John Cox.

Thoughts on the coming and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ online

. (page 1 of 18)
Online LibraryJohn CoxThoughts on the coming and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ → online text (page 1 of 18)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook







,-# ;V''

\V^.^^\ f-An







The God of he.ven shall set up a kingdom whicli shall never be destroyed .... it shall break in pieces and
consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. — Dan. ii. 41.

A certain noUeman went into a far country, to receive for himself a kingJom and to return— Luke xix. 12.
Occupy till I come —Luke xix. 15.

Come, thou Desire of nations, quickly come I

Conqueror of death, break up the gloomy tomb ;

Star of thine Israel, call the wanJerers in ;

Healer of nature'^s wounds^ thy work begin ;

Thou nearest Kinsman, come, avenge our wrongs,

Our sonows turn to joy, our sighs to songs.



E. G. Dorsey, Printer.



Chap. 1.


The Importance and General Scope of Prophecy, - - - 11

Chap. II.
The Gospel Dispensation considered; not final, but preparatory, - 17

Chap. III.

Events which must occur previous to the setting up of The Kingdom
of Christ, 26

Chap. IV.
The Second Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, - - - 59

Chap. V.
The glorious Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ; or, the Millenniimi, 90

Chap. VI.

Objections against the prc-millennial Coming of Christ, and his Reign
on Earth with his Saints, considered, ... - 120

Chap. VII.

The Practical Tendency of the Doctrine of the Coming and Kingdom
of Christ, 144



It is a cause for joy, that there are so many things in religion
in which God's people are agreed; while there is much reason
to mourn, that there are still so many things ahout which they
differ, and that at present the church is very far removed from
any thing like unity of faith. The former shows the power of
the Spirit of God, the latter the force of prejudice; for it is
this principle which is the great bar to unity. May the Lord
in mercy remove it; make us all willing to submit to his word;
ready to tmlearfi what is wrong; and willing to give up every
system or sentiment, however cherished, which will not bear
the test of truth.

It must be acknowledged, that against the sentiments advo-
cated in the following pages, a strong tide of prejudice is run-
ning. These doctrines are, the pre-millennial coming of Christ;
the first resurrection of the saints; their reigning with Christ
on earth; the restoration, and future glory of the Jews; and
the renovation of creation. Now it is well known, that many
good people will scarcely hear these things mentioned; so
strong is their prejudice. Could the author of the following
pages believe that those who thus despise these views, and who
also despise, or else pity those who advocate them, had dispas-
sionately attended to their claims, and prayerfully studied God's
word on this subject, unfettered by a system received from
others, he would blot out the word prejudice, and supply its
place with a softer word. But he cannot think that many who
cry out against millenarianism have thus done; and therefore
painfully feels that, in speaking or writing upon this subject,
he has so great an enemy as prejudice to contend against. Still,
he does not question the sincerity of those who thus act, though
he believes them to be sincerely wrong; neither is the exist-
ence of this difference, a draw-back upon Christian affection.
No, wherever God^s image is, there he would wish his love to rest;
even though he sees not every sentiment he considers scriptu-
ral reflected in the mind of his fellow saint. Yet is it painful


to differ from tliose we love, on any point; and painful to avow
opinions, which many whom we esteem, consider as useless, if
not hurtful.

It may be said, then why avow them at all? — If you agree
on the grand points, if you hope to spend an eternity together,
why say any thing that has the least tendency to create disu-
nion? The answer is simply this, zee love the truth; we prize
it above the good opinion even of our fellow saints. God has
given us a commandment to study the whole, and we must ne-
glect no part. Beside, we might also reply on this principle; —
say nothing about peculiar doctrines, disputed ordinances, dif-
ferent forms of church government; — persons love the Saviour,
and go to heaven, who take all sides of these questions; and
yet the agitation of these points is deemed of importance
enough for volumes to be written, and contentions to be car-
ried on, which, alas! often destroy Christian love.

