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improved to the best purposes, as the fountain-of knowledge and
wisdom ; and all the institutions and ordinances appointed by Christ will then have their effect. They will then be understood and take place in due order, and be attended in a proper manner, and the wisdom and goodness of Christ in ordaining them will be seen and experienced by all. Then the gospel will be preached as it never was before since the days of inspiration, in which the ministers of the gospel will be eminently burning and shining lights, exhibiting the inn. portant, affecting, glorious truths of the gospel in a clear and striking light, and in a manner.most agreeable and entertaining, which will fall into honest and good hearts, and be received with the highest relish and pleasure, and bring forth fruit abundantly. The Sabbath will be a most pleasant and profitable day, and improved to the best and most noble purposes; and the administration of baptism and the Lord's supper, according to divine institution, will greatly conduce to the edification of the church, and appear in their true importance and usefulness, as they never did before; these and all other institutions of Christ being appointed with special reference to that day, when they will have their chief use, and answer the end of their appointment.
As the winter in the natural world is preparatory to the spring and summer, and the rain and snow, the shining of the sun, the wind and frost, issue in the order, beauty, and fruitfulness of the vegetable world, and have their proper effect in these, and the end of winter is answered chiefly in what takes place in the spring and summer, and the former is necessary to introduce the latter, and in the best manner to prepare for it; so in the moral world, or the church of Christ, what precedes the millennium is as the winter, while the way is preparing for the summer, and all that takes place has reference to that happy season, and is suited to introduce it in the best manner and most proper time, when the gospel, so far as it respects the church in this world, and all the institutions and þrdinances of it, will have their genuine and chief effect in the order
, beauty, felicity and fruitfulness of the church.
In which is considered which Thousand Years of the World will
be the Millennium, and when it will begin.
All who attend to the subject of the millennium will naturally inquire when this happy time will take place, and how
long it will be before it shall be introduced. And some who have undertaken to find from Scripture, and to tell the precise time and the year when it will begin, have been evidently mistaken, because the time on which they fixed for this is passed, and the event has not taken place. From this, some have concluded that it is uncertain whether there will ever be such a time, and others have exploded all attempts to find from Scripture when this time will be.
Though there be good reason to conclude that the exact time, the particular day or year of the beginning of the millennium, cannot be known, and that it will be introduced gradually, by different successive, great, and remarkable events, the precise time of which cannot be known before they take place; and that the prophecies respecting it are so formed on design, that no man can certainly know when the event predicted shall be accomplished, within a year or a number of years, until it is manifest by the accomplishment, as such knowledge would answer no good end, but the contrary; yet there is no reason to suppose that this is left wholly in the dark, and that it is impossible to know, within a thousand or hundreds of years, when this glorious day shall commence, which is so much the subject of prophecy, in which the glory wbich is to follow the sufferings of Christ and the afflictions of his church will chiefly consist, so far as it relates to the transactions of time.
Though it may be evident from Scripture that the seventh thousand years of the world will be the time of the prosperity of the church of Christ on earth, yet this event may come on by degrees, and be in a measure introduced years before that time; and the church may not be brought to the most complete and happy state of that day, but still have further advances to make after this seventh thousand years begin, and continue some years after they are ended; so that the particular year of the beginning or end of this time cannot be known before it actually takes place.
It is thought that there is reason to conclude, from divine revelation, that the seventh millenary of the world will be the time in which the church of Christ will enjoy a Sabbath of rest, and be brought to its highest and chief prosperity in this world, which is so much the subject of Scripture prophecy, and that the end of the world and the day of general judgment will take place soon after this millennium is over.
The fol lowing observations are designed to point out some of the evidence of this :
It has been already observed, that the creation of the natural world in six days, and the seventh being appointed to be
a day of rest, does afford an argument that the moral world, or the church and kingdom of Christ, of which the natural world is a designed type in many respects, will be six thousand years in forming, in order to be brought to such a state as in the best manner to enjoy a thousand years of rest, peace, and prosperity; a day in the natural world, in this instance, representing a thousand years in the moral world; and that time being thus divided into sevens, to have a perpetual rotation to the end of it, denotes that the world is to stand but seven thousand years, as “one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day," and that this has been handed down as the opinion of many ancients, both Jews and Christians. It is acknowledged that this argument is not sufficient to establish this point, considered by itself alone; but it is thought to have some weight when joined with other arguments from Scripture which coincide with this and serve to strengthen it.
