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    DR. SAMUEL HOPKINS, A. D. 1792

    In his system of divinity, Dr. Hopkins treats of the millennium, referring to a sermon of Dr. Bellamy and to President Edwards for authorities; and he brings immense quotations of eternal promises from the prophets, to prove his temporal things, even thirty pages, to illustrate the thousand years of this world.HDM 38.3

    He considers the millennium to consist of—1. Holiness. 2. Light and knowledge. 3. Peace and love. 4. Unity of faith and practice. 5. Great enjoyment, happiness, and universal joy. “All outward worldly circumstances will then be agreeable and prosperous; and there will be for all a sufficiency and fulness of everything needed for the body, and for the comfort and convenience of every one.” p. 69. “In that day mankind will be increased in number, until the earth shall be filled with them.” p. 73. “All will probably speak one language.” p. 75. Will any form of government be necessary for a race so holy, quiet, and happy? He answers, yes; not for the necessity, but for the utility and convenience of the people, p. 79. Among the events to take place before the millennium and to prepare the way for it, are the fall of the prophetic image of the nations, Antichrist, and Babylon, p. 92. “Previous to this, the Christian world and mankind in general will become more corrupt in practice of all kinds of wickedness; that God will arise out of his place, to do his work, his strange work, to punish the world for their wickedness,—to reduce and destroy mankind, so that few will be left; an afflicted and poor people, who will repent and humble themselves before God, and trust in the mighty Savior, for whom (the poor people) he will appear in great mercy, and pour down the Holy Spirit on them and their offspring; and they will multiply and fill the world.” p. 144. Then follows the kingdom of a thousand years, in which the “afflicted and poor people” will do, what fallen Adam and righteous Noah failed of, filling the world with a pious offspring.HDM 39.1

    Half a century has transpired since these doctrines appeared; and the time for the antecedent judgments to introduce the millennium draws very near, or has already come: but, behold, the doctrine of the millenists’ bliss remains, and promises to fill the whole earth, while the doctrine of the introductory judgments has given place to “smooth things,” until it has wholly disappeared; and the world neither miss it, nor mourn its loss: but all at once Christendom has been furnished with a complete scheme of worldly grandeur, to be attained by a rapid advance in virtue, knowledge, holiness, and the arts, wholly independent of the painful toil and sore tribulation which was the guarded door of Edwards and Hopkins to the entrance of the millennium. How great a change in the nature and influence of the doctrine this makes, one cannot easily imagine or describe. It reverses the picture of things preceding the millennium. It does not only dispense with the increase of depravity, until “God will arise to do his work, his strange work, to punish the world for their wickedness,—to reduce and destroy mankind, so that comparatively few will be left; an afflicted and poor people;” but it supplies the place with a picture of a directly contrary character, in which the church makes triumphant advances from its present position, to occupy all nations in the name of the Lord, and to subdue both Jews and Pagans to the obedience of the cross, without beat of drum or loss of a battle; but by a steady succession of spiritual victories, over the world, the flesh, and the devil. Nothing could be more grateful than this to the natural heart, unless it were to have an abundant entrance into the kingdom of heaven, with its pulse beating and blood thrilling.HDM 39.2

    It were easy to furnish respectable names, and very high authority, for the connexion of almost every sort of this world’s bliss, in perfection, with the flesh and blood of the spiritual millennium, making it equally a terrestrial paradise with Lactantius and the Sibyls; but it would sound so oddly in the ears of its friends, that I should hazard more to be accounted a calumniator for it, than the false hope would to be reprobated and condemned; therefore, I refrain from attempting any sketch of its chameleon colors in one view from different authors, and I exhibit it wholly in the colors and shape of each distinct author; taking up next a volume of discourses on the subject, published in Dublin, A. D. 1839, 290 pp. Oct., by the Rev. Dr. Urwick, who says: To preach the coming of the Lord at hand “is handling the word of God deceitfully;” and the preachers who do it ought to be shunned for many reasons, among which are the events that must occur prior to his advent, and inevitably require time, and the Lord’s delay. These events are,-HDM 40.1

    1. The conversion of the world.HDM 40.2

    2. The wasting of popery to death.HDM 40.3

    3. The slaying of the two witnesses.HDM 40.4

    4. Mahommedanism to be broken without hand.HDM 40.5

    5. Judgments indicated by the fifth seal, and battle of Armageddon.HDM 40.6

    6. The conversion of Israel.HDM 40.7

    7. A long period of unexampled prosperity, in which the outward influences of sin are to be restrained, but inward influences will be still left in a diminished form and power. The thousand years being happily past, a period of trial and temptation follows; which the final conflagration concludes with the second advent of the Lord.HDM 40.8

