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from its purpose of comfort to the persecuted and suffering saints of God, in favour of others who have known no persecution and endured no suffering.

The term fuxas, rendered souls, seems employed by the Holy Spirit purposely to fix the meaning. Three terms are employed to denote the constitution of man, nyeupe spirit, turn soul, and and ownece body, (1 Thess. v. 23.) Where sameness of character, or common principles, pervading a class or body of men are intended, tuua, or spirit, is employed. (Luke ix. 55; 1 Cor. vi. 17; Ephes. iv. 4, 1 Cor. xiv. 32; 1 John iv. 1; Rom. viii. 15.) It is the term employed when gifts of federal blessing to the church, and not personal rewards to its several members, are announced. Rev. xi. 11. If a figurative resurrection of principles and not of persons had been designed, the word avoue would certainly have been used. The term fuxn is used with the same constancy to denote what in each man is distinctively personal, and therefore the subject of reward or punishment. Mark viii. 36; Matt. xvi. 26, 27; x. 39; Rom. ii. 9; 1 John iii. 16. We are thus assured that when the vision speaks of the souls of them that were slain for the word of God, it brings no message of vicarious blessings which Christians dwelling at ease are to receive as it were, by proxy, for the saints martyred of old, but of God's faithfulness and truth in rewarding with personal glory his once afflicted and suffering servants.

The passage in Rev. vi. 9-11 confirms this. In the sacrifices of the law, which were shadows of things in heaven, the blood of the sin-offering was poured [299] out at the bottom of the altar, and so the apostle in spirit here beholds the blood of the martyred saints poured out beneath the heavenly altar, and their cry for vengeance and retribution is heard ascending to the righteous Judge. Though the blood be a symbol, it is not a symbol, but a truth, that their cry does thus ascend, and that each is marked before him for reward and glory, but it is delayed till the number of the sufferers be full, on the sounding of the seventh angel, (Rev. xi. 18.) In Rev. xx. 4, we have the same souls of the martyred, but their cry has ceased, and they live and reign. O how far is it then from the truth that the martyrs and their rewards are symbolic, to be answered by their blood remaining unavenged, and a peaceful unsuffering church succeeding in their stead! We want faith in the account of the righteous judgment which is outstanding against the world, and only delayed by the long-suffering of God.

The particularity of Griesbach's readings of Rev. vi. 11, is worthy of attention; ωοθη αυτοις, εκαστω στολη λευκή,- there was given to them, to each one, a white robe. He gives each a several token of his love, and an earnest of glory. The term, OTIVEES, (Rev. xx. 4.) joined with the pronoun, autos previously used, shews that it is the slain ones themselves whom the apostle states to have lived and reigned, and that the glory includes all who have escaped the brand of apostacy; it should have been included in the translation thus: and whosoever had not worshipped the beast.

The words lived and reigned remarkably correspond to those of the apostle. “If we be dead with him, we shall also live with him: if we suffer, we shall also reign with him;" and oh, let us remember the annexed [300] warnings against denying him, and against unbelief! i Tim. ii. 11–13.

But, they lived, and the rest of the dead lived not. The dead are plainly divided into two classes, of which one was now raised, and the other after the thousand years were ended. It cannot refer to the ó actos; of the former chapter, for those are living at the time they are described as the remnant. Rev. xix. 21. The two classes in Rev. xix. are described as sharers in guilt and punishment; but the two classes in Rev. xx. are contrasted-one as rewarded, and the other as punished. The first resurrection must then be literal. The term vexpos clearly means the naturally dead, (Rev. xx. 12,) and the same class as the rest of the dead, and therefore means the naturally dead, (v. 5.) The first class then again, (Rev. xx. 4) must have been the subjects of a natural death and a natural resurrection.

The individuality of 'verse 6, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection,” also excludes a figurative meaning

These remarks furnish but a part of the proof which make it, in my mind, impossible that a spiritual and figurative resurrection, or any other than one real and literal, can be here intended by the Holy Spirit. O may we more dread wresting the promises of God, and slighting the great charter of the hopes of the first-born, than all the taunts or mockery of men.

While some have supposed that the day of the Lord as a thousand years, is an indefinite period, others have considered it as symbolical of 360,000 years. But it corresponds with the gracious purposes of God to guard his church from despondency, by [301] giving the time of suffering in veiled numbers, and to animate her with hope by giving the time of peculiar and special reward in explicit and plain statements. On this ground, on the general harmony of the time with God's Dispensations, on the express statement of St. Peter, expounding the day of the Lord as meaning a thousand years; and believing that the word soos is not used symbolically, or for a larger period than a year (the word translated year, Rev. ix.

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be made. It has been shewn, in the scriptural account of time, that the day of the Lord is a period probably of 1000 years. The scriptures give several testimonies to the last fire, and the new heavens and the new earth, which should be compared together, in order to obtain a full and harmonious view of God's purposes.

