The Thousand Years of Christ His Visible Reign Upon Earth, Is Against Scripture (1) - Robert Baillie
Robert Baillie, was appointed Professor of Divinity of Glasgow in 1642 (jointly with David Dickson) and in the following year was sent as a Scottish Commissioner to the Westminster Assembly. It was on his arrival at Westminster that Baillie encountered the disruptive influence of the 'Dissenting Brethren' or Independents -“We doubt not to carrie all in the Assemblie and Parliament clearlie according to our mind; but if we carrie not the Independents with us, there will be ground laid for a very troublesome schism. Always it’s our care to use our outmost endeavour to prevent that”, Letters and Journals, Vol 2, 122). In Baillie's eyes the need to carry the Independents enabled them to delay proceedings and effectively bring matters to a halt.
Many doctrines held by the Dissenting Brethren were distasteful to the presbyterian Baillie including the revived millenarianism that was held by some of the Independents. Despite eschatology not being a point of debate at the Assembly, the writings of a number of Divines (including those of Thomas Goodwin and Jeremiah Borroughs) highlighted their millenary sympathies, leading Baillie to complain in astonishment that some Divines were "express Chiliasts" (Baillie Letters and Journals Vol 2, 313). This growing trend of millenarianism, seemingly both motivated and influenced by the political climate of the time, was clearly of great concern to Baillie.
Most significantly in 1643 Parliament authorised the translation of Jospeh Mede’s Clavis Apocalyptica (the Key of Revelation). Mede was a major influencer of millenarian thought, who was aptly called the 'millenarian mentor to the Puritans' by Jeffrey Jue (Puritan Millenarianism Old and New England). Indeed the prolocutor of the Assembly, William Twisse penned the preface to both the 1643 english translation of Mede's Clavis Apocalyptica and The Apostacy of Later Times (1641). Twisse's endorsing evaluation of Mede's work on Revelation, "many interpreters have done excellently, but he surmounteth them all" (cited in A Puritan Theology, page 806), underscored his own position in the millenarian camp.
In his Dissuasive from the Errors of the Time (1645), Baillie deals with certain doctrines of the Independents including the growing influence of millenary thought, which he lays at the door of the Independents as its chief popularisers, and which he specifically addresses in the final chapter acerbically entitled, The Thousand Years of Christ His Visible Reign Upon Earth, Is Against Scripture.
In the famed chapter Baillie sets out in summary the Millenarianism of the Independents taken from what they themselves had both printed and preached, being:
"...that Christ in his human nature and present glory is to come from heaven unto Jerusalem where he was crucified; at that time the heaven and earth, and all the works therein, are to be burnt and purged by that fire of conflagration, mentioned by Peter, (2 Peter 3). At the same time all the martyrs, and many of the Saints both of the Old and New Testament are to rise in their bodies; the Jews from all the places where now they are scattered shall return to Canaan and build Jerusalem: in that city Christ is to reign for a full thousand years; from thence he is to go out in person to subdue with great bloodshed by his own hand all the disobedient nations; when all are conquered, except some few lurking in corners, then the Church of Jews and Gentiles shall live without any disturbance from any enemy, either without or within; all Christians then shall live without sin, without the Word and Sacraments or any Ordinance: they shall pass these thousand years in great worldly delights, begetting many children, eating and drinking and enjoying all the lawful pleasures which all the creatures then redeemed from their ancient slavery can afford. In this earthly happiness shall the Church continue till the end of the thousand years when the relics of the Turkish and Heathenish nations shall besiege the new Jerusalem, and Christ with fire from heaven shall destroy them: afterwards follows the second resurrection of all the dead good and bad for the last judgement."
Bailie then proceeds to trace the doctrine of the thousand years visible reign to "...a conceit of the most ancient and gross heretic Cerinthus, a little purged by Papias, and by him transmitted to some of the Greek and Latin Fathers, but quickly declared, both by the Greek and Latin Church to be a great error, if not an heresy. Since the days of Augustine unto our time, it went under no other notion, and was embraced by no Christian we hear of, till some of the Anabaptists did draw it out of its grave: for a long time after its resurrection, it was by all Protestants contemned; only Alstedius, after his long abode in Transylvania, began in his last times to fall into liking with some parts thereof, pretending some passages of Piscator for his encouragement."
