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and all flesh shall see it together”-that "all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord”-that " the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord" that “ Jehovah shall make bare his holy arm in the
eyes of all the nations, and all the ends of the earth shall see the salvation of our God”—that “the heathen shall be given to the Redeemer for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession"-that “all kings shall fall down before him, all nations serve him, and the whole earth be filled with his glory."
Predictions of this description, run through most parts of the inspired writings, and are embodied in numerous passages which we are apt to overlook, particularly in the Book of Psalms. All the calls, or commands to praise God, which are addressed to the inhabitants of the world at large, may be considered as including predictions of such events; as in the following and similar
passages : “Make a joyful noise to the Lord all the earth, make a loud noise, and sing praise.” “Sing unto the Lord a new song, sing unto the Lord all the earth. Worship the Lord in the beauty of holiness, fear before him all the earth. Sing unto God, ye kingdoms of the earth, O sing praises to Jehovah." "O praise the Lord all ye nations, praise him all ye people,” &c.
And, since God has given a universal call to all people to engage in his service, we may rest assured, that this call will
, at some future period, be universally responded to by the inhabitants of every clime. For the word which has proceeded out of the mouth of Jehovah, shall not return to him void, but shall accomplish the purposes of his will. “ His counsel shall stand, and he will do all his pleasure.” In accordance with such calls, we find likewise, in the Book of Psalms, many positive declarations on this subject. “ All the earth shall worship thee, they shall sing to thy name.” “ The people shall praise thee, O God, all the people shall praise thee. God shall bless us, the fields shall yield their increase, and all the ends of the earth shall fear him.” « The heathen shall fear the name of the Lord, and all the kings of the earth
thy glory." "All nations whom thou hast made, shall come and worship before thee, O Lord, and shall glorify thy name.”
“ All the kings of the earth shall praise the Lord, when they hear the words of thy mouth.” “From the rising of the sun to the going down of the same, God's name is to be praised." "Kings of the earth and all people, princes and all judges of the earth, both young men and maidens, old men and children, shall praise the name of the Lord; for his name alone is excellent, and his glory is above the earth and heavens." Our duty, in reference to the promotion of such events, is likewise plainly declared. “O bless our God, ye people, and make the voice of his praise to be heard.” « Declare his glory among the heathen ; his wonders among all people."
Thy saints shall speak of the glory of thy kingdom, and talk of thy power, to make known to the sons of men his mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of his kingdom.”
The above passages, although there were no others recorded in the book of God, on this subject,-clearly point to a period, when the moral state of the world shall be regenerated, when persons of all ranks shall do homage to the Redeemer, and when the light of Divine truth shall shed its radiance on every land. It is of importance that a clear conviction of the certainty of such events should be deeply impressed upon the mind of every professor of religion; as some who call themselves Christians, have not only insinuated, but openly declared, that the state of the world will never be much better than it is; and, consequently, that we need give ourselves little trouble in making exertions for the regeneration of society—which is just, in other words, an apology for indulgence in covetousness. But nothing, I presume, can be more decisive, in reference to the approach of the millennial era, than the passages we have now quoted, if the word of God is not to be deemed fallacious.
This period, we trust, is now fast approaching; and our duty in reference to it, is clearly pointed out; " declare his glory among the heathen, and his wonders among all people. Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make straight in the desert a highway for oồr God. O thou that bringest good tidings to Zion, lift up thy voice with strength; lift it up, be not afraid ; say unto the cities of Judah,” and to the tribes of the heathen, “ behold your God.” While we engage in our duty in reference to such events, we have full assurance of direction and support from Him, who is the moral governor of the world, and the Supreme disposer of events. When it is declared that “all the ends of the earth shall turn to the Lord, and all kindreds of the nations worship before him”—it is added, “ for the kingdom is the Lord's, and He is the Governor among the nations.” And, consequently, he can remove every obstruction out of the way, and arrange every event in such a manner as to facilitate the
progress of Divine truth through the world, till, at length, “the everlasting gospel shall be preached to them that dwell upon the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.”
