Joseph Emerson.

Lectures on the Millennium online

. (page 6 of 16)
Online LibraryJoseph EmersonLectures on the Millennium → online text (page 6 of 16)
Font size
QR-code for this ebook

ened. Or perha]is it may be more correct to
say, that the life of man will be lengthened,
by the blessing of God, in connexion with
natural csuses. "What man is he that de-
fiireth life, apd loveth many days, that he

90 State of the World

may see good? Keep thy tongue from evil,
and thy lips from speaking guile; depart
from evil and do good; seek peace, and pur-
sue it." <<My son, forget not my law, but let
thy heart keep ray commandments; for
length of days and long life, and peace, shall
they add to thee. Happy is the man thatfind-
eth wisdom, and the man that getteth under-
standing — Length of days is in her right
hand, and in her left hand, riches and
honor." "The fear of the Lord is the begin-
ning of wisdom; and the knowledge of the
Holy is understanding. For by me, thy
days sliall be multiplied, and the years of thy
life shall be many." "The fear of the Lord
prolongeth days, but the years of the wicked
shall be shortened."


Christians will be much more numerous in
the Millennium, than before.

Hitherto the flock of Christ has been a
little flock; his people have been but a rem-
nant*. In but a small part of the inhabited
world, has the true religion been known; and
comparatively but few in that small part have
been found in the strait and narrow way.
Many besides Elijah have felt, that they
were almost alone in their pilgrimage. And
tho the Lord had reserved to himself thou-
sands of true worshippers, unknown to Eli-
jah, still those thousands were but a small
part of the whole host of Israel. My breth-
ren, it will not be always thus; it will be far

During the Millennium, 91

otherwise. In that blessed and glorious day,
for which this little flock and remnant have
been sighing, and panting, and praying, and
pleading, for so many ages, the state of the
world in this respect will be amazingly
changed. The time is approaching, when
the proportion of saints and sinners will be
reversed; and of all the nations and tribes
and families of the earth, a remnant only
shall be left to Satan. And that time, that
state of things so vastly superior to the pre-
sent, will be only introductory to the Millen-
nium; it will be only the twilight of the glo-
rious day. For when all shall know and
serve the Lord, not even a remnant shall be
left to the expelled and imprisoned adversary.
If therefore, the world should contain no
more inhabitants than at present, the chil-
dren of God on earth will be much more nu-
merAtis, antl probably more than a hundred
times more numerous, than they ever have

But there is reason to believe, that the
population of the world will be vastly in-
creased. In the beginning God created a
single pair; but ere long men began to mul-
tiply upon the earth; and it is thought in a
few centuries became very numerous. When
for their aggravated wickedness, the flood
came and swept them all away — all but
eight persons, the posterity of these eight
in the course of a few centuries were increas-
ed to millions. And now it is supposed that

92 State of the TForld

there are upon tlie earth more than six hmi
dred million people. Such has been the in-
crease of mankind in the course of a few
thousand }'ears,notvvithstanding all the vices,
hardships, tyrannies, oppressions, diseases
persecutions, wars, famines, earthquakes,
storms, tem[)ests, devouring beasts, and all
the curses of God, that have swept so many
jnyriads of myriads of the human race to an
untimely grave. Tho these obstacles to the
increase of mankind have not all existed in
this country; and tho it is probable that such>
as have existed here, have had less influence,
than in almost any other country; yet how
great has been their influence even here. It
is probable that more than half the children,
that have been born in our land, have died in
infancy, or childhood, or youth. And yet
notwithstanding these obstacles how rapilly
has our population advanced. It is proba-
ble that we are about four times as numer-
ous, as we were forty years ago; and a very
small part of this increase has been by immi-
gration. If such has been the effect of re-
moving a part of these obstacles in our belov-
ed country, what will be the effect of remov-
ing them all? How rapidly will population
advance, when very few, if any, shall die in^
infancy, childhood, or youth; especially when
God shall bestow the special blessing, by
which he has promised to distinguish his
people; when they shall return unto hioi^
and seek and serve him with all their hearts..

