« הקודםהמשך »
then lived on the earth; for they did undoubtedly pass off a large share of them, for it was about thirty-six years before the destruction of Jerusalem. But his kingdom has never been taken from the earth, although they have been hunted from one part of the earth to another; although they have been driven into caves and dens of mountains ; have been slain, burnt, sawn asunder; have wandered as pilgrims and strangers on the earth; yet the "blood of the martyrs has been the seed of the Church.” And Christ has had, and will have a people on the earth until his second coming. I. Peter, ii. 9. "But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people,” &c. The Psalmist says, " Å seed shall serve him, it shall be accounted to the lord for a generation." Psalm xxii. 30. I humbly believe that Christ has quoted the sentiment contained in the 102 Psalm, 25 to last verse: old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the work of thine hands. They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end. The children of thy servants shall continue, and their seed shall be established before thee."
Here we see the Psalmist has expressed the same sentiment that I understand Christ to have given in these two verses, which I conclude is the proper explanation. And then the parables which follow in the remainder of the 24th and 25th chapters, are easily understood as having reference to the end of the world, and in that way will exactly compare-see the 31st verse of the 25th chapter.-“When the Son of Man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall he set upon the throne of his glory; and before him shall be gathered all nations,” &c. This verse was not fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem, for the “Son of Man” was not seen in the clouds with power
and great glory; and yet the words are “Every eye shall see him," and as sudden and as visible was the lightning that shineth from the east even unto the west, so shall the coming of the Son of Man be." Can this have passed, and the history of the world have been silent? No. Could all nations be gathered before him, and there be divided, the righteous from the wicked, and the one part sent to everlasting punishment, while the other is received to life eternal, and none know it? No. Was the elect ga
which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together
thered from the four winds of heaven at the destruction of Jerusalem? No. They were commanded to flee to the mountains, and history says they did leave that devoted city when the Romans encompassed it with their armies.' Then could the prophecies contained in these chapters have been fulfilled, and the world remain ignorant of some of the most important events? I answer, No. Then the Son of Man" did not come to the destruction of Jerusalem. If he did where is the evidence ? None, none, not a particle. But if he did come to the destruction of Jerusalem, then it must have been his second coming; for Paul says, Heb. ix. 28, “ And unto them that look for him shall he
appear the secoud time without sin unto salvation." Can this be true, if he came to Jerusalem? The passage certainly implies that his people would have no more sin; or afterwards would be without sin.” Experience teaches us to the contrary. Again it is said, I. Thes. iv. 16, 17. “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall arise first: then we
with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air : and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” Who saw this great transaction at Jerusalem? was there no witnesses ? Yes, the apostle John lived many years after this, and wrote his gospel, his epistles, and his revelations, long after the destruction of Jerusalem. And what does he testify? In his gospel, 14th chap: 3d verse, “ And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come and receive you to myself, that where I am there ye may be also.”Again, 28th and 29th verses, “Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away and come again
If ye loved me ye would rejoice, because I said I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you before it come to pass, that when it is come to pass, ye might believe.” Again, I. John 11. 28 : “ And now little childrer. abide in him, that when he shall appear we may have confidence and not be ashamed before him at his coming :” and iii. 2; “ 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 again in Rev. i. 7: “Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him and they also which peirced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail
because of him.” Many more places might be mentioned in John's testimony, but not one word that he had already come again, as some supposed. Let this, then, suffice to prove, that the glorious appearing” spoken of in our text is still future.
And now we will examine some of the evidence of the certainty of his coming, which is our second proposition.
II. The certainty of it: 1st. Because the ancient prophets all spake of it. Jude tells us that Enoch the seventh from Adam prophecied, saying, behold the Lord cometh with ten thousands of his saints, &c.