It appears, from Isa. Ixy. 17, that the new heavens and the new earth are connected with the restoration of the Jews, and their living in the flesh upon earth. It appears, from 2 Peter iii. 13, that this new heavens and new earth are connected with the burning of the earth; and it appears, from Rev. xxi. 1, that there shall be no more sea, is connected with this new heaven and new earth; but there is a sea, both symbolically and literally, to the close of the millennium. Rev. xx. 8. hence gather that these three accounts give us a view of the commencement, progress, and completion of the new heavens and the new earth. When completed, and not till then, there is no more sea.

[302] It appears, from Isaiah li. 16, that while God is planting the heavens, and laying the foundations of the earth, the Jews, having his word in their mouth, will be covered in the shadow of his hand; the saints also will, at the coming of the Lord, be caught up together with him, to meet the Lord in the air. It appears also that others of the nations, (Isaiah lxvi. 15—19. Rev. xxi. 24.) will escape in this fearful conflagration. But let us not rest in the mere visible outside view of these things. The great and spiritual change which God purposes hereby to effect is the point of chief importance. The visible, though real, must be viewed as the indication of the invisible; the new heavens, of the heavenly things attained by redemption, and the saints shining as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever;" and the new earth, though real, as the indication of the righteous nation of Israel, and at length of the universal righteousness which shall cover the world. We make it little more than a matter of curiosity, if we rest in the outside changes; we rise to the spiritual use and edification, by seeing the lessons which that outward change is designed to give us, of the real blessedness of holiness and entire conformity to God's will.

There are some original and valuable remarks on the millennium, in the Essays of the Rev. H. Woodward. In answer to the objection of the impossibility of the recurrence e

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evil and opposition to God, after a long reign of righteousness, he shews the force of the law of opinion, and that the peculiar characteristic of that period will be that the law of opinion will then be on the side of holiness and of God; it being a state in which righteousness is ascendant, [303] and in which multitudes may outwardly conform, though not reconciled in heart and mind to the holy and happy order of things. He shews how inapplicable the scriptures of the New Testament, written for a tempted and suffering church, are to this state of things, and thence draws an argument for the personal advent of our Lord on earth, to open the very fountain from which the scriptures themselves have flowed, by which new streams may issue forth to water a renovated world, and make glad the city of God. From the promises of the Old Testament having been the hope of the church in all ages, he thinks it likely that they who have thus hoped, in past ages, shall through the first resurrection really share in the blessed fulfilment. He observes that there is a striking connection between the enlarged gift of the Spirit and the visible exhibition of the Saviour's glory; the Spirit's manifested power increasing precisely with the manifestations of Christ. He also states how the doctrine of the personal appearance of Christ with all his saints, clears up many difficulties which the actual state of the world presents to the mind, and gives a scheme calculated to vindicate the ways of Providence, and shew that this world will not always be left without a ruler and leader, whose voice none can misinterpret. From the usurpation of an infallible priesthood in Popery, and from the superhuman attributes usually ascribed to monarchs, he gathers the general sense of mankind that their case requires some superhuman power; that deep attachment of heart once given to men, shall at length, as justly due, be given to the Lord Jesus Christ.

Having now, then, cleared our way through the difficulties of this very important hope of the church [304] of Christ, let us rise above these mists of controversy, and view the subject in the way which the apostles set it before us. “Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ:" Titus ii. 13. sour conversation is in heaven, from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body;" Phil. iii. 20. “we, according to his promise, look for a new heaven and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness.” 2 Peter iii. 13. O let not the differences of Christians keep us from this waiting state of mind; this blessed hope; this heavenly conversation; this glorious prospect. It is a reality; there is for Christ's waiting people a crown of life and glory; there is a kingdom of light and love, and joy and blessedness; the Saviour will return, and that speedily, and raise his expecting people to be with him for ever. We shall not be ashamed of our hope. It will exceed our largest thoughts. Brethren in Christ, let us now be faithful to Christ; let us now confess him in the midst of the infidel world! let us now be willing to suffer for his sake. The day of suffering is short, the day of glory is one eternal day. It approaches, it is at the door. Let us, like the racer, eagerly hasten for the prize; let us “be diligent, that we may be found of him in peace, without spot and blameless."



[305] It is a just remark of Dr. Pye Smith, that "the prophecies respecting the kingdom of the Messiah, its extension and duration, and the happiness of his innumerable subjects, are in a much greater proportion than those which describe his humiliation to sufferings, and his dreadful death."

Indeed the universal reign of the triumphant Messiah, to the glory of God, is the grand result of God's dispensations. “God hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father." Phil. ii. 10, 11.

The nature of the kingdom of Christ is a subject, then, of intense interest, and calls for distinct consideration. It has various aspects and circumstances; but still in all its forms the nature of this kingdom is substantially the same in its principle and character at all times. It is the reign of God over his creature man,-his supreme ascendancy over the heart and man's entire, willing, and joyful submission to him, and holy, filial, and happy communion with him. [306] Man is by nature under the bondage of sin and Satan, alienated from God, and at enmity with him. When a man is born again of water and of the Spirit, he sees the kingdom of God, and enters into it. Satan is resisted and dethroned-self is subdued, and God's will is our rule, our will, and our joy. This kingdom is within, and its blessings are righteousness, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. The Holy Spirit is, in the absence of Christ, the great administrator of this kingdom.

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