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liberty of the children of God; for we know that the whole creation groaneth and traveleth in pain together until now; and not only they, but ourselves also, which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body;" Rom. viii., 19—23. Agreeable to this exposition, this passage is supposed to correspond with the declarations of Isaiah the prophet: “the wolf also shall dwell with the lamb, and the leopard shall lie down with the kid, and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together; and a little child shall lead them. And the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together ; and the lion shall eat straw like the ox. And the suckling child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child shall put his hand upon the cockatrice's den. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea ;" xi., 6—9. “ The wolf and the lamb shall feed together, and the lion shall eat straw like the bullock; and dust shall be the serpent's meat. They shall not hurt nor destroy in all my holy mountain, saith the Lord;" Ixv., 25. So, according to the second advent doctrine, the new earth, on which Christ is to reign personally with the righteous, is also to contain wolves, lambs, lions, cows, bears, asps, serpents, and all the brute creation that ever lived. And what is still more remarkable, if they are correct in the exposition and application of these prophecies, these beasts are to procreate on this new earth, " for their young ones are to lie down together," and this state of things is to continue, not merely for a thousand years, according to the doctrine of the advocates of the second advent, in 1843, but for ever and ever; so that this new earth is to constitute the everlasting abode of the righteous. Now, admitting that in this earthly paradise of men and brutes, the brute creation may lose their ferocity and become harmless, yet, so long as they remain brutes, they can never become either rational, moral, or religious, and, consequently, cannot be suitable companions for intelligent, and moral, and religious beings. It is true that some of these brutes may be employed as beasts of burden, and others may be used for food, as the ancient millenaries imagined, but neither of these can be the case with the whole brute creation ; the serpent, the asp, the leopard, are never employed for either ; and surely it can be no very great privilege for a brute to be raised from the dead, to be killed and eaten up at some splendid feast! But what is to be done with the ten thousands of animals whose very presence is disgusting and annoying to man? Is this, indeed, the heaven of the saints; a heaven in the midst of snakes, and toads, and lice; a heaven swarming with noxious reptiles, and overrun with brute beasts?
But there is one other consideration to which we have not yet adverted ; and that is, here are also to be “ sucking children,” and, consequently, the marriage state is to be continued in this new
earth, for it is only in the use of the marriage bed, that children can be lawfully begotten. And this was the sentiment of the ancient millenaries, as we are informed by Stephanus Gobarius. They maintained, says he, that “ The just shall rise first, and for a thousand years shall share deliciously, eating and drinking, and getting children, and after this shall be the general resurrection;" that is, the resurrection of the wicked. In accordance with this view of the subject, Irenæus says: “ The virgins shall rejoice in the assemblies of the young men, and they that are left shall be multiplied upon the earth.”—“They shall beget an infinite multitude,” says Lactanius," and their seed shall be holy.” They who maintain that the reign of Christ will be personal upon the new earth, must either subscribe to this doctrine, or give up the principles of interpretation by which they explain the prophecies; they must also give up the application of this class of prophecies to this personal reign; for our Saviour has expressly contradicted this doctrine: “ Jesus answered and said unto them, Ye do err, not knowing the Scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven;" Mat. xxii., 29, 30. To maintain that brute beasts are to be admitted into the kingdom of heaven with immortal saints, and to be subjected to the everlasting reign of Christ, and that they and the saints are to procreate their species in that state, is an idea too gross to be admitted.
3. If we carry out this principle of literally interpreting the prophecies, as did the ancient millenaries, then the following state of things will exist during this personal reign of Christ upon the new earth : the righteous will fare deliciously, drink precious wines, and hold splendid feasts. According to these declarations, “ The righteous shall inherit the earth,” they shall “ drink new wine with Christ in his kingdom," and shall “receive an hundred fold increase of goods and lands;" that there shall then be a recompence of their alms-giving, and their feasts made for the poor. And then all the sayings of the prophets respecting the fruitfulness of the earth, and the enjoyment of earthly blessings, shall be accomplished, according to these declarations : “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever ;" Dan. ii., 44. “ For behold, I create new heavens and a new earth ; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. But ye shall be glad, and rejoice for ever 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 be heard no more in her, nor the voice of crying. There shall be no more thence an infant of days, nor an old man that hath not filled his days; for the child shall die an hundred years old ; but the sinner being an hundred years old,
shall be accursed. And they shall build houses, and inhabit them; and they shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall not build, and another inhabit; they shall not plant, and another eat; for as the days of a tree, are the days of my people ; and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands ; Isaiah Ixv., 17—22. “ The Lord hath sworn by his right hand, and by the arm of his strength, Surely I will no more give thy corn to be meat for thine enemies; and the sons of the stranger shall not drink thy wine, for the which thou hast labored. But they that have gathered shall eat it, and praise the Lord ; and they that have brought it together shall drink it in the courts of my holiness ;" lxii., 8, 9. " And in this mountain shall the Lord of hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined. And he will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, and the vail that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory; and the Lord God will wipe away tears from off all faces; and the rebuke of his people shall be taken away from off all the earth ; for the Lord hath spoken it ;" xxv., 6—8. It will be readily seen that these passages refer to the same period of time, and have their accomplishment under the same reign of the Messiah ; and if they are to be fulfilled literally, and during the personal reign of Christ with his saints on the new earth, after the resurrection of the just, then the advocates of the doctrine of the second advent, in 1843, and the millenaries are further agreed in their views of their terrestial paradise. Irenæus says: “ They shall have a table prepared for them by God, who shall feed them with dainties.".' “ The earth,” says Lactantius, “shall open its fertility, and of its own accord produce fruits plentifully; the rocks of the mountains shall sweat with honey, wines shall run down with streams, and the rivers flow with milk." Thus, this terrestial paradise is to consist principally in the enjoyment of eating, and drinking, and feasting, and banqueting, and all the grocer enjoyments, wholly inconsistent with those refined, spiritual, and celestial felicities, of which the righteous are to be made the partakers in the future state of existence.
