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says, “As Chrysostom and Hieronymus, so all the rest of the fathers did constantly hold that Elias should come in body before the day of Judgment, to convert the Jews and oppose Antichrist”).
Mede observes, that the prophecy of Malachi must refer to the second, as well as to the first coming of Christ; “ for in his last chapter, speaking of the coming of that day which shall burn like an oven, wherein all the proud, yea, and all that do wickedly, shall be as stubble ; and it shall burn them up, leaving neither root nor branch, &c.; he addeth, Behold, saith the Lord, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the coming of that great and dreadful day of the Lord ; and he shall turn (or restore the heart of the fathers to the children; and the hearts of the children to their fathers ; lest I come and smite the earth with a curse.' If we will not admit the day here described to be the Day of Judgment, I know scarce any description of that day in the Old Testament but we may elude.”.... second reason for the proof hereof is from our Saviour's own words in the Gospel (Matt. xvii. 10, 11); where his disciples, immediately upon his transfiguration, asked him, saying, “Why then say the Scribes that Elias must first come. Our Saviour answers, 'Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things.' These words our Saviour spake when John Baptist was now beheaded; and yet speaks as of a thing future : Élias shall come, and shall restore all things. How can this be spoken of John Baptist, unless he be to come again ? Besides, I cannot see how this restoring of all things can be verified of the ministry of John Baptist, at the first coming of Christ; which continued but a very short time, and no such thing was done as these words seem to imply : for the restoring of all things belongs not to the first, but to the second coming of Christ, if we will believe St. Peter, in his first serinon in the temple after Christ's ascension, Acts iii. 19, &c.; where he thus speaks unto the Jews : Repent,' saith he, and be converted, for the blotting out of your sins; that the times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord ; and that he may send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you; whom the heavens must receive until the times of the restitution of all things, which God bath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets since the world began. The word is the same. If the time of restoring all things be not till the second coming of Christ, how could John Baptist restore all things at his first? If the Master come not to restore all things till then, surely his harbinger, who is to prepare his way for restoring all things, is not to be looked for till then.” (Mede, Dis. xxv. p. 99.)
“ The word atokaOısavai, imports the bringing in of a change;' wherein is implied an evil state of things, from which the change must be made; and a good state of things, unto which they
must be restored. 1. The evil state of things, from which a change must be made, supposeth a former good condition of things, wherein they have been, and from which they had been corrupted and depraved. So that the meaning of this word comprehends the objects of Elias's office, and his employment about that object: wherein two things are supposed, one proposed. The two supposed are, l. All things have been in a good state. 2. All things have been corrupted and depraved. That which is propounded is, Elias must reduce all things to their first estate." (Gill.)
It is needless to record what Gill says upon the two suppositions: we have them clearly enough in Gen. i. 31, Eccl. vii. 29, Rom. viii. 20: but I will mention what he says on the proposition that all things are to be restored. After speaking of conformity to the will of God, the performance of justice to our neighbour, and the practice of sobriety, temperance, and continency, he continues as follows : “ Are all things in this condition in the world, or are they so among us? I believe no man-I am sure no honest man-will say so; but, if he look impartially upon the present evil state of things, he will report that in the general, which our Lord spake in a more particular case: things are not so as they were in the beginning..... Hence the necessity of Elias his restoring of all things, and so we come to the work proposed. 1. Elias must rectify the depravations of all things; even as John Baptist began to do. This Elias must be zealous for the Lord God of Israel, as Elias was in his history; and John Baptist was, who came in the spirit and power of Elias, and was a burning and a shining light.' So the Wise Man speaks of him, Ecclus. xlviii. 1,' Then arose Elias the prophet, as fire, and his word burned like a lamp.' Does not our Lord allude to this?
It appears to me, in looking at this saying of our Lord's, together with the subsequent use Peter makes of it, that there will be a time and state of things amongst the Jews, called “The times of the restitution of all things,” the commencement of which will be marked by the appearing of an individual, either Elias, or one in the spirit and power of Elias; and the conclusion will be marked by the appearing of the Lord himself.
It appears also probable, that this time is “ The time of the end,” spoken of in Daniel the prophet, chap. xi. 40, xii. 4, 9.
This “ time of the end” is the same as “The last days," chap. x. 14, though in our translation it is rendered "latter days.” Heb. Ing. Sept. eoxarwy: similar to 2 Tim. iii. 1, coxarais.
