Sivut kuvina

shall take place at the general resurrection. Again, it may signify, that as the first death is to wicked men an earnest of and a preparatory step to the second death; so the first resurrection is to good men an earnest of and a preparatory step to the general resurrection. And from the whole tenor of facredwrit, it appears, that a figurative, not a literal resurrection, even a renovation of nature, qualifies men for happiness at the second refurrection : “ If Christ be in you, the spirit is life “ because of righteousness, (this is the first re“ surrection); but if the Spirit of him that rai. “ fed up Jelus from the dead dwell in you, the “ Spirit shall also quicken your mortal bodies ; “ (this is the second resurrection,)” Rome. viii. 10, 11.

Now, what a renovation of nature is to every individual member of the church, the Millennial ftate is to the whole church, an earnest of and preparation for the glory of a future state, by a powerful, vital, universal influence, of the Spirit of God.


Characters of the Millennial Church. When the Millennium is viewed by the light of scripture, without the colouring of Jewish fables, the dreams of enthusiasts, or the suppo


fitions of ingenious men, the happiness of that period appears to consist in the following parti. culars :

1. An extensive propagation of the gospel. So that Christianity shall be the established religion of all the world, or (inaking some allowance for the highly figurative language of the prophets) at least of the far greater part of it. The Jews shall be previously converted, as we have already seen : and as the rejection of them, was followed by an extensive propagation of the gospel among the Gentiles; fo the receiving them again to be members of the church, shall be accompanied with a much greater enlargement of the kingdom of Christ. “ If the fall “ of them be the riches of the world, and the “ diminishing of them the riches of the Gen. 6 tiles, how much more their fulness? If the “ casting away of them be the reconciling of “the world, what shall the receiving of them “ be but life from the dead ?” Rom. xi. 12. 15.

Many are the promises which intimate, that the Messiah's kingdom shall extend over all the earth, and these promises point to this particular period. “Ask of me, and I shall give thee the “ heathen for thine inheritance, and the utter" moft parts of the earth for thy possession," Psal. ii. 8. “ All the ends of the world shall re“ member, and turn unto the Lord : and all the

"s kindreds " kindreds of the nations shall worship before 65 thee," Psal. xxii. 27. “God be merciful un“ to us,that thy way may be known upon

s earth, thy saving health among all nations. «God shall bless us: and all the ends of the « earth Mall fear him," Psal. Ixvii. 1, 2. 7. “ He ss shall have dominion also from sea to sea, and « from the river unto the ends of the earth. “ Yea, all kings shall fall down before him: all 6 nations shall serve him.-Men shall be blessed 6 in him: all nations shall call him blessed,” Píal. lxxii. 8. 11. 19. « Thou shalt arise, and “ have mercy upon Zion ;-so the heathen shall “ fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings “ of the earth thy glory," Psal. cii. 13. 15. “6. And it shall come to pass in the last days, that " the mountain of the Lord's house shall be ef6 tablished in the top of the mountains, and « shall be exalted above the hills, and all na« tions shall flow unto it', Isa. ii. 2. “ The Gen« tiles shall come to thy light, and kings to the “ brightness of thy rising.-The abundance of 66 the sea shall be converted unto thee, the for“ ces of the Gentiles shall come unto thee," lla. Ix. 3. 5. 66 At that time they shall call Jerusa« lem the throne of the Lord, and all the na. « tions shall be gathered unto it, to the name of “ the Lord, to Jerusalem : neither shall they

" walk

[blocks in formation]

“ walk any more after the imagination of their “ evil heart,” Jer. iii. 17: “ The Gentiles shall “ come unto thee from the ends of the earth, "and thall say, Surely our fathers have inherit. “ed lies, vanity, and things wherein there is no “ profit,” Jer. xvi. 19. “The stone that smote “ the image became a great mountain, and fill

ed the whole earth,” Dan. ii. 35. “I saw « in the night visions, and behold, one like the “Son of man ;-and there was given him do“ minion, and glory, and a kingdom ,that all “ people, nations, and languages should serve “ him: his dominion is an evarlasting dominion, “ which shall not pass away, and his kingdom “ that which shall not be destroyed ;—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 dominions shall serve and o" bey him," Dan. vii. 13, 14. 27. “ The Lord « will familh all the gods of the earth, and men “ shall worship him, every one from his place, “ even all the illes of the heathen,” Zeph. ii. 11. “I will turn to the people a pure language, “ that they may all call upon the name of the " Lord, to serve him with one consent," Zeph. iii. 9. “ Thus faith the Lord of hosts, It shall “ yet come to pass, that there shall come people,

us and

16 and the inhabitants of many cities: And the « inhabitants of one city shall go to another, “ saying, Let us go speedily and pray before the

Lord, and to seek the Lord of Hofts: I will “ go also. Yea, many people, and strong nations « shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jeru. “ falem, and to pray before the Lord,” Zech. viii. 20, 21, 22. “And the Lord shall be king : “ over all the earth : in that day shall there be “ one Lord, and his name one,” Zech. xiv. 9. 6 From the rising of the sun, even unto the go. “ing down of the same, my Name shall be great es among the Gentiles, and in every place in. « cense shall be offered unto my Name, and a “ pure offering; for my Name shall be great “ among the heathen, saith the Lord of hosts," Mal. i. 11. “And there were great voices in “ heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world « are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of « his Christ, and he shall reign for ever and “ ever," Rev. xi. 15.

II. The church at this period shall be united in the use of the same government and ordi. nances, in doctrine and discipline, so as to conftitute one body. In proof of this affertion, observe, such union actually subfiited betwixt the several parts of the primitive church, though ex. țensively diffused over the earth. In consequence

« EdellinenJatka »