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God, heareth God's words. Ye therefore hear them not, because ye are not of God. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me : As a shepherd goeth before the sheep, and they follow him ; for they know his voice, and a stranger they will not follow.'* And the apostle John says, “ We are of God : He that knoweth God, heareth us : He that is not of God, heareth not us." The same is asserted by the apostle Paul, in plain and strong language. « The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God : For they are foolishness unto him ; neither can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned. But he that is spiritual judgeth all things."I "If our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: In whom the god of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine unto them. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ."
Nevertheless, persons who are destitute of this right taste, and are at heart, and in practice unfriendly to the dictates of true wisdom, and enemies to it, may be rationally convinced, and in this sense believe, that the Bible is a revelation from God. They may be so persuaded of the external evidence of 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, 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 John viii. 47. x. 4, 5, 27. + 1 John iv. 6. #1 Cor, ü. 14, 15. 92 Cor. iv. 3, 4, 6
bad education, or from the want of a good one, together with the strong, evil and corrupt biasses 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 biasses, 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 blameable 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.
BY SAMUEL, HOPKINS, D. D. Late Pastor of the First Congregational Church in Newport, R. f.
This shall be written for the generation to come : And the people,
which shall be created, shall praise the Lord. . . PSALM cii. 18.
LINCOLN & EDMANDS, PUBLISHERS, 58 CORNHILL.
To the People who shall live in the days of the Millennium.
HAIL, YE HAPPY PEOPLE, HIGHLY FAVOURED 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, if 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 candour 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 es. teemed 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 labouring, and to you they are ministering ; and without you they cannot be made perfect. And you will enter into their labours, 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 : Apd 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 honour, and glory, and power, unto the only true God, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. Amen.