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    SERMON TWO. THE GOSPEL OF THE KINGDOM

    TEXT: 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. Matthew 24:14.OFAH 15.1

    THE proclamation of this gospel of the kingdom in all the world is the first sign of the second coming of Christ, and the end of the world, mentioned by our Lord. It was given in answer to the question, “What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” Verse 3. But this text is supposed by many to teach that all men will be converted. What then? The end? No, not for one thousand years at least, in which all will know the Lord from the least to the greatest. And some hold that the one thousand years of Revelation 20, are prophetic, each day in the year representing a year, making three hundred and sixty-five thousand years, during which time all men will be holy and happy.OFAH 15.2

    But the text does not intimate that all men will be converted. It does not say that any one will be converted as the result of preaching this gospel of the kingdom. It does not even state that all would hear this gospel. And we find it far from intimating that the world would be converted, and remain so a thousand years, or three hundred and sixty-five thousand years, before the end. The text simply states:OFAH 15.3

    1. “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world,“OFAH 16.1

    2. “For a witness unto all nations,“OFAH 16.2

    3. “And then [not a thousand years later, nor three hundred and sixty-five thousand years; but then] shall the end come.”OFAH 16.3

    It may be worthy of notice right here that very many who hold the doctrine of the world’s conversion, and a thousand years, or three hundred and sixty-five thousand years, of peace and holiness before the end, assert that nothing can be known of the period of the second advent. But would they not know when their supposed millennium, whether it be literal time, or prophetic, had commenced? Certainly they would. If those enjoying the millennium could not tell when it commenced, we conclude that it would hardly be worth having. But if they could tell when it had commenced, and most certainly they could, then they could tell when it would close, and bring the end. These men should be the very last to oppose the view that the prophetic word points to the very generation that shall witness the second coming of Christ and the end of the age.OFAH 16.4

    If we understand the phrase, “this gospel of the kingdom,” to be the gospel, in the common acceptation of the word, is not the work very nearly accomplished?OFAH 16.5

    J. Litch, in his Prophetic Expositions, page 147, under the heading, “Signs of the Times,” says:OFAH 17.1

    “Rev. J. O. Choules, author of a voluminous work, a History of Missions, from the apostolic age down to the present day, being asked, last May (1842), if he knew of any nation which never had received the gospel, replied that he did not; but he thought the promise implied something more than its being barely preached in each nation. The same question was proposed to Rev. Mr. Janes, general financial agent of the American Bible Society, and nearly the same answer was elicited. Dr. Nathan Bangs, for many years at the head of the Methodist missionary operations, was asked the question last July, and after reflecting some time, replied that he believed there was a tribe, somewhere upon the north-west coast of North America, to whom it has never been preached.”OFAH 17.2

    Wm. Miller, in his Lectures, page 288, says:OFAH 17.3

    “Is not this sign already accomplished? Bible translated into more than two hundred different languages; missionaries sent among all nations known to us on the globe..... The gospel has now spread over the four quarters of the globe. It began in Asia. In the apostles’ days, that quarter was full of light. From thence it went into Africa; and, for a number of centuries, Africa stretched out her hands unto God. Europe, too, has had a long visitation of gospel blessings; and now America, the last quarter of the globe, is reaping a harvest of souls for the last day. The gospel, like the sun, arose in the east, and will set in the west.”OFAH 17.4

    But, if the term, “this gospel of the kingdom,” be understood as applying to the proclamation of, or to that portion of the gospel which relates to, the coming and kingdom of Christ, the fulfillment is equally evident. And it seems necessary to so understand the passage, as it was spoken in answer to the question, “What shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the end of the world?”OFAH 18.1

    Campbell’s translation of this verse decidedly favors our view of this subject: “And this good tidings of the reign shall be published through all the world, for the information of all nations, and then shall come the end.” Whiting’s version also gives the same idea: “And this good news of the kingdom will be preached in all the world, for a testimony to all nations, and then will the end come.”OFAH 18.2

