« PoprzedniaDalej »
divine truth will early in life, equal the attainments of the longest life, in any previous age of the world. And, as all will have correct instruction, all will harmonize. 6. The watchmen shall see eye to eye, when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” And it will no longer be thought a matter of indifference what inen believe, and what they disbelieve. All will be valiant for the truth ; and all will “ contend earnestly for the faith, which was once delivered unto the saints."
Not only will there be, in the Millenium, a great increase of knowledge, and a strong adherence to the system of divine truth ; but also, a proportionable increase of holiness. None will ever arrive to perfection in holiness, however, in the present life. As long as mankind are in a probationary and mortal state, they will realize, more or less, the sinfulness of their hearts : and from scripture, and christian experience, it is evident, that great attainments in holiness do not abate, but rather increase a sense of heart wickedness.
6 Now mine eye seeth thee, wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.". Doubtless, through the imperfection of the saints, which consists in the coexistence of sin and holiness in the heart, the christian warfare will continue, during the Millenium. It is highly probable, however, that the attainments in holiness, during that blessed period, even in the most imperfect saints, will far exceed what have been witnessed in any period before. In that day, every thing that men possess will be consecrated to the service of God; and holiness to the Lord will be in
1 scribed even on the bells of their horses; and upon
all their utensils. Ardent will be the holiness and piety of the millenial saints.
From the scripture prophecies, we observe further, that the blessedness of the Millenium will extend over all the earth. Christ will be for salvation to the ends of the earth. To him will be given the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession. 64 All the ends of the world shall see the salvation of our God.”
6 All the ends of the world shall remem: ber, and turn unto the Lord; and all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before him ; for the kingdom is the Lord's, and he is the Governor among the nations." Not that Christ will save from perdition the kingdom of antichrist. That kingdom is doomed to utter destruction. “Babylon, the great, is fallen, is fallen !” is in a measure, already fallen; and will soon fall to rise no more ; will fall, as a mill-stone into the sea, and 6 shall be found no more at all."
Accordingly, we find, in fact, at this day, that while great and successful efforts are made to enlighten those pagan nations, who have never enjoyed nor abused the gospel of Christ; no door is opened by divine Provi. dence, for the instruction and conversion of the popish and Mahometan nations. May we not conclude, that these nations are reprobate ? And that they are gathering together unto the battle of the great day of God Almighty? Will they not then become the victims of divine indignation ? “Then, the saints of the Most High will take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom, forever, even forever and ever; or to the end of the world.
We remark further, that as the Millenium advances, the doctrines of salvation by mere sovereign grace, and by the power of the Holy Ghost, are more and more confirmed. The only reason given by the Psalmist, and the only reason which can be given why 6. All the ends of the world shall remember, and turn unto the Lord,” is this, that“ the kingdom is the Lord's, and that he is the Governor among the nations.” For, among the fallen race of men, none. are found disposed to promote the cause and kingdom of Christ. But were mankind ever so well disposed to do this, they would be infinitely deficient in power.
No power but that of God, could accomplish the destruction of the great adversary; and the conversion of the whole world ; and secure the faith and perseverance of all nations, Jews and Gentiles, during a thousand years. These are certainly, the works of God.
