with respect to

the persons themselves raised; for they are such who had

been raised in this sense before; since they are the souls

of such who had suffered for Christ and his gospel, and had

bore a testimony against antichrist in every shape; and had

refused obedience to him by word or deed: and can it be

thought that such persons had not been quickened by the

grace of God; or were not raised from the death of sin,

before they suffered for the sake of Christ, or professed

his name?


3a1c. Persons once raised in this sense, never die again; nor

stand in need of being raised a second time; he that lives,

and believes in Christ, never dies a spiritual death; grace

in him is immortal and incorruptible: and could this

possibly be their case, it would not be the first, but a

second resurrection.


3a1d. There is no such resurrection after death. Those persons

are represented in the vision, as having been slain for

their faithful testimony; or as having departed this life,

either under Rome pagan or papal; and as they stood in no

need of such a resurrection, so if they had, they could not

have had it; if a man dies in his sins, he remains in them;

if he dies impenitent, and an unbeliever, so he continues;

neither faith nor repentance any grace, are given after death.


3a1e. Persons who have been quickened in this sense, or have been

spiritually raised from the death of sin, and have lived,

never lived corporally a thousand years; not any of the

saints in the patriarchal state, partakers of a spiritual

resurrection, even those that lived the longest, not Adam,

nor Methuselah, lived to such an age; nor any afterwards to

the times of John; nor any since; nor is there any reason to

expect that any will in the present state.


3a1f. There will be none to be raised in this sense at the coming

of Christ in the last day; the Jews will have been converted,

and the fulness of the Gentiles brought in; all that God

meant should come to repentance, will now have been brought

to it; and when everyone of them is effectually called, or,

in other words, raised from a death of sin to a life of

grace, then will the day of the Lord come, and the general

conflagration take place, in which all the wicked of the

earth will be burnt up; and the whole election of grace being

gathered in, and the whole church of God completely prepared

for Christ her husband, there will remain none to be the

subjects of a spiritual resurrection.


3a1g. If this living again before the reign, or at the beginning

of the reign of the thousand years, is to be understood of a

spiritual resurrection, then the living of the rest of the

dead, that is, of the wicked, at the end of the thousand

years, must be understood in the same sense, that they shall

live a life of grace, being raised from the death of sin;

for it is expressly said, "The rest of the dead lived not

again until the thousand years were finished"; which

supposes they will live when they are finished, and live in

the same sense as they will who will live at the beginning

of them; that is, a corporal life, being raised from the

dead; not, surely, a spiritual one.


3a2. Secondly, nor is this first resurrection to be understood in

a civil sense, of the resurrection of the martyrs, not in

their own persons, but in their successors, or of a revival

of the cause for which they suffered; which it is supposed

{13} will be, when in the latter day the Jews will be converted,

and the fulness of the Gentiles brought in; the conversion

of the Jews being represented by a resurrection, by

opening their graves, and bringing them out of them, and

causing them to live, #Eze 37:13,14 and of which some

{14} understand #Da 12:2 and by the apostle Paul called,

"life from the dead", #Ro 11:15. But,


3a2a. Though this may be called a resurrection, in a figurative

sense, yet it is never called, "the first resurrection"; nor

can it be called so, with any propriety; because there have

been already revivals of the cause of the martyrs: there was

a revival of the cause of them who suffered in the persecutions

of the pagan emperors, in the times of Constantine, when

paganism was demolished throughout the Roman empire, and

Christianity got ground, and flourished everywhere; and

there was a revival of the cause of the martyrs and confessors

under Rome papal, at the time of the reformation; when whole

nations, even many of the European nations, fell off from

popery, and embraced the truths of the gospel; so that,

admitting the time referred to may be called the revival of

the cause of the martyrs, it cannot be said to be the "first",

but rather the "third" resurrection. Besides, a first

resurrection, supposes a second, of the same kind. Now

after the conversion of the Jews, and the great spread of

the gospel among the Gentiles, what further reviving of the

cause of Christ is there to be expected in the present

state, that can be called a second resurrection?


3a2b. Those that shall have part in the first resurrection, are

expressly the same persons who really existed in the times

of Rome pagan, and Rome papal, and not any successors of

theirs, of whom the same things cannot be said as are of

them; nor in the times referred to, will there be any

persons similar, and answerable to the martyrs and

confessors described; since there will be no antichrist to

suffer from, nor to bear a testimony against; for the

kingdoms of this world, both pagan, papal, and Mahometan,

will now become the kingdoms of Christ, and serve him.


3a2c. The time of the conversion of the Jews, and of the Gentiles,

will be over before this first resurrection takes place; and

an account is given of those events in the book of the

Rerelation, before this resurrection and millennium state.

They are signified, partly, by the ascension of the witnesses

to heaven; and partly by the kingdoms of this world becoming

Christ's, #Re 11:12,15 and particularly, the conversion of

the Jews, by the marriage of the Lamb being come, #Re 19:7-9.


3a2d. The resurrection of the cause of Christ, as in the

conversion of the Jews, and the accession of the Gentiles,

and this first resurrection, are assigned and belong to two

different periods; the events relating to the Jews and

Gentiles, will be upon the destruction of the Pope and Turk,

at the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and the pouring out

of the sixth and seventh vials, and when all the

antichristian kings and states will be destroyed: but the

events of the first resurrection, and the millennium, will

be not only after the destruction of antichrist, but after

the binding and shutting up of Satan and his angels, with

the wicked, in the bottomless pit, and after the burning of

the world; and not before.


