WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID
"16.On the other hand, some have regarded the prophecy as one already
Grotius, Wetstein, Le Clerc, Whitby, Schöttgen, Nösselt, Krause, and
Harduin. All these concur in referring the "advent of the Lord"
to the coming of Christ in the destruction of Jerusalem".
20. Le Clerc holds the
apostasy to be the rebellion of the Jewish people against the yoke of
Rome : the man of sin, the rebel Jews, and especially their leader
Simon, son of Giora, whose atrocities are related in Josephus: every
one called God, &c. denotes the government : - "that which
hindereth" is whatever hindered the open breaking out of the
rebellion, -- partly the influence of those Jews in office who dissuaded
the war, - partly fear of the Roman armies : and he that hindereth,
on one side, the "Roman prefect," - on the other, the "chief men of the
nation, King Agrippa and most of the high priests." The
mystery of lawlessness is the rebellious ambition, which under
the cloke of Jewish independence and zeal for the law of Moses, was even
then at work, and at length broke openly forth." (The New Testament for
English Readers, First Thessalonians, Introduction, p 86)
J.P. Dabney (1829)
Matthew 10 "23. Till the Son of man be come : Le Clerc supposes that
this coming, in the present instance, can only well be referred to the
destruction of the Jewish state and of Jerusalem ; and so also Whitby.
Grotius would understand it of the full effusion of the Holy Spirit at the
day of Pentecost ; while Priestley, less naturally and probably than either,
applies it to Christ's second coming, to raise the dead and judge the world.
For this explication, he assigns no reasons." (Annotations on the New
Testament:compiled from the best critical authorities, p. 18)
Jean le Clerc [Clericus] (March 19, 1657 - January 8, 1736), Swiss
Protestant theologian, was born at Geneva, where his father, Stephen Le
Clerc, was professor of Greek.
The family originally belonged to the neighborhood of Beauvais in
France, and several of its members acquired some name in literature.
Jean Le Clerc applied himself to the study of philosophy under JR Chouet
(1642-1731) the Cartesian, and attended the theological lectures of P
Mestrezat, Franz Turretin and Louis Tronchin (1629-1705). In 1678-1679
he spent some time at Grenoble as tutor in a private family; on his
return to Geneva he passed his examinations and received ordination.
Soon afterwards he went to Saumur, where in 1679 were published Literii
de Sancto Amore Epistolae Theologicae (Irenopoli: Typis Philaleihianis),
usually attributed to him; they deal with the doctrine of the Trinity,
the hypostatic union of the two natures in Jesus Christ, original sin,
and the like, in a manner sufficiently far removed from that of the
conventional orthodoxy of the period.
In 1682 he went to London, where he remained six months, preaching on
alternate Sundays in the Walloon church and in the Savoy chapel. Passing
to Amsterdam he was introduced to John Locke and to Philip von Limborch,
professor at the Remonstrant college; the acquaintance with Limborch
soon ripened into a close friendship, which strengthened his preference
for the Remonstrant theology, already favorably known to him by the
writings of his grand-uncle, Stephan Curedlaeus (d. 1645) and by those
of Simon Episcopius.
A last attempt to live at Geneva, made at the request of relatives
there, satisfied him that the theological atmosphere was uncongenial,
and in 1684 he finally settled at Amsterdam, first as a moderately
successful preacher, until ecclesiastical jealousy shut him out from
that career, and afterwards as professor of philosophy, belles-lettres
and Hebrew in the Remonstrant seminary. This appointment, which he owed
to Limborch, he held from 1684, and in 1752 on the death of his friend
he was called to occupy the chair of church history also.
His suspected Socinianism was the cause, it is said, of his exclusion
from the chair of dogmatic theology. Apart from his literary labours, Le
Clerc's life at Amsterdam was uneventful. In 1691 be married a daughter
of Gregorio Leti. From 1728 onward he was subject to repeated strokes of
paralysis, and he died on the 8th of January.
A full catalogue of the publications of Le Clerc will be found, with
biographical material, in E and E Haag's France Protestante (where
seventy-three works are enumerated), or in JG de Chauffepié's
Only the most important of these can be mentioned here. In 1685 he
published Sentimens de quelques thologiens de Hollande sur l'histoire
critique du Vieux Testament composée par le P. Richard Simon, in which,
while pointing out what he believed to be the faults of that author, he
undertook to make some positive contributions towards a right
understanding of the Bible. Among these last may be noted his argument
against the Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch, his views as to the
manner in which the five books were composed, his opinions (singularly
free for the time in which he lived) on the subject of inspiration in
general, and particularly as to the inspiration of Job, Proverbs,
Richard Simon's Réponse (1686) elicited from Le Clerc a Defence des
sentimens in the same year, which was followed by a new Réponse (1687).
In 1692 appeared his Logica sive Ars Ratiocinandi, and also Ontologia et
Pneumatologia; these, with the Physica (1695), are incorporated with the
Opera Philosophica, which have passed through several editions.
In 1693 his series of Biblical commentaries began with that on Genesis;
the series was not completed until 1731. The portion relating to the New
Testament books included the paraphrase and notes of Henry Hammond. Le
Clerc's commentary had a great influence in breaking up traditional
prejudices and showing the necessity for a more scientific inquiry into
the origin and meaning of the biblical books, It was on all sides hotly
His Ars Critica appeared in 1696, and, in continuation, Epistolae
Criticae et Ecclesiasticae in 1700. Le Clerc's new edition of the
Apostolic Fathers of Johann Cotekrius (1627-1686), published in 1698,
marked an advance in the critical study of these documents.
But the greatest literary influence of Le Clerc was probably that which
he exercised over his contemporaries by means of the serials, or, if one
may so call them, reviews, of which he was editor. These were the
Bibliothèque universelle et historique (Amsterdam, 25 vols 12 mu.,
1686-1693), begun with JC de la Croze; the Bibliothèque choisie
(Amsterdam, 28 vols,, 1703-1713); and the Bibliothèque ancienne et
moderne, (29 vols, 1714-1726).
See Le Clerc's Parrhasiana ou penses sur des matires de critique,
d'histoire, de morale, et de politique: avec la defense de divers
ouvrages de M. L. C. par Théodore Parrhase (Amsterdam, 1699); and Vita
et opera ad annum MDCCXL, amici ejus opusculu in philosophicis Clerici
operibus subjiciendum, also attributed to himself. The supplement to
Hammond's notes was translated into English in 1699, Parrhesiana, or
Thoughts on Several Subjects, in 1700, the Harmony of the Gospels in
1701, and Twelve Dissertations out of 211. Le Clerc's Genesis in 1696.