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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator




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070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

150: Melito: Homily of the Pascha

175: Irenaeus: Against Heresies

175: Clement of Alexandria: Stromata

198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

386: Chrysostom: Matthew and Mark

387: Chrysostom: Against the Jews

408: Jerome: Commentary on Daniel

417: Augustine: On Pelagius

426: Augustine: The City of God

428: Augustine: Harmony

420: Cassian: Conferences

600: Veronica Legend

800: Aquinas: Eternity of the World




1265: Aquinas: Catena Aurea

1543: Luther: On the Jews

1555: Calvin: Harmony on Evangelists

1556: Jewel: Scripture

1586: Douay-Rheims Bible

1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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The Lord the Spirit

By "W.P.G."

Showing the Error of expecting any Second Personal
Coming of Christ.

Shewing how these things can be in the Testimony of
Jesus the Spirit of Prophecy.



Judgment/Resurrection After Death: Confessedly certain as is the corporeality of the risen saints, room is open for inquiring what corporeality it is which is to be understood as being transmuted and risen to heaven. // And therefore, also, all those texts, to which we have referred as denoting resurrection from death in trespasses and sins during this mortal life, equally refer to their resurrection from death after they had departed this life.


"We must distinguish between the Lord's coming as the Lord the Spirit, which is an eternal truth or fact, and the merely parabolic form of speech “coming to destroy Jerusalem," as though He came in a personal or outward form and manner. His coming meant His revelation of Himself, that is, of the divine truths of His word, to man and in man. For His words do not pass away (Matt. xxiv., 35) as wind, but remain as envelopes of truths, and these truths as envelopes of Himself. Such a revelation of Himself He gave to His Apostles, by which they were enabled to declare the whole truth or counsel of God. This is a coming or revelation of Himself which has no end or terminus, for it is spiritual or His Spirit, which has nothing to do with the natural idea of an end or terminus, an idea belonging to nature, space, and time. This coming, therefore, must not be regarded as ending with the abrogation of the law or the fall of Jerusalem, but as revealed the more clearly by the dispersion of that dark cloud which had served to conceal the brightness of the sun of righteousness. This coming in power and great glory is not to be confounded with the miraculous manifestations which attended it."

"As in that age, so in all ages"

"The Apostolic age was a mirror in which all subsequent ages were to see the goodness of God in Christ, in abrogating the law and giving the life and law and righteousness of His Spirit, as he had done to the Ephesians, Colossians, and all, whether Jews or Gentiles, being all alike dead in trespasses and sins. Christ was the priest to whom there was to be no successor (Heb. vii., 24), whether for the purpose of offering sacrifices or other ritual performances, or of giving knowledge."

References Authors:
P.S. Desprez | Samuel Lee | Robert Stark "of Tourqay" | Robert Townley | W.J.P. Wilkinson

It is an set of simple justice due to the memory of the deported to say that the doctrine, so much insisted on in the following pages, of the last days of Jerusalem being " the days of vengeance when all things written were fulfilled,” was first Scripturally brought into prominence by the late Mr. Robert Stark, of Torquay, and the late Mr. W. J. P. Wilkinson, of Exeter, and a few noble associates with them in secular spheres. To these must be added Mr. Robert Townley, still living, formerly a clergyman of the Church of England.

Earning their living by honest secular employments they proclaimed the truth without fear, favour, or pay. They proved the truth of the saying of George Fox, “that one need not go to College to be made a minister of Christ—need not invest capital in procuring a knowledge of Scripture, and then turn round and say that in order to live he must be paid, as interest for his outlay, a salary for proclaiming Divine Truth. If amen possesses Divine Truth, it must be by the free gift of God, and so he ought to give it freely without money and without price. If he does 'not know Divine Truth, be has no business to say he does.” There is much agreement between the views of the men I have mentioned and those of the Society of Friends. “ The abrogation,” said William Penn, “of all outward dispensations, and the reducing man to his first state of inward Light and Righteousness, is called the times of refreshment and restitution of all things.” The fall of Jerusalem was the sign, said Mr. Stark, that all outward dispensations were abrogated. The former were contented mainly with the virtual or dejure abrogation of the Mosaic law by the death and resurrection of Christ : the latter fastened with simple tenacity on the historical fact, which every eye may see, of its de facto abrogation in the fall of Jerusalem. The former were as an angel flying in the mid-heaven lifted up with Divine Light and Faith in the Christ, the true Light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world: the latter pointed to an outward sign by which man might walk by sight on earth, the great sign in Jerusalem’s overthrow that there was an end to all former appointed “signs following them that believe." The former, in prophetic strain, cried, “Woe, Woe, to the inhabitants of the earth;" the outward manner in which, in the clouds of the spirit of the age which looked for signs of Divine caresses or blows, the Lord the Spirit appeared to be manifested : the latter proclaimed that such prophetic strains were ended at the fall of Jerusalem, so far as having any claim to the Divine approbation or sanction, and were (and are) merely the weakness of the flesh shaken by the wind, but no sign whence the wind cometh or whither it goeth. For look at the following results of sign. seeking.

The persons meant, in the following pages, as those who are ashamed to say that Christ was mistaken, but are not ashamed to say that His Apostles were mistaken as to the time and nature of the Second Advent, are the Swedenborgians. This denomination is not ashamed to defend Swedenborg’s visions of David and Paul in Hell, visions one would think affording as evident a sign of insanity as it is possible to have. Yet, on the faith that Swedenborg’s authority is not damaged by such signs as those, they are endeavouring to build up a new Ecclesiasticism, which they call the New Jerusalem, or the New Church, in the place of the nominal Christian fabric, which is now tottering to the ground, whose foundations were laid in the Apostolic age by those who then denied the Apostolic authority.

Singularly, too, one of the so-called modern Spiritualists says he has had visions of Paul similar to those of Swedenborg. Is it too hasty an inference that such is the result of looking for signs following them that believe,” a claim actually set up by some for the ecstatic phenomena which go by the name of Spiritualism. The doctrine, that all “signs” ended with the great sign of the fall of Jerusalem, makes short work of all these pretensions: just as the failure of the magicians, who withstood Moses, to turn dust into lice, dispensed with the necessity of judging their successful enchantments upon their merits.

But let us do justice to all good and great men. Notwithstanding this insanity of Swedenborg, there is no more difficulty in recognising the truth of his spiritual philosophy than there is in acknowledging the value of Cruden’s Concordance, though the excellent compiler of it had to be three times confined in Bedlam, and was evidently insane all his life. “ The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak ;” and the conscious agonies of the latter must not be regarded as signs of the groaning of the spirit, for these cannot be uttered and so we remain unconscious of them. Still loss can they be regarded as “the fruits of the spirit." Under the influence of his hereditary tendency or faculty for visions, Sweden— borg says, “ Influx ought to be illustrated by experiences; otherwise things so unknown, and rendered obscure by hypothesis, cannot be brought forth into the light.” So in his fits he saw George the Second and Louis the Fourteenth angels in heaven, and David and Paul in a pit below. But, Swedenborg, in his lucid philosophy, says, “The children of of Israel, or the representative church of the Lord, were forbidden to seek spiritual communications under penalty of death. All really divine influx takes place by an enlargement of the understanding, growing out of an enlarging love of truth. Man communicates with heaven by means of angels, otherwise he could not live; and yet he is altogether ignorant of the fact.” Or as the modern phrase has it, the communion of saints does not agree with the facts. So said Paul, such spiritual things are foolishness to the natural understanding, and can be only spiritually discerned, that is, rationally through faith. In rejecting these “experiences" then, unfit for a typical shadowy church, and therefore still more so for its illuminated spiritual and invisible substance, let us not despise the philosopher. If we want an outward sign, here is one in a comment on 1 John, iv., 1—3. by Isaac Pennington, ‘second to none of the worthies who rallied round George Fox, for the good old cause of the light within. “ He that setteth up anything of the Old Covenant, or any invention or imitation of anything therein, doth not confess Christ come in the flesh." The only manifestation now required of the Holy Ghost or Christ’s Spirit in the flesh, is the obedience of faith, (Romans xvi, 26; Acts v., 32,) for the advancement of human brotherhood, with a perfect love casting out fear, (1 John, iv., 18, 20,) for the necessary consequences, liberty and equality.

An objection has been raised that such argument as follows is a mere battle of texts. But, I say with confidence, that the texts are all on one side, and that no counter text can be found. Another objection is that Scripture is a broken tool. But a candid attention may show that Scripture may be in more competent hands an efficient weapon for the defence of faith against the despair which has been produced. by the insufficiency of obsolete institutions for the advancement of man's estate, and that texts, rightly understood, agree with every fresh discovery in ethics, psychology, and science.

When secular newspapers think it right to open their columns for the discussion of such a sacred subject as that of the Lord’s coming in the clouds of heaven, we may depend upon it that some great change is at hand, some shaking of the old heavens and earth of man’s invention and imagination. So far I readily believe that the Rev. S. V. Edwards is right. But wherein that change will consist I entirely differ from him. He is expecting the return of Christ to this earth, sooner or later, in a personal or outward form or manner. I believe the expectation arises from not knowing the scriptures, and that Christ’s coming in power and great glory means something essentially difi‘crcnt from this, and I propose to prove my case by an appeal to the scriptures only.

As to the importance and practical utility of rightly understanding this question, I believe it is impossible to overrate it. It constituted the burden of the apostolic age and ministry. It is the cardinal point of the gospel to which every other doctrine converges, receiving its explanation and life from the light and life flowing from that cardinal, central light and life-giving fact of “ the epiphany of the glory of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ.” Tit. ii., 13.

The truth on this question is to be arrived at by an appeal to the scripture. And here the first question is, by what rule are we to interpret scripture ? On the one side it is said that, considering how remarkably the prophecies concerning Christ's advent in the flesh were fulfilled, we ought to interpret in a literal or natural manner the prophecies concerning His coming in the clouds of heaven in power and great glory; and so also, I presume, the prophecy in the Revelation concerning His coming on a white horse. In my opinion it is a sufficient reply to this to say that the gospel, the new Covenant, is (not a literal but) a spiritual covenant, for the literal covenant killeth, but the Spirit or spiritual covenant, the conjunction of the Lord the Spirit with man, maketh alive. 2 Cor. iii., 6. But for many reasons the sufliciency of this reply is so hidden from the minds of men, that some further argument is required against the attempt to impose a literal or natural sense on spiritual things which can be only spiritually discerned. I will, therefore, proceed to show that it is absolutely impossible to interpret, in a literal or natural sense, the texts which announce the Lord’s advent in the clouds of heaven. What I mean by absolutely impossible may be illustrated thus. If we had a prophecy that A would come to London in 1865, it is absolutely impossible that it should be fulfilled by his coming in 1866; the time (1865) being as much apart of the prophecy as the coming, and so not fulfilled by his coming in 1866. The Way in which I will prove such an absolute impossibility in the case of the question before us is simply as follows.

And first the reader must well attend to the following, amongst a great multitude of similar texts :—-Matt. xvi., 27, 28. “The Son of Man shall (is soon about to, in the Greek) come in the glory of His Father, with His angels; and then _He shall reward every man according to his works. Verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of Man coming in His kingdom.” Matt. xxiv., 30, 31, 34, “ They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And He shall send His angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together His elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.” Matt. xxvi, “I say ' unto you, hereafter (henceforth, or from now, in the Greek) ye (the high priests, scribes, and elders—v. 57) shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” Luke xxi., 20, 22, “ When ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. For these (the days in which the persons addressed saw that) be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.” Matt. x., ' 23, “ Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come.”

Now is it not plain from these prophecies that you cannot possibly give a literal or natural sense to them ? They were to be fulfilled before some of those then living—to whom the words were spoken—had tasted of death ; before their generation had passed away. Their days, the days of their generation, were the days of vengeance, in which all things which are written (as Christ’s coming in clouds, darkness of the sun and moon, falling of the stars, turning of the moon into blood, Acts ii., 20) were to be fulfilled. The argument of the Millenarians is founded on the supposition that “ this generation," those, “ the days of vengeance,” are not to be literally or naturally understood of that time which ended with the fall of Jerusalem, an. 70. They deny that the words denoting the time are to be literally or naturally understood. They thus exclude themselves from any right to require a literal or natural sense to be given to that part of the prophecy which concerns the nature or manner of the Lord’s advent. There are two branches of the subject ; the time of the advent, and the nature or manner of it. What consistency is there in rejecting the natural sense ~of words denoting the time, and then insisting on giving a natural sense to words denoting the nature or manner of the Lord's coming. Their pretension to a superior reverence for the Word, by interpreting it literally or naturally, vanishes like smoke or chaff before the wind, when it is seen that they reject its literal or natural sense as to the time of the fulfillment of prophecy. This argument appears to me perfectly conclusive.

Nor is the argument built on only a few texts. All Scripture testifies to the same time—the days of Jerusalem’s desolation. Just see what the apostles said after they had received the power of the Holy Ghost coming upon them, and were no longer such natural men as to suppose that the Lord was going to restore again to Israel a kingdom of this world, as is said of them in Acts i., 6. As natural men, it was not for such to know the times and the seasons. But now see them as spiritual men.

Rom. xiii, 11, 12, “ Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we belived. The night is far spent, the day (of Christ’s coming to judgement) is at hand.”

Phil. iv., 5, “ The Lord is at hand.” 1 Pet. iv., 7, “ The end of all things is at hand.”

Rev. i., l, 3, “ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto Him to show unto His servants things which must shortly come to pass. For the time is at hand.”

1 J 0. ii.. 18, “ It is the last time (hour in the Greek) and as ye have heard that Antichrist shall come, even now are there many Antichrists; whereby we know that it is the last time (hour).”

Now I ask, in seriousness, did these apostles mean that the time was not at hand, that it was not then the last hour? In writing to the Thessalonians (2 Thess. ii., 2) the authorised version makes Paul contradict his other assertions that the day of Christ was at hand. But the fact is that he here uses quite a different word from what he and Peter used in the other texts quoted above. In this to the Thessalonians the word means, “ is infant,” or immediately at hand, like the last hour of the Apostle John. The Epistles to the Thessalonians were the earliest written of all the epistles, and therefore Paul told them that they had misunderstood him in supposing that the time was so immediately at hand as, for instance, within a year or so. The Thessalonians were very literal timists, and had need of the lesson, “ of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son but the Father,” Mark xiii., 32. The time was a matter for spiritual discernment only by a gift from the Lord the Spirit, the glorified Jesus, that is Jehovah, the Everlasting Father. But maugre this mistake of the Thessalonians as to the time being then immediately at hand, as to the night being spent further than it was, still it is plain that the literal or natural sense of the teaching of Christ and His apostles was expressly that the Lord’s coming in glory was an event to be fulfilled in the Apostolic age, and that the night would be completely spent ere that generation had passed away. Now the Millenarians contend that we ought not to understand in their literal or natural sense, these words as to the time being at hand in the Apostolic age.

Well, then, if so, I say that it is’ absolutely impossible that the Lord’s coming in glory could ever be fulfilled in a literal or natural sense, after the Apostolic age and generation had passed away, for the idea of time is as much a part of the prophecy as the idea of the manner, and the literal or natural idea of the time clings inextricably to the rest of the prophecy, and certainly requires that it should have been fulfilled then. Thus, in pretending to literality as to the manner they inconsistently are forced to abandon their pretended literality when they have to treat of the time. Thus I refute the assertion that we ought to interpret literally, or in a natural sense, the prophecies which appear to the natural mind to speak of the Lord’s coming into the world a second time personally or in an outward form and manner. And if Millenarianism has in its favour nothing better than an assertion which has the effect of intimidating the natural mind from essaying to rise out of the clouds of the letter of the Word to the power and great glory of its spiritual sense, then I confidently say that Millenarianism is doomed, sooner or later, to be “as the chafi' that is driven with the whirlwind out of the floor, and as the smoke out of the chimney.”

By Millenarianism I mean both the pre-millenarian and the post-millenarian theories, or the theory that Christ will come a second time in person, or in an outward form and manner for judgment, for the destruction of the natural universe, or for any other purpose whatever. These theories are uninspired man's inventions, and not the truth of the Word. The destruction of these and other perverse interpretations of the Word, which are promulgated by Millenarians and the imitators of Judaism, whether called Papists or Protestants, ritualists, sign-seekers or naturalists or rationalists, is that great change which every thinking man sees is not far off, but does not discern the nature of, because he does not understand the rule for the interpretation of Scripture. Hence, then, I come back to what I said at first. By all means for truth on spiritual things there must be an appeal to Scripture. But the question is by what rule or principle are we’ to interpret Scripture ?

Oh! some one will say the plain, common sense meaning of Scripture must be the rule. This seems plausible. But what is plainer common sense than that the Scripture says that all prophecies, all things written of the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven, of the resurrection and judgment of the quick and dead, were to be fulfilled before the age and generation of Christ's own chosen Apostles, (not of any successors of them, for there were not to be any) had passed away? I have referred to some such texts. Here are a few more. In the tenth chapter of Hebrews, “ Ye see the (lay approaching. For yet a little while, and He that shall come will come and will not tarry.” In the fifth chapter of the epistle of James, “ The coming of the Lord draweth nigh. Behold, the Judge standeth before the door.” In Jude, “Beloved, remember ye the words which were spoken before by the

apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ ; how that they told you there should be mockers in the last time. These be they (pointing to the very persons then well known and existing, and so proving that by the last time he meant that time) who separate themselves, sensual, having not the spirit." In the first epistle of Peter, “ For the time is come that judgment must begin at the house of God: and if it first begin at us, what shall the end be of them that obey not the Gospel of God.” In the fifth chapter of John’s Gospel, Christ says, “The hour is coming and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God: and they that hear shall live. For the hour is coming in the which all that are in their graves shall bear 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 let no one here deceive himself by supposing “ is coming” is not a present tense, whether in the Greek or the English. The words are in the present tense (not the future, “ will come”), as denoting what is just about to take place in consequence of God’s unalterable law, order or arrangement for the fulfillment of all things written.

Once more, John closes his Gospel with Jesus saying to Peter, “ If I will, or intend him, John, to tarry till I come, what is that to thee ?”

And thus the reader may find other texts testifying that the Apostolic age was the time for Christ’s coming in the clouds of heaven. But in the whole Bible he will not find one single text testifying to the contrary, or giving a later date for the fulfillment of all things written. Here, as regards the time of the Lord's Advent in glory, we have as plain and positive astatement as it is possible to have, and, if we are justifiedin departing from it, then all talk about being ruled by the plain common sense meaning of Scripture, is really nothing but an ignorant or dishonest appeal to the most vulgar, idle, nnenquiring minds. In framing a rule, then, for the interpretation of Scripture prophecy, whereby we may understand the nature or manner of the Lord's coming in the clouds of heaven, or upon a white horse, in power and great glory, we must take care that we in no wise diminish the weight of this uniform, uncontradicted testimony of Scripture, that the time of such coming was the Apostolic age.

But, how, it will be said, has it happened that for eighteen centuries Christendom has never had such a faith as this—that Christ's Advent in’ the clouds of heaven and in power and great glory was in the Apostolic age ? Because Christendom has thought itself justified in departing from the plain common sense meaning of the words in which Christ and His Apostles spoke of the time of such Advent. Gibbon, the historian, and all who openly avow themselves to be unbelievers, say, that Christ and His Apostles were mistaken as to the time, and so they make the whole Bible a mistake. Some who call themselves Christians are ashamed to say this of Christ, but are not ashamed to say that His Apostles were mistaken as to the time. But Christ said to them, “ I have yet many things to say unto you,

but you cannot hear it now (that is before his death and resurrection). Howbeit when He the spirit of truth (the Lord is the Spirit) is come (as He did come on Pentecost next following), He will guide you into the whole truth, and he will show (or inform you of) the things which are coming';” John xv., l2, 13. Where again“are coming” is the present tense, and de— notes an immediate present and unalterable order of things. Christ (John xvii., 20) prayed for them which should believe on Him though their (the Apostles) word. Surely, then, He did not mean them to mistake about the time, when moreover His own words about time had been, as we have seen, so very plain. So Paul ventured to afiirm (Acts xx., 27) “ I have not shunned to declare unto you all the counsel of God,” both that I presume which related to the time, and that which related to the nature or manner of the Lord’s coming in glory. This counsel was comprehended in Pcter’s words, “the end of all things is at hand.” What is the plain common sense of these words ? Did Peter mean that that end was not at hand, or not to be till 4.1). 1866 ? Scott, in his note on this place, says, “The words most naturally lead our minds to the speedy approach of death and judgment, which alone answer to the full import of them.” But when he came to the text “ that one day is with the Lord as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day,” he abandoned this sense of “speedy” as applicable to judgment. He says, “ concerning the speedy approach of judgment, the prophecies extending through many ages must previously be accomplished.” In other words, he contradicts himself, saying now that the judgment was not speedy, whereas before he had said that the speedy approach of judgment alone answered to the full import of the words, “ the end of all things is at hand.‘ ' And yet these orthodox pretenders to adherence to the literal sense will deny that they tacitly, and in their hearts, affirm that the Apostles were mistaken, though practically they just as much affirm it as the most avowed unbeliever, if the plain common sense meaning of words is to be the rule for the interpretation of scripture.

From all that has been said, then, Idraw the following conclusions :—First, if we may depart from the plain, common sense meaning of the words denoting the time of the Lord’s coming in the clguds of heaven, we may equally depart from the literal meaning of the words, “coming in the clouds of heaven.” Secondly, if we may not depart from the plain common sense meaning of the words denoting the time, then the prophecy of the Lord’s coming in clouds must have been fulfilled in the Apostolic age, and must be explained consistently with the known fact that He did not then come in any personal form or outward manner, So that we are justified in inquiring, by a comparison of Scripture with Scripture, how the Lord’s promise to come in the clouds of heaven, inpower and great glory, before the Apostolic age and generation passed away, can be explained and shown to have been properly fulfilled within that time. Thirdly, if we can give this explanation, and I am certain that we can, then Christendom, or the nominal Christian world, has been mistaken for eighteen centuries, so far as it has been expecting Christ's return to this earth in a personal or outward form or manner.

Is this incredible ? Is it so incredible as that either Christ in the flesh, or His Apostles after the coming of Christ as the Lord the Spirit on the day of Pentecost, could have been mistaken on this matter as to the time of his coming in the clouds of heaven, or on a white horse, as described in Revelations xix. If by Scripture compared with scripture, the meaning of these words can be so interpreted as to appear to have been manifestly and fairly fulfilled before that generation passed away, then, sooner or later, Christendom, or the nominal Christian world, will have to confess that it has for eighteen centuries as heartily disbelieved the words of Christ and His Apostles as any avowed unbeliever. Is there anything incredible in Christendom having to make this confession ? Is not the idea of the nominal Christian world having been mistaken for eighteen centuries more tolerable than the idea that Christ or His Apostles were mistaken? Is it anything more than Christ actually foretold in His words, “When the Son of Man cometh, shall He find the faith, (of such coming, for the definate article is in the Greek, and is known to refer back to the word ‘cometh,’) on the earth ?” Luke xviii., 8. The words close a parable in which Christ had said that however fox-bearing God might be, “not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance," yet, lest “no flesh should be saved,” and “ for the elect’s sake,” He would “avenge them speedily.” But he added, when the event had taken place, it would not be believed. Why ? Because it, like all other spiritual things, can be only “ spiritually discerned.” The natural man (or the natural understanding of man) receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; neither can he know them because they are spiritually discerned." Cor. ii., 14. But added Paul, “ We (the Apostles) have the mind of Christ,” and therefore were able to “ explain by comparison spiritual things to spiritual men," (1 Cor. ii., 13) for this is the true translation of the passage as is shown in Conybear’s version of the epistle. The spiritual fulfilment of prophecy steals over the world imperceptibly, as a thief in the night, and long after its fulfilment scofling Jews and Rabbis, their followers and imitators, lusting for dominion over the bodies and souls of men, (Rev. xviii., 13), continue to exclaim “ Where is the promise of His coming? (2 Peter, iii., 4.)

Why should it be incredible that Christendom, or the nominal Christian world, has been mistaken for eighteen centuries as to the time and nature of the Lord's coming in the power and great glory of His Spirit. We all acknowledge that the Roman Catholics have been mistaken on many points for fourteen or fifteen centuries. \Vhat is there incredible in the idea that they have also been mistaken on this point, and that Protestants and others have been mistaken with them? To this it must come at last. Is not the error of Christ being but a man older than the Athanasian creed -? “ He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit (the Lord is the Spirit) saith unto the churches,” Rev. ii., 7. Had men all along done this, they would never have countenanced such “filthy dreamers” (Jude 8) as those who invented the doctrine of a carnal Millennium; they would never in opposition to the Apostle’s doctrine—that the end of all things was at hand in their day—have set up a perversion of the apocalyptic vision of the Millennium, nor the doctrine of the restoration of the Jews to the land of Palestine, about which there is not one word from the beginning to the end of the New Testament.

