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thrown down." It was therefore very natural they should ask, When shall these things be, that thou hast predicted? What shall be the sign of thy coming, of which thou hast just spoken? And, as they supposed the world was then to come to an end, What shall be the sign of the end of the world?
You agree with me, that from the 4th to the 35th verse, Christ answers the question concerning his coming to the destruction of Jerusalem: concerning which he said, “this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” By generation here you seem to understand the Jews then living; and all of them did not pass before Jerusalem was destroyed. This, however, is not the exclusive sense of a generation, in the Bible, for all the Jews, from the beginning to the end of the world, constitute one generation of men: and all lying and wicked men belong to one generation of vipers. You affirm that the latter part of the 24th chapter, from the 36th verse to the end, refers also to the same coming of Christ to destroy Jerusalem. I think it refers to a future coming of Christ, because it is an evident answer to the last question which his disciples had asked, and because by the disjunctive conjunction he turns from the time of which he had been speaking, and says, “But, of that day and hour knoweth no man.” He then proceeds to say, that was the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.” He shall come on mankind suddenly, when they do not expect him; and shall sweep multitudes away, dividing some from others. He does not say, that all these things, spoken after the 35th verse, but all those spoken of before it, shall take place, “before this generation pass." Because Christ shall come unexpectedly to the final judgment, he commands all his disciples, saying, “Therefore, be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.” “THEN,” when the Son of man shall come as the flood in the days of Noahı, “shall two be in one field; the one shall be taken and the other left :" or separation shall be made even between persons engaged in the same field of labour; and then shall the lord of the un
faithful servant "cut him asunder, and appoint him his portion with the hypocrites: there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth.” “THEN," also, says Christ in the next chapter, “shall the kingdom of heaven be likened unto ten virgins,” five of whom were foolish, had no oil in their vessels, were unprepared for the coming of the bridegroom, “and the door was shut.” Afterward they came crying, “Lord, Lord, open to us : but he answered and said, Verily I say unto you, I know you not. Watch, therefore, for ye know neither the day nor the hour, wherein the Son of man cometh.”
How can they be saved who are not prepared to meet Christ at his last coming to our world, and whom he will not acknowledge ?
“For he is as a man travelling into a far country,” says Christ of himself, Matt. xxv. 14, for the kingdom of heaven, as I have before remarked, is erroneously supplied in italic print by the translators: "For he (the Son of man is as a man travelling into a far country, who called his own servants, and delivered unto them his goods. After a long time the lord of those servants cometh and reckoneth with them.” The Son of man who has gone away into heaven, that country far from earth, and who has intrusted us with all the different talents we possess, will act in like manner; will come to judge all his subjects. “Then,” to wit, in the end of the world," he that had received the one talent came and said, Lord, I knew thee, that thou art an hard man, reaping where thou hast not sown, and gathering where thou hast not stra wed,” &c. His lord answered and said unto him, “ Thou wicked and slothful servant,” and finally gave commandment, “ Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness : there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." Pursuing the same theme, and still answering the question concerning the signs of the end of the world, the Redeemer says, in simple verity, without a parable, “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: and before him shall be gathered all nations: and he shall separate
them one from another, as a shepherd divideth his sheep from the goats: and he shall set the sheep on his right hand, but the goats on the left.” It has never been shown by yourself, or any one, that this which you call a parable of the sheep and goats, to whose separation at night allusion is made, has reference to events which have long since transpired. Why need I quote any more? To the end of the chapter Christ teaches in the clearest terms how he will act in the end of the world, when all nations shall be gathered before him. This is an event which has not yet arrived, and refers to a judgment yet to come on all mankind. If you assert, that the nations have ever yet all been gathered before the Son of man, and divided according to their character, I ask you when? and where? It is not until we arrive at the first verse of the xxvith chapter, that we learn Jesus “had finished all these sayings," which he uttered after coming out of the temple, being pointed to its massy stones, and having predicted its demolition. From the 36th verse of the xxivth chapter to the end of the xxyth, Jesus discourses in reply to the last inquiry of his pupils. If you can make the declaration, “these shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal," mean temporal judgments brought on the Jews, I must think your principles of interpretation wrong, because they render the Bible an uncertain, unmeaning rule of faith.
