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But in a little while, there would be no wick-
ed upon earth. His place should be diligent=
\y considered, and not be.* The wicked
should have no place on earth, put the
meek were to inherit the earth, and delight
themselves in the abundance of peace. This
little while then was the whole lapse of ages,
from the days of David to the Millennium,
almost 3000 years. Compared with the
Millennial period, 3000 years is to be consi-
dered a little while. If in this recls^oning
then 3000 years is to be considered a little
while, how long must be the period denoted
by forever and everlasting? Surely it cannot
be short of hundreds cf thousands of years.

And now let us go to the book of Revela-
tion, where the Millennial period is particu-
larly mentioned, and where alone it is men-
tioned as being lOOO years; and see what
farther light we can gain respecting its du^

in the first place it may be observed, that
this wonderful book is in a great measure a
book of symbols. This is intimated in the
beginning of the book. <*The Revelation of
Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to
show unto his servants things, which must
shortly come to pass; and he sent and signi-
fied it by his angel unto his servant John.'*
The revelation was signified, or made known
by signs, or symbols. Accordingly, wc finil

* Ps. 37:1 p^

93t Buratim'&f the MiUennhm^

in this book an account of more symbolical
representations, than in any other book in
the bible. Almost every revelation contain-
ed in this book, is more or less presented by
symbols. Accordingly the highly favored
apostle had a view of seven stars and seven
golden candlesticks, which were particularly
explained as symbols. Some of the other re-
presentations, mentioned in this book, are
explained, as being symbols. It is worthy of
observation, that the symbol is generally,
and perhaps always, either really or appa-
rently less than the object symbolized. Even
the stars are apparently much less than the
angels or pastors, that they represent. Both
the true church, and the false church, are
each represented by a woman. The Roman
empire is represented by a beast, &c.

Are we to suppose, that when time is men-
tioned in such a book as this, it is to be un-
derstood literally? Is it not much more rea-
sonable to conclude, that, when any portion
of time is mentioned, it is designed to re-
present a much longer portion? Accoi;dingly
we have seen, that the period of 1260 days,
which, with some variety of expression, is
jaientioned five times in this book, undoubt-
edly represents 1260 years. In almost ail
other instances, in which time is expressed
in this symbolical book, it appears to be the
opinion of most commentators, that much more
than the literal ioiport of the expressions
Is sjgni^cd* In the opinion of comnneuta-'

I)u7'ation of the Millennium* 223

tors in general there is one grand exception.
It is the Millennial period, the thousand
years we have been considering — a period,
which appears incomparably more important
than any preceding. Is it not very aston-
ishing, that commentators shmdd apply the
magnifying glass of symbolic representation
to all the instances, in which time is mention-
ed in the Revelation, except to this, which is
most important of all? — nay far more im-
portant than all the rest? If any of the peri-
ods mentioned in Revelation is to be consid-
ered an exception to the general rule, surely
it should be any other, rather than this. Nay,
if we were certain that every other expres-
sion of time in the whole bible wet'e to be un-
derstood literally, yet surely the THOU-
SAND YEARS must be understood as pro-

The church is represented as being in the
wilderness 1260 days. These undoubtedly
mean 1260 years. The glorious and trium-
phant state of the church on earth is predict-
ed to last a thousand years. Can we sup-
pose, that this period, which the prophets
foresaw with such rapture, and foretold \\\
such glowing and magnificent language-—
which they so labored to describe — can we
suppose that this blessed period of a thousand
years, is to be really shorter, than the woful
period of 1260 days? Can we suppose, that
the period of mourning, lamentation, and wo,
which the church must linger out in the wil-

