« AnteriorContinuar »
ferences of the Prophetic Inquirer. ency. It shall be my attempt then It may be my feebleness of appre- to prove, that the opinions which hension which hinders me from are held by some modern Millenat once yielding to them; for I am narians are unscriptural, or at least perfectly contented to rank myself very doubtful. To the Jews, who among the moles and bats alluded looked for a temporal Messiah, to by 22. But for that reason I am Christ declared, “My kingdom is not only the more desirous to be en- of this world" and no supposition lightened, and shall truly welcome
can be more visionary than that any suggestions which may help the glorified saints should leave their to dissipate my darkness. The abode in heaven, and again inhabit Inquirer will do me the justice to this lower world, which would be a observe, that I do not deny the diminution of their bliss, so long as personal advent of our Saviour sin in any degree, and therefore before the Millennium; though I imperfection, should be permitted have not yet learned to feel the to exist; for we are told, that, even force of the arguments by which, after this golden age of Christianity, in his six inferences, he seeks to an almost universal apostacy will prove that doctrine. If he will take place. Still more incongruous either put them in a more convinc- would it be, that the Saviour biming point of view, or suggest others, self, after having taken upon hina the
cogency of which I may be bet- the nature of man, and having acter qualified to discern, I shall be complished the object of bis incartruly thankful for his instruction. nation and suffering, and having
D. D. ascended on high, there to reap the
fruits of his victory over sin and THOUGHTS ON THE MILLENNIUM. death, should again resign his seat
to which he has been exalted at the Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer.
right hand of his Father. Such a The question of prophetic inquiry method of procedure is contradictory is one which of late has so much to the whole scheme of God's proagitated, and continues to agitate, vidence in the church, and, if such a the mind of the religious public, term may be employed, is a bathos that I venture to offer a few sug- in divinity. As any individual memgestions respecting it. When mi- ber of Christ's mystical body, who nisters preach from the pulpit, and has made the highest attainments in publish in print, that after the lapse holiness, is only comparatively holy of a few years the Saviour will pere so long as he remains in the presonally descend upon earth, and the sent life, so the state of the church dead bodies of the saints will arise collectively will be only compato reign with him for the space of a ratively blessed, during the Milthousand years, and that there will lennial period, in a more purified at that time be a renovation of the existence than it has ever previnatural world ; and when the com- ously enjoyed. The Millennium, mencement of this event is defi-. therefore, without derogating from nitively fixed, it surely becomes a its glory, will resemble only the subject for the serious consideration threshold of the palace, the inof the private Christian. Though closure of the holy city, or the preit be allowed that such views may parations of the bride for the mar. be harmlessly, if temperately, enter- riage-supper of the Lamb. That tained, yet, when they are enforced the first resurrection alluded to by with the same authority as the grand St. John, in Rev. xx, has a spiritual truths of Revelation, and when their and not a literal signification, may rejection is almost deemed a heresy, be reasonably inferred, not only it is to be apprehended that they because the souls of the saints are may be gaining an undue ascende mentioned without reference to their bodies, and because the style least immediately succeed each of the whole book is figurative, and other; and through the whole of this from an examination of the context, chapter we shall perceive, that he an explanation of which the reader is speaking of one literal resurrecmay see in the commentaries of tion, which shall take place “ at the Scott, Brown, Doddridge, Henry, last trump." Again, in 1 Thess. and Guyse, but also from its com- iv. 13, he is endeavouring to adparison with other parts of the minister consolation to mourners sacred volume. In John v. 25, we who had been bereaved of their reread, “ Verily, verily, I say unto latives. “ For we say unto you, by you, The hour is coming, and now is, the word of the Lord, that we which when the dead shall hear the voice are alive, and remain unto the com. of the Son of God; and they that ing of the Lord, shall not prevent hear shall live.” That Christ here them which are asleep: for the Lord refers to a resurrection from sin, is himself shall descend from heaven evident from his speaking in the with a shout, with the voice of the present tense, now is,” as well as archangel, and with the trump of in the future, “the hour is coming,” God; and the dead in Christ shall and from the agreement of the verse rise first: then we which are alive, with the preceding, “Verily, verily, and remain, shall be caught up toI say unto you, He that heareth my gether with them in the clouds, to word, and believeth on him that meet the Lord in the air, and so sent me, hath everlasting life; and shall we be ever with the Lord.” shall not come into condemnation, That this passage relates to the but is passed from death unto life.” consummation of all
