The Theocratic Kingdom - Part 2

THE THEOCRATIC KINGDOM 
PART 2
George N H Peters

Published 1884 - George N H. Peters (November 30, 1825-October 7, 1909) "was an American Lutheran minister and author of The Theocratic Kingdom. His premillennial views were in conflict with the majority of Lutherans who held amillennial beliefs.[1][2]

“Buy the truth and sell it not; also wisdom, and instruction, and understanding.”—Pr 23:23.

“The secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him; and He will show them His covenant.”—Ps. 25:14.

NOTE: This is Volume 1 of this massive 2189 page work, all written before the typewriter was invented! This is the quintessential epitome of a person's "life work!" 


INDEX:



Source: Chart by Tim LaHaye and Thomas Ice - click to enlarge - Millenium on Right Side


Excerpt from Peter's biography - George Peters is remembered primarily because of his three volume work The Theocratic Kingdom of Our Lord Jesus, the Christ, as Covenanted in the Old Testament and Presented in the New Testament. The title is often shortened to simply The Theocratic Kingdom. His references indicate he was well read in theology, history, science and literature. He spent years researching and compiling this study of eschatology, which includes over four thousand quotes from authors ranging from the second century to his own era. The work was first published in 1884 by Funk and Wagnalls. (Isaac Kauffman Funk had graduated from Wittenberg College in 1860 and from its seminary in 1861.) Kregel republished The Theocratic Kingdom in 1952 and 1972, and it was still in print in May 2006. In his preface to the 1952 edition, Wilbur M. Smith wrote “One does not need to agree with all of his [Peters’] statements, nor even with all of his interpretations, to recognize the greatness of this work that must have cost him a lifetime of research, prayer, investigation, and laborious writing – these were the days before typewriters.” Surviving manuscripts indicate Peters wrote many books, but The Theocratic Kingdom may have been the only one published, because that is the only title by Peters in bibliographic records in WorldCat. On the handwritten title page of an unpublished work, Peters described himself as an “evangelical Lutheran Minister.” (Source)

INDEX TO VOLUME 2

  1.   PROPOSITION 107.—The passages referring to heaven in connection with the saints, do not conflict with, but confirm, our doctrine of the Kingdom
  2.   PROP. 108.—The formula, “Kingdom of heaven,” connected with the parables, confirms our doctrine of the Kingdom
  3.   PROP. 109.—An examination of the passages of Scripture, supposed to teach the Church-Kingdom theory, will confirm our doctrine of the Kingdom
  4.   PROP. 110.—The passage most relied on to prove the Church-Kingdom theory, utterly disproves it
  5.   PROP. 111.—The Kingdom being identified with the elect Jewish nation, it cannot be established without the restoration of that nation
  6.   PROP. 112.—The Kingdom, if established as predicted, demands the national restoration of the Jews to their own land
  7.   PROP. 113.—The connection of this Kingdom with Jewish restoration necessitates the realization of their predicted repentance and conversion
  8.   PROP. 114.—This Kingdom being identified with the elect Jewish nation, its establishment at the restoration embraces the supremacy of the nation over the nations of the earth
  9.   PROP. 115.—The Kingdom is not established without a period of violence and war
  10.   PROP. 116.—This Kingdom is a visible, external one, here on the earth, taking the place of earthly Kingdoms
  11.   PROP. 117.—The Kingdom of God re-established, will form a divinely appointed, and visibly manifested, Theocracy
  12.   PROP. 118.—This view of the Kingdom is most forcibly sustained by the figure of the Barren Woman
  13.   PROP. 119.—The Kingdom of God is represented, in the Millennial descriptions, as restoring all the forfeited blessings
  14.   PROP. 120.—This Kingdom, with its Millennial blessings, can only be introduced through the power of God in Christ Jesus
  15.   PROP. 121.—This Kingdom, of necessity, requires a Pre-Millennial Personal Advent of Jesus, “the Christ”
  16.   PROP. 122.—As “Son of Man,” David’s Son, Jesus inherits David’s throne and kingdom, and also the land of Palestine
  17.   PROP. 123.—The Pre-Millennial Advent and accompanying Kingdom are united with the destruction of Antichrist
  18.   PROP. 124.—This Kingdom is delayed several thousand years, to raise up a nation or people capable of sustaining it
  19.   PROP. 125.—The Kingdom to be inherited by these gathered saints requires their resurrection from the dead
  20.   PROP. 126.—In confirmation of our position, the Old Testament clearly teaches a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the saints
  21.   PROP. 127.—In support of our view, the Apocalypse unmistakably teaches a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the saints
  22.   PROP. 128.—The language of the Gospels and Epistles is in strict accord with the requirements of a Pre-Mill. resurrection
  23.   PROP. 129.—The Jewish view of a Pre-Mill. resurrection, requisite for the introduction of the Messianic Kingdom, is fully sustained by the grammatical sense of the New Testament
  24.   PROP. 130.—This Kingdom is also preceded by a translation of living saints
  25.   PROP. 131.—This Kingdom embraces the visible reign of Jesus, the Christ, here on earth
  26.   PROP. 132.—This view of the Kingdom confirmed by the judgeship of Jesus
  27.   PROP. 133.—This view of the Kingdom fully sustained by the “Day of Judgment.”
  28.   PROP. 134.—Our view of the Judgment (and, as a consequence, that also of the Kingdom) is fully sustained by the passage of Scripture, Matt. 25:31–46
  29.   PROP. 135.—The doctrine of the Kingdom in full accord with the scriptural doctrine of the judgment of believers
  30.   PROP. 136.—The doctrine of the Kingdom in agreement with the doctrine of the intermediate state
  31.   PROP. 137.—This doctrine of the Kingdom sustained by the phrase “the world to come”
  32.   PROP. 138.—This doctrine of the Kingdom fully corroborated by “the day of the Lord Jesus, the Christ”
  33.   PROP. 139.—The Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, as covenanted, is sustained by what is to take place in “the morning” of “the day of the Christ”
  34.   PROP. 140.—The doctrine of the Kingdom confirmed by the phraseology of the New Testament respecting “the end of the age”
  35.   PROP. 141.—This Kingdom necessarily united with the perpetuity of the earth
  36.   PROP. 142.—The Kingdom being related to the earth (extending over it), and involving the resurrection of the saints (in order to inherit it), is sustained by the promise to the saints of inheriting the earth
  37.   PROP. 143.—The early church doctrine of the Kingdom is supported by “the Rest,” or the keeping of the Sabbath, mentioned by Paul
  38.   PROP. 144.—This Kingdom embraces “the times of refreshing,” and “the times of the restitution of all things,” mentioned Acts 3:19–21
  39.   PROP. 145.—This Kingdom includes “the regeneration” of Matt. 19:28
  40.   PROP. 146.—This Kingdom is associated with the deliverance of Creation
  41.   PROP. 147.—This Kingdom is preceded by a wonderful shaking of the heavens and the earth
  42.   PROP. 148.—This Kingdom embraces the New Heavens and New Earth
  43.   PROP. 149.—This Kingdom is preceded by the conflagration of 2 Pet. 3:10–13
  44.   PROP. 150.—The establishment of this Kingdom is not affected by the extent of Peter’s conflagration
  45.   PROP. 151.—This Kingdom is identified with “the New Heavens and New Earth” of Isa. 65:17 and 66:22; 2 Pet. 3:13; and Rev. 21:1
  46.   PROP. 152.—This Kingdom is connected with the perpetuation of the human race
  47.   PROP. 153.—This view of the Kingdom, with its two classes (viz., the translated and resurrected saints, glorified, forming one class, and mortal men the other), is forcibly represented in the transfiguration
  48.   PROP. 154.—This Theocratic Kingdom includes the visible reign of the risen and glorified saints, here on the earth
  49.   PROP. 155.—This Kingdom exhibits Jesus not only as “the King,” but also as “the Priest”
  50.   PROP. 156.—The doctrine of the Kingdom enforces the future priesthood of the saints
  51.   PROP. 157.—This doctrine of the Kingdom enforces the future ministrations of angels
  52.   PROP. 158.—The doctrine of the Kingdom aids in locating the Millennial period
  53.   PROP. 159.—This Theocratic Kingdom of the Lord Jesus, the Christ, will never come to an end
  54.   PROP. 160.—This Kingdom will be set up in the divided state of the Roman Empire
  55.   PROP. 161.—This Kingdom will not be re-established until Antichrist is overthrown
  56.   PROP. 162.—This Kingdom will be preceded by a fearful time of trouble, both in the Church and the world
  57.   PROP. 163.—This Kingdom revealed will be preceded by the predicted “Battle of that great day of God Almighty”
  58.   PROP. 164.—This Kingdom ends the Gentile domination

PROPOSITION 107. The passages referring to heaven in connection with the saints do not conflict with, but confirm our doctrine of the Kingdom.

In urging this Kingdom it is said that such promises as Matt. 5:12; Matt. 19:21, etc., refer to the third heaven, and from thence it is inferred that the Kingdom is the state of the saved, triumphant Church in heaven. But we have already shown (Prop. 108, etc.) that Covenant and prophecy describe a Kingdom here on the earth “under the whole heaven”; that for wise purposes the Kingdom has been postponed; that Christ now remains in heaven until the period of manifestation arrives; that He comes from heaven and the Kingdom is inherited—these and other reasons indicate that there is no conflict between the two, but that, as specifically announced (as e.g. Zech. 14:5) the saints come with Him, and then follows the reign over the earth (as e.g. Zech. 14:9)—hence such passages must not be understood as embracing or inferring the Kingdom itself.

Obs. 1. That large class of writers who concede the renewal of the earth and its occupancy by the saints, etc., do not, of course, press these passages to an eternal inheritance and Kingdom in the third heaven. The concessions that they make are all that are requisite for our view (Props. 140–152).

Obs. 2. The meaning of the phrase “Kingdom of heaven,” and its derivation have already been given (Props. 19, 45, etc.); we now only add that those nearest to the latter, viz., the Jews, disciples, and the early Church, found no difficulty in the phrase in applying it to a Kingdom here on earth established under Divine auspices and power.*

Obs. 3. In the consideration of this subject it must not be overlooked, that “heaven” is employed as a symbol or figure of honor, station, authority, power, and political or civil supremacy. This is admitted by numerous writers, thus e.g. Horne (Index to Symb. Lang., Introd., vol. 2, p. 465) makes it denote in Isa. 51:16 “a political universe,” “a Kingdom and polity”; Alexander, Com. Isa., 34:4, refers it to political states or authorities and Kingdoms; several Coms. explain “the war in heaven,” the casting out of heaven into the earth of Rev. 12:7–9, to denote the overthrow of Satan from power, etc.; Barnes, Rev. 6:14, makes it equivalent to “the high places of the earth,” and explains this to mean places of power, station, etc.; many writers regard the “new heavens” of Isa. 65 and 66, as indicating prosperity, honor, exaltation, and others as delineating a new civil and religious union, etc. Such references, which can be found in every variety and form, show that the word is also employed to denote things on the earth. Hence, Prof. Bush and others define it when thus used, a symbol of “a state or position of great conspicuity”; but we incline rather to that of others which explain it as “a position or state of authority or dominion.” In Luke 10:18 “I beheld Satan as lightning fall from heaven,” Neander explains: “from the pinnacle of power which he had thus far held among men.”* This Observation is corroborated by the use made of the word in connection with Satan, as in Eph. 6:12 where he is represented as being in “the heavenly places,” or “heavenlies.” See the marginal reading, and notice that it is the same place precisely that the saints shall occupy, Eph. 1:3. Satan now has the Kingdoms or heavenlies of this world (hence the offer made at temptation); he is “the Prince of this world”; he is “the Prince of the power of the air” (referring to the fact that the political powers, etc., typified by Sun, Moon, and Stars, are in his power); and we are assured that the time is coming when this power shall be taken from him and be bestowed upon the saints. It is promised to believers that they shall possess the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven; that they shall occupy the high places of the earth; and this again is represented as an occupancy of the “principalities and powers in the heavenlies” (Eph. 3:10, 11), and as being “blessed in the heavenlies in Christ,” Eph. 1:3. Keeping in view that future blessings are spoken of (Prop. 65, Obs. 9) as present owing to the present heirship of these heavenlies in Christ and to the certainty of attaining to them when the appointed time comes for the overthrow of him who has usurped those heavenlies, there is no difficulty in determining the general design of such passages. It throws additional light upon the phrase “Kingdom of heaven,” as indicative of a Kingdom of power and dominion, a Kingdom manifesting, like that of heaven itself, the highest stations of honor and irresistible power over the earth. We are now sitting “together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” just as we have arrived at the New Jerusalem (Heb. 12:22), that is prospectively, and this will be shown under the Prop. (154) of the reign of the saints. The reconciliation of things in heaven (Col. 1:10), and the gathering of all things in the heavenlies in Christ (“in the dispensation of the fulness of times,” Eph. 1:10), are also in a great measure to be applied to the restoration of authority and dominion over the world; for, as all prophecy unhesitatingly directs, it is still some time in the future when these Kingdoms, these heavenlies, now in the possession of Satan, shall become the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ. These “heavenlies” also may thus be called, because the authority in them rightfully belongs to God, which authority is now fettered by them and remains more or less unacknowledged.

Obs. 4. The predicted Kingdom of the Messiah, David’s Son, is nowhere specified to be a Kingdom in the third heaven (Prop. 103), but “of heaven” or rather “of heavens” or “of heavenlies.” According to the Covenant it could not be in heaven, but it is of heaven; that is, given by God, made as God designs it, fashioned after the will of heaven, and containing in itself “heavens,” or “heavenlies,” i.e. most eminent stations of power and dominion. Besides this, whatever might be allowed in this intermediate (always excepting the Kingdom itself) state, we find that at the period of time designated for the setting up of this very Kingdom, Christ Himself, as the Inheritor, the Son of man, leaves heaven and with His saints proceeds to establish this identical Kingdom of heaven, and His saints inherit it. The fact that He thus leaves heaven and appears on earth, that a Kingdom specially His is connected with His appearing, etc.—this should impress us not to draw inferences from passages and directly oppose them to the general current of the Word. Thus e.g. that class like the following: “Rejoice, for great is your reward in heaven,” Matt. 5:12, and others of similar import. Aside from the plural form “in heavens” or “heavenlies” which is in accord with what has been stated, we might dismiss this with the remark that what “heavens” are denoted is simply taken for granted. But grant that the third heaven is meant, and that the plural form is used to impart grandeur, etc., even then it is easy of explanation without confining the parties themselves to the third heaven to obtain the reward of the Kingdom. God in heaven takes cognizance of actions and it is represented that a book of remembrance is kept (Daniel informs us that some Books are opened when the Kingdom is established), and that at the Coming of the Judge the award will be assigned. The reward of every one then in view of conduct, is awarded, and that award is kept in heaven, as in the case of the seventy returning who were (Luke 10:20) “rather to rejoice because your names are written in heaven,” and of the disciples (Luke 12:32) to whom it was said “it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom.” The reason of this resolves itself in a reward determined on before the period of its reception, a principle that all theologians adopt. Christ who is our life is in heaven, and what we shall do or endure for His sake, shall elevate us as joint heirs with Him at His Coming; the reward itself being increased or diminished, so far as mere rank, position, etc., is concerned, proportioned to our use of talents, privileges, etc. But these positions are predetermined for certain characters; hence Jesus said, that no one should occupy His right or left hand, excepting him to whom the Father may give the honor. This is the key-note to all such passages. All positions, according to the will and foreknowledge of God, are prepared for this manifestation of the Sons of God, Mark 10:40. This inspires hope; hence in Col. 1:5 we read of “the hope which is laid up for you in heaven,” and which hope is to be realized when Christ shall appear, 1 John 3:2, 3; Tit. 2:13, etc. Just as the hope does not remain in heaven but descends to earth a blessed reality, so we find by a comparison of Scripture that in every case the reward designed for us is only realized at the Sec. Advent upon earth. Thus to illustrate: in Phil. 3:20, “our conversation (citizenship, community, political society, Parkhurst, Wahl, Bloomfield, etc.) is in heaven”—the predetermined order or arrangement or “administration” is there, the title or award that gives adoption or heirship or judgeship, but to avoid the very inference that so many make and to remove any objection that any might allege from the stand-point of the Covenant, the Apostle adds, “from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ,” etc., thus uniting its realization with the Advent of Christ (comp. Meyer’s Com. loci). So the Hebrews (Heb. 10:34–37) are told that in view of their enduring sufferings and spoilings “ye have in heaven a better and an enduring substance” but well-knowing “the hope of Israel,” he guards it by adding: “for ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come and will not tarry.” Thus placing the reception of the promise where the entire tenor of the Record does, viz., at the Second Advent. In 2 Tim. 4:8, the crown laid up in heaven for Paul is to be given only in the day of the Lord’s appearing; in 1 Pet. 1:4, 5, 7, the inheritance “reserved in heaven” is “ready to be revealed in the last time,” “at the appearing of Jesus Christ;” in 2 Cor. 5:2 it is “the house which is from heaven,” and which when exalted to the heavenlies is eternally in the same; and in Rev. 21:2 the New Jerusalem, itself in heaven, is “coming down from God out of heaven,” and the Bible leaves it here without a withdrawal. Taking these and other illustrations, all pointing to the future, not in heaven but here on earth, for a realization of reward, crown, etc., awarded, we see the force of the express passages which refer this period to the time when the Son of man sits on the throne of His glory, and the inheriting of the Kingdom, the reception of the peculiar stations of honor and authority, the bestowment of “the heavenlies,” once usurped by Satan, shall be duly and happily experienced.*

PROPOSITION 108. The formula “Kingdom of heaven” connected with the parables confirms our doctrine of the Kingdom.

The contrary is asserted by all opposed to us, and as the Church-Kingdom view mainly obtains as a Scriptural basis its rise and defence from it, it deserves attention.

Obs. 1. A few preliminary thoughts are, however, in place. (1) The reader will recall our Prop. concerning the mysteries of the Kingdom. The parables were given respecting the secrets of the Kingdom and were in themselves designed to conceal some things that were necessary. Lange (Com., Matt. 13) correctly shows that the common notion (viz., that they were adapted to weak and carnal understandings) entertained, is erroneous. But Lange does not go far enough, for if we are to take the testimony of Jesus Himself, they were far from being designed for popular instruction, being in point of fact employed to conceal some very important truths. Jesus says that He spoke plainly to His disciples, but in parables to the people, clearly distinguishing between plain and hidden truth. In Matt. 13:13; Mark 4:11; Luke 8:10, He says that the parable is used that the people may not comprehend. The reason for this lies in their foreknown depravity and rejection of the Messiah, in their being unable to receive the intended postponement of the Kingdom and contemplated ingrafting of the Gentiles. To appreciate the parables in all their fulness it is absolutely necessary to keep in view the Covenant and the Divine Purpose in its fulfilment, as shown in previous Propositions. (2) The depth of these parables cannot be apprehended unless we especially keep in mind what afterward occurred, viz., the postponement of the Kingdom, which, impressed by the foreknowledge of Jesus, gave a coloring to them highly marked and distinctive. By doing this, we avoid the perplexity of commentators in reconciling the one with the other (as e.g. the parable of the Leaven with that of the Tares); and we make them accurately correspond with Covenant, prophecy, and the actual history of the Church. The parables having reference to the Kingdom of God must, as is the case, have reference to the rejection of Jesus and the consequences resulting therefrom, otherwise they would not be adapted to meet the exigencies of Christ’s position. (3) If the parables delineate the Kingdom of God in the Church as now currently believed, why is it that the Apostles did not ascertain this fact and use them as now popularly employed? If e.g. the parable of the Leaven, or of the Mustard Seed means what Neander and a multitude inform us, how comes it that those under special instruction and guidance did not so understand them, as admitted by Neander and these writers, and as proven beyond all dispute by Acts 1:6? Why did they still labor under “a sensuous interpretation,” “Jewish opinions,” etc., when as we are confidently told, “the reference to the Kingdom is so plain;” and why was this ignorance of the Apostles perpetuated in the churches founded by them; and why was it left for an uninspired man (such a doubtful source) as Origen to present the leverage by which the parables were lifted to their generally accepted position? Strange that it took several centuries before men arose who were able to obtain a correct understanding of them! In this estimate of the Apostle’s knowledge of the parables—for we take that given by eminent men—no account is taken of the special private instruction of the Apostles, but because these, as they concede, did not militate against the notion of the Kingdom as entertained by the pious Jews (witness Acts 1:6), did not prevent the retention of “Jewish conceptions,” they are not to be regarded. If the parables really mean what so many popular works ascribe to them, the Thessalonians and others might have received a ready and crushing answer to their views of the Kingdom; and the Apostles themselves could not have consistently preached a near, expectant Advent. Let any man with unprejudiced mind consider the opinions that the Disciples, Apostles and early Church entertained, and then compare them with those now so prevalent, and he will see abundant reason for a most careful re-examination of the whole subject, for between the two there is a most decided conflict. If the parables were designed, as some assert (Lange Com., Matt., vol. 1, p. 237), to show the difference between the true Kingdom of Christ and “the carnal” expectations of the Jews; how comes it then that they did not restrain such “carnal” anticipations—with private instruction and the express declaration that they should understand them added—in the disciples and Apostles themselves? This must be satisfactorily answered, or else the very preachers of the Kingdom stand before us self-deceived and ignorant. Our doctrine, however, clears them of such inconsistency, and places them in a position of correct knowledge and proper appreciation of the parables. (4) In this discussion, the vital difference that exists between our view and that of others is, that we hold that the parables teach what is preparatory or introductory to the Kingdom, whilst they maintain that the parables refer directly to a Kingdom already in existence, and describe its condition, etc. The latter opinion is brought out in the general affirmation (Lange’s Com., cap. to Matt. 13), that Christ presents in them “the founding and development of His Kingdom through all its phases, from its beginning to its end.” Aside from the fact that they themselves tell us that the Church was founded previously and hence could not, on their own showing, be founded then, this caption affirms more than can be proven, but nevertheless is taken for granted, without decisive—only inferential—proof, and forms the keynote of the entire interpretation. The former idea, forced upon us by the exact promise of the Theocratic Davidic Kingdom, prophecy, history of the Church, example of the disciples, etc., forms, on the other hand, the guide for our interpretation of the parables. In the application of these two principles we now propose to test the language of the parables themselves and see to which one they most accurately correspond. There is no difference, of account, between us as to the definition of a parable, and with them we hold that the main thing to be sought for is the truth pointed out, or taught by the narrative, or course of action presented. (5) We are not to be understood as basing our doctrine on the parables, for we cheerfully adopt the rule given by Horne (vol. 1, Introd., p. 395) and others, that no doctrine, or article of faith, is to be established from a parable, simply because all such, however illustrative and confirmatory, in order to be understood and appreciated, presuppose and require a previous acquaintance with doctrine. It is in this respect that so great a man as Neander fails to give satisfaction. In the introduction to his admirable Church History, he founds his doctrine of the Church-Kingdom upon the parable of the Leaven; and the entire History and other works are pervaded by its influence. It was in this direction that his sincere mind sought to escape from difficulties alleged against Christianity; but whatever the motive, it certainly was a mistake to draw so important an inference from so slight a source. A doctrine permeating such noble monuments of learning and research should have had a stronger foundation underneath it than a parabolic one. (6) Covenant and prophecy promise only one, and that a permanent, Kingdom to the Messiah, David’s Son. Nothing is said of an inferior and then superior one, of one existing before the Sec. Advent as a prelude to another, of several successive stages in a progressive direction; for the decided impression made is, that one Kingdom alone is described as existing under “the reign of the Messiah.” Hence, this theory of successive stages, etc., so conveniently grafted on the parables to make them, if possible, consistent with each other, ought, if correct, to find corroborating evidence in its support outside of the parables, either in Covenant or prediction. But unfortunately the only proof adduced in its behalf comes from two of the parables themselves. The parabolic form is a convenient refuge for all mystical interpretations, being admirably adapted to secure, as some do, a Kingdom in the visible Church, or, if necessary, in the invisible, or even in both, owing to its caption. (7) Again, it must be borne in mind that quite a number of the parables, as many writers (especially Greswell) have shown, are prophetical in their nature. They predict matters which relate to the Kingdom of God. This prophetical meaning is so self-evident that it needs no discussion. We only refer to it to add that, if they possess such a characteristic (as any good classification at once indicates), then they ought to be explained, not isolated but in accord with the general tenor of prophecy.

Obs. 2. If the Kingdom of God is what is so popularly represented, viz., “God’s rule,” or “God’s reign in the heart,” or “the body of believers,” then, as a matter of course, if they are synonymous, it would be appropriate to substitute one or the other of these in the place of the heading of the parables. Let any one test this, and he must see by its evident unfitness that such is not the case. Hence having found by Covenant and prophecy in the Old Test. the Kingdom of God, let us come to the parables and regard them from this position, and see whether they do not fully correspond with the one Kingdom promised and predicted. In this way we avoid making the unfounded distinction of a select higher measure of information for the initiated and an inferior degree for the unlearned, which Fairbairn justly condemns; and at the same time preserve the more private instruction afforded to the disciples from degenerating into substantially (Acts 1:6) what all received, i.e. they remained, with their special advantages (according to our opposers) just as ignorant. This removes the notion that there are secret doctrines imparted by them that should not be made known to all over against the precise declaration, Matt. 10:27. And also, it proposes to correct the idea entertained by many writers, that the parables “tended virtually with the mass of His hearers to increase their ignorance and misapprehension of the truth” (Fairbairn, note to p. 26, Introd. to Lisco’s Parables). This sadly reflects on the ministry of Jesus. If the Kingdom is what Fairbairn pronounces it to be, a purely spiritual affair, then indeed we admit this was the case, and Christ the Light appears with an obscured disk. But take our doctrine of the Kingdom and apply it, and the Light is untarnished, for then, instead, the Kingdom is truthfully and correctly represented, its postponement intimated, the preparatory stage of gathering out portrayed, and the unbelief and rejection of the truth by the Jews is rendered the more culpable. We unhesitatingly say that, if the Kingdom, the main leading covenanted subject preached, is what so many style it, then it was the duty of Christ to so plainly proclaim it that, at least, His own disciples should not say what they did, Acts 1:6. Having already vindicated Christ’s preaching, it is not necessary to enlarge. Therefore, we only add: that the Jews did not receive the truth because a spiritual Kingdom was presented in it for their acceptance, but for the reason that these parables, before the setting up of the Kingdom, imposed upon them preparatory duties and intimated a period of time to intervene, which was unpalatable to their hearts and expectations. Hence the parable itself, the real truth contained in it, proved to be instrumental, just as Paul indicates 2 Cor. 2:14–17. Truths hitherto concealed may indeed be found in them, reference to higher truths still future may be indicated, but never is the leading subject, that of the Kingdom, thus concealed. Covenanted as it is, firmly bound by the oath of the Almighty, it cannot be transmuted into a mystical or spiritual Kingdom by a hidden process, without a violation of unity, language, and Covenant.*

Obs. 3. In passing over the parables we shall only select that class which have the formula “Kingdom of heaven” attached to them, being supposed specially to favor the prevailing view. If these are satisfactorily explained, the rest will need none.

1. The parable of the Tares and Wheat, Matt. 13:24–30 and 37–43. Keeping in view the covenanted Kingdom as it was promised, the peculiar position of hearers and the Speaker, the former expecting this Kingdom and the latter foreknowing its rejection and postponement, we have the only practical key to the formula itself. Something is understood, which the then present general expectations of the Jewish hearers (Prop. 20, etc.), supplied, viz., the Kingdom you expect is to be introduced as follows; or the Kingdom of heaven that you anticipate requires the following. As a preacher of “the Gospel of the Kingdom,” the parables fall within His Mission, and above all things His hearers desire to know when it will be established. The call to repentance leaves it indefinite and dependent; hence Jesus, as the Divine Teacher, proceeds to satisfy a pious curiosity or laudable desire, and in this parable locates the establishment of the Kingdom at the period of the harvest. To obtain the force of the parable it is requisite to supply the idea of the setting up of the Kingdom as to manner and time and then notice what things Jesus teaches are required before this will be done. The Kingdom is not likened to any particular one thing in the parable but to the final result, the end. For if it were, then it would be likened to “a man,” for, taking the theories prevailing, that is expressly asserted. But it is not likened to “a man” or to his acts, or to “the good seed” which grows into wheat, or to “the field” which is the world, or to “the tares” which are mixed with the wheat, or even to “the harvest;” but all these are used to indicate how certain things must be accomplished until “the end of the age,” when the righteous, the gathered wheat, shall “shine forth as the Sun” in the Kingdom. That this is a correct interpretation of the parable will appear from the following: (1) by linking the Kingdom only with the harvest as do Joel and John; (2) by expressly mentioning the Kingdom as following the harvest; (3) by locating the Kingdom at the end of the age; (4) by the correspondence existing between the parable and Matt. 25:31–46; (5) by otherwise making the Kingdom (if the Church) a mixed one, utterly opposed to covenant promise; (6) a mixed condition of tares and wheat down to the very end of the age itself, forbids the fulfilment of Millennial descriptions, as e.g. “all shall be righteous,” etc. The positive manner in which Christ puts His language is also expressive of what Paul says Rom. 4:17, “calleth those things which be not as though they were,”—the present tense is employed, as the Kingdom, although future, is regarded by the Divine Mind as a certainty, a determined realization. Hence the Kingdom of heaven, an ordained, fixed arrangement, is to be obtained in this way and time. This is the meaning of Jesus, a meaning in accord with all other Scripture.

2. Then follows the parable of the Mustard Seed, Matt. 13:31, 32, to which the same principle must be applied. According to our position it would denote that the promised Kingdom of heaven is not brought into existence at once as they, the hearers, expected; it demands time and preparation; it requires small beginnings, a small seed, a Christian Church, or first an individual, then a family, then a nation, then a people adopted into that nation, until finally, when all this preparative growth has been experienced, the tree, i.e. the Kingdom appears and it will be found greater than all herbs (i.e. other kingdoms), affording abundant shelter. The tree alone represents the Kingdom, and this Kingdom is shown to be the result of an intervening growth or work, a constant accretion or gathering. A tree too is significant of a Kingdom, Dan. 4:10, 20; Ezek. 31:3. The small flock by constant accessions to its number will ultimately at the manifestation of the Sons of God become a mighty nation, a strong people, etc. “When it is grown” it “becometh a tree.” If we turn to Mark 4:34 in immediate connection with this parable, it is said, “and when they were alone He expounded all things to His disciples.” In this private explanation, the interpretation suggested by us was undoubtedly the one impressed upon the disciples as their preaching the Kingdom proves, for they knew nothing of the modern ideas grafted on this parable, as Acts 1:6 clearly indicates. Either the expounding of Jesus amounted to nothing or availed nothing, or else it confirmed the disciples in the covenanted Kingdom as believed in by them. The latter is the truth, honorable both to Jesus and Apostles.

3. The most important of the parables is that of the Leaven. Matt. 13:33; Luke 13:20–21; it being employed more than any other in the development Church-Kingdom theory. The opinion that this refers to the Church is beset with difficulties, for then this parable contradicts that of the Tares and Wheat, which asserts that instead of the whole being leavened there shall be down to the Advent a mixed condition. Many passages corroborate this, that neither the world nor the Church shall be Thus leavened. Besides this, if the leavening process is carried out, it is constantly progressive, and does not accord with the relapses, retrogressions that history records. In the efforts to reconcile this parable with a theory, one (Lange, vol. 1, 248) says: “the woman is an apt figure of the Church;” another (as Trench, Lisco, etc.) makes the leaven the Kingdom; another (Lange, loci) informs us that the three measures of meal is the visible Church (Welt-Kirche). Many find refuge in the invisible Church, others in the Gospel Kingdom, or the Gospel truth, or Christianity. Some, to avoid a contradiction of the parable of Tares and Wheat, confine it exclusively to a delineation of piety in the heart of the individual believer, and make the Kingdom existing in the individual. Another class (as e.g. Vitringa, Gurtler, Teelman, Cyril, Darby, Paine, Seiss, etc.) make this leaven used in a bad sense, equivalent to error, false doctrine, corruption, and apply it in the history of the Church. Thus a variety of views are entertained concerning its meaning, indicating that, from the desire of nearly all to unite it in some way with an existing Kingdom, the Church is selected, either visible or invisible, either in its aggregate or individuality, as the Kingdom denoted.
But remove the notion, taken for granted, that the Kingdom must now be found and the parable corresponds with the preceding ones. As in usage the leavening process is only a preparatory one, so it is here; the leaven is the Divine Word of the Kingdom, it leavens a definite measure of meal, i.e. a predetermined number who are to be adopted as the Sons of God. The gathering out process, and the detention of the Kingdom until this is accomplished, is thus presented, preserving the unity of Scripture. The leavened meal is initiatory to the formation of bread, so this Divine Process is introductory to the Divine Purpose of establishing the Kingdom. The people and the disciples are taught, that previous to the setting up of the Kingdom a definite number of the elect must first be obtained, and the manner in which this is done, by gradual appropriation through Divine truth, is also intimated. If it denotes, what so many believe, is it not strange that the disciples, preachers of the Kingdom and having the advantages of private instruction concerning it, should not be able to comprehend its meaning to be, as alleged, a complete overthrow of their expectations of a covenanted Kingdom. It is true, that Christ most delicately, and thus vindicating His Divine foreknowledge, teaches them that their hopes cannot be at once realized, that a postponement or preparatory stage or leavening process is necessary, but He does not, and cannot as a Covenant-sealing Saviour, destroy their hopes of the Kingdom. The confidence with which they preached the Kingdom proclaims this fact. With this view we can adopt and incorporate many valuable remarks recorded by the various writers on the parables, discarding the engrafted Origenistic Church-Kingdom idea, and adhering to the one that the Kingdom of heaven will appear when the certain number, represented by the three (sacred number) measures of meal, are obtained by the power of the truth. In this manner we preserve the unity of Scripture, the consistent preaching of instructed disciples. Again, by reference to the connection of this parable in Matt. 13:34, 35, we find that it embraces “things which have been kept secret from the foundation of the world.” Now it is taken for granted that “the secret thing” pertains to the nature, the spirituality of the Kingdom, but that this is a wrong inference is apparent from the declarations of the Apostles who found this secret or mystery in the postponement and consequent call of the Gentiles, as is proven by Eph., 3:4–6; Col. 1:26, 27, etc., thus fully according with our interpretation.

4. The parables of the Treasure and of the Pearl, Matt. 13:44–46, need no special notice, as the simple idea running through them is this: that as men exhibit their interest in, and willingness to sacrifice all for, something that is very precious and costly, so we ought to do the same in behalf of the Kingdom of God. It again indicates a preparatory stage in the individual and that he can obtain an abiding interest, inheritance, in the Kingdom itself. No one but can see that if we press the captions of these two parables, as is done in others, they become at once contradictory—for the one likens the Kingdom to the treasure and the other likens the Kingdom, not to the pearl but to the merchantman, thus indicating that Christ’s design was only to show what spirit should actuate us in seeking His Kingdom. This excludes all those forced and constrained expositions which abound in several writers, especially in Vitringa. Faith seizes upon the treasure God offers, and is willing to surrender all to obtain the abiding hope which it inspires, and its ultimate enjoyment.

5. The parable of the Net, Matt. 13:47–50, resembles that of the Tares and Wheat, and therefore requires no explanation. The design of this dispensation is represented, the postponement indicated in a preparatory gathering which shall continue until the end of the age. The mixed condition until the final separation is a prominent feature. The Kingdom, owing to its rejection by the nation, requires this previous casting of the net and its results.

6. The parable of the King and his Servants, or of the Unmerciful Servant, Matt. 18:23–35, shows the correctness of our deductions concerning the heading of the parable; for our entrance into the Kingdom of heaven is here conditioned on our brotherly forgiveness. As the servants render their account to the King, so shall we also finally to the great King. A preparatory qualification is requisite. Of the same tenor is the one of the Laborers in the Vineyard, Matt. 20:1–16, showing that previous to the bestowment of the reward a preparatory service is demanded, and that all thus engaged will receive their just dues. Lange, and others, make the vineyard the Kingdom of God, but it is likened to the householder who is represented as following a certain course of action, illustrative of what God will also do in the final settlement. We are taught that certain things are necessary before we can enter into that Kingdom, and that the principle actuating the householder will eventually influence the Judge in his arbitration of affairs. The parable of the Royal Wedding, or the Wedding Garment, Matt. 22:1–14, clearly points out that the Church is not the Kingdom of God, because the parties are represented merely as invited to the wedding. Before the Kingdom is introduced, represented under the figure of the Son’s wedding, a preliminary stage is introduced; and owing to the conduct of the guests first invited a further postponement is indicated until a certain gathering is obtained, thus accurately corresponding with our line of argument. This dispensation of grace, resulting from the perverse refusal of the invited Jewish nation, is designed to secure the requisite guests for the marriage feast at the end of the age.

7. As we proceed the parables become still more distinctive of our position. The parable of the Ten Virgins, Matt. 25:1–13, refers us by the word “then” directly to the period of the Second Advent, as is admitted by all our best critics. We are by its peculiar arrangement and connection limited to a certain period of time when such a separation of the wise and foolish shall be made. The time of the Kingdom and that of the coming of the Bridegroom and marriage are the same; and in view of an indefinite (i.e. to man) postponement of the same, and of a preparatory state of preparation, we are exhorted to be watchful, occupying the position of wise virgins. The parable following, that of the Talents, Matt. 25:13–14, inculcates still more forcibly this preliminary, intervening period before the Kingdom can be established. For we have (1) the allotment of specific duties, (2) the withdrawal of the person into “a far country,” leaving his servants behind, (3) “after a long time the lord of these servants cometh and reckoneth with them,” (4) the reward of the faithful servants is the assignment of rulership in the Kingdom, (5) and its connection with what follows, verses 31–46. Here is a pointed and significant delineation of the postponement of the Kingdom as various Propositions inculcate.

8. Thus we might pass over all the parables and in each case show how they fully correspond with the interpretation given. This, however, is unnecessary in view of the ample illustrations already presented. But we cannot in justice to ourselves close without directing marked attention to the parable of the Ten Pounds, Luke 19:11–27, which most forcibly confirms our position. This parable was introduced as follows: “He added and spake a parable, because He was nigh to Jerusalem, and because they thought that the Kingdom of God should immediately appear.” It is reasonable to suppose that the parable will throw light on the anticipated appearance of the Kingdom, especially as it was supposed to be connected with His then visit to Jerusalem. Now let any unprejudiced reader study this Divine utterance, expressly given to meet the notion of a speedy establishment of the Kingdom, and he must, if language has any force, arise from such a contemplation of it with a deep conviction that it teaches distinctly and vividly a protracted postponement of the Kingdom, the identical postponement so repeatedly advocated in these pages. We have (1) a nobleman going into a far country; (2) the design of going is to obtain the title, right, etc., to a Kingdom; (3) then he will return; (4) but his stay is a prolonged one, for time is given for trading, etc. (as in the parable of the Talents “after a long time the lord of those servants cometh,” etc.); (5) the Kingdom that he receives is located where the nobleman lived, “his citizens,” etc.; (6) he returns, having received the right of ruling; (7) during his absence his servants are required to be faithful to an imposed trust; (8) when he comes back to reign he has a reckoning with his servants; (9) and assigns to the faithful a rulership in his received Kingdom. Here is a decided answer to the theory that the Kingdom was established at the First Advent or shortly after, for we have in the nobleman an undoubted representation of Jesus, of His removal, of His injunctions upon His servants during the period of His departure, of His return with authority to appear as the covenanted King, of “His appearing in His Kingdom” (2 Tim. 4:1), and of His awarding stations of honor and ruling to the faithful.

Obs. 4. It would be an easy matter to criticise the inconsistencies and contradictions engrafted on these parables by the Church-Kingdom theory, but such a course is not needed by our argument, seeing that they are readily detected and exposed. Yet an illustration may be in place because of the influence exerted by the distinguished writer. If we take the last parable we find that Dr. Neander, in order to make the Church the Kingdom, handles it in a very illogical manner. He makes this absence of Christ, His return, and the establishment of the Kingdom to refer to a very brief period—to His death, ascension, and immediate return (the servants having a few days to trade in, etc.). He vainly endeavors to conceal the difficulties environing his interpretation by general phrases (which do not exclude the Second Coming), and utterly fails to make his interpretation fit into his own theory. The proof is this: Previously (Life of Christ) he informs us that the Kingdom of God had already come, that it was even then in progress of development, and declares that while Christ is absent during this brief interval “His agents advanced His Kingdom,” that when Christ ascended to heaven He was “appointed Theocratic King,” and immediately after such an appointment returns (spiritually is our conjecture) to exercise His royal power. Here he has a Kingdom already founded, then this Kingdom is left for the purpose of being appointed “Theocratic King,” and then a return is made to exercise this kingly authority thus received, so that the reply that Christ gave to those who thought that the Kingdom would immediately appear was in substance the following: You are mistaken; the Kingdom is already here; the interval of my absence makes no difference in its existence; that interval embraces but a few years at most, etc. (see p. 239 Life of Christ). But even this interval is reduced to a few days, for in Sec. 243 he interprets the triumphal entry into Jerusalem as expressive “that the Kingdom of God had come and that He was the promised Theocratic King,” so that the departure and the appointment were unnecessary for the appearing of the Kingdom. Such a style of interpretation needs no comment beside the language of the parable itself; and, we may add, it never would have been attempted by so able a man if he had not been fettered by a preconceived doctrine that the Church is the Kingdom of God. Alas! when so great and good men fall into such palpable contradictions.*

PROPOSITION 109. An examination of the passages of Scripture supposed to teach the Church-Kingdom theory will confirm our doctrine of the Kingdom.

The Propositions already given, and the concessions of candid writers like Neander concerning the apostolic views, indicate that all such passages are susceptible, by a fair comparison of the Word and interpretation, of a consistent explanation in accord with covenant, prophecy, and the position of the early Church.

Obs. 1. The passage usually quoted against us is the one in John 18:36, “My Kingdom is not of this world; if my Kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews, but now is my Kingdom not from hence.” There is not the remotest declaration here that the Church is the Kingdom, but it is inferred on the ground that a Kingdom was established and that this describes a purely spiritual one which must be the Church. Leaving the parties who use this Scripture against our doctrine of a visible, real world-dominion to reconcile it with their own alleged objections drawn from it, when advocating the same visible world-dominion in describing Millennial portrayals, etc., we content ourselves with merely giving the reasons why this passage is not only not hostile but in actual harmony with our doctrine. The view that we have all along maintained is this, viz., that this Kingdom, Theocratic-Davidic, is of divine origin and is specially claimed as God’s, He Himself being the Ruler in and through the reigning King; that this Kingdom, being not of worldly but divine outgrowth, is promised to Jesus Christ as the promised David’s Son; and that, owing to the foreknown rejection of the Messiah, etc., is postponed to the ending of this age or dispensation. The language of Christ accurately corresponds with our previous propositions, for we have (1) “My Kingdom,” a Kingdom belonging to Jesus as covenanted; (2) “is not of this world”—it is a Kingdom, as we have already shown, not of a human-devised order of arrangement, not of earthly derivation, but heaven-derived and belonging to a renewed order of arrangement, in the future, to “the world to come,” having been, as prophets and as Jesus Himself, previously predicted, postponed; (3) “if My Kingdom were of this world, then would My servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews,” i.e. if it were not of “the world to come,” if it were not postponed to the end of the age and to a new order of things, then would I not be in the power of the Jews for then even my servants would fight, but the Kingdom being postponed from the First to the Second Advent, my servants do not interfere with the authority of Cæsar; (4) “but now is My Kingdom not from hence,” i.e. but now, during the present order of things, owing to this very postponement my Kingdom is not of this world. This itself would forbid the idea of the Church Kingdom, and as the emphasis is on the word “now” there is implied that at some future time, as our argument demands, His Kingdom would be established. Besides this, the peculiar and significant “but now” implies even more, viz., that His Kingdom will ultimately, although not at present, embrace a jurisdiction or dominion over the world, crushing and overcoming all resistance, which corresponds with what is predicted, Rev. 11:15, “the Kingdoms of this world are become the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever.” Our view causes no antagonism between the two passages, but receives and harmonizes both of them; for, as the prophets describe the Kingdom, it is not world-derived but will at a certain period of time manifest itself in the appearing of the King and exhibit a world-dominion.*

Obs. 2. Rom. 14:17, “For the Kingdom of God is not meat or drink; but righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Ghost.” From this is inferred that the Church or piety is the Kingdom. But this passage must be explained in accordance with the general tenor of the Word, and if this is done then the idea of the Apostle is that the Kingdom we hope to enter is not one of (leading to or tending to, e.g. Rom. 8:6, etc.) meat and drink (hence no need of the contention, etc., previously mentioned concerning meats), but one of righteousness, peace, and joy. Or, the Kingdom is not obtained by meat and drink but by righteousness, etc. If we are to understand it differently and by way of inference, then some passage direct and explicit, teaching that the Church is the Kingdom, ought to be produced to prove its correctness (comp. Meyer, Com. loci). Matt. 6:32, “But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His righteousness” only has reference to seeking an interest in the Kingdom; for, as many commentators admit, the connection in which it stands in Luke 12:31 shows this, Jesus having immediately added: “Fear not. little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the Kingdom,” etc. The passage in Luke 16:16, “the law and the prophets were until John; since that time the Kingdom of God is preached and every man presseth into it” (also Matt. 11:11–12) has already been alluded to, and the satisfactory explanation given by Judge Jones (Notes on Matt. 11:12) proves that instead of every man pressing into it, every man, i.e. the generality of men pressed against or resisted it, which accords with the historical facts as given by John 1:11; 12:37; Rom. 11:8, 11, 12; Matt. 23:13, etc. This interpretation sustained by the language prevents it becoming contradictory to others.* The passages found in Matt. 16:28; Mark 9:1; Luke 9:27; Matt. 10:23, will be examined in connection with the transfiguration, Prop. 153. The language addressed to Nicodemus, John 3:3, 5, is of such a nature that we have a preparatory work described preliminary to a future seeing and entering into the Kingdom, or, as will be shown under the Prop. relating to the resurrection it is so far-reaching that it also includes that birth of the Spirit which Jesus Himself experienced, viz., that of the resurrection from the dead, which is preliminary to the inheriting, etc., of the future Kingdom.*

Obs. 3. It is supposed that the most direct Scripture in support of the Church-Kingdom theory is found in Col. 1:13, “Who hath delivered us from the power of darkness and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.” This undoubtedly is the strongest proof text that can be presented in favor of the prevailing view. But (1) if we receive our version as it stands the language is easily reconcilable with the principle that future blessings are spoken of as present, as exemplified in Heb. 12:22, 23, etc. (comp. Prop. 65, Obs. 9). This is a peculiarity of Paul’s, so that in Rom. 8:30 he has those who are justified also glorified, when, as is taught in the same chapter, the period of glorification is still future. In the context itself the allusion to the inheritance of the saints and deliverance from darkness indicates the same, seeing that “the inheritance” is only bestowed at the Sec. Advent and that a complete deliverance from darkness (which includes death and the grave) is only obtained at the Coming of Christ. This Scripture must be explained according to the general analogy of Scripture, and it is too indefinite to form the foundation of so important a doctrine as that of the Church-Kingdom. (2) Some authors, however, give a different rendering from our version, making the reading “changed us for the Kingdom of His dear Son,” contending that the preposition “eis” should be translated “for” as, e.g. in Luke 9:62, etc. Either view will secure uniformity of promise, etc. A passage from which it is inferred that John was then in the Kingdom (i.e. Church) is found in Rev. 1:9, “I, John, who am your brother and companion in tribulation and in the Kingdom and patience of Christ.” The best comment on this is to be found in 2 Tim. 2:12, “If we suffer, we shall also reign with Him,” or in Rom. 8:17, “If children, then heirs; heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be also glorified together.” Commentators (as e.g. Bloomfield, loci) frankly admit this explanation and think that reference is made to the hope of the Kingdom expressed in verse 6. Hence John declares in the most decided manner his strong faith and hope of sharing in the Kingdom.

Obs. 4. Several other passages are occasionally urged against our view that may be worthy of attention. Thus 1 Cor. 4:20, “For the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power,” is thus employed, but it really sustains our position because we all along contend that it is not produced or established by “word” but by “power,” not by speech but by authority. If the ancient (Bloomfield, loci) and some modern commentators are correct in making the word “power” an equivalent for “miraculous power,” then it is still stronger on our side. At least the language is a rebuke to certain ones who thought that they were rulers, possessed authority, etc., and the appeal is that if they were such their power should be manifested, although Paul himself professes not yet to reign. But if the passage does refer to the power exhibited through the Apostle himself (as in ch. 2:4), then the idea is that the Kingdom of God is proclaimed, preached by him not in word, “not with enticing words of man’s wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power.” In any case the verb, being omitted, must be supplied by the force of the context, and therefore is not very decisive in a question of this kind, especially as the word “power,” on which critics differ, has a material influence in deciding what is to be supplied. Again, such passages as Luke 22:16; Matt. 26:29; Mark 14:25, require no particular notice, since over against the few who make a fulfilment in the Church in the sacrament of the Lord’s Supper, the immense majority of those who hold to the Church-Kingdom view concede that it has no reference to the Church here in this dispensation. They indeed refer it to the third heaven, etc., while we regard its fulfilment connected with Luke 22:29, 30. Finally many inconclusive inferences are drawn from the phrase in the Lord’s Prayer “Thy Kingdom come,” the main one being that it is praying for a Kingdom already present, and that its power, etc., may be extended, etc. But this is in direct opposition to the words of the petition which is—as the last saint will do—praying for something to come; the force of which is admitted by later Fathers, commentators, and others, so that they (as e.g. Cyprian, Augustine, etc.) tell us that the Kingdom meant is the Kingdom of glory or the third heaven. That it has an undoubted reference to the future is evident from the annexed clause, “Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven,” which by numerous passages we find will not be done before but after the Second Advent. Besides this the prayer is given to the people with the then prevailing belief that the Kingdom of promise was still future, and as we have seen from Jewish expectations, etc., fully accords with the preaching of the Kingdom. A theory must be hard pressed for argument that can change “Thy Kingdom come” into a present, existing one. The Church-Kingdom is grafted upon it irrespective of real fitness and against the protests even of many of our opposers.*

PROPOSITION 110. The passage most relied on to prove the Church-Kingdom theory utterly disproves it.

Desirous to call especial attention to this passage of Scripture, it is reserved for a separate Proposition. In a careful reading and study of the Church-Kingdom theory, it will be found the most frequently quoted, and adduced as an authority, from Origen down to recent writers as Dr. McCosh, and including a host. In view of the learning, ability, and high standing of those who thus employ it, this Scripture (viz., Luke 17:21) deserves marked attention.

Obs. 1. Before discussing the passage itself we may briefly advert to the manner in which it is employed. It is amazing that, notwithstanding the just criticisms of able commentators, the most prominent men will continue to quote it in support of a spiritual Kingdom without the least attempt to show how it can be consistently and logically thus applied. They use it as if no difficulties of any kind were attached to it, and as if it did not prove too much for their own theory. To give a recent example: Dr. McCosh in replying to Renan (Christ. and Posit., p. 245) adduces the passage to prove that “the Kingdom was to be a reign of God in men’s hearts” without seeing that if such is its meaning then the wicked Pharisees had already this Kingdom “within” them, for the words were directly addressed to them. When men of acknowledged ability will quote Scripture so loosely it is saddening to the heart, and causes but little hope that many will duly weigh and examine the passage. It is true some allowance must be made for the manner in which such an interpretation is intrenched in the Church itself, and thus becomes unless particular attention is directed to it, part of its theological equipments. Thus, e.g. Dr. Woodhouse (Transl. of Apoc.) lays down as a canon of interpretation that the Kingdom predicted in Revelation is a spiritual Kingdom and to prove it quotes, italicizing it, “the Kingdom of God, says our Lord, is within you, Luke 17:21,” which canon is indorsed and adopted by Horne (Introd., vol. 2, p. 383). Thus it is erected even as a foundation upon which to build an interpretation. Neander is more guarded, translating (Life of Christ, s. 213) “Behold the Kingdom of God is among you,” and in a foot-note opposes the rendering “within you” as inconsistent because it “would not suit the persons addressed, for they were as yet strangers to the Kingdom of God,” etc. But bound by his theory to find the spiritual Kingdom he apprehends it in the preceding phrase, which he renders “the Kingdom of God cometh not with outward show (cannot be outwardly seen by human eyes), and in a note adds: “The antithesis is, that it reveals itself invisibly, so as to be seen only by the eye of faith.” He afterward forgets and contradicts his own definition of this Kingdom, making it in the course of development a real, outward, visible world-dominion. Many such illustrations can be given, found in commentaries, etc., which find here a spiritual Kingdom in one or the other of these sentences, and then make this same inward, invisible Kingdom—a Kingdom only seen by the eye of faith—transform itself somehow into a visible outward Kingdom. This singular transformation notion, so hostile to what they call “a higher spiritual conception,” is evidence that there must be something faulty in the theory itself. The reader need scarcely be reminded that this passage, with the interpretation that it denotes “God’s reign in the heart,” is a favorite one with Spiritualists, etc., to confirm spirit revelations, claims to inspiration, etc. Various sects have built largely on it as indicating special inward light, knowledge, authority, etc.*

Obs. 2. The passage, Luke 17:20, 21, must be taken in its entire connection. (1) “And when He was demanded of the Pharisees when the Kingdom of God should come.” The question when the Kingdom should come determines the answer. And we may well ask the question whether Jesus will give that information to the Pharisees which He uniformly denied to His own disciples during His ministry (Mark 13:32) and even after His resurrection (Acts 1:7). Would He give that (i.e. exact time) to His enemies which He withheld from His friends? (2) “He answered them and said, the Kingdom of God cometh not with observation.” Perhaps no word has received such singular treatment as the word “observation” here; its primary, distinctive meaning is discarded and a meaning given to it which Judge Jones (Essays on the Com. of the Kingdom of God, p. 51) justly remarks “cannot be extracted from it,” and as a further proof of it the reader may be challenged to produce another place, either in sacred or secular literature, where any critic has attempted to force any one of these meanings (i.e. outward show, pomp, splendor, etc.) either upon the word ‘parateresis’ or ‘observatio.’ ” Discarding then all those far-fetched secondary engrafted meanings, and leaving even the highly ingenious (perhaps correct) and critical interpretation of Judge Jones, we are willing to accept of the plain meaning of the word as given by critics, viz., denoting (Olshausen) “the act of perceiving or of observing,” (Kype) “scrupulous attention or observation,” etc. Thus then, the Kingdom of God cometh, not as something whose approach may be attentively perceived, observed, considered, i.e. like that of a visible object gradually or even swiftly approaching. It will not come indicating its coming by sending forth any observable signs. This is the simple meaning and it corresponds with the general tenor of the word. This Kingdom is linked, as we have shown, with the Sec. Advent; “the appearing and the Kingdom” (as in the following verses) are united, 2 Tim. 4:1. No one will be able to observe its coming, for it comes as the Advent itself, suddenly, unexpectedly, like a thief, illustrated in the parable of the Ten Virgins and by its comparison with the lightning and the days of Noah. So concealed is its approach that it becomes “a snare” to the world, and even to the Church; for its coming is dependent on the fulfilment of “the times of the Gentiles,” the completion of a certain number of the elect, the Advent of Christ Himself, which things are not observable to man, being known only to God. There is nothing in the Kingdom itself to indicate the time of its establishment. (3) “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or Lo there!” Not being observable for the reasons just assigned no one is able to direct attention to it in the manner indicated.
(4) “For, behold, the Kingdom of God is within you.” Surely He did not mean that the Pharisees who addressed Him and to whom He spoke, had the Kingdom within them individually, personally. The phrase “within you” is susceptible of an easy and consistent solution. Let the reader consider the Propositions in which we showed conclusively that this Kingdom is covenanted to the Jewish nation; that it is an elect nation; that this Kingdom belonged so exclusively to them that the public ministry of John, Jesus and the disciples was confined (Prop. 54) to that nation; that the Kingdom was tendered to it; that on its refusal (through its representative men) to repent, the Kingdom is postponed and the people who are to receive it as an inheritance with Christ are grafted into that elect nation, etc., and all these considerations show at once how this Kingdom was “within” them. It was truly “within” the nation, it being the elect nation. The persons addressed were part of the nation and chief men of it, and Christ, in strict accordance with covenant relationship and fact, told those very unbelievers, that in view of the tender of this Kingdom to the people of the nation, and of its being preached within the nation, and of its being identified with the nation in the throne and Kingdom of David, this Kingdom is within them. It is connected with them, and within their reach on condition of repentance. It is also equivalent to the expression in Luke 11:20, “the Kingdom of God is come upon you,” or Matt. 12:28, “come unto you,” i.e. has attained unto you or pertains to you. The word “within” receives its force from the restriction thrown around the Kingdom by the covenant relationship of the nation, and therefore it has or it is, come “upon” them, “among” them, “within” them, as it could not at that time come to any other nation or people. This is evidenced from the fact that this very Kingdom thus come within the nation is taken from it and given to another engrafted people. If it did not in a high and peculiar sense belong to the nation, it could not be taken from it. Hence the “within you” addressed to these unbelieving Jews is most expressive of their covenanted relationship and the glorious privileges that they as a nation enjoyed. Restricted as it was to that nation, the opportunity was presented of a blessed change, but instead of repentance and faith and a consequent establishment of the Kingdom, a sad history of wickedness intervened.

(5) If the context following is noticed it confirms our interpretation. He now addresses the disciples: “the days will come when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it” (v. 22). This, in reply to the question when Kingdom shall come, indicates what we have already proven, the indefinite postponement of the Kingdom; for the line of Christ’s remarks makes the decided impression that the Kingdom will not soon be established, owing to His departure, and that the time of His return and its manifestation is concealed. None of the disciples then living shall see and enjoy it during their lives; and, comparing John 17:11, 12, 13; Matt. 9:15, etc., these days of absence extend down to our own time, and will only end when the day of the Lord Jesus (Phil. 1:6; 1 Cor. 1:5, 8; 2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Thess. 5:2, etc.) shall be revealed. In verse 23 He cautions against deceivers who shall pretend to found this Kingdom, which again intimates that it will not come very soon. In reply to the question when, He, taking the fundamental fact that the Kingdom itself is dependent on His appearing, directs attention to the sudden and unmistakable (v. 24) Coming of the King, of the Son of man “in His day.” And (v. 25) directly shows that the Kingdom cannot soon appear, because of His suffering and rejection by that generation. Then He points out the condition of the world at the period of His Advent, that it will be a season of forgetfulness, unbelief, etc., as in the days of Noah and Lot. And yet at such a period, when men almost generally shall discard the notion of the imminency of His coming and the setting up of His Kingdom, this question of the Pharisees shall be realized, for “even thus will it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed.” This is followed up by a parable representing a period of trial as intervening, that although such trials were before them men should pray and not faint, because although God “bear long with them” (expressive of delay) He shall finally deliver them, concluding with the deeply impressive question (alas, so abundantly verified in this day), “Nevertheless, when the Son of man cometh, shall He find faith on the earth?” Jews and Gentiles, with here and there an exception, discard all faith in this personal Coming of the Son of man, and the Kingdom covenanted to Him and identified with that Coming. The delay is to them ample evidence that it never will be witnessed. Now in the direct answer to the Pharisees, and the added remarks to the disciples, together with the corroborating state of the Church and world, we have reiterated, what has already been proven, that the Kingdom was nigh to the Jewish nation, that, owing to their sinfulness, it was not established but is postponed to an indefinite period in the future, viz., “to the day when the Son of man is revealed” (comp. Props. 56–68).

Obs. 3. Because of the free use made of this passage, a few more remarks on the meaning of “observation” are in place. Coming to this Scripture with a preconceived notion of a Kingdom spiritual and invisible in this dispensation, the multitude engraft on the original word such expressions as “outward show,” “splendor,” “pomp,” “outward display,” “external display of majesty,” etc., which do not legitimately belong to the word translated “observation,” but are given to it, to suit a theory, on the ground that such things are observed! As Judge Jones (Philo-Basilicus, Essays) has at length shown, nowhere else is it even attempted to render such a meaning.* Commentators who employ this secondary sense (as e.g. Bloomfield, Olshausen, etc.) frankly admit that this secondary sense only becomes a conjectural one, because they cannot find another example to verify it. Surely this in itself should be already sufficient reason for the student to regard the secondary sense with suspicion, but we have two additional ones to add. (1) This secondary sense is not true even of the Church. The Church comes with observation, as e.g. on the day of Pentecost. It was established with “outward show” and is perpetuated with the same, having a preached Word, ministers, officers, external ordinances, etc., and the saints are to be a light, a witness of the truth to the world. The faithful body of believers is to manifest itself as a testimony to all, and, of course, this cannot be done unless they can be observed, etc. (2) This secondary sense is not correct concerning the Kingdom of Christ. Let the reader notice what the Covenant demands, what the prophets predict, respecting this Kingdom. Is it not to come with such “outward show,” such “splendor” and “external majesty,” that it shall arrest the attention of, and be witnessed by, all living? Is it not to occupy the place of other kingdoms and to be exalted to the sovereignty of the world? Multitudes of passages teach this; and the least consideration of the predicted glory of the Kingdom, its universality, the restoration of the Jews connected with it, the worship of nations, etc., will at once show that, when it arrives, it will be the great and absorbing object of “observation.” Indeed so evident is this, that we find admissions on all sides conceding it, even although opposed to a previous interpretation of the first part of the passage Thus, e.g. Schmidt (Bib, Theol. of the N. T., p. 246), after spiritualizing this Kingdom, admits that “the Lord also depicts in v. 24 this same Kingdom as appearing visibly.” Olshausen (Com. loci) advocating the spirituality of the Kingdom in the reply to the Pharisees also claims that in the same chapter it is alluded to as external, external in its perfection. Having already pointed out the inconsistency of this development theory of a claimed higher (spiritual) position to a lower one, it is only necessary to add that all such admissions prove the correctness of our interpretation of the chapter, and the incoherency of their own theory.*

Obs. 4. The meaning that so many deduce from the expression “within you,” is not only opposed by ourselves but finds opponents among many who have no sympathy with our doctrine, and who are in doctrinal position with the Church-Kingdom party. Advocating a spiritual Kingdom, yet they cannot find it a consistent measure to take the phrase “within you” as indicative of God’s reign in the heart,” etc., for, as they tell us, this would prove too much of the unbelieving party addressed. Hence Neander takes the position (see Obs. 1, above) that it ought to be rendered “among you.” Olshausen informs us that Paulus, Fleck, Borneman, De Wette explain it, “among you.” The marg. reading also gives “among you.” Bloomfield (loci) gives “among you.” Barnes (Com. loci) gives both “within” and “among you.” On the other hand Dr. Campbell, Dr. Jones, and many others insist on retaining “within you.” So far as the sense of the passage is concerned, either one or the other would suffice, although our preference is for the latter. Again, in the efforts to avoid the prevailing application of the “within you,” some, as Dr. Neander, assert that “the Kingdom of God was manifested in his own appearance,” and, as Prof. Whiting explains it, “the King is among you.” So also Dr. Thomas and the Christadelphians generally. Whatever truth (Prop. 56) there may be in King and Kingdom being convertible, yet the peculiarity of the expression embracing a word that legitimately means “within,” and the use of the previous word “observation” forbids the application of this to the person of Jesus Christ, for then He would be “within” those unbelievers and He could not be observed. Besides this, such an explanation is forced, being derived from the third one given by Cornelius à Lapide,* and which was based on the Divine Sovereignty of God; while the Kingship of Christ, in view of the foreseen rejection, is held in abeyance, being founded on His covenanted humanity and His relationship to God, after the performance of an allotted mission (Props. 81–90). The explanation given under Obs. 2 is in correspondence with and unites the statements of the Old and New Testaments, and accurately accords with the then existing status of the Jewish nation.

Obs. 5. This Kingdom “within you” could not be the Christian Church, for that was afterward instituted and it was not anything that the Pharisees were in personal actual enjoyment of, and to apply it either to the person of Christ or to a spiritual reign is to bring it into conflict with covenanted expectations and the preaching of John the Baptist, Jesus, and the disciples (Props. 19–23 and 38–49).*

Obs. 6. While the approach of the Kingdom itself is not discoverable by any observation, being dependent on the secret knowledge of God Himself as to the time and to the completion of the number of the elect, yet this does not forbid a certain approximative knowledge concerning the period of its approach. While not in itself giving forth any visible signs of its Coming, yet the Divine Spirit has given us other signs, other events as a kind of guide by which we may know, more or less, the nearness of its Coming. Jesus Himself enumerates a lengthy series of events, and emphatically adds, Luke 21:31; “So likewise, ye when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the Kingdom of God is nigh at hand.” Having already used this passage in sustaining the postponement of the Kingdom, it is only necessary to say that neither the Church, visible or invisible, nor “God’s reign in the heart,” could be denoted, since “these things” specified are running their course down to the present day. Still attention is directed to “these things” to urge us to watchfulness and anticipation of the Coming of the Kingdom undiscoverable by any outward, visible signs. Even the believing, owing to this lack of external observation of the Kingdom, are represented as in danger of having its approach coming upon them most unexpectedly, while the world, rejecting those merciful and gracious predictions, is buried in slumber and caught in “a snare,” or “net.” But few, wholly dependent on faith and not on the Kingdom itself presenting preliminary external signs for observation, will accept of the prophecies pertaining to this matter and be looking for, watching for, and awaiting with hope the Kingdom. These signs, not of the Kingdom itself but of things existing when it is to come, will be enumerated under another Proposition (comp. Props. 173 and 174).*

PROPOSITION 111. The Kingdom being identified with the elect Jewish nation, it cannot be established without the restoration of that nation.

This has been proven in preceding Propositions, but as the proof is abundant and cumulative, additional ones may be assigned. For, if the Kingdom is the Theocratic-Davidic, then embracing the throne, Kingdom, and land of David, it must also include the nation to whom it was alone specially covenanted; that is, the Jewish people, one branch of Abraham’s natural seed, viz., in the line of the Patriarchs and their descendants. Hence, the restoration of this nation naturally falls in with the Divine Purpose—is fully identified with it.*

Obs. 1. The only objection of force that can be urged against our view is, that these promises of restoration are conditional, but this has been met under Props. 18 and 46–52. If we can make the Covenant—confirmed by God’s oath, and its ultimate fulfilment again and again affirmed by holy men—conditional, then everything else is conditional; then the foundations of Christian hope crumble away beneath us, and nothing stable remains. It is a fact of weight in this discussion to note, that a vast number of writers, opposed to our doctrine, and inclined to spiritualize the predictions as much as possible, are still forced by the singularly effective language of the prophets to admit a restoration of the Jews to their own land. The powerfully converging testimony is too strong even for them to refuse credence to it; and they give us, urging with just and conclusive reasons, the scriptural ground for such a faith, although it badly fits into their system, owing to its being, more or less, in antagonism to their theory of exclusive spiritual blessings, of the abandonment of the wall of partition between nations, and of the remaining portions attached to the same predictions. Even such a writer as Whitby acknowledges, owing to the force of Luke 21:24; Jer. 31:27–40, etc., such a restoration and the rebuilding of Jerusalem. Indeed, some even see that its unconditionality is asserted in various places; that they are restored not on account of their own holiness but to preserve the faithfulness of God; and that Israel being carefully distinguished from the Gentiles (as e.g. Isa. 49, Marg. reading, etc.) must, in order to preserve the Divine arrangement, also be gathered. The application of passages relating to the earthly Jerusalem by Waggoner (Ref. of Age to Come) to the New Jerusalem, because the Old is cast out and the Son of the Free Woman is the heir, misapprehends the Barren Woman (see Prop. 118), does not distinguish between the heir and the subject, unites things which God has separated, violates the promises of God to His own ancient city and people, and, in brief, ignores the inheritance of Christ, as David’s Son.

Obs. 2. This too is shown by the election of this Jewish nation (see Props. 24, 54, 55, 59, 60, 61, 62, 63, etc., on Election). No nation on earth, saving the Jewish, has God chosen, over whom He condescends to act in the capacity of an earthly Ruler. No nation save it alone has been thus favored with a Theocratic rule. Owing to the sinfulness of the nation this Kingdom was indeed overthrown, and the nation itself, as a nation, driven from its land and placed in a scattered and subject condition among the nations of the earth. It has abundantly been shown that they are still the elect nation, not perpetually cut off. Indeed, if this election were to entirely cease, or if it were diverted to any other nation or nations, then it would be impossible to verify the Covenant promises made directly to it. This subject having been elucidated, it is only necessary to add: the election of the nation, evidenced even now by the necessity Gentiles are under to be grafted into it, continues on by virtue of its covenanted relationship to the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, and if such election is manifested in the establishment of the Kingdom, it involves, fully embraces, its restoration to Palestine.*

Obs. 3. It is important to keep in view, in the consideration of this subject, that the Jews, living at the time of the First Advent and afterward, believed that the prophets linked a complete restoration of the nation with the Kingdom of the Messiah. This is admitted by all; but if the admission is made, then the question arises, unless the doctrine is true, how comes it that the New Test. employs (as e.g. Rom. 11) language to confirm the Jews in their opinions? Ernesti’s one-sided criticism making Rom. 11 to mean a mere possibility of being saved or restored without its being accomplished, is contradicted by the positive language of Paul, his eulogy of the nation, his confident expressions, and the accordance of the same with generally entertained expectations. The application of New Test. passages solely to a conversion of the Jews, and not to a future restoration, is met not only by the same, but also by the directness of passages which teach that the dispersion, desolation, and the treading down of Jerusalem shall continue for an appointed time (and then cease), as well as by the references to this election and covenanted relationship, and by the connection in which such a conversion stands to a restoration to the land.*

Obs. 4. The Jews, influenced by the plain language of Covenant and prophecy, universally held that the Messianic Kingdom was to be accompanied by a complete restoration of the nation; both ideas were inseparably united, the one being regarded an impossibility without the other. So wedded were they to this view, that they objected to Jesus being the Messiah because it was not realized at the First Advent (the early Christians answered by locating the fulfilment at the Second Advent of this Jesus). Now observe, that with this prevailing Jewish doctrine, so dear to the Jewish heart, before them, Jesus and the Apostles use the very language pre-eminently calculated to cherish and confirm the Jews in their opinion of restoration, and the proof that it was thus adapted and intended is found in the simple historical fact, that both believing Jews and Gentiles in the early Church held to, and taught, the doctrine. A glance at various passages—keeping in mind the existing belief of the hearers—is amply sufficient to show this distinctly. Thus e.g. “the regeneration,” Matt. 19:28, the removal of the desolation from “the house” Matt. 23:37–39, the Messianic reign over the house of Jacob on the throne of David, Luke 1:32, 33, the deliverance from enemies, Luke 1:74, the removal of Jerusalem’s down-trodden condition when the times of the Gentiles are fulfilled, Luke 21:24, the times of refreshing and restitution, Acts 3:19–21, the rebuilding again of the fallen-down Davidic tabernacle, Acts 15:16, the Jewish hope to be realized, Acts 26:6, 7, etc.—all is adapted to strengthen the hope of ultimate restoration, just as Covenant and prophecy promise. Hence we need not be surprised at the Apostolic and Primative Church cleaving to such a future restoration at the Sec. Advent of the Messiah.*

Obs. 5. As in the following Props, our proof, given in detail, shall be mainly drawn from the Old Test., it may be well to state why the New Test. does not enter into the subject of the restoration so extendedly as the Old. For, although pointedly mentioned and often implied, yet such magnificent portraitures of it as the Old Test. contains, are lacking. (1) It is taken for granted that the instruction of the New will be combined with the Old (both being one, etc., comp. Prop. 16), where a sufficiency is given to every one who will “search the Scriptures.” (2) The union of the doctrine of the restoration with the events of the Second Advent make it easy for any believer to join the declarations of the Old with those of the New Test. (3) In the condition of the early Church and of the Jewish nation at, and after, the First Advent, a more detailed statement would unnecessarily (in view of the lengthy postponement) have prejudiced the Roman Power (already embittered) against the nation and Church.*

Obs. 6. In view of the elect position of the nation (Prop. 24) and its consequent Theocratic position, the restoration is so essential, such a prerequisite, that two remarkable forms of expression are employed to indicate it. (1) God restores the nation for His own sake, to vindicate His covenant-keeping mercy, and thus magnify His own name. For example, Ezek. 36:22 declares, in connection with a restoration which has never yet been realized, “Thus saith the Lord God: I do not this for your sakes, O house of Israel, but for mine holy name’s sake, which ye have profaned among the heathen, whither ye went,” and v. 32, “Not for your sakes do I this, saith the Lord God, be it known unto you: be ashamed and confounded for your own ways, O house of Israel.” The condition in which both Judah and Israel are at the time of the restoration, viz., that of unbelief, shows that God evidences mercy because the time has eventually arrived for the re-establishment of the Theocratic Kingdom, and hence to exalt His own truthfulness, “because” the nation has been overthrown and its uplifting is a necessity, “because” the heathen ridicule the Covenant and its promises, God will perform this work, and, by an astonishing process, bring this rebellious nation to heart-felt obedience and most fervent allegiance. (2) He will do it for the Father’s sake, in behalf of that portion who have been believing and God-fearing. Paul appeals to this, Rom. 11:28, “beloved for the fathers’ sakes,” to whom the Covenant was given. Now turn to Lev. 26:42–45, which Paul evidently had in view, and it is asserted, that although the nation be dispersed, God “will remember” His “Covenant” and “the land,” and it is affirmed that in their dispersion He will not “utterly cast them away, or abhor, or destroy” and thus (by an utter destruction) “break His covenant with them, for I am the Lord, their God. But I will for their sakes remember the Covenant of their ancestors, whom I brought forth out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the heathen, that I might be their God: I am the Lord.” The restoration, therefore, is impregnably fixed, upon God’s honor as a covenant-keeping God, and upon His promises given to the Fathers, which will be realized.*

PROPOSITION 112. The Kingdom, if established as predicted, demands the national restoration of the Jews in their own land.

This we have all along proven, viz., that such a connection is positively required by Covenant and election, promise and prophecy. Now it remains to prove in a more specific form a national re-establishment of the nation, which, of course, confirms our doctrinal position. Besides, the reign and Kingdom, as will be seen, is invariably associated with such a restoration (comp. preceding Prop.).*

Obs. 1. Before continuing our proof, several preliminaries must be considered which materially add to the force of the prophecies. (a) The perpetuity of the Jewish nation, owing to their election, is asserted, and with it their separation from all other nations. This is distinctly stated in Numb. 23:9, and from this arises the declarations of God not to make a full end of them as He may do with other nations, Lev. 26:44; Jer. 30:11; Jer. 46:28, etc.; Deut. 32:26, 27; Amos 9:8; Ezek. 11:16. As explained in previous Props. this nation is chosen, out of all others, to be the peculiar instrumentality by which the Divine Purpose in Redemption and Government is to be carried out, and hence of them it is said, 1 Chron. 17:21, 22; Psl. 136:4; Jer. 31:35–37, etc. This, of course, is an indispensable feature in our argument which must by no means be overlooked. (b) This perpetuity of the nation thus promised, together with the reasons which impose it, and with the added predictions derived from it, involves the final restoration of the nation to its old state of special favor and nearness to God. Several writers, as McNeile, Noel, Bh. Newton, Kurtz, etc., employ this promised perpetuity as a powerful reason favoring the restoration. (c) This nation, owing to unfaithfulness, is driven from its land and scattered among the nations. History has made this so familiar, that a mere mention of it will suffice. (d) But such removal, as Moses and the prophets taught, being designed for correction and punishment is not perpetual. It is for a limited, appointed time, the Knowledge of which God has reserved to Himself. That this period of tribulation, long as it may be, is a limited one, all the prophets testify and Christ Himself pointedly specifies. To deny this, is simply to reject some of the plainest statements in the Word of God and the entire current of prediction. The Scripture bearing on this point has already been partly given, and hence needs no repetition. (e) The Jews, therefore, owing to their nationally promised perpetuity and future position as a nation in the yet unfulfilled Purposes of God, are preserved down to the present day as a people, separate and distinct from all others, who, if such were the Divine Will, can at any moment be reorganized into a distinctive nationality among the nations. The preservation of the people is distinctly predicted, not in the possession of king, government, etc., characteristic of a nation properly organized but, in a dispersed and utterly disorganized condition, retaining national peculiarities, such as rites, practices, customs, doctrines, etc. The astonishing verification of these predictions in the history of the Jews has been noticed by numerous able writers, and has been aptly styled “a standing miracle”; and from it also has been derived an argument favoring the literal restoration. Many writers of history, science, etc., have noticed, that while some individuals have been absorbed by other nations yet the vast body of them, in the midst of the nations, have preserved their Jewish individuality and national peculiarities, remaining a separate, and for ages an isolated, people.3 The confident prediction of Celsus that the Jews as a race would become extinct is not verified. Dispersed among powerful nations, they continue to exist, while these nations disappear. Denied the privilege of living under their own magistrates, etc., debarred for centuries from all civil rights; suffering frequently the most terrible persecutions that ever afflicted a people; driven from country to country and made a “hissing,” “by-word,” etc., among nations not wise, but cruel; in brief, enduring, as history shows, what no other nation on earth has ever passed through, yet they still remain a peculiar, distinctive people, ready at almost any time, if the way were prepared, for a national reorganization. Their powerful enemies have perished or decayed, and they remain numerous and a significant power in the earth. But all this is necessary, preparatory to another phase in their remarkable history. If God intends to fulfil His promises concerning their national restoration, it certainly is essential to preserve them, while the preservation itself thus becomes—being predicted and fulfilled—evidence that the Divine Purpose in reference to them is in regular course of fulfilment, and leads on to the ultimate end intended. God has been, even when scattered, “a little sanctuary” (Ezek. 11:16) to them, thus saving them from extinction that His own Word may stand. (f) The plaintive representation of Isa. 63:18, “The people of thy holiness have possessed it but a little while,” contrasted with the promises and with the protracted tribulation, has pertinence. The comparative brief possession of the Holy Land when compared with the prophetic intimations, clearly evinces that something great and lasting in this direction must be held in abeyance for this same nation. (g) Certain promises of restoration are made to the Jewish nation, not to Gentile nations or even to Gentiles adopted into the nation (although the latter are included in the way hereafter shown, viz., as inheritors, etc.), but to the one distinctive Jewish nation. The Church is not composed of “the outcasts of Israel,” of those cut off under the anger of God, possessing the sad traits and experiencing the forsaken condition attributed to this nation. The Church has not the throne and Kingdom of David in ruins, the city of God desolate and in the hands of enemies, etc., and hence the Church cannot be denoted. The same nation which experienced this heavy tribulation is also to realize the blessings of restoration. There is nothing so sad and absurd in the interpretation of the Bible as that, alas! so prevalent with many, to give all the threatenings, curses, and afflictions to the Jews, and appropriate the promises and blessings to the Gentiles or to the Church. It is not only wrong but dishonoring to the Word, and opens a wide field of arbitrary exposition. The threatenings and reverses have been literally fulfilled, even to the minutest particular, so also must the predicted blessings, standing as they do in the same connection with this scattered, etc., people. History indorses a literal interpretation of these prophecies, and its testimony thus far forbids the seeking and applying a hidden, mystical, or spiritual meaning to the remainder. God Himself appeals to the justness of such a conclusion, Jer. 32:42, 44, “For thus saith the Lord: Like as I have brought this great evil upon this people, so I will bring upon them all the good that I have promised them.” “For, I will cause their captivity to return, saith the Lord.” Let the reader compare as unanswerable, Jer. 31:27, 28. (h) The dispersion and the restoration, the tribulation and the blessings cannot be contemporaneous. In the predictions, the latter invariably follows the former. To reverse this Divine Order is to violate all propriety of language; and yet this is done by multitudes of even learned and able divines, under the mistaken notion that the Jewish nation having forfeited the blessings, they are now bestowed upon the Gentiles. And what confirms them in the opinion is, that some Scriptures are quoted by the Apostles merely to prove that Gentiles are also called, shall also participate in the blessings, etc. (just as the Jews also at that day believed), and the conclusion is formed that this denotes that the Gentiles take the place assigned at one time to the Jews. But before such deductions, so destructive to the unity and symmetry of prophecy, are drawn, would it not be best to ask and decide, whether the nation, as such, has forever forfeited these blessings; and whether there is not a specific period appointed during which the nation is to experience the just anger of God; and whether the mention of the present era as “the times of the Gentiles” is not sufficiently suggestive of their ending, etc.; Important considerations, which we have passed over, are brought in view which forbid this wholesale appropriation of promises given only to the Jewish nation. The fact that the threatenings prophesied run down to the present day and continue on in the future (for they are not quite all fulfilled, as e.g. Zech. 14:1), is positive evidence, if we will only receive it, that the blessings are still future. Those blessings cannot be applied to the Church; for it is highly improper and a dissevering of prophecy, to say that the evils predicted of the nation and the blessings prophesied of the same nation can coexist. (i) The promise that this nation shall be restored to their own land cannot be understood of the Church. It is fashionable to make the land of Canaan a type of the Church or of heaven. Aside from the reasons already urged against such a perversion of the prophecies, it would appear sufficient to consider, that it is the same land out of which the nation has been driven; a land lying desolate for many generations until the restoration; a land that shall be tilled and sown, its ruined cities rebuilt and inhabited, man and beast multiplied upon it; a land specially covenanted to the Fathers who lived in it at one time, and which shall be settled again after “the old estates” and as at “the first;” a land for a long time in the possession of their enemies; a land formerly occupied by the Kingdom of David; a land whose geographical boundaries are fixed; in brief, a land which, by a great variety of allusions and specifications, can only be Palestine. To convert this land into something else is not only most arbitrary; impossible to reconcile with language, unity of prediction, etc., but it is a virtual impeachment of the veracity of the Word, and an expressed doubt of God’s intention to fulfil His Word as written. If no reliability is found here in the plainest of all predictions; if to obtain the true meaning an astonishing and most awkward transposition of a spiritual nature must take place; then truly the Bible may denote almost anything that fancy can attribute to it. (j) In the investigation of this subject, other things are worthy of notice, which can only be briefly alluded to, such as (1) that certain prophecies have never, in any sense, been fulfilled, as Ezek. chs. 36, 39, etc.; Isa. 11:11, 12, etc.; (2) that the promises of Deut. and Lev. cannot be explained in any other way than referring to the Jewish nation; (3) that the prophecies referring to restoration distinguish between Judah and Israel; (4) that the division into “two kingdoms,” formerly existing, is stated and the union into “one nation” in the same land predicted; (5) Jerusalem and the Jewish nation are in the restoration distinguished from the Gentiles; (6) the action, position, etc., assigned to the Jewish nation at and after the restoration; (7) the prosperity and the results of the restoration point to the future; (8) the astounding reception and acknowledgment of the crucified Saviour by the nation, which can only be predicted of the personal interview described by the prophets; (9) the refining process, terrible but glorious.

Obs. 2. It is requisite here to meet another objection urged against our view, on the ground that the predictions of restoration were met by the return from Babylon. Having noticed this before, some repetition is necessary to bring it before the reader in this connection. Leaving the reasons first announced in this and preceding Propositions which bear against such a theory it is sufficient to add, that the promises of restoration were never realized in the return from Babylon; not in the King that was to reign over them, not in the magnitude of the return, not in the dwelling safely, removal of sorrow, imparting of prosperity, etc., not in the union of the two Kingdoms, or in the protection from enemies and perpetuity of the Kingdom, or in a manifestation of the Branch, or in repentance of the nation occurring as described, or in an engrafting of Gentiles, or in a gathering of nations against Jerusalem and a sudden deliverance, or in a fearful overthrow of nations and corresponding exaltation of the nation, or in a removal from nations so far off that they then did not know them (Zech. 7:14), etc. Such reasons can be multiplied by looking over the prophecies; and this notion is even more groundless and objectionable than that which makes the predictions conditional, seeing that they belittle the Word, making the Spirit give an exaggerated (after Oriental style) bombastic description of a restoration which, as history attests, falls far short of the description. No! The Divine Spirit deals in sober, actual, blessed truth and, as fulfilment down to the present day abundantly testifies, never deals in Oriental eulogies with their engrafted exaggerations. It is amazing that believers in Holy Writ can overlook the fact that not only prophets before, but prophets at and after, the return from Babylon predict the same glorious restoration. Let any one e.g. compare Zechariah, Haggai, Malachi, with previous prophets and a restoration very different from the one experienced is seen to be foretold. The one from Babylon was designed and carried out to provide the necessary preliminary conditions for the First Advent; the one in the future is identified with the Second Advent. To bring up the rule of the Maccabees as a fulfilment against our view, is to overlook the requirements of prophecy, which demand that not Asmoneans or Levites but those of the lineage of David are to bear rule; that not tributary princes should govern, but One independent of, and superior to, all others should have dominion. It is sad to reflect on the lack of faith existing in God’s promises, and how, to accommodate such want of faith, human reason seeks after an apologetic fulfilment which diminishes the lustre of the Divine Record, bringing its prophetic portion down to the level of the uninspired productions of man. Well may it be asked, if the return from Babylon with its small colony, under Persian rule, struggling painfully on, etc, is all that is meant by those glowing portrayals of restoration, dominion, and exaltation, where, in the light of historical fact, is the boasted foreknowledge of the Spirit which these prophets professed to be guided by, and what becomes then of the credibility of their utterances in other respects? Such manipulation of Scripture is not only unwarranted but dangerous, leading as it does (as infidels have shown in seizing this Maccabean theory) to a direct impeachment of the truthfulness of the Divine Word.

Obs. 3. Unless the student keeps before him the actual condition of the Jewish nation at the time of this great deliverance and restoration, it is impossible for him to preserve the unity of the Divine statements on the subject, or to locate the period of the restoration at the time assigned to it by the Spirit. That condition has been briefly noticed, and shows us that when the restoration, and the Theocratic Kingdom united with it, is to be witnessed, it will find the Jews and Jerusalem in a fearful extremity. It was, as commentaries, etc., inform us, an opinion current among the Jews, derived from prophecy, that only in a time of sore trial would the Messiah come to deliver and establish His Kingdom. This opinion is correct, and is fully indorsed by Christ Himself, who in Matt. 24, etc., identifies His Coming, the deliverance, etc., with the direful situation of an oppressed nation and down-trodden city. The tribulation described by Jesus is by no means confined to that inflicted by the Romans, it continues down, as expressly stated, through Gentile nations, until these “times of the Gentiles” are fulfilled. That they are not yet fulfilled, the condition of the city and nation painfully indicate. What the future has in store for the same, is also described by the sacred writers. Planting ourselves on the past literal fulfilment, unswerving faith accepts of what is recorded still relating to the future of city and nation, as that which shall become historical verity. Occupying this stand-point, there is no difficulty in ascertaining the exact position in which these will be placed when God will arise to be again merciful to His ancient people, and restore the Theocratic-Davidic rule. If the reader will turn to Zech. 12:1–14, he has (1) the multitude gathered against Jerusalem besieging it; (2) the Lord interfering in behalf of the people; (3) Jerusalem becomes “a cup of trembling,” “a burdensome stone” to the nations; (4) the complete overthrow of all enemies; (5) the subsequent exaltation of “the house of David,” etc. In Zech. 14 we have, taking the preceding context, (1) the smiting of the Shepherd, (2) the scattering of the sheep, (3) a period of tribulation, (4) the gathering of nations against Jerusalem, (4) the Lord interfering, “his feet standing upon the mount of Olives,” (5) the saints coming with Him, (6) the destruction of the enemies, (7) the reign of Christ, (8) Jerusalem safely inhabited, exalted, etc. Dan. 12 has, (1) a time of trouble, resulting from a gathering of nations against Jerusalem, (2) special Divine interposition in behalf of the nation, (3) a gracious deliverance vouchsafed. Joel 3 has (1) the same gathering of nations, (2) deliverance by the Lord and His “mighty ones,” (3) the complete removal of all enemies, (4) the Lord dwelling in the holy mountain, (5) the safety, happiness, etc., of Jerusalem. Without discussing the order of events, or how they are to be brought about, the simple fact of the Jews being in a state of extremity at this stage, just immediately before their national deliverance, is proven by these passages. It is impossible to apply them to the extremity under the Romans, for the events represented to follow, did not then take place; there was no deliverance and triumph of the nation, no Divine interposition and destruction of enemies, no Millennial glory, etc. The same all-wise Spirit, as if to direct attention to the matter, repeats this testimony again and again. The leading predictions are those found in Ezek. chs. 38, 39, where (1) a confederation of nations is formed against Jerusalem, (2) the Lord will directly interfere for the land of Israel and His people, (3) a terrible overthrow of those nations, (4) the cessation of captivity and gathering of the Jews “out of their enemies’ lands” “unto their own land,” etc. References to this period are scattered here and there through the Word, which only become distinctive when viewed by the medium of the more enlarged, detailed prophecies. Thus, e.g. Jer. 30:4–11, where the same order comes in, (1) a time of dire trouble, (2) deliverance, (3) the nation “shall return from the land of their captivity,” (4) and in that time “they shall serve the Lord their God and David their king.” Comp. Zeph. 3:8–20, Psl. 124 (which would be even more expressive if it be allowable to take the rendering of some in the last verse: “Our help is in the name of the Word of the Lord” (Dr. Clarke Com. loci), taking that Word to be the one described by John), Isa. 51:17–23; Isa. 11:4; Isa. 1:27, 28, etc. The introduction of a number of Millennial descriptions accords with what we have stated, viz., the straitened condition of the people, the triumph of God’s enemies cut short by His righteous judgments, etc. Hence, the conclusion must be formed that the nation has not yet experienced its full tribulation, and that until all is fulfilled respecting them the restoration bestowed directly by God (not by a nation, as may, and in all probability will, partially be done), cannot possibly be effected. It will also be noticed, how this still future extremity of the Jews helps us to estimate the theories of fulfilment at return from Babylon, in the Church, etc.

Obs. 4. Finally we come to additional prophecies which, taken in their entire scope, leave no doubt of the national restoration of the Jews and of the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom. Isa. 11:10–16 is conceded by many commentators, as even by Scott, Nägelsbach, etc., to teach a literal restoration. The “second time,” v. 11, cannot refer either to deliverance from Egypt or from Babylon because in neither case were the Jews recovered from the lands here enumerated; and it cannot refer merely to a conversion (as some hold) of the people because it is linked with “a cutting off of the adversaries of Judah” (Obs. 9), with “a gathering of the outcasts of Israel and the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth,” with a removal of the enmity between the two kingdoms, etc. It must relate to the future, and the miraculous events “like it was to Israel in the day that he came out of the land of Egypt,” the special Divine interposition, the “spoil” that shall then accrue to them (comp. Zech. 14, etc.), the power that shall be given, its connection with Millennial era (context preceding and following) fully identify it with the period of time and manner of introduction held by us. But even this prediction must be regarded in the light of plainer ones. Thus in Ezek. 36:8–38 there is a profusion of circumstances irreconcilable with any other view than the one adopted. In the enumeration of them there are (1) the gathering out of all countries and the bringing again into their own land; (2) they shall dwell in the land given to their fathers; (3) they shall be also converted; (4) the desolate land is to be tilled and sown; (5) man and beast are to be multiplied on it; (6) the cities shall again be inherited and the wastes builded; (7) they shall be settled after their “old estates”; (8) God “will do better unto you than at your beginnings”; (9) the land shall be for an inheritance; (10) the land shall no more be bereaved; (11) it shall not be burdened with the shame of the heathen; (12) the identical land defiled by Israel’s sins is the one thus again obtained; (13) the removal from the land caused by sin; (14) the return to it caused by God’s mercy and faithfulness; (15) the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field so sure as to prevent famine; (17) the land once desolate to become like the Garden of Eden; (18) the heathen that are left shall acknowledge the Lord’s power when this is done; (19) the house of Israel shall be increased with flocks of men and the waste cities with the same. So circumstantial and minute are details given that no unprejudiced mind can resist their force.* But in the very next chapter (37th) the prophet reiterates and adds to them. After describing the resurrection which (as shown Prop. 126) is also related to this period, he tells us (1) that the children of Israel shall be gathered from among the heathen and be brought into their own land; (2) that they shall be “one nation” and not “two kingdoms” as of old; (3) that they shall have “one king,” even “David my servant”; (4) that they shall no more be “defiled” being “cleansed”; (5) that “they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt”; (6) that they and their descendants “shall dwell in it forever” (for the ages, so some); (7) that during these ages, or forever, David shall be their Prince; (8) that they shall have peace and be multiplied; (9) that God’s sanctuary shall be in the midst of them forever; (10) that their situation shall be as in Rev. 21:3; (11) that the Gentiles shall acknowledge the great power of God when this is accomplished. Comp. Jer. 32:37–44 (notice contrast with which comp. Jer. 31:28); Jer. 33 (noticing “the building as at first,” the cities and even “streets of Jerusalem” filled with rejoicing, the reigning of the Branch a descendant of David’s, the Covenant shall not be broken, etc.); Jer. 3:14–18 (observing that then Jerusalem shall be called “the throne of the Lord,” that nations shall be gathered unto it, and that they come “to the land that I have given for an inheritance unto your fathers”); Ezek. 11:16–20 (“cast far off” shall still be brought into “the land of Israel,” etc.); Jer. 23:5–8 (so complete is this restoration under the supervision of David’s seed that it is compared with that from Egypt, etc.); Ezek. 34:11–31 (sheep delivered “in a dark and cloudy day,” and the “servant David” shall be “the Prince,” delivering them from “the yoke” so that they shall no longer be “a prey”); Zeph. 3:8–20; Zech. 8; Jer. 31; Micah, chs. 4, 5, and 7; Hos. 2:14, etc; Isa. 43 and 52, etc. Bp. Newton well remarked, “innumerable are the prophecies concerning the conversion and restoration of this people”; for we find them on all sides, imbedded in nearly all prophetic utterances; and, as the reader must observe, if the Covenant and its fulfilment, if the promises of God respecting Kingdom and perfected salvation are so directly and fundamentally identified with this people, then it is reasonable to anticipate that much should be said of it. If the reason be asked why, although not ignored but expressly mentioned and implied, comparatively so little is stated on the subject in the New Test. the answer is given by Jesus and the Apostles themselves, viz., that the prophets are to be fulfilled, and that it is taken for granted that we possess, read, study and believe in them. The Old Test. is not superseded by the New (Prop. 16), and we are urged to observe the intimate and enduring connection existing between them. Both form the Word of God, and therefore it is our duty on a subject like this to consult both, and ascertain what God has been pleased to reveal. If we take the particulars thus given; notice of whom they are predicted; how they are related to each other; that they never have been fulfilled; that they cannot without violence be applied to any other people; how the most sacred of all pledges support them, etc., the only consistent conclusion that we can arrive at is that contained in the Proposition. If some will be like those spoken of in Ezek. 11:15, saying that the land shall not be given to this people in possession but pertains to others, the reply coming from God Himself immediately follows, for He will sanctify Himself (Ezek. 20:41–44) before the Gentiles, and manifest (Zech. 8:6) that the work is not difficult of accomplishment. Hence the Spirit of the New Test. as we show in various places, accords in upholding “the hope of Israel.”