3a2e. If the first resurrection could be understood of the

revival of the cause of the martyrs, at the beginning of the

millennium, it would follow, that there will also be a

revival of it among the rest of the dead, or the wicked, at

the end of it; since it is suggested, that they shall then

live: but this is not only altogether improbable, but the

reverse is the truth; for they will gather together in a

body, and encompass the camp of the saints, the beloved

city, with an intention to destroy it: it remains, therefore,


3a3. Thirdly, that this first resurrection is to be understood

literally and properly, of a corporal one; for,


3a3a. This resurrection is of such who died a corporal death,

either a violent one, being slain for their testimony for

Christ and the gospel; or in a natural way, not having given

into antichristian principles and practices; and therefore

their living again, or their resurrection, which is called

the first, must be a corporal resurrection; for as is their

death, so must be their resurrection from the dead. The

souls slain, cannot be understood of such, distinctly

considered; for they die not, and cannot be said to be

raised again; but of the persons of men with respect to

their bodies, which only die, and are the proper subjects of

a resurrection; and which being raised, are united to their

souls, and live; and so the whole person lives.


3a3b. Of such a resurrection, is the living again of the wicked

dead, at the end of the millennium; for as their living then

cannot be interpreted, neither of a spiritual resurrection,

nor of a civil one, it must be of a corporal one; and if

theirs, who are the rest of the dead, is a corporal one,

then those who lived before them, being raised from the

dead, must be a corporal one likewise; for that one part of

the dead should be raised, and live in one sense; and the

rest be raised and live in another sense, is not reasonable

to suppose.


3a3c. It is a resurrection, which, by way of emphasis, is called,

"the resurrection", which some persons are "worthy" of, and

others are not; or, "the resurrection which is out of", or

"from among the dead"; the wicked dead, leaving them to

continue under the power of death for a longer time; and

this is the resurrection the apostle was so desirous of

attaining to, #Php 3:11 where he uses a different word, than

what is commonly used of the resurrection; it being "a

better resurrection", #Heb 11:35 the resurrection of the

just, which is better than that of the wicked, being unto

life, and "through Jesus", #Ac 4:2 through union to him; and

of which he is the example and first fruits.


3a3d. The resurrection in the text has a double article, which

makes it the more emphatical, and points at what

resurrection is meant, "The resurrection, the first"; that

which is the first, with respect to the wicked, whose

resurrection can be no other than corporal, and therefore

this must be so too. And this may be confirmed by other

passages of scripture; as by #Ps 49:14. "The upright shall

have dominion over them", the wicked; they rising first in

the morning of the day of the resurrection; and the wicked

in the evening, or at the end of that day: and especially by

#1Th 4:16. The dead in Christ shall rise first; this can be

understood of no other than a corporal resurrection, which

will be at the second coming of Christ; nor of any other but

of the saints who die in Christ, in union with him; and of

their rising before the wicked, who die not in him, but in

their sins; and not of their rising before the change of the

living saints, as some think; for the resurrection of the

dead in Christ, and the change of the living saints, will

both be together, "in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye",

#1Co 15:52 and so not one before another. Nor are the

several particular resurrections mentioned in scripture, any

objection to the resurrection of the saints first {15};

since these were not a resurrection to an immortal life; and

besides, would lie as strongly against Christ being the

"first" that rose from the dead, #Ac 26:23. Nor is the

resurrection of the saints, at the resurrection of Christ,

any objection to it, #Mt 27:52,53 for whether or no they

rose to an immortal life, is a question; and if they did,

which is not improbable, theirs was only a presage and

pledge of the general resurrection of the just, which is the

first; and that of the wicked, the second.


3a3e. Nor are the passages in #Da 12:2 Joh 5:28,29 to be

objected to a first and second corporal resurrection, and to

such a distance of time between them as that of a thousand

years; the resurrection of good and evil men being mentioned

together, as if they were events that took place at the same

time; since, in prophecies especially, as these are, things

are often laid together, which are fulfilled separately, and

at a distance from each other; as some concerning the first

and second coming of Christ; and also concerning his

spiritual and personal reign. Besides, these passages may be

considered as perfectly agreeing with, and as expressive of

this twofold resurrection, as to the time thereof; thus the

prophet Daniel says, "Many shall awake", or rise from the

dead; that is, "all"; but not at the same time, nor to the

same end; "some" of these shall awake, or arise, at the

beginning of the thousand years, "to everlasting life"; and

"some", at the end of them, "to shame and everlasting

contempt": and so our Lord says in the other passage; "The

hour is coming"; the word wra, does not always signify that

part of time which is sometimes called an hour; but "time"

in general, and a very long time too; see #1Jo 2:18 Re 17:12

and so here; "The time is coming", the time of the millennium;

within the compass of which "all that are in the graves shall

hear his voice, and come forth; they that have done good,

unto the resurrection of life", at the beginning of the said

hour, or time: "and they that have done evil, unto the

resurrection of damnation", at the end of it.


3a3f. The apostle John, when, in the context, speaking of the

resurrection from the dead, says, "they lived", that is,

rose from the dead; "but the rest of the dead lived not

again", did not rise again from the dead till afterwards;

speaks in the language of his nation; nothing is more common

with the Jews, than to call a corporal resurrection Mytmh

tyyxt "the quickening of the dead" {16}, or causing them to

live. And is agreeable to the sacred scriptures, #Isa 26:19

#Ho 6:2 Ro 4:17. Now since only such who have part in the

first resurrection, and which is a corporal one, will reign

with Christ a thousand years; the millennium reign will be a

reign only of risen saints, in a perfect state, and who will

not be in a mortal and sinful one; so that here will be no

conversion work, and so no need of the word and ordinances;

and much less will there be an indulgence to carnal



3b. Secondly, another part of the description of those that shall reign with Christ in the millennium, and which shows their happiness, is, "On such the second death hath no power": the phrase, "the second death", is only used in the book of the Revelation, and was common with the Jews, and what John was well acquainted with, and is frequently to be met with in their writings {17}; what is meant by it, may be seen in #Re 20:14 21:8 and is no other than the punishment of body and soul in hell; an eternal separation of both from God; and is called the "second" death, in distinction from the death of the body, which is the first death, and lies in a separation of the soul from the body: now to be free and secure from such a death, must be a great happiness; and this all in the millennium state will enjoy, and for evermore.


