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when the appointed means shall be used, and when of · course the desired end shall be realized? We have seen, that the Millenial state of the Church and world will be distinguished by the universal prevalence of true religion; and will be ushered in by a general diffusion of the means of grace, accompanied by the promised aids and influences of the Holy Spirit. Obviously therefore the Millenium will commence, when the means of grace are thus generally diffused, and when the Holy Spirit begins to be poured out upon all flesh. When the Bible has been translated into every tongue, been borne by the heralds of mercy to every land, and circulated in sufficient numbers among all people-when public teachers of religion have been raised up, and sent forth, till the pure doctrines of Jesus are proclaimed over all the world, and to every creature-when the ordinances and institutions of the gospel are universally known and established, and their benign influence upon the aged and the young begins to be feltwhen the means of grace, thus diffused, are accom- › panied every where (as doubtless they will be) with the promised influences of the Holy Spirit, and the incense of an acceptable worship is seen to ascend from every portion of the habitable globe ;-then, my, brethren, and never till then, can the Millenial state and glory of the Church be said to have commenced. As this happy period is to be introduced by the universal diffusion and prospering of the means of grace, it certainly cannot commence before they are thus diffused and rendered successful; and to suppose it may commence afterwards, is to suppose it to have a beginning, when its glory and blessings have already visited the world.

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I know it will be thought, and justly too, that this is saying very little on the subject.-But, my friends, is it not saying all that can at present be certainly known-and all that it is best should be known? The prophecies of Scripture were not designed to make prophets of us. It was not their design, to enable the commentator to read through them a detailed account of the future, and thus fix upon the times and the seasons, which the Father hatli" wisely "placed in his own power." It would be easy to speculate on the subject before us, and in this way to excite and perhaps gratify a vain curiosity; but must not such a course be necessarily unprofitable? As it seems to me, any attempt to determine the time when the Millenium will commence, farther than has been done in these remarks, is not only an unwarrantable intermeddling with things not clearly revealed, but of dangerous and paralizing influence upon the energies of the Church. For if the period fixed upon is very near, the impression will obtain at once, "There must be miracles; and if God is pleased to introduce the Millenium by miracles, he may very well dispense with our co-operation." Or if the period fixed upon is considerably remote, a drowsy Church will be liable to say, "The time is not come, the time that the Lord's house should be built. We may safely suspend our efforts for the present. If we attempt any thing now, the good will all be lost before the Millenium arrives. A little more sleep, a little more slumber, a little more folding of the hands to sleep."

It is vain, my brethren, to expect the Millenium one moment sooner, or later, than has been pointed out in this discourse. When, by the energies, sacrifices, and prayers of God's people, the means of grace shall have been universally diffused, and shaй.

be attended every where with the promised aids of the Holy Spirit; then will the Millenial morning be revealed, and the predicted triumphs of the Church will be realized.

REFLECTIONS.

It has been mentioned as a distinguishing characteristick of the Millenial state, that the religion of Christ will then be universal. We may learn, I think, from this, the power and excellence of our holy religion. That period of which we are speaking, is uniformly represented in the Scriptures, and in the common language of Christians, as a season of superior earthly happiness. Mankind" shall dwell in a peaceable habitation, in sure dwellings, and uiet resting places. They shall build houses, and inhabit them; and shall plant vineyards, and eat the fruit of them. They shall sit every man under his vine, and under his figtree, and none shall make them afraid. They shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before them into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands.” Most of the causes of misery and ruin, which have so long been afflicting and ravaging the guilty earth, will then cease to operate. False and cruel systems of religion will be exploded; the bloody altars of superstition and idolatry will be overturned; vice will have no victims; strife and discord will come to an end; and the roots of bitterness will spring and grow no more. The trump of war will cease to rally the angry nations; there will no longer be witnessed the carnage of battle, or "garments rolled in blood." Peace and plenty, mutual affection,

confidence, and happiness will then be universal. But what, my friends, is capable of producing so / surprizing and glorious a change? It is, as we have seen, the religion of the gospel. How great then must be the power, and how benign the influence, of this holy religion-a religion which can transform the desert into a garden, and the wilderness into a fruitful field; and which scatters in its progress, over a wretched and dying world, the seeds of happiness and endless life!

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If the remarks which have been made relative to the commencement of the Millenium are founded in truth; it may, I think, be reasonably expected, that this happy period is at no great distance. My reasons for believing this, it will be seen, do not result from any mystical representations, or numbers of our sacred books; but from the animating fact, that so much is done and doing, for the universal diffusion of the gospel. When the gospel shall universally prevail, then the Millenium will have commenced. When the means of grace shall be extended to all people, and be every where accompanied with the promised influences of the Holy Spirit; then "the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea." Who then can avoid concluding, in view of the signs and exertions of the present age, that this happy period is approaching, and is near? The grand object and effort of Christians now are, to extend the gospel. Much has been already done, and more is doing, in this all important work. Every succeeding year is witness, not to a relaxation, but an increase of effort. The various portions of Christendom are awaking more and more to the claims of this high and holy cause. Although "there remaineth indeed much land to be possessed,"

yet, should the present exertions continue and increase, in the ratio of their increase for the last twenty years; should they be followed, as they have been, with the Divine favor and blessing; it cannot, obviously, be a very long period, before the Bible will be translated into every language, will visit every place, and be read by every creature; the institutions and blessings of the gospel will be universally diffused; and the earth will be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.”

Let Christians then awake to greater and to greater efforts, in the work of extending the means of grace, and diffusing the gospel of Jesus. We have been accustomed, my brethren, to look forward to the Millenium with bright and joyous anticipations, and have often perhaps been led to inquire, when it would commence. And here we have seen when it will commence. It will commence, as soon as Christians, aided by the promised blessing of heaven, have spread their religion throughout the world-as soon as they have made the appointed means of grace, and the institutions of the gospel, universal. It never will, it never can, commence before. It must be idle therefore, and worse than idle, to spend our time and labor in calculations as to the commencement of the Millenium, while we are doing nothing to hasten it. This happy state of things must be brought about by means; and these means must be furnished by the sacrifices and efforts of the people of God. Let Christians then awake to exertion. Every thing, under God, is depending on their efforts. They have the strongest of all assurances, that they shall not be left to labor in vain. The object they are pursuing is secured by many promises, and it will

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