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Review of a Discourse, Delivered in the North Church, Newburyport, on the Last Evening of the Year 1841, by L. F. Dimmick, Pastor of the Church

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    With his introduction we have nothing to say, except that he has misapplied the text. The opinions of Plato, the Stoics, Hindoos, or Brahmins, have no bearing on the words of the text. Christ has no affinity with Belial, or with vain philosophy. On page 7 he says, after quoting his text — “By the preaching of the gospel to all nations, as here intended, we are to understand, doubtless, the evangelizing of all nations.” This text, thus construed, would be a plain and palpable contradiction to Matthew 13:30, 37-39: “Let both grow together until the harvest: and in the time of harvest I will say to the reapers, Gather ye together first the tares, and bind them in bundles to burn them: but gather the wheat into my barn.” “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” The text does not warrant any man to thus contradict the other plain passages of the Scripture, and shows the writer’s presumption, or ignorance of the word of God. And what may we not expect of a writer, who will wrest Scripture to suit his own vain views or feelings? If a man starts wrong, he is very apt to come out wrong; like his saying, “then shall the end come,” when he is trying to prove “the end will not come.”RDDD 2.3

    Again, our Saviour says, “Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?” Why ask this question, when all the world are to be evangelized, and then the end shall come? But the text explains itself — “for a witness to all nations; and then shall the end come.” It does not say “evangelize” all nations. The text in Matthew 28:19 — “Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost” — does not help his explanation, at any rate; for the command to make all nations Christians was as binding on the disciples as on us; and we know that all nations were not made Christians then, are not now, neither can be, as long as tares grow with wheat, or foolish virgins have no oil, or “that wicked” stands revealed, whom the Lord shall “destroy by the brightness of his coming.” This writer, then, would acknowledge that his text is wrested from its true meaning, by supposing the apostles or pastors under obligation to convert all men. And the idea of this command not being obeyed by the apostles, is too absurd to be found in the brain of any one but the skeptic, and is an assumption which has no base on which to rest. So much for the explanation of his text.RDDD 4.1

    Then, on page 9, he says, “The Scripture expressly asserts, that it is not permitted to men, nor to any created being, to know when the end shall be.” This is a broad assertion, and no man but a bigot or infidel could thus boastingly declare such a sentiment. He goes still further, and says, “Even the Son, though in his higher nature knowing all things, yet is not commissioned to reveal this great secret.” Now see how the Scripture can put down this vain boasting. Matthew 24:33: “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.” Also, Isaiah 61:2: “To proclaim the acceptable year of the LORD, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn.” If he was not commissioned, how could Isaiah foretell that he was to proclaim the day of vengeance; and how could Christ tell us we might know when he was near, even at the door? His very text is a plain contradiction to this daring and reckless assertion; for it tells us “when the end shall be” — “when this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.” He, the writer, should have left it where Christ left it — “Of that day and hour knoweth no man,” etc. — and not put words and language, as it were, into the Savior’s mouth, in plain and palpable contradiction to what Christ had just before said — “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.”RDDD 5.1

    But, says the writer of the sermon under consideration, “It is the design of the Savior to teach, in clear and honest language, that the time of the judgment is not revealed.” I say, that language cannot be more plain than Christ has used to teach us that we may know when it is as near as summer is to the spring; and Paul says, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” And yet, this pretended preacher of righteousness presumptuously declares, that the “design” of the Savior is opposite to the words of Christ, the declaration of Isaiah, and the opinion of the apostle Paul. All the proof he has brought to support his assertion may be found in Matthew 24:36: “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” And in quoting this text, he shows his sense of his own weakness, or he would not have labored so hard to prove that “day and hour” means all time, to the exclusion of all those passages which certainly show the time near.RDDD 6.1

    Again; he quotes Acts 1:6, 7: “When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power:” and again misapplies his text by only quoting a part of the sentiment contained in the passage. Let the reader read the 6th, 7th, and 8th verses, and it will prove too much for our North Church divine. It will prove that, when they asked the question, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” Christ answered them, that it was not then for them “to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power; but ye shall receive power, after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you.” What power shall they receive? The same as expressed before — “to know times and seasons.” And Peter has expressly told us this in his 1st Epistle, 1:10-13: “Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angles desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Paul, also, in 1 Thessalonians 5:4: “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”RDDD 7.1

