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BRIEF REVIEW OF S. COBB'S LEC. TURES ON THE MILLER MANIA.”
The Rev. S. Cobb, of Waltham, Mass., some time last year gave a course of lectures to the Universalist society in that town, and has since published them in the “Christian Freeman,” under the caption of the “ Miller Manic." The following passing notice of them, by brother Miller, will give the reader some idea of their merit.
DEAR BRO. Hines: I have by your politeness receir. ed Rev. S. Cobb's Lectures on the Miller Mania." I think a few such lectures would do good among the followers of Universalism here. For they have been taught here that Christ will never come again to the carib, that his second coming was at Jerusalem; and Mr. Cobb has admitted that the "glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ" is yet future. He has also admitted that Paul, in 1 Thess. iv. 16, means a coming that is yet future. Admitting these two passages to apply to the future coming of Christ, it follows, of course, that all Mr. Miller claims may be true; for the passages of like import and expression must have a like meaning. 1st. Take Titus ii. 13: “Looking for that blessed hope and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Savior Jesus Christ." Then the text in Heb. ix., 28 must have a similar meaning and the same fulfilment. “So Christ was once offered to hear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him (looking for, says Paul to Titus) shall he appear (glorious -appearing) the second time (first time was when he was offered, second time will be when he comes to bless
his people and consummate their hopes) without sin untó salvation.” Where then can his coming to Jerusalem be placed? It cannot be his first, for itat was before. It cannot be his second, for that is the one we are looking for, and yet in the future. Can Mr. Cobb get a space between one and two ? Try again, my dear sir; it is a difficult task, but try again; you can wrest the scripture. A desperate cause needs a desperate effort.
Again ; let Mr. Cobb compare 1 John ii. 28 : “And now, little children, abide in him ; that when he shall appear we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before him at his coming.' Was this written before Jerusalem was destroyed ? Be careful, Mr. Cobb; you may yet prove that John was dead before Jeru. salem was destroyed, and if so, your theory all goes to the wind. If, then, this text from John's epistle was written twenty years after Jerusalem was destroyed, then his appearing must be in the future. And why this caution, “ Little children, abide in him," &c. ? How is this? who can be ashamed before him at his coming, if all will be happy and holy? This text does favor my views, surely. “ Some to shame and everlasting contempt.”
Mr. Cobb admits that 1 Thess. iv. 16, “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," is a future coming of Christ. This is admitting the whole ground; for the following verses, to the fourth verse of the fifth chapter,—“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 shall we ever be with the Lord. Wherefore, com. fort one another with these words. But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. For when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon á woman with child; and they shall not escape,
must mean the same coming. And three things are plain and obvious :
1. The duty of brethren to comfort one another with talking and preaching this doctrine of Christ's coming, which Mr. Cobb opposes.
2. That the brethren have no need that he write of the times and seasons, for they very well knew, yes, they perfectly knew, that the day of the Lord would conie as a thief in the night, 10 some, and they would be destroyed, and should not escape. I ask, how did they know this thing? I answer, hy Christ's words. Matt. xxiv. 39—44: "For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark, and knew not until the flood came and took them all away: so shall also the coming of the Son of man be. Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Watch, therefore ; for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come. But know this, that if the good man of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken up. Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh." Mark xiii. 32-37: “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father. Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is. For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house, aud gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch. Watch ye, therefore: for ye know not when the master of the house cometh ; at even, or at midnight, or at the cock-crowing, or in the morning: lest, coming suddenly, he find you sleeping. And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch.” Luke xii. 35-40 : "Let your loips be girded about, and your lights burning; and ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding; that, when he cometh and knockern, they may open unto him immediately. Blessed are those servants whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching; verily, I say unto you, that lie shall gird himself, and make them to sit down to meat, and will come forih and serve them. And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those servants. And this know, that if the good man of the house bad known what hour the thief would come, he would have waiched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through. Le ye, therefore, ready also: for the Son of man ecmeth at an hour when ye think not." By these texts they knew it perfectly. And this proves, beyond a rea. sonable doubt, thai Christ in Mathew had reference to a yer future coming, according 10 Mr. Cobb's own admission.
3. That those who say "peace and safety" are the ones that will be destroyed. And when they shall sory il," we know that the time is at hand wben they shall he destroyed, and that suddenly.
Here we have a strong evidence ihat the coming of the Lord, according to Mr. Cobh's own roncession, is near at hand. See “Christian Freeman," vol. i. No. 4:3, p. 1. 2d col.: " And the accomplishment of the great and glorious purpose of God, in the resurrection of all men from the dead, is also in a few instances called the coming of Christ; as in 1 Thess. iv. 16: “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven unith a shoul, mouth the roire of the archangel, and with the trump of God; and the dead shall rise in Christ first." And in whom, I inquire, will they rise next? The Bible says, " And the dead in Christ shall rise first." But Mr. Cobb can transpose and say, “And the dead shall rise in Christ first." This wresting of scripture to suit our own creed would make even the notorious Whitlemore blush. But this is proving 2 Peter iji. 16,—“As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of ihese things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstahle wrest, as they do also the other seriptures, unto their own destruction,”--to be fulfilled, and completes Paul's sign, "For when they shall say, Pesce and safety, then (at that time) sudden destruction cometh upon them, as travail upon a woman with child, (surely the Universalists are in great trouble,) and they shall not escape." This “great an: glorious purpose of God” is what I am trying to prove. Mr. C., why in so much trouble, then? Do you not like to have the "glorious purpose" of God done? Why so much perplexity and distress? The is glorious purpose of God" will be done in earth as in heaven. "Ah! yes, Oh! Oh!! that is what I am afraid off," said the guilty man. You are safe, and need have no fear; why are you all in such a bluster?
Again ; in the introduction to his first lecture, Mr. Cobb has tried to make out that I am governed hy some corrupt motive, such as rain-glory, marrellousness, design to deceive, &c. This shows the true character of the man. No man can have an honest motive in writing or giving his views of scripture, Why not? Because he judges out of his own heart, and from his own conduct. And as be does not pre. tend to know me personally, of course his judgment must proceed from his knowledge of his own motives, (James iv. 12;) and as such a course was not called for to put down an error, so easily disposed of, as lie says, it cannot hut satisfy every thinking mind that he had grappled with arguments too powerful for him to encounter, without the aid of misrepresenta. tion and lying, to prejudice his hearers and blind their judgment. This mode of beginning a religious discourse is calculated to destroy all confidence in the man, as a Christiar or an honesi opponent.
Again; his main argument is that all judgment was fulfilled at Jerusalem. And this view of our Savior's predictions, hatched up between our D. D.s' stand.ird authors on the one part, and Universalists, or modern Deists, or scoffers, on the other puri, has produced a doctrine which will be the means of carrying thousands of the unthinking part of the