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upwards of a thousand years. But this objection proceeds from the want of acquaintance with the scriptural import of the word day. Though often, in historical narrative, it includes no more than a space of four and twenty hours; yet, in prophetical language, it has a very different meaning, and frequently even in narrative. Any period of time, during which events or actings of a uniform character take place, are called the day thereof. There are innumerable passages which speak of such a duration of time as a day; but, as many of them may be said rather to mark the commencement of such a period than its continuation, (which perhaps is not unfrequently the case,) I will instance some which are the least ambiguous.

First, as to narrative. The work of Creation is divided into periods called days, and said to be finished in six of them: but in Genesis ii. 4, the whole period in which the heavens, the earth, the plants and herbs were created is called a day. This augmentation of the term, however inconsiderable it may be, at least proves, that a day is not necessarily to be limited to a period of twenty-four hours; but that its duration must be determined by the context. So in Psalm xcv. mention is made of the "day of temptation (or trial) in the wilderness;" which is stated in the context to have continued forty years; and this period is likened by the Apostle to the whole period of trial to the christian Church,-"while it is said, to day if ye will hear his voice." This is still clearer in the following chapter of Hebrews; for he there argues, that because David had limited a certain day, (saying in David, to day, after so long a time,) there must remain a rest-a SABBATISM-to the people of God." I will not dispute, whether this sabbatism refers to rest in the Gospel promises or ordinances, under the christian dispensation; to the rest of disembodied or of glorified saints in heaven; or to the great septennary of a thousand years; all of which have been variously contended for: but, let a man select which he will, this must be evident, that a period of at least a thousand years must in this instance be intended by the term day.

In the latter testimony I have already stepped beyond the bounds of strict narrative; but I have one or two other instances under the next class which I must still urge. In Ecclesiastes xii. 1, we read,-"Remember thy Creator in the days of thy youth, while the evil days come not;" and these evil days are immediately after explained to be "the day when the keepers of the house tremble, &c."—alluding in highly figurative language to the whole period of declining life and its infirmities. Another Scripture saith, "I have heard thee in a

I vv. 8-11.

Heb. iii. 7-15. h Ibid. iv. 1-11.

time accepted, and in the day of salvation have I succoured thee: behold, now is the accepted time; behold now is the day of salvation." This is generally interpreted to refer to the whole period of divine forbearance under the Gospel dispensation; which is therefore called-"the day of salvation." In another place the Apostle says, "The night is far spent, the day is at hand," which words night and day have a double meaning; for first they evidently refer to the character of two different dispensations, the one being a time of darkness and trial, the other of light and glory; and they as clearly refer to duration of time, the night being spent, and the day approaching. This night is the whole period of trial to the Church, and the day is the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour.

Some further object, that in John v. 28, 29, the resurrection and judgment are limited to an hour;-"the hour is coming in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth; they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation;"-and therefore (they argue) that the day of judgment must necessarily be limited to a small portion of time. It happens however that the term hour has precisely the same indefinite sense attached to it, in a great variety of instances, as the word day. It is obvious that in the text containing the objection, it is not to be limited to the twentyfourth part of a day; but corresponds with the day of the resurrection and judgment, whatever period of time that may prove to be. Owing however to the word hora (p) not being always translated hour, but sometimes rendered by the words season and time, the mere English reader is not aware of those numerous passages, in which it is placed for an independent period. I must therefore instance a few. It is translated season in the following passages; John v. 35; 2 Cor. vii. 8; Philemon v. 15. In the first instance it signifies the whole period of John Baptist's ministry; in the second, the time which elapsed between the reception by the Corinthians of the two Epistles of St. Paul written to them; and in the third instance, the whole term of the desertion of Onesimus from his master Philemon. In John xvi. 2, and 25, 26; also 1 John ii. 18; it is translated time. In the first instance it applies at the least to the whole period in which the Christians were persecuted by the Jews, who blindly thought they were doing God service. In the second instance it relates to the whole period (according to Beza's interpretation) from the ascension of Christ to the end of time; in which the Lord teaches men by his Spirit, and

¡ 2 Cor. vi. 2. * Rom. xiii. 12.

And here it is to be

they pray to the Father in his name.* remarked, that the phrase "the time (pa) cometh" in verse 25, is from the context exactly equivalent to the words "at that day" in verse 26, and applied to the very same period. The third instance, "Little children it is the last time," (pz) is interpreted by Scott and other commentators to signify "the last dispensation;" and therefore must be taken to extend through the whole space of years from the time of John to the second Advent of our Lord.

The conclusion therefore at which I arrive is this: that as the whole period of depression and vengeance on the Jews is the day of their visitation; so the day of judgment is the period of their restoration and triumph. And again, that as the whole Church of Christ has been conflicting through a long night of trial in various ways: so, that great day' is to consist in bringing all her enemies under her feet;-she shall be no more oppressed, but triumphant and glorious to the end.

II. Having shewn that the Judgment of Christ will consist in the deliverance of his people, and in a rule or reign of righteousness, I have now to show that it is also a period of VENGEANCE on his enemies.

