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2nd. If this text describes an after-death judgment, it is plain that salvation will be awarded strictly on the ground of works ! and this is contrary to the plain teaching of the bible, and to the avowed doctrine of every protestant church! “ For I was an hungered, and ye gave me meat:" &c. No mention made of faith, repentance, regeneration, or any other generally admitted prerequisite to salvation.

3d. These features (not to mention others) of the text, demand for it an exposition different from that which is usually given; this I shall in all simplicity attempt. Observe then, that the subject matter of it is, the coming of Christ in glory-accompanied by angels--the gathering of all nationsand the rewarding them according to their works. Suppose now that it can be shown, that these events were to transpire within a third of a century from the time of Christ's ascension : will not the popular views concerning it be at once refuted? Well, this is precisely what I propose to do.

4th.–See first, verses 30, 31, of the preceding chapter : "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory. And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." Can it be denied that this is the identical coming noticed in my text? Mark well, then, the verses immediately succeeding, “ Now learn a parable of the fig-tree, When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh: So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Here you have the time fixed by the solemn asseveration of Christ himself.

And that you may be assured that this parallelism is not solitary, nor accidental, I will introduce Mark and Luke to the same point; in Mark xiii. 26—30, it reads as follows: “ And then they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds, with great power and glory. And then shall he send his angels, and shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from the uttermost part of the earth to the uttermost part of heaven. Now, learn a parable of

the fig-tree; When her branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is near : So ye, in like manner, when ye shall see these things come to pass, know that it is nigh, even at the doors. Verily I say unto you, That this generation shall not pass, till all these things be done.” In Luke, chapter xxi. 28–32, the same is expressed in nearly the same terms : “ And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig-tree, and all the trees; When they now shoot forth, ye see and know of yourselves that summer is nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass away till all be fulfilled.” Here are three distinct testimonies to the fact that the coming of Christ to judge the nations, was to take place within the then existing generation. Christ even proceeds to caution his disciples how to regulate their conduct with reference to that event; that it might not come upon them by surprise ; which clearly implies that they should live to witness it. “ And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come on you unawares. snare shall it come on all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man.” (Luke xxi. 34–6.) It would at once astonish and amuse you, my auditors, to kpow how erudite commentators have strained their learning and ingenuity in order to reconcile these passages with their pre-conceived opinion, that the coming of Christ is to ensue at the end of tire. Dr. Clarke even carries his efforts at evasion so far as to affirm, that by “this generation,” Christ may have meant that race of people, viz., the Jews : that they should not become extinct as a nation before he should come to judge the world! But this is pitiful, yea contemptible: for

5th. The same evangelists have recorded another declaration of Christ to the same effect, and in phraseology which will not bear such an interpretation; and, besides, the contexts of the different passages already quoted make it clearly manifest, that the

For as a

that age.

word generation was used by the Saviour to denote, the people of

“ For these," said he, " be the days of vengeance, that all things that are written may be fulfilled :" (Luke xxi. 22.) again, at the close of his description of Jerusalem's overthrow, he proceeds to tell that his coming shall be immediately after the tribulation of those days;" (Mat. xxv. 29.) and in Mark xiii, the same is repeated in another form, “ But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken : and then they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven :" &c. (24–26.) and his caution to his disciples immediately follows, implying, as before remarked, that his coming was to take place in their day, for they are told to look for their Lord ; " lest coming suddenly he find you sleeping." (36.) And yet grave and erudite biblical critics inform us, that (although eighteen centuries are since elapsed) this event is yet to transpire! But we will look at other scriptural testimonies.

See, first, Mat. xvi. “ 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 of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” (27, 28.) What think you now? Did Christ's appearance in his glory, to reward and punish, occur in that age; or are some that were then among his auditors still living on the earth ? To same purpose speaks Mark, “ Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father, with the holy angels." (viii. 38.) “ And he said unto them, Verily I say unto you, That there be some of them that stand here, which shall not taste of death, till they have seen the kingdom of God come with power." (ix. 1.) And Luke, “ For whosoever shall be ashamed of me, and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and in his Father's, and of the holy angels. But I tell

you of a truth, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the kingdom of God." (ix. 26, 27.) Surely testimonies so emphatic, and repeated, should be admitted

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by all as sufficient to settle the question as to the time of Christ's coming : but there are yet others to be adduced.

