But you will say how can the general judgment be in the beginning of the thousand years, since it is said that the rest of the dead lived not again till the thousand years were finished. Understand therefore that there is a first death & a second death, a first resurrection & a second resurrection. The first resurrection is from the first death, the second resurrection from the second death. The first death is of mortal bodies cast into the grave, the second of immortal ones cast into the Lake of fire; & therefore as the first resurrection is from the grave, so the second is from the Lake of fire. The first resurrection is in the beginning of the thousand years, the second not before the end. From the time of the first resurrection the Saints lived & reigned with Christ a thousand years, but the rest of the dead [rose not then to live but died the second death &] lived not again till the thousand years were finished. Blessed & holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection on such the second wrath [burning the thousand years] hath no power [as it hath on all the rest] but they shall be Priests to God & Christ & reign with him a thousand years. He doth not say that at the end of the thousand years all shall rise again; for the Beast & fals Prophet remain still in the Lake to be tormented with the Devil for ever & ever. For there are degrees of reward & degrees of punishment. Some are great in the kingdom of heaven & others are the least therein Matt. 5.19. It shall be more tollerable for Tyre & Sidon & the day of judgment then for Charazin & Bethsaida, for Sodom then for Capernaum Matt. 11.21, 23. Every Man shall be rewarded according to his works. If any man build upon the true foundation Gold, Silver, pretious stones, wood, hay, stubble, the fire shall try every mans work of what sort it is. If any mans work abide which he hath built thereupon he shall receive a reward: if any man's work be burnt, he shall suffer loss but he himself shall be saved yet so as by fire 1 Cor. 3.15. Is not this Christ's baptizing Men with fire? Is it not the prison out of which the debter comes not till he has paid the farthing? For so the ancient Christians understood it as Clemens Alexandrinus Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Cæsarius, also Gregory Nyssen, Ierom, Ambrose, Austin, & from this tradition corrupted might spring the Purgatory of the Church of Rome.[1] The souls of Men are often put for men living in the body (as here where the Souls of Men lived <136r> & reigned with Christ) which language being understood by few the erring multitude made a purgatory of the Souls of Men before the resurrection. We are buried with Christ in Baptism, & therefore the baptism with water is a type of the first death & first resurrection: why may it not be so of the second also? and why may not Iohn the Baptist indicate as much in saying, I baptize you with the Holy Ghost & with fire? If it may be so, then the argument against the general judgment's beginning with the thousand years ceases, & if the general judgment begins with the thousand years it must be also.

