Dissertations on the True Inheritance of the Saints



To all who are “looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ,” grace, mercy and peace be multiplied. DTIS 58.1

We know, dear brethren, the anxiety and joy with which you are looking for the kingdom of God on earth; we realize, in some measure we hope, the deep feeling of soul, the warm gratitude of heart, and the well-grounded stability of faith towards God and the Lord Jesus Christ, in the hope of soon seeing that kingdom established over all the earth, and the kingdoms of this world given to the saints of the Most High, who will possess the same forever, even forever and ever. DTIS 58.2

If great men can, and do devote their ease, their comfort, their riches, and life, to obtain an earthly crown, which perishes while it is yet only in their hand, or vanishes away before it is realized even by sight; how much more ought we to fight, suffer or do, to obtain an incorruptible crown, which fadeth not away, and an inheritance which wasteth not! Let us, then, put on the whole armor of God; for we must fight until the shout of victory is heard in heaven, when the spiritual Joshua shall descend from on high, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, — until the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ. Yes, dear brethren, we must not think of laying down our armor until our glorious leader comes, and conquers death, and him that has the power of death, that is the devil. We know you are told by our Judaizing teachers and the temporal millennists that you are to have a long time of peace and safety before our Jesus shall come; but we pray you, brethren, be not deceived. It is false. These are the false prophets, that cry peace and safety when sudden destruction cometh. Listen not to their flattery; they cannot conquer for you. It is Jesus alone that can conquer; he is the Captain of the Lord’s hosts, and he will come and save us in the day of his coming. Let none deceive you by any means; for the “man of sin” who has long made war against the saints, and that “wicked one” which has been a long time revealed, must continue to work iniquity, until Christ shall destroy him by the brightness of his coming, - when he will come in flaming fire, to take vengeance on them who obey not the gospel, and destroy them who cry peace and safety. DTIS 58.3

We warn you against these false teachers, who mind earthly things. They are deceiving you by the traditions of men; they tell you that the world is growing better and better, while the truth is, the world is as it was in the days of Noah, waxing worse and worse. They tell you that all sects will be one, and will see eye to eye; but the facts in the case are, that the old sects are dividing, and new ones are rising to an alarming extent. And they must acknowledge that, to all appearance, their temporal millennium is receding rather than advancing; confusion and anarchy are now in the ranks of all sects, and disunion and division have broken the bonds and removed the most ancient landmarks among them. DTIS 60.1

Why will not men open their eyes? How true it is that the god of this world has blinded their eyes! Men are determined to have their great blessings in this world. God has determined we shall be “strangers and pilgrims” here, and receive our “evil things” in this world, but in the world to come everlasting life. On the other hand, the worldly-minded man will receive his good things in this life, and in that which is to come, his “evil things.” God will be justified in his people, and glorified in all them that believe. DTIS 60.2

We then would entreat you that ye be not conformed to the fashions, customs and opinions of this world, — for they will drown you in perdition; but be ye ready to enter into that kingdom which will be eternal, and which will be set up when Christ shall leave his mediatorial seat and take his throne of the kingdom of his Father, and shall reign on the throne of David forever. To this time we are looking, for this we are waiting, and for this time we long and pray. “Thy kingdom come:” what is this but praying for Christ to come? Surely, every man who thus prays, virtually says, “Come, Lord Jesus;” and we fear that many who are in the habit of saying these words, do not understand the import of the prayer. What kingdom is this we ask to come? The gospel? No. Why not? Because the gospel has already come. It was first preached to Abraham, and then to the Jews, — afterwards to the Gentiles, and then in all the world, as a witness unto all nations, — and then shall the end come. Now are we praying for a kingdom to come, which, as soon as it comes and is proclaimed among all nations, hath an end? This cannot be: pray for a kingdom to come, which has been in the earth certainly four thousand years, — how foolish! What do we mean by praying “thy kingdom come?” We must mean, if we have any meaning, that which the Holy Spirit inspired, — the kingdom which Daniel speaks of, (7:14.) “And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” If it is this kingdom, it is an everlasting one, it is an universal one, — “all people, nations and languages, should serve him.” It is “under the whole heaven.” It shall not pass away. Then it must be in the new heavens and the new earth; for these heavens and earth will pass away. It must be after the great burning day; for Peter shows plainly that then the heavens shall pass away, the earth and the works therein shall be burned up. 2 Peter 3:10: “But the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night; in which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also, and the works that are therein, shall be burned up.” DTIS 61.1

We see, by these passages, that the kingdom for which we pray cannot be the kingdom with “tares,” etc., or the wicked, in it; for “thy will” is to be done in it as in heaven. It cannot be the kingdom before Christ puts all enemies under his feet, for all dominions are to serve and obey him. It cannot be the kingdom given up to the Father; for it is given to the Son of man. It cannot be before it is presented to the Father; because it is an everlasting kingdom, and will never pass away from the seed of David: he is to set on the throne of his Father David forever and ever. It cannot be the kingdom which our English brethren describe, with the carnal Jew and wicked heathen in it; for under the whole heaven it is given to the saints of the Most High. It will never be destroyed nor given to another people. But Christ and the saints will possess it, joint heirs forever. DTIS 62.1