3c. Thirdly, those that will share in the millennium reign with Christ, will be "priests of God and of Christ"; that is, made priests to God by Christ; shall serve the Lord as the priests in the temple did; draw nigh to him, and offer up the sacrifices of praise continually; they will be a royal priesthood, both kings and priests; as in #Re 1:6 5:10 like Christ their head, who is a Priest on his throne; and as his type, Melchizedek, who was king of Salem, and priest of the most high God: nor has it been unusual, in the nations of the earth, for men to be both kings and priests {18}; and certain it is, that those in the millennium are priests, that shall reign as kings; and the same word, in the Hebrew language, signifies both priests and princes.


3d. Fourthly, upon the whole, it is no wonder that they are pronounced "blessed" and "holy": they must needs be "blessed", since they will be always before the throne, and serve the Lord day and night, and hunger and thirst no more; shall be free from evils of every kind, and from death in every shape, and of every sort; and shall be in the perfect enjoyment of the presence of Christ. And they will be holy in body, being raised in purity, in incorruption, and in glory, like the glorious body of Christ; and in soul, being perfectly sanctified, and entirely free from sin, from the being of it, and all defilement by it; see #Re 21:27.


4. The continuance and duration of the reign of Christ and the saints together, which will be a "thousand years". The things to be enquired into are, whether these years are to be understood definitely, or indefinitely? and whether they are past, or yet to come?


4a. First, whether they are to be taken indefinitely, for an uncertain number; or definitely, for an exact, precise, determinate time literally.


4a1. One ancient writer {19} understands the words indefinitely,

for a long time, even from the first coming of Christ to the

end of the world; a long time indeed! longer than the

thousand years themselves; for more than nine hundred years

above a thousand, have run out already. Another {20},

indeed, interprets them of the ages of eternity; for which

#Ps 105:8 is quoted; but whatever may be the sense of that

text, it cannot be the sense of the millennium reign, for

that will have an end; it is expressly said, "The rest of

the dead lived not again till the thousand years were

finished", #Re 20:5 and of Christ's reign and kingdom in

them, there will be an end, when he will deliver up the

kingdom to the Father, #1Co 15:24 or else, as the same

ancient writer thinks, the latter part of the last thousandth

year of the world may be meant, a part being put for the

whole. But however indefinitely this phrase may be sometimes

so understood, as in #1Sa 18:7 Ps 91:7 it cannot be so taken

in the passages relating to the binding of Satan, and the

reign of Christ and his saints; but must,


4a2. Be interpreted definitely and literally, of a precise,

determinate space of time; better reasons for which cannot

be well given, than are by a writer {21} in the seventeenth

century, though not in the scheme of the personal reign of

Christ a thousand years; which are as follow,


4a2a. Because when there is no necessity to take a scripture in a

figurative sense, we are to receive it in the letter; but

neither the scope of the place, nor the analogy of faith,

nor other scriptures, lay any such necessity upon us, so to

take it.


4a2b. Because this same space is so often repeated by the Spirit,

to which we should take the more earnest heed, as matter of

instruction and information (and so fix it on the mind the

more strongly) for thrice it is said, Satan was bound a

thousand year's, and afterwards loosed, #Re 20:2,3,7 twice

it is said, the saints shall reign a thousand years,

#Re 20:4,6 once, that the rest of the dead lived not again

till the thousand years were finished, #Re 20:5 in all six



4a2c. The emphasis put upon the phrase. Pareus well observes,

that in #Re 20:2,6 the thousand years are without an

article, cilia eth, "a thousand years"; but in the other

places, "four" times, with an article, ta cilia eth, "these

thousand years"; these emphatically, these precise thousand

years. As if he should say, Satan's imprisonment shall

continue a thousand years; the martyrs shall live and reign

with Christ during these thousand years, and afterwards he

shall be loosed.


4a2d. The parts to which this number is applied, are so cemented

together, as cause and effect, distinction and opposition,

that they very much strengthen and prove that just account

of a thousand years; namely, Satan is bound a thousand

years, that he should not deceive the nations till the same

thousand years be fulfilled; then the saints lived and

reigned a thousand years with Christ, that same thousand

years: but the rest of the dead lived not again until these

thousand years were finished; while the holy ones, as their

happiness, made priests of God and of Christ, reign with

Christ a thousand years: to which may be added, that these

thousand years are bounded both at the beginning and end:

they are bounded by the binding of Satan at the beginning of

them, and by loosing of him at the end of them, #Re 20:2,7

and they are bounded by two resurrections; by the first

resurrection of the saints, and the reign of them with

Christ upon it; and by the second resurrection, or the

resurrection of the wicked, at the close thereof. The next

enquiry is,


4b. Secondly, whether these thousand years are past or to come? To the solution of which, this observation is necessary, that the binding of Satan, and the reign of Christ, are contemporary; that the same thousand years Satan is bound, Christ and his saints reign together; the thousand years of the one, and the thousand years of the other, run parallel with each other: and it is further to be observed, and what will contribute greatly to the settling of this point, and even to the decision of it, that by the binding of Satan is meant, an entire and absolute confinement of him, and of all his angels, in the bottomless pit; so that he and they will not be able "to deceive the nations" any more, till the thousand years are ended; that is, not be able to draw them into idolatry, to fill them with bad principles, and lead them into bad practices, and to stir them up to make war with the saints, and persecute them; and so by any, and all of these ways, deceive; during which time, the church and people of God must be in a state of purity and peace. Now if any such time can be shown, in which the nations of the world, not any of them, were not so far under the influence and deception of Satan, as not to be drawn into idolatry; nor to embrace false doctrines, and go into evil practices; nor to be excited to persecute the saints, for the space of a thousand years; and that the church of Christ, during such a time, has been in a state of perfect purity and peace; free from being disturbed and distressed by idolaters, heretics, and persecutors; then may these thousand years be said to be past; but if this cannot be made to appear, then most certainly they are yet to come. Let us put this to the trial; which will he best done by considering the several epochas, or periods, from whence these thousand years have been dated. As,


