« FöregåendeFortsätt »
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
THOUGH I have not any particular information to communicate,
1 in answer to the inquiry of the respectable London Curate, made in your number for July last, p. 19, it may seem uncourteous in me to be entirely silent. The London Curate says, “ If the sin of man, original or actual, be not punished, how is the justice of God satisfied, and how are those sins expiated?” If I were to undertake an explanation of this difficulty, I should be guilty of the fault, which, in my remarks on the word Mystery, I have blamed in others, i. e. of attempting to explain the particular mode, in which the merits of Christ are effectual to the pardon of sin; a matter, which I do not find revealed in Scripture, and respecting which, therefore, I should think it presumptuous to form a decided opinion. « How, and in what particular way," says Bp. Butler, “. the sacrifice made by Christ had this efficacy, there are not wanting persons who have endeavoured to explain; but I do not find that the Scripture has explained it. And, if the Scripture has, as surely it has, left this matter of the satisa faction of Christ mysterious, left somewhat in it unrevealed, all conjectures about it must be, if not evidently absurd, yet at least uncertain.” Analogy, part ii. chap. V.
We know generally, that “ with his beloved Son, God was well pleased,” and that, for the sake of his merits, he received mankind again into his favour; but we are not informed, nor does it seem necessary that we should be so, what was the particular way, in which those merits became effectual to our salvation. I see no objection, indeed, to a variety of suppositions on this subject, so long as they are conceived in piety, and maintained with modesty; but let us not, as some seem inclined to do, confound such suppositions with revealed truths, nor exalt them into those necessary articles of belief, by which Christians are distinguished from infidels, and the Orthodox from heretics. As to those passages of Scripture, which the London Curate mentions, and others of the like kind, I have already said, that they are prophetical or poetical, i. e. metaphorical expressions applied to a subject, to which it is impossible that any expressions can do justice. I referred to the fourth of “ Six Essays on Theological Subjects," by Mr. T. Ludlam, as also to Mr. W. Ludlam's “ Essay on Divine Justice,” in the persuasion, that the reader would there find more satisfactory information on the subject, than I could pretend to give him. On the whole, the most direct answer that I can persuade myself to give to the London Curate's inquiry, is in the words of my first-rate favourite, Bishop Butler, “ The Son of God interposed in such a manner, as was necessary and effectual to prevent that execution of justice upon sinners, which God had appointed should other. wise have been executed upon them: or in such a manner, as to prevent that punishment from actually following, which, according to
the general laws of divine government, must have followed the sins of the world, had it not been for such interposition." Anal, part ii. chap. V.
I am, Gentlemen,
Your sincere well-wisher,
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE;
TF my exposition of the 24th chapter of St. Matthew is not already
1 sufficiently clear, you will favour me by inserting in your valuable miscellany the following additional observations, designed to complete the criticism. My first observation is, that the world has been 100 hasty in condemning the old interpreters, as, for instance, Cyrillus, Bishop of Jerusalem, who saw one accomplishment of this prophecy; carbone Jones, who saw and understood the working of that apostacy and anarchy which have at last produced the Titan brood which emulates the Antediluvian world in rebellion against the Lord and his Anointed and against the ark of his witnesses. Rev. xv. 5. - p. II. The tendency of my hypothesis, established by prophecying “ According to the Analogy of the Faith,” " comparing things spiritual with spiritual,” is to reconcile these apparently contradictory opinions and thereby to procure attention and respect to the prophetic writings and to raise a standard for union in defence of our great and marvellous constitution both religious and civil. The interpretation of prophecy is as regular a science as, and very similar to that of mathematics. Common principles or analogy pervade the whole body of the divine oracles. Rom. x. 6. I Cor. ii. 13. God, not man, is the writer of Scripture, and the language of God is the language of the Prophets. -Rev. xi. 8.
