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tion 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 is also in the 24th chapter of Matthew many things prophecied 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?
brethren are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.” I. Thes. 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 year's 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 giring publicity to the sentiments herein contained, consciously desiring that this little book may be the means to cite 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,
256 when he comes to be admired in all them that believe in that day.”
And now, my dear reader, I beg of you to lay aside prejudice, examine this subject candidly and carefully for yourselves. Your belief or unbelief will not effect the truth. If it is so, whatever you may think or do will not alter the revealed purposes of God. “Not 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 set down with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, in the Kingdom of God. May this be your lot, is the prayer of your Servant,
Titus ii. 13. “ Looking for that blessed hope, and glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ,
When we take a view of the trials, pains, afflictions, persecutions, poverty and distress, which the people of God suffer in this world, we are almost led to exclaim with the apostle, “If in this life only we have hope, we are of all men most miserable.” But no, we will not complain, for to suffer the short period of three score years and ten at most, will only give a greater zest to the glory which shall follow at the appearing of our Lord and Saviour the great God and Jesus Christ. I know the world are taunting us with the inquiry “Where is the promise of his coming ? for since the fathers fell asleep all things remain as they were, even from the creation of the world;" for they will pretend to be ignorant, (as the apostle Peter expresses himself of the deluge,) of the world that then was, being overflowed with water, perished; and still more do they pretend to be ignorant, that the same earth is in like manner to be destroyed by fire, Reserved unto fire against the day of judgment and perdition of ungodly men.” II. Pet. iii, 7 Also, my brethren, there are some even among us, who “ Are spots in your feasts of charity, feeding themselves without fear; clouds without water, carried about of winds; trees whose fruit withereth; twice dead, plucked up by the roots; raging waves of the sea, foaming out their own shame; wandering stars, to whom is reserved, the blackness of darkness forever. And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophecied of these, saying, behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among them, of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which they have spoken against him. These are murmur. ers, complainers, walking after their own lusts; and their mouth speaking great swelling words, having men's persons in admiration because of advantage." But, beloved,
remember ye the words which were spoken before of the apostle of our Lord Jesus Christ. How that they told you there should be mockers in the last time, who should walk after their own ungodly lusts. These be they who separate themselves, sensual, having not the Spirit. But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy (or glorious appearing) of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.” Jude xii. 21. Or as Peter says, II. Pet. iii. 12: “Looking for and hasting unto the coming of the day of God.” And again Paul says in Heb. ix. 28: " And unto them that look for him shall he
appear the second time without sin unto salvation." And Paul further saith to his Phillipian brethren, “ For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ, who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body.”
Having thus proved that the Apostles directed our hope to the coming of Christ for the fulfilment of all our trials and persecutions, and the completion of our faith, I shall now take up our subject in the following order: I. I shall endeavor to prove that it is yet future (viz.) the coining of Christ spoken of in the text. II. The certainty of his coming. III. The object of his coming.
1. We are, according to our design, to show that the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, spoken of in the text, is yet future.
Some teach us that he came at the destruction of Jerusalem, and quote to the 24th chapter of Matthew, as proof. Let us examine their evidence. As Jesus went out of the Temple, his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the Temple, where Christ delivered his memorable prophecy, which was exactly fulfilled in little more than thirty-six years afterwards—“There shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down."
And it appears that afterwards, as Jesus sat upon the Mount of Olives, the disciples came to him privately, having as may reasonably be supposed, been ruminating in their minds, or conversing among themselves on the prophecy, and had perhaps supposed that no power on earth could destroy those strong buildings, and concluded that when this was accomplished, it would be the judgment day.
They therefore enquire of him, “saying, Tell us when shall these things be?” that is, what he had prophecied of, “And what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?” They might not have intended to ask more than one question ; yet they did ask three, and Christ answered them accordingly; he had before told them of the destruction of Jerusalem, 4, 5 and 6 verses ; he cautions them against being deceived with false Christs, and not to be troubled at wars and rumors of wars; and yet Jerusalem was destroyed in the first war of any note after this prophecy, and then says plainly the end is not yet. Now if this end was the destruction of Jerusalem, then where are those wars spoken of by Christ? This cannot mean any thing less than the end of the world. From the 7th to the 14th verse inclusive, he gives a prophetic history of the trials, afflictions and persecutions of his people, and also of the success of the Gospel immediately previous to the end, and says,
" Then shall the end come." Now it must be evident that this cannot mean the end of Jerusalem, because if so, he that endured unto the end, was to be saved from all the troubles which Christ had been speaking of, and it was not true that the disciples of Christ did not suffer afterwards the same things which Christ said they would. From the 15th to the 28th verses, Christ instructs his disciples into their duty during the seige of Jerusalem, and also down to the coming of the Son of Man. This
you will see must mean Christ in person ; because neither the Holy Spirit nor Father is any where called Son of Man. He likewise speaks of the signs which should follow the destruction of Jerusalem. From the 29th to the 35th verse inclusive, Christ explains the signs in the heavens and on the earth immediately after the tribulation of the people of God, which had been spoken of as the common lot of all his followers, and wbich he had promised to shorten for the elect's sake, and of his coming in the clouds with power and great glory, the gathering of his elect from the four winds of heaven--gives his disciples the parable of the fig tree, as an illustration of the end, and then says to his disciples, “ Verily, I say unto you, this generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled; heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
Here is the great stumbling block to manyChrist is talking about his elect, his children, and his generation ; and not, as some will have it, about the generations that