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is great. The moral principle is gone: / of your property should be given for the the barrier whieh obstructed his progress purpose of relieving the wants, and is removed, and he is capable of wan- saving the souls of men, and advancing dering over the whole extent of the for- | the kingdom of Christ; it is a question bidden field. These little deceits attack which each man, on his own responsithe authority of the Divine Lawgiver, as bility, must decide for himself; but this much as what are termed greater sins : I say on the authority of the Divine impair the strength of the soul, and shake word, that the Lord Jesus Christ dethe foundation on which integrity rests. mands your all-yourselves—your proDeceit and duplicity in small matters perty—your influence—your time--all have a certain tendency to make men presented as a “ living sacrifice, holy and insincere on more important occasions, acceptable to God.” This demand reand may gradually destroy the character quires, that you pursue your merof integrity altogether, If you advance chandize, prosecute your trades, cultivate one step beyond the line which separates your farms, or attend to the business of right from wrong-honesty from disho- your profession with the constant design nesty-you know not how far you may of glorifying the Lord Christ in your : wander into the way of unrighteousness. calling; and with the fixed purpose of Come not then near the territories of being habitually, according to your sin, but stand at a distance from “the means, a liberal and “ cheerful giver," appearance of evil.” In all your trans- | to an amount that will constitute a sacri. actions, enquire what is right, and let all fice for Christ's sake, and make it selfthings bend to the answer : let every denial on your part. When, O when ! shall thing be sacrificed to truth and justice : the day come, in which professed Chrislet duty be strenuously performed to the tians will act freely in the spirit, and on Jast “jot and tittle” of exaction, remem- the terms of their discipleship; when bering that the eye of God is upon you, will they feel, that they are to be agents and that the judgment of God is in | active untiring agents, in the work of reserve for you.
enlightening and saving a world ? When Finally, brethren, show by your con- will they give full credit to the divine duct, that you feel the love and truth declaration, “ the liberal soul shall be of God, and the force of conscience- made fat, and he that watereth shall be imitate Zaccheus. Here, perhaps, some watered also himself ?" The Lord hasten may be disposed to ask, “ what would that day. Awake, awake, ye friends of you have us do? Would you say, that the Saviour-do the Lord's work, and we must actually give away at once one- see if he will not take care of you and half of our property to promote the yours. « Bring all the tithes into the temporal and eternal welfare of our store-house, that there may be meat in fellow-men ?” My friends, I should not my house; and prove me now herewith, dare to assume the responsibility of de- saith the Lord of Hosts, if I will not open ciding how much any man must give for you the windows of heaven and pour you these objects, except in regard to myself; out a blessing, that there shall not be and this I must decide. I shall not room enought to receive it.” Mal, üi. 10. dare to tell you, in all cases, what portion
THE PRE-MILLENNIAL ADVENT OF CHRIST.
PREACHED IN THE CHURCH OF BALLINASLOE,
ON SUNDAY, 15TH MARCH, 1840,
BY THE REV. JOSIAH B. LOWE, A.M.
I Peter, i. 11.
