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" For to me
verse : "having a desire to depart ' will bring us back, flourishing and and be WITH Christ which is FAR full of life, with himself also, to BETTER" than remaining in the the theatre of this world. We flesh.
therefore shall not wonder to find There is a text even still more St. Paul exclaiming, explicit ; for it proves, that what the to die is gain.” (Phil. i, 21.) Apostle means by being with Christ We are rather surprised that he is, the enjoyment of his visible pre- says so little than that he says so Therefore we are always
much in favor of death, when so confident, knowing that whilst we many evils, so many troubles, so are at home in the body we are many perils, so many labors, enabsent from the Lord; (for we compassed him ; who had endured walk by faith, not by sight :) we both hunger and thirst, with cold, are confident, I say, and willing and nakedness, and wounds, and ! rather to be absent from the body stripes, and prisons, and rocks, and present with the Lord.”g
and shipwrecks, and every sort of These two Scriptures are very affliction, both by sea and land. embarrassing to Dr. Burnet and That death should be esteemed those writers who follow him in
more desirable than such a life, this particular; and they struggle who can wonder?
who can wonder ? If it be only greatly to get rid of their force : but rest, and a remission of trials, still in my humble estimation they en- it is so far “ gain.”—Let us, then, tirely fail. I cannot pretend to
learn to think somewhat more follow them through all their ela- * moderately concerning our wretchborate arguments : I shall select ed selves and our reward; and no only one or two which appear to longer promise to ourselves and me to be the strongest. Another rothers the beatific vision of God respectable Writer in the Morning upon the instant of our eyes being Watch has translated and given · closed; when we see the Apostle in that work the fourth chapter of of the Gentiles (who of all men Burnet “ De statu Mortuorum, &c.” best merited any reward which the adding copious notes ; and as he christian religion holds forth) predoes full justice to the original, and senting no such hope, either to handles the subject ably, I shall himself or to others.” Vol.I,p.676. quote from his translation.
His Translator and Commentator “ Again, in such expressions as in a copious note begins the subject 'we are considering, the object at verse 5 of the above place in is evidently an antithesis : Corinthians, and writes thus : ' indeed may easily be remarked, --- Now he that hath wrought us • both in Corinthians and Philip- ' for the self-same thing”—Who is pians; the words “to be with he? Is it not the Holy Ghost; Chrisť" being
being contrasted with the whole Godhead Triune? -as our continuance in this world. the Apostle writes : “Now he · For, indeed, when we quit this ' that hath wrought us for the
life, we are not extinct, we are self-same thing is God! who 'not annihilated ; and where are · hath also given unto us (already] we? With God, with Christ : we the earnest of the Spirit;" therelive unto God. (Luke xx, 38.)
· fore are always confident, We are present to Christ; and he knowing that while we are at home
g 2 Cor. v, 6-8.
in this unredeemed body; (which,
If I understand the view which like the microscope, is at once the Dr. B.'s Translator takes, it is, that means of boasted investigation, the presence to be enjoyed when apart and at the same time the pre- from the body is a spiritual one; ' ventive of almost all sight ;) whilst the Holy Ghost having given to us we are enveloped with this shroud, an earnest now, will then give us a the flesh; while all things are dis- greater fulness. I grant that we 'torted by its impurity and nothing have here many drawbacks and seen aright by reason of its re
hindrances, which prove a clog upon fraction, while sin is mingled in our spiritual enjoyment; but in the our every thought; and the better heart of every believer Christ does they are the more literally that is nevertheless dwell by the Spirit ;h 'crucified ;—“ while we are at home and his body, though vile, is neverin the body, we are absent from theless
theless the temple of the Holy < the Lord. P. 672.
Ghost.i It therefore destroys the The first thing I notice in these ex
essential distinction between the tracts is, that the Doctor, by coupling righteous and the ungodly, to say, thetwotexts together, adroitly diverts that here Christ is not with the our attention from the antithesis in former. And it destroys the anti2 Cor. v, and treats only of that in thesis of this passage ; which is not Phil. i. The second thing I notice the having less of the Spirit whilst is, that his Translator, when giving in the body, and out of it the fulhis own opinion on the former pas- ness : but the walking in the body sage, entirely passes over the im- with Christ by faith, and when out portant parenthesis,—"For we walk of it being with Christ by sight. by faith not by sight;" which is I must here however observe, that nevertheless the key to the right though I feel assured, that the enunderstanding of the whole. For joyment of Christ with the saints is what may the Apostle mean by these a visible one ; yet am I equally words? To me he appears to
to persuaded, that they have not yet anticipate the objection which would ascended up on high to be present immediately present itself to with him in the heavens. In the inspiritual man, when the Apostle teresting paper of Nil, contained in spake of being absent from the the last number of the Investigator,k Lord :—How can we be absent from he conjectures, that as Paul had him, when to live is Christ, and occasionally seen Jesus Christ in every believer walks with him, and the flesh, and likewise had been enjoys the sense of his presence ? caught away into paradise, * where Yes, (answers the Apostle,) we he presumes he might again have certainly live and walk with him conversed with Christ,-he might now; but whilst in the body it anticipate similar occasional enjoyis by faith, and not by sight : but no ments when delivered from the bursooner are we absent from the body, den of the flesh. Afterwards howthan we shall walk in the enjoyment ever Nil appears diffident of this of his visible presence—by sight and solution, and seems disposed to not by faith. This I consider the adopt the interpretation which I real antithesis of the passage.
