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sion from all kinds of idolatry, to which they were once so much addicted. They have been a long lime, many days, in this state, and will continue so, until they returfi, and seek Jesus Christ their king, and submit to him, which is yet to come.
These prophecies, and others of the same kind, if they be considered as having reference to the Jews exclusively, and not including the whole church of Christ, in the latter day, composed of Jews and Gentiles, do prove that there is yet to be a time, when the church of Christ shall be universal, and include all naz tions : For it appears from what St. Paul says, that when those prophecies shall be fulfilled 10 the Jews, the fulness of the Gen. tiles will also come in, and all men in every nation will be suhject to Christ, and his kingdom shall be glorious, and fill the world. And in this sense “ All Israel shall be saved."
In the revelation made by Jesus Christ to the Apostle John, the final victory and triumph of the church on earth, over all her enemies, and the happy state to which it will be brought, which shall continue a thousand years, is, in some respects, more clearly set forth, than in the preceding prophecies ; by which they are illustrated, and their meaning is more fully fixed and confirmed. Here the general state and circumstances of the church, from the time when the revelation was given, to this time, and down to the end of the world, are predicted. Here the afflictions and persecutions, through which the church should pass ; the respite which she should have, and victory over the persecuting power of heathen Rome, in the days of Constantine ; the grand apostacy which should take place in the church by the rise of the Pope, and the hierarchy of the false church of Rome ; the gross idolatry which should be practised in that church : and the violent oppo sition of this power to the true followers of Christ ; their cruel persecutions of them, and shedding their blood, for a thousand two hundred and sixty years ; the judgments that should be executed on that corrupt church and her adherents, and on the whole world, for their obstinacy in wickedness ; and the final overthrow of the Pope and all who support him, and of the kingdom of Satan in the world, and the deliverance of the church of Christ into a state of rest and peace, when this kingdom of Christ shall ina crease, and spread, and fill the world ; and continue in this happy state on earth a thousand years : All this is foretold ; much of which is already come to pass ; but the most happy and glorious events are yet to come. The great and remarkable things which have come 10 pass, as they were foretold, are a standing, incontestible evidence and demonstration, that the prophecies in this book are from heaven : For it is as certain, that none but the omniscient God can know and predict such events, which take place according to the prediction, as it is that this world was made by him. Add the events which are come to pass, and are now taking place in the world before our eyes, agreeable to the prophecies in this book, at the same time that they prove that those predictions are from God, are also a pledge and assurance, that the prophecies of things not yet come, will be fulfilled in due season.
The subject now in hand will lead more particularly to consider what are the prophecies in this book, which relate to the future prosperity of the church and kingdom of Christ in this world, in which all the darkness and afflictions which do attend it, being oppressed and trodden down by enemies, while they prevail and triumph, shall issue ; and to show that such a day is certainly coming, according to the predictions which are to be found here.
In the fifth chapter of the revelation, the four and twenty elders, who represent the church, appear rejoicing and praising Christ in the prospect of their reigning on the earth." And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: For thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood, out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation ; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests : And we shall reign on the earth." This is spoken of the church, and is not literally true of every parucular member of it, that then actually existed in heaven, or on earih. When the church shall reign on earth, consisting of the numerous members who shall then exist in this world; all those who are gone out of the world, and are in heaven, will reign in and with the church on earth, as members of the same society and kingdom ; and will partake in all the joy and glory of this event, in a much higher degree than if they were personally on earth: They will reign in their successors, who represent them, and ia the prevalence, victory and triumph of that cause, which is theirs, and in which they lived and died. But this will be more particularly considered hereafter.
« And the seventh angel sounded, and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdom of our Lord, and of his Christ, and he shall reign forer. er and ever." Here it is asserted, that under the seventh trumpet, which contains all the events from the time of its sounding, to the end of the world, all the nations and kingdoms in this world shall become one kingdom, under Christ, and shall be wholly swallowed up in this kingdom, which shall not be succeeded or give place to any other kingdom ; but shall stand forever. shall continue the only kingdom on earth to the end of the world, and exist forever in heaven. Which is perfectly agreeable to many other prophecies which have been mentioned. The meaning is not, that this event shall follow immediately upon the sounding of the seventh trumpet : but that this is comprehended in the events of this trumpet, to which all the preceding have respect, and in which they shall issue, as the most important and glorious event, to which all the inhabitants of heaven were aftending, and in the prospect of which they had peculiar joy.
The same event is celebrated in heaven, as having actually **ken place, in the former part of the nineteenth chapter. “ AD
• Rev. xi. 15.
I heard as it were the voice of a great multitude, and as the voice of many waters, and as the voice of mighty thunderings, saying, Hallelujah! for the Lord God omnipotent reigneth: Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honour to him ; for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready. And to her was granted, that she should be arrayed in fine linen, clean and white : For the fine linen is the righteousness of saints. And he said unto me, Write, Blessed are they who are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb. And he saith unto me, These are the true sayings of God." Here the Lord Jesus Christ is represented as reigning, as he never had done before ; which is the same event which is so often predicted in the Psalms, and by the Prophets, especially by Daniel, by the Lord's reigning, that is Christ. And which is mentioned and celebrated in the tenth chapter; and in the twentieth chapler : “And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them, and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."
