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the first coming of our Lord in the flesh; and in relation to his second coming in the following texts.-1 Tim. vi. 14, “Until the APPEARING of our Lord Jesus Christ:" 2 Tim. iv. 1, “Who shall judge the quick and the dead at his APPEARING and his kingdom:" ver. 8, "Unto all them that love his APPEARING:” Tit. ii. 13, "Looking for that blessed hope and GLORIOUS APPEARING of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ."
The third word, Пagwo, occurs four times in the xxiv. chapter of Matthew, ver. 3, "What shall be the sign of thy COMING, and of the end of the age?" ver. 27, "As the lightning, &c. so shall the COMING of the Son of Man be:" ver. 37, "As were the days of Noah, so shall the cOMING of the Son of Man be:" and to the same effect in ver. 39. 1 Cor. xv. 23, “They that are Christ's at his COMING:" 1 Thes. ii. 19, "Are not even ye in the presence of our Lord Jesus at his COMING?" chap. iii. 13, "At the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ with all his saints:" iv. 15, "We which are alive and remain unto the COMING of the Lord," v. 23, "Your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the COMING of our Lord Jesus Christ."
The same word is also used in reference to the advent of our Lord in the following passages: 2 Thes. ii. 1, 2 Pet. iii. 4, James v. 7, 8, 1 John ii. 28, and to the coming of the day of the Lord in 2 Pet. iii. 13. It is used for the coming or presence of Paul with the churches, 2 Cor. x. 10, Philip. i. 26, ii. 12. The coming of Antichrist, 2 Thes. ii. 9; the coming of Stephanas and others, 1 Cor. xvi. 17; the coming of Titus, 2 Cor. vii. 6, 7.
From the review of the whole foregoing passages the unavoidable inference is, that A, Apokalypsis, and Ex2, Epiphaneia, and Пago, Parousia, are indiscriminately used to signify the second personal advent of our Lord to judge the world: nor does it appear that any of these words is ever used to denote the spiritual or figurative revelation, or appearance, or advent, or presence of any object, or person which can be the object of sense. Thus, though Arnau be employed to signify the discovery of spiritual truth to the mind, yet, to the best of my recollection, it is never used for the merely spiritual discovery of Christ himself to the mind. There is one text, Gal. i. 16, which I was inclined to consider as an exception to this remark; but as we know that the discovery of Christ to Paul, was by a personal appearance or revelation (ver. 12), the text which I thought an exception does rather powerfully corroborate the general argument. Nor does the revelation of the Father spoken of by our Lord in Matth. xi. 27, form any ex
ception; for the person of the Father, being that which no man hath or can see, the revelation of Him can only be spiritual.
Next with respect to the word Eriparua, Epiphaneia, the signification of it as given by Schleusner is apparitio rei corporea et lucida: and he adds that it was particularly employed by the Greeks to denote the appearance of their gods with circumstances of external splendour. We have, moreover, seen that in 2 Tim. i. 10, it is used to signify the first coming of our Lord in the flesh: to maintain, therefore, that when it is employed in reference to his future advent it may simply mean a figurative or spiritual coming, i. e. no coming at all, were to trifle with the sacred word, and to do violence to language, and to trample under foot every principle of certain interpretation.
Lastly, with regard to agua, Parousia, if it can possibly bear the signification of a spiritual coming, then may the coming of Stephanus and Fortunatus and Achaicus to the churches, mentioned in the foregoing passages, have been spiritual and not personal; which being evidently an absurd idea, the supposed sense of the word from which it is deducible cannot be supported.