Those who think it incredible that Christendom, or or the nominal Christian world, should have apostatised from the beginning from Christ’ s and his Apostle’s doctrine, may, perhaps, have their eyes opened by the following account of the Millennium, by one of the earliest of the so-called Apostolic Fathers, Papias, Bishop of Hierapolis, said to have been a bearer of the Apostle John. Papias says of the productiveness of the earth in the Millennial day, “A of wheat will produce ten thousand heads, and each head will have ten thousand grains, and each grain will yield ten pounds of clear fine flour, and other fruits will yield seeds and herbage in the same proportion.” Another Apostolical Father, Irenaeus, a disciple of Papias, asserts that Christ said to His disciples, “ The days will come in which vines will grow, each having ten thousand branches, and on each branch there will be ten thousand twigs, and on each twig ten thousand clusters of grapes, and each grape, when pressed, will yield twenty five measures of wine ; and when any one of the saints shall take hold of a cluster of grapes, another cluster of grapes will cry out, I am a better cluster, take me, and on my account give thanks unto the Lord." For more on this subject of a carnal Millennium I refer the reader to the work on Prophecy, by the late Dr. Samuel Lee, Begins Professor of Hebrew in the University of Cambridge. He observes that “ It may be said, perhaps with truth, that the opinions of Irenaeus were extreme in this respect, and are therefore not to be cited as testimonies to the belief of those early Fathers. I answer, these opinions were most likely those only of a portion of the Church which chose to Judaize. And as to degree, it has but little to do here; it is principle alone about which we are now concerned. The same scriptures were misunderstood and misapplied: and in this the error evidently took its rise. We have the promises made to the Fathers—i. e. that in the seed of Abraham all nations should be blessed— transferred to this Millennarian state irrespective of all and everything said by the Prophets or Apostles: i. e. the Jewish figment of a Millennarian Sabbath overrides all else. Spiritual things were not had in view, but things temporal only, as blessings to be realised within the said Millennium.” To the above named Fathers, Dr. Lee says may be added some eight others of the most famous, including such names as Hyppolytus, Justin Martyr, and Athanasius ; where he says " We shall find more than enough to convince us that J udaism had made no small havoc in the Church in their times.” In short, Jewish Millennarianism, Jewish traditions, and Jewish corruptions of the Apostolic doctrine of the incorruptible, undefiled and unfirding inheritance (1 Peter i.. 4), have all along from the very first, so “bewitched” (Gal. iii., 1) the nominal Christian world, that it is not at all incredible that they were too carnal to understand the time and nature of the Lord’s Advent. So it is not at all incredible that the Apostles could not make such carnal and quarrelsome sectarians [1 Cor. iii., 3), as the Corinthians and others of their own time understand that the Lord, whose coming they were to look for, and to whom they were to turn, was that very Spirit which shone in power and great glory on those Apotles, to give mankind the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the person of Jesus Christ, (2 Cor. iv., 6.) that they might see in Him, and see Him the glorified Jesus to be, Jehovah the Everlasting Father. Let us not, then, be deterred from charging the nominal Christian world with having, for eighteen centuries, disbelieved and misrepresented the plain common sense meaning of the words that the Lord’s Advent in clouds was at hand, and was to come to pass before the generation of the Apostleshad passed away. In framing a rule, or rules, for the interpretation of Scripture, we cannot possibly alter the plain meaning of such words as quickly, shortly, at hand, making them to mean a long distance of time, and a time not at hand without abso~ lutely blinding our understandings so as to make it impossible for them to see any one spiritual truth. What is there spiritual in saying that a short time means a long time, or that a day means a year? This is merely substituting one natural sense, and that a false one, for another, and that the true natural sense. People endeavour to escape from the literal sense of time by referring to the Scripture, which says that “ one day with the Lord is as a thousand years." And then they are so blind as not to see that conversely it is said that “ a thousand years is as one day.” If the text justifies making a day of twenty—four hours mean a thousand years, it equally justifies making a thousand years mean a day of twenty-four hours. Will any one contend that Scripture is written on such a principle as this ‘8 The Lord’s Day is not a day of twenty-four hours any more than “ man’s day,” (1 Cor. iv., 4, translated “ man’s judgment" in the authorised version) means a a day of twenty-four hours. It may be difficult to conceive clearly what the Apostle’s allusion means : but there is no difficulty at all in deciding what it does not and cannot mean. He could not possibly intend anything so childish as to contradict the letter and spirit of both his Epistles, and of this very chapter in particular. Evidently desiring to impress his readers with a sure and certain belief that, let scoffers say what they would, “ the end of all things was at hand,” the day of grace almost spent, the time expired for any further hope of having the law of Moses in defacto existence to justify the rejection of the law of Christ ; this the Apostle’s evident desire, it is ridiculous to suppose that he would stultify his own argument by suggesting the remotest shade of possibility that the end might be postponed for a thousand years. This would not be to refute the scoffers but to refute himself, to justify them, and to acknowledge that they were right in maintaining that the Lord was slack concerning His promise to come and restore all things. ’ As a folly is said to be worse than a crime, so it would not even be an apologetic evasion of the difficulty raised by the scoffers, or a disgracefully contrived loophole by which to escape a most just contempt for his warning in case facts should contradict him; it would be simply a barefaced and stupid contradiction of his own words in almost the very same sentence. Most distinctly his doctrine was that he is a false teacher who says that the Lord has been slack concerning His promise to conic before the generation of the Apostles passed away. By setting up a period of a thousand years as intervening to prevent the fulfilment of that promise at the plainly predicted time, he interprets Scripture in contradiction to- itself. This was that error concerning which Peter wrote (2 Pet. iii., 17), “ seeing ye know these things before, beware, lest ye also, being led away with the error of the wicked (Judaizers), fall from your own steadfastness or your own “habitation” (Jude 6), in that cit hich John saw descending from heaven to‘ earth, having no temple therein : for the Lord God Almighty is its temple, oven the Lamb," Rev. xxi, 22.

And what answer shall I get to all this ‘1’ Why, questions such as the following: How do you explain this ? How do you explain that ? What's the meaning of binding Satan :1 thousand years? What’s the meaning of half the Mount of Olives moving towards the north, and half towards the south? What of calling the fowls to the supper of the Great God to eat the flesh of kings and horses ? To such reasoning it is a fitting answer that they are not to be deemed incapable of explanation, if no one has hitherto been able to explain them : that inability to explain them is not because they were not fulfilled Scripturally or spiritually in the Apostolic age, but because the natural mind receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto it; neither can any natural mind understand them, because they are spiritually discerned, and to be explained only to the spiritual mind.

The subject of what has been said above is concerning the time only as stated in Scripture concerning the Lord’s coming in the glory of His Father. We must first agree about the time before we can adequately understand the nature or mamier of the Advent. I have endeavoured to show that Scripture never varies in stating the Apostolic age to be the time. The only apparent contradiction to this unvarying uniformity is the thousand years and the little season mentioned in the Apocalypse as intervening before the general judgment. If the readcr is satisfied with the foregoing statcment concerning the time, there will be little difiiculty in showing how consistently with the  letter of Scripture this contradiction of Scripture against Scripture is only apparent, and removable by a more accurate examination of the words in the Apocalypse. With such examination I propose to proceed.

“How can these things be ?” said Nicodemus. Where, oh, “where is the promise of His coming ?” said the scoffers of the Apostolic age. Paul said, “ He hath abolished death, and him that hath the power of death, that is the devil,” He. ii., 14. How can these things be ‘1’ Don’t we see men dying every day, sin aad misery, the works of the devil rampant? “ What shall we say of the heresies and corruptions of the Church?” asks W. L. Banks. Let me provisionally give for an answer, “my thoughts are not your thoughts saith the Lord ;” or this, “none of the wicked shall understand, but the wise shall understand.” In the 12th hymn, Wesley’s Selection, it is said

“ The men of grace have found
Glory begun below.”

If I cannot sing this with the understanding, whose fault is it ? Shall I blame the Faithful and True \Vitness : or, shall I not rather blame myself for not believing the plain declaration, that { the day of J crusalcm’s fall to rise no more at all, was the last time, when all things written were fulfilled, salvation was revealed, and the incorruptible inheritance, which up to that time had been reserved in heaven, came down from heaven to earth as “ the restitution of all things?” But, as I have said, my business is not to answer the question, “ How can these things be 5” but to prove what Scripture says concerning the time of the Lord’s Advent in glory, and the time of the Millennium : not the nature of the Millennium, but the time of it. 4 Let us separate these two things in thought as much as possible. ' Now, have the Scriptures said that there should be an interval of one thousand years between the Apostolic age and the end of all things? On such a question as this, which, decided one way, would set Scripture in contradiction to itself, I claim the most scrupulous attention to the exact words used by Scripture. Happily they are not many. They occur in the twentieth chapter of Revelation. We there read, according to the Authorised Version, that an angel bound and imprisoned Satan “a thousand years,” that he should deceive the nations no more till the thousand years should be fulfilled ; and that when the thousand years are expired (in the Greek the same word is used for these words fulfilled and expired), Satan should be loosed a little season: that the souls of them which where beheaded for the witness of Jesus, lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years, but the rest of the dead lived not till the thousand years were finished, were again, in the Greek, we have the same word as is above translated, fulfilled and expired. The Authorised Version says, the beheaded souls had not worshipped the beast, neither had received his mark : and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years. Now, according to the Greek, there is no such alteration of the tenses. \Ve must either continue the pluperfect tense, and say, “ had lived and reigned,” or if we perfer “lived,” (that is did live), then, the version should be, that the'souls, which had been beheaded, did not worship the beast, did not receive his mark, and did live and reign. For the question of time is, whether the not worshipping the beast, and the living and reigning with Christ, were contemporaneous events before the beheading; or, whether the living and reigning was subsequent to the beheading and to the not worshipping the beast. Whichever version we take, provided we preserve the due literal force of the tenses, it will be plain that the living and reigning, and not worshipping the beast, were contemporaneous with each other, and all previous to the beheading. But if you change the tenses, and make them first signify one thing, and then another, you do with a vengeance, as the beast was said to have done, think to change times and laws at your will. I insist strongly on this preservation of the literal force of the tenses. It represents the Millennium, not according to the popular notion as a state of victory and peace, but as a period of persecution contemporaneous with righteousness flourishing and the first resurrection- John describes the souls of the saints as living and reigning and being beheaded by the beast, and, notwithstanding, their slaughter continuing to live and reign, or have authority (not necessarily “upon” in the sense of bodily residence, but) over the earth, where “over” is quite as literal as “upon,” Rev. v., 10. It is that reign and authority which I am endeavouring to vindicate against those who say with W L. Banks, tha “ if these great and startling events have occurred, surely they are matters of clear and indubitable history. If he (the writer of this) could point to the facts in the history of the Church by which the statements of the Lord and His Apostles, with reference to His coming, were fulfilled, his argument would be conclusive, but to do this is one thing, and merely to afiirm that they have been accomplished, is another.” Well, I have pointed to this fact, that the so-ealled Church has not had faith in the Lord’s coming afier He has come, as the Lord Himself foretold would be the case. This is a matter of clear and indubitablc history. But the eyes of the understanding (Eph, i., 18) must be enlightened to see even this plain fact. The very word for sight in Rev. i., 7, “ every eye shall see Him,” proves that natural sight was not meant. The idea of W. L. Banks that the Lord’s coming was to be “ irresistibly manifest to all, whether they will or no,” is plainly inconsistent with the statement that “ when He eometh the faith of such coming would not be upon the earth,” and that after He has come scofi'ers will continue to exclaim “ Where is the promise of His coming?” and “ How can these things be ?” It is inconsistent with the statement that His coming was like the lightning, leaving no trace of its path to be discovered by the sharp Vulture’s eyes gathered together in the mere letter without the Spirit, and screaming “Lo, hero, and Lo, there.” I am insisting upon it that the Lord’s coming in glory is one of the things of the Spirit of God which is to be spiritually discerned only. I point to the fall of J crusalem as the Scripture end of all things, and as a “ matter of clear and indubtiable history” to our natural senses ; to the abolition of the Mosaic law as the same. But it is of no avail without spiritual discomment, and without the most entire faith that the Scripture statement, as to the time being in the Apostolic age, is true. Look at the matter through this Scripture statement as to the time, and, and as you may see objects through a telescope which you cannot see with the naked eye, so by accepting the statement as to time as true, you will more easily be able to discern how these things can be. To ask for explanation on the nature of the advent, while you dispute the Scripture statement as to the time, is to wander hopelessly in a labyrinth. On this Scripture statement as to the time I take my stand. On this I must be met text by text, and refuted, if that be possible, before I admit that I am underthe slightest obligation to explain how these things can be. Such is my logical position, and the silence of S. V. E., and W. L. B., and Antipas on the plain Scriptures as to time leaves me in undisputed possession of my confidence that I have rightly interpreted the Scripture statement as to the time of the Lord’s coming in glory.

But this is a disgression upon the manner “ how,” forced on me by the remarks of W. L. B. I must resist this attempt to change the course of my argument, which is as to the time when.

So then to return to the Millennium, I adhere literally to the beheading. It does not mean bon-fires, hanging, or shooting, but killing in this way z—Herod killed James the brother of John with the sword (Acts xii , 2.) evidently a mode of killing long gone by ~

Next I observe that it is not said that Satan was bound or the souls lived in their natural bodies through out an entire space of a thousand years. There is no preposition in the Greek or English prefixed to a thousand years, though of course the grammatical construction requires that one should be understood and supplied. Now, if we understand the proposition “for” as if it was said, Satan was bound for, and the saints lived and reigned for a thousand years, a passage in Luke xii, 19, will explain the meaning of this word “ for” as to time. We find there a certain rich man, like Dives, who esteemed himself rich in having, and being under, the law and worship of Moses, saying, “ Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years,” like the soofl'ers who said, where is the promise of His coming to put an end to all things. But God said unto him, “ Thou fool, this night (as Paul said, the night is far spent) thy soul shall be required of thee.” His vision of many years, whether a thousand or more, or less of the Lord’s delaying His coming, was shortened to a single night by cutting off the whole number of years that he had seen in his mental vision beyond that night. Here then on this perfectly literal version, (for some preposition must be understood to make the sentence grammatical) I confidently rest. finding it perfectly consistent with the numerous statements in this Book of Revelations, that it was “of things shortly to come to pass ;” “ that the time was at hand ;” “ the things which must shortly be donc :” “ Behold I come quickly.” “Surely I come quickly.” This Millennial day or night (one day which should be known to the Lord, not day, nor night, not clear, nor dark, but at evening time to be light, Zcc. xiv., 7), was suddenly cut short as the rich man’s many years were cut short to a single night. “For except those days should be shortened there should no flesh be saved,” Matt. xxiv., 22. Hence said’ Paul (Rom. ix., 28) “ The Lord is in righteousness finishing and cutting short the account or reckoning (for so is the Greek) because He will make upon the earth an account which has been shortened.” How shortened ? Why just as the rich man’s account for many years was shortened by cutting them off to a single night. Thus by comparing Scripture with Scripture we find it perfectly consistent with itself, and the vision of a thousand years no contradiction of the statement that the revelation of Jesus Christ was to show unto His servants things which were then shortly to come to pass, Rev. i , 1. This shortening of the vision-seen-thousandyears-day throws a light on the saying that the day and hour were known to the glorified Jesus or Jehovah the Father only. It depended on the repentance of the elect remnant of Israel, and who those were was known to Him alone. No mortal man could 'positively say, however hopeless thecase might appear, that the sign of the Prophet Jonah preaching to Nineveh, and Nineveh repeating, would not be fulfilled in the ease of Jerusalem. Jonah had said, “ Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be overthrown. So the people of Ninevah believed God. And God saw their works, that they turned from their evil way ; and God repented of the evil, that He had said that He would do unto them ; and He did it not.” There is no more difficulty in the vision-seen thousand years being the forty years of the Apostolic age, than in this forty years, like the time of the Israelites’ wandering in the wilderness being called a day. “ Seeing therefore it remaineth that some must enter therein, and they, to whom it was first preached, entered not in because of unbelief :” He again limiteth a certain day, saying in David, “To-day,” after so long a time; as it is said, “ To-day, if ye will hear His voice, hearden not your hearts,” Heb. iv., 6. We see here that in Apostolic reckoning forty years was a long time. Therefore the Millennial day was limited in the spiritual David to a forty-years‘ day.

We must remember that the Apocalypse is an account of things then shortly to come to pass. To suppose an interval of a thousand years would as much contradict the rest of the Book as the like supposition would contradict the Epistles of Peter, and be such a contradiction in words as not a child could make. That “the wicked,” that is, the J udaizers, or filthy dreamers, (Jude 8) did thus dream of a thousand years instead of a forty-years day of grace before the end of the Mosaic law is probable enqpgh. Such esoteric traditions (1 Pet. i., 18) of the Jewish mind might probably form the external basis of the spiritual vision of John, comparatively as our current ideas get incorporated with our dreams. In spiritual vision he saw the Jewish delusive dream against which the Lord Himself had warned them, declaring that the day of the great tribulation should be shortened, or made to come to pass quicker than they expected, and should not be protracted to any thousand years which they vainly dreamed of. For it was absolutely necessary that the Mosaic law should be abrogated, seeing that by its deeds no flesh whatever could be justified before God. And he saw this Jewish delusion vanish as the baseless fabric of a vision, as is intimated by his abrupt transition from the language (the future tense) of Prophecy to the language of its seen fulfilment. “And they went up (not shall go up) and fire came down and devoured them. And the devil that deceived them [the spirit of self justification by the deeds of the law) was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever," Rev. xx., 9, 10. How can these things be? First believe that they took place then, and it will not be so difficult to explain. But if we pronounce judgment before we understand, and assume that they could not happen because we don’t understand how, this is the very way never to understand how. The “ signs of the times,” that is, the events of the Apostolic age, are plain and-are intended to lelp us to understand their spiritual significance; for this must be spiritually diserned.

The little season of 1,260 days at the close of the vision-seen thousand years, and before the end of all things, presents no difiiculty on the score of time. It coincides with the apostacy of the Jews from Roman authority, and the Jewish war ending A.D. 70, having commenced about forty years after the beginning of the public ministry of Christ. During this little season also Nero's decrees were issued for the ruthless extermination of the Christians, having lasted 1,260 days, when they were repealed on Vespasian's accession to the throne as a minister of God for vengeance and for good (Rom. xiii., 4), having destroyed Vitellius, the eighth Roman Emperor, and the seventh headed beast which had been gathered together with the Jews, like Herod and Pontius Pilate, against the Lord and His Christ. Here are their names. Augustus was the first Roman Emperor, but no head of the persecuting beast. Tiberius was the second Roman Emperor, and first head of the beast, under whom Christ was crucified. Caligula was the third Roman Emperor, and second head of the beast. Claudius was fourth Roman Emperor and third head of the beast. Nero was fifth Roman Emperor, and fourth head of the beast. Galba was sixth Roman Emperor, and fifth head of the beast. Otho was seventh Roman Emperor, and sixth head of the beast. Vitellius was eighth Roman Emperor, and seventh head of the beast (he is the eighth, and is of the seven, Rev. xvii, 11), sent into that Perdition in which “ Heber also perished for ever,” when the distinction of Jew and Gentile was banished from the

 divine presence. It is a remarkable ‘fact (W. L. B. likes historical facts) that all the seven heads of the beast could be seen by John living at the same time, all of them, including Vitellius, being born before Tiberius died. This little season was also the time of that apostacy from Apostolic doctrine so" severely spoken of by the Apostles as the character of their last times. In what outer darkness, with wailing and gnashing of teeth have the successors (in point of time at least) of that apostaey—thc nominalChristian world, or self-styled Church—been ever since ? Here is an historical fact, not at all impugned by their cry, “The temple of the Lord, the temple of the Lord are we, the true successors of the Apostles.”

Here are sufficient “signs of the times," the hard historical facts of the Apostolic age, and we want no other signs. All we want, and what we have, is the Lord the Spirit to enable us to read these signs aright. The Jewish nature, or the natural mind of man, is blinded so that in reading the Old Testament it does not understand that “the Old Covenant is done away in Christ,” (as is said in 2 Cor. iii., 14). But it is blinded through the veil being upon the heart or the affections and evil desires, rather than directly upon the understanding. “Nevertheless,” says the Apostle. “ when it (that is, the heart) shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away :” and then, anticipating the question (who is the Lord, or where is the Lord, that we may turn to him ?), he says, “ The Lord is the Spirit ; and where the Spirit of the Lord is (and where is this but in every human heart) there is liberty,” or freedom from the bondage of the letter, and from the delusions of this world. And “ so," that is in no other way but by turning to the Lord the Spirit all Israel shall be saved (Rom. xi., 26) ; the times of the Gentiles having been fulfilled eighteen centuries ago, when God ceased to wink at their ignorance, but commanded all men everywhere to re pent; because he had appointed a day in which he would (was soon about to, in the Greek) in righteousness judge the world, Acts xvii, 30. Jerusalem was trodden down till that day had fully come. Whether it then ceased to be trodden down or neg—whether it will ever be rebuilt again or not, are matters for politicians to wrangle about, but have nothing to do with the spiritual truth or fact, that the Old Covenant has for ever passed away, and that J erusalem can never have the place which it did under that Covenant. Its rebuilding is of no more account in Scripture estimation than the rebuilding of London.

The Millennarians, and the Ritualists plainly teach that Christ and his Apostles were mistaken, however vehemently they may protest against this charge against them. No supereilious denial, no craftysilence, no stupid exclamation of the matter being a mystery, no pretence that they are humbly waiting for further miraculous information, which by the very fact of its being miraculous, would controvert the Scripture (for the end of all things included the end of outward miracles and signs as well as the end of the Mosaic law) ; no prevarication whatever can avail to protect these two sects from being “ an abhorrence unto all flesh" (Isaiah, last verse), when the clear statement of Scripture concerning the time of the Lord’s coming in glory has been discovered in all its plain simplicity by the hitherto blinded and deluded people. The Rationalists also will have to share the same fate, however they may be supported now by Revercnds and Right Reverends undertaking to prove that Christ and His Apostles were mistaken.

Depend upon it, it must come to this: either Christ and His Apostles were mistaken, or Christendom has all along been mistaken. The Church of England promises to be the champion of the former view. The Rev. Mr. Desprez, Vicar of Alvediston, Wilts, has lately published a work on the Book of Daniel. In this book he says that the Lord conceived that the "Messianic reign was to be partly of a mundane and partly of a celestial character—a kingdom of heaven upon earth ; its king a superhuman being descending from heaven armed with power to judge the quick and dead ; a terrestrial reign of Christ on earth; that this view was that of the Apostles also. As time advanced, however, the Millennial expectations of the ear ly Church underwent a change. Within a few years the belief of a terrestrial reign of Christ on earth became an unpalatable doctrine. The Chiliasts were pronounced visionary, and succeeding ages negatived the devout conclusions of men who had held converse with the disciples of the Apostles themselves.” He then argues that the Lord and His Apostles must have been this’ taken, seeing that these Messianic expectations have not been fulfilled. But nine years ago Mr. D. published “ An Answer to Dr. Cumming,” in which he said, “ The principle upon which I have conducted this investigation is that our Lord came, as He said, to destroy J erusalem, and to close the dispensation. No doctrine of Christianity stands on more ample evidence, and none is capable of more complete and definite proof.” Professor J owett had asserted that Paul was “ corrected by the course of events in his expectation of the coming of Christ,” on which Mr. D. observed (five years ago) “ when Apostolic men are ‘ corrected’ or ‘in error,’ or give out authoritative declarations which are negatived by the course of events, it is natural to inquire what then did they know ? What dependence is to be placed upon their teaching?”

Now what is the root of all this changing about from one opinion to another ‘? I venture to say that it is from the Millennarian, Papistical, aad Rationalist notion, that the New Covenant is not a purely spiritual Covenant, but that the promises under it are to be interpreted naturally, in flat contradiction to the Lord the Spirit, who has given, gives, and will give the spiritual interpretation of it. By spiritual interpretation, I mean no such nonsense as that which explains Scripture by describing its expressions as metaphors, figures of speech, poetical symbols, or rhetorical :exaggerations. As though the Divine Author had entered (to speak after the manner of men) upon a competitive examination with His finite creatures in the arts of poetry and rhetoric, or in “drawling oflieial prose,” as Dr. Williams describes the Book of Daniel. The beauty of poetical metaphors is a matter of taste, and under this matter of taste there is no security against being “ carried about with every wind of doctrine.” Thus Mr. D. began with the theory of poetical symbols as the means of explaining Scripture, and has ended with finding the ofiicial prose to be not merely rhetorical exaggeration, but absolute nonsense. Poetical symbols, if they are nothing more, are as much a natural sense as language without metaphors or figures of speech. The spiritual sense of Scripture is as different from this figurative nonsense as the soul from the body. The Vicar of Alvediston, when he took the Scripture statement as to time for his telescope, wherewith to view the heavens, forgot that the mirror should be achromatic. Weary with drawling ofiicial prose, he amused himself with chalking poetical figures on his mirror, and consequently sees only now “ men as trees walking.”

But Mr. D.’s mistake has arisen also from an insufficient attention to the exact letter of Scripture Thus, he is puzzled to know the meaning of the Kingdom of God, though it is very plainly stated in Luke xvii., 21, and Rom. xiv., 17.

And in 1 Cor. iv., 20, we are told that the Kingdom of God is not in word but in power, that is divine power, the power which has swept away the Jewish law, and given to man the righteousness of Christ’s self-glorification, and so he is not ashamed to tell you that the words of Christ and His Apostles are an inexplicable mystery; and he is not grieved at the continued failure of Millennian prophecies bringing grist to his mill, giving the people a desperate reliance on his carnal ordinances, and distrust in the Word and in the Spirit which gave forth the Word. But we should be mindful of Paul’s warning (Phil. iii., 2), “ Beware of the dogs, beware of the evil workmen, beware of the coneision. For we are the circumeision which worship God in spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh ;” in no fleshly delusions whatever, whether those of “ the world set in the heart," or the delusion that dramatic religion is acceptable to the Lord the Spirit. Whoever attempts to set up any imitations of those Jewish dogs of the Apostolic age practically denies that Christ has come in the flesh. And what will be the consequence? As the people get tired of Millennarism, and fly for refuge to Ritualism, so they will get tired of this and abandon them'selves in despair to Rationalism—as witness the course of things fat Oxford (luring the last thirty years.

I entreat the Millennarians candidly to consider this. They know the letter of Scripture, which is more than one would venture to say of the Ritualists : they have greater light, and therefore greater responsibility. They know that Ritualism is an unscriptural and vain thing: they ought to know that they are practically (by proclaiming, and that falsely, that there are prophecies still unfulfilled) teaching the people that the  words of Christ and His Apostles are not true: and so they are driving the people to Ritualism, and thence to Rationalism : they are helping to “ build again the things which were destroyed,” (Gal. ii., 18), and cannot be allowed to “wipe the mouth and say I have done no wickeil'iess."

Now, the Rationalist says plainly and openly that Christ and his Apostles were mistaken as to the time and the nature or manner of the so-called Second Advent: that nothing took place in the Apostolic age corresponding to the magnificent terms in which the Advent is described; that there was then no resurrection and judgment of the quick and dead, no passing away of the old heavens and earth, no establishment of the new heavens and earth in which dwelleth righteousness, no change of the living, no communion of them with the risen dead, no heaven opened, and no ascent and descent of the angels of God upon the Son of Man, John i., 51.

Now, as has been shown in the First Part, the Scripture plainly says that all these things were to take place before that generation passed away, before some then living tasted of death; that when the Mosaic law was removed all those things should be fulfilled. The Rev. P. S. Desprez, (in his book on Daniel) says, “ The nonfulfilment of these Messianic expectations within the time appointed for their accomplishment should not he suffered to weaken the obligation, or impair the authority, of a single moral precept which commends itself by its intrinsic worth as the perfect law of love and liberty to mankind." . Rationalists ought to give reasons for their assertions, and to use words intelligibly'  What does Mr Desprez mean by “intrinsic worth” ? Until he explains this, and proves the truth of his assertion, I shall take the liberty of describing the above language as, what the late Mr. Cobden used to say of such kind of pretended argument, “drawing herring across the scent.” For the question is whether, if Christ and His Apostles were so deluded as confidently to announce the then resurrection of the dead and change of the living, so that there shall be a communion between them, they are to be trusted in the statements that Christ rose from. the dead, ascended into heaven, and manifested Himself on and after the day of Pentecost as the Lord the Spirit, Jehovah the Everlasting Father. This is the question, and not the casuistical one about the “ intrinsic worth of moral precepts." Let Mr. Desprez prove why we should believe the Apostolic testimony on these points, if they were subject to such delusions as he charges them with. The basis of the following argument is that in the first place the wish must be father to the thought.

