Bookshelf/ Vol.I / Vol. IV. Part VI. Contents. Chapter I. 1. 2. 3. II. 1. 2. 3. III. 1. 2. 3. IV. 1. 2. V. 1. 2. Appendix I. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. II. 1a. 1b. 2a. 2b. 2c. 3. 4. III 1. 2a. 2b.


But if it be so, then the solemn question suggests itself, In what spirit and manner may we best prepare to meet this coming future? The thought of the nearness of the consummation is of itself unspeakably awakening and solemn; and the rather when we consider further that there is to be expected antecedently a time of sifting and trial, such as perhaps has never yet been experienced. For our Christian Poet’s exquisite language [1] does by no means adequately express the probable severity of the coming crisis. Ere the sabbatism of the saints begins, something much more is to be looked for than the mere gusty closing blasts of a long tempest, or billowy heavings of the sea before a calm, as “it works itself to rest.” The final conflict between Christ’s true Church and Antichrist, and their respective chiefs and supporters, both visible and invisible, seems set forth in prophecy as most severe. As a nation, as a church, as individuals, how may we best prepare to meet it?

And here it is that the moral of the Apocalyptic prophecy, its moral philosophy of the history of Christendom, if I may so call it, becomes unspeakably valuable. We have elsewhere had the philosophy of the same history traced by human pens; and lessons at the same time drawn from it in the way of instruction and direction for the future: as, for example, in a work by the late celebrated Frederick Von Schlegel, professedly on the subject; [2] a writer of no common eloquence, or common reputation. But if we compare the two outlines of historic philosophy together, the human and the divine, what a contrast will appear; and how true the one, how erroneous and delusive the other!

In his general subject notions indeed of the philosophy of history, and its objects, Schlegel has much that is admirable. He lays it down that, as the highest object of philosophy is the restoration of God’s image in man, so the great object of the philosophy of history must be to trace historically the progress of this restoration; [3] - that it is God’s object and intention, through that all-ruling Providence which regulates the whole course of human destiny, [4] ultimately to accomplish it: - that Christianity, his own heaven-sent religion, is the regenerating principle, whence whatever may already have been accomplished has proceeded, and whence alone man’s final and perfect regeneration is to arise; [5] - that the hindrances and obstructions in the way of its accomplishment have arisen from the fearfully powerful, though most mysterious, influence in the world of the Spirit of evil, alike God’s enemy and man’s, and man’s [6] endowment with free-will, to choose, as he may please, the guidance of the one Spirit or the other: [7] - further, that it belongs to the province of the philosophy of history to mark God’s wrathful judgments on the world, when thus led astray from Him; [8] and to mark also the interpositions and proceedings of Divine Providence, (especially as illustrated from time to time in the rise and conduct of any remarkable particular nations or individuals, [9] ) with a view to the fulfillment of its designs, whether of judgment or of mercy. - Such, I say, is Schlegel’s generally just idea of the Philosophy of History; [10] and the reader needs but to recall what has gone before in this Commentary, or to glance at the illustrative Chart prefixed to it, in order to be convinced how eminently, on such an idea of it, there attaches the highest kind of philosophic character to the historic prefigurations of the Apocalypse. [11] It is in the application of the principle that the marked contrast appears between these and Schlegel’s sketches. Nor, I think, can I better place the moral lessons of his holy book in relief and distinctness before the reader, than by setting forth its moral philosophy of history, somewhat fully, in direct contrast with the other.

The German philosopher then, agreeably with his religious creed, [12] directs himself by the Romish standard in his judgment of things that concern religion and the Church. After the first four centuries, notable for the diffusion and final triumph of Christianity over Paganism in the Roman Empire, he traces the Church visible and established (already in the West, in respect of its acknowledged head, a Romish Church) through the four centuries next following, of ‘a chaotic intermediate state” between ancient and modern history, [13] as if still Christ’s true Church, the upholder and preserver of the Christian religion, as well as civilizer of the barbarous invading Germanic nations: - then the next three centuries, after that the tempest had subsided, the wild waters of barbarian inundation begun to flow off, and “the pure firmament of Christian faith” shone forth unclouded, [14] from Charlemagne to Gregory VII and the first half of the 12th century inclusive, (a period constituting the earlier half of the middle age, ( as “the happiest era and golden age of Christendom:” [15] when “the influence of religion on public life was paramount;” when “in Charles’s project of a universal empire to embrace all civilized nations, the foundation-stone of the noble fabric of modern Christendom was laid, and all the elements of a truly Christian government and policy offered to mankind;” [16] when “the principles which animated society were the best and noblest and soundest;” [17] when the Church, “like all-embracing vault of heaven,” [18] with its pure faith sheltered and shed kindly influence on all; and the Papal power, founded on and adapted for unity, after having grown up towards the end of this æra to unprecedented greatness, used this great power only so as to preserve Christianity from being lost in a multitude of sects: [19] in which he thinks to mark the presence and operation of God’s animating Spirit, as well as kindly providence. [20] - On the other hand he traces the contemporary operation of the Evil Spirit, (the “Spirit of time,” as he calls it,) from after the æra of the overthrow of the Pagan Empire that it had previously ruled in and animated, [21] - I say, he traces the Evil Spirit’s operation through the same period in a beguiling sectarian spirit, and the religious schisms of Christendom; including not alone the Arian schism, and the Mahommedan schism, (for he places Mahommedanism in the same category, [22] ) but also the iconoclastic proceedings of certain of the Greek emperors, (proceedings which he lauds Gregory the Second for resisting,) [23] and the consequent schism between the Eastern and Western Churches. - In his sketch of the later half of the middle age, reaching from the 12th century to the Reformation, he admits the general religious deterioration of Western Christendom; particularizing the essentially false scholastic philosophy then in vogue, and the internal feuds, and contests between Church and State” [24] and traces the kindly operation of the Divine Spirit, (“the Paraclete promised to the Church by its divine Founder,”) [25] whereby Christianity was preserved, in the rise and institution of the ecclesiastical mendicant orders, as men of the most perfect evangelical humility, poverty, and self-denial: [26] at the same time reprobating the doctrines of the then popular opposers of the Church, viz. the Waldenses, Albigenses, and also Wickliffe and Huss after them, as fraught with the germs of heresy. [27] - So arrived at the Reformation, he speaks of it as manifested to be a human, not divine reformation, - by its claim of full freedom of faith, [28] its rejection of the traditions of the past, [29] its destruction of the dignity of the priesthood, and endangering of the very foundations of religion, through a denial of the holy sacramental mysteries, [30] its adoption finally of a faith of mere negation, (so he designates it,) and severing of its Protestant constituents from the sacred center of faith and religion, i.e. from Rome. [31]

Such is Schlegel’s philosophic view of the history of Christendom down to the Reformation. After which he notices the religious indifferentism of spirit, and false illuminism of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, - ascribing them very much to the influence of the Protestant principle, [32] - until the tremendous political outbreak of this infidel illuminism in the French Revolution. Then, after a notice of the Revolution and its twenty-five years’ war “of irreligion,” - “a convulsive crisis of the world which has created a mighty chasm, and thrown up a wall of separation between the present age and the eighteenth century,” [33] - he speaks of the late progressing revival of Roman Catholicism, as a revival of religion, more especially in the countries of France and Germany. And he finally expresses his hope of a true and complete regeneration of the age, at no great distance of time, (though not till after a total temporary triumph of some antichristian spirit of evil, [34] ) as the fit conclusion to the philosophy of history: [35] - its essence to consist in a thorough Christianization alike of the state and of science; [36] its form to be somewhat like the perfecting of the noble but imperfect Christian Empire of Charlemagne; [37] - its introduction to be preceded by a display of fearful divine judgments, [38] and indeed attended by Christ’s own coming and intervention: [39] - and, with this divine reformation, and its accompanying complete victory of truth, “that human reformation, which till now hath existed, to sink to the ground, and disappear from the world.” [40]

Now turn we to the philosophy of the same history of Christendom, as traced out to the evangelist St. John in the divinely pictured visions of the Apocalypse; and oh! how different is its purport! - a difference based in fact on a fundamentally different view from Schlegel’s alike as to Christ’s true religion, and as to Christ’s true Church! After a rapid prefiguration in its six first picturings of the chief æras and vicissitudes of the Roman Pagan empire, thenceforward successively to occur, (not without distinct notice of its persecuting cruelty, and the Christian martyrs’ faith and constancy,) even until its total overthrow and dissolution before the power of Christianity, - there was then next presented in the dealing vision a primary graphic sketch of the Christian body, such as it would present itself to the all-seeing eye of God’s Spirit, and to the eye too of him who was taught of the Spirit, after the great revolution should have been completed, and a new and favoring political heaven overshadow it. And what the nature and purport of the sketch? That of tempests of judgment impending: as if the Christian body so delivered, so exalted, and so extended, was verging to apostasy, such as to call down those judgments: and, connectedly, that of an election and sealing by Christ of so small a number out of the professing Church, or mystic Israel, as to confirm the impression that apostasy was seen to be beginning in Christendom: - at the same time that the very significant figurations of the prophetic sketch with reference to the sealed Israel, distinctively, compared with the parallel facts of after history corresponding, seemed in no obscure manner to hint at that self-same Judaic and unscriptural view of the Church sacraments and Church ministry, which Schlegel would identify with the essence of religion, as characteristic of the then unsealed Israel, and in no little measure the originating cause of the apostasy. And so thenceforward the prophecy traced onward the fortunes and histories of Christendom and the Church distinctly in two different lines of succession: - the one the visible professing and more and more antichristian Church: - the other no visible corporate Christian body, (the once visible faithful Catholic Church being now hid from men as in a wilderness,) but the curiach ecclhsia, [41] Christ’s own real Church, the outgathering and election of grace, individually chosen, enlightened, quickened, and sealed by Him with the Holy Spirit of adoption; a body notable as “God’s servants” for holy obedience; and though few in number, compared with the apostate professors of Christianity, yet in God’s eye numerally perfect and complete. [42] Thenceforward, I say, the prophecy traced them in their two distinct lines of succession, through their respective invisible heads and inspirers of their respective polities and actions, whether the Evil Spirit or the Good Spirit, down even to the consummation. On the one hand there was depicted the body of false professors, multiplied so as to form the main and dominant constituency of apostate Christendom, as developing more and more a religion not Christian but antichristian, it being based on human traditions, (the same that figure so high in Schlegel’s estimate,) not on God’s word: [43] and, after falling away to the worship of departed saints and martyrs as mediators, in place of Christ, [44] as alike in its western and its eastern division judicially visited and desolated by the divine avenging judgments of emblematic tempests, scorpion-locusts, and horsemen from the Euphrates; in other words, of the Goths, Saracens, and Turks: [45] - then as, in its western division, rising up again from the primary desolating judgments of Gothic invasion, in the new form of an ecclesiastical empire, (the same that Schlegel eulogizes as Christ’s true Church,) enthroned on the seven hills of ancient Rome: its secret contriver being the very Dragon, or Satanic Spirit, that had ruled openly before in the Pagan Empire; its ruling head proud, persecuting, blasphemous, and self-exalting against God, even beyond his Pagan precursors; [46] its constituency and priesthood, throughout Schlegel’s boasted middle ages, characterized by “unrepented idolatries,) such is God’s representation of the Romish image-worship so strangely patronized by the German philosopher, [47] ) and fornications too, thefts, murders, and sorceries:” [48] in fine as continuing unchanged, unchangeable in its apostasy, notwithstanding the repeated checks of woes and judgments from heaven, even until the end; and therefore then at length in its impenitency to be utterly abandoned to judgment, and, like another Sodom, made an example of the vengeance of everlasting fire: [49] - this being in fact the grand essential preliminary to the world’s intended and blessed regeneration.

