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Titus ii. 13. “ Henceforth there is laid up
for crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, shall
give me at that day: and not to me only, but unto all them also that love His appearing.” 2 Tim. iv. 8. In all these instances, the word translated “
appearing" and " appearance," is the very word translated" brightness" in the passage before us. How then is it possible to evade the conclusion that Christ's return will take place at the destruction of Antichrist? _“And then shall that Wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the Spirit of His mouth, as has been witnessed since the Reformation,] and shall destroy with the brightness (or glorious appearance] of His COMING."*
The same view of the coming of the Son of Man at the destruction of Antichrist is given by the prophet Daniel. The seventh chapter of his prophecies contains the account of a dream, or vision, in which the prophet saw four beasts, which, Commentators are
ancy, than that he also affirms that “ by the brightness of His coming” this Wicked shall be destroyed.
Any general remarks on Dr. Hamilton's mode of treating the three Greek nouns used in the New Testament to signify the advent of Christ, are unnecessary, as Mr. Cunninghame-whose thorough acquaintance with the originals, eminently fits him for the work-has in his several pamphlets so fully taken up this part of the argument. We merely observe on the above passage, that the Doctor's method of getting through the overwhelming evidence it contains of the Saviour's personal return at the destruction of Antichrist is abundantly easy. Assuming that he formerly came at the destruction of Jerusalem-next declaring that he did not then come in person—and lastly asserting, that “His advent is represented in the same terms on the two latter occasions,” he speedily arrives at the conclusion, (p. 238,) that “ the presumption certainly is, that he will not come in person, either at the overthrow of Antichrist, or the introduction of the Millennium”-between which events he marvellously interposes 75 years, (p. 236,) and seems to imagine he has thus fully confuted Mr. Cunninghame's argument!!
This is the passage to which we formerly referred as containing " the sole apparent evidence” which“ after long thought” Mr. Faber could discover in favour of our views. It may therefore be interesting to notice the means by which he succeeds in disposing of it. This he does simply by supposing that from a forged letter the Thessalonian church had been deceived into an expectation of the immedia ate FIGURATIVE advent of Christ to destroy the Man of sin !! Had they also been deceived, then, into the expectation of their immedi. ate figurative “GATHERING TOGETHER UNTO HIM”?
agreed, represent the great monarchies which have successively had dominion from that time till now—the Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman. This last appeared to the prophet dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly, with great iron teeth, and as breaking in pieces, and stamping the residue with the feet of it, “and it had ten horns." While the prophet considered these horns—the kingdoms into which the Roman empire became divided—behold there came up among them, another little horn having eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things, which “made war with the saints, and prevailed against them.” This little horn, it is also agreed, is the Papal Apostasy. Contemplating this horn, the prophet “ beheld till the thrones were cast down, (set or placed,] and the Ancient of Days did sit,* whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of His head like the pure wool ; His throne was like the fiery flame, and His wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before Him; thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him; the judgment was set and the books were opened. I beheld then, because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions; and, behold, one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of Days, and they brought Him near before Him. And there was given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Dan. vii. 9–14. How fully does this confirm the view given by Paul to the Thessalonians !
