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phetic truth, we must wait till the day of grace be passed, and Christ be come in his glory.

It appears to the author that most of the materials of a true interpretation of the Apocalypse have been gathered together by those who have trodden in the steps of Mede; but he feels doubtful whether these materials have yet (valuable as the writings of Vitringa, Cressener, Newton, Woodhouse, Faber, Cuninghame, &c. are,) been so selected and classified, as to furnish that which will be found to be exactly true in the end. But let none wait for farther light before they are influenced by them to preparation for our Lord's coming. Whether it may please the Lord, or not, to give to any of his servants before his coming, the true interpretation of the whole, who can tell? More understanding, however, in the last days, is expressly promised to the wise, (Dan. xii, 10;) and enough is clear to answer one great end of prophecy, and to impress upon the whole church the solemn duty of diligent preparation for, [107] and lively expectation of the day of Christ. "When that glorious Being who alone was found worthy in heaven and earth, to take the book and open the seals thereof, (see Rev. v.) returns again, he will unfold what are now difficulties in the full accomplishment of predictions, and realize his own promise; What I do, thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter. John xiii. 7. As the Revelation was given by him to be a present light to the church militant in a dark world: so its accomplishment may be opened by him to display his full glory to the church triumphant in the heavenly kingdom.

The tendency of the new view of an Apocalypse wholly unfulfilled, is to throw men off from a state of watchfulness and readiness for our Lord's coming. If once men can be brought to think the great book of prophecy of our Lord's coming to be yet unaccomplished, a vast variety of events have then previously to take place without any preceding clue as to the time. It has the same effect as a spiritual coming before the Millennium, making it more difficult to realize the coming as a thief and as a snare, to us at the present time; and so impracticable, to be always in a watching and waiting spirit for that blessed, though most tremendous day.

The remarkable PROPHECY OF OUR LORD, (recorded Matt. xxiv. and xxv., Mark xiii., and Luke xxi.) is almost wholly literal. * That this prediction cannot throughout be intended to point the destruction of Jerusalem, (as Bishop Newton and many others have imagined,) though generally also considering it [108] typical of Christ's second coming, Bishop Horsley

* See Myers' “Prophecies delivered by Christ himself," for some valuable thoughts in illustration of this prophecy.

has sufficiently shewn in his sermons upon it. That the expression his generation shall not pass till all be fulfilled,need not be limited io the then existing generation, has been proved in various ways. * If 7eveà were rendered nation, the expression would be parallel to Jer. xxxi. 35, 36. It may describe simply an evil and adulterous generation, as Matt. xii. 39. [109] Psalm xxii. 30, giving a deep lesson that the infidel and selfrighteous generation should not passs away till all those solemn judgments had taken place. Our Lord, however, apparently here uses govců as a note of time; but he distinguishes between these things, and that day, and the interval is called by St. Luke, the times of the Gentiles. These things, as far as related to the destruction of Jerusalem, were fulfilled in that generation; for his coming we wait the close of the times of the Gentiles, upon the continuance of which we have light in other prophecies. The order of expressions in St. Luke, shews us that the signs in the sun shall be after Jerusalem shall be trodden of the Gentiles, and at the close of the times of the Gentiles. Luke xxi. 24, 25. St. Luke leads us thus to see that St. Matthew's, immediately after the tribulation of those days, refers to the expiration of the times of the Gentiles, and the tribulation to an extended period, shortened as to their severity, (mutilated xoro Bwo) with a paroxysm at its beginning, (Matthew xxiv. 21, 22,) and at its close. (Matt. xxiv. 29; Dan. xii. 1.) The expressions in Luke xxi. 25, 26, the "signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth, -distress of nations, (idvæv, Gentiles) with perplexity; the sea and waves roaring, and men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth, (cixouuén),” are larger than to be limited to the land of Judea. The lifting up of the head, (Luke xxi. 28) is inconsistent with the state of Jews or Christians, at the destruction of Jerusalem.