On the other hand, with regard to Christ’s true Church, the election of grace, consisting of such as should hold to Christ as their head, and keep the word of God and testimony of Jesus, the Apocalyptic prophecy represented them as almost at once entering on a great and long tribulation; yet though in number few and fewer, and reduced soon to a state spiritually destitute and desolate, like that of the wilderness, so as to constitute them a church invisible rather than visible, as still secretly preserved by their Lord: [50] a revelation of God’s doctrines of grace, (doctrines directly antagonistic to those of the incipient apostasy,) being it seemed vouchsafed, the result of a direct primary intervention from heaven at his crisis of time, with a view to their spiritual preservation and life: which revelation, singularly acted out before St. John in the light-bearing visions of the sealing and the palm-bearers, just before the burst of the emblematic tempests, was in Augustine’s history and teaching, realized and illustrated. [51] It then depicted the actual witness for Christ’s cause and truth, from out of this little body, and protestors against the reigning apostasy, (witnesses verified historically afterwards in the history of those whom Schlegel would make heretics, the Waldenses more especially, and Wickliffe, and Huss, and their followers,) [52] as made war on by Rome’s revived empire, soon after the completion of their testimony against the several chief doctrines of its apostasy, and the Pope’s full establishment of his power, like as by a Beast from the abyss of hell; and so being at length conquered and apparently exterminated: - with the added figuration however of their sudden and most extraordinary revival and exaltation almost instantly after, in the presence of their enemies; [53] a revelation from heaven introducing and accompanying it yet more glorious than the former one, even of Christ as the Sun of Righteousness: [54] and a great political revolution attending, or following, under which the tenth part of the ten-kingdomed ecclesiastical empire would fall. All this the prophecy figured as the result of God’s second great intervention for his Church; and all this we saw, on irrefragable evidence, to have been fulfilled in the great Reformation of the xvith century: the discovery introducing it of the doctrine of justification simply by faith in Christ Jesus; and the downfall following it of the tenth part of the Popedom in Papal England. Thus was this Protestant Reformation distinctly figured in the Apocalypse as a glorious divine act, not human, so as Schlegel would have it: - its excommunication of the Roman Papal Church, with all its false rites and traditions, (by Schlegel so fondly cherished,) and its national establishment too in Northern Germany, England, and elsewhere, being further depicted as acts directed from heaven; [55] and its faith, instead of being (so as he would call it) a mere negation, represented to have its very origin in the positive recognition of Christ as the Sun of Righteousness, and only source of man’s justification, light, and life. - As to the subsequent “indifferentism in religion,” as Schlegel truly designates it, which followed afterwards in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, even in the states and churches of Protestantism, it was not unforeshown in the further developments of the Apocalypse. But what the cause assigned? Because, amidst all the rejoicings of states and churches on the establishment of a purer religion, it would still be but the 144,000, the election of grace, a church within a church, that would really understand and appreciate the essential principle of that “new song” of the Reformation; still that alone which would be really the curiach ecclhsia, the Lord’s Church. [56] Yet it seemed also preintimated how (as if from some gracious revival of religion in God’s still favored Protestantism) there would afterwards speed forth in the latter times three missionary Angels, flying through the length and breadth of the world, of warning against Papal Rome, and denunciation of its quickly-coming judgment: [57] (a contemporary energetic revival and going forth of the spirit of Popery, [58] conjunctively with other kindred and allied spirits of Pagan-like infidelity and pseudo-Christian priestcraft, being but the last putting forth of its bravery, to hasten the final crisis, and constitute the precursive and justification of its fall:) acts these that would be nearly the last public ones promoted, or mingled in, by the little body of Christ’s faithful ones on earth. For it was foreshown how that Christ’s advent would speedily follow: and contemporarily therewith, and with the mystic Babylon’s destruction by fire, his witnessing saints and all that fear him, small and great, [59] have the reward given them of an entrance into the everlasting kingdom of their Lord; and that so, and then, (not before, or otherwise,) the promised regeneration of all things (the Christian’s great object of hope [60] ) should have its accomplishment, in Christ’s own reign with his saints; and therewith, at length, the true and only complete evangelization of the world.

Such is the Apocalyptic moral philosophy of the history of Christendom; such its contrast with Schlegel’s: [61] - its rule of faith not tradition, but the Bible; its Church of the promises that alone of true believers in Jesus; and God’s glory in Christ the grand and final object ever set forth in it. - The review will well prepare us for applying to ourselves, in conclusion, the moral lessons of the whole; as we look to the probabilities - the awful and the hopeful probabilities - of the fast-coming future.

As a nation then does it not, while pointing out how and wherefore England has been raised to its present greatness, - viz. in order to its being the great bulwark and promulgator throughout the world of a Protestant evangelic faith, [62] - solemnly warn us also against being seduced by any spirit of mistaken expediency, false liberalism, religious indifferentism, [63] or, I may add, party faction, to seek nationally to identify ourselves with the Papal antichristian religion, or any further to foster its power, either at home or in the colonies? Surely of toleration and civil privilege the utmost has been granted to our Roman Catholic fellow-subjects, consistent (to say the least) with our character as a Protestant state. Let us beware lest, in the vain hope of thoroughly conciliating the Romish priesthood in our land, - a thing which history and reason, as well as prophecy, have shown to be impossible, - we abandon our distinctive Protestant character; [64] and therewith, in the great coming crisis, forfeit the high protectorate, hitherto granted us, of heaven. [65] - Nor, let me add, if in that crisis (as prophecy seems to intimate) the evangelization of the heathen, or evangelization and restoration of the Jews, prove in the issue to be the occasion of the great Romish (and perhaps too Mohammedan) powers uniting together in some hostile and opposing confederacy, let it be forgotten which is the Lord’s side: [66] lest here too we act as an ally, if not constituent, of Babylon; and become nationally a partaker of her sins, and nationally, in God’s coming judgment on the nations, a partaker also of her tremendous punishment.

Further, has it not a voice to us as a Church? I speak of the Church established by God’s gracious Providence in this kingdom. May we not, from that holy prophecy that we have been considering, infer it to be a paramount duty, wisdom, and even safety, to hold fast the pure and scriptural doctrine on which it was founded at the Reformation: and to eschew and repudiate, not the principles of direct Popery only, or even of the modern Tractarian-semi-Popery; which is but in truth that earlier form of the great apostasy revivified, to which in due time, as we have seen, and through Satanic artifice, Rome did but furnish the fitting headship; [67] ) but also of every modification of the same, which may seek to make religion a thing ecclesiastical, rather than a thing personal and spiritual; and to interpose the Church, with its priesthood and services and sacraments, between the soul and Christ, instead of asserting it as their one grand prerogative and office to direct the soul to Christ? - Surely it is a strange misnomer to call this system, as with laudatory title, High Church, and decry the opposite system by the vituperatively-intended title of Low Church. The true low churchmen seem to me they who fashion their beau ideal of an ecclesiastical system, simply or chiefly, with reference to an earthly church, and its human administration and administrators. The true high churchmen seem to be they the Church of whose chief affections and thoughts is the Jerusalem above: - that which has for its head, Christ; its home, heaven; and this our earth as but the scene of its preparatory formation and trial: a scene whereon its members, scattered everywhere through the visible Church, and known to God, though often unknown to men, are by the common principle of union with Christ their invisible head, united verily and in truth with each other, and united with those too of the same body that may have already passed into Paradise. [68] It is this Church which St. Paul’s glowing eloquence set forth to the Ephesian Christians as the Church the Bride, which Christ loved, and purchased, and purposes “to present to himself glorious, without spot or wrinkle;” [69] to the Galatians as “the Jerusalem that is above, which is the mother of us all;” [70] and to the Hebrews, as “the church of the first-born [71] whose names are written in heaven:” this that of which, in the Apocalyptic visions, St. John beheld the fortunes figured, throughout all its successive generations militant on earth; even until the time of their perfected union, number, and blessedness, as the Lamb’s bride, New Jerusalem. [72] And so, accordingly, the earlier confessors, that witnessed for Christ under Pagan Rome, recognized her as the Church, the Mother Church, and rejoiced in her as children. [73] And when stealthily afterwards the earthly mixed corporate body, so called, came to be more and more substituted for it in fact, when more and more alienated from it in spirit, and to usurp to itself the other’s dignity, titles, privileges, and claims, - man’s earthly church those of God’s heavenly Church, the thing ecclesiastical those of the thing spiritual, [74] - then, we saw, (let me be excused if I repeat on a point so momentous,) Augustine seemed raised up for the special purpose of setting it forth again before men as the only true Church of heavenly promise. [75] Taught by whom, or at least accordantly with whom, when ages succeeded afterwards of darkness deeper and deeper, [76] (very much through this self-same error,) the confessors of the middle age, living under that perfected form of the apostatized ecclesiastical and earthly thing, Rome Papal, “Mother and Mistress,” were mainly saved from her sorceries by recognizing the distinction, and choosing and appropriating the heavenly Church as their own. [77] And so too, still later, the Churches of the Reformation, our own especially inclusive: which, while in charity, like the Apostles and early Christians, regarding and speaking of all members of the Church Visible, not openly inconsistent as belonging to it, [78] did still prominently set forth, distinctively from the Church Visible, [79] “the blessed company of all faithful people,” “the members incorporate of the mystical body of Christ:” [80] - that spiritual Church the gathering of whose members out of “this naughty world,” [81] and their nourishing, strengthening, and edification, [82] is the great object of all earthly and visible orthodox churches, with all their admirable and divinely-appointed instrumentalities and means of grace: an object on this completion of which such scaffoldings will be set aside; as things that have answered their purpose, and are needed no more. [83] - Is it not very mainly from confusion of those two different things, the Church of true-hearted spiritual believers, simply and alone, (a corporation to human eye invisible,) [84] and the Church professing and visible, [85] together with a mistaken Judaic view of the Christian ministry or priesthood, [86] that most of those Oxford anti-Anglican errors have sprung, whose legitimate end and perfecting is in the Romish doctrine and Church? [87] - especially as conjoined with misunderstanding or forgetfulness as to the great predicted ecclesiastical apostasy, which, according to prophecy, was to run on even from St. Paul’s time within the professing Church, in chronological parallelism with the constituency and doctrine of Christ’s true Church, and at length all but to stifle the latter? [88] - So, as to the Apocalyptic Book’s view of Christ’s Church of the promises. Add to which the lesson from its definition of Christ’s witnesses as those who “keep the commandments of God and the testimony of Jesus,” - God’s commandments, evidently, in contradistinction to man’s: a definition which implies the duty of making God’s own book the one only rule of faith and practice, contradistinctively to all mere human tradition. - Whether at home or abroad, let but this its own originally [89] scriptural and evangelic spirit still characterize our Anglican mother Church; and we may surely the rather hope for the divine blessing upon her. By the joint application of her Apocalyptic Augustinian doctrine respecting election of grace, chosen from out of visible professing Churches through grace unto salvation, and her Apocalyptic Lutheran doctrine of justification simply by faith in Christ our Righteousness, (doctrines alike prominently set forth in the Apocalypse, as re-impressed on men by express revelation, [90] ) together with implicit and constant reference to the written Scripture as the rule of faith, we may expect that she will detect and expel from within her pale, as with touch of the spear of Ithuriel, every the most specious heresy: and so, at the last great day of Christ’s collecting together his jewels, the eulogy of God’s own Zion may prove to have continued hers to the end, that “many were born in her, and that the Most High did establish her.” [91]