Now, it will be recollected that the coming of our Lord to destroy the Man of sin in 2 Thes. ii. 8, is expressed by the union of two of the above nouns πη επιφάνεια της παρουσίας αύτου, by the brightness of his coming: and if neither of them, when used singly, can denote a spiritual advent, much less can they when conjoined; and if each of them, when employed separately, indubitably mean a personal and corporeal manifestation and presence, much more must they when united. So that if the foregoing expression do not mean the personal and glorious advent of our Lord, then is human language incapable of being interpreted on any sure and fixed principles. Since, therefore, we are thus driven to the conclusion, that the glorious coming of Christ takes place at the destruction of Antichrist; and since this destruction occurs, by the unanimous consent of the church of God in all ages, before the Millennium; it follows also, that Christ comes in glory to judge the world before the Millennium. It was thus that Mede, by comparing Scripture with itself, was led to form the like conclusion which he expresses as follows: "Whatsoever Scripture speaks of a kingdom of Christ to be at his second appearing or at the destruction of Antichrist, it must needs be the same which Daniel saw should be at that time, and so consequently be the kingdom of 1,000 years; which the Apocalypse includes betwixt the beginning and ending of the 'Great Judgment." " Mede's Works, Book iv. Epistle xv.†
*The appearance of a thing corporeal and resplendent.
+ The common opinion of the day in which the secrets of men are to be re
In exact harmony with the whole of the above reasoning is the declaration of the Apostle in 2 Tim. iv. 1, that our Lord Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and the dead, κατα την επιφανειαν
αύτου και την βασίλειαν αύτου, ΑT HIS APPEARING AND HIS KINGDOM. For the Scriptures tell us of no other kingdom of the Messiah than the one revealed in Dan. vii. 13, 14, and no other appearing (yet to come) than that mentioned in 2 Thess. ii. 8, for the destruction of Antichrist: therefore it certainly follows that his coming in Dan. vii. 13, and his appearing in 2 Thess. ii. 8, are his glorious and personal advent to judge the quick and the dead. And since both these texts refer to a time preceding the Millennium, it follows that our Lord's coming to judge the quick and the dead is before the Millennium.
I proceed now to fortify the whole of the preceding conclusions by one or two auxiliary arguments. I observe then that to speak of a future spiritual or figurative or incorporeal advent of our Lord to this world is directly to oppose the Scriptures: for when a cloud received him out of the sight of his gazing disciples, they were immediately assured, "This same Jesus, who is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."* To maintain then, that his advent with the clouds, revealed in Dan. vii. 13, and so many other passages of Scripture, is not real and personal and corporeal, but figurative and spiritual and incorporeal, which is the current doctrine of the present day, is in plain contradiction to the words of the angels. Moreover, our Lord, in Spirit or as to his Divine nature, has never been absent from the world. "Lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the age." Indeed, as the ETERNAL WORD, by whom all things were created and consist, He is essentially omnipresent. On the other hand, to say that in his human nature he is to come spiritually, is in reality to deny that he possesses proper and complete humanity, which can only be present where it is bodily. Accordingly it may be inferred from the words of Peter (Acts iii. 19-21,) that when
vealed, and every hidden thing brought into judgment. Eccles. xii. 14, and the whole principles and plan of the moral administration of God developed to the view of the intelligent creation for their instruction and the manifestation of that Divine glory, is that it is a day of twelve hours, or one half of the diurnal motion of the earth. Mede shows from the Scriptures that it is a period of time comprehending at least the whole 1,000 years of the judgment given to the saints and martyrs, Rev. xx. 4, which is manifestly the same judgment as is referred to in 1 Cor. vi. 2. Dan. vii. 18, 22, 27. Ps. cxlix. 6-9. Rev. ii. 26, 27. Now as the 40 years of Israel's journeying in the wilderness is called the DAY OF TEMPTATION, Heb. iii. 8, 9, and the whole period of the dispensation of Messiah is by our Lord himself called a day or my day, John viii. 56, we at once see that there is nothing inconsistent with the analogies of the Scripture language in Mede's view of the duration of the Day of Judgment.
Acts i. 11.
+ Matt. xxviii. 20.
