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with the kingdom of Christ, and such will be its progress before the end of time. In the early ages of the world but little was done. At one time true religion appears to have existed only in a few families. Afterwards it assumed a national appear.

After this it was addressed to all nations. And before the close of time all nations shall be subjected to the obedience of Christ. This shall be the breaking up of Satan's empire. Now as on the conquest of a rebellious province, the delegated authority of the conqueror would cease, and the natural government of the empire resume its original form; so Christ is represented as delivering up the kingdom to his Father, that God may be all in all.* This is the ultimatum of the Messiah's kingdom ; and this appears to be the ultimate object for which he taught his disciples to pray: but as the final end involves the preceding gradations which lead on to its accomplishment, in directing them to pray for the coming of God's kingdom, he directeth them to pray for the present prer. alence of his own.

As on the conquest of a rebellious province some would be par doned, and others punished ; as every vestige of rebellion would be effaced, and law, peace, and order, flow in their ancient channels ; such a period might with propriety be termed a restitution of all things.t Such will be the event of the last judgment, which is described as the concluding exercise of the delegated authority of Christ.

As on the conquest of a rebellious province, and the restitution of peace and order, that province, instead of being any longer separate from the rest of the empire, would become a component parof it, and the king's will would be done in it as it had been done without interruption in the loyal part of his territories; such is the representation given with respect to our world, and the holy parts of God's dominions. A period will arrive when the will of God shall be done on earth as it is now done in heaven. This, however, will never be the case while any vestige of moral evil remains. It must be after the general conflagration ; which, though it will destroy every kind of evil, root and branch, that now prevails upon the face of the earth, and will terminate the generations of Adam, who have possessed it; yet will not so destroy the

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* 1 Cor. XV. 24. 28.

† Acts iii. 10.

earth itself but that it shall survive its fiery trial, and, as I apprebend, become the everlasting abode of righteousness; a part of the holy empire of God. This was to be the mark on which the disciples were to keep their eye in all their prayers : but as in desiring a perfect conformity to Christ in their own souls, they would necessarily desire the present progress of purity in the use of all the appointed means, so in praying that God's will might be perfectly done on earth, even as it is done in heaven, they would pray for the progressive prevalence of righteousness in the world, as that by which it should be accomplished.

It is not improbable that the earth, thus purified, may ever continue the resort, if not the frequent abode of those who are redeemed from it. Places where some of the most interesting events have been transacted, when visited at some distance of time, often become, in the present state of things, a considerable source of delight. Such was Bethel to Jacob, and Tabor, no doubt, to the three disciples; and if any remains of our present sensations should attend us in a state of immortality, a review of the scenes of our Lord's birth, life, agony, and crucifixion, as well as of many other events, may furnish a source of everlasting enjoyment.

However this may be, the scriptures give us to understand, that though the elements shall melt with fervent heat, and the earth, and the works that are therein, shall be burnt up; yet, according to promise, we are to look for new heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousne88. * By the new heavens here is plainly to be understood so much of the element as shall have been affected by the general conflagration; and by the new earth, the earth after it is purified by it.

Much to the same purpose is the account given towards the close of the Revelation of John. After a description of the general judgment, it follows, And I saw a new heaven and a new earth : for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away.--And I John saw the holy city, New Jerusalem, coming doron from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. When the earth shall have become a part of God's holy empire, heaven

* 2 Pet. iii, 12, 13.

itself may then be said to come down upon it: seeing all that is now ascribed to the one will be true of the other. Behold, the tabernacle of God shall be with men, and he will dwell with them; and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them; and shall be their God. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things shall be passed away. And he that sut upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new. And he said to me, Write, for these words are true and faithful.*

If the great end of redemption be the reunion of this world to the holy empire of God, and if such reunion be accompanied with a mutual augmentation of blessedness; then the importance of the one must bear some proportion to the magnitude of the other. Upon any system of philosophy, redemption is great; but upon that which so amazingly magnifies intelligent creation, it must be great beyond expression.

6. The scriptures represent the punishment of the finally impenitent as appointed for an example to the rest of the creation.Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them, in giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth FOR AN EXAMPLE, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire.- And, her smoke (the smoke of Babylon,) rose up for ever and ever. And the four and twenty elders, and the four living creatures fell down and worshipped God that sat on the throne, saying, Amen ; Alleluia.

The miseries of the damned are never represented as inflicted upon them from such a kind of wrath or vengeance as bears no relation to the general good. God is love; and in none of his proceedings does he violate this principle, or lose sight of the well being of creation in general. The manifestation of his glory is not only inseparably connected with this object, but consists in accomplishing it.

It is necessary for the general good that God's abhorrence of moral evil should be marked by some strong and durable expres

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sion of it ; so that no one subject of bis empire can overlook it. Such an expression was the death of Christ, his only-begotten Son; and this availeth on behalf of all who acquiesce in his salvation: but all who do not, or who possess not such a temper of heart as would acquiesce in it if it were presented to them, must themselves be made sacrifices to his justice ; and so, like enemies and traitors to a human government, must be made to answer such an end by their death as shall counteract the ill ex. ample afforded by their life. What is said of the barren vine is applicable to the finally impenitent : It is not fit for any workit is good for nothing but to be burned !* The only way in which they promote the general good is by their overthrow : like the censors of Korah and his company which were made into broad plates for a covering to the altar ; that they might be a sign to the children of Israel in future generations ;t or like Lot's wife, who was converted into a pillar of salt, or a lasting monument of divine displeasure !

If the grand end of future punishment be example, this must suppose the existence of an intelligent creation, who shall profit by it; and it should seem of a creation of magnitude ; as it accords with the conduct of neither God nor man to punish a great number for an example to a few.

This truth affords a satisfactory idea of the divine government, whether there be a multiplicity of inhabited worlds or not : but if there be, it is still more satisfactory; as on this supposition the number of those who shall be finally lost may bear far less proportion to the whole of the intelligent creation, than a single execution to the inhabitants of a great empire. It is true, the loss to those who are lost will be nothing abated by this consideration; perhaps, on the contrary, it may be augmented; and to them the divine

government will ever appear gloomy; but to those who judge of things impartially, and upon an extensive scale, it will appear to contain no more of a disparagement to the government of the universe, than the execution of a murderer, once in a hundred years, would be to the goverment of a nation.

And now I appeal to the intelligent, the serious, and the candid reader, whether there be any truth in what Ms. Paine asserts, that

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to admit “ that God created a plurality of worlds, at least as numerous as what we call stars, renders the Christian system of faith at once little and ridiculous, and scatters it in the mind like feathers in the air.” On the contrary, it might be proved, that every system of philosophy is little in comparison of Christianity. Philosophy may expand our ideas of creation ; but it neither inspires a love to the moral character of the Creator, nor a well-grounded hope of eternal life. Philosophy at most can only place us at the top of Pisgah : there, like Moses we must die : it gives us no possessions of the good land. It is the province of Christianity to add, All Is yours! When you have ascended to the height of human discovery, there are things, and things of infinite moment too, that are utterly beyond its reach. Revelation is the medium, and the only medium, by which, standing, as it were, on nature's Alps,” we discover things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, and of which it never hath entered into the heart of man to conceive.

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