The author would by no means affirm, that a reception of
the doctrines here pleaded for, is of equal importance with faith
in Christ, Although he does not admire such distinctions with
reference to what God has revealed, and his claims upon the
faith of his creatures, yet he does consider these things impor-
tant, yea, and very important; else he would not have written
upon them. He considers them important, because so large a
portion of God's word relates to them; because their neglect
leads to a misunderstanding, both of God's word, and his dis-
pensations; (consequently, wrong hopes are cherished, while
there is a want of readiness to meet coming events;^ and be-
cause this subject is interwoven with so many of the exhorta-
tions, consolations, and encouragements in the New Testament.

Convinced, then, of the importance of these things, the au-
thor is anxious to lead others to think upon them. He trusts
that this subject is somewhat more to him than an opinion.
He believes, and therefore speaks; and, without venturing to hope
that he has not made some mistakes, or given some wrong view
in the filling up, he cannot help affirming, that with reference
to the main subjects before enumerated, he can no more doubt
their truth, than he doubts concerning the truth of any doctrine
which all hold to be necessary to salvation. He as much be-
lieves that Christ will come personally, before the millennium,
to set up his kingdom, as that he came in the fulness of time,
to lay the foundations of it by his incarnation, death, and resur-

While upon this point of the coming of Christ, he would beg
leave to remind the reader, that this is the grand point.* Many

* There are many subjects dwelt upon by the students of prophecy, which
the author has omitted, or but slightly mentioned; such as the prophetic num-


pass over this, and light down among some difficulties belong-
ing to the subject, or begin reasoning upon the incongruity of
Christ and his saints reigning on earth. Leave, for the pre-
sent, all difficulties alone; reason not about the personal reign:
come at once to this question. What does the Bible say about
Christ's second coming? Does it give us to understand that
there will be a millennium first? If so, rchere is the promise?
Or, does it tell us that tribulations and wars will last till his
coming, and happiness and peace be the characteristics of the
kingdom which he comes to set up? Let Psal. xcvi.; Dan. ii.;
vii.; Matt, xxiv.; 2 Thess. ii. 8; Rev. xi. 15—17, and various
other places, be well studied.

In the following pages, there is reference made to Mr.
Jones's Lectures on the Apocalypse: and many of the objec-
tions urged against the system advocated, are derived from
thence. When the author was inquiring concerning this sub-
ject, he was quite willing (as it would have been to his inte-
rest, in some respects, to think otherwise than he hath done,)
to hear what could be said on both sides. Accordingly, hav-
ing seen Mr. Jones's work highly praised in nearly all the re-
views, he bought it, and read it through; but arose from the
perusal with a conviction that the lecturer's views were at
variance with truth, and that whatever share of praise was due
to Mr. Jones as an historian, biographer, or reviewer, (and in
these he appears to advantage,) as an opponent of millenarian-
ism, he has signally failed; but supposing that the strongest
arguments against the doctrine would be brought forth by one
who has spent his life in selling and reading books, and in
scourging poor book-makers, the author preferred taking the
quotations from his book, in preference to Dr. Hamilton, Mr.
Gipps, or other authors which he has read.

About four years ago, the author published a little work, en-
titled "A Millenarian's Answer of the Hope which is in him."
A considerable number of this tract has been sold; and some
have been led thereby to consider this subject, and embrace
the views therein contained. At the close of that book, the
author promised the present volume in a few months; many
things induced him to delay it, which need not here be men-

bers— the personal antichrist— the structure of the Apocalypse— and the lan-
guage of symbols; he has read a good deal on each of these subjects, but does
riot feel himself competent to enter upon them. He does not undervalue the
labours of good men, who have written on these points, and would recommend
those who wish to study them, to the writings of Cuninghame, Freere, Haber-
shon, Fry, Tvso, &c. &c. But he cannot help saying that he has still objec-
tions'against the system which would overturn the Protestant interpretation ot
Scripture with reference to poperv, represent the Apocalypse as all unfulfilled,
and literalize its symbolic language. On these subjects he is waiting for fur-
ther light, and he trusts, earnestly desires, to be led into all truth.


tioned. He had almost laid aside the thoughts of publishing
it, not because the subject was less important to his mind, but
because other works on the subject, far better than his, had
been published; such as Bickersteth's Guide to the Prophecies,
Abdiel's Essays, and Begg's Scriptural View; all of which are
about the size and price of the present volume. Could he
have placed these works in the hands of those who will read
this volume, he would have kept back his own; but having
been repeatedly solicited to send it forth, he now does so, with
humble hope, and earnest prayer, that it may be the means of
throwing some light on God's word, stirring up to diligence in
God's ways, and producing a readiness of mind for the coming
of the Son of man.

