Billeder på siden
PDF
ePub

217

Correspondence.

“ THIS GENERATION.”—MATT. XXIV. 34.

To the Editor of the Investigator. understand it of the care taken by Sir,

divine Providence to preserve them As the verse (“Verily I say unto as a distinct people, and yet to keep you, this generation shall not pass them out of their own land and away till all be fulfilled”) is gener- from their temple service." ally quoted as an insuperable objec- Thinking this quotation may aid tion to applying the portion of Scrip- further to establish view which ture, with which it stands in con- has already been taken of this verse. nexion, to the second coming of

I remain, &c. Christ to establish his Millennial

W. G. kingdom on earth, allow me to quote a note from Dr. Adam Clarke's Com.

The Sixth VIAL.-REV. XVI. mentary on Matt. xxiv. 34.

The Doctor may be considered as To the Editor of the Investigator. an impartial testimony on the sub- Sir, ject, as he is by no means consider- I beg to address you,

and as shorted a modern Millennarian.- ly as is possible, on a sufficiently

v. 34. “ This generation shall not important subject. I agree with the pass,” η γενεα αυτη this race, i. e. general body of your Corresponthe Jews, shall not cease from being dents, in thinking that the propheta distinct people, till all the counsels ical portions of Scripture have been of God relative to them and the unwarrantably, and indeed danger. Gentiles shall be fulfilled. Some ously, neglected by some; and still translate i yevka åvrnthis generation, farther, that a decided prejudice ameaning the persons who were then gainst the study of them has been living, that they should not die be. excited by others. I am also of fore these signs &c. took place; but opinion, that the study of prophecy though this was true, as to the ca- has restored many a careless mind lamities that fell upon the Jews, and to Christian comforts and devout the destruction of their government, impressions ; which is less to be temple, &c. yet as our Lord men- wondered at if it be allowed, (as I tions Jerusalem continuing to be think it must be,) that within the under the power of the Gentiles, last thirty years so remarkable a till the fulness of the Gentiles should light has been thrown upon the obcome in, (i. e. till all the nations

scurer points of Daniel and the Aof the world should receive the Gos- pocalypse, as to leave little reasonpel of Christ, after which the Jews able doubt that the Spirit of God themselves should be converted unto has furthered the effect; though not God, Rom. xi. 25.) I think it more to afford absolute demonstration proper not to restrain its meaning thereof. I add those last words, to the few years which preceded the because too many writers on these destruction of Jerusalem ; but to topics have used the terms estab

lished," "proved,” and “demon- observe that the expression Dried strated,” far too freely, and therefore upmost probably means, not the disadvantageously to their cause. gradual declension merely, but the

What however may be decided- absolute termination of the power ly good in itself, is scarcely ever, as typified by the river Euphrates. If the world is at present constituted, such be the meaning of those words, free from some peculiar danger of its the Euphrates is not dry; though own : and I suspect you will concur the Turkish empire is, to be sure, in the observation, that an interest in such a state as nothing can illusof so captivating and engrossing a trate more perfectly and happily nature may be, and often has been, than the terms “ drying up.” So excited by works on prophecy, as to far, however, is the Turkish governrender all common occurrences, in- ment from being already extinct, cluding of course many valuable but that during the last year it crushed every day duties, quite tasteless in

a formidable rebellion in Albania ; comparison. One ill effect of such and not many weeks ago the Sultan high state of excitement is to gen- was re-placed (by Russian conceserate impatience, not only in the sion) in possession of Silistria. That student, but in his readers; and (to we are now living under the influ. speak the truth) something like dis- ence of the sixth vial, I am astonishgust with the word of God, if their ed that any one should doubt, who impatience be not gratified.

attends in any respect to these matSir, I have considered this pre- ters. But it is at the same time lude necessary, and shall for the painful to see some writers of great present assume, that we all agree attainments and eminence cling so in applying a leading event describ- tenaciously to their own systems as ed under the sixth Apocalyptic vial, to argue, in the face of an univerto the exhaustion of the Ottoman sally notorious fact, that the sixth (Turkish) empire. And why do I vial only commenced-in 1822, ac. say a leading event ?—Because so cording to one,-and 1823 accordmany expositors have treated it as ing to another. It cannot be necesthe leading, or rather indeed the

sary to repeat that the Greek revolt only event, to be brought about by broke out early in the spring of that vial. Whereas, various other 1821, inasmuch as prince Ypsilanti's trials or calamities are foretold; and proclamations (followed, or even acthe sixth is, (to all appearance) the companied by acts of hostility) were longest in operation of all the vials announced in April, at the latest, of excepting one: and (to judge by that year, by all the newspapers of Rev. xvi. alone,) as long in exhaus- Europe, under the triumphant pretion as that one.

