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lie in the way both of Mr Scott and Mr Brown; but by no means in our way at all. We do not feel the necessity of being extricated. We are content with our position, and we would suggest to the others the counsel that has been given to us. Let them abandon what is unscriptural in their respective theories; let them fall back upon our view, which we maintain to be the only Scriptural one, and then they will find themselves in the midst of harmony and truth.
Of course, these are mere statements. We admit it, but still we make them; for it is quite lawful to oppose one statement to another statement. And upon this point, Mr Brown has merely given us his opinion_his opinion, we mean, as to our difficulties, and the mode of extrication. This opinion we dispute. We hold the difficulties wholly unproved, and we have suggested another mode of extrication.
But, granting that Mr Brown's argument had gained some advantage by this collision of two pre-millennialists, still a retort here is very easy, and we think somewhat more formidable to him than to us. Let us try it.
We find that while post-millennialists are agreed in rejecting our doctrine of the advent and reign, they are at most hopeless variance, as to the real meaning of those passages on which our doctrine is built. They are at one negatively, that is, in their rejection of our interpretations; but they are strangely at variance among themselves positively, that is, in ascertaining the real interpretations. They do not merely differ upon certain minor and inore obscure texts, but upon those which themselves account cardinal and decisive. We take as a specimen, their interpretation of the twentieth chapter of the Apocalypse. They unite in condemning the millennarian sense of this passage, but they cannot agree among themselves, as to its true meaning. Some, such as Grotius, Lee, Bush, &c., consider it to have long since both commenced and terninated. Others, such as Gipps, consider it to have begun long since, and to be now drawing towards a close. Others would have it to be future, but entirely figurative or spiritual. Others would have it partly literal, and partly figurative. It may not be amiss to give a few extracts.
Our first is from the work of Mr Gipps, upon the first resurrection. Mr G. stands, or rather we should say stood, (for he is now with his Lord), very high in the church of Christ, as a truly devoted minister; yet, we cannot but think he has erred very widely in the following exposition.
"Let the reader bear in mind, that I assume, as the whole basis of my present view, that the verbs sitting, giving, worshipping, receiving, living, reigning, being all in the same tense, refer all to the same time;
and, with this impression, I venture to suggest the following; which, it appears to me, may be the general outline of this prophecy.
« First, That a body of persons would arise in the kingdom of the beast, who would, in a figurative sense, sit upon thrones, have judgment given to them, and live and reign with Christ; and that the subjects of this the first resurrection would be characterized by refusing to worship the beast and his image, and would be exposed to persecution, and to be slain for the testimony of Jesus, and the word of God: and that a succession of persons so characterised would continue to arise in the kingdom of the beast, and to live and reign with Christ as kings and priests during the thousand years.
“ Secondly, When this period of a thousand years is ended, and at the commencement of the succeeding period described in ver. 7-10, a second resurrection of a similar kind will take place, when the rest of the dead will live, as foretold in ver. 5; and during this period the remainder of the Lord's kings and priests will arise, and live and reign with Christ. This second resurrection, however, will perhaps not be chiefly in the king. dom of the beast, but in other parts; nor will it be a time of martyrdom; and after this second resurrection, and during the living and reigning of its subjects, the events foretold in ver, 7-10 will take place.
“ Thirdly, After the conclusion of this second period Christ will come, and the judgment of all the dead will take place, as described in vers. 11-15.”
Our next is from “Dissertations on Prophecy," by Dr Lee of Cambridge.
