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Because they only, as a nation, were placed under a conditional covenant; consequently no others could bo punished for a breach of that law. And further, as a great voice proclaimed an end to these things, in the emphatic language, “IT IS DONE,” (Rev. xvi. 17.) so the apostle excluded all future punishment in these words, “ For the law worketh wrath ; since where a law is not, transgression is not.” Rom. iv. 15. How careful then ought individuals to be, in extending these things, the law, conditions, punishments, and prophecies, beyond the fulfilment of the divine purposes.
But to return to “the gulf.” After the resurrection of Christ we find all power in heaven and in earth was given unto him. Matt. xxviii. 18. To him “THE KEYS" were intrusted, as we find on his first appearance to John in the isle of Patmos. “ When I bebeld him," said John, "I fell at his feet as dead : and he laid his right hand upon me, saying, Fear not, I am the first and the last, and the living: and I was dead; and behold, I am alive for the aions of the aions; and have the keys of Hades, and of DEATH.” Rev. i. 17, 18. And to describe the exercising of this power, Joha uses this striking symbolical language to explain his visions. “And I saw an angel descend from heaven, having the key of the abyss, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and satan, and bound him for a thousand years; and he cast him into the abyss, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he might no more seduce the nations, until the thousand years should have been fulfilled : and, after that, he must be loosed for a short time. xx. 1-3. The ANGEL, no doubt, is Christ; who was destined, not only to DESTROY THE WORKS OF THE DEVIL," (1 John, iii. 8.) but also “him that had the power of death, that is THE DEVIL. Heb. ii. 14. “ The Last enemy,” (1 Cor. xv. 26.) who must be destroyed before the deliverance could be fully effected at the second appearing of Jesus Christ. Into the abyss this demoniacal spirit was cast, which may imply, that Jesus, at his ascension, “led capticity captive, (Comp. Ps. lxviii. 18, with Eph. iv. 8—13.) after which, in due order, he
gave gifts unto men,” ayel of a supernatural quality to those whom he appointed as “apostles-prophets--evangelists--pastors and teachers : for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry." &c. “ For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down strong holds : casting down reasonings, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God.” 2 Cor. x. 5, 6. Thus Christ reasoned with the Pharisees, “How can one enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods, except he first bind the strong man and then he will spoil his house." Matt. xii. 29. He did bind him, and then the warfare state commenced with the ministry of the apostles; and boldly did they fight under the banner of Christ, not fearing death, principalities, nor powers, well knowing the faithfulness of the promiser, Lo, I am with you always, until THE END OF THE AGE.” Matt. xxviii. 20. In this invincible armour, no power could stand against them, therefore in confidence they could say, * Resist the devil, and he will flee from you;” and in this they proved themselves more than conquerors through him that loved them. Though harassed and perplexed on every side, the apostles were looking for the near approach of “The day of the Lord;" and of " That man of sin ... The son of perdition
whom the Lord should coNSUME with the spirit of his mouth, and DESTROY with the brightness of his coming.” 2 Thess. ii. He consoled the believers at Rome with the same doctrine—“ The God of peace shall
bruise Satan under your feet SHORTLY”-which, would imply that, at that time, when those things were about to be fulfilled, this adversary was loosed for “
a little season;" or, in other words “ loosed out of his prison." Rev. XX. Because, at this time, the period referred to by “ the thousand years, was fast running out. Not that it was chronologically true, but symbolical of the time of the reign of “The great High Priest,” connected with his exalted character as king upon his throne. But, if it is to be literally understood, as some maintain, then, as a matter of course, an end must have come to those things ere now—that is, ir (and who can deny it?) Jesus began to reign, when he ascended to the right hand of the majesty on high. For what events transpired in the eleventh century corresponding to those sacred revelations made to John in the isle of Patmos ? Surely if such truths had received a fulfilment at that time, history would have furnished us with a detailed account; but, when Scripture is our guide, how intelligible and harmonious does the subject appear !
