God's word clearly teaches that the plan of redemption is a progressive work — not only in individual experience, but in the development of the race. "The law was a school-master to bring us to Christ," illustrates one step in the progress. Again, we are taught that there is the natural, or Adamic man, and there is the spiritual, or Heavenly man. "Howbeit that which is spiritual is not first, but that which is natural and afterwards that which is spiritual." Hence, Christ is called the "second man Adam," the first Adam and his race being the natural, or animal man; the second Adam and his race are the spiritual.
Again, as the first Adam was united to a wife, who became "the mother of all living." so the second Adam is to have a wife: "Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to him: for the marring of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made herself ready" (Rev. 19: 7). The time was when this seemed to have but little meaning, but as a part of the great plan it becomes an important truth. As the wife of the "first man" is the natural mother of the race, so the wife of the "second Adam" is to be the spiritual mother. This is absolute scripture teaching, and in accordance with it we learn that Christ "was the first born among many brethren." And as the man is the head of the woman, so Christ is the head of the church (the bride), "who (Christ) is the beginning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence" (Col. 1: 18).
If the above is the true order of progression the Bible should teach, that until this "marriage," the "wedding," &c., to which Christ so often refers, is consummated, the second and great step in the advancement of the human family, from the natural to the spiritual man, does not begin. And this being true, the plan of redemption cannot reach the world, until the perfection of the second man and his wife. Therefore we find that Christ did not pray for the world, but only for those the Father had given him." "I pray for them; I pray not for the world." And this seems to be in accordance with the facts of God's dealing with the race, from Adam to the present time. Nothing is more certain than that thus far he has not been trying to save the human family as a mass. Before the flood man was left without law, "death reigned from Adam to Moses." This would almost appear as if God had, for some reason, determined to give man a fair trial of his own powers
when left entirely to himself. Then, under the dispensation of the law, man is again put on trial, and proved to be too weak to stand the test. "Sin revived, and I died," says the apostle.
Now, let the reader take a glance at all those four thousand years and more during which, from Adam to Moses' death held almost universal sway, and from Moses to Christ, few, even of the Jewish nation, were brought to a saving knowledge of God. For the law did not give life, and all other nations were left totally ignorant of the way of life; and tell me if a restitution of all things is not demanded, in order that God should substantiate the fact that he is no respecter of persons, and so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but might have everlasting life? not that he so loved one special generation, or a part of the world, those who happened to live after the first four thousand years; but the world of mankind.
Some men are fearful of letting reason be brought into play while investigating God's revealed plans. But such men are mere slaves of fear. The great Father is not averse to an exercise of that reason he has imparted to us. Nor will slavish fear ever open the doors of the kingdom to any man.
If God's plan is as the gospel affirms, first the natural, and afterwards the spiritual, we can see why he should let the natural man have his day, since, "As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive." And we can also see why Christ is called the second Adam. Because he is the beginning or head of the human family, as it is to be when it takes on the last and higher form of existence. The whole Bible sustains the fact that God has a system or order of progression. "See thou make everything after the pattern shown thee in the holy mount." If he would have a Sabbath of rest for man, he has a type pointing to that Sabbath. If he would have Christ die, that he might gain the victory over death, he has a type of a lamb slain from the foundation of the world. If he would have a second Adam as head of a spiritual race, he will have Adam for the head of the natural race of mankind. If he would give to the second Adam a wife, as the spiritual mother of a spiritual race, he gives to the first Adam a wife to be the natural mother of the natural race.
We cannot make or mar the plans of God, but must take knowledge of them as revealed. Not a single individual of the Adamic race could exist until after the marriage of the first
Adam, so not a single individual of the race of the second Adam, excepting the bride, can exist on that higher plane of life, until after the marriage of the second Adam.
That the marriage relation was instituted as a type of the marriage of Christ, in this higher sense, is made to appear in many Scriptures, particularly in Eph. 5: 23-32. "And they two shall be one flesh. This is a great mystery; but I speak of Christ and the church." The same idea is also taught in Malachi 2: 14, 15, where the marriage covenant is introduced and the reason for it. "Did he not make one [that is in the beginning]? and wherefore one? That he might seek a Godly seed, or margin, a seed of God." In other words, a second Adam and his wife. "For the children of the promise [that is, the gospel church] are counted for the seed." These things are as clearly taught in the Scriptures, as the fact that there is to be a future and higher life. Hence, next to the death and resurrection of Christ, which makes a restitution of all who have died in Adam a possibility, the marriage of the Lamb is the most important event in the whole plan of redemption. And it was for this one sole purpose, the development of the "church of the first born," or bride of Christ, that the gospel dispensation was instituted. And Jesus "laid aside the glory he had with the Father before the world was," and took upon him the form of a servant and became flesh, that he might by a death and resurrection, become the first fruits of them that slept; and thus in all things have the preeminence, as the head of this glorious order of beings. And his wife is the next in order; and hence she is called "the church of the firstborn."
