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by Dr. John Thomas
But never, from the foundation of the world to the sealing up of the testimony of God, was such a kingdom, or dominion, promised as that which is believed in, and glorified in the "sacred" psalmody of the Gentiles.
Earth, and not the skies, is the region where alone it will appear.
I shall show this abundantly; and thereby prove that they who sing such ditties as those of which the following is a specimen, sing what ne'er was, nor is, nor e'er shall be: "With thee we'll reign, with thee we'll rise, And kingdoms gain beyond the skies!
"According to your faith be it unto you".
This is the first principle of religion delivered by the Great Teacher himself.
It is just and fight it should be so.
No one can blame God for not bestowing upon them what they do not believe in; and, consequently, do not want, or seek after.
This is precisely the position of the present generation of religionists in relation to the kingdom of God.
They have faith in a sort of kingdom which He hath not promised; and in the one He has promised they do not believe.
Hence, they believe in a non-entity; and, believing in what is nothing, they will get nothing but confusion of face.
But we propose to show them a more excellent way; and in so doing invite their attention to "THE PROMISE MADE OF GOD UNTO THE FATHERS".
"The Hope of Israel".
There is no one, I suppose, who reads the scriptures but admits that Paul was persecuted; being imprisoned, scourged, arraigned, and manacled, because he preached the gospel of the kingdom in the name of Jesus.
This is admitted by all.
It matters not, then, in what terms he states the cause of his trials, it will all amount to this declaration, namely, "For the gospel I am called in question, and am judged, and bound with this chain".
But we will let the apostle state his case in his own words.
When he stood before Ananias, the high priest, and the council of the Jews, he cried out, "On account of the hope and resurrection of dead persons (necrw`n) I am called in question".
But it may be asked here, "Concerning what hope was the question between the apostle and his persecutors?
" He tells us in his defence before Agrippa: "I stand and am judged," says he, "for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers; unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come.
For which hope's sake, king Agrippa, I am accused of the Jews".
Now, from this statement, it appears: That God had made a certain promise to the fathers of Israel; That this promise became the hope of the nation, and was therefore a national question; That this promise had been the hope of the twelve tribes in all their generations; was the ground of their worship; and that they hoped to attain it by rising from the dead.
But we have a still plainer avowal, if possible, of the identity of this national hope with the hope for which the apostle suffered so much.
The Lord Jesus had appeared to him after his arraignment before Ananias, and said to him, "Be of good cheer, Paul; for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome".