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ask of you, my brethren? Nothing but what Jesus Christ and the apostles required 1800 years ago. I ask you to compare these views with the Bible. Is this wrong? No. I ask you for holy conversation. Is this wrong? No. I ask you for heavenly-mindedness. Is this wrong? No, no. I ask you to stir up each other's pure minds, to make improvement on your one talent if no more; to come out of this cold and lukewarm state; to trim your lamps and be ready. Are these requirements wrong? Certainly not; no, no. I ask you again to compare scripture with scripture; to read the prophets; to stop your revilings; to take warning by the old world; to flee from sin and the wrath which is to come; to hide yourselves in Christ, until the indignation be over and past; to look for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ.” Is this wrong? Then be the wrong on my head.
And now, my impenitent friends, what say you? “We say, “You know nothing about it." Do you believe the old world was deluged? “Why, yes.” What makes you believe it? “Because our philosophers tell us there are a great many signs remaining of the flood, and we can believe them." And are there no signs of the near approach of the Judgment Day? What say the prophets, apostles, and Jesus Christ? Are they not equal to your philosophers ? Examine your Bibles, and see; weigh well the evidence; your eternal happiness, the salvation of your immortal souls, may depend on your decision. But what say you more? “We say, “You were very unwise to fix on the year 1843, or sooner, for this day to come; for it will not come; and then you will be ashamed.” And I hope I may be able, by the grace of God, to repent. But what if it does come ? You cannot with any propriety say positively it will not come, for you make no pretence to divination. But I say, What if it does come? Where will you be ? No space then for repentance. No, no too late, too late; the harvest is over and past, the summer is gone, the door is shut, and your soul is not saved. Therefore it can do you no harm to hear, and believe, and do those things
which God requires of you, and which you think you would do, if you knew he would appear. First, I ask you to. repent of your sins. Would this be right? Yes. Next, I ask you to believe in God. Is this right? Yes. And I ask you to be reconciled to his will, love his law, forsake sin, love holiness, practise his precepts, obey his commands. Would these things be right? Yes, yes. And last of all, and not least, I ask you to “ look for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." Amen.
Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection ; on
such the second death hath no power; but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.
The term “ blessed and holy” is often used in Scripture, and in many places is applied to man; but in no place without giving some characteristic mark of his being born of God, or inheriting the fruits of the divine Spirit; and very often the word blessed is used standing in immediate connection with the resurrection and coming of Christ, either expressed or implied, as in Isa. lxii. 11, 12, “ Behold, the Lord hath proclaimed unto the end of the world, Say ye to the daughter of Zion, Belold, thy salvation cometh; behold, his reward is with him, and his work before him. And they shall call them The holy people, The redeemed of the Lord; and thou shalt be called, Sought out, A city not forsaken." Isa. xxx. 18, “ And therefore will the Lord wait, that he may be gracious unto you, and therefore will he be exalted, that he may have mercy upon you; for the Lord is a God of judgment. Blessed are all they that wait for him.” Daniel says, xii. 12,“ Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the 1335 days." John says, Rev. xiv. 13, “ Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord.” “Write, Blessed are they which are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb.” “Behold, I come quickly; blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." “ Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they
may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city." By these passages I show you that all the children of God are included in this blessing, and not the martyrs only, as some will have it. The next thing which will claim our attention will be to explain the resurrection spoken of in our text, called the first resurrection. The word resurrection signifies to revive, or resuscitate, or bring to life again, one now dead, who was once alive. It nowhere in the word of God conveys an idea of a new creation, and the word is nowhere used in the Bible expressing any thing less or more than a union of soul and body, and deliverance from natural death. The word resurrection is nowhere used in a figurative sense; it in all places has its own simple meaning, unless our text is an exception. And without the objector can show some rule of interpretation by which we shall be warranted to understand the word in a different sense, we must beg leave to attach to it the simple meaning, coming to life from the grave. I know some have supposed that regeneration is resurrection; but I cannot believe this unless they show some rule. I know some pretend to show us, in John v. 25, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live," as a rule; but in order to make this a rule, they must prove that Christ meant regeneration; until this is shown, we cannot admit it as any proof.
We shall, therefore, consider the word resurrection as coming up out of the grave, and pass to the word first. *“ The first resurrection.” The resurrection of the saints is first as it respects order and time. Wherever the word resurrection is used in connection with life or damnation, the one unto life always comes first; as in Daniel xii. 2, “Some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt;" John v. 29, “ They that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.” Here are two samples as it respects order. One or two as it respects time: 1 Cor. xv. 23, “ Christ the first fruits, then afterward they that are Christ's at his coming. Then cometh the end." And again, 1 Thess. iv. 16, “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” And then our context and text shows that the blessed and holy are raised a thousand years before the rest of the dead. If we are correct, then, Christ will come before the millennium instead of afterwards, as some believe; and the millennium is a state of personal, and glorious, and immortal reign on the new earth, or this earth cleansed by fire, as it was once by water; and it will be a new dispensation, new heavens, and new earth. This will be our next proposition to prove. And, first, we will examine the 20th chapter of Revelation, lst verse: “And I saw an angel come down from heaven;" -- this angel I consider no less a being than the Lord Jesus Christ; for it only can be said of him; -“having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand." See Rev. j. 18: « I am he that liveth and was dead; and behold, I am alive for evermore, amen, and have the keys of hell and of death.” And Christ only has power to bind Satan. 6 That he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil,” Heb. ii. 14. 2d verse: “ And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years." I suppose this verse needs no explanation. It can only be understood in a literal sense, for it explains itself in the figures used ; as dragon and serpent, often used as figures, are explained to mean the devil and Satan. If the thousand years had been used, in this chapter, or any where else in the word of God, in a mystical or figurative sense, it would have been somewhere explained; but, as it is not, I consider we are to place upon it the most simple construction, and I shall there. fore understand it literally. 3d verse: “ And cast him into the bottomless pit;" — by bottomless pit, I have shown, by the proof on our first verse, that it is hell ; see Rev. i. 18; — "and shut him up and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled; and after that he must