Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

no objection against this hypothesis, because all must admit that then, when Christ shall come the second time, he will come to receive unto himself a kingdom which will be eternal. Luke xix. 15: “And it came to pass, that when he was returned, having received the kingdom, then he commanded these servants to be called unto him, to whom he had given the money, that he might know how much every man had gained by trading.” Then will the saints possess the kingdom promised, James ii. 5: “ Hearken, my beloved brethren, hath not God chosen the poor of this world rich in faith, and heirs of the kingdom which he hath promised to then that love him?” Why, I ask again, in the name of all that is dear in heaven or earth, cannot our teachers apply the prophecies of the Old Testament to the precious promises in the new ? 1 Pet. i. 9—13: “Receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls. Of which salvation the prophets have inquired and searched diligently, who prophesied of the grace that should come unto you: searching what, or what manner of time the Spirit of Christ which was in them did signify, when it testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ, and the glory that should follow. Unto whom it was revealed, that not unto themselves, but unto us they did minister the things which are now reported unto you by them that have preached the gospel unto you with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; which things the angels desire to look into. Wherefore gird up the loins of your mind, be sober, and hope to the end for the grace that is to be brought unto you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” Here is a plain rule of the application of Old Testament prophecy. Why not follow it? Has God blinded the eyes of our seers and our teachers, so that they cannot see ? Or have our sectarian quarrels produced a confusion in the ranks of our expositors of the word of God, so that truth has fallen in the streets, and but few men left? In Daniel, 7th chapter, how perfectly plain do we trace the prophetic history of our world, from the days of Daniel to the coming of the Son of man in the clouds of hea. ven, the judgment of the saints, and the everlasting kingdom of the glorified children of God. And yet this good man, this teacher in Israel, sees not a single ray of light this side of Antiochus, a Syrian king, who died 164 years

before Christ was born. If Christ should come now, would he find faith on the earth? O God, have

of our teachers ! Again; he tells us, on pages 86 and 87, that the events predicted in the 11th chapter, from 21—45, and the whole of the 12th chapter, are to be referred, altogether, to Antiochus Epiphanes. This to me is still more unaccountable, how men of such erudition as Moses Stuart, can for a moment suppose that all the description given here, can or ought to be applied to one man. Yes, and that too, describing the events that were to happen to the people of God in the latter days, beginning with the fifth king of Persia, and ending with a resurrection ; Daniel x. 14 to xii. 4. I know that Moses Stuart has the authority of some of the expositors in the Roman Catholic church, for his understanding of these prophecies. He has given their sentiments in

open

the eyes

mercy, and

their own words, and I am afraid he has not been careful enough to compare their views with the word of God. They were too much interested in the conclusion, to be received by me without a careful examination. And if it can be shown that the prophecy fails to be fulfilled in Antiochus, in any one point, then the whole must fall. Matt. v. 17, 18: “ Think not that I am come to destroy the law or the prophets : I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily, I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.” Let us then examine the first verse of the 12th chapter. “ Then shall Michael stand up, the great prince which standeth for the children of thy people. When did this happen? If these expositors are right, " then,at the death of Antiochus or immediately afterwards, Michael stands up.

:

Has any one been able to show satisfactorily who this is? I answer, no. " And there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation, even to that same time.” Was there a time of trouble after Antiochus's death? This is not tropical language; remember our rules. Can any man produce such a historical fact as to warrant this expression ? Mr. S. tells us, page 92, “ No wonder that the angel pronounced those of the pious and believing Jews to be blessed, who lived to see such a day of deliverance. The great enemy of their nation and their God had fallen; Judas Maccabæus had become everywhere victorious; the sanctuary was now cleansed of its pollution, pure worship was restored, and the Hebrews had

every

prospect of independence.” I will agree that the description given of these times by this writer, is highly wrought up, to meet another event in the prophecy under contemplation. Yet our time of trouble fails: “ And at that time,” in this time of trouble, “thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book.” Who are these, and what book is this they are written in ? Was this accomplished at that time? I answer, No. The author of this book dare not assert it, although he apparently wrought up our minds, by the glowing description which I have just quoted, to expect something very graphic; yet when he comes to the point, he slips over in perfect silence in this place, although he had before (page 88) acknowledged Daniel xii. 1–3 difficult to interpret. Why not then tell us what it does mean? But as it happens, to the glory of God, we are not dependent on Mr. Stuart to tell us; the angel himself has informed us. “ And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."

We must remember the rules given in this book of " Hints," &c. No tropical words where the sense is plain; no occult or double meaning

One of two things, then, must be true. Either the resurrection did take place in the time, times and a half, under Antiochus, and all the people of God, every one of them whose names are written, or ever shall be written in the Lamb's book of life, did awake to everlasting life; or Antiochus is not the one designated in this prophecy, as Mr. S. says.

in this passage.

Now which dilemma shall we take ? I answer, I will choose to let Antiochus go, and take a resurrection to come, and I think our good Br. Stuart will do the same, if he is wise. · And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars, forever and ever.”

This grand and sublime description cannot, without doing the utmost violence to tropical language, be applied to so barren and insignificant a circumstance as the Jews in their corrupt state, into which they were sunk, between the last of the prophets and the birth of the Messiah, being released from one petty tyrant to fall under others more severe within four or five years. See 1 Maccabees 7th and 9th chapters.

Common sense would forbid such a construction of this prophecy, and I am well satisfied, that with all Mr. Stuart's knowledge, he has not a clear knowledge of the history of the Jews at the time specified. This prophecy cannot have reference to Antiochus. The next verse shows that the book of Daniel was shut up and sealed until the time of the end. Mr. S. says, to the end of these troubles with Antiochus; but that would be departing from his own rule, unless he can prove that the resurrection, which is immediately mentioned before, was fulfilled at that time, which he has not done. Then, I am at liberty to fix my own construction; and he tells us, plainly, that there cannot, with any propriety, be an occult or double meaning in prophecy. And when the Bible tells us that " those that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake," and to everlasting life” too, I cannot,

« PoprzedniaDalej »