« AnteriorContinuar »
who are restored are "redeemed to God by the blood" of this Lamb, quite irrespective of their works to which there is no allusion. They are restored to the knowledge, love and worship of God, and (v. 10) to his favor and to that dominion lost by the fall :—“We shall reign ON THE EARTH." Secondly, therefore observe that, during their beatific vision of God, these Spirits, like those in vi, 9, anticipate the adoption, to wit, the redemption of their body;d that they may in the body be fashioned like unto his glorious body, as kings and priests unto God, and reign with Christ on the earth. For the earth will not be destroyed, but purified by fire: it will not pass away till after the 1000 years of that reign, but be renewed.f
This is an anticipation which sufficiently contradicts persons who expect only spiritual blessings at the resurrection. For those who are now in a separate and wholly spiritual state, make the anticipation of their future " reign on the earth" a subject of their their song in the very very enjoyment of the presence of God and the Lamb.Why?-because it will glorify Him who is not till then enthroned on earth, as the King of kings and Lord of lords ;"who is not seated till then on the promised throne of his father David, but is rejected. from earthly dominion; while Satan is the god and prince of this world, and death reigns, being the last enemy that will be put under his feet.
But is this the theme only of the Church triumphant in heaven ? Verses 11, 12, show that the innumerable company of listening angels echo back the choral anthem
to the same Lamb of God, whose heavenly throne they perpetually throng, with desire to look into the mystery of his redeeming love to man. There is however a variation in their notes of praise, while circling round this general assembly and church of the first born which are written in heaven. They praise him for those redeemed themselves were never prisoners of hope like these, “sent forth out of the pit by the blood of the covenant." They stand in the glory of their first creation which God saw "good:" man fell from that estate; and redeeming grace for him is the mystery which rejoices the admiring hosts of those who stood, and whose shout with one accord proclaims the Lamb worthy to receive of his reconciled Father for man, power, riches, wisdom, strength, honor, glory and blessing,"—even the gifts forfeited by the fall, and restored in Him in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, all the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
vv. 13, 14. Nor they only.Hear it, ye deniers of the atoning sacrifice of this Lamb of God! even you shall be constrained in the anguish of unavailing remorse, to ascribe with every creature in heaven, on earth, and under the earth, and in the sea and all that ⚫ are in them, blessing, honor, glory,
and power unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever;" Coequal honor and worship to the Father and to the Son.-Glory be to God for his great glory! Yes, thou injured Saviour! my heart rejoices in the certainty, that all thy creation shall give thee the honor
e Rev. xx, 6; Ps. xlv, 16.
f See Eccles. i, 4 "the earth abideth
d Rom. viii, 23. for ever." So Ps. lxxviii, 69; Isa. xlix, 8; lxv, 17-25 with Ps. xxxvii, 9, 11, 22, &c.; Matt. v, 5, &c.
LUCIFER, SON OF THE MORNING.
due unto thy name; and my inmost soul joins the "Amen" of the four living creatures; and with the 24 elders bows down and worships thee who livest for ever and ever.
Lastly, from these verses we perceive, that if every creature in heaven," as well as elsewhere, worships the Lamb equally with Him that sitteth on the throne, THE BEING Who is symbolized by the Lamb cannot be a creature.
LUCIFER, SON OF THE MORNING.
To the Editor of the Investigator.
Would any of your correspondents favour me with their views on Isaiah, xiv; particularly the 12th verse? Who is meant by LUCIFER?" Why is the name supposed to designate Satan? I can find the name in no other part of Scripture and in the margin of the Bible the
The description of this wonderful scene closes, in respect to their worship, with the renewed glorification of the Lamb by the incommunicable attribute of deity (viz. underived, eternal life,) offer"Him that liveth for ing it to ever and ever,"-Him who when "manifested in the flesh" said, "I am the Life :" for, "in Him was life, and the life was the light of men."
word is called " Day Star" in the
I am, Sir, yours with prayer for a blessing on your labors, A. B. C.
We shall be happy if any of our correspondents will take up this subject. There is a paper on it in the last number of the Morning Watch, apparently by the Editor. It enters not however into any critical exposition of the words, but merely placing Isaiah xiv, 12 in juxta position with Rev. xxii, 16, 17 proceeds to treat upon the last apostacy : and we gather from it, that the Writer (if we understand him) conceives that Satan, embodied in the last form of Antichrist, will imitate Jesus in his character of "the bright and morning Star," affecting to usher in a millennium of light and glory.