    On page 10, he says, — “II. The speedy ushering in of the judgment and end of the world seems unlikely; considering the shortness of the Christian dispensation up to the present time, compared with what has gone before it.” To support this skeptical idea, which could not be hatched in the brain of a believer, he has first quoted Romans 9:28: “For he will finish the work, and cut it short in righteousness: because a short work will the Lord make upon the earth,” — and then says, “which may only mean, however, that, in carrying forward his kingdom of grace, he will act with great energy and power.”RDDD 8.1

    To “cut short,” with this expounder, is to “carry forward,” and to “make a short work upon the earth,” is to prolong it 365,000 years!! See, on page 9 of this sermon: “Some have understood this language figuratively, a day for a year, making it 365,000 years, — when the end shall come.” Then he tells us his mind would favor even this long period. His next proof is from 1 Peter 1:20: “Who verily was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” Here “last times” only means “last dispensation.” I will here ask this redoubtable perverter of God’s word, why did Peter use the plural “times,” when he only meant one dispensation?RDDD 8.2

    His next quotation, which I will notice, is Hebrews 9:26: “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world: but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” “The ‘end of the world’ here is used to signify the final or Christian dispensation.” Then our text would properly read thus: “For then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the Christian dispensation: but now in the end of the Christian dispensation, hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself.” Thus, according to his own construction, he saps his own foundation, and proves nothing. Although he brings a number of texts to prove his second head they are all of them, strictly and literally, against him. A common schoolboy would be ashamed of arguments like these.RDDD 9.1

    I will notice his argument about the sunrise, and any one may see how vain such an argument is, to overthrow plain Bible. He first assumes that the four thousand years was a night, and then the gospel must be a day, and of course would be more than eighteen hundred years long. The only proof he brings is in Malachi 4:2: “But unto you that fear my name, shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall.” None who will read the context, can for a moment believe that this prophecy has been fulfilled, or was at the first coming of Christ. He was represented by the prophets as a star, at his first coming: Numbers 24:17; Revelation 22:16. And this Sun of righteousness is to rise, when he makes up his jewels — when he shall return, and discern between the righteous and wicked — when the proud and all that do wickedly shall be burned up, and when they shall be ashes under the soles of the feet of the saints.RDDD 9.2

    This day has not come yet. This day is the time when Christ and his saints will be glorified in the new heavens and earth, and stands opposed to the whole time of this life, which, notwithstanding our boasting of an increase of knowledge, is yet but a night of moral darkness, error, and ignorance. “If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable.” It can only be fulfilled when the saints inherit the earth, and when the sun is visible, and when Christ shall come the second time and dwell with his people in the new heavens and new earth, when he will drive away all moral darkness, dispel all mists and fogs of error, shut up the prince and spirits of darkness, and purify his people and sanctuary, the place of his dwelling. Therefore Paul says, Romans 13:11-14, “And that, knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep: for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the armor of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day: not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying: but put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.” Every one will see that Paul did not reason like our blind watchmen in these days; but plainly shows us that we are in moral darkness, and that in his day we were drawing near to the close of this moral night. He might have said, four thousand two hundred years have passed, and only about eighteen hundred to come; then the six worldly working days will be spent, in which moral darkness has “covered the earth, and gross darkness the people.” Then will the Sun of righteousness arise, and be succeeded by an eternal day, or day of the Lord.RDDD 10.1

    To me, this looks more like sound orthodoxy, than the sophistry of our author, who will have a day of the Lord to run far into the future; and, long after the world enjoys a pure state, then to be burned up. This would, to me, be neither Scripture, reason, nor common sense. How could it be said, when the world has been evangelized, and has had a glorious day of 365,000 years, — for then the end must come, according to his text and reasoning, — that it would be as the days of Noah and Lot? Ah! but, says our expositor, before Christ will come, Satan will be loosed, and go out and deceive the nations in the four quarters of the earth. How many? Why, an innumerable company, like the sand on the sea-shore. Of whom? These evangelized nations? Why, yes. Well, if those who live in the end of this 365,000 years may all, or nearly all, be deceived, I ask, might not those millions of millions, which are born, and evangelized during this 365,000 years, have fallen if they had been tried? Happy mortals! they have no trial of their faith; and they will all go to heaven without tribulation. But their descendants — unhappy beings! who are born and live at the end of this 365,000 years — no help for you! you must be evangelized, fall from grace, and be forever lost!RDDD 11.1

