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be abolished, and all agree in worshipping God in his own appointed way, and agreeably to the purity of his institutions ; (Jer. xxxii. 39.) "I will give them one heart and one way, that they may fear me for ever, for the good of them and their children after them." A time wherein the whole earth shall be united as one holy city, one heavenly family, men of all nations shall as it were dwell together, and sweetly correspond one with another, as brethren and children of the same father; as the prophecies often speak of God's people at that time as the children of God, and brethren one to another, all appointing over them one head, gathered to one house of God, to worship the king, the Lord of hosts.
A time approaches wherein this whole great society shall appear in glorious beauty, in genuine amiable christianity and excellent order, as "a city compact together, the perfection of beauty, an eternal excellency," shining with a reflection of the glory of Jehovah risen upon it, which shall be attractive and ravishing to all kings and nations, and it shall appear as a bride adorned for her husband.-A time of great temporal prosperity; of great health; (Isai. xxxiii. 24.) "The inhabitant shall not say I am sick" of long life; (Isai. Iv. 22.) "As the days of a tree, are the days of my people." A time wherein the earth shall be abundantly fruitful; (Psal. lxvii. Isai. vi. 23, 24. Amos. ix. 16. and many other places.) A time wherein the world shall be delivered from that multitude of sore calamities which before had prevailed, (Ezek. xlvii. 20.) and there shall be an universal blessing of God upon mankind, in soul and body, and in all their concerns, and all manner of tokens of God's presence and favour, and "God shall rejoice over them, as the bridegroom rejoiceth over his bride, and the mountains shall as it were drop down new wine, and the hills shall flow with milk;" (Joel iii. 18.)
A time of great and universal joy, we are taught to expect, will take place through all the earth, when "from the uttermost ends of the earth shall be heard songs, even glory to the righteous," and God's people "shall with joy draw water out of the wells of salvation." God shall "prepare in his holy mountain, a feast of fat things, a feast of wines on the lees, of fat things, full of marrow, of wines on the lees well refined," which feast is represented, Rev. xix. as the marriage supper of the Lamb. Yea, the scriptures represent it not only as a time of universal joy on earth, but extraordinary joy in heaven, among the angels and saints, the holy apostles and prophets there; (Rev. xviii. 20. and xix. 1-9.) Yea, the scriptures represent it as a time of extraordinary rejoicing with Christ himself, the glorious head, in whom all things in heaven and earth shall then be gathered together in one; (Zech. iii. 17.) "The Lord thy God in the midst of thee is mighty; he will save: he will
rejoice over thee with joy; he will rest in his love: he will joy over thee with singing." And the very fields, trees, and mountains shall then as it were rejoice, and break forth into singing; (Isai. lv. 12.) "Ye shall go out with joy, and be led forth with peace; the mountains and the hills shall break forth before you into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands." (Isai. xliv. 23.) "Sing, O heavens, for the Lord hath done it; shout, ye lower parts of the earth; break forth into singing, ye mountains; O forest, and every tree therein : for the Lord hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel."
Such being the state of things in this future promised glorious day of the church's prosperity, surely it is worth praying for. Nor is there any one thing whatsoever, if we viewed things aright, for which a regard to the glory of God, a concern for the kingdom and honour of our Redeemer, a love to his people, pity to perishing sinners-love to our fellow-creatures in general, compassion to mankind under their various and sore calamities and miseries, a desire of their temporal and spiritual prosperity, love to our country, our neighbours and friends, yea, and to our own souls-would dispose us to be so much in prayer, as for the dawning of this happy day, and the accomplishment of this glorious event.
How much Christ prayed and laboured and suffered, in order to the Glory and Happiness of that Day.
The sum of the blessings Christ sought, by what he did and suffered in the work of redemption, was the Holy Spirit. Thus is the affair of our redemption constituted; the Father provides and gives the Redeemer, and the price of redemption is offered to him, and he grants the benefit purchased; the Son is the Redeemer who gives the price, and also is the price offered; and the Holy Spirit is the grand blessing obtained by the price offered and bestowed on the redeemed. The Holy Spirit, in his indwelling presence, his influences and fruits, is the sum of all grace, holiness, comfort and joy; or in one word, of all the spiritual good Christ purchased for men in this world: and is also the sum of all perfection, glory and eternal joy, that he purchased for them in another world. The Holy Spirit is the subject matter of the promises, both of the eternal covenant of redemption, and also of the covenant of grace. This is the grand subject of the promises of the Old Testament, so often recorded in the prophecies of Messiah's kingdom; and the chief subject of the promises of the New Testament; and
particularly of the covenant of grace delivered by Jesus Christ to his disciples, as his last will and testament, in the xiv. xv. and xvi. chapters of John; the grand legacy that he bequeathed to them, in his last and dying discourse with them. Therefore the Holy Spirit is so often called the spirit of promise and emphatically, the promise, the promise of the Father, &c.*
This being the great blessing Christ purchased by his labours and sufferings on earth, it was that which he received of the Father when he ascended into heaven, and entered into the holy of holies with his own blood, that he might communicate it to those whom he had redeemed. John xvi. 7. "It is expedient for you, that I go away; for if I go not away, the comforter will not come; but if I depart, I will send him unto you." Acts ii. 33. "Being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear.”—This is the sum of those gifts, which Christ received for men, even for the rebellious, at his ascension; and of the benefits Christ obtains for men by his intercession; John xiv. 16, 17. "I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the spirit of truth." Herein consists Christ's communicative fulness, even in his being full of the spirit; and so full of grace and truth, that we might of this fulness receive, and grace for grace. He is anointed with the Holy Ghost, and this is the ointment that goes down from the head to the members. "God gives the spirit not by measure unto him, that every member might receive according to the measure of the gift of Christ." This therefore was the great blessing he prayed for in that wonderful prayer which he uttered for his disciples and all his future church, the evening before he died, John xvii. The blessing he prayed for to the Father, in behalf of his disciples, was the same he had insisted on in his preceding discourse with them; and this, doubtless, was the blessing he prayed for, when as our High Priest he offered up strong crying and tears, with his blood, Heb. v. 6, 7. As for this he shed his blood, for this he also shed tears, and poured out prayers.