Now that it begins with the thousand years is further confirmed by the following considerations. In its beginning the old heaven & earth flee away from the face of him that sits upon the throne, & then appear new heaven & new earth & a new Ierusalem: & he that sat upon the throne said Behold I make all things new. These new things appear after the first heaven & earth are fled away Apoc. 21.1, & after God begins to sit upon the great white throne & therefore they begin not before the general judgment. But they begin with the thousand years, for these reasons. First it is said before the battel of the word of God & the Beast, that the Lord God omnipotent reigneth, & the marriage of the Lamb is come & his wife hath made her self ready Apoc. 19.6, 7, & in answer to this God is represented in the beginning of the general judgment sitting upon a great white throne that is reigning in his new kingdom, & the new Ierusalem then coming down from God out of heaven is said to be prepared as a bride adorned for her husband Apoc. 21.2. The marriage of the Lamb therefore did not precede the descent of the new Ierusalem, & yet it was at the beginning of the thousand years, because it was come, & his wife had made her self ready when those years were commencing. Secondly at the descent of the new Ierusalem there is a great voice from heaven saying, the tabernacle is with men & he will dwell with them & be their God, & God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes, & there shall be no more death neither sorrow nor crying neither shall there be any more pain, for the former things are passed away. It descends therefore at the end of the troubles, afflictions & persecutions of the Saints in this world when God wipes away all tears from their eyes, & begins to dwell with Men, & this is at the coming of the Palmbearing multitude out of the great tribulation. For they from thence forward are before <137r> the throne of God & serve him day & night in his Temple, & he that sitteth on the throne dwelleth [or hath his Tabernacle] amongst them & they hunger no more neither thurst any more, & God wipes away all tears from their eyes Apoc. 7.15. At the sounding of the seventh Trumpet when the Kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of God & of his Christ, & he begins to reign for ever & ever, then does he that sits upon the great white throne place his Tabernacle among men & begin to dwell with them & to be their God, & to wipe all tears from their eyes. Then are the former things [the first heaven & the first earth] passed away, & God makes all things new. Thirdly the words, It is done, coming after the words the former things are passed away & behold I make all things new, are of the same signification with the same words It is done spoken at the pouring out of the seventh Vial & relate to them. This is the great mystery of God to be finished at the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet, & therefore the new heaven & new earth are then created. Fourthly the fountains of living water to which the Lamb leads the Palm-bearing Multitude & the food wherewith he feeds them (Apoc. 7.17) are the fountains of water of life which God (at the descent of the new Ierusalem) gives to them that are athirst Apoc. 21.6 the pure river of water of life which proceeds out of the throne, & the fruits and leaves of the tree of life ch. 22.1, 2. Lastly the words which follow the descent of the new Ierusalem, He that overcometh shall inherit all things & I will be his god, & he shall be my Son: but the fearfull & unbeleiving & the abominable & whoremongers and sorcerers and Idolaters & all lyars shall have their part in the Lake which burneth with fire & brimstone which is the second death respect that overcoming spoken of in the end of every one of the Epistles to the seven Churches, & the punishment of the Beast & fals Prophet & their people called Idolaters & Whoremongers and Sorcerers & fornicators & theives Apoc. 9.20, 21 & Lyars & fals Prophets ch. 2.3 & 3.9. When therefore the one are rewarded & the other punished, then does the new Ierusalem descend from heaven, & this is at the beginning of the thousand years when the Beast & fals Prophet are cast into the Lake of fire, & thrones are set & they sit <138r> {upon} them, & judgment {illeg}& {illeg} & they who had not worshipped the Beast {illeg} This is at the sounding of the seventh {Trumpet} {illeg} the {illeg} the dead is come that they should be judged [{not} a few but all of them] & that God should give rewards unto his Servants the Prophets & Saints & them that fear his Name Small & great & should destroy them which destroy the earth. The {general judgment} therefore begins at the Sounding of this Trumpet.

