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the best regulated, most beautiful and happy society that ever existed, or can be formed on earth. " When the Lord shall. build up Zion, the church, he shall appear in his glory.” Then what is predicted in the sixtieth chapter of Isaiah, and many other prophecies of the same event, shall be fulfilled. God says to his church, “ Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. Whereas thou hast been forsaken and hated, so that no man went through thee, I will make thee an eternal excellency, the joy of many generations. I will make the place of my feet glorious. Thou shalt also be a crown of glory in the hand of the Lord, and a royal diadem in the hand of thy God. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God!"*
5. Then Christianity will appear in its true beauty and excellence, and the nature and genuine effects of it will be more manifest than ever before, and the truth and amiable. ness of it be exhibited in a clear and striking light.
Christianity has, hitherto, been generally abused and perverted by those who have enjoyed the gospel, and but little of the genuine spirit and power of it has appeared among those who have been called Christians. They have, the most of them, disobeyed the laws of Christ, and misrepresented and perverted the doctrines and institutions of the gospel to accommodate it to the gratification of their selfishness, pride, and worldly spirit, and have hated and persecuted one another unto death. They have divided into innumerable sects and parties, and have not been agreed in the doctrines and institutions of the gospel, but have embraced various and contrary opinions concerning them, and contended about them with wrath and bitterness. And the greatest part of the Christian world have been as openly vicious as the heathen nations, if not more so. And as the name of God was blasphemed among the Gentiles by the wicked lives of the Jews, (Rom. ii. 24,) so
• It has been a question whether in the millennium, when the church shall be thus universal, and be brought to such a well-regulated, holy, and happy state, there will be any need of civil rulers to preside and govern in temporal matters. It is said that every thing which will be necessary of this kind will be regulated and ordered by particular churches, and civil officers will not be needed, and will have nothing to do.
But when it is considered that the church of Christ is not a worldly society, and has no concern with temporal matters and the concerns of the world, considered merely as such, or any further than they are included in obedience to the laws of Christ, and that there will be need of regulations and laws or orders with respect to the temporal concerns of mankind, it will appear proper and convenient, if not necessary, that there should be wise men chosen and appointed to superintend and direct in worldly affairs, whose business it shall be to consult the temporal interest of men, and dictate those regulations from time to time which shall promote the public good, and the temporal interest of individuals.
the name of Christ has been blasphemed by infidels and others, through the various kinds of wickedness of those who have been called Christians,“ by reason of whom, the way of truth has been evil spoken of.” (2 Pet. ii. 2.) But few in the Christian world, in comparison with the rest, have honored Christ by entering into the true meaning and spirit of the gospel, loving it and living agreeably to it, and those few have been generally hidden and overlooked by the multitude of merely nominal Christians; and genuine Christianity is not to be found in the faith and lives of those in general who assume the name of Christians, but in the Bible only, since the most who profess to know Christ, by their doctrines and works do deny him.
But in the millennium the scene will be changed, and Christianity will be understood and acted out in the true spirit and power of it, and have its genuine effect in the lives and conduct of all; and when it comes to be thus reduced to practice by all, it will appear from fact and experience to have a divine stamp, and that the gospel is indeed the wisdom of God and the power of God, forming all who cordially embrace it to a truly amiable and excellent character, and is suited to make men happy in this world and that which is to come. Then all the disgrace and reproach which has come upon Christ, his true followers, and upon Christianity, by the wickedness and enmity of men and the abuse of the gospel, shall be wiped off. This is foretold in the following words: “ 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. I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth.” (Zeph. iii. 19, 20.) After the various schemes of false religion and infidelity have been tried by men and the evil nature and bad effects of them discovered, real Christianity, as it is stated in divine revelation, when it shall be understood by all and appear in universal practice, will shine with peculiar lustre and glory; and the beauty and excellence of it, and the happiness it produces, will be more apparent and affecting, and be more admired by the contrast, than if no such delusion and false religion had taken place. This is represented in the last words of David the prophet: " And he shall 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." (2 Sam. xxii. 4.) When the sun rises in a clear morning, after a dark, stormy night, and the tender grass springs up fresh and lively, it is much more pleasant and refreshing than if it had not been preceded by such a night.
6. The time of the millennium will be, in a peculiar and eminent sense and degree, the day of salvation, in which the Bible and all the doctrines, commands, and institutions contained in it, will have their proper and designed issue and effect; and that which precedes that day is preparatory to it, and suited in the best manner to introduce it and render it eminently the gospel day.
