Page images

dead will be raised at the coming of the 1st. The resurrection of all the dead Lord, then indeed this text would be in saints point; but as it is, it adds nothing to my mind; see also Psalm lxii. 12. Does this

1 2nd. The transformation of all the mean the general judgment? Your fourth living saints. proof, Rev. xxii. 12, is of the same class, 3rd. The judgment and final seand subject to the same difficulties. The paration of the righteous and wicked. third is from Matt. xxv. 31-32. You here again italicise all nations. Now if all na.

4th. A change in the structure of tions means all the dead, then your point the material universe, as connected would be gained. Does all nations, (Isa. | with our planet; or the creation of xxii. Matt. xxviii. 19) or all flesh, (Joel

new heavens and earth. iii. 8) mean all the dead? If not, why not the above text mean that the all nations

Now to consider attentively his who have flown into the Lord's house, the objection to the 3rd event, we observe all nations who have been taught and bap - 1st. That if the general judgment tized, and the all flesh upon whom the

immediately follows upon the second Spirit has been poured out, shall be gathered before him: For surely you will coming

coming of the Lord, which we all admit that some that have flown into the agree to be a literal and personal Lord's house, that have been taught and return to this planet, the resurrection baptized, and upon whom the Spirit has of the wicked mus

has of the wicked must also be contempobeen poured out, are wicked. And again, might not all nations mean all that are

raneous with that event. In logic, upon the earth at the time of the Lord's however, it matters not whether one coming? See Isa. lx. 18-21; Joel iii. 2; prove the resurrection of the wicked Jer. iii. 17. These are plain without com

to accompany his coming by express ment. In 1 Cor. xv. 22-26, Paul says that every man shall be raised in his own

testimony ; provided only, we exhibit order : so I understand him. Now if all such testimony that the wicked dead, the dead are raised at once at the coming or that all mankind are to be rewarded of the Lord, where and what is the order? Wat his coming Weindeed attempted. Yours in the love of truth, A. S.

both—the demonstration of such reThe argument of the second essay surrection of the wicked ; also, the on the coming of the Lord is this :- demonstration of a general judgment. 1st. Ascertain the events concomitant | Weare redundant rather than deficient with the second coming of the Lord. / in proof. Our correspondent appears 2nd. Then examine whether these to distrust the evidence for the simultaevents can be viewed as compatible neous resurrection of the wicked more with a subsequent Millennium. The than for the simultaneous judgment conclusion from such a comparison of the righteous and wicked. Now must be either that they are, or are it so happens the latter, being spoken not, compatible. If, however, they of more frequently than the former, are shown to be compatible, it will affords numerically more testimonies, not prove that a Millennium must and perhaps somewhat clearer; neverfollow them ; but, on the other hand, theless, that the wicked are raised at if they are not shown to be compatible the same time with the righteous, is with such a state of things, then it will as evident from the fact of their logically follow that there is no simultaneous judgment, as it could be Millennium after the second coming from any direct affirmation concerning of the Lord, unless we change the their resurrection. Still, however, names of things, and call heaven and the passage quoted from John v. 39, eternity a Millennium. Four events indicates not only by the word, but alleged to be concomitant with the by "all in the graves" and "hearing second coming of the Lord were ad- his voice," one and the same voice and duced in that essay. The first two hour, for all in the graves. “All in are admitted by our correspondent : the graves” is the subject of the prothe third, questioned. These four position, and certainly includes both events are

