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immediately apply them in their fulfilment to the coming of Christ at the destruction of Jerusalem; and then expect another coming after this. It may not be amiss to refer again to the passages cited by the learned Dr. on this subject.
Acts, ii. 20. “Before the great and terrible day of the Lord come.” 2 Thes. ii. 2. “The day of Christ is near at hand.”
Matt. xxiv. 30. “Then they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."
John, xxi. 22. “If I will that he tarry till I come.”
Heb. x. 37. “For yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry."
James, v. 9. “Behold the judge standeth before the door."
Rev. i. 7. “ Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall s08 him."
Rev. xxii. 20. “Surely I come quickly."
All these passages of Scripture, as well as Rev. vi. 12, &c. on the opening of the sixth Seal, the learned Dr. has applied to the coming of the Lord at the time of Jerusalem's desolation; and says, that these passages did receive their fulfilment at that period.
How then I would say, without the least fear of its being disproved by Scripture evidence, if this period was the time of
“The Great and terrible day of the Lord.” Acts, ii. 25—
And “the great day of Wrath.” Rev. vi. 17according to Dr. Lightfoot's statement, it is quite obvious, that no other great and terrible day of the Lord, or great day of wrath, is recorded in the Scriptures as being for a future accomplishment.
ccomplishment. I am aware, that other learned D. D.'s hold contrary opinions, and say, that the great day of wrath, and the great and terrible day of the Lord, is yet to come; but I would ask this simple question, if one I). D. says it is past, and another asserts that it is to come, which are the people to believe ? This is a sufficient proof, if another could not be found, that no person, since the apostolic state, has been in the possession of any divine or spiritual ruling power. There have been those, who have studied the Scriptures, and have given their opinions, and have been beneficial in this way: to this I do not object; but this usefulness does not constitute such persons spiritual rulers, acting by divine commission, possessing divine power, or commanding by divine authority. Suppose, for instance, a man had broken his thigh, and two medical gentlemen had been called to his assistance, though both would examine the same fracture, one of them gives his opinion and says, in order to save life the limb must be amputated, and the other replies, No, if this is done, it is almost certain death—what a state of mind would the poor patient be in on hearing such contradictory opinions. How different were the apostles in their statements on the great and impostant truth of the second advent! When Peter states it, he says,
even as our beloved brother Paul, in all his Epistles, has written to you of these things."
To the Editor of the Biblical Inquirer.
SIR-After taking a survey of the preceding numbers of the Biblical Inquirer, I am led to conclude that you do not set a boundary to the investigation of revealed truth. This appears to give latitude to the believing mind, and is congenial with that truth which has God for its author; and which, as so many streams, leads the mind upward to the source of every spiritual blessing. (James, i. 17.)
From the drift of the arguments produced by R. R., in number I, and the extracts from Dr. Lightfoot, in Number III, I presume a way is now paved towards a deep research into the volume of divine inspiration ; against which, a barrier is raised by the leaders of the numerous sects.
The door being now open, we can go in and out and find pasture: for we need none to lead us, -none to guard us,-none to bring to light the true riches,-none to fight the warfare now; because the warfare is accomplished, the work is done, and they, the true “ SERVANTS," have spread the feast,—have shewn “What is Truth,”—and have, by the power of Christ, obtained THE VICTORY! Consequently our privilege now is to judge of the words taught by the Holy Spirit, “ comparing spiritual things with spiritual." 1 Cor. ii. 13.
To obtain then the true sense of the Parables, this must be our guide ; and first, we will take the one recorded in
LUKE, xvi. 19–31. To explain this portion literally, appears to have been the aim of most men, who have attempted to comment or preach on the word of God. Others have set it forth as partly literal, and partly spiritual. But said Mr. Allix,—“I am persuaded, that it is not at all possible to understand them,-viz. the Parables,—unless one has an eye to the various conditions of the Church, as it consisted of the Jewish Nation till the COMING of Christ." Allowing then the Scripture to speak its own language, we may divide this important parable thus:
1st. The rich Man,
1st.—“THE RICH MAN,” in this parable addressed to the Jewish House, stands most prominent, “ clothed in purple and fine linen;" and it appears to bear an exact correspondence to the adorning of the Temple, Exod. xxvi. 31, 32, and the dress of the Priests. " And thou shalt make holy garments for Aaron thy brother for glory and beauty that he may minister unto me in the Priest's office
And they shall make the ephod of gold, of blue, and of purple, and of scarlet, and fine twined linen.” Exod. xxviii. 2, 3, 6. And the correspondence of all this splendour of the first dispensation appears to have its downfal portrayed by John, in Revelations the xvii. and xviii.
