Apr 3, 1804 Sermon Index
Van Deusen/Kosinski Collection
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the abundant grace and spirit of Jesus with his Church, and the character of his people at that day, who in principles and conversation will be similar to the martyrs. As John, who had the spirit of Elias, was designated by that name in prophecy, so all Christians will then have the spirit of the holy confessors, who sealed their testimony with their blood. A high degree of sanctification and zeal is represented by the strikign figure of the resurrection of the martyrs.

Others have evidently inverted the order of events. The scheme which merits most attention, of this class, is that which considers the Millennium to be the day of judgment. A day which will then commence, and with its awful process, comprehend the whole space of 1000 years. But so many express texts of scripture, so many interesting doctrines of our holy religion, and such singular events which are to happen subsequent to the Millennium, and which indicate the continuance of the world, oppose this sentiment, that it appears surprising that minds so well informed should ever have adopted it.

Let it suffice to observe - that by the Millennium is not meant a fifth monarchy, which in its constitution or mode of administration will be similar to the four preceding - that the kingdom of Jesus will never be a kingdom of this world - that it will not interfere with other kingdoms any farther than to sanctify them, nor change the political relation of nations, only so far as they may oppose the interests of true religion. This interference in the nature of things must produce great revolutions; but the change will be for the better, and terminate in their security and happiness. The redeemer will reign in the hearts of men, and his rule and dominion be at the fartest possible distance from what forms the courts, the revenues, and ostentation of civil policy.

In a word, there is nothing in our idea of the Millennium, that, on the one hand, accords to the crude notions of Chiliasts, who represent it as a state opposed to the spiritual nature, and unworthy the holy object of the Redeemer's kingdom. Nor, on the other, is there any thing in the universal propagation of the Gospel and its final success in the Millennial period, which insinuates that all men, whatever may be their principles and character, shall be saved. The propagation of the Gospel, and the use of appointed means to bring sinners to repentance and faith, proceed upon principles directly opposed to universal salvation.

The most scriptural, rational, and connected sentiment respecting the Millennium, is that which simply considers it as a period in which the knowledge and influence of the everlasting Gospel shall be extensively experienced. A space of one thousand years, during which the whole world shall profess


the Christian religion, and all nations submit to the righteousness and authority of the blessed Jesus.

This happy state is frequently and copiously described by the prophets. Their phraseology is so singular, that the subject wherever it is introduced, can be easily distinguished from every other. They describe it as a period in which truth and holiness, peace and joy shall every where prevail. The abundance of grace, and the plentiful effusion of the Holy Spirit in that blessed season, they compare to a river issuing from the temple and rolling its salutiferous stream, deep and broad, into the ocean, diffusing health and life wherever it flows. The change produced in the temper and conduct of men is represented by a renovation of the natural world, and the taming of the fiercest beasts. The superior happiness of that period is considered as bestowing additional splendor to the heavens and increased fertility to the earth. To inculcate the magnitude of the event, and its blessed consequences to a world which had long groaned under crimes and miseries, the most affecting images are introduced, and the force of language is exhausted. But there is nothing in these figurative descriptions of the prophets improper or extravagant. There is nothing in our construction and view of their predictions enthusiastic, impossible, or even improbable, not although many of the descriptions should, as some believe they will, obtain a literal accomplishment. If the religion of Jesus be from God, as it certainly is, we may expect a time to come, when that religion shall exert its fullest energy, and be completely experienced in all its train of happy consequences througout the world; when it shall triumph over every false religion, and all the nations of the earth be blessed under its benign influence. This expectation is not hypothetic or problematical; it is confirmed by the infallible word of promise, which has given the fullest assurance of that desirable event.

The essential ingredients of the Millennial period are - the knowledge of the truth when all shall be taught of God - the holiness that will prevail, when men of every rank and nation shall live by faith, and whether they eat or drink, do all to the glory of God - the union of the visible Church, when no longer divided, the same doctrines, ordinances, and government, will constitute one body - the abundant influence of the Holy Spirit as the sanctifier and comforter; whereby communion with the Father and the Son will be richly enjoyed; the means of grace become wells of salvation; and every act of worship a feast of fat things. Civil governments will not cease; it is the ordinance of God, and, while society remains, is essential for the maintenance of order; but rulers, by whatever name they may be distinguished, or with whatever


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