« PoprzedniaDalej »
Christ, who shall judge the quick and the dead at his appearing,” &c. Nor is there a text which presents the judicial scene of judgment after the resurrection. On the contrary, the Scriptures can be harmonized on no other principle than that every man's doom is fixed before his resurrection.
There is not, at least I have never found it, a single text in the Bible which teaches the doctrine that all mankind shall stand before the judge ment-seat of Christ in their resurrection bodies. These three verses, or the concluding part of the twentieth chapter of Revelation, then, so far from forming an objection to the explanation given above, of the first part of the chapter, is one of the strongest proofs we can desire of its correctness. And it also presents a key to many other texts of scripture, without which they must be locked up in mystery.
But if the judgment is to precede the resurrection, then we can understand the Savior when he says, " before him shall be gathered all nations, and he shall separate them,” &c.; and it perfecily harmonizes with another declaration, viz., “that he shall send forth his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and gather together his ELECT from the four winds.” But if the resur. rection is to precede the judgment, it is impossible to reconcile them without making all mankind his elect. Again, it explains the apostle's meaning when he says, “The dead in Christ shall rise first;" and also, “they that are his at his coming.” But if I am in error on this point, I will sincerely thank any one to show me, either from reason or scripture, wherein.
THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS.
INTIMATELY connected with the foregoing, is what is termed the restoration of the Jews.
The substance of the prevailing opinion on this subject is, That the Jews, the literal descendants of Jacob, are to be gathered from their dispersed condition among the nations of the earth, and restored to the land of Palestine, where they are to enjoy an independent, national government and privileges, among the nations of the earth, never to be dispersed again, to the end of time.
If this doctrine can be supported, it must prove fatal to the doctrine maintained in these pages. For if this event is to take place, then there must be time for its accomplishment. And it will be worth the while for any man who would undertake to overthrow the doctrine of the near approach of the glorious, everlasting kingdom of God, to pursue this theme, and establish the above position, if it can be done.
And it must be confessed that there are many passages of Scripture which at first view seem to favor the sentiment; and were there no others to counteract them, or explain their meaning, wo could arrive at no other conclusion than that the Jews must be restored.
The course which will be pursued in discussing chis deeply interesting subject, will be,-1. To examine the original promise made to the patriarchs, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; the time when, and the manner in which those promises are to be fulfilled. And,
2. Examine those texts which are supposed to refer to the restoration of the Jews, and show their agreement with the original promise.
THE ORIGINAL PROMISE.
The first promise made to Abram and his seed, is recorded Gen. xii. 6, 7. “And Abram passed through the land unto the place Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land.”
Again, after Lot and Abram separated, the Lord appeared again to Abram, and said,-Gen. xv. 14, 15, “Lift up now thine eyes, and look from the place where thou art, northward and southward, and eastward and westward; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed forever.”
After the promise of God to Abram that he should have a son, and the offering up of a sacris fice, the Lord made a covenant with Abram, Gen. xv. 18, “saying, Unto thy seed have I given this land, from the river of Egypt to the great river Euphrates."
Also at the time the Lord gave to Abram the covenant of circumcision, and changed his name from Abram to Abraham, because he should be a father of many nations, he gave him a renewal of the same promise. Gen. xvii. 8. “And I will give unto thee, and to thy seed after thee, the land wherein thou art a stranger, all the land of Canaan, for AN EVERLASTING POSSESSION; and I will be their God.”
Once more; after Abraham had offered up Isaac, the Lord appeared and promised, chapter xxii. 18, “And in thy seed shall the nations of the earth be blessed.”
On the above promises, it may be proper to remark, . . 1. That the land was given to Abraham and to his seed. Yet, Stephen said, Acts vii. 5, “He gave him (Abraham) no inheritance in it, (the land of Canaan,) not so much as to set his foot on; yet he promised to give it to HIM FOR A POSSESSION, and to his seed after him, when as yet he had no child." So that the promise to Abraham must either fail, or be fulfilled in futurity, because he has never yet possessed the land of promise.
2. It was given to Abraham and his seed for an EVERLASTING POSSESSION. But the promise can only be fulfilled in an eternal state. For the word everlasting is to be taken in its literal, gram-; matical sense. Nothing would be gained by saying, it is to be understood in an accommodated sense, and only extends to the end of the world. For in that sense, it is not true; neither Abraham nor his seed have possessed it even up to the present time; and Abraham not at all. Yet he is to have it for an everlasting possession.
It must, therefore, be fulfilled in another state of existence.
But the same promise was renewed to Isaac and Jacob, Gen. xxvi. 3, 4. “Sojourn in this land; and I will be with thee, and will bless thee; for unto thee, and unto thy seed, will I give all these countries; and I will perform the oath which I sware unto Abraham thy father. And I will make thy seed to multiply as the stars of heaven, and will give unto thy seed all these countries; and in thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed.”
We learn from this, as well as the other texts quoted, that the seed to whom the promise was made, was the seed in whom all the nations of the earth should be blessed. But who doubts but Christ was that seed ? Yet, he never yet possessed so much of that, or any other land, as to lay his head on.
Gen. xxviii. 13, 14. “And behold, the Lord stood above it, and said, I am the God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Isaac: the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed. And thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth; and thou shalt spread abroad to the west and to the east, and to the north and to the south; and in thee, and in thy seed, shall all the families of the earth be blessed.” The same remarks are appropriate here as on the foregoing text. THESE PROMISES NOT MADE TO THEIR LITERAL
DESCENDANTS. In the 4th chapter of Romans, Paul enters fully into the subject of the promise and covenant made