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nd more united in sentiment; as no one can
aiow any thing to be true which another
jiows to be false. Truth must ever he con-
istent with itself; and what is truth to one,
annot be error to another.

As they become more and more united in
entiment, their practices will become more
nd more similar. The practice of a good
lan, so far as he acts in character, and

not influenced by prejudice, is founded
pon his sentiments; and as far as his senti-
lents are correct,.his practice will be correct.
w the early part of the IVlillennium, if not
t the very commencement, educational pre-
idices may be expected in a great measure
) subside; and then the modes and forms of

orship that shall be best suited for the edi»
cation of one will be best suited for the
iification of another; and all will be dis-
osed to adopt the modes and forms, wliich
ley may find best adapted to their edifica-
on. And as far as the modes and forms of
orship are prescribed in scripture, so far
ley will be adopted and followed with full
ssurance, that what infinite wisdom has
•rescribed, must be most conducive to edifi-

We may therefore with confidence antic i-
ate the time, not only when all mankind
hall be Christians; but when all Christians
hall be of one and the same denomination.
Ve may anticipate the time, not only when
lie stick of Judah and the stick of Joseph

108 State of the World

shall be one stick, ''^ but when all the stick
that may be supposed to represent the va'
variety of Christian tribes shall become oi
stick in the hand of the Son of man.


During the Millennium, the souls of tl
martyrs of preceding ages will live and rei^
with Christ upon earth.

This proposition is established by a sin^
passage. Rev. 20:4. "And I saw throne
and they sat upon them, and judgment wl
given unto them| and I saw the souls
them that were beheaded for the witness
Jesus, and for the word of God, and whic
had not worshipped the heast, neither h
image, neither had received his mark up(
their foreheads, nor in their hands; and thJ
lived and reigned with Christ a thousar
years." Several other passages assert, th!
Christ will reign on earth, during the Mi
lennium. In the second psalm, in which tl
Father declares, that he has set his king uj
on his holy hill of Zion, he is representee
as saying to the Son: "Ask of me, and
shall give thee the heathen for thine inheri
ance, and the uttermost parts of the earth fc
thy possession." Ps. 72:8 — 1 1. He shall hat
dominion also from sea to sea, and from tl
river unto the ends of the earth. They thJ
dwell in the wilderness shall bow befor!
him^ and his enemies shall lick the dust. Th
kings of Tarshish and of the isles slid
bring presents^ the kina.s of Sheba and Seb;

*Ezek. 37:16,17'.


During the Millennium, 109

shall offer gifts. Yea, ail kings shall fall
down before himj all nations shall serve

The question may arise, Will Christ reign
on earth personally, or only spiritually? — ■
visibly, or invisibly? That his reign on earth
during the Millennium will be spiritual, in
the hearts of his people, and not personal
or external, seems capable of satisfactory
proof. We have already seen, that the res-
urrection of the martyrs and distinguished
saints at the beginning of the Millennium,
which is called the^rs^ resuirection, is to be
merely spiritual, or a resurrection of souls^
not of bodies. John did not see the bodies
of them that were beheaded, &c. but only
their souls. As the first resurrection, there-
fore, is to be merely spiritual, and as the
martyrs will be only spiritually raised to
reign with Christ, it seems most rational to
conclude, that the reign of Christ on earth
will be merely spiritual.

Upon this subject Mr. Scott observes,
•'Christ will not come down from heaven
personally to reign on earth; but he will
reign spiritually in the prevalence of his
gospel, and by his Holy Spirit in the hearts
)fmen in general. The scriptures constant-
y speak of his sitting on the right hand of
jrod in heaven, till he shall come the second
ime to judge the world.*^

With regard to the spirituality of the first
•jesurrcction, I shall not repeat what 1 have

110 state of the World

already said upon the subject. It may bo
proper here however, to notice an objection,
it is said 1 Thes. 4:16. "The dead in Christ
sliali rise first." Now as the resurrection,
that is to precede the Millennium, is to be a
resurrection of those who were dead in Christy
and is expressly called the first resurrection,
some have concluded with great assurance,
that the same resurrection is referred to in
both places; and as the apostle in Thes. un-
doubtedly refers to a literal resurrection, so
also the resurrection of the martyrs men-
tioned in Rev, 20:4. must be a literal resur-
rection, or resurrection of bodies.