I do not admit that Christ ever acknowledged his inability to inform his disciples of the time when the end of the world shall be. Your favourite M‘KNIGHT may show you that Christ said, no man maketh known that day. It was revealed to no mere man, and Christ did not see fit to make known the precise time “ when he shall appear the second time, without sin, unto salvation.” This second time of his appearing, I may remark, when he shall come not as a sin offering but as a judge, is to be after men have died, for" as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment; so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many: and unto them that look for him
shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation," Heb. ix. 27, 28.
Because Mark and Luke record one of the questions which the disciples asked Christ, it does not follow that Matthew was not correct in stating two or three. Several true witnesses may testify to several different circumstances, and all which they all attest is to be credited. In Luke xvii. 20—37, Christ discoursed about the destruction of Jerusalem in answer to the Pharisees, and used expressions very similar to those which he employed on another occasion, when his disciples asked about the end of the world. I DO NOT ADMIT, therefore, that Matt. xxiv. 36-41, and Luke xvii. 26-37, are parallel passages. This, however, is true, that the coming of Christ at the end of the world shall in many particulars be like his coming to judge Jerusalem in the time of her destruction by the Romans; and this has led many to conclude that Christ's prophecy concerning his coming must have a double meaning and a two-fold accomplishment.
It is true, that to your arguments intended to prove, that the faithful and obedient have the whole of everlasting life in this world, I have failed to reply; for if you mean that to know God and Jesus Christ is everlasting life begun in the soul, I agree; but if you mean that everlasting life is not a benefit promised to all believers to be enjoyed for ever and ever after it is begun here, why it seems to me needless and trilling to undertake to show that everlasting life does mean everlasting life, and not merely the life which the good live in this fleeting state.
You wish me to know, that the Almighty is to be regarded as endless in duration, not because some derivative of the Geek word alwr (always being) is applied to him, but because we read of apdaptov Osov, the incorruptible God, Rom. i. 23.—You confess that alwviov expresses an unlimited duration in 2 Cor. v. 1, but think that the terms used in 1 Peter i. 4, such as adaptos, incorruptible, and quapavros, unfading, and in Heb. vii. 16, axara Autos, endless, are much stronger.
The very passage you quote from Heb. vii. 16, if you
add the next verse, will prove that this is a false pretence: for Jesus is said to be made a priest after the power of an endless life, śwns akaralurou, for this reason, that God had testified, thou art a priest for ever, es tov alwva. Thus his endless life as a priest, resulted from his being made by Divine appointment a priest for ever, sis tov alwva. A life, indissoluble, that is akataduros, is the result of an aiwviov decree, or appointment. Alwvios, therefore, is stronger than akataduros, according to the author of the epistle to the Hebrews. It is “because he continueth ever, he hath an unchangeable priesthood," Heb. vii. 24.
You say, “I have shown that alwvcov is not unequivocal in its signification; and I will add, that your argument in proof of endless punishment will be essentially improved, if you can find the words apdaptos, apapavtos, akaraluros, or either of them applied to punishment in the Bible.”
I reply, that akaradutos signifies without dissolution, or not to be dissolved ; and twns akaraluros, a life without dissolution, is freely rendered endless in Heb. vii. 16, in opposition to one's death, or dissolution : but the words employed to denote punishment could not, without great incongruity, and confusion of metaphor, be coupled with these terms which you pronounce more unequivocal than alwvios, endless. The sacred writers had too much good taste to write of incorruptible fire, indissoluble burnings, or unfading punishment. We may with good sense and taste speak of endless or alwvlov fire, burnings, punishment, death, and life; hence we read, Matt. xxv. 46, “ these shall go away into endless punishment, EIS kwaow alwviov, but the righteous εις ζωην αιωνιον into endless life.” The words θανατος, death; odepos, destruction ; avp, fire; kolaois, punishment ; atoleias, perdition ; Odetos, tribulation ; xplois, damnation; and the like, I repeat it, may well be qualified by interminable, endless, and everlasting; but it would be a violation of congruity to qualifiy them by incorruptible, unfading, and indissoluble; as much so as to speak of an audible sight, or of a tangible vision. It is unreasonable, therefore, to require that the doctrine of endless punishment shall be proved, if proved at all, by finding incongruous affinities, and violations of