« PreviousContinue »
earliest writers do not interpret days reply to Mr. Maitland, but to a symbolically. Mr. M. we think writer of similar opinions in the successfully proves this point; at Christian Examiner. least, that they did not understand Before however we close the
prethe alleged symbolical periods in the sent article, we conceive it due to exact sense in which protestant in- Mr. Maitland to endeavour to reterpreters receive them.* If Daniel
move some of that odium which imhimself “heard but understood not;" properly attaches to him in certain if the words were to be sealed up quarters. He must have expected, till the time of the end; it would be when he commenced his attack, to contrary to all reasonable argument be viewed by all those commento suppose, that the Fathers who liv- tators and their adherents who coed in the beginning of the christian incide with the ordinary exposition dispensation should have properly of the 1260 days-he must, we say, appreliended them.
have expected to be viewed as On the whole, we decidedly think speckled bird ;" and truly “the Mr. Maitland has failed in making birds round about do set themselves good his chief argument; and we against him."
and we against him.” It is unjust however must therefore hold to the principle to suppose, as many do, that Mr. M. of protestant interpretation, so gen- is an enemy to the investigation of erally adopted, until we see bet- prophecy, or to the literal principle ter reason to abandon it.
of interpretation contended for by We purpose, if the Lord will, to Millennarians. He is an ultra-literresume the subject at an early period, alist if any thing: and we should and give our view of the controversy say, (though he does not,) that he on the other points : in the mean- decidedly inclines to the premillenwhile, we would earnestly recom- nial advent and personal reign of mend the perusal of Mr. Cuning. Christ; and only wonders, that all hame's Strictures to all those who those who hold the same do not at have read Mr. Maitland's Works; once fall into his views. His sentiand to any others who may be desir- ments towards all students of pro. ous to see that which we deem the phecy may be judged from the folmost complete reply. The work lowing passage in his first pamphlet : of Mr. Digby will also be found - While I am obliged to speak of useful as containing much valuable various writers, and to refer to matter : though it is not a direct * their works, it would deeply grieve me should one word of this pam- notice, and his first pamphlet altophlet give offence to any Christian, gether, Mr. Maitland greatly degenand especially to those who are en- erates, and provokes, as we think, gaged in that study, which appears just indignation by the vein of ridito me the best and the noblest in cule and sarcasm which in some in· which the human mind can be em- stances he indulges. Mr. Maitland ployed--the study of the word of may likewise complain, that con
* We say, they did not understand them in the same sense as protestant interpreters :—that is to say, a day was not with them the symbol of a year, nor a time of 360 years. Otherwise, it appears, that the Jews did not always mean by a day 24 hours, nor by a time a literal year : which is important to notice, as it proves that the ancient writers might understand periods of time in a mystical sense, though they might not correctly understand them. Thus in Medrasch Tehillim R. Jehosuas is quoted as making the days of Messiah two thousand years : " that is (he adds) according to two days.” Lactantius lays a foundation for this extension of the meaning of the word, remarkably similar to that given by modern interpreters for making a day a year : Sæpe diximus, minora et exigua magnorum figuras et præmonstrationes esse ; et hunc diem nostrum, qui ortu solis occasuque finitur, diei magni speciem gerere, quem circuitus annorum determinat.” (De Institut. lib. vii, cap. 14.) Mr. Maitland very candidly admits a passage in Justyn Martyr's Dialogues with Trypho, in which he says that the Jews understood by a time" a century, and therefore that “ the man of sin must at least reign 350 years." What Justin Martyr's own view was, whether he thought it a longer or a shorter period, it is questionable from the context to say.
God. I trust however, that I have temptuous and bitter things have ' not written and shall not write also been written against himself:
offensively; and I know that they alas ! how rarely can discussion be ' who sincerely love truth will par- prolonged, even among Christians,
don some freedom in the search of without its betraying us into some ' it.” We are sorry however to feel breach of the spirit, and leading us compelled to say, that after this to forget “the meekness of wisdom !"
COMPENDIUM OF CORRESPONDENCE.
