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our Correspondent Abdiel. We shall notice his difficulties seriatim,— not altogether as a solution of them; which it cannot be expected we should be always prepared to offer;— but by way of communicating such information as we possess.
1. For a reply to No. I, we refer him to page 34 of our second Number.
2. His second difficulty he will find ably noticed by our Correspondent E. at page 53 of our last Number. And we also beg to state, that our Correspondent Amicus is not correct, when he calls the phrase quoted under his second difficulty <l exactly parallel" with that under the first. There cannot be a reasonable doubt, that when our Lord said, "There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till &c." he limited the accomplishment of that, concerning which he spake, to the term of life of the by-standers. But not so when he says, " this generation shall not pass;" for here a very important question arises, as to the meaning of the word generation.
3. In regard to the third difficulty, concerning the coming of Elias or Elijah, we have first of all to say, that if Amicus would limit the prophecy concerning him in Malachi to its fulfilment in John the Baptist, he will find, that he only exchanges one difficulty for another. For Malachi says, "Behold I send you "Elijah the prophet before the "coming of the great and dreadful "day of the Lord." How can Amicus call that day of our Lord, winch John announced, "the great and dreadful one?" He is doubtless acquainted with that well known quotation from Isaiah in Luke iv, 18, 19, in which Jesus evidently makes the period of his sojourn at the first Advent " the acceptable year of the Lord;" and omits the very next words of Isaiah (lxi, 2)—as not applicable to that
period—<( the day of vengeance of our God."
We conceive, that the ministry of John the Baptist was undoubtedly an incipient fulfilment; and that the circumstance, that one has come " in the spirit and power of Elias," is a pledge, that the real forerunner promised in Malachi will precede the Lord's, second Advent. Our reasons fortius conclusion are first, that when John had the direct question put to him, "Art thou Elias?" his answer is plain and absolute,—" I am not." This, notwithstanding the usual explanation given of the passage by commentators, is quite decisive in our mind against the complete fulfilment of Malachi. Our second reason is, that in the account given of the Transfiguration in Matthew xvii, our Lord first says, in answer to the question from his disciples—" Elias truly shall first come, and restore all things," and then follows his reference to John. Now did John 'restore all things * when he came? are not the words 'truly shall' plainly and distinctly prospective, notwithstanding that partial fulfilment? We expect therefore another messenger before the restitution of all things. We only add that all the Fathers of antiquity expected a second coming of Elias, not excepting even Jerome.
4. For a solution of his fourth difficulty we refer Amicus to the letter of our Correspondent E, which follows this Article: to which we here add an extract from a useful little Tract, called " The Future DestiNy Of Israel."—" As to the argu'ment which is sometimes raised 'upon our Lord's declaration, that 'his kingdom was not of, in the 'sense of from, or (as it literally e stands) out of this world—Ek Tov ( Kocrf.it! Tutu—that is, (as is shewn by 'the context, as well as by the c words,) it was not of human ori* gin, and therefore was not to be
* set up by human force. The am'biguity of our translation does not
* exist in the original text, which 'may be illustrated to the English 'reader by referring to our Lord's
* question: 'the baptism of John, 'whence was it ? from—out of, or 'of—heaven, or of men?' If you 'take of to refer to the subject, or 'to any thing but the origin, of
* John's baptism, you must answer, '' It was of men;' for men only 'were baptized by John; and to say
* that his baptism was of ' heaven,' 'meaning thereby any thing else 'than that it was of heavenly origin,
* would be mere nonsense."
5. The reply of Christ to Caiaphas may be explained first upon Mr. Begg's principle; viz. that the words in Daniel xii, 2, prove, that
at the first resurrection there will be a partial resurrection of the more eminent and wicked dead ; and thus Caiaphas may be distinguished among them. Mr. Irvine however explains the words, " Hereafter shall ye see," as spoken of the nation, of which the Sanhedrim were the representatives, and gives the following as a parallel passage, in which he thinks the sense he contends for more obvious: "Behold your house is "left unto you desolate ; for I say un"to you, ye shall not see me hence"forth, till ye shall say, Blessed is "he that cometh in the name of "the Lord."
6. For a reply to this difficulty we may again refer to our Correspondent Abdiel in page 34 of No, II, and to E's notice of it following this.
ON LUKE XVII, 20, 21; AND JOHN XVIII, 36.
To the Editor $c.
Allow me to offer to your Correspondent Abdiel a few observations on two important texts, to which he has referred in his last Paper. The first he declares himself to regard as obscure and difficult; the second he has, I think, miscontrued. I.—Luke xvii, 20, 2L
"Being demanded of the Phari"sees, when the kingdom of God "should come, He answered them "and said; The kingdom of God "cometh not with observation. "Neither shall they say, Lo here! "or Lo there! for behold the king"dom of God is within you."
