Chapter 09 – Will Man Always Be Permitted to Usurp Authority Over Men, and Over the Works of God? Will the World Remain for ever Under a Curse, and God’s Designs Be Frustrated? – The Government of God
The above are grave questions, and will necessarily require examination, for they concern the earth and its inhabitants. Their true solution will affect man in time and in eternity. The world cannot remain as it is, for the following reasons:—
First. It would be unreasonable.
Secondly. It would be unjust.
Thirdly. It would be unscriptural.
Fourthly. It would frustrate the designs of God, in regard to the spirits of the righteous; the dead; the progression of the world, and its final exaltation; and also the exaltation of man.
First.—It would be unreasonable for man to continue his usurped authority. If God is interested in the welfare of his creatures, he certainly never would permit, without some just cause, the destruction of his works, and the misery of his creatures; and we have fully demonstrated, that the world is full of abominations, and evils, and that those evils can only be removed by the interposition of the Lord; that the assumed authority of men, and the Devil, can only be checked by a superior power. God holds that power in his hands; he holds the life of the human family in his hands; and the world, notwithstanding its rebellion and iniquity, has to be sustained by him from day to day. Let him but withdraw his governing and controlling power from the earth, and it would wander wildly through space, unblest by the genial influences of the sun, or clash against some other system, involving all creation in ruin: let some slight variation take place in its diurnal motion, and the sea would leave its proper bounds, overflow the earth, and millions of the human family would perish. Let even some slight variation take place in the atmosphere, and the Lord withdraw the sanitory influences that preserve the earth in its present healthy state, and the murky atmosphere would contain contagion, and disease; the pestiferous air would spread desolation, and death; plague and pestilence would fill the earth; and millions of foetid loathsome beings would be living, and dying examples, of man’s impotency and weakness. Even a small insect sent to destroy the grain, accompanied with the blight of the potatoes, such as has already been witnessed, would produce incalculable evil; let these things become more universal, and the death of the human family must ensue. Even so slight a thing as too much, or too little rain would produce uncalculated misery.
When we contemplate man as he is, a poor worm dependent upon God for his daily bread, and upon how many slight contingencies the brittle thread of life is continued, and that the least variation in the economy of God might, in numberless ways, involve the human family in ruin, and then notice his arrogance, pride, conceit, and rebellion; it seems to us mysterious that the mercy of God should be so long extended to him; and we can only account for it upon this principle, that God is too great, wise, powerful, and magnanimous to be moved to anger by the impotent ravings, the empty pride, the little meanness, the swelling pusillanimity, and the utter helplessness, of the erratic, puerile, insignificant creature, man. He lets him wallow in his corruptions, gloat in his misery, and permits him to become a prey to Satan, for a season, that he may feel the greatness of his fall, the extent of his degeneracy, and the utter ruin that his own course, instigated by the powers of the adversary, has brought upon him; that he may afterwards learn to appreciate the mercies of God, see and understand the delusion, and be enabled eternally to appreciate the mercies and government of God, after having first atoned for his own acts and transgressions. For like a wayward and disobedient child, he will be glad to return to his father’s house and friendship; and when the vision of his mind shall be opened, which, if not done in this world, will be in the world to come, he will be thoroughly disgusted with himself and his acts, and will be glad on any conditions to find an asylum with his Father.