Having, in the preceding context, the glory-to illustrate this refer to administered consolation to the suffering Isaiah xlix. 1-7; lii. 13_15; and liji. “ strangers, scattered throughout Pontus, 10–12. Now this method, in which it Galatia, Asia, Cappadocia, and Phrygia,” | seemed good to the God of Israel to by reminding them of the glories of that reveal his purposes to man, satisfactorily salvation, of which they were the heirs, accounts, (as I think) for the remarkable the inspired writer proceeds in the pas- fact which we are here assured of, that sage from which my text is taken, to the prophetic page formed the subject of shew that this salvation had not only been enquiring meditation to the prophets the theme of prophecy, but also, the themselves; for, you perceive, there was subject of anxious enquiry and diligent a difficulty here-a certain degree of search, to the prophets themselves : “ of obscurity, which affected the prophets which salvation the prophets have enqui-themselves, as well as their hearers--for red, and searched diligently, who pro- prophecy came not by the will of man, phesied of the grace which should come but holy men of old spake as they were unto you; searching what, or what moved by the Holy Ghost”-in other manner of time, the Spirit of Christ words, they were only instruments in the which was in them, did signify, when it hands of the Spirit, to convey whatever testified beforehand of the sufferings of degree of information he might deem Christ, and the glory which should expedient to confer upon the Church at follow.”—These, then, are the two great large—they were not inspired in order heads, under which are comprised the that they might know, but ihat they might prophecies concerning our salvation ; convey knowledge to the Church, and “ the sufferings of Christ, and the glory whatever degree of information was conwhich should follow"_the former belong. veyed in the form in which their propheing to the first, the latter to the second cies were couched, of so much, they were advent of the Saviour. These were themselves possessed, and no moreblended together in the page of prophecy, whatever obscurity was attached to the but yet, in such a manner, that it might mode of their annunciations, affected be seen that the suffering was to precede themselves equally with the believing the glory—it was never distinctly stated portion of their hearers, who were thus that the Messiah was to come twice; the possessed of as much information with circumstances belonging to the two ad- respect to the meaning of their predicvents were blended together in the same tions, as they were themselves. context, as though they belonged to one; Now, it is instructive to observe the yet (I repeat) always in such a way, as effect of this obscurity upon their minds; that it should be evident to the attentive they were not deterred thereby from reader, that the suffering was to precede examining into the object of their hopes; quite the reverse they were (as no doubt is not that into which the Saviour has God intended them to be) intently occu- disappeared, but that in which he is to appied with the study of them, they pear, " the glory which shall be revealed." inquired and searched diligently.” How In speaking of the "sufferings” of different is this from the conduct of many Christ, we were occupied with the examiin the present day, who, professing to nation of occurrences that are past, the have “that faith which is the substance latter part of the text, “ the glory," directs of things hoped for,”: do yet excuse them- | us to events yet future—the former is selves from studying the prophetic page, purely the subject of history, the latter of on the ground of the alleged difficulty of prophecy; and this difference in the interpretation; and that too in the present relative periods, to which the facts condispensation, when so much that was nected with these two subjects respectreally difficult has been cleared up ively belong, unfortunately requires that when (in the words of Scripture) “the we should adopt a different mode in darkness is past, and the true light now treating of them. The particulars resshineth,' in the face, not only of the pecting the sufferings of Christ, being inspired declaration, that “all Scripture is simply recorded in the Gospel narratives, profitable,” but of the express injunction are universally agreed upon among the of the Holy Ghost to study the prophetic orthodox ; whereas the case is far otherScriptures in particular, “ye have also wise respecting the particulars of his a more sure word of prophecy, unto glory-consequently, on the one subject which ye do well to give heed, as unto a I needed only to state the facts as they light shining in a dark place.” If there occurred, by simply appealing to your are any such here present, I would just | memory, while on the other it will be submit to you the two following sug- necessary to demonstrate the facts that gestions :—1st, If this alleged obscurity will occur, by an argumentative appeal to be an excuse for neglecting the prophetic your judgments—at the same time, it is word, then might the Church for 4,000 well to bear in mind, that the disagreeyears have been excused from attending ment between believers, on this point is to the subject of salvation, inasmuch as it not so great as is often represented; it is was for that period, purely a matter of more on the order in which events shall prophecy !-and 2nd, As a consequence take place, than on the events themselves, of this, the Jews were not without excuse that Christians will be found to disagree for rejecting the Saviour; for if they —the remarkable circumstances are very were not called upon to study, and un generally agreed upon, and indeed admit of derstand the prophecies, how can we no controversy upon them—thus, that there blame them for rejecting Jesus of will be a period when “the earth shall Nazareth, while they looked for the “Son be full of the knowledge of the glory of of David ?"_I repeat, you who excuse the Lord, as the waters cover the sea"yourselves from studying the prophetic that “the Son shall receive the heathen Scriptures, are obliged in consistency to, for his inheritance, and the uttermost at least, extenuate the guilt of those who parts of the earth for his possession"crucified the “ Lord of Glory."
