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important in itself, as shewing the depravity of man, when given up to a reprobate mind; and doubly important, if it have any reference to that awful apostacy and dreadful gainsaying, which we see so manifestly before us. I mean the conspiracy of Korah, Dathan, and Abio mentioned in the Epistle of St. Jude as commencing antitypically in his day; and evidently to continue with increasing malignity till the coming of the Lord Jesus: because we are distinctly told, these are they of whom Enoch prophesied," saying, "be"behold the Lord cometh with his holy myriads to execute judgement upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all 'their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him. "The way of Cain, the error of Balaam,' the gainsaying of Core," are terms of peculiar distinctness, which the Holy Spirit has used wherewith to designate a great apostacy which should be in existence at, and be destroyed by, the coming of the Lord Jesus.
• Numbers xvi.
Let us see if we can perceive any peculiar marks of its presence and strength among us at this time. We will briefly run over the detail of the typical occurrence, as mentioned in the 16th chapter of Numbers. The crime of Korah and his fellows is evidently rebellion against the civil and ecclesiastical governors, whom Jehovah had appointed to come near unto Himself, and called to be holy before Him. Their excuse, verse 3, is the equal holiness of the whole congregation, and the presence of the Lord among them. Their insurrection is marked by pride, ambition, evil speaking, and
dislike to ordinances as it is most expressively set forth in Jude's Epistle,—they were << murmurers, com'plainers, walking after their own lusts," 'mockers". Co separatists, sensual,* not having the Spirit," who is a God of order and of peace. Jehovah by a public manifestation of his miraculous power declares his abhorrence of their sin, and makes it plain to all the camp whom he hath chosen ;-visiting with speedy vengeance those who took upon themselves, in arrogant presumption, an office to which they were not called ; and rescuing his own appointed ministers from their malicious rage.
The chapter is most instructive : and I would earnestly press upon the Readers of this paper to go with it on their knees unto the Lord, that He may teach them "instruction in righteousness." I see plainly revealed in it (in connection with Jude's epistle, and the description given by Paul of the same apostacy 2 Tim. iii, 1-5,) the very confederacy against our God and His Christ so fearfully manifest unto the eyes of all, whom a false liberality has not blinded, as now existing and extending among us: not merely a disregard of, but openly expressed enmity against, all the civil and ecclesiastical institutions of the land; -the bonds of government relaxed or broken ;-crime almost excused in its daring and unblushing effrontery; -the ties of reverence and superiority contemned;-Christ despised in the persons of His ministers ; (“Ye take too much upon you,” ye have too much,-the very words engraven on the standard of radicalism, both civil and religious ;)—expediency the bond of union, instead of principle;-open war declared against all that is rendered venerable by age, and beloved because of long tried and
* uxiko, men of animal character.
oft proved worth ;-reckless, headstrong, daring treachery, under the mask of liberalism;-Moses and Aaron despised, not merely by a deluded and clamorous and dangerous mob, but even by many of the sons of Levi and of the princes of the congregation. Oh! what betokeneth this mad insurrection, which the Most High laugheth to scorn and has in holy derision; P but that blind infatuation, the drugged draught of hell, hath been put into the hand of the nations, and that they shall drink the dregs and wring them out, even the dregs of the cup of Jehovah's fury? What meaneth this overturning of thrones and dismembering of governments; but a stroke at the kingship of Jesus, a blow at Him by whom kings reign," and whose ministers they are? What meaneth this clamor and outcry against "the Church, the Church;" but an infidel rage against the High Priest of our profession," who is offended in the persons of his under shepherds? Oh wail, wail, ye inhabitants of the nations because of the Lord's controversy with the land! Yea,
saith Jehovah, they shall drink and ́ be moved and be mad—yea drink < ye and be drunk and spue and fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I send among them."q In the end of the rebellion of Korah against the Lord's anointed, we see a plain and manifest type of the end of the confederacy of our day—a living descent into hell, in the day of the Lord's appearing with his holy myriads ! "These both were cast alive into the lake of fire." r Oh ye men of God, ye members of the congregation of Israel! hear ye the word of Jehovah ! Depart I pray you, and touch nothing of theirs,
lest ye be consumed in all their sins!" Too easily, I fear, do the professing christians of our day drink of this spirit of rebellion against the constituted authorities of the land. Pointless darts of sarcasm, and the envenomed arrows of slander and misrepresentation are liberally showered upon them ;— schisms, backbitings and revilings, are substituted for the unity of the faith ;-breaches are made in the visible temple of Jehovah ;—and our very pulpits are too often made the sounding boards of invective and vituperation, instead of platforms for the ambassadors of heaven's mercy and heaven's grace. Oh, depend upon it insubordination is a principle congenial to the natural mind, which is enmity against God!" Careful, anxiously careful should we be not to afford, even by our sanction, much less by positive example, any further impetus to the torrent which is sweeping our land in the length and breadth of it. The object is hardly now concealed to be the overturning of all legal and once venerated institutions. Its secret master spring it is easy to guess at : a desire to overcome all restraint, all morality, all revealed truth-infidelity is its moving principle-and woe be to those who join covertly or openly its ranks of rebellion against the Lord and his anointed. When his wrath be kindled, yea but a little, blessed are all they who put their trust in Him,
The whole of the second Psalm would be perused with advantage in connection with the above.
