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word will not be finished till then, the testimony appears positive, that the church is not to have a thousand years' rest from preaching the gospel, before the work shall be actually done. (4.) “ The beast," or "horn," apparently including all the oppressing, ungodly governments of this world, is to make “war with the saints," and "prevail against them, until the Ancient of days” shall come, “and judgment" shall “ be given to the saints," when “the time" shall come for “the saints” to possess “the kingdom.” * Except we spiritualize this coming of “the Ancient of days," to "judgment,”' &c., it is positive proof that there will be no thousand years after the “horn" shall have done prevailing against the saints, for them to reign before "i the Ancient of days" shall come to give them the "judgment" and “the kingdom,” for them to reign with him gloriously and forever. (5.) Christ has given his ministers the assurance of his being with them in their preaching the gospel to all nations, “always, even unto the end of the world;''+ and, most positively, if we understand this “end of the world” literally, there can be no thousand years for the saints to reign on earth after their having done their work before this same “ end of the world” shall come. (6.) The Lord denounces a dreadful "wo" against those who "put far away the evil day," and calls him an "evil servant” who shall even “say in his heart, My Lord delayeth his coming.”I And are we not ourselves the very persons thus reprobated, if we say, both in our hearts and with our lips, the Lord will delay his coming, till after we shall have enjoyed, at least, a thousand years' reign and triumph in this world, without his personal presence? And how could the Lord consistently thus denounce individuals for saying in their hearts, and preaching too, this flattering delay of his coming, if he has not abundantly and positively taught the contrary? (7.) The common Scripture doctrine of the Lord's coming "quickly," is considered as ample proof against the opposite doctrine of his delaying it so long for such a purpose. The day of his appearing is repeatedly represented as coming "quickly;"S"as a thief in the night;''|| “as the lightning ;'T “suddenly,”** and unexpectedly"; "at hand;" At "nigh at hand;" İT "near-near, and” hasting “greatly ;”SS and for ought we know, within a year, or while we may be “ alive and remain unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.”'IlII Where then is the
place for the opposite theory of the saints' promised reign on the earth a thousand years before the Lord's thus coming "quickly?” And why shall it be said that his foretold coming is to commence such a millennium? (8.) The signs of the times, in the fulfilment of prophecy, on examination, will be found as positively showing the great day of the Lord's coming, and “the end of the world,” to be altogether too close upon us, to conceive it possible for the saints to find time to reign a thousand years with their spiritually descended King, before his own personal coming "quickly” to reign gloriously and forever.
7. But ChrisT WILL COME PERSONALLY AND VISIBLY.
The promised coming again of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ is yet future, and soon to be fulfilled in his literal, all-glorious, and personal coming, or descending " from heaven” to this earth, accompanied by his whole kingdom above, of "saints" and "angels,'* as the armies of heaven,”+ then coming with the “shout” of victory,
with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God," "in faming fire,” when "every eye shall see him.”I
As a specimen from the sure word of prophecy, a few from the many passages will now be given, which sustain this latter as the only Scripture theory of Christ's second advent.
(1.) “ 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.” (Matt. xxiv. 30.)
According to our assumed fundamental principle of interpretation, this passage, showing the only manner of Christ's coming again, is all to be understood literally, or to mean precisely what the letter of it expresses, except the word " clouds,” which represents the multitudes or myriads of the heavenly hosts who are to accompany Christ in his coming; and except the phrase, “sound of a trumpet," which represents the mighty call then to be issued for the nations of the living and the dead to come together to judgment.
(2.) “As the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” (Matt. xxiv. 27.)
By the same rule, this passage describes the manner of Christ's coming to be as sudden, as unsuspected by his
enemies, as fiery, as powerful, and as destructive, as the lightning, in its striking them.
(3.) "And I saw in the night visions, and behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven.” (Dan. vii. 13.)
"And the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head was like the pure wool ; his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire. A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him ; thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him ; the judgment was set, and the books were opened.” (Dan. vii. 9, 10.)
These passages, it will be seen, by the same rule, describe the manner of Christ's second coming, as he did it himself; that is, when he shall come, it will be literally and personally "the Son of man,” “the Ancient of days," with the same “clouds of heaven," numbered as “thousand thousands," who shall wait on him, or escort him in his glorious descending; when, though his justice will be exhibited before the "ten thousand times ten thousand" then to be congregated before him, when it shall be devouring to his enemies as “burning fire,” and as a "fiery stream" issuing and coming " forth from before him ;' his own character will be seen by all to be spotless white, as represented by “snow," and "the pure wool.”
(4.) “ Our God shall come, and shall not keep silence ; [or, not refrain from calling the world to judgment;] a fire shall devour before him, and it shall be very tempestuous round about him. He shall call to the heavens from above, and to the earth, that he may judge his people.” (Ps. 1. 3, 4.)
