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The Millennium a Sabbatic Period.

The Millennium a Sabbatic Period.

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Published by glennpease
BY REV. HENRY WOODWARD, B.A.,

July, 1856.


** There reinaineth therefore a rest for the people of God«**

Hebrewi iv. 9.
BY REV. HENRY WOODWARD, B.A.,

July, 1856.


** There reinaineth therefore a rest for the people of God«**

Hebrewi iv. 9.

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Published by: glennpease on Aug 01, 2014
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 THE MILLEIUM A SABBATIC PERIOD. BY REV. HERY WOODWARD, B.A., July, 1856. ** There reinaineth therefore a rest for the people of God«** Hebrewi iv. 9. The sabject which this Lecture is designed to bring forward is not one that has been hitherto unnoticed in this volume^ inasmuch as we have abready alluded to and dwelt upon it under various aspects. Like the great subject — the Second Advent — mentioned at the outset, it also is legibly stamped on well nigh every page of Grod's Word. or is it here only that it has found a plsu^e : the almost universal con- sent of mankind has made it patent Most of humanity^s fallen sons believe that there is some- thing still in store, even for earth — ^that " there is a good time coming." Some think human effort is to produce it: we do not. Others maintain that pro- gress in the arts and advance in civilization is to inaugurate it: we do not. Others, again, less philo- sophical, and with more piety, believe that the preaching of the gospel is to effect it : we think it 92 THE MILLEIUM beyond the pale of the gospel's influence, for reasons already assigned. We refer to this as sufficient to show that there is a sort of crude floating belief concerning the period,
 
both in its nature and employments. evertheless, there are some who look upon the doctrine as an absurdity, and the belief itself as a fable. But a few years ago, and it was a term of opprobrium to merit the epithet " Millennarian." It was thought "a wild and extraordinary delusion" — "an obscure doctrine, in which there was certainly something plausible," but that it was of a very antiscriptural nature and of a very carnal tendency. It would, however, be equally sound reasoning to say that the establishment of the Church of Christ at all on earth were of a carnal tendency; for where the difierence? The gospel dispensation and the Millennium differ only in this — that the former is the kingdom of Christ in embryo, while the latter is the same kingdom of Christ in full maturity and perfection. We should be perfectly content to bear these or any other epithets that might be cast upon us in what we believe to be true; but, thank God! the aspect has changed — many now preach the doctrine which once they laboured to destroy. We live in an age of inquiry  — inquiry on religious as well as on literary and scientific subjects. Man's "ipse dixit" is not of the A SABBATIC PERIOD. 93 value it was : the spirit of the noble Bereans is abroad  — human teaching is brought " to the law and to the testimony"; and, we feel sure, the more generally this is done, the more universal will be the belief in the once despised doctrine of THE Millennium. We propose in the present occasion to inquire I. What the Millennium really is in its ature and Beajiing; and II. To ADDUCE, FROM THE LaW AD THE TES- TIMOY, Proof for our positions.
 
I. The word "Millennium," it is true, nowhere occurs in the Scriptures : it is a Latin word, composed of two others, the meaning of which is, " a thousand years." The kindred term in the Greek, the original language of the ew Testament, is "Chiliasm," of the same import and meaning. St John, in the Book of the Revelation, gives us the key to the term when he tells us (Rev. xx. 1) that the angel laid hold of " Satan and bound him a thousand years*'* ; and again, in verse 4 he tells us, of the martyrs of Jesus and the faithful in Christ, that " they lived and reigned with Him a thousand years^ Again, in verse 5 we read, in proof of our former position, that " the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were JinishedJ^ Here we have the Millennium under the threefold aspects maintained in our last — that of the happiness 94 THE MILLEIUM of God's people, the restraint of the power of evil, and the passing hj of a thousand years before the judg- ment of the wicked. The Millennium is not the eternal kingdom, but a dispensation preceding it. The state of things which now is, is designed to have an end, while at the same time there is destined to succeed it that kingdom which shall know no termination* " The true view, therefore, of the Millennixmi, is, that it is a dispensa- tion expressly interposed, for special and adequate reasons, between the termination of the present and the commencement of the future. It is not the pro- longation of that which w, nor the beginning of any- thing absolutely new^ but the restoration of that which once was. It is neither the economy of Heaven antici- pated nor the sublimary state of earth perpetuated, but the scheme of Paradise revived."*

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