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THE MINISTRY THAT WILL BRING THE MILLENNIUM.

The two ideas which have, of late years, more especially occupied the attention of the religious public, have been "The Ministry," and "The Millennium ;" and we have thought that our readers would feel interested in having a few short articles on these topics. We shall first speak of the Millennium, and then of the Ministry that will bring it.

The word, Millennium, means a thousand years. The idea was suggested by the declaration of John in the 20th chapter of Revelation, where it is stated, that the saints are to reign with Christ" a thousand years." It is not said that believers are to reign alone, or that Christ is to reign alone, but that the saints "lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years;" in this text therefore, it is asserted that the Lord Jesus will reign and his saints with him.

Much has been said about this reign of Christ. Some have adopted the idea that it is to be a visible, and others that it is to be a spiritual reign; we have long embraced the latter sentiment, and have been most thoroughly confirmed in it, by reading the arguments of those who take the opposite view. In our opinion, they have never adduced a single passage of scripture which has shown, that the Son of God will be visibly seen in this world until the day of judgment. The distorted and disjointed manner in which texts, both from the Old and New Testament, have been brought forward, has of itself satisfied us that the doctrine could not be made to harmonize with the tenor of revelation. With the exception of that of Unitarian critics, we never saw such unlearned and illogical argumentation. But as the sect which made a great noise on this subject is fast dying away, it is not at all necessary for us to recal and lay a ghost, which is so rapidly disappearing.

We believe then in a spiritual reign, and in a spiritual reign only; and therefore we conclude that the millennium will be merely the continuation, extension, and perfection, of that dominion which Christ has always had in the hearts of his children.

We say a continuation. The first person that we read of who owned this spiritual sceptre is Abel. We do not deny that Adam may have embraced the promised Messiah before his son; but the fact is not recorded in scripture. Without faith there is no submission to Christ; and Abel is the first believer recorded in the word of God. By faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain, by which (faith) he obtained witness that he was righteous, God testifying of (upon, or concerning) his gifts, and by it, he being dead yet speaketh." Here is the first believer and first martyr. By

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faith he offered; by faith he offered the best he had; by faith he offered it as a bleeding sacrifice; by faith he received the divine testimony of his acceptance; and through this same grace he still speaks to the world, concerning the nature and efficacy of divine faith. Next to the Son of God who preached the gospel to Adam and Eve in the garden of Eden, he is the first gospel minister we read of; he speaks so well that Jehovah has appointed him to preach until the end of the world, "he, being dead, yet speaketh" by means of his faith. Six or seven thousand years have rolled away, vast improvements have taken place in almost every thing, but we cannot improve on Abel's faith. Christ reigned in the heart of this youthful patriarch, and made him a model of evangelical faith to the end of the world.

Here then is a spi-
Christ reigned, not

The sceptic who asserted that "Christianity was as old as creation" was not far from being right. Its truths are few and simple, and were savingly understood by the first believer. Ages, dispensations, types, prophecies, gospels and epistles, may have exhibited them in a clearer light, but still the patriarchs were not so dark as many suppose. Abraham beheld the day of Christ; and the faith of that early saint is the model of believing for all ages. Indeed the apostle, in treating of evangelical faith, borrows all his illustrations from Old Testament times, and begins as early as Abel. ritual reign of Messiah, prolonged from age to age. visibly, but spiritually and personally, in the hearts of Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, and the myriads of other believers of whom the world was not worthy. An age full of such men and women as these Old Testament heroes and heroines of our faith, would constitute all that we understand by a millennium, or personal and spiritual reign; this would be the "first" or chief" resurrection;" the resurrection of mind. Elias lived again in John the baptist. Their principles and character were as identical as they could have been had there been an actual transmigration of soul. John was in spirit an Elias, and Elias was a John. So in the millennium we shall have generations of Abels, Enochs, Noahs, Abrahams, Jacobs, Moseses, and, in fact, of all the noble souls who embraced the truth in their hearts, illustrated it in their lives, proclaimed it with their tongues, and sealed it, or always stood ready to seal it, with their blood.

