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of this union, the church is represented by the metaphor of a woman, Rev. xii. 1. During the reign of Antichrist, this woman is “ hid in the “ wilderness ;" that is, the church as a community is invisible in the world. But the period of her ftate in the wilderness, being limited to 1260 years, this implies, that at the clofe of that period she shall again be visible as a commu. nity, confequently united in the use of the same government and ordinances.
Again, the Millennial church shall be formed chiefly by the ministry of the converted Jews; “ for out of Zion shall go forth the law, and 66 the word of the Lord from Jerusalem,” Ifa. ii. 3.; and they shall form the several churches converted by them, upon the plan of their own national church, being the model they received from God in the wilderness. This circumstance was one great cause of the union which prevailed in the primitive church. All the Gentiles were converted by Jews, and when it is repeated immediately before, and during the Millennium, it shall occasion a similar union at that period.
The several texts which intimate that the Gentiles shall flow into Jerusalem, Ifa. ii. 2. and lx. 1.-7. imply, not only that they shall be admitted members of the church, but likewise that they fall consider the Jewish church
as a centre of union, to which all controversies shall be referred, and to whose decisions they shall fubmit. This was another circumstance which prevented divifion in the primitive church, as appears from the reference of the controversy respecting circumcifion, Acts xv. 22.-30.
The reality and necessity of such an union among the members of the Millennial church, is afferted by Zechariah, chap. xiv. 16, 17. “ And “ it shall come to pass, that every one that is 66 left of all the nations which came against Je“ rusalem, shall even go up, from year to year, “ to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and s to keep the feaft of tabernacles. And it shall
be, that whoso will not come up of all the fa“ milies of the earth unto Jerusalem to worship 66 the King, the Lord of hosts, even upon them « shall be no rain.” To keep the feast of tabernacles at Jerusalem, according to the Mofaick institution, at that period in which the church extends over all the earth, is obviously impossible, because of the great distance of many places from Jerusalem. By the feast of tabernacles, we are to understand in general, the gofa pel-ordinances, fo called, not only in allusion to the Mosaick institution, but in regard the Jews actually dwelt in tabernacles, in the wilderness of Assyria, when the knowledge of these ordinances is communicated to them, Hofea 3 H
xii. 9. That “all the families of the earth “ Thall come to Jerusalem to observe this feast." fignifies, that the several nation of the world 11:all observe these ordinances, according to the plan delivered to the Jewish church; and the threatening to withhold rain from those who do not comply, intimates, that the influences of the Spirit, (Pfal. Ixxii. 6.), by which alone these ordinances are rendered profitable to the souls of men, Mall be withheld from any people or party, who shall presume to dispense these ordinances in any other manner. The friendly intercoutse and spiritual communion which actually subsist betwixt the various members of the Millennial church, in consequence of their union with each other, and with tne Jewiih church as their centre, is represented, Isa. xix. 23.-25. “In that “ day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to “ Allyria, and the Assyrian fhall come into 6 Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria; and the “ Egyp.ians shall serve with the Affyrians. In " that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt, 6 and with Aflyria, even a blessing in the midst s of the land ; whom the Lord of hosts shall “ bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, "and Assyria the work of my hands, and Ifrael " mine inheritance.”
III. The support of civil government is another ingredient in the happiness of the Millennial church. It is expressly promised, “ Kings “ shall be thy nursing fathers, and their queens “ thy nursing in others,” Ifa. xlix. 23. “ Their “ kings thall minister unto thee," chap.lx. 10.
Civil government has in some measure supported the church, ever since Christianity became the established religion of the Roman empire. But I apprehend, that a material change will take place in the nature of civil government at the Millennium ; that it shall be ani. mated by the spirit of Christianity, so that the support afforded by it shall be more effectual for the welfare and prosperity of the church, than it had been at any former period. In all ages and nations, (except among the Jews during the time they were governed by a theocracy) the civil government has been animated by a spirit different from the spirit of the church. The spirit of civil government is submission to the civil ruler. The spirit of the church is submillion to God in Christ. The end of the for. mer is, to make men good members of society in the present life; that of the latter is, to qua. lify men for being inhabitants of the city of God in a future life. By the former, theft, robbery, disobedience to government, are feverely punished, while atheism, infidelity and
blasphemy are overlooked. It is obvious, that in those times, when civil government was moft friendly to the church, as in the age of Conftantine and at the Reformation, ftill it was animated by a different fpirit. But at the Millennium, civil government shall be animated by the fame spirit with the church of Christ, and Mall hold the fame ends in view, the glory of God, the honor of the Redeemer, and the eternal in. terefts of mankind, maintaining peace and good order in fociety, as means subservient to these ends. The language of civil government to the church, when most friendly, has been hitherto no more than this: “ Form laws against what«ever is inimical to the enternal interests of the “ subject, enforce those laws, if it is necessary, “ I will support you.” But the language of civil government at the Millennium will be : “I “ am the ordinance of God, and the minifter of “ God, for good, I will form laws against what“ever is inimical to the eternal interests of the “ subject, I will enforce those laws', ferve God « in yourdeportment, preach the word, difpenfe " the ordinances.” But how does it appear, that
(1) The blasphemer, (Lev. xxiv. 11.) and the Sab. bath breaker, (Numb, xv. 33.) were both brought before Moses, as the civil Magistrate. Their sentence was pronounced by him, and their punishment executed by his orders.