Зображення сторінки
PDF
ePub

He re

[ocr errors]

nest in a rock: Nevertheless the Kenite shall be wasted, until Ashur shall carry thee away captive. And he took up his parable and said, Alas! who shall live when God doeth this?" Num. xxiv. 14-23. These verses thus contain evidence both of the Saviour's premillennial advent, and of Balaam's resurrection at that time. There is little reason to doubt that Christ is the “ Star" and the “ Sceptre” whom Balaam was to see. fers not to the vision he then obtained, for it was to be not now,"_“not nigh," but—" in the latter days.” Now this Star is to "smite through the princes of Moab, and destroy all the children of Sheth. And Edom shall be a possession, Seir also shall be a possession for his enemies; and Israel shall do valiantly." This appears plainly to refer to those times immediately before the Millennium, when, as we have already shown, (p. 42,) the Israelites are to spoil Edom and Moab and the children of Ammon; and to the awful destruction by which the world shall then be overtaken Balaam appears to refer, when he says, “ Alas! who shall live when God doeth this?” ver. 23. Some have indeed supposed David or Solomon to be the Star spoken of, because of their having subdued the countries here mentioned. But this Star, Balaam is to “see," and it is not the subjugation, but the destruction of these nations which is predicted, thus corresponding with other prophecies concerning “the latter days.” But as Balaam will not be found among the righteous, his beholding the Saviour at this time is a proof of the premillennial resurrection of some of the wicked-and the finger of Inspiration points to his sin as peculiarly aggravated; it is that of a monster.

There are other passages which countenance the idea that some whose guilt has been awfully aggravated, will be also raised at the commencement of the Millennium, as monuments of God's wrath. In a passage already quoted, (Is. xxvi.) this idea is distinctly brought before us. Thy dead men shall live ; my dead men shall they arise : awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs.” This resurrection of the righteous is here contrasted, in its

happy nature, with what immediately follows. For while they are said tranquilly to arise, and are called to "awake and sing” in holy joy, it is added, “ And [or, .but') the earth shall cast out her Giants:"—for so it appears the word here translated "dead" ought to have been rendered.–Our translators in this, as in some other cases, not perceiving the idea of the text, but certain that the Rephaim must be dead, since the earth is called to cast them out, made that substitution which doubtless must have appeared to them most distinct, but which does not convey the precise idea of the Original. In almost every other instance, this word has been translated giants, (as in Deut. ii. 20. Josh. xii. 4. 1 Chron. XX. 4, 6, 8;) and appears always to signify men either tall in stature or great in crime. When therefore they are to be “cast out” of the earth at the period of the Millennium, in contrast to those who shall " awake and sing," it may be viewed as confirmatory of the opinion that the “ some" who shall awake to shame and contempt are the giants in crime--the pre-eminently wicked.

We meet these Rephaim or Giants, in another prediction by Isaiah, of the overthrow of the King of Babylon: “Hell from beneath,” says the prophet, is moved for thee, to meet thee at thy coming. It stirreth up the Giants for thee, even the chief ones of the earth.” Is. xiv. 9. Although the prophet, in some parts of the prediction, seems to connect it with the fate of ancient Babylon, there are many circumstances which determine its general application to the last Antichrist. In the third verse, we are expressly told that it shall come to pass in the day that the Lord shall give the house of Israel rest from their sorrow and fear, and from the hard bondage they are made to serve. At the destruction of this power the whole earth is at rest and is quiet, they break forth into singing." ver. 7. His pride and blasphemy are also just what is predicted of Babylon the Great, the Mother of Harlots : “For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God ....I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the Most High.” ver. 13, 14. And as in

[ocr errors]

the passage already noticed, the giants are “cast out" of the earth at the Millennium, so it is remarkable that here not only does hell stir up the giants for this wicked king, but a similar fate is predicted for himself: “ All the kings of the nations,” continues the prophet,

