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TYPES AND SYMBOLS.
I feel that I cannot do justice in this Essay to the remaining portion of the chapter without exceeding reasonable bounds; and must therefore postpone it. I shall only briefly observe, that these things usher in the personal advent of the Son of man; and that they are written for the encouragement of his people, who, when these things begin to come to pass, are then to look up, and lift up their heads, for their
'redemption draweth nigh." I nevertheless think that these words have a special reference to the restoration of the Jews: and it is a remarkable circumstance, that contemporaneously with the distress among the Gentiles, we may perceive evident symptoms that the Jewish tribulation is beginning to pass away. But these things I must for the present leave.
TYPES AND SYMBOLS.
To the Editor of the Investigator.
Although upon the whole I perfectly agree with INQUIRER in his remarks upon the literal and figurative interpretation of Scripture, yet there is one passage in his second letter from which I am inclined to dissent. The matter is indeed one of small importance; but when it is remembered, how much easier and clearer all investigation becomes, when we have all our terms well defined in the outset, I feel that I need not apologize for troubling you.
The passage to which I allude is the distinction Inquirer has made between symbolical and typical prophecies.—“ Typical prophecies are those which foretel future events, by some peculiar actions or things, having certain correspondencies to the events predicted."-"Symbolical prophecies are those which represent future events by certain ideal objects, such as trees, animals, &c." The objection that seems to bear against the above distinction is, that it is not sufficiently definite. examine the two definitions, and see what are the distinguishing marks.
It will be readily allowed, that
while types have only certain correspondencies to the events predicted," every object (to use your own words, Mr. Editor, on the visions of the Apocalypse, p. 311,) described in these visions has a precise and definite signification.” This is clearly a difference, but not a distinguishing difference between a type and a symbol.-Inquirer's distinction becomes then, that "types are peculiar actions and things,symbols certain ideal objects, as trees, animals, &c." The only definite distinction here observable is, that types are real, (for this I infer to be the writers opinion) symbols ideal; for the other terms are evidently commutable. Now if this be the distinction intended by Inquirer, I must differ from him ;—if it be not, I beg he will pardon my misunderstanding him.
The distinctive difference between a type and a symbol appears to me to be this, that a type is an event or object that might have existed independent of any antitype; that its existence did not necessarily point it out as a type: a symbol, on the contrary, has no independent existence.* A type is an event in
* Some time back I began to write a short paper on this very subject, but for some season laid it aside.—Cuninghame's Answer to Wardlaw's Sermon has been since put
the lamb was a symbol of it. The passage of the Red Sea was a type of regeneration, through belief in the death of Christ for our sins, and his rising again for our justification; the washing of the priests and Levites in the brazen sea was a symbol of it. (See Rom. vi, 3, 4; 1 Cor. x, 2; Col. ii, 12; Titus iii, 5.) Melchizedec, David, Solomon, &c. were all types of our Lord; the high priest was a symbol of him. Canaan was a type of the millennial rest of the glorified saints-the Israel (princes) and priests of God; the holy place into which the priests alone entered, and which was lighted by the seven lamps only (or the Spirit of God) was in my opinion a symbol of the same. On this however and other symbolical parts of the Jewish worship, I intend to write hereafter, if you will be kind enough to spare me room:
into my hands, and I was highly gratified to find that his definition between a type and symbol, though much more clearly expressed, was exactly similar to the one I had been led to use. With such good authority to support me I am induced to write upon the subject; which otherwise I ought to feel backward in doing, being but a child in the investigation of prophecy.
what is called the natural order of
I subjoin a few types and symbols, which typifying or symbolizing the same event can be easily compared.—The sacrifice of Isaac was a type of the sacrificial death of our Lord; the daily sacrifice of
dom of God's sake, shall receive eternal life; it is when they who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, that some are to awake to everlasting life; and at the day of wrath and revelation of his righteous judgements God shall render unto those who seek for
glory, honor, and immortality, eternal life.h
What is this eternal life which is then to be received? Our Lord's declaration-" And this is life eter
nal, that they might know thee, 'the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent;". does not, (as it appears to me,) in its full signification, mean the spiritual knowledge of God, commencing in this life, when the dead soul is born again and for this reason; that I find the Apostle Paul stating himself to be only "in hope" of eternal life in Titus i, 2; and of all the sons of men who ever existed he must have enjoyed most of such spiritual knowledge. I would refer the complete fulfilment of these words of our Saviour to that time, when the promise of infinite meaning is fulfilled, and the redeemed see face to face and know even as also they are known."
And from this glorious promise I think we may gather an assurance of the most intimate spiritual and bodily knowledge of God," the Fountain of Life, in whose light alone we can see light;" for we
shall spiritually know even as we are known," and with our bodies
see face to face." To enjoy this there must be a fit state of being, both of soul and body. And it appears to me, that, in its full significance, eternal life means, a state of being—of a "living" soul, and “spiritual” and “immortal” or “incorruptible" body-fitted to enjoy the most intimate spiritual and bodily knowledge of God, the Holy One, whom " men may not see and live ;" and also, the actual enjoyment of such knowledge. I am
sure that you will agree with me that this includes all felicity; exceeding and eternal weight of glory.*
And, if these words bear the meaning which I have attached to them, how earnestly ought we to desire that time when eternal life shall be obtained, and until which, not one of the saints from Adam until now (with some miraculous exceptions) shall be made perfect! And how little will it matter, where they glorify and serve the Lord! for they shall walk to and fro in the light of His countenance, and be unto His glory for ever.