The passages are so numerous in the prophets, which speak of a time of signal wrath upon the ungodly, and of awful slaughter and bloodshed, that the most cursory reader must be acquainted with them. My present object therefore will be, not to bring before the reader the mere fact of this period of tribulation; but, in order that he may form some notion of the uniform testimony of the prophets to this event, to select a few of the more remarkable passages, which are linked and tied together, like the curtains in the tabernacle, by certain obvious. and peculiar expressions. And I will further beg him to observe, that this vengeance or indignation is in many instances so connected with the period of the glory which the Church shall enjoy, as to justify me in saying, that it will immediately precede or usher in that dispensation.

First we will take Isaiah xxiv. of which I shall give the principal features. It opens by solemnly inviting the attention of all flesh. "Come near, ye nations, to hear; and hearken, ye people; let the earth hear, and all that is therein;-the world, and all things that come forth of it. For the indignation of the Lord is upon all nations, and his fury upon all their armies: he hath utterly destroyed them: he hath delivered them to the slaughter. Their slain also shall be cast out, and their stink shall

Beza on this place says, "Spiritus sanctus ab ascensione Christi in Apostolos effusus, summa quæque mysteria et solutis nostræ arcana, tum ipsos, tum etiam Ecclesiam per ipsos, erudiit, et ad finem usque seculorum erudiet."

come up out of their carcasses, and the mountains shall be melted with their blood." Then at verse 5: Behold it shall come down upon IDUMEA; (i. e. Edom;) and upon the people of my curse, to JUDGMENT."-The sword of the Lord is filled with blood-for the Lord hath a great sacrifice in BOZRAH, and a great slaughter in the land of Idumea-the land shall be soaked with blood, and their dust made fat with fatness-for it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion." Then (after dwelling upon the manner in which the land shall be desolated) it bursts out, in the next chapter, with a rapturous description of the way in which the earth shall afterwards be renewed for the righteous.

In this passage I will chiefly call attention to the circumstance, that the judgment therein spoken of falls on Idumea, (or Edom,*) of which Bozrah was the capital. This will clearly connect the prophecy with another in Isaiah lxiii. 1-5; which informs us also who is to be the great actor in the tribulation.

"Who is this that cometh from EDOм, with dyed garments from BozRAH? this that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?" Answer. "I that speak in righteousness, mighty to save."-"Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth the winefat?" Answer.-"I have trodden the wine-press alone; and of the people there was none with me. For I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and-the year of my redeemed is come." Here, in addition to Idumea and Bozrah, is introduced the treading of the wine-press, and that evidently by MESSIAH, and the staining of his garments thereby with blood: now mark how this identifies the words of Isaiah with those of St. John.

In Rev. xiv. we have a description of "the vine of the earth, which is cast into the great wine-press of the wrath of God; and the wine-press is trodden without the city, and blood comes out of the wine-press even unto the horse bridles, by the space of a thousand and six hundred furlongs:"-a symbolical and figurative description; but calculated to afford us a most awful notion of the great slaughter and destruction alluded to! In Rev. xix. we may recognise further circumstances: Messiah is introduced "clothed with a vesture dipped in blood, and his name is called THE WORD OF GOD, &c. and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. And he hath on his

The ancient, as also the modern, Jews, and after them various expositors, interpret Edom to be Rome; but as my object is not now so much to apply the prophecy, as to mark its character, I enter not into this question.

vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS AND LORD OF LORDS. And saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; that ye may eat the flesh of kings, captains, mighty men, horses, &c."

I add the latter part of the above passage, in which the fowls of heaven are called to a great supper, for the purpose of shewing, that this again connects St. John with a well known prophecy in Ezek. xxxix. concerning the destruction of Gog and Magog, the slaughter of whose armies will be so great as to require seven months to bury the dead. At verse 17 are these words: "And thou son of man, thus saith the Lord God; speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of princes of the earth-ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war saith the Lord God. And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them."

In this manner we might glance at many other prophecies, and shew their evident relation to the same period of destruction, by similar internal and conspicuous marks: particularly a variety of passages, which shew the destruction to be sudden as well as extensive, coming upon the nations with the fierceness and rapidity of a whirlwind; which is the figure frequently used to describe it. "He shall take them away as with a whirlwind, both living, and in his wrath.-The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked: so that a man shall say, verily there is a reward for the righteous; verily he is a God that judgeth in the earth."*

III. There is another important feature connected with the judgment, which must also be noticed; viz. the effect to be produced by the supposed agency of FIRE at this period.

Most christians admit, that there is to be a conflagration of the world; and it was the opinion of the early Millennarian Fathers, as also of many of the Reformers, that it would be the great agent employed to regenerate the material globe, to purify and restore it to its pristine state (yea more than its pristine

* Psalm lxviii. 9-11. See also Prov. i. 23-33; Isa. xvii. 12-14; xl. 18— 24; xli. 14-16; lxvi. 15, 16; Jer. xxv. 15-38, but especially verses 31-33. Compare also Jer. xxiii. 19, 20, with xxx. 23, 24; Hab. iii. throughout, but especially verses 12-15.

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