    Wm. Miller, in his Lectures, page 238, says:OFAH 18.3

    “‘Midnight cry’ is the watchmen, or some of them, who, by the word of God, discover the time as revealed, and immediately give the warning voice, “Behold the bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet him.” This has been fulfilled in a most remarkable manner. One or two on every quarter of the globe have proclaimed the news, and agree in the time; - Wolfe, of Asia; Irving, late of England; Mason, of Scotland; Davis, of South Carolina; and quite a number in this region are, or have been, giving the cry. And will not you all, my brethren, examine and see if these things are so, and trim your lamps, and be found ready?”OFAH 18.4

    J. Litch, in his lecture on Matthew 24, Advent Herald, Nov. 23, 1850, says:OFAH 18.5

    “Many supposed the wars of Napoleon were the wars of the last days, to precede the millennium; and that the battle of Waterloo was the battle of Armageddon, as it is called. But the discussion of the subject of prophecy drew forth inquiry, and a few discovered the true light, the doctrine of Christ’s personal reign on earth, and began to teach it. Among these was a Spanish Roman Catholic, who wrote an able and voluminous work under the anonymous signature of Ben Ezra. His work fell into the hands of Edward Irving, the celebrated and eloquent advocate of the doctrine of the pre-millennial advent of Christ. It opened his eyes to the glorious truth, and led him to devote himself most zealously to its advocacy. He first translated Ben Ezra, and subsequently wrote and published several valuable works on the subject. For a time, the excitement on the subject in England under his labors was as intense as it subsequently was in this country under the labors of Mr. Miller. Thousands flocked to hear him wherever he went, and listened with wonder to the strange and glorious truths he brought forth from the word of God. The cause received an impulse under his efforts, which it will never lose till time shall end. Many of the clergy of the Established Church, as well as dissenting ministers of all denominations, caught the theme, and joined to spread it abroad.”OFAH 18.6

    “Nor has the influence of Rev. Joseph Wolfe been unfelt. He has visited and proclaimed ‘this gospel of the kingdom,’ in the four quarters of the globe, to Protestants, Catholics, Mohammedans, Jews, and Pagans. The seed thus sown will not be lost. A work similar to that of Ben Ezra, in Spain, appeared in Germany, the production of Bengel. This, by the evangelical portion of the German people, is estimated as a standard work on prophecy. It has been widely circulated and read as far as the German language extends throughout continental Europe. It was from this source that the Russian Milkeaters, of whom an account was given in the Advent Herald a few years since, obtain their information on the speedy second advent of Christ.OFAH 19.1

    “The great American movement on this subject, and the diffusion of information with regard to it within the last ten years, are too well known to need extended remarks in this place. Neither labor nor sacrifice was regarded in the wide and rapid extension of the good news of the kingdom, as far as the English language could make it known. It was sent to the four quarters of the globe, and to the islands of the sea, upon the wings of all the winds.”OFAH 20.1

    E. R. Pinney, in his Exposition of Matthew 24, says:OFAH 20.2

    “As early as 1842, second-advent publications had been sent to every missionary station in Europe, Asia, Africa, and America, both sides of the Rocky Mountains. Joseph Wolfe, the Jewish missionary, we find from the journal of his labors, visited most of the missionary stations in the East, from 1831 to 1834, and preached this doctrine. He had free conversation with the missionaries, and also with the Jewish and Mohammedan priests. We find this doctrine in Tartary, about twenty-five years ago, and the time for the coming of Christ to be in 1844. This fact is obtained from an Irish missionary in Tartary, to whom the question was put by a Tartar priest, when Christ would come the second time? And he made answer that he knew nothing at all about it. The Tartar priest expressed great surprise at such an answer from a missionary who had come to teach them the doctrines of the Bible, and remarked that he thought ‘everybody might know that, who had a Bible.’ The Tartar priest then gave his views, stating that Christ, he thought, would come about A. D. 1844. The missionary wrote home a statement of the facts, which were published in the Irish Magazine, in 1821. The commanders of our vessels and the sailors tell us they touch at no port where they find this proclamation has not preceded them, and frequent inquiries respecting it are made of them.”OFAH 20.3

