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obedience to His immediate command. This is intro
. duced in the blessing of Moses, already referred to in connection with the restoration of Israel : “ There is none like unto the God of Jeshurun, who rideth upon
the heaven in thy help, and in his excellency on the sky. The eternal God is thy refuge, and underneath the everlasting arms. And he shall thrust out the enemy
before thee, and shall say, Destroy them.” Deut. xxxiii. 26, 27. The explanation, sometimes given, of the sword going out of the Saviour's mouth being designed to intimate His bringing the world into subjection to himself, by the preaching of the word, attended by the blessed influences of His Spirit, is quite inconsistent with the whole representation. The angels are commissioned to “pour out the wrath of God upon the earth ;" (Rev. xvi. 1;) and experience proves that the contents of the first six of their vials—all of which are light compared with the seventh—have not been of a converting but of a des„tructive nature. The gospel is indeed at this time to be preached extensively to the nations, calling them to fear God and give glory to Him, on account of these tremendous judgments upon the enemies of religion and of mankind; “And I saw another angel fly in the midst of heaven,” says the apostle, immediately before the destruction of mystic Babylon, “ having the everlasting gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every kindred, and nation, and tongue, and people, saying, with a loud voice, Fear God, and give glory to Him, for the hour of his judgments is come, and worship Him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters."* Rev. xiv. 6, 7. Had it been in gracious and benignant influences that Christ Wils coming to these "kings of the earth, and their armies," there could have been no meaning in the fowls of heaven being summoned to the banquet :-"And all the fowls were filled with their flesh.” This is evidently no other than that destruction of Antichrist which Paul
* How often is the first part of this text quoted, while the latter part, which is the substance of the angelic message, is studiously kept out of view! There is something manifestly wrong, when we are so unwilling to declare, nay, so unwilling to believe, the denunciations of divine indignation upon the enemies of God.
informed the Thessalonians would be effected by the brightness of Christ's coming.
In a preceding chapter of the book of the Revelation, we have another statement of this final overthrow : “ And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet, [the Roman empire not having been divided at the time the apostle had this celestial vision,] but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them, for He is Lord of lords, and King of kings; and they that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful;" for “ The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with His mighty angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ." Rev. xvii. 12–14. 2 Thes. i. 7,8. “And Enoch, also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of His Saints, to execute judgment upon all
, and to convince all that are ungodly among them of all their ungodly deeds, which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him." Jude, ver. 14, 15. On this account “ shall all the tribes of the earth mourn," when they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Matt. xxiv. 30. The result of this conflict with the kings of the earth and their armies follows: “ And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles (wonders] before him.... these both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone, and the remnant were slain with the sword of Him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceedeth out of His mouth.” Satan himself, who has so long roamed the world, seducing men from their allegiance to heaven's high Majesty, shall be bound and shut up that he may not deceive the nations : " And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand; and he laid hold on the Dragon, that old
serpent which is the Devil and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled.” Rev. xx. 1-3.
Thus are we brought to that “consummation" to which the expounding angel directed Daniel's faith, when “ that determined" should be poured upon the desolator--to the Times of the Restitution of all things," until which Peter declared the heavens must receive our Lord-to the blessed epoch announced by Paul, when the Saviour shall utterly destroy the Man of sin * with the brightness of His Coming,"—to the period predicted by our Lord Himself when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled," —and when the end of the age" shall arrive, for which His disciples longed, and which was afterwards announced by an angel, with awful solemnity, in the hearing of him who was peculiarly beloved : “ And the angel which I saw stand upon the sea, and upon the earth, lifted up his hand to heaven, and sware by Him that liveth for ever and ever, who created heaven and the things that therein are, and the sea and the things which are therein, that there should be time no longer; but in the days of the voice of the seventh angel, when he shall begin to sound, the
, mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.” Rev. X. 5—7.
FIRST RESURRECTION AND REIGN OF THE SAINTS.