Had interpreters used their Concordance more, and their Wit less, I am persuaded that the prophecies would not now have been a dead fetter, as they are to most. I have already observed, in part, that the history of Christ is the history of his Church, (Rev. x. 8-11.) the time of his ministry and of his death corresponding to theirs, and that the history of the Church is the bistory of each remarkable period of it, three times and a half being the usual period of the persecuted ministry of the witnesses, if not always. The great Mede has proved to my satisfaction that the year 455 was the epoch of the times of the Gentiles (Luke xxi. 24. Rev. xi. 2.) the one thousand two hundred and sixty days or three and a half years, which he makes synonimous, (p. 656, and 709) allotting three hundred and sixty days to a year. Now one thousand two hundred and sixty such years equal one thousand two hundred and forty two of our years, and added to four hundred and fifty five would terminate in 1697; when, I am inclined to think, the seventh trumpet sounded,
and the vials began to be poured out by the kingdom of the Protestants. Let us apply the prophecy to this period, the third in my list, and the only one perhaps in which the one thousand two hundred and sixty days are figurative. This mark of distinction gives a primary importance to this accomplishment of the prophecy, as all prophecy is in its most exalted sense figurative. Rom, ii. 29.- Rev.i. 1. I shall, by means of a Concordance translate the chapterinto plain language, considering the coincidences of a literal accomplishment as of secondary importance. Nothing, it may be observed has more blinded men in the explanation of prophecy than the plain completion of the literal sense in portions of the prophecies. Such coincidences have drawn men from the consistent interprelation of the figure to adopt the letter or figure without regularity. But to proceed – This prophecy is introduced with a remarkable apparatus and significant prelude. The former chapter is employed in reproaching the corrupt hierarchy of Jerusalem, the cause of its destruction, as the inodern popish teachers are of their corrupted Church. The departure of Jesus from the Temple, v. 1. The arrival of his disciples, his new spiritual temple, who shew themselves to him-his sitting upon the Mountain of Olives, seem to be allusions to the approaching rejection of the Jews, the adoption of the Gentiles, the glorification of Christ and the effusion of the Holy Ghost, when future things were to be made known. These and many more delicate touches cannot be imitated. The following free translation of the figure may perhaps be useful.--V. 3. Tell us when shall this dissolution of the Church be; and what shall be the sign of thy interfering presence, and of the end of the age. (4) And Jesus answered and said unto them, See that no man deceive you, (5) For many shall come claiming my power and authority, saying, I am the Anointed (Priest, or Prophet, or King) and shall introduce a great apostacy from me. (6) And ye shall hear of a Political Apostacy (from Rome). See that ye conceive not the one or the other; for all things must be conceived; but this is not my coming (Dr. H. More observes that tas (the universal one) denotes the Pope, Rev. ii. 13]. (7) For nation shall be excited against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; and there shall be a dearth of God's word and grace, and there shall be corruption and revolutions in several countries. (8) All these things are the beginning of the pains of the political birth of him who cometh in my name. 2 Thess. ii. (9) And when Antichrist shall be born (established upon the perdition of the Roman Empire) they shall deliver you up to be persecuted, and shall slay you; and you shall be hated of all nations for my name's sake, (the opposer of the true Church is denoted by the Gentile, Rev. xi. 2.) (10) And then shall many be offended at me, and betray one another. (1) And many false leachers shall be raised up and shall deceive many. (12) And because Anarchy and Independence, (2 Thess. Ü. 8. Observe it was Leo the Great that first remarkably violated the Canons of the Church, and made the Sacra. ment a Sucrifice. Dan xii. 11, and was received by the whole Chris tian World, A. D. 4.51, as a lawgiver, vid. Evag. Scholast.) shall be consummated, the union of many shall be broken (comp. Rev. ii. 14, &c.) But he that persisteth unto the end of the age, he shall be
preserved preserved (Dan. xii. 1-12) from dissolution. (13) And at that time (1697) shall the glad tidings of the Christian kingdom begin to be preached to the whole world as a witness to (or against) all nations, and then shall the end of the age arrive, (Rev. iii. 7. xi. 15. xiv. 13. xv. 5. xix. 11.)
