Academical Exercises – By Morgan Edwards

Section 4

Prophets, and the saints,  (Rev. xi. 18) as it is written, ” be thou ruler over all I have thou authority over ten cities thou over five be thou ruler over all my goods thou over all my household be thou judge of such a tribe of Israel thou king of such a kingdom thou priest of such a parish, &c. &c. (Luke xii, 42. Xix, 7. 8. Matt. Xxiv, 47,48) the number of these saints is said to be 10000 (Jude 14); a definite for an indefinite number surely! For we read of 144,000 that ” follow the Lamb whether forever he goeth.” (Rev xiv, 4): these are his suit or retinue, who attend his person in his tours thro’ his vast dominions; and consequently in his coming to the earth! Millions and millions of saints will have been on earth from the days of the first Adam, to the coming of the second Adam. All these will Christ bring with him. The place where they will alight is the ” mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east.” Zech. Xiv, 4. The mountain will cleave and form a valley, and the water, which Ezekiel speaks of, will spring from the sanctuary and fill the chasm. (Ex. Xlvii). Then Christ will enter the city by the east-gate, which will ever after be kept shut, as a memorial, that thro it the Lord came into the temple, and filled the house with glory, (Ez. Xliv). ” And now behold the son of David, Sitting on the throne of his father! Behold the prophecy concerning Jerusalem fulfilled. ” The Lord is there1″ Behold the happy millennium begun! O my God, let me be there, if it were only to be servant of servants to my lord the king!

VIII. Coincident with the Millennium will be the following events.

1.Reducing to the obedience of Christ all the kingdoms and states that will be refuse submission to him, or to the viceroys that he shall appoint over them. Resistance will be made, not with standing the wonders in the heavens above, and in the earth beneath, which happened but three years and a half before; and not with standing the recent and awful destruction of antichrist, and the descent of Christ and his saints, from heaven to earth, which will be fresh in all memories. Paul intimates that resistance will be made; where else would be the occasion of Christ’ s ” putting down under his feet all rule, power and authority? (I Cor. Xv. 24). Why else should he command the enemies that would not that he should reign over them, to be brought to his presence, and slain before him? (Luke xix, 27) Why else this caution, ” Kiss the son left he be angry and ye perish; for then God shall have set his king on the holy hill of Zion, to rule the heathen kings that rage: and to dash them to pieces as a potters vessel?” (Psalm. Ii. 1-9). Why else should his vice Roy ” have power over the resisting nations, to rule them with a rod of iron? (Rev. ii. 26. 27). After this quelling of the refractory, the most eminent of Christ saints shall reign in peace, as observed before. After this will Christ’ s priests reform religion where it is, and plant it in countries

Where it is not, so as to cause pure religion to cover the earth as the waters do the sea. (Hab. Ii. 14). Now begins the spiritual reign, or the latter day- glory, which divines talk too much of, tho none of them (to my knowledge) has assigned it to its proper time and place. By the same means another branch of popery will be overset; for the popes have already put kingdoms and churches in subjection to the saints; but popish saints and Christ’ s saints may not be all alike: I suspect that St. Thomas a Becket must resign his church; and that St. George St. David, St. Andrew and St. Patrick must give up their kingdoms to their betters. In this reformation of religion the Lord’ s supper will be discontinued; for that is to be used no longer than till the Lord comes (I Cor. Xi. 26). Not so baptism. But instead of he Lord’ s Supper another feast will be instituted, as we shall see by and by.

2. Another notable event that will commence with the millennium is, taking away the enmity and hatred between man and man; ” for men will not more learn the art of war, but beat their swords into plough shares, and spears into pruning hooks. * Ephraim shall not envy Judah, or Judah”
•By the above account it is certain that vine- dressing and agriculture will be used in the millennium state of the world: and if agriculture, then the beasts will be employed, but not abused; and if lions and serpents, &c. will be there, but not all other animals, it harmless? Sure it is that fishing will be continued, tho the fishes will not devour one another, as now. (Ez. Xlviii.10). I can see no reason why trade, navigation, and all other used and innocent employments should not be carried on, as at present. Marrying and propagation will remain among all, except the raised and changed saints; and, by reason of a meliorated state of earth and air, and the good government of Christ’ s kings and priests and regularity and sobriety in living it seems that there shall be no infant of days among them, nor an old man that hath not filled his days: the child shall die on hand. ÉÉAnd the days of the people shall be as the days of Noah (É)

Vex Ephraim, nor the English, the French, nor the French the English, nor any other nation envy and vex one another.” (Isaiah. 4. ch xi. 13). The variance and violence between animal creations shall cease. The wolf shall dwell with the Lamb, the leopard with the kid, the calf with the lion, and a child shall lead them; a child shall play on the hole of the asp, and put his hand on the cockatrice’ s den, and not be hurt.” (Isaiah. Xi). Now the dumb beast shall no longer groan for the cruelty of man, or their own cruelty to one another; nor the fouls under the altar cry, how long? The earth will be restored to a condition long?” The earth will be restored to a condition far better than the present. ” God will make the wilderness as Eden, and the desert as the garden of God.” (Isaiah. Li. 3). Besides plenty and peace, something sanative will be a part of the millennium earth’ s furniture: Ezekiel gives a specimen of it in chapter xlvii; for the water of his river (which sprang from the sanctuary when Christ lighted on the mount of olives) healed wherever it ran, and the fruit of the trees by its side were for meat and medicine; so he expresses their virtue.