Obs. 5. There is only one objection that at first thought appears plausible urged against this restoration, which we feel unable to answer as it probably deserves. It is this: “the whole house of Israel,” both “Judah and Israel” are to be restored, but if so, where are the ten tribes? Thus far the question asked is legitimate, but when it is added: “if their present situation cannot be certainly and satisfactorily established it is impossible to accept of a restoration,” then the objector goes beyond his commission. (1) Where are the ten tribes? Entire volumes have been written on this interesting point, one writer finding traces of them in the American Indians; another in various nations in Central Asia; one in Abyssinia and on the coast of Africa; another in South America, etc. Eminent linguists (as Jones, etc.), travellers (Wolf, etc.), and others, have found in some tribes and nations peculiarities of language, custom, rites, etc., resembling those of the Jews. But amid the diversity of view who can positively give us the proper information? No one, with any degree of assurance, although in some instances we may grant a high degree of probability. This may, however, be taken as an indication that their existence, owing to such existing peculiarities cannot on the other hand be positively denied. This would be both illogical and unscholarly. (2) Is it, however, necessary to know, or, according to the Word, can we ever know their location, etc.? This is doubtful, for it is proper to consider in such an investigation several particulars more or less, overlooked. 1. This restoration is not appointed for man to perform, or for the nation itself to undertake; it is constantly and invariably designated as God’s designed work, specially delegated to His Son Jesus Christ. Hence, if God knows where they are, that is all-sufficient. If, on the other hand, the work were ours, then we ought to know. 2. In view of this being God’s work He has specifically declared that His watchful eye is constantly fixed upon them, and that, however commingled among the nations and as individuals concealed in the mass of humanity, He takes cognizance of every one of them. Thus e.g. Amos 9:9; Ezek. 12:15; Jer. 46:28; Deut. 28:62, etc., in connection with the ascriptions of perfect knowledge, a knowledge and power that extendeth to all things, it is unworthy of faith and of reason to stumble over our lack of knowledge in the face of so many plain predictions. The resurrection, and other doctrines might on the same plea be discarded. It is sufficient to stay ourselves upon God, Isa. 64:4. 3. But when we come to scan the prophecies more narrowly it will be found that this very undecided information is predicted and forms an additional proof both of the inspiration of the prophets and of the necessity of faith in this return. For the ten tribes being more idolatrous than Judah and having first dishonored the Theocratic ordering, meet with special abhorrence, and, as the Word teaches, suffer proportionately. They are “the outcasts of Israel,” distinguished from “the dispersed of Judah,” Isa. 11:12, cut off long before Judah, and not restored at the return from Babylon;* and as Brookes (El. Proph. Inter., p. 198) has shown, their return is a matter of surprise, the question being asked: “then where had they been?” Isa. 49:21. Being more idolatrous than Judah they are more given up to it according to the threat of Deut. 4:27, 28; Deut. 28:36, 64; Jer. 16:13, and implied as realized in Ezek. 36:25, etc.; consequently a portion of the nation thus adopting the worship and usages of idolatrous nations, although kept more or less separate in the very forms used by them, would be difficult to distinguish.* And some even think that a hidden, concealed condition is implied in Isa. 16:3, 4, etc. Fully admitting the difficulties attached to this point, yet over and against them is the Word of God; and the believer is at no loss in making his decision when God says: Jer. 31:35–37. What our eyes now behold in the perhaps now unconscious witnesses of God (Isa. 43:10–13; Isa. 44:8, etc.) causes us firmly to hold to the testimony of the future that is yet to be added in the eyes of all nations. In the light of a thousand predictions like Ezek. 39:28; Deut. 30:3, 4; Isa. 43:5, 6, etc., who, that receives the Word as given by the Almighty, can reject such a restoration.*

Obs. 6. Our argument on this point would be incomplete if a brief synopsis of Paul’s reasoning in Romans, alluded to, were not appended, thus more completely binding the Old and New Tests. together in the same doctrinal position. Leaving the filling up of minor details to the reader, the leading ideas of the Apostle are presented by us in the following order: In ch. 9 we have: (1) His sorrow for the Jews; (2) the covenant relationship of the Jews; (3) their election; (4) “the children of promise are counted for the seed”; (5) that Gentiles by faith can also become such a seed; (6) that the nation being in unbelief, still a part, together with engrafted Gentiles shall be saved; (7) to prove this calling of the Gentiles he quotes Hos. 2:23, but to observe the force and propriety of the quotation we turn to Hosea and find it connected with a restoration of the Jews which has never yet been realized; hence it is presented (a) because it clearly indicates that the Gentiles can and will thus be called, and (b) that they being thus also grafted in shall, as taught in many places, participate in the glory, etc., of the restoration. He then produces Hos. 1:10, which applies in the same way, and next Isa. 10:22, 23 (Sep. Ver. Horne 1, p. 302); Isa. 28:22; Isa. 1:9, the immediate contexts of which confirm our statement; for in them we have (a) the Jewish nation cast away on account of their sinfulness; (b) this consumption decreed; (c) but during this period a remnant shall be saved, a seed is to be raised up lest God’s purposes and promises fail; (d) this consumption shall be removed, for the nation after suffering for its sins shall be restored. Therefore, the Apostle only selects the points which show, (1) the foretold rejection of the nation, and (2) the raising up of a seed, even out of Gentiles, during this time, leaving the reader from his own knowledge of the prophets to fill up the remainder which was not needed just then in his train of thought. (8) Lastly, the great offence, which led to their complete overthrow, as predicted by the prophets, and to the engrafting of Gentiles, is shown to be their stumbling over “the stumbling stone” Jesus Christ. In ch. 10 is stated: (1) the desire of the Apostle that the Jews might be saved by faith in Christ; (2) that both Jews and Gentiles that thus believe shall be saved; (3) that comparatively few of the Jews would receive the truth preached in Christ; (4) that as Moses and Isaiah predicted, others, even Gentiles would be called and be adopted. But as Paul assumes the undoubted fulfilment of these prophecies on the one point, it is just that we believe that the remainder is equally worthy of credit. Let us see then what stands in the context of the passages referred to by Paul. Isa. 51:1 describes (a) the sufferings and death of Christ; (b) that many shall be justified through Him; (c) that Jesus shall obtain a great portion; (d) then follows “the Barren Woman” (see Prop. 118), and a glorious Millennial description, including the restoration of the very nation that rejected this stricken Saviour. Paul appropriately, as his argument here only required, uses it to show, (1) that the Jews nationally would not believe, (2) that others would. Deut. 32:21 has, (a) the Jews on account of sin are rejected by God; (b) during this time of God’s withdrawal, He will provoke them by gathering out another people; (c) while this gathering is in process the Jewish nation shall be scattered and suffering; (d) but lest others should exalt themselves, etc., God will relent toward His covenanted people, punish their enemies, and be merciful to them and to their land. Isa. 65:1 gives us (a) in preceding ch. God’s anger toward, and punishment of, the nation; (b) a people notwithstanding gathered, even, as Paul intimates by quoting, Gentiles; (c) God will not utterly destroy the nation; (d) this followed by a prediction of their final restoration. The unity of order, etc., preserved by the Spirit is something remarkable; and Paul’s quotations instead of reversing, or transposing, or spiritualizing the prophets, establishes their literal understanding. In ch. 11, the first question is suggested by the previous reasoning; for if the Jews are nationally rejected and others gathered in, the inquiry would naturally follow: “Hath God cast away His people,”—mark, “His people,” i.e. a people sustaining peculiar covenant relationship to Him—and Paul proceeds to answer it negatively by two powerful reasons: (1) that a remnant, some Jews like himself, would believe and hence were accounted still “His people”; and (2) that the same nation that stumbled and fell would finally be restored and be acknowledged as “His people.” Let us follow the Apostle and we find, (1) the question as stated; (2) the first reply, that God has reserved some, including himself, who were not cast away; (3) and even this is guarded and distinguished from the national election (see Prop. 24, etc.) by saying that this “is a remnant according to the election of grace,” i.e. this favor is bestowed not on account of their relationship (which for the time God does not regard, having rejected during a determined time the nation as such,) but on the same basis by which Gentiles are received; (4) this election, made such, by faith, will obtain the promises; (5) the rest of the Jews are blinded, and, owing to unbelief, are cut off from the exalted position once occupied, viz., that of being the only people who nationally sustained a present special covenant relationship with God. Here is the order still existing down to the present day, viz., (a) the Jews, as a nation, suffering a rejection; (b) a remnant still saved, like the Gentiles, by faith, to continue the elect people, or the seed of Abraham; (c) the rest remaining in unbelief. 6. He reiterates that this was predicted, and quotes Isa. 29:10 as proof, and when reference is made to the passage, precisely (a) such blindness is prophesied of the nation; (b) that the anger of God shall fall upon them; (c) that at some future time this blindness shall be removed; (d) and that “the house of Jacob” shall no longer be ashamed. Ps. 69:22, 23, is also given, and in the context is found (1) the sufferings and death of Jesus; (2) the blindness of the Jews in this matter; (3) indignation poured upon them; (4) they, however, that seek the Lord shall live; (5) and then follows (v. 35, 36) the restoration of this people, the rebuilding of the cities of Judah, etc. 7. Now he asks of the nation, “Have they stumbled that they should fall,” which is answered, “God forbid.” The reasons for believing that the nation, as such, will ultimately be reinstated in its condition forfeited by unbelief follow. 8. They have fallen for the present that salvation—the promises to Abraham—may also be tendered to Gentiles, thus provoking them to jealousy. This direct allusion again to Deut. clearly indicates that this fall is merely temporary, and that the Apostle so regarded it in appealing to the very Scripture which necessarily, owing to the context in which it stands, implies and teaches it. 9. (a) “Now if the fall of them (b) be the riches of the world, and (a) the diminishing of them, (b) the riches of the Gentiles: (c) how much more their fulness.” Observe of whom the Apostle predicates this “fall” and “diminishing,” and it is of the same party (not another as the believing portion) that this “fulness” is stated. The only question is, what does Paul mean by the word “fulness.” That the charge of forcing a meaning may not be preferred against us, we cordially accept of the definition of an opponent. Thus Barnes (Com. loci) “the word ‘fulness’ means that which fills up or completes anything. Thus it is applied to that which fills a vessel or cup; also to the piece of cloth which is put in to fill up the rent in a garment, Matt. 9:16. To the fragments which were left when Christ had fed the five thousand, Mark 8:20; Rom. 13:10. ‘Love is the fulfilling of the law,’ i.e. it is the filling up of the law, or that which renders the obedience complete. See Gal. 5:14. Here it stands opposed to their fall and their diminution, and evidently means their complete restoration to the favor of God; their recovery from unbelief and apostacy.” It does not refer to individuals as such, for those who thus shamefully treated Christ and were punished shall never have this said of them, but, as in many other places, of the nation as such. But if restored thus to the favor of God, what does this imply? Precisely what the Apostle continues to present, the restoration of the nation into its once obtained but delayed Theocratic-Davidic position. In the word “fulness” the Apostle embraces that “filling up” in the Divine Plan, that sublime “filling up” or complement in the future history of the nation as given by the prophets just quoted by him. 10. This is more plainly stated: “For (1) if the casting away of them (2) be the reconciling of the world” (Gospel now tendered to all), (3) “what shall the receiving of them be (4) but life from the dead.” The same nation “cast away” is the one “received,” and, as above, when thus again restored to Divine favor as a nation it shall prove (so the prophets declare of this national restoration, and which we shall describe from them farther on) a greater blessing (“much more”) to the Gentiles. 11. Then follows an illustration of which Barnes (Com. loci) says: “By this illustration (of first-fruits) Paul doubtless means to say that the Jewish nation, as a people, were set apart to the service of God, and were so regarded by Him.” Taking this admission and legitimately following it out, it indicates that when thus restored it occupies again the same position; which is corroborated by the tenor of the prophets. 12. The natural branches are broken off (i.e. on account of unbelief, rejected as unworthy of the covenanted blessings), and Gentiles are grafted in and borne by the root, viz., by being adopted and incorporated as the seed of Abraham (to whom the Covenant was given), they with Abraham receive the promises. 13. This nation thus cut off, God is able to graft in again, i.e. restore them as formerly, especially if they yield up their unbelief as predicted. Will God graft them in again? 14. That He will do it is positively asserted in the next verse, and made the stronger by declaring that if Gentiles could be adopted, etc., “how much more shall these, which be the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree.” But why “how much more”? Simply because, as Covenant and prophecy unitedly affirm, the Divine Purpose pertaining to perfected salvation is inseparably connected with the Jewish nation as such, and absolutely requires its restoration. Hence the provision that is specially made when the time arrives for the removal of this national unbelief, etc. 15. The Apostle taking this restoration as an established fact in the Divine Plan, now asserts when it will be accomplished. (a) He speaks of it as “a mystery” because the Jews could not understand how the blessings exclusively promised to a covenanted people, the natural seed of Abraham, could be extended to others and themselves be rejected, which, however, is explained by the adoption by faith into the covenanted people of Abraham, and by the additional fact that this rejection of the nation is not perpetual but only for a limited period. (b) In describing how long this blindness or hardness or casting away is to continue, he emphatically limits it to “until the fulness of the Gentiles has come in.” This may denote either until the filling up of the predetermined elect (Props. 118, 153, 154, etc.) out of the Gentiles is accomplished, or until, as in Christ’s declaration, the filling up, the complement of “the times of the Gentiles” is finished. In either case the rejection of the nation is not final but bounded by a definite period known to God. 16. Then, i.e. after this order has been fulfilled, viz., the continued blindness of the nation until this fulness of the Gentiles has come in, then comes, “And so all Israel shall be saved.” Then Abraham, Isaac and Jacob and all the pious, believing dead shall arise to inherit the promises; then the Gentiles grafted in by faith, the dead of centuries shall also arise and inherit with them; and then too the nation once blind, rejected and sorely punished shall return to their former station of special consecration to God, and “all Israel,” not part (comp. Ezek. 39:28) but all, thus saved shall prove an inestimable blessing to the world. 17. But, as Paul well knew, this requires supernatural agency, direct Divine interposition, and therefore—mark well—he locates in the future, as our whole argument evinces that it must, after this continued blindness and after this gathering of Gentiles or the completion of their times, the Coming of the Lord Jesus, as “the Deliverer,” which, in the very nature of the case, seeing that we yet live during the time of this blindness and gathering, or Gentile era, must refer to the Coming of this Deliverer “the second time unto salvation.” 18. That “the Deliverer” comes at this time (and not at the First Advent) is evident by studying the connection in which the passage quoted is found in Isaiah. There it stands related to (1) a time when the sins of Israel have separated them from God; (2) when their calamities shall be great and they need deliverance; (3) when God will come with vengeance (not upon them but) upon their enemies; (4) the nation, as a nation, will repent; (5) when this vengeance shall cause a general fear to prevail; (6) when the Jews shall become a holy nation and ever retain the truth; (7) and when Millennial glory and blessedness shall prevail. 19. The Covenant promises demand this, as we see from the covenanted Theocratic arrangement which God has proposed to fulfil, which, as its basis, requires for its successful operation, “a holy people,” and as a consequence a national repentance and acceptation of David’s Son, Jesus “the Christ.” 20. All this comes to pass, because, although now “enemies” of the Gospel, they are “as touching the election, beloved for the Father’s sake,” i.e. they are a covenanted people to whom nationally certain promises given to the Fathers belong, and, therefore, to verify these promises their restoration is a necessity. 21. For, God does not change or repent; His promises to this nation, notwithstanding its rebellion, etc., are sure. Otherwise with His foreknowledge, powers, etc., He would not have made and called them. 22. He concludes, in view of all this, to express his admiration of the mercy, wisdom, and knowledge of God, of the profound, deeply laid Divine arrangements for salvation, of the marvellous advancement of them as then witnessed, of His performing and perfecting them according to His own will, and of being the source and end for which all things exist. How can we resist such reasoning which falls directly within the anticipated expectations of pious Jews and Christian believers; which expressly warns Gentiles against falling into the blunder, alas! now so general, of denying to this nation its covenanted position in the Kingdom of God, and which preserves a united testimony of inspired men upon a doctrine momentous as to results in the future history of the world. Indeed so amazing is the developing order of events in the call of the Jewish nation, in its fall, in the gathering going on, in the continued blindness, in the assurance of the removal of the veil and the re-establishment, etc., that we may well say with James, when expressing his belief in the same (Acts 15:16–18), “known unto God are all His works from the beginning of the world.” Surely the early Church more fully appreciated the Divine Purposes of God in Redemption by keeping close to the Record, than modern theology (with here and there an exception) with all its boasted enlightenment and deeper spirituality. Spirituality indeed belongs to it, as they also evinced, but it does not transpose or alter the Divine arrangements.

Obs. 7. The reader will consider how unnatural—even cruel—it would be, if the doctrine of a restoration is not to be received, to give so many predictions which in their plain grammatical sense teach a future glorious national restoration of the Jews to their once possessed land. Why thus excite the expectations and hopes of a multitude for many centuries of oppression and exile, if they are never to be realized? Would such a course of procedure be honorable even in man, knowing as he must the deception that would accrue from it? To trifle with the dearest, most heart-felt hopes of a nation by language pre-eminently calculated to excite the same, is not Divine, and we earnestly repudiate every theory which either directly or indirectly charges Holy Writ with such a mode of procedure. No! God’s Word is the truth, and the grammatical sense—the sense which all men agree is the most legitimate in language—contains the plain truth, which God will fulfil at the appointed time.*

Obs. 8. The reader will specially notice (what completely meets a class of objections contained e.g. in Letters to a Millenarian, etc.) that Moses after the delivery of the ceremonial law and after the establishment of the Theocratic ordering, predicts, Deut. 32, the restoration of the nation (e.g. vs. 36–43) after the call and gathering (v. 21 comp. with Rom. 10:19) of the Gentiles. This exactly corresponds with James’s declaration (Acts 15:16) that after the Gentiles are gathered out then the Davidic house or Kingdom will be restored. Here we have conclusive evidence (fully sustained by the general analogy of prophecy) that all efforts to apply these predictions to the Ch. Church, in part or in whole, are seriously defective, and opposed to the most decisive (chronological) statements. Indeed, as our argument unmistakably shows, supported by abundant testimony of Scripture, the fulfilment is associated with the Second Advent of Jesus, David’s Son (comp, next Prop.).

PROPOSITION 113. The connection of this Kingdom with Jewish restoration, necessitates the realization of their predicted repentance and conversion.

The restored Theocratic Kingdom is a holy Kingdom. God Himself, in the Person of His Son, again condescends to act as earthly Ruler, but as He reveals Himself and His associated Rulers in a higher and more intimate personal relationship, and as the design is to make this a powerful and all-pervading Kingdom, those who stand nationally in a covenanted and elect relationship must become morally qualified for its establishment. Hence the predicted repentance and conversion of the nation.

Obs. 1. We have passed over Rom. 11, which combines the conversion and restoration. So self-evident is this, that our leading opponents concede this to us. Thus e.g. Dr. Brown (Com., Rom. 8, etc.) interprets the chapter as plainly teaching a national conversion and restoration of the Jews; he rejects its application to “individual Jews,” and insists upon a “national recovery of Israel.” We append a few statements of its spirit. “Until the fulness of the Gentiles be (have) come in, i.e. not the general conversion of the world to Christ, as many take it; for this would seem to contradict the latter part of this chapter, and throw the national recovery of Israel too far into the future; besides in v. 15, the Apostle seems to speak of the receiving of Israel, not as following, but as contributing largely to bring about the general conversion of the world—but, until the Gentiles have had their full time of the visible Church all to themselves, while the Jews are out, which the Jews had till the Gentiles were brought in.”*

Obs. 2. The conversion and the restoration both result from a personal Coming of Jesus. Paul informs us (Rom. 11:25, 26) that when the fulness of the Gentiles is come in, then the blindness befallen Israel shall also be removed, because (as the Jews believed), “there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer,” etc., owing, as our argument has shown, to the Covenant, “for this is my Covenant unto them,” etc. The Apostle could not well use stronger language than this to indicate this Pre-Millennial Advent, and the resulting conversion and restoration; because he well knew that the Jews understood Zech. 14, etc., to present the same Advent and with the same results; that they held a portion, at least, of Zech. 12 to be connected with that period with which he identifies in a crucified Saviour held up as the Messiah Coming a second time unto salvation, the prediction: “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him,” etc., linked with the time when their sins shall be removed and the nation shall be exalted. This work is specifically assigned to Jesus, as e.g. in Isa. 49:5, 6; Isa. 63:17, 18, etc.; Deut. 18:18, 19 (for the prophet “like unto me” includes a deliverer of the people, but greater than Moses), Deut. 32:36, etc.; Ezek. 34:11, 12, etc. Compared with passages which plainly designate this Shepherd of the lost sheep of the house of Israel, Isa. 56:8, etc. Hence the Messiah, in view of this restoration, received from the Jews the significant title of “the Consolation of Israel” (Dr. Clarke’s Com., Luke 2:25). This restoration is even foretold in the 80th Psalm, where after asking how long God would be angry with His people, making them a sport to their enemies, etc., this people is represented by a vine brought out of Egypt which God planted in the land, after removing the heathen from it, but which is plucked, wasted, devoured, burned, and cut down. God is urged to return, and visit, and restore the same vine, not another, and the confidence is expressed in verse 17 that this will be done by “the man of Thy right hand,” “the Son of man whom Thou madest strong for thyself.” The most explicit prophecies are given. Thus Amos 9:11, etc., and Acts 15:16, etc., after describing the dispersion of the Jewish nation, we have (1) The tabernacle of David fallen and in ruins; (2) the return of God in its behalf; (3) the rebuilding of the same tabernacle fallen and in ruins; and (4) to avoid mistake it is added: “I will build it as in the days of old,” i.e. the same Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom will be restored under, as covenanted, David’s Son; (5) it is “the Lord that doeth this”; (6) this is done when “I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel, and they shall build the waste cities and inhabit them,” etc.; (7) and when this takes place, and they are planted on their land, “they shall no more be pulled up out of their land which I have given them, saith the Lord thy God.” In Micah 5:1, 2, 3 (which in this connection will bear repeating), there is (1) the birthplace of the Messiah; (2) His Rulership; (3) that He should be smitten; (4) owing to this smiting He “gives them up,” i.e. to captivity, etc., for an appointed time; (5) then the nation will be restored, Christ manifesting His rule in breaking down the confederation of wickedness. Compare Ps. 102:16 and context, Ps. 148:2; Isa. 60:1; Isa. 16:5, etc. In Hos. 3:4, 5 the same succession is presented: (1) the complete overthrow of the Kingdom, so that “the children of Israel shall remain many days without a king and without a Prince”; (2) so entire is the dispersion that they are even without a sacrifice, etc.; (3) but “afterward (in the latter days) shall the children of Israel return,” i.e. the same nation that endured this overthrow; (4) and shall acknowledge “David their King.” Indeed, the restoration of the people is indispensable, seeing that they form the Kingdom as seen in its inauguration (Ex. 19:6), and as evinced in the Covenant with David, so that the presence of David’s Son, of the nation in the land where the Kingdom existed is requisite. The decided impression made by many predictions, as e.g. Ps. 89, 132, etc., is that David’s Son, shall at some future time sit on David’s throne, reigning gloriously here on the earth; the magnificence, extent, duration, etc., of which reign, as predicted, has not yet been witnessed. The explicit declarations of His obtaining the throne of His Father David (not that of another), Luke 1:32; Isa. 9:7; Acts 2:30, etc., is in accord with the Covenant promise. But all such predictions, in the nature of the case, imply, and in many places are actually connected with, the restoration of the nation. For, as David expresses it, Ps. 135, “the Lord hath chosen Jacob unto Himself, and Israel far his peculiar treasure”; and having power to perform all things, and being gracious He will relent, verify His memorial, establish them “in the land given for a heritage unto Israel His people,” He, at the same time, “dwelling at Jerusalem.” Unless we accept of the Divine Order laid down, it is impossible to explain the numerous prophecies which describe the Jewish nation, as a nation, to experience a blessedness unexampled here on earth. If we say, this has been fulfilled, then we belittle the Word of God, and challenge His foreknowledge; if we divert these prophecies to a fulfilment in the Church, then we violate the plainest rules of language and make Scripture to utter and give hopes which were never intended to be realized. No! let us receive the Word as it promises, and believe in the fulfilment in the future where God locates it, and light and unity at once abound. Then the language of Jesus, e.g. Matt. 23:37; Luke 13:35, etc., receives a force unknown to any other explanation. Thus, in the passages just alluded to, we then have (1) the rejection of Jesus by the Jews; (2) the Davidic house left desolate (for the city and temple were not desolate when He spoke); (3) Christ’s removal from them; (4) His return to them some time in the future; (5) the removal of the desolation implied at His return; (6) which implication is fully sustained by what the Jews shall then say, “Blessed is He that cometh.” etc., as is seen by the universal Jewish application of this by Jews to the restoration of that house, and by reference to Ps. 118:26, which stands related with a special deliverance of “Israel.” It is simply to be faithless if we deny this, because Christ is “the man ordained” to perform it; and the assurance is given that, strange and astonishing as it may seem to the world, He will do it, Isa. 49:6; Isa. 62:1, 2; Ezek. 34:11–13, etc. Hence Jesus, never in word or act, discountenanced in His followers His connection with David’s throne and Kingdom, and the necessary restoration of the nation. He defended the acclamations of the people when He entered the city, foreshadowing His royal claim, although linked, as the prophets and Covenant, with the Davidic Kingdom. He left His own disciples down to the very last moment (Acts 1:6), in the belief that His Kingdom was truly one connected with the restored nation under the Theocratic-Davidic rule. The only error that He attempted to correct was that in relation to the time when it was to be performed, leaving it either indefinitely in the future or limiting it with a future (unknown as to time) personal Coming. The fact is, that the restoration is so blended with the personal reign of Christ, as David’s Son, that they cannot, without gross violence, be separated, and therefore, on this very ground alone, some reject such a restoration, declaring that if the one is admitted, the other must follow, for the David, the Lord, then reigning over them is also with them in the land, etc.

Obs. 3. This repentance, over against Ernesti and others, is positively covenanted to them, Isa. 44:22, 23; Rom. 11:26, 27; Isa. 59:19, 20, 21; Jer. 31:2, 3, etc. The inchoate fulfilment of Joel 2:28, etc., as described in Acts 2:17, etc., is no impediment but a confirmation of our view, because the application of Joel to certain events, miraculous and astounding in their nature, not only indicates them as typical or an earnest of a future realization (Prop. 170), but affords a positive assurance that the entire prophecy as it stands shall surely be fulfilled. In Joel it is connected (1) with the terrible day of the Lord, time of vengeance; (2) with the bringing back again “the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem”; (3) with the recovery of my “heritage Israel” “scattered among the nations”; (4) with the Coming of the Lord, the harvest, the complete overthrow of God’s enemies, the dwelling of God (as He once did as a ruler) in Zion, the blessedness of the nation, the then holiness of Jerusalem, the continued and everlasting prosperity of the people and of Jerusalem. We dare not separate what God has thus joined; and as God has evidenced His faithfulness and power in a partial, inchoate fulfilment, we reverently trust in the same faithfulness and power for an ample verification of all the particulars enumerated by the prophet. The judgments on the Jewish nation, as we have repeatedly shown, exist down to the Sec. Advent (as e.g. Matt. 23:27; Matt. 24; Zech. 14, etc.), but these same judgments, Isa. 32:15, continue down “until the Spirit be poured upon us from on high”; and this Spirit we are assured is “then” bestowed, Ezek. 36:24–26, when “I will take you from among the heathen,” etc., and restore “to their own land that I gave to your fathers”—fruitfulness, etc., being predicated of the land. See when the Lord will “turn to the people a pure language” etc., Zeph. 3:8, 9, and is it not when He will “rise up to the prey” “gather the nations and kingdoms,” “to pour upon them His fierce anger,” etc., thus describing the period at the Sec. Advent? Look at the promises, so numerous, that when this nation is converted, obtains this happy deliverance, it shall never more be afflicted, etc., and should there be any difficulty in locating their fulfilment, if we truly believe in their realization, when it is positively taught that down to the personal Advent of Jesus, tribulation shall, more or less, accompany the nation? This repentance, conversion, restoration, as prophet after prophet declares, if once experienced is effectual, needs no repetition, etc., Ezek. 16:63; Zeph. 3:9; Isa. 62:1–2; Jer. 31:31–34; Isa. 45:17, etc. Indeed, to produce proof on this point, nearly every prophet can be extensively quoted. And, a remarkable feature pervading all the predictions is this: that God, although men may disallow it, will so order all things that when the period of fulfilment arrives, when the time that the realization of the Covenant comes, this very nation so long stubborn and unrepentant, so long the rejecters of the Messiah, shall be repentant and believing; that after protracted correction, it will again experience mercy, and always in the land from which it was driven. The miraculous events connected with this period cause many to stumble in their acceptance of it, but this is not strange, if we consider the design of all this, viz., that it is part of the Divine Plan, and an important factor, in promoting the salvation of the race. The events themselves are of a nature impossible for man or mortal or physical forces to accomplish, demanding, if performed at all, direct Divine aid. The taunt so long used by scientists and others, that if such a God as the Bible describes does exist, He should then manifest Himself by direct Divine interference, will then be effectually removed. For, then God, so long withdrawn, will again, as He has promised, reveal Himself to man and exert His marvellous power in his behalf, but, mark it, only in the one direction always observed by Him, viz., in that of the only nation under heaven favored with a covenanted Theocratic relationship. This relationship, for a time held practically in abeyance, He cannot restore until the time comes of His return. The Divine Sovereignty now exercised in a way only susceptible to faith and to reason under the influence of grace, will again give place to that direct manifestation of power, etc., under the restored Theocratic rule. Hence it is important in regarding this repentance to notice (what, alas! so many overlook) that it is controlled by the principles of the incoming dispensation. “The times of the Gentiles” having ended, Jewish times are again in the ascendency, so that in reference to the manner of this repentance, the order laid down, the miraculous influences connected with it, the time in which the work is to be effected, etc., we are to be governed solely by what is predicted; and no attempt should be made to prescribe how it must be done, or to force it within the limits assigned to present times. It is sufficient for us to know, that God’s mode of procedure has always been at variance with that which man in his wisdom vainly proposes; and that when a new era has arrived, it has been inaugurated strictly in accord with His own Word but never in accord with popular expectations. The views so universally prevalent on this subject, so opposite to the simple language of the Bible and the child-like faith of the early Church, are, on this ground alone, open to suspicion. It is enough for us to receive predictions, and, actuated by the past literal fulfilment, by faith in God, to believe in them as recorded without the addition of another and differing sense, and of apologies for ancient weakness and credulity.

Obs. 4. The mention of this repentance and restoration is designed to meet the objection of some (e.g. Dr. Oswald, The Kingdom, and The Saints’ Inheritance by Hill) that only the spiritual Israel, dead and living, are brought to the land and inherit it, and that the nation now dispersed, etc., is never to be restored. The strong language employed in declaring that no such restoration as we present is taught by the prophets, is refuted by numerous converging statements. We may well ask, What then becomes of the election of that nation; is it cast off forever? What becomes of the direct Covenant made only with that nation; is it altered or spiritualized to exclude the nation as such? What becomes of the Davidic throne and Kingdom; can it exist unless the nation with which it is identified (not a spiritualized nation) is restored? If all that are restored are only the spiritual seed, why this repentance necessary in their case? If the restored are only such, what are we to do with the multiplication of the race, the rebuilding, etc.—is this all conditional, or is it all to be spiritualized? If the nation as a nation is excluded, what becomes of Moses’s declarations respecting that nation in Deut. etc.; what of Solomon’s prayer in 2 Chron. 6; what of David’s expressed hopes pertaining to it, etc.? The reader, if he has carefully followed the Propositions, step by step, can multiply just such questions. The mistake mentioned arises from not observing the nature of this Kingdom and to whom covenanted; the continued election of this people; the wall of partition only broken down between believers and not between the Jewish nation and other nations; the difference the Word makes between those who inherit the Kingdom and the subjects of it; that Paul and prophets speak of the Israel cut off for a time and, with no discrimination as is supposed, have the same nation brought back again; the design intended to be accomplished by this Kingdom, etc. The blunders that men may commit in endeavoring to present the order of events, is no reason why we should discard a doctrine so clearly annunciated, and so dearly held by the early Church. Indeed, if this doctrine were not found in the Bible, then an essential link in the Divine plan were lacking. That it is taught, is evidenced by the universally admitted fact that in the grammatical usage of the language it is undoubtedly contained therein; our opponents rejecting it only on two grounds: either, that it is conditional, or, that another sense, unknown to the ancient worthies and first produced by Origen, is to be engrafted upon the prophecies. The very simplicity of the plan causes men to discard it for something, in their estimation, higher and better. The truth of the matter is this: if men were not influenced by a previously entertained theory, they would see at once that the experience alleged in the case of Israel’s restoration is so distinctively that of a nation unconverted and in the flesh—a nation long under punishment for sin and coming under converting influences only when God comes to punish the nations of the earth; a nation of whom, when thus newly converted and restored, an abundant increase of children, beasts, etc., is predicated, that in no consistent shape or sense can be applied to the saints of this and former dispensations without a resort to Origen’s system of interpretation, and a consequent violation of the plainest rules of language. No! No!! let brethren (whom we love) pardon our zeal if it seems too strong in this matter, for we feel this doctrine to be exceedingly precious and intimately connected with the Divine Honor and Purpose. Let men say what they will, it is self-evident that God never would convey an utterly erroneous doctrine in the face of language itself, and deceive an entire nation with the assurance of a special and continued Covenant and election that does not exist. The apology, that God meant to finally spiritualize this, avails not, since God nowhere asserts such a change; since it is sheer inference drawn from previously formed ones; since the Covenant itself and the promises derived from it stand to-day unchanged, uncancelled. It is best to add here, leaving the matter for future explanation and extension, that while it is true that the saints will be fully identified with the Jewish restoration—their resurrection and translation preceding it—being also of “the seed of Abraham,” yet as intimated, and as will be shown (Prop. 118, 154, 156, etc.,) they are separate and distinct in honor, position, etc., from the Jewish and spared nations, forming with Christ an associated body of rulers having peculiar privileges, etc., not bestowed upon any others. A fruitful source of error on the restoration arises from not discriminating between the saints and others, between the exalted brethren and coheir’s of Christ and the subjects over whom they reign with Christ, between the inheritors of the Kingdom and the Kingdom itself. Planting ourselves with unswerving faith on the Covenant, credulous as it may seem, it embraces God’s promises as recorded, as e.g. Lev. 26:40–45, etc., that He will fulfil the same.*

Obs. 5. The restoration of the nation cannot, and will not, take place without a repentance; and therefore it becomes essential to notice some more particulars relating to it. It is no ordinary repentance, and not merely that of individuals, but extraordinary and national in its extent, Micah 7:15–20, etc. It is caused by the judgments of God, Mal. 3:2–4; Hos. 5:15; Isa. 30:18–19, and the personal presence of the King, Micah 2:12–13; Ezek. 20:33–44; Zeph. 3:15. It is done that God’s faithfulness may appear, Ezek. 36:22; Isa. 43:25; Isa. 44:22–26. It is bestowed in the land given to their fathers into which they are brought, Ezek. 36:24–35; Jer. 33:7–16; Jer. 32:37–44; Jer. 31, etc. The reign of the Messiah is intimately connected with it, as e.g. in Jer. 23:3–8; Ezek. 34:23–31, etc. The absence of such national repentance for the last eighteen hundred years is no proof that it never will be accomplished. On the other hand, it is decisive that it will yet come to pass, if we but consider that this very absence of repentance—excepting in individual cases—this “veil” of unbelief covering them, is also predicted. Seeing the prophecy in the one case verified before our eyes, it is faithless to deny the other. Paul tells us (Rom. 11; 2 Cor. 3:16) that this “vail” shall finally be removed, corroborating the testimony of the prophets. There is a divine unity in all the writers on this point, worthy of a revelation from God; and it becomes distinctive just in proportion as a comparison of their utterances is instituted. So striking is this, that men of all classes, even the most hostile to our belief, fully admit it, however some may be inclined to spiritualize certain portions of it, as the Coming and reign of the Messiah. The repentance and restoration is so much the burden of prophecy, runs through and enters into the Divine Plan so thoroughly, that its almost universal admission is presented by a witness so impartial (owing to his opposition to our doctrine) that all will acknowledge its force. Dr. Whitby on Rom. 11, speaking of this repentance and restoration of the Jews emphatically says: “it hath been the constant doctrine of the Church of Christ, owned by the Greek and Latin Fathers, and by all commentators I have met on this place.” But right here is an inconsistency in many modern writers, to which allusion has been made, and which deserves repeated notice. They acknowledge that the prophecies describe a literal repentance and restoration but refuse credence to the time, and manner, and accompaniments of the same as also portrayed by the prophets. Why this change of time after, to one before the Advent; of this supernatural interposition into one of ordinary means;* of this personal presence of David’s Son, and introducing a spiritual Coming in its place; of this transposition of a visible Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom into an invisible reign, etc.? What satisfactory reason can be assigned for introducing an entire new element of interpretation which emasculates some of the most precious of God’s promises to man? Where is the authority for this most arbitrary dealing with the Word? Are the rules for such a proceeding given authoritatively by God or man; and if so, where found? Simple consistency, if nothing else, demands that if one portion of these prophecies is conceded to be literal (i.e. to mean what the laws of language present) then the other portion must be understood in like manner. For, having applied the literal interpretation, compatibility requires its continuance, unless God Himself, the only Being having authority to indicate a change, in express terms revokes it, or informs us that it is to be understood differently. Besides, it is this literal interpretation that becomes history, doctrine, evidence of inspiration, etc. Is it not time, in this matter, to discriminate between the Word and human opinions attached to it? Therefore, cleaving to the Word, as it reads, our argument holds that, having no authority to make any change, we must receive this repentance, restoration, and the reign and Kingdom identified with it, precisely on the same ground of interpretation. And, it will not answer for the believer in God’s Word, in the face of the Incarnation, etc., to reject any portion of these promises because he cannot tell how, if accepted as the Word plainly indicates, they can be fulfilled; for God, the All-sufficient, is abundantly able to take care of their fulfilment.

Obs. 6. The attention of the reader is called, briefly, to the order of repentance as foretold by the Divine Spirit. The fulfilment being future, we must be entirely guided, in our own estimate of it, by the predictions of the Word. Now, first of all, the fact must be kept in view that a part of the Jewish nation (those of Judah and Benjamin) is restored to the land and occupy Jerusalem previous to the open Parousia of Jesus with His saints. This is distinctly foreshown in Zech. 14:2, where the forces of Antichrist are represented as victorious over a portion of the nation which has reoccupied Jerusalem, when the Lord Himself shall directly interfere in their behalf, and Judah is subsequently (v. 14) mentioned as especially related to the city. This is repeated, Zech. 12:2, where the hosts of Antichrist are declared to “be in the siege both against Judah and against Jerusalem.” A part of the nation under political influences, and probably under the auspices of some government favorably disposed (various writers refer to England), is thus restored to Palestine in a state of unbelief, and thus drinks the last dregs of Jewish tribulation. This partial restoration must be carefully distinguished from the one under the Messiah, for this is a restoration which means suffering and terrible persecution by Antichrist, while the other is full of blessing. This restoration will be, in all probability, between the two stages of the Sec. Advent, and, owing to the unbelief of the nation in Jesus as the Messiah, will result in the re-establishment of a temple, a splendid temple service, a return to the Mosaic ritual and former distinctive national usages. This persistent rejection of Jesus as the true Messiah will cause the fearful tribulation predicted to overwhelm them and plunge them in despair. But when their fond dreams of nationality and prosperity are cruelly crushed under the tyrannical reign of Antichrist (whom they first receive, and then in some way offend); when the day of the Lord Jesus has arrived and the nation, covenanted and elect, is at last to be qualified for the contemplated Theocratic ordering, then we find (Zech. 14 and 12) that the Lord and His saints shall come in behalf of the distressed portion of the nation, and bestow (through the sanguinary overthrow of Antichrist) to the distressed the prayed-for deliverance. The Lord shall save “Judah first” (Zech. 12:7) and He (v. 10) “will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon Me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. In that day shall there be a great mourning in Jerusalem,” etc. (Some representatives of the ten tribes are also present, as in “house of Levi, family of Shimei,” or Sep., “Simeon,” but Judah is largely predominant and hence most prominently mentioned.) When these unbelieving Jews are thus brought through terrible chastening to find their fond hopes crushed and themselves in a direful extremity, the sudden, supernatural appearance of Jesus on the Mount of Olives with His associated army—the magnificence of the King and the splendor of His companions—the Divine exertion of power on their enemies—the astonishing and sublime accompaniments of the Advent evidencing the miraculous—the glory transcending all that mortal eye ever before witnessed—the Spirit of God impressing this upon hearts softened by fearful suffering—the words of authority, mercy, and love enforced by Divine power—all this will so affect these Jews that the most heart-felt repentance will ensue. God has predicted it, and it will, therefore, be verified.

Judah is saved by the personal interference of Jesus, the Messiah, while Antichrist is crushed before them (the remainder of Judah being afterward gathered and added), but Israel (the ten tribes) is brought in at least forty years after the overthrow of Antichrist and after the restoration of Judah. The evidence of a separate conversion and restoration in time, is overwhelming, and has been noticed by numerous ancient and modern writers. If we turn to Ezek. 37:15–28 we are assured that the ten tribes shall be joined to Judah so that they form one nation and one kingdom in their own land, wherein their fathers dwelt, where God will cleanse them, multiply and abundantly bless them under the rule of the glorious David. But they must first pass through a purifying process, for in Ezek. 20:33–44, when God “will bring you out from the people and will gather you out of the countries wherein ye are scattered, with a mighty hand, and with a stretched out arm and with fury poured out,” it is added, to indicate the process: “And I will bring you into the wilderness of the people, and there will I plead with you face to face. Like as I pleaded with your fathers in the wilderness of the land of Egypt, so will I plead with you, saith the Lord God. And I will cause you to pass under the rod, and I will bring you into the bond of the Covenant; and I will purge out from among you the rebels, and them that transgress against me: I will bring them forth out of the country where they sojourn, and they shall not enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” When thus purged they shall be brought “into the land of Israel, into the country for the which I lifted up mine hand to give it to your fathers,” deeply penitent (for “ye shall loathe yourselves in your own sight for all your evils that ye have committed”), and God shall be sanctified in them.

Why this preference is shown to Judah is known to God; but past history suggests that it may be done because Judah is more directly in line attached to the Davidic house, manifested its adhesion to it more strongly, was less addicted to idolatry, and has the King Himself in tribal lineage. If it be objected (as some do), that if Jesus thus appears for the conversion of the nation, it is then “a special favor” and He thus becomes “a respecter of persons,”—this is a confounding of things that differ. The prophets speak of it as a special, distinguishing favor, for which the nation is indebted to God’s mercy and love, and which grows out of the elect covenanted position of the nation, and must, of necessity, be manifested to realize the Theocratic Kingdom, which becomes an inestimable blessing to Jew and Gentile. Paul’s argument in Rom. 11 culminates in the declaration that this very favor of reception and restoration results in increased riches and happiness to the Gentiles. This promised mercy precedes the call of the Gentiles, and belongs to the nation as covenanted and confirmed by oath. Now,. in this dispensation, God, in view of the fall of the nation, is no respecter of persons, but receives both Jew and Gentile, but in the new dispensation and ordering, God, who has not limited Himself or His promises, can and will, owing to the then instituted Theocracy, fulfil His covenanted promises given to the nation, and which take fundamental precedence of all other things. We must not forget that “the times of the Gentiles” are to end, and a new period, the gracious day of the Lord Jesus, is to be inaugurated. We must not overlook the lesson taught e.g. in Rom. 9:18–21; 2 Tim. 2:20, etc., and sit in judgment over that which God has determined to perform. A believer’s position is that of faith, and a “Thus saith the Lord,” is the end of controversy.

In this repentance of the nation, whether it be Judah and his companions in Palestine, or Judah and others notified by the escaped of the nations (Isa. 66:19–20), or the tribes in the wilderness, all of them, according to the prophets must, and will, acknowledge two things: first, their iniquity, and second, their just punishment, followed by a hearty and reverent submission to the Messiah given to them. The conditionality of some promises pertaining to the dispersion (for God must necessarily, ever foreseeing the result, tender mercy in view of confession and submission—as He does to-day to those who will refuse to the end) must not outweigh in our estimation the absolute, unconditional declarations that such a repentance shall assuredly occur, which is confirmed by detailed statements of the blessedness and glory that shall follow. The Spirit employs a variety of expressions to indicate the time of national repentance, and one of the most remarkable is to be found in Hosea 5:14–15, and 6:1–3, where (comp. Prop. 137, Obs. 5), after declaring how God will fear Ephraim and tear Judah as a lion, and will go away to His place, then when none can rescue, it is said: “in their affliction they will seek me early,” or, as many critics, “they will seek me in the morning,” which is the evident meaning, corresponding (as general analogy proves) with “the morning” of “the day of the Lord Jesus, the Christ.” This is confirmed additionally by ch. 6:3, where reference is made to the Lord’s Coming in the morning, and by v. 2, where the time is specified by days (a thousand years as one day in the sight of the Lord) of their fearful dispersion, and in the third day God will raise them up. The work of conversion and restoration shall proceed, after the wicked one (2 Thess. 2:8) is slain, as seen e.g. in Isa. 11:4–16; Isa. 66:15–24; Zeph. 3:8–20, etc., until every one is gathered, and Gentiles shall assist in bringing them to the land.
One feature of this subject must be briefly alluded to, viz., the mission of Elijah to the Jewish nation. The prediction is plainly recorded in Mal. 4:5, 6. The success of his efforts and the time of his coming are clearly mentioned, and this prediction cannot be regarded as fulfilled (excepting in spirit) in John the Baptist. The reasons for looking beyond John to the future for a realization of this prophecy are given in detail under Props. 38–41, 144,174, etc., to which the reader is referred. Elijah is a forerunner of the Sec. Advent (the open Parousia) just as John was a forerunner of the First Advent (the public appearance of the Messiah). Now, owing to the exceeding brevity of the prophecy, where no details are given, we can only—judging from the general order and material given in other places—hazard an opinion as to the time and manner of Elijah’s work. Down to the siege of Jerusalem by Antichrist (Zech. 14, etc.), he has not appeared, as is evidenced by the sad fate which has overtaken Judah and his companions, but when the city is taken, etc., then he comes to relieve the despair of “the residue of the people” who have not been driven from the city. The words of hope imparted by him are eagerly cherished; the descriptions of a speedy Coming Messiah, David’s Son, as a Deliverer. are ardently contemplated; and we may reasonably believe that by an appeal to the prophets and the history of Jesus as well as to their own past history as a nation, Elijah will prove the Messiahship of Jesus, and thus prepare the way for the hearty reception of Jesus when He comes to Mount Olivet with His saints. The personal appearance of Jesus, etc., fully confirms the mission of the prophet. Then, again, he may be sent to the wilderness to meet the ten tribes as a forerunner, preparing them for Him who shall “plead with them face to face.” Other missions, for aught we know, may be in store for him in behalf of the nation. However we may locate the exact period of his appearing and work, one thing is certain, that he will be an important agent in this grand work of leading the nation to repentance.

We conclude with this declaration: Whatever agencies God may employ in this conversion, and whatever wonders of an astounding nature He may vouchsafe to manifest, He immeasurably exalts Himself and forever enshrines Himself in the love of a recovered people: for “Who is a God like unto Thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He retaineth not His anger forever, because He delighteth in mercy. He will turn again, He will have compassion upon us; He will subdue our iniquities; and Thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea. Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hath sworn unto our Fathers from the days of old.” Amen.

PROPOSITION 114. This Kingdom, being identified with the elect Jewish nation, its establishment at the restoration embraces the supremacy of that nation over the nations of the earth.

This follows legitimately in view of the mutual and inseparable relationship. The Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom committed to, and organized in, that nation, makes it the special depository of the trust of the Kingdom itself. It is covenanted to the nation, and only in and through the nation, by the power of David’s Son, will it be re-established, and from this establishment extend its sway over the nations of the earth. The result is, that the nation, so highly favored and honored, must, in virtue of so distinguished a relationship, sustain a certain well-defined pre-eminence among and over the other nations. It is the natural outgrowth of Covenant and promise; the result of Theocratic ordering.

Obs. 1. This is abundantly confirmed by the direct teaching of the prophets. Thus Micah 4:8, “And Thou, O tower of the flock, the stronghold of the daughter of Zion, unto thee shall it come, even the first dominion, the Kingdom shall come to the daughter of Jerusalem.” The context shows that this is spoken of the same Zion and Jerusalem that was ploughed and in ruins, which are to be restored and made glorious. The same idea pervades even other expressions contained in the chapter: “But in the last days it shall come to pass, that the mountain of the house of the Lord shall be established in the top of the mountains and it shall be exalted above the hills,” etc. To “be established in the top of the mountains” and to be “exalted above the hills” denotes supremacy; for mountains and hills, being symbolic of kingdoms and nations, the meaning is, that the first position among the nations, an elevation above all others, is assigned to this “mountain of the house of the Lord.” That “the house of the Lord” is the Davidic house has been frequently proven, He having incorporated it in His Theocratic rule, and claimed it in view of His Son and David’s Son, in one person, being destined to rule therein. What “the mountain” of this house is can be readily seen by what the Spirit says, Zech. 8:3; and when God thus defined it, man can only accept of the definition.*

Obs. 2. The same is taught by Dan. 7:27, etc., which, while particularly describing the ascendency and rulership of “the people of the saints,” a peculiar and distinguished class (Props. 118 and 156), yet in virtue of their being also “the seed of Abraham,” grafted into the elected nation, it indicates, since this rulership is exercised at and during the restoration, that the dominion of power is to be attributed to connection with the King of the Jews, the fulfilment of the Abrahamic-Davidic Covenants, and the restoration of the nation. Hence “the greatness of the Kingdom under the whole heaven” given to them, only proves the exaltation of the Jews through the appointed Seed. The reigning of the twelve Apostles over the twelve tribes, the reign of the saints as coheirs with Christ, in the Davidic Kingdom, etc., enhances the pre-eminence and glory of the nation, through whom alone all covenanted blessings can be obtained. This rule of Christ and of the saints cannot be separated from Jewish supremacy; while some of the promises more particularly relate to the saints, the first-fruits (as shall be explained hereafter), yet in view of an elected relationship they are also indicative of the high position of the Jewish nation and Kingdom. This is easily corroborated by an abundance of predictions, such as the following: 1. By that class of passages in which “the horn” (symbol of power, etc.) of this nation shall be exalted, as e.g. Ps. 89:17–18; Ps. 148:14, etc. 2. All nations then shall regard Jerusalem the centre of worship, Micah 4:2–3; Isa. 2:3; and notice, this in the same Jerusalem formerly destroyed. Let the reader refer to Zech. 14, and see the connection and the yearly worship at Jerusalem (v. 16), and the punishment threatened against those who refuse, and no other conclusion can be consistently formed than the one given by us. And indeed, if such a Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom as predicted is established, it is eminently suitable that, aside from the spiritual worship extending everywhere, there should be a national acknowledgment of nations through their representatives of the Theocratic King and Kingdom. It is not conceivable how such “a world-dominion” having its centre at one point can exist without a fixed public acknowledgment of it, etc. 3. They also shall esteem Jerusalem the centre of power. Let once the idea of this covenanted Theocratic Davidic rule be admitted, and the beauty and propriety of various prophecies appears, such as Mich. 4:2; Isa. 2:3, “the law shall go forth of Zion and the Word of the Lord from Jerusalem”; Zech. 8:22, “Yea, many people and strong nations shall come to seek the Lord of hosts in Jerusalem, and to pray before the Lord” (comp. Amos 9:12; Zech. 12, etc.). 4. The nations shall regard it as the centre of glory. This arises from its being the metropolis of the Kingdom (Prop. 168), being “the city of the great King” “the throne of the Lord,” etc. Millennial descriptions fully portray this feeling of reverence, etc., for the city, as universal (Isa. 62:2, etc.) over the earth. 5. The nations shall respect and honor the Jewish nation on account of its special relationship. Thus, e.g. Isa. 61:9, “And their seed shall be known among the Gentiles, and their offspring among the people; all that see them shall acknowledge them that they are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.” Even the individual Jews in that day shall be highly esteemed; “Thus saith the Lord of hosts (Zech. 8:23), in those days it shall come to pass, that ten men shall take hold of all languages of the nations, even shall take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying: We will go with you; for we have heard that God is with you.” 6. All nations shall contribute to their prosperity, wealth, riches, etc. Thus e.g. Isa. 60, 61, etc. 7. The Gentiles shall fear and reverence the Jewish nation. Thus e.g. Isa. 49:22, 23:8. The nation shall be a praise among all nations, where it formerly was treated with derision. Thus Zeph. 3:19, 20, “I will get them praise and fame in every land where they have been put to shame. At that time will I bring you again, even in the time that I gather you, for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes, saith the Lord.” 9. The Gentiles shall aid in glorifying this nation. Thus, e.g. Isa. 66:12. 10. Those nations that shall not acknowledge this supremacy shall perish. Thus e.g. Isa. 60:12; Zech. 14:12–19.

Obs. 3. The simple fact that Jesus, David’s Son, “the King of the Jews,” is to be the Mighty King over them, evinces this pre-eminency. It is true that He is not only to be King over the Jews but also over the whole earth, for “the sovereignty or Kingdom of this world” is to become His, and “-all dominions shall serve and obey Him,” yet we must constantly keep in mind the covenanted fact, that this reign is manifested on David’s throne and from David’s Kingdom. Therefore it follows, that the nation identified with this throne or Kingdom is exalted proportionately with the extent and splendor of the reign of Him who sits on that throne thus associated with the nation. It is this that gives them that peculiar and honorable distinction, so lauded by the prophets. This is reasonable and just; for surely the people from whom the King is descended according to the flesh; who hold in covenanted possession the throne and Kingdom of His inheritance; who are restored by His power that the throne and Kingdom may be re-established in its integrity; who enjoy the privilege of having His throne and majesty in their midst; who are under the particular rule of appointed judges, coheirs with Him—must realize, from the nature and extent of their position and blessings, an eminence far above that of all others, viz., that stated in Ex: 19:5, 6.

Obs. 4. If the question is asked, why this supremacy is given to the Jewish nation in preference to all others, the answer is given Rom. 11:28, 29. It has always enjoyed a peculiar, near relationship to God; and it should not surprise us to see it restored to its high and distinguishing privilege of being the nation through whom the Theocratic rule will again be exhibited in a more glorious manner, being still “beloved for the Father’s sake,” an elect nation, now indeed suffering for unfaithfulness but destined to a recovery (Deut. 32:36), because God’s calling and Covenant relationship to them, bound by oath, is unchangeable; His mercy and Divine attributes are glorified through it; His dear Son, also the seed of Abraham and David, is exalted thereby; and His rule as a gracious, condescending earthly Ruler, the veritable King, is through it extended over the whole earth. Men may, in estimated superior wisdom, deny such a Divine Theocratic manifestation through His ancient people, and speak of it as derogatory to the Saviour, etc. Let such, however, see to it that they be not found speaking against the most blessed and exalted position of David’s Son, and of that nation which is His by “inheritance” and by “redemption” When the prophets say so much respecting this, and eulogize it in the highest terms, surely we ought to be guarded in saying anything that may be reproachful of it.*

Obs. 5. A number of observations on this interesting point might be appropriately made, which can only be indicated to the reader. (1) This pre-eminency among the nations of the earth shows that the position assumed by us concerning the wall of partition being broken down only between believers in Christ and not between the Jewish and Gentile nations, is well taken. (2) This work is of God, and will be witnessed by the nations as a confirmation of His power, etc., Ezek. 17:22–24, Isa. 52:1–10, etc. (3) Jerusalem and Palestine (as the latter shall be extended according to promise) are most admirably situated (geographically) for the exercise of such supremacy. See Townsend’s Arrangement, Introd. p. 68–9. (4) The promise to Abraham is only then literally verified, “I will make of thee a great nation.” For David and Solomon’s reign (aside from its Theocratic arrangement), plays but a small part at the side of the great empires of history. God’s Promise unerringly points to the future; and as His promises, long delayed, are sure, the greatness of the nation, as the prophets predict, will be more commensurate with the greatness of the Being who has promised. (5) The promise made to Abraham of being “heir of the world” is then realized, in the acknowledged pre-eminency of his seed. (6) How wonderful will then the history of this people appear, and how astonishing that the Divine Purpose so plainly revealed should have been, by lack of faith and with the notion of exalting the meaning of Scripture itself, so persistently overlooked by the multitude. (7) To occupy this position of supremacy, it is necessary that the division into two kingdoms, once existing, should be perpetually abolished. This is fully predicted, as e.g. Ezek. 37:21, 22, etc. (8) The folly of being indifferent to, or totally ignoring, the predictions on this subject, just as if they were not given. (9) That if, as many advocate, the phrase “Times of the Gentiles,” is indicative of “Gentile domination,” then the cessation of these times would of itself indicate that such dominion would come to a close.*

Obs. 6. This supremacy of the Jewish nation is a stumbling-block to many (who misapprehend its connection with the saints, etc.), and the most bitter and sarcastic remarks are levelled against it. We might content ourselves with the simple and positive statements of the Word of God, which have been presented, but, desirous to vindicate that blessed Word, we distinctly trace the fundamental reasons for the same, showing conclusively (1) that their covenanted, elect, Theocratic relationship to God, as their King (earthly Ruler), in their national capacity, imperatively demands just such a supremacy; (2) that this supremacy is fully required when the King and the saints are the rulers—the King being by inheritance the king of the nation and the saints being engrafted into the same Commonwealth, and regarded as part of Abraham’s seed—over the nation, from whence “a world-dominion” is to be exerted”; (3) that in the estimate of this supremacy it is impossible to separate the glorified (the king and co-rulers) from the unglorified, for they are united, the one as authoritative head and the other as specially exalted in view of this union (hence numerous prophecies make no distinction between the two, but speak of the nation as it shall be when restored and associated with the glorified seed of Abraham—which gives the key to the magnificent language employed); (4) that the nation as it shall hereafter be composed, viz., with its Mighty King and with its resurrected and glorified patriarchs and descendants, and with its adopted Gentiles resurrected, translated, and glorified, and with its twelve tribes repentant and converted, forms collectively “the rod of strength” (Ps. 110:2) which shall be exerted in a sway over the nations of the earth; (5) that a Theocracy with a rule over the world, embracing a union of Church and State, has its foundation in the nation specially selected, in which its rudimentary form was set up but which was withdrawn on account of wickedness and rebellion, and yet which Covenant and prophecy declare shall again be restored under David’s Son (hence unity, God’s oath, Jesus’s inheritance, etc., demand it); (6) the union of the Divine with Civil power over the nations, to accord with a pure Theocratic ordering, necessitates, in order to preserve unity, just such a supremacy as is predicted; (7) that to prepare this nation for its supremacy it is (Ex. 19:6) to be made “a Kingdom of priests and a holy nation,” which is done (a) by the Incorporated glorified “Kings and Priests,” and (6) by the pre-eminent holiness of the nation, “all” being righteous, and brought into special nearness and service to the king; and (8) that the promise “in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed,” indicates, as Hengstenberg remarked, “the re-establishment of the lost unity, and in the gathering again of the scattered human race around Abraham as their centre,” which to be realized, according to Covenant and prophecy, demands a visible, outward exhibition of civil and religious power according with the Divine Purpose as contained in the grammatical sense of the Word and advocated by us. Hence Ebrard (Ch. Dog., vol. 2, p. 749) justly observes, both in view of the elect, covenanted relationship, the incorporation of the Divine, and this supremacy: “And then (in the Mill. age) shall the Old Test. prophecies of the re-creation of the kingdom of Israel attain their fulfilment, for, within the unglorified humanity upon earth, converted Israel shall form the middle point of the Kingdom of Christ.” The nation, with its attached glorified rulers, forms the basis for that wide, extended, and ultimate universal dominion.*

Obs. 7. Milman (His. of the Jews), Wines (Com. on Laws), and others, have shown that past history records the fact that science, art, philosophy, history, jurisprudence, politics, statesmanship, finance, education, etc., are adorned with splendid Jewish names—names suggestive of vigorous intellect, large attainments, great skill, profound wisdom, and vast knowledge. If the Hebrew race in its dispersion, under its disabilities and humiliation among nations, has exhibited such talent, genius, energy, learning, enterprise, and power, what will they not become when restored to their own land under the peculiar and elevating guidance of their long expected, and at length arrived, Messiah? What brilliant names will not the future develop, when specially ruled over by the glorified and powerful Apostles, when in close and intimate connection with glorified saints, when the Mighty King and the splendid New Jerusalem are in their midst? The position that they will then occupy geographically and theocratically, together with the elements of individual and national greatness bought together, fostered, and developed under the all-wise and all-powerful Messiah, will bring forth a list of greater names to adorn the annals of the reign of Jesus and His saints—the evidence of a reign rich in all that pertains to the elevation of individual or national greatness.*

  PROPOSITION 115. The Kingdom is not established without a period of violence or war.

In the nature of the case, if at any time God intends to re-establish such a Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, which is designed to extend its sway over the world, all, or nearly all, earthly Kingdoms will oppose it. This is precisely what the prophets, one and all, uniformly predict.

Obs. 1. This is a terrible subject, and the writer was under strong temptation to suppress, in great part, this Proposition, lest to some it would prove “a dead fly in the ointment” (Eccles. 10:1), causing a rejection of the whole. But consideration urged that, as God proclaimed it, and frequently adverted to it, duty and faithfulness demanded its insertion as a testimony and warning to others. Reflection also will show that, fearful as it is, yet owing to its temporary nature it is not near so dreadful as the perpetual destruction, the everlasting cutting off of the wicked from the happiness and glory of the Kingdom. If any one objects to the war, slaughter, plagues, etc., that, as predicted, shall be meted out to the enemies of God when this Kingdom is to be inaugurated, on the ground that it is derogatory to God’s character and to Christ’s mission of love, etc., such are invited to consider, in addition, the following particulars. (1) What are we then to do with these predictions? Are they given merely as threats, God never intending to fulfil them? Or, are they conditional? That God intends their ample fulfilment is evident from the connection which they sustain, (a) to the Divine Plan; (b) to the chain of predictions in course of fulfilment, the literal accomplishment of which thus far forbids the notion of a change in the future; (c) and to the Sec. Advent of Christ; (d) to the future condition of saints; (e) and to the restoration of the Jewish nation. (2) The identical reasons which would impeach God in allowing this war and awful destruction of life can be urged against Him for allowing past war, the Jewish tribulation, the destiny of the wicked in the future. Take e.g. the wars carried on under this same Theocratic, and Theocratic-Davidic arrangement, under the Rulership of God Himself and by His direct sanction. Ponder it well, and then dare to judge God. If the Jewish nation was then justifiable, if God was then right in the destruction of His enemies, is it not equally so in the future? (3) This war, etc., in the future as expressly asserted, is not carried on because God delights in it, but because it will be waged against Him, His people and His Purpose by wicked, ambitious men, and the Almighty condescends to meet them in the same way to give them, through appointed agencies, a signal and deserved punishment and overthrow. The rise, progress, aims, slaughter, etc., of the confederation of wickedness arrayed against Him (Props. 160, 161, 162, 163) will fully vindicate the propriety and consistency of the means used in its downfall; which, as prophecy declares, will be freely and universally acknowledged the world over after its occurrence. (4) It is also not inconsistent with Christ’s mission of mercy and love for the following reasons. (a) During this very period of mercy, heavy judgments of God have been constantly poured out, on the city and nation of the Jews; (b) if this were purely a dispensation of mercy, how account for the wars, sufferings, terrible Providences, etc., pertaining to nations, individuals, and the Church. There evidently is a limit to be fixed somewhere. Mercy is indeed extended, but it is not all mercy; judgment, justice, etc., are also to be regarded in forming our estimate, or it will prove to be one-sided, opposed to experience, fact, and Divine representation. The same Jesus, so desirous to save and bless, orders events according to His righteous will in blessing or in judgment as best suits the circumstances of the case. (c) This is a time of offered mercy, but even this will give place to a time of wrath and vengeance on the nations and persons that persistently reject Him. And we may well pause to ask that, if in a period so disposed to be gracious He allowed His just anger to burn toward a nation still “beloved for the Father’s sake,” what will He not do when His wrath is kindled against the nations of the earth who are not thus protected by Covenant relationship? (d) This is a heavy judgment on the wicked only, who are directly arrayed against Him at His Coming. (5) The simple record ought to suffice; for it is not becoming in us to sit in judgment on the propriety of God’s dealings, either past or future. If God has revealed that thus it shall be, that He has ordered it, and will surely bring it to pass, that ought to satisfy the believer, especially since many of the adverse Providences of God can only now be received by faith. (6) If it is terrible, it is so to those who are properly warned. Let the nations, let the wicked open God’s Word, and if they will receive His Record, not spiritualized away, but as it is written, there they find repeated solemn warnings against joining the confederation of evildoers in the last days; against arraying themselves in hostility to Christ and His interests; against any treacherous connivance against Jerusalem or the Jewish nation. If Jerusalem becomes “a cup of trembling” and “a burdensome stone” to them; if the wrath of the Lamb burns with consuming fury against them; it is because they have rejected the most solemnly given warnings.

Obs. 2. To appreciate this subject several things must be observed. (1) At the period of the Sec. Advent, as various prophecies show, Christ will find a mighty array of nations who will be hostile to believers, hostile to His ancient people and land. Rev. 19:2; Thess. 2; Isa. 63, etc. He is represented, not as converting, but as destroying them; and the most terrific figures and representations are heaped one on the other to describe the catastrophe, “Making war, treading the wine-press, treading the wine-press of the wrath of God, smiting the nations, ruling with a rod of iron, treading the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God, treading the people in anger, trampling on them in fury, staining His garments with the blood of His enemies,” etc., are a few of them, and under and in them is couched a dire reality against which it is worse than folly to close the eyes, viz., a most fearful period of vengeance on God’s enemies. (2) That the ushering in of the Millennial era is immediately preceded by this period of vengeance. The context of numerous Millennial descriptions portray it as God then coming in anger, wrath, vengeance, etc., pouring out His indignation upon the nations of the earth, as e.g. Isa. 24, 25, 26, etc. (3) An antichristian confederation is represented as existing at that time which has slaughtered the saints, and is in open war with the Jewish nation, as e.g. 2 Thess. 2; Rev. 20; Zech. 14, etc. (4) The same is declared to exist just previous to the resurrection and deliverance of the saints, as e.g. Dan. 12:1, 2; Isa. 26:19. (5) The same is almost invariably linked with the restoration of the Jewish nation, as e.g. Joel 3; Dan. 12, etc. (6) The saints are also described as with Christ and participating in inflicting the judgments of God, ruling with a rod of iron, as e.g. Rev. 2:27–28, etc. (7) The Jewish nation is likewise an agency in this last overthrow of enemies, as e.g. Zech. 14, etc. It is scarcely possible in every instance to show in what way Christ, or the saints, or the Jews participate in it. The testimony of prophecy is this: that Christ as the Mighty King directly interferes in behalf of His people, that His saints aid in this work, and that the Jews are supernaturally sustained in the same. Christ as the Master Spirit and Supporter of all this, is sometimes mentioned alone (as e.g. Isa. 63), the rest being implied; again Christ and the saints in view of their associated capacity are spoken of as together (as e.g. Rev. 19), in the accomplishment of it; then again, when details are given, the Jews are described (as e.g. Zech. 12) as largely participating. The fearful picture is only completely surveyed, when the several parts are brought together and viewed as one whole. Converging and irresistible proof is also established, because under several aspects the same tremendous scene is located at precisely the same period of time introductory to the Mill. age.

Obs. 3. Therefore, the Kingdom is introduced by violence and conflict. This is seen by referring to the Scriptures (which sustain the previous Observation), and to what was stated under former Propositions Passing by for the present the numerous allusions to the objects designed by Christ’s Coming, such as to destroy the power of His enemies (Ps. 2:1–9; Dan. 7:9–26, etc.), and bestow retribution (2 Thess. 1:8; Ps. 10:15–18, etc.), it is sufficient for our purpose to direct attention to one single feature of the last times, which, aside from others vindicates the Divine interference and frightful drama that will be enacted. Notwithstanding the tenders of Gospel mercy, the gracious call given to Gentiles, it is predicted that not only wickedness shall abound down to the Advent (Matt. 24:6–15, 37; Mark 13:6–13; Luke 17:26–31; 1 Thess. 5:2, 3; 2 Tim. 3:1–13; 2 Pet. 3:3, 4, 10; Jude 18, 19, etc.), that not only antichristian powers shall exist down to that period (2 Thess. 2; Dan. 7, etc.), but that at the time of the Advent and ushering in of the Mill. age, wickedness shall increase (Matt. 24:37–39; Luke 17:26–30; 1 Thess. 5:1–3; 2 Tim. 3:13, etc.) to a fearful extent until it culminates into a mighty confederation against the truth. Without entering into details respecting this antichristian power (Props. 160–168), its existence is most prominently set forth so that it is impossible to ignore it. Through seducing influences (2 Tim. 4:1–3, etc.) and corrupting passion of nations (Ps. 2; Joel 3, etc.), there will result an organized effort to crush Christianity by persecution, and even to destroy the Jewish nation. Leaving the names, character, blasphemy, claims, etc., of this Antichrist, we again narrow our discussion to a single point, viz., that of his efforts to crush the Jews at Jerusalem. In comparing prophecy it is distinctly announced that he shall unite nations and armies into an expedition into Palestine and a siege against Jerusalem, Dan. 11, last part and 12:1; Isa. 14:24–27; Joel 3; Zech. 14; Rev. 14:20; Rev. 16:16; Ezek. 38:8–19, and that he is to be destroyed by a revelation of Christ in Palestine, Ezek. 38:21–23; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 19:11–20, etc., compared with the positive order laid down in Zech. 14. So plain are these predictions that not only the entire early Church looked for such an invasion of Palestine and overthrow of the Antichrist, but many who are not friendly to Millenarian views have adopted and advocated them. The reader then will observe that such a confederation is predicted as in open hostility against Jerusalem, etc.

Obs. 4. This, in the nature of the conflict described, and the results that follow, indicates a prior, partial restoration of Jews to Jerusalem, as many writers have observed. This is not the restoration under Christ, but one that will be effected under the auspices of some nation. At least one thing is certain, that the nation, as such, is at this very time represented at Jerusalem in such numerical force that prophets predict a gathering of the nations against the Jews. With one voice nearly all of them allude to this gathering, and describe the condition of the Jews as one of great trouble and misery. This gathering, too, is purposely allowed by God. In some predictions the nations are said to do this; in others that God, “He shall gather them.” In Rev. 16:14, “the spirits of devils shall gather them;” in another place (Rev. 13:5–18), the last head of the beast and the false prophet shall assemble them; and then again God will do it, as in Zeph. 3:8, “Therefore wait ye upon me saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up to the prey, for my determination is to gather the nations, that I may assemble the kingdoms, to pour upon them my indignation, even all my fierce anger,” etc. This is reconcilable with the permissive Providence of God, and with the fact that the results of the free agency of these nations falls in with the contemplated design of God to employ the very period of their gathering and anticipated triumph for their terrible punishment. By wilfully closing their eyes to “the counsel” of God, to His plain Word, they are led into the position of unbelief, etc., and God orders all things in such a manner that their purpose of gathering shall be fully carried out. Nothing shall intervene to frustrate the daring plans laid by them until the decisive moment arrives. They shall agree among themselves, and be prospered until God is ready to pour out His vengeance; and the gathering itself on a gigantic scale with the eyes of the world fixed on it, will make the punishment the more signal and overwhelming. God employs their design as a vehicle for the accomplishment of His own; and therefore, with the power to prevent it at any time, it is correctly, although the direct result of creature agencies, attributed to Him.

Obs. 5. Jerusalem will be taken by this last enemy, and great cruelties will be perpetrated. The Jews will be driven to despair, such as we can well imagine their blasted hopes, after long centuries of tribulation then excited by fondly anticipated prosperity, would produce. In a partial restoration attempted by themselves in reliance upon others, instead of waiting for the one to be gained through the power of their King, they suffer the last outpouring of God’s anger. This causes a cry of agony, which is mercifully heard, and in such a way that sorrow and despair are turned into joy and happiness. Zech. ch. 14, delineates the extremity and the deliverance, which is corroborated by Zech. 12; Dan. 13; Jer. 30:4–24. The Lord will fight for them; and among the agencies employed is this very Jewish nation, as specified. Zech. 14:14, “Judah also shall fight at Jerusalem,” etc.*

Obs. 6. The active part taken by this Jewish nation in the punishment of the nations who opposed Jerusalem, etc., is given in Zech. 12:1–9; Zech. 10:3–12; Micah 4:11–13; Isa. 41:15–16; Micah 5:8–10; Jer. 51:19–20, etc., verifying Dan. 2 and 7 and 12; Ps. 2, etc. The nation, by virtue of Divine Support, is invincible, so that “they that strive with thee shall perish,” and “they that war against thee shall be as nothing, and as a thing of naught,” becoming like “chaff,” etc. The nations will be confounded at their valor and might, Micah 7:16, 17; Zech. 9:13–16, etc. The slaughter will be terrific, represented under the most impressive figures that language can employ, as e.g. Ezek. 38 and 39 the awful supper “upon the mountains of Israel” to which the birds and beasts are invited, Rev. 19:17–20, same supper, Rev. 14:19, 20; Jer. 25:29–33, etc. It is impossible to explain away these passages; it is absurd to spiritualize them into something else, and we must receive them. That they relate to the future is so apparent that it needs no discussion; for such a Coming of the Lord and of His saints, such a display of valor, etc., by the Jews, such an overthrow of enemies after a siege of Jerusalem has never yet been witnessed. The hesitancy of many writers, who receive it, to dwell upon it arises not from disbelief or disregard, but from the fear that others not appreciating its relationship to the judgments of God preparatory to the establishment of His own Theocratic government, may become prejudiced against the truth in general. But let human opinion be what it may, one thing cannot be done, viz., to blot out these predictions, or to prevent their fulfilment.*

Obs. 7. In the face of all this array of Scripture, it will not answer for the objecter to quote the language (John 18:36) of Jesus: “If my Kingdom were of this world, them would my servants fight that I should not be delivered to the Jews. But now is my Kingdom not from hence.” Will the Saviour contradict the predictions of the prophets? No, for He qualifies His language, guarding it, by the “but now,” i.e. at the present time, my Kingdom is not of this world and my servants do not fight, leaving the plain inference that at some future time, just as prophesied, His servants would fight. The time of wrath on the nations and of the Kingdom will also come, Rev. 11:15–18. Now, during the gathering out of the elect, vengeance is God’s; we are forbidden to exercise it; but God’s forbearance with Gentiles will also end as it did with Jerusalem, as it now does with individuals, and then He employs what agencies He pleases to cause their destruction.*

Obs. 8. This future overthrow of the nations is the key to the warlike spirit noticed in many of the Psalms, and which has been the fruitful subject of derision to unbelievers. Even many believers, not recognizing the period and the design God has in view, turn with unbelief from Ps. 58:10; 68:23, etc., as if it were inconsistent for the righteous to see and engage in the specific, appointed work of Jesus, the Divine Master. Look at the Sec. Advent of the august Jesus and see the bloodshed, slaughter, fearful supper, vintage, etc., connected with it, and if the blood of His enemies shall flow so abundantly, shall stain His garments, etc., in the day devoted to wrath, is it wrong or inconsistent for His people in that day to see and engage in the same work? If we dare not censure the blessed Saviour, who will engage in this work, made necessary by the enmity of His enemies, made requisite by His determination to set up His delayed Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, which these nations will determinately oppose, can we blame the righteous if they do as stated in Ps. 149:6, 7, 8, 9? And can this be regarded as in opposition to the Christian spirit, when it is even added that the righteous shall rejoice when he beholds and participates in it? He certainly does not rejoice in the necessity that exists for such a manifestation of power and vengeance—the whole tenor of the Bible forbids it; but he rejoices in it because incorrigible enemies, enemies who long violated God’s law and shed the blood of saints, are removed; that the righteous are at length rewarded; that Christ obtains His inheritance; that Covenant promises are realized, including even that the seed shall possess the gate of his enemies; that wickedness is utterly rooted out of the earth; and that now the whole world shall realize in Millennial blessedness and glory, that there is a God that judgeth in the earth, that God, His Son, and His people shall be sanctified, etc. A large number of reasons are given why this should cause exultation in the saints, arising from its being a removal of enemies and the introduction of promised blessings that could not possibly be realized on earth without such a previous and complete subjugation and expulsion of these enemies. The employment, too, of just such agencies may be part of that “snare” and “net” which God plants, in which to take those nations. The perversion of those predictions springs from not locating their fulfilment properly. One party, not observing that the Holy Christ is the Leader in these things, the Introducer of this day of vengeance and resultant year of the Redeemed, either persistently closes its eyes to the existence of such passages in the Scriptures, or declares them inconsistent with the Spirit, etc., of Jesus Christ. Another party takes a more dangerous position, for finding these prophecies and not noticing that they are identified with the Sec, Advent of Jesus, with His own appointed day of vengeance, presume rashly, without warrant, against even prohibition, to take up the sword and establish a Kingdom or maintain the truth. Both extremes are to be avoided, leaving God to take care of the ultimate fulfilment of His own Word, resting assured that such a terrible resource can only be taken under the directed auspices of Christ Himself, who as the designated “Lion of the tribe of Judah,” etc., will make this “war in righteousness.”*

Obs. 9. This subject in one of its features, ought to serve as a warning to Jews, not to allow themselves to be persuaded by any nation or party to establish themselves in Jerusalem and Palestine. The prophets plainly predict their sad fate; that they shall fall under the persecuting power of this last confederation and experience its fearful effects. The restoration that God predicts for them, and which they should await, is under the Messiah, Jesus Christ, David’s Son. If they run before they are called, or if they accept of a restoration under the auspices of some nation relying upon their own efforts, etc., they shall certainly realize in their own unhappy experience what will befall Jerusalem and its inhabitants at this last great siege by the gathered nations.*

Obs. 10. This also should serve as a warning to the nations, not to allow themselves by any arguments or inducements to enter into a league against Jerusalem. It is predicted that this will be done, and that all such nations shall be severely punished (as e.g. Zech. 12; 2, 3, 9) and destroyed. Wisdom, prudence, ought to urge an acceptance of God’s Word. It is true, that the establishment of such a Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom may not prove very palatable to the nations, the governments of the earth, for it is destined to interfere materially with governments as now organized and conducted, and will not tolerate in any of them that sinfulness, etc., which, more or less, attaches to rulers, people, manner of conducting government, etc. But considering the Divine Purpose and the blessed results that will low from it to the world; regarding the Almighty Power that will enforce the successful accomplishment of it although all nations resist it—surely true wisdom ought to indicate a persistent refusal to all solicitations to engage against the ancient city and people of God, and to suggest a ready compliance with all the demands that in that day may be made by the Mighty One who is to rule as the Father’s beloved Theocratic King. It is no idle caution or impertinent request which says, Ps, 2: “Be wise now therefore, O ye Kings; be instructed, ye judges of the earth. Serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling. Kiss the Son, lest He be angry, and ye perish from the way when His wrath is kindled but a little.” This period will be the crisis of nations.*

Obs. 11. This again reminds us of the extreme position adopted by peace congresses, etc. A portion of the Scripture, isolated or torn from its connection, is alone presented in their pleas, while lengthy predictions, which show that war exists down and at this period, are ignored as if they did not exist. The general analogy of the Word tells us that it is only after (not before) this terrible conflict of, and with, the nations, that war shall be banished under the then peaceful and triumphant reign of David’s Son. To locate this era at any other period previously, or to declare that it can be brought to pass without Divine interposition, is to indulge in dreams that will never be realized. To diminish war, suffering, etc., is a Christian duty, but this is very different from that of misinterpreting and misapplying the Word of God, and predicting “peace and safety,” which God warns us against. It virtually closes the eyes of many to the predictions of the future, and prevents them from seeing that they should so live that they “may be accounted worthy to escape the things that are coming on the earth,” for the principle recorded by Ezek. 14:16, 18, 20, will be fully carried out.*

Obs. 12. When this war is concluded, then, and then only, will Ps. 76 be fulfilled in the manner we have presented. Then and then only shall the force of Ps. 110 be realized, as verified in the fate of the kings and heads over countries. Then, too, will men find that the confederation and its defeat are described in Ps. 83. Then Ps. 68 will stand forth with a significancy that will astonish, and Ps. 60 will present a clearness in the light of fulfilment that must surprise. The rejoicing then prevailing is well foretold in Ps. 47. The struggle and glorious result is eloquently portrayed in Ps. 46, and it then will be a matter of amazement that it could be applied to any other era. How impressive, viewed in this connection, becomes Ps. 48, delineating the judgment inflicted on the kings that were assembled, and the glory that results. Indeed, in that day, many a prediction now imperfectly understood, shall stand forth with a distinctness that will reproach the weakness of our faith in God’s Word, when the last prayer of Moses, the benedictions of Jacob, the covenanted relationship of the people, etc., are vindicated by this tremendous overthrow of enemies—then truly prophecy itself, now the sport of scientific unbelief and the butt of unscholarly ridicule, will secure the profound esteem and praise of all nations.*

Obs. 13. This war, with the prominency, valor, success, etc., of the Jewish nation in it, corroborates the supremacy of that people presented in the preceding Proposition. Thus verifying 2 Saml. 7:23, 24; Deut. 33:29; Isa. 43:1–7; Isa. 60; Zech. 9:16: Jer. 3:17–19: Ps. 144: Jer. 33; 9–16, the “war,” Ps. 110, etc.

Obs. 14. The reader, who has closely followed our entire argument, will not fail to see that it is highly appropriate for the Jewish nation to be thus employed as instruments in the execution of the Divine Judgment of the King. The propriety springs from the fact that, as the Davidic throne and Kingdom embrace this nation, and as the judgments are to be poured out in consequence of the process of re-establishing this Kingdom in its Theocratic-Davidic form, the nation itself must, in the nature of the case, be used as an instrument in overwhelming His enemies. All pertaining to the Kingdom is thus engaged. Compare Jer. 51:19–20.*

Obs. 15. One peculiarity in this conflict is the statement that every Jew is specially under Divine protection, and endowed with supernatural strength, so that none of them are overcome by their enemies. The Spirit foreseeing this already foreshadows it in Deut. 32:30, and gives it plainly in Zech. 12:6, 8; thus also fulfilling Ps. 140:7. Being under the supervision of their King, and acting by His direct command, it will happen to them as in the battle with the Midianites (Num. 31:49), there lacketh not one man of us.” For, God says to them, Deut. 33:27; Lev. 26:7, 8.*

Obs. 16. Owing to the fearful slaughter and the multitude of dead, we have described by Ezekiel and others the cleansing of the land. This gives us a direct clew to “the cleansing of the sanctuary,” for the land of Palestine is called the sanctuary (Ex. 15:17, etc.), and, it being defiled, with the dead, is carefully purified by their removal.*

Obs. 17. The reader is reminded that these terrific scenes are connected with the closing period of Dan. 2 and 7, i.e. during the divided period of the last empire, the last beast; while powers arising from it are still existing, this confederation, this tribulation, these results will also be witnessed. These kingdoms and beasts, with their outgrowths, describe, as Mede and others have well characterized it, “the Gentile domination” beginning with Jewish captivity and extending down during a long period of, more or less, oppressive Gentilism, until the mystery of God is finished. Even Jews have observed and commented on this peculiarity, Thus e.g. Mede quotes Rabbi Saadias Gaon on Dan. 7:18 as saying: “Because Israel have rebelled against the Lord, their Kingdom shall be taken from, them, and shall be given to these four Monarchies, which shall possess the Kingdom in this age, and shall lead captive and subdue Israel to themselves in this age until the age to come, until Messiah shall reign.” History corroborates this Gentile dominion, and it will continue until God shall determine that “the Times of the Gentiles” have run their allotted, predetermined course, and then and then only under the restoration of this Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom will this domination come to a perpetual end (Prop. 164).

Obs. 18. Rejecting this prophetic war-spirit, commentators are greatly perplexed over the statement of Luke 22:36–38 and render corresponding singular interpretations. Jesus exhorts to the purchase of the sword, and when “they said, Lord, behold, here are two swords. And he said unto them, it is enough.” And in v. 49 the question was asked, “Lord, shall we smite with the sword?” Jesus permitted, v. 50, so that “one of them smote the servant of the high priest and cut off his right ear. And Jesus answered and said, Suffer ye thus far.” Even Olshausen makes the allusion to be that they should purchase or obtain the sword of the Spirit! He spiritualizes the whole matter to get rid of the idea that Jeans ordered material swords, because they are regarded as inconsistent with Christ’s character as “Prince of Peace.” So Barnes, Bloomfield, and others, who try to make out a proverbial expression or prediction, indicative of future trials and a proper provision to be made for them. But against all such one-sided interpretations, they forget (1) that material swords were shown; (2) the two material swords shown were esteemed sufficient; (3) that one of the swords was actually used in inflicting a wound; and (4) that this was done with the connivance of Jesus is self-evident, seeing that He ordered them foreseeing the intended use. To make “It is enough” to mean, “you do not understand me” is absurd, and, in view of what occurred in the use of the sword, would place Jesus in a false position. The expression in v. 51, “Suffer ye thus far,” gives the clew to the whole transaction. It is simply indicative that He can and will resort to arms and violence when (as all analogy proves) the proper time has arrived, but not then at that crisis (the time of obedience and humiliation, and suffering to perfect Himself as Redeemer), for to carry out the Divine Will, the resistance then offered—a sign that the sword also belonged to Him—was amply sufficient.*

PROPOSITION 116. This Kingdom is a visible, external one, here on the earth, taking the place of earthly kingdoms (comp. Props. 122, 111, 123, etc.).

Covenant promises, prophecies, all produce the impression that as soon as it is set up, such will be the result. To deny this, is to pass over the plainest feature of this Kingdom; and, therefore, no one but admits either that now it thus exists, or that at some time in the future the Church will assume this (thus making a change), or else that it is fulfilled (against prophecy) in the third heaven. The admission is favorable to our argument, for precisely such a visible Kingdom is demanded.

Obs. 1. The Kingdom embraces not merely visibility but a divine-political dominion (Prop. 117) superseding all other Kingdoms, as e.g., Dan. 2:44; Rev. 11:15; Dan. 7:13, 14, 18–27; Zech. 14:9, etc. This, too, is, admitted by a host of our opponents; and we are assured by many of them that, by some additions or transpositions, this will in the course of time be effected. But if this is a characteristic of the Kingdom and at its setting up, as prophecy indicates, then, if the Church is such a Kingdom, the Church should have presented this very appearance. On the other hand, the Kingdom of God at one time was visible, then it was overthrown, but its restoration under David’s Son foretold. Now, if ever restored, as covenant requires and as promise declares, then, as a matter of course, a divine political rule or dominion must be restored. Hence, the prophecies run in the current of the Divine Purpose in making these portrayals of the future Kingdom.*

Obs. 2. The concession, that such a Kingdom is still in the future, is all that at present our argument needs. The manner in which it is made may be referred to as a matter of curiosity and confirmation. Whatever mystical or spiritualistic interpretations Neander, Fairbairn and others, give, yet they are forced, against their theory, to find in an ultimate outward, visible manifestation in the Church, in a real political dominion, in a subjection of all Kingdoms under a Theocratic government, the conditions of prophecy. Having already quoted Neander largely, who contends for this feature, we pass to others. Pressense, who spiritualizes the prophecies in extenso, still unable to entirely rid himself of what he calls “the materialistic” tendencies of them, says (The Redeemer, p. 101): “Let us add that this spirituality of interpretation prevents us in no respect from admitting that the Kingdom of God will be triumphantly established in the outer world also; the new heavens and the new earth are a reality to our minds.” Fairbairn (On Proph., p. 297), gives to the Church “the real universality and the absolute right of governing upon earth;” alluding (p. 447) to the language of Daniel respecting the Kingdom, he says, it is such as “to indicate an actual remodelling of the state of things among men, and a fresh organization of the social fabric such as would formally commit the administration of affairs into the hands of the Lord’s people,” etc.; and he admits (p. 465) that this includes “the formal elevation of the pious and God-fearing portion of mankind to the place of influence and authority.” Lange (Bremen Lec. No. 8) advocates a future union of Church and State, asserting “that State and Church are to become one in the Kingdom of God,” and in his Com. (Matt. 3, p. 73) he declares that “the Christian Church and the Christian State may be regarded as the twofold manifestation of the Kingdom of God.” Even those who are the most non-committal admit even on Isa. 2:1–5 (as e.g. Alexander, Com. loci), that the description denotes something of authority, etc., “permanently visible.” Dr. Arnold held that a development of the Church in its perfect form includes a blending or union of Church and State, thus constituting a properly developed Kingdom of God, saying (Hurst’s His. Rational.), “there can be no perfect Church or State without their blending into one,” etc. Such references might be endlessly multiplied, but these are amply sufficient to show, (1) that the Word of God demands such an outward dominion; (2) that it will be supreme over the earth; (3) that the want is felt and acknowledged; (4) the hope is expressed that it will finally, in some way, be realized.

Obs. 3. It is strange, however, that in such a delineation of prophetical language, fully admitting a divine political world-dominion, they forget the objections alleged against our view. In their case the very passages presented to teach an exclusively spiritual and invisible Kingdom as against us, are now no longer of force. But we may well pause, and ask the consistency of this; for, if they forbid an outward universal Kingdom such as the early Church advocated, why should they not also prevent them from entertaining a similar view? Again, in such admissions they also overlook what so many writers among themselves learnedly argue when writing in opposition to us, viz. that those predictions are typical of something else. Thus, e.g. Fairbairn (On Proph., p. 270) frankly admits that the prophetic language describes a literal Kingdom, but that this must be understood as typical, etc. Afterward he himself sets up a Kingdom corresponding with this literal description, and neglects applying to the plain grammatical sense his Origenistic derived typical one. If the predictions have been typical thus far in the history of the Church, and no change of nature is noted in the predictions themselves, how does it come that this typical application does not continue—that it suddenly changes, more or less, into literalness? Does not this prove that the principles of interpretation underlying the Church-Kingdom theory are not entirely satisfactory to their own advocates.

Obs. 4. The very concession of a visible “world-dominion” by the Church-Kingdom theorists is hampered by other difficulties, irreconcilable with the uniform tenor of prophecy. Thus, e.g. they concede that this Kingdom possesses an outward authoritative dominion, but, (1) they must, if they take the descriptions of wickedness, war, etc., preceding the Sec. Advent, have the saints or Church yield up such dominion against positive assertions by the prophets to the contrary; (2) with their theory of the ending of this dispensation, general judgment, winding up of the world, changes in the Church, they allow no such permanency, everlasting duration (see Prop. 159) ascribed to it by the prophets. The only effort made to obviate this difficulty is to say that the Church is everlasting, and hence will ever endure. This we admit, but that is not the point at issue between us; the point is, that a certain position or station is assigned to the Church, viz., that of exerting power, authority, dominion here on the earth, and the question is whether that will be retained as the prophets predict or not. Our doctrine gives this authority to the elect people—the seed of Abraham—but at a designated time, and retains it as a permanent possession; the prevailing view gives such dominion, but finally brings it to a close to make way for an alleged “Kingdom of Glory,” somewhere in God’s universe.

Obs. 5. If the popular definition of the Kingdom of God, viz., that it is “God’s reign in the heart” (thus confounding God’s Sovereignty with a special Kingdom of promise) is correct, how comes it that the prophets assign it specified time and place in the future? How comes it that it is spoken of as established at a certain period, and as pertaining to the humanity of Jesus Christ? Surely something very different from the absolute eternal Sovereignty of God is denoted; it may be, and is indeed attached to, and grows out of, that Sovereignty, but linked as it is with the elect Jewish nation, the Davidic throne and Kingdom, the human nature of Christ as David’s Son, the outward visibility and dominion, the ending of the times of the Gentiles, the restoration of the Jewish nation, etc., it cannot be referred to any other Kingdom but the Theocratic-Davidic as believed in, and preached by the early churches. Admit this, and the significance and unity of covenant and prophecy are apparent; deny it, and diversity and antagonism follow.*

Obs. 6. The Herald of the Morning (June 15, 1878, August 1, 1877, etc.) makes the future Kingdom “spiritual,” and denounces us in our belief as “materialists.” All that we need to say in reply is this: without discarding the spiritual aspects of the Kingdom (comp. Prop. 197), we are satisfied to receive the visible and materialistic view in connection with that which covenant and prophecy embraces. The reasons assigned for this purely spiritual Kingdom are too subtle and far-fetched for us, seeing that it is taken for granted that a glorification must necessarily result in an invisible and wholly spiritual state against the general analogy and specific teaching of the Scriptures. (Comp. next observation and Prop.)*

Obs. 7. Barbour (Three Worlds) employs the same reasoning as given in the previous Observation, and insists that this Kingdom of “the Christ” is spiritual and invisible, being something separate and distinct from “the Kingdoms” given to Jesus in Rev. 11:15, laying special stress on the plural “Kingdoms.” Now a reference to Rev. 11:15 shows, even in our version by the italics that in the latter clause the plural is assumed. The MSS. S. & A. (Tischendorf’s N. T.) have even “the Kingdom of this world is become the Kingdom of,” etc., and hence many critics, making the correspondence with Dan. 7 the more striking, translate, “The Sovereignty of this world is become the Sovereignty of,” etc. Now that this is the meaning, and that it is visible on the earth, including the nations, is abundantly evident from Dan. 2 and 7, as comp. e.g. with Isa. 2, Micah 4 etc. The prophecy not only takes it for granted that it takes the place of preceding Kingdoms, but expressly asserts that it is a Kingdom under heaven, here on earth, which embraces the rulership of the saints and the subjection of the nations. It requires the grossest perversion of language to make a purely spiritual and invisible Kingdom out of the one delineated, and thus corresponding with the covenanted one. The Kingdom promised to David’s Son by oath, and which is His inheritance is not an invisible one—far from it. Barbour reaches his conclusions by pressing a few sentences of 1 Cor. 15, relating to the future glorified condition of the saints—a condition which only qualifies them for a visible and glorious reign—a condition, which, in Jesus and the saints, brings the Divine and Supernatural in visible relationship to humanity. It is by spiritualizing some predictions, making others conditional, applying the typical to some, and overlooking others, that this spiritual system, Gnostic in tendency, is produced.*

PROPOSITION 117. The Kingdom of God re-established will form a divinely appointed and visibly manifested Theocracy.

It is not a political body of human institution, for its divine origin is found in its covenanted relationship, and in its history. Its visibility we have seen in its ancient establishment; and when re-established, it must, as the case absolutely requires, again thus appear. It cannot exist without this external appearance in view of its direct connection with the Jewish nation, etc. Its Theocratic element is seen in God again condescending to act as an earthly Ruler in and through and by David’s Son (comp. Prop. 110).*

Obs. 1. This is a Theocracy in deed and in truth, for in this reorganized Kingdom we find the Theocratic idea—God’s idea of a perfect government—fully consummated. The Rulership is safely and powerfully lodged in one Person, who in Himself unites the human and the Divine, who becomes, according to “the everlasting covenant” and “the sure mercies of David” (Isa. 55:3, 4, Alexander’s version), “the Chief and Commander of nations.” See Prop. on Humanity, etc.

Obs. 2. The restoration of the Jewish nation, the supremacy of the nation, the reign of the Messiah as David’s Son in connection with it, in brief, all the details given by the prophets of this era, are only reconcilable and in harmony with a re-establishment of the Theocratic government This insures divinity and visibility.

Obs. 3. As already intimated, the highest possible position that we can place the Kingdom of God in, is that of regarding it such a Theocratic State or Empire, universal over the earth, founded, governed and developed under Divine authority personally manifested. This, as admitted by nearly all, was foreshadowed by the ancient Jewish Theocracy. Something like it has been the desire of nations, as can be seen even in the Utopian theories of philanthropists, philosophers, statesmen, and more recently in the expressed wishes of spiritualists to attain to it through the medium of spirits, etc. But originally founded by Divine power, it can only be restored by the same power; it can never be realized through human instrumentality, requiring, as we have all along shown, a higher agency to introduce it.*

Obs. 4. The inconsistency of some able writers on the subject of a Theocracy is remarkable. Some who admit that the fundamental idea of a Theocracy is something very different from that of the Divine Sovereignty, embracing, as it does, God condescending to act in the capacity of an earthly Ruler, a union of Church and State under direct Divine rule, etc., yet apply this Theocratic idea, stripped of that which gives it its peculiar vital force, by the wholesale to the Church and world. Numerous excellent writers who do this will occur to the student. The most surprising part is that, in the application of this theory, they contradict themselves without apparently being conscious of the impropriety. Thus, e.g. to illustrate: Neander, Life of Christ, B. 4, ch. 1, S. 51, says: “The form of a State cannot be thought of in connection with this Kingdom; a State pre-supposes a relation to transgression; an outward law, the forms of judicature, the administration of justice, are essential to its organization. But all these can have no place in the perfect Kingdom of Christ; a community whose whole principle of life is love.” The first sentence has force only as it applies to the Church (and it was Neander’s church view that led to it), but is erroneous when thus applied to the Kingdom, for he himself in his theory of progressive development loses sight of the principle thus laid down and expressly anticipates a period when the Kingdom of God shall (in the same section) “exhibit an external stately fabric” and “regenerate all things and thus appropriate them to itself;” while in other places, previously quoted, he advocates this future perfect union of Church and State as the highest development of Christ’s Kingdom on earth. The fundamental error in this theory is, that it attributes to the Church, its development, etc., what the Bible only represents as performed under the direct auspices of David’s Son, at and after a time of vengeance, etc. If God Himself in the establishment of a Theocracy did not regard the union of Church and State an inconsistency; if He through the Spirit sounds forth its praises and portrays vividly the blessings that can flow from it, it surely does not become us virtually to impeach His wisdom in such an organization. Besides, love, exceedingly precious and cementing, is not government, but is most admirably adapted to preserve and perpetuate it when established. The highest exhibition of love will be that which is manifested, not in individual life, but in associated life in its greatest of worldly relations, the civil.

Obs. 5. Surely no one should object to this consistent Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, so precious to the pious Jews and early Church, when many, who reject Millenarian views, still are forced by the peculiarity of predictions to concede that there will be a Theocratic reign, a union of Church and State, a universal, visible, external government. In addition to the illustrations given under previous Propositions, another may be presented. Ralston (On Apoc., p. 162, etc.) when describing the Millennium of Rev. 20, says: “we find a reference to thrones which represent the dominion of the saints in a Theocratic form of government,” and adds, that prophecy teaches not only a destruction of earthly governments, but “also the erection of a government founded in righteousness and guarded by heavenly influences;” that a new form of government will be established when the Jews are reorganized as a nation, clearly Theocratic, having its seat in Judea, so that “Judea may be most distinguished in that day as the Redeemer’s Kingdom on earth,” and all other nations will render homage, etc. Why—when thus making out a Kingdom distinguished by political power, etc., exerting the same over the earth from the central seat in Judea—not admit all that the prophets declare, and accept of the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom fully restored in David’s Son? Why leave out the Divine chain which binds the whole together? Why shrink from the divine throne and Kingdom of David, claimed by God as His own, specifically covenanted to Jesus, now in ruins but promised to be rebuilt, and, turning away from this divine, etc., still in some way attach Origenistic derived ideas to this Kingdom, constituting it a progressive development of the Church?

Obs. 6. If such a Theocratic Kingdom, as God Himself instituted, is not permanently and gloriously re-established here upon earth, then it follows that God’s efforts at the establishment of government and the interest which He manifests in it are fruitless of abiding results. Or, in other words, His own Kingdom has proven a failure. If the rebellion, etc., of the Jews is urged as a reason why it was not carried out, the reply is plain: why then, with His foreknowledge institute it at first, and then when overthrown predict its restoration, etc.? Besides, why adopt it in the sacred covenant relationship? Such questions might be multiplied, showing that God’s honor, majesty, etc., are immediately concerned in its restoration, or otherwise it will be said that the Almighty undertook a work which, owing to man, He could not accomplish. If the general opinion is to be received, as expressed by numerous theologians, that it would be foolishness to expect such a restoration; that it has given place to a much higher, refined, spiritual Theocratic order, etc., then it leaves God’s direct attempt at exercising the functions of an earthly Ruler an inscrutable riddle. If the original Theocratic idea is lost, if God Himself is not at some period of the world’s history to be its actual, earthly Sovereign, then certainly the earth will lack in its history the completion of a form of government indorsed and adopted as the most desirable by the Omniscient Himself. Recent writers, as Wines and others, insist that the Theocracy was entered into by God to teach man the true science of government. This is true, but not the whole truth, for we would add: to teach man that perfect government can only come directly through God. But take this half-truth, that God teaches man how true government cannot be justly separated from the relations that man sustains to God, etc., and does it not directly lead to the conclusion, that if God’s own teachings are to be realized, then a government must at some time exist here on earth, in which He is the recognized Lawgiver and Sovereign, to whom all can apply? Shall these teachings be defeated by depraved human nature, or by the combinations of Gentile domination? Or, shall they be spiritualized away to mean something else? Shall the now “Prince of this World” gain the victory in the most dignified and exalted of man’s relations, viz., in that of organized society in its national, governmental, and monarchical arrangements; or, shall the victory be given, as the Bible does, to the Son of Man, David’s Son, in this very direction? The glory of God, in virtue of His beginning, is deeply concerned in the completion of His own system of government; and we may rest assured, from a multitude of concurrent predictions, that He will sanctify Himself in this particular, exalting in the eyes of all people the identical form, now the scoff of unbelievers and even so difficult of acceptance by many believers (comp. Prop. 201).*

Obs. 7. The delay in this Theocracy is no reason for refusing credence to it, seeing that God so plainly foretells the reason for its delay, viz., in punishment of the nation with which it is connected; and seeing that He also reveals to us a long period of Gentile dominion during which it cannot exist. God, having, for the sake of man only, shown by the experiment of its previous establishment (designed also as a covenant basis, to secure the heir, etc.), that human nature as now constituted is utterly inadequate to bear and perpetuate such a Kingdom, during this season of delay is gathering out the material, i.e. the saints, who, as co-heirs, joint-rulers with “the man ordained,” shall form such an illustrious, all powerful body identified and incorporated with this Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, that re-erected it will be sustained with purity, dignity and stability. God’s ways are marvellous in preparing for His own government, overruling the freedom of man and his bias for sin, and constantly, slowly but surely, advancing toward His intended goal. Having repeatedly shown this gathering of elect destined to co-operate with David’s Son when their number is completed, we may add: that the Jewish nation and the race itself will after so long a trial of Gentile domination and its historical results, especially as witnessed at the time of the end in its confederated wickedness, be the better prepared to acknowledge the incomparable superiority of God’s form of government.*

Obs. 8. The eulogistic phraseology of the prophets which some critics ascribe to Oriental usage, respecting this Theocracy is well deserved. For, if we consider the King, David’s immortal Son, with the Divine inseparable with Him; the redeemed saints, also immortal, inheriting with Christ, and qualified by their trial, experience, etc., to act as rulers with Him; the Jewish nation restored to favor, and its coveted position after an education that never will be lost; the Gentile nations receiving the blessings accruing from a government which ever has been the need of the world; the glorious results ever flowing in free and abundant streams from God’s own fountain of order—all this ought to lead us to feel that language is too feeble to express what will be realized.

Obs. 9. This Theocracy will realize the idea of universal Empire, the darling wish of mighty monarchs. David’s Son, King Jesus will, with His own power, His associated rulers, His restored and exalted nation, in the Davidic throne and Kingdom by its grandeur cause all nations to become tributary and joyful supporters of its authority. The throne of David will become the great, recognized throne of the world, all others being subordinate to it. The prophecies relating to this need not be repeated, for the reader in our argument must have observed that one design God has in re-establishing this Kingdom is, to advance through it, and perfect by it, His own universal rule, so that finally all people without reserve shall fully and freely acknowledge the supremacy of God as manifested in and through the Ruler of this Kingdom.

Obs. 10. This Theocracy, as frequently intimated and implied, is designed to create blessings. Fruitful as it may be at the beginning in vengeance to nations who interfere with God’s purposes, yet its main object is to procure blessings. It is not to gratify the ambition of the Jewish nation that it enjoys such supremacy, but that, as Paul in Rom. 11; Zech. 8:13, etc., it may dispense richness to others; it is not to gratify pride that saints reign with Christ, but that they may be instrumental in promoting the welfare of others, etc. Of David’s Son itself it is said that His reign shall bring showers of blessing upon all, so that all families of the earth shall be blessed in Him. The Millennial descriptions abound with things productive of happiness. It is only necessary, as our subject suggests it, to point to one, the fruitful parent of many others, viz., a perfectly safe, reliable, stable righteous government, with King, rulers and subjects bound together by the interests arising from manifested Redemption.

Obs. 11. This Theocracy embraces not only perfected salvation as in the Rulers, i.e. those who reign with Jesus Christ, who are crowned as the inheritors of the Kingdom, but it includes the contemplated salvation of others, and the redemption of the race as a race. Leaving the classes that are to be found in this Kingdom for separate consideration and proof, it may now be said that it will be fully proven, at the time this Kingdom is set up by the mighty confederation then existing which is to be overcome, and by the continued sinfulness of the world down to that era, that owing to the corrupt nature of man, notwithstanding the provision made for salvation, the appeals, truth, etc., the tendency of man, against light, is toward evil. Evil will in a most fearful aspect be in the ascendency when the King comes, and it is positive folly for any professed believer in the Word to deny the record on this point. This conclusively establishes the proof, that to bring the world under subjection to God, to bring it even to accept of the blessings tendered to it, something more is needed than present instrumentalities. What will God introduce to break down, and keep down, this spirit of wickedness and rebellion? The prophets all declare that it will be the pouring out of His heavy judgments, and the setting up of this Kingdom. This Kingdom thus introduced is the bulwark erected by God against the enemies of God, by which they are either overthrown, destroyed or brought into subjection; by which all evil shall be rooted out, and the race itself be perpetuated in a state of purity and happiness just as predicted. It is the Divine means by which all are brought to feel and recognize the relations sustained to a Creator, Preserver, Redeemer, and Benefactor; removing all causes of war, national jealousies, civil disturbances, diversity of church government and worship, and bestowing peace, rejoicing and happiness.

Obs. 12. The reader’s attention is briefly called to consider, what, in such a Theocratic arrangement, must be the honor and dignity of the Rulers associated with the Mighty Son of Man. The position of the twelve apostles ruling over the twelve tribes, and that of the saints in their various stations of kingship and priesthood, all linked with the glory of this Kingdom. (See Props. 154, 156.)

Obs. 13. How vain is the boast of statesman or king, that this or that nation and land will become the greatest that earth shall ever behold. If wise, they would see that this is reserved for the now despised people that stand in covenanted Theocratic relationship with Jesus.