When, therefore, you see the idolatrous (Roman) standards raised up for desolation by the Gentiles, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, (viii. 11. ix. 27. xi. 31.) standing in the Church's territory, he that readeth let him attend. Every man is here concerned, (Dan. ix. 25) then let them, which are there, flee to the kingdoms, (as was done upon the revocation of the Edict of Nantes.) (17) He that is over the Church, let him not return to take any thing thence. (18) He that is ministring, let him not return even to ask a blessing. (19) And woe to those churches which are propagating the faith (their children being destined to suffer, however they might escape as the Mother Church in Piedmont did generally escape. Rev. xii. 17.) (20) And pray that you make your escape before the deluge of war, and the fatal period of your dissolution arrives. (Rev. xi. 9.) (21) For during that period there shall be great oppression, such as was not from the beginning of the dispensation until this time, no, nor ever shall be. (22) And unless those days had been shortened, no flesh should have been saved; but for the Elects' sake, those days shall be shortened. (23) Then if any man, shall say unto you, Lo here is the Representative of Christ, or there; believe it not. (24) For there shall arise false Representatives of Christ, and Seducers, and shall shew great signs and wonders, insomuch, that if it were possible, they should deceive the very elect. (25) Behold I have told you before. (26) Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold the Anointed of God is among the Gentiles, (wilderness denotes Gentilism, Dr. H. More.? The Pope would have Christians believe that the kingdom of Christ' was come upon earth in him, and it is particularly against this error that both Christ and St. Paul write, “ See that no man deceive you.” The kingdom of Christ succeeds the Papal.Dan. ii.) go not forth, behold he is in the secret chamber, (conclave, occult lodge, or conventicle.) (27) For as the lightning cometh out of the East, (an allusion to the place of Christ's manifestation, Rev. xvi. 12. the Holy land,) and shineth unto the West, so shall also the kingdom of Christ be extended from East to West. (28) For wherсsoever your dissolved remains are, there will the idolatrous ensigns be reared against you.--Rev. xi. 9.
Immediately after the persecution in those years, the persecuting king shall be overwhelmed, and the Queen (or Church) shall cease to rule; and the nobility shall fall from Government, and the powers of Government shall be revolutionised (waters denote people, and a flood, or rising of the waters an insurrection of the people.) (30) And then shall the sign (standard, creed, &c.) of the Christian king ap-. pear in his Government. And then shall all worldly powers lament, and see Jesus Christ (either personally, or in the person of his representative King) coming and ruling over the hosts of Government, with power and great glory. . (31) And he shall send his servants with a great warlike voice, and gather together his chosen from all parts of the world, (restore the Jews upon their conversion, and receive the
persecuted protestants, as was done upon the revocation of the edict of Nantes.)
The remainder of the chapter and the 25th chapter, which is a part of this vision, may easily be made out by attention to what is already explained. My limits do not allow nie to add any thing more than that history has confirmed the well-weighed opinions of the great Mede, and that whether we look to the period immediately fol. lowing the year 1697, or to the period commencing at the English Revolution, and not yet finished as the time of the end, the prophecy has in greal part been accurately fulfilled, and the whole tends to inspire us with gratitude for the peculiar blessings which we have received, and watchfulness least we be deprived of the kingdom of heaven triumphant in our island.
I am, Gentlemen,
JN. DRAPIER, INTERMEDIATE STATE, TOLERATION ACT, &c.
TO THE EDITORS OF THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE.
respondent JONATHAN DRAPIER, as he is pleased to style himself, is truly valuable ; and 'tis pity that the pleasure we derive from the perusal of them is so considerably damped by the quuintness of the signature -he lrath thought proper to adopt, and the substance of his communications being perfectly in unison with his signature; that is to say, valuable matter couched in a quaint and somewhat outrè phraseology. The impression which friend JONATHAN's epistles, in your valuable Miscellany, have made upon my mind, is, that I do most cordially praise the matter which is contained in them, whilst truth and candour compel me to say, that I do equally dispraise the manner in which he conveys it. I have little hesitation in adding, that I feel persuaded the far greater part of your Readers, who have any true and genuine taste for elegant writing, will coincide with me in this opinion. Let me therefore recommend it to loN. DRAPIER's serious consideration, if he be indeed that “humble tradesman”, which he describes himself to be, p, 25, of your Magazine for July, 1803, to cast aside his apron, and other paraphernalia of his vocation, when he ventures into the company of learned men and elegant writers, in the pages of THE ORTHODOX CHURCHMAN'S MAGAZINE AND REVIEW: and if he is not in that very situation of life, which, for reasons best known to himself, he hath thought fit to assume on the above occasion, as, I own, I very shrewdly suspect to be the case; then would I as strenuously exhort him to lay aside a dress which sits so aukwardly upon him; and step forth to the public eye in a character more natural, and therefore more easy, more graceful, and more becoming to him. IF JONATHAN DRAPIER possesses that good sense, which we have every reason to Vol. V. Churchm. Mag. Sept. 1903.