    “I noticed, in a late number of the Voice of Truth, that a brother traveling on the lakes, met with a Russian gentleman, direct from his country, who informed him that the doctrine of ‘Christ’s coming and the end of the world,’ had been preached there, but was received only by the lower classes. Rev. Mr. Mansfield had an interview with a Moravian missionary, stationed in Antigua, who said that several years since, the doctrine of the immediate coming was extensively preached in Germany, and that the whole of the south of Germany was aroused on the subject.”OFAH 21.1

    The Advent Shield, Vol. I, No. 1, pp. 86, 87, says:OFAH 21.2

    “We look upon the proclamation which has been made, as being the cry of the angel who proclaimed, ‘The hour of his Judgment is come.’ Revelation 14:6, 7. It is a sound which is to reach all nations; it is the proclamation of ‘the everlasting gospel,’ or ‘this gospel of the kingdom.’ In one shape or other, this cry has gone abroad through the earth wherever human beings are found, and we have had opportunity to hear of the fact. Within the last six years, publications treating on the subject have been sent to nearly every English and American missionary station on the globe; to all, at least, to which we have had access.”OFAH 21.3

    An English writer, Mourant Brock, thus remarks:OFAH 22.1

    “It is not merely in Great Britain that the expectation of the near return of the Redeemer is entertained, and the voice of warning raised, but also in America, India, and on the Continent of Europe. I was lately told by one of our German missionaries, that in Wirtemberg there is a Christian colony of several hundreds, one of the chief features of which is, the looking for the second advent. And a Christian minister from near the shores of the Caspian Sea, has told me that there is the same daily expectation among his nation. They constantly speak of it as ‘the day of consolation. ’”OFAH 22.2

    F. G. Brown, in an article published in the Midnight Cry of Feb. 15, 1844, writes:OFAH 22.3

    “During our Conference [New Bedford, Mass.] we were favored, among other good brethren whom we love, with the presence of Bro. Hutchinson from Montreal, editor of the Voice of Elijah. His power of presentation of Scripture truth, and his brief recital of what he had suffered in its defense, thrilled every heart, and drew the silent tear from many an eye. Bro. H. occupies the most favorable position for distributing the light throughout the British Possessions and Europe. Having a large acquaintance in Europe, and as papers can be sent from the Canadas thither free of postage, he has embraced every opportunity of sending large supplies by each returning steam-ship. He has forwarded them to the Canadas, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Newfoundland, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Germany, Constantinople, Rome, etc., etc.”OFAH 22.4

    The Midnight Cry for Sept. 21, 1843, says:OFAH 23.1

    “We learn from a letter received from James Perrin, who is captain of a canal-boat running between Albany and Buffalo, some very interesting facts. After relating the manner in which he was led to an examination and a belief of the truth of the Lord’s speedy coming, which was first by hearing a minister denouncing it, he relates some interesting facts in reference to some emigrants from Norway who took passage with him from Albany to Buffalo. He says: ‘Three of the number could speak English. I spoke to them concerning the coming of Christ this year, and asked them if they had heard anything on the subject in their own country. They asked if it was Mr. Miller’s prophecy. I told them it was so called. They then said that almost every paper among them, last fall and winter, had more or less to say on the subject. I then showed them the chart I have on board. The moment they saw it, they said they had seen it in their own country.’ To what an astonishing extent has this unutterable subject spread, and with what rapidity. Has not ‘this gospel of the kingdom’ of Heaven at hand, been well-nigh preached all over the world, as a witness?”OFAH 23.2

    J. W. Bonham, Midnight Cry, Nov. 28, 1844, remarks:OFAH 23.3

    “On my passage to London, I distributed among the passengers several second-advent papers and publications. Some of Bro. Litch’s German tracts I sent to Holland; some copies of the Midnight Cry I sent to Van Diemen’s Land, and others to different parts of England, by persons who were going on visits to their friends. Several copies of the Cry I sent to Norfolk, which were the means of causing the subject of the Advent to be agitated previous to its being visited by Brn. Winter and Burgess... I was often much cheered by receiving letters from the brethren who were laboring in the country, with the heart-cheering intelligence of the progress of the Advent cause. In some places as many as 5,000 or 6,000 persons were assembled to hear on this all-important subject, some of whom embraced the truth with joy. I was also much cheered by receiving letters, stating that much good had resulted from reading the letters and papers which I had sent to England. One copy of the Cry, containing Bro. Storrs’ lectures on the visions of Daniel, was taken to India, and another found its way into one of the Theological Institutions in Bristol, and the inmates declared that it threw considerable light on many parts of Scripture, which before were considered as wrapped up in mystery.”OFAH 23.4

