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this, and see so much of the internal evidence in a degree, as to assent to it in their reason and judgment. They may attend to it so much as to be in a degree convinced of their moral blindness, and their want of a new heart and right taste; and that it is wholly owing to this that they do not see and are not pleased and charmed with the glory of the gospel; and that this is altogether their own fault, and that they are, on this account, in a very miserable condition; yea, that they may be in their reason and judgment, in a measure, convinced of all the truths contained in the Bible, while they have no relish for them, and they are in their hearts real enemies to them.
And where this conviction does not take place, it is owing to ignorance or prejudices which take place by a bad education, or from the want of a good one, together with the strong, evil
, and corrupt biases of their hearts, and the indulgence of various foolish and hurtful lusts, and to many other things of this kind, by which many have been led to conclude that the real and true doctrines of divine revelation are inconsistent and absurd, and to embrace contrary doctrines more agreeable to the selfishness, pride, and other lusts of men. While others have, from the same evil biases, been prejudiced against the Scriptures, and rejected the Bible as so fabulous, inconsistent, and absurd, as not to be worthy of the regard of a rational man, and have hereby plunged themselves into an abyss of darkness and uncertainty, while they have boasted that they were following the infallible dictates of their own reason.
All these, of every class, however distinguished in some respects, are wholly answerable and blamable for their ignorance, incredulity, and error, and that they do not discern, relish, and love the truths of divine revelation, in a view of their beauty, consistence, and glory, and are not pleased and charmed with the divine character, and that of the Redeemer, displayed in the Bible. For this is as really owing to a shutting the mental eye against the light shining in the Scriptures, and a refusing to come to it and see it, as is a person's shutting his bodily eyes and refusing to admit the light of the sun, when it shines in its meridian brightness; and is as really a voluntary exercise of the governing taste and propensity of the heart opposing the light of the truth, as any other exercise of heart of which man is capable, though there may be a difference in many respects. How criminal, then, is all infidelity, and turning away from the truth revealed in the Scriptures, in all those who live under the gospel! And how awful the consequence!
SHOWING FROM SCRIPTURE PROPHECY
THAT IT IS YET TO COME; WHEN IT WILL COME; IN WHAT IT WILL CONSIST; AND THE EVENTS WHICH ARE FIRST
TO TAKE PLACE, INTRODUCTORY TO IT.
SAMUEL HOPKINS, D.D.,
LATE PASTOR OP THE FIRST CONGREGATIONAL CHURCH IN NEWPORT, R. I.
" This shall be written for the generation to come ; and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord." - Psalm cii. 18.
DOCTRINAL TRACT AND BOOK SOCIETY.
TO THE PEOPLE WHO SHALL LIVE IN THE DAYS OF THE
Hail, ye happy People, highly favored of the Lord !
To you the following treatise on the Millennium is dedicated, as you will live in that happy era, and enjoy the good of it in a much higher degree than it can be now enjoyed in the prospect of it; and that you may know, it this book shall be conveyed down to your time, what is now thought of you, and of the happy day in which you will come on the stage of life. You
will be able to see the mistakes which are now made on this head; and how far what is advanced here is agreeable to that which is noted in the Scripture of truth, and a true and proper description of the events which are to take place, and to rectify every mistake. All is therefore humbly submitted to your better judgment.
When you shall learn what a variety of errors, in doctrine and practice, have been, and are now, imbibed and propagated, and in what an imperfect and defective manner they are opposed and confuted, and the truth explained and defended, and observe how many defects and mistakes there are in those writings which contain most truth, and come nearest to the standard of all religious truth, the Holy Scripture, you will be ready to wonder how all this could be, where divine revelation is enjoyed. But your benevolence and candor will make all proper allowances for all the prejudices and darkness which take place in these days, and pity us; while your piety will lead you . to ascribe the greater light and advantages which you will enjoy, and your better discerning and judgment, not unto yourselves, but to the distinguishing, sovereign grace of God.
Though you have yet no existence, nevertheless, the faith of the Christians in this and in former ages beholds you “at hand to come ;” and realizing your future existence and character, you are greatly esteemed and loved; and the pious have great joy in you, while they are constantly, and with great earnestness, praying for you. They who make mention of the Lord will not keep silence, nor give him any rest, till he establish and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth. For you they are praying and laboring, and to you they are ministering ; and without you they cannot be made perfect. And you will enter into their labors, and reap the happy fruit of their prayers, toils, and sufferings.
They will be in heaven, with the holy angels, and the spirits of the just made perfect, when you will come upon the stage in this world ; and they will rejoice in you, in your knowledge, benevolence, piety, righteousness, and happiness. And all their past prayers for you will be turned into joy and praise. And you will, in due time, be gathered together with them unto the Lord Jesus Christ, in his eternal kingdom, and join in seeing and praising him forever, ascribing blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, unto the only true God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. AMEN.
A PARTICULAR history of the church of Christ, from the days of the apostles to this time; of, the various changes through which it has passed; of the doctrines which have been taught and maintained; of the discipline, worship, and manners which have taken place; of the grand apostasy in the church of Rome, and of the reformation, etc., might be properly subjoined to the foregoing system, were it not that this has been done by a number of writers already; so that all who are disposed to acquaint themselves with ecclesiastical history, may obtain this information by books already extant; which, at the same time, serve to confirm the truth and divine original of Christianity, by discovering in how many instances the state of the church, and the events which have had a particular respect to it, have been foretold and have taken place according to the predictions. This subject has been particularly illustrated by Mr. Lowman, in his “ Para. phrase and Notes on the Revelation of St. John;" and since, more largely, by Bishop Newton, in his “ Dissertation on the Prophecies, which have been remarkably fulfilled, and at this time are fulfilling in the world.”
A Treatise on the Millennium, however, and of the future state of the church of Christ, from this time to the end of the world, as it is predicted and described in divine revelation, is thought proper and important, not only as it has been more than once reserred to in the preceding work, but as it appears not to be believed by many, and not to be well understood by more, or attended to by most, as an impor