This state of things, then, is merely permitted for a season, to develop the designs and influences of Satan, and their effects; to develop the weakness of man, and his incompetency to rule and govern himself without God; to manifest the mercy of God, in bearing with man, in the midst of his rebellion; to show man his ingratitude, and the depth of his depravity, in order that he may appreciate more fully the mercy and long-suffering of God, and the purity and holiness that reign in the eternal world. Man has tasted the misery of sin and rebellion, and drunk of the cup of sorrow, in order that he may appreciate more fully the joy and happiness that spring from obedience to God, and his laws. But to think for a moment that man here will always be permitted to subvert the designs of God, and the world be for ever under the dominion of Satan, is the height of folly, and only develops more fully the pride, littleness, and emptiness of man. For notwithstanding man is a weak creature, in comparison to God, yet he has within him the germs of greatness and immortality. God is his Father, and though now wandering in darkness, sunk, degraded, and fallen, he is destined, in the purposes of God, to be great, dignified, and exalted; to occupy a glorious position in the eternal world, and to fulfil the object of his creation. Will this design be frustrated by the powers of darkness, or the influence of wicked and ungodly men? Verily, no. To suppose such a thing, manifests the greatest absurdity, which can only be equaled by the weakness and ignorance from whence it springs. What! God, the author of the universe, and of all created good, suffer his plans to be frustrated by the powers of the Devil? Shall this beautiful world, and all its inhabitants, become a prey to Satan and his influences, and those celestial, pure, principles that exist in the eternal world, be for ever banished? Shall the earth still be defiled under the inhabitants thereof, when God is our Father? Shall iniquity, corruption, and depravity always spread their contaminating influences, and this earth, that ought to have been a paradise, be a desolate miserable wreck? Shall tyranny, oppression, and iniquity for ever rule? Shall the neck of the righteous always be under the feet of the ungodly? No, says every principle of reason, for the Almighty God is its maker. No, echoes the voice of all the prophets, there shall be a restitution of all things. No, say the Scriptures of all truth, “The earth shall become as the Garden of Eden,” the wicked shall be rooted out of it; the time shall come when the Saints shall possess the kingdom, and the earth shall become as the garden of the Lord. No, responds the voice of all the dead Saints, we died in the hope of better things, etc. No! say our later revelations—
“The Lord hath brought again Zion;
“The Lord hath redeemed his people, Israel,
“According to the election of grace,
“Which was brought to pass by the faith
“And covenants of their Fathers.
“The Lord hath redeemed his people,
“And Satan is bound, and time is no longer:
“The Lord hath gathered all things in one;
“The Lord hath brought down Zion from above;
“The Lord hath brought up Zion from beneath;
“The Earth hath travailed and brought forth her strength;
“And truth is established in her bowels:
“And the heavens have smiled upon her;
“And she is clothed with the glory of her God;
“For he stands in the midst of his people,
“Glory, and honor, and power, and might,
“Be ascribed to our God, for he is full of mercy,
“Justice, grace, and truth, and peace,
“For ever, and ever. Amen.”[A]
[Footnote A: Doctrine and Covenants, Section 84: 99-102.]
It is therefore contrary to every principle of reason and intelligence to suppose such a thing.
Secondly.—It would be unjust: and “shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?” But what right would there be in thus permitting Satan to usurp the dominion for ever? It would be giving in the first place to Satan that which belongs to God. This earth is not Satan’s inheritance; it is the Lord Jesus Christ’s, he is the rightful owner and proprietor. If Satan be indeed the God of this world, and rules in the hearts of the children of disobedience, he is only an usurper. It is not his rightful dominion, for all things were created by Christ, and for Christ, whether they be principalities, or powers, or thrones, or dominions, all these were created by him, and for him, and he only has a right to rule; but Satan has subverted the ways of God, deceived the human family, introduced misery, and confusion, and blighted this beautiful creation with his contaminating curse. As an usurper, it would be unjust to permit him to rule; it would be unjust to the government of God, for, if God has a right to rule, no other power can have that right, unless it is delegated, and if delegated, still the right is vested in the power that delegates.
It is therefore derogatory to God, for the world to be yielding obedience to another power. For while God, not the Devil, provides for, feeds, sustains, and beautifies the Universe, and nourishes the millions of people who inhabit the earth, with his beneficent hand and fatherly care;—for him to be neglected and despised, or forgotten, is the height of injustice, and the very climax of perverse ingratitude. But again, it would be unjust to the good and virtuous; this earth is properly the dwelling place, and rightful inheritance of the Saints. Inasmuch as it belongs to Jesus Christ, it also belongs to his servants and followers, for we are told, “The earth is the Lord’s and the fulness thereof,” and that, when things are in their proper place, “the Saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the saints of the Most High.” (Dan. vii. 18 and 27.) It is therefore their rightful inheritance, and the usurpation before referred