Samuel Lee, D.D.
Canon of Bristol | “Father of Syriac Studies in Britain”

“the period for the fulfillment of all prophecy has long ago passed away”

** Many thanks to Scott Thompson for editing book one **


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THE following inquiry has been made with the view of ascertaining, whether Scripture itself would not supply better means of discussing the great question of prophecy than those usually had recourse to; and, then, whether results different from those generally arrived at, and more in unison with Apostolic Christianity, would not be obtained. Certainly no one, accustomed to any thing like sound investigation, can feel satisfied either with the means generally used, or the results arrived at. This has been the author’s feeling.

In order therefore, to lay before readers generally the real state of the case ; the nature of the principles visually employed, and the conclusions thence arrived at, have been examined in the first place, and shewn to be unsound. In the next, others have been proposed and shewn to be in unison with those generally adopted by the early Christian Church, and the conclusions arrived at to be in the main the same. These principles are moreover, those which have been recommended by the best writers on Hermeneutics, with this exception, that they apply Scripture in the interpretation of itself, to a far greater extent; render the process of interpretation more easy and natural, and the results arrived at much more certain.

It will hence be readily perceived that, to discuss some single question of prophecy, whether as to the second coming of Christ, the Antichrist, the Millennium, the Restoration of the Jews, or the like, is not the object of this work, although in its details it embraces them all: that its object rather is, to consider prophecy as one great question perfectly at unity with itself,—as it must be if of divine origin,—and, as involving all these collateral considerations, forming in detail its constituent parts. And in this it is, that the peculiarity of the following Work consists. It exhibits this question in its own remarkable simplicity, integrity, and unity; and presenting a whole as closely connected, inseparable, and harmonious, as it is simple, obvious, and satisfying: Christianity such as the Prophets had foretold, taught and established by the Apostles, and now working its wonders of mercy and of love in this country, and in all its dependencies, as far as the imperfect faith of their several inhabitants will permit it to do so.

One great and valuable result of the whole is, that the question of Prophecy is not a difficult one; and another, that all has been fulfilled. Difficult indeed it has been made; but then, this has grown out of the adoption of technicalities, with which it had nothing to do: and great is the wonder that these should so long have kept their ground, and the world have hence remained in so much perplexity and doubt on the subject. The case will perhaps, henceforth, be different. Every thing connected with this question cannot, I think, but assume a much easier, and more instructive aspect. The Law, the Psalms, the Prophets, &c. of the Old Testament; the teaching of our Lord, as far as this question is concerned; that of His Apostles and the book of the Revelation, of the New, must become matter of much easier apprehension, unless I am very greatly mistaken, than it has been. While all these will, in their united and aggregate capacity, form a chain of evidence such as to be irresistible, and, at the same time, a source of spiritual instruction and edification, such as a Revelation from above, made for all sorts and conditions of men, would be reasonably expected to supply. Not indeed that these have been entirely wanting. Christianity, like some chymical bodies under certain circumstances, is too powerful to be confined in its effects under any amount of pressure whatsoever. And, as to the fulfilment of all, this must depend on the goodness of the proof offered; which I leave to the judgment of the Public.

It only remains now for me to commit my Work to the patient and candid examination of the Reader, intreating him not to be too hasty in coming to his conclusions upon it. Much perhaps not met with before may be presented to him, which may require some time for reflection: besides, it will be necessary to view the whole as constituting one great subject: and hence, as entitled to consideration in the combination and agreement of all its parts; each of which involving questions of grave and interesting import. These things being duly attended to, I cannot but hope, that the interest of its perusal will prove as great to the reader, as that of its writer has been in its composition.


IT will be very justly expected, that any one offering to the Public a new work on Prophecy,—so many having appeared of late years,—would have some strong reasons for doing so; and, that he would make it his first business to render these. I believe I have such reasons, and it is my intention now to render them as briefly as I can.

My reasons then are: I. The fact, that many are quite unaware of the grounds on which this question has been placed, and are hence, scarcely in a situation to judge, either of the goodness, or not, of the results arrived at. This will make it necessary, II. to examine these; and to shew the nature of their results; and then, III. should these appear to fall short of what the nature of the case requires, to propose others on which reliance may be placed, and such as to afford results answering more fully to the terms of Holy Writ.

And first, as to the Principles adopted :—for from these will appear the sort of grounds usually taken in discussing this question. These then are, as far as I have been able to ascertain them, those only of ingenious conjecture, supported in detail by what may be termed the doctrine of resemblances. For example, the meaning of a prediction of Scripture is, in the first place, guessed at; in the second, the event so supposed to be had in view, is made to quadrate with it, to a certain extent, just in proportion to the amount of ingenuity exerted: the resemblance so obtained is, as it is then thought, too near to have been undesigned. And the conclusion is, that the needful has been satisfactorily ascertained.

Now it is not my intention to condemn, by wholesale, the use of conjecture ; this would be absurd : all 1 intend to urge is, that conjecture be sober, and be severely dealt with : in other words, that the resemblance be not only good, but that it be proved, by some other considerations, to constitute an identity with the event, &c. supposed to be foretold. Because, without such check as this, since resemblances are extremely pliant things, and are easily made to bend to the will of their authors, they may be found perhaps in a thousand other things, equally satisfying, and equally applicable to such prediction. And hence it is, that an Antichrist has been found in perhaps every age of the Church ; and, in some of these, more than one individual has been fixed upon, and urged,—as the taste may have suggested,—as the very and undoubted character foretold. The same, it need not be dissembled, has been, and is still, the case among ourselves.

There is a reason for this in the nature of things, and such as ought ever to put us on our guard, as to such resemblances : it is this: The affairs of the world are subject to certain and invariable laws. The nature of man is everywhere the same. Similar conduct will therefore in all times, and in all places, produce similar results: and, if prediction be appealed to, any one of these may readily be mistaken for the one predicted. E. g. States and Empires necessarily arise out of small beginnings. Necessity, in the first instance, calls for and produces industry, thriftiness, economy, and the like : these again, naturally produce wealth, extent of influence, and so on: these will, in the next place, bring in luxury, indolence, want of good faith, and “the other thousand nameless ills.” And to these, will as naturally succeed, poverty, weakness, disagreement, and dissolution.

These different circumstances will again, produce extraordinary characters: that is, the talent bestowed on particular persons will now be called forth, which would other­wise have remained latent. War will create heroes ; peace, characters such as circumstances may require; lawyers it may be, statesmen, poets, or the like. And, should prediction have foretold some extraordinary character connected with any of these callings; a little ingenuity will discover an individual so nearly resembling the description given, as to supply a tolerable conclusion, that this could not have been undesigned. This again,—should the particular period for the appearance of such character not have been well defined, or the definition given not have been understood,— will be deemed ground sufficient also, to fix the period of his appearance. And such has actually been the fact as to the Antichrist of Scripture.

This then has been the case with the interpreters of prophecy to a marvellous extent: and the consequence has been,—and must continue to be, so long as the same system is pursued,—one ingenious writer has superseded another, because his conclusions have been more plausible, and exciting, than those of his predecessor. And for this again, the nature of the case supplies the best of reasons. It has been very generally determined, that much of prophecy is yet to be fulfilled:—right or wrong is not now the question.—It has also been generally supposed, that certain obscure marks have been given, by which the several periods of fulfilment may be known. This would, of necessity, produce a large number of competitors for the discovery of the period, or periods, so intimated. And the consequence has been, these have been very numerous, and their discoveries as various as their several tastes. Some have lived long enough to witness the failure of their own predictions, as to such periods: others, to see, and lament over, these failures: while all have deplored the encouragement thus given to infidelity, and the uncertainty of the once more sure word of prophecy daily increased.

Still, the source of all this has remained undetected, and undisturbed : new predictions—for such indeed are all such interpretations,—have been made to supply the places of the former unhappy ones. The period of fulfilment has accordingly been urged onwards ; and, unless I am greatly deceived, must continue to be so, even to the consummation of all things [It is a very natural and indeed constant, result with the Interpreters of prophecy, to push into futurity every thing that cannot be readily made out. It was this, as we shall presently see, which induced many of the Fathers to place the Antichrist not far from the dissolu­tion of all things. Hence too, Mr. Mede and his followers hare wandered into the obscurities of futurity for a large portion of their conclusions: and, for the same reason, Dr. Todd has committed all,-— if I understand him rightly—to the nox caliginosa of his predecessors; leaving the whole in a perfect state of chaotic darkness and confusion!], unless something more certain, and better grounded, be in the mean time proposed and received. There is moreover, another evil attending this progress of prophetical interpretation : it is this: As much is thus carried out into futurity, it has unhappily been determined, that, not only a great part, but that the most glorious part, of prophecy remains yet to be fulfilled. The consequence of this again necessarily is, that something better than what we now have is expected to take place; and hence, that Christianity, as we have it, is not the glorious system foretold by the Prophets: and again, that another and better Dispensation is to supersede that taught and established by the Apostles! This, though not holden by all, is by very many; and consistently so. It is the genuine result of the grounds taken : and it is a bad one; and such as might naturally be expected from the adoption of bad principles.

Another consideration, of great moment, has likewise grown out of all this; and, as far as I am able to judge, is equally groundless as to authority, and bad as to consequence. It is the adoption of judaizing principles, and then the arriving at judaizing results ; both of these greatly affecting Christianity, and tending marvellously to obscure the letter of Scripture, and to destroy the evidences to its truth. In this case, we have the period for the restoration of the Jews to Palestine, determined by a cabbalistic process of Rabbinism ; and, of necessity, subject to all its uncertainty. Then again, a sort of pre-eminence is ascribed to the Jews, so restored; and Christianity is injured, both as to its claims and its power, just in proportion as the Jew is advanced, and his system is extolled.

Add to this the confident predictions daily issued as to the nearness of this glorious period, and the general excitement so raised, even to the highest possible pitch. Every new circumstance of political importance is seized upon, as the certain forerunner of all this ; and the natural consequence is, those most extensively wrought upon are tempted to make the affairs of this world necessary to religion, and to substitute a walk by sight, for that of faith: not to insist upon the grievous mistake of reposing matters of such importance upon conclusions which, when duly sifted, amount to nothing beyond the conjectures of good, but grievously mistaken, men. It will be unnecessary to dilate on these points now, as they will be abundantly discussed and exemplified, in the course of the following inquiry, when proof of their character and effects will be given. We now proceed therefore to our examination of the critical principles and practices of Mr. Mede, which are those adopted by all our writers on prophecy.
Part I.—On the Principles of Scriptural Interpretation adopted by Mr. Mede and his followers.

We have, in Mr. Mede’s work on the Revelation, a sufficiently full development, and application, of his principles of interpretation. We shall commence with his comment upon the seals. He tells us, in the first place, that, “The first prophecy of the seals comprehendeth the destinies of the Empire. The other” (Rev. x. 9,10.) “of the little book, the destinies of the Church, or of Christian religion, until at length both shall be united in the Church reigning; the kingdoms of this world becoming our Lord’s, and his Christ’s.” No one will, as yet, mistake this for any thing more than an expression of Mr. Mede’s opinion. Let us now see what he advances in support of it.

“For,” continues he, “as in the Old Testament Daniel did as well foreshew the coming of Christ, as digest the des­tinies of the Jewish Church, according to the successions of Empires; so it is to be conceived, that the Apocalypse doth measure the state of Christianity by the affairs of the Roman Empire, which should yet remain after Christ. Neither,” adds he, “doth the event cross it.” I remark: This may be very true, or it may not: certainly the reasoning offered so far, is any thing but sufficient to convince us that it ought to be received.

For, in the first place, Daniel has indeed determined in a most particular manner, the destinies of the Jewish Church, as also the period in which the Christian Church should be established. But, Can we hence assume,’ that the Apocalypse has in like manner determined those of the latter? Mr. Mede tells us that the event doth not cross this. But here again the question may arise, Can we safely rely on his expo­sition of the Event ? We shall presently see.

Our first question will be then, Are we reasonably bound to conceive that the Apocalypse is, just as the Book of Daniel is, a collection of predictions intended to determine the events, with their times, which should continue to occur in the Christian Church! In the first place, it has never yet been satisfactorily shewn,—and, I think, cannot be,— that the Apocalypse does contain a series of new predictions as it is the case with Daniel. My own impression is,—and the following pages will, perhaps, suffice to prove its truth,— that the Apocalypse contains no original predictions at all; but exhibits, on the contrary, at once a synopsis, and system of interpretation, of all such prophecy as refers to the establishment of the Christian Church, and nothing else. Nor again generally, has prophecy before it any thing beyond the establishment of the everlasting Covenant made with Abraham: in other words, the establishment of the New Covenant in Christ Jesus, Abraham’s seed in whom all nations should be blessed. The Apocalypse itself declares moreover,—rand this on principle,—that the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy; not the prediction of certain political events, with their times, which might more or less affect the external circumstances of the Church, even to the consummation of all things. Nor, again, is the Kingdom of Christ to be considered so far a Kingdom of this world, as to have for one of its main elements those events of time, which are clearly foreign to its express, and expressed requirements. —Of all which, abundant proof will be found in the following pages.

But, if we allow Mr. Mede’s parallel to hold good, then must it militate most effectually against his theory. E. g. The prophecies of Daniel, it is certain, are not consecutive as to time. Generally speaking,—and as it respects every thing connected with our inquiry,—they are confessedly repeated predictions of the same things. The first Vision (Chap, ii.), clearly predicts the fall of the four great Empires, which should precede that of our blessed Lord. The second (Chap, vii.) foretels the same thing, as also does the third and the fourth. If therefore, we are to adopt the analogy here recommended by Mr. Mede, we must refuse to accept his arrangement of the times, as to the seals and the little book, &c. For my own part, I entertain no doubt,—and sufficient proof will be given below,—that the different Visions of St. John are, just as those of Daniel are, repe­titions of the same events and times; and that this repetition has been had recourse to for the best of purposes, viz. to enable him to take up all the more remarkable predictions of the Old Testament, and to apply them to the establishment of the Church of the New: and further, to afford the best key to the true interpretation of them all; such as otherwise we never should have had.—Sufficient exemplification of this will be given in its place.

To Mr. Mede’s interpretation of the Seals, I have nothing generally to object: still I say, means are afforded in the Scriptures and histories of those times, such as will supply a far more particular and trustworthy explanation of them. This I have endeavoured to give in the following pages; how successfully, it is for others to judge. So much for generals, let us now come to particulars, and examine some of Mr. Mede’s principles, in their application to certain parts of Scripture : and it is not so much the conclusion here, as the means used for arriving at it, that we have in view.

He tells us then, on the first seal [Comment on the Revelation in loc], that ” The first chance of the Roman Empire, and surely very notable, is the original of the victory of Christ; whereby the Roman gods begin to be vanquished, and their worshippers being pierced with the arrows of the gospel, begin every where to fall away,” &c. Which is generally true: let us now consider the sort of proof offered, as to the particulars.

“The discloser of this seal,” says Mr. Mede, “is the first beast, in the shape of a Lion, standing at the East; and sheweth a horseman coming out of his quarter, that is, an Emperor; from whose getting on horseback to ride, that is, coming to his Empire, the distinct space of the first seal is to begin ; to wit, from the glorious exaltation of our Lord Jesus Christ [Mr. Mede very properly directs us here to Ps. xlv. 5, but this he does merely to apprise us, that ” to be carried on horseback is a badge of authority.” “Lo! the woman riding upon the beast,” Chap, xvii. 3; and “in the same sense Deut. xxxii. 13; Isa. lviii. 14; Ps. lxvi. 12.” It does not seem to hare occurred to him, that Ps. xtv. 5 would apply the best possible interpretation to this place. I find Mr. Mede frequently in this predicament.]…The beginnings of the following seals are directed by the Roman Emperors,” &c. Now, to object to these positions is not so much my present business, as it is to shew that the principle here applied, i.e. mere conjecture,—can furnish us with no result worthy of confidence. And first, as to what is said of this first beast, his being in the East, and exhibiting a horseman, or Emperor, as just now stated.

It is assumed here then, that,—as the four beasts or living creatures, standing before the throne, appeared respectively as a Lion, a Bullock, a Man, and an Eagle; and, as it is said by Aben Ezra, that the ensigns of the Hebrew camp in the wilderness were, to the East Juda, a Lion; to the West Ephraim, a Bullock; to the South Reuben, a Man; and to the North Dan, an Eagle: and this again, because ” The Talmudists seem to give the reason thus: four things are proud (or which excel) in the world; the lion among the wilde beasts, the bullock amongst cattel, the eagle amongst birds, and a man whom God hath endued with beauty, &c.; which,” Mr. Mecle continues, “may be confirmed out of the four-fold face of the Cherubims :…by which is signified, that it was the Lord, and the king of the four bands or camps of Israel, which was carried on them:” (that)—we may safely rely on this exposition. Let us see.—

That these four Beasts had these several characters, can­not be disputed; for John himself (ver. 7, here) gives it: but then, why these four should be selected, to the exclusion of the other eight ensigns, surrounding the Israelitish camp, the Talmudical extract just mentioned, can scarcely suffice to shew; and the same is perhaps true, as to the ensign of a Bullock ascribed to Ephraimu Joseph,—personated here probably by Ephraim,—is said (Gen. xux. 22), to be “a fruitful bough:” where indeed (ver. 9), Judah is said to be a Lion’s whelp. The ensign of Ephraim therefore, should rather seem to be the Bough of some fruit-tree, than a Bullock. And again, Dan is said (ib.) to be “a Serpent by the way, an adder in the path:” and hence, some have supposed, that out of Dan the Antichrist should come. But Aben Ezra tells us, that the ensign of Dan was an Eagle. I only ask, Is the conjunction of these two Jewish notions, foundation sufficient whereon to build any system of Scriptural interpretation ? or, Is this sufficient to confirm the position, that hence the Cherubim were so constructed, and so to be understood ? Surely all this is any thing but certain: and yet it is here put forth with unhesitating confidence !

We are also told (pari ratione), that “the beginnings of the following seals:” i. e. after this first, ” are directed by the Roman Emperors;” and we find accordingly, in the comment on the second seal, ” The discloser of this seal is the second Beast, in the shape of a Bullock placed at the West: and whilest in the vision he biddeth look back towards him, thereby he warneth, that this seal beginneth, when Trajan the Spaniard bare rule, being an Emperour coming from the West,”…”thenceforth the same” (i.e. western) “stock reigned even until Commodus; where the space of this seal endeth.” In the first place, we have no intimation whatever,—as far as I can see,—of John’s looking towards the West, much less of his being bidden to do so. This is all pure imagination! In the next, If we are hence to assume, that Trajan was the first persecuting Emperor;— which the place would seem to require;—then would this manifestly “cross the event:” for, as shewn below (p. 201, seq.), it was Domitian,—who is represented in Holy Writ, as also in some of his own coins, &c. sitting, and not riding,—— who was the first Persecutor.

And again, On what solid grounds can it be assumed, or maintained, that out of these four Beasts ministering before the throne, three must represent persecuting Emperors? And then, that the following ones, up to the times of Commodus, will supply all that is required to satisfy the terms of St. John, as given under the second seal 2 One would, at first sight, hardly imagine that any thing like this could satisfy the words of this Evangelist. Let us now see what Mr. Mede further advances for this purpose:—

We have then, I. The slaughter of the Jews under Trajan and Hadrian, proved sufficiently well from Dion and Orosius, &c. Mr. Mede then concludes thereon,—and the matter which he gives is not without its value,—” that this. ruine seemeth to have been the most grievous fit of all that unheard-of tribulation, which our Saviour had foretold should come upon the Jews. And therefore not unworthily chosen by the Holy Ghost, before all other events of that time, for the expressing of this second space, since it excelleth, as well because of the nation, as of an accomplishment so renowned.” To all this I have nothing to object as matter of history, and as belonging to the times of these Emperors (see p. 314, below). What I want to know is, How it can be made to appear that Trajan, Hadrian, and Commodus, personated three of the four Beasts of St. John, full of eyes, &c., whose employment was to praise God, and who actually constituted the Cherubim of glory ? I say here, as before, that nothing perhaps short of inspiration can pronounce all this to be wrong: while it is certain, that nothing like proof has yet been offered that it is right; or, that the assumptions with which we set out, have thereby been established as good.

Under the third seal, we have the shape of a man standing at the south: i. e. the Emperor Septimim Severus, an African, and therefore from the south. He was too the only Emperor out of Africa: and so he might be, and yet have nothing to do with this question: for, not a word about the south occurs in St. John! But we have an Emperor here standing, not riding; while riding in our first seal, con­stituted the mark of imperial authority! But, I must correct myself; a little lower down (p. 45 seq.), Severus and Alex­ander are made to personate the Rider on the black horse: we have therefore now, two Emperors represented by this, one rider who comes from the south, one of whom belonged not to that quarter! Again, this horse is made to imply by its colour,—usually signifying sadness, mourning, terror,— ” the severity of justice.” Is not this again, a rather large assumption ? for nothing like proof is offered in support of it. Again (ib.), ” The pair of balances cannot fitly be joyned with the measure.” Which is not true, for it is shewn (p. 349, below), that in mystical language of this sort, this usage is common.

Mr. Mede goes on : “In these reigns, more glorious and notable than any in past times, or following times,'” there were neither dearths nor famines ; but, on the contrary, great plenty, and the most impartial administration of justice. He does not seem to have been aware, that as yet he had offered nothing like proof, that these reigns were meant by St. John: nor, if they really were, how we are fairly to account for the colour of the horse, i.e. black, usually denoting sadness, mourning, and terror, in times so singularly glorious! Surely the sadness, mourning, and terror, experienced by the thieves of these times, according to Mr. Mede, could hardly have been of sufficient importance to induce the Sovereign Disposer of events to honour their sufferings here, as thieves, with the colour of this horse ! The characters moreover of these two Emperors, have merited the honourable and lasting distinction of a pair of balances, in the Church of Christ! This surely would have been to make the testimony of Severus and Alex­ander the spirit of prophecy. Let the reader judge. But Severus was, according to Eusebius, a cruel Persecutor! [His testimony is (Eccl. Hist. lib. vi. c. 1), ” Porro cum S everus persecutionem adversus ecclesias excitasset, per omnes qwidem wbique. locorum ecclesias ab athletis pro pietate certantibus illustria sunt confecta martyria,” &c. In Alexandria and the Thebais this raged more particularly, and in which the Father of Origen is said to have been beheaded, and Origen himself to have been vigorously sought after in order to put him to death. See ib. capp. iv, v. Alexander was indeed a very excellent Prince: but this tends in no degree, as far as I can see, towards connecting him with this black horse.] His reign could therefore, hardly be thought a glorious one by the suffering Church.

“Our fourth seal is disclosed by the fourth beast in the shape of an Eagle, standing at the north,…whereby is shewed that the beginning of the seal is to be fetcht from an Emperour thence arising:” i. e. Maximinus the Thracian, bred and brought up in the north.—But could this place be fairly supposed to be in the North by St. John 2 It is true indeed that Maximinus was a beast, a murderer and persecutor of a very rare description, and so was Gallienus his successor. It is also true that slaughters, famines, pestilences, and dearths prevailed during their times, to an extraordinary degree ; still, neither any one, nor indeed all, of these things put together, will tend in the least to prove, that these Em­perors are here personated by the Rider on the pale horse. Mathematical demonstration cannot indeed be required : but something amounting to probability at least, should have been proposed; and, I think, is to be had: but which, if not more worthy of acceptance than all this, ought certainly to be cast to the winds.

“The two seales that follow,” continues Mr. Mede, “have no help from the Beasts, like as the former, concerning the time of their beginning; and therefore none here (are) any more to be seen upon horses.” But, it may be asked, Were any Roman Emperors there to be seen upon horses? Mr. Mede has assumed that there were: as he also has that three of these were also shewn forth, in the Cherubim of glory! and that in all this, the events do not cross the supposition. All which, I must say, affords nothing like reasonable proof, that the assumptions, good or bad, are worthy of acceptance. But, as the introduction of these Emperors has so conducted us to the times of Gallienus, we can now, ac­cording to Mr. Mede, proceed ourselves onward to the rest.

Our fifth seal then, dates from Aurelianus; and we are told, that ” the most notable chance of the Roman estate under this seal…is that persecution of the Christians begun by Dioclesian, continued by others, the most bitter by much of all which were before.” In this fact Mr. Mede is right; while it must be obvious to all, that his mode of conducting us to it cannot be depended upon.

And upon the whole of this,—which .is given merely as an exemplification of the principles and practices of Mr. Mede’s school,—what have we, I ask, short of the wildest sallies of a most luxuriant fancy, unchecked by any thing calculated to confine it within the bounds of judicious inquiry! We have, for example, the Israelitish camp introduced, for the purpose of directing our attention to the four Cardinal points of the heavens. We next have these, connected with the “four living creatures before the throne” One of them is converted into our Lord, because He is elsewhere said to go out riding on, conquering and to conquer. This riding next suggests the notion of Empire: and accordingly, the other three living creatures are metamorphosed into three Roman Emperors! and, as the Cardinal points just mentioned, must be divided among these riding Emperors, the three points which we have now to deal with must be, the South, West, and North; the East being previously disposed of. This being settled, we have the birth-places of these Emperors determined, viz. Africa, Spain, and Thrace! Surely it must be superfluous to carry this out farther. Every one, accus­tomed in the least degree to critical inquiry must see, that the system, and the conclusions, so devised, conducted, and recommended for adoption, must be beneath the respect which would entitle them to any extended examination, and much less to acceptance.

The following is added, not because it has any thing to do with Mr. Mede’s system, but because good examples of Scriptural interpretation are contained in it. “The chance of this” (sixth) “seal,” says he, “is an admirable shaking of the heaven and earth. Whereby the wonderful change and subversion of the state of Rome heathen, by Constantine the Great, and his successors the standard-bearers of the Lamb, figured; whereby suppose all the heathen gods shaken out of their heaven.””…”Furthermore,” continues he, “the Emperors, Kings, and Princes, who thought to help their gods so greatly in danger, to denounce war against Christ’s standard-bearers, to fight with their powerful forces; and being even conquered to renew the battle with all their strength, were slain with unheard-of slaughter, discomfited, and put to flight; until at last, their condition growing desperate, there was none could be found to succour any more the Roman religion, falling to ruine with so great a crush.” Mr. Mede then gives the text (Rev. vi. 12—IV), with particular remarks on each verse. I will notice those on verses 13,14.

“The heavens vanished,” &c….” The whole place is taken out Isachap, xxxiv. ver. 4, where plainly,” adds Mr. Mede, ” in the self-same representation… the Holy Ghost doth point out the destruction and mine of the kingdom of Edom, as here the Kingdom of Idols. The heavens,” saith he, “shall” (be) “rolled together as a book” &c. “The meaning whereof the Spirit in the Revelation would render something more clear by a double supply of words,” &c..,.” Furthermore,” adds he, “concerning the same ruine of Edom,… do Obadiah, Jeremias, chap. xlix. from the seventh ver. to the 22. Ezek., xxxv. through the whole, and xxv. 12, handle it; which therefore I mention, lest any should conceive the description of Isay applicable only to that great day of universal judgment.” All which—and more might be added—is to the purpose. If Mr. Mede had always adopted the course which he has here, he would have long ago solved all the difficulties connected with this Book.

He next proceeds (p. 80, seq.) to the seventh seal, which he makes to synchronize with the whole seven trumpets: and to contain all that is enounced under them. In like manner his first Vial commences with his seventh trumpet, and the remaining ones proceed onwards to the consummation of all things. The intervals occupied by the first six seals, six trumpets, and the last seven vials, respectively, he makes to occupy, I.—as we have seen,—the period of the Apostolic preaching, of the persecutions under the Caesars, and of the establishment of Christianity, in a sort of infantine state under Constantine. II. Under the trumpets, he finds the events of the Church under the Papal corruptions and persecutions: and III. Under the vials, the state of the Church after the second appearing of our Lord, by whose coming the Papal Antichrist is to fall, the Jews to be restored, and a sort of Millennial state then to follow: all which, it might be supposed, would be established by good and powerful proofs. We shall see.—

One reason for this adjustment is the fact, that a certain analogy runs through these several series of enouncements and events, which Mr. Mede thinks ought not to be disre­garded; but his chief reason appears to be the following [In a tract entitled Paraleipomena, “Remaines,” &c., p. 1. seq. Vol. II.], viz. “The Apocalyps considered only according to the naked Letter, as if it were a History, and no Prophecie, hath marks and signes sufficient by the Holy Spirit, whereby the Order, Synchronisme, and Sequele of all the Visions therein contained, may be found out, and demonstrated.” He proceeds, ” For example: Are we assured what the Prophecie of the Whore of Babylon meanes? For here, here, I say, we must first pitch: and therefore (mark it) the Angel himself of purpose expounds this Vision onely of all the Visions the Scheme representeth. Doe we know then,” continues he, “what this meaneth ? If we doe, then behold the Scheme, and see there what will follow: viz.” &c. That is, Mr. Mede having lengthened out the period of prophecy beyond that of the seals generally, he offers this as a proof that he was right in so doing, and as a safe ground on which to place his further speculations. He proceeds therefore,—

1. That all the Visions contemporating with Babylon’s times, must be expounded of such things onely as belong to the times of Babylon’s whoring.

2. All Visions preceding must be interpreted of things foregoing it.

3. All Visions following, of things to be after it, &c. “Verbum intelligenti sat est.” This contains the sum and substance of Mr. Mede’s progressive scheme; the foregoing, a specimen of his reasonings; and both these, as followed out by himself, and by all his followers, exhibit the true and real grounds of his and their expositions. Let us examine it.

As to the first point, I agree with Mr. Mede, viz. that there are things given by the Holy Ghost in the Revelation, quite sufficient to suggest, and to guide, its true interpretation [E.g. We hare Rev. i. 18, “/am he that liveth, and was dead,” &c. which must have been intended to shew us, that this person was Christ, as remarked in its place. Ib. ver. 7, ” He cometh with clouds,” &c., must have been given to teach us, that this had been somewhere else said, and to direct us to such place or places for its interpretation. The same must be true of all places either quoting, or alluding to, the Old Testament, which is abundantly exemplified in the following work.]. But I dissent from him when he says, that the Angel has not afforded any explanation, except only as to the Whore of Babylon, because I find many other such explanations. [In Chap. vii. 14. ” These are they which came out of great tribulation,” &c: i. e. in the persecutions of the Little Horn, and from what follows (ib. 16, 17,) they must be members of the Church below, not above. Again, xi. 15 : “The kingdoms of this world have become,” &c.: i.e. the Church of Christ is established. Again, xiv. 4: ” These were redeemed from among men,” &c.: so also xii. 17: ” It is done.” Again, xix. 8: ” The fine linen is the righteousness of saints.” See ib. 10. ” The testimony of Jesus,” &c. ib. 13. “His name is the word of God.” ib. xxi. 3. “The tabernacle of God,” &c. to which very many more might be added : all of which are, of necessity, to be taken in their obvious and direct import.]

I am left now to suppose that, by the Whore of Babylon, and the interpretation given by the Angel, the general matter of Rev. chap. xvii. is meant, and by the explanation in view, its last verse: viz. “And the woman which thou sawest is that great city, which reigneth” (i. e. at this time) “over the kings of the earth” Here then, according to Mr. Mede’s own rule, we are to take this “according to the naked Letter.” Let us do so; and What will the result be ? Quite the reverse of what his system requires! The Angel says then to John, “The woman” i. e. Babylon’s Whore, ” is that great city (now) holding rule over the kings of the earth. But the city which then held this rule, was heathen Rome, not Papal Rome, be­yond all possible doubt. This, I say, we do know most cer­tainly. So far this question is settled, upon Mr. Mede’s own principles. Mr. Mede has here made a very common mistake by supposing, that the present time, so intimated, must be that present to himself!

There are, it should be observed, other ways of arriving at this result, which we may as well now notice. One, the supposed probability, that the descriptions given both by Daniel and St. Paul of the Antichrist, answer too well to that of the Roman Pontiff, to have been accidental. He is therefore, the Antichrist. The answer to which is: Resemblance does not constitute identity: and hence, many of the other resemblances so proposed, have been found to fail. But there are considerations, quite sufficient to set this question at rest. I will adduce one only. According to Daniel (chap. xi. 31), Arms should stand on his part, and they should…take away the daily sacrifice,…and place the abomination that maketh desolate. Now it is certain, that the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate was set tip by heathen Rome, and by no other power: as it also is, that our blessed Lord Himself has applied this prediction of Daniel, to these very events. See Matth. xxiv. 15, with its parallels. That there is a resemblance between these and other descriptions of the Man of sin, and the Pope, there can be no doubt: but, as before, these are not sufficient to establish an identity. Another way of getting to the same conclusion is, a cabbalistical solution of the number 666 of the Apocalypse. It will be seen in its place (Chap. xiii. 18), that there are good reasons for believing, that this reading is not genuine ; and, that if it were, still it will admit of so many solutions, that it is perfectly useless; and further, that the place is sufficiently clear without it. Other such expedients are noticed below in their places.

To return to Mr. Mede: he places the times of Babylon’s Whore then, far beyond those of Heathen Rome, and within those of Papal Rome. But, according to the inter­pretation of the Angel, they are those of Heathen Rome, Mr. Mede is therefore, clearly wrong in so fixing this his first, and governing particular; and this, even according to his own rules of interpretation!

And, in the next place, no credence can be given to his other leading positions, viz. That whatever comes before this, i.e. in the order of the text, must be interpreted as taking place before it, in the order of time: and, whatever comes after it, as occurring after it in like manner. This is virtually to assume the whole matter at issue, and upon grounds that are palpably false: every, the merest, tyro in Biblical criticism knowing, that the order of the text cannot be taken as determining the order of events in any case, much less in the language of prophecy; and of this abundant proof will be found in the following pages [ It will be seen below on the Revelation, that the Scriptures referred to by St. John, under each of the several series of the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials, actually contain some particular, or other, suffi­cient to suggest to us their several periods; and that, in no case, do these extend beyond the establishment of the Church under Constantine. That Mr. Mede’s rule is false in principle, the visions of Daniel, as expounded by every commentator, will abundantly shew; which must suffice here.]. I remark here once for all: Nothing can be more plausible, or dangerous, than the numerous technicalities of this sort in use among us. Again, the opinion that this Whore of Babylon represents Papal Rome, is clearly a pure assumption; arid, as just now proved, it is a false one. And the conclusion must be: The Scheme of Mr. Mede, resting on these grounds, is at once groundless and deceptive. We may now examine another of his strong grounds, on which he and his followers place the utmost reliance, and urge with but too much success.

We are told in his sermon on Isaiah [Edit. 1652. Vol. I. p. 243, seq.], chap. ii. 2, 3, 4, that “hills or mountains are States, Kingdoms, or Societies of men, which consisting of degrees, rising unto a height one above another, are compared unto mountains raised above the ordinary plain and level of the earth. The Mountain of the Lord’s House,” continues he, “is that State and Society which is called the Church and People of God…the Kingdom of Heaven, that is, a Kingdom, whose both King, and King’s throne, have their residence and place in the Heavens.” A little lower down we have,…” the time should one day come, that this People or Church of God, should not only be the most exalted state upon the Earth, and the most ample and universal Dominion that ever was in the World; but the most peaceable,” &c.:—which is a genuine Jewish notion !

“But now comes the question,” continues he, “whether this, as we have described it, be and hath already been fulfilled ? or whether the time thereof be yet to come ? or if already in any wayes fulfilled, whether it be not in part onely performed, and the full accomplishment reserved for the time to come!”—He then presses the followers of the Pontificate on the perpetual visibility of the Church, and wishes to know, whether even they can point out any time past, or present, in which Popery has exhibited so glorious a visibility as this prophecy of Isaiah foretells. He next argues that, should such a fulfilment have taken place—and he denies not that it partially has,—still, it cannot be shewn that such glorious visibility must necessarily continue : and that, to have so fulfilled the prophecy once, would satisfy the terms of the prediction.—Let this be borne in mind.

We are next taught (ib. p. 247), “that we must distinguish of times…that there are times when the Church is indeed visible, but not glorious. Secondly, times when it is neither visible nor glorious. Thirdly, times when it is to be both visible and glorious.” “In the times immediately after Christ’s passion…it was neither visible nor glorious.” “In the times of the persecuting Emperors…and the nations began to flow unto it, it was a society indeed visible, but not glorions: I am sure it was not in the tops of the mountains; but the Imperiall mountain of Some… overtopped it.. .trampled it under their feet [That is, just as prophecy had foretold it should.]…we speak here of the externall glory.. .In the times of Constantine… the sun seemed as it were to break forth of a cloud, and the Christian society became for a while, both visible and glorious:”—I remark: Now therefore, according to Mr. Mede’s own shewing, the prophecy was fulfilled; while no assurance had been given by the Prophets, that this external glory should continue.

We are next told that, “presently after”.. .this glory of the Church was not only eclipsed, but even the visibility thereof in a manner covered, and altogether darkened… with that…overspreading cloud of Arianisme [Which, in truth, has nothing whatever to do with the matter, as it will be seen below.]. He next urges the Antichristianisme of papal Borne: then the light obtained by the Reformation; and he adds, ” We hope,… it shall become, not” (only) “more visible then yet it is, but far more glorious then ever hitherto it hath been, when the fulnesse of the Gentiles (as St. Paul speaks), shall come in.”—And this he defines, a little lower down, (p. 279), by the distinction of ” a Society of Christian believers, joyned together in one external Communion, of the same publicke profession, use of Sacraments, and Ecclesiastical Jurisdiction or Government,” &c.

It must be clear enough from all this, what Mr. Mede’s notions were on these points: we shall now shew that every one of these is groundless, and unworthy of regard. In the first place then, he allows, as noticed above, that if the Church has been once fully established, the terms of pro­phecy do not require, that it be always maintained in that state [It will be shewn hereafter on Eev. Chapp. i—iii, that Scripture actually provides for the contrary.]. In the times of Constantlne, he also allows, the Church did become.. .both visible and glorious for a while; but, according to his own reasoning, nothing more was required for the fulfilment of the prediction [Isa. ii.]. So far we have no valid objection to the fact, that the Church was once established both visibly and gloriously. But still, it was not fully so. It was indeed both visible and glorious, but not to the extent that will satisfy Mr. Mede, &c. But, Why ?—

The reasons are, according to Mr. Mede, “We find in the Prophecies.. .that there are two sorts and times of the calling in of the Gentiles; the first is that which should be with the rejection and casting off of the Jews, and as St. Paul saith, to provoke them to jealousie: such a calling as should be in a manner occasional, that God might not want a Church [(The Italics are mine.) In other words, the Apostles taught, and the nations received, a mere temporary, make-shift, Christianity: and such is that which we now possess ! This, I say, is a true and necessary result of the principles of Mr. Mede; many of his followers too, carry it out to its legitimate length: viz. that Christianity, as we now have it, is to pass away, and to be followed by something that is better. But see Gal. i. 8, 9, on this!], the time the Jews were to be cast out: for this is that which St. Paul means, Rom. xi. 15, That the casting away of the Jews, is the calling of the Gentiles, or reconciling of the world: whence we may see, that the Apostles were not to preach Christ to the Gentiles, until first offered to the Jews: they refused him: and this is the calling of the Gentiles which hitherto hath been for many ages.”

“But,” continues he, “there is a second and more glorious calling of the Gentiles to be found in the Prophecies of Scripture; not” (such) “a calling as this is, wherein the Jews are excluded; but a calling wherein the Jews shall have a share of the greatest glory, and to have a preheminence above all other nations, when all nations shall flow unto them, and walk in their light. This is that calling and that time which he calls the fulness of the Gentiles: I would not, brethren, (saith he), have you ignorant of this mystery, that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Israel shall be saved [The matter here discussed, is taken up again in another Sermon on Jer. x. 11, in which we are told (ib. p. 83 seq.) that, of all the inhabitants of the world, Christianity is but about one sixth part: Mahomatisme has 1, and Ethnicisme a little more than 3. But, as remarked elsewhere, this has nothing whatever to do with the question. Christianity was one carried out under miracle, and set up generally through­out the universe: and this is sufficient for the terms of prophecy. We then have Ps. xxii. 27 : xlvii: lxvi, &c. in all which the establishment of Christ’s Kingdom is predicted. 1 Cor. xv. 25, 26, is next quoted, which however, refers not to the fulness, but the duration of Christ’s Kingdom: besides, ” all put in subjection under Him ” does not necessarily mean, that not a sinner shall remain de, facto, but rather de jure, not subject to the Son of Man. The ancients understood this place differently from Mr. Mede, and perhaps more correctly. ” We see not yet” &c. Heb. ii. 8, i. e. de facto: for the Apostle lived not to the period when this should take place. Again, ib. 5, ” The world to come;” i. e. Christianity, which had not then been established in power: it was therefore to come (Gr. mellosan). We next have Rev. xii. 6, the 1260 days,— during which the Church should be nourished in the wilderness,— turned into so many years, by a sort of cabbalistical hocus pocus. But this again, is all mere assumption. His last consideration here, (p. 87,) is on “the fulness of the Gentiles,” Rom. xi. “Now,” says he, “because the Jews are not yet called, it followeth that the fulness of the Gentiles is yet to come.” But the Jews have been called, and refused to listen thereto : this conclusion is therefore unsound. Verbum sat.]” &c.

We have here therefore, given sufficiently at length, the grounds of Mr. Mede’s belief, viz. that the Jews are yet to have a particular call to join the Church; that the Church itself shall be more gloriously, visibly, and fully established: and we are now to rest satisfied, that sufficient proof has been afforded, as to the several and consecutive series of the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials, belonging to these several periods, and then so stretching out until all prophecy shall receive its entire and final fulfilment. Let us examine all this as briefly as we can.

In the first place then, there is no prophecy whatever to be found in the Scriptures, declaring that “so all Israel shall be saved” as just now given by Mr. Mede. This place, it is certain, contains a doctrine, not a prophecy, (see p. 38, &c. below), and, when fully stated, stands thus, ” And they, (i. e. the Jews), if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in… .and so all Israel shall be saved:” i.e. IF they believe and receive the Gospel, then shall they be saved: which will suffice for this place. And, as to the prophecies re­lating to the Jews, and seeming to foretell their restoration to Canaan, not so much as one is to be found really promising any such thing: all promise to this effect that can be found, relates to that party among them which is usually styled, “a very small remnant,” ” the Outcasts, Dispersed” and the like, of Israel and Judah;—while the contrary is positively affirmed of ” the multitude'” of them, as shewn below, (p. 33. seq. &c.) Nor again, is it any where foretold that all nations shall flow to the Jews, and so, virtually at least, secure a pre-eminence to them. All that the prophets have said [Isai. ii. 2, seq.] is, that ” all nations shall flow unto it,” i. e. at some period after their times, and in “the last days” (see below, p. 99, seq.), to the mountain of the Lord’s house, the true Zion of God: not to the multitude or people of the Jews. And, in the days of the Apostle Paul, this Zion consisted both of Jews (i. e. the Election, or Remnant)and Gentiles; of Barba­rians, Scythians, Bond, and Free; among whom there was “no difference” and consequently no pre-eminence; of which proof sufficient will be found below.

It is equally groundless to affirm, that the prophecies of Scripture speak of two times of calling, or of two sorts of calling, of the Gentiles; or, that the second of these shall be the most glorious: nor has any thing been here advanced tending in the least degree to prove this: nor can there be. The truth is, Mr. Mede has deceived himself by a faulty view of Holy Writ to the effect, that the Jews were now to be cast out, as if this,—predicted as a fact,—carried with it an impossibility of their being otherwise; while the truth is, the Gospel was first preached to them, and many of them received it; but, upon their multitudes’ wilfully rejecting it, the Apostles turned to the Gentiles. And again, if their casting away,—because of unbelief,—did administer to the reconciling of the world, and to the riches of the Gentiles; and also, if their receiving the Gospel at that time, would have greatly increased these,—as no doubt it would,—it cannot ‘hence be inferred, that St. Paul meant to teach that a second, and more glorious, call was in reserve both for them, and the Gentiles: much less, that any pre-eminence would, in any case, be conferred on either of these. Besides, St. Paul manifestly makes the conversion of the Jews, the duty of the Church [Rom. xi. 31.]; which is virtually to deny, that prophecy has any thing to do with it. Nothing is more common, I know, than to dwell very fondly and largely on inferences of this sort, and then to press them as if they were demonstrations: when it must be obvious to every one, having the least experience in inquiries of this sort, that no reliance whatsoever ought to be placed upon them. So far we have seen nothing, tending to prove that Mr. Mede’s arrangement of consecutive periods is well grounded, or, that Jews, as such, are yet to receive a particular call, and so to have a pre-eminence among the nations : all that has been said therefore, on these points, can claim nothing Beyond the respect due to the opinions of Mr. Mede: or, which is the same thing, to mere assumptions.

Let us now examine, a little more particularly, the ar­gument as to the glorious visibility yet in reserve for the Church, but of which neither Mr. Mede, nor his followers, could ever yet see it in possession. I affirm then, if the Church has,—as allowed above by Mr. Mede himself,— been once in possession of the glorious visibility contended for; and, if this has been such as fully to answer the terms of prophecy,—and this is the fact as shewn, (below, p. 340, seq.), then, I say again as before, no expectation can be entertained from prophecy, of a still fuller, and more glorious, fulfilment of its terms [The question, as to degree now before us, is a very difficult one to deal with, because tastes, which entirely govern it, will differ. If however inspiration has pronounced upon it, this ought to satisfy us; St. Paul says then (Col. i. 5, 6.) ” The Gospel… is come unto you as it is in all the world,” (ver. 23,) ” and which was preached to every creature which is under heaven.” Now there is no prediction to be found, promising more than this. If it was foretold that this should cover the earth, even as the waters covered the sea; still, the Apostle’s “every creature under Heaven,” is quite as comprehensive: of this there can be no doubt. And, if it be allowed, that after Paul’s time both the extent of its progress, and the number of its recipients were still greater, this will make no difference here. It was perhaps enough for miracle to do, generally to spread Christianity abroad in the different regions of the world, and then to leave it to its own expansive powers to cover the rest. And if it be true, that miracle ceased with the Apostles, or with their immediate converts,—as many have thought,—this must have been the case; and the Church,—as it must be the case ever after,—sent it into the remoter and less frequented places. One, of other places countenancing this, is Horn. xvi. 25, 26, where it is said,…” the mystery which was kept secret, but now is made manifest, and by the scriptures of the prophets, according to the commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all nations,” &c.: i.e. the work of proclaiming this mystery had, “according to the command­ment,” now been done, i. e. completed, and this ” in all nations,” through the Scriptures of the Prophets, and/or the obedience of faith. It should seem therefore, that the propagation of the Gospel had been now completed, according both to the commandment and prophecy : and so far, miracle must have been put forth: and it actually was. Much was indeed yet to be done in overthrowing its opponents: and this also was done, but that is quite another thing. It may be true therefore, that no such large fulfilment of prophecy was ever intended, as many are willing to believe.]. I now say moreover, that, after this once so realized consummation, it is not visibility either more or less glorious, that is to be sought or expected. With Papists and others who know of nothing beyond externals, such a visibility may be consistently urged: and in this Mr. Mede has perhaps done well in his argument against them, as given above; but, with those who look for the true Zion, the case is quite different: they will look,—as the Holy Remnant did of old, and as the Prophets who were of this party also did,—for the spiritual glories of St. John’s New Jerusalem, (see below on Rev. xxi.), and St. Paul’s City of the Living God, (see p. 87, note, and 476, seq.) ; for the spiritual manna contemplated by faith in the Eucharist, and the blood also viewed by faith in the Cup of the New Testament, by which alone the conscience can be purged from dead works, and enabled to serve the living God; and indeed for all the blessings, to be sucked as consolations from her breasts, as an entirely spiritual Mother. And it is truly astonishing that a person so spiritually-minded as Mr. Mede evidently was,—and the same may be said of many of his followers,—could be so far wrought upon by the dissimulations of Jews,—for this is judaizing,— as to have adopted opinions so adverse to the spirit of the Gospel [We may now notice a prophecy, which has of late been appealed to as a most triumphant proof of the goodness of Mr. Mede’s theory. This was first published in 1701, by a Mr. Robert Fleming; and its object was, according to its last Editor, (London 1848, pref. p. v.) to give a new resolution to the grand apocalyptical question concerning the rise and fall of the Antichrist, or Rome Papal. The process leading to the result sought, is this : ” The first rise of Antichrist he dates in a.d. 606 . . . from which he computes that his reign of 1260 pro­phetic years’ duration will expire in 1848.”—I remark, all this is mere assumption, and it rests on false grounds, as shewn above. And, if the event had answered the terms of the prediction exactly; still Mr. Fleming would have hence been no more a Prophet, than Mr. Murphy was when he foretold, some time ago, the coldest day of the winter following. But the event here is of no such character. The Pope has indeed been forced to quit Rome ; but this no more proves the fall of Popery, than the imprisonment of the Pope did in the days of Bonaparte. We next have the fourth vial of the Revelation poured out upon the Sun; but the Sun is, it is said, a type of the French Monarch; and that the period would close about the year 1794. Here again, the grounds are false as before, and the events faulty. The Sun’s being a type of the French Monarch is, too, a perfectly groundless assumption, as to the mind of St. John. And the French Monarch, Louis XVI., was beheaded early in 1793. As a Prophecy therefore this is utterly false! nor did the Revolution then set on foot end till some years after 1794. The period is wrong therefore, at both ends! Dismissing however, for a moment, the groundlessness of all such prophesying as this, I would only ask, Who would expect to find St. John predicting, for the edification and consolation of the universal Church, particularly of his own times, and generally of all ages, under imagery the most lofty and splendid, the event of a runaway Pope ? or the decapitating of a French King ? or,—what is still less likely,—that the Prophets of Israel would be engaged in calling upon heaven and earth to witness the solemn predictions of such trifles ?]

There is still another consideration closely connected with this, as suggested by his words cited above : viz. “a Society of Christians.. joyned in one externall Communion…use of Sacraments, …Ecclesiastical /Jurisdiction or Government.”” Now attached as I am to my own Communion, and ceding to no man in this particular, I cannot nevertheless be brought to believe, that it is necessary to the spiritual glories of the Church;—of its visibilities I now make no account;—that Ecclesiastical jurisdiction and government shall in all cases be identically the same: of this even the Apostolic Churches could scarcely boast. These things are but externals; good indeed in their place, and very desirable, could they be universally realized. To formalists who know of nothing better they are every thing ; while at best, they are entitled only to subordinate consideration in the spiritual household of God; and can never be appealed to as marks either of fulfilled, or unfulfilled, prophecy.

Of this sort too is another consideration, frequently brought before us by Mr. Mede, and his followers: viz. that the political government of the Rome of the Caesars, still exists under that of the Pontiff and others: and the same consideration may be, and is indeed, extended, to the existence, political or otherwise, of the City of Rome itself. When we are told for example, that Babylon should be de­stroyed, and that under this, mystically-speaking, the spiritual Babylon also should; we need not imagine that, as the fall of Babylon was according to the letter, in the first instance, the fall of the spiritual Babylon should also in the second. It is enough here if the spiritual Babylon, as such, fell, leaving the literal and political one just as it was. Christ’s Kingdom is not of this world. It has nothing whatever to do either with political, or literal, considerations such as these. We may fairly leave all such to Jews and Romanists, whose hopes rest on nothing better. The Church has more­over been established once in its literal extent and glory; but, that being done, its spiritualities alone are its great essentials.

If therefore it could be shewn, that a real and true succession of the Government of the Caesars now existed—which cannot,—this could not in the least affect our question, which is, Does the spiritual Kingdom of the Son of Man now exist or not ? And to this the answer is : It does in all its spiritual integrity, privileges, and powers: and of this, proof sufficient will be found below. It was in this way too that Babylon, as an Empire, passed to the Medo-Persians; that of these, to Alexander the Great; that of him, to his four Successors; and then to heathen Rome : all and each of these remaining in other respects, just what they were before : and hence it is said, (Dan. vii. 12,) that “their lives were prolonged for a time;”” while “‘their dominion” (only) “was taken away:” i. e. as Kingdoms they remained; as Empires, they ceased to exist as all externals therefore,—whatever they may have had to do with the establishment of the Church at first,—and in this they had much to do,—have now neither part nor lot in this matter: and the same is true, whether these be of an Ecclesiastical, or of a secular, character. No objections therefore of this sort, directed against Christianity as we now have it, are entitled to any consideration, except only to be treated as assumptions, and altogether visionary : the same, —as shewn above,—may be said of Mr. Mede’s distinctions of times, as to the Seals, Trumpets, and Vials; of two distinct callings of the Jews and Gentiles: and it is of no moment whatever, whether the assumptions be made in the Scheme itself, or in the Rules given for its guidance, or on the text of Holy Writ; they are still but assumptions, and might as well have been made of the whole matter in debate, simply and at once, as under any modification whatsoever of it. In either case, they are unworthy of confidence.

So far then, we have seen the grounds and reasonings of Mr. Mede, on the strength of which his opinions have been, and are still, recommended and extensively received. But he has something further to offer on the restoration of the Jews, which should not be omitted. This gives us a parallel drawn between the conversion of St. Paul, and that which,— as Mr. Mede will have it,—is hereafter to take place with the Jews : when, according to the theory above considered, the last Vial of wrath shall have been poured out, and the Pontifical Antichrist destroyed. My principal reason for giving this is, to shew generally by what sort of reasoning this argument is also urged.
” The Mysterie of St. Paul’s Conversion, Or The type of the calling of the Jews”

1. Paul amongst the sons of men, the greatest zealot of the Law, and persecutour of the way of Christ.

2. Paul in the height of this his zeal, and heat of his persecuting fury, found mercy, and was converted.

3. Paul converted by means extraordinary, and for manner strange: Not as were the rest of the Apostles, by the ministry of any teacher upon earth, but by the visible revelation of Christ Jesus in his glory from heaven; the light whereof suddenly surprising him he heard the voice of the Lord himself from heaven, saying, Saul, Saul, why  persecutest thou me ?”



1. The Jews amongst the nations most obstinate, zealous of Moses, and the most bitter enemies of the followers of Christ.2. The Jews through persisting unto the last in their extremity of bitterness, and mortall hate to Christians ; yet God will have mercy on them, and receive them again to be his people, and he to be their God.

3. The Jews not to be converted unto Christ, by such means as were the rest of the nations, by the ministery of Preachers sent unto them [1], but by the revelation of Christ Jesus in his glory from heaven, when they shall say, not (as when they saw him in his humility) Crucifie him : but Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord [2]. Whose coming then shall be as a lightning out of the East, shining into the West: and the signe of the Son of man shall appear in the clouds of heaven; and every eye shall see him, even of those which pierced him ; and shall lament with the spirit of grace and supplication [3] for their so long, and so shamefull unbelief of their mercifull Redeemer.”

1) And yet Paul himself says (I.e.), “Even so have these,” (i. e. Jews) “also now not believed, that, through your mercy” (i.e. in preaching the Gospel to them,) “they also may obtain mercy,” (i.e. just as the believers had, by the preaching of the Gospel to them). Paul’s doctrine is therefore, in direct opposition to this of Mr. Mede.

2) The places cited in the margin here are, Isay lix. 19, and iv. 5: Dan. yii. 7,13: 2 Mace. ii. 8 : Matth. xxiii. 39, and xxiv. 27, 30: Luke xiii. 30: 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8 : Rev. i. 7. Of the apocryphal Scripture we need say nothing, as it can have no authority in this place. Of the rest, as follows, viz. on Isai. mx. 19, see page 378 below; on Ch. iv. 5, see p. 370, &c.; on Dan. vii. 11, 13, page 152, seq. On Matth. xxiii. 39, “Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord,” it will be sufficient to remark, that it is a quotation from Ps. cxviii. 26, and that it is no more necessary to suppose from this, that Christ must appear personally, than it is, that Rev. i. 7, is to be so interpreted. See what is said on this place, p. 231, &c. below. Comp. pp. 107, 121, seq. Besides, He that cometh in the name of the Lord, would rather imply some one, any one, of the Lord’s Ministers, than the Lord himself. In Matth. xxi. 9, indeed, it is applied to Christ himself, but this was when He came in the form of a servant, and in great humility. See Zech. ix. 9. On Matth. xxi. 27, 30, see p. 122, seq. Luke xvii. 30, evidently refers to the same events, as does Matth. xxiv. 17. See the last reference, on 2 Thess. ii. 7, 8, p. 201, seq.

3) The place had in view here, is Zech. xii. 10, which does not refer to the Jews generally, but only to that Holy Remnant, which should constitute the true Zion in the days of our Lord, and is styled (ver. 7,) ” the glory ofthe house of David.” It is astonishing to what an extent Scripture has been misapplied on this point.

It cannot be necessary to follow out this ” mysterie” or parallel any farther, extending as it does to six other paragraphs. The only question that need be asked respecting it is, Are we to understand Mr. Mede here as giving positive and direct predictions ? or, as offering certain conclusions, the results of good and sound interpretations of Holy Writ ?

I answer, The first of these is not to be supposed. Mr. Mede was a man of too much real piety to be suspected for a moment, capable of so much wickedness; and yet the ” type” is given positively as such. The second then, must have been his intention : and here he has, unhappily, failed to seize the sense of his authorities. There is, moreover, another fault in this parallel, and it is a fatal one. St. Paul himself argues most conclusively from the types of the Old Testament, to the realities of the New: but the nature of the Mosaic Cove­nant gave authority to this: it was shadowy, and to be super­seded by better things. But St. Paul’s conversion took place under the New Dispensation, and under this he legitimately so preached; for, in his days this shadowy system had en­tirely passed away. How then, I ask, can St. Paul’s conversion be, on Scriptural grounds, typical of something still to come to pass 2 Surely it must be superfluous to add any thing to this, except the remark, that it is judaizing to the fullest extent !

