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these will be then already living in the flesh, the promise of a resurrection cannot have reference to them. They will undergo a change; and they will be privileged, like Enoch and Elijah, never to see death. All those must therefore be intended, who shall be asleep in Jesus, and whom, at his coming he will raise and bring with him. Let it be observed however, that there is no mention of the wicked dead;-"those that are Christ's." (3) Next it follows,-"Then, (after that) cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom;"-a plain proof that the kingdom is to be between his coming and this end.

2. I shall take a second testimony from 1 Thessalonians iv. 13-18; because there can be no doubt that this passage, like the former, is to be understood in a plain and literal sense. For as in the former instance, the Apostle expressly instructs them in the nature of the resurrection, to guard them against the error of those who denied it; so here he teaches them plainly concerning those who sleep in Jesus, that they may not sorrow as men without hope of seeing them again. To suppose that in either instance the language is symbolical, allegorical, or figurative, beyond what belongs to our ordinary use of figure, is to offend against the context and common sense of these passages.

The Apostle, then, assures those, who were disposed to sorrow without hope of seeing their believing friends again, that "the Lord Jesus will bring them with him when he comes;-For that 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." Note how exactly this agrees with the former testimony in Corinthians:-the dead in Christ only are raised— those living in Christ are changed-and at the last trump, announcing the coming of the Lord.* (See 1 Cor. xv. 22.)

As the learned Dr. Wardlaw. in his recently published volume of sermons, attacks the millennarian view of this text, a few observations on his argument may not be unacceptable. I will first give his exposition verbatim. "The following expression, in 1 Thess. iv. 16, has been sometimes adduced in evidence of the resurrection of the righteous preceding that of the wicked:-and by many, indeed, who do not hold the tenets of millennarianism, it is often inconsiderately quoted as if it conveyed this meaning:-'For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and the DEAD IN Christ shall rise FIRST.'-But it requires only the reading of the passage to satisfy any candid mind, that there is in it no reference to the resurrection of the wicked at all. The preceding verse-the 15th, stands thus: 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 which are asleep.'-In this verse, the word 'prevent' means to anticipate, to get the start, or take the precedence, of another. Of the statement thus given,

3. The next circumstance I shall notice is, that the Scriptures particularize some one resurrection by certain phrases, added for the sake of eminence. tion of life;""_"The poor cannot recompense thee, but thou For example: "the resurrecshalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just;"_"They accepted not deliverance that they might obtain a better resur

John v. 29. g Luke xiv. 14.

the 16th and 17th verses are an explanatory amplification. 'We who are alive and remain,' says the Apostle, 'shall not PREVENT,' that is, shall not anticipate, or take precedence, or get the start of 'them that are asleep: for the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall first rise; then'-what? a thousand years after the wicked shall rise? Not at all:-'then, we who are alive and remain shall be caught up TOGETHER WITH THEM,' (this is the explanation of their not preventing or anticipating them,) 'to meet the Lord in the air:and so shall we ever be with the Lord.'-The living saints, at the Lord's coming, shall await the rising of those that are dead, and all shall then ascend together. Such is the Apostle's own explanation of his own language." P. 513.