^^24 Duration of the Millennkmi,

derness is really longer than the period of
her rejoicing? Can we suppose, that when
God speaks of the church's tribulation, he
makes a year signify 360 years^ but that in
speaking of her triumph, a year is dwindled
down in its signification, to mean no more
than a literal year? Is this the manner of the
Most High? Is this the manner of Him, who,
•while he visits the iniquities of fathers upon
children unto the third and fourth generation
of them that hate him, shows mercy unto
thousands (of generations,) of them that love
him, and keep his commandments? Is it the
manner of the glorious Jehovah, whose na»
ture and whose name is love? Does he thus
magnify his indignation and wrath upon his
dear people, and as it were diminish the ex-
pressions of his goodness, his mercy, his
grace? Is this the manner of him, who said
to his afflicted people, "For a small moment
have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies
will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid
my face from thee for a moment| but with
everlasting kindness will I have mercy on
thee?" To one who is jealous for the Lord
God of hosts, is it not shocking to admit a
thought so dishonorable? Surely, surely the
language of the exceeding great and pre-
cious promises, which God has made to his
church, is to be interpreted in at least as
great an extent, as wide a latitude, as the
language, which expresses his displeasure
and vengeance. If there were a difference?

Duration of the Millennium, 225

In the expression of these things, it would be
the other way; his promises must be under-
stood in a larger sense, than his threatenings.
His work of punishment, especially the pun-
ishment of his dear people, is his strange
work; but his works of love and mercy and
grace and salvation, are most peculiarly,
and most eminently his own; they are his
unspeakable delight. The thousand years
of the church's peace and glory on earth
must be prophetic, or symbolic years, repre-
senting a period vastly longer than their
literal import.

The question now arises. Will the Millen-
nium be 360,000 years? Mr. Faber seems to
take it for granted, that the Millennium is a
definite period; that, if it is more than a lit-
eral thousand years, it must be S60,G00;
tho he seems doubtful which it will prove to
be. Others who are decided in favor of
what may be called the long Millenniumy sup-
. pose it will be a very long indefinite period^
perhaps hundreds of thousands of years.

That the Millennium must be very nearly
360,000 years appears to be probable from
what has been said; and I am inclined to
think, it will be exactly that period. I be-
lieve in every other instance mentioned in the
bible, in which any portion of time represents
a longer portion, a day is put for a year;
except that the word day is often used to de-
note a period of indefinite length. In those
cases, however, the word day seems to be

226 Duration of the J\Iillennmm, ^

used as nearly synonymous with time. From
the many scripture-examples, in which a
day represents a year, does there not appear
to be a very strong probability, that the
Millennial years are to be so understood^
and that that blessed period will continue
360,000 years?

But some may be ready to inquire. Why
may we not expect the Millennium to con-
tinue 365,000 years, if a day represents a
year? This is indeed possible. But as the
three years and a half are interpreted to
mean 1260 days, which allows only S6Q to a
year. I am inclined to think, that the Mil-
lennium will continue 360,000 natural years;
or (what will amount to the same,) 365,250
of 360 days each.

To this long period however some may be
ready to object, as some have objected:
<«^36O,O0O years! This is too much; it is too
great; it is inconceivable!" Has not the great
Jehovah given an answer to such objectors?
«<For my thoughts are not your thoughts,
neither are your ways my ways, saith the
Lord, For as the heavens are higher than
the earth, so are my ways higher than your
ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.^*

1 know of but two objections of any plau-
sibility, that have been offered against the
long Millennium, In the first place it is said,
that tbe earth will be overstocked with in-
liabitants. But we have seen, that in that

* Is. 55:8,9.

Duration of the Millennmm, ^Z7

blessed period, the earth will bring forth
by handfuls— -in vast profusion. And who
can calculate or anticipate the wonders, that
may yet be effected by chemistry. It is pos-
sible that wholesome food may be manufac-
tured in the greatest abundance from sub,-
stances that are now considered of very little
value. God can easily feed his people with
manna or quails, as he did the Israelites*
But after all, the answer to this difficulty,
which appears most satisfactory, is, that the
Lord can provide. Does it not appear too
much like limiting tlie Almighty, to make
this objection? I am inclined to think it is a
difficulty, which God has left, on purpose to
try our faith; and surely, if our faith is a
quarter as strong as Abraham's was, it will
not be staggered with such a difficulty as
this. It is a difficulty, arising merely from
our ignorance— a difficulty, which involves
no contradiction, nor absurdity. Ignorance
and unbelief are ready to ask, <«Behold if
the Lord would make windows in heaven,
might this thing be?"^ But those, who are
strong in faith, giving glory to God, can
rejoice, that with God all things are possi-
ble; that he will accomplish his purposes in
the best manner, whatever difficulties may
seem to forbid; they will patiently wait with
the assurance, that what they know not now^
they shaij know hereafter. ^.