There is one consideration more, of which Mr. Mede and his followers make much use: it is what is called “the year-day theory:” i. e. the art of converting any given number of days into as many years. The necessity for this is the fact, that a very large portion of prophecy is referred to futurity by this school: and hence it becomes desirable to discover some means of getting at its period. By thus turning days into years this is done : it is then foretold accordingly, when the times and events so predicted shall happen. The first place tried in this way, is Daniel ix. 25, se«j. Where how­ever, as shewn below, it can neither be made to answer : nor from the circumstances of the case, can it be applicable. For a substantial refutation of it, as applied to other places, see Mr. Todd’s Discourses on the Prophecies, (Dublin, 1840,) page 395, seq., with the authors there referred to.

I have then, a right to conclude on the whole of this, that, whatever the results of Mr. Mede, and his followers may be,—and they are universally governed by these his prin­ciples, and generally arrived at by his mode of reasoning,— whether good or bad, they can scarcely challenge respect, much less confidence: and that, however cleverly or learnedly they may be propounded, or seriously recommended, they evince, from first to last, nothing beyond an unsupported tissue of conjectures; or, what is virtually the same thing, of mere assumptions. The Scriptural interpretations of the Jews moreover, are, and ever have been, conducted on the same principles ; and have in very many instances, arrived at the same results! In all cases, they have succeeded to a marvellous extent, in obscuring the context of Holy Writ, and in lowering the character of Christianity [As shewn above.]: and the consequence has been, much that was intelligible and plain [I need here only remark that, the more sure word of Prophecy, of St. Peter’s times, has been made in ours the most unsure that can be conceived. We shall have presently to adduce something more to this effect.] both to the early converts to Christianity, and the earlier Writers of the Church, has been involved in more than Egyptian darkness; and, as with the Jews, has been consigned to an indefinite futurity as the only means of saving its character as inspired. There is no intention here however, of impugning either the learning, ability, or good faith, of any of these gentlemen. They have done the utmost that could be done under the principles of Mr. Mede. It was perhaps more their misfortune than their fault, not to have observed that those principles were faulty. Nor do I arrogate to myself the merit of having discovered those that are better. On the contrary, I have had no doubt that the earlier and better Writers of the Church were guided by others far superior, and these it has been my endeavour to follow out.

Having then so far considered the principles and prac­tices of Mr. Mede, the first, and perhaps the most popular writer, who adopted these ; we will now very briefly review those of the last: viz. the Rev. E. B. Elliott: and here I shall select a portion of his work, in which he does not differ essentially from myself, except only in the manner in which his inquiry has been conducted. [I use Vol. m. 2d Edit. 1846.]

Mr. Elliott heads this part of his work (“Introduction to Rev. xii. 1″) with these words: ” Retrogression of the Visions:” the consideration of which forms his first inquiry. ” It will be necessary,” says Mr. Elliott, ” to call the reader’s attention to the evidence of a retrogressive character in both it, and the two subsequent…visions.”—We have here therefore, according to the shewing of Mr. Elliott himself, three visions of St. John at least of a retrogressive”’ [Mr. Mede made the same discovery long ago, ” The Apostle,” says he, ” resumes the Vision ab ovo, to make a more particular de­scription of the seven Angels.. .whence they had their Vials,” &c. (“Remaines on some passages,” &c. p. 32. Ed. 1648. Vol. II.), and this, if I understand Mr. Mede aright, refers to the very place under consideration here.] character: and to these is to be added,—as I shall shew,—that of ” the witnesses.” Mr. Elliot’s words are: ” The retrospective history of Christ’s two Witnesses not forming an exception” (i. e. to the general progressive character of these), ” because that is given in conversational explanatory narrative by the Angelic interlocutor.”—Let us see how far this reason will hold.

It is true indeed, an Angelic interlocutor does instruct St. John, verbally of course, as to the particulars of these Witnesses (Chap. xi. 1, seq.): but Does not St. John get the whole of his Revelation from instructions of this sort ?  In the very outset of his Book it is said, “The Revelation… which must shortly come to pass: and He (God) sent and signified it by His angel unto His servant John.” We find accordingly, that throughout the first three Chapters here, the message is in every case that of the Angel to St. John. There are cases indeed elsewhere, in which John merely narrates the particulars of the visions as he saw them: while, in every one, where we have explanation, it is given either by Christ himself, or by some Angel. But it must depend entirely on the nature of the context, whether the events had in view, are to be considered as belonging to past, present, or future time; it being quite out of the question to imagine, that the mode of making any revelation can have any thing whatever to do with these. I must conclude here therefore, that the reason so assigned for the retrogression adverted to, is altogether inadequate to the purpose for which it has been given.

But the fact of the case, when more particularly considered, is, the language used is not mere conversational narrative: it is that both of command and of prediction. “Rise,” it is said, “and measure the temple,”…” and the holy city shall they tread under foot forty and two months. And I will give power unto my two witnesses, and they shall prophesy” &c. In verse 6, the Angel conversationally tells John what powers these witnesses should possess; still this contains prediction, as before. Now I say, If this place will supply any good reason for a retrogression by the manner of its enouncements, the same may be said of every place similarly circumstanced throughout this whole book. The truth however is, this notion about conversational narrative can constitute no trustworthy canon of interpretation in any case, because it is groundless and deceptive. I agree, nevertheless, with Mr. Elliott when he says, that “we have an interruption here, and a breaking off from the subject next preceding,” because there is good reason for this [See on the place below.]; not because the conversational nature of the place will account for it.

But the thing most to be observed here is, a positive infraction of Mr. Elliott’s own principles, and of those of his leader Mr. Mede: and this again, the very thing which Mr. Elliott has somewhere condemned in me ! He adds,— and I beg to recommend the consideration particularly to himself,—”I say many” (i.e. retrogressions), “because in effect between the new visions and the old there are traceable many and striking correspondencies ; more, if I mistake not, than have hitherto been thought of,” &c. To this Dr. Todd, and some early Fathers, will give a hearty Amen! In the following pages, Mr. Elliott will find some of these correspondencies pointed out, quite as far as he here thinks they may be. He allows indeed, that Chapters vi. vii. viii. ix. x. xi. on the one hand, and Chapters xii. xiii. xiv. on the other, will supply examples. It will be shewn sufficiently at length below [See the several proofs of these, as given in their places.], that the series of these here made two, the context requires, should be reduced to one. I make no account of the conjecture, that the outside writing of the Roll (i. e. of the sealed book) might have had its particular synchronizings with those of its inside; I. Because this is unnecessary; and II. Because it is incapable of any thing like reasonable proof.

Let us now consider Mr. Elliott’s interpretation of the vision before us (Rev. xii. 1, seq.), “The travailing woman,.. was evidently Chrisfs true Church on earth” &c. He adds, “Another character was,…the Bride, the Lamb’s wife.” To which, I think, no good objection can be made. He goes on, ” The sun is no where in the Apocalyptic imagery made the representative of Christ.” Which is faulty: unless it can be shewn, that we are not to look elsewhere for any solution of the Apocalyptic imagery, except only in the Apocalypse itself. St. John tells us (Rev. xxi. 23), that ” the City had no need of the sun…for… the Lamb is the light” (i. e. luminary) ” thereof:” i. e. the Lamb is its sun, in some sense. “Unto you that fear my name” says the Prophet (Mal. iv. 2), “shall the Sun of righteousness arise :” i. e. of necessity, Christ, in the healing, enlightening, and warming, influences of His grace. Again, Ps. Lxxxiv. 11, “The lord God is a sun and shield: the lord will give grace and glory.” Which may perhaps be taken as the best comment on the words of St. John; and therefore as proof sufficient, that Mr. Elliott’s view of this place has no foundation in truth. ‘

Mr. Elliott’s next assertion is equally destitute of foundation ; and, what is worse, it bears upon its surface an antichristian doctrine. ” Thus,” says he (p. 9), ” we are led to see that the representation here given of Christ’s Church, was not one universally or generally true ; but designative of it at some remarkable and particular time,” [So Mr. Mede as noticed above, that God may not, in the mean time, be without a Church. In other words, Christianity was given only as a sort of make-shift, until some second advent,—a mere figment of the imagination,—should be followed by a Millennium!] &c. His reasons given are I. ” The heaven meant is evidently political elevation” This is one of Mr. Mede’s notions: and it is ground­less ; for the obvious reason, that the Church considered in itself, and, as here exhibited, before the period of its political ‘elevation, is, ‘as a kingdom,—which is only another name for it,—not of this world. This reason therefore, will no more suffice to shew, that by heaven is meant political elevation, than it will in other places, where we are either told or taught that the vision was in heaven, and where no such notion can be entertained. And, as to the inglorious sort of Christianity here supposed to be symbolized,—i. e. as taught by the Apostles, and now professed among us,—I must be allowed to tell Mr. Elliott, that he is making something worse than a mistake: he is preaching that doctrine which the Apostle has declared, is to be received as entailing a curse even on the Angel that should propound it!

Mr. Elliott’s second reason is (p. 10), “As to the descrip­tion of her bring forth a male child; the meaning of this,” adds he, ” will best appear from the very similar prophetic imagery in a vision descriptive of the yet future restoration of the Jews,” &c. The allusion is to Isaiah (chap. Lxvi. 8, 9). Let us examine this. We have in this context then, two parties clearly pointed out; viz. those that tremble at God’s word, and also their brethren that hated them, and cast them out. Now, it is to the joy of the former, that God shall appear; and to the shame of the latter. And the latter are the Jews generally. Of this there can be no doubt. The Zion here mentioned therefore, must be the true Church, which should so bring forth even a nation in a day: for to her, was the glory of the Gentiles to flow like a stream (ver. 12), not to the Jews : they are to suffer shame as the enemies of God (see verr. 19—24, inclus.). We certainly can have no restoration of Jews here therefore. The promise is clearly made to the Zion of God in Jewry; while shame and vengeance are to fall upon its oppressors.

“Thus the male child,” continues Mr. Elliott, ” of which the literal Zion is to be delivered, is declared to mean” (i. e. by Mr. Elliott), ” her children united and multiplied into a nation or dominant body politic; with triumph,” &c. But does it appear from St. John, that this Zion was now exhibited as a dominant body politic, when in fact she had now to submit to a persecution in the wilderness for forty and two months ? Is this a mark of political domination ? Isaiah, it is true, speaks of the same Zion and of a triumph to take place, apparently after this event. We have here therefore, a palpable confusion of times, and of things; not to insist on the obviously groundless assumption, that this vision’s being seen in the heavens implies political domination.

Mr. Elliott continues, ” In like manner we may interpret the man-child of whom the spiritual Zion, or Church of Christ, appeared travailing to be delivered,—not as the child Jesus, born at Bethlehem, an explanation on no account admissible, —but as its children united into a body politic, and raised to dominant power.” It certainly is marvellous, that the appearing only of this vision in the heavens, could supply assurances so strong as these, that political domination, union, &p., are meant, and that the birth of the child Jesus at Bethlehem must certainly be excluded, and particularly as it is said by St. John, that this Child should rule the nations with a rod of iron; which must necessarily refer to Christ exclusively, in its primary sense. It probably did not occur to Mr. Elliott that, as Christ is the federal head of His Church, the powers and privileges primarily and properly belonging to Him, are secondarily and subordinated ascribed to His people. I hold therefore, that the Child Jesus is intended in all this; and that, although the Church had no such dominant power before it suffered persecution in the wilderness; dominant power was nevertheless promised to it by the Prophets: and that such it obtained at the appointed time. We have here therefore much error, and not a little confusion.

But Mr. Elliott has reasons to advance, why this glory of the Church is not that ultimate glory to be realized at the second coming of Christ, i. e. when the Jews are to be restored, as stated above. The first is, that “she was immediately afterwards to be persecuted by the Dragon, and then to spend 1260 days, or years, in the wilderness” (pp. 11, 12). But it is sufficiently evident, as shewn below (p. 190, seq.), that this persecution in the wilderness was to try and to purge the spiritual character of the Church, not to mark its inferiority in this sense; but quite the contrary, to shew its power, and hence to foretell its triumph. Mr. Elliott however, places these two considerations ” in the most admired disorder;” and then concludes, as it was easy for him to do, that the subordinate and lesser earthly triumph i. e. obtained at the close of these persecutions, was typical of the greater still to come. So far, we have the Christianity of the Apostles made quite of a piece with the political circumstances of the Church, inferior and poor! and the events of Christian times made typical of other events, also to happen in Christian times, without at all considering that the Christian system is not one of types !

But we have another monstrosity here: viz. that out of the one birth brought before us by St. John and Isaiah, Mr. Elliott manufactures two! The first to take place upwards of 200 years after the times of St. John ; the other above 1200 years! In St. John moreover, the woman cries out in the very pains of parturition: Mr. Elliott keeps her in this situa­tion for 280 years before her first delivery, and about 1260 before her second ! But Isaiah is most pointedly adverse to Mr. Elliott. His words are: “before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain came, she was delivered of a man-child.” The Prophet, apparently to make this still more striking, adds: ” Who hath heard such a thing ? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one bay? or shall a nation be born at once ? for,” continues he, ” as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.” Nothing surely, can be more directly opposed to the statements of Mr. Elliott than are these Scriptures; and let it be borne in mind, Isaiah has before him, beyond all doubt, the very event exhibited here by St. John !

In page 17 too, this woman, or Zion, is made to sustain a gestation of 40 weeks. I am at a loss to discover whence Mr. Elliott got this: yet he says, ” calculated on the year-day prophetical chronological scale from the Lord’s ascen­sion,” &c. i. e. 40 weeks of years making 280 years. It is added, ” Her travail had begun above a prophetic week before, in the Diocletian persecution; and long, and painful, and ineffective hitherto, had been her sufferings,…she had brought forth wind: she had wrought no deliverance in the earth,” &c. The utter incompatibility of this with Isaiah and St. John, we have seen above. I now remark: It is equally at war with St. Paul, who tells us that, even in his days, the Gospel had been preached to every creature under heaven, Col. i. 23 ; and (ib. 6), “The Gospel…which is come unto you, as it is in all the world.” He adds,—which is much to our purpose,—” and bringeth forth fruit” &c. (comp. Rom. x. 18, seq.). And again, in all those places in which believers are styled children of God, adopted children, and the like, it must be evident, that some deliverance, aye, and that a great one, had been wrought in the earth long before the times of Diocletian ! And to this, every Father of the Church before this time bears abundant testimony. What therefore, are we to think of the goodness of this conclusion ?

But “one word more.” These 40 weeks were clearly fabricated, in order to carry us onward beyond the times of Diocletian: but, as all history attests,— and as shewn below, —the persecutions of our Zion commenced long before the times of Diocletian. The truth is, his persecution was the last of a series: and it continued not longer than about ten years. Our 40 weeks gestation have therefore, been fabricated in vain; for it must have produced its fruits at least 150 years before! We have then, an unwarranted, unsuitable, and absurd, period of gestation assumed; an unwarranted cabbalistic ground for this is next advanced, and all this with a confidence as great, as if it contained the plainest words of Holy Writ! And this again for the purpose of recommending an utterly false and deteriorated view of our holy faith! It will be sufficient to remark, that such an accumulation of rash, vain, and groundless assumptions, is, happily indeed, but rarely to be found among us: and the wonder is, how this has been so readily and extensively received and believed.

Come we now to the grounds on which these two different periods are attempted to be established: and here we shall find Mr. Elliott just as happy as in his preceding criticisms. “First,” says Mr. Elliott (p. 13, seq.), “there seems to me to have been, to a certain extent, a chronological indication in the very use of the symbol of a dragon. For it is a rule…in the Apocalypse to make use of no self-adopted symbols of a country, in reference to times earlier than their actual adoption in that country.” I have only to affirm here, that no symbol is adopted either by St. John, or by any other sacred Writer, not common to Ms own times:    I leave it to Mr. Elliott to prove the contrary, because negatives are not things capable of proof. The said rule is therefore, a delusion. He adds, “And since it was not till near the close of the second century that the dragon was first used as a Roman ensign, nor till the third that its use had become common, we might thence probably infer that the time represented in the vision was scarce earlier, if so early as the third century.”…” So the intended period would seem to have been some little time before the total dejection of Paganism… at the commencement of the fourth century.” We have therefore, the time for this first birth determined, under the operation of a palpably false rule; and this again, in applying a symbol which, had it even been in use in St. John’s times, does not appear more likely to have been em­ployed by him, than was that of the Roman Eagles! Such are the reasons advanced for the first and shortest protrac­tion of the labour-pains of our Zion !

Let us now come to the second. We are told then (p. 11, seq.), ” These coincidences might perhaps at first incline us to attach the more glorious meaning to the symbols of the vision” (i. e. of a restoration of the Jews, &c.).” But the next figuration,” continues Mr. Elliott, ” of the fortunes of the woman, or church, shewing that she was immediately afterwards to be persecuted by the Dragon, and then to spend 1260 days, or years, in the wilderness, decisively negatives the position,” &c. Mr. Elliott gives us, therefore, one series of persecutions here under the Roman Emperors, ending with a glorious song of victory : but, because he finds woes denounced after the close of this; he takes it for granted that another series of persecutions must necessarily follow. The probability of a retrogression here, could not have occurred to him, notwithstanding the many obvious intimations of this appearing in this context [See in its place below]. Having therefore thus arrived at a very considerable extension of time in this case, he gives us at once its limit: viz. 1260 days, or years, i. e. as I understand him, these days, taken by the year-day theory, standing for 1260 years. We have seen above (p. xxiii. seq.), how readily Mr. Mede managed this matter : viz. by means of a palpably false induction; and then how he attempted to prop this up, by an erroneous exposition of cer­tain places from the Prophets Isaiah and Jeremiah. It was not the good fortune of Mr. Mede to devise our 40 weeks, and 1260 year-days, of painful gestation: nor, as far as my memory serves me, did he develop the theory of a first and second birth. From all which it should seem,—contrary to the opinion of Mr. Birks,—that the progress made in this sort of conjecture, has not tended to supply additional light to our question.

It is not my intention to follow Mr. Elliott further, nor to follow out the resemblances adduced as proofs for all this; I will only affirm, that the whole is perfectly groundless, incapable at once of support, and unnecessary to the interpretation of any portion whatsoever of Holy Writ. I have shewn below [see pp. 190, 352, 366, 364, below.], what I believe to be the true intention of this number: and, until something better shall be advanced to the contrary, to that I must adhere. If then, we may place any reliance on what has been now said, it must follow, that there is just as much authority for Mr. Elliott’s second series of persecutions, as there is for his second male child-birth, and the double gestation of 280 and 1260 years.

I need not perhaps now press the consideration, that the principles and practices here brought before us, are unworthy of confidence; the thing must be too plain to need this. Every one in the least degree experienced in inquiry of any sort, cannot but see in what light they ought to be viewed: of the goodness or badness of their results I now say nothing. Mr. Elliott’s work, I need not add, evinces great research, acuteness, and patience; and much that is very valuable is to be found in it. It is the lax, purely conjectural, and hence wholesale assuming, system of Mede, that forms its one and great blemish. This I now venture to recommend to the consideration of Mr. Elliott; and I will hope, that his candor will appreciate the motive which prompts me to do so: viz. the desire to advance the knowledge of revealed truth.

Part II.—On the Principles of Prophetical Interpretation, propounded in the Works of J. H. Todd, D.D., of Trinity College, Dublin, &c.

the works of Dr. Todd on this subject, which have come to my knowledge, are two: the first printed in Dublin, 1840, entitled “Discourses on the Prophecies,” &c.: the other printed also in Dublin, in 1846, entitled “Six Dis­courses on the Prophecies relating to Antichrist,” &c. [I have preferred taking Dr. Todd’s works, although both Mr. Maitland and Mr. Burgh published before him; the former in 1826 and 1829, the latter in 1832: because Dr. Todd gives his views more in detail, with his arguments in support of them. The “First Ele­ments of Prophecy,” by Mr. Birks, London, 1843, will supply a suffi­ciently extensive and correct list of others of the same school.] Much valuable matter is to be found in these publications, evincing great learning, clear and forcible writing; arguments urged with much earnestness, and often, as it appears to me, with success. There are however instances, as it will presently be shewn, wherein Dr. Todd has in his anxiety, as it should seem, to overcome his opponents, been any thing but happy.

Having premised thus much, I shall,—as it is my wish to be as short as I can,—proceed at once to Dr. Todd’s statement of his own views, as to what is called the literal and figurative interpretation of Prophecy, and as to their legitimate application; these involving primary, and most necessary, considerations. His views on these points are given in the Preface of his second work, as follows:—

“The literal sense of Scripture,” says Dr. Todd (p. vi.), “is commonly defined to be that signification of the words which the author intended, and which his contemporaries, in the ordinary use of language, would have understood….The spiritual sense, on the other hand, is that interpretation which supposes the things designated by the literal sense to denote other things not immediately signified by the words.” [Mr. Maitland much to the same effect, “Inquiry,” p. 2. seq. Mr. Faber*s statements on the year-day theory, are then subjected to a searching examination, as Mr. Mede’s also are in the “Second Inquiry,” p. 7. seq., and, I think, shewn to be untenable. Mr. Maitland, nevertheless, has recourse to principles quite as questionable as those which he condemns: e.g. “Nothing,” says he, “”can be more reasonable than to assume, that the same mode of computation which is used by an author in one passage.. .will be used by him in all others.” (Inquiry, p. 4.) I remark, certain it is that the same author does not always confine himself, either to the same mode of computation, or to the same usage as to words generally, e. g. We have in Daniel the last or seventieth week of his whole number of weeks, given as the period in which the events of his series should close (Chap. ix. 27): but (ib. Chap. viii. 26), the things evidently had in view there, are styled the vision of The evening and morning: i. e. of some one day. This period again (Chap. xii. 1,) is called that time; but (ib. ver. 4, 9, &c.) it is, the time of the end. And again, (Rev. xii. 6,) we have the period of 1260 days; but (ib. ver. 14,) this is said to be a time, times, and half a time. This 1260 days appears again (ib. xi. 3,) as the period of the witnesses’ testimony: but (ib. ver. 9), 3½ days marks the same period. Again, (ver. 2), gives 42 months, corresponding, as it should seem, to another 3½ days: which (Chap. ix. 15), an hour, a, day, month, and a year, evidently designate the same period. No­thing is more common than to make reasonable assumptions of this sort, and then to act under them to the utter confusion of the text of Scripture, when no such assumption ought to have been made, but each place have been investigated upon its own merits.] I remark, this latter definition certainly is either useless or faulty. For, if the literal signification is taken to be that which the author intended, according to the first definition; then, I say, as things spiritual might have been intended, the term “literal” here, can have no signification different from that given to the word spiritual, in our second defini­tion. And this Dr. Todd appears to have felt, for he has added, “The literal sense, however, does not exclude metaphor…. We speak—in ordinary discourse—of ‘the light of knowledge,’ ‘the fury of a tempest,'” &c. Some similar examples are then given from Scripture : and Dr. Todd very justly concludes, that such usages do not exclude the literal meaning. He also says that their grammatical meaning is not their literal signification. What he means therefore, in the first instance by literal sense, is probably what he now intends by grammatical meaning: i. e. the strictly natural sense of words, unapplied under any metaphorical sense what­ever : which nevertheless appears to me here to involve some confusion.

He adds, ” The most strictly literal sense of holy Scripture does not exclude the use of Symbol…a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars; the words woman, and sun, and moon, and stars, are all to be understood literally, even though we suppose the Holy Ghost, by these symbols, to have signified the Christian Church, or the Jewish nation, or the Mother of our Lord,” &c. “Hence,” he adds, ” all legitimate forms of spiritual interpretation are founded upon the literal sense, and presuppose it.” Might he not have said with equal propriety, that all genuine spiritual interpretation does the same thing? For certainly the latitude which he himself allows here, will fully bear this out. He adds, “They,” i. e. all the legitimate forms, &c. are usually regarded as threefold: allegorical,…moral,…and anagogical:” ‘ i. e. in this last case, ” when we draw from the literal sense a deep and mystical signification, especially in reference to things eternal and unseen.”

It is obvious then, that in the literal sense, Dr. Todd does include every figurative sense whatsoever, in opposition to the strictly grammatical, or natural, signification of words and phrases. In what then does he differ from those whom he here considers his opponents ? for it is certain, they do not urge their figurative meaning of words and phrases, in opposition to the grammatical or strictly natural ones. I answer, all I can discover as intended here is, a difference in the application of this literal, alias figurative, sort of diction. He thinks,—and I hold,—truly, that the applications objected to are violent and unnatural, so much so that they appear totally to disregard the words of the enouncements on which they are given. “The evil,” he says (pp. x. xi.), ” is increased by the looseness with which these terms are applied:” by which he must rather have meant, not the terms typical, &c. but the figures employed under them: for the evil has consisted in the result, not in the naming one figure by the term which really belonged to another.

Dr. Todd’s exemplification of his meaning is: “the modern interpreters… acknowledge… neither St. Michael, nor the Devil, nor the Angels, nor the casting out of Satan from heaven” (i. e. on Rev. xii. 7—9): “all is figure and allegory.” Michael, the dragon, and the war of angels, are but ” the robe of state,” to use the words of Bishop Hurd, in which the events… were arrayed by the Prophet, and dis­guised from vulgar apprehension.”—Still, I say, Bishop Hurd does ground all this on the words given. How could he otherwise have said, that they constitute ” the robe of state ?” Sic. All therefore that Dr. Todd could have meant here, must have been, that this figurative sense commits violence on the passage. The same, it is his object to shew, is true of the interpretation given by Mr. Faber; viz. ” As heaven denotes the visible Church general, though with special limitation to the Church general of the Western or Latin Empire” (which, I say, is certainly very questionable), ” so the conflicting angels are…nothing more than mere mortal men,” &c. The same may be said of Mr. Mede’s (ib. p. xiv.) i. e. that his ” robe of state” is unsuitable.

Let us now see what Dr. Todd himself makes of this place, and in what way he has dealt with the symbols here given: which will afford us a good ground for judging of the value of his applications: and I think it will be found, that Dr. Todd is here precisely in the situation of his opponents. They have had recourse to mere conjecture for the solution of the symbols used; and he does the same thing! He then offers such reasons, as appeared to him the best, in commendation of these. [” A real event,” says he, ” is predicted.” Very true: but the question is, How is this event to be understood ? Have we literally a war in heaven, or have we something else which may be spoken of as a war; because, as allowed above, the literal sense may imply a figurative one ? All we have in answer to this is, the place ” has been appointed to be read for the Epistle on.. .St. Michael’s Day.” I must confess I am unable to see how this can settle the point. Dr. Todd appears to have understood a real war here: with what propriety let the reader judge. (See on the place, p. 368, seq. below.)] Let us examine them.

He says then (ib. p. 230), ” I would infer, therefore, that the scene of this vision is not in the higher heaven, where was the throne of God, and the four and twenty elders and the four beasts, in which was laid the scene of the former visions'” (but Who shall prove from the words of St. John that this is true ?), ” but in the lower heaven, where are the sun and moon and stars, in the midst of which the woman was seen by the Apostle.” (but, Does St. John say one word, so much as hinting at any such thing?). Dr. Todd proceeds, ” And that after her child was caught up from this lower heaven unto God and to his throne, the woman was found on earth ; and therefore… no longer clothed with the sun,” &c. But, Does it indeed appear “therefore,” that the woman had now lost these her distinguishing glories ? Certainly St. John says no such thing, nor can any such be legitimately deduced from this context. So far therefore, all is unsupported conjecture: which, for any thing mortal man can know, may be true, or not. The probability is, perhaps, from what is said on this place below, that it is not true.

All I now insist upon is, that Dr. Todd’s application of the Symbols here, is no better grounded than those of Bishop Hurd, Mr. Faber, or Mr. Mede, objected to above.

Dr. Todd next states his objections to the popular interpretations of this Vision (pp. 231—9), and he gives us his own, as follows: ” And first, I would observe that the woman seen by the Apostle in the vision denotes, not the Christian Church, for the reasons already suggested, but the Jewish nation.” Dr. Todd’s reasons are,—

” This interpretation is in strict accordance with the language of the Old Testament, in which Israel is frequently spoken of under the emblem of a woman; and it is also remarkable, as tending to explain the symbols employed in the prophecy, that the dispersed and rejected state of the Jewish nation is represented by the Prophets under the emblem of a barren woman.” Isaiah i,iv. 1, ” Sing, 0 bar­ren” &c. is then cited, and it is added: ” These passages are sufficient to shew that the emblem of a woman, as a figure of the Jewish people, was familiar,” &c. And again, ” If by the barren and deserted state of a forsaken wife, were pourtrayed the rejection of Israel,…we may perhaps fairly infer, that the sign of the woman travailing in birth, … would denote the removal of that wrath, and the reception of Israel once more,” &c.

Now I would ask, Have we any thing here beyond mere conjecture ? Let us see: We are told, in the first place, that the Jewish nation is represented in the Old Testament, under the emblem of a woman: this place of Isaiah is then cited by way of proof; and this again is taken, by a mere supposition, as prefiguring the restoration of the Jews to the favour of God! But, I ask, Does this Barren woman of Isaiah necessarily represent the Jewish nation ? The probability, I think, is, that the Zion of Isaiah (Chap. lii. 1, &c.) is the thing meant: and not the Jewish nation: unless indeed it can be shewn, that these must necessarily signify the same thing: but this cannot be done : and for proof of this, see pages 23, seq. of the following work. I will affirm too, that this same Zion of Isaiah, is the Zion spoken of also by him in Chap, xlix., where it must be sufficiently obvious that, within this the Jewish nation generally cannot be included, (see also below, pp. 360, &c.) The Jewish nation cannot therefore be meant here, nor, for the same reasons, can any restoration of the Jews.

But Dr. Todd finds another place in Isaiah, still more to his purpose. It is Chap. Lxvi. 3, seq. Let us see what use he has made of this. “It begins,” says he, ” by describing the rejected state of the Jewish nation.” (Is not this therefore, rather a description of its sinful state ?) when ” he that killeth an ox,” &c. Dr. Todd proceeds, ” It speaks also of a Remnant, in the midst of the nation, persecuted by their brethren, to whom the coming of the Lord will” (would 2) ” bring-joy and deliverance… He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed,” &c. Now, let it be asked, Is it not then to the Remnant here mentioned, that this joy and deliverance are promised ? And again, Must it not be against their persecutors,—God’s enemies in this place,— that His vengeance is so denounced And these, according to Dr. Todd’s own shewing, can be no other than the Jewish nation generally! Is it not marvellous that Dr. Todd should, at one moment, seize upon this Remnant, persecuted by their brethren, to whom the Lord’s appearing should bring joy and deliverance, and then throw them overboard the next, declaring that this joy should, at that appearing, restore these very persecutors to God’s favour ? The truth is, a most important element of prophetical interpretation has here been lost sight of, and a Judaizing conclusion has accordingly been arrived at!

” The prophecy,” continues Dr, Todd, goes on to speak of the restoration of Israel in the following language: ” Before she travailed,” &c. (ib. ver. 1—13). ” Here,” adds Dr. Todd, ” it is beyond a doubt that the Prophet, under an emblem exactly similar to that of the Apocalyptic vision,— a woman in travail…predicts a future restoration of Jerusalem, and a return of the Jewish nation to her allegiance.” I remark: the emblem in both cases has, “beyond a doubt,” the same event in view: while I must affirm, that the result here claimed as doubtless, is grounded on nothing better than mere conjecture or assumption, and that it is therefore un­worthy of acceptance.

“We may, therefore,” continues Dr. Todd, ” reasonably conclude… that the woman clothed with the sun… is the nation of Israel,” &c. I answer, This might as well have been assumed at once, as by a number of intermediate steps; because nothing like reasonable proof has been offered for one of them ! On the contrary, the reverse is plainly intimated in the place, just now cited to recommend it.

There are however, some difficulties occurring in this prophecy, which, as Dr. Todd very candidly, and indeed very truly, says, he knows not how to solve, “and of which,” he says, “no system of interpretation, with which I am acquainted, appears to me to have furnished any sufficient explanation.” He then proposes two modes of meeting this difficulty ; and his conclusion is, (p. 245): ” But these interpretations appear to me to afford no clear or satisfactory explanation of the clause, in which we are told that the child was caught up unto God, and his throne:” implying, as it should seem, that they do of every other: and this I deny. My reasons are,—

“Supposing the woman to signify the Jewish nation, at the period when she shall be again remembered by her Maker and her husband, and when she shall be restored… to the land of promise, what are we to understand by the Man-child who is born to her, and why”… ? ” The man-child is said to be one who is to rule the nations,” &c. ” This… is one of the characteristics of the Messiah Himself.”

…”And elsewhere in the Apocalypse,” continues our author, “it is said of our Lord in His second coming, and out of His mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations,” &c. I remark, the terms ‘•’His second coming” are so applied, as to assume the whole matter in debate ! Could Dr. Todd have been so remiss, as not to have seen this ?  I further remark, Dr. Todd’s Jewish nation does not, under our New Covenant, constitute a nation at all according to Holy Writ; nor are they, in the estimation of its Author, a people. [See p. 96, seq. below.] And again, this New Covenant knows of no land of promise, except the heritage of the heathen of which the Remnant, touched upon above, have long ago been in possession; and that, in and under this Covenant, there is no difference between Jew, Scythian, Barbarian, &c., as it is abundantly shewn below (pp. 44, seq.).

Let us now come to Dr. Todd’s two solutions of some of the difficulties of the place in question. His first is, (p. 245) “The Jewish Church may be said to bring forth Christ, when, after many ages of widowhood and barrenness, she receives Him by faith, and acknowledges Him as her Lord and Saviour.”—But, Is Dr. Todd quite sure that the apostate Jews, can be considered, and properly named, a Church, during this period? St. John seems to have considered them a synagogue of Satan, and their misnamed Holy City [Page 16] the Jerusalem of Palestine, nothing better than an Egypt or Sodom. [See p. 356.] This, I think, must also be ranked among Dr. Todd’s unsupported assumptions.

But, What are we to think of the reasoning which makes the receiving of Christ, the same thing as the sending of Him forth, as at a birth ? Is not this an unwarrantable departure from the Letter ? and the very thing condemned by Dr. Todd in this his Work ? Mr. Burgh is here cited in a note, supposing that ” the expectation of the second coming of Christ formed in the hearts of the Jewish people, to be intended by the travail of the woman: and therefore that the actual coming of Christ is typified by the birth of the Man-child.” But this, as before, evinces a most unwarranted sort of criticism, and makes at the same time, two groundless assumptions. As to its criticism, it is absurd to argue, that any supposition entertained by the Jews of the coming of Christ, can be taken to predict either His first, or His second coming: because there is no conceivable connexion between the contingency of such a supposition, and the certain coming of the Saviour. Besides, this would be to make such suppo­sition,—should it ever exist,—equivalent to a prediction of the event in question: which is too futile to deserve a moment’s notice. As to the assumptions made, such second coming of Christ is one; another, that certain declarations of the New Testament are to be taken as typifying things still to come to pass : both of which are groundless and delusive.

The following then, is Dr. Todd’s second interpretation; viz. ” She may be said to bring forth a man-child, who shall rule all nations with a rod of iron, when there is gathered from the midst of her a remnant upon whom, according to our Lord’s promise, that privilege shall be conferred.” I remark, It is to be regretted that Dr. Todd has not cited this promise. I affirm too, that no such privilege is, as far as I have been able to discover, anywhere promised except to his disciples: who,—so far as these were of the Jewish nation,—did, as shewn below, actually constitute this Remnant : and, of necessity, the Remnant to be so gathered according to the Prophets, had in them been gathered. And, once more, If Dr. Todd’s first explanation was objectionable, on the ground of an unwarrantable departure from the letter, this is more so. Neither of these interpretations therefore, carries with it any thing beyond mere conjecture.

We now come to Dr. Todd’s “more plausible” solution of the place, the child ” was caught up,” &c. And here we have the Remnant noticed above, caught up and placed before the throne of God, in the sealed 144,000, of the Apocalypse: which however, he thinks far from complete, or entirely satisfactory. He adds,—very justly as I think— ” Our knowledge of the prophecies, which speak of the last days [These terms hare proved a most fertile source of mistake. Some­thing is given below, which will perhaps supply a better chance in future, for understanding them. (p. 90. seq.)] of the Church, is as yet in its infancy; we have hitherto been studying them upon a wrong hypothesis… labouring to adapt fanciful and far-fetched fulfilments” (I add, and non-fulfilments) “to predictions,” &c. I most cordially agree with Dr. Todd in the greater part of this : while I cannot in the assumption,—for an assumption it is,—that the predictions he alludes to are unfulfilled. My opinion is, that none are unfulfilled: my proofs will be found in the following pages.

Dr. Todd adds (p. 247, seq.), ” There are, however, some things in the prophecy we have been considering, which, if I mistake, not, are clear and indubitable…After the dragon… is cast out of heaven,… he is represented as perse­cuting… the Woman,…and after the Woman had escaped into the wilderness, he turns his fury against the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus.” He adds, ” The duration of the former of these persecutions is not specified, but the duration of the latter may be inferred from the statement that the Woman shall be nourished…for a time, times, and half a time, or…for 1260 days, or 3½ years.” And here he is, I think, right. The reason why the duration of this former persecution is not specified, is perhaps this : It has been shewn in its place, that this woman symbolized the true Zion of God among the Jews, and that Satan was now cast out of it. Jerusalem having been trodden down, and having therefore ceased to be holy, Zion took refuge of necessity in the wilderness of the world : its constituents having been warned to escape out of its troubles, and to fly thither for safety. These its true constituents again, were the Holy Remnant and Elect of Israel, of whom St. Paul makes himself one (Rom. xi. 5, 7). We have now therefore, passed from the consideration of Zion in the abstract, to its Constituents. It was in the wilderness accordingly, that Satan now waged war with these, the Remnant of Zion’s seed: and these were they who held, and who should proclaim far and wide, the testimony of Jesus; being the first-fruits to God and to the Lamb, under the New Covenant. This former persecution therefore, had been of a duration equal to that of the Theocracy itself; for no sooner were the Jews out of Egypt, than they returned in their hearts thither, making a calf, and placing the life even of Moses their deliverer in jeopardy. (See how he and the Prophets speak on this point, p. 24, seq. below).

Dr. Todd’s next paragraph virtually tells us, that the persecution of the Woman by the Dragon, was only after his fall from heaven ; which is, I think, incapable of proof. It is true, verse 13 tells us here, that the Dragon did persecute the Woman after his fall from heaven: but it will not hence follow, that he did not persecute her before. For, if the woman here symbolizes the true Zion of God; and if this war in heaven was, in some sense, actually carried on by the influence of Satan within it,—of which proof is offered below in its place ; then must the persecution of the Dragon have been carried on long before this casting out and down, even from the commencement of the Theocracy, as just now remarked. That the army of the locusts however, does not synchronize with this former persecution of the Woman, has been shewn in its place where its period is determined: while it clearly does with the latter, carried on against the Remnant of her seed: which seems to me, sufficiently to account for all the particulars given here by St. John.

“All this,” continues Dr. Todd, “agrees exactly with the hypothesis that the Woman is a symbol of the nation of Israel.” He then proceeds to tell us what, according to his view of the place, it was intended to foretell. I remark, The opinion that the Revelation of St. John, contains predictions of events still future, rests on nothing better than groundless assumption, as shewn below. This then, being the case, this prediction of Dr. Todd,—for such it really is,—. is unworthy of credit.

But we have something further, given by way of con­firmation of Dr. Todd’s view:…” This interpretation of the flight of the Woman,” continues he, ” receives some confirmation from our Lord’s prophecy:… When ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Prophet, stand in the holy place,… then let him” (i.e. of this Remnant) ” that is in Judea flee into the mountains.”… ” And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof” (i. e. as foretold by Daniel) is nigh,” &c. Now here, I say, we have marks the most certain, by which to know when all this should happen: viz. during the generation at that time existing, and when the disciples should see Jerusalem encompassed with armies. And the fact is, Within that generation they did see Jeru­salem so compassed about with armies, as they also did its desolation. It is equally certain, that the Jewish nation was not so warned by our Lord to flee to the mountains, but only His disciples, the true Zion in her Holy Remnant. They did so fly, and the mountains received and protected them; and among these, and in the wilderness of the world, they did erect the Church of the Gentiles.

Of the period then here meant, there can surely be no doubt; for it is fixed, beyond the possibility of mistake. Let us now see what Dr. Todd adds, and then ask our­selves, whether any reasonable doubt can remain, as to that which should constitute ” the last days of the Church :” rather of that of the Old Covenant; for the Church of the New knows of no last days. [As shewn below from the consideration, among other things, that a kingdom which never shall end, can have no last days.] “For these be the days of vengeance,” adds Dr. Todd, from Luke xxi. 22, ” that all things which are written may be fulfilled: i.e. within these. If then, all things written were now to be fulfilled,—and this our Lord positively and plainly declares, What other days, or things are we, after these should have expired—and their limit has been shewn below,—to look for ? and within which, the predictions both of Dr. Todd and his opponents, shall have their fulfilment ? Dr. Todd’s last and inexplicable difficulty, I pass over, assuring him that it will vanish, upon the dereliction of his present theory. [I find, upon turning to my proof-sheets, that my solution of this difficult place, (Rev, xii. 5.) “And her child was caught up unto God, and to His throne,” has by some mishap, not been printed. The MS. was probably mislaid and forgotten. I give the comment again, there­fore here. This place then contains a synechdoche, or, as the gram­marians would say, a pregnant sense: by which is meant, that the literal enouncement contains another of a more comprehensive character. We have seen that by the Child, Christ is primarily meant, and second­arily, His faithful people, now born as it were in a day,—which last expression is similarly comprehensive. The ascension of our blessed Lord is therefore, as it appears to me, the primary sense intended here.

In the next place, we have the first followers of our Lord caught up here, (mystically speaking), and established as kings and conquer­ors, in the kingdom of their Lord and of heaven. We have the same thing taught in Chap. xi. 12, where it is said of the witnesses, ” they ascended up to heaven in a cloud” (i. e. as their Lord had done), ” and their enemies beheld them:” i. e. their enemies witnessed their victory. We have here therefore, the victory complete: the Woman was preserved in the Wilderness with her Remnant, who were made Priests and Kings with God and with Christ: and, as such, were to reign in their successors for ever. This will, I believe, sufficiently account for every phenomenon here; and nothing is, as far as I can discover, either forced or unnatural.]

Dr. Todd then proceeds to speak of the treading down of Jerusalem, of the abomination of desolation, and the flight to the mountains, as if none of these events had yet taken place! Surely the faith that can take all this in, must be of a most accommodating character, and such as can take refuge in the merest system of assumption, rather than the plain, direct, and combined, testimonies of Scripture and of facts ! The truth is, the origin and cause of all this palpably shallow reasoning is, Judaism. Dr. Todd,—and the same is the case with his opponents,—has failed to discern between him who really served God, and Mm who served Him not. This discernment the Jew cannot, as such, for a moment entertain; the instant this would be done, must be the last of Judaism. This I have no doubt, Dr. Todd and others will eventually see : that is, if they really prefer truth to prejudice. Then too, will they,—and not till then,—see Christianity as it is; and that the spirit of all prophecy is the testimony to it.

As it cannot but be edifying to see Dr. Todd’s conclusion upon all this, I will now give it. ” On the whole then,” says he, “we see from this prophecy, if the view I have taken of it be correct, that in the latter days, when the Gentiles shall have fallen away, and the Candlestick of the Christian Church shall have been removed from amongst them ” (but Where do we find this foretold? St. Luke says, chap. i. 33, ” Of his kingdom, there shall be no end!”), “the Jewish nation, after their restoration to the promised land” (which however, the Scripture declares is no nation, and that to Canaan as a promised land they shall never go), ” shall again be subject to fearful persecutions, and the great body of them forced to abandon Judea, and to take refuge in a place prepared for them Of God, where they shall be preserved ‘ until the indignation be overpast;’ that a formidable power shall then arise, headed by two remarkable leaders, who shall fix their seat and establish their authority among the apostate Gentiles, setting up a gross and blasphemous system of idolatry, persecuting the saints, the holy people” (Jews of necessity, for there is now no Church among the Gentiles), “and put­ting all to death, whether Jew or Gentile…who refuse to conform to the idolatrous worship… then established,… the kingdom thus…set up…shall be destroyed…by the immediate presence and sudden appearance of Him,’ out of whose mouth goeth a sharp sword,'” &c.

Whatever difference there may be therefore, between the systems of Mr. Mede and Dr. Todd, both bring us to the same result, by means of precisely the same principles! In the interval, the former does indeed allow a sort of makeshift Christian Church to exist; the latter wholly annihilates it! and both tell us, either directly or indirectly, that theirs is the system of the primitive Church! Dr. Todd tells us moreover, a little lower down, that his sys­tem gives an interest to the Revelation of St. John, which no other can; and hence, we are left to infer, that it is worthy of all acceptation. We shall have something to offer presently on the system of the ancient Church, when it will appear, that the assertions of Messrs. Mede and Todd are to be taken with certain limitations. And, as to the interest created by the views either of Dr. Todd or Mr. Mede, it will be enough *now to remark, that this is not to be mis­taken for proof, that either of their views is correct [And yet nothing is more common than this as an argument!]. I need perhaps scarcely remark that, what we have hitherto seen offered by Dr. Todd as arguments, can claim title and place no higher than those of assumption: and the same is true of the strange prediction just now quoted.

I might now fairly leave Dr. Todd’s work to shift for itself; but, as he has offered some objections to the usual, and, as I hold, true interpretation of some important places in Daniel, I have deemed it my duty to examine them. Dr. Todd tells us then (Discourses on the Prophecies, &c. 1840), ” that the general opinion of commentators” (on. Dan. ii., and the three empires succeeding that of Nebuchadnezzar) ” seems to be, that the Persian monarchy, the conquests of Alexander, and the Roman empire, are symbolized.” He adds, “The arguments… employed to support this,… appear to rest on very weak foundations,” Sic.

Dr. Todd’s first proof of the weakness of these founda­tions is, a palpable misapplication of the terms (ib. ver. 41), viz. ” the kingdom shall be divided” His words are: ” We learn…from Daniel’s interpretation, that the feet and toes of the image, being composed part of potter’s clay and part of iron, indicated that’ the kingdom should be divided.'” Again (pp. 53—6), “The iron mixed with miry clay…denoted… that the divisions of the kingdom, or the kings who are to preside…shall not cleave one to another.” Whence it should seem, as well as from other places in his work, that this divi­sion was to be into ten, i. e. Icings, or kingdoms, here repre­sented by the ten toes of the image : which is palpably wrong [This mistake runs through most Commentators, ancient and modern: which is remarkable, as the thing is so obviously false.]. Daniel’s words are, ” As the toes were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom” (i. e. when divided) ” shall be partly strong, and partly weak” (i. e. shall consist of two irreconcileable parts, or rather sorts of characters). He adds, which should confirm this:…” they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.” Daniel does not say “the kingdoms” but ” the kingdom” under this division, ” shall be partly strong and partly weak.” Nor does he say, that the toes shall not cleave one to another, but that the iron and clay, of which both feet and toes were composed, shall not. It is true, he virtually makes these toes to represent ten kings: but then, it is not necessary, nor indeed intimated by the terms used [ See p. 146 seq. below.],—but quite the contrary,—that the division mentioned should be extended to them severally. Dr. Todd is not indeed the originator of this mistake; but, as his reasoning is founded upon it, he has virtually adopted it; and his conclusion is not only weak, but wholly groundless. Some of the ” extreme obscurity” therefore, which he saw in this part of the prophecy, may now perhaps be considered as removed.

On the interpretation which makes Christianity the cause of the fall of the fourth empire of Daniel in that of heathen Rome, Dr. Todd says, “There are great inconsistencies,'” &c. ” A large majority of the expositors,” continues he, ” who have adopted this opinion, maintain… that the fourth kingdom is the Roman empire; but if so, in what sense can it be said that the Roman empire owes its fall to Christianity?” He then adds, ” The interpretations therefore given by these expositors…are manifestly inconsistent.” That is to say, If they have with him mistaken the one case, and, if he has here propounded what he believes to be a question that can­not be answered; they are manifestly inconsistent! Surely Dr. Todd could never have intended to propose this question as an argument, much less as a conclusion ! But whatever he intended, it certainly proves nothing.

Again, ” If,” says Dr. Todd, ” the smiting of the feet of the image by the stone…denote the overthrow of paganism,… then paganism, and not the Roman empire, must be the fourth kingdom represented by the legs and feet of the image.” I would say here, Not quite so fast, Dr. Todd: for if this prophecy did,—as Daniel tells us it did,—represent empires to fall, then may the Roman empire have been intended as one: and, if with this, the fall of paganism was also intended,—and from what is offered in the following work, it is evident that this is the case ;—then may also the fall of paganism have been intended by the Prophet, and no incon­sistency whatever have been manifested.

Dr. Todd proceeds: ” And if the fourth Kingdom be the Roman empire, then the stone must denote not Christianity, but the combination of causes to which the Roman empire owes its destruction.” But here Dr. Todd has perplexed himself with a manifest sophism. Many causes may indeed have wrought with Christianity, in bringing about this event,—the Author of Christianity being the Disposer of them all,—while this may have constituted its main and principal one; and, if any reliance can be placed on prophecy, as expounded in the following pages; He has made the enouncement again and again, that He would in its time consummate this. Besides, it is mere assumption, not reasoning in Dr. Todd’s affirming, that this stone did not denote the one great cause, or the combination of causes, which led to this event.

Dr. Todd’s next argument applies well against the theory of Mr. Mede and his followers ; but is weakness itself when urged against those who hold,—what the fact of the case truly is,—that the Roman empire has long ago fallen. ” If,” says he, ” the legs and feet of the image be still standing” (i. e. under any form whatever), ” the stone has not yet smitten them ;…for,” adds he, ” nothing can be plainer than that the stone was not seen to become a mountain until after the ruins of the image had been swept away, like the chaff of the summer-threshingfloors.” To which, I do not see how any refutation can be offered by the followers of Mr, Mede.

Our next inconsistency is found in the ten Kingdoms into which the Roman empire was to be divided, in order to suit the division of the Kingdom foretold in the toes of the image. This I dismiss, because it has been shewn above, that no such division was ever foretold.

We next have the sudden destruction of the image urged, as inconsistent with the slow and gradual decline of the Roman empire. Besides, Christianity, we are told, has now been eighteen centuries in the world, but its saving light has not yet reached all the dark habitations of the heathen, &c. To the first of these I say, the sudden destruction of this image cannot be said to be inconsistent with a long and lingering system of decay preceding it,—and this the intro­duction of the clay seems to intimate: the decay may have been slow, and still the destruction sudden, or, as the Prophet words it [ Isai. xLvii. 9, seq., where this event is mystically foretold.], ” in a moment:’1” and this too, notwith­standing this long and lingering decay. It would be to trifle with the reader to press this farther: I will only add, It is marvellous that a writer so acute as Dr. Todd certainly is, should for a moment have entertained it.

But ” Christianity…has not yet reached all the dark habitations of the heathen.” I wonder greatly that Dr. Todd should have said this. He is anxious to be thought the reviver of the opinions of the first Christians; and cer­tainly in this case, they are to a man against him. And indeed, so is St. Paul. See pages 343—347, and 197— 201, below.

I would now recommend to him the following place from Tertullian (Adversus Judaeos, p. 105. Ed. 1580). After quoting or alluding to Isaiah, chap. xlv. 1 ; Ps. xxiv. 7; xix. 4 ; Rom. x. 18, the Father thus proceeds: ” Quod ipsum adimpletum videmus. Cui enim dexteram tenet pater Deus, nisi Christo filio suo? quern exaudiverunt omnes gentes, id est, cui omnes gentes, crediderunt, cujus et prsedicatores Apostoli in Psalmis David ostenduntur, in universa, inquit, terra exiit sonus eorum: et usque ad terminos terras verba eorum. In quern enim alium universse gentes crediderunt, nisi in Christum qui jam venit 2 Cui enim et alise gentes crediderunt, Parthi,” &c. Quoting Acts ii. 9—11, inclusive, he adds, “et caeterse gentes, ut jam Gaetulorum varie-tates, et Maurorum multi fines, Hispaniarum omnes termini, et Galliarum diversae nationes, et Britannorum inaccessa Romania loca Christo vero subdita, et Sarmatarum et Dacorum, et Germanorum, et Scytharum et abditarum multarum gentium, et provinciarum, et insularum multarum nobis igno-tarum, et quae enumerare minus possimus. In quibus omnibus locis Christi nomen, qui jam venit, kkgnat : utpote ante quern omnium civitatum portse sunt apertse, et cui nullse sunt clausse [See Irenams, Edit. Grabe, p. 45. 1. 18; 46, 3, 9, seq; 221, 2; 370, 10, 15, &c. Justin Martyr Edit. Thirlby, p. 369. 20, seq; 328. 5, seq.; 400. 5, seq., &c. Cyprian, adversus Judseos. Lib. II. throughout. De Unitate Ecclesije, p. 108, &c. Edit. Dodwell. Euseb. Hist. Eccl. Lib. vm. i: also Lib. i. cc. ii, iv: De Vita Const. Lib. i. cc. Yii, viii, &c; also his Prsep. Evang. and Demonstr. Evang. passim. See also Lux Sanct. Evang. Fabricii, where extracts to this effect from most of the Fathers will be found.],” &c. Where this Father appeals to these facts as testimonies to the fulfilment of prophecy.

Now I ask, Which of these authorities are we to take ? They appear to me to be plain, and in direct contradiction to Dr. Todd. It has most likely not occurred to him, that even the Revelation itself nowhere provides for the esta­blishment of a Christianity, incapable of loss or diminution. I will only add here, that if Christianity had actually made the progress in the days of the Apostle, which Tertullian’s words plainly require, then must the stroke of the stone representing this in Daniel have taken effect, and its growth into a great mountain been any thing but slow.

I need not stop to consider Dr. Todd’s objections to the theory of Mr. Mede, as urged in his next article (p. 59). I will pass on therefore to his next argument, by which it is his object to shew, that the kingdom of Christ, which is spiritual, cannot consistently be opposed to that of Nebuchadnezzar, which was not so. On the words, ” In the days of these Icings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,” Dr. Todd says, ” If we are to call it (i. e. Christianity) a Kingdom, the word must be employed in a very different sense from that in which we use it when we speak of the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar, of Cyrus, or of Alexander.” He proceeds, ” By what Canon of interpretation are we justified in taking the same word in two different significations almost in the same sentenced” &c.

I remark, Dr. Todd has here perplexed himself by taking a defective view of this place, and again by a want of knowledge of the Canons of interpretation, necessary to a full understanding of Holy Writ. For, in the first place, the kingdom of Christ was to succeed in a literal sense, to those of Nebuchadnezzar or Cyrus, Alexander, and of the Csesars, bo that Kings should become its nursing Fathers, and their Queens its nursing Mothers. [See what is said on this pp. 98, seq. 129, &c. below.] And, according to St. John, ” the kings of the earth” were as such, to “bring their wealth, and their honour into it”. [See on Key. xxi. 24.] And the fact of the case is,— as shewn below,—this actually took place in the person of Constantine the Great. [As Mr. Todd pays much deference to the opinions of the early Church, he will find, upon turning to the life of Constantine by Eusebius, that he actually compares him with Cyrus and Alexander the Great, and shews that he was much a better man, and a greater conqueror than either of them. I will cito a portion of what he says on this latter particular. I take the Latin of Valesius. ” Ceeterum cum exercitum suum mansuetis ac modestis religionis prseceptis munivisset, in Britanniam quidem et in eos qui in ipso habitant Oceano ad solis occasum longe lateque diffuso, signa intulit. Scythiam vero unireream quse sub ipso septentrione posita, in plurimas gentes et nomine, et moribus discrepantes dividitur, suo adjunxit imperio. Jam vero cum ad extremes meridiei fines imperium propagasset; ad ipsos nimirum Blemmyas et jEthiopas, eos quoque qui ad solis ortum incolunt.. .ad ultimos usque continentis terminos.. .ad extremes Indos et circumsitos undique populos, cunctos mortales qui universum terrarum orbem incolimt,” &c. He adds, “Igitur ad has usque gentes regiis allo-cutionibus Deum suum cum omni libertate pnedicavit.” See also Tertullian, “De regno Christi teterno,” in the page next after that noted above, where he makes the kingdom of Christ to exceed in extent those of Nebuchadnezzar and Alexander. And again (ib. p. 121), ” De claritate gentium in Christo Jesu.”] This then being the fact, it is not necessary to the fulfilment of Prophecy, that Christ’s Kingdom should continue to constitute a visible universal empire, as shewn above. For no prophecy, as proved below, extends beyond this period. There exists no necessity here therefore, for having recourse to such different sense in the term kingdom.

