An Examination of the statements made in the "Thoughts on the Apocalypse," by B. W. Newton; and an enquiry how far they accord with Scripture.

J. N. Darby.

<08001E> File section  7.

CHAPTER 14

I have already spoken of 'the supremacy and glory of the Gentiles up to Christ's coming to earth.' The unqualified statements as to it seem to me unfounded. They have been smitten, sorely smitten of God; commerce destroyed - that is, the whole system on which it is based, according to the author. There have been wars, earthquakes (public overthrowings, I doubt not), as well as literally men's hearts have been failing them for fear, and for looking for those things that are coming on the earth, for the powers of heaven will be shaken: days in which men will seek death, and not find it, and desire to die, and death depart from them, nation rising against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. That the Gentiles will be pre-eminent, and the oppressive and warlike wilful king have* a host of willing followers as of oppressed subjects, is true. But the picture drawn is not scriptural. Besides, this lingering Christianity embraces all Christendom except the Roman empire, according to the author's system, which is just the coasts of the Mediterranean Sea. So that this undisturbed supremacy is a very confined one. I do not desire to weaken the idea of the wickedness of this lawless one, nor his ascendancy by various motives over the minds of those who are given up to his power. This is every way dreadful. But his pretensions do not secure the glory and peace of the earth. As regards Israel, the seat and scene of these statements, according to the author, we know that there shall be great tribulation, such as never was since there was a nation, no, nor ever shall be. Israel, by the uniform testimony of the prophets, shall be in the utmost distress in general. It is the time of Jacob's trouble. I might refer to chapter after chapter, but will quote only Isaiah chapters 18, 24, 27 to 33; Deuteronomy 32:6; Leviticus 26: Zechariah 11:16, 17; Joel 3 1-7. Even as to Gentiles, Luke 21 does not seem like great prosperity and comfort, though this may be towards the close of the period - Isaiah 24:6; and verse 4, where the Hebrew word Tebel (earth) is used, and therefore I apprehend it must go beyond the land of Israel. These statements seem to shew a different state of things from what is alleged about Antichrist's reign.

{*This assumes the identity of the beast and Antichrist, which I note as before. It does not effect the argument in any way.}

193 But to proceed. The scripture "reveals the earthly seat of that new and heavenly power whereby the earth and all things therein will be ordered." But where is it taught that the heavenly power has an earthly seat? I know it is sought to settle it there. Scripture has given the heavenly Jerusalem as the seat of the church's glory, not earthly Jerusalem. This latter, or Zion, which as to this is the same, is not the mountain of God for the heavenly church, nor the church's seat of authority, but of Christ as Son of David.

"The purpose of the Lamb in again visiting the earth is to bring into it, and finally to establish in it, the glory and the holiness and the happiness of heaven." Again, "yet it is in this world that the glory and holiness and happiness of heaven is to be manifested and established." I hardly know why or how it should be called the glory and happiness of heaven, if it is to be established in the earth. It may be alleged that in the new heavens and the new earth, when Christ has given up the kingdom, and God is all in all, the blessing of the human redeemed family made perfect with Christ will take place, or that there is no longer the same distinction, and even contrast. The beginning of Revelation 21 and the expressions in 2 Peter 3 may be alleged, with possibly some others, for one or other of these thoughts. I do not affirm or deny either here. But in any case, Christ will have given up the kingdom, and that is not the thing in question here. That will be a new earth and must not be confounded with this; and the Son will then Himself be subject, having subdued all. It is not what He establishes, nor properly speaking in this earth. And certainly the seat of the holiness and happiness of heaven is not on the earth during the kingdom, as it is stated here. "Even in the millennium" "there is one spot in the earth where the righteousness and joy and blessedness of heaven will be perfectly found, and that spot is the height of Zion."

194 Is the reader prepared for this? Is the joy and blessedness of heaven to be perfectly found on earth? its seat there? For it is not that individually they carry the happiness in their hearts, because serving God's glory, when going to the earth from the heavenly city. According to the author, the whole hundred and forty-four thousand, the church as such, is found on Mount Zion, and the joy and blessedness of heaven perfectly found there. Are the golden streets transparent as glass there? Is it there they walk with Christ in white? Is it there that the Lord God and the Lamb are the temple and the light of the blessed inhabitants of that city, which has the glory of God, and descends out of heaven? Is it there that they see His face? Is it there Christ has received them to Himself, that where He is, there they may be also, meeting Him in the air, and so being ever with the Lord? Alas, alas! where are we come to? But indeed it is no wonder, when we read in the notes, "Just as Peter and James and John, on the mount of transfiguration, were just as blessed, and as secure as Moses and Elias." I suspect Peter and James and John had another thought than that, about their comparative blessedness, and that what they saw awakened desires which seem to me sadly dimmed in these pages, and which the presence of the Holy Ghost did not diminish when Peter wrote his epistle, and referred to it. fellowship with the royalty of the Son of David is not the heavenly glory of the saints: nor indeed, though they share in the power which He exercises over the nations when seated in Zion, do they ever share His earthly royalty as Son of David, though we delight in it, and minister ourselves on earth.

