Page images
PDF
EPUB

rious APPEARING of the Great God and our Lord Jesus Christ. Titus 2: 13. When Christ who is our life shall APPEAR, then shall we also appear with bim in glory. Col. 3 : 4. And when the Chief Shepherd shall APPEAR, ye shall receive a crown of glory. 1 Pet. 5:4. And now little children, abide in him ; that when he shall APPEAR we may have confidence and not be ashamed - before him at his coming. Beloved, now are we the sons of God, and it doth not yet appear what we shall be ; but we know that when he shall APPEAR, we shall be like him, for we shall SEE him as he is. 1 John 2: 28; 3: 2. Nothing can be made plainer than that, the coming of Christ will be visible. . 3. Christ will come in the clouds of heaven.

When arraigned before Caiphas, Jesus said, Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven. Matt. 26: 64. See also Acts 1 : 9—11. Matt. 24: 30.- Luke 21:27. Dan. 7: 9-14. Mark 13: 26, 14: 62.Rev. 1: 7. 1 Thes. 4: 17...

4. Christ will come in great glory, with a retinúe of holy angels.

When the Son of Man shall come in his GLORY and all the holy angels with him,then shall he sit upon the throne of his glory. Matthew 25: 31.. For the Son of Man shall come in the GLORY of his father with his angels. Matt. 16: 27.-See also Matt. 13: 41–43; 24: 30, 31. Jude 14. i

5. Christ will come in a cloud of fire.

Light and fire are emblems of the divine, presence and glory. When God appeared to Moses, it was in the burning bush, and in the fire, smoke, and tempest of the Mount. So when Christ was transfigured, or when he put on his glorified form before his disciples, a bright, (a fiery) cloud over-shadowed him, and his countenance was irradiated with the resplendent glories of the heavenly world. So when he comes in the glory of his Father, he will appear in lambent flames of fire. And to you who are troubled

Dan. 44. Acts 1: Shin the cloudsting on t

rest with us; when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in FLAMING FIRE.'2 Thes. 1: 7,8.

6. The coming of Christ will be attended with the sounding of the last or seventh trumpet.

And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, froin one end of the heaven to the other.' Matt. 24: 31. For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God. 1 Thes. 4: 16. See 1 Cor. 15; 5154. Rev. 10: 7, 11:15–19.

. 7. The coming of Christ will be attended with the dissolution of elements and a general conflagration.

The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night ; in the which the heavens shall pass away with a great noise, and the elements shall melt with fervent heat; the earth also and the works that are therein shall be burnt up. 2 Pet. 3: 10.

8. The coming of Christ will be sudden, and to many wholly unexpected.

For as the lightning cometh out of the East and shineth unto the West, so also shall the coming of the Son of Man be. Matt. 24: 27. For yourselves know perfectly that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night. 1 Thes. 5 : 2. See also Matt. 24: 37, 44, 50. So then it appears from the Lively Oracles that our Great High Priest will come personally, visibly, in the clouds of heaven, in power and resplendent glory, with a retinue of angels, amid the dissolution of elements, and the sounding of the last trump.

But were the righteous dead raised, and the living saints changed in a moment, in " the twinkling of an eye,” from mortality to immortality, at the destruction of Jerusalem? Did Jesus then and there a gather all nations before him, and separate them one from another” and “reward every man according to his works ?. Did he then and there appear personally, in his glorified body, visibly ? Did all men see this or “SAME JESUS," " coming in the LIKE MANNER” as he was seen to ascend by his disciples ? Do you believe that when Titus and his mercenary army butchered so many poor Jews, and burnt up the Holy City, that Christ in any proper sense, then and there “ APPEARED” with all his mighty angels, “ descending from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and the trump of God ? and that the dead in Christ rose first ? ” Did he then comes in the clouds of heaven,” and “send out his angels to gather his elect from the one end of the heavens to the other end of the heavens?”