And once more, as to Dr. Todd’s query about the Canon &c. I say, It is no uncommon thing in Holy Writ, to use the same word, even in the same context, in two different senses, the one a literal, the other a spiritual one. E. g. “Your fathers did eat manna…and are dead. This is the bread…that a man may eat thereof, and not die” (John vi. 49, 50 : see the next verse also). Now I ask, Must we here take the second place literally, because we must so take the first ?  Dr. Todd will probably say, No. I answer, We have here then a Canon of interpretation, justifying the practice of taking the same word in two different senses, in the very same context! Innumerable instances of this sort are to be found, as Dr. Todd may easily convince himself: and if so, then may Christ’s kingdom still exist as universal; and as such it does : and again, according to the predictions of the Prophets, and even the declarations of St. John, it shall as such for ever continue.

I need not now urge any thing further to shew, that for all that Dr. Todd has so far said, the exposition of Daniel’s fourth empire by that of heathen Rome, does not stand on a weak foundation. But, as he has other arguments to offer on this point, on Daniel’s second Vision, let us now see how far these will hold.

In the first place then, Dr. Todd has no doubt (ib. p. 64), that Daniel’s fourth beast here (Chap. vii. 23), has identically the same fourth kingdom before it, that the image of Nebuchadnezzar has ; because it is said, ” The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” And in this Dr. Todd is right. He adds (ib. 65), ” In the former prophecy we read that the fourth kingdom shall be divided; and we are here more expressly told that it shall be divided among ten kings…in the former prophecy…indicated by the ten toes, &c. here symbolized by the ten horns of the beast.”

I remark: It has been shewn that no such division was spoken of there, either directly or indirectly. I now affirm that the same is the case here: and that Dr. Todd has nothing better than assumption for the support of his opinion. ” For we are told,” adds he, ” that another little horn came up among the ten, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots,” and this is after­wards explained thus; ” the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise, and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. It follows,” continues Dr. Todd, ” that between the .eleventh king, and three at least of the original ten kings, war and disunion shall prevail.”

How Dr. Todd could have arrived at this conclusion, none I presume but himself can tell. The eleventh king here, must according to this quotation ” rise,” in point of time, “after” the ten preceding ones. How then, I ask, can dissension prevail between him and them ? They must, as far as I can see, have ceased to exist before his times : and therefore, any such dissension must have been impossible. And again, If the ten toes in the former vision implied ten kings, among whom the kingdom was to be divided: How is it that dissension between the eleventh king here and three at least of these ten, can be adduced to prove, that a division of the kingdom between these said ten kings must have been intended ? For my own part, I can find nothing allied, in the least degree, to this in the words of Daniel; and I think Dr. Todd must be in the same predicament.

Nor does the being “diverse” imply disunion, by any Canon of criticism with which I am acquainted: and, as this eleventh king, or Little Horn, could not possibly either pluck up, or subdue, any three of those who must have disappeared before he arose; I am led to believe, that some other three kings whom he could subdue, must be meant. The same will be the case if we substitute Rule for king here. Besides, the mention of three must be sufficient to shew, that the ten preceding are out of the question. The view of this place adopted by me will be seen below in pages 152—167-To this the reader is referred.

Dr. Todd has no doubt however, that the kingdom of the Saints here, is the same with that foretold in the first vision. And in this he is certainly right. He also shews a little farther on (p. 109), that the Little Horn of Daniel’s eighth chapter is identical with that of his seventh. In this too, I believe he is right. It is satisfactory moreover that he has obtained this conclusion, by a process wholly different from that adopted by me. This being the case then, it will follow, that the Little Horn of both these chapters, will-symbolize the same Power that the legs and feet of Nebuchadnezzar’s image do. Let us now see, whether this chapter (Dan. viii.) affords us any means of ascertaining what Power this was. For if we can shew that this is Heathen Rome, then must Dr. Todd’s objections be sufficiently answered.

It is said then, in this Chapter (ver. 11, seq.), ” By Mm,'” i. e. this Little Horn, ” the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression.”…” How long” it is asked, “shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression” (i. e. causing the judgment) ” of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot ?”” Let us see what this must of necessity mean.

In the first place, ” was taken away” must certainly be taken in a future sense : i. e. shall be taken away: the event had in view being evidently future. [A very common usage with the Prophets, as shown in my Heb. Gram. Art. 236.] Again, by his sanctuary, must be meant the sanctuary of the prince of the host, just ‘mentioned: i. e. Christ’s sanctuary: for no other Prince of the host had a sanctuary : and hence the place, or locality, of this must be Jerusalem: which is confirmed by the question of the Angel, viz. ” How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?”’ We have here therefore, “the sanctuary trodden down” corresponding to ” the place of his sanctuary cast down.” By which it should seem, that both of these ‘ should fall, under the influence of the Little Horn.

We are also told, that this should take place ” by reason of transgression:” and accordingly, the desolation so to be brought on is styled, the “transgression of (i. e. causing) desolation.” Again, verse 23 here, we are told, that ” when the transgressors are come to the full, a King of fierce countenance shall arise…and he shall destroy wonderfully..” And, be it observed, this is said in explanation of the vision before us. The destruction of the Sanctuary, and of the Place of the Sanctuary, must therefore be meant in each case. In the one place too, this was to be by reason of transgression; in the other, when transgressors should have come to the full: which must of necessity apply to the transgression, and transgressors, of the Jews, [See p. 165, note, below.] and this have been given for the purpose of fixing the cause of this destruction, or desolation, upon them.

If we now turn to Chap. ix. 26, seq. we shall find it declared, that at a certain period Messiah should be cut off, and that after this, the people of the prince that should come, should destroy both the City and the Sanctuary. But we know of no destruction of these, except that which took place by the Romans under Titus: and this did take place some time,—just as it is foretold,—after the Messiah had been cut off. That transgression had now come to its full among the Jews, both the Scriptures, and Josephus their own historian, abundantly attest; [See Wars of the Jews, Book v. &c.] as the fact also does, that trans­gression of the most flagrant sort urged them to the murder of our blessed Lord.

Again (ver. 27.)…” For the overspreading of abominations He shall make it desolate:” i. e. the Place of the Sanctuary of necessity; the latter of which is here clearly implied in His making the sacrifice and oblation to cease; which is again a mere echo of ” the daily sacrifice shall be taken away,” &c., quoted above ; and it is here, as it is there, said to be desolation, and that ” He shall make it desolate even until the consummation:” i. e. ” to give both the Sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot;” of all which the New Testament will give us an authoritative interpretation.

Our blessed Lord says then (Luke xxi. 20,), ” When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.”’ He adds, (ver. 24,) “And Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.’1” “How long?” asks the Angel, as quoted above. The answer is, ” Unto two thousand and three hundred days:”” which must indirectly, also limit the period when the times of the Gentiles should be fulfilled. [pp. 124,166, seq. below.] Our Lord himself moreover, limits this catastrophe to the generation then existing (ver. 32). And we do know from the facts of the case, that it did accordingly take place : that at no other time did it, or could it, take place ; and also, that in time to come, no such event can: and it was by the Roman army under Titus that this was done. This being the case, it must be equally certain, that the same Power was had in view by Daniel, in every one of the other predictions cited above : and that Dr. Todd’s conclusion is a groundless one. Further proof to the same effect will be found in the follow­ing pages. We may now take our leave of Dr. Todd’s conclusions so far.

There is still another consideration of great moment, on which Dr. Todd lays much stress, and which ought not to be passed over: viz. that the division of Alexander’s Empire among his four principal generals as usually holden, is groundless. Let us see what Dr. Todd advances on this point.

“The prophecy,” says Dr. Todd, (p. 170), “first an­nounces the rise of four Kings in Persia “…”And a mighty King shall stand up, and shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his will. And when he shall stand up, his Kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven.” “The mighty King,” says Dr. Todd, “is not said to be a Grecian potentate…he may be a fifth King of Persia…the opinion which seeks to identify him with Alexander rests… on the supposed analogy between this prophecy and the vision of the ram and goat, where the power, symbolized by the great horn of the goat, is expressly said to be the first King of Grecia.” Let us inquire then, how far this analogy can be said to be a mere supposition.

In Daniel (chap. xi. 2, seq.) it is said, ” There shall stand up yet three Kings in Persia; and the fourth” (i. e. in Persia) ” shall be far richer than they all.” Again, “And a, mighty King shall stand up,” &c…” And when he shall stand up, his Kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven,” &c. Which last may signify, according to Dr. Todd, for aught said to the contrary, a fifth King to stand up in Persia. I ask, Would Dr. Todd tolerate for a moment, a supposition so groundless ? I know not. But, if aught is not said here to the contrary, let us inquire whether there is not reason for believing, that something to this effect is said elsewhere, sufficient to determine this question.

It must appear, I think, that a certain progress towards the time of the end, is intended by Daniel in both the Prophecies referred to by Dr. Todd. In Chap. viii. 19, the Angel says to Daniel, ” I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation” (Comp. ix. 26, 27). Again, Chap. xi. 35, …” Some of them of understanding shall fall…even to the time of the end.” The only difference is, the particulars of this latter Chapter are more abundant, ending nevertheless, as it is obvious, in the same events and times.

If we now turn again to Chap. viii. 23, we shall find that ” in the latter time of their Kingdom,” i. e. the four mentioned in the preceding verse, ” when transgressors are come to the full, a King…shall stand up.” This King or Rule must be, as shewn above, the Roman: and the four preceding powers must therefore, necessarily be those to which the Roman, as an universal Empire, did actually succeed. And these were, beyond all doubt, those four Generals among whom the Empire of Alexander was divided. The Empire again, which preceded these, must, of necessity, be that of Alexander. And to this the words of Daniel agree to the very letter. ” The rough goat” says he, “is the King of Grecia : and the great horn…is, the first King:”” i.e. in the sense of universal, for this the context requires.

Turn we now to Chap. xi. 2, seq., where we have four Kings of Persia, the last of whom is to stir up all against the realm of Grecia. A mighty King is now to stand up, whose Kingdom should “lie broken, and divided toward the four winds of heaven.” Now, is there any fifth Persian King, to whom this can possibly apply ? Dr. Todd seems to have known of none: if he did, Why has he not produced him ? And once more, Did any universal rule succeed the Medo-Persian, except that of Alexander the Great? History, perhaps, knows of none. But Chapter viii. here, not only supplies us with a Grecian Monarch who should break the horns of the Kings of Media and Persia, just as Alexander did; but whose Kingdom should be divided, just as it is said in Chap, xi., that it should, and be replaced by four Kingdoms, or, be divided towards the four winds of heaven. It does seem therefore, that the supposed analogy existing between these two prophecies, is such as to present the highest possible degree of probability, and to be therefore entitled to our entire con­fidence.

And again, We have likewise in Daniel’s first vision, four consecutive Empires all united in the same image,—intended perhaps to shew, that they should not be dissevered from each other in their succession, by any large interval of time. [It is true, the division of Alexander’s rule into four, has no place here: nor in propriety could it. The Image presented four great universal Empires, which should succeed each other: that division exhibited no such thing: besides, it was a particular, like much of the eleventh chapter, which could not enter into a general outline, such as this first vision evidently is.]— And the last must,—by the process of reasoning adopted above,—have been the Roman. From the descriptions given by Daniel of these four Empires, there is no ground for supposing, that they were to be so disjoined from each other in their succession, so that some hundreds, and, it may be, thousands of years may intervene ; and, if the same events are had in view, which are in the first Vision,—which the nature of the case is sufficient to prove;—then these Empires must be considered as following each other in the closest order of succession. And of this the abundance of particulars given in this eleventh Chapter, may be appealed to as affording decisive proof. (See p. 170, seq. below).

But Dr. Todd has some objections to offer, against the notion of Alexander’s Empire having undergone any such quadripartite division: they are founded on the writings of the original historians, and of others. These we now propose to consider. His first conclusion (p. 503), after citing and discussing the statements of the several historians, is, “I may now, I trust, appeal to every unprejudiced mind whether it be fair to refer us to historians who have given the foregoing accounts of the division of Alexander’s kingdom, in support of the assertion that it was divided after his death into four parts only, or even into four principal parts.” I remark ; Surely Dr. Todd must have been suffering under a most singular hallucination when he wrote this. He gives us the accounts of the several historians, as to how Alexander’s Empire was divided among his generals immediately after his death, and to be holden by them as Satraps in favour of his family; he then asks, Whether it be fair to suppose, that any such division as that of four could have taken place (i. e. at any time) after his death ! Every body knows, that this primary division was a mere feint of these generals, intended to afford to each of them an opportunity for seizing the whole ; and that hence arose the almost incessant wars which took place between them. We may therefore dismiss all this as useless to the purpose for which it was given.

We are next favoured with an extract from the writings of Venema, (pp. 503—515), intended to shew,—from the subsequent history of the events in question,—that no such fourfold division of Alexander’s Empire ever existed. The truth is however there is nothing given here, that may not be found in any of the histories of those times : and, what is more to our purpose, something is to the effect, that such fourfold division did exist, before the latter period, of this rule, when the “King, of fierce countenance” should arise and succeed it. E. g. It is said in page 507, ” Ex his continuis bellorum fluctibus, per Alexandri duces suscitatis, tria maxima emerserunt Regna, ad posteros longa serie propagata, mace- donicum, quod post Seleucum, tenuit Ptolemseus Ceraunus… sybo-macedonicum, a Seleuco Nicatore conditum, egyptiacum, quod Ptolemseus Lagi fundavit, et ad posteros transtulit,” We have here therefore, according to Dr. Todd’s own approved authority, three great and permanent Kingdoms established, occupying the West, East, and South, por­tions of the previous Empire.

Venema supplies us moreover with a fourth, or Northern, portion to Alexander’s Rule, in the following terms: viz. ” Haud diu post, durante adhuc tempestate bellica”” (i. e. when the three Kingdoms just mentioned took their rise) ” inter duces Alexandri, duo regna, eodem fere tempore, condita sunt in ponto et Cappadocia, illud a Mithridate, hoc ab Ariarthe” …”Ampla emmet regione potitus est, ut verba Plutarchi… habent, regumque Ponti ille stirpem, quw octavo, ferme successione a populo Romano deleta est, edidit,” &c. As to the Kingdom of Cappadocia now founded by Ariarthes, it formed no part of Alexander’s own rule. It is true he consigned it to Eumenes ; but then, he also did the necessity of this General’s conquering it for himself. We have here therefore, even according to Dr. Todd’s authority, four great Kingdoms set up even during the lifetime of some of Alexander’s Generals, and occupying the four quarters of the earth,, and enduring to the very times in which the Power of Rome succeeded to them. They were Macedon in the West; the Syro-Macedonian including the whole rule of Seteucus, in the East; that of Egypt, in the South; and of Pontus and Cappadocia in the North; both which finally merged into one, and con­tinued so, until added as provinces to the Empire.

Let us now see what Daniel says on this subject. We must however bear in mind, that he rarely gives any proper names of persons or of places, just as he does no chronological enumerations as to time. He does that which is infinitely better; he gives us particulars such as to suit no times, persons, or places, except those which he had before him: and this is the case here. He tells us then, (Chap. xi. 4, seq.) that ” Ms Kingdom,”” i. e. of the mighty King mentioned in the preceding verse, ” shall be broken, and shall be divided toward the four winds of heaven;” i. e. toward the East, West, North, and South, as before. In this Chapter too, we have mention made of three of these, viz. the East, North, and South (verr. 5, 6, 44, &c.). By the East appears to be meant Babylonia, and the parts eastward of it; by the West, Greece; and by the South, Egypt and its dependencies.

If we turn to Chap. viii. 5, we shall find, that the he-goat which broke the horns of the Medo-Persian kings, came from the West: and (ver. 21) the rough goat which does this is said to be the King of Grecia. By the West therefore Greece is meant. The next verse says, ”Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four Kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation”” (i. e. of the Greeks), ” but not in his” (own) “power.” “And” (ver. 8,) …”the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four -winds of heaven.” The same events are therefore, most probably had in view in each of these places. In “for it came up four …toward the four winds, &c.” the meaning should seem to be, that, in lieu of it, and from its locality, viz. the West, or, Greece, this should take place. And the fact is, from Greece, and in place of its previous rule, it did take place in the Successors of Alexander.

It is said again (ver. 9), ” Out of one of them,”” (of these, four, or, its substitute) “came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the South, and toward the East, and toward the pleasant land?’ Now, as this increase of greatness proceeded in two at least of the’ three directions just mentioned, its progress must have been from the fourth quarter, not mentioned here, that is, the West: in other words, from Greece. This being the case, it is from the West that the other Cardinal points are now to be reckoned. By the East therefore, will be meant Asia generally; by the South, Egypt; by the pleasant land, Judea, and the countries to the eastward of it, viz. Babylonia, Persia, &c. Greece too, as before, will form the western quarter. And in these directions was this Power to increase, until, as it should seem, it should become a great and Universal one. But it is not from this quarter generally, that the Cardinal points are reckoned in Holy Writ: Judea being the part from which the computation is usually made. In this case also Egypt will be in the South, as before; Balylonia, Sic. in the East; the “children of the East” being they who inhabited those parts: [See my Introduction to the Book of Job, p. 30.] while invasions from the North are said to be from these, not because they came southward, but because they generally came in through the northern parts of Canaan. Asia Minor will now be in the North; which is sufficiently accurate, as to its position with reference to Judea; and Greece will, as before, be in the West.

I have accordingly made the northern quarter, Asia Minor (p. 164, seq. below), and assigned it to Lysimachus; while Venema, as above, makes Mithridates the Sovereign of the most northern. Mithridates did however, make himself master of the greatest part of Asia, and this he held until driven back into Pontus by Lucullus the Roman general : and there he was eventually vanquished by Pompey. This King was therefore the last, who was possessed of Asia Minor, and was consequently, the ultimate successor to the rule of Lysimachus and Antigonus, the Successors of Alexander.

So far consequently, the history of these events does agree strictly with the predictions of Daniel: every and each of Alexander’s Successors thus falling eventually before the Power of Rome.

Dr. Todd now gives us in his notes, an abstract of the history of Alexander’s Successors, beginning with the year 323, and ending with 280 (pp. 175—6) before Christ: and, from the variety of circumstances so enumerated, his con­clusion is : ” The reader will be able to form some estimate of the great violence that is done to the history, when we are told that Alexander’s empire was divided into four.” In other words, Dr. Todd has brought together a certain quan­tity of historical matter; and then, judging from the chaotic state in which he has placed it, he concludes that no such thing as the existence of four Kingdoms can be found within it; much in the same way as he does, that the Satrapies set up, on the death of Alexander, could never be formed into four Kingdoms.

It has been shewn, that it was not immediately after Alex­ander’s death, that the quadripartite division of his empire could, or did, take place. And, as Daniel does not precisely determine the time in which this should, we must of neces­sity collect it from the events of those times. But this has been done, as cited above from a writer, to whom Dr. Todd gives his cordial assent. Let us now see what his difficulties are. In 323, b.c. Aridseus, and the son of Roxana, are made nominal Kings of Alexander’s whole empire, Perdiccas is its Protector, and Antipater the Prefect of Mace-don. In 321, b.c. Perdiccas is assassinated, and Antipater becomes the Protector. In 318, b.c. Polysperchon is made the Protector. In 317, the son of Roxana is sole King. In 312, Cassander governs Greece, as Administrator. In 294, Demetrius reigns in Macedon. In 286, Lysimachus governs it. And, if we follow the Macedonian rule down to Perseus its last King, we shall find that it was all along a Kingdom in one sense or other: and, as before, it held the Western quarter.

If we now follow Dr. Todd, through the remainder of the Successors of Alexander, we shall find a Kingdom in Egypt under the Ptolemies generally, down to its reduction by Rome. The same is true of the East; for, whether Seleucus or Antigonus, or any of the Antiochi, be found either at Ba­bylon, Seleucia, or Antioch, still, that Kingdom is in existence. So also is that of Asia, (here the North), under one Ruler or another, and this is true of both these quarters, up to the time that they were reduced by the Romans, and made provinces of the Empire. [The discrepancy therefore of Commentators and others, in the names they give to these four kings, whether they begin with Ari-dseus, Perdiccas, Antipater, or Cassander, in Macedon; whether they place Antigonus, or Lysimachus in Asia; or Seleucus at Babylon or Seleucia; or Antiochus at Babylon or at Antioch; the thing is essen­tially the same: such a, fourfold rule existed either virtually or actually during this period; and, according to Daniel, such was to exist be­tween his third and fourth Empires. To urge anything beyond this, is clearly to do violence to Holy Scripture, and seems to me to evince a desire to perplex, rather than simply to develope the truth. The remark of Mr. Birks (Elements of Prophecy, p. 15), is sagacious and pertinent here; ” Gibbon, the infidel, affirms” (i. e. the thing) “to be so plain as to prove that the prophecy was written after the event.” Porphyry did the same thing (i&.). The Neologians of Germany—men generally well read in history,—are much” of the same opinion, as also was the late Dr. Arnold, of Rugby. See my ” Examination of the Grammatical Principles of Professor Ewald,” p. 120. It is indeed a remarkable phenomenon, that all these could so clearly see this division of the Grecian Empire, as to take it for a ground to reason upon, while Dr. Todd can discover no such thing!] It was not indeed till after the battle of Ipsus, that these Kingdoms were clearly developed; they were nevertheless provided for from the first, as every one must see, by the artifices of Alexander’s most influential Generals ; and accordingly, they came at length into being.

But then, Dr. Todd also finds six Kings in Persia, in addition to those enumerated by Daniel; he also finds certain Kingdoms in the East, and many in the West, of which no mention is to be found in the Prophet. He like­wise finds some occasionally free States in Greece; which he thinks annihilates the notion of a Kingdom’s existing there at all! And, upon the whole, inasmuch as Daniel has not said all he would have him to say; and, as it requires some thought and discrimination to discover any four Kingdoms in being after the death of Alexander; he determines that Daniel, and these events, are irreconcileable! But, upon the same grounds, he could easily prove that the Books of Kings and Chronicles in the Old Testament, could never have been intended by inspiration to be histories of the same times, persons, and events: that the Gospels, and the Acts of the Apostles, of the New, cannot be documents of inspired authority; and even, that the Visions of Daniel,—sometimes omitting certain circumstances, and occasionally adding others, —cannot be genuine copies of the text of the Prophet!

I do not think .it necessary to follow Dr. Todd further to shew, that very little reliance can be placed upon much of his reasoning, and none upon his theory ; which really assumes that what he cannot see accomplished, must necessarily be carried out into futurity: depriving Christianity at once, of its best evidences, its authority, and its power. Mr. Mede indeed, allows it some authority from the Prophets ; some power and efficiency in itself: but then, these are such as not to bear comparison with what they shall be, as he thinks, at some future time: the same is generally holden by these several schools: but, as no adequate proof has hitherto been given by either, we now leave this consideration, and betake ourselves to an examination of the principles adopted in the following pages, and of those of the primitive Chris­tian Church.

Part III.—On the Principles of Interpretation adopted in the following Work.

it is now my duty to lay down as briefly as I can, the principles of interpretation had recourse to in this work. As to the Grammar of the Hebrew Scriptures, I have usually followed my own: [London, Edit. in. 1841.] as to that of the Greek, those generally in use. In the Rhetoric, I have to acknowledge my obligations to Solomon Glassius, whose work, though of ancient date, stands to the present day unrivalled [Edit. Lipsise, 1743. There are modern editions of this workone by Dathe and another by Bauer; but, as these have been deprived of some of the best matter of Glassius, and accommodated to Neolo-gian views, they are greatly inferior to the earlier Editions.].

But something beyond these elementary works, was indis­pensable,—as it appeared to me,—to the inquiry before us. There seemed to be a great theological chasm which required filling up, before any thing like certainty could be arrived at. I felt too, that the question relating to the Jews, was inseparably connected with that of Prophecy. I determined therefore, to inquire into the nature of the Covenants in the first place, and to ascertain if possible, how predictions made under the Mosaic, ought to be interpreted when reaching into the times of the Christian, Covenant: whether any precise period had been fixed for the close of the former, and com­mencement of the latter: whether Prophecy had pre-defined any period for its own entire fulfilment; and whether something was not to be found enabling us better to determine the precise times, objects, &c. of the promises, the threats, and predictions of the Old Testament, than anything usually had recourse to; because,—as it appeared to me,—a great want of precision prevailed on these points ; and that nothing beyond ingenious conjecture, had been adopted for the pur­pose of supplying it.

It will be seen from the general remarks, with which our inquiry sets out, that I have been particularly careful to observe the usages of Scripture. From page 15 onwards, its theological character is entered upon; and from page 23, its religious and spiritual properties as influencing its declarations, and therefore indispensable to the interpreter of it. I found accordingly, that a most marked distinction was every where kept up, between him who served God, and him who served him not; and this again, to such a degree, as fully to determine who the objects of threat, and of promise respec­tively, were, and who were not: that even under the Mosaic covenant, all were not Israel who were of Israel, and that he was no Jew, who was one only outwardly; but that circumcision of heart was the one great qualification, where an expectation of being a partaker in the promises could be reasonably entertained: and that he who bore a different character, was as constantly the object of threat; which, reasonable as it must appear, has been almost universally disregarded in the interpretation of holy Scripture !

This consideration alone gave,—in my estimation,—an entirely new complexion to the question relating to the Jews: and which, when duly followed out, could not fail to determine the point, whether any restoration of them to Palestine is to be expected, or not. To this, the consideration as to the duration and cessation of the Theocracy, lends a most important aid; and which, in connexion with the character of the New Covenant, supplies, as I think, a full and complete determination of it. The circumstance of a holy Remnant among the Jews, has often been touched upon by Commentators; but then, to nothing like the extent to which it was entitled. My first impressions on this point, are due to Eusebius, who in his Demonstratio Evangelicahas shewn its paramount use and importance, as I shall presently shew.

The question again, relating to the duration and close of the Theocracy, has appeared to me to involve matter of the greatest importance both to this question, and to Christianity itself; which has however, for one reason or other, been grievously overlooked. It has been evident to me,—and my reasons will be seen below,—that the period for the fulfilment of all Prophecy, as dependent on the nature of the Covenants, has been so frequently and particularly defined, that no reasonable doubt ought to remain concerning it; and that this period has long ago passed away” This consideration makes the evidence to the truth, of Christianity complete; as it also does the character of Christianity itself. And once more, a light so powerful is by this means thrown over the whole of the Old Testament, and an ease so remark­able supplied to its declarations, that it has appeared most astonishing to me, this should have remained so long under a bushel. It is to the system of conjecture, abounding with useless technicalities, as noted above, and partaking of no small amount of Judaizing, that the want of precision, with the palpable darkness under which we have been labouring, is to be attributed. And it may perhaps be considered as a recommendation to these results, that they have been arrived at by the most easy and natural methods. No double, triple, &c. interpretation of the Divine Word, in the usual acceptation of those terms, has anywhere been adopted: nothing beyond the application of a spiritual sense to things enounced under the Old Testament, and as done by the writers of the New, and taught by the best writers on its Grammar and Rhetoric, has been had recourse to—To judge on these matters however, is the office of others.

It will be seen throughout, but more particularly in my Exposition of the Revelation, that I have endeavoured to make Holy Scripture its own interpreter, and that I have done this to a very great extent: it will be for others to judge, whether rightly or not. I have seen, or thought I have seen, that the parallel places are applicable to a much greater extent than has hitherto been supposed. In this point of view, I have found the Revelation a revelation indeed of the drift and scope of perhaps every prophecy of the Old Testament, and again of Christ Jesus in each and every of these. And here I think I have seen such a concatenation, and interweaving of prediction and event, spreading itself over the whole surface of the Divine Word, as to constitute something like the “threefold cord which is not easily to be broken,” or the garment of Christ so knit together throughout, as to be impervious to division, and to withstand every temptation to rend it asunder.

I may indeed be deemed fanciful here; I entreat the reader however, to think maturely on this point, before he pronounces an opinion on it: for he will probably find, that I have done no more than what the nature of each case required, and what others have done, both in determining places to be parallels, and in pointing out such imitations and allusions as are found in one classical author, and referring to the writings of another. This I have thought the safest check to the application of a mystical or spiritual serise, to the letter of Scripture. Indeed I know of no other, on which reliance can be placed. The exercise of a mature judgment, as well as of great care and caution, is certainly necessary in all this. [Nothing can be more lamentable than the extreme laxness of the Fathers in this respect. They seem to have thought that a warm piety, and lively imagination, could not be forced too far in producing a multitude of meanings from the same words. The friends of the . Pontificate have improved upon this, as indeed their system required, and have made it matter of principle. The word of God, say they, being the best, must also be the most comprehensive; and accord­ingly, every sense obtainable from it, must be good and true: it is for the Church to determine when each of these shall have its just application. (See Gloss, p. mihi. 391, seq., so also Bossuet as cited by Dr. Todd): which the sapient mind of Mr. Newman has lately revived under the doctrine of Development: i. e. to say, in other words, It is the privilege of his Holiness the Pope, with the advice &c. of his Cardinals,—for in these alone consists the Church, annually to publish the Bible of the Vatican: for certainly, that of the Pro­phets and Apostles will submit to no such system.]  Of myself I can only say, I have done the best in my power. If therefore I have failed, and have occasionally taken that mystically, which should have been understood otherwise, I crave the indulgence only which is reasonably due in all such cases.

Another guide and check of the greatest value, are the citations made in the New from the Old Testament. Of these I have availed myself. And here, it is not only that the true spiritual meaning of innumerable places of the Old Testament is safely arrived at; but,—what is more to our immediate purpose,—the periods of many events, which have been made the subjects of Prophecy, are ascertained with certainty: and, as we have no necessity here for double, triple, &c. interpretations: no partially, or imperfectly, fulfilled prophecy;—expedients devised, for the mere purpose of supplying crutches to a lame system, and unknown to Apostolical usage;—we arrive at conclusions as trustworthy in principle, as they are consistent with fact, and with the positive requirements of Christianity, in the New Covenant once made, and once established, for the universal good of man. In the application of these again, great care and cau­tion are requisite: and these, as far as my powers, and the limits of my Work would admit, have been applied.

On the Opinions and Usages of the Early Church, as to Prophecy.

An important question may now arise, as to how far these views agree with those of the early Christian Church; and particularly as I find both Mr. Mede and Dr. Todd with their followers, claiming much for their theories, on the ground that they do so correspond to a very considerable extent. ” I am persuaded,” says Dr. Todd (Lectures on the Apocalypse}, “that the ancient interpretation” (i.e. taking the visions of the seals, trumpets, and vials, as synchronizing and intimating the same events respectively) ” contained in its main outline the true views of the structure and design of Prophecy.” [He tells us in his additional Notel, (Lectures on the Apocalypse, p. 269), “that the interpretation of the Apocalypse, which is found in the writings of the Fathers of the third and fourth centuries, is spoken of by St. Jerome,… as a change from an earlier system. Jerome how­ever says not one word about such a change ! nor does he, as Dr. Todd elsewhere implies, unjustly charge Ireneeus with Judaizing Dr. Todd then gives an interesting outline of the Exposition of the Apocalypse by Victorinus, in which much of the earliest interpretation of the Apocalypse is retained: whether it had, or had not, the doctrine of a Millennium seems now to be past recovery: but this is of little importance. It is, I think with Whitby, most probable, that the early orthodox Church held no such thing. This fragment moreover deals liberally, and in many cases soundly, in mystical interpretation. It is much to be regretted that Dr. Todd did not extend his inquiry to the fragments of Hippolytus, Arethas, &c. I confine myself to the time preceding, and ending with those of Eusebius.] He then goes on to propose, what he thinks would tend to the recovery of this ancient and true mode of interpretation. Mr. Mede and his followers flatter themselves that the ancients are with them. Let us endeavour to ascertain the true state of this case.

It is certain, in the first place, that neither the views of Dr. Todd, nor of Mr. Mede, will afford from prophecy gene­rally, any adequate foundation for Christianity as we now have it, and as established by the Apostles. Mr. Mede fairly admits, that the Christian Church is but a tem­porary sort of make-shift, set up because God would not be without a Church; but, that after the destruction of the papal Antichrist, and the restoration of the Jews, prophecy will,—as we have seen above,—have its entire fulfilment in the establishment of a complete Christianity. This too, is as far as I have been able to inform myself, the creed of all his followers, insomuch that some have openly maintained the notion, that Christianity is,—as we now have it,—to pass away, and to be succeeded by another and better dispensation. They also hold, that it never has been preached and received throughout the world, to the extent foretold by prophecy; and that, on this account also, Apostolic Chris­tianity must be superseded by a system more complete, efficient, and universal. Both these opinions are fully maintained by Dr. Todd: and, if there be any difference between him and Mr. Mede, it is, that Mr. Mede allows some authority to Christianity,—as taught by the Apostles, —from prophecy; Dr. Todd, none. How such notions as these would have been countenanced by St. Paul, who habitu­ally disputed with the Jews, shewing from the Prophets that Jesus was the Christ; that the fulness of time was come; and that, if an Angel from heaven preached any other doctrine, he should be accursed; I do not now stop to inquire. I only affirm, that they seem to be greatly at variance with those taught by him; and, as we shall presently see, taught by the early Church.

Now, whatever faults may be attributed to the Fathers of the Church, certain it is that their notions were diametrically opposed to these both of Mr. Mede and Dr. Todd; of which proof will presently be given. In one particular indeed,—and in one only,—they do, to some extent, agree with them both; i. e. in the belief that the coming of the Antichrist, and the period termed the end of the world, were to take place at some indefinite time after that in which they lived. In this,—as the following Work will shew,—they were wrong as to particulars. On the other question, as to the full establishment of Christianity, they were certainly right. And the consequence is, both Mr. Mede and Dr. Todd follow the Fathers, and the ancient interpretation, only in that which was manifestly wrong; but leave them altogether in that which was obviously right!

It will be readily granted, that the Fathers were not, generally, great Biblical critics. If we except Origen and Jerome, we can find but few who could read the Hebrew Bible. In the Grecian philosophy they were, for the most part, well versed. Their acuteness no one will doubt, was great, as also was their piety. To their zeal for Christian truth, they have had but few equals. We need not be surprised therefore, if they retained the great and essential doc­trines of Christianity in their integrity, while they failed on some points, which present matter rather of critical, than exegetical, interpretation. And this, I hold, was the case. Their general views of Christianity were correct; their particular ones respecting the Antichrist, and some other things, were not so.

As to the general doctrinal correctness then of the Fa­thers, it will be impossible to read their earlier writings, Epistles, Apologies, Controversies with the Jews, and Commentaries on the Scriptures, without perceiving that they looked upon Prophecy as their most sure and faithful guide: and here,—be it observed,—they quoted all prophecy, and in common with this, its interpretations as given in the New Testament, and as frequent as any, the Apocalypse itself, [It is worthy of remark, that Cyprian quotes the Apocalypse for the purpose of proving that the Martyrs were innumerable (Exhort, ad Martyrmm, p. 181, ed. Dodwell). “Post hsec vidi turbam mag-nam.” Apoc. vii. 9. Again, on the souls of the Martyrs, Apoo. xx. 4. Again, (p. 171) he quotes Ch. xiv. 6, speaking of an Angel flying through the heavens with the Gospel: and, p. 172, Ch. xiv. 9, “If any one worship the beast,” &c. Again, p. 175, Ch. iii. 11, ” Hold fast. . . that no man take thy crown.” In p. 177, we have Matth. xxiv. 4—31, inclus. He adds, ” Nee nova aut repentina hsec sunt, quce nune acci-dunt Christianis,” &c., evidently referring the whole of this to that particular period. And in every case, suitable citations from both the Old and New Testament are adduced, referring the places given to the persecutions then going on. Innumerable instances to the same effect might be collected from the early Fathers generally, which, however, neither time nor space will admit here. I will only add: If these Fathers could not very clearly define the extent of this period, this is a consideration of but little moment to us.] in support of Christianity as then established. In these dis­cussions, they knew of no Christianity beyond that which they had received; no conversion of the Gentiles, besides that in which they formed a part: they never so much as dreamt of some future period, removed from that in which they lived, in which Christianity should be more extensive, efficient, or glorious: nor did they,—as far as my knowledge goes,—ever quote any Prophet foretelling any such time. And, if some of the earliest of them held that better times as to things temporal awaited the Church; in this generally they were not wrong. The kingdom had not then been given, de facto, to the Son of Man,—as it likewise had not in the times of St. Paul:—but, as they were not able to discover at what precise period that would be done; all they could do was, to speak of it as future, and in patience to wait for it: and it is surprizing to observe, to what a degree of accuracy some of them arrived in this respect. Within their times indeed, some Judaized as extensively as did any of those in subsequent ones: and it is in this that we find Mr. Mede, Dr. Todd, and their followers respectively, following them. I will now give a few examples of each of these. And first, from the Epistle,—so far as it has been preserved—ascribed to St Barnabas, [I use the edition of Clericus, 1724.] which is perhaps one of the oldest Ecclesiastical documents that we possess. In the first place then, he looks upon the land promised to Abraham, as given in the Man Christ Jesus: [Vol. I. p. 18, i. e. because, man is of the earth. Dr. Todd also, gives some interesting matter from this Father. Discourses on the Prophecies, p. 370. In the same place he quotes Hormas, Clemens Bomanus, and Ignatius, &c., ‘to shew that the time of the end was believed then to be at hand: but more on this presently.] which is fanciful enough : it shews however this,—which is to our purpose,—that the land of Canaan was not supposed to be meant, now that the New Covenant had been established. He goes on in the next place to shew how he made us (i. e. Christians) a second formation (i. e. new creation), in the last times. He then cites Ezekiel (xxxvi. 11) as saying, “Behold, I will make the last things as (were) the former.”—It is worth remark­ing, he does not quote the Greek of the Septuagint here :— but the most remarkable thing is, he makes the times in which he lived, those termed the last in the Old Testament. He then concludes, after citing Ezek. xi. 19, and xxxvi. 26; Ps. xii. 3, [I have not been able to find this in the place referred to.] and xxii. 23, thus : We are therefore those whom he has led into the good land. [Ib. p. 19.]

After some that is good, and much that is fanciful, our Author brings us to a prophecy, which extends the blessings of Christianity to every land. [Zeph. iii. 19. See the Note here, p. 38.] He then quotes Ezekiel (chap. xtvii. 1) to shew, as it should seem, that the great river flowing from the right side of the altar, in which grew up beautiful trees, represented at once both Baptism and the Cross: so that all who were called, who obeyed, and believed, should live for ever. On this see Rev. xxii. 1, below.

The next thing I shall notice is a citation from Isaiah, Chap. xlix. 6, ” I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth:”” Chapters xlii. 6, 7, and lxi. 1, 2, are given, for the purpose of shewing, to whom we owe this redemption. And here, the whole of the Gentile world is necessarily meant, as it also is that the day of Christ was that of the vengeance of our God, in which He would comfort all that mourned. So far therefore, although we have much that is fanciful, we also have some that is judicious and true ; but nothing agreeing either with Mr. Mede or Dr. Todd; but directly opposed to both. ‘ We may now pass on to section xvi. p. 48, seq. where we also have matter, quite irreconcilable with our modern theories. In the first place it is said, as from Scripture: ” Et erit in novissimis diebus, tradet Dominus oves pascuce, et cawlam, et turrim eorum in escitium.” [I quote the Latin version for the sake of convenience.] Which is evidently made up of several places of Scripture. It is added, “Atque contigit quemadmodum locutus est Dominus.” Whence we may observe, the last days here, are those in which Jerusa­lem fell: i. e. they are the last of the Theocracy. Our Author adds, ” Quseramus igitur an exstet templum Dei.” He answers, ” Exsistit.”…” Scriptum enim est; Et erit, Jiebdomada completa cedificabitur magnified templum Dei, in nomine Domini.”” Where, as before, we have more places of Scripture than one: perhaps Daniel ix. 27, and Haggai ii. 9, mixed together. Whence it is evident that, upon the completion of this week (or these last days) of Daniel, the Temple of God should be so erected, that every Believer throughout the universe should be made to constitute it. His words upon this are, ” Discite ; accepta remissione peccatorum, et spe habita in nomine Domini, facti sumus novi, iterum ab integro creati: quare in domicilio nostro vere Deus exsistit; habitat in nobis.”…” Hoc est templum spiritale Domino constructum:” [Which must put the reader in mind of the Tower, represented as in the course of erection in the Pastor of Hermas, in his times and the last days: symbolizing the then rising Church. The same vision brings before us an enormous beast, from which nothing can save men but the true faith of Christ. This is, of necessity, the Beast and Anti­christ of St. John. We have however no notice of any Millennium here! Le Clerc’s Patres Apostolici, p. 82.] (comp. 1 Pet. ii. 4, 5; 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17; vi. 19, &c.). We have no inferior Christianity here, and no reserves bolstered upon Jewish speculations: we have, on the contrary, the full exhibition of the renewing powers of Christianity, constituting in a mystical sense a new creation, as exhibited in every believer.

But it would be endless to follow the declarations of these early Fathers to this effect; I will now therefore give a few extracts from one, who shall be instar omnium on the general question before us. I mean Eusebius of Caesarea, [ The Commentaries of this Father on the Psalms and the prophet Isaiah, will be read with great advantage on this subject; and particularly, as giving us an abundant exemplification of the belief of his times on the application of Prophecy to Christianity.] and the work I shall select is his ” Demonstratio Evangelica,:” a work that is too little known, but which deserves every attention on the question of Prophecy. Beginning then, at Cap. r. of his second Book, we have the promise made to Abraham, that in his seed all nations should be blessed (Gen. xviii. 17, 18), shewn to be fulfilled in Christ. This is next continued under the promise made to Isaac (Gen. xxvi. 3, 4). And here again, Eusebius tells us that in Christ Jesus, as the seed of Isaac, all nations were blessed. Deut. xxxii. 43, is next cited, ” Rejoice ye Gentiles with his people .•” also Pss. xxii. 27—31; xtvii. throughout, and xtvi. 1—3. We then have Zech. xiv. 16—18. Isaiah ix. 1, 2, is next brought before us: then Chap. xilx. ], 6. And we are told, that the places to the same effect, to be found in the Prophets, are too numerous to be cited: he adds, that he will now give other places to prove, that it was of this calling-in of the Gentiles by Christ and of no other, that the Prophets spoke. Such places in great abundance are then cited, and be applied, in direct opposition to Mede and Todd.

We may now pass on to Cap. xxxvi. And here we are told, that it was not to the whole Jewish nation, but only to a few of it, that the Divine promises belonged:—which, of necessity, deprives the Jews generally of any restoration. Isaiah, Chap. i. 7—9 inclusive, is now cited to shew, that “Except the Lord of hosts had left them a very small remnant, they had been as Sodom and Gomorrah. Upon this he says: ” At vero quia postquam illis hsec evenerunt et chorus Apostolorum, et qui ex Hebrseis in Christum crediderunt, foecundi instar seminis, ex illis ipsis servati sunt, et per universam terram, atque in omne genus hominum penetrantes, omnem civitatem, ac locum, et regionem, atque Israelitico semine impleverunt, adeo quidem, ut ex illis quasi spicae” (comp. Ps. txxii. 16), “quas in nomine Salvatoris iiostri fundatse sunt Ecclesiae, sint enatse.” Rom. ix. 29 is then cited, giving this place of Isaiah. We then have, ib. xi. 1—5 inclusive, just as done by me below (p. S3, seq.), and for the very same purpose. We next have other places given from Isaiah, in which the term Remnant (reliquum) occurs, and in one of these it is thus explained : “Quodnam vero sit illud reliquum ex Israel, ipse Propheta explanavit cum dixit: Omnes qui scripti sunt in Hierusalem, et qui vocati sancti.” To this, as an element, he universally adheres: and it must be confessed that without it, the text of the Old Testament will, for the most part, be without meaning.

He then tells us what that day would be, in which God would be thus glorified. [Page 66, Edit. 1628. I have to regret that I cannot always cite the best Editions of the Fathers: my distance from the University Libraries is the cause of this.] This, he says, is easily to be known from the threats denounced against the whole Jewish nation, carrying with them, as they do, the entire overthrow of Jerusalem. He then cites Isa. i. 29—31, as a prediction of this. We next have Chap. ii. 2, &c. from which he shews, that by that day is meant the period, in which the idols should be cast to the moles and the bats, and the Lord’s house should be higher than the hills, &c. For the same purpose Chap. iv. 3, 4, and Rom. x. 18, are then quoted, and to shew that, within this period the sound of this remnant did go out into all lands, and their words unto the ends of the world. Eusebius therefore, makes .this Remnant the first publishers of the Gospel; and that day, day of the Lord, and the like, the period in which this was to be done; and actually was done. It would be endless to cite from him and others, all the testimonies to be found to this effect. Nor can it be necessary.

There is another consideration of great value presented to us in this work of Eusebius: it is his method of viewing the judgments denounced against the early enemies of the Church among the Jews. On the Star that should arise out of Jacob (Num. chap. xxiv. 17, Lib. ix. cap. 1), he says: “At vero ipsius Prophetise oraculum quid ait tandem fore, aut in illius novi sideris eruptione, aut in Salvatoris nostri Jesu Christi ortu, dignum quod cognoscatur ? nempe fractionem ductorum Moab, et direptionem filiorum Seth, prseterea reliquorum Judaicaj gentis hostium hsereditatem.” To these he adds, Edom, Egypt, Gog, Mesech, Tubal, &c. as enemies of the Church; and tells us that their fall is mystically implied in the declarations of the Prophets, as here cited by him. This is therefore a principle with him : and it is applied as such in the following work; [See pp. 272, seq., 292, seq. and the parallel places in the latioh.] where it is occasionally shewn, that the context of the Prophets can be made out in no other way, than as involving such mystical meaning.

Our Lord’s coming in the clouds of heaven moreover, formed no such difficulty with Eusebius as it did with some of the Fathers (ib. p. mihi 436). He makes this to indicate His Divinity, and the eternity of His Kingdom. The words are: “Quse vero alterum ilium” (se. adventum) ” et divinitatis amplius pree se ferentem, manifestissime indicantur per illam in nubibus coeli advectationem, perque illud aeternum in omnibus gentibus regnum.” And nowhere have I been able to find so much as a hint at the Sabbatieal Millennium of the Jews, which so many had imagined this should introduce. The only particular in which I find Eusebius defective is, his not having seen that in his days, the fulness of the Gentiles had, according to Prophecy, come in (see ib. p. 458, b). He seems to have thought,—as many do among ourselves,—that something still more magnificent was to be expected. But this involves a question of degree only, which will necessarily be regulated much by individual taste.—It should be borne in mind, that all prophecy speaks positively, and provides in the Divine power the means for its own fulfilment. This was, in the case of Christianity, miraculous power open and visible. And let it be observed: when the period of prophecy should expire, miracle would be withdrawn: it was so withdrawn from the Church in this period. Surely this ought to outweigh every sort of argument grounded on degree, and resting on taste only. We may now return to the pseudo-Barnabas, for the consideration of the Sabbatical Millennium of the Jews ; for this Father favours us with it in all its beauty and glory. [Sect. xt. p. 43, seq. Patres Apostolici.] Exodus, chap. xx. 8, and Jer. xvii. 24, are quoted in the first place. Genesis ii. 2, is then given to shew, that the Creation was a work of six days; the seventh, a season of rest: and hence it is inferred, that, because each day is to be taken as a thousand years, [In proof of which St. Peter is, as usual, confidently quoted.] after the^first six thousand of the world, the next thousand will be a season or millennium of rest. He then goes on to tell us, that God’s resting will sanctify that day (i. e. of a thousand years), and that we,— receiving the promise, iniquity being now abolished, and all so renewed,—shall be able to sanctify it also; being ourselves first sanctified: i. e. under the previous regimen; for our first sabbath, as he tells us a little before this, [p. 46.] cannot be truly kept except with a heart wholly pure. From which, and from what is here given in the notes, in extracts from some of the most eminent of the Fathers, [I. e. Irenaeus, Capp. 28. 29; Origen, Lib. ii. contra Celsum; Stratonicus Bishop of Cumae, as given by Sixtus Senensis, Biblioth. Lib. ii. under the word Elias; Lactantius, Lib. vii. c. 14, de Diyino prsemio; Hilarius, Canon xx. in Mattb..; Hieronymus, Epist. ad Cypri-anum; Athanasius, Explicat. de die Dominica: ib. in Cap. 65 Esa. The Talmud, Tract Sanhedrin, cap. Helec, where 2,000 years are assigned to the Patriarchal dispensation, 2,000 to the times of the Mosaic, and 2,000 to those of the Messiah: and the Sabbatical Millennium is to follow! Augustinus, de Civitate Dei, cap. vii. and xxii.; also adversus Manichseos, Lib. prim, de Genesi, &c. To these are to be added Justin Martyr, Hippolytus, martyr; Cyril of Jerusalem in his Discourses on the Antichrist, &c.: “where we shall find more than enough to convince us, that Judaism had made no small havoc in the • Church in their times.] it is sufficiently clear, that things spiritual are not now had in view, but things temporal only, as blessings to be realized within the said Millennium. This is as it should be; it shews the figment to be perfectly Jewish: [It is evident enough too, as Cave has well remarked, that this pseudo-Barnabas had been a Jew. Still it is certain that in no case, did these Fathers lower the character of Christianity, in order to give importance to these their Judaizing notions. It is not so however now with us!] for of spirituality they then knew nothing, and even now they expect nothing from their Messiah, come when he will. And, let it be noted here as before, the Fathers, with their authorities the Jews, are opposed both to Mr. Mede and Dr. Todd: treating of temporalities only; these of both spiritualities and temporalities to be enjoyed in this Millennial period.

But, that we may the more clearly see how this error originated, it will be necessary to shew what course these early Fathers took. If then we turn to Tertullian (” Adver-sus Judseos, de Passione Christi,” &c.), we shall find that, by a computation of Daniel’s seventy weeks, he makes the first sixty-two to terminate in the forty-first year of Augustus, and the birth of Christ. He here tells us, that all Prophecy was now fulfilled : i. e. vision and prophecy was sealed : by which he appears to mean, that no Prophet appeared among t^ie Jews after this : which is true: while his interpretation of this place is not. [It is curious to observe how the Ancients, as well as the Moderns, have laboured in vain to shew, that Daniel’s seventy weeks might be chronologically determined; without ever considering that, if this period was chronological in any sense, then must the positive declarations of our Lord, viz.—that none but the Father could know the period of Jerusalem’s fall (Matth. xxiv. 36),—be false. Michaelis somewhere remarks, that no solution of Daniel’s seventy weeks, prior to his time was satisfactory to him.]

Having then so far disposed of the first sixty-two weeks of this prophecy, he takes the next seven and a half; i. e. in all 69½, and tells us it was now that Vespasian destroyed the Temple and the Sanctuary:—which the text places in the middle of the seventieth week (i.e. his 69½). [Whence it must be evident, that Daniel’s seventieth week was then divided, just as it is in the following work ; the fall of Jerusalem marking the period of its first portion: while the close of the last, the Fathers never could see.] He also tells us, that now both oblation and sacrifice ended according to Daniel’s prediction. Still it is certain, that he expected the coming of the Antichrist after this; for he tells us in another Tract, [DeFugainPersecutione, cap. xii. his words are, “Antichristo jam instante, et in sanguinem, non in pecunias inhiante, Christianum.” A sufficiently lengthy and humiliating account of the opinions of the Fathers, respecting the Antichrist, will be found in Suicer’s Thesaurus, under the word.] that in his own times this coming of Antichrist was at hand ; which is, in the main, true. The calculation of one Judas mentioned by Eusebius, [Eccl. His. Lib. vi. cap. vii. The words are these (I give the Latin of Valesius): ” Eodem tempore alius quoque scriptor Judas, de Septuaginta apud Danielem septimanis disserens, ad decimum usque annum Sever! supputationem temporum perducit. Qui etiam deoantaturn ilium Antichrist! adventum jam turn imminere existimabat.”] was perhaps Tertullian’s authority here; for this tells us, that the seventy weeks of Daniel extended to the tenth year of Severus.

Now it was after the fall of this Antichrist, according to these Fathers, that the first resurrection should take place, the Sabbatical Millennium commence, and then continue to the end of all things, and be followed by the second resurrection. If we now examine Tertullian’s Tract, ” De Resurrectione Carnis,”  [Edit. 1580, p. 42.] we shall find, that the blessings of this Millennium were, according to him, to be purely carnal, just as the resurrection was to be solely of the flesh.

He first cites 2 Thess. ii. 1, seq. [With which he joins Rev. vi. xv. and xx., speaking of the Martyrs.], and adds on the words, “lie be taken out of the way” “Quis? nisi Romanus status, cujus abscessio in decem Reges dispersa, Antichristum superducet.” He proceeds, ” Et prostituta ilia civitas a decem regibus dignos exitus referat, et bestia Antichristus cum suo pseudo-propheta certamen Ecclesise inferat; atque ita Diabolo in abyssum interim relegato, primse resurrectionis praerogativa de solis ordinetur : dehinc et igne dato, universalis resurrectionia censura de libris judicetur. Cum igitur et status temporum ultimorum scripturse notent, et totunj Christianse spe frugem in exordio seculi” (i. e. novi) ” collo-cent: apparet aut tune adimpleri totum quodcunque nobis a Deo repromittitur….Aut si agnitio sacramenti, resurrectio est,…et sequitur…quod hasc spiritalis vindicetur, ilia corporalis, prsejudicetur.” Whence it appears that, upon this new age-or seculum taking place, all that had been foretold by the Prophets should be fulfilled, and that now the body should receive its blessings, just as the soul had in its spiritual resurrection ; and accordingly, that this spiritual resurrection in Christ was, as such, complete and wanting nothing. He then reproaches the Jews for their loss of spiritual blessings, and congratulates the Christians, that both the spiritual and temporal blessings are ultimately to be theirs.

We need not perhaps, consult Tertullian further on this point; a few extracts only from Irenaeus will put this matter out of all doubt. He tells us then (Lib. v. advers. Haeres. cap. xxv. Edit. Grabe, p. 438, seq.), that the Antichrist should come, and take his seat in the Temple at Jerusalem, for which he cites Matt. xxiv. 15, seq. He then carries us to Daniel (Chap. vii. 8, seq.) and tells us, that he has respect here to the end of the last kingdom, i. e. the last ten kings among whom their kingdom should be divided: for which, as we have seen above, not one word of testimony is to be found in the Scriptures. After citing verses 23—25, of this chapter, for the same purpose, we are conducted to 2 Thess. ii. 8—12. To this man of sin, Irenaeus now tells us, the widowed earthly Jerusalem shall flee for vengeance on her enemies, (i. e. on the Church). After another citation from Daniel (Chap. viii. 12, &c.), we are brought to Chapter ix. and told, that from the middle of the week, when sacrifice and oblation should cease, three years and a half should follow for the action of this Antichrist.  [Here again we have Daniel’s seventieth week divided as before: and the latter portion of it very properly assigned to the action of the Antichrist. The end of this it was impossible for him to see.] And this again he limits to the period, in which the abomination of desolation should be set up, as foretold by our blessed Lord (Matt. xxiv. 15). We cannot now be very far therefore, from Tertullian’s period for the coming of the Antichrist.

The next Chapter (xxvi.) professes to treat more clearly on the last time, and on its ten kings among whom, according to St. John, the kingdom then (i. e. in this Father’s times) existing, should be divided. Rev. xvii. 12, 13, 14, is then quoted, as Daniel (Chap. ii. 33, 34, &c.) also is, and we have the conclusion: ” Si ergo Deus magnus significavit per Danielem futura, et per Filium confirmavit; et Christus est Lapis, qui prsecisus est sine manibus, qui destruet temporalia regna, et aeternum inducet, quas est justorum resurrectio,… confutati resipiscant qui Demiurgum respuunt” (i. e. the heretics of those times). He adds, ” Quae enim a Demiurgo prsedicta sunt similiter per omnes prophetas, base Christus in fine perfecit.”” I. e. as before, whenever this time of the end should come,—which could not be in the days of this Father, [As shewn in its place below.]—then should all be fulfilled as before.

If we now pass on to Cap. xxviii. we shall find the Sabbatical Millennium, grounded as before, on the seventh day’s rest of Creation. This being settled, just as it is by Tertullian, we are brought, (Cap. xxxii. seq.) to the corporeal felicities of the just within this period: and here all is too plain to be misunderstood. Our Author proceeds thus: ” Quoniam—sunt ignorantes” (i.e. the heretics) “dispositiones Dei, et mysterium justorum resurrectionis et Regni, quod est principium incorruptelas, per quod Regnum qui digni fuerint, paulatim assuescunt capere Deum” (i. e. as it should seem, under the previous spiritual training of the Church) : ” necessarium est autem dicere de illis, quoniam oportet justos primos in conditione hac quae renovatur, ad apparitionem Dei resurgentes recipere promissionem hsereditatis, quam Deus promisit Patribus, et regnare in ea.” We have here therefore, the promises made to the Fathers,—i. e. that in the Seed of Abraham all nations should be blessed,—transferred to this Millennarian state, irrespective of all and every thing said either by the Prophets or Apostles: i. e. The Jewish figment of a Millennarian Sabbath over-rides all else!

Then follow the particulars: ” In qua enim conditione laboraverunt, sive afflict! sunt omnibus modis, probati per sufferentiam, justum est in ipsa recipere eos fructus suffer-entiae: et qua conditione interfecti sunt propter Dei dilectionem, in ipsa vivificari: et in qua conditione servitutem sustinuerunt, in ipsa regnare eos. Dives enim,1″ adds this good Father, ” in omnibus Deus.” We then have Rom. viii. 19—21, and Gen. xiii. 14, 15, 17 ; xv. 18, quoted in support of this! It is then added: ” Sic ergo huic” (i. e. Abraham) ” promisit Deus, haereditatem terrae, non accepit autem in omni suo incolatu, oportet eum accipere cum semine suo, hoc est, qui timent Deum, et credunt in eum in resurrectione jtfstorum. Semen autem ejus,” adds he, ” Ecclesia.”