    So must our orthodox divine argue, if he is consistent with his doctrine in his text; for the world must come to an end as soon as it is evangelized, by his own showing; and yet he chooses the longest time given, which he says is 365,000 years, after the world is evangelized, before Christ will come. What an expounder of prophecy! Christ and the apostles told us to watch, eighteen hundred years ago; and now we have more than 365,000 years to sleep before the resurrection. If this is not saying, “my Lord delayeth his coming,” no time could proclaim it; at any rate, I feel perfectly satisfied that the prophecy, Matthew 24:48, is literally fulfilled.RDDD 12.1

    Under his next head, page 12, section III., he says: “An immediate judgment and end of the world seems unlikely, from viewing the condition of the world itself in regard to its natural developments. First argument: “Now does it not seem that the earth would continue in its present state till the children of men have had time to occupy it, and make proof of the resources it contains?” What an argument! “All things continue as they were, since the fathers fell asleep;” “no great improvements;” “not one half of the earth has been occupied by man;” “probably not one tenth part of the population has ever yet existed upon it, which it is able to sustain.” What a pity the antediluvians did not think of this argument, when God brought in a flood upon them, and destroyed the old world! Surely, God would have listened to so powerful an argument, and not have swept them all off before they had occupied one half of the globe, or filled one tenth of the world with men. But our author is more than four thousand years too late for his special pleading; for there is a precedent, as Peter shows in his Second Epistle, 3:6, 7: “Whereby the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished: but the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” Again; his double pleading will not be admitted before the grand assizes of Heaven’s court. First, he pleads that the earth cannot be destroyed by fire until the children of men occupy it and make proof of the resources it contains. Then, secondly, he pleads that as they have begun to make improvements, they ought to have a fair trial, until it becomes like the garden of Eden. And then, others, not so daring as himself, might plead that it would be a pity to destroy so innocent and happy a world as the garden of God. And thus the world would stand forever, and scoffers would gain their point.RDDD 13.1

    I must acknowledge, that these arguments are the same as Voltaire, Tom Paine, and Ethan Allen, brought against the Bible, on this very topic. And little did I imagine, forty years ago, that I should read the same arguments in a sermon from an orthodox minister! But so it is. And as McKnight says concerning these scoffers, mentioned in 2 Peter 3:4, 5, — “And saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation. For this they willingly are ignorant of, that by the word of God the heavens were of old, and the earth standing out of the water and in the water,” — “they will be found in the church.” Now it has been proved true. He has mentioned but two texts. Psalm 115:16, “The heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath he given to the children of men.” This is in the past tense; and the earth was given to Noah and his sons, and was divided among them. Genesis 9:19, and 10:32: “These are the three sons of Noah: and of them was the whole earth overspread.” “These are the families of the sons of Noah, after their generations, in their nations: and by these were the nations divided in the earth after the flood.” The other texts which he has quoted are Genesis 1:28, and 2:8, 9: “And God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the earth, and subdue it: and have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the earth.” “And the Lord God planted a garden eastward in Eden: and there he put the man whom he had formed. And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food; the tree of life also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of knowledge of good and evil.” This was before the fall — was revoked by the curse — afterwards destroyed by the flood, and can have no possible bearing on the end of the present world. And a man’s cause must be weak, indeed, to press such evidence to delay Christ’s coming, or scoff at the burning day.RDDD 14.1

