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times ten thousand saints, the opening of the books, and the coming of one like the Son of Man, with the clouds of Heaven, and all the other accompaniments of his presence, which were disclosed to him, were but the pictorial representation of the real and true judgment, the real and personal coming of the Son of Man, the real redeemed spirits of the just, and the real and terrible agents and instruments of vengeance, that shall attend upon him, when, at the time of the end, the heavens shall reveal him, and he shall come literally on the clouds of Heaven to restore all things.
As such they were understood and referred to by the apostles, and by Christ himself. Daniel does not predict a day of final judgment at all, if he does not here describe it; and all those who have come after him, and borrowed their descriptions of the judgment from him, have radically erred. We may also ask, if this be the case, where have we any proof at all, that there will ever be a day of judgment, in which Jesus Christ will be personally visible ? or there be any other kind of judgment, than the signal retributions of Providence ?
By the very same rule of interpretation on the spiritualists' own principles—which makes this passage. in Daniel to symbolize the retributive dispensations of Providence, instead of its being a scenical representation of the great day of final judgment at the coming of Christ-we can get rid of all the evidence the spiritualist can adduce from the Bible, that there will ever be such a day. Let him produce any passage whatever, and by this same prophetical canon, which he adopts, we shall wrest it from him.
It is said that Christ speaks of Christ's literal coming, when he says, “then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven, and then shall all the tribes of
earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory."* There is certainly nothing in this language, which makes it more likely to be literal, and not allegorical, than that in Daniel. Part of it is the very language of Daniel ; and the events referred to, can be shown to be the very same spoken of by Daniel ; so that, if Daniel's prediction in the seventh chapter of the coming of Christ, is allegorical, sò is Christ's prediction of the same in the twenty-fourth chapter of Matthew and neither predict a day of judgment and visible coming.
The same may be said of Paul's prediction,t and even Acts, iii. 21, may be explained away. It is the easiest thing imaginable, to put an allegorical interpretation on it and others.
If Daniel's description of the judgment must be allegorically understood, there is just as much reason why any other should be. Thus, all the predictions of a judgment, may be resolved into mere shadowy displays of Divine power, in effecting great political or ecclesiastical changes, or great moral and spiritual reformations. By giving a figurative or allegorical meaning to Daniel's prediction of the advent of Jesus Christ, therefore, which every one must do who denies that it will occur before the Millenium, -we are cut off from one of the principal sources of proof that there ever will be a day of judgment, and a literal coming of Jesus Christ at all. Who does not see the fallacy of such principles of interpretation ?
We must be consistent, and carry out our princi. ples of interpretation. If Daniel's judgment and coming of Christ be not literal, then are none literal * Matt., 24. 50.
. f 1 Thess. 4. 15-17.
whose language is taken from him. But this is a conclusion from which the expectants of a Millenium before the coming of Christ will start. Nothing but the pre-conceived notion of such a Millenium, ever led any to imagine that Daniel's prediction must be allegorized.
The truth is, there is but the one fair, consistent, and intelligible interpretation to be put upon it; and that is, that Daniel describes, as truly, a literal judgment, and a literal coming of Jesus Christ, as he does the literal destruction of the Pope, and of the Roman Empire : and these things he teaches shall both occur together,—both form events to be verified in "the times of restitution of all things,” spoken of by all the holy prophets since the world began. The coming of Christ is first in order. The very first epoch in the day of judgment, and the first terrible infliction of the vengeance of the Saviour returned to earth, will be the utter destruction of Popery, and of the Antichristian nations. The conclusion is, therefore, unavoidable, that HIS SECOND ADVENT WILL BE BEFORE THE MILLENIUM.
THE COMING OF CHRIST PRE-MILLENIAL, OR PRIOR TO THE
DESTRUCTION OF POPERY.
ishe glorious hope be the hour of whether they sh
The coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, is the grand epoch of the world's redemption. It is the glorious hope both of saints on earth and saints in Heaven. It will be the hour of joy and triumph to the whole body of the redeemed, whether they shall be found in the flesh or out of the flesh. No wonder, therefore, that it was looked for by the prophets, apostles, and martyrs who died in the faith of his coming, with the most intense interest and ardor of desire. In like manner should it be by us.
The circumstance, however, of there being a shade of uncertainty thrown upon the time of his coming, bas led many to think, that it is not so suitable a theme for awaking the attention of the mind, for exciting its fears, and for inducing a preparation for eternity, as the approach of death,—an event regarded as certainly much nearer, and virtually possessing all the importance of the other. It is worthy of remark, that the apostles did not so regard it; nor did they so write and preach. Their allusions to the death of this mortal body, are by no means frequent; and seldom, if ever, do they take their motives from it, for the purpose of awaking and exciting the fears of the wicked. On the contrary, their references to the per
sonal, visible coming of Jesus Christ are abundant; and their most powerful motives to repentance, and to a life of holiness, are drawn from it. So vividly and constantly was this great event before their minds, that they spoke of it as one by no means very remote; and they often made the impression on their hearers, that it might be witnessed by some of them, even before their death.
Such seems to have been the effect produced, upon the minds of some Christians at Thessalonica, by the language which Paul employed on this subject, in his first epistle to the church of the Thessalonians.” In that epistle, he wrote expressly of the coming of Jesus Christ, -of its wondrous and appalling accompaniments,--of the first resurrection-of the rapture of the living saints--of the sudden destruction which should overtake the wicked- of the importance and ne cessity of great seriousness and watchfulness, lest they should be surprised by the unexpected occurrence of these scenes:
“If we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air : and so we shall ever be with the Lord; but of the times and seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves,-know perfectly, that the day of the Lord s0 cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace, and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child; and they shall not escape. But ye, brethren,