For Baillie it was John Archer (Christ's Personal Reign Upon Earth (1642)), and his colleague, Thomas Goodwin at Arnheim, who took further the teachings of Johann Heinrich Alstedius, and who "...were bold to set up the whole fabric of Chiliasm," together with Jeremiah Burroughs who in his London lectures upon Hosea "...does press as a necessary and most comfortable ground of Christian Religion, to be infused into the hearts of all children by the care of every parent at the catechising of their family."
The Millenarianism of Borroughs, Goodwin and others was contrary to the doctrine that was affirmed by the Westminster Assembly in its standards. Indeed as Peter Toon notes in Puritans, the Millennium and the Future of Israel the standards produced by the Divines advocated an Augustinian orthodoxy "that at His Second Coming Christ will raise the dead and then judge the living and those who are raised" which was merely following "... the same doctrine found in the 'Catholic' Creeds and the Reformed Confessions of the sixteenth century (Helvetic Confession)". This position was set out in Chapter XXXIII of the Confession:
I. God has appointed a day, wherein He will judge the world, in righteousness, by Jesus Christ, to whom all power and judgment is given of the Father. In which day, not only the apostate angels shall be judged, but likewise all persons that have lived upon earth shall appear before the tribunal of Christ, to give an account of their thoughts, words, and deeds; and to receive according to what they have done in the body, whether good or evil.
II. The end of God's appointing this day is for the manifestation of the glory of His mercy, in the eternal salvation of the elect; and of His justice, in the damnation of the reprobate, who are wicked and disobedient. For then shall the righteous go into everlasting life, and receive that fulness of joy and refreshing, which shall come from the presence of the Lord; but the wicked who know not God, and obey not the Gospel of Jesus Christ, shall be cast into eternal torments, and be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of His power.
III. As Christ would have us to be certainly persuaded that there shall be a day of judgment, both to deter all men from sin; and for the greater consolation of the godly in their adversity: so will He have that day unknown to men, that they may shake off all carnal security, and be always watchful, because they know not at what hour the Lord will come; and may be ever prepared to say, Come Lord Jesus, come quickly, Amen.
And further included in the answers to Larger Catechism Questions 87-90:
Q. 87. What are we to believe concerning the resurrection?
A. We are to believe that at the last day there shall be a general resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust: when they that are then found alive shall in a moment be changed; and the selfsame bodies of the dead which were laid in the grave, being then again united to their souls forever, shall be raised up by the power of Christ. The bodies of the just, by the Spirit of Christ, and by virtue of his resurrection as their head, shall be raised in power, spiritual, incorruptible, and made like to his glorious body; and the bodies of the wicked shall be raised up in dishonour by him, as an offended judge.
Q. 88. What shall immediately follow after the resurrection?
A. Immediately after the resurrection shall follow the general and final judgment of angels and men; the day and hour whereof no man knoweth, that all may watch and pray, and be ever ready for the coming of the Lord.
Q. 89. What shall be done to the wicked at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment, the wicked shall be set on Christ’s left hand, and, upon clear evidence, and full conviction of their own consciences, shall have the fearful but just sentence of condemnation pronounced against them; and thereupon shall be cast out from the favourable presence of God, and the glorious fellowship with Christ, his saints, and all his holy angels, into hell, to be punished with unspeakable torments, both of body and soul, with the devil and his angels forever.
Q. 90. What shall be done to the righteous at the day of judgment?
A. At the day of judgment, the righteous, being caught up to Christ in the clouds, shall be set on his right hand, and there openly acknowledged and acquitted, shall join with him in the judging of reprobate angels and men, and shall be received into heaven, where they shall be fully and forever freed from all sin and misery; filled with inconceivable joys, made perfectly holy and happy both in body and soul, in the company of innumerable saints and holy angels, but especially in the immediate vision and fruition of God the Father, of our Lord Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit, to all eternity. And this is the perfect and full communion, which the members of the invisible church shall enjoy with Christ in glory, at the resurrection and day of judgment.
Having set out a brief historical background to Baillie's work, a summary of the Independents Millenarianism and the position affirmed by Westminster we now move to Baillie's consideration of Millenarianism to determine as he remarks "...what truth may be in these things," and to "...let the arguments which are usually brought: either pro or contra, declare."