lude of Revolution in Greece !!!" The events under the sixth vial, I briefly now remind you, Sir, that having been described successively the contest between the Turks and in the sacred canon, will, I should Greeks, after more than six years humbly contend, be successive in struggle, terminated by the acknowoperation. If so, those worthy and ledged independence of the latter, zealous writers, whose eagerness for shortly after the affair of Navarino. great events has incited them to

That degree of Turkish humiliapronounce upon the commencement tion was succeeded by the peace, imaf the seventh vial woe, may easily posed on the part of Russia, in aube shewn to have proceeded rashly, tumn 1829; while at mid-winter and on untenable ground. Let me 1832 the battle of Iconium (Konieh)

[ocr errors]

again laid the Ottoman power at foul spirits admit of far less dispute the

mercy of a conqueror,--and that than they do at present, as likewise conqueror her own former vassal.

the nature of their (pretended) miraOn these subjects we have not cles. General events may then also hitherto been allowed positive proof point more perceptibly towards by Providence; but I assume, that “ The wars of that Great Day.” the effusion of the sixth vial com- With respect to the fifteenth verse menced in spring 1821: and why? of the chapter now under considera—not because the Ottoman empire tion, (the coming of the Lord as a had not been long visibly declining ; thief,) I shall not venture upon a but because up to that time no ma- subject so inconceivably awful. But terial diminution had taken place in it must mean something ; and it has her territory. Whereas since the pleased the Holy Spirit to include

dawn of the Greek Revolution, her that verse within the sixth vial's • exhaustion has proceeded with an operation. accelerated and portentous impulse, The purport of this letter, Sir, is and she has lost mighty provinces to repress if possible that impetuboth in Europe and Asia. It is true osity and over-eagerness for wonperhaps that the mystic Euphrates drous dispensations, by which many has ceased to flow : still she is not writers, it may be feared, have indry. When she becomes so, “the jured the cause which is doubtless kings of the east,” now darkly guess- nearest to their hearts. I have proed at, may begin to be actually bably intruded upon you too long. discernible ; and then, in all likeli.

I remain, &c. hood, will the delusions of the three

G. G. Fitz-Gilbert. Orpington, May 28, 1836.

وو

Notices of Books.

(7) The Pope Confounded and his valuable, as affording some pithy and Kingdom Exposed, in a divine open- forcible arguments of the great ing of Daniel viii. 23—25, by MAR- champion of the Reformation, aTIN LUTHER. Now first translated gainst the specious sophistries of into English, by the Rev. HENRY the talented Romanists with whom COLE, late of Clare Hall, Camb. he had to contend : seasonable, as Translator of Select Works of Luther. exhibiting the character of popery

in many of its particulars, when the Lond. Nisbet, 1836. 8vo. pp, 204. 6s. Cloth, gilt.

harlot was yet under the influence Our remaining limits compel us of the fumes from the strong potato reduce our Review of Books to tions she had taken of the cup of the very brief Notices ; and the volume wine of her fornication. Notwithwhich heads this article has a first standing the arrogance and surdiclaim, when the eminent character ty still so frequently betrayed by of its author is considered.

modern popery, no person can form In one respect we consider it a any adequate notion of what she valuable and seasonable publication : was, in the period immediately suc

sess.

ceeding to that in which she existed Jude once seemed to me almost usein the plentitude of her power, but less ; but now, I see that it breathes by perusing the works of the con- the same spirit as Peter, and is writ. troversialists of the age of the Re- ten with the express design to expose formation. Their writings are more

and condemn the Pope.' (p. 123.) especially useful in this respect, With all our admiration of Luther, it when they are of a prophetical cha- is impossible to shut our eyes to the racter; for the nature of the case in fact that he has his defects; and one general requires them to bring for- of them is of a remarkable character, ward those facts and circumstances considering how vehemently he conwhich are necessary for the purpose tended for the truth of God's word, of establishing the resemblance of and opposed the traditions of the popery to the delineations given by Pharisees of his times.—Whilst he the prophets ; and by this means receives the canon of the Scriptures we have a portrait presented to us, as a whole, he seems nevertheless to which we should not otherwise pos- consider himself at liberty to judge

