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WHAT DO THE SCRIPTURES TEACH
THE SECOND COMING OF CHRIST, THE END OF THE
AND THE GENERAL JUDGMENT?
“To the Law and to the Testimony." —— Isaian viii. 20.
PHILLIPS, SAMPSON, AND COMPANY.
“One thing must at all events be true. If the Bible is not to be interpreted by the common principles of language, it cannot be interpreted at all, except by inspired
Is there any promise to the Church of such a class of interpreters? If not, then our only safety lies in adopting and following out the common, well-known, and well-established principles of interpretation. That these are violated by the extravagant and unfounded views so common at the present day, lies upon the very face of the interpretations. The main object of this little book has been, to show how they are unfounded, and why they ought to be so regarded. And now I appeal to the sober judgment of every unprejudiced reader, and ask him the question, Am I not in the right, in insisting that all designations of time should be interpreted according to their obvious meaning, when no good reason can be given why we should depart from this? Are not the historical facts that I have adduced as the fulfilment of events predicted as true to the representations in the prophecies as other fulfilments to which we usually appeal? If so, why should we not be satisfied with them? Why should we persevere in looking to centuries in advance for fulfilment of that, respecting which it is repeatedly and solemnly declared, that it shall take place SPEEDILY." - PROFESSOR STUART, Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy, p. 144.
Entered according to Act of Congress, in the year 1849, by Alpheus Crosby, in the
Clerk's Office of the District Court of the District of New Hampshire.
The following Essay was originally read before an association of gentlemen. In accordance with a wish expressed by some friends, it has been since revised and enlarged, and is now offered to the public. “It will answer the end proposed, if it should be the means of leading some to a renewed investigation, þy the light of the Scriptures, of subjects of vast importance, and, it is believed, very extensively misunderstood. To borrow the language of the venerated Professor STUART at the close of his valuable 6 Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy," —
“If the sober and considerate portion of our religious community can be persuaded to give some
due attention to this subject, and to insist on the all application of sound principles to all prophetic ex
egesis, an important end will be answered. If others more capable than myself, and who have more
6 Ag. 42
leisure, can be roused up to pursue the investigations which are here but imperfectly commenced, and to expose any errors, or confirm any truths, which have now been suggested, this little book will not have been written in vain.”
This quotation, and that upon the reverse of the title-page, seem to me none the less pertinent from their having been originally written with reference, not to the particular points discussed in the following Essay, but to others to which the same principles of interpretation apply.
It will be observed, that, in accordance with the motto, “To the Law and to the Testimony," this Essay is composed in great measure of quotations from the Scriptures. An Appendix is now added, consisting of extracts from distinguished theological writers, with some remarks. The authors, to whom I am indebted for these extracts, are Professors Woods, STUART, and Park, of Andover; Professor ROBINSON, of New York ; Professor Stowe, of Lane Seminary; John ROBINSON, the Father of Congregationalism; Dr. Watts; Bishops WARBURTON and HORSLEY; and the well-known Commentators, LIGHTFOOT, GILL, MACKNIGHT, Scott, CLARKE, and BARNES.