A restitution of all who have died in Adam does not necessarily imply the eternal salvation of all men. But it does imply that all are to have the opportunity to obtain eternal life, which the Bible teaches is not the case in this life. "How can they hear without a preacher? how can they preach unless they are sent?" Hence, if there is one individual in any part of this world from Adam to the present, time, who has died without having the gospel and the name of Jesus preached to him, that man has had no opportunity as yet, of obtaining eternal life. And that the great mass of humanity have been thus shut out, no intelligent man can deny; and to reject the fact of a "restitution of all things," and that as "in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive," is to deny both the justice of God and the truthfulness of Scripture. It is for this that "the whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain together until now."
It is for this, the "manifestation of the sons of God," that the "earnest expectation of the creation waiteth. Because the creation itself, also shall be delivered from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God."
In the restitution age when the bride of Christ, is glorified, "like unto Christ's glorious body," ("and hast made us unto our God, kings and priests; and we shall reign on the earth; "for unto the angels hath he not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak;") then it is that the "creature" [not cattle, "preach the gospel to every creature" does not mean the lower animals] shall be delivered from this bondage of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the sons of God." Then it is that "the Spirit and the bride will say, Come; and let him that is athirst come: and whosoever will, let him take of the water of life freely." Then it is that the knowledge of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the sea.
Is there any creed, or preaching, which can be more clearly supported from the word of God, or has a better future for the world, than this? Is there a faith in Christendom which offers a more glorious future to the church, the bride of Christ? Is there a hope based on the sure promises of God, which so magnifies the love of God as does this hope? Where is it lacking? Does it rob God of any glory? Does it cast a shadow over the future of the redeemed? On the other hand, does it not prove God to be the loving Father he himself claims to be; that he so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son; and that Christ tasted death for every man? And yet there is a second and eternal death for those who, having tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, shall, after that, sin wilfully and crucify Christ afresh. And to this, all the sons of God could say, Amen, "True and righteous are thy judgments,"
The above being the true Bible theology, the advent of Christ, "whom the heaven must receive until the times of restitution of all things," becomes a glorious and much longed for event. And hence, all that the Scriptures teach on that subject should be eagerly sought for by every one whose heart is in unison with the love of God and the plan of redemption. And as each of those arguments proving that the marriage of the Lamb is about to be consummated, are seen and appreciated, the heart of every true Christian must thrill with joy at the bare possibility of so glorious a consummation. God help the selfish, groveling heart that cannot be interested in subjects like these.
The evidences that the end of the gospel age has commenced, and that many of those things are about to be realized; are so full clear and numerous that every person who thoroughly investigates the subject, is irresistibly convinced of their truth. And O, what a thrill of joy is felt by each heart as evidence after evidence, and argument after argument is comprehended, Those who have once tasted of these things can only wonder that all the Christian world cannot be induced to hear and investigate.
Clear proof can be found that the six thousand years from Adam are ended, because many good and great men have differed on the chronology of the Bible in ages past, is no proof that when that light is due to the church, it will not be forthcoming. What if such men have differed; if certain Scriptures can be so put together now, as to clear up points of chronology hitherto obscure, and you can read and see it for yourself, will you disregard the evidence because somebody else has not seen it before? Is there no God at the helm? Can you not believe that at the right time, the right truths can be found? And yet you are not asked to believe, only so far as you can see for yourself that it is based on God's word. Turn again to page sixty-seven, and give the chronology a careful investigation. True, we do not know there is no mistake in it, nor do we pretend to know that any of these arguments are true; it is faith, not knowledge, by which we are to walk. God expects us to act on evidence. "Faith is the evidence of things not seen," and "faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." How is it, that so many great lines of argument, the chronology, the jubilee cycles, 'the days' of Dan. 12, the exact equality of the Jewish and gospel dispensations, and "the times of the Gentiles," all work in, one with another, so harmoniously, and also in such perfect harmony with the signs of the times, the perplexity of the nations, the unmistakable evidences of a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation? Are these things, taken as they are directly from the "true sayings of God," to be put down as the foolish imaginations of a fanatical brain, and disregarded? Or, "shall we take heed to the more sure word of prophecy, as unto a light shining in a dark place?"
