« AnteriorContinuar »
of God." The opening of books, in the text, alludes to human courts, where books of law and evidence are opened. The books in the text are figurative; we may view them to be the book of the divine omniscience ;-the book of the perfect history of the heart and life of every child of Adam; the book of human memory, to recollect every fact; the book of revelation, to all who have lived under it; and the book of the light of nature, to all who have not; the book of conscience, to feel the whole subject, and the weight of guilt, in all on the left hand; the book of correct common sense, to show how men have estimated the conduct of each other; and the book of grace, and of life, to all on the right hand, to show them that are renewed, penitent, justified, and saved in Christ, according to the covenant of redemption. The closing of the scene will follow, which many scriptures clearly ascertain.
• What manner of persons then, ought we to be, in all holy conversation and godliness!" Christians, awake, and trim your lamps. And, O sinners, prepare to meet your God. Some remarks relative to the Millennium, and the
agency of its introduction will here be added. Prophecy and the reason of the thing unitedly testify that such a state of things as the Millennium would certainly bless the world. And the promises of it occupy no inconsiderable space of the prophetic scriptures; that in the seed of Abraham (Christ) shall all nations, and all families of the earth, be blessed. “The glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together." “ He (Christ) shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that water the earth. He shall have doininion also from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.” * For the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord as the waters cover the seas. The prophecies all unite in this, and the most rapturous things are said in description of the event. “ Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God;"—the church of that day! A feast of fat things is made to all nations. And in the numerous pre-' dictions of the certainty of that long and glorious day, many particulars of its glories are given.
True religion will then produce its proper effects in the hearts and lives of all men. Each person in the infinite Three in heaven will be glorified, by being received, obeyed, and adored in his united godhead, and in his official dis.
tinction. This will bring a day of salvation to all men. No countless throngs to crowd the way to hell, and torture thus the tender gracious heart: but all unite to prize the great salvation. Great unanimity will bless the world. Wars cease, and scenes of blood are known no more. The promises of this are direct and unequivocal, and are illustrated by the figure of the most perfect harmony of all the most furious and dangerous animals, with those the most defenceless and peaceable; and by the burning of all implements of war, or of the conversion of them to implements of agriculture. “ The watchmen shall see eye to eye;" “ all shall serve the Lord with one consent, " and shall delight themselves in the abundance of peace." Health and longevity are promised too, among the blessings Heaven will richly give to men on earth. The laws of jurisprudence will be happy. All the concerns of civil government will rest, exclusively, in Christian hands, wholly subordinate to pure religion. “ Kings shall be thy nursing fathers, and queens thy nursing mothers.” “I will make thine officers peace, and thine exacters righteousness.” “ And wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.” Yes, knowledge will be great, and fill the world ;—knowledge of the word of God, and of all things useful, ornamental, and delightful ; and promised in the richest figures, as the following ; "the light of the moon shall become as the light of the sun; and the light of the sun seven-fold, as the light of seven days." Also benevolence and holy friendship-the bliss of heaven, shall glow, the world around ;-a holy earnest of eternal glory. The golden rule, a rule ever at hand, will guide the heart, the lip, the lives of all men. Great spiritual enjoyment will be found attendant on all rounds of Christian duties. “ With joy shall ye draw water from the wells of salvation.” Man now will know the solid happiness of that feast of fat things in the church, promised to be made for all nations. Characters will then be seen and held in proper estimation ; and no more will man bless the covetous whom the Lord abhorreth, nor the churl be called liberal. “ And they shall go forth and look upon the men who have transgressed (all antichristian multitudes); and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” Most happy period ! a great result of all God's works below in every age. On this his eye has rested,
from the first, as an event next to his heavenly kingdom. The means of the introduction of the Millenniuin are to be prayer, contributions, and combined Christian influ
The three first petitions of the Lord's prayer rest upon it. And Inspiration adds, “ Ye that make mention of the Lord, keep not silence, and give him no rest, till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem (the church) a praise in the earth.” Of the time just antecedent to the Millennium, it is said, “they shall call every one his neighbour under the vine and under the fig-tree;" places for prayer, which must and will be attended with due donations, and mutual exertions, coming to this “help of the Lord against the mighty.” “ Till every one submit himself with pieces of silver." Bring all the tithes into my house.”