The Apostolic Church of Christ is here therefore, the Seed ; while the inheritance is that of the Millennial Sabbath. I ask, Is it possible to contemplate a more unhappy, puerile, or Judaizing, wresting of the Scriptures ? But let us proceed. This Father next tells us that, as Christ’s drinking of the fruit of the vine (Matt. xxvi. 27, seq.) could not be said of disembodied spirits, it must be referred to this pos­session of the heritage of the nations. He continues ; It is hence said, ” When thou makest a feast,’ sec. (Luke xiv. 12, 13), and again; “Whosoever hath left lands, or houses,.,, shall receive an hundredfold” &c. (Matt. xix. 29, &c.). He then asks, What are the things a hundredfold in this time, and the feasts given to the poor, and the suppers which are rendered ? ” These,” he answers, ” are in the times of the Kingdom; that is, in the seventh day, which was sanctified… which is the true Sabbath of the just, in which they shall do no earthly work ; but shall have the table at hand prepared by God, (thus) feeding them with every sort of feast.1′ Isaac’s blessing to Jacob is then cited (Gen. xxvii. 27), and we are told that ” the field”” so mentioned is the world (Matt, xiii. 38). The citation then goes on to the end of verse 29. We next have the Vines of Papias,—as it should seem,—. each bearing ten thousand branches, &c., which need not be detailed. [ I certainly misunderstood and misapplied all this in my work of 1830 on the Revelation. I had no doubt Irenaeus was right in applying this to the Church on earth, rather than to the Saints in heaven. So far I was right, and so is Irenaeus: but I was wrong in not seeing his Jewish Millennarian notions, Iren. Edit. Grabe, p. 454.]

It may be said, perhaps with truth, that the opinions of Irenaeus [Eusebius, (Eccl. Hist. Lib. iii. cap. xxxix.) makes Papias a man of but slender intellect, and the propagator among Christians of the Jewish Sabbatical Millennium. His words are (I give the Latin only), ” Idem,” (i.e. Papias) ” prseterea scriptor alia nonnulla nudse vocis traditione ad se pervenisse testatur.. . fabulis propiora. Inter quse et mille annorum spatium post corporum resurrectionem fore dicit, quo regnum Christi corporaliter stet in orbe terrarum. Quse quidem ita opinatus esse videtur.. .ex male intellects apostolorum narrationibus, cum ea quse arcano… sensu et exempli causa ab illis dicebantur, non satis pervidisset. Fuit enim mediocri admodum ingenio prseditus :—plerisque tamen post ipsum Ecclesiasticis scriptoribus ejusdem erroris occasionem prsebuit, hominis vetustate sententiam suam tuentibus: puta Irenseo, et si quis alius ejusdem opinionis fautor extitit.” From which it must be evident enough, that Eusebius, together with many others of the early Church, never held this opinion; and, that his notion of those who held it was, that it originated in mistaken views of the meaning of the Apostles and others.] were extreme in this respect, and are therefore, not to be cited as testimonies to the belief of these early Fathers. I answer, these opinions were, most likely, those only of a portion of the Church which chose to Judaize. And as to degree, it has but little to do here: it is principle alone about which we are now concerned. Men may have varied to an indefinite extent, in the lengths to which they carried these notions : and, no doubt, they did. But, if we take the opinions of the most moderate (and Theodoret, [These opinions of Theodoret will be seen in his ” Hoeretioarum Fabularum Compendium,” Lib. v. Capp. xxi.—xxiii. inclus., as also in’ his Commentaries on Daniel, and 2 Thess. ii. &c., which however, evince no greater a difference under the same principles of interpretation, from those of Papias and Irenaeus, than do those of Mr. Mede, Dr. Todd, and others, as now put forth among ourselves. Every real lover of truth however, owes much to Papias and Irenaeus, for two reasons. One, that they bring us nearer to the source of this error, and exhibit it in purls naturalibus: the other, that they exhibit it in the extremes to which it may fairly be carried, and hence—by a sort ofreductio ad absurdwm—give us abundant opportunity for ascertaining both its origin, and its character.]—a little later in time,—may perhaps be a good example), the case as to principle is still the same. The same Scriptures were misunderstood and misapplied: and in this the error evidently took its rise. The “coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven” they found it impossible to understand in any but a literal sense; although the parallel gives, “the Sign of the Son of Man.” The judgments denounced too, they could understand of none but of those of the last day; although the prediction of our Lord limited the commencement of these to the generation then existing, and Daniel directed them first, to the fall of Jerusalem, and then secondly, to that of the Power which should desolate it. In like manner, the darkening of the sun and moon, the falling of the stars, the passing away of the heavens, the earth, the sea, the mountains, a new heaven and earth, and the like; were things of which they could have no conception generally, in any but a literal sense, although the usage and context of Scripture in which these are found, was abundantly sufficient to shew them the contrary.

The same is still the case generally among ourselves.; and hence the literal, earthly, system of the Jews has been adhered to; and this to such an extent, that the absolute essentials of the New Covenant have been criminally disregarded, and Christianity itself treated as a mere make­shift ; an inferior, and transient system, which is to end in something visible, tangible, and earthly, in exact conformity, and resting on precisely the same grounds, with that of the Jews! So far both Mr. Mede and Dr. Todd claim an alliance with the Fathers; with this difference, that Christianity does not with the Fathers lose any of its excellencies, on account of their Millennarian reveries. And, surely no one will doubt, upon a deliberate view of the case, that the claim is good, and ought to be conceded. But, whether the results so arrived at, are such as to claim acquiescence, is quite another thing, and one upon which readers are to pronounce judgment.

There is however, a consideration of importance here, which ought to be noticed; it is this: The earlier Fathers were so circumstanced, as not to be able to ascertain when the time of the End, as foretold by Daniel and others, should arrive; because they lived in times before this could happen:  it being obvious, that times, to be known only by the occurrence of certain events, given as signs of these, cannot possibly be determined before such signs shall have appeared: and, as shewn below, this was the fact. We need not therefore, be surprized at finding them groping, as it were, like men in the dark, in their endeavour to find this End; and hence wandering away to the Day of Judgment, as the only one, of which they had any definite notion. And hence,—as we shall see,—from the apparent nearness of the End in question, as obvious both from holy Writ and tradi­tion, they entertained no doubt, the general day of judgment was at hand: and, on this account, prayers were then frequently offered up, [Tertullian (Apol. c. 39.) cited in Mr. Dodwell’s Dissertationes Cyprianicse, ” De Martyrum Fortitudine,” Cap. xxv. ” Quorum,” says he, “illud, ni finis in propinquo, ab Ecelesia etiam crederetur I”] that this day of judgment should be delayed, in order to extend the times of the Church.

This again involves a consideration of great moment to our inquiry. For, if these Fathers actually held that the Antichrist was at hand and the time short,—whatever might have been their mistakes in applying this,—they must have been in possession of the true and Scriptural view of this subject: and it is but reasonable to suppose they would be, just as they were in holding that the Church had been fully and universally established, as the Prophets had foretold, and the Apostles had taught. This I have shewn is to be the case: and if so, then it will follow, that we have arrived at the true ancient and ecclesiastical view of Prophecy, as far as essentials are concerned.

The following are the remarks of Mr. Dodwell. In his ” Dissertationes Cyprianicw” (“De Martyrum Fortttudine,n § xxi,) where, speaking of the inducements to martyrdom during the persecutions, he says: Of these, one was, the nearness of the time of the end; which they erroneously supposed would bring the day of judgment with it. ” Nee enim illi,” says he, ” quod nos facimus, spem—illam beatce resurrectionis futuram duntaxat e longinquo speculabantur, sed ws ev Ta^ei, ut loquitur Apocalyptae [See on this, p. 232, seq. below.]nee ultra suam astatem prorogandam crediderunt.”

Mr. Dodwell proceeds, ” Cum enim quae prophetae de eayaTai^ rj/uepais prsedixerant, [See ib. p. 90—132.] illi ad Evangelium bectissime retulissent, facilis inde erat erroris occasio ut post Evangelii brevi mundwm finiendum existimarent.” Nothing, I say, could be more easy than this; nor perhaps, can anything be more certain, than that it was the fact. ” Proinde,” adds he, ” Dominum ipsum ante passionein consulebant Discipuli” (Matt. xxiv. 3), [See on this, p. 121, seq. &c. below.] “de signo adventus sui et consummationis seculi quam cri/cTeXeiai/, [ Pages 133—6 below.] appellabant Platonici et JEgyptii Hermetis Trismegisti discipuli, et cnroKaTaffrdffiv-, quorum etiam vocabula adhibuerunt hac in causa N. T. Scriptores. Nempe intelligebant his vocibus illi, quos diximus, phi-losopM anni sui magni circulum quo sphasrse omnes et stellse ad eundem situm interque se aspectum essent rediturae. Tune enim nova omnia etiam in hoc inferiori mundo reditura credebant quas antea estate aurea, prioris nempe circuli initio extitissent.”

Mr. Dodwell is, I think, not quite correct here in saying that the writers of the New Testament so applied the terms <TuvT6\eia, and aTroKarao-Tacris p[Of the first of these terms, the usage in the Septuagint is abundant, and as applying to these times. See Dan. ix. 27: xi. 36: xii. 4, 13, &c. Of its use in the New Testament, see p. 133, seq. below. The second of these does not occur in the Septuagint, while the verb anoKa6i<rrrjiu (from the same root) does, and with reference to the events before us : it is in some places too put for the Hebrew, ^Jjfi”!*brought back, i. e. as from captivity. (See p. 84 below, note, and Schleusner, Lex. Vet. Test, under this verb,) Mal. iv. 6: Ps. xvi. 5: Comp. Hos. ii. 3: Jer. xv. 19: xvi. 15 : xxiv. 6: Isai. xxiii. 17. The word cnroKardoracrts occurs but once in the New Testament, viz. Acts iii. 21, and there it evidently refers to the restoration of all things by means of Christianity: i. e. by the power of Christ, as coming in the clouds to establish His Kingdom, and to make ” all things new.”], in order to accommodate themselves to the usages and notions of Plato, and the followers of Hermes Trismegistus. Nothing perhaps can be more certain than, that the Evangelists and Apostles accommodated both their notions, and expressions, to those of the Prophets. And, as the Septuagint Greek translation had applied certain Greek terms in translating the Prophets, &c., they could do no less than adopt them: and these are among those so adopted. That Plato, and others had applied these, when speaking of the same things, is suffi­ciently certain; but then, the probability is strong,—because these notions and terms did not necessarily arise out of anything they knew, or could discover,—that both were taken by them also from the Scriptures in one way or other. [It was a very general belief of the early Fathers, that all the notions of the Philosophers, agreeing with those of Sacred Writers, had been borrowed from these: and, on this assumption some of their best works were written: e. g. The Prseparatio Evangelica of Busebius: much of Justin Martyr, Tatian, Clemens Alexandrinus, Lactantius, &c. The expedient hit upon here by Mr. Dodwell, is the sheet-anchor of the Rationalists of Germany, and is quite as irrational as it would be, to ascribe the opinions of a father to the inventions of his son! See Tertullian on this subject, ” De anima liber,” at the outset, the Prsep. Evangel, of Eusebius, and my Sermons and Dissertations (1830), p. 143, seq.] I have no doubt this was the fact.

Mr, Dodwell proceeds; ” Et quod propius ad hanc Christianorum causam spectabat, credebat Plato (in Politico) novi circuli initio Xdyov esse mundi gubernaculo praeficien-dum, et lona omnia quse Eetatem illam auream comitarentur, ejus esse prsefecturse tribuenda. Nihil certe aliud voluisse Hesiodum ostendit doctissimus Heinslus in eruditissimis suis ad Hesiodum prolegomeriis, quern et Cumcei carminis nomine denotat imitaturque Virgilius. Et tamen Virgilium tanquam sibi ofAo^/rjfftov ad suas partes traxerunt primajvi Christl-ani. [ A good account of the Erythrsean Sibyl, with a copy of her verses, will be found at the end of Eusebius’s ” Constantini Oratio ad Sanc­torum ccetum.” The verses of Virgil, with others, will also be found in the same place as put into Greek by Eusebius, who thinks that the Sibyl was really inspired. The more probable opinion however ‘is, that the substance of the whole of these verses, &c., was borrowed from the Hebrew Scriptures. Lactantius too, makes frequent citations from the Sibylline oracles, some of which are obviously fragments of Scripture. But, what is most important here is the fact, that, at this particular period, the appearance of a remarkable personage who should come out of Judaea to be Sovereign of the world, and the Author of an entirely new state of things, was generally entertained. This is an undoubted truth, and it is an important one. Such person did appear: and such renewal of the world did take place. This constitutes there­fore, an independent testimony to the truth of our conclusions, of no mean character and value. There is another consideration of much moment here: it is the cessation of the Heathen Oracles throughout the world. Mr. Mede’s Sermon on Jer. x. 11, has some excellent remarks on this (p. 76, seq.); Eusebius too declares (my Theophania, p. 135, and note,) that in the times of Hadrian human sacrifice everywhere ceased. The Oracular verses, cited by Mede, are very curious, and quite of a piece with those of our Sibyl.Inde intelligimus,” adds Mr. Dodwell, ” quam recte, et pro horum quoque dogmatum tenore Chriatus Dominus, qui A.o’yos idem fuerit, etiam ap-^aov ft,e’\\ovros altavos fuerit appellandus. Intelligimus prasterea quam e gentilium pariter principiis quibus assueverant primaevi Gkristiani gentlbus oriundi, pariter ac Judceorum de Messia suo traditionibus, proni omnes fuerint ad mundi finem jam jamque affuturam expectarent.” — I do not see very clearly, I must confess, how the converts from the Gentiles could have expected the end of the world, upon their belief in the recurrence of the golden age, and the end of the Cumcei carminus eetas. Nor did the Jews necessarily hold, that their j^n oVi’jjn world to come, or o aiwv o /u.e\\a)v, should bring on with it the dissolution of all things. It was the Christians, who, not know­ing how to separate the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, from the general judgment of the last day, were the originators of this error.

We may pass over Sections xxii. xxiii. xxiv., as affording nothing of moment to our inquiry, and particularly as Mr. Dodwell throws his strength away in endeavouring to remove the time of the End, according to the New Testament, to some indefinitely distant period; in order, as it should seem, to make it quadrate,—as the early Christians did,—with the day of judgment. Let us now see what he has collected for us on this subject from the Fathers; we can then judge for ourselves as to its application and value.

We have already noticed Tertullian’s account of the pray­ers of the Church for a delay of the end. ” Antichristum jam instare,’1” scripsit de Fug. in Persec. c. 12. This is enough for us .at present. ” Jam (§ xxv.) Cypriani tempore quampropinquum crediderunt mundi finem….Antichristum et illi instare credi-derunt. • Decium majorem metatorem Antichristi appellat Lu-ciamts, metaphora a re castrensi deducta…. De Galli perse-cutioneita ipse Cyprianus: ‘ Illorumflenda…concisio, quossic diabolus excaecat, ut aeternse gehennse supplicia non cogitantes, Antichristi jam propinquantis adventum conentur imitari.1 Rursus ad Thilaritanos ita: ‘ Scire enim debetis, et pro certo credere, ac tenere, pressurae diem super caput esse coapisse, et occasum seculi atque Antichristi tempus appropinquasse.'” And, as to the persecutions then going on (ib.), ” Nee quisquam miretur persecutionibus nos assiduis fatigari, et pressuris urgentibus frequenter urgeri, quando hsec futuri in nomssitnis temporibus Dominus ante prsedixerit….Neque ali-quis ex vobis… futures persecutionis metu, aut Antichristi imininentis adventu sic terreatur, ut non…ad omnia inve-niatur armatus. Venit Antichristus, sed et supervenit Chris-tus.” Et ad Cornelium, ” Agnoscitne…quos Antichristus impugnet ?” After much to the same effect, which I think it unnecessary to transcribe, we have, ” Adimplentur qusecunque prasdicta aunt, et appropinquante jam seculi fine, hominum pariter ac temporum probatione venerunt.” [It appears to have been generally held, that, whenever the Anti­christ should fall, all prophecy would be fulfilled: but not a word have we of a restoration of the Jews! On this point the Fathers will gene­rally be consulted in vain, except to deny it.]

‘;Eodem spectant,” adds Dodwell (j xxvi.), ” et ilia, in libro de mortolitate quibus pestilentiam ill am, helium, famem^ &c. e dictis Domini S. Luc. xxi. novissimis temporibus, et regno Dei jam proximo assignat. [The place alluded to is (p. 156,) ” Dominus… hortatu instruons, Ecclesise suse populum ad omnem tolerantiam futurorum, bella, et fames, et terrse motus, et pestilentias per loca singula exsurgere prse-nunciavit, et docuit. Et ne inopinatus nos et novus rerum instan-tium metus quateret, magis ac magis in novissimis temporibus adversa crebescere ante prsemonuit. fiunt,” continues the Martyr, ” ecce quce dicta sunt; et quando fiunt quse ante prsedicta sunt, sequentur et qusecunque promissa sunt, Domino ipso pollicente et dicente, Cum autem videritis hcec omnia fieri, scitote quoniam in proximo est regnum Dei.” (Luc. xxi. 31.) Which, I affirm, is an accurate application of this Scripture. See p. 128 and 459, seq. below, and Dodwell’s note on this place: also ib. p. 162. To the same effect Tertullian (” De Anima,” p. 549.) ” Onerosi sumus mundo, vix nobis elementa sufflciunt. . . dum nos natura non sustinet. Revera lues, et fames, et bella, et voragines civitatum pro remedio deputanda, tanquam tonsura insolescentis generis humani: et tamen cum ejusmodi secures maximam mortalium vim semel ceedant.” Which should shew, that even in his times, these things had taken place to a very considerable extent.] Et de proximo futuris persecutionibus ilia : ‘ Excedunt ecce in pace tutse cum gloria sua virgines, venientis Antichrist! minas et corruptelas et lupanaria non timentes.’ Postea…’Antichristi tempus in-festum appropinquare nunc ccepit,” &c. Mr. Dodwell adds, ” Et quidem in primis persecutionibus id omnium commune ut persecutors omnes pro Antichristis haberentur,” &o. And I say, rightly. Similar matter may be added from the Fathers to some extent; which, however, would add nothing important to our question.

Casting aside then, the notion about the end of the world (in a physical sense), let us see how this bears upon our question. There can be no doubt, I think, that these Fathers believed their own times to be those styled, “the times of the end” [Nothing is more common in these Fathers, than to speak of the times of the end, as being those in which they lived: this is as much the cage with those termed Apostolic, as with others. In these the usage was good, and truly Apostolic: but as they had it not in their power, from the nature of the case, to determine the scriptural limit of these: and, as their successors had not sagacity enough for the inquiry; this usage,—just as among ourselves,—became destitute of meaning, and has continued so to this very day! To what has been said below (p. 99, seq.) as to this period, I will now add a place (Heb. ix. 26,) which will be sufficient of itself to shew, that the physical world could not be meant: viz. ” Now once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin,” &c. As this is opposed to ” the foundation of the world,” it may be imagined that, an end corresponding to this beginning, must be meant:—a canon not to be relied on, as shewn above:—the fact of the case however proves the contrary; as also does the establishment of the New Covenant: the old one having passed away.] in Scripture. The terras of our Lord’s remarkable prediction alone, were sufficient to fix this belief; for he had actually placed the commencement of these within the generation then existing, and the end of them to be, when the Gospel should have been preached in all nations. The Apostacy too, which he had foretold, and to which St. Paul alluded (2 Thess. ii. 3) had now taken place. The persecutions had begun throughout the whole Roman Empire. Many of the Saints had fallen. The times moreover to abound in wars, rumours of wars, plagues, pestilences, famines, earthquakes, and the like, had actually arrived. The Gospel had been preached throughout the world, though it had not yet received the support which the Divine mind intended. ‘Still all was in progress: all this these Fathers knew and believed. The full end had not come in their times; and, be it observed, it was out of their power to say when it should, as. shewn above. All, therefore, that could be then known on this question, they certainly knew, they believed, they taught; and upon the strength of this, they went to prison and to death, with the greatest alacrity, and indeed pleasure.

Dismissing therefore, every thing about the Sabbatical Millennium as a mere Jewish figment, every thing about the end of the world (in a physical sense), and the general day of judgment; of the period of which prophecy knows nothing : I conclude that the Church was, in these early times, essentially in possession of the truth .on this important question; and of this too, very much as it is laid down in the following work. I have therefore a right to conclude, that the ancient mode of prophetical interpretation is here restored in the main, and that both Mr. Mede and Dr. Todd have not only misunderstood the Fathers on this subject, but they have endeavoured to set up a system of interpretation, at once in its character groundless, and in its results opposed to that adopted by them. And I will affirm, that, whatever the plausibilities may be, that have been, or may hereafter be, set forth by ingenious men on this subject, there is no other system that can be reasonably proposed for belief, or satisfactorily maintained.

Having then so far considered the systems of Mr. Mede, and Dr. Todd, it may be thought that something should now be said on the question relating to the Jews, and on the arguments usually advanced in favour of their restoration, &c. My reply must be : Enough perhaps will be found on both these points in our first Book on the Covenants (pp. 1—132), if not to satisfy every inquirer, certainly to shew that this subject has generally been very imperfectly understood.

On the arguments usually advanced in favour of a restoration of the Jews, something will be found in the notes on a Sermon preached, some years ago by the Bishop of London, before the Society for promoting Christianity among the Jews (pp. 5—6,16, 23, 30, 33—34, 37, 39, 41—3, 86—7, 90, 97). I selected this Sermon, because it has been often brought forward, as the most authoritative and best written summary on this subject. If it be said that the high station of the Bishop should have shielded him from any searching inquiry on these matters, my answer must be, This has appeared to me to constitute the strongest reason for doing so. Station is apt to supply a power and popularity to arguments, which they would otherwise never possess ; and, as the arguments so advanced are ill-grounded, and at the same time derogatory to the character of Christianity, I deemed it my duty to meet them in their strongest hold, and to expose their weakness when recommended under the most commanding auspices. I have certainly been greatly surprised, that the Bishop should have thought of coming forward to advocate opinions, very popular indeed, but which are so destitute of any foundation in truth.

I may now advert to the darkening effect, which this popular mode of interpretation has had upon the Old Tes­tament generally, and hence to a certain extent upon the New. No one, I am sure, can look through the Tomes of the Critici Sacri, the Synopsis of Poole, the Scholia of the younger Rosenmuller, the publications of Gesenius, Ewald, Hengstengberg, and even of the enlightened Vitringa and others, without feeling that much is involved in gloom impenetrable. Great ingenuity and critical learning will indeed ever secure to their possessors popularity at least: such were Bishops Lowth, Horsley, Warburton, and Jebb ; the school of Ken-nicott generally, in England, and of Mendelsohn in Germany. All has been elegance, ingenuity, and some learning: but the Theology of Scripture has been little regarded, and less understood. The fashion of modern Germany is still worse: the ingenuity put forth is great, the learning considerable ; but the Theology is heterodox, and heathenish ! With much less learning and show, the early Christian writers came much nearer to the intention of Holy Writ, and put forth infinitely more of its spirit. The want of a knowledge of the world had, indeed, often the effect of recommending to them many plausible fancies which promised much, but gave little: such were their attachments to monastic institutions, ascetic exercises, excessive figurative inter­pretations of Scripture, and much too great an indulgence in the metaphysics of Plato and Aristotle. Judaism had moreover its effects upon them, as shewn above; as it certainly has had upon ourselves. I do hope and trust, that all such things will, in future, be superseded by those which shall make the study of the Bible more a work of investigation than of conjecture, and the fruits of this a much higher appreciation of its contents, and of the system of faith which it so mercifully lays before us.

I have now merely to notice a work published by me in 1830, [Six Sermons on the Study of Holy Scripture, with two Dissertations, and an Exposition of the Book of Revelation. London, 1830.] giving an outline of the system here proposed and carried out. My main object in this was to suggest, whether the system, generally adopted by the earlier Fathers of the Church, was not more consistent both with the letter and spirit of Holy Scripture, more conformable with the requirements of criticism, and with the character of Christianity as taught by the Apostles and believed among us, than that usually had recourse to. This outline occupied a little more than 150 octavo pages; and it was hoped, would be refuted as to principle, if it were found to be wrong; for in this its sole peculiarity consisted. On the question of its details it was not my intention to contend with any one. In these, I freely confessed that, in some instances, I felt nothing like confidence. The truth is, the question was to me a new one; and, on that account, I allowed I did not very clearly see the whole of my way before me.

All however that has appeared on this work, has been confined to a few of its details;—and here I thank Mr. Elliott, and all others who have offered their opinions on these. Time had convinced me, that some of them were incorrect. On the question of principle, however, not a word has been said, as far as I know : although I know, that some endeavours were made on this point, by gentlemen quite equal to the task; and who were, by the requirements of their office, called upon to do so. Yet, for some reason or other, these proved fruitless. In the mean time, I received from some on whose judgment I could rely, the assurance that the principles advanced by me, deserved a better trial than I had given them. I determined therefore to continue my in­quiries, which I accordingly did: and the result has been, the Work now before the Public. In the Dissertation (Part ii.), prefixed to my Theophania of Eusebius, the period of the time of the end was resumed and discussed ; but here, as before, I failed in some particulars, while the conclusion was, in the main, correct.

I have still by me in manuscript, this inquiry prosecuted to a much greater length than it is here, and involving a much larger number of particulars : but, as I have deemed it best, first to investigate, and to publish, what was most important on this question generally, I have reserved these other particulars for publication (D.V.) at some future period, should it appear desirable to do so. This question is, as Dr. Todd has very truly remarked, in its infancy. It seemed to me therefore, unwise now to advance particulars, for which the public mind is not prepared, and into which it can hardly be expected to enter, until the grounds on which they stand, shall have been more extensively investigated and adopted. My principles, I am inclined to believe, are unas­sailable. To supply all the necessary detail, must be the work of time. I have offered that which has appeared to me sufficient for the present; others will no doubt see fur­ther, be able to add much, and to correct much. If however, I have succeeded in pointing out the better way,— which I cannot help thinking is the case,—then it will be my duty to thank God for having so far assisted me; and shall trust, that the great result will eventually be, the extension of His Kingdom, and the advancement of His Glory.

Having therefore shewn, as I trust, the necessity of some further effort for the solution of the great problem of prophetical interpretation, and having offered what I believe to be adequate to that end, I now commit the whole to the consideration and judgment of an impartial and generous Public.



Chapter 1

Sect. 1.—General Remarks on the Nature of Revelation.

BEFORE we can enter on the interpretation of the Bible with any prospect of success, it will be necessary to consider some of its leading characteristics. Any book indeed, coining down from ancient times, written in a language that has long ceased to be vernacular, and alluding to opinions and customs not now generally entertained, will demand a similar investigation: and this, I believe, is universally allowed. The reason is obvious; without this there would be no reasonable hope of understanding fairly, and fully, its contents. The Book now before us has moreover, its own peculiarities, and these constitute its chief excellencies. It claims to be a Revelation from the Author of our nature, and to propound fully and distinctly the knowledge and means of salvation necessary to every soul of man, and without which it never can attain to the happy immortality for which, even nature suggests, it has been created; and at which, by the means that this Revelation propounds, it can assure itself that it shall finally arrive. These means it has developed under various Dispensations, the nature of which will, of necessity, greatly influence the principles to be applied in its interpretation: of this we shall presently offer abundant exemplification. We claim therefore, for the due interpretation of this Book, nothing more than the nature of the case requires, and nothing more than what is granted in all similar cases; that is to say, a strict regard to its own character, and to the modes of thinking and acting, under which those who committed it to writing lived and died.

The Dispensations then, under which these means of salvation have been developed, are according to the Bible three: that is, the modes under which religious belief and wor­ship have been conducted, have amounted to this number;— religion itself remaining essentially the same under them all. They have been termed the Patriarchal, the Mosaic, and the Christian. The Patriarchal and Mosaic however, differed not greatly, except in the number of their rites, and the extent to which these were applicable: the former extend­ing to all mankind without reserve or limit; the latter, to the descendants of Abraham only, and this generally within the limits of Canaan. Both these exhibited in their various services and ceremonies types and shadows of things to come. The Mosaic indeed, added much to these, while it greatly contracted the sphere of their application. These two Dis­pensations therefore, so far resembling each other in object, may for all practical purposes, and as far as we are con­cerned, be considered as containing the essentials of the First Covenant [By which I mean, the promise of a Redeemer given to our first parents in the garden of Eden, Gen. iii. 15. The covenant made with Noah, Abraham, and others afterwards, was, in fact, a renewal of this with some additional particulars]. and as such they have generally been understood. The Christian Dispensation, propounded in our Reve­lation as the last, and to which none other shall succeed [The united testimony of the Prophets and Evangelists is, that the kingdom of the Son of Man, i.e. Christianity, is everlasting. In Dan. ii. 44, we are also told, that it, i. e. the kingdom, shall not be left to any other people: i.e. as successors to it.], may likewise be styled with propriety, the Second, or New Covenant: and by this name it is generally known.

Now any Book, claiming to be a Revelation from God, as our Bible does, ought at the same time to bring with it grounds sufficient to insure the belief of this: which cannot be done among men, except by advancing proofs such as mere man cannot; otherwise all may be deception and fraud: it may be only the production of man, while it claims to come from man’s Creator; and hence may be made the means of seconding the views—it may be—of the most artful and worst of mankind, at the expense both of the lives and liberties of others.

How then, could such proof be advanced in the first ages of the world,—and to these the Bible carries us,—that the document so put forth was of Divine authority ? The answer is, This could be done only in one of the two follow­ing ways: either by the immediate appearance of the Deity Himself, or else by the performance of acts, to which men as such are unequal. Nothing, I say, short of one or other of these, could be satisfactory to reasonable beings in those days. To men of succeeding times, the fulfilment of predictions then made, and of which they could judge at all times, could, in like manner, alone be satisfactory. No other kind of evidence can be deemed sufficient in this latter case. I now affirm,—and the following pages will supply abundant proof of this,—that such evidence has been afforded in the richest variety, and to an almost incredible extent; and that this is so obvious and plain, that he who runs may read it, and that he who reads cannot but understand it. This point then, being established, the authority of the Bible will be binding upon us : and this again being done, our belief will be reasonably demanded on those earlier revelations of the Almighty Himself which are said to have been made, and also on those miraculous events recorded as having taken place. But of many of these we also have other evidence, as of the Deluge, the Call of Abra­ham, the Deliverance of the Israelites from Egypt, the Fall of Jerusalem, the Dispersion of the Jews, the Destruction of the Roman Empire, and the miraculous propagation of Christianity.

It has been said that the two former Dispensations, known generally under the name of the First Covenant, exhibited typical rites and ceremonies, i. e. indicating or shadowing out,—dramatically as it were—things to come. Under this First Covenant a promise was made, even in the earliest times, of a future Redeemer, who should be born in a miraculous way, and should then overcome the tempter and ruiner of mankind. The very peculiar manner in which this promise is worded, must have been given for the pur­pose of enabling us to know, whether any one making claim to this were, or were not, the Person so promised. For this purpose too, many other marks were given by the prophets, such as to determine the time, place, circumstances, and consequences, of his birth; and this again in such a man­ner as to make deception quite impossible. But, under this First Covenant, the very rites and ceremonies, as well as many other particulars, presently to be noticed, were also made declaratory, i. e. typically, of this great event, of its privileges, and of its consequences. So that under this First Covenant, we may be said to have had two distinct and dif­ferent sorts of enunciations or predictions of the same things : the one in words, the other in rites and ceremonies per­formed ; both of which should receive their fulfilment when the great Antitype, attended by the particulars and consequences so foretold, should have appeared.

The revelations so made under this First Covenant, must have been visible, tangible, and, in other respects, such as men could examine and pronounce upon, from the evidence of their senses. And such they were : such was the deliverance of Noah at the time of the Deluge; of the Israelites from Egypt; of their sustenance during their forty years’ sojourn in the desert; the appearance of God on mount Sinai; the passage of the Jordan under Joshua; and the conquering of Canaan. Of these things, I say, men could see and judge; and the testimony of the Bible is here that of those who lived when they took place. Of many of those that happened under the Mosaic Dispensation, profane history gives similar testimony. We have therefore, in these cases, all that we can reasonably require.

If then, under this First Covenant many of these occur­rences, as well as the rites and ceremonies, were generally shadowy and typical, it will follow,—supposing that the New Covenant, or Christian Dispensation, was shadowed out by them;—and this we shall shew is the case,—that the realities, tangible and visible, so typifying or shadowing out others, not being the very things [3 In St. Paul’s words, not the very image of the things. Heb. x. 1. The words seem to imply, a shadow as cast by an image: the image, in such case, will be the reality, as opposed to the shadow.] shadowed out, would necessarily imply those of a different and, as it should seem, of a superior character: and, according to the reasoning of the Apos­tle Paul and of others his fellows, this was actually the case. The visible and tangible system of the First Covenant typified or shadowed forth, and so foretold, others—as we shall presently see,—which should not be visible or tangible to the senses, but by the apprehension of faith. Spiritual things were here shadowed forth, and these can only be spi­ritually discerned [4 1 Cor. ii. 14.]. The system of evidence therefore, afforded by the real and substantial character of these, would in ” the fulness of time,” and when the New Covenant should be established, no longer be wanted: it would have been continued through a period long enough to make it binding, and then would be superseded by another, claiming the entire faith of men in all its appointments. To look therefore, for a system purely spiritual under the First Covenant, would be to look for that, which would neither suit the circumstances of those times, nor could contribute satisfactorily to our information now : as indeed every one must see. And in like manner, to think of retaining any thing of the tangible and visible elements of those times under the New Covenant, which is purely and exclusively spiritual, cannot but evince an utter disregard of its character [5 And yet the Bishop of London tells us, in his sermon preached before the Society for the Conversion of the Jews (London, 1843. p. 8), that even the Jews are yet to act some very important part towards perfecting the Christian Church. His words are: “It has been too customary with Christians to look upon the Jews as a people who, having performed the part allotted to them, have been laid aside… Their continued existence… has been pointed out as a verification of the word of God.” The place here had in view is perhaps Lev. xxvi. 44, 45 : When they shall be in the land of their enemies, I will not east them away, neither will I abhor them, to destroy them utterly, and to break my covenant with them… that / might be their God. It is positively declared here, that God would not utterly destroy them, so as to annul the covenant on His part, which He had made with the fathers. This would have been atoKy to have rejected them, so as not to have left them the means of a return to mercy: a thing which St. Paul positively denies (Rom. xi.), as we shall shew hereafter. Their preservation therefore, has two objects before it; one, the verifying of God’s word, as to their rejection and sufferings under this; another, His faithfulness to the covenant on His part, and His mercy and love for the sake of their fathers. In this case therefore, they may return : but it is not hence to be inferred that they certainly will. And if they return at all, it must be to Christ: and then they will cease to be Jews ; they must now receive the ” new name” (Isa. txii. 2; lxv. 15) : and again, this return and new name they can receive only through the mercy of the Church (Rom. xi. 31). It is absurd there­fore, to imagine, that the Jews have been preserved, in order that they might, as Jews, and as a nation, come into the Church, and thence bring about some important improvements in it. Besides, as a nation they are unknown to holy Writ. See Hos. i. 9, and Rom. ix. 25, 26. When the bishop tells us then, that ” the Jews have still an important part to act in the development of the Christian Dispensation,” I must be allowed to tell him, that he is mistaking Christianity for Judaism; the requirements of the New, for those of the Old, Covenant; and indeed acting over again the very things which St. Paul has so strongly, frequently, and justly, reprobated.

Jews, under their spiritual blindness, can be expected to know and to do no better; while Christians, professing to live under the new and spiritual system of the Apostles doing so, must be altogether inexcusable.

If then this may be relied on, it will follow that we must, in interpreting both the words, and signs, of predictions given under the First Covenant, be careful to bear in mind the exclusively spiritual nature of the things so foretold. If, for example, the land of Canaan was given to the Jews during ” their generations'” only, and until the fulness of time should come, when Abraham (the Father of many nations) should become the spiritual ” heir of the world [Rom. iv. 13],” and his spiritual seed should accordingly take possession of the herit­age of the heathen;—and the same is true of Circumcision, the Priesthood, the Sabbaths, and every thing peculiar to the Theocracy,—as we shall presently shew;—then can no prediction made under the First Covenant, and mentioning by name any one of these things, be so interpreted fairly under the Second, as implying in any sense the shadowy system, persons, rites, ceremonies, or places, then in being. Abraham’s [It is interesting to observe that, while the Jews pertinaciously cling to the name of Abraham, they cast behind their backs the great truth which it was intended always to carry with it!] (not Abram’s) seed are now that spiritual seed which tread in the steps of the faith of Abraham: circumcision is now, that of the heart: the true scriptural Jew is now, the Jew who is one inwardly: the inheritance of Abraham is now, not merely Canaan, but Canaan absorbed in the inheritance of the whole world, of which Abraham was the spiritual heir, and which must necessarily now be possessed by his spiritual seed. The Jerusalem which is above,—the spiritual Head and Temple of which is now there,—is the mother of us all: while that which now is, and is represented tangibly under Sinai in Arabia, and under the system there delivered seeks to live, is in bondage with her-children [Gal. iv. 25, 26, seq.]: while believers of that nation, in the days of the Apostle, assembled together in the ” Heavenly Jerusalem”—as far as that could be known on earth— and in ” the City of the Living God [Heb. xii. 22, seq.],” the Zion which He has declared He loves more than all the dwellings of Jacob [Ps. Lxxxvii. 2.]. Not indeed, that the earthly Jerusalem was then, or is now, excluded. The first assemblies of our Zion met there, and there re­ceived the consecration necessary to their calling; which, in truth, sealed the new holy of Holies on earth [Dan. ix. 24. Acts ii. 2, seq.], i. e. the Church of the Living God: that, I say, to which the Law, the Prophets, and the Holy Ghost,—its invisible, but sensible, Shekinah,—give their powerful and united testi­mony [Heb. viii., ix., x.].

If then, the First Covenant has now passed away,—and this inspired authority declares is the fact [This consideration will supply us with the best solution of the question, as to when we are to interpret literally, or not; it involves the necessary elements of this most important point, and will never fail to shew us how we should act with reference to the subject-matter before us. If Origen and his followers on the one hand, and the Judaizers of all times on the other, had duly attended to this, the confusion, which has so greatly perplexed the Church, would hare never had an existence.] and to this, as we shall presently see, the nature of the case gives the most abundant testimony;—then is Canaan no longer the peculiar and exclusive country of the descendants of Abraham, who must now be the spiritual seed: and, in this sense, they succeed to the heritage of the Gentiles: of which they have indeed long ago taken possession, as we shall shew hereafter. No return from captivity therefore, foretold under the Theocracy, and which did not take place within its times, can possibly be now made to signify a return to the Canaan of the Theocracy: no more than can a return ” to Zion, the heavenly Jerusalem, and City of the Living God [Heb. 1. c.],” be supposed to imply a return to the services of the Jewish Temple, to the Jerusalem which now is, and is in bondage with her children, or to any mere earthly locality what­soever. The thing is, on principle, at once absurd and wrong: absurd, because it recurs to the times of a system which have long ago passed away: wrong, because the mere locality to which such return would be made, would be adverse to the requirements of the New Covenant, and would therefore be to a place of bondage, not of deliverance, for this also is now exclusively spiritual: it is therefore only to be had where the Law and the Prophets declare, with one voice, it should be found, when the fulness of time should have come, that is,—as we shall shew more particularly here­after,—when the Old Covenant should have wholly passed away, and the New have been fully established.

Besides, Captivity can now be considered, under our purely and, exclusively spiritual system, as spiritual only. We can now know, for the same reasons, of no earthly Babylon, Edom, Moab, or the like. Any Babylon, &c. so now existing, and oppressing the spiritual seed of Abraham, can only be viewed as spiritual. The whole world is now the inheritance of Abraham’s spiritual seed. In such case therefore, Where, I ask, can be the place from which a return can be made; place being now entirely out of the question ? And, again, Who shall point out the locality and place of return ? Canaan having long ago lost its exclusive peculiarity in this respect. The Old Covenant must, to make this necessary, be re-established either wholly, or in part: which would be to Judaize to the same extent, and to bring every one doing so, immediately under the anathema of the Apostle Paul [Gal. i. 8, 9. The last verse of which limits this to the Gospel,— not as developed by some hocus-pocus of Romish cunning, – but to that then received by the Galatians.]. And once more, The New Covenant knows of no exclusively favoured land whatsoever. To claim any locality as a possession under it, would be manifestly groundless: to claim any whatsoever under that Covenant which has passed away, clearly foolish.

And once more, should even the land as given to the Fathers, and as possessed by them, be named as the place of such return; still, this would limit such prediction to Canaan only, supposing it be confined to the times of the Theocracy : but, supposing it to extend to the times of the New Covenant, then—under its governing principle—must the land given, signify that given to Abraham by the Covenant properly termed “everlasting,” and must include the heritage of the heathen: the land so possessed, must be that possessed by faith, which in them realized the substance of things not seen. And this, we shall presently see, the terms of prediction absolutely require.

Before, however, we can bring what has now been said to this test of the revealed Word, we must offer a few more considerations on its nature, and on the principles necessary to its interpretation: we shall then be in a situation to come to our proofs more fully and particularly. We have seen then, that certain things foretold under the elementary system of the First Covenant, and which should come to pass under another of an entirely spiritual character, must be regarded and interpreted as exclusively belonging to it, and as partaking of its nature. We have now to shew then, that it was also customary under this first system, not merely to speak of things relating to the rites, ceremonies, and the like, of that system, as shadowing out others of a more spiritual one; but also of persons, things, and even of events, as implying others likewise to take place of an entirely spiritual nature. This usage, as to speech only, prevails to some extent in all languages and countries, and is termed Metaphor. It consists for the most part, in applying language, naturally and primarily expressive of things visible and tangible, to others having some analogy with them, but which are of an abstract, invisible, and untangible character. Without such usages indeed, the appliances of language would be extremely limited, and quite unsuitable to the purposes of life. This every one must see. But it is not of this, carried out only as far as necessity requires, that we now speak; it is of an extraordinary extension of it, taken apparently from the shadowy and typical system of the First Covenant, and then applied to the common occurrences of life, or the acts, or characters, of individuals, or of kingdoms, whether as sub­jects of history, or of prophecy.

Under this usage, Zedekiah [1 Kings xxii.] made him horns of iron, and said to the king of Israel, ” with these shalt thou push the Syrians,” tyc. Isaiah walked naked and barefoot [” Ch. xx. 3.], Ezekiel was made to exhibit himself as carrying on a siege [Ch. iv. 3.], took a quantity of hair, and beat it about with a knife [Ch. v. 2.]; digged a hole through the wall, and carried out his stuff as if going into captivity [Ch. xii. 3. seq.]. So also Isaiah and his children were made signs to Israel [Ch. viii. 18.]; their names, enunciations of future events, as in Shear-Jashub, Mahershalalhashlaz [Ch. vii. 3; viii. 1.], and the like. Jeremiah bought a portion of land in Anathoth [Ch. xxxii. 7.]: cast his girdle into the Euphrates [Ch. xiii. 4.]; was sent to pull down, destroy, build, plant [Ch. i. 10.], &c.; where the declaration only, was made equal to the events themselves, and all were made subjects of prophecy.

As to Events which are the subjects of prophecy, both in their primary and secondary acceptations. The pre­dicted fall of Babylon by Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and others in their times, and literally to take place, was intended also to shadow out the fall of a mystical and spiritual Babylon under the New Covenant, and can fully be under­stood under no other view of it, even in the Prophets, as will be shewn in its proper place. The same is true of the predic­tions of the fall of Egypt, Idumea, Moab, Ammon, Philistia, Tyre, Zidon, Damascus, Assyria, Gog, Magog, &c., as we shall also shew hereafter; which, although real predictions, and as such received a literal fulfilment, do nevertheless mystically shadow out—as enemies of the true Church in their several days—their entire fall also as its heathen enemies, when God should make bare his My arm in the sight of all the nations. And hence it is, that in the New Testament the fall of these powers, as also that of Sodom and Gomor­rah, is made to describe that of the Antichrist and his fellows, and even hell itself, as inflicting the vengeance of eternal fire [Jude 7.]: the judgment too foretold in Daniel to be inflicted on the little horn, which should make war on the saints, that of the final judgment of the great day, as we shall shew in its place.

But it is not to places only that such declarations apply: it is also to persons. The king of Babylon is in this way made, in his assumption of Deity and claimed place among the constellations [Isa. x;y. 13.], to shadow out the Antichrist who should also make a similar claim, and should fall in like manner, and by the same power. This has been done as we shall shew hereafter, by Isaiah, Daniel, Jeremiah, and others, in their predictions of the fall of this king, or rather system of rule. The same is also done with regard to the king of Egypt, Tyre, and others: and in this way Jannes and Jambres opposing Moses, are made by St. Paul to represent the opposers of the Apostles. The enemies of the Israelites in the desert, particularly Amalek, Moab, and Edom, should, it is said, fall, i. e. in a spiritual sense, when He, who is foretold as the Star to come out of Jacob, should appear, and smite all its corners, and destroy the children of Sheth [Num. xxiv. 17.]. And again, it is in this way that Moses is, as a prophet, , leader, lawgiver, and king [Dcut. xviii. 15.], likened to Christ; so also is Joshua, David, Solomon, Eliakim, Joshua the high Priest [Zech. iii.], and even Adam in some sense [Rom. v. 14.]. In this way too, Jerusalem and Zion are, in their best days, made to represent the Church under the New Covenant, as Canaan also is the whole world, when it should have become the spiritual heritage of Abraham’s seed [Ps. cv. 9—11]. In like manner also, the establish­ment of the Christian Church, and the deliverance which it should afford to fallen man, was to be “after the manner of Egypt [Isa. x. 24,]:” the Woman [Rev. xii. 1], i.e. Zion, its spiritual mother, to be delivered from the spiritual Egypt, and Sodom [Rev. xi. 8.], of its first days; that is, from the Jerusalem which then was, and still is, in bondage with her children, and is its enemy: she too escaped into the desert; was in like manner there to be tried, and made white and clean: to be there beset by the Edomites, Ishmaelites [Ps. Lxxxiii. 6], and others of those days, headed and instigated by the great red Dragon, that old Serpent, the Devil: there she was to sustain the warfare in much suffering, much faith and patience: there to lengthen her cords even to the extremities of the earth, to strengthen her stakes, and to become more than a conqueror under the powerful guidance, unceasing love, and favour of her husband and spouse, who is, and ever shall be, the king op kings, and lord of lords.

It would be endless to pursue this subject to the extent of which it is capable: it shall suffice now to adduce a few instances connected with it, happening in the usages of the New Testament. ” Lazarus is not dead, but sleepeth” said our blessed Lord to His disciples: when they mistook His meaning for that of taking rest in sleep [John xi. 11.]. On another occasion he says, “Lift up your eyes, and loot; on the fields; for they are white already to harvest.” It is added [John iv. 35, 36.], ” And he that reapeth receiveth wages, and gather eth fruit unto life eter­nal : that both he that soweth, and he that reapeth, may rejoice together? Where, let it be observed, the transition is most abruptly made, and can be perceived only from a careful consideration of the nature of the context: this is true in all such cases, and therefore requires the greatest possible care in the interpreter; and from the want of which, the greatest confusion possible to be conceived has resulted.

In like manner [Matt. ix. 37, 38.], ” The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few” our Lord directing His followers, probably to what was then taking place before their eyes. He adds, ” Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he send forth labourers into his harvest.” (Comp. Isa. v. 1. seq. with Matth. xxi. 33, seq.)

So again, in the case of the Samaritan woman (John iv. 10, seq), “If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Me, and he would have given thee living water” And here, as it might be expected, the woman failed to catch his meaning. She could see nothing beyond the tangible and visible things before her, just as it is the case now with the Jews, ignorant, — as indeed are all such,—of the Canon, which alone could supply to his discourse its true and proper interest; viz. (as v. 24), ” God is a Spirit; and they that worship him, must worship him in spirit and in truth.”” She had no conception whatever of his meaning. A similar case occurs a little lower down, viz. in verses 31—35.

Of this sort too is the place, ” / am that tread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat, and not die [John vi. 4. seq.].” Here, be it observed, the Jews, Romanists, and many others, seeing that a natural death is intended in the first case, should conclude that a natural death must also be meant in the second; which would be manifestly absurd, and at variance with the fact. The verse next preceding, is moreover sufficient to determine the spiritual truth intended: but, should this fail, verse 63, in which the principle regulating the whole discourse is given, must set all right. The principle which guides Jews, Romanists, and some others, in such cases, is indeed a very plausible one; but it is as false as it is plausible, and is never to be relied upon. The context alone in all such cases will, if duly considered, supply the sense intended.

Of this sort again, are all Parables: they put a case as a fact, just as facts are put and taken in the instances noticed above. From this some moral or spiritual inference is then drawn, recommended, and urged, as in the remarkable example, ” Go, and do thou likewise [Luke x. 37.].” Parables also are occasionally made predictive, as in Isaiah (v. 1), as compared with what is given by our blessed Lord (Matth. xxi. 33): for it can be of little consequence in what way a truth, pro­phetical or otherwise, be delivered, provided the means used be clear and precise. The Fables of Aesop, the Hitopadesa of the Hindoos with its various versions, are all of this sort, except that they rise no higher than moral lessons, and can make no pretence whatever to prediction properly so called. All these several modes of stating truths have these advantages, that they embody them as it were, that is, they present them under visible and tangible forms; hence they are readily comprehended, and easily remembered. They are moreover, never put forth without exciting, at the same time, all the interest peculiar to valuable historical relation.

In all such instances, the case so put, or the event, person, place, or circumstance so stated, prophetically or otherwise, may be considered as the theme, or substratum, of such dis­course, and as introduced, not indeed to claim our principal or main attention, but rather, to direct us to some other thing, so intended to be taught and urged. The predicted fall of Babylon was a circumstance of interest and importance to the Jews, as it implied their deliverance from that power. It likewise afforded an incontestible proof, that the hand of God was to be so put forth. But the main thing intended was, the intimation to believers of the fall of the mystical Babylon, the source and mother of idolatry and of sin; and, at the same time, of the establishment by Divine Power of the Church of the New Covenant. In this way it was, that the Prophets of those days ministered ” not to themselves, but unto us, the things which are reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven” (1 Pet. i. 12.) The same may be said of the fall of Egypt, Assyria, Moab, Amman, Idumea, and other places. The main thing intended was, the Divine institution of the Christian Church: and of this, the actual and literal fall of these Powers and Places, was given as a voucher. So likewise, in the fall of the king of Babylon, assuming as he did the attributes of Deity, and prefiguring in these respects the Antichrist, the main and principal thing intended was, the power of Christ to be put forth in the fulness of time for his destruction: where, as before, these facts subserve the purpose of evidence for the confirmation of our faith, while faith itself is more particularly exerted and enjoyed, in dwelling on the Power, the Faithfulness, the Love, the Mercy, and Grace of the Saviour, so revealed, and made available to all believers. In like manner too, the Jerusalem and Zion of old, established, defended, supported, made to triumph, by the immediate power of God during its times, serves to assure us, as evidence, that none but the Almighty could have been its founder and king; while the glories and consummate grace of the universal and never-ending empire of the New Jerusalem, and Zion, under the Son of Man, was intended to be the great object put forth; the unspeakably glorious consummation, under which Jew and Gentile, Barbarian, Scythian, bond and free, should be made the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty; the waste howling wilderness of the world, then filled with the habitations of cruelty, should not only be made to blossom as the rose, but also thus to represent—as far as this could be done,—an inheritance, and mansions, even in the heaven of heavens, such as ear had not heard of, nor eye seen, neither hath it entered into the heart of man to conceive; of an immortality as glorious as it should be enduring, and as happy and blessed as it should be glorious and eternal [Hence those highly spiritual descriptions of the Church, as given in the Psalms, Prophets, and in the book of the Revelation in particular, afford to us the only intimations of the state of glorified spirits in heaven, of which we can have any adequate conception. The Christian Church, considered in the abstract, is hence termed “The kingdom of heaven” and often ” heaven itself,” in the New Testament; because it is the beginning of that glorious state: and, because, when carried out to its highest point, affords a full assurance of hope, that it shall be consummated there; of which indeed the imperfect nature of man is incapable here.]

Sect. 2.—On the purely religious nature of Revelation, and its necessary requirements of real religion in those professing to receive it. Prophecy and its necessary character and requirements.

The same considerations may also be extended to other things contained in our Revelation or Covenants : for, in­asmuch as their objects are purely religious, i. e. the inculcation of true Spiritual religion, the events of its history, whether of creation, time, persons, or place, are in truth but subordinate to others of far greater moment, and of infinitely greater extent and value: namely, the means of salvation as thus afforded to every soul of man, through the amazing condescension, humiliation, suffering, and triumphs of the Redeemer. This is the one thing needful to all : all can understand it: all stand equally in need of it; and all are capable of being made partakers of its riches and its glories. The things subordinate to this, and on which it is necessarily suspended, are valuable, nay indeed absolutely necessary, as affording the information that our God is the world’s Creator and its Governour, and that He is also our Redeemer [John i. 1.], our Elder Brother, Prophet, Priest, and King. The knowledge of the former here, subserves the purposes of faith as to the latter, and affords a ground, visible and firm as creation itself, on which this faith can stand. But then, as to the knowledge of this only—like all other mere know­ledge—the head only will be informed, the heart not im­proved : it will carry a man to the New Jerusalem, but it will neither admit him there, nor give him the garment white and clean, which alone can make him an acceptable guest at the supper there prepared. The same may be said of its chronology, topography, its Canaan [It is worthy of the remark,—particularly as opinions must in ancient times have greatly influenced language,—that the Hebrew knows of no such expression as holy land, holy city, &c., because things, places, and the like, could not, by a people abhorring idolatry, be called holy. Hence, land of holiness, city of holiness, $c. are the usages adopted by them: and this necessarily implied the presence of holiness, either in God, or His peculiar people, But take these away, —as it is the case with everything Jewish,—and Jerusalem is no city of holiness: Canaan, no land of holiness. It is a gross misnomer therefore, to style Jerusalem the holy city now, as it is Canaan the holy land, in any exclusive sense: and in no other are they so called. It is equally erroneous to consider the Jews a holy people, the holy people, or the like: both because Isaiah has plainly declared, as also has Saint Peter, that another is the holy people; and because Divine authority has also affirmed that they have ceased to be a people. How the Bishop of London could then, in his Sermon (p. 9), as cited above, say that the Jews should as a nation, ” be principal agents in its (i. e. Christianity’s) closing, as they were in its opening scenes,” let the candid reader judge.], its theocratical rites and ceremonies, the miracles attending these; the Jews its once favoured people, and all its other shadowy circumstances and particulars. Everything, going no farther than its letter, constitutes not its great object: while everything connected with this has also its use, and that such as cannot be dispensed with. To talk now therefore, of Jews, or of the land once known as that of holiness [45 See p. 16, note.], as if connected in any way with the essentials of the New Covenant, and as if this were to be influenced, in any degree, by things never rising in their best times higher than things subordinate, is to mistake the instruments for the things to be effected by their use; the shadows for the substance; the times, persons, and things, of an elementary dispensation, for those to which they were intended to lead as schoolmasters, and as ministering servants only.

When therefore, we say that predictions,—whether given by symbols, as in the sacrifices and the like of the Theocracy; or in parables, as noticed above,—may be taken as foretelling certain events, adumbrating under these mystically certain moral or spiritual truths; we do not inculcate a double, triple, &c. interpretation of prophecy, in the true sense of those terms: and by which is usually meant, that any prediction may at one time receive a partial fulfilment; at another, another; and, at last, its complete literal one [See Bishop Horsley’s Sermons, passim,]. For if events as such, are thus to be dealt with, it will be impossible for any one to say, before the final day of judgment, at what time any event whatsoever has received its last and complete fulfilment: which, to my apprehension, is to make prophecy,— the more sure word in the days of St. Peter [2 Ep. i. 19.],—the most unsure one that can be imagined; and virtually to commit all prophecy to the fancy of every individual interpreter; and hence again,—as the fact has proved,—to render prophecy a thing rather to be dreaded than loved; to be avoided than had recourse to in any case.

