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passage under consideration, the word until (axçı) cannot be construed to imply duration, throughout the times of the restitution of all things.
Mr. Faber does not found his explanation, however, on this criticism ; but on another which he adopts in common with the author referred to. The word resti. tution (αποκαταστασεως) he contends does not denotethe act of resettling, or restoring all things, but the completed result, the actual settlement or restoration of all things. If this be the meaning of the word, the text furnishes a powerful argument against the pre-millenial advent of Christ. But this is not the meaning, and is disproved by the grammatical rules applicable to the case. Verbal nouns among the Greeks are derived from the first, second and third persons of the perfect passive. Those derived from the first person, denote the thing done, from the second the act of doing, and from the third the doer, as the purification, the act of purifying, and the purifier.* Thus, in the text, the word restitution denotes the act of re. settling, and the meaning is until the times of resettling, that is, when that great decisive act or series of acts is to be performed, which is to restore or resettle all things. The appearance of Christ therefore occurs at the commencement, and not the completion, of the act, or process, or series of restoring acts.
The common explanation of the spiritualists is, that Christ shall not reappear while, or as long as, the times of the New Testament continue, i. e. till Christianity, which they say, is the means of restoring and resettling all things, shall have completely secured
this result. This is the explanation of Schleusner.* But this is in opposition to the established grammatical import of the words.t The act of resettling is not to take place till Christ appears; and he does not appear during the times of the New Testament. Beside, it assumes what is not asserted by the text, and cannot be proved, viz. that Christianity, or the New Testament dispensation, is the means of restoring all things. The New Testament dispensation is but " THE GOSPEL” of the kingdom of Heaven to come--the glad tidings of its approach. The restitution is to be effected by the reappearance of Christ, and the physical, providential and retributive agents, and glorious power he will employ. The world, and the church too, have been in an unsettled condition, from the very days of Christ's ascension to this hour; and there is no more prospect now of Christianity's going to settle all things, by its enlightening and suasive influ. ence, than there was eighteen hundred years ago. Not a solitary kingdom of this world has been recovered as yet from the dominion of the god of this world. .
For a season, after the religion of Jesus Christ has been introduced among a people, there may have been proofs of the new influence; and in some countries, as in Scotland and Geneva, and for a while in some of the early colonies that settled on these shores, the fear of God and a love of righteousness prevailed to a very great extent. But still it could not be said that Christ and his saints reigned. The legislative, executive, and judiciary powers were not exercised under the direction and control of religion. The kingdom was not placed at the feet of Jesus Christ. And even where religion was established by law, and the church was superior to the state, the ecclesiastical became as corrupt as the civil government. The union of church and state has wrought infinite evil; and few events, ana state has wrought inte ett av perhaps, have contributed to greater corruption in the
* “ Quamdiu tempora N. T. durant, quibus per religionem Christianam omnia in meliorem statum sunt redigenda ;" ad loc.
t'Arokaraoráisthe restoration of anything to its former state : hence, a change from worse to better, melioration, introduction of a new and better era. Acts 3. 21; Polyb. 4. 23. 1; Diod. Sic. 20. 34; Robinson's Wahl.
church and world, than the establishment of religion - by law under Constantine, and among the nations of
Europe. The history of the Reformation discloses melancholy facts on this subject. Our Missionaries in the Sandwich Islands have had to meet serious difficulties, incident to the relations between the civil and ecclesiastical powers. The thrones of earth have not been occupied by the righteous; and even where the monarch and rulers may have been Christians according to the judgment of charity, there has been much wanting to prove that the kingdom belonged to Jesus Christ.