If these things took place at that time, why has not some faithful bistorian recorded these wonders ? Josephus was personally present on the occasion, and has recorded several prodigies which happened, but it does not appear that he saw, or heard any thing like the coming of Christ. Think of these things, and in my next and closing letter, the Lord willing, I will exainine with you Matt 16: 27, 28, 24.

- Yours as ever.

LETTER XXV.

My Dear Sir:

Having proved in my last letter, that the 2d advent of our Lord will be visible and personal- that he will appear in the glory of his Father, attended with mighty angels, and that he will then raise the righteous dead, change the righteous who may be alive and remain," " in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye,” from mortality to immortality, and regenerate the earth by fire, and introduce the general judgment, it follows inevitably, as nothing of this kind took place at the notorious -destruction of Jerusalem, that that bloody siege could not have been the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. But as there are a few passages which you depend upon to prove that the destruction of Jerusalem was the coming of Christ, it will be well to spend a little time in examining these texts. Should we admit, (which I do not, that those passages, which speak of the coming of Christ to raise the dead, and “reward every man according to his works,” were fulfilled at the destruction of Jerusalem, still the doctrine of future retribution would remain unshaken, being supported by a multitude of texts and considerations, not directly involved in the controversy about the 2d coming. . . 1. The first passage which you bring forward to prove that the coming of Christ took place at the destruction of the Holy City, is Matt. 10: 23. “For verily I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of Man be come.” This language constitutes a part of our Lord's address to his apostles, when he chose them and sent them forth two by two, on a mission of a few weeks, to preach the gospel of his kingdom, not to the Gentiles-not to the Samaritans, but to the Jews only. That this passage has no reference to the destruction of Jerusalem, is evident from the following considerations. (1) This language was addressed to the apostles, according to Dr. Carpenter's Gospel Harmony, not more than six months before the crucifixion. (2) The apostles finished their circuit among the cities of Israel, and returned to their Lord before the crucifixion. (3) Before the ascension of Christ, they received an enlarged commission, and went out to preach the gospel to all nations ; to every creature. As a matter of fact then, in less than one year from the time when their Lord said, “ Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come,' they had gone over the cities of Israel, and received a new commission-authority to preach to the Gentiles. The coming then, here referred to either took place within one year, or Christ must have uttered a false prediction. Take which hořn of the dilemma you please. *(4) Besides, Jerusalem was not destroyed till at least thirty-seven years after the Apostles received their commission to preach in the cities of Israel. But long before this period had elapsed, the 'apostles had gone over the field which their first commission contemplated, returned and received authority to preach to the Gentiles; they had spread the gospel all over the Eastern World, and with the exception of John, had all gone to the rewards of the faithful.

(5)The reference here was to that coming of Christ, that prelibation of his final coming, which was exhibited in his transfiguration. This event took place within a few weeks after he sent out his apostles, and before they performed their circuit over the cities of Israel. This I will make plain.

2. You depend on Matt. 16:27,28, as evidence that the coming of Christ took place at the destruction of Jerusalem.

For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; and then he shall reward every man according to his works...

Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.'.. .

Now that this is a perversion of this part of our Savior's teachings, will appear from the following considerations. (1) No historian has informed us that any thing took place, when the Roman army sacked Jerusalem, butchered' and enslaved its citizens, answering to this prediction. No one saw, or imagined he saw, the Son of man or his angels ; oor did Christ then and there (reward every man according to his works.' 'Every man' was not there. All the Jews were not there. There was but a handful of the human race involved in that cruel war, not half as many as were destroyed by the wars of Xerxes, Alexander, and Napoleon Ponaparte. Nor did all actually involved in the war receive according to their works. The sword of the conqueror fell indiscriminately upon the innocent and the guilty, and women and infant children were the greatest sufferers. :(2) The coming spoken of in the 28th verse is not the same as that spoken of in the 27th. It is only a model or type of it. Observe, it does not say that there

« PreviousContinue »