* 2 Kings 7;2,

££8 Buration of the Millennium,

It has also been objected, that the scrip*
tures represent the day of judgment as near;
which can hardly be consistent with the long
Millennium. Such words as near^ distant^
great, smaUf &c. must be understood as mere-
ly relative. From the days of Daniel to the
accomplishment of some of his prophecies,
the time was to be long; and yet it was not so
long, as from the days of the apostles to the
day of the general judgment, even if the
Millennium is to be only a literal thousand
years. If the bible does represent the day of
judgment, as actually near, with what is the
intervening time compared? If an event,
which is nearly 3900 years distant, is con-
sidered near, what event can be considered
as remote? Surely not any that took place
before it, since the beginning of time; for
3000 years cannot be considered a short pe-
riod compared with 4000. But if we compare
it with an event in eternity, or with eternity
itself, even 560,000 years may be a short pe-
riod; and the day of judgment may be con-
sidered as near, tho the long Millennium is to

As at death our accounts are to be sealed
up to the day of judgment, there may be a
kind of propriety in representing the judg-
ment as near, on account of the nearness of
death, as death may be considered in a cer-
tain sense, as introducing us to judgment.

But after all, I am not certain, that the
bible does, eitlier directly or implicitly, rep-

Duration of the Millennium, £29

resent the day of judgment as near. There
are passages, that represent the coming of
Christ as near; but he is represented as com-
ing, in other senses and at other times, be-
sides his coming to judgment. I would glad-
ly see it proved, if it can be proved, that the
bible represents the day of judgment as near.
Tho I would by no means speak confidently
npon this point, yet I am inclined to think,
that all the passages of scripture, that repre-
sent the coming of Christ as near, refer to
some other coming, besides his coming to
judge the world.

The apostle Peter indeed represents Chris-
tians as <Oooking for, and hasting unto, the
coming of the day of God, wherein the heav-
ens being on fire, shall be dissolved, and the
elements shall melt with fervent heat. This
probably means the day of judgment, or the
end of the world, which will immediately pre-
cede the day of judgment. It is not said,
however, that this day is near. Christians
may be looking for, and hasting unto, a day
that is very remote.

On the whole, the more I think of the suT)-
ject, the more i am confirmed in the doctrine
of the long Millennium; the more confident I
am, that it will be a period of 360,000 years.
By no means, however, would I have any one
receive my confidence as an argument sepa-
rate from the reasons, on which it is founded.
Search the scriptures for yourselves. There

£30 Duration of the MiUmniumf

are many, which I have n,ot adduced, which
appear to furnish arguments to prove the
point. Search them, for yourselves; cry af-
ter knowledge, lift up your voice for under-
standing, plead with the Father of lights, that
you may be enabled to judge and know for
yourselves. And let us all remember, that it
is much more important that we should pos-
sess the temper of the Millenparians — that
we should exert ourselves to bring on the
blessed day, than that we should know its

* I was induced to believe in the long Millennium, by a
sermon from the glowing pen of President Nott. To hira
I am indebted for some of the arguments adduced in this Lec-
ture. But, as 1 have not the sermon at hand, and have
not read it for several years, it is impossible for me to ae?
Sinowledge my obligation more particularly.


Importance, Methods and Means of attending
to the Prophecies and the Signs of the
Times. — The Duty and Importance of being
supremely devoted to the Jldvancement of
Chnsfs Kingdom, — Expostulation with
such as are unwilling.

Having considered what will be tlie state
of the world during the Millennium; when
it will commence, and how long it will con-
tinue, the most important inquiry, at least as
it respects ourselves, by far the most impor-
tant inquiry, yet remains to be considered.
It becomes us most seriously to inquire, What
are these things to us? Are they designed
as mere speculations to amuse curiosity? or
are they addressed to conscience, witli a most
solemn commission to engage our hearts and
hands? This leads (is to the Fourth general

What duties are inculcated by the subject
of the Millennium?