of the importance and profitableness It is in this point of view alone, of the various portions of God's however, that we esteem the present word, according to the measure of work. As an exposition of Daniel his own light and experience. The vii. it is now pretty well exploded; evil of thus doing, though there apfor it is applied, without any limita. pear to be plausible grounds for it, tion, to the papacy, wheresoever is incalculable, and indirectly tends found. Sir Isaac Newton and bishop as decidedly to undermine the auNewton, and since then Mr. Cuning- thority of that portion of the word hame, who still considers it to re- of God, as if it were openly denied. present popery, have seen the pro- How lamentably this is the case in priety, from the circumstance of the the instance of prophecy! Men canLittle Horn of this chapter arising not see the practical tendency of out of the third beast of Daniel, of many portions of it;-it appears to limiting its application to popery in them “ almost useless;”—and therethe East. But Mr. Faber, Mr. fore they consider themselves at Frere, and Mr. Keith, apply it now liberty to disregard or neglect it: exclusively to Mahometanism. We whereas their duty is reverently to cannot ourselves acquiesce in the receive and give heed to “

every system, so much practised by the word that proceedeth out of the earlier protestant expositors, of mak- mouth of God,” as all together being ing almost every thing in prophecy the food of man's spiritual life; and apply to Popery : as in the present though they see not its use at preinstance Luther makes such texts as sent, to wait patiently the teaching Rom. xvi. 17 ; 2nd Peter 11. 1, 2; of the Spirit, that they may be chap. 111. 3, and Jude's Epistle sub- guided into a right understanding servient to the same views; though thereof. The impropriety of thus it is very evident to us, who have the rashly concluding against any poradvantage of living at a later period, tion of God's word upon their own that they relate to very different partial and inadequate experience is parties.

obvious in this and another instance On this latter prophecy indeed, in which Luther is concerned. He contained in the epistle to St. once denounced the epistle of St. Jude, our Reformer has a remarka- James as chaffy, (epistola straminea,) ble observation. -" The Epistle of but was, later in life, when an Anti

nomian spirit began to prevail among And after their kingdom, when some of the reformed, led to see its prevarications (or transgressions) importance and perfect consistency shall have sunk them into darkness, with the epistles of St. James. And there shall stand up a KING, powerin the present instance, the insuffi- ful in faces (or appearances, and ciency of man's understanding and intelligent of propositions (or enigexperience to judge of the utility of mas ;) and his efficacy shall be any part of God's word is betrayed strengthened, but not by his own in a two-fold degree; first by his efficacy. And he shall destroy previously considering Jude's epis- wonderful things, (or he shall wontle to be useless, and then by his derfully corrupt and destroy,) and afterwards concluding it to be writ.. shall prosper and practise, and shall ten“ with the express design to ex- destroy the mighty and the people pose and condemn the Pope ;in of the saints. And all shall appeal which he appears to our judgment to him for judgment; and his craft to be still mistaken, though not in shall prosper in his hand; and he an equal degree.

shall magnify himself in his heart, We shall now endeavour in con. and in his success he shall destroy clusion briefly to sketch his ex- many.

And he shall stand up position of Daniel viii. 23—25, against the Prince of princes; but which he introduces with a remark- he shall be broken to pieces without able specimen of his ironical powers. hand." The book is directed against a work

• In the first place,” he says, of Ambrose Catharinus, who is in- “no regard is to be paid to those sisting that the authority and in- who would understand this and fallibility of the Romish church is similar places in the prophets as declared in Scripture. And Luther, having reference to one person only ; having deprived him of his support for such know not, that the manner from Matt. xvi. 18, and shewn him of the prophets is to signify or rethat when properly understood it present under one person any whole makes against the Romish church, kingdom in a body. Hence they then proceeds to say,--that he does would mistakingly make Antichrist, not therefore deny the existence whom Paul calls the man of sin," of the Papistical church, and the and the son of perdition,” to be mention of it in Scripture ; on the one person; whereas the apostle contrary, he states that there is no would have the whole body and one thing, (Christ excepted,) con, chaos of those impious men, and cerning which so much is said both the whole succession of those that in the Old and New Testaments; reign, to be understood as AntiAnd therefore (he adds) why should christ. Thus in Dan. viii. the ram I not, in honour of my friend Ca- signifies the kingdom of the Pertharinus, and in duty to that most sians, the goat the kingdom of the holy vice-god in Christ, the Pope, Grecians." (p. 42.) proceed to shew the existence of He thus accounts for his applicathat pre-eminent power from solid tion of it to Rome— “When the and copious Scripture testimony; in prophet says, that this king should order that I may stop the mouths of stand up at the end of the four kingall who dare insultingly deny that doms, of which the last is the Roit is to be proved by the divine re- man, the iron kingdom, he plainly cord ?” (p. 41.) Then follows the intimates that the tyranny of the text from Daniel, rendered thus :- Pope began in the decline of the

« ForrigeFortsæt »