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There are three words commonly used in the Greek, to denote the personal appearing of Jesus Christ. One is αποκάλυψις, REVELATION, MANIFESTATION, of Jesus Christ. Another is nouvet, APPEARANCE, and the third tra povoia, PRESENCE or COMING. The word “REVELATion," as applied to Christ, (anoráhuyis,) occurs seven times, viz.: in 1 Cor. 1. 7; 2 Cor. 12. 1; Gal. 1. 12; 2 Thess. 1. 7 ; 1 Pet. 1. 7 & 13, and 4. 13. In all, it denotes his literal manifestation. In Rev. 1. 1, it is used as the title of the book of Revelations—the APOCALYPSE of Christ,—and that for a very obvious reason : because that book specially treats of his personal coming
The second (επιφάνεια) EPIPHANY occurs six times in the New Testament. 1 Tim. 6. 14: “ The charge to Timothy to keep this commandment without spot, unrebukable, until THE APPEARING (ériqúveras) of our Lord Jesus Christ." Again, in 2 Tim. 1. 10 : “Now made manifest by THE APPEARING (łniqúvelas) of our Saviour Jesus Christ,” referring to his first personal appearing in this world. Again, in 2 Tim. 4. 1 & 8, where it refers literally to the second personal appearing. Also in Titus, 2. 13: “Looking for the blessed hope and glorious APPEARING (értiqúvelv) of the great God." In none of these places is it figurative. Its import is literal in all, and therefore in the passage under consideration* there is no reason why it should be made figurative.
The third word is Παρουσια, , COMING" or "PRESENCE." In every instance, too, where it occurs, which is twenty-four times, it is used literally, and not metaphorically or analogically.t
* 2 Thess. 2. 8.
† Thus it occurs in 1 Cor. 16. 17; 2 Cor. 7. 6, 7; 10. 10; Phil. 1. 26 ; 2. 12; and is used to denote the visible coming or personal presence of Stephanas, Fortunatus, Achaicus and Paul, to the churches. It is used in Matt. 24. 3, 27, 37, 39. It occurs also in 1 Cor. 15. 23; 1 Thess. 2. 19; 3. 13; 4. 15; 5. 23; James, 5.7, 8; 2 Peter, 1. 16; 3.4; 3. 12; and 1 John, 2. 28; and in every instance can only be literally understood. Besides these it occurs only in the 2d epistle of Thess., in the 2d ch. 9th v., where it refers to the literal personal coming or presence of Antichrist ; and in 2. 1, where it has been shown it can denote only the personal coming or presence of Christ—and lastly, in the passage under review, which, therefore, must not have an allegorical or different meaning affixed to it from what it has in every other place. Vol. ii. pp. 67-71.
There is another word translated coming,* which is sometimes used metaphorically, but not this word ; and English readers and commentators have often been led astray by not attending to the original Greek expressions and discriminating between them. Yet this word has been shownt in all the places where it is used, in the seven epistles to the seven churches of Asia, to denote the literal coming of Christ. The word that is used in reference to the coming or presence of Christ to destroy Popery, is literal, never metaphorical. Invariably, in every instance, in the New Testament, it denotes the actual presence of that of which it is predicted, whether it be the person of Christ, the day of God, or the Man of sin. The argument, therefore, we think is irresistible. It may be now summed up in a few words. The apostle in the text is speaking of the personal coming of Jesus Christ, for he uses two words, neither of which is ever used in a figurative or metaphorical sense in the New Testament. If neither, when separately used, can be metaphorically understood to denote a spiritual advent, much less can both when united. If the words the shining forth, or appearance of His presence, do not mean the personal visible revelation or manifestation of Himself, it is impossible to employ terms that can express it. Human language is utterly incapable of being interpreted on any fixed and definite principles whatever, if it be not a literal personal manifestation and coming. But this glorious personal manifestation or coming, takes place at the time, and for the express purpose, of the destruction of Popery or Antichrist, which it is conceded must take place before the millenial day of prosperity. It follows, therefore, THAT JESUS CHRIST COMES IN GLORY TO JUDGE THE WORLD BEFORE THE MILLENIUM.
ερχομενος. . | Rev. 2. 5; 22. 25; 3.3; 10. 11, 20. Also, James, 5. 7,9. These places are commonly quoted in proof of Christ's figurative coming. But they all relate to one coming yet future. See J. D’A. Hist. of the First Resurrection, vol. ii. pp. 67-71.
THE NATURE OF THE DAY OF JUDGMENT SUPPOSED TO AF
FORD AN OBJECTION AGAINST THE PRE-MILLENIAL
Our object in this chapter, is to meet an objection commonly urged against the doctrine of Christ's coming to judgment before the Millenium, as well as to correct the practical mistake or error in relation to the great day of final retribution, out of which it grows.
It is a very prevalent opinion, that the day of judgment, if not a day of twenty-four hours' length, is nevertheless a very short period, during which a strictly judicial process is to be conducted; and that for this purpose, all mankind, both the righteous and the wicked, are to be simultaneously congregated before the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ, to hear the sentence of approbation or condemnation, to be then pronounced by the great Judge of quick and dead. Such is the general account given of it in discourses by those who have undertaken to describe the appalling scenes of the last great day.
This general notion of the day of judgment, is sustained by references to various passages of Scripture, which, it is thought, imply evidently the universal promiscuous congregation of the living and of the dead at the judgment-seat of Jesus Christ. Of course, it is objected, if such be the process of judgment, it is altogether inconsistent with the idea of Christ's coming to raise the dead, and to change the living bodies of his saints, to destroy Popery and the anti-Christian na tions, and to extend the government of Heaven over any remnants of the nations that may yet be left in the Aesh.
It is admitted that while the general result of a judgment to come, may be the same according to these differing views, yet are they entirely inconsistent with each other, when regarded as a description of the process of that judgment. It becomes us then to make our appeal directly to the word of God; and to examine candidly, carefully, and solemnly, what He has said on this subject. His testimony is our sole guide and umpire here.
In making this appeal to the scriptural account of the day of judgment, we remark as preliminary
That it must be borne in mind, and will unquestionably be at once admitted, by every intelligent reader of the Sacred Scriptures, that all the different accounts of the day of judgment, given in the Sacred Scriptures, must harmonize with each other.
These accounts are very numerous and various,some of them incidental and some extended,-some delivered by one inspired writer and some by another, involving, as a whole, abundant allusions, but not in every minute particular identically the same. This should not be accounted strange. It is in fact the most natural thing imaginable. It is impossible for different persons, who have witnessed the same complicated series of events, to give a description of them, in every minute particular, precisely the same. One will give prominence to this class of events, another to that :-some will omit incidents deemed unimportant, while others will detail them :
-some will be more graphic and comprehensive than others,