    On page 14, section IV., he says, “An immediate judgment and dissolution of the world is not likely, inasmuch as the moral plans of God, so far as developed in the Scriptures, do not appear to be sufficiently accomplished to warrant the expectation of such a result.” Now we may expect he will bring his proof from Scripture; for to them he has at last appealed. First, he has brought Matthew 24:14: “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations: and then shall the end come.” And from this text, without any other proof, he argues, “that the world should be evangelized,” and then says, — “how long the world shall continue in this state, enjoying the blessings of the gospel, ere the end shall come, the passage does not inform us.” Is it possible for a man to make a greater blunder than our author has, in his assertion on this text? First, he asserts that the text proves the evangelizing of the world, which is not true; and then declares the text does not inform us when the end shall come, when the text does tell us, distinctly, “then shall the end come.” If men are thus permitted to wrest the Scriptures from their plain and obvious meaning, I can tell the writer it would be of no manner of use to evangelize the world; for they would be like those converts which Christ accused the Pharisees of encompassing sea and land to make.RDDD 16.1

    His second proof is Genesis 3:15, which he says “was made to the mother of mankind,” and was the earliest promise of a Savior: “The seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head.” If our writer will take the pains to look into his Bible, he will find another blunder; — this promise to the serpent was a curse, instead of a promise, denounced against the serpent, and will be fulfilled when Christ shall come, and destroy death and him that has the power of death, that is, the devil, in the resurrection of his people. This is no proof that the end of the world is not yet.RDDD 17.1

    Then he says, page 16, “Take the repetition of this promise, (curse on the serpent,) as made to Abraham,” Genesis 28:14: “In thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” How this can be called a “repetition” of the curse, is more than I can tell. The first is denouncing the destruction of the power of the serpent; the other is a promise of salvation to all who would believe, whether Abraham’s natural seed or Gentiles, if they had the faith of Abraham; which was fulfilled to the children of Israel, when they entered the land of Canaan, and to the Gentiles when Paul preached. See Genesis 28:15; Joshua 23:14; Galatians 3:8, 9, 16-18. And, as this promise to Abraham has been fulfilled, how can our author say, on this promise, “The end is not yet.” Does he suppose all the families of the earth are to be saved, and every individual in all families? Why not be a Universalist, and openly advocate the doctrine? Or does he mean that in one age of the world all men will be saved? Let him read John’s explanation, Revelation 5:9, 10: “Out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;” not all of every kindred, etc., nor all of one age. It is not so stated; and I am ashamed of such preachers, who can, and do, pretend to prove anything they please from some texts, and that nothing can be proved from others, let them be ever so plain.RDDD 17.2

    His next quotation is from Numbers 14:21: “But as truly as I live, all the earth shall be filled with the glory of the Lord.” If he will read the connection, he will see, if he has eyes to see, that this text alludes to the children of Israel entering the land of Canaan, and is a type of the glorified state of the righteous in the New Jerusalem; according with his own rule, on page 16, “that both the threatenings and the promises of God extend across the gulf into the future and eternal state, and there receive their full accomplishment.” And this he says is true in a great many instances. Here, then, we have one instance, proved by Paul, 1 Corinthians 10:11: “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come.” This, then, does not hinder the end of the world.RDDD 18.1

    His next proof, page 17, is Psalm 2:8-12; and then his reasoning is as follows: “This also is, manifestly, a part of the present economy of the world. It is to take place while there are ‘kings’ and ‘judges of the earth;’ while men exist in nations, as now. But this state of things has never yet been realized. The heathen, and the uttermost parts of the earth have never yet been subject to Christ, in the sense here intended. The kings and judges, as a body, have not yielded the homage required of them; they have not been wise, but in a few instances; they have not been instructed; they have not served the Lord, nor kissed the Son. Christ has not yet, in any respect, exercised his strong and full dominion in all the earth, overpowering whatever opposes his reign. The world must, therefore, yet continue to give time for the carrying out of this great branch of the plan of God. ‘The end is not yet.’” If this is sound reasoning, then surely I cannot understand reason. Must the heathen, kings and judges of the earth, be all subject to Christ, wise, instructed, pay homage, serve the Lord, kiss the Son, etc., before God can dash them to pieces? Surely, if they do this, God will not dash them to pieces; and this is the very reason why all worldly kingdoms are dashed to pieces, — because Christ cannot take possession of his inheritance, cannot reign on earth, until he has destroyed the sinners out of it. Read the thirty-seventh Psalm, and the thirty-fourth verse in particular. When the kings and the wicked are cut off, then the righteous will inherit the earth. And that is, the end of Noah’s earth, as the flood was the end of Adam’s earth; and this is to be done by fire, as that was by water. 2 Peter 3:7: “But the heavens and the earth, which are now, by the same word are kept in store, reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” Where, then, has our author brought any proof that the kingdoms may not be dashed to pieces within two years. Presumptuous man! to say “The end is not yet.”RDDD 19.1