And might not a word be fitly added also of solemn practical application of the lessons of this prophecy to other churches, orthodox and unorthodox, among us? - In the anticipation of some fearful approaching conflict, (if such anticipation seem warranted by the prophecy,) and yet more in the view of this war of principle, and of the nations, as but a prelude to the fiery judgments that are to accompany the Lord’s own coming, do we not see motives pre-eminently cogent for union along all that love the Lord Jesus in sincerity? And does it not appear lamentable that, whether from political or ecclesiastical differences of opinion, there should be cherished by any such in the Protestant dissenting bodies a feeling of bitterness against our Anglican Church; a Church which they yet allow to be in its doctrines and profession of faith eminently scriptural and evangelic: especially considering that their supposition of Christ’s declaration, “My kingdom is not of this world,” militating against a national established Church, depends on an inference from the text very questionable; [92] and indeed, unless my solution of the vision of Apoc. x. & xi. can be refuted, that the establishment of the Anglican, as well as of the German and other reformed Churches of the 16th century, seems, expressly noted in the Apocalyptic figurations as the Lord’s own doing. [93] - The same as to the Scotch Free Church, in its relation to the National Church of Scotland. For, if the perfect healing of the breach be hopeless, that has been caused by the lamented secession from the latter of so large and influential a body of its members, inclusive of many of its most eminent and excellent ministers, it would surely be remembered how small the grounds of separation of heart, in comparison with those of union: - considering that it is not on questions involving the essentials of Christian faith that the disruption has arisen, but on questions of ecclesiastical constitution and government, never perfectly to be resolved in a world where all is imperfect, [94] and on which sincere Christians may reasonably hold different opinions; - considering further that the objected Erastianism of the Established Church [95] can scarce be viewed, even by the seceders, as any subject of Divine disapprobation; and indeed, in so far as it attached to the primary constitutions of the German or British Churches of the Reformation, (supposing my explanation correct of the symbol of St. John’s measuring the temple) would seem to have had Apocalyptic testimony to its being that which had the Covenant Angel’s own approving regard and direction; [96] -considering too that as regards Christ’s headship and kingship over the Church, the doctrine, in the highest and most scriptural sense of those phrases, [97] nay and even in a lower and less purely scriptural sense of them, may be considered, I presume, to be held by the members of the Scotch Established Church as truly as of the Free; [98] - in fine, that, instead of that established Church being an “Egypt” that God’s Israel had to come out of it, [99] it was and is by that evangelic Confession of Faith which it holds for its standard, as well as the Free Church, a joint witness and bulwark with it against the only figurative Egypt of New Testament prophecy, I mean Papal Rome. [100] To the noble devotedness of the Free Church, since the disruption, and its zeal, energy, and self-denial in carrying out its many high objects, the world itself bears testimony. But has not one thing been wanting? And would her labors be less holy or less blest, if acrimony towards the Church she has seceded from were altogether banished; and if, instead of it, there was exhibited by her in clearer daylight the holding of the fellowship of the Spirit in the bond of peace? [101]

And can I omit altogether a word of affectionate address and warning to members of the Romish Church; should there in God’s providence be any such among the readers of this Commentary? If what has been here written appear indeed to bear the stamp of God’s own truth, ( and I am well persuaded that not all the learning or ingenuity of Rome can in its main points confute it,) then may the Divine Spirit carry home conviction to them; and make the view of God’s own judgment, here fully drawn out on the great questions at issue between Romanism and Protestantism, and the view too, which the prophecy gives us, of the probable nearness of the great day of his publicly pronouncing and acting out that judgment, to be like the warning-cry in their ears, “If any man worship the Beast and his image, and receive the mark in his forehead or in his hand, the same shall drink of the wine of the wrath of God, and shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and of the Lamb, and the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever:” [102] or, rather, like that other kindlier voice from heaven, “Come out of her, my people,” (for many, I doubt not, of this character through some delusion or ignorance are still, in respect of outward communion, in the Roman Church, although in spirit not of it,) “Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues; for her sins have reached unto heaven.” [103]

Once more, let not the last Apocalyptically predicted danger to the professing Church be forgotten of some strong assault by the spirit of heathen-like infidelity. Alas! how strikingly has the fulfillment of the prediction been manifested, as I revise this book for the 5th time, even in our own Church of England!

But it is individually that the application of the subject is most important. And when thus personally applied, need I say how unspeakably deep and solemn its interest! It is not enough that we belong to the most orthodox Church, profess the most Scriptural faith, and be even zealous for it against the many errors and heresies of the day. The question is, Are we of Christ’s true disciples, his “little flock,” to which alone the Father has given promise of the kingdom? [104] Have we then the evidence of belonging to it? Have we received the Apocalyptically-noted mark and seal of God’s Holy Spirit; and the inward light, life, and spirit of holiness and adoption, which He alone can give? [105] Is our faith fixed on Christ as the Sun of righteousness? [106] Do we hold to the written word in life, as well as in doctrine? [107] Do we witness for Christ in an apostate world: as in the world, but not of the world? Do we seek to follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth, [108] in holiness, spiritual-mindedness, benevolence, self-denial, and patient perseverance in well-doing, through evil report, as well as good report? Do we seek to improve our several talents for him, as those that must soon give account? [109] Does our charity abound to Christ’s flock and people? [110] Is the lamp of faith trimmed, and its light kept burning within us, as by men that watch for their Lord? [111] Is the thought of his parousian precious to us? Do we look for and love the thought of his appearing? [112] - Doubtless there are many who can answer these questions in the affirmative. And happy are they. But there are many of us, it is to be feared, with whom misgiving will arise in the conscience, as we reflect upon them. Alas! who can doubt the prevalence, in what has been not inaptly called “the religious world,” of much of false profession; much of the Laodicean spirit of lukewarmness, self-conceit, religious pride, earthly-mindedness; much of the characteristic deadness of the Church of Sardis, “having a name to live, but being dead?” [113] With all such what cause is there, in contemplation of the coming future, for humiliation, holy fear, repentance! Blessed be God, though the acceptable time remaining be short, it is not ended. Though the Master seems to be on the point of rising, he has not as yet actually risen, and shut the door. [114] Not only is the probationary period of permitted evil as well as good prolonged, as it is written, “He that is unjust let him be unjust still, and he that is holy let him be holy still,” [115] but the voice of mercy and love is also yet to be heard, inviting sinners to salvation: - “The Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely.” [116]

For himself (if such personal allusion be permitted him) the Author cannot but recollect that awful declaration by Christ, “Many shall say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and I will say unto them, I never knew you,” [117] as one that ought to suggest to him very solemn matter for self-examination and fear. It is one thing intellectually and historically to search out Scripture truth; another, and very different, experimentally to know and feel it. The former he has done, according to his ability, without grudging of time or trouble: but to himself of what avail, if the latter be wanting? Under this feeling he will venture to address to every Christian reader this one parting request; - that if, from the explanation of the Apocalyptic Book in the present Commentary, they may have received any spiritual light, comfort, or edification, then they will not refuse to make requital by prayer earnest and personal for him that he may not fall under the condemnation just spoken of; nor, having preached to others, be found in that day of trial himself a castaway. - At this present closing crisis of the world, alike in the evidence of prophecy, in the signs of the times, in the general agitation of Christendom, and in the increased and increasing expectancy of Him by his people, the Savior's voice seems to be heard, distinct and clear as perhaps never before, “Surely, I come quickly.” God grant that it may be the privilege of both reader and writer, whether summoned to meet Him by death, or by the brightness of his own personal advent, to be enabled each one to answer the summons with the inmost soul’s welcome. “Amen! even so! come, Lord Jesus!”

[1] “The groans of Nature in this nether world,

Which heaven has heard for ages, have an end.

Foretold by prophets, and by poets sung,

The time of rest, the promised sabbath comes.

Six thousand years of sorrow have well nigh

Fulfilled their tardy and disastrous course

Over a sinful world; and what remains

Of this tempestuous state of human things,

Is merely as the working of a sea

Before a calm, that rocks itself to rest.”

                             Winter Walk at Noon.

[2] My reference is, as before, to the English Translation by Schlegel’s devoted admirer J. B. Robertson, Esq. The Lectures which make up this Work on the “Philosophy of History” were delivered at Vienna in the year 1828, the year before his death. - I shall freely make extracts in the Notes. It will familiarize the reader with a new point of view in which to consider the Apocalypse.

[3] Preface, ad init.

[4] Lect. xv.; Vol. ii. p. 198. “Without the idea of Godhead regulating the course of human destiny,” - such is his eloquent language, - “of an all-ruling Providence, and the saving and redeeming power of God, the history of the world would be a labyrinth without an outlet, a confused pile of ages buried upon ages, a mighty tragedy without a right beginning, or a proper ending.” And he adds that this is the melancholy impression produced on the mind by several of the great ancient historians; particularly the profoundest of them all, Tacitus.

[5] Lect. x.; Vol. ii. 9. Speaking of Christ’s divine mission for the redemption of the world, he says; “If we once remove this divine keystone in the arch of universal history, the whole fabric of the world’s history falls to ruin; for its only foundation is this new manifestation of God’s power in the crisis of time. . . Without faith in the truth of Christianity, the world’s history would be an insoluble enigma;” &c. And again, pp. 4, 5; “From its very origin, and still more in its progress, it entirely renovated the face of the world:” - “It has shone ever brighter with the progress of ages; and has changed and regenerated not only government and science, but the whole system of human life.” - This statement however is much modified afterwards as to the past. So p. 38, after saying that at the Constantinian revolution Christianity “might have become a real regeneration of the Roman state,” he adds that “the old Roman maxims of state-polity,” &c., continuing prevalent prevented its completion; - and again, p. 55, “the Roman whose polity and public life Christianity itself was unable totally to regenerate.”