Obs. 14. In every aspect that we view the subject, it seems suitable and necessary to have such a Theocracy as predicted. Besides the reasons adduced derived from covenant, the faithfulness of God, the redemption of the earth, etc., it does appear eminently proper that the theatre of King Jesus’ humiliation, sufferings, and death should witness also His exaltation and glory. The Bible, in addition to the pleas presented by us, points to the time coming when Christ shall be openly and visibly recognized as the glorious One, who, as the Second Adam, having substituted Himself through love, is the efficacious Head of Humanity in its newly begun destiny; who, as Redeemer, having offered expiation to and honored the justice of God, now practically manifests the fruits of salvation; who, as Prophet, having taught restitution, now exhibits Himself as the Truth evidenced by the work performed before Him; who, as Priest, having made an acceptable sacrifice, now presents before the world the fruit resulting from it; who, as King, in virtue even of His Divine union and showing it by guidance, supporting, etc., now manifests it in the special ordained manner as Sovereign Ruler. In brief, this Theocracy is the restoration of a God again dwelling with man, accessible, and constituting in Jesus an infallible Head, just such as the world needs, just such as man for ages has longed for, and just such as will place David’s Son in honor and glory in a world where He suffered and died. The past treatment and brief stay of the Son of God and David’s Son insures a triumphant return, and a sojourn in power among men whom He will save, verifying the name Immanuel, God with us, in the Theocratical sense.

PROPOSITION 118. This view of the Kingdom is most forcibly sustained by the figure of the Barren Woman.

Turning to Isa. 54:1–17, the exact order of events advocated by us is distinctly announced as follows: (1) the elect condition of the Jewish nation and union with God in Theocratic relationship; (2) the rebellion of this nation and temporary rejection of the nation; (3) during this period of rejection another people is to be gathered out to which God will be specially united in the same relationship; (4) that when this gathered people enter into this relationship God will again restore the Jewish nation to its original position in virtue of His former union with it; (5) and the results of such a restoration to favor shall be of the highest importance, etc., to that nation.

Obs. 1. Because this passage is not regarded in the light of the solemnly covenanted relationship of the Jewish nation, which God’s faithfulness and oath can never alter or break, however it may be held in abeyance on account of sinfulness, men have attached to it the most inconsistent and contradictory interpretations. Leaving the logical application given to this passage by the early Church, the majority of commentators, etc., involve themselves in absurdities, gross difficulties, and unnecessary perplexities. It is sad to find able and learned men who make “the barren woman” and “the married wife,” although the one is contrasted with the other, the same; or, who make both to be the Church in different aspects; or, who make it simply a figure of Jewish prosperity exceeding that of other nations who then exist; or, who even make it out to be a kind of proverbial expression indicative of increase; or, who make “the barren” the Christian Church largely increased by Gentile nations which are supposed to be “the married wife,” etc. Surely, if mere fancy or imagination has had full play in exegesis, it has been on this Scripture. Instead, however, of dwelling on the looseness of exposition on this passage, let us, following step by step the teachings of the Word, endeavor to ascertain the meaning which accords with the general tenor of prophecy, and with historical fact.

Obs. 2. Who is this “barren woman”? The definite answer is given by the entire scope and order of the prediction. For the present, we reply: It is the Jewish nation as the covenanted elect nation, or, if the reader chooses, Jerusalem as the type of the nation, its chief representative, the nation itself being thus designated. For, (1) This nation is represented as married to God, being His wife. The marriage relation being thus used as a figure to denote the intimate, Theocratic relation that God sustained as earthly Head or Ruler over it. Many passages teach this, in which the nation, under the same figure, is declared to be treacherous as a wife, guilty of whoredoms, etc. In this same chapter she is therefore called “a wife of youth,” a woman that was married when but young, etc. Compare Ezek. 16; Jer. 3:20, etc. (2) She is a “barren woman.” Because, (a) she forsook the Lord and followed her own devices, so that God said, Hos. 2:4, “And I will not have mercy on her children, for they be the children of whoredoms;” Hos. 4:6, (b) she persecuted and destroyed her children; Ezek. 16:20, 21, “Moreover thou hast taken thy sons and daughters whom thou hast borne unto me, and these hast thou sacrificed unto them to be devoured. Is this of thy whoredoms a small matter, that thou hast slain my children,” etc.; (c) hence the increase that would have resulted had she proven faithful, was, owing to her wickedness, not realized, Hos. 9:14–17; (d) by her sinfulness she defeated the gracious purposes of God respecting her. This is apparent from numerous declarations in which God promises to her to perform such and such things if she only prove faithful. The lamentation of Jesus over her is sufficient evidence. The nation, persistent in its evil course, instead of blessings receives the curse which is productive of barrenness; (e) she brings forth fruit unto herself and not of God, Hos. 10:1, “begotten strange children,” Hos. 5:7. (3) She is not only a “barren” but “a desolate woman.” In view of the wickedness of the nation God forsook her and in wrath hid His face from her (vs. 7, 8), so that in verse 6 she is called “a woman forsaken;” and, owing to this forsaken condition, in verse 4 it is designated by way of reproach a “widowhood” (a condition, notwithstanding the assertions of some, that can never be applied to the Church). How amply this has been fulfilled is evident from Scripture (Ezek. 16:36, etc., Hos. 2, etc.), and from history. Down to the present day she is yet in her “widowhood,” yet “a woman forsaken,” yet “judged as a woman that breaketh wedlock.” Right here the reader may pause and ask, if all this has been so minutely fulfilled that it is a matter of record in the languages of the earth, will not the remainder, also asserted of this very “forsaken woman,” be verified? Certainly!

Obs. 3. Who is this “married wife” that is contrasted with the other? For two women are spoken of, “the barren woman” and “the married wife,”and some things are asserted of the one that do not pertain to the other. If our line of argument has been noticed, there will be no difficulty in recognizing this “married wife.” After “the barren woman,” i.e Jewish nation, had forsaken her husband, and God had, owing to her sinfulness, forsaken her, God takes to Himself another wife, here called “the married wife” to distinguish her from “the desolate” one. If we open the Bible and read what follows the rejection of the Jewish nation and its miserable fall, we find that God during this period of abandonment proceeds to raise up a seed unto Abraham of those, out of all nations, who fear and obey God. (See Prop. on election and continued election.) It is this seed, this nation thus gathered to whom the Kingdom in a high, special sense is to be given—i.e. they also will be married, i.e., enter into this Theocratical relationship with God. This seed is said in the New Test. in its aggregate (not before) to form “the chaste virgin,” “the Bride” that is to be married just previous to the ushering in of the Millennial age at the Sec. Advent of Christ, 2 Cor. 11:2; Eph. 5:27; Rev. 19:7, 9. This too, of course, as intimated in the text, and as necessarily included in our argument, occurs here on earth previous to the restoration of the Jews. It is a matter of profound admiration to see how harmoniously the spirit speaks, even in the most delicate of figures, through inspired men separated by intervening centuries. There is a marriage, i.e., such a Theocratic affinity, consummated at the coming of the Bridegroom, which gives the saints the inexpressible privilege and honor of reigning with Christ. In Gal. 4 the apostle contrasts these two women. Those gathered out of this dispensation are “the children of promise,” i.e. inherit with Abraham, and they are the children of the New Jerusalem, she being “our mother,” i.e. when the New Jerusalem comes down from God out of heaven, they are identified with her, etc. But, on the other hand, the earthly Jerusalem is the mother of those in bondage, i.e. of those who are now “forsaken.” The earthly Jerusalem is the central figure of the power and glory of the Jewish nation, and this runs its allotted course now in bondage and in cruel subjection, now grievously “desolate,” etc. (But will she remain thus?) The New Jerusalem is the central figure of the power and glory of this gathered seed, who in this married state inherit the promises that “the barren woman,” owing to her unfaithfulness, has forfeited, viz., that of being specially associated with Christ as Rulers, etc., in this Theocratic Kingdom. The reader’s indulgence for proof is asked until we come to the Propositions pertaining to the reign, etc., of these saints, showing that, although identified with it, yet they are a separate distinguished body in point of honor and privileges from the restored Jewish nation. The apostle’s quotation from Isa. (Gal. 4:27), and immediate reference to inheriting, indicates that his eye of faith was directed to this “married wife.” What follows in Isaiah’s prediction is evidence of the correctness of our deductions, preserving a connected series in the order of events.*

Obs. 4. For, this “barren,” “forsaken,” “desolate,” and “widowed” one is again reconciled. In the fourth and fifth verses it is said, that she shall forget her shame and her widowhood because “thy Maker is thy Husband,” and a mighty increase of children is to result from God thus again receiving her back. Therefore, most impressively it is stated: “For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment, but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer.” This reception and subsequent union, under the figure of marriage, is delineated in many places. To keep within the shadow of the same, men may argue that God will utterly forget His marriage vows most solemnly given when He took to wife this nation, but, however unfaithful she has been, God, as the prophets testify, is faithful to His own. Hence the intense beauty and force of Hos. 2, where, after describing the desolation and sorrows of this “barren woman;” after declaring “she is not my wife, neither am I her husband,” the prophet goes on to predict that the day is coming when God shall again “speak comfortably unto her” and “she shall sing as in the days of her youth,” and she shall “call me Ishi,” i.e. My Husband (marg. reading), for “I will betroth thee unto me forever,” etc. So Isa. 49:13–17 declares how the Lord will comfort this afflicted one, although she, “Zion said: The Lord hath forsaken me and my Lord hath forgotten me.” The reply comes: “Can a woman forget her sucking child, that she should not have compassion on the son of her womb? Yea, they may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me. Thy children shall make haste; thy destroyers and they that made thee waste shall go forth of thee.” God cannot, will not forsake this woman, but intends, such is His purpose, to restore her to favor. A thousand predictions proclaim it. As if purposely to meet the objection that some urge, viz., that this woman is put away forever (Isa. 50:1), God asks of the Jews at Babylon: “Where is the bill of your mother’s divorcement whom I have put away, or which of my creditors is it to whom I have sold you? Behold for your iniquities have ye sold yourselves, and for your transgressions is your mother put away.” Keeping in view that the mother is Jerusalem (Gal. 4, etc.), we may ask to-day, where is that bill of perpetual divorcement? It has no existence; it never was given; the estrangement that God Himself asserts arose not from such a divorcement, but was owing to their transgressions. The bond is indissoluble, although a temporary separation intervenes. If man desires to see in this matter the most amazing condescension and unalterable love in God, let him ponder well Jer. 3:1–22, and notice that “the bill of divorce” in the case of Israel is only a temporary one, and is the fruit of her own doings, verse 20, and that a blessed reconciliation will yet be effected.

Obs. 5. Notice the increase of this “barren woman.” The most astounding assertion is made which those not conversant with Scripture will regard as contrary to fact, viz., that the children of “the barren woman” shall be more than the children of “the married wife.” This is the Divine purpose. (1) In reference to “the married wife,” i.e. the elect, royal, chosen body of kings and priests, gathered out and associated with Christ, no such increase as is attributed to “the barren woman” can be ascribed, seeing that they are glorified saints of whom Jesus Himself tells us that they “neither marry nor are given in marriage.” They compose a definite, determined number to which none are to be added and from which none are to be taken. Their peculiar relationship to Jesus as co-heirs, their identity with Him in acts of judgeship, etc., is well represented under the figure of marriage, the most intimate and endearing of earthly relations. But of this marriage relation no increase of children can be predicated, seeing that its number is fixed. This wife is the inheritor of the Kingdom, i.e. exalted to actual possession of its governmental power, etc., with her Bridegroom Jesus Christ, and “flesh and blood” cannot inherit or attain to this power. (Prop. on Reign, etc.) Besides this, the idea of the original may be that “the married wife” with all the increase which such an elect body has attained to, although in the aggregate large, is comparatively small when contrasted with that which shall characterize the Jewish nation when restored. That is, “the married wife” are “the few” saved when compared with “the many” that shall experience God’s favor in, and through, this “barren woman.” (2) “The Barren Woman” being restored, as we have seen, shall have a wonderful increase of children, so that she is called on to enlarge her habitation to receive them. There is a remarkable contrast given by the Spirit for the wise, who compare Scripture, through David in Ps. 113. For, at the very time that God’s poor and needy are remembered “to set them with princes even with the princes of His people” (which only occurs when this Kingdom and Mill. era is ushered in), it is added: “He making the barren woman (Jewish nation) to keep house (marg. reading: to dwell in a house, i.e. the Theocratic-Davidic house, as covenant calls it the ‘house’) and to be a joyful mother of children.” The same idea of increase is conveyed under another form in Isa. 49. After describing the restoration of this nation, calling on heaven and earth to sing for the comfort and mercy extended to “the forsaken” one, the prophet predicts: “Thy waste and thy desolate places and the land of thy destruction shall even now be too narrow by reason of the inhabitants, and they that swallowed thee up shall be far away. The children which thou shalt have, after thou hast lost the other, shall say again in thine ears, The place is too strait for me; give place to me that I may dwell. Then shalt thou say in thine heart, Who hath begotten me these, seeing I have lost my children and am desolate, a captive and removing to and fro,” etc. Many and precious are the predictions relating to this increase, and if the reader will peruse such as are contained in Isa. chs. 60, 61, 62, etc., he may then form a faint idea how unexampled, vast, and glorious it will be. Notwithstanding those plain predictions, such is the unbelief of many, that it almost seems necessary to send again the angel to say, Zech. 2:3–5, “Jerusalem shall be inhabited as towns without walls for the multitude of men and cattle therein,” and as if to check such lack of faith, “for I, saith the Lord, will be unto her a wall of fire round about, and will be the glory in the midst of her.” Well may infidels smile and laugh, when professed believers, learned men, not seeing that the restoration always connected with it looks beyond the first one from Babylon, narrow such magnificent promises of the Almighty God down into a dwarfed, enfeebled fulfilment in the past. No! the early Church, the pious Jews, regarded by many as very “weak” and possessing only “the germ” of truth in “a materialistic husk,” had at least nobler conceptions of God’s promises and a higher estimate of His faithfulness than to emasculate the Word in this manner.

Obs. 6. Let the foundation of the promise of this increase be especially noticed. After describing this increase, and that He shall again be her husband, we have the unalterable determination of God to bring it to pass: “For this is as the waters of Noah unto me; for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth, so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee nor rebuke thee. For the mountains shall depart and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the Lord that hath mercy on thee.” This fully accords with Ezek. 16, where, after being informed how God married Jerusalem (i.e. established His Theocratic relationship there), how she became barren, how she was forsaken and punished for her sins, it is finally added: “Nevertheless (i.e. notwithstanding the past) I will remember my covenant with thee in the days of thy youth, and I will establish unto thee an everlasting covenant,” i.e. He will make manifest that “the sure mercies of David” are, as David calls it, “an everlasting covenant”—i.e. one that cannot be broken or altered. Then the prophet continues, filled with the Spirit to meet objections: “And I will establish my covenant with thee, and thou shalt know that I am the Lord. That thou mayest remember and be confounded and never open thy mouth any more because of thy shame, when I am pacified toward thee for all that thou hast done, saith the Lord.” Now, if we turn to the basis of this promise in the covenant made with Abraham, we read of an increase which has never yet been realized in the history of God’s people. Thus, Gen. 22:16, 17, “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing and hast not withheld thy Son, thine only Son, that in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven and as the sand which is upon the sea shore, and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies.” So Gen. 15:5; 13:16; 26:4; 28:14; 32:12. These are not proverbial sayings, as some imagine, indicating simply a multitude, etc., for occurring in a covenant sworn to by God they become intensified. They have not been fulfilled in the Jewish nation thus far, for (1) this increase is to take place when the seed Christ inherits the land; (2) it is connected with a period after a certain restoration to their land; (3) after the Jewish nation had passed through its brief period of prosperity, etc., and it had begun to enter upon its desolate condition, the increase founded on this covenant is still predicted by the prophets as future. Thus, e.g. Hos. 1:10, “Yet the number of the children of Israel shall be as the sand of the sea which cannot be measured nor numbered, and it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people, there it shall be said unto them, Ye are the sons of the living God.” (4) Isa. 49:17, 18 says that if the nation had hearkened to the commandments of God, “thy seed also had been as the sand and the offspring of thy bowels like the gravel thereof,” showing that disobedience deferred its fulfilment. (5) That it is future, notwithstanding the partial fulfilment under the Mosaic and present dispensations appears from what Jer. 33:22 mentions. For, giving a Millennial description, vividly portraying the glory of the coming Davidic Kingdom, and testifying that “the covenant” which God made cannot be broken, he appends: “As the host of heaven cannot be numbered, neither the sand of the seas measured, so will I multiply the seed of David my servant and the Levites that minister unto me.” (6) In the Mill. delineations we have repeated assurances that after the restoration of this “barren woman” this increase shall be so great that, Ezek. 36:10, 11, 37, 38, “I will multiply men upon you, all the house of Israel, even all of it; and the cities shall be inhabited and the wastes shall be builded. And I will multiply upon you man and beast; and they shall increase and bring fruit; and I will settle you after your old estates and will do better unto you than at your beginnings; and ye shall know that I am the Lord,” etc. Jer. 31:27, “Behold the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man and with the seed of beast. And it shall come to pass that like as I have watched over them to pluck up and to break down and to throw down and to destroy and to afflict, so will I watch over them to build and to plant, saith the Lord.” Who can resist such evidence as this, when the folly of spiritualizing away such promises is properly, and perhaps designedly, checkmated by the direct allusions to the multiplication of beasts—creation itself participating in these times of restoration? Who can resist the declaration made by God in Isa. 49:3–8, or in Isa. 27:6, etc., unless he is regardless of what specially belongs to the nation as such, and appropriates to Gentile nations what is not promised to them.

Obs. 7. The stability of this promise to “the Barren Woman” of increase is worthy of attention. (1) Her Husband is no ordinary one; He is (v. 5) “the Lord of Hosts” and her “Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, the God of the whole earth shall He be called.” He will verify His own promises. (2) The assurance given (v. 8) that the long period of Jewish tribulation and desolation, embracing century after century of “widowhood,” is only “for a moment,” i.e. a brief space of time, when compared with “the everlasting kindness” that she shall experience when again reconciled to her Husband. Thus we have again indicated the abiding covenanted relationship of this nation. (3) His covenant, as firm and immovable as that contracted with Noah, v. 9, is thus made with this “barren woman.” (4) His covenant with her more enduring than the mountains and hills, v. 10. (5) He is not merely bound to her by a promise, which in itself is sure, but by an oath, v. 9. This oath is found originally in the Abrahamic covenant, commencing (Gen. 22:16), “By myself have I sworn, saith the Lord,” etc. It is adverted to in Luke 1:73; Heb. 6:13, 14, etc. This marriage relation is confirmed by what Paul calls an “immutable thing.” The same oath was made to David, Psls. 89, 132, etc. Therefore, we may well say with Micah 7:20, who, after stating the restoration of this “barren woman,” remarks: “Thou wilt perform the truth to Jacob and the mercy to Abraham, which Thou hast sworn unto our Fathers from the days of old.” (6) All things are under the control of this husband, vs. 16 and 17, and no adverse events can prevent this reconciliation. His power is superior to the performance of the promise, and therefore this “barren woman” is exhorted, v. 4, “Fear not,” etc. She has no cause for apprehension, “For the Lord of Hosts has purposed, and who shall disannul it? and His hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back?” Therefore God says so emphatically by Jer. 31:35–37.

Obs. 8. The period when this reconciliation with “the barren,” “desolate,” and “forsaken woman” is effected. (1) It is after the nation is gathered, v. 7, restored nationally to Jerusalem and the Holy Land; for the Theocratic relationship, the marriage is restored, and then, as shown, the increase will be witnessed. (2) It is after “the married wife” is elevated to the New Jerusalem state, after the New Jerusalem (the one Mother) has completed the elect number of her children, that “the barren woman” is reinstated and has her promised abundance of children. This most accurately corresponds—showing the Divine Spirit revealing these precious things—with the condition of things in Rev., when the nations that are saved, after the erection, etc., of the New Jerusalem state, walk in the light of it and kings of the earth bring their honor and glory to it. This “barren woman” is to rejoice in the blessings added by this New Jerusalem state as appears from vs. 11, 12, 13, etc., compared with Rev. 21 and 22, and Isa. 60, etc. (3) It is when the Mill. age is ushered in; which is already confirmed by the passages quoted. (4) The extraordinary versatility of the Spirit in exhibiting this matter is seen in Hos. 3. A remarkable command is given to the prophet. He is ordered to take a woman, an adulteress, forsaken but still loved. This was a type of the Jewish nation, forsaken but still “beloved,” “according to the love of the Lord toward the children of Israel;” and the action of the prophet is symbolic, indicating that God also is waiting to receive “an adulteress,” forsaken woman. Then the direct application of the symbolic representation follows: viz., that Israel shall thus be forsaken “many days” having no Theocratic relationship with her God, but that “afterward” they shall again return and fully realize it in “the Lord their God and David their King.” That is, the woman, i.e. nation, guilty of sin, and long punished for the same, shall be reinstated in the old relationship that she sustained to her Husband. And this, as parallel passages prove, is when the Jews are restored, and Mill. blessedness is introduced by the setting up of the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom. (5) This is done at the time, as we have previously shown, when a confederation is gathered against this “barren woman.” For, in verse 15, it is said: “Behold they shall surely gather together, but not by me; whosoever shall gather together against thee shall fall for thy sake.” Just such a confederation arises and endeavors to prevent the Jewish nation from reoccupying their city and land, and, as here intimated, meets with a complete overthrow. This sufficiently identifies the period of reinstation to Divine favor. Prov. 15:25 will yet be fulfilled (comp. Props. 161 and 163).

Obs. 9. Briefly, as it also serves to fill out the identification of this “barren woman,” we may regard the altered condition of this woman when thus reconciled. She was forsaken, desolate, in reproachful widowhood, but now again in intimate relationship with her former husband clad as He will clothe her; fed as He will feed her; dwelling as He will place her; she is to sing and break forth into singing (so also Zeph. 3:14; Isa. 49:13; Isa. 12:6; Zech. 2:10, etc). She shall also inherit (v. 3) the Gentiles, thus indicating her national supremacy over all other nations. (Prop. 114). She shall be “far from oppression,” she “shall not fear,” etc., as she once endured and suffered. “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment shalt thou condemn.” All her children shall be taught of the Lord, and great shall be their peace, etc.

Obs. 10. If we take all these particulars, and see how minutely they are given; how all the prophets, separated by ages, so accurately preserve the shading of the most delicate figures to teach who this woman is, what her present and then her future condition, how distinguished, etc., it seems almost incredible that the wisdom of man, so freely exercised over these things, should, as in multitudes of instances, cast them aside as “Jewish,” etc., just as if God was not the Husband of a Jewish wife; just as if God was like unto man and could and would forever, against His protestations solemnly given to the contrary, break His marital relations.

Obs. 11. With the Spirit insisting upon the unalterable covenant relationship that this “barren woman” sustains to her Husband, what folly it is for churches, religious organizations, fanatical bodies, and Gentile nations to assume that they compose this Barren Woman, and are to exhibit this increase, etc. It would be, if not so fearful a perversion of Scripture, simply ridiculous. Need we wonder that the Spirit complains of the lack of faith that men shall manifest, when such unwarranted pretensions are seriously set forth, upheld, and defended?*

Obs. 12. The observant student will not fail to notice the Oneness that exists between the Father and the Son in this marriage relation (i.e. Theocratical) with this woman. What is said of God is directly asserted of His Son; and when the Holy One of Israel occupies the Theocratic-Davidic throne, restoring the ancient relationship, it is positively asserted that God does this for the Divine Ruler, the God who formerly condescended to act as Israel’s earthly Ruler is again favoring the nation in and through David’s Son. This might easily be developed into a strong argument for the divinity of Jesus Christ.

Obs. 13. If the two women thus married, i.e. received in Theocratic connection, are thus properly distinguished the one from the other, and their mutual standing is observed and discriminated in the Coming Kingdom, new light is thrown on many of the more obscure allusions to the same in the Word. Thus, e.g. in Ps. 45, where the heart of the Psalmist (marg. reading) “boils or bubbles up a good matter” “things touching the King,” he describes the beauty of this King’s appearance, the dreadful overthrow of His enemies, the establishment of His throne, and then we have a distinction made between several women. For we have (1) “the Queen in gold of Ophir (Justin, in garments of gold, variegated,) standing upon thy right hand;” (2) “King’s daughters (i.e. other nations) were among thy honorable women;” (3) the King’s daughter, her clothing of wrought gold; (4) the virgins that accompany her; (5) the daughter of Tyre. This corresponds with what has been said, viz., that one, “the married wife,” sustains a peculiar relation to this King, and that the Jewish nation is also restored, glorified through her, and that other nations will acknowledge the same and minister to her, and this is after this King’s hand has performed the “terrible things” upon His “enemies.”*

Obs. 14. When this marriage relation is renewed with “the barren” one, the King Himself will be present, and tender Himself, too, in a way that will prove irresistably attractive, as David and others represent. Comp. Zeph. 3; Isa. 12:6, etc. The happiness and glory of the once desolate woman are invariably connected with an abiding, accessible King dwelling with her.

Obs. 15. Will the reader pause and reflect to what special privilege and honor we are invited in this dispensation, viz., to an identification with and participation in the blessings of “the married wife.” She, indeed, will number less than that of the other one when God’s purposes are all carried out, but her lot is the more exalted and ennobling, as her “Mother” is the greater and nobler.*

Obs. 16. If it is our happy lot to be identified with this “married wife,” then we shall see with our own eyes the fulfilment of this prophecy respecting “the barren woman.” Now we behold her forsaken; then we shall see this same desolate woman restored to favor, re-entering her married state, bringing forth her increase, revelling in happiness and glory. But we shall not only see it, but even be employed with Christ as instruments in promoting and extending the “great mercies,” “the everlasting kindness” showed unto her. May God indeed grant that our eyes may see her “fair colored stones,” her “sapphire foundations,” her “agate windows,” her “gates of carbuncles,” her “borders of pleasant stones,” and the unspeakable “peace” of “her children.” The student must never forget that the New Jerusalem state and that of this woman are inseparable at the period of her restoration; the former adding to the glory of the latter, being virtually the outgrowth, the first-fruits, of her covenanted relationship.

PROPOSITION 119. The Kingdom of God in the Millennial descriptions is represented in restoring all the forfeited blessings.

Attention is only called to the fact, that, explain it as we may, when this Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom is represented in the portrayal of the Millennial era as existing, it embraces a restoration of blessings forfeited by sin. The prophets instead of separating that age from this restitution, making the latter, as many suppose, a result to follow afterward, distinctly unite them. Now, this, as the argument thus far demands, is requisite to preserve the Divine order in the re-establishment of the Kingdom, seeing that it involves a resurrected, immortal David’s Son, resurrected and immortal Ruler, and the fulfilment of covenant promises designed when accomplished to remove evil, sorrow, suffering, etc.

Obs. 1. Three cautions are in place here: (1) Not to disconnect what the prophets have linked together as belonging to the same period of time here on earth. (2) Not to imagine that everything mentioned is to be instantaneously or quickly performed—time being required for the full realization of what may be commenced at the beginning of this age. The exceeding brevity and sometimes obscure allusions admonish us to be guarded in our deductions. (3) Not to force an interpretation which is directly opposed by other Scriptures, and then leave the same without the least attempt at reconciliation. Thus e.g. in Isa. 2:1–4, we read: “Neither shall they learn war any more,” etc., upon which Alexander (so Barnes and others) comments: “War ceases, the very knowledge of the art is lost,” etc. But as these commentators apply Isa. 2:1–4 to the Church before the Sec. Advent of Christ, they fail to inform us what to do with the passages which teach, positively, that wars exist, more or less, down to the very Advent itself, thus leaving no room for such a period of time as Isaiah describes. Such interpretation is not only misleading, but it darkens precious truth, and inspires hopes that misguide, and is the result of not regarding the general scope of prophecy.*

Obs. 2. As it is our purpose merely to show how the Spirit locates the performance of these things (preparatory to following Propositions), a brief summary of some of them must suffice. 1. Salvation is repeatedly predicated of this period. Indeed, the burden of prophecy concerning this era is Salvation, abundant and most glorious. God then is the Saviour—the Holy One of Israel is the Saviour, and Salvation comes to His people. And such is the significance of it, that it stands forth as the Salvation, the predicted, pre-eminent Salvation. Great is the number of passages bearing this impression, only a few of which we cite, sufficient to convey our idea, viz., such as Isa. 12:2; Isa. 49:26; Isa. 26:1; Isa. 35:4; Jer. 23:6; Jer. 30:7; Ezek. 37:23, etc. When this Mill. day comes, then, Isa. 25:9, “it shall be said in that day, Lo this is our God; we have waited for Him and He will save us; this is the Lord; we have waited for Him, we will be glad and rejoice in His salvation.” Salvation is likewise ascribed to the Sec. Advent, as e.g. Heb. 9:28, etc. 2. Then is verified the promise (Gen. 3:15) that “the seed of the woman shall bruise the serpent’s head” (comp. Rom. 16:20 and Rev. 20:2, 3), Satan being bound, and the victory gained over him, all evil capable of injuring God’s people is removed, and this freedom from Satanic power is an exultant portion of these Mill. descriptions. So complete, too, is the same that no sorrow, crying, etc., is to be experienced. 3. The world beholds a change of Princes. Compare e.g. John 14:30 with Rev. 11:15, when the sovereignty of this world is taken from “the Prince of this world” and given to Christ in open manifestation. 4. The original sovereign dominion over all given to Adam at Creation (Gen. 1:28) and forfeited by sin, is restored by the Second Adam (Ps. 8:6, comp. with Heb. 2:8; Dan. 7, etc.). 5. The judges and counsellors shall be restored as at first, Isa. 1:26; and they will be righteous, Isa. 32:1; Isa. 60:17; Jer. 30:21. 6. The righteous dead will be raised up, so that death is swallowed up in victory, Isa. 25, etc. 7. The saints shall participate in the dominion over the earth, Dan. 7:21, 22; Rev. 20:4; Isa. 32:1, etc. 8. This divine rule so entirely subjects the world that all enemies are destroyed, Zech. 14; Dan. 7, etc. 9. Christ is the King, Micah 4:1–7; Zech. 9:10, etc. 10. War will cease and universal peace be experienced, Isa. 2; Micah 4, etc. 11. There will be a general diffusion of revealed truth, Isa. 11:9; Isa. 25:7, etc. 12. Universal intelligence will characterize the people, Isa. 54:13; Jer. 31:34. 13. Holiness is remarkably exhibited in all, Isa. 60:21; Isa. 52:1; Zech. 14:20, 21. 14. The Jews are to be gathered from all places of their dispersion and enjoy their land of old, Isa. 11; Zech. 8, etc. 15. The Jews will be aided and joined by the Gentiles, Isa. 49:22; Ezek. 48:22, 23; Zech. 8:20–23, etc. 16. The Jewish nation sustains a pre-eminency, Micah 4:8; Zech. 12:6–9, etc. 17. The Jewish nation a great blessing to other nations, Zech. 8:13; Rom. 11:26, 27, etc. 18. Jerusalem shall be the metropolis, Zech. 14:17–21; Isa. 24:23, etc. 19. The Spirit is marvellously poured out, Ezek. 11:19; Joel 2:28–32, etc. 20. All things shall be used as consecrated to God, Zech. 14:20; Isa. 23:18, etc. 21. The Jewish nation no longer divided, Isa. 11:13, 14; Jer. 50:4, etc. 22. There will be an increase of revelation, Joel 2:28; Isa. 2:3, etc. 23. A mighty increase of population will be witnessed, Isa. 49:19, 20; Jer. 30:18–20, etc. 24. Great rejoicing and praise owing to restoration, Jer. 33:11; Isa. 51:3, etc. 25. Great prosperity evidencing increased progress in all that tends to promote the welfare and happiness of man, Zech. 8:12; Isa. 60, etc. 26. Jerusalem, rebuilt and the metropolis, shall never be destroyed, etc., Jer. 31:38–40; Joel 3:17, etc. 27. A renewal of earth will be experienced, Isa. 65:17; Isa. 66:22, etc. 28. Perfect union will exist, Isa. 52:8; Isa. 49:23, etc. 29. Riches will abound, Isa. 60:5, 9, 17, etc. 30. There will be no famine, Ezek. 36:29–35, etc. 31. Sickness will be removed, Isa. 33:24, etc. 32. Happy old age, bride and bridegroom rejoicing, boys and girls playing, deaf, blind, lame, etc., restored, fear absent—in brief, all the blessings that mortal man can properly desire are embraced in these portrayals, Zech. 8; Isa. 35; Isa. 33, etc. All these things are directly, by the Prophets, assigned to this very period of time.

Obs. 3. But several particulars are owing to their being so generally overlooked, worthy of more extended mention. 1. The fruitfulness of the land, Amos 9:13; Isa. 29:17; Ezek. 34:26, 27; Joel 3:18; Isa. 35:1–9; Hos. 2:21; Isa. 54:12, 13; Jer. 31:5, 6; Isa. 60:13–17; Zech. 8:12; Isa. 65:25; Ezek. 36:8, 29, 30, 35, etc. This has been the object of ridicule by some (and we might quote very unjust things ascribed to our view), just as if the earth in this respect was not now placed under a curse (Gen. 3:18, 19), as if such a deliverance from the curse were not desirable to man, and as if God had not by direct promises of renewal determined to bring back the land to the Eden-like state (Isa. 51:3) forfeited by sin. If this curse is not removed, then, as many theologians have well observed, one of the blessings forfeited is not restored, and Redemption in so far would be incomplete. The Bible, however, presents no such imperfect deliverance, and hence all reliable systems of theology have our feature, more or less prominently, in some way incorporated. The unfairness toward us is manifested by refusal in some to accept of the discrimination which we make, viz., that this fruitfulness, planting, etc., is designed for the nations in the flesh (which all Millenarians expressly teach), and persistently ascribing to our view, what we deny, viz., that all relating to this fruitfulness, culture of the earth, etc., is purposed for the glorified saints. 2. Great miracles will be performed at that time, Isa. 11:15, 16; Zech. 14:4; Isa. 27:12; Micah 7:15; Isa. 19:20; Micah 2:12, 13, etc. Indeed, the entire current of prediction impresses the idea that the most astounding, marvellous events shall be then witnessed—in the removal of enemies; in the restoration of the Jews; in the resurrection and glorification of saints; in the uniting, as declared to Nathanael (John 1:51), of the heavenly with the earthly, so that the angels of God shall be seen ascending and descending; in the fulfilment of the promise (John 14:12) that the believers of Christ shall perform the miraculous works of Jesus. Having shown that this Kingdom, in the nature of the case, demanded miraculous interference (Prop. 6), that the miracles of Christ are an earnest (Prop. 7) that these things are predicted, it can be readily seen that the persons engaged in this work, Jesus Christ and His associated glorified brethren, with the mighty angels, are abundantly able to verify all these predictions. Therefore, mighty and supernatural as the work is, our faith is constantly urged to steadfastness by the appeal that God will perform it, either directly or by imparting the ability. 3. The original grant of land to the Jews will then also be confirmed, Gen. 15:13–21; Ex. 23:31; Deut. 11:22, and extended. The boundaries given are the Mediterranean, the Nile and the Euphrates; thus including places not before possessed. Some indeed (Horne’s Introd., vol. 2, p. 12) think that in David’s and Solomon’s reign this was the extent, but others more accurately narrow their dominion in actual possession. Whatever may be the fact in reference to past fulfilment, three things are very evident, (a) that a portion was not held by the Jews, excepting by a precarious tributary arrangement; (b) that it was only thus possessed for a short time, and hence is no ways commensurate with the promise; (c) that the predictions relating to the future take it as a matter of course that at the future restoration this will be effected, seeing that all the covenant promises are then to be realized. 4. In connection with the outward manifestation of the Kingdom, the Millennial predictions indicate the greatest outpouring and cultivation of the graces of the Spirit. Indeed, all spiritual blessings are included; none that is desirable is excluded, for while not only an abundance of joy, peace, etc., in the Holy Ghost is given, others are added, by faith giving place to sight, hope to realization. All Millenarian writers of the early Church, as well as modern, have held to the spirituality connected with this Kingdom, and freely expressed their hopes of “communion and unity of spiritual things with the holy angels” (Irenæus), etc.* 5. The New Jerusalem blessings, the blessings of the restoration, etc., are inseparably connected in the Millennial descriptions. This is readily seen by comparing e.g. Isa., chs. 25, or 54, or 60, with Rev. 21 and 22. God has thus joined them together, and we cannot, without violence, separate them. But this will be explained hereafter. 6. The Kingdom itself will be a great blessing over the earth, being designed for this very purpose. There is a beautiful representation of this in Ps. 65, where, after declaring that God will answer the prayer of His people “by terrible things in righteousness,” He will then enrich the earth “with the river of God which is full of water” (river being representative of Kingdom—thus used) so that “the year” (viz., “the year of the redeemed,” Isa. 63:4, i.e. the Sabbatical year) is “crowned with goodness” and the earth with “fatness.” 7. Language itself has been corrupted by sin, for the confusion of tongues and consequent dispersion of mankind followed (Gen. 11) an exhibition of pride and arrogance; it is therefore reasonable to suppose that an era which is again to bind the nations together and to bring them, through representatives, etc., to a central point of union and worship, should restore the forfeited unity of language. This seems to be intimated in Zeph. 3:9; Isa. 32:4, etc. At least, we have a significant instance given (Acts 2:4) which shows, that as the Spirit is also marvellously poured out in this period, He can impart what power He pleases over the use of language. 8. Taking the language in its literal aspect, there appears to be described the intervention of miraculous power in behalf of diseases, as e.g. even so obscure an allusion as Isa. 53:4, 5, is quoted Matt. 8:17 as applicable to the removal of bodily infirmities. Having such a warrant, the plainer predictions can scarcely be applied in any other manner. 9. Christ “shall be a priest upon His throne,” Zech. 6:13, being a priest forever after the order of Melchizedek (Ps. 110:4). This is essential to our faith in order to preserve the consistency of the design of this Kingdom over the nations of the earth. Hence all Millenarians accept of it as a cardinal point in their system over against the Popish view, which makes this priesthood to cease at the end of this age. 10. A materialistic element pervades the Millennial descriptions, chiefly confined to the Jewish and Gentile nations, and the earth. This is the rock upon which so many strike, regarding it inconsistent with the future state of the righteous, etc. Aside from, what we have stated concerning the humanity of Jesus, how the Kingdom is promised to David’s Son, evincing His continued humanity, although glorified—aside from the continued humanity of the saints (although also glorified), and their reign here on earth, it is sufficient for the present to say, that if the Millennial predictions lacked this materialistic feature, a very important and essential one would be missing in Redemption. Is it not true, that the materialistic Eden was forfeited by sin, that man, composed of soul, spirit, and body, is fallen under the curse, that a material creation groans under the same; and is it not also true that if there is no deliverance of this material portion, Redemption in so far is incomplete? Extremes are here to be avoided; gross materialism on the one hand, and a general or universal spiritualism on the other. If God pronounced a material Eden very good; if it is linked with the most glorious period of Christ’s reign; if it is united with the highest spiritual good; if it has been assumed by God Himself to bring Himself condescendingly in contact with humanity, then surely we ought to be guarded, lest in ultra-spiritualism or in ultra-materialism we mar the truth of God, bring reproach upon His work, and diminish the perfection of Redemption.

Obs. 4. Take all these particulars (others will hereafter be mentioned in detail), and see how they are identified with the Kingdom of God as it shall exist in the future. Receiving the Divine utterances and placing them together, it is found that a glorious Redemption is to be experienced at that time. Before this era is entered into, these blessings cannot be realized; and therefore we find in the predictions relating to this present age or dispensation no such forfeited blessings are restored. This is seen in numerous instances. Thus e.g. the parables of the tares and net indicate it; the prophecy of Jesus in Matt. 24, which gives an epitome of Jewish history to the ending of the times of the Gentiles, and to the Advent, has no such Millennium introduced; in the reply of Paul to the Thessalonians respecting the nearness of the Advent of Jesus he gives, as a distinctive intervening mark, the spirit and continued progress of the Apostasy and Antichrist, but no Millennial era; the prophet Daniel delineates Gentile domination as existing down to the Coming of the Son of Man followed by Millennial dominion, etc., which was not verified at the First Advent, seeing that the same domination continued after that Advent and still continues. So carefully does the Spirit corroborate our position, that in no case, chronologically or in any other way, is the least encouragement given to anticipate the re-bestowal of forfeited blessings anterior to the ushering in of this Kingdom, and accompanying Millennial bliss, by the Advent of Jesus Christ.

Obs. 5. The folly of making the Millennial era one that is past. The theory of Grotius, Prideaux, Vint, Bush, etc., which dates the beginning of this age from the overthrow of Paganism under Constantine (A.D. 323); that of Hengstenberg and others, dating it from Charlemagne (A.D. 800), that of Popish doctors ascribing its rise to the preaching or death of Christ, to the destruction of Jerusalem, etc.; in brief, all theories that locate this period in the past do so by a palpable violation of the order laid down in Scripture, and of facts in history, which cannot by any fair interpretation be made to accord with a fulfilment of prediction.* Therefore it happens, that the ablest writers in opposition to our views frankly concede that the Millennial era is still future. Thus e.g. Fairbairn (On Prophecy, p. 432) unhesitatingly places it in the future, and regards “as utterly futile all the attempts that have been made to accommodate the terms of the description to any period in the past.” This is emphatically true, for during the past no such blessings as the Millennial descriptions portray have been realized; persecution, trial, suffering, etc., have, more or less, characterized the Church’s history. Even if we confine ourselves to the statement in Rev. 20:1–7 (which is only a very small portion of the whole), the world has never yet witnessed such a binding of Satan, such a restrainment of his influences and power, such an exemption of nations from his deception, such a resurrection and reigning with Christ, such a resurrection of the rest of the dead, etc., as is therein described. Simple truth requires us to say, that any one who can ascribe to an era of time swarming with heresies, outrages against truth, superstitions the most vile, etc., the characteristics of predicted Millennial blessedness, whatever his ability and learning, must certainly be fettered and prejudiced by some system which makes such a revolting transposition necessary. And the application of prophecy in this direction is sufficient evidence that the system of interpretation which fosters it is radically wrong.

Obs. 6. The same is true of the theory which ascribes this Millennial period to the present dispensation. For it only requires a survey of the blessings connected with this era, and two things follow: (1) that they cannot possibly be realized in this dispensation by the use of present instrumentalities, seeing that to produce them demands superadded power, etc.; (2) that such Millennial happiness is inconsistent with the predicted state of the Church and of the world during the existence of this period down to the ending of it. How can we reconcile e.g. the mixed condition, state of suffering, war, etc., expressly affirmed to be characteristics of this dispensation to its very close, with the purity, freedom from evil, peace, etc., of the promised Millennium?

Obs. 7. This also teaches the absurdity of totally ignoring the subject, as if it were a species of exaggerated human prediction. It is true, that such an era, “a golden age,” has been desired by man in various ages. Writers quote Plato, Plutarch, Virgil, Seneca, Chinese ancient books, Persian Magi, Mexicans, etc., even including rude and uncultivated nations, Indians and barbarians, who either locate such an era in the past or in the future, and from this argue that it is a sentiment common to man, and that the Bible falls into the same general current of uninspired desire. But they forget the great and unmeasurable difference between these heathen utterances and that of the Word of God. The former are disconnected, incoherent, individual expressions, often obscure, etc., while the latter forms part of a regular system, maintains a consistent and regular connection in it, is necessary to the Divine Plan of Redemption, and is given in an unbroken prediction from the earliest to the latest prophets. The Bible would be incomplete without it. For, beginning with the fall of man and revealing the manner of man’s recovery from the results of such a fall, it ends appropriately with a restoration of the forfeited blessings. Besides this, the truthfulness of its Millennial predictions is abundantly verified by ten thousand incidentals, which have been, and are, experienced in the unfolding of the Divine Purpose tending toward the ultimate fulfilment. Thus e.g. the history and present condition of the Jewish nation; the times of the Gentiles; the rise, progress, etc., of other nations, as Persian, Grecian, Roman, Turkish, etc.; the calling of the Gentiles; the Christian Church in its conflicts; the personal experience of believers, etc.—all these, and more, are so many corroborating evidences and testimonies that distinguish the Bible Millennium from all others, seeing that the same prophets also have predicted all these. God has not left Himself without witness; and it is only by persistently closing our eyes to existing facts, prophesied thousands of years ago, that we can escape God’s manifested interest in sustaining our faith. To deny all this requires about as much assurance and love of singularity as it did in the philosophers who, against their senses and laws of being, denied the existence of an external world.

Obs. 8. Now let the reader consider: 1. What would this earth have become if Adam had not fallen? The answer, as given by Scripture and repeated in various theological systems, is this: it would have had no curse entailed, bringing in its train unfruitfulness, evils, sorrow, and death. It would have had the world under a Theocratic ordering, by which man would have been elevated and blessed, having direct nearness to his beneficent Ruler, etc. 2. Now look at the Millennial blessings enumerated, to be realized here on earth during the Messianic reign in the restored Theocratic Kingdom, and is there a single blessing that we can conceive of as intended for man unfallen, and which was forfeited by sin, that is not mentioned to be then realized? If the Millennium embraces “Redemption,” “Salvation,” and the Messiah is One that can perform His work perfectly, this is precisely the condition that we ought reasonably to anticipate. The very fact that the Millennium itself contains such inestimable blessings, honor, and glory, such a revelation of Divine majesty and goodness, such an ample deliverance from all evil and even death, such a restoration to God’s favor and nearness in Theocratic ordering, is sufficient evidence that our doctrinal position is impregnable. The unity of the Word, running from the fall to the Sec. Advent, demands, prompted by covenants and promise, impelled by the plain grammatical and God-given sense, this belief, so dear to the hearts of the martyrs of the early Church.

PROPOSITION 120. This Kingdom with its Millennial blessings can only be introduced through the power of God in Christ Jesus.

This is evinced by the Propositions preceding; for the blessings are of such a nature that to produce them requires supernatural aid. Hence the introduction of this Kingdom with its attendant felicity, etc., is directly ascribed by the sacred writers to God or to His Son, Jesus Christ.*

Obs. 1. That Christ is the Introducer of the Millennial era is so abundantly asserted by the Prophets that a large number of writers, opposed to our view, still admit that Christ must come at this period spiritually in extraordinary power. Later writers finding the older spiritualistic opinions untenable, now (as e.g. Fairbairn, On Proph., pp. 469–471) frankly declare that the glory, etc., is so great and universal that extraordinary adjuncts and manifestations and gifts must be bestowed to affect it, thus confessing that the present means and instrumentalities are ineffective to produce it; and acknowledging that, by such additions, a dispensation, to all intent and purpose, in some respects different from the present one will be inaugurated. This is done too after spiritualizing the resurrection and many other blessings; how then must the matter be regarded if we allow a literal resurrection, reign, etc.—in brief, the blessings enumerated, to ensue at this time? It is utterly impossible to ascribe their reception to any other power than the direct intervention of King Jesus. It is a matter of surprise that one class of our opponents, such as Prof. Stuart, do not see that the confession that Rev. 20:1–7 teaches a literal resurrection, in the very nature of the case demands, in order to effect it, the personal Coming of Christ, or, at least, His direct intervention. Indeed, there is scarcely a blessing described but such is the amplitude of it, that we know from other Scripture that it cannot be realized until the Advent of Jesus. Thus to illustrate: take the order, peace, subjection of nations portrayed, and it is found that no such order, peace, etc., is to be found on earth until the Coming of Christ, for even preceding it, and at the Advent, nations shall be arrayed against the truth. In the “Prize Peace Essays and Congress of Nations,” Micah 4:3, is quoted and the assertion made that “the Gospel of peace” will accomplish the removal of war, restore peace, etc. But that is opposed to the spirit of the same chapter, for in the verse quoted we find that instead of the Gospel affecting this result it is done in the following manner: “He shall judge among many people, and rebuke strong nations afar off,” and this when (v. 7) “the Lord shall reign in Mt. Zion”—when the Jews (v. 6) are restored—when the nations that are to be judged are gathered (v. 11) against Zion—and when “many people (v. 13) are to be beaten in pieces” Against such testimony in the context, which becomes overwhelming when compared with parallel passages, it is in vain to protest; it must be reverently received as of God’s ordering. Hence, although materially differing in our view from Maurice, yet we can cordially accept of the title which he gives to one of his sermons: “Christ, not Christianity, the deliverance of mankind.” How can the Covenant with David be possibly realized without David’s Son personally comes to fulfil it? How can the Kingdom be manifested before the Coming of the King and the exertion of His power and will? How can the associated rulers with Him exercise the honorable prerogative of reigning with Him unless they are raised from the dead according to promise? In brief, all depends on that Second Advent and its resultant accompaniments.*

Obs. 2. The multitude of writers, who so persistently proclaim that the Kingdom and Millennial blessedness shall be introduced by present existing instrumentalities, are in direct opposition to Scripture. This theory will receive attention in another place (Prop. 175), and requires no special refutation here, seeing that our entire argument, as well as detached portions of it, refute its pretentious claims. It is simply amazing how pious, devoted, and able men have fallen under the influence of a theory, which causes even a very recent writer, Talmage (quoted by the Wittenberger of Nov., 1873), to say: “The way to the Millennium is through the fit and full education of woman. Social, political, and religious progress is conditioned upon her advancement,” etc. This may be regarded as an extreme opinion, but the truth is, that any view that ascribes the realization of those precious predictions to any other power than that delineated so faithfully and minutely by the Prophets, is extreme and equally repulsive to the truth.*

Obs. 3. It is saddening to find how far this denial of the necessity of Christ’s Second Coming for purposes of Salvation is carried in our Theological literature. Men who would shrink from any impeachment of orthodoxy, or denial of truth, array themselves against Covenant promise under the misguiding influence of supposed developed truth. Thus to illustrate: In the excellent Quarterly Review for Jan., 1874, in a one-sided Art., which totally ignores the expressed views of the confessors, the following bold assertion is made: “Christ’s power to bless and save His people and protect them against the devil and sin is not in His Coming again on earth, but in His session at the right hand of God and His power there in their behalf,” etc. How such language can be employed in the face of scriptural authority, is a matter of surprise. The reader can readily test the trustworthiness of the declaration by referring to these facts: (1) that His Coming is for Salvation, to complete Redemption, Heb. 9:28; Luke 21:27, 28; Rom. 8:19–23; Eph. 4:30, etc.; (2) to raise the dead, 1 Thess. 4:14, 16, etc.; (3) to change the living, 1 Cor. 15:42–44, 51–54, etc.; (4) to invest with dominion (Prop. 154); (5) to remove the wicked, His enemies, 2 Thess. 2:8–11, etc.; (6) to deliver the Jewish nation (Prop. 111, etc.); (7) to relieve creation, Rom. 8:19–21, etc.; (8) in brief, to introduce the numerous blessings which our argument evolves. It is certainly sufficient, in order to prevent our accepting such contradictory utterances, to know that He comes for Salvation; and that that Coming is represented to be the most efficacious in removing sin and overcoming Satan.*

Obs. 4. On the other hand, it is refreshing to see even some of our most unrelenting opponents acknowledge the force of Scripture representation to the extent that they also make the Sec. Advent the most desirable object of hope, ascribing to it, as the Spirit does, divine purposes of Salvation. Thus e.g. Brown (Christ’s Sec. Com., chs. 1 and 2) frankly admits that Christ’s Sec. Coming is “the blessed hope” of the Church—that it is “the polar star” of faith—strenuously opposing the view so prevalent that Christ comes at death, by showing, (1) that the death of the believer is grievous; (2) that the salvation without Sec. Advent is incomplete; (3) and that we otherwise dislocate Scripture, etc. Thus also let the reader refer to Barnes (Com., Phil. 3:20), and he will find this Coming again eulogized as “a glorious truth,” necessary unto salvation, “identified with all our hopes,” exerting blessed influences as in the early Church, etc. And, what is even hostile to their own system, seeing that they put off this Advent to the distant future, to a period after the Millennium, they exhort believers to look for it, pray for it, etc. In looking over commentaries, many of them express, under passages relating to the Advent, the duty of regarding the amelioration of the world, etc., as dependent on Christ’s Coming, and not on earthly systems, existing means, etc., and yet when turning to Scripture portraying the restitution of forfeited blessings not a word is said concerning Christ’s Coming to perform the work, but much is stated respecting the Church’s power to accomplish the same. If it were a pleasant task, hundreds of contradictions, some the most flagrant, could be produced. Surely a system of interpretation that so freely fosters the same must be unreliable.

Obs. 5. It is objected by unbelievers that the notion that some great Saviour is to come to restore all things, is found in other religions beside the Christian. Thus e.g. Clarke (Ten Religions, p. 204, Alger’s Doc. of Fut. Life, Kurtz, Sac. His., p. 273, etc.) shows that in the system of Zoroaster mention is made of a future Restorer or Saviour, who is expected to come at the end of the age, restore the dead by a resurrection, and introduce a Kingdom of untroubled happiness, etc. It is of little consequence how this idea was suggested and introduced (some contending that it sprung from original communications made by God, others that it originated with man himself, etc.), for it evidences, what was observed previously, that man feels the utter inability of existing causes to produce such a restitution, and therefore, owing to the inadequacy of present means and instrumentalities, falls back upon the supernatural. This feeling, as we have seen, is general, and naturally arises from reflection, and a desire to secure deliverance.*

Obs. 6. The most intelligent and profound thinkers of every age declare, that the removal of the self-evident curse (explain its introduction as they may) entailed upon the earth and its inhabitants, demands higher power and greater manifestations of Deity than now are exhibited. It is admitted that physical science, however it may in some instances mitigate, cannot remove the evils; mental agencies cannot affect it, for knowledge itself may give new weapons into the hands of evil; moral agencies cannot do it, the Church cannot do it, since the most moral and pious fall beneath the curse, experiencing disease, sorrow, death, the grave, and corruption. This Kingdom—this Millennial prediction—embraces the removal of the curse. This is fully proven by the descriptions of the same. The question, by what agencies its removal is accomplished, is also satisfactorily answered. The scope of the Word asserts, that man is under the curse through his fallen condition, and that the evils arising therefrom are the work of Satan. The fact that the evils do exist is painfully evident on all sides; the manner of introduction, whatever may be said pro and con, is also sadly corroborated by the tendency to sin in man. We are only concerned with present facts, and to show how they will be changed for desired and glorious realities. The Bible points to One alone who is to produce this change, viz., to “the Christ” who is revealed expressly “to destroy the works of the devil.” The power over evil which He exhibited in His life, death, resurrection, and ascension affords the assurance, if we will only receive it, that His ability is commensurate, yea, infinitely superior to this removal of Satan’s work. Those “works of the devil” have not yet been destroyed; they exist in vast proportions over the whole earth; and so universal and far-reaching are they that not one escapes from feeling their fatal effects. Creation continues to groan and travail in pain; man, even the most devoted, continues to reap the bitter fruits of the fall, and thus we are told it will go on until the time appointed by God, when He shall send this Son of His, and through Him “destroy the works of the devil.” When the King comes to whom all power is committed in virtue of His Theocratical relationship, sustained by His covenanted descent, divine nature, sacrificial death, etc., then primarily through Him, and subordinately through His associates (deriving their power from Him), this most blessed removal of the curse will at last be experienced. Supernatural intervention, divine outpourings of judgments, the introduction of an overwhelming mass of righteousness in glorified humanity, the erection of a magnificent Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom supported by this majestic David’s Son with a corporate body of immortal, intelligent, holy rulers endued with angelic power, etc.—these things, and these alone, can bring about, as inspiration testifies, the long-hoped-for deliverance. If we were to bring together the absurd language used by many in reference to the curse and its removal, it would be deemed a caricature of the sacred promise. Indeed, so little regard is paid to the tenor of Scripture by some, that the old monkish notion is reiterated, that the removal of the curse is confined to the third heaven, thus overlooking the plain implication that the third heaven itself must then also have fallen under the curse, and thus making Redemption, so far as the earth, race, Kingdom, etc., is concerned, incomplete. The “no more curse,” as all inspired men unitedly agree, refers to this earth, and to man upon it; and hence the singular beauty and consistency of the Bible beginning with the curse and forfeited blessings and ending with happy restitution.*

Obs. 7. The Bible attributes the curse, or introduction of evil, to the fall of the first Adam, and the removal of it to the second Adam, that is “the Christ”. To this, as adverted to before, some object on cosmological and geological grounds, viz., that facts seem to establish the truth that death and natural evil existed, taking the biblical chronology, long before the fall of Adam. This would of course conflict with the view of Basil, Luther, and many of the Fathers, that the poison of the serpent, the thorn of the rose, the disease and death of man and animals, etc., were added to poisonless, thornless, diseaseless objects, as a direct result of the curse—in brief, that all evil resulted from thence, the calamitous effect of the fall. Dr. Bushnell (as in “Nature and the Supernatural,” ch. 6, 7) and others advocate “anticipative consequences,” i.e. that the introduction of evil anticipated the results which actually transpired. Others (Meth. Quart. Review., Ap., 1862, Art. 6, Dr. Clarke, Gen. 1:24) that it resulted from divine caprice, or a desire “merely to show what he could do,” making it inexplicable. Others again, as Keerl (Origen at first), Boehmen, etc., that the evil originated not from the fall of Adam, but from the fall of Satan, which may have occurred long before. Other theories, modifications of the preceding, are advanced—all evincing, however, that it is a deep and mysterious subject? But is it requisite to adopt any theory, seeing that the objection is forcible only against theological theories which have really no basis in Scripture? For, if we come to the Bible unhampered by theories respecting the fall, we find that, being only a Book designed for fallen man, and to indicate his redemption, it commences with man and incidentally introduces a sufficiency to show what relation he sustained to creation in point of time, and what was his original condition. The record itself does not say that no evil previously existed in the earth, but positively asserts that evil did exist in Satan; and it was by this evil already present, and which came in contact with man, that the Fall was induced. Death itself was in existence, seeing that it is implied by the bestowal of the tree of life in Eden by which immortality could be obtained. By the creation of Adam and Eve and the withdrawal of them in a separate, distinctive place (i.e. the Garden of Eden, thus indicative that the rest of the earth was as yet unprepared for their reception), God was designing a provision for the emancipation of the earth under the holy dominion of man, i.e. to subjugate the evil already existing and to triumph over Satan. But the unfilial conduct of our first parents made the gracious purpose of God, without preliminary training, a dangerous procedure, so that man was driven from the tree of life. Being mortal, he fell under the penalty of a law of death then in existence, and which he might have avoided by obedience; and when the Bible says that death came by man and passed upon all men, it simply refers us to the plain fact that immortality, in the tree of life, was tendered to man, and he rendering himself unfit for its reception, fell under the power of death, and with him, of course, all his descendants. The Bible and science here accord, for Eden was not the whole earth, but only a limited space, specially fitted for man; for evil was here present before man came; the simple withdrawal of the tree of life exhibited the already existing laws of mortality; the curse itself was (1) a removal from an Eden state, (2) the sad experience and confirmation of evil into which man was driven outside of Eden. Here is no conflict. Besides this, the Bible language is so guarded, that it is also correct to insist as it does, that through the fall of Adam the race was placed under the curse, inasmuch as Adam entailed his fallen condition upon all his offspring; for, as intimated, immortality being withdrawn from fallen man, as too dangerous and exalted to be allowed, Adam and his descendants must obtain it now in some other way, viz., through the power of a Redeemer, while they all suffer the loss of Eden. The Word is consistent in its utterances, but just so soon as we press them, as Basil, etc., did, or seek for apologies, as Clarke, Bushnell, and others do, we not only depreciate the Bible account, but call into question its accuracy. It needs no apology from us, dealing as it does with stubborn facts, patent to all, viz., that we are fallen into the embraces of evil, that we have no Eden state here, etc. If the Bible had asserted that all the earth was an Eden, and that no evil and death had any previous existence, then science might find some leverage for its objection, but depending on opinions of men engrafted on the Word, it becomes futile and very unscientific.*

Obs. 8. This leads us to consider that a restoration to an Eden state involves the reproduction of an Eden immensely greater than the original. That we find was limited—abundantly large for the trial through which man passed. But when we consider that this Eden restored must be of a sufficient capacity to hold not merely the first parents, but that numerous progeny who have laid hold on life through a divine faith, etc., it will be seen at once that the Millennial descriptions do not exceed what is required, when they represent the whole earth as finally embraced in such a state. And not only so, but in the new creative energy manifested at this period, there are intimations which seem to point to an enlargement of the earth itself. In this reproduction we have no specific detail, for these are wisely omitted, because (1) if given they would lead men to object to the Word on the ground of impossibilities, which is even now done with the general affirmations of renewal; (2) with our present knowledge and the state of science we could not comprehend the changes and altered conditions. The Word is not given to extravagances of expression, such as we find in the conjectures of men (astronomers, philosophers, etc.) concerning the sun, planets, and universe, which could be seized upon as purely hypothetical, but this restitution is based on a regular divine Plan of Redemption; is presented in guarded general terms, and ascribed to a Being in whom we now that the power to accomplish it is to be found. Therefore, we rest satisfied that the Eden will be fully commensurate to the number who shall be entitled to admission to it.

Obs. 9. This Kingdom designed to carry out and display the Redemptive process in its realization will exhibit in the highest degree the love of God through re-creative power and activity. No one doubts but that such love was strongly shown in creation, in the Incarnation, in Providential movements, etc., but all these, if we are to credit the Prophets, are only forerunners of a higher manifestation of His goodness when the consummation arrives. God revealed directly through humanity as the Theocratic God, acts of restoration and renewal, the complete union of Church and State, the subordination of the human to the divine Will, the rule of righteousness and righteous submission harmoniously blended, the abrogation of all divergence between religion and science, the world and heaven, the heart and God, life and holiness—all this calls forth exhibitions of love in Father, Son, and Spirit, to which all previously given ones are only earnests of the ultimate feast.

Obs. 10. May we not again remind the reader, how logically consistent the early Church was to attribute to Christ at His Sec. Advent this work of restoring all things through the power of His rule and Kingdom? In addition to the numerous allusions already made to their belief on the subject, the candid admission of Neander (His. Ch. Church, vol. 1, p. 182), that Paul looked for the Advent of Christ, and that it was to be regarded, by believers as “fitted to be, not an object of dread, but of joyful, longing hope,” because neither Paul nor the other Apostles believed in a conversion of the world, but rather in its growing worse until the personal Advent of Christ brought deliverance. This very posture and belief our argument demands, and hence these concessions of such historians form an important corroborating element in the chain of evidence which the student should not overlook.

PROPOSITION 121. This Kingdom, of necessity, requires a Pre-Millennial Personal Advent of Jesus Christ.

The covenant promises, the Millennial descriptions which predict the fulfilment of these promises, the entire tenor and analogy of Scripture demand such an Advent. To establish the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom as given by the prophets requires such a personal Coming; and as inspiration indicates the restoration of the Davidic throne in that period and David’s seed occupying that throne and Kingdom of David’s, it also invariably speaks of the return and presence of David’s Son. The proof is cumulative and overwhelming, and in the aggregate establishes the remarkable unity of the Word, the consistency of Jewish expectation, apostolic preaching, and early Church doctrine.*

Obs. 1. Before presenting our arguments in favor of a Pre-Millennial Advent, it is best to notice a few particulars. And first, seeing that the Covenant, promises and prophecies in their literal import do teach a literal personal Advent, why is it, if the same is only to be understood spiritually or providentially, that so many of our opponents (as Neander, Bush, Billroth, Jowett, etc.) admit that the Apostles—inspired men to be guided into all truth—themselves held to such a literal construction? How comes it, that instead of looking for a Millennium to precede the Advent as men now confidently teach, these inspired men, having the same prophets, and it being part of their mission to interpret and explain these prophets, taught the Advent without an intervening Millennium? Why do they employ the explicit language, the strongest possible expressions, confirmatory of a literal personal Coming, if something else is denoted? If we reject their teaching, and the results of the same as manifested in the Churches established by them, we degrade them to the position of uninspired, and hence unreliable, guides; and infidelity in its inferences drawn from this point may well laugh with scorn at the foolish apologies offered by learned men in extenuation of such an unapostolic posture then so fruitful in error and deception. Secondly, if the Apostles were to lead their hearers to the truth as given by holy men of old, and if the varied interpretations long afterward bestowed upon the predictions of this Advent are correct, why is it that we do not find the language now so prevalent on the subject in the epistles? Why e.g. do we not find the interpretations of “a spiritual Coming,” “a providential Coming,” “a Coming with the Roman army,” “a Coming in death,” etc.? The fact is, that not one of the phrases now so current in theological literature on this point is to be found in the Bible. The absence of them, to say the least, indicates their human origin. Thirdly, the words themselves used by the apostles to designate the Second Advent (Parousia and Epiphaneia) are conceded by all critics to be, owing to their primary meaning and usage, eminently calculated to teach a literal, personal Advent. The very selection of such words ought to have weight with the student in such a discussion.* Fourthly, the hope as expressed by pious Jews, was in the personal Advent of the Messiah. After the rejection and death of Jesus by the nation, the Apostles transfer this hope to the Second Advent, and in doing this adopt the very phraseology employed by the pious Jews, thus unmistakably exhibiting faith in the ultimate realization of the hope in a personal Sec. Advent. “He that Cometh” or “the Coming One,” “the One waited for,” “the expected One” (taken e.g. from Ps. 118:26, so Olshausen; or Ps. 40:8, 80, Lange; or Mal. 3:1, so Hengstenberg, etc.), is transferred to the still future Advent with the idea attached that then will the Covenant promises be verified. The proof is found in the acknowledged fact that all their hearers, so far as we have any record, were impressed with this belief. It is also seen in constantly holding up the Sec. Coming as “the blessed hope,” etc., in exhorting to patient waiting, earnest expectation, eager looking, ardent love for the appearing of “the Chief Shepherd,” just as the godly Jews previously waited, longed, and looked for the “Shepherd” described by the Prophets.*

Obs. 2. Attention is again called to the early Church doctrine, in view of the importance of this subject. If a fundamental mistake was made in the teaching of so significant and consequential a doctrine as that pertaining to the Pre-Millennial personal Advent of Jesus, then we may well pause and ask, whether similar errors were not committed in the reception of other doctrines. The denial of the early Church belief on so weighty a point involves their entire faith in obscurity and credulity. But our argument produces no such dilemma, but accepts of their faith in this matter as legitimate, consistent, and indispensable to the truth. Indeed, if it were missing in the early history of the Church, then a powerful objection would arise against our view, but existing as it does, it becomes, on the other hand, evidence in our favor. It is gratifying to us that so many passages relied on to prove a Pre-Mill. Advent were thus quoted by the immediate followers of the Apostles and their disciples. As previously shown, all the Apostolic Fathers, and all the earliest Christian Fathers, taught our doctrine (see Prop. 73–78). The very persons who had access to the Apostles; who received their instruction, public and private; who were deeply interested in the Advent, and made it a prominent feature in their system of faith; who were intimately acquainted with the language in which the doctrine was promulgated, etc.—these were the men who adopted and taught it. Even after a spiritualizing theory was broached, yet such was the force of the passages which speak of the personal Coming of Jesus, that even Origen, Jerome, and others, were unable to rid themselves entirely of them, but admitted—as their works evidence—however contradictory to their own system that a personal Coming was intended, as e.g. 2 Thess. 2, etc. And what is remarkable to the student, both Millenarians and their opposers located the personal Advent about the same time. For, as scholars have noticed, the ancients universally (or nearly so) understood the Advent to follow the closing of 6000 years. And following (Bush, etc.) the Septuagint Chronology, they supposed the Advent near, owing to its lengthening the world’s duration beyond that of the Hebrew. Millenarians held the 1000 years, the Sabbatism, as future, and located the personal Advent at its commencement. The others identifying the 1000 years as in some way connected with this dispensation and included in the 6000 years, looked for the Personal Advent at its close, preparative to the eternal Sabbath. Hence in reference to many of the passages relating to the Advent there was but little difference of interpretation, saving in the one point of Pre-Millennial. It required many centuries before men could arise and destructively interpret away the plainest statements of Scripture. And it was after the comparative modern Whitbyan theory of a Millennium still future, to be introduced through the Gospel and Church, that the most unwarranted liberties were taken with the sacred text in order to accommodate it to such a theory. However painful this may be to contemplate, the student of prophecy is not surprised at its existence; for in that Word he finds that as the period arrives for the Advent, unbelief in it shall characterize the Church and world. Hence, he expects its Pre-Mill. nature to be opposed and rejected; the passages which teach it to be glossed over with other meanings; the objects intended by it to be denied; the early Church doctrine to be derided as suited for children, and a soporific, worldly-wise interpretation to become generally prevalent. Indeed, to place the Church and world in the posture assigned to it just previous to the Advent, requires a display of learning, theology, philosophy, spiritual improvement, etc., in order to beat down the warnings of the Word and of a long line of faithful witnesses to the truth. Therefore, the simple fact that so much hostility is manifested against what was once the orthodox faith of the Church, regarded in the light of the predicted faithlessness of the Church on this point, ought to excite suspicion that something is wrong in the popular view. The best of men, innocently and with the purest of motives, desirous even to promote what they regard as truth, are engaged in this work of changing and corrupting the divine testimony. Their piety, usefulness, ability, etc., enlarge the power to mislead in this direction, and materially aids in forming that “snare” and “net” in which both Church and world will be entangled at the Advent. Love for such brethren, and a desire to be faithful to the testimony of the Spirit in the Word, cause us to use such plainness of speech, even if it should result (God forbid) in giving offence to some.

Obs. 3. A mere mention of some of the opinions entertained will be sufficient. Thus e.g. Westminster Review for Oct., 1873, in an Art. calls this Sec. Advent of Christ an “exploded superstition.” Renan (Life of Jesus p. 107) says: “The material conception of the divine Advent was only a cloud, a passing error which death consigned to oblivion.” Such statements could be multiplied, together with those which urge such a doctrine, as taught by the Apostles, to be subversive of the inspiration of the Word. Besides these, the reader must have noticed that in leading reviews, etc., articles are constantly appearing which assert that everything of importance refers to the present time with which we alone are concerned; the whole tenor and spirit of which is hostile to faith and hope in a coming personal Redeemer. Now and then, these are accompanied by remarks designed to be witticisms, making sport of our hope, and endeavoring to cover it with ridicule, just as if a Pre-Mill. Advent were some fair target for scorn and burlesque. If this were always done by infidels, it would be something to be expected in view of their principles (although some of them have treated our faith more fairly and courteously than many believers), but it happens that believers, for the moment forgetting the preciousness of that Coming and the gracious designs connected with it, indulge in such witticisms, etc., thus placing themselves in the posture delineated, Matt. 24:48, which, Lange (Com. loci) aptly expresses, is indicative of “an internal mocking frivolity.” The claim that Noble, Barrett, and others make, viz., that through E. Swedenborg there has been “the revelation of the spiritual sense of the Word through the obscurity or cloud of the letter, which is the predicted and glorious appearing of the Son of Man upon the clouds of heaven”—is little short of blasphemous, because it applies to mortal man, or to the work that he performs, terms that belong pre-eminently and exclusively to Jesus Christ. And to take that “appearing” which belongs peculiarly and distinctively to the Saviour, and which pertains to His glory, and to apply this to erring man is the highest presumption. The opposite extreme is found in Colani (quoted by Van Oosterzee), who is so hostile to the idea of Christ’s personal return that he would expunge all expressions relating to it as spurious. Between these extremes, a variety of arbitrary interpretations exist. Thus e.g. Fowle (Contemp. Review, May, 1872, p. 729) makes the Coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven and the gathering of the elect “metaphorical language, descriptive of the growth of the Church.” This is regarded as a decided improvement on that interpretation which makes the Advent of Christ “the Advent of the Roman army,” etc. To get rid of a Sec. personal Advent, Nisbett (Coming of the Messiah) confines the description of Christ’s Coming and the destruction of His enemies to His first Coming. The apostasy in 2 Thess. 2 is conveniently confined to the rebellions of the Jews. These specimens will suffice to show the variations caused by a departure from the grammatical sense; but we turn to others advocated by earnest and able men equally untenable. Prest. Edwards (His. of Redemp., p. 269) has four Comings or Advents, viz., His First extending to destruction of Jerusalem, and the proof alleged is Matt. 16:28 (which we will examine under Prop. 150, relating to the transfiguration); the Second, “in Constantine’s time, in the destruction of the heathen Roman Empire, and the proof is Rev. 6:13–17; the third is at the destruction of Antichrist, and the proof is Dan. 7; the fourth is at the last judgment. Other writers, not satisfied with such a perversion, have these Comings extended into many more by the aid of the phrases “providential,” “spiritual,” “figurative,” etc., so that there is scarcely a notable event in Church history, or in a man’s life, but what this “Coming” is enlisted as accessory, etc. The spiritual interpretation brings forth an abundant crop in this field of investigation. Turning away from those who are so fanciful in interpretation, let us briefly present those who are more sober and systematic in their efforts. Barnes, Fairbairn, Brown, and others take the passages which we refer to a Pre-Mill. Advent, and ascribe to them a spiritual or providential Coming. Admitting that God is always in Providence, that He is ever spiritually present with His people (comp. Lange, Com., p. 564), our answer to their mode of dealing with these predictions follows.

Obs. 4. The attempt to make out a spiritual or providential Coming from the occurrences in the Old Test., such as the destruction of Sodom, the deliverance of Israel from the host of Pharaoh, etc., fails for the simple reason that this Coming is asserted in reference to the humanity of Christ, pertains to David’s Son. He comes not as the invisible God, who may be present unseen and unknown, but as Man, the Son of Man, the Man ordained, and one too, as will be shown hereafter, to be seen and recognized. While fully indorsing a divine sovereignty (Props. 79 and 80), a constant pervading superintending presence, which we might see if our eyes were opened like the servant’s of Elisha, or like Stephen’s or Saul’s, yet this is very diverse from a Coming or presence of “the Son of Man.” Our opponents, when not directly arguing against us, frankly concede this point to us in their explanations of the phrase “Son of Man.” Thus e.g. Dr. Neander (Life of Christ, pp. 99, 100) says respecting this phrase: “We conclude that as Christ used the one (viz., Son of Man) to designate His human personality, so He employed the other to point out His divine.” Now admit that it refers to “human personality,” why should the meaning thus given be changed for the divine or spiritual, when the phrase is employed in reference to a Pre-Mill. Advent? Where, we ask, is the consistency of altering this explanation of the term, when all of them confess that in some passages (as e.g. Matt. 16:27) it undoubtedly refers to His personal future Advent? If such an arbitrary change is to be made, what uniformity and consonance is there in Scriptural exposition?

Obs. 5. Our opposers (as Barnes, Fairbairn, Edwards, etc.) contend that the symbolical representation of the latter part of Rev. 20 denotes the personal, visible presence of Christ. But how can they make it such, when they deny the same to the Advent of Rev. 19? The principle on which the two visions is constructed is identical: agents represent agents, acts represent acts, conditions and events represent conditions and events. Now if in the one vision the agents represent personal agents, how comes it that in the other they do not? Is there not abundant ground for suspicion that such an interpretation is adapted to a preconceived theory? This very indication of weakness is seized by rationalistic writers and drawn out to its legitimate end, viz., taking the interpretation given by our opponents to Rev. 19, they apply the same to Rev. 20, and deny both the personal Coming and literal resurrection. And from this there is no appeal to the application of grammatical rules, seeing that the additional sense foisted on the symbols is something unknown to the rules of language. It is singular, taking the views arrayed against us, that in the descriptions of this Pre-Mill. Advent everything is conceded visible and literally present excepting Christ Himself. Thus in Rev. 19, alluded to, the beast, false prophet, etc., represent real personal agents—everything is visible and recognizable—but the Coming and agency of Christ seen by the inspired writer as real, personal, and visible, as that of the beast, prophet, nations, etc., is to be discarded as invisible, and is stripped of its recognizable personality. By what rule of interpretation is this done? If such a rule were penned down and consistently applied, would it not make all the agents, acts, etc., invisible also? Take e.g. Dan. 7; and the four beasts, horns, destruction, even the saints, Kingdom, dominion, all in fact, saving the Advent of “the Son of Man,” is to be received as representing visible personal agents, etc., here on the earth. Why make this one exception, simply on the authority of uninspired man, and against the direct testimony of the whole early Church? If it be admitted that the Advent in Dan. 7 alludes to His personal First Advent, then it only confirms our argument under Prop. 104, where we conclusively show that it only occurs after the divided form of the Roman Empire, and the rise and progress of the little horn, etc. The truth is, that a denial of the Pre-Mill. Advent involves an arbitrary handling of prophecy. It is a matter of regret that distinguished theologians fall into this illogical and unfounded method of dealing with predictions relating to this Coming. Thus e.g. Kurtz (Sac. His., sec. 198) says: “Every interposition of the Omnipotent Ruler and Judge of the world who sits on the right hand of Omnipotence, every progressive movement of His Kingdom, every victory which He gains over His enemies, and every judgment which overtakes them, is a Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.” The only proof assigned for so sweeping a declaration and such a wide departure from primitive doctrine is 1 Cor. 1:7 and 2 Pet. 1:16, which passages, as the reader can see for himself, refer to a literal, personal Coming; the one to His future revelation, the other to His First Advent and manifestation in the transfiguration.*

Obs. 6. If we were to adopt this principle of spiritualizing the Coming and the language employed in its usage, then, if consistently applied to the whole Bible, it would ignore the literal, personal First Advent. This is no caricature, but sober argument. Suppose our opponents are correct in their interpretation; let us then transplant ourselves to a period before the First Advent and apply their system to prophecies relating to that Advent and see the result. Let us, taking such an imaginative position, select e.g. Isa. 40:3, “the voice of him that crieth in the wilderness,” etc., and according to the system just adopted, this would denote that divine truth would be heard in the earth even in the most abandoned parts of it, etc. Or, select e.g. Isa. 53, and we would have a representation of truth, its treatment, rejection, and final triumph. But what are the facts as evidenced by fulfilment? Have we not a literal voice, literal wilderness, literal address to Jews, a literal Coming, humiliation, sufferings, and death of Jesus Christ, etc.? According to the system of our opponents no such literal, personal fulfilment was intended, for if the predictions relating to the Sec. Advent, which are far clearer, distinctive, and decisive than those referring to the First, are to be understood as portraying a spiritual or providential Coming, then surely, if this measurer of prophecy is applied to the less distinct ones of the First Advent, they too only mean a spiritual or providential Coming. If the rule of interpretation holds good now, it ought to cover all time; for we know of no rules that were applicable to one age and not to another. If it be answered, that fulfilment shows that such and such language must be literally understood, then our reply is ready: the fulfilment is evidence that the spiritualistic interpretation on this point is utterly untrustworthy, while it gives decisive proof of the consistency of that adopted by the early Church.*

Obs. 7. Having briefly glanced at the inconsistency of our opposers, in interpreting the Pre-Mill. Advent predictions, the reader may be confirmed in our statements, if his attention is more particularly directed to the glaring contradictions that it produces. A few examples will suffice by way of illustration: (1) Barnes (Com.) and others freely contend that the Coming in 2 These. 2 is a literal, personal one, and which results in the destruction of the Antichrist. They acknowledge that this antichristian power is in this dispensation, exists some time before the Advent, and that previous to his removal there can be no Millennial blessedness, etc. And yet when the same power is stated to be removed and destroyed by the Advent of the same Jesus previous to the ushering in of Mill. happiness, as e.g. Dan. 7 and Rev. 19, they refuse to accept of this identification of the period, and thus have in one place a personal, and then in other places a spiritual Advent to destroy the last great enemy of the truth. (2) Again, many commentators on various passages declare that a personal Advent is prerequisite to the resurrection of the saints according to the promises given. They admit that Rev. 11:18 teaches a literal resurrection under the last trumpet, but refuse to bring in the personal Coming of Jesus at that period as necessary to secure it, although laid down as something inseparably connected with a resurrection of the dead. (3) Many writers commenting on certain Scriptures relating to the watching, looking, longing, and waiting for the Advent, as e.g. Matt. 25:13; 1 Thess. 5:6, etc., inform us that it is (Barnes) “an event which is certainly to occur and which may occur at any moment,” and, therefore, we should be prepared for it, etc.; and yet when they come to where the order is given and a Pre-Mill. Advent indicated (which alone meets their admissions of suddenness, unexpectedness, its occurrence at almost any time, etc.), then we are told that it cannot and will not take place until the Millennial era has first transpired. They feel themselves qualified to definitely locate the Advent to a period at least ten centuries in the future, thus making it a matter of mere folly, to look, etc., for the Sec. Coming before the expiration of the allotted time. (4) A large number of authors when interpreting passages relating to death, as 1 Cor. 15:54, 55, etc., correctly represent death as an enemy that will finally be conquered, etc.; they have much to say about death being the result of sin, etc.; but they forget in their eagerness to interpret Scripture as against us what they said concerning death, and actually declare that Christ comes in and through death. The blessed Saviour is transformed into our enemy! We glory in the fact that we can be strengthened and supported by Jesus in meeting this enemy; we rejoice that our Saviour has the power finally to overcome and destroy this foe, but we utterly deny that Jesus comes to us in the shape of this enemy. What! Jesus coming in death, when death even came to Him and obtained a brief triumph! This remnant of Popish theology, originated by a perversion of plain Bible statements, is, alas! deeply rooted in the minds of many. It would seem that a little reflection over the existence of death from the expulsion from Eden and the fearful result, even corruption, following it, ought to lead men of judgment to discard so foolish and unscriptural a doctrine which serves with many to obscure a Pre-Mill. Advent. Even the naive remark of Sir Thomas Browne (Relig. Medici,) is sufficient answer to its use: “I am not so much afraid of death as ashamed thereof; ’tis the very disgrace and ignominy of our natures, that in a moment can so disfigure us, that our nearest friends, wife and children, stand afraid, and start at us,” etc. Christ does not come in this way; He is our deliverer from such a disgraceful state, and He will yet save us from this enemy, who holds in his prison house His brethren. (5) Again, many explain the parable of the tares and wheat to indicate a mixed condition of the Church, and that the harvest is at the end of the age, but in the delineations of Mill. descriptions this mixed condition insisted on in one place is forgotten and removed; and to avoid making a Pre-Mill. Advent, the personal Advent, admitted in connection with the harvest in the parable, is denied to the harvests of Revelation and Joel. (6) Again, multitudes give us the most eulogistic and congratulatory expositions of the marriage announced in Rev. 19:7, 9, and on the phrase “the marriage of the Lamb is come” positively assert (the truth) that the marriage is then (at that period) consummated (so Barnes, etc.), and yet seeing that this involves a Pre-Mill. Advent of the bridegroom, they gravely inform us (as Fairbairn, etc.) that this very marriage of the Lamb is postponed until after the thousand years are expired, although announced previously, etc. (7) Thus might be adduced admissions made respecting “restitution,” “regeneration,” “world to come,” etc., and then can be shown how these again are contradicted when we come to the “restitution,” etc., of the Mill. era, on the sole ground to avoid a Pre-Mill. Advent. The illustrations given are ample enough to indicate, that with all the boasted enlightenment above that of the early Church, the early Christians, alleged “babes” in knowledge, were incapable of perpetrating such opposite and contradictory expositions of Scripture. Their system of belief had, at least, unity of utterance and design.

Obs. 8. Leaving the objections to be answered by the proof that shall be adduced, attention is invited to this feature, viz., that as the covenant promises and the Millennial descriptions demand a Pre-Millennial personal Advent, we find this very phase of doctrine presented to us in a variety of aspects, as if purposely to meet and answer the objections that are alleged against it. And the Spirit, to confirm our hopes excited by the Covenant, presents it in forms so as to leave no doubt of a real, personal Coming being intended. We give the evidence as briefly as is consistent with a clear understanding of the same, keeping in view the demands of various classes of our readers.

1. In the portraiture of the Mill. era, it is repeatedly promised that all suffering, sorrow, shedding of tears—in short, all evil shall be removed by a certain Coming. Now such a deliverance, we know from many positive declarations, will never be witnessed until the Second personal Advent; for down to that period, the Church itself—all saints—shall be subject to suffering, sorrow, tears, and trial. The freedom from evil united with the promises of the personal Advent, are precisely the same specified with the Pre-Mill. Coming and Mill. glory to be seen on the earth. And, therefore, as we dare not separate what God has joined together, these Comings must be the same and relate to the same period of time.

2. The Millennial descriptions of the Prophets, it must be admitted, are not yet realized. They are preceded by and connected with a Coming of the Lord; and if that era is still future (as a comparison of them with history unmistakably proves), it follows that the Coming linked with it is also in the future. Now the personality of the Coming is admitted as it relates to some of the predictions, as e.g. Jer. 23:5; Jer. 30:9; Ezek. 37:22–25; Ezek. 34:23, etc., under the impression that they relate to the First Advent. But if it can be shown that the prophecies were not realized at that Coming, the admissions of the personality still remain and must refer to the future. To illustrate: Take Jer. 23:5, and if we allow the context to have its due force, then it follows that it is not yet fulfilled, because (1) the gathering of the Jews was not then witnessed; (2) the Jews were not delivered from fear, dismay, and want; (3) Judah and Israel did not dwell safely; (4) instead of dwelling in their own land they were driven out, etc. Or, select Jer. 30:9, and it was not verified, because (1) there was no return of the nation to the land of their fathers; (2) the yoke upon the nation was not broken; (3) Jacob was not saved out of his trouble; (4) the blessings enumerated as connected with the restoration were not experienced. Thus passage after passage might be taken, and the same deductions made from the context, all showing that the Advent referred to is yet to come.

3. The doctrine of a literal first resurrection (Props. 125–129) establishes a literal Pre-Mill. Advent, seeing that that resurrection precedes the Millennium. Lange (Com., p. 421; Matt. 24) tersely says: “It is baseless to regard the Coming of Christ to the first resurrection as altogether spiritual.” Even our opponents unite the resurrection of the dead with a personal Coming, and argue, scripturally, that the former is a result of the latter. The admissions of Prof. Stuart and others, as to the literalness of the resurrection, involves this personal Coming.

4. “The Coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with all His saints,” 1 Thess. 3:13 (comp. ch. 4:14; Jude 14), is admitted to be a literal one. But the same thing is asserted to take place, viz., the Coming of the Lord and all the saints with Him, as Pre-Millennial in Zech. 14:5.

5. The Advent of Rev. 19:11–21, is a Pre-Mill. one, and is a personal Coming, being parallel with Rev. 14:14–20. A large number of our opponents, overlooking consistency in their own system, yet forced by the scene described, frankly declare that the latter passage (Rev. 14:14) denotes the literal Advent of the Son of Man. Thus e.g. Barnes, Com. loci, informs us that it applies to the end, consummation, etc., at which time he locates the Sec. Advent. But in both places the design in Coming and the acts performed by “the Coming One” are the same, to save His people and overthrow His enemies. In both places the beast and abettors are destroyed, for they shall not exist in the Millennium; and both places are located under the last trumpet, indicating the precise time when we are to look for it, viz., before the Millennium commences.

6. In His Second Advent it is asserted that He shall “come in the clouds of heaven” Angels, Christ Himself, and the Apostles declare this to be a concomitant of the Advent. Daniel (7:13) expressly describes this, that “the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven,” and on thus coming the Kingdom and dominion under the whole heaven is given to Him. In Rev. 14:14, commentators, etc, as Barnes, loci, admit “a designed reference to Daniel,” but if, as they also admit that, Rev. 14:14, refers to the personal Advent, then Daniel must predict the same. We are not, however, left to human conjecture on the application of Daniel’s prediction of the Advent. Jesus directly applies it to His future Advent. When before Caiphas, well knowing how the Jews regarded this prophecy, He boldly (Matt. 26:64) says: “Hereafter shall ye see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven,” thus not only locating this Coming in the future, reaffirming its personality by the “shall ye see;” but even, under the grave charge of blasphemy, establishing the Jewish view, that they made a correct application of the prophecy to a personally manifested Messiah.

7. To that class of interpreters who confess the personal Advent to be designated by Daniel, but refer it to His First Advent, we reply: Notice, that the reference made by Christ to it as delineating His Coming at some future time confirms the order given by us under Prop. 104. The Coming is witnessed, not as at the First Advent when the fourth Empire was undivided, long before the horns arose, etc., but in its divided state, and after the horns had arisen and progressed, etc. The unity of the prophecy demands the location of the Advent where Jesus places it.

8. The personal Advent, its uncertainty, suddenness, and stealthy approach is likened, by Matthew, Luke, Paul, and others to that of a thief. Commentators, etc., abundantly connect the idea of a personal Coming with the phrase. It has also been said that a thief does not come figuratively but personally; and the likening of the one to the other embraces the notion of a personal Coming as well as that of the manner of His Coming. But mark, under the sixth vial, just before the fearful gathering of nations, the outpouring of awful judgments, and the Millennium, the Apostle John, giving the testimony of Jesus, Rev. 16:15, says: “Behold I come as a thief. Blessed is he that watcheth,” etc. Why does the Spirit thus employ expressions identical in spirit and design, if not to teach us that this Coming in a thief-like manner is a personal Pre-Millennial one?

9. The Apocalypse begins with “Behold, He comes with clouds and every eye shall see Him,” etc., and ends with “Surely, I come quickly.” The concessions made by opponents on these phrases are numerous, and contradictory to their spiritual interpretations. But they are not needed, for the great vital topic of the Book, viz., the Coming of Jesus, is self-evident; for all the predictions are given to testify to the same, and to events preceding, connected with, and following it. So apparent is this, that some reject the book solely on this ground as teaching a “Jewish” Coming and reign of a personal Messiah. We, however, joyfully accept of this feature as blessed evidence of its inspiration, making it confirmatory of covenanted promises. Now is it reasonable to suppose, that in a Revelation designed to give special information respecting this personal Advent announced in its opening and close as a source of faith, hope, and warning, that an Advent should be specified as preceding the Millennium which is to be understood differently from a personal one, when the language describing it is similar to that employed in other places to designate a personal one? The Spirit, we contend, purposely uses the same phraseology in order to prevent us, if wise, from perverting this doctrine of His Coming.

10. When Christ comes personally, the holy angels or messengers come with Him, 2 Thess. 1:7; Matt. 13:39, 41; 16:21; 24:31, etc. This is also said in reference to the Pre-Mill. Coming; for in Rev. 14:10 (perhaps Eng. version of Joel 3:11); Rev. 19:17; Rev. 20:1, etc., we find angels participate in it, and perform the same things ascribed to them in the preceding passages.

11. When He comes personally we (2 Thess. 1:7, 8) read: “The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty angels in flaming fire,” etc. Other passages teach that then “the tares,” “the chaff,” shall be “cast into a furnace of fire,” shall be “burned with fire unquenchable,” etc. Fire, as descriptive of God’s vengeance, etc., is an element intimately connected with it. The very same is frequently stated in relation to this Pre-Mill. Advent. Thus e.g. Isa. 66:15, 16, “Behold the Lord will come with fire and with His chariots like a whirlwind, to render His anger with fury and His rebuke with flames of fire. For by fire and by His sword will the Lord plead with all flesh” etc., which is almost the phraseology of Paul. Then follows the Millennial glory. Daniel, Joel, Malachi, Isaiah, and others speak of a fire that shall consume and destroy in connection with the Lord’s Coming, to be followed by a glorious Kingdom. This confirmatory fact may be added: in Matt. 25:31; Matt. 13:40–42, etc., it is declared that the wicked are cast into “everlasting fire.” This is done at the personal Sec. Advent, as theologians, of all classes, proclaim. If we turn to the events immediately preceding the Millennium and related to the Coming then manifested, we read, Rev. 19:20, and Rev. 14:9, 10, that certain wicked are cast into a “lake of fire” at this very period. The Spirit again identifies them.

12. In His Sec. Advent, He is represented as coming as (e.g. Matt. 25:34) a King. This is also the characteristic attributed to the Pre-Millennial Coming that He is revealed as “the King” (Zech. 14), even “King of Kings” (Rev. 19), etc. Our entire argument makes this a prerequisite.

13. In the Sec. Advent, Christ comes as Judge, engaged in judging. If there is one feature that specially appertains to the Pre-Mill. Advent it certainly is this, that in numerous places His Coming as Judge and judging is blended with it. See Props. 132, 133, 134.

14. At the Sec. Advent a Kingdom is said to be revealed, as 2 Tim. 4:1, “at His appearing and His Kingdom.” This is frequently, as we have abundantly shown, described as following the Pre-Mill. Advent.

15. At the personal Coming of Jesus, the Scriptures locate a gathering of saints from all quarters, 2 Thess. 2:1, etc. This is precisely what is said to be done at the Advent before the Millennium in numerous places, as has already been indicated. This gathering is described, more or less, by the Prophets, so that even Augustine (City of God, B. 20, c. 23) makes Ps. 50:3–5, denote the personal Coming of Christ.

16. At the Sec. Advent Jesus shall “sit upon the throne of His glory,” Matt. 25:31. This is also stated to follow the Pre-Mill. Coming. Both the throne and the glory, or “the glorious throne” are mentioned, as will be seen in the Prop. on the reign. In comparing such passages as Col. 3:4, Ps. 102, etc., with the Mill. glory, the identity is established. Besides the specific mention of Christ’s throne—a throne even David’s (Acts 2:30, etc.) belonging specially to Him—upon which He personally sits, Rev. 3:21, we find the same throne particularly mentioned in the Pre-Mill. Coming, as in Ps. 89; Isa. 9:7; Jer. 33; Ezek. 37, etc.

17. Into this Kingdom of Christ’s, linked with His “appearing,” believers enter, 1 Pet. 1:7, 13; Matt. 25:34; comp. 2 Pet. 1:11, etc. The personal presence of Jesus, as all believe, is then enjoyed. But the Scriptures unite in locating this entrance, inheriting, reigning, etc., in the Kingdom with the Millennium itself; and hence it implies His personal presence. For, all the promises of future happiness and glory given to the saints to be hereafter enjoyed in Christ’s Kingdom and presence, are also found recorded and fully designated in the Mill. descriptions.

18. The period of Christ’s personal return is at the time of “regeneration” Matt. 19:28, that great glorious “new birth” (res.) of the sons of God and of Creation. But this “regeneration” is identified with the Mill. age (Prop. 145), and hence the Advent is personal.

19. So likewise the period of the “restitution of all things” is preceded by “sending Jesus Christ,” “whom the heavens must receive until the times” are ushered in. Barnes, loci, even admits: “until: this word implies that He would then return to the earth.” To effect this “restitution” Christ’s personal presence is promised. But this “restitution” is the grand theme of the Millennial predictions, the scope of its prophecy, the alleged design of the establishment of the Millennium. See Prop. 144:

20. The personal Advent of Christ is united, by nearly all, with the deliverance of suffering creation from the bondage of corruption, Rom. 8:19–21. The Millennial predictions portray this very deliverance and hence it includes that presence. See Prop. 146.

21. Commentators, etc., inform us that Christ is evidently present in the New Heavens and New Earth of 2 Pet. 3:10–13, etc. But the New Heavens and New Earth of promise (so stated by Peter) are found in the Millennial descriptions, Isa. 65:17–25, Isa. 66:22, and, in the nature of the case, must include the same presence. See Props. 148 and 151.

22. The Spirit, as if purposely to meet the anticipated unbelief, even condescends to tell us, that “His feet shall stand in that day upon the Mt. of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the East,” Zech. 14:4. In this Pre-Mill. Advent the exact locality is pointed out (the same from whence He ascended to heaven), and His personality indisputably demonstrated by “His feet shall stand,” etc. The language is alone applicable to a Pre-Mill. personal Coming, and distinctively refers us to the promise of the angels, Acts 1:11.

23. But, in addition, to indicate in the most striking manner the personality of this Pre-Mill. Coming, it is stated that He shall be seen at that time. Thus, in Micah 3:12, the mountain of the house is made desolate, but in Micah 4:1, etc., this same house is restored, and all agree that in the latter we have a Millennial description. Now, if we turn to Matt. 23:38, 39, and Luke 13:35, it is stated that Jesus at His First Advent did not restore this house which He found and left desolate, but will do so when He comes again: “Behold, your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall NOT SEE ME HENCEFORTH, till ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate, and verily I say unto you, YE SHALL NOT SEE ME until the time come when ye shall say, Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord.” This unequivocally teaches that the people saw Him there; that for a time He would be invisible to the nation, but that they should again see Him; and that seeing would be at the time when He would restore the house from its desolation. The Millennial prophecies show the removal of this desolation, and, hence, that He shall be then seen. But we have more explicit passages: in Rev. 1:7, “Behold He cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see Him; and they also which pierced Him, and all Kindreds of the earth (some read: all tribes of the land) shall wail became of Him.” This at once recalls the parallel prediction of Zech. 12:10, which binds the whole in unity; for at the very time “the house of David” is restored the Millennial predictions are to be verified in the bestowal upon the Jewish nation of the long-promised (but long-delayed) blessings, then “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for Him,” etc. This is corroborated by the general tenor of the prophecies which speak of the presence of the Redeemer, their King, David, etc., at the restoration of the Jewish nation, and of His pleading with the Jews “face to face,” etc.

24. This again is confirmed by James, Acts 15:16, 17, “after this I (Christ) will return,” etc., i.e. after a people are gathered out, as predicted, Jesus will “return” to rebuild the tabernacle of David, etc. Those even who reject our views admit that this “return” is a personal Coming, but inconsistently and violently apply it to the First Advent. But the simple fact that it is a “return;” that it occurs after a certain event is accomplished (yet in course of fulfilment, viz., the gathering); that the tabernacle of David is yet in ruins; that it corresponds with the analogy of prophecy teaching a personal presence, then an absence, and finally a personal return, etc.—makes it alone applicable to the Pre-Mill. Advent.

25. Paul significantly points to the Pre-Mill. personal Advent in Rom. 11, when he connects with it the removal of the blindness of the Jewish nation, and says: “There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer.” For in thus representing Him as Coming in relation to this event, he accords with the portrayal of the Millennium, and, as we have previously intimated, with the Jewish doctrine that “the Coming One” is to perform a great work for the nation. He links his faith with that of the nation’s, as expressed by John the Baptist (“art Thou the Coming One?”), by the people at the entry into Jerusalem (“the Coming One”), but transfers it, as Jesus did (see above 22, which some render “Blessed is the Coming One”) to the still future Advent.

26. Rev. 11:15–18, with its “time of the dead that they should be judged,” its “reward unto Thy servants the prophets,” its removal and destruction of the wicked, etc., cannot possibly be reconciled with a postponement of these events until after the Millennial period has expired. The simple announcement of them under the seventh trumpet is sufficient to sustain our position. These things demand for their fulfilment a personal Pre-Mill. Advent.

27. Phrases are employed, in connection with this Pre-Mill. Coming, which can only be consistently explained as denoting a personal Coming. Thus e.g. in Rev. 14:10, the Image-worshippers, who are to be destroyed, Rev. 19, before the Mill. age, are to “be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels, and in the presence of the Lamb,” i.e. they are to witness (Alford, “visible”) their punishment—indeed, as we find in other places, inflict it. Again, in Isa. 26:21, “Behold the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,” etc., thus vacating the place that now holds Him in accordance with the promise of the angels, etc. This at once reminds the student of Hos. 5:15, Zech. 8:3, etc.
28. When Christ comes, He shall “rule with a rod of iron,” etc. In Rev. 2:27, the saints are to be associated with Him in ruling with the same rod. Now, some of our most persistent opposers frankly admit that this participation of the saints in such ruling will only be witnessed “when the Son of God will come to judge the world.” In Rev. 19:15, before the Mill. era, Jesus comes, and it is announced that “He shall rule them with a rod of iron.”

29. Again, we may insist upon the personality contained in the phrase, “Son of Man.” It is employed, as all concede, to designate the Sec. Advent, a Coming not merely as a divine personage, but as Son of Man, glorified it is true, but one united with humanity, a true descendant of David’s. He is designated the same, as we have shown, in Pre-Mill. predictions (Dan. 7:13; Rev. 14:14), thus showing, if we will but receive it, that a personal Advent is intended.
30. In correspondence with this, Paul tells us, Acts 17:31, that when Christ comes to judge, He comes as the “Man ordained.” The sacred writers designate Him as “the Man,” the descendant of David’s, the promised seed who comes before the Millennial era; therefore, we cannot mistake the Coming of this personage, who is appointed to be revealed as the appointed, ordained, and actual Son of David. In Zech. 6:8, “Behold the Man whose name is the Branch,” etc., we have, as the Apostles corroborate, the work of salvation in its initial, execution, and completion carried on by the Lord Jesus not merely in His relation to God as His Son, but as “the Man” promised to David. Coming as “the Man,” involves the personal Pre-Mill. Advent.
31. This personality and Pre-Mill. Coming can be derived, by comparing Scripture, in several ways from Phil. 2:10, 11, “that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of things (beings) in heaven, and things in (beings on) earth, and things (beings) under the earth.”

a. The time when this is to be fulfilled is seen from the parallel passage, Rom. 14:10, 11, “We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ. For, it is written, As I live, saith the Lord, every knee shall bow to me, and every tongue shall confess to God.” Christ is personally present on this judgment-seat. But according to Isa. 45:23; Isa, 65:16, 23; Ps. 63:11, etc., this will occur at the period when Mill. blessedness is bestowed. See Props. 132, 133, and 134, on Judgment and Judgment Day.

b. It is admitted even by our opponents, that the “things under the earth” that shall “bow” the “knee” are “beings,” viz., the dead, the resurrected dead that shall appear. The application of the passage by Paul indicates a personal presence; the resurrection of the dead requires the same. This resurrection, we have shown, is, so far as the saints, Pre-Millennial, and the passage quoted by Paul standing related to the Millennium (as shown by many commentators, see e.g. Barnes, On Isa. 45:23), it follows that, if verified, Christ is personally present to whom this homage is rendered.

c. The personal name that is to be thus acknowledged is indicative of the personal presence. The Jesus, Joshua, or Saviour is designated “the Christ,” “the Messiah.” By the latter name He is known as the covenanted seed of promise; the former is His personal name. The Apostle argues that not only the name Christ which both Jews and Gentiles acknowledge, but the personal name given by God to this one person, viz., that of Jesus as the Christ and consequently the Lord, the predicted and covenanted Ruler in the Davidic order, shall be openly acknowledged by all. Now, such an acknowledgment of the name, identifying the Lordship with the person called Jesus, seems to demand a personal presence, which, doubtless, led the angels to say so pointedly, Acts 1:11, “this same Jesus,” etc. This contributes to the honor and glorification of the Father, that that which is now denied by so many should be openly manifested, especially before His covenanted nation. If we accept of the application and amplification of this Millennial description by Paul, then it follows that Christ is personally thus acknowledged at the Mill. era. The whole passage impresses us with distinctive personality.