Editor’s Note: The original work has been revised and edited by the writer and it is hoped that such revisions have not detracted from the intent or meaning.
The first reason against the Millenarians is, that Christ from his ascension to the Last Judgment abides in heaven.
Against the mentioned tenet I reason, first, He that remains in the heaven unto the Last Judgement comes not down to the earth a thousand years before the Last Judgement. But, Christ remains in the heaven unto the Last Judgement. Ergo. The Major is unquestionable; the Minor is proved from the article of our Creed [The Apostles' Creed]. From that place he shall come to judge the quick and the dead, importing that Christ from the time of his ascension does abide in the heaven at the right hand of the Father, and comes not down from that place to the earth till he descend in the last day to judge the quick and the dead.
I know they are not moved with the authority of any human creed, yet they would do well to speak out their mind of this Article, as they do of some others. Surely to say that Christ shall come from heaven in his human nature, to abide a thousand years on the earth, and then to return again to the heaven, that he may descend the third time from the heaven in the last day to judge the quick and the dead, is so evident a perverting of that Article that Mr. Mede their great Doctor and leader in this tenet, to eschew it, falls into a very strange and singular conceit, wherein I doubt whether any of the independents will be pleased to follow him; with all other orthodox Divines he makes but two comings of Christ from the heaven to the earth; the first at the incarnation, the second at the Day of Judgement: but this Day of Judgement he extends to a round thousand years, and this day to him is the only time of the millenary reign. We need not refute this fancy; for the best arguments which are brought for it, are some testimonies from the Talmudic Rabbins, and these, as I conceive, understood against the true sense of the Authors. The stream of Scripture and reason run more against this conceit than any other part of Chiliasm, as the most of the Chiliasts themselves will confess.
However, what I brought from the Apostolic Creed of Christ his abode in the heaven till the last day, I prove it from Scripture, Acts. 3:21. Whom the heavens must receive till the time of the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all the holy prophets since the world began. This place proves clearly the abode of Christ's body in the heaven till the time of the restitution of all things. So much our brethren grant, but they deny our assumption that the time of the restitution of all things is the last day; this therefore we prove not by the testimony of all the reformed, who unanimously bring this place as a main ground against the Papists and Lutherans in the questions of Transubstantiation and Ubiquity, but by three reasons from the text itself.
First, that time here is understood when all things that are spoken of by all the prophets, are performed: But, all things spoken of by all the prophets, are not performed till the last day. Master Burroughs alleges that all the prophets are frequent and large upon the reign of the 1000 years, but rare and sparing upon the doctrine of the Last Judgement and life eternal, might well have been spared for the one half of it, and left to the Socino-Remonstrants; but suppose it were all true, yet if any of the prophets have spoken any thing at all of the Last Judgement, as the Apostle Jude puts it out of question even of Enoch it is clear that the time of the performing of all things, which any of the prophets have spoken, cannot possibly exist before the Last Judgement, as we may see Rom. 8:21. compared with verses 18, 23, where the restitution of the creatures to their desired liberty comes not before the redemption of our bodies, and the glory to be revealed upon the whole Church at the last day.
Secondly, the time here spoken of is when the Jews to whom Peter did speak, were to be refreshed, by the Lord's presence; but this shall not be before the general resurrection; for the Chiliasts do maintain that all the Jews shall not rise, neither that any of them to whom the Apostle did then speak, shall be partakers of the first resurrection, unless some of them who were martyrs; for the honour and glory of this first resurrection, the most of them make it so rare and singular a privilege, that Daniel himself does not obtain it but by a special promise.
Thirdly, the time when God does solemnly before men and angels declare the absolution and blotting out of the sins of all his people, is not before the Last Day. But this is the time whereof the Apostle Peter speaks in the present place, as appears by the 19th verse; That your sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord.
Take but one other place for Christ's abode in the heaven till the last day. John 14:2,3. I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to myself, that where I am there you may be. Behold Christ goes to the heaven and comes back again but once, for this very end, to take his disciples with him, not to abide with them upon the earth, but to place them in the mansions of his Father's house in the Heavens, which he went to prepare for them, wherein all the time of his absence he himself was to remain.