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These were all uncompromising believers; they never bartered the truth for ease, honour, or emolument. From their seats "in heavenly places in Christ Jesus," they never came down; they are "the elders around the throne." At political or ecclesiastical shrines they never bowed; for they neither worshipped the beast, nor his image, nor received his mark (xápaypa) in their foreheads, or their hand." Examine them and there is not a mark, a characteristic, of the political, or ecclesiastical beast about them. For

"the testimony of Jesus and the word of God," they had been slain, or were willing at any time to die. Now in the millennium there shall be a resurrection of such souls as these. None but these shall then reign on the earth. These are the saints of Daniel to whom the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given. The rest of the dead—the ungodly, worldly, and temporising professors-shall have no representatives in that age. Such inglorious souls are consigned to oblivion.

There has then been a spiritual reign of Messiah existing in all past ages; let us suppose it, continued, and for a thousand years extended so as to embrace every human being, and then we have the triumph of the gospel, and the kingdom of Christ upon earth perfected. This in our judgment will be the millennium. A visible Messiah is no more needed than he was to perfect the faith of a Wickliffe or a Whitfield. His personal presence does not need visibility, in order to carry on his work. "Lo, I am with you always, to the end of the world, " is enough. We can trust him, love him, obey him, and proclaim his fulness, though we may not see him with our bodily eyes. "Whom having not seen we love, in whom though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory." "Blessed is he who hath not seen and yet hath believed."

Looking at the world as it is now, our hearts may almost fail us; but there shall be a millennium, and there must be a ministry which shall bring it; and in our next number we intend to devote a few lines to the consideration of this most important period, and the agents who shall be employed to usher in its happiness and glory.

PARALLEL TEXTS.

GEN. ix. 6. "Whoso sheddeth man's blood by man shall his blood be shed."

MATT. xxvi. 52. "All they that take the sword shall perish with (or by) the sword." REV. xiii. 10. "He that killeth with the sword MUST be killed with the sword." THE first of these texts is generally quoted as a command, the other two as predictions, but our plain readers will perceive that they are all alike; or if there is any difference, the last text is the most imperative, for there we have the words, "MUST be killed," used. Consequently, if the first text puts us under a divine obligation to devote murderers to death, then the last imposes upon us the solemn duty of executing all persons who take the sword; and therefore to be consistent, we ought to have the Duke of Wellington and all the British army slain with the sword, for those who "kill with the sword, MUST be killed with the sword," or according to the other text, "shall perish with (or by) the sword." We believe that all the first text expresses is, that the shedding of blood would provoke retaliation; but if any of our readers object to this, we only ask them to interpret the words in Matthew and the Revelation, and we have reason to think, that they will not be far from a key to the words which were uttered to Noah. "Scripture is the best interpreter of Scripture."

THEOLOGY AND RELIGION FOR THE MILLION.

"The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God."

In the language of Scripture "a fool" is not an idiot, an insane person, or a maniac. There are several descriptions of individuals whom it designates by this appellation.

1. Those who have a perfect use of the natural powers of their mind, and have good mental ability, but either, from their own neglect, or that of others, have very little correct information. In this sense all ignorant persons are, to a certain extent, foolish. They know little of themselves, of our globe, of the universe, of providence, of redemption, or of the Eternal. Hence on many of these topics, their words or observations are, for the most part, as destitute of truth as those of an insane person. In fact, they are intellectually insane or unsound. Their range of thought is so limited that they are compared to "natural brute beasts." They are "brutish in knowledge." Could you endue animals with the gift of speech, they would, in numerous instances, talk as well. Now there ought to be no such persons as these in the world, and their existence in such a state of ignorance, is their own fault, or that of the Church.