“ Who most examine most believe.
Eternal life is Nature's ardent wish :
What ardently we wish, we soon believe
When feared the future, 'tis no longer wished:
And when nnwished, we strive to disbelievc.
Thus infidelity our guilt betrays.
No man o'er found a happy life by chance,
0r yawn’d it into being with a wish.
An art it is, and must be learnt; and learnt
With unremitting effort, or be lost." -

Young's Night Thoughts

We must, then, first desire that the words of Christ and His Apostles should be true and not the utterances of enthusiastic and deluded minds ; that Jesus of Nazareth was not " beside Himself,” as “ His friends" (Mark iii., 21) said. There must be a “readiness of mind” antecedent to belief (Acts xvii, 11), a rational freedom from the tale which our senses would tell us “ more noble,” than the impartiality which “ cared for none of these things,” Acts xviii., 17. If we do not in the outset desire that their words should be true, that all the promises and all the threats of Scripture were then about to receive their accomplishment, and that they should not have been deceivers, as the Jews called them, I doubt if any amount of proof is capable of being discerned as such. This is part of what I understand the Apostle to mean, when he says that "the natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God: for they are foolishness to him : neither can he understand them, because they are spiritually discerned,” or, as it may equally correctly be translated, “ neither can he understand that they are spiritually discerned,” 1 Cor. ii., 14. Spirituality is beyond the the region of the natural mind until it first starts from a divinely-given (Eph. ii., 8) “faith. the underlying support of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen,” Heb. xi., 1. This desire without ceasing. this faith and hope, however obscure, are the germinations and beginnings towards rationally understanding and enjoying the New Covenant, in which we are “ raised," (Eph. ii.,6, Col. iii., 1, lCor. vi., I4, 2 Cor. in, 14);

“quickened,” (Eph. ii., 1, 5, Ram. viii., ll); “ trans‘ lated," (Col. i., 13); “changed,” (Zec. iii:, 4, 2 Cor. iii., 18, 1 Cor. xv., 51, Phil. iii., 21); “caught up,” (1 Thes. iv., 17). For the New Covenant is this, “ I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds will I write them ; and thei; sins and iniguities will I remember no more. Now, where remission of these is there is no longer an offering for sin,” Heb. viii., 6, 13, x., 16, 17. This is the new and living way (Heb. x., 20), and so all ritual or dramatic performances, and pretended offerings are nothing but imitations of the old and dead way, which has decayed and vanished and been spued out of God’s mouth, Rev. iii., 16. Under the New Covenant we are all taught of God (Jo. vi., 45), that is Jesus of Nazareth in Spiritgor the Lord the Spirit; Jehovah the Everlasting Father. Hence we need not the priests of the Old Covenant (and still less our shabby man-made imitators of the Aaronic priesthood) to teach us, whose lips were to keep knowledge (Mal. ii., 7) to dispense to the people. Nor do we need the divinely given (Eph. iv., ll) Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors and Teachers, to be now living to dispense knowledge. For we have their word, and the anointing to teach us concerning all things (1 J 0. ii., 27). By spiritual teaching, or teaching from the Spirit, is not to be understood giving information, but giving the Life and Spirit to seek and acquire information, and giving the spiritual light or understanding, wherewith to see spiritual truths, giving the spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him, the eyes of the understanding being enlightened, Eph. i., 17. Christ is “the true Light which lighteth every man that eometh into the world,” Jo. [i., 9. We. are conscious of nothing but what we call natural light, or the natural light of our natural understanding. But this so called natural light of the understanding stands in the same relation to spiritual light that 8. lookingglass bears to the light of the natural sun. The natural mirror has no light of its own, but light must shine upon it in order for it to be of any use. It is the same with the natural mnlerstanding and the knowledge and natural light within. This is but a mirror for spiritual light to shine upon, and then and not before we may discern spiritual things, however much they may appear to be merely natural things. See John iii., 19, 21.

Spiritual life and light are spiritual or divine imparted to man. But they appear to us only under the forms of natural motions and natural light, so much so that we naturally deny that they are from any other than a natural origin, and challenge those who affirm that these good things are from a spiritual origin, to prove it. or show some sign whereby we may know it, Jo. ii., 18. But we are justified in infering or believing from the intelligent midwifery of various analogies that our beliefs of spiritual things have a spiritual origin, or are of spiritual discernment, however they appear to us in the forms of natural notions and natural light only. Hence, further, we are not justified, on the ground of our not having any such like faith as others claim to have, namely, an assurance of faith similar and equal to the assurance of common facts on the testimony of the senses, in affirming that such assurance of faith is but an enthusiasm or delusion of the imagination, and not a rational state of mind proceeding from an internal and invisible divine operation, that is, an operation of which such persons are entirely unconscious.

Except the common signs of divine things, such as those which belong to what is called the design argument, it is certainly the teaching of Scripture that no signs of spiritual things were to be given after the Apostolic age. And this seems a most merciful provision. For first, if we had them we might be none the better for them, as we see in the case of the Jews. Our passions and prejudices would not submit to be restrained by them. Next, had they continued, they would manifestly have retarded and almost annihilated the progress or possibility of scientific discovery and invention, and the study of the laws of nature. But because we cannot silence a disbeliever in spiritual things by shewing him some natural sign as an authority for our believing them, we ought not to be disheartened. The belief in spiritual things, if it is an effectual working belief, is itself a spiritual thing or has a spiritual origin, that is, it proceeds from the Lord the Spirit. Such a belief must be content to be its own witness. Once give way to the scolfing demand for signs, and you open the door for Millennarian fortune—telling and Ritualistic theatricals. The demand for signs comes only from a perverse and adulterous generation, and there shall no sign be given it but the “ signs of the times” of the Apostolic age, their end. fulfilment, and complete cessation at the end of that age. All so-called “ signs” since then are signs of evil and falsehood, of disbelief of Scripture, if not of diabolical intention to oppose and subvert Scripture. They may, like the artistic mummeries and the sensuous emotions of dramatic religion, keep up forms of superstition as a counterfoil to atheism, as this may do the same towards that. But what good have these things done in eighteen centuries ? Compare the fruit of Ritualism with the Christian and humane legislation which has proceeded from the energy of the Society of Friends, acting from a belief in the power of the Spirit.

Hence, then, it does not appear to be irrational to argue as though, or with the belief that, the Divine Power (Rom. i., 19, 20; 2 Pet. i., 3) hath given every man all things (and these are plainly spiritual things) that pertain unto life and godliness, which gift is manifested in the forms of natural gifts according as man grows out of both his natural and social childhood. For there is a spiritual childhood of man, or of races and classes of men, in their growth from barbarism and ignorance to civilisation and culture, just as there is a natural childhood in the growth of an individual man from his natural birth to his natural manhood, 1 Cor. xiii., 11. Then when any man, 01' race or class of men, has been called from both natural and social childhood to glory and manhood, through the knowledge of Jesus of Nazareth, the motions and the light of or from the

Spirit come into existence (but apparently as mere natural things), pregnant with great and precious promises, by means of which promises we escape from the corruption which is our nature in the lustful world, and are made partakers of the Divine Natm'e. Jesus of Nazareth is present in His promises, in His \Vord, as much, to say the least of it, as a man is present in his intentions, thoughts, words, and actions. He was present in His unfulfilled Word (1 Cor. x., 4); how much more, therefore, must He be present in His ful— filled Word, as fulfilment removes ground for doubt. He said (Jo. xvi., 7) it was expedient for Him to go away as to His natural presence, in which he could only be present with a few, and that in a very limited manner only; in order that He might be present in Spirit, which is subject to no limitation of time or place, or carnal ordinances, or carnal interpretations of Scripture, and is not obscured by such cloudy things as tongues, prophecies, and miracles, or even human knowledge.

But the apostle Peter goes on to say that though they had thus escaped from corruption and were made par-takers of the Divine Nature, they might through carelessness become blind to the fact, and forgetful of it, and altogether destitute of any sure sense of their calling and election and of an entrance into the everlasting kingdom having been abundantly given to them.

Now the question is whether Christ and His Apostles were mistaken in these promises and their spiritual explanation of them as being spiritully fulfilled in the Apostlic age. Are we, because we do not desire to see beyond our noses, or anything more than what our natural senses inform us of, justified in supposing that we should see no better if we were desirous of believing that Christ and His Apostles were not mistaken ? And if we diligently pursued that path along which such a spiritually excited desire would lead us ? Is the following language justifiable or truly rational and satisfactory to such a desire ? It is an extract from Mr. Desprez’s book on Daniel. “ We find (says Mr. Wilson, in the introduction to Brie/'Ezamination of prevalent opinions on Inspiration} in our Lord's own quotations of the Old Testament and in those of His Apostles, not a rhetorical manner as distinguished from a logical one, but rather an oriental wideness as contrasted with the precision of the Greeks and of the modern West.” To this Mr. Desprez adds, “ This wide use of passages from the Old Testament is observable in the writings of St. Paul, where we find Psalm xiv., 1, 7, descriptive of the wickedness of the oppressors of Israel, employed, among other texts, to prove the universal depravity of mankind (Rom. ii1., 9.19), and the history of Hagar and Sarah allegorised to the circumstances of the Jewish and Christian Churches, an application not strictly deducible from the sense of the original quotations.

To a still greater extent this practice may be recognised in the fanciful expositions of some of the Apostolical Fathers." It is very immaterial what these so called Apostolical Fathers said. All oflicial responsibility having ceased with the cessation of the divinely given  (Eph iv., 11), Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers, the interpretation of the unoflicial and unauthorised Fathers, who succeeded the Apostles and the Apostates from the Apostles, is of no more authority than the interpretation of those who have succeeded them in the following ages, or will succeed them hereafter. But what is the difference between saying that Apostolic modes of exposition may be recognised in uninspired and unauthorised “fanciful expositions,” and in saying directly that the former are fanciful? This comes of talk about “poetical metaphors.” Compare this charge of fanciful expositions with the following statement by the late Rev. J. A. Stephenson, Rector of Lympsham, Somersetshire. “The fulfilment of all things written in the Apostolic age is a fact adapted to meet that unhappily inherent defectiveness of apprehension and faith which prevents the now no longer interruptible communion of all saints with each other and with Christ from being adequately realised; and serves to strip off the garb of zealous activity from that indolent unbelief, which prefers a flight in the balloon of fancy to a patient ascent up the mountain of truth, and had rather imagine the glory of the church to be future and carnal, than contemplate that glory as existing and impalpable.”

The method of interpreting Scripture seems to me to be, to believe that the Acts and Epistles of the Apostles are a Commentary on the rest of Scripture, or that the Word of the Apostles (Jo. xvii., 20) is an interpretation of the Word of God. “We are of God : he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us, 1 John iv.. 6. They had the mind of Christ, 1 Cor. iii., 1. It is to be said of them as Paul said of the spiritual man, “ The spiritual man discerneth all things, but himself is discerned of no man,” 1 Cor. ii., 15. “Let a man so account of us, as of the ministers of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God. Moreover, it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. But with me it is a very small thing that I should be discerned of you, or of man’s judgment (literally in the Greek, man’s day): yea, I discern not my own self. For I know nothing by myself, but I am not hereby justified, but he that discerneth me is the Lord.” 1 Cor. iv., 1-—4. The claim here made by the Apostles is what Christ had promised them, as, for instance, in Matt. xiii, 10—13. “ And the disciples came and said unto Him, Why speakest thou unto them in parables ? He answered and said unto them, Because it is given unto you to know (or understand, as the same word is translated in John viii., 43; x., 6; xii., 16; xiii., 12; Acts xviii., 30) the mysteries of the kingdom of heaven, but to them it is not given. For whosoever bath, to him shall be given, and he shall have more abundance (that is by increasing what was given him): but whosoever hath not (or hath made no improvement) from him shall be taken even that he bath (or seemeth to have, Luke viii., 18). For this reason, because they seeing see not, and hearing hear not, nor understand, speak I to them in parables.” To him, who understands, the parable is no longer a parable, the mystery is no longer a mystery: but to him who does not understand, the apostolic explanation of a mystery will be “ Oriental wideness” (wildness, Professor Jowett has said), “fanciful exposition,” “not strictly deducible from the sense” which the natural mind contemplates. Was it “Oriental wideness” when to the murmur (John vi. 63) This eating His flesh and drinking His blood, is an hard saying ; who can hear it ? Jesus replied, “ It is the spirit that quickeneth ; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you are spirit and are life.” There is ever the outward speech drawn, as all language is, from natural phenomena, and the inward word of the speech which is the cause of all natural phenomena and of the words which naturally denote them. Hence, “Why do ye not understand my (outward) speech? even because ye cannot hear (with the spiritual ear) my (inward) word?” John viii., 43. But why “ cannot”? For, “If any man is willing to do His will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of (out of) God, or whether I speak of (from) myself. He that speaketh of (from) himself seeketh his own glory: but he that seeketh his glory that sent him, the same is true, and no unrighteousness is in him” (John vii., 17, 18). Now whose glory is established by the fulfilment in the Apostolic age of the Messianic expectations; the glory of the Lord, the Lord the Spirit, the risen Jesus of Nazareth, Jehovah the Everlasting Father; or the glory of the Mosaic law perverted into a “covenant with death and hell " (Is. xxviii. 18) for the purpose of condemning Him who spake as never man spake (John vii., 46), but “as one having authority ” (Matt. vii. 29)? What is this Rationalism which ventures to declare that the Messianic expectations were not fulfilled, the will of God not done in earth as it is in heaven, the kingdom of God not come in the Divine abrogation of the law as no longer a witness of the relation between God and man P Why is this to be called “ Oriental wideness,” and “fanciful exposition?” Would it not be much more modest, instead of thus speaking of Him who, though our Creator, is not ashamed to call us brethren (Heb. ii., 11), to say, “seeing we see not, and hearing we hear not, nor understand?” This would be honest. But people don’t like paying tithes, and church rates, and salaries to persons calling themselves “Ministers of Christ,” but acknowledging that they do not understand Christ’s words. WVhat possible use can there be in such a set of ignorant hirelings? Surely any one can say plainly he does not understand Christ’s words, without charging for it; He need not go to college, he need not be at one farthing expense to tell us how ignorant he is. Aye, but he will reply. you must have Reverend Ministers to administer the ordinances, the shadows of good things to come (Heb. x. 7). But the Apostles tell us that these ordinances, these shadows have vanished, the substance being come of which the ordinances were shadows. Can these men be said to be Ministers of Christ, to be sent by Him, and to be seeking His glory, in proclaiming that He has sent ignorant Ministers of Christ, who do not understand? Are they sure that their want of understanding does not arise from their seeking their own glory, the glory of the creature in some form or another, instead of the glory of God; glory in some form of self-justification before God by works of law, if not in the form of distinguishing themselves as better or greater than their fellow sinners ? This appears to me to be the true cause of our obtuseness in spiritual things, and so long as we are sensible of being oppressed with such obtuseness, it appears to me but common sense to say that the Messianic expectations were completely fulfilled in the abrogation of the Mosaic law, and that the fault of our not understanding it is in ourselves and not because Christ and His Apostles were deluded enthusiasts. It is for the reader to judge whether the following attempt to explain how these things can be is Scriptural and truly rational, or whether it is “ Oriental wideness," “fanciful exposition,” “ not strictly deducible from the sense” of Scripture compared with Scripture. And first, as to the meaning of the so-called Second Advent.

We must distinguish between the Lord's coming as the Lord the Spirit, which is an eternal truth or fact, and the merely parabolic form of speech “coming to destroy Jerusalem," as though He came in a personal or outward form and manner. His coming meant His revelation of Himself, that is, of the divine truths of His word, to man and in man. For His words do not pass away (Matt. xxiv., 35) as wind, but remain as envelopes of truths, and these truths as envelopes of Himself. Such a revelation of Himself He gave to His Apostles, by which they were enabled to declare the whole truth or counsel of God. This is a coming or revelation of Himself which has no end or terminus, for it is spiritual or His Spirit, which has nothing to do with the natural idea of an end or terminus, an idea belonging to nature, space, and time. This coming, therefore, must not be regarded as ending with the abrogation of the law or the fall of Jerusalem, but as revealed the more clearly by the dispersion of that dark cloud which had served to conceal the brightness of the sun of righteousness. This coming in power and great glory is not to be confounded with the miraculous manifestations which attended it. On the contrary, these rather obscured or clouded His coming or revelation of Himself ; however acceptable they might be to the Jews who sought after signs (1 Cor. i., 22), and in consequence of whose apparent claim to be God’s chosen people such signs existed. Like the law, these miraculous manifestations made a distinction between man and man, made one man appear superior to another man (2 Cor. xii., 11—13), and so must have been in one point of view antagonistic and odious to the Lord the Spirit’s manifestation of Himself. Except they saw signs and wonders they would not believe. They could not imagine that Christ could heal a sick lad without personally coming to him. But even during His fleshly manifestation or his manifestation in conditions of space and time He did this, and replied to the lad’s father, Go thy way; thy son liveth, Jo. iv., 46--5l. Thus these miraculous phenomena tended to obstruct the belief in Christ's spiritual coming as His presence unlimited by any space or time; they fostered the tendency of human nature to look without, for an outward kingdom, instead of for the kingdom and law within them, where all were brothers, free and equal in the Divine regard, however superior or inferior to one another in human estimation. There are some who imagine that the miraculous phenomena of the Apostolic age were meant by “the earnest of the Spirit” (2 Cor. v., 5), and “the first fruits of the Spirit,” (R0. viii., 23). But, as Winer has observed, “ the earnest of the Spirit,” meaning the Spirit as an earnest, is a very common grammatical usage, as “the sign of circumcision” (R0. iv., 11), meaning circumcision as a sign. Besides which it is called “the earnest of the Spirit in our hearts” (2 Cor. i., 22), that is, the Spirit (I understand this of the Holy Spirit, says Middleton on the Greek Article) in our hearts manifested there as merely natural consciousness, as the earnest of that incorruptible and immortal inheritance and life, which we are in possession of notwithstanding any amount of “unhappily inherent defectiveness of apprehension and taith” of the fact. Hence, then, because outward signs were but a transient accompaniment of the Lord's never ending Revelation of Himself (called by uninspired man His Second Coming), the Apostles taught that their dispensation, and indeed all dispensations, would cease with the fall of Jerusalem. For a dispensation means an outward and naturally visible dispensing or distributing of outward and visible gifts by human or finite instruments, so that the dispensation is limited by space, time, and the finiteness of human nature. So that if the Apostolic age be regarded as a dispensation of the Spirit, we are compelled to say that it was a limitation of the Spirit as well as an impartation of it, and therefore of course as a limitation especially antagonistic to the Divine Love, which is Love without any limitation. Hence the termination of this limited state of things at the fall of Jerusalem was called “the blessed hope and glorious appearing of our great God and Saviour Jesus Christ,” Tit. ii., 13, because it put an end to all outward dispensations, and so completed and confirmed His powerful and glorious manifestation, or coming, to His Apostles in teaching them the whole truth and counsel of God. The fall of Jerusalem, and the concomitant cessation of signs, miracles, and all Jewish, or Apostolic, rule, authority, and power (1 Cor. xv., 24), established the eternal judgment that “by the deeds of no law whatever shall any flesh be justified in His sight, for by law is the knowledge of sin,” (R0. ii., 20): and that the never to be abrogated Covenant is, “ I will put my laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them; and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more, (He. x., 16). Thus the fall of Jerusalem left without a rival the Lord Jesus Christ, the Quickening Spirit in every man of woman born, however He may be buried out of sight by man's earthly mind. We are in possession of the heavenly inheritance, but if we are too stupid to till it and take care of it in proportion to the power given us to do so, we fail to enjoy it. Seeds will lie in the ground for hundreds of years alive, but will not germinate till the ground be moved. This natural obtuseness seems the only way to account for its ever having been doubted that the Apostolic age was the day when the Son of Man was revealed, (Lu. xvii, 30); or revealed from heaven with His mighty angels (including the Apostles certainly) in flaming fire taking vengeance on them (the Jews) that knew not God, and obeyed not the gospel, banishing them for ever from all semblance of being God’s peculiar people (2 These. i., 7), and giving them no hope except in “the common faith” (Tit. i., 4), and “the common salvation” (Jude, 3).

But the word “Coming” seems so to blind men that they cannot see that it is merely a natural expression for the more spiritual word “revelation.” Christ’s coming to destroy Jerusalem was a parabolic form of expression. It is spoken in a parable, or parabolically, as in Matt. xxi., 40. The destruction of Jerusalem was the great sign, mark, or evidence of the Son of Man in heaven by which the blinded of Israel might see Him present in spiritual power and glory, though they had not been able to see Him before. Virtually, or de jure, the law was abrogated at Christ’s crucifixion, as signified by the rending of the veil of the temple. But de jacto it was not abrogated till the temple was completely destroyed, and the observance of the law made absolutely impracticable. This distinction between the dejure and the de facto abrogation of the law serves to explain all those passages in the Acts and Epistles, where believers were exhorted to wait patiently for something to come besides what they had already witnessed, showing forth the Lord’s death till He come (1 Cor. xi., 26), though He had come. this. But the Apostles could, and said, “We know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know Him that is true, and we are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God and eternal life. Little children, keep yourselves from idols,” 1 John, v., 20. I think no one has ever supposed that this means anything else than Christ’s Spiritual Coming. His title of Son of God was not proved except by His resurrection from the dead, R0. i., 4. And certainly the

Apostles had no such understanding as that here meant until He came at Pentecost.

In parabolic form Christ also predicted His so called Second Coming as an event to take place almost immediately after His death, as well as at the fall of Jerusalem. This may be seen in Matt. XxvL, 64; Mark xvi., 62; Luke xxii., 69; John i., 51. For “ hereafter,” as the authorized version has it, is in the original “ henceforth,” from the then present time: not to mention that the high priest and those who heard Christ on the occasion were to see Him coming, which could hardly mealn forty years afterwards. This is a complete reply to those who say that the Apostles did not understand the terms in which Christ spoke of His future coming. The event was no longer a future event in their estimation. On the day of Pentecost

next following they could say, we have now an under- ‘

standing of His parabolic speech, He is come in the clouds of heaven, that is, in the dark natural mind regarding Scripture naturally, and we see Him. In agreement herewith Peter said to the Jews, “Unto you first, God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent Him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities,” Acts iii., 26. This was just as much His so-called Second Coming, as His coming to destroy Jerusalem, alluded to by Peter in the twentieth verse, “and He shall send Jesus Christ.” Dr. Lee observes that in Rev. i. 7, “Behold, He cometh with clouds,” the Apostle represents His coming as

then going on, in the present tense. Nor should we omit to notice the special word always used for seeing Christ in this His spiritual manifestation. To see Christ coming in clouds is expressed by the Greek word opsontai, they shall see. So the pure in heart shall see (opsontai) God, Matt. v. 8. A different word would have been used to express merely natural sight. Neither is a merely rational sight meant, but a sight still more inward than this. The understanding in 1 John v., 20, above mentioned, is not merely nous, mind, but dianoia, athinking through the rational mind into a profounder region, what we mean by “insight.” However Apostolical Fathers may have overlooked this with their Millennarian fleshly expectations, it quite rebuts the charge against the Apostles of having resorted to “ fanciful expositions.”

In thus insisting on the perfect or infallible teaching of the Apostles, what is meant is this: Their ofiicc was to declare the whole truth or counsel of God, the sum (Heb. viii., 1) or substance, or general principle, or New Covenant as already stated, but not all the details or particulars (Heb. v., ll; ix., 5) which any one having an understanding may strictly deduce from that general principle. They laid down the rudiments of the doctrine of the Christ, and wherein its perfection consisted (Heb. vi 1), namely, in the fulfilment of all prophecy in their age and generation, in the abrogation of the law both dejure and defaclo, in the cessation with the end of that age of all Divinely given Apostles, signs, miracles, and external ceremonies; of all things belonging to hand-made temples, which being material and sensible and perishable things, were to be shaken and removed. Not so with spiritual things which are the only real and substantial things, not being made of things visible (Heb. xi., 3). “ Wherefore, we receiving a kingdom which cannot be shaken, let us have thankfulness, or be thankful, whereby we may worship God acceptably with reverence and godly fear,” Heb. xii., 28. This is the perfection of the doctrine of Christ. That the words should be translated “have thankfulness” appears from this being their evident sense in Luke xvii., 9; 1 Tim. i., 12. The Lord the Spirit is the consuming fire which destroyed and ever will destroy “the gold, silver, precious stones, (no better than) wood, hay, stubble” (1 Cor. iii., l2, 13), of self-righteousness, ritualism, looking for outward signs and miracles, and the evil speaking of rationalists against spiritual interpretations as being “ fanciful expositions.” Jerusalem fell about the time of the feast of tabernacles, leaving that feast to be spiritually and for ever kept by a spirit of thankfulncss for having escaped from the law of Moses and found a refuge (Heb. vi., 18) in “the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus,” Rom. viii. 2. The symbolism is very instructive. Christ was crucified at the Passover: came again in power and great glory at Pentecost, or at all events with the first fruits or earnest of such power to abrogate the law, and then, at the time of the feast of tabernacles, A.D. 70, made those carnal feasts for ever impossible by the overthrow of Jerusalem. These were the “signs of the times ” which put it beyond the power of rationalists to invalidate what there is of historical value in the written Word. For this we should be thankful, as also that hereby we can clearly see the childishness and corruption of ritualism, the delusions and tacit unbelief of Millenarianism (for the craving for external signs is and ever was unbelief of the Spirit within), and the unreasonableness, the fancifulness of rationalism. In this thankfulness, and in diligently studying the Divine record of what God said he would do, and in noting the fact that He has done it in the fall of Jerusalem, a fact which “ every eye shall see" (Rev. i., 7), we may worship God acceptably without any ordained ministers and their childish things and forms (1 Cor. xiii., 11), as parsons’ salaries, titles of Reverend, glebe lands, tithes, and church rates.

All these things are inventions and imitations of the Old Covenant, and practically deny that Christ has come in the flesh or in man by His Spirit, as well as personally in the flesh or in conditions of space, time, and nature, 1 John, iv., 3. They practically deny that the anointing of the Spirit of holiness is the only teacher, 1 John, ii., 27, and that whatever we learn we are to learn thence in its opening our understanding to understand the Scriptures. It is quite true that man needs something outward and visible as well as the Spirit within. This he has in the written Word verified and fulfilled by the fall of Jerusalem, the abrogation of the law, the cessation of the Apostles, and all divinely sanctioned ofiices, forms, signs, and miracles. It is in this that the perfection of the Word consists for being an outward teacherSuppose any one could perform a miracle by way of proving that he was called by the Holy Ghost to teach men. Why it would altogether contradict and overthrow the Scriptures. There would be a house divided against itself, which could not command the respect of mankind. As it is, we can have confidence in the fulfilled Word as an outward anchor along with the Lord the Spirit within. Anything whatever of the old heavens and earth must be wrong; Christ was made perfect or complete, Heb. v., 9; but the law or the letter without the Spirit, made nothing perfect (Heb vii., 19), but seems discordaney and fanciful exposition.

