Page images
PDF
EPUB

avail to reply, That, the book in general being symbolical, this passage should be interpreted symbolically also. A symbol is one thing, a figure is another. A passage which must be literally interpreted may have in it a figurative expression—than which nothing is more common, without any confusion being the result of it; but it is otherwise with a symbol : if a passage is symbolical, then consistency of interpretation requires that every part of it should be a symbol; if not, the whole passage will be involved in inexplicable confusion. In the passage before us, therefore, if the resurrection be a symbol, Jesus must also be a symbol. Of what, or of whom, is He the symbol ?

Before we close this article we will notice an objection which has been raised against the doctrine of the first resurrection from the parable of the sheep and goats, Matt. xxv. 32–46. It has been supposed that this parable represents all mankind, the dead as well as the living, brought up before the judgmentseat of Christ, at one and the same time, to receive their final award of happiness or of misery ; which, of course, precludes the idea of a separate resurrection to the just and the unjust. In reply to this objection we observe, that the passage has no reference whatever to the judgment of the dead and the general resurrection. This is evident from the rule upon which the judgment here spoken of proceeds, which is incompatible with the view of its being a judgment of all mankind. The ground of condemnation to the wicked is, that they have not ministered to Christ, by ministering to his members upon earth : “ Inasmuch as ye did it not unto one of the least of these my brethren, did it not unto me.” (ver. 45.) Will the heathen be called to account for not ministering to the disciples of Christ, who have had no opportunity of doing so ? Can the Judge say to them, I was an hungred, and ye gave me no meat ? &c. Unless we are prepared to maintain that Christ will send men into everlasting fire for not doing that which it is physically impossible that they should do, for rejecting that which was never offered to them, and for not obtaining that which was beyond their reach; then we must admit that this judgment is not the universal judgment, but a partial one, confined to those nations which have been blessed with the light of the Gospel, and in which the church of Christ has been planted. " When the Son of man shall come in his glory, and all the holy angels with him, then shall be gathered together all nations”-or rather, all the nations, mavra ta eôvn : i. e. all the nations which are comprehended in that part of the world which has been the especial subject of prophecy (Dan. ji, vii.; Zech. i.)-all the nations out of which the elect church is gathered during the times of the Gentiles. This is perfectly distinct from the final judgment, Rev. xx. 11, 12; which is of

ye

the dead only-all the living having been previously judged all the dead, both small and great, stand before God.”

The three parables recorded in Matt. xxv. are all descriptive of the judgment on persons in the church, or connected with the church; yet they are not mere repetitions of the same event: each parable has its appropriate and peculiar design.

1. The parable of the Ten Virgins, represents that part of the church of Christ which, however ill administered, maintains soundness in doctrine, being uncontaminated by connection with the apostasy; and which professes to be waiting for the Lord. In this church, of virgin purity as to doctrine, shall be found many formalists and self-deceivers ; many who, having depended upon the orthodoxy of their professed creed, or upon their supposed reception of Divine truth, shall be found destitute of true grace; and when the Lord comes shall be shut out of his kingdom.

2. The parable of the Talents, represents the Lord calling to account all his professed servants for the use or abuse of the opportunities and advantages which they have enjoyed. These may be considered as including all the baptized (not excepting apostate churches); all of whom have enlisted under the banner of Christ, and are entitled to the privileges of the covenant. Of these, many shall be found who have hid the talent in the napkin, and who have not availed themselves of any of the privileges promised to them in the baptismal covenant.

3. The parable of the Sheep and Goats, taking a still wider circle, represents the judgment on all the nations amongst which the church has been planted, including those which have cast away the outward badge of Christian profession-such as the Mahometan apostasy. All these might have known Christ, and have ministered to him; for the neglect of which they shall be called to account, and those found guilty consigned to everlasting punishment.

Such we conceive to be the general design of these parables ; but even if this particular application of them should be questioned, we still contend that there is no scriptural ground whatever for applying any one of them to the period of the general resurrection and the final judgment at the end of the Millennium.

W.D.

DODDRIDGE ON THE RESTORATION OF THE JEWS.

From his Lectures : CCXXVIII. Proposition clxvi. “ 1. Though the Jews have for many ages been rejected by God, and driven out from their ancient inheritance; and though, during their dispersion, they have generally expressed an obstinate

and implacable aversion to Christianity, and indeed a great disregard to all religion and true morality; it is foretold, that they will at length embrace their own Messiah, whom they now reject, and thereupon be taken into the Divine favour and covenant anew. Rom. xi. 11–36; Isai. xlv. 17, 23–25; liv. per tot.; Ix. lxii. lxv. Ixvi.; Jer. xxxi. 31, 34; Hos. iii. 4, 5; Zec. xii. 9; xiii. 1, &c.