that “the kingdoms of this world shall We have been lately considering the become the kingdoms of our Lord, and sufferings of Christ;" let us now proceed to of his Christ”- that “his dominion shall consider "the glory which should follow.” | be from sea to sea, and from the river We have already stated that this glory unto the ends of the earth”--that here spoken of belongs to the second | “at the name of Jesus every knee shall advent of the Lord Jesus ; and that we bow, of things in heaven, and things in were not mistaken in so doing will appear earth, and things under the earth”-in a from a reference to the context, in which word, that there shall be a period of glory, we find the apostle dwelling particularly and blessedness, and peace on the face of on that event ; (see verses 5, 7, 13.) | this earth, called the Millennium, is uniand also from a passage, decidedly paral-versally admitted by those who read their lel, in chap. v. 1, " The elders which Bibles. Again, that the Lord Jesus shall are among vou, I exhort, which am also come the second time, without sin an elder, and a witness of the sufferings unto salvation”--that “the sign of the of Christ, and also a partaker of the Son of Man shall be seen in the clouds glory which shall be revealed.” You per- of heaven, with power, and great glory ceive then that the glory here spoken of that “he shall sit on the throne of his glory, and before him shall be assembled | nium. But, before entering upon the all nations;" this, too, is freely admitted, proof, allow me to remind you that I am and forms a portion of the creed of all not about to advocate any theory of my the orthodox,—so far all are agreed—but own; I am not about to plead in behalf then there is a difference of opinion, res- of any novel doctrine; the sentiments pecting the order of these events, which, which I shall endeavour to bring before (as we shall hereafter see) materially you, have been entertained by thousands affects the nature of them. The majority of the faithful—the sentiments of those of those whom I address, no doubt sup- who have sealed their testimony with pose, that the Millennium is to precede the their blood, and who have been supported second advent; that it is to be brought by the hope which they presented to about by the gradual diffusion of Gospel their minds, while consuming slowly at the truths, which is to prevail to such a de- stake—they were the sentiments of the gree over the whole world, as fully to Church of God in its earliest, and purest account for the metaphorical, and highly, ages, and number among their zealous (as it is called) poetical descriptions advocates, many of the most celebrated, given of that period, in the prophetic and learned members of the Church of writings; after which time, there will be England. Obscured for a long time, by a great falling away, when the Lord the prevalence of Papal darkness and Jesus shall come, to judge, at one, and superstition, they burst forth with fresh the same time, the living and the dead; lustre upon the glorious reformation ; to consign the wicked to their final doom, since then, it is true, they have been to a and to receive the righteous into life degree suppressed and discouraged; for eternal. This is a brief outline of what Satan is ever on the watch to marr the may be considered the popular view of effects of God's goodness, as far as the this subject ;-—others, on the other hand, power so mysteriously committed to him believe that the Lord Jesus is to come enables him to do; and just as he endeabefore the Millennium, during which bles-voured to counteract the blessed effects sed period he is to reign personally, in of the reformation, by the extravagancies visible glory, over the world, and that of fanaticism, so also did he attempt to after it, is to take place the general bring prophetical subjects into disrepute, judgment, when “the dead, small and by the absurdities of presumptuous great shall stand before God.” Now, it curiosity ; but nevertheless, “the things is manifest, that before we can arrive at which are revealed belong unto us, and any satisfactory acquaintance with the to our children,” and as we would not particulars of this subject, we must first forego the blessings of the reformation, settle this point, viz.-whether the glorious on account of the licentiousness of some, appearing of the great God, and our so, let us not be deterred from the study Saviour Jesus Christ, is to take place of the prophetic page, by the idle curiafter or before the Millennium; and osity of others; while we shrink with although the former opinion is, as I obo horror from the idea of being wise above served, the more popular in the present what is written, let us not be debarred day, I have no hesitation in declaring, from the study of what is revealed; while that the testimony of Scripture appears we remember the awful warning, which to me altogether in favor of the latter- forbids us to add anything to the Word i. e. the pre-millennial advent of Messiah. of God, let us not be unmindful of that I do not think the Bible warrants us to which prohibits us to take any thing away look for any period of national conversion, from it; let us come as little children to or season of universal blessing on this be taught of God, determined to renounce earth, previous to the coming of the Son our own prejudices, and receive with of Man ;-take any passage you please, meekness the engrafted word; and, earwhich plainly, and unequivocally speaks of nestly supplicating the light of the Holy the Millennium ; and we undertake to shew Spirit, to enable us to take forth the you from the context, that it is subsequent precious from the vile, “let us prove all to the second advent :-or again, take any things, and hold fast that which is good, * text which undoubtedly speaks of the personal advent of Christ; and we think *For a confirination of the above statement res.
pecting the opinion of the early Church on this sage itself, or else from one confessedly
subject, see Bishop Newton's commentary on
the 20th chapter of revelations, in his Disser. parallel, that it is previous to the Millen- | tations on the Prophecies.'
