Apr 3, 1804 Sermon Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection
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1243, the period of his fall will be in 1849 - A period which some present, certainly our children, may live to enjoy.

Others conceive, that as a Beast and a Horn are, in prophecy, symbols of organized civil power, the former conveying the additional idea of rapacity and cruelty; and, as antichrist is considered as one of the heads of the civil empire and the image of the former Beast, that his rise must be dated from the time when the Bishop of Rome became a temporal prince. Than he blended what in their natures are essentially distinct and ought to be for ever separate. Then he completely answered to the import of the symbols, and gained the succession assigned him for his reign or government. This took place in the year 756, to which when 1243 are added, we are brought to 1999, the year immediately preceding the commencement of the Millennium. To this last calculation the most celebrated commentators appear to incline. The former, however, is not without its learned and pious advocates.

When the disciples inquired respecting the future events of his kingdom, our Lord told them it was not for them to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power. The answer also of the angel to Daniel, chap. xii. implies some uncertainty in relation to the precise time for the accomplishment of at least some of the prophecies. But this was not intended to dissuade from the study of prophetical scripture, to which the people of the Lord are often exhorted and encouraged; but to suggest suitable humility and patience. Much has been revealed to the Church since the ascension of the Savior. It has pleased the Father, by the revelation of Jeus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass, and enough is communicated for the exercise of their faith, and hope, and prayer. Whatever difficulties then may be attached to this inquiry, it is sufficiently and satisfactorily ascertained from every calculation and every mark which distinguished antichrist in prophecy, that if his fall doth not come sooner, it cannot be later than 1999. This is the result of the latest date which ever has been, or which indeed can be fixed for that event. It must therefore at farthest arrive within 200 years from the present day.


The Millenium.

THE Millennium has been mentioned in the Discourse, and considered as a point to which our calculations refer; it may


therefore be expected that some observations should be made upon its nature, its commencement, and duration.

1. With respect to its nature, or what is meant by the Millennium. The term is composed of two Latin words, which signify 1000 years. It is taken from Rev. xx. where this number of years is repeated six times in describing the same period. During the first ages of the Church, the doctrine of the Millennium was familiar and acceptable. Under the gloomy reign of antichrist it seemed to be nearly forgotten; and some extravagant sentiments of wild enthusiasts, who occasionally revived it, rendered the very name disreputable and odious. But with the revival of religion and learning at the Reformation, when the study of the sacred scriptures was encouraged, the attention of the Churches was again turned to this important subject; and as the blessed period approaches, it becomes the object of more serious inquiry to the Lord's people, who are waiting for his salvation.

All Christians believe that an exceedingly prosperous and excellent state of the Church is expressly foretold; and that this is reserved for the last days, or the closing period of the New Testament dispensation. But as to what will constitute that state, or wherein its distinguishing properties will consist, all Christians are not so unanimous.

Various sentiments respecting the Millennium have been advanced, agreeably to the different rules of exposition, and different views respecting the order of events which have been adopted. Some of these are fanciful, and the fruit of an unlicenced imagination; others are supported by ingenious arguments, and advocated by writers whose celebrity commands respect. It is not practical here to enumerate all these, much less to attempt to refute them.

Those who contend for a literal meaning in every prediction, and refuse to admit any hieroglyphics, symbols, or figures in the prophecies, have formed ides of the Millenium which would, in a great measure, change not only the moral but the physical state of the world. In this view, among other important events, they expect that the Lord Jesus will personally appear and remain present and visible in his Church during the space of 1000 years; and that the martyrs will be raised from the dead, and dwell and reign with Christ during that time on the earth. Expositors who are better acquainted with the style of prophecy, have adopted a construction more correspondent with the procedure of Providence, and with the language and uniform doctrines of scripture. They therefore understand the predictions as expressing, not the personal presence of Christ, or the actual resurrection of the martyrs; but


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