The first dispensation, as a type, was appointed by God for a certain end : but, when it had received its accomplishment, and yet was pre
But if ye
eminently placed above the second, by those adhering to its principles, it became only idolatry. And such was their detestation of the superior dispensation, that, as far as human power was concerned, they would have swept it into oblivion. It is also clear, from the parable under consideration, that the Jews were so blinded by its outward splendour, that the internal “ spirit of prophecy” was so far lost to them, that they could not admit, that that dispensation was to be superceded by one superior, having Christ for its head, the successor of Moses, of whom he wrote, “ Jehovah, thy God, will raise up unto thee a Prophet from the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like unto me; unto him shall ye hearken; . . . and it shall come to pass, that whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of him.”- viz. the Jew.-Deut. xviii. 15, 19; Acts ii. 22, 23. Now these rejected his message, and thus they dealt with him : “ The Jews answered him, saying, For a good work we stone thee not : BUT FOR BLASPHEMY ; and because that thou, being a man, makest thyself God,” &c. John x. 30, 38. Again, when reasoning with this class, (who were personified by "THE RICH MAN,") on another occasion, “Do not think that I will accuse you to the Father : there is one that
th you, even Moses, in whom ye trust. For had ye believed Moses, ye would have believed ME: for he wrote of me. believe not his writings, how shall ye believe my words .”
V. 39, 47. Now the answer of Abraham to this "RICH MAN" is a farther confirmation to whom this parable was addressed. “If THEY hear not MOSES and the PROPHETS, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead."
Another striking portion, out of the many on this head, is found in James, v. 149. And this, not parabolical, but a personal denunciation, too plain to be misunderstood : "Go to now, ye RICH MEN, weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you.
Your riches are corrupted, and your garments are motheaten ; your gold and silver is cankered ; and the rust of them shall be a witness against you, and shall eat your flesh as it were FIRE. Ye have heaped treasure together for THE
(of the Jewish economy) . . . Ye have nourished your hearts as in a day of slaughter. Ye have condemned and killed the just, and he doth not resist you. The coming of the Lord draweth nigh.
: . Behold, the judge standeth before the door.”. &c. To an impartial mind all this appears to bear the same signification as the parable by Luke; for, be it remembered, James addressed his epistle “ To the twelve tribes," i. e. with them he reasoned, because of their partiality : like the rich man,” they treated “the poor” with contempt, and approved of the "rich" who came into their synagogues. But, “ Hearken, my beloved brethren, Hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to them that love him? BUT YE HAVE DESPISED THE POOR." ii. 1-6.
Paul also argued with them thus: “But after thy hardness and impenitent heart treasurest up unto thyself wrath against the day of wrath and revelation of the righteous judgment of God; who will render to every man according to his deeds.” Rom. i. 5, 6. Does not all this apply to that class, who put to death the Lord of life and glory; on whom James sat in judgment according to the promise of Christ? Matt. xix. 28.
“Ye have lived luxuriously upon the earth, and have been voluptuous : ye have nourished your hearts as against a day of slaughter.
LAST DAYS ...
Ye have condemned, ye have murdered the Just One: is He not setting Himself in array against you ?”—James, v. 5, 6. From Greaves's New Translation.
Sir, should you deem this worthy a place in your periodical, I will, with your permission, resume the subject on a future occasion.
H. MENCE. London, July, 1844.
To the Editor of the Biblical Inquirer.
Rev. xx. 4. They lived and reigned with Christ a thousand yearsa Allow me, through the medium of your valuable publication, to throw out to the view and criticism of the Christian community, a few observations on that vastly important subject so frequently styled the Millenium, or the reign of Christ in Zion.