But can you make these things to harmonize, says the objector? We will try. In the first place, we must remember that Christ reigns now in his kingdom of grace: for “grace reigns through righteousness unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ our Lord;” and this is the kingdom which is given up to God the Father, and this at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. See 1 Corinthians 15:23, 24: “But every man in his own order: Christ the first fruits; afterward they that are Christ’s at his coming. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God, even the Father; when he shall have put down all rule, and all authority, and power. Also, Ephesians 5:27: “That he might present it to himself a glorious church, not having spot or wrinkle, or any such thing; but that it should be holy and without blemish.” And Jude 24: “Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy.” By these texts, it is evident that the kingdom presented to the glory of God, the Father, is the mediatorial kingdom of grace, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints. 1 Thessalonians 3:13: “To the end he may establish your hearts unblameable in holiness before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, with all his saints.” DTIS 63.1

But, says the objector, it is equally evident that Christ destroys death, the last enemy, before he presents his kingdom to God the Father. True; but does he present the wicked to God the Father? We read of no such presenting. Are the wicked in his kingdom at the end, when he gives up the same? No. For at the end he gathers out of his kingdom all that work iniquity or that offend, and they are burned, and this too at his coming and kingdom. Then, if Christ conquers the enemies of his kingdom, raises all the dead saints, and changes all the living saints to immortality and eternal life; has he not fulfilled his promise? Who dare say, Nay? Where has he promised to conquer death for the wicked? Find such a text, if you can. But it is not so: for no sooner do the wicked dead “live again,” than they are judged and sent away into the “second death.” Then the subject we have been considering resolves itself into the following form: DTIS 64.1

The reign of grace continues until Christ leaves the mediatorial throne; then the judgment begins, first at the household of faith; the wicked and the proud are gathered and burned, and their bodies are made ashes under the feet of Christ and the saints; Malachi 4:3: “And ye shall tread down the wicked; for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do this, saith the Lord of hosts;” the righteous are raised and caught up to meet the Lord in the air, unto eternal life; they are there judged and justified, before God and the holy angels, and, through righteousness, they are now presented to God the Father without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Thus grace has finished the work; the cap stone, Jesus Christ, is brought in with shouting and grace unto it. The Lord Jesus Christ takes his place as the cap or top stone of the building, which is now become a holy building, compact in every part, — a house not made with hands, but without hands, eternal in the heavens, “unto eternal life.” Then will the Father give up the glorified kingdom to the Son of man, and the Lord Jesus Christ become King on the holy hill of Zion, and “God blessed forevermore.” He is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us. DTIS 65.1

This is the kingdom for which we pray; and when this is set up, the will of God will “be done in earth as in heaven.” DTIS 65.2

You may be anxious to know what we understand by “second death.” We will now explain. DTIS 66.1

A second always implies a first; for if there were no first, there could be no second. Again; the second must be, in its general character, like the first. It would not properly be called the second, without a resemblance to the first. Therefore, in order to understand the second, we must have an understanding of the first death. DTIS 66.2

What constituted the first death which man experienced? DTIS 66.3

I answer, it was a moral death. Man was created in the image of his Creator; he was pronounced good; a law was given to him, which, if kept inviolate, would secure his happiness and moral life forever, but if disobeyed, would prove his moral death. “For in the day thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die.” In his primeval state, he was placed in the garden of Eden, — the holy of holies in the new made earth, — where he could hold sweet communion with God, and enjoy intercourse with his Divine Creator. All things on the earth were given into his hands to enjoy, and he was made ruler over them all. He was only prohibited from the use of the tree of knowledge, in the midst of the holy garden of God. To partake of this tree was death. He knew the divine prohibition, he understood the law. No plea of justification could be raised on account of the ignorance of the law, or the penalty; for the woman says to the serpent, (Genesis 3:3,) “But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.” Man disobeyed, and died; he became an enemy to God by wicked works, and a rebel to that being who made him ruler in the dominion of the earth. Man became obnoxious to the divine purity, and was thrust out of the garden, and from the presence of God. His dominion was cast down, and the subjects of man’s dominion became rebels to his authority; the earth was cursed, and he that was created lord over all the earth became a vagabond in his own kingdom, and a stranger in his own territory, by a moral death. DTIS 66.4

