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'The search for truth even unto its innermost parts'

Mrs. Joseph Schechter

Columbus Chapter

Life Member

Brandeis University National

Women's Committee









V^ttly Pa?tor of a Church in. Beve?!?,


No. 50, Cprnhill.


District Clerk's Office.
Be it HiMEMBERiD, that on the sixteenth day of
March, A. D. 1818, and in the forty-second year of the
independence of the United States of America, Joseph
SiMERSOK, of the said District, has, deposited in this office
the title of a book, the right whereof he claims as Author
in the words following, to xuit:

''Lectures on the Millennium; by Joseph Emerson, lately
Pastor of a Church in Beverly o"

In conformity to the act of the Congress of the United
States, intitled, "An act for the encouragement of learning,
by securing the copies of maps, charts, and books, to the
authors and proprietors of such copies, during the times
therein mentioned;" and also to an act intitled, *'An act
supplementary to an act, intitled an act for the encoul^age-
ment of learning, by securing the copies of maps, charts, and
books, to the authors and proprietors of such copies during
the times therein mentioned; and extending the benefits
thereof to the arts of designing, engraving, and etchings
liistorieftl and other prints." JNO, W. DAVIS,

^lerk of ths Mitrkt of Massachtisctts.


There is scarcely any subject, which i&
feetter suited to comfort and encoura.^e, to
strengthen and animate, the children of Zion,
than the Millennium. It is wonderfully cal-
culated to feed and feast and delight their
souls. And yet, how great a proportion of
Christians, are there, who have scarcely
tasted the milk and honey, the marrow and
fatness, which the great Master of the feast
has prepared, and freely offers them in this
rich and glorious subject. What can be the
cause? Perhaps there may be more causes
than one. In many it may be a want of con«
sideration. They have scarcely heard of
the Millennium, or thought seriously upon
the subject j tho two petitions of the Lord's


prayei' teach them to pray for it every day^
Some may think the subject too great and
deep and abstruse for their understanding.
Some may think there have been so many
opinions upon the Millennium, that nothing
can be known, and that it is very doubtful
w hether there will he a Millennium^ or wheth-
er the state of the world will ever be very
much better than it now is.

Christians, who are possessed of any of
these notions, do exceedingly err, and I trust
will see and renounce their error, if they will
take the trouble to give the following pages
a candid perusal. While Christians cherish
any of the above notions, they must suffer
loss, tho their souls may be finally saved.
If we neglect every subject, about which
there have been different and various opin-
ions, or every subject, which is embarrassed
with some difficulties, we must neglect al-
most every subject mentioned in the bible;
we must neglect the great salvation; we must
neglect every truth relating to the being and
perfections of God.

It is thought there is scarcely any subject
of a religious nature, of which so many parts
are plain and easy, and comparatively so


few abstruse and difficult, as the Millenmumi
and certainly very few subjects are of gi^ater
practical importance. Surely no other sub-
ject is better suited to rouse benevolent souls
to action, and to urge them on to make the
greatest possible exertions for the advance-
ment of the Redeemer's kingdom; none bet-
ter suited to inspire meekness, patience, char-
ity and every Christian grace; and none bet«
ter suited to kindle the flame of devotion^
and inspire the spirit of fervent, unfainting,
unceasing and effectual prayer.

It is the design of these Lectures to pre^
sent this subject in a point of light, as plain
and easy as possible; and to show the reader
(if not already convinced) th^t it is not a
speculation designed for mere Hmusement|
but that he has something to do — that he has
a very important part to act, in relation to
the Millennium; that be must exert himself
to the utmost, to bring on the blessed period*

The writer has often felt deeply and pain«
fully sensible, that he has by no means treats
ed this great, this stupendous subject, as its
dignity and importance seem to demand.
Feeling however that something upon this
plan is exceedingly needed, he pr^vsnme?'


with trenibling heart to offer these Lectures
to those, who may be disposed to honor them
M'ith a perusal. If this little work should
prove instrumental of edifying a sin,^le Chris-
tian, or of rousing a single sinner to a more
solemn consideratign of the reality and im-
portance of Christ's kingdom, it will not be
in vain.

