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in their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years; but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished.”
Much more evidence might be brought to prove the personal reign of Jesus Christ with his people; but this is enough to prove the glorious and personal reign after the resurrection; but few dispute it. But, say some, do you not believe in a spiritual reign of a thousand years before the resurrection? I answer, I believe in a reign of grace, by the influence of the divine Spirit, for more than 1800 years past; but when you speak of a thousand years, I suppose you mean the same time that I call the glorious reign after the resurrection of the righteous, and before the resurrection of the wicked. I know of no spiritual reign, mentioned in the word of God, and especially of that duration. We argue that there cannot be a reign of peace and glory until the world is cleansed from all wickedness, Satan is chained, and righteousness fill our world; nor until “ the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ," even the anti-Christian beast will not be destroyed, (according to the texts we have already quoted,) until they are destroyed by“ the brightness of his appearing." AU those passages which speak of this happy period of rest to the people of God, or which in any manner allude to it, describe it as being after the resurrection of the saints, or after righteousness fills the earth, and after the anti-Christian beast is destroyed. And even our text more than implies that we shall not realize any great or glorious results from our hope, or collectively in a body the church will not receive any important deliverance until the “glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Is this true? I say the passages of Scripture already named fix it beyond a doubt. And any one who will examine the scripture for himself, will find that the second coming of Christ is the point to which Jesus Christ, the prophets, and the apostles directed their disciples, as the termination of their trials, persecutions, and aitlictions; and Jesus Christ says, “ In the world ye shall have tribulation.” I say, I can find
nothing in the word of God to warrant me to believe that we ought to look for or expect a happier period than we now enjoy, until he who has promised to come shall come the second time without sin unto salvation, and cleanse us, the world, and make all things new. These things are abundantly proved in the unerring word of God. And now, Christians, if these things are so, what manner of persons ought we to be in all holy conversation and godliness, looking for and hasting unto the day of God, “ looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ”? Then let our conversation be in heaven, from whence we expect our Savior, and stir up each other's pure minds by way of remembrance of these things; for the time of the promise draweth nigh, when he will come and receive us to himself, that we may be with him. How necessary, my brethren, we should examine the word of God diligently; see if it does not give some indications, some signs, by which we may know the “Son of Man is near, even at the door," and
“ blessed hope” is about to be realized in the “glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior the Lord Jesus Christ.” If he comes and finds us, or some of us, in this lukewarm state, hardly having looked into his word, and, making our want of talents an excuse, have neglected to trim our lamps, and have been very spare in holy conversation, and are crying peace and safety when sudden destruction cometh, and perhaps have sneeringly mocked and laughingly ridiculed the idea of Christ being near at the door, and perhaps have joined the infidel and unbeliever in their unholy remarks on this subject, and although we have heard the midnight cry, “Behold, the bridegroom cometh,” yet we treat it with neglect or disdain, or some of us, perhaps, with reproach, - I ask, if the Lord of such servants come and find us so doing, what will he do with us? He will come in an hour that we think not, and cut us off, and appoint our portion among hypocrites and unbelievers, where shall be weeping, wailing, and gnashing of teeth. But we will suppose that he will not come in 80 short a time as your speaker believes; still what do I
ask of you, my brethren? Nothing but what Jesus Christ and the apostles required 1800 years ago. I ask you to compare these views with the Bible. Is this wrong? No. I ask you for holy conversation. Is this wrong? No. I ask you for heavenly-mindedness. Is this wrong? No, no. I ask you to stir up each other's pure minds, to make improvement on your one talent if no more; to come out of this cold and lukewarm state; to trim your lamps and be ready. Are these requirements wrong? Certainly not; no, no. I ask you again to compare scripture with scripture; to read the prophets; to stop your revilings; to take warning by the old world; to flee from sin and the wrath which is to come; to hide yourselves in Christ, until the indignation be over and past; to look "for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." Is this wrong? Then be the wrong on my head.
And now, my impenitent friends, what say you? "We say, 'You know nothing about it.'" Do you believe the old world was deluged? "Why, yes." What makes you believe it? "Because our philosophers tell us there are a great many signs remaining of the flood, and we can believe them." And are there no signs of the near approach of the Judgment Day? What say the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Christ? Are they not equal to your philosophers? Examine your Bibles, and see; weigh well the evidence; your eternal happiness, the salvation of your immortal souls, may depend on your decision. But what say you more? "We say, 'You were very unwise to fix on the year 13, or sooner, for this day to come; for it will not come; and then you will be ashamed." And I hope I may be able, by the grace of God, to repent. But what if it does come? You cannot with any propriety say positively it will not come, for you make no pretence to divination. But I say, What if it does come? Where will you be? No space then for repentance. No, no- too late, too late; the harvest is over and past, the summer is gone, the door is shut, and your soul is not saved. Therefore it can do you no harm to hear, and believe, and do those things
which God requires of you, and which you think you would do, if you knew he would appear. First, I ask you to repent of your sins. Would this be right? Yes. Next, I ask you to believe in God. Is this right? Yes. And I ask you to be reconciled to his will, love his law, forsake sin, love holiness, practise his precepts, obey his commands. Would these things be right? Yes, yes. And last of all, and not least, I ask you to “ look for that plessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Amen.
LECTURE I 1.
REV. XX. 6.
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.
The term “blessed and holy” is often used in Scripture, and in many places is applied to man; but in no place without giving some characteristic mark of his being born of God, or inheriting the fruits of the divine Spirit; and very often the word blessed is used standing in immediate connection with the resurrection and coming of Christ, either expressed or implied, as in Isa. lxii. 11, 12, “ Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Beliold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken." Isa. xxx. 18, “ And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you; for the Lord is a God of judgment. Blessed are all they that wait for him.” Daniel says, xij. 12,“ Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days.” John says, Rev. xiv. 13, “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” “ Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” “Behold, I come quickly ; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book.” “ Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they