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wicked, then in the flesh, will be destroyed at the appearance of Christ. They that "will not have him to reign over them" will be slain before his presence, when he returns, "having received the kingdom," (Luke xix. 12, 27,) and will be raised up with the dead great and small, when the thousand years are expired, and, all enemies being subdued, the kingdom is given up, and the Mediatorial Dispensation closed. These remarks on the general resurrection are added, to shew that it is no more affected by this view of the first resurrection of the just, than other generals are affected by their respective particulars, or as other parts of any truth affect the whole-namely, by illustrating and confirming the same.

When defending himself before the tribunal of a Roman governor, Paul testifies, "There shall be a resurrection both of the just and the unjust." When writing to a church of believers, he points to a distinction between the two, which he does not stop to explain to heathen ears; he did not cast such a pearl before those who would turn and rend him. The above thoughts are suggested by one "believing all things which are written," not only "in the Law and the Prophets," but in the Gospels, Epistles, and Apocalypse, concerning Christ and his Church. The whole of his argument rests on its conformity to the testimony of the Book of Life, taken in its most obvious and literal acceptation; and by this test he desires it may be tried by competent judges, men of faith and prayer, more mighty in the Scriptures, more instructed in the way of the Lord, than he can presume to be. He will be truly thankful to any of this description who will take up these subjects, and expound unto him the way of God more perfectly. But while there be many who have not so much as heard that there be a first resurrection and kingdom to come on earth, other than that within the soul of the regenerate, he is constrained to declare these things, which he believes to be revealed among the lively oracles of God. They were considered among the tests of entire orthodoxy in the first centuries of the Christian æra; they will not amalgamate with the heresies of the last: their gold is that of the sanctuary, and will lose nothing by refinement in its fire, but the dross of imperfect interpretation. While such diligence is manifested in the revival of exploded errors, an earnest inquiry after neglected truths cannot be unseasonable"multa renascentur quæ jam cecidere" and the first resurrection is one of them. "Out of the old fields" assuredly "shall the new corn spring; and this doctrine must revive as the Scriptures are searched. It is hidden therein, as seed in the ground, and it will take root downwards and bear fruit upwards. It is planted in the house, and will flourish in the courts of the

Lord. It has arisen already as a day-star in the hearts of many who believe; and it will set no more, till the Sun of Righteousness shall burst on a benighted church, and a world that sitteth in darkness; till the noble army of martyrs shall appear "clothed in fine linen, white and clean;" till Jerusalem shall awake, and arise, and shake herself from the dust, and put on her beautiful garments; when the holy church throughout all the world shall be astonished at the strangeness of her salvation, and walk in the light of her glory.


This expression, from Matt. xxviii. 20, is the same in the original with that in xxiv.3, "What shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?" They are both understood by the generality of Christians, with reference to the final catastrophe of this earthly scene, and the translation of the church to its eternal and unchangeable state.

The validity of this interpretation will now be considered. Whether such be "the plain and full meaning of the words, in the literal and grammatical sense," is a matter well deserving a sober and judicious inquiry, considering how many passages of sacred Scripture are made to turn upon the above construction as their cardinal point. No other consequence will neces sarily result from this discussion, than a more distinct anticipation of an event in which all mankind are implicated, and which all believers are agreed in expecting at some period of time or other, while none can by any possibility be assured of its day and hour. When "some depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits," and others "turn away their ears from the truth:" when "scoffers walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? are systematically carrying on the mystery of iniquity towards its entire consummation: when damnable heresies, and especially that of denying the Lord, (the proper Deity of Christ,) are privily brought into, and are widely spreading in the Church; it is high time to consider whether the last days of Peter, and the perilous times of Paul, be not actually commenced; and if so, "the coming of the Lord draweth nigh," and the "time of the end," cannot be very distant. The signs of the times in which we live exhibit the very characteristics of the period immediately preceding the appearance of the Son of Man, and the manifestation of the sons of God, the children of the resurrection, who shall be "accounted worthy to obtain THAT WORLD," alvos exer-which, of course, will not commence (whatever it be) till the end of "THIS WORLD," as Tт, be come. (Luke xx. 34.)

A general expectation has existed in all ages concerning a future state of retribution, of which the merit or demerit of man as a moral agent is the standard and criterion of judgment as to punishment and reward. When life and immortality were brought to light by the Gospel, this indistinct apprehension was cleared up; the gates of heaven were opened to all believers, and final condemnation denounced only on the impenitent. Under a general concurrence of expectation on this momentous subject, diversities of opinion have existed in the church, as to the circumstances under which it will be realized; and the more prevailing idea is, that a great extension of the spiritual kingdom of Christ will take place towards the close of the Christian dispensation; at the end of which Christ will appear in person, as the Judge of quick and dead: when the general resurrection, the dissolution of the material universe, the condemnation of the wicked, and the translation of the church to the glories of heaven, will take place together and these things are, perhaps, invariably viewed in connection with such expressions in sacred Scripture, as,the end of the world-the world to come-the day of judgment-the kingdom of heaven, &c.

