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    PREFACE

    This is more than a second edition or revision of the former work on the Kingdom of God. One entire chapter (III) has been added, and the rest of it has been mostly rewritten.RDAC 3.1

    The contents of the former book were written as a series of articles for the Review and Herald, without much regard to order, and without any idea of making a book. Circumstances made it just what it was, both in form and style. It has been the aim in this edition to make it less controversial in style; but the nature of the subject, and the necessity which called it into being, have prevented any great success in that respect. Wherever it was possible, it has been condensed and abridged, so as to add where it seemed necessary without greatly enlarging the book.RDAC 3.2

    Since the first publication of that series of articles, which was more than fifteen years ago, we have endeavored to keep watch of the advocacy of the Age to Come, and can safely say it has made no advance in either clearness or strength of argument. Within that time, Messrs. Stephenson and Reed have each published a pamphlet on the subject; and they have not even noticed our objections to their positions, or our direct arguments by which we claim that the fallacy of the Age to Come is clearly shown. Their works are just what they might and could have written before this controversy commenced-before any effort had been made to show that theirs was a system of error. We have honestly endeavored to examine their strongest arguments, and can confidently say, We have presented their strongest points to our readers, while they do not let their readers know that their positions have ever been reviewed. We leave all to judge for themselves why they pursue this course.RDAC 3.3

    The more we examine the subject, the more we are impressed with the conviction that the current theory of the Age to Come is not only a useless, but a dangerous, doctrine. Its own advocates confess that it is useless, inasmuch as its benefits are not for those who hear the gospel in this age; it is not a present test. But all can see that it is therefore injurious, because it diverts the mind from present duty.RDAC 4.1

    The Saviour prayed for his disciples, that they might be sanctified through the truth; and his apostle says the soul is purified in obeying the truth. Let us then all search out the truth that is to be obeyed, that is a present test of character, that we may be sanctified in this life, and finally have right to the tree of life, and enter in through the gates into the city. Revelation 22:14.RDAC 4.2

    J. H. W.
    Burlington, Mich., 1872.

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