In this chronology, every year given in the Bible is used; nothing is left out and nothing is added. If more time has passed than God has revealed, then the six thousand years ended further back in the past. He certainly is able to deceive
us if he so choose; but as so large a part of the Holy Scriptures are devoted to chronology, I cannot believe it is left imperfect, or in so obscure a way that the real truth cannot be found. But as it is by faith we are to walk, that it should be so given as to require all the collateral evidence drawn from the harmony of the prophetic periods based on it, to strengthen our faith, is what we ought to expect. For instance, this chronology, as it stands recorded, has certain comparatively obscure places, over which the measure of the time is given in an indirect manner, and must be arrived at by comparing Scripture with Scripture, thus introducing the element of human reason, and is therefore not so absolute as a plain "thus saith the Lord." But when, after the most careful investigation, we find no Scripture by which it may be changed one single year; and then find that all the prophetic periods, as applied on the basis of this chronology, are absolutely harmonious, one with another, the evidence of the truthfulness of the chronology, thus supported, is all we can reasonably expect, so long as we are to walk by faith, based on our best endeavors to find the truth. That men who do not understand the intimate relation of these arguments, can find what, to them, may appear like unsupported parts, we do not question. If the subjects advanced in this book are worth anything, they are worthy of a full and exceedingly careful investigation. And without such complete knowledge of every part, no man is prepared to criticise. Hence, although some will thus criticise, others ought not to be deterred from investigating for themselves, because of such criticisms, even though they came from those in whom, we are wont to place great confidence. God demands from every person that they lean on his word, and not on the arm of flesh. And although we may now trust to our so-called spiritual advisers, instead of investigating for ourselves, and all may appear to be well, the time is just at hand when we shall bitterly regret it, "Cursed is every one who putteth his trust in man, and leaneth on the arm of flesh."
Do not misunderstand; teachers are sent of God, and we are to profit by their instruction. "How can they hear without a preacher?" But, after hearing, we must go to the "law and to the testimony," Christ's two witnesses," and if they speak not in accordance with these, it is because there is no light in them. "Let no man deceive you; for many will come in my name, saying, I am [the mouth piece of] Christ." And this warning of our Saviour stands recorded against every one who professes
to preach the gospel. "Prove all things, and hold fast that which is good." Hence, we ask you to give these subjects a careful investigation, devoid of all prejudice.
Turn to the chart and run your eye over the three worlds: the one before the flood, this "present evil world," and the "world to come;" then at the different ages. Every one knows that what little there was of a church, or people of God, was represented by one man during the days of the Patriarchs; and afterwards by "the twelve tribes," and then by the gospel church; and that there is a millennial age of glory promised, when "the kingdom is the Lord's," in which all the ends of the earth shall remember and turn to the Lord." Can you not see that thus spread out as a map before you, the mind easily grasps the subject, in all the various phases of the great plan. "Write the vision, and make it plain on tables, that he may run that readeth it," does indeed bring it down to our easy comprehension. Simply looking at our own immediate surroundings, and not comparing scripture with scripture," has made us narrow-minded. But the more enlarged our views, the more is the boundless love of God made to appear. How is it so much harmony is found in these various arguments, if they are not true? No one can deny that, taking it for granted that this chronology is true, the fact that from the time the sabbatic system began, on entering the land of Canaan to the year 1875, being just the measure of the sabbatic system, whether reckoned as a jubilee of jubilees — 50 times 50 — from where the last typical jubilee ended, or seventy cycles, as they have actually transpired; nineteen, with a jubilee, making a total of 950 years; and fifty-one without a jubilee year attached, or 51 times 40, making a total of 2400, should in either case terminate in 1875; is some evidence that the restitution to which they point is not far in the future.
And again, the fact that there is what appears to be clear Bible evidence that the dispensation represented by the "twelve tribes of Israel," and the dispensation of the gospel, or twelve apostles, were to be equal, and that, according to this chronology, these dispensations are now equal, just when the jubilee cycles run out — just, when "the day of the Lord" is due — is certainly a strange coincidence, which, coming as it does directly from the Bible, is worthy of more than a mere passing thought. And again, all men can see that we are entering strange and unusual times; that there is a foreboding of trouble. And the Bible distinctly teaches that this age is to end with "distress of nations," "men's hearts failing them with fear, and
for looking after those things which are coming on the earth," a "universal time of trouble," the falling of the thrones, &c. The number forty which is a very prominent period as connected first with the flood (Gen. 7: 17); second, with the wilderness, Mount Sinai and Moses; third, with Elijah, with Christ, and with the destruction of Jerusalem, from the beginning of Christ's work, or from A. D. 30, to A. D. 70, is again made to appear just at this point? The seven prophetic times of the Gentiles, or 2520 years, is a long period, and without doubt began where God's kingdom, in the line of David, ended, at the beginning of the seventy years captivity, or B. C. 606. And as from where the harvest of the Jewish age began, to A. D. 70, was forty years so this 2520 years, or the "times of the Gentiles," reach from B. C. 606 to A. D. 1914, or forty years beyond 1874. And the time of trouble, conquest of the nations, and events connected with the day of wrath, have only ample time, during the balance of this forty years, for their fulfilment.