To come more particularly then, to the consideration of Prophecy, as to its several bearings. Prophecy, properly so called, must be precise: it must mean some one Event or Thing, of which its reader can seize, and of which it must be in his power to obtain the assurance, that he is not mistaken: Isaiah, for example, foretells the fall of Babylon, and so does Jeremiah. Believers living at that time must, I say, have seen and felt, that the Event so foretold, would at some future time come to pass. The same may be said of the fall of Egypt, Assyria, Idumea, and other places so denounced. And the fact is, all these events did once take place. It was in like manner foretold, that our Lord should be born in Bethlehem; should be of the house and lineage of David, and this, at the time when the sceptre should depart from Judaea. And again, that at a certain period He should be cut off; that after this, the people of the Prince who should come, should destroy the Temple and the Sanctuary; and finally, that this Prince,—here kingly Rule—and people, should themselves, as Desolators in this case, also fall [Dan. ix. 27. See the margin.]. Now, I say, all this has once taken place to the very letter: the Events had in view have been completely fulfilled: and, I will affirm, they never will, and never can, be fulfilled again. This is, in the nature of things, impossible, and it is wholly repugnant to the word of prophecy. But if the system, under which these predictions were made, was itself typical and shadowy, and had the property of pointing to another which should be considered as its antitype, or fulfilment in a mystical sense that is, as to the things spiritually had in view under it; then the fall of a mystical Babylon would be no second fulfilment of the predictions made, as to the first and literal one: it would be the first, and only, fulfilment of the thing thus mystically intended; and which may, in that accepta­tion, be considered as a distinct and different prediction, hav­ing, indeed, an analogy with the first; but no more consti­tuting the same thing, than the sacrifice of Christ did, the sacrifices which typified it. We have only that which is necessary in such a case, viz. the type looking onward to its antitype.

In Prophecy however, improperly so called (that is, preaching [And hence preaching is occasionally styled prophesying in the New Testament. Rom, xii. 6, &c.]), the case is wholly different: for here, the declarations made, sometimes perhaps involving predictions, are of general and perpetual application. “All the wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the people that forget God [Ps. ix. 17.]” is at once a doctrine and a prediction of this sort. ” We shall all stand before the judgment-seat of Christ [Rom. xiv. 10.]” is another, equally general in its applications, but limited in the Event had in view, which can take place but once. But the Event here, is not sufficient to bring this declaration under the denomination of prophecy, properly so called. As a prediction, indeed, we are taught of its occurring only once : but of the period, or of any thing indirectly bearing on this,—as usually given in the case of real Prophecy—we have not so much as a syllable in Revelation. This is therefore, more properly doctrine.

It is incumbent on us then, as Interpreters of the terms of our Covenants, carefully to bear these things in mind, as elements of primary importance: otherwise we shall be apt— as many have been, and still are—occasionally to substitute doctrine for prophecy, and prophecy for doctrine; and indeed, so to mix these up together, as not only to perplex ourselves, but all others with whom we may have to do; not to insist on the consideration, that the Bible so confused and obscured, may be made subservient to any, and every, purpose that interpreters may wish; and hence again, in the estimation of the many, be wholly deprived of its authority, if not made an object for ridicule and contempt.

We have seen, that the great object of our Revelation is to inculcate true spiritual religion [It is greatly to travel out of the record here to imagine, as some have done, that the Bible was intended to teach the sciences, physical or otherwise, chronology, political economy, the mere desti­nies of the Jews, or the political events of the world to the period of its dissolution, or even any thing whatever of this dissolution. Its business, and its only business, is, to inculcate true religion: much valuable information as to history, chronology, and some other things, may indeed be collected from it; but then, these have been given in subordination to its other greater objects.]. Its encouragements are therefore, necessarily held out to those only, who receive and apply it as such; its denunciations, made against those who do otherwise. And in all this, its primary object is, to infuse good principles: its ultimate one, to insure virtuous practice. And here again, it admits of nothing short of an entire reception, and faithful carrying out, of these. In its precepts it extends to the thoughts and intents of the heart: and then demands an entire devotion, attachment, and obe­dience to them all: affirming at the same time, that man has fallen from original righteousness, and that in his na­tural state he knows not, either what he himself is in the sight of his Maker, or his Maker is with respect to him, and as sustaining the character of Judge both of the quick and the dead. And here, what man cannot, from his ignorance and weakness, do for himself, it graciously promises, and actually presents, the means of his effectually bringing about. It provides therefore, not only instruction, but power; not merely morality in its highest degree, and its most vigorous exercise ; but also a faith, such as will enable its recipient to overcome the world, and a hope that is full of immortality: and these, again, even to the extent of a full assurance.

In principle therefore, the system proposed is complete and perfect. As such it necessarily describes itself, its provisions, and powers: keeping these distinct—as it ought to do—from the very imperfect character of those on whom it is intended to act. If, indeed, we could suppose a perfect state of society to exist,—a thing necessarily unknown among men, and which nothing short of compulsion on the part of God could make them;—then would the description of the Church be an exact counterpart of that of professing Chris­tians, and the saints on earth would fully exhibit the charac­ter of those in heaven. But this is a consummation rather to be aimed at, than expected: for, considering what man is, perfection is unattainable; still, the higher the measure of his requirements is fixed, the higher the character of his calling is raised; the greater must be his efforts, and the more earnestly the divine aid sought, for the attainment of its great and inestimable ends. To estimate Christianity, therefore, as some do, by the general character of individuals professing it, is to reason in a wrong direction; it is to view the object from the wrong end of the perspective, and then to pronounce that small, inconsiderable, and unequal to the end for which it has been given, which we have had the misfortune to misunderstand and misapply: but which, when rightly viewed and applied, is found to possess at once both the magnitude, and the power, to which it has laid claim.

This being the state of the case then, as to the charac­ter of our Revelation and its appointments, it will follow, that some would be found in every age so far beneath its requirements, as to be altogether aliens to the privileges which it proposes to confer: others, on the contrary, such as to receive, and fully to enjoy them. And hence it is, that we find one family only in the Patriarchal times—that of Noah in his days; that of Abraham, in his [It is a pleasing consideration however, that, even in these times, God had not left himself without witness in the world, but that a true spiritual Church always existed. It is evident, I think,—in opposition to the commonly received opinion,—that, neither was Abraham, nor were indeed some of his lineal predecessors, ever involved in the sin of idolatry. The contrary opinion has resulted in a mistaken view of Josh. xxiv. 2, where the versions generally have, “Your fathers dwelt on the other side of the flood in old time, even Terah the father of Abraham, and the father of Nahor; and they served other gods.” Now, Who are meant when it is said, they served other gods? I answer, neither the language here used, nor the circumstances of the case, require us to believe, that Terah, Abraham, &c. are meant. For I., the verb, they served, Heb. !fQJ^, cannot be referred to Terah as the nomi­native: and the other names are not in a situation to act as nomina­tives. And ii., if the preceding, “your fathers,” is to be so taken; then, Terah, &c. will not be necessarily included with these as idol­aters: but in., it is not necessary to take any terms found here for the nominative at all. Nothing is more common in the Hebrew Bible, than to take such constructions as this impersonally, or rather, as indefinitely referring to persons implied in the context: e. g. Gen. xv. IS…Thy seed shall be a stranger in a land…not theirs, and shall serve them; and they shall afflict them, &c. Now the ” they” here, must mean the inabitants of such land; and accordingly, the first and second ” them” must signify different people. The context here sufficiently determines this. And as ” the land” here supplies a nominative, in its inhabitants understood, to the verb, ” they shall afflict;” so also does, “the other side of the flood” in Joshua, in its inhabitants so under­stood. Of these it is then said, ” they served other gods:” Terah therefore, is not the nominative here, nor necessarily is ” Your fathers.” And this, I say, the circumstances of the case absolutely require. For i., there is no reason whatever for supposing that Abram’s call,—and in which Terah and Lot, concurred,—is to be understood as implying his conversion from idolatry. St. Paul speaks of it certainly, as a proof of the strength of his faith; and this implies a previous conver­sion. The same may be said of both Terah and Lot. Again, n. The family of Bethuel, from whom Abraham obtained a wife for his son, were clearly true believers (Gen. xxiv. xxviii.) Nor, hence, was Laban an idolater,—his gods, or Teraphim, might have been nothing more than statues of his ancestry, but which in the house of a heathen, would be worshipped as gods; for heathenism had no gods beyond deified ancestors. So David had Teraphim in his house (1 Sam. xix. 13). Again, in. Job, and his friends, as far as we can ascertain their genealogies, were all true believers. Most of these were of the family of which Terah was (see my Introduction to the Book of Job); and, what is most remarkable, they speak of their ancestry, up to the very times of Adam, as all being of the true faith. And iv. Shem, in whose tents God promised that He would dwell, (Gen. ix. 27,) must have lived till within a few years of the death of Abraham: and was, in all probability, Melchisedeek—as head of the family of the faithful,— who met and blessed him. There never could have been therefore, a period, from the flood to the times of Abraham, in which true religion was not preserved.] —at all in a situation to be partakers in these blessings. When we come down to those of the Theocracy, the same also is generally the case. It is the few, and the few only—often termed a Remnant—who are considered the true seed, and children of God; and to these accordingly, are the promises exclusively and universally given [54 Under the New Testament the same is, on principle, necessarily the case, and to this allusion is made (John x. 4, &c.) ”’When He putteth forth His own sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him : for they know His voice.” Much the same is meant by theologians, when they speak of the Invisible Church.]: while the multitude is de­nounced as ” Rulers of Sodom, People of Gomorrah,” and the like. The whole nation of the Jews was indeed, considered and called holy in a general sense: that is, as generally chosen and admitted to certain privileges; but the fact is, a few only were found willing to accept, and faithfully to apply these : and the consequence was, the nation, so characterized, was continually upbraided with its disobedience; and for this it was finally cast out.

The same has been the case under the New Covenant. Paul styles all the Corinthian converts (1 Cor. i. 2) saints, and speaks of them as separated from the world, and gathered into the Church. This was their general character: but then, there were among them those, who were guilty of practices unknown even among the heathen, and were therefore such, as should justly be delivered up to Satan: that is, be denounced as under his influence [See my Letter to Dr. Pusey On the Keys, p. 65 seq.], and consigned to his condemnation, unless they should repent and. do the first works. The same is of necessity the case still; and, according to the predictions of the prophets, as explained by St. John in the Revelation, for ever shall be, even within the territories of the New Jerusalem; many may be within its literal inheritance, but few be partakers of its spiritual privileges.

Sect. 3.—On the means provided under the first Covenant, for the establishment of the last.

But to come more particularly to the Theocracy, and the means by which it became merged in the Church of the New Covenant. The nature of the case then, would seem to require,—under the guidance and control of an all-wise, faithful, and powerful God [The Bishop of London however, speaking of the mysterious providence of God in his dealings with the unbelieving Jews, talks as if the judgments under which they are deservedly suffering for their sins, were eventually intended to bring about some hitherto unseen state of glory in the Church. ” His providence” (p. 6.) “may mysteri­ously interrupt the course of events which seems to be leading to their fulfilment, but it is only to render that fulfilment more conspicuous and complete.” This is certainly a most extraordinary passage. Surely, if His providence interrupts such course, that providence must be right, and the course seeming to lead to the fulfilment of some events be a figment. But the truth is, this is not a subject for Chris­tians to dilate upon, except only as God’s revealed Will shall enable them: and this Will has plainly declared, that unbelieving Jews are under the curse, and are not the objects of promise: which indeed S. Paul has affirmed too plainly to be misunderstood, as will be shewn hereafter. Of the imagined restoration of the Jews to Pales­tine,—the events here had in view probably by the Bishop,—more presently.],—that those who constituted the true seed and holy family under the first of these, would primarily be those also who should under the second; and this we shall find was the case. First then, as to God’s peculiar people under the Theocracy. The scriptural dis­tinction ever is, ” Between him who serveth God, and him who serveth him not” (Mal. iii. 18). It must be evident therefore, from the nature of the case, that, in any covenant delivered by God to man as an accountable being, by means of which salvation was to be obtained, conditions, such as man could and should comply with, would be laid down: and in the case of his refusal to obey these, he would fail to obtain the salvation so proposed. Now it is evident from the terms of the first Covenant, that, upon obedience to its conditions alone, all the privileges both temporal and spiritual of the Theocracy were to be expected and enjoyed: and, also that upon the contrary, all such privileges would be withholden; and that those, before whom these had been placed, would cease to be the objects of God’s favour. From the nature of the case therefore, from the terms of this Covenant, and from the events which have happened to the Jews, not only was all this likely to take place, but it positively has taken place. Let us now see how all this stands in the declarations of the Law and the Prophets.

The first place we shall consider occurs in Dent, xxxii., where we have a brief, but very strong prophetical, outline of the character and fate of the Jewish nation. And first, as to the disobedient portion of it (ver. 5): ” They have corrupted themselves, their spot is not the spot of his children: they are a perverse and crooked generation.” We then have a recital of the favours conferred on them generally, as chosen to be the people of God (6—15). “But” it is added, ” Jeshurun waxed fat, and kicked” &c. In verse 21, the calling in of the Gentiles, “to move them to jealousy” is brought before us (comp. Rom. x. 19, Sec.), as noticed by St. Paul. We then have (ver. 22) the fire predicted which should ” burn to the lowest hell, consume the earth (land ?), and set on fire the founda­tions of the mountains [This is the first place in which this destruction by fire is men­tioned : we shall hereafter find it frequently repeated in similar terms; which some hare imprudently imagined foretells a conflagra­tion of the physical world. Hence, no doubt, the notions of the Stoics, that the world should be destroyed by fire.] ” Not, be it observed, so to consume the physical world, and set on fire the foundations of its mountains,—which is perhaps impossible,—but to destroy that dis­obedient people by fire, sword, pestilence, and famine, and to scatter them throughout the whole earth, as the following verses expressly tell us (25—27).

Here again (ver. 31, seq.), Moses makes the necessary distinction between those who should then serve God, and who should not serve him. ” Their rock,” says he, ” is not as our Rock;”…” their mne is of the vine of Sodom”’ (so John “Sodom, where our Lord was crucified;” and so Isaiah, as cited above); while that of which I (i. e. Moses), and those who are really God’s children and bear His mark are, is that true vine of Sorek, of which God Himself is the husband­man, and the Man Christ Jesus is the spiritual representative.

Again, (ver. 36), ” For the lord shall judge His people” (i.e. those who are truly his) “and repent himself for His (true) servants, when He seeth that their power is gone” (i. e. that they are under the tyranny of their sinful and oppress­ing brethren, as a poor and afflicted people), ” and it is not, (i. e. their power has ceased, and they are) shut up and for­saken, and one shall say, Where is their God [This place has been misunderstood, from the circumstance that no distinction has been made between those who served God, and those who served him not. Heb. DSW T r6tiO3. That the hand (i. e. power) hath departed, and is not. It is under these circumstances that” the lord shall judge His people, and repent Himself for His (true) “servants” (v. 37.) And one (not “He”) “shall say” (i.e. their enemies generally) “where is their God, the rock in whom they trusted?” (Comp. Ps. xliii. 3, 10; ixxix. 10 ; cxv. 2, &c., where, of necessity, the true Church is suffering oppression from its heathenish enemies.) The Translators, not understanding the place, have given, “where are their gods?” &c.] Then follows a denunciation of the judgments to fall upon both wicked Jew and Gentile, i. e. from the beginning of these judgments, even to their end. It is added (ver. 43), foreseeing the calling and gathering in of the Gentiles : ” Rejoice, 0 ye nations, with His (i. e. true) people: for He will avenge the Hood of His (i. e. true) servants,” (which the Prophets, with St. John, reecho again and again), ” and will render ven­geance to His adversaries, and will le merciful unto His land, and to His people.” That is, as before, He will heap mischiefs upon the disobedient Jews [And let it be observed here once for all, that, as prophecy has denounced the unbelieving Jews generally, e. g. ” God shall slay thee” (i. e. pronounce thee spiritually dead), ” and call His servants by another name” (Is. lxv. 15); prophecy cannot, in direct opposition to this, also foretell their restoration, as life from the dead. Prophecy,— to use a familiar expression,—cannot blow hot and cold out of the same mouth. It is the word of that God, with whom there is neither variableness nor shadow of turning, and whose gifts and call­ings are without repentance. Denunciations of this sort are very numerous in the Old Testament, and they have, alas! taken abundant effect. Still, the word of Doctrine has not been rendered ineffectual by this. If they will return, then will the Lord their God return to them: this the writers of both Testaments dwell upon perpetually, as we shall see abundantly hereafter.], while to His people, now joined together with the nations, He mil shew mercy: and not to them only, but to their land: which must of necessity now comprehend the heritage of the Gentiles; for this was given to Abraham by Covenant; and here, the establishment of that Covenant must have been had in view by Moses.

We have before us therefore, the line distinctly and strongly drawn, even from the very first, between the true and the false Jews ; and the promises directly and exclusively given to the former, while threats and judgments fearful in the extreme are dealt out against the latter: and this, as we shall find, is constantly and consistently done by all the sacred writers. It would be endless to point out all the places. I will supply a few of the most remarkable.

Isaiah, chap. i. 2, seq. ” / have nourished and brought up children, and they have rebelled against me [To an attentive reader, the Psalms will be found to present in­numerable instances of this sort: e. g. Ps. i. 1. seq. “Blessed is the man” &c. (v. 4.) ” The ungodly are not so,” &c. On Ps. ii. 1. seq. See Acts iv. 25—28. Ps. iii… .”How are they increased that trouble me” (i. e. Christ, and His poor but faithful people). In ver. 7, we have a prediction, as in Deut. above, of God’s avenging these. Ps. iv. 3, ” The lord hath set apart him that is godly for Himself:” i. e. He has made this distinction: and, that these were but few, and as a remnant, is obvious from (v. 6), “There be many that say” &c. i. e. the multitude, (for by this term the reprobates are designated in the Prophets), ” Who will shew us any good?” The same is discernible in perhaps every Psalm: and in many of these, where the times of the New Covenant are had in view, this chosen party are those termed by Sts. Paul and Peter, ” the Election” and ” Elect,” as we shall see presently.].” And so on down to verse 8, foretelling their destruction. We then have the better party noticed thus : ” The daughter of Zion is left as a cottage (lit. a tent), as a lodge (rather a lodging) in a garden of cucumbers, as a besieged” (rather, a preserved [Heb. n”VCEJ- I* will be seen, after a little inquiry, that ” besieged” is perhaps never the sense of this word.]) ” city,” Which is explained by ” Except the lord of hosts had left us a very small remnant, we should have been as Sodom” (i. e. all destroyed), “we should have been like unto Gomorrah’1” (i. e. entirely overthrown). The heads of the Jewish nation are then addressed as ” the Rulers of Sodom,” and the people generally as those ” of Gomorrah.” (That is, perfectly in the spirit of Moses, and the Apocalypse, ch. xi. 8.) Whence it should seem, that this real and true Israel was a very small and uninfluential party. It is added nevertheless, and with the foresight just now noticed of Moses (ver. 26), ” / will restore thy judges as at the first,…afterward thou” (now a mere tent, and temporary lodging) ” shalt be called” (i. e. shalt be) ” the City of righteousness, the faithful City” ” Zion,” the Prophet adds, ” shall be redeemed with judgment, and her converts” (i. e. both of Jews and Gentiles) ” with righteousness. And the destruction of the transgressors and of the sin­ners shall be together, and they that forsake the Lord shall be consumed.” That is as by fire, just as Moses had also foretold, keeping up strongly the same figure and distinction.

We shall likewise find this distinction kept up, as we proceed, and often connected with the coming of the Messiah. It was then to become visible in its effects, namely, in the glories to be realized by this remnant or better party, and in the judgments to be inflicted on their enemies, the worse. In Isaiah ch. iv. 2, it is accordingly said : ” In that day (necessarily the day of Christ) shall the branch of the. lord be beautiful and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely for them that are escaped of Israel.” Now, if judgments, dreadful in the extreme, were to be poured out on the wicked, and from which they should not escape,—and this is particularly foretold of the rebellious Jews ; then must the ” escaped ” here mean the better party, to which all the promises extended, and as spoken of above in the terms of ” a preserved city:” and this is the case.

Our blessed Lord Himself moreover, warning His disci­ples of the very judgments so to be poured out soon after His decease, counselled them to escape to the mountains [ Euseb. Hist. Eccl. Lib. m.c. v. Where we are told that Believers, being admonished from above, left Jerusalem for Pella before the war broke out. The remark of Eusebius on this is valuable, as bearing on the matter of our note p. 16: viz.  [GREEK] Ita et regia urbe, quse totius gentis caput est, et universa Judsea vlris sanctis destitute, &c. i. e. its holy people having left it, it was no longer holy in the estimation of God, but a place for His vengeance, which was accordingly poured out upon it.]: and the fact is, they did so escape, and that not one of them suffered in the fall of Jerusalem. In Chapter Lxvi. 19, of the same Prophet, we are also expressly told, that the work of calling in the Gentiles to ” rejoice with God’s people” should be effected by the persons so designated. ” And I will set a sign among them” (i. e. both Jews and Gentiles, Matth. xxiv. 3, 1C), “and I will send those that escape of them unto the nations, to Tarshish, Pul, and Lud, that draw the bow, to Tubal, and Javan, to the isles afar off, that have not heard my fame, neither have seen my glory ; and they shall declare my glory among the Gentiles. And they shall bring all your brethren for an offering unto the Lord out of all nations upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon swift beasts, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, saith the Lord, as the children of Israel bring an offering in a clean vessel into the house of the Lord,” &c. We have here therefore, of necessity, the Apostles of our blessed Lord sent forth as the escaped from the judgments of Jerusalem,—then a spiritual Sodom,—and going far and wide on the great errand of mercy proposed in the New Covenant, and for the purpose of blessing the nations in the promised seed of Abraham. And we shall presently see, that the Apostle Paul has identified himself, and the believers of his day, with this party.

It is to be observed here moreover, that some are to be brought as the brethren of this holy party, for an offering upon horses, mules, chariots, and the like, to God’s holy mountain Jerusalem. Now, it may be asked, Did the Apostles or their coadjutors, or Could they, bring all these out of all nations upon horses, and the like, to the Jerusalem of Judaism ? It does not any where appear that they ever enter­tained any such notion, nor could they with any propriety : no; the Jerusalem to which these should come, was to be a new Jerusalem, situate in a new earth, both of which should be created for this very purpose: and so our Prophet expressly tells us (chap. lxv. 17, 18): “Behold, I create new heavens, and a new earth” (i. e. not physically, but morally and religiously, new): “and the former” (i e. heaven and earth) “shall not be remembered…But be ye glad” (i.e. this holy party or remnant) ” and rejoice for ever in that which I create; for behold, I create” (my true) ” Jerusalem a rejoicing, and her people a joy.” And so again (chap. Lxvi. 22): “For as the new heavens and the new earth, which I will make, shall remain before me, saith the Lord, so shall your seed” (i. e. of the spiritual family then in Jewry) ” and your name re­main”

Let us now see how St. Paul deals with this question, with regard to the converted Jews of his day, men necessarily interested in this question (Hebr. xii. 22). Contrasting the character of the New, with that of the Old Covenant, he says, ” But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the City of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem” Sec. And (Gal. iv. 25), “Jerusalem which now is,…is in bondage with her children. But Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” This Jerusalem or Zion moreover, to which all nations were to flow, was, according to Isaiah (ch. ii. 2), to be established in the top of the mountains (i. e. of many mountains), and to be ” exalted above the hills” This could not be, therefore, either confined to the earthly Canaan, or be the Jerusalem which then was ; but should be within that new earth of which Abraham was, by covenant, made the spiritual heir (Rom. iv. 13), and which his spiritual seed should possess throughout the heritage of the Gentiles. This new Jerusalem, or Mountain of the Lord’s house moreover, this Zion and City of the living God, was to be so created and established on the tops of many mountains, that all nations might flow to it: but this could not take place within the limits of Canaan: nor did the Apostles of our Lord ever say, either directly or indirectly, that it should; on the contrary, they taught that in Christ Jesus there was no difference: Jew, Gentile, Bond and Free, being all (as) one; and that in every nation those who truly served God were accepted [Col. iii. 11; Acts x. 35. But the Bishop of London (Serm. p. 12) has found a place which foretells the restoration of the Jews, and also of Jerusalem to its imperial state : ” and this,” continues he, ” by the concurrent testimony of Prophet and Apostle, is connected with their acknowledgment, as a nation, of Jesus Christ, as their promised Messiah.” The places cited here are Zech. xii. 10, and Rom. xi. 25. As to the first: Are we to understand by ” the house of David,” and “the inhabitants of Jerusalem,” those properly so called, i. e. in a spiritual sense, or those who are not so ? For it is certain, that two such parties were continually had in view by the Prophets. We shall presently see, that Ezekiel designates the better party by the title of “all the house of Israel wholly” to the exclusion of the other. The nature of the case, too, makes it impossible, that both these can be addressed ^indiscriminately. In dealing with the promises and threats of God in His word, we must “discern between the righteous and the wicked; between him who serveth God, and him who serveth Him not.” But we hare promise here, not threats. “Righteous judgment” there­fore, requires that it be applied to the holy party. And accordingly, verse 8 here tells us that this “house of David shall be, in that day, the angel of God.” And (ver. 14), this party is designated by the terms, “all the families that remain” ([HEBREW]. lit., who have become a Remnant) : which is perfectly equivalent to the Remnant of the Prophets, and the apostle Paul. And, once more, the terms ” in that day,” as already cited, must of necessity refer to the same period, that they do in the beginning of the next chapter (xiii.) : “In that day there shall be a, fountain opened to the House of David” (i. e. to the Believers, for none else would approach it), ” and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem” (here necessarily the same party), “for sin and for uncleanness.” Which must mean the fountain opened by the shedding of the blood of Christ. And this, the 7th verse here proves beyond all doubt: “Awake, 0 sword, &c.” It is added, “/ will turn my hands upon the little ones :” i. e. here, of necessity, the same house of David, termed “feeble” (ver. 8. ch. xii). This holy party is again (xiii. 8, 9) made “the third part” which should be saved, and become God’s people” (i. e. which He foreknew): while the other two-thirds should be cut off, and die. The period and people therefore, here had in view, must be those of the Apostles of our Blessed Lord, and of their converts who then received Christ as their Messiah. And this period has long ago passed, leaving Jerusalem trodden down of the Gentiles, not restored to imperial power and dignity. The Bishop is here therefore, manifestly wrong. That he is equally so on Rom. xi. 25, his other citation, will presently appear.].

Let us now examine a few more places in Isaiah, in which mention is made of this holy Remnant or party. We have, then (ch. x. 20, seq.), ” It shall come to pass in that day, that the remnant of Israel, and such as are escaped of the house of Jacob, shall no more again stay upon him that smote them” (i. e. the Assyrian); ” but shall stay upon the loud, the Holy One of Israel, in truth.”’ It is added, ” The remnant shall return, even the remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty god. For though thy people Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant” (i. e. only)” of them shall return : the consumption?” (i. e. consummation) “decreed” (i.e. in this) “shall overthrow with righteousness.”’ Where, be it observed, by the escaped, and the remnant, must be meant the same party; and these were to stay themselves upon the holy One of Israel in truth. It must also be clear, that by that day must be meant the period in which this should come to pass ; and this, we shall see, can be no other than that of the Apostles. The fate of the multitude, or unholy party, is plainly foretold in the beginning of this Chapter.

Now, “the mighty God” to whom it is here said the remnant and the escaped of Israel should return, can be no other than the person so named (i. e. liSJl 7N ch. ix. 6, seq.), where He is also styled The Father of an age, or dispensation [See my Heb. Lex. under ;jtf.], a Wonder, Counsellor, and the Prince of Peace, as promised in the birth of the Child there mentioned, and of whom, as we are further told, “of the increase of his govern­ment and peace, upon the throne of David, there should be no end henceforth and even for ever.” ” The mighty God,” here spoken of, must necessarily be the Person there so named : and the same must also be the Person who should sit upon David’s throne, even for ever: and he must as necessarily be the Messiah, or Child, also promised to Mary by the Angel Gabriel. (Luke i. 32, seq.) His words are: ” He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest: and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David: and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever, and of His kingdom there shall be no end.” It is impossible to doubt here, I say, that the Prophet and the Angel have the same Child in view, and that He should be the Messiah, the Mighty God, and the Prince of Peace. And if this is certain, it also is, that to Him should the remnant, and the escaped of Jacob, at “that day” return. This, I say, must be inevitable, if any reliance can be placed on language. This foretells therefore, no return of Jews to Canaan; and of no return but this, have we any prediction whatever.

If we now turn to the New Testament, we shall find this very place of Isaiah interpreted by St. Paul, in exact con­formity with what has now been said. ” Esaias” says he (Rom. ix. 27, seq.), ” also crieth concerning Israel, Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved: for He will finish the work” (i. e. consummate it), “and cut it short in righteousness.”…” And as Esaias said before, Except the Lord of Sabaoth had left ^ls a seed, we had been as Sodoma, and been made like unto Gomorrha.”

Now, How does the Apostle apply this (ver. 23, ib.) ? ” And that He” (God) ” might make known” (i. e. by the Scriptures of the Prophets) ” the riches of His glory on the vessels of mercy” (i.e. those whom He had foretold should be such), ” which He had afore prepared unto glory” (i. e. had said by the same Prophets that they should be so). He adds, ” Even us, whom He hath called, not of the Jews only” (for of them only could this remnant come, and of them the Apostles were), ” but also of the Gentiles.” He then cites Hosea to shew that it had been foretold of the Gentiles, that God would “call them His people” (i.e. make them really so) ” which were not (once) a people; and her beloved, which was (then) not beloved.” That is, he would call and save those of the Jews, whom Isaiah names a remnant, and like­wise those of the Nations, who had hitherto been aliens. And Paul speaks of these as being, in his days, both called and saved. The Remnant had therefore, now actually returned to ” the. Mighty God, the Prince of Peace:” and numbers out of the nations had become a constituent part of that Zion, whom God Himself had now established in conformity with the requirements of the everlasting Covenant made with Abraham. It will also follow from this place, that the days of the Apostles, must be identical with “that day” cited above from Isaiah (ch. x. 20, seq.): but more on this presently.

But the Apostle does not forget to remind us of the other, and sinful party of the Jews, which may, as we have seen, properly be termed ” the multitude,”’ in opposition to that termed ” a very small remnant:” for indeed the multitude refused to accept this call, as it had been foretold they would. Paul’s words are (v. 31) : “But Israel” (i. e. generally) ” which followed after the law of righteousness, hath not attained to the law of righteousness. Wherefore ? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the law.’1’1 (Comp. ch. x. 10, seq.) That is, by imagining that a mere outward obedience to the things com­manded, was all that could be required. They washed cups and platters; they kept the sabbaths ; they paid tithe scru­pulously ; and they circumcised as the letter of the com­mandment required; but the hidden man of the heart remained unclean: no circumcision reached it [Acts vii. 61.]; their sabbaths too afforded them nothing beyond a cessation from secular labour; the repose and rest of the spirit, its acquiescence and peace in the faith of an atoning Redeemer, they never sought, felt, or enjoyed: and, while they tithed their mint and cummin, they utterly disregarded the weightier matters of their law, justice, mercy, and faith ; as indeed their own historian Josephus most abundantly testifies [Jewish War, Book v. et passim.].

There is another place also in the writings of St. Paul, which bears very fully on this subject. The words are (ch. xi. 1, seq.): ” / say then, Hath God cast away His people? [The Bishop of London (in his Sermon) so far misunderstands this place, as to apply it to the unbelieving Jews of our times; the very class whom St. Paul in this chapter marks as directly opposed to God’s people, and as branches broken of, people blind, fatten, and cast away! Is not this marvellous ? Paul makes himself hero ore of the people so foreknown, and one of that Remnant so frequently spoken of in the Old Testament, as those who should make God known among the Gentiles; and hence they are styled the Election, the Elect, and the like, obtaining that which Israel generally did not. And yet the Bishop casts all this to the winds, as matter of no moment! ” The supposi­tion,” says he, ” of their entire and final rejection .. . was too dreadful for him (Paul) to contemplate with patience.” He then cites this verse. I might ask, Are the Jews generally here meant? or only a portion of them, usually termed the Remnant (see ver. 5 here) ? Surely, no one can for a moment doubt, that the Remnant only is here had in view; or, that if the Bishop had given himself the trouble to consider the context, he would have seen this. But, when he says (ib. p. 6), “He foresaw,” i.e. St. Paul, “the seeming abrogation of that Covenant which had yet been declared again and again to be an ever­lasting covenant,” &c., he says that which is groundless; for, neither was the covenant, here had in view, everlasting in the sense intended by him, nor has it ever been said that it was so by any sacred writer whatsoever! But more on this presently.]

God forbid. For I also am an Israelite, of the seed of Abraham, of the tribe of Benjamin:” virtually affirming that God, as a God of faithfulness and truth, could never cast away those who were really His. The question will now be, Who were these ? Some of the seed of Abraham are cast off, others are not. Who then are both these I The answer is too plain to be misunderstood, viz. ” God hath not cast away His people which ke foreknew” (i. e. has in pre­diction acknowledged as His. Comp. Ps. xciv. 14). ” Wot ye not” continues St. Paul, “what the Scripture saith of Elias? how he maketh intercession against Israel” (i. e. generally), ” saying, Lord, they have killed thy prophets,…and I am left alone, and they seek my life.” ” But what saith the answer of God to him f It is this : ” / have reserved [We have notices of this holy portion of Israel in the following places: Luke i. 6. Speaking of Zacharias and his wife Elizabeth, They were both righteous,” &c. Comp. verr. 13, 17. ” to make ready a people prepared for the Lord,” i. e. as it would seem, really waiting for him. So of Mary (ver. 28), Thou art highly favoured, the Lord is with thee. (Comp. ver. 41, 42, 45). In ver. 67, Zacharias is filled with the Holy Ghost, and prophesies. In ch. ii. 25, Simeon is said to have been “just and devout, waiting for the consolation of Israel; and the Holy Ghost was upon him.” Ib. ver. 36, 37. “Anna, a prophetess, departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day.” ” She,” it is added,…” spake of him” (i. e. the infant Jesus) ” to all them that looked for redemption in Jerusalem.” Whence it would seem, that there was a considerable number of such there. Of this party too, was Joseph of Arimathea, Mark xv. 43; John xix. 38: as was Nicodemus, John iii. 1; xix. 39 : but both these were secretly so. Again, Acts i. 15 gives 120 of such assembled with the Apostles in an upper room; and again, Acts ii. 5, ” there were dwelling at Jerusa­lem Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven” i. e. of ” the dis­persed of Israel and Judah.” And upon this occasion, 3000 souls were added to the Church by Peter’s preaching to them. Surely many of these must have been before “prepared of the Lord:” which will perhaps be the best comment on ver. 47, here. Again, Ch. iv. 4. gives the number of 5000 so saved. And, on the other hand, ver. 5. seq. affords a good specimen of the “Rulers of Sodom and people of Gomor­rah,” reprobated in the times of Isaiah, ch. i. 10, &c] to myself seven thousand men” (i. e. an indefinite number), “who have not bowed the knee to the image of Baal.” There was therefore, in the days of Elijah, just as in those of Moses and Isaiah, a remnant, an invisible Church, unknown even to Elijah, but constituting God’s true Zion, and holy family. The Apostle adds, ” Even so then at this present time also there is a remnant according to the election of grace; and, if by grace, then it is no more of works,” Sec.; as it had been vainly supposed and sought by the Jews generally.

St. Paul moreover, makes himself here (ver. 1) one of this remnant and people, whom God had so foreknown (i. e. foretold) and preserved, as he also does of the seed of Abraham : and hence he styles himself,—what indeed he was,—” an Israelite,” in the proper sense of that term. A little lower down too (ver. 7), he contrasts the party of which he was one, both as a true Israelite, and as of the remnant to be saved and which he terms the Election, with that other rejected party, whom he declares were blind, just as it had been fore­told they would be. ” What then ?” says he, ” Israel” (i. e. generally) ” hath not obtained that which he seeketh for; but the election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded” (i. c. foretold as such), (according as it is written, ” God hath given them” (i.e. ascribed to them [69 In all such expressions as these, e. g. ” The lord hath put a, lying spirit in the mouth of all…thy prophets,” (1 Kings xxii. 23). “God hardened the heart,” “closed the eyes,” “has deceived” and the like, are to be understood, as implying nothing more than the ascribing of these properties to any given people, person, &c. See my Heb. Gram. Art. 154, 8: 157, 6 ; and Heb. Lex. under JJ10, QW, JTBJ-]) ” the spirit of slumber, eyes that they should not see, and ears that they should not hear, unto this day.”” We have also the places quoted, in which these predictions are found. We are next reminded of the fact, that they had actually stumbled and fallen (vv. 11, 12), though not beyond recovery; that they had been now cast away (ver. 15), and broken off, from the true stock (ver. 17), as abominable branches [Comp. Isa. xviii. 5,. seq.; xxvii. 10,11. Jer. xi. 16.]. All of which had likewise been made matter of prediction. We have here then as events fulfilled, the holy remnant, or Election, of which this Apostle and his associates formed the one part, and those who had been called in from among the Gentiles, the other: and these, forming one true and spiritual Zion, Jerusalem, and City of the Living God, as opposed to that other sinful party ” the multitude,” who sought salvation in an unacceptable way, and were therefore now a fallen and castaway race ; branches broken off from the true vine; and therefore, aliens to the covenant of promise, and to the commonwealth of Israel, in the true accepta­tion of these terms.

The Apostle asks, however (ver. 11), ” Have they stumbled that they should fall? God forbid,”” He declares neverthe­less, in this very verse, that they had now fallen. His words are : ” but rather through their fall salvation is come unto the Gentiles, for to provoke them” (i. e. the Jews) ” to jea­lousy.” This latter member too, has respect to prediction [Deut. xxxii. 21.]. How then is this to be understood ?  I answer, from the nature of the following context, which goes to shew that, although the Jews had fallen from grace, and lost its privi­leges, still they had not so far fallen, as to be utterly ineligible to these in future. But this rested on the condition, that they acceded to its terms. We have here therefore, no finally and fatally predestinated fall, in the Calvinistic sense of those terms. Prophecy had indeed foretold it, but had foretold it as a fact, and as a consequence of a deliberate choice of the ways of sin in the Jews. This foretelling had nothing to do with their conduct, so as to remove their responsibility: their obduracy had indeed been foreseen, and the legitimate end of this foretold: but then, this involved no fatality in the case, either as to their conduct at that time, or as to that of times to come: and the same is necessarily true of the whole of this argument and context.

But, to put this matter out of all reasonable doubt, St. Paul adds (ib. ver. 23, seq.) : ” And they also, ‘if they abide not in unbelief, shall be graffed in” (i. e. again be inserted in the true stock of Israel). We now have a succession of parentheses, all bearing upon the previous reasoning of the Apostle, as to the grafting in, and the possibility of the casting out again, of the Gentiles; shewing as plainly as words can shew, that we have nothing here at all allied to Calvinistic predestination. Each of these parentheses commences in our authorized version with ” For:” and then at the end of these comes the conclusion (or airo^oais) to the words given above: ” And so (lit. and thus, in this way, [GREEK] ; that is, ” if they abide not in unbelief,” but receive the Gospel, then) ” all Israel shall be saved [72 The Bishop of London, however (Sermon, p. 8), comes to this consummation in a very different way. His words are: ” In the fifteenth verse of this chapter, he,” i. e. Paul, ” speaks of the rejection of the Jews as temporary: If the, casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead ?” I must confess I can find no such thing said here: i.e. that the rejection of the Jews is temporary. Paul argues indeed, that their return is not impossible, and that ” if they abide not in unbelief they shall be grafed in again:” but this is a very different thing from saying, that their rejection is temporary. If then, they abide not in unbelief, the Church will receive them: but this involves a condition; it is no pro­phecy ; for prophecy knows of no condition. And, if the Church should so receive them—they having obtained mercy at its hands (Ib. ver. 3l)—to whom would life from the dead now accrue? To the Church, or to the converted Jews? It has been thought by many, that, because ” the reconciling of the world,” occurs in the first member here, the world so reconciled must likewise be meant. I remark: No re­liance can be placed on reasoning of this sort. It might equally well be argued from John vi. 58, that, any one eating the bread of which our Lord there speaks, could never die a natural death, because the preceding member requires this : which however, would be absurd. The Church is not therefore, necessarily meant here. Nor can it be, from the nature of the case. It was already ” complete” in Christ Jesus (Col. ii. 10). Its ministrations were conducted under the guidance and power of the Holy Ghost. Could then the accession of myriads—it may be—of Jews, add in any way to the power or excellency of this ? It might administer great joy to it, and much strength as a Church. It had already received the Holy Remnant; they were its first master-builders, and its firstfruits to God and the Lamb. Can the influx now of those, who have remained without for ages, confer some great spiritual benefit on this Zion, which these master-builders have not, and could not? Impossible, surely. But to the Jews themselves, as returning prodigals, life from the dead would really and truly be administered. And this is, most likely, what the Apostle intended.]: as it is written, There shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, and shall turn away ungodliness from Jacob.” But the place quoted (Isa. lix. 20) stands thus: “The Redeemer shall come to Zion, and unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob, saith the Lord.” That is, The Redeemer shall surely come to them, who shall constitute the converts of the true Zion among the Jews [Isa. i. 27.]; to that remnant which should turn to the mighty God; and, by implication, to as many also as should ever after turn from transgression in Jacob. The declaration here (viz. ” There shall come,” &c.) is Prophecy properly so called, and it has been literally fulfilled: and which, mystically applied, may be fulfilled again and again, even to the end of time. The Jews are not here there­fore, fatally excluded from the covenants of promise : faith will again reinstate them, i. e. upon the condition that they receive it. They have not therefore, either so stumbled or fallen, as to be irrecoverably lost. The gates of our spiri­tual Jerusalem and Zion are ever open [Rev. xxi. 25.]; and the Election gathered in long ago, from both the Jews and Gentiles, are ready to receive them, and to impart to them those spiritual provisions, of which they alone have been made both the Preservers and Ministers (ib. v. 31).

If it be said,—as it is indeed by some,—that the conclusion just noticed (ver. 26), is really a prophecy in the strict sense of that term; and that reference is made not to verse 23 above, as I have said, but to ver. 25 immediately preceding it; I answer, we shall now therefore, have, “Blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in. And so all Israel shall be saved.”

We have now to infer then, by virtue of the particle ” until,”” that, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall have come in, then shall all Israel be saved: and, we are to take it for granted, that such fulness has not yet come in. Let us for a moment allow this latter point, and then ask the question, Can we reasonably rely on the supposition, that by this particle (until), something future to take place must have been implied! If so, the same must be the case in all such places. It is said of Abraham (Gen. xxviii. 15): ” Behold, I am with thee…for I will not leave thee, until I have done that which I have spoken to thee of.” I ask, Are we to infer from this, that when God should have done that of which he had spoken to the Patriarch, he would leave him ? Again (Isa. xxii. 14), ” This iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, saith the Lord of hosts.” Will this imply, that ” this iniquity” should be purged away from the Jews after they should have died ? If it does, then have we as good a support for the doctrine of purgatory here, as any sophist can desire. The truth is however, on no such inference, drawn from the use of this particle, can one mo­ment’s reliance be placed, as every one but moderately acquainted with holy Writ must know: and this Jerome has shewn long ago. Instances do occur, I very willingly allow, in which such inference may be made; but then, the context, and the general analogy of the Bible, must not be against it; which is manifestly not the case here : it being cer­tain, as we shall shew hereafter, that the period assigned by prophecy for the coming in of the Gentiles, has long ago passed away [See on Dan. ix. 26, 27, below. Yet we find the Bishop of London saying upon the place (Luke xxi. 24), ” Jerusalem shall be trodden down … until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,” &c. “from which words it is a necessary inference, that when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, Jerusalem shall cease to be trodden down, and shall be restored to her ancient state. As the city of Jerusalem was trodden down, so the city of Jerusalem shall be built up.” I remark, One would hardly have expected from the use of so small a word as ” until,” consequences so truly great as these. No prudent Divine would, perhaps, have ventured to prophesy of such events as these from the mere occurrence of a particle! The truth however, is, the Bishop’s prediction here, rests on the most hollow grounds ima­ginable. I have no hesitation in pronouncing it utterly groundless a proof will be given hereafter.]. It is too much therefore, to deduce from the use of this vocable an event of prophecy, when the whole positive voice of prophecy is clearly to the contrary: and this, we shall presently shew, is the fact.

There is nevertheless, a very important consideration con­nected here with the term ” until” [GREEK] : this vocable has its importance, and this is such as ought not to be passed over. It had been foretold positively, that the Jews should at some time be rejected; and this when the Gentiles should. This is given in the language of prophecy properly so called. It was also foretold in the same pro­phetic language, that Christ’s kingdom among the Gen­tiles should never end, but should be as the days of heaven, and as the sun, moon, and faithful witness in heaven (the rainbow), ever before God. These terms will of necessity, admit of no limitation, short of that of the existence of the present state of things : they imply the continuance of a state then to be set up, and to continue. Shall the Jews then, continue to be rejected, in the Scriptural sense and extent of these terms, and Jerusalem be trodden down for ever in this abstract sense ?  Or in some other, had in view by both the Evangelist and Apostle, in the term “until” ? I answer, In some other, and that marked by Daniel and others, as the period, during which the Gentiles should be so called in: and this, as we shall see hereafter, must close of necessity at the end of Daniel’s seventieth week, when kings and their queens should become the nursing fathers and nursing mothers of the Church. To this point, and no farther, as we shall see, does prophecy properly so called extend; and, until this should have arrived, it was the intention of the Apostle to inculcate here, that blindness in part should attach itself to Israel. But, how far beyond this it should continue, Prophecy is altogether silent. And once more, If prophecy properly so called, has no such limiting period as this; then, of necessity, must the Jews be, or ever excluded by virtue of the predictions just now cited; and, in the lan­guage of the Psalmist, their backs must always, and for ever, be bowed down. (See Ps. Ixix. 22—29; cix. 8—21, &c.) This must also suffice for the Bishop of London’s appeal, noticed above, to Rom. xi. 25.

We have here therefore, no prophecy: we have nothing more than argument in the words of St. Paul. We clearly have a condition laid down, and the consequence of complying with it declared, viz. ” And they”, i. e. ” if” Israel generally, ” abide not in unbelief, (then) so, thus, or in this way, all Israel shall be saved,”…” for there shall come out of Zion the Deliverer, unto them that turn from transgression in Jacob.” It is added, in order to shew that we have no exception here from God’s constant dealings with the Jews, and, that all this is in strict accordance with the terms of the Covenant; ” For this is my covenant unto them, when I shall take away their sins;” namely, that they abide not in unbelief, but, on the contrary, that they believe and repent. To this fully respond all the Law and the Prophets. The Law (Lev. xxvi. 40, seq.) : ” if they shall confess their ini­quity, and the iniquity of their fathers…and that I have brought them into the land of their enemies; if then their uncircumcised hearts be humbled… Then will 1 remember my covenant with Jacob,” Sic. And again (Deut. xxx. 1, seq.) : ” It shall come to pass, when all these things” (i. e. so predicted) ” are come upon thee,…and thou shalt call them to mind among all the nations whither the lord thy God hath driven thee, and shalt return unto the lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I command thee” (i.e. as doctrine) “this day,…with all thine heart, and with all thy soul; that then the lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations whither the lord thy God hath scattered thee,” &c. And again, that no fallacious use may be made of the vocable ” when” here, it is added (v. 10), ” if thou shalt hearken unto the voice of the lord thy God, to keep his commandments and his statutes…and if thou turn unto the lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul” &c. Now, that all this is not Prophecy, but Doctrine, it, must surely be too plain to admit of doubt. [The Bishop of London says however, on this subject, (p. 7. Sermon,) ” It is obvious that while the curses have been fulfilled to the very letter, in the fortunes of that wonderful people, the blessings can hardly be said to have received their full accomplishment.” The Bishop here refers us to Deut. xxviii. and the two following chapters. Now, let it be asked, Have we prophecies, properly so called, in any one of these places, with regard to this point ? or, Have we doc­trines only? Let the Header judge, Deut. xxviii. 1. “If thou shalt hearken diligently, &c. the lord thy God -will set thee on high above all nations of the earth : and all these blessings shall come on thee,” &c. i. e. ” if thou shalt diligently hearken, &c.” But they have not dili­gently hearkened; they have done directly the reverse of this. The curses following have therefore, justly fallen upon them to the very letter. This is what the doctrine so delivered requires. And, part ratione, when they shall have diligently hearkened, &c. then, and in like manner, will the blessings come on them also to the very letter: but with this difference; When they do this, then will they cease to be Jews. They will now have embraced the New Covenant; and under this, there is no difference, the Jew, Greek, Barbarian, &c. are all one people, in the Scriptural sense of that term; and the blessings to he received will be spiritual, and far greater and more enduring than Canaan could ever give, even to the very letter. All the other places referred to by the Bishop are equally unpropitious to his theory. But the strangest and most inconsiderate of all, is this (ib.): ” The thread of their,” i. e. the Jews’, ” destiny is interwoven with the history of the world, from the moment when it first fell under the captivity of sin;” i.e. of course, in the garden of Eden. I should be glad to know where his Lordship finds any thing about the ” thread of Jewish destiny” in these times ? that is, nearly two thousand years before the calling of Abraham: The Bishop also favours us with some other very curious matter in the said Sermon, (pp. 12, 13), which I shall now notice. ” Whether the conversion of the Jewish people… shall precede, or follow, their restoration to the inheritance of Abraham and his seed, is not, I think, distinctly foretold in Holy Scripture.” I remark, ” the inheritance of Abraham,” as given by the everlasting covenant, is that of the whole heathen. To this the Jewish people can succeed only, “if they abide not in unbelief.” Canaan is out of the question now. They must be converted therefore, before any restoration can take place; and the New Covenant, which is everlasting, knows of none to Canaan. This must suffice on this point. The Bishop next speaks of the Gentiles having ” dominion over God’s ancient people,” and hold­ing ” Jerusalem in bondage.” My remark is here : The Jews are now ” no people,” in the scriptural sense of that term. The Covenant under which they profess to live, has long ago passed away. Nor do the Gentiles hold Jerusalem in bondage: it is Satan who does this: and this bondage is sin. The Bishop next tells us, that ” two things appear to be plainly revealed in Scripture; that the Jews, towards the close of the Christian dispensation, are to be brought as a people into the Church of Christ; and that they are to be reinstated in… their ancient patrimony.” I answer, that none of these things is either plainly, or obscurely, revealed in Holy Writ; but directly the contrary : 1st, That the Jews shall never be reinstated, either converted, or otherwise, in the land of Canaan. 2ndly, That the Christian dispensation shall never close. Of all which abundant proof will be found in these pages. The truth is, the Bishop has wholly lost sight of the nature of the great Covenant made with Abraham, and established in Christ; as he also has of the everlasting requirements of this Covenant, viz. a spiritual, not a merely national, people. The consequence is, this Sermon ex­hibits one of the most singular instances of Judaizing, that Christian Bishop ever wrote, preached, or published! I have now done with it, and should not have noticed it for its own sake. The authority of its author is the only consideration that gives it any importance.]

As to the Prophets, their continued expostulations with the Jews of their day; their threats, their promises, their rebukes, all tend to the same point. “Turn ye, turn ye,…for why will ye, die, O house of Israel [Ezek. xxxiii. 11, &c.] ?” can admit neither of a prophetical, nor Calvinistical interpretation. They all imply the power to return, and that there existed no fatal necessity to the contrary ; they are all addressed to the will but, alas ! that will was corrupt, and refused to hearken ; it chose and. delighted in ways that were not good : and was eventually compelled to eat the fruit of its own doings. This, Moses and all the Prophets positively foretold; and, in many cases, with much anguish and sorrow of heart. Still, the foresight of it all, neither could, nor did, influence the will of that sinful nation. It was the love of self, of sin, and of the world, encouraged in a heart above all things deceitful, and desperately wicked [jer. xvii. 9.], urged on by the influence of the father of lies, that originated and kept all this up, while means and powers, sufficient for their deliverance and salvation, were daily urged upon them as a gainsaying and disobedient people. And hence it is, that Moses lays down both the threats and promises of the Law, always conditionally. In the Chapter before us (ver. 17), ” But if thine heart turn away, so that thou wilt not hear…I denounce… that ye shall surely perish.” And (ib. 10), “If thou shalt hearken” &c. “then the lord will turn thy captivity,” &c. And so in every other place touching on this subject. To the same effect also St. Paul (2 Cor. iii. 14, 15): ” But their minds were blinded.” ” But even unto this day, when Moses is read, the vail is upon their heart. Nevertheless, when it” (their heart) “shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away.”Where this ” when” of the Apostle must have the same meaning as it has in Moses, and imply a condition, but not declare prophetically. We have therefore, in all this, no prophecy of any conversion whatsoever of the Jewish people: we have nothing more than the doctrine, that If they abide not in unbelief, they shall all be saved.

Sect. IV.—On the Question, whether any return of the Jews to Canaan is to be expected.

But it may still be said, as it often is, that in the very places here referred to in the Law, as also in many in the Prophets, direct and positive predictions are made of the return of the Jews to their own land, and this to come to pass after their last and general dispersion ; which must also imply their conversion. Some indeed, have gone so far as to affirm, that there is no allowed principle of interpretation which can justify any other conclusion. In Lev. xxvi. 42, it is said, e. g. ” I will remember the land.” And more particularly in Deut. xxx. 5 : “The lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it.” And to the same effect, the Prophets are full and frequent. But some of these do also declare positively, that to this land of Canaan, the Jews should, after this last dispersion, never return. How then, are we now to deal with this question? Let us first see, what is said on this last point.

Ezekiel (chap. vii. 7, seq.) delivers himself in these words : “The morning is come, O thou that dwellest in the land; the time is come, the day of trouble” (i. e. the great day of the Lord. Comp. Dan. xii. 1.) “is near, and not the sounding again” (i. e. never again, as in the gathering in of the vintage) ” of the mountains…And mine eye shall not spare, neither will I have pity [ This expression is taken from the Law. See Deut. xiii. 8. as also is the matter. See Lev. xxvi. 14, seq. Deut. xxviii. 16, seq.]; …The time is come, the day draweth near; let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn: for wrath is upon all the multitude thereof. For the seller shall not return to that which is sold, although they were yet alive: for the vision,” adds the Prophet, ” is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return [There can be no doubt, I think, that the term ” multitude,” introduced here and in some other places, is intended to suggest the distinction to be made between the Jews generally, and that small party termed the “Remnant” &c. Isaiah (v. 14), to the same effect: ” Hell hath enlarged herself,. . . and their glory, and their multitude, and their pomp,. .. shall descend into it.” Again, (xxix. 5.) ” The mulititude of thy strangers… and the multitude of the terrible ones shall be as chaff that passeth away: yea, it shall lie at an instant, suddenly.” The next verse repeats the judgments generally denounced against the great body of the Jewish nation, as in Lev. and Deut. just cited. Isa. xxiv. presents the same judgments on the same party: and, be it ob­served, all this is prophecy properly so called; and cannot, in the nature of the case, be opposed by prophecy to the contrary. See also Zeph. i. I, seq. where, ver. 8, ” clothed with, strange apparel,” will afford a good key to the meaning of ” thy strangers” in Isaiah. And here all this was to take place in the great day of the Lord, (ver. 8, &c.) Ib. (Ch. ii. 3.) We have the better party styled, the “meek of the earth,” (read land).].”…”The sword” adds he, “is without, and the pestilence and the famine within: he that is in the field shall die with the sword; and he that is in the city, famine and pestilence shall devour him.” Which last portion is only an echo of the words of Moses : and all is prophecy properly so called.

Now, I may perhaps say, we have quite enough given here to enable us to arrive at certainty, as to the drift of this prediction. There can be no doubt, in the first place, that the prophecy of Moses (Dent, xxxii. 25, &c.) is imitated here: and, in the second, there can be none, that it refers to the period in which ” the nations should rejoice with God’s people” (ver. 43); that is, the period commonly designated their ” latter end” (ver. 29), and ” the great day of the Lord” of which more presently. It is obvious more­over, that we have here in Ezekiel this latter end of the Jewish polity—-for no other end concerns them—and this is particularly urged in this Chapter, and repeated again and again (ib. ver. 2, 3, 6).

If we now turn to Deuteronomy (chap, xxviii. 21), we shall find another prediction of Moses answering exactly to this of Ezekiel. ” The lord,” it is said, ” shall make the pestilence cleave unto thee, until He have consumed thee” (i. e. completely) “from off the land, whither thou goest to possess it.” And, again (ver. 49—58), we have the siege of Jerusalem by the Romans [Ezekiel too (Ch. vii. 24), quite in the spirit of Moses, predicting the fall of Jerusalem by the Romans, (Deut. xviii. 49—58) says, ” Wherefore I will bring the worst of the heathen” (i. e. as pourtrayed in Daniel’s Little Horn, of which more when we come to the place), ” and they shall possess their houses: I will make the pomp of the strong to cease; and their holy places shall be defiled.” That is, both their city and sanctuary shall be for ever profaned (comp. Isa. xxiv. 5, seq.) where the same events are obviously had in view, and where it is accordingly declared, that “the land should fall, and not rise again.” i. e. any more at all, (ver. 20). We have again in Amos ii. 4,6, some similar denunciations, which our translators have not understood, viz. “I will not turn away the punishment thereof:” which should have been, I will surely not bring him back; i.e. restore him (Heb.)

