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All power is in His hand,
His people to defend;
Shall millions more attend:
This little seed from heaven
Sball soon become a tree;
Diffused abroad must be:
THE GENERAL KNOWLEDGE OF THE AGE TO COME.
JHAT the age to come will not have its science
and literature is incredible; for there is the greatest probability that the progress of science and literature, instead of being arrested, or stamped out, by the Second Advent of our blessed Lord, and the inauguration of the millennial kingdom, will be rendered far more progressive, and its progress be greatly accelerated along the right lines ; because the volumes of Nature and Providence will still be open to and for the perusal and study of the privileged subjects of this pacific empire. Only, we think, the universal tendency of all who read her ancient pages, and “ look from Nature up to Nature's God," will be to see still more fully and clearly
“ Sermons in stones,
And good in everything." All the progress which has been made in the physical sciences during this dispensation will be retained; at least, all such as is in harmony with the existence and Providence of a Personal Deity; while all that is impregnated with agnostic and sceptical tendencies, there is reason to believe, will be abandoned as deleterious and dishonouring to the all-wise God. For on the supposition, which is quite reasonable, that the scientific knowledge which is acquired and preserved in a permanent literature, and on the tablet memorials during this dispensation, shall survive all the circumstances of the transition from this dispensation to the age to come, we can easily see how marvellous will be the progress in scientific knowledge, when they shall examine and estimate the teachings of nature in the light of divine revelation, with, perhaps, additional light vouchsafed in the new era. 1
Nor is it credible that there should be either a destruction or abandonment of the scientific knowledge and literature which has been gathered during this probationary and elective age, except such as is sceptical in its character. For it is indisputable that a large measure of scientific knowledge, archæological discovery, and philosophical, as well as theological literature, is every way calculated to promote the glory of God and the best interests of mankind, even in his millennial state; and therefore it is every way reasonable to suppose that God in His Providence will preserve this to be the starting-point of the still greater scientists of the age to come, whose discoveries in astronomy, chemistry, electricity, magnetism, and
1 “Art and science and society, being thoroughly pervaded by Christ and His Spirit, will no longer, as now, draw off the soul from spiritual religion to sensuousness, but will be handmaids to spirituality,” &c. (pp. 111, 112, of the “ Church and the World”). See also “Third Series of Aids to Prophetic Enquiry,” by B. W. Newton,
every other physical science, will doubtless far
surpass the highest attainments of those of this age.
And one reason why we think so is, because, Satan being bound, and all his angels severed from their mischievous associations with this world, the human mind will be more clear and vigorous in its perception and power to perceive, discover, discriminate, and reason in all these departments of knowledge. And this being so, there is every reason to believe that scientific progress will be more rapid, as well as more full in its detail, and wider in its range, than under the less favourable circumstances of this evil age, when we know not what hindrances Satan may put in the way of even that scientific progress which would be pro majore Dei gloria! For who will say that Satan cannot, and does not, defeat many a noble effort in the line of scientific progress, when such progress would have been for the glory of God ?
Besides this, the age to come, though rightly spoken of as “the kingdom of the Son,” because it will be the age of His regal supremacy and world-wide empire, will nevertheless witness a much larger measure of spiritual influence through the power of the Holy Ghost. We think both Joel ii. 28, 29, and Zech. xii. 8, which should be studiously examined, clearly teach this, and place it beyond question.
But there are some other parts of the prophetic Scriptures which bear upon this subject, and which demand at our hands at least a passing examination. For anything which can throw any light upon this interesting subject, which must have arisen in the minds of all thoughtful students of millennial predictions, when pursuing these queries along the line of millennial time and circumstances, demands attention. Let us note a few texts:
1“ Sacred Calendar of Prophecy,” vol. iii., p. 337. Faber.
(1) Isa. xxxiii. 6. Here it is said, after the prophet, in the fifth verse, has described the Lord as “exalted,” and reigning in Zion—i.e., Jerusalem restored-he says, personating Jehovah, in verse 6, “And wisdom and knonledge shall be the stability of thy times.” Now there can be no question but that Isaiah is speaking of the age to come, and “when God's people shall be all righteous," for they shall see "eye to eye when the Lord brings again Zion.” Here, we think, wisdom and knowledge are to be taken in a wide and universal sense, rather than in a narrow and restricted one, and therefore would seem to suggest that there will be great and extraordinary progress and development of general and scientific knowledge, and that their progress should be the glory, honour, and stability of the millennial age. And if this be the true interpretation, who will doubt it? And what other interpretation can we reasonably put upon these words ? For the longer we think upon and around the subject, the more convinced we are that this interpretation is sustained by the context, and by corresponding passages.
(2) Hosea ii. 3: “ Then shall we know, if we follow on to know the Lord.” By examining the antecedent verse, we learn that Hosea refers to the restoration of Israel to their land, and their figurative resurrection