Beverly 9 March, 1818*


The prevalence of true Religion, — The destruc*
Hon of Idolatry, — The Conversion of the

Rev. 20. 2. — A THOUSAND YEARS.

THIS period of a thousand years has long
been called the Millennium, It is sometimes
called the latter-day-glory. And it is manifest,
that it will be a most glorious day. Even
if we knew nothing of it, but what is men-
tioned in connexion with the text, we might feel
assured, that it would be a most glorious day.
Ever since Satan broke into Paradise, and
seduced the parents of our race from their al-
legiance to God, that old serpent has been the
god of this world, the prince of the power of
the air, working all manner of wickedness
in the children of disobedience; leading the
nations captive at his will; the father of lies;
the accuser of the brethren,setting on fire the
tongue of slander, that sets on fire the course
of nature: he has been the instigator of adul-
tery, fornication, uncleanness,lasciviousness,
idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emu-
lations, \^Tath, strife, seditions, heresies,
envyings, murders, drunkenness, revelling,
covetousness, maliciousness, deceit, malig-
nity> pride, disobedience to parcKls, and

8 State of the World

every abomination, that has blackened and
disgraced the world. Now in the Millennium
the malignant and horrid influence of the old
serpent will be restrained; he will cease to
lie in wait to deceive; nay he will be bound
and confined to his own place, his den of
darkness, where he will remain imprisoned^
till the 1000 years be fulfilled.

Even if this were all, that God had told
us concerning the Millennial state, might we
not be encouraged to hope for better times^
and to believe tliat the period of the Millen-
nium would be exceedingly different from
every other? But instead of being all, this is
but a part, and comparatively a small part,
of what God has revealed concerning that
blessed day. Millennial glory is the bur-
den of prophetic song; it is one of the grand
and leading subjects of prediction, from
Genesis to Revelation. Let us then diligently
and devoutly search the Scriptures, and see
what they declare concerning that illustrious

To bring to view and enforce some of the
most important instructions, which God has
given us relating to tlie Millennium, is the
object of these Lectures,

Tiie subject may be embraced under four

1. What will be the state of the world
during the Millennium? or in what respects
will that period differ from all preceding? .

During the Millennium, 9

II. When will the Millennium commence?

III. How long will be jts duration?

IV. What duties are inculcated by this

I. What will be the state of the world
during the Millennium?

The Scriptures lead us to conclude, that
this period will differ so greatly, and in so
many respects from all others, that this head
will require a much more extended discus-
sion, than either of the rest. I shall arrange
what I have to say upon this head, under
several propositions.


True religion will prevail much more in
the Millennium, than before.

This proposition may be considered as a
kind of introduction to the rest.

**Broad is the road that leads to death.
And tliousands walk together there;

But wisdom shows a narrow path,
With here and there a travelier.'*

This was the case before the flood; it was
the case in the days of the patriarchs, proph-
ets and apostles; and it has been the case
ever since. The world lieth in wickedness;
and it has lain in wickedness for nearly six
thousand years. But this dreadful state of
irreligion will have an end. When the Sav-
ior declared concerning the gate of destruc-
tion, <<Many there be, that go in thereat'*
and also, that "few there be,that find the gate
of life," he could not mean to describe the
state of the world to the end of time. Hun-

10 state of the World

dreds of other passages forbid us to under-
stand this in so broad a sense. Two or three
may be sufficient to establish the preposition
we are now considering.

Gen. S:15. "And 1 will put enmity be-
tween thee and the woman, and between thy
seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head,
and thou shalt bruise his heel.'* Thus the
serpent's head was to be bruised. Tho this
expression is figurative, it has a meaning.
To understand the figure, we must consider
the circumstances,under which this curse was
pronounced against the arch deceiver. The
real agent, that beguiled the mother of man-
kind, was Satan; who chose to conceal him-
self in the serpent, the better to effect his
murderous purpose. He is therefore repeat-
edly called the serpent and the old serpent.
The figure therefore, relates to the animal,
that Satan employed. In order to destroy
a serpent, we bruise or crush his head. We
are not however to suppose, that Satan is to
be destroyed, as a serpent is destroyed by
crushing his head- This would be to aiini"*
liilate him. But doubtless it is something
relating to the serpent, that is to be destroy-
ed, or brought to nothing, by the Seed of the
woman* Now Satan entered the serpent,
for a particular purpose. It is the conjec-
ture of Milton, a conjecture by no means
improbable, that one great end, for which
man was created, w^as to replenish the celes-
tial ranks^ that had been thinned by the re-