To the same effect, ib. ver. 2. ” The Virgin of Israel is fallen; she shall no more rise: she is forsaken upon her land; there is none to raise her up.” The next verse provides for the preservation of the holy seed or remnant, in these words: ” The city that went out by a thousand shall leave an hundred, and that which went forth by an hundred, shall leave ten, to the house of Israel.” Isaiah, too, makes this party a tithe or tenth (Ch. vi. 12, 13): ” There be a great forsaking in the midst of the land. But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return.” Which is much the same thing as saying, that no other portion shall: and this is really the drift of the places from Amos.] , with all its horrors, too graphically depicted to be misunderstood. Much to the same effect our blessed Lord alluding to this event (Matth. xxiv. 17, 18) says, “Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house: neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.” And again (ib. 16): “Let them which be in Judea flee” (i.e. escape) “into the mountains.” Again (Luke xxi. 21, 22), ” Let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains… and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto. For these be the days of vengeance” (i. e. so frequently predicted by Moses and others), ” that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” These, we shall presently see, are the times of the end predicted by Moses and the Prophets, and explained as such by the Apostles themselves. And certainly, during these, the Jews were not restored to Canaan, but were expelled from it; nor, as to ” the multitude thereof,” did they turn, nor have they yet turned, to the Lord.

There is another particular in the prediction just cited, which cannot fail to suggest to us its real drift and object; it is this: It is said that the multitude shall not return : that is, the Jewish people generally, as opposed to that small party, styled ” a very small remnant,”” and of which Ezekiel makes specific mention here also (ver. 16), and even places them on the mountains, whither our Lord Himself directed his disciples to flee, as just noticed. Ezekiel’s words are: ” But they that escape of them” (i. e. out of the multitude), ” shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning, every one for his ini­quity.” It is not therefore, the holy seed or Remnant that is denounced in this place: it is the sinful multitude, which constituted the bulk of the Jewish nation : it is the multitude who never yet did mourn as doves for their sins.

Let us see, in the next place, whether Ezekiel so describes the captivity from which this multitude should not return, as to exclude the Babylonian, in which he was then a par­taker. His words are (ver. 12, seq.): ” Let not the buyer rejoice, nor the seller mourn…for the seller shall not return to that which is sold,” &c. Now, let it be observed, Jeremiah buys a piece of land in Anathoth (chap, xxxii. 7, &c.), for the purpose of assuring the Jews, that they should return from the Babylonian captivity, and possess both houses and fields in that land (ib. ver. 15). This again, is further and more particularly urged, from verse 36 to the end of the Chapter. It must be obvious therefore, that Ezekiel had in view a captivity, altogether different from that foretold by Jeremjah : and history recognizes none, but that effected by the Romans in the fall of Jerusalem, and which continues to this day. According to Ezekiel therefore, from this captivity the Jews never shall return to the land of Canaan: neither land bought, nor land sold there, shall any more afford grounds either for rejoicing in the Buyer, or of mourning in the Seller.

We have here therefore, a positive prediction that the multitude, or whole body of the Jews, shall never return to Canaan: that is, within the space of time assigned to pro­phecy in the Scriptures: and I will affirm, that in every place, in which the fall and dispersion of the Jews is foretold, the same thing is virtually predicted : because prophecy cannot, in the nature of things, be opposed to prophecy. And in the facts of the case here, it never is. We shall now proceed to shew that, whenever a promise or prediction of a return is made to the Jews, it is made to the holy Remnant alone; and that then, from the nature of the case, the return cannot be to the land of Canaan.

We must never forget, that when promises are made in the Bible, these must be understood in its own sense, that is, as intended for those only who are God’s peculiar people. This again, will introduce another consideration; viz. that these constitute spiritually the whole of His people: they cannot but be all Israel, in the true sense of this term: and in this way the Prophets express themselves when they speak of them, just as St. Paul does when he says, ” They are not all Israel which are of Israel,”…” the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God ; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed.” So Ezekiel, in the true spirit of this (chap. xi. 15, seq.), “Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred, and all the house op israel wholly, are they unto whom the in­habitants of Jerusalem have said, Get. you far from the lord : unto us is this land given in possession.” We have here therefore, the Prophet’s brethren, his kindred, and all the house of Israel wholly, opposed to the inhabitants of Jerusalem generally ; which latter must necessarily designate the reprobate part of the Jews: the former, the Elect: and observe, these are styled here, ” all the house of Israel wholly:” virtually proscribing the rest, as not being of this house at all.

We have also in Isaiah (chap. Ixvi. 5, Sec.), a place perfectly in unison with this. ” Hear” says the Prophet, ” the word of the lord, ye that tremble at His word (comp. ver. 2); your brethren that hated you, that cast you out for my Name’s sake, said, Let the lord be glorified; but He shall appear to your joy, and they shall be ashamed.’1” It is impossible, I say, not to be struck with resemblance of these two passages, and the pointed distinction made in them between Israel after the spirit, and Israel after the flesh: i. e. in the hypocritical profession and tyranny of the one, and in the trembling and suffering as Outcasts of the other. Not less remarkable moreover, are the threats here denounced against the former, than are the glorious promises made to the latter. (See especially verr. 1.9—24.) Quite of a piece with this is a passage in the Acts (chap. xiii. 26, seq.): “Men and brethren, children” (truly) “of the stock of Abraham, and whosoever among you feaheth god” (i. e. tremble at His word), ” to you is this salvation sent. For they that dwell at Jerusalem, and their rulers, because they knew Him not, nor yet the voices of the prophets which are read every sabbath-day, they have fulfilled them in condemning Him.” We have here, I say, ” the inhabitants of Jerusalem” of Ezekiel’s days, quite of a piece with the dwellers at Jerusalem of those ‘of Paul; or, in the terms of Isaiah, with the rulers of Sodom, and people of Gomorrah, (see also Acts xiii. 40, 41; and xxviii. 25, seq., where the Apostle cites prophecy to shew that this party would not believe). Parallel again, with these places of Ezekiel and Isaiah, is the following one of Micah (chap. ii. 12): “I will surely assemble, O Jacob, all of thee; I will surely gather the Remnant of Israel: I will put them together as the sheep of Bozrah,” &c. Where “Jacob, all of THEE” must be the same with ” the remnant of israel,” immediately following it. Again (chap. iii. 11), we have likewise a description of the wicked party: “The heads thereof judge for reward, the priests thereof teach for hire, and the prophets divine for money: yet they will lean upon the lord, and say, Is not the lord among us?” i. e. joining again a hypocritical profession with their base practices !

“To the same effect again, is Isaiah (chap. xlix. 3, seq.); which, under any other point of view, must be quite unintelligible. It is said, ” Thou art my servant, O Israel,” (i. e. the spiritual Israel) ” in whom I will be glorified. Then I said” (i. e. this same Israel), ” / have laboured in vain, I have spent my strength for nought, and in vain” (i. e. in the language of despondency,—as is too often the case): ” yet surely my judgment is with the lord, and my work with my God.” The Prophet adds: ” And now, saith the lord” (i. e. in answer to the despondency just noticed), *’ that formed me from the womb to be His servant, to bring Jacob to him” (i.e. some party not then so brought), “though Israel be not gathered” (i. e. the greater part of the nation, improperly so called; viz. its multitude), “yet shall I” (i. e. the true Israel) ” be glorious in the eyes of the lord, and my God shall be my strength. And He said,” adds the Prophet, “It is a light thing that thou shouldest be my servant to raise up the tribes of Jacob” (i.e. as from the dead [This will afford a good comment on St. Paul, (Horn. xi. 15), which has been so often cited, and misunderstood : ” What,” says the Apostle, “shall the receiving of them be, but life from the dead?” It can scarcely be supposed that the Apostle meant to say, the return of the Jews to the true faith should so act upon the Church, as to give it a sort of new life, as remarked above (p. 37.) This figure is also used in Ezek. xxxvii. where the receiving of the Holy Remnant into the Church is foretold: and might well be adopted by Paul when speaking of the Jews generally. They would, in such case, be like the returning prodigal, and considered as those who had been lost, and now found; dead, but now alive. The circumstances of this context (viz. Ezek. xxxvii.) require this, as we shall presently shew. For, in the first place, a Remnant only returned after this captivity to the land of Israel ; and these must have been, on the whole, the more pious portion of the nation : the rest remained in Chaldea : and many of them are there still. It is remarkable moreover, that the return of this Remnant is made by Isaiah (Ch. xi. 11. seq.) a sort of voucher for that of which St. Paul was one. His words are, ” The lord shall set His hand the second time” (that of Babylon was the first) ” to recover the Remnant of His people . . .from Assyria &c. ; and He, shall assemble the out­casts of Israel.” All of which clearly refers to the establishment of the New Covenant in Christ. The same must appear to every one, who carefully examines this chapter of Ezekiel, particularly from ver. 24 to the end: the following one relates to the same thing. This return to the land of Israel and subjection to David their king, must there­fore be taken in a spiritual sense : i. e. as the ” return to the Mighty God:” and the land, as that of promise, given in the first covenant with Abraham, and shadowed out by the Mosaic. — And, as to this resurrection, Daniel xii. 2. speaks thus of it: “Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake” &c. So also Isa. xxvi. 19 : ” Thy dead men” (i. e. O Zion, Those who are considered as dead in thee : comp. Rev. xi. 9 — 12, and its Com. below) . . . “my dead body” (Zion says this, identifying these with herself), ” they shall” (surely) “arise” (Heb.). It is added, “Awake and sing” (i.e. with the Redeemed Church), “ye that dwell in the dust;” for thy “dew” (O Christ) “is as the dew of herbs” (i. e. it is life-giving: Comp, Ps. ex. 3.) It is added as a prediction, and thou shalt bring down the Rephaim to the earth) i.e., Thou, O Zion, shalt bring down tyrants: Heb. The next verse, 20, addresses these. See also Luke ii. 34 : Eph. ii. 6 : v. 14 : Isa. Lii. 2.]), ” and to restore the preserved of Israel”” (i. e. that holy Remnant to whom alone the promise of restoration had been given): “I will also give thee for a light to the Gentiles” (i. e. to be the means, or ministers, of light under Him who is “the true light [It should be observed, that it is a very common usage of Holy Scripture to apply language, properly belonging to Christ alone,—as in this case,—improperly to His people. The Psalms abound in this usage, as remarked by St. Augustine long ago.]”), “that thou mayest be my salvation unto the ends of the earth.” There can be no doubt here, I think, that the Israel of verses 3 and 6, is neither the Israel of verse 5, nor the Jacob of verse 6. The one is to bring Jacob back to God, and (verse 6) to raise up, as from the dead, his tribes: the other is in a situation to be so brought, and to be so raised up. It is here therefore, by the context alone that the party can be determined: and the same is the case in Ezekiel in the place just noticed: the one party is moreover, the true and entire Israel; the other is not.

Places similar to these occur in the Psalms : e. g. (Ixxxvii. 2), ” The lord loveth the gates of Zion more than all the dwellings of Jacob.” Where, be it observed, Zion is opposed, as in Ezekiel, to “all the dwellings of Jacob” The first verse affords the true key to this: it is because ” His foundation is in the” (truly) “holy mountains.” (His, i.e. of each one composing it, so that this and that man, ver. 5, 6, is said to be born there). Much of the same sort is Psalm xlviii. throughout: and, most likely, the Ixxixth and Ixxxth. They evince the language of prayer true and sincere, and can designate none but God’s people who really prayed. The same might be said of many others. So also (Pss. xiv. 7; liii. 6): ” Oh that the salvation of Israel were come out of Zion! when the lord,” it is added, ” bringeth back the captivity of His people” (i. e. by so giving them salvation, not in a return from some foreign land, but from strange servitude), ” Jacob shall rejoice, and Israel shall be glad.”

We may now return to our place in Ezekiel (chap. xi. 16, seq.). The Prophet proceeds : ” Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and…have scattered them among the countries, yet will I be to them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come.” All which is said, not of “the Inhabitants of Jerusalem,” mentioned just before, but of ” all the house of Israel (i. e. properly so called) wholly.” It is added in the next verse, ” And I will .give you the land of Israel.” That is, to this Israel constituting the real, and whole family of Abraham. And this land of Israel must, of necessity, be that heritage .of the heathen extending to the uttermost parts of the earth (Ps. ii. 8, &c.), which the whole series of prophecy assigns to Abraham’s promised seed : i. e. under the typical system, looking onward to its antitypical one. It is added (ver. 19), ” I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you” (i. e. such as the New Covenant alone could give),…” That they may walk in my statutes” (because by this power alone could they effectually do so). “And,” it is added, “they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” This is not therefore, the multitude of the Jews that should not return; it is only that Remnant which should, to the Mighty God.

We next have (ver. 21, respecting the sinful party who said above, ” Get you far from the Lord”), ” But as for them whose heart walketh after the heart of their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord God.” Where, in each case, the spirit of the Law is fully preserved; the promise of protection by God himself as ” a little sanctuary,” ever accompanying His own, and the denunciations of wrath cleaving to their oppressors, His enemies. The restoration to the true land of Israel, the ” holy Jerusalem,” and ” City of the Living God” is here therefore, where it should be: and so is the judgment denounced. And yet, How often has this place been made to speak a totally different language !

Sect. V.—On some particular places in Jeremiah and Ezekiel, which have been supposed to foretell a return of tlie Jews to Canaan.

As it has been generally imagined, that predictions of the return of the Jews to Canaan are to be found in the Prophets, we need not be surprised at certain places being selected, as the most clear and positive on this point. The following, taken from Jeremiah and Ezekiel, are places so singled out. Let us then enquire, how far these Scriptures will, or will not, bear such an interpretation.

We have then (Jer. xxx. 3, seq.) : ” Lo, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah…and I will cause them to return to the land that I gave to their fathers, and they shall possess it.” It will shorten our work here, not to enter into any inquiry, as to whether the return from Babylon is had in view, or not; because it is sufficiently evident from the context, that it is not, but that some greater and more important restoration is, which should take place within the period termed ” the latter days” (ver. 24). We shall take it for granted therefore, that the place before us predicts the return from some such captivity, both of Israel, and Judah. Let us now endeavour to ascertain from the con­text, its nature, and its period.

We are told (ver. 7) as to the period, that ” that day is great, so that none is like it: it is even the time of Jacob’s trouble” (so Ezek. vii. 7, above); ” but” it is added, “he shall be saved out of it.” And again (ver. 9), ” They shall serve the Lord their God, and David their king, whom I will raise up unto them.” At this time therefore, and in this great and incomparable day (see Dan. xii. 1, and Matth. xxiv. 21, 22, which will sufficiently determine it), David was to be raised up, and to receive the homage of God’s people of both Israel and Judah. But we know of no such David, and can find no such times as these, except in those of David’s lineal descendant and spiritual successor, Jesus of Nazareth. This return from captivity must there­fore, take place some time after his appearing in the flesh.-And, if this may be relied on, the period here had in view must be within that of the New Covenant, and which has been termed ” the fulness of time. [Gal. iv. 4: Eph. i. 10.]” It must follow accord­ingly, that the terms ” my people” here, must apply to those, and to those only, who should make themselves partakers in this New Covenant, and so be the subjects of this spiritual David; or, which is the same thing, those whom the Apos­tle Paul terms ” the Remnant” and ” Election” Peter, ” the Elect” And these consisted of converts from both the houses, and indeed from every tribe of Israel (see James i. 1). –

We have arrived at the times then, in which the sha­dowy observances of the Law have come to an end, and a system wholly and purely spiritual has been established. And if so, then must this return from captivity be “viewed in a spiritual sense likewise. Abraham had now become the heir of the world in a spiritual sense: and to the same inheritance had all his spiritual seed of right succeeded, in strict accordance with the terms of the first and everlasting Covenant made with him. The return from captivity here therefore, could not be to the earthly Canaan, but to the true and spiritual Zion. And this the Apostle Paul expressly says of the converts of his days (Heb. xii. 18, seq.) : ” Ye are not come unto the mount that might be touched” (i. e. was tangible), “and that burned with fire.”…” But ye are come unto mount Sion, and unto the city of the living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels, to the general assembly and Church of the first­born…And to Jesus the mediator of the New Covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling, that speaketh better things than that of Abel.” In this case there was, of necessity, no par­ticular land to which a return could be made : all the heri­tage of the heathen, including Canaan, was now the domain of the Son of Man : and the Sion of this was the new Jeru­salem, the City of the living God, i. e. the Church of Christ. Let us now see how the rest of the context before us will agree with this. In the first place then, We hear of no great day in holy Scripture, and to which none shall be like, except that in which our blessed Lord was to appear ; and again, We know of no David, Israel’s King, but Him alone. David had too been consigned to the grave of his fathers long before the times of Jeremiah. He could not therefore, possibly be had in view here. It must neces­sarily be his spiritual successor that is meant. Again, the promises made (in verse 10) could not be made to unbeliev­ing and rejected Jews, who were to be ” not a people;” and much less were they God’s people in these times. The terms therefore, “Fear not, O my servant Jacob…neither be dis­mayed, O Israel; for lo, I will save thee from afar, and thy seed from the land of their captivity; and Jacob shall return, and shall be in rest,” &c. can apply to none but the children of that Jerusalem which is the mother of us all. [Gal. iv. 26. Comp. Ps. evil. 2. eeq.] Similar declarations are made again and again by the Pro­phets, every one of which is inapplicable to the carnal Israel, and can by no just principles of interpretation be referred to it. See Isaiah, chap. xlix. in particular.

The same must be true of (ver. 16, seq.) ” Therefore all they that devour thee shall be devoured [Comp. Isa. xiax. 26. The context of which makes the dis­tinction, too strong to be overlooked, between the good and bad party in Jewry.]; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity; and they that spoil thee shall be a spoil, and all they that prey upon thee will I give to the prey;” which can hardly be taken literally. Of every one of those going literally into captivity, the impossibility must appear at first sight, supposing this to apply to any general persecution of the Church: but if. the persecuting Jews themselves are meant,—which is evidently the case,—then the captivity meant must be their long-continued dispersion; not their re-assembling in Pales­tine. In no case therefore, can these words predict a re­storation of Jews to Canaan.

The Prophet goes on (ver. 17): ” / will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds…because they called thee an outcast, saying, This is” (the) ” Zion, whom no man seeketh after.” Now it is certain, that to no party is the term ” Outcast’1” so applied in Holy Writ, except that of ” the Remnant,” or true Zion: and to this party expressly does the Prophet bring us in his next chapter,— which is clearly a continuation of this. ” Sing,n it is said (ver, 7), ” with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, & Lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.” Where, be it observed, ” thy people” is explained by ” the Remnant of Israel;” and this shouting to take place among the chief of the nations, must be sufficient to shew, that the times of the New Covenant are had in view. God’s people here therefore, cannot be the now rejected Jews, but those ac­cepted in the Apostolical period. (Comp. Ps. cxlvii. 2.)

Again verses 23, 24, declare the vengeance of God to be executed upon the ” head of the wicked” (comp. Ps. ex. 7, Sic.), together with that general outpouring of wrath to be inflicted on both the opposing Jews and Gentiles; to which perpetual reference is made by the Prophets, in their an­nouncements of the great and dreadful day of the Lord,—as we shall abundantly see hereafter. We are next informed, that this should take place in the period termed ” the latter days,” which, as we shall presently shew,, can refer to none but the times in which the Christian Church was to be uni­versally established: i. e. when the dominion under the whole heavens should be given to the Son of Man.

The land therefore, given to the fathers (ver. 3) cannot be confined to that of Canaan, which was, at best, only of a temporary tenure: it must be that of the whole earth, given to Abraham under the first and everlasting Covenant; and to this, as from captivity, should his spiritual seed re­turn under David their spiritual King; whose service should be perfect freedom, and whose deliverance should be from the power of Satan, to the glorious kingdom and liberty of Christ.

When it is said (ver. 11), “/ will make a full end of all nations whither I have scattered thee, yet r will not make a-full end of thee,'” it is obvious, that a strictly literal sense could not have been intended. ” A full end of all nations” must, in such case, imply a total physical destruction of these; which would be to rid the world of the far greater portion of its inhabitants, but which can hardly appear neces­sary to the subject, or to the context here. But, if we understand the place mystically, then the meaning will be, that a summary destruction of the then moral state of things should take place: old things should, in this sense, pass away, and all should become new. And this, we shall see in the sequel, is the great event continually so foretold by the Prophets. In like manner, ” So shall your seed and name remain [This holy party is termed, Isa. xviii. 7, “scattered and peeled.” In ver. 2 here, the whole nation of the Jews receives this title, as a people to whom the Egyptians sent ambassadors. The whole nation, seems to have sought this (Ch. xzx. 2. seq.)- Hence Egypt is said to be ” a land” 0^233 ^2t^S i. e. offering the shadow of the wings, as a hen doth: and hence the Jews are blamed for seeking it. In ver. 3 how­ever, all the inhabitants of the world are called upon to hear, when God should lift up an ensign on the mountains, (comp. v. 26,) and when He should blow the trumpet (comp. Zech. ix. 14. evidently marking the times of the Messiah. See verr. 9—12). We then have (verr. 5, 6,) the fall of the wicked Jewish multitude, as branches cut off to be consumed by the birds and beasts of the mountains. The distinction between those who served God, and those who served Him not, being now so made, it is said (ver. 7), “In that time shall the present be brought unto the lord of hosts of a people scattered and peeled … to the place of the name of the Lord of hosts, the” (true) “mount Zion.” Which however is not a correct rendering: it should be thus:—shall be brought to Jehovah of hosts a people scattered (i. e. far and wide as seed sown) and peeled, even out of a people terrible, &c. This bringing is therefore, out of, or from, such a terrible people, &c.: and seems clearly to point out the better party of the Jewish nation, which was then to be gathered in among the nations. Comp. Ch. 19, 20, &c.]” must be understood of the spiritual seed, not of that which is merely carnal; and of this so long as the kingdom of the Son of man should endure.

This “scattered” people therefore, sometimes styled “the Outcasts,” ” the Dispersed,” and the like, can be no other than the Dispersed, and Elect, of St. Peter; and their restoration actually took place within the period termed here ” the latter days,” The same must, of necessity, be true of the twelve tribes of St. James “scattered abroad,” and to whom he sends greeting as brethren in Christ Jesus. And, I ask, In what way did either of these Apostles appear to believe the captivity of these was brought back ? Was it in a return to the earthly Canaan, and to the Jerusalem that then was, and was in bondage with her children? If so, this would have been only to bring them from one place of captivity and bondage, to that of another ! But this the Apostles never did. They have only instructed us, either directly, or indirectly, that these ” converts of Zion” had now returned, and had come to the true “Mount Zion” and “City of the Living God,” “the heavenly Jerusalem,” and spiritual mother of all true believers. Some of these converts moreover, sold their possessions in Canaan; and hence they plainly declared, as Abraham had done before them, that they sought a better, that is, a heavenly country; a City built upon indestructible foundations, whose Builder and Maker is God: while unbelieving Jews and others, who have been carried away with their dissimulation, would have us believe, even under the full establishment of the New Covenant, that we must still look for all the glories of the Church to a land, the possession of which was only temporary, and the times of which have long ago passed away !

From verse 12 to the end of verse 17, we are told of the bruises, wounds, sins, and sufferings, of this portion of Israel, in such terms as might seem to imply, that the reprobate part of the nation should rather be understood. I am induced to think differently, for the following reasons: It would be out of place to imagine, that even the true Zion of God would be wholly sinless, and hence exempt from chastisements. Holy Scripture certainly teaches no such thing. For scarcely has it a Worthy, of whom it does not record some grievous lapse. The great difference between the good and bad, in a scriptural sense, is, that the one, labouring after perfection, even in the way that God himself has prescribed, Buffers, either from his weakness, ignorance, or inbred corruption, many falls; while the faith that be cherishes will powerfully convince him of this, humble him in the consideration of it, and stir him up more effectually to repentance, watchfulness, and the use of every means of grade. In such an one, all things work together for good; and the consequence is, he proceeds from strength to strength, from grace to grace, until he is meet for glory. In the other class, sin is rarely viewed as sin. The purity of God’s law is not felt, and hence it is disregarded. The habit of impiety extends itself in every direction, and the world’s will and ways finally take possession of the whole man: the certain consequence of which is, Pride, Ambition, Avarice, and the like; which will necessarily produce as their fruits, Cruelty, Oppression, and indeed, every affection and work that is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Now it is precisely in this way, that we always find the good and bad parties of Holy Scripture respectively described. In the context before us, it is said, ” Thy bruise is incurable, and thy wound is grievous.” And, Is this too much to say even of the best of men, the thoughts of whose heart naturally are only evil from his youth ? And not only so, but the evil, whence this has arisen, is, as to all that man can do as such, utterly incurable, and hence is, indeed, very grievous. And so it is said (ver. 17),—which can apply to none but those, who seek by repentance and prayer the only and necessary remedy,—” I will restore health unto thee, and I will heal thee of thy wounds.” The very nature of the Scriptures makes it impossible, that this can be said of those who are incapable of viewing sin as sin, and who never have therefore, recourse to repentance and prayer for its cure: and in this predicament were the unbelieving Jews of the Theocracy, and in the same they still are. Nor can it apply as prophecy to this unbelieving party, as believers in time to come; for the period assigned to the fulfilment of all prophecy has long, ago passed, as we shall presently shew.

That the people, here had in view, was the Remnant or Election, may also be gathered from what is said in verse 10 : ” Why criest thou for thine affliction ? Is thy sorrow incurable for the multitude of thine iniquity ? (because) thy sins have been increased, (and) I have done these things unto thee?” That is, Thou criest out as one whose case is desperate : but, Is it really so ? As far as man’s art or power can go, it is indeed incurable and desperate; but it is not so with God’s. We have a similar instance in Isaiah (xlix. 14, seq.): ” Zion said, The Lord hath forsaken me, and my Lord hath forgotten me.” (See also ver. 4.) The answer is, ” Yea, they” (i.e. the mothers of infants) ” may forget, yet will I not forget thee. Behold, I have engraven thee on the palms of my hands; thy walls are ever before me,” &c. The very circumstance of crying out, must imply a cry for help; and, in the true Zion, a crying to God [Isa. xix. 20.]. And that this was the case here, is evident enough from the answer, received,—just as in that now cited from Isaiah. ” Therefore” (i.e. because thou hast so cried out to me), ” all they that devour thee shall be devoured; and all thine adversaries, every one of them, shall go into captivity. For I will restore health to thee,” &c.; which is but an echo of what is said again and again, with reference to this Remnant of Israel; and it can be understood of nothing short of an answer to sincere and effectual prayer.

If then we have God’s true Zion here, and the period of ” the latter days,”—that of “the great day”—here spoken of, then must the following also be understood in a manner consistent with this: viz. (ver. 18), ” And the city shall be builded upon her own heap” (hill) [It is remarkable enough that Jerusalem is mystically styled in Zeph. i. 11. Maktesb, that is, a mortar or bason. See my Heb. Lex. <Hebrew> p. 359 seq. It is said, “For all the merchant people are cut down,” &e. i. e. its wicked traders, priests, prophets, and others, who trafficed in the souls of men, should be cut down, bruised, and broken, as in a mortar. And in the verse preceding,…”, great crashing” (i. e. breaking to pieces) “from the hills.” In this place, the bason, or mortar-like, figure of Jerusalem seems to have suggested the term used by the Prophet. It could hardly be said therefore to be built upon a heap or hill.], ” and the palace shall remain after the manner thereof.” Some have understood this as a prediction of the rebuilding of the natural Jerusalem, and therefore to be literally interpreted. But this cannot be true; for Jerusalem was not generally built upon a hill. The hills, we are taught, were round about this Jerusalem; and the fact is, they are so still: but surely this must imply any thing, but that Jerusalem was built on its hill or heap. If however, we understand the place of the spiritual, or new Jerusalem, the description will be quite of a piece with that usually given of it by the Prophets, e. g. Isa. ii. 2: “In the last days” (the very period marked here) ” the mountain of the lord’s house shall be established in the top of the mountains,” &c. So again Ps. Ixxxvii.: ” His foundation is in the holy mountains. Glorious things are spoken of thee, O city of God.” And be it observed, the ” Zion” here mentioned is not the same thing with ” the dwellings of Jacob.” It is the city of the Elect only. It should be observed too, that the, foundation of this Zion is on ” the holy mountains:” more literally and true, on the mountains of holiness: that is, on every moun­tain arid hill where the holiness, taught and required under the New Covenant, is truly known. This place cannot therefore, be understood of any rebuilding of the earthly Jerusalem : it clearly refers to the times and circumstances of the New Covenant; and this knows of no earthly Jerusalem. A heavenly one alone is the object of its converts; and a spiritual one they find it, in all its characters, promises, and blessings.

“There is none to plead thy cause,” Sic. (ver. 13), is no more than what is said of the true Zion by Isaiah (chap. li. 18, seq.), viz. “There is none to guide her of all the sons she hath brought forth: neither is there any that taketh her by the hand of all the sons that she hath brought up,” &c.; where, as before, we have in the sequel promises that she shall be fully delivered, and her enemies recompensed. In the Apostolic times, i. e. “the latter days,” all this was indeed fully realized. The foundations of the Church of the first­born, were laid upon the mountains of holiness, primarily on Him who is emphatically and truly styled ” the Rock of ages:” and secondarily, on those his Apostles who were in­deed pillars and grounds of the truth [1 Tim. iii. 15.] ; and who, as precious stones, formed its foundations [Rev. xxi. 14.] ; while they also laid these far and wide [ Rom. x. 18.]. At the same time too, the nominal Zion and Jerusalem,—sons in some sense, whom the true Zion had brought forth and brought up,—instead of taking her by the hand to console and help her, became her fiercest enemies and persecutors ; and consequently, they received the full cup of trembling, were fed with their own flesh, and made drunken with their own blood! Which is but a repetition of what we have here (Jer. chap. xxx. verr. 23, 24), and which, it is said, should come to pass in ” the latter days,” as already remarked.

Again verses 19, 22, bring us to the blessings everywhere promised to this Elect and holy Remnant. ” Out of them,”” it is said, “shall proceed thanksgiving and the voice of them that make merry: and I will multiply them… I will also glorify them.”…” And ye shall be my people, and I will be your God.” So St. Peter (1 Ep. ii. 9), ” Ye are a chosen (elect) generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people.” And as these blessings were, according to our Prophet, to be known and considered in the period termed ” the latter days;” they cannot be extended beyond these: and these comprehend the period assigned to the establishment (de facto) of the New Covenant: they cannot therefore, possibly refer to any rebuilding of Jerusalem, or restoration of the Jews, hereafter to take place; and of this the context of the following Chapter, connected as it is with ‘ this, will afford us ample proof.

“At the same time, saith the lord, will I be the God of all the families of Israel, and they shall be my people? Now it must be evident from this, that, at whatever period ” the latter days? with which the preceding Chapter ends, should be,—for to these must reference here be had,—at the same should ” the lord lie the God of all the families of Israel.” This, I say, the terms used absolutely require. We shall presently shew, that this can be no other than the period, commencing with the resurrection of our blessed Lord, and ending with the universal establishment of his Church.

We have moreover, matter identical with this in object in Isaiah xi. 10, seq.: “In that day,” it is said, ‘•’•there shall be a” (rather the) ” root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign to the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and His rest shall be glorious.’1” It is added (ver 11): ” It shall come to pass in that day, that the lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the Remnant of his people…from Assyria, and from Egypt” (the first time, as already remarked, being that in which a Remnant only was recovered from Babylon). ” And He shall set up an ensign for the nations” &c. That all this has reference to the times in which Christ’s kingdom should be set up, there can be no doubt; and for this, those of “the latter days” have, as we shall presently see, been espe­cially marked out by the sacred writers. And if this be the case, then can ” all the families of Israel”” in Jeremiah, mean nothing more than ” the Remnant of His people,” as mentioned by Isaiah. And, in the strict purport of those terms, can none other possibly be meant; and so Ezekiel (chap. xi. 15) as noticed above: “Son of man, thy brethren, even thy brethren, the men of thy kindred” (i. e. of the same spiritual family with him), “and”” (read even) “all the house of Is­rael wholly, are they to whom the inhabitants of Jerusalem have said, Get you far from the Lord; unto us is this land given in possession” Where it must be obvious, as already shewn, that “all the family of Israel wholly” are those, and those only, against whom the wicked inhabitants of Jerusalem acted as enemies: and the same is true of these places of Jeremiah, Isaiah, and others noticed above.

Again, that these are God’s Elect and holy Remnant, is evident from what immediately follows (Ezek. xi. 16): ” Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord god ; Although I have cast them far off among the heathen, and although I have scat­tered them among the countries, yet will I be unto them as a little sanctuary in the countries where they shall come;”’ as already noticed. Of the other party (ib. ver. 21) : ” But as for them whose heart walketh after their detestable things and their abominations, I will recompense their way upon their own heads, saith the Lord god.” That there is a palpable distinction made here, no one can for a moment doubt. The promises are made to the good, the threats denounced against the bad, i. e. ” the inhabitants of Jerusalem” generally. The promises are (ib. ver. 17) : ” Therefore say, Thus saith the Lord god ; I will even gather you from the people, and assem­ble you out of the countries where ye have been scattered, and I will bring you into the land of Israel.”” That is, I will gather you who are really my people, and all the house of the spiritual Israel wholly: while I will execute my fierce judgments upon the heads of those, who call themselves Israel but are really not so. This holy family of Israel was therefore, to be gathered, while the curse of dispersion should, with all its accompanying evils, rest upon the unholy one. It is added of the holy party (ib. ver. 19, seq.), “I will give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within you… and they shall be my people, and I will be their God.” And that the other party should not be so gathered, the same Prophet thus fully asserts (chap. vii. 13), ” The vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return” (ver. 14)…”for my wrath is upon all the multitude thereof” i. e. of the transgressors. That this holy Remnant, scattered as they were— or abiding, as the case might be, in Canaan,—were not, within the period termed ” the latter days,” gathered in to the earthly Jerusalem, we shall see hereafter: and Prophecy assigns no other period, for the gathering in of the Jews in any place whatsoever, or in any sense.

But to return to our Prophet (Jer. xxxi.) If we now pass on to verse 7, we shall find this holy Remnant expressly mentioned; and this must consist of those called ” all the families of Israel” in the first verse. The words are : ” Thus saith the lord ; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations,” (i. e. just as in Isaiah) : “publish ye, praise ye, and say, O lord, save thy people, the remnant of Israel.” Where the Remnant of Israel are clearly designated as God’s people, and they must have comprehended all His truly spiritual people; and, from what we have seen of their opponents, it must be evident that, in truth, they were not God’s people.

Again (ver. 8), “Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth…a great company shall return thither.” Whither ? Of necessity, to the land and privileges of Israel as granted by Covenant to Abra­ham, when he became the spiritual father of many nations : and in this, as Isaiah said in his days (chap. x. 21), “.The Remnant should return, even the Remnant of Jacob, unto the Mighty God;” i. e. to Him who should (chap. ix. 6, seq.) be born as a child, and thence sit on the throne of David, to exercise a rule as the Prince of Peace, which should know no end. Jeremiah proceeds (ver. 10) : “He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him as a shepherd doth his flock.” By which must necessarily be meant ” all Israel:” no faithful shepherd ever neglecting a part of his flock. But all were not Israel, who were of Israel [Rom. ix. 6.]; and this distinction must, of necessity, be kept up here. The promises of God are in this place the subject-matter of our context, and these cannot be applied to those on whom vengeance is so constantly denounced, and is to this very day executed ; unless we choose to set all discrimination at nought, and to make the word of God say that, to which his holy Law is in principle altogether opposed.

We have too in the next verse (11), ” The lord hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he” Isaiah, speaking on the same subject, asks (chap. xlix. 24, seq.), ” Shall the prey be taken from the mighty, or the lawful captive delivered ?” The answer is full, and to the point: ” Thus saith the lord, Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away, and tlie prey of the terrible shall be delivered: for I will contend with him that contendeth with,” (i. e. the true Zion) ” and I will save thy children?” And what does He here say of those who were His Zion’s oppressors? ” I will feed them that oppress thee with their own, flesh, and they shall be drunken with their own blood…and all flesh shall know”” (i. e. at that time) ” that I the lord am thy Saviour, and thy Redeemer, the Mighty One of Jacob.”’All of which literally took place within the period so often styled ” the latter days.” The conclusion of our Prophet (Jer. ib. ver. 12) is, ” Therefore they shall come and sing in the height of Zion, and shall flow together to the goodness of the lord, for wheat, and for wine, and for oil, and for the young of the flock and of the herd; and their soul shall be as a watered garden; and they snail not sorrow””‘ (i. e. spiritually) ” any more at all?’ Which must apply to ” all the families of” (the true) ” Israel:” while it is obvious from the whole context, that the holy seed and Remnant of Israel alone must be meant, to the exclusion of ” the multitude?

If we now pass on to verse 15 here, we shall find a circumstance well suited to determine the period had in view by our Prophet: viz. “A voice was heard in Ramah, lamentation, and bitter weeping; Rahel weeping for her children refused to be comforted,…because they were not.”1″1 Of this the Evangelist St. Matthew (chap. ii. 17,18) gives the following interpretation : ” Then teas fulfilled that which was spoken by Jeremy the prophet, saying, In Rama was there a voice heard, lamentation, and weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for Tier children, and would not be comforted, because they are not.” The occasion of this was, the slaughter of the infants of Bethlehem, and its object was, the destruction of our blessed Lord, because He, as it was feared, would occupy the throne of David, and so set aside this murderous heathenish King. That St. Matthew’s interpretation is the true one here, there can be no doubt entertained by believers in the New Testament.

“Refrain” continues Jeremiah, addressing the true Zion (ver. 16), “thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears; for thy work shall be rewarded, saith the lord ; and they” (i. e. thy children) ”shall come again from the land of the enemy. And there is hope in thine end, saith the lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.” By ” thy end,” must necessarily be meant here the end of Judaism, as a peculiar and exclusive system: and, in this sense, it will be equivalent to the usage, ” the latter days” presently to be noticed : and to this very period St. Matthew, under the guidance of the Holy Ghost, refers this prophecy for its fulfilment. By ” thy work shall be rewarded,” and ” they” (thy children) “shall come again from the land of the enemy,” must be meant, as it should seem, the same that is both by Isaiah and Jeremiah as cited above, when it is said, ” Even the captives of the mighty shall be taken away” &c….” and I will save thy children :” and again, ” The lord hath redeemed Jacob from the hand of him that was stronger than he” &c. The coming again therefore, of Zion’s children (ver. 17, ib.) “to their own lorder” must signify their coming again, not to the temporal Jerusalem which then was, and still is, in bondage with her children, but to that Jerusalem and holy City, to which, as St. Paul informs us, the converts of Zion of his days actually did come (Heb. xii. 22).

We have again, a little lower down (Jer. chap. xxxi. 22), express reference to the miraculous birth of Christ. ” The lord,” it is said, ” hath created a new thing in the earth, A woman shall compass a man” (more literally surround, comprehend, inclose, i. e. within her, a great or eminent man [Heb. <Hebrew> It is well known that the term <Hebrew> differs greatly from <Hebrew> and <Hebrew>. It may here be considered perhaps, as intended to suggest to us <Hebrew> of Isa. ix. 6, and <Hebrew> of Ps. xlv. 4. Its being mentioned here as a new thing in the earth, cannot but remind us of the extraordinary declaration, that the seed of the woman (alone) should bruise the serpents head ; and also of Isaiah’s, ” Behold, the Virgin shall conceive, and bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel.” We hare a similar intimation of this new thing in the earth in Prov. xxx. 19. Auth. Vers. “The way of a man with a maid” which is without point or meaning here : but is quite of a piece with Jewish grossness; and from the Jews has it been taken. Better thus, The way (manner, now) of a (mighty) man within a virgin. We have in this place moreover, the very word (HD^V virgin) of Isa. vii. 14. It has already been remarked, that this extraordinary occurrence was to attend the birth of the Redeemer. Nothing can be more likely therefore, than that it would be thus adverted to.]). And again (ver. 31, seq.), we are also brought to the times of the New Covenant in these words : ” Behold, the days come, saith the lord, that I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel, and with the house of Judah.,.1 will put my law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts ; and will be their God, and they shall be my people” Which is just what Ezekiel has said of the same people, as cited above, viz. ” / mil give them one heart, and I will put a new spirit within them… and they shall be my people, and I will be their God” But we have an authoritative interpretation of this place (Heb. viii. 13, and x. 16, seq.). The Apostle’s words are: “In that he saith, A new covenant, He hath made” (i.e. declared) ” the first old. Now that which decayeth and waxeth old, is ready to vanish away:” and again, ” Now where remis­sion of these is, there is no more offering for sin. Having therefore, brethren” (i. e. of this whole house of Israel), ” boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus…let us draw near with faith” &c. From which, as well as from the context of this whole Epistle, it is evident St. Paul held, and here labored to have it believed, that the days of the New Covenant had arrived: and that he, and his believing brethren of the whole house of the true Israel, the Remnant that had escaped, had been brought back from the land of the enemy, had been redeemed and delivered fully, from the hand of him that had been stronger than they; and that they had actually returned to the heavenly Jerusalem, and real spiritual City, of the Living God.

After declaring in the sequel here, that no more should the seed of Israel, that is, the seed of all the true Israel, fail from being a nation (and the Jews, merely as such, are now no nation, no people) before Him for ever, than should the ordinances of the heavens, the sun, moon, and stars; it is added (ver. 38), “Behold, the days come, saith the lord, that the city shall be built to the lord/tom the tower of Hananeel unto the gate of the corner;” which is best explained by the new city described by Ezekiel in his forty-eighth chapter, and thence taken and shewn by John in the Revelation, to be that new Jerusalem and City of the Living God, in the light of which the nations of them that should be saved should walk, and into which their kings should bring their wealth and glory; that is,—as we shall hereafter shew,—it is none other than the Christian Church. There is not there­fore, in any part of this whole context, so much as one syllable promising a general return of the Jews to Palestine: on the contrary, the whole is strictly conversant about Christ’s Kingdom to be established by His Apostles: in this point of view, the whole is in perfect harmony with the declarations of all the Prophets, and in exact accordance with the requirements of the case, as brought before us in both Covenants.

On Ezekiel, Chapters xxxvi, xxxvii.

We now come to Chapters xxxvi. and xxxvii. of Ezekiel: and, it must be confessed, the context of these is by no means so precise and clear, as of those which we have been consider­ing. Still, I think we shall find, that to the same conclusion we must come, namely, that in these no return of the Jews to Palestine is to be found. The address of the Prophet is .directed, in the first part of Chapter xxxvi., to the mountains of Israel: ” Also, thou son of man? it is said, “prophesy unto the mountains of Israel, and say, Ye mountains of Israel, hear the word of the Lord.”” Let us endeavor, in the first place, to ascertain what is meant by ” the mountains of Israel.”

Nothing is more common in holy Scripture than to speak of a land, when its inhabitants are really meant. If it be supposed that a personification is intended, the result will be much the same; for then we shall have a land personified, and this for the purpose of representing the character of its inhabitants. In any case therefore, people must be meant: but whether the better or the worse party, or both, the con­text alone can determine. In the context before us, these mountains, or people, of Israel are represented as beloved of God, and their enemies as hated; and, whether we here con­sider these Israelites beloved, as constituting the people of God generally, or only the better part of them, our result will be the same. For first, this whole nation was preserved, and maintained as such, for the purposes of mercy to the whole world: for salvation was, generally speaking, to be of the Jews. And in this sense they may have been generally addressed. And secondly, supposing the better party only to be meant, then the address must be considered as particular. It will be upon the particular application which we here make in each case, that our result will depend.

The Prophet proceeds then (ver. 2), ” Thus saith the Lord god ; Because the enemy hath said against you, Aha, even the ancient high places are ours in possession; Therefore…thus saith the Lord god; Because they have made you desolate, and swallowed you up on every side, that ye might be a possession unto the residue of the heathen.”… From which it is evident, that this discourse is directed against those, whose object it was to destroy the Church of God, then in Judea. The claim made to ” the ancient high places” here, shews plainly, I think, that the contest is between heathenism and revealed religion. A little lower down (ver. 5), Idumea and the residue of the heathen are mentioned as the enemies had in view. And, according to the Scriptures generally, these were Moab, Ammon, Gebal, the Hagarenes, Tyre, Zidon, Philistia, Egypt, Syria, Assyria, Babylon, Gog and Magog. And in all these, the enmity was against the Church in Jewry generally.

The declaration of the Prophet against these is (ver. 7), ” Thus saith the Lord god, I have lifted up my hand” (i. e. in making oath), ” Surely the heathen that are about you, they shall bear their shame.” But this overthrow of the heathen, is always limited to the time of the New Covenant. Then comes the promise, that the Church shall prevail and prosper (ver. 8), which must necessarily refer to the same period: ” But ye, O mountains of Israel, ye shall shoot forth your branches, and yield your fruit to my people of Israel; for they are at hand to come” (in). By “my people Israel” here, must be meant those of the New Covenant; for whom indeed, the ministrations under the Old were all continued; and for this purpose was that polity sup­ported until the set time should come. Nor is it easy to see in what other sense, the place ” they are at hand to come” (in), can be understood.

Verses 12—16, here have been misunderstood by the Translators. They should have been rendered to this effect: ” / have even caused men to walk upon you, (O) my people Israel, and they have possessed thee, and thou hast been to them for an inheritance: but thou shalt no more (be) a bereavement for them [I.e. bo so bereaved by them.]. Thus hath the Lord Jehovah’ said; Because (men) say of you, Thou art a devourer of men, and hast been a bereave of thy nations. Therefore thou shalt devour men no more, nor shalt thou bereave [See Num. xiii. 32]. thy nations any more, is the word of the Lord Jehovah. Nor will I cause (or allow any) to hear against thee more a reproach of the nations, nor shalt thou bear any more the contempt of the heathen; nor shalt thou bereave [Lev. xyiii. 28: xx. 22.]thy nations any more, is the word of the Lord Jehovah.”

The reproach here had in view, can be no other than that urged against the true Church in the times of the Prophet, and to be urged against it, in the view of prophecy, up to the times in which its redemption and universal establishment should take place. The answers of God too are quite sufficient to shew, that this true Church is meant, and that its controversy should be happily terminated. The corrupt part of the Jewish nation can therefore, have neither part nor lot in this matter: the question is purely between the high places of heathenism and the mountains, valleys, rivers, and the like, of God’s spiritual Zion. (Comp. verr. 8—12.) To this, accordingly, must these promises belong.

From verse 16 to 21, we have the final dispersion of the disobedient Jews foretold, and the cause of this assigned: namely, the shedding of innocent blood and idolatry. And, be it observed, as this sin was national, so was its punishment. The multitude sinned, and the multitude suffered. The land entirely spued them out, just as the terms of the Covenant required: and here good and bad were necessarily included. Still it would not follow, that to the true Church no means of grace should be left, no source of deliverance, especially as it had been promised again and again, that the (true) seed of Israel should never fail before the Lord. So far therefore, the land of Canaan would be wholly lost, while means of salvation would still remain to the Church. Let us see how this was provided for here.

“But” it is said ver. 21, seq., “/ had pity for mine holy name, which the house of Israel” (generally) ” had profaned among the heathen, whither they went.”..,” And I will sanctify my great name…which ye have profaned… and the heathen shall know that I am the Lord God, when, I shall be sanctified in you before their eyes.” That is, although Israel generally is cast out as an abominable branch, yet God’s holy name is at this time among them, and among them alone. With them remains the holy seed, and these constitute God’s Church and people. From them is to go forth the voice of thanksgiving and making merry: this is God’s purpose, and this shall not be annulled: this is the great object and end of His Covenant sworn, and this shall be accomplished in them: this too the heathen, who now despise them, shall see and know; for to them shall these be as showers upon the grass [Mic. v. 7.], even to all nations. Comp. chap. xx. 41, seq. It is added, ver. 24—

” For I will take you” (i. e. my Church) “from among the heathen, and gather you out of all countries, and will bring you into your own land.” Now that this cannot apply to the whole multitude of the Jews, must be evident from these considerations. I. It is only to the true seed, or holy Remnant, that promises such as these are made by the sacred writers, as the nature of the case indeed requires. II. The Covenant made with Abraham, and fulfilled in ‘ Christ Jesus, absolutely requires this. The privilege of so returning and coming back to the true Zion, has been laid open to all; and those who have accepted it, have so returned : the Election hath found it [Rom. xi. 7.], while the rest are blinded, and hence they remain in captivity: which those, who were heathen in the days of the Prophet, have long ago seen and known. III. The time has long been fulfilled; the New Covenant has been miraculously established, just as the Old was: and it declares, that ” If they abide not in unbelief, they shall be grafted in…and thus shall all Israel be saved [Ib. 23—27.].’1” But, if they believe not, and be not baptized, they must be damned [Mark xvi. 16.]. No prediction can over­ride this, nor has any been made, at variance with it, in any respect whatsoever.

When it is said therefore, verr. 25—38: ” Then will I sprinkle clean water upon you” (I will baptize you with water, and with the Spirit), ” and ye shall be clean: from all your filthiness, and from all your idols, will I cleanse you. A new heart [see Jer. xxxii. 39.] also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh,” &c. The privileges of the New Covenant must be here meant, for the times of the New Covenant are had in view : besides, in no case are promises made but to faith: and in this was the New Covenant to be established.

This again will enable us fully to understand the following (ver. 34, seq.), “And the desolate land” (i.e. the once desolate heritage of the heathen, now the spiritual possession of abraham), “shall be tilled, whereas it lay desolate in the sight of all that passed by. And they shall say, This land that was desolate is become like the garden of Eden” (comp. Rev. xxii. 2), ” and the waste and desolate and ruined cities” (i.e. every where,) “are become fenced, and are inhabited” (i.e. by true Israelites). It is added, perhaps to prevent all mistake, and to bring the reader back to the covenanted mercies of God to His Church (ver. 37): “/ will yet for this” (i. e. cause) ” be enquired of by the house of Israel” (necessarily here the true Israel), ” to do it for them: I ivill increase them with men like a flock. As thy holy flock, as the flock of Jerusalem in her solemn feasts ; so shall the waste cities” (i. e. every where) ” be filled with flocks of men: and they shall know that I am the Lord.” In other words, Zion should now have so lengthened her cords and strengthened her stakes, that the whole heritage of the heathen should have become the empire of the Son of man.

We must bear in mind, that the times of the New Covenant are now before us; that Zion has so lengthened her cords and strengthened her stakes [Isa. LIV. 2.], and has taken into her ample fold, as a holy flock, the countless myriads of the Gentiles. This land of promise then, this Canaan given by oath to Abraham, and so constituting him its spiritual heir^ i. e. in his seed, is necessarily that referred to by the Prophet here. In his forty-seventh and forty-eighth chapters he speaks of this as of a new grant of land,—of which more hereafter, —these both the prince and the stranger should have a share, the city of God should be built, and the river of God should abundantly heal, and irrigate it. This, once presenting a desert and waste howling wilderness, was now, according to Isaiah, to abound with rivers and pools of water, and to rejoice and blossom like the rose: this, I say, once the habitation of dragons, and of every hurtful and unclean thing, was now so to be restored, that no ravenous beast should be found there, nothing that should hurt or destroy; the redeemed alone should walk there, refresh themselves by still waters, and lie down in pastures of comfort. But, if we carry all this back and place it within the times of the Old Covenant, which would be to close our eyes against light bright as that of the mid-day sun, we might perhaps imagine, that the Jewish multitude of unbelievers,— which indeed the Old Covenant would not bear,—were thus to be restored, and the literal mountains, valleys, rivers, and desolate wastes of Palestine, to be made thus flourishing, prosperous, and permanently happy. But the circumstances of the context clearly forbid it. The true Church is here brought before us, and this must imply the true and spiritual Israel; which the unbelieving Jews are not, view them under which Covenant you will. But, with the Old and temporary Covenant and Canaan, we clearly have here nothing to do : nor consequently, have we with Jewish notions. Let us now see what the next Chapter says on this subject.

Ezekiel, Chapter xxxvii.

It must be obvious, I think, to every considerate reader that this Chapter has two specific objects before it, as indeed it is the case with prophecy generally. One, which is temporal, and may be considered as a sort of theme, or ground­work, of The other, which is purely spiritual. The first of these is a prediction, that the Jews generally should be released from the Babylonian captivity: the second, that in them, as a spiritual people, should an universal release from spiritual captivity and bondage, be granted to all intelligent creation, in strict conformity with the Covenant renewed in David, but originally made with Abraham.

As to the first of these, the Prophet is commissioned to go and address the Jews then in captivity, as a people desponding, sorrowing, and looking upon themselves as politically dead, and as exhibiting to the view nothing better than mere skeletons. His discourse to them begins with (ver. 4, seq.), ” O ye dry bones, hear the word of the Lord, … Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live…and ye shall know that I am the Lord.” Then (ver. 10, seq.), “So I prophesied as He commanded me, and the breath came into them, and they lived, and stood up upon their feet, an exceeding great army.” We then have their desponding state, just now noticed, in these words (ver. 11): ” Our bones are dried, and our hope is lost: we are cut off from, our parts” (i. e. from our inheritance). The answer is (ver. 12, seq.), “O my people, I will open your graves” (i.e. as here exhibited in the vision), ” and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel” (i. e. the lot of your inheritance, in a literal sense), ” then shall ye know that I the Lord have spoken it, and performed it.”

The context then goes on to tell us, that now should the divided houses of Israel and Judah be for ever united; and that now also, idolatry should no more prevail among them (verr. 15—21). The promise is then repeated (ver. 21, seq.), “Behold, I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land… And I will make them one nation…neither shall they defile themselves any more with idols” All this, I say, was intended to have, in the first instance, a literal fulfilment; in this acceptation it was to take place under the temporary covenant then existing; and it did so take place.

It is certain in the first instance, that this was addressed to all the literal house of Israel (verr. 16, 22, 24); and that freedom was proclaimed to them all by Cyrus; as it also is, that all the Jews did not avail themselves of this. It was only a Remnant that preferred Canaan to Chaldea: but it was a remnant of them all. And hence we are told [Ezra vi. 17.], that after they had rebuilt the temple at Jerusalem, ” the priests and Levites offered for a sin offering, for all Israel, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel” It must be evident therefore, that some of every tribe were present; it being contrary to the Law to offer by proxy. The chief of each tribe must have been present, and have laid his hands upon the head of his victim respectively. A Remnant of all did therefore return; and consequently, the notion, that ten of these tribes have been lost, is a mere figment, St. Paul moreover, speaks familiarly in his times [Acts xxvi. 7.], of the. twelve tribes as then known to exist; and St. James [Epist. i.:1.] actually addresses his Epistle to converts from them all: neither of which could have been done, had ten out of the twelve tribes then been lost. So far this notion is to be cast to the winds, and this portion of our Prophet to be taken lite­rally, and viewed as literally fulfilled.

It has been remarked that this prophecy has, like many others of a similar character, also a spiritual sense, couched under the literal one. It is said (ver. 24, seq.), “David my servant shall be king over them; and they all shall have one shepherd: they also shall walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them.””…” and my servant David shall be their prince for ever. Moreover, I will make a, covenant of peace with them; it shall be an everlasting covenant with them: and I will place them, and multiply them, and will set my sanctuary in the midst of them for evermore [So Ezek. xlviii. 8, 10, 21; as we shall see hereafter on Rev. xxi.]. And the heathen shall know that I the lord do sanctify Israel, when my sanctuary shall be in the midst of them for evermore.”

We have here certain particulars, incapable of a literal interpretation, given perhaps for the purpose of suggesting to us the all-important testimony of Jesus, as the spirit of prophecy. “David my servant” it is said, “shall be king over them.” But the literal David, as remarked above, had long ago been laid in the sepulchre with his fathers. Some other David must therefore now be meant; and this can be no other than David’s spiritual son and successor. Whether therefore, the Jews were now to look by faith for His coming, or are to be considered as obeying after He should have appeared in the flesh, it is clear that the place must be spiritually understood and received. But there are terms occurring here, which evidently carry the times of this prediction into those of the New Covenant. It is said, “I will make my covenant of peace with them:” which must imply the making of some covenant not then made: and we know of none, except that New Covenant which was ratified by the blood of the Prince of peace.

The prophet Micah (chap. v. 5) has a similar passage, clearly referring to the same person and period; namely, to Christ and his times: “This man,” it is said, ” shall be the peace, when the Assyrian shall come forth into our land,” (i. e. here, the Power that should succeed to Assyria). There can be no doubt, that the man so mentioned is the person here foretold as the Leader of Israel, who should come forth from Bethlehem Ephratah: and of him inspired authority has declared, that He was the Lord Jesus [Matt. ii. 6.]. The third verse further informs us, that ” then” i. e. “at that time” according to Jeremiah as quoted above, ” the Remnant of his” (Christ’s) ” brethren” (i. e. the holy Remnant, comp. verr. 7, 8) ”shall return unto the” (true) ” children of Israel” (i. e. to the Apostles and their coadjutors, not to the temporal Canaan). Micah adds, ” And he shall stand and feed” (i. e. as a shepherd) ” in the strength of the Lord, in the majesty of the name of the Lord his God” (i. e. as vested with this divine majesty in his own person); “and,” it is added, ” they shall abide” (i. e. for ever as “his flock “); ”for now shall He be great unto the ends of the earth.” (Comp. Ps. Ixxii.) We have here therefore, both the King, and the one Shepherd, of Ezekiel in this Leader of Judah, and also this man and author of the Covenant of peace. This context therefore, brings us directly to the times of the New Covenant, and particularly informs us, that now, i.e. in the period wherein Christ should so appear, and so extend His empire to the extremities of the earth, the Remnant,—and the Remnant only of His brethren, i. e. the ” Election” of St. Paul, and “Elect” of St. Peter, should return as from captivity to the children of Israel; or, to use the words of Isaiah, ” to the mighty God.”