[6] Schlegel is very strong in his statements on this point. So Lect. xv. p. 199; “That man only who recognizes the whole magnitude of the power permitted to the wicked principle, according to the inscrutable decrees of God, from the curse of Cain, and the sign of that curse in its unimpeded transmission through all the . . false religions and heathenism, - all the ages of extreme moral corruption, and eternally repeated and ever increasing crime, . .. . is alone capable of understanding the great phenomena of universal history, in their often strange and dark complexity.”

[7] This is Schlegel’s third principle, (the other two being God’s all-ruling and redeeming providence, and the Evil Spirit’s power of tempting to evil,) of which the recognition is essential to the philosophy of history. ii. 300. He says, p. 197; “Without this freedom of choice in man, . . this faculty of determining between the divine impulse and the suggestions of the Spirit of Evil, there would be no history; and without a faith in such principle there could be no philosophy of history.”

At p. 247, Vol. i., after noticing Condorcet’s theory of the endless perfectibility of man, as the liberalism of historic philosophy, he well adds, “But man’s corruptibility is as great as his perfectibility.”

[8] “This idea of divine justice, and of God’s judgments on the world, exemplified in history, belongs undoubtedly to the province of historical philosophy.” Lect. x. Vol. ii. p. 7.

[9] Ibid. p. 5.

[10] See pp. 125, 126 on the grand point of failure.

[11] In order to a right view on these points, there is needed of course, and consequently required by the philosophy of history, a distinct setting forth of what Schlegel calls (ii. 194) “the critical points in the progress of human society.” Very much the same with what I stated in my Introduction, Vol. i. p. 112, as what might be expected in a divine prophecy of the future, and what would be found in the Apocalypse. Compare my review of evidence pp. 113 - 116 suprà.

[12] Schlegel was by birth a Protestant. But in his thirty-third year, A.D. 1805, he renounced Protestantism, and embraced the Romish faith. “It was in the venerable minster at Cologne,” says his translator, “that there was solemnized in the person of this illustrious man the alliance between the ancient faith and modern science of Germany.” Memoir, p. xvi. - It is to be remembered that German Protestantism was then scarce anything but German Neology.

[13] ii. 117.

[14] Ibid. - So does Schlegel in one sentence adopt the three Apocalyptic images of a tempest and an inundation, whereby to symbolize the great Germanic irruption, and a new Christian firmament, in place of the old Pagan political firmament. See Apoc. vi. 14, vii. 1, 2, xii. 15; also my Vol. i. p. 253, and Vol. iii. Note 1, p. 62.

[15] Lect. xiii. p. 127-129. He particularizes the reigns of Charlemagne, Alfred, and the first Saxon kings and emperors of German, “as exhibiting the paramount influence of religion on public life, and constituting the happiest era, the truly golden period of our annals:” and he exemplifies, among other things, in the earlier “spiritual chivalry of the Templars and Knights of St. John, consecrated to warfare in the cause of God,” and the chivalry of the first crusades. At p. 176, he calls the early middle age “thoroughly Christian.” Gregory the Seventh too (p. 146) is the special subject of his eulogy.

[16] Ibid. 124, 125.

[17] Ibid. 153.

[18] Ibid. 115, 116.

[19] Lect. xiv. p. 183.

[20] Ibid. 184.

[21] “Christianity is the emancipation of the human race from the bondage of that inimical Spirit, who denies God; and, as far as in him lies, leads all created intelligences astray. Hence the Scripture styles him ‘the Prince of this world;’ and so he was in fact, but in ancient history only; when among all the nations of the earth, amid the pomp of martial glory, and splendor of Pagan life, he had established the throne of his domination. Since this divine æra in the history of man, . . .  he can no longer be called the Prince of this world; but the Spirit of time:” i.e. as regarding “temporal interests,” above “the thoughts and faith of eternity.” Lect. xviii. ad fiu. ii. 333.

[22] Ibid. p. 333.

[23] “The rigid prohibition of the religious use of images was proper in those cases only where the use of them was not confined to a mere devotional respect, but was likely to degenerate into a real adoration and idolatry; and where a strict separation from Pagan nations, and their rites, was a matter of primary importance. . . But now that the Mahommedan proscription of all holy emblems and images of devotion arose from a decidedly antichristian spirit, . . this Byzantine furious war against images, and all symbols of piety, can be regarded only as a made contagion of the moral disease of the age.” Ibid. 166.

[24] Ibid. 173, 176, 333.

[25] Ibid. 184.

[26] Lect. xiv. pp. 184, 186.

[27] Ibid. 187.

[28] Lect. xviii. p. 334.

[29] “The total rejection of the traditions of the past (here was the capital vice and error of this revolution rendered this evil [the unhappy existing confusion of doctrines] incurable; and even for biblical learning, the true key of interpretation, which sacred tradition alone can furnish, was irretrievably lost.” Lect. xv. p. 215- So also at p. 228, in a passage quoted Note 977 below.

[30] “The hostility of the German Reformers to the Church was of a spiritual nature. It was the religious dignity of the priesthood which was more particularly the object of their destructive efforts. The priesthood stands or falls with faith in the sacred mysteries:” and (these having been by the Protestant body generally rejected) “it was not difficult to foresee that, together with faith in them, respect of the clergy must sooner or later be destroyed.” Moreover “that great mystery of religion on which the whole dignity of the Christian priesthood depends, forms the simple but very deep internal key-stone of all Christian doctrine: and thus the rejection or even infringement of this dogma shakes the foundations of religion, and leads to its total overthrow.” Ibid. p. 218.

[31] Had it been” he says, p. 228, a “divine reformation, it would at no time and under no condition, have severed itself from the sacred center and venerable basis of Christian tradition; in order, reckless of all legitimate decisions, preceding as well as actual, to perpetuate discord, and seek in negation itself a new and peculiar basis for the edifice of schismatic opinion.”

He speaks with high approval, p. 222, of the institution of the Jesuits; as a religious order wholly dependent on the Church; and so, and from their opposition to Protestantism, as answering to the great want of the age.

[32] “Those negative and destructive principles, - those maxims of liberalism and irreligion, which were almost exclusively prevalent in European literature during the eighteen century; - in a word, Protestantism, in the comprehensive signification of that term.” Lect. xviii. p. 284, 285. - So too p. 295; though he allows that the English Protestantism of philosophy is to be distinguished from the French revolutionary atheism. For that “though, by its opposition to all spiritual ideas, it is of a negative character, yet most of its partisans contrive to make some sort of capitulation with divine faith, and to preserve a kind of belief in moral feeling.” So too p. 334.

[33] ii. 271.

[34] Lect. xv. Vol. ii. p. 199.

[35] Lect. xviii. p. 323.

[36] Ibid. 320, 322, 336.

[37] This is spoken of at p. 320 as a magnificent ground-work for a truly Christian structure of government, which then indeed remained unfinished, but is to be the object of our hope for the future. See the next Note.

[38] “This exalted religious hope, - this high historical expectation, - must be coupled with great apprehension, as to the full display of divine justice in the world. For how is such a religious regeneration possible, until every species, form, and denomination of political idolatry be . . entirely extirpated from the earth.” pp. 318, 319.

[39] “As every human soul is conducted to the realms above by the gentle hand of its divine guardian, so the Savior himself has announced to all mankind, in many prophetic passages, that when the period of the dissolution of the world shall approach, he himself will return to the earth, will renovate the face of all things, and bring them to a close.” So ii. 20. - Prophecy shows, he adds, that mankind had “to traverse many centuries, before the promise was to be fulfilled, the final and universal triumph of Christianity throughout the earth to be accomplished, and all mankind gathered into one fold and under one shepherd:” so showing that it is the earthly renovation of all things, and triumph of Christianity on this earthly scene, that Schlegel expected Christ’s second advent to introduce.

To the same effect is the heading of his last Lecture (p. 300, on the “Universal Regeneration of Society,”), with the accommodated text, “I come soon, and will renew all things.” Schlegel was, in his way, a Premillennarian.

[40] Ibid. p. 318.

[41] These two words have both somewhat remarkably been preserved, in the signification of church, in our modern European languages: - the one, ekklhsia, in the eglise, chiesa, iglisia, of the French, Italian, Spanish, &c.; the other kuriakh, in the kirche, kirk, church, of the German, Scotch, English, Dutch, Swedish, and other northern tongues.

Archbishop Whately has indeed in his work on the Kingdom of Christ, p. 76, suggested a very different origin to the latter appellative. “The word church, or its equivalent kirk, is probably no other than circle, i.e. an assembly, ecclesia.” But what his authority for the statement I know not; and its truth seems more than problematical. In Suicer’s Thesaurus it will be found that both kuriakh, and much more generally kuriakon, had come in the 4th century to be words used in the sense of church in Greek Christendom. “Kuriakon usitatissimè notat templum.” Sic. Can. 5. Neo-Cæs. Karhcoumenov, ean eisercomenov eiv to kuriakon, en th twn kathcoumenwn taxei stheh Can. 28, Laod. ‘Oti ou dei en toiv kuriakoiv, h en taiv ekklhsiaiv, tav legomenav agapav poiein Eusebius II. E. ix. 10; Kai ta kuriaka opwv kataskeuazoien augcwreitai. He refers too to Can. 74 in Trullo; also to Athanasius and Zonaras. - I may add that Cyprian and others of the Western fathers use similarly the corresponding Latin word Dominicum.

From the language of Greek Christendom the word was transferred, I presume, by Ulphilas, at the close of the fourth century into the Gothic language; and so into the Saxon and other cognate tongues. Thus Johnson in his Dictionary; “Church (cyree Saxon, kuriakh Greek).”

[42] Apoc. vii. 4, “And I heard the number of them which were sealed: and there were sealed an hundred and forty and four thousand of all the tribes of the children of Israel.

[43] Compare Apoc. xii. 17, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

[44] Apoc. viii. 3, “And another angel came and stood at the altar, having a golden censer; and there was given unto him much incense, that he should offer it with the prayers of all saints upon the golden altar which was before the throne.”. See Vol. i. pp. 330-341.

[45] Apoc. viii., ix.

[46] Apoc. xii., xiii.

[47] See the quotation from Schlegel about the iconoclastic Greek emperors in Note 969, p. 122, suprà.

Mr. Sibthorp, it is said by Mr. Faber, went over to the Church of Rome under the belief that it did not require idolatrous worship of the Virgin Mary; and that he has left it, and rejoined the English Church, on finding that this was in very truth required of him. But did it need that he should enter the Romish Church for evidence on such a point?

[48] Apoc. ix. 20, 21. See my chapter on it, Part iii. ch. i.

[49] Apoc. xviii.

[50] Apoc. xii. See my Vol. iii. pp. 64-69.

[51] See the 4th Section of my Chapter on the Sealing Vision; Vol. i. pp. 296-318.

[52] See my Part iii. Chap. vii.

[53] Apoc. xi. 7-11, Part iii. Chap. viii.

[54] Apoc. x. 1, Vol. ii. pp. 40-45, and 91-97.

[55] Apoc. xi. 2. See Vol. ii. pp. 183-199.

