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period, that we, as Christians, are continually looking forward for the grand fulfilment of all our hopes, when we humbly trust that we shall "have our perfect consummation and bliss, both in body and soul, in Christ's eternal and everlasting glory." It is this great day of the Lord that is so frequently set before us in the Scriptures, as an encouragement to the faithful, who shall then receive" the crown of righteousness," and as a terror to the wicked, for whom is reserved "indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish," if they do not turn from their sins, and laying hold of the mercy of God, become (through the merits of Him who "came to seek and to save that which was lost") "worthy to escape all those things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man."

The second Advent of Christ, when spoken of either by himself or his apostles, seems almost always to refer to this solemn time, when he shall come with power, and great majesty to judge the world, as he has particularly described in my text, and in the passage connected with it. In one remarkable instance indeed, he did so speak of his second coming in the mysterious language of prophecy, as thereby to presignify two events at once, his coming to take vengeance on the Jewish nation, and his coming to judgment at

the end of the world. It is also probable, that, in one or two places, this idea is used figuratively to express the time of death, as in this passage," watch therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour wherein the Son of Man cometh;" so I think the words are commonly applied, though I would by no means assert with confidence, that our Saviour meant any thing else than that we should always be in a state of preparation, and watchfulness, against the Day of Judgment.

I do not recollect that either our Lord himself, or any of his inspired servants, ever speak of his coming again, with a direct reference to any other occasion, or purpose, than those which I have mentioned. But there appears to have existed at all times in the church, an opinion revived, and earnestly contended for in the present day, that Christ is to come again in the body, and to dwell and reign upon the earth for a thousand years, before the general judgment, and the dissolution of this present world; that all the saints (i. e. all the true Christians) who have ever lived, are to rise from their graves, at His coming, and with those then alive, to reign with him during this Millennium; that the Jews are, about the commencement of that period, to be all converted, and restored to their own country; and that the Church is to receive such an increase,

and to see such happy and prosperous days, as have never yet been witnessed. I do not pretend to have mentioned all the particulars connected with this opinion, nor to assert that all who have at any time held it, have agreed even in those few, because there have in truth been great differences about some of them; I only wished to give a general view of the subject upon which I have entered, for the information of those of my hearers, particularly of the less educated sort, who may never have heard of these things before, and to whom therefore, without this explanation, my discourse would be unintelligible. With the same view, it is expedient that I should read to you the passage of scripture, upon which principally this expectation of the Millennium (or thousand years) is founded. (Read Revelations xx. 1 to 6.)

I have chosen the present occasion, as the most appropriate one, for addressing a few remarks to you on this interesting subject, because, it being now particularly seasonable to speak of the second Advent of Christ, it seems hardly possible to do so, without taking some notice of the signification, which so many in this our day, attach to that expression. It may have seemed strange to some, since there is so much writing, and preaching, and talking, on this subject, in the present times, that I have never touched upon

it before; you will understand my reasons, from what I am about to say, and, at the same time, why I shall in all probability never recur to it again. I hope to keep quite clear of giving offence to any, by my mode of treating the subject. I can scarcely doubt, as it has excited so much interest in various quarters, that there are some present, whose views may differ from mine; I do not intend to dispute with them; I know the evils of controversial preaching; I merely wish to guard you all, against an unwarrantable and dangerous indulgence of fancy, in religious matters, and to lead your minds to the sober contemplation of certain truth. For, most unhappily, many excellent Christians have suffered their human imaginations to run wild upon this theme that I am now speaking of, to the disparagement of plain gospel truth, and to the discredit of their own opinions on other subjects; for he who is manifestly extravagant on one point, can hardly be trusted as exercising a sound judgment on others; and it is a fact, that this doctrine of the Millennium has taken such hold of the minds of some, that they trace it throughout the whole Scriptures as the most prominent subject, that they scarcely speak or preach about any thing else, that they attach a most undue importance to their own uncertain explanations

of unaccomplished prophecy, and indulge in such enthusiastic visions, as are very likely both to cause "the weak brother" to stumble, and to excite the mockery, and confirm the infidelity, of those "that are without."

One of our best and most esteemed writers on prophecy, thus concludes his remarks on the doctrine of the Millennium: "all the danger is, on one side, of pruning and lopping it too short; and on the other, of suffering it to grow too wild, and luxuriant; great caution, soberness, and judgment are required to keep the middle course; we should neither, with some, interpret it into an allegory, nor depart from the literal sense of Scripture, without necessity for so doing; neither should we, with others, indulge an extravagant fancy, nor explain too curiously the manner, and circumstances, of this future state. It is safest and best faithfully to adhere to the words of Scripture, or to fair deductions from Scripture, and to rest contented with the general account, till time shall accomplish, and eclaircise (bring to light) all the particulars."* These remarks are just and sound, and it is my wish to view the subject in the manner here recommended, without diminishing from that which seems plainly revealed, and without adding thereto; we have a most solemn admonition on this head at the *Bishop Newton, v. iii. p. 343.

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