195 Further, the statements are a string of mistakes. There is no statement in Scripture, that Jerusalem is to be built around Mount Zion. Indeed the statement in Isaiah 66 as to the carcases in Hinnom would render it impossible. As to the note about citadel too, I suppose, no one can doubt it is wrong. The castle in the Acts (chap. 21:34, etc.) was undoubtedly the castle of Antonia, adjoining the temple, and was not on Mount Zion. I do not know that it has much to say to the matter. Its importance is only to shew that the whole tissue of statement, page after page in this book, is the mere fruit of an unbridled imagination.

Who ever heard of seeking the protection of Sinai? Or "the tents clustering round it"? It is true neither in fact nor in spirit. They were forbidden to approach it, man or beast, but to keep afar off. The glory is over Zion, and people dwell in it. See Isaiah 4. Or how were the people "disappointed in that shelter" of Sinai? And where is Zion "spoken of as the place of manifestation of the better and abiding glory"? Nowhere in Scripture. "We are come to Mount Zion"; to the place of Christ's royal grace, the undying Son of David; and not to the fiery law of Sinai. But it is never hinted that this is the place of manifestation of the better and abiding glory of the church - nowhere. The heavenly Jerusalem is distinguished from it in the passage, and that is where the church's abiding glory is seen. That this glory may be specially over Zion and Jerusalem, as the cloud and light covered the camp, is very possible, as in Isaiah 4 referred to. But this supposes Zion the dwelling place of men, not the seat of the abiding glory of the church. I see no intimation of Zion's being miraculously exalted above the hills (i.e., physically). In page 143, these same words are used as the emblems of authoritative power, and explained as the rightful pre-eminence of Christianity. Besides, the truth is, it is not Zion that is spoken of, but the mountain of the Lord's house. And everyone knows that this was not Zion. "The house of the God of Jacob" was not in Mount Zion at all.

All this is one string of mistakes. That the glory of the Lord Jesus will be manifested in Mount Zion - that it will be the scene and seat of His earthly rule, I believe; for Scripture is plain enough as to it. That there will be hence a peculiar connection there between heaven and earth, I do not at all deny, and special glory. That is not the question, but the church having its seat there - the glory, joy, and blessedness of heaven being perfectly there. In the Psalm where Sinai is spoken of as in the holy place, i.e., angelic glory, the temple at Jerusalem is spoken of, and His excellency is over Israel, and His strength is in the clouds. That the Lord dwells in Zion, I doubt not, and at Jerusalem. The question is, does the church? As to "one grade of glory to another - appear in Zion before God" - is the valley of Baca a grade of glory? Can there be a more thorough perversion of a passage? Is it not Israel, plain, fleshly, though now returning Israel, going up to Zion?

196 And now as to the chapter itself. These hundred and forty-four thousand stand with the Lamb in Mount Zion; they are associated in the Spirit's thought with the suffering of . . Him who is then glorified as the royal Son of David, made Jehovah's firstborn, higher than the kings of the earth. If they learn and repeat, it is not for others to learn from them; for none could learn it but they. But while different figures may be used for the church, as bride, sons, body, and so on, yet it seems very strange if these hundred and forty-four thousand are the church who sing in heaven, that they should be learning from those who sing there. A new song is sung before the throne, the beasts, and elders, a new occasion of joy and praise being given; and these one hundred and forty-four thousand, who are there above these very beasts and elders, in another place are remarked as alone able to learn it. I do not believe the same persons are described by different figures in different places, in heaven and earth at the same time, and learning in one character, and remarked as being alone able to learn what is celebrated where they are in the highest place, in another. It seems clearly a different class of persons. Nobody doubts that heavenly feet will tread this lower earth. That this is the scene here revealed is another question. It is not treading the earth as Moses and Elias, but the "better and abiding glory" of the whole church which is stated to be here revealed. "It is in this world that the glory and holiness and happiness of heaven is to be manifested and established."