good and bad, as defined in the pas

sage. Now as hour and voice are 2 Thess. i. 6-10. The whole passage, applied equally to the whole subject Rom. ii. read together needs no comof the proposition, it is unreasonable ment. “God will render to every man that the hour" means periods a according to his works.” Two questhousand apart; and the " voice" tions arise - Who are included in means two voices at immense inter-“every man ?" and When are these vals. It is, then, not in the word to be judged ? Both questions are hour the point and strength of the ar- most distinctly answered in this pasgument lies, though that may be sage. Continues the Apostle, “ God shown from similar passages to denote will render to every man—to them a particular day or time; but in the who by patient continuance in well facts of all in the graves hearing the doing seek for glory and honor, (he voice in that hour and coming forth- will render) eternal life. But to the doers of good and the doers of them that are contentious and do not evil—the one for life, the other for obey the truth, but obey unrighteouscondemnation. To rescue the mind ness, (he will render) indignation and of our correspondent from all difficulty wrath, tribulation and anguish, upon on the term hour, it will be only every soul of man that doeth evil necessary for him to reflect that al- of the Jew first, and also of the Genthough it were clearly proved to tile. But glory, honor, and peace to denote a lifetime, no one pretends every man that worketh good—to the that in any sort of language, literal | Jew first, and also to the Gentile ; for or figurative, it ever meant a thou- there is no respect of persons with sand years.

God: for as many as have sinned Our correspondent assumes too without law shall perish without law; much about the indefinite import of and as many have sinned under the the word hour in verse 25, and in law shall be judged by the lawchap. iv. 21 ; i. 4,* as well as labors (WHEN ?) in the day when God unnecessarily on the phrases “all na- shall judge the secrets of men by tions," "every man,” Matth. xxv. Jesus Christ according to my gospel.The stress lies not on these words, The persons and time are clearly but on the fact that the Lord then noted. If any thing can be wanting makes a separation, placing the to fill up the picture and to establish parties on different sides, and address- the fact, it will be found in the words ing them accordingly; and more of the same Apostle, 2 Thess. i. 6-10, especially on the word then, Matth. / “It is a righteous thing with God to xvi. 27, “For the Son of Man shall recompense tribulation to them that come in the glory of his Father with trouble you. And to you who are his holy angels, and then he shall re- troubled, rest with us (till, or) when ward every man according to his the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from works.” Then, not before, but at heaven with his mighty angels, in that time he will reward, &c. flaming fire, taking vengeance on

But express and definite as is this them that know not God, and that language, it is neither more precise obey not the gospel of our Lord Jesus nor unambiguous than are two pas- | Christ; who shall be punished with sages in Paul's epistles—Rom. ii. and everlasting destruction from the pre

Hour either literally or figuratively denotes a sence of the Lord and the glory of his definite time; but that definite time means not always sixty minutes.' Jesus said, “The hour is

power, when he shall come to be come,” John xvii. 1; xii. 23, 27; xiii. 1; Luke xii. glorified in his saints, and to be ad53, &c. Even in the passage quoted by our corres. pondent, it is used definitely- My hour is not yet mired by all them that believe.” come." John ii. 4; “ the hour is coming," iv, 21, denote a particular time, not an age, not a thousand years; but a certain day, an era, the commencement of a new period---not the whole period, but the beginning of it.

we are most expressly informed that the Pagans who know not God, and Lord in the air? I will be told it is the Jews and Pagans who disobey very plain. Though all is done in the gospel, shall be punished with one day, there is a first, second, and utter destruction WHEN the Lord a third. So say I. But to contemcomes to be glorified and admired by plate 1 Cor. xv. 22, “Every man in his saints. Till farther informed I his one band,” as Macknight renders shall therefore hold it as established it. Christ the first fruit, by himself; by divine testimony, that the coming then the dead in Christ at his coming. of the Lord to be glorified and to be What next ? “Then cometh the admired by his people, is the day of end." No resurrection of the wicked destruction and perdition of ungodly at all, then, according to Paul, 1 Cor. men. Hence the resurrection and xv. 22, unless it follow immediately ultimate condemnation of the wicked that of the just: for it cannot be after are to be at the coming of the Lord the end. If it be before the end, it are to be simultaneous with the re- must instantly follow the resurrection surrection of the just, and not to be a of the just. The mistake is, that thousand or three hundred thousand Paul here writes only of the just; but years after.

