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bestowed upon them, the Saviour promised them the Comforter, which should be to them a guide and director when himself should have ascended to the Father. "Howbeit, when he, the spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak; and he will show you things to come." 10

But let us notice the Saviour's language recorded by Luke, still further. After having said, "I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father hath appointed to me," Jesus adds, "that ye may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit on thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." 11 "Eating and drinking at his table in his kingdom," understood in the light of the courtly customs of the times, is a direct assurance that the apostles should share in the honors of Christ's kingdom; while "sitting upon thrones, and judging the twelve tribes," indicates the power they should exercise in that kingdom. Whitby remarks that the "nobility in a kingdom used to be known by two things, the honor and the power imparted to them,—their honor in eating at the king's table; their power in having a share in the government under the king: therefore, our Saviour represents the honor of his apostles by eating and drinking with him at his table, and their power by judging the twelve tribes of Israel." 12 Sharing with Christ his rule, by sharing in the promulgation of that truth by which his rule is exercised, the apostles were entitled to a share in the honor pertaining thereto. In assuring them of this honor, the Saviour adopts that style of remark which would be best understood by them.

That the general view we have thus taken of the nature of the rule to which the Saviour appointed his apostles, is correct, will further appear on considering Paul's language quoted in the first part of this paper. "Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters ?" 13 The terms of this passage are broader in two particulars than the terms of the Saviour's language, considered above. Instead of the apostles, addressed by the Saviour, we have here the "saints" in 11 Luke xxii. 29, 30.

13 1 Cor. vi. 2.

10 John xvi. 13, 14.

12 Comment on Luke xxii. 29.

general; and instead of the "twelve tribes of Israel," we have the "world." If, then, the judgement referred to, be a formal judgement after the resurrection, (which I cannot admit,) a preeminence will be given to the saints in general over the apostles in particular; since judging the whole world must be a more important trust than judging a part of it. But when we remember that this judgement is not executed by either saints or apostles, in person, but through the truth they proclaimed and were instrumental in making efficacious, we perceive that these scriptures warrant no such invidious comparisons. The peculiar forms of language in which the announcements are made, both to saints and apostles, grow out of the peculiar circumstances of each. The more important labors of the apostles were with the Jews, the "twelve tribes of Israel;" while those of the saints abroad, to whom Paul addressed himself, had more immediate reference to the Gentile world. Hence the apostles are said to judge, or rule, the "twelve tribes of Israel," and the saints, or believers in general, the world.

Christ addressed his disciples as the "light of the world," and exhorted them to let their light so shine before men, that others might see their good works, and be led to glorify their Father which is in heaven. It was by virtue of the truth they possessed that the apostles could be termed the "light of the world," and by the power of the same truth, they were made the judges, or rulers, spiritually, of the "twelve tribes of Israel." There would manifestly be an equal propriety in speaking of the saints in general as the "light of the world," by virtue of the same truth, the possession of which was shared by them, and in ascribing to them, in a similar manner, an influence in the spiritual government of the world. Thus they would govern silently, but essentially; not personally, or in form, but spiritually, or in fact. There would be no show of power which was not possessed; but in just so far as the Christian idea became inwrought into the common mind, a controlling influence would be secured; and Christ and his disciples, including all true promulgators of his word, would enter upon their reign. Dr. Macknight, though a believer, as will be seen, in a future general judgement, that is, a judgement after the resurrection,

holds the following judicious language on the phrase, "the saints shall judge the world." "Here St. Paul told the Corinthians, that, agreeably to Christ's promise to the apostles, [namely, that they should sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,] they were at that time actually judging or ruling the world by the laws of the gospel, which they preached to the world. Hence Christ told his apostles, Now is the judgement of this world.'' In answer to the objection that the verb rendered shall judge, is in the future tense, and that the apostle, therefore, had in his eye the state of the world under Constantine, when the Christians got possession of civil power, Macknight adds, "Nevertheless, the subsequent clause, 'If the world is judged by you' [the verb here being in the present tense, and not in the future, as our translation would indicate,] shews that the apostle spake of the time then present. Others," he continues, "because the judgement of angels is spoken of in the next verse, interpret this of the last judgement; and by the saints judging the world, they understand the affording of matter for condemning the wicked. But this sense has no relation to the apostle's argument. With respect to the idea which many entertain, of the saints being Christ's assessors when he judges the world, I observe, that it is repugnant to all the accounts given of the general judgement. Besides, for what purpose are the saints to be Christ's assessors at the judgement? Is it to give him counsel? or only to assent to the sentence he will pass on the wicked? Surely not the former; and for the latter, why should their assent be necessary, more than the assent of the holy angels? To found a doctrine of this magnitude merely on two obscure passages of Scripture, which can easily admit of a different and better interpretation, seems not a little rash." 14 Thus far Mach Thus far Macknight.