32. In the description of His personal Advent, Matt. 25:31, informs us that “before Him shall be gathered all nations,” etc. This is an adjunct of the Pre-Mill. Coming, for Isa., Jer., Ezek., Zeph., Joel, Zech., John, and others unite in declaring that a gathering of the nations shall take place immediately preceding and connected with such a Coming. Rev. 16:14–16, and Rev. 19:19, etc., are alone a complete confirmation of such a Pre-Mill. gathering linked with the Advent. The Spirit again identifies the Coming.

33. It is granted that, Matt. 13:30, 39, 41, Jesus personally comes at the harvest at the end of the age. Joel (3:13, etc.) informs us that the Lord will come when the harvest is ripe, before the Millennium. So Rev. 14:14, 15, tells us that “the Son of Man” shall come when “the harvest of the earth is ripe,” and this also precedes the Millennial era. This connection of the Advents with the “harvest” by the Spirit is intentional so that we may identify them as one and the same.

34. The Coming of the Son of Man, Matt. 24 and Luke 21, is “after” “immediately after” a tribulation which runs down through the times of the Gentiles, and is accompanied by the gathering or harvest of the elect. With all the efforts made by our opponents to spiritualize this Coming into a Providential one, nearly all of them are forced to allow that it includes a future personal one. But if so (which we believe), then it follows that it must be one preceding the Mill. age, because it is to be witnessed at the closing period of this long-continued tribulation—a tribulation which, in the very nature of the case, cannot enter into or exist contemporaneously with the Millennium. This Advent then precedes it.

35. The Sec. Advent is designed for Salvation, Heb. 9:28, etc. This we have shown is a distinguishing characteristic of the Pre-Mill. Coming, and hence, as Barnes informs us (Com. loci), “Tholuck and the Germans generally” interpret Rom. 13:11 to apply “to the personal reign of Christ on earth.” That such an application of the passage is correct is evident (1) from the contrast of night and day following (see Props. 138 and 139, on Day of Christ), and (2) in using the words “Salvation,” “night,” and “day,” according to Jewish usage and expectations (comp. e.g. Isa. 25:9).

36. In the Sec. Advent four things are united, as e.g. in 2 Thess. 1:5–11, (1) the rest or Kingdom; (2) the triumphant, irresistible Coming of Jesus; (3) the overthrow of and vengeance upon the enemies; (4) the deliverance and blessedness of God’s people. These four things are also united with the Pre-Mill. Coming, as can be seen by reference to numerous Mill. predictions, already frequently quoted.

37. The binding and confinement of Satan is Pre-Millennial. This is Christ’s work, and the entire train of prediction from Gen. 3:15 down leaves the decided impression that this is done by a personal manifestation; for while provision was made at the First Advent to accomplish it, the victory itself is not seen until the time of the Second. Down to the Sec. Coming Satan is the avowed, loosened enemy, corrupting the Church and the world, exciting the nations to open hostility, to whose power the saints are exposed and the sleeping are held fast in his bonds. Such a deposing and binding of Satan, as the Millennium demands to secure a fulfilment of promise, the appointed Seed alone, in His own personal power, can perform.

38. We may urge even the eminent fitness of Christ, the Second Adam, manifesting Himself personally in the very place where Satan obtained his triumphs over the first Adam, at the very time that Satan is bound and his work of deception is stayed. Where man fell, there the triumph of man, the woman’s seed, is also to be exhibited; and if so, it involves a personal Coming at the period of the Millennium.

39. Hence, this is confirmed by the announcement, that this Pre-Mill. Coming is for the purpose of “Redemption.” It is granted that He comes personally in “the day of Redemption,” Matt. 19:27, 28; Rom. 8:23; Eph. 4:30, etc. The Mill. descriptions are full of this Redemption; that Jesus then comes as “Redeemer,” that He then “redeems” His people, and that they shall be called “the redeemed,” “the redeemed of the Lord,” etc. The accordance of phraseology, the identity of acts performed, etc., again teach us what Coming is intended.

40. The personal Coming shall occur when “the mystery of God is finished.” That the finishing of the mystery includes the open revelation of Christ, the vindication of God’s ways, the judgments of Christ, the overthrow of Satan and his deposition from being “the god of this world,” and the exaltation of the saints, is admitted by our opponents. In Rev. 10:7 it is asserted in the most express terms, that “in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, as He hath declared to His servants the Prophets.” Under this seventh trumpet (and mark, too, at the beginning of the sounding and not at its close, or, as some even grossly have it, a thousand years after the sounding) then, which introduces the Millennium, this mystery relating to the Kingdom, the general theme of the Prophets, is finished. If the mystery is indeed finished, then the King has come and the Kingdom is established. If we notice the events occurring under this last trumpet, they are precisely such as include the Advent and Kingdom. Briefly, if the mystery of God as stated by the Prophets, the divine purpose of God in Christ, the consummation of covenanted promises, is then finished, completed, manifested, then it follows, of necessity, that the Pre-Mill. Coming of Jesus under this seventh trumpet is a personal one.

41. The Spirit locates the marriage of the Lamb as Pre-Millennial, and against the statements of the multitude who would postpone it until the close of the Millennium, expressly says, Rev. 19:7, 8, 9, that this “marriage of the Lamb is come,” etc. A marriage without the personal presence of the bridegroom is an incongruity. Such a presence is demanded by the blessings bestowed by the marriage, and is insured by the Advent predicted in its connection, and by the allusions to it, as in Matt. 25:1–13, and in the Prophets.

42. This is forcibly corroborated by the Scripture just referred to, viz., the parable (Matt. 25:1–13) of the ten virgins. For the preceding context and the word “then” indicate that a delineation of the Church is given as it will exist at the Sec. Advent. The Bridegroom comes, and those who are prepared “went in with Him to the marriage.” The Coming of the Bridegroom is represented as personal, for the wise “go out to meet Him,” and are “with Him.” This Coming must be Pre-Millennial, for such a mixture of wise and foolish does not exist in the Millennium. The parable which follows that of the virgins also teaches a personal Coming.

43. At the Sec. Advent when, Matt. 16:27, “the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father, then He shall reward every man according to his works.” The same thing of rewarding is stated in connection with this Pre-Mill. Coming. Thus e.g. Isa. 40:10; Rev. 11:18, etc., distinctly announce it.

44. Heb. 1:6, “And when He bringeth in (marg. read when He bringeth again) the first begotten into the world, He saith, And let all the angels of God worship Him.” This verse which has perplexed many expositors is plain, if we but remember that Christ is called “the first begotten” with reference to His resurrection from the dead in Rev. 1:5, and Col. 1:18, and that the Apostle had just referred in preceding verse (comp. Acts 13:33 with verse 5) to the resurrection of Christ as a begetting. As taught distinctively in marg. reading, with which critics generally agree, this same resurrected, first begotten Jesus shall come “again.” This must be applied to His Second Coming, seeing that it is after He is constituted “the First Begotten.” If the personal Advent is intended, as expositors hold, it can be shown to be Pre-Millennial by the quotation appended by Paul, “let all the angels,” etc. If the quotation is derived (Barnes) from the Septuagint rendering of Deut. 32:43, then it is identified with “avenging the blood of His servants, and rendering vengeance to His adversaries,” thus agreeing with the acts assigned to Christ’s Pre-Mill. Coming. If, on the other hand, it is taken from Ps. 97:7, then it stands in immediate relation to the reigning and “presence of the Lord of the whole earth,” the destruction or “burning up” of His enemies, the overthrow of image-worshippers, the exaltation of Zion, all people seeing His glory, etc., thus again corresponding with events ascribed to Christ’s Advent before and at the Millennium.

45. There is a day of the Lord, of Jesus Christ, of the Son of Man to be revealed in the future. In Luke 17:24; Phil. 1:6, etc., it is allowed that Christ will be personally present in that day. It is easy to show by a comparison of Scripture that “the day of the Lord” mentioned in Millennial predictions is the same spoken of by the Apostles. This we will do hereafter (Props. 138 and 139), and for the present it is amply sufficient to say that the use of the phrase by the Apostles confirmed the Jewish idea of “the day of the Lord,” “the day of the Messiah,” as the predicted Millennial day. If the Jewish expectation was erroneous, as moderns now say, then it was wrong for inspired men to employ such confirmatory phraseology without appending a suitable correction or definition, etc.

46. The reader, if a careful student of the Word, must have noticed the peculiarity, that not one of the Prophets speak of an Advent to follow the Millennial age. It is something—although now so prevalent—utterly unknown to them. The Coming of the Lord, the predicted Seed, etc., is always represented as occurring previously, and that age is described as the result of such an Advent. It is in vain to look for any other order given by the holy men of old; and therefore, in the nature of the case, they denoted, as the Jews, disciples, and. Apostles held, a personal Coming.

47. In addition to this, in the epitome of events running down from the establishment of the Christian Church to the Sec. Advent, such as Matt., chs. 24 and 26; 2 Thess. 2; Mark 13; Luke 21, in direct reference to this personal Coming, no mention is made of an intervening Millennium of blessedness, such as the Prophets describe, but tribulation, oppression, apostasy, etc., are to be experienced and witnessed. Hence that Sec. Advent attached to these epitomes, allowed by commentators, etc., to be personal, must precede that age.

48. Eminent writers on prophecy have well remarked, that the First and Second Advents are sometimes so linked together in prophecy that it requires discrimination to discern what belongs to the one or to the other. The same language is applied to both so far as Coming is concerned, only that the one (the First) refers more directly to humiliation, suffering, etc., the other (the Second) to the glory that shall be revealed. The Sec. Advent is an outgrowth or result of the First (Props. 34, 66, 75, etc.). The simple fact that they are thus spoken of together, without an effort at discrimination; that the Second is far more definitely and minutely described than the First; that they both (the First as preparative) stand related to the Millennium—this should influence us to believe that as one was literal, so the other will be the same.

49. This Pre-Mill. Coming is a personal one, on the ground that the objections alleged against its personality apply, if legitimately carried out, with equal force against the First Advent or a future personal Sec. Advent. If so many arguments, showing that it is personal, have no weight, if they can be so readily explained away as figurative, or spiritual, or providential, then it follows, if that principle of interpretation is logically applied, that there is no personal Coming of Christ in the future. Who that hath faith in the simple, sublime utterances of God will credit this? Alas! multitudes are doing this to-day; taking the weapons forged to their hand by reputed orthodox divines, influenced by the refining mystical process so generally adopted in these passages they spiritualize the Sec. Advent; churches, counting their thousands upon thousands, utterly reject a personal Sec. Advent, and the leaven is penetrating far and wide. Such an Advent as we contend for is personal, thus making our system of interpretation a consistent and uniform one, leaving no room, and affording no refuge, for the denial of a Second personal Advent.

50. But brevity demands a mere mention of other arguments, such as (1) the supernatural and miraculous events connected with the Kingdom (Props. 6 and 7). (2) The prophecies interpreted literally (Prop. 21) sustains it (3) The preaching of John, Jesus, disciples, and Apostles indorses it (Prop. 16, etc.). (4) The re-establishment of the Theocracy in the Davidic line demands it (Props. 31, 32, 33, 48, 49, etc.). (5) The postponement of the Kingdom indicates it (Props. 56, 57, 58, 59, etc.). (6) The preaching of the Apostles after the death and ascension of Christ (Props. 71–74). (7) The removal of the Kingdom to the close of the tribulation and times of the Gentiles (Prop. 66). (8) The doctrine of the election corroborates it (Props. 62–65). (9) This Kingdom a Jewish one in its foundation, etc. (Prop. 68). (10) Arguments can be derived from what has been said respecting the Church (Props. 88–104, etc.). (11) The specific mention and promise of the Kingdom to David’s Son (Prop. 84). (12) Incidental arguments from the visibility, etc., of the Kingdom, the oneness of the Kingdom, the teaching of the parables, the inheriting of the land by David’s Son and His brethren, the corroboration of passages supposed to teach the contrary, the restoration of the Jewish nation, etc. (see Props. on these). (13) Additional arguments will be found in following Propositions.

51. Millenarian writers have always insisted that a personal Pre-Mill. Advent is to be witnessed under the seventh or last trumpet. Now, Bengel in his Gnomon has shown, that by the authority of the earliest MSS. the phrases “and art to come” in Rev. 11:17, “and shalt be” in Rev. 16:5, are to be rejected. This criticism is fully sustained by the authoritative Sinaitic MSS. discovered by Prof. Tischendorf. The student may well ponder this omission thus given by the Spirit. Why should the title of “Who is to come,” or “the Coming One” given in Rev. 1:4, 8 and 4:8 be omitted in 11:17 and 16:5? The reason, so corroborative of our faith, was given long ago by Ansbert (as quoted by Bengel): “They do not here subjoin, as they are accustomed, ‘and Who art to come;’ they speak of Him as already present.” This omission, as the weightiest MSS. (admitted by Anti-Millenarians, as Prof. Stuart, Com.) prove, is not accidental but intentional, showing that the Coming One is no longer expected to come, but has already come. It is a beautiful, incidental, and most powerful proof confirmatory of our position, indicative of a Pre-Mill. arrival and presence.

52. The Jews (Prop. 160, Obs. 2, etc.) held that the Antichrist preceded the personal Coming of the Son of Man, which view was derived from Dan. 7, etc. Now (1) the Antichrist did not precede the first Advent; (2) Paul (2 Thess.), John (Apoc.), well knowing this Jewish doctrine, locate this Antichrist in the future; (3) they, employing language expressive of a personal Advent and without indicating the Jews to be in error, associate with this Antichrist (i.e. his destruction) the personal Coming of Jesus; (4) this Antichrist, the Coming of Christ, and the overthrow of the former, are witnessed before the ushering in of the Millennium. This is the plain order laid down by the Spirit.

53. It is admitted, as we have repeatedly shown (Prop. 75, etc.) from others, that the Apostles and those under their immediate instruction looked for a near Advent of the Saviour. The express language is so definite on this point that it is not susceptible of a different interpretation, so that commentators concede it, some with and others without any explanation. Having previously given (e.g. Prop. 74) the probable reasons for such a faith, we now refer to it as a decided proof of their belief in a personal Pre-Mill. Advent. For urging this nearness, an event that might at any time occur, after the rise and progress of an apostasy, indicates in the clearest manner that they at least did not entertain the modern Whitbyan “new hypothesis” of an intervening Millennium before the Advent. Taking it even for granted (which we do not) that they were “ignorant” or “mistaken” as to future events and the period of time to elapse before that Advent, it does not follow that they were also “ignorant,” etc., as to the nature of the Advent or its connection with continued suffering, etc., down to its occurrence. If the Advent itself that they looked for is personal, then the knowledge they had received from Christ respecting the Kingdom and the plain predictions of Millennial blessedness to be realized at a Coming of Christ’s, if they were to be experienced in this dispensation, would most certainly have prevented such utterances in men who were guided into truth by the same Spirit that gave the predictions. The unity is alone preserved by admitting that the Advent is Pre-Millennial. If in error on the one point, they were the same in making it Pre-Millennial. We are content to remain “ignorant” and “mistaken” in such company, for we recognize a propriety in such declarations utterly irreconcilable with current doctrines.

54. We hold to this Pre-Mill. Coming as personal, because we are plainly told that as the Millennial age draws nigh, the world, and even the professed Church, will be disinclined to believe in a personal Coming. The world shall reject the doctrine and ridicule it; the Church as a body shall slumber and sleep; professed servants shall say, “My Lord delayeth His Coming;” and many shall declare, “Where is the promise of His Coming?” “When the Son of Man cometh shall He find faith on the earth?” Surely He would find such, if the earth just emerged from Millennial glory, but in the darkness, etc., preceding that age, faith is almost extinct in His Coming. Nearly all prophetical writers agree that, owing to the limited nature of the chronological prophecies, the Mill. era cannot be far distant, and we find that the world and Church are rapidly drifting into this precise condition of unbelief. Such a position of unbelief in a personal Coming cannot exist in the Church in its present form after the Millennium; and, therefore, its extensive existence, advocated by all classes, is a strong presumptive proof, why we should insist on its being a literal Coming.

55. Christ will come personally to introduce Mill. glory just previous to a period—connected with this dispensation—of apostasy and unbelief, 2 Thess. 2:8; 2 Tim. 3:1–5; 2 Pet. 3:3, 4, etc., of great trouble and trial, Rev. 19; Ps. 2; Luke 21:25–28, etc., of scepticism and indifference, 1 Thess. 5:3; Jude 14, 15, 16, etc., so that it shall come “as a snare,” Luke 21:35, etc. But while this is so, God, simply judging from the past, will never permit such an occurrence as this Pre-Mill. Advent, so tremendous in its effects both upon the world and the Church, to take place without suitable warning. It is reasonable to expect from the past dealings of God, that, in His providence, He will raise up men, who, amid sarcasm, ridicule, charges of error, heresy, folly, enthusiasm, fanaticism, etc., will, Noah-like, faithfully point to this personal Coming, and warn the Church and world of its approach by direct appeals. Amos 3:7, “Surely the Lord God will do nothing, but He revealeth His secret unto His servants the prophets,” compared with Ps. 25:14, “the secret of the Lord is with them that fear Him and He will show them His covenant” (marg. read. “and His covenant to make them know it”). Now, if this Coming is personal we ought to find (1) predictions that it would be recognized by some; and (2) that as the age is approaching, men will proclaim it. This we do, for (1) it is promised that some shall know it, and a cry of its nearness shall be raised, Luke 21:28; 1 Thess. 5:4; Matt. 25:6; Mal. 4:5, 6; Rev. 16:15; and (2) some men in nearly all denominations hold to and proclaim this warning, “Behold, the Bridegroom cometh.” Such a striking and predicted coincidence serves to confirm our faith in the Pre-Mill personal Coming. It is also one of the evidences given by the Spirit, and as such we accept of it. Thus we have the Spirit, in the most various and accommodating forms, shaping His revelations to sustain our weakness and preserve us from forsaking “the old paths” of belief.

Obs. 9. (1) An argument might be erected on the chronological prophecies which approximatively would indicate a Pre-Mill. Advent, but they are purposely passed by, because they would require extended notice. (2) So also the theory, so prevalent in the early Church, of the six thousand years before the Advent and Millennium, which is only susceptible of indirect corroboration. (3) Another class of arguments might, however, be advanced with advantage. Thus e.g. if the Millennium is experienced as predicted, then, owing to the state of universal righteousness and blessedness, much of the New Testament would be in a great degree inapplicable. To illustrate: how could “the friendship of the world” be “enmity against God” when all its Kingdoms do Him honor and service; how could those who “live godly in Christ Jesus suffer persecution” when all persecution had ceased; how could the way to life be “narrow” and the way to destruction “broad,” etc., when to follow the multitude would be to follow the righteous, etc.?* It appears necessary therefore, in consideration of the extraordinary changes that will then be wrought in the condition of God’s people, in such a dispensation of affairs, that Christ should in some special manner manifest Himself and bestow, in such a revolution, a revelation of His will adapted to the actual circumstances of the saints, etc. (Prop. 167) That there will be a Coming and a special revelation suited to that state all believe, but, on reflection, what Coming is so suitable, so desirable, so applicable to the intended change as the personal? (4) Besides this, as we have shown, in the Millennium is to be secured an infallible, accessible head (of which Popery is a shabby imitation) to secure perfect government, union, etc. To secure such a needed visibly manifested source of knowledge and power, able to unite all nations, to give forth all law, to establish the true sense of Scripture beyond appeal, etc.—a want which the world sadly feels—the personal Advent alone gives satisfaction, meeting the demands. The current of prophecy teaches, that this want will be supplied, in the Coming of a Ruler, now absent, who shall be accessible to the nations—in the Advent of a King whose infallibility and divine attributes will secure the establishment of a government of indisputable authority, etc. (Props. 200–204). (5) Again, the Old Test. Scriptures hold up to the eye of faith as its chief prospect, and to the heart of hope as its great object, a glorious Millennial period in which Christ, the Messiah, the promised Seed, should manifest His glory and firmly establish the happiness and exaltation of His people. Now, if those who for many centuries read these descriptions and hoped that they themselves should experience this blessedness, are not raised up by a Pre-Mill. Coming and resurrection so that they can enter into the enjoyment of this predicted state of glory, then indeed the wisest and best (including, as our opponents admit, inspired men and their disciples) have indulged a faith that is vain, and a hope that is delusive. But God does not deal thus with His creatures, when His Word contains promises which in their simple grammatical construction involve His honor in performance. (6) Again, in order to fully exhibit a Pre-Mill. Advent, a number of adjuncts are indispensably necessary, such as a resurrection, a judgment, a Kingdom, an inheriting, a new creation, etc., seeing that all these are united with the Sec. Advent. How comes it then that all these are either directly mentioned in connection with the Pre-Mill. Coming or with the age itself? No one who rejects our view has been able to give an explanation of this remarkable coincidence. We, on the other hand, rejoice in it, as being a matter of design to lead inquirers into the truth. One single flaw (omission) here in reference to any important event united with the Advent, would indeed be a serious defect in our system and render it, in so far, worthy of grave suspicion. Thus e.g. if no judgment was connected with this Pre-Mill. Coming, if we could not consistently show from the Scriptures that the judgment (for instance, in Matt. 25) was just previous to the Millennium, then, we admit, a most serious and inseparable objection would be raised up against us. But since not only the judgment but all the other events are distinctly linked with the Pre-Mill. Advent, we insist that all these concurrent facts, which do not occur by chance, but were purposely engrafted upon it, contain the evidence of so many separate witnesses to the truth of our doctrine. We can justly claim, that such a union of events is a powerful reason why we should receive so cheering a belief. Especially so, when we again remind the reader how the Jews believed in such a Pre-Mill. Advent, how Jesus and the Apostles employed the language of the prophets pertaining to it, and, without any intimation of a change in the meaning, transfer it over and apply it to the Sec. Advent, thus directing Jews and Gentiles to a future, glorious Pre-Mill. Coming.*

Obs. 10. The fact is, that arguments in favor of a personal Pre-Mill. Advent abound on all sides. That this is no empty boast, we select some more, in addition to those given, for the reader’s consideration. (1) If we are allowed to take the application of Isa. 63, the Coming from Edom, to Christ, as given by the early Church, by Origen, Jerome, Cyril, Eusebius, Procopius, etc., by Lowth, Cocceius, Calovius, Vitringa, etc., while rejecting the notion held by some of its denoting the First Advent us utterly inconsistent, yet, accepting of the notion of personality admitted, by a comparison of Scripture, it will be found to sustain a Pre-Mill. Coming. (2) The exceeding prominency given, and frequent allusions made, to the Sec. Advent, which is only reconcilable with our doctrine. (3) The general prophetical announcements of the Pre-Mill. Coming are sustained by the same given without symbol in a plain grammatical sense, as e.g. Zech. 14. This has indeed proven to be one of the most difficult passages for our opponents to spiritualize. Some have candidly confessed that they know not what to do with it; and if the order there laid down is observed, it is impossible for them to fit it into their system. (4) The design in giving the transfiguration (see Prop. 153 on Transfig.). (5) Even Isa. 49:2, embracing (Alex. versions) the sharp sword out of Christ’s mouth, is admitted by numerous commentators to refer to His personal Advent; but the same thing is said of Him in Rev. 19. (6) “As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world,” John 9:5, this taken in connection with the fourth verse, as Neander well states (S. 198, note, Life of Christ) has reference to “His personal, visible manifestation,” being “the Sun of the world, visible upon the earth itself.” Now, considering how Christ employed the figure, can we not justly and forcibly employ it, when interpreting “the Sun of righteousness” of Mal. 4, as denoting the same visible presence, especially when the context demands it? The early Church, and many writers, thus regarded it. (7) So if we were to take ancient comments on Mal. 3:1, 2, an argument could be formed by comparison of Scripture. For, Clement (First Epis., ch. 23) quotes Mal. 3:1, 2, to be fulfilled hereafter, and Augustine (City of God, b. 18, ch. 35) has: “in this place, he has foretold both the First and the Second Advent of Christ; the First, to wit of which he says, ‘And He shall come suddenly in His temple,’ etc. And of the Second Advent he says, ‘Behold, He cometh, saith the Lord Almighty, and who shall abide,’ etc. (8) The entry into Jerusalem by which as many admit “the Saviour appears to have awakened and nourished those earthly Messianic hopes” (Olshausen, Com., vol. 2, p. 142) is only reconcilable with our view of this Coming and Kingdom. (9) Every dispensation in the historical development of Redemption is preceded by a personal manifestation of God, as the Adamic, Mosaic, the present; and as the Millennial differs from this one also, introducing a new era, and promises in glowing terms a special manifestation, we cannot see why it should form an exception. (10) If we do not divide or separate what the Mill. descriptions contain, but allow them to describe one period of time here on the earth as they evidently do, then our doctrine legitimately follows. Hence, against us, by spiritualizing, the most arbitrary measures are taken with these predictions, locating part here and another part in heaven, and making a part present and a part future, etc. (11) The dominion that Adam forfeited was to be exercised here on the earth personally, now if the Sec. Adam restores that dominion in his own person, it must also be exhibited personally. The Mill. predictions require this feature in their demands, so that the three aspects in which Paul represents Christ (as many writers have shown) meets this condition: (a) sub-angelic humiliation; (b) heavenly exaltation; (c) earthly dominion. (12) The last seal, Rev. 6:15–17, evidently describes a personal appearance of Christ, “hide us from the face of Him that sitteth on the throne and the wrath of the Lamb,” etc. This period is made by many writers, as Wood house, Lord, Cunninghame, etc., to synchronize with latter part of Rev. 19; and the same is asserted by others, even by some of those who have an inchoate fulfilment on the year-day interpretation. We are not now concerned in its application, excepting that it is Pre-Millennial; that it somehow includes the personal presence of Christ; and that the same idea is used by Jesus in reference to His personal Advent in Luke 23:30. (13) A prophet like unto Moses, Deut. 18:13–19, is supposed by many to include characteristics which Jesus will only fully reveal at the Sec. Advent, such as Judge, etc. The connection, etc., requires a personal presence.

Obs. 11. Again, we ask the reader to consider the peculiar and distinctive work that is to be accomplished in the Mill. age, and are we not abundantly justified in insisting upon a personal Coming which alone (Prop. 120) can adequately account for its performance? The resurrection from among the dead, the renovation of nature, the restoration of all things, the re-establishment of the Davidic throne and Kingdom, the complete subversion of anti-christian domination, the exaltation to power and authority of the pious, the entire reversal of the moral, social, and political condition of the world, the binding of Satan, the utter destruction of the enemies of God, the perfect vindication of truth and justice, etc.—all this, embracing the most radical and grand changes that the world has yet witnessed, demands the personal intervention of Him in whom all power is lodged. Therefore the general analogy of Scripture, as our line of argument clearly evinces, insists upon, and takes even for granted, this personal Pre-Mill Advent.*

Obs. 12. Considering the prominence and preciousness of this doctrine of a Pre-Mill. Advent, it is strange that men should so persistently reject and condemn it, notwithstanding the cautions and warnings given. The reason for its unpopularity and bitter opposition must be found in its condemnatory nature. It sets aside all human systems, all worldly schemes of regeneration, all man-devised plans to realize the Messiah’s Kingdom on earth, all confidence in the resources of nature, reason, etc., declaring that the personal intervention of Jesus, the Christ, is requisite to bring about the world’s restoration to Millennial blessedness. This is humbling to man’s pride, to his worldliness, to his schemes of reformation, all of which this Advent dooms to destruction. This exalting of the Christ and His work is condemnatory of man and his work, and hence man hates it, for it is a constant and jarring protest to his vain ideas of progress and reform, to his estimate of the Church’s and world’s actual mission and condition.*

Obs. 13. This Sec. Advent will be the greatest and grandest event that the world has ever yet witnessed. Great and glorious as was the First Advent—unspeakably precious and indispensably necessary unto Salvation—yet it was a Coming in humiliation and ending in death, with a glimpse at exaltation, but this is a Coming in overwhelming power, splendor, majesty, and glory—a Coming in triumph and like the mighty Theocratic King. To this Coming the Scriptures especially turns the eye of faith and speaks of it in the most lofty and exultant strain; and we may rest assured that what God thus describes, and to which He directs the hope of prophets, Apostles, and believers, must be inconceivably magnificent. It is an honor to aid in upholding and directing attention to it.*

Obs. 14. The early Christians, as numerous writers assert, had as their watchword the expressive “Maranatha” or “The Lord Cometh.” This word “Maranatha”, was used by the Jews (comp. Macknight, Ency. Relig. Knowl., etc.) expressive for “our Lord comes” (Lange, 1 Cor. loci). and is appropriately applied by Paul (1 Cor. 16:22) to the Sec. Advent of Jesus, thus according with the “Coming One” of Matt. 11:3; Luke 17:19, 20; John 6:14, and 11:27; Jude 14, and in Revelation. The usage (see Props. 74 and 75) and belief based thereupon forbid the notion of an intervening Millennium. Considering the Scriptural testimony for our faith already given (and much to be presented in following Propositions), and the exceeding preciousness of this Coming, well may we conclude this Prop. by urging the reader to have impressed upon mind and heart the pregnant word “Maranatha” (comp. Brookes’s Maranatha, pp. 7–11).

PROPOSITION 122. As Son of Man, David’s Son, Jesus inherits David’s throne and Kingdom, and also the land of Palestine.

This has been already proven under the Propositions pertaining to the covenant (49, 50, 51, 52, etc.), and was so understood by the Jews and the early Christians. Leaving the proof already assigned, directly derived from the covenant, attention is now called to the manner in which this inheritance is spoken of in the Scriptures. (With this comp. such Props. as 117, 131, 132, 137, etc.)

Obs. 1. Writers by confining themselves to the Divine Sovereignty and overlooking the specific promises to David’s Son, have Christ now in the enjoyment of the promised inheritance. To make this out, the language is spiritualized until David’s throne and Kingdom is elevated to heaven and the land itself is converted into the Church or heaven or the universe. Besides this, it is rashly asserted that for Jesus to come again and obtain such a Theocratic rule here on earth would be derogatory to His dignity, etc. Having already replied to this and showed the impropriety and danger of our prejudging what is right and proper for Christ to perform, we rest content with the plain and repeated statements of the word. And, moreover, it can be seen that the fulfilment of these promises will subserve noble purposes. The humanity of Christ. His contact with man in David’s line, gives Him the leverage for Redemptive purposes; so also His contact through humanity with the throne and Kingdom of David gives Him the requisite leverage for a Theocratic rule, a divine government over the human race for the completion of Redemption. In looking closely at this wonderful arrangement, we find it most singularly adapted to secure the happiness of the creature man. In the infinity of matter, in the immensity of the universe, the man feels himself in almost the condition of an atom, and he finds only a consoling point of contact, of union, with the Infinite Architect in the Incarnation of Christ; so in the astounding, outgrowing laws of government, felt to be necessarily universal, acknowledged to be inseparable to order, happiness, etc., and yet in the history of the world running in selfishness and antagonisms through depravity, man can only find a point of union and needed support with the Divine in the reign of the glorified humanity of David’s Son. It brings God to man and man to God in the highest of all relations, that of religious, social, and civil law and order.*

Obs. 2. Having previously shown how Jesus as David’s Son is entitled to David’s throne and Kingdom; how the same throne and Kingdom over thrown and for a long time remaining overturned is finally restored (Ezek. 21:25–27; Hos. 3:4, 5; Amos 9:11; Acts 15:16, etc.), it is only necessary to indicate how the Scriptures in their general tenor preserve the idea that such is the inheritance of David’s Son. This Kingdom is declared to be “His inheritance” the Lord’s (1 Sam. 10:11): “mine inheritance” (2 Kings 21:14), “Thine inheritance” (Ps. 28:9 etc.), and “the inheritance of the Lord” (1 Sam. 26:19 and 2 Sam. 21:3), in view of the Theocratic arrangement, for, as Solomon stated in his prayer (1 Kings 8:51, 53), this nation is “Thy people and Thine inheritance,” “for Thou didst separate them from among all the people of the earth to be Thine inheritance, as Thou spakest unto Moses.” Hence they are called “the tribes of Thine inheritance” (Isa. 63:17), “the mountain of Thine inheritance” (Ex. 15:17), “a people of inheritance” (Deut. 4:20), “Thy people and Thine inheritance” (Deut. 9:26, 29). Such language repeatedly employed must have a significant meaning, and this is only found in the special relationship that the Jewish nation sustains to God as their Ruler. But having shown that this Theocratic rule is absorbed and manifested in the Davidic line, and culminates in the Person of Jesus Christ, who is both the Son of David and the Son of God, the Scriptures speak of this inheritance belonging to Christ in this double relationship; but especially, because of the Covenant with Abraham and then with David, speak of it as pertaining to Him as David’s Son, the Son of Man, seeing that the Kingdom is to be administered by Him because of His descent in the covenanted line, and only through this Humanity can the Ruler Himself be exhibited, etc. In addition to our previous argument showing that as David’s Son He inherits David’s throne and Kingdom, we add in this connection—that “heir of all things” (Heb 1:2) to whom the heathen also shall be given as an “inheritance” (Ps. 2:8): yea, even the kingdoms of this world (Dan. 7, and Rev. 11), yet He is also “out of Judah an inheritor of My mountains” (Isa. 65:9), who will “return for Thy servants’ sake, the tribes of Thy inheritance” (Isa. 63:17), for “the Lord shall inherit Judah, His portion in the holy land and shall choose Jerusalem again” (Zech. 2:12), because “the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David, and He shall reign over the house of Jacob forever” (Luke 1:32, 33). Men may think that this Heir of David’s will not care for such an inheritance, but “the Lord will not cast off His people, neither will He forsake His inheritance” (Ps. 94:14), for the time will come when this Heir whom His own people Killed shall return again and claim His right. The reasons having been given under the covenant, this will be confirmed by showing in the following Observation that not merely the throne and Kingdom but even the territory, the land itself, is claimed as part of this inheritance. If the latter is the case, then the former is the more readily acknowledged.*

Obs. 3. Jesus, as David’s Son and the Theocratic Ruler with whom the Father is united and identified, is the Heir of Palestine. If any one is disposed to object to what follows, on the ground that such an Heirship reduces Christ too much to the level of man, we remind him that this is of God’s own ordering and for the purpose of accomplishing the most noble designs pertaining to Redemption. Precisely the same reason might be (and has been) adduced against the Incarnation itself, and, therefore, we should be guarded in bringing forward objections based on our own ideas of the fitness of things. It is natural to suppose that to a believer who accepts the Word as written by faith, the simple reason assigned in Ps. 132 would be sufficient to remove all objections; for David, after declaring God’s fixed determination confirmed by oath, “of the fruit of thy body will I set upon thy throne,” adds: “for the Lord hath chosen Zion; He hath desired it for His habitation. This is my rest forever; here will I dwell; for I have desired it.” The Theocratie-Davidic arrangement involves the actual, real possession of the land by the Ruler. The covenant, prophecy, and promise demand it. Let the reader notice that just so soon as this Theocratic arrangement is entered into, and God condescends to act in the capacity of earthly Ruler, then special claims are made in reference to the land occupied by His nation. The land is expressly called “His land,” and cannot be sold in perpetuity (Lev. 25:23); “the land shall not be sold forever: for the land is Mine; for ye are strangers and sojourners with Me.” It is frequently called “the inheritance of the Lord,” and by names indicative of its sustaining a peculiar affinity to God and His Son Jesus Christ. This nearness of the land, its possession, is even represented under the figure of marriage, that the Saviour is married or united to the land (Isa. 62:4). Having proven (Prop. 49) that the land is Christ’s, it only is requisite to show that His inheritance is not vitiated by the sad condition in which the land has lain for many centuries. This is done abundantly by the prophets who predict its restoration to an Edenic fruitfulness, etc. It is amply sufficient, for the present, to say that God in Lev. 26 declares that in case of wickedness and rebellion He will make the land desolate and waste, even an astonishment, but that He will not “break His covenant;” for, after all the desolation, the time will come, when “I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and also My covenant with Isaac, and also My covenant with Abraham will I remember; and I will remember the land.” This is still more distinctly asserted in the remarkable predictions in Deut. 32, which is particularly commended to the reader’s attention. After describing that “the Lord’s portion is His people; Jacob is the lot of His inheritance,” that this people would rebel and that fearful, prolonged disaster would occur to them and the land, he informs us that God will return again for purposes of vengeance and restitution, breaking forth: “Rejoice, O ye nations with His people, for He will avenge the blood of His servants and will render vengeance to His adversaries, and will be merciful unto His land and to His people.” We need not be surprised at this, seeing that it is a solemnly covenanted land, “a land which the Lord thy God careth for (marg. read. “seeketh”); the eyes of the Lord thy God are always upon it, from the beginning of the year even unto the end of the year.” This land so near and dear to God; so intimately associated with His Son Jesus as His representative Ruler of that land; so united with the legal, royal, covenanted claims of David’s Son, is yet destined in the Divine Purpose to play the most important and glorious part in the history of this world. And, if we are wise, those divine intimations of God’s condescension and intentions, will be gratefully received. This land, which is called by way of pre-eminence and relationship “His Sanctuary” (Ex. 15:17; Ps. 78:54, etc.), will finally be cleansed and become as predicted “the Sanctuary” for the nations of the earth. This “rest” of the Lord’s which He desires to dwell in, shall, in the age to come, gratify the desires and secure the blessedness of His co-heirs and co-dwellers, who will also delight in it with gladness and singing.*

Obs. 4. The absence of the Lord as indicated by the parable of the nobleman; His concealment, as noticed by Isa. 49:2, during this period of removal, is only preparative to the final return and enforcement of His claims as the mighty and irresistible Heir. Take e.g. the chapter of Isa. just alluded to and we have (1) this hidden position of the one called from the womb; (2) an allusion to His rejection at the First Advent; (3) His ultimate success in the restoration of the Jews, the conversion and subjection of the Gentiles and the glorious reign; (4) to effect this He delivers the prisoners, He restores the earth, removes the desolations, in an especial manner blesses Zion, etc. The delay of fulfilment is no reason for believing that it never will be realized, because the fact of such postponement accords with the previously given predictions intimating it.*

Obs. 5. The student will see that the inheritance covenanted is not typical of something else. The mystical views that would make it a type of something spiritual are refuted by the literal tenor of the covenant, and that all the prophecies and promises reiterate that literality which is corroborated by the idea of inheriting. The Kingdom at the time of the covenant was literal; the promise of inheriting is literal, confined as it is by the express terms to the literal Theocracy; the Coming of the Heir is literal; the postponement is literal; all is literal. Whatever spiritual blessings and additional glory may be added, the inheritance cannot, without the greatest violence, be transmuted into something else. The same tabernacle fallen down (Acts 15:16) is Christ’s inheritance, and to fulfil the covenant is to be rebuilt again when Jesus, David’s Son, comes again. It is the same Kingdom that (Props. 69, 70, and 71) the preachers of the Kingdom under special Messianic instruction declared as seen e.g. in Acts 1:6. It is (Props. 32 and 33) the same Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom that was removed, that is finally, after (e.g. Hos. 3:4) a long interval, to be restored.*

Obs. 6. The continued covenanted relationship of Jesus to the throne and Kingdom of David is asserted in the last revelation given, as in the Apoc. 3:7, “He hath the Key of David.” This is indicative of the Messiahship, the Key (Horne’s Introd., vol. 2, p. 466) being symbolical of “power or authority,” or (so Barnes, Com. loci, with which compare Bush, Lowth, Alexander, etc., and the Chaldee Targum on Isa. 22:22) rather of “regal authority,” “government.” It is equivalent to saying that He is the Theocratic King to whom David’s throne and Kingdom is given. It is not merely “supreme power” (Lange, etc.) that is meant, but such power and authority as pertains to the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, i.e. the dignity, etc., pertaining to David now relates to David’s august Son. But while having this “Key of David,” He does not now exert its power (just as He has also the keys of death and the grave), for He awaits the period of the Sec. Advent when this bestowed authority will be duly manifested.*

Obs. 7. The time will come, when this covenanted and predicted truth, now so ignored and perverted, will be fully recognized by earthly Kingdoms. And this recognition will be the real cause for the formidable array of the nations against the Christ at His open revelation, for they will be unwilling to yield to this re-establishment of the Theocratic-Davidic throne and Kingdom (comp. Props. 160, 161, 162, and 163).

Obs. 8. It may be added: unless this Theocracy is restored in grandeur and glory, as covenanted and predicted, then God’s earthly government in the union of the civil and religious (Church and State) has, amid the Kingdoms of the earth, proven a failure (comp. Prop. 201). God, as an earthly King, has had rule but a brief period. Will it ever be so? No! God’s Word assures us that when He comes again, it is to a glorious reign. Once “He came to His own land and His own people received Him not” (Campbell’s rendering of John 1:11; so Alford, “His own inheritance or possession and His own people,” etc., comp. Matt. 8:20 and 21:33), but when He comes again to His own land or inheritance, His own people will receive Him with penitence and gladness, and then the Theocracy will be manifested in and through Him with an exaltation and splendor commensurate with the predictions given.*

PROPOSITION 123. The Pre-Millennial Advent and the accompanying Kingdom are united with the destruction of Antichrist.

This is a decided landmark in prophecy, and nearly every prophet dilates, more or less, on this feature, viz., that Antichrist is destroyed at the personal presence of the Christ. We, for the present, only direct attention to three: Paul in 2 Thess. 2, Daniel in ch. 7, and John in Rev. 19. The early Church and a long line of witnesses held that these synchronize; and we know of no legitimate argument adduced by our opponents to the contrary; while, on the other hand, a host of admissions, favorable to their identity in time and destruction of the Antichrist, could readily be gathered. If we can give decided proof that one of these predictions relates to a personal Coming to destory the Antichrist, the others naturally—describing the same event and results—range themselves in the same order. 2 Thess. 2 is selected as a special subject for examination in this connection.

Obs. 1. It is admitted by all our recent prophetical writers that Antichrist shall exist previous to the Millennial age—this is so plain in the confederation of nations existing then, that it needs no additional proof—now if we can show that he is destroyed by the personal Coming of Jesus, we have a personal Pre-Mill. Coming. The predictions relating to the Millennium clearly portray the removal of the man of sin and of his adherents before that age; and they reveal the impossibility of reconciling their presence with the realization of that age of blessedness. The true sense of the Scripture is contained in 2 Thess. 2, “which” (as Taylor, Voice of the Church, p. 293, remarks) “all Pre-Millenarians with the Hon. B. Storer pronounce to be ‘the unanswerable argument;’ and of which they may well declare in the decisive words of Bish. M’Ilvaine, ‘It is wholly unanswerable.’ ” And the reader is requested to notice, that in the following discussion we are not chargeable with endeavoring to make out, or force, a meaning; seeing that we are accepting of that which is given to it by many of our opponents and a host of men rejecting our Mill. views. This makes the testimony more valuable and correspondingly more conclusive.

Obs. 2. The passage to which special attention is called reads: “And then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of His mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of His Coming,” 2 Thess. 2:8.* Owing to its importance and the efforts made to give it an interpretation adapted to the modern Whitbyan theory, it will be best to examine it in detail.

A. Those to whom Paul wrote were looking for the personal Advent of Christ. This appears from several considerations. 1. The Apostle distinctly and repeatedly mentions the personal Coming. Thus in 1 Thess. 1:10; 2:19; 3:13; 4:16; 5:23; 2 Thess. 1:7; 2:1; 3:5. Hence the minds of the Thessalonians were specifically directed to this subject. 2. This very Coming, we are told, 2 Thess. 2:2—the subject matter of Paul’s discourse—was calculated to shake and trouble them, deeming it past and they not saved. If a “spiritual” or “providential Coming” was only intended, as some contend, it is singular that Paul does not explain it as such; if it was to “convert” and not “to consume and destroy,” it is astonishing that Paul does not declare the same; and if it was a providential Coming at Jerusalem (as a few assert) in which the Thessalonians were not personally concerned, it is strange that the Apostle does not mention the fact to relieve their minds. The only satisfactory explanation which meets the condition of their trouble is, that they supposed the day of Christ had come, was inaugurated, and hence they expected that a personal Advent had taken place. They believed in such a personal Coming from Paul’s previous teachings. They supposed it at least to be imminent, if it had not already transpired. The Apostle seeing that this supposition agitated their minds, etc., makes the imminency, the nearness of such a visible Coming as they believed in, the subject of his remarks. It would, in the nature of the case, be unreasonable for him to introduce any other Coming than the one under consideration, without a specific mention that they were mistaken in their ideas respecting such a personal Coming; or, if another Coming was to be understood, growing out of the one stated, without pointing out, in some way, the distinction between them. 3. The reference to a personal Coming is established by the phraseology appended, “as that the day of Christ is at hand.” The period when the Messiah is to be personally manifested as the Judge, the King, etc., is often called “His day” etc., and was so understood both by the Jews and early Christians. This phrase clearly proves that the Apostle was writing to those who not only held to a personal Advent, but united the day of Judgment, the distinctive day of Christ in which His Power and majesty was to be revealed, with that Coming. Paul’s endeavoring to show that such a day of Christ (see how he used the phrase in Acts 17:31; Rom. 2:5; 1 Cor. 3:13; 2 Cor. 1:14; 1 Cor. 5:5; Eph. 4:30; Phil. 1:6, 10), of which he had told them in the First Epis. (1 Thess. 5:2), “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night” was not so near as they apprehended, that certain great events would intervene, unmistakably corroborates his entire and exclusive reference in this verse to a personal Advent.

B. The Apostle then designs to correct the mistake respecting the presence or nearness of that personal Coming in which they believed, and the manner in which he does this confirms the allusion to the personal Coming. Instead of denying such an Advent (which he could not do) he enters into the question concerning the time of the very Advent whose expected speedy approach or supposed occurrence caused their alarm. He enlightens them on time and confirms their ideas of personality. He introduces the subject by several distinct references to the personal Advent, and then asserts, that it shall not come until at least a certain event, viz., the appearing and power of the man of sin, was first witnessed; then after this it would occur as stated in the passage under consideration and “the day of Christ” would be witnessed. His argument is not that they were mistaken in a personal Coming, or that it would not at some time or other take place, but is directed to the time when it will be manifested. To show the latter, that it is not “at hand” or “present,” as they supposed, he introduces the predicted fact that before that visible Advent or day of Christ, the wicked one must arise and be exalted in power. It legitimately follows from the tenor of the proof given, that this personal Advent is not “at hand” or “present;” that it will, after an intervening event has been fulfilled, then come to pass. Any other construction than that which makes the writer speak of the same day of Christ and Advent which the Thessalonians expected, which troubled them, and which he stated was only to be expected after the accomplishment of the revelation of the son of perdition, is a manifest violation of the Apostle’s reasoning, and a gloss put on the passage.

C. The Apostle’s proof of the day of Christ and hence also the personal Advent not being “at hand” or “present,” thus fully accords with the analogy of Scripture. Many are the predictions and pointed allusions that Christ’s visible personal Advent only takes place at a time when Antichrist or a mighty confederation of wickedness is developed, and that He will at such a Coming take vengeance and utterly destroy the wicked arrayed against Him. All prophecy agrees in uniting the destruction of the Anti-christian power with a personal Advent. The simple fact that acts of judgment and the destruction of the ungodly are united with, in passages admitted to relate to the Sec. Advent (as in this same Epistle, ch. 1:7–10), and that the same is expressed here in this Scripture when the purpose of the Apostle was to tell the Thessalonians why “the day of Christ” and its attendant Advent was not present or immediate, or near, firmly establishes the truth that no other but a real personal one is intended. The proof alleged by him thus accords with all his previous utterances on the subject, with the tenor of the Record, and was suited to convince those brethren that a delay in the Advent was inevitable, since it would require time, and probably a long time, for such an apostasy to develop itself into the giant form of wickedness predicted.

D. The Apostle, in introducing the Coming of the Lord Jesus to destroy this Antichrist, was undoubtedly aware of the views of the Jews on this subject. The Jews, impelled by the prophecies, looked for a personal Coming of the Messiah to destroy the wicked one. If their belief was an erroneous one, why is it that Paul employs the very language, calculated (see below) beyond any other, to express such a Jewish faith, and thus confirm them, should any see the Epistle, in it? The knowledge that such a belief was extensively current among them, if it were an unscriptural one, should have led him to use different words—not words which in their naked, primary meaning corroborate their opinion. This union of the destruction of the wicked one with words that literally import a personal Coming is the strongest possible indorsement of their faith.

E. The import of the two words rendered “brightness of His Coming.” Epiphaneia, ἐπιφανεία, called here “brightness,” and Parousia, παρουσία, translated “Coming.”

1. Notice how these words are used in the New Test. (a) The word Epiphaneia occurs six times, 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 1:10; 2 Tim. 4:1 and 8; Tit. 2:13, and in this place. In one place it refers to the personal First Advent, and in the four remaining, as our opponents concede, to the personal Sec. Advent. Now, why, unless the clearest proof can be given, should it in the only remaining place, with the light before us, attain another meaning? Whoever undertakes to foist a definition at variance to the New Test. usage, ought to be able to give conclusive reasons for such a departure. (b) The word Parousia is used in the New Test. twenty-four times, Matt. 24:3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. 15:23, and 16:17; 2 Cor. 7:6, 7, and 10:10; Phil. 1:26, and 2:3; 1 Thess. 2:19, and 3:13, and 4:15, and 5:23; 2 Thess. 2:1, 8, 9; James 5:7, 8; 2 Pet. 1:16, and 3:4, 12, and 1 John 2:18. In all places where applied to persons it denotes, as all admit, a personal presence or arrival, and hence we have no just reason to discard that meaning in this place, especially since the argument of the Apostle makes the retention of the meaning thus given necessary.

2. But in addition, the fact that the Apostle unites together those two words, each one expressive of a personal Advent, adds weight to the interpretation we claim. As if aware of the future denial of such a personal Coming, and purposely to guard against it, he employs two words unitedly, each one of which is singly applied to the Sec. Advent. Why select two such, so expressive of a real, actual presence, if he did not intend to teach the same? One of these words would be sufficient to sustain our argument, both make it irresistible. Dr. Duffield (On Proph., p. 324) well says: “If neither, when separately used, can be metaphorically understood to denote a spiritual Advent, much less can both when united. If the words, ‘the shining forth or appearance of His presence,’ do not mean the visible personal revelation or manifestation of Himself, it is impossible to employ terms that can express it. Human language is utterly incapable of being interpreted on any fixed and definite principles whatever, if it be not a literal personal manifestation and Coming.” Dr. Seiss (Last Times, p. 48), after using very nearly the same language, adds: “Either of these words is held sufficient in other passages to prove a real and personal appearing and presence. And when both are united, as in the case before us, how is it possible that they should mean anything less than the literal, real, and personal arrival and presence of Jesus, with reference to whom they are used?” The same was noticed by earlier writers, and has been frequently repeated as worthy of attention.

3. The testimony of lexicographers.* (1) Epiphaneia. Pasor, N. T. Lex., says it denotes “appearance. In one place it is applied to the nativity of our Lord Jesus Christ, 2 Tim. 1:10; in other places of the Scriptures for His glorious Coming to judgment, as 2 Thess. 2:8.” Stockius, Clavis, vol. 2, remarks: “1st, It denotes, when applied to genus, any appearance whatever. 2d, when applied to a species, it properly denotes the appearance of some corporeal and shining matter which bursts forth with great splendor. In a metaphorical sense, it is applied to the appearance of Christ: First, His gracious appearance in the flesh, which is called His first Coming; second, His glorious appearance to judge the world, which will be gracious to the righteous and faithful, but terrible to the sinner and infidel, and which is called His Second Coming, 2 Thess. 2:8,” etc. Leigh, Critica Sacra, p. 161, writes: “This word signifieth a bright, clear, glorious appearing, from which word we take our Epiphany, specially Adventus Numinis (i.e. the Coming of the Divinity). It is taken for the First Coming of Christ, 2 Tim. 1:10; for His Sec. Coming, as 2 Thess. 2:8,” etc. Suicer (Thess. Eccles., vol. 1, p. 1202), “after mentioning the use of the word, 1st, the heathen use of it in reference to the manifestation of one of their gods; 2d, in reference to the First Advent, proceeds: 3d, ‘This is frequently applied by the Apostle to the Second Coming of Christ, which will be to judgment, 2 Thess. 2:8.’ ” Scultetus, Exer. Evang., Lib. 2, ch. 1, after noticing that the pagan writers called any appearance of the gods by this word, adds: “The Apostle also applies ἐπιφάνεία—appearance—to the first and last Coming of Christ.” Bretschneider, Lex., “ἐπιφάνεία is used in the New Test, in the writings of Paul concerning the splendid appearing and future Advent in which Christ, who is now concealed from our view in the heavens, shall appear coming in the clouds (literally, borne on the clouds or wafted by the clouds) to administer judgment, 2 Thess. 2:8; 1 Tim. 6:14; 2 Tim. 4:1, 8; Titus 2:13; and concerning His appearing in the world, which has already taken place, viz., when He was born, 2 Tim. 1:10; or, in other words, His first Advent.” Wahl, Lex., defines the word to be an appearing, and quotes the same passages, and expressly applies 2 Thess. 2:8 to Christ’s “future glorious return.” Pickering, Lex., defines it to mean an appearance, and applies it to “an unexpected coming and to the Advent of Christ.” Donnegan. Lex., gives the more classical use, “appearance or apparition, particularly that of a Deity, or of one who comes up suddenly to offer aid or for other purposes,” etc. Liddell and Scott, Lex., “the appearance, manifestation, e.g. dawn of the day—specially of the appearance of deities to aid a worshipper.” Greenfield, Lex., “brightness, splendor, 2 Thess. 2:8, an appearance, i.e. the act of appearing, manifestation.” (2) Parousia. Bretschneider directly refers the word in 2 Thess. 2:8 to “the Advent of Christ from heaven to administer judgment.” So Wahl, to “the future Advent of Jesus the Messiah, to enter gloriously upon His Kingdom.” So also of the others quoted under Epiphaneia. Pickering, “presence, arrival, to be present;” Donnegan, “to be present, to arrive;” Greenfield, “a coming, arrival, advent;” Liddell & Scott, “a being present, presence of a person or thing, especially present for the purpose of assisting, arrival,” etc.

F. The opinions of commentators—of the class who have no sympathy with our views, but yet are candid enough to concede this vital point, and of others who express themselves independently of any theory or bias, etc. Barnes, Com. loci, on ch. 2:1, says, that the phrase “by His Coming,” etc., means “respecting His Coming,” and refers it to a personal one, the same specified in 1 Thess. 4, and argues that the alarm, etc., of the Thess. was produced by the expectation of the speedy Advent of Christ to judgment. He then consistently explains v. 8 to embrace a personal Coming in the following words: “this (with the brightness of His Coming) is evidently a Hebraism, meaning His splendid or glorious appearing. The Greek word, however, rendered ‘brightness’ means merely an appearing, or appearance. So it is used, 1 Tim. 6:4; 2 Tim. 1:10, and 4:1, 8; Tit. 2:13, in all of which places it is rendered appearing, and refers to the manifestation of the Saviour when He shall come to judge the world. There is no necessary idea of splendor in the word, and the idea is not, as our translators would seem to convey, that there would be such a dazzling light, or such unsufferable brightness that all would be consumed before it, but that this Antichristian power would be destroyed by His appearing; that is, by Himself when He would return. The agency in doing it would not be His brightness, but Himself. It would seem to follow from this that, however this enormous power of wickedness might be weakened by truth, the final triumph over it would be reserved for the Son of God Himself on His second return to our world.” This honest but fatal concession destroys at one stroke all the reasoning abounding in his commentaries against our doctrine. Dr. Adam Clarke, Com., after quoting Bh. Newton, who endorses our view, says: “the principal part of modern commentators follow his steps,” and notwithstanding his cautious and in some respects contradictory exposition indorses the same. For in his pref. to 2 Thess. he informs us that Antichrist will be destroyed “by a visible and extraordinary interposition of the power of Christ in the government of the world,” and on Rev. 17:17 he more plainly declares: “This deplorable state of the world is not perpetual, it can only continue till every word of God is fulfilled upon His enemies, and when this time arrives, which will be that of Christ’s Sec. Advent, then shall the Son of God slay that Wicked with the spirit of His mouth, and destroy him with the brightness of His coming.” Dr. Scott, Com., is forced to acknowledge, notwithstanding his efforts to make out a figurative coming, that it will only receive its ultimate fulfilment at the coming of Christ to judgment, for he writes: “He will shortly destroy the whole Papal authority, and all obstinately attached to it, by the brightness of His Coming, to spread the Gospel through the nations, and He will finally condemn and punish with everlasting destruction all the actors in this delusion when He shall come to judge the world.” Bloomfield, Gr. Test. Notes, speaks of it as indicative of “His very presence,” “His glorious presence,” and adds: “Indeed the expression is often both in the Scriptures and classical writers used to denote Divine Majesty.”* Matthew Henry, Com., says: “The apostle assures the Thess. that the Lord would consume and destroy him (viz., the Antichrist); the consuming of him precedes his final destruction, and that is by the spirit of His mouth, by His word of command; the pure Word of God, accompanied by the Spirit of God, will discover this mystery of iniquity, and make the power of Antichrist to consume and waste away; and in due time it shall be totally and finally destroyed, and this will be by the brightness of Christ’s coming. Note: the Coming of Christ to destroy the Wicked will be with peculiar and eminent lustre and brightness.” Ferguson, Com. on Epis., “He shall utterly destroy him, that is, utterly abolish, enervate, make void, and that with the brightness of His Sec. Coming, for the word rendered ‘brightness’ is usually joined with His coming to judgment.” Salmasius, Com., after refuting Grotius, says: “It is not true that Paul in the limits of the same discourse was so wandering as to commence to speak concerning one coming of Christ and end in speaking of another,” etc. “From whence ἐπιφανεὶα, when applied to Christ, in my opinion, is always used to denote the last coming of Christ.” Schoettgen, Heb. Com., “ἐπίφανῃς, that manner of coming which bursts brilliantly upon the eyes of all, the majesty and exceeding splendor of which no one can deny.” Westminster Assemb. Annotators (Bonar’s Com. and Kingdom, p. 360), “On 2 Thess. 2, ‘destroy with the brightness of His Coming,’ that is, at the day of judgment, for then shall He come in flaming fire, taking vengeance,” etc. Jenks, Comp. Com., makes the total and final destruction at the Sec. Advent. So also Lange, Bengel, Alford, Roos, Gill, Olshausen, Steir, Jones, Ebrard, etc.

G. It is important to notice the opinions of the early Apostolic Fathers, who being acquainted with the language as a living spoken one, and who receiving their interpretation of a passage which would excite special attention from the hands of the apostles or their immediate disciples, may thus afford strong corroborative evidence. Knowing that they were all decidedly Millenarian, that they all believed that Antichrist would be destroyed by the personal Sec. Advent, we have sufficient testimony concerning their mode of interpreting 2 Thess. 2:8. Having previously given the authorities, it is only necessary to append a few examples of this belief. Thus, e.g., Barnabas (martyred about A.D. 75) says (Apost. Fath., p. 186): “The day of the Lord is at hand, in which all things shall be destroyed together with the Wicked one.” On the Creation week he adds: “And what is that He saith ‘and He rested the seventh day;’ He meaneth this: that when His Son shall come and abolish the Wicked one and judge the ungodly, and shall change the sun, and moon, and stars, then He shall gloriously rest on the seventh day,” alluding to the Millennial era. Irenæus (Adv. Hœr., 8 v. c. 35) takes the same view, and declares that when “Antichrist” has reigned his allotted period “then the Lord shall come from heaven, in the clouds with the glory of His Father, casting him and that obey him into a lake of fire, but bringing to the just the times of the Kingdom, that is, the Rest or Sabbath, the seventh day sanctified, and fulfilling to Abraham the promise of the inheritance.” Justin Martyr (Dial. with Trypho, referring to Micah 4:1, etc., see Bh. Kay’s Justin) pointedly unites the Second Coming of Jesus in glory with the destruction of “the man of apostasy.”

H. Even after the allegorizing interpretation, introduced by the Alexandrian school, by which such passages as these are so readily transformed into various meanings, the Divines still insisted that this Scripture taught a personal coming to destroy Antichrist. In fact, so general was this opinion, that both Millenarians and their opposers held to it. The names of Cyprian, Lactantius, Tertullian, Hippolytus, Cyril, Gregory Nazianzen, Ambrose, Chrysostom, Jerome, Hilarian, Theodoret, and a host of others, embracing various classes, etc., clearly teach this, referring to the phrase itself, adducing it as a warning, etc. Thus to illustrate: Augustine, on 2 Thess. 2:8, wrote: “No one doubts that the apostle said these things of Antichrist, and that the day of judgment, which he here calls ‘the day of the Lord,’ will not come, unless he whom he calls an apostate, that is to say from the Lord God, shall first come.” (City of God, B. 20, c. 19, B. 18, c. 53.) “Truly Jesus Himself shall extinguish by His presence that last persecution which is to be made by Antichrist,” quoting as confirmatory Isa. 9:4; 1 Thess. 1:9. How the passage was regarded is proven, not only by the writings and commentaries handed down to us, but by the prevailing looking for of the Antichrist as stated by history; and this continued until some suggested, in order to avoid making professedly Christian Rome the seat of the Antichrist (as alleged by many, although some confined it to Jerusalem), that Pagan Rome was said Antichrist and the coming a spiritual one, etc. But few even of those dared, in the face of the general testimony to the contrary, to tamper with 2 Thess. 2:8, and admitted that it also referred to the future day of judgment and a literal coming of Christ. So that of the great number who adopted anti-millenarian views, nearly all, so far as we have any record, indorsed our meaning of the phrase, “the brightness of His Coming.” It was only when the modern Whitbyan theory came in vogue that men were found bold enough to interpret the verse in such a manner as to make it consistent with that theory, and then insist upon such an interpretation as the true one. But even many of the advocates of the Whitbyan theory (as we have shown under this and previous propositions), unable to oppose the express words with any degree of candor, have honestly confessed its legitimate meaning without any effort to reconcile it with their system of belief. Those also who have been Anti-Millenarian, opposed to a Millennium in the future (either locating it in the past, or denying that any shall be witnessed on earth), freely (saving perhaps Grotius, Bossuet, Hammond, and a few others) admit the force of the passage, and locate it in the future. Dr. Greswell (Exp. of Parables), a Patristic student, says: “That Antichrist must come and must be destroyed by the Advent of Christ; in this perfectly agree all, whether friends or foes of the doctrine of the Millennium. The only distinction was that the advocates of the Millennium expected their Kingdom to begin and proceed after the destruction of Antichrist; the opponents of the doctrine expected the same of the Kingdom of heaven.”

I. The Popish writers, however they may apply it, ascribe it to a personal Advent. The larger and more learned portion (See Calmet and Encyclops. art. “Antichrist,” and Prop. 161) refer it to a personal coming of Jesus at the destruction of a future Antichrist. Another party, in retaliation for the application of the terms “man of sin,” etc., to the Pope, apply the same phrase to Luther or the Reformation, but nearly all of these also apply it as an ultimate fulfilment to the day of judgment, when the Christ shall come to destroy the wicked.

J. The opinions of the Reformers, although making the apostasy and the man of sin to be one and the same, are distinctly in our favor. Thus to give a few illustrations: Luther, as is well known, making the Pope or the Papacy Antichrist, frequently expresses his belief that the Papacy was not to be destroyed by human agency or by the power of the truth, but by the personal Advent of the Christ. Thus e.g. “Our Lord Jesus Christ yet liveth and reigneth, who, I firmly trust, will shortly come and slay with the spirit of His mouth, and destroy with the brightness of His Coming, that man of sin” (D’Aubigne’s His. Ref., vol. 2, p. 166). “The apostle expresses this Pope’s destruction thus: ‘When the Lord shall consume,’ etc. The laity, therefore, shall not destroy the Pope and his Kingdom. No, he and his wicked rabble are not deserving of so light a punishment. They shall be preserved until the coming of Christ, whose most bitter enemies they are and ever have been (Pope Confounded, p. 177).” In opposing the Anabaptists, one leading argument against them consisted in his constantly declaring that Christ’s personal coming would overthrow His enemies, etc., appealing to Paul and Daniel as foretelling their destruction, not by the hand of man, but by the Advent of Christ. (Sleidan’s Com. L. 5.) Melanchthon held similar views. The sentiments of the other Reformers are given in Elliott’s Horœ. Apoc., Voice of the Church, including Zwingle, Latimer, Calvin, Knox, Cranmer, etc., and require more space than is really necessary to show a continuous line of interpretation. They are, however, as pointed as the following: Beza, Notes on N. T., “Thus I have deemed it best to translate the name ἐπιφανεία, which Paul designedly used in order to represent to our eyes that most brilliant splendor of His last Coming.” “At length by the word of the Lord that impiety will be exposed, and by the Advent of Christ wholly abolished.” Bh. Jewell, Com. loci, says: “The Lord shall come and shall make His enemies His footstool; then shall the sun be black as sackcloth and the moon shall be like blood. Then shall Antichrist be quite overthrown,” etc. “He will overthrow the whole power of Antichrist by His presence and by the glory of His Coming.”

K. The opinions of eminent Divines who endorsed the Whitbyan theory. Having already given a number, an illustration will suffice to indicate the spirit: Dr. Knapp, Ch. Theol., s. 155, 5, p. 543, says: “The Christian Church will hereafter be subjected to great temptation from heathen profaneness, from false delusive doctrine, and extreme moral corruption, and will seem for a time to be ready to perish from these causes; but then Christ will appear, and, according to His promise, triumph over this opposition; and then, and not till then, will the end of the world come; Christ will visibly appear and hold the general judgment and conduct the pious into the Kingdom of the blessed. This is the distinct doctrine of Paul, 2 Thess. 2:3–12, and is taught throughout the Apocalypse.” The reader will notice the admission made in the last sentence; and we may well ask if 2 Thess. 2 synchronizes with Rev. 19, etc., how can it be fitted without violence into Knapp’s system? Leaving quotations, which might be given from a host of able writers, either directly Millenarian or at least rejecting the idea of a conversion of the world previous to the Advent, who favor our interpretation, we turn, in conclusion, to the concessions made by two prominent opposers, viz., by Whitby himself, author of the prevailing Millennium theory, and by Dr. Brown, author of a work specially devoted to its defence. Whitby allows (Com.) that a literal coming is the most consistent interpretation of the coming in 2 Thess. 2:1, but makes the coming (in violation of connection thus admitted) in verse 8 a providential coming to destroy Jerusalem, and then says, in view of the use of the word in the First Epistle: “It may be thought more reasonable to refer this passage to the same (i.e. the second personal) advent.” Why give utterance to such a thought if it did not commend itself as “more reasonable”? Surely it is far “more reasonable” than the interpretation which he has foisted on the passage to aid him in his “new hypothesis”—an interpretation which even the mass of his followers reject as utterly untenable, being only held by a few Universalists and some others classed among the destructive critics. Dr. Brown (Ch. Sec. Com.) writes: “There can be no doubt that the whole passage admits of a consistent and good explanation on the view of it above given—i.e. the Pre-Millenarian view. Nor is this view (i.e. of a literal personal coming to destroy Antichrist) confined to Pre-Millennialists. Those of our elder divines who looked upon the Millennium as past already, and considered the destruction of Antichrist as the immediate precursor of the eternal state, understood this ‘coming of the Lord’ to destroy Antichrist, of His Sec. personal coming. There are other opponents of the Millennial theory, who explain this coming to destroy the man of sin, of Christ’s Sec. Coming. They make ‘the apostasy,’ ‘the man of sin,’ ‘the lawless one,’ here spoken of, to embrace all the evil, apostasy, and opposition to Christ, which are to exist till the consummation of all things; in which case the destruction of it will, of course, not be till the Sec. Advent. In neither of these views, however, can I concur.” Here we have the frank, manly admission that our interpretation is “a consistent and good explanation,” and that many others, beside Millenarians, concur in making this coming a personal one. Dr. Brown, however, in viewing the ground upon which the Whitbyan theory rests, was too wise and prudent to admit our interpretation, well knowing that it would be fatal to his own theory (Whitbyan); for had he admitted that this coming, taught by Paul, was a personal one, then the necessary and inevitable conclusion would follow that no such a Millennium of holiness, happiness, security and blessedness as predicted, could possibly arise before it, seeing that that would make the apostasy and subsequent man of sin contemporaneous with it. Hence, while he rejects Whitby’s theory of “the Coming” as inconsistent, he frames one to suit the case, viz., that Christ comes providentially to inflict judgments on the apostate Roman Empire, etc. But this theory of “the Coming” is also so unreasonable, even to many who adopt the Whitbyan Millennium, that they refuse to accept of it, and continue to hold (as Barnes, etc.) to the old view of a personal Advent.

We hold, therefore, that 2 Thess. 2:8 teaches a personal coming of Christ to destroy the Antichrist (whatever the latter may be), and in support of such an interpretation confidently appeal to the kind of Advent the Thess. were anticipating; the design the apostle had in view in writing the passage; the plain import of the words rendered “brightness” and “coming;” the N. T. usage of these words; the union of two such words; the testimony of lexicographers, critics, commentators, divines, reformers, friends and foes, the early Fathers, the concessions of opponents, etc. If we have established our position authoritatively, then, as intimated, such an Advent is necessarily Pre-Millennial. For, it is utterly impossible to reconcile the existence of Antichrist with the state delineated in the Millennium—a state in which all shall be subject to Christ, all shall be righteous, and all shall enjoy a condition of security and happiness. On the other hand, we have his complete destruction and consignment to the lake described in Rev. 19 (with which the Prophets coincide) as immediately preceding the Millennium, and what the Spirit has so plainly described and located we dare not deny and transfer. The same Spirit in both places, in accord with the tenor of prophecy, promises no intervening or contemporaneous Millennium, but predicts a developing and overshadowing power of an apostasy which must be destroyed by the personal Advent of the Son of Man, and then, only then, shall the promises of Millennial glory be fulfilled.

Obs. 3. Dr. Warren, in The Parousia, while endeavoring to invalidate our views (by making Parousia equivalent to age or dispensation), fully admits the literalness of the language expressing the same, as e.g. rendering 2 Thess. 2:1; James 5:7, 8; John 2:12, etc., by “the presence.” He, indeed, from this very literalness, claims, wrongfully, that the term “Second Coming” is unscriptural. The concessions made by him, as we have already shown, are amply sufficient to overthrow his position. It is too late in the day (but exceedingly suggestive of the predicted denial of this truth by the Church) for a Divine to make the Parousia an entire dispensation—the Christian. And as to the scriptural basis of the term “Second Coming,” this is seen (1) in Heb. 9:28; (2) in Jesus’ own references to a future personal coming in His address to Jerusalem, Parable of the Nobleman, etc.; (3) in the constant teaching that this Parousia is something future; (4) in linking with it certain great events which are at the end of this dispensation; (5) in the reference of the angels, Acts 1:11; (6) in the uniform teaching of the Primitive Church, etc.*

Obs. 4. It is scarcely necessary to add anything additional to Dan. 7:13 to indicate a personal Advent. All the early Fathers, as well as those who followed them, even such a writer as Jerome (Bickersteth’s Guide, p. 112, quotes from, and also shows how Jerome made the little horn of Daniel 7 synchronize with the man of sin 2 Thess. 2) made it refer to the personal Sec. Advent. The earliest apologies, as e.g. Justin’s First Apol., ch. 51, apply this to the future, and not to his First Advent. There is, at least, consistency in such an interpretation, because the tenor of the prophecy describes a coming very different from the First, which, the latter, was in humiliation and unto death, while the former is a triumphant Advent resulting in the overthrow of all enemies. It is very different in that respect from the amazing and rash exposition, given by many writers, which affirms that the coming of the Son of Man is a going or ascension to heaven, into which even so excellent a writer as Flavel falls, who (Foun. of Life, p. 500) makes Dan. 7:13, 14, “accomplished in Christ’s ascension.” Even Waggoner (Ref. of Age to Come, p. 133) cannot see an Advent here unless it is assumed that the Ancient of Days is on the earth. The entire scene is one here on the earth and not in heaven; the acts that are performed, as the destruction of the beast, etc., are not in heaven but on the earth. What a definition such theories involve of the words “coming” and “came.” What a shrinking from having God or His Son present here on earth, as if it embraced a desecration of person. Such views introduce an antagonism into the vision irreconcilable both with its simplicity and with its synchronism with Rev. 19; 2 Thess. 2:8; Rev. 14:14–20, etc. Over against all such theorizing is set the application of this passage of Daniel by Jesus Himself, when before the High Priest, to His future personal Advent—a fact which a host of our opponents, overlooking its connection with Daniel, frankly admit in their expositions of Matt. 26:64. (Thus, e.g. Barnes, Com. loci, makes it refer to the future personal Advent.) The reader is requested to notice how the personal Advent is sustained and proven by the judgment day which, as Mede has shown (Works, p. 762), the Jews derived from Daniel 7. (See Prop. 133, on the Judgment Day.) Those theories which lead to extravagance in belief are utterly opposed by the sober exegesis of the Church Fathers, and a multitude of able divines. We can safely adopt the interpretation given by the pious Jews to Daniel 7:13, sustained as it is by Christ Himself.

  PROPOSITION 124. This Kingdom is delayed several thousand years, to raise up a nation or people capable of sustaining it.

It has been shown how the Kingdom failed in its Theocratic and Theocratic-Davidic establishment through the depravity of man, and how its re-establishment at the First Advent was rendered hopeless by the wickedness of the nation. Then a new feature in the plan of God appears, viz.: to postpone the Kingdom during a period called “the times of the Gentiles;” and during this season of delay gather out a chosen people to be associated in the re-establishment of the Kingdom on a firm and everlasting basis, beyond the reach, owing to the tested character, etc., of the rulers, of depravity (comp. Props. 59–65, 86, 87, 88, etc.).

Obs. 1. Just as there was a preparatory growth and development of Abraham’s seed before the Theocratic government was instituted, so now there is designed and carried out by the Divine Will a preparatory gathering of Abraham’s seed until a sufficient, predetermined number is obtained. These are called the Elect. Made like unto Christ, when they appear with Him, they are “joint heirs” with Him. The results following from such a body incorporated in the Theocratic government can well be imagined to be such as the most glowing prophetic delineations portray. This inheriting of the saints both of the Kingdom and of the land when Christ comes to His inheritance will be presented (Props. 142, 154, etc.), after passing over some preliminaries, the object now being to indicate that to secure such an inheriting a resurrection, pro-millennial, must be experienced.

Obs. 2. This view of the Kingdom sustains the doctrine of an intermediate state, in which, whatever the condition of the saints, they are waiting for the period of redemption, waiting for the crown and promised inheritance. (See Delitzsch, Sys. of Bib. Psyc., pp. 496, 498, 527–8.) This idea of the intermediate state is, however, not peculiar to our system, but belongs to various others. (Comp. Prop. 136.)

Obs. 3. The Kingdom itself is predetermined (Prop. 1) from the foundation of the world, so also (for all things fall under the Omniscient Will) is this preparatory gathering of saints. In Eph. 1: “He hath chosen us in Him before the foundation of the world,” just as Christ Himself “was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Pet. 1:20). In noticing the passages bearing on this point, we find (1) that God predetermined the reign of Christ; (2) and that with Him a certain number should be united in this reign; (3) and this predetermination only includes those who believe and are obedient; (4) and this predetermination is openly manifested “in the dispensation of the fulness of times,” when all things are gathered in one in Christ (Eph. 1:10); (5) and includes the obtaining of the inheritance, because “being predestinated according to the purpose of Him who worketh all things after the counsel of His own Will” (Eph. 1:11). It cannot, therefore, fail; and the constant gathering going on through the Gospel reminds us of the continued existence of the Divine Purpose and its ultimate certain result.

Obs. 4. Until a certain number are gathered out to form the basis of rulership, guidance, etc., in this Kingdom, it is vain, owing to natural proneness to evil and to this Divine Plan for its correction, to expect its establishment under existing circumstances, or in this dispensation.*

Obs. 5. We may well imagine the astonishment and joy of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, when this natural and engrafted seed is all gathered and occupy their allotted places in the Kingdom. The Prophets seem to make allusions to this, as e.g. Isa. 29:22, 23 (Alexander’s version); Isa. 49:18; 60:4, etc.

Obs. 6. Christ tells us that the Passover shall “be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God,” Luke 22:16. They who partake of the Paschal Lamb, slain for us, shall experience the deliverance afforded by this entrance into this Theocratic state. The Prophets have much to say concerning the deliverance of God’s people and their exaltation at the time of the end. What was imperfectly realized in the removal from Egypt under Moses will be perfectly experienced under Jesus Christ, when He comes “the second time unto salvation,” viz., complete, realized redemption. Then, too, the order of arrangements, etc., will be committed to a people who are better qualified by previous training and present advantages to receive and perpetuate them. The costly sacrifice required for them, the observance of God’s dealings, the personal experience, etc., all, in connection with the wonderful bestowments of glorification and the presence of the Saviour, will combine to produce the very qualifications so indispensable to a pure, perpetual Theocratic government. It is in view of this future deliverance of God’s people from a worse than, Egyptian bondage, the bondage and darkness of the grave, the last terrible persecution of the Church, that Jesus Himself is represented as saying: “I will not any more eat thereof, until it be fulfilled in the Kingdom of God,” and “I will not drink of the fruit of the vine, until the Kingdom of God shall come,” Luke 22:16, 18. Here in these expressions is a wonderful commingling of certainty in the deliverance, its connection with the Kingdom, its delay for a season, its combination with Christ, and even the departure of David’s Son and a certain waiting for the Kingdom. This gathering of all of those who eat Christ our Passover, must first be experienced, even down to the last one (Props. 65 and 86), before the Kingdom of God shall come, and David’s Son will drink of the fruit of the vine.*

Obs. 7. Christ only introduces into His Kingdom those that He chooses, and, as Alexander’s version of Isa. 65:9, they are “chosen ones.” This has been sufficiently represented in our views of the election, and we refer to it here in order to disclaim all fellowship with that exclusive narrow spirit characteristic of some professing small bodies of believers, which condemn as unchristian and lost all who do not in all things conform to their doctrinal belief. Aside from Christ only being the Judge to decide in reference to the final status of professions, all, who cordially receive, believe and trust in Christ, exhibiting their faith by producing the enumerated graces of the Spirit, are to be recognized by us as Christians, no matter whether, on various points, they differ from us. (Props. 135, 130, 179, etc.)

PROPOSITION 125. The Kingdom to be inherited by these gathered saints requires their resurrection from among the dead.

We have conclusively shown that the covenant necessitates a resurrection; that the description of David’s Son, who is to reign, demands a descendant of David possessing, in some way, immortality, seeing that His rule is everlasting, thus implying a resurrection—that a resurrection is predicted of Him, etc.—and now the fair inference is that those selected to be His co-heirs, being gathered out during a long period of time, and having died “without receiving the promises,” must also experience the power of the resurrection before they can inherit the Kingdom of God.

Obs. 1. Leaving the proof of this union of resurrection and Kingdom for the following Propositions (as we only desire now to introduce the subject of the resurrection), every reader, keeping in view that Christ’s appearing and Kingdom are united, 2 Tim. 4:1, that a resurrection follows His Second Advent, and that an inheriting of the Kingdom succeeds this appearing and resurrection, must concede that when the righteous “are recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (Luke 14:14), this also includes the inheriting of a Kingdom. So that, for the present, we are content with the general tenor of the Word, indicating first a resurrection and then the reception and enjoyment of a Kingdom. And, as food for reflection, it is suggested that if the appearing and Kingdom are synchronical, then, as Mede observed, “The appearing must precede the Millennium, for” (taking now the doctrine of our opponents for granted) “at the final resurrection the Kingdom does not commence, but is ‘delivered up,’ then cometh the ‘end,’ ” etc. Refuge indeed may be taken in a Kingdom in the third heaven, but this, as shown, is not the Kingdom of covenant or prophecy, which is a Kingdom here on earth.

Obs. 2. All along, the position has been taken that, owing to the postponement of the Kingdom, a preliminary dispensation of grace to us Gentiles has intervened, and that even the dead saints, whatever their position in this interval, are waiting until “the day of Redemption,” the time of the resurrection for their inheritance, etc. This is confirmed by the language of Paul in 1 Cor. 15:32, who lays the greatest stress on the resurrection as the necessary and appointed means by which the blessings that are covenanted can be obtained. The memorial, the Abrahamic covenant, the Davidic covenant, promise after promise, involve a resurrection from the dead, and the resultant reception of blessings; and hence the emphatic language of Paul, because of this very relationship, “what advantageth me, if the dead rise not.” He well knew that inheritance, crown, and Kingdom belonged to the period of the resurrection. Auberlen (Div. Rev., p. 208) justly argues that one of the doctrinal defects of the Reformation was, that the resurrection of Christ was not made sufficiently prominent as compared with His sacrificial death, while in the apostolic preaching the Crucified and the Risen held equal place. And this feature extended finally in an undue exaltation of the intermediate state, until the resurrection is almost practically ignored as of comparative little consequence to the honor, glory, etc., of the deceased saint. To appreciate the force and pertinency of the resurrection, there must be a return to the scriptural presentation of the matter.*

Obs. 3. This resurrection includes a resurrection of dead saints, or, in other words, is a corporeal, literal resurrection. The changes or modifications that the body may undergo in the process of glorification, or the question whether the whole body or a portion, etc., is raised up, we leave for other works (e.g. art. “Resurrection,” McClintock and Strong’s Cyclop.) to discuss, the point under consideration being merely that of an undoubted, veritable resurrection of the bodies of dead saints, sufficiently distinctive to preserve personal identity, and to make it recognizable to others as a real restoration from the dead. A line of argument can only (owing to lack of space) be indicated. 1. The resurrection necessitated by the covenant promises requires the personal resurrection and continued identity of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. 2. That applied to David’s Son demands the same, and the distinctive preservation or His humanity, so as to sustain a continued relationship to David as His Son. 3. The belief in a literal resurrection of the body, according to numerous writers, was a common one among the Jews at the time of Christ (Matt. 22; Luke 20; Acts 23:6–8; John 11:24, etc.), and the language of Christ and the apostles is pre-eminently calculated to confirm them in their belief. 4. That the language of Christ and the apostles taught such a resurrection, is confirmed by the fact that all the early churches distinctively proclaimed it as their faith, thus corroborating the views entertained by the Jews. And this general belief was not confined to Jewish but was embraced in the Gentile churches. 5. Seeing what immediately preceded and followed the First Advent in attachment to this doctrine, if an error, it seems reasonable to anticipate either from Christ or His apostles a plain and unequivocal denial of it. 6. But the Scriptures themselves establish the doctrine. This they do, (1) in the usage of words which denote both in classical and scriptural writings a revivification of the dead. (2) In applying these words to deceased persons in their graves. (3) In representing those “asleep in the dust of the earth,” those “whose flesh rests in hope” etc., as the ones who shall experience it. (4) In speaking of it as something well understood, as e.g. Acts 14:2 and 23:6, etc. (5) In declaring that the unjust (Acts 24:15), “all in their graves,” John 5:28, 29, shall undergo its power, removing the idea of simple moral regeneration. (6) In appealing to us not to think it incredible that God should perform such a work, Acts 26:8; Heb. 11:19. (7) In the examples of dead persons being restored to life (e.g. Matt. 27:52, 53), which is a sign of what will be done at the Sec. Advent. (8) In the body being specifically mentioned, as e.g. Rom. 8:23 in “the redemption of the body,” Phil. 3:10, 21. (9) In the contrast made between death and the resurrection from the dead (1 Cor. 15:21, 22), and in the effects of death and the consequences following the resurrection (1 Cor. 15:42–54). (10) In the rejection of those who spiritualized the resurrection, 2 Tim. 2:17, 18. (11) In the removal of it to a certain fixed period, Eph. 4:30; 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:14, 17, etc. (12) In the fact that “the first begotten of the dead” underwent a literal, corporeal resurrection, as the various Gospels prove; that even in the process of glorification following it He retains His personal identity sufficiently that when He comes again He comes emphatically as “the Son of Man,” David’s Son, and that His resurrection is represented as a pattern for that of His saints, Rom. 8:11; 1 Cor. 4:14; 2 Cor. 4:14; Rom. 6:5; Phil. 3:21; 1 John 3:2. (13) In the mortal, i.e. the part subject to death putting on immortality, 1 Cor. 15:52–3; Rom. 8:11. (14) In the effects of Paul’s preaching the doctrine on Athenians, etc., Acts 17:32; 26:6, 8, etc. (15) In the fact that if the body is not also redeemed, restored to its forfeited condition, then the Redemptive process is in so far incomplete. Such considerations, with especially the deeper and more significant one that the Davidic-Theocratic arrangement necessarily by covenant insists upon it, are amply sufficient to cause us to retain the old form of doctrine.*

Obs. 4. The views of the Gnostics relating to matter, and the consequent rejection of this doctrine, has influenced many to imitate Hymenæus and Philetus. From Manes down to Eckermann, Henke, Ammon, Priestley, Des Cotes (Knapp’s Ch. Theol., p. 532), Bush, Owen, etc., men have endeavored either to spiritualize the language, or to explain it away as an accommodation, or to refer it to the bestowment of something new immediately after death. Indeed, this leaven has so far worked through the mass, that concessions are made by our theologians which virtually vitiate the whole doctrine so far as its relationship to the future is concerned. An illustration may be in place. Dr. Dwight in expounding (Ser. 64, On. Res.) Matt. 22:31, 32, not seeing how the covenant promises give the key (Prop. 49) to its meaning, opens wide the gate of arbitrary exegesis; and of his exposition Prof. Bush, in his Anastasis (denying the resurrection of the body) gladly avails himself. Dwight asserts that the word here translated resurrection denotes throughout the New Test., “existence beyond the grave,” or “a future state or existence.” It is a matter of amazement that so able a writer, to make out a special case of interpretation, should commit himself so erroneously, and thus aid the efforts of those who deny a bodily resurrection. This assertion has no weight with himself afterward, as he advocates a literal resurrection, indicates that it is applied to the corporeal resurrection of Jesus, and admits that the Jews, etc., employed it (as e.g. John 11:24) to denote a revivification of the body.* Why, then, make so sweeping a declaration, which is abundantly disproved by even the simplest passage relating to the resurrection; for, if he is correct, and Bush is right in indorsing it, then his interpretation is synonymous with the word, anastasis or resurrection. Let it be tested as a synonym with John 11:25; 1 Cor. 15:42, etc., and its absurdity will appear. Hence, our ablest critics and most talented theologians, as a matter of simple consistency, accept of the word “anastasis” or “resurrection” as legitimately denoting a revivification of the dead, a restoration to life. The student need not be reminded that innumerable testimonies derived from ancient and modern writers can be adduced to support this meaning. To give but a recent illustration: Thompson (Theol. of Christ, ch. 14), following Knapp and others, declares that the word was used by the Greeks, by the Grecian-Jews, and by the Scriptures to denote a restoration to life of the dead. This leads us again to remind the reader that in the following discussion, such candid admissions from those who have no sympathy with our doctrine possess considerable weight, in view of the fact that the selection of such a word which Christ and the apostles well knew was thus employed, indicates, that if a spiritual resurrection or existence beyond the grave is meant by the resurrection, no word could have been selected better calculated to deceive hearers and readers.*

Obs. 5. An important feature that ought to be noticed in this discussion, is this: Commentators and others quote largely from the writings of the Jews, showing that they derived from the Old Testament the belief that the pious dead would be raised up at the Coming of the Messiah, and that they would remain with Him here on earth in His Kingdom. A few specimens will suffice: Eisenmenger (Bush, Anast., p. 221) states that the Jews held that the souls of pious Israelites were in a state of detention until the resurrection, awaiting a deliverance which was to be wrought for them by the Messiah, the Son of David. Bush quotes (Anast., p. 225), as favoring such a resurrection, R. Joshua Ben Levi, who thus applies Hos. 13:14 and Isa. 35:10, and also the Bereshith Rabba ad Gen, thus interpreting Micah 2:13. Priest (View, p. 40) says that J. Ben Uziel when referring to the prophecies of Eldad and Medad concerning Gog and Magog “in the last days,” adds: “All the dead of Israel shall rise again to life, and shall enjoy the delights prepared for them from the beginning, and shall receive the reward of their works.” R. Eliezer speaks of a resurrection preceding the Millennial age or thousand years. In the Test. of Simeon (Twelve Patriarchs) when “the Lord God, the Mighty One of Israel, shall appear upon earth as man,” it is added: “Then will I (Simeon) arise in joy and will bless the Most High for His marvellous works, because God hath taken a body, and eaten with men, and saved men.” In the same work, in the Test. of Zebulun, he is represented as saying: “And now, my children, grieve not that I am dying, nor be troubled in that I am passing away from you. For I shall arise once more in the midst of you, as a ruler in the midst of his sons; and I will rejoice in the midst of my tribe,” etc. Having given Jewish testimony in various places, and reserving others for following propositions, this, in connection with the collections given by Burnet (Theory), Lightfoot (Works), Mede (Works), Manasse Ben Israel (On Res.), Herzog’s Cyclop., Smith’s Bib. Dic., and found in our commentaries, is corroborative of the notion entertained by Jews themselves of a corporeal resurrection, and of its occurrence at the appearing of the Messiah. And, what is remarkable, this very expectation of a resurrection at the time of the reign of the Messiah, a Pre-Millennial resurrection, a resurrection deemed indispensable to fulfil the prophets and the covenant itself to Abraham, etc., is so fully incorporated in the phraseology of the New Test. that not the slightest disconnection is to be found existing, so that Paul himself, Acts 26:6, 7 (comp. Acts 23:6), links “the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers, unto which promise our twelve tribes, instantly serving God day and night, hope to come,” with the resurrection itself; and John in the Apocalypse, as many writers have admitted, gives a representation of the resurrection in full accord with Jewish opinions. At least the language chosen in its natural, grammatical meaning confirms these hopes not only in Jewish but in Gentile converts. The latter circumstance is to be considered the stronger in our favor, since, as many authors have shown, the doctrine of a resurrection from the dead was particularly absurd and offensive to Greeks, Romans, etc. Surely this continued reception of “Jewish conceptions” by Gentile churches must have its significance. This doctrine was taught by the apostolic Fathers and their successors as indispensable to their system of faith; and it was regarded as cardinal and exceeding precious, owing to the covenanted Kingdom and blessings being identified with it. Justin Martyr (Dial.s with Trypho, ch. 80) gives the general view held when he says: “But I and others, who are right-minded Christians on all points, are assured that there will be a resurrection of the dead (or as Newton, of the flesh), and a thousand years in Jerusalem, which will then be built, adorned, and enlarged, as the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare,” quoting Isa. 65:17–25; Ps. 90:4; 2 Pet. 3:8 and the Apoc. in confirmation.*

Obs. 6. But in view of the variety of theory concerning the resurrection, something more must be stated. Many writers refine the resurrection by using it as a figurative expression, so that it is constituted something coeval with the history of the Church; or as an accommodation denoting the unfolding of greater capacities and newer powers; or as indicative of an inner body or life continued after death, making death not penal, but necessary and friendly to the development of life; or, as the reception of something exclusively spiritual, either the complete transformation of the material into spirit or the union of two spiritual natures into one. There is no end to the variety and scope of mystical language in this direction, and under the guidance of men of learning and genius, it becomes bewildering. But all such notions, however learnedly and eloquently expressed, are opposed to the simple idea of the resurrection as entertained by the Jews and early Christians, and as represented in the Scriptures. We frankly admit that the subject is one of faith, and thus accept of it; but, at the same time, a solid foundation sustaining such faith is produced. Leaving the connection that it has with the body itself in the grave, with the corporeal resurrection of Jesus, with the meaning of the word anastasis as aptly given by Pearson on the Creed, with the corporeal resurrection of some after the crucifixion, etc., we plant ourselves on the “redemption of the body” (Rom. 8:23), which clearly teaches that not another body is given and glorified, but the same body, made subject by sin to death and corruption, is raised up again and given immortality and renewed (even spiritualized) powers and capacities. We still have faith to accept of the scriptural statements that death is penal in its nature, that it is an enemy and not a friendly messenger to introduce a spiritual resurrection, or to bestow the inheritance, crown, and Kingdom. We are old-fashioned enough in our belief to cling with hope to that day beyond the intermediate period or state, when the redemption of the body will also be effected. And this, because we rest on a perfect, complete Redemption. Our Saviour is a perfect Redeemer; and the early Christians evinced not only faith but logic when they claimed in and through Him “the Redemption of the body.” Everything else that man and the race forfeited by sin is restored through Christ, and we can make no exception in favor of the body, given over to death and corruption, without making Redemption in so far incomplete, and giving in this particular the victory and triumph to Satan. We dare not limit the redemption of the believer, seeing that God designs and has promised, through Christ, a complete restoration to all forfeited blessings; and even superadds to the same, in virtue of relationship to the Redeemer, increased exaltation and glory. Hence, every theory, however plausible, and no matter by whom advocated, that proceeds to limit Redemption, the work of Christ, must be rejected as irreconcilable with the honor, power, etc. of God in Redemption.*

Obs. 7. If charged with credulity in our belief, we answer, that it requires far more to spiritualize away the plainest of facts. Thus, e.g. if the resurrection consists merely in a continued spiritual or future life, why is so much said of the burial of Christ, of the grave, the sealing, the stone rolled away, the rising on the third day (and not after death), the visitation to indicate no absence of the body, etc.? How can these facts be reconciled with such a theory? Again: the precise idea is conveyed of a resurrection “from among or out of the dead,” as all critics admit (as e.g. Phil. 3:11, etc.). Prof. Bush (Anast., p. 139), noticing this peculiarity in Luke 20:25, says: “This usage is very remarkable, and must be founded upon some sufficient reason.” The reason he assigns is, that it denotes a moral or spiritual resurrection from among or out of the dead in sin, or a future state. But the facts in reference to this usage are decidedly against such a view, for the identical language is employed to denote Christ’s resurrection from among or out of the dead as is seen in Acts 4:2, comp. Acts 17:31; and hence, if the pleading is valid, it denotes in Christ’s case a moral or spiritual regeneration or a continued future life. How, too, reconcile this usage of language with precisely the same employed by the Jews to signify, as the words indicate, a separate and distinct resurrection of some of the dead?*

Obs. 8. Candor requires the brief examination of the only passage which can, by careless concessions, be adduced as favorable to this notion of a purely spiritual resurrection immediately after death, viz., that of 2 Cor. 5:1–8. If we entertain the opinion, given by various writers, that this change of body is experienced at death, we are at once plunged into difficulties, for then, (1) we make Paul contradict himself in his teaching concerning the resurrection. For he not only in other places teaches a corporeal resurrection, but he precisely locates this resurrection and transformation at the future Coming of Christ (e.g. 1 Cor. 15, and 1 Thess. 4), when “the Lord Himself shall descend from heaven,” etc. (2) In consoling those who lost friends and endured tribulations (1 Thess. 4:13; 2 Thess. 1:4–10, etc.), he refers them to an experience of the power of the resurrection at the same period, and professes the same respecting himself (Rom. 8:23). (3) That none of the churches established by him, or their immediate successors, believed, so far as we have any knowledge, that believers experienced such a change immediately after death, which omission of faith is corroborative evidence that the passage was apprehended without such an interpretation. If we concede that the change is after the death of the believer, then the concession is seized by Swedenborgians, Universalists, etc., as proof of the non-resurrection of the bodies of the saints. Is this concession necessary, or is it demanded by the passage? The reasons just assigned have already sufficient weight to urge us to avoid it for the sake of consistency; and the solution, if we allow the general analogy of Scripture to speak, is not difficult. It is only a forced comment to say, as some do (e.g. MacKnight, Hodge, etc.), that the resurrection body is not denoted, but only “the heavenly mansions” or places in the third heaven, for then the contrast is not preserved. It is contradictory to profess a belief in a bodily resurrection at the end of the age, and yet when we come to this passage, give the saints (as Barnes) in this intermediate state a body and even “a glorified body.” To say that Paul desired to be with Christ in a disembodied state does violence to the desire as expressed, or to say that a temporary body is given until the day of resurrection is opposed to its being “eternal.” The explanation of Locke that Paul expected the speedy coming of Christ, and desired a transformation, without dying, although plausible, as Barnes admits, is not necessary to reconcile the passage with other statements of Paul. The opinion of that class of commentators who advocate that the resurrection body is denoted, is the only one that accords with the tenor of the resurrection doctrine. Paul is accustomed, owing to the inheritance, etc., being linked with the Second Coming, to pass over the intermediate state, examples of which are found (e.g. Rom. 8:30; Heb. 12:22, 23, etc.) in several epistles. Before entering upon the words of the passage, he expresses his strong faith in the things not seen, in the things eternal, and among those things he had just enumerated (ch. 4:14), “knowing that He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise us up also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.” Hence, grasping by faith the blessings connected with the resurrection by Jesus, he, passing by the intermediate state as not worthy of comparison with what follows it, makes a general affirmation of the resurrection, his desire to experience it, and his safety and blessedness whether he presently, or not, experience it. That his mind was impressed by the desire for a bodily resurrection appears, (1) that this body is “eternal in the heavenlies” (see Prop. 107), which accords with the position and rank of the Rulers after the resurrection; (2) it occurs here on earth for “the house is from heaven,” i.e. the change, etc., is made by God through His Son Jesus (for our “resurrection” even is in heaven); (3) this change is made “that mortality might be swallowed up of life,” i.e., the body itself, the mortal part, is endued with immortality, otherwise it is not correct to say that the mortal receives or attains to life, but it should be (if spiritualized) that the mortal body gives place to another and different body never susceptible to mortality; (4) the “earnest of the Spirit,” given as a pledge for the performance of this, indicates it, as a comparison with Rom. 8:23; Eph. 1:14; Eph. 4:30, etc., will show. Such considerations, to say the least, are ample enough, whatever view we may entertain respecting particular parts of the passage or concerning it as a whole, to prove that we need not indorse a spiritual endowment or resurrection immediately after death, making the resurrection of the body unnecessary and redundant; for, admitting the apostleship of Paul, the writer does not contradict himself, which he inevitably does if we force such an interpretation upon his words.*

Obs. 9. Attention is called to the circumstance that many of our opposers frankly acknowledge that a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection is taught in the Scriptures. Of these we have several classes, (1) such as receive the inspired Word, and profess themselves forced by philological and exegetical reasons to receive the doctrine, but very carefully have these resurrected saints removed to the third heaven. Such are Prof. M. Stuart, Priest, etc.; and the Com. of Stuart and his Excursus on Rev. 20 are commended to the special consideration of the reader, because his candid admissions are particularly valuable both on account of his known hostility to our doctrine. and by reason of this concession of a literal resurrection being antagonistic in spirit and principle to his own theological system. (2) Then there are some hard to understand and contradictory; admitting in one place a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection, without the Advent of Christ, and in another place rejecting it. Thus, e.g. Kurtz (Sacred History) admits, s. 196, a literal resurrection to precede the Millennium, as his reference to Matt. 27:52, 53 indicates, and yet in sections 198 and 199 he speaks as if all the Scriptures pertaining to the dead of Christ were only fulfilled at the close of that age. He, too, is guarded in placing those resurrected ones preceding the Millennial age in an “invisible and celestial” reign, just as if the predicted Kingdom of the prophets was an invisible one. The concession, however feebly given, is worthy of notice, as in so far it coincides with “the ignorance and folly” of Jewish expectations. (3) Another class are those who, imitating some ancient opponents of Chiliasm, reject the Apocalypse mainly on the ground that it teaches a two-fold resurrection, the first of the saints at the beginning of the Millennial age, the second at its close. So Lücke and others, see Prof. Stuart’s Introd. to Apoc. (4) Some, as Prof. Bush (Mill. and Anast.), Neander (Works), admit that the language is well adapted to teach a Pre-Millennial corporeal resurrection, that such an opinion was entertained by the early Church, that it was well suited to sustain the martyrs, etc., but that its true spiritual conception was to be developed by the growth of the Church. (5) Rejectors of Revelation, as Gibbon (History, vol. 1, p. 534, etc.), admit it, and in various works and periodicals it is presented and derided as decidedly too “Jewish.” A writer, e.g. in Westm. Review, Oct., 1861, p. 261, speaking of this doctrine, portrays it thus: “The subjects of this long-desired theocracy are primarily the decapitated martyrs, and then all the true adherents of the now triumphant Messiah. Their restoration to a happy and sinless corporeal existence constitutes the first resurrection,” but pronounces it after all only a splendid idea derived from Jewish Messianic expectations, unworthy of credence. Very recent attacks on the Apoc. by talented men correspond with this in tone and spirit. (6) Still others fully admit the literalness of the Pre-Millennial resurrection, but injure its force, and materially affect the harmony of prophecy, by linking with it, and regarding as identical in time, events which are separated by the Millennial era. Thus, e.g. Keith in his Harmony of Prophecy. Thus from various sources, antagonistic, and some even hostile, to us, we have the important admission made, so requisite to our system of faith, that a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection is taught in the Scriptures.