“ It is a remarkable fact, that not only were the devils subject to Christ and his Apostles, but among the Gentiles, where Satan's kingdom hath hitherto been undivided and undisputed, no general, and, as far as we know, certainly no individual resistance was made to the preaching of the Gospel. Where resistance was made, it was usually stirred up by the infidel Jews; and, in order to do this at Damascus, the authority of the chief priests was necessary; for without this, it was probable that Saul's efforts would have been unavailing. At Athens, indeed, Paul was disregarded and ridiculed, but he was not persecuted; and, if we may credit St Luke, he actually made converts there, even in the Areopagus itself, (Acts xvii. 34). During this period, therefore, the disciples may have been truly said to reign with Christ even among the Gentiles, (see 1 Cor. iv. 8), and, that this reign was undisputed: nor is it said that it was to cease with this period, but only that it should be disputed, in Sa. tan's being loosed for a season, which appears to have taken place under the general persecutions. Another consideration, and one of a most important character, is, the context is here manifestly symbolical, (not literal or explanatory), just as it is in the case of the twelve thousand out of every tribe being sealed (chap. vii.), and in the measurings made in chap. xi. Had commentators duly attended to this circumstance, this chapter would not have presented such difficulties as it appears to have done. If this be the case then, the period termed a thousand years, must commence some time during the ministry of our Lord; for now was
S: an bound or limited in power, and those held in bondage by him were set free for the first time, as far, at least, as Scripture touches on this question. Again, mention is made of a time termed by the Prophets the last days, the day of the Lord, that day, and the like. If we turn to the second epistle of St Peter, chap. iii. ver. 3, we shall find it termed
the last days. In ver. 7, it is, unless I am very greatly mistaken, termed the day of judgment, &c. At ver. 4, some seem to have doubted whether any such period would ever arrive; and, in answer to this, we are told at ver. 9, that the Lord is not slack (tardy) concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is long-suffering,' &c. Again, ver. 8, it is said, that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, &c., i.e. it may signify any considerable period of time; and this is probably copied from Ps. xc. 4; “A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday,' &c. St Peter appears to say, this period of expectation may seem long to you, and of its ever arriving the unbelievers may doubt; it is, however, still but short in the estimation of the Almighty, particularly as he has purposes of mercy to execute during his continuance. Its conclusion shall come, however, as a 'thief in the night,' (ver. 10), just as our Lord had predicted, (Matt. xxiv. 43–51 ; xxv. 1–7), and before this generation shall have passed away. This period, therefore, during which Satan is said to be bound, i.e. in which miraculous powers were exercised by the church, may very properly be termed a thousand years, in the highly figurative language of this book, just as the sealed out of every Jewish tribe were said to be twelve thousand. In both cases the language is symbolical, and a considerable number can only be meant.” Pp. 339—341.
" This is the first resurrection. Those who had become dead to the world, had been buried with Christ in baptism, and had risen with him in the renewal of their minds (see John xi. 25, 26; Rom. vi. 3-11, &c.), may truly be said to be in this state; and that this is the sense here intended, the next verse (6) is sufficient to prove, where it is said, by way of explanation, generally: · Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection; on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ,' &c., i.e. they who are thus reborn shall ever enjoy all the privileges of believers. (Comp. chap. i. 6; 1 Pet. ii. 5, with Luke xxii. 29. See also chap. ii. 11, xxi. 8, and here, v. 14). It is said also (ver. 5): The rest of the dead lived not again, i.e. received not the Gospel, and with that a second birth during this period, but remained in a state of death, and open to the further attacks of the devil.
" This passage appears to me to be nothing more than a citation from Dan, xii. 1, 2, &c. At verse 1, times of trouble, such as had never been witnessed, are predicted; during this, believers are to be delivered: and, as it has been cited by our Lord, and applied to the apostolic times, there can be no doubt that it must here be referred to the same period. At ver. 2, · Many,' it is said, of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt. More literally, And many of the sleepers of the earth-dust shall awake; these to eternal life, but those to the reproaches of eternal contempt. It is then added: · And they that be wise shall shine as the
brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness' (Lit. And the justifiers of many, or those who declare the many justified,) .as the stars for ever and ever. Now I cannot help thinking, that this must refer to the apostolic preaching; for they persevered in declaring, that it was now high time to awake out of sleep, and that justification unto life was open to all.” Pp. 342, 343.
Our next is from the noted work of Dr Bush upon the resurrection.
“ The judgment of Daniel assuredly commences synchronically with the commencement of Christ's kingdom, and flows on with the flux of his earthly sovereignty during the Gospel age. The judgment of John therefore must be assigned to the same period. The obvious inference from this is, that the millennium of John must be referred to a past and not a future period of history. It is merely the designation of one illustrious portion of the reign of Christ during the dispensation, that commenced at his inauguration as king of Zion, of which the second Psalm recites the decree. It is not necessary indeed to maintain that the thousand vears is to be dated, with punctilious exactness, from the very epoch of his commencing kingdom. A considerable margin of time may be allowed both before and after the lapse of this Apocalyptic Chiliad, for preceding and subsequent events; but what we confidently affirm is, that it enters into and forms a part of this great day of judgment which has already extended over the space of 1800 years. This follows, in our view, irresistibly from the legitimate interpretation of the 7th of Daniel. We have adduced, we think, irrefragable evidence, in our commentary on that book, that the sitting judgment there described does cover the period of the Christian dispensation down to the era of the destruction of the Fourth Beast, or the Roman empire, when the Gospel kingdom begins more signally to assume its predicted character of universality. Consequently, as the sitting of the millennial judgment is described in precisely equivalent terms, we know of no possible mode of avoiding the concluclusion of the identity of the two. *" P. 303.