    He then quotes Psalm 72:11, 17: “All kings shall fall down before him; all nations shall serve him; all nations shall call him blessed.” If this has not been already, it surely cannot be until after the resurrection; for tares and wheat must grow together until the harvest, and the harvest is the end of the world. But, says our author, “These things are to take place in the present world, while men exist as nations, while kings reign.” How ignorant this man must be of his Bible! Are there no nations and kings in the New Jerusalem and new earth? Are men annihilated after the resurrection? Let us see what God says about it. Revelation 21:24, 26: “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honor into it.” “And they shall bring the glory and honor of the nations into it.” And this in the New Jerusalem and eternal state. There are nations walking, and kings of the earth bringing their glory and honor into it. Here, then, will the seventy-second Psalm be literally fulfilled; but the end of the present world must come first. No proof yet.RDDD 20.1

    The next proof he brings is from Isaiah 2:4: “And he shall judge among the nations, and shall rebuke many people; and they shall beat their swords into ploughshares, and their spears into pruning-hooks: nation shall not lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more.” He is very careful not to mention the connection of the text, where the time is particularly mentioned when the “law shall go forth out of Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem.” This was literally fulfilled at Jerusalem, at the time the gospel was first sent out to the Gentiles. Christ forbade his followers to use carnal weapons; and this was the law of the gospel; and all the true followers of Christ, who have walked in his paths, have refused to learn war any more, both among Jews and Gentiles. “Nation shall not lift up sword against nation,” does not mean the wicked nations of the earth; for Christ teaches, in the twenty-fourth of Matthew, that there will be wars and rumors of wars to the end of the world. And Micah 4:5, where the same prophecy is given, says, “For all people will walk every one in the name of his god, and we will walk in the name of the LORD our God forever and ever.” And we are positively and distinctly taught, in Revelation 16:14-16, of the battle of the kings and the whole world, at the very time Christ will come. So here our author has failed of proving that the end of the world cannot come yet. What next will he bring?RDDD 21.1

    The Jew, the Jew! Well, what of the Jew? “He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock.” Jeremiah 31:10. But who is Israel, after the Jewish dispensation ended? And if, as our author argues, it is yet to be fulfilled, then it is under the gospel dispensation, and Israel is the elect of God, both among Jew and Gentile; for they are all included in unbelief, that God might have mercy upon all. But who are the Israel now? Let Paul answer. Romans 9:6-8: “Not as though the word of God hath taken none effect. For they are not all Israel which are of Israel: neither, because they are the seed of Abraham, are they all children: but, In Isaac shall thy seed be called. That is, They which are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” Who, then, will be gathered, as the prophet Jeremiah has said? Let Caiaphas, the Jewish high-priest, answer. John 11:52: “And not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.” I say, he fails in one point; that is, to prove that the Jews are all to be converted. If he will prove this, I will pledge myself to prove universal salvation by the same rule; for we are told that “they shall bow down their back always.” But even suppose they are all to be saved, then what rule have we to suppose that it is the Jews that live in one age, to the exclusion of every other age? Surely this would be all conjecture. See the prophet Isaiah 65:15: “And ye shall leave your name for a curse unto my chosen: for the Lord God shall slay thee, and call his servants by another name.” And Paul tells us that he is not a Jew that is one outwardly; but he is a Jew that is one inwardly; circumcision is of the heart, etc. So we see that, when the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, then all the true Israel of God will be saved; for the Jew is no more nor less than a Gentile now; he can be saved with the Gentile, if he continues not in unbelief, but has no promise without the Gentile.RDDD 22.1

