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fro like a drunken man,') the solid crust of this earth shall be broken, and fountains burst forth from its inner deep, not as once of water, but of liquid fire; of fire now pent up within it as in a treasure-house, and intended
alone :—with this modification, moreover, that the circumstance of the separation of the Eastern and Western Empire, and political destruction of the former by the Turkish invasion, having caused the phrase to be used in the later Apocalyptic prophecies of Western or Papal Christendom only, it may be so in those of the consummation also. —The idea of some other and more universal conflagration at the general judgment is not hereby excluded.
How the thrill in such case would be felt through the whole habitable earth may be judged from the circumstance of the noise and shock of the great earthquake connected with the eruption of the volcano at Sumbawa in 1815 having been felt and heard 970 miles off.
Isa xxiv. 20. In the 22nd verse we are told, “They shall be gathered together, as prisoners are gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days shall they be visited.”
? 2 Peter iii. 7; " The heavens and the earth which now are” (i. e, contradistinctively to those that were overwhelmed by the flood) “are by the same word stored with fire" (TeOngavpiouevoL trupi, so I understand the phrase)“ being kept unto the day of the judgment,” &c. It is only by this rendering of the teongarpionevoi tupi that the apostle's evidently intended antithesis can be expressed, between the whole world stored with water, by which as the instrumentality, it in its appointed time perished; and the present world stored with fire, by which it, in its time, is also to perish : besides that in the received sense tengavpio ueroi is a word not merely superfluous but inappropriate; “stored up" being a phrase used of things laid aside from present use, which certainly our present earth and atmosphere are not.*—Compare, as to the water, Psa. xxxiii. 7; (Sept.) TIDELS ev Ontaupois aßurons and, as to the fire, Job xxviii. 5 ; rendered by the Chaldee, “Beneath the earth is Gehenna.” (So Gaussen's Theopneustie.) Also Isaiah xxx. 33; “Tophet is ordained of old : for the king it is prepared : he hath made it deep and large; the pile thereof is fire and much wood: the breath of the Lord, as a stream of brimstone, doth kindle it.”
Similarly Tertullian, Apol, 47 ; "Gehennam, quæ est ignis arcani subterranei ad pænam thesaurus.” În which view of the fiery interior of the earth, other fathers agreed : as Jerom on Jonah ii : “Infernus in medio terræ esse perhibetur."-As to the fact of its being stored with fire, it seems indubitable.
For, while the earth's form of an oblate spheroid, the chrystalline character of its primitive rocks, the evident action of heat on its earliest strata, and absence of organic remains from them, as if at that time from heat uninhabitable, and the proofs, alike in the animal and vegetable fossils of other subsequently formed strata, of a temperature once greatly higher than that of the earth's present sur face, but gradually diminishing and approximating to it, -while, I say, geology presents to us in these phænomena a body of evidence irresistible, (if only we suppose the laws of matter the same formerly as now,) to the fact of our earth having been originally fluid from intense heat, and having gradually, in the course of ages, cooled down so as to allow of an outer crust, solid and mild in temperature, such as we now experience it,-geology also calls attention to another fact, viz. that this cooling down is only superficial. Of this the gradual increase of heat observed on descending to any depth below the surface,t and the ejection from time to time in all quarters of the globe of boiling streams of lava,
Ας θησαυρισμα means a treasure-house, as well as treasure, θησαυρισμα τεθησαυρισ μενον πυρι is in construction like τειχισμα τετειχισμενον τειχει.
+ “In round numbers we obtain an increase of more than 1° of Fahrenheit's thermometer for every 100 feet of sinking." Edinb. Rev. No. 165, p. 27.
as the final habitation of devils : that this, I say, shall then burst forth and engulph the vast territory of the Papal Babylon, and the godless of its inhabitants ; thence spreading even to Palestine,3 and every where, as in the case of Sodom, making the very elements to melt with fervent heat : 4 and that there the flame shall consume the Antichrist and his confederate kings, while the sword also does its work of slaughter ; & the risen saints being perhaps (as would seem not improbable from both Enoch's ? and the Apocalyptic prophecy 8) the at
and other minerals from below the primitive granite, furnish sufficient indication. And the irresistible violence of these eruptions of the more central earth's boiling and inflammable materials, shows that there is as it were a train laid, that waits but the bidding of the Almighty to break up the earth's solid crust, and wrap this our world, or any fated part thereof, in a universal conflagration.--I may refer to the first Plate in Dr. Buckland's Bridgewater Treatise, as very illustrative of this point. He who has familiarized himself with it can scarcely, I think, help realizing the fact, that the ground he treads on is underwrought with volcanic agencies ; ready, the instant the Almighty may please to employ them, to execute the predicted judgment.
1 See the end of Note 2 p. 226. 2
Apoc. xviii.-To this same catastrophe Walter Brute, A. D. 1391, applied Ezekiel's denunciation, xxviii. 18, against the Prince of Tyrus ; "I will bring forth a fire from the midst of the whole earth, and wil make the as ashes upon the earth, in the sight of all that behold thee.” Foxe iii. 138. The time noted (verses 25, 26,) seems very remarkably to be that of the final restoration af Israel.—Compare what was said of the King of the North's ultimate perishing at the same time and place, according to Dan. xi. 45, pp. 165, 166, suprà. Also Dan. vii. 11, and the passages referred to at p, 108.