Obs. 10. An objection, urged by Barnes and others, may as well be noticed here. It is to the effect that in more detailed descriptions of the Resurrection, as in 1 Thess. 4, and 1 Cor. 15, Paul does not connect the personal reign and Kingdom of Christ as following here on earth. But if this proves anything, it proves too much, for it would exclude other things also mentioned as occurring, such as the creation of new heavens, etc., the resurrection of the unjust, the last judgment, etc. The omission is decidedly in our favor, for (while Paul in other places unites “the appearing and Kingdom”), he here takes it for granted, from the universally entertained views that the Kingdom is joined to the appearing of this Son of Man, that the parties addressed will supply the order of events omitted, and discusses only that part of it, viz., the resurrection of the dead, which to Gentiles, like the Thessalonians and Corinthians, was the most incredible, etc. If the objection is appropriate, then we might frame another in the same spirit, and ask, Why then, seeing that these Thessalonians are charged by Neander and others as holding to “Jewish forms” of the Kingdom, did not the apostle, when on the subject of the resurrection, refute their Jewish notions of the Kingdom? The one objection is as pertinent as the other.

  PROPOSITION 126. In confirmation of our position, the Old Test. clearly teaches a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the saints.

Our entire argument, step by step, leads to this as a necessity, otherwise the Kingdom as covenanted and predicted cannot appear, and cannot be inherited. Leaving the reasons already assigned (under the discussion of the covenant and memorial, see. Prop. 49), we now appeal to others which show that before the Messianic Kingdom can be realized the righteous dead must first be raised up from among the dead.

Obs. 1. No one doubts that Isa. 25:6–8 is descriptive of the Messiah’s Kingdom. If we regard it, as it ought to be, representative of a state here on earth to be witnessed during an appointed time, and if we do not take the unwarranted liberty of dividing and subdividing it, allotting portions of it to one time and other portions to another time, or, ascribing parts of it to earth and others to the third heaven, then it will be very easy to locate the period of its verification or realization on the authority of the Apostle Paul. In turning to 1 Cor. 15:54, after a description only of the resurrection of the righteous, the apostle emphatically adds, “then” (i.e. at this very time of this resurrection) “shall be brought to pass the saying that is written ‘Death is swallowed up in victory.’ ” Isaiah’s Millennial description, which all agree is a delineation of Christ’s Kingdom, is, according to this testimony, to be fulfilled or brought to pass when a resurrection is experienced by the saints. This is corroborated by the statements given in Isaiah, corresponding with such, that we know are only to be realized after death is abolished. But Paul adds another saying which is also “then,” at that time to be brought to pass, viz., the one given by Hos. 13:14 (gives the spirit of it), “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” The question that arises here is this: Paul well knew that Hosea 13:14 (as well as Isa. 25:8) was a favorite passage of the Jews to support a resurrection of righteous Jews at the inauguration of the Kingdom by the coming of the Messiah—how, then, could he locate its fulfilment at a resurrection of saints, conjointly with the Kingdom description of Isaiah, unless he fully and freely indorsed such a Jewish view? This testimony is plain and convincing, unless we charge Paul with prevarication. As an inspired man, as a follower of Gamaliel, as a preacher of the Kingdom, knowing the Jewish views, he could not give them such an indorsement unless it was true.*

Obs. 2. In Daniel 12, we have, according to the early Church and many eminent writers, a literal, twofold, and Pre-Millennial resurrection foretold. The English version gives, v. 2, “And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” That the language indicates a literal resurrection is fully admitted even by those who spiritualize it, or who apply it to the time of the Maccabees; that it is expressive of or drawn from the doctrine of a literal resurrection all critics confess. “Sleep” used for death; “sleeping in the dust of the earth;” “awake” employed to denote restoration to life; this awaking of such sleepers to “everlasting life,” all in the phraseology and contrast enforce such a meaning. To avoid the charge of forcing an interpretation, we shall rely on the renderings given by our opponents. Prof. Bush, a critical scholar, gives the following: “And many of the sleepers of the dust of the ground shall awake—these to everlasting life, and those to shame and everlasting contempt.” He contends that the words in their precise meaning demand a twofold resurrection, one class being raised up to life while another are not then awakened. As to the latter part of the verse and the controversy originated by it, we may in this discussion pass it by, only saying, (1) if it has the meaning given by Bush, then it forms an additional argument in our favor; (2) but if the contrary, as Barnes and others, is to be received, viz., that the just and unjust are both raised at the same time, then it may be referred, as many do, to the resurrection of professed believers good and bad. The first part of the verse is sufficient to sustain our position, viz., that of a partial resurrection of the dead—a resurrection of some out of or from among all the sleepers in the dust of the earth. The awaking is predicated alone of the “many of” and not of all men. Those who resort to making “the many” consist of “all” are restricted by the peculiar, significant, and conclusive “many of.” Hence we find the candid confession of Dr. Hody (Res. of the Body, p. 230): “I fully acknowledge that the word ‘many’ makes this text extremely difficult. I know what expositors say, but I am not satisfied with anything I have hitherto met with. Some tell us that ‘many’ is sometimes used in the Scriptures to signify ‘all,’ but this does not clear the difficulty; for there is a great difference between ‘many’ and ‘many of.’ All that sleep in the dust are many; but many of them that sleep in the dust cannot be said to be all they that sleep in the dust. ‘Many of’ does plainly except some.” In the examination of various writers, all, without exception, acknowledge this restricted import, declaring that its removal does violence to the passage. The language then expresses a literal, partial resurrection. Now in its connection it describes a Pre-Millennial one, briefly, for the following reasons: (1) It is placed at the end of certain prophetic periods, which, as nearly all commentators agree, precede, or run down to, the commencement of the Millennial period; (2) it is connected with a deliverance of the people of God, pre-eminently characteristic of the beginning of the Millennial era; (3) it is identified with a period of great trouble, distress, etc., which, as many prophecies declare, precedes the ushering in of that age; (4) it is related to the period when the wicked shall be rooted out, etc., which is descriptive of the commencement of this age; (5) and the identifying of the promise annexed by Jesus Himself to the time immediately after the harvest, “then shall the righteous shine forth as the sun,” for, as Joel and John show, the harvest immediately precedes the Millennial glory.

Obs. 3. But we have stronger evidence than this even in the chapter, for the resurrection of the righteous being mentioned; God graciously assures Daniel himself that he shall be among those many thus favored. In verse 12, we read: “But go thou thy way till the end be; for thou shalt rest and stand in thy lot, at the end of the days.” It being foreign to our design to discuss prophetic periods, it is only necessary to say that, taking the admissions of a host of Anti-Millenarians and others, these prophetical days being, in accord with prophetical usage, years, no matter what period is assigned to their commencement, they require many centuries before their close. And hence the promise to Daniel at “the end of the days” is to be witnessed, after a long series of years has passed, even, as many contend, extending down to the Millennial age. At least, if we limit these periods to literal days, there is not a particle of proof that the promise was realized in Daniel’s case. Down to the present day Daniel has not yet stood up in his lot, and, if we leave due weight to one pregnant expression, we can plainly see the reason why it is not yet fulfilled—“when He shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished.” Then the end of these days has come, and then God’s promise is verified; not sooner and not later. But look at history and the facts as they exist to-day. Are not the Jewish people still dispersed and their power scattered among the nations of the earth? Is not Jerusalem itself still trodden down by Gentiles? How, then, can it be said that God’s purpose in reference to this people has been accomplished in this respect, when we see it going on before our eyes? No! the end has not yet come, but as God’s promises are sure, and now Yea and Amen in Christ, when the end of Jewish tribulation and dispersion comes a glorious resurrection also comes in which Daniel will participate. In noticing the promise, it is legitimate to avail ourselves of the admissions of those who oppose our Millenarian views, and it ought to be accepted as impartial evidence. Barnes (Com. Dan. loci), after showing that Daniel could not possibly have lived during the entire period of the events previously enumerated without experiencing death, advocates the standing up at the end of the days to mean a literal resurrection, saying: “This is admitted by Lengerke, by Maurer, and even by Bertholdt, to be the meaning, although he applies it to the reign of the Messiah. No other interpretation, therefore, can be affixed to this, than that it implies the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead, and that the mind of Daniel was directed onward to that. With this great and glorious doctrine the book appropriately closes.” The death of Daniel, before the events predicted come to pass, is announced in the “for thou shalt rest.” This is appropriate language in view of the previous “sleep in the dust.” But we again leave Barnes explain: “During that long interval Daniel would ‘rest.’ He would quietly and calmly ‘sleep in the dust of the earth,’ in the grave.” “I do not see that it is possible to explain the language on any other supposition than this. The word rendered ‘shalt rest’ would be well applied to the rest in the grave. So it is used in Job 3:13 ‘then had I been at rest,’ Job 3:17, ‘there the weary be at rest.’ ” The language of the promise, too, implies the personal presence of Daniel at the time the end shall be. More than this, it is requisite, for then he is to obtain his “lot.” Now, whatever meaning is attached to “the lot,” whether of station, rank, degree, etc., it is certain from numerous promises that Christians are represented as receiving their “lot” after the resurrection is experienced. Daniel receives his portion or reward allotted to him by God. But when? Turning to Rev. 11:15–18, under the last trumpet, preceding the Millennial era, we find “the time of the dead that they should be judged and that Thou shouldest give reward unto Thy servants, the prophets.” Such is the striking harmony of the utterances of the divine Spirit, indicating a Pre-Millennial resurrection.

Obs. 4. However ultra it may seem to some, we are willing to, and readily do, accept of Ezek. 37:1–14 as teaching a Pre-Millennial resurrection. This view washeldby the Jews (e.g. 2 Esdras 2:16, 23, 31), by the early Church (being quoted by Irenæus, Fifth B. Ag. Heresies, Justin, in 1st Apol., Tertullian in chs. 29, 30, On the Res. of the Flesh, and Greg. Nazianzen, Funer. Oration, e.g. by others), and by different writers from that period to the present. Some authors, not entirely satisfied with a figurative application, give a twofold fulfilment, one a spiritual or civil, and the other literal, as e.g. Dr. Clarke, Com. loci, who also admits that it has an ultimate reference to “the resurrection of the body.” Others, as Rationalists, etc., receive it as teaching a literal resurrection, but reject it as a “Jewish figment.” While still others, as Delitzsch (Sys. of Bib. Psyc., p. 485, in response to Hofman, who advocated that Isa. 26:19 and Ezek. 37:1–14 contained figures of restoration), and many Millenarians, hold that such a literal resurrection is taught as covenant promises require. The reasons which influence us to such a belief are the following: (1) The explanation given by God Himself of the vision indicates a literal resurrection. The vision of the dry bones extends from v. 1 to 10, and if this were all, then, indeed, we might be at a loss to determine its exact meaning, but God appends to it an explanation; and, like in all explanatory clauses, we have no right to spiritualize them away. It is weakness to place the vision and the explanation in the same category, and treat the one like the other. We dare not, without disrespect to the Divine explanation, make it denote something quite different from what the words truly and actually represent. Keeping in view the distinction, overlooked by the multitude, between the vision and its interpretation by the Spirit, how else can we receive the words, unless teaching the doctrine we claim, when it says: “I will open your graves and cause you to come up out of your graves,” etc. (2) It is scarcely consistent for the resurrection of the body (whatever may be true of the simple word resurrection) to be taken as a figure or symbol of the renovation of the soul, seeing that in the Scriptures a moral change of the soul is uniformly held to be a prelude to a blessed resurrection of the body unto life. This would be reversing the order of events, and involving a certain incongruity. It is nowhere done unless this and Rev. 20 form exceptions to a general rule. (3) The language, “Behold they say, ‘our bones are dried and our hope is lost,’ ” shows that a corporeal resurrection is meant. For, if we turn to Ps. 141:7, this is the expressive complaint of the house of Israel, “our bones are scattered at the grave’s mouth as when one cutteth and cleaveth wood on the earth,” and God here gives the assurance that these very “bones scattered at the grave’s mouth,” shall be again raised up. In the 89th Ps., where this lost hope is plaintively presented, we have the covenant, and the assurance that David’s Son shall gloriously reign on David’s throne; then follows, however, the prediction of the casting down of David’s crown and throne to the ground, of the cast-off condition of the nation and the non-fulfilment of the covenant, and the question is asked, “How long?” Then follows: “Remember how short my time is; wherefore hast Thou made all men in vain? What man is he that liveth and shall not see death? Shall he deliver his soul from the hand of the grave? Lord, where are Thy former lovingkindnesses which Thou swarest unto David in Thy truth?” How is this hope so lost, even absorbed by the all-devouring grave, to be realized? The plain, God-given answer comes to us in this passage of Ezekial, if we will only receive it. Here the question asked in Ps. 35:10 is replied to; and prophet after prophet assures us that when this shall occur “those bones shall flourish as an herb.” It is in accord with this that David in Ps. 31 affirms that although his “bones are consumed” and in his “haste” he said, “I am cut off from before Thine eyes,” he will trust in God for deliverance, because the wicked alone shall “be ashamed” and “be silent in the grave.” This confidence is again and again declared, so that the bones given over into “the hand of the grave” shall “come up out of the grave.” God says that the house of Israel declares “our hope is lost and we are cut off.” In Lam. 3:18, we read, “And I said, my strength and my hope is perished from the Lord,” but farther on the prophet again professes hope “for the Lord will not cast off forever … to crush under His feet all the prisoners of the earth.” No! some of those “prisoners of the earth,” which (as we shall hereafter show) are the dead that the earth holds in confinement, which are now “dwelling in the dust” (Isa. 26:19), “the earth shall cast out.” The “prisoners of hope,” Zech. 9:12, shall be delivered according to the “hope toward God,” expressed by Paul, Acts 24:15. The analogy of faith, the appeal of God to words connected with corporeal death, and the stubborn fact itself that the covenant given by God to Abraham and David cannot possibly be realized until the enemy death, which holds its chosen ones, is overcome, these things prove, what so many pious have joyfully accepted, a literal resurrection, by which the grave is made to surrender those to whom precious covenant promises were made. Now, indeed, the enemy triumphs; they are cut off “from the land of the living;” faith and hope almost falters at the gloomy prospect; wise men here and there declare it is folly to expect its realization; scientists insist upon its impossibility; even good men think it too much to anticipate, and explain it away; but God, the Almighty, points to this very faltering faith and hope, produced by literal death, and in His gracious majesty speaks: “Then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it and performed it.” How can we change God’s words or challenge His work? (4) The emphatic language here is corroborated by other examples. Thus e.g. when we keep in view how the Jews understood this vision and explanation, then the language of Jesus addressed to Jews is a confirmation of a literal resurrection. For in John 5:28, 29 the expression of Ezekial is almost repeated “all that are in their graves” shall “come forth,” and this, too, in connection with what He said, that this raising up shall be (e.g. John 6:39, 40, 44) “at the last day” as the Jews held (comp. John 11:24). Again, Hos. 13:14, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave,” etc., contains the same ideas, and Paul applies it directly to the resurrection of the righteous. Hence, in view of the application of similar language by Jesus and Paul, corroborating Jewish views of Ezekiel, we cordially accept of it in the same spirit. (5) The expression “bring you into the land of Israel,” which has led so many to apply this figuratively to a “national restoration,” under the supposition that mortal men in this life are only alluded to, is, instead of a stumbling-block, indispensable in such a resurrection. The covenant, if Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob are to personally inherit the land, the covenant promises, if the meek are to inherit the land, etc., absolutely, demands just such bringing of the dead ones into the land of Israel, the promised inheritance. Ezekiel only establishes what the Millennial descriptions present, viz., a return of the ransomed of the Lord to this identical land, as the most sacred of God’s assurances declare. (6) This description of the prophet is too sublime and wide-reaching in its sweep to be regarded as fulfilled in the weak and partial restoration of the Jews under the Persian kings and afterward. The facts are not equal to the representation; and the Jews themselves, who experienced this restoration, had no such idea of its performance. It is a belittling of the prophecy to confine it to such an event; it is a dwindling away of God’s appeal in reference to the knowledge obtained of His Omnipotence when this should occur; it is a frittering away of the promised gathering of “the whole house of Israel,” of the implied continued prosperity, of the union, strength, etc., then granted to them. No! greater, inestimable greater blessings than God’s people have ever yet realized are embraced in this precious promise, even those connected with a literal, Pre-Millennial resurrection.

Obs. 5. Numerous passages plainly teach a Pre-Millennial resurrection. Thus, e.g. Jer. 31:15–17, “a voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation and bitter weeping; Rachel weeping for her children refused to be comforted for her children, because they were not. Thus saith the Lord: Refrain thy voice from weeping and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the Lord; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.” This is applied (Matt. 2:17, 18) to a literal slaughter, and the resurrection promised is also literal. But this does not fulfil the entire promise; for it includes not only a raising up from the dead, a return from the land of the enemy death, but a return, a “coming again to their own border,” to the very land where the enemy triumphed over them. The time when this is to take place is specified in the context, v. 10–14, when Jacob is “redeemed and ransomed from the hand of him that was stronger than he.” The same spirit characterizes Hannah’s prayer (1 Sam. 2), which the Chaldee version (Dr. Clarke) says, “And Hannah prayed in the spirit of prophecy,” in which the resurrection is pointedly predicted, “the Lord killeth and maketh alive; He bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up.” The Jews (see Targums, quoted by Dr. Clarke, Com. loci) so understood it. But this is connected even with a period when vengeance comes, the righteous are exalted, and the “wicked are silent in darkness;” and if reference is made to the parallel passage in Deut. 32:39, it is also connected with a time of vengeance, deliverance of God’s people, and God’s land. The faith that David expressed in Ps. 142, 116, 27, etc., of finally walking before, or in the presence of, the Lord “in the land of the living,” is one in such a resurrection. This is seen by noticing the context, and by comparing of Scripture. Thus in Ps. 142 he describes his trouble by which he is brought “very low,” even into “prison” (which a comparison shows is the grave), for his enemy is stronger than he. But he expresses the hope that God will be his “portion in the land of the living,” and that God will “bring my soul out of prison, that I may praise Thy name; the righteous shall compass me about; for Thou shalt deal bountifully with me.” In Ps. 116, he is plainer, telling us that “the sorrows of death compassed me and the pains of hell got hold upon me.” He then prays that God would “deliver my soul,” adding his trust: “Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with me. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” This faith, in an ultimate happy deliverance from the power of death, causes him to say: “Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints;” and, exulting in the hope set before him, declares, “Thou hast loosed my bonds,” and that he, David, shall praise “in the Lord’s house, in the midst of thee, O Jerusalem.” Here, then, death is an enemy; David fell under this enemy and is bound by him in a prison; but he shall yet triumph over this enemy through the power of God; he shall return again to the promised rest, praise God, associate with all the righteous, and enjoy the blessings of Jerusalem. The detention in the grave is figuratively represented by “a prison,” “prisoner,” “captive,” “captivity,” etc. In Isa. 42:7; 61:1; 49:9, etc., where it is promised that Christ shall “bring out the prisoners from the prison and them that sit in the darkness out of the prison house,” that He shall bestow “liberty to the captives and the opening of the prison to them that are bound,” these things primarily describe the resurrection, for the simple reason that “the year of the Lord” and the restoration and blessings promised in immediate connection cannot be inaugurated, according to the tenor of prophecy, without such a resurrection. The people now are given up as a prey to the enemy death, and are forcibly represented as “hid in prison houses,” Isa. 42:22, as “prisoners resting together” Job 3:18, as “prisoners of the earth,” Sam. 3:34, as “the lawful captives,” or (marg. reading) “the captivity of the just,” Isa. 49:24, etc. This idea accords with Ps. 79, where, after describing the desolations of Jerusalem, the fact that “the blood” of the saints has been shed and their “dead bodies” have been exposed, the Psalmist significantly asks: “How long, O Lord?” Then praying for God’s help, he says: “Let the sighing of the prisoner come before Thee; according to the greatness of Thy power preserve Thou those that are appointed to die.” What the Prophet means by this is apparent from Ps. 102, where, after complaining that “days are consumed,” that he is “cast down” and “withered like grass,” he relies on the blessed truths that God “endures forever,” that He shall “arise and have mercy on Zion,” adding “when the Lord shall build up Zion, He shall appear in His glory” (not humiliation), “He will regard the prayer of the destitute and not despise their prayer. This shall be written for the generation to come; and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord. For, He hath looked down from the height of His sanctuary; from heaven did the Lord behold the earth; to hear the groaning of the prisoner; to loose those that are appointed to death (Heb. the children of death); to declare the name of the Lord in Zion and His praise in Jerusalem; when the people are gathered together, and the Kingdoms, to serve the Lord.” What else, if the prayer of these prisoners is ever answered, but a Pre-Millennial resurrection is to be anticipated? For, taking such passages together, what have we here but a reference by the prophet to his own death and to dead saints, to the ability of God to raise them up or deliver them, to “the set time to favor Zion,” which is to come when the Lord shall appear the second time unto salvation, and this prayer to be released from death shall be answered, to a joyful gathering of the people to praise the Lord in Jerusalem, when “the children of death” shall be loosened? If we were only prepared to receive it, we would find the Bible full of this Divine Purpose, and that the unity of the Spirit teaches it again and again, sometimes briefly, or concisely, or even obscurely, and sometimes openly and more fully. Even in such a Ps. as the 69th, faith grasps the resurrection, in the words: “The Lord heareth the poor and despiseth not His prisoners,” for death is brought before us in the preceding verses, when suddenly the strain is changed into exultation, and we are told that the prisoner shall be released, and they shall return with praise to the holy land.

Obs. 6. So interesting is this subject and abundant the material (showing how the Spirit regards it), that the reader will pardon us, if additional illustrations are given. Thus the word “hell” is used to denote the grave. If we turn to Ps. 86, the hope is expressed, “Thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest hell” (marg. reading is “grave”), and while praise is tendered for such deliverance, the wicked shall be “ashamed.” Other passages could be adduced, but let us take a clearer one, the representation of the grave by “the land of darkness” “the shadow of death,” “darkness,” etc. (Job 10:21, 22; Ps. 88:18; Eccl. 6:4; Ps. 143:3, etc.). In various predictions the saints are to be delivered from this darkness, just as the Millennial era is to be ushered in, and this prepares us the better to appreciate the force of Col. 1:12, 13, “Giving thanks unto the Father which hath made us meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light; who” (at the time the inheritance is given) “hath delivered us from the power of darkness” (the grave or place of the dead), “and hath translated us into the Kingdom of His dear Son.” That this “power of darkness” refers to the enemy death or grave is proven by the use made of the expression by Jesus, Luke 22:53, who, when the Jews came with stones and swords to take Him, knowing the predetermined result death and the grave, said: “This is your hour and the power of darkness” (comp. John 12:27; Micah 7:8, etc.). So the reverse of darkness, viz., “light,” is employed to denote the removal of the darkness of the grave at the resurrection morn, and forms a remarkable feature in the opening, etc., of Millennial descriptions. The manner in which the Spirit introduces the words “enemy,” “sleep,” “prey,” “pit,” “awake,” “dust,” “quicken,” etc., shows how prominently the notion of a Pre-Millennial resurrection is incorporated in the Scriptures. Let us e.g. take “quicken,” which Paul forcibly employs in Rom. 8 to prove that God will fulfil His promise to Abraham to be “heir of the world,” and that “the promise might be made sure to all the seed,” by saying: “God who quickeneth the dead.” (Comp. Rom. 8:11; 4:17; John 5:21; Ps. 3:8.) Now, allow this New Test. confirmatory usage to be adopted as an interpreting guide, and we have Ps. 71 pointedly expressing this resurrection: “Thou shalt quicken me again and shalt bring me up again from the depths of the earth;” and then speaks of his “greatness” being increased here on the earth. Comp. Ps. 80:17, 18; Ps. 143:11, etc., keeping in view the key note given by 1 Pet. 3:18, where Christ Himself is raised from the dead, being “quickened.” This becomes decisive when the fact is observed that the resurrection from the dead is represented as “a birth,” “a begetting,” “a regeneration.” Notice that Christ’s resurrection is (Heb. 1:5, 6, comp. with Acts 13:33; Rom. 8:29, etc.) a begetting or being born again, so that He is, in virtue of this second birth, called, Col. 1:18, “the first-born from the dead,” and in Rev. 1:5, “the first begotten of the dead.” What a flood of light this phraseology throws on the Pre-Millennial resurrection; for surely, if the appropriate figure of a birth is thus applied to the resurrection of the Head, designedly too, we are not perverting the Word if we accept of the same in reference to the members. Let us see what the Spirit says, e.g. in Isa. 66:7, 8, 9, “Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a manchild. Who hath heard such a thing? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? Or, shall a nation be born at once? For, as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children. Shall I bring to the birth and not cause to bring forth? saith the Lord; shall I cause to bring forth and shut the womb? said the Lord,” etc. Here we have the earth (not church) bringing forth at the appearing of the Lord (v. 5), at a time of vengeance (v. 6), at the ushering in of Millennial glory (v. 10–14), at a time when the wicked are to be ashamed and utterly removed (v. 5, 15, etc.), at the time new heavens and new earth are created (v. 22), at a gathering and overthrow of nations, etc. And, moreover, those thus born are to enjoy this very Millennial blessedness, while the wicked are so cut off as to become “an abhorring to all flesh.” This corresponds precisely with the statements of events preceding the Millennium; while the suddenness of the event, the brevity of time in which it is accomplished, the astounding and unexampled nature of the occurrence, all confirms its denoting the resurrection. Then Micah 5:3, 4 has a remarkable disclosure on this point; for after describing the smiting of the Judge of Israel, the very Ruler of Israel that came to them, the result of that smiting, as witnessed by us in the rejection of the Jewish nation during the times of the Gentiles, is alluded to: “Therefore will He give them up until the time that she which travaileth hath brought forth.” This birth is delayed during the dispersion of the Jews; it is not to be experienced until the time when their restoration comes; it is connected with a revelation of the strength and majesty of Christ’s rule. Hence this being born again, this regeneration is referred by Jesus to the future in Matt. 19:28, to the period when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of His glory,” and the apostles shall “sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.” For the word translated “regeneration” means “born again,” and was anciently employed to denote the resurrection. Now, the reader is prepared for an additional reason for believing Ezekiel’s resurrection to be a literal one, viz., the clause, which above all others is supposed to teach a spiritual one, “And shall put My Spirit in you, and ye shall live.” This Spirit is put in these dead ones that are in their graves, and this corresponds with Rom. 8:11. Therefore, this Spirit is called in 1 Cor. 15, “a quickening Spirit” (Barnes, loci, “a vivifying Spirit, giving or imparting life”). This quickening or birth is performed by Christ (John 5:21, 26, etc.), and Paul in 2 Cor. 3, in his argument to show that the covenant is to be fulfilled by the Spirit giving life, says: “Now the Lord is that Spirit;” and when this is done we find announced in Phil. 3:20, 21, “from whence (heaven) we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious body, according to the working whereby He is able to subdue all things unto Himself.” It is this resurrection Spirit that God promises in Ezekiel to give, that the dead may live, for they, too, are (Eph. 1:13) “sealed with the Holy Spirit, of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance, until the redemption of the purchased possession.” This again is confirmed by the use of “redeemed,” “ransomed,” etc., and the phraseology of Hos. 13:14, “I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death,” and of Paul, Rom. 8:23, “the redemption of the body,” is amply sufficient to illustrate the meaning of the prophet. Thus to apply it to Isa. 51:11, “the redeemed of the Lord shall return and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their heads; they shall obtain gladness and joy; and sorrow and mourning shall flee away.” Preceding this we have this people consumed by the worm (v. 8), and following it this is said to be done that the captive exile “should not die in the pit;” and when they return they enjoy what only is to be realized in the Millennial period. The parallel in Isa. 35:10, “the ransomed of the Lord shall return,” etc., also teaches that this is performed when “God cometh with vengeance,” to “save you,” and forms thus what Paul calls “the day of Redemption” for fulfilling the covenant, for as Ps. 111:9 forcibly puts it, “He sent redemption unto His people; He hath commanded His covenant forever.”

Obs. 7. This doctrine of a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection we admit, is “Jewish.” This term of reproach (given in this sense by man) we cheerfully accept, for it is a distinguishing feature of our faith, seeing that we find it in the covenant given to Jews, in Jewish Prophets, in the teaching of a Jewish Saviour and Jewish apostles, and in agreement with Jewish statements of doctrine; and that only such who are engrafted into the Abrahamic stock and become members of the Jewish commonwealth, shall participate in it. It belongs pre-eminently to the introduction of that Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom promised to the Jewish select nation. Even Rabbinical lore is full of intimations respecting it. That, therefore, which forms such an objectionable feature to many, is only an additional reason for retaining it. (Comp. e.g. Prop. 68.)*

Obs. 8. We me what estimate to place on Reuss’s assertion (His. Ch. Theol., p. 57): “It is a fact admitted in our day by all unprejudiced exegetes, and which should never have been denied, that the doctrine (of the res.) was never taught by the prophets previous to the exile, especially in any close association with the idea of a future reward.” This is abundantly refuted by what we have produced from the Pentateuch, the historical books, the Psalms, Isaiah and Ezekiel. Even if this language is to be spiritualized (which these men do, and, therefore, cannot find a resurrection), critics fully admit that the language is based on, or the figure is derived from, a doctrine of the resurrection, which must then have been well known. But over against Reuss, Jesus Himself told the Sadducees that it was taught even by Moses; so Peter, in proving the resurrection of Jesus, affirms the same respecting David; and so Paul, Heb. 11:35, concerning the ancients generally. It was taught both directly or inferentially, but, of course, if the most direct passages are to receive Origenistic interpretation and manipulation, then it cannot be found—the doctrine is prejudged. The Jews themselves appealed to passages in the writings before the exile for their belief, and found it even, where all Scripture places it as necessarily implied, viz., in the Covenant itself. Even Stanley (His. of Jew. Ch., 2 Ser., p. 170) speaks of “the defects” of the Psalms in this particular, and adds: “Hardly in the silence of the Pentateuch or the gloomy despair of Ecclesiastes, is the faintness of immortality more chilling than in the 30th, 49th, and 88th Psalms.” The “defect” in this case is in the interpreter, and not in the Psalms. For what can be more significant and cheering than the plain statement in the 30th that he will praise God, “for Thou hast lifted me up and hast not made my foes (death and the grave as he afterward explains) to rejoice over me”—“O Lord, Thou hast brought up my soul from the grave; Thou hast kept me alive, that I should not go down to the pit,” i.e., remain there as the wicked. And this comes to pass owing (marg. reading) “to the memorial,” which we have shown (Prop. 49) pledges God to a resurrection to insure the fulfilment of the Covenant promises. This, too, takes place in “the morning,” see Prop. 139. Then again he refers to death, to his happy deliverance from it, to the establishment of his “mountain” or Kingdom, to the fact that he would “not be silent” as the wicked then will be. Whether others can see it or not, the Psalm is radiant with hope of blessed immortality. The 88th is, as has already been shown, jubilant with the same hope, while the 40th, not so distinctive, gives, as parallel passages will indicate, evidences of the same.*

Obs. 9. From what preceded, it is evident that the unbelief of those is inexcusable, who, in a measure, removed from gross Rationalism, still, like Lücke in his Introd. to the Apoc., and Bleek in his works on Daniel, make these prophecies a kind of poetical fiction; or, like Reuss in his Analysis of the Apoc., speak of them as a résumé of exploded Jewish expectations. So rooted are they in the Divine Plan, so entirely embedded in the Plan of the Redemption, that to deny their validity is to sacrifice Divine Unity, to deal a blow at one of the most vital parts of Salvation. We see, too, in the union between Paul, the other writers, and the Apocalypse, how fanciful is the opinion of the Bauer school that they are in opposition to each other, when, in fact, they mutually sustain each other in “the one hope”.*

Obs. 10. This Pre-Millennial restoration aids in solving a difficulty (unnecessarily such) felt by theologians, viz., that the first books of the Bible are only confined to temporal, earthly blessings, or rather, as it should be worded to be correct, blessings here on earth. The question deduced is: Why is the hope constantly held up to the Jews of living in their promised land and none presented of rewards in the third heaven? The substance of the answer given by those who reject the key afforded by the Covenant and this resurrection, is this: that the Jews were not then prepared for other promises, and that the real hope and destiny was to be gradually revealed as they could bear it, etc. Learned dissertations are filled with just such nonsense, or “worldly wisdom.” Such reasoning places both man and God in a false position. The former, as if he were then so intellectually and morally weak as to be disqualified to appreciate his own destination, and now, even in the case of heathen or all men, so strong as to be able to bear such knowledge; the latter, as if He would conceal the true destination of those who trusted in Him and excite their hopes, etc., by either false or temporary motives. No! never does God thus deal with man. The true reason, and the one underlying the Covenant and all these promises, is, that the land, the earth, is truly—as always affirmed—their inheritance, and that God will raise them up out of their graves and fulfil the promises given by bringing them into the land; and, moreover, God never changes from this divine purpose, for the promise (Prop. 142) exists to-day, as it ever did, “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit” (not the third heaven but), “the earth.” The language of Moses and others is the best that could be used, for it is the truth—the truth of God which in His own time He will see is realized. We are not to come to God’s Word and gauge it by a monkish third heaven theory, which makes the third heaven the saint’s inheritance instead of the one that God uniformly through every prophet has promised, and then by it judge of the propriety and truthfulness of the Divine utterances. Would that Abrahamic faith were more characteristic of believers! (comp. Props. 144, 151, etc.).

  PROPOSITION 127. In support of our view, the Apocalypse unmistakably teaches a Pre-Millennial resurrection of the saints.

It is most reasonable to suppose that “the testimony of Jesus,” the last words, given expressly to impart information on eschatology, should coincide with the Old Test, teaching, and bestow upon us additional information. This it does as follows:

Obs. 1. The reader is directed to Rev. 11:18, and under the last trumpet, preceding (as all must admit) the Millennium, we have “the time of the dead, that they should be judged, and that thou shouldest give reward,” etc. Here is a distinctive Pre-Millennial resurrection asserted in connection with a time of wrath and rewarding, which the general analogy asserts as belonging to the Second Advent of Jesus. To acknowledge a resurrection of dead ones to be here announced, and then to postpone the same until after the 1000 years, is a mere subterfuge, seeing that the connection demands its fulfilment, under the seventh trumpet, or at the period of time thus designated.*

Obs. 2. We now come to Rev. 20:1–6 which was so universally held by the early Church to teach a literal resurrection, and to be so thoroughly consonant with Jewish views, that the Apocalypse narrowly escaped proscription by the enemies of Chiliasm (comp. e.g. Lardner’s Works, vol. 2, P. 643; Stuart’s Introd. to Apoc., Barnes’s Introd. respecting Caius and Dionysius). The application of the Origenistic system of interpretation, as many have noticed, saved and gave it canonical authority.* If we reject the early Church belief in this particular, the veracity of Apostolic Fathers, who assert that they received their interpretation of it from the Apostles and their associates (see Prop. 75) is impeached, and the teaching of the Apostles themselves which directly led to such a faith in all the churches established by them is open to grave suspicion. It is not necessary to trace the varied spiritualistic opinions engrafted on this Scripture, denoting either a spiritual, moral, or ecclesiastic resurrection, or to note in detail the varied dating of the thousand years based on such interpretation* from the ministry of Christ, conversion of Constantine, etc. Popery indeed (Prop. 77) almost crushed the early interpretation of the passage; but others held fast to it, as e.g. Paulikians, Waldenses, and Albigenses. Various writers, some men of acknowledged ability and talent, have continued from the Reformation (Prop. 78) down to the present, to entertain the same, and to-day some of the most able men in nearly all, if not all, denominations, accept of this ancient faith. The prevailing view taken, is that of Daniel Whitby (who died 1727), who was the first writer who advocated what he himself calls “a new hypothesis,” viz., a spiritual resurrection and Millennium still future before the Advent of Christ. Men of the highest ability have adopted this “hypothesis,” and through their influence it is almost generally received. While this is so, it is also true that some of our most bitter opponents unhesitatingly yield this passage to us as teaching a literal first resurrection. Thus Prof. Stuart (Com.), before alluded to, who appeals to Phil. 3:8–11; Luke 14:14; 1 Cor. 15:23, 24, etc., as favoring the idea, and even makes this admission, “Even the Old Test. contains some passages which may very naturally be applied to the Messianic or first resurrection.” Prof. Bush, and many others, who spiritualize it, frankly acknowledge that the language itself, literally understood, unmistakably presents the notion of such a resurrection, but regard it as a presentation of truth in the shape of “milk,” such as “the babes” in that early period required; forgetting, however, that this “milk” happens to be just like that which the Jews previously received, and hence, if the former is deleterious the latter must be the same. With these preliminary remarks, let us proceed to give the reasons for holding that this Scripture presents the doctrine of a literal Pre-Millennium resurrection, aside from the one which might be urged at length, viz., that the language and spirit of it accord with the Old Test. delineations and confirm the interpretations of the Jews (which latter, even as Reuss, His. Ch. Theol., p. 57, the Pharisees made “one of the principal points of their teaching”).

Obs. 3. 1. This describes a resurrection of persons. The word “soul” is used to denote the person (as e.g. Numb. 31:8; Prov. 6:30; Isa. 29:8; Lev. 22:11; Jos. 11:11; Jer. 2:34; Acts 3:26; 2:41; 27:37; 1 Pet. 3:20, etc.). The “souls” are persons because (1) they were “beheaded,” which can only apply to such; (2) the language “foreheads,” “hands,” etc., indicates such; (3) the resurrection of the members is appropriately described in terms similar to that of the Head. Thus, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell (Hades, grave), neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption,” is applied by commentators, following Peter, to a literal resurrection; (4) the word designedly chosen is in accord with Jewish usage, so that, e.g. the Targum renders “The souls which I have made” in Isa. 57:16, “I will restore the souls of the dead” (Dr. Clarke, Com. loci); (5) the early Christians familiar with the phrase in a living language had no difficulty unanimously in making such an application; (6) David foreseeing his resurrection from the power of death calls it a deliverance of “my soul” Ps. 6:4, etc.; (7) a change of condition is predicated of these “souls” that had died, implying a previous “living,” which can only be asserted of persons. May we not, therefore, ask (Ps. 89:48), “Shall he (man) deliver his soul from the hand of the grave?” and answer, No! for his soul can only be delivered through the power of Christ. 2. These souls previous to this resurrection were “beheaded,” suffered death because they witnessed for Jesus, remained faithful to the truth. It seems absurd to press this passage into a spiritual or moral conversion in the face of the beheading which was endured for the Word, since it is virtually affirming that the sinner, previous to his conversion, suffers death because of his witnessing for Jesus; that the unregenerated man endures a beheading for his unswerving devotion to the truth; and then, after such an exhibition of love, he is resurrected, i.e. converted, etc. 3. The beheading itself indicates a literal death. For (1) it cannot be asserted, taking our opponents’ views of spirit, that the spirit or soul can be beheaded. (2) The state of a wicked man cannot be called a headless stone, for in the case of these souls it would prove too much, viz., being beheaded, implies that previously they had them in possession. (3) The beheading results from their previous moral action. (4) The word translated “beheading” denotes “decapitation by the axe,” a violent death. This literal death is shown in Rev. 13 and Rev. 14:4. The persons who have part in this resurrection are such as were converted to the truth before this death. This is proven by (1) the witnessing they gave which caused others to put them to death. (2) The “holy” only have part in it. (3) A distinguishing resurrection is promised to the saints. Hence, this is a promise of a resurrection given because they are “holy,” and not one to make the wicked “holy.” 5. This resurrection is bestowed as a reward of well-doing. This agrees with Luke 14:14, “Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just” (also Rom. 8:11, 23; Heb. 11:35, etc.). The entire spirit of the prophecy claims this as a great, unspeakable blessing. 6. The “thrones” that were placed, is only met by a similar Millennial description of Dan. 7:9, 22, 27, the promise to the Apostles, Matt. 19:28, the enthronement of the saints. 7. The same is true of the “judgment” mentioned, and as will, farther on, be shown in the judgment committed to saints. 8. The reign with Christ corresponds with the dominion mentioned by David, with the promises of Kingship and Priesthood to risen and glorified saints. The passages bearing on the enthronement, judgment, and reign will be given under separate Propositions. 9. The meaning of the word “lived,” and the use made of the same, fairly teaches a literal resurrection. Barnes, loci, tells us that Robinson (Lex.) gives the primary meaning to be, “to live, to have life, spoken of physical life and existence,” and adds: “It may be applied to those who were before dead, Matt. 9:18; Mark 16:11; Luke 24:23; John 5:25; Acts 1:3; 9:41,” etc. Prof. Stuart (Com. Rev. loci) says that the word means “revived,” came to life, i.e. returned to a life like the former one, viz., a union of soul and body. So does the word signify in Rev. 2:8; 13:14, and in many other passages cited in the remarks on Rev. 2:8. In addition to the texts given by Barnes, he adduces Acts 25:19; Rom. 6:10, 13; 2 Cor. 13:4. Nothing stronger can be given in our favor than the argument of Prof. Stuart: “If, then, as it would seem, we must reject all these meanings” (viz., those opposed to the early Church view), “how can we well avoid coming to the conclusion that ezesan here must mean a reviving or rising from the dead? The use of zaō elsewhere in the Apocalypse shows very plainly that it may mean revived, lived again in reference to the body which had been dead. Thus the Saviour speaks of Himself in Rev. 2:8, as being He who had been dead, kai ezese, and had revived, lived again, after the death of the body. Thus, too, it is said of the beast (Rev. 13:14), which had the deadly wound of the sword, that ezese, it revived.” Surely, if the Spirit employs the word to signify the literal resurrection of Jesus, and that, too, in the same book, we are justified in applying it in the same way to the resurrection of His brethren, contrasted as it is with a previous death. 10. Those who thus “lived” enjoyed the Millennial period, and those who “lived not,” i.e. the rest of the dead, did not realize it. Now, if the word “lived” means (as our opponents declare) conversion, increased Christian zeal, etc., it proves too much, viz., that not a single soul of “the rest of the dead” will be converted, etc., until the thousand years are finished. Then we have a moral resurrection at the beginning of the age, and the other at the end. For, the same word “lived” is used of both parties, and consistency demands the same meaning in both places. 11. But if this meaning is preserved, then it follows that after an interval of one thousand years “the rest of the dead” are all converted, etc., which is forbidden by numerous explicit passages. 12. Those who have part in the first resurrection are never subjected to “the second death,” but the implication is that “the rest of the dead” will experience it, and this is confirmed by the resurrection following after this Millennial period (same chapter), in which the second death largely figures. Now, if the living of these two classes is the same, it legitimately follows that the one portion will be given over to the power of the second death, for having no lot in the first, it falls under the second resurrection. The reason why they did not have part in the first is not removed before the second takes place, for they remain “dead” until the second occurs after the thousand years. 13. What is asserted, “Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death shall have no power,” is a bestowal of eternal life by the power of the resurrection, as is seen at length in 1 Cor. 15, etc. It is the bestowal of immortality to that which was mortal, so that as in Luke 20:36, “neither can they die any more,” or, they become like the Head, Rom. 6:9, “that Christ being raised from the dead dieth no more; death hath no more dominion over Him.” 14. This again is confirmed by the natural conclusion which the passage impresses, that each one thus raised up lives and reigns during, at least, a thousand years, which cannot be applied to mortal man. Moral or spiritual advancement does not bestow such longevity. 15. These resurrected ones “reigned with Christ.” Jesus then sits on His own throne, and the saints reign with Him (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:29, 30, etc.). This involves a consideration of the period of Christ’s reign, etc., but it is sufficient to point out what even our opponents admit, that such a reign of Christ will be witnessed at His Coming, and that it is the happy portion of saints to reign with Him. Hence, this prediction is in sympathy with such a reign. 16. Martyrs (one class) obtain this resurrection, not that the resurrection produces martyrs, as some affirm, or revives the martyr spirit, as others say, or causes, as others declare, a eulogy of martyrs. And, we may well ask, Does the Millennial period here described with Satan bound, Christ and the saints reigning, with, as the prophets write, all righteous, with peace, safety, prosperity, knowledge, and glory covering the earth, does this require martyrs or the spirit of martyrdom? Is the binding of Satan and this reign so ineffective that murderers of saints, that dangerous enemies, still exist? What, then, becomes of God’s promises, if persecution, sore trial, threatened death and violent death itself is the characteristic of the Millennium? 17. The persecuting beast and prophet are removed before this Millennial period begins, as is seen in preceding chapter. The persons resurrected are those who had previously refused His worship, mark, etc., and as we read (Rev. 13:15, etc.) were killed. In this Mill. age they have no such power, for the reason given, Rev. 19:20. All persecuting power (v. 2, 3) shall be confined. This exactly corresponds with the prophetic delineations of the Millennium (as e.g. Isa. 25, 26, etc.). The very persons (not others) killed by the beast are the ones who live and reign during the thousand years. 18. This resurrection is accompanied by God’s heavy judgment upon His enemies, resulting in their overthrow and destruction, which agrees with what is said of this literal resurrection elsewhere. 19. Taking the explanation given by our opponents to the word “first,” it cannot denote what they claim. Thus e.g. Barnes, loci, “It is called the first resurrection in contradistinction from the second and last, the general resurrection.” Now, if it means conversion, revival of martyr spirit, distinguished piety, etc., how can it properly bear such a contrast to the second, seeing the difference in kind? The fact that it is called “the first” or “better” or pre-eminent resurrection implies a second of the same kind, but of a lower grade, i.e. not so distinguished, etc. If we make the one moral, etc., the other must be the same. 20. The rest of the dead only live after the one thousand years are finished, and as this resurrection is not included in the first or better one, it must be the second. In the same chapter after the thousand years we do read of a second one that transpires in which “death and the grave delivered up the dead which were in them.” If the second is literal (as nearly all admit) the first must be also the same. 21. the juxtaposition of these two resurrections, the one at the beginning and the other at the close of this age, indicates a peculiarity and significance in the use of the word “first.” This does not mean priority of time, as is almost universally supposed, for this would not be true either of the theory of our opponents or of our own. The word “first” has reference to the privileges of the first-born, which were, Deut., 21:17, (1) a double portion, i.e. distinguished position, comp. Gen. 25:31–34; (2) a right to the priesthood, Numb. 3:13; (3) government and dominion, Gen. 27:29. God already so early in history develops the idea purposed in the Divine Will of a selected number of the first-born, first begotten of the dead, of whom Christ is the Head. Hence the peculiarity of the language here, “first resurrection” is, that these also, the ones subject to this great tribulation during the period of Rev. 14:9–13, shall come forth also having the privileges of the first-born, i.e. they are not of the second or future ones, but belong to the first as well as those who may have preceded them. (The reader will clearly see the force of this when we come to the reign of saints, etc.) The word “first” is, as Parkhurst (Lex.) and others assert, employed to denote “dignity of persons” in the sense of “chief,” “principal,” etc., as in Matt. 20:27; Acts 13:50; 1 Tim. 1:15; Acts 17:4; 25:2; 28:7, 17, etc. This resurrection is, therefore, the chief, principal, pre-eminent one, because it pertains to that of the first-born, constitutes the persons embraced in and experiencing its power the first-born that belong exclusively—in a peculiar sense typified by the Jewish first-born—to God Himself. Hence not time but distinction is denoted. Now, this forms a unison with the general tenor of the word respecting this very resurrection pertaining to the saints, and the harmony is remarkable, being never broken by the slightest discord. 22. The resurrection at the close of this chapter is almost generally acknowledged as a literal one. Now, the same rules of interpretation that make this one literal, will, if applied to the first, make it the same. For both represent a visionary spectacle embracing persons, acts, events, and conditions still future, which prefigure or symbolize persons, etc. They both stand or fall together. Sound criticism must acknowledge this feature. 23. “This is the first resurrection,” is an explanatory clause, and, like all explanatory language, must be received in the sense that usage, etc., affords. 24. These resurrected saints are “blessed,” which is the condition promised to believers raised up at the last day, Luke 14:14, etc. 25. In this Millennial period Satan is bound so that he shall not “deceive the nations” during its continuance. But this cannot be realized down to the personal Advent of Christ, for a multitude of passages authoritatively teach that wars, wickedness, even so great that it is contrasted with that of the days of Noah, nations hostile to Christ, the Church itself a commingling of tares and wheat, shall exist down to the Advent, which is connected with the resurrection of the saints. 26. The “harvest” (Matt. 13:30, 39), which is identified with the resurrection period, is one that precedes this Millennial era, as is seen by reference to Rev. 14 and 19, when “the harvest of the earth is ripe,” and it is gathered, following, too, closely on a terrible persecution. 27. If the Advent recorded in Rev. 19 can be proven to be a personal Pre-Millennial one, then this resurrection as a literal one follows. Leaving this for a separate Proposition (Prop. 121), we only now say, that the fact of such a special Advent being designated as immediately preceding this resurrection, and the acts that He performs being similar to those ascribed to Him when He comes to raise the dead, is in direct accord with the doctrine of a resurrection. It is a resurrection linked directly with a Coming of Jesus for purposes of vengeance and salvation. 28. The thousand years specifically mentioned were identified by the Jews with a literal resurrection, and the Messianic reign. Now, the adoption of the same phraseology, united with a resurrection, which—primarily understood—refers to a restoration of life to dead ones, is virtually an indorsement of the Jewish idea of a literal resurrection, or else it is a most cruel deception, confirming men in error. 29. This resurrection is sustained by the “lake of fire burning with brimstone,” Rev. 19:20. Almost every one acknowledges that a resurrection of the saints either precedes or is connected with Matt. 25:31–46. Now, in this latter passage, we have the personal Advent, the holy messengers with Him, the sitting on His throne, the gathering of the nations (as Joel, John, etc., describe), the saints inheriting the Kingdom, and then, notice, the wicked cast into the fire preceding the Millennial age; for “Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire prepared for the devil and his angels.” These wicked are cast into the fire which is only prepared for the devil, etc.; for, as the Spirit carefully (Rev. 20) shows, after the thousand years, the devil is cast into the lake of fire where the others have been during the thousand years (see Prop. 134). 30. The “marriage of the Lamb,” and “the marriage supper,” Rev. 19:7, 9, sufficiently identify the nature of this resurrection with that connected with “the manifestation of the Son of God,” in Rom. 8:19–23, with the one related to the feast of Isa. 25:6–8, etc. 31. A comparison of the expression “but the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished,” with other Scriptures sustains a literal resurrection.

Obs. 4. The last reason assigned is so much overlooked that it is worthy of more extended notice. Remark (1) the same word “lived” is applied to both, the saints favored with the first resurrection, and to the rest of the dead, and must mean in both cases the same kind of a resurrection; i.e. a corporeal one; (2) that “the rest of the dead” not being raised up from the dead, do not live or exist during this Millennial period, remaining in their graves. Is this view that John gives sustained by the analogy of faith? The answer from numerous passages and different writers is affirmative. But first let us observe that “the rest of the dead” are the wicked or unbelieving, seeing that the reason why they did not obtain the resurrection is because they were unholy, did not witness for Jesus, and did not reject the worship and mark of the beast. They were regarded as unworthy of it, and the reign, etc., is only promised to the righteous. Now let us compare what the Spirit, alone capable of indicating the line of God’s purpose, says the fate of the wicked dead is during these thousand years, and if the general tenor of the Word represents their condition similar to the one here portrayed, then we have an ample vindication of our position. 1. Even the wise man in Prov. 21:16 intimates their fate: “The man that wandereth out of the way of understanding shall remain in the congregation of the dead.” Now, both righteous and wicked are still “in the congregation of the dead,” but this shall not always be so, for the “set time” is coming when the man void of understanding “shall remain” among “the dead,” while the man of understanding shall be removed “out of or from among the dead ones.” 2. Hannah in the prayer already alluded to, 1 Sam. 2:9, after expressing her faith in a resurrection, in God’s bringing up again from the grave, and then in the exaltation of saints to be princes, significantly shows her faith in its priority: “He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness, for by strength shall no man prevail.” How often is this repeated, that God will deliver the feet of His saints from the pit or grave, that by strength no man can deliver himself from death, that the wicked shall remain in darkness, that “they shall be blotted out of the book of the living and not be written with the righteous,” etc. 3. Then a large class of passages teach that a time is coming when (as Ps. 52:5, etc.) the wicked shall be utterly “rooted out of the land of the living.” The righteous shall live and rejoice, while the wicked are removed from the face of the earth. To what period can this refer but to this one, seeing that down to the very Advent itself a multitude of the wicked do exist. This is the more conclusive when we come to examine the passages more closely. Thus, e.g. Mal., chs. 3 and 4, gives (a) a day or time when God will “make up,” bring together, His “jewels”; (b) “Then shall ye return;” (c) For there shall be “a discerning between the righteous and the wicked;” (d) the wicked shall be utterly rooted out; (e) the righteous shall in that day find the wicked “ashes under the soles of their feet;” (f) it is a time for “healing” the breach of His people and is performed by Christ. In the 37th Ps. it is united with the time when “the meek shall inherit the earth,” for “evil-doers shall be cut off; but those that wait upon the Lord they shall inherit the earth. For yet a little while and the wicked shall not be; yea thou shalt diligently consider his place and it shall not be,” etc. (see vs. 20, 22, 28, 34). This inheriting of the earth Christ promises to all the meek (Matt. 5:5), but to do this they must, of necessity, arise from the dead, and when they inherit the wicked are “cut off,” “perish,” “are not,” etc., thus corresponding with the period under consideration. 4. In the 140th Ps. is typically presented the last confederation of wickedness, under the title of “the violent man,” who is not “to be established in the earth,” but is to be “overthrown,” for it is said “Let burning coals fall upon them: let them be cast into the fire: into deep pits, that they rise not up again,” while the poor are delivered and “the upright shall dwell in Thy presence.” In Ps. 146 there is (a) the dead, even princes, perish; (b) but he is happy who has God for his help in such an extremity; (c) because “the Lord looseth the prisoners, and (d) reigns.” Then is verified Ps. 147, “The Lord lifteth up the meek, He casteth the wicked down to the ground;” Prov. 12:7, “The wicked are overthrown and are not, but the house of the righteous shall stand.” 5. The concealment of the wicked in their graves during a certain time is to be verified in the case of “every one,” and is appealed to as God’s prerogative to perform. In Job 40:13, the Lord Himself is represented as saying: “Look on every one that is proud and bring him low, and tread down the wicked in his place. Hide them in the dust together and bind their faces (persons, Barnes, loci) in secret” (“in prison,” so Barnes, “darkness,” others). The meaning of this may be found in another part of the same book, ch. 27:19, where they are represented as not among “the gathered.” For opening with v. 13, “This is the portion of a wicked man with God and the heritage of oppressors, which they shall receive of the Almighty” he announces, “The rich man (wicked) shall lie down, but he shall not be gathered; he openeth his eyes and is not.” 6. A most circumstantial statement indicating the Pre-Millennial resurrection and that the rest of the dead do not participate in it, is found in Isa. chs. 24, 25, and 26. (A) In Isa. 24, after delineating the fearful “day” when the Lord shall punish the high ones and kings of the earth (as in Rev. 19, etc.) just preceding the Millennial glory, the prophet, referring to the wicked, adds: “And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are gathered in the pit (Heb.—with the gathering of prisoners), and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days they shall be visited.” When this is done, “then the moon shall be confounded and the sun ashamed, when the Lord of hosts shall reign in Mt. Zion and in Jerusalem and before His ancients gloriously.” Here we have (a) a complete overthrow of God’s enemies; (b) their confinement to prison or the grave at the very time Christ reigns at Jerusalem; (c) that after “many days,” corresponding with the thousand years, “they shall be visited,” i.e. made manifest, released, “live again.” (B) In the Mill. prediction of Isa. 25:6–8, we find it preceded and followed by a representation that the wicked are destroyed, removed from the face of the earth, a work directly attributed to God. In the Millennium death is swallowed up in victory alone in the case of the righteous, as we have already shown, while the enemies of God are removed and the impression is made, nothing being said of them but what indicates death and the grave, that they remain under the power of the grave, while the people of God are released. If both the righteous and the wicked are to be resurrected at the same period, how do we then account for the resurrection of the saints being mentioned in connection with this period, while the wicked are represented as non-resurrected? (C) This is clearly established in the next ch., 26, in “the Song,” which is to be “sung in the land of Judah,” “in that day,” viz., at the time the Millennial age is ushered in. The peace, happiness, prosperity, deliverance from enemies in that day is alluded to, and of the enemies it is emphatically said: “They are dead; they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise; therefore hast Thou visited and destroyed them, and made all their memory to perish.” And in order that we need not misapprehend the meaning, the condition of these wicked is contrasted with that of the righteous, as follows: “Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing ye that dwell in dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.” Do we need stronger confirmatory evidence, when it is added that, as in Rev., etc., “the Lord cometh out of His place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity; the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain,” i.e. those martyred for the truth, etc.? 7. In Ps. 31, when death is represented as befalling the Psalmist, he expresses his hope in redemption from the grave, and says of God, Thou “hast not shut me up in the hand of the enemy (i.e. death); thou hast set my feet in a large room” (i.e. equivalent to rich deliverance), and repeating his trust, he contrasts his hoped-for experience with that of the wicked: “let me not be ashamed, O Lord; for I have called upon Thee; let the wicked be ashamed, and let them be silent in the grave (marg. read., let them be cut off for the grave.)” But this is more definitely given in Ps. 49, where all men are said to “see corruption,” being unable to redeem themselves from death, so that “like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them,” and marg. reads, “the grave being a habitation to every one of them,” but a hope is expressed in favor of the righteous; “but God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave,” etc., while the others remain in their graves, for farther on it is said of this class that “they shall never see light,” comp. Ps. 56:13, as those who are brought again into the land of the living under the Mill. light of the glorious Sun of righteousness. 8. Indeed, on all sides we find Scripture which imply or take for granted this detention of the wicked dead in their graves and the priority of the res. of the righteous. Even in such passages as Luke 20:34–36, in addition to the argument already based on the preposition “out of or from among,” the use of the phrase “they that shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world and the resurrection from the dead” implies that some shall not be accounted worthy, and hence shall not then be raised up. So also the language of Ps. 115:17, 18, comp. with Ps. 88:10, 11, 12, 13, receives increased pertinency if this idea is noticed. To illustrate our meaning, Isa. 42 is selected as an example. Here is (1) the promise of the Messiah; (2) the work He shall perform, including the delivering of “the prisoners from the prison, and them that sit in darkness out of the prison house;” (3) the Mill. blessedness; (4) for the Lord cometh as “a man of war” (comp. Rev. 19); (5) to the utter overthrow of His enemies; (6) the release of His own people; (7) but while He asserts this release and the blessings that follow, He declares of the wicked and of those addicted to image-worship (comp. Rev. 19 and 20): “But this is a people robbed and spoiled; they are all of them snared in holes, and they are hid in prison houses; they are for a prey, and none delivereth; for a spoil, and none saith, Restore.” But in the redemption promised, as parallel passages show, only the pious portion of Israel is restored, which implies that the image worshippers and other wicked remain in their “prisons.” For the more obscure passages must be interpreted by those decisive, as Isa. 26, etc. The connection of this doctrine can even be seen in Isa. 43:17, for of the Babylonians (we need not consider whether typical name or not) it is said, “They shall lie down together; they shall not rise; they are extinct, they are quenched as tow,” and the prophet passing rapidly to “the new thing” which God will perform in the Millennial period, speaks of those first-born of the dead who shall arise: “This people have I formed for myself; they shall show forth my praise” (comp. Ps. 102:18, etc.; Eph. 1:10–12, etc.). 9. But there is still another class of passages which confirm the rising of the rest of the dead at the end of the thousand years, as in Isa. 24:22, when after “many days” those detained by death shall be released. Thus in Ps. 6:10, there is an evident allusion to the return of the wicked dead after an interval of time. Observe that the Psalm describes (1) the death of the saint; (2) prays for a release from death and the grave; (3) asks “how long,” as the martyrs do, before the release comes; (4) expresses the fact that God has heard and granted his supplication and prayer, which implies, of course, his resurrection; (5) but while this prayer is answered in his own experience, the enemies, the wicked, are to “be ashamed and sore vexed; let them return and be ashamed suddenly;” (6) he declares that the Lord will “return” (implying, as the facts in the history of Christ prove, that He is removed for a while), that “the workers of iniquity” shall be removed, but finally “return” and realize a sudden shame, such as a second res. will produce; (7) and the earnest praying, longing, and even weeping, for such a res. shows it to be a significant one, very different in order and allotments from that of the wicked. In Ps. 109 we have the wicked, v. 15, “cut off from the earth,” but the poor and needy shall be delivered, and then follows again, in reference to the adversaries, “when they arise, let them be ashamed.” Ps. 59, so difficult of explanation by commentators, receives new light and consistency when viewed from this standpoint. For (1) “the mighty,” the wicked are described as arrayed against God, just as predicted (Rev. 19, etc.) before the Millennial period; (2) the God of Israel is to consume them with His wrath, just as then happens; (3) they are removed, “that they may not be,” i.e. cease to exist on earth; (4) but they shall return again; for, as we shall abundantly show hereafter, the Millennial day has its morning and its evening, they return in the evening of the day, “they return at evening,” i.e. the same enemies destroyed shall come back again at the close of the Millennial day; (5) when they return then shall “they make a noise like a dog and go round about the city,” which encompassing the city is precisely what follows the ending of the thousand years, Rev. 20:9; (6) for “a city” pre-eminent for dignity and glory shall characterize the Millennial era; (7) and this is done when “God ruleth in Jacob unto the ends of the earth,” i.e. when the predicted Theocratic Kingdom is firmly and universally established.

Now, taking all these considerations together, and how they so accurately correspond with the general tenor of the Word, with the Covenant and the promises based on the Covenant, it seems that the early Church faith was eminently logical, scriptural, and necessary, and that we have a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection of saints unmistakably presented.

Obs. 5. Some might regard our work imperfect if we did not notice the objections alleged against our interpretation of Rev. 20. For this passage is wrongfully supposed to be the citadel (when merely an outpost) of our doctrine, and hence is the chief object of attack. Let us therefore briefly pass them in review. 1. That it is presumptive evidence against us that a literal Pre-Millennial res., if taught at all, is only found in this place, so Barnes, etc. Reply: We leave the student to judge for himself, in view of the Jewish belief and that of the early Church based on Old Test. passages. 2. It ought, if teaching such a res., to be less ambiguous, so Barnes, etc. Reply: It is sufficient, distinctive for the wise and prudent, even for Prof. Stuart, etc., for God’s expressed purpose is that it shall come as “a snare” upon the wicked. 3. The objection grounded on the use of the word “souls,” urged by Witsius, Brown, Barnes, Fairbairn, etc., has been sufficiently met.4 4. That nothing is mentioned of “books being opened,” so Barnes and others. Reply: This is done by the Spirit in Dan. 7:11 and 12:1, both Pre-Millennial. 5. That Millenarians differ in the details, so Waldegrave and others. Reply: This is a double-edged weapon that can be turned with damaging force against themselves, for while we are a unit in the grand outlines of our doctrine, our opponents have fundamental diversities and antagonistic theories based on the passage. Besides, diversity of opinion among themselves is not urged by us as proof of the falsity of a doctrine, our appeal is to the Word itself. 6. Nothing is said of their employments, so Barnes. Reply: It is said that they shall reign. 7. No “reason” is assigned “why they are raised,” Barnes. Reply: It is given in their reigning. 8. Nothing is stated “of the new circumstances of their being,” Barnes. Reply: It is given in their immortality and reigning. 9. Nothing is said “of their condition when the thousand years shall have ended,” Barnes. Reply: That is done in other places, for the thousand years do not limit their reign (Prop. 159). 10. But various writers urge that reigning during these thousand years limits it only to that period, so Barnes, etc. Reply: This is a mere quibble, for the thousand years are expressly referred to as intended to denote the period of the binding of Satan, and that also during this period of binding the reign of the saints is established. The duration of the reign must be sought for in passages which describe it. 11. No mention is made of “bodies,” so Ralston, Barnes. Reply: Not necessary, as we have shown, according to usage of language. Besides, this is spoken of dead ones who have been beheaded, etc. See Barnes, Com. Acts 2:27, and compare with his Com. Rev. 20:4 for a complete answer. 12. It is alleged that if this is a lit. res., then all the righteous must be included, but only two classes are referred to, viz., the martyrs and those who did not worship the beast, so Barnes and many others. Reply: If it were necessary, the concessions of numerous critics, Stuart, etc., might be used to embrace others also, but we, with the meaning of “first resurrection” before us, cordially accept of these two classes alone, believing as we do that the resurrection of the others preceded this one. The line of argument adopted by our opponents proves too much, for it would exclude the res. of the saints after Christ’s crucifixion (Matt. 27:51–53), etc. 13. No res. of the unjust is mentioned, so Brown, Barnes. Reply: This is a mistake, it is to take place after the thousand years. This objection is based on the supposition (Popish) of a general universal resurrection, simply because both resurrections, without specifying order or time, are mentioned together. This has been sufficiently answered. 14. That such a reign of Christ as we hold, with “a splendid capital at Jerusalem,” etc., is not mentioned in the passage, so Barnes. Reply: If we are to adopt such a criterion to test the truth of any portion of Scripture, then we must yield up many a valuable proof of our Christianity. Our answer is, a comparison of Scripture must indicate what belongs to the period. The Spirit to test faith, etc., gives us truths in a disconnected form, often isolated, which we are to bring together. 15. That if this is a lit. res., saints do not need the assurance “on such the second death hath no power,” so Barnes. Reply: This has been already answered. We add: It is not for us to prescribe what is needed. Besides, a res. of dead ones being mentioned, it appears exceedingly appropriate, since so many desire to doubt it, to declare it to be a res. unto immortality. 16. That there are two classes only, one who are resurrected, and another who are under the power of the second death; “into which of these classes are we to put the myriads of men having flesh and blood who are to people the world during the Millennium?” so Barnes. Reply: Into neither of them, for this passage only describes the dead, and not the living. Who the rest are can easily be ascertained. 17. If a lit. res., then the rest of the dead must also literally arise “immediately after the thousand years are finished, but that is not stated,” so Barnes and Brown. Reply: The concession is made that if the first is literal the other must be the same; this at least indicates our consistency. But the rest does not follow, for the phrase “immediately after” is not in the text. If we can show, as we have done, that “after” the thousand years, even if some time after (for the text only alludes to their non-resurrection during the thousand years), a second res., also literal (as Barnes himself admits), takes place, that is amply sufficient to sustain our position. 18. It is a symbolic representation, so Barnes, etc. Reply: Precisely so, and real, actual occurrences are symbolized, not figurative ones. Besides, the symmetry of symbolism must be observed, for e.g. it would be incongruous to make a violent death received, and dead ones, made so for the truth’s sake symbolize sin, evil, etc. 19. All the dead, vs. 1–15, will be raised up at Christ’s Coming, so Brown, Barnes, etc. Reply: This proves too much, for some of the dead have been previously raised. Besides, concise passages which state in general terms and in juxtaposition the res. of both just and unjust must be interpreted by those in which the order is laid down; while in Rev. 20:11–15 the dead then mentioned are those found in that condition at that period, for in no shape or form is it intimated that it is the only res. 20. There is no Advent of Christ connected with this res., so Barnes. Reply: There is; see preceding chapter. 21. “All the righteous and wicked will be judged together, and both at the Coming of Christ,” so Barnes, Brown, etc. Reply: Notwithstanding the assertion that “it is utterly impossible to explain these passages,” etc., given as proof, we unhesitatingly pronounce this doctrine pure assumption, a virtual adoption of old monkish views, irreconcilable with the facts stated in those very Scriptures, and antagonistic to the statements of the Divine Spirit. For full proof we refer the reader to the Propositions on Judgment (Props. 132 and 133), to the analysis (Prop. 134) of Matt. 25:31–46 (the main proof text relied on), and to the order of Judgment which follows that of the resurrection (as e.g. Props 161–164). Many of the proofs alleged simply refer to judgment of all men, which we receive; or to the judgment of the righteous and of the wicked at Christ’s Advent, which we also believe, and not one of them asserts that at the Coming of Christ both the righteous and the wicked dead shall be raised up, and a general judgment of these two classes will then be held. This is simply inferred, as we shall conclusively show hereafter. If the modern notion is correct, then the pious Jews and early Church groped in worse than Egyptian darkness. 22. The rise of Gog and Magog is against the idea of a literal resurrection, so Brown and others. Reply: We fail to see it; for if God intends to raise up certain of the dead previously to Gog and Magog (whatever these names may denote), it will be performed. 23. That if the res. be literal, then some of the Apostles and other good Christians would be excluded, so Fairbairn. Reply: This has been answered, but we may add: This objection overlooks the fact that not all martyrs, but only those at a particular period of time (during the time of the beast and prophet) are specified, viz., those under the last persecution. Again, it reads this res. isolated, whereas to obtain the whole doctrine all the passages (as e.g. in ch. 11; 1 Cor. 15; Isa. 25, etc.) bearing on the subject are to be recognized in their proper order, which, of course, includes the Prophets, Apostles, all saints. 24. “The rest of the dead neither awake nor live during the thousand years, nor at any other time,” so Bush and Paræus. Reply: This is directly opposed by the text, as admitted by many—nearly all—of our opponents. The effort to sustain this objection by altering the text from “lived not again” to “lived not,” on the authority of a few MSS., is a failure, since all the MSS. more ancient are opposed to it, fully sustaining our version. Even if the change were allowed, it would still favor our doctrine. These are the leading objections urged against our interpretation, and the student can readily see that many of them are merely captious, i.e. seeking for difficulties and manufacturing them; others, nearly all, are inferential; while not one of them is based on a direct, positive, scriptural statement, unless obj. 21 forms an exception. The value of the latter will appear as we proceed. Recent writers (as Hodge, Sys. Div., in part relating to Eschatology) have presented no new objections, but simply reiterate what have been repeatedly answered, without observing and replying to our line of argument founded in the covenant itself.

Obs. 6. The subject of the res. is frequently referred to and implied in the Apoc., but it would be foreign to our design to enter into a detailed statement respecting each allusion. A few remarks respecting the more prominent will answer, and we can only specify, leaving the student to investigate. The res. of Rev. 11:18, occurring under the last trumpet, and thus Pre-Millennial, has been sufficiently noticed (Obs. 1, with which compare the concessions of many of our opponents, e.g. Barnes, etc.). Rev. 14:1–5, embracing the first-fruits preceding the harvest, includes necessarily a res., and will be treated under the subject of the translation. The “man-child” of Rev. 12:5 is by many able prophetical writers interpreted as symbolic or representative of the resurrected saints. Those who (like Dr. Seiss and others) hold to a literal day fulfilment, still future, of the Apoc., find the res. implied in the 4th and 5th chaps, of Rev. and in ch. 7, etc. The passages which obscurely refer to it or imply it are to be interpreted by the plain and decided teaching on the subject (comp. Prop. 130).

Obs. 7. Two things connected with Rev. 20:4–6 may be noticed—the persons raised and the time when raised. 1. The persons raised are martyrs, and only martyrs. Mede was so strongly in favor to apply this to the martyrs and “confessors equipollent to martyrs” as “a prerogative to their sufferings above the rest of the dead,” that he inclined to the opinion “that all the righteous will rise during the course of the Millennial Kingdom.” Burgh, and many others, insist that martyrs only are designated. Brown and others make two classes, viz., martyrs and those who did not worship (although others, in our estimation, more correctly apply the latter as a characteristic of the martyrs and the reason assigned why they were martyred). Pre Millenarians and Post-Millenarians make two classes or bodies, the former to include all saints in the first res., and the latter as a mere exegetical addition, having more (so Barnes) than the martyrs intended. Even Witsius (Exer. Sac., p. 516) has a class beside the martyrs. Kliefoth (Offenbarung Johannes, p. 260) advocates a literal res., and has, like Bengel, two bodies announced (not of the dead, but) one of the dead (martyrs) who are raised up, and another of the living (confessors), who are translated. But this evidently is designed to make it fit with 1 Thess. 4:17 and 1 Cor. 15:51–53; comp. also Sirr on The First Res., and works advocating the same view, and it will be found that under the impression that all the righteous are raised simultaneously, and in order to make Rev. 20 to correspond with other passages supposed to teach the same, two classes are introduced into the passage, and into the last body (confessors) the remaining righteous are crowded. We are not forced to this procedure, which is an evident violation of the passage, because it refers exclusively to “the dead,” as the phrase “the rest of the dead” plainly shows, and to a body of men who suffered martyrdom in view of their confession of faith and rejection of the still future Antichrist. Even if it were admitted, on exegetical grounds, that two bodies are included, these bodies could not possibly, by any legitimate reasoning, be made to include all the saints of this, and past centuries, seeing that it is entirely descriptive of those who pass through the yet future tribulation under the culminated Antichrist. A misconception of the meaning of “first” (comp. Obs. 2) has a weighty influence in its application. The res. and translation of a select portion occurs previous to the fulfilment of this prediction, as seen e.g. in Rev. 14, as the first-fruits are similar in nature to the succeeding harvest, and precedes the rise and persecution of the culminated Antichrist. All these resurrections occur under the Second Advent in its secret or thief-like stage. But this will appear plainer by looking at the second subject. 2. The time when these martyrs are raised up is of course associated by all Pre-Millenarians with the Second Advent, but many, by not distinguishing between the stages, and by being exclusively wedded to some favorite year-day interpretation of the Apocalypse, apply its fulfilment to the period immediately after the open Parousia of ch. 19. Now while, as against our opponents who deny a literal personal Sec. Advent, we can properly use (as we have done) this passage as one associated with the res. of the saints (for without a personal Sec. Advent there is no res.), yet when we come to consider the exact time in the period of the Sec. Advent when this res. of the martyrs is experienced, we find the most conclusive evidence that it also takes place during the secret stage, and previous to the open Parousia of ch. 19. Let the reader consider, as introductory, two facts proven in detail in other places (Prop. 130 and Prop. 166, etc.), the two stages in the Sec. Advent, and the still future Advent of the last Antichrist (Props. 161–164), who causes the death of these martyrs and is overthrown at the open manifestation of King Jesus and His saints. Now turn to Rev. 15, and we find that before the seven last plagues, which fill up the wrath of God, are poured out, the identical persons described in Rev. 20:4, who resisted the beast and his image and mark, are already exultant in acquired salvation, and this follows the gathering of the first-fruits as the enforced worship of the beast, image, and mark (Rev. 14:9) also follows it. It precedes the open Parousia, as these victorious ones witness (Rev. 16:2) the vials poured out upon “the men which had the mark of the beast, and upon them which worshipped his image.” It precedes the open Parousia, because they, with all saints, shall be connected with the announced “marriage of the Lamb,” and they belong (as a portion due to them “to execute the judgment written”) to the armies that accompany the King of kings. In view, therefore, of the deliverance of these martyrs before the vials are poured out and their coming with Jesus at His open Advent, Rev. 20:4–6 is retrospective. If the student carefully ponders the construction of the passage he will find (1) the binding of Satan and its duration announced; (2) then follows the reign of the saints in place of Satan’s previous dominion, and this is portrayed (a) by the “thrones” and “judgment,” a general announcement; (b) by a particular specification (as an encouragement, and to lead us not to limit these reigning ones) of the martyrs; (c) by expressions indicative of the nature of the reign, and that all who participate in it have the privileges and honors of the first-born.

Obs. 8. If Mede’s argument is once admitted, viz., that Rev. 20:4–6 and Dan. 7 are synchronous, then it is impossible, without direct violation of the order laid down, to avoid a Pre-Mill. resurrection. Bush, in his Anastasis, admits Mede’s position, owing to the parallelism of the two prophecies, but endeavors to avoid our conclusion by making both to describe the Gospel dispensation. But in doing this, he not only makes a fearful Millennium of suffering and martyrdom (against all prophecy), but he reverses the facts of history. For, instead of such a removal of antagonistic powers—a sealing, binding, and detention of Satan so as not to deceive—the history of the Church and of the kingdoms clearly proclaim, in the persecutions endured, the tyranny exercised, the murders committed, the crimes and wars indulged, etc., that neither Dan. nor John have yet been fulfilled. It matters not whether we make the dragon a symbol of tyrannical dominion or of a personal devil; in either case the predictions of the Prophets have not been realized; and what is more to the point, in the order laid down by themselves, if followed in the evolution of history, it was impracticable, for the simple reason that before this exaltation, etc., of the saints, certain events, running down to the present and still extending in the future, must first be fulfilled. Any other position makes the Bible contradictory both to itself and to history.

Obs. 9. Those who deny a literal res. in Rev. 20 generally have much to say concerning the indefiniteness and obscurity of figurative and symbolic prophecy—the difficulty of understanding it until the fulfilment shows its intended meaning, being upheld by some—but when they come to explain it themselves, then all difficulties vanish, and no other interpretation can possibly be allowed. This, to say the least, is indicative that they have no confidence in their assumptions against us, and that, when necessity requires it, they esteem themselves fully competent to elucidate, with the utmost charming confidence, even “obscure” predictions. The reader may draw his own conclusions.*

Obs. 10. There is a res. of the wicked dead, Obs. 4. It will not answer, as many do, to assert a res. of just and unjust at the beginning of this age and none after; or to affirm, as others do, that there is no res. of the wicked whatever. Without discussing the destiny of the wicked, the passages that we have presented distinctly show that after the thousand years are ended the rest of the dead “lived again,” i.e. were raised up from the dead; that they, “after many days shall be visited;” that they shall “return,” and return at evening time; that they shall be made subject to the endurance of “the second death;” that those dead whose names are not found in the book of life are also raised up and judged; that there is a res. of some unto shame and contempt, which those that return in the evening experience; that the res. of the dead is affirmed in their order of all men, both just and unjust; that a prior, pre-eminent res., etc., involves another of a lower class, which must include the wicked; and that the res. of the dead and a judgment to follow is held up as a motive of repentance to men. These considerations are sufficient to sustain the position of John in Rev. 20. To quote the passages which speak of the wicked as “silent in the grave” as “not being,” “remaining in the congregation of the dead,” etc., to prove a non-resurrection, is only bringing forth part of the truth, viz., that there is a non-resurrection of the wicked for a certain period of time, and this is thus strongly, by way of contrast to the blessed condition of the righteous, presented. But the whole truth as given by the Spirit demands their “return,” their also “living again.” Any other interpretation flatly contradicts divine statements. Let us receive all that is written, observing the same order laid down by the Spirit. If it be asked, Of what practical use or benefit can such a res. unto condemnation and shame be? the answers are various; such as, to vindicate the justice of God; to prove the truthfulness and reality of His representations and mercy; to apportion “the few or many stripes” that the guilty merit; to fulfil His declaration that all the wicked shall see and acknowledge the Divine power; to show that death itself, as many fondly hope, is no refuge for the sinner; that a res. unto eternal life is the special gift of God through Jesus Christ; to contrast the condition of the res. saints with their own; to root out in the most effectual manner every remnant of evil; to give to the creatures of God, the universe itself, a sublime and abiding idea of the nature and consequences of sin. If it be asked, Why does God give the righteous so long a priority and cause the wicked only to “return” after so long an interval? the reason, as we gather it from intimations, here and there, seems to be this: This Millennial era is designed to fulfil covenanted promises; these require the resurrection of the saints and their triumphant establishment in the earth. To do this demands, as almost every Millennial description portrays, the removal of God’s enemies to clear “the inheritance” of its oppressors. Being thus removed, the triumph of the saints, their victory over death, the bestowal of dominion—in brief, the ample and continued fulfilment of God’s promises in real, actual experience is fully exhibited and tested during these thousand years, clearly and fully vindicating the truthfulness and faithfulness of God, and the honor, dignity, and power of David’s Son. Now, it is declared that this faithfulness, etc., is to be manifested not only to angels, to the glorified, to the restored Jewish nation, to spared Gentiles, but also to the wicked. The time selected is at the close of the Sabbath of the world’s week, in the very height of completed fulfilment of promise, and sway of saintly reign, and the accumulated glory of the rule of David’s Son; then the wicked arise and are filled with “sudden shame” and “confusion” when they behold the justly forfeited blessings in the possession of those whom they despised, rejected, and even persecuted. This res. is therefore delayed, not merely to give the saints an honorable precedence by way of reward, and as a punishment to the wicked for refusing Christ and His proffered mercy, but to place the saints, the inheritance, the world, yea, even Christ Himself in the covenanted position by which the majesty and glory of God is the more fully seen, felt, and appreciated in the then proven, tested immortality and reign of the saints, renewal of the earth or removal of the curse, etc. At the end of the thousand years, so faithfully is it proven that all the promises of God are “yea and amen” in Christ, that none can gainsay it, for the covenant is more than fulfilled, and to forfeited blessings additional and greater have been added. This is the time, gloriously, yea, sadly suitable, which God has appointed for “the rest of the dead to live again,” and behold with their own eyes the glory they have lost by not obeying God—a glory shining forth in the land, in the Theocratic government, in the subjects, in the immortal kings and priests, and in the exalted, enthroned Son of Man. Imagine just such a “return,” under such circumstances, and then tell us, are “holy men of old” wrong when they depict the shame, degradation, and unhappiness of the wicked at this period? Imagine Voltaire, Paine, Strauss, and a multitude like them to thus “return” and see what they ridiculed, and what must then memory and conscience say?

Obs. 11. Out of the abundant testimony favoring a twofold resurrection, and the literal, eclectic res. of Rev. 20, we select a few as illustrative. Dean Alford (Com. loci) remarks: “I cannot consent to distort the words from their plain sense and chronological place in the prophecy, on account of any considerations of difficulty, or of any risk of abuses which the doctrine of the Millennium may bring with it. Those who lived next to the Apostles, and the whole Church for three hundred years, understood them in the plain literal sense; and it is a strange sight in these days to see expositors who are among the first in reverence for antiquity, complacently casting aside the most cogent instance of consensus which primitive antiquity presents. As regards the text itself, no legitimate treatment of it will extort what is known as the spiritual interpretation now in fashion. If, in a passage where two resurrections are mentioned, where certain persons lived at the first, and the rest of the dead only at the end of a specified period after that first—if, in such a passage, the first res. may be understood to mean spiritual rising with Christ, while the second means literal rising from the grave; then there is an end of all significance in language, and Scripture is wiped out as a definite testimony to anything. If the first res. is spiritual, then so is the second, which I suppose none will be hardy enough to maintain; but if the second is literal, so is the first, which, in common with the whole Primitive Church and many of the best modern expositors, I do maintain, and receive as an article of faith and hope.” Van Oosterzee (Ch. Dog., vol. 2, p. 786) advocates “more than one resurrection; first a partial one and then an absolutely universal one. Of the former, not only does the Apoc. seem to speak, ch. 20:4–6, but also the Lord, Luke 14:14, and Paul, 1 Thess. 4:16, as also 1 Cor. 15:23, as compared with verse 26,” etc., and then, referring to the latter (the universal one), speaks of a poetic-prophetic grouping together of that which in reality will be seen realized, not side by side, but in succession.” Ebrard (The Rev. of John) advocates a literal Sec. Advent, a literal first res., a literal reign here on earth over the spared nations, etc., and in his Gospel His. (p. 576, foot-note Clark’s ed.), thus refers to Rev. 20: “Chaps. 18 and 19 (Apoc.) depict the victory achieved over this Kingdom by Christ at His Coming. Then follows the first awakening, namely, of those who have died in the Lord, and now in glorified bodies live upon the earth, and maintain a spiritual rule over so much of humanity as is not yet glorified (just as Christ after His res. lived for forty days upon the earth in a glorified body). Then, after this last offer of salvation, follows the second resurrection to judgment.” Hagenbach (His. of Doc., vol. 1, s. 139) pertinently says respecting the spiritual interpretation: “The first res. (Rev. 20:5) is explained by Augustine as the deliverance of the soul from the dominion of sin in this life; as, in general, an orthodoxy which maintains the authority of the Apoc., and yet will not allow Millenarianism, can only escape from its difficulties by an arbitrary exegesis, like that of Augustine on this passage.”*

Obs. 12. We have already referred to the astounding opinion entertained by Prof. Bush, Gipps, Waldegrave, and others, that this res. and Millennium is a portraiture of suffering and martyrdom in behalf of the truth. To indicate the amazing perversions of the passage, Rev. 20:1–6, by our opponents in their efforts to wrest it from us, attention is called e.g. to Waldegrave’s statements (New Test. Millenarianism), and we select him purposely, because he has been eulogized (The Bib. Rep.) as a model of an interpreter and as a triumphant opponent. The binding and restrainment of Satan as well as the little season, both “set before us the working of Satan, for it is his working especially which is here exhibited to view during two distinct periods in the history of Christendom. The first—the longer period—said to last a thousand years, is one in which Satan, forbidden to launch forth into the world any fresh impostures, does, notwithstanding, prevail, with the aid of the civil power, to persecute even unto death those faithful souls who, being risen with Christ, are made kings and priests unto God and His Father. The second—the shorter period—said to last but a little season, is one in which, the number of God’s living saints being marvellously increased, and martyrdom being no longer the rule, Satan attempts by other means, even by the multiplication of religious delusions, to compass the destruction of the Church.” The res. of the martyrs, therefore, is simply a revival of the martyr spirit, made necessary by Satan’s reigning, and this too while the saints are reigning: “They are also sufferers at the hands of men—sufferers even to the extent of laying down their lives for Christ’s sake—sufferers, I say, even unto death, and that at one and the same time with their reigning.” “The thousand years will prove to be a period in which Christ’s witnesses are witnesses even unto death—a period, in short, of martyrdom, not of triumph—a period in which Satan (being precluded, indeed, from the invention of fresh delusions), is able, notwithstanding, to wield those already in existence with such effect as to make the Church of God to prophesy in sackcloth and ashes.” This caricature of the Millennium and the reign of the saints is presented by one largely eulogized as the champion against Chiliasm. No Chiliast ever produced anything so flatly contradictory to all testimony of Scripture, to all analogy on the subject; so plainly antagonistic to numerous predictions, that the large majority of our opponents recoil from it as unworthy of credence, because it actually reverses the blessed teaching of prophecy. It is utterly unworthy of serious refutation, and affords a sad illustration how good men, in their eagerness to wrest the passage from us, can fall into the most absurd interpretation.*

Obs. 13. Sufficient has been said to vindicate our usage of the word “souls” to denote the person (Obs. 3), and yet in view of certain statements, it will be in place to add a few remarks. Fairbairn says that “it is quite frivolous to insist upon the term souls being often used to denote persons; no one doubts that it is; but the question is, can it be so taken here?” Now, the frivolity arises from the fact that a large class on his side—in fact nearly every work against us—gravely insist that because “souls” are mentioned it cannot mean persons. Of course, to meet such an objection, “frivolous” as it may be, we are forced in self-defence to show that the term is used to denote persons. Thus e.g. Barnes (Com. loci) lays great stress on the word “souls,” as if it alone denoted the spiritual nature, and carefully conceals from the reader this meaning, but when not controverting us, he in another place (Com., Acts 3:20, on the phrase “every soul”) admits this usage, thus: “Every person or individual soul is often put for the whole man by the Hebrews, Acts 7:14; Josh. 10:28” (with which compare his remarks on Acts 2:27, where he makes the term “soul” equivalent to “me,” and applies it to the corporeal res. of Jesus, thus flatly contradicting his comment on Rev. 20:4–6). Indeed, our opponents contradict themselves in the same comment on this point, when e.g. they admit that “he” (v. 6) and “they,” and “the rest of the dead” are declarative of persons and not simply of disembodied spirits, and speak of them as such. We insist that the reason why the Spirit, through human agency, gives us the term “souls” in preference to any other, is this: it is most in accord with scriptural usage, for not only is the resurrection of Jesus thus predicted and declared to be the res. of a “soul,” but it is predicted of, and promised to, individual believers, as e.g. Ps. 99:9, “But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave.” Now then, when the res. is actually described, it is reasonable, it is strengthening, to find the same term employed, thus making prediction and fulfilment, promise and realization to correspond (comp. Obs. 3, note).

  PROPOSITION 128. The language of the Gospels and Epistles is in strict accord with the requirements of a Pre-Millennial resurrection.

A doctrine to be consistent must preserve its unity in all the inspired writings. Having seen how the Old Test. and the conclusion of the New Test. coincide, it will be important to notice how the Gospels and Epistles corroborate the Jewish views of the resurrection based on covenant promises.

Obs. 1. The resurrection of 1 Cor. 15:52 declares that “at the last trump, for the trumpet shall sound (1 Thess. 4:16), and the dead (i.e. those deceased) shall be raised incorruptible,” etc. Now, the fair inference (for the Jews, as commentaries inform us, used this very language) is, that this denotes a resurrection identified with the bodies of dead saints. This is almost the universal opinion among critics. This same res. of the dead is mentioned in Apoc. 11:18, also under a last trumpet, and immediately in connection with “the Kingdom of our Lord and of His Christ.” Our opponents generally concede both of these to be literal, and the exact correspondence that they sustain to Jewish expectations has been noticed by able writers (and that these, with this language added, was perpetuated generally in the early Church). But attention is called to the fact that just as the Jews believed, when “the Kingdom (sovereignty) of this world is become the Kingdom of our Lord and His Christ” (so MSS., S. and A. Tischendorf’s N. T., and comp. Titman, Hahn, etc.) at that very time a resurrection takes place. When the sovereignty of the world is seized, when a Kingdom commences which is never to end, when events occur which commentators connect only with the Sec. Advent, then at that very period, “at the last trump” (“for the trumpet shall sound,” Rev. 11:15), the pious dead are raised to receive their reward. Surely this is amply sufficient to identify a Pre-Millennial resurrection, seeing that 1 Cor. 15:52; Rev. 11:18; and Rev. 20:3–6, are all under the same last Pre-Millennial trumpet. If one is literal, all then are literal, because taking place at the same time and for the same purpose.*

Obs. 2. Attention is directed to 1 Cor. 15:22–24. “For, as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive. But every man in his own order; Christ first, afterward they that are Christ’s, at His Coming. Then cometh the end,” etc. We are not concerned in adopting any particular rendering (as e.g. making “order” to mean “band,” and “the end” equivalent to “the last band,” etc.), for whatever version is adopted, two things are self-evident in the passage enforcing the general analogy on the subject. After the universality of death is announced, then follows the positive declaration that the recovery from death—being made alive—is not a simultaneous occurrence, “but every man in his own order.” We leave an opponent give the meaning of this phrase. Barnes (Com. loci) says: “But every man—every one, including Christ as well as others. In his own order—in his proper order, rank, place, time. The word tagma usually relates to military order or array; to the arrangement of a cohort or band of troops, to their being properly marshalled with the officers at the head, and every man in his proper place in the ranks. Here it means that there was a proper order to be observed in the res. of the dead.” This declaration of an eclectic res. is confirmatory of the Jewish view, and could not possibly have been thus used, if the design were not to corroborate its truthfulness. The dead are to be marshalled in separate, distinctive divisions, according to their character or works. Next follows a statement of such a division: “Christ the first-fruits,” the first in time, the beginning, the first in order, “who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things He might have the pre-eminence” (and with him ought, perhaps, to be associated the “many” that arose at His resurrection); then, “afterward they that are Christ’s at His coming,” which evidently describes another division portrayed e.g. in 1 Thess. 4 and 1 Cor. 15, exclusively of the righteous; “then cometh the end.” Now, here we have (1) separate bands of resurrected ones asserted, and (2) these bands or orders separated by an extent of time (nearly two thousand years). This is all that our line of argument requires in order to support our position.*

Obs. 3. In 1 Thess. 4:13–17, we have distinctive marks that “the dead in Christ shall rise first.” Our opponents, to avoid the force of this expression, inform us that it is used relatively to those that are translated, meaning that the dead arise before the living are translated. Allowing such an interpretation, yet the eclectic nature of the res. and its time is clearly manifested (1) by its exclusive reference to the righteous, and (2) by its precedence of the translation. The res. of the wicked is not mentioned, and the reason must be found in other Scriptures. The simple fact that we have extended passages devoted only to the res. of the righteous is in perfect agreement with our doctrine and utterly opposed to the theory of a simultaneous res. of all the dead. The association of this res. of the righteous with the personal Sec. Advent of Jesus is an additional reason sustaining our view.*

Obs. 4. Luke 20:34–36 (see its connection with covenant promise, Props. 49 and 137) is remarkable for its distinctness: “The children of this world (or age) marry, and are given in marriage; but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world (or age) and the resurrection from the dead (or the res. that out of dead ones—see the emphasis in the original) neither marry, nor are given in marriage; neither can they die any more; for they are equal unto the angels; and are the children of God, being the children of the resurrection.” Here we have the following particulars specified: (1) Some shall gain the future age by a res. from among the dead; (2) it is implied that others not worthy shall not gain it by such a resurrection; (3) this resurrection of the saints is distinctively referred to as the pre-eminent res., and one out of dead ones; (4) such, as indicative of its eclectic nature, are designated as “the children of the resurrection;” (5) and being thus born from the dead, through God’s power, they “are the children of God.”*

Obs. 5. Phil. 3:11, “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead,” certainly does not give the force of the original, and it places Paul in the attitude of striving for something which is inevitable. But taking the emendation demanded by the preposition ek, and given by numerous critics and commentators (and admitted by some of our opponents, as Prof. Stuart), we have a reading which vindicates Paul’s effort to obtain a prize, viz., a distinguishing eclectic resurrection. For many read it: “If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection from among (or out of) the dead (or dead ones.”) The force of this rendering is sustained by the res. of Jesus which was (e.g. 1 Pet. 1:3) one from among the dead, and by the usage of the preposition.*

Obs. 6. This discrimination of resurrection is delicately referred to, and implied in passages. Thus 1 Cor. 6:14, “And God hath both raised up (ēgeire) the Lord, and will also raise up us (exegerei, out-raise or pre-eminently raise you).” The change of the verb by the addition of a word, significant of something peculiar and distinguishing, is worthy of notice (comp. Rom. 9:27, Greek). So take Mark 9:9, 10, and we have it asserted that the Son of Man should rise (ek nekrōn) out of or from among dead ones (as in fact transpired), and then the disciples (who had no difficulty with the already received—e.g. John 11:24—doctrine of a res. of the dead) questioned, one with another, what this rising from among or out of dead ones should mean relating to Jesus. As His res. being an eclectic one is designated a res. ek nekrōn, so do we find that of his believers designated.*

Obs. 7. Our argument is abundantly sustained by other Scriptures, which, to avoid repetition, we can but briefly refer to, as Acts 3:19–21, for not only “the times of restitution” (described in Mill. predictions) necessitate an included res. (so understood by the Jews), but “the times of refreshing” are “the times of reanimation” (see the proof given in detail under Prop. 144, and the reader will notice that “the times of reanimation” confirm the order of the resurrection as advocated by us). Then Matt. 19:28, “the regeneration” (see the details given under Prop. 145), with the Jewish views of the res. being a birth (which was adopted by the early Christians, and used even by Eusebius as expressive of a res.), corroborates the doctrine of an eclectic res., both as to character and time. The views given in a previous Prop. respecting the res. being a birth, and allied to a birth preceding the Millennium, is strengthened by its usage in the New Test., where believers are designated “the children of God being the children of the res.;” where “the adoption” is connected with “the redemption of the body;” when the begetting of Jesus (Acts 13:33) is tendered as proof of the res. of Jesus, and He is represented as “the first-born” from the dead, etc.*

Obs. 8. The res. of the saints being a distinctive one, belonging exclusively to them and no others, this feature of separation as to character and time is always preserved. Thus (1) where a res. of the just and of the unjust is mentioned together, that of the just has precedence; (2) expressions such as “the Son quickeneth whom He will,” “they that hear shall live,” etc., imply that not all shall be made alive; (3) the promise of raising up His own at the last day specifically given to believers, implies that unbelievers shall not be raised at the same time; (4) the res. of the righteous described alone, without any reference whatever to the wicked (as John 6:39, 40, 44, 54; 1 Cor. 15, and 1 Thess. 4), implies a separate and distinctive one; (5) the titles given to the res. of the righteous imply the same, as “the better resurrection,” “the res. of the just,” “the res. unto life.”*

Obs. 9. Our opponents, as Dr. Brown (Ch. Sec. Coming), Barnes (Com. Apoc.), and others adduce the following proof texts to substantiate their view of a universal and simultaneous res. of all the dead, both just and unjust, viz., Dan. 12:2; John 5:28, 29; Rev. 20:11–15; 1 Cor. 15:20–23; John 6:39, 40, and 17:9, 24; 2 Tim. 4:1. The reader may compare these with our references to the same, and then observe that no interpretation and application of these passages can possibly be valid, which introduces an antagonism—most direct—between Scripture statements. Indeed, he will find more, viz., that several of the texts assigned as proof (e.g. Dan. 12:2; 1 Cor. 15:20–23; Rev. 20:11–15) fully sustain our position, being sufficiently decisive of an eclectic res. The others are equally so, for observe that John 5:28 describes two resurrections, one “the res. of life,” and the other “the res. of damnation,” while the order must be decided by passages descriptive of the same. The word “hour,” upon which our opposers lay so much uncritical stress, simply means, as able critics inform us “a time,” so that a time is coming when all shall be raised, but as other Scriptures tell us, “every man in his own order” (even Augustine, Epis. 197, 2; Ambrose, Epis. 199:17, and many others make “hour” simply equivalent to “time,” and thus used e.g. 1 John 2:18; Matt. 9:22; John 4:23; Mark 13:11; Luke 10:21, etc.). The remaining passages need no explanation, following, as they do, the general analogy.*

Obs. 10. In a subject so varied as that of the resurrection it becomes us to heed the caution given in the investigation of any doctrine, viz., to collate the passages referring to it, and explain the more concise by those which give the order, time, and manner of occurrence. In such a comparison it is impossible to find a specific account of the resurrection of the wicked taking place at the same time with that of the righteous. Their standing together, under the general affirmation of a resurrection of both, would be an argument against us if it were not that in other places the Spirit, when circumstantially describing the res., separates them by an interval of time. It is wisdom to accept of the Spirit’s explanations. The intelligent reader will appreciate this rule of careful comparison before deciding.*

Obs. 11. It is impossible to comprehend the order of events bearing on this subject as presented by our opponents, owing to the contradictions involved. To illustrate: take that large class of commentators and others who correctly unite the res. with the personal Advent, and consistently declare that before the Millennial age is introduced Antichrist will be destroyed. Now turn to 2 Thess. 2, and (as Barnes, etc.) they advocate the destruction of the man of sin by the personal Coming of Christ, and, according to their own admissions, this, in the very nature of their concessions, must be a Pre-Millennial Advent; and, of course, with their identifying the literal res. with precisely such a Coming, there should be no difficulty in rceiving a Pre-Millennial res. Simple consistency demands it. Again, here and there in various authors, we find unexplained contradictions that, at least, show that order in these events is sadly neglected. Take an excellent and highly esteemed writer for an example: Van Oosterzee (Theol. of N. T., s. 42), speaking of the res. of the righteous truthfully says: “This is the first resurrection,” and in a footnote appends 1 Cor. 15:23; 1 Thess. 4:16; Luke 14:14; Rev. 20:15, declaring that this will take place at the end of the age. He thus adopts the Millenarian view, and if this were all it would be eminently satisfactory, but the admission is marred by afterward placing at the same time, as the teaching of Paul, “the general res. of the just and the unjust.” Whether the author designed it or not, it flatly contradicts his previous statement. Passing to a lower grade of writers, it would only be a thankless office and a caricature of the Word of God to point out the strange utterances based on “the second death,” etc.*

Obs. 12. The notion advanced by Priest (View of Mill., p. 254), placing the last trump after the thousand years, and the “remaining” of 2 Thess. 3:16 to mean a remaining until the thousand years are ended, scarcely deserves refutation. It is alluded to here because some parties are trying to revive it, and because of its connection with the doctrine of the res. This view arises from a neglect to compare Scripture with Scripture, seeing that there are only seven trumpets (marking epochs of time), and the last is expressly asserted (Rev. 11) to be in immediate connection with the res., rewarding of the righteous, and the Millennial Kingdom. Besides, as all critics write, “the remaining” refers simply to the precedence of the res., and the very ones that “remain” are also changed and associated with those favored with the res.*

Obs. 13. These first begotten of the dead sustain a peculiar and distinctive relationship to Christ, belonging, as the first-born anciently, in an especial manner to the Lord. This will be noticed hereafter (Props. 118 and 154). Now it may be said that as Christ comes to reign as David’s immortal Son, prepared to fulfil the covenant promises by virtue of the power of the resurrection and the Divine united with Him, so it is suitable, yea, necessary, that those who are accounted worthy to be associated with Him in His reign (which is asserted to take place at the Millennial period) should also experience the power of the resurrection and become like unto their Head. Hence the propriety of representing the res. taking place at this very time. Without it, the saints would not be qualified; with it, the promises of God can be abundantly realized.*

Obs. 14. How frequently our attention is directed to this Pre-Millennial res., and owing to its peculiarity and rank this is reasonable. Christ appeals to this frequency when (John 6:45) He says: “No man can come to me except the Father draw him, and I will raise him up at the last day.” Then it is added: “It is written in the Prophets,” etc., Christ knowing the Jewish opinions based on these prophets, confirms the res. as something well known and contained in the Prophets. Now, where do the Prophets teach this res., if not in the passages adduced? How comes it that so many critics deny Christ’s assertion, and can find no such res. in them? The answer to the last may, perhaps, be found in the fact that if a literal res. is admitted, then it must also be acknowledged as Pre-Millennial, and rather than accept the detested Jewish, Chiliastic notions “of folly and ignorance,” these predictions of David, Isaiah, Ezekiel, etc., must denote national deliverance or anything else but a literal res., and this is “wisdom and true enlightenment.” So far too does this proceed that while no such res., excepting perhaps the faintest of allusions, can be found in the Old Test., acknowledgments freely come from all sides that the very language of the Prophets indicates that the doctrine of a res. must have been “a common belief,” or else the figures drawn from it could not exist. But why was it so much believed in that Prophets freely employed language derived from it? Let the Jews tell us, let the Prophets inform us themselves. Surely their testimony is worth far more than that of modern critics, who learnedly speak of outside influences. Now, the first Millenarian has yet to be produced who professes to receive his faith outside of the Divine Record, or from any other source than that derived from God. More than this: it does not require critical acumen or special learning to see that the very Covenant itself, the foundation of following revelation, necessitates such a belief, and that from this basis arises the numerous allusions and predictions bearing on the subject. The reader is referred to the Covenant, and, as we have shown (Prop. 49), its fulfilment is utterly impossible without a resurrection. This then forms the shaping of God’s promises, and the longings, faith, hope of believers, if we allow language its usual, customary meaning.*

Obs. 15. The reader may have noticed that this Pre-Millennial res. in several places is directly identified with a restoration (Props. 111–114) of the Jewish nation to Palestine. This, additionally, serves as proof of the correctness of our position. For, our argument drawn from the Davidic Covenant, makes such a restoration a necessity in order that the throne and Kingdom of David may be re-established. If Christ and His saints are to reign as predicted over this restored people, etc., then, as a matter of course, this res. must take precedence, just as the Prophets locate it. Hence, it is eminently proper that the resurrection of “the whole house of Israel,” including the Gentiles grafted in by faith, previous to their entrance into the promised inheritance, should be delineated as Ezekiel gives it in connection with a national restoration of the Jews under the reign of David’s Son. The res. and the throne and Kingdom of David are inseparable, and the former must, to meet the Divine Plan as revealed, precede the latter; and in this the Prophets agree (Prop. 126).

