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cause had revived, and was going to fill the world. All in glory will know and rejoice in this; and all on earth will see and enjoy it.
Some writers have conjectured that Christ will come and reign personally on the earth, in the Millennium. This must be incorrect. His reign here must be only spiritual. The days of miracles are past: the Bible is filled; and they are not needed : and Christ can reign as effectually without miracles, as with them. He will become then king of nations, as he now is of saints ; reigning spiritually, by his grace in their hearts; and providentially, to cause all things to work for their good. But, as to any visible personal appearance of Christ; this is never to take place till he comes to judgment. “ Unto you that look for him, shall he appear a second time (the first being when he came in the flesh), without sin unto salvation.” " Whom the heavens must receive until the restitution of all things,” which is manifestly connected with the judgment of the great and final day. It is a great injury to the cause of prophecy, to write upon it in so loose and unguarded a manner as they have done, who hold to a literal coming of Christ; a literal resurrection of the martyrs ; and some, that the day of judgment commences at the morning of the Millennium. “ We have not so learned Christ.” The absurdity of such ideas is plain : for things eternal and things of time are not to be blended. Of people on earth it is said, "the just shall live by faith.” Imperfect saints here are not to be blended with the spirits of the just made perfect; nor are the latter (nor any of them) to be raised to dwell again on the earth.
Relative to the length of the Millennium, whether it will be a literal or a mystical thousand years; and if mystical, what may be the length of it ;-I will state some arguments in favour of its being a mystical thousand years; and also that it may be an indefinite thousand. The word thousand is often thus used. “ A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand.” Repeatedly is the number 144,000 used in this book, in an indefinite sense. And it is in the following, in other scriptures, "the cattle upon a thousand hills;" " there shall be a thousand vines ;" “one shall chase a thousand;" “ a little one shall become a thousand.” As to the length of the Millennium ; consider,
1. This chapter is figurative; why, then, may not the thousand years of the Millennium be figurative ?
2. If it be literal, there seems to be an undue proportion between the time of the reign of sin, and the reign of grace. Should the former be six times the length of the latter, it would seem indeed wonderful. There is generally found a symmetry in the works of God;—as in the human body; the ancient temple; and in the works of nature. But does this principle admit the following view of the temple of the redeemed church of God on earth? viz. that 2000 years rolled away in some rough and indefinite preparations for it, of which very little is found in the inspired record of this temple. After this, 2000 more roll off in giving this foundation a more tangible shape, and preparing the way to bring on the great foundation stone of this ecclesiastical temple. 2000 years more pass away, in shaping and preparing the materials for the building of this temple itself. At the close of these 6000 years, the temple is raised, and presented to the world. Now, does a due proportion of things admit, that the temple thus prepared shall stand but 1000 years ?-one-sixth part of the time taken up to lay its foundation, and form some of its materials ? Can this accord with the divine economy in general ? Do wise human architects build thus ? Do they lay their superb and costly foundation six times as high as their superstructure upon it? The Revelation gives us the new Jerusalem; and the symmetry of its parts are such as to be worthy of the pencil of Heaven. But how different from this would it appear, if we found the following ;—that such was the width of each of the twelve gems composing the foundation of its walls, that the twelve should form six-sevenths of the whole height of the walls, of 1500 miles ? No width of these twelve gems is given"; had it been, we presume it would be in due proportion to the height of the walls. But divine and not human wisdom is to be here our only guide. Therefore,
3. Some hints in Psalm xxxvii. and other scriptures, seem not to admit a literal thousand years of the Millennium. 66 Yet a little while and the wicked shall not be; but the meek shall inherit the earth, and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace.”
6 Blessed are the meek; for they shall inherit the earth.” “ In his days, (the days of Christ in the Millennium) shall the righteous
flourish ; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth.”—“His name shall endure for ever (to the end of the world, which shall be a comparative for ever); his name shall be continued as long as the sun; and men shall be blessed in him; all nations shall call him blessed." This is when “the earth shall be filled with his glory." Read Dan. vii. 14, 20-27. We here find, that the reign of Christ is long, compared with that of popery, though this is 1260 years. It is promised that when “ all people, nations, and languages shall serve him ;" " his dominion is an everlasting dominion;" necessarily meaning comparatively so. It is (as Psalm lxxii.) “ as long as the sun !" “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominion shall serve and obey him.” The everlasting here is, in its subject, confined to be only “ so long as the sun,” and “so long as the moon endureth.” (Psalm Ixxii. 7, 17.) Other scriptures speak of those heavenly bodies as enduring, till they shall wax old as doth a garment; and as a worn-out vesture, shall be folded together, and laid aside! This is a figure; but must possess great meaning relative to the age of the natural world. Can a literal thousand years give it such an age ?