Second reason is built upon Christ's sitting at the right hand of God till the Day of Judgement
A second argument we take from Christ's sitting at the right hand of God. This error how innocent soever it seem to some, yet it perverts the true sense of sundry articles of our Creed, and forces its followers to coin new and false senses to a great many Scriptures whereupon these articles were built. This was the reason why neither Piscator nor Alstedius nor Mede when they laid too fast hold upon some of the branches of Chi∣liasm, yet the bulk and root of that tree, Christ's coming down to the earth in his human nature a thousand years before the Last Day, they durst never touch: but our Brethren have more adventurous spirits, they see much further than their Masters, they scruple nothing to make all these things popular and catechetic doctrine.
The reason I spoke of, is this, Christ sits at the right hand of God till the Last Day. Ergo, he comes not to reign on earth a thousand years before the last day. The consequence is built upon this proposition, Christ's sitting at the right hand of the Father is not in earth but in Heaven, which many Scriptures prove. Eph. 1:20. He set him at his own right hand in heavenly play∣ces; Heb. 1:3. He sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high; and Heb. 8:1. He is set on the right hand of the throne of the majesty in the heavens. The antecedent I prove thus, He sits at the right hand of God till all his enemies be made his footstool. So speaks the Psa∣mist, Psal. 110:1. But all his enemies are not made his footstool till the Last Day: for till then, Satan, Sin, Death, and all wicked men are not fully destroyed.
The third reason grounded on the resurrection of the dead; the godly and ungodly do all rise together at the last day.
Our third argument we take from the resurrection of the dead. All the godly at Christ's coming from heaven do rise immediately to a heavenly glory. Ergo, none of them do arise to a temporal glory of a thousand years upon earth. The antecedent see in Heb. 9:28. Unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation. Christ has but two times of coming to the earth, first in weakness to die upon the cross; the second time in glory to give eternal salvation without distinction to all believers who look for his coming.
Also 1 Thes. 4:14. Them which sleep in Jesus, will he bring with him. The Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, and the dead in Christ shall rise first; then we which are alive shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we be ever with the Lord. The ground of comfort which the Apostle propounds to the Thessalonians for all their dead, as well martyrs as others, was their resurrection, not before the Lord's coming with the voice of the Archangel, but at that time when all the dead in Christ without exception do arise, and non of them abide on the earth, but all are caught up in the air to meet the Lord, and all remain with him eternally thereafter without any separation.
See also, 1 Cor. 15:22. In Christ shall all be made alive, but every man in his own order; Christ the first fruits, afterward they that are Christ's at his coming; then comes the end when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God. The Apostle here speaks of the resurrection of all, and particularly of the martyrs such as with the Apostle died daily and every hour were in jepoardy and fought with beasts; although he professes to distinguish the diversity of order that might be in this great work of the resurrection: yet he affirms that these who are Christ's, do not arise till his coming; and his coming he makes not to be till the last day when Christ renders up his Kingdom, having destroyed all his enemies, especially death, and fully perfected the work of his mediation. This resurrection is after the sound of the last trumpet, when all the godly rise, and are changed, and put on incorruption and immortality, when death is swallowed up into victory, and the godly inherit the Kingdom of God; these things are done at the last day, not a thousand years before it, as John 6. Christ avows thrice, in the end, ver. 39, 40, 44. I will raise him up at the last day. At that time the judgement is universal, both of the godly and wicked; and the execution of both their sentences is immediately by the present glorification of the one and the destruction of the other, as we have it Matt. 25:31,32 When the Son of man shall come in his glory, before him shall be gathered all nations; and he shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats.
The fourth reason is built upon Christ's Kingdom, which is spiritual and not earthly.