Christians, how solemn is our situation; how great our re-
sponsibilities; how glorious our prospects! The Lord says,
"Occupy till I come:" the Lord is coming to reckon with us,
and we must give an account of our stewardship. The doc-
trine of the second coming will not, when rightly received,
thrust any other doctrine out of its place; and so far from
drawing our attention away from the cross, or the claims of
Jesus, it will make the former appear more necessary and glo-
rious, and stir us up to attend to the latter. In the prospect of
that great day, our language will be,

"Jesus, I throw my arms around,
I hang upon thy breast;"

and thus resting on the atonement, our spirits will be attuned
to rejoice in his coming, and we shall labour that we may be
found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless. Soon
may the glorious scene so beautifully portrayed in the follow-

ng lines, be realized; happy the soul prepared for that glorious

evelation of Jesus!

Behold! heaven opens! glory bursts at once

Upon the sifjht! Messiah; King of kings

And Lord of lords! Hosanna! sing aloud

Hosanna, hallelujah! See the Lamb

Comes in his wedding garments! Hark! the church,

The new Jerusalem, his favoured bride.

Arrayed in white, attending him through heaven,

Tunes her unnumbered voices to the song

Hosanna, hallelujah! Angels: join

The glorious anthem in melodious tones,

And through the skies re-echo far and wide '

Hosanna, liallelujah! Saints on earth

Catch the glad sound of joy; and, as they rise

To meet their Lord in airy regions, shout

Hosanna, hallelujah! Earth, redeemed

From thine oppressors, highly favoured world.

Thou birth-place and thou dwelling-place of God,

Join every voice to swell the mighty choir,


Hosanna, hallelujah! Ocean, tune
Th}^ never-ceasing music to the theme.
Hosanna, hallelujah! Mountains, hills,
Groves, forests, valleys, lakes, and flowing' streams,
Speak your delight in one united strain,
Hosanna, hallelujah! And let all
The full creation, the glad chorus join,
Till the vast echo fills the realms of space,
Hosanna, hallelujah! Praise the Lord!

Rj»gg's Poem on the Deity.

But, that this truth will be any thing like generally receiv'ed
by the professing church of God, the author has no idea; no-
thing would more astonish him than to see it become a popular
doctrine, because "that day is to come as a snare upon them
that dwell on the earth;" "In an hour when men look not for
him, shall the Son of man come," even while they are saying,
"Peace and safety." But the testimony must be borne, and
blessed be God! has been borne; things which had a tendency
to make persons stumble, and which sober persons have deeply
deplored, have but served to spread far and wide the midnight
cry, "Behold the bridegroom cometh;" and "Blessed is he
that shall not be offended in Jesus."

"Yes, God, even our God, is coming," (not figuratively, as
the talented author* of the following sentences believes, but
literally.) "The day of vengeance and the day of redemption
are contemporaneous. When all nations are shaken, as with
an earthquake, it is that the Desire of all nations may come.
Even now, while the powers of darkness are working, the
foundations of his universal kingdom are begun. The voice
of prophecy, the finger of Providence, the wickedness of the
wicked, and the strange expectation in the hearts of all men,
tell us that he is coming. Already the streaming glory of his
approach has shot across the deep darkness of our world. Al-
ready the thunder of his wheels is echoing over the distant
worlds of light. Yes! He, the holy One, whose voice is har-
mony, whose smile is life, whose will is law, and whose law is
love, is coming! and murder, and oppression, and superstition,
and ignorance, shall die at his feet; and his throne shall be
established in righteousness, and his people shall dwell in peace.
The forms of nature shall be renovated in beauty, and all the
graces of heaven shall attend and adorn the spirits of men.
The eye shall be satisfied in seeing, the ear in hearing, and the
heart in loving. Man shall be restored to his right position
in the world, the world to its right position in the universe,
and illimitable universe shall break forth into joy and praise
over a world that was lost, but is found.

* Dr. A. Reed's Missionarv Sermon.