The plausibility of the objection entitles
it to particular consideration. That the above
passages refer to different resurrections may
appear from the following considerations.

1. There appears to be no evidence that
the dead in Christ will rise, before those who
die in their sins. 1 cannot see, that the pas-
sage in Thes. asserts or implies any such
thii'g. The apostle is not there speaking of
the order of time, in which the righteous and
wicked will rise; nor does the passage, nor
the chapter in connexion, appear to contain
the least allusion to the resurrection of the
"wicked. His object in the six concluding
verses of the chapter, is to comfort his bieth-
ren, who had been bereaved of some of their
dear Christian friends. The grand comfort-
ing idea, which he suggests, is, that they and |
their Christian friends and all the friends of

During the Millennium, 111

Jesus should ever be with the Lord. To
prepare the way to render this remark more
striking and efficacious, he gives some ac-
count of the manner, in which all the chil-
dren of God should be gathered together in
one, at the end of the world 5 that Christ
should descend from heaven with a shout,
with the voice of tlie archangel, and with
the trump of God; that the dead saints should
be raised, and that these, together with the
saints who had not died, but remained alive
till the second coming of Christ, should be
caught up to meet the Lord in the air, and
so should be ever with tiie Lord. There is
nothing said about the resurrection of the
wicked. WJiatever is implied in the expres-
sion <« And the dead in Lhrist shall rise first,'-^
surely it cannot mean^ that the righteous
shall rise before the wicked. 1 am inclined
to think, that it is explained in tl»e verse pre-
ceding. "We which are alive, and re=
main unto the coming of the ough Europe, disappeared." "Not only
the arts of elegance: but many of the useful
arts, without w hich life can scarcely be con-
sidered as comfortable, were neglected, or
lost. Literature, sdence^ taste, were words
scarcely in use. Persons of high rank, and
io the most eminent stations, could not read,
ot' write. The human mind, neglected, un-
cultivated, and depressed, sunk into the most
profound ignorance. - «Nor was this ignor-
ance confined to laymen. The greater part
of the clergy were not greatly superior to
Hiem in science. Many dignified ecclesias"
ties could not subscribe the canons of those
Councils, in which they sat as members.— «
Europe did not produce, during four centu-
Hes, one author, who merits to be read,
either on account of the elegance of his
composition, or the justness and novelty of
his sentiments. There is scarcely one in-
^^ention, useful or ornamental, of which that
long period can boast."

"The barbarous nations were not only il-
literate; but they regarded literature with
contempt. They found the inhabitants of
the provinces of the empire, sunk in degen-
eracy, sunk in effeminacy, and averse to
war. — This degeneracy of manners the il-
literate barbarians imputed to their love of
learning. Even after they had settled in
the countries, whicii they had conquered,

124 Signs of the Times,

they would not permit their children to be in-
structed in the sciences.'^

"Even the Christian religion degenerated
during those ages of darkness, into an illib-
eral superstition. The barbarous nations,
when converted to Christianity, changed thd
object, not the spirit, of their worship.— In-
stead of aspiring to the sanctity of virtue,
M'hich alone can render men acceptable to
the great Author of order and excellence,
they imagined that they had satisfied every
obligation of duty, by a scrupulous observ-
ance of external ceremonies." Such is an im-
perfect outline of the account of one of the
ablest historians,thatever wrote in English.*

Long and dreadful was this intellectual and
moral darkness, this midnight of the soul.
It may be considered, as commencing at the
fall of the Roman empire in the west,near the
beginning of the fifth century, and continu-
ing till the revival of learning and religion,
by the instrumentality of Luther and others,
in the sixteenth — a period of eleven hundred
years. The time from the ninth century to
the thirteenth or fourteenth, was the dark-
est part of this long darkness; and may be
denominated the midnight of michiight.

If a person, unacquainted with history,
could be carried back five hundred years,
and take a view of the gloomy degraded
state of society at that time, he would be filled
with astonishment and horror.