have last refuted. To me it appears
h John xiv, 18, 21, 23; Rom. viii, 10 ; 2 Cor. xiii, 5. il Cor. vi, 19.
k Page 257 | Acts xxii, 14 ; xxiii, 11 ; xxvi, 16 ; 1 Cor. ix, 1. * Nil imagines that 2 Cor. xii, 1–4 describes one and the same vision. I beg to suggest to him, whether the language made use of is not decidedly against him. The
that there may be a mode of enjoy- “ They rest from their labors ;" ing this presence different from words which, though apparently of either of these, and more reconcile- a negative signification, do neverable with the assumed locality of theless, when duly considered, prove
The material sun is said that the righteous dead enjoy a deto be present with us, and is un- cided increase of positive blessedness. questionably seen and felt by us They will evidently be delivered when it shines in our heavens, from all bodily pain and disease, though it is separated from us by and from all the various corporal millions of miles : why may not the evils attendant
attendant on poverty,—viz. Sun of righteousness equally gladden hunger, thirst, heat, cold and the like. the saints in paradise, by some The
peasant, the mechanic, the bondsimilar manifestation of himself and man, will likewise have done with communication of his beams from all their toil and fatigue : not indeed the highest heavens ? Certainly that the spirit will be without active Stephen had such a manifestation, employment; for I consider a state when he cried, Behold, I see the of inertness to be incompatible with • heavens opened and the Son of its happiness. • Man standing on the right hand And in respect to weariness of of God.”
the flesh-aye and weariness of the I shall finally notice, in regard to spirit—even christian labors of love the separate state, Rev. xiv, 13; are not without their drawback :
Blessed are the dead which die in the very phrase “ labor of love" the Lord from henceforth : yea, implies an imperfection. They may saith the Spirit, that they may be cheerfully entered upon, and rest from their labors and their
they are not unfrequently attended works do follow them.” The by real gratification : but yet, alas! latter part of this text-" their through the present infirmity of works do follow them” -I may pro- man, they are a weariness. To visit bably enter upon at some future the abodes of wretchedness, filth, period : for the present I must con- and contagion,—to endeavour to fine myself to the other words, bring the spiritually dead to a sense
Apostle says, “I will come to visions and revelations,” in the plural : and he accordingly relates two visions; the one relating to the third heaven, the other to paradise. The exact repetition, in both instances, of his ignorance whether he was in the body or not, seems further to preclude its limitation to one and the same event: and it encourages the inference also, that in paradise, though it be the place of separate spirits, there is no sensible diminution of any of that intellectual or spiritual enjoyment experienced in the body; or surely the Apostle would have been able to have judged of his condition in this respect.
* I say the assumed locality of paradise, because though great probability attaches to the opinion that it is in the heart of the earth, yet there are difficulties in the way which prevent my full conviction. H. B. whose paper in the Morning Watch I have before mentioned, lays great stress, and justifiably, upon the numerous passages of Scripture which speak of the dead as descending, or going down into Hades. But that which creates the greatest difficulty in my mind is, that there are other passages, referring to separate spirits, which describe them as ascending or having ascended. Thus : "All are of the dust and all turn to dust again. Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth.” (Eccles. iii, 21.) “Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was, and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.” (Ibid. xii, 7.) " Jerusalem which is above is free, which is the mother of us all.” (Gal. iv, 26.) What is this, but the Church, the spirits of the just made perfect, the New Jerusalem which is to come down from God out of heaven? (Rev. xxi.)
of their danger ;-to instruct the borne by the angels to the general dull, the prejudiced, the unbelieving; assembly of the spirits of the just. --and frequently from all these I must postpone the consideration classes to meet with ingratitude in of the resurrection state until my return for our exertions : these next; only reminding the Reader of things are for the present not joyous what I have stated at page 18 of No. but grievous. But the dead REST I. of the Investigator ; viz.-“ If from all this.
