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promoting the cause of missions,)
To call out God's elect, that he may thereby consider, that and thus to hasten the kingdom, he is hastening the glorious crisis, have been among the most powerful which his soul desires. When we motives exciting ourselves to the indulge in abstract reasoning upon cause of missions; and surely they the decrees and purposes of God, out to be especially stirring and we are compelled to admit that, influential in those, who profess to strictly speaking, man can neither “ love the appearing" of the Lord accelerate the counsel of God, nor Jesus, and to be “ looking for, and does the Lord himself bring any hastening the coming of the day of event to pass with greater rapidity God.” than he has from the first intended. How then does it happen, that But the Christian will look at what many, who can even now view the God has revealed on this subject; work of missions in that connexion and with much subjection of his with prophecy which is here conmind to what is written, rather than tended for-how happens it, we ask, to metaphysical abstractions, he will that they have nevertheless become consider, that when the Lord never- sluggish and indifferent? We have theless speaks to us, as if he would shown, that the disappointment of hasten an event, and as though we their former expectations may have might also hasten it, he intends to had considerable effect in neutralizstir up his people to inquire con- ing their exertions ; but though this cerning it, and to honour them as may have depressed them for the the blessed instruments of fulfilling moment, it ought not to continue in his will. Thus we conclude, when the regenerate : there are still most it is written of God's glorious pur- cogent motives to this work, the inpose, “I the Lord will hasten it in fluence of which ought not to be dihis time;"'t and when his Apostle minished by any particular interpretadmonishes us to be “ looking for ations of prophetic truth. But, and hastening (not hasting to, as in alas! we fear there is often wanting, our translation*) the coming of the even in real Christians, a deep expeday of God.” The same sentiment rimental conviction on some of these is echoed in the Burial Service of points. For instance, the worth of the Church of England—“ that it souls : we talk of the value of ONE may please Thee, of thy gracious soul ;—we listen to, and approve of goodness, shortly to accomplish the eloquent appeals based upon this number of thine elect and to hasten truth;
truth ;-—we admit, that it would be 'thy kingdom.” We know not a sufficient recompense, were all the how believers may be said to hasten money hitherto subscribed to be these things,-except by prayer, and made instrumental towards the conby endeavouring, in dependance on version of only a single individual : divine aid, to effect that which the but our apathy meanwhile gives Scriptures inform us must first be to all this a practical negation, and accomplished. Among these is the betrays, that we are by no means preaching of the Gospel : “ for the
“ for the prepared to make sacrifices, or to enGospel of the kingdom shall be counter trouble, at all commensurate * preached (not necessarily received) with our declared opinions. We may
in all the world for a witness unto notice again the foul dishonor put • all nations, and then shall the end upon our heavenly Father and the
t Is. lx, 22.
* Σπεύδοντας την παρουσια', 2 Pet. iii, 12.
u Matt. xxiv, lt.
Lord Christ, by superstition and idol- fect the heart, as they ever did. Isatry. We are informed of St. Paul, rael and the Gentiles are still unthat, when at Athens,“ his spirit was converted to God; and the very
stirred in him, when he saw the circumstance that little has been accity wholly given to idolatry :''v complished, is an additional and most but we can hear of India with its conclusive
conclusive argument in behalf of myriads of gods, and of the delusions continued and increased exertions. and miseries and cruelties of the We entreat our dear Christian her then generally; yet there is no brethren to suffer this word of exsoul-stirring effect of any perma, hortation.
hortation. We earnestly desire to nency ;-the impression made upon see these principles resume their our hearts is evanescent:-and the
-and the wonted influence; and we pray repetition of such narratives, in- for a
more lively experience of stead of reviving these feeble emo- them also in
heart. tions, seem rather to superinduce Remember the word of the Lord hardness and unconcern.
he that gathereth not with me Passing from these considerations, scattereth
scattereth :” it applies forcibly to which may be referred rather to our our present subject. When we confeelings, we notice the same deficiency template our Lord's speedy appearas regards the sense of duty. It is ing, we would not for the world be as much a duty now, as it was in the found otherwise than thus doing. days of the Apostles, "to go into We know that fault may be found, all the world and preach the gos- more or less, with all missionary pel to every creature ;'W_"to institutions : they are human. But pray the Lord of the harvest, that we must not suffer the adversary to he would send forth labourers into gain an advantage of us through a
his harvest;"Xto invoke the name morbid captiousness; which is too of the Lord upon the Gentiles, much the spirit of the present day. in order that they may seek after Therefore, beloved brethren, be the Lord ;y--and to remember, in 'ye steadfast, immoveable, always regard to the Jews, that it is instru- abounding in the work of the Lord, mentally through our mercy that forasmuch as ye know that your some are to obtain mercy. There “labor is not in vain in the Lord.” is not one of these considerations, that 1 Cor. xv, 58. ought not now as practically to af
ON THE TESTIMONY OF PAPIAS
TO MILLENNARIAN DOCTRINE.