With respect to the promise that He the Lord the Spirit would teach His Apostles all things, and bring all things to their remembrance which He had said to them (John xiv., 26), it is to be observed that the emphasis should be laid rather on “ He,” than on “ all things.” The meaning is, whatever you spiritually learn you will learn of Him, however it may appear that you derive your spiritual knowledge from yourselves 01‘ Othel‘S- He alone shall be your Teacher in everything spiritual: you are to believe that you are

taught by Him only, however much it may appear otherwise: not necessarily that you shall know everything, natural things as well as spiritual.

As to the parts of Scripture which appear to con~ tradict each other, or science, or history, or to show great limitation of information, or to be doubtful on account of various readings; and as to the consistency of all this with the verbal inspiration of the Word of God: this is a subject with which I do not here meddle. A belief in verbal inspiration is no more to be vanquished by a grin, than is the true psychological theory of an external world. The same principle which explains how the spirit in man can rationally contradict the teachings of sense concerning an external world, as that it is independent of conscious or sentient beings, that the sun rises and sets, ascends and descends, and so on, will also explain how the idea of verbal inspiration can rationally contradict all appearances against it: how erroneous information may be the effect of spiritual instruction, just as the image of all things upside down upon the retina is the effect of a conscious or sentient being manifesting itself in outward visible form, shewing itself to be what it is not, namely, independent of its Creator.

It is time that we began to recognise the truth, that to speak of the (Second) Coming of Christ is speaking parabolically, or symbolically, or mystically, a manner of speech which should have been laid aside on the fall of Jerusalem. It is not speaking spiritually, or agree

ably to the spiritual and eternal state then revealed to mankind. Dropping parabolic or symbolic language, Christ’s (Second) Coming means His purely spiritual Presence, of which we are unconscious. It is the presence of the historical person, Jesus of Nazareth the Son of Man on earth, manifested and regarded as the Christ, the Son of God, in the Apostolic age, being made by His resurrection both Lord and Christ, Acts ii., 36. For even the title Son of God was symbolical and transient, until all symbolism was swallowed up in Life that the Son Himself may be God all in all (1 Cor. xv., 28), the same Spirit, Lord, and God (1 Cor. xii., 3—6), however finited and divided by the mirror of our minds. It is the manifestation to the rational mind of Christ or God as the Spirit of Truth, John‘ xiv., 16; xv., 26; xvi., 13. It is the Lord Jehovah, the invisible Spirit, bound and identified with Jesus of Nazareth, like soul and body, whose everlasting procession is thus described—“ My Spirit that is upon thee, and my words which I have put in thy month, shall not depart out of thy mouth, nor out of the mouth of thy seed (His Apostles), nor out of the mouth of thy seeds’ seed (all those who believe on Him through their word, John xvii. 20), saith the Lord, from henceforth and for ever,” Is. lix., 21. He is ever present in His fulfilled Word giving Life thereby, as He had all along been present in His promise (Gen. iii., 15) or unfulfilled Word, giving an obscure life of faith thereby. And we have seen what a

His fulfilled Word is, namely, that He has put His laws in our hearts, the righteousness of His Spirit, to protect us from the accusing spirit of outward law, and to give us freedom from the delusions of the world set in the heart, Eccles. iii., 11.

When Jesus promised to come (John xiv., 18). and explained this (ver. 21) as His manifestation of Himself to His disciples, He was asked (ver. 22) “ how is it that Thou wilt manifest thyself unto us and not unto the world ?” And this is thought to establish a distinction between His coming as the Spirit, and His coming to destroy Jerusalem. The distinction vanishes when “coming” is seen to be a parabolic word, signifying His Presence in the mind or spirit of man, whether as His teacher, or Comforter, or Judge. In the judgment on Jerusalem, or in the de facto abrogation of the law, He was manifested to the world, as in its dejure abrogation He had previously been manifested to His disciples. For the law claimed to have His sanction and approval, and to have been established by Him. But it fell to rise no more, as He promised that it should do, and that fulfilled promise is what every eye may see: the token of the covenant between God and man, that we may see His bow of mercy in the cloud of our doubt, Gen. ix., 11— 17. It was one and the same manifestation or coming (John xvi., 8-11) which was to convince the world of sin, and of righteousness, and of judgment: to convince men of their natural disinclination and inability to believe spiritual things; of the righteousness of His Spirit within them, however invisible to man, yet man’s justification against the law; of judgment against the law, against the delusions of this world which give the law its strength, and against all manner of self-justification. Thus He has been manifested to the world, and this manifestation was called in parabolic phrase His coming, and after Apostolic times His second coming: the word “second” being introduced as more fully expressing Jewish or Millennarian unbelief in the Spirit, and the carnal expectation that His words required Him to come in a carnal, personal, or outward form and manner. In Heb. iii., 28, we shall have a sense much more agreeable to the context, if we translate it (quite as literally as the authorized version) thus :—--“And in the second place (that is, on the other hand, after His ofl'ering) He shall appear (by the abrogation of the law, seen both naturally and spiritually or rationally) without sin to them that look for Him unto salvation.” It is important to be remembered also that the future tense does not always express mere futurity, or prophecy of historical events, but is employed to express general truths. For instance, the just shall live by faith, by the deeds of the law no flesh shall be justified, scarcely for a righteous man will one die, the pure in heart shall see God. And generally we may say that no prophecy is completely solved, if we omit to consider this force of the future tense. For no prophecy of Scripture is of private interpretation or solution, 2 Pet. ii. 20. However true the particular time and circumstance may be, which we have discovered to be involved in the prophecy, time and circumstance are but outward signs which any person may see naturally. And to see merely naturally is private interpretation. The testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy, Rev. xix., 10. The events of the Apostolic age were the “ what and what manner of time the Spirit of Christ in the prophets did signify, 1 Pet. i., 1] ; Luke xxiv., 27. “ So (see ‘ and ’ or ‘ also’ translated ‘ so ’ in John vi. 57) we have the prophetical word made more sure or confirmed ” (2 Pet. i., 19). and resting as the Divine judgment for the light of the people, Isa. li., 4; taking heed to which confirmed Word opens the mind for the Day-Star (here a proper name, says Middleton, on the Greek article) to arise within, opening the mind to receive the spiritual instruction which is the burden of the historical fact, and the interpretation or solution of prophecy spiritually understood. For prophecy in its natural sense is mere external information: in its spiritual sense (I Cor. xiv., 3, 4, 22-25) it is spiritual instruction or enlightenment, proceeding as to its source from the unseen and unknown Spirit, though appearing to us to proceed from understanding the works of His hands (Rom. i., 20), especially the work which He worked (Acts xiii., 41) in the Apostolic days.

Every form of ritualism, every pretence to perform signs and miracles having Divine sanction, every ‘attempt to continue or imitate the childish things (1 Cor. xiii., 11) under which as well as under the continued existence of the Mosaic law the Apostles groaned, have been pronounced done away with in 1 Cor. xiii., 8-13. Even knowledge is here declared to be done away with, meaning all self-derived knowledge, as being an imperfect and unclean thing, not the spiritually given knowledge of the love of Christ, which passeth all knowledge (Eph. iii., 19) acquired by hammering our own brains. The same thing is taught in Eph. iv., 11-14. The meaning of the word “until” in this passage (mecbri, in Greek) differs, says the dictionary, from the meaning of “until” when in Greek it is aclm'. This (ac/m‘) fixes the attention upon the whole duration up to the limit, leaving the further continuauce undetermined; while meclm' refers solely to the limit, implying that the action there terminutes. For example: Matt. xiii., 30, Let both grow together until (mechri)_the harvest, after which they were to grow no more. Acts ii., 19, His sepulchre is with us until (achri) this day, and might or might not have been so afterwards. So the action of the Divinely given Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and teachers, continued till the church cums into the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, and then terminated, as the dietionary says. What unity means is clear from Gal. iii., 28 and 1 Cor. xii., 13, and indeed from the whole scope of the New Testament. In the Apostolic age or kingdom of heaven there were two faiths, two worships, two knowledges, contending like Michael and Satan (Rev. xii., 7; Jude 9) one against the other about the body of Moses (the law) and the body of Christ (the gospel). There was the faith, worship, and knowledge of Moses, and the faith, worship and knowledge of Christ. The former was dejure done away with; but so long as it was not de facto done away with, not an angel from heaven could have decided the exact point where a regard for social decorum and “respectability " permitted compliance with the (Jewish) church people, beyond which point it became imperative to touch not, taste not, handle not, the unclean ordinances, Col. ii., 21. It was the Millennial state, the cloudy and dark day, and nothing could give clear light until an end was put to such a kingdom of heaven, whether a kingdom of Jews or a kingdom of Apostles, that the kingdom of God within might have no adversary on Scripture ground, but be a perfect manhood state. The Apostolic age fulfilled the prophecies of Ezekiel i., 10 and Rev. iv., 7, as well as every other prophecy concerning the establishment of the New Temple and the New Jerusalem. The Apostles were the Lion, the Prophets were the Eagle, the Evangelists were the Man, and the Pastors and Teachers were the Ox. All existed together and ended together. There are certainly no Apostles, for it was of the essence of an Apostle to have been a witness of Christ’s resurrection, to have seen Jesus Christ. “Am I not an Apostle? am I not free ? have I not seen Jesus Christ our Lord?” lCor. ix., 1. And there being no Apostles, neither can there be any of the other ofiicers claiming divine authority, and being free from man’s authority. Do not those who call themselves ministers now proclaim that they are not free from all men when they preach the gospel of Christ, that they cannot do so without charge, having no other means of getting a living ? 1 Cor. ix., 18, 19.

One of the proofs of the end of all things, that is, of divinely sanctioned outward dispensations, was as follows. “This gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in the whole world for a witness unto all the nations (of that world) ; and then shall the end come.” Matt. xxiv., 14. The world here meant, as the Greek shews, was the world meant in Lu. ii., 1, which Caesar Augustus ordered to be taxed; and this was plainly the Roman Empire and the nations of it. Now did not those nations have the gospel of peace (of the reconciliation of man to God in Christ, of the abrogation of the law, and all distinctions between man and man in God's sight) preached to them? “Yes, verily, their (the Apostles’ trumpet) sound went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world,” Ro. x., 18. There is here the same word in the Greek for the world as above in Matthew and Luke. And if there were any who did not hear their spoken words with their outward ears, Paul would not allow this to be an argument against their spoken word of faith having been preached to the inward ear of all mankind. He refers to Moses (Deut. xxx., 30) as having taught that the spoken word was not hidden or far off from any man, but within every one, and this inward word was, he said, the same as “the word of faith which we preach,” R0. x., 8. So he told the Colossians (i., 23) that the gospel which they had heard was the same as that “preached in every creature under heaven.” The Gospel or good tidings was this—that men were made righteous freely by grace through the redemption in Christ Jesus, and that there never had been any wrath (as men supposed) on God’s part towards men: that He had always given them “the true Light, which lighteth every man that eometh into the world,” Jo. i., 9: that had they attended to this light they would never have supposed that God could be angry with them: that this fallacy arose from their loving darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil, Jo. iii., 19 : that the consciousness of their “alienation from the life of God” (Eph. iv., 18) made them think that God was in consequence alienated from them: that the person Christ Jesus, whom the Apostles preached, was He from whom that light had all along proceeded, giving them life by faith in the promise (Gen. iii., 15), and giving “them the hope of glory,” Col. i., 27. This everlasting (in Greek, teonian) Gospel which from Adam downwards had been proclaimed in darkness, the Apostles were to proclaim in light, Matt. x., 27, Rev. xiv., 6. It may seem to some strange that the everlasting (eeonian) Gospel had been preached before Christ’s incarnation. But compare the following texts. “ Eternal (in Greek, aeonian) life which God promised before the world began,” (literally, promised before aeonian times), Tit. i., 2. “ Grace given us in Christ Jesus before the world began,” (literally, before wonian times), 2 Tim. i., 9. “The mystery which was kept secret” (literally, which was unheard by the outward ear) since the world began (literally, unheard in aeonian times), but now (in the Apostolic age) made known to all the nations,” R0. xvi., 25.

The aeonian times were all the ages (or aeons, in the Greek) called in the authorised version “the worlds ” in Heb. xi., 3, which had been framed (literally, mended, that is, after the fall, as in Matt. iv., 21; Mark i., 9) by the spoken word of promise (Gen. iii., 15), and by faith in the same, though a faith which became more and more obscure, and less than one can conceive. AEonian Life is the Life of Christ’s Spirit in the aeon in which we now are, and which began with His resurrection, which is an seen or age having no age following it, and is called the age of the ages, the superlative age, of which no end is predicated. Well, the proclamation of this gospel was made to all the nations of the Apostolic age, and constitutes an undeniable proof of the then end of all things scripturally understood, that is, the end of death and of all the childish things of ecclesiasticism.

Lest on this subject of Divine Teaching I should be misapprehended, I will quote the words of another, from a book called “The Last Days,” by the late Mr. W. J. P. Wilkinson, of Exeter, published some five and twenty years ago. "Since the perfect revelation of the mind of God has been made, faith does not come only by hearing, but it comes now in any way God pleases—by reading, under divine teaching and light * "' * In the new covenant state, the church should not seek the law at the mouth of the priests, for there should be none, but should be taught of the Lord. This was not accomplished in the days of the ministry of the Apostles, for they were teachers and preachers, and to this end they were led into all truth, and fitted to give spiritual instruction concerning the “good things to come.” "* * * But the prophet Isaiah (Isa. x., 19) saw beforehand the superior glory-—-“ The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory,” Rev. xxi., 23.

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So, then, if God be our teacher, we want no other : if God be our guide and light, we want no other ; and in the perfect day, the perfect state, the full blaze of the revelation of glory, Where there is no night—stars are of no use; the priesthood and ministry are no longer needed.” This is Christ’s so called Second Coming—~the sun of righteousness in the zenith of the heavens, never setting or declining, going or coming, but ever giving life and light, from which we stupidly turn away, and then say He is gone, but will come again in clouds. The clouds are really nothing but the darkness of our own minds, and His coming is the disappearance of such darkness or clouds.

Acts, i., 11, is much relied on as asserting Christ’s Advent in natural clouds. But the words “ in like manner as” are the same in Greek as those translated “even as ” in Matt. xxiii., 37. Now here the resemblance is plainly not to the natural form and manner of a bird, but to the thing signified by that natural manner. So in Acts, the resemblance is not to the natural cloud, but to the thing signified by it, namely, the darkness of the letter of the Word (and this owing to the darkness of the human mind itself ) when and so far as it was unfulfilled, and therefore proportionally unexplained by the Spirit until its complete fulfilment in the de facto abrogation of the law, when the Word became fully explained to those who were willing to come to the light within that they might spiritually discern the fulfilmept. This is alluded to in 1 John ii., 8-11, “the darkness is past (in the present tense of the passive voice) and the true light now shineth. He that hateth his brother is in darkness.” Christ was certainly one of these brothers who are hated. And why was He hated but for such teaching as this:— “Who is my mother? and who are my brethren? And be stretched forth His hand towards His disciples, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren ! For whosoever shall do the will of my Father which is in heaven, the same is my brother, and sister, and mother.” Matt. xii., 48. That age, the age in which God in Christ Jesus of Nazareth was crucified, was the hour of the crucifiers and the power of darkness, Then was the Light shining in darkness: and the darkness comprehended it not: John i., 5. Men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil: John iii, 19. This darkness was the cloud in which Jesus came again in Spirit. That age in which Israel was finally and for ever scattered was the cloudy and dark day (Ezek. xxxiv. 12), when Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, were gathered together (Acts iv., 27) against Christ and His Apostles. When that age passed away the darkness passed away: the bright lights of the Jewish or ritualistic heaven (and of course all imitations of them) were made dark (Ezek. xxxii., 8), and cast into outer darkness (Matt. viii., l2). and the true light of the Spirit shined never more to be withdrawn or to go down, but to be a perpetual inward light lighting every man that cometh into the world. needing no sun, or moon, or candle (Rev. xxi., 28 ; xxii., 5), no man-made “moral qualifications,” n0 self-derived knowledge, no imitations of Jewish new moons and outward forms. The fulfilment of the Word in the Apostolic age caused the darkness of the unfulfilled Word to pass away, Rev. xxi., 1. Out of (Rev. xxii., 15) the light of the Word so fulfilled there is outer darkness, or the natural darkness of the human mind itself still remains, unable to believe the fulfilled Word as it was unable to believe it when unfulfilled. The same original cause of unbelief remains, namely, selflove, or not loving our neighbour as ourselves. For he that loveth not his brother whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen, 1 John iv., 20. But because this natural outer darkness remains, we are not justified in saying that God did not fulfil His Word according to His promise in the Apostolic age, establishing His New Covenant to put His laws in our hearts and remember our sins and our iniquities no more. In this merciful character God in Christ has revealed Himself to us, and our business is to receive the Word with all readiness of mind, and search the Scriptures daily to see whether these things are so (Acts xvii., 11); and, if we are satisfied that such is the truth of Scripture, to act boldly up to it, though it may “exceedingly trouble our city” (Acts xvi., 20) and “turn the world upside down,” Acts xvii., 6.

To return then to the argument, which consists in a free searching of scripture without the slightest regard to the pretensions of any self-styled church, or any man who has lived since the Apostolic age, to claim our attention.

Christ’s Advent in clouds in the Apostolic age was signified by their seeing by means of a glass in an enigma, or enigmatically or darkly, 1 Cor. xiii., 12. This enigma was the letter of the Old Covenant, by which men received only a reflected image of the Divine Truth, making things appear to the natural mind contrary to what they were ; just as in a natural mirror your right hand appears to be your left, and your left to be your right. The New Covenant, the Spirit of the living God in fleshy tables of the heart (2 Cor. iii., 3), reverses the lesson of the letter of the Old Covenant and enables us to apprehend Divine Truth as well as a finite being can do, which of course is in a very inadequate manner after all.

The Old Covenant was a Divine enigma necessarily (1 Pet. i., 10—13) until Christ came to give the solution of it. This solution, the New Covenant, the Lord the Spirit in man, the revelation of Jesus Christ—is reported in the letter of the New Covenant. This report—the letter of the New Covenant is also an enigma, but only so far as man makes it such by disliking the solution, which is that all men are brothers equal in the Divine sight, and equally the subjects of His Love, and possessing His Life. But to believe this, and to act up to it would so t'urn society or the world upside down, that we have gone on for eighteen centuries without finding “a convenient season ” (Acts, xxiv., 25) for so believing and acting, and prefer calling the New Covenant an unintelligible mystery, or oriental wideness, or fanciful exposition. Whether the further expositions which here follow are such, the reader must judge for himself.

The “coming,” Acts vii., 52, spoken of Christ’s coming in the flesh is in the Greek, eleusis. This word is no where applied to His coming in Spirit, In 1 Cor. i., 7, “coming ” is in the Greek, apocalypse, or revelation. In every one of the following passages the word translated “coming” in the Authorized Version is parousia, from which we have derived the word presence. Matt. xxiv., 3, 27, 37, 39; 1 Cor. xv., 23; 1 Thess. ii., 19; iii, 13; iv., 15; v., 23; 2 Thess. ii., 1, 8, 9; James v., 7, 8; 2 Pet. i., 16; iii., 4, 12; 1 John ii., 28. Paul uses this same word parousia (2 Cor. x., 10) when he observes that “his bodily presence was weak and his speech contemptible.” This is much about the common opinion of Christ’s Spiritual Presence and spoken word of faith in the heart, R0. x., 8. It may further illustrate the meaning of this word parousia or presence, to notice that Josephus, in his Antiquities of the Jews, uses it in reference to what he considered amanifest interposition of God in behalf of the Jews on a particular occasion. Thus he says, “ And now did God show (manifest, or give an epiphany of) His presence to Petronius by sending down great showers of rain, contrary to human expectation, and Petronius wrote to the Emperor Caligula that God, who was the governor of the Jews, had shown His power most evidently on their account.” Upon this passage Whiston, the translator of Josephus, has the following significant note :—“ Josephus here uses the solemn New Testament words, parousia and epiphany, the presence and appearance of God, for the extraordinary manifestation of His power and providence to Petronius, by sending rain in time of distress, immediately upon the resolution he had taken to preserve the temple unpolluted, at the hazard of his own life, without any other miraculous appearance at all in that case: which well deserves to be tahen notice of here, and greatly illustrates several texts both in the Old and New Testaments.” The reader should refer to the texts above mentioned, whence it is clear that Christ’s so called Second Coming was His parousia or presence in the Apostolic age. Then were refreshing seasons of living waters, or the Spirit, received with full assurance of faith by believers (John vii., 38; Acts iii., 19; Rev. xxii., 17) on their determination to preserve themselves (the true temple of God, 1 Cor. iii., 16) undefiled, to touch not, taste not, handle not, ordinances after the commandments and doctrines of men (Col. ii., 21), and to be not conformed to that world, econ, or age, Rom. xii., 2. Observe that (not outward signs and miracles but) the Spirit, the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus, the Eternal Spirit with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning (James i., 17), the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever, or unto the ages (Heb. xiii, 8) then coming on, constituted the living and refreshing waters flowing out of their bellies. Their spiritual discernment of the de jure abrogation of the law was the refreshing shower, the earnest of its de facto abrogation before some then living tasted of death. That defaclo abrogation having then taken place, and with it the predicted cessation of signs and oflicial teachers, one would think that spiritual discernment, or refreshing showers of the Spirit, ought to be easier in this age than it was in that age. It certainly was the doctrine of the Apostles that Christ’s coming or presence would be made manifest by the end of the age, rather than by its beginning.

But the authorised version calls the end of the age, the end of the world. This can easily be shewn to be a. mistake. The disciples (Matt. xxiv., 3) asked Jesus, what shall be the sign of Thy coming (presence), and of the end of the world? It is to be observed that the word here translated “ world ” is in the Greek, won,- and it is not the same as the word translated world in the fourteenth verse. In this latter verse the word forworld is the same as in Luke where it is said, “ that all the world should be taxed." The same word occurs also in Rom. x., 18, and Acts xvii., 6, as we have already said, the inhabited world, or society. This in the Greek is oicoumene, from which we have derived the word “ oecumenical.” Neither is it the same word which is translated “world” in the parable of the tares, where it is said “the field is the world,” which in the Greek is cosmos. But when it is said in Christ's explanation of the parable (Matt. xiii., 39, 40) “the harvest is the end of the world,” and “so shall it be in the end of this world,” the word for world is zeon as above. Now from eon is derived the Latin word (scum, from which we have formed the word “co-eval,” and, not improbably, the word age. At all events aeon and age mean exactly the same thing, a certain time, as we say, the Angustan age. Thus the doctrine is clear. The field is, or signifies, the world or cosmos; the harvest is, or signifies, the end of the (Apostolic) age; when the m'coumene or inhabited world or society was proclaimed to be not under the dominion of outward law, but under the dominion of the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus which made men free from the law of sin and death, R0. viii, 2. Paul wrote to the Ephesians that God had raised them up, and made them sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus: that in the ages (aeons) to come (or then coming on) or all future ages He might shew the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness towards us in Christ Jesus, Eph. ii., 6, 7. Unto Him he the glory in the Church in Christ Jesus throughout all ages world without end literally, unto all the generations of the age (aeon) of the ages (aeons), Eph. iii., 21. The age of the ages is a Greek mode of expressing the superlative and never-ending age ushered in at the close of the Apostolic age on the fall of Jerusalem. While Jerusalem was standing and could put forward the plausible de facto pretence of having the law of Moses, the Apostles exhorted the men of that age not to be conformed thereto, to that world or age (aeon) R0. xii., 2. When the law was abrogated, how much more evident should it have been that in the then ensuing age of the ages men should not conform to the imitations of Judaism, and the inventions of men, any more than they are at liberty to conform to the like of the other corruptions of that age which was then consummated.

How completely, by the bye, does this mention of ages and generations of men to come, refute the notion that the Apostles expected an end of the material world or cosmos. And it was very clear too from Christ’s words that in the end of the age two women should be grinding at the mill ; and of these two one should be taken and the other left ; and the same with the two at field-work, Matt. xxiv., 40.

The last words in the Gospel of Matthew are, “ Lo, I am with you always even unto the end of the world.” Here again the world is aeon or age, the age of the Apostles to whom the words were addressed. The Apostolic age was a mirror in which all subsequent ages were to see the goodness of God in Christ, in abrogating the law and giving the life and law and righteousness of His Spirit, as he had done to the Ephesians, Colossians, and all, whether Jews or Gentiles, being all alike dead in trespasses and sins. Christ was the priest to whom there was to be no successor (Heb. vii., 24), whether for the purpose of offering sacrifices or other ritual performances, or of giving knowledge. As in that age, so in all ages, He is the only Teacher, but as undistinguishable now as then naturally from what appears to us to be the ordinary operations of our own minds. The signs following them that believed (Mark xvi., 17) made no difference; for if men were so disposed it was easy enough to attribute them to demoniacal influence, and to believe that that which was the gift of God could be purchased with money, Acts viii., 20. So our modern Simons think that by purchasing an advows on they purchase the right to absolve from sins, and have the care of our souls entrusted to them.