THE COMING OF THE SON OF MAN. In concurrence with the above view
another intelligent Correspondent has, in a Matthew x, 23.
private letter to us, the following sentence :
* In reference to Matt. x, 23, did not the HUMILIS would put a still more
Lord rejoin the disciples before they had literal interpretation on this passage gone over the cities of Israel?" than that usually given; and inclines to think, that our Lord, in
MATT. XVI, 28. stead of alluding to his second ad
There be some standing here vent, merely intended to signify to
which shall not taste of death, till the disciples, that he would soon
they see the Son of man coming in follow them in person to “
his kingdom.' of Israel,” all of which he had de
XATAX considers the reference clared he must visit during the
to the beloved disciple, “ If I will course of his earthly ministry,
that he tarry till I come, &c.” the Humilis supports this view on the
best solution of the above text; for ground, that the charge given to the " the brethren understood the words twelve in this instance was limited :
to mean that that disciple should not Go not into the way of the die,” (John xxi, 20—23) and the Gentiles, and into any city of the apostles, he thinks, had the best and Samaritans enter ye not.” Whereas original means of judging of their his last charge was, Go ye into import. This interpretation he thinks all the world, and preach the Gos
cannot be set aside, but by some pel to every creature.”
well authenticated account of the This view is further sustained death of John, the existence of which from Luke x, 1:-“ After these
he appears to question. ' things the Lord appointed other
We presume our Correspondent to quesseventy also, and sent them two
tion, if there be any account of the death of ' and two before his face into every John previous to the destruction of Jerucity and place WHITHER HE HIM- salem ; (though he does not express this ;) SELF WOULD COME." This mission
and thus to make that event, as many do, a cannot well be confounded with the figurative fulfilment of the coming of the
We cannot suppose he last; being distinguished from it by thinks John to be still living ; though one our Lord himself, Luke xxii, 35, 36.
passage of his letter would seem to bear
Son of Man.
that construction. It may be well also to shall satisfy the sceptic, I presume observe, that the word TIVES, the original we shall never find one : but “shall for “some!' or certain, is in the plural ; and therefore signifies , not that some one per right?” — He hath done what pleased
not the Judge of all the earth do " certain ones, till they should see the Lord coming in his him; and if the wise and prudent be kingdom : which it is much more congru- confounded, " even so Father, for so ous with the context in all three Gospels it seemed good in thy sight.” to interpret of Peter, James, and John.
If it be alleged that discrepancies Finally we notice, that whatever view the Apostles took of the words of our Lord,
are inconsistent with verbal inJohn xxi, 22, they did not "judge of their spiration, it may be concluded that import” correctly: for they understood they are inconsistent with inspiration " that that disciple should not die ; yet altogether; since the divine work Jesus (it is added) said not unto him, he shall not die ;' thus evidently correct.
must be perfect. And whether we ing their judgement.
suppose that, in constructing the
sacred canon, the blessed Spirit conTHE STREET OF THE GREAT CITY.
descended verbally, in such instances,
to conform to the human knowledge A Correspondent observes, in confirmation of the view taken of this liver certain statements according to
of the penman; or left him to desubject by Mede and Cuninghame, his own mode of thinking, and in (see Investigator, p. 316) that on
his own words ; it was a sovereign looking over the Journal of transactions in Scotland, 1570–75 by purposed act, equally of the Lord, actions in Scotland, 1570—75 by and requiring submission of judgeBannatyne, Secretary John Knox, he finds it stated of queen
ment, and silence, from men. Moral
truth consists in speaking things acMary, at page 226, that she was “ brought up in the most frequent minds: I do not therefore conceive
cording to the persuasion of our theatre of the world;” (meaning the apparent contradictions have, as Paris, or France ;) an expression from a writer, unprejudiced in regard for a lie, or falsehood, means some
some suppose, the property of a lie; to prophecy, equivalent to street of the great city.”
thing counterfeited and designedly opposed to the truth, whereas the
statements before us, though not DISCREPANCIES OF SCRIPTURE.
