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s make war with the saints and prevail against them until the Ancient of days” shall come, and “judgment” shall be “ given to the saints of the Most High.”* This also affords no time for a thousand years before judgment shall be given to the saints, and before the coming of the Judge, “the Ancient of days.”
3. “ The tares” and “ the wheat,” or the righteous and the wicked, are to “grow together till the harvest,” the “ end of the world," which allows no time at all for a thousand years' reign of Christ on earth, after this “ end of the world,” and before the same “ end of the world.”+
After thus discarding a temporal millennium, we present a Scripture substitute, which is, in all respects, infinitely more to be desired by the saints of God, than the mere notion of a kingdom now rejected, viz. :
The millennial reign of Christ on earth, so to call it, for which we pray, and now look for, as being specially nigh at hand, embraces the personal and glorious actual appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, with all the kingdom of God, or saints and angels from heaven upon earth, at the resurrection of the dead, judgment of the great day, general conflagration or creation of all things new, when in the “ new earth,” and “ kingdom of God," then come on earth, all the saints from first to last, with glorified bodies, shall personally reign with Christ, not only a thousand years, so called, but "for ever and ever." I
RESTORATION OF ISRAEL. Whereas, in our view, the restoration of Israel to their own promised land, foretold by the holy prophets, is the final gathering and restoration of all the “ elect,” or true Israel of God by faith, to their own “everlasting” inheritance in the promised “ new earth," or “heavenly Jerusalem," and not the return of the carnal Jews to Palestine for a momentary possession, (as we understand many of our friends honestly to believe,) we deem it our duty, in the observance of the golden rule, to assign reasons for thus dissenting from their sentiments on this momentous question of prophecy; and would therefore humbly say,
1. That our Saviour never interpreted the promises of Israel's return, as belonging to the unbelieving Jews; but rather to his “ elect” when finally gathered“ from the four winds,” &c.& Neither did Christ acknowledge the carnal Jews as the true “seed of Abraham,” to inherit the promised land, but he denounced them rather as of their “ father the devil,” and not to escape the damnation of hell, if persisting in their unbelieving and ungodly Judaism.||
* Dan. vii. 21, 22. Matt. xiii. 37-44. Rev. XX. 4-6; xxi. 1-5; xxii. 5. $ Matt. xxiv. 31; Rev. vii. 9; xiv. 1-3; Isa. XXXV. 10. || John viii. 44; Malte xiii. 33.
2. An inspired apostle has decided it more than once, that not the ungodly Jews, but those persons rather, whether Jews or Gentiles, who are “ of faith," and are also Christ's, “ are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promise."* The apostle has also decided that this land of promise is not a momentary and carnal Canaan where Abraham himself lived and died, without inheriting enough of it " to set his foot on ;”+ but that it is rather," a better country, that is, a heavenly,” and “a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” This is the only city or inheritance after which Abraham and the patriarchs continued to seek while “they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.”'s
3. We consider the doctrine of the carnal Jews' return to Palestine highly objectionable and unscriptural, in its representing God as not only a “ respecter of persons,” but as showing greater favorable respect to his blaspheming enemies than to his saints, in its giving the burden of the Old Testament promises only to the most public and distinguished crucifiers of the Lord of glory.
4. The same doctrine represents the Lord as making unconditional promises to men yet in their sins, contrary to his uniform denunciations of “ Wo to the wicked, it shall be ill with him," and “ Except ye (wicked Jews] repent, ye shall all likewise perish.”!!!
5. 'I his principle of giving the Old Testament promises to the natural Jews for a carnal possession, when applied to parallel passages, naturally leaves no promises in the former prophets for Gentile saints, as a heavenly and “ everlasting possession.” The very general modern application of this principle to the prophetic Scriptures, it is believed, has been, in a great degree, the cause of the many learned interpretations, now extant, which suppose the Old Testament not to foretel either the eternal life of the righteous, or the eternal wo of the wicked in the world to come.
6. The same principle of giving the divine promises to the natural Jews, in a carnal possession, represents the Lord himself as being “carnally minded,” and as directly saying more in such promises to make his people “ carnally minded, which is death,” than to make them“spiritually ininded,” which“ is life and peace.” It is also contrary to the apostle, who says, “ We know that the law (or word of the Lord] is spiritual,"** and contrary to Christ, who says, “ The words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.”+
7. The principle of thus giving the Abrahamic promises to the Jews, also interprets the words “ everlasting” and “ for ever,"11 when joined with such promises, as not to be literally but figuratively understood, and as representing only a comparative moment of tiine. Accordingly, the principle, if applied to parallel passages,
• Gal. iii. 7, 9, 29. f Acts vii. 5. Heb. xi. 10-16. Heb. xi. 13. || Isa. ji. 11; Luke xiii. 3. Rom. viii. 6. '** Rom. vii. 14. Hi John vi. 63. Gen. xvii. 8; xiii. 15.
naturally establishes, more firmly than any other single principle, the corner stone and chief pillar of the heresy of Universalism.
8. This giving of the promises to the latter-day Jews only, represents God as being partial, and as dealing unequally with the Jews themselves, of the same character; because it shuts out from the promise all those Jews, who are equally of Abraham's stock, who die in their sins previous to this supposed latter day return of the Jews to Palestine. Or should it be said, that the dead Jews will also all go back, at their resurrection, it would again involve the doctrine of Universalism, in its attempting to fulfil divine promises to unbelievers in the “ judgment to come.”