“ These martyred but quickened “souls' we are told • lived and reigned wit, CHRIST,' i.e., they were assumed into a joint regency with him during the period in question. But the reigning power of Christ continues in uninterrupted exercise on the earth from the date of his ascension, and as he governs his kingdom by a spiritual and not a personal presence as his administration emanates from his resurrection-state-50 his saints are here represented as sharing with him in a spiritual and re
“* We may perhaps learn from the view now presented what opinion to form of the doctrine of the pre-millennial advent of Christ
. The theory in our judgment is Scriptural, and of course irrefutable. The Saviour's second advent must, we conceive, be pre-millennial; for, as we understand the drift of prophecy, that advent commenced at the destruction of Jerusalem, according to his own declaration. But it was not personal, as every one will admit. Still, as we conceive the millennium long since to have passed, our concession leaves us as far as ever from being classed among the disciples of Mede, and the advocates of what is generally termed the system of millennari. anism. Either they or we are the defenders of an enormous prophetical anachronism, and time alone perhaps can determine which. To time we refer the decision."
surrection dignity. Though they become the victims of Pagan and Papal persecution, and seal their testimony with their blood, yet their higher and truer life their enemies cannot reach. In them is made good the Saviour's declaration, 'I am the resurrection and the life: he that betieveth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and he that liveth and believeth in me shall never die.' This was the life lived by the millennial martyrs.
“ We have, then, as we conceive, in this chapter, a connected view both of the resurrection and the judgment extending over the space of a millennium of the reigning supremacy of Jesus Christ, the precise termini of which we are not competent, nor do we deem it necessary, to fix with absolute precision. It is a matter of more importance to endea. vour to determine the grounds on which the state of the reigning and judging saints is here termed the first resurrection. The true solution, we think, is to be brought from our previous exposition of Daniel xii. 2, * Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake,' &c. This, we have aimed to show, points mainly to a process of moral or spiritual quickening which extends itself over a prolonged duration included in the Messianic reign.” Pp. 306, 307.
Our next is from Moses Stuart, who, though condemning millennarianism, yet insists that the first resurrection is a literal one, “Satan being thus effectually restrained, the era of the church's
prosperity is ushered in. The faithful martyrs, constant even to death, who had never contaminated themselves by yielding to the demands of the beast, are now to be restored to life, and advanced to an exalted state of reward in heaven. With Christ they there live, and with him they are there seated on thrones, having, by special divine favour, anticipated the final resurrection and exaltation. This is the first resurrection, and seems to comprehend only those who are entitled to peculiar rewards. The second resurrection differs from it, in the circumstance that it will be general, and will take place only after the world shall end." Pp.356-7.
They revived, came to life, i.e. returned to a life like the former one, viz. a union of soul and body. So does the word signify in Rev. i. 8. 13, 14, and in many other passages cited in the remarks on Rev. i. 8. Any other exegesis here would seem to be incongruous; for the writer does not mean to say that the souls of martyrs were dead before this period, and now would come to life, after he has, throughout the whole book, represented them as already being in heaven, and praising God and the Redeemer there. Nor can he mean here, that now they begin
"* J. Marck, a distinguished divine of Leyden, of the last century, thus expresses himself upon this subject: We believe that a space perhaps about a thousand Jears is intended : which began with the birth of Christ, or with his personal ministry, or at his resurrection, or even with the reign of Constantine, or at every one of these in succession, and flowed on till it broke forth into Antichristian and Mohammedan impiety, spreading more and still more. Satan was then bound by Christ more closely than before, by being impeded in seducing the nations; martyrs and other believers, as it respects their souls, living and reigning with Christ on his celestial throne, and forward to all eternity; while the other dead lived not again in a
way at death, nor before it in a saving conversion on this earth.""