things, is clear; The first and spiritual resurrection is for it is expressly affirmed that the here contrasted with the second and saints shall be ever with the Lord literal resurrection, which is de- above, and therefore by no interscribed in the following verses: pretation can denote that they shall “ The hour is coming in which all reign with him below. It is more that are in the grave shall hear his than probable that the scene of the voice, and shall come forth ; they last judgment will be in the air or that have done good unto the re- clouds, or in some portion of the surrection of life, and they that have universe which is intermediate bedone evil unto the resurrection of tween heaven and earth; and the damnation.” In Rom. xi. 15, St. Apostle seems to make use of this Paul observes of the Jews, who will language, as if it would detract from be recalled prior to the Millennium, the dignity of the person, and the “For if the casting away of them be sublimity of the subject, to conceive the reconciling of the world, what that the Being who, though once shall the receiving of them be, but “despised and rejected of men, ” life from the dead ?" by which we will then manifest himself in the may understand that they will be character of a glorified Sovereign, aroused from spiritual slumber; “ with ten thousand of his saints to and which answers to the vision execute judgment upon all,” should of dry bones in Ezek. xxxvii. In ever again stoop so low as to set his 1 Cor. xv, the Apostle is opposing foot upon this globe. Had any other some who denied the resurrection literal resurrection been contemof the dead: “Every man in his own plated by the Apostle, he would no. order; Christ the first fruits, after- doubt have insisted on it specifically ward they that are Christ's at his in writing to the Corinthians and coming: then cometh the end, when Thessalonians; in the one case, as he shall have delivered up the king- an additional argument, if it were dom to God, even the Father.” needed, to confute gainsayers, and, Here, the “ coming of Christ," and in the other, if agreeable to the " the end,” are synchronical, or at Divine will, as a fresh source of
comfort to the afflicted. We read ON THE SECOND ADVENT. in the Old Testament of Christ's
Tothe Editorofthe Christian Observer. appearance to Jacob in the form of an angel, wrestling with him ; There are probably but few Mil. and on another occasion in the lenarians of the present day, who fiery furnace; both which appear- would agree in “ Omega’s” stateances were prior to his humiliation; ment of their expectations (Christ. but since his ascension into heaven Observ. Oct. p. 597) of "a reign in we do not find that he has ever been the city to be literally let down out personally visible upon earth, which of heaven." I am no believer in is a ground for believing that he will such a city, nor indeed in a reign never again so appear. The present of " a thousand years” only. That aspect of affairs would lead us to period very possibly means the “one conclude, without transgressing the great day of the Lord,” as Mede bounds of sobriety, that we are on supposes, bounded by the first and the eve of important events; and limited by the second judgment; that “the sure word of prophecy, but, to reconcile it with the chronowhereunto we do well to take heed, logical periods of Daniel, is probably as unto a light that shineth in a dark more limited in time than a thou. place,” will receive its gradual ful. sand natural years. If considered filment. By the expression,"
its symbolical character, it must ing of the Lord,” which is used by be understood as “the great and David, Isaiah, Zechariah, Malachi, terrible day of the Lord,” “ the day and by Christ himself and his which cometh as a thief in the night, Apostles, seems primarily intended both of Peter and St. John, or else his providential coming in the in- must be taken as a prophetical fiction of judgments upon the ene- period in the sense of all other mies of the church, and in its in- chronological periods, and as meancrease by the out-pouring of the ing 360,000 years. It is more reaHoly Spirit. As he may be said to sonable however to conclude with have come at the destruction of Daniel, that “ Blessed is he that Jerusalem and the calling of the cometh to the thousand three hun. Gentiles, and in the deliverance of dred and five and thirty days," and his people from Pagan persecution in to assume that the two judgments the reign of Constantine, and in the which the prophet denounces of the subsequent propagation of the Gos- Papal and Mohammedan powers, pel, which were attended with great precede the expiration of those days; opposition from satan, in like manner and