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hymns were authorized by the church as far back as one hundred and fifty years.
12. The first commentary on prophecy which has become generally popular, explaining the foretold coming and kingdom of Christ to be figurative or spiritual, and to come on earth before the judgment, is supposed to be that of the distinguished “ Daniel Whitby, D. D.,” who lived till 1726, and, as many may see by looking at their Scott's Notes on the subject, Rev. 20th, that this Mr. Whitby is the earliest advocate of this new theory, mentioned by Dr. Scott.
13. The parallel and explanatory references now retained, and generally approved by the church, by the British and American Bible Societies, and 'found in their excellent Reference Bibles, and also in the Polyglott, and many other Reference Bibles, are uniformly harmonious in explaining the prophecies of Christ's coming and kingdom, only as his coming to judgment. For example, see reference on Rev. 18th, 19th, and 20th chapters. The divine wisdom and benevolence, giving us at this special time of need a commentary so full, so generally circulated in the church, and so approved withal, though now too much overlooked, may doubtless be traced back to the more spiritual fathers, and learned in the Scriptures, of at least some two hundred years ago, when scarcely any of them had ever heard of any other view of Christ's return, but that of his coming to judgment. My information, whether correct or not, is from the most authentic source, that the 47 translators of our present English version of the Bible, first printed 1611, at least approbated these excellent explanatory references on the judgment &c., now our best public commentary.
14. The Creeds of perhaps all evangelical denominations of the church, to this day, will be found, on examination, faithfully and designedly, as appears, to have shut out all the modern popular traditions, if I may so speak, of a spiritual coming, kingdom, and reign of Christ on earth, till, as the Creed of this church affirms, he shall “ come to judge all men at the last day.”
15. As foretold by the prophet, the horn, or anti-christian power, , is to make war with the saints, and prevail against them, till the Ancient of days [Christ] shall come, and judgment shall be given to the saints, &c. This allows the saints no such millennium before the coming of the Ancient of days, and final reign of saints in the judgment, &c.
16. Christ, on giving direct instruction on this point, positively affirmed, that the end (the end of the world) should come when “this gospel of the kingdom” should first “ be preached in all the world, for a witness to all nations." Probably none will look for a millennium and the world converted a thousand years before this general promulgation of the gospel; and certainly, according to this passage, there will be no space for 1000 years, nor for one
year for the church to reign afterwards, on earth, and before the end, or end of the world, shall come.
17. The present perfectly fulfilled and fulfilling of most of the foretold signs of Christ's coming and kingdom to judgment, represent the great events as being quite too near to admit of a thousand years' triumph, or peace and safety on earth first, or before sudden destruction shall come upon such boasters, and they shall not escape.-Whether the day will actually come in “ 1843 or 1847," a little after or before, as may be, surely as the signs are, we may look for it as being verily near: and probably while we, many of us, may be alive and remain at the coming of our Lord. If requested, and permitted at another time, I should be free to answer, in the spirit of meekness, any objections or arguments on the other side of the question. Till then, and till the Son of Man be come in his kingdom, shall we not all, even practically, preach and urge the powerful doctrine of our Lord, “ Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand ?" Your Brother in this blessed hope,
HENRY JONES. New York, 106, 8th Avenue, March 1, 1841.
Advocated and published by the General Convention on the Second
Coming of Christ at hand; assembled at the Apollo in the city of New York, May 10th, 11th, and 12th, 1842.
THEREAS “ all Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable,” even unto the eternal life of those who believe therein ; and whereas, by the proper use of these holy oracles, the primitive saints were enabled to live as martyr-spirits, with scarcely any other religious writings at their command; while the church now, flooded with human writings, is grievously neglecting the spirit and power of the Bible, and almost wholly departed from " the faith which was once delivered to the saints," we would therefore say,
1. That it is our firm belief, that the holy Scriptures, if again used by the people of God as they were by the first Christians, would naturally and powerfully tend so to strengthen their weak hands” and to “ confirin” their “ feeble knees,” that, like their fathers of old, they might be strong in bearing burdens for the Lord, while their ministers might be “sons of thunder" in preaching the kingdom of God to all nations; and that without such a return to the word of the Lord, there is no remaining hope of their reformation.
2. We feel assured that there is now no way to interest and engage the church and her children thus to turn again to the word of God, except by preaching and urging upon them the doctrine of Christ's personal coming with his glorious kingdom from heaven to earth, now specially “nigh at hand,” at “the restitution of all things which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."*
3. Considering that the “crown of righteousness” at Christ's coming again, is reserved for none except those who “ look for him," and also “ love his appearing,”+ we see not how it is possible for
any to have a hope as an anchor to the soul, sure and steadfast," who slight this great doctrine of the advent at hand, or quiet themselves with little understanding, little faith, and little care,
any at all, concerning it, as it stands out most prominently in all the prophetic writings.