· I propose, on the present occasion, to Rev. v. 8, with iv. 1,4,) it is the song of confine myself to this one point, (on the redeemed in heaven, saying, “we” which indeed the whole controversy will (who were once in the world, but are now be found to depend) viz. to shew reason before the throne of God) “we” (still from Scripture, why we are to expect look for something further than our prethe advent of Christ before the Millennium, sent blessedness) for "we shall reign on and entreat your earnest and solemn earth,”—now take another expression attention, to the following proofs. from the same context, “ blessed are the
Proof 1.-The saints are to rise poor, for theirs' is the kingdom of God," from the dead to partake of the Mil- here, as in the former case, there can be lennial glory, but as there is confessedly no doubt that this blessing belongs to all no resurrection to be expected until the who possess the characteristic which it Lord comes, to summon his people from supposes—all, in a word, who in this disthe grave, it follows that his coming pensation, are poor for Christ's sake.must take place before the Millennium. Now how many thousands of such have Why must the saints rise to partake of lived, and died, since these words were Millennial glory? because that glory is for spoken ? and consequently, to partake of them; such is the universal testimony of the “ kingdom of God," must rise from Scripture on the subject, “ blessed are the dead. But here, some one will say, the meek, for they shall inherit the may not “the kingdom of God' mean earth ;" let us consider this declaration, heaven, and not the Millennium ? we anwhat is meant by the expression they swer, that the question for those who shall inherit the earth ?" the Scriptural tremble at God's word to ask, is not what answer to this question is found in Rev. it may mean, but what does it mean? and v. 10, “and hast made us unto our God, upon appealing to the Bible for an answer kings, and priests, and we shall reign on to this question, we there find that it the earth ;" but, you will say, may not always signifies God's kingdom (“the this be understood of the present dispen- kingdom of (not in) the heavens,") sation ?-_may it not mean that the meek established upon earth; it were a tedious do now, in their present life, inherit the task to enter into an examination of all the earth? no, for if so, the text should be passages where the phrase occurs; it is differently worded, it should be, “ bles-sufficient, to a candid mind, to refer to sed are the meek for they do inherit the the second petition of the Lord's prayer, earth,” but it is not so, the present tense “thy kingdom come, thy will be done on is not here used, but the future ; and to earth, as it is in heaven;" consider for a make the matter still plainer, this future moment this petition, (so thoughtlessly reward here spoken of is contrasted with used by too many) “thy kingdom come,” their present condition, “ blessed are (not, observe, “take us to thy kingdom," the meek (those who are now meek) for but) bring it to us, “ let it come,”_ they shall inherit the earth”—but again, (Elgetw ń Baoilea cov) and what is you may ask, who are here meant by the this kingdom which we thus pray for ? meek ? may it not mean those who are let the prayer itself answer, “thy will be alive, and converted, during the Mil- done on earth, as it is in heaven;" could lennium ? I answer again, no, for in the language be plainer on this point ? and first place, we cannot but believe that let me here ask in passing, do you really. our Saviour, when he uttered these believe that our Saviour intends us to words, meant them as a promise to his have no share of that which he thus bids own faithful disciples, who then sur us pray for ? and can you give your heart rounded him, and to whom, in the first and soul to this petition, in which you instance they are addressed, (see Luke thus believe you have no interest? My vi. 20.) and that the promise belongs to dear brethren, consider well, before you all who shall realize the character of use these sacred words, in what a spirit meekness to which the reward here spoken you repeat them. But turn (for further of belongs—and, in the next, turn again confirmation of these two truths, that the to Rev. v. 9, 10, and you will find the kingdom of God means his rule estabpromise belongs to all the elect people of lished on earth, and, that the saints are to God, and that it is there mentioned as rise to partake of it,) to Dan. vii. 13, 14, being the object of hope to them, after “ I saw in the night visions, and, behold, they have left this world, and surround! one like the Son of Man came with the the throne of God in heaven, (compare clouds of heaven, and came to the .