to, while it is unjust to God, is also as unjust to his Saints. Who can contemplate the position of the world, as it has existed, without being struck with this fact, Where has God ever had a people but they have been persecuted? The testimony of God has always been rejected, and his people trodden under foot. Paul tells us that they “were tempted, tried, sawn asunder, that they wandered about in sheep skins, and goat skins, being destitute, afflicted, and tormented.” (Heb. xi. 37.) And to such an extent had this prevailed among the ancient Jews, that Stephen gravely asks the question, “Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them, which shewed before, of the coming of the Just One, of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers.” (Acts vii. 52.) What did they do with Jesus! and what with his followers! We may here ask, Is it right, is it proper, is it just, for this state of things to continue? It is true that the saints have had a hope of joys to come, and this state of trial has been permitted for their ultimate good; but although this is the case, it does not make the thing the more just. “It must needs be,” says Jesus, “that offences come, but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh. It were better for him that a millstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the sea,” than that he should offend one of those little ones. (Matt, xviii.) “They that touch you, touch the apple of mine eye.” He has cried all along, “Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm.” The saints have suffered and endured, but they have done it in the hopes of a better resurrection; and as they have always looked upon this earth as their inheritance, to deprive them of this, would be to falsify the promises of God unto them, disappoint all their hopes, render inutile their sufferings and fidelity on the earth; and be to them an act, not only of temporary, but also of eternal injustice. For men of God in former days were just as much actuated by the prospect of a reward as a merchant, a warrior, a statesman, or any other person in search of wealth, honor, or fame. The only difference is, the one sought it in this life, the other in the life to come; the one looked for his reward here, the other expected it hereafter; the one had no hope concerning the future, the other had; the one was blinded by the God of this world, and knew not his position, or possessed not a nobility of soul sufficient to make him brook the world, and the scorn of men, in search of a better inheritance; the other understood by revelation his relationship to God, the position of the world, and his high calling, and glorious hope; he sought the nearest way to eternal life, scorned to be captivated by the world’s tinsel show, despised the short-lived pleasures offered by the god of this world, and possessed magnanimity of soul sufficient to lead him to acknowledge the God of the Universe, and to brook the scorn of empty fools, and ephemeral philosophers. If persecution’s deadly shafts, and superstition’s craven hate, were levelled against him, he dared to brook death in all its horrid forms, and live and die an honourable man, a true philosopher, a servant of God, and endure as seeing him who is invisible, in the hopes of a better resurrection. Deprive him of this hope, and you rob the just of his reward, dishonour God, and perpetuate misery and corruption in the world.
Thirdly.—As it would be unjust, so also it would be unscriptural. The Scriptures are full and clear on this subject; they represent Christ as being the rightful heir, and inheritor of this world; they represent him as having come once to atone for the sins of the world; but that he will afterwards come as its ruler, judge, and king; they represent him as the “Lord of the vineyard, the rightful heir” to the earth, and as having hitherto been dispossessed; but they again represent him as coming to claim his rights, to dispossess the usurpers; to take the authority, to rule, and reign, and to possess his own dominions. They represent the earth as labouring under a curse; but speak also of its deliverance therefrom; of its being blighted because of the transgression of man; but that it shall again yield its increase and become as the Garden of Eden. They represent the whole creation as groaning and travailing in pain, but that the creature also shall be delivered. That the Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon all flesh; that the wolf shall lie down with the lamb, the lion eat straw with the ox, and finally, every creature that is in the heavens, on the earth, or under the earth, shall be heard to say, glory and honor, and power, etc. That the law shall go forth from Zion, and the word of the Lord from Jerusalem. That Jerusalem shall become the throne of the Lord, and that the dead saints shall live, and reign with Christ, no longer deprived of their rightful inheritance; but as Jesus said when here, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.”
If, then, the Scriptures are not idle phantoms, if their visions, and prophecies were not mere phantasies, and written to deceive, we have as much right to look for these things as we have to believe in any event that has taken place; but lest any of my readers should be ignorant of the Scriptures relative to these subjects, I will give a few passages which are in themselves as clear and pointed, as any other portion of the word of God.
Concerning Christ being the rightful heir, it is written, “All things were created by him, and for him, and without him was not anything made that is made.” He is the “Mighty God, the everlasting Father,” &c. “For of him, and from him, and to him are all things.” “Thou sayest that I am a king, for this end was I born, etc.” “Then the Lord shall be king over all the earth.”
