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blessed sense, “when the times of Refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord,” He will then send unto them that Jesus whom they formerly despised, and refused to acknowledge as the Anointed One.* The Lord seems to allude to his rejection by backsliding Israel when he says by the mouth of the prophet Hosea, " They will not frame their doings to turn unto their God, for the spirit of whoredoms is in the midst of them, and they have not known the Lord, and the pride of Israel doth testify to his face; therefore shall Israel and Ephraim fall in their iniquity; Judah also shall fall with them. They shall go with their flocks and with their herds to seek the Lord; but they shall not find him; he hath withdrawn himself from them.... I will go and return to my place till they acknowledge their offence and seek my face.Hos. v. 4, 5, 6, 15. “Repent ye therefore and be converted,” says

• By connecting them with the period when “all nations shall serve and obey" the Lord, Dr Hamilton seems to admit (p. 136) that “the times of Refreshing” are those of the Millennium, but afterwards introduces (p. 161) a long quotation from Mr. Faber, in which, by an elaborate but unavailing criticism on the word “Restitution,' be endeavours to evade the force of the passage. If Mr. Faber had attended to the fact, that “when the times of Refreshing shall come,” Jesus is to be sent, it might have prevented his embarking in the hopeless enterprize of explaining away the meauing of the Greek word translated Restitution, the derivation of which secures its signification. If he admits—which it is scarcely possible he should deny—that “the times of Refreshing” refer to the Restoration of Israel to the favour of God, at the Millennium, there is no escaping from the conclusion, that then is the time of Christ's return. Even if his trivial objection to Mede's construc, tion were just, wbich is not admitted, it may at once be obviated by substituting the word “ announced” for “spoken,” which the original fully admits. See Parkhurst.

The rendering of this passage, in the authorized version, is most ably vindicated in Mr. Cunninghame's “Critical Examination" of some of Mr. Faber's Fundamental Principles of Prophetic Interpretation," and in Mr. Drummond's Letter to Dr. Hamilton. Mr. Mason does justice to our Translation, and says, (Gentiles' Fulness, p. 201,) " the word in the Greek is literally and most properly rendered" Restitution. But in quoting the passage, he stops short at the "restitution of all things,” and applies this to “the time of the last judgment,” and “the end of all things." But the mere quotation of the remainder of the sentence is sufficient to exclude this idea, and to prove that the apostle referred to the Millenniumthat being the only " Restitution of all things which God hath spo. ken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began."

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the apostle, “that your sins may be blotted out when the times of Refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and He shall send Jesus Christ which before was preached unto you."

The apostle Paul writing to the saints in Rome, and treating expressly of the conversion of Israel, says, “I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, (lest ye should be wise in your own conceits,) that blindness, in part, is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles he come in. And so all Israel shall be saved; as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob; for this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins," Rom. xi. 25—27. As in the gospel by Luke, our Lord, in predicting his return, declared that Jérusa.. lem should first be “ trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled," so the apostle here intimates that the blindness of Israel will continue till the fulness of the Gentiles be come in,” when “ the Deliverer shall come out of Zion.”* He quotes from the prophecy of Isaiah, “ And the Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto

* Mr. Mason supposes that because the apostle says, (using the language of the Greek translation by the Seventy,) the Deliverer shall come out of Zion, it cannot mean a literal advent: (Gentiles' Fulness, p. 187.) But heaven is, by way of figure, sometimes called Zion in Scripture, as in the following passage, referring to the same advent : “ The Lord said unto my Lord, sit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool. The Lord shall send the Rod of thy Strength out of Žion ; rule thou in the midst of thine enemies. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness from the womb of the morning." Ps. cx. 1-3. But the passage would not accord with Mr. Mason's opinion, even if “ gospel Zion” were understood. For while he would thus make the Spirit come to the church, the apostle says the Deliverer shall come out of Zion. And as the prophet was no less inspired than the apostle, the view taken of the language as quoted by Paul, must be in consistency with Isaiah's prediction. Were this the only passage in which Christ's return at the commencement of the Milennium was declared--and if it was either of difficult interpretation, or when so understood appeared in opposition to other scriptures some liberty might then be allowed in putting upon it şuch a construction as the necessities of the case might demand. But surely where there is such a barmony of Scriptural Evidence centering in the same point, such an explanation is not more unnecessary than it would be unsatisfactory.

them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord." Is. lix. 20. Here the promise is that He will come to Zion, and unto them that do turn from transgression; but Paul, quoting from the Greek Translation of the Old Testament, (then in common use,) has made an accommodation of the passage. Both the prophet and the apostle, how-, ever, explicitly announce the coming of the Redeemer at the period of Israel's conversion ; and while the one predicts His coming to the earthly Zion, the other assures us of his return from the heavenly Zion, under the pledge of God's covenant with then.