The chief circumstance which I complain of in this exposition is, that Dr. Wardlaw, after stating "that it requires only the reading of the entire passage," &c. limits the entire of the passage to the previous verse, instead of beginning at the 13th verse; and thus he wrests the passage from its real context. The Apostle's object is evidently to prevent the Thessalonians from sorrowing for the dead, as though they had no hope of seeing them again: not, as the Doctor would have us infer, to correct erroneous notions of their getting the start or precedency of the dead. (See a further exposition of this text at page 56 of my last Essay.) Secondly, I would ask, How it is consistent with showing, that there is to be no precedency in the resurrection, to expound this passage, as if, after all, the dead are to get the start of those remaining in the flesh? Thirdly, if "the living saints, at the Lord's coming, shall await the rising of those that are dead, and all shall then ascend together;" how are we to understand the Apostle, when he says, "them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him?" This is their de-scent, not their as-cent. Zechariah; "The Lord my God shall come and all the saints with thee:" and The same is expressed in also in Jude;-"Behold the Lord cometh with myriads of his saints." Fourthly, I have an observation to make upon the words-"to meet the Lord in the air." The word used in the original is amarnos-not the verb, but a noun; and literally is "caught up into the air to the meeting of the Lord." The word anavots occurs in three other places in the New Testament, and invariably signifies a meeting for the purpose of receiving and welcoming the individual and to escort him back. Thus it is in Matthew xxv. where the ten virgins are first said to go forth and meet the bridegroom, (v. 1,) and then are surprised in their slumber by the cry, "Go ye occurs time in Acts xxviii. 15:-"And from thence, when the brethren heard of us, they came to meet us, (us awarтnow hμn) as far as Appii Forum and the three taverns, whom when Paul saw, he thanked God and took courage. And when we came to Rome," &c. It is evident here, that they met Paul, not to stay with him at the three taverns, but to continue with him by going back with him. And the whole context in Thessalonians seems to require, that we explain it of the saints going out to welcome the Lord in the air: not to continue in the air with him; but to accompany him on his visit here, and therefore to return with him. For unless the saints return with Christ, the wicked must also be caught up for that judgment, which the anti-millennarians always suppose happens at the same time with this event. I may add here, in defence of this view of arravтOES, that, on referring to Schleusner, I find he interprets it—"cum quis alteri obviam procedit (vel rapitur) ad eum excipiendum."

rection." Now what can this better resurrection, this resurrection of life, this resurrection of the just mean, but something eminently distinguished from the resurrection of the wicked? Yea, such an emphasis is generally laid upon this one, that we might with more reason conclude against any resurrection of the wicked at all, than against a resurrection of believers separate and distinct from it. Thus our Lord says of the risen saints, "that they are the children of God, being the children of THE resurrection." In John's Gospel he three times declares it to be the special privilege of a believer, "that he will raise him up at the last day;" but the single circumstance, that he should be raised at the last day, would cease to be a distinction, were the wicked to be raised at the same time. A similar argument may be raised on a passage in St. Paul's Epistle to the Philippians,k where he says, that he sought to know the fellowship of Christ's sufferings, &c. "if by any means he might attain unto THE resurrection of the dead:"* for St. Paul knew well, and had declared, that there should be a resurrection both of the just and unjust: it could not therefore be merely a resurrection that he was so earnest about; but the resurrection-the resurrection of the just.

The Old Testament also affords us evidence of this doctrine. The angel Gabriel informs Daniel, "MANY of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake."t This is to be at that

Heb. xi. 35. i Luke xx. 36. j John vi. 39, 40, 44. 1 Acts xxiv. 15.

* Phil. iii. 11.

* Phil. iii. 11. It is not unimportant to notice, that the Greek word used in this instance by St. Paul, for the resurrection unto which he was so desirous to attain, is not avasaris, the usual phrase employed; but savasos- &avas Tarp-implying, as some argue, the resurrection of a part out of many dead ones. So far as emphasis is laid on the peculiar use of the word in this one place, I must confess I attach no peculiar importance to it; not seeing why the preposition should imply a partial resurrection when attached to avasaris, more than when used separately. We meet with it in connexion with the resurrection in every possible position, that is consistent with grammar: e. g. in composition, vasac, as in the text;-detached from avasaris yet before and governing it, as in Acts xxvi. 23, where it is spoken of Christ, who was poros avages vexpor; and in Luke xx. 25, and in other places, avasaris ǹ ex vexpov. In all which places there does appear to me a special signification intended; viz. that in them mention is made, not of the abstract doctrine of a resurrection of dead ones, (avasaris vexpov,) nor merely of a resurrection from death; but EK vExpov, from or out of dead ones, leaving therefore dead ones be