3 Zech. xiv. 4. 5. 2 Pet. iii. 12.
5 Apoc. xix. 20. 6 Ibid. verse 21; also Isa. lxvi. 16, Joel iii. 11-13, &c. 7 Jude 14, “Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints," &c.
8 It is said, just before the description of the Beast's destruction, Apoc. xix. 11, 14, " And I saw heaven opened ; and behold a white horse, and one that sate on it. ... and the armies in heaven followed him on white horses, clothed with linen (Burrov) clean and white.” On this, the questions arise, What coming of Christ was this, and what hosts these that accompanied him ;-angelic hosts, or hosts of the risen saints? On the first question, Mr. Bickersteth exclaims, “Here can be no mistake :" as if the coming must be personal. And though we cannot surely, on the mere evidence of a symbolic picture, conclude on the raporla being Christ's personal advent, yet it seems not improbable : the heaven now for the first time being said to be opened, as if to permit the passage to earth of some one seated beyond the visible heaven ; according to Acts iii. 21, “Whom the heaven must receive until the times of the restitution of all things.”
Connected with this is an argument of Daubuz, drawn from the dress of the hosts that followed Christ. He says that the Brooos, or byssine linen dress now ascribed to them, is here mentioned for the first time; white robes, sodai Neukai, being the dress specified as given to the souls under the altar previously: also that this byss, woven from a plant in Palestine, (so Pausanias tells us,) made the very finest whitest linen in use among the ancients; that it is spoken of in Gen. xli. 42 as worn by Joseph, in 1 Chron. xv. 27 as worn by David, and in Luke xvi. 19 as worn by the rich man in the parable; also in Exod. xxviii. 39 as appointed for the priests under the Jewish law. Thus, from its being the finest linen, and that both of the royal and the pontifical robe, he infers that it signifies
tendants of the Lord's glory in this destruction of Antichrist, and assessors in his judgment on a guilty world.— And then immediately, it would seem also, the renovation of this our earth is to take place : its soil being purified by the very action of the fire, in all that shall remain of it, for “ the nations of the saved,” i. e. the Gentile remnant” and restored Israel ; and the Spirit too poured out from on high to renew, in a yet better sense, the moral face of nature: and that so the millennial commencement of Christ's eternal reign with his saints is to begin : 3 the Shekinah, or personal glory of Christ the bridal dress of incorruption and purity, given to them that are to be kings and priests at the resurrection, and so betokens the hosts with Christ to be the risen saints, now associated with Him in judgment, as afterwards in reigning. (I have just alluded to this, Note, p. 113, suprà.)- Elsewhere, angels too seem noted as attendant. See Matt. xxv. 31, John i. 51. But I think what is said Apoc. xix. 19 of the “ Beast and his allied kings being gathered to make war with Him that sate on the horse, and with his army," better suits the view of Christ's attendant hosts in this Apocalyptic vision being his saints : the war of the Beast against Christ and them being, as I suppose, against their cause.
1 I have already at p. 177, suprà, noted this as one characteristic point in the premillennial views of the early Fathers. Let me here quote Methodius, as a specimen. “Magnus Patriarcha Methodius," says Andreas in Apocal. xxi, " in Sermone de Resurrectione de his ita disserit : Non placet quod nonnulli asserunt, nempe rerum universitatem totam simul interituram, cælumque et terram et aerem amplius reliqua non futura. Inflammabitur sane ad repurgationem universus orbis ; igni, quasi diluvio quodam, mundatus." B. P. M. v. 628.
Very much the same seems to have been the view of the early Reformers of our Church. In King Edward the Sixth's Catechism, to the question, By what way, and with what fashion and circumstances, there is to be brought about the renewing of all things, and introduction of the new heavens and earth of which St. Paul speaks, the following answer is made. “I will tell you as well as I can, according to the witness of the same apostle. The heavens shall pass away like a storm : the elements shall melt away: the earth and all the works therein shall be consumed with fire :- as though he should say: As gold is wont to be fined, so shall the whole world be purified with fire, and brought to full perfection. The lesser world, which is man, following the same, shall likewise be delivered from corruption and change. And so for man this greater world (which for his sake was first created) shall at length be renewed, and be clad with another hue much more pleasant and beautiful.” P. 510, Parker Ed.
The supposed fact of the earth's purification by fire is another point on which geology offers interesting illustration. For it is a fact, I believe, that volcanic fire will sometimes make the most sterile parts fertile: so that it has been said, for example, of the great African Zahara, or Desert, that nothing more than fire of this kind is needed to turn it into fertility.
? As distinguished from the aimpwua twv edvwv of Rom. xi. 25, or Gentile complement, gathered into the Church of the redeemed under the present dispensation ; the which, together with the older Jewish complement, is to partake at Christ's coming of the glories of the first resurrection. This distinction is important, but too often overlooked.