Fourthly, we reason from the nature of Christ's kingdom. The conceit of the thousand years makes Christ's kingdom to be earthly, and most observable for all worldly glory; but the Scripture makes it to be spiritual without all worldly pomp; neither does the Word of God make the Kingdom of the Mediator of two kinds, and of a different nature, but one, uniform from the beginning to the end, Luke 1:32. The Lord shall give him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever. 1 Cor. 15:25. He must reign till he have put all things under his feet; here there is but one kingdom, and one way of ruling, a kingdom merely spiritual, and nowise worldly. Luke 17:20. The Kingdom of God comes not with observation, neither shall they say lo here, or lo there, but the Kingdom of God is within you. John 18.36. My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight; but now is my kingdom not from hence. Rom. 14:17. The Kingdom of God is not meat and drink, but righteousenss, peace, and joy of the Holy Ghost. Eph. 1:20. He raised him from the dead and set him at his right hand in heavenly places, and hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all to the Church. The Millenaries make his kingdom to appear in armies and battles, in feasts and pleasures, in worldly pomp and power, and will not have his kingdom to stand in any of that spiritual power which since his ascension he has executed on principalities and powers, or shall perform upon the souls of men, till these thousand years of worldly power and earthly glory visible to the eyes of men shall begin.
The fifth reason is taken from the nature of the Church
We take our fifth argument from the nature of the Church; Scripture makes the Church of God so long as it is upon the earth to be a mixed multitude, of elect and reprobate, good and bad, a company of people under the cross and subject to various temptations, a company that has need of the Word and Sacraments, of prayer and ordinances, that has Christ a High Priest within the vail of heaven interceding for them. But, the doctrine in hand changes the nature of the Church, and makes it for a thousand years together to consist only of good and gracious persons, without all trouble, without all ordinances, without any need of Christ's intercession.
For the first, Scripture makes the Church always to be a mixed company, See Matt. 13:40. As the tares are gathered and burnt in the fire, so shall it be in the end of the world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend and that do iniquity: and verse 49. So shall it be in the end of the world, the angels shall come forth and sever the wicked from among the just. Also, Chap. 24:11. Many false prophets shall arise and deceive many, & because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold. Luke 18.8. When the Son of man comes, shall he find faith upon the earth? These places declare the mixture of the wicked with the godly in the Church to the world's end, and most about the end.
The Church is subject to crosses, See Psal. 34:20. Many are the afflictions of the righteous. Matt. 5:4. Blessed are they that mourn and that are persecuted for righteousness. Acts 14:23. By many tribulations we must enter into the kingdom of heaven. Rom. 8:17. If so we suffer with him, that we may be glorified together. 2 Tim. 3:12. All that will live godly in Christ Jesus, must suffer persecution. Heb. 12:6. Whom the Lord loves, he correcteth, and he scourgeth every child that he receives. Many such places show the condition of the Church in this life that she is ever subject to tribulation.
The Church has need of ordinances. Concerning Ordinances, that they must continue to the last day, See Eph. 4:11. He gave 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 to a perfect man. And for the continuance of the Sacraments, See 1 Cor. 11:26. As often as you eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come.
Because of the Church's sinful infirmities. That in the most godly while they live on earth, sin does remain, and that always we have need of Christ's intercession in the heaven with the Father, it is clear from 1 John 1:8. If we say we have no sin, the truth of God is not in us. And Chap. 2:1. But if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father. Heb. 9.24. Christ is entred into the heaven itself now to appear in the presence of God for us.
Thus the Scripture describes the condition of the Church on earth; but the doctrine in hand alters much the nature of it for a great part of its time here: for of the 2650 years which they give to the Church from the coming of Christ to the last judgement, they make her to consist for a whole thousand years only of godly persons, without the mixture of any one wicked; and all the millions who are born in the Church in that large time, they are free from their birth to their death of all crosses, of all sorrows, of all temptations, and as it seems of all sin also; for that is the time of the restitution of all things when old things are past and all things become new: They make them to have need neither of Word nor Sacraments, or any Church ordinance, neither of Christ's intercession in the heavens with the Father; for they have him among them in the earth, and they are freed from all sin; and all misery.
A sixth reason from the secrecy of the time of Christ's coming.
A sixth argument, Scripture makes the time of Christ's second coming to be secret and hid, not only to men, but to the very angels, and to Christ himself as he is man, Mark 13:32. But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. But this doctrine makes that day open, and tells the time of it punctually; for they make the thousand years to begin with the 1650 year, or else with the 1695 and the Day of Judgement to be at the end of the thousand years; so if their count do hold, every child in the Church might tell us that Christ will come to Judgement in the beginning of the 2651 year, or at farthest in the beginning of the 2696.
A seventh reason from the heavenly and eternal reward of the Martyrs.