[56] Apoc. xiv. 1. See Part iv. Chap. x.; Vol. iii. p. 316, &c.

[57] Apoc. xiv. 6, &c. See Vol. iii. pp. 460-463, &c.

[58] The same that Schlegel boasts of as the glorious characteristic of these our own days.

[59] Apoc. xi 18.

[60] On this point Schlegel, in his 5th Lecture, beautifully contrasts the religion of the ancient Jews (to which Christianity has succeeded) with that of all the other Asiatic nations. In the traditions of these latter, he observes, regret was the prominent feeling expressed for what man had lost; in the Hebrew religion hope for the future. “The whole existence of this people turned on the pivot of hope; and the keystone of its moral life projected its shadows far into futurity.” i. 183.

[61] To its philosophy in the figurations of historic fact the reader’s attention was directed in the introductory chapter of my Work, Vol. i. pp. 112-114, as also in the 1st Section of my present chapter.

[62] See Vol. ii. pp. 472-474, 485, 486; and Vol. iii. Part v. Ch. viii.

[63] A year or two before the Act of Roman Catholic Emancipation, Mr. Gally Knight, in an influential and able Pamphlet, pointed to the case of the then Dutch and Belgian kingdom, in proof of the possible thorough union of Protestants and Catholics under a Protestant Government. The very next year the Protestant Government there was overthrown by a united Romish and democratic insurrection.

[64] For example by “the measure,” as some have called it, of paying the Irish Roman Catholic Priesthood from the national funds.

Since the publication of my First Edition, we have to regret that our national Protestant character should have been further compromised by the Maynooth endowment; - however patriotic the motives of the ministry that originated it.

[65] Let me refer on this head to the illustrative historic sketch prefixed by Dr. Croly to his Treatise on the Apocalypse.

[66] See pp. 68, 69..

[67] Apoc. xiii. 2, “And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.”

[68] Compare Eph. iii. 15, - “our Lord Jesus Christ, from whom the whole family in heaven and on earth is named.”

[69] Eph. v. 25-27.

[70] Gal. iv. 26.

[71] ecclhsia prwtotocwn Heb. xii. 23.

[72] Apoc. vii, 3, 4, &c., 1, &c. xvii. 14, xx 4, xxi. 2, 10-12, xxii. 3, 4, &c.

[73] Let me exemplify, as I have not directly done so before.

1. Ignatius, in the heading of his Letter to the Church at Ephesus, (a very striking and illustrative document, of chronology immediately following the Apostolic time,) speaks of it as predestinated by God before the world to glory: thereby distinctly defining the true spiritual church at Ephesus as the object of his address, though in charity supposing all to belong to it of the members of the professing  church there constituted: professing as they did under circumstances of trial and persecution, so calculated to prevent the adhesion of any but true disciples. Ignatiov, o kai qeoforov, tu eulsghmenh en megeqei qeou IIatrov kai plhrwmati, th proorismenh tro aiwnwn einai dia pantov eiv doxon paramonon, atrepton, proorismenh, tro aiwnwn einai dia pantov eiv paramonon, atrepton, hnwmenhn, kai eklelegmenhn, en paqei alhqeny, en qelhmati tou IIatrov kai Ihsou Cristou tou qeou hmwn, th ekklhsia, tu axiomakaristy tu oush en Efesy.

2. The Epistle which contains the Acts of Polycarp’s Martyrdom is addressed by “the Church of God which sojourns at Smyrna, to that which sojourns at Philemelium, and to all sojourning bodies of the Holy Catholic Church throughout the world:” thereby indicating necessarily, I think, that spiritual and true Church, of which the members feel and live as pilgrims here, and with their home in heaven..

3. Justin Martyr, Dial. cum Tryph. p. 287, speaks of the Church as Christ’s Bride prophesied of in Psalm xiv.: which Church we know from other Scriptures to be that symbolized as the heavenly Jerusalem; made up only of the true and the saved.

4. Similarly Tertullian, de Baptismo, c. 15, says; “Et una ecclesia in cælis:” [On which observes his Romish Editor Pamelius; “et in terris videtur desiderari. Etsi autem ad Eph. iv. id aportè non habeatur, subindicitur tamen his verbis, Unum corpus et unus spiritus: quemadmodum S. Cyprianus pulchrè explicat, Libro De Unitate Ecelesiæ.”] -- and in his De Cor. Mil. c. 13; “Sed tu peregrinus es mundi hujus, civia suprenæ Hierusalem: noster, inquit, municipatus in cælis.”

5. And so again the Author of the beautiful Epistle to Diognetus,quoted before by me Vol. i. p. 102. “Christians (i.e. the constituency of the Church) display the wonderful nature of their peculiar polity. They dwell in their own country but as sojourners: they abide on earth, but are citizens of heaven.”

[74] Of all the early Fathers none, I believe, contributed to this more than the excellent Cyprian; especially by his well-meant, and in many respects valuable Treatise, De Unitate Ecclesiæ. For the error attaches to it of arguing from such passages as, “Thou art Peter, &c., and on this rock will I build my Church,” and that, “What thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven,” and again, “As my Father hath sent me, so send I you,” with reference almost wholly to the apostolic commission transmitted officially downwards to the episcopal or bishop rulers of the Church; instead of urging the essentially, as other Fathers did, in order to the enjoyment of these promises and prerogatives, of adherence to the apostolic faith: and the error also of identifying the early Church visible, governed by these rulers, with that against which the gates of hell should not prevail, viz. Christ’s spiritual Church, the Bride. “Super unum (sc. Petrum) ædificat ecclesiam suam . . . Exordium ab unitate proficiscitur, ut ecclesia una monstretur: quam unam ecclesiam etiam in Cantico Canticorum Spiritus Sanctus ex personâ Domini designat, et dicit, ‘Una est columba mes, perfecta mea.’” But we must always recollect that in Cyprian’s time the professing Church was essentially faithful; and indeed tested and purified by persecution.

So Cyril Alex. De Trin. iv. 1: IIetran oimai parwnumwv eteron ouden h thn akataseiston kai edraiotathn tou maqhtou pistin apokalwn, ef u kai adiaptwtwv erhreistai kai diapephgen h ekklhsia tou Cristou, kai autaiv analwtov taiv adou pulaiv eiv aei diamenousa. And Origen: IIetra gar pav o Cristou maqhthv, af au epinon oi ek pneumatikhv akolouqoushv petrav kai epi rasan thn toiauthn petran oikodomeitai o ekklhsiastikov pav logov, kai h kat auton politeia en ekasty gar twn teleiwn, sumplhrountwn thn makariothta logwn kai ergwn kai nohmatwn, estin h upo tou qeou sikodoumenh ekklhsia. In Matt. xvi. 18 (Ed. Huet, i. 75). - So too Augustine.

[75] More often Augustine speaks of Christ’s true Church under its character of a polity, the Civitas Dei. But at times he conjoins the two phrases. So C. D. xvii. 4. 3: “Ecclesia Christi, civitas Regis Magni;” also xvii. 16. 2, &c.

[76] See my Vol. i. 306-308.

[77] See my historical application of the Vision of the 144,000 seen by St. John with Christ on Mount Zion, in contrast and opposition to the Beast Antichrist’s multitudinous worshippers in Babylon, Vol. iii. p. 308.

“In common with the soundest divines,” says Professor Le Bas, “Wicliff allows the distinction between the Church visible and the Church invisible. The latter he calls the very body of Christ, the former his medlied (or mixed) body; which includes men ordained to bliss, and hypocrites doomed to perdition.” p. 338. Mark, too, the prominence of this point in the examinations of Lord Cobham and others of the latter Wicliffites, before the Romish tribunals; and the “Credo unam esse sanctam catholicam Ecclesiam,” perpetuated as Huss’s motto on his medal, given at Vol. ii. p. 460: also Luther’s public recognition of this doctrine of Huss, quoted Vol. iii. p. 311, Note 1; and the same in the examination of Philpot and other Anglican reformers of the xvith century.

[78] I beg to call the readers careful attention to this point, as one that seems to me most important. There are two principles on which an interpreter may attempt the explanation of the various eulogistic phrases, such as the elect, the faithful, &c., addressed by the apostles to the churches they write to. The one is that which explains them of mere ecclesiastical election, and profest faith; and consequently applies them to all the members of the professing church indiscriminately, the true alike and the false. The other is that which regards the phrases as properly belonging only to the true members, i.e. the constituency of the spiritual church; and consequently applies the terms generally only in the spirit of charity; hoping, where there exists no plain evidence to the contrary, in the sincerity of men’s profession. - I feel deeply persuaded that the latter is the only one that can be consistently and satisfactorily carried out.

So Leighton, on 1 Pet. i. 2. “The Apostle denominates all the Christians to whom he writes by the condition of true believers; calling them elect and sanctified, &c.: and St. Paul writes in the same style in his Epistles to the churches. . . Not that all in these churches were such indeed; but because they professed to be such, many of them as were in any measure true to their calling and profession were really such. Besides, . . in all probability, there would be then fewer false Christians, and the number of true believers usually greater, than now in the best reformed Churches.” Compare the extracts from Clement of Rome and Justin Martyr, given in my Vol. i. p. 267, Note 3.

[79] In its xviith Article our Church sketches the history, formation, and character of the blessed company that constitutes Christ’s true invisible Church; in its xixth, a true visible Church, (such as may be fitted to gather in and nourish the invisible,) as being “one in which the pure word of God is preached, and sacraments duly ministered.” Its Burial Service alludes to the invisible or spiritual Church under the appellation of the number of the elect: That thou wouldest shortly accomplish the number of thine elect, and hasten thy kingdom.”

So too in the Prayer for the Ember Weeks: “Almighty God, who hast purchased to thyself an Universal Church, by the precious blood of thy dear Son.”

[80] So the Anglican Communion Service. - Similarly says the Homily on Whitsunday, though speaking of this Church’s earthly state; “The true Church is an universal congregation or fellowship of God’s faithful and elect people, built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets.”

Let me add the following from King Edward the VIth’s Short Catechism.

M. Now remaineth that thou speak of the Holy Church. - S. Afore that the Lord God had made the heaven and earth, he determined to have for himself a most beautiful kingdom and holy commonwealth. The Apostles and ancient Fathers that wrote in Greek called it ekklhsia; in English a congregation or assembly: into the which He hath admitted an infinite number of men, that should all be subjects to one king as their sovereign, and only one head: Him we call Christ, which is to say Anointed. . . To the furnishing of this commonwealth belong all they as many as do truly fear, honor, and call upon God, wholly applying their mind to holy and godly living; and all those that putting all their hope and trust in him, do assuredly look for the bliss of everlasting life. But as many as are in faith steadfast, were fore-chosen, predestinate, and appointed out to everlasting life, before the world was made. Witness thereof they have within their hearts, the Spirit of Christ; the author, earnest and unfailing pledge of their faith. Which faith only is able to perceive the mysteries of God, only bringeth peace into the heart, only taketh hold on the righteousness that is in Christ Jesus.

