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pline? To instruct, to train, to discipline the young, the ignorant, and the inexperienced for the ministry, requires time and means. Many pious and godly young men are ready to devote themselves to the Lord, and to the service of his church, but they are destitute of the means of sustaining themselves in a preparatory course of study and discipline, to render themselves competent and useful teachers. Could they be encouraged and brought forward, could they be educated, instructed, disciplined, and properly prepared for the great and good work, they doubtless would become devoted and eminent ministers of the gospel, and some of them shine as stars of the first magnitude in the spiritual heavens. And is it not as much the duty of the church to encourage and assist such young men, as it is to pray the Lord of the harvest to send them forth into bis harvest? Ought not the alms, as well as the prayers of the church, to go up to heaven in their behalf ? Indeed, will her prayers ever reach heaven, unless they are perfumed with the sacrifice of worldly substance ? Has not God commanded her to bring her tythes and offerings into this store-house, and declared if she refuse to do this he will shut the windows of heaven against her? How, then, can she expect, while she cherishes a spirit of avarice, while she continues to withhold from God what he so justly demands, that he will hear her prayers, and give to her a faithful, devoted, and enlightened ministry? Let the church do her whole duty, let her send up her prayers and her alms together as a memorial before God, then will the windows of heaven be opened, then will the rich blessings of God descend upon her as the dew of heaven, then will she be as trees planted by the river courses, whose leaf is always green, and whatsover she doeth will prosper. In enriching others, she herself will be enriched ; and in blessing others, she herself will be blessed. Thus shall ministers and people rise up and call each other blessed. A new and yivifying life will inspire the church, and she will rise up in all her beauty, and go forth in the greatness of her strength. Then shall his people go out with joy, and be led forth in peace : the mountains and the hills shall break forth before her into singing, and all the trees of the field shall clap their hands for joy. Instead of the thorn shall come up the fir-tree, and instead of the briar shall come up the myrtle-tree, it shall be to the Lord a name, for an everlasting sign that shall not be cut off. Then shall her sons be as plants grown up in their youth, and her daughters will be as corner-stones, polished after the similitude of a palace. Then the Lord will create in Zion a cloud and smoke by day, and the shining of a flame of fire by night; indeed, he will be a wall of fire round about her, and the glory in the midst of her.
Predictions Relating to Jerusalem's Tribulation, and the Coming
of the Son of Man.—By Elder Jasper Hazen.
These predictions are recorded by three of the four evangelists. Mat. xxiv., Mark xii., Luke xxi. În the exposition of these predictions, two systems very different from each other, have been adopted. The one regards the language relating to the coming of the Son of man, as highly figurative, and treating of events immediately connected with, and involving the destruction of Jerusalem. That those predictions received their fulfilment during the life of some of the persons living at the time the predictions were uttered. Another exposition regards them as predictions of events, which are to receive a literal accomplishment: that they have never been fulfilled, but are to be in time yet future. An investigation of this subject, and a fair comparison of those systems of exposition with the predictions, and with other scripture, is designed by the writer of this article. In order to a fair investigation of the subject, I will just present the predictions relating to the principal events, as recorded by the three; transcribing such portions as may be necessary to our object, and referring to others.
Sec. 1. Signs of the approaching tribulation of the Jews. It is unnecessary, in this quotation, to go back further than the sign at which the disciples were to leave Jerusalem.
Mat. 15—18. " When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand,) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains : Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house; neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes."
Mark 14–16. “But when ye shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, standing where it ought not, (let him that readeth understand, then let them that be in Judea flee to the mountains; and let him that is on the house-top not go down into the house, neither enter therein, to take anything out of his house. And let him that is in the field not turn back again for to take up his garment.”
Luke 20—22. “And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains : and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.”
Sec. 2. This division embraces the predictions of the tribulation of the Jews. It includes the death of those who perished by the war, the captivity of the survivors, and the destruction of their city, expressed by the treading it down for an indefinite time.
Mat. 19-22. “ And wo unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day: 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: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.”
Mark 17–20. “ But wo to them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter. For in those days shall be affliction, such as was not from the beginning of the creation which God created unto this time, neither shall be. And except that the Lord had shortened those days, no flesh should be saved: but for the elect's sake whom he hath chosen, he hath shortened the days."
Luke 23, 24. “But wo 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 upon this people. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled."
Mat. 23—28, and Mark 21-23, give cautions against false Christs, with such a description of the manner of Christ's coming, “ As the lightning," as to prevent danger of deception to those that believe his word.
Sec. 3. The signs of the coming of the Son of man. Mat. 29. “Immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken." Mark 24, 25. “But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken.” Luke 25, 26. “And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars ; and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity ; the sea and the waves roaring; men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after the things which are coming on the earth; for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.”
Sec. 4. The coming of the Son of man. Mat. 30. “ And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven ; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of
man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” Mark 26. “ And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” Luke 27. “ And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory.”