as Daniel speaks of no subsewill he come in the dissolution of the quent judgment, that the glory and Papal and Mohammedan powers, blessedness of the last days will be the conversion of the Heathen and everlasting ; and the kingdom be Jewish nations, and the peaceful possessed “ for ever, even for ever establishment of his kingdom, when and ever;" or literally, that “ they Jews and Gentiles “ shall be one shall possess the kingdom until the fold, and there shall be one Shep- world, and the world of worlds ;" herd;" which are all typical of his a kingdom coeval with the reign of first coming in person at the last day the King of kings, and Lord of to pass sentence on the righteous lords," or Prince of princes, or God and the wicked ; at which coming of gods, and therefore eternal; as “ the heavens being on fire shall be both Nebuchadnezzar and Darius, dissolved, and the elements shall taught by the Spirit of God, in opmelt with fervent heat: nevertheless position to their own kingdoms, now, according to his promise, look have declared it. we for a new heaven and a new earth, But I would justify the Millewherein dwelleth righteousness. narians in their belief of an extra
F. S. ordinary dispensation beyond the
power of human achievement, and is therefore more probable that he therefore properly said to be “ from ascended also in the glory of the heaven;" * a kingdom cut out with- Father; that is, transfigured before out hands," superseding the ino. them, and that when He comes the narchies of the world, as do “ the second time, it will be as
66 the new heaven and new earth” those Shechinah," and not visibly in huof the old dispensation which “pass
man form. away and are no more found;" or, to The prophecy by Ezekiel of a divest them of their symbolical ap- new and a future dispensation-as pellations, as does “ the great and appears evident from the distribution holy empire ” succeed to the do- of the land, the dedication of “ the minion of the "
great Roman em- holy portion" by the twelve tribes, pire” and “ the great papal em- and the new law, temple, and city, pire ;" the “ great and holy city" the children of Israel having then uniting in itself the conjoint symbols put away their abominations from of both the other cities. Some of them, however carnal such sugthe sentiments of Ben Ezra's vo- gestions may appear to
some lumes, lately translated and re- minds -seems to favour this view published by Mr. Irving, from which of the subject; as “the glory of “ Oniega" seems to have collected the Lord' then comes by the his opinions of the Millenarians way of the East, and “the earth (though the work is in many respects shined with his glory.”. This admirable), are not perhaps tenable “ glory of the Lord
did not on Scripture grounds; nor are they enter the second temple, but canheld by all those, or perhaps any of not, when it does come, be disthose, who avow themselves Mille. tinguished from “ the Shechinah” narians.
of the temple of Solomon. With the views of “ A Propheti- The reference to Zech. xii. 9, 10, cal Inquirer" I generally coincide; after the restoration of Judah (not but there are some difficulties con- of the Tribes), and after the delivernected with “ the second personal ance from the assault of all nations advent of our Lord,” which seem to which come up against Jerusalem, have escaped the range of his com- may be deemed a declaration of prehensive mind. Of the second what shall take place, rather than a personal advent, I do not doubt; positive fulfilment of the promise ; but whether the revelation of God because that promise is extended to our Saviour will be, as clothed with all Israel, even as the covenant of a humanity, visible to the eye, or in new heart;” but after a second his glorified state, as " the She- deliverance, in which all the tribes chinah," does not fully appear in seem concerned, “ his feet shall the Divine record, which can be stand in that day on the mount the only standard of appeal. When of Olives." (Zech. xiv. 4.) And this transfigured before his disciples on synchronizes with the declaration of Mount Tabor, “ his face shone as God by Ezekiel, when the Twelve the sun,” and a bright cloud over- Tribes are in possession of the shadowed them, as if his appearance land, the “ stick of Joseph” having had been too effulgent for mortal been joined with the "stick of eye ; and when he ascended into Judah," and made one in the land : heaven from the mount of Olives in when he says, “ This is the place the presence
a greater number of of my throne, and the place of the his disciples, “ a cloud received him soles of my feet ;” and this, after out of their sight:' and that He does “ the glory of the Lord from the “come in all the glory of his Father,” earth" has entered the temple, and that He is to “ come in like which was to be dedicated by the manner as they had seen him go in- twelve tribes to the Lord God of to heaven," is clearly revealed. It Israel. Such an event may be supposed better to accord with the be considered positively present; but second advent than Zech. xii. 9, 10; this is at the second judgment.