To the Editor of the Investigator. abundance of peace,” is clearly set
forth in Holy Scripture, and needs Sir,
not therefore to be confirmed by huI believe that the doctrine of a man testimony. It is nevertheless personal reign of Christ, under which very encouraging to those who beHis saints - shall inherit the earth, lieve this doctrine, to find how uniand shall delight themselves in the versally it was ad nitted by the early
V Acts xvii, 16.
w Mark xvi, 15.
x Luke x, 2.
y Acts xv, 17.
z Rom. xi, 31.
Fathers of the christian Church, * him by the immediate hearers of My object in this paper is to put ‘St. John; who received from his your Readers on their guard against
• mouth what had been delivered on the summary way, in which this con- the subject by our Saviour. But sent of the Fathers is got rid of by
by those who had the opportunity those who do not admit the doctrine • of consulting his works, and were in question.
' most competent to decide upon his They say, that this doctrine ori- 'pretensions, he is described as a ginated in the notions of a single in- person of mean parts and narrow dividual, Papias ; and then they pro- * judgment. b And although some duce an extract from a writer, who of the earliest Fathers, not less lived upwards of 200 years after him, ' misled by the speciousness of his an express opponent of the doctrine, professions than by an erroneous who says—that Papias was a person view of the Prophets, have inconof shallow mind and weak judg- siderately acquiesced in his sentiment. On such evidence as this 'ments; by some of a later age, Papias and his testimony are at once ' and more matured judgment, who set aside; and we are then referred have reviewed the subject under a to Fathers of the 4th, 5th, and 6th · freedom from the controversial precenturies, who are produced as dis- “judice with which it was at first approving of the doctrine, and even debated, this statement has been calling it heretical: and thus the censured, as not merely tinctured question is set at rest.
' with error but heresy.”C (Nolon quote a passage of this kind from a
p. 15, 16.) In page 17 Dr. Nolon work, that I have lately met with, speaks of the later writers, who entitled, The Time and Nature of 'escaped the contagion of Jewish the Millenium investigated,” by 'prejudices in their notions ;” of the Rev. Dr. Nolon, Lond. 1831. whom he mentions Origen, Am
“ On the peculiar views of the brose, Hilary, Chrysostom, Jerome, ' chief of these writers, [the early and Augustine. Again, in the “His* Fathers), many of whom unfortu- tory of the Church," published under * nately suffered their opinions to be the superintendence of the Society warped by Jewish prejudices, it is for the diffusion of useful knowunnecessary at present to enlarge, ledge, we find a passage quoted as they have been extracted from from Eusebius, (which will be pro• their works by a learned writer, a duced presently below) and this in' whose particular hypothesis de- ference drawn, "To Papias then ' rives much of its weight from their we may attribute the origin of the authority. It will suffice at pre- belief.” sent to observe, that the opinion of Now had Papias broached some ' the primitive Church, respecting new doctrine, not perhaps contradic
the nature of the millennium, re- tory to Scripture, yet no where ex' ceived more than a tinge of error pressly mentioned therein, it might
from the peculiar notions of Pa- have been indeed sufficient to dis' pias; for the statement of this credit it, that it could be traced only ' writer acquired an undue autho- to his opinion and no higher. But ‘rity, from his professing to trans- for what is his authority really admit it as a tradition imparted to duced ? For saying, that the words
a Burnet Theor. B. iv. b Euseb. Hist. Eccles. iii, 39. S. Hier. in Ezech. xxxvi. Præf. in Es. cap. xxviii.
c Ibid. vii, 13. and
of the Apostles and Prophets are to these opinions were common to them be understood, as meaning just what all; not because they found them in they say. It is not in support of the writings of Papias, but because any new doctrine that he is referred they found them in the oracles of
. St. John says, that the saints God ?--because they were the opinshall reign upon the earth, and that ions of the Apostles, and of the unithey shall live and reign with Christ versal Church after them? a thousand years; and all that Papias The two great authorities quoted does is, to confirm the doctrine, and against Papias and his opinions are to tell us, that there is nothing mysti- Eusebius and Jerome.
Let us excal or unintelligible in it, but that amine what they say on this subit is to be admitted in its plain ject. straight-forward sense.