197 That they are in contrast with those who receive the beast's mark, I believe; and just in this marked as a special class. This is not the church's place; Christianity, according to the author, is withdrawn during the beast's reign from the Eden of this world. But these are in contrast with the beast's followers; they are associated with the lamb-like character of Christ. But then, when it is said that "such are the new persons into whose hands the authority of the earth is transferred," it is a mere invention of his own: there is not a syllable about it in the chapter. We do not find in them the new and living centre of the earth's power. They are the firstfruits from the earth thus heaved up to God. But evidently the first-fruits and the harvest are connected (i.e., the judgment of the earth down here).

The general idea of the chapter in page 200 I have nothing to object to, only remembering that the connection of the first verses with it so very plainly proves that the one hundred and forty-four thousand belong to this scene, and have therefore nothing to do with the church at large. The character of redeemed from the earth as first-fruits to God and the Lamb shews their connection with the new world, though as firstfruits offered to God from it.

Further: "and to every nation and kindred and tongue and people" is clearly more than the apostate earth. The dwellers there, save the elect, were worshippers of the beast, and apostate, but that was not true of all nations. As to the period not being fixed, as to a day or a date, it is not; but, morally, it clearly is. "The hour of his judgment is come." So that it is just before the close - a further proof of what the one hundred and forty-four thousand are. And the statement of the writer, that it is the apostate nations who are preached to, confines it at any rate to the last three years and a half. It is clearly a new testimony in mercy, not confined, I believe, to the earth, for the understanding of which the order of Psalms 95 to 100 (here referring to Psalm 96 particularly) will furnish us with a good deal of assistance.

It might be supposed that I should have difficulty as to what is stated as to verse 13. But, though the manner of its expression is adapted to the theory of the author, yet I believe this verse does designate the time when the killing power of the beast being to be put an end to, the whole company of saints can enter into their proper place of reward. So that in general I agree with the statement. It is not the rapture of the church, for it only concerns those who die, a condition which now closes; and hence the harvest of the earth which follows has nothing to do with this, for the Lord does not reap the dead upon the earth. It is quite another thing, the harvest of the earth - that earth from which the one hundred and forty-four thousand had been redeemed as first-fruits.

198 As to the everlasting gospel's being the opening of exhaustless grace, unshaken and unchanged throughout every age, the answer is simple. The gospel that the angel carries forth is, "Fear God, and give glory to him: for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters." That there will be deliverance and mercy for them who listen, I doubt not, when the judgment announced arrives. But surely this is not what we have to preach to sinners. Though we admit fully its truth, there is something more than this. Is calling from idols, because the Creator God is just going to judge, that which characterises the heavenly gospel of redemption which we preach? There is not even mentioned what finds its necessary place in what is most like it, the preaching of Paul at Athens. There Jesus and the resurrection form the topic which gives its weight to his discourse, and which tells on the assembled hearers, and brings things to a point with them. Here there is nothing of it.

The writer is then obliged to contradict himself and the chapter too, because of his system - himself, because the apostasy "will not take place apart from the personal manifestation of the man of sin" (page 125). But during the time of the man of sin, no such testimony is allowed, Christianity is withdrawn, and yet (page 200) this testimony is among the apostate nations, and consequently during the manifestation of Antichrist who allows no professed Christianity at all. Yet, if it be among the apostate nations, it cannot be in the period which precedes the full development of the Antichristian blasphemy, because before that the author says they are not apostate. It is contrary to the chapter, because the angel could not say "the hour of his judgment is come," when the thing to be judged was not yet manifested. But it was necessary to his system, because he cannot allow the gospel during the apostasy; though here (except that other people had so applied it, and the unwillingness to allow any gospel other than the church testimony) there be no reason why he should not leave it (as he does, page 203, among the apostate nations, at any rate in part. The mention of Babylon also afterwards makes it necessary to his system.

199 I know not why the author makes this statement as to Babylon a prophetic statement. In page 203, "The events follow in the order in which they are stated" - this therefore among the rest. Nor is there anything that I see at all to contradict the statement, which seems to me very plainly the case. There is the testimony - the fall of Babylon - the warning not to worship the beast - Babylon being then set aside, which was the previous snare, and judgment approaching; then a period or close put to the death of the saints - then the harvest - and then the vintage, which closes all. It is very evidently from one end to the other the closing scene of the earth. Those redeemed from the earth - a testimony against idolatry, the hour of God's judgment being come - Babylon fallen - a closing warning not to worship the beast, because of the torment that awaited him-the death of the saints put a stop to, and the rest of those who had died announced - the harvest of the earth - and the vintage of the earth. It is earth's closing scene.