'•'0 Thou who art the Joy of the universe, the Saviour of the
lost, whose right it is to reign, come, wear thy many crowns.
Thy saints are waiting for thy coming! The earth groans for
thy coming! Hell is moved at thy coming! Heaven is silent
for thy coming! Come, Lord Jesus, come quickly.

"Hark! there is a voice that says, Behold, I come quickly.
Even so, come, Lord Jesus. Amen, amen."






It is very desirable that all believers in our Lord Jesus Christ
should have clear views of all that relates to him. Unless we
rightly know him, we cannot fully believe in him; and if faith
be defective, our hope and comfort must necessarily be defec-
tive too.

It cannot be denied, that believers in the present day are
very far below the primitive saints, as it regards the exercise
of hope, and the enjoyment of consolation; and is not this one
reason, because we are very far below them in knowledge and
faith? I shall instance this in reference to one subject, viz.,
the coming and kingdom of Christ. If we examine their brightest
expressions of joy, or contemplate their highest soarings of
hope, we shall find them connected with faith in that great and
glorious event, 1 Thess. iv. 14—16; Phil. i. 6: Tit. ii. 13, 14;
1 John iii. 2; Rev. xxii. 20. These texts, with many more,
shew that this subject was to them as practical, as it was con-
soling. This "blessed hope" supported them under all their
trials, both outward and inward, and enabled them to purify
themselves after the pattern of Christ.

It will not, then, be an unprofitable employment to endea-
vour to trace what their views of this subject were, and how
their faith and hope were exercised daily upon it. The advent
of Christ was one of those future, hoped-for things, which their

VOL. III. — 12


faith was to them the substance and evidence of. They looked
at it, thought of it, and were influenced by it, as though they
knew not but that limight lake place soon, even in their time.
But now this feeling is almost gone, and instead of "the glo-
rious appearing of the great God," the certain coming of the
king of terrors is set before the Christian as the ground of en-
couragement. Thus, has the coming of Christ ceased to be
what it once was — the object of hope, the fountain of comfort
and the main-spring of holy walking, 2 Pet. iii. 1 1 . But though
this subject is nearly gone from our churches, it still remains
in the word of God, and it becomes us reverently to inquire
what God hath spoken, and diligently to seek to understand
the same. Negligence of aruj part of God's word cannot be
commended, while ignorance stands branded as a sin, 2 Thess.
i. 8. "If," (says a writer on the subject) "you should think,
that already knowing what is necessary to salvation, you may
discard other parts of divine truth, as loo deep or too specula-
tive, or as unedifying; then you have mistaken the very end
for which divine revelation was given, which is not to bring
you acquainted with a certain number of truths, however im-
portant in themselves, but to bring you acquainted with the
truth; that is, with God in Christ."* Jehovah saith to us,
with regard to his revelation, as he did to Abraham, with re-
spect to Canaan, "Arise, walk through the land, in the length
of it, and in the breadth of it, for I will give it unto thee;" and
while engaged in these holy excursions, the diligently seeking
soul finds that God has not only revealed glorious doctrines,
precious promises, and suitable precepts, but that the full-toned
harp of prophecy fills the temple of revelation with awful and
entrancing melody. Such a one listens to its spirit-stirring
sounds with deepening emotions, as he recollects that its sacred
strings have not only been touched by holy seers, mighty kings,
inspired apostles, and glorious angels, but that many of its
sweetest, fullest notes, are awakened by His fingers who first
tuned the spheres, and filled the new-made universe with the
harmony of a happy and blessed creation; even the incarnate
Son of God, by whom God in these last days hath spoken unto
us, and from whom we do well not to turn away, Heb. xii. 25.
It ought not to escape our notice, tJiat a very large portion
of divine revelation is prophetical, and that much of it remains
yet to be fulfilled. Believing this to be part of that goodly
heritage which belongs to God's people, let us humbly and
thankfully meditate upon it, encouraged by his word, who said,
Blessed is he that readeth,and they that hear the words of this
prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein;

* Dodsworth.