    The Signs of the Times, February 14, 1844, says:OFAH 24.1

    “HOW THE LORD WORKS. A brother, the captain of a vessel now in England, writes his friends that his vessel lay at Newport, in Wales, forty days, on account of storms, during which time a continued concourse of individuals thronged him to inquire about the coming of the Lord, having heard that he was an Adventist. Among these were ministers and laymen, who received the truth gladly, and embraced it with all their hearts.”OFAH 24.2

    The Signs of the Times, November 15, 1843, says:OFAH 24.3

    “The subject of an English mission having been agitated, an impression has obtained among some that the ‘cry’ had not been effectually made in that country. But we are assured from writings of distinguished clergymen and laymen, which we have received from that country, that the cry has been faithfully made in England, Scotland, and Ireland, and also on the Continent.”OFAH 24.4

    Eld. R. Hutchinson, Midnight Cry, Oct. 5, 1843, says:OFAH 25.1

    “I send about 1,500 copies of the Voice of Elijah [an Advent paper] to Europe, every fortnight, besides what I scatter over the Provinces. This I have done regularly for the last four or five months. The result eternity will unfold.”OFAH 25.2

    The Signs of the Times, November 13, 1843, says:OFAH 25.3

    “A young man in this city [Philadelphia], who has recently returned from a whaling voyage around Cape Horn, relates the spread of the doctrine in the Pacific, and on the western coast of South America. It will show at the same time how our enemies have assisted in spreading the cry. ‘We can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth.’ The whale ship, William C. Neye, of New London, Ct., fell in with a New-Bedford ship, some time in the month of February, off Cocas Island. The crew of the New-London ship received from the New-Bedford vessel the news from the United States. Among many other things, they were told that ‘Miller predicted the end of the world on the 23rd of April.’ They were on their homeward voyage, and the latter part of March they put into the port of Talcahuano, on the coast of Chile. It was a Spanish, Catholic settlement. But when they arrived, they learned that the same story had been circulated there which had met them on the ocean. They were in port on the 23rd of April. When the day arrived, the whole community were in a state of consternation; and during a dreadful thunder-storm, which occurred that day, they were in momentary expectation of the coming of Christ. Mr. Wardwell, our informant, says that the thing was understood far back in the interior; and that persons from a hundred miles back in the country had been brought together at the town for the occasion. It is thus the New York Sun has given light to the world, and sent it to the regions and places we could not have reached.OFAH 25.4

    “But it will be asked if the news that such a truth is preached is a sufficient proclamation to fulfill the prophecy. Revelation 14:6, 7; Matthew 24:14. The answer is, If it was sufficient in the days of the apostles, it is now. That it was then, is clear from Acts 19:8-10, where Paul preached or taught in Ephesus two years, so that all they in Asia, both Jews and Greeks, heard the word of the Lord Jesus. They could not all have heard a sermon, but they heard the sound of the gospel. In this sense, I have no doubt but the gospel of the kingdom is preached in all the world.”OFAH 26.1

    Dr. Joseph Wolfe traveled in Arabia Felix, through the region inhabited by the descendants of Hobab, Moses’ father-in-law. In Yemen he saw a book which he mentions thus:OFAH 26.2

    “‘The Arabs of this place have a book called SEERA, which treats of the second coming of Christ, and his reign in glory!’ In Yemen, he spent six days with the Rechabites. ‘They drink no wine, plant no vineyards, sow no seed, live in tents, and remember the words of Jonadab, the son of Rechab. With them were children of Israel, of the tribe of Dan, who reside near Tarim in Hadhramaut, who expect in common with the children of Rechab, the speedy arrival of the Messiah in the clouds of heaven.’” - Dr. Wolfe’s Mission to Bokhara.OFAH 26.3