I suppose the testimony as to Babylon is made future in order to urge such a testimony now. Whereas, if it be the announcement of events according to page 201, all this falls. I confess I think page 201 more right than page 203. It is clear that, if it be merely a prophecy of the future which ought even to be going on now, it has nothing to do with the order of events.

If there are saints under Antichrist, and Christianity is withdrawn, and chased into uncivilised darkness, and that the obedient have escaped according to Christ's word, there are saints who have the faith of Jesus who are not Christians, at any rate Christians not having on earth the place of the church and Christianity according to the mind of Christ; for that has been driven away, and the sphere of its testimony is gone. That there will be such saints, I doubt not; though the faithful will be kept from the hour of temptation which shall come upon all the world to try them that dwell upon the earth - a passage which the author himself applies to the latter day.

The author then goes on to urge that the judgment of the harvest does not apply to the prophetic earth at all, but to Christendom. But first, the harvest of the earth and the vintage of the earth apply to the same scene of judgment, and also the testimony to the dwellers on earth. But these two apply to apostate Christendom, or the prophetic earth. Then we have merely "the earth was reaped": no gathering up into the garner stated here, as in Matthew 13.

200 The author states that "the wheat-field will not represent those who will, when the Lord returns, be found in the open rejection of the name of God and of Christ, and worshippers of a man." But Jude states the contrary. After speaking of false brethren crept in unawares, he says, "these are they" - denying the only Lord God and our Lord Jesus Christ - perishing in the gainsaying of Core - hard speeches they had spoken against the Lord - and they had men's persons in admiration - twice dead - though they feasted with the saints. In a word, the apostle, or rather the Spirit of God, identifies absolutely and positively the tares, those who were sown while men slept, who crept in unawares, with the judgment of blaspheming apostates. Enoch prophesied of these. The statement of the author seems to me to be contradicted in terms by the express testimony of Scripture; and with it his whole system of judgment and of the earth, and of Christendom (his very names of things) falls entirely. I believe the harvest here a much more confined thing, not involving the heavenly saints at all. Those who had been killed under Antichrist, and who are certainly, according to chapter 20, to have a part in the first resurrection, had been disposed of in verse 13; and then comes the harvest of the earth, and the earth is reaped; discriminating judgment is executed then to introduce (when the vintage is finished) the feast of tabernacles. And is it not singular that the vine of the earth, which has ever been the symbol of God's plant on the earth, should have nothing to do with such a scene? That it is apostate and under Antichrist is clear; but still they must have some analogy, some pretence to be, or be historically, the people of God, though anything but that really. The great king of the earth is Antichrist, we are told. But then, of what earth is the harvest? There are other details here, which I leave, because we shall meet with them again.

To turn to the notes. We have here the express statement that the one hundred and forty-four thousand learn the song of heaven from themselves, that is, they learn on earth from themselves in heaven. Is this a reasonable interpretation? There are grades of glory which belong to Christ, but is it scriptural to suppose that the church is with Him in these grades, or that it has its own? Does it vary its glory, and have sometimes earthly, sometimes heavenly? Is it not more simple to suppose that there are different bodies in these different glories of Christ, when such different bodies are spoken of? It is certainly true of Israel. It is never said that we are joint-heirs of Christ's glories. We are glorified together with Him. But we are not united with Him as Son of David: we are not sons of David - and this is the place of Christ in Zion. And the church has not its centre of government on earth. It belongs to the heavenly Jerusalem. "It would be very strange," we are told, "not to find the church anywhere represented in connection with Zion, the seat of power." Well, I suppose then this is the only place in Scripture; but then it must be proved to be the church. And it is just a confession that the church is nowhere said to be in the seat of earthly power. The author may think it strange; but there are those who are content with their heavenly place of power, and better blessings too, and who do not seek to find Scriptures to bring the church down to an earthly seat and centre of government, because they know God has given it another and a better place. And to say that man in this mortal body is "as blessed" as in glory, and to insist on finding some earthly place for the church, is just in a few words, as here plainly stated, the whole gist and object of this book.

201 First-fruits of the earth is not the church's title; and the harvest of which this was the first-fruits was of the earth. Besides, though I do not believe it is here the whole body of the nation of Israel, yet Israel is called first-fruits; Jer. 2:3. Nor is there the least possible analogy with Sinai, save by way of contrast: and to talk of "heavenly persons on the earth admitting into their presence persons who yet were in earthly bodies." Is that a description of Sinai? what heavenly persons admitted them?