Are we not called upon, my brethren and
friends, to examine this subject with more at-
tention, than we have done; at least those of
us, who have not made it our particular vstudy
before? My object in addressing you, has
not been so mucli to instruct you directly, as
to call your attention to the subjject, that yotj

2S£ Duties relating to the Millennium,

may instruct yourselves. Even if i hav©
been so happy as to comnMiiiicate to you soms
degree of information upon one of the ffi»ost
noble and most interesting subjects that can
possibly engage the attention of men or an-
gels, you cannot expect long to retain what
you have acquired, without attending farther
to the subject by youi-sclves; but if you will
faithfully improve the means, with which God
has furnished you upon this subject, you may
gain much more clear, thorough, extensive,
and delightful views; you may increase your
present stock of information upon this sub-
ject, thirty, sixty, or a hundred fold.

Let no one be discouraged from this pur-
suit from an apprehension, that the prophe-
cies and promises cannot be understood, till
they are accomplished. The exceeding great
and precious promises would scarcely have
any preciousness, if we could not understand
them. With regard to the promises, there is
no doubt, tliat the greater part of them may
be understood in a good degree, before their
accomplishment. And tho some of the proph-
ecies may be more difilcull:, it is my decided
opinion, that the greater part of them, that
have been accomplished, have been under-
stood, before tlieir accomplishment. Daniel
understood the prophecies of Jeremiah re-
specting the desolations of Jerusalem;* and
tliis knowledge seems to have been of vast
importance, as it respected the welfare of
Zion. Saints who were waiting for the eoii-

* Dao. 9:2.

Duties relating to the Millennknn, 233

solation of Israel, about llie time that Clirist
came, were no doubt induced thus to wait,
from understanding something of the proph-
ecies relating to his coming. With regard
to some of the prophecies of Daniel, it is said,,
"Whoso readeth, let him understand.." Butf
some alas, at the present day would tell us,
"Whoso readeth the unaccomplished proph-
ecies, let him not attempt to understand."
But if we cannot understand, why should we
read? And yet concerning some of the most
difficult prophecies, concerning the proph-
ecies contained in the Revelation, it is said^,
^«Blessed Is he that readeth, and they that
Ijear, the words of this prophecy, and keep
those things which are written therein.'^
What if great and good men have had very
different and various opinions concerning the
Millennium? Wliat if many of their opinions
must have been incorrect? Must we con-
clude, that nothing can be known upon the
subject? Might we not with equal propriety
draw the same conclusion concerning almost
every branch of study? Upon such a prin-
ciple, we might sit down, fold up our hands,
and indolently conclude, that the precept is'
unreasonable, which requires us to take fast
hold of instruction. Let us remember, that
<<great men are not always wise;" and that
no one is infallible. The most learned and
most accurate may make mistakes; and these
mistakes may be discovered and corrected b\
persons comparatively ignorant and weak,


^54 Duties Telati%^ to the Mille-nnium,

It is not impossible, that a child may discoyer
the meaning of some proplietic passage, that
had eluded thescmtiny of both the Newtoris.
Tho some parts of the scriptures are hard to
be understood, especially some parts of the
prophetic scriptures, let us not be discourag-
ed. They are designed to exercise our spirit-
ual senses,^^ to improve our faculties, to try
our patience, to try our faith. If the task be
arduous, let us apply ourselves to it with so
much more resolution and assiduity. No
doubt the great reason, why most Christians
are so ignorant of the prophecies, is because
they have made so little exertions to know

Let us then study the scriptures diligently^
prayerfully and daily, and endeavor to leani
what the Lord lias promised and predicted,
concerningthat great and blessed period, when
the earth shall be full of the knowledge and
glory of God,

Various methods may be pursued to gaia
a knowledge of the prophetic scriptures; and
that method^ which is best for one, may not be
best for all. To study the scriptures with
advantage, however, in any method, in order
to become acquainted with the doctrines,
precepts, promises, threatenings^ or predic-
tions of the bible, it is vastly important, not
to say indispensable, that we should be well
acquainted with the history, which the bibl©
contains. More than half of both tl*€ Old