Then in answer to the question, “Canst thou yet further depaint me out that congregation which thou callest a kingdom or commonweal of Christians,” (evidently the same Christian congregation, kingdom, commonwealth, or Church, of which a description had been given in the preceding extract from the Catechism,) “and so set it out before mine eyes that it may be known asunder from each other fellowship of men,” “some certain congregations that may be seen,” - the Scholar defines it as consisting of those who not only “profess the pure and upright learning of Christ, as it is faithfully set forth in the Holy Testament,” and “use the Sacraments with pureness and simplicity,” but also “in all points are governed and ruled by the laws and statutes of their king and high bishop Christ, in the bond of charity,” and “banish out of the Church such as well not amend their lives.” And he concludes respecting it thus: “This is that same Church which Paul calleth the pillar and upholding stay of truth. To this Church belong the keys wherewith heaven is locked and unlocked: for that is done by the ministration of the word; whereunto properly belongeth the power to bind and loose, to hold for guilty and forgive sins.” After which the Catechism proceeds thus:

M. This would I hear of thee, why it immediately followeth [i.e. after mention in the Creed of the Holy Ghost] that we believe the holy Universal Church and the Communion of Saints?- S. These two things I have always thought to be most fitly coupled together, because the fellowships and incorporations of other men proceed, and be governed by, other means and policies; but the Church, which is an assembly of men called to everlasting salvation, is both gathered together and governed by the Holy Ghost. Which thing, sith it cannot be perceived by bodily sense or light of nature, is by right and for good reason here reckoned among things that are known by belief [i.e. placed in the Creed]. And therefore this calling together of the faithful is called universal, because it is bound to no one special place. For God throughout all coasts of the world hath them that worship Him: which, though they be far scattered asunder by divers distance of countries and dominions, yet are they members most nearly joined of that same body whereof Christ is the head; and have one spirit, faith, sacraments, prayers, forgiveness of sins, and heavenly bliss, common among them all.” - Liturgies of King Edward VI. pp. 511-514. Parker Edition.

[81] So our Ordination Service. “Ye are called to teach, feed, and provide for the Lord’s family: and to seek for Christ’s sheep that are dispersed abroad, and for his children who are in the midst of this naughty world (i.e. professing Christendom); that they may be saved through Christ for ever.”

[82] Compare Eph. iv. 12; “He gave some apostles, some evangelists, some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the edifying of the body of Christ:” - i.e. of the Church of the redeemed, “which is his body.” Ibid. i. 23.

[83] So Leighton (the truest as well as sweetest exponent of Anglican Church doctrine) on 1 Pet. ii. 5. “Ye are built up a spiritual house.” This building is the whole invisible Church of God, and each good man is a stone of this building. - For this purpose chiefly did God make the world, the heaven and earth, that in it He might raise this spiritual building to himself, to dwell in for ever. . . . The continuance of this present world, as it now is, is but for the service of this work, like the scaffolding about it; and therefore, when this spiritual building shall be fully completed, all the present frame of things in the world, and in the Church itself, shall be taken away, and appear no more.”

[84] Of course in their individual character the members of Christ’s true Church will be visible as “lights in the world,” in proportion as their walk and conversation are consistent. Moreover it is possible for a community of true-hearted Christians, unmixed with false, to be visibly associated together in social fellowship and religious worship. Such, for example, was the earliest primitive Church constituted on the great day of Pentecost at Jerusalem: such the primitive Churches, as first constituted at Philippi and Thessalonica: which beautiful models the Catechist of King Edward seems to have had in his eye in the extract just given from the Catechism. But, since that morning-day of the Christian Church they have been but the unrealized ideal model of a Church visible. For in every case tares began almost immediately to mix with the wheat in the early Churches, as the Apostolic Epistles themselves show, agreeably with our Lord’s prophetic parable. And so a visible Church of the true-hearted, distinctively and alone, was no more to be found. Nor this alone. But as corruption became more and more prevalent, and tainted not only the individual character of the professing Church’s members, but also its doctrinal teaching, professed faith, and public worship, then even what might be called a true visible professing Church existed not: and the Apocalyptic symbol at length had fulfillment of the true Catholic Church, once visible, being driven into a state of invisibility and barrenness, like as of a wilderness. Nor even in that comparatively small portion of ancient Roman Christendom, in which orthodox doctrine and pure forms of worship were restored at the Reformation, has the mass of any visible Church community answered in spirit and character to its profession. Compare Apoc. xiv. 3, “And they sung as it were a new song before the throne, and before the four beasts, and the elders: and no man could learn that song but the hundred and forty and four thousand, which were redeemed from the earth.”; a passage already before referred to.

[85] I cannot better illustrate this than from Mr. Gresley’s “True Churchman.” He observes (p. 35, 6th Ed.); “It is the right or the wrong belief in the doctrine of the one Catholic and Apostolic Church, which makes all the difference, rendering men sound orthodox Churchmen, or wavering Schismatics. Some not very spiritual persons have adopted a mode of speaking of the Church as the body of true believers in all the world. It is manifestly a mere political maneuver.*Let us turn to the Bible. The word Church occurs in a good many places in Scripture; in the large majority of which it is applied to a religious community existing visibly upon earth, which was liable to persecution, vexation, extension, could receive complaints, admit or reject members, deliberate, decide controversies, send messengers, be of a visible human society.” Then he adds: “There are a few, very few, exceptions; as in the Epistle to the Ephesians, where it is said that Christ gave himself for it, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing. Here evidently the Apostle alludes to some prospective condition of the Church; because not even one individual member of the Church on earth is on this side of the grave perfectly sinless. This perfect holiness therefore can be ascribed only to the Church triumphant: as in the Hebrews, where the heavenly Jerusalem is spoken of as the general assembly and Church of the firstborn which are written in heaven, the spirits of just men made perfect.”

* Was it so with Archbiship Leighton? or with the founders of the Church to which Mr. G. belongs, whose views to this effect I have noted above?

Let me ask, is there not some confusion of ideas, or of language, in this passage? In the first part Mr. G. speaks of the Church (the one Catholic and Apostolic Church) as a religious community existing visibly on earth, including (as appears from the context) all its professing members, and governed by bishops of the official apostolic succession: then he quotes a certain few passages from Scripture, which allude, he says, to a prospective and triumphant condition of the Church. Now, in thus speaking, either Mr. G. means by the Church the same community that he before designated under the name, though in a different state and state of existence; which is the natural and only proper meaning of his words; in which case he makes all professing unexcommunicated members of the earthly episcopal Churches to be members at last of the Church triumphant in heaven; an error surely as fearful as palpable! - Or else he means by the Church in one sentence one thing; in the next quite another: viz. in the first, the Christian visible community, including both true and false, the tares and the wheat; in the other the wheat, or true Church only. On which latter hypothesis he virtually admits the distinction that he is so bent on denying, between the Church visible and Church invisible; while violating at the same time that distinctness which is a primary rule of good writing. What if, in Algebra, the equation A = a + å being proposed, (as the Church visible includes both the true and the false members of it,) as by itself alone the equivalent of A?

As to the difference between Mr. G. and his own Church on the general view, the Notes preceding will, I think, show it clearly.

I am not unaware that certain eminent opponents of the ecclesiastical system advocated by Mr. Gresley, do yet agree with him in speaking of the appellative sons of God as one applied by St. Paul to all the members of the Church visible, “whether they walk worthy of their calling or not.” So Archbishop Whately in his Kingdom of God, p. 8: who also, at p. 52, notes all these as constituting the communion of saints. But would St. Paul have counted in that communion such false professors as he alludes to Acts xx. 30, “Also of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them.”; Phil. iii. 19, “ Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.”; 2 Cor. xi. 13 & 15, “For such are false apostles, deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ.”, “ Therefore it is no great thing if his ministers also be transformed as the ministers of righteousness; whose end shall be according to their works.”; Jude 12, “These are spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear: clouds they are without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth, without fruit, twice dead, plucked up by the roots;”; &c.?

[86] See my general argument on this subject on the Sealing Vision, Part i. ch. vii. § 3, concluded Vol. i. pp. 292-296.

It was through this erroneous view, primarily, that Mr. Sibthorp was led to join Rome. So he himself tells us, in his very illustrative Letter of justification. - And, I fear it still partially affects some, who would yet shrink back from Oxford Tractaranism. I might exemplify in a late Ordination Sermon by one much to be esteemed on 2 Cor. viii. 23, based very much on this official, ecclesiastical, Levitical view of the Episcopacy, Church, and Priesthood: - as if from his mere office a bishop or presbyter can be the glory of Christ, unless he hold, preach, and live the doctrines of Christ; or as if men baptized can be really brethren to Christ’s saints, unless they be really and in heart members incorporate with Christ the head.

[87] What an illustration of this has been given, since my first Edition was published, in the apostasy to Rome of the chief Oxford Tractarians, Messrs. Newman, Ward, Oakley, Faber, Maskell, &c.!

[88] See in Vol. iii. pp. 94, 95, my reference to Archdeacon Manning’s argument on this point.

[89] I say original, with reference to the Cranmers, Ridleys, Jewels, &c., the actual founders of the English Church; not to the Lauds or Bulls, whom some would refer to as its fathers, of a later and very different generation.

[90] See my Vol. i. Part i. Ch. vii. § 4, and Vol. ii. pp. 40-45.

[91] Psalm lxxxvii. 5, “And of Zion it shall be said, This and that man was born in her: and the highest himself shall establish her.”

[92] What has past in our own Church since the publication of my first Edition, renders the right view of this famous text, John xviii, 36, “My kingdom is not of this world,” (apekriqh Ihsouv h basileia  h emh ouk estin ek tou kosmou toutou)

                         (Answered  Jesus:   The Kingdom      my     is not      of    -     world       this ) more important than ever, Hence a brief discussion of it may be not inappropriate; especially as one connected with, and supplemental to, my notice of Christ’s kingdom, p. 94, in the Chapter on “The Millennium.”

And, with a view to this, it seems essential that we consider it in the light not only of its immediate context, but also of that larger context of Scripture, (alike of the Old and New Testament,) in which Messiah’s kingdom, called also the kingdom of God, or kingdom of heaven,* is a perpetually recurring topic.

* In St. Matthew we find it generally called the kingdom of heaven, in St. Mark and St. Luke the kingdom of God.