Indeed, Dr. Clarke seems to relinquish his application of the Saviour's language, first quoted, to the kingdom of immortal glory, when he comes to consider these words of the apostle. In his comment on this place, he quotes that language, ["then ye shall sit on the twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel,”] and adds, “it is supposed that Jesus refers to the same subject as that mentioned here, the saints judging the world; and that 14 Comment on 1 Cor. vi. 2.


St. Paul has his words in view, in what he says here to the Corinthians. By judging the twelve tribes of Israel, some have imagined that having authority in the Church, is merely intended; but Dr. Lightfoot contends that the words refer to the coming of our Lord to execute judgement on the Jews, and to destroy their state; and that the doctrine of the apostles, not themselves, was to judge and condemn that most disobedient people. The place before us is generally understood to imply that the redeemed of the Lord shall be, on the great day, assessors with him in judgement; and shall give their award in the determinations of his justice. On reviewing this subject, I am fully of the opinion that this cannot be the meaning of the words; and that no such assessorship, as is contended for, ever will take place; and that the interpretation is clogged with a multitude of absurdities. I therefore think, with Dr. Lightfoot ;" 15 and he proceeds to apply the language to Christian rule among the nations here upon the earth. Thus he yields his former opinion touching the Saviour's language, by making that language coincide in signification with this language of Paul; and then interpreting this, with Dr. Lightfoot, to mean a judgement or rule exercised by the apostles through the doctrines they proclaimed. I have quoted thus freely from writers who believe in a future general judgement, for the purpose of showing that even they, against all prejudices of system, find sufficient evidence to convince them, that the judgement and rule which the saints and apostles should share with Christ, is the rule of Christian truth in the present world, and, therefore, in the mediatorial kingdom of Christ.

In further support of this interpretation of the Saviour's language, let us consider the period of its promised fulfilment. The apostles were to sit upon twelve thrones, when the Son of man should sit upon the throne of his glory. This, of course, must be during the continuance of his reign. But when the resurrection shall be past, and death, the last enemy, shall be destroyed, the end will come; and Christ will deliver up the kingdom to God, that he may be "all in all." Christ's reign will then cease; and consequently, the period spoken of must precede the resurrection. Moreover, Christ taught, that the 15 Comment on 1 Cor. vi. 2.

Son of man should "come in his kingdom,"-an event equivalent to "sitting on the throne of his glory,"-before some who heard him should "taste of death." 16 Again, Christ repeatedly speaks of the coming of the Son of man,17 declaring it to be with "power and great glory," 18 and gives the signs that should precede; and, that his disciples might not put far away the day, he adds, "Verily, I say unto you, this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." 19 Still further, Christ says, "When the Son of man shall come in his glory with all the holy angels with him, then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory." 20 But we have just seen that he would "come in his glory" " during that generation; consequently, he would sit upon the throne of his glory" during that generation. And Jesus declares, that "when the Son of man shall sit in the throne of his glory," the apostles" shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel." This judgement, therefore, must have been entered upon, at least, during that generation.

The conclusion to which we have thus arrived, touching the time of the commencement of this judgement or rule, will serve to confirm our position concerning its character, namely, that it is not formal, but doctrinal,-that it is not an outward rule, by statutes and ordinances arbitrarily applied, like the rule of the princes of this world; but an inward and spiritual rule, by the power of ingrained truth. The apostles, who followed the Saviour "in the regeneration," not in the experience of the new birth, for the Saviour never experienced that, but in that changing state of things which opened the way for the permanent establishment of his kingdom; those who had followed him under these circumstances, would enter upon their rule,-upon their joint rule with Christ,-whenever that kingdom became really established in the hearts of men. As great Christian truths came to be fully apprehended and believed, this rule would so far become operative. Beginning with the germ, or radical Christian thought, there would appear first the blade, then the ear, and at length the full corn in the ear. But the "full corn in the ear," is found only in the ripened harvest. In Christ's kingdom, it prefigures the entire assimilation of all hearts

16 Matt. xvi. 28.
19 Matt. xxiv. 34.

17 Matt. xxiv.
20 Matt. xxv. 31.

18 Matt. xxiv. 30.
21 Matt. xix. 28.

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