Finally :-For want of further limits on this subject, we recommend to all who wish more fully to examine it, the careful perusal of a tract, called “ The Restoration of Israel, or the final Gathering of all the true Israel of God by faith to their own heavenly Jerusalem," which very thoroughly presents this whole question, and may be found at the Second Advent Book and Tract Depositories in this city and elsewhere.*
DISCERNING THE TIMES. 1. In our view, the present state of the world, morally and pó. litically, in the menacing attitudes of the nations, and the universal preparations for war, is a state of things in perfect accordance with what we are warranted to expect in the last times.
2. There is a striking analogy between the state and expectations of the Church at the present time, and that of the Jew's just preceding the first advent of Christ. They flattered themselves that they were soon to be delivered from all oppressions, and that all the world was to become subject to them. So the church, at the present time, is flattering herself that soon the whole world is to be converted and become subject to her sway. As the views of the former were ambitious and without foundation in the word of God, and resulted in a sore calamity, and sudden, awful disappointment, só will it be, if we mistake not, in the case of the latter.
A. DOOLITTLE, Chairman.
o become subjeff that soon the As the vie
HENRY JONES, } Recorders.
J. V. Himes,
New York, May 13, 1842.
• 3d Discourse in this volumes
LETTER FROM H. JONES
To the Chairman and Brethren of the 3d General Conference on the
Second Coming of Christ, at Portland, Ve., Oct. 12, 1841.
BELOVED IN THE LORD ;— As the distance and other circumstances of the occasion forbid my attendance with you, at this time, I would not mis-isoprove the opportunity of speaking to you by writing; and will confine myself principally to the general PROGRESS of the doctrine and cause of the SECOND ADVENT in our land, so far as my own observation has extended.
PROGRESS OF THE DOCTRINE THUS FAR. In the first place, it will be recollected that a few years ago, less than five, most of us were in Egyptian darkness, while deathlike silence and slumbering reigned on the subject of Christ's second “coming and kingdom” “ at hand,” so that we had not so much as heard a syllable of it from any quarter. But previously we were con tinually hearing from the pulpit, books, and in the private conversation and prayers of the saints, of the spiritual coming, spiritual kingdom, and spiritual reign of Jesus Christ with his saints on earth, and of the world converted a thousand years before his personal coming at the resurrection of the dead and judgment of the great day. But since the Lord put it into the heart of Brother Miller to commence publishing on this subject, many have been awakened one after another to inquire into and examine it for themselves. In seeing that this is the Lord's work, I have noticed that very many, and ministers too, have been led, as they have told me, to give up gradually their former views of a temporal millennium, by means unknown to themselves, who had not learned that others were doing the same before them. Having had opportunity personally to converse with hundreds, if not thousands of ministers on this subject, since giving my own attention seriously to it, I have seen, for several years, a constant and great increase among them of abandoning the expectation of the immediate“ conversion of the world,” which they had supposed would introduce a millennial reign of Christ, with mortals yet in the flesh and on probation. Now they look for other things in the fulfilling of prophecy, not so flattering to the carnal mind, or to those who love the joys of time more than those of the heavenly kingdom to come. So far as I can ascertain, there are now among us, comparatively but few evangelical ministers who would seriously vin
dicate a millennium of this world, or a universal reign of the saints on earth before Christ's coming personally and gloriously to reign on the earth renewed, for ever and ever. At the same time, the number is already very considerable, and fast increasing, of those who frankly admit their conviction, that the next great events which we are to expect, are the rapid preparation of the way and coining of " the Son of man" with his “ everlasting kingdom” to “ judge the world.”
"I have taken particular notice that the young clergymen and students for the ministry, are scarcely any of them now advocates of a millennium in this world. One of them on his first going out from a professed orthodox theological seminary* to preach, informed me, not long since, that there were none of the students of that seminary now, to his knowledge, going out from there with the belief of such a millennium. And more than this, he said that the Professors of that Institution had acknowledged their conviction before the students that the Bible does not support the theory of Christ's spiritual reign a thousand years upon earth before his coming at the resurrection and judgment.
After all there is a great backwardness among settled ministers especially, to have the doctrine of Christ's second coming and king dom at hand, presented in earnest to their congregations. And yet, as it appears, many of the same individuals approve of it, and would even like to have all classes hear it, where it could be done without disarranging their regular plans of labor, or involving their own responsibility.
Hitherto, ministers have permitted me, where I have proposed it, in hundreds of places, to preach once, or a few times for them, knowing that my subject would be “ Christ's coming” “ at hand," or without a previous millennium, and have made no complaints to me afterwards. Though in this way of rapidly passing the country, religious excitements are not to be expected as the immediate results, it is most certain that courses of lectures on the subject given in almost any congregation, with a few praying souls united to sustain them, would produce an immediate excitement not soon to be forgotten in the din of worldly business. Under a proper presentation of the solemn events of Christ's coming hiniself to judge the world,” both believers and unbelievers would as surely be excited, as that the virgins, both the wise and foolish, will awake on hearing the foretold midnight “ cry," “ Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye out to meet him."
MEANS OF FURTHER PROGRESS. With regard to the best way and means in general, for the further progress and spread of this blessed doctrine, it may be said
At New Haven, Ct.