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ing historical facts, find such a period in past history? I can
If I take, as the terminus a quo, the famous periods so often named and insisted on, viz., 603 or 615 A. D., and count 1260 years onward, I am unable to find so many years of persecution and desolation of the church. This celebrated period would end in A. D. 1863 or 1875. Are we then to regard the church as in the wilderness, ever since the glorious light of the Reformation burst upon her; and the beast and the false prophet as possessing completely desolating and crushing power over her? Let the ends of the earth respond to this, to which Protestants have long been sending the light of salvation. Let Germany, Switzerland, Holland, Sweden, Denmark, America, the isles of the sea, answer and say, whether the beast and the false prophet are able to crush them or send them into the wilderness; or whether persecuting power has not long since begun to hide its head and retreat from the predominating influence of the church, which bids defiance to all her enemies !
Facts then oblige us to interpret the 34 years of the retreat of the church before heathen power, and the persecution and predominance of the beast, as not meaning 1260 years. Nor can we well suppose that it means literally but 34 years. This would be equally at variance with facts, and alien from the usus loquendi of the writer. We must therefore interpret it, as before, to mean a considerable, yet not a very long period.
Pass we on, now, to the consideration of the 1000 years, mentioned in Rev. 20:2—7, during which Satan is to be bound, and the triumph of the gospel to be universal.
And here permit me to remark, that I cannot perceive how the common proverbial saying, “A thousand years are with the Lord as one day, and one day as a thousand years” (2 Pet. 3:8), can possibly have any direct bearing upon the designations of time in the prophecies. The simple object of that saying is, to declare that lapse of time is no measure of the divine existence or purposes; or that what may seem to us as long delay, cannot appear so to the divine mind, whose thoughts and purposes are not measured by the revolutions of time. If it be applied to measure the designations of time in the prophecies, then one day, instead of being one year (as it is usually reckoned), might be counted as a thousand years; and on the other hand, the argument derived from it would be equally good, to prove that the thousand years of the Millennium will amount after all, no more than one day. We may dismiss this text, therefore, as being, in respect to limitation of time, quite foreign to our present inquiry.
But what is the usus loquendi of the Scriptures in regard to the number one thousand? A few examples will shew its tropical or secondary use. “ The Lord ... make you a thousand times as many as you are.—God, who keepeth covenant to a thousand generations.-How should one chase a thousand ?The word he commanded to a thousand generations.—He cannot answer him one of a thousand. If there be an interpreter, one of a thousand.—The cattle on a thousand hills are mine.A day in thy courts is better than a thousand.—A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right band.Though he live a thousand years twice told.-One man among a thousand have I found. Where were a thousand vines at a thousand silverlings.-One thousand shall fee at the rebuke of one.—A little one shall become a thousand.—The city that went out by a thousand."
Nothing can be more certain, then, than the tropical use of this number, i. e. than that it stands for a large and indefinite number. What reason have we for construing it otherwise, in respect to the period of the church's prosperity ?
I know of none. If the writer in the Apocalypse has not elsewhere usually employed numbers, in respect to time, in a literal and definite sense, why should we understand him as having so employed them here? The nature of the case does not decide in favour of a literal sense. A long period the writer plainly means to designate-a very long one. Nay, we may say in general, that the period of the church's prosperity is to be as much longer than that of her adversity, as one thousand is more than three and a half. So much, I think, we may truly gather from the designation. And what a joyful prospect does this disclose! For 1800 years the church has been, now and then, and in many respects, in deep affliction. The beast and the false prophet, i. e. heathenism and false religion, still bear sway over more than three quarters of our ruined race. But the time of deliverance, as we would hope, draws near. And when it comes, if the prosperity and universal sway of Christianity is to continue as much longer than the days of oppression and contest, as 1000 exceeds 37, then will it be true indeed, that the seed of the woman will bruise the serpent's head. Then will it prove to be fully true, that the triumphs of redeeming love will bring home to glory such multitudes of our Vol. V, No. 17.
ruined race, that the number who may finally perish, will scarcely be thought of, in comparison with the countless myriads of those who will come to Zion with songs and everlasting joy upon their heads. O glorious triumph of redeeming grace! Blessed victory, achieved by the great Captain of our Salvation -worthy of that blood which has been shed to accomplish it ; worthy of him who laid aside divine majesty to dwell in dust, that he might accomplish the purposes of his everlasting love and mercy! Shout for joy, ye redeemed, with crowns and robes of white before the throne of God and the Lamb! Break forth into strains of ceaseless praise, ye redeemed on earth, at the boundless triumphs achieved by Jesus' blood !
