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The Triumphs of Christianity Over Infidelity Displayed, or, the Coming of the Messiah (1802)

The Triumphs of Christianity over Infidelity Displayed, or the Coming of the Messiah, the True Key to the Right Understanding of the Most Difficult Passage in the New Testament; viz. of the Predictions of the Coming of Christ, of St. Paul's Man of Sin, of the Antichrist of St. John, and of the Sure Word of Prophecy of St. Peter;

Being a Full Answer to the Objection of Mr. Gibbon, That our Lord and His Apostles Predicted the Near Approach of the End of the World in their own Time.

The Whole being intended as an Illustration of the Necessity and Importance of Considering the Gospels as Histories, and Particularly as Histories of the great Controversy between our Lord and the Jews, Concerning the True Nature of the Messiah's Character.


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(Major Fulfillment of Matt. 24/25 or Revelation in Past)

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Norman Snaith
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Quakers : George Fox | Margaret Fell (Fox) | Isaac Penington


Nehemiah A. Nisbett

An Attempt to Illustrate Various Important Passages in the Epistles of the New Testament, from Our Lord's Prophecies of the Destruction of Jerusalem / The Triumphs of Christianity Over Infidelity Displayed, or, the Coming of the Messiah | Letters Illustrative of the Gospel History


A.D.70-Primary / Future-Secondary Fulfillment

A.D.70 is Total Fulfillment of Matt 24


The Triumphs of Christianity Over Infidelity Displayed, or, the Coming of the Messiah
Nehemiah Nisbett

"Proud and elated by the weakness of his Antagonists, he condescends not to handle the sword of controversy, but darts forth the invenomed shafts of sarcastic ridicule"

"But an impartial attention to the language of Scripture will, I am persuaded, remove all doubt upon the subject, and convince us that the Evangelists have their eye upon the destruction of Jerusalem, and upon that only."

Preterist Commentaries from Modern Preterism

Dividing Line Between Destruction of Jerusalem and General Judgment - Matthew 25

"...the whole of the xxivth of Matthew, and particularly the 36th and following verses, relate solely to the destruction of Jerusalem, exclusively of a second coming, and of the end of the world."  N. Nisbett

"The Author begs leave to add, that his first object having been to endeavor to understand the New Testament himself ; if he hath succeeded in obtaining a more accurate knowledge of it, than those who have gone before him ; it is not owing to superior advantages of situation ; still less, to superior learning and abilities.  Indeed he cannot help considering it as one considerable argument in favor of Christianity, that it requires, not so much, a superior depth of learning, as an attentive perusal of it as an History, and particularly, as an History of the great Controversy between Jesus and the Jews, concerning the true nature of the Messiah's Character.  Viewing it in this light, discoveries have gradually been made by him, of which he had no conception, particularly with respect to St. Paul's Man of Sin, and the Antichrist of St. John.  And he is firmly persuaded, that if the same plan is faithfully pursued ; it will be followed by discoveries, still more important and satisfactory!  ASH, 7th August, 1802." ("The Triumph of Christianity over Infidelity, iv,v)

(On The Significance of A.D. 70)
"In the following places, our Lord uses the parabolic method in speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem. Luke xiii. 6- 29. Matt. xxii. 1-7. Luke xiv. 17-24. Matt. xxi. 33-46. Mark xii. 1-12. Luke xx. 9-19. Luke xix. 11-27. " (
An Attempt to Illustrate..)

"Nor can I agree with him when he says, that our blessed Lord knew very well that he should not come, while that generation, to whom he preached, was alive, and that all his Apostles knew this, as well as he; for this is expressly contrary to our Lord's own assertion, in many parts of the gospels, that the Son of Man would come before that generation was wholly passed away." (An Attempt to Illustrate..)

(On The "Transfiguration Theory" of Matthew 16:27-28)
"While this work was in the press, a friend of mine put the sermons lately preached at Bapton's Lectures, by Ralph Churton, M. A. into my hands. I have been only able to run my eye over them in a very cursory manner; but he does not seem to interfere with my plan; except in applying Matt. xvi, 29, to his transfiguration; which I have referred to the time when the Jewish economy was to cease."

"His argument, that the ancients are unanimously on his side, has as little weight with me, as with the best commentators in modern times; for as Mr. Dodwell long ago observed; they fell far short of the solidity of the moderns, who excel them, not only in philosophy and learning, but in the knowledge of antiquity, and even of their own languages. The principal argument used by Mr. Churton, is the close connection of Matthew xvi, 28, and the parallel chapters of Mark and Luke, with the account of the transfiguration. But, with due submission, I think the connection is evidently, not with the transfiguration, but with the preceding context. We need only go back to the 27th verse, to perceive this, "For the Son of man shall 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 will be some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." -The coming of the Son of Man in the former, and his coming in his kingdom, in the latter of these verses, clearly determines the connection between the two; for in the account of the transfiguration, which immediately follows, there is not a word said of his coming. Besides, to foretel that the disciples would not die till an event took place which was to happen but six days after, this, as Bishop Newcome observes, would be a prophecy unworthy of Christ.      I have only to add, that the same connection is observable in mark ix, 2, and in Luke ix, 28." (An Attempt to Illustrate..)

