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The service of God performed among them hall be spiritual, quite diftinct from their for: mer manner of serving him'.
The nations shall flow into them", and they fhall propagate the truth among the nations. - Their temporal happinefs shall be great and permanent.
The Millennium is a period which the prophets introduce frequently, and describe largely. The peculiarity of their description and phraseology, when they mention this subje&t, will enable the attentive reader to recognise it, wherever it is introduced. The circumstances of the description can suit no other time..
(1) Jer. 'iii. 15, 16. Jer. xxxi. 31–34. Jer. l. 5. Ezek. xvi. 62, and xxxvi. 26, 27.,
(2) Jer. iii. 17. Ifa. lx. 3—16 Zech. viii. 22. (3) Ifa. ii. 3. Ifa. Ixvi. 19. · Jer. iv. 2. Mic. v. 7.
(4) Isa. xxx. 23, 24. Jer. xxxi. 12. Ezek. xxxiv. 26, 27. Amos ix. 13. Zech. viii. 12.)
From these quotations, and many others which might be added, we see that several passages refer to the future, which inattentive readers apply to the past.
They describe it as a period in which: Jews and Gentiles shall be united as members of the church, and admitted as joint worshippers into the house of God. Before the Christian dispensation, the Jews only were admitted. By the promulgation of the Gospel, the middle wall of partition was broken down, and the Gentiles were introduced. The admission of the Gentiles was from the beginning of the Gospel the great stumbling-block to the Jews, who have ever fince been aliens from the household of faith, and, according to the prophets, they shall continue in that state until the Millennium.
They describe it as a period of much outward glory to the church, by her extending her dominion over all nations, as well as by the regu. larity and stability of her government and discipline. Now, previous to the Christian dispensation, the was confined to one riation. In the beginning of the Christian dispensation, she was for some time without the support of civil goo vernment, and subject to perfecution. When she received a legal establishment, the began to be corrupted, and in process of time, instead of the chaste spouse of Christ, appeared to be “the “ mother of harlots." From that period, the has ceased to appear as one great united body. Notwithstanding the purity of individuals, and of fome public establishments since the Reforma
mation, there is nounion betwixt the several na. tional churches in their outward polity, neither will there be any until the Millennium.
The prophets represent it as a period of fuperior grace, holiness and happiness.
These circumstances, peculiar in themselves, are set forth in uncommon language. The outward glory of the church is represented by a temple regularly built', and a city reared of precious stones. The abundance of grace bestowed at that period, is compared to a copious river issuing from the temples, or running through the street of the city. The moral change wrought by it, on the temper and be. haviour of men, is set forth by a renovation of the natural world', or by taming the fiercest animals, as wolves and lions. The happiness of that period is represented by giving additional
(1) Ezek. xl. xli. xlii.'
(2) Ifa. liv. 11, 12. Rev. xxi. 10—21.
(3) Ezek. xlvii. 1-12. Joel iii. 18.
(4) Psal. xlvi. 4. Rev. xxii. 1, 2.
(5) Isa. lxv. 17. Ifa. lxvi. 22. Rev. xxi. 1.'
(6) Ifa. xi. 6—9. Isa. xxxy. I. Isa. Ixv. 25.
light to the heavens', and greater fertility to the eartha,
When we learn by any of these circumstan. ces, that the prophet has the Millennium in view, as the place of the Millennium in the feries of events is known from the Apocalypse, it will prove a key to open up the meaning of the other events connected with it, in the same section of prophecy; for their relation to each other, and their place in the general order of events are known, from their relation to the Millennium.
In judging of the sentiments of any writer, it is necessary to consider the connection of his discourse. An expression by itself may appear ambiguous, which, from the connection with what precedes or follows it, may have an obvious and determined meaning. This rule is applicable to the prophets. Their meaning appears obvious ; at any rate the mind
(1) Ifa. XXX. 26. Ifa.lx. 19. Rev. xxi. 23. Rev. xxii. 5.
(2) Ezek. xxxiv. 26, 27.
rests in it as highly probable, when the con. nection can be traced, through a whole discourse or section of prophecy. But it is more difficult to trace the connection in them, than in any other writers, sacred or profane. The difficulty arises partly from the nature of the subject. When they treat of events still fu. ture to us, they are wrapt up in a venerable gloom, and of them it may be said, That
we know but in part, and fee darkly as “ through a glass.” It cannot be expected, that we should trace the connection as clearly as when the Providence of God has already proved the comment on the prophecy. But much of the difficulty arises from the peculiar manner of the prophets. I shall therefore note some of their peculiarities of method and expression, which I hope will lefsen the difficulty, and cuable the attentive reader to trace the connection, when otherwise he would have lost it.
1. The prophets give several parallel views of the same period of time; that is, they run over the same events, yet so as to observe the same order of events in each view, and to enlarge in one view on events slightly touched in another. Mede' has demonstrated that there are such pa
(1) In his Clavis Apocalyptica.