    His next quotation is from Isaiah 52:8: “Thy watchmen shall lift up the voice; with the voice together shall they sing: for they shall see eye to eye when the Lord shall bring again Zion.” This text was evidently fulfilled in the days of the apostles, when there was but one sect, one faith, one Lord, and one baptism. See Acts 4:32: “And the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul: neither said any of them that aught of the things which he possessed was his own; but they had all things common.” He then quotes Isaiah 11:13, — “The envy also of Ephraim shall depart, and the adversaries of Judah shall be cut off: Ephraim shall not envy Judah, and Judah shall not vex Ephraim,” — to prove the end cannot come yet. This text speaks of the gospel day, when the Jew and Gentile would flow together to the gospel ensign, and was fulfilled near 1800 years ago. So with all the texts he has quoted under this head: some of them were fulfilled in the apostolic age, and some of them will be in the glorified state of the church, after Christ shall come the second time. Such descriptions as Isaiah 11:6-9, 25:7, 30:26, have all been realized under the gospel dispensation, and are figurative language, showing the different dispositions of men, and the uncultivated minds of barbarous nations, civilized and christianized under the influence of the gospel. See, in history, how barbarous nations of Europe, America, and islands of the sea, become tame and civil through the influence of the gospel. See how easily the wolfish disposition of a Saul can be changed to that of a lamb.RDDD 24.1

    But one thing let me say: it is but right to believe that all those prophecies which we find in the Old Testament, having reference to the gospel period, cannot have a general reference to all men, as our author seems to suppose; for they would contradict plain prophecies in the New, such as Matthew 13:37-42; Matthew 24; 1 Thessalonians 5:1-9; 2 Thessalonians 1st and 2nd chapters; 1 Timothy 4:1-3; 2 Timothy 3:1-13, also 4:1-4; James 5:1-10; 2 Peter 2nd and 3rd chapters. Also Jude, and the whole book of Revelation, give us a very different picture from what our author has given us, down to the end of the world. Reason would teach any man that, if it was a pentecost day all around the world, and all the families of the earth and all nations were blessed; the earth become as the garden of Eden; all kings fall before the Son and kiss him, all the judges of the earth serve him; all swords be beaten into ploughshares, and all spears into pruning-hooks; all Jews be converted, with the fulness of the Gentiles; all religious teachers see eye to eye, and all denominations hold the truth in harmony; the wolf dwell with the lamb, and the leopard lie down with the kid; and the calf, and the young lion, and the fatling together, and a little child shall lead them; and the cow and the bear shall feed; their young ones shall lie down together, and the lion shall eat straw like the ox; and the sucking child shall play on the hole of the asp, and the weaned child put his hand on the cockatrice’s den; they shall not hurt or destroy in all my holy mountain; for the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea; — if this were literally all to be true, God would not destroy the earth; for there would be no occasion for it.RDDD 25.1

    But let us look on the other side of this picture. Truth is what we want. Isaiah 24:17-23: “Fear, and the pit, and the snare, are upon thee, O inhabitant of the earth. And it shall come to pass, that he who fleeth from the noise of the fear shall fall into the pit; and he that cometh up out of the midst of the pit shall be taken in the snare: for the windows from on high are open, and the foundations of the earth do shake. The earth is utterly broken down, the earth is clean dissolved, the earth is moved exceedingly. The earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage; and the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it; and it shall fall, and not rise again. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall punish the host of the high ones that are on high, and the kings of the earth upon the earth. And they shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited. Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously.” This is before the glorious reign, and the earth and inhabitants thereof are burned and few men left. See verse 6.RDDD 26.1

    See, also, Isaiah 30:27-30: “Behold, the name of the Lord cometh from afar, burning with his anger, and the burden thereof is heavy: his lips are full of indignation, and his tongue as a devouring fire: and his breath, as an overflowing stream, shall reach to the midst of the neck, to sift the nations with the sieve of vanity: and there shall be a bridle in the jaws of the people, causing them to err. Ye shall have a song, as in the night when a holy solemnity is kept; and gladness of heart, as when one goeth with a pipe to come into the mountain of the Lord, to the Mighty One of Israel. And the Lord shall cause his glorious voice to be heard, and shall show the lighting down of his arm, with the indignation of his anger, and with the flame of a devouring fire, with scattering, and tempest, and hail-stones.” This is also to be done, in the very day when he “bindeth up the breach of his people, and healeth the stroke of their wound.”RDDD 27.1

