« AnteriorContinuar »
shall not see me henceforth till ye it should be τελεω or πληροω) but
shall say, Blessed is he that com- commencement running into subse. eth in the name of the Lord.” quent continuance of action.” In corThis is evidently addressed to them roboration of this view he instances nationally, since the generation then Luke xxi, 24—" until the times of living rejected the Lord to the last. the Gentiles be fulfilled,”—and conAnd I consider this passage as tends, that if yɛvwvtal were there affording a sort of paraphrastic ex- substituted for πληρωθωσι it would position of the words now under not signify the fulfilment of the consideration : for it declares of times, but their arrival or commencethe Jews, that, though they should ment. He concludes therefore that be preserved nationally, they should the words “ till all these things be remain in their unconverted state fulfilled” merely intimate, that the during the time of the desolation, series of events foretold should begin even until the advent of the Lord. to be accomplished before that gen
These considerations are very de- eration then existing should be passcisive in my mind, as to the general ed away. I meaning of the word yɛvɛa in the Much as I am inclined to defer New Testament, and in this place to Mr. Cuninghame in questions in particular :* but Mr. Cuning- which involve criticism, I neverthehame, whose opinions on these less cannot in this instance fall into subjects are entitled to great respect, his views. What I have said on takes a different view of this par- the times of the Gentiles will in ticular, and therefore I think it
some measure serve for a reply, so necessary to notice it.
far as regards the word translated Mr. Cuninghame admits that the fulfilled; but I shall here briefly word yɛvea does sometimes in the offer one or two other consideraScriptures mean a nation ;-but in tions. such case he thinks the context al- First, the words are so preciseways points out its meaning; and “ This generation shall not pass
the Seventy more commonly away till all these things be fuluse yɛvea to translate 777, which filled,"—that admitting the prosignifies a generation in the ordi- priety of the translation, “ till all nary sense of the word, he would these things commence,” (or I would have that to be its meaning in this say come into existence,” though instance.f And yet he extends the they may not be terminated,) yet to events contained in the prophecy make the first of the series mean the down to the second advent of
advent of ALL, is an interpretation which I Christ; but he gets over the diffi- apprehend cannot be borne out by culty by maintaining, that in the any unequivocal passage in Scrip- . words εως αν παντα ταυτα γενηται
ture : at least I have examined nu(" till all these things be fulfilled") merous places, but without any the verb yivouac does not signify to satisfaction on this point. be completely fulfilled, in which case Secondly, in St. Luke's account
* Most commonly, when the word generation means a period of time, it is in the New Testament used in the plural number : and this in some instances when it is translated into the singular number ;—e. g. Luke i, 50 ; Acts xv, 21.
+ It must however be borne in mind, that this is not the only word which the Seventy translate by yeven; of which the instances already cited are sufficient evidence.
I See his work on the Apocalypse, page 239.
of this prophecy we have, only a few instance, arising from the difficulty of verses before, the actual expression satisfactorily ascertaining, when all which Mr. Cuninghame contends to the persons born at that time had be the sense of the verse now under terminated their lives : that is to say, discussion—“And when these things supposing any considerable portion
BEGIN to come to pass, then look up, of the Church had expected the “ all ' and lift up your heads : for your re- things” named in the prophecy were
demption draweth nigh."* Now to have come into a state of incepaccording to Mr. Cuninghame's pro- tive accomplishment, (as we find the posed interpretation, when the be- Church did generally understand it;) ginning of the series of events (the and those events had been prolongdestruction of Jerusalem, e.g.) came ed above 60 or 70 years, as we see into action, then the redemption of they were.
For a considerable peIsrael and "c
the kingdom of God” riod (at least half a century,t) the (v. 31) were to be viewed as at hand. Church would have been much emInstead of this, that event proved the barrassed how to judge by this crisignal for the dispersion and cap- terion.
terion. But when we understand, tivity of Israel ; and that long night that the Jewish people was to be of popish darkness and oppression continued in existence, though led came afterwards upon the Christian away captive into all nations ;—that Church, to cause it to droop the
to droop the they were to retain, as their peculiar head, instead of lifting it up in the characteristics, all that malignity immediate expectation of deliver- against the Gospel, and that self
righteous confidence, which caused Thirdly, to limit the fulfilment of them to be called in those days these events to the term of exist- a faithless," a perverse, ence of the persons alive when our crooked," a wicked generation;" Lord spake of them, is in my opin- —and that they are to remain ion greatly to take from the striking in this state even down to the character of the sign, and to deprive very gathering of the elect and the the Church of a very important in- advent of Christ ;-then we have dex and criterion towards the inter- a sign which is most conspicuously pretation of prophecy. There is a manifest to Jew and Gentile, to belargeness and magnificence, when liever and infidel,-a sign corresthe word generation is understood of ponding with what is declared in the Jewish nation, which, whilst it other prophecies concerning the increases the sublimity of the pro- time and the mode of Israel's conphecy, has been remarkably fulfilled version,-a sign which, judging by by the event.t To the majority of my own experience, is calculated the Church there would be a great to fill the mind at once with adobscurity in the sign in the former miration and conviction.