4b1. First, from the birth of Christ, who came to destroy the

works of the devil, and before whom Satan fell as lightning

from heaven; yet this falls short of the binding and casting

him into the bottomless pit: whoever considers the state of

the Gentile world when Christ came, being under the power of

the god of this world, the nations thereof being left to

walk in their own ways; nay, Christ forbad his disciples

going into any of the cities of the Gentiles; nor had they a

commission to preach the gospel to all nations, till after

his resurrection from the dead; who, I say, that considers

these things, can ever imagine that Satan was now bound? And

if we look into the state of the Jewish nation and church,

how sadly corrupted in their morals, being a wicked and an

adulterous generation, and depraved in their religious

sentiments; neglecting the word of God, and preferring the

traditions of the elders to it; rejecting Christ, when he

came to them with all the marks and characters of the true

Messiah, and treating him with the utmost indignation and

contempt; and were, as cur Lord says, "of their father the

devil", and his "lusts" they would "do"; there can be no

reason to believe that Satan was now bound. His many attacks

on the person and life of Christ show the contrary; as his

putting Herod on seeking the young child's life to destroy

it, in his infancy; and to make that carnage of the infants

in, and about Bethlehem, he did; his tempting him in the

wilderness, in the manner he did, which was bold, daring,

and insolent; instigating the scribes and Pharisees to lay

hands on him, and kill him, marching towards him as the

prince of the world, and combating with him in the garden;

and putting it into the heart of Judas to betray him; and

stirring up the people of all sorts to he pressing to the

Roman governor, for the crucifixion of him, and by which

means he was brought to the dust of death. And though,

indeed, Satan was dispossessed of the bodies of men, which

possession shows he was not bound; yet when dispossessed he

was not bound; and cast into the bottomless pit, but was

suffered to go and rove about where he pleased; and though

Christ, by his death, destroyed Satan, who had the power of

death, and spoiled his principalities and powers, and ruined

his works; yet all this did not amount to a binding and

confinement of his person in prison.


4b2. Secondly, Others date these thousand years of Satan's

binding from the resurrection of Christ; when it is true,

Christ ascended on high, and led captivity captive, and

poured down his Spirit upon his apostles, on the day of

Pentecost, whereby they were wonderfully fitted to preach

his gospel; and accordingly preached it with great success,

both in Judea and in the Gentile world; but still Satan was

not bound. Not in Judea; for in the first and purest

Christian church, he filled the hearts of Ananias and

Sapphira to lie against the Holy Ghost. He stirred up the

Jews to lay hold on the apostles, and put them in prison;

and to stone Stephen the proto-martyr; he raised a violent

persecution against the church at Jerusalem, and havock was

made of it, and men and women hauled to prison; he put Herod

upon killing James the brother of John, and committing Peter

to prison. And whereas the ministers of the word went into

other countries, preaching the gospel, the Jews, under the

instigation of Satan, stirred up the people against them

wherever they came; as at Antioch, Iconium, Lystra, Thessalonica,

and other places; and what the Christian Hebrews suffered

from them, may be seen in #Heb 10:32,33. Nor was Satan bound

in the Gentile world; for though the gospel made its way into

divers countries and cities, to the conversion of many souls,

and the forming of many churches; yet heathenism, under the

influence of the god of this world, was the prevailing

religion everywhere; and the sect of the Christians was

everywhere spoken against; and the apostles and ministers of

the word, were everywhere persecuted; bonds and imprisonment

waited for them in all places; and all the apostles suffered

death for the sake of the gospel; see the account the apostle

gives of himself and others, in #1Co 4:9,12,13.


4b3. Thirdly, others begin these thousand years of Satan's

binding at the destruction of Jerusalem, which was very

dreadful; in the siege of it eleven hundred thousand men

perished {22}; and when such insurrections, internal

quarrels, seditions, murders, and scenes of iniquity were

among the Jews themselves, Satan could never be thought to

be bound then; and after it, though things took a different

turn with the Jews, and in favour of the Christians, in

Judea and elsewhere; the Jews, though they had the same ill

will to them, had not the same power against them; yet they

themselves manifestly appeared to be under the deception of

Satan, by their giving heed to false prophets, and false

christs, which our Lord foretold would arise; witness Bar

Cochab, a false messiah, who rose up in the times of Trajan,

whom the Jews embracing, rebelled against the empire, which

brought a war upon them in which fifty eight thousand were

slain {23}; and under the same deception by false messiahs,

and under the same blindness and hardness of heart, and

malice against Christ and his gospel, have they continued to

this day. And as for the Gentile world, though the gospel

got ground every where, and multitudes of souls were

converted, and the Gentile oracles were struck dumb {24};

the temples almost desolate, and worship in them was

intermitted {25}; yet Gentilism continued to be the

prevailing religion throughout the Roman empire, till the

times of Constantine, at the beginning of the fourth

century; as appears by the persecutions of the Christians by

the Roman emperors: the first persecution was under Nero;

this was indeed a little before the destruction of

Jerusalem; the occasion of it was this, he himself set fire

to the city of Rome, and then, under the instigation of

Satan, charged it upon the Christians, whom he most

inhumanly racked and tortured, and put to the most cruel

deaths that could be invented {26}.  The tenth and last

persecution was under Dioclesian, a little before the times

of Constantine; his area was called by the Egyptians the

area of the martyrs {27}; the whole world was embrued with

their blood; and the world was more exhausted of men thereby

than by any war, as the historian says {28}; it was the

longest and most severe {29}, it lasted "ten" years; and

perhaps, in allusion to the ten persecutions, or to the ten

years of the last persecution, it is said in #Re 2:10.