"But though I cannot, upon a careful perusal of this part of his work, agree with him in every thing he says, concerning the different comings of Christ mentioned in the New Testament; yet it has given me great satisfaction to find him saying, "that the Apostles, by the coming of Christ, which they represented as at hand, when they wrote their epistles, meant his coming to establish his spiritual kingdom over all people, nations, and languages, and not his coming to put an end to the world; it is evident from what Christ himself told them, Matt. xvi, 28; There be some standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of Man coming in his kingdom." And agreeably to this account of the coming of Christ, and the end of all things, he observes, that every passage of their epistles, in which the Apostles have spoken of these things as at hand, may, with the greatest propriety, be interested of Christ's coming to establish his own everlasting kingdom over all people, nations, and languages, by destroying Jerusalem, putting an end to he law of Moses, and spreading the Gospel through the world." (APPENDIX)

(On Matthew 24:4-5)
"St. Paul speaks of false prophets, as being among the Corinthians; calling them deceitful workers, who transformed themselves into Apostles of Christ. In the 2d epistle to the Thessalonians, he mentions one whom he characterizes as the Man of Sin, whose coming would be after the working of Satan, with all power and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness in them that perish. St. John assured those to whom he wrote, that many antichrists and many false prophets, were already gone out into the world; whereby they knew it was the last time, or the time when the Jewish polity was arrived to its utmost period, and Jerusalem would be destroyed. St. Peter also mentions some false teachers, who would bring in damnable or destructive heresies, even denying the Lord that bought them, and bring upon themselves swift destruction." (ibid.)

(On Matthew 24:30a)
"If we look into the 24th of Matt. verse 30, we shall find this very description. -Then shall all the tribes of the land mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man coming with, or in, the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. The addition of the expression, "they who pierced him," by St. John, seems, with "the tribes of the land," necessarily to confine his views to the destruction of Jerusalem; and as if he would not be mistaken, he describes that very power and great glory that our Saviour said he should come in. "

(On Matthew 24:36/Mark 13:32)
"But though the time was hastening on for the completion of our Lord's prophecy of the ruin of the Jews; yet the exact time of this judgment, laid hid in the bosom of the Father. Verse 36. 'Of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.' St. Mark has it: 'Neither the Son, but the Father;' but the sense is the same. Some men of great learning and eminence have thought that our Lord is here speaking, not of the destruction of Jerusalem, but of that more solemn and awful one of the day of judgment. But I can by no means think that the Evangelists are such loose, inaccurate writers, as to make so sudden and abrupt a transition, as they are here supposed to do; much less to break through the fundamental rules of good writing, by apparently referring to something which they had said before; when in reality they were beginning a new subject, and the absurdity of the supposition will appear more strongly, if it is recollected that the question of the disciples was, 'When shall these things be?' 'Why,' says our Saviour, 'of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only'" (pp. 38-39)

"Bishop Peace questions the authenticity of the last clause of this and the parallel verse in St. Mark, and quotes Ambrose, as saying they were not found in ancient Greek manuscripts of his day; and it is remarkable that St. Luke omits the whole of this verse; I but I do not know that any thing can be gathered from that, as each of the Evangelists have taken notice of some particular which has not been recorded by others. It may however be questioned, whether the sense of this passage is not to be found elsewhere? Acts 1, 7. "It is not for you to know the times and the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power." (An Attempt to Illustrate..)

(On Matthew 24:37)
"The improbability of the Evangelists having the day of judgment in view in this passage, will be still more evident, if we attend to what immediately follows in the 37th verse. "But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be;" which the reader will observe, is the very expression just before used, concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and is the common language of the gospels relative to that event. This sudden appearance of Christ, the Evangelist farther illustrates in the 40th and 41st verses. --!'Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left."

"The providence of God over my disciples, and the effect of their attention to my forewarnings, will then be remarkable: a distinction will take place between those whose external circumstances are alike. My disciples will be preserved, and others will perish. See Bishop Newcome's Observations on our Lord's conduct as a Divine Instructor." (ibid.)

(On II Thessalonians 1:7 ; Nature of Christ's Return)
"It must, however, be remembered, that our Lord's prophecy of his coming to destroy Jerusalem, is expressed by his coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, and sending his angels with a great sound of a trumpet; which the reader will see, have a striking resemblance to the revelation of the Lord Jesus Christ, with his mighty angels, here mentioned by the Apostle. And therefore there can, I think, be no sufficient reason for not applying the words of the Apostle to the same event." (ibid.)