Eusebius writes, in his EcclesiasAnd where can we go higher in tical History, lib. iii, sect. 39 : the course of tradition in the Church,
Και αλλα δε και αυτος συγγραφεύς than to Papias or to some of his (Παπιας) ως εκ παραδοσεως αγραφου contemporaries? He, who lived with those who had personally seen
εις αυτον ηκοντα παρατεθειται, ξενας and heard the Apostles, is surely διδασκαλιας αυτ8, και τινα αλλα
τε τικας παραβολας τα Σωτηρος και
μυnear enough to the times of the
εν οις και χιλιαδα τιApostles themselves, to be brought
να φησιν ετων εσεσθαι μετα την εκ. as a witness of what they were reported to have taught. Their again, νεκρών ανάσασιν, σωματικως της του if it were upon some difficult and Xρισε βασιλειας επι ταυτησι της γης
υποσησομενης α και ηγεμαι τας αποdeep matter,—the mysteries of the
σολικας παρεκδεξαμενον διηγησεις divine existence, or the plan of the
υπολαβειν, τα εν υποδειγμασι προς divine government of the universe, that reference was made to the
αυτων μυσικως ειρημένα μη
εωρακοτα σφοδρα γαρ τοι σμικρος ων opinion of Papias, it might be to the
τον νυν, ώς αν εκ των αυτ8. λογων purpose, in order to invalidate his au
αι.. Πλην thority, to quote Εusebius's character τεκμηραμενον ειπειν φαινεται of him, that he was σφοδρα σμικρος
και τοις μετ' αυτον πλεισοις όσοις εκτον νουν. But what is the fact It κλησιασικων της όμοιας αυτο δοξης is for a mere matter of testimony
παραιτιος γεγονε, that he is adduced, to tell us how
τ' ανδρος προβεβλημενοις, ώσπερ εν St. John's doctrine was understood Ειρηναιω, και ει τις αλλος τα όμοια in his days by men, who had heard φρονων αναπεφηνεν. the Apostle himself. And as I have “ Other things also the same already said, to set this aside by writer (Papias) has set forth, as havquoting the character given of him ing come to him by unwritten traby an avowed opponent 200 years dition, some new parables and serafter, is rather too much.
mons of the Saviour, and other But after all, I ask, what right things of a somewhat fabulous chahave we to say, that the views or racter. Among these, he says, that testimony to which we are referring there will be a space of a thousand really originated with Papias at all? years (a certain chiliad of years) Is it to be supposed, that all the after the resurrection from the dead, Fathers of the last age of the chris- when the kingdom of Christ shall tian Church followed the opinion of be established corporeally upon this of a single individual ? Is it not far earth. These views however I think more reasonable to suppose, that he has taken up from a misconception
of the statements of the Apostles, name of John may be accounted for ; not seeing the meaning of what they and then he goes on : ois kai avayspoke mystically in figures (or ex- καιον προσεχειν τον νον
ELKOS yap amples). For he seems to be very τον δευτερον, ει μη τις εθελοι τον weak in intellect, if one may judge πρωτον, την επ' ονοματος φερομενfrom his own writings. However ην Ιωαννα αποκαλυψιν έωρακεναι. . he occasioned the same opinion to To these circumstances it is nebe embraced by most ecclesiastics
cessary to pay attention : for it after him, who allege in defence of is likely that the second John, them the early age in which he unless any one chooses to say it lived ; as for instance Irenæus, and was the first, saw the revelation any other who has appeared with the which goes forth under the name same views.
of John.” For myself I had much Now what have we here but the rather trust the judgment of simple opinion of Eusebius, that the Apos- old Papias, than that of a man who tles are to be understood mystically can thus lightly and most groundand figuratively, where Papias says lessly endeavour to call in question they are to be understood literally : the genuineness of one of the books Papias having lived in the times of of the New Testament. those who haci personally known I have not referred to Eusebius's and heard the Apostles, and Euse- commendation of Papias in another bius tvo hundred years afterwards ? part of his History, where he is called Of the weakness of intellect which
ανηρ τα παντα οτι μαλισα λογιωταPapias betrays in his writings we τος και της γραφης ειδημων, because cannot now judge, as those writings this passage is wanting in several no longer exist. The things however MSS, and is judged by Valerius to which Eusebius quotes in this sec- be spurious. tion, as related by him, appear my Let us come to Jerome, who talks own mind very far indeed from show
of this opinion of the elders who ing that he was a dealer in fabulous were before him as a fable, (mille tales. He relates that Justus, called annorum fabulum, in Joel, cap. 3.) Barnabas, drank a cup of deadly Let us see what better exposition of poison without injury; and that a Scripture he has to substitute. Take dead man was raised to life in his
for instance his commentary on the time, which, he says, (if I rightly 38th chapter of Ezekiel. He begins understand Eusebius's expression,) with setting aside “terrenum sensum he heard from the daughters of et Judaicas atque aniles fabulas, Philip the Evangelist. And Euse
quæ noxiæ sunt,” and goes on, bius admits, that the family of Phi- Quæ nos, omnia lectoris arbilip lived at Hierapolis, of which trio concedentes, non tam aliena place Papias was bishop. As to the damnare quam ecclesiasticum exopinion which we ought to form of planationem affirmare conabimur. the sound judgment and impartial- Gog Græco sermone doua Latino tecity of Eusebius himself, I will quote tum dicitur. Porro Magog interprebut a single clause from this same tatur, de tecto. Omnis igitur supersection of his History. He has been bia et falsi nominis scientia quæ saying that Papias mentions John erigit se contra notitiam veretatis, the elder, a person posterior in date his nominibus demonstratur.-Tecto John the apostle, and that hence tumque interpretabimur Hæreticorum the circumstance of there being two principes, et de tecto, eos qui illorum tombs at Ephesus inscribed with the suscepere doctrinas.'