* See Robertson's CharieB V. Tol. I. See. i. in variods


Signs of the Times » 125

With what admiration and gratitude then,
hould we hail the Sun of righteousness,
those healing beams have so far dispelled
|his gross and horrible darkness, this worse
. Jhan Egyptian gloom! How numerous, how
Irarious, how wonderful, are the improve-
"^' nents, that have been made within five
lundred years; improvements in the sciences
lud arts; improvements in the social, civil,
moral, literary, and religious, privileges of
|a great part of mankind. Peculiarly striking
land astonishing, has been the change in this
Icountry. Less than half five hundred years
ago, it was the habitation of savage beasts
and savage men. How suddenly has the
wilderness become a fruitful field!

I shall not attempt to mention all the im-
5portant inventions, discoveries, and improve-
ments, that have so changed the face of the
world in five hundred years. Probably very
few, if any, have information adequate for
the performance of such a task. It may suf«
fice to make a few observations upon some of
the most important.

After men began to emerge from the dead
sea of the dark ages, tlvsy continued rising
faster and faster* One improvement pre-
pared the way for another; and this for a
number more. To trace the improvements,
that have been made \\ithin this period, is
peculiarly pleasing, delightful, and animat-
ing, to the friends of man— to the friends of
the intellectual and moral progress of the

1£5 Signs of the Times,.

world, and especially to those, who find pleai
lire in contemplating the wonderful worlsj (
of God.

To ti>e Christian,however,who has arri\
ed at the meridian of life, hy far the mos
interesting portion of the five hundred years
is that, which has elapsed within his owi
memory. A great part of the improvements
which have been made for the promotion o
human welfare, have been made withii
twenty five years. In this short period!
which, to those who can look through it, maj
appear but as a moment, it is probable, thai
more has been done upon the great scalo for
the good of mankind, than had been done
for fifteen hundred years before.

Deeply impressed with the importance of
combining their efforts, the friends of God
and man have formed innumerable associa-
tions for the most benevolent purposes. Their
success, especially within a few years, has
been no less astonishing than delightful.
Only a few of these can now be mentioned.

The British and Foreign Bible Society
fnay be considered, as the most important of
all these noble institutions. It was formed
at London, March 7, 1804. It was designed
to supply the destitute and indigent, with the
word of God. This is an object, for which
good men of all denominations can most cor-
dially unite, and for which they have united.
The world has gazed with admiration upon
Catholics, Episcopalians, I'rcsbyterians,

Signs of the Times. 127

OongTegationalists, Baptists, Methodists,
Quakers, &c. most zealously engaged in the
blessed work of sending the gospel to the
poor — to the poor of every nation, kindred
and tongue. Thousands and hundreds of
thousands of bihles, have already been dis-
persed by that Society. How much good
the poor of various nations have already
derived from these numerous and abundant
donations, will never be known in the present
world. Nor is this all. In this case, no
doubt, it has been found as blessed to give,
as to receive. While these generous souls,
these holy men of various denominations, have
been thus engaged in opening the wells of sal-
vation for the refreshment of others,their own
spirits have been watered and refreshed,
witli heavenly dews. They have felt a mu-
tual love, a mutual joy, before unknown, and
un conceived. It has been a sight, which
angels no doubt have viewed with pleasure,
a sight, at which (Airistian charity has gazed
through tears of joy — to see men of different
commiuiions, and widely different sentiments
with regard to rites and ceremonies manifest-
ing a greater regard for those fundamental
truths, in which they agree, than the circum-
stantial points, in which they differ — to see
them manifesting a greater regard for the
'general welfare of Christ's kingdom, than
for the advancement of their own particular
sects. It was a noble reply of a British
Episcopalian, to one, who had expressed a

128 Signs of the Times,

fear, that their church woiiKI be endangered
by circulating the bible without the prayer-
book, *<What, said he, the bibic knock down
the church! then let her fall!" 'I'his surely
was a reply^vvorthy to beset in letters of gold
and laid in the rock forever. And yet there
is no doubt that he regarded that venerable
church, quite as much as the timid objector.
He probably regarded it, not principally be-
cause it was the church, to which he belong-
ed, nor because he had been taught from his
inian y to consider it the apostolic churchy
nor because it has so long been the estab-
lished religion of his country, nor because
he thought it best suited to promote the political
welfare of the king,the nobIes,and the pcople|
but because he thought it was founded upon
Christ, and erected according to his word.
He was willing to have it brought to the law
and to the testimony, that it might be fairly
tried; and if it could not stand that holy test^
be was willing it should fall; he was willing
to renounce his church, to keep his bible, if
he could not retain both. Such, I trust are
the feelings of every enlighteued Christian^
whatever be bis denomination.