It is observable that the number seven is the most noted number mentioned in Scripture in many respects, and is a sacred number above all others. And in the Mosaic ritual, which contained many typical institutions, the Israelites were commanded not only to observe every seventh day as a day of rest, but every seventh year as a Sabbath and year and the seventh month in every year was a festival and sacred month above all other months of the year. In this month was the feast of tabernacles, which was to be observed seven days with great joy. On the first day of this month was the feast of trumpets, when the trumpets were to be blown through all the land, which was a type of the extraordinary preaching of the gospel which will introduce the millennium. And on the tenth day was their annual and most solemn fast, on which they were to confess their sins and afflict their souls, and atonement was made for them, which was a figure of the repentance and extraordinary humiliation to which the inhabitants of the world will be brought by the preaching of the gospel, attended with the dispensations of divine Providence suited to promote this, previous to their being raised up to the prosperity and joy of that day. And then the joyful feast of ingathering, in the end of the year, came on, on the fifteenth day of the same month. This was a type of the happy, joyful millennium, in the seventh and last thousand years of the world, in which vast multitudes, even most of the redeemed, will be gathered into the church and kingdom of Christ, in comparison with whom all who
shall have been saved before this time are but the first fruits of the purchase of Christ.
It is evident that this feast of tabernacles in the seventh month was a designed type of the millennium, from what has been now observed, and what has been said, on the three most remarkable feasts appointed in the law of Moses, in the preceding section; but this evidence is strengthened, and made certain, by what is said by the prophet Zechariah. When he is speaking of the millennium, and predicting that happy day, he says, “ And it shall come to pass that every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts, and to keep the feast of tabernacles." (Zech. xiv. 16.) By the feast of tabernacles are meant the enjoyments and blessings of the millennium, of which all nations shall then partake, and which were typified by that feast.
All these things seem to point out the seventh thousand years of the world to be the time of the millennium. But there is yet greater evidence of this, which will serve to strengthen what has been observed, and show that it is not mere conjecture.
The prophecies in the Book of Daniel, of the rise and continuance of the little horn, and of the time in which the church shall be in a state of affliction, and those in the Revelation, of the continuance of the beast, who is the same with the horn, and of the duration of the afllicted state of the church during that time, when examined and compared, will lead to fix on the seventh thousand years of the world to be the time of the millennium.
In the Revelation, the time of the continuance of the beast, after his deadly wound was healed, is said to be forty and two months. (Rev. xii. 5.) And the time in which the church should be trodden down, alllicted, and oppressed, is said to be forty and two months, a thousand two hundred and sixty days, and a time and times and half a time. (Rev. xi. 2, 3; xii. 6, 14.) The same term of time is denoted by each of these expressions. A year was then reckoned to contain three hundred and sixty days, and a month consisted of thirty days. In forty and two months were a thousand two hundred and sixty days; and a time and times and half a time are three years and a half, which contain forty and two months, and a thousand two hundred and sixty days. So long the beast — the idolatrous persecuting power exercised by the bishop of Rome, the pope — is to continue; during which time the church of Christ is to be oppressed, alllicted, and opposed — represented by the holy city being trodden under foot by the Gentiles, the two witnesses prophesying in sackcloth, and a woman persecuted and flying into the wilderness to hide herself from her enemies, where she is fed and protected during the reign of the beast, which is to continue a thousand two hundred and sixty years, a prophetical day being a year. At the end of those years the pope, and the church of Rome of which he is the head, will be destroyed; and according to the representation in the Revelation, the kingdom of the devil in the world will fall at the same time, and the kingdom of Christ be set up on the ruins of it, and the millennium will take place.
If it were known when the bishop of Rome first became what is designed to be denoted by the beast, - the time of his fall, and of the end of the church of Rome and of Satan's kingdom in the world, — when the millennium will commence could be ascertained to a year. But as this beast rose gradually, from step to step, till he became a beast in the highest and most proper sense, this involves the subject in some degree of uncertainty, and renders it more difficult to determine at which considerable increase and advance of the bishop of Rome in power and influence the thousand two hundred and sixty years began. He had great influence not only in the church in the ecclesiastical matters, but in the temporal affairs of the Roman empire, and of the kingdoms which were erected in it by the invasion of the northern nations — before he was publicly acknowledged and declared to be universal bishop, which was done in the year of Christ 606. This greatly increased bis influence and power in the Christian world, and the church was now become exceeding corrupt. If the one thousand two hundred and sixty prophetic years be reckoned from this time, they will end in the year 1866 — seventy-four years from this time, viz., 1792. But the pope did not become a temporal prince, and publicly assume civil jurisdiction, till the year 756, when Pepin, the king of France, then the most powerful prince in Christendom, made him prince over a large dominion, and he assumed civil authority, and upon this he subdued three kings or king. doms, and they fell before him, according to the prediction of him in the prophecy of Daniel. (Dan. vii. 8, 20, 24.) And he soon had such power over the nations as to set up an emperor in Germany to be his tool, by whom to raise himself to universal empire, reserving to himself and claiming power over the emperor, and over all kings in the Christian world, to set them up and crown them, or depose them when he pleased.
This is the most remarkable epoch, when the pope became a beast in the most proper sense, froin whence his reign is to