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reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection. On such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

A particular explanation of this passage of Scripture will be attempted in the next section. That it does express and confirm the truth which is contained in the numerous prophecies which have been mentioned, and which is set up to be proved in this section, the following observations will show:

1. This event here predicted is to take place after the overthrow of the Roman anti-Christian kingdom, and the destruction of all the enemies of Christ and his church on earth. This is evident from the account of the destruction of these in the prophecy immediately preceding these words, and upon which the glorious scene opened in this passage is to take place ; and the same is predicted in the last part of the sixteenth chapter, as has been shown. This is agreeable to the prophecies of the same event in the Psalms, and by Daniel, and others, viz., that the time of the reign of Christ, and of the saints on earth, shall succeed the destruction of the wicked, and the total overthrow of all the preceding kingdoms and powers in the world, which has been from time to time observed upon them when they were transcribed; and in this very passage, Satan himself is represented as bound and cast out of the earth, and shut up in the bottomless pit, antecedent to the reign of Christ and his followers in the world, which necessarily implies the total ruin of his cause and kingdom on earth, and the extirpation of all the wicked who are his children and servants; therefore, the time here predicted is not yet come.

2. All this is to take place before the end of the world and the day of judgment. This is very evident and certain, since it is said, that when this happy time of a thousand years is ended, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth; and then, after this, Christ is represented as coming to judgment, of which there is a particular account, and of the final and eternal destruction of all his enemies.

3. Christ is here said to reign, and his saints to reign with him, which, without any doubt, is the same event and the same period which is foretold by Daniel and other prophets, as a most happy and joyful time, when that nation and those men who will not serve Jesus Christ shall be destroyed, and there shall be given to him dominion and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve him. And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the saints of the Most High, and all dominions shall serve him; and the extent and universality of the kingdom of Christ, and of those who reign with him, as including all nations and all men, is supposed and implied in his binding Satan, and casting him out, “that he should deceive the nations, no more, till the thousand years

should be fulfilled." Satan is said to deceive the whole world. (Rev. xii. 9.) And when he is cast out of the whole world, Jesus Christ and his people will take possession of it, and reign in all the earth.

4. Christ and his people are to reign on earth A THOUSAND YEARS. All have not been agreed in the length of time denoted here by a thousand years. Some have supposed that a thousand years is used indefinitely, not to express any precise number of years, but a great number of years, or a long time. But this cannot reasonably be admitted as the sense of the expression here, since this precise number of years is men. tioned six times in this passage, which appears inconsistent with its being used in such an indefinite, vague sense; and besides, there is nothing in the connection here, or in the nature or circumstances of the case, to lead any one to understand this number as put indefinitely.

There are others who suppose that these are to be understood to be a thousand prophetical years; that is, as many years as there are days in a thousand literal years, a day being put for a year. According to this way of reckoning, a thou. sand years are put for three hundred and sixty thousand years; for in that age a year was reckoned to consist of three hundred and sixty days. It is said, that in this Book of Revelation a day is constantly put for a year. A thousand two hundred and sixty days mean so many years, and forty-two months mean as many years as there are days in so many months, reckoning thirty days to each month, as they then did; which, therefore, amount to the same number of years, i. e., one thousand two hundred and sixty years; and a time and times, and half a time, i. e., three years and a half, mean as many years as there are days in three years and a half; which are just as many as there are in forty-two months; that is, one thousand two hundred and sixty years. It is, therefore, concluded that these thousand years must be understood in the same way; that is, that a day is put for a year; which will amount to three hundred and sixty thousand years.

It is acknowledged that this supposition is supported by

• Hence this time is called the MILLENNIUM, which signifies a thousand years.

some color of argument and plausibility; but there are objections to it, some of which will be mentioned.

1. It does by no means follow that these are prophetical years, in the sense mentioned, because a day is put for a year in other places in this prophecy. There may be reasons for putting a day for a year in other instances, and yet there be no reason for putting a thousand years for as many years as there are days in a thousand years in this instance, and, therefore, no reason for understanding them so; and a day is not put for a year in every other instance in this book. The dead bodies of the two witnesses are said to lie in the street of the city three days and a half, (Rev. xi. 9,) which do not mean three years and a half, as no event respecting them can be made consistent with such a meaning.

2. The number, a thousand years, being repeated so many times in one short paragraph, seems to be a reason that it is to be understood literally, for just so many years, and not so many prophetical years; especially as there is nothing in this case to lead us to understand it in the latter sense; but it may as consistently with every thing in this book, and this prophecy in particular, and more so, as will be now observed, be understood literally; and it is further to be observed, that there is no instance in this book, or in the whole Bible, where a precise number is so often repeated in the same words, that is not to be understood literally.