the Reader will suspend his judgeIn the next place it is a rest from 'ment, until I have gone through sin—which rest must be one of the • the whole series of essays which I most blessed sources of enjoyment am now bringing before him, he to a renewed spirit. He rests from will find I most unreservedly ensin outwardly, since he no longer is tertain the opinion, that the souls doomed to dwell with those who of believers do, immediately after vex his righteous soul from day to death, enjoy a blessed and a conday by their ungodliness :
scious rest; and that they do vithe wicked cease from troubling :'m sibly behold the Lord : but this there the Lord hides him in ' is not the great promise of the His tabernacle from the strife of Scriptures ;—this is not the glory tongues.”'n And he rests from the which the New Testament holds conflict with sin inwardly. For up to believers : that glory (whethough, through grace, he is able to ther it refer to their throne, their enjoy a dominion over sin, so that crown, their inheritance, their dehe does not obey it in the lusts gree, or their incorruptible body) is thereof; yet is he continually galled invariably deferred by the apostles and annoyed by its inward emotions. until the coming of the Lord. I Sometimes when he would enjoy know not of one Scripture, which spiritual things, his soul cleaveth to
clearly and directly speaks of the the dust ;-when he would do good, • believer as entering into his glory, he finds evil present with him, (in or partaking of the promise, at his motives and tempers perhaps,)
death."* and he groans in this body of death Indeed the three following pages being burdened. But, when he of that article must be borne in dies, he rests from all his warfare, recollection, as necessarily qualifying and from his fears, and doubts, and what I have written in this essay. prejudice, and jealousies, and is
* A note which I appended to this passage concerning Dr. Wardlaw, (stating that the words “immediately passed into glory," placed in inverted commas in his Sermon, might lead some to suppose them a quotation from Scripture, which they are not ;) is liable to misapprehension. I was not sufficiently familiar with the Assembly's Catechism to be aware that they were a quotation from that work, and would be as well known in Scotland as the Scriptures; but I certainly never for a moment supposed the Doctor intended to impose them upon any as Scripture.
I may take this opportunity also of adding, that through the kindness of a Correspondent of the Investigator, another error has been pointed out to me in my paper in reply to P. R. I have included Lord Napier among the direct Milleunarians; whereas he did not hold the expectation of the thousand years, but was a Millennarian only in the sense in which Latimer and others were, expecting the personal advent and kingdom of Christ to be immediately at hand. I likewise omitted to add Dr. Goodwin to the number of those Millennarians who were of the Assembly of Divines.
REVIEW OF BOOKS.
(5) CUNINGHAME on the Seals and in the view which on these principles Trumpets.
he has adopted : yet is he apparently
sensible, that it will have to en(Continued from page 276.)
counter opposition from the advocates (6) Essays on Prophecy. Part I. of previously received and settled By BIBLICUS.
systems; and he first publishes a 8vo. Pp. 56. . , 1s. 6d. London, Hatchard & Son, single part for the express purpose
of inviting a critical examination of
his hypothesis. We must do him . Before we resume our notice of the justice to observe, notwithstandMr. Cuninghame's Work, we take ing these circumstances, that he this opportunity of mentioning a writes with modesty; and though new candidate for attention in the it will be seen, from the ensuing field of prophetical interpretation; strictures, that we are not convinced whose published Essays, extending of the correctness of his views in only through the seals of the Apoca general, yet there are isolated porlypse, may be briefly noticed in this tions of his Essay which are worthy place.
of a careful consideration, whilst the In regard to his principles of ex- whole is written with an ability that position, he considers that all the commands respect. systems, as yet offered to the public, Το
then at once to the chief do only follow a “political method features of the work : from the cirof interpretation;" and though much cumstance that the Apostle is enlight may have been thrown by them joined to write “the things which on certain portions of Scripture, yet he had seen—and the things which that they are “lamentably below are-and the things which shall the thoughts which the expressive · be hereafter,” Biblicus infers, that symbols and powerful metaphors of the scope of the vision includes in it the inspired writers are calculated past, present, and future; and on to inspire.”—“ The evidence of this foundation he carries back the * doubtful histories and curious cal- past as far as the creation of the • culations he considers entirely in- world ! As the words, Write 'admissible in the interpretation of the things which thou hast seen,” ' spiritual things. That which is (contra-distinguished from “ the
not proved from Scripture he will things which are and the things ' not call on any to consider proved which shall be hereafter,") ' at all : his reasoning will, as much claimed in a similar sense by other as possible, be confined to the com- expositors, we shall offer an arguparing spiritual things with spi- ment or two against this interpreritual ; and this not in words of tation of them. • man's wisdom, but in the language Mr. Cuninghame justly observes • of that volume which the Holy on this point, in opposition to Mr.
Spirit has caused to be written for Faber, who asserts that three of our learning."
the seals related to things already This Writer mentions the in- passed,) that as the word Apocalypse creasing confidence which every signifies a discovery or revelation, fresh perusal of the Bible gives him things passed cannot with any con