Here is another description of the manner of the only future, or second coming of the Lord, which perfectly harmonizes with what Christ himself and Daniel have foretold of it; showing most conclusively that it will be personal, dreadful, and devouring like fire to his enemies; with the 6 call” and assembling together of all above, and all below, that he may judge them.
(5.) “He bowed the heavens also, and came down, and darkness was under his feet; and he rode upon a cherub and did fly; yea, he rode upon the wings of the wind." (Ps. xviii. 8–10.)
"A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about ; his lightnings enlightened the world, and the earth trembled. (Ps. xcvii. 3, 4.)
It will be seen, that, although most of this is figurative, from things visible, or things which are made, according to our assumed rule this coming "down" of the Lord is literal, showing the whole as a most glowing description of the Lord's personal, swift, terrible, and powerful coming, in the final overthrow of all his enemies," as by a swift-going "fire,” with the enlightening of “the earth, and the irembling of "the world.”
(6.) Say unto them that are of a fearful heart, Be strong, fear not; behold, your God will come with vengeance, even God with a recompense; he will come and save you.” (Isa. xxxv. 4.)
This short description of the Lord's coming, given to " strengthen” his weak saints, who in their hearts fear him, is all to be understood literally; that is, his coming " with vengeance," and "a recompense,” to “save” his own people, are here expressed with sufficient clearness, without the aid of figures from visible or material objects.
(7.) “Behold, the day of the Lord cometh --- for I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle--- then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations --- and the Lord thy God shall come, and all the saints with thee." (Zech. xiv. 1–5.)
This, also, is understood to be all literal, except the word “ Jerusalem,” which, in this place, appears to represent the great city of anti-christian power, to be conquered by the armies of the Lord at his coming; out of which city, the saints, being now “prisoners of hope,” are then to escape to "the Mount Zion," "the heavenly Jerusalem ;'* or, which will be the same thing, they will then remain forever in the same “Jerusalem," "sanctuary,” “house of the Lord," "city," or " earth," where they now are, when, on that occasion, “Jerusalem shall be built again,” + “the sanctuary shall be cleansed ;'? I " there shall be no more the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts ;'S the " earth” and “all things” shall be created anew ;ll when the saints shall all " inherit” their promised “new earth,” to “dwell therein forever,''I being delivered" soul and body from the bondrge of corruption, into the glorious liberty of the children of God,” in his everlasting kingdom. ** Then, as the passage literally foretells, “the day of the Lord” will come, when he will assemble all mankind to "the battle of that great day of God Almighty,”tt when he will go forth, and fight against” all “nations” of his enemies combined; and" come” himself, “and all the saints with” him.ff
(8.) “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel, and with the trump of God.”—“ When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, with his mighty angels, in flaming fire." (1 Thess. iv. 16. 2 Thess. i. 7, 8.)
* Heb. xii. 22.
† Dan, ix. 25.
$ Dan. viii. 14.
Isa. lxv. 17, 18. # Zech. xiv. 3, 5.
Here the apostle is very particular to explain the second coming of Christ, as not being his mere spiritual coming, as many suppose ; expressly affirming, that it is rather the Lord himself," who shall actually “descend," or come down, " from heaven ;” not in the secret silence, or “ still small voice" of his peaceful Spirit, “like a dove," but with even the "SHOUT" of victory, from the very "voice” and “trump of the Archangel," or Christ, the King of angels, the descending God, who will then be revealed, or made manifest, in view of the whole earth, when suddenly coming “with his mighty angels” from heaven to this earth again, “the second time, without sin, unto salvation."*
Although, in this description by Paul of the manner of Christ's second coming, the words taken from earthly scenes are used figuratively, for our better understanding of the great event, it is most certain, that, so far as he speaks of "the Lord,” of his descending "himself from heaven," " with his mighty angels,” in terrible vengeance on all his enemies, he speaks literally, or without figures.
(9.) “And Enoch also, the seventh from Adam, prophesied of these, saying, Behold, the Lord cometh, with ten thousand of his saints, to execute judgment upon all.” (Jude, verse 14.)
From this it is apparent that the view now taken of the Lord's only coming to reign, is not of modern origin, since Enoch, only "the seventh from Adam,” foretold it, as of the Lord's own coming, with the multitude" of his saints, to execute judgment,”' &c.
(10.) “ Behold he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also who pierced him; and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him.?' (Rev. i. 7.)
This passage, also, is understood to be all literal, except, again, the word “clouds," representing the mighty hosts who shall come from heaven, with Christ, to judgment. The passage, also, perfectly accords with all others in the Bible, in explaining forcibly what the coming again of the Lord is; showing that it will be so real, or personal, that not only some shall behold him, but that "every eye shall see him,” when all nations and individuals of unbelievers, then to be known as “they who pierced him," shall not only “ see him," but shall "wail” in hopeless despair at the sight of him, to them infinitely dreadful.