There has ever been a difference of opinion amongst biblical commentators, as to the date at which the book of Revelation was written ; some placing it previous, and others subsequent, to the great calamities which befel the Jewish people. To my thinking, the book contains clear internal evidence that the former is the correct position: for the city, and temple are several times alluded to as still standing, which would not have been the case had it been written subsequent to their destruction. Indeed the main subject matters of the book seem most evidently to be, the ruin impending over the Jewish people; the destruction of their civil and ecclesiastical polity, and the trials and eventual establishment of the christian church. In the introduction, we are told that the object of these revelations from God was, " to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass." (i. 1.) The coming of Christ in the clouds is also mentioned. (i. 7.) And, moreover, the writer is commanded, “Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book, for THE TIME IS AT HAND;" (xxii. 10.) to which is added, “He that is unjust, let him be unjust still : and he that is filthy, let him be filthy still : and he that is righteous, let him be righteous still : &c. And, behold, I COME QUICKLY; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be.” (11, 12.) And it is further added, “ He which testifieth these things saith, SURELY I COME QUICKLY.(20.) Here then is additional evidence as to the time of our Lord's second coming. Is still more required? More shall be furnished.

This same event is predicted by the prophet Malachi, under the description of “the day that shall burn as an oven,” (iv. 1.) and “the great, and dreadful day of the Lord ;" (5.) and it is declared that Elias the prophet was to be sent before its arrival, who should " turn the hearts of the fathers to the children, and the heart of the children to their fathers." (6.) The Jews understood this as pointing to the time when Mesiah should set up

his kingdom, and therefore settled it in their minds that this event should be preceded by the coming of Elias the prophet. See to this point Mark, ix. “ And they asked him, saying, Why say the scribes that Elias must first come? And he answered and told

them, Elias verily cometh first, and restoreth-all things; and how it is written of the Son of man, that he must suffer many things, and be set at nought. But I say unto you, That Elias is indeed come, and they have done unto him whatsoever they listed, as it is written of him.” (11, 12, 13.) When John the Baptist's birth was predicted, it was said, “ He shall go forth in the power and spirit of Elias, to turn the hearts of the children to the fathers ;" &c. (Luke i. 17.) and in reference to the self-same personage Christ says, “ If ye will receive it, this is Elias, which was for to come.” (Mat. xi. 14.) These co-relative texts afford us a clear indication of the time when the great and terrible day of the Lord” should transpire: and in Acts, ii. we get some further light upon it, for Peter quotes from the prophet Joel the signs which should precede “the great and notable day of the Lord ;" and he declares that these were actually then taking place. (16_20.) It were superfluous to add to this mass of evidence : it would not be saying too much to affirm, that no one scriptural fact is more lucidly set forth than this, viz., that Christ's coming to judge the nations, in the sense intended in the text, was an event close at hand when the language of the text was spoken.

6th.We come now to the question, (a complex question) What are we to understand by the coming of Christ what were its objects and what were the literal circumstances ensuent upon it? I answer directly : first, that Christ's coming is not to be understood as actual, or real; but as allegorical. Secondly, Its objects were to punish the Jewish people for their wickedness and obstinacy; to abolish their ecclesiastical establishment; and to establish a pure and spiritual church in its stead. Thirdly, the events ensuent upon that coming, were a train of signal and terrible judgments upon the Jewish nation, including the entire destruction of their temple; their complete subjugation and dispersion by the Roman power; and their ejectment from the church (frequently called kingdom) of God; and the induction of the Gentiles into that church, or kingdom in their room. These great, and momentous facts, constitute the sum of what is figuratively set forth in the text. In scripture times men (Jews especially) were wont to be very lavish in their use of hyperbole ; hence we find them frequently describing events, of comparatively small consequence, in such terms as would lead a person unac

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