But of all the time we have been speaking of, this is the chief season for the bestowment of this blessing; the main season of success to all that Christ did and suffered in the work of our redemption. Before this, the Spirit of God is given but very sparingly, and but few are saved; but then it will be far otherwise; wickedness shall be rare then, as virtue and piety had been before: and undoubtedly by far the greatest number of them that ever receive the benefits of Christ's redemp
* Luke xxiv. 49. Acts i. 4. and ii. 33. 39. Gal. iii. 14. Eph. i, 13. and iii. 6.
tion, from the beginning of the world to the end of it, will receive it in that time.*
This time is represented in scripture, as the proper appointed season of Christ's salvation; eminently the elect season, the accepted time, and day of salvation. "The year of Christ's redeemed," Isai. Ixiii. 4.-This period is spoken of as the proper time of the Redeemer's dominion, and the reign of his redeeming love, in the iid and viith chapters of Daniel, and many other places; the proper time of his harvest, or ingathering of his fruits from this fallen world; the appointed day of his triumph over Satan, the great destroyer; and the appointed day of his marriage with his elect spouse, (Rev. xix. 7.) The time given to the Sun of Righteousness to rule, as the day is the time God has appointed for the natural sun to bear rule. Therefore the bringing on of this time is called "Christ's coming in his kingdom;" wherein " he will rend the heavens and come down, and the Sun of Righteousness shall arise," (Mal. iv. 2. and Isai. lx. 1.)
The comparatively little saving good there is in the world, as the fruit of Christ's redemption, before that time, is as it were granted by way of anticipation, as we anticipate something of the sun's light by reflection before the proper time of the sun's rule; and as the first-fruits are gathered before the harvest. Then more especially will be the fulfilment of
*The number of the inhabitants of the earth will doubtless then be vastly multiplied, and the number of redeemed ones much more-If we should suppose that glorious day to last no more than literally a thousand years, and that at the beginning of that thousand years the world of mankind should be but just as numerous as it is now, and that the number should be doubled, during that time of great health and peace and the universal blessing of heaven, once only in an hundred years, the number at the end of the thousand years would be more than a thousand times greater than it is now; and if it should be doubled once in fifty years (which probably the number of the inhabitants of New-England has ordinarily been in about half that time) then at the end of the thousand years there would be more than a million inhabitants on the face of the earth, where there is one now. And there is reason to think that through the greater part of this period, at least, the number of saints will, in their increase, bear a proportion to the increase of the number of inhabitants. And it must be considered, that if the number of mankind at the beginning of this period be no more than equal to the present number, yet we may doubtless conclude, that the number of true saints will be immensely greater; when instead of the few true and thorough christians now in some few countries, every nation on the face of the whole earth shall be converted to christianity, and every country shall be full of true christians; so that the successive multiplication of true saints through the thousand years, will begin with that vast advantage, beyond the multiplication of mankind; where the latter is begun from units, the other doubtless will begin with hundreds, if not thousands. How much greater then will be the number of true converts, that will be brought to a participation of the benefits of Christ's redemption, during that period, than in all other times put together? I think, the foregoing things considered, we shall be very moderate in our conjectures, if we say it is probable that there will be an hundred thousand times more that will actually be redeemed to God by Christ's blood, during that period of the church's prosperity, than ever had been before, from the beginning of the world to that time.
Isai. xlix. 8. and so on to ver. 23. and chap. Ixi. 2. taken with the context, in that and the preceding and following chapters.
those great promises, made by God the Father to the Son, for his pouring out his soul unto death; (Isai. liii. 10-12.) then shall he see his seed; and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand;" then "shall he see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied, and shall justify many by his knowledge;" then will God divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong;" then shall Christ in an eminent manner obtain his chosen spouse, that "he loved and died for, that he might sanctify and cleanse her, with the washing of water, by the word, and present her to himself, a glorious church." He will obtain "the joy that was set before him, for which he endured the cross, and despised the shame," chiefly in the events and consequences of that day: that day,as was observed before, which is often represented as eminently the time of the "rejoicing of the bridegroom." The foreknowledge and consideration of it was what supported him, and that in which his soul exulted, at a time when it had been troubled at the view of his approaching sufferings; as may be seen in John xii. 23, 24, 27, 31, 32.
Now therefore, if this is what Jesus Christ, our great Redeemer and the head of the church, did so much desire, and set his heart upon from all eternity, and for which he did and suffered so much, offering up strong crying and tears, and his precious blood, to obtain it; surely his disciples and members should also earnestly seek it, and be much in prayer for it.
The whole Creation travails in Pain.
The whole creation is, as it were, earnestly waiting for that day, and constantly groaning and travailing in pain to bring forth the felicity and glory of it. For that day is above all other times, excepting the day of judgment, the day of the manifestation of the sons of God, and of their glorious liberty: And therefore, that elegant representation the apostle makes of the earnest expectation and travail of the creation in Rom. viii. 19-22. is applicable to the glorious event of this day; "the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. For the creature was made subject to vanity, not willingly but by reason of him who hath subjected the same in hope. Because the creature itself also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God. For we know that the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now." The visible world has now for many ages been subject to sin, and made, as it were, a servant to it, through the abuse that