But a question arises, who, after the battle of the great day, is to have the most prominent agency in the bringing in of the nations then still unconverted ? For a large remnant of such, it will be found, will still reinain after all that shall have been done by the flight of the angel of missions before the battle of the great day. And I am led to think that this honour is reserved for the ancient people of God. Paul teaches, (Rom. xi.) that the restoration of the Jews shall be " the riches of the gentiles ;" "life from the dead” to them. It would seem that the converted Jews would be the most popular and powerful missionaries, after the fall of Antichrist, for the conversion of the remaining part of the world. The converted Jews, taking a pre-eminent stand in the church of Christ, might be expected to burn with a holy zeal, to promote that cause of their Messiah, which they have so long trampled under foot. And beholding the millions, through the earth, dead in paganism, they would greatly desire their conversion, and make every arrangement to effect it. And, having a personal acquaintance with the nations where they have resided; what could be more natural, than that they should set off, as missionaries, for their conversion ? But human conjectures may be incorrect. To the law and the testimony we will repair. Of that very period it is predicted, Zech. viii. 23; “ Thus saith the Lord of hosts, in those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold, out of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, we will go with
you, for we have heard that God is with you.” The wonderful works of God, at that day, towards the Jews, will fly over the world, and prepare the way for this event. Inspiration here is speaking not of converted gentiles under the name of Jews; but of Jews in distinction from the gentiles ; as was Paul in Rom. xi. In Hosea ï. the restored Jews, in the last days, have a new name given them,—Jezreel, the seed of God : “for (God says) I will sow her unto me in the earth.” God will now sow the field of the unconverted world with his seed, the converted sons of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, for the harvest of the Millennium; and now, those gentiles who had not obtained mercy, shall obtain it, shall say, “ Thou art my God;" and God will say unto them, “ Thou art my people.” God says again, of converted Judah and Ephraim, Zech. x., “I will sow them among the people, and they (among whom they are sown), shall remember me in far countries, and shall live. The angel of missions, anteeedent to the battle of the great day, is the incipient step of all this, by lighting up gospel fires in every land, as has been shown on Rev. xiv. 6, 7; and preparing the way of the recovery of the Jews. But the Jews being thus prepared, seem to be destined to take the lead in the completion of the work, though not (we may presume), to the exclusion of gentile missionaries. The same is predicted in Isaiah ii. 3; which was fulfilled primarily in the apostles ; but is to be ultimately fulfilled, when, as is there stated, the nations shall utterly cease from war ; “Out of Zion shall go forth the law, and the word of God from Jerusalem.” The word of God first went from Jerusalem to the heathen; then in the last days it is repaid; and then it goes forth again after the batile of the great day, to the remnant of the heathen world. We have the same in Zech. xiv. 8; and in Ezek. xlvii., in the stream of grace which finishes the healing and conversion of the world. The converted Jews, knowing the languages, and manners of the heathen, among whom they have lived, will be the most fit missionaries for the conversion of the residue of men, after the battle of the great day. An emblem of all this we have in Acts i. 5, in the history of the day of Pentecost; “ There were, dwelling at Jerusalem, devout menoutof every nation.” Thirteen nations are named besides Judea. These were among
the 3000 converts of that day. And their signal aid in the introduction of the gospel among those nations, when they should return home and relate the wonders they had seen and felt, and should welcome the missions of the apostles among them, may prove but a type and earnest of missions of the Jews to introduce the Millennium, after the battle of the great day, and the conversion of the Jews.
Ver. 1. And I saw a new heaven and a new earth: for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away ;
and there was no more sea. 2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband,
3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them, and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God.
4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.
5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful.
6. And he said unto me, it is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.