One of your able correspondents has already copiously written, and that with much clearness, on the sealed book by John, and with much ability proves it to mean no other than Daniel's prophecy. Otherwise I should attempt to adduce evidences of the same nature, to prove that Daniel's prophecy engrosses the commencement and consummation of the reign of Christ, and consequently the close of the thousand years; at which close, or end of the days, this kingdom was surrendered to Jehovah the “all and in all," as a kingdom established in victory and peace. The contents of John's visions of Christ's kingdom were shortly to come to pass ; which events our friends the Millennarians are daily expecting to transpire naturally in the land of Palestine, although the Holy Spirit of truth intimated to John nearly 1800 years ago, that they should then shortly to come to pass. The most prominent feature presented in those predictions relative to the reign of Christ in Zion, is that of the return of the Jews. Here it may be necessary to advert to Scripture history, in reference to the state of that nation.
In consequence of their departure from the worship of God under the Mosaic covenant, the ten tribes, frequently called the house of Israel, were ejected from their land, and from the blessings of that covenant, and carried into captivity, never to return; whilst the house of Judah, consisting of the other two tribes, were carried into the land of Babylon for their good, (Jer. xxiv. 5,) for the period of seventy years ; after which they were again to be restored to the land. We have an account of this return in the book of Nehemiah. How delightful to contemplate the manner, in which God's divine purposes were fulfilled; for, when the house of Judah returned, we find the genealogy of this house was strictly investigated, in order to preserve it inviolate until the days of the birth of Christ. Hence we find this referred to in the gospels of Matthew and Luke; thus proving the direct line of the genealogy of Christ according to prophecy. But of the house of Israel we find they were never to return. Hence Hosea i. 4,“I will cause to cease the kingdom of the house of Israel :" that is, in the land of Palestine ; but we find numerous predictions of their being gathered and brought to Mount Zion in the
remarkable prophecy of this kind we find given as early
as the days of Jacob, who, on the eve of his dissolution, when he was blessing his sons, predicted, “The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh come, and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." Gen. xix. 10.
Jacob was here predicting the restoration of the scattered Israel to Christ, the scriptural Shiloh; for, in a preceding verse, we find, “Come gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall befal you in the last days." From this and other predictions, the natural posterity of Abraham infer, that they will be again restored to Mount Zion there to enjoy the blessings of an earthly monarchy; and unfortunately (though ignorantly) a large body of professed Christians are taking the same view of the subject : thus aiding the Jew in his delusive imaginations, and brightening his hopes in the belief of an earthly restoration. With these preliminary observations I beg to close; and, by your permission, will enter on the nature of their return in your next.
EDWARD BROWNE. Torquay, 1844.
NO PEACE TO THE WICKED.
Isai xlix. 22, lvii. 21. There is not a sin, or vicious action, but what, one way or another, is punished in this life. We often err egregiously by not attending to the distinction between happiness and the means of happiness. Power, riches, and prosperity—those means of happiness and sources of enjoyment-in the course of Providence, are sometimes conferred upon the worst of men. Such persons possess the good things of this life, but they do not enjoy them. They have the means of happiness, but they have not happiness itself. A wicked man can never be happy. It is the firm decree of heaven, that misery must ever attend on guilt; that, when sin enters, happiness takes its departure. There is no such thing in nature, my brethren, as a vicious or unlawful pleasure. What we generally call such are pleasures in themselves lawful, procured by wrong means, or enjoyed in a wrong way; procured by injustice, or enjoyed with intemperance; and surely neither injustice nor intemperance have any charm for the mind : for, unless we are framed with a very uncommon temper of mind, injustice will be hurtful to the one, and intemperance fatal to the other. Unruly desires and bad passions, the gratification of which is sometimes called pleasure, are the source of almost all the miseries in human life. When once indulged, they rage for repeated gratification; and subject us, at all times, to their clamours and importunity. When they are gratified, if they give any joy, it is the joy of the tormented, a joy which is purchased at the expense of a good conscience, which rises
on the ruins of the public peace, and proceeds from the miseries of our fellow creatures. The forbidden fruit proves to be the apples of Sodom, and the grapes of Gomorrah. One deed of shame is succeeded by years of penitence and pain. A single indulgence of wrath has raised a conflagration, which neither the force of friendship, nor length of time, nor the vehemence of intercession, could mitigate or appease; and which could only be quenched by the effusion of human blood." One drop from the cup of this powerful sorceress has turned living streams of joy into waters of bitterness. “There is no peace to the wicked."