3 At p. 177 suprà I have already referred to Justin Martyr, Irenæus, and Lactantius, as examples from the early premillennarian fathers, showing that they did not hold the 1000 years to be any more than the commencement of an
amidst his saints, being manifested chiefly in the Holy Land, and at Jerusalem ; ' but the whole earth partaking of the blessedness : and thus the regeneration of all things, and the world's redemption from the curse, having their accomplishment, according to the promise, at the manifestation of the sons of God.3
Such seems to me to be in brief the appointed order of events, introductory to the Millennium. I pray the reader to believe that it is in no presumptuous or light spirit that I have ventured on these awful and mysterious subjects. I have done so only under a sense of the necessity laid on me as an expositor : and offer what has been said, simply as suggestions of what I infer to be most probable from Scripture; but which, I fully allow, must in respect of details, be in no inconsiderable measure conjectural and uncertain.
It has long been a disputed question among prophetic expositors, (as my sketch of the chief millennial theories, given in the preceding Chapter, will have shown already,) where precisely the New Jerusalem of the 21st and 22nd chapters of the Apocalypse 4 is to have its poeternal reign. As the point has often been misstated of late, I add another fur. ther testimony from Irenæus, v. 26. “Christus est lapis qui præcisus est sine manibus ; qui destruet temporalia regna, et æternum inducet, quæ est justorum resurrectio."
It is to be observed that Mr. Faber, and other anti-premillennarians, constrained by the force of scripture evidence, allow very much of all that has been said in this Chapter : and that a mighty earthquake, a volcanic conflagration, a millennium of blessedness, and even the Shechinah, or visible revelation of Christ's glory, are to follow on the destruction of Antichrist. It is only the fact of this being the glory of Christ's second advent, and the saint's concomitant resurrection, that Mr. F. contravenes. 3 Matt. xix. 28. 3 Rom. viii. 9.
* Apoc. xxi. 1. “And I saw a new heaven and a new earth : for the first heaven and the first earth were passed away; and there was no more sea. 2. And I John saw the holy city, new Jerusalem, coming down from God out of heaven, prepared as a bride adorned for her husband. 3. And I heard a great voice out of heaven saying, Behold the tabernacle of God is with men, and he will dwell with them; and they shall be his people, and God himself shall be with them, and be their God. 4. And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain : for the former things are passed away. 5. And he that sat upon the throne said, Behold, I make all things new. And he said unto me, Write: for these words are true and faithful. 6. And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely. 7. He that over
sition, whether during or after the Millennium ; and, if synchronous with it, whether as identical, or not, with the glorified Jerusalem prophesied of in the Old Testament. We have seen that Augustine explained this glorified Jerusalem of Old Testament prophecy as identical with the Apocalyptic New Jerusalem ; and both the one and the other as simply symbols of the heavenly and
cometh shall inherit all things : and I will be his God, and he shall be my son. 8. But the fearful, and unbelieving, and the abominable, and murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all liars, shall have their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which is the second death.
9. And there came unto me one of the seven angels which had the seven vials full of the seven last plagues, and talked with me, saying, Come hither, I will shew thee the bride, the Lamb's wife. 10. And he carried me away in the spirit to a great and high mountain, and shewed me that great city, the holy Jerusalem, descending out of heaven from God; 11. Having the glory of God: and her light was like unto a stone most precious, even like a jasper stone, clear as crystal ; 12. And it had a wall great and high, and had twelve gates, and at the gates twelve angels, and names written thereon, which are the names of the twelve tribes of the children of Israel: 13. On the east three gates; on the north three gates; on the south three gates; and on the west three gates. 14. And the wall of the city had twelve foundations, and in them the names of the twelve apostles of the Lamb. 15. And he that talked with me had a golden reed, to measure the city, and the gates thereof, and the wall thereof. 16. And the city lieth foursquare, and the length is as large as the breadth ; and he measured the city with the reed, twelve thousand furlongs. The length and the breadth and the height of it are equal. 17. And he measured the wall thereof, an hundred and forty and four cubits, according to the measure of a man, that is, of the angel. 18. And the building of the wall of it was of jasper ; and the city was pure gold, like unto clear glass. 19. And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper ; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald ; 20. The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius ; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl ; the ninth, a topaz : the tenth, a chrysoprasus ; the eleventh, a jacinth ; the twelfth, an amethyst. 21. And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl : and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass. 22. And I saw no temple therein: for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the temple of it. 23. And the city had no need of the sun, neither of the moon, to shine in it; for the glory of God did lighten it, and the Lamb is the light thereof. 24. And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it. 25. And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there. 26. And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it. 27. And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie : but they which are written in the Lamb's book of life.
xxii. 1. And he showed me a pure river of water of life, clear as crystal, proceeding out of the throne of God and of the Lamb. 2. In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month; and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations. 3. And there shall be no more curse : but the throne of God and of the Lamb shall be in it; and his servants shall serve him : 4. And they shall see his face; and his name shall be in their foreheads. 5. And there shall be no night there ; and they need no candle, nor light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth thcm light ; and they shall reign for ever and ever."