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erfully evidencing itself to their minds, their plea in behalf of their theory is at least entitled to a hearing before it is rejected or condemned. We are not disposed to join in putting it down by acclamation. It has too many great and good names arrayed among its advocates to be treated with disrespect, or turned aside with silent scorn. Indeed, however novel may be any opinion advanced by good men as the result of honest inquiry, and supported by the show of fair argument, it cannot be deemed either just or generous to brand it forthwith with the epithets of heresy or schism, and to mark it out as a prey on which the blood-hounds of prejudice and party are to be let loose. Let reasoning be met by reasoning, and not by ridicule, for truth can never suffer by being thoroughly canvassed. As to the present view of the prophecies of the latter day, we are ready to admit, that if it can be shown to be true, it is important, immensely important; inasmuch as the anticipated developments, even at the furthest, are very near at hand, and, if sincerely believed, cannot but have a powerful influence on the springs of christian action. But we proceed to give utterance and audience to their principal arguments.
1. One of the clearest annunciations of the second advent is held to be the following passage from Daniel, ch. vii. It occurs in the account of the vision representing the four great successive monarchies, with the overthrow of the last of which, or the Roman, in its decem-regal form, the glorious appearing of the Saviour, it is said, is closely connected. "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set and the books were opened. I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake : I beheld even till the beast,was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. I saw in the night visions, and behold one like the Son of Man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him
dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom which shall not be destroyed." In unfolding the import or mystery of this vision, the interpreting angel informs the prophet, that the ten horns that arose out of the fourth kingdom were "ten kings (i. e. kingdoms), that should arise, and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws; and they shall be given into his hand until a time, and times, and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And the kingdom, and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him."
We could not make this quotation shorter in justice to the argument. The argument is this: As the symbolical beast, the persecuting power here described, was to hold his supremacy for the period of the time, times, and a half, or twelve hundred and sixty years-an explication admitted on all hands; and as the prophet steadily contemplated the beast till he was destroyed, it is but reasonable to suppose that the period of this destruction is near to the close of the twelve hundred and sixty years. But the predicted coming of the Son of Man in the clouds of heaven is also contemporaneous with the destruction of the beast; and by consequence, synchronizes nearly with the close of the same term of twelve hundred and sixty years. Now there is no discrepance worth mentioning, among commentators, as to the location of this grand period. It is admitted to have commenced somewhere near the time when the Roman empire was broken into ten independent kingdoms, and that it is to terminate about the beginning of the millennium. The inference therefore is affirmed to be irresistible, that the second advent synchronizes with the commencement of the millennium.
To this the spiritualists reply, that this is merely figurative language, constructed on the principles of symbolic diction; that the coming in the clouds of heaven, the retinue
of angels, the placing of the throne, the consigning to the fiery flame, are mere allegorical expressions, shadowing forth the displays of divine power in effecting great political or ecclesiastical changes; and that even the day of judgment itself is frequently made use of to represent the temporal judgment of a wicked empire or community, through the agency of second causes. This is unhesitatingly set down as a canon of prophetic interpretation.