But you will say how then comes it to pass that in the thousand years there are Mortals on earth? For the Nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog & Magog, those whom Satan is loosed out of prison to deceive & gather together to battel &c. are mortal men & therefore the camp of the Saints, & the beloved city which they compass are also mortals. Doth the earth last after the day of judgment & do mortals live on it, & do the Sons of the resurrection live among them like {other} Men & reign over them in the beloved city? I answer that is true the beloved city is a city of Mortals & say further that the glorious description of the new Ierusalem under the types of pretious stones is a commentary upon this City. For the Kings of the earth who {bring their} glory & honour into it & the Nations whose glory & honour they bring into it (Apoc. 21.24, 26) are Mortals. But to conceive that the children of the resurrection shall live among other men and converse with them daily as mortals do with one another, & reign over them after the way of temporal kingdoms is very absurd & foolish. Do Men convers with Beasts & Fishes or Angels with Men? Christ after his resurrection was invisible to Men unless when upon extraordinary occasions he was pleased to appear to them, since his ascension he has been seen but once, & such as his body, such shall ours be. In the resurrection they are as the Angels of God in heaven Matt. 22.30) And as Christ comes attended with an innumerable company of Angels, & by that conversation he has with them sends them whither he will, so the children of the resurrection shall have their conversation with the Angels. And such as has been the government of the world by the Angels, such may be their dominion over Mortals in the world to come. Ye are come, <139r> saith the Apostle, unto Mount Sion & unto the city of the living God the heavenly Ierusalem & to an innumerable company of Angels, to the general assembly & Church of the first born which are written in heaven, & to God the Iudge of all & to the spirits of just Men [by the resurrection] made perfect Heb. 12. This is that general assembly at the last day before God the Iudg of all described in the Apocalyps by the last judgment & the new heaven new earth & new Ierusalem. For the new Ierusalem doth not only signify a local city on Earth, but also comprehends mystically the whole assembly of Christ and his Angels with the Saints raised from the dead & reigning with him in heaven. If you ask where this heavenly city is, I answer, I do not know. It becomes not a blind Man to talk of colours. Further then I am informed by the prophecies I know nothing. But this I say that as Fishes in water ascend & descend, move whether they will & rest where they will, so may Angels & Christ & the Children of the resurrection do in the air & heavens. 'Tis not the place but the state which makes heaven & happiness. For God is alike in all places. He is substantially omnipresent, & as much present in the lowest Hell as in the highest heaven, but the enjoyment of his blessings {illeg} {various} according to the variety of places, & according to this variety he is said to be more in one place less in another, & where he is most enjoyed and most obeyed, there is heaven & his Tabernacle & Kingdom in the language of the Prophets. We usually conceive it to be above. When Paul & Stephen saw him in the clouds he was in heaven. Whether he ascended after his resurrection where he is now with the Angels, & from whence he shall together with them descend to judgment, there may the saints after the resurrection & judgment reign with him, & at the same time invisibly exercise dominion over Mortals on earth. For Paul tells us that at the last day the Lord shall descend from heaven & the dead shall rise & together with the Saints which then remain alive be caught up in the clouds (as Elijah was) to meet the Lord in the air & so shall be ever with the Lord. 1 Thes 4. And Christ tells us that the Saints after the resurrection shall reign on the earth. He that overcometh, saith he, & keepeth my works unto the end to him will I give power over the Nations, & he shall rule them <140r> with a rod of iron: as the Vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers. Apoc. 2.26. For Christ has redeemed us & made us unto our God Kings & Priests & {shall reign on the earth chap.} 5.10 & he himself is the King of Kings, & the Prince of the Kings of the earth chap. 1.5. {illeg} reign below are replenished with living creatures (not only the earth with beasts, & sea with {fishes} & the air with Fowls & Insects, but also standing waters, vineger, the bodies & blood of Animals & other juices with innumerable living creatures too small to be seen without the help of magnifying Glasses) so may the heavens above be replenished with beings whose nature we do not understand. He that shall well consider the strange & wonderful nature of life & the frame of Animals will think nothing beyond the possibility of Nature, nothing too hard for the omnipotent power of God. And as the Planets remain in their orbs, so may any other bodies subsist at any distance from the earth, & much more may beings who have a sufficient power of self motion, move whether they will place themselves where they will, & continue in any regions of the heavens whatever, there to enjoy the society of one another & by their {own sences} or Angels to rule the earth & convers with the remotest regions. Thus may the whole heavens or any part thereof whatever be the habitation of the Blessed & at the same time the earth be subject to their dominion. And to have thus the liberty & dominion of the whole heavens & the choise of the happiest places for abode seems a greater happiness then to be confined to any one place whatever. But the truth & manner of these things we shall not understand before the resurrection. I only speak of the possibility.

And thô 'tis become the common opinion that the globe of the earth shal at the day of judgment be burnt up & have an end, yet upon considering the matter I cannot find any sufficient ground for the concept. The original of it seems to be thus, that they to whom the day of judgment was first revealed deciphered it to the common people in the prophetick language, representing the world politic of the nations by the world natural of the heaven & earth & that the common people & some of the heathen Philosophers who understood not the prophetick language took it in the litteral sence. The tradition is that as the world once perished by water so it should perish again <141r> & that by fire. So some of the heathen Philosophers & so also the Author of the second epistle commonly ascribed to Peter. Now the world which perished by water was the world politique, & therefore 'tis the world politique which perisheth by fire, & as the Natural heaven & earth remained after the first perishing, so it may remain after the second. When the Whore is burnt with fire, & the Beast & fals Prophet together with all the world, whose Names are not written in the book of life, are cast into the lake of fire, & the heaven & earth fly away from the face of him that sits upon the throne, & God creates all things new; then doth this present world perish by fire & the heavens pass away with a great noise, & the elements (the Gold, Silver, pretious stones, wood, hay, stubble, as Paul expresseth it) melt with fervent heat, & then the Saints according to Gods promise look for new heavens & a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. For as Noah was saved out of the waters, so in the judgment by fire a remnant may be preserved to replenish the earth a second time.

[1]

Clem. Alexandr. Strom. 5. p. 549. c {illeg}

Tertull de anima c. 35 &

Origen in Exod 11.10 quæaer 2

Cypr. Epist. 52 Cæsar hom. 7

Greg. Niss. orat. Catech. {8}

<136r>

Hieron. in Is. c. ult. in fin. & in Oseam c. 14 & in Amos c. 7, & in Matt c. 3.

Ambros in Psalm 118 serm 3 & serm 20 in fin. & in Luk c. 12.

Augustin Enchir ad Lurent. c. 67, 68, 69 & de civit. Dei. 21 c. 13 & sequ. et alibi.

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