* Heb- 5:U,

Miities relating to the MiUennium, 2S5

Testament and the New, is history; and the
other parts of the hible are so interwoven and
connected with the Iiistorical parts, that it
seems impossible to gain much acquaintance
with the former, without considerable knowl-
edge of the latter. In the second place, in
order to understand any difficult part of the
scriptures, or any other writings, it is im-
portant to ascertain, as far as possible, the
design and general scope of the writer; and
also to consider the immediate and remote
connexions of the passage. A familiar ac-
quaintance with scripture history, and par-
ticular attention to connexion, will undoubt-
edly afford a person more assistance in un-
derstanding difficult passages, than a knowl-
edge of all the learned languages. In order
to gain a knowledge of the prophetic scrip-
tui^es, it may be of great use to attend particu-,
larly to the symbols, that are mentioned in
the various parts of the bible; especially to
those symbols or signs, that are more or less
particularly explained by the pen of inspira-
tion; such as Abraham's horror of great dark-
ness, Joseph's dreams, and others, that he
interpreted, the burning bush, &c. &c.
Abundance of these may be found in the his-
torical writings of the prophets and evange-
lists. If I do not greatly mistake, the most
striking and important parts of these symbol-
ical representations are particularly signifi-
cant, while circumstances less sticking and
important are sometimes mentioned, merely

236 Duties relating to the Millenriium.

to complete the picture without any particular
typical import. No doubt persons have often
wearied themselves in attempting to conjec-
ture the spiritual meaning of certain parts of
parables, which really have no spiritual
meaning; while others have fallen into the
niore dangerous extreme of concluding, that
a symbolical representation had no particular
meaning, because they could not immediately
discover it; or because great and good men
have had very different opinions of its mean-
ing. A great number of the sacred symbols,
God has been pleased most clearly and most
fully to explain; and this he has undoubtedly
done, to give us some idea of the import of
symbolic language, and to enable us to under-
stand those, that are not divinely explained*
To ascertain the meaning of the unexplained
symbols, we should proceed with care and
caution, with patience and prayerfulness, with
fear and trembling; we should suppress the
sallies of the imagination and of passion, and
let every thing be decided by reason, enlight-
ened and guided by scripture.

If we would understand the difficult proph-
ecies, we should pay particular attention to
those which are easy. Some prophecies are
easy in consequence of the plain and easy lan-
guage, in which they are expressed; some are
rendered easy by their fulfilment; and others
by the explanation, which God has given of
them. After we are well acquainted with

Buties relating to the Millenniiim. 237

iliose that are easy, we are prepared to inves-
tigate such as are more tllificult. ff inter-
preters of prophecy had proceeded as gradu-
ally and as cautiously from things easy and
well known, to such as are unknown and dif-
ficuit, as the interpreters of nature have done,
the science of the prophecies would probably
be considered equal in point of clearness,
certainty, and extent, to tlie science of natu-
ral philosophy. And there is no doubt, but
til at most Christians in the common walks of
life, miglit gain a very respectable acquaint-
ance witii the prophecies, without neglecting
any duty, if their attention could be properly
directed. Within one hundred yeai's, it is
probable, that the study of prophecy will be
considered a branch of common education,
no less than tlie study of arithmetic.

A distinguished writer has observed, <«A
distinct general view, or outline, of all the
essential parts of the study in which they are
engaged; a gradual and judicious siipply of
this outline; and a due arrangement of the
divisions, according to their natural order
and connexion, appear to be among the best
means of enlightening the minds of youth,
and of facilitating their acquisition of knowl-
edge." This remark may be of great use
in studying the propheeies. The outline,
which 1 have attempted to draw in the pre-
ceding Lectures, imperfect as it is, may per-
haps be found useful to the youthful student.

238 Duties relating to the Mll^mium,

One of the best methods of ascertaining
what information God has given us relating
to the Millennium, may be to read the bible
through with a particular view to this object,
to note in a book made for the purpose, under
distinct, appropriate heads, the chapter
and verse of every passage, that appears
to relate to the subject, and then consult the
passages referred to under each head, witli a
particular attention to their connexion.
Many passages will be found, which 1 have
not had room to mention in so small a work.
Great advantage may be derived from con-
sulting Scott's Commentary upon such pas-
sages, as may appear obscure. Those, who

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