Séc. 5. Events following the coming of the Son of man. Mat. 31. ** And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Mark 27. “ And then shall
he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth, to the uttermost part of heaven.” Luke 28. “And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads, for your redemption draweth nigh.”
In the remaining part of these chapters, the disciples are taught in a parable, that when all these things come to pass, the kingdom of God is nigh. And by the parable of the faithful and unfaithful servants, admonished to their duty.
I. The order of the events. The things spoken of in these predictions, in their order, are, 1. The signs of Jerusalem's tribulation ; concluded by that sign, at which the disciples are to flee to the mountains, that they may escape the vengeance about to be poured upon Jerusalem. 2. The tribulation of the Jews, declared by Mathew to be “Great tribulation;" by Mark, “ Great affliction;" by Luke, “ Great distress ;” and particularly described by Luke: " And they shall fall by the edge of the sword,” &c. 3. The signs of Christ's coming, given by Matthew and Mark: “ The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall;" which Luke declares to be signs in those heavenly bodies, and adds others upon the earth, and in the sea. 4. The coming of the Son of man in the clouds of heaven. This event, arranged in the same order, in relation to the other events, coming in a cloud, or the clouds; and to be seen coming, according to all three of the witnesses. 5. His coming, followed by the gathering his elect by the angels, from the uttermost part of the earth, to the uttermost part of heaven. This embraces, or includes the redemption of the elect. These predicted events are arranged in this order by the three evangelists, interspersed with such instruction, counsel
, and caution, as the circumstances of the case render proper and needful. This arrangement is distinctly observed in the three, and is important to a right understanding of the prophecy.
II. Explanation of terms. There are two instances in which terms are recorded by Luke, not named by the other evangelists, that may render a few words proper by way of explanation. 1. REDEMPTION. This term is introduced by Luke in such connexion, as to show that it is cotemporary with the gathering of the elect: (see section 5.) Without reference to the opinions of others, we may gather from the New Testament that there were those in Jerusalem that looked for redemption : Luke ii., 38. That Christ is made redemption to us : 1 Cor. i., 30. That this redemption is in Christ : Rom. iii., 24. That it embraces deliverance from sin, by forgiveness : Eph. i., 7., Col. i., 14; and deliverance from corruption and death, by change to immortality: Rom. viii., 23, compared with 1 Cor. xv., 51, 52. That this redemption is an eternal deliverance: Heb. ix., 12. And by the Holy Spirit of God, the saints are sealed to the day of redemption : Eph. iv., 30. It also embraces deliverance from the curse of the law : Gal. iii., 13. And from our vain
conversation : 1 Pet. i., 18. Then the term embraces deliverance from the guilt of sin—from the curse of the law—from our vain course of life from the bondage of corruption, (death,) and an eternal inheritance of the purchased possession, of which the saints now have an earnest, by the seeking of that Holy Spirit of promise : Eph. i., 13, 14. This redemption spoken of by Luke, is to be experienced at the coming of Christ, and the gathering of the elect; compare with Luke, 1 Thess. iv., 16, 17.
2. Kingdom of God. See Luke verse 31, compared with Mat. v. 33, Mark v. 29. This term is supposed sometimes to mean that state into which persons enter, when they, by embracing the gospel, become the willing subjects of the government of God, and enjoy his favor and protection. Its most common meaning is that glorious state of perfection into which the righteous will enter, through much tribulation, which God has promised to them that love him; in which, when it comes, the will of God will be done in earth, as it is done in heaven, prepared for the righteous, in which they will inherit eternal life.
III. Principles of right exposition. 1. A right exposition of this prophecy, will embrace the whole record made by the three evangelists. In this manner they will throw light upon each other, and all help to a right understanding of the predictions. For neither record everything Christ said on the Mount of Olives, nor did either record anything he did not say. By a comparison of them with each other, we come at what Christ would communicate. 2. A right exposition will accord with, and not derange the order of the events as predicted; and that order preserved by all three of the witnesses. In the historical part of their writings, very particular attention appears not to have been paid to the exact order in which they occurred, in relation to each other. Nor was it necessary. If Jesus restored a blind man to sight, restored the withered hand, and raised a dead man from his grave, it is not necessary to our conviction that he is the Messiah, to know which miracle was performed first ; but only that they were performed. Then, a witness of those facts, would testify to the facts, without being very particular as to their order. But when we have predictions of future events, the right order and arrangement of which events, is necessary to a right understanding of the predictions, it is very necessary that this order should be preserved. This will be found to have been the case, exactly, by the evangelists in this record, so far as the great and important events predicted are concerned. A right exposition will preserve, not derange and destroy that order. 3. A right exposition will accord with, not contradict, the plain declarations of Jesus Christ. I need not support this principle by illustration or argument. 4. A right exposition will meet all the important events predicted, and show their accomplishment, in a satisfactory manner, according to the common use of the terms in which the predictions are given. 5. By a right exposi