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the Saviour, during the existence of that apostasy, and within the reach of its influence, are included, either among those who 6

were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God," or among those who, though they may not have been called to lay down their lives for the truth, “ had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands." When this is considered, it gives rather a peculiar significancy to the very limitation on which the objection is founded ; the apostle taking especial notice of the privilege of those whose circumstances had formed the subject of the preceding visions. It is, however, worthy of notice, that although he names no other as sharing the glorious privileges of which they are made partakers, yet the manner in which this part of the vision is introduced, leaves it to be inferred that others are so. For, says the apostle, “I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judg. ment was given unto them; and (being divinely directed in making the most interesting selection,] I saw [among those on these thrones] the souls (or persons] of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus," &c. Those whom he saw upon the thrones, and to whom judgment was given, do not appear to be merely the two classes to whom he immediately refers. But for a knowledge of who these others may be, and of God's designs with respect to His people in former ages, we must have recourse to other parts of his word,

which, as we shall see, contains ample evidence of their enjoyment of the same glorious privilege.

Let us, however, for a moment suppose, that this passage is not to be understood as speaking of a literal résurrection of these saints, but of a resurrection of the principles they held, and see how this will accord with the language employed. A resurrection, it will be admitted, pre-supposes the death of the object to be raised, and therefore before there can be a resurrection of Christian Principles, they must first have died from the earth. And how does this supposition coincide with the idea generally entertained, that the present laudable exertions for the diffusion of the gospel shall progres


sively increase, until it be ultimately successful in the conversion of the whole world, and the glorious day of promise be realized in the universal reception of its gracious truths ? Christianity has already taken root in far distant lands, and although its power has not been so extensively manifested as every friend of Jesus must have wished and prayed for, and although we have much reason to fear that the exertions for its propagation will relax as infidelity prevails, still, we believe, that, at our Lord's return, He shall have trophies of redeeming love from every clime. But on the principles of those who suppose that the Millennium shall be simply the result of Christianity's extending influence, when is it to die, that it may be made to live again in the First Resurrection? Let it not be said that this Resurrection is of the principles of the martyrs, and therefore means a greater degree of purity. The principles of the martyrs were just those of the truth as it is in Jesus: the same Scriptures which they enjoyed being now in our hands, and professedly received as the standard of our faith; although it must be acknowledged, that, in early times, they entertained different opinions of some of its truths, as the present necessity of vindicating their sentiments with respect to the time and purpose of the Saviour's return sufficiently testifies. But the resurrection witnessed by John was not only of those who had sealed their testimony with their blood, but of all who had resisted the blasphemous usurpations of the Man of sin—who “had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands.” Until the principles of all who have maintained the truth in opposition to his errors have become extinct, there can, therefore be no resurrection of them; and if, as is maintained by those who urge objection, the Millennium is to be gradually introduced by the gospel's extending influence, this cannot at all take place. How then can this apply to the First Resurrection ? Besides, if this Resurrection meant merely the revival and extensive prevalence of Religion, still we may ask, would such a revival at any future time, after the various out-pourings of the Holy Spirit in dif


ferent ages, be yet styled “ The First Resurrection” ?

- ? There is another inconsistency in the supposition of Antimillenarians. These Principles having had “part in the First Resurrection, on such the second death hath no power.” Now, as upon their hypothesis, the first death of these principles must have taken place before the Millennium, seeing that at that time they shall enjoy a resurrection, so we must suppose the second death their future decay or extinction.* Not only is this however, quite at variance with the Scriptural account of the nature of the second death, (which means the being cast soul and body into the lake of fire ; Rev. xx. 14.) but that even such a death as we are now supposing, or that a death of any kind should again have influence on those who have part in the First Resurrection, is directly opposed to the statement made by the apostle: “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection, for on such the second death [be it what may, in the opinion of our friends,] hath no power.” Yet if Christian Principles are to be understood as those who have “part in the First Resurrection," we find that when Satan is again loosed from his prison, an apostasy takes place, which shows that he has obtained much power over them in this sort of second death. If, then, it had been of these it was said, “ Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection,” could it have been added, “on such [principles] the second death hath no power”?