The Spirit of God will then be poured out in his glorious fulness, and fill the world with holiness and salvation, as floods upon the dry ground. All the preceding influences of the Holy Spirit, in converting and saving men, are but the first fruits which precede the harvest which will take place in that latter day. This was typified in the Mosaic institutions. The most remarkable festivals were the passover, the feast of the first fruits, and the feast of tabernacles, upon which all the males in Israel were commanded to attend at Jerusalem. The passover typified the death of Christ, and he was crucified at the time of that feast. The feast of the first fruits, or pentecost, as it is called in the New Testament, typified the first fruits of the death of Christ in the outpouring of the Holy Spirit, and the conversion of men when the gospel was first preached, which took place at the time of this feast. (Acts ii. 1.) The feast of tabernacles, which was “the feast of ingathering, which was in the end of the year,” (Ex. xxxiv. 22,) was a type of the millennium, which will be in the latter end of the world, when the great and chief ingathering of souls to Christ and his church shall take place. This is the time when Christ will see the fruit of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied. To this day most of the prophecies of Christ, and salvation, and of the good things which were coming to the church, have their principal reference, and they will have their chief fulfilment then. This is the day which our Lord said Abraham saw with gladness and joy. “ Your father Abraham rejoiced (or leaped forward) to see my day; and he saw it, and was glad.” (John viii. 56.) He saw the day of Christ in the promise made to him, that in his seed all nations should be blessed; which will be accomplished in the millennium, and not before. This is the day of Christ, the day of his great success and glory. This is the gospel day, in comparison with which all that precedes it is night and darkness.
Then the chief end of divine revelation will be answered. It has been given with a chief reference to that time, and it will then be the means of producing unspeakably greater good than in all ages before. It will then be no longer misunderstood, and perverted and abused, to support error and wickedness, but' be universally prized more than all riches, and
improved to the best purposes, as the fountain of knowledge and wisdom; and all the institutions and ordinances appointed by Christ will then have their effect. They will then be understood and take place in due order, and be attended in a proper manner, and the wisdom and goodness of Christ in ordaining them will be seen and experienced by all. Then the gospel will be preached as it never was before since the days of inspiration, in which the ministers of the gospel will be eminently burning and shining lights, exhibiting the important, affecting, glorious truths of the gospel in a clear and striking light, and in a manner most agreeable and entertaining, which will fall into honest and good hearts, and be received with the highest relish and pleasure, and bring forth fruit abundantly. The Sabbath will be a most pleasant and profitable day, and improved to the best and most noble purposes; and the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, according to divine institution, will greatly conduce to the edification of the church, and appear in their true importance and usefulness, as they never did before; these and all other institutions of Christ being appointed with special refer. ence to that day, when they will have their chief use, and answer the end of their appointment.
As the winter in the natural world is preparatory to the spring and summer, and the rain and snow, the shining of the sun, the wind and frost, issue in the order, beauty, and fruitfulness of the vegetable world, and have their proper effect in these, and the end of winter is answered chiefly in what takes place in the spring and summer, and the former is necessary to introduce the latter, and in the best manner to prepare for it; so in the moral world, or the church of Christ, what precedes the millennium is as the winter, while the way is preparing for the summer, and all that takes place has reference to that happy season, and is suited to introduce it in the best manner and most proper time, when the gospel, so far as it respects the church in this world, and all the institutions and ordinances of it, will have their genuine and chief effect in the order, beauty, felicity and fruitfulness of the church.
In which is considered which Thousand Years of the World will
be the Millennium, and when it will begin.
All who attend to the subject of the millennium will naturally inquire when this happy time will take place, and how long it will be before it shall be introduced. And some who have undertaken to find from Scripture, and to tell the precise time and the year when it will begin, have been evidently mistaken, because the time on which they fixed for this is passed, and the event has not taken place. From this, some have concluded that it is uncertain whether there will ever be such a time, and others have exploded all attempts to find from Scripture when this time will be.
Though there be good reason to conclude that the exact time, the particular day or year of the beginning of the millennium, cannot be known, and that it will be introduced gradually, by different successive, great, and remarkable events, the precise time of which cannot be known before they take place; and that the prophecies respecting it are so formed on design, that no man can certainly know when the event predicted shall be accomplished, within a year or a number of years, until it is manifest by the accomplishment, as such knowledge would answer no good end, but the contrary; yet there is no reason to suppose that this is left wholly in the dark, and that it is impossible to know, within a thousand or hundreds of years, when this glorious day shall commence, which is so much the subject of prophecy, in which the glory which is to follow the sufferings of Christ and the afflictions of his church will chiefly consist, so far as it relates to the transactions of time.
Though it may be evident from Scripture that the seventh thousand years of the world will be the time of the prosperity of the church of Christ on earth, yet this event may come on by degrees, and be in a measure introduced years before that time; and the church may not be brought to the most complete and happy state of that day, but still have further advances to make after this seventh thousand years begin, and continue some years after they are ended; so that the particular year of the beginning or end of this time cannot be known before it actually takes place.
It is thought that there is reason to conclude, from divine revelation, that the seventh millenary of the world will be the time in which the church of Christ will enjoy a Sabbath of rest, and be brought to its highest and chief prosperity in this world, which is so much the subject of Scripture prophecy, and that the end of the world and the day of general judgment will take place soon after this millennium is over. The following observations are designed to point out some of the evidence of this :
It has been already observed, that the creation of the natural world in six days, and the seventh being appointed to be