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that it is not to be expected, at all events, till some time after the Millenium. He pleads that the Saviour, after his resurrection, rebuked the disciples for prying into this matter, observing that it was not for them " to know the times and the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power,"* and had previously and explicitly declared “ of that day and of that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”+
It is worthy of remark, that since the time these things were said by the Saviour, the counsels and plans of the Father have been further revealed, and that since the return of the Saviour to the Father, He has given very copious comments on former predictions, and added greatly to the field of prophecy by the revelations which he has made through the Spirit, by the apostles, and especially by John, who carries us down to the very time of the end. We do not, indeed, plead for any attempts to fix certainly the date of the Saviour's second coming, and the epoch of the resurrection of the saints, and of the introduction of His glorious kingdom: but this we affirm, that it will not do, as it is very often done, to plead the remarks made by the Saviour, which were literally true up to the date when they were made, and appeal to them as authoritative and absolute, in reference to a later period, in the discharge of the duties confided to him by the Father, and when, from the fact of extended revelations having been subsequently made, and chronological prophecies too, delivered, it is evident that the Father has subsequently made known to the Son, officiating as the Mediator, more of his counsels and plans. Still we do not mean to say, that the precise day and hour
can be known; nevertheless, every one can see, that while these may be unknown, nevertheless the general season, or period of the world's history, if not the year, may be known, and there be no real contradic. tion between these things. Even should we be able to come within a century of the truth here, we come sufficiently near for all practical purposes of warning, preparation, and watchfulness to the church and to the world.
That this may be done, will be obvious to all, who will look so far into the prophecies, as to see, that there is a definite order in the succession of certain great epochs, connected with the introduction and establishment of Christ's kingdom. For example, as the personal coming of Christ, the resurrection of the saints, the judgment, the Millenium, and the eternal kingdom, are all admitted, by both the literalist and spiritualist, it becomes a very appropriate inquiry, in what order will these great events occur ? Does prophecy say anything on the subject? or give us any hints, whether the Millenium is to precede the second coming of Christ, or the second coming precede it? Is the judgment, a mere judging or trial of all mankind, simultaneously collected, and speedily despatched ? or is it a new and wonderful, and glorious dispensa. tion, having its distinct epochs, at its commencement and its close, and calling into exercise other than Judiciary powers, even the Legislative and Executive, and all that pertains to the work of government, which is the sense of the word to judge, as often used in the Sacred Scriptures ?* Is there to be any difference,
* The work of a JUDGE, as given in the Sacred Scriptures, is to rule or govern, to deliver and protect his people—to execute the laws, and to avenge or punish enemies or transgressors. Such were Gideon, Sampson, Jephtha, Samuel, and others. When Christ is pre
in point of time, between the resurrection of the righteous and the wicked, and if so, what are the accompaniments, and peculiarities, of each of these great events? In what specifically does the kingdom of Heaven consist ? By what means, and agencies, is it conducted and administered ? and what are its distinctive features ?
Thése, and similar inquiries, which every one must seé máy be started, are not to be met and answered by any preconceived notions had as to the nature of the coming of Christ, of the kingdom of Heaven, or of the Millenium. We must do here, as did the ancient prophets, viz. search “what, or what manner of time the Spirit which was in them did signify when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow.”
It is obvious, that there is room for difference, às to the general import of these facts, their mutual relations, and the order of their succession. To the word of God alone, must the appeal be madeadmit. The spiritualist explains the general import of the facts in one way, and the literalist in another. Each states their mitual relation, and the order of their succession, differently.
The spiritualist believes that the Millenium is nothing more than a highly-prosperous state of the church, which shall be introduced through the gradual diffusion of light and knowledge, by means of missionaries, bibles, tracts, and other instrumentalities employed for that parpose; that during this illustrious period, Satan will be restrained from the practice of his
dicted as Judge, it is often as exercising princely and governmental rule. Psalın, 9.7,8; 10. 14–18; 67. 4; 72. 1–4,7,8; 96. 13; 98.9, 99. 4; Isaiah, 2. 4; Mic. 4. 3; Jer. 23. 5.
1 Peter, 1. 11.
deceitful and corrupting arts, and his influence almost, if not entirely, suppressed ;--that the Jews in their dispersion, and the Gen:ile heathen nations throughout the whole world, shall be converted ;-the church enjoy an increased and astonishing influence of the Spirit of God, of like character with that which he exerts in extensive and powerful revivals of pure religion, and in this way realize all the glowing and glorious anticipations of the Old Testament prophets; --that the principles of the gospel becoming universally prevalent, all wars will cease ;-that the nations of the earth becoming a vast confederated family for the preservation of peace, and for the promotion of human happiness, shall no longer cultivate the warlike arts-civilisation be carried to the highest pitch, the blessings of civil, political, and religious liberty universally be enjoyed--all forms of oppression cease, -the rulers of this world becoming righteous and religious, rule in the fear and love of God--and the entire population of the globe, increased and enriched by industry, frugality, virtue, and piety, present an Eden-like scene of prosperity, and glory, and blessedness ;-that at the end of a thousand years, or of this Halcyon period, the spirit of piety, which, like that of the martyrs of Jesus, had prevailed in the world, will begin to decline,-the great adversary who had been imprisoned, be let luose again, and gain an influence over the nations so as to deceive them, and to produce a general defection from the millenial purity and truth;
that the apostate nations, under the denomination of Gog and Magog, shall conspire together, and commence hostile movements for the destruction of "the camp of the saints and the beloved city," and bring about a general and dreadful corruption of morals and of religion in the world ; that then, but not till then, the
Lord shall suddenly rain down fire from Heaven and destroy them all ;-that immediately thereafter, the second personal visible coming of Jesus Christ shall take place, and the resurrection of the dead, the final judgment, and the dissolution by fire of this entire globe ensue;-and that then, but not till then, will the new Heavens and the new earth be created, and that glorious heavenly kingdom be established, which is to be the inheritance of the saints for ever.
Among those who in the main adopt the spiritual system of interpretation, many are to be found differing as to the extent to which its principles are to be applied, and who therefore shape their theory of the prophecies, in some respects, different from the above outline, and from each other. Thus, there are some who find it impossible to believe that all the predictions about the return of the Jews and restoration to their own land, and the recovery of the ten lost tribes, with their reunion unto and re-establishment with the two tribes again, as one nation in Palestine, in more than the pristine glories of the theocracy, are mere allegorical descriptions of their conversion, and absorption into the church, in the lands of their dispersion. They therefore dissent from the above view in this particular, and look for the national and political restoration and re-establishment of the twelve tribes in the land of Palestine, as well as their conversion to Christianity. Of this class is Mr. Faber, and others, who, although they defer the visible coming of Christ till after the Millenium, and spiritually interpret what is said in relation to that glorious epoch, nevertheless, cannot apply their own principles to the prophecies concerning the Jews. Not a few, however, in these United States, feel the obligation that consistency imposes on them, to allegorize the prophecies about