correct in matter of fact, had the In reference to what is said in nature of truth in the mind of the page 181, H. S. L. states—"These penman, as the accountable agent; discrepancies serve to rebuke the and being enrolled in the canon of pride of human reason, that receives Scripture, in subservience to some not the revelation of truth with divine purpose, it was manifestly not simplicity and hy its own light, but of a nature to be offensive to the requires it to be conformed in all Spirit of holiness. points with the arrogant line drawn by its own private judgement. And
ON INSPIRATION. they are profitable also to exercise
(By the same.) the faith and humility of the true That the reasoning faculties of Christian; seeing it impossible either the natural mind are more operative to question or to fathom the pro- with many Christians of the present cedure of God, who giveth not day, than the enlightening graces of account of any of his matters.” the Spirit, we may infer from the If we look for such a reason for liberties taken with
liberties taken with the word of the discrepancies in question, as God; in wresting some passages,
expunging others, attributing parts cept as it agrees with the Hebrew." only to inspiration, and basing other W. G. will be surprised to learn, that
there is not a single manuscript known to parts on the authority of St Peter or St. Paul. Human reason having sanctions the reading of 2400 days. It
be extant, whether Hebrew or Greek, that thus superseded simple faith in the
rests entirely upon a manifest typogrophidivine inspiration of the Word, an cal error of the Vatican EDITION, taken easy step is made to scepticism and from the Vatican manuscript; which the
Chisian edition of Daniel notices, and says, infidelity by men professing evangeli
that the Vatican manuscript reads 2300. cal truth. Archbishop Leighton says:
W. G. will find this point fully discussed It is the very life of divine faith,
in “ The scheme of prophetic arrangetouching the mysteries of salvation, ment of the Rev. E. Irving and Mr. firmly to believe their revelation Frere critically examined, &c. by W. by the Spirit of God. The word Cuninghame, Esq.” a small work, well ' of God carries the lively stamp of worthy of a perusal
In regard to the general authority of divine inspiration; but there must
the Septuagint, if the version be genuine, be a spiritual eye to discern it. He it may be well to observe, that our Lord that is blind knows not that the Jesus and the Apostles commonly quote sun shines at noon, but by the re
from it, and not from the Hebrew; which
certainly stamps it with an authority equal • port of others; but they that see
to the Hebrew. The Fathers likewise are assured they see it, and assured
commonly quote it: and we cannot ourby no other thing than its own selves but view is as a most important light. To ask one who is a true Work for reference to, when the meaning believer, How know you the Scrip- of Hebrew words is disputed : in such tures to be divine ? is the same as
cases it weighs far more with us than the
Masoretic points. Ed. to ask him, How know you the light to be light.”
ISAIAH xxvi, 9. This passage illustrates the truth, H. in reply to a notice of the that the Spirit of God, which renews above text at page 276, observes, the sons of men, teaches them un- that it rather speaks of a coinhesitatingly to receive “all Scrip- cidence between the last judgeture as given by inspiration of God," ments of Jehovah and the preand that from the peculiar light of paration of the earth for the reign its own pages.
And this consider- of righteousness, than indicates ation suggests an awful question to that the nations usually learn the mind in regard to equivocators, righteousness in consequence of concerning which they would do God's judgements.
God's judgements. The Prophet well to examine themselves : viz. had just delivered the inspired song whether they have indeed received to be sung in Judah's land by the teaching of God the Spirit. righteous nation" on its return to
Jehovah ; and after speaking of the THE SEPTUAGINT VERSION desire of all Israel, adds, personally, of the 2300 years.
With my soul have I desired thee W. G. inquires “on what grounds in the night, yea with my Spirit writers on prophecy give the prefer- · within me will I seek thee early.” ence to the Septuagint reading of Having just before (chap. xxiv) deDaniel viii, 14, making the number scribed the long desolation of his of days 2400 instead of 2300.- people; and then (chap. xxv) their Do any existing Hebrew MSS salvation from it; it was probably sanction the LXX version ?"_“I to the long “ night of adversity he have never heard that the Septua- referred, as the context following gint has any claim on our belief ex- seems to declare.
Their long lost heritage obtain, And hail the promised land again.
Now, as of old, the nations quaffed
What ails ye? Oh! ye nations, tell-
But Judah in his splendor rose :D
Now ships unnumbered crowd the seas ;
Oh! what can Israel do ? but weep, When foes so fierce his borders sweep;
a Compare Jer. XXV, 15–34 with Isa. xxiv, 4, to the end. b Ezek. xxxvi, 24; Jer. xxxi, 8. c Isa. liv, 3; xlix, 24. d Isa, li, 10. e Isa. xi, 15. f Isa. xlix, 11. g Isa. li, 11.
b Ezek. xxxviii, 15; Isa. xiii, 4. i Zech. xiv, 2.
* For an examination of the identity of the site of Armageddon with the plan of Esdraelon, See the Eventide, by J. A. Brown, Vol. i, p. 332.
+ “ This plain has been a chosen place for encampment in every contest carried on in th country from the days of Nabuchodnosar king of the Assyrians, until the disastrous march of Buonaparte from Egypt into Syria. Jews, Gentiles, Saracens, Christian Crusaders, and Antichristian Frenchmen, Egyptians, Perses, Druses, Turks, and Arabs, warriors out of every nation which is under heaven have pitched their tents on the plain of Esdraelon, and have beheld the various banners of their nations wet with the dews of Tabor and Hermon.' Dr. E. D. Clarke.