The British and Fmeign BibleSociety,whiefi
I am disposed to consider the most respect*
able and important of all institutions,that ar#
merely bumanjmay be considered as the par-
ent of a vast family of blooming and vigorous
children, that are fast rising into manhood*
the joy of Chi istians,"^nd the deliglst of heav-
nio it is probable thsre ar© now in the world

Signs of the Times. 129

more than a thousand Bible Societies, and
Bible Associations, all engaged in the same
noble charity of sending the bible without note
or comment, to those, who are destitute of
the richest boon of Heaven. Behold, how
good and how pleasant it is, for brethren to
dwell together in unity, and exert their unit-
ed influence, to fill the world with tiie oracles
of eternal truth— the messages of everlasting
love. With what striking propriety might
the present age be denominated, THE AGE

But the present age is not distinguished,
|by Bible Societies alone. With equal ardor
land success have multitudes of different de-
ominations engaged in forming Missionary
ocieties, Tract Societies, Education Socie-
ies. Moral Societies, and other Societies of
arious names, for the purpose of feeding the
ungry, clothing the naked, instructing the
Ignorant, saving the lost, and promoting
peace on earth and mutual amity among

So greatly is the present age distinguish-
ed by missions that we have reason to believe
that the angel whom John saw in vision, has
for several years been flying through the
midst of heaven, <4iaving the everlasting
gospel to preach, unto them that dwell on tli«
earth, and to everv nation and kindred and
tongue and people, saying with a loud voice.
Fear God, and give glory to him; for the
hour of his judgment is come; and worsliip
bim that made heaven and earth, and clie

1 30 Signs of the Times,

sea, and the fountains of waters." May wc
not hope, that tlie other an^el will soon folJ
low with the glorious proclamation, "Baby4|
Ion is fallen?"*

If it were not for other wonderful im«
provements, the present would doubtless be
denominated, THE AGE OF SABBATB'
SCHOOLS. Toward the close of the last'
century, Mr. Raikes immortalized his name,
by devising and beginning an institution
the benefit of which it is probably beyond th€
power of angels to compute. It is supposed}'
that there are now about five thousand Sab-
bath Schools in operation, in which are in-
structcd nearly five hundred thousand chil-
dren and youth. It is probable the last year'
was more distinguisbed for exertions in this
way, than any preceding year; and we havr
reason to hope, that the present year will br
more distinguished still.

Mr. Lancaster's method of instruction, bjil
which one master can teach several hundred
at the same time, is one of the wonders ol
the present age. Tho its usefulness will
probably be confined principally to the in-
digent of populous places, yet tbere is no
doubt, that this method will be found among
the mighty engines, by which God will de-
molish the strong holds of Satan, and pre.
pare the way for the saints to take the king-
dom, and possess it for ever.

* Rev. 14:6—8.

Signs of the Times, 131

But especially may the present age be
staled, THE AGE OF PRAYER; and per-
haps there is no other distinction, so encoiir-
agin^^ as this. There liave been multitudes
and multitudes of associations and meetings
for prayer, for the express puj-pose of crying
fco God, and pleading with him, that liis
kingdtjm may come, and that his will may be
done on earth, as it is in heaven; and that he
would hasten the glorious day,when all shall
know, worship, and obey him. Great num-
bers of Christians in the four quarters of the
w^orid are accustomed to observe some part
)f the first Monday in each month, as a spe-
cial season for prayer, and for gaining infor-
mation respecting the progress of the gospel,
md the dawning of the Millennial day There
is reason to believe also, that secret prayer is
more incessantly, and more fervently, and
much more abundantly, offered up for the
advancement of tlie Redeemer's kingdom,
than in any preceding age. And perhaps
there is nothing more encouraging upon this
point, than tlie thousands of female prayer-
aieetings, that have been recently formed, to
pray for the peace and glory of Jerusalem.
Tho the feelings of some of the mothers in
Israel and daughters of Zion in some places,
may at first have almost revolted at the
thought of such a meeting; yet, upon fur-
ther consideration, they have found, tljat
there is nothing in scripture nor reason, that
forbids a devout woman, to prav in a retired
circle of beloved sisters. And how «^Yeet,

132 Signs of the Times*

how delightful, how edifying to tliemselves,
how prolitable to otliers, have they often
found the exercise.

