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258 PROPHECIES OF THE MILLENNIUM NOT YET FULFILLED.

unto death, and was numbered with the transgressors.” (Isa. lii. 13–15; liii. 11, 12.)

And it appears very desirable that the enemies of Christ and his church should meet with disappointment, be defeated and confounded in this world, and that the reproach which has been cast upon the church should be removed; — that the church should put on her beautiful garments, and shine in the true beauties of Christianity; - that it should be seen from experiment in this world what Christianity is when acted out according to the true nature and spirit of it, and that this, and this only, can render men and society happy in this state. All this is, therefore, predicted and promised. “Behold, at that time I will undo all that afflict thee, and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out, and I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame; for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth.” (Zeph. ii. 19, 20.)

One reason why this day of salvation is delayed so long after the death and resurrection of Christ doubtless is, that there may be proper and full opportunity to discover the depravity and wickedness of man, and the insufficiency of all means that can be used, or methods taken, to bring men to repentance and a cordial submission to Christ, unless accompanied by the special, omnipotent influences of the Holy Spirit to renew their hearts, and clearly to manifest the natural enmity in the hearts of mankind against Christ and the truths of the gospel, and their strong disposition, and unconquerable, by all possible external means and advantages to oppose and pervert the gospel, and abuse it to the worst purposes; that it may appear in the most clear and striking light how greatly and wholly depraved and utterly lost men are, unless they be saved by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost, and that the whole praise and glory of the salvation of every one may be ascribed to the sovereign grace of Christ, and man be forever abased. When God has sufficiently tried men, and used a variety of the most proper and powerful means to bring the world to repentance, and all has proved in vain, he will then pour out his Spirit upon all, and renew their hearts, and converts will spring up as grass after showers of rain; and the obstinacy of man, and the power and sovereign grace of Christ, will be acknowledged by all, and that men are saved not by human might or power, but by the Spirit of the Lord. (Zech. iv. 6. Rom. xi. 32. 1 Cor. i. 21.)

And it appears proper and wise that this day of prosperity and salvation should be in the latter end of the world, in the last times, as this is suited to excite and support the faith and patience of Christians who live in the preceding dark and evil times, and to encourage and animate them to faithfulness and constancy in following Christ, and adherence to his cause in the midst of temptations and trials; and this use is made of it in the Scripture, especially in the Book of Revelation. And this is suited to excite the prayers of Christians, in all the preceding ages of darkness, affliction, and suffering, and the prevalence of sin and Satan, for the coming and kingdom of Christ, which he has prescribed as the first and most important petition in the pattern of prayer which he has given. “Our Father, who art in heaven, hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven." Daniel was excited and encouraged to fast and pray for the deliverance of the people of God from their affliction and distress in their captivity, by finding that this was foretold and promised by Jeremiah the prophet. (Dan. ix. 2-4.) And this has actually excited Christians to pray for this event in all ages of the church; and doubtless they will be awakened and stirred up to pray more generally, constantly, and fervently for this important, glorious event, as the approach of it is found by prophecy to be nearer. And it will be introduced in answer to the prayers of thousands and millions who have been, and who will yet be, crying to God night and day, resolving not to keep silence, or give him any rest, till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. (Isa. lxii. 6, 7.) For he will be inquired of for this by his church and people to do it for them. (Ezek. xxxvi. 37.)

SECTION II.

In which it is considered in what the Millennium will consist,

and what will be the peculiar Happiness and Glory of that Day, according to Scripture.

There have been, and still are, very different opinions respecting the millennium, and the events which will take place in that day, which are grounded chiefly on the first six verses in the twentieth chapter of the Revelation, which passage has been brought into view in the preceding section, but is to be more particularly considered in this.

Some have supposed that this passage is to be taken literally, as importing that at that time Jesus Christ will come in his human nature from heaven to earth, and set his kingdom up here, and reign visibly and personally, and with distinguished glory on earth, and that the bodies of the martyrs and other eminent Christians will then be raised from the dead, in which they shall live and reign with Christ here on earth a thousand years; and some suppose that all the saints, the true friends to God and Christ, who have lived before that time, will then be raised from the dead, and live on earth perfectly holy during this thousand years, and this they suppose is meant by the first resurrection. Those who agree in general in this notion of the millennium, differ with respect to many circumstances, which it is needless to mention here.

