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Zech. viii. 3. That as “ the city and the Sanctuary” were really destroyed by “ the people of the prince” who came to execute the vengeance of God, so will the House of the Lord of hosts “ be built” again, when he is “ returned to Jerusalem with mercies.Dan. is. 26. Zech. i. 16. That as really as his disciples “hid their faces from him" in the hour of his distress, shall “many people and strong nations come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord.” Is. liii. 2. Zech. viii. 22. That as, on Calvary, he really “made his soul an offering for sin,” so will he reign“ in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously." Is. liii. 10. xxiv. 23.

What valid reason can be offered for putting a spiritual interpretation on the one class of predictions, in the above series, which was not extended to the other ? Notwithstanding of the unbelief of the Jews, those concerning his sufferings and death were fulfilled to the very letter; and what is there in the language of the other which should induce us to adopt a system of interpretation so opposite in its nature? This mode of spiritualizing certain prophecies appears the more exceptionable when we perceive, that while one clause of a sentence is allowed to have a literal signification, another is understood spiritually, although there be nothing observable which can direct to such a change-the system being still farther encumbered by the difficulty of managing certain portions which will in no way bend to such accommodation as it requires. Have we then no reason to fear that in thus introducing an unauthorized system of prophetic interpretation, we may be ' teaching for doctrines, the commandments of men ?" Instead, therefore, of unreasonably persisting in adherence to such opinions, and putting upon Prophecy a meaning it cannot bear, let us inquire whether the more natural and the more obvious sense be not that which the Spirit of God designed. The answer to this inquiry may perhaps be read in the fact, that Prophecy has hitherto been fulfilled in its proper sense ;

while the consequences of abandoning this mode of interpretation by the Jews, form a beacon which ought ever to be kept in view. By overlooking the plain declarations of his sufferings and death, they would not receive the despised Nazarene as their anointed Lord. Let us not, in defiance of their punishment, reject the more

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numerous declarations of his coming and kingdom in glory. Let Christians attend to the lofty descriptions of the holy prophets—let them weigh their united evidence--let them examine the multitude of these predictions, and the sublimity which pervades them-let them consider the harmony with which they all bear testimony to His Coming and abiding with his people--and let them then reflect whether it is probable that all these promises, clear as they seem, and literally as prophecy has hitherto been fulfilled, do not in reality imply, and afford evidence of the truth of Christ's personal reign on earth during the Millennium,

SECTION XVII.

VIEWS OF BELIEVERS, IN THE APOSTOLIC AGE, CON

CERNING THE MILLENNIAL KINGDOM.

To those who oppose the above views of the Messiah's reign, it ought certainly to appear a singular omission that there should not be found in all the

Epistles of the inspired apostles, nor in the writings of the Evangelists, the slightest reference to a period of such unparalleled purity and peace as the Old Testament Prophecies every where represent as still to be enjoyed upon the earth. Yet in the New Testament, so interwoven are the intimations of the Coming of the Lord and Resurrection of the saints with all reference to the Millennium, that if these events are placed after that happy time, then undeniably there is not the most distant allusion unto it. If Paul refers to the Millennium as the period when the sons of Abraham shall be again graffed into their own olive, “and so all Israel shall be saved," it is when - The Deliverer shall come out of Zion.” Rom. xi. 26. If Peteralludes to the Millennium as the times of the restitution of all things,” he asserts that then the Lord “shall send Jesus Christ.” Acts iii. 17, 20. If the same apostle refers to the Millennium when the promise of God uttered by Isaiah should be fulfilled, of “new heavens and a new earth,” when Jerusalem shall be created a joy, and her people a rejoicing; still with these new, heavens, and this new earth "wherein dwelleth righteousness,"our views are again

directed to the coming of the day of God," which a day
of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” 2 Pet. iii.
10-13. If our Lord himself points to the restoration of
Israel at the Millennium when he calls upon the Jews then to
“ look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption
draweth nigh,” it is when the signs preceding His “com-
ing in a cloud,” begin to come to pass. Luke xxi. 27, 28.
Or if he alludes to the Millennial Kingdom which the God
of heaven shall set up at the destruction of Antichrist, when
"the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the king-
dom, under the whole heaven, shall be given to the saints of the
Most High ;" still this“ kingdom of God is nigh at hand
only, when the indications of His Return are observable.
Dan. vii. 27. Luke xxi. 27-31. Or if Paul speaks of the
destruction of the Man of sin,' which shall immediately

precede the Millennium, he asserts that him shall the Lord 6 " destroy with the brightness of His coming.2 Thess.

ii. 8. Does the same apostle again allude to the change upon the Inferior creation at the Millennial periòd, as the removal of a burden they have been made to endure ?-still

" the earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the ima manifestation of the sons of God....waiting for the adopbition, the redemption of our body.'