Having in our investigations arrived at the end of this age, we proceed farther to inquire, what the Spirit of God has been pleased to reveal concerning that which is to come.” One distinguishing feature of that age, is declared by the apostle Paul when he reminds the saints at Ephesus, that God hath made known unto us the mystery of His will according to his good pleasure, which he hath purposed in himself, that in the dispensation of the fulness of times, he might gather together in one, all things in Christ, both which are in heaven, and which are on earth, even in Him. Ephes. i. 9, 10. “ And I saw thrones," continues the apostle John, after the account of the destruction of the Antichristian na. tions, and the binding of Satan, “And I saw thrones,
, and they (or persons] sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them; and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead* lived not again until the thousand years were finished.) This is the First Resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the First Resurrection ; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years." Rev. xx. 4–6. Thus, then, are we brought to the consideration of the muchdisputed doctrine of the pre-millennial resurrection of the saints, and their after reign with Christ during the Millennium.*
From the word here translated “rest” being in the Greek the same with that translated “remnant," Rev. xix, 21; Dr. Hamilton, (p. 213,) maintains the parties spoken of to be one and the same. To charge a Doctor of Divinity with unworthy quibbling would be un. seemly; but really when attempts are made to set aside and decry a Scriptural doctrine, and to support an opposite opinion by such an artifice, suspicions will involuntarily arise. What would be thought of the wisdom or candour of him who should gravely maintain that Infidels and Christians must be precisely the same class of men, because he had found in some highly approved theological work, “a remnant” of the one mentioned in juxta-position with “ the rest of the other--the remnant and the rest meaning the same thing? Or, how many would be persuaded that “ oil” and “ blood” are exactly the same, although he should adduce the fact, that in the Scripture account of the legal ceremonial services, “ the rest of a portion of both are mentioned, within a dozen chapters of each other? Yet such is the nature of the evidence by which Dr. Hamilton would establish that the slain, (Rev. xix. 21,) are the whole of those described (XX, 5.) as the rest of the dead who live not again till the thousand years be finished; and we much regret to add that Dr. Wardlaw has here followed the same course. Independently of the fact that it is a literal slaying of the former that is spoken of—for “ all the fowls were fille ed with their flesh”—the sophism may be rendered still more apparent, hy bringing together other instances from the New Testament, in which the Greek term that is here translated "s rest” and “remnant”
For by following the same line of argunient these Doctors might establish, beyond the power of controversy, not merely the identity of “the remnant” slain, with the “ rest of the dead who lived not again; but they might also prove that both are the very party described, Rev. ix. 20, as “ the rest of the men which were not kill. ed by these plagues, yet repented not of the works of their hands;" and that still we have in Rev. xi. 13, these men, the very “remnant who were affrighted, and gave glory to the God of heaven.”—“. Hai Loipoi,' the identical remnant who were slain !” exclaims Dr. Hamil.
ton, with an air of triumph. We wonder it did not occur while he thus deceived himself, or endeavoured to practise upon the credulity of his readers, that the remainder of one thing could not be the « identical remnant” of another, and that the character of these rem. nants differ just in proportion to the dissimilarity of the objects to which they apply, this being ascertained only from the connection in which they are found. « The rest” or “remnant” in English, with its equivalent in Greek, merely denotes what is not included, whether this be, as in Matt. xxii. 6," the remnant” of unworthy men who rejected the invitation to the wedding of the king's son-or, as in Mat. xxv. 11, “ the other” virgins who were denied access to the Bridegroom's presence or the lusts of “other” things which render the word unfruitful, as in Mark iv. 19-~or, as in Luke xxi. 26, “ the rest” of the things about which Christ enjoined His disciples to take no thought.
* We hope to be forgiven by the Examinator in the Instructor for having preferred the method adopted, although it has brought us thus late to the examination of the passage he has kindly prescribed (p. 482,) as that on which “ all discussion should begin, and all demon. strations should finally seek their foundation,” We beg to assure him, that it was from no contempt of his prescriptive authority that a different course has been pursued, but simply from a belief that it might be proper first to establish the period of Christ's Return, and from a conviction that the doctrine of our Lord's Millennial advent and reign, is supported by such an abundance of Scriptural Evidence as that it would have stood perfeetly secure, even although we were interdicted all reference to the passage in question. The only point here declared, which is not elsewhere revealed, is the duration of this reign; and Commentators, both those who maintain and those who oppose the doctrine of the personal presence of Christ, are, after all, at variance with respect to the meaning of the “ thousand years." Some
suppose, that the thousand years are given as a round number, merely indicating a long but indefinite time; others believe that they are to be understood as literal years, and therefore predict the precise period of the Millennium; and a third class maintain, that being prophetic years, having a year for a day, they intimate a period of 365,000 civil years. Although fully aware that there are arguments not destitute of weight in favour of the interpretation of literal years, to us the opinion scarcely appears consistent with other Scriptures. When we consider the frequency with which the prophets speak of