"Eternal" or "everlasting life" is exclusively mentioned in the New Testament, with only one exception: viz. Dan. xii, 2. How truly might the Apostle say, that "Life and immortality were brought to light by the Gospel!" W. G. J.
f Luke xviii, 30. g Dan. xii, 2. h Rom. ii, 7.
* Attaching so much importance to the words "eternal life ;" and conceiving, that in the promise of it is contained the assurance of the blessedness of the sons of God; you will not think that I lightly seek to destroy any associations which may have been attached to the connexion of the words "blessed hope" in Titus ii, 13, with the second advent of our Lord, when I say, that (if rightly translated) I do not think it is that event which the Apostle calls a "blessed" hope; but the hope of eternal life mentioned in chap. i, 2 and iii, 7. This removes a difficulty which I have often felt, in connecting the words "blessed hope" with the latter clause of the verse, notwithstanding the disjunctive "and." And in fact it makes little difference, if, as I believe, eternal life is only fully to be entered on at the coming of our Lord.
ON THE APOCALYPSE.
To the Editor of the Investigator.
Multitudes, like your Correspondent H, are dissatisfied with the various interpretations of the Apocalypse. My own mind is impressed with a conviction that most of it is yet unfulfilled, especially in regard to the slaying of the witnesses and the pouring out of the seven vials of wrath. Perhaps by bringing the subject before your readers some may be induced to examine the passages more closely, and by the mighty power of the Holy Spirit be led to understand this mysterious part of God's word. The time of the end seems rapidly approaching, and we may daily look for clearer light on the prophetic writings.
I believe all commentators allow,
the same hour was a great earth'quake and the tenth part of the city fell."-The second woe passes away and the third woe cometh quickly;" (there is apparently no interval;) the seventh angel sounds, and the sign appears in heaven, v. 19. Is not this the sign preceding the coming of the Son of man?—that sign for which the Jews so often inquired, and which probably will precede the gathering of the twelve tribes. Then the mystery is finished, and successive to this is the pouring out of the vials. There seems no interval between any of them.
Again, Antichrist is said already to have risen; but from chap. xi it appears that he rises to slay the witnesses; and that neither the beast” nor the false prophet" can be the Antichrist, the Wicked One, the Apostate, so frequently referred to in the Psalms.
their testimony, the beast that ascendeth out of the bottomless pit shall make war against them and shall overcome them and kill them."
After lying dead three days and a half they stand on their feet and ascend to heaven in a cloud; " and
I conclude with the excellent advice of Mr. Maitland in his work on the 1260 years : "I would
beg the Reader to examine the prophecies in question; endeavour
mystery is? Can we possibly there-ing for the time to forget whatever
fore be living under the sixth Vial ?
Again, it is asserted that the Witnesses were slain at the French Revolution: although no commentator can exactly ascertain who the two Witnesses are. The structure of chapter xi, seems quite at variance with this opinion. The Witnesses prophesy in sackcloth 1260 days; and when they shall have finished
he may know of the various inter'pretations which have been offer
ed; and may He who is the Author and Giver of every good and perfect gift grant to him and to myself by
his grace and Spirit a right judge'ment to understand, and a true faith to believe, whatsoever he has seen fit to reveal in his most holy ' word. I am yours, &c.
How much is there included in there included in that one short word-PEACE! How important likewise is the thing itself, when we reflect that it is what every anxious countenance around us is desiring ;—that it is what thousands have sought, what thousands are seeking, and all will continue to search for, even till the day even till the day of the Lord cometh! And yet in how many different ways is Peace sought more : more various than the brooks that steal along the vallies of Britain; or the flight of the birds, which chase each other round her cottages!
Many examples pass quickly in review before us: the man of pleasure, the literary trifler, the statesman, the hero, and a thousand others but it is needless to consider these particularly; for we have only to look back upon our own experience to be convinced, that the world does not give peace. Nothing belonging to it can fill the immortal soul of man. Though what had once been conceived the highest pinnacle of ambition were reached, yet there will always appear another point still higher;-though the riches of the Indies were in his coffers, still should those of Peru be coveted ;—and even if the whole earth lay prostrate before the warrior, yet would he regret with Alexander, that there were no more worlds to conquer."
tain opened for sin and for uncleanness." The world will ask indeed, Can that gloomy and morose thing, called religion, give a peace that is worthy of the name? We answer religion can; but we deny, that true religion is either gloomy or morose. For who are more likely to be happy and cheerful, than those who are assured that God, who made the world and builded up the firmament, careth for them ;-that He is their loving Father ;-that He not only can but will turn every thing that happens to them into good ;—and will finally give to them a blessed and eternal inheritance?
I have touched upon this subject from considering the aspect of the present times; persuaded that the people of God need every means to strengthen them to look forward to and endure the troubles that are before us, and that they are now specially Where then are we to look for called upon to let their light shine. happiness? What say the Scrip- For though this blessed peace is the tures? “Peace I leave with you: privilege of all who confide wholly My peace I give unto you: not as in the Lord Jesus; yet many even the world giveth give I unto you." of his own people experience it not. Here then, and here alone, it is to be I speak not of mere professors or met with; and though you search formalists; but of true christians, through earth and hell and heaven, who love the Lord in some degree, you still shall find every cistern and yet enjoy not that peace which broken, save that which is, a foun- the Saviour left as an inheritance for
This is the peace that our Immanuel offers to all who seek refuge in him; -a calm and holy serenity of mind; the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, and which none can take away. Grant, O Lord, that thy followers may be more and more separate from the world; that the line of partition may become broader and broader, till Thou shalt come to separate them for ever!" For to be carnally · minded is death; but to be spiritually minded is life and peace.