* Dr. Hamilton, to supply the place of argument, gives an extract, (p. 234,) from the Edinburgh Theological Magazine, in which it is attempted to vindicate an absurd commentary, which Mr. Cunninghame has exposed, concluding some equally pointless remarks on this passage, in the following words : “ The Son of Man came to the An. cient of Days, or was brought near before Him. The only question then is, where has the Ancient of Days His abode? Where do the Scriptures uniformly represent Him as erecting His throne? If it be on earth, then the coming of the Son of Man was a descent according to Mr. Cunninghame; if it be in heaven, then the coming of the Son of Man was an ascent according to the interpreters, Maclaurin and Scott.” The author of the above is certainly entitled to the merit of originality ; and should this new species of argumentation ever become admissible, what are at present regarded as indubitable facts will be easily overthrown. If, for example, any gentleman, ignorant of the power and nature of Religious Criticism, should venture to mention his having been, in 1822, at the levee of his late Majesty, held in the palace of Holyrood, he might soon have occasion to blush for his temerity, and have his want of probity thus exposed by some acute reviewer : “ Where did George the Fourth reside ? Where is he uniformly represented as having held his Court? If in Edinburgh, then may you have been present at his levee in Holyrood; but, if in London, then, Sir, you endeavour to deceive.” In the prophecy the point to be ascertained is not where the throne of the Ancient of Days is usually placed, but where He is represented as having set these thrones of judgment at the particular time specified. These cannot be confounded with the eternal throne of God. They are only placed while the transactions of the vision are being accomplished. The prophet beheld “till” they were set; and, instead of being in heaven, they are represented in the context as being placed upon the kingdoms described under the emblems of the four destructive beasts. Contemplating the Papal Antichrist which had arisen among the other horns of the Roman empire, and considering this horn, whose
Under the representation of seven angels pouring out the vials of God's wrath upon the earth, the book of the Revelation contains a prediction of the judgments which precede the Millennium ; by the last of which vials, Antichrist is to be finally destroyed. But after the account of the sixth, and before the out-pouring of the seventh vial, there is a remarkable parenthetical intimation given : “ And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates, (in judgments upon the
look was more stout than his fellows, the prophet “ beheld [these] till the thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days did sit" in judgment upon him. It was while these thrones were sct, and judginent was being executed, that One like the Son of Man came from heaven, which must receive Him “until the times of Restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began." These “times” having now arrived, He comes “ with the clouds of heaven," and there is "given Him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages should serve Him."
Turkish empire, symbolized by that river,) and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of [from] the east might be prepared, [probably the Israelites, called “princes,” Ps. xlvii. 8, 9.] And I saw three unclean spirits, like frogs, come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet, for they are the spirits of devils working miracles, [signs or wonders,] which go forth unto the kings of the earth, and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty. (Behold I come as a thief ; blessed is he that watcheth and keepeth his garments, lest he walk naked and they see his shame.) And he gathered them together into a place called, in the Hebrew tongue Armageddon." Rev. xvi. 12–17. Then follow the judgments of the last vial: “ And the seventh angel poured out his vial,” &c. There is no such intimation as is here made of the Coming of the Lord given between the out-pouring of any two of the preceding vials, nor in any other of the prophetic parts of the book of the Revelation. And the figure used-as a thief-is that in which Christ himself foretold his personal advent; "Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning, and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their Lord, when He will return from the wedding.... And this know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken through. Be ye therefore ready also, for the Son of Man cometh at an hour when ye think not.” Luke xii. 35–40. The apostle Peter also assures us, “ the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” 2 Pet. iii, 10. This distinctive character of Christ's personal return might alone suggest that it is to the same advent the intimation between the sixth and seventh vials refers, “ Behold, I come as a thief." But when we reflect that Paul expressly asserts that the destruction of the Man of sin is to be effected by the brightness of Christ's coming—that Daniel's vision presents the view of his coming with the clouds of heaven at the same time,--and that this parenthetical intimation is made just before the account of the final destruction of that apostasy, there surely remains no reason to ques. tion the fact.
Advancing to the more enlarged account of the utter destruction of that power, and of the apostate nations leagued with it, we find the Saviour represented as present in the dread conflict. The first nine verses of the 19th chapter of the Revelation contain an account of the rejoicing of the saints in heaven, and their aspirations of praise to God for the infliction of His judgments upon her who had corrupted the earth, and because the marriage of the Lamb is come. And in the following part of that chapter, and beginning of the 20th, is declared the signal destruction of the enemies of Christ. In the 11th verse of the 19th chapter, the apostle “saw heaven opened, and, behold, a white horse, and He that sat upon him was called Faithful and True, and in righteousness He doth judge and make war.” There can be no doubt that this Glorious Personage is the blessed Saviour, who is indeed afterwards called expressly the word of God; and He hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords, and on His head were many crowns. He meditates the destruction of his enemies ; for the armies of heaven, wearing the raiment of saints, followed Him, " and out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword that with it he should smite the nations; and He shall rule them with a rod of iron; and He treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God." To intimate the extent of the carnage, the apostle " saw an angel standing in the lun, and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves unto the supper of the Great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great." Without entering upon any particular examination of the imagery employed, we may merely observe, that the sharp sword going out of the Saviour's mouth is probably designed to intimate, that this work of tremendous destruction will be effected in