And once more, “an everlasting covenant” was now to be made with the united houses of Israel and Judah, i. e. not like the covenant made with their fathers when they came out of Egypt, every particular of which was to be in force “during their generations” only, and not to extend to that which should follow; but an everlasting covenant, which should abide even as the ordinances of heaven before the Lord; and should extend, great in its authority and power, ”unto the ends of the earth” This, I say, cannot be confined to the times and country of Jewry. It stretches out far beyond them, and must therefore be taken in the sense required by the New Covenant.

We have now to notice the places in which it is said, that they shall be brought to their own land, and the like. We have then (ver. 22), ” / will make them one nation in the land on the/mountains of Israel.” We have seen, that this context is to be taken in a spiritual sense, and, that by ” the mountains, valleys, rivers,” &c. of Israel, we are not to understand the mountains, &c. of Judea, but rather the true Church of (rod, as addressed under these terms. By ” The land of Israel”” therefore, must be meant, that land given by Covenant to the true spiritual Israel, to be possessed and enjoyed by them under the rule of David, their spiritual King. And this land again, must include the land of Canaan; which will now have lost its peculiarity, and be merged in that of the universal empire of the Son of man.

And the same must be true of ver. 25, for in this land the spiritual David is to reign for ever and ever. In these cases therefore, the first and great Covenant, made with Abraham, will be complied with in the amplitude both of its terms and its blessings: the heavenly Jerusalem will have wholly superseded every peculiarity of the earthly one : because now, all things will “have become new.” We have consequently, in these portions of holy Scripture, precisely what we have in all its predictions, the return of the holy Remnant of Jacob to the Mighty God, and to all the privileges of His New Jerusalem: but, of the multitude of the unbelieving Jews generally, not a word about a return is to be found here: the curses of the Law resting upon them, as the blessings do on the faithful seed. It is said nevertheless, ” If they abide not in unbelief, they shall (all) be graffed in and be saved: if they turn to the Lord their gob, He will turn to them” will accept and bless them: but these blessings must of necessity be those of the New Covenant; and this acknowledges neither Canaan, Jew, Greek, Scythian, Barbarian, Bond, nor Free, as peculiar; but in Christ Jesus all, both in the aggregate, and severally, as one [111 Col. iii. 11.].

Sect. VI.—On the Causes of the Dispersion of the Remnant, or holy party among the Jews, and of its return from this.

As mention is made, in some of the quotations above, of gathering in the Israelites who had been dispersed, and in some cases before the Babylonian captivity, it may be desirable to inquire, how such dispersion appears to have happened. In Jer. xxiii. 3, it is said, as in some instances above, ” / will gather the remnant of my flock out of all countries whither I have driven them, and will bring them again to their folds,’1’1 &c. From the terms “the Remnant of my flock? it must be evident that the whole body of the Jews could not be meant: and, from what follows here, it also must, that this gathering is to be referred to the Apostolic times. We have a similar prediction in Ezek. xxxiv. 13, seq., ” / will bring them out from the people, and gatlier them from the countries, and will bring them to their own land, and feed them upon the mountains of Israel by tlie rivers”” (comp. Is. xxx. 25 ; xli. 18)…”/ will seek that which was lost, and bring again that which was driven away, and will bind up that which was broken, and will strengthen that which was sick.” It is added of the opposing party, ” But I will destroy the fat and the strong: I will feed them with judgment.”…”Behold, I, even / will judge between the fat cattle, and between the lean cattle…Therefore will I save my flock, and they shall be no more a prey…And I will set up one shepherd over them, and He shall feed them, even my servant David: He shall feed them, and He shall be their shepherd,” &c. See the following context; where, it will be observed, this Remnant are said to be driven out, preyed upon, thrust, pushed, and the like: while their oppressors are the temporizing Jews of those times. In Jeremiah (chap, xxxiii. 9) it is declared, that this holy Remnant should be to God a name, a praise, and an honour, before all the nations of the earth (comp. Zeph. iii. 19). And a little lower down (ver. 14, seq.), we have the promise of the coming of Christ, in the Branch of righteousness which should grow up to David (i. e. as his spiritual successor), whose name should be ” the lord our righteousness.” And here again (ver. 24), we have the infidel and impious opinions and sayings of the opposing sinful party. Respect is here had therefore, of necessity, to the times of Christ, in which this Good Shepherd should be raised up, this Remnant restored, and this impious party judged. And, be it observed, all this is prophecy properly so called; and it has been fulfilled to the very letter.

How far the cruelty of the impious Jews might have caused this dispersion, driving out, and casting out, of their poorer and better brethren, it may be impossible now to say: that it did to a considerable extent, is highly probable from the following places. In Amos (chap. ii. 6) they are directly charged with this: ” Thus saith the lord, For three transgressions of Israel, and for four, I will not turn away the punishment thereof’: because they sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes ; that pant after the dust of the earth on the head of the poor, and turn aside the way of the meek,” &c. Again (chap. viii. 5, seq.), ” When will the new moon be gone,… that we may buy the poor for silver, and the needy for a pair of shoes?” &c. Where, let it be observed, that by ” the poor and needy,”’1 must be meant this holy party; but, whether they were sold by their richer brethren to each other as slaves, or to the heathen in their neighbourhood, we are not informed here. It is probable they were both : for, without the latter, it will be difficult to understand the fol­lowing from Joel (chap. iii. 2, seq.), addressed perhaps to Tyre, Zidon, and the coasts of Palestine generally:…”/ will gather all nations…and will plead with them…for my people and for my heritage Israel, whom they have scattered among the nations.,, and they have cast lots for my people; and have .given a boy for an harlot, and sold a girl for wine, that they might drink.” (ver 6, seq.) ” The children of Judah and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold unto the Grecians, that ye might remove them far from their border. Behold, I will raise them out of the place whither ye have sold them, and will return your recompense upon your own head.” Edom is also charged (Obad. ver. 11) with taking a part in this sort of casting lots, and injuring Jerusalem; and against him also a similar judgment is denounced. In Joel (1. c. ver. 1) it is said, ” In those days, and in that time, when I shall bring again the captivity of Judah and Jerusalem, I will also gather” &c. as above. In Obadiah (ver. 17), ” But upon mount Zion shall be deliver­ance” (comp. Joel ii. 32), “and there shall be holiness; and the house of Jacob shall possess their” (i. e. Edom’s) “possessions,.”…(ver. 20), ” And the captivity of this host of the children of Israel’1” (i. e. its holy party) ” shall possess that of the Canaanites,,..and the captivity of Jerusalem…the cities of the south” (comp. Jer. xxiii. 8. Isa. xliii. 5—22; xlix. 9—13, 24—26 iDclus.). Nineveh again (Nahum iii. 4), is likewise charged with selling nations through her whoredoms, and fami­lies through her witchcrafts: which must of necessity have affected the Jews, otherwise it will be difficult to account for its mention here. Much the same is said of Babylon (Rev. xviii. 13), for to-Nineveh it succeeded as the metropolis of the Assyrian empire. And again, it may be difficult to conceive how Nineveh, as also the Powers bordering on Judea, could have carried on this traffic, unless assisted in it by the Jews themselves, who may hence be fairly said to have driven and cast them out.—It is to be observed here moreover, that at the time when the Nations should be so gathered together, at the same, should the cap­tivity of Judah and Jerusalem be brought back. And this time the context of Joel puts out of all possible doubt (chap. ii. 28, seq.), as interpreted by St. Peter (Acts ii. 17). And it must also follow, that the land here had in view (Joel ii. 19—28), as also that in Ezekiel, could not be. that of the literal Canaan.

In Zechariah (chap. ix. 13, seq.) we have again, the raising up of the sons of Zion against those of Greece in these words: ” When I have bent Judah for me, and filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, 0 Zion, against thy sons, 0 Greece, and made thee as a sword of a mighty man, …they shall devour, and subdue with sling stones’1” (i. e. as David subdued Goliath). ” And the lord their God shall save them in that day as the flock of his people” (i. e. the once poor and lean flock): “for they shall” (now) ” be” (rich and precious) ” as the stones of a crown lifted up as an ensign upon His land” (i. e. they shall hence ever be so, even in Greece itself, thus subdued, taken in possession, and consecrated to the Lord, and so made His land). Again, Micah (v. 7, seq.), ” the remnant of Jacob shall be in the midst of many people as a dew from the lord” (i. e. reflecting His light like the dew-drops upon the earth), “as showers upon the grass, that tarrieth not for man, nor waitethfor the sons of men.” (i. e. but comes in its determined season: so should this remnant come, and so should it perpetually beautify, irrigate, and make to spring up, that which truly gladdens the heart of man). To the same effect Isaiah (chap. xxxv. 6, 7), “In the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert. And the parched ground” (i.e. of the heathen world) “shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water?”… (ver. 10,) “And the ransomed” (not the unransomed) ” o/” the lord shall return”” (i. e. from captivity), ” and come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads,”’1 he…” and sorrow and sighing” (i. e. such as they experienced in this captivity) ” shall flee away.” And, as to the precious stones, said to represent the light and beauty of this conquering party, they are made by Isaiah (chap. uv. 11) and John. (Rev. xxi. 19), the general foundation-stones of Zion, the New Jerusalem, which descendeth out of heaven from God; and in this last place, these are affirmed to be the Apostles of the Lamb. This return therefore, from captivity, so often spoken of by the Prophets, is not a mere restoration from one locality to another; it is, when taking place beyond the times of the theocracy, much more ; it is the deliverance of God’s true Church from the oppressions of the heathen, and of heathenish men; of sin, and of Satan, in every case; it marks moreover, the establishment of the great Covenant made with Abraham in every land, and to all generations.

There is again a passage in Zephaniah to this effect, so strong and plain, that it can scarcely be misunderstood. After a most fearful denunciation of wrath against the wicked in Jewry (chap. i. 12, &c.), it is said (chap. ii. 3, seq.), ” Seek ye the lord, all ye meek op the earth which have wrought His judgments.””…” For Gaza shall be forsaken”…” And the coast shall be for the remnant of the house of Judah ; they shall feed thereupon :.. .for the lord their God shall visit them, and turn away their captivity.”…” Moab shall be as Sodom, and the children of Ammon as Gomorrah…the residue”” (i. e. Remnant) ” of my people shall spoil them, even the remnant of my people shall possess them…because they have…magnified themselves against the Lord of hosts. The Lord will be terrible unto them: for He will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.” Now, let it be observed here, this Remnant of which traffic had been made by Tyre, Zidon, Philistia, Edom, and others, on the coasts of Palestine, are now to be the possessors of these very lands: which must now be therefore, “the land of Israel”

We have here therefore, an invaluable comment on the returning of Judah’s captivity. It is clear that this return is promised to the Remnant only. It is then said, that “the Remnant of the house of Judah…the residue of my people … the Remnant of my people, shall spoil and possess them,” i. e. Gaza, Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, the sea-coasts, Canaan, Moab, and Ammon, (but the whole heathen world must be added to these). It is said moreover (ver. 7), ” The Lord their God shall visit them” (i. e. this holy Remnant), ” and turn away their captivity:” that is here, by giving them the heritage of these heathen nations in a spiritual sense, and with these that of all the heathen. And hence it is also said (Isa. xiv. 2, seq.) : “The house of” (the true) ” Israel shall possess them in the land of the Lord for servants and handmaids: and they shall take them captives, whose captives they were; and they shall rule over their oppressors.” The context here again, is sufficient to determine to what party of the Jews this is directed, and that it is to the holy Remnant, which indeed constituted” all the “real” house of Israel wholly:” and to these (ver. 1), were the strangers to join themselves. Again, this was to take place ” in the land of the Lord.” The thing mystically here had in view is, the fall of Babylon, the mother of harlots ‘: and consequently, the establishment of the empire of the Son of Man: and hence it is said (ver. 7), ” The whole earth is at rest…they break forth into singing:” i. e. as consisting of this House of Israel, augmented by the countless multitudes of the strangers joined to them. So also in Zeph. chap. ii. (Comp. Obad. verr. 17—21 inclus.). To turn this captivity therefore, is not to bring the Jews again into Canaan, but to give to the Remnant the heritage of the heathen: and so it is said (ver. 11), ” The lord will be terrible unto them: for he will famish all the gods of the earth; and men shall worship Him, every one from his place, even all the isles of the heathen.” ” The land of the Lord” therefore, must now mean, of necessity, the entire heritage of the heathen; for throughout this was every man to worship him, from his (own several) place.

To the same effect is Zephaniah Chap. iii. After denouncing the wicked Jews generally, it is said (ver. 8, seq.), ” Therefore wait ye upon me, saith the lord, until the day that I rise up unto the prey: for my determination is to gather the nations” (i. e. as in Joel above), ” to pour upon them mine indignation, even all my fierce anger ; for all the earth shall be devoured with the fire of my jealousy” (i. e. in the great judgment to be so inflicted upon the hea­then, because they would assemble themselves together against the Lord, and against His Christ, Ps. ii. 1, seq., of which more hereafter.) When this shall be done (ver. 9, seq.), “then will I turn to the people” (i. e. the nations) ” a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the lord, to serve Him with one consent” (i, e. through the instrumentality of this holy Remnant). ” From beyond the rivers of Ethiopia,”” it is added, ” my suppliants, even the daughter” (i. e. the true Zion) “of my dispersed” (and outcast), “shall bring mine offering;”… “for then I will take away out of the midst of thee them that rejoice in thy pride” (i. e. the sinful party). ” / will also leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poor people, and they shall trust in the name of the lord. The remnant of Israel” (it is added) ” shall not do iniquity, nor speak lies., .for they shall feed and lie down, and none shall make them afraid. Sing, O daughter of Zion,” it is added…” the lord hath taken away thy judgments, he hath cast out thine enemy.”…”Behold, at that time, I will undo all that afflict thee: and I will save her that halteth, and gather her that was driven out ; and I will get them praise and fame in every land” (i. e. within the heritage of the heathen) ” where they have been put to shame” (i. e. as slaves). It is repeated: ” At that time I will bring you again, even in the time that I gather you; for I will make you a name and a praise among all people of the earth, when I turn back your captivity before your eyes” The gathering and turning back of captivity, of this holy Remnant therefore,—and to no other persons does this belong,—is not to be from every land to Canaan, but in every land, wherein they shall have obtained a complete spiritual victory : there shall their heritage be, and there shall their fame (i. e. in every nation [113 It should be observed moreover, that, to bring back a captivity, bring back, restore, and tbe like, does not necessarily imply, in Scriptural language, a bringing back from one country to another. Tinder the law indeed, this would imply literally the bringing back locally from captivity, if captivity had been denounced: but even there, not always necessarily. In such cases, the verb ^uy in one form or other, is generally used. So Ps. lxxxv. 5. !|2i!|t£J Turn us, &c. Ib. lxxx. 4. SOl^n- ” Turn us,” &c. Ib. cxxvi. 4. iOJTltif. . . nilty, 0 turn . . .

our captivity, &c. In Zech. x. 9. seq. we have, ” / will sow them among the people” (nations): ” and they shall remember me in far coun­tries ; and they shall live with their children ” (i. e. in those countries) “and turn again” (iQtth) : i. e. of necessity to the Lord their God: not to Canaan, for that cannot be here. It is added, “/ will bring them again (D^rTi^t^m) also” (as) “out of the land of Egypt, and gather them” (as) “out of Assyria” (i. e. the Babylonian captivity) : “and I will bring them” (as) “into the land of Gilead… and he” (i. e. Israel) “shall pass” (as once he did) “through the sea” &c.: nothing being more common in the Shemitic dialects than the omission of this particle: e. g. ” This is (as) my body” &c. (see my Visitation Sermon, notes): besides, this great restoration of the true Israel was to be after the manner of Egypt. See Micah vii. 15—20. And again, the nature of the New Covenant requires a Spiritual interpretation of all such places.—Amos i. 2. presents several instances of this usage.— On the fate of the unbelieving Jews, as to their captivity, see Amos ix. 4 seq. But (ver, 12. here) we have a reading which requires parti­cular notice. Heb. IJl QHS; JTnNttPJIN WT11 }yd?- ” That they may possess the remnant of Edom,” &c. Auth. Vers. There can be no doubt here, that the reign of the spiritual David (Christ) is had in view, and under Him the restoration of the true Israel, in Israel’s Remnant. A remnant of Edom is a thing unknown to Holy Writ. If then we reject the particle Jltf, which some of the MSS. do, as does the Septuagint, the Arabic, and Syriac, versions, we shall have all plain and obvious, thus : That the remnant may possess Edom, and all the heathen upon whom my name is called: i. e. the heathen who shall have received the New Covenant. In ver. 14. here, this is, as before, made the bringing again of the captivity of God’s (true) people Israel. And (ver. 15.) it is styled the planting of them upon their own (i. e. covenanted) land. In this are they to remain, and are to build up the waste cities: i. e. to fill the face of the world with cities. This makes the whole easy and consistent.]) be and continue.

It must be evident therefore, both from the nature of the case, and from the usage of the Prophets, that, whenever the promise of a restoration, or, which is the same thing, of a return from captivity, is made, it is, in the first place, made to them who truly believed, arid hence really constituted the true Zion; not to unbelievers: this the nature of the case makes impossible, and the declarations of the Prophets plainly contradict. In the next place, should such promise fall within the periods of the Theocracy, then generally would a literal fulfilment take place, and a local restoration or return be necessarily meant,—if the context implied locality: but, if such prediction extend into times beyond these, then must such promise be interpreted as the nature of the New Covenant,—which will then be in force, —shall require. The Typical and shadowy times, under which such promise was given, will now have passed away; and the substantial and antitypical ones have taken their place. The shadows and types can now therefore, no longer be looked for, but the things only so shadowed out and typified. Jerusalem, Zion, Israel, and the like, will no longer be confined to Canaan [114 Mal. i. 11.], or Jewry : but will, in strict accordance with the everlasting Covenant made with Abraham (i. e. as the father of many nations’), comprehend every place, people, family, and individual, where the faith of Abraham is found to exist. Under this view, the words of Moses are appropriate and forcible: ” Rejoice ye nations with His people:” i. e. in every part of the world : and so the Psalmist (Ps. cii. 15, seq.), ” The heathen shall fear the name of the lord, and all the kings of the earth thy glory. When the Lord shall build up” (His universal) ” Zion, he shall appear in his glory. He will regard the prayer of the destitute” (i. e. of His now poor and afflicted people, His Remnant), …” To declare the name of the lord in Zion, and His praise in Jerusalem : when the people are gathered together, and the kingdoms, to serve the Lord.’1” All which can have no meaning under any supposition, except that alone which views God’s people in every land, His Zion and Jerusalem in every kingdom of the earth. To such Jerusalem then, must every return from captivity now be: it must necessarily be from the power of Satan to God: from heathen, slavery, to the glorious liberty of Christ’s kingdom.

This should bring especially to our minds, the manner in which the Prophets often speak of this promised return from captivity; for, although they generally use the terms proper only for the system under which they lived, yet they do occasionally so word themselves as to shew, that it was rather the spirit of that system, than the letter of it, to which they had respect. Isaiah, for example (chap. x. 21, seq.), ” The Remnant shall return, even the Remnant of Jacob, unto the mighty god”…” the consumption decreed shall overflow with righteousness.” And in this spiritual sense is the place taken by St. Paul (Rom. ix. 27, seq.). To the same effect (Isa. vi. 13), ” But yet in it shall be a tenth, and it shall return…so the holy seed shall be the substance” (i.e. the stock, comp. Rom. xi. 17, seq.): ” If some of the branches were broken off…boast not thyself against the branches… And they.. .if they abide not in unbelief, shall be grafted in …and so all Israel shall be saved.” So also Moses (Deut. iv. 30, seq.), “In the latter days, if thou turn to the lord thy God …he will not forsake thee, nor forget the covenant of thy fathers which he sware, unto them.” But in these latter days, as we shall presently see, the Mosaic system closed. This turning must therefore, according to the terms of the New Covenant, be a spiritual one. So again (ib. chap. xxx. 10, seq.), ” If thou turn unto the lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul,” &c. (ver. 3, ib. [But, one word more with the Bishop of London, who says on this context (verr. 3—10) in his Sermon, (p. 10); “As there is here no limitation of a certain time, after which repentance and turning to God would be of no avail, we might conclude, that it is still open to the Jews, as a nation, to look for the fulfilment of these promises upon the conditions prescribed.” No doubt: but then, the “conditions pre­scribed” are, ” When . . . thou shalt return unto the Lord thy God”. . .”if thou hearken,” &c. And, What must all this necessarily mean ? The receiving of Christ: hence, a life of faith, and the possession, not of the earthly Canaan exclusively, but of the heritage of all the heathen. And if so, any other portion of the world will be just as elegible as Canaan. But we have seen above, that Ezekiel, speaking of the Jews generally,—and exclusive of the Escaped or holy Remnant, who constituted all the house of Israel wholly,—expressly says, that they shall not return! Isaiah and others, as we have also seen, speak equally strong, though less directly, to the same effect. This will probably suffice here. The Bishop adds (ib. p. 11): ” This is, of necessity, connected with a reinstatement of the holy city of Jerusalem in splendour and strength.” We then have Zechariah xiv. 10,11, given in support of this. According to St. Paul however, Jerusalem that now is, is so far from being a holy city, that it actually is in bondage to sin (Gal. iv. 25), and is, as a bond-servant, cast out. But, if Jerusalem is to be so reinstated in its splendour, the Temple must surely form a part of it (see verr. 16, seq.). But Christianity knows of no sacrifices, such as the feast of tabernacles required; of no temple on earth, except that of the Holy Ghost. This, the Bishop also tells us, is ” their ancient and covenanted inheritance.” Very true: but then, that Covenant has past away: they have been ejected, spued out, because of their transgressions: and, under the New Covenant Canaan is unknown. On “What grounds then, consistent with Christianity, can this take place ? It is incumbent, I think, on this Christian Bishop to tell us. But he cites Zechariah: let us see with what propriety: the prophet tells us (verr. 8, seq.) that in that day living waters shall go out from Jerusalem;.. . and the lord shall be king over all the eaeth.” Now I would ask, Has this, or Has it not, already taken place in the establishment of the Christian Covenant ? The Gospel did go forth from Jerusalem; and St. Paul assures me, that it had been preached to every creature under heaven in his days: and also, that the ” heavenly Jerusalem” (the mother of us all) the (true) mount Sion, and city of the living God, as opposed to the splendid figments here held out, had been set up, and was then frequented by the Believers. The Apostle also warns us against receiving any Gospel, even though preached by an angel, if in any way opposed to this: and, be it observed, this was directed against Judaizers of all times.]) “then the lord thy God will turn thy captivity… and gather thee, &c. and… will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed… And the Lord will circumcise thine heart …And thou shalt return and obey,” &c. Now, as this was given very early, and long before the Babylonian captivity, it would apply as much to that, as it would to any other: and this, falling within the times of the Theocracy, would require a literal fulfilment, as to the land mentioned: and such it received. But, as it is spoken generally, it would also apply to any other captivity, and must be interpreted in conformity with the system which should then prevail. And St. Paul has (Rom. x. 6, seq.) so interpreted the place generally, thus: ” The righteousness which is of faith speaketh on this wise (Deut. xxx. 12, 13), Say not in thine heart, Who shall ascend into heaven ? (that is, to bring Christ down) &c. But what saith it? The word is nigh thee, even in thy mouth, and in thine heart: that is, the word of faith which we preach.” So again, speaking of the Jews (2 Cor. iii. 16), ” When it” (i. e. the Jewish heart) “shall turn to the Lord, the vail shall be taken away :” i. e. so that they shall see to the end of those merely shadowy observances, then existing only as temporary ones.

It would be almost endless to point out all the places, more or less direct on this subject, occurring in the Old Testament : enough perhaps has been given to shew, that Moses, the Prophets, and the Psalmist, are as consistent, full, and explicit upon it, as the nature of the case can require. It is perhaps necessary to add however, that the holy party had in view above, are named not only the Remnant, Residue, Outcasts, Dispersed, Poor and afflicted people, Her that halteth, The Elect, Election, All the whole house of Israel wholly, The Lean Cattle, Poor of the flock, The Meek, Zion, Jacob, The Daughter of Zion, Scattered and peeled, The Righteous, Seed of the Righteous, Perfect, Children of God, of the Most High, Children of Israel, Judah, and the like, but by many other equivalent expressions; all of which will appear evident enough, from the several contexts in which they are found.

It should also be especially noticed, that generally,— some few places we have noticed,—when the Messiah is promised, the promise also is that Israel, i.e. as limited above, should at the same time be restored: e. g. (Jer. xxiii. 5, seq. and xxxiii. 15, 16), ” Behold the days come, saith the lord, that I will raise unto David a righteous branch, and a, King shall reign and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice in the earth” It is added, ” in His days Judah shall be saved, and Israel shall divell safely” (i. e. in Ezekiel’s words, ” all the house of Israel wholly”) ; ” and this is His name whereby He shall be called, the lord our righteousness.” So also Moses (Deut. xxxiii. 28), “Israel then shall dwell safely.”” Again, Jer. xxxi. 1, seq. The preceding Chapter here ends with, ” In the latter days ye shall consider it:” (on this usage ” the latter days,” we shall presently have something to offer). The Prophet continues, “AT that time.. will I be the God of all the families of Israel” (i. e. truly so called), ” and they shall be my people.” (See verr. 7, 8—15, which brings us to ” A voice was heard in Ramah,” Matth. ii. 17, 18, and necessarily to the times of our Lord.) See also Ezekiel xxxvii. 21—28 inclus., chap. xxxix. 21—29 : where God’s glory should be so set among the heathen, that they should see His judgments upon Israel, and acknowledge the righteousness of them. At that time (ver. 25) mercy is to be extended to the whole house of Israel; and at the same time (ver. 29), is the Spirit to be poured out from on high on them (comp. Joel ii. 28. Acts ii. 17- James i. 1, seq.).

Once more, Upon the whole house of the true Israel (” the Election”) was the Spirit poured in the days of the Apostles. To every tribe of them did St. James address his Epistle, as the “Converts of Zion” and as those who had been “scattered abroad,” as noticed above. To the same did St. Peter address his Epistles (1 Ep. i. 1, seq.), as to “the strangers scattered ” abroad, ” the elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit,” poured out as the Prophets had foretold : and “unto whom” (i.e. the Prophets) ” it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto” these, and their succes­sors, ” did they minister the things which were then preached;” and this again, “with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven.” At that time therefore, mercy was shewn to ” all the house of Israel wholly,” and specifically to those of every tribe of it: and this again, throughout the extended heritage of the Gentiles, among whom they were to be, and actually were, the greatest of blessings.


Sect. I.—On the Duration of the Theocracy, and the Times of its dose.

It will be necessary to a full understanding of these ques­tions, to review the places in which the making of the Covenants with Abraham is recorded. It is said then, in the first of these (Gen. xii. 2, seq.), ” I will make of thee a great nation: and I will bless thee, and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing.” It is added (ver. 3), ” And in thee shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.” All of which is purely religious, and is of an universal and permanent character: it clearly has no sort of reference either to Canaan, or to its grant, whatsoever. This then, is the first Covenant made with Abram; and it is universal and everlasting both in its nature and applicability. Let this be carefully borne in mind.

This Covenant was moreover, made in Ur of the Chaldees (ib. ver. 1). But when Abram had arrived in Canaan, which was a considerable time afterwards, we are told (ib. ver. 7) that ” The lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.” This is therefore, a second Covenant made with Abram; made at a time, and in a place, far distant from those of the first: and on a subject of a totally different description. Its very terms limit its operation as to space, which extends no farther than the land mentioned. Let us now see, whether any limit is given as to the time of its duration.

In Chap. xiii. 14—38 then, we are told, that it was given to Abram’s ” seed for ever” (Heb. tD/iy?) [This word (see my Hebrew Lexicon under it,) signifies nothing more than any continuous indefinite period, to be limited, of necessity, by the context. And yet the Bishop of London tells us in his Sermon, that this Covenant, constituting the Theocracy, has “been declared again and again to be an everlasting covenant.”…” St. Paul,” he adds, ” knew that all the promises of God are sure.”—But this ” everlasting” rests solely upon the assumption, that the Hebrew term necessarily has this signification; which is groundless: besides St. Paul has shewn positively, that this very Covenant had become old and had passed away. There are some places occurring in Ps. Lxxxix. admirably calculated to mark the duration of the first Covenant made with Abraham: In verse 4, it is said to be “for ever”…”to all genera­tions :” in ver. 29, ” His,” i. e. the spiritual David’s, seed also will I make to endure for ever, and His throne as the days of heaven.” Where the term “for ever” necessarily implies all time, so long as the world shall exist: verse 34. “My covenant will I not break”. . . 36. ” His seed shall endure for ever, and His throne as the sun before me.” 37 … “for ever as the moon, and as” {the, not “a”, the article being most frequently omitted in composition of this sort;) “faithful witness in heaven;” i. e. the rain-bow as mentioned Gen. ix. 12. seq., where it is declared to be ” a token of the covenant” . .. “for perpetual genera­tions.” ” I do set my bow in the cloud,” &c. Now these “perpetual generations” must include a period very different from that meant by “your generations” as used in the law. This was indeed no temporary Covenant; while that establishing the Theocracy was. This ” token” accordingly remains: so also do the sun and moon: so also does Chris­tianity; because an everlasting covenant, in the full sense of those terms, has decreed that it should. And, I ask, Who can doubt that the terms so used in this Psalm, were intended to be opposed, in their bearing, to the temporary provisions of the Mosaic Law? See also Ps. cii. 25—28, as explained by St. Paul, Heb. i. 10—13. This again, will throw considerable light on a place generally misunderstood, viz. Ps. cv. 8. seq. : ” He hath remembered His covenant for ever, the word which He commanded to a thousand generations,” (not “for your generations.”) It is added, ” And confirmed the same unto Jacob for a law, and to Israel for an everlasting covenant: Saying, Unto thee will I give the land of Canaan.” &c. Here—be it carefully observed,—”a Covenant for a thousand generations” is made with Abraham, &c. and this is confirmed by another, giving them the land of Canaan for their generations : which clearly gives one Covenant, which is everlasting in the true sense of that term; and this must necessarily be the first in the order, with regard to that which confirmed it: while the last is, as before, in every point of view, a temporary one.]. Again in chap. xv. 1, eeq., after the promise given of a son, a par­ticular and formal covenant is made purely with regard to this grant of Canaan [It should be observed, that the making of this Covenant was accompanied by miraculous occurrences, granted, of necessity, for the purpose of assuring Abram that it was God himself who made it. “Whereby,” asks Abram, (ver. 8.) “shall I know that I shall inherit it?” The vision following was given to assure him of this, together with the declaration, that until 400 years should have elapsed, their inherit­ance should not take place. Till that period should have arrived, therefore, this vision was to serve as a voucher, that the land should be theirs : and afterwards apparently, that this possession was also to act as a voucher, as to the further blessing to all nations. Comp. Ps. cv. 1, seq.: where, verr. 1—9. evidently belong to Christian times, while verr. 10, 11. make the grant of Canaan a confirmation of this better Covenant.] (verr. 8—1.9 inclus.): and here its boundaries are determined to be ”from the river of Egypt unto the great river, the river Euphrates.” The extent of its authority is therefore limited.

Again, chap. xvii. we have both these Covenants referred to, in the order just noticed. In verses 2—7, the first and religious Covenant is solely had in view; and, as such, it is referred to by St. Paul (Rom. iv. 17). We next have (verr. 7—15) an express reference to the second, with the rite of circumcision commanded, as properly belonging to it. Under the mention of the first however (ver. 5), Abram receives the mystical name of Abraham, prophetically constituting him the father of many nations, and serving, in its spiritual application, for ever to mark him as the father of the faithful, and as the spiritual heir of the world (Rom. iv. 13). In this sense, the generations of Abraham’s seed, now necessarily a spiritual seed,—would be truly everlasting, being, of necessity, commensurate with the duration of this Covenant [3 This Covenant is referred to again, Ch. xvii. 15, 16, in the pro­mise made to Sarah of a Son, and in the change of her name: again in Ch. xviii. 10, seq. : again, ib. ver. 18: and again, Cb. xxii. 17—19, on the occasion of Abraham’s offering up his Son.].

But, when we come to our temporary Covenant, the case is quite different; for here, the period of its duration cannot possibly be extended beyond that assigned to its appointments ; nor could these, nor did they, as to place, extend beyond the limits assigned to this land. The express terms used here are (ver. 8, seq.), ” I will give unto thee, and unto thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession.” (i. e. of a continuous indefinite period)…It is added (ver. 9), ” Thou shalt keep my covenant therefore, thou, and thy seed after thee, in their generations” (i. e. within this land). “Every man child among you shall be circumcised…it shall be a token of the covenant betwixt me and you…he that is eight days old… among you, every man child in your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any stranger, which is not of thy seed…and my covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant.” That circumcision had, in every case, particular reference to religion, and was intended to have ultimately a spiritual application, there can be no doubt: still, from its applicable extent, i. e. generally, to the descendants of Abraham, and within Canaan only,—for no farther does this covenant extend,—it could not be universal as to place; and, from the limiting terms, “your generations” during which only its observance is here commanded; it is evident, that it was not, intended to be perpetual. And hence, the term “everlasting” used above, must be limited likewise to the same extent.

The duration therefore, as well as the extent, locally considered, of Circumcision, was limited. But we find, that in the several appointments of the Law,—which must all neces­sarily be temporary, because made to precede the blessings of Abraham to be conferred upon all nations,—this usage, viz. “your generations,” is constantly had recourse to, for the purpose, as it should seem, of marking their temporary character likewise. In the appointment of the Passover, for example (Exod. xii. 14, seq.), ” This day” (i.e. of the pass-over) ” shall be unto you for a memorial; and ye shall keep it unto the lord throughout your generations ; ye shall keep it a feast by an ordinance for ever [Where “for ever” would be better rendered by continually, i. e. during the whole of its period, but no longer.].” So also in verses 17, 24. In verse 25, it is especially commanded, that this ser­vice be kept in the land of Canaan. Again, verse 42, ” This is that night of the lord to be observed of all the children of Israel in their generations.”

Again (chap. xvi. 32), speaking of the manna it is said : “Fill an omer of it to be kept for your generations : that they may see,” &c. And here, the fact of the case must attest to both Jew and Gentile, that, as beyond the times of the Theocracy no such vessel of manna was kept, or could be seen, no perpetual use of this observance was intended. So also ver. 33. The same is said of the pure oil that was to be burnt in the lamp of the tabernacle: viz. ” It shall be a statute for ever unto their generations” (i.e. of Aaron and his sons, to be unknown under the New Covenant, chap, xxvii. 21), ” on behalf of the children of Israel.” In chap. xxx. 21, the washing of the priests’ hands and feet is also made a statute to continue in like manner. The peace-offering, i. e. of a goat, is likewise a perpetual statute, for the generations of the Jews (Lev. iii. 17). So also is the meat­offering (ib. vi. 18): the anointing of Aaron and his sons (ib. vii. 36) : and (ib. 37) the same is ” the law of the burnt-offering, of the meat-offering, the sin-offering, the trespass-offering, the consecration, and of the sacrifice of the peace-offering.” And again, that God Himself has determined the period during which these should not exist, and consequently the duration of that in which they should, is evident enough from the words of Daniel (chap. ix. 27), viz. ” In the midst of the week he” (i.e. God) “shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease:” that is, as we shall shew, when we come to this place, after the cutting off of the Messiah, and when Jerusalem and the Temple should fall. And, it may be shewn, in like manner, that the Sabbaths, and indeed, every peculiar service of the Law, was enjoined upon the generations of the Jews only, and upon them, as possessors of the land of Canaan. To all lands they could not, in many cases, possibly apply: and in none can they accurately, under the first, the universal and better Covenant made with Abraham: for this obvious reason, viz. Canaan has under this, necessarily lost its peculiarity, and has been absorbed in that greater possession, of which Abraham, as the father of many nations, was to be the spiritual heir. Under this Covenant Canaan is therefore unknown, just as is circumcision, the priesthood of Aaron, and indeed every other shadowy rite and ceremony of the law; or, to use the words of inspiration, these can be no more remembered, or come into mind [Isa. lxv. 17: Jer. iii. 16: See also Jer. xxiii. 7, 8.]: they are antiquated, worn out, and superseded by better things; and these things are enduring; they are purely spiritual; and, as such, they can be applied by faith only.

It appears then, that by the terms “your generations,” and the like, is meant the period of the Theocracy, or Mosaic Dispensation only. It will also appear, that the term ”gene­ration,” is used to imply, in a more extended sense, both the persons and times of the New Covenant, i. e. of that first Covenant made with Abraham. So in Ps. xxii. SO, speak­ing of the consequences of the cutting off of the Messiah, the Psalmist says, ” A seed shall serve him; it shall be accounted to the lord for a generation.” (Comp. Isa. uii. 10, and Ps. Lxxxvii. 6). Again, Ps. Lxxviii. 5, 6, we also have this distinction specifically made. ” He established a testimony,” it is said, ” in Jacob, and appointed a law in Israel, which He commanded our fathers… should… make known to their children” (i. e. in ” their generations”,) ” That the generation to come” (literally, after, or latter, generation, or dispensation,) ” might know them, even the children which should be born; who should arise and declare them to their children.” In Ps. cii. 18, this is made still more specific: ” This shall be written for the generation to come” (as before: and we know that ” it was not to themselves, but to us, that holy men did minister,” &c. 1 Pet. i. 12); ” and the people which shall be created shall praise the Lord.” Where we have those, who should constitute a ” New creation,” made the constituents of this “after generation.” This term therefore, so qualified and used, may be considered as antithetical, and pointing out respectively, the periods or persons of these two Covenants.

But we have other means of judging, as to when the period designated by “your generations,” should come to its close. And consequently, whether it has, or has not, now passed away. This usage then, applied of necessity to the Jews, as a people and nation, and exclusively to them, as the natural descendants of Abraham. This, I think, cannot be disputed. But it is plainly foretold by the Prophets, that a time should come, when they should be no longer a people : should no more be beloved as such: that those too, who had not been a people, should be a people: those who had not been beloved, should be beloved; that God’s people should be called ” by a new name,” and that this should be that of ” the holy people.” All which was to take place, when the myriads from among the Gentiles should be called in. If then, we can determine when this last event took place, we also can, when the period above mentioned must have come to its close. And, to effect this, we have only to turn to those places of the New Testament, in which this question is either directly, or indirectly, discussed.

St. Paul then (Rom. ix. 25, seq.) proceeds thus: “As he saith also in Osee, I will call them my people, which were not my people; and her beloved which was not beloved. And it shall come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, Ye are not my people; there shall they be called the children of the living God.” But Hosea does more than this : he also says (chap. i. 6), ” / will no more have mercy upon the house of Israel” (i. e. generally, and as a peculiar people); ” but I will utterly take them away.” And again (ib. ver. 9), ” Ye are not my people, and I will not be your God” Then follows the place cited by the Apos­tle. And, be it observed, he applies the promised blessing here to his own times, and to those Jews and Gentiles who had then received the New Covenant. ” Even us,” are his words, ” whom he hath called, not of the Jews only, but also of the Gentiles.” He then cites Isaiah (chap. x. 22, 23), ” Though the number of the children of Israel be as the sand of the sea, a remnant shall be saved.” And of this Remnant, he elsewhere tells us, he was one, as already remarked. Isaiah also says more (chap. Lxii. 2 ; lxv. 15) ; he assures us, that God’s people should be called by a new, and another, name: while St. Peter positively declares, that the Christian Church constitutes the holy, and the peculiar people of God (1 Ep. ii. 9, 10); where he also cites the very place of Hosea quoted by St. Paul. The Jews, as such, had now therefore, utterly ceased to be a people, in the Scrip­tural acceptation of that term : and if so, “their generations” as those of a people, must have come to an end; as must that, termed the after generation, have taken its beginning. The Covenant too, which had enacted certain observances to be followed during that period, must also have come to its end: and this, St. Paul affirms, had actually taken place in his days.

It should seem therefore, that the grant of the land of Canaan to the Jews “for their generations,” with all the peculiarities of the Law of Moses, formed no part whatsoever of that everlasting Covenant, which was primarily made with Abraham in Chaldea, and under which all nations were to be blessed. It was of a mere temporary character, shadowing out perhaps, that wider [And hence it is said, that ” Zion should lengthen her cords,” &c. that is, should stretch herself out to the uttermost parts of the earth, so that her possessions would now be an extended spiritual Canaan. See Ezek. xLvii, xLviii. on Rev. xxi. below.] and better inheritance, and given, as in other instances, as a voucher for this. It has accordingly long ago passed away, together with every thing else of a temporary [The Bishop of London however, says on this subject in his Sermon, (p. 6): ” He” i. e. Paul, “foresaw… the seeming abrogation” (the Italics are mine) ” of that Covenant which had been declared… to be everlasting.” I remark; Paul certainly never foresaw any seeming abrogation of that Corenant which God made with Abraham, and in which all the nations of the earth should be blessed: on the contrary, Paul preached its full establishment and duration under the title of the “New Covenant,” Heb. viii. 6—13. exclus. And here, (ver. 13.) he declares, that God had made the other to decay, wax old, and ready to vanish away. And again, 2 Cor. v. 17: “Old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” We have, I say, no “seeming abrogation” here, of the Covenant establishing the Theocracy, but a positive and actual one: and nowhere have we any but positive affirmations that the Covenant made with Abraham,—which was really the everlasting one,—should never be abrogated. The Bishop labours here therefore, under the most palpable confusion as to these two Covenants; or else he supposes,—which is equally distant from the truth—that they both may exist together.] nature. ” The fulness of time ” has arrived, and in this the establishment of that new system, to which none other was to succeed on earth, has taken place. And again, the peculiarity granted to Canaan by this temporary Covenant, was in its nature altogether incompatible with the universal requirements of the inheritance, given to Abraham by the first and better one; so much so, that they can by no possibility exist together. The earthly and shadowy inheritance of Canaan, and the universal and spiritual inheritance given to Abraham, as heir of the world, can no more be united, than can Christ with Belial, or light with darkness. The thing is impossible, unless indeed we profess on principle, to mix up and confound Judaism with Christianity: which, pleasing as it may seem to some, is utterly at variance with the authoritative doctrines of St. Paul, and is among those things upon which he denounces a most fearful curse [Gal. i. 8, 9.]. And, as to the facts of this case, neither the Apostles, nor their converts, ever attached any peculiar­ity whatever to Canaan. Some sold their possessions within it; and others declared that, in every nation, every real servant of God would be accepted ; and that there was now no difference [Rom. iii. 22: x. 12.]. And again, had the Jews, generally received Christ, the same must have been the result. The middle wall of partition was now broken down; the boundaries of the Zion of God were extended even to the uttermost parts of the earth, making every land in which it was really found, a land of holiness: i. e. a holy land in true scripture-phrase, and every Christian, or member of it, a descendant of abra­ham, in the true intent of this his new name, and of this his everlasting Covenant. These were now counted to the Lord for a generation ; and this again, by the instrumentality of the faith which constituted Abraham a just and acceptable man in the sight of God: as also, by the preaching of his spiritual seed,—the Elect, Election, the Remnant, and, in Ezekiel’s phrase, “all the house of Israel wholly,”—all had become one household, under one God and Father of all.

We have arrived therefore at this point, viz. that the things of the temporary Covenant can now be remembered no more. Canaan has lost its privilege of exclusiveness : the people of God have long ago been called by a new name, and the face of the world has been made to exhibit that of a new Creation, under a system, to which all that has gone before gives its fullest testimony. To this likewise all the Prophets administered in their days. We can have now therefore, in genuine scriptural usage, no Jews, and no Canaan: we can have only those spiritually and truly circumcised Jews, which are the predestined people of God, and bear “a new name:” and this again, with that far wider and better inheritance, shadowed out by the Canaan that once was, and was to cease as such, by virtue of the first Covenant, constituting Abraham the spiritual heir of the world. If then, there is to be a return to Canaan, When can this possibly take place ? And Where are we to find the Jews who shall undertake it? And again, Where is the Canaan to which, should such be found, they are to return? The Christian Covenant knows of no such people, and of no such place. This Covenant, as made and ratified with Abraham, acknowledges neither his seed ” in their generations? nor yet Canaan in any exclusive sense whatsoever: it acknowledges and comprehends, on the contrary, within its ample scope all believers, whether descended from Jews, Greeks, Barbarians, Scythians, Bond, or Free ; for all these are one in Christ; and with these, Christ, as Abraham’s seed, is in a peculiar sense,, all and in all [Col. iii. 11.]. Jews, calling themselves so in despite of this Covenant, and in positive rebellion against its provisions, may, in their blindness, expect some such return and restoration, and so may Judaizers: but no matter how great, how many, or how popular, these and their notions may be, the thing is at once grossly absurd and impious; and is, besides this, under the government of a powerful and faithful God, utterly impossible.

Sect. II.—On such places of the Old Testament as speak of the period appointed for the close of the Theocracy, and for the establishment of a New Covenant, under the terms, the latter day or days, the last days, end or ends of the world, the day or the-great day of the Lord, and the like.

We have seen that the generations of Israel after the flesh, were to be succeeded by another, and “after generation? to which no limit or close should be known, because in ,it an everlasting and universal Covenant, ordered in all things and sure, should be established. We now come to the investigation of those Scriptures which especially inform us of this, under the terms, the last days, latter day, or days, or other equivalent ones.

The first occasion, on which the term “the last day” occurs, is that of Jacob’s blessing his children (Gen. xlix. 1, seq.). ” Gather yourselves together? says the Patriarch, ” that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days”. A little lower down (ver. 10) it is foretold, as an event to occur at this period, that, ” The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet” (i. e. from among his sons), “until Shiloh [It is plainly an error, as shewn in my Hebrew Lexicon under the word if ‘^i{y to take this as a proper name. I take it so here, merely in compliance with general usage. An exact interpretation of this word, and of the sense of the place is given in Ezekiel xxi. 27, in the terms, ” until he come whose right’ (i. e. ” the crown,” ib. ver. 26 implying the Rule.) In Gen. xiix. 10, J-ftiJt;, should be read rt;>tt>’, and is perfectly equivalent to the lV”lt£>N, of Ezekiel here: i. e. whose it is: viz. the Sceptre.] come; and,”” it it is added, “unto him shall the gathering of the people” (nations) ” be.” In this case, we clearly have the period of our Lord’s manifestation in the flesh, designated as ” the last days.”

Numbers, chap. xxiv. 14, seems to be the next place par­ticularly touching on this period; the words are these: “I will advertise thee what this people shall do to thy people in the latter days.” We then have (ver. 17), ” There shall come a Star out of Jacob, and a Scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab,” &c., which may be considered as a continuation of the prophecy of Jacob just quoted, and as the first enouncement of those in Isa. xi. 14; xv. 1; xvi. 13. Jer. xlviii. &c. In ver. 24, we have, ” Ships shall come from the coast of Chittim” &c. which can, as we shall shew hereafter (Dan. xi. 30), be applied to none but this period. The smiting of Moab here therefore, must be understood in a spiritual sense, as we shall have further occasion to shew. These ” latter days” must therefore be those of Christ.

Deut. iv. 30, seq. is the next-place in which this usage is found: viz. ” When thou art in tribulation, and all these things are come upon thee, even in the latter days” (Heb. D^P’n JTnnNll. Gr. LXX. ctt’ eo-^aVy twv ^nepwv),”ifthou turn to the Lord thy God, and shalt be obedient unto his voice…He will not forsake thee” Where, as already remarked, we have no prophecy that they should return, but only the condition laid down, viz. ” if they shall turn,” then will the Lord their God not forsake them. That this con­text refers to this same period, is evident from what occurs in ver. 26. ” I call heaven and earth to witness…that ye .shall… utterly perish from off the land whereunto ye go over Jordan to possess it…ye…shall utterly be destroyed, and” it is added, ” the lord shall scatter you among the nations” &c., which is positive prophecy; all of which actually took place during the period so termed.

Again, chap. xxxi. 29 (which however, more properly belongs to the next chapter), it is said, ” Evil will befall you in the latter days; because ye will do evil in the sight of the Lord, to provoke Him to anger,” &c. (Heb. p^DTt ,TV~]nN3,-Gr. LXX. ea-^aTov twv ritiepwv), which must also refer to this period; and it distinctly marks the end (de facto) of the Jewish polity.

The next intimation we have of this period is Deut. xxxii. 29, where it is said, ” O that they were wise…that they would consider their latter end” (Heb. DJTHns* Gr. LXX. tov eiriovra -^povov). It should be observed that, in this context, the overthrow of the Jewish polity is particularly and positively predicted (ver. 20, seq.): ” I will see what their end shall be” (Heb. DJTnnN nDPIt”*-), where the LXX.

Gr. have read ntf”itf, / will shew, &c. Sei^u> t’l serai avrois eV ea^ariav. And so the Arabic of Saadias Haggaon as in the London Polyglott, and so that of Erpenius). We also have here (ver. 22, seq.) the destruction of the earth, i. e. of the land, by fire, &c.; ~fver. 26) their scattering abroad into corners; and (ver. 43) the calling in of the Gentiles, and the rejoicing of these with His people, i. e. with the holy Remnant of them. (Comp. chap, xxxiii. 19, 26—29, where the same period is evidently had in view.)

This period again, appears thus marked in Job xix. 25, ” / know that my Redeemer liveth, and that He shall stand at the latter day upon the earth” (Heb. pinxi. See my translation, with the notes). I am well aware, that other views have been entertained of this place, while I feel assured that none will so simply and so fully answer its terms as this does. The usage in the original is not indeed identical here with the preceding; while it is with that applied to our “generation following” or “after-generation,” as noticed above. The things meant therefore, are the same, viz. the manifestation of Christ, and the period in which this should take place.

We may now pass on to Isa. ii. 2, where it is said, ” It shall come to pass in the last days” (Heb. DVpVT LXX. ec TaTs cancerous tjnepats), “that the mountain of the lord’s house shall be established,” &c. Which, from the nature of the context, can refer to none but those in which the nations should receive the Gospel. In verse 12 here, this period is termed ” the day op the lord.” Let this be borne in mind.

Jeremiah (chap, xxtii.) presents us with the same things, and these to take place within the same period. In ver. 3, ” the Remnant” is to be gathered : ver. 5, The righteous branch is to be raised up to David. In ” His days” Judah is to be saved (i. e. the holy ” Remnant” noticed above), and His name is to be called ” the lord our righteousness :” &c. to the end of ver. 8. The theme then taken up, is on the fall of the unbelieving Jews. Then follows (ver. 19, seq.), “Behold, a whirlwind of the lord is gone forth in fury… it shall fall grievously upon the head of the wicked.. in the latter days” (Heb. as before) ” ye shall consider it perfectly.”” And again (verr. 39, 40), ” Therefore, behold, I, even I, will utterly forget you, and I will forsake you, and the city that I gave you and your fathers, and cast you out of my presence : and I will bring an everlasting reproach upon you, and a perpetual shame, which shall not be for­gotten [I. e. A reproach and shame, which, in the language of prophecy, shall never be taken from you, or be lost sight of. This—be it remembered,—is prophecy properly so called, and, if taken absolutely, for ever excludes the Jews from mercy: it will nevertheless, extend no farther than the period assigned for the sealing of vision and pro­phecy, (Dan. ix. 24) as already remarked. It should be observed here, that, unless we take care duly to divide the word of truth, one part of it may be brought into positive contradiction to another.].” By “ye shall consider it perfectly” is probably meant ye shall be made fully to feel all this. [But, if the better party is here addressed, which is not impos­sible, the meaning will be, ye shall perfectly understand and know, why all this comes to pass. It is of little consequence here, to which of the parties this is addressed.] That the whole, here had in view, came to pass within the period before us, there can be no doubt. We have too, a parallel to this place in chap. xxx. 23, 24. And in verses 17 — 23, are given the consolations of the outcasts, i. e. of the true Zion, with the fall of their oppressors. In the next Chapter, xxxi. 1, seq., it is said, ” At the same time…will I be the God of all the families of Israel,” that is, as already noticed, of those who are truly so called, viz. the Outcasts or Remnant. (See ver. 17 of chap, xxx., and also chap. xxxi. ver. 7, seq., as already shewn, and Ezek. xi. 15, seq.)

But this context (chap. xxx. 7, seq.) carries on the events, so foretold, to the times of our Lord; and here, these are those of Israel’s restoration. We have here therefore, these latter days made to synchronize with those of all Israel’s restoration. (See also xxxi. 31, seq. with the parallels) : and this is the case everywhere, as already remarked.

When we come to Ezekiel, we find this period styled the end (Heb. yp, the term used also in Dan. viii. 17, 19 ; ix. 26; xi. 27, &c.). In Chapter vi. we have, immediately after the severest denunciations (ver. 8), ” Yet will I leave A remnant, that ye may have some that shall escape the sword among the nations,” Sic. These are of necessity that holy Remnant, or Escaped party, which should declare the glory of God among the Gentiles (Isa. rxvi. 19); ” and,” it is added, ” they shall know that I am the Lord, and that / have not said in vain that I would do this evil unto them.” Then again, Chap. vii. 2, seq., ” An end, the end is come upon the four corners of the land. Now,” it is added, ” is the end come upon thee, and I will send mine anger upon thee.” And (ver. 6), ” An end is come, the end is come… behold it is come. The morning [I.e. the latter portion of Daniel’s vision of the Evening and Morning, Oh. viii. 26, as will be shewn hereafter.] is come unto thee…the time is come, the day of trouble is near.” (ver. 10) ” Behold the day, behold, it is come: the morning” (i.e. the latter half of this day as before) ” is gone forth.” (ver 13.) ” For the seller shall not return to that which is sold…for the vision is touching the whole multitude thereof, which shall not return.”

That this end presents us with the period styled also ” the last days,” is sufficiently evident from the nature of the denunciations made. They tell us, that the Seller, as in the case of Jeremiah [15 In Jer. xxxii. 7, as noticed above, we have the place to which allusion is made. In Isa. xxiv. 20, we have similar denunciations. Then follows, (verr. 21—23 inclus.) the fall of the heathen nations. Precisely to the same effect Ezekiel again, Ch. xxi. 27, ” I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until He come whose right it is; and I will give it Him;” i. e. the diadem and crown, mentioned in the verse next preceding; viz. to Christ, or the Shiloh of Jacob, Gen. xlix. 10: which was, as we have seen, to come to pass in the latter dats, (more literally, An overturning, an overturning, an overturning, will I constitute it. Moreover, this shall not come to pass, until He shall come whose is the judgment: and I will give, or constitute Him,” i. e. the Prince of Israel, as mentioned in ver. 25, preceding,) … which, as just now remarked, is a perfect echo of Jacob’s, ” The Sceptre,” &c. Gen. xiix. 10. The same subject is had in view, Ezek. xxxv. and Isa. xxxiv, as we shall shew hereafter.], shall not return as he would after the Babylonian captivity; and further, that the whole multitude shall not so return at this time. In this context moreover, this whole period is termed “the day [I. e. another mode of expressing the period termed ” the latter-day,” &c. sometimes, the day of the Lord, the great and dreadful day, &c. the day, or days of vengeance, &c.]:” and must, as it should seem, be that part of it in which these judgments should take place, viz. ” the morning.” The Evening? as already remarked, is the beginning of the day in the East. The Morning must be here therefore, the commencement of its second half. We shall shew hereafter, that the latter portion of this period was to be that, which should commence with the fall of Jerusalem. The judgments therefore, thus to fall upon the wicked multitude, according to Ezekiel, were to take their rise at this particular point of time. And the fact is, at this they did take their rise, as it will presently be shewn.

It must be obvious from the next verse (Ezek. vii. 15), that the threats delivered by Moses were in the mind of the Prophet (Deut. xxviii. 21, seq.; xxxii. 25, &c.). We then have in due order (ver. 16), the escape of the pious Remnant, hence occasionally termed, ” the escaped of Israel,” as re­marked above: ” But they that escape [These “escaped” (Heb. Q^Q^S) are those had in view in Isa. iv. 2: x. 20: xlv. 20: Lxvi. 19. &c., which must necessarily mean our Lord’s followers.] of them shall escape, and shall be on the mountains like doves of the valleys, all of them mourning every one for his iniquity.” Which cannot be said of the unbelieving and impenitent Jews; for such never mourn for their sins. To the mountains moreover, were the believers warned to escape by our Lord himself, as already noticed, while the harmlessness of the dove, which cannot be said of the Jews of our Lord’s times, was to distinguish their character. It is added of the sinful party (ver. 18), ” They shall also gird themselves with sackcloth, and horror shall cover them : and shame shall be upon all faces, and baldness upon all heads. They shall cast their silver in the streets…their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord…because it is” (was, or had been, Heb. (Til) ” the stumblingblock of their iniquity.” The transition from the holy, to the unholy, party here, may seem abrupt, and indeed it is so: but this is no uncommon thing with the Prophets. The mention of their silver and gold not being able to deliver them, must imply, that this party habitually trusted in these : while their not obtaining deliverance in this great and dreadful day, is only what literally took place in the period so named. It must be evident therefore, that this party is had in view in this place. It must also be to this End, and to this Day, and Time, that Ezekiel has respect in this chapter.

