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Townsend says: “Of the unfulfilled prophecies of God, the most splendid, the most numerous, and apparently the most easy of execution, are those which relate to the Jews. They will again plant the vine and the olive upon their native hills, and reap their harvests in the valleys of their fathers.” Then, after expressing some doubtfulness, as to the mode by which they shall be borne back to Palestine, he calls “their own, unoccupied, uncultivated, unregarded land, the central spot on earth, where the metropolitical Church of God may be most suitably established.” In illustration of this, he appends a note, from Mr. King's remarks upon Palestine, considered as the centre of the millennial empire of Christ upon earth; which he truly says, are highly worthy of notice. “How capable this country is of a more universal intercourse than any other, with all parts of the earth, is most remarkable, and deserves well to be considered, when we read of the numerous prophecies which speak of its future splendour and greatness; when its people shall at length be gathered from all parts of the earth unto which they are scattered, and restored to their own land. There is no region in the world, to which an access from all parts is so open.

By means of the Black Sea and the Mediterranean, there is an easy approach from all parts of Europe, from a great part of Africa, and from America. By means of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, and the well known roads from thence, there is an approach from Africa, from the East Indies, and from the Isles. And lastly, by means of the Caspian, the Lake'or Sea of Bayhall, and the near communication of many great rivers, the approach is facilitated from all the northern parts of Tartary. In short, if a skilful geographer were to sit down to devise the fittest spot on the globe for UNIVERSAL EMPIRE, or, rather a spot where all the great intercourses of human life should universally centre, and from whence, the extended effects of universal benevolence, and good will, should flow to all parts of the earth; and where universal and united homage should be paid, with one consent, to the Most High, he would not find another so suited, in all circumstances, as that which is, with emphasis, called the Holy Land. These observations, perhaps, may not deserve great weight, but they ought not to be wholly neglected; especially when it is considered how many passages of Scripture there are, which plainly declare that the time shall at length come when Zion shall be the joy of the whole earth.”*

But these numerous passages of Scripture, declare as plainly,

* Townsend's Arrangement-Introduction, pp. Ixviii. lxix.

that when Zion shall be the joy of the whole earth, the Lord himself on the throne of David, in Jerusalem, shall be the joy, and light, and glory of Zion. Now, if the portions of passages which apply to the nation and the land, be thus admitted to the favour of a literal interpretation by these respectable and sober-minded commentators; upon what principle of consistency, or canon of analogy, is it, that a similar interpretation is denied to the interwoven portions of the same passages, which apply to THE KING?

The world is asleep, immersed in the perishing things of this present passing life. The Church is meditating the conversion of the world, by means which never yet really and truly converted any one nation, or city; and which were never intended for more than the taking of a people out of the world. * The time is short. The danger is urgent. The Lord is at hand!

O most gracious and merciful God! let thy effectual blessing accompany every warning sounded by the watch-men: accomplish, 0 accomplish the number of thine elect, and hasten thy kingdom! Amen.

St. JUDE's, February, 1835.

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PREFACE TO THE SECOND EDITION.

It is remarked by Mr. Coleridge,* that, “in arguing with infidels, or with the weak in faith, it is a part of religious prudence, no less than of religious morality, to avoid whatever looks like an evasion. To retain the literal sense, whenever the harmony of Scripture permits, and reason does not forbid, is ever the honester, and nine times in ten the more rational and pregnant interpretation. The contrary plan is an easy and approved way of getting rid of a difficulty; but, nine times in ten, a bad way of solving it. But, alas! there have been too many commentators, who are content not to understand text themselves, if only they can make the reader believe that they do.” It may perhaps be added, with truth, concerning other commentators, that they are content to continue ignorant of the true meaning themselves, if only they make the reader content to continue ignorant also.

The effect of this has been a practical violation of the commandment which says, “Thou shalt not diminish ought from the word which I command you.”+ The Bible which such persons attend to, is much smaller than the Bible which God has given us; and a strange attempt to justify this mutilation of revealed things, is grounded upon the text, that, "secret things belong unto God."