4. If this reign of Christ be a personal reign, then he must forsake heaven, and come to this new earth to accomplish this reign upon the earth with the righteous. This is maintained by all the advocates of the doctrine of the second advent, in 1843. And in this sentiment all the ancient millenaries were also agreed. Papias, the first asserter of this doctine, declared that “ It shall be a reign of Christ, bodily, upon the earth.” Irenæus declares that Christ cannot “ drink new wine with his disciples whilst he remains in the celestial regions." Thus, both classes believe in an earthly paradise, the one for a thousand years, but the other for ever and ever.
5. Finally, “ This doctrine of the millennium,” says Dr. Whitby, "was not the general doctrine of the primitive church, from the
times of the apostles to the Nicene council, for then it could have made no scisms in the church, as Dionyssus, of Alexandria, said it did, declaring how fully he confuted it, and reconciled the brethren that were contending about it, and prevailed upon Coracius, the author and ringleader of the doctrine, to own he was convinced of his error, and promised he would no more embrace, or discourse of it to the people." Accordingly, Origen says: “ They who deny the millenium, are they who interpret the sayings of the prophets by a trope : and they who assert it, are styled disciples of the letter of the Scripture only; the first assert, the passages which they produce from Scripture ought to be figuratively understood ; the other, understand the Scripture after the manner of the Jews.” Ephiphanius, speaking of the millennium, asserted by Apollinarius, says: “ there is, indeed, a millennium mentioned by St. John; but the most, and those pious men, look upon those words as true, indeed, but to be taken in a spiritual sense.” Justin Martyr says, speaking of this personal reign of Christ upon the earth, in reply to a question by Trypho: “I have before confessed that I and many others are of this mind, that these things shall happen. But then, again, I have intimated to you, that many Christians of a pure and pious judgment do not own this.”—“ This doctrine,” says Eusebius, “had its rise from Papias, a man of slender judgment. But the antiquity of the man prevailed with many of the ecclesiastics to be of that opinion, particularly with Irenæus, and if there were any other of the same judgment with him.” Origin declares that “There were only some that held this doctrine, and that they were only the simpler sort of Christians." This doctrine, then, of a personal reign of Christ on the earth, is but the revival of an old exploded heresy. If, then, these Scripture testimonies, and the authority of these fathers are insisted upon to prove the personal reign of Christ upon the earth with his saints, our second advent friends must admit the consequences which so naturally flow from these scriptures, as understood and explained by these fathers; and what man can be found, in this age, who is prepared to do this? I am aware that a large proportion of the advocates of the second advent doctrine will be shocked at these views, for the very reason that they have very limited views of the doctrine they are promulgating, and the consequences which legitimately flow from the passages quoted to prove it.
IV. This doctrine of the personal coming of Christ, in 1843, to reign on the earth with all the righteous raised from the dead, is inconsistent with many things which are clearly taught in the Scriptures.
1. This doctrine, in the first place, is inconsistent with the happy state of departed souls, as taught in the Holy Scriptures. For can it be reasonably supposed, that those "spirits of just men made perfect,” and, " being absent from the body, are present with the Lord,” should leave those blessed mansions to live on earth again ;
that they who have already " entered into rest," and who enjoy all the pleasures and delights which heaven itself affords, should quit those mansions to enjoy peace and plenty upon the earth? Can any man expect to be more righteous and holy, or to have more divine and heavenly contemplations, or better companions, or a more full fruition of our Lord and Master on earth, than we can enjoy in heaven? If not, who can imagine that God should degrade us after so long enjoyment of those celestial regions, or that we should voluntarily quit those mansions for any temporal enjoyments of the body, any meat and drink, or earthly gratifications which we had formerly denied ourselves, and were even dead to them whilst we were living here upon the earth. The primitive saints, while they held converse here upon the earth, fessed themselves to be pilgrims and strangers,” and were continually “ loooking for a better country," that is, “ an heavenly guntry," and not for an earthly paradise. Now, if this change is inconsistent with the state of happy souls in general, much less will it comport with those high prerogatives and exalted privileges which the fathers supposed belonged to the souls of the martyrs. They conceived that the souls of the martyrs were received immediately into heaven, and there crowned with glory, and were admitted to a fuller vision, and a more intimate enjoyment of the God of heaven; so that the higher they are advanced, the greater must be their degradation, when they return again to live upon the earth. So that this doctrine appears not only inconsistent with the present happy state and condition of the martyrs, but also with the present felicities of all the departed spirits of the righteous.
2. In the second place, St. John assures us again and again, that the righteous are not to be raised from the dead till the last day; John vi., 39, 40, 44, 54 ; how then can it be supposed that St. John is here speaking of a literal resurrection, when he assures us that this resurrection is to take place at least a thousand years before the last day ; Can it be supposed that St. John would thus flatly contradict himself? Or must we resort to some mystical interpretation to reconcile these different statements? This might be justifiable, if the doctrine supposed to be taught by St. John, was clearly revealed by the other apostles; but as it is not, and as the passage under consideration is highly figurative, and may be understood in a metaphorical sense, there seems to be no necessity to resort to any such interpretation. Besides, it is absurd in the extreme to build an important doctrine on one single passage, and that a highly figurative one, and especially when such a doctrine is flatly contradicted by many plain passages.
3. Again, this doctrine of an earthly paradice which is maintained by these second advent friends, is inconsistent with the admirable instructions of our Lord in his sermon upon the mount. " Lay not up,” says he," for yourselves treasures upon earth, but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven; for where your