* Dr. Hamilton, (p. 215.) supposes “ the second resurrection” to mean “the revival of wicked and irreligious principles and practices;" Dr. Wardlaw also interprets it to be “a most singular reappearance of their principles and character;" (p. 506 ;) and Mr. Ma. son, (Gentiles' Fulness, p. 212,) in like manner renders it “ the great increase of wicked men on the earth.” But although believers are, in Scripture, said to be spiritually “raised from death unto life,” we know of no instance in which a change of an opposite character is so described. Persons under the power of the Wicked One are said to be dead in trespasses and sins. Nor is there, in the account given in this chapter of the nations' going up upon the breadth of the earth, and encompassing the camp of the saints and the beloved City, a single word which can be made to convey the idea of their malignant attempt being accounted a resurrection. Query; Can Dr. Hamilton assign any better reason than his desire to support a theory, for having lengthened, (p. 212,) the Scripture " little season” which succeeds the Millennium, into “ centuries" ?



But the saints whom the apostle describes as having “ lived," in the First Resurrection, shall also " be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with Him a thousand years." And how is this to be understood of Christian principles? In what possible sense can Christian principles he called “priests of God and of Christ ?” And in what possible sense can these principles be said to reign" with" Christ?

Avoiding these inconsistencies, and viewing the language in its natural meaning, let us now inquire how the doctrine of a separate " resurrection of the just" accords with other Scriptures. And, as with respect to the period of Christ's Return at the commencement of the Millennium, we shall find this also unequivocally stated, and fully implied, in many texts both of the Old and New Testaments.

The prophet Isaiah distinctly refers to a resurrection which shall not be enjoyed by all. In his Millennial song, (xxvi.) addressing the Lord, he says of other lords” who had had dominion over them, “ They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise." But the Saviour responds, of another class, Thy dead men shall live, My dead body shall they arise : Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs.” It will be observed that the words “ together with" in our translation, are supplementary. They are not only unnecessary, but by their insertion the sense is entirely changed. Their omission gives us the Saviour's endearing recognition of the righteous as the members of His mystical body“the fulness of Him that filleth all in all;" and their resurrection He accounts as His own ;—“My dead body shall they arise." And this, it is evident from the succceding context, (xxvi. 14–21; xxvii. 1,) is just at the commencement of the Millennium, when “the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity, the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain. In that day the Lord with his sore, and great, and strong sword, shall punish Leviathan, the piercing Serpent, even Leviathan that crooked Serpent, and He shall slay the Dra

gon that is in the sea," the very scene described in the 19th and beginning of the 20th chapters of the Revelation, as preceding the First Resurrection.

The prophet Daniel had a revelation of events, in a connected order, from his own day down to the period of the restoration of Israel, with the precise number of prophetic days during which the Church should continue under the thraldom of Antichrist, and which should intervene till the commencement of the Millennium. At the close of this historical prediction a most enlivening assurance was vouchsafed to himself, in connection with that happy time. “Blessed is he that waiteth and cometh to the thousand, three hundred, and five and thirty days, [from the rise of Antichrist.] But go thou thy way till the end be, for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days."* Dan. xii. 12.

. Nor is it Daniel alone who shall enjoy this distinguished privilege. The prophet Zechariah says, “ And the Lord

my God SHALL COME, and all the saints with thee." Zech. xiv. 4. Here, then, is a proof that at the premillennial coming of the Lord, He will be attended by all His saints. That this is not at the consummation of all things, is evident from the context, which we have already considered, (p. 82.) When He then comes, " the Lord shall be King over all the earth. In that day shall there be one Lord, and His name one. .and Jesusalem shall he safely inhabited.” ver. 9, 11.

Isaiah predicts a period when the Lord “will destroy in this mountain the face of the covering cast over all people, [" the covering that covered the face of all the peoples,” Louth,] and the veil that is spread over all nations. He will swallow up death in victory." What could be more explicit? And this also is at the

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* In understanding this to imply the prophet's resurrection, Mr. Mason will observe that the connection in which we have placed the passage, renders it unnecessary to go farther “ to look for a meaning of that clause 'thou shalt stand in thy lot,' which would make the sense of this verse consistent with other parts of the Sacred Oracles." (Gentiles' Fulness, p. 200.) That it is in perfect consistency, our whole argument demonstrates. What “days” are meant is too obvi. 'ous to require comment. They can be no other than those mentioned in the preceding verse.

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