As to the article, while I admit that the Revelation in the instances given uses the article or omits it, as other Greek authors do, because it would make nonsense otherwise (as when I say, the house fell, it is clear I mean some house spoken of to which I refer; and so if I say, the one hundred and forty-four thousand, I mean some one hundred and forty-four thousand already mentioned, or no one would know what it meant), yet, though thus far speaking as usual so as to make sense, the Revelation is very irregular as to the article, as it is in every part of grammar, as every Greek reader well knows. I do not say reasons may not be given which shew it to be the mind of the Spirit, as is to me clear in the case "thou art the wretched and the miserable and poor and blind and naked" (chap. 3:17); but as to chap. 4:7, "having the face as of man," I understand the phrase; but no one can say it is the regular use of the Greek article. So compare chapter 4:11, chapter 5:12 and this latter with verse 13. As to the grammar in general the reader may read chapter 7:9, which is by no means a single instance; chapter 8:3; so chapter 9:15. But I need go no farther.

202 However, I admit the difference of the hundred and forty-four thousand. When the author speaks of men serving God in the earth where we have failed, we shall serve Him in the earth again; but in Scripture that is connected with the heavenly, not the earthly Jerusalem. The passage is merely using human feeling to divert from direct divine teaching.

A heavenly character is thus given to Zion. But Zion is not heavenly, nor ever represented as heavenly in Scripture, anywhere or in any manner; nor is a passage adduced to prove it, in which Zion is mentioned. Our hymn-books are quoted; that is, we are led back to that confusion of Old and New Testament hopes out of which God in His mercy had delivered us. That the song is heavenly, I do not deny: but it could not, I repeat, be learnt by those that were singing it from themselves. As to the next note: the hundred and forty-four thousand are represented as a female company. It is just nonsense for anyone that has read the passage.

We have only to compare the rest of the note with page 77 to find one of those incessant total contradictions of self, which it really (when occurring at nearly every page) is a miserable task to follow. Here it is the earthly state and glory; there it is the full excellency of a heavenly calling, maintained and manifested on earth. If it be not a contradiction, then a heavenly calling is nothing at all, because its full excellency is on earth as to glory, Messiah's glory, when the church is not mentioned but in another character in which the earthly Jerusalem is not at all. I do not agree in the interpretation of virgins her companions. I judge they are cities of Judah, or at most of Israel. But this is only a matter of interpretation, as to which I am ready to listen to anyone taught of God.

203 The note on "worship him that made heaven," etc., is a most strange departure from sound interpretation, in pursuance of the author's false system as to the Psalms. He quotes a Psalm as after the Lord has come and forgiven Israel, which the apostle expressly quotes as addressed to them, for fear they might fail of entering into the promised rest. But such is the effect of a system. And it may be remarked that it is in the following Psalm we have announced what answers to the everlasting gospel here commented on. I understand that the author may found himself on those being forgiven to whom the apostle writes: but such a plea would, I confess, to me, make the matter worse. The apostle addresses those who professed to look for the coming of the Lord, and believe that Jesus was He, proving to them that they should endure in trial because a rest remained to God's people, and therefore exhorts them to hold fast as others who had not received the promises. But when the Lord has come, and forgiven Israel, would such an appeal to hold fast because the rest had not come yet, or they would fall in the wilderness, like Israel of old, and not get the promise, have place? It is either singular a want of spiritual understanding in the interpretation of Scripture, or a most bold defiance of the apostle's use of Scripture.

"Who die in the Lord" (Rev. 14:13), I believe to be, not the whole church, as the author says (because we shall not all die), but all, as a class, who die in the Lord. It prescribes the time of blessing, not of dying. The Holy Spirit gives such a testimony to the then realised blessing of those who die in Jesus, that they could be called from that hour, blessed, even supposing they died after this moment. I do not say they will: but the passage pronounces nothing on it. As the author has said elsewhere, it denotes the abstract fact, and has no reference to time.

From the author's system of the apostate earth and Christendom, etc., I dissent entirely. It is an assertion, like so many others, of which no proof is attempted to be given. That there is an apostasy we all recognise. That there is a man of sin, and head of the beast, we all own. That the Roman earth will be the scene of especial evil and judgment, all hold. It is not the exclusive sphere of it, even as to the prophetic earth; because the whole image becomes like the chaff of the summer threshing-floor, by the blow that smites the feet. Moreover, Gog, I have no doubt, is Russia and its dependencies, and is not in the Roman earth, or what is included in the four beasts of Daniel - but it is in the prophetic earth in the full sense and in Christendom. If this be so, the whole system falls; because the author thinks as I do, that he comes up after. Yet he would have had to be previously judged as Christendom or of the prophetic earth. Further, we have already seen Jude affirms the direct positive contrary of the author's theory. And it would suppose that ripe tares had ceased to be tares at all - that that mystery of iniquity which was working in Christendom, secretly sown of Satan, when grown up into open apostasy and wickedness, had ceased to be the tares ripened for judgment. Teaching errors as Balaam for reward, though not the position in which they perish, leads on to the gainsaying of Core, in which they do. And Jude affirms that they are the same identical objects of judgment.