The Rev. P. S. Desprez, in his anxiety to prove Christ and His Apostles mistaken in their expectations, charges them with teaching the necessity of having “moral qualifications” before getting admission into the kingdom of God. But Paul says, that “by the deeds of no law whatever (for so Middleton on the Greek article translates it) shall any flesh be justified in His sight : for by law is the knowledge of sin. But now the righteousness of God without law is manifested,” 8tc , Rom. iii., 20, and following verses. See also Gal. vi. l—-lO. The idea, that we can so qualify ourselves that the Divine eye shall mistake us for righteous men, unlike those who have not similarly qualified themselves, is as absurd as to suppose that we should mistake an actor on the stage to be the character which he personates. The only righteousness which man can have is the gift of the Spirit, the Divine righteousness itself, which is no respecter of persons (Acts x., 34), but is given to every man, and is, in every man, the hope of glory, 601. i., 27. For a man to esteem himself morally qualified to reject this Divine righteousness, to turn away from Him who speaketh from heaven, from the kingdom of God within him (Luke xvii., 2!), from the Holy Spirit in which is righteousness, and peace, and joy (Rom. xiv., 17), to refuse (Heb. xii., 25) this “common salvation” (Jude 3), this “common faith” (Titus i., 4), the word of faith spoken in the heart (Rom. x., 8) because he is unconscious of the intercession (Rom.viii., 26), appears to be an unreasonable and hopeless Pharisaism or Sadduceism, accordingly as he trusts in the vain idea of a succession of human priests as a channel for the Spirit, or believes in nothing but what his senses perceive. Such, then, appears to be the Scripture account of what is called the Second Advent. It means simply “spiritual discernment” proceeding from Jesus of Nazareth glorified, that is, the Lord the Spirit: spiritual discernment such as that which opened the eyes of the Apostles, on the day of Pentecost, to see that Jesus was Lord and the Christ: that by His resurrection from the dead He had condemned the law perverted by the natural mind into “a covenant with death and hell” for the purpose of condemning Him. Disregarding this, the Jews adhered to their policy of this world, their delusion of worldly glory, which led them on to a frantic apostacy or revolt against Roman authority, and brought on their national destruction, as though they were victims of the Divine vengeance for the crucifixion of Jesus of Nazareth. We should now regard them as having been God’s chosen instruments, by which He demonstrated that man is not under law but under grace. The discernment of this, however natural it may appear to be, must proceed from the Lord the Spirit, and so be properly called spiritual discernment, or the Lord’s spiritual presence or coming, as men are successively born into the world to be subjects of it. The fallacy of the rationalists consists in regarding spiritual discernment as “fanciful exposition,” or in fancying that spiritual discernment ceased with the cessation of outward “signs following them that believe ;” whence they conclude that the magnificent terms in which the Advent was announced did not agree with the facts. But spiritual discernment must not be thus ignored. In 1 John iii., 2, the Apostle says, “Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be: but we know that when it (not He, as Benson has observed) shall appear (what we shall be) we shall be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is.” “This is a spiritual subject, and must be spiritually discerned,” said a highly gifted discerner, Mr. Robert Stark, one who saw eye to eye with Mr. Wilkinson above mentioned. Just as with the facts of the Apostolic age, not done in a corner but being straight before their eyes, when (says Heb. ii., 8, 9) they saw not yet all things put under Him; yet they saw Jesus crowned with glory and honour: that is, said Mr. Stark, “not with the bodily or natural sight, but by the eye of faith, or believing the gospel as preached by the Apostles; and so, by believing the report and receiving it, they were conformed to the image of the Son, as heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ.” We may just as well say that this did not agree with the facts, as say that the position of the faithful—namely, their likeness to Christ, their seeing Him as He is, on the defacto abrogation of the law, does not agree with the facts. As it was sufl‘icient for the Apostolic argument that the faithful in the Apostolic age might, or ought to, have spiritually seen Jesus crowned with glory and honour, so it is sufficient for the argument that they in this age may, or ought to, spiritually see Him as He is, that is, divested of the law which was against us, “ having abolished in His flesh the enmity, the law of commandments in ordinances” (Eph. ii., 15), and divested also of Apostolic rule, miracles, and signs, that He alone may be our Teacher in all things.

Let us now see what is meant by the mysteries of the resurrection of the dead and the change of the living in the apostolic age. And, first, as to the meaning of the word Mystery.

“Behold, I show you a mystery” (1 Cor. xv. 51) says Paul, when about to explain the doctrine of the resurrection of the dead and the alteration of the living. Now what did he mean by a mystery ? The vulgar meaning of the word is, something unintelligible. The Rev. P. S. Desprez uses it in this sense when he says of the kingdom of God, that “although not of this world, like that of imperial Rome, it was nevertheless a real reign of righteousness and peace; in which, in some mysterious and momentary way, the dead should be raised and the living changed, the elect gathered from the four winds, and the kingdoms of this world merged into that of our Lord (God) and of his Christ.” All this he would have us believe is mysterious, that is, unintelligible. According to this vulgar notion we ought to suppose that Paul meant, “Behold I show you something unintelligible.” Was this a fitting reply to his opponent whom, according to the authorised version (verse 36) he had just addressed as “thou fool” ? They wanted to have it explained to them, “ How are the dead raised up, and with what body do they come?” It is, therefore, childish to suppose that Paul would reply, “ Behold, I shew you something unintelligible.” If this was his meaning he had better have said at once, “ I don’t know,” instead of commiserating their ignorance. Assuredly, then, the vulgar notion of a mystery, that it is something unintelligible, cannot be the true one. But let us hear what a Bishop says. “There are words,” says the late Bishop Hinds, “when the translation was made, not generally used in the sense which they bear in the translation, but which, having been adopted in that sense, by the older English Translators, from the Latin version, and from the language of divines whose theological vocabulary was formed from the Latin, were retained in the Authorised Version. The translators may have considered themselves not at liberty, in some of these instances, to substitute any better understood English word, even when one might have been found, on account of the restriction which was laid on them, not to alter any established terms of theology. Take, as an example, the word Mystery. In ordinary language, then and now, it means something concealed or unintelligible ; in the Translation it is applied to Gospel revelation, Christian knowledge. The Scripture term, from which it is derived (through the Latin, probably), was so applied, by analogy, from those ancient institutions called Mysteries, in which, as in Freemasonry, there were secrets which were made known to members on their admission. As all Christians correspond to those initiated members, a Christian Mystery—a Mystery in the Scriptural acceptation of the word is something revealed and known to all of us, and the word is accordingly always used in reference to our privilege of being admitted to that knowledge. In allusion, again, to those ancient institutions, and the emblematic representations through which the secrets were revealed to the initiated, the word is likewise used to signify an emblem of revealed truth. It is so applied by St. Paul to Marriage (Eph. v. 32)’ ; and by St. John, in the Revelation, to his vision of the Seven Stars (Rev. i. 20); and to that of the Woman (Rev. xvii. 5). We have now no associations with the word, derived from its ordinary use, but such as signify something incomprehensible. Now what a wrong notion a reader of the Scripture version only may form of the general character and intent of the Gospel and its doctrines, by understanding the word Mystery, whenever he meets with it, in its ordinary sense.”

Thus a mystery means an “ emblematic representation of spiritual things.” The representation may consist of common natural objects or historical events, or of objects specially presented to some one mind, as the Seven Stars and Candlesticks were presented to John. The Bible is one continued series of mysteries or emblematic representations, the meaning of which (generally if not as to all the details) was brought to light by the Lord the Spirit through His Apostles._ The mystery of iniquity (2 Thes. ii. 7), for instance, was the emblematic representation of iniquity fur

nished by the combination of Jewish clay and Roman iron against Christ and His Apostles. It was borrowed from a former analogous combination of Antiochus Epiphanes and a traitorous faction of the Jews against Jerusalem. The essential feature of the iniquity thereby represented was a self-styled people of God wilfully combined with a so-called alien race—as it were Professor and Profane, Hireling and People, Church and State—against Christ and His Apostles. So the rejection of the Jews and the calling of the Gentiles was a mystery or emblematic representation of the relation of man to God. So Christ (He who was Jesus of Nazareth) in every man (Col. i. 28) was a mystery or emblematic representation of Himself the Lord the Spirit, the hope of glory, quickening all men to have that hope. Thus, then, it appears how we are to understand Paul’s word—“Behold, I shew you a mystery.” The C0rinthians would easily understand him. He meant that he was about to lay before them the emblematic representation to be found in the Old Testament concerning the resurrection of the dead, and to give them the explanation of it. Accordingly we shall find that he has done so. Let us, then, analyse the phrase, the resurrection of the dead.

The resurrection of corpses is not to be thought of for a moment. Corpses become in a short time decayed, completely disorganized and destroyed, and can no longer be called bodies. A body is an organized thing which has a distinct, individual existence. But a corpse, after a short time, has no existence ; and there is not a text in the whole Bible where a corpse decayed and dispersed is called a body. Bodies (in the Greek, somata) Matt. xxvii. 53, are not corpses (in the Greek, ptomata) or “dead bodies,” as the word is translated in Rev. xi. 9. The bodies, which arose and came out of the graves after Christ’s resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared unto many, were certainly not earthly bodies, nor were the graves earthly graves. This is certain from the fact that the holy city was not the earthly Jerusalem. No New Testament writer would have dreamt for a moment of calling the earthly Jerusalem the holy city after Christ’s crucifixion. It ceased to represent the holy city from the moment that the veil of the temple was rent in twain. It was then called Sodom and Egypt, Rev. xi. 8. The only holy city in existence after the crucifixion was the New Jerusalem coming down from God out of heaven (Rev. xxi. 2), whose first earthly manifestation is recorded in Acts ii. 41. Here was the true temple of God, and the true holy place against which the mystery of iniquity, the man of sin (2 Thess. ii. 3) the Jewish woman supported by the beast Rome (Rev. xvii. 3) commenced to work and reveal itself. The necessity of language might require the use of the conventional or topographical phrase “ holy places ” (Heb. ix. 24), qualified, however, by the epithet “hand-made,” to shew that it could not be truly so called : but in no theological sense was the hand-made sanctuary a real sanctuary, or habitation of God who is a Spirit (John iv. 24). Hence it is certain that the resurrection of the bodies of saints was a mystery or emblematic representation of a spiritual resurrection which took place after Christ’s resurrection.

The following is a brief account of the origin of the corpse-resurrection theory, and a complete refutation of it. It is extracted from a work entitled “Christology,” by the late Rev. J. A. Stephenson, Rector of Lympsham, Somersetshire.

“Unsupported by any authentic or fairly interpreted text of Scripture, contravened under the Old Testament by the abhorrence of the corpse enjoined by the ritual, and contravened under the New by the manner in which the flesh is uniformly spoken of, forbidden by Christ (John iii., 5, 6; vi., 63. Matt. xxii., 30—33), and denied by His Apostles (1 Cor. vi., 13; v., 5; xv., 50; Rev. xx., 4, 5; 2 Cor. v., 1—4), disbelieved by the Apostolical Church (which, it is not denied, included within itself a Judaizing school attached to the figment of a carnal resurrection), and discredited by the most eminent Apostolical men, the doctrine of the corpse sublimation, falsely called resurrection, originating in the old serpent worship, and fabricated from the cast-off coils of that reptile, inculcated in the Zendavesta, making its appearance in the mistranslation of the Septuagint (Job xix., 26), and misleading the faithful Maccabees into idolatry (2 Mace. xii., 43— 45), was sustained by the Cabbala, supported by the Talmud, upheld by numerous spurious writings, adopted by the philosophical Justin, and maintained by the venerable but indiscriminating Irenaaus. Still struggling for reception into the Christian world at the end of the second century, it would in all probability have soon become submerged, had it not been kept buoyant by its floating associate, and at length with Millennarianism lifted aloft by an extraordinary influx of fanaticism. Avouohed and sung in Sybilline verses by the prophetess Prisca and other gifted sisters, and dcscanted on by the soi-disant Paraclete Montanus in the pages of ‘The New Prophecy,’ it became sustained by all the eloquence of the beguiled Tertullian, and supported by a display of his most brilliant rhetoric. Arming itself with the antipathy that had been awakened against the heretical sects, which rejected with abhorrence the carnal resurrection, but rejected it unhappily on mistaken grounds and erroneous principles, congenial with the enthusiasm necessarily excited in an age of martyrdom, coinciding with the taste of a period more distinguished for the multi— plication than the solution of mysteries, prolific in the production of ascetism, celibacy, relic worship, and purgatory, favoured by, and favouring, if not originating, the rising errors on the subject of the Eucharistic elements, supported by a sophism (that to deny the resurrection of the corpse was to deny the resurrection altogether) colourably plausible, fully falling in with those feelings, of which the susceptibility has been so wisely inwrought, for selfish and social but terrestrial purposes, into the personal constitution of man, and commending itself to the devout mind by the scope it seems to give to the display of omnipotencc,—that doctrine, for the disbelief of which a vigorous exertion of the grace of fhith is in many instances requisite, but for the belief of which no grace of faith is in any case at all required—the doctrine of the sublimation of corpses, arrayed in the stolen name of the resurrection of the body, rode in triumphant procession into the world, and gained a spacious and firm footing among Catholic opinions: but, though generally maintained with considerable modifications in central Christendom, from the third to the sixth centuries, to Pope Gregory, whose mind was strongly actuated by the assurance of the then coming end of the world (A-D. 590), was reserved the distinction of establishing by his arguments and the Emperor Maurice’s sword, the Zendavestic dogma at Constantinople in the East, and of procuring for it by his ambitious missionaries a permanent domicile in Great Britain and the West.

“ Formally predominant as Montanus and Zoroaster might however become, the Church ever retaining the substance of truth, never ceased to sing of Him, who, when He had overcome the sharpness of death, opened the gate of heaven to all believers; or to declare that ‘ the souls of the elect, having deposited the burden of the flesh, were rejoicing with God in full felicity.’ Declaring that not the under but the heavenly world was the abode of the ‘expurgated’ faithful, the Council of Florence, in the fifteenth century, removed the principal pillar on which the carnal resurrection rested; and the glorious reformation at length arrived, the Church in England, by her adoption of that reading in the Creed, which had been maintained by the ancient adherents of the resurrection of the manhood, in contradistinction from that of the integuments, delivered her never to be altered testimony to Apostolical verity, and made every opened grave to respond to that voice from heaven which had declared, and ever continued declaring,--From henceforth blessed are the dead which die in the Lord, Rev. xiv., 13.”

Such was the origin of the corpse resurrection theory. Let us now see the same eloquent writer’s refutation of it.

“No belief may be entertained with more settled confidence than the corporeality of the risen saints. The resurrection of the body, the rising again of all men with their bodies, is not more continually the voice of the Church than it is audibly the voice of God. Defining, if not constituting individuality, and absolutely requisite for recognition and judgment, in the very name and idea of resurrection the idea of corporeality is essentially involved.

Confessedly certain as is the corporeality of the risen saints, room is open for inquiring what corporeality it is which is to be understood as being transmuted and risen to heaven. When St. Paul speaks of “this corruptible,” “this mortal,”—when he says, “It is sown in corruption, it is raised in incorruption,” does he refer to the sarcous mass left behind by the deceased? Is the funeral of the fleshly frame, the sewing of the seed? Is the sepulchral enclosure the seed-plot? Is the putrescent frame itself the bared but solid, the denuded but valuable, the relatively dead but really living, the seemingly decomposing but actively germinating grain? or is it, when its purposes as an envelope are answered, mere chaff detached by the flail of disease and blown away by the wind of death?

Evident will it be, on a calm perusal of his eloquent argument, that the Apostle has no reference to the sepulchre, or the funeral, or the soul-bereft corpse. His controversy was not _with any who themselves denied, or With any who imagined any Christian instructor to have ever taught or fancied, that the deposited frame would again be animated with any but reptile vitality ; his controversy was with parties who, if they did not set aside entirely an after-life, or deny in toto a resurrection of the dead, peremptorily denied a resurrection from the dead, and while thereby excluding the fear of judgment from themselves, cut 011‘ from the faithful the prospect of reaching heaven. Had the reintegration of the disintegrated corpse been the position denied, the deniers, instead of being indignantly opposed, would have been cordially supported by the apostle’s authority. Far too positively had St. Paul decided, that he who sowed to the flesh would reap corruption, to allow of his supposing that he who sowed the flesh itself would reap anything else than mere putridity. Not one of his pleas nor one of his expressions throughout the course of his discussion can be made to apply to the fleshy frame, then only occasionally mouldering in the ground, but ever after an interval mouldered away. No custom corresponding to modern interment, or to the sowing of seed, obtained prevalence in the apostolic age. When the bodies of the dead were not burnt or exsiccated, they were carefully deposited above the surface, though not always above the level of the ground in catacombs or sepulchres, or carelessly thrown into exhumated receptacles. Neither germination, quickening (zoopoicsis), nor wakening up (egersis), nor standing up (anastasis), nor transformation (allage), nor putting on investiture (endusis), can be predi~ cated of any subject that is not in an organized and really living condition, however reputedly and relatively dead its state. Nor can the word body (soma) be referred to a system entirely decomposed ;

or the word resurrection be made to signify reconstruction; or resurrection from the dead be twisted into meaning the emerging of the re-animated integuments from the superficial soil, or the corpse be defined to be a soul, body, and a living soul; or the body dead and corrupt be said to be corruptible and mortal. In no part of his argument does St. Paul give the slightest intimation that he is pleading for the re-collection and re-organization of the anywhere remaining particles, or for the future development of any supposed stamina of the exterior frame: but peremptorily excluding flesh and blood from entering under any modification whatever into the kingdom of God, he again and again makes it clear that he was demonstrating the resurrection and egress of the dead, their very selves from the underworld [had the learned author said, from the state called hades, his language would have been more agreeable to the spirit if not to the letter of Scripture], and that not their laid-aside vestments, but their personal hypostasis, was the theme of his discourse, and the subject of his anticipations.”

Having got rid of the corrupt and vain tradition of the resurrection of corpses, there seems to be no difficulty in understanding what is meant by the representation of seed sown—“ that which thou sowest is not quickened except it die,” 1 Cor. x. 5, 36. Any seed with vegetable life latent in it being sown on the smface ‘of the earth germinates or is quickened ; while all its visible husk or corpse completely dies and is dissipated. So man with spiritual life latent in him, or in him without any consciousness on his part that it is so, being sown on the surface of the earth, germinates or is quickened; while all his visible husk or natural life completely dies, and is dissipated at the moment of natural death. Man, as an animal or natural body, is the “ bare grain ” (having none of the leaves, flower, and fruit, of the quickened or resurrection body) sown on the surface of the earth. The natural man, both in mind and body, while animally or naturally alive, is the bare grain. The corpse can no more be called bare grain than you could so call the husk of the seed (which you may find for a short time in the ground) after the new plant has completely germinated or been quickened. The decaying husk of the seed is exactly the corpse of one who has departed this life. The natural life of man, or his life in this natural world, is the seed which with spiritual life (a gift from God) latent in it is sown in corruption and raised in incorruption. For the natural life (Rom. viii. 20) was made subject to vanity, that is, a transitory or decaying nature, a creature under the bondage of external, natural, and social laws, called the bondage of corruption, because not such laws as are capable of giving life or incorruption, Gal. iii. 21. It is a common scripture phrase to speak of dispersing, scattering, or sowing men over the earth, the same word being used in the Greek for, to disperse, to scatter, or to sow. The following are a few out of many examples :—Ezek. xxii. l5.-—“ And I will scatter thee among the heathen, and disperse thee in the countries, and will consume thy filthiness out of thee.”

Gen. xi. 8.——“ So the Lord scattered them abroad from thence upon the face of all the cart .”

Here the word “scatter ” (in the Septuagint) is the same as “ disperse” in Ezekiel above, where the word translated “ scatter” is a different word.

J er. xxxi., 27.—“ Behold, the days come, saith the Lord, that I will sow the house of Israel and the house of Judah with the seed of man, and with the seed of beast.”

Hos. ii., 2, 3. And I will sow her unto me in the earth; and I will have mercy upon her that had not obtained mercy; and I will say to them that were not my people, Thou art my people; and they shall say, Thou art my God.

This, as we shall see presently, means that the ten tribes of Israel were sown among the Gentiles, to be spiritually raised with them in the Apostolic age.

Nah. i., 14. The Lord hath given a commandment concerning thee, that no more of thy name be sown.

Zec. x., 9. And I will sow them among the people: and they shall remember me in far countries; and they shall live with their children, and turn again.

But this chapter of Zechariah, speaking so plainly of the sowing of spiritual seed through His Apostles, coupled with Christ’s parable of the sower, reminds us that also the Word of God is said to be sown as seed in the natural or earthy mind of man.

Thus, then, in the scattering of naturally living men over the face of the earth we have a genuine resemblance to the sowing of seed on the ground. On the ground, rather than in the ground, for the inch of soil, which we rake over the seed, is not essential to the germination. It will germinate on the barest rock if it has proper warmth and moisture. The slight covering of earth is merely to protect it from excessive heat and cold. But there is not the slightest resemblance whatever between the burial of a corpse or husk which does not and cannot germinate but perishes, and the sowing of a seed which does not perish but germinates. This is a representation of the Word of God, the word of faith, the hope of glory, the promise (Gen. iii., 15), the light (Jo. i., 9), the Lord the Spirit, sown in the natural or earthy minds of all men, sewn on the face of the'earth, to germinate into spiritual and eternal life, and cast off for ever the mere natural body, corpse or husk. This, the Lord the Spirit in every man, the kingdom of God in man, is the seed which is sown in the natural life, and so in corruption and raised in incorruption, germinating in the natural mind of man during his natural life, or life in this world; the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth, Jehovah, the Everlasting Father, the Resurrection and the Life (Jo. xi., 25), (because I live ye shall live also, Jo. xiv., 9), forming in every man an appropriate body (1 Cor. xv., 38), in which man may live and breathe spiritually after he has ceased to live and breathe naturally.

Having completely broken and dissolved the corrupt association of the idea of a corpse with the idea of resurrection, it will not be difiicult to understand what is meant by the resurrection of the dead.

Resurrection (in Greek, anastasis) is literally “ standing up,” from or out of some previous state or condition understood by the context. For instance, Hezekiah (Is. xxxviii., 9) stood up or recovered (had an anastasis or resurrection) from his sickness. A king (Acts vii., 18) stood up, or had an anastasis or resurrection from the condition of not being a king to that of being one.

Behold, Lam. iii., 63, their sitting down and their standing up (anastasis or resurrection) from the previous state called sitting down. Therefore, (Zep. iii., 8) wait ye upon me, saith the Lord, until the day that I rise up for a prey (Sept. until the day of my anastasis or resurrection for a testimony). This child (Lu. ii., 34) is set for the fall and rising again (anastasis, resurrection) of many in Israel. Awake (Eph. v., 14) thou that sleepest and rise up up from the dead (that is the dead in sin in this world) and Christ shall give thee light. He stood

up for to read, Lu. iv., 16. Anastasis or resurrection is also spoken of the miraculous restoration from natural death to natural life again, as in the case of Lazarus. These instances are sufiieient to show that anastasis or resurrection means standing up from a previous state or condition, whether sitting down, or lying down, or sickness of body or mind, or natural death, or social position, to another state or condition. What the kind of standing up is, must be understood from the persons who are said to stand up or have an anastasis or resurrection. In the present case it is concerning the dead, and therefore we have to understand what is meant by the anastasis or change of the state or condition of the dead; what was their state or condition when dead, and what when they stood up or had an anastasis, that is a change from that condition. We have nothing to do with corpses, but with dead persons.

First, then, we must understand what the Scriptures meant by the dead, what by the state or condition of the dead called death.

There are two classes of persons called the dead; the deceased, or those who have departed this life; and, secondly, all mankind, who are said to be, while in this mortal life, dead in trespasses and sins, (Eph. iii., 1), having departed the life imparted to them, as signified by the mystery or emblematic representation of the tree of life, and again afterwards the life imparted to them by faith in the

promise, Gen. iii., 15. This second class includes a subdivision, namely, the Jews who had departed the life (or representation of life) given them in the Covenant called the Mosaic Law, which was a restraint put upon the reign of death in trespasses and sins, Pro. v., 14. This was all the law could do. It could not really give life, as the promises gave life, or as the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus gives life; for if the law could give life, verily righteousness should have come by the law, and Christ have died in vain, Gal. ii., 21 ; iii., 21. This death is expressed in Hos. xiii., 1, 9, when Ephraim, or the ten tribes of Israel, offended in Baal, he died. 0 Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself ; but in me is thy help. From this death the prophet (ver. 14) foretells their resurrection thus : I will ransom them from the power of the grave; I will redeem them from death: 0 death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.

Our business, then, is to enquire into the meaning of the resurrection of these various dead persons. The easiest way appears to be to begin with the second class of the dead, those declared to be dead even in this natural life, and afterwards to proceed to the first class, those who had departed this natural life. And of this second class, we will begin first with the Israelites.

The ten tribes of Israel were dead because they had departed from the first covenant, “ because they continued not in my covenant, and I regarded them not, saith the Lord ” (Heb. viii. 9). They died when they were carried away into captivity, before the Babylonian captivity of the other two tribes of Judah and Benjamin. These two tribes, the Jews of the Apostolic age, had a similar death when they crucified Christ. “My brethren; ye also were made dead to the law through the body of Christ” (Rom. vii. 4). So in the parable, after Lazarus, representing the ten tribes had died, the rich man, representing the Jews, also died.

From this death the whole twelve tribes were to have a resurrection, the time of which is so plainly stated in Isaiah xi., xii., and many other places, to be that of the Apostolic age, that our stupidity in not readily seeing it is truly marvellous. Now, how was this resurrection from the dead to be accomplished ? Not by literally or naturally building again the tabernacle of David which had fallen down (Acts xv. 16), or the law of Moses, and putting the twelve tribes again under the obligation of it. For by the deeds of that law no man could be righteous before God (Rom. iii. 20). No ; their resurrection was accomplished by a better covenant established upon better promises, the New covenant, as clearly described in Heb. viii. 6-13. The change, then, of those living in the Apostolic age, from the death which had passed on them through their breaking of the first covenant, to the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus under the New Covenant, was the resurrection unto life—life from the dead (Rom. xi. 15) —to all the believing Jews of the Apostolic age. This was the millennial, 01' first resurrection, spoken of in Rev. xx. And as Scriptures mention no second resurrection, but merely say that the second death hath no power over those who have part in the first resurrection, it seems that “first” has rather reference to that resurrection being the primary cause of the life which never ends, not even being interrupted by the final act 'of departing this natural life. For it is Christ in man, the Resurrection and the Life. (John xi. 25.)