for the time is at hand, Rev. i. 3. Let us pray earnestly, that
we may be helped to castaway that indifference to God's word,
which is too prevalent, and address ourselves in good earnest
to this truly delightful employ. In doing this we shall come
to the spirits of the just made perfect,* and to an innumerable
company of angels, 1 Pet. i. 11, 12: Rev. v. 10, 11,

In looking over the prophecies, botii of the Old and New
Testaments, we find two things continually alluded to in them.
With these two things doth both promise and prophecy travail,
and when they are fully brought forth and manifested, then
shall the mystery spoken of by the prophets be fulfilled. These
two things are vengeance and love, an awful time of trouble
and a glorious season of blessedness; or, to speak in scripture
terms, "The day of vengeance," and "the year of the redeem-
ed," Is. Ixiii. 4. All prophecies minister to this great end.
This is the goal towards which all providences tend, and every
promise will be fulfilled, when these great events have come to

The very first promise carries these two things in its bo-
som: vengeance and mercy pervade every syllable of Gen. iii.
15; "I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and be-
tween thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou
shalt bruise his heel." Many thousands of years has this pro-
mise been gradually opening. It was at first a lovely bud
only, but its leaves shall at length be fully expanded, and all
its glories traced. Then shall it be seen that its fulfilment in-
volves in it hell's discomfiture, the church's salvation, the
earth's renovation, and what is above all, the Redeemer's glo-
rification. For this, all creation groans, Rom. viii. 20 — 23;
for this, all disembodied spirits long. Rev. vi. 10: this, the
Mediator now sits expecting, at God's right hand, Heb. x. 13;
it were well, if I could with truth add, for this, all the church
on earth pray and hope.

Enoch, as he walked with God, saw this day of terror and
of triumph from afar, Jude 14, 15, and made it a subject of
discourse to his antediluvian brethren, while earth was yet in
her infancy. Abraham "saw this day of the Son of man, and
was glad," Gen, xxii. 17, 18; John viii. 56, Moses sings of

* Prophecy, and especially that of the Apocalypse, is given for the illumina-
tion of the church in heaven, as well as the church militant on earth, and pro-
bably in a far higher degree for the former than the latter. That it is so,
might have been inferred from the song of praise addressed to the Lamb, when
he had taken the book with seven seals from the hand of him that siiteth on
the throne, Rev. v. 8—14. But all doubt on the subject is removed by the
words of the angel to John, Rev. xxii. 9, I am thy fellow servant, and of thy
brethren the prophets, and of them that keep the sayings of this book. — Cim-


mercy and judgment in notes sublimely grand, Deut. xxxii.
And every prophet, from Moses to him that lay in Jesus' bo-
som, prolongs the strain. They all bring forth Jesus with his
garments stained in the blood of his enemies; they all exalt him
to the throne of his glory, with his peaceful sceptre stretched
forth over his ransomed flock, and new creation, Rev. xxi. 5.
The curse flies before their lofty numbers, and the river of life
rolling from their strings, makes to the eye of hope, earth
bloom like an Eden, and creation shine in more than its ori-
ginal loveliness; so that the heart of the contemplatist is attuned
to join the song of David, ''the glory of the Lord shall endure
for ever, the Lord shall rejoice in his works."

If the reader will turn to his Bible, he will find that nearly
all the prophets end their strains with an account of a time of
trouble, triumph, and blessedness, in which prosperity the nation
of Israel are set fortii as largely sharing. The same remark
holds true with regard to the writings of Moses, the book of
Psalms, and the Apocalypse, such a harmony is there through-
out the word of God, with regard to these great events. Surely,
this deserves the closest attention, and every one may soon
assure himself of the truth of this remark.

It is most important that our minds should be deeply im-
pressed with the certainty there is of every word of prophecy
being fulfilled. "Hath he said, and shall not he do it?" We
should seek to feel as holy John must have felt when the words
were spoken in his ears, ''These are the true sayings of
God." If the mind were penetrated through and through with
this conviction, then would the study of prophecy become
truly profitable; it would humble, elevate and enrich the mind;
we should feel our nothingness while standing amidst such
mighty wonders — should feel our dignity as the expectants of
such glory, and thus made rich in faith, spurn the low things
of time, and be found "looking at the things not seen." How

1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18

Online LibraryJohn CoxThoughts on the coming and Kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ → online text (page 1 of 18)