The only thing to be determined, is, whether that renovated and happy state of the world, which we call the millennium, shall be introduced by some astonishing miracles, such as happened at the creation, and the deluge; or, by the agency of Christian men under the influence of the Divine Spirit, devoting all their talents, energies, and treasures, to the accomplishment of this object. For the former supposition, I know no arguments grounded either on reason, or the dictates of revelation.
To suppose the Almighty, to interpose by such miracles to accomplish such events, would be contrary to every thing we know of the principles of the Divine government, or of its operations during the lapse of more than four thousand years. At the introduction, indeed, of the New Testament economy, miracles were wrought by Jesus Christ, to demonstrate to the world his Messiahship, and a similar power was conferred on his Apostles, to convince their hearers, wherever they travelled, that they were the messengers of heaven, and that they had authority for the truths they declared. But no miraculous change was effected in the general order, either of
the physical or the moral world. It might be asserted, without fear of contradiction, that, throughout the whole train of the Divine dispensations towards our world, there was never a miracle performed to accomplish any object, when that object could have been effected in consistency with the established laws of nature.
Now, men, “ as workers together with God,” are adequate to accomplish all that is predicted respecting the happiness and glory of the millennial era, provided they arouse themselves to holy energy and activity, and are WILLING to consecrate their mental powers, and their worldly riches to the promotion of this noble object. Besides, were the millennium to be introduced by a sudden miracle, it would deprive the saints of God, both of the honour which will be conferred upon them, in being instrumental in preparing the way for its arrival, and of the happiness they will feel in beholding the Divine plans gradually accomplishing, and their own exertions crowned with success.
For, since the physical and moral state of the world has been deranged by the sin of man, and since God in his mercy has determined to effect its regeneration, it ought to be considered as a high honour conferred upon his people, that he has been pleased to select them as agents in accomplishing his benevolent designs; and all who are “right-hearted men,” will enrol themselves in the service of the Redeemer, as Christian heroes, to increase the number of his subjects, and to extend his kingdom over the world; and to this service, they will account it their greatest happiness to devote all their wealth and treasures. “ This honour have all the saints;" and it is to be hoped, they will now come forward, with cheerfulness, and alacrity, in numerous bands, casting their treasures at his feet, “and give him no rest till he establish, and till he make Jerusalem a praise in the earth.”
If, then, it be admitted, that the millennium will be ushered in by the exertions of the friends of the Redeemer, in conjunction with the agency of the Spirit of God; the most energetic means ought now to be employed, and
with unremitting activity, in order to accomplish this desirable end. And, as those means involve a consecration of a far greater portion of wealth than has ever yet been devoted to the service of God, the principle of covetousness, in all the shapes it assumes, must be almost completely extirpated, and new principles acted upon, in relation to the appropriation of riches, before we can expect to behold those arrangements going forward, which are requisite to bring about this “consummation so devoutly to be wished." Christians may wish, and hope, and pray with apparent fervour, for the coming of the kingdom of Christ, and the glory of the latter days—they may profess to celebrate his death, to celebrate his praise, and may make a great stir and bustle about adhering to his cause and testimony; but unless they put their hands in their pockets to supply the means requisite for accomplishing the benevolent purposes of God, our expectations of the near arrival of the millennium will be frustrated; and their conduct can be considered as only a mockery of God, while, under profession of serving him, “their hearts are still going after their covetousness.”
The arrangements requisite for preparing the way for the approach of the millennium, have already been stated in the preceding sections.
Abundant provision requires to be made to promote the external comfort of the poor, and other ranks of society; many physical evils require to be remedied; improvements of every description carried forward; the wastes and deserts of the earth, cultivated and adorned ; old cities and towns cleared of every nuisance; and new towns and villages erected on spacious and improved plans, adapted to health, cheerfulness, and comfort. Seminaries require to be established for the instruction of all ranks, in every department of knowledge, connected with the life that now is, and the life to come, without which the foundations of the millennial state cannot be laid. All the useful arts and sciences must be promoted and carried towards perfection, as auxiliaries to the extension of the gospel and the renovation of the