To this the rejoinder of the literalists is, that the assumption in this canon is entirely gratuitous, taking for granted the very point in debate. They contend that although moral and political changes are sometimes adumbrated in scripture by supernatural signs in the heavens and the earth, such as the darkening of the sun, the falling of stars, the quaking or melting of mountains, the shaking of the pillars of the earth, and the raging of fierce conflagrations; yet that the use of such imagery is predicated upon the fact that it will eventually have a literal fulfilment, and until the end of the present order of things arrives, no man can say that precisely such physical and visible phenomena will not take place. Therefore, as the employing of the resurrection as a figure of a civil restoration is plain evidence of the fact of a real resurrection, so when it is said that the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven is used in a figurative sense, it plainly demonstrates that he is to come at some time or other in a literal sense, and if Daniel does not here point to that time, what passage in the whole Bible can be designated that does? Is it maintained that such a passage occurs in our Saviour's discourse, (Mat. xxiv. 30.) "and they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory?" But it will appear in the sequel that the literalists vindicate this text entirely to themselves, making it refer directly to the period here mentioned by Daniel. Is Rev. i. 7, alleged as a clear instance of the literal revelation of Christ from heaven-" behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him ;"-the literalists grant it, but say at the same time that it can be easily shown that this passage, like the others, refers to a coming at the commencement of the millennium. For the words of John are a quotation from Zech. xii. 10: "For I will pour upon the house of David and the inhabitants of Jerusalem the spirit
of grace and of supplications; and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son." The context, as wel as the words themselves, evince that this is an undoubted prophecy of the future restoration of Israel, pointing to the very same epoch of time with the words of Christ when he says, "Verily, I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." An eminent commentator remarks thus upon these words of Zechariah. "This mourning of the Jews will take place at the reappearing of their Messiah from heaven, (Apoc. i. 7.-xx. 4.) when the restored descendants of those Jews who slew him shall be touched with the deepest compunction for the guilt of their forefathers." John quotes these words without the least note or intimation that he has any other time in view than that pointed at by Zechariah. Now as no one doubts that the people of Israel are to be restored about the beginning of the millennium, it may be respectfully inquired on what authority this passage is transferred in its application to a period at least one thousand years subsequent to that of its primary reference? Thus plainly does it appear that by giving a figurative meaning to Daniel's advent of the Son of Man, we cut ourselves off from one of the principal resources of proof which establish a literal advent.
2. From another part of Daniel's prophecy we arrive, say the literalists, at the same conclusion. From ch. xii. 1,2, it appears, that this grand period of twelve hundred and sixty years is to be consummated in a season of unparalleled trouble, in immediate connexion with which a resurrection from the dead is to take place. "At that time shall Michael stand up, the great prince, which standeth for the children of thy people: and there shall be a time of trouble such as never was since there was a nation even to that same time and at that time thy people shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the book. 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." The epoch of these events is incontrovertibly fixed very near to the end of the twelve hundred and sixty years by the angel's answer to the question, "How long shall it be to the end of these wonders? And I heard the man clothed in linen, which was
upon the waters of the river, and he lifted up his right hand and his left hand to heaven, and sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, that it shall be for a time, times, and a half, and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished." Now it is maintained, that the doctrine of a literal resurrection is no where more expressly taught in the whole compass of revelation, than in this passage, and that it was on these words that the faith of the ancient Jewish church in that doctrine was especially founded; that the same principles of interpretation which would make this an allegory, would fritter away the plainest declarations of holy writ; and that no difficulties in comprehending the manner and circumstances of the thing should be suffered to countervail such palpable testimony as to the fact itself. Here then is a resurrection from the dust synchronizing with the close of the great prophetic period above mentioned. But we have already seen that the coming of Christ in the clouds is assigned to the same era. Therefore the second advent, and a resurrection of "many of them that slept in the dust" shall occur simultaneously, at the commencement of the millennium.
This passage, however, is regarded by the spiritualists as pointing no higher than to some great political or moral revolution; and to confirm this construction, they allege the parallel language of another prophet, (Ezek. xxxvii. 12.) "Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel." To this it is replied, on the other hand, that the words of Daniel, "some shall arise to shame and everlasting contempt" are inconsistent with the idea of an auspicious change in the state of a community. And as to the citation from Ezekiel, since the burden of the chapters in immediate connexion show that his prophecy is then hovering on the borders of the millennium, it is fair to infer that the vision of the dry bones brought to life was intended to teach a twofold lesson, one of a literal, the other of an ecclesiastical resurrection; and as both he and Daniel have the same period in view, their predictions doubtless are of the same import, both implying a literal resurrection.
But another objection is made to the literalists' interpretation of this passage. If the words of Daniel, say their opponents, teach an actual resurrection of a part of the