There is no portion of the Scripture to which these observations more forcibly apply, than to unfulfilled prophecy. I rejoice to furnish my readers with an answer to them, in the words of Joseph Milner.* “It is not for us to say, such and

" such parts of (Scripture) are unsuitable and useless, and would be better kept in silence. This is to affront the Holy Ghost. There are parts on which we cannot say much, because we know but little; and we may be easily wronged in strained interpretations, and entering into curious niceties of interpretation, for which we have no warrant. But those who say this, are often not so sensible of the wrongness of their own views in another respect--in their forbidding us to treat of such subjects at all. Why were they written, if they were not to be * Aids to reflection, pp. 82–83. + Deut. iv. 2: Rev. xxii. 18, 19.

# Sermon on the Millennium.

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read and expounded? I have no notion of being restrained from studying and preaching from any part of Scripture. It is the inheritance which the God of Grace hath given to his Church, and happy were it for us to make a serious use of it! Under the teaching of the Spirit of God, with humility, discretion, and prayer, it is the very comfort of life; and those who live by the faith of the Son of God, will find it their interest to attend to every part of Scripture; and the neglect and discouragement of Scripture study, is one of the worst symptoms of profaneness that we have among us."

On the subject of unfulfilled Prophecy, our exclusive appeal must manifestly be to the Word of God; and it is equally manifest, that without pains-taking and prayerful study of that word, we must ever continue incompetent judges of any proffered interpretation. One thing, however, seems plain; and, as a general observation, it will commend itself to those who have not yet given attention to particulars. It will scarcely be denied, that the Bible describes our Lord Jesus Christ as having come to this earth,* as having left this earth,t as surely to come again in like manner as he went away, † and SO CONCLUDES, without any mention of his leaving the earth again. The Bible closes, leaving the Lord upon the earth! Whatever, therefore, is written or spoken, concerning his, or our, final departure from the earth, is purely gratuitous, in addition to the Bible.

In the Sermons contained in this little volume, nothing has been attempted in the way of elucidation of those more minute difficulties, or "curious niceties,” which still perplex the students of prophecy. An outline of the subject only, plain and

, practical, is presented to the reader; and that, only so far as the preacher felt honestly convinced of having, and producing, Scriptural authority for what he advanced.

It is with unfeigned thankfulness he has (in this preface to a second edition) to record the fact, that many Christian Brethren, in various parts of the kingdom, have conveyed to him their affectionate acknowledgments of instruction and edification derived from the perusal of this work.

With sincere and earnest prayer that such instruction and edification may be multiplied abundantly: and in humble confidence that he who has graciously revealed himself as the Hearer and Answerer of prayer, will answer this to his own glory, in the increased preparation of many of his people for his appearing and his kingdom; the Author again commits the following pages to the press. St. Jude's, August, 1835.

* John i. 14. † Mark xvi. 19. # Acts i. 11. Rev. xxii. 20.

INTRODUCTION.*

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The most prominent feature in the volume of unfulfilled prophecy, is the glorious Advent of our Lord Jesus Christ. It is that great act which at once terminates the present and commences the next succeeding dispensation of Jehovah's dealings with this our world. As such, the views entertained concerning it, must be of the first importance. This would have been so, though there had never existed any difference of opinion upon the subject; but now, in addition to its intrinsic importance, considered absolutely, the coming of the Lord in glory has acquired a relative interest, maintained and magnified by the discordant opinions and statements, which are daily reiterated in all the churches. Those opinions are so diametrically opposed, not merely in exaggerated expressions on either side, but in the very substance of the subject, that either the one party is deluded by the most visionary enthusiasm, or the other is sunk into a deceitful infidelity. Truly, the matter is no light matter: there is either Antichristian imagination at work on the one side, perverting the Scriptures; or there is Antichristian scepticism at work on the other side, explaining away the Scriptures.

Here is a man who believes that our Lord Jesus Christ will return to this earth in person before the Millennium, while yet the inhabitants of the world, generally, are in their present condition and character similar to the state of things in the days of Noah, when the flood came. Connected with this, he believes that Divine vengeance, for abused privileges, will be poured out suddenly upon Christendom; that the Jewish nation will be restored to the land of their forefathers, the heathen nations blessed with the universal knowledge of the Lord, the earth renewed, and a glorious kingdom established therein, the metropolis of which will be the city of Jerusalem, and the King of which will be the Son of Mary, and the Son of David,

* This paper was sent some time ago to a Periodical ted circulation. It is published for the first time, as an appropriate Introduction to the following Sermons, a FOURTH Edition of which is now called for.

St. Jude's, Dec. 1839.

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