During the J^miennium, S3

Ood promised to Abrabam, «I will make thy
seed, as the dust of the earth; so that if a
man can number the dust of the earth, then
3hall thy seed also be numbered." And again,
•<In blessing, I will bless thee, and in multi-
plying I will multiply thy seed as the stars
of heaven, and as the sand, which is upon
the sea-shore.'* That the people of God shall
be exceedingly numerous in the latter day,
is intimated in Is. 49: "For thy waste and
thy desolate places and the land of thy des-
truction, shall even be too narrow by reason
of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed
thee up, shall be far from thee. The chil-
dren, that thou shalt have, after thou hast lost
the other, shall say again in thine ears. The
place is too strait for me; give place to me
that 1 may dwell.'' Is. 54:1—3. "Sing, O
barren, tliou that didst not bear, break forth
into singing, and cry aloud, thou that didst
not travail with child; for more are the chil-
dren of the desolate, than of the married
wife, saith the Lord. Enlarge the place of
thy tent, and let them stretch forth the cur-
tains of thy habitations; spare not, lengthen
thy cords, and strengthen thy stakes; for
thou shalt break forth on the right hand, and
on the left, and thy seed shall inherit the
Gentiles, and make the desolate cities to be
inhabited." Is. 60:22. "And a little one
shall become a thousand, and a small one, a
strong nation. I the Lord will hasten it in
his time." Jer. ^S:S. "And I will gather

94 State of the World

the remnant of my flock out of all. countries
whither I have driven them, and will brings
them again to their folds, and they shall be^
fruitful, and increase."

It is doubtful, whether at the commenced
ment of the Millennium, there will be moi-e
people in the world, than there are now, in
consequence of the vast multitudes, whom
the Lord shall cut off, to introduce that day,
<<when he shall arise to shake terribly the ■
earth." But they will increase with great
rapidity, when all obstructions shall be re-
moved, and when the Lord shall add his spe-
cial blessing, to make them as the dust, as |
the sand, and as the stars for multitude. j

There is reason to believe, that within a I
few centuries after the commencement of the 1
Millennium, the world will contain more
than a hundred times as many inhabitants,
as it now contains. All these will be Chris-
tians. How very small the number of Chris-
tians, that have yet been upon earth at any
time, compared with the multitudes and mul-
titudes, that shall throng the gates of Zion
in that day.

But how can the earth support such amaz-
ing numbers? An answer to this question ;
will be attempted in the next proposition.


During the Millennium, the fruits of the
earth will be much more abundant than be-

During the Millennmm, 9 1

A much greater portion of the earth's sur-
face will then be cultivated, than at any time
before. It is supposed, that about a million
acres of land remain uncultivated in the an-
cient and populous island of Great Britain,
What vast tracts then, must we suppose are
lying waste, in other countries of much
greater extent; especially in those, that are
comparatively new and thinly inhabited.
Perhaps no country is more completely, and
faithfully cultivated, than China Proper.
And what is the consequence? It supports a
population of 150 or 200 millions — ^one quar-
ter or one third of the human race. If all
other parts of the earth were as well culti-
vated as this, the productions would proba-
bly be increased more than ten fold. But
j there is reason to believe, that the whole
habitable earth will be cultivated with much
more care, than China has received, and
with ten times the skill. Rulers and subjects,
philosophers, chemists and cultivators, seem
to be uniting their efforts in various coun-
tries, for the advancement of agricultiMie.
How great are tlie improvements, that are
making from year to year. What wonderful
effects have often been seen to arise, from a
few particles of Plaster Paris, used as man-
ure. May we not hope that such vast ledges
of this precious substance will be discovered
in various places^ or that it will be so copi-
ously manufactured by the almost creative
hand of clietlSifetry, as to render it plenty and

96 State of the World

cheap, in every land, to which it is suited?
Or rather may we not hope that some other
substance will he discovered,*^ or prepared^
and plentifully furnished, as much more fer*
tilizing than Plaster Paris, as this is superior
to common manure? There is perhaps no-i
thing else so remote from my profession, that
1 have considered with such deep, and de-
lightful interest. How little does the che-
mist think, while his heart is ready to melt
at the very thought of his crucible, how little
does he generally think, how much his labors
may conduce to bring on that happy state of
things, which shall distinguish the Millen-
nial period. May we not expect from these
considerations, that the time will come, when
the fruits of the earth will be increased a
hundred fold?