• Acts iii. 20, 21.
| Heb. ix. 28; 2 Tim. iv. 8.
4. We consider that the indefatigable and successful manner in which many individuals are now searching the prophetic Scriptures, is a marked indication that we are living in the last times, and is fulfilling the prophecy which foretels that“ many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased,"* and that the visions of the prophets shall be unsealed, or made plain.
5. We wish it distinctly understood, that while it is our purpose continually to proclaim Christ's Second Coming and Kingdom at hand, to awaken the slumbering virgins to prepare to meet the Bridegroom, we do not ask others to place confidence in our opinions, but rather we entreat them for Christ's sake, to search the Scriptures with earnest believing prayer to see for themselves, if these things are so.
MILLENNIUM. Whereas the doctrine of a temporal millennium, or spiritual reign of Christ in the world, before the resurrection, has very much gained the ascendency in the Christian Church during the last century, though never previously, (as her public creeds and other testimony do most clearly show :) And whereas, in our view, this new doctrine is none other than a general false proclamation of a thousand years of peace and safety,” whereby the church is rent into hundreds of sectaries, conflicting with each other, and thus fallen before her enemies, who have been thus strengthened in their prevailing; therefore, we would say, though in kindness to others still holding the opposite opinion, that,
1. As we have learned of Christ by searching the Scriptures, we find them nowhere to foretel a millennial reign of Christ on earth, until he shall come to judgment, then to create a "new earth” and surrounding “new heavens,”+ in which he will “reign"
gloriously”I and “ for ever" with all his angels and redeemed saints, after the resurrection of the dead and creation of “all things new."'||
2. It is our unshaken conviction that this modern notion of a thousand, or more, years of peace and safety” on earth, before the resurrection, is not only unscriptural, but altogether absurd and gross, in its sustaining itself by converting foretold heavenly things into earthly, and the things of eternity into the things of time, which perverts the “exceeding great and precious promises” of God, and makes his word of " none effect.”
Our other difficulties with this notion of Christ's coming spiritually to reign on the earth with his saints a thousand years before the resurrection of the dead, are some of them the following :
1. Such a supposed long state of heavenly bliss upon earth, be
. Dan. xii. 4.
| Isa, lxv. 17-19.
| Isa, xxiv. 23.
fore Christ's personal coming to judgment, is paradoxical altogether, when it is considered that the earth is to remain unchanged and under its present“ curse, 9* and as a vale of tears, till the resurrection of the dead and creation of “ all things new.”+
2. In its teaching the near approaching conversion of the whole world to the salvation of Christ, it flatters the wicked with the delusive hope of eternal life, though they be found in their sins at the coming of such a millennium, while, according to prophecy, they will then all be “cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone."
3. This theory of a temporal millennium naturally makes “ the heart of the righteous sad,” in its maintaining, that if they depart this life before said millennium shall come, they shall never have any part in it.
4. The same theory of a millennium denies to those who shall enjoy it, the privilege of having glorious or resurrection bodies, in which to reign with Christ, as the Scriptures warrant them to expect.
5. It denies to the saints who shall enjoy it, the blessedness of seeing their glorious Lord personally present in such a millennium to reign with them, and they with him, as they are promised in the Scriptures.)
6. It also denies to the saints who shall reign in it, all hope of seeing their departed Christian friends there, or any of the prophets, apostles, or martyrs, which is contrary to the promise of their all reigning with Christ on the earth. 1
7. It maintains that death, the last cruel enemy, will also reign during such a supposed millennium, till he, death, shall have slain the whole host of the millennial saints.
8. It also maintains that even Satan himself, with an innumerable army, shall finally overspread this whole millennial territory in prevailing against its afflicted citizens, till a subsequent judgment shall sit, while the Scriptures foretel no “ judgment to come," except at Christ's next coming to reign on the earth with his saints.
Further Scripture facts, which compel us to discard the doctrine of a millennium on earth before Christ's own actual coming to reign for ever at the resurrection, are some of them the following, viz. :
1. As soon as “ this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness to all nations, then shall the end [of the world] come.
.99** This leaves no time for a thousand years on earth, after the gospel shall be thus preached, and before “the end of the world."
2. “The horn" of wickedness, or anti-christian power, is to
* Gen. iü. 17; v. 29; Rev. xxii. 3. † Rev. xxi. 3. Rev. xix. 20. § 1 Cor. xv. 35-44. Rev. v. 10; 1 John iii. 2. 1 Matt. viii. 11. ** Matt. xviv. 14.