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THERE is a general, widespread, though vagne belief in the minds of many Christians that there will be an age to come—a Millennium—when all the glorious predictions of the Hebrew prophets will be fulfilled. But whether it will be before the glorious Epiphany of the Lord Jesus, or after His return to this world, there is much difference of opinion; one class of interpreters maintaining that it will be before the second advent, and that it will be through the instrumentality of the Gospel that this age to come will be ushered in; such are called post-Millennarians, because they believe that Christ will come after the Millennium has transpired. Such a view we consider at variance with the whole scope of the Hebrew predictions relative to Israel and the age to come, and not less opposed to the plain teaching of Matt. xxiv. and xxv., the book of Revelations, and 1 Thess. iv.
The other class of interpreters are those who are pre-Millennarians, because they believe that Christ will come before the Millennium, and because they believe that Jesus will come to usher it in with a series of events both judicial and merciful. This is the view we have been compelled to accept for many years, and which we believe to be in entire agreement with the whole scope of the Word of God, both the Old and New Testaments.
But this conclusion can only be arrived at by a most careful and thoughtful comparison of the various predictions in all their proper historical, geographical, and chronological associations. Dissociated from either of these, cloudiness and confusion will be sure to supervene, and permit the full comprehension of that wide range of dispensational truth which is so requisite for all devout and successful students of Scripture prophecy.
The author has much pleasure in commending two small volumes of intrinsic value, which should be read preliminary to the subject of this book.1 And if the reader will, after reading these, carefully refer to all the texts of Scripture referred to, he will have little or no difficulty in entering upon this volume with a clear view of what it teaches, and so follow the author in the various interesting points discussed seriatim in this volume.
The Coming Great Revival,” by Rev. Chas. Graham, and “The Path of Life," by the late Rev. John Cox.
2 Some chapters of this book have been written more than two years.
THE AGE TO
THE RULE AND GOVERNMENT OF
CAREFUL perasal of the prophetic Scriptures
will teach us that in the age to come there will be a special form of government adapted to the divine purpose.
And by a careful collation of all the passages which refer to this subject, we conclude that it will be of the nature of a Theocracy, though possibly differing in some particulars from that of the past Hebrew age.l,
1 “ Redemption Draweth Nigb," A. A. Bonar, p. 215.
2 Some vague ideas existed in the 3rd century concerning the Millennium, but they were very crude and incorrect. See Mosh. Eccles. His, vol. i.
It may be well, however, to mark that previous to the inauguration of the Millennial Prince or Ruler, that there will be a gradual and universal state of anrest among all the nations which represent the ten toes of the great image in Daniel's vision (ii. 34); and we will consider a few texts which show how this condition of things will increase, till the great crisis arrive, and the Lord come.
In Psalm ii. 7 we have a prediction which no one can doubt refers to our blessed Lord; not only because it is quoted and applied to Him in the New Testament, but also because it cannot possibly be applied to any one else. The whole scope of the context shows that He to whom these words refer, and in whom they centre, can be none other than the Hebrew Messiah“the King Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible.” And if we mistake not, this prophetic Psalm adumbrates the state and condition of things which will obtain in the world just before the inauguration of the great Millennial kingdom—a condition and period in this world's guilty history to which we believe we are fast hastening.
Here the word heathen would be better translated Gentiles, or nations (Sept., Ovn), as distinguished from the Jews, or Israel. And how well this prediction describes the political and social state of all the Gentile nations at this time! Monarchy (God's true idea of government—the government of One!) is passing into Republicanism, Communism, Nihilism, Fenianism!1. and all restless, agitated; worse than when old Rome's republic shouted, “ Vox populi, vox Dei !” Alas for all human governments! they do and must fail, because they do not recognise God as the source of all true power and authority. Nor is our own beloved country any exception. That we, in common with all other Gentile governments, are drifting to some fearful crisis, is questioned by few. The fact is, the ten toes of the great imaye are forming, and coming into actual existence, and national visibility; but they are all iron and potters' clay (Dr. Tregelles on Daniel, p. 18), and will so continue till He comes “whose right it is to reign.”
1 See p. 536, “The Papacy,” Dr. Wylie.
From the first to the end of the fifth verse the Holy Ghost describes this disorder among the nations, and the anti-Christian spirit which will characterize these last sad times, together with the spirit of “ lawlessness” to which Paal refers (2 Thess, ii. 3) when speaking predictively of the same times in the world's history. Mark the violence of the language, as well as the unity of purpose (implying a “covenant ”—see Dan. ix. 27), which will mark the turbulent race who will be ready to give their power and authority" to the beast-Rev. xiii. 2 -. 5(Onplov)—"all the world (örn Tû yn) wondered after the beast." (See also verses 7 and 8, chap. xiii.; see Alford's Greek Test. and Rev. xii. 3.)
But just in the midst of this world-wide turbulence and unrest the Most High looks on (see also Prov. 1) with a purpose of judgment (verses 4 and 5).
And here occurs the prediction which refers to the
1 Though we admire Mr. Cook's Monday Lectures, yet we think he goes too far in his hopes, as expressed in p. 202. No Lincoln will ever govern without failure. He must rule whose right it is.