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plain, by a careful and diligent attention to them and comparing them with each other, men may go on safe ground, and be certain of their accomplishment; and whatever is a plain and undeniable consequence from what is expressly predicted, is equally revealed in the prediction, as an event, or circumstance of an event, necessarily included in it. But every opinion respecting future events, which is matter of conjecture only, however probable it may be in the view of him who proposes it, ought to be entertained with modesty and diffidence.
The following Treatise on the Millennium is not designed so much to advance any new sentiments concerning it, which have never before been offered to the public, as to revive and repeat those which have been already suggested by some authors, which are thought to be very important, and ought to be understood and kept constantly in the view of all, in order to their having a proper conception of the church of Christ in this world, and reading the Scriptures to their best advantage and greatest comfort; though perhaps something will be advanced respecting the events which, according to Scripture, are to take place between the present time and the introduction of the happy state of the church, which have not been before so particularly considered.
TREATISE ON THE MILLENNIUM.
In which it is proved from Scripture that the Church of Christ
is to come to a State of Prosperity in this World, which it has never yet enjoyed; in which it will continue at least a Thousand Years.
The first revelation of a Redeemer, in the prediction spoken to the serpent, may be considered as implying the destruction of the kingdom of the devil in this world, by the wisdom and energy of Christ.
“He shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel." (Gen. iii. 15.) Satan has bruised the heel of Christ in the sufferings and dishonor he has been instrumental of bringing upon him, and in the opposition he has made to the interest and church of Christ in this world; and it is natural to suppose that Christ shall bruise his head in this world, by destroying his interest and kingdom among men, and gaining a conquest over him, in the struggle and war which has taken place between the Redeemer and seducer of men; and by the Redeemer's bruising the head of the serpent, is signified that he will not destroy him by the mere exertion of his power, but that by his superior wisdom he will confound and defeat Satan in all his subtlety and cunning, on which he depends so much, and by which he aims to disappoint Christ and defeat him in his designs. And by this he will make a glorious display of his wisdom, as well as of his power, while he discovers the craftiness of Satan to be foolishness, and disappoints him in his devices, carrying all the counsel of this cunning, froward enemy headlong. If all this could not be gathered from this passage, considered by itself, yet that this is the real meaning will perhaps appear from what has already taken place in accomplishing this prediction, and from other prophecies respecting this, some of VOL. II.
which are to be brought into view in the sequel; without which the full meaning of this first promise could not be known.
In order to bruise the head of the serpent, in this sense, most effectually, and turn his boasted wisdom and cunning into foolishness, and entirely defeat him in this way, he must have opportunity and advantage to try his skill and power, and practise all his cunning, in opposing Christ and the sal. vation of men, and in this way be overcome and wholly defeated in the ruin of his interest and kingdom among men; so that all his attempts shall turn against himself, and be the occasion of making the victory and triumph of the Redeemer greater, more perspicuous, and glorious, in the final prevalence of his kingdom on earth, by drawing all men to him, and destroying the works and kingdom of Satan in this world, and setting up his own on the ruins of it, and so as to turn all the attempts and works of the devil against him, and render the whole subservient to his own interest and kingdom. And thus the coming and kingdom of Christ will be “as the light of the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.". When the sun rises in a clear morning, after a dark night, attended with clouds, rain, and storms, the morning is more pleasant, beautiful, and glorious, and the
grass springs and grows more fresh and thrifty than if it had not been preceded by such a stormy night. So the prosperity and glory of the church, when the Sun of righteousness shall rise upon it with healing in his beams, will be enjoyed to a higher degree and be more pleasant and glorious, and Christ will be more glorified than if it had not been preceded by a dreadful night of darkness, confusion, and evil by the wickedness of men and the power and agency of Satan.