During the Mllennium, 11

bellion of Satan and his followers. If this were
the case, it was doubtless the design of Satan
to frustrate the purpose of God by destroying
the human race. Whether it were to frus-
trate such a divine purpose or not, we may
be assured,that it was the design of Satan to
bring the greatest possible dishonor upon
God by destroying mankind. And surely
bruising the serpent's head can mean noth»
ing short of completely frustrating this pur-
pose of Satan. No doubt this purpose was
a great and fundamental part of the woiks
of the devil, that the Son of God was mani-=
fested to destroy.

Now the question arises, Has the serpent's
bead been bruised in any degree answerable
to the manifest import of tlic passage under
consideration? A great part of mankind
have gone to destruction. Does this look
like bruising the serpent's head? If the great-
er part of the human race are to be lost by
the cunning craftiness of Satan, will that
look like bruising his head? To me it would
seem far otherwise. Should Satan continue
the god of this world from the beginning to
the end of time, leading whole nations captive
at his will, surely he will seem to have cause
to triumph.

But the head of Satan must be bruised;
Ins plots must be crushed. Are all mankind
then to be saved? Certainly not. That
would be giving the lye to numerous declar-
ations of eternal Truth; it would be throw-

12 State of the World

ing away the bible at once. And if the bible
be thrown away, it would be impossible to
prove the salvation of any. But there is
no doubt that by far the greater part of man-
kind will be saved. This appears necessary,
in order that the serpent's head may be
bruised. I am strongly inclined to the opin-
ion of Dr. Hopkins, that of the whole hu-»
man race thousands will be saved, to one
that is lost. If this is to be the case, or if
the case is not to be vastly different from this,
the religious state of the world must hereaf-
ter greatly change^ and true religion must
prevail vastly more than ever it has done.

That noted passage in the 49th of Genesis
may imply the same. ^<The sceptre shall not
depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from be«
tween his feet, until Shiloh come| and unto
him shall the gathering of the people be.*'

By Shiloh here we are doubtless to under-^
stand Christ, To him the people were to be
gathered. We can hardly suppose that thi§
means merely the gathering of the people,who
attended Christ's ministry on earth. For tho
great multitudes followed him from various
regions; yet it is probable, that in this sense,
there has been a greater gathering to John
the Baptist, to Luther, to Whitfield and to
Wesley, than to Christ. But people may
be said to be gathered to Christ, when they
are brought into his fold, and become of his
flock. In this sense indeed multitudes have
been gaj;hered to Christj but I think by rio

Luring the Millenniums^ 1 3

means a number sufficient to answer the
prophecy. For tho the number be positive-
ly great, it must be considered as compara-
tively small. But a small part of the human
race have heard the gospel; and of these but
a small part have given evidence of sincerely
receiving it. So that since the promulga-
tion of the gospel, we have reason to fear,
that a vastly greater number have been gath-
ered to Satan, than to Christ. Does not the
prediction imply that Christ shall have the
majority? and vastly more than a mere

But possibly the term people in the passage
should be restricted to the Jews. In that
case it is very far from having been fulfilled;
nor can we expect its fulfilment till they
shall be grafted into the olive, from w hich
for unbelief they have been broken off — ^un-
til the earth be made to bring forth in a day,
and a nation be born at once^ — until multi-
tudes shall fly to Christ, as a cloud, and aS'
doves to their w indows.

By the mouth of Zechariah, the Lord
calls upon his people to rejoice, "Sing, O
daughter of Zion; for lo I come, and 1 will
dwell in the midst of thee, saitli the Lord of
hosts: and many nations shall be joined un-
to the Lord in that day, and shall be my

Hundreds of other passages might be ad=
duced to establish the point under consider-

14 State of the World

ation; but they may be considered elsewhere
with more propriety,


During the Millennium, idolatry will cease
through the world.