Those Jews, who finally, at the fall of Jerusalem, rejected this merciful covenant had a resurrection unto condemnation, called “the second death,” Rev. ii. 11, xx. 6, 14, xxi. 8. They were “twice dead” (Jude 12). God did not reject them, but they rejected Him. Jude says of them (verse 19) “These be they who separate themselves, being merely natural (psychical), not having the Spirit.” The “ not” here is not in the Greek the objective negation, a plain and direct statement that they had not the Spirit. The word is the one used to denote a “subjective negation, Where something is denied as mere matter of thought (according to supposition, and under conditions),” to use the words of Winer. If they finally separated themselves, it would be because they would not have the Spirit: it would be their own act and deed, standing out for “ moral qualifications,” and for their ability to appear thereby righteous before God, and to have no occasion for his covenant of mercy, the Lord the Spirit in every man protecting him from the accusation of the law. As subjects of this second death the Jews are described as more bones, corpses, or carcasses (Isaiah xvi. 24, Sept. Trans. compared with Heb. iii. 17) “ of the men that have transgressed against me: for their worm shall not die, neither shall their fire be quenched ; and they shall be an abhorring unto all flesh.” '

We now proceed to the second class of the dead, the Gentiles, whose resurrection from the dead is all one with the resurrection of the ten tribes from their death when they offended in Baal. The ten tribes having become irrecoverably incorporated with the Gentiles were regarded as no longer a people of God (Rom. ix. 25), until with the Gentiles in the Apostolic age they were raised to life, as we have just seen the Jews were, so that prophecies of the resurrection of the ten tribes became prophetical also of the resurrection of the Gentiles in the Apostolic age. Hence after the Gospel had been proclaimed first to the Jews (Acts ii.), and secondly to the Gentiles (Acts x), we have no longer to consider them apart in their resurrection to and partaking of the New Covenant. Jew, Israelite, and Gentile, were all alike dead in trespasses and sins with the common death of all men in Adam, to be raised with “the common faith,” and “the common salvation.” Hence Ezekiel’s vision (chap. xxxvii.) of the valley full of dry bones, or the whole house of Israel, may be considered as representative of all flesh, or Jew and Gentile equally, in the Apostolic age, made God’s people and equally partakers through faith of the following promises——“ Behold, O my people, I will open your graves, and cause you to come up out of your graves, and bring you into the land of Israel. And ye shall know that I am the Lord, when I have opened your graves, and shall have put my Spirit (the Lord the Spirit, the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of Life, without the charity proceeding from which, says the Collect for Quinquagesima Sunday, whosoever liveth is counted dead before Thee) within you (Acts ii.), and ye shall live, and I shall place you in your own land.” Here, in Acts ii., was recorded the resurrection of the dead, the change of the living, predicted by Christ, as then immediately about to take place, in John v. 24—29. That the literal land of Canaan was not meant appears from various texts. Thus (Zeph. ii. 11), “The Lord will famish all the gods of the earth, and men shall worship Him, every one from his own place, even all the isles of the heathen.” The change from the law to the gospel required a change of the place which God had chosen to dwell in ; and the new land, the high and holy place, the land of the Israel of God, was “ the contrite and humble spirit.” This was the land of His Presence, where Resurrection was to be witnessed in a revival of the spirit of the humble (Isaiah lvii. 15). This was the land, the better that is heavenly country (Heb. xi. 16) in which all flesh, or Jew or Gentile equally, were returned to the Shepherd and Bishop of their souls (1 Peter ii. 25) and David their king (Ezek. xxxvii. 24), Jesus of Nazareth, the root and offspring (Rev. xxii. 16) of David the patriarch, declared by His resurrection from the dead and (second) Advent in Spirit to be both Lord and Christ (Acts ii. 36). The same promises of a resurrection unto life, of those who in the Apostolic age were (until they were turned unto God from their covenant with death and hell to receive their inheritance (Acts xxvi. 38), dead while they lived in the world (1 Tim. v. 6), are the following—“ Many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life (literally, the life of that age), and some to shame and everlast~ ing contempt, or the contempt of the age, that is, the second death (Dan. xii. 2). Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they rise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell (“ dwelling” cannot be predicated of corpses) in the dust : for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out her dead ” (Is. xxvi. 19). The first hour of the resurrection of these dead men from their graves is stated in Acts ii. 41, then they which gladly received his word were baptized. This was the first representation of the New Spiritual and Heavenly Jerusalem (as again illustrated in Acts iv. 31-35) wherein they were fellow citizens with the saints, and of the household of God, built together in Christ, for a habitation of God in spirit; which is evidently used antithetically to a habitation in flesh or in the land of Canaan. This was the house of God from (not “ at,” 1 Pet. iv. 17) which judgment, or rather the sentence of condemnation, was pronounced against the covenant with death and hell by the final overthrow of the Jews and their law, by which they had unjustly condemned Jesus as a blasphemer against that law.

“By the blood of thy covenant I have sent forth thy prisoners out of the pit wherein is no water,” (Zech. ix. 11.) The pit or grave wherein there was no living water was manifestly the law, which could not give life, but brought forth fruit unto death. “But now, saith Paul, we were delivered from the law wherein we were held (as in prison), so that we serve in newness of spirit and not oldness of letter” (Rom. vii. 6.) The same thing is meant by the prison in Is. xlii. 7., xlix. 9., lxi. 1., Ps. cxlii. 7, “bring my soul out of prison,” and many other places, as Matt. xxv. 36.

In Rev; ii. 10., it is said to those called the Church of Smyrna, that the devil should cast some of them into prison, and that they should have a ten days’ (that is a short) tribulation. This proceeded from those who said they were Jews, and were not, but were the synagogue of Satan. They were Jews nominally, no doubt; but they were not Jews spiritually, Rom. ii. 29. Their putting men in prison was the same as what Paul meant; “ O foolish Galatians, who hath bewitched you ? Are ye so foolish ? having begun in the Spirit, are ye now made perfect by the flesh, or the works of the law.” Gal. iii. 1. 4. The de jure abrogation of the law, was not sufficient for the poverty of the understandings of these Smyrnans. Nothing but its de facto abrogation could bring their souls out of prison. The covenant with death and hell was the devil which deceived them, and when that was, in emblematic language, cast into the lake of fire, they who had been in heart faithful in spite of Jewish fables working on their uninstructed minds, received the crown of life.

I might quote a multitude of texts to the same purport, showing that the graves, (the whitod sepu]-chres, Matt. xxiii. 27., Luke xi. 44., Acts xxiii. 3;, out of which they were raised, or begotten again, (literally, from above) or redeemed, to an incorruptible inheritance, were their former lusts_(or sensual nature) in their ignorance, their vain traditional conversation, (I Peter i. 3. 18), the delusions of this world, or the world set in the heart (Eccles. iii. 11), their hankering after the earthen vessels (2 Cor. iv. 7) of an outward law, and of a decaying nature (Rom. viii. 20.), or the lusts for signs and miracles; by observance of which outward laws and signs, they imagined themselves different from and better than other people. This ‘deceivableness’ of unrighteousness (2 Thess. ii. 10.), their self-justification by the works of the law, their diabolism or spirit of false accusation (as we be slanderously reported, R0. iii., 8.) against the righteousness of Christ’s spirit as a refuge from the law which was not made for a righteous man, that is for the righteousness of Christ’s spirit in man, was the grave out of which they were raised. Whatever law belonged to the natural man, who is of the earth, earthy, whose nature is to be controlled by outward laws, constituted the grave out of which mankind had a resurrection, or a new creation, by the substitution, in exchange for the old law, of the New Covenant of the law of the Spirit of Life in Christ Jesus within him, giving him freedom from the delusions of this world, and imparting to him the image and likeness of the Divine nature, (1 Pet. i. 3, 10., 2 Pet. i. 4.), which acts from inward perfection, and is not helplessly moved or controlled by laws without him. Such was man’s calling and election in the Apostolic age, which he was invited to receive and make sure of, however much he may then and afterwards have refused to do so: and such is unquestionably one New Testament meaning of the resurrection of the dead from the grave. Many have called it, and will continue to do so, awide sense of a grave, and “fanciful exposition.” Others think differently. To them there seems nothingwide or fanciful in comparing the resurrection, translation, or change, from the death of the Adamic nature to Life in Christ, with an imaginary going forth of a dead man from a tomb : nothing fanciful in calling the law a ministration of death and condemnation, the strength of sin, and sin the sting which gives death its power. Nor is there anything fanciful in describing as a resurrection the victory obtained over this law by Christ’s resurrection. Nor is there anything fanciful in regarding as a resurrection (when the law and the ministration, that is, the limitation of the Spirit by the Apostles, were ended) the establishment of the New Covenant (so superior to all outward ministrations whether of Moses or of the Apostles) of the Lord the Spirit within, and of remembrance of sins no more—the New Covenant made known by the Apostles to all the nations for the obedience of faith, (Rom. xvi. 26.) and thereby for man’s spiritual communion with God on earth. It would not be a fanciful exposition to say this was what Paul meant by the change of the living, or the rapture of the living, provided that, where those phrases occur, both the grammatical construction, and the context should admit the possibility of the change of dispensation composing part of his argument. It is not fanciful exposition but positive fact that the fall of Jerusalem was the last trumpet warning or instruction that all outward dispensations, all divinely given rule, authority, and power of men, all priesthoods with their carnal ordinances, everything whatever of such old heavens and earth, were divinely done away with, and the new heavens and the new earth in which dwelleth righteousness, that is, the righteousness of Christ’s spirit, divinely set up, so that the gates of hell can never prevail against it, notwithstanding all the efforts of the nominal christian world or selfstyled church to build again, against the Spirit, the shadows and mummeries which were then destroyed. They cannot break the Covenant, though “ if I build again the things which I destroyed, I make myself a transgressor” (Gal. ii. 18).

For those who cannot see their way clearly out of the snares of those who, to say the least, are in point of time at all events, successors of the dogs of the Apostolic age, let me recommend a candid attention to John xiii. Having read this, let them ask themselves if there be any New Testament ordinance so plainly and solemnly enjoined as that of the disciples washing one another’s feet. “If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to Wash one another’s feet. For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done to you.” Neither water-baptism. nor the partaking of bread and wine, until the Lord come, are so clearly commanded as this rite. '

' Nothing can justify the disuse of this ceremony, but that which justifies the disuse of all ceremonies and shadows, namely, the fact, that with the fall of Jerusalem Christ was revealed as come in glory, and the manifestation was made of men as the sons of God (R0. viii., 18) having the kingdom of God within them, of human brotherhood, and whatever equality and liberty properly flow therefrom; being, whether Jews or Gentiles, all one in Christ, we have nothing more to do than to receive the blessing with thsnkfulness, though this would turn the world upside down.

Let us now endeavour to understand what is meant by the resurrection of the dead, or of those who had departed, or, by the common law of nature “ once to die,” were about to depart this mortal life.

We must distinguish between death, and to die. It is a law of nature for every created being, including man, once to die (Heb. ix., 27); which proves that to die is not the consequence of sin. But all created beings except man when they die cease to exist. Man continues to exist after he has died. Had he continued in his first infantile innocence, he would, on dying, have continued to exist in such blessedness as the innocent, but inexperienced infancy of the race, on passing out of nature, had been trained to endure or be the subject of. But having sinned, or departed from the innocence of infancy to the naughtiness of boyhood (I am speaking of the human race regarded as in the several growths of civilization and culture by a comparison with the natural childhood and manhood of every man), and so having died in sin, he continued to exist, but an existence called death. It was this existence called death which Christ abolished by His resurrection from the dead for all those who had died in faith in the promise of a resurrection from it (Gen. iii., 15; Heb. xi., 39, 40). They were the spirits of just men who had been made/ perfect when Christ rose from the dead, having prepared a body of men in the world without whom the former were not to be made perfect, and with whom they might be in spiritual communion. They were represented by the saints whose resurrection is mentioned in Matt. xxvi., 53. Such also must have been the angel who appeared to John and said he was one of his fellow servants and of his brethren, the prophets, Rev. xxii., 9. Acts ii., 34, would be more correctly translated, David did not ascend (Le. when he died) into the heavens, leaving it credible that he was ascended when Peter so spoke. These men are described in the Old Testament as existing in death, sleep, Hades or the unseen state, the grave, the pit, the prison, Paradise, the abyss, corruption, and similar names: which some will call “fanciful exposition,” and would no doubt say the same of any other words whereby men laboured to give names for their ideas. Moses and Elias, whom the Apostles saw “ when they were awake ” at Christ’s transfiguration (Luke ix., 32), may be presumed to have been at that time in the same state as the rest. Hence their conversation concerning His exodus (translated “ decease ”) which He was soon about to accomplish in Jerusalem. Was not this His exodus from Hades with all the faithful made perfect ?

Hence all the texts, to which we have referred as denoting the condition of men who were dead in trespasses and sins in this mortal life, equally refer to their state of existence in death after they had departed this life. And therefore, also, all those texts, to which we have referred as denoting resurrection from death in trespasses and sins during this mortal life, equally refer to their resurrection from death after they had departed this life. This existence in death of the Old Testament believers was the death which Christ abolished for them by His resurrection from the dead (2 Tim. i., 10, 1 Cor. xv., 26), This last text is incorrectly translated in the authorised version. The word in the Greek is not “ shall be destroyed,” but is the present passive, “is destroyed,” that is, has been destroyed for the Old Testament faithful, and is in course of being destroyed for those who are about to attain unto the resurrection from the dead (Phil. iii., 11, Acts xvii., 31) with (if not before, for the harvest began to be gathered in after the presentation of the first-fruits) the consummation of the Apostolic age. It is this latter resurrection from the dead, or from existence in death, of those who died or slept during the' Apostolic age, which is such a frequent topic in the New Testament, and is treated of in 1 Cor. xv.

Concurrently with this resurrection an equally important topic was “the change ” of the faithful who survived to the consummation of that age, and of all who were to follow them throughout all succeeding ages. This resurrection and this change are manifestly described by the Apostle as accomplished by one and the same cause, namely, the abrogation of the law and the victory obtained over it by Christ. His explanation of the mystery or emblematic representation is summed up in verses 54—58. In the Apostolic age, which was the dispensation of the fullness or completion of times, and after which the time for past childish things was no longer (1 Cor. iii., 11 ; Rev. x., 6), all, both in heaven and earth, were gathered together in one in Christ (Eph. i., 10) by the operation of the same law or principle. '

But some one will say, how are the dead raised up by the abrogation of the law from their existence in death ? To understand this, we must understand what is meant by existence in death at the close of mortal life.

It is too common an opinion that the death which ensued on dying was a state of unconsciousness. But it is the first of psychological truths, capable of the most rigid demonstration, that there is no such thing as it created unconscious being, that is a creature destitute of any degree whatever of living force, unless you so call the sensations and ideas of created conscious beings. (See J. S. Mill on the Psychological Theory of an External World). Consciousness may" be weaker and more undistinguishable or more common than any assignable degree of it, but not absolutely none; like the mathematician’s nascent or vanishing quantity, which though having less than any assignable value still is not absolutely nothing. The soul on ceasing to exist naturally must either cease to exist at all or must have a conscious existence. However, not to go so far back as this, the Scriptures evidently regard dead persons as conscious, just as much as persons asleep are conscious. Josephus says that it was the opinion of his countrymen that the demons or unclean spirits who infested mankind were deceased persons. Herod thought that Jesus was obsessed by John the Baptist, and that therefore the powers or spirits (not “ mighty works,” see Middleton on the Greek Article) were so energetic in Him. This opinion concerning the demons was evidently countenanced by Christ and His Apostles, thus, that the dead were conscious. Much more must all those who had died in faith in the promise (Gen. iii., 15) have been enabled thereby to be living or conscious. God is not the God of dead (meaning unconscious) but of living (meaning conscious) beings, was Christ’s reply to the Sadducees, Matt. xxii., 32. He was not stating that Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, were raised from the dead to eternal life, but maintaining that they were living or conscious in death. For the Sadducees denied that there was either resurrection, angel, or spirit (Acts xxiiL, 8). And as there could be no resurrection of non-existent things, such as are supposed unconscious beings, Christ attacked this notion straight by appealing to Moses, whose authority the Sadducees allowed while they denied that of the prophets. The resurrection of an unconscious, that is, a non-existent thing, is an absurdity in the very terms as much as the resurrection of corpses. The antients knew better. Achilles (in Homer’s Iliad) says, that the Trojans, whom he had slain, shall rise again (anastesontai), but “ under darkness,” using the same words as Jude (verse 3) when speaking of the angels who kept not their first estate, or who sinned (2 Peter ii., 4). By which seems to be meant man, when he had eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, called the sons of God, Gen. vi., 2. For, as observed by the Rev. W. Hewson, a clergyman of the Church of England, who ably maintains that all prophecy was fulfilled in the Apostolic age:—-

“We have no other scriptural notice of angels than as the spirits of men surviving the death of the body before God. For we have scripturally no record of any other intelligent beings created in the likeness of God than the record of man’s history before his fall through the sin of disobedience to the will of God. The angels that sinned (2 Peter ii. 4.) represent our first parents and their posterity, for generation after generation, living on earth as souls in prison, or living under the uncomforted form of a darkened intelligence as to the promise of eternal life, until revealed of God in Christ at the time of the end of the Mosaic and typical dispensation, Rom. xvi. 25, 26., with Tim. iii. 16.”

 Having lived under this darkness of mind concerning the promise of a resurrection unto life, under such darkness they died and lived in hades, where they were said to dwell in dust. But uncouscious or non-existent beings could not be said to dwell in dust, or to dwell at all, or to be shut up in prison, or in unbelief, or to be held in chains against the day of judgment, Rev. xx. 3., Born. xi. 32., 2 Pet. ii. 4., Jude 3.

This consciousness in death was not the resurrection of which Paul spoke to the Athenians, and at which they mocked, Acts xvii. What startled them was the announcement of a then approaching resurrection and judgment of deceased and conscious persons. Just so Felix trembled because Paul reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment then soon to come, as the words are literally in Acts xxiv. 25. Was this the error of Hymenacus and Philetus, (2 Tim. ii. 17.) admitting a resurrection or conscious state under darkness, but not one from out of such darkness?  A resurrection of the dead, but not a resurrection from the dead? The resurrection from consciousness in death for those who had slept in faith was the hope of the Apostles. Any further continuance of such a state they called perdition, the second death, death and hades cast into the lake of fire, Rev. xx. 14., at the consummation of the Apostolic. age, the lot of those who refused to believe the Apostolic testimony, and insisted on having outward visible signs and miracles as the only things which could render Christ’s words true.

It is perhaps necessary to add that the assertion of there being consciousness in death is not meant for any argument drawn from what is called the natural immortality of the soul. Or dying man must like other animals cease to exist at all, or he must have a conscious existence, for there is no other existence, and if he ceased to exist at all, the word resurrection would be a misnomer. This undying consciousness is a gift from God, the tree of life at first, afterwards life by faith in the promise, until the promise fulfilled has restored man to a right to the tree of life, Rev. xxii. 14.

Regarding the deceased then as still conscious, their resurrection from death to eternal life becomes intelligible. They had all died either in faith in the promise of a resurrection from such death, or in a state of obscurity and doubt, or in a belief that they could attain to righteousness and life by keeping the law, or by their own “ moral qualifications.” Now to all these dead men, spirits in prison, or in paradise (Luke xxiii. 43.), we are told (I Peter iii. 19.) that Christ made dead in flesh but quickened in the spirit, went and preached, where their consciousness and ability to hear Him are plainly taken for granted as a thing known. This preaching seems to have been between His justification in Spirit by His resurrection and His ascension into heaven, and to be what is meant by His being “seen of angels, preached to the nations, believed on in the world,” that is of the dead, 1 Tim. iii. 16. As men there believed His word, the same word that was about to be preached on earth, namely, that by no law whatever can any flesh be justified in God's sight, that Christ by His death had annulled the covenant that man had made with death and hell, and would justify all faithful men by His Spirit, they rose from their state of death and we're made perfect in heaven, (Heb. xii. 23,), each in his own order, down to the close of the Apostolic age, the gates of hades being unable to prevail against their exodus. This appears to me to be (not “ fanciful exposition” but) the simplicity which is in Christ, easy to be rationally understood, but not to be made a graven image of by a sensuous and corrupt imagination. This imagining is the trial of the old serpent or sensual way of regarding spiritual things, a surviving association of the idea of the resurrection of corpses. Not content with a rational scripture statement we aim curiously to form a sensuous, artistic, or picturesque description of the truth described by emblematic representations. The mind of man is very slow in apprehending truth abstracted from phenomena, and in understanding that all phenomena are nothing but the manners in which created or conscious beings are made manifest to themselves and to each other. But, if we give a candid attention to the last verses in 1 Cor. xv., we may rest contented with Paul's simple explanation of the mystery, and convince ourselves of the foolishness of trying to frame an idolatrons picture in our minds of some sensuous appearance of Christ to the Spirits in prison. The paradise, into which Christ is said to have descended, was not the heavenly paradise, but was a term in accordance with the Jewish tradition that it was a part of hades where the Jews were. Hence their astonishment at the parable of Lazarus (the Gentiles) being in Abraham’s bosom. When Paul said he was caught up to the third heaven, he somewhat varied his expression about paradise, so that it would equally well mean that he was caught down there, 2 Cor. xii., 4, not that he need be supposed to have meant any bodily locomotion either upwards or downwards. Though he so expressed himself, he has shown that he meant he was a witness of those spiritual states by saying, whether in or out of the body he could not tell.

By the general resurrection at the last day, then, it appears is meant the resurrection from the hades state both of the Old Testament faithful and of those who died in the Apostolic age; either, as some think, of both classes together simultaneously with the de facto abrogation of the law, or, of the former class on ‘the resurrection of Christ, and of the latter, after more or less detention in the hades state, during the progress of the Apostolic age which was consummated at the de facto abrogation of the law.

But was there, then, it maybe fairly from scriptural grounds asked, no resurrection from the hades state previously to Christ’s resurrection ? Who were the angels in heaven of whom we read in the Old Testament, if Scripture records no angels but such as had been sons of Adam? To these questions it may he replied that there was a resurrection, but one under a condition, namely, that it required to be justified and secured by the fulfilment of the promise of the resurrection of Christ.

First, it may be presumed that, regarding Adam as a type or personification of all men before the fall, all such became on dying angels in heaven. But secondly as to those after the fall. We are told that Enoch (who also may be regarded as a type or personification of a class) was translated that he should not see death. Here would be another body of angels in heaven. But their being made angels in heaven was conditional on the fulfilment of the original promise, Gen. iii., 16. Hence, it is said in Job, He chargeth His angels with folly, yea, the heavens are not clean in His sight. Hence they were anxiously looking down at the preaching of the Gospel with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven in the Apostolic age unto the full revelation of Jesus Christ (1 Pet. i., 12, 13) whereby their tenure of heaven was to be made secure‘ and perfect, Heb. xi., 39, 40. For until things in heaven and things on earth were gathered together as one body in Christ (Eph. i., 10) there was not perfect security: and by means of the Apostolic church the former were to know how that perfection would be attained according to the manifold wisdom of God, Eph. iii., 10; John i., 51. Hence the great importance of the doctrine of the communion of saints.

This conditional or provisional resurrection seems also to be taught by Paul (Rom. v., 14), death reigned from Adam until Moses, which seems to imply a termination of its absolute reign, leaving it only a conditional reign. But with regard to sin the Apostle says, “until (ackri) the law sin was in the world,” leaving it to be inferred that so it also continued, reigning in (not “unto”) death, though the reign of death was conditionally broken or restrained. “If,” says Paul, “through the offence of one the many be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, which is by one 1mm Jesus Christ, abounded unto the many.” That is the gift of righteousness was not merely in the future, but had been given, though on a condition and provisionally that Christ would by His own resurrection establish their redemption from death. And further, lest it should be thought that this occurred only on the establishment of the Mosaic law, Paul, in verse 20, makes the same statement concerning the moral law or law of conscience which was before the Mosaic. For the words should be, as several learned men have shown, “moreover law silently entered ;" where both the absence of the article, and the fact that the Mosaic law did not silently enter, show that this law could not be meant. Thus the Apostle says, Moreover (moral) law silently entered that the offence might abound (or appear sin, working out death in me by that which is good, Rom. vii., 13). But where sin abounded, grace (even under moral law) did much more abound,” in the gift of righteousness and life conditionally on Jesus Christ effecting complete redemption as in His times He would show, 1 Tim. vi., 15. Hence then came angels in heaven. The law of conscience, the moral law, is good, because it rebukes man when he thinks he has moral qualifications, or a righteousness and life of his own, and is not as other men, Luke xviii., 11. It is the flaming sword which keeps the way of the tree of life from such a man: condemning all manner of sin, even that of self-justification, which is the great transgression, the presumptuous sin, under delusion of which the Jews condemned Christ as a blaspherner of their law. But sin taking occasion of moral law (which is holy, just, and good, Rom. vii., 12) works in us all manner of concupiscence, even that of self righteousness, and so moral law which was ordained to life is found to be unto death, Rom. vii., 10. Hence the necessity of being delivered from it by God's free gift of His own righteousness and Life and Light within. “ The tree of knowledge of good and evil,” says Jukes, “was good, and only evil through man’s weakness; like the law (and indeed law is but knowledge) which is holy, just, and good, and yet works condemnation.”

But Paul has comprised the change of the living faithful from earth to heaven as effected at the same time and by the same cause as the resurrection of the dead; namely, by Christ’s having abolished death, or the covenant with death and hell, or the devil which had the power of death, or the law which being the strength of sin was a witness of the relation of God to man intolerable to the Divine Love.

Now the point we have to consider is, whether Paul meant the collective and simultaneous change of those then living, or their several and successive change immediately whenever in their order they departed this mortal life, and similarly for all succeeding generations of faithful men. The Apostle (in 1 Cor. xv.) is no longer speaking of the change or end of dispensations. He had finished that subject in the two previous chapters. That the theme of this chapter is the resurrection of those who had departed or who would depart this mortal life, is evident from the first word of it, “moreover,” or besides all this. It appears that some denied that there would be any resurrection of those who had died and were existing in death. He first declares that it was the credible and credited testimony of many that they had seen Christ after His resurrection from the dead. He then argues that this testimony must have been false if the general proposition, that dead persons rise from death, be false; and that so Christianity would fall to the ground as a mockery, a delusion, and a snare. He then falls back on the testimony of many witnesses, the greater part of whom were then alive, and regarding the rejection of such testimony as absurd, abruptly exelaims (verse 20), But now, the short and long of the matter is, that Christ is risen from the dead. He adds that He then became the first-fruits of them who had slept, that is, the Old Testament faithful, who, it may be presumed, many of them, rose from their hades state, being by His appearance in paradise (to be rationally not carnally discerned) instructed and convinced that He had conquered the law by which they were detained in death or in prison. Paul then proceeds to argument again. He says “ by man came death.” The insertion of the article (the death) shews, says Middleton, that he meant not a particular species of death, but the genus, that is, the death to which sin leads and common to all men ; not dying, which is a law of nature, but the state ensuing to man after dying. It is the same death meant in Rom. v., 12, 14. He then backs up this about death by adding that in Adam all die, that is, according to the law of nature, a fact which was self-evident. But here it is necessary to observe his words carefully. For some _ think that he was speaking of the collective and simultaneous death of all in Adam, as when he says (Rom. v., 5) that many (literally, the many, or the whole multitude of mankind) died through the offence of the one man Adam who was a type (mark this) of the coming man. But if this were his meaning, why did he not say “ the all,” or the whole, just as he said “the many?” But he has not so said, not having inserted the article. Compare the following instances where in the Greek the article is inserted because a collective whole is meant. We (the all) are partakers of the one bread, 1 Cor. x., 17. The all (collectively) died in Him, 2 Cor. v., 15. The scripture hath concluded (shut up together) the all (collectively) under sin, Gal. iii., 22. If there shall be any one who thinks it worth his while to peruse this criticism, he should proceed no further till he has made up his mind once for all whether it is well founded or not. For on the truth of it depends what is presently about to be said of the words “ we shall all be changed.” Here in the words “in Adam all die ” he has an admirable example for testing the truth of the criticism. Was the Apostle, or was he not, speaking of the patent fact that all men successively die? If he was, the meaning of “all being changed” can be settled beyond controversy by the same use of the grammatical construction. To me it appears that there can be no dispute that such was his meaning. His argument is that you cannot deny that by man came death after dying, seeing that you cannot deny that in Adam, or by virtue of the Adamic nature, every man dies. I take for granted, then, that this text establishes the criticism that the article being omitted, “all” means all severally and successively as they depart this life. For the same reason the words “so in Christ also shall all be made alive,” mean all severally and successively, not excluding any subordinate collective and simultaneous quicken‘ ing of those remaining in death at the final abrogation of the law, A.D. 70, but including both them and all who in future ages should pass by dying to Life without tasting of death. This is confirmed by the words, “but every man in his own order ; Christ the first-fruits ; afterwards (more literally, thereupon) they that are Christ’s at His coming,” more literally, in His presence. “Then,” when (verse 24) all in Christ in the Apostolic age had been successively quickened, “cometh the end, when He shall have delivered up the kingdom (of heaven, or the Millennial kingdom) to God even the Father (of the kingdom of God within man); when He shall have put down (or declared, by the facts of the cessation of the law and miracle-performing Apostles, that no outward law should be superior to His inward law) every species of (outward) rule, and every species of (outward) authority and power. For He must reign till He hath put under His feet all the enemies.” The definite article in the Greek shows that the enemies meant were the rule, authority, and power, already mentioned. These were the enemies of Christ as the Lord the Spirit, the Teacher of all men. These were His enemies, whether proceeding from the law of sin, death, and condemnation, and the devil, which had the power of death, or from the Apostolic Church with its miracles and “ signs following them that believe” (Mark xvi., 17), a transient dispensation, manifestation, ministration, or limitation of the Spirit, necessary for the evil and adulterous generation of the Jews, who sought after signs, Matt. xii., 39. “ The last” of these enemies, that is, “death,” or the existence of men in death ensuing upon their dying, “is destroyed,” Paul goes on to say. The word is the present tense of the passive voice, and means that death has been destroyed in the case of Christ and the Old Testament faithful (whether Jews or Gentiles), and is in course of being destroyed for all in Christ at the consummation of the Apostolic age. Then the Son Himself also was subject to (or merged this His ofiicial character in) Him who put all the things (that is, the before-mentioned rule, authority, and power) under Him that God may be the all (rule, authority, and power) in all, in every age and clime, ver. 28 : or, as perhaps it may be translated, that He (the Son) may be (that is, may be revealed as being) God the all in all, and men be manifested as the sons of God, Rom. viii., 19.

