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be loosed a little season." This passage must be understood in its simple, plain meaning; no mystery in this. 4th verse: “ And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was given unto them;" - here we have a prophecy of the fulfilment of a promise that Christ made to his disciples, in Matt. xix. 28: " And Jesus said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, that ye which have followed me in the regeneration, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel;"_"and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years." In this description we have the whole family of the redeemed; for all that had not worshipped the beast or his image, or received a mark, and, in one word, all that were not the servants of Satan or sin, lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. 5th verse: “ But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the first resurrection.” The rest of the dead means the wicked dead, who do not have part in the first resurrection; lived not again, showing conclusively that it is a natural life and death spoken of. The first resurrection is the resurrection of the saints at his coming. Then comes in our text, which has and will be explained in the lecture. 7th verse: “ And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison.” We may reasonably expect that, when Satan is let loose, all the damned spirits are let loose with him; and it has been strongly implied they were to live again in the body, at the end of the thousand years. 8th verse: " And shall go out”- that is, Satan—"to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth" " ashes under the feet of the saints," as Malachi tells us : And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts ” -“ Gog and Magog" - the armies of the wicked that were
slain at the commencing of the thousand years, oi coming of Christ, at the supper of the great God, ind battle of Armageddon; see Ezekiel xxxviii., xxxix. 6 to gather them together to battle ;" — this is their design, but there is no battle, for God himself is with his people to defend them; and he destroys the wicked host," the number of whom is as the sand of the sea ; " evidently including the whole number of the wicked ; for the figure, sand of the sea, is never used, only to express the whole class of the people named; as, the children of Israel, the whole host of Jacob. 9th verse: “ And they went up on the breadth of the earth ;” - that is, this army of Gog and Magog were raised up out of the surface of the earth, that only being the breadth of a globular body; — “and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city ;” — plainly showing that the New Jerusalem, the beloved city, is on the earth during the thousand years, or how could this wicked host encompass it about? they have not climbed the celestial walls of heaven-no; for it says, “and fire came down from God out of heaven and devoured them." This is the second death, represented under the figure of fire coming down from God out of heaven; not the conflagration of the world, — for that was in the commencing of the thousand years, when Christ came and cleansed the world from all the wicked, and the works of wicked men,-- but the justice of God, under the figure of fire ; "for our God is a consuming fire.” Heb. xii. 29. 10th verse : “ And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night forever and ever.” In this verse, the final condemnation of the wicked, soul and body, is given; and the last that God has seen fit to reveal concerning them to us is, that they are cast into everlasting torment. In the next verse, John has another vision of the same things which he had before told us, only in a different point of view, or some circumstance not before clearly described. And I saw always implies a new view, or another vision 11th verse: “ Ana I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from
whose face the heavens and earth fled away; and there was no place found for them.” This is the same throne that Daniel saw, vii. 9–14: “I beheld till the thrones were cast down and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire." 12th verse: “ Aná I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; ana the books were opened; and another book was opened, which is the book of life; and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.” This is the same as Daniel saw, vii. 10: “A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him ; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The judgment was set, and the books were opened.” It is very evident that this is the beginning of the judgment, when Christ comes in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, to raise and judge his saints, and to reward every man as his work shall be. Ist, because it is when the judgment first sets ; 2d, because the book of life is there, and open; and, 3d, because it was at the time or before antichrist was destroyed; and no one can believe that the antichristian beast can be on the earth during or in the millennium. 13th verse: " And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; ana death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them." I conclude the apostle, after he had seen the righteous dead raised, small and great, and stand before God, and saw the book of life open to justify them, and saw them judged and rewarded, he then glides down to the end of the thousand years, and beheld the wicked dead given up by those elements and places wherein they had been confined during the millennial period, to be judged in the flesh, every man according to his works.
This only can reconcile some of those conflicting passages (or seemingly so to us) concerning the resurrection; and I cannot see any impropriety in thus understanding these prophecies; for it is the common manner of the prophets, a little here and a little there. In all the descriptions of the resurrection of the righteous dead, they are represented as being gathered by the angels of God, from the four winds of heaven, when the seventh or last trump shall sound; and it is equally as evident that their works are brought into judgment Although they may not be justified by their works, but out of the book of life, yet the apostle Paul says, speaking of his brethren, “We must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ." Rom. xiv. 10. And again, 2 Cor. v. 10, “ For we must all stand before the judgment seat of Christ; that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” And, 1 Cor. iii. 13-15, “Every man's work shall be made manifest; for the day shall declare it, because it shall be revealed by fire; and the fire shall try every man's work, of what sort it is. If any man's work abide which he hath built thereupon, he shall receive a reward. If any man's work shall be burned, he shall suffer loss : yet he himself shall be saved, so as by fire." We see, by these texts, that the books of every man's works will be open, as well as the book of life, in the first resurrection; but, in the second resurrection, there is no book of life open in that part of the judgment, neither are they gathered by the angels of God; but the sea, death, and hell, delivered up the dead which were in them, and they were judged every man according to their works; and Satan is the means of gathering them around the beloved city, where they are judged in the flesh. By the sea, death, and hell, I understand the sea, grave, and place of punishment. The sea and the grave would give up the dissolved particles of the body, and hell (or Hades) would give up their departed sp rits; this would constitute the second resurrection. " And they were judged every man according to their works.” They had chosen, in this life, to stand on their works; they had refused to believe in a Mediator; they had not followed his commands, neither had they pro fessed his name before men, or suffered persecution for the sake of his testimony. They had treated his word with total neglect, or called his grace tyranny They had said he was a hard master, and buried their
talent in the earth. They had placed their supreme affections on the world, and made fine gold their trust. They had persecuted the children of God in this world, and showed that they were the children of that wicked one who slew his brother. They had prostituted their bodies to whoredom, and sacrificed to Bacchus and Venus their first-fruits. They had professed damnable heresies, and filled the world with their delusive schemes and sects. They had worshipped the creature, and neglected prayer to the Creator." They had filled the world with their lies and abominations, and gloried in their shame. 14th verse: “ And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death.” By death and hell I understand the body and spirit. 15th verse: “ And whosoever was not found written in the Lamb's book of life, was cast into the lake of fire.” “But the fearful and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all Jiars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone, which is the second death." Rev. xxi. 8. “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. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie," Rev. xxii. 14, 15. Then our text says, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection.” This we have proved is the resurrection of the righteous dead, who died in faith in Jesus Christ, and who should live with him at his coming; on them the second death should have no power, “but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."
To be priests unto God and unto Christ, is to be holy; to be a kingdom of priests of a peculiar people, that should show forth his praises by declaring to the universe that out of nature's darkness they had been redeemed by his blood, called by his grace unto his glorious, happy, and holy kingdom, and that they should dwell on the earth. See Rev. v. 9, 10, 6 And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take