    The “Voice of the Church,” by D. T. Taylor, speaks as follows concerning the wide diffusion of the Advent sentiment:OFAH 27.1

    “In Württemberg there is a Christian colony numbering hundreds, who look for the speedy advent of Christ; also another of like belief on the shores of the Caspian; the Molokaners, a large body of Dissenters from the Russian Greek church, residing on the shores of the Baltic — a very pious people, of whom it is said, ‘Taking the Bible alone for their creed, the norm of their faith is simply the Holy Scriptures’ — are characterized by the ‘expectation of Christ’s immediate and visible reign upon earth.’ In Russia, the doctrine of Christ’s coming and reign is preached to some extent, and received by many of the lower class. It has been extensively agitated in Germany, particularly in the south part among the Moravians. In Norway, charts and books on the Advent have been circulated extensively, and the doctrine received by many. Among the Tartars in Tartary, there prevails an expectation of Christ’s advent about this time. English and American publications on this doctrine have been sent to Holland, Germany, India, Ireland, Constantinople, Rome, and to nearly every missionary station on the globe. At the Turks Islands, it has been received to some extent among the Wesleyans. Mr. Fox, a Scottish missionary to the Telugu people, was a believer in Christ’s soon coming. James MacGregor Bertram, a Scottish missionary of the Baptist order, at St. Helena, has sounded the cry extensively on that island, making many converts and pre-millennialists; he has also preached it at South Africa, at the missionary stations there. David N. Lord informs us that a large proportion of the missionaries who have gone from Great Britain to make known the gospel to the heathen, and who are now laboring in Asia and Africa, are millenarians; and Joseph Wolfe, D. D., according to his journals, between the years 1821 and 1845, proclaimed the Lord’s speedy advent, in Palestine, Egypt, on the shores of the Red Sea, Mesopotamia, the Crimea, Persia, Georgia, Arabia, throughout the Ottoman Empire, in Greece, Turkistan, Bokhara, Afghanistan, Hindoostan, Cashmere, Tibet, in Holland, Scotland, and Ireland, at Constantinople, Jerusalem, St. Helena, also on shipboard in the Mediterranean, and at New York City, to all denominations. He declares he has preached among Jews, Turks, Mohammedans, Parsees, Hindus, Chaldeans, Yezidis, Syrians, Sabeans, to Pachas, Sheiks, Shahs, the kings of Organtsh and Bokhara, the queen of Greece, etc.; and of his extraordinary labors the Investigator says: ‘No individual has, perhaps, given greater publicity to the doctrine of the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ, than has this well-known missionary, to the world. Wherever he goes, he proclaims the approaching advent of the Messiah in glory.’” pp. 342-344.OFAH 27.2

    We still wait for the approaching end. And when the purpose of God in the proclamation of the coming reign of Christ shall be accomplished, then will the end come. This grand three-fold proclamation is illustrated in Revelation 14, by three angels, one following the other, each with a distinct message to the people. The first has the everlasting gospel, and proclaims the hour of Judgment come. Verses 6, 7. The second has a message relative to Babylon, and is a stirring appeal in reference to all corrupted Christianity. Verse 8. The second does not take the place of the first, but simply joins the first, giving strength to the great warning. The third follows, and joins the two before it, with a most solemn warning, and closes with the announcement, “Here is the patience of the saints; here are they that keep the commandments of God, and the faith of Jesus.” Verse 12. The third angel represents the last call of mercy to men, just prior to the coming of the Son of Man. See verse 14. This message does not take the place of the two which preceded it, but joins them, and the great threefold warning moves forward till its work is done, when the end will come.OFAH 28.1

    A train, with one passenger coach, leaves Chicago for Detroit. At Battle Creek, another coach is added to the train; at Jackson, a third is added; and the train moves on to Detroit. No cars are left behind in exchange for those that were added. When the second message is proclaimed, the everlasting gospel is by no means left behind. When the third message is given, the great truths contained in the first and second messages are borne along with it to the close of the work. And in the closing of the great threefold message we see the completion of the preaching of the gospel of the kingdom to the nations.OFAH 29.1

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