In reply to a part of our Correspondent's queries we observe;-that Job xxxviii, 7 is not the same as Isa. xiv, 12. The former signifies that the stars in general sang together in the morning or early: the latter apostrophizes one particular star by name, Heilel Ben-Shahar, literally, Shiner, Son of morning! The Latin compound Lucifer exactly corresponds with the Greek wogopes in 2 Pet, i, 19, translated Day-Star; literally light-bearer, or light-bringer. The Septuagint however in this place renders by two-popos, morning-bringer, a word of similar import. But it also translates several other Hebrew phrases by the same word: compare it with the Hebrew on Job iii, 9; xi, 17; Psalm cix, 4; 1 Kings xxx, 17. We learn however from Parkhurst, that the Syriac translates as a verb, to howl; and consequently renders the words, "Howl, Son of the Morning." ED.
ON THE ADVENT AND KINGDOM OF CHRIST.
OUR LORD'S PROPHECY,
Matthew xxiv, xxv, and Luke xxi.
When the attention is at length arrested by the voice of prophecy, and the mind becomes engaged in the contemplation of those events which shall hereafter happen to the Church and also to the Church's enemies, that question put by the disciples to our Lord will continually obtrude itself: r WHEN SHALL THESE THINGS BE?" I cannot at all subscribe to the opinion, apparently entertained by some, that such a question is unlawful. The indulgence shewn by Jesus in his reply to these inquiries, the things moreover which have been spontaneously revealed to other servants of God, —above all, the reproof cast by our Lord upon the great bulk of professing Israelites, because they knew not the signs of the times,—all these things, I say, would lead to the conclusion, that to investigate "the times and seasons," is not only legitimate, but that believers are presumed to know them,a and are obnoxious to the imputation of hypocrisy if they do not.b Having therefore dwelt upon the principal events connected with the glorious advent and Kingdom of Christ, I now proceed, with an equal assurance of its scriptural propriety and practical utility, to submit a few observations on the period when they may be expected.
There are two principal modes in which it has pleased the holy Spirit to communicate light to the Church in regard to the times and seasons.
a 1 Thess. v, 1. b Matt, xvi, 3.
The one is by assigning an event, as the epocha from which a certain period of time is to be reckoned; and which must elapse before that which is more especially the subject of promise shall come to pass the other is by a delineation of those circumstances, which shall form the great characteristics of the termination of that period, or the time when the ultimate fulfilment is about to be accomplished. In regard to the advent of Christ in humiliation, the seventy weeks of Daniel c will afford an example of the former mode of foretelling the period; and the prediction of Jacob, that the sceptre should not depart from Judah until Shiloh should come,d may serve as an instance of the latter mode. In respect to the future glorious advent of Christ, Daniel will again supply us with dates, and also the Apocalypse; whilst the characteristics of the last days are abundantly scattered through the Old and New Testaments.
his work in the Investigator,) is that he erects his hypothesis on a series of independent propositions, by each of which his opinions are supported: and which are like so many rivers, springing from various sources and flowing through different territories, yet having their confluence at the same point.
I do not however intend to enter at present into the question of the question of dates; but have chosen for my subject a prophecy, which I have always conceived of pre-eminent importance and if it does not lead me directly into questions of chronology, it will at least (if it please the Father of lights to guide us by his Spirit into a right apprehension of all things,) help materially to corroborate some expositions, based upon the Sacred Calendar of Prophecy.'
As it may tend to unprejudice the minds of some readers, and to facilitate the apprehension of the subject, I shall confine myself in this essay to some preliminary observations on certain points of difficulty.
of Jerusalem; and is supposed to predict his second advent and the end of the world only under the type or figure of his providential visitation on Jerusalem. From the difficulty indeed of explaining all the details as referable to the destruction of Jerusalem, a most arbitrary and unwarrantable system of interpretation has obtained;-the expositor taking upon himself, without any internal evidence or notice in the prophecy, to say of one event,
This refers to Jerusalem❞—of another, "This belongs to the end of the world”—of a third, This applies to both events." I am myself disposed to conclude, that the prophecy is as chronologically regular as any in the Scriptures; and that to view it in this light is absolutely necessary, in order to arrive at anything like a tolerably correct interpretation.