Now the Old Testament prophecies, alike those of David, Isaiah, Daniel, and others, foreshadowed this kingdom as one that would appear under two distinct phases; a primary one of imperfection and opposition; a final one of triumphant and universal establishment over all error and all opposition. More especially, for example, in Daniel’s famous first prophecy there were figured distinctively the regnum lapidis and the regnum montis: § - the primary humbler state of Messiah’s kigdom, as a stone cut out without hands; (the divine temple’s destined corner-stone: || ) and its ultimate triumphant state, after shivering the world’s great image to pieces, and as a mountain (the mountain of the Lord’s house, I suppose,) filling with its glory the whole earth. - So too this twofold state and phase of Jesus Christ’s kingdom was prominently set forth by Christ himself and his apostles in the New Testament. The first was set forth as having commencement from after the King’s presentation of himself in human form on earth, rejection by the master-builders in Israel, and consequent judicial suffering, though only as man’s redemption-price from out of the kingdom of darkness, with free and open entrance thenceforth into his own kingdom of light and holiness;£ then absenting himself from earth for a while, with a view to receive from his Father investiture of the kingdom;  and to prepare his people for it, as well as it for his people. « Which preparatory state of the kingdom is described as including its proclamation over the world; appointed heralds being charged with invitation from the King to all to enter it: (with the foreseen result however of a promiscuous gathering of bad and good, false as well as true, as in the seed-scattering and net-throwing of the Parable:) ± and as including also among its characteristics a provision for the meet spiritual education, support, and nourishment of all its true members; while still sojourners, far away from the King and kingdom of their hearts, in a world under the dominion of their King’s and their own great enemy, the Evil One.** - The second state and phase described is that of its manifestation in heavenly power and majesty, so as prefigured at the transfiguration;†† and establishment on the ruins of Antichrist’s kingdom, ‡‡ and of each other dominion allied with the Prince of darkness. It is this latter for which Christ bids us pray incessantly, “Thy kingdom come!” and it is to be ushered in by the King’s own visible return in glory; the retinue of all his faithful saints and subjects of every age rising to attend him, in reflected lustre like as of the sun, and to the exclusion of each and every one of the insincere and false.§§ Not however in their prior mortal state; the kingdom being that which even the saints themselves in flesh and blood cannot inherit:¥¥ but, with a view to their entrance on which, the new robing of incorruption is provided for them, and the world itself to be made a new world wherein dwelleth righteousness.¿¿

Conformably with all this text under discussion, “My kingdom is not of this world,” is, I conceive, to be explained as spoken by Christ to Pilate, - 1st, with reference to the principle of its constitution; as neither having for its object the grandeurs, dignities, or secular supremacy of the kingdoms of this world, nor involving disobedience or violation of allegiance in secular matters to the earthly sovereign,¥ but only vindicating to itself the empire of the heart: - 2ndly, in respect of its constituency, as including those only who in heart “are of the truth,” in contrast with a world of which he had the night before said, that “the Spirit of truth was what the world could not receive:”++ its members being thus “not of the world, even as Christ was not of the world:” - 3rdly, in respect of the mode of its propagation and advancement, as not by force or the sword, like this world’s kingdoms; “else would my servants fight:” - 4thly, in respect of the time of its proper manifestation and establishment; as not during the existence of the world that now is, but of the world to come,£ at the end of the present age;€€ in other words on the regeneration, or new creation, when the Son of Man shall sit on the throne of his glory, and there shall be the new heaven and new earth, spoken of by Isaiah and St. Peter.‹‹

Supposing which explanation of the text correct, it seems, although what might be called a decidedly spiritual explanation, yet to involve no precept or argument against a national establishmnet of the orthodox faith. For the rich and nobles and kings are no more excluded from the offer of a part of Christ’s kingdom than the ignoble and the poor. And, in case of their accepting the offer, and becoming members of it, they are surely as much bound as any others to promote the interests of the kingdom, by such legitimate means as God may have put within their power: including especially, on the part of Christian kings, the provision of a gospel-ministry and an evangelic worship, throughout the countries ruled by them, after the examples of the ancient Jewish princes Hezekiah and Josiah. For example, can the Queen of the Sandwich Islands have violated any principle of duty involved in Christ’s declaration to Pilate, in making provision for them in her distant territory? Or in quite another way Constantine, in judging on the Donatistic controversy submitted to him? E.g. Ps. ii., xxii.

E.g. Isa. liii.

§ Dan. ii. 34, 35. I use Mede’s well-known Latin designatives.

|| Matt. xxi. 42; Luke xx. 17. In what our Lord adds, as recorded both by St. Matthew and St. Luke, “On whomsoever it shall fall likmhsei auton, we have, I think, a very interesting connecting link between David’s prophecy about the cornerstone (Ps. cxviii 22, “The stone which the builders rejected, &c.”) here quoted by Christ, and Daniel’s about the image-smiting stone. For likmhsei is not exactly rendered in our translation “it shall grind him to powder.” It should rather be, “it shall reduce him to dust, like as winnowed chaff from the threshing-floor.” The similarity to which to Dan. ii. 35 is so evident and striking that I cannot think it unintended: - “The stone smoth the image upon his feet of iron and clay; and then was the iron and clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor; and the wind carried them away.” The Greek word is the self-same that is used in Dan. ii. in the Septuagint: likmhsei kai leptunei pasav tav basileiav.

Isa. ii. 2; Mic. iv. 1. Compare Apoc. xxi. 10.

£ Col. i. 13, 14, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness, and hath translated us into the kingdom of his dear Son: 14: In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins:”

 Luke xix. 12, “ He said therefore, A certain nobleman went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return.”.

« John xiv. 2, “ In my Father's house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”.

Matt. iv. 23; Acts xxviii. 31, &c. I need hardly observe that khrussein, usually rendered to preach, is literally to proclaim as a herald.

± Matt. xiii. 24 & 47, “Another parable put he forth unto them, saying, The kingdom of heaven is likened unto a man which sowed good seed in his field:” - “ Again, the kingdom of heaven is like unto a net, that was cast into the sea, and gathered of every kind:”. See.p. 94.

** 1 John v. 19, “And we know that we are of God, and the whole world lieth in wickedness”

††.Mark ix. 1; “There be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the kingdom of God come with power. And after six days Jesus taketh Peter and James and John . . . up into an high mountain apart, and was transfigured before them; &c.” Compare 2 Pet. i. 16-18, “For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty. 17: For he received from God the Father honor and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.”.

‡‡ Dan. ii. 44, “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.”; vii. 26, 27, “ But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27: And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.”

§§ 1 Thess iv. 16, 17, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first: 17: Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”; Matt. xxv. 31 & 34, “When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory:” & “Then shall the King say unto them on his right hand, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world:”; Matt. xiii. 41-43, “The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and them which do iniquity; 42: And shall cast them into a furnace of fire: there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth. 43: Then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. Who hath ears to hear, let him hear.”

¥¥ 1 Cor. xv. 50, “Now this I say, brethren, that flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God; neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.”

¿¿ 2 Pet. iii. 13, “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness”.

¥ Compare Rom. xiii. 1, “Let every soul be subject unto the higher powers. For there is no power but of God: the powers that be are ordained of God.”; 1 Pet. ii. 13 & 17, “Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the king, as supreme;” & “Honor all men. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the king.”.

++ John xiv. 17, “Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you.”

£H oikoumenh h mellousa, Heb. ii. 5, “For unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak.”.

€€ Matt. xiii. 39, “The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels..”

‹‹ Matt. xix. 28, “And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That ye which have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of man shall sit in the

throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.”

See my notices of the new heaven and earth in the two preceding Chapters, Compare Justin Martyr, Apol. ii.; Umeiv akausantev basileian prosdokwntav hmav akritwv anqrwpinon legein hmav upeilhfate, hmwn thn meta qeou legontwn.

[93] See my Vol. ii. pp. 188-195, on the rabdov or rod of authority, given by the Angel to St. John, for measuring and re-forming the symbolic temple.***

 *** This my view of the rabdov has been the subject of some controversy, especially with Dr. Candlish. But, as now in my 3rd and 4th Editions more fully and carefully explained, it is that to which I believe Dr. C. would not object.

[94] I mean in regard of the chief disputed points on which the disruption arose: - especially those of patronage, as distinguished from the popular call or nomination, as a prerequisite to ordination to a benefice; and that of the supremacy of the highest civil over the highest ecclesiastical court, in questions involving conjointly both civil and ecclesiastical rights. As regards the former, is not the doubt both permissible and reasonable whether popular call may not be to the full as liable to abuse as lay patronage? As regards the latter, has not the supremacy of the civil courts in England been on more than one important occasion within the last century a defense not only of the beneficed clergy personally, but even of the truth itself, against the abuse of the episcopal authority?

[95] Erastus was a German divine of the xvith century. Neal, in his History of the Puritans, Vol. ii. Pref. p. ix., - after observing that the Members of Parliament, during the civil war, were almost all of the principles of Erastus, who maintained that Christ and his apostles had prescribed no particular form of discipline for his Church, but had left it in the hands of the civil magistrate to appoint such particular forms of church government as might most subserve the welfare of the Commonwealth, - adds, “These were the sentiments of the Reformers, from Cranmer down to Bancroft.” This last statement, however, needs the important modification of the magistrate being supposed to do nothing contrary to the Bible.

With regard to Erastus’ doctrine, it may be useful further to give Archbishop Whately’s explanation of Erastianism. “Erastianism has always been considered as consisting in making the State as such, - the civil magistrate by virtue of his office, - prescribe to the people what they shall believe, and how worship God.” (Kingdom of Christ, p. 266.) Supposing which to be correct, then all charge of Erastianism against the Scotch Established Church will be evidently incorrect; seeing that the State has not attempted to impose new Articles of belief on the Church. Nor indeed did the seceders, in consequence of such Erastian pretensions, leave the Establishment.«« Dr. Candlish, however, asserts, (Letters on Horæ, p. 120,) that “neither articles of belief, nor manner of worship, came into question at all in the Erastian Controversy, properly so called: and “that it was on the lawfulness, according to Scripture and right reason, of the civil magistrate’s jurisdiction in the exercise of Church discipline, particularly in the acts of excommunication, and of admitting to membership and office in the Church, that the dispute about which Erastus was concerned really turned.”

«« Let me contrast the case of the Ministres demissionaires, now Ministers of the Free Church in the Canton de Vaud. Here the first grand step of the Secular Government towards the oppression of the Vaudois Church was the abolition by it in 1839, at one fell swoop, and altogether by its own authority, of the Helvetic Confession of Faith.

At any rate it must be allowed that Erastiaism is a just cause of reproach, in so far only as it can be proved to be anti-scriptural. And in such a case as the famous Marnoch and Strathbogie one, where the two jurisdictions met and conflicted, was God’s revealed will so clear as that a Christian man, wishing to judge by that rule, might not honestly differ from the opinion of the majority in the General Assembly, who subsequently seceded from the Established Church?

[96] See Note 1039 p. 132 suprà. - I have said above, “in so far as the objected Erastianism attached also to the primary constitutions of the German or other Churches of the Reformation,” because it is to these that the Apocalyptic symbol (if I am correct) relates; not to such changes in their ecclesiastical constitutions as may have been made at any later epoch. - Of course too my argument from the Apocalyptic symbol has reference only to main points in the constitution of the Reformed Churches, not to details.

[97] As the point is of importance, it may be well to subjoin, with a view to a right judgment on the scriptural sense of this phrase, all the passages in the New Testament which speak of Christ’s headship over the Church: - and all, I believe, in regard to the Church in its most spiritual sense.