Ovk epyerai i) loaatkeca rs 0e« fiETa 7raparripr](TEu)Q. Ovde ep&orty, IS« (hds' rj, Ida Ekel' id& yap i) JjcmjlXeta Tv 0£« Evtoq vfjiojv E<tlv*
1. According to the usual interpretation of this passage, it was our Lord's meaning that the kingdom of God was, simply, a spiritual king
dom,—its seat the heart,—its rise and progress therein indiscernible.
To this there is the decisive objection, that the observation was addressed, not to his disciples, but to the Pharisees ;—i. e. to his enemies.
Moreover, it is obvious, from our Lord's connecting the subject in the verses following with his own second advent, that He was answering the Pharisees according to the intent of their question; and speaking not of his preparatory spiritual reign over men's hearts, but of its glorious establishment on earth, such as will be seen at his appearing and kingdom.
2. Sensible of the force of the first objection noted, Beza, Grotius, Doddridge, Whitby, Macknight, and others have adopted the marginal
reading. Instead of within
they translate the Evtoq v^y among you; and explain the passao-e of the Messiah's kingdom already beginning to be preached among the Jews.
To this the objection remains in full force, that the subject matter of discourse was the kingdom as it is to be manifested at Christ's second advent. Besides which, it has been reasonably objected " that the Evtoq never has the meaning they give it in Scripture, and scarce ever in the Greek writers." (Scott.)
Nor, again, can we well say of our Lord's ministry, by which He was then laying the foundations of his kingdom, that it "came not with observation." Was it not by observation, and very careful observation, too, of the evidences which Jesus offered, that men were then to be convinced that he was the Christ? Were they not to search the old prophecies with this view, and compare them with his life, character, doctrine, miracles ? Were they not to look into, and so discern, the signs of the times?—It was unquestionably with observation that its foundations were then laid.
3. My persuasion is that the clause we speak of has been hitherto totally misapprehended. It has been taken and commented on as a part of Christ's address to the bystanders. I doubt not that it should be connected with the "Lo here! or, Lo there I" as a part of the exclamation of those men whom Christ speaks of, as thus reporting to one another respecting the Messiah's conjectured advent.
Thus the sense will be; "Neither shall there be any thing so partially revealed or secret in the ultimate establishment and revelation of God's kingdom, as that there shall be occasion for any doubtful rumours on the subject; as, "Look here ! for the king 'is to be found within our city ! or, 'Look there! for the king is within 'your city !"—" For as the light'ning that lighteneth out of the one 'part under heaven shineth even
'unto the other, so shall also the 'Son of Man be in his day!"
It must be remembered that the Jews had their minds full of prophecies that spoke of the Messiah fixing his kingdom within their borders; though in what part of Judea He might first manifest Himself, whether in Bethlehem, Jerusalem, or Galilee, they might doubt; each of those districts being mentioned in that connexion in prophecy.—Hence the current but mistaken notion, that when He came to take the kingdom, He might possibly be concealed for a while, and have to be inquired after and sought out.
What can be more simple than this interpretation? What more agreeable to the general tenor of prophecy? What more in accordance with Christ's subsequent remarks on this occasion? or the "cometh not with observation," of the verse preceding?
I cannot think with Abdiel, that Christ's glorious advent and kingdom may be said to come with observation, because signs of its being near will be observable. The signs of proximity are one thing; the coming or manifestation quite another. Observation is that fixed and attentive regard which we can direct to those objects and events only, that remain a certain length of time before the eyes: and to such objects and events it is then most specially directed, when they have enough of obscurity about them to leave us in a degree of doubt respecting their true character, and enough of interest to excite an anxious eagerness for the development. But so it will not be with the Coming and Manifestation of the King and kingdom. It will not come with observation. It will be instantaneous, it will be irresistible in its light of evidence, as the flash of lightning.
The rendering of Evtqq Vjjlwv, it will be observed, is within you, in the sense of within your city, or country.—This is in strict conformity with its frequent use by the Greek writers, as designating a position within some local divisioji or boundary. —Now as it is common in topographical descriptions to put the occupiers of a locality for the locality itself after certain prepositions, such as Ev, Ek, cua, &c* so are there instances of the same figure of speech after adverbs such as Evtoq.
II. Qj. 199. 'keiq \evcll E7tl Vtjciq Egu) ^parov Evpvv Ayaiwv' of the locality of their encampment.
Xen. Anab. vi. 5. EXctfjifiavov Tcl
E7TLTr}()ElCL EVTOQ TT)Q (JMlXciyyOQ. "Ci
tra aciem." Zeun—behind it.