204 Besides, who says that Christendom is the kingdom? The author does, I know: but would it not be better to prove it in some way? In the sense in which he exceptionally uses it, I deny it entirely. The field is the world. In the same scene in which they were sown the tares were reaped when they were ripe. Such is the plain statement of the parable. It is monstrous to suppose that their ripeness makes them cease to be tares. 2 Thessalonians 2 and Jude both identify the earliest work and final judgment as one progressive matter. Besides, it is a great mistake to suppose that the harvest of Matthew 13 is a momentary act. It is no such thing. "In the time of harvest" the Son of man says to the reapers, Gather together first the tares in bundles to be burned. This in page 207 the author is careful to omit, and puts the tares last as cast into the burning, and the wheat first gathered into the garner, omitted the first gathering the tares.

Now see how this applies to his system. Christ has the tares gathered out of His field into bundles first, so that He disposes of the whole field, as thus mixed, by first separating the wicked into bundles, whatever that means, and then deals with the wheat thus left clear. But, according to the author, no such process takes place at all in the apostate Roman earth. It is in vain to give a vague idea that the harvest is a gathering in of saints, who could be smuggled (so to speak) out of the dens and caves where they are supposed to be hid, and then say it is from Christendom that the harvest is mainly gathered. This is a wholly incorrect representation of the matter, and merely slurring it over to suit his views. In the harvest of Matthew it was not merely gathering from. The first thing done was gathering the tares. Is that done in the Roman apostate earth? I suppose it will not be denied that this dealing with the tares applies to the wicked on the earth who were growing in this world. Christendom, we are told, is His kingdom, and to that the harvest applies. But then it does not apply to the Roman apostate earth, and not to wheat more than tares. It is not the field which is the subject of the harvest at all. The harvest in Matthew is a dealing with the field, and the state of the field - not the judgment of individuals according to the secret knowledge of God who judges the heart; and therefore, to speak of Christians belonging to a geographical division, and apostates to another, and to be picked out by the secret judgment of God when the field is not judged, is a subversion of the whole object and statement of the parable; which is that He would let indeed both grow together until the harvest, but that then He would clear the whole field, and first deal publicly with the tares, then take in the wheat and burn the tares in their day. Ripened apostates having ceased to be tares, there is no harvest for what is now the field where they grow, though wheat may be hidden in it.

205 Further, it must be remarked, that according to this, the tares in Christendom (i.e., ripened* wickedness of men) is judged on the earth before Christ comes at all, and before He appears; according to the system of the author, burned as tares in the fire. For Antichrist is destroyed by His appearing. Moreover, the church is taken away before His appearing, at least from Christendom, where the harvest takes place - it does not appear exactly when: consequently, also, before Christ rises up, for then the age ends, as we have been previously told; and, as I have already remarked, the harvest is the end of the age. So that really it is not Christ's judgment at all, nor does He come to receive us. In page 204, it is said, "He comes in glory and divine majesty, seated in the clouds." But then, "whenever [page 11] the Lord Jesus quits His present place on the throne of God, our dispensation ends, and the new age begins." So that the age is already quite ended in the harvest in Revelation - for He is come. But it was in the end that the harvest in Matthew takes place. So that the two harvests cannot be the same at all. And moreover, on the other hand, the judgment of the wicked on the earth must precede Christ's coming, not be His judging at all as Son of man: for then God is acting on the throne for Him, that is, till that age ended. All that can be said is that the contradictions are endless, because the author has framed a system which is not Scripture at all.

{*Though indeed they are not ripe in Christendom - that will be true only in the beast's dominions.}

206 He says (page 205), "neither will the wheat field represent those who will," etc. The wheat-field is the world, not people. But this is put to avoid the plain evident revelation of a judgment on the earth, which clears the place judged from tares in order to take in the wheat. For, if once it is a judgment of the field, it is clear all his system is wrong, because the hidden Christians left in the Roman earth would not be gathered up, or else the Roman earth would be judged in the harvest.