3. Another affair that will be set up in the beginning of the millennium, and will continue with it is, an annual feast to be celebrated in an about Jerusalem. Of this feast Zechariah speaks largely under the name of the feast of tabernacles: but that he means not the Jewish feast of tabernacles is evident; for that was to be observed only by Israelites born. (Lev. Xxxiii. 42;) this is commemoration of tabernacles used in the wilderness; this, to worship the king: the penalty of neglecting that is not mentioned; the penalty of neglecting this is very extraordinary, ” countries used to rain shall have none, if they come not up to the feast year by year, and countries that have no rain shall have the plague (ch.xiv.17, 18). Besides; the prophet throughout the chapter is speaking of things that have not yet had existence. Nothing plainer therefore than that he does not mean any Mosaic feast, but a millennium feast; he calls this last a feast of tabernacles for an obvious reason. Viz. Because it must be celebrated in tabernacles, or tents, or booths; for it will be impossible to find houses for all that will then resort to Jerusalem to feast; and worship the king. This annual resort accounts for the long and particular descriptions which the prophets give of the fine and safe roads to Zion, thro’ deserts, and across rivers and mountains. (Isaiah xi. Xxxv. Zech. Viii. Rev. xiv.)

IX. Subsequent to the millennium are the following events.

1. The Loosing of the Devil from the bottomless pit; and his going about the world to seduce all the hypocrites from their allegiance to Christ, and his vice-roys, tho’ they, and their allegiance to Christ, and his vice-roys, tho’ they, and their progenitors, had experienced the happiness of his reign for a thousand years. The effects will soon show themselves. St. John’ s * Gog and Magog (whoever they be) will raise an army numerous as the sand on the sea shore, and will march along the breadth of the earth with their rebel clans towards Jerusalem: and when they are come, and have encompassed the camp of the saints (who had retired to their Lord to give notice of the insurrection) and are sure of victory, then fire will come down from heaven, and devour them all. (Rev. ss. 7-9)

2. Sometime after will come on the second resurrection, hinted at in my text; a resurrection both of the just and unjust: for during a ministry of a thousand years we must suppose that. Christ’ s priests had made many converts; who died; and that many will be made alive at that time: and if so, those must be raised, and these changed, as in the first resurrection. After this the judgment will sit; and when trial is over and sentence pronounced, the devil and the wicked will be cast into the lake; and the righteous, with their Lord, will ascend to heaven to be presented to God; with a behold I, and the children thou hast given me! And there they will abide till the Old earth is burnt, and the new earth created, and the New Jerusalem built in heaven: then they and he will descend in all the happiness human nature is capable of.

I have done, Sir, except a wonder or two.

*His Gog and Magog cannot be the same with those of Ezekiel; because there is so much difference between the countries whence they are to come, their exploits, and the places and manner of their overthrow. I rather think the places and manner of their overthrow. I rather think the latter will make their appearance between the establishment of the Jews, and the millennium.

1.I wonder that Christ’ s thousand years reign is not more thought of by modern Christians; for in the earliest ages of Christianity it was a sure article of faith, and a favorite topic of conversation: the writings of the three first centuries are full of it, with but one exception of any notes; and he discarded the book of Revelation from the canon of scripture, which was a tacit confession that the doctrine was there. And I wonder the more for the following reasons; Christ has retained expectations of it ever since he sat down at the right hand of God (Heb. X.13); the four living creatures in the midst of his throne, and the four and twenty elders who surround it make this the burden of their long. We shall reign upon earth (Rev.v.10); the apostles, even after the day of Pentecost, were expecting it, and wishing for it; nay the whole animal creation, by a kind of instinctive prescience, groaned for its delay, as well instinctive prescience, groaned for its delay, as well as all they who had the first fruits of the spirit (Rom. Viii. 19-23); Paul recommends at as a comfortable theme

Of meditation (Thess. Iv. 18). But what little effect has these things on the present generation! Should Christ now appear in the clouds he would hardly find upon earth any faith in the millennium! Surely the signs of Christ’ s coming do now appear; for when he had spoken of that coming in Mathew (ch. Xxiv.), he adds in the same discourse, while the bridegroom tarried they all slumbered and slept. In the fourth and following centuries the Christian had a reason for being shy of the doctrine, which we have not: then the kings of the earth became Christian, and consequently were jealous of the fifth monarchy.