Obs. 16. The doctrine of such a first res. presents motives such as no other can, explanatory of Paul’s desire to attain unto it. The reign with Christ, and distinguishing honor and blessedness are connected with it. It gives us an explanation of the martyr spirit of the early Church, and the earnest desires expressed to experience its power. Besides, it indicates how untrue and uncharitable are the deductions of infidels, and even others, that they were sustained and strengthened by a false belief.*

Obs. 17. This res. is so linked in with other subjects that additional proof is advanced confirmatory under various Propositions; and these, to do us ample justice, the reader must also take into consideration in forming a decisive opinion. Thus e.g. if we are correct in establishing a personal Pre-Millennial Advent, or the inheriting of the earth, or the Millenarian view of the judgment day, the judgeship of Christ and of the saints, or the period of regeneration, day of Christ, the morning of that day, etc., this adds materially to our argument in locating this res.

Obs. 18. The believer can meet death without fear. While death is an enemy, while feeling and acknowledging his penal power, yet with the assurance thus given of a speedy, complete victory over him, they can receive him as one over whom they are destined to triumph. He can well use the language of Micah 7:7, 8, “Therefore I will look unto the Lord; I will wait (comp. Isa. 25:9) for the God of my salvation; my God will hear me. Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy (death); when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the Lord shall be a light unto me. I will bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him, until He plead my cause and execute judgment for me; He will bring me forth to the light (like David, Ps. 17:15), and I shall behold His righteousness.” The believer has “hope in his death,” and “his flesh shall rest in hope.”*

Obs. 19. This first resurrection being an eclectic one, separate and pertaining to those accounted worthy of attaining to the privileges of “the first-born,” it indicates a previous judgment. To insure a first res. (or a translation) there must be a corresponding fitness, and therefore this res. itself is evidence of the Divine acceptance of the person experiencing its power. An antecedent estimate of character and worthiness must, of necessity, exist. This is based on justifying faith which releases from condemnation and insures eternal life through Jesus; while the position and honor of the saint after resurrection is graduated by the works done in his life of faith.*

Obs. 20. Out of the multitude of testimonies we select a few, illustrative of the men (most eminent for ability) who hold to our view. Rothe (Dogmatic, 2 P., p. 70) advocates a bodily resurrection, etc., as follows: “The Redeemer asserts distinctly the future res. of the body. And still His utterances so sound as to separate that of the righteous from that of the wicked, both as to fact and time. So in Luke 20:35, where the discourse is not of the res. in general, but distinctly of a res. to the earthly Kingdom of the Redeemer, the so-called First Resurrection. So it sounds (es klingt) when He calls Himself the ‘Resurrection and the Life,’ when He says, ‘All that the Father gives Him shall come to Him, and He will raise them up at the last day,’ ‘all who believe in Him,’ ‘all who eat His flesh and blood,’ where the clear implication is that the rest of the dead awake not at the same time. Such a distinction He makes in Luke 14:14, a resurrection for the pious, a res. for the wicked. So the Apostle Paul, 1 Cor. 15:23, comp. with Rom. 8:10, contemplates, not a general resurrection, but that of believers, ‘they who are Christ’s,’ ‘the sons of God.’ The Apoc. distinguishes a first and second res. The first res., which ensues at the same time with the Advent, Rev. 19:11–21, is expressly described as the ‘First,’ Rev. 20:4–6. In it only the martyrs and they who have remained pure from the contamination of the world-power, have a share. These and only these reign with Christ 1000 years, while the ‘rest of the dead’ awake not to life. After the expiration of these years, and victory over Satan let loose, then the rest of the dead arise for judgment, Rev. 20:11–15.” Such indorsements come from men who are fully persuaded that the Plan of Redemption, as covenanted and confirmed in Jesus the Christ, positively demands such a res. in order to insure a complete realization of promise. So Dorner (Person of Christ, vol. 1, p. 412) says: “Complete victor Christianity never can be until nature has become an organ in its service, a willing instrument of the perfect man, that is, of the righteous who are raised from the dead.”*

Obs. 21. The reader is requested to observe that in our line of argument in behalf of a literal Pre-Millennial resurrection we are amply supported by the general analogy of Scripture on the subject. Whatever may be thought of the interpretation and application of particular passages, yet the following connected chain of divine teaching is apparent. First, we have the Covenant and its promises, which make such a resurrection a necessity in order to their verification. Second, the realization of such Covenant promises is based directly upon a resurrection from the dead, and such a distinguishing res. pertaining to the righteous is taught in numerous places in the Old Test. Third, this teaching of a peculiar, eclectic res. (so clearly taught that the Jews had received it) is repeated in varied expressions and declared hope in the Gospels and Epistles. Fourth, it is specially treated of in the Apocalypse, a work particularly devoted to eschatology. So decisive is this chain of evidence that the early Church, planted by the Apostles and the elders appointed by them, was universally under its influence and guidance. We gladly and hopefully remain under the same. But in addition to all this, we have a series of connected doctrines taught, which are essential to a Pre-Mill. resurrection, such e.g. as the Pre-Mill. Advent, the judgment day, the day of the Lord Jesus, the morning of the day, the reign of Christ and the saints, and various others. Nothing requisite to sustain our view of the res. is lacking, and, therefore, this union and harmony of doctrine greatly confirms our faith and hope.*

Obs. 22. Freely admitting that no doctrine is to be simply received on human authority, yet we confess to a gratification that our faith is that of the Primitive Church on this point. It is a satisfaction to know that we understand God’s Word on this subject just as the immediate disciples and followers of the Apostles comprehended it. For, such a union of view does not make us liable to the suspicion which might justly arise if it was a doctrine that only originated in the fourth century, or in the tenth, or even later. Besides this, it is a doctrine which, if true, it would be reasonable to expect men to teach, who were so nearly related to the Apostles in time, and who had, more or less, the benefit of their previous instruction.*

Obs. 23. Lastly, we may be allowed to congratulate ourselves on the fact that our system of interpretation opens no door of entrance to the many conflicting and dangerous errors respecting the resurrection. Many, taking the weapons ready forged to hand by a spiritualizing interpretation of Isaiah, Ezekiel, and John, turn them against a literal resurrection of the dead. Work after work could be mentioned which has done this, jubilantly quoting from the orthodox the arguments for a figurative, moral, or ecclesiastical resurrection. This is only the legitimate developing of the Origenistic system of interpretation, an almost impregnable refuge for all forms of error. Now, in all those systems, which reduce the res. to an incompleted redemption of the body, or which refine it away into a mystical conception, etc., not one of them can, or does, appeal to us for deductions or aid, since in no shape or form do we give them the slightest countenance. Hence probably arises the extreme hostility manifested toward our system by various authors, because it is a standing rebuke to their own efforts at spiritualizing.*

  PROPOSITION 129. The Jewish view of a Pre-Mill. resurrection requisite for the introduction of the Messianic Kingdom is fully sustained by the grammatical sense of the New Test.

Attention is thus prominently called to the fact, that the agreement existing between Jewish belief and the language of the New Test. most effectually supports our doctrinal position.

Obs. 1. To avoid repeating, the reader is requested to notice how under the preceding Props. relating to the res. taught in the Old Test., the Apoc., and the Gospels and Epistles, the constant reference was made to the Jewish belief prevailing, and quotations were given fully sustaining the same from critics, historians, commentators, etc. Now, we ask the reader to consider how it was possible for Jesus and the inspired writers to employ language, in view of such an existing belief, fully corroborating it, unless the belief was a correct one, in strict accord with the Divine Purpose. Writers of all shades of opinion, opposers to Chiliasm included, tell us that the Jews did not expect a fulfilment of the Messianic predictions, of the Abrahamic Covenant and the promises based upon it, without a resurrection, eclectic in its nature, accessory and initiatory to their realization. The student, if honest and sincere, must, before rejecting our doctrine, give a satisfactory reason why the statements of the New Test. in their plain grammatical sense (for this sense is admitted, but a spiritual one is substituted) teach the same kind of an eclectic res., associated with a future reign of the Messiah. He must also, if considerate, show why this Jewish belief, thus corroborated by a sense of the New Test., was universally held by the Churches established under Apostolic guidance, if an error. This no one can do, without impeaching the Divine instruction of the New Test. and the Divine guidance manifested in the establishment of the Ch. Church. The conclusion, inevitable, to which we are forced is this: that the doctrine is truth, founded on Divine utterances and assurances, and committed to the Church to stimulate faith and hope.*

Obs. 2. Again, there is no question concerning the grammatical sense, for that is admitted even by our opponents, many of whom we have quoted. But we are assured that that sense is not the one intended; that a typical or spiritual meaning is the one to be received. Hence the doctrine of a literal Pre-Mill. res. is derided as “antiquated,” “Jewish,” etc., and utterly unfitted for the advanced thought of the age. A question, however, arises, which we will do well to ponder, viz., which is the safest to accept of, a God-given sense, or of one which is at the option of the interpreter? If a Pre-Mill. res. is an error, then it is one contained in the letter of the Word, and given by inspired men under the guidance of God Himself, and we are justifiable in entertaining it; but, on the other hand, if it be a truth, thus plainly declared, we are inexcusable in its rejection.

Obs. 3. Infidels object to the New Test. on the ground that it unmistakably teaches this previous existing Jewish view (so Strauss, Bauer, Renan, etc.), and reject the whole as evidence of superstition and ignorance. Apologists lamely strive, by the application of spiritualistic interpretation, to avoid such a conclusion, while admitting (1) the Jewish view as existing at the First Advent, and (2) the grammatical sense expressing it, but which is, they say, merely an accommodation to existing prejudice, and must be understood in a higher and nobler sense. No wonder that many apologies only confirm the unbeliever in his state of unbelief, seeing that they are utterly unfair to the Record and derogatory to the divine teaching of the Master and the Apostles. We, on the other hand, fully admit the infidel’s objection grounded on Jewish belief and corroborative New Test. teaching, and, instead of apologizing for the same and explaining it away, we account for it as a matter grounded in God’s Redemptive Plan, contained in the covenants and predictions, and which simple consistency and unity requires to be taught in the New Test.

Obs. 4. Judge Jones (Notes, p. 284) remarks of the Jewish opinion: “They understood that the promises (in covenants) which God made to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob were absolute; and they believed that He would surely perform them, even to those of former generations, who had part in them; and on this ground, mainly, they taught the resurrection of the dead, Acts 24:15.” “Three opinions touching the res. prevailed to a greater or less extent among the Jews. (1) Some maintained that only the just or righteous of their nation would be raised; (2) others maintained that the whole of their race (all Israelites) would be raised; (3) and some maintained that all Israelites and some Gentiles would be raised. It is evident from Acts 24:14, 15, that the Jews of Paul’s day did not adopt the first of these opinions, but they appear to have limited the res. to their nation. In Rom. 9:2–5, Paul teaches that the adoption, by which he meant the resurrection, Rom. 8:23, pertained to Israelites; and hence it would seem that the res., as a term of the original covenant, was limited to Israel. Rabbi Bechai says, God granted four special honors, to Israel, viz., (1) the land of Canaan; (2) the law; (3) prophecy; (4) the resurrection of the dead. Josephus, though obscure, evidently did not believe the res. would be universal.”*

  PROPOSITION 130. This Kingdom is preceded by a translation of the living saints.

This is a prerequisite, in order that those accounted worthy to inherit the Kingdom, and rule the nations with Christ, may be gathered. In reference to the dead saints, a Pre-Mill. resurrection (Props. 125–129) is promised by which to attain this object; and with such a resurrection (i.e. at that time) a translation of the living saints is also connected in 1 Thess. 4:17, “the dead in Christ shall rise first (or away); then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds (or, in clouds) to meet the Lord in the air,” etc. The same is repeated in 1 Cor. 15:51, 52, in union only with the resurrection of believers: “Behold, I shew you a mystery: We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed,” etc.

Obs. 1. While all writers on prophecy insist upon the translation of living saints at the Advent of Jesus, and the Millenarian authors direct especial attention to it; while it was a special object of hope and desire to the early believers and to succeeding ones, it is only more recently, since eschatology has received remarkable study and investigation, that important additions (resulting from comparing Scripture with Scripture) have been made to our knowledge respecting it. Our work would be incomplete without noticing this feature, and adding something to a subject imperfectly comprehended by many. A few preliminary remarks are necessary in order to appreciate some things pertaining to it. Thus e.g. the common view that the resurrection will be a public affair, to be witnessed by the world, is now discarded as untenable in the light of Christ’s (also pertaining to “the first-fruits”) resurrection, which was strictly private. It is now held, and properly, that the members will be raised like the Head was (for if a public resurrection, humanly speaking, is desirable, then surely it ought to have been that of Christ’s), in order that the preparatory events for the coming judgment of the world may be introduced in such a manner (privately) as to establish “the snare” and “the net” intended for the unbelieving and wicked. Leading prophetical writers justly have no hesitancy in asserting that no mortal eye of unbelief shall behold the resurrection. This at once places the translation of the saints in a new aspect, and indicates, as it accompanies the resurrection, that it also is unseen (like Enoch’s and Elijah’s) by the world. Again, careful students of the Word felt satisfied that the resurrection of the saints in Rev. 20:4–6 was specifically that of those who passed through the great tribulation under the culminated Antichrist, and was preceded by that of others, as implied in Rev. 14:1–5, etc. This is corroborated by the fact already presented (Prop. 127), that the word “first” applied to the resurrection has reference not to its being first in time (which would be incorrect, seeing that Christ’s res. and that of saints, Matt. 27:52, 53, preceded), but of its being a resurrection which also brings those who participated in it within the privileges of “the first-born,” viz., a double portion, Deut. 21:17; priesthood, Num. 3:13; and government or dominion, Gen. 27:29. The subject of the resurrection, for a long time, was not clear to the writer until he observed the real scriptural application of the word “first,” as just given. The first resurrection, viz., that resurrection pertaining to “the first-born,” “the first-fruits,” commenced with the resurrection of Jesus, and it receives its accessions as stated e.g. in 1 Thess. 4:16, 17, and in Rev. 20:4–6. This also serves to illustrate the translation, preparing us, in view of several resurrections (belonging to that of the just), to appreciate references, allusions, and implications which indicate more than one translation. Again, prophetical writers are also agreed that what is called the Sec. Advent (the Advent itself as distinguished from the reign and Kingdom that follows) is not to be regarded as simply one act, but embracing a series of acts connected with the one Coming (for when Jesus comes again He remains upon earth). That is, the Sec. Advent is to be considered more in the light of the First Advent (which latter embraced not less than thirty-three years, and numerous acts predicted as related to His Coming), as something which, owing to a variety of things prophesied concerning it, cannot possibly be limited to a few years. Comparing all the events that are included in the Sec. Advent, it is simply impossible, without great violation of order, etc., to crowd them all together as the instantaneous resultants of such a Coming. This, then, impresses caution in not compressing what is intimated concerning the translation or removal of saints necessarily to one transaction or day. Again, admitting the requirement of not confining the Advent to a single act, or day, or brief period, previous to the establishment of the Kingdom in all its glory, writers now generally attribute to this introductory manifestation a period of seven years, of forty years, and of (thirty and forty conjoined) seventy years. (Considering the events to follow the Advent before the overthrow of Antichrist, such as the development of the confederation, the return of a portion of the Jews to Palestine, the doom of the harlot, etc., the longer periods are preferable.) This at once enables us to see how such resurrections and translations harmonize with the specific introductory period, in which God’s power and love is manifested at the time when the power of His enemies shall be also formidably exhibited and broken. Again, analogy favors the removal of the righteous in a time of severe and terrible judgment intended for the wicked, as in the case of Noah, Lot, the early believers at Jerusalem, etc., while previous translations are not lacking, as in the case of Enoch and Elijah. The Second Advent inaugurates a series of most tremendous judgments, both upon the Church and the world—so terrific that they are constantly pointed out as the culmination of God’s wrath—and it is reasonable to suppose, judging from God’s past dealings, that He again will grant special deliverance to those who are devoted to Him. At this time also, the removal being designed not only to save out of tribulation, but to prepare the saints, deemed worthy of it, for promised rulership then to be instituted, and for joint participation in the administration of judgments upon the nations, a translation accompanied by the same transforming change, glorification, which the resurrected saints experience, is precisely that which we ought to anticipate. Again, it is universally admitted by Millenarians that “the day of the Lord Jesus” is preceded not only by “a morning,” but that it virtually begins in “the night;” Christ representing His Coming to be when it is yet “night,” He being “the morning star,” which ushers in “the morning” of the glorious day. This refers the resurrection and translation of a chosen body to “the night,” i.e. to the close of this dispensation, as preparatory to the introduction of an incoming one. Or, in other words, it warns us that, as the past shows, dispensations may overlap each other to some extent, in that certain initiatory movements of the incoming one commence and are in progress before the other entirely closes. This prepares us then to accept of the wonderful things which are predicted to occur at the winding up of this dispensation, and to regard them in their relationship to the One to come. Again, critical writers in investigating 2 Thess. 2:2 have shown that the word translated “is at hand” (in the phrase “the day of Christ (or Lord) is at hand”) means, correctly rendered, “is come,” or “has come,” i.e. is something already present, and not something still future. This correctly explains the trouble and alarm of the Thessalonian brethren, who were certainly not afraid of “the blessed hope,” which Paul says they waited for (1 Thess. 1:10), and for which they were prepared (1 Thess. 2:19 and 3:13, and 5:4, 5), but apprehending that “the day of Christ” had already come, and they not having experienced the promised translation, and their pious dead being still with them without an experienced resurrection, they were trouoled and distressed at the thought. Those brethren with hearts full of love for the Saviour were not so fearful that they would desire and pray (as multitudes now) that the blessed Lord should delay His Coming, but, in some way misapprehending the real state of affairs, they believed that the initiatory proceedings belonging to the day of Christ had already commenced, and that they and their pious dead were left without realizing the exceeding precious promises given to them. This simple change in a single word, supported too by the strongest of evidence, explains not only the cause of the Thessalonians’ trouble (which Paul proceeds to remove by showing that an apostasy must first come to develop into the predicted Antichrist, implying that such an apostasy with its result necessarily required time, still in the future, before “the day of Christ” came), but throws much light, corroborative, on the subject of the resurrection and the translation of the saints. For, to cause such trouble they must have believed that “the day of Christ” would be inaugurated by preliminaries unseen by the world, and that the resurrection and translation would both be invisible, and they, not participating were doomed to terrible tribulation, or that the predictions were false. We say nothing respecting the source from whence they derived such thoughts, but one thing is impressive, viz., that the Apostle does not correct such impressions, but rather by his silence confirms them in them. Yea, more, in beseeching them “by our gathering together unto Him,” he virtually indorses the views entertained by them respecting this gathering.

Obs. 2. But some other things, also introductory to the subject, must be attentively considered before we come to a decisive conclusion. Thus, as has been pointed out by many writers, the Scriptures describe a Coming of Jesus for or in behalf of His saints (as e.g. 1 Thess. 3:13; 1 Cor. 15:51, 52), and then again another with all His saints (as e.g. Zech. 14:5; Rev. 19:14; 1 Thess. 3:13; Jude 14, 15), and these two, differing thus in an important particular, indicate separate stages or manifestations pertaining to the same Second Advent. Without allowing something of this kind, several acts pertaining to the one great Coming to this earth, it is impossible to reconcile such passages. For they are sustained in their difference not only by the simple act of coming for and with the saints, but in the design of such a Coming, viz., as to the former, for the purpose of salvation and glorification, and as to the latter, for the direct overthrow of the enemies of God, the restoration of the Jewish nation, and the glory (thereby promoted) of the saints. This is still more confirmed by the conclusive statements which the Spirit gives of this one Second Advent, when it is represented to us under two aspects, viz., one, a coming when men are at peace, buying, selling, marrying, etc., and anticipating no evil, but only “peace and safety,” all things apparently promising continued prosperity and happiness (so e.g. Luke 17:26–30; Matt. 24:36–39; 1 Thess. 5:3, etc.); the other, a coming in a time of war, of great distress and suffering (as e.g. Zech. 14, Rev. 19, Joel 3, Luke 21:27, etc.); the one, a coming in a concealed, thief-like manner, i.e. unobserved, unnoticed, unheralded (1 Thess. 5:2; Matt. 24:43, 44; Luke 12:37–40; Rev. 3:3, etc.); the other, a coming so open, conspicuous, that all shall witness it (as e.g. Matt. 24:30; Rev. 19; Matt. 25:31, etc.). The more students come to weigh and compare Scripture referring to this period, the more are they convinced that it would be presumptuous for us to limit all these varied utterances to one single act, and that we must allow a series of events to be comprehended under this Coming; the Spirit directing us now to one and then to another of them; the order of which is only to be attained by a careful comparison. It also is a fact that these “first-born,” to whom the honor of aiding in the execution of God’s judgments (and the translated belong to them) are given (e.g. Ps. 149:9, comp. Prop. 154), must be both resurrected (and remember that the translation is connected with the resurrection) and translated before they can participate in inflicting “the judgment written” upon the nations (as Dan. 7:22; Rev. 2:26, 27, etc.). Besides this, the significancy of “the first-fruits” (which embrace not merely resurrected saints, but, as we have seen, translated ones, as both are cojoined by the Spirit) would be entirely lost, i.e. as something preceding a general harvest which is to follow, if we did not allow that the one necessarily goes before the other, leaving an interval between them, although “the first-fruits” and “the harvest” are both included under the same general Advent, thus again showing that just as at the First Advent Jesus was only manifested to a few favored ones, and an interval of years elapsed before His final public manifestation, so at His Sec. Advent He will only be exhibited to those accounted worthy, and after a set interval ultimately to the world. It is by observing this characteristic of the Sec. Advent that the true force of the injunction to constantly look and watch for the Coming of Jesus can be appreciated. Not distinguishing that several aspects of this Coming, including separate acts, etc., are given, has led eminent writers to lay down certain things (such as a partial restoration of the Jews, a covenant with the Jews, etc.) as prerequisites to such an Advent, and they are correct, but only in reference to one aspect of it, viz., the visible Coming or manifestation of the Son of Man with His saints, as. e.g. Zech. 14. On the other hand, we have assurances given to us not to interpose any event whatever between us and such an Advent, but to regard it as an event that may occur at any moment without any notification of its approach (excepting only such as are given by approximative signs), and these two representations of the same Advent are only reconcilable by noticing what a comparison of Scripture inculcates, that the first aspect of this Coming refers to a concealed, hidden Coming for specific purposes (viz., to raise, translate, and glorify His saints, to inaugurate the preliminaries of his Kingdom, etc.), which takes place before the events predicted as pertaining to His visible manifestation.

Obs. 3. We now come to a passage which directly teaches a translation, viz., Luke 17:34–37, “I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken and the other left. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken and the other left. And they answered and said unto Him, Where, Lord? And He said unto them: Wheresoever the body is, thither will the eagles be gathered together” (see Matt. 24:28). The context shows (1) that this relates to the personal Sec. Advent, and (2) occurs in a time of peace and apparent prosperity, precisely similar to that of the Antediluvian era just before the flood, and to that of Sodom before Lot’s removal. The passage itself teaches (1) that this translation is to be expected “in that night,” as if purposely to conceal it from the eye of unbelief; (2) that this is no gathering of nations, but of individuals, one here and one there; (3) that it is a separation of parties, one being taken and another being left; (4) this taking of one party and leaving of another indicates a previous judgment (just as the sudden taking and changing “in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” 1 Cor. 15:52, also evidences), and not such an one as is recorded e.g. in Matt. 25:31–46; (5) that the removal of the one party is designed as a particular blessing in averting incoming evil, and the leaving of the other must be in order that they may experience it. Next follows the much disputed verse respecting the eagles, and before discussing its meaning it is necessary to decide its location in point of time. It is very easy, as some do, to refer it to the Romans in Matt. 24, but it is rather difficult to apply this verse in Luke the same way, because in the context there is no allusion, even the most distant, to the Romans. On the other hand, Jesus pointedly links it with His own personal Advent (comp. Prop. 114), as the context plainly (vs. 22–30) proclaims. This effectually disposes of the Roman theory, but still leaves the verse subject to a variety of conflicting opinions. Without assuming that the explanation following is infallibly the correct one; yet we give it as commending itself as reasonably the one containing the sense intended. And first: “the eagles” mentioned we must make, with numerous writers, to denote the saints. Saints are represented by “eagles” in Isa. 40:31; Deut. 32:11, 12; Ps. 103:5, even as God Himself is likened to an eagle (Ex. 19:4; Deut. 32:11) and Christ to a hen (Matt. 23:37). Such comparisons are not to be rejected because of any supposed incongruity (as e.g. being birds of prey), seeing that it is applied to messengers of the Divine procedure in Rev. 4:7; in Rev. 8:13 (the leading MSS. and critics reading “eagle” instead of “angel”), and that similar comparisons are applied to Christ, as Rev. 5:5. Scripture usage sustains such an interpretation, and even if the idea is made prominent that eagles prey, this itself would only confirm the application, because the saints accounted worthy of resurrection and glorification are to assist Christ in His judgments upon the nations (when Zeph. 3:8, the Lord “riseth up to the prev”). It may be that Jesus had in mind Isa. 40:31 (Delitzsch’s transl.), “They who wait for Jehovah gain fresh strength, lift up their wings as eagles, run and are not weary, go forward and do not faint,” as applicable to the saints at this period. In the next place, what are we to understand by “the carcass” of Matthew and “the body” of Luke? One thing is self-evident, that they refer to the same thing—the passages being parallel—and hence all interpretations, no matter how plausibly presented, which makes “the carcass” one thing and “the body” quite another, must be avoided. The passage in Matthew is related to the Coming of the Son of Man; that in Luke to the Coming and a predicted translation or removal, and both make out a gathering of the saints to a certain place. Now, if we leave Scripture describe this gathering at the time of the end, we find that the saints or eagles are gathered (Zech. 14, Rev. 19, Joel 3, etc.) to execute vengeance upon the confederation of wickedness. That this great confederation of the mighty of the earth is intended by “the carcass” and “the body” is apparent from two things: (1) such a manifestation of the saints really answers the question in Luke, for after the announcement of the removal of some the question was asked, “Where, Lord?” (i.e. when shall this be witnessed or be made known?) and the answer comes that as this is done “in the night,” not visible, the evidence of such a removal will be openly shown when these very ones shall be gathered together at the overthrow of Antichrist. (2) This is confirmed by the meaning of the word rendered “carcass” (although even the word “carcass” might be retained as indicative of both contempt and doom); the primary significations denoting “a fall, or fallen thing, or failure,” and thus directly referring to the fearful fall and overthrow of Antichrist which the saints are not only gathered to witness, but exultantly to participate in. The “body” of Luke refers to the same confederation, because, as Scripture informs us, “the body” of it, its congregated armies under the leadership of Antichrist, the vast bulk of it will be assembled together in Palestine or the East, where the Word assures us Christ and these eagles will come, Zech. 14:5. It only remains to say that, considering the promise to these translated or removed ones to participate in the gathering of the saints at the overthrow or fall of Antichrist (and his “body,” Dan. 7:11, is “destroyed”), it follows that such a removal must necessarily precede, by some interval of time, the formation of this confederacy, viz., in a time of peace, etc. The reader may, for himself, consider what power and ministrations may be included under this comparison of “eagles,” and whether, during the interval, it may not become an exceeding precious promise to suffering believers.

Obs. 4. Other passages either directly teach such a translation or removal, or else strongly imply it as a resultant or prerequisite. Take Rev. 14, and the order of events is in the highest degree corroborative of our position. Without discussing the relation that this chapter sustains to previous predictions, it is sufficient for our present purpose to notice that a time arrives before the final end when a certain specified number of saints, viz., the 144,000 (a symbolic number?) mentioned, are separated from among men, forming a chosen body called “the first-fruits unto God and to the Lamb.” These “first-fruits” go before the incoming harvest, an interval of time (which includes (1) the proclamation of the particular message that God’s judgments are to be poured out, and insisting upon the worship of God in view of the Antichristian worship that will be required; (2) the downfall of Babylon, and (3) the fearful persecution and martyrdom of believers) being placed between the two, at the close of which the harvest comes, and the dreadful vintage follows. This teaches us then to expect that a gathering of saints before the harvest is indeed one of the Divine procedures pertaining to the last things of this dispensation. The Parable of the Ten Virgins (Prop. 181) confirms this, for it instructs (aside from other particulars) us to anticipate at the Coming of Jesus that a certain class of persons (called the Wise Virgins in contradistinction to another class pronounced the Foolish), living at the time of the Sec. Advent, shall he so fortunate, owing to preparedness, as to be received by Jesus Christ at His Coming, while others shall be left. The adverb of time, “then,” binds this parable to the preceding context, and forces us to interpret it as a representation of the condition of the Church at some distinctive point of the Sec. Advent. Without insisting upon the explanation given by Olshausen, Alford, Stier, Seiss, etc., that the foolish virgins are even persons of some piety, who, neglecting to look for the Bridegroom, are left to endure the incoming tribulation, it is amply sufficient to say that the persons left are, at least, professing members of the Church, and that, as the announcement of the marriage (Rev. 19) precedes the overthrow of the Antichristian powers, those left behind must necessarily endure the trials incident to the arrogance, etc., of those powers. Those going in to the marriage—living saints taken away, translated, for this purpose—precede the time of sore tribulation. Passages which imply it relate to the promised participation of the saints in acts of judgment upon the living nations, to the married wife as distinguished from the barren woman, to the coming with the saints for purposes of salvation, etc. But others of a still stronger tenor are embraced in the promises that when the last great tribulation is to burst upon the Gentile nations, then certain believing ones shall escape. Thus e.g. Luke 21:36, “Watch ye therefore and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass and to stand before the Son of Man;” the escaping and being favored with nearness to Christ are united. In Rev. 3:10, of a class it is said: “Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation (or trial) which shall come upon the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.” The 144,000 described above are taken from this “the hour of trial,” comp. Rev. 14:7. It is a joyful fact that when the most fearful time of trial, the flood of great waters, comes, then God interposes in behalf of His own people and saves them out of it (to which even such passages as Ps. 32:6, 7; Prov. 3:25, 26; Ps. 37:38–40, etc., may refer), while another class are left to endure its terrific force and come up out of it as blood-stained martyrs, Rev. 14:9–13; Rev. 20:4, 5, etc. It is significant also that in Rev. 7 we have first a distinct, separate number of chosen ones forming the same number, 144,000 (called Jews, because engrafted by faith and thus incorporated with the commonwealth), and then afterward a great multitude who come “out of the great tribulation,” thus again pointing out a distinction existing between certain of God’s people. Such are not given without adequate causes, and it is well to heed them.

Obs. 5. This distinction in point of favor is marked by still another set of passages which describe the hiding of the saints when this time of trouble, this storm of persecution and fury bursts upon the Church and world. Keeping in view that these outpourings of judgments at the time of the end are always represented as special manifestations of God’s wrath, we can appreciate the principle given in the language of Zeph. 2:2, 3, in which it is promised to the meek that when “the day of the Lord’s anger” comes, by the seeking of righteousness and meekness, “it may he ye shall be hid in the day of the Lord’s anger. That this will be realized is apparent from various predictions, such as Ps. 31:19, 20, “Thou shalt hide them in the secret of Thy presence from the pride of man; Thou shalt keep them secretly in a pavilion from the strife of tongues” (or, Sep., “Thou wilt screen them in a tabernacle from the contradiction of tongues” (comp. also Ps. 27:5; Mal. 3:16–18). How this removal and hiding, which the Spirit states as a mark of “great goodness,” is to be accomplished may be seen under the Props. following; for at this period it will be especially true (2 Pet. 2:9) that “the Lord knoweth how to deliver the godly out of temptation.” Isaiah (ch. 26:20, 21) prophesies that at the very time of a resurrection of saints, and when “the Lord cometh” to “punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity,” and to cause the earth to uncover her “slain,” then God’s people are to be protected “until the indignation be overpast.” David (Ps. 45) portrays the exultant language that such translated or removed saints can well employ in view of their entire safety when the vast flood of evil shall shake the kingdoms of the earth. Indeed, there are peculiar predictions which alone stand out with clearness in the light of such a translation of the saints, as e.g. in Ps. 111:1, where it is said (so Clarke, Com. loci) that God shall be praised both “in the secret assembly of the upright” (or, as others, Lange, etc., “select assembly,” i.e. special), and also in the congregation, i.e. the general or public, which is thus verified. In Ps. 94, at the time when God shall show Himself for “vengeance” against the wicked, of some it is said, vs. 12, 13, that they are so guided and instructed “that Thou mayest give him rest from the days of adversity, until the pit he digged for the wicked”—i.e. they shall not experience the days of adversity which the same Ps. informs us culminates into a “gathering themselves together against the soul of the righteous and to condemn the innocent blood” (comp. Rev. 14, 16, and 19, etc.). From the removal of these righteous to the final overthrow of the wicked, the interval with the efforts of unbelief is expressively called the digging of a pit for the wicked, i.e. preparing the way for the fearful manifestation of vengeance upon them. All such predictions, supported by the analogy taken from Enoch, Noah, Lot, etc., however inconclusive they might be when taken isolated, obtain significancy as they stand related to other Scripture.*

Obs. 6. Intimations also are given that such a translation or removal of the class of righteous, while unwitnessed, will be known to the nations. This can well be imagined, for the sudden disappearance of men and women, one here and another there, will excite general inquiry and be the subject of varied comment. It will inevitably lead to what the Spirit describes in Ps. 83:3, for let these resurrected and translated ones be taken by the Lord and conveyed to a place of safety (comp. Prop. 166); let it be partially comprehended for what purpose even this removal is effected, then will be fulfilled what is written, that the enemies of God not only confederate together, but that “they take crafty counsel against Thy people, and consult against Thy hidden ones,” and this consultation is “with one consent or heart.” The same “hidden ones” are, probably, presented to us in Isa. 16:3, 4, 5 (comp. Prop. 166), In view of its connection with the establishment of the Davidic throne and Kingdom, unless it be applied to a portion of the Church during the tribulation who shall fly or be brought to the wilderness for safety (and if the latter, may not this be a hint to the Church when under the last extended persecution, where safety only will be found, viz., in the wilderness near Mt. Sinai, where, as Prop. 166, the Lord Christ and His saints will be assembled? We cannot, as yet, fully determine; time must show its meaning).* The fact that the wicked shall know something concerning those hid ones, and shall take what they deem prudent measures (viz., to form a general confederation. etc.), is hinted at in passages like Ps. 17:7–9; Ps. 64:2, etc., and still more plainly revealed in Ps. 143:7–9. The saints are “hid in the time of trouble,” and “in the secret (place) of Thy Presence” (verifying the Spirit of Ps. 91), until the period arrives for their open manifestation in supernatural power. It is likely, however, from the consultation of the wicked against them, that while the removal is allowed it will be attributed to natural causes, or to a concerted movement, and that all reference to its supernatural occurrence will be stoutly denied. In all probability, “the sign of the Son of Man” (Matt. 24:30) will be something connected with this translation (for events belonging to one period of time are grouped together without giving in every particular the exact order, as e.g. Isa. 25:6–9, etc.). The sign is one thing and the open visible Coming is another, and yet being a sign directly pertaining to the Son of Man, it relates to Him as in something connected with the Theocratic (see Prop. 81) ordering. Now, let this removal of the saints take place as described by Paul, John, etc., in the night, accompanied by a shout and trump (i.e. events may be denoted—see Obs. below); let the Son of Man be “in the air” to receive His risen and translated ones, and as the night advances around the earth, so let Him proceed around this globe in the process of gathering—such will be the accompaniments and the appearance in the sky, that, however explained by the world as electrical, meteorical, etc., it will constitute a sign, and a most impressive one, of the Son of Man. Invisible Himself, sheltered behind the curtains of the bright enveloping clouds, yet His Presence in the air may be exhibited by tokens never before witnessed.*

Obs. 7. The effect that this translation will have upon the Church is remarkably corroborative of our position. If we turn to Rev. 14 it is stated that immediately after the removal of “the first-fruits” there will be a most powerful renewed preaching of the Word of God, deriving its force from a proclamation of the now certain coming judgments of God and tribulation under the Antichrist. What causes such a change in the style of the preaching, which will result In the conversion, as parallel passages show, of very many, preparing them to pass through the great tribulation, and to suffer death rather than to worship the Beast and his image? Nothing less than this astonishing removal of certain chosen ones, accounted worthy, owing to their distinctive faith in God’s promises, to escape. Let this event occur just as it is described; let here one and there one of the believing and watching be taken, and surely those who believe in God’s Word and are left behind will be most wonderfully affected by the event. By one sudden and startling event, coming home to the heart and directly appealing to the warmest affections, the prevailing spiritualizing systems and theories of progressive advancement and perfection will be overthrown, and the Millenarian doctrine, once derided and sneered at as “carnal,” etc., will be most eagerly embraced and proclaimed. (The writer has often, often felt that it is specially for this period that he is laboring, when his work will be appreciated, etc.) The Church, then starting up with Abrahamic faith will recognize its chronological position, will see what is before it, and, energetically infused by fear and hope, prepare itself for the fearful ordeal through which it must pass. And we are assured that the Church in this contest, overpowered as she will be, will sustain the persecution with triumphant faith, feeling convinced from the events occurring and the time elapsed, that the Son of Man is even already present, waiting for the moment of direct interference.*

Obs. 8. It has been aptly remarked that the removal of righteous persons has been followed (as e.g. Enoch, Noah, Lot, at Jerusalem, etc.) by the outpourings of God’s judgments, and the principle is taught e.g. in the sealing of the 144,000 (Rev. 7). A comparison of Scripture teaches that when this translation is experienced, then will rapidly arise that culminated head of Antichrist which will overwhelm the Church with terrific persecution. Before this event some restraining power prevents such a dreadful confederation. Attention is called to this in order to correct two prevailing mistakes in the interpretation of 2 Thess. 2:7. One theory makes that which hinders the revelation of the Wicked One, the Man of Sin, to denote the Roman power (Pagan), i.e. the civil power; but this is erroneous, because this Antichrist will arise out of and really be the last head of this same Roman power (Prop. 160), fallen back to its former unchristian (e.g. given to idol worship), paganized condition. Another theory is, that the Hinderer mentioned is the Holy Spirit, and that this Spirit will be withdrawn, resulting in widespread wickedness, etc.; but this again is opposed to fact, viz., that after “the first-fruits” are taken away the Spirit remains, as is evidenced by the proclamation of the message, by the sustaining of the martyrs, and the multitude coming through the tribulation. The obscurity of the prediction and its conciseness is based upon something that was at the time well known, for in the preceding verse the Apostle says positively, “And now ye know what withholdeth” (same word precisely, excepting being in the neuter form, and thus referring to something) “that he might be revealed in his time.” That is, the Thessalonian brethren knew what this restraining influence was which then existed and would continue to exist down to a certain time, when this Antichrist, the fruit of long-continued defection, would arise during the period allotted to him. Rather than accept the modern views given by prophetical writers on this point, we would fall back to Theodoret’s opinion (Bloomfield, G. Test, loci), that that which hindered, restrained, prevented the culmination of this Antichrist is “the decree of God’s Providence,” and this would, at least, be consistent with the grammatical construction, which, as critics inform us, may refer either to a thing or person in verse 7, but only to a thing in verse 6. The solution probably has not yet been found, and in place of a better (which close study and comparison may yet present) we suggest the following: Regarding the fact that the Thessalonians knew what hindered, we turn to the First Epistle, and we find in the first chapter (v. 4) a declaration which covers the ground, viz., in the doctrine of election, that too of which they had knowledge, “Knowing, brethren beloved, your election of God.” Let the reader consider our Props. concerning the election, that God in this dispensation is calling out a definite number (incorporated as the seed of Abraham), who are to be associated in the Kingdom as rulers, etc., and then he will see that until this gathering out process has progressed up to a certain point (embracing these “first-fruits”) this Divine purpose of obtaining these chosen ones allows “the times of the Gentiles,” but restrains that fearful predicted outbreak until a determined number of God’s people are secured. When this is done, however, then, even while God’s Spirit is still willing to strive with and aid the faith of men (as seen in the martyrs), human nature will be allowed to riot in its unbelief, and to work out its vain theory of the destiny of the race. Then, during a brief period, human nature will be permitted to exhibit its highest departure from the truth, its most bitter scorn and detestation of believers, its most unrelenting hostility and cruelty to the followers of Christ (comp. Props. 160, 161, 162, 163, 164).*

Obs. 9. While embracing the doctrine of a Pre-Mill. translation, and of more than one translation, even (as e.g. in that pertaining to “the first-fruits,” and that relating to the harvest), yet, with our present light and understanding of the Scriptures, we cannot accept of so many as given e.g. by Baxter (Louis Napoleon III., ch. 4) and others, simply on the ground that a more careful comparison will synchronize and thus identify the sameness of some of them. Whatever may be the truth in this matter, it can only be presented in a discussion of the order of events as embraced in the entire Apocalypse (a labor which is foreign to our present work, and performed by other writers), and therefore we have only availed ourselves of the references to such a translation, without in every instance determining the relative order, confining ourselves, as sufficient for our purpose, to a twofold translation, one to precede and the other to follow (as the resurrections) the great tribulation—one pertaining to “the first-fruits” and the other to “the harvest.”

Obs. 10. Let us briefly consider the objections that can be alleged, not against a translation itself (for that is too plainly taught), but a Pre-Mill. one as presented. Some writers have incautiously made out that these “first-fruits,” by being thus favored, etc., are not only a chosen body (which is true, and within another), but infer from it that it only composes “the married wife,” i.e. only embraces the rulers with Christ, etc., thus excluding the harvest or those coming out of the tribulation. This has caused serious objections, and justly too, to be urged against the view as thus presented, for it is a fact, whatever distinctions may exist within the orderings and stations of the Kingship and priesthood, that the very last saints of this dispensation, even those who pass through the tribulation and fall under Antichrist’s power, are distinctively promised (Rev. 20:4, 6) to also reign with Jesus Christ; so that the “first-fruits and the “harvest” combined form that triumphant body of rulers who reign. Any interpretation, however plausible, which would debar the martyred saints, etc., under the last persecution from a direct co-heirship with the other saints in the Kingdom, is most certainly defective. The Scripture too usually presented as favoring it, viz., Ps. 45, does not apply to such a distinction between saints gathered during this and former dispensations (i.e. in the various women mentioned as related to the King), but rather between such saints thus gathered and the Jewish and Gentile nations, etc., as they shall exist (as e.g. the Jewish nation being likened to “a barren woman,” also again united to God, and other nations may well be thus represented as virgins, etc., acknowledging His reign, etc.) in the Millennial age. While distinctions are to be found in the body of saints, and while it is true that the first saints gathered down to the re-establishment of the Kingdom in its glory enjoy a distinction beyond all others that follow, it seems unscriptural to discriminate so far as to debar those to whom is specially promised a participation in reigning gloriously with Christ. A degree of caution is here required in order to avoid prejudice. Some good thing, that we may well leave undefined, will be given to these “first-fruits,” but the unbelieving, unguarded Church will so atone by its faithful witnessing, even unto death, for its past delinquency and unwatchfulness that it too “inherits the Kingdom” with the others. Another objection is brought from 2 Thess. 2, viz., that the coming of Jesus and the destruction of Antichrist are united together, and hence forbids any such a previous translation. The objector, however, forgets two things: (1) that the Apostle only argues logically that “the day of Christ” cannot come without the visible appearing and destruction of Antichrist (just as our argument demands), without specifying all the particulars antecedent, either to this visible Advent of Christ, or this Antichrist, and (2) that the saints participate both in the Coming of Jesus and destruction of the Wicked One, neither of which are mentioned. The Apostle does not contradict timself, as is apparent, if due notice is taken that the Thessalonians believed “the day of Christ” to be already present, and his reasoning proceeds to show, not that saints are not to be raised and translated before that day (which is implied), but that before the day itself is ushered in as predicted, a visible Coming and the destruction of Antichrist must precede. Again, it is objected that the gathering of the elect by the messengers described Matt. 24:31, is a gathering of all saints after the tribulation. But this, while after the tribulation, does not affirm that all the saints that ever lived are thus included, but simply refers to the elect then living at the period designated, and may denote, as some believe, believers in general scattered over the earth; or rather, as others hold, the members of the still elect Jewish nation, which, as many prophecies predict, shall at this very time be again gathered to Palestine. Besides this, all the passages relating to the gatherings of this intently interesting period must be collated and compared, when several, without contradicting each other, will appear pertaining to “the first-fruits” and to “the harvest,” to the Church and to the Jewish nation. Again, it is alleged that the multitude of Rev. 7 all came out of the great tribulation, and that this evidences that the entire Church of this dispensation living at the time must enter and pass through it. Aside from other reasons in reply, it is sufficient to direct attention to the 144,000 mentioned in the same chapter, a body separate from all others, who were sealed in order to their complete safety before the incoming storm. Some object on the ground that “the shout and trump” accompanying the resurrection and translation show it to be a visible occurrence, seen by the world. But such forget that while there will be a sufficiency of manifestation to excite attention and startle the world, yet the shout, etc., may be like Daniel’s “man clothed in linen” (10:5–7), whose voice was “like the voice of a multitude,” and yet the men with him, strangely affected even to quaking, “saw not the vision;” or like the voice from heaven (John 12:28–29), which distinctly spoke, but the people that “stood by and heard it, said, that it thundered;” or like the voice speaking to Saul, which his fearful companions heard not. The voice, the shout, the trump (indicative of events ushering in) is for a chosen class of persons, and if it is God’s good pleasure, the same may only be heard by them, even if others stood by, just as Stephen in the crowd only saw the glorious vision, or Elisha’s eyes were only opened to behold the horses and chariots of fire. Other objections have been so fully met in previous remarks, that it is unnecessary to reproduce them, unless we except one, owing to its practical importance. It is said that such an order of events, privately accomplished, is opposed to the publicity, not only of the Sec. Advent, but of intervening events, viz., that before such a Coming, resurrection, and translation transpires the partial restoration of the Jews, the culminated Antichrist, the gathering of the nations, etc., must be first witnessed. But as Cunninghame, Cox, and many others have shown, this is not to distinguish His visible Coming with the saints, at which time all these things are manifested, from that of His Coming for them, preparatory to the former. Several stages of the same Advent, leaving a sufficient interval for the development of those things between them, is, as the ablest prophetical writers have asserted and proven, the only possible way in which to reconcile the condition attached to the Sec. Advent (as e.g. coming in a time of peace and coming in a time of war, etc.), and places it at the same time in the position given to it by the Spirit, viz., as something that may occur at any moment, and for which we are constantly to watch without looking first for the fulfilment of intervening things.*

Obs. 11. The question may be asked, Why such a distinction? The reply is, because such is God’s pleasure in the matter. It is not for us to assert with any degree of positiveness who shall thus be favored with a translation, and escape the great tribulation. We can only point out the general affirmation (as e.g. “them that honor me, I will honor,” etc.) upon the subject, and leave each one draw his own conclusions. There is a difference between mere salvation and the special honor, station, dignity, etc., that God in addition may be pleased to bestow upon certain ones. There were other pious ones when Enoch and Elijah were translated, and yet they only were favored; and we doubt not that many who ultimately will be saved with great glory (because of their faithful witnessing during the last severe trial) will be left at this translation. While we cannot confine, as some do, this preference to mere belief in and watching for the Advent (for in connection with this stands the purity and proper development of Christian character, which, alas, some who thus believe and watch do not manifest to the extent required, or even to the degree that some honest and sincere disbelievers in our doctrine exhibit), yet such faith and watching is eminently set forth as a characteristic of those translated ones. Because they thus believe, showing due respect unto God’s Word, and permit such faith to have its practical effect in heart and life, we are assured that they shall thus be favored, as e.g. the general announcement in Mal. 2:17, which the New Test. more fully explains in some of its particular aspects, as in Luke 21:36; Matt. 24:36–51, etc. At the same time we deeply feel that without a special preparedness, devoted piety (as exemplified in the translated Enoch and Elijah), which evinces itself in opposing the torrent of worldliness and wickedness encroaching upon the Church, Millenarianism, however upheld and ably defended, is unable of itself to secure such a distinguishing benefit and honor. A personal, individual acceptation of the truth combined with a happy experience of its sanctifying influence, together with testifying in its behalf before others, is imperatively needed. It is not simply those who “watch” that shall “escape,” but those, Luke 21:36, who “watch and pray always,” avoiding the corrupting influences around them. The number of translated ones may not be very large (for the number of translated ones given as (so Baumgarten, etc.) types in comparison with the number of those not translated, and with that of the resurrected saints is small), so that Dr. Seiss, with whom many concur, is undoubtedly correct in saying: “I have no idea that a very large portion of mankind, or even of the professing Church, will be thus taken. The first translation, if I may so speak, will embrace only the select few who watch and pray always,” etc. The fact that Enoch was the seventh from Adam may, for aught we know, be suggestive (as Bengel, owing to seven being a sacred number, also comp. Prop. 143) of the occurrence of this translation when the seventh milliad arrives, and Enoch’s specific prediction (Jude) of the Lord’s Coming by those accounted worthy of translation; while Elijah’s pertains simply to exalted, eminent piety, without any special reference to such testimony. Yet, let it be said, whatever the doctrinal position of the persons translated, and whatever may be the personal attitude respecting the nearness of the Advent, etc., that one distinguishing characteristic will be exhibited by all, viz., that they “love the appearing” of Christ (2 Tim. 4:8), that they earnestly desire it, and regard it as the highest possible blessing, “the blessed hope” (Tit. 2:13). There may be also a deeper meaning than is generally assigned to the phrase “them that look for Him” in Heb. 9:28—a meaning derived from an existing fact at the time of the Advent. Still another reason applies why this resurrection and translation of saints should take place at this particular crisis; this will be noticed in the following Props., viz., that as Christ comes to make the preliminary arrangements for the setting up of the Theocratic Davidic Kingdom, it is eminently suitable, that all the saints down to that period should be gathered in order to receive their instructions, to have their positions, etc., assigned, so that they can act with Him as executors in the Divine administrations that follow. This (Prop. 166) measured by the creatures capacity requires time, and such time will be given to this particular purpose in the place predicted. Hence this distinction grows out of the Divine purpose; which such saints are designed to aid in executing and establishing.*

Obs. 12. The reader may, for himself, estimate the greatness and value of such a translation, embracing (1) exemption from death, (2) deliverance from a terrible incoming tribulation, (3) a special exaltation to the Presence of Christ, (4) the bestowal of glorification, joint rulership with the mighty King, etc. Richard Baxter (Works, vol. 16, p. 555) may express these blessings in his ardent prayer and longings that Christ may speedily come in order that death might not be experienced, etc., saying: “The thoughts of the Coming of the Lord are most sweet and joyful to me, so that if I were but sure I should live to see it, and that the trumpet should sound and the dead should rise, and the Lord appear, before the period of my age, it would be the joyfullest tidings to me in the world,” etc. A multitude of writers, italicizing the promises of God in Christ Jesus, delineate these blessings, and hold them up as worthy of consideration and contemplation. Happy, blessed beyond description, the man or the woman thus honored!*

Obs. 13. The reader, too, will for himself imagine the influence that such a translation must have, whenever it occurs, upon families, communities, churches, etc. The sudden disappearance of husband or wife, parent or child, sister or brother, pastor or member, etc., will be startling in the extreme. Such a separation “in that night,” when in the bed, or the social gathering, or on the journey, will result in an outburst of grief, in a wonderful heart searching, and in a renewed, most diligent study of God’s Word. But only (excepting the first, e.g. grief) in those who fear God and desire to be obedient unto Him. We thus return to this thought, only to direct attention to the fact that for a number of years various prophetical writers, and quite a number of periodicals, have warned the Church and the world that such was the Divine procedure, and have given proper prominence to this order of events. This answers a twofold purpose, viz., it vindicates God’s mode of working, which is (in case of great events involving tremendous issues) to make His procedure previously known (Amos 3:7, etc.), and when it thus comes to pass it not only establishes His truth, but serves to guide those who are willing to receive His Word into a proper apprehension of the same. If such an event is to occur it is most reasonable to anticipate that believers in the Word, Just previous to its occurrence, will proclaim it, so that when it has taken place others may recognize it at once as a part of God’s own divine and gracious ordering. This, then, will alleviate the grief of believers when a beloved one is thus suddenly taken away, because they will rejoice in their having been thus favored, and will strive to prepare themselves and others for the coming struggle, that they too may be accounted worthy of a glorious reunion with resurrected and translated ones.*

Obs. 14. It is reasonable to expect that this doctrine of a translation will be ridiculed both before and after the occurrence of it. Indeed, the parallel existing in the days of Noah, just before the deluge, and that just before the Advent would fail in an important particular if ridicule and scorn were not added to the objections urged against belief in a speedy Advent and its inevitable results. Among these results that of the special honoring of some living saints by a translation without seeing death is already made the subject of derision and sport. The abuse of the doctrine by some evidently sincere but misguided persons (who confidently, against most express Scripture, fix the day and hour of its occurrence, and who, against the testimony of the Spirit, that it is not to be anticipated by a gathering of saints and most foolish provision of ascension robes, meet at the designated time to experience it) greatly tends to such levity; just as if the vagaries and foolishness of men in perverting a doctrine necessarily led to its entire rejection—a principle so palpably erroneous that if applied to truth in general would leave but little for us to accept. Scoffers are to arise in the last days, who will express their contempt of God’s promises, and pronounce those, who Noah-like trust in them, to be, if not “mad” or possessed of a “devil,” at least “exceedingly soft and foolish.” This naturally is to be expected of the world, but unfortunately some of the scoffers are professed believers in that Word of God, which expressly teaches a still future translation to come suddenly, as a snare, upon the Church and the world, which gives us typical, real illustrations of such translations in two noted cases, and which urges us constantly to look and watch for that which is to effect it. It is saddening that men cannot at least treat such subjects with soberness, and discuss them without sneers. This is before the translation; the same will be true of multitudes immediately after it. Acts 13:41 will be repeated; and those who are arrested by its occurrence and take it to heart will be unsparingly ridiculed. Human nature will be true to itself, and the doctrine will be particularly detestable to it, since it evinces a species of favoritism—a contrast—condemnatory to its own Naturalistic and Humanitarian position. The Spirit predicts—and His Word is truth—that ridicule, sneers, etc., shall give finally place to so positive a dislike and hatred to all pertaining to it that those who are left and are believing shall experience, not merely a wordy reviling persecution, but the stroke of the descending, beheading sword and axe.

Obs. 15. To the critical student it is proper in this place to make some remarks on the phrase “Time of the End” and “Last Days.” These terms have been in the past sadly appropriated, and conveniently dated from some period antecedent to the writer and thus represented as present; under its shelter (Dan. 12:8–10), with the plea that “the wise shall understand,” men have confidently given us predictions relating to the future, which, to say the least, are simply conjectures and inferences suggested by minds strongly impressed by the alleged fact that they were already in “the time of the end.” Many writers could be quoted illustrative of this, and several bodies of believers seem, if we are to judge by the usage of this phrase, to make it essential to their system. Books, tracts, sermons, essays are written to show, without proof excepting an array of signs and the declarations of others, that we are now, and have been for some years, in “the Time of the End.” Over against all such deductions, the simple fact, as a more careful examination of the Scriptures indicate, is, that “the Time of the End” is still future. It is to be applied to this interval between the two stages of the Advent, a period which may embrace, for aught we know (considering the events that are to take place in it, and that the last week of Daniel does not include the whole time of interval, but only the time when the Covenant is made with the restored Jewish nation, the breaking of the same, and Antichrist’s persecution of the Jews), from 35 to 75 years, more or less.

Let the reasons for such a reference be briefly assigned. This interval forms “the end” spoken of by Daniel, i.e. the time when the series of events predicted by himself should terminate; it is the culmination of prophecy, relating to Antichristian powers, the Jewish nation, and the Messianic triumph; it is the time when the end has come and God’s judgments are to be poured out upon the nations, resulting in a great deliverance, and thus vindicating the Divine Purpose. When the first stage of the Advent occurs it is evidence that the end of the dispensation has arrived, and from the res. and translation of the believers down to the open Advent, we have literally “the time of the end.” The overlapping of the two dispensations by this secret Parousia, instead of proving adverse to our view is corroborative of it, since such in the case of the Jewish and Christian is called “the ends of the world” (1 Cor. 10:11) by Paul. The end itself is not an abrupt, sudden end, but embraces time or years in its termination. A series of gigantic events are included in the winding up of this dispensation of so remarkable a nature that no one with the least faith in the Scriptures can doubt respecting the closing period of the age. But to particularize still more, every one can see for himself that this “time of the end (Dan. 11:35) follows (comp. Prop. 160) a long continued and indefinite period of trial to the Church, such as the Church has experienced in the past. Then (Dan. 12:6–10) the end is associated with the restoration of the Jews to their own land, which is still future; with (Dan. 12:13, comp. Prop. 126) the resurrection of Daniel at the first stage of the Advent; with “the end of these wonders” (v. 6), i.e. with their termination, when they are about to be completed; with (v. 7) the time when “these things (the wonders predicted) shall be finished,” i.e. shall approach their termination. Thus a comparison shows that the end commences with the resurrection of the saints, and the time of this end embraces within it God’s controversy with the nations and the deliverance of the Jewish nation. For it seems that for purposes of salvation and vengeance, to manifest in an extraordinary degree the supernatural power of God in behalf of His people and in crushing His enemies, this interval between the two stages is (Dan. 8:19) not merely “the latter end of the indignation,” but “the appointed time of the end”—a time specifically measured off by these stages, and the events connected therewith, composing the end or completion of the combined series of predictions—the culmination. This “time of the end” includes “the times” or “days” of Dan. 12, which, as a dispassionate examination proves (comp. Prop. 173), are contained in this interval, and have special reference to the climax of Jewish tribulation and Antichristian opposition. The “end” itself, or “the end of the days,” is the full completion, witnessed in the overthrow of Antichrist and the establishment of the Theocratic Kingdom at the open Parousia. In addition, at “the time of the end” these prophecies will be “unsealed” (Dan. 12:9), i.e. they will be completely opened or understood in their unity and culmination. This unsealing is still future, for the simple reason that whatever advancement and knowledge may have been obtained by study, and whatever unity of view may have been secured in grand outlines, no two interpreters of Daniel can be found who perfectly agree with each other, in details at least. But we do know that between these two stages there is a complete unsealing, because the secret Advent with the resurrection and translation stamps at once the chronological status, the method and application of interpretation, the proper reception and place for the Apocalyptic visions, etc. The messages (Rev. 14) following the withdrawal of “the first-fruits” is sufficiently indicative that no lack of knowledge respecting the present and future is then prevailing, but that a correct apprehension of the predicted things is universal among believers.

St. John (1 John 2:18) uses the phrase “the last time” declaratively respecting this entire Christian dispensation, because Antichristian spirit and principles characterize it during the whole period, while Jude (v. 18), connecting it with the Advent, seems to limit (comp. 2 Pet. 3:3) it more to the concluding period of the same. It has been observed (e.g. Faber, Diss. on Proph., p. 87) that the expressions “latter days” or “times,” and “last days,” do not precisely denote the same period of time. While the former may include the latter to some extent, yet the one is significant of an indefinite termination of this dispensation, i.e. in contrast with the past history of the world or past duration; the other is expressive of “the last days” or “the end,” or “time of the end.” The chief characteristic of “the latter days” is that of superstition and apostatizing, and the main feature of “the last days” is that of blasphemous infidelity and direct opposition to God. The one is the forerunner of the other; the one culminates in the other; the one, Antichristian, paves the way for the other, the fully developed Antichrist, who denies both Father and Son.
“The latter days” usher in “the last days.” But this view can only be sustained by noticing that this distinction only holds good where they are used in prophetical sense, i.e. in a prediction relating to the future. The student will observe that the phrases “latter days” and “last days” in the Old Test. are the comparative and superlative of the one expression in the original, “the end of days” (comp. Faber’s Diss. on Proph., ch. 3). This refers to this very time of the end and its grand resultant, as seen e.g. in Isa. 2:2; Mic. 4:1 (with which comp. Acts 2:16, 17), seeing that the Millennial Kingdom is only introduced in connection with this closing period. The same is noticeable in Hos. 3:5, where “the latter days” or “the end of days” is united with the future restoration of the Jews and the Messianic reign. In these “latter days” (Ezek. 38:16) Antichrist—still future—is to enter Palestine and meet his doom, which only takes place in this interval. The declaration (Dan. 2:28) that God maketh known “what shall be in the latter days” or “at the end of days,” does not simply mean futurity in general, but that God really and truly represents to the King not merely what is “hereafter” (as afterward stated), but especially things which pertain to this culmination of events, this concluding period containing so many pregnant issues concerning Gentile domination, Jewish supremacy, and the Messianic reign. Indeed, a slight acquaintance with the predictions shows plainly that the greatest stress and detail is expended on this very period, to which the eye of faith and hope turns. “The latter times” of 1 Tim. 4:1 admits of a wider scope, and indicates, as the context and warning shows, that the spirit to be developed in them is one gradually formed and extending itself, becoming more and more intensive, through a series of times. The phrase “these last times,” in 1 Pet. 1:20, if not used declaratively, then refers (as is also true of “the last days” in Heb. 1:1, 2) to the fact that Jesus, the Messiah, was manifested during the closing period of the Mosaic economy, which removal was signally verified by the events befalling the nation and capital. However any of these phrases may be employed in a general sense, it is also true, as a careful comparison of the same evidences, that the Spirit employs them to express the closing period of this dispensation, ushering in the interval between the two stages, and then specifically the interval itself, with its result.*

  PROPOSITION 131. This Kingdom embraces the visible reign of Jesus, the Christ, here on earth

Compare Props. 81, 82, 83. The idea of a Theocracy as involved in the Theocratic-Davidic arrangement, God ruling in and through David’s Son; the covenant and the promises based on it relating to David’s throne and Kingdom (Props. 49, 111, 114, 116, 117, 122); in brief, the entire analogy of prediction demands a visible reign.

Obs. 1. So distinctly is this taught that no Jew, no Christian believer, no one who read the Scriptures doubted this, until the Alexandrian system evolved a series of doctrines, under the notion of exalting the truth and the Son, in which the throne promised to David’s Son was transformed into a throne in the third heaven. What influence the heathen mythology had at first in shaping and urging such views cannot be fully determined, but that it exerted some is self-evident in the similarity of views on various points, as witnessed e.g. in the introduction of Platonic ideas and doctrines. Eccl. His., His. of Religions, Treatises on Dog. Theol. and Sys. Div., etc., clearly indicate not only the change but also the motives which led to it. When the change, however, was once made from the ancient simplicity, it rapidly intrenched itself in the Church as more in accord with the rising Papacy and an alleged advanced improvement.*

Obs. 2. Having in previous Propositions shown with sufficient distinctness that David’s Son, Jesus in His humanity, must, if the prophecies are fulfilled, appear in a visible reign; that He does thus manifest Himself to the sight of all, it is unnecessary (as coming Propositions will materially add reasons for our doctrine to those already given) to enter into a detailed argument, since it is nowhere asserted that the visibility thus exhibited shall ever be withdrawn, and since the denial of such a visible reign is one of pure inference. No one, that we are aware of, has ever yet presented a passage of Scripture to prove the invisibility of the reign in the future. It is wrongfully inferred that the Divine Sovereignty (Props. 79 and 80) embraces this Kingdom, and upon this inference alone is based the opposition to our view, thus overlooking that this specially predicted Theocratic reign on David’s throne is promised to “the Son of Man,” see Prop. 81. Seeing the foundation of the denial of our doctrine, which has been examined in detail and refuted, it is only requisite to notice the peculiar ideas which originate from a forgetting or ignoring of this covenanted Kingdom. The following illustrations will suffice.

Obs. 3. To indicate how persons in their eagerness to deny a visible, personal reign on earth of Christ allow themselves to use unwarranted language (even to deny the personal return to the earth), language which they themselves contradict, we refer e.g. to Barnes, Com. on 1 Thess. 4:16, where in his remarks he says: “There is no intimation here of ‘a personal reign’ of Christ upon earth. Indeed, there is no evidence that He will return to the earth at all,” and then he proceeds to place Christ, the saints, the wicked, the living, and the dead in “the regions of the air.” This sounds very much like one of the old monkish legends, and is unworthy of so able a man. We need not in reply direct attention to Zech. 14:4, where it is said that Christ’s feet shall touch the Mt. of Olives, etc., for his own commentary contains an abundant refutation of his words. Thus e.g. in his Com. on Acts 3:21, he says: “Until; this word implies that He should then return to the earth;” and then to guard his theory after such an admission adds: “but it does not imply that He would not again ascend to heaven.” Precisely so, and it does not imply that He will, alter His return, leave again. This is added to the Bible by our opponents, because the Scriptures close with the personal Advent, His dwelling with man, etc., and leave Jesus the Christ here on the earth. Neither Barnes nor any other writer has been able to adduce a single passage to support their theory of Christ’s Sec. Advent and immediate return to heaven. Yea, more than this, Barnes and others like him, forgetting their objections to our doctrine, do, when adverting to the renewed earth, admit that Christ may personally be present, as e.g. Barnes, Com. on Rev., ch. 21:3, “It is not said that this would be on the earth, although that may be, for it is possible that the earth, as well as other worlds, may yet become the abode of the Redeemed,” comp. his remarks on chs. 21 and 22, and 2 Pet. 3:13, etc., which, in his usual style, may denote this or that, or may not denote it. The concessions, such as they are, unwillingly forced from him, are all that are required to prove a looseness and vagueness very different from the consistent, logical interpretation of the early Church.*

Obs. 4. In the discussion of this personal return and reign it is saddening to find good persons placing themselves on the judgment seat, and dogmatically deciding what it is possible or impossible for God to perform. This characteristic is even exhibited in the title-page of some books, as e.g. we read: “The personal reign of Christ during the Millennium proved to be impossible, by James C. L. Carson.” This title-page is sufficiently indicative of the spirit of the work, and, we doubt not, if the writer had lived previous to the First Advent, he could with equal propriety, greater force, and with many of the same arguments, have proved it impossible for the Son of God to come, as He did, in humiliation, suffering, and death. The fact is, that the leading objection urged against our doctrine, viz., that it is a lowering, etc., of the majesty of Christ, is precisely the same urged by the ancient Celsus against the First Advent of Jesus, viz., that it could not be credited that a divine Being should assume humanity, suffer, etc., because all this would be a virtual degradation. The old apologists replied that the work He performed, the precious characteristics manifested, the results that followed, etc.—these exalted and glorified such an Advent. So when we are attacked by the same unbelieving argument, fortified by the vivid and glorious predictions, believing in the blessed design and results of this reign, we point to the faithful sayings of God and their fulfilment, thus simply accepting of the Divine utterances without attempting to alter them or to apologize in their behalf. Precisely the same objection, in another form, is levelled by infidels against the Incarnation and Life of Jesus Christ, on the ground that such a Creator and Lord of the universe—including unnumbered worlds—could not possibly degrade Himself to make this, so small a planet, the scene of His special manifestations, etc. It is well known how our opponents meet such an objection, but the identical reasoning thus produced by them favors our own view, and is fatal to their objections against us (comp. Props. 203 and 204).*

Obs. 5. It becomes painful to notice, in the objections levelled against us, the serious and unfounded change of “carnal,” “fleshly,” etc. Having already warned brethren how careful they ought to be in the use of such phraseology in designating the personal reign of Christ, lest they be finally found guilty of accusing God’s arrangements, the Divine Purpose itself, of carnality, attention may be briefly called to the manner in which this is done. Most excellent writers, such as Rev. Philip (Devot. Guides, vol. 2, p. 287), as well as a host of inferior ones, speak of it as “carnal and vulgar,” under the assumption of superior piety, humility, sanctity, and honoring of Christ, and claim that, under the influence of love, etc., they wish for no such reign, but only a spiritual reign, etc. Without detracting from these brethren, or calling their honesty or piety into question, it may be well to examine this assumption, which is well calculated to beguile and mislead the inquiring. It may be in place to ask what piety, humility, etc., includes. Does it consist in rejecting holy covenanted promises, in denying to Christ what the Spirit ascribes to Him? Without attempting to institute a comparison, we may point to that long line of eminent worthies, whose praise is in the churches, who reverently and humbly receive the Divine Record on the subject just as we do, and exhibited in their lives and deaths as true piety, devotedness (many of them martyrs for the truth) as any of their opponents, and in view of all this, ought such a plea to be instituted? It is simply an evasion of argument, and, if employed by any one, is a sure indication of weakness. The question between us is not the personal piety, etc. of the adherents of one or another theory or doctrine (for as we see in all denominations, the Spirit of God can, notwithstanding error more or less entertained, produce His fruits in various classes on the common ground of faith in Jesus), but it consists in an appeal to the Word of God to ascertain what the Spirit has recorded. Hence all such reasoning is not only irrevelant but painful to a man of candor. This subject will be continued under Prop. 177, so that, for the present, it may be suggested that if the Mill. descriptions are verified as they read; if the personal presence of Christ and His associated rulers is vouchsafed; if the reign is not merely an external civil and religious one, but includes righteousness, wisdom, love, etc., in all their aspects; if the design of it is to fill the earth with God’s glory, etc., then the charge of carnality fails, for the reign and Kingdom is materially different from that exhibited in the efforts of Gentile domination.

Obs. 6. Briefly, the feeble efforts at presenting proof against us drawn from Scripture may be dismissed with a few words. Thus e.g. Ralston (On the Apoc., p. 164 and 165) gives two reasons for rejecting the personal reign of Christ. The first is, that we walk by faith and not by sight (2 Cor. 5:7), and the Apostle said, 2 Cor. 5:16, “Yea, though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now henceforth know we him no more.” But if we are to understand the passage in the line intimated, then it proves too much, and would make out that there will be no Sec. Advent, and that the angels and the Apostles were mistaken in their announcements. To press the passage in this direction is far worse than despised “literalism.” The second is, that the Saviour is at God’s right hand “forever,” and will not interfere with the work of the Spirit in applying the atonement, quoting John 16:7–11; Heb. 10:12, 13; 1 Cor. 15:24–26; Acts 2:34, 35; Acts 3:21. To this we reply—(1) by comparing Scripture with Scripture we ascertain the Spirit’s meaning of this “forever;” (2) if thus unduly pressed, it is hostile to the Sec. Advent itself; (3) the Scriptures quoted do not sustain his theory, limiting the stay until His return; (4) and the work of the Spirit is not limited but increased by this Personal Coming and reign. Dr. Brown, Christ’s Sec. Coming, ch. 5, introduces the same, and urges that our view calls for another dispensation. Exactly so, as we shall show (Props. 137, 138, 140, 167, etc.) farther on, for if the Theocratic-Davidic throne and Kingdom are re-established as predicted, if the Abrahamic-Davidic Covenant is ever fulfilled as written, there must be, in the very nature of the case, a new dispensation or ordering of things. The rest of the objections presented by Brown are met under various Propositions, so that they need no mention here. One of the most recent writers, Fairbairn (On Proph., p. 467, etc.) gives the following reasons against it: 1. Because it is not mentioned in Rev. 20:1–6. Reply: If it had been specifically mentioned, such mention, just as that of the resurrection, would have met with the same treatment of spiritualistic interpretation as the preceding immediate context (ch. 19) of the Advent did at his hands. But, it is stated in the promise of the reign of Christ and His saints, for the reign evidently is to be understood of the same that is specially promised to and predicted of Jesus as David’s Son. Therefore, to ascertain what that reign is, a comparison of prophecy and covenant is necessary, and the question can only be decided in the light thus afforded. Thus e.g. a comparison of Covenant, Zech. 14, Dan. 7, Isa. 25, and Rev. 20:1–6, is alone sufficient to decide the kind of reign intended. Whoever can spiritualize Zech. 14 away will, of course, find Rev. 20:1–6 undecisive. 2. The Advent of Christ, Rev. 19, is an ideal representation—a visionary spectacle, representing a certain agency, etc. Suppose it is symbolic, which we grant, the question still returns, Whom does it represent—ideal personages or agencies, or real personages or agencies? The vision of the beast, prophet, etc., represents real actors, etc.—this he admits. So this vision of Christ and of His saints must also; this, too, he is willing to concede to a certain extent, viz., that it is illustrative of the agency of the Church and of Christ’s agency invisibly through the Church, claiming that the horse, attendants, splendor, sharp sword is indicative of the ideal. He therefore mixes up in confusion the ideal and the real, and entirely overlooks the main, leading fact that it is a vision of an Advent, a Coming from heaven. Under this vision, like that of the other visions, a real, actual occurrence is represented, and that is the Coming of an irresistible, conquering Christ, and with Him the Coming of the saints. This is the simple construction put upon the passage by the early Church, and it is one that must commend itself to the reflecting mind. For, how comes it that one portion of the vision, under the spiritualistic interpretation, viz., that of the armies of heaven, is made to refer visibly to the saints or Church, and the chief personage in the vision is made only to appear invisibly? By what rule of interpretation is one party, as the beast, and another party, as the Church, made to be present visibly, and the third party, spoken of in the same connection, without the least intimation of a change of condition, etc., is made to appear an actor invisibly? The answer is, solely to save a theory from a fatal objection. 3. That such a personal Coming would assume “an incongruous mixture of the two states of humiliation and glory.” Reply: To make out such a mixture he presumes to judge what is right and proper for the Lord to do, overlooking both that this Advent in no shape or form intimates humiliation, but triumph, exaltation, and glory; and that he himself previously spoke of the Mill. age in the most elevated terms of eulogy. It is simply presumptuous for believers to pen a sentence like the following: “When Jesus entered on His state of glory He could no longer dwell on earth and make Himself visible to men.” Why not? Perhaps Fairbairn knows, or has heard the reason of His absence to be that He awaits the period of His manifestation, a work having in the mean time to be accomplished, and that when He comes this work will be perfected, etc. The objection is based on the same noticed, Obs. 2 and 3, above. The admission, however, that he makes, as we will prove hereafter, is alone sufficient to overthrow his theory, viz., that Christ will come “only when He comes to make all things new, and stamps them with the perfection of His Divine work, then will the world be prepared as the house of the glory of the Lord.” As our argument all along shows, we also hold that when Christ comes the renewing, transforming, recreating power lodged in Him will be exhibited, and logically—without calling into question a single passage in its naked, plain, grammatical meaning—prove that this will be witnessed in the Millennium, seeing also that nothing short of this power can possibly affect it. 4. Fairbairn’s next objection is, that the acts specially associated with the Sec. Advent belong to an age subsequent to the Millennium. Among these he specifies the general resurrection, the final judgment, and the Bride’s marriage with the Lamb. But this remains unproven, and he assumes them to be thus future. See e.g. Props. 120, 121, 132, 133, 134, 137, 140, etc., for our scriptural evidence to the contrary. The reference to the Bride’s marriage will be answered in Props. 169, 150, 146, etc. But we may well put against Fairbairn’s unwarranted postponement for one thousand years of the Marriage announced in Rev. 19, the simple Pre-Millennial announcement of the Spirit, Rev. 19:7, “Let us be glad and rejoice, and give honor to Him; for the marriage of the Lamb is come.” This to us is authoritative, and we reverently receive it as crushing to all such theorizing built on a specious spiritualizing of Scripture. Our reasons, as the reader must have observed, lie deeper than mere inferences from isolated passages, or mere deductions from a portion of Scripture stripped of its grammatical meaning; they are founded in the solemnly, oath-attested Covenant, in the plain, grammatical meaning of the Word, in the general analogy of the Scriptures, and in the accredited faith of the apostolic churches.*

Obs. 7. Some (esteemed brethren) who frankly admit and earnestly advocate the Pre-Millennial Personal Advent, still express themselves timidly, illogically, and unscripturally in reference to the personal reign of Christ here on the earth. Some few advocating, after His Sec. Advent, His withdrawal to the third heaven, from whence He reigns (some stating that He may occasionally visit the earth and appear to men); others have a withdrawal into the air or upper regions, or into the New Jerusalem, also located in the air or above the earth. This is done by some under a misapprehension of the Covenant, and to whom the Kingdom is specially promised, and with the idea of honoring the God in Christ; while others do it under the supposition that such a view will make our doctrine more palatable to others—that such a concession is harmless and will induce others the more readily to embrace a Pre-Mill. Coming. But allow us here to enter our earnest, solemn protest against all such diluting processes which only weaken our doctrine; all such adulteration of truth to render it more acceptable to others, which only are hailed as evidences of weakness and illogical connection. This subject is too sacred, too precious, too intimately related to the honor of Christ to be either lightly esteemed or made the sport of mere conjecture. Every position assigned to Jesus in this Kingdom ought to have a “thus saith the Lord” for its support, and not the play of human fancy about the propriety of this and that spoken concerning it. We esteem this continued personal presence of Christ the crowning glory of our system, an essential element of its strength. If the reader has carefully noticed the Covenant promises over which we have passed he must have arrived at the conclusion that, if the grammatical meaning is retained, the promises of God require that the reign of Christ and of His saints should be a continued visible one. Bickersteth and many writers assign, as reasons for our belief, passages of Scripture which, if ever fulfilled, demand such a personal presence. These indeed apply forcibly, but with the Apostolic Fathers we ground our belief even on, if possible, a surer, stronger foundation (because plainer), when we say that the utterances of the Covenant are all based on the idea of a personal presence. The central point of the Davidic Covenant is this: that Christ, as David’s Son, the promised seed, shall reign on David’s throne and in David’s Kingdom; and therefore the very language on the face of it conveys the important notion, that in consequence of this, He, as David’s Son and Lord, must be and is visibly present. Such a presence is even taken for granted, is assumed as a self-evident fact, needing no special demonstration. For how else is Abraham’s seed to inherit the land, or David’s seed to inherit his throne? To transfer David’s throne or Christ’s inheritance to the air or to the third heaven is simply to make the Covenant and promises null and void, seeing that that inheritance, throne, and Kingdom is here on the earth, and not in the air or the third heaven. And when the Bible represents this Inheritor and King to come to this earth to claim His covenanted right, and leaves Him here in possession of it, that man certainly takes a great liberty who places David’s Son elsewhere than in His inheritance and Kingdom. No one, that we have thus far read, pretends even to give a single passage to prove such a return, but simply infers it from considerations of his own. How could such a return to heaven, or withdrawal from the earth, possibly be a fulfilment of the Covenant to David that His Son should reign on His throne forever? And would this fulfil the Prophets, who, with one voice, declare that David’s Son shall reign gloriously in Jerusalem, the seat of David’s throne, in the midst of the Jewish nation, over the nations of the earth? No! we dare not thus neutralize the precious promises of God. This perversion of Covenant and promise arises from not clearly apprehending what Kingdom is promised to Jesus as Son of Man, as David’s Son, and that the humanity of Jesus is to sustain this Kingship, the Divine being united with Him in this Theocratic relationship (see Props. 81, 82, 83, 200, etc.). The Divine in Christ, whatever it may perform in the exercise of Divine Sovereignty in the universe, is associated with “the man ordained” to exhibit a perfect, visible Theocratic government. Let us repeat: Christ is not to come again simply as the Son of God (that relationship to the Father is indeed indispensably requisite to make provision for salvation, to perfect it, and to establish the Theocracy in a permanent form), but pre-eminently and significantly (as the repeated promises to and name of Son of Man fully indicate) as the Son of Man, for the latter is the relationship specifically demanded in the Covenant to be visibly shown and acknowledged to be such by all. Does the Covenant and its promises remain satisfied by a mere visit, as it were, to the predicted inheritance? Such theories, refined to suit the taste of unbelief or weak faith, were utterly unknown to the early Church, whose strong faith firmly grasped and clung to the Covenant in this particular, believing that the underlying idea in it embraced a continual personal presence. We confess an admiration of the men, who, now the objects of witticisms and ridicule from infidels and even professed believers, thus accepted, with Abrahamic and Davidic faith, of the Covenant as it reads, and received the voice of the Prophets as they also read, and boldly and unequivocally avowed their belief in such a precious presence; enforcing it by the predictions that Christ should return and dwell and reign in Jerusalem, having rebuilt the ruined tabernacle of David in majesty; that He shall rule in it gloriously, making it the place of His throne; that the restored Jewish nation, as well as the saints, shall see Him in His glory; that all nations shall at Jerusalem acknowledge His supremacy, etc. In all this, no matter what man may say, there is, at least, a regular and consistent fulfilment of the Word of God. With them we regard this very presence as a necessary adjunct to redemption, inasmuch as redemption is to be perfected by the Second Adam in this Theocratic relation. While He is carrying on the Divine Purpose intended by this Theocratic-Davidic government, viz., to redeem the race as a race from the curse, He should also, at the same time and in the same place where man fell, exhibit in Himself, as the Head and in a corporate body of His brethren, perfected salvation. By Christ’s salvation is not meant that He is to be saved from sin (for He was without sin, otherwise the sacrifice of Himself would have been imperfect and unavailing, and death also would have had dominion over Him), but that as Abraham’s seed, assuming flesh for our sakes, with its weakness, imperfections (i e. natural, subject to disease, sleep, etc.), liability to the corruption of death, He now exhibits in Himself as man a complete deliverance from all those evils voluntarily assumed, and thus a triumph over our enemies, an impressive representation of the power of holiness united with the love of the Father, a Second Adam, in whose person incarnation is glorified. For we must ever keep in mind that Christ is not only “the Second Adam,” because a similarity is implied between Christ and the redeemed, resembling that between Adam and his descendants, in that, as death is transmitted by the first Adam, so life is bestowed through the Second Adam (“As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive,” etc.), but He is also designated such because in Himself, as man, is to be exhibited “the image of God,” defaced by the fall of the first Adam; and hence, as a necessary connection with that image, the dominion originally granted to the first Adam is also in Him restored. Theologians, of almost every class, concede such a restoration. Therefore, it is eminently proper and requisite that in the person of Christ, through whom the race is to be redeemed, should be shown, as that Second Adam, the complete restoration of all that the first Adam forfeited; among others, including the restoration and retention of the forfeited inheritance (which led to those covenant promises that Christ should inherit the land, etc.), the restoration and retention of the dominion or kingly power, which was forfeited as well as moral rectitude, the immortality of man, and the perpetuation of the race in a state of innocency and purity. However, to do and manifest this requires the personal presence of the Second Adam in His restored inheritance and dominion, in order that not only the promises may be verified, but that the most ample, actual, experimental proof may thus be afforded in the person of the Redeemer, the Head of the body, that in Him, our second living Head, we have attained unto all (not a part) that the first Adam (and we through him) forfeited by sin. This Second Adam thus stands forth in our system a revealed representative of God, such as the first Adam was designed to become had he not fallen. This David’s Son, crowned with greater glory because of His unbroken union with the Divine, occupies, as Restorer, Adam’s place; and if so, how can we, how dare we separate His presence from the place thus restored? This is shadowed forth in Ps. 8 and Heb. 2, and is justly claimed by us as the crowning feature in redemption. For without a personal Second Adam present, redemption itself is incomplete, imperfect.*

Obs. 8. Our argument is cumulative, and to avoid undue repeating we pass by the prophetical reasoning to be drawn from Dan., chs. 2, 7, etc., that the outward, external, visible world-dominion which the Chaldean monarch contemplated was to be realized fully in the Messiah. We also leave unnoticed the numerous predictions which emphatically declare the visible reign of Jesus here on earth, for they will all be brought forth under various following Propositions. It is in the very nature of a manifested Theocracy that there should be (as already foreshown in the past Theocratic arrangement), not simply faith, but sight. Dr. Brown (Christ’s Sec. Com., P. 2, ch. 5) emphatically declares that there is “no Millennial mixture of faith and sight.” He takes to task Brookes’s saying, that “in the Millennial state there will be an open vision of Christ,” and that “it will be a dispensation in which the saints will continually have personal access to Christ.” He censures Elliott for teaching a “visibly manifested” conjunction of the earthly and heavenly Jerusalem; he condemns Lord for saying that the nations have access to the glorified (symbolized by the open gates, etc.), and that “they are never to be without the visible presence of God; that its gates are never shut, and that the nations are to enjoy uninterrupted access to the glorified.” He ridicules Birks, McNeile, Bickersteth, and Maitland for teaching such a visible revelation and such an access to the city, such a “seeing the Lord of Hosts manifested in the human nature of Jesus reigning in Mt. Zion,” such a visible manifestation of glory that impresses the nations, and such a change in dispensation that sight shall also be introduced. Of course any one who denies that the sight of Jesus (Zech. 12:10; Ezek. 20:35) will influence the future conversion of the Jews; who rejects the seeing of Matt. 23:39; Zech. 14:1, etc.; who finds no place in his system of theology for the everlasting Covenant of David; who spiritualizes Jerusalem, Mt. Zion, etc., and denies a future incoming dispensational change—can find nothing of sight, no matter how plainly presented.*

  PROPOSITION 132. This view of the Kingdom confirmed by the Judgeship of Christ.

The Judgeship of Jesus establishes our doctrine of the Kingdom, the Pre-Mill. Advent, and His continued personal presence as the King. Intending to show that Judgeship and Kingship are in Scripture equivalent terms, it follows that if they are such, then, since the Kingship is specifically promised to Jesus Christ as the Son of Man, made thus necessary by the covenant, so also the Judgeship ought to be expressed. This is done. He is the Judge because He is “the man ordained,” Acts 17:31. Some theologians tell us that the reason why the Father thus constituted Jesus the Judge is (Knapp’s Ch. Theol., p. 542) “because He is man and knows from His own experience all the sufferings and infirmities to which our nature is exposed, and can therefore be compassionate and indulgent.” But the reader can see a far deeper reason, grounded on the Covenant. It is said, “The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son; that all men should honor the Son even as they honor the Father,” John 5:22, 23, and in verse 27 it is added: “and hath given Him authority to execute judgment also, because He is the Son of Man.” Why the Son of Man? Because to this Son of Man as David’s Son is promised the Kingdom, and Judgeship being included in the promised Theocratic-Davidic government, the Father only judges through this Son. The promises based on the covenant require such authority to be given to and to be manifested through the Covenanted Seed. Hence, as the second Adam recovering the dominion lost by the first Adam; as the woman’s seed who is to crush the serpent’s head; as the promised seed of Abraham who is to inherit the land, possess the gate of His enemies, and make all nations blessed; as the Son of David who is to reign so gloriously over the earth; as the God-man who perfects salvation through a Theocratic ordering—it is indispensably necessary for Him to occupy such a position to meet the predetermined plan of Redemption.

Obs. 1. Before entering into a discussion of this interesting and delightful subject it is proper to say that no single doctrine is perhaps so greatly misapprehended as this one; for which we are indebted to the originators of monkery and to the schoolmen. Multitudes, embracing even talented and able divines, instead of confining themselves to scriptural representations to ascertain the mind of the Spirit, are content to accept of the interpretations drawn from the writings of monks, mystics, etc., or from false systems of philosophy, human imagination, heathen mythology, descriptions of poetry, paintings, modern definitions of Judge, etc. The early Church, and that band of witnesses which taught the Pre-Mill. Advent and the personal reign of Christ here on earth, have assumed the responsibility of explaining the Judgeship of Christ in one way; those who reject that Advent and reign have taken the responsibility of teaching it quite differently. In view of our accountability in handling the Word, we shall endeavor carefully to base every step in our examination of this important matter upon that infallible Guide, and each one is required, as Luther so forcibly taught, to exercise the right of judgment in determining whether the Scriptures contain what we assert.

Obs. 2. It seems to the writer that a simple striking fact, frequently repeated in the Scriptures, ought to be sufficient of itself to cause the student to reject the prevailing Popish notion of the Judgeship, or at least to induce him, if an advocate of it, to a renewed examination. It is this: the Prophets describe this Judgeship—the exercise of it—as a matter of congratulation and rejoicing, and not, as it would be if it only denoted judicial investigation of character, a subject of dread or apprehension. Thus e.g. Ps. 67:4, “O let the nations be glad, and sing for joy; for Thou shalt judge the people righteously, and govern the nations upon earth.” Comp. Ps. 96:10–13; Ps. 98:5–9, etc. It is represented as a joyful event by the Spirit; one which will cause exultation and happiness, and this only becomes apparent if we understand it to embrace the reign, Kingdom of Jesus.*

Obs. 3. Jesus Christ is the Judge, Acts 17:31; Matt. 24:30; Rom. 14:9, 10; John 5:22; Acts 10:40; Matt. 25:31, etc. The question that we are to propose and answer is this: Are we to understand by this Judgeship that Christ only sits in a judicial capacity to determine cases; that as Judge He only presides in a tribunal of justice to decide respecting the innocence or guilt of men; or, is far more embraced in this term, such as judicial, legislative, and executive action, a supreme power, Kingly rule? If we take the Bible idea of Judge, instead of the restricted, more modern sense engrafted upon it, there is no difficulty in replying that the latter is intended. By reference to the Judges that God raised up to “judge Israel” (such as Gideon, Samson, Jephthah, Eli, Samuel, etc.), it is found that their office consisted in enforcing the Theocratic rule, in executing the laws, subduing enemies, punishing evildoers, and promoting the prosperity of the nation. They were rulers, ruling over the nation in order to advance its Interests (Judges 2:16–19, etc.). When Moses judged the people he acted as a Ruler, making known and executing the laws of God; and when he followed Jethro’s advice to make other Judges, it is expressly said that he “made them heads over the people, rulers of thousands, rulers of hundreds, rulers of fifties, and rulers of tens, and they judged the people,” etc. (Ex. 18:14–26). Dr. Clarke, Com. Pref. to Judges, says: “The persons called Judges, ‘shophetim,’ were the heads or chiefs of the Israelites who governed the Hebrew Republic (Theocracy) from the days of Moses and Joshua till the time of Saul. The word Judge is not to be taken here in its usual signification, i.e. one who determines controversies and denounces the judgment of the law in criminal cases, but one who directs and rules a state or nation with Sovereign power, administers justice, makes peace or war, and leads the armies of the people over whom he presides. Horne (Introd., vol. 2, p. 42) says: “The authority of the Judges was not inferior to that which was afterward exercised by the Kings; it extended to peace and war. They decided causes without appeal, but they had no power to enact new laws or to impose new burdens upon the people. They were protectors of the laws, defenders of religion, and avengers of crimes.” The same idea is noticeable when the Jews requested a King, they called his ruling a judging. In 1 Sam. 8:5, 6, 20, “all the elders of Israel” said “make us a King to judge us.” “We will have a king over us, that we also may be like other nations, and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.” Judgeship was therefore regarded as the equivalent of rulership, of kingly rule; and how largely this idea is incorporated with Scripture will appear in the quotations that will follow. From the use of the word already stated, it is a just conclusion, drawn by the early Church and many eminent writers,3 that when Jesus is represented to be revealed as the Judge, we are not to understand that He only presides as a Jurist to pronounce innocent or guilty, as the case may be, but that He rules in a princely manner, exercises a kingly office, is revealed as King of kings, Sovereign of the world, and that His Judgeship, being Theocratic, consists in exercising all the powers of a Supreme Governor, legislative and executive as well as judicial, so that the acts of His Judgeship shall be manifested in issuing His decrees, executing His laws, punishing offenders, rewarding the faithful, and carrying on the Divine Theocratic ordering of His Kingdom. In other words, the Judgeship is identical with the predicted reign of Christ, commencing with the Millennial era—an age inaugurated and carried on by the most astonishing manifestations of Sovereign power, judicial, legislative, and executive.

Obs. 4. To confirm this position there are numerous converging arguments. 1. It is linked with His Advent and His Kingdom, as in 2 Tim. 4:1, “who shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom.” After His appearing is His Kingdom, and judging is connected with both. 2. The Coming of the Lord to judge is united with the Covenant and made synonymous with reigning, as in 1 Chron. 16:14–19 and 31–33. 3. The “judgment seat” of 2 Cor. 5:10, upon which Christ sits, is translated, Acts 12:21, “throne.” And in comparing Scripture, it is found that when the Son of Man does this judging, He is represented as seated, not on the Father’s throne, but His own throne—that is, the one He inherits in virtue of being David’s Son. To indicate how the Spirit so accurately distinguishes between those thrones it is only necessary to consider Matt. 25:31, “He shall sit upon the throne of His glory,” compared with Rev. 3:21, where the Father’s throne in heaven is distinguished from “my throne”—a distinction made requisite by the Covenant to David. Whatever of Sovereignty may be displayed by the Divine on the Father’s throne, we must bear in mind, as constantly essential, that as the throne covenanted to Jesus Christ belongs to Him as the Son of Man, those allusions to “My throne,” “His throne,” etc., have undoubted reference to His humanity, and therefore must be, in the nature of the case, understood as separate and distinct from the throne in the third heaven. The references must correspond with the covenant and predictions of the prophets. 4. Many prophetical passages unite this Judgeship with the general one of government, as Ps. 9:7, 8; Ps. 96:10, 13; Ps. 82:8, etc. So that, as a multitude of predictions of this kind evidence, reigning, ruling, governing, and judging are regarded as synonymes, so that all our concordances give as one of its distinctive meanings, “to rule, govern, or reign.” 5. This judging, as our argument demands, is united with predictions of Christ’s sitting upon David’s throne. Thus e.g. Isa. 9:6, 7; Isa. 16:5; Jer. 33:15. The prophets plainly declare that when the revealed King, David’s Son and Lord, re-establishes the covenanted throne and Kingdom, He is manifested as the Judge of Israel and of the nations. 6. This Judgeship is also united with the restoration of the Jewish nation, with which the Davidic throne is united, as e.g. Jer. 23:5–8, etc. 7. Saints are co-heirs with Jesus in this Judgeship, for they are to judge with Him on earth. But the passages explanatory of this Judgeship (comp. Prop. 154) represent it as equivalent to the possession of authority, rulership, or kingship. 8. There is no act ascribed to this Kingly office of Christ, but what is also identified with this Judgeship, both in Coming and Kingdom. In the delineation of the Mill. era, the latter forms a prominent feature of it. We give a few illustrations: When the majesty of God in Zion is declared, the gathering of His saints, and the issuing forth of a tempestuous fire is announced, Ps. 50, it is added: “He shall call to the heavens from above and to the earth, that He may judge His people”—i.e. re-enter that Theocratical predicted relationship—“and the heavens shall declare His righteousness, for God is Judge Himself.” That this refers to Christ is evident from Micah 5:1, where Jesus is designated “the Judge of Israel,” from the delegating of this judging to Him by the Father, from the Oneness of Father and Son, and from the same things being pointedly ascribed to the Son. In the light of this, many passages present a forcible meaning, as in Ps. 94, “O Lord God, to whom vengeance belongeth; O God, to whom vengeance belongeth, show Thyself. Lift up Thyself, Thou Judge of the earth.” Reading on, we ascertain that this revelation of this Judge is desired, that the wicked may not triumph, that the righteous and the inheritance may be delivered, and that the throne of iniquity may be overthrown and His own be substituted. So in Ps. 7, where prayer is offered for deliverance from enemies, and a firm trust is expressed that God will arise and save the upright and punish the wicked, it is said: “the Lord shall judge the people,” “God judgeth the righteous.” And what this denotes is apparent from Ps. 9, for, after evincing the desire to praise and rejoice in God, the reason is assigned: “when mine enemies are turned back, they shall fall and perish at thy presence. For Thou hast maintained my right and my cause (i.e. the covenanted); Thou satest in the throne judging right.” Notice, too, that this is done when the Psalmist is “lifted up from the gates of death (res.), that I may show forth all thy praise in the gates of the daughter of Zion,” etc. The student can readily find an abundance of such allusions, a rich golden vein in the prophetic mine. As e.g. in that class of Psalms (96, 97, 98, etc.) which begin with “the Lord reigneth,” and then describe the exaltation of the saints, the utter removal of wickedness, etc., and generally incorporate or conclude with expressions referring to the Coming of the Lord “to judge the earth; with righteousness shall He judge the world, and the people with equity,” etc. The same strain is found in Jer. 23:5–8; Isa. 30:18, 19, etc., so that, as ancient and modern writers have correctly observed, the Millennial descriptions either contain or are preceded or followed by representations of this Judgeship. His judicial power shall be especially exercised, when this age is to be ushered in, against the nations of the earth; His legislative, executive, and judicial power in the restoration of His own people and establishment of His Kingdom, in the complete subjugation of all nations to His supremacy, and in the binding of Satan; all the attributes of Judgeship will be exhibited in the administrations of His government in that era, so that all the righteous shall, as the Psalmist predicts, rejoice and be glad in His Judgeship; and at the close of this age the Judge’s power will, in a striking manner, be manifested in the raising of the wicked dead, the confirming of their sentence, the final and eternal overthrow of all wickedness, and the continued everlasting security and blessedness of His people. 9. The word “judgment” is employed, as concordances show, to designate “the governing power of Christ,” and in this light many passages become significant of the future rule of Christ, as e.g. Isa. 42:4; Ps. 76:9; Ps. 94:15, etc. This arises from the fact that “judgment” itself is derived from “determined”—this kingly office of Christ being covenanted, predetermined. 10. Christ is revealed as King and as Judge, the terms being convertible, at the time of the Pre-Millenial harvest. Compare the parable of Tares and Wheat with Rev. 14, Joel 3, Rev. 19, etc. 11. In Rev. 11, at the time (under last trumpet) the Sovereignty of the world is given to Christ, as part of His Kingly office, judging is announced. 12. A variety of additional reasons will be given under the judging of the saints, the Judgment Day, the Day of Christ, etc., so that we must conclude that the phrase “the Judge of Israel” is equivalent to “the king of Israel;” “the righteous Judge,” to that of “the righteous King,” or “a King shall reign in righteousness,” to that of “He shall judge the world in righteousness.”

Obs. 5. The modern usage of the words “Judge” and “Judgment” have misled many in comprehending this subject, so that some assert, as Priest, that they cannot see how the Millennial period and judgment can be blended. A reference to any concordance would explain the matter, for those words are used in a variety of ways, as in trying a cause, discerning, reckoning, as well as in ruling, governing, etc., and the meaning to be attached to the word in any particular case must be determined by the context, general analogy—in brief, by the laws controlling language, giving the preference in all cases to scriptural usage. Because “judge” is employed to designate judicial action, that is no reason for discarding the additional meanings attached to it by the Word of God. In this discussion it is sufficient to notice that Judgeship is ascribed to the Kingly, Sovereign power of God and of His Son, and that whatever of judgment there has been in the past or is going on now, or attends us at death, or at the resurrection, or in the Coming Kingdom, etc., it does not affect our line of argument, but confirms it, because all this is represented as an exertion of Divine Sovereignty. The question that we are to decide is not whether judicial action belongs to the station of a judge—this is admitted by all—but whether, when Christ is revealed as Judge, this Judgeship is not an equivalent to His Kingly rule. This we think is already conclusively proven, and therefore those writers who fail to discriminate in this particular make a serious mistake which materially concerns the interpretation of a large portion of Scripture. The Judgeship of Christ is not only perfectly consistent with the glory and blessedness of the Millennial period, but indispensably necessary to secure it. And in this connection it may be added, that the proof of Christ’s Judgeship as given by Paul, viz., Acts 17:31, “whereof He hath given assurance unto all men in that He hath raised Him from the dead,” is precisely the identical proof required by the covenant to show that David’s Son is to reign as “the man ordained” in the immortal manner predicted. The duration of this Judgeship is of such a nature that it cannot be predicated of mortal man; whereas in His glorified humanity, never more subject to death, He is abundantly able to verify the promises relating to His Judgeship or Kingship.