The reward of the martyrs is eternal life in the heavens, promised to them at Christ's coming to judge the just and the unjust. Ergo, It is not temporal in an earthly kingdom of a thousand years. The Antecedent is proved from Matt. 5:10. Blessed are they that are persecuted for righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven. 2 Tim 4:6. I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is near; I have fought a good fight; I have finished my course; henceforth is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall give at that day, &c. The reward that Paul expects after his martyrdom, is the crown which Christ at the Last Day gives to all that wait for his coming at that time when he takes vengeance on the wicked, as we have it 2 Thess. 1:6, 7, 8, 9, 10, where the rest and retribution of the martyrs, of Paul himself and those who at that time were troubled for the Gospel, is said to be at Christ's coming to take vengeance in flaming fire on all the wicked, and to be glorified in all the Saints, and admired in all them that believe which without all doubt is not before the Last Judgement; and if it were otherwise, the martyrs would be at a loss; for instead of a reward, a punishment should be put upon them, their condition should be made worse then that of the common Saints, who during the time of the thousand years remain in the heavens among the angels, beholding and enjoying the Trinity, while the souls of the martyrs are brought down to the Earth, and return to a body, not like to the glorious body of Christ, nor unto these incorruptible, immortal, spiritual bodies, which yet are promised to the least of the faithful at their resurrection, 1 Cor. 15. but unto such a body that eats, drinks, sleeps, fights, delights in fleshly pleasures, and converses with beasts and earthly creatures, in such a paradise whereof the Turkish Koran and the Jewish Talmud does speak much; but to a godly soul is very tasteless, and to a soul that has been in heaven, or to one that enjoys the presence of Christ, is exceeding burdensome and bitter.
An eighth reason, the restoration of an earthly Jerusalem brings back the abolished figures of the Law.
An eighth reason. The opinion of the Millenaries suppose the restoration of Jerusalem and of the Jewish Kingdom after their destruction by the Romans. But, Scripture denies this, Ezek. 16:53, 55. When I shall bring again the captivity of Sodom and her daughters, and the captivity of Samaria and her daughters, then will I bring again the captivity of thy daughters in the midst of them. When thy sister Sodom and her daughters shall return to their former estates, and Samaria and her daughters shall return to their former estate, then thou and thy daughters shall return to your former estate. The Jews are never to be restored to their ancient outward estate, much less to a greater and more glorious Kingdom. Jerusalem was to be rebuilt, and the spiritual glory of the second Temple was to be greater then the first; and in the end of this same chapter, the restitution of the Jews after the Babylonish captivity, by the virtue of the new covenant is promised; but the outward estate of that people was never to be restored to its ancient lustre more then Samaria, or Sodom, as Amos speaks of Samaria, Amos 5:2. The virgin of Israel is fallen, she shall no more rise. And Isaiah of Jerusalem in Isaiah 24:20, The transgression thereof shall be heavy, and it shall fall and not rise again, and according to the prophesy of Jacob, Gen. 49.10. The sceptre shall not depart from Judah till Shiloh come. Importing that the tribe of Judah should ever have some outward visible rule till the coming of Christ in the flesh; but thereafter the sceptre and power of the Church should be only spiritual in the hand of Shiloh the Messiah; he was the substance and the body of all these types, the restoration of Jerusalem and the erecting of a new Monarchy in Judah, for the Jews, were to bring back the old vanished shadows contrary to the doctrine and nature of the Gospel.
The ninth reason, the Antichrist is not abolished till the day of Judgement.
The Millenaries lay it for a ground, that Antichrist shall be destroyed and fully abolished before their thousand years begin; but Scripture makes Antichrist to continue to the Day of Judgement, 2 Thess. 2:8. Then shall that wicked man be revealed whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming. The brightness of Christ's coming is not before the Last Day, as before is proved.
See also, Rev. 19:20. The beast was taken, and with him the false prophet; these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. Compare it with verse 7. Let us be glad and rejoice, for the marriage of the Lamb is come. Antichrist is cast alive into the lake at the Marriage of the Lamb; no living men are cast into hell before the last day; and Christ's Marriage with his Church is not solemnized with a part of the elect, but with the whole body at the general resurrection.
Having set out reasons against a millennial visible reign Baillie moves to consider and answer a number of supposed scriptural proofs, which we shall set out in the second part of this series.