I shall endeavour in my next to make a few remarks on some other histories of the Old Testament. Φιλαλήθης.
p Ps. ii, 4. 4 Jeremiah xxv, 27. r Rev. xix, 20.
ON THE KINGDOM OF GOD, &c.
To the Editor of the Investigator.
In your Number for September is a paper on the expression the kingdom of God” or of heaven." I had been considering this same subject before, and am now induced to offer you a few further remarks upon it; in which, if I should in some things go again over the same ground which your former correspondent has occupied, I trust that the importance of the subject will be deemed a sufficient excuse for the repetition.
Your Correspondent Abdiel has shown, that the Kingdom of God, the Kingdom of Heaven, and the Kingdom of Christ, are expressions signifying one and the same thing; and that the announcement of the speedy establishment of this kingdom and the preparation of men for it, was the great object of the preaching of Christ and his Apostles. a
Let us look at the literal meaning of the expression ἡ βασιλεία τε Θεό. Baotλeía signifies either the place or country governed by a king, orthe act of reigning, the exercise of kingly power, in fact, the reign of a king. Some of the texts in the beginning of the New Testament, in which this kingdom is mentioned, seem to put out of the question the first sense above given : for the kingdom of God is at hand,” thy kingdom come,” and similar pressions, cannot possibly be understood of a place or district in the universe over which God reigns. I infer therefore that ἡ βασιλεία το
→ɛ means generally the reign of God, the time or state of things in which He is king. Baoiλɛía is indeed sometimes used in the first sense above mentioned; as in Matt. xiii, 41 "-they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend : but the context will of course easily shew when this sense is to be given to it.
Now it appears that this expression, the "kingdom of God," was in common use among the Jews, and generally understood by them. First, it is continually used by our Saviour from the very beginning of his ministry without introduction or explanation: explanation: and secondly, the Jews themselves ask questions or entertain opinions about it in a manner that shews, that they were accustomed to the expression, and acquainted with its general meaning; but wanted information concerning certain points connected with it. "when The Pharisees asked Jesus, the kingdom of God should come ?" b and in the 19th chapter of the same Gospel we are told, that many
thought that the kingdom of God should immediately appear."
No doubt I think can be enter
tertained, nor does it appear to be disputed, that this expression originated in the words of the prophet Daniel. "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be 'destroyed; and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever." c "And the
a Matt. ix, 35; xiii, 9; Luke ix, 2; Acts i, 3; xx, 5; xxviii, 23, 31. b Luke xvii, 20. c Dan. ii, 44.
kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an ⚫everlasting kingdom, and all do'minions shall serve and obey him."d Schottgen, in his Hora Hebraicæ, quotes this passage as the origin of the Hebrew phrase, of which the Greek ἡ βασιλεια των ovpavov is a translation. He adduces just the same arguments, as have been already brought forward, to shew, that this phrase was familiar to the Jews in our Saviour's time, and was by them understood to mean "the times of the Messiah." He says however, that he can only find one passage in any Hebrew writings in which it is so used; as it occurs generally in the metaphorical or derived sense for " subjectio voluntati et œconomiæ divinæ præstita," and professio veritatis orthodoxæ." So also Wetstein, on Matt. iii, 2, after quoting various passages from the Talmud where the expression "kingdom of heaven" occurs, (generally in (generally in the form. suscipere jugum regni cœlorum,") proceeds: Cum vero Judæi Messiam exspectarent, qui cum nubibus cœli venturus, regni æterni post quatuor monarchias fundamenta jacturus, et præsertim homines C verum Dei cultum edocturus, Deoque subjecturus esset; facile 'intelligimus tum regnum Dei et regnum Messiæ, tum doctrinam Christi amplecti, et regnum cœlorum suscipere unum atque idem significasse. Thargum Micæ iv, 7, et revelabitur ipsis regnum cœlorum in monte Zion et nunc et usque in seculum:' et Esai xl, 9. et Esai xl, 9. "Dicite civitatibus domus Judæ, "revelatum est regnum Dei vestri.' This then was the kingdom
originally signified in this phrase by the Jews: a state of things in which "the Lord should he king over all the earth," e visibly ruling and directing all its affairs; as the Assyrian, Grecian, and Roman emperors, prophesied of also by Daniel, had done in their day.