* See Mede, p. 752; Hersley's Sermons, Investigator, vol. i. 53, 376; Cuninghame, p. 312. The remarks of Maldonatus, an able Romanist, upon it are curious, and to this effect: "The more recent interpreters of the heretics, (i. e. Protestants,) and even of some Catholics who are wont to follow them too much, expound this "age" as if the sense were, before that age of men who then lived, had passed away, Jerusalem would be destroyed. There were also formerly, most ancient authors who so explained it, but Origen calls them simple men; and truly this will not appear to be the sense when we oppose to it another better sense. Chrysostom, Theophylact, Euthymius, &c. interpret it a generation of faithful men, as if Christ said, although so many and such great calamities should come, yet the church should not perish till the end of the world; but Jerome understands the generation of all men, as if our Lord said, -before the human race passed away, all the things which he had predicted would happen. To me in this place, all the world seems to be called generation, as the whole begotten-as elsewhere the creature is called because it is all the created; therefore the true sense appears to be, that so certain were the things which Christ predicted, that the world should not perish before they happened. This is manifestly to be collected from the following sentence, Heaven and earth shall pass away, &c.; therefore they who translate age for 'generation,' do injury to the sentence.” The opinions of Chrysostom, Theophylact, &c. are calculated to shew how little Greek writers felt that the original Greek word confined the meaning to a living generation. See a sensible letter in the British Magazine, vol. xiv. p. 790, shewing that the word geves is not always used in its chronological signification: see Luke xvi. 8. It may mean (Matt. xxiii. 36; Mark viii. 38; Luke xi. 31) a class or kind of persons of which the persons then existing were the living representatives, but which included their fathers (Matt. xxiii. 32.) equally with themselves, and of which the discriminating feature was, not contemporaneousness of existence, but community of character. Psalm xxii. 30; cii. 18; xii. 7. The idea in our Lord's mind would thus be, this generation are the men of this world, as distinguished from the gevez un ep X quern of the new heavens and new earth. They are the Jew after the flesh, in contradistinction to the Jew after the Spirit.

There appears a mixture of figurative and literal expressions in Luke xxi. 25, 26, but there may be peculiar commotions in the sea to fulfil literally that part (110) which seems most figurative, and also a literal fulfilment of signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars. Yet we would not be positive that these parts of this truly magnificent prophecy, reaching from the first to the second coming, bearing as they do the appearance of a mixture of literal and of symbolical expressions, are only to be literally realized, lest we be waiting for tokens of our Saviour's coming, which may not be really promised.

The whole discourse seems to have three leading parts1st. The preparation for the desolation of Jerusalem, Matt. xxiv. 4-14; Mark xiii. 4–13; Luke xxi. 8–19. 2nd. The time of war and the lengthened desolation, Matt. xxiv. 15– 21; Mark xiii. 14–19; Luke xxi. 20—24. 3d. The events of the time of the end, including the coming of Christ, Matt. xxiv. 22-31; Mark xiii. 20—27; Luke xx. 25—28. The things relating to the destruction of Jerusalem were fulfilled before that generation passed away. Matt. xxiv. 34; Mark xiii. 30; Luke xxi. 32. These were both a type of, and a step onward to the coming of Christ. Of that event the day was unrevealed. Matt. xxiv. 36; Mark xiii. 32; Luke xxi. 34, 35. There is an analogy between the Jewish tribulation at the destruction of Jerusalem and the Gentile tribulation at the coming of Christ. St. Luke, written later, and more directly for the Gentile churches, furnishes a key for the interpretation of parts of this discourse.

This wonderful prophecy sets before us with the plainness of history the destruction of Jerusalem, its lengthened desolation, and the prolonged tribulation of the Jews; the false teachers that should arise in the Christian church; the revolutions preceding [111] the coming of Christ, his sudden coming, the mourning of all the tribes of the earth, and the gathering together of his people, and practically improves the solemn subject by many PRACTICAL LESSONS: by the warning

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example of the deluge to the wicked; and by four parables, the first three relating to his professing church-the servants expecting their Lord's return, the ten virgins and the talents; and the last, the sheep and goats, relating apparently to the judgment of all the nations of the earth.*

The lessons which it speaks to us, after the revolutions which we have been witnessing in the last forty years, (which probably have commenced fulfilling, Luke xxi. 25, 26,)t are peculiarly impressive. THEY ARE THE LESSONS FOR THIS GENERATION. May our God lead his ministers and people every where diligently. to study these lessons!!

[112] But we return to the more direct consideration of literal interpretation. In a remarkable part of this prophecy, there is an express declaration, "Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in the clouds with great power and glory.” Mark xiii. 26; Luke xxi. 27; Matt. xxiv. 30. To suppose that this is a spiritual coming at the destruction of Jerusalem, appears to me contrary to Matthew xxiii. 39; Luke xxi. 28; and the regular course of the whole prophecy continued in Matt. xxiv. and xxv. The term coming in the clouds is in other passages viewed by most interpreters as a personal coming, (Daniel vii. 13; Acts i. 9-11; 1 Thess. iv. 17; Rev. i. 7,) and to give it here a spiritual instead of a literal interpretation, would be to my mind, (the author speaks for himself,) a wresting of the scriptures wholly unjustifiable. The angels addressing the apostles seem to have specially guarded us against this (in Acts i. 11,) by the strength of the expression, shall so come in like manner, citas nbúcetui öv opórov. This also meets that class of objections which considers the coming of Christ

* A farther explanation will be given of these in the chapter on the Millennium.