The delineation of idolatry would consti-
tute a principal feature in the picture of all
nations and all ages, since the flood. The
conjectures of some, that it existed before,
appear to be groundless. But since that
most tremendous catastrophe, idolatry has
prevailed in Egypt, in Assyria, in Babylon,
in Persia, in Greece, &c. &c. All the learn-
ing and arts of the Greeks, with all their re-
finement and elegance, were not sufficient
to cure them of this abomination. WJien'
Paul was at Athens, then the emporium of
Greece, and in some respects the glory of
the world, his spirit was stirred within him,
when he saw the city wholly given to idola-
try. He was more affected with this, than
with all the wonders of art, that had excited
the admiration of the v/orld. It has been
said, that the idols of the ancients amount-
ed to the amazing number of thirty thous-

Even God's ancient people, to wliom lie
had manifested himself in so many ways,
and in a manner so glorious, were infected
with idolatry. Having in Egypt caught this
worst of Egyptian plagues, it seems tljcy
were never entirely cured of tlie dieadful
disease, till after Xh^ Babylonish captivity.

BuriikS' the Millennium, 1 5


There is perhaps no other sin, against which
they were so abundantly warned, and so aw-
fully threatened, as idolatry. The very first
of the ten commandments, that were given
from the top of Sinai in a manner the most
tremendous and aftecting — tlie very first of
these was pointed against idolatry; and the
second with still greater particularity, \vas
pointed against the same evil. And for no
other sin were they so sharply and frequent-
ly reproved, and so severely punished. It
was for this sin, more than ibr any other,
that they were finally carried captive, and
scattered among the nations.

Multitudes of idols have been worshipped
from ancient times, to the present day«
Heathen lands are still full of idols. The
destruction of idolatry, therefore, will pro-
duce an amazing change in the world.

And now let us repair to the law and to
the testimony, and see what reason we have
to expect, that idolatry will cease. Is. 2:
17—21. ^^And the loftiness of man shall be
Lowed down,^and the haughtiness of men
shall be made low; and the Lord alone shall
be exalted in that day. And the idols he
shall utterly abolish. And they shall go in-
to the holes of the rocks, and into the caves
of the earth, for fear of the Lord, and for the
glory of his majesty, when he ariseth to shake
terribly the earth. In that day, a man shall
cast his idols of silver, and his idols of gold,
^,vhich they have made each one for himself




16 State of the World

to worship,to the moles and to the bats; to go
into the clefts of the rocks, and into the tops
of the ragged rocks, for the fear of the Lord,
and for the glory of his majesty, when he
ariseth to shake terribly the earth."

Here it may be proper to remark, that we
have reason to conclude from this passage
and several others, that there will be tremen-
dous judgments, that the earth will be most
terribly shaken, just before the Millennium.

The following passages also may be ad-
duced to prove the cessation of idolatry. Is.
31:r. "In that day every man shall cast
away his idols of silver and his idols of gold,
which your own hands have made unto you
for a sin." Jer, 3:17. "At that time they shall
callJerusalem the throne of the Lord; and
all the nations shall be gathered nnto it, to
the name of the Loi^, to Jerusalem; neither
shall they walk any more after the imagina-
tion of their evil heart." Jer. 10:11. "The
gods that have not made the heavens and the
earth, even they sliall perish from the earth,
and from under these heavens." Jer, 16:19
—21. **0 Lord, my strength, and my for-
tress, and my refuge in the day of affliction,
the Gentiles shall come unto thee from the
ends of the earth, and shall say, Surely
our fathers have inherited lies, vanity, and
things wherein there is no profit. Shall a
man make gods unto himself, and they ai^e
510 gods? Therefore, behold, I will this once
cause them to know, I will cause them to

During the Millennium, 17

know mine hand and my might; and they
shall know that my name is the Lord."
Mai. 1:11. <'For from the rising of the sun,
even unto the going down of the same, my
name shall be great among the Gentiles;
and in every place incense shall be offered
unto my name, and a pure offering; for my
name shall be great among the heathen, saith
the Lord of hosts."

Do not these passages clearly prove, that
the day is coming, when idolatry shall be
extirpated from the earth? The strange
opinion, which some have entertained, that
"whole nations will continue in idolatry
through the Millennium, will be considered,
and, I trust refuted, in another place.


During the Millennium the Jews will be
converted to Christ.