4. A literal thousand years seem not well to accord with the greater number of fallen man saved, than lost, at the end of the world. The Bible "all" often means by far the greater part. Christ says, “ I will draw all men unto me”
_“Who will have all men to be saved, and come to the knowledge of the truth." We know this means not a literal all. By far the greater part of men have, hitherto, been lost. Straight is the way that leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.” In the Millennium, all shall find it. But could a literal thousand years give a number to the human family which shall so far exceed all who are lost? The saved, in that day, are noted, Psalm cx., as exceeding the drops of a morning dew. Old Babylon, (15 miles square) is an emblem of the kingdom of Satan ; and the New Jerusalem (Rev. xxi.) of the kingdom of Christ. The dimensions of the latter are given (as those of the former are known); and they are 1500 miles cube; " the length, breadth, and height being equal." What is
the proportion between these two cities ?-ten thousand to one, if you take only the square of the New Jerusalem : if the cube (which is in fact given), fifteen millions to a unit! Wonderful grace, if fifteen millions, to one soul of the fallen human family, shall be saved! But a literal thousand
of the Millennium would seem incapable of yielding such a number.
5. Our Saviour speaks of his not knowing the time of the judgment day. There must, then, be a sense in which he knows it not. But as God, he knows it, and knows all things. The sense then must be, he knows it not as Mediator, to reveal it to man; and hence has never revealed it. He says of the reprobate, “ I know you not!" He knows them to bring them into judgment; but knows them not as his people. “ Whom he did foreknow, he did also predestinate,” &c. The time of the day of judgment then, has never been revealed to man. But if it were to be at the close of a literal seventh thousand years, then it is revealed; and it might then be said to the saints, of the day of judgment, as it is of the time of the destruction of Antichrist, “ Ye are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” The time of that period is revealed: see Lecture on Rev. xiii. last. For these reasons, soine believe that the Millennium will continue an indefinite number of millennaries. All may form their own opinions upon what is divinely taught. The analogy of the natural week hints the time of the opening of the Millennium to be the opening of the seventh thousand years; yet God may take the liberty to lengthen out this Millennial sabbath to any extent he may please. Nothing in the analogy of things, nor in the Bible, it is believed, forbids that he will do it. A natural day was lengthened in the days of Joshua ; and an analogical sabbath of the Millennium may be lengthened to ever so great an unrevealed number of millennaries of
years. Near the close of the Millennium, Satan will be loosed, to go out again to deceive the nations; and a general apostacy over the world will take place; not a falling of any soul from true grace, but the falling of the world of people unconverted from the doctrines of grace. The apostacy will be sudden; and malignant in proportion to the light before enjoyed. Regenerating grace alone forms true Christians even in the Millennium. And when saving
grace is withholden (as it then will be), the enmity of the natural heart will not only continue, but will burst forth in rage, in proportion to all the antecedent wonders of grace; and the world will soon be filled with violence, and a full and systematic design to banish the cause of Christ from the earth. Glance an eye over verse 7–9 of our text, and this will be seen. Now the rest of the dead live again; now is a second mystical resurrection. Or, the cause of the wicked (long lost from the earth) now again lives. Accordingly, the countless millions of this apostacy are called " Gog and Magog;"—names under which Antichrist, before the Millennium, went into perdition; and the figure of the rest of the dead living again,” now applies to the apostate world of the wicked, this old name of Antichrist. In the figure, the Gog of Ezekiel xxxviii. xxxix., rises again, and fills the world for the last furi. ous attack of Satan on the church. This soon brings forward the judgment day. As the attack of Antichrist upon the witnesses, before the Millennium, soon brings down the Saviour upon his white cloud, with his sharp sickle (Rev. xiv.); so the final and great artitype of this transaction, after the Millennium, soon presents Christ, as the final judge, upon his great white throne of judgment !
The falling of fire from heaven, devouring this Gog and Magog, is a figure; and is probably in allusion to what is said of the witnesses, chap. xi. 5, 6; man will hurt them, fire proceedeth out of their mouth, and devoureth their enemies," &c. And both may
allude to Elijah's calling fire from heaven to destroy the captains with their fifties, sent by Ahab to take him. But what immediately follows in the text explains this ; for the final judgment bursts upon the world, a sudden as the spark from the smitten steel,—from nitrous grain, the blaze." Now will Satan's millions find other employment, than “going up upon the breadth of the earth, to compass the saints about and the beloved city” (the church), to drive it from the world. In an instant, in the twinkling of an eye, the trump shall sound, the dead shall be raised, and the living changed from a natural to a spiritual body." The last judgment is now set, and the books are opened. The Bible descriptions of these scenes are many, and most interesting ; but need not to be here adduced. O, remember them, and look for, and haste unto the coming of the day
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