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Christ, the reign of Christ, and the judging of the dead: I charge thee, therefore, before God and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing, and his kingdom, 2 Tim. iv. 1."
Once more: "The new Jerusalem state is the same with the millennial state; but the new Jerusalem will not be till the end of the world, or till after the conflagration; therefore neither the millennium."
"That the new Jerusalem state is the same with the millennium, is generally agreed upon by millenaries, ancient and modern. Justin Martyr, Ireneus, and Tertullian, speak of it in that sense; and so do the later authors. And for this they have good authority; for John said the camp of the saints, and the beloved city, were besieged by Satan" and his Gog at the end of the millennium. That beloved city is the new Jerusalem; and the camp of the saints is that holy assembly. "Besides, the marriage of the Lamb was in, or at the appearance of, the new Jerusalem; for that was the spouse of the Lamb, Rev. xxi. 2. Now this spouse was ready, and this marriage was said to be come, at the destruction of Babylon, before or at the beginning of the millennium, chap. xix. 7; therefore the new Jerusalem ran all along with the millennium, and was, indeed, the same thing under another
And what is this new Jerusalem, if it be not the same with the millennial state? It is promised as a reward to the suffering saints of Christ, Rev. iii. 12, and you see its wonderful privileges, chap. xxi. 3, 4; and yet it is not heaven above,
for it is said to come down from God out of heaven, chap. xxi. 2, and chap. iii. 12. It can, therefore, be nothing but the glorious kingdom of Christ upon earth, where the saints shall reign with him a thousand years. And "that the new Jerusalem will not come down from heaven till the end of the world, we have this plain proof: John places it in the new heavens and new earth, which come after these are passed away, Rev. xxi. 1, 2. 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. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. When the new earth was made he saw the new Jerusalem coming down upon it; and this renovation of the earth not being till the conflagration, the new Jerusalem could not be till then neither. Isaiah, long before, had said the same thing, though not in terms so express. He first says, Behold, I create new heavens and a new earth, wherein you, my servants, shall rejoice; then subjoins, Behold, I create Jerusalem a rejoicing, Isa. xlv. This rejoicing is still in the same place; in the new heavens and new earth, or in the new Jerusalem. And John, in a like method, first sets down the new earth, then the new Jerusalem, and expresses the sense of the prophet more distinctly."
Therefore, let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; let the sea roar, and the fulness thereof; let the fields be joyful, and all that is therein; let the trumpets sound before the Lord the King; for he cometh to judge the earth-to
judge the world of the ungodly with righteousness, executing upon them the threatenings of his holy law; and his people with his truth, fulfilling to them his glorious promises of new heavens and a new earth, a millennium and Jerusalem; in which there shall be a reward, their names shall be written among the living; they shall be made unto our God kings and priests, and shall walk with our Redeemer clothed in white raiment; and they shall eat of the tree of life, and shall not be hurt of the second death.
"These arguments, taken together, have, to me, a satisfactory evidence, that the blessed millennium cannot obtain in the present earth." When, therefore, we are to look for the millennium, we are to look for the coming of Christ-for the battle of that great day of God Almighty-for them that destroy the earth to be destroyed-and for the prophets and saints to be rewarded.
And have we evidence of the approach of the kingdom of Christ? Have we reason to look for the millennium ? Are we, according to the promises, looking for and hasting unto that day? We are, then, "looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens, being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat;" and shall be changed, and fashioned into new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
That these things are approaching, and we within the reach of them, let an indefinite warning suffice for to move us to prepare for them; which is the only use of knowing them. It may be said of the time of these things, as it is said of the day of death, the day is hid, that it may be
expected every day; the day and year of the accomplishment of these great matters are hid from us, that so each day and year we may be found ready, whenever they shall come upon us, (as in this age wherein we live they are likely to do.) And although we may think this dismal and black hour of temptation not likely to come so soon, (seeing the clouds rise not fast enough so suddenly to overcast the face of the sky with darkness;) yet we are to consider, that we live now in the extremity of times, when motions and alterations, being so near the centre, become quickest and speediest; and we are on the verge, and, as it were, within the whirl of that great mystery of Christ's kingdom, which will, as a gulph, swallow up all time; and so, the nearer we come to it, the greater and more sudden changes will Christ make, now hastening to make a full end of all."
"The groans of nature in this nether world,
For He, whose car the winds are, and the clouds
For man's revolt, shall with a smile repair.
Oh scenes, surpassing fable, and yet true;
Laughs with abundance; and the land, once lean,
Graze with the fearless flocks. All bask at noon
Of the same grove, and drink one common stream.
No passion touches a discordant string,