"The devil shall cast some of you into prison, and ye shall

have tribulation ten days"; and if the devil cast the saints

into prison, he himself could not be bound and cast into

prison; nor could this be their reigning time; nay

Dioclesian thought he had got an entire victory over the

Christians, and therefore set up pillars {30}, in some parts

of the empire, signifying that the Christian name was

blotted out, and the superstition of Christ everywhere

destroyed, as he called it; and the worship of the gods

propagated; so far was Satan from being bound, that he

triumphed over Christ and his cause: and that he could not

be bound in this period of time, appears by the multitude of

heathen deities worshipped; the number not only of heathen

philosophers among the Greeks and Romans, but of the Magi in

the east, and of the Druids in the west, and of the Brahmins

among the Indians; also from the vile and false charges

brought by the heathens under the influence of Satan against

the Christians, of idolatries, murders, incests, impurities,

and unheard of crimes; which obliged their writers, as

Justin Martyr, Tertuilian, &c. to write apologies in the

defence of them; to which may be added, the scoffs and

flouts, the malice and blasphemy of the heathen writers

against Christ and the Christian religion, as Crescens,

Lucian, Celsus and Porphyry: and if we look into the

Christian church in the three first centuries, how it was

harassed and distressed with heretics and heresies, we shall

soon be convinced that Satan was not bound, nor Christ's

reign began; to reckon up only the names of them from Simon

Magus to Sabellius, would fill up a page; some denying the

doctrine of the Trinity; some the distinct personality in

the Deity; some the person of Christ, either his real

humanity or his proper Deity, or divine Sonship; as vile a

set of men now were, for corruption in doctrine and

practice, as perhaps ever was, and may truly be called a

"synagogue of Satan", as they seem to be in #Re 2:9 in

the times of these men therefore the devil could never be

said to be bound, when he had a synagogue of them.


4b4. Fourthly, others begin the date of Satan's binding, and

Christ's reigning, from the times of Constantine; and

reckoning the thousand years from hence they will reach to

the beginning of the fourteenth century. Those who go this

way suppose the vision in #Re 12:1-17 and that in

#Re 20:1-15 to be the same, which cannot be; that in the

former respects the imperial dragon, or the papal empire under

the influence of Satan; the latter the person of the devil

himself, with his angels; the former respects a battle in

heaven, the latter a combat on earth; the former represents

Satan as east out of heaven on earth, the latter as cast out

of the earth into the bottomless pit; the former says

nothing of the binding and shutting up of Satan, the latter

does; the former speaks of him after his casting down, as at

liberty to go about in the earth and distress the nations,

and annoy the church; but the latter as in such confinement

as to be able to do neither: but that Satan could not be

bound, nor the reign of Christ take place in the above

period of time is manifest; for though upon Constantine's

coming to the throne, and declaring himself a Christian, the

Christian religion lift up its head, and flourished greatly

with respect to numbers, wealth, riches, and grandeur, yet

all its outward greatness in the issue ended in its ruin;

and though heathenism was demolished throughout the empire,

and pagan temples shut up {31}, yet pagan rites and

ceremonies were introduced into the church, and gradually

prevailed; and especially when the man of sin was revealed,

so that the followers of antichrist go by the name of

Gentiles, #Re 11:2. That the devil was not now bound,

appears by the flood he cast out of his mouth to destroy the

woman, the church, who was obliged to disappear and flee

into the wilderness, the remnant of whose seed he persecuted,

#Re 12:13-17 by which flood is meant either a flood of

heresies, as those of the Arians, Nestorians, Eutychians,

Macedoninns, and Pelagians, which sadly infested and disturbed

the churches; or a flood of persecution, particularly by the

Arians, which was begun by Constantine himself; who, as the

historian says {32}, exercised "vin persecutionis", towards

the latter end of his life, being imposed upon: and this was

carried on with great violence by his sons, Constantius and

Valens, who embraced that heresy; and in after times by some

of the northern nations, who broke into the empire, and

became Arians. In the reign of Julian, which, though but

short, heathenism was in a great measure restored, and many

diabolical arts were used by him to revive paganism, and

extirpate Christianity; the schools of the Christians forbid,

their temples shut up, and those of the heathens opened.

These, with his attempt, in favour of the Jews, to rebuild

the temple at Jerusalem, in spite of prophecy, and his

outrageous blasphemies against the Galilean, as he used to

call our Lord, plainly show that Satan was not bound. The

irruptions of the Goths and Vandals, and other northern

nations, into the empire, and the destructions they made in

church and state, is a full proof of this. Within this interval

of time antichrist rose up, and manifestly appeared; whose

coming was after the working of Satan, with all powers and

signs, and lying wonders; whose followers give heed to

seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; and who worship

devils, and idols of gold and silver; and whose reign is to

continue one thousand two hundred and sixty days or years,

and so not yet at an end: and while antichrist reigns,

Christ's reign cannot take place, nor Satan be bound. Also

much about the same time, that vile impostor Mahomet, under

the instigation of the devil, arose; when the bottomless pit

was opened, and then Satan surely could not lie bound in it;

out of which came the smoke of the absurd Alkoran, which

darkened the sun and moon, the light of great part of the

world; and from whence came his locusts, the Saracens, which,

for some centuries, greatly afflicted the Christian empire,

whose king was called Abaddon, and Apollyon, #Re 9:11 as did

the Turks after them, whose empire was set up in the beginning

of the fourteenth century, and continued to distress Europe

till the latter end of the last. And now, so long as Mahometanism

prevails over so large a part of the world as it does, the

thousand years reign, and the binding of Satan, cannot be

expected. To which may be added, the persecutions of the

Waldenses and Albigenses, in the twelfth and thirteenth

centuries, by the papal antichrist, and which have been

exercised on them, even in the last century, in the valleys

of Piedmont {33}, show that Satan cannot be bound. And as to

the state of heathenism, it will appear, by consulting the

Magdeburgensian centuriators, that it has subsisted in

various parts of the world, throughout all the centuries,

from Constantine to the fourteenth century; and about the end

of the fifteenth, when America was first discovered, in what

state were the inhabitants of it? ldolators: yea, they

worshipped the devil in some places in the West Indies {34};

as the inhabitants of the East Indies {35}, and others in

North and South America: and how many nations and kingdoms,

both in America and in the East Indies, are, at this day,

under the power of heathenism? And it was a calculation made

by some in the last century, that if the whole known world,

was divided into thirty equal parts, nineteen of them would

be found idolatrous Gentiles {36}. Surely then Satan cannot

be bound, so as not to deceive the nations.