I and it agrees with many other pro- will attempt briefly to assign the phecies, as the Gog and Magog, reasons which lead me to this conboth of Ezekiel and St. John, clusion. for Ezek. xxxvii. 26–28. agrees
“ The Father judgeth no man, with Rev. xxi. 3, the fulfilment of but hath committed all judgment to which takes place after the crea- The Son, that all men should hotion of the new heaven and earth, nour The Son, even as they honour and refers to the great and holy the Father.” He therefore who city having the glory of God in it.” is symbolically represented on the
The darkening of the sun, moon, throne of Daniel, as “ the Ancient and stars” (Matt. xxiv. 29, 30), syn- of Days" (for it would be absurd to chronising with the sixth seal, and apply literally this highly symboli. consequently with the overthrow of cal vision), cannot be God the Fa. the dragon, beast, and false pro- ther, but “ the Father of the elernal phet, and also with the papal judg- age," who is “the Child born, and ment of Daniel, is but « THE SIGN the Son given" (Isa. ix. 6); and if of the Son of Man in heaven, com- this position be correct, “ the Son of ing in the clouds of heaven, with Man” is then to be considered power and great glory," and does symbolically, not positively, prenot therefore necessarily imply his sents for the papal judgment, which immediate and personal presence. is the darkening of the sun, moon, On the contrary, it may be inferred, and stars, is only “ the sign" of his that he raises up instruments to coming; and his being there repreexecute his purposes of judgment, sented as enthroned must be conand, like David with Joab, or the sidered symbolically also. peaceable Solomon after the wars But it is an important question, of David, comes only to enjoy the bearing on the positions of “ A Profruits of the victory; the instrument phetical Inquirer," whether “the Son on this occasion being the Elijah of Man” is “ the Father of the eterwho slays the priests of Baal before nal age," and then to be considered the rise of “the Sun of Righteous. as seated on the throne, whether symness.”
The papal judgment of bolically or not. He who receives Daniel, which is also the first judg. the kingdom from “ the Son of ment of St. John, for this judgment Man,” and is “ like unto the Son of is on those who have “ the mark of Man," or synonymously is the rulthe beast” (Rev. xx), synchronising ing power of “ the saints of the Most also with Rev. iv., does not there. High " (as man being the eroblem of fore seem absolutely connected with a ruling power), cannot be CHRIST, the immediate second advent of the who is himself then symbolically Lord, as will otherwise be evident; seated on that throne, as “ the Fa. and the going forth of the mighty ther of the eternal age,” according Conqueror (Rev. xix.) as well as the to the authority committed to Him, Judge of Daniel, may be taken ra- as THE UNIVERSAL JUDGE. I conther as symbolical appearances, fess that these inquiries cause not denoting his presence, but the
me to doubt the truth of many process of his judgment, and the opinions which now occupy the state of his kingdom. It is only mind of the Christian world, but when announced as “God," or the which have been received and Mighty One, which occurs, I be- adopted, as I believe, with the lieve, only once in the Apocalypse, sanction of ages, without proper inand then as seated on the throne, quiry. Indeed, in a geographical and ruling over all in opposition to point of view, the symbol of the the demons of “gold, silver, brass, metallic image, or those of the four iron, wood, and stone," that He can beasts which represent the site of