+ Dan. xii. 2. Since writing this an able writer in the Investigator, under the signature of Edinensis, has thrown great light on the latter part of this text, as it stands in our English version, viz. "some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt." He says "These many (adverting to the former part of the verse) are the saints; and the next clause ought, we think, to be thus understood and rendered:-These (raised ones) are destined to everlasting life: and the others (the of xom of John) to shame and everlasting contempt." Afterwards he adds in a note, that the Jewish Rabbi Saadias Gaon

time when the archangel Michael is to stand up for the deliverance of the people of Israel-the same archangel, I apprehend, at whose voice the Lord descends: and it is important to observe, that all those commentators who oppose the Millennarian view do nevertheless place the restoration or conversion of the Jews at the beginning of the Millennium. And to Daniel himself was promised, that he should rest and stand in his lot at the end of the days;m viz. at the end of a period of 1335 years, the beginning of which had just been specified to him; and as all confess, that at the end of that time the Millennium begins, therefore again the resurrection must be at the beginning of the Millennium. Ezekiel also assured the pious Jews who were at Babylon in his day, that the Lord would fulfil his promise to them, by opening their graves and bringing them into the land of Israel.* Isaiah seems to refer to this period, and to have had the same personal assurance, when he says of the wicked, "They are dead, they shall not live; they are deceased, they shall not rise:" and then of the just, "Thy dead men shall live-together with my dead body shall they arise: Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust; for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead." For we have seen that the wicked are to rise and live again: when Isaiah therefore says they shall not, it must be understood as signifying, not at the morning of that great and glorious day, which is with the Lord as a thousand years: but at the end of it: even as David says in the xlixth Psalm;— "Like sheep they are laid in the grave; death shall feed on them, and the upright shall have dominion over them in the morning; and their beauty shall consume in the grave from their dwelling. But God will redeem my soul from the power of the grave, &c. "

It will be perceived, that I have not in this essay made use of a great testimony to the doctrine in question in Revelation xx. 4-6. My reason for omitting it is, that the opponents of the views which I advocate commonly direct their chief attacks against this text, and indeed sometimes entirely confine themselves to the consideration of this one passage, as if the whole of the controversy hinged upon it; whereas I am per

takes the same view in his commentary, interpreting the passage thus: "This is the resurrection of the dead of Israel, whose lot is to eternal life; but those who do not awake, they are the destroyed of the Lord, who go down to the habitation beneath, that is Gehenna, and shall be an abhorrence to all flesh."Investigator, Vol. iii. p. 8.

m Acts xxiv. 13.

Isa. xxvi. 14.

。 vv. 14, 15.

* Ezek. xxxvii. 12-14. Such is the general interpretation of this passage by the Rabbins.

suaded, that the doctrine of the first resurrection may be decidedly proved, were this text entirely taken from us. At the same time I am sensible, that the Scriptures which I have brought forward derive increased light from this passage in the Revelation; as also that this passage derives a light from them, and is in great measure inexplicable without them: for it is the nature of the Oracles of God mutually to reflect on each other. Much undue advantage has also been yielded to the assailants of this truth, from the circumstance of Millennarians themselves resorting to it, as if it were their principal strong hold: a mode of proceeding, in reference to the doctrine they maintain, which has always to me appeared injudicious. I hope, if spared, to enter at some future opportunity into a full discussion of this passage: at present however I will only touch upon one single point; which is important, as connected with the general structure of the Apocalypse; and which has not received that attention from the generality of expositors which it deserves. "And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit, and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season. And I saw thrones, and they that sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. But the rest of the dead lived not again until the thousand years were finished. This is the First Resurrection. Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years."

Now it is much disputed, whether this description is to be understood figuratively or literally. This however does not appear to me to be the proper question; and I again lament, that some of the advocates of Millennarian doctrine, by thus taking up the subject, have given their opponents another advantage. I am persuaded, that it is a passage which is both figurative and symbolical, and that it cannot be successfully defended on the ground of a strictly literal interpretation. But admitting it to be figurative, the question which then presents itself for discussion is,-What is intended to be signified by this

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