« 前へ次へ »
its egress to the whole brotherhood of are building on one common foundaChrist; that all minor peculiarities con- tion, interested in one great atonement nected with the present imperfect state pervaded by one Divine Spirit, and traof the Christian profession, shall yield velling to one everlasting home. to the all-absorbing thought, that we Chelsea.
ON THE PROPHECIES OF DANIEL. Who can wonder that the present hearted courage, and became as Sam times have turned the minds of the pious son, shorn of his strength, “a man' towards the prophecies? The Papal under Belshazzar, This, perhaps, will beast resuscitated, at home and abroad, be little disputed, which may not be has perhaps led to the work of a Mr. said of what follows. Habershon, full of ingenious fallacies, II. The Median empire, represented which have been followed by a pious by the silver breast and arms of the lady's “ Scheme of Prophecy from Da- image, Dan. ii. 39, “after thee shall arise niel.” To call off the church from a another, inferior to thee;" and by the false scent, I propose for considera- second beast, like a bear, Dan. vii. 5. tion a totally different system of inter- Here I oppose the vulgar interprepretation, though I lay no claim to ori- tation that this second is the Persian ginality.
empire, which has puzzled its advocates My principle is this that the pro- to find out wherein it was inferior to the phets of the Old Testament enter not first; and well it might, for no one into the events which occur between the who knows its history can tell. Dropcoming of Christ, to set up his kingdom, ping the ideas of empire, therefore, the and its final triumph; therefore, the New moral qualities of the Persian have been Testament alone predicts the rise and pronounced inferior to the Babylonian reign of the anti-christian power, which empire, and Nebuchadnezzar is prowas entirely hidden, till the Lamb un nounced a saint, though he “ opened sealed the whole fortunes of his church not his prison house ;” and Cyrus is to the end of time. The vulgar inter- called God's anointed, to let go his pretation of Daniel's prophecies, being captives, to rebuild the temple. To the opposed to this principle, is false ; and prophet's eye, the Persian empire was my object is to show their true mean- superior in moral qualities. But the ing.
second empire, being the Median and The four metals of the image which not the Persian, was indeed, so infeNebuchadnezzar saw, Dan. ii., and the rior, that it is passed slightly over, as four beasts which Daniel saw, chap. vii., it deserved, and, therefore, has been, we admit, from Divine testimony, to by hasty interpreters, absolutely overmean four great empires, the only ques- looked. It was a mere bear, devourtion being-what are these empires ? ing the flesh of its three neighbours on Let us see.
one side. Cyrus, the Persian, was the 1. The Babylonian ; represented by general of the Medians, as Wellington, the golden head of the image, Dan. ii. the Briton, was of the Spaniards, con37, 38; and by the first beast, Dan. quering for others, who would not have vii. 4.
been able to conquer for themselves. Nebuchadnezzar bimself is told,“thou Let the readers of Xenophon's Cyroart the head of gold;"' for the glory of pædia judge. But the proof of this that empire centered in its founder, interpretation will arise out of the next whose swift conquests made him a lion head. with eagle's wings; but, in his successors, III. The Persian empire, represented it was plucked of its wings, lost its lion- by the belly and thighs of brass, in Ne
buchadnezzar's image, Dan. ij. 39, “ a battle of the two systems of interpretathird kingdom, which shall bear rule tion ; I appeal to the Scriptures against over all the earth ;" and by the leo. human imaginations. pard with four wings and four heads, In the eighth chapter of these proDan. vii. 6. To this,“ dominion was phecies, the Persian empire is shown given," which is not said of the se- destroyed by the Macedonian, whose cond. Yet the second has been strange- great horn, Alexander, was broken and ly supposed to be the Persian, which is succeeded by four of his captains ; from owned for the conquering dominant one of whose kingdoms came that little power. Cyrus, after conquering for the horn which magnified itself against Medians, gave the dominion to his God's sanctuary, as it is known AntioPersians, who, from a subordinate, be. chus Epiphanes did. Of the exact came a dominant nation, removing the number of ten kingdoms, to answer to seat of empire from Media and Baby- the ten toes and horns, we can give as lon, to Persepolis, where Alexander good an account as was ever given of the found it. The swift conquests of Cy- ten kingdoms from the Roman empire. rus and his successors were exhibited But the little horn brought upon himby a fierce leopard with four wings, and self the prince Michael, and the little if the two thighs of the image must be stone broke the image, to deliver the interpreted, they show the conquest of sanctuary, that it might be cleansed to India east-ward, and Egypt south-west. receive the coming Saviour. For the ward. The four heads are interpreted little stone represents the early state of by the angel to mean “ four kings,". Christ's kingdom, and it was to be the Dan, xi. 2, ending with Darius, whom mountain in future days. Alexander conquered. This interpre. To the eleventh chapter, also, I aptation, again, will be confirmed by peal. Here the contest between the what follows.
kings of the south, the Egyptian PtoleIV. The Græco-Macedonian empire, mies, and those of the north, Syrian represented by the iron legs and by the Seleucidæ,at Antioch, brings forward the toes of the image, Dan. ii. 33, and by blasphemous Antiochus to pollute the the fourth beast, Dan. vii. 7.