2. Those who have knowledge but do not use it, are called "fools." A man who has the means of bettering himself for time and eternity, but neglects to do so, is branded with this designation. In this sense Solomon was morally and practically foolish. He had vast discernment, and yet degraded himself by debauchery and idolatry. Heaven has scarcely ever seen a more humiliating sight, than that of the wisest of men prostrating himself before a dumb idol. Every age has exhibited multitudes of wise fools; individuals who have theoretic knowledge that almost exalted them to a level with angels, but whose conduct placed them below animals or demons.

3. Sinners are called "fools," because there is no folly on earth equal to that of transgressing the laws of Jehovah. There is no form or phase of iniquity which does not show its madness. It is a curse that smites every thing, a blight that leaves nothing unscathed. The guilty are a moral pestilence, ruining themselves and others for time and eternity. All that belongs to man's happiness or honour is sacrificed, and, what is worse than all, is sacrificed for nothing, and sacrificed wilfully, for there can be no sin without wilfulness.

4. Men who reason badly are called "fools." Their information perhaps is extensive, so that they have, or might have, correct premises, and yet their conclusions would disgrace the inmates of a Lunatic Asylum.

We conclude that the last signification is the one which ought to be adopted in explaining the text given at the head of this article. All persons whose minds are one remove from idiocy, have sufficient knowledge at command, and consequently the most satisfactory data, from which to draw the conclusion that "There is a God." It would require more skill and powers of persuasion than any archangel possesses to convince even an insane person that the broken piece of potsherd, with which he is amused, made itself. How useless it would be, in

a nursery, to endeavour to make its little inmates believe, that the dolls, tops, whips, shuttlecocks, battledores, &c., &c., called themselves into existence. The other day I overtook a labouring man with a barrowful of coals. Having to stop at the roadside where he was resting with his cargo, I said to him, "I dreamt the other day that you had become a converted man." "Did you?" said he, "Well that was very strange, that you should dream about me." I again assured him that this was the fact, that I never saw him without thinking of my dream, and praying that it might come true, and asked him if he had no wish to be a Christian and be numbered with the people of God, here and in eternity. "Why, to tell you the truth," he replied, "I don't believe any thing about the subject. My father was a sceptic, and I suppose I inherited a portion of his infidelity. 'Tis true I often go to a place of worship, but I give little credit to what I hear." "Do you believe there is a God?" said I. "I can't say that I do," was his answer. I looked at him with some astonishment, for I had no idea of his infidelity, and said, "How long do you think it would take me to persuade you that your wheelbarrow made itself?" "Ah!" exclaimed he, "I know where you are!" The man saw that he was in a dilemma. To say that his wheelbarrow made itself would have contradicted his own belief and common sense, and if it became known, would have made him the laughing-stock of every child in the neighbourhood. What in the world would the people think of a tall man, six feet high, who believed that " Wheelbarrows made themselves!" "Well," I continued, "if you know where I am, I suppose you will admit, that it required as much power and wisdom to make a tree, a horse, or a human being, as to make a wheelbarrow." "O," he replied, "I know that this is a very beautiful world, and as to that, every thing is made 'very good' in itself, and whatever is bad in the world is the work of man, and arises from the wickedness of the people." I was obliged after a few remarks to drive on, promising my neighbour, however, that we would have another conversation on the subject when we met again. But as I went along the road, I could not help reflecting on the mental obtuseness of the man who could admit, that the world was MADE very good, and yet deny that it had a MAKER!!—who refused to grant that there was any religious standard, and yet charged mankind with wickedness: not perceiving that where "there is no law there can be no transgression." How often as I proceeded with the journey the words kept rising in my thoughts; "The fool hath said in his heart, There is no God." How ardently should we labour to impart wisdom to such.

BIBLICAL CRITICISM.

THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST.-John i. 1.

"In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God." ALL are agreed that the person here spoken of is the Lord Jesus; so that on this point there is no controversy. The verse suggests to us three very important thoughts concerning the Saviour. I. When he was. II. Where he was. III. What he was.

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