3. It seems to be out of all proper proportion to suppose there will be so long a time as three hundred and sixty thousand years of prosperity and happiness, and of great and universal holiness in this world, the habitation of an apostate, sinful race of men, and but six thousand years of evil times. And this does not appear consistent with this world being represented as an evil world, as it is in the Scripture, or with its being cursed in consequence of man's rebellion. One thousand years may be an exception out of seven thousand, in which the curse may be mitigated and in a great measure removed; and yet, on the whole, or the whole taken together, it may be considered and called an evil and accursed world, for man's sake; but if there were to be only six thousand years of evil and the curse, and three hundred and sixty thousand years of good and a blessing, it would not, on the whole, be an evil or cursed, but a happy and blessed world.

4. It has been observed, that the natural world is evidently a designed type or shadow of the moral world, especially of the redemption by Christ; and that creating it in six days, and then resting on the seventh, is designed to be a type of bringing the moral world, in the work of redemption, to a state VOL. II.


of rest; that there are to be six thousand years in which every thing with respect to redemption and the kingdom of Christ is to be done and prepared for a seventh thousand years of peace, and rest, and joy in this glorious work. And it will be shown, in the sequel, that there are institutions in the Mosaic ritual which point out the same thing. The apostle Peter seems to allude to this when speaking of the coming of Christ, and the end of the world. "But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning his promise; but the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night,” etc. (2 Pet. iii. 8–10.) Hence the constant revolution of weeks, consisting of seven days, is an emblem of the revolution of time, which will come to an end when the world has existed seven thousand years. And there has been a tradition among both Jews and Christians agreeable to this sentiment." Now, this sentiment and tradition suppose that the thousand years of the millennium is but one literal thousand years, or the seventh part of the time in which the world is to stand; and as far as there is any weight in them, oppose and overthrow the notion that the world will not come to an end till it has existed three hundred and sixty thousand years after the millennium shall begin.

5. All the ends of such a day of peace and prosperity, of victory, triumph, and salvation to the church on earth, and of the so much celebrated reign of Christ, with his saints, in this world, will be fully answered in a literal thousand years, so far as it can be learned what they are from Scripture, or man can conceive them to be, as much and as fully answered as they could be in hundreds of thousands of years, or in any supposed length of time.

Satan will be as much defeated, and his kingdom and interest wholly destroyed in the world, the cause of wickedness and evil men will be entirely ruined and lost, and they all banished from the carth. The wisdom, power, grace, truth, and faithfulness of Christ will have a proper and glorious manifestation, by introducing such a state, and continuing it as long as is most for his glory and the best good of his church, though it shall continue but a thousand years. The church may have all the reward and enjoyment in that time that it is proper or desirable that it should have on earth; and it may be wisest and best then to take it to a more perfect, happy, and glorious state in heaven. A thousand years will be time enough for Christ to show what he can do in bringing good out of evil, and vindicating his cause and church, and triumphing gloriously over all opposition from earth and hell, and filling the world with his powerful presence and kingdom, with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, with holiness and happiness. There will be full opportunity in this time to show and demonstrate, from fact and abundant experience, what is the nature, beauty, and excellence of Christianity; that it is exactly suited to form the world into a state of love, union, and happiness; and that all the preceding evils among mankind have been chiefly owing to ignorance or neglect of Christ and the true spirit of Christianity, and opposition to those in life or heart, or both. And this will be time enough to show that all means are ineffectual to reclaim man from sin; and that this can be effected by nothing but the Spirit of God, poured down in plentiful effusions; and to give a sample and foretaste of the beauty, happiness, and glory of the holy society and redeemed church in heaven.

* “ There is an old tradition, both among Jews and Christians, that at the end of six thousand years the Messiah shall come, and the world shall be renewed, the reign of the wicked one shall cease, and the reign of the saints upon earth shall begin.” – Norton's Dissertations on the Prophecies, vol. i. p. 490. And again, vol. üi. p. 410, According to tradition, these thousand years of the reign of Christ and the saints will be the seventh millenary of the world; for, as God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, so the world, it is argued, will continue six thousand years, and the seventh thousand will be the great sabbatism, or holy rest, to the people of God; one day being with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.(2 Pet. iii. 8.)

And in this thousand years the work of redemption and salvation may be fully accomplished in the utmost extent and glory of it. In this time, in which the world will be soon filled with real Christians, and continue full, by constant propagation, to supply the place of those who will leave the world, there will be many thousands born and live on earth to each one that had been born and lived in the preceding six thousand years. So that if they who shall be born in that thousand years shall be all, or most of them, saved, as they will be, there will, on the whole, be many thousands of mankind saved to one that shall be lost.*

The only end that can be imagined would be answered by protracting this time of the prosperity of the church in this world is, that greater numbers of mankind might exist and be saved. But that this is really desirable or best, all things considered, there is not the least evidence. A desire that more of mankind should be saved than will be saved in a thousand years of the prevalence of holiness and salvation in all the families of the earth never could be satisfied; for, though three hundred and sixty thousand years should be added, and all should be saved who lived in that time, still, for the same

* See Bellamy's Sermon on the Millennium.

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