The Jews made a great mistake concerning the coming of Christ before; the Gentiles have made as great a mistake in regard to his second coming. The Jews expected him to come as a temporal deliverer alone, and overlooked his sufferings, trials, persecution, and death; the Gentiles having believed in his sufferings, have lost sight of his second coming; the promises of God made to the fathers; the redemption of the earth, and the kingdom of God. Both are wrong; both believed in part; neither in the whole. The Jews, in consequence of their unbelief, were cut off; but when Christ comes again, he will come in the way that their fathers looked for him, as a King, with power, and authority. The Gentiles having fallen into darkness, have lost sight of the great purposes of God, in regard to the redemption of man, and of the world; the restitution of all things, and the coming of Christ to reign. They have so far forgotten themselves, that they are actually fulfilling the prophecy of Peter: “There shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming?” (2 iii. 4.) But to return: the Scriptures represent Christ as the lord of the vineyard, as the “heir” that was killed; as the “sower of the seed” in the world; as the “destroyer of the wicked husbandmen;” as coming to “rule the nations with a rod of iron,” etc.; and to take possession of the kingdom. Daniel says, “I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought him near before him. 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.” (Dan. vii. 13, 14.) Zechariah says, “And his feet shall stand in that day upon the Mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the East; and the Mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south. And ye shall flee to the valley of the mountains; for the valley of the mountains shall reach unto Azal; yea, ye shall flee, like as ye fled from before the earthquake in the days of Uzziah, king of Judah: and the Lord my God shall come, and all the saints with thee.” . . . . “And the Lord shall be king over all the earth: in that day shall there be one Lord, and his name one.” (xiv. 4, 5, 9.) These and many other things must be fulfilled if the Scriptures be true. These designs of God, which were the hope of the ancient Saints, and of which poets sung, and prophets wrote, were the consolation of all the faithful Saints, Prophets, and Patriarchs,—Jews and Christians. Take these away, and the world, to the Saints, is a miserable blank; the hope of the righteous futile, and the Word of God a farce.
Fourthly.—It would frustrate the designs of God, in regard to the spirits of the righteous, the dead, the progression of the world, and its final exaltation; and also the exaltation of man.
When the Lord created this world, as we have already stated, he had an object in view, not only in regard to the world, and its future destiny, but also as it regards the spirits which were then in existence. Those great and eternal purposes which our heavenly Father, in his consummate wisdom, had in view, when he issued his Divine Mandate, and this world was created, cannot be frustrated unless he cease to be God. And those enlivening hopes which cheered his sons; those spirits that lived with him, when they saw this beautiful orb fashioned, this earth made as the place for their habitation, as their possession, as the place where they should take bodies, where they should live, rule, and reign, not only in time, but in eternity, must not, cannot be destroyed. And yet what avails it all to them, if Satan triumph, the wicked rule, and God’s kingdom be not established! They could not “have shouted for joy” at the prospect of this world continuing under the dominion of Satan; at the blight, degradation, misery, and ruin that have overspread it. But if we trace the matter still further, and look at the righteous dead, their position would be any thing but enviable under those circumstances. It was the hopes of the resurrection that made them endure, and it was God that implanted them in their bosoms; but if they are not raised, and if Christ’s kingdom is not established, and they do not reign with him, their hopes are vain, their sufferings useless, and the purposes of God are frustrated. In vain did they bear a faithful testimony in opposition to a depraved world; in vain they endured, as seeing him that is invisible; in vain they wandered about in sheep skins, and in goat skins; in vain they looked for a city which hath foundations, as a recompense of reward; and false and deceptive are the testimonies of all the prophets who have testified of the restitution of all things, from the foundation of the world. Take away this, and our highest, and most exalted hopes are blighted; we live like fools, and die like dogs. If the world is always suffered to continue as it is, then is the hope of the righteous vain, the promises of God fail, Satan triumphs, and God’s purposes are frustrated.
