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the oppressor. Did the Thessalonians then find rest at the period when Jesus was revealed to take vengeance on the Jewish nation? Yes; this is a matter of history as well as fact. Our Lord, referring to this very period, said to his disciples, "When these things begin to come to pass, then lift up your heads for your redemption draweth nigh," Luke 21: 28. Those who endured to the end, were not only saved from the calamities which came on the Jews, but the Christians were at rest from their persecutions throughout the Roman empire. They were too much in trouble themselves then, to trouble others.

2d. It is obvious that the Thessalonians were to obtain rest at the same time that God was to recompense tribulation to their troublers or persecutors. This is plain from ver. 6, 7. quoted together: "Seeing it is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you; and to you who are troubled rest with us." And when were both these to take place? It is immediately added, "When the Lord Jesus shall be revealed. from heaven." If the end of this world be referred to, when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven, it is a plain case, that God is not to recompense tribulation to those who troubled the Thessalonians until this period, nor until then are the Thessalonians to obtain rest. But the common belief is, that the wicked are punished from the moment of their death until the day of judgment, and are to be punished forever after it. The common view of this text therefore must be abandoned.

3d. But the time when all this was to take place, is further designated, verse 10. which Macknight renders thus "in that day when he shall come to be glorified through his saints, and to be admired by all the believers; and by you, because our testimony was believed by you." Was Christ glorified then through his saints when he yielded vengeance on the Jews, in

the destruction of their city and temple? We presume no one questions this. They obtained rest, they lifted up their heads, and shone forth like the sun in the kingdom of their father. If believers glorified God, when Saul, the persecutor, was converted to the faith (Galations 1: 23, 24.) how much more when they saw their persecutors generally removed, and "the son of man coming in his kingdom," Matth. 16: 28. comp. Rev. 15: 3, 4. and 11: 17. But all these things will be confirmed by considering

3d. The nature and duration of the punishment here mentioned. 1st. Let us notice the nature of the punishment. It is called destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of his power. It will not, for it cannot, be disputed, that the punishment described in these words, is the same as the righteous judgment of God, mentioned verse 5. and called tribulation, verse 6. and the vengeance to be yielded, verse 8. Nor will it be questioned, that the punishment described in all these verses is to be inflicted on the same persons. They are to be punished, and punished with everlasting destruction, yea, with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord, and from the glory of h power. It is easily perceived, that a correct understanding of the nature of the punishment depends on the meaning of the phrase

Presence of the Lord. What then is the scriptural sense of this expression? It may just be observed, that the phrases face of God, and face of the Lord, are the same in Scripture as presence of God, and presence of the Lord. By the presence of God, or presence of the Lord in Scripture, is sometimes meant his being every where present. Thus David says, Psalm 139: 7, 8. "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? Or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven thou art there; if I make my bed in hell (Sheol) behold thou art there," &c. Admitting, for argument's

sake, that hell is a place of endless punishment, how could the wicked even there be out of God's presence? Yet in this passage the persons are said to be punished with everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. Again; I find the phrase presence of the Lord refers to heaven, or the dwelling-place of the Most High. Christ is said to have gone "into heaven, now to appear in the presence of God for us." Heb. 9:24. And it is said, Luke 1: 19. "I am Gabriel, that stand in the presence of God." But how could the wicked be punished with everlasting destruction from God's presence in this sense? For surely no one will say that they ever were in heaven, and like Gabriel stood in the presence of God. But again, the phrases face of God, or presence of the Lord, refers to some. places where people met to worship him, and where he met with and manifested himself to them. Thus Jacob, at Penuel, Gen. 32: 30. says, "I have seen God face to face, and my life is preserved." See Job 1:6-12. and 2: 1-7. for examples of the same phrase, presence of the Lord. Unless there was some particular place where God was manifested in the days of Cain, how could it be said, "and Cain went out from the presence of the Lord and dwelt in the land of Nod (or vagabond, as in the margin) in the east of Eden?" Gen. 4: 16. and verse 14. it is added by Cain, "behold thou hast driven me out this day from the face of the earth: and from thy face shall I be hid.”

It is very evident, that the presence of the Lord was in a peculiar manner among the children of Israel. See Exod. 33: 14-17. comp. Isai. 63: 9. and Psalm 51: 11. The tabernacle in the wilderness, and the temple at Jerusalem, were considered by the Jews as the peculiar residence of Jehovah. There he abode, and there they performed all their religious services to him. Jehovah was the God of the Jews; their land his land, and the temple there was considered the place of his immediate presence.

As this has an important bearing on the passage before us, we must give it a little more of our attention. In the temple at Jerusalem, God is said to dwell between the cherubims, Psalm 80. The show bread. placed there, are called "the loaves of the presence or faces." And viewed in this light, the following texts have great beauty and force. "Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving, and make a joyful noise unto him with psalms. Serve the Lord with gladness, come before his presence with singing. Glory and honor are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place." Psalm 95: 2. and 100: 2. 1 Chron. 16: 27. But that the land of Judea, and particularly the temple, was considered by the Jews as the place of God's peculiar presence, is manifest from Jonah 1:3. "But Jonah rose up to flee unto Tarshish, from the presence of the Lord." Where he believed the Lord's presence to be, we learn from chap. 24. "I am cast out of thy sight; but I will look again toward thy holy temple." In short, whether the Jews were in their own land, or in captivity, when they prayed or performed acts of worship to their God, their thoughts and their faces were directed towards their temple at Jerusalem. See in proof of this, Dan. 6: 10. 1 Kings 8. Psalm 5: 7.

But there are still some passages which deserve our particular notice, because they clearly decide, what is the meaning of the phrase, presence of the Lord, in the passage before us. The first is, 2 Kings 13: 23. "And the Lord was gracious unto them, and had compassion on them, because of his covenant with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, and would not destroy them, neither cast them from his presence as yet." This was spoken of the Jews; and just notice, that God speaks of destroying them, and casting them from his presence. What he here says, that as yet he would not do to this people, in the following passage we find

that he did do. 2 Kings 24: 20. "For through the anger of the Lord, it came to pass in Jerusalem and Judah, until he had cast them out from his presence, that Zedekiah rebelled against the king of Babylon," The same is repeated, Jer. 52: 3. which I need not transcribe. On these passages, in connexion with the one before us, I observe,

1st. God's presence was enjoyed by the Jews in Judea, and in their temple service. To be cast out of God's presence, is to be banished from Judea into captivity, and from all the privileges which the Jews enjoyed in their land, and temple worship. This was the same as destroying them. They were thus destroyed, or cast out of God's presence, for seventy years, in their captivity at Babylon. But they were brought back from this captivity, and again enjoyed God's presence in their own land. At the time Paul wrote the words before us, the time was drawing near when they were to be again cast out of God's presence, and dispersed among all nations. Of the Jews Paul spoke. He adopts the very language of the above passages, used in speaking of their former captivity, to describe the judgments of God which awaited them in their being cast out of their land, their city and temple destroyed, and they destroyed with an everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord. The Jews now, are just as certainly destroyed from the presence of the Lord, as they were during their seventy years captivity. How then can any man affirm, that Paul in this passage, by destruction from the presence of the Lord, meant either annihilation or eternal misery? If the Scriptures are allowed to interpret themselves, Paul only describes the temporal destruction and banishment of the Jews, and in the very language by which the prophets had described their former punishments. It is added by the apostle," and from the glory of his power," or,

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