sanctuary, till the Maccabees were emThis beast was different from all ployed by Christ, as its deliverers, to others, had great iron teeth, and najls of prepare the way before him. The vul. brass, and ten horns, among which rose gar interpretation introduces, without a little one of extraordinary character. evidence and without reason, a strange But the grand peculiarity was the judg- leap of many hundreds of years, to the ment executed by the Son of Man, and Pope. The king, in verse 36th, who the little stone that became a moun. should do according to his will is, howtain.
ever, the king mentioned before, that Alexander's empire answers all these should arise among the ten, i.e. the characters. It was diverse, a new little hom ; and the “ end of the inthing in the eastern world: the western dignation," is that of God against the science and liberty, brought to crush an apostate Jews, who turned the sancoriental despotism. The two legs were tuary into the temple of Jupiter. The Europe and Asia, ruled by one prince. kings of the south and the north are The strength of the iron was in it, and the same as in the beginning of the it devoured with its iron teeth, as well chapter, the Egyptians and Syrians, as tore to pieces, with its brass claws. and the “ time, times and a half,” are It became divided into ten kingdoms, the literal three years and a half that and a little horn rose out of one of the sanctuary was polluted. History them, which uprooted three, and did so demonstrates all this, that Porphyry, blasphemous things, which brought a heathen, who lived nearer to the against it the empire of Christ. But, times, and knew the events, said, the as on this ground, must be fought the prophecy must have been written after the fulfilment. Yet some are now thoughts and as few words as possible. gaping after another fulfilment.
If any express their objections, I would But Daniel's prophecies go no fur request them to study brevity, or your ther than to the coming of Christ, to Magazine cannot afford us room. My change the Jewish dispensation for the design, in inviting discussion, is, to bring Christian, as in the ninth chapter. As the church of God to study the New Christ's person is exhibited, now, in a Testament, which I believe to be the lowly form, and then, glorious, without only source of information on all that shewing the process of transition from occurs between the coming of Christ one to the other; so is his kingdom and the final glories of his kingdom. exhibited as a little stone growing to a He is the prophet, as well as the priest mountain, without describing the inter- and king of his church. For want of vening scenes. This has been the snare attention to this, many well-meaning to the Jews.
persons are " wandering, in endless I have purposely sketched a mere mazes lost." outline, to invite attention, by as many
CONTROVERSIES IN THE UNITED SECESSION CHURCH.
To the Editor of the Evangelical Magazine. DEAR SIR,—The Author of Stric- documents, he gives some statements tures on Dr. Marshall's work on the of his own framing, presenting a very Atonement, has attempted in your unfair and imperfect view of the subMagazine for last month, to give your ject. readers some account of the eccle. According to him, “ The Westminsiastical controversies of Scotland, par- ster Confession seems to teach, that ticularly those which have arisen in in no sense did Christ die for the nonthe United Secession Church ; but he elect, so that there can be no more shows himself to be ill qualified for the sufficiency in his sacrifice to save nontask ; he has too little acquaintance elect men than fallen angels." This, with the subject, and still less of that he presumes, was till lately the docChristian charity and candour required trine of the Secession Church ; and he for bringing it forward with advantage. urges, that its ministers could not conHis remarks, instead of affording use- sistently make a free offer of salvation ful information, are plainly calculated to all men, and could not, in their adto mislead your readers ; to fill thein dresses, tell sinners that “the question, with prejudice against that portion of Am I elected ? needs not be raised the church of Christ, and to enlist at all." Now, the whole of these their sympathies on behalf of those statements are incorrect. The docfew individuals who have been dis- trine that in no sense did Christ die turbing its repose. Had he meant to for all men, is not taught in that congive a correct view of the case, he fession, and was never held by the might have sent you a copy of the Secession Church. The ministers of eight doctrinal statements held by the that church have invariably taught, dissentients, and condemned by the that the atonement of Christ is suffiSynod, at their meeting in May, 1842, cient to save the whole world ; that as unscriptural and dangerous, which they are authorized to make a full and he could have copied from the United free offer of salvation to sioners as Secession Magazine for last June, page such; that every gospel hearer is fully 333. But instead of quoting authentic warranted to believe in Christ for salvation ; that the doctrine of election the atonement of Christ, salvation is does not in any respect interfere with brought near to "mankind-sinners as the duty of sinners to believe, and that such ;" and that his atonement and their own wilful unbelief is the ob- righteousness are sufficient for the stacle that prevents their salvation. “redemption and salvation of all manSuch were the doctrines of the early kind.” Seceders, and of Boston, Hogg, Ga. Although, therefore, the doctrine of briel, Wilson, and others in the church a general reference in the death of of Scotland, who may be termed their Christ, was not stated in so many immediate predecessors. “The Mar- words by the early Seceders, it is row of Modern Divinity,“ published in manifest that they held what amounts England about two centuries ago, and to the same thing. At all periods in republished, with copious notes, by the history of the Secession, its miBoston, was a great favourite with nisters have felt, that in perfect conthem all. In that work, Part I., Evan sistency with their principles, they gelista