Obs. 6. The concessions made by writers when not directly opposing us are decidedly in our favor. Thus, to illustrate from a popular Commentator: Barnes, Com., is unwilling to admit that Christ’s ruling with a rod of iron (judging), Rev. 19, denotes His Sovereign power exerted at His personal Coming. He refers it rather to providential movements, spiritual power, by which all things shall be subdued, etc. In Rev. 2:27, however, when coming to the same promise given to the saints, a difficulty presents itself, viz., that it would be unreasonable and against fact to ascribe such power now to the saints. He therefore correctly applies this ruling with a rod of iron to the period of the judgment. After showing that the phraseology denotes “a power that is firm and invincible,” that “no power can oppose His rule,” and that “the enemies of His government would be destroyed,” he adds: “the speaker does not intimate when this will be, but all that is said here would be applicable to that time when the Son of God will come to judge the world, and when His saints will be associated with Him in His triumphs.” Taking this admission given by an opponent, it follows that the Son of Man and the saints enter upon this ruling with a rod of iron personally at the beginning of the Millennium, for at that period the Spirit locates it in Rev. 19, and in Ps. 2 it is also associated with the manifestation of “the King” in Zion.

Obs. 7. This judging is connected with the casting out of Satan. This might be argued from Rev. 19 with the following context, and the general tenor of Millennial descriptions indicating freedom from evil, etc., but we confine ourselves briefly to John 12:31. When Christ came to suffer and die under the provisions made for Redemption, He did not assume the character of Judge or King. Yet He says: “Now is the judgment of this world; now shall the Prince of this world be cast out,” and this is stated in connection with His death, by which this would be brought about, and He (as David’s Son), by the accompanying resurrection, would become the one of whom “we have heard out of the law that Christ abideth forever.” Here the future is spoken of as present (Prop. 65, Obs. 9), His death being merely provisionary, for Jesus expressly declares in the same chapter that He came not to judge the world; down to the present time there has been no such judgment, and Satan has not yet been cast out. That a meaning is not forced out of the passage is evident from what Barnes, loci, says of it: he referring its fulfilment to the Future Day of Judgment and explaining its reference to the death as follows: “Now is approaching the decisive scene, the eventful period—the crisis—when it shall be determined who shall rule this world.” The reader, however, is reminded that this judgment and this casting out of Satan thus linked together, the Spirit informs us, is fulfilled at a Pre-Mill. Advent, when Satan himself is bound and confined. Then the Sovereignty, justly claimed by the Son in virtue of covenanted relationship and obedience unto a triumphant death, is publicly assumed. What the Spirit has thus joined together and located in fulfilment, it is daring for us to separate.

Obs. 8. It is no wonder that infidels treat this subject with scorn when it is handled, wildly and outrageously, by otherwise able Christian writers, such as e.g. Reuss. In Reuss’s His. Ch. Theol. of the Apos. Age, he frankly admits that the Evangelists clearly teach the views that we entertain, such as the personal Coming of Christ, the idea of judging, saying of the latter, “the Apostles especially, as a recompense of their devotedness, shall sit as judges judging the twelve tribes of Israel, and then the Kingdom shall commence,” etc. He emphatically declares that “these representations are clear and simple; they have nothing equivocal about them,” etc. “It is evident that the narrators, who serve as our guides, took every word literally, and had not a shadow of doubt in reference to the matter.” Then Reuss adds that, because of their Judaistic, Rabbinical correspondence, “grave doubts arise, and it seems impossible that Jesus should have repeated that which the most ordinary Rabbi had long preached in the synagogue.” The result to which Reuss comes, after traducing the faith of the Evangelists and the sense grammatically expressed by Jesus, is to reject the plain “unequivocal” teaching, and search out and fasten upon it “a meaning different from that which at first suggests itself.” This meaning he finds in death, resurrection, etc., opening a wide door for mystical applications, thus manufacturing a pliant mortar to daub over the promises; for he remarks under this meaning: “the seats of honor may well be dismissed from the dogmatic explanation of the Gospel prophecy,” etc. In this total misapprehension of judgment he places Jesus above “the delusive imagination of the prophet,” etc., not seeing that he is actually pulling down most precious material with one hand while endeavoring to build up inferior stuff with the other; that he is engaged in destroying the credibility of the narrators; in making Christ’s language, knowing their views, an accommodation, deception, etc. If we understand the utterances of Jesus in their true grammatical relation, then, according to Reuss, He “seems here suddenly to give expression to the most visionary hopes as to the immediate future—hopes based not upon an estimate of the natural progress of events, but upon the wildest dreams of fanatic patriots among his countrymen Do we really find, side by side, with predictions ratified by the event and signally proving the exactness of His knowledge of the future, an error so monstrous that the lie direct is given by history to the most solemn promise of the Saviour?” The “lie” is all in Reuss’s imagination, and arises from his basing all fulfilment upon his own “estimate of the natural progress of events,” and overlooking the postponement of the Kingdom. Leaving the discussion of the particular promise alluded to by him to the Prop. (154) on the Reign of the Saints, we may say that Christ will take care of the fulfilment of His promises respecting judging, and that His promises are not to be measured by past fulfilment, but left to the period indicated by the Spirit. Alas! how painful to meet such unbelief in such men—unbelief which, perhaps honestly intends to exalt Christ, but virtually condemns His language and belittles the faith of His followers. The whole theory of this class is this: we are not to understand the Word as it reads—if we do it leads to “Judaistic” notions—but we must “spiritualize the letter” and “idealize the picture of the coming age.” Spiritualizing even covenants, it causes no surprise to see the mystical results.*

  PROPOSITION 133. This view of the Kingdom is confirmed by “the Day of Judgment.”

If the monkish view of the day of judgment, now so prevalent even among Protestants, is correct, then it follows that, it being deemed the period of the winding up, or ending, of all sublunary things, no place can be found for such a Kingdom after it. But, on the other hand, if it can be conclusively shown that this day of judgment is connected with, enters into, and follows through the Millennial era, then it materially aids in supporting our view of the Covenanted Kingdom. That it does this is already evidenced by preceding Propositions, but the Spirit affords us in the Word additional reasons to sustain our belief.

Obs. 1. Again the reader is reminded that the Jewish and Early Church doctrine of the Judgment Day is something very different from the Popish doctrine now so generally entertained. The notion of an assize, a universal gathering of dead and living, pious and wicked, before a tribunal at which character is to be tested, etc., was developed in the Church several centuries later, in the form now held by many writers. On all sides are to be found utterances concerning the judgment utterly unknown, and completely antagonistic to the doctrine once held by the Church. The modern writers, with here and there an exception, express the same hostility to the ancient view. Take a recent author, Dr. Bascom, in his Sermons, 1 series, sec. 11, “The Judgment,” most eloquently indorses the Popish view, calling it “a day concluding the world’s existence” “a day which shall wrap the universe of man in writhing distortions and dash to pieces the structure of nature,” etc., and adding: “This day terminates alike the dispensations and dealings of heaven in relation to our fallen planet.” Such quotations might almost be indefinitely multiplied, as evidence of the widespread and falsely extravagant representations of the Word of God on this point; but they are not needed, as every reader must be more or less acquainted with their sad existence.

Obs. 2. Our views (Millenarian) respecting judgment are almost invariably misrepresented (with some honorable exceptions, as Barnes, Brown, Fairbairn) by our opposers; and in no work specially written against us is exhibited a candid statement of our scriptural position. Some writers, as one in Presby. Quarterly Review, 1853, so pervert our doctrine as to make it imply that we hold Rev. 20:11–15 to precede the Mill. age, which no one does. In a recent commentary, only so much, and that incidental, of our argument is given that the writer felt able to refute, while the leading reasons presented by us were totally ignored. Even so ignorant (will not say designedly) are some writers that our doctrine of the Judgment is classed with that of the Millerites, when the fact is that the Millerite doctrine on the subject is identical with their own, and bears no resemblance whatever to ours. Another class of writers, more insidious, attack our doctrine under a professed harmony, which is a mere jumbling together of passages, without discriminating between the time of their fulfilment. The truth is, that in looking over a large number of works opposed to us, not one (unless Dr. Brown’s of Glasgow can be called an exception, which it is not) takes up our Scriptural reasons given and endeavors to show that these Scriptures are to be understood differently, as e.g. that our view of the Judgeship of Christ, of the Judgment Day, and of their connection with the Millennium, is erroneous. Instead of a comparison of Scripture, and founding an opinion on the mind of the Spirit as thus presented, the proof alleged is entirely inferential and indirect. Thus, to illustrate: Steele (Essay on Ch. Kingdom, Bib. Sac. Nov. 1849), Brown (Ch. Sec. Coming), Beattie (Dis. on Mill. State), Waldegrave (Lec. on N. T. Mill.), Barnes (Com.), etc., all without exception take it for granted (without meeting and answering our arguments concerning the passages quoted), that e.g. Matt. 25 (and Scriptures which simply allege the Coming of Christ to judgment and which affirm that all men shall be judged without assigning the order or time), must necessarily mean to judicially judge “all mankind,” “the entire race,” at the same time, so that “the whole number of the saved and the whole number of the lost, in two vast assemblies, meets our eyes,” “the generations of men cease,” etc. Leaving the reader to consult Mill. authors who have reviewed those works in detail (as Lord’s Lit. and Theol. Journal, etc.), for a minute consideration of each passage assigned, it is only requisite to give an illustration of this mode of handling the Word of God, seeing that the main objection urged by them (viz., that all the righteous and all the wicked will be judged together at the same time) is fully answered by our adopted line of argument. In illustration we select 2 Cor. 5:9–21: “For we must all appear before the judgment seat of Christ, that every one,” etc. Now it is affirmed that this teaching, that “all appear,” etc., it includes all at the same time. But this is not contained in the passage; and this Scripture itself must be interpreted in the light of others. To put on the words “all” “every one” an emphasis to include the time, if applied to other Scripture, would be absurd, as e.g. 1 Cor. 15:22, etc.* All shall appear before His Throne (judgment seat is translated throne, Acts 12:21), but at different periods, as e.g. before the Mill. age and at its close—(we leave the proof in our regular order of argument). Without discussing what critics tell us the words here denote, implying not merely a standing, etc., before the throne, but a being manifested to receive the stations, positions, rewards, proportionate to their deeds, etc., the attention of our opponents is called to a certain weakness in their argument. They frequently censure us for bringing the saints back before this very throne to receive stations of honor, kingship, and priesthood, that they may reign, pronouncing it derogatory, degrading, etc., after the honor, bliss, and glory enjoyed. They evidently forget this objection, when they bring those same saints before this same throne to undergo a judicial investigation. Our view surely entails nothing so derogatory upon them, for the very fact of the resurrection of the saints, thus counted worthy of it, and the non-resurrection of the wicked at the time of the first resurrection, counted unworthy of it, proves to us a pre-existing judgment. Our opponents have much to say, and truthfully, that the condition of the individual is determined, in some way even at death, and that his future destiny is shaped by the moral character then sustained, and that this must be the result of judgment exercised. If so, the question arises, Why subject these same parties—especially taking Brown’s, Barnes’s, etc. idea that the saints have been, many of them for centuries upon centuries, in the third heaven enjoying a development of glory indescribable, etc.—to be brought before a tribunal to undergo a scrutiny of character? This difficulty and others vanish only if we allow the legitimate meaning given to the original by commentators, which involves our idea, that the saints are manifested before that throne to be assigned their position as rulers in the Kingdom, which apportionment is only done at the manifestation of the Kingdom itself, and is proportioned to the deeds done in the body. Such a manifestation is one that we are led to expect. If the objection is raised that Paul included in the word “all” also the wicked, it can be readily granted, for they too at a certain period shall have their final condition awarded by Him who sits on that throne. If it can be shown that all are judged, whether at one time or at different times, the affirmation of the passage is amply sustained. All are raised from the dead, but each in his own order; so also all shall stand before His throne, but each in his order.

Obs. 3. The Judgment Day is inseparably linked with the personal presence of the Judge, and therefore, as we proceed, it is unnecessary to repeat what all admit. It is very essential to our doctrine to find the judgment united with the Coming of the Son of Man. Mede (Works, B. 3, p. 762) long ago observed that Dan. 7 contains “The mother text of Scripture, whence the Jews grounded the name and expectation of the Great Day of Judgment.” In following Propositions the Jewish view of “the Day of Judgment” and “the Day of the Great Judgment,” will be given, including and associated with the personal coming of the Messiah and of “His day.” Is it not singular, to say the least, that if the Jews were mistaken in identifying the Day of Judgment with the Coming of the Son of Man in Daniel, and with the reign of the Messiah, that Jesus and the Apostles, by adopting and using the very phraseology current among the Jews, should thus confirm the Jewish usage of the phrases? Our opposers, as Stuart, Barnes, etc., concede that in the N. T. the phrases “the Day of Judgment,” “the Judgment of the Great Day,” embraces this personal Coming of the Messiah; and this concession, as far as it goes, is important, and may well cause us to ask, Does it not include much more, even the association with the reign of David’s Son during the blessed Mill. period described by the prophets and believed in by the Jews? The facts (1) that the phrases originated with Jewish believers, and (2) that they are employed without the least intimation that they are to be understood differently, certainly ought to have some weight with the student.

Obs. 4. The Judgment Day is designated, Acts 17:31, “He hath appointed a day wherein He will judge the world in righteousness,” etc. By this is evidently meant that a fixed, determined time has been set apart, which, by way of eminence, is called “the Day of Judgment,” in which Christ shall be revealed as the Judge. It is variously presented, as in Rom. 2:16; 1 Thess. 5; 2; 1 Cor. 1:8, etc. It is called “a day,” which in the largeness of prophecy does not indicate an ordinary day, or even a brief period of time, but may include a long, extended time. The word is employed to denote time indefinitely, as “the day of trouble,” “the day of adversity,” “the day of prosperity,” etc. Again, it is used to designate definite periods, either short or long, as e.g. the six days of creation are called “day” Gen. 2:4; the forty years in the wilderness are named, Heb. 3:8; Ps. 95:8, “the day of temptation;” the times of the Messiah are called by the prophets “that day,” “the day of the Lord,” as Isa. 24:21, 23; Zech. 14, etc.; “the day of salvation” 2 Cor. 6:2, “the day,” Heb. 3:7, 13; Ps. 118:24, etc., are admitted to embrace an entire dispensation. It is well known that prophecy speaks of events occurring “in that day,” which the fulfilment snows occupied hundreds of years in fulfilling. Reference might be made to other passages, such as John 8:56; 1 Cor. 5:5; Deut. 33:12, etc., all showing this usage by the Spirit Therefore, in approaching a subject like this, the student’s attention should at once be directed to the applicability of this feature to the Day of Judgment, especially since it was thus understood by the pious Jews.

Obs. 5. The scholastic or eccles. terms “the Last Judgment,” Dr. Knapp (Ch. Theol., p. 542) frankly says is not employed in the New Test., and that the phrases “the last day” or “last days” are not “used exclusively with reference to the end of the world. They often designate merely the future, coming days—e.g. 2 Tim. 3:1; 2 Pet. 3:3. They sometimes also denote the last period of the world, or, the times of the Messiah, e.g. Heb. 1:2; 1 Pet. 1:20,” etc. Such concessions could be multiplied, but are unnecessary. The Jewish and Early Church view is abundantly sustained by the opinions of eminent writers of various classes. To illustrate: John Wesley, Ser. on Rom. 14:10 (Works), says: “The time termed by the Prophet ‘the great and terrible day’ is usually in Scripture styled the Day of the Lord. The space from the creation of man upon the earth, to the end of all things, is the day of the sons of men; the time that is now passing over us is properly our day; when this is ended, the day of the Lord will begin. But who can say how long it will continue? ‘With the Lord one day is a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,’ 2 Pet. 3:8. And from this very expression, some of the ancient fathers drew that inference, that, what is commonly called the Day of Judgment would indeed be a thousand years; and it seems they did not go beyond the truth; nay, probably they did not come up to it,” etc. He affirms that what is done at the Judgment Day could not possibly be confined to less than a thousand years. Bh. Newton (Diss. on Proph., vol. 2, p. 377), speaking of the Seventh Millenary, remarks: “According to tradition too, these thousand years of the reign of Christ and the saints are ‘the great Day of Judgment;’ in the morning or beginning whereof shall be the coming of Christ in flaming fire, and the particular judgment of Antichrist and the first resurrection; and in the evening or conclusion whereof shall be the general resurrection of the dead.” Now let us proceed to ascertain the correctness of such inferences, and see whether they are not abundantly sustained by the direct testimony of the Word.

Obs. 6. Peter certainly knew the Jewish view of the Messiah’s Judgeship, the Day of Judgment, etc., and yet he in the plainest possible manner confirms the truthfulness of it. In 2 Pet. 3:7, 8 he introduces the Coming of the Saviour and the reservation of the heavens and earth unto fire “against the Day of Judgment and the perdition of ungodly men,” and then adds: “But, beloved, be not ignorant of this one thing, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years and a thousand years as one day.” Having just mentioned “the Day of Judgment,” he guards the expression by the words following, lest it should be limited to a short period, or even to a literal day. Foreseeing, by the Spirit, this very error into which multitudes have fallen, he cautions us that this “day” of which he writes, may include, at least, a thousand years. The expression quoted, in its twofold application to time, certainly conveys the idea that we are not to limit its duration to a brief period; and when the same Spirit includes, in what the Prophets call “the day,” the thousand years of Rev. 20, then the amplitude of “the day” is verified. In accord with this, in Heb. 4:1–11, the great Sabbatism, the Rest or Sabbath day remaining for God’s children, is called “a day.” And in Rom. 13:12 it is said, “the night is far spent, the day is at hand,” in which the nature of the two ages is described, the one of trial and the other of light and glory; and the duration of time is embraced, the night being this dispensation, and the day the coming age or dispensation. Now if we turn to the Prophets they with one accord term “the day,” “His day,” “that day,” etc., the very period of time in which the Lord comes to judge or reign—to inflict judgments on the nations as well as to sit as “the Judge of Israel”—the entire Millennial era being thus designated. From all this, we are fully warranted to conclude that “the Day of Judgment” simply denotes a time of judgment, and embraces within its limits the Millennium, a long period of time. This is corroborated by the Judgeship of Christ being equivalent to His Kingly rule; by the Millennial era being frequently designated “the day” in which the Judgeship of Christ is to be manifested; by the acts of the King at the commencement, duration, and close of the period, and by the reasons assigned in the Propositions following.

Obs. 7. A few additional illustrations may be in place to strengthen our position, and to show the general analogy of Scripture. In Zech. 14, in “the day” that the Lord and His saints come, when His judgments are poured out upon the nations, and Christ is “King over all the earth,” the phrase “in that day” includes not only the entire age, but the acts of Christ preceding and during its continuance, the overthrow of His enemies, the deliverance of His people, and the reign with its results. Joel 3 informs us that “in the day of the Lord” the nations shall be gathered, the mighty ones come down, the nations are to be judged, the people of God to be delivered, Jerusalem to be exalted, etc. The revelation of Christ as Judge embraces both wrath and mercy—wrath to His enemies, mercy to His saints and Jewish nation, and through them to the spared of the nations. This period of time, called “the day of the Lord,” which the Spirit afterward (as we shall show) more specifically names “the day of the Lord Jesus Christ,” embraces this Judgeship, exhibiting in its acts not merely the exercise of judicial power, but all the attributes of a Sovereign. Zeph. 3 designates “the day” when the Lord shall “rise up to the prey,” when He shall “gather the nations” to pour upon them His anger. “In that day” His “holy mountain” shall be established; “the remnant of Israel” shall be restored and become holy; “the King of Israel, even the Lord, shall be in the midst of thee;” and blessedness and glory are promised “at that time” and “in that day,” such as we find alone in Millennial predictions. Thus the Spirit joins together the Judging and the Day; and we do not feel at liberty to disconnect what is thus united. Finding Jesus revealed as the Judge at the period of the harvest (which is proven to be Pre-Mill.); at the time the last (seventh) trumpet sounds (which is also Pre-Mill.); at the time His Kingdom also comes; at the time His enemies are to be destroyed and His people enjoy a glorious deliverance, etc.; and when we find that to this Judgeship is ascribed the blessedness of that Kingdom and dominion which is to follow; that that Judgeship is described as continuously exercised; that the period of time in which it is exerted is designated according to prophetical usage “the day,” etc.—it is simply to be incredulous and illogical to ascribe to “the Day of Judgment” the ordinary Popish view. We are forbidden to limit and degrade it in this manner, seeing that the results of a continued judging are witnessed in the glory of the Millennium; that the most triumphant (however terrible to the wicked) declarations respecting it, as the means by which all evil shall be rooted out and happiness be restored, are given; that it is the instrumentality by which all the events, so tremendous to the ungodly and so blessed to the righteous, shall be accomplished. This imparts to it a higher, nobler aspect, befitting the descriptions of it, than that of the opposite, prevailing view. In this day the kingly power of Christ is exerted, not in a day of assize, apprehension, terror, awful solemnity arising from mere judicial investigation of character, but in behalf of His own people. This is the testimony of the Prophets, that this day comes for deliverance, for glorious redemption. It is true, that in it the enemies of God shall perish (hence fearful to them), but it is equally true that in it God’s people shall be delivered from those enemies, and be rewarded with peace, joy, etc. In brief, this judgment day or period manifests the Divine Rule of David’s Son and Lord, on David’s throne, and the judgment or rule bestowed upon the saints of the Most High. The Spirit thus gives a sublimity to the administrations of the Judge and of the Judgment Day, making it an object of desire and hope to the righteous, meeting and verifying the predictions concerning it, and binding the promises of God identified with it in a consistent, harmonious union. Our faith accepts of the simple fact that the government in this Coming Kingdom of King Jesus and His saints, which is to subject all to the predicted Theocratic rule and dominion, is designated as “the judgment,” and the period of its exercise is called “the day,” the time, etc. Our faith too receives the additional fact, that it is a covenanted, “appointed” period in which David’s Son is to exhibit both His majesty and power. It is promised to Him as David’s Son, as Son of Man, and if we desire to know when it will occur, what events will transpire, what results will be worked out, what its duration is, etc., we have only to open the Prophets who predict and describe it, without largely drawing on monkish imagination or old paintings to make out a picture of it. The announcement comes to us in the simplest form, that a period of time is appointed in which Jesus will be revealed as the Judge, the King, assume the visible Judgeship or Rulership of the World, and the events connected therewith, such as the resurrection of the saints, the overthrow of enemies, the restoration of the Jewish nation, the subjugation of all people, the binding of Satan, the rewarding of the righteous, the fulfilment of Mill. predictions, etc., indicate a lengthy period. To this opinion the Early Church, which received its interpretation of the prophets from inspired men, bowed, and we find abundant reasons for doing the same, and thus remaining in “the old paths.” It is a precious truth that Christ judges for purposes of Redemption, and that the Judgment Day embraces Redemption in its highest form.*

  PROPOSITION 134. Our view of Judgment (and as a consequence that also of the Kingdom) is fully sustained by the passage of Scripture, Matt. 25:31–46.

This passage, employed by our opponents to prove a general, universal assize (the Popish view), is supposed to be the strongest, and wholly incontrovertible. Our argument, therefore, would be incomplete, if we did not bestow upon it special attention, and conclusively show that it forms an irresistible evidence in our favor. Let us take this very Scripture (so much relied on, as hostile to our doctrine) and compare it with other passages referring to God’s revealed purposes at the same period of time, and it will be found in complete harmony with our teaching. To avoid misapprehension, it may be proper to repeat that our doctrine firmly accepts of the truth that all men are to be judged, and that their eternal condition (saving that of the heathen) will depend on their acceptance or rejection of the commands of God in Christ (and their personal application), but we reassert that such a judgment is not necessarily simultaneous, for part of it is Pre-Millennial, part Millennial, and part Post-Millennial. Pre-Millennial, as it affects the righteous, the overthrow of the living wicked, and the carrying into postponement the non-resurrection of the wicked dead until the close of the one thousand years; Millennial, as it affects the establishment of the Kingdom, the restoration of the Jews, the apportioning of positions, the execution and progress of the divine government; Post-Millennial, when “the rest of the dead,” and Satan himself, are judged.*

Obs. 1. Those who apply this passage to a general assize can only do so by taking for granted two suppositions, which are, in order to make out their sense, engrafted upon it. (1) It is supposed that the “all nations” mean “all the generations of men that ever existed;” but this is a mere inference, and, being unproven, is a mere begging of the question. (2) In order to sustain the first supposition, it is conjectured that this necessarily implies a previous resurrection of all the dead; but this also is mere inference, unsupported by a particle of proof.*

Obs. 2. Observe the various particulars of the passage, and its harmony with our position.

1. The context. The intimate connections with the preceding statements of chs. 24 and 25 must be noticed, embracing a series of events from the tribulation of the Jews during the times of the Gentiles down to the Sec. Advent, without giving the slightest hint of a Millennial era prior to the Advent. The shading of trial, the continued and culminated wickedness, the waiting, the probation, the mixed condition of the Church, the prolonged absence of the King, the Advent at a time of unbelief as in the days of Noah—all in this epitome of history is opposed to the notion of a previous existing Millennium. Hence the interpretation given to this Scripture must correspond with the context.

2. The interpretation must naturally connect itself with the preceding thought, for a glance will show that v. 31 is closely allied with it. Now what is that leading idea with which this passage stands associated? It is that of rulership, kingship, an inheriting of a Kingdom; the position in the same being dependent on the use of talents committed to us, bringing more or less of station or complete rejection. Now this kingship, as the analogy of Scripture shows, is Millennial, and therefore any application to Post-Millennial times is certainly erroneous.

3. This Coming of the “Son of Man,” all (excepting a few) admit, refers to His personal Coming (comp. Props. 82 to 84, and 121 to 130). There is only one future Advent of Jesus delineated in the Scriptures, and that is Pre-Millennial.

4. This “Son of Man” shall come in His “glory” (with which compare e.g. Matt. 16:27 and 26:64; Mark 8:38; Luke 9:26). This “glory” is asserted in Mill. descriptions, as e.g. Isa. 60:1, 2, 19; 2:19, 21; 35:2; 40:5; 62:2, etc., and therefore fully accords.

5. At this Coming “then shall He sit upon the throne of His glory,” or “upon His glorious throne.” The stress of “then” is indicative that He then—now, at that time—assumes His throne. In the consideration of this throne, then occupied, certainly the covenanted throne belonging to Him as the Son of Man should be regarded. Having passed over this in detail (Props. 49, 81–83, 122, etc.), it is amply sufficient to direct attention to such passages as Matt. 19:28; Rev. 3:21, and to the Millennial predictions which declare that David’s Son shall reign on David’s throne, etc. We only now desire to show that the language is in harmony with our position on covenanted ground.

6. At this Coming, a Kingdom is also exhibited for, v. 34, the righteous inherit a Kingdom (comp. 2 Tim. 4:1; 2 Thess. 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:11). After the delineations of this Kingdom in the Millennial period (demanding the Supernatural to be directly exercised in order to secure its establishment and blessings), and such references as Luke 22:28–30, there should be no difficulty, provided the general tenor of the passage admits, to identify the period indicated.

7. At this Advent, “before Him shall be gathered all nations.” The question before us is this: Does the “all nations” include “the dead,” or only living nations? In deciding this point we have the following: (1). Nothing is said of “the dead.” To say that they are denoted is inferred from the fact that this passage is made—wrongfully—to synchronize with Rev. 20:11–15. (2) The word translated “nations” is never, according to the uniform testimony of critics and scholars, used to designate “the dead,” unless this be a solitary exception. This fact, certainly, ought to influence the student to hesitate in accepting such an alleged exception, without the most positive proof that it really forms one. (3) The word is employed to denote living, existing nations, and almost exclusively “Gentile” nations. (4) The Spirit gives us abundant testimony that precisely such a gathering of living nations shall take place just before the Mill. age commences, and that there shall be both an Advent and judging. Let the reader compare “the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies” of Rev. 19:17–20, “the kings of the earth and of the whole world” gathered of Rev. 16:13–16, the “all flesh” of Isa. 66:15–21, “the nations gathered and kingdoms assembled” of Zeph. 3:8–20, “the mighty men, all the men of war, the Gentiles, all ye heathen gathered” of Joel 3:9–21, etc., and he will find this identical period of time fully presented. (6) National judgments are only poured out upon living, existing nations, and not upon the dead who are devoid of any organization belonging to the idea of nation or state. Nations are punished or rewarded here on the earth Pre-Millennial, as seen e.g. Zech. 14. (7) As there is no statement that any of these nations arose from the dead, so there is none that any part of them descended from heaven to be judged; the language, provided no previous theory is made to influence it, simply describing nations here on the earth, in some way, gathered together at the Sec. Advent. (8) The phrase “all nations” does not by any means include every individual, much less the generations past deceased, as is seen by the usage of Scripture, as e.g. Matt. 28:19; Luke 21:24; Matt. 24:9–14, etc. (9) The test itself, as applied, certainly does not include “all flesh,” much less “all the past dead,” because it only is applicable to adults and not to children, to nations having access to the truth and to believers, and not to barbarous and ignorant nations.

8. The separation, as of sheep from goats, is the same figure used in connection with Millennial predictions, as can be seen in Ezek. 34:17, etc.; Zech. 10:3. That the Mill. era is ushered in by a previous distinguishing between parties and a final parting of them is abundantly shown. (Comp, e.g. Props. 65, 86, 90, 115, 123, etc.).

9. The time of inheriting the Kingdom gives us another decided reason for its Pre-Millennial interpretation. It has been shown in detail, under various Props. (90, 121, 154, etc.), that when the Son of Man comes according to Daniel and others (which is Pre-Mill.), that then the actual possession—the inheritance—of a Kingdom is given to the righteous. We read of no inheriting the Kingdom after the 1000 years, and for the simple reason that the inheritors of a Kingdom have all been previously secured. (Comp. Props. 86, 118, 130, 142, 153, etc.)

10. The inheriting of a “Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world” again favors our position (comp. Prop. 2). For, if it refers to a Kingdom designed for them in the beginning, it must correspond with the covenant and the promises based thereon; or if it applies, that this world when formed was designed and appointed for this Kingdom, then the Second Adamic reign is introduced by this overthrow of wickedness and elevation of the righteous here on the earth. In either case it is a Kingdom over living nations, after a restoration of the Jews, etc., making it a Kingdom just the reverse of that portrayed by those who insist upon a general assize. (Comp. Props. 81–105.)

11. He judges as a King, as a Shepherd; and these things are asserted of the Mill. reign, as e.g. Zech. 14, Ezek. 34:23, etc. (Comp. Prop. 132.)

12. The Pre-Mill. judgment, as we have shown, is not one of barbarous, heathen nations who have not heard the Gospel, as is seen e.g. in Isa. 66:19. If this passage teaches the same judgment, it must correspond with it. This is decisively given in the test of worthiness, for it can only apply to those who had an opportunity to know Christ, and manifest their regard for Him practically through His members. Now all this most accurately corresponds with the condition of the persecuted church, and the character and position of the nations represented to be confederated against Christ, just previous to the Millenium.

13. The test itself is irresistibly in favor of a Pre-Millennial judgment, and under the circumstances advocated by us. Observe the following particulars:

(1) The connection (see preceding 2), with the parable of the talents is obvious, and, without a change, we have a continued illustration of the assignment of rewards in rulership in the future Kingdom. Now the apportionment of stations, rank, authority, is not dependent on appropriating Christ by faith, but as a resultant of such faith, faithfulness in the use of the talents committed to us—every one being judged according to his deeds (comp. Prop. 135). The Saviour, therefore, in accord with the general analogy of the Scripture on the subject, declares that when He comes with His saints in glory to set up His Kingdom, out of the nations those who exhibited a living faith by active deeds of sympathy and assistance shall—with those that preceded them (for the time here delineated is not connected with the first or secret stage of the Advent, but with the last or open Parousia)—inherit (i.e. be kings in) a Kingdom. It is a direct lesson of encouragement to those who live during the period of Antichrist in the persecution of the Church, to exercise charity, for which they shall be rewarded. Hence it follows that the test presented is precisely the one needed to ascertain, not who would be saved (for that is not the train of thought, although connected with it), but who would inherit a Kingdom or gain an actual, real rulership in it. (2) He tells us who at that time, viz., the living “righteous” (for those who died in the tribulation under Antichrist as martyrs, also obtain Kingship or inherit, Rev. 20:4–6), shall thus inherit (not unbelievers, but “sheep” and “righteous,” expressions employed only in behalf of believers). And this inheriting results from their believing in His promises and appropriating them in practical obedience, as e.g. Matt. 10:40–42; Mark 9:41, etc. (3) The “my brethren” (whether it apply to living and dead, i.e. those who survived, or perished in the persecution) shows that saints were ministered unto by fellow-believers, as enjoined e.g. Heb. 6:10. “For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labor of love, which ye have showed toward His name, in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” (4) This exhibition of practical charity is obligatory upon the believer, and the entire absence of it, as evidenced in mere professors and unbelievers, results not merely in loss of rulership, but in sad punishment and the cutting off from “eternal life,” because it forms the most positive proof that a living faith in Jesus, which produces “the mind,” etc., which was in Him, is lacking. (5) This divine utterance being designed for instruction and to urge to deeds of charity, the idea is prominently and forcibly set forth that anything thus done to a believer is done to Christ Himself. The manner of presenting this only enforces His previous teaching, Matt. 10:40–42. (6) The saints, true believers, who bring forth good deeds, are the only ones who inherit this Kingdom. Outside of this passage this is uniformly taught (as e.g. Rom. 8:17; James 2:5; Col. 3:24; 1 Thess. 2:12; 2 Thess. 1:5; 2 Pet. 1:11; 1 Cor. 6:9, etc.), and, therefore, we must interpret to maintain a proper unity—viz., that those who inherit are saints. This inheriting is true of the past saints, the martyr saints, the living saints, who shall be accounted worthy of it. (7) We are not at liberty, in order to remove supposed difficulties, to make a variety of classes or introduce other parties than those expressly mentioned. The passage brings before us the living nations, and these (Gentile nations) are divided into two parties by the divine test. The “brethren” referred to, as the usage (e.g. John 20:17; Heb. 2:11, etc.) of the word uniformly teaches, with the additional emphasis on “My” (Luke 8:21; Matt. 12:50, etc.), are, not the Jews (as Kelly, etc.), but Christians, believers in Jesus, and may refer to martyrs, deceased saints, and living believers before Him.
14. Our position is confirmed by the condition in which the children of God are found just previous to, and at, this open Parousia, viz., one of sore trial and severe persecution (comp. Props. 160, 161, and 162). It will indeed be a time in which “the righteous,” “the sheep,” the “brethren” of Christ, shall, under the terrible pressure of Antichrist, be “a hungered,” “thirsty,” “strangers,” “naked,” “sick,” and “in prison.” This is a judgment of believers under trial and of their persecutors (as other passages when compared unmistakably show), and Jesus selects it as a salient illustration how the principle in the Parable of the Talents will be evidenced at that period. Many of our opponents freely admit this Pre-Mill. persecution of the Church, with which we, however, link the personal Sec. Advent, and thus introduce the requisite harmony between the predictions.

15. The wicked are removed (“depart from me”) from the presence of the King. This accords with Pre-Mill. predictions, that the wicked shall thus be rooted out, etc. (thus e.g. Rev. chs. 14 and 19, Mal. 4, Ps. 37, etc.). Besides this, although Edwards, and others, have Jesus only to appear in the air, and not on the earth (with which only compare Zech. 14:4, etc.), and are very positive in asserting that the King immediately after this general assize returns to the third heaven, yet we find nothing in the passage (and nowhere else in the Bible) of such a return. The Scriptures leave, at His Sec. Advent, David’s Son here, just as the covenant demands, removing the wicked from Him.

16. The wicked are represented as cast into “a fire.” Now precisely this will occur at the Pre-Mill. Advent of Jesus. The reader is urged to compare e.g. on this point, Rev. 19:20; Dan. 7:10, 11; Isa. 66:15, 16, 24; Mal. 4:1–3, etc. Fire, as indicating the vengeance of God, is frequently predicted as belonging to the introduction of the Kingdom or the Mill. blessedness.

17. The student will especially notice, what inevitably decides this Scripture to be an irresistible argument on our side, viz., that this fire is “prepared for the devil and his angels.” At this Advent of the King, the fire is only “prepared” for them, and while some others are cast in, they (the devil and his angels) are not then cast into it. This extremely and intentionally guarded expression of the Saviour most fully corroborates our Pre-Mill. application, since in Rev. 20:10 Satan is cast into this very fire (thus “prepared” for Him), in which the wicked were placed before the one thousand years; for attention is called to the fact that it is the same fire by adding, “where the beast and the false prophet are.” With which period (Pre-or Post-Mill.) does the language of Jesus correspond? The only consistent answer is, certainly, that the Pre-Mill. one must be denoted; for after the Millennium only does Satan and his angels bear company with those accounted worthy of being cast into “the lake of fire” a thousand years previously.

18. The destiny is unalterable. At the close of the Mill. era, these representatives of wickedness continue in “the fire” (under the vengeance of God) into which they were cast, as is seen by comparing Rev. 19:20 with Rev. 20:10. The non-inheriting of the Kingdom, their doom, is irrevocably fixed.

19. The reward of “the righteous” is eternal. Thus, in the Mill. predictions, immortality, perpetual freedom from evil, continued Kingship, never-ending glory and blessedness, are predicated of the saints.

Thus in every particular a remarkable correspondence is found between this passage and the Pre-Mill. prophecies, so that, on the strength of analogy, perfect accordance with all the utterances of the Spirit, we can justly claim it as corroborative of our doctrine—essential, in fact, for the introduction of the Kingdom. The saints that come with Jesus, as other passages show, participate in this judgment, for they have obtained a priority of rulership or Judgeship, and the intended dealing of King Jesus with the nations, as preparatory to the establishment of His Kingdom, is thus briefly and powerfully stated in the line of thought suggested by the manner in which rulership is secured in it.

Obs. 3. If It be thought that the Parable of Tares and Wheat teach otherwise (a general, universal judgment), the reply is ready, that the time of the harvest (which we show to be Pre-Mill.) fixes the period of fulfilment, while the separation is not predicated of the dead tares or the past ripened wheat. Dr. Brown finds a defect in the parable because it is unable to express the idea of a universal judgment including the past dead; we, on the other hand, find no defect, but accurate correspondence with the predicted realization. The parable informs us nothing of the tares and wheat of former dispensations, nothing respecting the heathen, nothing concerning the separation of righteous and wicked at death, but refers us to the operation of the truth presented during the period between the two Advents, to a continuous intermingling of tares and wheat which shall be manifested when the harvest comes, and to the separation of the then existing tares and wheat at the time of the harvest. Neither Hades nor Heaven is harvested, but this world, as it shall exist at the open Advent of the great Reaper. There is no intimation that either former tares or wheat are raised up to be mixed and then separated, while the burning of existing “tares” and the elevation of then living “wheat” coincides with abundant Pre-Mill. prophecy. The consistency of our doctrine is seen in this: that after the one thousand years are ended the dead tares—“the rest of the dead,” who “lived not again until the thousand years were finished,” are also raised up and their destiny awarded.*

Obs. 4. Having thus a judgment of living nations, if the dead generally are to be also judged, we should have, to give completeness, a portraiture of such a judgment of the dead. Now the judgment of Rev. 20:11–15, after the one thousand years, is not one of living nations, but pre-eminently of “the dead.” The dead only are mentioned, and who ever adds “living nations” to it (in order to make out a universal judgment) is most certainly adding to the prophecy. Precisely such a judgment is required to fill out in due proportions what otherwise would be lacking, the order of the Divine procedure in the administration of justice. For, if we had no such direct prophecy of the judgment of “the dead” at the ending of the Mill. era, it would justly be regarded as a grave defect in our system of faith. With it, we have a consonant whole.*

Obs. 5. The disciples to whom this passage was addressed, preachers of the Kingdom and specially instructed, held to the Jewish views of the Judgment at the Coming of the Messiah, to be followed by a glorious Messanic reign under the restored Theocratic-Davidic throne and Kingdom. The modern Popish view of judgment, followed by a winding up of all sublunary affairs, was something that they did not believe, and, impelled by covenant and prophecy, could not possibly credit. Now the language of Jesus—corresponding with the language of the prophets respecting the gathering of the nations and judgment at the Coming of the Lord—is admirably adapted to confirm them in their Jewish views, being in strict accordance therewith, introducing no element to discredit the same, or to render it doubtful. That it put no hindrance to their belief, but confirmed it; that it only strengthened them in the hope of a following Messianic Kingdom, is self-evident from their expressed faith (as e.g. Acts 1:6). Surely if the prediction is such as many moderns contend for, it ought to have had an opposite tendency. Then again, if the modern prevailing view (which we oppose) is the correct one, and is so easily adducible (as affirmed) from the passage, how comes it that all the early churches. East and West (Props. 75, 76), entertained our doctrine and rejected this one? Surely the Popish notion ought to have had very early advocates, if it be the correct one, seeing that the doctrine of the Judgment was a familiar one with the Primitive Christians, so that Polycarp (Epis. Phil.) appeals to it: “Who of you are ignorant of the judgment of God? Do we not know that the saints shall judge the world, as Paul teaches?” This question suggests the difficulty to our opponents, which none of them have answered, viz., if all the saints are to assist in judging the world, how can they be judged simultaneously (as they infer from this passage) with the wicked—all men? The Early Church doctrine involved no such glaring inconsistencies.*

Obs. 6. At the conclusion (Props. 132 and 133) of a subject so important, it is proper to suggest what is requisite to neutralize the comparison of Scripture thus instituted, and indisputably prove the position of our opponents. 1. A specific passage, which teaches that there is but one general judgment. 2. A passage which directly affirms that all men, both the dead and living, will be judicially judged at the same time. 3. To show that the Bible statement, that all men will be judged, is not consistently met, if a judgment at various times includes all men. 4. A passage which asserts that the judgment of all men, dead or living, is after the Millennium. 5. To show that the judgment unto eternal life (resulting from faith in Jesus) is identical with a judgment according to works. 6. To prove that a Pre-Mill. resurrection (which some of them, as Prof. Stuart, fully admit, while others affirm a slight precedence in time of the righteous) does not necessarily include a prior judgment. 7. To show that the Jewish and Early Christian view of the Judgeship and of the Judgment Day is erroneous, and inconsistent with the prophets. 8. To indicate how it came to pass, that under the immediate teaching of the Apostles and the teachers appointed by them, the Primitive Church, almost universally, taught our doctrine. 9. To point out the Scriptures which affirm that God has revealed no order of time in the judgment of mankind, as prophecy predicts. 10. To explain how the saints (being included in their “all”) are both judged, and, according to promise, judging others at the same time. 11. That, according to their theory, the righteous are judged and rewarded at death, and then, after a long interval, must again be judicially tried; which requires confirmation from Scripture. 12. How passages simply affirming a judgment, or stating that Christ will deny, be ashamed of, and disown the wicked, or alluding to the rewarding of righteous and wicked at His Coming, or implying the certainty of judgment, or teaching, without expressing the order, the several destinies of the good and bad, are sufficient to invalidate our position, seeing that all these are firmly held by us. Such are some of the things which, we think, have not yet been met in the spirit of fairness and candor; and our opinion is amply confirmed by the record found in books, articles, etc., written against us, which assume their doctrine proven by quoting an abundance of passages relating to the judgment (which we also receive), and containing no manner of specifications how or when they shall be verified.*

  PROPOSITION 135. The doctrine of the Kingdom in full accord with the Scriptural doctrine of the judgment of believers.

The Theocratic Kingdom contemplating for its rulers, associated with the Christ, the saints, must necessarily make provision for the same by a present and future judgment of believers. By this method the requisite qualifications for future kingship and priesthood are made manifest.

Obs. 1. It is self-evident that any one accounted worthy of the better resurrection”—that pre-eminent res. alone attributed to the righteous—and any one deemed holy enough for a translation at the Sec. Advent, must, in view of such a decided preference shown to them, be the subject of an antecedent judgment. How else can it be known that they possess the qualifications requisite for such honor and blessedness? Both the resurrection and translation are represented as a sudden, instantaneous change, and demand a previous preparedness for the same. The same is true of the saints coming with Jesus at His open Parousia, for “all the saints” (Zech. 14:5) come with Him. To attain this honor, an antecedent estimate of character must have preceded. So also the saints are to be associated with Jesus in the judgment of the world (1 Cor. 6:2), for “this honor have all the saints” (Ps. 149:9). This Judgeship necessarily implies the previous judgment of these saints in order to evidence their fitness for so high and responsible a position.*

Obs. 2. Pre Millenarians firmly hold that all men, both the righteous and wicked, will be judged, not only in this life but in the future. The passages teaching this are numerous and emphatic, such e.g. as Heb. 9:27; Rom. 2:2–16; Matt. 12:36; 1 Pet. 4:4, 5, etc. But, as already shown, there is an order in this judgment, just as there is an order in the resurrection. Take the expression “As it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment,” and we have the universality of judicial action asserted, but nothing as to the order after death, the length of time elapsing, etc. To obtain a correct view of the latter, there must be a careful comparison of all the Scriptures relating to the subject.

Obs. 3. Such a comparison reveals to us a singular statement, which at first thought might be deemed contradictory, but really presents a wonderful harmony, viz., it is said that believers shall not be judged hereafter, and again it is asserted that they will be judged. Now if we comprehend concerning what things they are not judged or are judged, a beautiful consistency runs through the language, deeply impressive. Let us turn first to the declarations that they are not judged. Jesus positively declares, John 5:24, “Verily, verily I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on Him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life.” A multitude of critics and writers point out the fact that the original word rendered “condemnation” is “judgment,” and, therefore, properly translate, “shall not come into judgment.” The context shows that the bestowment of eternal life through the resurrecting power given to the Son, was the immediate subject discussed, and this most emphatic reference to believers then is, that they are not to come into judgment in order to decide whether they are worthy or not of eternal life. That is already decided when they hear and believe, for every believer is at present “justified” (e.g. Rom. 5:1, 2; Acts 13:39; Gal. 2:16, etc.), which term is indicative of judicial action. This, of course, requires a continuing life of faith, evidenced by its fruits (Rom. 2:7, and 6:22; Rev. 2:7, etc.), for perseverance evidences the sincerity of faith and the justification experienced. The resurrection of the sheep belonging to Jesus’ fold unto eternal life is secured (for e.g. John 10:26–29), for they follow Him, He knows them, gives to them eternal life, and they shall never perish, for no one is able to pluck them out of His hand. The power of bestowing eternal life is lodged in Him (John 17:2, 3), “and this is life eternal, that they might know Thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom Thou hast sent.” Being justified by faith we are assured of eternal life; the fruits of the Spirit, the work of the spirit, the abiding of the spirit (Rom. 8:11), is a testimony of its bestowal, for in Christ Jesus there is (Rom 8:1) no condemnation. He has said, John 6:37–40, “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him who sent me, And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which He hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. And this is the will of Him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son, and believeth on Him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise Him up at the last day.” The multitude of assurances respecting the safety and salvation of the believer, the deep self-consciousness of personal religious experience confirmatory of this, and especially the dying grace and hope inspired in the believer at the most solemn and trying crisis of his career—all testify to his justification and his right, through Christ, to eternal life.*

Obs. 4. In reference to the ultimate salvation of the true believer there can be no doubt, for has it not been said, Rom. 8:31–34, “If God be for us, who can be against us? He that spared not His own Son, out delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all thing? Who shall lay anything to the charge of God’s elect? It is God that justifieth. Who is he that condemneth?” And this culminates in the positive declarations that nothing can separate us from the love of Christ; that we are “more than conquerors” through Him. Now assuredly this constant abiding in the love of God, in union with His Son, is indicative of a justified state, and becomes thus the most reasonable evidence that such are not to be brought into judgment to ascertain whether they have accepted the terms (e.g. John 3:16, 18, 36) which entitle them to everlasting life. For, Acts 13:39, “By Him, all that believe are justified from all things.” The “Book of Remembrance” (Mal. 3:16, 17) has recorded their names, and God “will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him,” because they are His “jewels” or “special treasure.” Such are written or enrolled in heaven (Heb. 12:23), in “the Lamb’s Book of Life” (Phil. 4:3; Rev. 13:8), and in the consciousness of their “names” being thus inscribed (Luke 10:20), they are to “rejoice.” All this, of course, is based on an antecedent judgment.*

Obs. 5. On the other hand, believers are also represented as judged in the future, not as to their worthiness to receive “eternal life,” not as to their forming a co-heirship with Jesus (for all this, owing to their union with Christ and subsequent justification, has already been decided), but to ascertain the exact position of rulership, Kingship, and priesthood, to which they are justly entitled. No intelligent writer on Eschatology exists that does not fully admit that numerous passages (such e.g. as Luke 19:17, 19; Matt. 25:21, 23; 1 Cor. 15:41, etc.) distinctively teach a gradation of rank, power, authority, etc., even among the saints in the world to come. Aside from the reasonableness and justice of the same, the Theocratic ordering necessarily entails such differences among the redeemed. Now such distinctions are not based upon faith in, and union with, Christ (for all believers possess these, which entitle them to the blessed eternal life), but upon the works, actions, conduct, life brought forth by this faith and union, “knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance,” Col. 3:24. Let the following points be observed: (1) “Every one of us shall give account of himself to God,” Rom. 14:10, 12, “for we shall all stand before the judgment-seat (or throne) of Christ.” This includes, of course, all believers. (2) This scrutiny extends to “every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the Day of Judgment,” Matt. 12:36, and “the secrets of men,” Rom. 2:16, shall be judged, etc. This evidences the real state of heart, for “the judgment of God is according to truth,” Rom. 2:2. (3) The reward shall be proportionate (which is not eternal life, for all attain unto it) to the works. Thus e.g. “God, without respect of persons, judgeth according to every man’s work,” 1 Pet. 1:17; “God will render to every man according to his works,” Rom. 2:6; “Behold I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his works shall be,” Rev. 22:12 (with which compare Rev. 2:23; Eph. 6:8; Gal. 6:7; 2 Cor. 5:10; Matt. 16:27, etc.). Surely on the common principle of justice, apostles, martyrs, reformers, men eminent for labors and sufferings for Christ, men abounding in good works, should possess a distinction above those who were less fruitful, less devoted, less engaged in service.*

Obs. 6. The judgment then of saints in the future is not one unto eternal life, but one pertaining to the position to be occupied in the Theocratic Kingdom, a distinction which is often implied, as e.g. in Matt. 19:28–30, where we have judgment, already passed concerning the apostles that follow Jesus, when it is said, “ye also shall sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel;” and then, in reference to others, it is asserted that whatever sacrifices are made in behalf of Jesus such shall both “receive a hundredfold and shall inherit eternal life.” So in the next chapter (20:21–28) the general principle is laid down that future greatness in the Kingdom will be proportionate to present labor and suffering for the truth. (Comp. Luke 22:24–30.) Even “a cup of cold water” (Matt. 10:42; Mark 9:41) shall be rewarded. And this view is fully corroborated by the fact that the Sec. Advent, which introduces this judging or assigning of positions in accordance with works, is spoken of as “the blessed hope,” something in which we should rejoice, comfort ourselves (e.g. 1 Pet. 1:7, 13; Tit. 2:13; 1 Pet. 4:13, etc.), which we could not do if a judicial trial, upon which our entire destiny depended, were before us. It is not for those who are accounted “heirs according to the hope of eternal life,” Tit. 3:7, “heirs of salvation,” Heb. 1:14, to be thus judged, excepting as it affects the position of the “heirs” in the inheritance.*

Obs. 7. A passage most decisive and worthy of serious consideration is the one found in 1 Cor. 3:10–15. Here we have the following evidence corroborative of the correctness of our view. (1) This is a judgment exclusively of believers, who build upon the foundation laid, Jesus. (2) All who have this foundation and build upon it are saved. (3) But some, in securing this salvation, “suffer loss,” while others “shall receive a reward.” (4) The reception of reward is conditioned on the fact that they build precious, enduring material on this foundation. (5) The endurance of loss is caused by the worthless material placed on the foundation. (6) “Every man’s work shall be made manifest,” for it will be tested “of what sort it is.” This is only illustrating the principle previously (v. 8) announced, “every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labor.” Now, to receive a reward for building “gold, silver, and precious stones” on this foundation is not to attain simply eternal life, for those who also build “wood, hay, and stubble” on it secure the same, but, following the Scripture analogy of faith, it must relate to position in rulership and to a corresponding loss in rank. The only rational, consistent interpretation is that which here finds that one, owing to faithfulness, etc., obtains a more elevated rank, a higher reward than another. All obtain a glorious prize (1 Cor. 9:24), but not all the highest prize (Phil. 3:14); all obtain an entrance into the Kingdom, but one a more “abundant entrance” (1 Pet. 1:11) than others.*

Obs. 8. It is in virtue of this future judgment according to works, that believers are so urgently pressed to good works. God sees how largely their future glory and honor depend upon the character now formed, that repeatedly and perseveringly, yea constantly, this is brought to their attention. Take e.g. Col. 3:4, 5, 8, 9, 24; 1 Thess. 3:12, 13, and 5:4–8; Tit. 2:12, 13; 1 Pet. 1:7–15; 2 Pet. 3:11, 12, and many others, and they show God’s deep interest in our future welfare, that as “little children, we may abide in Christ, that when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed at His Coming” (1 John 2:8); that “our love may be made perfect, so that we may have boldness in the Day of Judgment” (1 John 4:17). Good works now glorify God (Matt. 5:16), qualify for usefulness and happiness (2 Tim. 2:21; Tit. 3:8), etc., and they do not lose these essentials in the world to come; for, sanctifying unto honor and making us the more meet for the Master’s use, they contribute to glorify the Father, Son, and Spirit. And no one can plead inability to perform them, since “God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that ye always, having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work” 2 Cor. 9:8 (comp. Phil. 2:12; 2 Thess. 2:17; 2 Tim. 3:16, 17; Heb. 13:20, 21; Eph. 2:10, etc.). We may rest assured that “God is not unrighteous, to forget your work and labor of love” (Heb. 6:10), but will abundantly, through His wonderful grace, verify His promises, “glory, honor, and peace to every man that worketh good” (Rom. 2:10). Therefore, Gal. 6:9, “Let us not be weary in well-doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not;” 2 John 8, “Look to yourselves, that we lose not those things which we have wrought (gained), but that we receive a full reward.”*

Obs. 9. A prominent doctrine of Pre-Millenarianism is the reign of the saints with Jesus when the Millennial Kingdom is set up (Prop. 154). The saints judge with Christ, inherit together with Him, etc., and for this purpose are raised up and translated; then (as will be shown hereafter) the Kingship and priesthood is assigned to them, and afterward they come with Jesus in the open Parousia. They are themselves “Judges” in the great “Day of Judgment” (e.g. 1 Cor. 6:2, 3), and this necessitates a previous, antecedent judgment of themselves. Hence, as already noticed, certain passages of Scripture exclusively refer to the righteous—to a judgment specially relating to the saints. This is not a judgment unto condemnation, but one relating to position, and will be a fulfilment of e.g. 2 Cor. 5:10. And yet, considering such passages as Matt. 22:11–14; Luke 13:23–30; Matt. 7:21–23, it may be true (what many affirm) that also mere professors will at the same time be rejected. But whether this includes professors of former ages or those then living is another question. As the dead in Christ are only raised at the Coming of Jesus (the rest of the dead not until the close of the thousand years), and then also only those accounted worthy, are translated, it is, perhaps, the most prudent and consistent to confine this rejection to living professors, as is fully illustrated e.g. in the warnings given by Jesus respecting the condition of parties at the Second Advent, as realized in the position of the Ten Virgins. We are told that there will be a judgment “of quick and dead,” Acts 10:42, of “the quick and the dead at His appearing and His Kingdom,” 2 Tim. 4:1; 1 Pet. 4:5. The “dead,” as we have seen, follow an order: all the dead are ultimately judged, some preceding the Millennial age, the rest after that age. So with the living or “quick,” some are judged at His appearing, others in His Kingdom; for we have the Judgment of “the quick” who are translated, of “the quick” under Antichrist, of “the quick” pertaining to the Jewish nation, and of “the quick” embracing the Gentile nations. The general affirmation of a judgment including “the quick and the dead” is thus carried out, and we must not forget that it also comprises the judgment of “the quick” existing in the Church at the time of the Advent. In the judgment of “the dead” there is a discrimination apparent in the order of resurrection, and in the judgment of “the quick” the same discrimination is manifested in the translation of some, in the delivery of the Church and the Jewish nation from the power of Antichrist, in the overthrow of all enemies, in the exaltation of the Jewish nation, etc., running in and through the Millennial age.*

  PROPOSITION 136. The doctrine of the Kingdom in agreement with the doctrine of the intermediate state.

The intermediate state between death and the Second Advent is such as to confirm our doctrinal position, because the Scripture statements clearly and unmistakably teach a detention of the saints from the promised inheritance and reward.*

Obs. 1. The Propositions that have preceded show that any view which unduly exalts the intermediate state or condition after death must correspondingly depreciate the Second Advent as “The Blessed Hope,” the resurrection as completed Redemption, the covenant as still to be verified, and the prophecies as realized on earth. The prominence heaped upon the condition of saints after death (so different from the Scriptural position, which says so little respecting it), and the extravagant eulogies attached to it, are practically leading multitudes to make little or nothing of the Advent, the resurrection, the covenant, and the prophecies. If we are to credit the many statements made, then the latter can make no improvement in the condition of believers, for after death such (we are informed) are crowned, rewarded, inherit, etc. Our doctrinal position enters a protest against this perversion, and to sustain such an averment confidently appeals to the Scriptural teaching and that of the Early Church. The postponement of the Kingdom to the Sec. Coming, the inheriting only at its manifestation, the design of the present dispensation, the Pre-Mill. resurrection and its recompense, the rewards connected with a restored glorious Theocratic Kingdom here on the earth, the time for the ample fulfilment of the Abrahamic and Davidic covenants, and other related points, only find a unity in supporting the same, if the condition of saints during this intermediate period is one in which they are represented as not crowned, as not rewarded, and as not inheriting, but that (whatever their actual state as to conscious happiness) they are still imperfect as to realized Redemption, and waiting for the Advent and resurrection for a completed restoration to forfeited blessings and exaltation to Kingship and priesthood. The reader can readily see that this is an important feature in the argument, and that if the Scriptures sustain us in the affirmation that they are imperfect and waiting, we add another link to our chain of evidence.*

Obs. 2. The Scriptures bearing on this subject are decided. Thus e.g. the glory with Christ is thus expressed: Col. 3:4, “When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye appear with Him in glory.” (So “praise, honor, and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ,” 1 Pet. 1:7; “grace that shall be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ,” 1 Pet. 1:13; “glad also with exceeding joy,” “when His glory shall be revealed,” 1 Pet. 4:13, etc.) The being fashioned like unto Christ is thus declared: “Beloved, now are we the sons of God; and it doeth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when He shall appear we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is,” 1 John 3:2 (comp. Phil. 3:21; Rom. 8:17–23, etc.). The time of inheriting is thus specified: Matt. 25:31–34; Col. 3:4, 24; 1 Pet. 1:3–7, 13, when the Son of man is revealed in His glory. The rest is thus given: 2 Thess. 1:7, “God will give yon rest, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven” (comp. Prop. 143). The mansions are given, John 14:2, 3, when “I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also” (comp. Prop. 170). The “new heavens and new earth” are still future, and linked with the Sec. Advent, e.g. 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 21:1 (comp. Props. 148–151). While perseverance unto death secures a crown (Rev. 2:10), yet the time when the crown itself is given is thus stated: 1 Pet. 5:4, “When the Chief Shepherd shall appear, ye shall receive a crown of glory that fadeth not away” (comp. when Paul, and all others, receive their crown, 2 Tim. 4:8). The period of rewarding is thus explicitly described: Matt. 16:27, “For the Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works” (comp. Rom. 2:6, 16; Rev. 22:12, and 11:18; Luke 14:14, etc.). Thus the entire tenor of the Scripture is, as our position demands, an overleaping of the intermediate state, as if it were not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be revealed at the Coming again of Jesus; and a positive asserting of rewarding, crowning, inheriting, etc., at that time. We dare not reverse the order thus laid down, and any theory which requires such a transposition is most certainly defective.*

Obs. 3. Other Scriptures confirm the imperfect and waiting condition of the saints. Thus e.g. in Heb. 11:39, 40—after the apostle had enumerated a long list of ancient worthies, some deceased for many centuries and others more recent, but all in this intermediate state—he says of them: “And these all, having obtained a good report through faith, received not the promise; God having provided some better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect.” Here it is positively asserted: (1) that not having received the promise (which refers to the promised inheritance, as shown e.g. v. 13, comp. with Gal. 3:18, etc.—comp. Prop. 49), it is still future to them; (2) that in their present condition they are not “perfect,” i.e. enjoy the blessings of a full Redemption as promised; (3) that this perfectness or completeness of realization of faith in God’s promises is to be attained in connection with believers in Christ (who also receive the promise by faith, but under increased light, divine teaching, etc.); (4) that all believers, ancient and modern, Pre-and Post-Christian, are to be made perfect or complete at the same time, i.e. experience the completeness of salvation. (Some, as Barnes, apply this “perfect” to the completion of Revelation as a system, but this is not the subject discussed; the reference to the non-reception of the promise demands an interpretation of the “perfect” in a realization of the promise by themselves personally.) The saints after death are represented as hoping and waiting for greater blessings (Rev. 6:9, 10, 11, comp. with 20:4–6), and it is in view of this that the apostles, when comforting the bereaved, do not dwell on the intermediate state, but refer such for consolation to the period when Redemption is completed, as e.g. 1 Thess. 4:13–18. And it is because of this still imperfect and waiting nature of the period between death and the Advent, that the apostles, in the midst of trials and sufferings, overleap the intermediate, and exhort to patience unto the Coming of the Lord, e.g. James 5:7.*

Obs. 4. In the very nature of the case there must be an incompleted salvation during this period, because both soul and body constitute the person redeemed, and so long as “the redemption of the body,” Rom. 8:23, is not experienced, an imperfect state must exist. Besides this, the forfeited blessings, such as the restored earthly Paradise, the dominion over the earth, the absolute victory over death, are not realized in it. And in the promised blessings of glorification, rulership on the earth, association with Jesus in His inheritance and glory, none of these are experienced, being, as we have seen, always combined, as a resultant, with the Sec. Advent.*

Obs. 5. Another distinctive and remarkable feature corroborates our position. Every writer on the subject of the intermediate state confesses that no attempt is made in any place whatever to describe it. The various theories and descriptions respecting it are drawn from inferences, and the admission is fully made by writers of all classes (who hold to a future personal Sec. Advent), that the eye of faith and the heart of hope is fixed, not so much on the condition after death as to the condition after the Advent. Now why such a procedure? The key lies in this simple fact, viz., that the intermediate state (whatever it may be) has no relationship whatever to the fulfilment of covenant and prophecy pertaining to Redemption, and consequently is not portrayed.*

Obs. 6. The Early Church doctrine, established under the direct auspices of the apostles, and the elders appointed by them, was, over against Gnosticism and other errors, universally held as follows: that the hope of the believer was in the Sec. Advent (expected speedy), at which period the inheriting of the Kingdom, the crowning and rewarding was located. In the intermediate state it was held that there was a non-fulfilment of covenant promises, the realization of which was allied with the Sec. Coming of Jesus. Much was made of the Sec. Advent, the resurrection of the saints, and the resultant glory, so that in Eschatology these things were pre-eminently prominent—a prominence unfortunately undermined by the Alexandrian school and overthrown by the Papacy. Now how can we possibly account for the Early Church view, given under divine auspices, on so important a matter, unless it be the correct one, sustained as it is by a consistent appeal to Scripture?*

Obs. 7. The Jewish view must be considered by the student. This, as stated by numerous authorities, was decided, viz., that the Patriarchs and their deceased descendants, that all who had died true Israelites, were only to be raised to glory and covenanted promises at the Coming of the Messiah. Whatever differences of opinion existed as the actual condition of dead ones, all were united in the common view that at the Advent of the promised David’s Son, then, and then only, would the promises of God respecting a glorious Salvation be completed. The abundance of quotations already given under previous Propositions fully show this faith. But now observe that this identical Jewish faith is incorporated in the New Test. and in the Early Church, with this difference, that what the Jews attributed to the First Advent of the Messiah, the New Test. and Early Church applied to the Second Advent of Jesus the Messiah.*

Obs. 8. While it is true that our argument is not affected one way or the other, no matter what theory of the intermediate state is held (provided only that the non-fulfilment of the covenant promises, the inheriting, crowning, and rewarding, is conceded)—the third heaven theory of the multitude, the spheres of Origen, the intermediate state of Stilling, Hahn, etc., the underground world of Storrs, etc.—yet it may be proper, in this connection, to point out that if this intermediate state is one of detention, if it is intermistic and incomplete, a certain incongruity exists in locating it in the third heaven. Rejecting Romish Purgatory and Cameron’s (Future State) prayer for the dead as unscriptural; without attempting to explain the actual place and condition of the saints which the Bible leaves indefinite and unexplained (saving in general terms expressive of security of Redemption and blessedness), it may be sufficient to direct attention to the Primitive Church view as presented by Justin Martyr (Dial. Tryp. c. 80): “If you meet with some who are called Christians” (i.e. Gnostics) “who … dare calumniate the God of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob, and who say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that at death their souls are received up into heaven, do not regard them as Christians.” This, as Hudson (Debt and Grace, p. 254) has well observed, is “the more remarkable because he had been a Platonist.” Irenæus (Contra Hæres, 1. 5, c. 31, § 2), thus opposes the Gnostics: “How shall not they be confounded who say that the Underworld (inferos) is this world of ours, and their inner man, on leaving the body here, ascends the supercelestial place?” “The souls of His (Christ’s) disciples also, for whom the Lord did these things, go away into an unseen place appointed them by God, and there abide until the resurrection which they await. Then receiving bodies and rising entire, that is, bodily, as the Lord also arose, they come thus to the vision of God.” Others, as Polycarp (Epis. Phil.), speak of “the place due and promised,” and Tertullian (On the Soul, On Paradise, and On the Res.) asserts that the souls are “detained in safe keeping in Hades until the day of the Lord,” “that all souls are compelled into the Underworld” (although the love of martyrdom and its eulogy made an exception as stated by Tertullian: “No one, on leaving the body, dwells immediately with the Lord, except he who, by the prerogative of martyrdom, shall go to Paradise instead of the Underworld.” The only key to Paradise is your blood”). Such a doctrine of detention and of non-introduction to heaven itself, in view of the prevailing philosophy and the earnest desire of believers to secure Redemption, could not have arisen and become so extended unless it were derived from apostolic teaching. It is, therefore, the most prudent to avoid a dogmatic expression as to place, seeing how largely the Early Church, which one should suppose, owing to nearness to the apostles, ought to know the truth, if revealed, differs from modern conceptions.*

Obs. 9. We insist upon it that the intermediate state, expressed by the terms Hades and Sheol, continues down not only to the Second Advent, but to the end of the Mill. age. For it is only (Rev. 20:13, 14) after the close of the thousand years and little season that the realm of the dead, through the power of Jesus, is utterly removed. (Comp. Revision, Variorum, etc.) While some are removed from it, and reign with Christ, etc., others are kept in it until this final period. Hence, we cannot, without violence, allow a change to have been introduced at the First Advent, viz., that saints since then are directly taken to heaven, and therefore do not now enter Hades. Such a view is opposed to the general analogy of the Scriptures, which makes every believer to follow the humiliation of the Master, and like Him enter Hades; it multiplies the prayer of faith given to every believer (e.g. in Ps.) for deliverance from Hades; it makes the distinguishing characteristic of Jesus at His Coming, as having “the keys of Hades,” of no personal interest to the believer. One passage alone is decisive of two truths, viz., that the saints in Hades are not in heaven, and that believers at the future res. of the saints are still in Hades, and that is, 1 Cor. 15:54, 55, “I will redeem them from the hand of Hades, I will ransom them from death. O death, I will be thy plagues; O Hades, I will be thy destruction.”*

  PROPOSITION 137.—This doctrine of the Kingdom sustained by the phrase “the world to come.”

If we find this phrase employed by the Jews to designate a particular period of time, and if it is adopted by the apostles, without the slightest hint as to a change in its meaning, it is fair and just to conclude that in the Apostles’ estimation it continued to retain the meaning ascribed to it by the Jews.

Obs. 1. Let us briefly consider in what sense the phrase, “the world to come” was used by the Jews. Prof. Bush (Anas. p. 136) says: “ ‘The judgment of the great day,’ the period of ‘the world to come,’ is that period which in the Jewish Christology was identical with the reigning and judging supremacy of the Messiah.” He quotes Lightfoot in confirmation, and adds from the Sohar, fol. 81, “In the world to come the holy blessed God will vivify the dead and raise them from their dust,” etc., and then refers to Pococke (Porta Mosis, Not. Miscel. p. 166) who says, that R. Saadias maintains that “the resurrection is to take place during the Messiah’s reign on the earth, and so that the promise of the dead Israelites being brought out of their sepulchres is to be accomplished in this world or age, and that we are not to suppose that it pertains to another; consequently the prediction of Daniel respecting the many that sleep in the dust, with various other Scriptures, is to be fulfilled in the time of salvation, a phrase entirely equivalent to the days of the Messiah.” “So it is said in Toreth Adam, fol. 105, that the day of judgment will commence, sub initium dierum resurrectionis, at the beginning of the days of the resurrection.” (Comp. Prop. 133.) According to Buxtorf, as quoted by Barnes on Heb. 2:5, it was employed by the Jews to denote “the world which is to exist after this world is destroyed, and after the resurrection of the dead, when souls shall be again united to their bodies,” or “the days of the Messiah, when He shall reign on the earth.” The Targum of Palestine (Dr. Etheridge’s Transls.) on Balaam’s prophecy has: “If the house of Israel kill me with the sword, then, it is made known to me, I shall have no portion in the world to come; nevertheless, if I may but die the death of the true! O that my last end may be as the least among them.” The student will find additional references to the opinion that “the world to come” referred to the reign of Messiah after the resurrection in Lightfoot’s works, Wetstein, Schoettgen (Bloomfield, Heb. 2:5), Clarke’s, Lange’s, and other Commentaries. See Props. 138 and 139.*

Obs. 2. The effort made by Barnes, Bloomfield, etc., to make this expression used by the Jews, and adopted without dissent or change, in the New Test. to mean the present dispensation, age, or world under the Messiah fails, because it does not meet the conditions attached to it in that day, viz., it included the reign of the Messiah after the resurrection of the dead. This will appear evident if notice is taken of the distinctive usage accorded to the phraseology in Matt. 12:32, “neither in this world (age) nor in the world to come.” Critics, Lightfoot, Wetstein, etc., refer the latter to Christ’s Kingdom, and according to Wetstein (Lange, loci) it was a proverbial expression referring to the Advent of the Messiah. Jesus adopts it, and links it therefore, as we maintain, with His future personal Advent. And this is conceded (unwillingly) by our opponents, in the simple statement that the sin or guilt alluded to remains unpardoned after the Sec. Advent of Christ, and therefore this world or age to come is included in the period after the Advent. The language being addressed to Jews, without any of those modern explanations attached, is a virtual indorsement of the phrase as understood by them. So Paul, Heb. 2:5, “for unto the angels hath He not put in subjection the world to come, whereof we speak,” argues that this subjection is not witnessed, as many passages prove, down to the Sec. Advent of the Messiah, and hence necessarily locates it in the future after that Advent. Therefore his use of the word corresponding with that of the Jews he intimates no change in its usage, as fairness would have required if it referred to another period. It is never employed to designate heaven or the state after death (as our opponents, Barnes, etc., loci, frankly admit, but to point out this very earth, regarded as “inhabited” or “inhabitable.” The choice of the phrase directly refers us to the covenant and its promises, which, if fulfilled, require under the Messiah such a world. The only period when all things, as this predicted world demands, are brought into subjection, is after Christ’s Sec. Coming, for down to this Pre-Mill. Advent Gentile domination is existing, and even preceding it confederations of wickedness are witnessed. This world to come is given to Jesus as man, thus corresponding with His future coming as the Son of man, etc. But this expression receives its fair and honest interpretation only by regarding the general analogy of the Word; and for a proper and full understanding must be viewed in the light thrown upon it by “the day of Jesus Christ,” “the end of the age,” and “the coming age,” as given in Propositions following. Therefore the reader, before deciding, will await the additional evidence to be placed before him. In regard to the phrase in Heb. 6:5, however much some may make the tasting of “the powers of the world to come” the enjoyment of religion, etc., in this present dispensation, or the gospel period (thus making the world to come equivalent to “the gospel dispensation”), yet numerous commentators and others, who have no sympathy with our views, tell us that there is a reference to the future, making it to refer to the future heavenly state, so e.g. Bloomfield, Scott, etc. That it has reference to the future, and to the future as understood at that period by the Hebrews addressed, must be apparent to the scholar from the occurrence of no proposed change by the apostle to its usual significance.

Obs. 3. The Bible clearly teaches a dispensation to succeed our present one. This is done in a variety of ways, and is confirmatory of our position. Leaving the intimations of a new ordering or arrangement given by “restitution,” “regeneration,” “new heavens and new earth,” etc., this is virtually admitted by Fairbairn, Brown, and others, in that they inform us that the Mill. age can only be introduced and realized as predicted by the bestowal of new and extraordinary measures, agencies, etc., thus showing marked and distinguishing changes in the order then established. The “harvest” at the end of this age bounds the closing of this and the commencement of the new dispensation. This “harvest” is predicted, as we have shown, Rev. 14:14–20; Joel 3:13, etc., to be Pre-Millennial. The Millennium itself, including the resurrection and events which require the exertion of supernatural power, etc., is indicative of a new era or age. The dispensation that follows is one of Redemption, perfected Salvation, and it is a low estimate to confine the redemptive period to this age or dispensation, in which it remains incompleted down to the Sec. Advent. This is the preparative stage of Redemption; that which follows is Redemption fully realized. Consequently such declarations as Eph. 1:10, “that in the dispensation of the fulness of times he might gather together in one all things,” etc., must be understood of that dispensation still future which shall be ushered in when the times preceding it have been completed. The proof that Eph. 1:10 thus refers to such a dispensation is found in the context, for (1) as numerous passages plainly state, this gathering of all things into one is only witnessed when this dispensation or age closes; (2) in this gathering “all things,” in the Greek the neuter form, evidently also embraces the creation then redeemed from the curse, which only is done in the re-creation after this dispensation has ended; (3) all things are under Christ in this dispensation mentioned, which is not realized until after the Sec. Advent; (4) the connection of the “inheritance,” “the redemption of the purchased possession” with this dispensation indicates the same; (5) the adopting the exact phraseology of the Jews respecting an incoming age, with the sole change of applying it to Jesus Christ, David’s Son and Lord. It seems to us strange that some theologians, seeing the gathering and oneness ascribed to the Millennial period, seeing that the churches under the direct teaching of the apostles all believed in a future and incoming dispensation—Millennial—should so persistently, to defend a theory, apply this to the present dispensation, and yet acknowledge, as many of them do, that its realization will only be witnessed fully when Christ comes. Such arguments as are derived from the Pre-Mill. Advent, resurrection, judgment, etc., form the introduction of the incoming Kingdom by the power of Christ—indeed all the varied propositions derived directly or indirectly from the Covenant, the foundation of all that is future, converge in a dispensation succeeding this one.

  PROPOSITION 138. This doctrine of the Kingdom fully corroborated by “the day of the Lord Jesus Christ.”

This Kingdom is after the Sec. Advent, and in a period, dispensation, age, day, or time, which, owing to the public, personal manifestation of Jesus Christ, is by way of pre-eminence entitled “His day,” etc. Now, if it can be shown that the Jews believed that the day or age of the Messiah was thus identified with the period of the reign of the Messiah on David’s throne, and that the Apostles, without any change or transformation, apply this phraseology to Jesus after His Sec. Advent, it at once powerfully confirms our doctrine of the Kingdom. For, if our interpretation of the Covenant and promises is correct, then such a day or time of Christ must be still future.

Obs. 1. The Jewish view is given by many writers. Thus e.g. Mede quotes R. Saadias Gaon, who indorses the ancient opinion on Dan. 7:18 by saying: “Because Israel have rebelled against the Lord, their Kingdom shall be taken from them, and shall be given to those our monarchies which shall possess the Kingdom in this age, and shall lead captive and subdue Israel to themselves in this age until the age to come, until the Messiah shall reign.” The ancient opinion of the Jews previous to and at the First Advent are given in Commentaries, Sys. Theologies, etc., viz., that the times or reign of the Messiah was frequently denominated “the day or the days of the Messiah” originating from the prophetic announcements of “the day of the Lord,” etc. Knapp, Barnes, Bloomfield, and many others, show how the Jews regarded “the day of the Lord” as equivalent to “the times of the Messiah.” Indeed, as stated in previous Propositions, it was fully identified with both the resurrection and the judgment which it was believed the Messiah would bring to pass. How later Jews continued to hold this notion of the day thus linked with these adjuncts is evidenced by the following extract from R. Menassah Ben Israel (in Res. of the Dead, p. 254), who, commenting on Isa. 2:12–17, “For the day of the Lord of hosts,” etc., remarks: “It is not to be doubted, as we shall demonstrate in the sequel, that by ‘the day of the Lord’ the prophet intends ‘the day of judgment,’ which is otherwise called ‘the day of the resurrection of the dead.’ ” Again (B. 3, c. 2), he says, on Mal. 4:5, “That great and terrible day of the Lord is the day of judgment, which shall be conjoined with the resurrection.” The day of Messiah, the day of judgment, the day of resurrection, the day of the Lord, etc., were all associated in the Jewish mind with the predicted coming and reign of the Messiah.*

Obs. 2. Next, it is important to notice, (1) how the inspired apostles adopted this phraseology, applying it to Jesus, and (2) locating this “day,” that the Jews expected, in the future. (1) A period of time, separate and distinct from previous ones, is called “the day of the Lord Jesus,” 2 Cor. 1:14; “the day of Christ,” 2 Thess. 2:2; “the day of the Lord,” 1 Thess. 5:2, etc. This is so apparent that it needs no additional mention. (2) That this day of Christ is not in the present dispensation (comp. e.g. John Wesley’s remarks, Prop. 133, Obs. 5), but in the future one, is evident by reference to the general tenor of Scripture concerning it, and by then giving the opinion of our opponents as indicative of its relation to the future. Thus e.g. 1 Cor. 5:5, “that the Spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus;” Barnes, Com. loci, “the day of judgment when the Lord Jesus shall come,” etc. 1 Cor. 1:8, “blameless in the day of the Lord Jesus Christ;” Barnes, loci, “in the day when the Lord Jesus shall come to judge the world; and which will be called His day, because it will be the day in which He will be the great and conspicuous object, and which is especially appointed to glorify Him.” 2 Cor. 1:14, “ye also are ours in the day of the Lord Jesus;” Barnes, loci, “in the day when the Lord Jesus shall come to gather His people to Himself.” 2 Thess. 2:2, “that the day of Christ is at hand;” Barnes, loci, “the time when He should appear, called ‘the day of Christ,’ because it would be appointed especially for the manifestation of His glory.” 1 Thess. 5:2, “the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night;” Barnes, loci, “Of the Lord Jesus,” etc., “ ‘the day of the Lord’ means that day in which He will be manifested,” etc. So also 2 Pet. 3:10; Phil. 2:16, etc., and Barnes, loci, gives the same. Barnes even indorses the Jewish view on John 8:56, when he says, “the day of judgment is also called the day of the Son of man because it will be a remarkable time of His manifestation.” (Compare also Knapp, Ch. Theol., s. 155 (4).) Jesus Himself employs the phrase, as e.g. Luke 17:24, 30: “So also shall the Son of man be in His day;” “even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is revealed,” with which compare Matt. 24:30, 31, 37, etc., and then notice the concessions of Barnes, etc., that its ultimate reference must be to the time when He personally comes to judgment, etc. We have thus a distinctive “day of Christ” ushered in at the Sec. Advent; and with the predictions relating to “that day” by the prophets; with the Scriptural usage of the word “day;” with the events connected with it and the guards thrown around it to prevent, if possible, misconception of its duration, etc., it is simply to be faithless not to identify this “Lord’s day,” this “day of the Messiah,” with the promised exalted Millennial times of the Word with which it is blended. That this “day of Christ” embraces a long period of time is apparent from the examples already given, but the Spirit multiplies evidence; for believers, being “the children of the day,” see on every side “the day” linked with the Advent, with Mill. blessedness, with entering into (comp. Matt. 7:21, 22), and realizing the Kingdom, and with Barnabas they look for a “holy age” to come, believing Him to be “King of the ages” (1 Tim. 1:17; Heb. 1:2, Vulgate), who will manifest Himself in the day that significantly and appropriately is called after Himself. And when the Spirit, to whom a thousand years are as a day, pronounces it “a great day,” we are very slow in limiting it.

Obs. 3. To satisfy some objections, it is necessary to allude to Waggoner (Ref. of Age to Come), who refuses to acknowledge an “age to come” to follow this age, on the ground that that which succeeds this is called “an everlasting age” or “the eternal age.” But this is a mere play on words so far as the phrase is concerned, for (1) he thus professes his belief in an age to come, although “everlasting;” (2) he divides this “everlasting age” arbitrarily into two periods, the first part of one thousand years in the third heaven, the second part, or remainder, after the thousand years here on the earth. While we do not even thus limit it by the thousand years (which years do not limit the reign, but the binding of Satan and non-resurrection of the wicked), extending it through and beyond them into the future (Prop. 159). When the characteristic duration, etc., of the age are to be determined, we find it extending to, merging into, and embracing perpetuity. To build up his theory, Waggoner contends that “the end,” “Christ’s Coming,” and “the termination of Salvation,” are synonymous terms, and taking this for granted (without the least proof), he proceeds to erect his argument upon it. This is a sad mixture, seeing that Christ’s Coming is not to “terminate Salvation,” or to make an “end” of all things, but is for purposes of salvation and to gather all things into oneness, etc. Again, a favorite phrase is quoted, and paraded even as a title of sermons and books, as if it were a Scriptural one, viz., “The End of Time,” as if it were an equivalent for “the time of the End.” In tracing the matter somewhat, it seems to be founded on Rev. 10:6 in our Eng. Version, which unguardedly reads “that there should be time no longer.” That this is a misapprehension of the passage is evident, for (1) critics and commentators pronounce it incorrect. (See Barnes, Stuart, Elliott, Lord, etc., loci.) (2) It is inconsistent with fact: (a) as to the text, seeing that instead of a closing of time, time is represented as continuing on, and events occurring during its progress; (b) as to the creation, for while time may be regarded as unmeasured, eternal, yet no creature or event can be duly considered apart of time. Time cannot end; a day, year, age, cycle may close, but not time; eternity itself embraces endless time. The arguments erected upon this phrase, therefore, can well be dismissed without more attention, seeing that “times” are connected with, 1 Tim. 6:15, “the appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ.”

  PROPOSITION 139. The Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom, as covenanted, is sustained by what is to take place in “the morning” of “the day of Christ.”

We now come to one of those beautiful, most forcible evidences of the truthfulness of our position, which no other theory can present. For, the Divine Spirit, taking part of the phrase “the day of the Lord,” etc., viz., the morning or introductory of that day, allies with it such events, identified fully with the Millennial era, that the student can be at no loss to distinguish and locate the period of time intended. “The morning” is so widely different in blessing, judgment, etc., from the beginning of this present dispensation, that no comparison can be instituted between them. The fact, too, that this figure of “the morning” is employed by writers separated by ages; that they coincide in attributing to it the same results; that they preserve a wonderful unity in the use of it, establishes us the more firmly in a doctrine universally received by the Early Church.

Obs. 1. The Millennial day being represented as preceded by a “morning,” the period of time just previous to the breaking of this morning is appropriately, to complete the figure, called “the night.” This is done by the Spirit in Ps. 30:5; Rom. 13:12; Isa. 21:11. The time of trial, fighting, struggling, pilgrimage, absence from the bridegroom, mixture of tares and wheat, tribulation, sorrow, death, etc., is forcibly designated as “the night.”*

Obs. 2. The Millennial day is introduced by the personal coming of Jesus. To perfect this figure of “the morning,” if it alludes to the beginning of the same period of time, it would be highly appropriate, if thus dependent on Christ’s Coming, to designate Him either as the Morning Star or as the Sun ushering in this day. This also is done to prove to us, if we will but accept of it, that this coming is the real, veritable coming of the person called “the Star” and the Sun,” who shines forth, not through others, but, in His own proper effulgence. It is therefore with pleasure that we read in “the last words of David,” that (2 Sam. 23:1–4) “there shall be a Just One ruling over men, ruling in the fear of God; as the light of the morning shall He arise, the Sun of an unclouded morning, shining after rain upon the tender grass of the earth.” Night disappears when the sun comes, so this “night” shall fade away when “the Sun of an unclouded morning” arises, ushering in a glorious day. Hence Jesus is styled also “the bright and morning star,” “the Day Star,” because His coming shall be the sure sign of the dawning of the foretold morning. He is not merely called such owing to the glory of His person or the splendor of His appearing, but because He reveals Himself in the early morning. For, Hos. 6:3, “His going forth is prepared as the morning.”*

Obs. 3. The events associated with this morning are of such a nature that they can only be realized after the Second Advent; and they thus confirm the Pre-Mill. Advent, the reign of the Just One in the day following this morning, etc.
1. The resurrection and the dominion of the saints is connected with this morning Thus in Ps. 49:14, 15, the Psalmist contrasts the condition of the wicked and righteous: “Like sheep they (the wicked) are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them; and the upright shall have dominion over them IN THE MORNING; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave; for He shall receive me.” Here the prophet distinguishes between those who rise in the morning (1st res.) and have dominion, and the rest of the dead who lived not again until the one thousand years were finished. In Ps. 88:10–15, after alluding to death and the grave whither he was tending, the Psalmist asks, “Wilt Thou show wonders to the dead? Shall the dead arise and praise Thee?” etc., and then expresses his hope of a resurrection: “But unto Thee have I cried, O Lord; and IN THE MORNING shall my prayer prevent Thee.” The same is found in Ps. 143:8, where death is described as smiting the righteous one and making him to dwell in darkness, and the prayer, inspired by the Spirit, comes forth impressively: “Cause me to hear Thy lovingkindness IN THE MORNING, for in Thee do I trust,” etc. The expression found in several Ps., “I will awake early,” can only be satisfactorily explained of his awaking (res.) in this morning. In Ps. 90, after alluding to the universality of death, etc., the petition is offered: “Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent Thee concerning Thy servants” (that is, do not let them thus be subject to the power of death); “O satisfy us early (lit. as some critics: in the morning), with Thy mercy, that we may be glad and rejoice all our days.” If we are to take the rendering given by the Vulgate, Syriac, Chaldee, and by some critics, of the phrase, Eng. Version of Isa. 26:19: “for Thy dew is as the dew of herbs,” which is presented as “the dew of the dawn,” then in immediate connection with the resurrection there is reference to the morning. Delitzsch, sustained by Alexander on Isa. and others, translates Isa. 8:19, 20, “they are a people for whom NO MORNING DAWNS,” which the marg. reading, “Heb. no morning,” also affirms; thus corroborating that the wicked, living or dead, have no part or lot in this morning.

2. The utter destruction and removal of the wicked is identified with this incoming morning. This we have seen is predicated also of the introduction of the Mill. age. Thus Isa. 17:14, speaking of the nations who set themselves against God (as in the last confederation, Rev. 19, etc.), adds: “Behold AT EVENING TIDE trouble; and BEFORE THE MORNING he is not. This is the portion of those that spoil us (compare Zech. 14), and the lot of them that rob us.” In Mal. 4 the wicked are consumed and utterly rooted out at the time “the Sun of Righteousness” arises. In Ps. 59:16, after describing the confederation and overthrow of the wicked by the power of God, foreseeing the time of its accomplishment, the prophet bursts forth exultingly: “But I will sing of Thy power, yea, I will sing aloud of Thy mercy IN THE MORNING,” etc. If we take even Origen’s (Ag. Celsus) rendering of the word “early” in Ps. 101:8 which he makes “morning,” we have affirmed the destruction of the wicked of the land that they may be cut off from the city of the Lord.
3. It is, as the Mill. descriptions predict, a time of deliverance and salvation. Thus in Ps. 46:5, after portraying the mighty confederation under the figure of the roaring waters and the swelling sea, and then continuing the figure drawn from the waters and representing the incoming river or Kingdom so gladsome, the Psalmist assigns both the reason and the time when this confederation shall be overthrown and His Kingdom shall be established to the joy of His people: “God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God shall help her, and that RIGHT EARLY,” or as marg. reading, Heb. “WHEN THE MORNING APPEARETH.” If it is allowable to receive the translation of Zeph. 3:5 given by Gildas (A.D. 546), there would be a distinct reference to this morning, as follows: “Our Lord is upright in the midst of His people, and in the morning He will not do injustice, in the morning He will give His judgment.” Job even (7:21) expresses the idea that deliverance shall be granted by God “in the morning” to those whom He, “the preserver of men,” has pardoned.

4. This morning is identified with the rule of Christ, and the glorification of the saints. This we have already seen, but the Spirit gives us additional evidence. Thus in Ps. 110:2, 3, at the very time that “the Lord shall send the rod of His strength out of Zion and shall rule in the midst of His enemies,” then, “Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy power, in the beauty of holiness from the womb of THE MORNING” (alluding to “the birth,” etc.); “Thou hast the dew of thy youth” (referring to the renewal). If considered in the light of the general tenor of the Word, this passage is exceedingly expressive and beautiful.

5. Having shown and advocated as a necessary condition the restoration of the Jewish nation, a confirmation is found in the specification that this also (as we contended) takes place in this morning. Turning to Hos. 5:14, 15, and 6:3, when the Jewish restoration is spoken of in verse 11 (see McNeile, Lec. 4, Prospects of the Jews), it is said: “in their affliction they will seek me IN THE MORNING;” and in the next chapter, verse 3, the Lord’s return or coming is likened to “the morning.”

Obs. 4. The identification of this morning with the beginning of the Mill. day not only confirms the doctrine of the Kingdom, but teaches us how to estimate the spiritualistic conception of “the Morning Land,” etc., to be immediately realized after death.* It puts aside as irrelevant a mass of matter put into print concerning “the morning” as connected with the present state of the Church, with death, or with the third heaven. It enables us also to correct such unintentional mistakes into which Lange falls, when he says (Com., p. 355), “the festive evening (hour of final reward) of the Church will take place at the Sec. appearing of Christ, which must not be confounded with the final judgment.” The substitution of “morning” for “evening” makes the sentence more Scriptural.

Obs. 5. This subject gives pertinency and preciousness to the promise: “I will give unto Him the morning star.” This Star is Jesus Himself, Rev. 22:16, etc. There is even here an allusion to the time of a special bestowal, viz., at the period when Jesus is manifested as “the morning star,” i.e., even before the dawn of the day itself. Jesus will come, and the saints, to whom the ruling is promised in the context, shall be associated with Him in judgment, etc. We have in “the Morning Star” an implied reference to the first stage (Prop. 130) of the Advent, the thief-like coming for the saints, and to obtain it indicates that we are worthy of the better res. or (if living) of the translation. The mention of this in such a connection is also exceedingly significant of the exaltation of the saints to coheirship with the Christ when the morning breaks. It embraces more than the comparison of Dan. 12:3, viz., distinguishing honor and intimate relationship with Jesus at a specified period. Blessed they, who shall experience this bestowal of love.*

  PROPOSITION 140. This doctrine of the Kingdom confirmed by the phraseology of the New Test. respecting “the end of the age.”

Having shown that the Jewish idea of a “world to come,” a dispensation or age to come, a septenary or millenary still future, necessarily involves the ending of this age and the introduction of another (which the Jews also plainly stated, as e.g. Prop. 138, Obs. 1 and 3), a link in the chain of evidence (seeing that the Messianic Kingdom is with them identified with the closing of this age and the coming in of a future one) is presented by considering how the New Test. language corroborates the Jewish view when reverting to “the end of the age.”

Obs. 1. The student will notice how the Jewish idea is presented in Matt. 24:3, where the disciples asked concerning “the end of the world.” (1) Almost every commentator frankly admits that the word translated “world” is in the original “age” or “dispensation.” To the critic or the Biblical investigator, there is no question respecting its reference to “the ending of the age.” For, as is well known, the Jews expected under the Messiah (who should abide forever John 12:34) such great changes that they looked for a termination of the present, and the introduction of a new order or arrangement of things under Him. Hence the pertinency of the disciples’ question, being in accord with the current views on the subject. (2) This is made decisive by their uniting, just as the Jews did, with the ending of the age the coming of the Messiah. The coming and the ending of the age were inseparably connected in the Jewish mind. The reader will also notice that Jesus in His reply gives not the slightest hint of their being mistaken, but proceeds to answer the questions as legitimate. This Jewish usage is also seen in Heb. 9:26, where Christ is said to have come, to make a sacrifice for sin, at the conclusion, ending of the preceding dispensation or age, then called “The end of the world,” or ages. (Comp. 1 Cor. 10:11.) The same is found in the promise of Christ, Matt. 28:20, to be with His people “unto the end of the world” or age—that is, down to the very close of this dispensation. Some have confined this to the Jewish age ending at the destruction of Jerusalem, but united as it is with the gospel preaching, etc., it seems rather to apply to the present dispensation. The ending of the age, to usher in another and more glorious Messianic one, is a Jewish conception which has Scriptural foundation and inspired warrant for its adoption.

Obs. 2. For it is employed by Jesus Himself in His address to the Jews, without any alleged change of meaning, and in accord with their views. Thus Matt. 13:39, 40, 49, “the harvest is the end of the world,” “so shall it be at the end of this world,” simply means that such things will be at “the end of the age.” Every commentator, with sufficient candor, whatever his views may be, will acknowledge that such is its definite meaning. Jesus, thus adopting the Jewish phraseology, points unerringly to a future age to be introduced, after this one is closed, connecting with it the Kingdom of the Son of man precisely as the Jews were accustomed to regard the matter. The disciples to whom the parable was explained understood the phraseology in its usual Jewish significancy, as is evident from their questions, Matt. 24:3 and Acts 1:6. If it be said, that after the day of Pentecost they changed their views, it is found amply rebutted by the continued usage of the phraseology, as in Eph. 1:21, “not only in this world (aiōn, age) but also in that which is to come,” Eph. 2:7, “in the ages to come;” Eph. 3:21, “throughout all ages, world without end” (or, throughout or unto all the generations of the age of ages), etc. Allusion has already been made to Luke 20:34, where the Saviour contrasts “this world” or age with “that world” or age, linking the future one, just as the Jews did, with the resurrection. Addressed to Jews, it certainly must have strengthened them in their belief of the Messianic Kingdom and age being still future, because, first, it could only begin when at least the one in which they lived had run its allotted course, and second, it was identified, as they also held, with a resurrection from the dead.

Obs. 3. This expectation of the Jews of a closing and then an incoming age throws light upon the language of Martha, John 11:24, when she says, “that her brother shall rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” The “last day” was synonymous with the ending of the age at which time the Jews believed the resurrection would take place. Jesus, by employing the same phrase, John 6:39, 40, 44, 54, directs attention, according to the prevailing belief, to another age, of which “the last day” of a closing one is the precursor. So delicately guarded too are the expressions concerning this “last day,” that in no respect do they embrace the notion of our opponents. The resurrection of believers (as we hold) is only associated with the phrase. The wicked, the rejecter of the truth, is indeed judged by the Word in “the last day,” John 12:48, but he is judged by it unworthy of the first resurrection. So also the phrase “last days,” derived from Gen. 49:1; Isa. 2:2; Micah 4:1, was applied by the Jews to that closing period of time, when under the auspices of the Messiah a new era or age would be inaugurated, and thence were allied with the coming and reign of David’s Son. The apostles, as well they might, retain the expression and locate them in the future—knowing that they were universally held to be followed by the era of blessedness delineated by the prophets—as e.g. 2 Tim. 3:1; James 5:3; 2 Pet. 3:3. The phrase as used in Heb. 1:2 may denote either the concluding portion of the Jewish or Mosaic dispensation, or it may, in view of the unknown duration of this dispensation, refer to the fact that these “last days” are associated with this dispensation, and in the largeness of the Divine measure of time were regarded as near at hand, and even present. For we have another expression which covers the same ground, viz., that of “the last time” in 1 Pet. 1:5, 20, where “the last time” is future, and the plural form “last times” is both present and future. In 1 John 2:18, “the last time” includes this dispensation, which, according to the Jewish estimate, would then be preparative to the ushering in of the new and desired dispensation. This is clearly seen in John’s associating the Coming of the Messiah (v. 28 etc.) with the close of this “last time.” Comp. Jude 18 with preceding context. Thus by a comparison of Scripture, and observing the current views on the subject, it is found that while there are strong intimations that this age is “the last” one preceding the final and much-desired one of Messianic manifestation in glory, yet the most of the references direct our attention to the future, the closing period of the dispensation, for an astounding outbreak of wickedness and an open display of Divine power, to be followed by a glorious age. Not one of these utterances indorses the monkish notion—even now entertained by learned men—that time will end, or that no other age shall succeed this one on the earth. The very phraseology, Jewish in origin, and the manner in which it is united with the Coming of Jesus, the resurrection, and the rejection and overthrow of the wicked, amply sustains our position.

Obs. 4. The expressions “end of the world,” “last day,” etc., have influenced many to reject the Jewish idea of a dispensation to follow this one; and in their eagerness to make out such an age or era impracticable, they have even asserted the complete destruction of the world (some even have it annihilated, see following Prop.), and a previous withdrawal of the righteous to the third heaven, where they forever remain. In brief, the perpetuity of the earth is denied, or at least its being rendered unfit and uninhabitable for the redeemed, is declared. Now our entire argument assumes the exact reverse, and if such a Kingdom, age, day of Christ, etc., is to come at the end of this age, then the continued existence and perpetuity of the earth must, in the very nature of the case, be also a fact. How else can the Davidic throne and Kingdom be re-established, and all the covenant promises be realized? Instead of casting ourselves upon the Covenant, and the promises derived from the Covenant, which boldly take the matter for granted, assume it as self-evident and indispensable, we shall now proceed, in order to guard our argument on all sides, to produce direct reasons given by the Spirit to indicate this very perpetuity.*

Obs. 5. So powerful and convincing are the reasons for holding to the ending of the present ago or dispensation and the ushering of another and more glorious (the Sabbatism), that a multitude of the most eminent and learned men firmly hold to it. Indeed it would be almost universal, if all could be persuaded that the predicted reign of the Messiah on earth is still future. Dr. Breckenridge (Knowledge of God Subjectively Considered, p. 668–9) only expresses the opinion of these, when he speaks of the Mill. period, introduced by the Sec. Advent, as “a new dispensation,” “as distinct and real as any preceding dispensation,” made requisite in order to fulfil the Scriptures. If we accept of the Pre-Mill. Advent, the Pre-Mill. resurrection of the saints, the Scriptural idea of the day of judgment and the day of the Lord Jesus, the personal reign of Jesus and the saints, we are inevitably forced to this position, which the Scriptures so abundantly sustain, seeing that a new period, new ordering, new dispensational arrangements, are a necessary sequence. This is indorsed by the highest theological authorities, as seen e.g. in Rothe, Delitzsch, Auberlen, and others. (Comp. e.g. our quotation from Van Oosterzee, Prop. 133, Obs. 4, note 1.)*

  PROPOSITION 141. This Kingdom necessarily united with the perpetuity of the earth

Necessarily, because this earth is the promised inheritance tendered to Abraham; this earth is the theatre on which David’s throne and Kingdom existed, and if re-established at the Sec. Advent demands its continuance; this earth is covenanted to David’s Son and promised to the saints, and hence God’s oath and faithfulness are involved in its perpetuity (comp. Props. 137, 138, 139, 140, 142, 144, 152, etc.).*

Obs. 1. The misleading phrase “the end of the world” has been considered under the previous Prop. If employed simply to denote the end of an order or arrangement connected with the world, it would not be objectionable, but used as it is by learned divines without explanation in support of a preconceived theory, it leaves the impression that the world itself, the earth or globe, shall come to an end. This indeed has been maintained by Popish and Protestant writers, has been so sedulously preached and printed, until the minds of multitudes, misguided by the phrase just alluded to and the refusal (designed?) of popular commentators to explain it in the Gospels, hold to the earth’s utter destruction and annihilation. Dr. Hodge (Sys. Div., vol. 3, p. 853) declares, on the authority of Schmid (Dog.), that the Luther an doctrine is that the world shall be reduced to nothing. This indeed may be the individual opinion of some Lutheran divines, just as it is that of some Calvinists, but it is no Lutheran doctrine, from the fact that both Luther and Melanchthon taught the contrary, and that multitudes of Lutherans, not being bound by any confession on the subject, teach the renewal and perpetuity of the earth.*

Obs. 2. It is admitted that there is no direct passage within the lids of the Bible which teaches the annihilation of the earth. It is remarked by Olshausen (Com. Matt. 24) and others, that we never find the expression in the original which would indicate a proper ending of the world in the sense held by many divines. It is simply inferred from an incorrect reception of certain phrases, and from the conflagration of 2 Pet. 3, and finds acceptance because eminently fitted to carry out the spiritualistic and mystical conceptions of their preconceived Kingdom of God. What foundation the inference has in the phrases “last day,” etc., has been made apparent, and what basis it finds in Peter’s portrayal will appear (Prop. 150) as we proceed in the discussion. Thus much may now be said of the latter, that neither the early Jewish nor Gentile churches taught the inferences so confidently advanced by moderns concerning the results of that fire. If it were so fatally Anti-Millenarian as alleged, it is singular, to say the least, that it had no effect on the Early Church belief, and not even on Peter himself, who, as a host of able men (our opponents), tell us, was “Jewish Millenarian, in view, retaining to the last “a materialistic husk.”*

Obs. 3. In this discussion the reader will not fail to notice the important concessions made by many of our opponents. Literally a multitude of them might be adduced, in which the perpetuity of the earth, after some changes and a process of renewal, is asserted. Neander in several places emphatically declares that at the consummation, restitution, new creation of nature, Coming of Christ, (p. 524), “this globe is destined to be the scene of the triumphant Kingdom of God,” and that such is the teaching of Paul, etc. Barnes, Com., advocates the renewal and perpetuity of this earth, but is somewhat at a loss what to do with it after its renewal; hesitating between putting the saints in it, or in the third heaven. Dick, (Phil, of a Fut. State), speaking of the opinion held by some that “the material universe be blotted out of existence,” etc., adds: “it is astonishing that it should ever be entertained by any man calling himself a divine or Christian preacher,” and then advocates a renewal, etc. Calvin correctly says (Insti., ch. 25, s. 9), “Christ will come, not for the destruction of the world, but for purposes of salvation;” and in sec. 11 advocates a complete restoration. Dr. Hodge, Sys. Div., after finding fault with Dr. Seiss for presenting precisely the view and almost the language of Calvin, finally admits the renewal and perpetuity of the earth. This slight notice of admissions, made by hundreds of writers of a similar tenor, is amply sufficient for our purpose, which is this—that such is the nature of prophecy relating to the earth, the removal of the curse, its renovation, etc., that able and learned men, largely addicted to spiritualizing, find it impossible, without direct antagonism, to indorse either the daring speculation of annihilation, or the equally bold conjecture that the new creation refers to the third heaven. This, as far as it goes, is so much added to our side of the argument. It is remarkable that while there is a general acceptance of Origen’s alleged views respecting the end of the world, he himself (De Prin., B. 1, ch. 6), expressly asserts that he did not wish to be understood as presenting them as “a fixed and certain decision,” but rather “in the manner of investigation and discussion.” His aim, however, to present them “in the style of a disputation rather than of strict definition,” was defeated by their being accepted as weapons against Chiliasm. Origen, in the same book (De Prin., B. 6, ch. 6, s. 4), rejects the idea of annihilation or utter destruction, fully indorsing a renewal. Thus the very man, to whom we are the most indebted for influencing, by his system of interpretation, the obscuring of the truth on this and other points, frankly admits in one aspect the Jewish and Early Church view of renewal and perpetuity.