Christianity has indeed been the means of saving multitudes of individuals, of meliorating often the condition of society, of restraining the corruptions of men, of checking the wicked legislation of rulers, and of promoting public morals, general virtue, social order, refinements in civilisation, advancement in science, and the general intercourse of nations. No sooner however has a nation changed its religion, and substituted Christianity for paganism, than some new forms of corruption or instruments of oppression, or efforts of persecution, have shown, that the kingdom, THE GOVERNMENT, had not yet been restored to God, and was not yet given to the people of the saints of the most High,” but was under the influence and control of the secular princes, the selfish politicians, the men who sought their own honor and aggrandisement, and not the interests and glory of Jesus Christ. The subjugation of the governments of earth, under his control ; the restoration of the kingdom to Israel; the moral and political renovation of earth; the establishment of the dominion of Heaven or the kingdom of God, over this world, have not yet even begun to be effected. Yet are these things predicted; and for the times of their occurrence we are referred, by Peter, to the prophets. They, he says, have spoken of them not one or a few, but all of them, since the world began.
Our business, therefore, is to examine what the prophets have in common predicted, relative to the re-settlement or “restitution of all things." They all, he says, look forward to one grand and signal period, which he calls “ the times of restitution”--the times when all the things the prophets have declared, relative to the restoration, shall be fulfilled. Of this season, or these times, all the prophets, from the beginning of the world, have spoken. Everyone has not predicted precisely the same circumstances and events-one referring to one or more, and another to different scenes, but all to something or other to be accomplished in that season, which Peter calls, “the times of restitution," and which the prophets themselves have differently designated,* Isaiah and others by the phrase, “in that day.” At the very commencement of this season of restoration, as the very first act in the series, which forms the date of its introduction, occurs the second advent of Jesus Christ.
It is not necessary, and is indeed foreign to our immediate design in this chapter, to show that Peter
* Isaiah, 2. 2; 4. 2, 3; 10. 20; 11. 10, 11.
states the fact correctly, and that all the prophets, from the beginning of the world, have spoken of something or other which is to transpire in this season of restitution. We might, indeed, show that Enoch,* the seventh from Adam, the first prophet, of whom 'we read, prophesied of these, saying, “Behold the Lord cometh with 10,000 of his saints to execute judgment upon all," and also that Noah,t Abraham, Jacob, Job,|| Moses, T Balaam,** Hannah, tt David, It Joel,$8 Amos,|||| Hosea, TT Nahum,*** Isaiah,ttt Jeremiah, 117 Ezekiel,s$$ Daniel,|||| || Zechariah, TTT Habakkuk, **** Haggai,ttit Zephaniah,111f Malachi,$$$$ all prophe- sied of the glorious advent of the Lord, and some
events connected with his coming, to transpire in the last days, the times of restitution.
It will suffice to adduce those passages which predict the millenial coming of Jesus Christ, and which more appropriately belong to chronological prophecies.
The first we cite is from Daniel.|||||||| This vision of Daniel extends to the times of restitution, even till the kingdom is given to the people of the saints of the Most High, which is to be everlasting, and all domi:
* Jude, 14.
f Gen. 9. 27. i | Gen. 17.7, 8; John, 8. 56..
Gen. 49. 10. | Job, 19. 23–27. 1 Exod. 15. 17, 18; Deut. 32.34_43; 33. 3. ** Numb. 24. 15–24. . H 1 Sam. 2. 8–10. If Psalm, 2. 8, 9; 50. 1-4. . $$ Joel, 2. 28–32; 3. 9-17. |||| Amos, 2. 4–16; 3. 1-15, 5. 27; 9. 11–15. TT Hosea, 1. 9; 10. 10–15; 2. 14–23. *** Nahum, 1. 15.
th Isaiah, 2. 10-21; 9.5; 11,4; 24. 1-23; 30. 25–33; 34. 1-10; 63. 1-6; 65. 13–15; 65 and 66, passim.
111 Jer. 30. 5-24; 31. 27-40; 33. 14-22. $$$ Ezek. 34-39, &c. .
ll Dan. 7. 13, 14. TIT Zech. 14. 1-21.
**** Hab. 3. 3-16. HH Hag. 2. 21, 22; Heb. 12. 26–28. fff Zeph. 3. 8–20. $$$8 Malachi, 3. 2-4; 4. 2, 3.
DI || || Dan. 7.7-27.