The long-desolate state of Israel, without a prince among them, is predicted by the prophet Ezekiel, while he also points to its termination : “And thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end; Thus saith the Lord God, Remove the diadem, and take off the crown ; this shall not be the same; exalt him that is low, and abase him that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it, and it shall be no more, until He. come whose right it is; and I will give it Him.Ezek. xxi. 25–27, " Then the moon shall be confounded, and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, and before His ancients gloriously.” Is. xxiv. 23.

SECTION XIX.

NEW TESTAMENT PREDICTIONS OF CHRIST'S RETURN

AT THE DESTRUCTION OF ANTICHRIST.

BEFORE the Millennium, Antichrist, we are assured, will be destroyed; and we have the express declaration of Paul that this is to be completely effected by the coming of Christ. In his first epistle to the Church at Thessalonica, the apostle had expressed joy in their having "turned from idols to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from heaven.1 Thess. i. 9. He had exhorted them to" walk worthy of God,” who had called them “unto His kingdom and glory." (ii. 12.) He had regarded them as his hope, and joy, and crown of rejoicing, " in the presence of our Lord Jesus Christ, at his coming." (ii. 19.)

He had prayed that the Lord would establish their hearts "unblameable in holiness, before God, even our Father, at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his: saints.(iii. 13.) He had farther comforted them con. cerning the death of their believing friends, by the assurance that those who “ sleep in Jesus will God bring with Him.” (iv. 14.) He had reminded them, that, to those who expect Him not, “ the day of the Lord cometh as a thief in the night," although of “the times and seasons” be needed not to write unto them, for they were not in darkness that that day should overtake them as a thief; for which reason he exhorted them to.watch and be sober,” (v. 1-6.) And, finally, he had prayed that they should " be preserved blameless, unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ." (v. 23.)

By thus glancing at these several allusions in his first short epistle, we are better prepared to understand the apostle's design in the second. 'For, by the earnestness and the frequency with which he had thus urged the coming of Christ

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the attention of the Thessalonian churcb, and probably from the statements of others, they had been thrown into some degree of perturbation, supposing that glorious event just about to be realized.* Paul seems to have written his second epistle solely with a view to correct the mistake into which they had fallen. He first vindicates God for rewarding his servants and punishing his enemies "with everlasting destruction from the presence of

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• When Dr. Hamilton wishes to repel Mr. Cunninghame's argument from Matt. xxiv. he affirms (p. 261,) that the coming of our Lord was at the destruction of Jerusalem: but when he would deride the premature expectations of the church at Thessalonica, he does not forget (p. 12,) that His coming was to be preceded by the treading down of Jerusalem, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled; although he elsewhere maintains (p. 250,) that His coming was to be followed by that calamity. Truly it is not surprising that the laborious minuteness of a certain Millenarian writer, in occupying a number of pages with arguments to determine the proper punctuation of a Scripture text, should appear ridiculous to an author, whọ thus, with so much ease-neither assigning a reason, nor offering an apology—can place the same event at two different periods distant from each other 1800 years, as he finds the necessities of his argument may require. The Doctor's mode, it will be acknowledged, is the easier and more summary of the two, but to those who sincerely desire to know the mind of the Spirit, (to which it is desirable that he had more frequently attended,) it will not always prove the most satisfactory.

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the Lord, and from the glory of His power, when he comes to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired of all them that believe.He then proceeds in the beginning of the second chapter to address them, with earnestness and affection, on the time of the Saviour's advent: “Now, we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto Him, that ye be not soon shaken in mind or troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand,” or, instantly, as EVED TIMEY ought to be rendered. With this view of the apostle's design we can never suppose that he now refers to any other than that " coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints,"? to which he alluded in his former epistle. Whatever anxiety some may evince to escape from the force of the passage by supposing a “spiritual advent,” the real nature

of this coming is already too evident to admit of its being $ so explained away. But palpable as the apostle's mean& ing now is, the argument to be derived from his after s statement acquires additional strength, by the consideration es that inte, here translated “by" the coming of our Lord,

” i ought to be rendered “of” or “concerning" His coming, :

Parkhurst, thus correcting the translation of this passage, refers to Whitby and Macknight, among others, as authority-commentators who will not readily be suspected of Millenarian tendencies. This correction gives an entirely different view of the verse, as, without the slightest reference to the context, it clearly demonstrates that the subject of which the apostle expressly wrote was " concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him,” which admits of no spiritual interpretation. Independently, indeed, of this correction, the meaning may be easily ascertained and established. It is evident it could not be the day of their death which the apostle contemplated, else he could have given them ng assurance that any previous time should certainly elapse, still less that it would not take place till the destruction of Antichrist. It could not be merely the more general diffusion of the influences of the Spirit in the church or in the world, for this would have occasioned them no trou. ble,” And it was no other than the personal coming of the Lord, Pespecting the time of which the believing Thessalonians had fallen into mistake, and concerning which

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