Coloss. i. 15, 16.
the time of the restitution of all things, spoken of by all the holy prophets, shall arrive, then the heavens shall no longer receive [or contain] the Man Christ Jesus, or in other words, he shall then return to this earth in like manner as he was taken up, or with the clouds of heaven. Now, since the ancient prophets have spoken of no other restitution of all things than David's reign of Messiah (Ps. ii. lxxii. xcvi. xcvii. &c. &c.)— Daniel's kingdom of God (chap. ii. 44)-his reign of Messiah and his saints (chap. vii.)-Isaiah's new heaven and earth, which synchronise with restored Jerusalem (chap. lxv. 17-19), and since all these (even according to the systems of our opponents,) correspond in time with the Millennium and the kingdoms of this world becoming the kingdoms of our Lord and his Christ, it follows that at the commencement of that period the Messiah is to return to this earth.
In answer to the queries of D. D., I have thus endeavoured to show, First, That the principal passages of prophecy which speak chronologically or circumstantially of the future advent of Messiah, do one and all refer to the period immediately introductory to the Millennium. Secondly, That the three nouns substantive which are used to express the advent in the New Testament, do every one of them negative the idea of a spiritual coming, and do necessarily imply that the advent is real, personal, and corporeal. Thirdly, That two of these words conjoined, being used to link the advent to an event, which by the unanimous consent of the Church precedes in time the Millennium, we are driven to the conclusion, that the advent which synchronises with that event is the real and personal coming of the Lord to judge the world. Fourthly, That to maintain a spiritual advent, is in direct contradiction to the angelic annunciation, which was uttered at the ascension of our Lord. Fifthly, That to maintain a spiritual advent of the Man Christ Jesus, includes in it the virtual denial of his proper and complete humanity. Sixthly, That the return of our Lord to this earth, at the period of the restitution of all things, which must be identified with the Millennium, may be certainly inferred from the words of Peter in Acts iii. 19-21.
To the foregoing reasoning, which is to be found in the former edition of this Tract, I shall now add one or two other arguments from the Scriptures, which demonstrate that the Day of Judgment commences before the Millennium, and consequently our Lord then comes.
It will not be denied by our opponents, that the period called by our Lord, in his parables of the Tares and Wheat, and the
* Rev. xi. 15.
Net cast into the sea, the end of the world or age, ourTEXHA TOU ALLVES, * is the season when He comes to judge the world; seeing that it is then that the tares are gathered from amongst the wheat and cast into the furnace of fire, and that the righteous are to shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father. This period is called also the Harvest, gus. Until then, it is manifest, that there is to be no work of judgment of such a nature, as to distinguish between and separate the wicked from the just, and no destruction of the wicked. But no sooner does the Seventh Apocalyptic Trumpet sound, than it is declared in the heavenly acclamations, that the wrath of God is come, and the time of the dead to be judged, and to give reward to the prophets, and servants, and fearers of God, and to destroy the destroyers of the earth, that is, the wicked.t It necessarily follows, therefore, that this is the time called by our Lord, the Harvest, and the end of the age, when the tares are to be burned and the righteous are to receive their reward. But as the sounding of the Seventh Trumpet is admitted by all interpreters to be before the Millennium or reign of Christ, which indeed is demonstrable from the language of Rev. xi. 15, and since it is also, as we have now seen, the time of the harvest and end of the age, it follows, that the harvest and end of the age precede the Millennium.
This conclusion receives the most express confirmation from the vision in Rev. xiv. 14, of one like the Son of Man sitting on a cloud with sharp sickle; for in the next verse it is said, that the harvest of the earth is ripe, and the earth is forthwith reaped. Now this act of reaping the earth is before the vintage, which follows in ver. 19 and 20; and from ch. xix. 15, compared with xx. 1-4, it is plain that the vintage and treading of the Wine Press are before the Millennium, therefore the harvest and the end of the age are also before the Millennium.
* Matt. xiii. 39, and 49.
+ Rev. xi. 15-18.