As a conclusion of this interesting subject, we may remark, that the view which has been given of the events preparatory, and of the events which shall constitute the glory and felicity of the Millenium, exactly corresponds, not only with the prophecies, but also with the series of facts, noticeable in the present eventful age of the world. Prophecies of the restoration of Israel, and of the conversion of the heathen, as well as of the decline and downfall of antichrist, are, beyond a doubt, in a course of accomplishment. The armies of Gog and Magog have, perhaps, been partially mustered and marshalled. Very great battles have been already fought, which might be anticipations of the greater battle of Armageddon. This warfare will not be decided, however, till after the Jews shall be, in a great measure, restored from their captivity, and resettled in their ancient inheritance. For we have found abundant evidence, that the final battle is to be fought on the mountains of Israel ; and the warfare is to be waged against those who shall be brought back from the captivity, and who will be happily settled in the land promised to Abraham and his seed. Great battles, it is said, have been already fought, but not so great as to involve in one common ruin the whole antichristian world; nor have they been so directly and professedly waged against the kingdom of Christ. 'Religion has been, in a great measure, out of the question, in the ardent struggles for power and conquest. These struggles, however, have been overruled by divine Providence, greatly to weaken the antichristian powers. The waters of the symbolical Euphrates are drying up, and the way of the kings of the East, the conquerors of spiritual Babylon, is fast preparing. Yet the vision may be long. It is however, for an appointed time ; and at the end, it shall-speak and not lie. Therefore let us wait patiently. Never let the faith and patience of the saints be exhaust. ed ; especially when, by passing events, we have increasing assurance of the accomplishment of all the glorious things which are spoken of the city of our God. Wait half a century for the restoration of Israel, and the conversion of millions of the benighted heathen; and for the harmony of the jarring sects of christians. Wait and hope for the abolition of all ecclesiastical tyranny ; and for the restoration of true christian liberty ; under the holy discipline of the gospel. Wait for an end of all political as well as ecclesiastical despotism. Wait and pray for a universal reformation of morals; and for a universal purity of heart and life.
Finally'; how does it become all people who profess to believe the gospel, and to rely on the promises of God, to abound in prayer and hope, in a view of all that is before them! For notwithstanding his immmutable purposes and promises, the Lord will be enquired of by his people ; he will be sought unto, and trusted in; and not one of his precious promises will ever be fulfilled, but in answer to the effectual and fervent prayer of the faithful.“ Lord, come quickly.”......AMEN.
The Immortality of the Soul. That the soul of man is immortal, is generally conceded, except by atheists. But, to guard ourselves and others against atheism, to which the corrupt heart is very liable, I propose to state some of the many arguments from scripture and reason, which prove that the soul will never die. Solenn is the consideration, and unspeakably animating to the friends and followers of Christ, that they shall exist, and that all their intellectual and moral faculties shall grow and expand, and that they shall increase in knowledge and holiness, and shall rise in glory and happiness for ever and ever! Who will not listen to evidence, in proof of this glorious doctrine ? This doctrine is proved by the following arguments.
1. If man be not immortal, it does not appear, that this world was made for the most important purposes. The things of this world, considered as ultimate objects, appear to the contemplative mind, to be of very smalí importance. Those who attain to the highest worldly good, gain but a bubble, compared with the extent of their capacities. And in the midst of their best hopes, and of their highest acquisitions, how many are there cut down and withered! “ As for man, his days are as grass, as the flower of the field he passeth away.” * Vanity of vanities, all is vanity.” Are things temporal
the sole end for which man was made : and for which God made and governs the universe ? Even an infidel ought to blush at so great an absurdity! Those who deny the immortality of the soul, and a future state of rewards and punishinents, scarcely ask themselves or others, for what purposes God made and governs the universe.
2. The soul of man is an immaterial existence, capable of surviving the body; and is evidently formed for immortality. It does not appear to be necessarily impaired, by the diseases and decays of animal nature. The human soul often manifests the greatest vigor and brilliancy, in the hour of death. 66 While the outward man perishes, the inward man is renewed, day by day.” Viewing the soul as immaterial, and aspiring after immortality ; and viewing mankind in general, dying with strong anticipations of future and eternal scenes ; we discover satisfactory evidence of the immortality of the soul.
3. Generally speaking, the human soul does but just begin to expand, and make improvement in this short and perplexed scene of life. Room is left for endless growth and progress in knowledge, virtue and happiness. If the soul perishes with the body, there is a broad basis for improvement, but next to no superstructure. Every infant that is carried to the grave, has been furnished, by the Creator, with a capacity to make improvement in eternity, inconceivably greater than was ever made by a Locke or a Newton in this life. Can we suppose, that such capacities are formed to be destroyed in embryo? to be extinguished almost as soon as they commence an existence? The supposition is most irrational and absurd. The soul of man is doubtless immortal. It will survive, not only its own mortal tenement; but also the whole material and perishable universe.
4. They who acknowledge the being of a God, and of his wise and holy government of the world, must acknowledge the necessity of a future state of rewards and punishments, as a state of retribution. It is irrational to suppose, that rewards and punishments are, by the dealings of Divine Providence in the present life, adminis