In the preceding remarks, we have discovered the rich man in this place of torment, one of the children of Gehenna—and with him the adversary, shut up by Jesus Christ : the gates whereof could not be opened, seeing he retained « THE KEYS." I have the keys of Hades and of Death.” And therefore “ the gates may bear a resemblance to the impassable gulf. In Rev. xvi, the torments are particularly noticed, with the cause of that punishment on that unbelieving nation: thus,“ The third Angel poured out his bowl upon the rivers, and upon the fountains of waters; and they became blood. And I heard the angel of the waters saying, Just art thou, O Lord, who art, and wast, the Holy One, because thou hast thus judged: for THEY HAVE SHED THE BLOOD or SAINTS AND PROPHETS, and thou hast given them blood to drink : for they are worthy. Again, chap.xix. 20. “ And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet who wrought prodigies before him, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast, and those who worshipped his image ; these two were cast alive into the lake of fire which burneth with brimstone.
This may be more effectually illustrated by referring to the Old Testament history: 1st. The destruction of Sodom, Gen. xix. 23—28, and commented on by Peter, 2nd Epistle ii. 6—11. “ And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah into ashes, condemned them with an overthrow, making them an example unto those that after should live ungodly' -and also Jude 7, They " are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of ETERNAL FIRE”—which appears no way reconcilable but thus : that as the cities sank, and the waters-now called the Dead Sea-overflowed the land, it stands as a memorial, throughout succeeding ages, that those cities shall no more be restored, or, become inhabited; therefore it
may consistently be said, they are " suffering the vengeance of eternal fire." And may not the same language be strictly applicable to Jerusalem—the antitypical Sodom? Rev. xi. 8. 2nd. The destroying angel in the land of Egypt. Exod. xii
. 29, 30 -the pillar of cloud, xiv. 19–22-the destruction of the Egyptians in the Red Sea, ver. 23–31—and every other type will be found illustrative of this one fact, that no human power could destroy those whom God protected, and vice versa, no human power could ward off the outpouring of his righteous judgment; as, in the first case before us, the sword of the angel smote all the first-born, from Pharaoah's down to the lowest slave. Who then could stand against his power? In the second, the pillar of cloud baffled the Egyptians.--it being darkness to them--so that they could not see, or go near to the Israelites, while they were encamped on the plain. In the third. "the Lord overthrew the Egyptians in the midst of the sea ;” and, when the morning dawned, the Israelites “ Egyptians dead on the sea shore”-showing clearly to them, that there was no way of escape from this ABYss of destruction. And is not all this applicable to Jerusalem, the antitypical City? "which spiritually is called Sodom and EGYPT, where also our Lord was crucified." Rev. xi. 8.
J. C. MENCE.
When, on commencing the BIBLICAL INQUIRER, we made it part of our plan to receive communications from all quarters, it was with the expectation, if our leading principles were erroneous, of seeing them effectually combated. Having however, during a period of two years, met with none but confessedly incompetent opponents, we may reasonably conclude these principles to be impregnable. We therefore propose, if our periodical should be continued, to issue it as a NEW SERIES, in which we shall confine it to their further diffusion; and to the correction of subordinate mistakes either in our own publications, or in those of the eminent writers, dead or living, by whom they have been advocated,
In the mean time, we inform our readers that the work will be suspended, till we can better ascertain the amount of support we are likely to obtain, both as it regards contributions of matter for its pages, and of money for its expenses ; and that the twelve numbers, forming the FIRST VOLUME, can be had at the specified publishers.
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A PENNY WEEKLY ORGAN
OF RELIGIOUS, SOCIAL, AND POLITICAL INFORMATION,
AND DISCUSSION ON POINTS OF DIFFICULTY AND INTEREST.
Prove all things ; hold fast that which is good.'-BIBLE.
A RETROSPECT. * We do not hesitate to avow it as an article of our creed, that God's hand may ve seen in human histöry. We do not mean that divine action interferes with human agency; but that, leaving man free to choose for himself, God uses him as an instrument for carrying out a pre-arranged and perfect plan. He does not cause the crimes of princes, nor the corruption of peo.. ples, but He often uses them for the effectuation of great and beneficent ends. It is thus that we may discern God in history, and see its events pregnant with moral instruction, if not preludes of a brighter day. As it is part of our plan to review, from a Christian stand-point, the events of each week, which may be regarded as keys to the interpretation of the divine arrangement. We must, in our first number, briefly glance at the leading oecurrences of 1855.