* Here the word all is omitted, and in the Greek text the word apxoplevwv is for precision put before γινεσθαι. .
+ I do not mean however to lay any emphasis in the way of argument upon the greater majesty of the prophecy in this instance, independent of other and more decisive considerations.
Taking the extreme term of the life of individuals in some parts of the world to be 120 years, which it even now is.
THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN.
MATTHEW X, 23.
To the Editor of the Investigator. Luke xxi, 27; &c. I am aware that Dear Sir,
the latter series is by far the most nuIn No. VI, page 187 your Corres- merous; but that is easily accounted pondent Qilos observes, The fol- for if we call to mind, that the se- lowing passage presents a difficulty cond visible coming of the Lord will ' which I have never seen satisfac- involve the destiny of all the na• torily solved. In Matt. x, 23 our
tions of the earth. The Scripture Lord says that his disciples “ shall critic will readily perceive, that ' not have gone over the cities of Is- where the coming" is simply rael till the Son of Man be come. named, as in the first two Scriptures Now as I am a great advocate for referred to, without any personal ' the literal exposition of Scripture, sight, the connexion alludes to the and understanding as I do the com
destruction of Jerusalem ; but where ing of the Son of Man to refer always the supernatural sign, glory, or to his second appearing to set up personal erupaveia is superadded to his universal kingdom I am much the “coming” the connexion refers • perplexed with this passage, &c.” to the end of the present dispensaI can easily conceive the perplexity tion. The text, Matthew x, 23, of a lover of truth here, and heg to which perplexes ollos comes under present this humble attempt, with the former class of Scriptures. a hope that, in some degree, it will II. It appears very plain that long lesson, if not quite remove, the diffi- habit, without bringing that habit culty. It is very necessary for us to the rigid test of the Word, has to make a decided pause at the led us to speak, but very improperly, threshold of our way here, to in- of a figurative coming : this however quire if it be quite correct to con- is an unmeaning phrase : a figurasider the simple sentence “ The tive coming" is a "real nothing." coming of the Son of Man” as AL- A fact may certainly be couched in WAYS referring to his second VISIBLE figurative terms, but the thing inadvent. I think not, for the follow- tended must be a reality. It would ing reasons.
be strictly correct to speak of a per1. There are evidently two series sonal or impersonal coming, (I mean, of expressions, if I may so speak. a visible or an invisible one,) whenIn the one series, the coming of ever any thing in reference to God's the Son of Man” is named, but no acting supernaturally, either with or sight is hinted at;—simply - the without any natural agency, takes coming”-neither“ sign,” nor“ glo- place. Thus we read the Lord is ry,” nor personal appearance being said to come, by his judgements or mentioned at all. The other series his mercies when he interferes with contains texts in which “ the sign, the order of human events. See
the glory," and the " sight of Isaiah xxvi, 21. See also Gen. xviii, him” are most diSTINCTLY stated. 10, as explained by Paul, Rom. ix, I, Here follow two of the first kind, " at this time will I come.” The -Matt. xxiv, 27; Luke xviii, 8: and language is quite the idiom of the here a sample of the second,-Matt. Hebrew ; and our Lord, be it rexxiv, 30 ; xxvi, 64; Mark xiii, 26; membered, was a minister of the circumcision ;'a and his ministry as
sociated in their minds, to a certain he himself tells us was restricted to extent, with the destruction of Jeruthe house of Israel.b He therefore salem ; and this is sufficient to make addressed the Jews in their own the gratuitous assumption of los, as phraseology.
to its always referring to the last That the expression “ the coming
the coming advent, a very dubious conclusion. of the Son of Man” was not al. But I do not mean to accept even of together without meaning to the this strong collateral aid, however Jews, is evident from Josephus; correct; for enough will be found in who states, that when the stones the Word itself for my satisfaction that battered down the walls of on this head. It will I presume be their city were hurled against it, conceded to me willingly, that unity
the watchmen that sat upon the of style in our blessed teacher the towers gave notice, when the en- Lord Jesus is eminently conspicugine was let go and a stone came
If so, I would submit to the from it, and cried out aloud in attention of all lovers of truth, seektheir own country language,” ing information on this point, the COMETH."C
Here is statement of three of the Evangelists enough from a profane Jewish his- as I have here collated them in retorian to shew, that the idea was as- ference to the ruin of the holy city.