By the bride having made herself ready, and being arrayed in fine linen. clean and white, is meant the eminent degree of holiness and moral beauty, to which the church will arrive at that day, in the Millennial state. This is represented as taking place upon the fall of Antichrist, and the great whore, the false idolatrous church of Rome. And it succeeds thě overthrow of Satan's kingdom in the world, and not only the destruction of the Roman empire under Antichrist, but of all the nations of wicked men ; which is described in the sixteenth chapter, verse seventeenth, &c.
And the same event is again represented in the latter part of the nineteenth chapter, and in the beginning of the twentieth. ** And I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse: And he that sat upon him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness he doth judge and make war." From the following descripsion it appears, that this person is Jesus Christ prepared, and going forth to destroy his enemies on earth. And an angel is seen standing in the sun, in the most conspicuous place, calling with a loud voice upon all the fowls of the air to come “ to the supper of the great God, to eat the flesh of kings and captains, &c. and the flesh of all men, both free and bond. both small and great. And he saw the beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies gathered logether, to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army. And the beast and false prophet were destroyed by him; and the remnant of those who joined with the beast and were enemies to Christ, were slain by him. This battle, and the destruction of the enemies of Christ, does not fol. low in time, and is not to take place after the events mentioned in the first part of this chapter, viz. the joy and praise in heaven, upon the reigning of Christ on earth, and the bride, the Lamb's wife, making hersell ready, &c. but is a repeated and more particular representation of what is to precede that happy ever which had been before mentioned in the sixteenth chapter, from the thirteenth verse to the end of it. There the kings of the
carth, and the whole world, are said to be gathered together 10 battle ; " The batile of the great day of God Almighty ” here “ The beast and the kings of the earth, and their armies, are gathered together 10 make war against himn that sat on the horse." And there the battle is described as coming on, upon the pouring out of the seventh vial, and great Babylon, which is the same with the beast, and the false prophet, and all the enemies of Christ, are destroyed in battle. Which is exactly parallel with the war and battle of which there is a more particular description in the nineteenth chapter, and must be one and ihe same event. This is confirmed by what immediately follows this destruction of the enemnies of Christ, in the beginning of the twentieth chapter, which, as has been observed, is the same event with that described in the nineteenth chapter by the marriage of the Lamb, whose bride, that is the church, was made ready and arrayed in fine linen, clean and white. A more particular and remarkable description of this same thing, in the twentieth chapter, is in the following words
“And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Saran, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be ful. filied: And after that, he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given , unto them. And I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the wiiness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had receired bis mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands : Aud they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection. 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."
A particular explanation of this passage of scripture will be attempted in the next section. That ii does express and confirm the truth which contained in the numerous prophecies which have been mentioned, and which is set up to be proved in this section, the following observations will show.
1. This event here predicted, is to take place after the over. throw of the Roman antichristian kingdom, and the destruction of all the enemies of Christ and his church on earth. This is cvident from the account of the destruction of these in the prophecy immediately preceding these words, and upon which be glorious scene opened in this passage, is to take place. And the same is predicted in the last part of the sixteenth chapter, a has been shown. This is agreeable to the prophecies of tb same cvent, in the Psalıns, and by Daniel, and others, viz. tha. the time of the reign of Christ, and of the saints on earth, sha:
succeed the destruction of the wicked, and the total overthrow of all the preceding kingdoms and powers in the world, which has been from time to time observed upon them, when they were transcribed. And in this very passage, Satan himself is represented as bound, and cast out of the earth, and shut up in the bottomless pit, antecedent to the reign of Christ, and his followers in the world ; which necessarily implies the total ruin of his cause and kingdom on earth, and the extirpation of all the wicked who are his children and servants. Therefore, the time here predicted is not yet come.
2. All this is to take place before the end of the world, and the day of judgment. This is very evident and certain, since it is said, that when this happy time of a thousand years is ended, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, and shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth : And then, after this, Christ is represented as coming to judg. ment, of which there is a particular account ; and of the final and eternal destruction of all his enemies.
3. Christ is here said to reign, and his saints to reign with bim, which, without any doubi, is the same event, and the me period, which is foretold by Daniel and other Prophets. most happy and joyful time, when that nation and those inen vo will not serve Jesus Christ, shall be destroyed ; and tilere be given to him dominion and glory, and a kingdom. 1. people, nations, and languages should serve hin And the two dom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the saints of the Most High, arid all dominions shall serve him. And the extent and universality of the kingdom of Christ, and of those who reign with him, as including all nations and all men, is supposed and implied in luis binding Satan, and casting him out, “ that he shouid drcrive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled." Satan is said to deceive the whole world.* And when he is cast out of the whole world, Jesus Christ and his people will take possession of it, and reign in all the earth.
4. Christ and his people are to reign on earth A THOUSAND YEARS. All have not been agreed in the length of time denoted here by a thousand years. Some have supposed that a thousand years is used indefinitely, not to express any precise number of years, but a great number of years, or a long time But this cannot reasonably be admitted, as the sense of the expression here, since this precise number of years, is mentioned six times in this passage, which appears inconsistent with its being used in such an indefinite, vague sense. And besides, there is nothing in the connection here, or in the nature or circumstances of the ease, to lead any one to understand this number, as put indefinitely.
There are others who suppose, that these are to be understood to be a thousand prophetical years, that is, as many years as there VOL. II.
50 * Rev. xii. 9.
| Hence this time is called the MILLENNIUM, which signifies a thousand years.