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revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
1 Timothy vi. 14. The apostle charges Timothy to “ keep this commandment (which had been delivered to him) without spot and unrebukable, until the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
2 Timothy iv. 1. “I charge thee before God, and the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall-judge the quick and the dead at his appearing, and his kingdom, preach the word, &c."
Hebrews ix. 28. “ Unto them that look for him shall Christ appear the second time without sin unto salvation.?
8. This apostle also testifies of the second coming of Messiah as follows : “ Be ye also patient, stablish your hearts, for the coming of the Lord draweth nigh.”
1 Peter V.-Peter exhorts the elders to feed the flock of Christ, &c. adding, “ And when the chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of
glory that fadeth not away.” In his second epistle he details several particulars of the second coming of Messiah, and says, Chap. iii. 10. “ The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.”
Jude v. 14. records a prophecy delivered by Enoch the Seventh from Adam,“ saying, behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds,” &c.
Lastly, John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, in his first epistle, says, Chap. iii. 2. “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.” The Book of Revelations delivered to this apostle, completes the canon of Scripture: and it contains the history of the Church in a minute series of prophecy extending down to the full establishment of Messiah's Kingdom, and mentioning incidentally the great and final judgment, when heaven and earth shall be no more. Rev. xx. 11. The contents of this book must be left for future consideration, but the quotations adduced in illustration of the point contended for, may be well closed with the following passage from Rev. xxi. “The nations of them that
are saved shall walk in the light of the new Jerusalem ; and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it; and the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.”
The great and important truths declared in the Scriptures which have been adduced, in proof of Messiah's reign upon the earth, have been a source of consolation to the Church of Christ in ages past. Many have seen these things, have been persuaded of them, have rested in them, and have rejoiced. To the inquiry, when shall these things be, it has ever been answered, it is “a land very far off;” and though from time to time some few may have been led to hope for the near approach of these glories, yet the systematic searching of the Scriptures to know “ what and what manner of time the Spirit doth signify,” has been confined to very few. When our Lord came in the flesh, “ who believed the report ?” “ He came to his own, and his own received him not." The Jews, looking for a manifestation widely different from that which presented itself before them, turned away from, and despised, the “man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.” When they looked for a conqueror to deliver their nation from the Roman
yoke, there came the Lamb prepared from the foundation of the world, as an offering for sin, and a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour. There came not the glorious Messiah travelling in the greatness of his strength, but the meek and lowly Jesus to bear our sins in his own body on the tree, ordained to be made “perfect through sufferings,” and by his own “ death to destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil.” And what is revealed to us of the existing state of things at the time of the second advent ? The virgins, both wise and foolish, shall be all slumbering and sleeping: there shall be “an hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” What this temptation shall be, another Scripture may explain : “ when the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth ?” Shall any be found watching, waiting, praying for, and expecting the great and glorious coming of Messiah to shake terribly the earth, and to deliver “ the children of the kingdom ?"? But “yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry,”—“ whether they will hear, or whether they will forbear.” He hath said, and it shall come to pass, he is Jehovah, and he will do his pleasure.
Promise to the Seed of Abraham.
When Messiah comes to reign in the latter day, all other rule and all other authority must be put down throughout the earth. Two great events are spoken of in prophecy as connected with his coming, viz : the gathering in and restoring of his ancient people, the seed of Abraham, and the destruction of the great idolatrous power, which has persecuted the gospel Church from the beginning. That these two events depend upon, and are brought to pass by Messiah's second advent, is the point which comes next to be considered.
And first as to the fact of the restoration of this ancient people. It is the opinion of many of the present day, that the prophecies which are supposed to announce this event, do not apply to Israel, or Jacob, or Judah, or Ephraim in the flesh, but to their spiritual seed, which shall be gathered into the Church above, that is, into the Church to be established, not upon the earth, but in the heavens above, in a new dispensation of things, after the