First then we have Christ figured to us as the head corner-stone of his temple, the Church. So in Matt. xxi. 42, and the parallel passages in Mark and Luke. But of what temple or Church? The visible earthly Society so called, including both false and true members; or that constituted of the true only? St. Peter (1 Pet. ii. 4-6) defines it distinctly as the latter. “To whom coming, as unto a living stone, disallowed of men, but chosen of God and precious, ye also as living stones are built up a spiritual house,” &c.: as it is said in the Scripture, “I lay in Zion a chief cornerstone. . . and, The stone which the builders disallowed, the same is made the head of the corner.”

Then, passing over 1 Cor. xi. 3, where it is said of individual Christians that “the head of the women is the man, and the head of the man is Christ,” a passage therefore not directly bearing on the point now in question, we come to the following five apposite and famous passages in St. Paul’s Epistles to the Ephesians and Colossians. 1. Eph. i. 22; “And God gave him to be the head over all things to the Church; which is his body, the fullness of him that filleth all in all.” 2. Eph. iv. 11-15: “And he gave some apostles, and some prophets, and some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that, . . . speaking the truth in love, we may grow up into him in all things, which is the head, even Christ: from whom the whole body fitly joined together. . . maketh increase of the body unto the edifying of itself in love.” 3. Eph. v. 23, &c.; “The husband is the head of the wife, as Christ is the head of the Church. . . And he loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might present it to himself a glorious Church, not having spot or wrinkle or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” 4. Col. i. 18; “And he is the head of the his body the Church.” 5. Col. ii. 18, 19; “Let no man beguile you of your reward, by a voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intruding into those things which he hath not see, . . . and not holding the head; from which all the body, by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.”

In all which passages, especially as compared together and mutually illustrated by each other, it seems to me clear that the true Church is meant always and distinctively, as that of which Christ is head. I am surprised that Dr. Candlish, (Letters, pp. 26, 27, 123), while fully admitting, nay contending, that “holding the head” is said in Col. ii. 19 distinctively of true believers, should yet contend also that most of the passages quoted belong both to the true Church, and also to visible Churches, “outstanding societies,” (including of course both good and bad,) formed in Christ’s name, and especially that Eph. iv. 11, &c., has reference to these latter; “If there be meaning in words, it must apply to a visible organized society.” But why? Because, says he, the provision specified of outward means and ministers of grace (apostles, prophets, evangelists, &c.) necessarily belongs to a visible organized Society. But whose edifying is accomplished by them? Surely not that of mere professors in the Church Society, but of the true members only. Which last therefore can alone in the scriptural sense be deemed Christ’s body;++ (just as in Col. ii. 19, where Dr. C., as I observed, allows it;) and which last alone consequently have Christ as a head and grow up into him in all things; &c.Å

++ So Augustine, De Doctr. Christ. iii. 45: where, speaking of Tichonius’ second interpretative principle, De Domini corpore bipartite, as including both the true members of the Church’s body and the false, Augustine says that the phrase is wrongly exprest; because hypocrites and false professors do not really belong to Christ’s body at all. “Non revera Domini corpus est quod cum illo non crit in æternum.”

Å How strongly Christ is set forth as the Church’s head, in this Scriptural sense of the phrase, by the founders of the Anglican Church, (which yet has been spoken against as Erastian,) will have been seen in the extract from King Edward’s Catechism given a little earlier.

As to the Scritptural view of Christ’s kingship in the Church, and of those of whom the privilege attaches of having him for their king, the most illustrative passage that I know is John xviii. 37, “Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice:” following as it does on Christ’s saying that he was born to be a king, though over a kingdom not of the world;¶¶ and being in fact his explanation of the subjects that would belong to it. Does not St. John teach us (1 John iii. 19, &c.) that none but real heart-believers are of the truth? Does not Christ state it (John x. 27) as the distinctive of his own true sheep, that they hear his voice?

¶¶ See my discussion on the text, “My kingdom is not of this world,” in the Note 1038 p. 130,  just before.

Archbiship Whately, in his well-known Work on the Kingdom of Christ already more than once referred to, appears to me to have greatly impoverished and understated Christ’s meaning in this declaration; by explaining it (p. 29), wholly or chiefly, as “the renunciation of all secular coercion in behalf of his religion.” This view of the words in the text’s latter clause arises from his viewing Christ’s kingdom in the former clause as meaning only the earthly visible society, called the Church in its earthly present mixed state: for he says scarce a word in his Treatise of this earthly state being one in which many would profess to attach to Christ’s kingdom that really do not, the tares as well as the wheat; or of the future state as that in which alone the true constituency of the kingdom will be separated from the untrue, and in perfect union and glory shine forth for ever. - The different views from this of Wicliff and of the Anglican Church have been shown before.

[98] The Free Church holds Christ’s headship over the visible Church; and this as an important principle in the right ecclesiastical constitution of Christian communities. So the Address by the Convocation to the People of Scotland, as also Dr. Candlish’s Mr. Grey’s and Mr. Hamilton’s Pamphlets, &c. “Christ is not only inwardly a spiritual head to his mystical Church, but externally a spiritual head to the politie body of the visible Church of professors, and their only lawgiver:” - a principle which the Reply by the General Assembly’s Special Commission to Sir. J. Graham applies, by declaring that an acknowledgment of the right of a Secular Court to act as it has, is a repudiation of the doctrine contained in the Scotch Confession of Faith, that the Lord Jesus is the only head of the Church.

But since the Church visible in any professedly Christian country must be held to embrace the whole community and politeia, people as well as pastors, prince as well as people, all in allegiance to Him whom they in common profess to regard as their King, ought not the Prince’s subordinate officers, the Judges of the law inclusive, to be considered as acting undr the heavenly King, while conscientiously fulfilling their several appointed functions; as truly as Church officers so called, (in a narrower sense of the word Church,) while fulfilling theirs? Was Sir Matthew Hale in his secular court less a servant and minister of the Church’s Head and King Christ Jesus, than Archbishop Laud in his spiritual or rather ecclesiastical court? So that the difference on this point between the Free Church and both the English and Scotch Established Churches seems to be still more narrowed. - It strikes me that this large view of the visible Church’s constituent body, and its various functionaries, has been practically too much overlooked, on one side at least, in the controversy; the Church and the State, Church Courts and Secular Courts, being spoken and written about as if antagonistic, and the former only as under Christ, the Church’s Head and King.±±

±± On this point let me beg the reader’s special attention to the case of Constantine judging in the Donatistic controversy, alluded to p. 18 suprà. And see on it Mosheim iv. 2, 5, 4, with Notes.

And let me suggest whether another misapplication of language (such it seems to me) may not have further confused the question, needlessly widened the difference, and even opened what might be a door to serious error; I mean the use of spiritual for ecclesiastical, in speaking of the members of Church Courts in contra-distinction to those of Secular Courts. Says Mr. Hamilton, in his “Harp on the Willows,” p. 20; (and he is only one among many that have used the same language;) - “They hold that the Lord Jesus is the only Head of the Church. In their ecclesiastical procedure they desire to follow his will, as that will is revealed in his word. They believe that the Spirit of God, speaking through spiritual men, is the sole interpreter of that word. And they cannot allow the commandments of men, the verdicts of secular courts, to interpose between them and their heavenly King.” It seems to me that the spiritual men, here meant, must be the members of the Scotch ecclesiastical Courts, as opposed on the questions that finally caused the disruption to the Judges of the secular Courts: and that it is the decision of the former which are characterized as the voice of Spirit, in opposition to the verdicts of the latter, which are styled the commandments of men. Now is not the similarity of this to Papal language about Councils, held under Papal presidency, ominous and a warning? “Spiritûs Sancti testatur præsentiam congregatio sacerdotum,” said Pope Celestine of the Ephesian Councils, held A.D. 468: and it was deemed fitting that the Seal of the Council of Trent should have a done engraved on it, in token of the same presence of, and inspiration of the Council by, the Divine Spirit. (See my Vol. iii. p. 234.) Ecclesiastical men, congregated on ecclesiastical matters, were deemed by Rome spiritual men, inspired in their decisions by God’s Spirit. On the other hand I believe that in the New Testament the word pneumatikov, spiritual, when said of persons, is only used of true Christians. So 1 Cor. ii. 14, 15; iii. 1, ; xiv. 37; Gal. vi. 1; 1 Pet. ii. 5. See the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him: . . . but the spiritual man judgeth (or discerneth) all things.”

[99] So the title of Mr. Hamilton’s Sermon, “Farewell to Egypt; or the departure of the Free Church out of the Erastian Establishment.” And other writers of the Free Church have used the same figure.

[100] See my Vol. ii. pp. 437-444.

[101] I rejoice to think that since this was written there has been much less acrimony, and much more of Christian kindness, between these two branches of Christ’s Church! «« Moreover, in proof of larger and I think more correct views having been embraced at length by many valued members of the Scotch Free Church, I have pleasure in referring to Dr. Hanna’s sermon, noticed in my Vol. ii. p. 196.

«« In regard to the passage on the Free Church here concluded, and what may seem to many its too extended and elaborated Notes, let me be permitted to observe that this has partly been occasioned by a not unfriendly controversy with Dr. Candlish, arising out of observations on the Free Church, less carefully made in my 1st and 2nd Editions, and expressed with less of kindliness towards the Free Church than they ought to have been. As bearing directly moreover on the great questions respecting the true and the visible Church of Christ, they may be regarded as having a real Apocalyptic interest. For a fuller discussion of the subject I beg to refer the reader to Dr. Candlish’s Pamphlet and my Reply.

[102] Apoc. xiv. 9-11.

[103] Apoc. xviii. 4, 5.

[104] Luke xii. 32, “Fear not, little flock; for it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom.”.

[105] Apoc. vii. See my Chapter on this Sealing Vision. p. 15, &c.

[106] Apoc. x. 1, “And I saw another mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud: and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars of fire:”.

[107] Apoc. xii. 17, “And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.”, &c.

[108] Apoc. xiv. 4, “These are they which were not defiled with women; for they are virgins. These are they which follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth. These were redeemed from among men, being the firstfruits unto God and to the Lamb.”.

[109] Matt. xxv. 14, “For the kingdom of heaven is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods.”, &c. 1 Cor. iv. 2, “Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful”.

[110] Matt. xxv. 35, “For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:”, &c.

[111] Matt. xxv. 7, “Then all those virgins arose, and trimmed their lamps.”; Luke xii. 35, “Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning;”.

[112] 2 Pet. iii. 12, “Looking for and hasting unto the parousian of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat?”; 2 Tim. iv. 8, “Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous judge, shall give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love his epifaneian

[113] I know not any more searching passages in Holy Scripture, for self-application on this great question, then those suggested by Christ’s Epistles to the Seven Churches of Asia.

[114] Luke xiii. 25, “When once the master of the house is risen up, and hath shut to the door, and ye begin to stand without, and to knock at the door, saying, Lord, Lord, open unto us; and he shall answer and say unto you, I know you not whence ye are:”.

[115] Apoc. xxii. 11. - Such I conceive with Vitringa to be the meaning of this controverted text.

[116] Apoc. xxii. 17.

[117] Matt. vii. 22, “Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?”.