The Theological Seminary at Andover is
perhaps as striiving, as useful, and as promis-
ing a monument of Christian liberality, as the
world has ever seen. There ai'e now at that
Seminary eighty theological students, most
of them partly or wholly supported by the
hand of charity. Several other Theological
Seminaries have been recently established to
distinguish and bless the present age.

In recounting some of the principal won-
ders of the present age, that are most inter-
esting to Christians, religious newspapers
must not be forgotten. Several of these,prob-
ably as many as twelve, have been commen-
ced in this country witliin two or three years,
Of the Boston Recorder, with which I have
been most acquainted,! can say without hesita-
tion, that it presents to its pious readers "a
feast of fat things and of wines on the lees,"
from week to week. Does not this appear
like inscribing upon the bells of horses,
friends of the Redeemer, who are acquaint-
ed with the wortli of the Recorder, it must
be comforting to learn, that its circulation is
extending from month to month.

The Panoplist, or "Panoplist and Mis-
sionary Magazine United," has probably
been productive of more good, than any other
periodical publication in this country. The

Signs of the Times. ISS

happy union of these excellent publications,
originally two, is deserving of particular
notice and peculiar gratitude to the great
Promoter of brotherly love. The Massa-
chusetts Missionary Magazine was com-
menced in the year 1803. Its conductors
find patrons were principally of that theo-
logical complexion which is sometimes de-
nominated Hopkinsian, In 1806, appeared
the Fanoplist, conducted principally by those,
who would rather be known by the name
Calvinists. After these two publications had
for a few years marched, on side by side, in
the most amicable manner, toward, the same
great and glorious object, it was thought
best, that they should be conveyed in the
same vehicle. They were accordingly uni-
ted, and have since proceeded together un-
der the same cover. Whatever some may
have imagined, it is found tliat the Hopkin-
sians and Calvinists of Massachusetts can
walk together, most harmoniously together.
Thetwo branches of the Theological Semina-
ry have exhibited a union very similai*; and
tills union has likewise extended in a very
happy degree to the General Association of
Massachusetts. It is ardently hoped, it is
confidently believed, that this triple alliance,
this three-fold cord, by which Calvinists and
Hapkinsians are so happily and so firmly
bound together, will not be quickly broken.
Perhaps no two denominations of Christians

ever more sensibly felt, how good and how

1 34 Signs of the Times,

pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together
in unity.

But the king of Zion has granted to the i
present age a distinction, that calls for loud-
er notes of gratitude, and more joyful strainsr
of praise. It is the abundant effusions of the
Holy Spirit upon a great number of places,
especially upon so great a proportion of our
coJ leges. Never before were so many
of these happy seats of learning so distin-
guished by the special grace of God, as with-
in ten years, and especially within two years.
Within about two years there have been
wonderful revivals of religion among the stu-
dents of Williams College in Massachu-
setts, of Bowdoin College in Maine, of Bart-
mouth College in New Hampshire, of Mid-
dlebury College in Vermont,of Yale College
in ConnecticutjOf Princeton College in New-
Jersey, and of Hampden Sidney College in
Virginia. With regard to the latter, how-
ever, I would not speak so confidently, as
I have not been so directly and particularly
informed. At some of the above mentioned
colleges, there have been repeated revivals
within a few 'years. It seems as tho the
Lord of the harvest were converting a mul-
titude of those, who enjoy the highest litera-
ry advantages, which our country can afford,
on pui'pose to replenish the Theological Sem-
inaries, that have been formed for their re-
ception^ or rather, that the great Lord of
the harvest is providing himself with an ijn-

Mgns of the Times, 135

usual number of reapers, in order to gath-
er in an abundant and glorious harvest of

The successful exertions that have been
recently made to instruct the deaf and dumb,
are notfthe least of the wonders of this won-
derful age.

We have only glanced at some of the
principal signs, that distinguish the present
times from all others. But is not this glance
sufficient to show us, that Jesus is on his way
to take the kingdom, and reign in the hearts
of all? — ^that in a few centuries the wicked

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