The next place we shall notice, as applying the term, ” the last days” to this period, is Micah iv. 1, 2, &c., in words identically the same with those of Isaiah quoted above. That this refers to the Apostolic period, must be evident from what was shewn on this place of Isaiah. It is further said here (ver. 6, seq.), ” In that DAY [It would swell our work indefinitely, to notice every passage in which reference to this period is, one way or other, made: the following places may suffice for the present: Isa. ii. 11: xxvi. 1: xxix. 18: Lii. 6: Ezek. xLviii. 35: Joel iii. 18: Zeph. i. 15: Zech. ii. 11: ix. 16: xii. 8: xiii. 1: xiv. 9: Mal. iii. 17. &c.] ..will I assemble her that halteth, and I will gather her that is driven out,” (i. e. outcast) ” and her that I have afflicted; and I will make her that halted a REMNANT [19 A very good parallel to this will be found in Zeph. iii. 13, to the end.], and her that was cast far off a strong nation” (i. e. as promised to Abraham): ” and,” it is added, ” the Lord shall reign over them in mount Zion henceforth, even for ever.” This everlasting reign can be none, but that assigned to the spiritual David, and the Son of Man, both by Isaiah and Daniel, respectively. ” That day” moreover, mentioned here, can be no other than the period symbolized by the seventieth week of Daniel (chap, ix. 27, presently to be considered); for, during this, every thing relating to the Holy people, and Holy city, was to be accomplished. During this day therefore of Micah, the poor and afflicted Remnant were to be constituted a strong nation: and this actually took place within it, in their taking spiritual possession of the heritage of the heathen, as will be more particularly shewn hereafter. And to this effect, is the remainder of this context (which see).

The next chapter (ver. 2, seq.) particularly foretells the birth of the Redeemer, as also the return of the Remnant unto the children of Israel; here necessarily to the Apostles and their coadjutors (comp. Heb. xii. 22, seq.), Ezekiel’s “all the house of Israel wholly;” not to Canaan: this was now merged in Abraham’s greater and better portion, the heritage of the Gentiles. It also predicts the fall of the cities and strongholds of Judah (ver. 11).

Sect. III.—On Places in the New Testament referring to the last days, the end, or ends of the world, and the like.

It would be endless to notice every place in the Old Testament, in which this period is referred to in one way or other: of some of these notice will be taken hereafter. We shall now therefore, pass on to the New, and endeavour to ascertain how it is spoken of there. Our first place shall be Luke xxii. 37…” The things concerning me have an end:” that is, as the context here requires, the things which have been written concerning me, shall have a complete fulfilment and end. Which must mean, not that the things written concerning Christ should not be accomplished until the end of time;—which however, can have nothing to do with His kingdom : for, in the language of prophecy, this has no end : but there was a period to arrive, in which they should all be accomplished. Let us now enquire, how far our Lord himself has elsewhere restricted them to this sense.

We find then (ib. chap. xxi. 22), ” These be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may lie fulfilled.” The days here referred to, are necessarily those spoken of in the context immediately preceding it, viz. (ver. 20, seq.), ” When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh:” which brings us to the period appropriated to this in Daniel (ix. 26, 27), as we shall shew hereafter. For, according to him, the people of the Prince who should come, should destroy the City and the Sanctuary, some time after the cutting off of the Messiah. This then, must necessarily be in the midst of his seventieth week, when God should cause both sacrifice and oblation to cease. Our Lord’s words here therefore, have respect generally to this period; and the same is true of the whole Chapter, as we shall presently see. The same general period is, therefore, had in view throughout it; and, at the close of this, the End adverted to above by our Lord, must of necessity come.—But more on this, when we come to Daniel.

Let us now examine a few other places, which appear to teach the same thing. We have then (ver. 32) of this same chapter, ” Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled ” (rather, till all be. Gr. yevrj-toi. The Authorized Version overstates this in “fulfilled”). That “this generation” must mean the generation then exist­ing, it would be a work of supererogation to shew [And yet, as already cited, there are those who tell us that, by generation here, is meant, not a generation implying the lifetime of persons then living, but the duration of a class of men: and here, the disciples and their successors: according to others, the whole of the Jewish people. Surely all this is very far-fetched! But it is fully refuted by our parallel places.]. But let us see, whether there are not other places which will make any such proof unnecessary. We have then (Matth. xvi. 28), ” Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in power” We now have the coming of the Son of Man therefore, in power (Dan. vii. 13, seq.), limited to the life-time of some of the persons then present: and this coming to be evinced by the performance of some great acts on His part; not necessarily by an appearance of His person: and so says St. Matthew in the place parallel to this: viz. (ver. SO), ” Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven, coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”

Now, that this should not be delayed to the end, or even the latter portion, of this period (of which more hereafter), is evident from the context immediately following: viz. (ver. 81), ” And He shall send His angels” (Messengers, i. e. Apostles) ” with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds.”…(ver. 34), ” Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be” (as before). The fact then of this case is, He did so send His angels, or Apostles (in Isaiah’s terms, His Escaped), with a great sound of a trumpet (mystically so speaking), and they did gather together His elect (or Rem­nant) from the four winds: to these both St. James and St. Peter addressed their Epistles: and these again, St. Peter and St. Paul actually term the “Elect” or “Election [James i. 1: 1 Pet. i. 1, 2 : Rom. xi. 5, 7, seq: 2 Tim. ii. 10.].”

To the same period also, and its events, is necessarily to be referred the passage (Acts i. 11), viz. ” This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” that is, in the clouds of heaven, with signs of power, and in great glory [There is a tradition to be found in Lactantius, in which it is said, that the ascent of our Lord was like that of Elijah, i. e. in a chariot of fire, and in a great tempest.]: for this is the manner in which He then ascended. Besides, He Himself says, evidently for the purpose of doing away every expectation of a personal revelation of himself (John xiv. 19), “Yet a little while, and the world seeth me: no more.” But if ” every eye” should sensibly see Him (Rev. i. 7), then the whole world should. And again, which is perhaps more to our purpose, as it has in view the very period now referred to, Matth. xxiv. 23, &c. ” Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not” And again (ib. ver. 26), ” Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth; behold, he is in the secret chamber; believe it not. for as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even to the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be;” i. e. in power, not visibly and personally, but as in the clouds of heaven. (Comp. Zech. ix. 14—17, inclus.) To take refuge therefore, in a strictly literal interpretation of this place, and so to extract a personal appearance of Christ, is contrary to the manifest intention of Scripture, and to every fact of these times, and deserves not a moment’s further consideration.

There are also other places, in which our Lord speaks of the End, or general consummation to take place in these last days, when, as it should seem, all things written concerning Him should be accomplished: these we may now consider. Two of them occur in His very remarkable prophecy (Matth. xxiv. &c.). At ver. 6, it is said, ” Ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars…but the end is not yet.” (ver. 8.) “All these are the beginning of sorrows [We have here therefore, the Beginning of the judgments so fore­told by our Lord, as we also have, in this same context, the end of them: which must, from the nature of the case, comprehend some definite period; the extent of this we shall determine hereafter.].” (ver. 14.) “And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations” (i. e. of Christ’s power), ” and then” (i. e. after this) ” shall the end come [This End is also brought before us in ver. 13 here, where it is said, ” He that shall endure to the end, the same shall be saved,” that is, every one who shall not fall away, on account of the trials to be undergone during the continuance of this period, shall be saved: Comp. Ch.x. 22, and its parallels. The same End is also had in view, Rev. ii. 25, 26. seq., as we shall see hereafter, where the coming of the Son of man in power is combined with it. But we have, as the great testimony to the truth of all this, the fact of the Gospel’s being fully preached in all nations. This, I say, is given as a testimony, at once, to all nations, and to all times. This preaching was moreover carried on by miracle. The Covenant was magnified (“confirmed”) among the many during this very period, and then, as we shall see, the end came. On this period of the End, see also Dissertation II. prefixed to my Theophania of Eusebius.].” Now I say, if this be not the end predicted by Ezekiel, as noticed above, it will be difficult to say what end it can be. Our Lord places the beginning of the things, which were to lead to it, within the life-time of those then present, and to the investing of Jerusalem by the Roman army, as predicted by Daniel. Its end He then assigns to some certain point of time, which should occur after the Gospel had ben preached in all the world: and this should seem to be the point of time, in which all things then foretold by Him should be accomplished. He further terms this period, ” the days of vengeance [Comp. Isa. xxxiv. 8, with its context.], that all things which were written should be fulfilled.” (i. e. within them). They must of necessity there­fore, comprehend the last days, end, &c., spoken of by the Prophets, as noticed above.

Our Lord speaks likewise of this period, as of “a day” that should come unawares, and as a snare on all who should then be dwelling on the face of the whole earth (Luke xxi. 34, 35). From this, as well as from the terms applied to it above, viz. “the days of vengeance,” we can have no reason­able doubt, that it is the period elsewhere styled, ” The day of the Lord,” and the like. And accordingly, St. Peter tells the believers of his day (2 Ep. iii. 10), that ” the day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” In ver. 12 ib., it is styled ” the day of God” All which evidently rests on the enouncement made in Matth. xxiv. 43, viz. the coming of which should be attended by ” the beginning of sorrows,”” and within that generation: and its end arrive after the Gospel had been preached in all nations. Again, the same Apostle assures us (ib. ver. 13) that, after its judgments should have taken place, ” new heavens and a new earth” awaited the believers: that is, the universal Kingdom of the Son of Man, in which all things should be ” made new,” i. e. constituting a New Creation, spiritually considered [And here St. Peter tells us, just as Isaiah does (ib. ver. 4.) that the heavens and earth should pass away, but adds, that they should be replaced by new heavens and earth: i. e. religiously speaking.].

St. Peter informs us moreover, in this place (ver. 8, seq.), “That one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day.” By which we are perhaps to understand, that, when such expressions as the day of the Lord occur, we are not to suppose that a natural day is meant, but that both a day, and a thousand years, are to be taken in all such contexts, as intimating some indefinite period. That St. Peter here refers to his own times, must be evident from the context. “The Lord” says he (ver. 9), “is not slack concerning his promise, as some” (now) ” count slackness; but is long-suffering to us-ward” That is, If the promise of Christ’s coming appears to some unlikely to be fulfilled, let not such deceive themselves: the apparent delay is for our sakes. He adds (ver. 10), ” But the day of the Lord” (“of God,” ver. 12) “will come as a thief in the night.” We have already seen, that it is to the period in which St. Peter lived, that this name is given in the Scriptures, as we also have, that the generation then existing should witness its beginning. Its close we shall determine hereafter.

The Apostle Peter also tells us here, that St. Paul had, in all his Epistles to the Churches, spoken of these things (ib. verr. 15, 16). We shall presently see what he has said of them, and, that his words must as necessarily refer to these particular times, as must those of St. Peter. It is true St. Peter tells us here of a dissolution of the heavens, and of the elements, by fire; which, if taken literally, received not their accomplishment in his days. But it may be asked, Is it absolutely necessary they should be so taken ? If we exa­mine the numerous prophecies relating to this particular period, we shall find, ‘I think, that they cannot be taken literally. See, for example, Deut. xxxii. 22, as already no­ticed, ” For a fire is kindled in mine anger, and shall burn unto the lowest hell,” &c.; after which we find (ver. 43), the nations should rejoice with his people. The physical world could not therefore, be so consumed. The same is the case here in St. Peter “(ver. 13), “Nevertheless we, according to His promise,”” (i. e. as given in the Scriptures of the Pro­phets), ” look for new heavens and a new earth,” &c. : that is, a new creation, mystically speaking. • On this sub­ject see too, Isa. i. 7; xiii. 13; xxiv. 6; xxxiv. 4, seq., with the parallel places, which must be quite sufficient to remove every doubt, as to the true drift of all such places.

St. Peter again, to the same effect (1 Ep. iv. 17, seq.), “The time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God [I.e. as predicted by Ezekiel, ix. 6, as we shall see more at length hereafter.]:” the terms of which manifestly refer to this period, and to a judgment now to be executed [So also St. Paul, Phil. iv. 5 : The Lord is at hand: which we .shall shew must likewise apply to this period.]. To this judgment reference is also made (2 Ep. chap. ii. 3) in the words, ” whose judgment now of a long time linger eth not” (i. e. shall shortly be executed), ” and their damnation slumber-eth not.” In verse 12, these are spoken of as then existing: ” But these,”” it is said, “as natural brute beasts, made to be taken and destroyed,” (now) “speak evil of the things that they understand not,”” &c. And again (ver. 17), ” These are wells without water… to whom the mist of darkness is reserved for ever.” (See the following verses.) And, be it observed, that, although a judgment was then to be openly executed, the Apostle does also intimate under this, a future and final judgment, in which the mist of darkness should for ever rest upon the damnation of these sinners; and that both of these should be a judgment by fire. That such a primary judgment should rest upon the Jews, we have already seen in the words of Moses, Isaiah, and others: that a simi­lar one should destroy the heathen powers, who should persecute the saints of the Most High, and resist the empire of the Son of Man, we shall presently see from Daniel [Dan. vii. 9—12, 22, 26, 28 inclus.].

We need not therefore, be surprised in finding the writers of the New Testament, speaking of a judgment to take place within the times in which they lived, or of a revelation to be made by fire, or of new heavens and a new earth, when it had also been announced, that a new creation should take place within that very period, not indeed in a physical, but in a moral and religious, sense. The system of literal interpretation, which has usually been followed, would naturally enough refer all this to the final day of judgment: but how new heavens and a new earth could await believers after this, could be explained on no supposition, but that of a Jewish Millennium: with what propriety, let the reader judge.

We have again (1 Pet. i. 5), (You) ” Who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time.” It is not to be supposed however, that this salvation had not been already revealed in some sense: this was certain. The Apostle must therefore, have meant, that a fuller revelation of this was now about to be made, within the period named the last time: and this could have been nothing but the complete revelation and recognition of the power of Christ throughout the world, foretold by Daniel where he says, The kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the saints of the Most High; when the putting forth of Divine power should cast down all opposing Jewish and heathen power. This exertion of the Divine power is termed (ib. ver. 7), “the appearing” (more properly, the Revelation, Gr. dironaXv^is) ” of Jesus Christ,’1” where the term used, as well as the thing had in view, is precisely the same with those brought before us in the ” Revelation of Jesus Christ.” as taught by St. John: of which more hereafter.

Again (ib. ver. 10, seq.), the same Apostle tells us, that ” the Prophets who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you, searched diligently…what, or what manner op time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify”…” unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us” (i. e. the Apostles, &c.) “they did minister the things, which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the Gospel” &c. It was to these very times therefore, according to St. Peter, that all the Prophets did in their several ministrations refer. Again (ib. ver. 20), ” Who” (i.e. Christ) “verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifest in these last times for you.” The period therefore, termed ” the day of the Lord” and the like, so had in view by the Prophets, must have been “these last times” of St. Peter: and these again, must have been those in which he lived (comp. Acts iii. 18, 24, 25). We shall see hereafter, how far these can be extended.

St. Peter again, gives us a most valuable comment on a prediction of Joel, to the same effect (Acts ii. 17), viz. ” And it shall come to pass in thb last days, saith God, I will pour out of my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men, shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams.” A little above it is said (ver. 4), ” And they were all filled with the Holy Ghost, and began to speak with tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance” &c. Upon this occasion, some ” mocking said, These men are full of new wine.” St. Peter answers : ” These are not drunken, as ye suppose…But this is that which was spoken by the pro­phet Joel” (ii. 28). He then gives the place as now quoted. That Peter meant to apply this to the times in which he uttered it, there can surely be no doubt: and if so, these must have been ” the last days” of prophecy, in his esti­mation. He is therefore consistent, and in perfect unison, with the rest of the sacred writers on this point.

We have again (1 Pet. iv. 7), “the end of all things is at hand: be ye therefore sober, and watch unto prayer” That this has reference to our Lord’s prophecy, Matth. xxiv. 42— 45, Sec., there can be no doubt: ” Watch therefore” said our blessed Lord, “for ye know not at what hour your Lord doth come.”…” Therefore be ye also ready.” And Mark xiii. 33, ” Take ye heed, watch and pray: for ye know not when the time is” And Luke xxi. 36, ” Watch ye, therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things, and to stand before the Son of Man.” All of which, as we have seen, was to commence at least within that gene­ration, and to end when the Gospel should have been fully preached. In verse 12 of this place in St. Peter, mention is made of the fiery trial which was to try the Believers,— as foretold both by our Lord and Daniel,—within this very period. A little lower down (ver. 17), this is styled a judg­ment, which was then to begin at the house of God [Comp. Rev. i. 3: iii. 11: xxii. 7,12,20: James v. 8 : Phil. iv. 6. All of which must belong to this period.—The sneer of Gibbon on this must recur to every one, as if the Apostle meant the end of the physical world! Oh no: it was only Gibbon’s ignorance that suggested this!]; and which, as we have also seen, was likewise to take place within these times. This is therefore here termed ” the End of all things” but is not to be mistaken for the dissolution of the physical world; Peter had nothing to do with this question; and it is, of necessity, to be understood of the time then at hand, the general period of which had actually commenced, and, during which, a new moral and religious creation was to take place.

And again (2 Ep. iii. 2, 3), “That ye may be mindful of the words which were spoken before by the holy prophets… knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts.” He adds, “For this they willingly are ignorant of” &c. Manifestly identifying these scoffers with those of his own times, and consequently, his own times with “the last days,” just mentioned. St. Jude too, says to the same effect, and nearly in the same words (ver. 18), “How they” (i.e. the Apostles) ” told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own lusts.” He adds in the next verse, ” these be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit.” He tells us also (ver. 14), that Enoch had prophesied of these, as he also had of the judgment to lie inflicted on them at the coming of the Lord, with ten thousand of his saints : which must be the judgment had in view by St. Peter; and, as we have already seen, by Daniel, chap. vii. 10, seq.

The Apostles alluded to here by Jude (ver. 17) must have comprehended St. Paul, who says (2 Tim. iii. 1, seq.), ” This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For men shall be lovers of their own seines… having the form of godliness,” &c. He adds, ” Of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women…. Now as Jannes and Jamores,” continues he, ” withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth… But their folly shall be made manifest.” From which it is evident, that this mystery of ini­quity had begun, at least, to work in St. Paul’s days; and so far, this will identify these his days, with those which he terms ” the last.” Their perils too, should seem to be those foretold by Daniel, when he said that war should be made upon the saints, “to try them…even to the time of the end” (chap. xi. 35, &c.). We have too (1 Tim. iv. 1, seq.) very much in unison with this of St. Peter, and relating to the events of these times : ” Now the Spirit speaketh expressly” says the Apostle, “that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits and doctrines of devils.” Now there can be no doubt, that this mystery of iniquity had begun so to work. The falling away of many (tj awocrTCKria), the Apostasy foretold by our Lord (Matth. xxiv. 10, &c.), and alluded to in 2 Thess. ii. 3, of which more hereafter, and dwelt upon by both St. Peter and St. Jude, as just now noticed, must be here had in view. The latter times moreover, as now mentioned, cannot but refer to the period which should precede the end: i. e. the close of Daniel’s seventieth week. For now the New Covenant should be fully, and for ever, established. We shall see more on these doctrines of devils when we come to Rev. chap. xvi. 13, 14. Let us now consider some of the doctrines of these Apostates.

“Forbidding to marry” continues St. Paul, “and commanding to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving.” The Apostle adds (ver. 6), ” If thou put the brethren in remembrance of these things, thou shalt be a good minister of Jesus Christ,”” &c.: implying, beyond all doubt, that, in the days of Timothy, this putting in remembrance would be peculiarly necessary to meet and oppose the rising heresy. Did then, any such persons exist in these, and the immediately subsequent, times, generally inculcating these abominable doctrines? I answer, Every one in the least acquainted with Church history, very well knows that there did. The Encratites [See Ireneeus, Ed. Grabe, Lib. r. cap. xxx. with Grabe’s note 4. Irenreus here derives these from Simon Magus, and expressly terms their doctrines the venom of the serpent-prince of apostates. See also Cave’s Historia Literaria, sub voce Tatianus, &c.], and indeed the Gnostics generally, taught that marriage was of the devil: and in the place of it, they substituted a community of women, according to the recommendation of Plato in his Republics: and this was, in all probability, the doctrine of the Nicolaitans. In the next place, believing as they did in the transmigration of souls, they held it a gross abomination to eat the flesh of animals, just as the Hindoos now do; and hence, both these doctrines were fully and universally urged upon all their followers. The followers of the Pontificate have, to some extent, recommended these things; but not to such as will satisfy these unlimited statements of the Apostle. Besides, the period here styled the latter times, &c., can by no means apply to those of Popery, no more than those can, to the par­ticularly seasonable duty here urged upon Timothy.

One can scarcely imagine, and certainly no one can prove, that St. Paul had in view, in either of these places, any persons or times different from those then existing, or immediately to follow. In these, some were to apostatize from the faith: (verr. 3, 4) they were to forbid to marry, and to command an entire abstinence from meats, &c.; which, it is too well known to admit of a doubt, was fulfilled to the very letter by the heretics, who were then growing up within the Church. There is therefore, good reason for believing, that all this referred to things then in existence: and likely to increase,—and actually did increase to an alarming extent.

St. Paul again, as to this period (Heb. i. 1, seq.), ” God, who at sundry times and in divers manners spaJce in time past unto the fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son” &e. Where, if language has any mean­ing, ” thesb last days” must signify those in which he lived. It was, of necessity during these, that Christ had “spoken” to the Apostles: before these, God had spoken by the Prophets. This distinction was therefore, made for the purpose of pre­venting mistake in this particular: and certainly, language cannot be, on this point, more precise and definite. If so, ” the last days” must include those of the Apostolical ministrations, just as we have seen in the places quoted from St. Peter and St. Jude.

To the same effect also is 1 Cor. x. 11, “Now all these things happened unto them for ensamples: and they are written for our admonition, upon whom the ends of the world are come” (Gr. ei? ows to Te\rj tu>v aiwvcov Kav, lit. to whom haw arrived the ends of the ages, or dispensations : that is, both of the Patriarchal and Mosaic). That the physical world could not be meant, is evident enough from the facts of the case. The Apostle tells us moreover, that these ends or times had now arrived with them: that is, within their days. These ” ends of the world,’1” must therefore imply the same times, as those termed ” the last days” ” these last days,” and the like. They must accordingly, mean some period which had then begun, and was in progress towards its close [Comp. Phil. iv. 5: Heb. x. 25.]:

In Ephes. ii. 7, we have ev rots al&ai rots firepxofifvois, rendered by, ” in the ages to come;” the ages (now) coming on, would have been closer. If this had been given, in the worlds to come, in any sense, the absurdity would have been too apparent to be tolerated. Why then have the translators given “world” in the place above? Clearly because they did not understand it. But, on the precise use of the term ala>v, alaves, we shall have something presently to offer otherwise the term ends, must be a misnomer. That it can not apply to the system then commencing, and involving a kingdom that should have no end, must be equally certain: the difference of the cases here being utterly irreconcileable, viz. that, a thing now coming to its end, can be made to signify the same with that, to which there should be no end. The same is true of the expression ” last days,” and the like: that which should have no end, being utterly incapable (in prophetical diction) of containing any “last days.” No period therefore, after Christianity had received its establishment as a kingdom,—and such establishment it has received, —could possibly be meant by any one of these terms.

The Apostle also tells us (ib.), that ” all these things happened unto them for ensamples” (Gr. tuttoi avvef, i. e. as typical of something then to come; so in St. Peter, as noticed above, they ministered not to themselves, but to us) ; “and they are written for our admonition,” &c.; i. e. the Gospel so preached under types to them, is now fully set forth for our instruction, as the rest of this con­text clearly shews. Both St. Peter and St. Paul had before them therefore, not only the same times, but also the same persons, and the same things.

Again Heb. ix. 26, ” But now once in the end op the world (i. e. of the ages, or dispensations} hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself’ (Gr, vvv §e aira^ etrl awreXeiq. twv aiwvwv, &o.). Where this end must necessarily synchronize with the ” now”” (vvv) of the Apostle, and which must have been intended to mark the period generally then existing. This end must also imply the termination, or fulfilment, of some previously known period; and cannot be extended into that, of which it is repeatedly and emphatically said, that it should have no end. That the end of the physical world did not then arrive, need not be proved. This period is again referred to in chap, viii. 8, 10, 13, where it is said, ” The days come…when I will make a new covenant,” &c. In the last verse of which, the Apostle speaks of the Old Covenant as then ready to vanish away. This was therefore the period of its end, and of the establishment of the New, both de jure, and de facto. (See chap. x. 20.) Again, ib. ver. 37, ” Yet a little while, and He that shall come will come, and will not tarry;” in the terms of St. Peter, not linger : i. e. will come shortly, and within the period here had in view. But, ac­cording to Daniel, it was at the close of his seventieth week, that vision and prophecy should be sealed, reconciliation be made for iniquity, everlasting righteousness be brought in, and the most holy (place) be anointed : in other words, when the Son of Man should have in possession the dominion under the whole heavens, and which should constitute ” the End of the matter,” as we shall see more particularly here­after. St. Paul speaks here therefore, just as St. Peter did, of the times and circumstances then present, and immediately to succeed.

There are moreover, other places occurring in the Epis­tles, marking this period in words and phrases a little different from those already noticed, some of which we may now consider. In Gal. iv. 4, it is said, ” When the fulness op time was come, God sent forth His Son” Sic. In Ephes. i. 10, we have, ” That in the dispensation of the fulness of times He might gather together in one all things in Christ.” By ” the fulness of time,” in the first quotation must be meant, the fulfilment of the time appointed for our Lord’s appearance, which must be identical with Jacob’s “last days,” in which Shiloh should come. The other place reads a little differently. The original has, For the dispensation, or economy (Gr. elmiav) : and so the Syriac and some other ancient versions render it. This however, is of no importance to us here. The dispensation, or economy, of the fulness of time, must necessarily comprehend the ministration of Christ and his Apostles [34 Col. i. 25.], and also that, in which it was to be the good pleasure of the Father to give the kingdom to them (Luke xii. 32). And, although it was then to take its rise, i. e. within the period termed the fulness of time, and beyond which, it should not be delayed; still, as a dispensation, its times of endurance must be commen­surate with those of Christ’s Kingdom: that is, they must be without end. Let it be borne in mind moreover, that the fulness of time, which had now arrived, must necessarily imply the fulfilment, or end, of some previous time, and is not to be confounded with that which it so succeeded, and was only temporary. The period here termed the fulness of time, appointed, as it had been, for the rise and establishment of this final dispensation, is also a thing widely different from that, during which this dispensation was to continue.

To the same effect St. John (1 Ep. ii. 18), ” it is the last time : and as ye have heard that Antichrist [We shall, when we come to Daniel, ascertain the particular period, and person, of the Persecutor of the Saints so named here. It will then be seen that, on this point, the Scripture is most full and precise. That the early Fathers, as Justin Martyr, Tertullian, Lactantius, Jerome, and some others, should have entertained such wild notions upon it,—though some understood it well,—is not to be wondered at, as they were generally any thing but mighty in the Scriptures: that the moderns have, is due to the faulty principles of Mead; of which more hereafter.] shall come, even now are there many Antichrists”’ (i. e. people of his sort); ” whereby ice know that it is the last time” (for in this he was to appear). ” They went out” (i. e. apostatized) “from us, but they were not of us ; for if they had been of us, they would no doubt have continued with us; but they went out,” &c. In St. Paul’s time (about a.d. 54) it is said, “The mystery of iniquity doth already work,” &c. That is, its beginnings were sufficiently apparent. But St. Paul does not appear to have survived the fall of the Temple and City of Jerusalem. St. John certainly did: for, if he wrote this Epistle about a.d. 90, as generally believed, he must have survived the fall of the city, and the judgment poured out upon the Jews, not much less than twenty years: and this must, according to the visions of Daniel,—presently to be considered,—have placed him within the latter period of his seventieth week, during which war was to be made upon the saints by the little horn, and they were to be given into his hand during the period of a time, times, and the dividing of time : but, at the end of which, his destruction was to take place. St. John therefore, truly designated this as the last time. The Apostasy moreover, which had not fully taken place in the times of St. Paul, now had.

It would be almost endless to notice all the places of Scripture, in which reference is made, either directly or indirectly to this period, and to the marvelous events which were to take place within it. Some of these will be adduced in the sequel. It will be sufficient for the present, to touch upon those portions of our Lord’s remarkable prophecy (Matth. xxiv. &c.), which bear particularly upon it. Some of these have come before us already; but, as it will be more satisfactory to view them in their several connexions, we shall now proceed to do so. And here we shall bring the several parallel places together, as they occur in the Gospels of Sts. Matthew, Mark, and Luke.

In St. Matthew then (chap. xxiv. 1, seq.) we are told, that when the disciples had shewn the buildings of the Temple to our Lord, He said, ” Verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down,” i. e. of these buildings. The same is said both in Mark (chap. xiii. 1, 2) and in Luke (chap. xxi. 5, 6). We are next told (ib. Luke), that the disciples asked Him, ” When shall these things be, and what sign…when these things shall come to pass ?” Which should seem to imply something more than the fall of the Temple. The other Gospels inform us, that this question was proposed, ” as He sat upon the mount of Olives'” (over against the temple). In St. Mark it stands thus: ” What shall be the sign when all these things shall be fulfilled?” In St. Matthew, ” When shall these things be ? and, What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world”

Gibbon indulges in sneering at this, in the severest manner of which he is capable. ” It was universally believed,” says he, ” that the end of the world, and the kingdom of heaven, were at hand.” Milman tells us in a note on this place, that ” This was … an integral part of the Jewish notion of the Messiah, from which the minds of the Apostles themselves were but gradually detached.” He then refers us to the vile Neologian work of Bertholdt, entitled Christologia Judseorum, (see my review of this in my ” Six Sermons,” &c. Lond. 1830). But, Were the Apostles ever detached from this notion? Gibbon has no doubt here, that St. Paul taught it in his first Epist. to the Thess. and also our Lord Himself in Matt. xxiv. And Gibbon is right; but this was taught in the sense of neither Gibbon, Milman, nor Bertholdt. And the fact is, the kingdom of heaven did so come, as also did the end of the world, in the sense they intended. Gibbon adds, ” The revolution of seventeen centuries has instructed us not to press too closely the mysterious language of prophecy and revelation.” Which is a master-piece in his way. The truth however, is, all its point consists only in the consummate ignorance of its author. (Decline and Fall, &c. Ed. Milman, 1838, Vol. 11. p. 299.) ov a’uovos). From this last place it should seem, that the disciples had already heard something on this subject, which led them to these additional particulars ; and we find (Matth. xvi. 4, &c.) that this is the case. ” There shall no sign be given unto it” (i.e. this generation), “but the sign of the prophet Jonas,” &c. (Comp. chap. xii. 3.9—43, and Mark viii. 38, where a judgment is denounced). And again (ib. 21, seq.), our Lord foretells his own death and resurrection [In Luke xviii. 31, seq., to the same effect: ” Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the Prophets concerning the Son of Man shall be accomplished” (comp. xxi. 22, which must neces­sarily refer to the same things). ” For He shall be delivered unto the Gentiles, and shall be mocked, and spitefully entreated, and spitted on. And they shall…put Him to death: and the third day He shall rise again.” And again (Luke xix. 41, seq.) …” He beheld the city and wept over it saying, If thou hadst known. . . in this thy day, the things which belong to thy peace!. . . For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side.. . and shall not leave in thee one stone upon another” &c. To which many similar places might be added, were it necessary. All of which must necessarily be confined to the general period now before us, and could not have been forgotten by the Disciples on the occasion in question.]; and again (ver. 27), it is said, ” for the Son of man shall come in the glory of His Father with His angels; and then He shall reward every man according to his works.” The next verse adds, ” Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here” (as already noticed), ” which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in His kingdom.” That the former place here relates to the final judg­ment, there can, I think, be no doubt. This was a doctrine well known to the Jews generally; but, this leading as a theme, our Lord speaks of another judgment to take place, even within the limits of that generation. And here, the kingdom to be given to the Son of Man, as foretold by Daniel (chap. vii. 14, Sic.), with its accompanying judgments, must necessarily have been intended. The disciples had therefore, some reasons for introducing these other parti­culars. They knew full well, that the Jews would not receive their Lord, but would put him to death. It was reasonable enough therefore, in them to suppose, that His coming in power and glory would be to reward them, even in that generation [Mr. Milman (ib.) gives us the following abstract of the modern commentators on this passage…” An error… subsists in our versions of… Matt. xxiv. 29, 34 … In ver. 29,. .. the Greek word (v6eu>s, signifies… suddenly, not immediately… it signifies only the sudden appearance of the signs … not the shortness of the interval which was to separate them from the days of tribulation.” Whatever might be said of the suddenness of these tribulations, certain it is that some then living were to witness them. Again, ver. 34: “These words yevth avrtj.. . the translators have rendered by ‘ this generation,’ but which means the race … of my disciples:… he speaks of a class of men, not of a generation.” But, who can adopt such a gloss as this, when he has considered the place with its parallels ? Besides, yevrjrai does not signify fulfilled, as already noticed. In this the translators were wrong: in the other instances now noticed, they were not so.], according to their works. See also Matth. chap. xxi. 41—46, where the destruction of Christ’s murderers is indirectly foretold, and it is declared both that the king­dom should be taken from them, and that the effect of His judgments should grind them to powder. The same is said in other words in chap. xxii. 7, seq. We need not be surprised therefore, at these additional particulars introduced by the disciples.

Again, Christ’s coming in power may be considered as equivalent to the declaration, that His Kingdom should now be established de facto; and consequently, that the previous temporary dispensation should have wholly passed away. His coming thus therefore, was to accomplish all this, and thence to constitute a sign of the entire end of that moral state of things [Luke xxi. 22. ” These be the days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled.” Comp. Isa. xxxiv. 8.] (rfjs <rvvTe\e’ta rov aioicos). This consideration would naturally have the effect, in our Lord’s subse­quent answers, of introducing many particulars connected with this great question: and this it actually had. He now therefore traverses the whole period termed above ” the last days,” “last times,” and the like, and concludes with the events which should establish His Kingdom, de facto, in every nation under heaven. It is plain, I say, that the questions of the disciples involve all this: and to all this, it is but reasonable to believe, He would give full and adequate answers.

The first warning He gives to His disciples is, to take heed that no man deceive them (Matth. xxiv. 4), because, as He declares, many should come and lay claim both to His office, and dignity. From this place (ver. 5) to verse 15, He gives a general outline of the events of this whole period; ” and then,” adds he, ” shall the end come.” That the things here foretold, actually took place within the period now had in view, we shall shew more particularly when we come to the Revelation, where they are taken up by St. John. It will suffice here to remark, that it is sufficiently well known, that they did take place. In Mark (chap. xiii. 5—14, exclus.) we have the parallel to this: as we also have in Luke xxi, 8—20.

In the remaining context, in each of these Gospels, the same events are more particularly, as it is usual, dwelt upon: e.g. in Matthew (ver. 15), ” When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, whoso readeth let him understand [See below on Dan. ix. 27: xii. 11.];” viz. that this is both the period, and the thing, had in view by Daniel. ” Then,” it is added, i. e. at that time, ” let them which be in Judea flee to the mountains…For” (ver. 21) ” then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be” (comp. Dan. ix. 26; xii. 1. Joel ii. 2). And again, “For the Elects* sake:” (Rom. xi. 7, ” the Election,” and 1 Pet. i. 2, ” Elect,” Isa. Ixv. 9, 22, ” mine Elect,” not any Calvinistic Elect), “those days shall be shortened.” In Mark (xiii. 14—21), the same things are said, and nearly in the same words. But in Luke (xxi. 20, seq.), the terms used are more specific: e. g. ” And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then” (i. e. at that time) “know that the desolation thereof is nigh:” (which brings us to the pre­diction of Daniel, chap. ix. 26, viz. ” The people of the prince that shall come, shall destroy the City and the Sanctuary,” Sec.). The disciples are now instructed to flee to the mountains, and then follows the important declaration: ” These be the days of vengeance,” or, as in Isaiah, chap, xxxiv. 8. “It is the day of the lord’s vengeance, and the year of recompences for the controversy of” (the true) ” Zion [(Comp. Deut. xxviii. 49, seq.: xxix. 23: xxxii. 22, seq.: Joel i. 2, 3, 6, 7,15. ” The day of the lord is at hand;” i. e. in the eye of the prophet: Ch. ii. 2, seq. ; ver. 11. ” The day of the lord is great and very terrible; and who can abide it ?” In ver. 18, we have, the pity to be shewn to His people, cited from Deut. xxxii. 36, &c., and here ver. 32, this is determined to be His Elect, or holy Remnant. Joel follows this out with the return of Judah’s captivity, i. e. in this Hemnant, the calling in of the Gentiles, the mountains dropping down with new wine, Ch. iii. 18, &c., and the waters of Judah irrigating even the valley of Shittim, &c.].” Our Lord adds, ” that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Where, be it observed, He comes to the fulfilment of all that had been written: that is, to take place within the period here had in view: and prophecy knows nothing beyond this:—and this must be, as we shall see hereafter, Daniel’s seventieth mystical week: for at its conclusion, vision and prophecy was to be sealed, i. e. fulfilled.

St. Luke adds (ver. 23), ” For there shall be great dis­tress in the land, and wrath upon this people.” That is, upon the land and people of the Jews, of necessity. ” And,” he goes on, ” they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations : and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” That this distress took place in the fall of Jerusalem, and the dispersion of the Jews, it is impos­sible to doubt. If now we turn to Daniel (chap. ix. 27), we shall see what is meant by ” until the times,” &c. His words are: ” In the midst of the week,” that is, of necessity, of the last, and one, week there named, ” He shall cause the sacrifice and oblation to cease:” that is, as it should seem, by making circumstances such, that the obdurate Jews should be no longer able to continue them: and this must have been by the fall of the Temple. But here, the Temple fell at the same time with Jerusalem: our ” until the times,” &c., may therefore be applied to both here, because the same point of time must be meant in each.

Daniel continues, “And for the overspreading of abomi­nations He” (God) “shall make it” (Jerusalem with its temple) “desolate, even until the consummation” (i. e. full and complete end), ” and that determined”1″1 (here to be within the period of these seventy weeks) ” shall be poured upon the Desolator [On this, more when we come to the place.].” Now this seventy weeks’1 period of Daniel was—as we shall shew hereafter,—given as that, in which everlasting righteousness should be brought in, for the esta­blishment of the everlasting Covenant with Abraham, to both Jew and Gentile; and within which, Vision and Prophecy should be sealed: i. e. so finished and fulfilled, that time might be said, with respect to it, to be no longer (Rev. x. 6). This consummation determined therefore, must neces­sarily arrive at the end of this period; and consequently, no prophecy can go beyond it. “Hitherto,” in Daniel’s own words, “is the end of the matter [43 Ch. vii. 28.];” which brings us to the kingdom taken into possession de facto, by the Son of Man. (See also Dan. xii. 7.) Our blessed Lord here therefore, carries us to this point of time, and no farther; and He tells us, that up to this Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles : here is the end of its metropolitical character, as also of the Theocracy which supplied its importance. The New Covenant, after this, knows it not as such, nor indeed any other such metropolis.

But, if we suppose this treading down to cease at this period, What then ? Can Jerusalem again take the place which it did under the Old Covenant, now that this covenant has wholly passed away? And, if it cannot do this, it can only do that which any other city may. The heavenly Jerusalem that now is, is from above; and it is the mother-city, or metropolis, of us all: it is that ” City of the Living God” which is co-extensive with the New Canaan, land, or earth, the limits of which are those of the Universe. With this, in what way soever resuscitated, the Jerusalem of Palestine can hold no competition. The New Covenant acknowledges it not: and this Covenant is both everlasting and unchangeable. To imagine therefore, that the terms ” until the times,” &e. imply any thing like what some are disposed to make them, is to give in to an assumption destitute of every thing like reason, and manifestly opposed to the requirements of this Covenant.

Our Lord again, after admonishing his disciples that false Christ’s should appear (Matth. ib. verr. 5, 23—27. Mark ib. verr. 6, 21—24. Luke ib. ver. 8), gives them a sure mark whereby His coming should be known: “For,” says he, ” as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so also” (i. e. of that sort) “shall the coming of the Son of Man be:” i. e. not as an individual on earth, whether in the desert, the secret chamber, or elsewhere, but in power, as in the clouds of heaven, discernible far and wide, in proof of His Divinity, and as foretold by the Prophets ; and, at the same time, striking through His enemies, and shattering, as with the lightning, those who might seem as deeply rooted, and as permanent in their possessions, as the cedars of Libanus [Zech. ix. 14: Ps. sly. 6, seq.: ex. 6: xxix. 5, seq.]. In this manner He came, and as in the clouds of heaven, and destroyed Jerusalem with its temple. In like manner was He also to come, and pour out His desolating flames of fire upon the head of the Desolator; and all this He actually did, as we shall see fully in the sequel.

From this place then (ver. 29, ib. Matth.), down to verse 32, is this second coming of our Lord in judgment, thus foretold : ” Immediately,” it is said, ” after the tribulation of those days” (i. e. of the fall of Jerusalem) ” shall the sun be darkened…And then” (i; e. again) “shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven” (not His person, but the testimony of his power): ” and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn”” (not of the Jews only, but of the Gentiles also, who should oppose themselves to Him), ” and they” (i.e. all) “shall see” (i. e. perceive in this way; and in no other was He to be seen) ” the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven” (i. e.) ” with power and great glory.” It is added (ib. ver. 31), “And He shall send His angels” (Apostles) ” with a great sound of a trumpet [As foretold in the places just referred to in the text, and as shadowed out in the priests blowing the trumpets about Jericho (Josh. vi. 4, seq.)], and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.”

In Zech. ix. 13, seq., this is plainly foretold: ” When I have bent Judah for me, filled the bow with Ephraim, and raised up thy sons, O Zion, against thy sons, O Greece, and made thee” (i. e. God’s true Zion) ” as the sword of a mighty man. And the Lord shall be seen over them” (i. e. as in the clouds), ” and His arrow shall go forth as the lightning; and the Lord God shall blow the trumpet” (in these His ministers), “and shall go forth” (as) ” with the whirlwinds of the south ;” i. e. with great fury to cast down, tear up, and destroy, His foes. Which will supply the best comment on Acts i. 11, viz. “This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like man­ner’1” (i. e. in the clouds of heaven in power), ” as ye have seen Him go into heaven.” Our Lord adds, in order to fix the commencement of the period, within which all this should take place (ver. 34), ” Verily I say unto you, this geneation shall not pass till all these things be.” The signs of their taking place He also gives: and the fact that they did so take place, is too well known to need urging here.

If we now turn to Mark (xiii. 24, seq.), we shall find this second coming of our Lord foretold much in the same way. The principal difference is this: ” When ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh’1” (i. e. the coining of the Son of man against the Jews), ” even at the doors.” This is then, as before, limited to that generation. In Luke (xxi. 25), ” There shall be signs in the sun…upon the earth distress of nations;” all of which, as we shall see hereafter, literally took place within the period here had in view, and beginning with events of that very generation (ib. ver. 32). Our Lord adds a particular here (ver. 31) of great moment: viz. ” When ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God'” (i. e. to be established under the everlasting Covenant made with Abraham) ” is nigh at hand.” That is, to be now established by the dis­play of a power, which none should be able to resist.

It should seem moreover, from the questions of the dis­ciples, viz. “What shall be the sign,” &c. (Matth. xxiv. 3, &c.), and from our Lord’s answers, which specify the signs of that particular period, as also from His declaration (ib. ver. 36), viz. ” But of that day and hour” (i.e. the general period often so specified by these terms), ” knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.” That is to say, Holy Writ has given no chronological intimations whatever by which its approach could be known, except only certain signs connected with other events, the period of which could not be known, until these events should have taken place: e. g. The Sceptre’s not departing from Judah until Shiloh (lit. He whose, it was) should come : that is, until the event of His mysterious birth should have taken place. In two cases indeed, viz. I. The deliverance of Israel from Egypt, the period was fixed, i. e. to be after the lapse of 430 years : II. That from Babylon after that of 70. But, if the seventy weeks of Daniel had contained a similar chronological period, then would it have been exactly known when the period, nay, the year of Christ’s appearing, of His crucifixion, and of the fall of Jerusalem, should be: but this last, our Lord has positively declared, none but the Father knew. That period could not therefore, have been given as chronological, in any sense.

We have arrived therefore, at the period in which the everlasting Covenant made with Abraham, was to be established; and, de facto, was established fatty and completely. To talk of an imperfect establishment of this, would be to talk absurdly, and in direct contradiction both to the terms, and the spirit, of Revelation. In the Apostle’s times believ­ers were complete in Christ [As cited above.] : and to this completeness, the nature of the case is sufficient to shew, nothing can be added. According to the same Apostle, moreover, the Gospel had in his days gone forth into all lands; it had been made known to all nations for the obedience of faith; it had gone forth into all the world, and had been preached to every creature under heaven [Col. i. 6, 23.].” According to all Ecclesiastical history, it was received in all nations before the times of Const antine [See Lux Evang. Fabricii.]; and in all nations have after-times found it. It is not pre­tended however, that every individual person, or every particular spot, received and adopted it. This neither the nature of these terms, nor the provisions of holy Scripture, require. It was universally established and received; while the brightest predictions of its glories, not only tell us of those who should always oppose it, but also of the pos­sibility of its candlesticks being, under certain circumstances, removed, and itself extinguished. If then, all this has been effected,—and this is the case,—What further have we to expect from the predictions of the Prophets ? If they indeed ministered to the things preached in the Apostolic and all subsequent times, and this even for us ; then it should seem to be superfluous to expect any thing further. When we come to the Revelation (chap. x. 7) we shall shew, that Holy Scripture itself repeatedly declares this to be the fact.

If any reliance can be placed upon what has now been adduced from the Prophets, the Psalmist, the Apostles, and the teaching of our Lord Himself, the period for the esta­blishment of His kingdom de facto, (for, de jure, it was established at His resurrection) must have commenced within the generation in which He lived and spake, and must also have ended some time after the fall of Jerusalem, and at the close of Daniel’s seventieth mystical week ; for then the consummation (i. e. completion of all), and that determined, was to be effected: and this again, Daniel affirms also by the fact, of desolation to be poured upon the Desolator,—for this was the thing determined, as the final one,— that is, upon the very Power which should destroy both the City and the Sanctuary. That this was the Roman power, as every one knows, which, as we shall presently see, was to make war against the saints, and so to prevail that many of them should fall, during the space of a time, times, and a half; which can only be another way of naming the latter half (i. e. 3½ days, &c.) of Daniel’s seventieth week.—But more on this hereafter.

When therefore, this period had arrived at its close, Abraham had become the spiritual Father of many nations: the privileges of a mere carnal descent now ceased to be of any value whatsoever; the system securing these having en­tirely passed away. And, as the Jews refused to become parties in the New Covenant, they were justly considered as branches broken off from the true Vine; they were pro­nounced blind, in bondage, and under the curse of the Law to all intents and purposes; and, from that day to this, they have suffered its penalties in every point of view, and in every nation of the world ! Still, as they are not, and never were, judicially and fatally cast off, they are invited by the universal Zion of this New Covenant, no longer to abide in unbelief, but to return, and to look on Him whom they have pierced; and thus, through the means appointed for the salvation of all, to come in, in order that ”all Israel may be saved:” because it has been promised,—and cannot fail to be accomplished, —that ” the Redeemer shall come out of Zion TO THEM THAT TURN PROM TRANSGRESSION in Jacob [Isa. Lix. 20.] As we have already had occasion to refer to this prophecy respecting our Lord, we shall consider it no farther now.

Our conclusion is therefore, upon the whole of this, that the Covenant of promise,—first made in the garden of Eden [Gen. iii. 15.], renewed with Noah [Gen. is. 9, seq.], and particularly so with Abraham, and as a voucher for the fulfilment of which many signs and wonders were given, and particularly the temporary right to the land of Canaan, with the whole polity of the Mosaic Law, —I say, that this Covenant of promise has been completely fulfilled, in the establishment of the Church of the New Testament, rather that of the New Covenant.

We have seen so far moreover, that this Covenant is precise, definite, everlasting, universal, and altogether exclusive. It will admit of neither addition nor diminution. The scope and limit of the Apostolic preaching, and of the Church’s receiving in their days, contain the full and whole amount of its precepts, privileges, character, and duration. To the tradition of men it pays no regard : to the temporary observances of the Law, it is a perfect stranger: to Jews, as such, it holds out no blessings; and even to Jews receiving it, it offers nothing peculiar. All believers are, in its wide and universal scope and benevolence, one holy family, one body, one Church : the great object and end of which is, the high mark of their calling in Christ Jesus, their becoming meet for heaven here, and their admission to it hereafter: although all its members well know, that to perfection they can never come on this side of the grave; still, as a perfect obedience has been rendered in their behalf, and a perfect atonement made for their transgressions, they are, by the exercise of a true faith, invested with such a state of righteousness, both imputed and actual, as will insure accept­ance with their God and Judge, so that He will see in them neither spot, wrinkle, blemish, nor any such thing. Under this too, they will be led, strengthened, taught, brought up, even to the perfect man in Christ, by the influence of that Holy Spirit, under whose ministration they live ; which moved holy men of old, when they foretold these things, and by the power of the same faith, realized them. Under such therefore, no Jewish, no Gnostic, Millennium is wanted: no restoration of Jews to temporary privileges only, is either taught or known. The great things prefigured under the temporary Covenant, are now for ever established ; and can­not but remain under Him who has established them, and has declared, that they shall continue as the days of heaven before Him.



On the Scriptural usage of the terms, aion, in the sense of Age, Dispensation, &c.

As the precise import of this usage is, perhaps, not very commonly known, it will be but right here to endeavour to ascertain it. From both its etymology and use, it should seem to signify some indefinite portion of time, and thence, by a metonymy, either persons or things connected with this. The word appears to be a compound, formed of del and wvlwv; and hence taking the circumflex (for aeiiov). We have a similar compound in aeiearw, sempiternitas, and detecttos, sempiterna substantia, where the latter part of the compound is derived from iarriui It may be said indeed, that in this case the genitive should be aioi/ros, not aJwo?. I should doubt however, whether this deserves much regard : the word now being the name of a single idea, may fairly take the liberty of so far shortening itself for convenience sake. On its classical use, Stephanus (Thesaur. p. 1694. d.) may be consulted.

In the Scriptures it has two applications. I. Designating some indefinite period, as to the present state of things. II. Eternity, as distinguishing that which is to come. Hence we have (Matth. xii. 32), oure ei» tovtu> t$ a’iwi/T(. Again (chap. xiii. 40), oiovtou. In the first instance here, we have this present a.iu>», and also that which is to come. In the second, we have the close of this, previous to the commencement of that future one: which is sufficient perhaps to establish this our first, and more extended, acceptation of this term. And here, be it observed, it is not the matter or the like, of the physical world that is meant, but the time, or things of time, connected with it.

In Mark x. 30, the opposition is thus made: eia,…Kaltp, &C. So also in Luke xviii, 30, where xaipy stands in each case, as parallel to aiiavi, and takes the place of it: while (chap. xx. 34) we have aiwvos in each place: oloutov… ol y atwiioy exeivov, &c. whence it must be evident, that Kaipos and cua are, to some extent, synonymous; as also, that altov itself has this extended and twofold application.

In the next place, as this term is found in the plural number, it must of necessity imply periods, &c. less extensive, apparently, than those just now mentioned: e. g. 1 Cor. ii. 7, Tvwv. ib. x. 11, ek oys (i. e. j/jmas) Taiaev. Comp. Eph. iii. 9, 11. Heb. i. 2 ; ix. 26, where we have the terms of St. Matthew (xxiv. 3. Comp. Dan. ix. 27, in the Septuag.) quoted, and applied to the period in which the Apostle lived: the words are, vvv $e ewv: that is, at the end of some former periods, each of which would be an aitov; but in St. Mark x. 30, in our more extended sense, and in the sin­gular number: while in each case, the end (ffweia), must necessarily signify the same end: and, from the nature of the case, this could not signify the end of the world in a phy­sical sense. So 1 Cor. x. 11 above. In these places, the plural form is applied in a retrospective sense: in the following, in a prospective one. Luke i. 33, e« tow alwva^. Rom. i. 25 ; ix. 5 ; and Gal. i. 5, aiov aiwvwv. Eph. ii. 7, ev Tojievoi’s (comp. iii. 21), i. e. in this state of being: to these other instances may be added.

That this term cannot apply to the world in a physical sense, must be clear from the following places: Eph* ii. 2, tov ov: i. e. period, or rather, mode of living in it, of this world. In Heb. i. 2, torev: “made the worlds.” Auth. Vers. i. e. in a physical sense. But the Scripture tells us of the making, or creating, of one only. Of this, the sun, moon, stars, and visible heavens, form constituent parts, not separate worlds, as the philosophy of the case may seem to require : which however, the Bible never professes to teach. And to imagine that the heaven of disembodied spirits and of angels, &c. could be meant here, would be absurd in the extreme : of the creation of this we know nothing.

Here (Heb.) in chap. xi. 3, we have Ks, ” the worlds were framed.” Auth. Vers.: which is open to the same objections. If however, we take aioiras here in the sense given above, we shall have, made or framed, rather constituted, adapted, or the like, the several periods; (meton.) the moral or religious appointments of these: i. e. the Dispensations: and these are the things here known by faith through the word: these too are the things seen, which did not originate in things visible: but in the appointments of him who is invisible: which indeed may be true of the physical world; but it is not the matter in question with the sacred writer, in any one of these places. The Heb. D and n, are used in the same way. See Schleusner.

We may now notice a few other usages of this term (alwv). In Rom. xii. 2, we have Ttp aiwvi tovtm. ” Be not conformed to this world:” i. e. to the moral or reli­gious usages of this period, or season of being: where Kaipio may be substituted for aiwvi. Comp. Eph. v. 16. Col. iv. 5. 1 Thes. v. 1, &c. Again, 1 Cor. i. 20, irovrov tovtov ; where the parallel has tyjv <rovtov : and gives koov in the same moral or religious bearing with aiaJiw: while Ephes. ii, 2, gives a usage which shews, that aiwv and kooos cannot signify the same thing: viz. koto. tov alwva tov : aliov being here some adjunct or characteristic of koios : i. e. the moral state or period of the then existing world. The text ad caret to v ap^ovv aepos, tov irvv evepyol? Ttjs direideias: where v apypvTa is the parallel of Kara tov alwva, and is evi­dently given for the purpose of marking strongly the moral state of this period, or a\wv; not its physical character. The Syriac renders the place thus, poi feaX^j cL ^u|, i. e. according to the worldliness of this world: it adds, and according to the will of the prince of the power of the air; i. e. characterizing in like manner, the aiwv or period in question. To the same effect many other instances might be cited : but it would be unnecessary. From all which it must appear^ that a’uov, .or alioves, must be regulated, both in extent, and period of being, by the circumstances of the context, as must also the consideration whether time, or the things of time past, present, or future, be meant: and, in the latter case, when the plural form is used, emphasis only is in some places apparently intended; as in eis toi)? aitova?, Rom. i. 25 ; and eav<av, Gal. i. 5, &c.; while, on the other hand, when we have such places as rwi’wv, 1 Cor. x. 11 ; avv, Matth. xiii. 39, 40; and xxiv. 3, the end, or close, of some preceding periods must be meant; but what these are, the context must, as before, determine: e. g. in Matth. xiii. it is evident the end of this world’s times must be meant, for things to take place after the resurrection are clearly presented to us: but in Matth xxiv.,—which we shall presently see, has reference to the prophecies of Daniel, which must “fail,” or end at a certain period,—the meaning cannot be extended to that of these former places : and, what is still more conclusive, St. Paul actually applies this usage to his own times (Heb. ix. 26). It must therefore refer to the close of periods running out up to that particular time, and then still to run out for some time to come; for he says (Heb. ii. 8), ” We see not yet alt things put under him:” the kingdom being not yet given to the Son of Man de facto: the Antichrist had not yet been revealed, and therefore had not yet fallen: and hence, he speaks (ib. ver. 5) of ” the world ” then ” to come.” Troucrav which, iii its moral and reli­gious application, would be equivalent to tov au.evoi’: but, in that of Daniel’s fifth Empire, to To, &c., as put under the rule of the Son of man. We must therefore, in interpreting these terms, be careful to note the circumstances of the context, otherwise confusion and error must be the result.

It is curious enough to observe, that the Mohammedans have the usage ie. Lord of the worlds, as applying to God. The first Chapter of the Koran will afford an example, where its commentators are tedious and particular in telling us, that it means God, as the Creator of the worlds: which was evidently adopted by Mohammed from the Christian heretics of his times. It is therefore, entitled to no authority whatever, in the question before us. Our conclusion is therefore, that the terms aiwv, a’iwves ta’ua, and the like, do primarily and properly denote some indefinite part, portion, or portions, of time, and may, by a metonymy, signify certain things connected with one or other of these, but that in no case is the physical world meant: while the period of occurrence, or of duration, of any of these portions, &c. must be ascertained from the circumstances of the context.

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Date: 21 Jan 2007
Time: 11:48:12


Awesome Stuff Todd. What an excellent find. I look forward to reading this in the coming days.
Dallas Texas

Date: 06 Feb 2007
Time: 15:46:56


The church is destined to be a witness to the whole world, will be delivered thru death, through protection and gathered to meet the Bridegroom via the resurrection and the rapture. God’s will judge his house first and the world. The 144000, 12000 of each tribe consist of Jew and gentile and are the firstfruits of the last harvest; the 2 olive trees, the natural and the grafted; they are the two lampstands before the Lord; etc.

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