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(though to me it appears very improbable) these calculations
may be accurate, and the uncalled elect may be so many millions. Still, we do not see that this proves their scheme; for we know not why God may not call in all his elect, be they more or less, whilst the'world continues in its present state, without introducing for them a state so indulgent and improper for a life of faith—a state so unlike the glorious warfare in which the worthies, through grace, have won their immortal honors and unfading crowns.
Affliction worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory. This weight of glory they must lose without our affliction, and with it their millennium is imaginary.
Tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience. But what experience can these millennial converts attain, without our tribulation ? Can they know Christ in the fellowship of his sufferings? Can they be made conformable unto his death? Can they glory in his cross ? Can they rejoice that they are counted worthy to suffer shame for his name? Or, wherein can their lives be brought into a conformity with the lives of his people that have followed him in his temptations; which conformity will open in their hearts such sources of sweet fellowship to all eternity?
The seed of Jacob in all ages of the world have been wrestlers; but these millennial converts at best can be but fondlings. They are represented as a sort of Christians that I never admired : they are born without travail; their baptism is not the baptism of Christ, for it is without fire ; they have not the refinement of the furnace, nor
the purification of the fuller's soap; they have not the spots of God's Israel the scars of the fight of faith ; and should it be asked, Whence came they? it could not be answered, These are they which came out of great tribulation. Therefore, they must stand without a palm or a wreath, for, no fight, no victory--no cross, no crown.
I have often heard worldlings express earnest desires to share a portion of the glory of this millennium; and have often heard saints say they did not desire it, either for themselves, or for their seed after them. I am persuaded, the people that have given the most evidence of being born from above, have had a spirit, that, were they cast into such a state, they would regret it,
Should we be carried to the skies
On flowery beds of ease,
And swam through bloody seas?
But there is no danger; for all that in vision stood before the throne, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands- -came out of great tribulation. *
The modern millennium, therefore, appears undesirable, as being fit neither for the one thing nor for the other; neither for labor, nor for rest; neither for trial, nor for triumph.
* “ The bush burned. What is that for? It showed that Christ's church, while in this world, will be a bush burning with fiery trials and afflictions." " The burning bush is typical of the church of God in all ages."
It has been a frequent error to look for rest short of God's rest. Good Zacharias and his brethren fondly looked for a rest in this life; that, being delivered out of the hands of their enemies, they might serve God without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of their life. This appears to have been an error among the tribes that entered into Canaan, which Joshua endeavored to remove, by speaking of another day—that is, the rest of God, which is rest indeed; all short of which is labor and war.
People, therefore, in the present expectation of a millennium, are looking for either too much, or not enough. To be consistent, they must give up the idea either of its being a sabbath—a rest, or of its being probation time; for these ideas will never harmonize. There remaineth a rest to the people of God; but he that enters into it ceases from his labors.
I know such arguments as these will be little felt by them that are at ease in Zion, whose condition I pray
may never envy; but they that endure hardness as good soldiers will think more of them.
The doctrine of the millennium is truth; and the prevailing expectation, that it is fast approaching, and is now very near, is doubtless rational. And is the millennial state of the church the new Jerusalem-the blessed and holy Jezreel ? Is it a dowry for the faithful, of such richness-a promised reward for the prophets and saints, small and great, so truly estimable-wherefore God is not ashamed to be called their God? Is the millennium the day of marriage—the day of the consummation of redeeming love? Is it the day of the joy of the Lord—the day of the gladness of his heart? Is it the day when his espoused, blessed of the Father, shall enter into his joy, and when the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father ?' Ye that love the appearing of Christ, lift up your heads, and rejoice; your redemption draweth nigh. Comfort one another with these words. Antichrist, that is now pining away with the spirit of his mouth, shall soon be destroyed with the brightness of his coming. And when ye shall see this, though now ye are so dispirited, ye shall rise and shout; your heart shall rejoice, and your bones shall fourish. These heavens and this earth must pass away. Nevertheless, we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. He that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new-behold, I create new heavens and a new earth: and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But be you glad and rejoice forever in that which I create: for behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy. And I will rejoice in Jerusalem, and joy in my people, and the voice of weeping shall no more be heard in her, nor the voice of crying. Therefore, rejoice ye with Jerusalem, and be glad with her, all ye that love her; rejoice for joy with her, all ye that mourn for her; for ye shall be satisfied with the breasts of her consolations, and shall be delighted with the abundance of her glory.
6. Lo, what a glorious sight appears
To our believing eyes !
And the old rolling skies.
From the third heaven, where God resides,
That holy, happy place,
Adorned with shining grace.
Attending angels shout for joy,
And the bright armies sing, Mortals, behold the sacred seat
Of your descending King.
The God of glory down to men
Removes his blessed abode;
And he the loving God.
His own soft hand shall wipe the tears
From every weeping eye ;
And death itself, shall die.
Shall this bright hour delay?