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his promise, look for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.”
I think it is evident that the new heavens and earth will be made of the heavens and earth that now is; like a new vessel of silver or gold made of an old one after it is diffolved or melted.
I shall make a few remarks on the words, Heaven, and EARTH, as they are used in the scriptures, concern. ing the present and a future state.
1. The word HEAVEN.
We are told of a new heaven and a new earth, and that the first heaven and earth shall pass away.
Many people think that the word heaven, always means a place at some great distance from the earth ; or where Chrift, angels, and saints are, this is sometimes the meaning of the word, but when the scriptures fpeak of the heavens passing away, being on fire, waxing old as a gar. ment, and the heavens being rolled together, and of signs in the heaven and earth, we are to understand the Atmosphere which surrounds the earth. By the Atmosphere is meant, “ the whole mass of Auid consisting of air, aqueous and other vapours, electric, fluid, &c. Turrounding the earth to a considerable height.”
That the word heaven, fometimes means the air, is plain from the scriptures. Psalm civ. 12, “By them Thall the fowls of HEAVEN have their habitation which fing among the branches," What is here called heaven, is in Matth. called the air. Matth. viii. 20, “And lesus said unto him,--the birds of the air have nests." In one place we are told of war in heaven, in another, mention is made of the prince of the power of the air, · which means the same as heaven.
It is supposed that not more than one fourth part of our Atmosphere is pure air ; but in the new heavens, all the air will be pure, every thing which is now in the air, when the elements are melted, will be taken away.
The word heaven sometimes signifies the sun, MOON, and stars. Christ says, Luke xxi. LI, “ And fearful fights and great figns from heaven." In this verle, he tells of ligns from heaven; in verse 25 he says, “ And
there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars.” This I understand to mean the fame as heaven. When it is said that Christ was taken up into heaven, I think it 'means to the sun, moon, or Itar. It appears to me from all thefe things, that Christ is now in the sun, where John saw an angel standing. It is certain that Christ was in fight, when Stephen was stoned, and that Paul faw him after he ascended. Thefe things I leave to the confideration of the readers.
The present situation of the heavens, or air,is very dif. ferent from what it will be when even the air is made new, as is recorded in the scriptures. In the present state of the heavens, we feel cold, heat, snow, hail, rain, wind, blasts, mildew, poisonous vapours, thunder, and lightning ; and diseases of various kinds are in the air, darkness and light are here, with the various seasons of the year, in the new heavens all these things will be done away forever.
From the experiments made concerning the air, all these things are poffible; and as it is declared in the scriptures that these things which we know are poffible shall take place, we may rest assured that the Lord will hasten it in his time.
From all we can see in the fun and stars, they ap. pear to be finished; but the ea::h, and moon, and air, appear to be in an unfinished state. Surely the air is not perfect, if it was we should feel no inconvenience in it. If the earth and air were perfectly finished, there would be no fickness, pain, nor death, in this world, for in the new heavens and earth which are to be created, there will be no fickness, forrow, pain, death, nor crying, for the former things will be done away. These remarks muft fuffice concerning the heaven.
2. We will notice the EARTH. • The greater part of this globe, (called by people in general, the earth) is water. According to the most ac. curate account of this globe, about two thirds of it is water. The account of it in the scriptures gives us this idea. Mofes mentions that the waters under the firma. ment covered the earth, after the waters were divided
by the firmament. It is said, Gen. i. 9, 10, “ And God faid, let the waters under the firmament be gathered together unto one place, and let the dry land appear; and it was so. And God called the dry land earth, and the gathering together of the waters called he feas; and God faw that it was good.”
At the time of the flood, this earth was all covered with water again for a considerable time, and it is likely that the flood made a great change in the appearance of it. The apostle Peter says, that the earth which then food out of the water and in the water perished, and that the heavens and earth which are now, by the same word, are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men ; and that the elements ihail melt with fervent heat. We consider four elements ; fire, water, earth, and air. The three last must be the elements to be melted.