I ask now the humble Christian, whose heart beats high at such a prospect—Is this construing away the prophecies of that blessed book, which inspires him with courage and with hope ? Or is it giving to the consolatory words of Jesus a meaning which no language is fully adequate to express-filling this prophecy with all the fulness of God ? Let those judge, who have eyes to see and hearts to feel, and I ask for nothing more. Such will perceive, that the promise made from the beginning, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, can be carried into full accomplishment only in some way like that which has now been pointed out.
To every devoted disciple of the Saviour, whose heart's desire and daily prayer to God is, that his kingdom may come, I would say: Never occupy your precious time in seeking out some possible sense of the Apocalypse, by giving it a literal interpretation. I might even say, The letter killeth, but the spirit maketh alive. On earth there is not a book which has in it more of the soul of prophetic poetry, than the Apocalypse. Are the rules of tame and simple prose, then, to be made the measure of this book ? It is even an exegetical heresy to believe that they should be so applied.
Listen not, I say again to the humble Christian, to those who would fain persuade you that the exact year is defined by the seer of Patmos, when the cross shall triumph through the whole earth. Of what avail, then, would all efforts be, that might be made before the predicted period? This is an interpretation which settles down the church upon her lees, until the destined year shall be ushered in. So the great Head of the Church does not design to deal with his people.
To his infant church he refused to disclose the exact times, when even the anti-christian Jewish power of their day should fall. He meant that all his followers should stand continually on their guard, and keep in the attitude of watching and praying; that they should cherish a continual sense of their dependance on him. Why should he alter his discipline at the present time? Why should Christians be made to believe, that before 1840, or 1847, or 1866, or 1875, or at any other definite period, no efforts will avail to bring in the Jews with the fulness of the Gentiles into the Church of God? They should not so believe. The Millennium will come when all the followers of Jesus will do their duty. That is the true Christian faith which believes this, and puts the principle in practice. Speculation and arithmetical calculations about times and seasons, are not to convert the world ; they have little or no tendency to do it. But a belief that "he who shall come, will come and will not tarry,” yea, that he will come just as soon as Christians are prepared to receive him ; this is a faith that would produce much fruit. It would rouse a slumbering world to action. It would proclaim the glad tidings of great joy to every creature; it would cause the ends of the earth to see the salvation of our God. Let this faith pervade the bosom of every disciple of Jesus and animate bis efforts, and there would soon be abounding joy among the sons of light, over penitent and returning sinners. Heaven above and earth beneath would soon begin the awful—the delightful song, ALLELUIA, FOR THE LORD GOD OMNIPOTENT REIGNETH!
Use of the Particle"INA IN THE NEW TESTAMENT.
By J. A. H. Tittmann, late Prof. of Theol. in the University of Leipsic. Translated from the Latin, and accompanied with an introduction and notes, by M. Stuart, Prof. of Sacred Lit. in the Theol. Sem. Andover.
INTRODUCTORY REMARKS BY THE TRANSLATOR.
[ The author of the following piece has already been commended to the notice of our public, by an introduction to Art. V. (p. 160) of the first volume of this work, written by its late editor, Professor Robinson. A somewhat familiar acquaintance with the writings of Professor Tittmann has brought me to regard him as one of the most able, sober, and impartial critics on the language of the New Testament that Germany has of late produced. He has left nothing behind him which I have seen, that will not abundantly repay perusal, and even study ; which is more than can be truly said of most writers, in any age or country.
The reader who desires to peruse such of his works as have appeared in English, and on very important subjects connected with criticism, is referred to Vol. I. p. 160. seq., p. 464 seq. Vol. 111. p. 45 seq.
It requires, indeed, some knowledge of criticism, in order to understand and relish the works of this writer. But those who have such knowledge, will employ their time in a very profitable manner by studying them. Acuteness, sound judgment, uncommon powers of nice discrimination, together with grammatical and exegetical tact, abound in them all. The student who aiins at solid philological acquisition, such as the present times demand, should number the works of Tittmann among his text-books.
Sacred literature has, not long since, been called to mourn the too early death of this distinguished critic. The piece which follows is a posthumous publication ; as the title indicates. The importance of the subject which it discusses, can hardly be appreciated in a proper manner, at first, by a cursory reader; and it may therefore be proper, to premise a few things in the way of explanation.