Matt. xx, 40, 41.
Mark xii, 9, 10.
Luke xx, 15, 16.
When therefore the What shall therefore What therefore shall LORD of the vineyard the LORD of the vine- the LORD of the vineCOMETH, what will he yard do?
yard do unto them? do unto the husband
COME and men? He will miserably destroy the husband. | destroy these husbanddestroy those wicked men, and will give the men and shall give the men and will let out vineyard to others. vineyard to others. his vineyard unto other husbandmen, &c.
Now it is beyond all refutation, the times of the Gentiles are fulfrom this triple testimony, that the filled. Read, as relative texts, Acts
TO COME” is used in refer- xiii, 46, with Luke xxi, 24. ence to the Lord's judgements on The destruction then of Jerusalem Jerusalem; and that Jesus, who was was a real destruction, and stated by the Son of Man on earth at the three evangelists as the Lord's comtime he gave the predictions, was ing to do it.
ing to do it. Assuredly too it must the glorified Lord when they were be considered a supernatural event, fulfilled ;—first, in taking away the when we look at all the circumvineyard, as to the covenant pro- stances at the very time, and its submises of it, and giving them to the sequent effects to the present day. Gentiles; (as Paul beautifully ar- It is equally certain we have no gues, Rom. xi, 19, 20;) then in the evidence, that the very identical complete ruin of their temple and disciples to whom the Lord spake city by the Romans, so that as a had gone over the cities of Israel body politic they were cut off till before he so came; while from the
a Rom. xv, 8.
b Matt. IV, 24.
c Wars, book 5, chap. 6.
Lord's words it is evident they did sion, weaken the reverence to which
We know that they were all it is entitled, where the translation dead, except John, prior to that is certainly as simple as the idiom
This appears to me a more of two so different languages will simple and legitimate illustration allow. I am not insensible of, nor than the one given by Hilary, at ungrateful for, the labors of the which you, Christian Sir, have learned : what I am aiming at is, to glanced in your note 3.
preserve our excellent version from I am not ignorant of the learned unnecessary revision. I beg leave, criticisms on the construction of the Christian Sir, to say I would not dogGreek text of this verse, and the at- matically enforce my remarks : I tempts at removing difficulties by only submit them to the considerathese means.
But I am convinced tion of your more able christian corthat the clashing critiques of the respondents, as worthy of review. learned are often palpably strained, I shall be glad to find my observaand tend much to bewilder those tions have elicited a clearer illustrawho can only read the English Bible. tion. I pray the Lord the Spirit to I am therefore very tenacious, lest bless your Journal and to make it we should, by our unnecessary de- increasingly useful for his glory. parture from the authorized ver- I am with all due esteem,
Εις των αδελφων.
REVIEW OF BOOKS.
pp. 252. 7s. 6d.
(7) An Inquiry after Prophetic We are very far from wishing to Truth relative to the Restoration of repudiate commentaries altogether : the Jews and the Millennium ; &c. as well might we reject the ministry by JOSEPH Tyso.
of the word; since the printed ex
position is often nothing more than Holdsworth and Ball, London, 1831, 8vo.
that, which has first been carefully
meditated on and preached with unThere are two things affecting feigned dependance on divine aid. our religious views and principles, But when the commentaries become which, though they sometimes ex- a sort of urim and thummim to their ercise a salutary influence, and are
--the only oracles from through God's mercy made instru- which he expects light to enable him mental both in advancing the know- to understand the word ; when he ledge of the truth and in confirming begins systematically to refuse every the weak brethren, are nevertheless exposition which agrees not with his often productive of pernicious con- favourite authors; and even to sequences, owing to the proneness quench within himself every openof the human heart to rest impro- ing view and inward suggestion, that perly in every means of grace. We would seem to lead him contrary on advert to the labors of Commen- any point to some one tators, and to the opinions enter- of these human authorities ;—then tained by that circle of the house their effect unquestionably is to imhold of faith, in which by God's prison the mind, in the same manner providence we may be placed. as do pharisaical or popish tradi