Then, as man rebelled against his Governor, so the subjects of man’s government rebelled against man, and natural death, as it is called, became king over all the earth. It was the consequence or fruit of man’s moral death, by which death reigned over man, and the subjects of man’s dominion became the means of man’s dissolution and death. The natural world, fire, earth, air and water, are the instruments of death to man. The animal world, from the mastodon to the gnat, may be, and have been, the means of natural death. The mineral contains its poison, and produces death in all living. The vegetable, from the cedar to the hyssop are but so many weapons, in the hands of the king of terrors, to bring men to the dust, and all living to their mother earth. Moral death was the penalty; natural death is the wages or consequences of moral death. Thus the moral death must be first death; for all must agree that the man is morally dead who works sin, and that he cannot obtain the wages of sin until sin dwells in him. Then moral death is the poison which taints the blood and pollutes the mind of man; while natural death preys only upon the body, and reduces the frame to dust. The first death is then the penalty of sin. Natural death is the wages of sin, and the consequence following moral depravity. Man cannot sin without deriving instantly a moral death. Yet man may live six hundred years, and sin all those years, before he dies a natural death. Thus, when man had sinned, he was driven out of Eden and from the presence of God. This was the first death, the wages of which were consequently the separation of soul and body. These deaths, being inseparably connected, are but the stock and fruit of the same tree. DTIS 67.1

When God saw man thus lost, morally dead, and subject to natural death, he provided a remedy for fallen man against both these evils, by Jesus Christ: from the first, by moral regeneration; from the second, by the resurrection. Let me be understood, then, as believing that these two deaths, as they are commonly called, form in fact but one death, and may be called the first death, being the penalty and wages of sin, or disobedience of the commandments of God, — the tree and fruit of rebellion. The second death is in consequence of the rejection of the remedy which God has provided for the first death, which came upon us in consequence of our first transgression. Then we were cast off from the presence of God in the garden of Eden, — the spirit separated from the body, and the body cast into the grave. This constitutes the first death. DTIS 68.1

The second is like unto the first. Let me explain. When Christ comes to sit upon the throne of his kingdom on the earth, and to be glorified in all them who have believed, and to give eternal life to as many as have obeyed the gospel and received the remedy which has been provided by the great God, in Jesus Christ; then, those who have refused to comply with the requirements of the gospel, and have trampled on the blood of the covenant and counted it an unholy thing, will be banished from the presence of the Lord, thrust out from the kingdom of grace, separated from the glory of his power, and have no inheritance in the New Jerusalem, the Eden of God, be separated from the new earth, and cast into hell. “This is the second death.” 2 Thessalonians 1:9, 10: “Who shall be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power; when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe (because our testimony among you was believed) in that day.” Revelation 20:14, 15: “And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. And he that talked with me had a golden reed to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the walk thereof.” Revelation 21:8: “But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.” To this all must come who will not obey the gospel. There is no deliverance from this death, only by Jesus Christ, the second Adam, the Lord from heaven. He has the power to restore to all who believe and obey him, what the first Adam lost. Moses says, that soul who will not hear this prophet shall be cut off from among the people. And the Savior says, the tares shall be gathered and burned. “Take the unprofitable servant and cast him into outer darkness, there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth.” If man rejects this offering and sacrifice of the dear Redeemer, he will be forever lost. “There remaineth no more sacrifice for sin, but a fearful looking for, and fiery indignation which shall devour the adversary.” There is no other name given under heaven amongst men, whereby we can be saved, but the name of Jesus. Therefore, if we reject him, and his offering, our death becomes eternal of necessity; we cannot have a hope of deliverance when and where there is no deliverance. DTIS 69.1

Let us then be diligent to do the work of our Master; let us try to save all the souls in our power, by persuasion and entreaty for them, that they may come to Christ and be saved, while his arm is stretched out, and his mediatorial kingdom is not completed. DTIS 71.1

Let us encourage each other to faithfulness and good works, that the world may have no occasion to say of us, — they believe not in a coming Jesus. Let us be diligent, that we may be found of Him in peace. DTIS 71.2

And now, brethren, we exhort you to let your light shine; be not ashamed of this gospel, which brings life and immortality to light. When you read the history of the ancient sufferers, and servants of God, in Hebrews 11th chapter, will you not be ashamed of that false delicacy, which prevents some of you from owning and publishing to a scoffing world, what you in your consciences do believe is true? We have great reason to be thankful to God for the courage and faithfulness of many of our brethren, who are laboring to publish the present truth of the second advent. God has raised up and sent forth, as we humbly believe, a number, from different sects, of our dear brethren, to give the “midnight cry.” We might name to you many who have the confidence, and we hope the support of our friends in our several conferences; viz., brethren Litch, Himes, Ward, Jones, French, Fuller, Thompson, Sutcliffe, and others, who are already in the field, proclaiming “the midnight cry,” “go ye out to meet him.” DTIS 71.3

And now, brethren, we advise you to open your pulpits, houses, hearts, and hands, that you may further them in this work of the grace of God; that when the Master comes to reward every man as his work shall be, He may say unto you, “As much as ye have done it unto the least of these, ye have done it unto me.” We know, if this work be of God, it will stand. And wo be to that man, who may be found fighting against God! Better for that man that a millstone be hung about his neck, and he cast into the depth of the sea, than to offend one of those little ones! Let us put forth every exertion, that the cry be made to every son and daughter of the human family, before the “great and notable day of the Lord come.” DTIS 72.1