“ 2. On their conversion. They shall, by a train of wonderful providences, be gathered together from the countries in which they are now scattered, and conducted to their own land, where they shall become a prosperous and honourable, as well as a religious nation. Isai. xxvii. 12, 13; Ezek. xi. 17, 21; xxxvi. 24, 28; xxxvii. 21, 28; xxxix. 25, 29; Hos. i. 10, 11; Amos ix. 14, 15; Zec. xiv. 10, 11.

3. Whereas, on their settlement in their own land some enemies shall make an assault upon them, some celebrated victory over such enemies is foretold. Isai. Ixvi. 16,24; Ez. xxxviii. 3,9; Joel iii. 9, 14; Zec. xiv. 1, 15; Rev. xx. 8, 10: to which we may perhaps add Isai. lix. 19 ; Mic. iv. 11, 13; Zeph. iii. 8.

4. This interposition of God, in the methods of his providence and grace, for the recovery and defence of the Jews, shall make such impression on the Gentiles, as to be a mean of bringing in the fulness of them. Isai. xlix. 6; Rom. xi. 12, 15, 25, 26. See the passages quoted gr. 1. Burnet's App. ad Stat. Mort. ; Whitby of the Millen. c. ii.; Scott's Christian Life, vol. iii. p. 1166—1172; Clark on the Promises, p. 248--285; Powell's Concord. Appen. ad fin.* ; Lardn. Circumst. of the Jews, p. 65, 72.

* This Collection of texts is printed in the old editions of Powell's Concordance, but is omitted in all the new editions which we have seen : we therefore subjoin it.

A Collection of Prophesies which concern the Calling of the Jews, and the Glory that

shall be in the latter Days; with a Preface, by John Owen, DD. London: 1673. • Since the greatest part of Scripture Prophesies is about the calling of the Jews,

and the glory of Christ, and of his church, in the latter dayes; there is therefore • annexed a brief Collection of all the principal texts which relate unto that time, · which remain yet to be fulfilled; and which, from what we have already seen, " literally and exactly accomplished; we are to pray and wait in hope that these also will have their full accurate completion.

' E. Bagshaw. J. Hardcastle.' “ I. The Jews shall be gathered from all parts of the earth where they are now scattered, and brought home into their own land.

For this see Isai. xi. 11 ; xxvii. 12, 13; xliii. 5, 6; xlix. 11, Ix. 4. Compare Jer. iii. 18; xvi. 14, 15; xxiii. 3 ; xxx. 10; xxxi. 7, 8, 10; xxxii. 37.

So Hos. xi. 10, 11; Zeph. iii. 10; Zec. viii. 7,8; x 8, 9, 10. “Il. They shall be carried by the Gentiles to their place; who shall join themselves with the Jews, and become the Lord's people.

Isai. xlix. 22; xiv. 2; Ix. 9; Ixvi. 19, 20; and ii. 2, 3, 4. Compare Jer. iij. 17; xvi. 19; Ez. xlvii. 22, 23; Mic. v. 3; Zec. ii. 11; viji. 20.

12;

“Schol. I.--When the context of most of those places referred to is examined, it will appear that few, if any of them, can justly be applied to the restoration of the Jews from the Babylonish captivity; especially considering how expressly their regard to David their King-i.e. to Christ-is mentioned, as previous to

“ III. Great miracles shall be wrought when Israel is restored, as formerly when they were brought out of Egypt-viz. 1. Drying up the river Euphrates. Isai. xi. 15, 16; Zec. x. 11; Rev. xvi. 12;

Hos. xi. 15; Mic. vii. 15. 2. Causing rivers to flow in desart places. Isai. xli. 17, 18, 19; xlviii. 20, 21 ;

xliii. 19, 20. 3. Giving them Prophets. Isai. Ixvi, 18, 19, 20, 21; Hos. xij. 9, 10. 4. The Lord Christ himself shall appear at the head of them. Isai. xxxv. 8;

lii. 12 ; lviii. 8; Hos. i. 10, 11; Mic. ii. 12, 13. “ IV. The Jews, being restored, and converted to the faith of Christ, shall be

formed into a State, and have Judges and Counsellors over them as formerly: the Lord Christ himself being their King, who shall then also be acknowledged King over all the earth.

Isai. i. 26; Ix. 17. Compare Jer. xxiii.4 ; xxx. 8, 9, 21 ; Hos. ïïi. 5; Ezek. xxxiv. 23, 24 ; xxxvii. 24, 25; Isai. liv. 5; Obad. 21 ; Zec xiv. 5, 9;

Psal. xxii. 27, 28. “ V. They shall have the victory over all their enemies, and all kings and nations of the earth shall submit unto them,

For which see Isai. xi. 13, 14; xiv. 1, 2; xli. 14, 15, 16; xlix. 23; lx. 12; xxv. 10, 11, 12; Joel ji. 7, 8, 19, 20; Obad. 17, 18; Mic. iv. 6, 7, 8, 11, 12, 13; v. 5, 6, 7; vii. 16, 17; Zec. ii. 13; ix. 13, 14, 15, 16; X. 5, 6; xii. 6; Num. xxiv. 17; Isai. xlix. 23; lx. 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16; Ixvi.