Thus this chapter appears to refer (not directly to change of dispensations but) to the resurrection of the deceased. In the same way also the change of the living refers (not directly to change of dispensations, though this is presupposed, but) to the change ensuing to all the surviving faithful at the consummation of the Apostolic age, each in their own order or succession as they died, and so to all the faithful in all the future never-ending ages. The Apostle says, “we (that is, those then living) shall not all (omitting the article because speaking of their sleeping or dying in succession) sleep ” previously to the end of the Apostolic dispensation ; “ but (whether we shall have fallen asleep or be living in the flesh) we shall all (again the article is omitted) be changed,” one after the other or successively, each when his time comes, “in a moment.” The absence of the article here, as before, justifies the interpretation that the change was not of the whole collectively and simultaneously, but of individuals, or it may be groups of individuals, severally and successively. The last trump, or instruction, or warning, given at Jerusalem’s last day, was that the law, which was the strength of sin, was through Christ’s victorious resurrection from its condemnation pronounced to be abrogated as a witness of the relation between God and man; and that the New Covenant in Christ (Heb. x., 16) properly declared that relation and “the whole counsel of God,” Acts xx., 27. They of the deceased who spiritually believed this rose or were changed from their existence or consciousness in death to eternal life. They who survived in the flesh on earth, and all in after times, who should spiritually (whether they had understood or heard of the christian history or not) believe in the Spirit of Holiness (Rom. i., 4), the New Covenant, would likewise on dying rise from mortal to immortal life without passing through any intermediate state of death. Is this plain language to be put down as “fanciful exposition” not answering to “the magnificent terms in which the advent is described ?”

Concerning the word “change” (allage), it is to be observed, that it is a different word from metamorphosis or transfiguration. Allage means exchange, change by substitution, a change described thus : “as a toil-tree, and as an oak, whose substance is in them, when they cast their leaves: so the holy seed shall be the substance thereof,” Isa. vi., 13. Flesh and blood, or consciousness which can believe nothing but what the senses see and touch, stands aghast at this idea of change, and asks, “ where then is personal identity ?” But neither personal identity, nor the belief of it, depend exclusively on the natural memory; for where in such a case would be the identity, or the belief of it, between the infant and the man? “ God giveth it a body (or form) as it hath pleased Him ’' (1 Cor. xv., 38): the holy seed is the substance to be identified: is it desirable to be identified with what is not holy? A divinely given faith must be the underlying support and substance of spiritual things in the creature (Heb. xi., 1) when nature is being changed and swallowed up in life.

If, however, the foregoing criticism is wrong, if the grammatical construction is not such as has been supposed, if Paul was speaking of a collective and simultaneous change, then there is no alternative but to understand his words as meaning the change from the Old to the New Covenant. It will come to the same thing. The old heavens of outward law shall be changed (allagesontai), says Paul, Heb. i., 12. They were unclean and only provisional until God in Christ, who loved righteousness and hated iniquity (Heb. i., 9), established new heavens and a new earth, when He cast death and hades into the lake of fire, that the faithful, who had been changed on earth, might pass, on dying, into the New Heavens without tasting of death.

The last mystery or emblematic representation which I shall mention as fulfilled in the Apostolic age, is that of the quick in Christ caught up with the risen deceased in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so to he ever with the Lord, 1 Thess. iv., 17.

That Paul intended the Thessalonians to receive this statement as emblematical is evident from the prefatory caution, “ this we say unto you by the word of the Lord,” which‘ Conybeare translates “ in the word,” and Winer “in a word ” of the Lord. This evidently implies that the statement is not the Apostle’s own words, but has some of the enigmatical (1 Cor. xiii., 12), or mystical, or emblematic characteristics of the Old Testament: such as he deemed proper for such recent converts to comfort themselves with. In 2 Peter iii., 5, 7, the Authorized Version says, that “by the word of God the heavens were of old,” and “the heavens and the earth which are now by the same word are kept in store.” If this were the Apostle’s meaning, would he not have used rema “the spoken word,” instead of logos, meaning the Scriptures ? In Heb. xi., 3, Paul very significantly uses rema, the spoken word of God; just as he does also in Rom. x., 8. Is not Peter’s meaning, “ by or according to the statement in the Word of God,” and “ by or according to the statement in the same Word,” thus cautioning his readers of the mystical or emblematic haracter of his instruction in the particular case, it being so evidently compounded of various texts from the Old Testament, as the reader may easily find out by the aid of a Concordance ? For it is certain that “ the new heavens and the new earth in which dwelleth righteousness,” is the New Covenant in which dwells the righteousness of Christ’s Spirit; and that the heavens and the earth reserved for judgment was the Old Covenant, in relation to which, said Paul to the Hebrews, “ Our God is a consuming fire,” Heb. xii., 29. And so it is evident that to the Thessalonians Paul was giving an emblematic representation.

It must be admitted that one thing here taught is the Perfect union and communion of Christ and all the holy angels with Him in heaven with His Church on earth, whether such communion was then existing or only immediately about to exist, that is, at the fall of Jerusalem. For, as has been already said, the future tense does not always denote mere futurity, but is also used “in expressing general truths when it sometimes very nearly assumes the import of the present,” as remarked by Winer. But, not to go further into this, it is evident that the communion could not take place without the resurrection of the dead first. Paul returned to this subject in his second epistle to them thus: “ We beseech you, brethren, concerning or in behalf of the coming (presence) of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together (expressed in the Greek by the noun-sub tive episynagogue) unto Him, 2 Thess. ii., 1. Let us understand, then, that whatever might have been the ground or source for the emblematic expression “ caught up in the clouds,” its meaning was the communion of the risen dead with the faithful remaining on earth. Now in Heb. xii., 22-24, the Apostle most distinctly says, that this communion had already taken place. “ Ye have come,” he says, in the perfect tense. If then it be not true that they had been “ caught up,” spiritually discerned, it is not true that they had come to an innumerable company of angels. If the Apostle was mistaken in his prophecy, he was equally mistaken in stating that it had been accomplished. The burden of interpreting the more obscure emblematic form of words of prophecy is removed by our being freed from assenting to the less obscure words in which he represents the prophecy as fulfilled. And those who call the former wide and fanciful may as well make short work of it and call the latter so too. This will be intelligible.

But surely it appears very rational that in the earliest of his epistles the Apostle should think proper to address the Thessalonians in more emblematical language than he used some years later for more confirmed converts, even though the communion of saints should have been as much the fact in the former period as afterwards. But if the Epistle to the Hebrews was written at the close of the Millennial day of grace and at- the commencement of the Jewish war, there is a reason why the communion could be regarded as realized then in a way in which it had not been before. That the writer of the Epistle to the Hebrews regarded the communion as then a fact, appears also from the exhortation (Heb. x., 25) “not to forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is.” Most people read this as if he was lecturing them for not “going to church,” but in the Greek episynagogue is the word translated “assembling together,” the same word as is used to the Thessalonians for “gathering together.” The episynagogue meant the synagogue upon, over, or above the Jewish synagogue, the heavenly or spiritual synagogue ; “ the place unknown until the time when God would gather together the episynagogue of his people, and receive them unto mercy ” (2 Mace. ii., 7, Sept.): the restoration of the Jews to their own land being an emblematical form of expressing the spiritual episynagogue to be spiritually discerned. The same idea is expressed by “sitting together in heavenly places” (Eph. ii., 6), and by “those things which are above,” Col. iii., 1. There is no reason for supposing that this episynagogue was not, or might not be realised before the de facto abrogation of the law. The twenty-fourth and twenty-fifth chapters of Matthew may be regarded as predicting history no further than down to the portion of the Jewish war, ending with the fourth trumpet of the Apocalypse. Compare the fourth trumpet (Rev. viii., 12) with Matt. xxiv., 29-31. The words (verse 34) “all be fulfilled,” are more literally, “all be in progress,” to be completely finished by the fall of Jerusalem. The exact meaning of the word‘ (genetai) translated “be fulfilled,” may be seen in Luke i., 20, where it is translated “ shall be performed,” but where clearly the meaning is “be in progress of being performed.” Now at the sound of the fourth trumpet-warning, the Millennial day of grace was passed, and nothing remained but the warnings of “woe, woe, woe.” See Josephus, Wars of the Jews, Book ii, Chap. 19, for the remarkable account of the Roman armies retreating from Jerusalem without any strategic reason, though they might easily have taken it, Josephus says ; but with the sudden, and unexpected, say miraculous, effect of giving the Jewish Christians, in an hour that they thought not (Matt. xxiv., 44), the opportunity of going forth to meet the Bridegroom with his faithful followers, whether scattered over the mountains (Matt. xxiv., 16) of Pera, throughout Asia (1 Pet. i., 1), or in any other place (Jer. vi., 3; Zeph. ii., 11; Mal. i., 11) that the Lord might choose to set His name in. With this brief hint on an interesting subject, let us proceed to consider the emblematic expression, “ caught up.”

It seems to be taken from Dan. vii., 9—14, and also from Christ’s ascension, when He was taken up and a cloud received Him out of their sight, Acts i., 9. The Apostolic Church or Body of Christ was taught, that “the disciple is not above his Master, and that every one shall be perfected as his Master,” Luke vi., 40. As Christ the Head was crucified, so His members were regarded as crucified, Gal. ii., 20; partakers of Christ’s sufferings, 1 Pet. iv., 13; Rom. viii., 17; 2 Cor. i., 7; iv., '10; Phil. iii., 10: filling up that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in my flesh for His body’s sake, which is the Church, Col. i., 24; partaker of the afflictions of the Gospel, 2 Tim. i., 8. As Christ the Head rose from the dead, so His Body the Church rose from the dead, Rom. v., 4, 5, 6, 11, 13. As He was received by a cloud out of men’s sight, so was His Body the Church; the cloud, in both cases representing the darkness of the mere literal sense of Scripture to one, and the light spiritually discerned in it by another, as with the exodus of the Israelites out of Egypt. The resemblance between the career of Christ and His Church began even with the birth of each. As the former, the Word, was made flesh, so the latter was born from above by the Word of God, 1 Pet. i., 23; Rev. xii., l, 2. Thus the being “ caught up” is merely an emblematic representation of the Apostolic Church having ceased to be a visible outward church, swallowed up in an invisible and spiritual communion of those made perfect in heaven and those surviving on earth, and to he, therefore, only spiritually discerned. If this is to be called a wide or strained sense of the last stage called being caught up, the same will have to be said of all the preceding stages. But the saying of Paul that he was crucified with Christ fully justifies his also saying that the Body was to be caught up in a cloud as the Head had been, into “ an episynagogue even as a hen gathereth her chickens,” Matt. xxiii., 37. No doubt, when Paul said, Forsake not your episynagogue (and they could not forsake what they were not in possession of) he saw Jewish Millennianism then, as now, suspending assent to the truth upon the ability to frame a graven image of some natural and visible conversation of a man in heaven with a man on earth: forgetting that a cordial or spiritual belief of the truth with the eyes of the understanding enlightened (Eph. i., 18) is the essential thing towards further understanding how these things can be. When shall we learn that a thing is not incredible because it is inconceivable naturally ? When Paul said, “ our conversation is in heaven” (Phil. iii., 20), “the dogs” of whom, in the preceding second verse, he had warned them, would have said like the scoffers (2 Pet. iii., 3), Your theory agrees not with the facts which we see with our eyes, forgetting that he was speaking of spiritual things which can only be spiritually discerned (I Cor. ii., 14), that is, discerned by faith (Heb. xi., 1), Divinely given (Eph. ii., 8) to all men Luke iii., 6; John i., 9; 1 Tim. ii., 4; Titus ii., 11; iii., 4. The kingdom of God within man during this mortal life, notwithstanding all appearances to the contrary through the perverse resistance of our nature, is no more incredible than the kingdom of God post mortem, when to all appearance man has ceased to have any existence at all. They who lightly say that the theory agrees not with the facts, and that it is “ fanciful exposition,” should see to it whether the same may not be said of their so-called proofs of the immortality of the soul; proofs, after all, which are but an echo or reflected light stolen from Scripture, though not so recognized.

Such is the simplicity which is in Christ (2 Cor. xi., 3), which is sufficient for believing, that “the magnificent terms in which the Advent was announced" were truly and spiritually fulfilled in the Apostolic age.

The time for the superior glory foreseen by Isaiah, the Apostles being infallibly led into the whole truth, as above said by Mr. Wilkinson, were enabled to fix as contemporaneous, as to its commencement, with the passing away of the old things, such as the Mosaic Law, ecstatic conversation with angels, prophecies, signs, and wonders disturbing the order of nature. This superior glory consists in the restitution of all things to the state described as man in the Garden of Eden. In this state we find neither creeds, nor forms of worship, nor angelic manifestations, such as those under the shadowy, cloudy, and typical dispensations.

These things were the consequences of man’s departure from that state which the Divine Mercy regarded as innocent, because it was a state of submission to spiritual and Divine guidance : of, it may be, ignorant and inexperienced but still infant-like,' reverential, and confiding submission to Divine authority. Sacrifices and the like professions of faith, ecstasies and apparitions and violations of the order of the universe, were the effects of the reptile nature crawling in the dust, and setting its affections on things on earth_ From the silence of Scripture we may safely infer that innocent, inofi‘ensive, but scoffed at, silent worship, was the practice of that inexperienced (speechless almost, till the reptile nature spoke) and infantile race, for of such is the kingdom of heaven. Described as one man Adam, it is plain that during their innocence they never regarded themselves, as we now-a-days do, as so many independent and unconnected existences, separated from one another by an external space, but as one with all spirits and all men, as one family in heaven and in earth (Eph. iii., 15), as a body every member of which was influenced by all the other members of the body, whether spiritual or natural, an influence to be spiritually and rationally but not naturally discerned. If we find this unintelligible, it does not follow that it is incredible, but merely ,shows that we have not exercised our perceptions to discern both good and evil (Heb. v., 14), to understand whence they come and whither they go.

Doth not nature teach us that the atmospheric heavens affect the things on earth ? So it is with the spiritual heavens and the conscious mind of man. To that harmless state we were restored and invited to till it and take care of it, when the manhood of the race was proclaimed by the termination of all outward dispensatious, fulfilling the proverb, once a man and twice a child.

Some remark must be made on what Millennarians, Ritualists, and Rationalists, consider their strongest point. They say that the Apostles taught their disciples to believe in a dissolution of the material universe by fire. They have made this inference from the ungrammatical version “seeing then that all these things shall be dissolved,” 2 Pet. iii., 11. The Greek version here says no such thing. The word translated “shall be dissolved” is not the future but the present tense, and is, says Winer, one of the many passages in which the participle present is improperly taken as a future. The words are, “seeing then that all these things are dissolved.” The fact stared them in the face that all the things meant were then already dissolved; and as there had then been no conflagration of material things, it is clear as the sun at noon-day that material things and material fire were not meant. What things then were they which an enlightened eye saw were dissolved before the conflagration of Jerusalem, in 70? Why, clearly the beggarly elements of the world of law, and outward dispensations, under the bondage of which men had been held as children, Gal. iv., 3. These had been virtually or de jure dissolved by the resurrection of Jesus Christ, and His (so called Second) Coming in power and great glory on the day of Pentecost next following: and only awaited their further de facto dissolution at the fall of Jerusalem, and the cessation of all Mosaic and Apostolic rule, authority, and power, which every eye may see. The virtual or de jure dissolution of the law discerned by the spiritual eyes of the Apostles was the earnest of the coming de facto dissolution of all such unclean outward things, and of man’s complete redemption from them, whether prophecies, signs, or knowledge, which is but another name for outward law. These were the things that were shaken, and not a mountain that might be touched and that burned with fire ; these things, the works of men’s hands, of the serpent nature, were the things of which God was a consuming fire, Heb. xii., 18, 27, 29. Are we to believe that God is material fire, and to turn fire worshippers ? Away with this nonsense. The Petrine doctrine, the fire he meant, is as plain and obvious as day-light, the Lord the Spirit was the consuming fire of all the vain theories of the scofling Millennarians, Ritualists, and Rationalists of that day, who think that righteousness dwells in earth, stones, bricks, and mortar. The righteousness of Christ’s spirit dwells in man, and thus constitutes a new heaven and a new earth : and the old heaven and old earth contrasted therewith cannot, therefore, be the atmospheric heavens and material earth, but things in men which are capable of being contrasted with spiritual things.

It has been thought that the Apostles were like the Prophets under the Old Covenant, not understanding the nature of the things they predicted. In answer to this it has been the object of the foregoing pages to show that whatever the Apostles predicted, as the Second Coming of Christ and its concomitants, they predicted not as mere future events, but as events which they saw had already commenced to be done, as events which they had experienced and witnessed, so that they were not left to make “wide” interpretations or “fanciful expositions,” or invalid conclusions. They were not prophets only, but witnesses also of the things which they prophesied. Even the superior glory, which none but John lived to see ushered in, was as to its substance, though not as to its details, revealed unto them by His Spirit, 1 Cor. ii., 10. The testimony of Jesus without and within gave life and spirit to their prophecy. The obvious sense of their ‘words is not that which an idiot apprehends, but that which a truthful spirit and an enlightened reason gives them : just as the obvious appearance of the sun, rising up and going down, is not what it appears to the animal senses, but what reason proves it to be.

Hence, then, while we maintain the infallibility and perfection of Apostolic doctrine, we are by no means precluded from applying it, and the method of exposition by which they established it, to every type and mystery of Scripture, so as to defend the inspired character of every statement; whatever may be its natural or literal infirmity. The Apostles taught that by the abrogation of outward dispensations man was made the equal of angels, Luke. xx., 36, and placed in a position to understand invisible things in such detail as would have been unprofitable and tedious in that age which had to be satisfied with a general summary, Heb. v., 11, viii., 1, ix., 5: that heaven was fairly opened to the perception of man on earth, not by dreams, ecstacies, and apparitions, but through “the good conversation in Christ,” 1 Peter iii., 16. That such a good conversation would turn the world upside down, they did not pretend to deny.

The foregoing brief and imperfect criticism is not presented as dogmas to be blindly accepted, but as hints for the free searching of scripture, to see if these things be so. It is a mere attempt to state “ a form of sound words,” (hypotyposin, a sketch or outline to be filled up), 2 Tim. i., 13. The informing spirit of the form or “word of truth” (2 Tim. ii., 15,) the just understanding of it, no mortal man can give. But it will enter in proportion to the unceasing sense which we have of our natural poverty (Rev. ii., 9) and need (the supplication of Eph. vi., 18, and other places) of spiritual life, faith, and knowledge, the gift of the New Covenant so often alluded to as the law of the “New Creation, in which old things are (and were in the Apostolic age) passed away; behold all things are become new,” 2 Cor. v., 17.




It is said (Psalm lviii., 2) that the narrative of the Exodus is a parable. Paul says (1 Cor. x., 6, ll) it was a type. So also he said (Rom. v., 14) that Adam was a type. And Peter (1 Pet. iii., 21) saying that baptism was the antitype (translated “ the like figure” in the Authorised Version) to the deluge, plainly says that the narrative of Noah was a type. Hence it is plain that the typical character of the Old Testament is the principal thing Being thus quite indifl‘erent about certain rationalistic feeding on innutritious husks, and every modern imitation of Jewish exclusiveness and trifling over mint and cummin, one feels but little interest in Mr. Desprez’s “Book of Daniel." But an interest attaches to him from his having been supposed to have fonnerly entertained views very similar to those of the preceding pages; and from those views having now lost the advocacy of his ability and learning. He says the book of Daniel is not a prophecy but a history. Or, to use his own words, “however it may incorporate fragments of more ancient history, in its present form it is not earlier than the age of Antiochus Epiphanes.” This, to be sure, about its present form is ratha' vague. One might assent to this, though believing it to be a prophecy written four hundred years before it was republished “ in its present form." Let us try another “ perhaps." Mr. D. says, “ It may not perhaps be unreasonable to infer that it is partly a compilation and re-arrangement of more ancient annals, and partly the composition of some learned and pious Jew, who lived at a period subsequent to the scenes it describes—probably whilst his countrymen were still engaged in their patriotic struggle against Demetrius, and following up the advantages they had won from Antiochus Epiphanes.” The object of the book, Mr. D. says, was “ by recounting the heroic endurance of the sainted martyrs of their race to animate the holy people to perseverance in the strife. It will not require much argument to show that such a book at such a time may have afforded material aid and encouragement to the Jewish patriots." Surely it requires very much argument to show that such a book could be compiled, re-arranged. and in part originally composed, and then put into circulation, afier the death of Antiochus, so extensively as to have any such effect as the supposed enthusiastic editor intended. One would hardly think that, before printing had been invented, the Jewish editor could have been as enthusiastic as that, unless miraculously moved. But Mr. D. says, “ the seemingly marvellous narrations of the book" are one of the things which certain folks dislike, and so he does not claim, and heroin he is wise, any miraculous inspi

to be attended to; and that we need not embarrass ourselves with endeavouring to decide the exact amount of actual history contained in the types. If any choose to do so let them. But such labour looks very like one of “the old things which have passed away," and like a returning again to “the letter which killeth.” If the historical difliculties and discordances of the letter offend any one, let him see to it whether his ofi‘ence does not really arise from his disbelief of spiritual things, or of anything which he cannot discern by his senses. In the scripture mystery, or emblematic representation, of God and the Father and the Christ are hid all the treasures of wisdom and know— ledge (Col. ii., 3), like precious jewels in a cabinet. These were opened to our understanding by the Lord the Spirit through His Apostles, and are to be spiritually discerned. These are the “things which are not” in the estimation of our natural understanding, which are “to bring to nought things which are" (1 Cor. i., 28) the only real things according to the same natural estimate. It is a vain thing to try to please either the rationalist, or the nominal christian. who, abiding in the letter, sees “ men only as trees walking,” Mark viii., 24; that is, has a confused notion of the object and intent of the letter, and thinks he ought to say that it is all actual history, and that having so said nothing more is required of him.

ration for his fabulous Jewish editor, compiler, and original composer. Such a purpose for the book seems, therefore, rather inconceivable. It seems like an American writing a book to‘ animate his countrymen for the further struggle after the defeat of the Confederates in war, by devoting eight chapters of the book to the war of independence eighty years before, and four chapters to the just finished civil war. One would think the desired effect would be best attained by shortly recounting the last heroic efforts: in the case of the Jews and Antiochus, the efi‘orts by which the former successfully asserted their independence. ending with the sudden and easily to be supposed Divinely inflicted death of the latter.

And then look at the unfitness of the book for this enthusiastic purpose, when compared with the other Prophets. “ The one," says Dr. Williams, in his introduction to Mr. D.’s book, “ had the trumpet sound of song ; the other drawled like official prose: the stir awakened in us at the words, ‘Hear, 0 Heaven, and give ear, 0 Earth, for the Lord hath spoken.’ had but faint counterpart in the languid~feeling with which we listened to the enumeration of the princes, the governors, and captains, &c., gathered together unto the dedication of the image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up.” How unsuitable, “the more ancient annals, the seemingly marvellous narratives” were for the imaginary purpose, appears further from a circumstance used by Mr. D. as evidence against the existence of the book of Daniel when Ecclesiasticus was written. He says. “ Certainly the omission of the name of the prophet Daniel from the catalogue of Jesus, the son of Sirach, in which occur the names of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, together with the mention of the twelve minor prophets, shows that either the book was unknown to the author of Ecclesiasticus, or was not recognized by him as of like prophetical authority with the rest.” But “the ancient annals, the marvellous narrations," must have been known to him. Surely he might have recognized these. Why did he not!‘ Because they were too prosaic? or, because Daniel's prophecy of the Christ did not suit some narrow-minded Jewish exclusiveness of the author of Ecclesiasticus

 “The Jews,"

says Dr. Williams, in his introduction, "might, with some violence, explain the other Prophets away: despairing of Daniel, ‘they had removed him out of the roll of the Prophets into a secondary place," that is, amongst writings which they called the Hagiographa. A faction among the Jews might have done so, but, as we shall see presently, there was a party who thought otherwise.

Thus Mr. Desprez's account of the origin of the book appears to be mere “ fanciful exposition.” His unsuccessful attempt to interpret the ninth chapter might have shown him how unsuitable was the material for exciting a patriotic struggle against Demetrius or any other warrior.

Mr. Desprez recapitulates his argument against the early authorship of Daniel under the following six points.

I. “ The diversity of language in which the book is written." To this he attaches little importance himself. He says, “the transition from Hebrew to Chaldee, where the wise men reply to the ldng in Syriack, is as natural as that the letters to and from the Persian monarchs (Ezra iv., v.) should be written in Chaldee; the introduction of Babylonian topics into the subject demanding the use of a different dialect. A similar case is found in Jer. x., 11." But does it not prove the truth of the following remark by Hengstenberg P “ The author must certainly have been equally conversant with both languages; an attainment exactly suited to a Jew living in the time of the exile, but not in the least to an author living in the Maccabaean age, when the Hebrew had long ceased to be a living language and had been supplanted by the Aramaedan vernacular dialect.” It may be added, in this case, that to write in Hebrew for the purpose of exciting popular enthusiasm was a very vain undertaking. Mr. Desprez deserves credit for candour in referring to an argument which rather proves the weakness of his own case.

II. “The place occupied by the book in the Hebrew canon." The reason for this has already been shown in the despair of a Jewish faction to explain away the prophecy.