    Isaiah 34:1-9: “Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people: let the earth hear, and all that is therein; the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them, he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood. And all the host of heaven shall be dissolved, and the heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as the leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fig from the fig-tree. 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 kidneys of rams: for the Lord hath a sacrifice 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 controversy of Zion. And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch.” This is the year of release and day of vengeance, and when the heavens pass away. There can be no happy time before this.RDDD 27.2

    Isaiah 28:14-22: “Wherefore hear the word of the Lord, ye scornful men, that rule this people which is in Jerusalem. Because ye have said, We have made a covenant with death, and with hell are we at agreement; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come unto us: for we have made lies our refuge, and under falsehood have we hid ourselves: therefore thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner-stone, a sure foundation: he that believeth shall not make haste. Judgment also will I lay to the line, and righteousness to the plummet: and the hail shall sweep away the refuge of lies, and the waters shall overflow the hiding place. And your covenant with death shall be disannulled, and your agreement with hell shall not stand; when the overflowing scourge shall pass through, then ye shall be trodden down by it. From the time that it goeth forth it shall take you: for morning by morning shall it pass over, by day and by night: and it shall be a vexation only to understand the report. For the bed is shorter than that a man can stretch himself on it: and the covering narrower than that he can wrap himself in it. For the Lord shall rise up as in mount Perazim, he shall be wroth as in the valley of Gibeon, that he may do his work, his strange work; and bring to pass his act, his strange act. Now therefore be ye not mockers, lest your bands be made strong: for I have heard from the Lord God of hosts a consumption, even determined upon the whole earth.” This passage is evidently talking to just such men as our author, who has made a covenant with death, and lies his refuge, and can put judgment off more than 365,000 years.RDDD 29.1

    Isaiah 66:15, 16: “For behold, the Lord will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by his sword will the Lord plead with all flesh; and the slain of the Lord shall be many.” When this takes place, then, and not till then, will Zion be comforted, as all must see, who are not crying “peace and safety, when sudden destruction cometh.” Read the context.RDDD 30.1

    Micah 1:2-5: “Hear, all ye people; hearken, O earth, and all that therein is: and let the Lord God be witness against you, the Lord from his holy temple. For behold, the Lord cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place. For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem?” This must come, before any happy time can come; for it is poured upon the earth for the transgression of Jacob and Israel, in Samaria and Jerusalem; which has not yet been done.RDDD 30.2

    Nahum 1:5-7: “The mountains quake at him, and the hills melt, and the earth is burnt at his presence, yea, the world, and all that dwell therein. Who can stand before his indignation? and who can abide in the fierceness of his anger? his fury is poured out like fire, and the rocks are thrown down by him. The Lord is good, a strong hold in the day of trouble; and he knoweth them that trust in him.” In this passage, too, the earth and wicked are burnt, when the righteous are delivered.RDDD 31.1

    Habakkuk 2:12-14: “Wo to him that buildeth a town with blood, and establisheth a city by iniquity! Behold, is it not of the Lord of hosts, that the people shall labor in the very fire, and the people shall weary themselves for very vanity? For the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the glory of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.” Here we see the people building a city with blood, and laboring in the very fire, before the knowledge of the glory of God shall fill the earth. This is plain, and helps explain Isaiah.RDDD 31.2

    Zephaniah 1:14-18: “The great day of the Lord is near, it is near, and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the Lord.” (Please read to verse 18.) Our Savior seems to allude to this prophecy, Luke 21:25-6; James 5:1-9. Peter likewise, in his 1Epis. 4:7: “But the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer.” Can these prophecies be all true, and that day be more than 365,000 years off? Surely, my impenitent friend, you cannot, you will not put any dependence on such expositions as these.RDDD 32.1