We publish the following because it has been so perfectly fulfilled. Every position on the prophecies held by Bro. Miller has been attacked during the "tarrying of the Bridegroom," and. while the "virgins all slumbered and slept." And yet every one of those applications have of necessity again been incorporated in these present arguments, and the casket, enlarged and rearranged, does indeed "shine brighter than before":
WM. MILLER'S DREAM.
"I dreamed that God, by an unseen hand, sent me a curiously wrought casket, about ten inches long by six square, made of ebony and pearls curiously inlaid. To the casket there was a key attached. I immediately took the key and opened the casket, when, to my wonder and surprise, I found it filled with all sorts and sizes of jewels, diamonds, precious stones, and gold and silver coin of every dimension and value, beautifully arranged in their several places in the casket; and thus arranged, they reflected a light and glory equalled only by the sun," (These jewels are the beautiful truths the open casket unfolded to his sight.)
"I thought it was my duty not to enjoy this wonderful sight alone, although my heart was overjoyed at the brilliancy, beauty and value of its contents. I therefore placed it on a center-table in my room, and gave out word that all who had a
desire might come and see the most glorious and brilliant sight ever seen by man in this life.
"The people began to come in, at first few in number, but increasing to a crowd. When they first looked into the casket, they would wonder and shout for joy. But when the spectators increased every one would begin to trouble the jewels, taking them out of the casket and scattering them on the table.
"I began to think the owner would require the casket and jewels again at my hand; and if I suffered them to be scattered, I could never place them in their places in the casket again as before; and felt I should never be able to meet the accountability, for it would be immense. I then began to plead with the people not to handle them, nor take them out of the casket; but the more I plead, the more they stuttered; — and now they seemed to scatter them all over the room, on the floor, and on every piece of furniture in the room.
I then saw that among the genuine jewels and coin they had scattered an innumerable quantity of spurious jewels and counterfeit coin, I was highly incensed at their base conduct and ingratitude, and reproved and reproached them for it; but the more I reproved the more they scattered the spurious jewels and false coin among the genuine.
"I then became vexed in my very soul, and began to use physical force to push them out of the room; but while I was pushing out one, three more would enter, and bring in dirt, and shavings, and sand, and all manner of rubbish, until they covered every one of the true jewels, diamonds and coins, which were all excluded from sight. They also tore in pieces my casket, and scattered it among the rubbish, I thought no man regarded my sorrow or my anger. I became wholly discouraged and disheartened, and sat down and wept." (When the 1844 time passed, how perfectly was this fulfilled.)
"While I was thus weeping and mourning for my great loss and accountability, I remembered God, and earnestly prayed that he would send me help.
"Immediately the door opened, and a man entered the room, when the people all left it; and he, having a dirt-brush in his hand, opened the windows, and began to brush the dust and rubbish from the room. "I cried to him to forbear, for there were some precious jewels scattered among the rubbish. "He told me to 'fear not,' for he would "take care of them." "Then while he brushed the dust and rubbish, false jewels and counterfeit coin, all rose and went out of the window like
a cloud, and the wind carried them away. In the bustle I closed my eyes for a moment; when I opened them, the rubbish was all gone. The precious jewels, the diamonds, the gold and silver coins lay scattered in profusion all over the room.
"He then placed on the table a casket, much larger and more beautiful than the former, and gathered up the jewels, the diamonds, the coins, by the handful, and cast them into the casket, till not one was left, although some of the diamonds were not bigger than the point of a pin.
"He then called upon me to 'come and see.'
"I looked into the casket, but my eyes were dazzled with the sight. They shone with ten times their former glory. I thought they had been scoured in the sand by the feet of those wicked persons who had scattered and trod them in the dust. They were arranged in beautiful order in the casket, every one in its place, without any visible pains of the man who cast them in. I shouted with very joy, and that shout awoke me."