4b5. Fifthly, some begin the thousand years reign, and the

binding of Satan, at the reformation from popery; but

whether the date is from Wicklift, John Huss, and Jerom of

Prague, or from Luther; they all of them either suffered

death, or met with great inhumanity and ill treatment, from

the instruments of Satan, and therefore he could not be

bound; and great numbers of their followers were persecuted

unto death. Since the reformation, were the massacre in

Paris, when ten thousand Protestants were murdered in one

night, and seventy thousand in seven days time {37}: and the

many martyrs burnt here in England, in queen Mary's reign;

and the massacre in Ireland, in which two hundred thousand

perished; all under an hellish influence, are clear

demonstrations that Satan was not bound. Besides, though

various nations, at the reformation, fell from popery, yet

all did not, and some have revolted to it since; and whoever

considers the great decline of religion in our day, the

increase of popery, and the spread of errors and heresy

among us, and the great profaneness and immorality that

prevail, can never think that Satan is bound, or that the

millennium is begun. Upon the whole, it must clearly appear,

that there never as yet has been such a time, in which it

could be said, that Satan had no power to deceive the

nations, either by drawing them into idolatry, and other bad

principles, or into persecuting practices; nor any time in

which the church of Christ has been in a state of purity and

peace, free from idolatry, heresy, and persecution;

wherefore it may be strongly concluded, that Satan is not

yet bound; and that Christ's kingdom is not yet come; nor

are these things to be expected in the present state.


The spiritual reign in the latter day bids fairest for

it; and which, indeed, is a branch of Christ's kingdom, when

both Pope and Turk will be destroyed; but then Satan will

only be destroyed in his instruments, but not in his person

bound. Besides, the spiritual and personal reign of Christ,

though branches of his kingdom, belong to different periods;

and will not both take place in the present state; the

spiritual reign will be in the present earth, and of saints

in a sinful, mortal state, and in the use of ordinances: but

the millennium reign will be on the new earth, and of saints

in a risen perfect state, standing in no need of ordinances,

as now. The millennium reign will not be till after the

first resurrection; and the first resurrection will not be

till the second coining of Christ, when the dead in him

shall rise first. The personal reign of Christ will not be

till the new heavens and the new earth are made, which will

be the seat of it; and these will not be till the present

heavens and earth are dissolved and burnt up; and this

conflagration will not be till Christ comes a second time.

The reign of Christ with his saints, will not be till Satan

is bound, as well as antichrist destroyed; and Satan will

not be bound, till Christ, the mighty angel, descends from

heaven to earth, which will not be till the end of the



5a. I close all, with an answer to a few of the principal objections to the above scheme; and to two or three questions relative to the same.


5a. First, to objections. As,


5a1. It may be objected, to what purpose will Satan be bound a

thousand years to prevent his deception of the nations, when

there will be no nations to be deceived by him during that

time, since the wicked will be all destroyed in the general

conflagration; and the saints will be with Christ, out of

the reach of temptation and seduction? I answer, this will

not be the case at the first binding of Satan, which is the

first thing Christ will do when he descends from heaven;

first bind Satan, then raise the righteous dead, and change

the living saints, and take both to himself; and then burn

the world: but as the time between the binding of Satan, and

the burning of the world, may be but short, I lay no stress

on this. Let it be observed, that the same nations, Satan,

by being bound, is prevented from deceiving any more, till

the thousand years are ended, are those that will be

deceived by him after his being loosed; as appears by

comparing #Re 20:3 with #Re 20:8 and to prevent

their being deceived by him, and put upon schemes to the

disturbance of the saints, in their reign with Christ, he

and they, that is, their separate spirits, will be shut up

together in the bottomless pit; so that the one will be in a

state of inactivity, and incapable of tempting and

deceiving; and the other in a case and condition not

susceptible of temptation and seduction; and both will have

enough to do to grapple with their dreadful torments in this

confined state; the one will not be at leisure to propose a

mischievous scheme, nor the other to hearken to it; and

Satan will full well know, that should he form a scheme, it

would be impossible to put it in execution in their present

circumstances. That the wicked, in an immortal state, are

capable of being tempted and deceived by Satan, appears by a

fact, after the loosing of him; for which reason it was

necessary he should be bound during the thousand years: and

that the saints, in an immortal state, are not exempt from

attempts upon them, by him and his emissaries, only when he

is under absolute confinement, which made it necessary,

during the said term of time; and which will be his case

after this affair is over, to all eternity.


5a2. That though the saints are said to reign with Christ a

thousand years, #Re 20:4,6 yet they are not there said to

reign "on earth". But it is elsewhere said, the meek shall

inherit the earth; and righteousness, or righteous men,

shall dwell in the "new earth"; and the redeemed of the

Lamb, who are made kings and priests unto God, shall "reign

on earth"; and they are the same with the priests of God and

Christ, that shall reign with him a thousand years. Besides,

it appears from the context, that this reign will be on

earth; the angel that descends from heaven to bind Satan,

descends on earth; the binding of Satan will be on earth;

for there he deceived the nations before, and will after his

loosing: the resurrection, and living again of the dead,

will be on earth; and so, in course, their reign with Christ

there. Besides, they are manifestly the camp of the saints,

the beloved city, the Gog and Magog army will encompass, who

will come up on the "breadth of the earth"; and therefore

the saints, the beloved city, must be on earth; and who are

no other than the holy city John saw come down from God out

of heaven, that is, on earth, where the tabernacle of God

will be with them, #Re 21:2,3.