even all of them lie in glory, every one in his own house. But thou art cast out of thy grave, like an abominable branch, and as the raiment of them that are slain, thrust through with a sword, that go down to the stones of the pit, as a carcass trodden under foot. Thou shalt not be joined with them in burial, because thou hast destroyed thy land, and slain thy people." ver. 18-20. In referring to the war of the Antichristian nations, immediately before the Millennium, (Rev. xix. 20.) we have already seen that “the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles (or wonders before him.... these both were cast into a lake of fire burning with brimstone." And although the binding of Satan, and casting him into the bottomless pit during the Millennium, does not seem to include his condemnation to this place of misery, yet the same portion awaits him after it; and when the nations which go up on the breadth of the earth, and compass the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city, have been devoured by fire from heaven, “the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and false prophet are" during that happy time. Rev. xx. 10. But if this king of Babylon, spoken of by Isaiah, be indeed the same Antichrist who is, in John's vision, cast into a lake of fire, while those who will be his associates in the last great conflict are slain, and “ all the fowls of heaven are filled with their flesh," then it appears this place of torment is to be on the earth, and within the view of men, for the prophet says, “Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit. They that see thee shall narrowly look upon thee, and consider thee, saying, Is this the man that made the earth to tremble, that did shake kingdoms; that made the world as a wilderness?" ver. 15–17. So, also, in the close of this prophecy, Isaiah gives a similar but more distinct prediction of

of this place of punishment, in connexion with the Millennium; - For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed and your name remain, And it shall come to pass, from one new moon to another, and from one sabbath to another, shall all flesh come to worship before me, saith the Lord. And they shall go forth and look upon the CARCASES of the men that have transgressed against me; for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” Is. Ixvi. 22–24. Thus will be displayed the divine indignation against sin, in the visible punishment of those so raised to shame and contempt: For Tophet is ordained of old: yea for the king it is prepared; He hath made it deep and large ; the pile thereof is fire and much wood; the breath of the Lord like a stream of brimstone doth kindle it," Is. XXX. 33.

Nor will this view of those pre-eminently wicked " the giants” in depravity, being raised to shame and contempt, at the commencement of the Millennium, appear inconsistent with the more general statements of the holy character and happy state of those who shall enjoy the First Resurrection, when we attend to instances of a similar kind in Scripture. Thus, in Eccles. iii. 20, it is said, “ All go unto one place. All are of the dust, and all turn to dust again. But this cannot be understood as including absolutely the whole human family. For, besides the translated two who went direct from earth to heaven, we know that “we shall not all sleep,” but that some shall be “ alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord," who, being changed, shall be rendered incorruptible and immortal. But these exceptions do not affect the great truth uttered by the Preacher, that all die, and being buried moulder in the dust. · Another similar instance accurs in the statement by the apostle Paul of the order of the resurrection, in which he overlooks altogether that of certain saints immediately after Christ had arisen: “ And the earth did quake, and the rocks rent." narrates the evan. gelist Matihew, in his account of Christ's crucifixion, and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints which slept arose, and came out of the graves AFTER His resurrection, and went into the holy city, and appeared unto many." Mat. xxvii. 51–53. Yet the apostle speaking expressly of the order of the resurrection, (1 Cor. xv. 23,) wholly overlooks these, al. though the evangelist says they were many: "Every man in his own order," says the apostle, « Christ the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming." Although, in reality, they were “many,” yet the number of these saints who arose immediately after Christ's resurrection was still small compared with that of those who “are Christ's at His coming," and therefore no mention is made of them. So, referring to the Millennial period, the prophet Isaiah (1x. 21,) says, “thy people also shall be all righteous;" although speaking elsewhere of this period, he informs us, that “the sinner being an hundred years old shall be accurs. ed. ls. Ixv. 20. In like manner, then, may there be some raised to shame and contempt, without affecting the general truth, “ Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection, on such the second death hath no power," being “ accounted worthy to obtain that age and the resurrection from among the dead."* But there is an additional circumstance

mentioned by John, in his description of those who are the subjects of

* In an essay in the Morning Watch (Vol. II. pp. 329–351,) we have endeavoured, by a minute analysis of the apostle's language, to show that the Heresy with which Paul charges Hymeneus and Phi. letus, (2 Tim. ii. 16—19,) “who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already," was not what is generally supposed. There is no ground, we maintain, for believing that they substituted the conversion of believers for the resurrection which it is stated they impugned; but, on the contrary, that the sin with which they are charged is the misplacing in it point of time, by as. serting that to be “past already” which was and is still future,-the resurrection of those whom the Lord knoweth are His, and which in. troduces to that reign with Christ by the prospect of which the apos. tle comforts Timothy. In that essay we have also argued fully the premillennial resurrection of “some to shame and everlasting contempt,” (from Dan. xii. 2, in connection with the apostle's staternent in the 20th verse,) in opposition to some Millenarians who overlook the evidence on this point. We do not however resume these discussions here, but refer those who feel particular interest in the question to the periodical named above.

« НазадПродовжити »