It is indeed, on account of the time by which he closes the age, quite clear that on the author's system the harvests in Matthew and Revelation are different. There is no vintage in Matthew, because the harvest is a general thing, the result of the Son of man's and Satan's sowing in the world. And to suppose that the Son of man's kingdom, when He executes judgment, coming as King of kings and Lord of lords, is only what professes His name previously in the earth (i.e., what has continued to do so where He was not shewing His power) is perfectly fallacious. He has no right as King to more than His kingdom: and where do we learn that Christendom is the kingdom of the Son of man? It is not what is given Him in Daniel 7 and in the parable. It is carefully taught that the field in question is the world. We may fail in making it good, or maintaining it by the power of the Spirit; but when He comes to assert His title, it is not limited to that. He asserts it to the whole field. And, "all things that offend and them that work iniquity," is universal. Were this the judgment of Christendom merely as such, we should have no inhabitant left at all in those countries.

The writer says that "Matthew 13 and 25 are especially devoted to the history of Christendom." As to Matthew 13 I leave it aside here. I have said sufficient on the parable referred to. The first three parables are; and, perhaps I may add, the last. But then the writer must remember that he has described the leaven as working in the Roman earth. But Matthew 25 most surely does not. The first two parables may be, in a certain partial and particular sense, perhaps, said to be so (that is, to consider certain things which will take place within the sphere of Christendom, or apply to Christians, real or professing); where, note, the going out to meet Christ during the night, as coming to the wedding (to Jerusalem down here, if it be followed out) is what gives the virgin character to the church, whose only thought was meeting the Bridegroom, being ready for Him (though they might forget it). Service accompanied it, but that was settled when He returned. It was the display in glory, owned - fully, blessedly owned - but an inferior thing. It was reckoning with servants. Infinite honour to be His servant! It will be recompensed with rule and honour. It will be joy with his Lord to the servant. But it is not exactly going in with Him to the marriage. I do not mean here that both may not be to the same person; most surely they may. We ought to wait, and we ought to serve: and to separate one from the other is evil. But the first thing the Lord has put forward is waiting, yea, going out to meet Him. He Himself is the object; and it is joy. May those who wait for Him be found serving!

207 To say that the rest of Matthew 25 is the judgment of Christendom, is so throwing away everything which brethren have been taught, and such a reckless rejection of all his own views by the author, that it is difficult to deal with it moderately. "When the Son of man shall come in his glory, then shall he sit on the throne of his glory, and before him shall be gathered all nations (or all the Gentiles), and he shall separate them," etc. Now, first of all, is it not a strange thing, when the word of God says "all the heathen" (for "nations" is the very word from which "heathen" comes), that the author should have a class "In heathen countries," which are not these, but another class which alone comprises the sheep and goats of the parable, to the exclusion of the heathen? It may be alleged that he uses heathen in the moral sense of idolaters. But it is his assumption that there are such at the time of this judgment. The plain express word is all the Gentiles. Next, Christ is sitting on the throne of His glory when He is come. Hence it is clear that it is not the church living then, because it is not called up with the living wicked professors at all; but, being changed, is identified (Jew or Gentile) with the raised, and they go up together, quite apart from the wicked, to meet the Lord in the air, and so are ever with the Lord. The living wicked are not brought up before the throne at all (if throne it is to be called, in the air, for the scripture never calls it so (we go to meet the Bridegroom, or stand before His (bema) judgment-seat), as the goats are here), nor the dead wicked either. Further, He is now King. It is not the Bridegroom receiving the church, but the King when He is come. Moreover, the moment Christ quits the Father's throne (we are told) the former age ends. But, we have often remarked, the harvest is the end of that age; so that the saints of Christendom have been caught up before the King is on His throne here, for He is come. Moreover, again we may remark, the tares are gathered first in bundles. If this be the same judgment, the sheep are addressed first. We may repeat the remarks as to the destruction of Antichrist by the sudden appearing of the Lord: whereas here the King is quietly seated on the throne when He is come. So that if it be Christendom, it would be judged, and the saints received, after the destruction of Antichrist by the brightness of His coming, when we know they are received before, and come with Him. In fine, it is quite clear that a gathering of all the nations (clearly living nations, for so the author holds) before Christ to be separated (and, as the author moreover holds, individually) is not the resurrection of the dead saints, and the changing of the living to be caught up distinctly by themselves as a body. But this last is the portion of the saints in Christendom; and therefore the application of the parable of the sheep and goats to Christendom is as unfounded as it is contrary to all the saints instructed in prophecy have learned. It has really no foundation at all, but the necessity of supporting a system, which can admit of no saints but the church in its present standing till Christ appears, and which sacrifices everything to this error.

