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• The Lord God omnipotent, and the Lamb, shall be their temple.'
3. I differ both from the ancient and the modern millennaries, as far as they assert that this shall be a reign of such Christians as have suffered under the heathen persecutors; or by the rage of Antichrist ; (I) making it only a reign of the converted Jews and of the Gentiles then flowing into them, and uniting into one church with them. This I believe to be indeed the truth of this mistaken doctrine.”—Whitby's Treatise on the True Millennium, p. 9, 10.
Thus speaks Dr. Bogue.
“Having noticed these erroneous views of the doctrine, allow me to mention, in a few words, what I conceive to be the Millennium of the Christian Church, which God has graciously revealed by his servants the Prophets. It appears, then, that there will be far more eminent measures of divine knowledge; of holiness of heart and life; and of spiritual consolation and joy, in the souls of the disciples of Christ, than the world has yet seen: and these will not be the attainments of a few Christians, but of the general mass. This delightful internal state of the Church will be accompanied with such a portion of external prosperity and peace, and abundance of all temporal blessings, as men never knew before. The boundaries of the kingdom of Christ will be extended from the rising to the going down of the sun; and Antichristianism, Deism, Mahometanism, Pam ganism, and Judaism, shall all be destroyed and give. place to the Redeemer's throne. By the preaching of the Gospel, the reading of the Bible, and the zeal of Christians in every station ; by the judgments of heaven on the children of men for their iniquities ; above all, by the mighty efficacy of the Holy Ghost, will the glory of the latter days be brought about. Religion will then be the grand business of mankind. The generality will be truly pious; and those who are not will be inconsiderable in number, and most probably be anxious to conceal their real character; and their sentiments and practice have no real weight or influence on the public mind. The earnest desire which every pious soul must feel for the long continuance of this glory, will be gratified to hear, that the time mentioned in prophetic language, as the period of its duration, is a thousand years. Such I believe to be the doctrine of the Millennium.”— Bogue's Disc. on the Millen. p. 18.
“ By the millennium, I do not understand such a state as accords to any of the many superstitious and enthusiastic descriptions of the renovation of the earth after the general conflagration, of the first resurrection of the bodies of the saints to live again for a thousand years upon that renovated earth, and of the personal reign of Christ for a thousand years on earth ; which have been published to the world even by men of considerable note. These conjectures I reject, because there is no foundation for them in scripture; and they are highly unreasonable and improbable in themselves, so far as we are capable of judging on such a subject. But by the millennium I understand a triumphant state of the kingdom of God or true religion of Jesus on earth for a thousand years. This kingdom of God is righteousness, truth, peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost. This kingdom, con: sisting of these four constituent parts, shall be in a triumphant state during the whole millennium. Then mankind shall in a very high degree be freed from ignorance and error; shall love, study, and know the truth on every subject in which they have any concern, and especially on the subject of religion. Universal righteousness shall prevail. They shall pay that regard to the perfect and meritorious righteousness of Christ, which accords to truth, to the perfection of the divine law, to the infinitude of divine justice, to its own perfection, to their need of it, and to the gracious purpose of God in sending Christ into this world to fulfil all righteousness. They shall love and practise righteousness to God, to their brethren of mankind, to all the creatures of God with whom they have intercourse, and to themselves, in all its branches : and they shall make perpetual progress in truth and righteousness. Universal peace shall prevail on the earth. Men, as individuals, shall enjoy peace with God, and peace of conscience; as connected in society, they shall live in peace with their neighbors, whether in smaller or larger societies. Private quarrels and public wars shall cease to the ends of the earth. The brute creation, treated with gentleness by men, shall become much more gentle and harmless to them and to one another than they are now. Universal joy shall abound. That joy which is pure and exalted happiness, that joy which is congenial to a mind renewed and sanctified by the Holy Ghost. Not only shall all public affairs be conducted with prosperity and joy, but individuals also shall be happy. They shall be blessed with that joy, which is inseparable from high
attainments in truth, righteousness, and peace. Such, in a certain degree, shall be the situation of the whole world during these thousand years; and in a very high degree of every part of it, except that styled Gog and Magog.”—Johnston on the Rev. vol. ï. p. 310, 311.
As our views upon the whole subject of the millennium will be given in full in the sequel, it will be unnecessary to anticipate here the remarks which we should otherwise have to offer upon these quotations. Error is more effectually subverted by the establishment of truth. The light in which we view them will disclose itself as we advance. We are now prepared to enter upon the direct consideration of the subject.
EXPLICATION OF THE SYMBOL OF THE DRAGON.
The Binding of Satan or the Dragon the main feature of the
anticipated Millennium-Necessary to determine the Import of this Symbolical Action–This cannot be done without first fixing the import of the Dragon himself as a Symbol With this view the Vision of the Dragon, Rev. xii., minutely considered— The sun-clad and star-crowned Woman ex. plained— The Dragon shown to be a symbol of PaganismThe War between Michael and the Dragon explained-The remaining Circumstances of the Vision explained-Objections answered—Reflections.
THE grand characteristic of the Millennium described by John is the binding of Satan or the Dragon. “ And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the Dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years.” Now as the whole book of the Apocalypse is marked by a sustained unity of eharacter, imparting its revelations not in literal but in figurative language, this is to be regarded as a symbolical action, forming a part of the tissue of visionary scenery running through the book, every portion of which is to be interpreted in consistency with the structure of the whole. In this sense, that may be said with peculiar propriety of the Revela