Others have understood this paragraph of Scripture in a figurative sense; - that by this reign of Christ on earth is not meant his coming from heaven to earth in his human, visible nature, but his taking to himself his power, and utterly overthrowing the kingdom of Satan, and setting up his own king dom in all the world, which before this had been confined to very narrow bounds, and subduing all hearts to a willing subjection, and thus reigning over all men who shall then be in the world, and live in that thousand years. And by " the souls of them which were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands,” living again and reigning with Christ a thousand years, they suppose is not meant a literal resurrection, or the resurrection of their bodies, which is not asserted here, as there is nothing said of their bodies, or of their being raised to life, but that they shall live again and reign with Christ in the revival, prosperity, reign, and triumph of that cause and interest in which they lived, and for the promotion of which they died, and in whose death the cause seemed, in a measure and for a time, to die and be lost. And they shall live again in their successors, who shall arise and stand up with the same spirit, and in the same cause, in which they lived and died, and fill the world and reign with Christ a thousand years, agreeably to ancient prophecies. “The meek shall inherit the earth. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the saints of the people of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve him.” And they suppose that this revival of the truths and cause of Christ, by the numerous inhabitants of the earth rising up to a new and holy life, and filling the world with holiness and happiness, is that which is here called the first resurrection, in distinction from the second, which will consist in the resurrection of the body; whereas this is a spiritual resurrection, a resurrection of the truths and cause of Christ, which had been, in a great degree, dead and lost, - and a resurrection of the souls of men, by the renovation of the Holy Ghost.

That this important passage of Scripture is to be understood in the figurative sense, last mentioned, is very probable, if not certain. And the following considerations are thought sufficient to support it:

1. Most, if not all, the prophecies in this book, are delivered in figurative language, referring to types and events recorded in the Old Testament, and in imitation of the language of the ancient prophets. And this was proper and even necessary in the best manner to answer the ends of prophecy, as might easily be shown, were it necessary. The first part of this passage, all must allow, is figurative. Satan cannot be bound with a literal, material chain. The key, the great chain, and the seal, cannot be understood literally. The whole is a figure, and can mean no more than that when the time of the millennium arrives, or rather, previous to it, Jesus Christ will lay effectual restraints on Satan, so that his powerful and prevailing influence, by which he has before deceived and destroyed a great part of mankind, shall be wholly taken from him for a thousand years. And it is most natural to understand the other part of the description of this remarkable event to be represented in the same figurative language, as the whole is a representation of one scene; especially, since no reason can be given why it should not be understood so. And there are reasons against taking it in a literal sense, which will be mentioned in the following particulars :

2. To suppose that Christ shall come in his human nature to this earth, and live here in his whole person visibly a thousand years, before the day of judgment, appears to be contrary to several passages of Scripture.

The coming of Christ, and his appearing at the day of judgment in bis human nature, is said to be his second appearance, answering to his first appearance in his human nature on earth, from his birth to his ascension into heaven, which was past. “ And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment, so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them who look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation." (Heb. ix. 27, 28.) The appearance here spoken of is the appearance of Christ at the day of judgment, to complete the salvation of his church. This could not be his appearing the second time, were he thus to appear and be bodily present in his human nature on earth, in the time of the millennium, which is to take place before the day of judgment. The coming of Christ does not always intend his coming visibly in his human nature ; but he is said to come, when he destroyed the temple and nation of the Jews, and appeared in favor of his church. So his destruction of heathen Rome, and delivering his church from that persecuting power, was an instance of his coming. And he will, in the same way, come to destroy antichrist, and the kingdom of Satan in the world, and introduce the millennium; and in these instances, and others, he may be said to appear. But his coming to judg. ment, and appearing to complete the final destruction of all his enemies, and to perfect the salvation of his church, is bis last coming and appearance. And though this will not be his second appearance and coming, in the sense now mentioned, and with reference to those instances of his coming; yet, as he will then come and appear visibly in his human nature, this will be his second coming and appearance in this way and manner, having never appeared on earth in his human nature more than once before, or since his first ascension to heaven, after his incarnation. Therefore, when the final judgment shall take place, Christ is represented as being revealed and coming from heaven, and this is often called, by way of eminence, his appearing ; meaning his appearing and coming from heaven in visible splendor and glory, in his whole person, in both natures, divine and human. But if he were here on earth, visible in his human nature, and reigning in his glorified body, during the millennium, he would be already nere to attend the last judgment, and he could not be properly said to come from heaven, and to be revealed from heaven, because this was done a thousand years before. Therefore that Christ should come from heaven, and appear and reign in his human nature and presence before the day of judgment, seems to be contrary to the following Scriptures: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God," etc. " When he shall come to be glorified in his saints." (1 Thess. iv. 16. 2 Thess. i. 7, 8, 10.) This is evidently his appearing the second time for the salvation of all them that look for him; but were he on earth before this, in the human nature, during the time of the millennium, how could he be said to be revealed, to descend, and come from heaven to judge the world?

3. As it seems to be contrary to the above-mentioned Scriptures to suppose that Christ will appear on earth, and reign a thousand years in his human nature, so it appears

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