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coming is “the Lord from heaven.” His first coming was literally according to the prophecies. And so we may safely infer will be his second appearance, according to the Scriptures. At his advent, his forerunner was spoken of .“one crying in the wilderness;" the manner of his birth “a child born of a virgin;” the place where
“ Bethlehem of Judea ; " the time of his death “when seventy weeks should be fulfilled;" for what he should suffer" to makc an end of sins, to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the Most Holy.” The star that appeared, the stripes he received, the miracles he performed, the tauntings of his foes - all were literally fulfilled. Then, why not suppose that all the prophecies concerning his second coming will be as literally accomplished as the former ?
Can any man show a single reason why it will not? If this be true, we can obtain much light by reading the Scriptures. We are there informed of the manner of his second coming " suddenly, in the clouds, in like manner as he ascenda ed;” " the majesty of his coming - on a great white throne, with
great glory, and all his saints with him;" the object of his coming “as the Ancient of Days, to send his angels into the four winds of heaven, gather his elect, raise the righteous dead, change the righteous living, chain Satan, destroy anti-Christ, the wicked, and all those who destroy the earth, judge, justify and glorify his people, cleanse his church, present her to his Father, live and reign with her on the new heavens and new earth,” the form of the old having passed away.
The time when these things shall take place is also specified, by some of the prophets, unto 2300 days, (meaning years ;) then shall the sanctuary be cleansed, after the anti-Christian beast has reigned her “ time, times, and a half;" after the two witnesses have proph ied“ a thousand two hundred and threescore days, clothed in sackcloth ;” after the church captivity in the wilderness," fortytwo months ; after the “gospel should be preached in all the world for a witness, then shall the end.come.” The signs of the times are also given, when we may know, he is near, even at the door. When there are many" lo here's and lo there's;" when the way of truth is evil spoken of; when many seducers are abroad in the land; when scoffers disbelieve in his coming, and say,“ Where is the promise of his coming;" when the wise and foolish virgins are called to trim their lamps, and the voice of the friend of the bridegroom is, “ Behold, he cometh ;" when the city of the nations
is divided into three parts; when the power of the holy people is scattered, and the kings of the east come up to battle; when there is a time of trouble, such as never was before, and the church in her Laodicean state ; when the seventh seal opens, the seventh vial is poured out, the last woe pronounced by the angel flying through the midst of heaven, and the seventh and last trumpet sounds; then will the mystery of God be finished, and the door of mercy be closed forever; then shall we be brought to the last point, his second coming.
Again, prophecy is sometimes typical ; that is, partly fulfilled in the type, but completely only in the antitype. Such was the prophecy concerning Isaac, partly fulfilled in him, wholly so in Christ; likewise concerning Israel, partly fulfilled in them as a nation, but never fully accomplished until the final redemption of spiritual Israel. Likewise the prophecies concerning the Jewish captivity in Babylon, and their return, are only partly accomplished in the history of past events. The description of those things in the prophets is so august and magnificent, that if only applicable to the literal captivity of the Jews and their return, the exposition would be weak and barren; therefore I humbly believe that the exact fulfilment can only be looked for in the captivity of the church in the wilderness, under the anti-Christian beast, destruction of mystical Babylon, and glorification of the saints in the New Jerusalem state.
There are also in the 24th chapter of Matthew many things prophesied of, which were not fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem; such as the coming of the Son of Man in the clouds, the gathering his elect from the four winds of heaven, his taking one and leaving another. This shows a typical meaning in this prophecy, and that it will not all be fulfilled until the end of the world. Also, the transfiguration of Christ on the mount, prophesied of by himself eight days before, is noticed by Peter, 2d Epistle, i. 16–18, as being a type or figure of his second coming.
Who, that has read the prophecies with any degree of attention, will not acknowledge the great agreement between the Old Testament prophecies and the New? Almost every prophecy given by Christ and his apostles may be found, in the Old Testament prophets, represented by figures, which were familiar to the writers and readers of those times. The foregoing rules are some of the principal ones which I have observed in attempting to explain the prophecies of Daniel and John, and to give the time when the
mystery of God will be finished, as I humbly believe it is revealed to the prophets.
If I have erred in my exposition of the prophecies, the time, being so near at hand, will soon expose my folly ; but if I have the truth on the subjects treated on in these pages, how important the era in which we live! What vast and important events must soon be realized ! and how necessary that every individual be prepared, that that day may not come upon them unawares, while they are surfeited with the cares and riches of this life, and the day overtake them as a thief! “But ye, brethren, are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief,” 1 Thess. v. 4. In studying these prophecies, I have endeavored to divest myself of all prepossessed opinions, not warranted by the word of God, and to weigh well all the objections that might be raised from the Scriptures; and after fourteen years' study of the prophecies and other parts of the Bible, I have come to the following conclusions, and do now commit myself into the hands of God as my Judge, in giving publicity to the sentiments herein contained, conscientiously desiring that this little book may be the means to incite others to study the Scriptures, and to see whether these things be so, and that some minds may be led to believe in the word of God, and find an interest in the offering and sacrifice of the Lamb of God, that their sins might be forgiven them through the blood of the atonement, “when the refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power," " when he comes to be admired in all them that believe in that day.”
And now, my dear readers, I beg of you to lay aside prejudice; examine this subject candidly and carefully for yourselves. Your belief or unbelief will not affect the truth. If it is so, whatever you may think or do will not alter the revealed purposes of God. one jot or tittle of his word will fail ;” but you may, by your obedience in the faith, secure you an interest in the first resurrection, and a glorious admittance into the New Jerusalem, and an inheritance among the justified in glory, and you may sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of God. May this be is the prayer of your servant,
WM. MILLER HAMPTON, Washington County, N. Y.