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The Author's attention has been almost compelled to the consideration of the subject of this treatise, by the great spirit of inquiry respecting it which has for some time been excited in the minds of the flock among whom it is his office to minister. He now brings before the reader the result of this consideration. His endeavour has been to view the subject simply by the light of Scripture; and hence he has made no appeal to the authority of any writer, on one side or the other. In noticing some prophecies which are conceived to have been fulfilled, he has referred to Mede and Newton and Gill, because, as they take what is usually called the millennarian view of the first resurrection, their authority upon the subject of fulfilled prophecies would be regarded as of some weight by those who have adopted the same view. The Author ventures to add, that he has endeavoured to keep two points constantly in mind : the first is, to write with much diffidence upon a subject respecting which sincere Christians do not agree; the second is, to avoid every thing which might irritate the feelings of any Christian reader
who may be led to peruse this treatise. He has been compelled, for the sake both of brevity and clearness, to use the term millennarian, in speaking of the view of those who conceive that Christ will come, and the saints be raised, at the beginning of the thousand years; but this is a term which themselves also adopt. The author trusts he can say, in conclusion, that it is his heart's desire and prayer that this little work may receive the blessing of the Lord, so far as it, or any part of it, is in agreement with the truth as it is in Jesus; and with this view he commends it, not only to the candid perusal, but also to the prayers of those who may be induced to read it. He ventures to add, that any reader, who desires to form a correct judgment as to the truth of what is now brought before him, should look out the passages to which, for brevity's sake, only reference is made. The benefit derived would amply repay the trouble; whether we consider the importance of the subject in itself, or the great attention to it which has been called forth, at the present time.
Hereford, August 11, 1831.
ON THE FIRST RESURRECTION
CONTENTS OF THE CHAPTER. Introductory Remarks.- Preliminary Observations on Rev. xx. 4.
- Ten Points collected from Rev. xx. and xxi. 1 to 6.-Several Considerations deduced from the above points, in order to shew that what is called the first resurrection does not signify the resurrection of the saints at the second coming of Christ.
CONTENTS OF THE NOTES. A. The two Covenants or Dispensations.-B. The references made by
Christ and his Apostles to the Old Testament.-C. The view exhibited in the three Creeds and the Liturgy.-D. The second coming of Christ not signified in Rev. xix. 11.-E. The use of the word avastaois, resurrection, in Rev. xx 5.-F. On the word Hell in Rev. xx. 11.G. The judgment according to works noticed in Rev. xx. Il to 15, is not contrary to, but harmonizes with, the salvation of the saints by grace. -H. The time described in Rev. xxi. I to 5, posterior to that described in Rev. xx. II to 15.-1. The proposed interpretation of the first resurrection would leave the eternal state of the saints in darkness. K. The Opening of the Book of Life.
ALL who receive the Scriptures as the word of God, cannot but admit that the Lord Jesus Christ will appear a second time without sin unto salvation, to those who look for him (Heb. ix. 28); and that when he shall appear in glory, those of his people who have fallen asleep in him will be raised with glorified bodies fashioned like unto his glorious body; and those of them who remain alive will be changed in like manner, and all caught up together to meet the Lord in the air, will appear with him in glory, and be for ever with the Lord (1 Cor. xv. 51, 52; Phil. iii. 21; Col. iii. 3 ; 1 Thess. iv. 14, 17; 1 John iii. 1, 3). All his people receive, and, in their measure and degree, rejoice in these delightful truths, and in the hope