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come upon all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth." 1 Thess. v. 2, 3. " for yourselves know perfectly, , that the day of the Lord so cometh as a thief in the night : for when they shall say, Peace and safety, then sudden destruction cometh upon them.”
Certain signs however are pointed out by Christ and his apostles as indicative of its approach ; Matt. xxiv. 3—27. Mark xiii. Luke xxi. These signs are either general or peculiar.
The general signs are those which relate equally to the destruction of Jerusalem, the type of Christ's advent, and to the advent itself ; such as false prophets, false Christs, wars, earthquakes, persecutions, pestilence, famine, and the gradual decay of faith and charity, down to the very day itself.9 Matt. xxiv. 3—27. 2 Tim. iii. 1, &c.
The peculiar signs are, first, an extreme recklessness and impiety, and an almost universal apostasy. Luke xviii. 8. "when the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth ?” 2 Thess. ii. 3. “ that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first.” Compare also 1 Timn. iv. 1.
Secondly, the revealing of antichrist, and his destruction by the spirit of the mouth of Christ. 2 Thess. ii. 3. “that man of sin shall be revealed, the son of perdition.” v. 8.“ and then shall that wicked be revealed, whom the Lord shall consume with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy with the brightness of his coming."
Some refer to the same event another sign, namely, the calling of the entire nation of the Jews, as well as of the ter. dispersed tribes." Isai. xi. 11, 12. “it shall come to pass in
truth shall retire
And vengeance to the wicked. Paradise Lost, XII. 5.35. | Compare Paradise Regained, III. 433, especially with reference to the passage quoted from Isaiah xxvii.
Yet he at îength (time to himself best known)
that day, that Jehovah shall set his hand again the second time-. xiv. 1. “Jehovah will have mercy on Jacob, and will yet choose Israel, and set them in their own land.” xxvii. 12.“ Jehovah shall beat off from the channel of the river unto the stream of Egypt.” Jer. iii. 12. “ return, thou backsliding Israel.” v. 18. “in those days the house of Judah shall walk with the house of Israel.” xxx. 3. “I will bring again the captivity of my people Israel and Judah.” xxxi. 5. “ thou shalt yet plant vines upon the mountains of Samaria.” v.36, &c. “if those ordinances depart from before me~;' xxxiii. 7. “I will cause the captivity of Judah and the captivity of Israel to return—.” Ezek. xx. 42. “ ye shall know that I am Jehovah, when I shall bring you into the land of Israel.” xxxvii. 21, 22. “I will make them one nation in the land." Hos. iii. 5. “afterward shall the children of Israel return." Amos ix. 14, 15. “ I will bring again the captivity of my people of Israel.” Zech. viii. 23. “in those days it shall come to pass that ten men shall take hold. ... of him that is a Jew,” &c. xii. 4, &c. “ in that day, saith Jehovah, I will smite every horse with astonishment." Thus the Jews, on their return from the Babylonish captivity, Ezra vi. 17. “offered for a sin-offering for all Israel, twelve he-goats, according to the number of the tribes of Israel,” all which God still accounted as his own, though even to the present day they have not returned out of captivity. Luke xxi. 21.“ Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.” Rom xi. 12, 13. “now if the fall of them be the riches of the world.... how much more their fulness ?” v. 15. “if the casting away of them be the reconciling of the world, what shall the receiving of them be?” v. 25. “I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery.... that blindness in part is happened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in : and so all Israel shall be saved.”
Christ will delay his coming. 2 Thess. ii. 1–3. “ beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, that ye
be not soon shaken in mind, or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by
While to their native land with joy they haste,
word, nor by letter as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand ; let no man seduce you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first—' 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4, &c. there shall come in the last days scoffers
saying, Where is the promise of his coming ?” &c. to the end of the chapter ; where the reason of his delay is assigned.
His advent will be glorious. Matt. xxiv. 27. " lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.”
they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.” See also Luke xxi. 27.
31.“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.” 1 Thess. iv. 16. “ the Lord himsel! shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God." 2 Thess. i. 10. “ when he shall come to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all them that believe in that day.” Tit. ii. 13. “ looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ.” Jude 14. “behold the Lord cometh with ten thousand of his saints.”