The words above cited are the last words of David the prophet and sweet psalmist of Israel, and are a prophecy of the glorious event now under consideration. “ The Spirit of the Lord spake by me, and his word was in my tongue. The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake by me. He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. And he shall be like the morning, when the sun riseth, even a morning without clouds; as the tender grass springing out of the earth by clear shining after rain.” (2 Sam. xxiii. 2-4.) The first words may be rendered so as to give the true sense more clearly: “ He who is to rule over men (i. e., the Messiah) is just, ruling in the fear of God." The words must be, in our translation, are not in the original, and the helping verb is, which is commonly not expressed, but understood, in the Hebrew, should have been supplied : “ He that ruleth, or is to rule over men, is just." This is evidently a prophecy concerning Christ, his church and kingdom, when he shall take to himself his great power, and reign in his kingdom, which shall succeed the reign of Satan during the four preceding monarchies, which were first to take place, which will be more particularly explained as we proceed in examining the prophecies of this great event, the latter-day glory; and that these words of David are a prediction of the reign of Christ on earth, after the long prevalence of Satan and wicked men, is further evident from the words which follow, relative to the same thing: “But the sons of Belial shall all of them as thorns be thrust away because they cannot be taken with hands. But the man that shall touch them must be fenced with iron, and the staff of a spear, and they shall be utterly burnt with fire in the same place.”
Exactly parallel with this prophecy is that of the prophet Malachi: “Behold, the day cometh, that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as the calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” (Mal. iv. 1-3.)
But to return from this, which may seem to be some digression or anticipation. The great and remarkable promise, so often made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, and more than once mentioned by the apostles, will next be considered. This promise was made to Abraham, and of him, three times. “In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Gen. xii. 3.) “ All the nations of the earth shall be blessed in him.” (Chap. xviii. 18.) “ And in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Chap. xxii
. 18.) And this same promise is made to Isaac: “ I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” (Chap. xxvi. 4.) And to Jacob: “In thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” (Chap. xxviii
. 14.) The apostle Peter mentions this promise as referring to the days of the gospel. “ Ye are the children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, And in thy seed shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed.” (Acts iii. 25.) The apostle Paul speaks of this promise as referring to Christ, and all who believe in him, making him to be the promised seed, and believers in him to be those exclusively who are blessed in him. in whom the promised good takes place. “Know ye, therefore, that they which are of faith, the same are the children of Abraham. And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the heathen through faith, preached before the gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations be blessed. So, then, they which be of faith are blessed with faithful Abraham. Now to Abraham and his seed were the promises made. He saith not, And to seeds, as of many; but as of one, And to thy seed, which is Christ.” (Gal. iii. 7-9, 16.)
This prediction and promise is very express and extensive, that all the families, kindreds and nations of the earth should be blessed in Christ, by their becoming believers in him. This has never yet taken place, and cannot be fulfilled, unless Christianity and the kingdom of Christ shall take place and prevail in the world to a vastly higher degree, and more extensively and universally, than has yet come to pass; and all nations, all the inhabitants of the earth, shall become believers in him, agreeable to a great number of other prophecies, some of which will be mentioned in this section.
The reign of Christ on earth, with his church and people, and the happiness and glory of that time, is a subject osten mentioned, predicted, and celebrated in the Book of Psalms. To mention all that is there spoken with reference to that happy time, would be to transcribe great part of that book. Only the following passages will now be mentioned, which are thought abundantly to prove that the kingdom of Christ is to prevail and flourish in this world as it has never yet done; and the church is to be brought to a state of purity, prosperity, and happiness on earth, which has not yet taken place, and so as to include all nations and fill the world.
In the second Psalm it is predicted and promised that the Son of God shall inherit and possess all nations to the ends of the earth; which necessarily implies that his church and kingdom shall be thus extensive, reaching to the ends of the earth, and including all the nations and men on earth. “] have set my king upon my holy bill of Zion. I will declare the decree: The Lord bath said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ask of me, and I shall give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession." By Zion here is meant, as in numerous other places in the prophecies, the church of Christ, of which mount Zion was a type.
The twenty-second Psalm contains a prophecy of the sufferings of Christ and the glory that shall follow; and of the