"But notwithstanding we agree upon this part of the subject, yet we differ widely in our ideas of some passages in the two epistles, which he has applied to the day of final judgment, but which, I think, relate to the approaching destruction of Jerusalem; particularly upon I Thess. v, and 2 Thess. 2." (APPENDIX)

(On Hebrews 10:37 ; Nature of Christ's Return)
"Such being their noble and truly praiseworthy conduct in times of past difficulty and trouble, the Apostle exhorts them not now, when nearly at an end, to cast away their courage or confidence, or suffer their faith to fail; for, saith he, it hath (even now) great recompence of reward; for ye have (yet) need of patience, that having done the will of God, ye may receive the promise; for yet a little while, and he that shall come will come, and will not tarry. It is, I own, out of my power to conceive, that the Apostle is here speaking of any other coming, than that which our Lord foretold should happen in that generation, and in language so perfectly similar. The day approaching in the 25th verse; the chain of reasoning subsequent to it; the situation and circumstances these Hebrew Christians were then in, and the time when this epistle was written; all conspire to confirm me in the opinion, that the Apostle meant the destruction of Jerusalem." (ibid.)

(On The "Transition Text Theory")
"To suppose, on the contrary, that these verses were intended to describe the final judgment of the world, is indeed violently to sever them from their manifest connection - not only with the preceding verses - but, as will presently appear, from the subsequent context; which, in the strongest terms which language can convey, asserts that all the things which he had before been describing, would be in that generation. It would be to violate all the rules of probability and just criticism and to charge the Evangelical Historians with such a confusion of ideas and such a perversion of language as would render them utterly unworthy of any regard; for, as the learned University Preacher has very justly observed - 'whenever the same word is used in the same sentence - or in different sentences, not far distant from each other; we ought to interpret it precisely, in the same sense, unless either that sense should involve a contradiction of ideas - or the Writer expressly inform us that he repeats the word in a fresh acceptation.'" (Triumphs, p. 112)

"...the whole of the xxivth of Matthew, and particularly the 36th and following verses, relate solely to the destruction of Jerusalem, exclusively of a second coming, and of the end of the world." (ibid., p.131)

(On the "Double Fulfillment Theory")
"I have already observed that the predictions of our Lord concerning the destruction of Jerusalem appear to me, to be the only true key to the understanding the passages we propose to examine, and that the sum of those predictions is continued in the 24th of Matt. and in the parallel chapters of Mark and Luke. It will therefore be necessary to examine those chapters, and to enquire into their true meaning, so far at least, as they are the subject of controversy; for some very eminent commentators and divines have strenuously maintained, that some of these predictions relate, not to the destruction of Jerusalem, but to the solemnities of that more awful day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed; and it must be owned, that at first sight, some expressions there made use of, appear to favour their opinion.

     But an impartial attention to the language of Scripture, and to the connection in which they stand, will, I am persuaded, remove all doubt upon the subject, and convince us that the Evangelists have their eye upon the destruction of Jerusalem, and upon that only. "(
An Attempt to Illustrate..)

(On 'The Man of Sin')
"Various are the interpretations of the learned, concerning the man of sin and the son of perdition, &c. some referring them to Simon Magus, some to Mahomet, and some to the Popes of Rome and their clergy. But if it be allowed, that the Apostle is speaking of the destruction of Jerusalem; the supposition of the two last, cannot be admitted, as being wholly foreign to the purpose, and in many other respects highly improbable." (An Attempt.., pp.88-89)

(On Taylor's 'Day of the Lord at Death" Hypothesis)
"Dr. Taylor, the author of the much-esteemed Paraphrase of the Romans, not being able to reconcile any or these Interpretations with his ideas of the scripture account of those passages, has adopted one of his own, which, I believe has been well received: It is, that the day of the Lord, the day approaching, &c. mean the time of a person's death; which he truly says, ends the Christian's course of preparation, duty, sufferings, watchings and patience. But this account is by no means satisfactory to me, and I am well persuaded, was not the Apostles meaning. Nor can I agree with him when he says, that our blessed Lord knew very well that he should not come, while that generation, to whom he preached, was alive, and that all his Apostles knew this, as well as he; for this is expressly contrary to our Lord's own assertion, in many parts of the gospels, that the Son of Man would come before that generation was wholly passed away. And that the Apostles themselves understood that he would come before that age was completed in a sense different from that of Dr. Taylor, is apparent from the declaration of the apostle Paul, that the Christians were not in darkness, that that day should over-take them unawares, as were the unbelieving Jews; For I suppose no one will think that they had been favoured with a revelation of the time of their death. But this passage will be more fully considered hereafter. In short this hypothesis appears to have been the offspring of necessity, and not quite consistent with that knowledge and penetration, for which he has been distinguished. But we are all liable to mistakes." (
An Attempt to Illustrate..)

G.S. Faber on Nisbett's Preterist Method of Interpretation

"Of Glasgow College.  He received priest's orders 21 December 1777, at the hands of the Bishop of London, by letters dimissory from the Archbishop, and on the follow day was licensed to the curacy of Eastry with Worth.  On resigning Tilmanstone he was collated to the rectory of Tunstall, 21 December 1902.  On the same day he resigned the perpetual curacy of Ash.  With the rectory of Tunstall he also held the curacy of Newington next Sittingbourne.  The following entry in the Tilmanstone Register, made during Mr. Nisbett's incumbency, bears testimony to the loyalty of the parishoners : "Memorandum.  That the parish of Tilmanstone was illuminated on the 18th day of March 1789, in honour of His Majesty King Geroge the 3rd's recovery of his health." (Archaeologia Cantiana, Kent Archeological Society, 1893, p. 116)

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