If such predictions really contain allusions to the Milleneuren nium, so also are they intimately connected with the Sae di viour's Return and resurrection of His saints. But if these (is do not contain allusions to the Millennium, then are there free no references to it in either the Gospels or Epistles. And

can it be believed that these should be wholly destitute of allusion to a glory which all the prophets have announced, and of which prophetic Bards have sung in strains of highest rapture—the contemplation of which sustained them while

pourtraying the dismal scenes which had to intervené - to picture forth which, images the most splendid have been temployed-whose distant prospect cheered the heart of

many an aged pilgrim, and its certain bequest to a muchloved offspring soothed his dying hour ? It is altogether incredible, that themes which wakened every holy harp,

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* These passages are here brought together merely for the purpose of showing their connections. All of them will afterwards be more particularly examined, and their evidence bemorefully elicited, when individually made the subject of future consideration.

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and prospects which were held out to the faith of believers from earliest time, as the consolation of a suffering church, should have been either unprized or unnecessary at period so much nearer its commencement. There is no room to question, no reason to doubt, that they both saw and rejoiced in the coming glory. With the Return of that Master for whom they took joyfully the spoiling of their goods, and in testimony to whose Messiahship they cheerfully laid down their lives, they beheld the realization of the Church's hopes, and the establishment of the predicted "kingdom." They knew that the heavens had received their Lord only until the times of the restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth all his holy prophets since the world began;" for unto them was "made known the mystery of God's will according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, that, in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one all things in Christ, both which are in heaven and which are on earth.” Acts iii. 21. Ephes. i. 9, 10. . To his Return, then, was their faith continually directed, and for this they vebemently longed. The bright visions of futurity had neither been withdrawn nor had they lost their interest, but were all to be realized in the glorious day of their returning Lord.

This view may be shown to be in perfect accordance with the declarations of the Saviour and of his apostles. It has been already seen that the prophets hold out the prospect of One who shall redeem Israel from all the evils to which they have been exposed--from bondage as well as from sin. They expatiate with delight, and in the loftiest language, on the dignity of his person, the power he shall possess, the homage he shall receive, and the extent and happiness of his kingdom. And whatever interpretation we may now choose to put upon such predictions, it i, known to all, that, .at the period of our Lord's incarnation, the Jews were in expectation of a glorious Deliverer, who should restore them to independence, and reign over them in Zion. With the great majority, this mistake had a twofold origin. They were unwilling to receive a suffering Messiah--and they applied to their times predictions which had no reference unto them. They were ignorant of their need of a Mediator, and they desired an immediate ful

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filment of prophecies which related, as we have seen, to a period after they should have been dispersed into all naa

This last mistake, however, was not peculiar to those by whom he was rejected, but was entertained by His disciples, and even by His apostles, till the very last hour of his abode among them. Their receiving Him in his humility; as the promised Messiah, did not lead them to a renunciation of their hopes that he would yet take to him his great power and reign. The angel who had been sent to the blessed virgin with the glad tidings of his birth, assured her that “the Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end."

Luke i. 32. Notwithstanding, therefore, of his present humilEity, they still looked for the establishment of his kingdom; and when, on one occasion, He was nigh to Jerusalem,

they thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear," the Saviour spake a parable to correct to their mistake. Luke xix. 11. This parable of “ a certain

nobleman who went into a far country to receive a kingdom and to return,” while it proves their error with respect to the time of Christ's establishing his visible kiny.

dom, left them every reason to conclude that they were is perfectly right in the substance of their expectations-the

fulfilment of all the promises made in their favour by the prophets, when unto them “shall it come, even the first dominion; the Kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jeru

salem ;” and when “the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount A Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before his ancients gloriously."

The establishment of that kingdom which they thought es should immediately appear " the Saviour gave them reason to expect when he shall“ return,having obtained the kingdom he has gone to receive. It deserves to be noticed, also, that the case of a nobleman going into a far country, intrusting his servants with money that they may testify their love by a right occupation of his property in the interval, and returning after he has received a kingdom, -suggests an idea of subsequent continued residence which ill comports with the views generally entertained of Christ's coming merely for the purpose of pronouncing sentence upon all. The parable distinctly intimates, that, after a certain time, the Saviour will return to the possess

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