But there are other considerations, con-
siderations much more interesting to Chris-
tian benevolence, that will justify the expec-
tation of an increase greater still. Ever
since the fall of man, the earth has been un-
d§r a curse; "groaning and travailing in pain
until now." *' Cursed be the ground, for thy
sake," said the incensed Jehovah to our re-
bellious first parent. The ground was again
cursed for the murderous conduct of Cain.
To him it was said by the Almiglity,«When
thou tillest the ground, it shall not hence-
forth yield to thee her strength." And since
the days of Adam and Cain, hyv often has
the earth been cursed in oncpart and an-

During the Millennmm» 97

other for the wickedness of man. So that
now the earth may be considered, as lying
under an accumulation of curses, like moun-
tains piled upon mountains. Multitudes of
mankind, therefore, have been left to suiFer,
and some to perish, of hunger; because the
earth's productions have been so scanty,
and the expectations of the husbandman
have so often failed. It will be far otherwise in
the Millennium. With the exception of per-
haps one small district there is reason to be-
lieve, that the earth will then be cultivated
to the utmost extent, and with a degree of
skill which probably has not yet been con-
ceived. Then no doubt the curse will be
almost or altogether removed, and the earth,
by the special and abundant blessing of God,
converted into one vast Eden, will bring
forth by handfuls. I will mention a few of
the numerous passages of scripture, that
might be adduced, to justify the remarks
Lev. 26:3,4. «If ye walk in my statutes,
and keep my commandments, and do tbem,
then 1 will give you rain in the due season,
and the land shall vield her increase, and the
trees of the field shall yield their fruit.''
Deut. 7:12,13. "Wherefore it shall come
to pass, if ye hearken to these judgments
and keep and do them, that the Lord thy
God shall keep unto thee the covenant of
mercy, which he sware unto thy fathers.
And he w^jj^lovc thee and bless thee, and
multiply thee^ he will also bless the fruit of

98 State of the JVorld

thy womb, and the fruit of thy land, th
corn, thy wine, and thine oil, the increase o
thykine.'' &c. Deut. 11:13— 15. <«And it
shall come to pass, if ye will hearken dili-
gently unto my commandments, which I
command you this day, to love the Lord your
God, and serve him with all your heart, and
with all your soul, that I will give you thel
rain of your land in due season, the first raiir
and the latter rain, that thou mayest gather
in thy corn, and thy wine and thine oil. And
I will send grass in thy fields for thy cattle,
that thou mayest eat, and be full." The
sixty-fifth psalm is a prayer, which mani-
festly has its principal reference to the Mil*
lennium. The second verse runs thus. «*0
thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall ail
flesh come." This does not appear to mean
that it is the duty of all flesh to come to God
in prayer, as it is sometimes understood, but
that in due time all flesh shall sincerely wor-
ship the Father. From this we may con-
clude, that the principal reference of the
whole psalm is to the Millennium. This
psalm concludes with gratefully noticing the
wonderful fruitful ness, with which the Lord
would bless the earth. "Thou visitest the
earth and waterest it: thou greatly enrich-
est it with the river of God, which is full of
water; thou preparest corn, when thou ha
so provided for it. Thou waterest th
ridges thereof abundantly; thou settlest the
furrows thereof; thou makest wtm soft with

During the Millennium. 99

showers; thou blessest the springing thereof.
Thou crownest the year with thy goodness,
and thy paths drop fatness. They drop up-
on the pastures of the wilderness; and the
little hills rejoice on every side. The pas-
tures are clothed with flocks; the Tallies al-
so are covered with corn; they shout for joy,
they also sing." The sixty seventh psalni
is still more striking, especially the sixth
and seventh verses. "Let the people praise
thee, O God, let all the people praise thee.
Then shall the earth yield her increase; and
God, even our own God, shall bless us."
Does not this intimate, that before all peo-
iple praise the Lord, the earth shall not yield
jher increase; or that all the productions of
Ithe earth before the Millennium are to be
considered as nothing, compared with the
rich and amazing harvests of that glorioBs
day. In the seventy second psalm the fruit-
fulness of the earth is promised in language
still more strong and striking. "There
shall be a handful of corn in the earth upon
the top of the mountains, and the fruit there-
of shall shake like Lebanon." From a very
small portion of seed, a crop of grain shall
; be produced, that shall appear like the cedars
of Lebanon. The expression is indeed
strong, and may be considei'ed somewhat
figurative. But it would be a vast mistake
to suppose it unmeaning, because it is figur-
ative. Figurative expressions are often
ixnost replete with meaning. The expression

100 state of the World

under consideration, must imply, that the
earth at the time, to which it refers, will be
fruitful far beyond any preceding age. If
it had been represented, that a handful of
corn should produce such an astonishing
crop in the fat vallies, it would imply much
— enough to distinguish that age from eve-
ry preceding. What then shall we think of
it, when such fruitfulness is represented as
being upon the top of the mountains,the most
unproductive parts of the earth!

