Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

serve and obey him.-Hitherto is the end of the matter. Dan. ii. 45;

vii. 2, 28. (1) In Mount Zion, and in Jerusalem, shall be deliverance, as the

Lord hath said.- Proclaim ye this among the Gentiles, &c. The heavens and the earth shall shake; but the Lord will be the hope of his people.-So shall ye know that I am the Lord your God

dwelling in Zion. Joel ii. 32; iii. 9, 16, 17. (m) Before the decree bring forth.-My determination is to gather the

nations. I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I bring back your captivity before your eyes,

saith the Lord. Zeph. ii. 2; iii. 8, 20. (n) And it shall come to pass in that day, that the prophets shall be

ashamed every one of his vision, when he hath prophesied. Zech.

xiii. 4. (o) Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away. Matt. xxiv. 35; Mark xiii. 31; Luke xxi. 33.-0 fools, and slow of heart to believe ALL THAT THE PROPHETS HAVE SPOKEN. Luke xxiv. 25.

[ocr errors]

CHAPTER VII.

THE WORDS OF THE LORD JESUS CHRIST COMPARED WITH

SAYINGS OF THE BOOK OF REVELATION.

In great plainness of speech, such as commands belief and repudiates all private interpretation, Paul, as an inspired apostle, testifies of the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgments of God—the day in which God will judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ according to my gospel. If any interpretation be needed of the harvest of the earth, there is One who can interpret it; for if any can bear witness to the things that shall then be done, it is He who himself shall judge the quick and the dead.

The first column (a) of the preceding Table consists of some of the testimonies borne by the Lord Jesus Christ, as he showed in parables to what the kingdom of heaven is like: and the last (o) contains testimonies drawn from the same Divine source, as, without a parable, He told his disciples, ta the few last days of his ministry on earth, things that hall be seen and done at his coming; and showed them soth what shall be its signs and its results.

That his own words, in far larger measure than the Table shows, agree with the sayings of this book, which in his glory He commanded the beloved disciple and the last of the apostles to write, ere he too was taken from the earth—will next be seen ;

and

many more Scriptures will thereafter show by a like agreement, how well it is to give heed to the sure word of prophecy, as holy men of old spake, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost, of the power and coming of the Lord.

There are things revealed which belong to us, were men to appropriate them as imparted, without breaking or disfiguring the seal of heaven which they bear. But there are also things secret, that belong unto the Lord, and not to us. The scriptures in which the former are recorded, are in no case to be wrested in order that men may rashly intrude

[ocr errors]

into the latter. He who came from the Father, hath here revealed a truth, and taught a lesson, which from him, if from none else, his disciples ought to learn.

After Jesus had gone up for the last time to Jerusalem, and had foretold the then approaching desolation of the city and the temple, As He sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the age (Toù alõvos)? 1 More than one question was asked ; and more than one was answered. He spake expressly of the sign of his coming, and of his coming in the clouds of heaven, as well as of things which literally preceded the destruction of Jerusalem. Not only did He tell them, as before, of the destruction of that city, and of the expatriation and universal dispersion of the Jews, as the world is to this day witness to the fact; but he who is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever, and whose testimony is not affected by time, cast an arch with a word over all the intervening space from the day when the Jews were led captive into all nations, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled, 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. He then spake of signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, of distress of nations on the earth, of the failing of men's hearts for fear, and for looking after the things which are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven shall be shaken. And as if he had answered the second question as plainly and as truly as he foretold many things that preceded the destruction of the city and of the temple, He added, “ And THEN (TÓTE) shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud with power and great glory. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” After an enumeration of the same signs, it is recorded in the parallel passage by Matthew, But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only ; * and still more forcibly by Mark, But of that day, and hour, knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. 5

[ocr errors]

1 Matt. xxiv. 3, 4.
4 Matt. xxiv. 36.

2 Luke xxi. 24.
5 Mark xiii. 32.

3 Luke xxi. 27, 28.

[ocr errors]

In like manner, when the Lord “showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God," among the last words he uttered, ere he ascended to heaven to sit at the right hand of the Father, is his answer to another question of his apostles, and a similar limitation even to their knowledge : “They asked him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in his own power.

That secret things belong unto the Lord our God is the first scriptural truth affixed to many predictions in the writings of Moses; and it forms the last warning, too, that was given by the Lord. It is a saying to be kept. Rev. elation its limits; and it is well that it has. The not imparting the knowledge of the day and of the hour when the Son of man shall come-which it lay not even within his own commission, as the Messiah, to reveal-is assigned by himself as a reason for watchfulness and prayer. “Take heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye therefore : for ye know not when the master of the house cometh, at even, or at midnight, or at the cockcrowing, or in the morning : lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you I say unto all, Watch."

Watchfulness is the attitude of the disciples of Jesus, as they wait for the Lord from heaven. In obedience to his command, Occupy till I come, diligence in the work assigned to every man is the believer's calling-"Herein is my Father glorified that ye bear much fruit, so shall ye be my disciples.”3 And prayer is the Christian's strength-asking, they receive. To watchfulness, well-doing, and prayer, the servants of the Lord are the more quickened by the Spirit of all grace, in every age, even because they know not the day and the hour when the Lord shall come; and they shall cease to watch when the porter's work is done, and the gate is opened shall cease from their labors, when their works do follow them, and shall cease to ask when they shall see him as he

[ocr errors]

r Acts i. 3, 6, 7.

2 John xv. 8.

3 Mark xiii. 33-37.

es, and inherit all things. The master has left his house, but he will return. Had he said that he would not come till cock-crowing, the servants might think that they could sleep safely till then ; and, abandoning watchfulness, be found sleeping at his coming, As in the similitude of the wise virgins with oil in their lamps waiting during night for the custom still is in the East), and watchful every moment for the bridegroom's coming; so with servants that have to be ready for their Lord's return, come when he may, their watchfulness is kept alive, and themselves awake, because they know not that day, or that hour.

But while secret things belong unto the Lord our God, the things that are revealed belong unto us, and to our children forever, that we may do all the words of this law. The householder watches if he knows that the thief cometh in the night; the wise virgins have their lamps trimmed and burning, because they are waiting for the bridegroom and watching for the cry, “He cometh ;” the servants know that as surely as their master hath left his house, so surely will he return; and so soon as the signs of his coming begin to appear, well may their diligence be doubled as they see the day approaching. Though the Divine truth that secret things belong unto the Lord has not always been had in remembrance, the things that are revealed belong not the less to the children of light, though some have thought that they could tell the day and the hour, which it is not given to the angels of heaven to know, and was not given even to the Son himself to reveal.

The Lord did tell the signs of his coming, and showed the things that shall accompany it, though the day be not revealed to angels or to men.

The knowledge that the Son of man shall come as a thief in the night—that no man knoweth that day or hour and that the Father hath the times and the seasons in his own power, is no guarantee for ignorance of the signs of it that are told, or of the things that shall accompany it as revealed. There are many things conneeted with the coming of the Son of man, and which shall then be done, that the Father hath not kept in his own power ; but hath transferred from secret things to things revealed, from his own mind, which else no man could know, to his own word which all may read. In his love and mercy He has, by his Son and by his Spirit, by his apostles and prophets, shown them to his serv

« AnteriorContinuar »