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The things mentioned in these verses, will not be a€ş complished until after the resurrection, and they never can take place fo long as Jesus has an enemy in existence, Jesus now has all power, and rules in the midst of his en. emies ; but they are not all subdued, for the heathen rage to this day. A man cannot be said to have no en. emies so long as one man hates him. The time will come when Jesus will not have one enemy; they will all be flain. It is a certain fact, that all Christ's enemies will all be forgiven or destroyed. Those who blas. pheme against the Holy Ghost, shall never be forgiven, neither in this world, nor in the world to come, which will be a world without end.
It is said that Jesus will make an end of fins; finish transgression, and put away fin. Dan. ix. 24, “ Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people, and upon thy holy city, to finish transgression, to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousnefs.” John i. 29, “ Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the fin of the world.”
The everlasting righteoufness mentioned in Daniel is brought in by Christ, but he has not made an end of fins. yet, nor taken away the fin of the world. There are two ways to take away fins, one is to forgive the trans. gressor,and put himn in such a state as that he can never sin again ; the other is, to destroy the finner. Neither of these is wholly done yet ; but it will be done at the last day. There never can be an end of fin so long as there is a finner in existence. If the wicked exist eternally, they will exist finners, and if they do, then there is no meaning to this, that Christ will make an end of fin, and destroy his enemies, and cause them to perish forev.
What a glorious period will that be, when Jésus fhall put down all rule, all authority and power :, when he thall put all his enemies under his feet, and make an end of fin ! those his enemies, who would not that he should regn over them, being slain before him, and punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the: Lord and the glory of his power. The earth and heavens will then be new ; righteousness will dwell there; the faints will all be aqual to the angels, and the wicked will cease from troubling. In this new earth, called the world to come, the followers of Jesus will enjoy the pref. ence of him who loved them and washed them from their fins in his own blood. They will have no sickness nor pain, no hunger nor thirst, no labour nor want, no night nor death, “.world without end. This I shall delcribe in the next fermon.
“WE HAVE ALSO A MORE SURE WORD OF
I HAVE now gone through with a defcrip. tion of those dreadful scencs which will follow the thouf. and years of Christ's reign upon earth; including the great army that shall compass the belovedCity,their over. throw-the day of judgment—the raising all the dead, the earth a lake of fire, and the wicked like tares burnt up in the earth, which is reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men. Though: these things are terrible to the wicked, and lead the most firm believer to say, “ Alas!' who shall live when God fhall do this ? Yet the pleasing, glorious, eternal scene which opens to us beyond all these things in the prophe.. cies is so glorious, that viewing it, we almost forget all the terror which precedes the glory which shall follow,
The first thing John faw after the lake of fire, where the: wicked were destroyed, was the new heavens and earth.
Rev. xxi. 1, " And I saw a new heaven, and a new earth, for the firlt heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more fea.”
There are but four places in the scriptures where the new heaven and earth are mentioned, that I can find. The second place besides this, is in 2 Pet. ii. 13, “ Neva ertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heav. * ens, and a new earth, wherein. dwelleth righteousness.
This promise of a new heaven and earth mentioned by Peter, is recorded in Ifaiah Ixv. 17,. “ For behold, I cres. ate new heavens, and a new earth; and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind." Chap. Ixvi. 22, “For as the new heavens, and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, faith the Lord, so shall your feed and your name remain."
I shall endeavour in this fermon to shew the meaning of the new heavens and earth in these verses.
In former years I was taught, that at the day of judg. ment, the earth would be destroyed, and be no more,and that-the wicked as well as the righteous would have an eternal existence, one in heaven, and the other in hell ; but, according to the scriptures the wicked are to have an end, and the earth abideth forever. - According to the system of divinity which we have been in general taught by our parents, school-masters, and ministers, contained in the catechism, the greater part of the scriptures are entirely useless. The only method which our teachers could invent, (having considered the catechism a system of divipity) was, to tell us that the scriptures had a spiritual meaning ; that is, said one thing and meant another. This is the idea peo. ple in general have of them.
With this belief, when they speak of the new heaven and earth, they consider it to mean a new creature, or ope converted to God, or the church of Christ, or all the elect, and in this way they explain away almost the whole of that blessed book where the glory which is to follow the suffering of Christ is recorded.
A great many people are alarmed at new things and at once raise objections against them, because they are new. These same people would be much more pleased with a irew garment, than with an old one. : In reading the account of the new heaven and earth, I have some times thought, that this heaven, or air, and the present earth, would be reduced back to nothing, and another created in its stead ; because it is said, Rev. 2 IT, “And I saw a great white throne, and him that fit upon it, from who face the earth and heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them.” This at tirit view seems to carry such an idea. Ifaiah men. tions a great change in the present heavens and earth. Isa. ii. 6, “ Lift up your eyes to the heavens, and look upon the earth beneath ; for the heavens shall vanish away like smoke, and the earth shall wax old like a garment, and they that are therein, shall die in like manner; but my salvation shall be forever, and my righteousness tball not be abolished.” Paul speaks of this change in the heavens and earth. Heb. i. 10, 11, 12, “And thou, Lord, in the beginning halt laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands; they fhall perish, but thou remainest ; and they all shall wax old as doth a garment; as a vesture fhalt thou fold them up, and they ihall be changed; but thou art the fame, and thy years shall not fail.”
From all these places it is plain that a great change will take place in this earth; though I do not think that another earth will be created instead of this; but this earth will be made new. This is declared, Rev. xxi. 5, * And he that fat upon the throne faid, behold I make all things new." The reason is given in verfe 4. “ For the former things are passed away.”
The new earth will appear after this is destroyed by fire, in the same manner as this appeared after the old world was destroyed by water: This Peter has declared, 2 Pet. iii, 5, 6, 7, 10, 12, 13, “For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water ; whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished; but the heaven and carth, which are now, by the fame word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment, and per. dition of ungodly men. But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in the which the heavens Shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat, the earth also, and the works that are therein shall be burnt up. Looking for, and hasting unto-the coming of the day of God, wherein the heavens being on fire thall be dissolved, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat. Nevertheless we according to