to the Romans and to the ThessaloBut when I say that the resurrec- nians, of just and unjust. We, then, tion of the just and of the unjust are expound Paul to the Corinthians by to be simultaneous events, I am far Paul to the Romans and to the Thesfrom thinking that there may not be salonians, and not as some others who an order and priority, even in a resur- expound Paul to the Romans and rection consummated in one literal Thessalonians by Paul to the Corinhour or day. When I am taught by thians. The difference of our method Paul that the dead in Christ shall be expounds the difference in conclusions raised before the living saints shall be to which we have come. changed, I do not suppose an interval I hold it, then, that my third event, of a day nor an hour, much less a or fact concomitant with the coming of thousand years. And when I affirm the Lord, is unequivocally established. my conviction that the dead saints But if any yet doubt, I have other shall be raised first, the living saints reasons and evidence to offer. changed in the second place, and the Some there are who have indirectly ungodly raised in the third place, I assailed my fourth event contemporawould not be understood as intima-neous with the coming of the Lord. ting an interval of one week, or one | This they aim at by alleging the new day, or one hour, much less a thou- / heavens and earth to be created when sand years. There may be order—a the Lord comes, or making out of first, second, and third, in one minute them a mere moral improvement in as well as in a million of years. governments and in society. But as

Not observing this fact may be the this is not formerly avowed, I shall occasion of my correspondent's em- not assume the labor of demonstrating barrassment, intimated in the closing that however often heaven and earth period of his communication. In 1 may be used figuratively in visions Cor. xvi. 22, Paul says that “every and symbolic apocalypses, they are man shall be raised in his own order." not so used in Peter's writing. I, for Now if all the dead are raised at once, one, look for new heavens and a new at the coming of the Lord, where and earth when the Lord comes. Of this, what is the order ? I answer, What however, we have something more to or where is the order when the dead say in its proper time. saints are raised first, and the living From different sources I have saints changed next, and yet both are learned that my remarks on Rev. xx. taken up together at once to meet the I are not distinctly understood No

[ocr errors]

thing yet, however, has come before selves as free from these ; and, who us in a tangible form. No one, in- regard with pious horror, the possibility deed, seems disposed to hazard an of “heresy” being an ingredient of opinion contrary to the grand position their religionism. But, it is not so expressed on that subject—That as with the Editor of the Herald of the the first, so is the second resurrection Future Age. He admits he has erred

-both literal, or both figurative: and “in many things ;” and, it affords him that two literal resurrections of the great and pleasant satisfaction to andead, a thousand years apart, are no nounce to his readers, that by the where intimated in the whole Bible, profitable assistance of the sacred unless in this single passage. And in writings, he has discovered some misthe third place, that to except out of takes, which, if not corrected, would all the symbolic imagery of the 20th prove fatal to his eternal well-being. of the Apocalypse from the govern- His errors are of a positive and negament of the canons of interpretation, tive character-errors of omission, and so much only as pertains to the first errors of commission. While it may resurrection would be an anomaly- be a palliation to say, he erred in sinan innovation subversive of the intelli- cerity, he considers such a plea no vagibility of the whole treatise, of which lid excuse or expiation. Paul comthis is but a paragraph. These are mitted many heinous offences ignothree grand points in the final settle- rantly ; therefore he found mercy, ment of this long litigated case. but he was not therefore pardoned ;

A. C. so, because we have erred ignorantly

and at the same time honestly conTHE “ CONFESSION & ABJU tending for what we believed to be

true, we have also * obtained mercy," RATION” OF J. THOMAS, M.D.

in the forbearance of God toward us, [We stated on the cover of the British seeing that we are still spared to the Millennial Harbinger for July, and again on discovery of the sandiness of our founthe cover of the October number, that the dation, and the correction and abjufar-famed John Thomas, M.D. of Richmond, Va. had publicly abjured all connection with

ration of our errors unto life. the churches of tħe Reformation ; in the When we look back upon the past United States, more especially with Brother | 13 years, it is with mingled astonishCampbell and his associates : that he had

ment and satisfaction; but though not only renounced what he learned from them, but what he taught whilst among them

in the course of that period, we have -counting it all as dross, and wishing it to | had many regrets, yet from the posisink into oblivion ; thus repudiating the tion we now occupy in viewing “ the whole, that he might, by re-immersion, enterio upon a new era as the freed-man of Christ. |

| landscape o'er,” we cannot confess The following “ Confession and Abjuration," that our mingled feeling is disturbed is extracted from the Herald of the Future by the bitterness of regret. Age, dated March 3, 1847, and was publish- 1.1. First, we remark, that our moed about the time Brothers Campbell and

ral training at the hands of a kind Henshall came to England.]