The curtain is falling on another year—one of the most eventful of the century, full of change and of significance, if not of promise. There are portents of wider revolutions than the world has yet seen, and the eye of faith may discern light for the nations deepening on the distant mountain tops. It found us at war; and it leaves us without any satisfactory hope of peace. Diplomacy had done its best to avert a struggle with Russia, but in vain. The schemes of Catherine, and the will of Peter the Great, did not slumber in the archives of St. Petersburg, but found their exponent in each successive Czar; and, in Nicholas, found one who watched the favourable moment for carrying them to a successful issue. For years, secretly, in the yards of Nicolaieff and the docks of Sebastopol, he had prepared the instruments for the subjugation of Turkey. With the central powers of Europe at his feet, England and France viewing each other with somewhat of their old suspicion, the dispute about the Holy Places seemed to have
No. 1, Vol. 1.
brought that opportunity. Relying upon the non-interferince of England, he sought a quarrel with Turkey, that he might pounce upon her unprepared, and make her a spoil. The development of her resources, and the spread of Protestantism in some parts of her territory, doubtless hastened the crisis. Unwilling to break with their ancient ally, England and France advised the Porte not to regard the occupation of the Principalities as a casus belli. The English people, strong in their generous instincts, dreading the overshadowing of Russian despotism, and hoping, almost against hope, for the resurrection of down-trodden nationalities, were loud in their demand for war, and the bloody massacre of Sinope excited a feeling which even a timid government could not disregard.
The war raged on the banks of the Danube, without giving Russia a single success worthy of the name. The Turks, under the able generalship of Omar Pasha, were at every point more than a match for their assailants. The Russians completely beaten at Citate, durst not attempt the lines of Kalafat, and at last, after the concentration of all their forces, under the eye of the conqueror of Poland, recoiled, defeated and dispirited, from before the walls of Silistria, defended by British skill and Turkish bravery. The allied forces meanwhile had been wasting their strength in erecting lines of defence at Gallipoli; or their ranks had been thinned by inaction and cholera at Varna. Had they been prepared for action, the Russian defeat might have been turned into a complete route. As it was, the Principalities, which had bean seized as a 'material guarantee,' were rid of their oppressors, and t Cossaks rance buind the Pruth. But what was gained by Turkish v lour was l. by blu teriny ulpiomacy. wüsusing that had everything to dread from t spread of war to the confines of Hungary, and that had not broken off with the Northern Despot, was allowed to hold the Principalities by an armed force under the tender mercies of martial law. Omar Pasha was thus checkmated, and the Russian army relieved. To please Austria, and to save Russia, the war must be transferred to another region; and, too late in the season, after immense preparation, such an Armada descended upon the shores of the Crimea as was never seen before. At Old Fort the allied forces landed unopposed. After an insignificant skirmish on the 19th Sept., the following night found the armies of France and England in possession of the heights of Alma. After providing not only for their own wounded, but also for the wounded of the Russians, they commenced that celebrated flank march, which many able strategists regarded as a blunder, and which Menschikoff deemed a "trap.' Instead of boldly attacking at once, they sat down quietly on the South side of Sebastopol to make preparations for a regular seige. On the 17th Oct., they opened fire and found that the Russians had occupied their time . better than themselves. Cheered by the success of their resistance, the relieving army attempted to break through the ranks of the allies, and then took place that fearful and foolish charge of light cavalry at Balaclava, in which hundreds rode to certain destruction. Inkermann shortly followed, with its fierce and bloody struggle—the soldier's battle; and then came snow, and tempest, and famine, and starvation, (more destructive far to our soldiers than Cossack hordes,) because the government made no adequate, and timely provision for their necessities. The year 1854 closed upon them with deepening gloom.