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Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms Chapter 6

Thoughts on the history of professing Christianity, Part 6

We continue with extracts from Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms, the chapter 6 — THOUGHTS ON THE HISTORY OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY, AS GIVEN IN THE PARABLES OF MATTHEW XIII.

I would commend a close reading of these extracts for they deal with the very issue of ‘decay within Christendom’ that we see all around.

Here is Part 6, which covers pages 169-174.

Click here to see the other articles about this book.


In recognising this, they recognised the principle on which Christ had ever acted. The parable speaks of  “treasure hid in a field; the which when a man hath found he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field.” The outward professing body was not “the treasure” for which Christ resigned all in order to buy both it and the spot in which it was hidden-that is, this earth. “The treasure” which He valued were His elect — His own believing people to whom alone the holy name and standing of the Church properly pertained. This was the principle of Christ; and the real strength of the Protestant Reformation was in cleaving to this principle, and practically giving it effect. It was the true power of its earlier testimony; and whenever in later times the distinction between the elect Church and the corrupt professing body has been faithfully recognised, there has seldom been wanting a measure of the Divine blessing.* (more…)

Thoughts on the history of professing Christianity, Part 5

We continue with extracts from Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms, the chapter 6 — THOUGHTS ON THE HISTORY OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY, AS GIVEN IN THE PARABLES OF MATTHEW XIII.

I would commend a close reading of these extracts for they deal with the very issue of ‘decay within Christendom’ that we see all around.

Here is Part 5, which covers pages 165-169.

Click here to see the other articles about this book.


The parables of our Lord are addressed chiefly to conscience. If our consciences are perverted we shall either give no heed to the instruction, or else mistake, and probably, reverse the meaning. For example, he who conceives the honour and dignity of this present age to be according to God, and therefore well suited for His Church, will be sure to find in the parable of the “mustard seed” an encouragement to aspire after worldly greatness. He who admires the present condition and influence of professing Christianity, will not be hindered by the mere circumstance of leaven being uniformly used in the Scripture as the type of evil, from interpreting it as the symbol of the diffusiveness and diffusion of good. Parables, if they do not enlighten, blind.* (more…)

Thoughts on the history of professing Christianity, Part 4

We continue with extracts from Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms, the chapter 6 — THOUGHTS ON THE HISTORY OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY, AS GIVEN IN THE PARABLES OF MATTHEW XIII.

I would commend a close reading of these extracts for they deal with the very issue of ‘decay within Christendom’ that we see all around.

Here is Part 4, which covers pages 160-165.

Click here to see the other articles about this book.


But it may be asked, Why should not the “mustard seed” grow ? Does it not in growing, merely fulfil the law of its nature? Why then may not the Church, which like its Master is well suited to rule, and to rule supremely, why should it not rise into greatness here? The answer is, Because of the character of this present age. So long as it pleases God to permit that Satan should continue the “prince of this world;” “the ruler of the darkness of this present age,” so long must it be true that Christ’s kingdom “is not from hence,” and therefore abasement, not “the reigning as kings,” must now be the characteristics of His servants on the earth. It is a question of time. Accordingly, every principle given to the Church in its present standing below, must necessarily check its growth as to all that could promote its exaltation in the earth. The taking up our cross daily and so losing our lives in this world, the spending and being spent for others, the following Jesus of Nazareth, are principles sufficient to deprive the Church, while it adheres to them, of all governmental influence now. Besides which, the active agency of Satan is against those who really cleave to the Truth of Christ. No wonder, therefore, that they should be blighted; no wonder· that in their measure, they · should be like Him, who, although He was indeed a tender plant, worthy of being cherished under every kindly influence, yet flourished not in the earth, but was “as a root out of a dry ground.” No plant that remains in the spot where God’s Truth would keep it, can flourish here. The nourishment that God gives is for the new creation-heavenly, and not of earth. If therefore it do flourish here, it can only be by having been transplanted into other circumstances, where “the prince of this world” can foster and direct its growth, and use it when grown, for his own purposes of evil. (more…)

Thoughts on the history of professing Christianity, Part 3

We continue with extracts from Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms, the chapter 6 — THOUGHTS ON THE HISTORY OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY, AS GIVEN IN THE PARABLES OF MATTHEW XIII.

