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Many shall be purified.” “Many must be tested.” (Sept.) or “chosen out,” (Sept. Marg). Paul, in speaking of Christ, says: “ Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.” (Tit. ii: 14.) Again, in 1 Pet. i: 22, “Seeing ye have purified your souls in obeying the truth, etc. ;” and in 1 Jno. iii:
“Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that, when he shall appear, we shall be like him ; for we shall see him as he is. And every man that hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as he is pure."
The term “chosen,” which occurs in the margin of the Septuagint, is a word of frequent occurrence in Scripture, and is generally applied to the people of God; for instance, in Ps, cvi: 23, Moses is called the
chosen of God.” Says the Saviour, (Matt. xx: 16) many be called, but few chosen ;" " for the elects' sake, whom He hath chosen, (Mark xiii : 20). Says Peter, "ye are a chosen generation,” (1 Pet. ii : 9) In Rev. xvii: 14, we read, They that are with Him are called, and chosen, and faithful.” The same idea is expressed in Psalm iv: 3; “But know that the Lord hath set apart him that is godly for himself: the Lord will hear when I call unto him.” This is the only class whom the Lord chooses. He will hear them when they cry, but the prayer of the wicked is an abomination.
• And made white." This is evidently a figure borrowed from the occupation of a fuller, whose business it is to bleach or whiten cloth, and to remove all stains. This is probably the idea of the prophet Isaiah in the first chapter of his Prophecy and the eighteenth verse: “ Come, now, let us reason together, saith the Lord, though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.”
Says the Revelator, in reference to the redeemed: “ And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes ? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb,” (Rev. vii: 13, 14). The idea thus expressed is, that they are cleansed from all moral pollution, and stand justified in the sight of the Lamb.
And tried.” Having been “chosen,” * and made white, they are now prepared for the trial. In the Septuagint, the first part of this verse reads thus;
Many must be tested, and thoroughly whitened, and tried with fire, and sanctified." Trials are necessary to salvation, and especially is the trial of our faith more precious than gold ; as the Apostle says : kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season (if need be) ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations. That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise, and honor, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ,” (1 Pet. i: 5).
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This time of trial referred to by Daniel evidently comes at “the time of the end ;” and it appears that the Apostle alludes to the same thing when he says; “But the end of all things is at hand; be
therefore sober, and watch unto prayer,” (1 Pet. iv: 7).
“Beloved, think it not strange, concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: But rejoice, inasmuch as ye are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that, when his glory shall be revealed, ye may be glad also with exceeding joy. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye; for the spirit of glory and of God resteth upon you. On their part he is evil spoken of, but on your part he is glorified. But let none of you suffer as a murderer, or as a thief, or as an evil-doer, or as a busybody in other men's matters. Yet if any man suffer as a Christian, let him not be ashamed ; but let him glorify God on this behalf. For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the gospel of God? And if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? Wherefore, let them that suffer according to the will of God, commit the keeping of their souls to him in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator," (1 Pet. iv: 12–19).
Again we read : “ Blessed is the man that endureth temptation : for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him,” (James i: 12).
The truth of God has, in every age, been rejected by the mass, and whoever has departed from evil has
made himself a prey. The Apostle declared that all who will “ live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” Not so with a popular religion, the votaries of which feast themselves without fear," having a nominal, but not a practical faith, seeking the applause of the world rather than that honor that cometh from God only. Says the London Quarterly Journal of Prophecy; “ The religion of the day is an easy minded religion; a religion without conflict and wrestling, without self-denial and sacrifice; a religion which knows nothing of the pangs of the new birth as its commencement, and nothing of the desperate strug gle with the devil, day by day, making us long for resurrection-deliverance, for the binding of the adversary, and for the Lord's arrival. It is a second rate religion – a religion in which there is no largeness, no grandeur, no potency, no noble-mindedness, no elevation, no self-devotedness, no all-constraining love. It is a hollow religion — with a fair exterior, but an aching heart — a heart unsatisfied, a soul not at rest, a conscience not at peace with God; a religion marked, it may be, by activity and excitement, but betraying all the while the consciousness of a wound hidden and unhealed within, and hence, unable to animate to lofty doings, or supply the strength needed for such doings. It is a feeble religion, lacking the sinews and bones of hardier times — very different from the indomitable, much enduring, storm-braving religion, not merely of apostolic days, but even of the reformation. It is an uncertain religion ; that is to say, it is not rooted in certainty; it is not the outflowing of a soul assured of pardon, and rejoicing in the filial relationship between itself and God. Hence, there is no liberty of service, for the question of personal acceptance is still an unsettled thing; there is a working for pardon, but not from pardon. Hence all is bondage, heaviness, irksomeness. There is a speaking for God, but it is with a faltering tongue; there is a laboring for God, but it is with fettered hands; there is a moving in the way of His commands, but it is with a heavy drag upon our limbs. Hence the inefficient, uninfluential character of our religion. It does not tell on others, for it has not yet fully told upon ourselves. It falls short of its mark, for the arm that drew the bow is paralyzed.”*
" But the wicked shall do wickedly," the Apostle says, “ Evil men and seducers shall wax .worse and worse, deceiving and being deceived.” The Saviour says, " Because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold." The great increase of light and knowledge has increased the capacity of men to do evil. “Righteousness does not sit on the throne of the nations, nor does holiness beautify the homes of the children of men. The heart still remains deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked.' Oppression, cruelty, selfishness, lust, sedition, strife, hatred and murder are uneradicated, unsubdued, unmitigated. Man has found no cure for these maladies.” This is truly just such a state of things as we are to expect at " the time of the end ;" for, as it was in the days of Noah and of Lot, so shall it be at the coming of the Son of Man. The wheat and tares will grow together
* Advent Tracts, pr. 172 173.