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the doors.” “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." Who cannot see, in this conneco tion, that the Savior did intend to be understood, that although the precise time should not be known, its near approach, yea, its approach even to the doors, might be known? But how far from us is an event, when it is at the door?
2. It is said, The parting instruction of the Savior, when he was about to ascend to heaven, is decidedly against the idea of knowing any: thing respecting the time. Acts i. 6, 7. “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore the kingdom again to Israel ? And he said unto them, it is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.”
It is very significantly asked, in view of this text, if we are to expect to know more on this subject than the inspired apostles? I answer, Yes. For they lived in an age when it was not necessary that the times and seasons should be known. And, hence, it was said to them, “it is not for you to know," &c.
After the times and seasons were revealed to Daniel, he was commanded to "close up the words and seal the book even to the time of the end." And again, when he would have known more of the matter, it was said to him, " the words are closed up and sealed even'to the time of the end." Until the '" time of the end," therefore, the times and the seasons were not to be known; but that time had not come in the apostolic age, but it now has come. (See section fifth of this book.).
Once more. Peter informs us, (1 Epistle i. 11, 12,) that the prophets who prophesied of the grace which should come unto us, searched dili. gently, " 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.” But they were told that they ministered not to themselves, but to others.
How striking an illustration is this of the case of Daniel. He desired to understand, he searched and inquired diligently, but was told that the matter was closed and sealed even to the time of the end. If, then, the time of the end has come, (and it has,) we may expect to know more of the times and seasons now, than eyen the inspired penmen could in former ages. They ministered not for themselves, but for us.
These objections are all I have room to examine in this place. But I, as one of the least and most unworthy of the ministers of the Lord Jesus, entreat you, my brethren beloved, whatever may be your peculiar denominational views, to read with candor the following pages, and com. pare the sentiments with the word 'of God and matter of fact; then make up your judgment. Do not treat the subject lightly; by so doing, you may lull some souls to sleep in their sins, which would otherwise be led to the Lord Jesus Christ for refuge. If there is great responsibility assumed by those who teach the near approach of the kingdom of God, and direct the community to read and search the Scriptures on this subject; how much greater is the responsibility of those who cry, Peace and safety; my Lord delayeth his coming." ' ' : For two years this has been the subject of my study, and the result is, that every successive step brings out new truths in favor of the system, and increases my conviction of its immutability, when taken as a whole. That this work, or indeed any other on the subject, is free from error or imperfection, it is not pretended. That it is not only possible, but probable, that the exposition of some texts of Scripture remarked upon in this work is incorrect, and that I may hereafter see differently in relation to them, I freely admit. But that every point, materially and vitally affecting the system, is founded on the rock of truth, I firmly believe.
In conclusion, permit me to say,—It is not a dis. position to set myself up as a teacher, or because I feel myself wiser, or better, than my brethren
that I send abroad this litile work. Far from
I am, dear brethren,
JOSIAH LITCH. Millennial Grove, May 10, 1840.