Imágenes de páginas

Galatians, in the concluding chapter of this epistle, that he that soweth to the spirit shall of the spirit reap life everlasting, and adds, “ Let Us not be weary in well-doing: for in due season "we shall reap if we faint not.

In the other passage to which I have alluded in ch. v. 19–21 the Apostle, though not so directly as in some other of his writings, lays before the Galatians an amplified, accommodated transcript from Rev. xxi. 7, 8; for several of the works of the flesh which he enumerates, are the same as those which, in the Apocalypse, exclude from the heavenly inheritance, as fornication and idolatry, but especially Daquaxsla, rendered “ witchcraftin the common version, and its corresponding term papuaxsão s (or according to several manuscripts Paquaxoss) which in Rev. xxi. 8) the common version renders “ sorcerers. In both places the words are, in my opinion, used figuratively, and, in this sense, mean sophisticated doctrines, sophisticators of the truth.

I also strongly suspect that part of the three verses, of which I speak, should be read in parenthesis thus:—But manifest are the works of the flesh (such as these, fornication, uncleanness,

lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, fc.) which I forewarn you, as I have in time past, that they who practise such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God.” I am led to this view of the

passage, from observing, that some kind of emphasis is intended to be laid on Pavepd, “mani

fest ;" for, if not, that word is of no use. To say, simply, “ Now the works of the flesh are

manifest, which are, fornication, uncleanness," &c. is the same thing as to say, the works of the flesh are, fornication, uncleanness,&c. But to say, “MANIFEST are the works of the flesh, which, I

forewarn you, as I have before done, that they who do such things shall not INHERIT the kingdom of God,” is to refer them to some open record, in which it is expressly declared or shown or manifested, that they who do such things are excluded from that inheritance. Such I think is probably the intention of the passage; and if so, the association that has been pointed out, of these works excluding from the inheritance, will go far to prove that the Apostle had in his eye the passage that has been referred to in the Apocalypse. And this is rendered the more likely from the circumstance that he has made the same use of this passage in other epistles.

§ 11. Of Evidence furnished by the Epistles to the


In the first Epistle to the Thessalonians are several expressions, which, if we believe that the writer often has allusions to the Apocalypse in

his other epistles, we can hardly have reason to doubt have reference to the contents of that prophecy. These believers had turned to GOD from idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his son from heaven, whom he raised from the dead, Jesus who delidereth us from rñs ópriñs, rôs éprouévns THE WRATH, THE COMING [wrath] ch. i. 10. That is, they were not of the number of those who shall call to mountains and rocks to hide them from της οργής THE WRATH of the Lamb, when, the great day, rös ópyñs aútoo OF HIS WRATH, IS come. Again and again he speaks of the coming of the Lord, Jesus Christ. ii. 19, ii. 13. In the latter verse this coming is, « with all των αγίων αυτού THE HOLY ONES " of him (his sajnts)"-see Rev. ch. xx. 4: and, in the fourth chapter, he again brings to their recollection the Lord's coming, as a matter of consolation respecting those who sleep. in JESUS : " them who sleep in JESUS will God bring with

him: for this we certify to you, BY THE WORD

OF THE LORD, that we the living who remain at the coming of the LORD, shall not precede them ".who are, asleep. For THE LORD: himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an Archangel, and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in CHRIST shall rise first: then we, the living, who remain, shall be caught up together " with them in the clouds to meet the LORD in the

air : and so we shall for ever be with the Lord.” -Now all that the Apostle thus certifies, respecting the coming of CHRIST, the sound of a trumpet, and the resurrection of the dead, he does “BY

TÀE WORD OF THE LORD.” This expression deserves particular notice ; for it is a direct reference to a written record. Had the Gospel by Matthew been in existence, when this epistle was written, it might be supposed that Paul had in his mind the twenty-fourth chapter of that Gospel, ver. 31; but the prevailing opinion of Critics is, that the Epistle to the Thessalonians was written ten or twelve years before the Evangelist wrote. Even if we admit his Gospel to have been then in existence, there are circumstances in Paul's statement, respecting the resurrection, which could not be gathered, directly, from Matthew ; and Paul's previous allusion to the day of wrath, seems, plainly enough, to indicate the source whence he delivered the

· Eusebius and several later writers state the Gospel of Matthew to have been written A. D. 41, and Nicephorus places it in 49; but Irenæus, the most antient writer on sich subjects, dates it when Paul and Peter preached at Rome; that is about the year 61. Mill, Michaelis, and various critics adopt this opinion. Owen thinks it was written so early as A. D. 38; while Lardner thinks it was not written before the year 64.-The first Epistle to the Thessalonians is allowed by most critics to bave been written in the year 52.

word of the LORD.” That the trumpet of which he speaks is the seventh Apocalyptic Trumpet, receives farther confirmation from what follows, in the fifth chapter :-“Of The times AND THE PERIODS, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you ; for YOURSELVES KNOW PER

FECTLY that the day of the LORD so cometh ws

XÉTTS AS A THIEF in the night (ch. v. 1. 2). Is there no allusion here to the times and the periods explained in the Apocalypse ? And will any person, acquainted with the ancient modes of quotation, rest satisfied, that the concluding words could have been drawn from Mat. xiv, 43. (supposing that Gospel to have been then in existence), when he finds the very words in Rev. iii. 3, and xvi. 15, already applied in precisely the same manner ; whereas the casual coincidence, in the former, can only be accommodated by inference? The Apostle refers to some plain testimony; to something directly to his purpose; soinething that THEY THEMSELVES KNEW PERFECTLY: and, in v. 3, reminds them of the sudden destruction that cometh on the wicked, viz. in the great day of wrath—“ but ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that THAT DAY should overtake you us "XétTIS AS A Thief, v. 4. ... God hath not ap" pointed us to wrath, but to oblain salvation by

our Lord Jesus Christ,” v. 9.–And le concludes by praying (v. 23) that they may




« AnteriorContinuar »