III. “The use of Greek words.” Why not suppose that these were substituted in a new edition of Daniel in the place of the original Hebrew or Chaldee P

IV. " The style of the book differing from the writings of the captivity.” Well, God is admitted to have spoken (Heb. i., 1) by the prophets at sundry times in divers manners; by visions, appearances of angels, the word in the heart as a burning fire shut up in the bones (Jer. xx., 9), and so on. Hengstenberg observes, that “too much weight cannot be assignedto the testimony in favour of the authenticity of the book which is to be deduced from the mention of Daniel in Ezek. xiv., 14, 20; xxviii, 3; where the character assigned to him is perfectly conformable to that which his own book exhibits.” But this is an argument which can only be appreciated by a careful study of Scripture. If people, instead of doing this, prefer taking the opinions of Hengstenberg or Desprez,~either on one side or the other, they will find themselves in constant doubt. If the style of the other prophets was such that “ the Jews might, with some violence, explain them away,” there is not much wonder in the wisdom of Daniel’s style which they could not explain away, and so in their despair put him into the Hagiographa, there, if possible, to be banished out of their sight, or to have his prophetic character denied.

V. “The historical character of the book extending to, but not beyond the age of Antiochus Epiphanes.” If a prophecy of an historical event is a thing impossible, then of course the book of Daniel is not a prophecy. But why not say so plainly? There is no doubt that the book has direct reference to Antiochus Epiphanes. What does this matter if prophecy of historical events is a thing possible 9

VI. “ The seemingly marvellous narratives and historical inaccuracies, which have aroused suspicion from the earliest times.” Let the reader, for an answer to this argument, study John vi., 52—71. If in the testimony of Jesus, the spirit of prophecy, he can see no spirit and no life, but mere gross literalism, to be eaten without spiritual discernment, there is but little chance of his escaping from some Jewish traitor to the cause for which Jesus lived, and died, and rose again, ascended into heaven, and came again in great power and glory in the Apostolic age.

Such then are Mr. Desprez’s so-called arguments against Daniel being a prophecy written during the captivity. Were they stronger than they are, they would only make more marvellous the following statement of Josephus, which both Dr. Rowland Williams and the Rev. P. S. Desprez, with culpable negligence omit toquote or refer to, so that their readers might imagine that no such passage was ever written. Writing somewhere about or soon after AD. 70, Josephus says of Daniel:

“ He had strange revelations made to him, and those as to one of the greatest of the prophets, insomuch, that while he was alive he had the esteem and applause both of the kings and of the multitude: and now he is dead, he retains a remembrance that will never fail, for the several books that he wrote and left behind him are still read by us till this time; and from them we believe that Daniel eonversed with God: for he did not only prophecy of future events, as did the other prophets, but he also determined the time of their accomplishment . . . . and by the accomplishment of them, be procured the belief of their truth, and the opinion of [a sort of ] divinity for himself among the multitude.”

So then the multitude, the ignorant people that knew not the law, highly esteemed Daniel as one of the greatest of the prophets. But the Son of Sirach, and the rulers, who thought they knew the law, despaired of being able, by violence even, to explain him away, and pretended that he was not a prophet. But the question naturally occurs, how, with the learned Jews against him, and Mr. Desprez’s six points against him, came it to pass that Daniel was esteemed by the multitude as one of the prophets P Had the book been written after the death of Antiochus Epiphaues, AD. 164, it seems incredible that in the face of the condemnation of the Son of Sirach and‘ the like of him, any one would ever have thought it worth while to claim for Daniel to have been a prophecy written during the Babylonian captivity.

The case then is this. The more you multiply points against Daniel being a prophecy, the more miraculous you make it that any Jews, in the century before the Christian era, and the time downwards to the fall of Jerusalem, could have imagined it to be a prophecy. On the other hand, ‘known schisms among the Jews and known rival schools, the notorious fact that in the Apostolic age Judaism was a house divided against itself, easily account for the possibility of some denying the antiquity of the book, if such denial existed, but of the existence of any such denial previous to the fall of Jerusalem, Mr. Desprez neither gives nor attempts to give the slightest shadow of evidence. If such denial took place at a later date, the appeal to the authority of the book in the Gospels is, like the prediction ot‘Christ's coming in clouds before that generation passed away, a proof that the Gospels were written before the destruction of Jerusalem. For, as Strauss has confessed, it is incredible that any one writing after the fall of Jerusalem would have invented for Jesus a prophecy that he would come in clouds immediately after the tribulation which began with the Jewish war, three years and a half before the fall of Jerusalem; where “ after ” (meta) must not be allowed to lose its original signification, “in the midst of,” “in connection with,” ‘so that the advent in clouds was to be quite as much at the beginning as at the end of the tribulation. I make this remark, however, with the understanding that it does not contradict the principle of the foregoing pages, that the tribulation in its spiritual sense commenced with the frantic exclamation, “ What meaneth this? ” Acts ii., 13.

The appeal to the book of Daniel in the Gospels is likewise an evidence of their early date, and that Christ did not share the Messianic ideas of the Son of Sirach and his admirers, if he had any.

° Perhaps, after all, I am too hard on the Son of Sirach, and some other reason may be found for his omission of Daniel among the prophets. However this may be, it is known that the age following Antiochus was one of peace for the Jews, and, as the natural consequence of peace, one of great glory. In the words of Mr. Stephenson, it “raised up faithful expectants of the consolation of Israel, formed the nursery of the Christian Church, and framed the very cradle of the Apostolical College. Then originated the full establishment of that wonderful system extending from Jerusalem to the remotest colony, and effectually securing discipline and education.” In the midst of such education and enlightenment, it is not credible that Daniel would have been thought a prophecy, if it were only a history.

With regard to Christ’s allusion to Daniel the prophet, the meaning of the prophetical (in the sense of spiritual) instruction is, that, as in ‘the time of Antiochus Epiphanes there was a combination (or gathering together, Acts iv. 26) of a traitorous faction of the Jews with Antiochus against Jewish independence. so there was about to be a like combination of Jew and Gentile against the Lord and His Christ. This was the antitype which they were to understand when they read in Daniel the typical desecration of the holy place by Antiochus and his Jewish partisans. To the Rev. W. Hewson, Incumbent of Goathland, Yorkshire, this beautiful exposition is due.

The abomination of desolation (or combination of Jew and Gentile, pretended saints using worldly power !) standing in the holy place, otherwise described as the man of sin (the Jewish high priest trading on Gentile ignorance), sitting in judgment (not in, but eis) against the temple of God (the Apostolic church), 2 Thes.ii. 4, is not to be confounded with the surrounding of Jerusalem by armies, Luke xxi., 20. This took place at the beginning of the Jewish war, at the famous Cestian assault, as well as at the end of that war, and was a signal which every eye might see warning them to flee out of Judaaa. The former was the mystery of iniquity already at work (2 Thes. ii., 7) gathering up the clouds which were to burst in seven thunder claps against the land which had made a covenant with death and hell. It was a signal for the wiser virgins, who were not in darkness, to flee from J udaaa before the Cestian assault should overtake them as a thief, l Thes. v., 4. The fallacy that the abomination of desolation meant the Roman armies, has been exposed by the Rev. J. A. Stephenson in the following words:

“ Agents for the accomplishment of His own judgment on His enemies, wings subordinately instrumental to the flight of

His own friends (for it was under the unintentional protection of the Roman armies that the faithful escaped from Jerusalem at the beginning of the war), and to their security in their retirement, our Lord would not be understood by the faithful as holding up to their abhorrence the Roman eagles; nor could the ever memorable heroes of the thundering legion, or any other of the numerous Christians, who eventually followed those ensigns to never fading glory, have ever believed that their Master termed them the Abomination of Desolation.”


To a superficial eye it seems plain that Rome must be “the great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth,” Rev. xvii. 18. I mean Rome in the Apostolic age, not Rome after that age, whether Pagan or Papal; for the prophecies of Scripture, so far as they refer to historical events, have nothing to do with any historical events subsequent to the fall of Jerusalem.

But the conclusion that Babylon meant Rome involves the incongruous idea of Rome sitting upon Rome. For the sevenheaded beast, on which the woman sat, is as plainly declared to be Rome (Rev. xvii., 9—13), as the woman with Mystery Babylon written upon her forehead is declared to be the great city. Now in the great city Babylon, it is said, was found the blood of prophets, and of saints, and of all that were slain upon the earth, Rev. xviii., 21: in Matt. xxiii., 30, 35, it is said, upon the Jews was to come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, for they were guilty of the blood of the prophets: and in Luke xiii., 33, it cannot be that a prophet perish out of Jerusalem, that is, without judgment and sentence instigated and proceeding from Jerusalem. Thus, then, the woman sitting on the beast, or the great city Babylon, must be Jerusalem supported by or in combination with Rome or Gentile power (like the clay mixed with iron, of Daniel’s vision of Antiochus and a traitorous faction of the Jews), or Jew and Gentile gathered together against the Lord and His Christ, and the Apostles, the mystery of iniquity of 2 Thes. ii., 7.

The question then is, on what principle is Jerusalem called the great city which reigneth over the kings of the earth ? For in a civil or political sense Jerusalem had no such kingdom. Perhaps if instead of “ which reigneth ” we adhere to the literal version, “which has a kingdom," the sense will be clearer. “The great city which has a kingdom over the kings of the earth,” is the literal translation, and appears to convey a different impression to that of the words “ which reigneth.” For instance, if the Papacy claimed a right to depose independent sovereigns, it might be said to claim to reign over such kingdoms. But if it only claimed a moral right to defend its tenets in all independent kingdoms by argument, though it could not be said to claim to reign. yet it might be said to claim to have a kingdom over the other kingdoms. However, as this may be hyper-critical, let us content ourselves with, at all events, reasoning from the literal version in case some fallacy should creep into our minds unawares by what is not the exact form of words.

The Apocalypse represents Christ as King of kings, and the kingdoms of this world as His kingdoms. In opposition to this, the Jewish High Priest, 01- man of sin, so opposed and exalted himself as virtually to declare himself to be God, 2 Thes. ii., 4. _In his own opinion he had a kingdom over the kings of the earth, not only the literal kings, but the disciples of Christ, who were the true kings and priests of the earth (Rev. i., 6; v., 10; 1 Pet. i. 9), reigning with Him in the Millennial or Apostolic age, Rev. xx., 6. It was this arrogant assumption which en~ titled Jerusalem to be called Babylon. The restoration of the kingdom to Israel meant, in Jewish eyes, the having a kingdom of worldly power, like that of Babylon, Rome, and the Gentiles generally, over all the kingdoms of the earth. They regarded themselves as being a “ nation of distinctive and higher privileges (to use the words of the Rev. W. Hewson) than those of the Gentile world,” as divinely entitled to make their name an object of fear and dread to mankind. To establish their kingdom they were ready to adopt Gentile arts, and by fraud and deception to deceive the political Babylon (Rome) of the age into combining with them against the Lord and His Christ. Hence, by the Apostles, Jerusalem was regarded as having a kingdom over the kingdoms of the earth, as exercising a power over the spiritual Israel similar to that which Babylon once had over the fleshly Israel. The great transgression, the presumptuous sin, the all deceivableness of unrighteousness, was manifested in the Jewish merchandise of their religion to augment their own power over the souls of men, Rev. xviii., 11—13. For this use of Babylonish power they were called Babylon; and Babylon may therefore, on Apostolic authority, be regarded as the general Scripture emblem of that special iniquity.

Smca the foregoing pages were written, the above-named pamphlet has been sent to me, and I avail myself of the occasion to apologise for whatsome may consider the too vitupcrative tone of my own pamphlet, the common consequence of strong convictions without an easy command of words. The benefioed clergy-man’s pamphlet is, I grieve to say, a rationallstic publication. A great portion of it consists of proof of the subject of my first part, namely, that the Apostolic doctrine was that all prophecy was to be fulfilled in their generation. The skill of the writer, his easy power, and vast superiority over my. feeble exposition of the same subject, are most conspicuous, and l corn— mend it in preference to what I have said. But when he comes to the subject of my second part, he maintains the rationalistic doctrine, that Christ and His Apostles were mistaken; that only a part of the Scriptures are the Word of God, and that the apparent contradictions and unscientific statements of the other parts cannot be accounted for on principles consistent with their verbal inspiration. He will have it, that the Apostles taught the immediate return of Christ to earth, in a personal form and the destruction of the earth by fire. Utterly incapable of calmly reasoning upon the subject, he dismisses it by saying.

“This is the conclusion at which all honest minds must sooner or later arrive—a conclusion compelled by the obvious and natural sense of the terms employed. and which can only be evaded by processes which savour of critical disingenuousness and literary equivocation.”

Having myself said enough about dramatic religion and childish toys, I am rather glad to find this skilled writer thus “calling names.” After all there is no harm in it. The particular charge of disingenuousness against those who persist in rejecting the conclusions of the senses, on the ground of contrary conclusions drawn first by reason, and secondly by reason under the dominion of faith, is of great antiquity. Pope was perhaps too hard. upon those who stood out for the obvious and natural sense of the sun moving up and down and round about, and knocked a stick against the ground in place of rational argument against Berkeley, when he said that “ coxcombs vanquish Berkeley by a grin.” But they who make the charge of disingenuonsness against those who so con~ struct the sense of Scripture as to prove its verbal inspiration, and the perfect knowledge of Christ and His Apostles. must match this wit of the poet before the charge will be regarded as anything else but a proof of a want somewhere of intellectual power in those who make it. I intend no malice, but am unable to express my opinion otherwise than by saying, that the obvious and natural sense is quite likely enough to be the sense which an idiot puts upon words and the appearances of things, but. not that which a rational man knows is their proper sense.




lN Mr. Hepworth Dixon’s “ New America,” the most refreshing book that has been published for many a day, is the following account of a new sect, established by a person of the name of Noyes. " Much reading of Paul’s Epistles led him to believe that the Christian faith, as it appears in the Churches of Europe and America, even in those which style themselves reformed, is a huge historical mistake. There is no visible Church of Christ on earth. The Church of Paul and Peter was the true one; a community of brothers, of equals, of saints: but it passed away at an early date, our Lord having returned in the Spirit, as He had promised, to dwell among His people evermore. On this second advent, Noyes says, that our Lord abolished the old law, closing the empire of Adam, and setting up His kingdom in the hearts of all who would accept His reign. Noyes fixes this spiritual advent in the year 70, immediately after the fall of Jerusalem; since which date, he says, there have been one true church and many false chu'rches, bearing His name.” Here is pretty nearly the form of sound words. But in violation of the form, Noyes has founded a sect upon it, which has fallen into grievous excesses and unwarrantable practices. In agriculture the appearance of weeds of more than their ordinary size, is an excellent proof of the goodness of the soil for wheat. Mr. Dixon observes, not in reference to Noyes, “ When men ask for a sign and receive a date, what marvel if they should turn away?" But in the case of the date 70, it appears not to have been barren but productive, when Noyes sowed his weeds upon it. Suppose some one were to sow wheat upon the date 70, and perhaps it might produce a hundredfold of the good seed in return. Sometimes we clean land partially by sowing a green crop, for cattle food, so thickly upon the ground that partly it smothers the weeds, and those which grow get mowed down early in the summer, before they run to seed. The date 70 is the good sign which mows down all other signs which ccstatics and fanatics dream of as “ signs following them that believe.” So far it is a very easy way of cleaning and preparing the land for the sowing of a wheat crop.




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Date: 26 Aug 2013
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A review of The Lord The Spirit by Donald Perry.

The Lord The Spirit  - Showing the Error of expecting any Second Personal Coming of Christ.  Shewing how these things can be in the Testimony of Jesus the Spirit of Prophecy.  W. P. G.

Method of Interpretation: How close to the Idealistic View does WPG  get?

WPG only give us two options, he is not aware of the Idealistic view. On page 33 concerning the second advent he writes: “The clear statement of Scripture concerning the time of the Lord’s coming in glory has been discovered in all it’s plain simplicity … Depend upon it, it must come to this: either Christ and His Apostles were mistaken, or Christendom all along has been mistaken.”

The second coming can only be defined as highly Covenantal and only observable or understood with spiritual eyes and a revelation of God.

On page 1 WPG admits that if one think on the second coming as one of being “personal and outward” that such an expectation only comes from “not knowing the scriptures”.

However I would say that the second coming cannot be defined. It can be argued that no one has lived to tell about it to say what really happens. Although the Scriptures show that some would live to tell about it to the next generation in Revelation 1-3. There seems to be various happenings in the second coming. It can be defined in a number of different ways, for those who may or may not continue in this world after the second coming. If something happens where you are no longer in this world, then that could be the same as to say you are in heaven by means of the second coming. The second coming in Scripture is seen to have such depths and heights that one can arguably say that in the second coming the planet is gone after Jesus comes.

1 Corinthians 7:29 “But this I say, brethren, the time is short: it remaineth, that both they that have wives be as though they had none; 30 and they that weep, as though they wept not; and they that rejoice, as though they rejoiced not; and they that buy, as though they possessed not; 31 and they that use this world, as not abusing it: for the fashion of this world passeth away.”

2 Peter 3:13 “Nevertheless we, according to his promise, look for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.14 Wherefore, beloved, seeing that ye look for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blameless.”

1 Corinthians 4:4-5 “In fact, I do not even judge myself. 4 For I know of nothing against myself, yet I am not justified by this; but He who judges me is the Lord. Therefore judge nothing before the time, until the Lord come, who both will bring to light the hidden things of darkness, and will make manifest the counsels of the hearts: and then shall every man have praise of God.”

Matthew 25:10 “And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came; and they that were ready went in with him to the marriage: and the door was shut.”

An explanation, that running and hiding from the Romans justifies a second coming is not possible to fully define it. However I will admit that the closest human way to define the second coming today has to do with AD 66, but again I must admit that I cannot see it fully defined there as anyone can see by the above Scriptures.

The idea of a literal or personal coming is witchcraft, and of the flesh:

On page 17 he says that the Christian world has allowed themselves to be “bewitched” because they are too carnal to understand the “time and nature of the Lord’s Advent”.

Page 2. Here WPG goes on to say that “… the gospel, the new Covenant, is (not a literal) but a spiritual Covenant, for the literal covenant killith, but the Spirit, or the spiritual covenant, the conjunction of the Lord the Spirit with man, maketh alive 2 Cor. Iii., 6”.

WPG is adding to the Scriptures. The Bible says the letter killith, not the literal killith. There is nothing wrong with the literal, we will have a literal death, and we do many spiritual things literally, Jesus died literally. We are judged for the literal things that we do or don’t do. So his new interpretation of the covenants does not work. And based on this kind of thinking as his foundation for New and Old covenant WPG has now virtually ostracized the whole Christian church from Jesus Christ.

In the following pages of The Lord The Spirit WPG develops this doctrine of Preterist Spirituality over and against Pre-Millennialism Naturalism to essentially make what could be identified as New Covenant verses Old Covenant arguments.
On page 21 he equates not understanding the second advent with not understanding as with Nicodemus, as he said “How can these things be?”.

Page 7. Here WPG says that the idea that Christ will “come in person” or for “anything” is uninspired and “… not the truth of the Word.” However, Christ seemed to indicate that John would be alive when He came, and 1 Thess. 4 says there will come a day when those to whom Paul was addressing would, “ever be with the Lord”. The Lord can appear any way He so pleases for any reason, there is no “literal verses spiritual” dichotomy” now setup today by God. Some day Jesus said we will have and should look forward to a natural body like His, not merely a spiritual body.

However I will admit that the literal is only the beginning, and that after the literal comes the greater questions of who, where, and why. And that often, but not always, a literal show or happening in prophecy is not really the point, as in many of the visions in John’s Revelation. There is no literal six headed beast.

Timing of the second coming:
WPG writes on page 10 “… the Scriptures say that all prophecies, all things written of the coming of Christ in the clouds of heaven of the resurrection and judgment of the quick and the dead, were to be fulfilled before the age and generation of Christ’s own Apostles had passed away? I have referred to some such texts. Here are a few more.” And “… the Apostolic age was the time for Christ’s coming in the clouds of heaven. … in the whole Bible he will not find one single text testifying to the contrary, or giving a later date for the fulfillment of all things written.” And then he goes on to say “… we must take care that we in no wise diminish the weight of this testimony of Scripture, that the time of such coming was the Apostolic age.”
If we are to understand this, than we need to get a new Bible because the one we have is outdated. Christ’s coming refers to that which has to do with recapitulation, and as WPG proves and I shall show. What WPG does not realize, is that those whom he condemns of being less spiritual then him are actually more spiritual than he is. And this is due to the fact that they are still in the loop. WPG is in outer-space contradicting himself without a Bible.

On page 42 of volume 2 he shows that what is history is “the resurrection and judgment of he quick and the dead, with the passing away of the old heavens and earth” with the “establishment of the new heavens and earth”. Yet at the very same time on the very same page he cries of the “wicked” who are still in the old heavens and earth! He admits there are those who are not dwelling in the fullness of the new heavens and earth, need to see this change but then contradicts himself as he abrogates the change wholly to a historical fact! Page 40 They ” …seek a refuge in vain ceremonies which God has long ago spued out of His mouth … you must not believe that this dramatic religion, this man made counterfeit of the law (itself says Paul Heb. X., 1 but a transient shadow of the Gospel) has passed away …” Page 41 “But we should be mindful of Paul’s warning (Phil. 3:2), beware of the doges, beware of the evil workmen, beware of the concision. For we are the circumcision which worship God in Spirit, rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh” Then on Page 44 he also quotes 1 Corinthians 2:14 “But the natural man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him; nor can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned.”

Again, please understand I do not agree with WPG, but rather I am pointing out the fact that he is willing to use a OT verses NT dichotomy today. Thereby he is inferring he is still in the transitional period as do I. I take the position that he is mistaken, that we can (as does he ironically) redirect ourselves into that AD 33- 77 time period. And in this way he thus makes us the very futurists he denounces!

Is WPG talking about some kind of Apostolic Idealism? On Page 55-56 he writes some kind of idealist statements which must be interpreted in the context of his own writings. The Idealism we are looking for would indicate that the second advent is equal to a coming at all times for all peoples in its purist sense; yet nevertheless being interpreted not beyond that same general thinking of the Apostles in regard to what it was in man and in their societies that needed to be changed still in their world. And this Idealism I am referring to is the same as Redirectionalism. What was to be changed in Jerusalem was not necessarily altogether the same thing that needed to be changed in Rome or Ephesus. Although largely all had to do with doubts of Christ’s supremacy over OT sacrifices. It also had to do with man’s will to make his own offering. This was the sin of Cain who made his own sacrifice not according to God and killed his brother, and is typical of what man tries to do every day.

Some have said that our view is too hard to understand, and so it makes no sense. But, there is nothing more simplistic. Simply read the Bible like it was written to you, and put yourself in the Apostles shoes and there you have it, Redirectionalism. I just fully defined it in one sentence. It does not get any more simple. Every Christian view uses this kind of Idealism to one degree or another. If you don’t use it at all, if you do not look for Christ and change, it means that you don’t think like the Apostles at all and you are not a Christian. Or it means you are spiritually dead as a door nail and need to repent. Now we can deal with the text below:

On Page 55-56 he writes: "We must distinguish between the Lord's coming as the Lord the Spirit, which is an eternal truth or fact, and the merely parabolic form of speech “coming to destroy Jerusalem," as though He came in a personal or outward form and manner. His coming meant His revelation of Himself, that is, of the divine truths of His word, to man and in man. For His words do not pass away (Matt. xxiv., 35) as wind, but remain as envelopes of truths, and these truths as envelopes of Himself. Such a revelation of Himself He gave to His Apostles, by which they were enabled to declare the whole truth or counsel of God. This is a coming or revelation of Himself which has no end or terminus, for it is spiritual or His Spirit, which has nothing to do with the natural idea of an end or terminus, an idea belonging to nature, space, and time. This coming, therefore, must not be regarded as ending with the abrogation of the law or the fall of Jerusalem, but as revealed the more clearly by the dispersion of that dark cloud which had served to conceal the brightness of the sun of righteousness. This coming in power and great glory is not to be confounded with the miraculous manifestations which attended it."

What does WPG mean here by his two understanding of the Lord’s comings? (1.) One has to do with “ending with the abrogation of the law or the fall of Jerusalem”. This is when the Lord simply fulfills His prophecy to destroy one of two systems He had in place, the OT system. (2.) The other one he is talking about has to do with (2A.) “His revelation of Himself, that is, of the divine truths of His word”. And (2B.) “His revelation of Himself … in man.”.

Concerning 2A “His revelation of Himself, that is, of the divine truths of His word”, what WPG is referring to is idealistic. And this idealism is some kind of a Preterist-Idealism. That is where he says there are “envelopes of truths” that refer to God Himself that “has nothing to do with the natural idea of an end or terminus”. However we cannot discount everything he has said thus far or indeed what he will say immediately after. These revelations of God and man either have to do with something of Preterism which had to do with permanent change, or something that is still changing. WPG has not said in this. Further down on page 58 he writes: “… the Apostles taught that their dispensation, and indeed all dispensations, would cease with the fall of Jerusalem. For a dispensation means an outward and naturally visible dispensing or distributing of outward and visible gifts by human or finite instruments, so that the dispensation is limited by space, time, and the finiteness of human nature. So that if the Apostolic age be regarded as a dispensation of the Spirit, we are compelled to say that it was a limitation of the Spirit …” Now we see clearly that WJPW is not talking about Idealism at all when it comes to the Apostolic age. He believes it is history never to be repeated and despised. His view is not that which searches for equality with the Apostolic age, but an Idealism of what it took to climb over it into what can only be interpreted from reading his writings as a OT to NT change familiar with hyper-preterism.

Now therefore when we read (2B.) “His revelation of Himself … in man.” we know we are talking about a hyper-preterist.

Preterist Idealism. Thanks to WPG this term, Preterist Idealism, is now a very confusing term to use unless it is carefully defined. And this has to do with where the idealism kicks in. Does it solidify pre or post AD 70; Or post Apostolic Age? If it solidifies Apostolic and pre-AD 66, and has to do with defining all subsequent ages within one Preterist age, this is Redirectionalism. And this is all well and good. If however it solidifies post-Apostolic post-AD 70 then it is Hyper-Preterism. WPG would argue that he is a Post-Preterist-Idealist, but he could not argue he is a Pre-Preterist-Idealist. At this point you can see that he would rebuke it with every ounce of strength left within his dying soul. You can see this by his previous comments.

Conclusion: I think it is plain by what WPG is implying thus far, is that unless you understand the timing of the Lord’s Advent in Preteristic terms you are in for a stern rebuke from him concerning your salvation, which will then be seriously be brought into question. WPG would say that you cannot hear, you cannot see, and you have been deceived and bewitched concerning the very fundamentals of the faith. I could go on to use more of his quotations to demonstrate the points, but I think what I have here is more than sufficient.

I would contend that WPG has misunderstood the Scriptures, and to say the least is either outside the faith or is very confused. He seems to stand inside and outside Christ’s purposes to change the world unto what can only be defined as the second coming. Yet he has thrown out the Biblical model with the Apostolic age.

Redirectionalist Idealsim: I have written a book called Redirectionalism that I have written to argue my point of view. It is available on under the author Donald Perry. I also have a website called with some helpful links.


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