Will The Grand Consummation, Giving The Kingdoms Of This World To Christ, Be Introduced Under The Dispensation Of The Spirit? -- By: Joseph Steele

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 006:24 (Nov 1849)
Article: Will The Grand Consummation, Giving The Kingdoms Of This World To Christ, Be Introduced Under The Dispensation Of The Spirit?
Author: Joseph Steele


Will The Grand Consummation, Giving The Kingdoms Of This World To Christ, Be Introduced Under The Dispensation Of The Spirit?

Rev. Joseph Steele

What question can be of greater practical importance to the church of Jesus Christ, at a time when so many signs proclaim the day near at hand. Already the millenarian sees it at the door, and concentrates his plans and efforts upon those duties which harmonize with such expectation. He feels dissatisfied with the tardy and far reaching plans of benevolence, and earnestly demands that the church give up her dreams of evangelizing the world, and hasten to gather in the last gleanings of the vintage. In all the aggressive movements of the day, and the success which has crowned them, he sees no cheering indications. In his view, the world is only waxing worse; the gospel is only a proclamation and not the power of God for the world’s salvation; the good for which it was designed is nearly accomplished; and nothing great, nothing important, touching Zion’s prosperity, is to be anticipated until the Redeemer shall come in person. On the contrary, a large portion of the church, adopting other views, and reading their duty in harmony with the expectation that, under the dispensation of the Spirit, the heathen are to be given to Christ for an inheritance, are laying plans and combining their energies to send the gospel to every creature; confident that the great harvest is yet to be gathered. In their view the cause is making progress, the signs betoken success, and the blessing of God upon their efforts is the seal of his approbation. They fancy that the systems of paganism are becoming decrepit, that the throne of Antichrist is tottering, and that the year of jubilee is near.

Views so widely dissimilar must exert widely different effects.

How far the Millenarian views, if generally adopted, would change the direction of the church, experience has not yet taught us; but it seems manifest to us, that the effect would be^ dispiriting and disastrous in the extreme. The influence of opposing views may fairly be estimated from the past. No era in the history of the church is more clearly marked, than that of modern missions, and the fact is well established, that the originators and most active promoters of them, held the doctrine, that the world would be subjugated to Christ under

the dispensation of the Spirit. The first appeal to the churches on the subject of a general concert made by ministers in Scotland, more than a century since, is founded upon this doctrine. President Edwards took up that appeal, and urged it with great force on the same ground. Fuller and his compeers, who actually established the Monthly Concert, out of which grew the work of miss...

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