+ The Revolution of France seemed to terminate when Bonaparte was dethroned, and peace was established; yet the events of the twenty-five years since have abundantly proved, that though there was an interval in the shocks of the earthquake, there has been nothing to lead us to conclude that the judgments on papal countries have ceased. Look at the troubled course of Europe since that time. It is striking, that Charles the Tenth of France was compelled to resign his throne in the castle of Rombouillet, the lawful inheritance of a Protestant family, whom his ancestors had driven from their home, as if to mark more the hand of God. And what has been, and is still the state of the European kingdoins; but distress of nations with perplexity? Yet with all the outward evidence of peace, they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded, they married wives, they were given in morriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them allso shall it be also in the days of the Son of Man. Let the Christian discern the signs of the times!

+ See the interpretation of this remarkable prophecy, given in Abdiel's Essays, page 121-201; and see Sirr's answer 10 Mr. Gipps, p. 89—113, on the two last Parables. Mr. Begg's letter on the subject answers many of the arguments by which the common system of interpretation has been defended.

to be only a spiritual coming to establish his spiritual kingdom. *

[113] A mixture in the same passage of figurative and literal expression is not uncommon. We see this, Isa. xliv. 3—5; where we have first the figure, and then the explanation, and then again an enlargement of the figure, and an enlarged explanation. Almost all figures difficult of comprehension are literally explained in the scriptures, and often in the same passage where the figure occurs. See John vii. 38, 39; many instances of such explanation occur in the book of Revelation.

* Archbishop Newcome, Daubuz, and Bishop Newton, all held the idea of a literal first resurrection, and personal coming of Christ before the Millennium. As Newcome's Translation of the New Testament is scarce, one or two Extracts are subjoined from his notes. He says, on Matt. xxiv. 39. “This may be fulfilled at the future restoration of the Jews, see Luke i. 32, 33.” On Matt. xxii. 34, "I think that our Lord's words do not refer to the destruction of Jerusalem, but to his future state of glory.”

On Luke i. 32, 33. "Compare Isaiah ix: 7. Dan. ii. 44; vii. 13, 14. The spiritual kingdom of the Messiah will be everlasting, and when the Jews as a people shall believe in him, and be restored to their own country, there will be a magnificent display of his royalty. See Ezek. xxxvii. 24."

On Rev. xx. 4. "The souls of ihose, that is those. And they lived again. I understand this not figuratively, of a peaceable and flourishing state of the Church on earth, but literally of a real resurrection, and of a real reign with Christ, who will display his royal glory in the New Jerusalem. “This is the great Sabbatism, or rest of the Church.” Barnabus, in Daubuz. Lived not again. Mede, Daubuz, and others, argue, that as a real resurrection is meant here, a figurative cannot be meant in the foregoing verse."

The sentiments of Bishop Newton are so well known, and his book so common, that it is needless to quote from him.

Daubuz, in his work on Revelation, chap. xix. 11. “This is Christ himself. who rides upon his white horse; as appears by what is said hereafter. He is to act therein himself visibly, without deputies, at least such as he has already employed .... Christ comes now to settle himself in his kingdom, with his saints, who are now to be gathered to him."

On Rev. xx. 4, he is equally express as to the literal resurrection, and gives these reasons why the persons of the martyrs are denominated souls: "The first is, that tuxn is said of a dead man upon the account of the shedding of his blood, which is as his soul; the second is that tuxn signifies a dead body, (he here refers to passages in ihe Septuagint and Targum, and to Schindler in proof of this); and in this sense one may also understand that place of Rev. vi. 9. Now these souls thus shed or dead, are to live and reign. It being therefore certain that these very souls are they which must be understood thus dead and living, and that it is not possible to understand it of any other sort of men but of the primitive martyrs—it is now as certain that in this Millennial state they revive again, and reign with Christ. This I am sure of, that these words can only be understood of such as have been slain, not of any other sort of men, and so cannot denote any collective body of men, in a mortal state. The whole tenor of the prophecy leads us to understand this of a proper resurrection of the dead martyrs. Is it not, therefore, a sad thing, that some divines should presume so much upon the penetration of their wits as to pretend, from the single consideration of this place, without having any other knowledge of the economy of this prophecy, to determine negatively, and against such a proper resurrection.”

LANCASTER abridges Daubuz, and follows him in his views. I am disposed to think that the prevailing views of those who have diligently studied and written upon the prophecies, are those of pre-millennial, personal advent, and first literal resurrection.

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