All the designs of God concerning this world and the work of creation, were perfected in his mind before this world rolled into existence, or “e’er the morning stars sang together for joy.” When this world was formed, God intended it as the final dwelling place of those bodies which should inhabit it. And when “the sons of God shouted for joy,” it was at the prospect of that exaltation, that they would be capable of obtaining, in consequence of this creation, which they then saw come into existence. And if, as Jesus, they had to descend below all things, in order that they might be raised above all things; still this was the medium, or channel, through which they were to obtain their ultimate exaltation, and glorification. It was by the union of their spirits, which came forth from the Father as the “Father of Spirits,” with earthly bodies, that perfect beings were formed, capable of continued increase and eternal exaltation; that the spirit, quick, subtle, refined, lively, animate, energetic, and eternal, might have a body through which to operate, that might be compared to the steam, to an engine; the electric fluid to the telegraphic wire; for, notwithstanding that spirit, steam, or electricity are the powerful, quickening, energetic principles, employed; yet without the engine, the telegraphic wire, or the matter, they would be comparatively useless; these elements might wander in empty space; spend their force at random, or remain dormant, or useless, without those more tangible, material objects, through which to exercise their force. When steam was first applied to practical purposes; when the operation of the magnetic needle, and the mode of communication through the electric telegraph, were discovered; when railroads and steam boats were first invented, something of importance was discovered, and of great value to the human family. The men who made these discoveries and applications are deservedly looked upon at the present time as men of great genius, and as the benefactors of the world; but what was it they did? They did not create the elements, those already existed: steam, magnetism, electricity, iron, coals, water, existed before, and had existed from the beginning of creation. What was it these geniuses discovered? It was simply a method of organizing this matter, the making use of gross inanimate materials to confine the more subtle, refined, elastic, energetic, and powerful, that their combined power and energy might be brought into effect; and that through the union of two powerful agencies, which had lain dormant, their forces might be united, and be brought into active and powerful operation. Thus, then, was the body formed as an agent for the spirit. It was made of grosser materials than the spirit, which proceeded from God, but was necessary as an habitation for it that, it might be clothed with a body, perfect in its organization, beautiful in its structure, symmetrical in its proportions, and in every way fit for an eternal intelligent being; that through it, it might speak, act, enjoy, and develop its power, its intelligence, and perpetuate its species. Hence as the discoveries of those geniuses already referred to, were hailed with pleasure by the inhabitants of the world, on account of the benefits conferred upon men, so when God created this earth, and organized men upon it, “the morning stars sung together for joy;” they looked upon it as God looked upon it, as a work perfect, magnificent, and glorious, through which they saw their way to exaltation, glory, thrones, principalities, powers, dominions, and eternal felicity. They had the intelligence before, but now they saw a way through which to develop it. Through the world’s great Architect, their Father, they discovered a plan fraught with intelligence and wisdom, reaching from eternity to eternity, pointing out a means whereby, through obedience to celestial laws, they might obtain the same power that he had. And if, in fallen humanity, they might have to suffer for a while, they saw a way back to God, to eternal exaltations, and to the multiplied, and eternally increasing happiness of innumerable millions of beings. And if, as Jesus, they had to descend below all things, it was that they might be raised above all things, and take their position as sons of God, in the eternal world; that overcoming the world they might sit down with Christ upon his throne, as he overcame and sat down upon the Father’s throne. (Rev. iii. 21.)
But again; this creation is unlike the works of man, which, however excellent, and useful, all bear the marks of humanity, all are more or less imperfect in their structure, and liable to a thousand contingences, are more or less clumsy, cumbrous, and unwieldy, and must be governed by numerous very limited laws; as for instance, you can convey intelligence, but it must be exactly on the line of the electric wire, you cannot go beyond its limits; you can make an engine work, but it must be stationary; or if moving, must be confined to rails, depth of water, and a thousand other contingences. None of these things possess intelligence, nor the principles of life within themselves, neither can they impart, nor perpetuate it to others, they are merely machines, to be acted upon by man, and without man they cease to exist; when one is worn out, or broken, another must be made at the same toil and labour; possessing not the principles of life, they cannot impart their likeness; whereas man, beasts, fish, fowl, and all the animate works of God can. Man’s works in comparison with God’s, are like comparing a child’s wooden horse to the beautiful creature God has made, or rather his penny whistle to the music of heaven, or the larger boy’s billiards to the motions of the planetary system. They possess no intelligence, no powers, no reflection, no agency. The works of man are merely made to be acted upon; are short lived, temporary, perishable things. Man, however, bears the impress of Jehovah, is made after his image, in his likeness, and possesses the principles of intelligence within himself, and the medium of conveying it to others. He possesses also, power to perpetuate his species, as also to communicate his thoughts, his intelligence, genius, and power to others, that are formed like him. He received his intelligence, his spirit, from God, he is a part of himself,
A spark of Deity
Struck from the fire of his eternal blaze;
he came from God as his son, he bears the impress of Jehovah, even in his fallen degenerate corrupted state. His powerful intellect, his stately genius, his grasping ambition, his soaring, and in many instances, exalted hopes, display, though he be fallen, the mark of greatness; he bears the impress of Deity and shows that he is of divine origin.
