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changed; but thou art the same, and thy years' shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee,' Ps. cii. 25-28. The change of the heavens is again predicted by the prophet Isaiah at the period when the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies' before the Millennium. •And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll,' &c., Is. xxxiv. 2, 4. Referring to the same period, the prophet Jeremiah says, 'I beheld the earth, and, lo, it was without form and void, &c., Jer. 1v. 23–26. The change of the heavens is again predicted by Isaiah as to take place at the restoration of Israel. The Lord shall comfort Zion,' &c. *Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath ; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment; and they that dwell therein shall die in like manner; but my salvation shall be for ever, and my righteousness shall not be abolished,' Is. LI. 3-6. God's protection to Israel at this appalling time seems promised in the 16th verse. •And I have put my words in thy mouth, and have covered thee with the shadow of mine hand, that I may plant the heavens, and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art my people.'
“This new heaven and new earth is synonymous with the world to come,' (mentioned in Heb. 11. 5; Ephes. I. 21 ; Luke xviii. 30, and Heb. vi. 5;) with the `inheritance of the saints in light;' (Col. 1. 12, and 11. 24;) with the purchased possession,' (in Ephes. 1. 14;) with 'the inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away,'(1 Peter 1.5;) with the kingdom which cannot be moved,' (Heb. Xll.
27, 28;) also with the inheritance promised to the meek and righteous, (in Matt. v. 5, and Psalm xxxvii. 11, 18, 29, and xxv. 13; Is. Lx. 21, and Rev. xxi. 7;) and is the same also with the kingdom prepared for you,' (in Matt. xxv. 34, and xx. 21;) that kingdom which we are commanded to pray for,—thy kingdom come,' (v1. 10;) that kingdom of Christ which he says is not of this world' (John xv11. 36,) but of the world to come;' also with the kingdom which it is the Father's good pleasure to give to his little flock, (Luke xii. 32,) in the day of Christ's appearing; (and again Matt. v111. 11, vil. 21, and vi. 33,) the kingdom of which the apostles inquired of their divine Master, after his resurrection, asking, if he at that time was going to restore it to Israel, (Acts 1. 6;) even that same kingdom in which Christ says, he will drink new wine with his saints, (Matt. xxvi. 29;) and the kingdom of God, to which Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, and all the prophets, shall come, from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from the south, to sit down in; (Luke x111. 29;) even the kingdom in which they shall be blessed that eat the bread therein, (xiv. 15) and of which the Pharisees inquired, demanding, when the kingdom of God should come, (xv11. 20;) ... This new heavens and new earth is also the same as the regeneration or renovation mentioned in Matt. xix. 28, 'And Jesus said unto them, Verily I say unto you, that ye who have followed me, in the regeneration when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” *
GENERAL VIEW OF THE MILLENNIUM.
PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS.—We trust to have satisfactorily proved that the Second Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ, together with other stupendous and synchronical events, not only precede the Millennium, but are clearly connected with, and indispensable to its introduction. The gradual judgments which have been, and are hereafter to be accomplished on the wicked, their utter destruction at that period, and the promised out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, afford unanswerable proofs that the most important of human efforts,—the publication and preaching of the Gospel,-would otherwise prove utterly insufficient to restore the church to its primitive simplicity and purity, and to perfect the saints for the coming of the Lord.
While we enter on this most cheering and elevating theme-the kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ on earth we would premise, that the miraculous influences of the Holy Spirit will probably cease so soon as the Millennial “ morning" shall appear; for it is declared that “ all the Lord's people shall be righteous.” These gifts were bestowed during the apostolic era as absolutely requisite for completing the foundation of Christianity: so they will again be vouchsafed as necessary to restore it to its primitive vigour and comeliness. How reasonable to attend such a
result, after the providence of God shall be fully displayed in the triumph of his wisdom and love over the malignant powers of darkness!
Perhaps man was permitted to fall as an eternal manifestation to the universe of the perfection of the Divine attributes of justice and mercy, which were so amply displayed through our Lord's voluntary humiliation and sufferings, no other attributes of Deity appearing to require such attestation. With respect to the misery of man, and the sufferings which are so awfully pronounced to be endless, the latter may bear no proportion to that “eternal weight of glory” which awaits the righteous; and, which we may justly suppose will continue to be for ever augmented.
But Satan will no longer be permitted to tempt and persecute mankind. Their passions and evil propensities will now be subjected to the regulating influences of Divine grace; and they will become invariable examples to each other “of righteousness and true holiness.” How far they may be still prone to overreach the bounds of justice, temperance, charity, &c., through the power of original corruption, is not easy to determine: but the heavenly dispositions and motives, and the desires after spiritual perfection which will be communicated by the Holy Spirit, will supplant the corrupt motions of nature,—create a new heart and mind,—and thus suppress every species of evil conduct and practice. Possibly there may remain some pecúliar instances to the contrary ; but these will neither affect nor diminish the general happiness: “they shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain.”
The highly improved condition of man is farther obvious, from predictions relative to the universal prevalence of peace ;—from the harmonious feelings and intercourse of
nations ;- and from the abandant productions of the earth as the natural accompaniments of these blessings. At its termination Satan must be loosed a little season; and from the effects produced it will then appear obvious to all, that temptation, and thence innate corruption, were the true and only causes of placing man in a state of open rebellion against his Creator, and of the enmity and hatred of sinners towards His children. How ardently, therefore, should we unite in prayer and in labours of love, that Satan may be shortly expelled from his wide domain.
Previous to entering on the more detailed particulars which Scripture furnishes respecting the Millennium, we shall select those passages which describe it in a general point of view.
And first, it is necessary to notice an objection which may operate on the minds of some; which is, that “the New Testament Scriptures declare of the kingdom, that it is to be in heaven, whilst the exposition given it, makes it to be on earth.”
“ In reply, there is no such phrase in Scripture, as 'kingdom in heaven ;' it is always 'kingdom of heaven,' which I have shown," says Mr. Brooks, “in my last essay to be peculiar to St. Matthew's Gospel.* And I would herc further observe, in regard to those instances which I have admitted may refer to the Gospel dispensation, that this very circumstance disproves the necessity of interpreting the phrase kingdom of heaven' as of a kingdom in heaven : for, if these refer to the Gospel dispensation, they clearly speak of transactions which are to take place on earth."
* “ Nearly thirty times repeated, and always in the plural,- » Bagiketa Twy ovpavov, the kingdom of the heavens;" i. e. the spiritual world, or kingdom of the righteous, the new Jerusalem.