2. I wonder that none9 to my knowledge) have written of the millennium in a temple and literal manner: especially as that involves in it no absurdity or improbability, or any thing contrary to sound faith and good manners: and I wonder the more, as so many parts of the Bible point to the subject in that light, and can have no meaning suitable to the words and dignity of prophets and apostles, but upon a supposition, that such as thing will be in reality, and not is some mystical or allegorical whimsies. Let any one try his skill (for instance) with Ezekiel’ s temple, and with many other texts quoted in this piece, and see if all men of sense (manners permitting) will not laugh at him except mystics? I will recite only that petition in the Lord’ s prayer thy kingdom come; the kingdom of grace was come at that time; the kingdom of glory is never to come to men: the millennium kingdom therefore is the object of that petition:

And when it is come, the petition will be improper.

3. I wonder that so many great men have taken upon them to fix the time when the millennium and its preceding events are to take place, by an arbitrary use of Daniel and john numbers: I say arbitrary; denominate years, and then rummage the histories of Rome pagan and Rome papal for points to begin at; and yet their gross mistakes, discovered by time, give no warning! I have taken the arithmetic of those two divine chronometers under the denominations which they themselves give their figures (but with what success time will show); and am content with the old, and hitherto, unconsumed hypothesis, viz. ” that this world is to last seven thousand years, and that at the end of the sixth thousand the millennium will begin.” This hypothesis is grounded partly, on a prophecy of Elias, which the Jews have among them; where they got it we cannot tell, any more than we can tell where Jude found the prophecy of Enoch: and partly on Moses septenaries, such as the seventh day, and the seventh year, &c. which day was a day of rest to man and beast, and which year was a year of rest to the land; and if one day be a thousand years with the Lord, (2 Pet. Iii, 8), it follows, that the six days of the week are six thousand years, and that the seventh is a thousand years of rest: Paul confirms this signification of the seventh day by making it typical of the sabbatism which remains for the people of God. (Heb.iv. 4-9). To the above we may add the septenaries of Saint John, such as

The seven seals, the seven trumpet, the seven vials, &c. for under the opening of the sixth seal, the founding of the sixth trumpet, the pouring of the sixth vial (all which I take to be synchronic) we may find passages that exactly correspond with the near approach of Christ coming to reign; and under the seventh seal, seventh trumpet, and seventh vial we have him and his saints on earth. Let me add, that I have not met with any of the fathers of the three first centuries who as much as questioned the validity of the above hypothesis. I ask their venerable leave to join issue with them; and then assert, that from the present year (1788) to the commencement of the millennium are but two hundred and eight years. I make it out thus; from the creation (according to the Hebrew chronology) to the birth of Christ 4004; from the birth of Christ to the present year, 1788: these years, added together, make 5792; and 208 added to these make 6000: it is true, a late chronologic places the birth of Christ in A.M. 4007; and makes it out that dionisius exiguous fixed the Christian area 3 years too late: if so, there are but 205 between us and the millennium. Time little enough to bring forth the events we have already mentioned, viz. The destruction of the Ottoman empire; the restoration of the Jews, and their rebuilding Jerusalem and the temple; the exploits of antichrist towards the mastery of the world, &c. Therefore we may expect soon the see the fig tree budding and putting forth its leaves.

4. I wonder, Sir, if your patience were not exhausted with the length, and perhaps, nonsense of my sermons?

The reply of the tutor was to this effect. ” You finished your discourse with a supposition that the length and nonsense of it had tiered my patience. If you used lightness you are to blame. But as I hope you are always in earnest when you study the things of God, I have to assure you that the novelty and ingenuity of your attempt have entertained me not a little. And when you are more master of time than at present, I advise you to study your subject closely, and you will see cause to alter some parts of your plan, and correct the errors of others. You also dropped a hint or two touching the New Heavens and the new earth, which founded a little strange. Let us hear what you have to say on those subjects, when it comes to your turn to appear in that desk again.”

Let me tell thee, gentle reader, that the composer of the millennium took the tutor’ s advice: and that it has undergone several alterations and corrections since the photograph was exhibited in the said desk. Let me tell thee further, that the other advice, or rather command of the tutor was attended to; and a discourse delivered in the same desk, on the New Heavens and New Earth. A copy of which follows under the title, last novelties. And if thou like it half as well as I do; thou wilt not begrudge the eleven penny bit it cost thee.

The Following errors escaped notice in some of the preceding sheets if is left out before threesome in p; 10, 1, 25. Is for are, p. 14.1.5, of the note.