    Malachi 4:1-3: “For, behold, the day cometh that shall burn as an oven; and all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be stubble: and the day that cometh shall burn them up, saith the Lord of hosts, that it shall leave them neither root nor branch. But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves of the stall. And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet, in the day that I do this, saith the Lord of hosts.” In this text the proud and wicked are all to be consumed, before the righteous will go forth, and grow up; or before Christ will make up his jewels, and then we shall discern between the righteous and wicked. Of course, tares and wheat will grow together until the harvest, “and the harvest is the end of the world.”RDDD 32.2

    On page 22, he inquires, “What is the evidence that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream reaches to the end of all worldly kingdoms?” I answer, the dream itself teaches it; and I hope he will read Daniel 2:35 and 44: “Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing-floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.” “And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand forever.” If all these kingdoms are broken to pieces and carried away and no place found for them, will it not be the end of them? Let our author take notice that the stone smote the image upon the feet and toes; and the ten toes are ten kings; see verses 41, 42. See also Daniel 7:24: “And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.”RDDD 33.1

    On the next page, 23, he admits that the last kingdom includes the papal power; and then inquires, “But what is there in all this that has explicit reference to the final judgment and end of the world?” If he will candidly read Daniel 7:9-14, he will find the “thrones cast down;” also the Ancient of days sitting in judgment, thousands of thousands and ten thousand times ten thousand standing before him; the judgment did sit, and the books were opened; the body of the papal beast given to the burning flames; the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, and an everlasting kingdom given to Jesus Christ.RDDD 33.2

    If this is not a judgment, it would be in vain for any man to prove one by any passage in the Bible. The writer seems to argue that the end of the world is the annihilation of it. But we believe no such thing; the globe will endure forever. Psalm 78:69. The saints will inherit it forever; they will never be removed. See Psalm 37. Also, more than nine tenths of our best theologians admit this earth is to be given to Christ and the saints forever. Then of course it is an everlasting kingdom; and of course destroys his millennium root and branch; for the end of Daniel’s vision carries us to the eternal kingdom, under the whole heaven, and this by his own concession. Will the Roman kingdom or papal beast exist 365,000 years yet, making war against the saints and prevailing over them? Does the “time, times and a half,” include so long a time? Every man of sense will say, no. How unfortunate will that people be, who have such a teacher in the day of His appearing! and how blind must that man be, who does not understand the nature, nor time of the judgment! Ecclesiastes 8:5: “Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing: and a wise man’s heart discerneth both time and judgment.”RDDD 34.1

    Were I to follow this writer through all his darkness, in his discourse on prophetic time, I should be as wicked as Nehemiah would have been, to have left building the walls, to confer with Sanballat and others; he seems to deny, and then admit, and is perfectly in a confused Babel state. And I must confess, after reading his work, I arose from the task with not a single idea that could be called clear or distinct, or any sentence which might help to convert an infidel or enlighten a skeptic.RDDD 35.1

    It is wholly a piece of wild conjecture; his text is perverted, and Daniel’s vision darkened, and obscurity and doubt thrown upon the minds of all who hear, or read his work. His chief aim appears on the face of his work, to “cry peace and safety,” and to say, “My Lord delayeth his coming.” The work is calculated to make more infidels than a Tom Paine and Ethan Allen put together. His text, Matthew 24:14, “And the gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come” — is made to say: “This gospel of the kingdom shall evangelize all nations, and then the end shall not come until 365,000 years.” This must be the fair and legitimate conclusion drawn from his sermon. Who but an infidel, or skeptic, can subscribe to this construction of the text? Again: all the passages of Scripture which he brings as proof of his subject, are made to be as elastic as India rubber, to contract, or expand, as this day dreamer shall dictate. One moment Daniel’s vision includes not papacy; the next it is the last part of Daniel’s kingdom. One time the Roman kingdom is made to end when the gospel began; then again it is carried far into the future. Every step the writer takes, he involves himself in an impenetrable veil of darkness; and if any man can tell what he does believe concerning the “glorious appearing of the great God, and our Savior Jesus Christ,” he is much more fortunate than I can be. One thing I am certain of by his own concessions; he is neither watching, nor looking for it, nor loving it; and if he prays, “Thy kingdom come,” it is parrot-like; having no definite idea of his own meaning. He is blind, leading the blind; and if Christ should come, he must be overtaken as a thief. “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”RDDD 35.2

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