5a3. It is objected to the personal reign of Christ with the

saints on earth, that they, by reason of the frailty of

nature, will be unfit to converse with Christ, in his

glorious human nature; but, like the apostles Paul and John,

who, when he appeared to them, fell down at his feet, either

trembling or as dead. But this objection proceeds upon a

supposition, that the saints will then be in a sinful,

mortal state; which will not be the case; but as their souls

will be perfectly sanctified, so their bodies will be raised

in incorruption, power, and glory, and fashioned like to the

glorious body of Christ, and so fit to converse with him in

it; yea, more so than separate souls in heaven.


5a4. It is suggested, that for the saints to come down from

heaven, and leave their happy state there, and dwell on

earth, must be a diminishing of their happiness, and greatly

detract from it. No such thing; for Christ will come with

them; all the saints will come with him, and dwell and reign

with him; and where he is, heaven is, happiness is. Did

Moses and Elias lose any of their happiness when they came

down from heaven, and conversed with Christ on the mount, at

his transfiguration? None at all. No more will the saints,

by being and reigning with Christ on earth, in a more

glorified state than he was then in: yea, so far from being

lessened hereby, that the happiness of the saints will be

increased; their bodies will be raised, and united to their

souls, they had been in expectation of, to complete their

happiness: and this being now done, they will be more like

to Christ, and more fit to converse with him. At the death

of Christ, he committed his human spirit, or soul, to his

Father, and it was that day in paradise; on the third day,

when he rose, his soul returned, reentered, and was

reunited to his body; and after his resurrection, he

continued on earth forty days, showing himself to, and

conversing with his disciples. During this time, was his

soul less happy than before his resurrection? yea, was it

not more so?


5a5. The bodies of the wicked lying in the earth till the

thousand years are ended, may be objected to the purity of

the new earth, and to the glory of the state of the saints

upon it. The purification of it by fire, will, indeed, only

affect the surrounding air, and the surface of the earth, or

little more, and the figure of it, and its external qualities

and circumstances; and not the matter and substance of it,

which will remain the same. And as for the bodies of the

wicked, that will have been interred in it from the beginning

of the world to the end of it, those will be long reduced to

their original earth, and will be neither morally impure, nor

naturally offensive; and if anything of the latter could be

conceived of, the purifying fire may reach so far as entirely

to remove that; and as for the bodies of the wicked, which

will be burnt to ashes at the conflagration, how those ashes,

and the ruins of the old world after the burning, will be

disposed of, by the almighty power, and all wise providence

of God, it is not easy to say; it is very probable they will

be disposed of underground: and this will be so far from

detracting from the glorious inhabitation and reigning of the

saints with Christ upon it, that it will greatly add to the

glory of that triumphant reign; for now all the wicked that

ever were in the world, will be under the feet of the saints

in the most literal sense; now they will not only tread upon

the wicked as ashes, but tread upon the very ashes of the

wicked; and so the prophecy in #Mal 4:3 will be literally

fulfilled, which respects this very case.


5b. Secondly, to questions.


5b1. What will become of the new earth, after the thousand years

of the reign of Christ and his saints on it are ended?

whether it will be annihilated or not? My mind has been at

an uncertainty about this matter; sometimes inclining one

way, and sometimes another; because of the seeming different

accounts of it in #Isa 66:22 where it is said to "remain"

before the Lord, and in #Re 20:11 where it is said to "flee

away" from the face of the judge; as may be seen by my

"notes" on both places, and by a "correction" at the end of

the "fourth" volume on the Old Testament; but my last and

present thoughts are, that it will continue for ever; and

that the passage in #Re 20:11 is a rhetorical exaggeration

of the glory and greatness of the judge, which appeared such

to John in the vision, that the heavens and earth could not

bear it, and therefore "seemed" to disappear; the phrase,

"from whose face", which is unusual, seems to suggest and

confirm it. I am of opinion therefore, that the new earth

will be a sort of an apartment to heaven, whither the saints

will pass and repass at their pleasure; and which agrees

with other scriptures, which speak of the saints dwelling

on, and inheriting the earth for ever {38}.


5b2. Who the Gog and Magog army are, that shall encompass the

camp of the saints, when the thousand years are ended? What

makes an answer to this the more difficult is, that at the

general conflagration of the present earth, all the wicked

in it will be burnt up, and none but righteous persons will

dwell in the new earth; it is to no purpose therefore, to

think of Turks, Tartarinns, Scythians, and other barbarous

nations {39}, types of these; nor of any remains {40} of the

wicked who escaped the general destruction, as supposed; nor

of such frightened at the first appearance of Christ, who

fled to the remotest parts, and now resume their courage,

and come forth: it is a strange absurd notion of Dr. Burnet

{41}, that these will be men born of the earth, generated

from the slime of the ground, and the heat of the

sun; and increasing and multiplying after the manner

of men, by carnal propagation, after a thousand years will

become very numerous, as the sand of the sea, and make the

attack they are said to do. But there is no need to have

recourse to so gross an expedient as this: the persons are at

hand, and easy to be met with; they are "the rest of the

dead", the wicked, who live not till the thousand years are

ended; and then will live, being raised from the dead, even

all the wicked that have been from the beginning of the

world; which accounts for their number being as the

sand of the sea: and these rising where they died, and

were buried, will be in and come from the four quarters

of the world; and as they died enemies to Christ, and his

saints, they will rise such; hell and the grave will make

no change in them; and as they laid down with the "weapons

of war, their swords under their heads", they will be in a

readiness, and rise with the same malicious and revengeful

spirit; and though it will be a mad enterprise, to attack

saints in an immortal state, who cannot die; and Christ,

the King of kings, at the head of them; yet when it is

considered, that they will rise as weak and feeble: as unable

to resist temptation, and as capable of deception as ever;

and what with being buoyed up with their own number,

and the posse of devils at the head of them; and

especially considering the desperateness of their case, and

this their last struggle to deliver themselves from eternal

ruin; it may not so much be wondered at, that they should

engage in this strange undertaking {42}.