By christian commentators this kingdom has been generally understood to mean a spiritual kingdom; and thus the proper and original meaning of the word has been explained away or lost sight of. Yet it has not been so with all commentators. Schleusner in his Greek Lexicon, under the word Baoilɛia, quotes two authors, Koppius (in Excursu I ad Ep. ad Thessal.) and Keilius (in Historia Dogmatis de regno Messiæ, Christi et Apostolorum ætate, ad illustranda Novi Testamenti loca accommodate exposita, Lips. 1781,) who, he says, maintain that the expression Baoıλɛía →ɛɛ never means any thing else than "illud Christi regnum quod post mortuorum demum in vitam 'reditum insigni aliqua majestate ab ipso inaugurabitur, quoque ii qui ejus doctrinam his in terris amplexi sunt, vitamque ad ejus præ
cepta instituerunt, beatissima felicitate fruentur." I have looked in one or two of our public libraries for the works of the critics whom Schleusner here quotes, but in vain. Perhaps some of your correspondents may be able to find them and communicate extracts.
Let us see however what Schleusner himself thinks of this explanation. He admits that it is the true one in some passages, but he goes on: “—in quibusdam tantum locis valere concedendum est, sed constituenda potius esse varia notionum hujus formulæ genera ex contexta oratione et temporis Episáσeo diligenter
d Ibid. vii, 27. e Zech. xiv, 9.
definienda." And thus we thrown back upon that most unwarrantable, most unscholarlike, most pernicious device, of giving the same words ten or a dozen different meanings, according to the context; nay, even according to the "circumstances of the times in which they were used: a device which has done more than any thing else in obscuring the sense of the words of God and frittering away their force. Take an instance of the evil of this from this very article of Schleusner's on the word Baoiλɛía. One of the meanings which he assigns to the word is given and supported as follows: Baoilɛia, Provincia, minor pars regni. Matt. iv, 8, edeisev auTw πασας τας βασιλειας τε κόσμε, de. monstrabatipsi varias terræ Judaicæ provincias." What may not any words whatever be made to mean, if such principles of interpretation as these are to be admitted?
are (the reign of God manifest in the flesh) upon the earth.
I need not go over the ground, already occupied by your former Correspondent, by shewing, how other interpretations of this expression are inconsistent with facts, and with the use made of it in Scripture. Let me only observe once more after him, how strongly this our interpretation of it is confirmed by the parable of the nobleman in the 19th chapter of St. Luke. The Jews thought “that the kingdom of God should immediately appear." Did Jesus correct their views of the kingdom of God, and of its one day appearing, and being made manifest to the whole world, so that all flesh should see it? By no means. The whole parable goes only to check their notion of its immediately appearing: to show them that He, to whom it belonged, was first to go away into a far country to be invested with it; and that it should be at his return, when he had received this investiture, and not before, that he would display his royal power; and that they would then be called to account for their employment of their time and talents during his absence.
For myself, I am persuaded, that the interpretation of the two commentators above quoted is the true one. It is the literal, straightforward meaning of the words. It is the sense in which the Jews, to whom our Saviour used them without explanation, understood them. It is the sense in which the early christian Fathers understood them. So Irenæus, speaking of the blessing pronounced by Isaac on Jacob, says, that these things relate "ad præfinita regni". "to the predestined time of the kingdom,” (for thus were the early christians, it appears, accustomed familiarly to speak of this glorious period,) "when the earth should bring forth all things abundantly." So also the Nicene Fathers, in the passage quoted from their proceedings in your second Number, p. 51, clearly look for the kingdom of Christ to be his blessed reign
Let us now look at some of the passages in which it may be urged, that the expression "the kingdom
of God" cannot have the sense that we have given it: or in which, at least, it is generally understood to have a different meaning.
One class of such passages your Correspondent has noticed; (page 34) those in which the kingdom of heaven or of God is said "to be at hand:" and he has well said, that it was then and is now at hand, in the same sense in which the coming of the Lord” and “ the end of all things" are at hand. That Holy Spirit, with whom a thousand