A third source of obscurity is, I believe, more immediately designed of God, not only in this, but in many other Scriptures; to the intent that, whilst the humble but diligent inquirer is led to penetrate within the veil, the proud, the superficial, the indifferent and the worldly may not be able to understand. The source of it is, the indistinctness of the subject revealed if only one Gospel be looked at.
1. First I must notice, in regard to the prophecy of our Lord, that great obscurity has been thrown upon it by the division of it into two chapters. Hereby many are wont to limit the subject to the xxivth chapter; whereas it will be manifest, to those who attentively examine the context, that it is continued throughout the xxvth chapter.
Another source of obscurity is the circumstance, that it is commonly treated as an involved prophecy: that is to say, the Lord is presumed to speak primarily of the destruction
And here I would throw out an observation, which I consider important in order to a right understanding of the Scriptures in general, and of the Gospels more especially. From the third verse of the chapter which begins this prophecy, as also from other parts of the Gospels, we
* Though I am not indebted to any contemporary or preceding writer for my views on this subject, and thought them at one time to be original, it is nevertheless a great encouragement to find that it has pleased the Lord to guide others to a similar apprehension of the prophecy with that which I am about to present. I may instance Mr. Cuninghame and Mr. Begg; (to say nothing of Mede and other previous writers ;) and I have met with ministers who have been brought to a similar view, though their opinions are not published. We may not correspond in all the details; (which we certainly do not ;) but our interpretation is substantially the same.
may infer, that the disciples of our Lord were wont to come to him privately, for a fuller exposition of those things which they had previously heard touched upon in public.* In Mark iv, 34, we are further informed, that all things whatsoever which were preached to the multitude were afterwards expounded to the disciples by Jesus, when he was alone with them. I am therefore of opinion, in regard to the prophecy now under consideration, that Jesus, in condescension to renewed inquiries, has further expounded at some subsequent period certain portions of this subject. In no other way can I reconcile the important variations in the accounts given of it by St. Matthew and St. Luke, than by supposing, that when two or more disciples came to write or converse on the subject, their narratives would vary, according as their minds were prepossessed with the prophecy as at first delivered, or with the subsequent expository matter. In this instance I take it, that St. Matthew generally (though not always) relates the simple prophecy, as he had heard it in the first instance from our Lord whereas St. Luke had his mind more filled and impressed with the interpretation, and consequently often gives us exposition or paraphrase instead of the text. At all events we shall find, that St. Luke's Gospel is an important commentary on St. Matthew's; in proof of which I shall instance one or two examples tending to our better apprehension of the subject.
St. Matthew says: "When ye therefore shall see the abomination of DESOLATION, spoken of by
Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth let him
* Matt. xiii, 36; xv, 15; Mark ix, 28.
understand:) then let them which
be in Judea flee into the mountains, &c." (vv. 15, 16.) The special exhortation of the Lord, to take heed and take heed and understand this point, renders it more probable that further information would be elicited concerning it, and accordingly we find St. Luke gives us the exactly parallel passage in these words:
And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the DESOLATION thereof is nigh. Then let them which be ' in Judea flee, &c." (vv. 21, 22.) Now it is manifest to me from this, that "the abomination of desolation" is the Roman power, whose armies soon after compassed Jerusalem; which power has proved the great DESOLATOR* both of the Jewish and Christian Church.
2. I shall instance as another particular the tribulation mentioned by St. Matthew; but as this point is of considerable importance in my view of the subject, I must beg the Reader's attention whilst I enlarge upon it. St. Matthew says, For 'then shall be great tribulation, 'such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be. And except those days should be shortened, 'there should no flesh be saved: &c." (vv. 21, 22.) Now this tribulation, though some are disposed to think typical of the wrath to be poured out at the ultimate day of judgement, is generally limited to the destruction of Jerusalem : but turn to the parallel place in St. Luke and we read, that and we read, that "these be the
days of vengeance, that all things
which are written may be fulfilled.
'But woe unto them that are with
child and to them that give suck in those days, for there shall be great distress in the land and wrath
† See the marginal readings of Dan. ix, 27.