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I. Michael should stand up for the people.
II. That at that time there should be trouble such as never was since there was a nation.
III. Then his people should be delivered.
Now it seems evident that our Lord had his eye on this very passage when speaking of the closing scenes of the Jewish dispensation : "When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place: * * * For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.'*
At that time, the Lord Jesus stood up for his Ople, and delivered his immediate followers from those calamities that fell with such awful severity upon his enemies.
Then was 'great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.' It would be utterly impossible in a work like ours to give a description of the tremendous events connected with the closing scenes of the Jewish dispensation.t
Then was the time alluded to in the passage following the motto: “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.' Michael, the great prince, evidently alluded to this prophecy when he said, "Marvel not at this: for the
* Matt. xxiv. 15, 21.
† To all those who feel interested in this subject, we refer them to the works of JosEPHUS, and to an excellent work entitled · Observations on our Lord's conduct as a Divine Instructur. By WILLIAM NEWCOME, D. D. Page 202, et seq.
hour is coming, in the which all that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.'* Those whose lives had accorded with the gospel, came forth to life or to the enjoyment of all the spiritual blessings connected with the reign of Jesus; while the vile and the wicked came forth to condemnation.
It is very evident from the whole tenor of the Scriptures that two resurrections are taught; one a moral or spiritual resurrection, the other a literal resurrection; one a resurrection from dead works, the other from the grave, or from mortality to immortality. Various passages might be cited to illustrate the distinction here made, but mere references must answer. Speaking to the Ephesians, the Apostle says, 'And you hath he quickened, who were dead in trespasses and sins.'t The Apostle John says, "We know that we have passed from death unto life, because we love the brethren.'I The early Christians experienced this resurrection while in the flesh. But when the last or literal resurrection -takes place, then, 'As in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.' Then 'this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality's Whoever will follow out this subject, will find that this passage cannot with any propriety be applied to the final resurrection of all the sleeping dead. Indeed, the motto and its connection show
that the resurrection there spoken of was to take place when Michael, the great prince, should stand up for the children of thy people. And when Michael comes, then he quotes the very passage where the prophet spoke of him, and applies it to the closing scenes of the dispensation of rites and ceremonies. Yet a large portion of the christian world constantly apply the passage spoken of in Daniel to that of the final resurrection of the whole human race. And what makes this appear the more singular, is, that many divines who make this application of the passage, say that a future state is nowhere revealed in the Old Testament !
But we must leave this subject, with a few consolatory remarks. It appears that the miseries connected with the end of the Jewish dispensation can never be exceeded. Such is the promise of Michael, the great prince. There may be plagues, earthquakes, and famine, but then there will never be such a time of trouble again. This promise seems like a bow hung out in the heavens. But how could this be, if the doctrine of endless misery be true? What comparison is there between the destruction of a single city and the unceasing misery of a large portion of the human family? Reflect on this, reader, if thou art a believer in that doctrine, and answer it to thy own heart.
LVII. MIGHTY GOD.
'For unto us a Child is born, unto us a Son is given: and the govern
ment shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wunderful, Counsellor, The Mighty God, The Everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.'
Isa. ix. 6.
All these several titles may be found in their appropriate places, for the reader will bear in mind that our work is arranged in alphabetical order.
The phrase Mighty God occurs in twelve instances, all of which are in the Old Testament. We begin by observing, that the personage here spoken of was to be called by these names, but barely giving these names to any one would not prove that the person was the Almighty, or was equal to him in any respect whatever. Among the Orientals, the appellations given as names are always significant. In the Old Testament, we find that the child was named in many instances from the circumstances of its birth, or from some peculiarities in the history of the family to which it belonged.* Frequently the name was a compound one, one part being the name of the Deity, and among idolatrous nations the name of an idol. Thus, SAMUEL signifies heard of God; ADONIJAH, God is Lord ; JOSEDECH, God is just.t
* Gen. xvi. 11. xix. 37. xxv. 25, 26. Exod. ii. 10. xviii. 3, 4.
+ See Jaun's Biblical Archeology, sec. 164. Also an Introduction to the Holy Scriptures. By T. H. HORNE, Vol. iii. p. 413. Phil. 1826.
It should be observed, that there are various translations of this passage. It is rendered by some, 'And his name shall be called * * a Mighty God, the Father of the everlasting age :' that is, of the christian dispensation, which is to continue to the end of time. Lowth agrees with this rendering, except that he uses the definite article before Mighty God.
In the Vatican edition of the Septuagint, the titles are wanting, the whole verse being rendered, 'And his name shall be called messenger of great counsel, for I will bring peace upon the rulers, and health to him.' It is difficult to see how the Greek translators could have so rendered the Hebrew text.
It is rendered by some as follows:
"For to us a child is born,
This is Luther's translation. It is also adopted by Gesenius and De Wette.
We have before remarked that we need not be surprised to find the same names and titles that are applied to God, ascribed also to Jesus Christ. * Some exceptions, however, must be made. Jehovah is never thus applied. It is said, however, that even the Jews themselves consider this name as incommunicable. The truth is, the word God is applied to human beings, as our Saviour himself affirmed, in his conversation with the Jews on that point, John X.
* See title EVERLASTING FATHER.