THE Introduction; with the Contents and Order of this Treatise.
The true state of the Question is propos’d. ’Tis the general doctrine of the Ancients, That the present World, or the present Frame of Nature, is mutable and perishable: To which the Sacred Books agree: And natural Reason can alledge nothing against it.
That the World will be destroy’d by Fire, is the doctrine of the Ancients, especially of the Stoicks. That the same doctrine is more ancient than the Greeks, and deriv’d from the Barbarick Philosophy, and That probably from Noah, the Father of all Traditionary Learning. The same doctrine expresly authoriz’d by Revelation, and inroll’d into the Sacred Canon.
Concerning the Time of the Conflagration, and the End of the World. What the Astronomers say upon this Subject, and upon what they ground their Calculations. The true notion of the Great Year, or of the Platonick Year, stated and explain’d.
Concerning Prophecies that determine the End of the World; Of what order soever, Prophane or Sacred: Jewish or Christian. That no certain judgment can be made from any of them, at which distance we are from the Conflagration.
Concerning the Causes of the Conflagration. The difficulty of conceiving how this Earth can be set on fire. With a general answer to that difficulty. Two suppos’d Causes of the Conflagration, by the Sun's drawing nearer to the Earth, or the Earth's throwing out the Central Fire, examin’d and rejected.
The true bounds of the last Fire, and how far it is Fatal. The natural Causes and Materials of it, cast into three ranks. First, such as are exteriour and visible upon Earth. Where the Volcano's of this Earth, and their Effects are consider’d. Secondly, such Materials as are within the Earth. Thirdly, such as are in the Air.
Some new dispositions towards the Conflagration, as to the Matter, Form, and Situation of the Earth. Concerning miraculous Causes, and how far the ministery of Angels may be engag’d in this work.
How the Sea will be diminish’d and consum’d. How the Rocks and Mountains will he thrown down and melted, and the whole exteriour Frame of the Earth dissolv’d into a Deluge of Fire.
Concerning the beginning and progress of the Conflagration, what part of the Earth will first be burnt. The manner of the future destruction of Rome. The last state and consummation of the general Fire.
An Account of those Extraordinary Phenomena and Wonders in Nature, that, according to Scripture, will precede the coming of Christ, and the Conflagration of the World.
An imperfect description of the coming of our Saviour, and of the World on fire.
THE Introduction: That the World will not be annihilated in the last fire. That we are to expect, according to Scripture, and the Christian doctrine, New Heavens and a New Earth, when these are dissolv’d or burnt up.
The Birth of the New Heavens and the New Earth, from the second Chaos, or the remains of the old World. The form, order and qualities of the new Earth, according to Reason and Scripture.
Concerning the Inhabitants of the New Earth. That natural reason cannot determine this point. That, according to Scripture, The Sons of the first Resurrection, or the heirs of the Millennium, are to be the Inhabitants of the New Earth. The Testimony of the Philosophers, and of the Christian Fathers, for the Renovation of the World. The first Proposition laid down.
The Proof of a Millennium, or of a blessed Age to come, from Scripture. A view of the Apocalypse, and of the Prophecies of Daniel, in reference to this kingdom of Christ, and of his Saints.
A view of other places of Scripture, concerning the Millennium, or future kingdom of Christ. In what sence all the Prophets have born Testimony concerning it.
The sence and testimony of the Primitive Church, concerning the Millennium, or future kingdom of Christ: from the times of the Apostles to the Nicene Council. The second Proposition laid down. When, by what means, and for what reasons, that doctrine was afterwards neglected or discountenanc’d.
The true state of the Millennium, according to Characters taken from Scripture. Some mistakes concerning it rectified.
The third Proposition laid down, concerning the Time and Place of the Millennium. Several arguments us’d to prove, that it cannot be till after the Conflagration: and that the New Heavens and New Earth are the true Seat of the Blessed Millennium.
The chief employment of the Millennium, DEVOTION and CONTEMPLATION.
Objections against the Millennium, answer’d. With some conjectures concerning the state of things after the Millennium: and what will be the final Consummation of this World.
A Review of the whole Theory.