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time, by studying the manner in which He has dealt with them in past times, we have reason to expect that as surely as Noah was instructed how to build an ark and save his family in it previous to the deluge; and Moses directed when to bring the Israelites out of Egypt where they had been residing four hundred years, so will the future inhabitants of New Jerusalem be taught when they are to take possession of it. We find by referring to the 24th chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, that at the same time our Saviour foretold the destruction of the temple at Jerusalem, which prophecy was fulfilled before that generation had passed away, he gave his disciples reason to expect that as “the end of the world” approached, his elect people would be dealt with in a different manner to the other inhabitants of the world, as the promise to them, which is found in the 31st verse, is very remarkable; so are also the 36th, 37th, 38th, and 39th verses, comparing " the end of the world” to the flood.
And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet; and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the one end of Heaven to the other. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of Heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not, until the flood came and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.
We may expect when this prophecy is fulfilled that there will be as great a destruction of human life, as there was at the time of the flood; but for the same reason that the Almighty preserved Noah and his family
in the ark, which was that the human race should not become extinct, we may reasonably suppose that a part of the world is destined to preserve a certain number of families to worship Him on earth when his enemies shall meet with a final overthrow, and when the wheat shall be gathered into the Lord's "garner."*
That the human race are capable of enjoying a much greater portion of happiness than we see them generally enjoy in this world is not contrary to scripture. Let us refer to the book of Genesis and ascertain what were the sources of happiness of Adam and Eve in Paradise. They lived in a beautiful garden which produced "every tree that is pleasant to the sight and good for food.”+ They had “ dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.”I They had each an intellectual companion, without which the gift of speech would have lost its chief power of making its possessor happy; and they bad a power of understanding their Creator when he was pleased to reveal himself to them, and instruct them. We are told that God commanded them not to eat of the fruit of a particular tree; and we may infer from this, that had they exercised self-denial and selfcontrol, and permitted the beautiful fruit to drop from the tree and decay on the ground untouched, they would have been taught by their Creator, from year to year, all the different branches of knowledge, which their descendants have discovered by the dearly earned experience of several thousand years. We may learn from history, that whenever the Almighty wished for his own wise purposes, that any branch of knowledge should become known to the descendants of Adam, “God said, Let
* Matthew iii. 12. ^ Genesis ii. 9.
Genesis i. 28.
there be light and there was light.”* He appointed men to communicate the knowledge wbich they had acquired by being gifted by their Creator with intellects favorable to such studies, to others in such a disinterested manner, that, as in the instance of Galileo, persecution, imprisonment, and sometimes death, has been the consequence of one of the descendants of Adam, introducing a new theory to the notice of mankind. “Kant and Schiller have justly remarked, that with what we call the Fall of Man, civilization begins, and only then morality becomes possible: for that unconscious innocence was not morality. Even according to the Scriptural account, men gain through transgression the knowledge of good and evil, whereby they become like unto God.” (Gen. iii. 22.)+
When Adam was driven from Eden, he was physically and intellectually punished. He was obliged to live by hard labour, instead of having the cravings of his animal appetite satisfied by delicious fruit; and as an intellectual being, with an enquiring mind, he was obliged to reinain in ignorance of many things which he must have been desirous to know, and was daily punished by not receiving that constant supply of mental food which would have been his portion, had he remained in Eden, and patiently submitted to the teaching of his creator. Adam and Eve might have been taught by inspiration how to study the sciences of Geography, Astronomy, Chemistry, Phrenology, Electricity, Animal Magnetism, &c., and to teach them to their children, with as much facility as Noah was taught by inspiration how to build the Ark, Moses to write the law for the
* Genesis i. 3. + Sec. Das Wesen des Christlichen Glaubens von W. M. L. de Wette.
Israelites, or Solomon to build the Temple at Jerusalem. But Adam and Eve chose to pluck the tree of knowledge, or the tree of experience themselves, and their descendants are still suffering for their folly and disobedience, and must continue to do so, until the following prophecy is fulfilled, “ And there shall be no more curse."* It is remarkable that the above-named sciences, have, since the Reformation, been studied and brought to a degree of perfection which was necessary to carry out the designs of the Almighty disposer of events, relative to the generation which shall be inhabitants of the earth when " the end of the world” takes place. The prophet Daniel leads us to expect that the prophecies would not be thoroughly understood until other branches of knowledge had been discovered by mankind. “But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end ; many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.”+ The result of the science of geography, and the art of navigation, being brought to great perfection, is, that a taste for travelling has been generated since that period, in the minds of men, which was quite necessary in order that the prophecy of our Saviour, “ And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come,” I might be fulfilled ; and that the peculiar productions, and geographical position of every part of the globe should be known, before the elect should know when to obey the following command, which will be ultimately understood by those for whom it was particularly intended, when it was written by St. John, “ And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her
plagues : and she shall be utterly burned with fire; for strong is the Lord God who judgeth her."*
Victor Considérant, in one of his works on social destiny, thus expresses the difficulty which the descendants of Adam have found in plucking the tree of knowledge, while the earth was under a curse. “Man required many gropings and much trouble to learn how to construct his machines, his ships, his palaces; to form his legions of practical workmen, of learned men and artists; to collect the fundamental elements of his prosperity and power. As long as he has not fulfilled these first conditions, he is not fit to enter into his true destiny, to realise the social organization fit to satisfy his wants, to harmonise and render useful the passions of all the members of which he is composed. Thus, like the planet, like the animal, like the human being himself, Humanity, who is a living being of a superior degree, has his times of embryo, and his infancy. Humanity cannot attain the age of strength, the plenitude of life, but by traversing at first ages of ignorance, weakness, and pain. These first ages are precisely the times of poor societies, incoherent, incapable of gratifying by enjoyment, the desires of our nature, of realising the happiness, of which they were to prepare the instruments, to fashion and to collect the immense material. These first ages may be called subversive, and are divided into successive periods, distinguished by the names of, the savage, the patriarchal, the barbarous, and the civilized. Thus industry bounded in the savage state to hunting, fishing, and the construction of rough weapons; extended itself in the patriarchal period to the care of flocks. The barbarians gave themselves up to agriculture, and
* Rev., xviii. 4. 8.