There is proof in abundance that this earth is reserved unto fire, besides what is mentioned in the scriptures. The abundance of combustible matter in and on the earth is one proof, and the amazing fires, continually burning in th: bowels of the earth which often breaks out from the tops of mountains, in different parts of the earth, are awful evidences that this earth will ere long be on fire. And instead of thinking it impossible that any such thing will ever take place, whoever has a small knowledge of the situation of the fire in the earth, must wonder why it has not been on fire long ago. . .
What an amazing fire that must be at the last day, into which the wicked will be cast, which shall not only burn up all the wicked, and all the works on the earth; all the buildings by land and fea, and every thing which shall grow out of the ground; but which will melt the earth, and even the water and every thing in the air, and make of the earth one pure, solid,glorious body, without any fea! O what an amazing thought is this! Language fails to describe the important event!
When the old world was overflown by water, the wick. ed were all swept away, so fhall it be at the last day. Noah and his family were preserved. above the earth and
· defcended from his ark, with his family to repossess the earth wherein dwelt righteousness. So shall it be at the last day, the faints being raised above all this terror, will after this, inherit the new earth forever. • This earth is capable of being brought into a most
glorious itate by fire. This is evident from what is done with parts of it now. How many precious stones are there ? Consider the coral, the pearl, the gold, silver, and brass, &c. which are brought to an astonishing state by fire. What is all our glass but earth brought to that state by fire. If men do all these things by fire, what will the creator do ? These things are facts, and when I find these glorious things mentioned in the scriptures to be possible, and read that they shall take place, I am con. strained to believe they will certainly come to pass.
It is said of the new earth that there shall be no more fea, Rev. xxi. I, “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth, for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more fea." This thews that after the elements are melted, it will be all earth, and ail pure both the earth and air. I think that after the elements are melted, the earth will be a transparant body, and on this account there will be .no night. Now the earth being a dark body, the sun is prevented from shining upon the earth a part of the time in every twenty four hours in some parts; and in others the fun is hid for a long time in one part of the year. Being pure it will be all light. The inhabitants of this earth are mortal, and this earth is exactly fuited to their mortal state. When the redeemed of the Lord are immor. tal, at the resurrection of all that are in their graves, this earth will be made as fuitable for those who are immor. tal, as it is now for those who are mortal. We all know what is meant by making things new, it is making them over again, or bring them into another form. In this world men are made new creatures; are created in knowledge and holiness. While we fee such things take place, can we think it strange that this earth should be made new as will as its inhabitants ? Especially wher God has said, “behold I create all things new.l. These
things are proved before our eyes, not only in the scrip.. tures but in creation too,
: Some suppose that this new heaven and earth are to be in the time when Christ reigns on earth a thousand years ; but I think that this is certainly a mistake, which every person may fee if he confiders the following things;
1. Chrilt's reign upon the earth before the last judgment, is to be only one thousand years, at which time,fatan is to be bound, and the dead saints are to rise to reign in'e that time with Christ; while the rest of the dead are to remain' in their graves till after the thousand years ; but in the new earth which is to be created after the first is passed away; those who are saved, are to reign with Christ forever and ever... ; 2, In the thousand years of Christ's reign upon earth, there is to be fea as well as earth ; but in the new earth, there will be no more sea. Rev. xxi. 1.
3. The thousand years will end before the second refurrection, at which time the sea will give up its dead, of course this must take place before the new earth where there will be no sea,
4. In the thousand years Jerusalem is to be built, and called Jehovah Shammi ; in which will be a temple or house, far exceeding that built by Solomon, where the nations of the earth shall resort to worship. See Ezek. xliii. xlviii.- In the new earth, the new Jerusalem is to come down from God out of heaven. This city is to be twelve thousand furlongs square, or fifteen hundred miles square, which is fix thousand miles in circumference ; Rev. xxi 16. In this city in the new earth, there will be no temple; while in the city in the thousand years there will be a temple about one mile square. Rev. xxi.. 22, “And I saw no temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, are the temple of it.”
s. In the thousand years they will need the light of the sun, and moon, and stars, for there will be day and night ; Isaiah xxx. 26. But in the new earth, there will be no need of either of those lights; by reason of the syperior light. Rev. xxi. 23, “And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon to shine in it, for the glo