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The overthrow of this apostacy is followed by the general resurrection. All who have died during the Millennium, and the rest of the dead who had previ. ously died, and who “ lived not again until the thousand years were finished,” will then be raised to eternal glory or unending misery. We may remark, however, that there is not the slightest intimation of Christ's coming at this time, as some would insinuate. His return at the beginning of the Millennium is announced in the 19th chapter, his reign with his saints during that happy time, at the beginning of the 20th, and here at the close of that chapter is his work of final judgment. “And I saw a great white throne, and Him that sat on it,” continues the apostle, “ from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was no place found for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God: and the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life ; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them; and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” ver. 11-15. There is no exception of any then in their graves from this resurrection. The receptacles of death yield all their tenants to receive their doom-those whose names are found in the book of life being raised to glory, and the wicked to the condemnation of the second death, being cast into the lake of fire. *
* Dr. Hamilton labours to prove from this passage, that, as the language is of a general nature, there cannot have been a resurrection at the commencement of the thousand years. Dr. Wardlaw also (p. 510,) refers to it in proof of a simultaneous “resurrection of all the dead without distinction." True, it is a "resurrection of all THE DEAD; but it is only.“ the dead small and great,” who are now raised and judged, which does not include those who lived in the First Resur. rection a thousand years before. The language therefore is general only of the dead, among whom those already raised to life will not be found. But Dr. H. is not content with including in this last resurrec. tion those whom the apostle had already seen live and reign with
This, then, terminates what the Scriptures reveal concerning our relation to the earth. In our enquiries we cannot go beyond this, for " then cometh the end, when” Christ“ shall have delivered up the kingdom to God even the Father, when he shall have put down all rule and all authority and power.
For he must reign till he hath put all enemies under His feet. The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death. For he hath put all things under His feet. But when He saith, all things are put under Him, it is manifest that He is excepted which did put all things under Him. And when all things shall be subdued unto Him, then shall the Son also Himself be subject unto Him that put all things under Him, that God may be all in all."*
Christ, but also makes it embrace all who have preceded them in the resurrection of life. No matter that we are informed by the evangelist that many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of their graves after Christ's resurrection, the Doctor (p. 207,) discovers from the language of the apostle that " it seems inevitably to follow that this is the resurrection of the whole human race; that till then there will be no resurrection of the dead, but then the whole body of mankind WITHOUT ONE EXCEPTION shall be raised from the dead.” This sentiment is reiterated in the same page where he says " we are here assured that not only all the dead shall then stand before God, and be judged according to their works; but that they shall be judged
every man according to their works."" From this he concludes, that, if there be a resurrection prior to the Millennium, those who share in it “ are neither judged at all nor receive according to their works.” Here, again, the Doctor confounds the obvious distinction between those who have previously been raised and those who shall be dead at this general resurrection. It is only every man of the dead, small and great, who shall then be judged, among whom will not be found any who had been raised before. If all who are not raised in this resurrection “are neither judged at all nor receive ac. cording to their works,” then it follows that not only those who share is the First Resurrection, and the “ many" who were raised after Christ's resurrection, but also that Elijah who was carried to heaven amid the horsemen and chariots of the Lord, and Enoch who " was not, for God took him,” cannot have received according to their works. Such is the legitimate conclusion from the principle as. sumed.
* Some have, however, denied that the Millennial dispensation can be meant in the predictions of Christ's kingdom, because it is said to be " for ever,” while John represents the continuance of the Millen. nial reign as to 1000 years. But this, while it affords ground to con clude that its existence will not be limited to a thousand literal years, is no argument against its identity with the Millennial kingdom predicted
by the prophets, who also frequently speak of its dura
1 Cor. xv. 24-28. In what this delivering up of the kingdom consists, we pretend not to know. This is all the information God has seen meet to communicate on the subject, and while it is our duty to know what God has revealed, we must not presume to be wise above what is written. In whatever it consists, the believer's happiness can never be diminished. The love of Jehovah is eternal, and His saints are made heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ. But this kingdom is limited to the duration of mortality, and therefore to the present state, as Christ reigns only until he hath put death the last enemy under His feet, when He shall deliver up the kingdom. And the establishment of the kingdom being only " nigh at hand,” as we have seen, when the indications of Christ's return are seen-its existence must be subsequent to His coming.
THE SUBMISSION DUE TO REVEALED TRUTH, WITH RE
MARKS ON OBJECTIONS TO THESE DOCTRINES.