    I protest against this with all my might,-in that he charges with deceit those who preach, as the Lord and his apostles did, that his coming is near; in that he teaches to shun the ministers who are faithful to the testimony of Jesus, believing that in due time Jesus, the faithful and true witness, will vindicate his word, though scoffers do mock for a little season; and, finally, in that he puts off the hope of Israel, the hope of creation, and the answer to the Lord’s prayer, for a great while to come, (miserable comforter,) and instead of a speedy restitution of all things, offers us a millennium in sin; sin crippled, it is true, but still sin, and its wages still sorrow and death.HDM 40.9

    At this stage of my labor, the following doctrine, from Revelation 21:5, salutes my ear, in a New York church, Oct. 4, 1840, A. M.HDM 41.1

    “The millenial reign is the triumph of men in the flesh, but possessed of the spirit of Paul and Peter and John. From Eden to the end of the millennium, revolutions follow each other; but then this revolutionary world will be burned up, and unchangeably renewed in the glory of the Lord. 12 Peter 3:7. During the millennium all things will favor the cause of Christ; and in that time more souls will be saved than ever lived before. No unhallowed calling will be tolerated; no child will hear or learn to swear or to break the Sabbath. Every one will be converted at some time of life, earlier or later. All who do not obey ‘that prophet’ shall be cut off. A union of church and state may be expected, of which Constantine’s was only a type; neither a political union, nor the reign of Christ in person. The time is at hand. After all this comes Gog and Magog, the second resurrection, the judgment, the deliverance from sin, for which we pant,” etc. etc.HDM 41.2

    This is one of the most chaste sketches of the millennium I have heard given: and it is yet liable to the following objections.HDM 41.3

    1. Sin and death reign to the end of this millennium, and that can never be a state of peace and repose in which they triumph.HDM 41.4

    2. It promises the dominion of the world to the saints, the wicked being all cut off or suppressed: and that is a hope which the great reformers pronounced to be contrary to the Holy Scriptures, and which they repudiated and stigmatized as a judaizing notion, and they also condemned those who circulate it; because the prophets accord with the gospel in offering to the race of Adam neither permanent cities, nor houses, nor possessions in this transitory world; but they enjoin it upon the race to seek for such in the world to come. The gospel urges to sell this world for the hope of the next; to forsake houses and lands and friends, with the assurance of a hundred-fold return in the kingdom of heaven. It were easy to multiply words, but the prince of this world can pervert men still, and verily persuade, that in this land of the valley and shadow of death, here will be the millennium; and men need not fear, for he is himself indisposed to disturb or molest the peace of the world; and were it otherwise, he could do no harm; for he is about to leave this for the great abyss a thousand years, and during that time he must be otherwise engaged; meanwhile the race in the flesh have the promise of all that heart can wish, in the best style of modern improvement, together with so great an increase of dear relatives, that the six thousand years of the world have not furnished a harvest of mortals so bountiful as that one thousand will supply; and they shall long enjoy the fruit of their rest: whenHDM 41.5

    “The rich shall not oppress, nor shall the poor repine.”HDM 42.1

    3. The divine economy from Adam to this day has been displayed in disciplining men, through hardship, toil, and suffering in this life, to reap, by patient continuance in well-doing, eternal life. Even the Lord Jesus Christ, holy and just, was made conformable to this economy, himself not being an exception to the law of nature, as well as grace, which is a proverb among men: no cross, no crown. And to suppose a millenial state in this world, is to suppose an entire change in the divine economy, in which the disciples will not be as their Master, and the servants as their Lord, but the disciples above their Master, and the servants above their Lord; being raised to a crown without a cross, made perfect also without suffering, and marching to heaven and everlasting happiness by a royal highway, untrodden of the Lord.HDM 42.2

    My heart is sick of this new gospel, which is not the gospel our Lord preached, or that his ministers preached, until within about a century and a half past; and already it has so fastened upon the public mind, that it is exceedingly dangerous to attempt to remove it, lest we pluck up the wheat with the tares. Even the vain glory of this fleeting world is not purchased without the display of courage, the exercise of patience, the exposure of life, and the risk of all that man holds dear. The honor of a veteran cannot be cropped without toil, nor can the reputation of a hero be inherited in this world, nor can it be transmitted from father to son; it must be earned, ere it is attained. In accordance with this law of our nature, the holy apostles were called to endure hardship for Christ’s sake, mockery, scourging, chains and death; which they suffered joyfully, having their faith firm, that for all this they should receive a crown of life in the celestial world to come: but this new gospel, on the contrary, promises the unreasonable, unphilosophical, and false hope, that Pauls and Peters and Johns, tried apostles and fearless martyrs, will naturally be born in this world during the millennium, and reared up for eternal glory, without discipline, in the lap of wealth and ease; as if men could be heroes who have never seen an enemy, and might be accounted brave veterans, who have never heard the clang of arms nor confronted the shout of battle. To such judaizers it is spoken, “God is able of these stones to raise up [such] children unto Abraham.” 1Matthew 3:9.HDM 42.3

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