A review and comparison of the different passages of sacred Scripture which have a direct application to these subjects may suggest a somewhat different expectation; which is termed Scrip

ral, as being exclusively derived from the positive declarations of Holy Writ, taken from the original, in their most obvious and literal sense: the scope of which will be nearly as follows:

That the present system, secular and ecclesiastical (as far, at least, as Christendom and the Roman and Mohammedan empires are concerned,) will pass away at the close of a certain period or æra of the world, fixed in the determinate counsel of God, and so far revealed in his written word that its near approach may be anticipated, from specific and infallible tokens contained therein, whenever their real application shall be manifested by existing circumstances, and the palpable fulfilment of the sure word of prophecy concerning the last times of the Gospel;-That a new order of things, and a distinct period or æra of the world, will then commence, to which all preceding times and dispensations have only been preparatory and subordinate, and which is the perfection and consummation of them all;-That the change thus effected in the physical and moral, secular and spiritual state of the world, will be so complete, so general, so extraordinary, as to correspond with the nature and significancy of the expressions by which it is exhibited in Scripture; such as,—a new creation-a new earthmaking all things new-restoring all things, &c.

It will be readily admitted that a new æra commenced at the

first appearance of Christ, and the promulgation of the Gospel, throughout the Roman empire, the scriptural designation of which is the fulness of time. This expression refers distinctly to the mission and personal office of our Lord himself: and the period which thus commenced appears to be continued, without any marked interruption, to his second coming; the whole æra being spoken of in this way by himself, and characterized by his Apostles under the general title of the last days, in distinction from sundry other times, as the Paradisaical, Patriarchal, or Mosaic dispensations. But another æra seems to be expressly noticed, and is specifically entitled "The dispensation (or œconomy) of the fulness of times:" under which scattered parts will be gathered together; disjointed parts united in one great recapitulation of the whole mystery of God: when the detached and manifold gradations of the system hitherto in action will appear to have been working together towards one determinate issue,--the final development of the glorious scheme of man's redemption in body and soul, as originally conceived and planned in the eternal counsels of Jehovah: when the whole creation, so long groaning and travailing in pain together under the corruption introduced by the fall, shall be delivered by the power, and subjected to the dominion of, the Son of Man, the second Adam: when the earth, once cursed for the sake of man, shall be blessed again, renewed, and fitted for the habitation of the righteous: when the typical theocracy of the people of God shall be realized in the kingdom of Israel restored to the risen saints of the Most High: when "the Lord shall reign in Mount Zion, and before his ancients gloriously,” during the time appointed of the Father. Then cometh the end, properly so called, To: thus clearly to be distinguished from the "consummation of the age," CUTEXEIX TO DIVOS.


The detail of this subject, and the scriptural evidence in its support, will appear in future papers: the purport of the present section is a critical examination of the expression in St. Matthew, which is rendered in our version "the end of the world."

The greatest respect is unquestionably due to the authorized English Translation; but the original must ever remain the standard of doctrine and interpretation, to persons in any degree qualified by education to search after the mind of the Spirit, through the medium of that language in which it is primarily expressed. The indiscriminate usage of the term world, as a common rendering of xos, xer, and reach of which appears to have a distinct signification-must necessarily occasion some ambiguity in those passages wherein any two of them are used in connection: and if this ambiguity should in


any degree be removed by the simple substitution of more appropriate and analogous expressions, some light may be thrown upon subjects of the greatest concern and moment. Take, for instance, a passage in the same Evangelist, where κόσμος and are used in the same connection, and both translated "world." (Matt. xiii. 38.) "The field is the world:" "The harvest is the end of the world:" "so shall it be in the end of this world." On perusing the passage in which these words appear, any plain mind must draw the inference, that at the destruction of this material globe the procedure, represented under the figure of a harvest, would take place: but when it appears in the original that different words are used: that the world which is the field, is noμs, mundus, globe; and the world which is then to end, is aer, sæculum, age, dispensation or economy; and that "this world" refers to the word signifying age, and not to that which signifies globe; the natural and obvious inference would rather be, "when this age or dispensation of the world shall end, then shall the harvest come.


That "this age" is not the proper end of the world, and therefore that the harvest is not the end of all things here below, may appear from a passage where our Lord is also the speaker. "This world," is contrasted with "that world" which, on any construction, will be allowed to be still future; and as the word is there also av, if "that world," means eternity, then "this world" must mean eternity also, for it is the same expression precisely. "This world," used for the earth, may be opposed in an English translation to "that world," as heaven, but if av be age, and not world, then this age and that age have both a reference to times and seasons, and are periods distinguished from each other. "The children of this world marry and are given in marriage; but they which shall be accounted worthy to obtain that world, and the resurrection of the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage," (Luke xx. 34.)— that is, one to another: for they are now betrothed, and then will be married to Christ; for at his glorious appearance, and kingdom, and first resurrection of the just, "the marriage of the Lamb is come." The Bridegroom is absent in this age, and the church mourneth; but in that he will be present, and the church will rejoice. "Lo! I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." (, age.) This presence will be allowed to be spiritual, not personal; but it will then be personal, as well as spiritual. The sacrament was instituted for this age; in that it should seem it would cease: "Ye do shew forth the Lord's death till he come;" but "when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we shall appear with him," and enjoy the fulness of that intermediate pledge, in "the marriage-supper of the Lamb.",

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