These and many other passages strikingly
shew, that during the Millennium, the earth
will bring forth wonderfully. And it is not
improbable, that agreeably to the conjectures
of some, vast tracts of country will, like Hol-
land, be rescued from the reign of the ocean.
Perhaps the time will come, when more than
half the surface of the globe will be dry land
upon which from year to year, or two or
three times in a year, the corn will shake
like Lebanon. The habitations of sea-mon-
sters, converted into fruitful fields, may yet
rejoice and sing.

As already intimated, however, it is prob-
able there is one place, that will remain an
exception to the astonishing fruitfulness of
the earth, throughout the whole period of the
Millennium — one place that shall forever
remain under the curse, and under a more
signal and tremendous curse, than ever blast-
ed any other portion of the globe. It is not
certain where the place is situated, that is

During the Millennium, 101

thus to be condemned to perpetual desolation
and horror. It is called Bozrah and Idumea.
We read of its destiny in Is. 34:5 — 15,
"For my sword shall be bathed in heaven;
behold it shall come down, upon Idumea, and
upon the people of my curse, to judgment.
The sword of the Lord is filled with blood,
it is made fat with fatness, and with the
blood of lambs and goats, with the fat of the
kidnej^ of rams: for the Lord hath a sacri-
fice in Bozrah, and a great slaughter in the
land of Idumea. And the unicorns shall
come down with them, and the bullocks with
the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with
blood, and their dust made fat with fatness.
For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance,
and the year of recompenses, for the contro-
versy of Zion. And the streams thereof
shall be turned into pitch, and the dust there-
of into brimstone, and the land thereof shall
become burning pitch. It shall not be
quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof
shall go up for ever; from generation to gen-
eration it shall lie waste; none shall pass
through it for ever and ever But the cor-
morant and the bittern shall possess it, the
owl also and the raven shall dwell in it; and
he shall stretch out upon it the line of con-
fusion and the stones of emptiness. They
shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom,
but none shall be there, and all her princes
shall be nothing. And thorns shall come up
in her palaces, nettled and brambles in the

10£ State of the World

fortresses thereof; and it shall be an habita -
tion of dragons, and a court for owls. Thej
wild beasts of the desert shall also meet witl
the wild beasts of the island, and the satyi
shall cry to his fellow; the screech owl also]
shall rest there; and find for herself a place)
of rest. Tliere shall the great owl make her]
nest, and lay and hatch and gather nndei
her shadow; there shall the vultures also b(
gathered, every one with her mate.'' Such'
is the tremendous and perpetual curse pro^
nounced upon Bozrah and Idumea, for the
controversy of Zion, It will no doubt be set
forth as a distinguished example, to shew to
succeeding generations how much the Lord
abhors the haters of Zion — what indigna-
tion, wrath and vengeance, he feels against
those, who oppose his kingdom, and perse-
cute his people. Whether this curse is des-
tined to fall upon Bozrah and Idumea liter-
ally, or some other places, represented by
these, may admit of a doubt. I am strong-
ly inclined to think, however, that God will
set this mark of holy wrath upon some place
much more distinguished than Bozrah or
Idumea. I'his appears probable, from what
is said in the first part of the chapter. If it
is to be the place which has been the most
distinguished for opposition to the kingdom
of Christ, for shedding the blood of the saints
and the martyrs of Jesus, and for the most
enormous and most heaven-daring abomina-
tions of every kind, who th^t has the slight-

j During the MUlenniwnu 103

;st acquaintance with history can doubt what
)lace it must be? What place has the least
;laim to such dreadful distinction, except
lome, the mystical Babylon, the seat of the
loast, and of the mother of harlots and
ibominations ofthe^earth? It may be, that the
ar-famed Tiber will yet be turned into pitch,
mdtliedust of the most proud and illustrious
►f cities, into brimstone, and the land round
lb out it into burning pitch, that shall not be
[uenched night nor day. "Probably," says
Vlr. Scott, in his note on Rev. 18:11 — 20,
'Probably the destruction of Rome will be
Inished, by some immediate judgment of
jrod; and the nature of the soil in the vi-
cinity, the frequent eruptions of subterrane-
)us fires, and the terrible earthquakes,which
lave occurred, seem to point out the method.
Fhe combustibles are provided; the train is
aid,- there only wants the breath of the
Lord to kindle it,"

