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of Babel; every one knows it to be Rome. The house there is built by two women, signifying the Jewish and Christian churches, on both which the Papacy professes and claims to be founded. Its place of establishment is far distant from Jerusalem, as the stork's wings indicate: and at the same period the true church is given wings of an eagle, to fly into the wilderness, into her place, while this woman of wickedness takes her station (Rev. xii. 14). She sits in the midst of the ephah; occupying, in this symbol, the same place which the tables of the law, the pot of manna, and Aaron's rod, did in the ark. The golden mercy-seat is changed into a talent of lead; and the woman beneath is called “Wickedness" in the abstract, including all wickedness: the whole emblem being a striking representation of the debasement and perversion of the ark, mercy-seat, and its contents, like the debasement and perversion by the church of Rome of all the great truths of revelation; " hiding the light under a bushel (Mat. v. 15) instead of putting it on a candlestick.
In chap. vi. 1—8, we have a revelation of the state of the Christian church in its political or external aspect. There came four chariots from between two mountains of brass." These mountains of brass refer to Dan. ii. 32, 39, where the “ thighs of brass” denote the third or Grecian monarchy; to which succeeded the Roman, wherein this church was to have its place. The chariot represents the church establishment, and the horses those who conduct it. The first horses are red, shewing the bloodshed and persecution which befel the ministers and members of the church in the first ages, probably including the first five centuries: the second horses are black, denoting that period of darkness which set in upon the church with the irruption of the Northern hordes, and extending down to the fourteenth century, familiarly known in history as “the dark ages:" the third horses are white, denoting the revival of letters in the fifteenth century, and the light which broke in upon the church just before the Reformation. The fourth chariot is very remarkable, being drawn by horses, some of which are grisled, some bay: the grisled are white spotted with black, or a mixture of white and black-light and darkness, truth and error: the bay is in the margin translated “strong; which word occurs in Prov. xxiv. 5, "A wise man is strong ;' in Job ix. 4, “Wise in heart and mighty in strength ;" ver. 19, “ If I speak of strength, lo, he is strong;” and in 2 Sam. xv. 12. The bay horses (ver. 7), having broken loose from the chariot, to which they leave the grisled still attached, went forth, and sought to go that they might walk to and fro through the earth. These are the Reformers, “wise in heart and mighty in strength :” “so they walked to and fro through the earth.”
Ver. 8, “Then he cried upon me, and spake unto me, saying, Behold, these that go toward the north country have quieted my Spirit in the north country.” And in the northern regions of the western empire the Reformation did take root, and did there quiet the Spirit of the Lord, and shall, we trust, there abide till the period of the ensuing vision.
In the closing vision of the series (vi. 9—15), certain of the captivity which are come from Babylon are taken as witnesses; shewing that this last exhibition shall be when the Jews are restored to their own land. Crowns are made-one of silver, one of gold—and set upon the head of Joshua the high priest: and as before, in his filthy garments, he had exhibited the iniquity, which passed away like change of raiment, by the first act of the Branch as “servant” and sufferer; so Joshua here represents the glory of the second future act, when the Man whose name is the Branch shall grow up (branch forth) as the “Plant of Renown;" who “shall build the temple of the Lord” (ver. 12), “and bear the glory” (iv. 7-9, Hag. ii. 9); "and shall sit and rule upon his throne" as King; "and shall be a priest on his throne” (vi. 13); "the Melchizedech, King and Priest” (Ps.cx. 4, Heb. vii. 2,17): “who is now within the veil as Priest” (Heb. vi. 20), “even heaven itself, now to appear in the pre( sence of God for us” (ix. 24); “but unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation” (ver. 28); "at the shaking of the heavens and the earth” (xii. 26, Hag. ii. 6); “when his house shall be filled with
. “ glory;”, when the Sun of righteousness shall arise with heal
. ing in his wings” (Mal. iv. 2); “when the counsel of peace shall be between them both” (Zec. vi. 13): “even then when our Lord shall have gone through all his characters” (Is. ix), “Wonderful, Counsellor, mighty God, everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. And of the increase of his government and peace there shall be no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it and to establish it, with judgment and with justice, from henceforth even for ever: the zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” “Then they that are far off shall come and build in the temple of the Lord” (Zec. vi. 15); “and I will gather all nations and tongues; and they shall come and see my glory” (Is. lxvi. 18); "and the redeemed of the Lord shall return, and come with singing unto Zion; and everlasting joy shall be upon their head: they shall obtain gladness and joy ; and sorrow and sighing shall flee away.” (Is. Ii. 11.)
ON THE FIRST RESURRECTION.
“Αυτη η αναστασις η πρωτη. There are few points which it is so important to establish, in order to the development of unfulfilled prophecy, as that the resurrection of the just is an event distinct from the resurrection of the wicked. This may indeed be considered as the hinge upon which the whole subject turns: for if it can be proved that there is no distinction in circumstances, or no distance in time between these events, it must be admitted that the doctrine of Christ's personal advent at the commencement of the Millennium cannot be maintained; neither can we look for his personal reign on earth ; nor for the literal accomplishment of those prophecies which have reference to that event.
If, on the other hand, it can be shewn that the resurrection of the saints is distinct from and previous to the general resurrection, it can scarcely be denied that our expectations of a personal advent and a personal reign are well founded.