In the first chapter of John, we read con-
cerning the eternal Word, that was made
flesh and dwelt among us, "He came to his
own, and his own received him not." By
his own we may understand the Jexvs, Tliey
are peculiarly his own; they are his for moi-e
reasons than one. In one sense indeed all
nations are his; a^"all things were made by
him, and without him was iiot any tiling
made,that was made; — and by him ail things
consist." But the Jevrs v» ere pccaliarly his;
because he was a Jew, and because tiiey had
been God's covenant people for nearly two

18 State of the World

thousand years. But when Christ came t©
this distinguished and highly favored peo-
ple, tiiat liad so long heen his own, they re-
ceived him not. I'ho great multitudes fol-
lowed him from Galilee, and from Decapo-
lis, and from Jerusalem, and from Judea,
and from beyond Jordan, yet very few ap-
pear to have sincerely received him. Tho
thousands aftef thousands were miraculous-
ly fed by him: and tho even his enemies were
constrained to acknowledge, that never man
spake like him, yet comparatively very few
sincerely received him into their hearts.
There were his eleven disciples, his seventy
others, a number of devout women, and a
few more. But of the many thousands of Is-
rael, who at one time and another attended
his preaching and miracles, there is no reason
to believe, that more than one thousand sin-
cerely received him, while he remained on
earth. By reading the ninth chapter of
John, you will find, that the Jews were S(»
exceedingly incensed against Jesus, as to
agree, that if any man did confess that he
was the Christ, he should be put out of the
synagogue. And from the same chapter you
will find, that they were ^y no means back-
ward in executing their engagement; but
that they actually did cast out of their sj^n^
agogue one, whom Jesus had restored to
sight. And finally they became so exceed-
ingly mad against the Savior, that with

Burins; the Jlillennium, 1 9


wicked hands they took him, and condemned
liim, and crucified and slew him.

After Christ rose from the dead, and as-
cended into heaven, his gospel was indeed
preached with more success among the Jews.
In a short time the church of Jerusalem
amounted to four or five thousands. But
still a very small part of the Jewish nation
were converted to Christ; still Christians
were despised, opposed and persecuted, by
those, who gloried in acknowledging Abra-
ham as their father. Indeed Christ had
forewarned his disciples, that this should be
the case. "They shall put you out of their
synagogues; yea the time cometh that who-
soever killeth you will think that he doeth
God service." Read tlfe Acts of the Apos-
tles, and you will find, that comparatively
very few of the Jews were converted to
Christ. But it is probable, that there were
more Jewish converts in the days of the
apostles, than at any time after. It is sup-
posed that there are now upon earth ^even
or eight million Jews; and probably there
are not so many as five hundred Christians
among them all; not onfe among a thousand.

Out blessed be the God of Abraham, Isaac
and Jacob, tlie house of Israel shall not al-
ways rciDain in such woful unbelief. For
thus saith the eternal Jehovah, «I am the
Lord, I change not; therefore ye sons of
Jacob arc not consumed." They had com-
Kutted s^ns enough, and ten thousand limes
liiorc tliau enough, to merit destruction.

30 state of the World

But God had determined to bestow iipoH
that stiffnecked and rebellious people, ex-
ceeding great and precious blessings; he had
made to them exceeding great and precious
promises, which his infinite holiness was
pledged to accomplish.

But what are the blessings, which God
has determined to grant to his ancient peo-
ple? and what are the promises, that he has
most solemnly sworn to fulfil? My dear
Brethren, search the scriptures, and see.
It is only a small part of the precious and an-
imating passages relating to this subject,
that we can now consider. Bent SO: 1 — 10,
"And it shall come to pass when all these
things are come upon thee, the blessing and
the curse, which I have set before thee, and
thou shalt call them to mind among all the
nations, whither the Lord thy God hatia
driven thee, and shalt return unto the Lord
thy God, and shalt obey his voice, according
to all that I command thee this day, thou
and thy children, with all thine heart, and
with ail thy soul; that then the Lord thy
God will turn thy captivity, and have com-
passion upon thee, and will return, anil
gatluu^ thee from all the nations, whither the
Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any
of f ?ine be driven out unto the utmost parts
of heaven, from tlsence will the Lord tl^y
God gather thee, and from thence will he
fetcfi thee. And the Lord thy God will brin.^

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