תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

events. There is, therefore, danger that we undervalue this gift that God has given us, and which he has not given us in vain. If it could be shown that doubts could be raised as to the applications of these prophecies so that we should not be too confident in our conclusions; even if we should give these doubts all the force that the writer can attach to them, it does not follow but that these doubts are groundless, and that sound reason would dictate that we should weigh well the arguments that are advanced in proof of our Savior's immediate appearing. And blessed is that servant that shall be found watching.

Mr. Daggett argues “ that it is not for us to foreknow the time when this dispensation will end."

IV. “From the ignorance of the apostles and even of the man Christ Jesuson this subject.

“As to the apostles, the text is decisive. After our Lord's resurrection, the eleven inquired of him, " Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?” The question regards the season of its establishment and triumph. And in his answer, he neither confirms nor contradicts their opinions as to its nature, but only meets their question, whether he is about to assume it at this time. On this point he tells them, it is not for them to receive the information they are seeking, or such knowledge does not of right belong to them: the Father hath put in his own power, or determined by his own authority, the times or seasons in which the events he has predicted will take place, and he does not see fit to make known these periods.”

When this question of the Apostles is alluded to, but one half of the answer of our Savior-the 7th verse only-is usually given. The whole of his answer—the 7th and 8th verses—will give us a more correct idea of its full import. “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. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you : and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth.”—Acts. i. 7, 8. They were to receive power of what? And of what were they to testify in all the earth? The natural inference is that it would be that of which they enquired, as it was given in answer to that question—the restoration of the kingdom to Israel. The " times and seasons" were then in the Father's own power; and as our Savior said in Mark xiii. 32. No man or angel, nor even the Son, but the Father only, knoweth, or maketh known, that day and hour. That is, at that time, the Father had the entire control of the knowledge of that event, and would continue to have until such time as He should make it known.

The question here arises, Has the Father, since that time, made known that which was then in his own power? The title of the Apocalypse is a sufficient answer. That is called " The REVELATION of Jesus Christ which GOD GAVE UNTO HIM, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass ; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John; who bare record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ, and of all things that he saw. Blessed is he that readeth, and they that hear the words of this prophecy and keep those things which are written therein: for the time is at hand.

According to this testimony, the Father gave to Jesus Christ, and he signifed it by his angel unto his servant John, and John has made a record of that, which, before the Father made it known, was entirely in the Father's power, as Christ told his disciples on the day of his ascension. If therefore this record of John testifies of the times and seasons, then we know that was what was promised to the disciples, of which they should have power, after the Holy Ghost had come upon them.

In this “Revelation” the day or hour is not revealed; but Jesus Christ has signified by his angel the Epistles to the seven churches, the record of the seven seals, and the seven trumpets, all of which carry us down to the end of time. He has given us the number of the first beast-666, and the time of the continuance of the other beast, 42 months, with the length of time the woman should remain in the wilderness, the holy city should be trodden under foot, and the two witnesses should testify in sackcloth ; and the length of time that the fifth and sixth trumpets should sound, with the assurance that after the sixtli, the seventh should sound quickly, and that when it should begin to sound, the mystery of God should be finished, time should be no longer, and the “ kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our Lord and of his Christ: and he shall reign forever and ever.” It also gives us a view of the resurrection of the dead, the new heaven and earth, and the New Jerusalem. Thus

at the proper time, after the Holy Ghost had come to them, God gave to Jesus Christ, for his servants, a full and detailed account of that information which he promised should be given them.

It has been replied to this, that this revelation must have been already fulfilled, because, the time's was then at hand.Our Savior told them to “re. pent, for the kingdom of God is at hand;" and it can be no more than fair, that he should be allowed to explain how he would be understood by the term, “at hand.” We find that on one occasion, because the disciples thought the kingdom of God should immediatety appear, that Christ " added

a “ Nobleman,” who " went into a far country to receive for himself a kingdom, and to return," thus showing, that the term “at hand," did not denote immediately.

This revelation which God gave to Jesus Christ is of no private nature, for he that hath ears to hear, is commanded to hear, and they are pronounced blessed who read, or hear the words of this prophecy, and keep those things which are written therein.

If we take the ground that what was unknown before the Sacred Canon was completed, can never be known, we must entirely throw aside all subsequent revelation, unless it is also recorded that such things should never be known; which is not the case. And if we also believe, that we can know nothing respecting the future, from that Rev. elation which God gave to Jesus Christ, to show unto his servants, the things which must shortly come to pass, then do we not undervalue such revelation, and slight the gift of God ?

2. Pet. iii. 10. “The day of the Lord will come as a thiet in the night," is quoted. p. 275. Peter does not say upon whom it will so come, but Paul says that it will thus come upon those who cry “ Peace and safety," and not upon the “ brethren;" Our Savior predicts that it will thus come upon those who say in their hearts “my Lord delayeth his coming,"&c, and upon those who will not watch. This text is used by our opponents as a reason why we need not watch, and now expect his coming; but Peter gives this as a reason, why we should be diligent, that we may be found of him in peace.

The next quotation is 1 Thess. v. 1, 2. “But of the times and the seasons, brethren, ye have no need that I write unto you. For yourselves know perfectly, that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night.” It is claimed that when Paul adds, “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief,” that “he does not teach that it would not come suddenly upon Christians, but only that since they were enlightened as to the fact that it would so come, it would not injuriously surprise them, because, with such a conviction, they would live in continual preparation for it.” p. 276.

If the assertion that the brethren were “not in darknesss that that day should overtake them as a

« הקודםהמשך »