Having produced from the prophets so much evi. dence for Christ's premillennial advent and subsequent
tion as for ever. At Israel's restoration, “ they shall dwell,” saith the Lord, “in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt; and they shall dwell therein, even they and their children, and their children's children, for ever, and my servant THE BELOVED shall be their Prince for ever.” Ezek. xxxvii. 25. “ And I will make her that halted a remnant, and her that was cast far off a strong nation. And the Lord shall reign over them in Mount Zion, from henceforth even for ever. Mic. vi. 7. “ Thy people also shall be all righteous ; they shall inherit the land for ever.” Is. lx. 21. “Behold the days conie, saith the Lord, that the city [Jerusalem] shall be built to the Lord, from the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner ... It shall not be plucked up nor thrown down any more for ever." Jer. xxxi. 38–40. “ But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” Dan. vii. 18. Yet no one will venture to deny that these passages, one and all, refer to the duration of that Millennial kingdom which John represents as con. tinuing for 1000 years.
reign on earth—having shown the literal fulfilment of prophecies already accomplished-having adverted to the views of believers, sanctioned by Christ himselfhaving proved His return to be at the restoration of Israel; at the times of Refreshing and Restitution; and at the destruction of Antichrist, and having shown these to be in perfect harmony with the various predictions concerning concomitant events,—it may now be asked if there be any room to doubt the great truth in which all these predictions centre—the return of Christ and His future residence on earth, personally to assume the reins of government? Or can it still be believed, that, with all these distinct prophecies before us, the Redeemer's only residence among men should be a pilgrimage of sorrow and suffering, and that,-instead of reigning in Jerusalem,-a few years of ignominy and pain should terminate His immediate relation to our earth? When thoroughly purified and rendered fit for the residence of the Son of God, shall it not rather be again honoured with the presence of Him who once in suffering trod its surface, and for whom it scarce afforded shelter,—when as King He shall reign in Zion, and receive the grateful homage of all the kings and princes of the earth?—and that his faithful followers, who, amidst the wickedness with which they were surrounded, have in all ages witnessed for His cause, shall then also be made partakers of His glorious reign, being made kings and priests to God, while harmony shall universally prevail among men ?--that then, too, shall the Inferior Animals participate of the temporal blessings flowing from Emmanuel's blood, and the ferocity being removed by which many of them are now characterized, and by which they are rendered formi. dable to man and destructive of each other, they shall range in peacefulness together, and in happy subserviency to man their lord ?—that then the earth itself which has so long witheld her fertility, yielding her fruits only by the sweat of man's brow, being redeemed from the bondage of corruption under which it groans, shall spontaneously yield those fruits which are necessary for food, or which contribute to the comfort of human life?
And surely, if we are among the number of those who have already received the “Holy Spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession," (Eph. i. 14,) and if we be rightly exercised, instead of being unwilling to receive this glorious Lord with all the attendant blessings, His coming ought to be an object of delightful contemplation, and every symptom of its near approach should be hailed with thanksgiving. So it was formerly viewed by His disciples and apostles, who
desired to see this glorious “ day of the Son of Man." To it their hopes were continually directed, and its coming and glory are made the great motive to duty by the inspired penmen, and; is ever urged upon believers as the period when they shall obtain ample recompense for whatever wrongs they sustain-receive full consolation for any sufferings they are called to endure—and enjoy a high reward for all their services of love to the Redeemer. Although the Saviour's return was not to take place for so long a period after the apostolic age, yet the admonitions to the primitive churches are so couched as to convey instruction equally adapted for them and for us " on whom the ends of the world are come.” A spirit of watchfulness and waiting was inculcated on them which ought equally to have characterized the Church in all subsequent ages. A salutary uncertainty was left as to the period of Christ's return; and even when the apostle Paul cor. rected the mistake of the Thessalonian Church when they expected His coming instantly to take place, he still left them in ignorance of the length of time which should previously elapse. Although he informed them that Antichrist must first be revealed, and that his destruction should be effected by the glorious appearance of Christ's coming, they could still form no idea of the duration of this wicked power. Prophetic dates were indeed given to the Church, but it was also predicted that they should not be understood till about the period of their accomplishment, “ for the words are closed up and sealed till the time of the end.” Dån. xii. 12.
It is remarkable, however, that the nearer the Church arri