This “time of the end” is the time of “intense trouble," Dan. xii. l; of which see more in Matt. xxiv. See 1 Cor. iv. 8, 9.
In concluding this paper I will make one remark upon another passage (Matt. xi. 9, &c.; Luke vii. 25, &c.), in which our Lord
speaks of John, in order to see who it is that is lesser, and yet greater, than he.
1. The word is not least, but less; denoting one individual. Chrysostom therefore thought it denoted Messiah himself; and Augustine inclined the same way: but I think it very forced to say that in any sense Christ is less than John.
2. The being “ born among women” is in opposition to being “in the kingdom of God," or of heaven.
3. John's greatness is his official dignity. It says, in Luke, there is not a greater prophet than John;" but also that he is “much more than a prophet,” because he is Messiah's forerunner. Others prophesied of Christ's future coming, but he pointed at him as come: others foretold him, but he said “ Behold” him.
4. John was more than a prophet: then he that is less is a prophet, and in his prophetical capacity he is inferior to John as Messiah's forerunner.
5. Our version has it, “ If you will receive it, this is Elias which was for to come.” But I should rather think that the word “him” should be supplied; for, in fact, by supplying “it” we supply this much ; " If you will receive the assertion I am going to make.” If you will receive “it:" What? Why the following assertion. Again: the reception or rejection of the assertion cannot alter the truth of the fact. If John is Elias, he is so, whether we receive him or not ; but the result of his coming will be different according to whether we receive him or not. The people who receive him, will by him be made ready for the Lord : in which case he will be to them as Elias : he will do the work of Elias to them; he will prepare the way of the Lord.
6. I have already mentioned that the opinion of the Jews was, that Messiah's kingdom should be a resurrection state. The opposition between being " born of woman,” and “the kingdom of heaven," would naturally carry the disciples' minds to the one who was less, yet greater, than John, being one raised from the dead. I therefore think that this individual prophet, than whom John is greater because he is Messiah's forerunner, is Elias; who simply as a prophet is inferior to John, yet as Messiah's forerunner in the kingdom of heaven he will be greater than John. During John's ministry the kingdom of heaven was at hand;" but Elias will come as the forerunner “ in the kingdom of heaven.” John was the forerunner of Messiah in his humiliation, and prepared for the kingdom of the Stone: Elias will be the forerunner of Messiah in his glory, and will prepare for the kingdom of the Mountain. And he who with Moses was honoured-the one, by being on Messiah's right hand, and the other on his left in glory-may also be the one for whom that seat of honour is prepared in Messiah's kingdom.
REVIEWS AND MISCELLANIES.
ON THE HEBREW AND SEPTUAGINT CHRONOLOGY OF THE
To the Editor of the Morning Watch. Sir,-It may seem an adventurous task, for one who confesses himself to be ignorant of astronomical calculations, to advance to the assault of a person so covered with the seven-fold panoply of science as the author of the learned paper on the Scriptural Chronology contained in your last two numbers. But as I believe my own weapons to be of a higher and more celestial temper than any which can be derived from the armoury of human science, I shall fearlessly proceed to offer to you my reasons for rejecting the whole reasoning of Mr. Cullimore, and for adhering to the opinion of nearly all later writers on the subject, that the chronology of the Hebrew text is spurious, and has been altered by the Jews since our Lord's first appearance.
As, however, the antediluvian chronolgy is less important in a practical point of view than the postdiluvian, I shall content myself with simply stating the difference between the Hebrew and Greek and Samaritan chronologies of the antediluvian period; and shall confine myself in this paper to the subject of postdiluvian times, the rectification of which is important both for the elucidation of the historical and prophetic Scriptures. According to the Hebrew text, the period wbich elapsed from the Creation to the Deluge was
1656 years According to the Samaritan text it was
1307 According to the Greek text of the Seventy it was 2262 The differences between the three chronologies, in the period between the Flood and the birth of Abraham, are exhibited in the three tables which follow, wherein the letters Y. A.D. are used to express Years after the Deluge. I shall, however, limit myself in this paper to the discussion of the comparative merits of the Hebrew and Greek chronologies, having no intention of entering into the question as to the degree of authority to be attributed to the Samaritan Pentateuch.