Cyrop. vi. 1. Evtoq Tojv (tkottujv. of one advancing from the enemies* side within the piquets.
Anab. 1. 10. Chy Evtoq &6evl E^lv
EKJlEVCtl TOJV fit] TETLp7]pEVOJV' witMn
guards who lined both sides of the road.
Anab. I. 10.f Havre* baa Evtoq avTu)v, tat yjpripctTa Koll avdpiOTTVQ, Ecru<rav said of Greeks in the camp preserving from the invaders all that was locally within their station.
To which I will only add a similar phrase from the Latin: "Ea intra se consumunt Arabes." Plin. u. 21, within their own borders.
Thus to designate a locality it is perfectly legitimate to use Evtoq with the genitive of the inhabitants; e.g. Evtoq Tcjv TaXiXaiujv, for Evtoq Ttjq TaXtXaiaQ ; Evtoq vfiajv, for Evtoq Ttjq
To the whole of the passage, thus interpreted, the 24th of St. Matthew (vv. 26, 27) offers so exact a parallel, both as regards the lightning-like coming of Christ, and the incongruity with such a manifestation of
surmisings and doubtful rumours on
Interpreters have usually taken Ek in the former sense: and construing KocTfiH Thts of this earth, as opposed to what is heavenly and spiritual, urge the passage very frequently as an argument against Abdiel's view of Christ's kingdom being an earthly kingdom. There is no doubt that their construction is one that the Greek admits of; and my only objection to it is, that, as they apply it, it seems to me scarcely consistent with the general tenor of Scripture on the subject of the kingdom.
Abdiel takes Ek in the same sense: but, construing Koaptt Tuts of the
* Ek Mcivtmivuv psec (Herod.) of a river flowing from Mantiene, &c. &c. f This is quoted in Elsley from Macknight: incorrectly, however, as from the Cyropadia.—Nov is Macknight's translation exactly correct. Evtoq avTiov is not " things with them in the camp," but things within them ; i.e. within their position. &
inhabitants of this world, contends (if I understand him correctly) that Christ's kingdom is not of this world, because at present the vast majority of its inhabitants are under Satan's dominion.
To this there is an objection from the context that 1 shall presently notice.—But I would first observe, that the negation, on this understanding of the clause, applies not to the Koajjioc, the earth and its inhabitants, in their successive generations; but to a particular age of the KOfffjLog. The time is coming when the shout shall be heard above, "The kingdoms of this world "(Ko<jfjL&) are become the kingdoms "of our Lord and of his Christ." The supremacy of Satan therefore among the inhabitants of this world applies only to the present dispensation :—in which sense I should conceive that aLwy would be a word more suitable than KoorpoQ.
There remains the other sense of Ek, from or by;—indicating the source whence a thing is derived, or whence established. This 1 conceive to be the true meaning in the passage under discussion. It will then be as if our Lord had said, "My "kingdom is not derived from this "world, nor is it from this world e< that it is to have that which shall
"establish it." This meaning
agrees best, I think: 1st, with the adverb Evtevqev, used in the same verse as the parallel and explanation of Ek ry kWjLis rare, " but now my kingdom is not from thence." 2dly, with the statements about his ser
vants not fighting.—The connexion of this with the sentence under discussion seems, on AbdieVs construction of the latter, difficult to comprehend. Would Pilate have had a correct idea of the nature of Christ's kingdom had he understood Him to say, "My kingdom numbers at pre'sent but very few of the inhabi'tants of this world. If it num'bered the great majority then would 'my servants fight that I should * not be delivered to the Jews."— On the usual and Anti-millennarian sense of Christ's kingdom not being of this world, the connexion of the two clauses is obvious. "My king"dom is a spiritual one; therefore "my servants fight not for it." At the same time let it be remembered, that it is no unknown thing in the world for spiritual kingdoms (kingdoms of opinion, or in other words, religions) to be propagated, as Mahomet's was, by the sword of their advocates. The inference therefore though obvious, on this construction, is not necessary.—On the sense that I propose of the Ek Th Koaps Tutv the inference is not only obvious, but necessary. "It is not 'from this world, its soldiers or its 'weapons, that my kingdom is to. 'derive its establishment. Were it 'so my servants would fight, that I 1 should not be delivered into the 'hands of the Jews. But it is from 'above that the power is to proceed, 'that will establish it: and there'fore to fight for my deliverance is 'altogether out of their province."
THE GROANING OF THE CREATURE.
To the Editor, 8>c.
I have ventured to address you,
on what appears to me to be an
error in the letter No. II. of Abdiel.
I do not pretend to criticise: I want
truth and conviction, and will therefore proceed at once to the point at issue.
In the letter alluded to there is this expression :—" In Romans the