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There are still two promises, which, if language has any meaning, and is to be taken according to its obvious sense, do most abundantly shew, that these promises await their full and final accomplishment on the restoration of the kingdom to Israel, on the establishment of Christ's Davidical throne, and the reign of the saints on earth. “I will write upon him the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down out of heaven.” “To him that overcometh will I give to sit with me on my throne; even also as I overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.”
In the last promise, the throne of the Son is clearly distinguished from that of the Father, as it is in other places of Scripture, and by the Saviour himself. See Luke xxii. 29, 30; and Matt. xix. 28.
If these promises are not to be referred to the glorious advent and triumphant kingdom of the Messiah, it will be difficult to find any suitable and consistent application for them, collectively considered; and if such be their reference, then not only the members of the church in general, but THE WORLD AT LARGE, are concerned in their accomplishment. “The kingdoms of THIS
are to become the kingdoms of our Lord:” “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together, and with earnest expectation waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God.” But, “the creature is yet subject to vanity,” and “the world lieth in wickedness." The “last days” and “the perilous times” are come.
The departure from the faith, of which the Spirit speaketh expressly;" the very characters so accurately delineated by Peter, Paul, Jude, and John, are hastening on “the mystery of iniquity;" "earthquakes in divers places;” “distress of nations, with perplexity;" the number of individuals who are at this time engaged in the peculiar investigation of the word of prophecy;these, and many more signs of the latter days, actually in appearance, render this subject one of immediate interest and importance, and of the most extensive practical application.
Considering the immense preparation made by the economy of Redemption for the salvation of man, and the means possessed, by nations professing the faith, for the enlargement of the church of Christ, it is astonishing, to a reflecting mind, that so little should hitherto have been effected thereby for the world at large. The nations are still sitting in darkness, and the earth is still the habitation of cruelty, and as much filled with violence as in the days of Noah. The Christian churches first planted are either altogether extinguished, and swept from the earth, or have grossly degenerated from their primitive state
of simplicity. The prospect, lamentable as it is, is no other than that delineated by the word of prophecy; but, for want of attention to the light afforded by it in such darkness, the expectation of the world, and the practical efforts of the church, are, for the most part, erroneous and ill directed. The potentates of the Roman apocalyptic world are looking only to the enlargement of their dominions, and to the continuance of their dynasties; to the building up again those very establishments, and the concentration of that very system, against which Divine Judgments have hitherto, as in the days of Pharaoh, been executed in vain. The churches are each looking to the propagation of their own peculiar tenets, and the protection of their private interests. The powers in existence, secular and ecclesiastical, appear equally blind to the great scriptural expectations of the church, and the judgments, which are to begin at the house of God, and prepare for the restoration of his people. Hence the disposition to favour a falling interest, and a blind indifference to that which is to rise again. Hence, “Edom saith, We are impoverished; but we will return, and build the desolate places. Thus saith the Lord of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and The people against whom the Lord hath indignation for ever: and your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD WILL BE MAGNIFIED FROM THE BORDER OF ISRAEL,” Malachi i. 4, 5.
It is just before the fall of Babylon that the Apostle "saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation and kindred, and tongue, and people; saying, with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to him; for the hour of his judgment is come.”
It may have been objected, that if the views suggested in these papers were received, it would draw off mankind from attention to their ordinary duties, and repress the present disposition to missionary exertions. So far from it, these views, as far as they have been promulgated and received, have been already blessed to the conversion of some to the true faith of Christ, and to the recovery of others who had departed from it: and as to the general diffusion of the Gospel, as it was preached throughout the Roman world before the destruction of Jerusalem, so possibly it will prove at last, that this Gospel of the kingdom (the gospel of the age to come) will be preached to all the world before THE END—that is, the end of the present dispensation; for as Christ appeared "once in the end of the world” (the Jewish economy), to put away sin, so soto them that look for him shall he appear a second time
(in the end of this world, the present Christian era), without sin, unto salvation;" Heb. ix. 26—29, and then will "his king. dom come, and his will be done on earth."
To expect that “the heathen will be given to the Son for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for bis possession,” before he is set up as “KING upon his holy hill of Zion; to suppose that the nations will walk in the light of the New Jerusalem, before the restoration of Israel; is an expectation, which, however general it may become, will not on that account be more scriptural. When Solomon was about to ascend the throne of his father, according to promise, “Adonijah exalted himself, saying, I will be king;” and thus, at the present time, it has been well remarked, the church, and even the world, expect a millennium of their own device and establishment. Hence the vain expectation of some, of converting apostate Gentiles; and the hopelessness observable in others, concerning the restoration of the Jews. Hence “the people imagine a vain thing; the kings of the earth stand up, and the rulers take counsel together.” Nevertheless, che that shall come will come, and will not tarry;w and as David said of the typical, so will it come to pass in the millennial reign, “Assuredly Solomon my son shall reign, and sit upon my throne;" and as the son of Bathsheba, reigned of old, according to the promise, so according to the prophecy, "the kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.”
There are two, and only two primary scriptural expectations prior to the great consummation. One is, the destruction of Babylon; and the other, the restoration of Israel. The practical consideration of these two would suffice, if duly enforced, to regulate not only the current of public opinion, but the course of Christian duty. It would give a specific and peculiar efficacy to those missionary labours, by which the remnant according to the election of grace is to be gathered in; it would accelerate the last universal publication of the Gospel, to be made, as "A WITNESS," to all nations. This, it appears, is intended rather for the conviction than the conversion of the world at large; for He who saith to His disciples, "OCCUPY TILL I come,” hath put also this practical question concerning mankind in general, “When the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?”
HOPE THAT IS IN HIM;
OR, A BRIEF STATEMENT AND DEFENCE OF THE DOCTRINE OF
CHRIST'S PRE-MILLENNIAL ADVENT AND PERSONAL
REIGN ON EARTH.
TO WHICH IS ADDED,
A BRIEF HISTORY OF MILLENARIANISM,
VARIOUS QUOTATIONS FROM WRITERS ON THIS SUBJECT,
BOTH ANCIENT AND MODERN.
BY JOHN COX.
"And It shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of Hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.”—Isaiah xxiv. 21. 23.
ORRIN ROGERS, 67 SOUTH SECOND STREET.
E, G. Dorsey, Printer.