Unlike the works of man, the work of God in relation to this earth was destined to be eternal, not subject to be controlled by any little contingences; nor was it dependent upon fluctuation, or change. Man’s works might fluctuate, change, or be destroyed, but not so with God’s, they were, and are eternal; eternal mind, and eternal matter; organized and created according to the unsearchable intelligence of that eternal unfathomable mind; that fountain of intelligence, forethought, wisdom, and energy, that dwells with God. And this earth, and man in their destination, and all the works of this creation, are as unchangeable as the sun, moon, or stars, and as unalterable as the throne of God. Satan may deceive men, for a season; their minds may be blinded by the god of this world, but God’s purposes will be unchanged. Who is Satan? A being powerful, energetic, deceptive, insinuating; and yet necessary to develop the evil, as there are bitters, to make us appreciate the sweet; darkness, to make us appreciate light; evil and its sorrows, that we may appreciate the good; error that we may be enabled to appreciate truth; misery, in order that we may appreciate happiness. And as there are in the works of creation opposing, mineralogical substances which in chemical processes are necessary to develop certain properties of matter, and produce certain effects; as fire is necessary to purify silver, gold, and the precious metals, so it is necessary to instruct, and prepare man for his ultimate destiny—to test his virtue, develop his folly, exhibit his weakness and prove his incompetency without God to rule himself or the earth; or to make himself happy or exalt himself in time, or in eternity. But again, who is Satan? He is a being of God’s own make, under his control, subject to his will, cast out of Heaven for rebellion; and when his services can be dispensed with, an angel will cast him into the bottomless pit. Can he fight against and overcome God? Verily, No! Can he alter the designs of God? Verily, No! Satan may rage; but the Lord can confine him within proper limits. He may instigate rebellion against God, but the Lord can bind him in chains.
Shall the purposes of the Lord be frustrated? Verily, No! The nations of the earth may be drunken, and rush against each other like inebriates; but the Lord’s purposes are unchanged. Thrones may be cast down, kingdoms depopulated; and blood, sword, and famine may prevail, yet the Lord lives, and will accomplish his own designs. Man may forget God, but God does not forget man: man may be ignorant of his calling, but not so with God. Man may not reflect upon the designs of God, in relation to this earth, but God must and does; and if in man’s madness, his infidelity, his hypocrisy, or his ignorance, he cannot find time here to reflect upon these things, he will find ample leisure hereafter, and the purposes of God will roll on; and perhaps when he shall be preached to, as the rebellious Antediluvians, after receiving the punishment of his deeds, he may know something more of the power, justice, and purposes of God, and be glad to hear the Gospel in prison which he rejected on this earth. But to suppose that the purposes of God will be frustrated in relation to his designs in the formation of this earth, is altogether folly. They will roll on as steadily as the sun or moon in their courses. And as surely as we look in the east for the rising of the sun in the morning to display his gorgeous glory, light up the beauties of creation, and waken sleepy man; so surely will “the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings,” so surely will the sleeping dead burst from their tombs, and the glorified bodies with their spirits re-unite, so surely will a reign of justice, truth, equity, and happiness—the reign of God, supersede the barbarous oppression, and corrupt governments of this world, so surely will that long night of darkness, ignorance, crime, and error be superseded by the glorious day of righteousness; and so surely will this earth become as the Garden of the Lord, the kingdom and reign of God be established, and the Saints of the Most High take the kingdom and possess it for ever and ever. The time of the restitution of all things will be ushered in; the earth resume its paradisiacal glory, and the dead and the living Saints possess the full fruition of those things for which they lived, and suffered, and died. These are the hopes that the ancient Saints enjoyed; they possessed hopes that bloomed with immortality and eternal life; hopes planted there by the Spirit of God, and conferred by the ministering of Angels, the visions of the Almighty, the opening of the Heavens, and the promises of God. They lived and died in hopes of a better resurrection. How different to the narrow, conceited, groveling views of would-be philosophers, of sickly religionists, and dreaming philanthropists!
Therefore, as we have said, anything short of this would render inutile the hopes of the Saints; would fail to accomplish the expectation of millions of spirits; and cause Satan to triumph, and frustrate the designs of God. This earth, after wading through all the corruptions of men, being cursed for his sake, and not permitted to shed forth its full luster and glory, must yet take its proper place in God’s creations; be purified from that corruption under which it has groaned for ages, and become a fit place for redeemed men, angels, and God to dwell upon. The Lord Jesus will come and dispossess the usurper; take possession of his own kingdom; introduce a rule of righteousness; and reign there with his Saints, who, together with him, are the rightful proprietors.
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Chapter 9 of the The Government of God, by John Taylor (1852)