5b3. What the fire will be, which shall come down from heaven,

and destroy the Gog and Magog army? Not material fire; but

the wrath and indignation of God, which will be let down

into their consciences; and which will so terrify and

dispirit them, that they will at once desist froth their

undertaking; like the builders of the tower of Babel, when

the Lord not only confounded their language, but smote their

consciences for their impiety. The issue of all this will

be, the casting of the devil and his angels into the lake of

fire, where the beast and false prophet are; and the

everlasting destruction of the wicked, soul and body, in the

same, after the general judgment is over; which is the next

thing to be considered.


{1} So the author of Onus Ecclesiae, published A. D. 1524. vid. Heidegger Dissert. 23. de Chiliasmo, s. 8.

{2} See p. 744.

{3} This is the sense of the ancient writers concerning the millennium; as of Papias, a hearer of the apostle John, and a companion of Polycarp, Euseb. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 39. and of Justin Martyr, and the orthodox Christians in his time, Dialog. cum Trypho, p. 307. and of Irenaeus, adv. Haeres. l. 5. c. 20, 32. and of Apollinarius, Hieron, Catalog. Script. Eccles. c. 28. and of Tertullian. contr. Marcion, l. 3. c. 24. and of Lactantius, Instit. l. 7. c. 14. 24. and of Victorinus Pictaviensis, vid. Hieron. ut supra. and of Sulpicius Severus, Hieron. in Ezek. 36. fol. 235. I.

{4} Vid. Euseb. Ec. Hist. l. 7. c. 24, 25. Hieron. in Esaiam, c. 66. fol. 120. D. & Dionysium apud ib. proem. in Esaiam, com. 18. fol. 112. L.

{5} De Civitate Dei, l. 20. c. 7.

{6} So the Hebrew particle b sometimes signifies; see Noldius.

{7} It is a rule with the Jews, that every blessing or prayer, in which there is no mention of God and his kingdom, is no blessing or prayer. Maimon. Hilchot, Beracot, c. 1. s. 5.

{8} Theory of the Earth, vol. 2. b. 4. ch. 2. p. 198.

{9} Opera, tom. 2. contra Chiliastas, p. 458, 460.

{10} Not. in Dan. vii. 13. et de regno Eccl. glorioso, c. 2. fol. 11.

{11} Austin says, without doubt the resurrection of the dead is meant, De Civ. Dei, l. 20. c. 5.

{12} Antoninus de Seipso, l. 11. f. 1. Euseb. Praepar. Evangel. l. 15. c. 19. Basil. de Creat. Orat. 1. Epiphan. contr. Haeres. l. 1. tom. 3. haer. 37.

{13} So Brenius in loc. et de Regno Eccl. Glorioso, c. 10. The Author of Theopolis, Whitby on the Millennium, Dr. Ridgley in his Body of Divinity, &c.

{14} Brightman in Dan. xii. 2.

{15} Theopolis, p. 53.

{16} T. B. Sabbat, fol. 88. 2. Sotah, fol. 48. 2. & Sanhedrin, fol. 92. l. Targum Hieros. in Gen. 19. 26. et in Gen. 25. 24.

{17} Targ. Hieros. in Deut. 33. 6. & Tou in Isa. 22. 14. & 65. 6, 15. & in Jer. 51. 39, 57. deuterov yanatov is a phrase in Plutarch. de facie in luna, p. 942.

{18} "Rex Anius, rex idem hominum Phoebique sacerdos", Virgil. Aeneid. l. 3. so the Roman emperors were called Pontifices.

{19} Ambros. in Apocalyps, c. 20. col. 473.

{20} Aug. de Civ. Dei, l. 20. c. 7.

{21} The Author of Theopolis, p. 43, 44.

{22} Joseph. de Bello Jud. l. 6. c. 9. s. 3.

{23} Lampe Synops. Hist. Sacr. et Ecclesiast. l. 2. c. 3. p. 110.

{24} "----Delphis Oracula cessant, Juvenal", Satyr. 6. v. 554.

{25} Plin. Epist. l. 10. ep. 97.

{26} Sulpicii Severi Sacr. Hist. l. 2. p. 96.

{27} Schmid. Compend. Hist. Ecclesiast. sec. 3. p. 116.

{28} Sulpicius ut supra, p. 99, 100.

{29} Orosii Hist. l. 7. c. 25.

{30} Gruter. Inscript. p. 280. apud Fabricii Salutar. Lux. Evangel. p. 157.

{31} Orosius, ibid. c. 28.

{32} Sulpicius, ibid. p. 102. Socrat. Eccl. Hist. l. 3. c. 11, 12.

{33} See Perrin's History of the Waldenses, and Morland's History of the evangelical Churches in the valley of Piedmont.

{34} P. Martyr de Angleria Decad 1. l. 9. Oviedo de Ind. Occident. c. 5.

{35} Vartomauni Navigat. l. 5. c. 2. 23. & 16. 27. Ross's View of all Religions, p. 59. see p. 77, 79, 80, 88, 89.

{36} Schmid. compend. Hist. Ecclesiast. sec. 17. p. 500.

{37} Ibid. sec. 16. p. 462.

{38} The Stoic philosophers speak of the final resolution of all things into fire, into a liquid flame, or pure ether. Dr. Burnet was of opinion that the earth, after the last day of judgment, will be changed into the nature of a sun, or of a fixed star, and shine like them in the firmament, Theory of the Earth, l. 4. c. 10. p. 317. Mr. Whiston thinks it will no longer be found amoug the planetary chorus, but probably become again a comet for the future ages of the world, New Theory, l. 4. c. 5. p. 451.

{39} Vid. Hieron. in Ezek. 38. fol. 238. K.

{40} Lactant. Institut. l. 7. c. 24.

{41} Theory of the Earth, l. 4. c. 10. p. 313.

{42} See my Exposition of Rev. xx. 8. See Gill on "Re 20:8".


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