« السابقةمتابعة »
they had departed from him, were not permitted to see the glories of his reign? It appears very clearly, that those who remain unto the second resurrection are not all finally condemned. The books are opened -possibly the books of remembrance—and another book is opened, which is the book of life—and they are judged according to the things written in the books, according to their works; and whosoever is not found written in the book of life, is cast into the lake of fire. Rev. xx. 15. Here again is a judgment according to works, and reference is made to the book of life, apparently, as if to ascertain in such instances as might otherwise be thought doubtful, whether the works of the individuals were wrought of God or not, for his works only can be acknowledged. But the things of the second judgment are, at present, very far off, and Scripture rather alludes to them than states them. When the Millennial dispensation is brought in, there will, doubtless, be a further revelation. In the mean time, let us watch in hope, waiting for the glories of that day, standing upon the rock of our salvation, where no evil can reach us.
The work of righteousness is peace, with quietness and assurance for ever: and The Lord keepeth them in perfect peace, whose minds are stayed upon Him. The prophet Isaiah speaks much of the glories of Messiah's day, and Ezekiel describes them with more minuteness in those latter chapters, which treat of the things of the new dispensation, and are now hard to be understood. But the two last chapters of the Apocalypse contain, perhaps, the plainest revelation of these things, which yet has been set before us.
"Behold, the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them"" His servants shall see his face, and his name shall be in their foreheads" "And the city hath no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glory of God doth lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof." All these are things of which we can form no distinct idea; but the personal presence of Messiah, dwelling amongst his servants upon earth, in the midst of his holy city, with an open manifestation of his glory, is certainly
revealed as a matter of plain truth, if language has any meaning. If expressions, such as these, can signify nothing more than the improvement of the moral and religious condition of mankind, under a state of things like that which now obtains, it would almost lead to the conclusion that Scripture has no determinate meaning. Far be it from any of us
to turn aside from that which God hath revealed unto us, for the joy and peace of our souls, and to our great and endless comfort. Is there any thing too hard for the Lord? Shall not his counsel stand for ever? But it will be profitable to trace out the particulars set before us in Holy Writ.
The heavens and earth being renewed, and no more sea, Rev. xxi. 1. the surface of the earth will be very considerably enlarged by the addition of those parts which are now covered by the waters; and the world will be repeopled. "The Lord will pour his Spirit upon the seed, and his blessing upon the offspring of Jacob."-There will be a great increase of men in the land, in the midst of which the new Jerusalem is placed; for" they shall say, the place is too strait for me: give place to me that I may dwell"
"For (Judea) the land of their destruction shall be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants."-" The Lord will comfort Zion, and will make her wilderness
like Eden, and her desert like the garden of the Lord. Joy and gladness shall be found therein, thanksgiving and the voice of melody."-" And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people all that see them shall, acknowledge them, that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed."....i
The Book of Psalms dwells continually upon the reign and glories of Messiah, more so, perhaps, than any other equal portion of Scripture. It has already been remarked, that more than one third of the Psalms. refer directly to the second advent. Psalms xxii. xxxvii. xcvi. xcvii. xcviii. ci. cii. cxxxii. cxxxvii. and cxlix. deserve particularly to be noticed, in reference to their testimony concerning the judgment and reign of Messiah. From these Psalms it may he collected, that all the kindreds of the nations shall worship before Messiah The King; that his saints shall be preserved for ever, but the seed of the wicked shall be cut off, and the righteous shall inherit the land that all the people shall see his glory that when he cometh to judge the earth, a fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about: that he will destroy all the wicked of the land: that his name shall be declared in Zion, his praise in Jerusalem, and all the people shall be gathered
together, and the kingdoms to serve the Lord: that he hath chosen Zion for his habitation, and Zion is his rest for ever.
That, during the glorious times now spoken of, the race and the nations of men will continue upon earth in the flesh, is abundantly clear, as well from the preceding as from other Scriptures. The Lord formed the earth to be inhabited, (Isaiah xlv. 18.) and, considering the extent of the desolate places, and the portion of it which is covered by the water, this has never yet been fulfilled. There shall yet be old men and old women dwelling in Jerusalem, and the streets shall be full of boys and girls playing; (Zech. viii.) which promise, taken in its context, belongs clearly to the Millennial dispensation. All nations and tongues shall come and see his glory; from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, all flesh shall come to worship before him, (Isaiah lxvi.) and every one that is left of all the nations which came against Jerusalem, shall even go up to Jerusalem, from year to year, to worship the King, the Lord of Hosts. (Zech. xiv.) In consonance with the foregoing Scriptures the Book of Revelations declares, that the nations of them that are saved shall walk in the light of the New Jerusalem, and the kings of the earth shall bring their glory and