Balaam was constrained to admity. 6. Out of Jacob shall come he that shall have dominion, and shall destroy him that remaineth of the city,” plainly referring to the judgment day, för he says “ Alas! who shall live when God doth this?” See Numbers xxiv. 17-23. And Moses as plainly refers to this day in Deut. xxxii. 43: “Rejoice, O ye nations with his people, for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful to his land and to his people.” David says, Psalms, 1. 3, 4, “Our God shall come and shall not keep silence, a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him; he shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth (that he may judge his people:”) And Isaiah, xl. 5, “And the glory of the Lord shall be revealed, and all flesh shall see it together, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.” In the 39th chapter of Ezekiel, you will see the same day of judgment prophecied of in a clear and plain mariner. In Danl. vii. 9, 10," I beheld till the thrones were cast down and the ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white
and the hair of his head like the pure wool : his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A firey stream issued and came forth before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him : the judgment was set and the books were opened :" Joel, iii. 14, “ Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision, for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision:” Zeph. i. 14, " The great day of the Lord is near, it is ‘near and hasteth greatly, even the voice of the day of the LORD; the mighty man shall cry there bitterly.” Zechariah, xiv. 5. "And the Lord thy God shall come and all the saints with thee.” Malachi iv. 2. "But unto
you that fear my name shall the sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings, and ye shall go forth, and grow up as calves in the stall.” And Christ himself says in Math. xvi. 27, “For the son of man shall come in the glory of his father, with his angels; and then shall he reward every man according to his works." The angels that stood by the disciples at the time Jesus ascended up and a cloud received him out of their sight "said, ye men of Gallilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven." Let us take particular notice of the phrase, this same Jesus, and compare with other parallel passages, as our God shall come, and it will prove to our satisfaction that Jesus Christ is God as well as man, and we may have strong consolation for our hope in his appearing, for his promises can never fail. “ Heaven and earth may pass away, but not one jot or titile of his word shall fail." Also, také notice of the words, “like manner,” which agrees with the often expressed sentence, “He shall come in the clouds of heaven." We shall be led to admire the general' harmony of the scriptures, and the agreement of the prophets in their descriptions of future events. Again, Christ says to the church of Philadelphia, Rev. ii. 11,'« Behold' I come quickly: hold that fast thou hast that no man take thy crown. “For yet a little while and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. Heb. x. 37. And will not the evidence I have brought from the word of God be sufficient to prove the certainty of his future coming, and if I should argue the tradition of nations, that never saw the word of God, the conviction on the mind of men generally, that there must be a day of retribution; could I open the breast of the reader and show the thundering of your conscience, yes, could I see, and expose the tremblings and failings of heart, which you have had, while you have been looking with fear, for those things that are coming on the earth. Of what use would it be? Would you believe i1 if I could raise a dead friend who would tell you to prepare to meet your God? No. If they believe not Moses and the prophets neither would they though one rose from the dead. How foolish then would it be for me to try to prove any
other manner what God has revealed or promised, than by the means which God has appointed. By his word you will be judged, and if this condemns you now
(unless you become reconciled) it will condemn you hereafter.
III. The object of his coming,
1st. He comes to raise and gather his saints to him in the air. " As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive; but every man in his own order, Christ the first fruit, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming." I. Cor. xv. 22, 23. Again: “For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also, which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent them that are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven, with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive and remain, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air; and so shall we ever be with the Lord." I. Thes. iv. 14-17. “Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him." II. Thes, ii. 1. “'Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection, on such the second death shall have no power.” Rev. xx. 6. In Psalms we have the same account of the gathering of his people. “Gather my saints together unto me, those who have made a covenant with me by sacrifice.” Psalms 1. 5. Again, see Isaiah lxvi. 18, “It shall come, that I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see my glory.” “For thus saith the Lord God, behold I, even I, will both search my sheep and seek them out. As a shepherd seeketh out his flock in the day, he is among his sheep that are scattered; so will I seek out my sheep, and will deliver them out of all places where they have been scattered in the cloudy and dark day." Ezekiel xxxiv. 11, 12.
And now I will refer you to one more passage, and then pass on.
“Behold I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, (that is die) but we shall all be changed. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump; for the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed. For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortaliity. So when this mortal shall put on immortality, then shall be brought to pass the saying that is written, death is swallowed up in victory." These texts to which I have