and pious mother, was the best her WHEN we consider the nature of education in the Calvinism of the flesh and blood, and the constitution Scottish Kirk could enable her to of the world to which it stands related, give. She instilled into us a profound it seems impossible, that a man should veneration for the Holy Scriptures, struggle for twelve long years, in and which we retain to this day. We with the darkness and evil by which had more veneration for the book, he is surrounded, and have no errors than accurate knowledge of its conto confess and abjure. There may tents. Hence, while our youth was be some immaculates, who, being wise strictly moral, the hereditary princiin their own conceit, consider them- ple of our flesh was strong and unsub

dued. Pride and ambition, our an- | kind of thoughts flitting athwart the cestral sins, were the leading charac- mind; but we replied, that we thought teristics of our early manhood. These that, being a stranger, he ought not urged us on to “high things,” as we to press us to do this ; but that we then esteemed them. We sought dis- should wait, and prove whether we tinction in politics and science, “ the were worthy; we might discredit our mean ambition and pride of men ;" profession, which would be worse but God in his goodness foiled all our than none." He very politely exschemes, and we found ourselves an pressed that he had no fears of that alien in a strange land.

kind. We told him, however, frankly, II. With a very, very insufficient that we were seeking the truth, and knowledge of the word, amounting if the course he recommended were almost to nothing, we became a truth- scriptural we would comply. He seeker. Wesought truth as a worldly- cited the case of the Ethiopian officer, minded, but otherwise moral young and in the conversation quoted Acts man might be supposed to seek it- ii. 38, which proved an end to all we sought it at the lips of the world's controversy. prophets and diviners. Events intro- | Such are the leading facts in the duced us to our worthy friend case as well as we can remember at Walter Scott of the Protestant | this distance of time. We cast no Unionist. We conversed on the Book blame on our friend, while we conof Daniel ; we were acquainted with demn ourselves. With the views he these prophecies then only so far as bad then, and seems still to retainthey are interpreted by Rollin which and which for many years we have we have elsewhere by a differ- shared with him and others, we should, ent interpretation proved to be falla- and doubtless have pursued, the same cious. If, therefore, the Kingdom of course ; but the eyes of our underGod was touched upon, and we think standing being enlightened, as we veit was not, it is very certain we did rily believe, we confess that the whole not understand it. However, said matter was a mistake, and as such our friend, “ we agree very well as make this public abjuration thereof : to generals ; let us see if we cannot 1. Because our “faith” rested maincome to an understanding as to par- | ly, if not solely, upon the word of man. ticulars. You believe that Jesus is 2. Because that most excellent the Christ !” The truth is, in rela- man, we think, did not then, neither tion to this, we could not have told does he now, appear to know, nor when we did not "believe” it! We did we, what the Gospel of God is answered " yes." " What hinders, concerning his Son. then, that you should be a Christian? 3. Because we mistook the mystery You believe that Christ died for sins, of the Gospel for the Gospel itself. was buried, and rose again, why not 4. Because the editor was a stranger be baptized ?” “ Yes, we believed to the Abrahamic disposition and this, because it was so written, but we mode of thinking, which are the true had always supposed ourselves as type of “ repentance unto life.” good a Christian as others, though 5. Because, being destitute of this not in a church: We had belonged | child-like frame of mind, even had he to the Independents when 17 years known and believed the Gospel of the old, for about six months, when we Kingdom, his faith would not have withdrew; we had always been a been imputed to him for righteouschurch-goer, and had officiated as a ness. sort of chaplain on board a ship. A 6. Because that men are “ saved Christian ! Could we be more a Chris- by the hope,” being ignorant in toto tian than we were ? Such was the l of that hope, he was not saved by it,

« PreviousContinue »