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by Dr. John Thomas
We should read it through carefully, and thus having made ourselves acquainted with its contents, we should be prepared to answer the question intelligently and accurately.
Why do men not do so with the Bible?
God is admitted by all sensible persons to be the author; Moses, the apostles, and the prophets, are but His amanuenses to whom He dictated what to write.
If then the questions be put, what end had God in view in the six day's work of the creation?
in His subsequent providential arrangements in relation to men and nations?
and in the propitiatory sacrifice of the Lamb of God? -- we proceed in the same way with the Bible in which He tells His own story; and answer according to the light we may have acquired.
Now the Book of God is peculiar in this -- it narrates the past, the present, and the future all in one volume.
We learn from the accuracy of its details in relation to the past and the present, to put unbounded confidence in its declaration concerning the future.
In ascertaining, therefore, the ultimate design of eternal wisdom in the creation of all things, we turn to the end of the Bible to see what God hath said shall be as the consummation of what has gone before; for what He has said shall be the permanent constitution of things, must be the end which He originally designed before ever the foundation of the earth was laid.
Turn we then, to the last two chapters of the Book of God.
What do we learn from these?
We learn from them, that there is to be a great physical and moral renovation of the earth.
That every curse is to cease from off the globe; and that it is to be peopled with men who will be deathless, and free from all evil.
That they will all then be the sons of God, a community of glorious, honourable, incorruptible, and living beings; who will constitute the abode of the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb, the glory of whose presence will evolve a brilliancy surpassing the splendour of the sun.
The globe a glorious dwelling place, and its inhabitants an immortal and glorious people, with the indwelling presence of the Eternal Himself -- is the consummation which God reveals as the answer to the question concerning His ultimate design.
The following testimonies will prove it: "The inheritance of the saints in light".
"An inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven" -- "I, John, saw a new heaven and a new earth, and there was no more sea.
And I saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband.
And I heard a great voice out of heaven, saying, The tabernacle of God is with men, and He will dwell with them, and they shall be His people, and God Himself will be with them, their God.
And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes: and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain; for the former things (or the "heaven and earth" in which they existed) are passed away.
And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all things new, And he said unto me, Write; for these words are true and faithful.
And he said unto me, It is done; I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end.
I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.