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- n. xxii. 10 – 12, Psal. xcvii. 2 - 5, Isa. xix. 1,) great ex
ons of the divine power, whether for the salvation or deiction of nations, are called the coming, the appearing, the sence of God. Hence it was natural for the apostles,
were Jews, to call any signal and evident interposition Christ, as governor of the world, for the accomplishment his purposes, his coming, and his day. Accordingly, e exertions of his power and providence, whereby he royed Jerusalem and the temple, abrogated the Mosaic tutions, and established the gospel, are called by the tles his coming and day: not only in allusion to the an.
prophetic language, but because Christ himself, in his hecy concerning these events, recorded Matt. xxiv., hath ed them the coming of the Son of man, in allusion to ollowing prophecy of Daniel, of which his own prophis an explication. Dan. vii. 13, 14, I saw in the night ns, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the is of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they ght him near before him. And there was given him don, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, anguages should serve him: his dominion is an everg dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kinghat which shall not be destroyed. This prophecy the h doctors with one consent interpreted of their Messiah,
that temporal kingdom which they expected was to en him. Farther, they supposed that he would erect - kingdom by great and visible exertions of his
destruction of his enemies. But they little elves were of the number of those enestroy; and that his kingdom was to of their state. Yet that was the
the Son of man in the clouds nation continued in Judea, ses, they violently op
vhich the Messiah was
Even after the Pentecostal descent of the Spirit, the Apostle Peter required a miracle to induce him to communicate the gospel to a pious Gentile ; and was afterwards obliged to justify himself for so doing by relating the miracle. On a subsequent occasion, “ the apostles and elders came together for to consider” whether circumcision " after the manner of Moses” were not essential to salvation ; and we are informed that there was “much disputing” in the assembly.] 2. From Dr. Woods's “ Lectures on the Inspiration of the Scriptures."
“ It is the opinion of most writers that, in some instances, inspired men had not in their own minds a clear understanding of the things which they spake or wrote. One instance of this commonly referred to is the case of Daniel, who heard and repeated what the angel said, though he did not understand it. Dan. 12: 7-9. This has also been thought to be in some measure the case with the prophets referred to, 1 Peter 1: 10 - 12. And is there not reason to think this may have been the case with many of the prophetic representations contained in the Psalms, and many of the symbolic rites of the Mosaic institute ? Various matters are found in the Old Testament, which were not intended so much for the benefit of the writers, or their contemporaries, as for the benefit of future ages. And this might have been a sufficient reason, why they should be left without a clear understanding of the things which they wrote. In such cases, if the opinion above stated is correct, inspired men were led to make use of expressions, the meaning of which they did not fully understand." - p. 99.
D. DATE OF THE APOCALYPSE.
1. From the “ Introduction to the Revelation,” in the Commentary of
Dr. ADAM CLARKE.
“ The reasoning of Dr. Lardner, relative to the date of this Book [who fixes upon A. D. 95 – 97] is by no means
satisfactory to many other critics, who consider it to have been written before the destruction of Jerusalem ; and in this opinion they are supported by the most respectable testimonies among the ancients, though the contrary was the more general opinion. Epiphanius says, that John was banished to Patmos by Claudius Cæsar. This would bring back the date to about A. D. 50. Andreas (bishop of Cæsarea, in Cappadocia, about A. D. 500), in his comment on this Book, ch. vi., ver. 16, says, John received this Revelation under the reign of Vespasian. This date also might place it before the final overthrow of the Jewish state ; though Vespasian reigned to A. D. 79. The Inscription to this Book in the Syriac Version, first published by De Dieu in 1627, and afterwards in the London Polyglot, is the following: Revelation which God made to John the Evangelist, in the island of Patmos, to which he was banished by Nero Cæsar.' This places it in the year of our Lord 69, and consequently before the destruction of Jerusalem. Of this opinion are many eminent writers, and among them Hentenius, Harduin, Grotius, Lightfoot, Hammond, Sir Isaac Newton, Bishop Newton, Wetstein, and others."
2. From "A Commentary upon the Apocalypse,” by Rev. Moses
STUART, Professor of Sacred Literature, Andover. " At what Time was the Apocalypse written ? A much more serious question than either of those which we have just discussed, and one about which very different and even opposite opinions have been formed and maintained by critics of high standing. A majority of the older critics have been inclined to adopt the opinion of Irenæus, viz. that it was written during the reign of Domitian, i. e. during the last part of the first century, or in A. D. 95 or 96. Most of the recent commentators and critics have called this opinion in question, and placed the composition of the book at an earlier period, viz. before the destruction of Jerusalem.” — Vol. i., p. 263.
“ In short, the more I reflect upon these circumstances, the more am I compelled to believe that John wrote his book pending the Neronian persecution.” — Do., p. 278.
1. From an Article by Professor STUART, on the “Interpretation of
Psalm XVI.,” in the Biblical Repository, January, 1831. “ I cannot admit the double sense. There is a host of difficulties which rise up against this, too numerous to be particularly recounted on the present occasion. I can merely hint at some of the leading ones. If there be an occult sense to the words of Scripture, not conveyed by the language itself, to be attained in some way independent of the laws of language ; then it would follow, that he who reads the Scriptures, and applies to them the laws of interpretation common to all other books, can have no security, that he has arrived at the principal and most important meaning which they were designed to convey. If there be an occult meaning couched under the words of Scripture, a second inspiration is needed for the readers, in order to determine it with any good degree of satisfaction ; for when the laws of language cease to be the guide, (as of course they must in the case before us,) then some substitute worthy of equal or greater confidence must come in their place. But a substitute must be either conjecture or inspiration. The first surely cannot lay claim to much certainty ; it is subject to no laws; it has no bounds. A second inspiration then is needed, in order to understand a second or occult revelation, i. e. a second sense of words.
“ When God speaks to men, he speaks in a language which they understand. Otherwise a revelation so called would not in fact be one. Nothing is revealed, which is not understood, or at least which is not intelligible. And when a communication is made by the use of language, how can
it be understood, unless language is employed in the same way as men are accustomed to employ it? For example, how could one who understands only the English language in its ordinary use, be able to expound a communication in which English words should be employed, but a sense given to them by the writer entirely foreign to the usus loquendi of the language? It would manifestly be as impossible, in such a case, for a writer to be understood, as it would be if he were to make his communication in Sanscrit or Chinese.
“ It follows of necessity, that a revelation, in the true and proper sense of this term, which is made by the use of words, must be made by employing those words in a manner that accords with the usus loquendi of the language employed. And if this be true, it seems to decide the whole question ; for there is no other book on earth, (if you except books of riddles, and some of the old heathen oracles,) where language has or can have a double sense. All men who do not design to deceive or mislead, attach but one meaning to words, i. e. but one meaning to the same words in the same place. Even a book of riddles in reality does this ; the enigmas have but one true meaning, and were not designed to have any more; although, from the manner in which words are employed, it may be difficult to decipher it.”
" There are no limits to this second sense of the Scriptures. The man who adopts it is cast at once upon a boundless ocean, without rudder or compass. He must himself be inspired, in order to know with any security whether his interpretation is correct. But as I find no promise of such inspiration to writers of the present day, I must hold to the laws of language, as one of the indispensable means of investigating the true and only sense of the Scriptures.”—p. 64.
[For a fuller discussion of this important subject, see Professor Stuart's “ Hints on the Interpretation of Prophecy,” pp. 11 - 47.]