It has sometimes been too hastily concluded, that the proof of a first resurrection depended chiefly, if not exclusively, on the controverted passage in Rev. xx. 5, 6, where alone the term “first resurrection” occurs. If such were the case, we should be ready to maintain the truth of the doctrine; because, if it be asserted in holy Scripture but once, it is as true as if it were asserted a thousand times : and we shall ever hold, that nothing is more dangerous, in subjects of theology, than to estimate the truth or importance of a doctrine by the accumulation of evidence that can be obtained in its favour. The veracity of the doctrine in question, however, is far from being dependent upon the interpretation of one isolated text. To a believer in God's word it admits of a kind of proof strictly analogous to that which is urged in support of many of the most indubitable facts in natural philosophy,
For instance, we admit the fact of the convexity of the earth's surface, because on that theory many phenomena are explained which, on any other supposition, would be altogether inexplicable. On the same ground we might call upon a believer in the Bible for the admission of the doctrine of the first resurrection, because on that supposition many prophecies become obvious in their meaning which on any other are inexplicable. “Let
“ the space of time,” says Ben Ezra,“ between the coming of Christ and the general resurrection be granted, and all the
prophecies will admit of an easy explanation.” To investigate the truth of this assertion would lead us into a wider field of inquiry than we have space to enter upon at present : we would, however, earnestly recommend our readers to do it for themselves.
We can scarcely conceive a more useful task, for an inquirer into this portion of Divine truth, than, after making himself master of the two systems of interpretation respecting the resurrection, patiently and dispassionately to compare them with the Divine record, and try which of them best agrees with its unerring standard. We are much mistaken if it would not be found, that the doctrine of the first resurrection gives a key precisely fitted to the wards of the lock, readily opening the otherwise confused and complicated language of the prophetic word.
Our more exclusive object in this article, is to direct the attention of our readers to those passages in the New Testament, relating to this subject, from which we think the doctrine of two resurrections may be clearly deduced. If it can be shewn, that wherever the resurrection of the saints is mentioned it is recognised as their peculiar and exclusive privilege, it must follow, of course, that the general resurrection is a distinct event; and the doctrine in question will be established.
It appears to have escaped the notice of many readers of Scripture, that there are two distinct modes of expression adopted in the New Testament, each of which has its appropriate use, and which do not admit of being interchanged with each other. The expressions we refer to are : η αναστασις εκ των νεκρων,
resurrection FROM [from out of] the dead;
and η αναστασις των νεκρων, “the resurrection of the dead.” The former expression, we are prepared to maintain, is applicable exclusively to the resurrection of the saints, and could not be used to express the idea of a general resurrection : and the latter expression, although it may be used of the resurrection of the saints-if there be any thing in the context to limit it to them--is yet more strictly applicable to the general resurrection, and is, in fact, generally, if not universally, so applied in Scripture. We will examine all the passages in the New Testament in which either of these expressions occur.
The first which comes under our notice is Matt. xxii. 23, &c., with the parallels in Mark xii. 18, and Luke xx. 27. We will take the passage as it stands in St. Luke, where it seems the most fully recorded. It occurs in the conversation of our Lord with the Sadducees. In support of their denial of the doctrine of the resurrection, they mention the case of seven brethren who were successively united to one wife; inquiring, whose wife she should be in the resurrection : to which Jesus answers, “ The sons of this world (or age] marry, and are given in marriage ; but they who are counted worthy to obtain that world (or age], and the resurrection from the dead, neither marry nor are given in marriage : neither can they die any more ; for they are as the angels; and are sons of God, being sons of the
resurrection. But that the dead are raised,” (or, according to St. Matthew, “ touching the resurrection of the dead," "even Moses shewed at the bush, when he calleth the Lord, the Elohim of Abraham and the Elohim of Isaac and the Elohim of Jacob; now he is not an Elohim of dead ones, but of living ones, for all live to him.” In this passage we have the two expressions, where they are manifestly not synonymous, and could not be interchanged without destroying the whole force of the passage. Those who are counted worthy to obtain that age, are not said to enjoy the resurrection of the dead-i.e. they are not partakers merely of the general resurrection, but of a special one from out of the dead. But in the latter part of the passage, where our Lord proves in general the certainty of a resurrection, he uses the term resurrection of the dead.
The next passage is in Luke xiv. 14: “ Thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.” Here again is speciality: the recompence is not said to be at the resurrection of the dead, but at the resurrection of a certain portion-namely, of the saints.
The next passage that occurs is John v. 28, 29 : “ Marvel not at this ; for the hour cometh in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth ; they that have done good, unto a life-resurrection ; and they that have done evil, to a condemnation-resurrection.” We have to observe on this passage, that the distinction is made between two resurrections, and not between the two conditions after one resurrection. Our Lord does not say, “ All shall rise at once : some shall have life, and others condemnation;" but he distinctly asserts two resurrections, one of life, another of condemnation. It is also very important to remark the difference between this passage and Daniel xii. 2, to which it has an evident allusion. The prophet, viewing these events at a greater distance, makes no distinction between the resurrections, but only between their ulterior conditions : even as it is common for all the Prophets to speak of the two advents of Christ as if they were one : but as we draw nearer to the events, they are revealed more clearly, and with their peculiar distinctions ; just as, in viewing a landscape, the confused mass of objects seen at a distance assume their peculiar forms on a nearer approach.-" They” (the Prophets), says Mede, “ spake of the things to be ať Christ's coming indefinitely and altogether; which we, who are now more fully informed by the revelation of the Gospel of a two-fold coming, must apply each of them to its proper time.” The same remark
may be applied to the two resurrections. The events of which Daniel obtained a distant glimpse, and which he predicted as if they were one, are more clearly distinguished by our Lord, who viewed them from a nearer point.
The next passage in which the expression occurs is Acts