is introduced as saying, “ I be- could preach Christ to sinners, as boldseech you to consider, that God the ly, fully, and freely, as any other mi. Father, as he is in his Son Jesus nisters of the gospel have done, or can Christ, moved with nothing but his do. They have, indeed, always mainfree love to mankind lost, hath made a tained, that Christ died for none but deed of gift and grant unto them all, the elect, so as effectually to secure that whosoever of them all shall believe their eternal salvation : yet this is not in this his Son, shall not perish, but denied by the dissentients, nor by your have eternal life. And hence it was, correspondent himself, whatever lanthat Jesus Christ himself said unto his guage they may use in speaking of the disciples, Mark xvi. 15, Go and preach extent of the atonement. It is true, the gospel to every creature under hea. also, that some favourite phrases of the ven: that is, Go, and tell every man, early Seceders are now rarely used, without exception, that there is good such as the expression deed of gift, news for him, Christ is dead for him ; applied to the gospel offer; and even and if he will take him, and accept of the language of the Confession of his righteousness, he shall have him." Faith has, in some instances, been reProfessor Brown, of Haddington, may jected or laid aside ; for, as Dr. Dick be ranked among the early Seceders, remarks in his “ Lectures," vol. ii. p. as it is nearly sixty years since he 425, while we receive it as a standard died; and, in his “ Body of Divinity," of doctrine, we sometimes beg leave to. in speaking of Christ's particular offices, dissent from some of its expressions. he says, “ In respect of its intrinsic. It does not, however, follow, that "the worth, as the obedience and sufferings theology of the present race of secedof a Divine person, Christ's satisfac- ing ministers, is not the theology of tion is sufficient for the ransom of all their predecessors;" or that “truth has mankind, and being fulfilled in hu- undermined and overthrown the standman nature, is equally suited to all ards,” according to your correspondtheir necessities." And again, “ Christ, ent's quotation. The standards do not as administrator of the new covenant, appear to have produced a complete is the official Saviour of all men, to uniformity of doctrine at any period ; whom they have all full warrant to there being several minor points, and a apply for eternal salvation.” Even in few rather important, entirely omitted, Dr. Marshall's work, pp. 94, 95, your or left undefined, as matters of forcorrespondent might have found a bearance. Of this number are the quesquotation from the Display of the Se- • tions, Whether there is appropriation cession Testimony, showing that the in the nature of faith ; and whether an early Seceders believed, that, through assurance of the believer's personal
interest in Christ is included in the the divisions of the Secession Church, act of faith, or is only a result of that ånd to encourage those divisions by act, and not always an immediate re- cheering on the individuals who have sult. On this last question, your cor- caused them? What hare the memrespondent agrees with the Synod in bers of the Synod done to merit such rejecting the views of the dissentients; treatment? They have been zealous which, though injudicious, are near akin for the truths of Christ, and the welfare to some views of faith set forth in the of the souls under their charge ; they Marrow, and in Hervey's Theron and have condemned what they judged to Aspasio, as well as in the writings of be pernicious errors ; they have, with some of the early Reformers.
much tenderness and forbearance, The notions of the separating bre- sought to reclaim their deluded brethren on the extent of the atonement, thren who had embraced those errors ; are warmly adopted by your corres and failing of success they have to pondent, who regards these brethren prevent the further spread of such with peculiar kindness. This he is errors, declared those brethren to be welcome to do : but what right has he no longer members of the Secession to represent them as martyrs or con- church. Would any other faithful fessors, “ sufferers from the hard, if not church have acted differently in the uprighteous sentence of the Synod?" same circumstances ? All churches What right has he to hold up the have their standards, their terms of Synod to scorn, if not detestation, as communion, expressed or understood, persecutors, oppressors, and bigots, act more or less stringent, and when any ing “in the spirit of their ancestors, brother breaks through the bond of who would have crammed the solemn fellowship, Independents, as well as league and covenant down the throats Presbyterians, have methods of deof the whole country, prepared to de- claring, that the offender is no more pose all who deviate from the standards one of their community. Where of the church?” To the ancestors standards are erroneous or defective, it alluded to (perhaps as much his as is highly necessary to improve them ; theirs) it might be said, on various but the overthrow of all standards of occasions, “ Ye know not what manner gospel doctrine, instead of being a deof spirit ye are of.” But may not the sirable object, would be, in the present same words, in the present instance, state of the churches, a most deplorbe addressed to himself ? Did he pen able calamity. Yet we hope for a time this sentence in the true spirit of the when far more uniformity of sentiment, gospel ? Is it seemly, is it brotherly, and a much larger measure of brotherly to vilify in this form a portion of love will prevail among the people of Christ's church, which has done so Christ; when the watchmen of Zion much for the interest of truth and shall see eye to eye, and when there holiness? And this at a time, when shall be one fold as there is one Shep(as announced in the same Magazine,) herd. That this blissful period may some of the brethren so denounced, soon arrive, is the earnest wish of are expected to lend their aid towards
Your constant reader, forming a general union of evangelical
POLYHISTOR. churches, at an approaching public meeting? Is it right to triumph in May 12, 1843.