« AnteriorContinuar »
1 Thessalonians n. 12, 13. The Lord make you, &c., at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints.
This is parallel with Zech. xiv. 5, as above. See also 1 Pet. Iv. 13.
“ A respectable writer has disparaged the importance of the Second Advent, on the ground that St. Paul, when writing to the Corinthians, determined to know nothing but Jesus Christ, and him crucified : leaving us to infer, that the mere circumstance of the crucifixion and the doctrine of the atonement, were all which he resolved to bring forward among them. It is not a little remarkable, that in this very Epistle he praises these same Corinthians, 'because they came behind in no gift, waiting for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ;' (chap. 1. 7;) he upbraids them for not remembering that the saints shall judge the world;' (chap. vi. 1, 2;) and one whole chapter of it, (one of the longest in the Testament,) chap. xv., is devoted to an exposition of the order and nature of the resurrection, concerning which he says, 'that if the dead are not to rise, then are they perished ! (ver. 18.) These passages prove, beyond a reasonable question, that much more is involved in the preaching of a crucified Saviour than the one single fact of the death of Jesus: were we to keep to this only, we must exclude regeneration, sanctification, election, the judgment, and many other topics, which (like the Advent, and resurrection, and reign of the saints) though intimately connected with the atonement, may, nevertheless, be distinguished from it.”*
“ The First Advent of Jesus must not be preached alone, it must not be disjointed from the Second..... It is strongly impressed on my mind, that it has been
* Abdiel's Essays:-See Supplement, No. XIII.
through the separating of these-the crown from the cross --the Second from the First Advent—that Christendom has been reduced to that pass to which it has arrived. Men have lost sight of the glorious coming of the Son of God, bringing his salvation with him; and, by so doing, have alienated their minds from the fear and love of Christ. ..: As I stand at the cross, I would evermore be looking at the crown, to remind me of the end my Saviour had in dying for me--that the redemption and glorification of my nature was the object contemplated and achieved in his death. Thus regarding them as cause and effect, the one would work the other. The cross calls forth my gratitude, as I look to the glory it has procured. But separated from this view, it fails to produce its intended effect. Considered and eyed apart from the recompence it has purchased, it is exceedingly heavy and burdensome.”*
“ The Second Advent of Christ will be the appearing of the great God.' At his First Advent, he was indeed. God manifest in the flesh;' but it required a spiritual eye to discover his glory, the glory as of the only begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth.' He had then no external
form nor comeliness. He was a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief.' Everything to the mere carnal and worldly eye, conspired to render him unattractive.... But at his second coming it will be otherwise. ... His Deity will be manifested to every beholder, . . . for he will come in his own glory, and in his Father's glory,' and it will be seen that they are essentially 'one.'
“A Millennial kingdom, without the presence of the King, has been held forth as the hope of the church, and the end of their missionary labours."
* Rev. R. S. Maitland.
"But let it be examined whether or not "the premillennial personal Advent of our Lord is a doctrine of Scripture, and if found true, let it be faithfully and clearly próclaimed. Many now discourse of the Second Advent of the Saviour, but in so loose and indefinite a manner, that it is difficult to know whether they mean to teach to be looking for it at the commencement or close of the Millennium. But this is an uncertain sound, which will be wholly ineffectual. The coming of Christ will certainly not take place during the Millennium, and, therefore, it must be either at the beginning or the close, and every Christian minister should therefore take heed to speak on this subject, ' as the oracles of God,' if he would indeed stir up believers to be looking for the blessed hope and glorious appearing spoken of. The neglect of this subject I consider to be the chief cause of all the disorders now existing in the spiritual church; and a due attention to it, I solemnly believe, to be the only effectual remedy to heal them.”*
We have now furnished our readers with a full confutation of the principal arguments advanced against the doctrine in question. There are a few others very trivial, and unworthy of notice. • We refer to the Supplement, No. XIV., for some useful observations relative to that important passage, Matt. xxiv. 14: “ This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.”
From the system pursued throughout this work, it will be perceived that we think it is rather by a constant pre
* Rev. ('. S. Hawtrey.
paredness for, than from any immediate expectation of “ the glorious appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ,” that the present generation should be actuated to "love" and contemplate it in all its bearings and results. Ever watchful against the increasing vices of the times, our chief anxiety should be, to discountenance, so far as possible, the peculiar opposition to Christian principles which so awfully prevails. Not to mention the various orders of infidelity, we would observe that this opposition is particularly exhibited by the Neologists of Germany, the St. Simonians of France, and the Owenites of England. A multiplicity of publications prove that the tide of infidelity is constantly rising, and occasionly rolls on with fearful impetuosity. But for a more particular consideration of these “scoffers of the last times” we refer our readers to Chapter IV.
ON THE SEPARATE STATE.
THERE are comparatively few portions of Scripture which afford us light respecting the nature of the soul's separate existence. Our chief object, therefore, is to present a view of the difference which subsists between that state and that of the saints at the First Resurrection.
So generally have the Christian churches rejected the distinction made between these doctrines in Scripture, that when we speak of the departure of a fellow mortal, a reference to Revelation becomes necessary to prove that we contemplate the departed soul as neither in heaven nor hell, (i. e., Gehenna, the place of the wicked,) but in Hades, the place of departed spirits: also, that “the ancient doctrine concerning Hell or Hades, does not limit it to a place of torment, as is generally intended by the word Hell, in common use, but includes the state of disembodied spirits, both of the righteous and the wicked. “ The receptacle of the righteous is called Paradise; the receptacle of the wicked is called Tartarus. The phrase is in 2 Peter 11. 4: · Cast into Hell,' which, in the original, is · Cast into Tartarus.
“ The intermediate state of the soul has occupied much of the attention of Christian divines. The place of de