It will be terrible. Isai. lxvi. 15, 16. “ behold, Jehovah will come with fire, and with his chariots like a whirlwind, to render his anger with fury, and his rebuke with flames of fire.” xiii. 9, 10. compared with Matt. xxiv. 29, 30. "immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.” See also Mark xiii. 24, 25. Luke xxi. 25, 26. “there shall be signs in the sun and in the moon, and in the stars, and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring, men's hearts failing them for fear.” 2 Thess. i. 7, 8. “ the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire." Rev. vi. 12. to the end of the chapter ;“ lo, there was a great earthquake.... and the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains.... hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains."
The second advent of Christ will be followed by the resurrection of the dead and the last iudgement.
A belief in the RESURRECTION OF THE DEAD existed even before the time of the gospel. Job xix. 25, 26, &c. “ I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth ; and though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God.” Psal. xvi. 10, &c. “ thou will not leave my soul in hell.”' xvii. 14, 15. “from men of the world, which have their portion in this life.” xlix. 14, 15. “like sheep they are laid in the grave ; death shall feed on them,” &c. Isai. li. 6, &c. “ the heavens shall vanish away like smoke.... but my salvation shall be for ever.” xxvi. 19. “thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise ; awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust.'' Zech. ii. 7. “ thus saith Jehovah of hosts ; if, &c. ... I will give thee places to walk among these that stand by.” Dan. xii. 2. “
many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth awake; some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Hos. xiii. 14. compared with 1 Cor. xv. 54. “I will ransom thee from the power of the grave, I will redeem thee from death : 0 death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction.” Acts xxiv. 15. “have hope toward God, which they themselves also allow, that there shall be a resurrection of the dead, both of the just and unjust.” xxvi. 6–8. “I stand and am judged for the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers.... why should it be thought a thing incredible with you, that God should raise the dead ?" Heb. xi. 10. “he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God."
This expectation was confirmed under the gospel by the testimony of Christ. Matt. xii. 41. “the men of Nineveh shall rise in judgement with this generation.” John v. 28, 29. “the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good unto the resurrection of life, and they that have done evil unto the resurrection of damnation.' See also vi. 39, 40. and 1 Cor. vi. 14. xv. 52. “ the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible.” 2 Cor. iv. 14. “knowing that he which raised up the Lord Jesus, shall raise up us also by Jesus, and shall present us with you.” See also 1 Thess. iv. 14.
To these testimonies from Scripture, may be added several arguments from reason in support of the doctrine. First, the
V. 23. "
covenant with God is not dissolved by death. Matt. xxii. 32. “God is not the God of the dead, but of the living." Secondly, “if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen,” 1 Cor. xv. 13—20.
every man in his own order ; Christ the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming." John xi. 25.“ Jesus said unto her, I am the resurrection and the life.' Thirdly, were there no resurrection, the righteous would be of all men the most miserable, and the wicked, who have a better portion in this life, most happy ; which would be altogether inconsistent with the providence and justice of God. 1 Cor. xv. 19. “if in this life only we have hope in Christ—.” v. 30. 32. “ why stand we in jeopardy every hour ?”
This resurrection will take place partly through the resuscitation of the dead, and partly through a sudden change operated upon the living. It
appears indicated in Scripture that every man will rise numerically one and the same person. Job xix. 26, 27.
though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God : whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another.” 1 Cor. xv. 53. “this corruptible must put on incorruption.” 2 Cor. v. 4. “not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life.”
v. 10. “ that every one may receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad.” Otherwise we should not be conformed to Christ, who entered into glory with that identical body of flesh and blood, wherewith he had died and risen again.
The change to be undergone by the living is predicted 1 Cor. xv. 51. “ behold, I show you a mystery.... we shall all be changed.” 1 Thess. iv. 15–18. this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.. .. and the dead in Christ shall rise first : then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord.”
THE LAST JUDGEMENT is that wherein CHRIST WITH THE SAINTS, ARRAYED IN THE GLORY AND POWER OF THE FATHER,