Obs. 4. The Word expressly declares the continuance and perpetuity of the earth, and no one should venture a counter statement without the same is presented in similar positive terms. Thus e.g. Ps. 104:5, “God laid the foundations of the earth that it should not be removed forever.” Compare Ps. 148:3, 5, 6; Eccl. 1:4; Ps. 89:36; Jer. 31:35, etc. But to place it apparently beyond all contradiction, the perpetuity of God’s promises and faithfulness is contrasted with the perpetuity of the earth, as e.g. Jer. 33:25, 26, and, especially when the covenant itself is specified, in Ps. 89:34–37. Other passages will be presented in the following Propositions in order to save repetition.*

Obs. 5. Aside from various considerations presented in previous Propositions which direct the eye of faith to the perpetuity of the earth, a few additional may be adduced, as follows. (1) The Early Church, having the advantage of apostolic teaching on a subject which excited special attention, held, as far as known, to the same. (2) Taking the Millennial descriptions as a whole, without forcibly separating them, they clearly teach a purification, renewal, and perpetuity. (3) The promise individually to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, to inherit the land, and the same promise to the saints, imply it. (4) The praying of God’s will to be done on earth as in heaven—which we know will never be done in the mixed condition of the Church and world down to the Second Advent—infers it. (5) The harvest at the end of the age, by a comparison of the Scriptures bearing on it, teaches it. (6) Separate prophecies which speak of the perpetuity of the Kingdom, etc., after the Advent of Christ, such as Dan. 7, Isa. 65 and 66, etc., cannot be consistently explained on any other ground. (7) The same truth is contained in the predictions, that He shall have all rule, all enemies under Him, etc., after His Sec. Advent, He being at the same time the Restorer. (8) The Pre-Mill. Advent, with the results attending it here on earth, evince the same. (9) The throne and Kingdom—the inheritance of David’s Son, cannot be received, as covenanted, unless the perpetuity of the earth after His Coming is upheld. In brief, (10) the restitution, the heirship of the world (Rom. 4:13), removal of the curse, the predicted reign of the saints on the earth, the occurrences after the Millennial era, as related by John and the prophets, etc., all inculcate the same truth.

Obs. 6. Besides this, it may well be asked whether an earth so highly honored by the birth, presence, sufferings, and death of Christ (and which is His also by inheritance), can possibly be blotted out of existence. Events, the most intensely interesting in the moral government of God, have here taken place; the most astounding display of Divine attributes is linked with its history; the marvellous Redemptive process has magnified this globe into a prominent place among all the worlds of the Universe, and, unless specifically declared, it is opposed to all our higher and nobler views of God’s grandeur, Christ’s honor, and the Spirit’s agencies, to suppose that such an earth, which witnessed the humiliation, tears, sufferings, agony, and blood of Jesus; which was hallowed by His infant, childhood, and manly feet and voice, and consecrated by His miracles and works of mercy and love, should ever be utterly destroyed. Neither piety nor reason, neither the glory of God nor the welfare of man, desire an earth containing a Bethlehem, a Jerusalem, a Gethsemane, or a Calvary to be erased from the Universe. The thought is revolting. Aside from God’s glory in Redemption, it does not accord with our feelings or wishes that this earth, in which we were renewed, the witness of our pilgrimage, the scene of most intimate and endearing relations, the place of ennobling associations, should be blotted out of existence. From such a belief, a reduction to nothing, etc., enlightened piety and reason, and even feeling, shrink as inconsistent with the Divine attributes and the utterances of Scripture. And it is a matter of amazement, that through a mystical conception of God’s Kingdom, divines ever entertained a view so derogatory to truth and God’s dealings, as well as to the noblest instincts of man; just as if the latter could desire that his own childhood’s home—the spot on earth sweetest to memory—should forever perish and attribute the same feeling to Jesus.*

Obs. 7. The renewal and perpetuity of the earth is requisite to secure the Redeemer’s glory, in the perfecting of His Redemptive work, etc. If the earth should only contain the Church in its mixed condition, the entailment of the curse, the products of selfishness manifested in wars, etc., down to the Sec. Advent, and it should then be utterly destroyed and ever remain thus, then it follows that the Scriptures respecting the Christ would evermore remain unfulfilled. For down to that Sec. Advent, owing to the postponement of the Kingdom, He does not reign in the covenanted Kingdom; down to that Second Advent, owing to that postponement and a consequent preliminary gathering out of saints, He does not fulfil the promises respecting His own reign, or those pertaining to the saints inheriting the Kingdom. His Sec. Advent being for purposes of salvation, constitutes, in the work then performed, Him a perfect Redeemer. It is fully admitted that down to that Advent salvation is imperfect—the forfeited blessings are not restored. Hence it follows, that if the earth is destroyed, as many hold, soon after that Advent, there is no place for the fulfilment of covenant or covenant promises. More than this: it gives, so far as this earth is concerned, the victory to Satan; for, if the curse is not repealed; if evil is not extirpated; if the forfeited blessings are not restored; if man’s long-lost home is not given back to him in its Edenic loveliness; if the race is not brought back to its original condition and dwelling in a purified earth, then Satan triumphs in the ruin accomplished, just as he would triumph if the grave should evermore hold our bodies in confinement; just as he would gain the victory if our hearts would never more exultantly swell with love supreme to God. But in the redemption of the earth itself, in the recreation and perpetuation of it, in the fulfilment of the promises pertaining to it, as embracing the Kingdom extending over it, etc., Christ’s power and glory as Redeemer, as King, as the All-sufficient, is duly manifested.*

Obs. 8. The proposition is apparent even from the manner in which the Bible begins and ends. It commences with an earthly Paradise lost, an earth cursed; it ends with an earthly Paradise regained through Christ, just as Milton, Cowper, Heber, C. Wesley (and other poets), but above all the sacred writers, so sweetly describe. The last scene, showing the ability of Jesus to save, is one here on a redeemed earth, for that which is of the third heaven is expressly declared to come down, from God, out of heaven upon it and remains (at least there is no record of its removal afterward). It must be so, or else the Plan of Redemption is imperfect, and the Kingdom of God cannot be manifested as covenanted and predicted. We are sinners, the Plan makes us holy; we lose our bodies by death, the Plan recovers them again; we lost Eden, the Plan restores it again; we lost the personal Presence of God, this Plan recovers that soul-satisfying Presence when God again dwells with man; we lost the contemplated visible Theocratic rule of God, this Plan makes, in the sacred Person of Jesus Christ, the most ample amends in filling the earth with His sovereignty, etc. Thus, in brief, every blessing with the removal of every evil, is linked with the culmination of this Divine Plan, and is inseparably fixed with the continuation of the earth itself. It is a Divine Purpose, culminating in the Kingdom, which shines forth at the end of the Bible in actual realization upon the earth—pertaining as it does to this world—and triumphant in overcoming the evil, and in bestowing the blessings contemplated by it. And if men would read the Word unbiassed, this relationship to the earth would appear as strongly to them as it did to the Early Church, which clung to it as something pertaining to Christ’s honor and to man’s happiness. However much the caution given by Luther is violated, yet there is profound wisdom in his saying: “It is important for us to recur to Adam’s original condition, as we expect all things to be brought back again to that.” Man’s fall is on the earth, and his recovery is on the earth, and, therefore, the earth itself is called upon to rejoice and exult in witnessing his glorious restoration.*

Obs. 9. The perpetuity of the earth is so much taken for granted, is so undoubted, that numerous promises are based upon it. Thus e.g. “Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth.” How this passage is to be understood is apparent from the prophets, who predict the time coming, still future, when this shall be realized, under the reign of David’s Son, when the Jewish nation is restored. Ps. 37 alone, from which Jesus quoted, contains this promise several times, and describes its occurrence to be when (as takes place at the Second Advent) the wicked shall be destroyed and utterly rooted out of the earth. The identical earth, occupied and so largely controlled by the wicked, is to be possessed by the righteous. The auditors of Jesus could not mistake the tenor of the promise, seeing that they all believed that the land was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob individually and to their seed to inherit; and certainly we ought not to spiritualize it away when an inspired apostle, taking into a comprehensive view the covenanted relationship of Abraham, calls Abraham (Rom. 4:13), “the heir of the world.” The inheriting (as even the Jews believed) follows the resurrection of the just, and Christ’s promise is only the confirmation of a general belief on the subject founded upon covenant and prophets. It assumes, as a necessary contingency or result, the perpetuity of the earth, recalling at once the fact that Palestine itself is pronounced to Abraham and his seed to be “an eternal inheritance.” The Millennial predictions, embracing the promises of the removal of sorrow, suffering, disease, and even death, portray events here on the earth which are positively located after the Second Advent, so that for their realization the continued existence of the earth is constantly implied, and asserted. Messiah’s Kingdom and the blessings relating to it are all experienced here, where the Theocracy was once established—where David’s throne and Kingdom once existed; the Bible closing with leaving Jesus, the saints, and the New Jerusalem here on the earth; the Word locating the “we shall reign with Him on the earth” after the Advent; Holy Writ speaking of “the day of Christ,” “the world to come,” etc., in which a Kingdom under the whole heaven shall be witnessed, after the Sec. Coming here in the world; Revelation making the will of God to be done on the earth in the coming Kingdom as it is done is heaven only after “the appearing” or “revelation of Jesus Christ;” in brief, the Word of God giving so many intimations and declarations as have already preceded (and as will immediately follow), in various propositions, it is impossible, intelligently, to entertain any other belief than the one advanced. The Divine Purpose is expressed in Isa. 60:21, “Thy people also shall be all righteous; they shall inherit the land forever; the branch of my planting, the work of my hands, that I may be glorified.”

Obs. 10. The perpetuity of the earth is so frankly admitted and even advocated in works especially intended against Millenarianism, that it seems to require no additional proof. Thus e.g. Brown (Christ’s Sec. Coming) receives the doctrine of the earth being renovated at the Advent of Jesus and forming the continued home of the saints, “a congenial abode for the glorified Church.” He defends this view against the charge of “carnalism” or a lowering of the celestial state, ascribing the objection to “some tincture of morbid spiritualism, which shrinks from the very touch of materialism, as if separation from it in every form would be the consummation of happiness;” and he pertinently asks, “May not the Gnostic element of the essential sinfulness and vanity of matter, be found lurking beneath it?” Barnes on Isa. 45:18 says: “The Jews from this passage infer, that the earth shall be inhabited after the resurrection—an idea which has every probability, since there will not be fewer reasons why the earth should be inhabited then than there are now; nor can there be any reasons why the earth should then exist in vain any more than now.” Various writers have held that, whatever changes or transformations may ensue hereafter at the consummation, the earth’s continuance will not be interfered with even by a destruction as great as that occasioned by the flood, alleging as proof Gen. 8:21, 22. Others have inferred the same from the phrases “an everlasting Kingdom,” which shall not pass away or be destroyed Dan. 7), from the reigning “forever and ever” attributed to Christ (Rev. 11:15) in relation to the earth, etc. To this period evidently belongs 1 Chron. 16:30, “the world also shall be stable, that it be not moved,” i.e. enjoying the stability induced by God’s reigning in the Theocratic order. For this Kingdom, prepared from the foundation of the world (Matt. 25:34), necessitates (as we have previously shown) the laying of “the foundations of the earth that they should not be removed forever” (Ps. 104:5). One of the works specifically attributed to Christ is (Isa. 49:8), “to establish (raise up) the earth, to cause to inherit the desolate heritages,” so that the significant address is made through Him (Isa. 51:16): “I have put my words in thy mouth, and I have covered thee in the shadow of My hand, that I may plant the heavens and lay the foundations of the earth, and say unto Zion, Thou art My people.” Thus taking the plan of Redemption, which includes “the redemption of the purchased possession,” the restoration of order to the world through Messiah’s Kingdom; taking the faith of the Jews, the Early Church and many eminent believers; taking the concessions, etc., of opponents, this doctrine—a requisite link in our argument—is unmistakably confirmed. It crops out, undesignedly, in various portions of the Word, as e.g. in Ps. 148:6, where the heavens, heights, angels, sun, moon, stars—all things created are mentioned as praising God, and their perpetuity is announced in “Let them praise the name of the Lord, for He commanded and they were created; He hath also stablished them forever and ever.” The earth has been created to show forth the praise of God, and sin shall not mar this laudation of the Most High (as it now does through the imperfection and evils entailed), and hence the time is coming when the declaration (Rev. 4:11) will be verified: “Thou hast created all things, and for Thy pleasure they are and were created.” God’s pleasure concerning the things created by Him is to be glorified by and through them; this, in the nature of the case, can only be effectually attained by their continuance, etc. Therefore it is, that in the description of the reign of David’s Son, as given in Ps. 72, the perpetuity of the Kingdom, of the Kingship of Christ is contrasted with the perpetuity of the Sun and the Moon—both are represented as enduring forever—the former dispensing blessings and the latter (creation) acknowledging them with grateful praise, under a supremacy over the world (inhabitable, Heb. 2:5), only realized after the Second Advent. The statement of Ps. 115:16 is true, and the promise made to Noah (Gen. 8:21, 22) is ever faithfully preserved.*

  PROPOSITION 142. The Kingdom being related to the earth (extending over it), and involving the res. of the saints (in order to inherit it), is sustained by the promise to the saints of their inheriting the earth.

It has been shown that the land is covenanted to the Patriarchs personally (Prop. 49), and that a res. is indispensable to its fulfilment; that (Rom. 8:13) “the promise” to Abraham involved, “that he should be the heir of the world,” and that all believers inherit—being identified with him as his seed—the same promise with him. This, of course, includes their res. also, for it promises them to inherit the land or earth. Having shown the res., let us notice those special promises as a confirmation of our doctrinal position.

Obs. 1. The re-establishment of the Davidic throne and Kingdom here on earth, as Covenant, Prophets, pious Jews, Rabbis, disciples, Apostolic Fathers, etc., teach, and as presented in previous Propositions, demands, if God reveals at all the destination of saints, a specific mention of their receiving the earth as an inheritance. This has indeed already been established (see e.g. Props. 49 on covenants and Props. 116 and 122), but God has accumulated proof, as if purposely to rebuke and render inexcusable the prevailing unbelief in this particular.*

Obs. 2. The declaration of Jesus, Matt. 5:5, that the meek shall inherit the earth, ought to be decisive. But men under the influence of a plastic system of interpretation, urged on by a preconceived notion, leave the plain meaning of the promise and explain it away. One gravely tells us that it is “a proverbial expression,” not seeing that, as employed by the Jews, it favors our view. Another informs us “that the Jews considered Canaan a type of heaven,” without an attempt of proof, and against their expressed hopes on the subject. One tolls us that it means that the meek man is in this world the most prospered, against innumerable examples to the contrary. Another passes it by with some generality or vague expression, that it is “a symbol,” or “an outward possession.” Some tell us that it is “a spiritual inheritance” over the earth by individuals and the Church; others again, not satisfied entirely with such meanings attached, inform us (as Gerlach, Lange’s Com.) that the promises will only be fully accomplished at the Sec. Advent, or (as Neander, Life of Christ, s. 149), that it is not merely to be confined to “the blessedness of the Kingdom of God,” but denotes a “world-dominion which Christians, as organs of the spirit of Christ, are ever more and more to obtain as the Kingdom of God shall win increasing sway over mankind and the relation of society, until, in its final consummation, the whole earth shall own its dominion.” Every writer too acknowledges that it includes this inheriting in the Messianic Kingdom. Rejecting the manner of introduction suggested by Neander and others, they certainly are correct in the main idea of its including the notion of “a world-dominion,” thus identifying it, as it should be, with the possession of the earth given to the saints in Dan. 7, etc. The position of some German and other commentators, as well as that of the Early Church, is alone tenable, viz., that this promise yet remains unfulfilled, and pertains to the future. Now aside from the various and numerous arguments already given to show this, we are content to let only one passage indicate the time of its fulfilment. Let the reader turn to Psalm 37, where this same promise is repeated five times.* and he will find it in vs. 9, 11, 22, 29, 34, directly joined to and following a complete removal of evil-doers, not preceding it or contemporaneous with the continued presence of the wicked. It is significantly pointed out as future by the exhortation to “wait,” “wait patiently” for the Lord, and the blessedness that Christ alludes to is also attributed to it. Jesus undoubtedly quoted it, and if so, a reference to the connection in which the promise stands is all that we need to establish the time of its fulfilment—a time too, which the most uncompromising of our opponents fully and frequently admit—is only to be witnessed at the Sec. Advent, for volumes could be filled with the concessions made that “evil-doers” shall exist down to the Advent itself.*

Obs. 2. To avoid repetition, we leave direct arguments bearing on this point under following Propositions, and only give some allusions to this future possession of the earth by the righteous. Thus e.g. Prov. 11:31, “Behold the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth;” Prov. 12:7, “The wicked are overthrown and are not, but the house of the righteous shall stand;” Prov. 10:30, “The righteous shall never be removed, but the wicked shall not inhabit the earth,” evidently refer to the time Ps. 76:9, when God shall cast the wicked, “the stout-hearted,” into a “sleep,” when He shall be “terrible to the kings of the earth” (comp. Rev. 19, etc.), and shall “cut off the spirit of princes,” and “when God arose to judgment to save all the meek of the earth.” Under this period too fall the many promises to the righteous, that they “shall be blessed on the earth,” confirming the importance of our seeking true wisdom, “For (Prov. 2:21, 22) the upright shall dwell in the land, and the perfect shall remain in it, but the wicked shall be cut off from the earth, and the trangressors shall be rooted out of it.” Hence in this Millennial period, when, as our argument indicates, this is to be realized, the promise is reiterated. Thus e.g. in the sublime description of Isa. 60, it is added: “they (the righteous) shall inherit the land forever;” and in Isa. 54, “this is the heritage of the servants of the Lord,” so that, Isa. 57:13, it will be verified that “he that putteth his trust in Me shall possess the land, and shall inherit My holy mountain.” If we take the translation given by some (Clarke’s Com. loci) to the clause “for His mercy endureth forever,” in Ps. 136, viz., “For His tender mercy is to the coming age,” or if we only keep in view the idea of perpetuity or futurity in the phrase, and apply the same to vs. 21, 22, then the land is for “a heritage unto Israel” in the time yet to come. In Ps. 115 this doctrine is evolved, for, declaring the people of Israel are the “blessed of the Lord,” the Psalmist adds, “the heaven, even the heavens, are the Lord’s: but the earth hath He given to the children of men. The dead praise not the Lord, neither any that go down into silence. But we” (notice the implication sustained by the proof already adduced: we who are raised up from the dead, we who remain not thus in silence, we who shall receive the earth thus bestowed) “will bless the Lord from this time forth and for evermore.” The land of Canaan is called “rest,” and it is God’s “rest” (Ps. 95:7), as shown under Props. 122 and 143. It is not typical of something else, for that would overthrow the covenant and its promises. It is His “rest,” because in it the headship of the Theocratic government shall be specially manifested. A comparison of Scripture shows that, after a res. from the dead, an entrance into this “rest” is to be obtained. Thus e.g. Ps. 116 has “return unto thy rest, O my soul; for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee. For Thou hast delivered my soul from death, mine eyes from tears, and my feet from falling. I will walk before the Lord in the land of the living.” The identical “rest” promised is the one obtained after a res. The Jews thus understood the “rest” to denote the land, and the making of this rest glorious, etc., to mean that under the Messiah it would be renewed and beautified. Paul in writing to Jews does not contradict, but positively confirms this idea of the future inheritance, for instead of calling this rest the third heaven (as many unwarrantedly add), he (Heb 3 and 4) quotes Ps. 95, and designates the same “rest” the Psalmist does into which certain ones could not enter, but fell in the wilderness. He argues that through unbelief we too shall be cut off, but through faith in Christ, and by the power of Jesus, we too shall enter in “His rest” according to the promise. In the same epistle he declares that the promise is realized when this Jesus comes the second time unto salvation. If the Jews were mistaken in their conception of “the rest,” surely an inspired teacher like Paul ought to have corrected their views when adverting to the subject. But he could not, dared not contradict the plain truth, which they also held, and, therefore, as the unity of the Spirit and Divine Plan required, employs the reasoning best calculated to establish them in the only true idea of the inheritance promised to the Patriarchs and to all God’s people. (Comp. Prop. 143, on Sabbatism, etc.) This is strongly corroborated by other phraseology also employed by the Jews, indicated further on.

Obs. 3. Attention is again called to the confirmation our doctrine receives from the alleged omission of any but earthly blessings promised to believers in the Mosaic record, and long after. Bh. Warburton and others contend that we find nothing but what relates to this earth; some, as Edwards and others, that heavenly blessings are inferred; others, as Dr. Graves, that it can be found in a state of very gradual development; others again, as Horne, think that heavenly rewards, etc., are presupposed as an adopted article of religion. These, and opinions similar, reveal a darkness on the subject which the Jews and Early Church never possessed. The cause of the perplexity in such writers is simply this: coming to the Bible with the foreign derived idea of the saints’ inheritance, they find themselves at the very outset confronted with its direct opposite, and they are forced to resort to arbitrary conjectures and suppositions to support an uncalled-for theory. Rejecting Warburton’s explanation of the fact, yet he is correct in asserting that nowhere do we find in any of those records any other but an earthly inheritance promised. This has been noticed extensively by German critics, and even enemies of Christianity have sought to make it (on the supposition that the monkish notion of the third heaven inheritance is the true one) a fatal objection to the Bible. Let, however, the entire scope of the Bible speak; let Moses, David, Paul, let all speak; let covenant and covenant promises declare what is this promised inheritance, and in perfect harmony each and every one, proclaim it to be the inheriting of the land, of the earth, of the world, and the possessing of it for the ages. There is nothing hidden in these promises; they mean precisely what the words in their general usage indicate. Moses promises not merely, if the people are obedient, a temporal possession of the land, but a perpetual one. Those who died are still promised the same, implying a triumph over death and the grave; and, what ought to suffice, the assurance that God’s promises would, in this respect, be faithfully realized, is the golden chain which binds Moses, Prophets, Jesus, Apostles, pious Jews, Apostolic Fathers, and other worthies to hold that the time will most certainly arrive when all the meek shall inherit the earth.*

Obs. 4. Surely those who write so confidently that “the land (the earth) is of little worth to such as have tasted of the higher bliss of a heavenly state;” that it would be “an alarming retrograde of being from a heavenly state back to an earthly one;” that the saints themselves, on account of their heavenly experience, would be “unfit for any degree of blessedness this side of heaven itself,” besides a host of similar expressions, should well ponder lest they be found underrating, and sitting in judgment over the inheritance itself and its desirableness. This all may appear very foolish to man, but after all it may prove to be “the wisdom of God.” All such criticisms arise from making more of the intermediate state than the Bible warrants. If the pious dead are rewarded, crowned, inherit (Prop. 136), etc., as Popery and some Protestantism make it, then there would be some propriety in the objection. But until this is first established, the criticisms have no force. Again, they overlook what has been repeatedly stated by us, that this very possession of the earth is part of the Divine Plan in the Redemption of the race of man, and promotive of the greatest glory. The facts that we have urged, the passages presented, together with the belief of so many of God’s children in different ages, ought in themselves to be amply sufficient to prevent such disparaging remarks.*

Obs. 5. Truth demands the correction of esteemed writers, such as Jones, Shimeall, Butler and others, who make this inheritance to extend to the possession of other worlds, or the third heaven, or the Universe, in brief, “all things.” Leaving this theory for examination, especially as held by Shimeall, under the Prop. pertaining to the New Heavens and New Earth, and not objecting to the view that the saints in their glorified condition have access to other worlds, etc., we object to the theory on the ground that it makes the inheritance something very different from the one alone promised to the Patriarchs and to David’s Son, and under which promise the saints only inherit. That inheritance is the earth and not the third heaven or the Universe. The proofs assigned by Judge Jones (Notes on Scrip., p. 560) are purely inferential and opposed by direct covenant promises. The texts given against our view are the following: 1 Cor. 3:21, 23 (which says nothing contrary, merely specifying “things to come”); Rom. 8:38, 39 (which only asserts that nothing can separate us from the love of God); 2 Tim. 2:12 (that only declares the reign with Christ); Rev. 22:5 (which asserts a perpetual reign); John 20:17 (which has no reference to the subject). Indeed, we might ourselves select stronger passages than these, but over against any and every such selection can be placed the impregnable covenant, and the multitude of explicit promises based on, and derived from, it.*

Obs. 6. We append a few statements, out of many that could be adduced, in behalf of our position. Fairbairn (whose testimony is the more valuable, being an opponent to Chiliasm) justly refers (Typology, vol. 1, p. 314, 15) this inheriting to the renewed earth after the Sec. Advent, and observes that Christ could not have called a prosperous life in the present world as constituted “blessed,” but would rather (as He did) warn against the deceitfulness of riches and the abundance of honors; because “to be blessed in the earth as an inheritance, must import that the earth has become to them a real and proper good, such as it shall be when it has been transformed into a fit abode for redeemed natures.” He approvingly quotes (p. 316) Usteri (as given by Tholuck on Rom. 8:19) as saying that the “conception of a transference of the perfected Kingdom of God into the heavens, is, properly speaking, modern, seeing that according to Paul and the Apocalypse (and he might also have added Peter and Christ Himself), the seat of the Kingdom of God is the earth, inasmuch as that likewise partakes in the general renovation.” Such, he informs us, was the view “adopted by the greatest number, and the most ancient, of the Expositors,” such as Chrysostom, Theodoret, Jerome, Augustine, Ambrose, Luther, etc. He quotes as indorsing this view Jerome (on Isa. 65), Justin Martyr (Semisch’s Life and Times of Justin, Bib. Cab., vol. 42, p. 336), Calvin (Rom. 8:21), Haldane (Rom. 8:21), Fuller (The Gospel its Own Witness, ch. 5), Thiersh (His., vol. 1, p. 20), and Olshausen (on Matt. 8). How extended this list can be made is readily seen in the Props. on the history of our doctrine. Fairbairn (Typology, vol. 1, p. 292) argues that the possession of Canaan by the Jewish nation was “an earnest of the whole inheritance, and, as the world then stood, an effectual step toward its realization. Abraham, as the heir of Canaan, was thus also ‘the heir of the world,’ considered as a heritage of blessing.” The tendency to make the one simply typical of the other, or of heaven, vitiates the reasoning and conclusions of many writers, who forsake the covenants for mere human opinions. The Kingdom and the earth sustain an inseparable relationship, and the inheriting of the one is the inheriting of the other. Rothe (Dogmatic, P. 2, p. 58) clearly apprehends this, and says: “He, moreover, designates the blessedness of this Kingdom as an inheriting the earth, for to this Chiliastic Kingdom the passage, Matt. 5:5, must be referred.”*

Obs. 7. This doctrine teaches us how to regard the various theories of inheritance, such as the third heaven idea, the central universe notion, the metaphysical heaven (of Good’s, etc.), which gives no place of existence, the spiritualist’s visible unfolding of the invisible, “the Sun our Heaven” (so Mortimore, Wittie, etc.), and the infidel’s no future inheritance. By overlooking the plainest promises and oath-bound covenants, or by spiritualizing them, men manufacture inheritances of their own. No matter that the inheriting of the earth was a favorite Jewish doctrine based on the Messianic prophecies and the predicted supremacy; when Jesus uttered this promise it must be modernized and accommodated to the supposed advanced theological opinions of the age, moulded by the influence of some favorite philosophy. No matter that the Patriarchs are personally promised such an inheriting; that the Messiah is personally to receive the land as an inheritance; that the saints, as part of a perfected Redemption, are to realize it; that a thousand predictions direct attention to it, the leaven of the old Gnostic spirit against matter and the claimed higher spirituality, deliberately refuses the plain grammatical sense, and substitutes another sense at the will of the interpreter.*

  PROPOSITION 143. The early church doctrine of the Kingdom is supported by “the Rest,” or keeping of the Sabbath, mentioned by Paul.

If it can be shown that the Sabbath was regarded as typical of the Kingdom of the Messiah as covenanted, and of the Millennial era, and then if it is found that Paul adopts the phraseology current on this point and uses it, without change of meaning, in a way to confirm the opinions existing, it forms an additional argument in favor of the primitive view of the Kingdom.

Obs. 1. Observe how the Jews believed on this subject. Bh. Newton has well stated (Dis. on Proph., p. 587) on the thousand years of Rev. 20, “that the Jewish Church before John, and the Christian Church after him, have believed and taught that these one thousand years will be the seventh Millenary of the world. A pompous heap of quotations might be produced to this purpose, both from Jewish and Christian writers.” He then produces a few quotations from Rab. Ketina, from “the tradition of the house of Elias, who lived two hundred years or thereabouts before Christ,” etc. Mede, Burnet, Lightfoot, Russell, Brookes, Taylor, Elliott, Bush, and many others, give various extracts establishing the general view thus entertained. As impartial authority, we may give what Dr. Whitby observes on Heb. 4:9, quoting R. Eliezer (c. 18, p. 41) as saying, “the blessed Lord created seven worlds (i.e. aiōnas, ages), but one of them is all Sabbath and rest in life eternal,” and then adds: “he refers to their (the Jews’) common opinion that the world should continue six thousand years, and then a perpetual Sabbath should begin, typified by God’s resting on the seventh day and blessing it.” Elliott notices that this same Rabbi makes (Midras Till., p. 4) “The days of Messiah are one thousand years.” Whitby also quotes Bereschith Rabba: “If we expound the seventh day of the seventh thousand of years, which is the world to come, the exposition is, ‘He blessed it,’ because that in the seventh thousand all souls shall be bound in the bundle of life.” “So our Rabbins, of blessed memory, have said in their commentaries on ‘God blessed the seventh day,’ that the Holy Ghost blessed the world to come, which beginneth in the seventh thousandth of years. Again, Philo is copious on the same subject, stating that the Sabbaths of the law were allegories or figurative expressions.”*

Obs. 2. Writers inform us that this Jewish opinion of the seventh Millenary, however we may account for it, was continued in the Christian, Jewish, and Gentile churches established by the apostles and their successors, and that it was entertained both by Millenarians and their opponents. This is abundantly confirmed by a little research. Papias (Frag. Ante-Nic. Lib., vol. 1, p. 447, inferred from Euseb. His., B. 3, s. 39) makes the days of creation typical. Barnabas (Epis., c. 15), commenting on the words: “ ‘And God made in six days the works of His hands and He finished them on the seventh day and He rested in it and sanctified it,” says: “Consider, children, what that signifies, He finished them in six days. This it signifies, that the Lord God will finish all things in six thousand years. For a day with Him is a thousand years; as He Himself testifieth, saying: “Behold this day shall be as a thousand years.” Therefore, children, in six days, that is in six thousand years, shall all things be consummated. And He rested the seventh day; this signifies that when His Son shall come, and shall abolish the season of the Wicked One, and shall judge the ungodly and shall change the sun, and the moon, and the stars, then He shall rest gloriously in that seventh day.’ ” Such also is the opinion of Irenæus (Adv. Hœr., 5), Justin Martyr (Ques. and Ans., 71, Dial. with Try.), Polycarp (see testimony of Irenæus concerning him as given by Brooks, El. Proph. Inter., p. 38, etc.), Tertullian (Ag. Marcion, B. 3, c. 24, etc.), Lactantius (Div. Insti., c. 14, 24, 26), Cyprian (See Exh. Mart., 11), Ambrose (In Luc., 8:23), and others. So deeply rooted was this notion of the Millenaries that even Origen, Jerome, and Augustine indorse it. The student knows that Bh. Taylor (Lib. of Prophesying, s. 5) ranks Origen among the Millenarians, and critics suppose that it arose from Origen’s expectation of the renovation of all things at the end of six thousand years. Jerome’s statements are to be found in his letter (139) to Cyprian, Comment on Ps. 90:4, and Micah 4. As Augustine aided largely in overthrowing and darkening the early Church view of the Kingdom, we may, in this respect, more particularly specify his opinion. In De Gen. contra Manich., he proposes that the six days give a prophetic sketch of the epochs in the history of man, making the sixth the Christian dispensation, etc. In City of God, B. 20, c. 7, he says that he would not object to a literal resurrection to be succeeded by a Sabbath rest during one thousand years, provided it were spiritual: “a kind of seventh day Sabbath in the succeeding thousand years; and it is for this purpose the saints rise, viz., to celebrate this Sabbath. And this opinion would not be objectionable, if it were believed that the joys of the saints in that Sabbath shall be spiritual and consequent on the presence of God; for I myself too, once held this opinion.” That his opinion concerning the Millenaries underwent no change, is seen by reference to the City of God, last chapter, where he makes the days ages, counting his own age in which he lived the sixth, calling the seventh age the Sabbath in which we shall have rest, and this last day or age he has closed by the ushering in of an eighth and eternal day or age. It has been noticed by various writers that many of the later Anti-pre-millenarians explained the seventh day to be typical of an eternal Sabbath. So generally was this theory of the Millenaries held that, adopting the chronology of the Septuagint, at different periods, when it was supposed that the six thousand years were ending, an almost universal belief in the ending of the world was entertained. The duration of the world for six thousand years, to be followed by a Sabbath of rest, was so rooted into the Church that the Reformers frequently expressed their faith in a speedy end, even after the Hebrew chronology was adopted in place of the Septuagint. Elliott (Horœ Apoc.), Taylor (Voice of the Church), and others (as Seiss, Brooks, Shimeall, Lord, etc.) have given numerous extracts from Luther, Melanchthon, etc., indicating this remarkable feature, viz., their belief in a near closing of the dispensation, etc. It would be easy to introduce a long list of eminent names in the Church who have continued to hold to this ancient belief, not only Millenarians, but many of their opponents; and, account for it as we may, such an opinion, if not susceptible of definite scriptural proof, deserves, in view of its reception and retention, the respectful attention of the Biblical student.

Obs. 3. A few remarks may suggest reasons for there being so widespread and deeply imbedded a feeling that the seventh Millenary will introduce something extraordinary in the Divine Purpose. Students of deep reflection have considered that about the two thousandth year the call of, and promise to, Abraham was given, that about two thousand years after was the Coming of the promised seed to make a sacrifice, and that, judging from analogy, we may reasonably expect something remarkable to occur at the expiration of two thousand years more. Besides this, eminent writers, as Kurtz (His. of Old Cov.), Prof. Stuart (Com. Rev.), and others lay stress on the symbolical character of the numbers ten, seven, three, etc. Among their statements we find it frequently asserted that “seven is the seal of the covenant with Jehovah,” of “rest” and “completeness,” and is applied to the Abrahamic. But such writers overlook the important and significant fact that if it is such, then it embraces the Davidic Covenant also, which is an outgrowth or enlargement of the Abrahamic. If so (for we are only taking their deductions for granted), then it legitimately follows, provided the symbolical import is adopted, that we are directed to the seventh chiliad as the period when the covenant shall in every particular be realized. Any other explanation makes their use inexplicable. Again, the typical nature of certain seasons has caused many to regard this theory with favor. Thus e.g. the feast of trumpets, which came in with the new moon of the seventh month. The moon is regarded (Dr. Etheridge’s Targum, 2 vol. pref.) as an emblem of the Church, and the new moon of the seventh month is selected to indicate that at the seventh period of time the Church in its renewed state shall be the cause of rejoicing, etc. Whatever may be thought of this and similar typical comments, it is certain that the Sabbatical year, introduced once in seven years, has been esteemed by Jewish and Christian writers as a type of the repose, etc., to be enjoyed in the seventh age or the Great Sabbath. The Year of Jubilee, or Great Year of Redemption, after the lapse of seven Sabbatical years, when there was a general release and restitution, has been regarded as a more striking type of the same future Sabbath, when man shall be fully restored, re-instated to all forfeited blessings. With Isa. 63:4; 1. 27:13; Matt. 24:31, etc., apparently alluding to the same, thoughtful readers of the Word have been slow to discard the ancient belief in these things.*

Obs. 4. Now, to return to the use made by Paul of this opinion entertained by the Jews. Brought up under Gamaliel, he must have known how the Jews regarded the Sabbath as typical of the reign of the Messiah, etc. Hence, the references made by him to this opinion, and their future application to Jesus Christ is a virtual indorsement of the same. We have, first, his declaration, Col. 2:16, 17, that “the Sabbaths are a shadow of things to come,” viz., typical of things future as related to Christ. Second: the “Rest” which the Jews attributed to the Messianic reign, he applies, 2 Thess. 1:7, to the period of the future revelation of Jesus from heaven. The very phrase current to designate the Millennial glory (comp. Isa. 11:10), Paul refers to the Second Advent. Third: The manner in which he employs the word “Rest” in Hebrews, being addressed to Jews, could not but confirm them in their belief of the future reign of the Messiah during the seventh Millenary. (1) In chap. 3:11, 18 he calls the promised land, the land of Canaan, the covenanted land—the “Rest” He locates, as our argument based on the covenant necessitates, the Rest here on the earth. (2) Then, without any change of meaning, he speaks of the same Rest, ch. 4:1, 3, etc., as promised also to us. (3) If we take the rendering of verse 3, ch. 4, given by Bloomfield (after Kuin, Wets, and Schoettg.), Stuart, etc., then there is an evident admitted “Jewish cast of reasoning,” making the Sabbath typical. (4) This is done, verse 4, where “the seventh day” is specially mentioned as a type. (5) This same “Rest” is spoken of as future, v. 9. (6) An important and significant change is observable in verses 9 and 10, for this “Rest” still in the future is called in the original “Sabbatism” (or marg. read. “Keeping of a Sabbath”), thus indorsing the Jewish septenary or Millenaries. Even Whitby, Com. loci, admits that the change from “Rest” to “Sabbatism” leads us “to the spiritual Sabbath of which the Jewish doctors speak so generally as the great thing signified by their Sabbath.” Commentators generally confess that allusion is made to the then existing view held by the Jews. What abundantly confirms this is the manner in which John introduces the one thousand years in Rev. 20. The Jewish notion of the septenary is pointedly reproduced by the Spirit, and referred to the future, being also connected with a resurrection. Now, it is impossible to conceive, if the Jewish idea of the Millenaries is an erroneous one, of a more effectual way of re-establishing and confirming the Jewish conceptions than is done in the Apocalyptic portrayal of the Millennium. This is fully evinced by the profound impression in this direction made upon the early churches. All this, however, only teaches us that, as the Jewish conception of the Kingdom was invariably identified with the future Sabbatism, the language of the apostles indorsing such a Sabbatism, is also virtually the reception of their doctrine of the Kingdom. Otherwise, the matter would have been explained, and a new meaning attached to it. But, seeing that the Covenant promises were linked with the seventh Millenary by the Jews, that they believed that David’s Son would inaugurate in His Kingdom the Great Sabbath, we may well contend that, as the apostles employ the same phraseology without the least hint of a change in meaning, that they also held to the fulfilment of the covenanted Kingdom at that period, or, to say the least, taught that such a Sabbath should, in the future, be witnessed here on earth, following regularly preceding ages.

Obs. 5. Another feature, which has materially served to perpetuate and enforce this Sabbatical view, is the following: Whatever application prophetical writers or commentators have made of the prophetical dates of Daniel and Revelation, which precede the ushering in of the Mill. era, they have been almost universally made to end within the 6000 years. This prophetical Chronology thus harmonizing with the idea of a Sabbatism following the closing of 6000 years, has necessarily resulted in keeping the Sabbatical idea prominently before the Church. For so limited are the prophetical dates, and within the seven thousandth year, that they serve materially to impress the tradition of Elias.*

Obs. 6. There is something remarkable in the contrasts presented by this Sabbatism. Man, when created, immediately entered upon the Sabbath, so when re-created (the resurrection being such) he again enters upon one, for the Sabbath is a following after a creation, and it is but reasonable to suppose that the Mill. age, preceded as it is by an astounding exertion of creative energy and power, should be a glorious Sabbatism. God, instituting the Sabbath, assigning the reason of resting or ceasing from creation, refers us (as Lewis, Six Days of Creation) to “a greater Calendar” in which a special Day of the Lord is thus expressed, and as sons of His (made such in realization, as David’s Son was, by the power of the resurrection), we enter into the same kind of a rest after a baptism of creative power is experienced, thus in actual experience constantly representing in a lesser state or condition that occupied by God Himself. For being incorruptible, immortal, fashioned after Christ, etc., there is no more creative power to be exerted to bring us to the destiny intended. Creation ceases: a Sabbath follows—a Sabbath, however, in which works of Providence (“He hath worked hitherto and yet worketh”), works of mercy, love, etc., are still continued. With the Sabbath begins man’s inheritance; with it begins his divine calling to bless God; with it begins the dominion over the earth: it is fitting that another Sabbath should re-introduce the inheritance which he lost, the divine calling which he prostituted, and the dominion which he forfeited. Hence as Adam in company with Eve went forth into the Sabbath to participate in the rest and enjoyment of God, so the Second Adam accompanied by His “Helpmeet” go forth upon their inheritance, calling, and dominion, in the glory of a Sabbath, which the Spirit of God, which knoweth all things, eulogizes in the most exalted terms.*

Obs. 7. The student scarcely needs to be reminded that the Sabbatism presented needs not necessarily be pressed in its chronological aspect, although great stress has been laid on the same. For, so far as our argument is concerned (which is not a chronological one), it will be amply sufficient, if it be only conceded that the times, past and present, will be succeeded here on earth by another period containing this Sabbatism. This has been fully established, for Pre-Christian and Christian interpretation—aside from the chronological feature, almost invariably attached—takes it as fundamental that such an era will follow other past eras (as the Sabbath follows the days of the week), that it pertains to the earth, and that in it the glorious Messianic blessings will be fully realized.

Obs. 8. As indicative of the class of men who hold to this Sabbatism view, we present a few more illustrations. Rothe (Dog., P. 2, p. 60) says: “The Apostles describe the Chiliastic Kingdom. Paul, in his letter to the Hebrews, calls it ‘a Sabbatism’ for the people of God.” Archb. William Newcome (Bickersteth’s Diss. on Proph., p. 106), referring to Rev. 20:4, and advocating our view of it, adds: “This is the great Sabbatism or rest of the Church.” John Bunyan (First Chaps. Genesis) advocates “the glory that the Church shall have in the latter day, even in the seven thousandth year of the world, that Sabbath when Christ shall set up His Kingdom on earth.” Hippolytus (Clarke’s Ante-Nicene Ch. Lib., vol. 6, p. 447) remarks: “And 6000 years must needs be accomplished, in order that the Sabbath may come, the rest, the holy day, on which God rested from all His works. For the Sabbath is the type and emblem of the future Kingdom of the saints, when they shall reign with Christ, when He comes from heaven; as John says in his Apocalypse: For a day with the Lord is as a thousand years.” Gieseler (Ch. His., vol. 1, p. 100), after stating the universality of Chiliasm in the second century, adds: “The Millennium was represented as the great Sabbath which was very soon to begin, and to be ushered in by the resurrection of the dead.”*

  PROPOSITION 144. This Kingdom embraces “the times of refreshing” and “the times of the restitution of all things” mentioned, Acts 3:19–21.

Having had occasion several times to refer this passage to the Pre-Mill. Advent and the Millennial refreshing that follows, it may be advisable to give, more at length, the reasons for such an application.

Obs. 1. Before entering into a discussion, the reader is exhorted to notice that Peter is addressing Jews who were familiar with, and employed, the phraseology used. The very phrases derived by the Jews from the typical year of Jubilee, from the typical Sabbath, and from the promises of the prophets, and applied by them to express the restoration of the Davidic throne and Kingdom and the happy times resulting therefrom, Peter takes, without explanation, to be fulfilled at the repentance of the nation and at the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. This is so evident that a number of writers on this ground reject Peter’s statements as too exclusively “Jewish.” If the present time or dispensation was intended, then Peter ought, as an honest man, to have explained the phrases accordingly. If the phrases were to be spiritualized, he ought to have stated the fact, and assigned the reasons for such a transmutation. Those who differ from us should explain, if they can, how Peter could possibly employ the current Jewish phraseology in the connection of a future Coming Messiah, knowing how the expressions were applied, unless he fully indorsed the opinion entertained by his hearers. If the Apostle meant something else, then they ought also to show how it came to pass that all the churches organized by the Apostles still retained a firm and continued belief in the Jewish view of “the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution,” and looked for the same in the prayed-for Coming of the Son of man. If the predicted refreshing and restitution under the Messiah was, as modern writers tell us, to be experienced in this dispensation, why is it that the faith and hope of the Early Church was so constantly directed to the speedy Second Advent? Consistency and the preservation of the integrity of the early faith, covenant and prophecy, all require us to receive those expressions as still relating to the future.

Obs. 2. Notice the meaning of “the times of refreshing.” Barnes (Com. loci) tells us that “refreshing means properly the breathing or refreshment after being heated with labor, running, etc; hence denotes any kind of refreshment, as rest, or deliverance from evils of any kind.” He speaks of “the common belief of the Jews” concerning it, and adds: “The idea, however, that the times of the Messiah would be times of rest, and ease, and prosperity, was a favorite one among the Jews, and was countenanced in the Old Test. See Isa. 28:12, ‘To whom He said, This is the rest wherewith ye may cause the weary to rest; and this the refreshing,’ ” etc. Prof. Bush (Anastasis), after giving “refreshment, produced by cooling after excessive heat” (so Vulgate: tempora refrigerii—times of refrigeration), including, as some have it, “free respiration,” and adding the idea of “comfort, consolation,” and, as Syriac, “times of tranquility,” informs us that it means “refreshment and invigoration,” and then adds: “It implies a kind of return to the body of its animating principle.” Bloomfield (Com. loci) says: “ ‘Refreshing’ properly denotes a regaining one’s breath after it has been interrupted; a breathing time from some labor, a rest from trouble or deliverance from evil generally; in which sense it occurs in the Sept. and Philo cited by the commentators.” This interpretation accords with that given by a large number of writers, which need not be repeated, seeing that there is no material difference existing. The differences of opinion arise from the location of the fulfilment of the refreshing. Barnes, however, anxious to apply the phrase exclusively to this dispensation, is forced to acknowledge that it “includes the restitution of all things and the return of Christ,” etc. Bloomfield, utterly rejecting its application to this present period, adopts its connection with the Sec. Advent and makes “the refreshing” “the same with the ‘rest,’ 2 Thess. 1:7.” Olshausen (Com. loci) contends that “the times of refreshing” and “the times of restitution” are the same, being identical in point of fulfilment. After showing that any other translation is inconsistent with the laws of language, he adds: “The Coming of Christ (i.e. his parousia) is therefore to be conceived as coincident with the times of refreshing, and His sojourn in the heavenly world closes with His return to the earth for the completion of His work.” “The expression occurring here, ‘times of refreshing,’ is easily explained. Life in this sinful world is conceived as a time of conflict and distress, and it is followed by rest in the Kingdom of the Messiah. The phrase is only to be found in this passage of the New Test., and has but feeble parallels in the Old Test., as e.g. 2 Sam. 23:7. Probably it takes its origin from a comparison of the Messianic era with a Sabbath day in the higher sense, which, it is known, was very current among the Jews.” Let the reader pass over the predictions of this Kingdom under the Messiah, and see how (Isa. 35) “waters shall break out in the wilderness and streams in the desert;” how “the parched ground shall become a pool and the thirsty land springs of water,” and “the ransomed of the Lord shall return and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads: they shall obtain joy and gladness, and sorrow and sighing shall flee away;” how (Isa. 41:17, 18; Isa. 43:19, 20, etc.) drink will be given to His thirsty people; how the righteous (Isa. 25) shall enjoy “a feast of fat things full of marrow” with victory over death, etc.; how (Rev. 19) they are called to the marriage supper of the Lamb, etc.; and surely the phrase “times of refreshing” is well chosen to designate the period when “the rest” is obtained, and God wipes away all tears. Consider, also, that this refreshing proceeds “from the presence (face) of the Lord” (which, while it denotes that the Lord is the author of it, really with the views of the hearers means more), and to show how this will be done by the Messiah personally, the Apostle proceeds to state that this same Jesus, crucified, preached and ascended to heaven. God will send, thus meeting the objection of the Jew that might be urged, viz., where is the personal Messiah who is to introduce this refreshing? Peter thus transfers the anticipations of the Jews to the time of the Sec. Advent. Lechler’s remarks (Lange’s Com. loci) are pertinent: “Of that time (i.e. refreshment and blessedness) God is the author and source; it commences with the return of Christ, whom heaven receives during the interval, but whom God will send personally; it consists of all that which God had hitherto promised through the prophets.” (See also Doc. and Eth. Remark, s. 6.) Prof. E. W. Hengstenberg (The Jews and Christian Church), although having no sympathy with our views, is forced to say that “the times of refreshing are identical with the regeneration,” and “that the detailed description thereof is given in Rev. 21 and 22, is as certain as that its advent is set forth as contemporaneous with the re-appearance of Christ.” This view is correct, and how it harmonizes with ours will be seen under following propositions. It is only necessary to add that the varied renderings of “when,” “that,” “in order that” or “until,” the times of refreshing “shall” or “may” come, etc., do not affect the application of the passage, since Millenarians from Irenæus and Tertullian down to Judge Jones (Notes) have received one or the other rendering. The rendering itself, whichever is attached, forbids the reception of a then existing present condition of things, and embraces the notion of a future occurrence. It is true, as Judge Jones has most ably shown (Notes on Scripture, loci), that if the rendering of the English Version is discarded for “that times of refreshing may come” (which Jones adopts), then “Peter connects the national conversion of Israel with the promised times of refreshing,” etc. His argument is that the Apostle urges the Jews, as a people, to repentance and conversion, because the times of refreshing, as the prophets abundantly testify, are connected with just such a repentance and conversion. It is implied that until this is done, such promised times cannot come, seeing that the Kingdom cannot be set up, as predicted, without it. The delay in carrying the Gospel to the Gentiles, the priority given to the Jews, the sparing of the nation for some time, etc., was to still mercifully tender to them—in view of their being nationally entitled to the blessings—the promised times of refreshing on condition of repentance. The continued national unbelief and impenitence prevented—as had been already foreseen and predicted—God’s gracious purposes, and delayed them until the “times of the Gentiles” would be fulfilled. It is unnecessary to declare that if this is the meaning, how well this meets the conditions given under previous propositions. On the other hand, if “when” is to be retained, then the idea of Calvin and others may be the correct one, viz., to refer the times of refreshing and the peace, etc., to the Advent of Christ—or Jones’s view can be received, implying that then the sins of the nation (under which it is even yet suffering) shall be entirely removed when, owing to its repentance, etc., these times will be introduced. As stated, no matter what rendering is adopted, the allusion is directly to the future as related to the Advent of Jesus.

Obs. 3. In reference to the meaning and application of “the times of restitution,” we shall again chiefly rely upon the comments of opponents and others. Barnes (Com. loci) says: “It means properly to restore a thing to its former situation,” and while inclined by this theory to apply it in a measure to the present dispensation, yet he admits that it includes the return of Jesus and the work that He may then perform. Bloomfield: it “properly signifies a restoration of anything to some former state,” and he unhesitatingly applies its fulfilment at the Sec. Advent. Prof. Bush (Anastasis) says the word “restitution” means a restoration to a former condition, restitution to original state, and quotes philologists who give such a rendering, and refers it to the future. Scott (Com.) remarks that it denotes the restoration of a thing to the state from which it had fallen, and that it must include the Sec. Coming and the restoration of Israel. Dr. Bell (The Times of Restitution) says: “The word translated ‘restitution’ might be rendered ‘restoration.’ Calvin has it, ‘The times of restoring.’ ” The remark of Calvin on the passage is worthy of our notice. He says: “If at this time we see many things confused in the world, let this hope refresh us, that Christ shall once come, that He may restore all things.” This was the view of the Reformers generally, several of whom we have already quoted in another connection. Prof. Hackett (Com. on Acts) makes it: “The times of the restoration of all things i.e. to a state of primoval order, purity, and happiness, such as will exist for those who have part in the Kingdom of Christ at His Sec. Coming.” Olshausen (Com.), of course, makes Jesus the Restorer at His Coming again, and restitution to be “that of bringing back to its originally pure condition,” etc. Lange (Com. loci) says: “It (‘restitution’) denotes a restoration or return of an earlier condition,” and declares: “it commences with the return of Christ,” etc. So Lechler and Gerok in Doc. and Eth. remarks, s. 6, confirm this usus loquendi, refer its fulfilment to the Advent, and show that, according to the prophets, it is even more than restorative, transcending all that ever existed. The student, who has investigated this subject, well knows that a multitude of eminent theologians and writers can be adduced, who present similar definitions, and apply its fulfilment to the Sec. Advent. Indeed, this is the almost universal interpretation—both ancient and modern. But what is to be restored, brought back to its former condition with increased glory? Gerok (Lange’s Com. loci, Doc. 6) quotes Baumgarten (Die Apostelgeschichte, 1, p. 80) as saying: “Nothing else than the Kingdom of Israel, the whole power and glory of the Israelitic Kingdom.” While Gerok justly observes that it includes more, as the prophets predicted, yet Baumgarten is right in laying stress on the restoration of the Theocratic Kingdom; for that is the burden of prophecy, that is the main, leading object to which the eye of faith and hope is directed. The idea of restoring this Kingdom is stated in Acts 1:6, and is plainly repeated in Acts 15:16, the same idea running through—from the time of its overthrow and even before—the Old and New Tests. Peter, well knowing how his hearers understood this phrase as directly including the rebuilding of the fallen throne and Kingdom of David, instead of giving it another meaning, tells those hearers that it is postponed until the Sec. Advent of Jesus, thus fully corroborating the statements of the Master concerning the postponement. But, as stated, it embraces more than this, for the persons addressed by Peter—owing to the portraiture given of the things pertaining to, and accompanying, this Kingdom—were accustomed to ally with it the resurrection and the renewal of nature itself, and, as is well known, this uninterruptedly continued to be the belief of the Christian Church for several centuries until the Origenistic interpretation prevailed. The restitution, in the very nature of the case, includes all things specified by the covenants, both the Abrahamic and Davidic, and the promises based upon the same, extending not only to the Jewish nation and to the Gentile nations, but even to creation. For the Kingdom in which this restitution is to be experienced, is the bringing forth the Divine Purpose in a manifested form as the consummating of the Infinite Plan, which has for its object the restoring of man and the world to their originally destined place. The restoration of the Theocracy—thus bringing God again to earth as the Ruler in the Person of Jesus Christ—makes the restoration of all other things not only possible but a requisite measure to preserve the dignity and glory of the then prevailing Theocratic relationship. “The days of heaven,” Ps. 89:29, to which even Moses alluded (Deut. 11:21 “as the days of heaven upon earth”), will through the throne then established and by the power of the Mighty King (The Restorer) produce that ample deliverance from all evil and that perfected salvation of which the prophets so sweetly predict—all resting upon and resulting from the displayed authority and rule of the God-man—the Theocratic King. It is impracticable for a Theocracy—in the pure and high form covenanted—to exist side by side with a prevailing curse, and hence its very establishment is a triumph (in the resurrected and glorified ones, etc.) over the curse, insuring its repeal and ultimate destruction. In brief, this, this will form the day of completed Redemption.

Obs. 4. While the view of restitution, embracing the restoration of the Theocracy and the return to the condition of things before the fall of Adam, is consoling and grand, yet even this would limit its meaning, for a more sublime and scriptural aspect of it is, that, while including those mentioned, it is a restoration to that very condition which Adam and his descendants would have attained to had they not fallen. Adam himself is restored in that immortal condition which he forfeited by sin (i.e. to that which he had not yet attained), and in the entire restitution God indicates, not merely the bestowment of blessings previously enjoyed, but that of others superadded to qualify those participating in it for the exercise of that government which the number, state, etc., of Adam’s descendants and God’s purpose in creation makes important or even necessary. Hence in some of its aspects, transcending all experience and knowledge, it may be beyond our comprehension; at least, the Bible intimates in a number of places that it is scarcely possible for us now, situated as we are, to form adequate conceptions of its extent and glory. Hence, also, as we shall show in a following proposition, it extends to the restoration of the race (not of the wicked) as a race to its lost, forfeited condition.*

Obs. 5. Again, let it be distinctly understood that Jesus “the Christ” is the Refresher or Reanimator, the Restorer, the Mighty Deliverer. This power and honor He has delegated to no one in this future dispensation (whatever the glorified saints may, associated with Him, perform through Him in the world to come), and He justly claims that it belongs to Himself exclusively, as e.g. “Behold, I make all things new,” etc. Before restitution comes, Jesus must first come; this is the divine order plainly laid down. In this dispensation, whatever the love and grace of God in the hearts of believers, etc., it cannot remove the curse, renovate the earth, or restore a single forfeited blessing; it cannot save from pain, sickness, or death, from trial, sorrow, or bereavements; it cannot deliver self or our neighbor from the troubles incident and allotted to the present life. The caution thus briefly expressed is the more needed, since believers in the Word too much overlook it.*

Obs. 6. As various writers (e.g. Lord, Judge Jones, Brookes, Bickersteth, etc.) have intimated, these “times” may include successive eras, economies, ascending stages of glory. Beginning with the Millennial period, restitution manifests itself magnificently in the Theocratic order, in the persons of the saints, in the dispensing of blessings, etc.; and by a comparison of Scripture there is reason to believe that the work is—so far as the whole earth and the nations are concerned—progressive, for at the close of the distinctive thousand years additional facts, indicative of the removal of the last vestiges of evil, are mentioned. While the Millennium is thus, in a manner, initiatory to succeeding dispensations or ages, yet, as we shall show hereafter (Prop. 159), the restitution thus affected is not displaced by another one, for it is always spoken of as eternal (see Prop. 159). Whatever of an additional nature is introduced, forms only an increased glory (resulting from continued Redemption), added to that which already exists. As the design of this work is only to take the reader to the close of the Millennial era and the entrance into the eternal ages (where the Bible takes and leaves us), when already refreshing and restitution have been experienced and tested in all their preciousness, it is proper for us to avoid giving, what can only be conjecture, any decisive opinion concerning the phraseology which seems to involve a succession of eras in the continuation of a restored world.*

Obs. 7. So interesting is this subject, that the utterances of others may prove acceptable, and several more illustrations are appended. The Art. “Restitution” in M’Clintock & Strong’s Cyclop., after making “restitution” to mean “emendation, restoration to a pristine condition, change to a better state,” says: “By the expression ‘until the times of the apocatastasis of all things which God has spoken’ etc., Peter means the time when all affairs shall be consummated, all the prophetical announcements shall be accomplished, including the inauguration of the Kingdom of the Messiah and its attendant events, the full extension of the Gospel, the resurrection, judgment, etc., in short, the end of the world.” The reader will observe that the writer—taking the definite Jewish and early Christian view, as well as the analogy of the Scriptures—crowds entirely too much into his definition. Pressense (The Early Days of Christ, p. 48), speaking of “the first Christians,” says: “They believed in an immediate return of Jesus Christ ‘to restore all things.’ They supposed that the end of the world was at hand, and that the last days foretold by Joel had begun to dawn, Acts 2:17 and 3:19, 20. Thus they awaited those days of refreshing from the presence of the Lord which were to inaugurate the Second Coming of Christ.” Pressense is incorrect when he says “the end of the world,” for they located this refreshing and restitution in this world after the Advent, and hence only held to “the end of the age or dispensation.” Dr. Schaff (His., Apos. Ch., p. 631), in reference to Acts 3:19–21, correctly remarks: “He (Peter) points to a still future time of refreshing, a restoration of the physical and moral world to the state of perfection, to be accomplished at the visible return of Christ, who now fills heaven—a time when all the predictions of the holy prophets of God shall be completely realized.” Alford (Com. loci) refers both the refreshing and restitution to the Second Advent, and says of the former, “The times of refreshment (is) the Great Season of Joy and Rest, which, it was understood, the Coming of the Messiah in His Glory was to bring with it,” and of the latter, “a glorious and Complete Restoration, especially of ‘the Kingdom to Israel,’ Acts 1:6.” This introduction of the Kingdom brings out the distinctive meaning always attached to it by the Jews, disciples, and early believers. Fairbairn (Typol., vol. 1, p. 314) remarks on Acts 3:21, that “the Apostle Peter represents the time of Christ’s Sec. Coming as ‘the time of the restoration of all things,’ that is, when everything should be restored to its pristine condition—the same condition in kind, all pure and good, glorious and blessed, but higher in degree, as it is the design of Redemption to ennoble whatsoever it touches.” It is a pity that he could not apply this, then, to the restoration promised of the Theocratic-Davidic Kingdom as seen e.g. Acts 15:16. The Comprehensive Com., so largely addicted to spiritualizing, makes the following comment: “That times of refreshing will come from the presence of the Lord, v. 19, and that they will be times of the restitution of all things, v. 21. There is a future state, another life after this: those times will come from the presence of the Lord, from His glorious appearance at that day, His Coming at the end of time. This we may receive, excepting the Popish idea of time ending, seeing that these times are to be realized in “the day (or time) of the Lord Jesus.” This Com. in a foot-note correctly associates these times with the restoration of the Jews, just as Meyer (Com. loci), Baumgarten (Apos. His.), Da Costa (Israel and the Gentiles), and many others. Indeed, they are inseparable; and to the critical student it may be observed that these words were exclusively addressed to Jews, some time before the call of the Gentiles, and therefore must have been based on the prophecies relating to that nation. Dr. Brown (Com. loci) comments: “When the times of refreshing shall come—rather ‘in order that the times of refreshing may come;’ that long period of repose, prosperity, and joy, which all the prophets hold forth to the distracted Church and this miserable world, as eventually to come, and which is here, as in all the prophets, made to turn upon the national conversion of Israel.” “Restitution of all things—comprehending, probably, the rectification of all the disorders of the fall.” This comment, if logically applied, is an ample reply to much of his reasoning against us in his polemic work Christ’s Sec. Coming; and especially does it contradict that portion of it which leaves out or denies the restoration (as advocated by us) of important blessings forfeited by the fall, and giving us, in place, an imperfect Redeemer and Redemption. M’Clintock & Strong’s Cyclop., Art. “Restitution,” quotes from Kuinöl Com. loci as follows: “Morus and Rosenmüller make ‘times of refreshing’ to mean ‘happy times, not merely the day of the resurrection of the dead, but also spiritual benefits of every kind which Christians enjoy in this and the future life (Morus: the Messianic times), and refer the ‘times of restitution’ (full and perfect fulfilment of prophecy) to the consummation of that auspicious period when all enemies shall be subdued (1 Cor. 15:25 sq.; Heb. 10:12, 15; Comp. Ps. 101:1) and every influence opposing true religion removed.” “De Dieu, Limbach, Wolf, and others, understand by the times of ‘refreshing’ and ‘restitution’ (i.e. the predicted period when the due position will be assigned each one) the days of the last judgment, the times of affliction to the impious and contumacious, but of relief, quiet, and safety to the saints. In support of this view they adduce the frequent arguments of the sacred writers to induce Christians to diligence and hope drawn from the prospect of the last day (Acts 17:30, sq.; 2 Pet. 3:7; 2 Thess. 1:7 and 2:16), and the fact that Jewish writers were accustomed so to speak of it (Pirke Aboth. 4:17).” It may be said that if the scriptural idea of judgment is received, then such declarations may be accepted, excepting the reference to this life, concerning which Olshausen aptly (Com. loci) remarks: “The grammatical connection admits only the first view, which regards the two expressions (viz., times of refreshing and times of restitution) as identical, and as not referring to the present time.” Dr. Craven (Lange’s Com. Rev., p. 339) gives an interesting note on this passage, well worthy of notice. He refers to the plural “times” as indicative of lengthened period (to which we also attach the idea of successive stages or periods), and fully advocates our position. We give this extract: “The following seem to be the elements of the restitution predicted in the foregoing Scriptures: 1. A restoration of the hearts of the fathers to the children, Mal. 4:6. 2. The restoration of the rejected seed of Jacob to holiness and the subsequent favor of God, Isa. 1:25; Jer. 24:7. 3. The restoration of Israel to their own land, passim. 4. The establishment of Israel not again to be dispersed, Jer. 24:6, 7:5. The establishment of the Kingdom of righteousness as a visible Kingdom, in power and great glory, with its seat at Jerusalem, Isa. 1:25, 26 (2:2,. 3); 58:12–14; Jer. 23:5–8; 23:7 sqq. 6. The gathering of all nations as tributary to Israel or the Church. 7. The Palingenesia, Isa. 11; 65:17 sqq.”*

  PROPOSITION 145. This Kingdom includes “the regeneration” of Matt. 19:28.

This follows from previous Propositions, especially the one relating to the resurrection (which was shown, as in Christ’s own person, to be expressed by a renewed or new birth or regeneration through the power of the Spirit), that this Kingdom can only be established, as promised, “in the regeneration.” For, its rulers are immortal and reign ever more. Embracing a most precious promise, it is worthy of a more extended notice, making it confirmatory of our position.

Obs. 1. Again, to avoid the charge of forcing the application of the passage, the comments of opposers and friends will be both given. Barnes (Com. loci) says: “It refers to that great revolution, that restoration of order in the Universe, that universal new birth when the dead shall rise,” etc., and reads the passage: “Ye which have followed me, shall, as a reward in the great day of the resurrection of the dead and of forming the new and eternal order of things—the day of judgment, the regeneration—be signally honored and blessed.” He unites the regeneration with the Sec. Advent. Bloomfield (Com. loci) remarks: “I cannot hesitate to adopt, in preference to all others, the sense assigned to the passage by the ancient expositors in general (and of the modern ones by Kuinoel and Fritzsche), confirmed by the Syriac, Persic, Arabic, Æthiopic, and Italic versions; understanding ‘regeneration’ of the resurrection to judgment and a new state of existence.” He gives this, as required by the context, viz., the revelation of Christ on the throne of His glory (comp. Matt. 25:31), and affirms that the strongest proof of its relationship to the future is found in the fact that those who differ in its application “are compelled to engraft this,” and adds: “Nay, even Campbell grants that ‘the principal completion of the promise will be at the general resurrection.’ ” Dr. Wordsworth (Gr. Test. loci) gives: “In the new birth of the saints at the resurrection, in the New Jerusalem. See 2 Pet. 3:13; Rev. 3:12 and 21:2, 5,” etc. Olshausen (Com. loci) makes this equivalent to “the coming forth of the Kingdom from its concealed and purely spiritual into an external form,” etc., calling it “a restoration” advancing from the individual “to the final glorifying of the body” and “the outward visible world as a whole.” It thus comprehends the resurrection and the final glorifying, as they stand related to the Kingdom. Lange (Com. loci) says: “The Lord here primarily referred to the final completion of the Kingdom of heaven,” and regards it very much in the light Olshausen does, calling it a stronger expression than “restitution” (Acts 3:21, with which he says it coincides), since it points to a higher state of existence of man, etc., in the future when restitution is realized. It is scarcely necessary to repeat the interpretation and application of the passage by other commentators and theologians, seeing that it would be, substantially, a repetition of what has preceded. The reader can easily, if desirable, extend such references (with the note appended).

Obs. 2. Without denying that “the regeneration” when once experienced will include much, or even all, that the writers, just quoted, have attributed to it, yet evidently in the comments of many of them there is a wide departure from the early simplicity attached to the phrase. This is true of later Millenarian authors, who (as e.g. Jones, Notes on Scripture) make it a renovation of all things, a universal recreation, “Paradise restored or brought back again,” etc. Freely admitting that when this “regeneration” is experienced, that then, also, the new heavens and new earth appear, that Paradise is restored, that the Kingdom of heaven is outwardly manifested in glory, etc., it does not follow by any means that “regeneration” denotes all these things. Logically, it cannot. Let the reader glance over the various commentators and writers who attempt to explain this phrase, and he will notice one distinguishing peculiarity attending nearly all, viz., that in some way it does, and must, include the resurrection of the body. The primary meaning of a second creation, renewal, restoration, necessarily, when considered in its relation to the future, embraces the idea of the resurrection. Let us give a few more illustrations, showing how persons, whatever their views, are impelled by the signification of the word itself to allow its reference to the resurrection. Augustine (Treat. on Forgiveness, B. 2, ch. 9) quotes Matt. 19:28, and refers the regeneration to the bodily resurrection.* Doddridge (Com. loci) calls “regeneration,” “the renovation of all things, when all the children of God shall, as it were, be born anew from their graves,” etc. Bengel (Gnomen, loci) remarks: “There will be a new creation, over which the Second Adam will preside, when the whole microcosm of human nature, by means of the resurrection, and also the microscosm of the universe will be born again (genesim iteram habebit).” Jones (Notes), including the renovation of the earth, the restoration of the twelve tribes, the re-establishment of the Theocracy, etc., says: “It includes the resurrection, exaltation, and glorification of the Church of the first-born or elect.” Stier (Words of Jesus) on the passage, calling it “the renewal of the world,” also makes it contain “the resurrection of the dead” and subsequent glorification. Simon, the Romanist, translated by Webster (and quoted by Jones), remarks: “By the regeneration most of the ancient commentators understood the resurrection.” Beza (margin of the Old Eng. Bible, ed. 1598) refers it to the day of resurrection; so also Olearius (Obs. Sac.) says that part of the regeneration is the restoring of the dead by the resurrection, which itself is called regeneration, illustrative of Epiph. Ad. Hœres. 36:1; Deylingius (Obs. Sac.), the same; while Munster (Crit. Sac.) says positively: “This second generation is the resurrection of the dead,” etc.; Le Clerc and Hammond make regeneration equivalent to resurrection, so Jansenius (Harm. Ch., c. p. 717), Cornelius a Lapide, Chemnitz (Harm., ch. 132), and the reader will find these quoted at length by Judge Jones (Notes on Scripture, pp. 214–216). This is so evident that Trench (Syn. of N. T., p. 97), after admitting that “the day of resurrection will be the day of ‘regeneration,’ ” adds: “So that those fathers had a certain, though only partial, right, when they interpreted the word at Matt. 19:28, as though it had been only equivalent to anastasis (resurrection), and, as a consequence, continually used it as a synonym for the resurrection.” Trench himself, as well as many of the authors already alluded to, certainly are illogical when they tell us that the scope of the passage relates to the future, and then drag in that which pertains to the past. Admitting the necessity of moral regeneration before this promised regeneration is experienced, yet the former is not the subject of the promise; admitting also the renewal of the earth, etc., it does not seem appropriate to crowd into this one word quite a number of events which are clearly set forth in other places. The simplicity of the early meaning is to be retained, viz., its reference to the resurrection for the following reasons: 1. The Res. is a “regeneration,” admitted by all, and believed in at the time Jesus spoke. The Jews held to the resurrection of the pious dead at the Advent of the Messiah (see Prop. on Res. etc.), and from the prophets believed that this would be followed by a renovation of nature resulting from the exalted nature, power, and glory of the Messiah’s Kingdom. But from Isa. 66:8–10; Ezek. 37:1–14, and other predictions, the resurrection was regarded as a new birth or second creation through the special power of God. So that let the word be applicable to both (and thus employed), yet the meaning that Jesus attached to it must be sought in the general complexion of the passage. Hence, correct at least in retaining the idea of resurrection (without which all the rest could not be attained), let us ask whether the other idea was directly included or only implied. 2. This is answered by noticing: (A) That Jesus speaks of the reward or compensation being received (the reward itself being the resultant) in or through this regeneration, which remarkably accords with other sayings of His, as, e.g., “Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just,” Luke 14:14. (B) It is observable that the reign of Christ on the throne of His glory, as well as that of the apostles subordinately, being placed after the Sec. Advent is uniformly introduced in promise as preceded by a resurrection of the righteous, and with this the words of Christ correspond. (C) “The manifestation of the sons of God,” Rom. 8:19, precedes the deliverance of creation—the latter being a result of the former having received “the redemption of the body.” Jesus—the question of the deliverance of the creature not being suggested but only that of rewarding the sons of God—would hardly introduce the latter when the reigning with Him is invariably—when explained—predicated of this very period of manifestation. (D) The parallel passage in Luke 22:28 aids in enforcing our position. Here we have the same promise given to the apostles, by which we learn that by this “regeneration” (omitted by Luke), the apostles receive “a kingdom,” and that, what Matt. declares Christ does, is “in my Kingdom.” When search is made to ascertain how and when this “Kingdom,” in which this reign of Jesus and the apostles is to be witnessed, is obtained, then the interpretation of “regeneration” as “resurrection” stands forth in such a passage as this: “Flesh and Mood cannot inherit the Kingdom of God,” but, as the connection shows, the power of the resurrection of the just with its glorifying accompaniments must be experienced (1 Cor. 15:50). Whatever secondary meaning may inferentially or by implication be attached to the word, evidently the primary meaning is the one thus suggested and so long held to by ancient expositors.

Obs. 3. The Kingdom itself, the reign of the saints, the deliverance of creation, in brief, all the blessings, so vividly described by Jones, Seiss, and many others, are introduced by this very “regeneration.” Jesus is the first begotten of the dead, and His brethren must first experience the same birth before these promises can be verified. Hence it is very doubtful whether it is a word as far-reaching as the phrase “the restitution of all things;” for the latter embraces the resurrection, restoration of Kingdom, Paradise, etc.—the bringing back of all things to their original condition or intention—while the latter, at most, can only refer to man and nature, taking the broadest definitions given to it. But with Lange and others, it must be said to be more precious, since it more directly refers to the individual, not simply restored to a forfeited position, but brought into a life most exalted and glorious through resurrection and transforming power, thus fashioning the saint after the pattern presented by Jesus. The phrase “in the regeneration” does not simply allude to the time when the resurrection is experienced, but to the fact that it is an ever-continuing reality—an unchangeable state from the period of its happy realization, It is during this wonderful regenerated life that the Kingdom of God is manifested; or, as Robison (Gr. N. Test.), “the complete external manifestation of the Messiah’s Kingdom, when all things are to be delivered from their present corruption, and restored to spiritual purity and splendor” shall be seen; or, as Van Oosterzee (Theol. N. T., p. 123), it shall embrace after the personal Sec. Advent, “the entire renewal of the natural and spiritual creature.” As the regeneration of the Lord Jesus (Col. 1:18; Rev. 1:5; 1 Cor. 15:20) is separate from, precedes, and yet is connected, with the ultimate renewal of creation itself, so the regeneration of the believers, accounted worthy to obtain this Kingdom, is separate from, precedes, and yet stands related to, the mighty changes which shall transform nature into the Edenic state so rapturously delineated by the prophets.*

  PROPOSITION 146.—This Kingdom is associated with the deliverance of creation.

A Theocracy, perfect and extending over the earth, which brings God—the Creator—into the relationship of an earthly Ruler, and exerting His dominion over all, must, in order to exhibit the dignity and value of His rule, and to promote the welfare and happiness of His willing subjects, remove the evils under which man and the creation have been groaning. The Kingdom itself being redemptive in its intent and work, brings deliverance from the curse, however widespread, restores forfeited gifts, and even bestows riches never before conferred upon man or the earth. The Divine-human relationship of the King, who declares that He (Rev. 21:5) “will make all things new” insures all this; while the Divine Purpose, foreshadowed in covenant, prophecy, provisionary dispensations and acts, and, above all, in the bestowal of the King, and qualifying Him (as the promised David’s Son) for the position of Theocratic King, evidences how reasonable and just are the anticipations of such a renewal. The honor and glory of the King and Kingdom, the ability and representations of God to save, are involved in restoring the earth to its Edenic state. The Plan of Redemption, of which this Kingdom forms the culminating agency of affecting and completing, contemplates a return to the condition existing before the fall, and even to that which man would have attained to had he not sinned. Of course, it must then include the renewal of creation.*

Obs. 1. One of the striking peculiarities attached to Millennial prophecies describing the establishment of this Kingdom, is, that the land, the earth is represented as participating in the favors of the King; and the joy and happiness of the nations is immeasurably enhanced by their liberal bestowal. This is so clearly and explicitly stated, was so universally received by the early Church, and has been so generally entertained by eminent divines of all denominations, that it needs no special pleading. Even our opponents, who are the most disposed to depart from the grammatical meaning and engraft a spiritual sense, admit that, if those predictions are fulfilled as recorded, they must bring back a Paradise regained. No system of Theology is completed, without, in one form or another, advocating a final restoration of nature. Without detaining ourselves with a feature that is so commonly received, let our attention be directed to several disputed points.*

Obs. 2, Rom. 8:19–23 deserves particular consideration, seeing that some (as Barnes, Com. loci) are disposed to make “the creature” refer only to believers (renewed), and not to inanimate and animate creation. Admitting that the word translated “creature” does not distinctively specify creation (although Barnes says it means “creation, the act of creating, Rom. 1:20; the creature, that which is created or formed, the universe, Mark 10:6; 2 Pet. 3:4; Mark 13:19; Rom. 1:25 and 8:39”), or the renewed man (not unless the word “new” is added), it is evident that its meaning in this place ought to be decisively made out by what the Word in other places teaches shall occur at the manifestation of the sons of God, i.e., at or after the resurrection. Now, Barnes himself so freely admits (as e.g. Notes on 2 Pet. 3; Rev. 21, etc.) a renewed creation after the resurrection, that it seems both strange and inconsistent to deny it in this passage. Bloomfield indorses the view that it means “the whole visible creation” (mentioning “ancient and many eminent modern interpreters, especially Luther, Grotius, Cassell, Danhauer, Doddr., Michael, Knappe, Rosenm., and Carpzov,” as holding to it), showing that the word is used in this sense; he opposes the opinion of Hammond, Le Clerc, etc., that it denotes a “moral creation,” i.e., “the Christian Church,” which “is liable to insuperable objections, which are well stated by Ammon;” he also objects to the interpretation of Whitby and Ammon, which would limit it to “all intelligent and sentient creatures,” i.e., “the human race,” and presents an important argument when observing that this deliverance must include “such a renovation as the Jews especially supposed would take place in the age of the Messiah.” In addition, we would say, that Paul, knowing not only the views of the Jews respecting a restoration of nature, but that of the Romans even concerning the same, if nature was not to be included in this description, he certainly made choice of very imperfect (i.e. by not defining) language. His phraseology, however, is vindicated both by its meaning being in accord with the views thus entertained, and by the fact that the ancients thus interpreted it. The sublimity of the passage, which troubles some so much that they desire to tone it down, is amply sustained by what Paul knew of the events pertaining to the resurrection. Dr. Neander (His. Plant. Ch. Church, vol. 1, p. 523) says that this is connected with the resurrection of the body, and denotes a restoration of nature, adding in a foot-note: “The later distinguished commentators on this epistle have acknowledged this to be the only tenable exposition; and even Usteri, who had before brought forward the strongest objections against it, has been induced, for the same reasons that appear to me convincing, to accede to it.” (See his reasons for rejecting the opposite view.) It is surprising that, to make out a theory (wresting the passage from us), men of ability, as those mentioned and others, will restrict the groaning creature to the Gentile world or to the heathen, not seeing that by so doing they represent such (against fact) as earnestly desiring to become Christian—having this feeling constantly—and of being subjected to bondage without blame, etc. Schmid (Bib. Theol. N. T., p. 511) on this part forcibly says: “That ‘creature’ here refers to the inanimate creation in distinction from men, is clear, if we consider two points; on the one hand, that a contrast to Christians is thus established; and on the other, the ‘creature’ is not described as a subject burdened by sin, but only as liable to perishableness. Linguistic usage, the predicates, and the connection of the section, are all in favor of this explanation.” Probably Schmid’s restriction to inanimate nature, thus excluding animals, etc., is limiting its meaning too much; but he is correct in asserting its distinction from man. The “creature” certainly is something distinct from “the sons of God;” and it cannot be “the heathen world,” for it has not waited for the manifestation as here represented. Van Oosterzee (Theol. of N. T.) fully indorses our position, and declares that nature looks for redemption. Even Knapp (Chr. Theol., S. 155 II. 2) remarks, “the passage, Rom. 8:19, seq., also treats of this renovation and beautifying of the world.” Dr. Hitchcock (Fut. Cond. and Destiny of the Earth), quoting this passage in Romans, remarks: “That Tholuck, the distinguished German theologian, considers this a description of the present bound and fettered condition of all nature, and that the deliverance refers to the future renovation of the earth. Such an exposition chimes in perfectly with the views on this subject, which have long and extensively prevailed in Germany. And it certainly does give a consistent meaning to a passage which has been to commentators a perfect labyrinth of difficulties. If this be not its meaning, then I may safely say that its meaning has not yet been found out.” Kurtz (Sac. His., S. 199, 4), expressly applies this Scripture to the removal of the curse entailed upon nature and to the renovation of the earth. These allusions to authorities who find in the passage a direct reference to the renewal of nature could be abundantly multiplied, but these are sufficient to indicate that we do not seek to force such an interpretation upon the text. Writers of the most diverse views and hostile to Millenarianism freely concede this; and they append that it shall only be witnessed at the Advent of Jesus Christ, and after the resurrection of the saints. This, of course, leads us back to examine when this Advent and resurrection take place. Having proven (Props. 121, 125, 119, etc.) that both are Pre-Millennial, there arises at once a beautiful symmetry between a harmonious blending of the Millennial predictions and Paul’s declaration, which no other view can give.

Obs. 3. This leads us to consider whether Paul’s declaration and the Mill. prophecies, etc., include the deliverance of the animal kingdom. This, as is well known, was the position of the early Church, as is evidenced by their writings, especially Tertullian, Lactantius, and the earlier Fathers—Papias, Barnabas, and Justin. And, in point of fact, it is impossible for a man to be a consistent Millenarian (hence, with scarcely an exception, the long line of eminent men hold to it) without adopting it. The ablest Millenarian writers unhesitatingly give it their support, and the reason is self-evident. Coming to the Bible, resolving to accept of the sense given by the plain grammatical interpretation, they find involved with the description of this re-established Kingdom at the Sec. Advent and with the blessedness and glory of the saints and the living nations such direct and explicit assertions concerning the change of disposition, etc., in the lower creation, that to reject these predictions (or engraft upon them another sense) would be doing violence to their principles of interpretation and to the Book. As this feature of the renovation has caused some to recoil from the entire subject, as if it were dishonorable to the future state and derogatory to Christ, it may be well to notice upon what it is grounded. Some are influenced by the hasty conclusion arrived at by Doddridge, when commenting upon Rom. 8:19; he says: “To explain it, as chiefly referring to the brutal or inanimate creation, is insufferable; since the day of the redemption of our bodies will be attended with the conflagration, which will put an end to them.” This allusion to Peter’s conflagration is to be found in every writer adverting to this point, and is the main proof relied on against it. As the conflagration theory comes up in a following proposition (Props. 149 and 150) to remove another objection, with which this stands associated, we may, for the present, pass it by with the single remark that such a conclusion by no means follows, provided God has declared that it shall be done and that the animals shall share in the deliverance. It is not for us to limit either God’s purpose, or wisdom, or ability to perform. Without laying stress on the admitted fact that the curse has fallen upon the animal creation through man, and that perfected Redemption reasonably claims Divine interference in its behalf, which idea Olshausen, Lord, and others have ably advanced, without insisting that the objection is really based upon a spiritualistic conception of the future abode of the saints out of which the materialistic element has been (Gnostic-like) eliminated, it is amply sufficient to rely upon its being promised in the Word. Following our usual plan to allow those who have no special sympathy for our doctrine to speak their sentiments, it will answer to give first the views of others, to show that in their estimation this doctrine is taught. Thus e.g. Dr. Clarke, in his comments (Com. loci) on Ps. 104:29, 30, extends the renewal not only to the earth, but includes a resurrection of animals, arguing that the mention of their death preceding, and then the addition of “Thou sendest forth Thy Spirit, they are created again,” clearly teaches this, and refers to Rom. 8:19–23. This probably is going farther than Millenarians, who generally are satisfied with simply saying that the animal condition (with that of the earth) will be changed for the better, leaving the resurrection as a matter open to conjecture. Calvin, on Isa. 11:6–8, says that the prophet “asserts here the change of the nature of wild beasts and the restitution of creation as at first,” and he substantially repeats this, when in Insti., vol. 3, ch. 25, he says, “I expect with Paul a reparation of all the evils caused by sin, for which he represents the creatures as groaning and travailing.” John Wesley, in his Ser. on Rev. 21:5, decidedly takes this ground, delineates at length the happiness resulting from such deliverance, quotes Paul and the prophets, understands the prophetic delineations literally, having on the new earth all the animals, etc., so changed that “no creature, no beast, bird, or fish will have any inclination to hurt any other; for cruelty will be far away, and savageness and fierceness be forgotten,” etc., and emphatically declares: “He that sitteth upon the throne will soon change the face of all things, and give a demonstrative proof to all His creatures, ‘that His mercy is over all His works.’ ” It is difficult to understand Fairbairn’s language (Typology, p. 461) otherwise, when (after making the restitution, Acts 3:19–21, at Christ’s Sec. Advent “everything restored to its pristine condition”) he writes: “It is precisely on the same object, a redeemed and glorified earth, that the Apostle Paul, in the 8th of Romans, fixes the minds of believers as the terminating point of their hopes of glory. An incomparable glory is to be revealed in them, and in connection with that, the deliverance of a suffering creation from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” So also a large class of writers, who expressly affirm that creation is to be brought back to its former “paradisiacal state,” cannot be comprehended, unless violence is done to their own statements of what redemption is to accomplish, without receiving such a deliverance of the animals. Luther gave no uncertain sound, when (quoted by Taylor, Voice of the Church, p. 143) he said: “It is written, God will create a new heaven and a new earth wherein righteousness shall dwell. It will be no arid waste, but a beautiful new earth, wherein all the just will dwell together. There will be no carnivorous beasts, or venomous creatures, for all such, like ourselves, will be relieved from the curse of sin, and will be to us as friendly as they were to Adam in Paradise.” The frequent assertions of this Reformer and others of the restoration of the earth to the Edenic state, certainly imply such a restitution. Dr. Kurtz (His. of the Old Cov., vol. 1, p. 81) advocates a return to Paradise, saying: “The heavenly Jerusalem in the transformed earth is Paradise renewed, enlarged, transformed and perfected,” etc., and (Pref. p. 118) this includes the deliverance of the groaning creation which, he holds, embraces the animal Kingdom, while Isa. 11:6–9 he thinks has reference, at least, to the original state of the animal kingdom, or the state it would have been brought to under Adam. How else can we understand the pious Bradford (Letters, 83) saying: “I therefore take the apostle to mean by ‘every creature’ simply, even the whole shape and creatures of the world.” “As everything and all things were made for man, so, by the man Christ, all and everything, both earthly and heavenly, shall be restored.” “In our resurrection, all things shall be repaired for eternity, as, from our sin, they were made subject to corruption.” “Now every creature travaileth and groaneth with us; but we being restored, they also shall be restored: there shall be new heavens, new earth, and all things new.” Such language is too comprehensive to exclude the lower creation. Dr. Charnock (Attributes of God) forcibly remarks: “As the world, for the sin of man, lost its first dignity and was cursed after the fall, and the beauty bestowed on it by creation defaced, so shall it recover that ancient glory, when he shall be fully restored, by the resurrection, to that dignity he lost by his first sin. A man shall be freed from his corruptibility, to receive that glory which is prepared for him, so shall the creatures be freed from that imperfection or corruptibility, those stains and spots upon the face of them, to receive a new glory suited to their nature, and answerable to the design of God, when the ‘glorious liberty’ of the saints shall be accomplished.” “The earth hath borne thorns, and thistles, and venomous beasts; the air hath had its tempest and infectious qualities; the water hath caused its flood and deluges; the creature hath been abased to luxury and intemperance, and been tyranized over in man, contrary to the end of creation. It is convenient that some time should be allotted for the creature attaining its true end, and that it may partake of the peace of man, as it hath done of the fruits of his sin, which prevailed more than grace,” etc. Henry (Com. on Rom. 8:19–23) has “the whole frame of nature,” “the whole creation, the compasses of inanimate and sensible creatures” delivered, and adds: “There shall be a glory conferred upon all the creatures, which shall be (in the proportion of their natures) as suitable, and as great an advancement, as the glory of the children of God shall be to them,” etc. Tyndale, on Rom. 8:21 affirming that “all creatures descry that day as the time of their rest and perpetual Sabbath;” Gill (Divinity, p. 427, 8) contending that “every degree of that curse should be removed,” so that “the new earth will be an earth refined, and renewed, and restored to its paradisiacal estate, as it was before the fall;” Toplady (Ser. B. 3, p. 470) affirming “that a day will dawn when a period shall be put to every disorder under which nature at present labors,” etc.; these utterances, and a multitude of a similar nature that could be quoted, can only be reconciled with the deliverance of the animal world. It is to be noticed that many, aside from Millenarians, express themselves not only indirectly but directly in favor of such a restoration, virtually indorsing the interpretation put upon various passages by us. They substantially agree with Delitzsch (Ser. on Rom. 8:18–23 in Ap. to Sys. of Bib. Psychol.) in advocation of a restitution of the earth—a recreation of nature—a redemption and glorification extending even to the unintelligent creation, so that “then nature, as all the prophets foretell, shall put on her blissful festal attire; and as it has been compelled to share in the sorrows of men, it shall also be a participator in its glory.” It is inconceivable how so many with such views of redemption, extending from man down to inanimate nature, should be fearful in plainly stating—what they leave to be inferred—that this necessarily must include the important links existing between man and inanimate nature. As Delitzsch says, the prophets all foretell this, and in a manner that cannot be explained away. Let the reader turn to what Fairbairn (Typology, vol. 1, p. 281) says of the restoration of the lost “lordship or dominion” over the earth, or, better still, let him refer to Ps. 8, where dominion over the lower creation is expressly stated as one of the prerogatives of man, and then let him see how this is applied to the Second Adam (Heb. 2.), who restores this forfeited dominion, and it is impossible to exclude the lower order of creatures. Let the question be decided in reference to the Pre-Millennial Advent of Jesus and the resurrection of the saints as the Early Church regarded it and as here advocated, and then let Hos. 2:18 be considered in the light of parallel passages; let Isa. 11:6–9; Ezek 34:25; Isa. 65:25; Zech. 14:20; Isa. 32:20, and other allusions be contemplated as occurring in “the new heavens and the new earth” (so Isa. 65) after the Coming of the Lord with all His saints (so Zech. 14), after the smiting of the earth and the slaying of the wicked one (so Isa. 11), and in connection with the restoration of the Jewish nation (so all the prophets); and any other view, with such facts, cannot be entertained. It is true, that a large number, to avoid such a conclusion, make such language figurative, and hence expressive of alleged changes in the nature of man; but such a theory is forced and inconsistent with the laws of figurative language. It is forced; because (1) against their own assertions of the completeness of redemption, etc., they leave the animals out; (2) to confine this period to the Gospel (as Barnes), and then ask “how the Gospel has any tendency to change the nature of the lion, the bear and the serpent,” is to ignore the fact that Jesus Christ is the Restorer, the One who renews things; (3) to deny this because it involves a physical change (so Barnes, Com., Isa. 11), and yet affirm, as in other places, physical changes in man and inanimate nature at the consummation, involves lack of faith in God’s ability to perform what He has promised; (4) it transposes the predictions, making a past and present fulfilment, as e.g. the new heavens and new earth of Isa. 65 (under which this is to take place), continuously existing from the First Advent; (5) it is forced by the inability to show (against the facts of history) a consistent fulfilment of their own figurative sense (in its relation to the predictions as a whole), to shield itself under the expectation of a still future spiritual fulfilment, ample enough to cover the application made, without informing us how this is possible to be reconciled with the delineation of this dispensation down to the very Advent of Christ; (6) the theory does not regard the predictions as clearly distinguishing between man and the lower orders, for they are represented as separate, and distinct, and, owing to the change wrought in the latter, the former attain security, etc. (7) But it is also opposed to the laws of figurative language when strictly applied, for instead of there being a metaphor used, as supposed, it is literal language, seeing that nothing is attributed to this lower creation but what is naturally applicable to them. The only exception is that of the lion eating “straw, like the ox,” which evidently is an expressed simile or comparison (not a metaphor which implies it in thought), and teaches that at this period so great will be the power of restoration, that the lion will live according to the change of nature then introduced. To discredit this on the ground of impossibility, is to limit the Almighty energy of the Restorer; to receive it only as metaphorical language, is to overlook the simple comparison instituted; to accept of the whole as figurative, is to forget that the actions, etc., ascribed to the animals, are such as are strictly accordant with their nature as it once must have been exhibited in the Edenic state, and that a restoration affected by God must, in the nature of the case, present just such characteristics, and that, therefore, the things predicated of these creatures, instead of conveying an absurdity, correspond with the comprehensiveness of the Plan of Redemption. Indeed, admitting this, we find it throwing increased light upon otherwise imperfectly understood passages of Scripture, as e.g. Christ’s triumphal entry into Jerusalem when He rode upon an animal “whereon never man sat” (the words of Jesus and recorded by two evangelists, Mark and Luke). Surely, this has a deeper significance than to prove Christ’s power over animals; for taking the analogy of faith, seeing what dominion is predicted of Him, regarding this entry as typical of the one to come, it points us back to the dominion ascribed to Him in Ps. 8 and the prophets—of which the subjection of an untrained animal is a feeble enblem—and then forward to the glorious future when all creatures shall experience the wonderful Will and Pleasure of the same King. Besides this, before the reader comes to a conclusion upon this particular point, let him first pass over the argument respecting the Kingdom; for if the Kingdom of the Messiah is that which we derive from Covenant and Prophecy, from His own words and that of His commissioned preachers, if it contains the restored Jewish nation and the spared Gentile nations, then, indeed, it would be both inconsistent and absurd to have such a Kingdom existing without the presence of the lower creation.

Obs. 4. As the curse is to be repealed, it is necessary to go back to the record in Genesis to ascertain its extent, and from this deduce what the deliverance will affect. Our opponents, admitting the literalness of the curse (as witnessed to-day) in nearly all its aspects, admit, in consequence, nearly all that is requisite to form the restitution or removal of the curse, as e.g. that relating to the earth and man. But two parts of the curse are set aside and for which no reparation is looked for or deemed necessary, viz., the perpetuation of the race in a fallen instead of an unfallen condition, (and the suffering attendant to it), and the enmity existing between the seed of the woman and the seed of the serpent. The former will be considered in a following proposition (Prop. 152); the latter may as well be contemplated under our present one. This becomes the more important, since writers of ability (as Fairbairn, On Proph., p. 85–88) attempt to invalidate our fundamental grammatical interpretation by appealing to this curse, and asserting that a construction of it, in accordance with the usual laws of language, would invalidate our entire interpretation of prophecy, etc. It is a fact that too many, overlooking that history proper (i.e. in its more detailed statements) begins with Abraham, make too much of the introductory to history, and must needs find the Redemptive process fully contained in the curse itself. That is scarcely the place to find it; and, what is remarkable, finding it in a very obscure allusion and nowhere else, they themselves admit that, as the sacrifices indicate and the piety of those ancients show, etc., they must have received communications not recorded. Precisely so; and the simple fact follows, that the briefest of epitomes is given—just sufficient—in order to understand the relationship that Abraham sustains to those gone before and to those coming after. But to return to the record: the very writers who bring in the objection that Gen. 3:15 (“And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and beween thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel”) can only be understood spiritually, viz., of Christ—the seed—bruising or destroying Satan—themselves admit a literal Eden, a literal fall, that Eve spoke of a literal serpent (v. 13, whatever the influence upon the serpent may have been), a literal curse upon the serpent, a literal curse upon the woman and man, and a literal curse upon the earth. The only exception to be found in the narrative is the enmity; nothing else is spiritualized, neither the grovelling position of the serpent, nor the sorrowful parturition of the woman, nor the toil and corruption of man, nor the thorns and thistles of earth. The enmity, however, is part of the curse and cannot, without violence, be separated from it. The serpent as a bodied being (not merely as an external agent) is cursed; and it is said to him that such enmity should continue to exist between him and the woman, and his seed, and the woman’s seed, and that he should constantly feel and experience man’s superiority in the injury mutually inflicted. The degradation and enmity followed—it has been realized thousands of years—and as every other portion of the curse is repealed, it is not surprising to find that, in the prophecies just noticed (Obs. 3), this very enmity is predicted to come to an end, so that the most unprotected of that woman’s seed (even “the sucking child” and “the weaned child”) shall be perfectly safe in the company of the serpent. The curse thus understood finds its mate (and hence the proof of the correctness of our position) in the removal of the same. Whatever agency (Comp. Martensen’s Dog.) may have been in the background, one thing is certain, that the woman did not refer to it, and there is no just reason for believing that God has such reference in the curse. And, as Dr. Lord (Theol. and Lit. Journal for Jan., 1857) aptly remarks in his reply to Fairbairn: “The punishment of the seed of the serpent is a wholly dissimilar thing from the redemption of the seed of the woman. They present a contrast, not a similitude. The one has no suitableness to indicate the other, nor is one necessarily or naturally involved in and a consequence of the other.” It would be difficult, indeed, to show in what the adaptation to represent redemption consists, and this difficulty must have been greater to Adam than to us. A writer (H. A. R. Proph. Times, Aug., 1869) has well expressed this: “Must not the words have been to him a densely dark enigma? An enigma, in its obscurity and mystery, calculated to increase, rather than relieve, his perplexity. Read the words—placing yourself as much as possible in Adam’s position when they were delivered—and find from them alone, if you can, any consolation for the smitten hearts of the disconsolate pair!” Before such an application of the passage is made by Fairbairn and others, it must first be proven: (1) that Satan is the one that is cursed in the serpent in verse 14; (2) that the pronouns in verse 15, being connected by the copulative “and” with the preceding, do not relate to the same serpent doomed to go upon his belly; (3) that the seed of the same serpent cursed are “wicked men” and that the seed of the woman are only “righteous persons;” (4) or, that if the seed of the woman is limited to one person, the seed of the serpent, expressed in the same way, is not also to be thus determined; (5) that when the curse was pronounced upon the serpent’s seed, it was virtually a curse proclaimed upon a portion of the woman’s seed; (6) that if the wicked are called “children of the devil,” etc., in view of this passage (and not because of their adopting, etc., his spirit), then the righteous should be called “the children of the woman,” because of the enmity between the two seeds; (7) that if the grammatical sense is not allowable in the 15th verse, why it should be tolerated in the preceding and following verses; (8) that the literal fulfilment of the curse in the woman, man, earth, and serpent should have no influence in deciding the literalness of a fact, viz., the enmity existing between the serpent tribe and man, also evidenced by actual fulfilment. The truth is, that, without denying that the serpent may have been controlled by external agency (for that forms another and different subject), the more we depart from the