But, except the place that shall lie waste
rom generation to generation under this
ireadful curse, the rest of the earth wiU
)robably be so cultivated, and so bless-,
id, that its productions will be increased a


Union of Christians. — First Resurrection,^^
Beauty of the Church, — Display of Go(Pi
glory, ^^Happiness of Christians.


During the Milleniiiiim, Christians will
be much better united than before.

The flock of Christ has not only been
little flock; but the members of this litth|
flock have often been grievously dividec
among themselves. As early as the days o
the apostles, they began to divide into differ
ent sects, and to arrange themselves unde;
different leaders. One was of Paul, anothe;
of ApoUos, another of Cephas, and anothe
with perhaps an equal degree of sectariai
spirit, professed to be more particularly o
Christ. And since the days of the apostles L
the denominations of Christians have beer
exceedingly multiplied, and even the mem
bers of the same sect have had very differen '
opinions concerning important doctrines an(
practices. These divisions have been the
cause of coldness, disaffection, wrath, strife,
bitterness, slander, peisecution, and almos
every evil work. And the improper exer-
tions, that have been made to promote uni-
formity hav^^greatly increased and multipli-
ed the evil. Some have been so affected
with these things, as almost to despair oi

state of the World. 105

nion among the members of Christ's body
1 the present world. To such desponding
Christians it may be said, "O ye of little
^/lith, wherefore do ye doubt:" Are we not
ij ssured that the meek shall inherit the earth,
nd delight themselves in the abundance of
eace? Yes, my brethren, there will be ahun-
ance of peace, all kinds of peace, that
|ie meek can desire and expect in this
;ate of probation. Their adversary, the
evil, will not be able to molest them; nor
ill they be called to contend with any of his
liildren. They will enjoy peace of con-
:ience, peace with God, and peace among
lemselves. ^«Ephraim shall notenvy Judah,
or Judah vex Ephraim.'' As they will
lake eminent attainments in grace; as their
carts will burn and glow with that heaven-
y charity, which seeketh not berown, is
lot easily provoked, doth not behave itself
nseemly, and thinketh no evil, their hearts
/ill be most delightfully united together in
we. As they will not designedly injure
ach other, as they will studiously avoid giv-
ng the least cause of offence, as they will
lot be disposed to make a man an offender
or a word, nor to impute injury,where none
s intended, they must be at peace. This
inion of heart will tend exceedingly to pro-
note every other kind of union; especially
mion in religious sentiments and religious
Practices. It is hardly to be supposed^ how-


105 mate oj the World

ever, that at the commencement of the Mil
lennium, Christians will think alike upoi!|
all subjects, even upon all subjects of great!
importance; tho doubtless they will be unit-
ed in all sentiments, that are fundamental^'
But their differences in opinion will be con
stantly diminishing. They will never use
any improper methods to convince each oth-
er. But the means, which they will use will]
doubtless be kind treatment, liberal discus^
sion, fair and sound arguments, expressed
with all the solemnity, affection and tenderJ
ness which are becoming in a friend and a!
brother. In addition to these means, they
will fervently pray for each other, that the
God of truth would lead them into all truth,
desirable for them to know. Where the^
differ in opinion, both parties will realize
the possibility of being in the wrong, and'
fervently seek to the Father of lights to
sliine upon their souls. When they discussi
subjects, it w ill be in the most free and dis-'
passionate manner; and each one will be aa'
desirous to gain information, as to commu-
nicate — as desirous to correct his own ei<-
rors,^s those of his friend. Disputings no
douhttherewillbe in great abundance; but no
perverse disputings, no vain janglings. They '
will dispute for truth, and for truth alone;
and neither party will desire any triumph, I
but the triumph of truth. This will probably
be one great mean of increasing in knowl-
edge^ and as they all increase in the knowl-

During the Millennmm, 107

idge of the same things, they must be more

1 2 3 4 6 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16

Online LibraryJoseph EmersonLectures on the Millennium → online text (page 6 of 16)