I would commend a close reading of these extracts for they deal with the very issue of ‘decay within Christendom’ that we see all around.

Here is Part 3, which covers end of page 156-160.

Click here to see the other articles about this book.


The introduction of false professors greatly, of course, affected the appearance which the Church presented to the world. A field intermingled with tares cannot appear as one in which wheat only grows. The loveliness of its aspect must be gone. Nevertheless, the corporate standing of the Churches was not thereby forfeited. They were still regarded by the Lord as worthy of being represented before Him by their original and proper symbol — “candlesticks of gold.” The steadfastness even of individual saints, although endangered, was not necessarily destroyed by the approximation of evil, however near. Neither was the executive agency of the Churches necessarily perverted ; and· it is by the acts of its executive that the character of every corporate body is determined. Holy discipline might have been exercised. (more…)

Thoughts on the history of professing Christianity, Part 2

We continue with extracts from Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms, the chapter 6 — THOUGHTS ON THE HISTORY OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY, AS GIVEN IN THE PARABLES OF MATTHEW XIII.

Here is Part 2, which covers pages 151 to 156.

Click here to see the other articles about this book.


They are as a house swept and garnished, but empty. The truth and Spirit of Christ are not there. It is a mansion unoccupied; open therefore to be entered, as it soon will be entered, by that unclean spirit, which, after long wandering up and down, and finding no other people so suited for his designs, will, with seven other spirits more wicked than himself, again make that people his peculiar habitation. Then will be developed the full iniquity of the closing hours of our dispensation. These words have almost entirely failed to arrest the attention of real Christians. Many appear not to know that the Lord has spoken them. Else they could not as they do, “cleave to Israel with flatteries,” and tell them that they are advancing into their millennial rest, when in truth, they are fast approaching the great hour of their anti-Christian evil and final visitation from the hand of God. The chapter, however, which thus records the doom of unbelieving Israel, does not conclude without referring to another family which the Lord Jesus could, and did own as His, at the very moment when He was thus rejecting Israel. “He stretched forth his hand toward his disciples, and said: Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother and sister, and mother.” All, therefore, in whom the spiritual characteristics of Abraham shall be found-all who shall believe and obey, shall be owned as the family of God, whilst Israel nationally are rejected. (more…)

Thoughts on the history of professing Christianity, Part 1

Following our recent series of extracts from chapter 14 of Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, ‘Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms’, which we concluded last week, and the good reception they received, I felt that I would like to feature extracts from the 6th chapter of the book which deals with a matter facing us all today — that of the corruption and apostasy of ‘PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY’ as set forth by the Saviour in His parables in Matthew 13. I am sure that you will find the extracts informative.

Sincerely, Ivan Foster


We continue with extracts from Benjamin Wills Newton’s book, Prospects of the Ten Kingdoms, the chapter 6 — THOUGHTS ON THE HISTORY OF PROFESSING CHRISTIANITY, AS GIVEN IN THE PARABLES OF MATTHEW XIII.

Here is Part 1, which covers pages 148-151.

Click here to see the other articles about this book.


THE subject of the book of Daniel is the secular history of the Gentile Empires in their relation to Jerusalem, and not the history of Christianity. In considering, therefore, the history of Christianity, we deviate from the strict course of this prophecy. But it is a deviation that may be permitted. Not only is the subject in itself unspeakably important, but it is closely connected also with all we have been considering. The full character of evil that attaches to the Roman Empire cannot be understood unless its false relations to Christianity be in some degree appreciated. Moreover, although the ripened evil of Judaism, and of the nations governmentally, will largely contribute towards the final development of Antichristianism, yet it will be aided no less by an apostasy from among professing Christians. Thus also we answer an objection often urged, viz., that by our interpreting the Old Testament prophecies so exclusively of Israel and of the Gentiles, we leave nothing in Scripture that bears directly on Christianity. We show that the Scripture does speak prophetically of Christianity, and of its corruptions. (more…)