19, 20. “ VI. The Jews, restored, shall live peaceably, without being divided into two nations, or contending with one another any more.

Isai. xi. 13, 14 ; xiv. 1, 2; Jer. iii. 18;1. 4 ; Ezek. xxxvii. 21, 22; Hos.i. ll. 2. They shall be very numerous, and multiply greatly. Isai. xxvii. 6; xliv. 3, 4; xlix. 18, 19, 20, 21; liv. 1, 2, 3; Ixi. 9; Jer. xxiii. 3; xxx. 18, 19,

xxxi. 27; Ezek. xxxiv. 11 ; xxxvi. 38, 39. 3. They shall have great peace, safety, and outward temporal prosperity.

Isai. xxxii 16, 17, 18; xxxiji, 24; liv. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17; Ix. 18, 21; Jer. xxiii. 3, 4, 5, 6; xxx. 10; xxxii. 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40; xxxiii. 6, 7, 8, 9; 1. 19, 20; Joel iii. 17, 18; Mic. vii. 18, 19, 20; Zep. iii. 13; Zec. iii.

9, 10. 4. They shall be very glorions, and a blessing in the who earth. Isai. xix.

24, 25; Ixi. 9; Jer. xxxiii. 9; Ez. xxxiv. 26 ; Zep. iii. 19; Zec. viii. 13. “ VII. The Land of Judea shall be made eminently fruitful, like a Paradise, or the Garden of God.

Isai. xxix. 17; xxxv. 1, 2, 7, 9; li. 3, 16; liv. 11, 12, 13; lv. 12, 13; 1x. 17; Ixv. 17, 25; Ez. xxxiv, 26, 27 ; xxxvi. 36, 37; Joel iii. 18; Amos ix.

13, 14. “ VIII. Jerusalem shall be rebuilt, and after the full restoration of the Jews shall never be destroyed, nor infested with enemies any more. Isai. lii. 1; xxvi. 1 ; Ix. 18; xxxiii. 6; Joel 'iij

. 17; Obad. 17; Zec. xiv. 10, 11; Jer. xxxi. 38, 39, 40; Ezek. xxxviii. 11. “ IX. A little before the time of the Jews' call and conversion, there shall be great wars, confusion, and desolation throughout all the earth.

Isai. xxxiv. throughout; Joel ji. I, 10 ; Zep. iii. 8, 9; Ezek. xxviii. 25,

26; Hag. ii. 21, 22, 23; Jer. xxx. 7, 8, 9, 10; 2 Chro. xv. 3, 4, 5, 6, 7. “ So that we may say, as Balaam did, prophecying of that very time : Alas,

who shall live when God doth this! Num. xxiv. 23." VOL. 1.-N(), I.

20;

L

those gracious appearances of God in their favour; and also how expressly it is promised, in some of those passages, that the Jews, after the restoration referred to in them, shall never be rooted out of their land any more.

“ Schol. II.—It is not improbable that Deut. xxx. 1, 6, and many other places in the Pentateuch, refer chiefly to this greatest dispersion of the Jews, and their final restoration; though most of the phrases there used are such as suited all the eminent deliverances God wrought out for them; so that each of those deliverances might be looked upon as an accomplishment of this prediction : nevertheless those treated of in the proposition being the greatest events of the kind, it seems reasonable to consider this prophecy of Moses as chiefly centering in them, though comprehending the others as types or models, which preserve a unity of sense and design as much as any interpretations whatever can do; and indeed the passage referred to above, seems a general prophecy, that upon their return to God, they should always be delivered ; with an intimation, ver. 6, that through God's gracious operation, this happy turn should be the final catastrophe of the nation. Compare Prop. 112, Cor. 1; Jackson's Credibility, lib. i. part ii. $3, c. x., p. 169, &c. 4to.; Ap. Op. lib. i. c. xxvii. vol. i. p. 123 ; Patrick in loc.

“Scholium III.-How far the form of government and religion among the Jews may, upon their restoration to their own land, be changed from what it originally was, we cannot certainly say; but it is exceedingly probable that so much of their ancient law will continue in force as can be reconciled with the genius and force of the Christian religion, and that God will raise up some divinely inspired prophets among them, with a full declaration of his mind and will in relation to a variety of questions on which we have not light enough to decide ; and some have thought that Elias—i.e. John the Baptist, (of whom the Old Testament prophesied by that naine)—will then be raised from the dead, and bear a considerable part in the glorious work of converting and settling them. Jer. m. 15; Mal. iv. 5, 6; Jeffries' Review, p. 142; Mede on Mark i. 14, Op. p. 98, 99.”

« PreviousContinue »