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C H A P.





T was in order to its melioration, that

the earth was destroyed by water : And it is for the same gracious end, that it is to be destroyed again by fire; that by undergoing these two different kinds of purgation, it may at last be reduced to such an improved and happy state, as : was sketched out in the primitive paradise ; which was an emblem, and an earnest of it: And this is an end worthy of the great Creator, and wise Governor of the world; and justifies his ways to men, in



Hh 3

the severe judgments, which he hath, and will have, inflicted upon the world.

That the whole frame of nature, the whole system of the universe, is all to be restored to this renovated state, is what the scripture, which hath hitherto been our guide ; and which, especially with regard to the view before us, muft necefdarily be our guide unto the end–This is what the holy scripture, I say, which never misleads us, gives us repeated assurances of.

This important change will be so great and universal, that it is expressed by the inspired writers in the terms of a new creation. For behold, saith the Lord, by his prophet, I create new heavens, and a new earth: And, as the new heavens, and the new earth, which I will make, fall remain before me, faith the Lord; so ball your feed, and your name remain *.

It is with rcference to this promise, contained in the words of the prophet, that

* Gi. Ixv. 17-Ixvi. 22.


St. Péter, after he had foretold the general conflagration, presently subjoins-Nevertheless

, , according to his promise, look for new heavens, and a new earth, 'wherein dwelleth righteousness *

St. John, the beloved disciple, was vouchfafed a vision of nature, in this its renovated state. In à former vision, he had seen a great white throne, and him that sat upon it ; from whose face the earth and the heaven had fled away, and there was found no place for them t.

The old face of nature being totally destroyed, its place could not be found. After this succeeds an account of the final judgment. Then follows, And I saw a new heaven, and a new earth: For the first heaven, and the first earth, were passed away; as before mentioned. And again, The former things are passed away: And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold I make all

* 2 Pet. iii. 13. * Revel. xx. II.


things things new. And in confirmation of the certainty of this great change, he said unto me, Write: For these words are true and faithful. Therefore enter them upon record, as what, in its due time, shall be faithfully and fully accomplished. And as a still farther ratification of it, the inspired writer adds, He said unto me, It is done * This decree is as firmly established in the divine council, as if it were already executed.

We have allusions to this renovated state in several other parts of scripture. Thus we are given to understand, that the present state of the world is not perma

For the faflion, form, or, oximuce, the scheme, or plan, of this world passeth away t. The present forın of the world is to be changed, and it is to be modeled upon a different plan. And that the world is not to be annihilated; but only to undergo a change, we learn elsewhere. Thou,


* Revel. xxi. 1, 4, 5, 6. Comp. 2 Cor. v. 17. +1 Cor. vii, 31.

Lard, Lord, in the beginning, haft laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thy hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure. They all shall wax old, as doth a garment; and as a vesture malt thou change them, and they fall be changed: But thou art the same, and thy years Mall not fail*. From this comparison it fufficiently appears, that this will not be a partial, but a total change.

Our Saviour likewise speaks of a regeneration *; and promiseth, that Elias shall come, and restore all things # For it is possible, there may be a coming of his

Our Lord speaks of it, as such, at the same time that he observes, he was once come already, in the person of John, the Baptift. And that there shall be a restoration of all things, the apostle

yet future.

• Pf. cii. 25, 26, 27

Heb. i. 10, 11, 12. Ειλισσα δε τας ερανες εχ ενα απολεση τείες, αλλ' ίνα καλλιονας εξερη. Cyril. catech. 15.

+ Matt, xix. 28, 29. I Ch. xvij. II

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