208 I will add here what seems to me the evident structure of these chapters. Chapter 24:1-31 gives the consequences of the Lord's rejection as to Judah and Jerusalem, and directions to those who listen to Him, till He comes. In a word, it gives the history of the Jews, with instruction for the disciples in their relationship with them, to the end (the gospel to the Gentiles being merely given as a sign and necessary preliminary to the end). This is in two parts: general, verses 1-14; details at the end, verses 15-31 all as instruction to the disciples. Christ comes in great glory, and gathers the elect Jews, or rather Israel, from the four winds. Then come moral remarks. They are to learn certain things. And on to chapter 25:30 we have instruction for the disciples, in which their proper condition relative to Him (not to Jerusalem) during His absence is brought out in three parables, which follow the warnings. All these are a sort of parenthesis, and relate to the heavenly people. And then His being come (taught in chapter 24:31) is resumed (chap. 25:30) in reference to earth; and, as He had treated the Jews and Jerusalem before, and the church's position in the parenthesis, now the judgment of the Gentiles is given.*

{*I have run through the "Thoughts on the End of the Age," published since on these two chapters. I cannot answer here in detail a tract of near forty pages; but I examined it to see if there were any answers to the objections I have stated briefly here. But it only makes the matter a great deal worse. It is taught there that those who depart as cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels, are to come out of it again to stand with the rest of the dead before the great white throne mentioned in the Revelation, and be judged according to their works (Matthew 25 being no more a judgment than any sinners dying). (See pages 22, 23.) I would only ask any person taught of God to read the passage referred to, and see how truth is dealt with to maintain a system. It is well to mention here that everything is changed in the teaching of the author. The wheat were risen saints staying, however short a time, on the earth previous to their ascension; now they are living ones in Christendom. The saints were to be in the tribulation, and it was a blessing from God to be prepared for it. The consciences of the saints well know this. Now I read of "escaping the tribulation as the saints will" (page 25 of the tract) - a statement which led me to make these remarks. We were to be on earth till Jesus appeared, and to go up to meet Him when we saw Him; and 2 Thessalonians 1, and the Greek word for rest, or respite, as it was alleged (another unfounded criticism, by the by), with other passages, were quoted to prove that the tribulation was closed for the saints by the Lord's appearing. They then got respite. All this is given up, though many saints are still under the influence of this teaching. The tribulation, properly speaking, they are not in. And in fact they do not await His appearing at all, Christendom being reaped, and the saints caught up before the judgment of Antichrist, in which as a flash of lightning He appears in destruction. Judgment, we are told, begins at the house of God. The reader must not ask me to reconcile this with other contradictory statements which subsist. There seems to me no attempt at consistency in the author's statements, more than with the point he is at the moment upon, though here, perhaps, I am wrong. I suspect the secret of a good deal is that, having made his system, and having been forced to correct particular parts year after year because it was evidently contrary to Scripture, it ceased to agree with the other parts of his own system. At least this would explain a good deal of the contradiction. But this is the effect of having a system to maintain.}

210 I cannot enter here into the enquiry of the scene or scenes (for it is evident, I think, that there are more than one of the judgment and destruction of the nations) this being one particular judgment called the vintage. I do not think the vintage at all the only judgment. It is properly and peculiarly that of the positive apostasy. The use of the same terms in Joel 3, where Jehoshaphat is spoken of, proves nothing, because it is also called harvest there, which the author does not apply here. They are merely general figures in Joel. In Isaiah 66 we have a judgment which would seem to include the vintage, though there is no reference to it here. Several escape, and declare the glory they have seen - the carcases of the slain being in a sort of Hinnom.

In Isaiah 63 we have the winepress connected with Edom. This judgment in Idumaea is spoken of as the grand one in Isaiah 34. There is, besides this, evidently the judgment of the Assyrian in Micah 5, where Jesus Messiah is already their peace, and, if it be distinct, Gog also. Zechariah 14 would seem to connect itself with Joel. As to Edom, see also Psalm 83. It is because of the evident extent of this subject, that I do not pursue it here. The vintage has its own proper place - apostate Israel, and Antichrist with his followers. The attempt to explain with a forced literality the figure used seems to me, as is many such examples, only injurious to truth. That there will be dreadful carnage and destruction of sinners, I do not doubt; but "blood came out of the winepress" merely says it is a question here of men that are trampled in fury. Because it is clearly not a winepress; and as to flowing from the valley of Jehoshaphat, it is not said in the Revelation to be there; and if it were, a river of blood, deep and wide, would not (let it be ever so exaggerated) "really" meet the case, because it must flow sixteen hundred furlongs, that is, two hundred miles. I confess it seems to me only degrading Scripture, to force it in this way - making all absurd to make half accurate, according to the narrowness of man's mind, and the rest consistent neither with the other part nor with anything else.

CHAPTERS 15, 16

I agree with the general purport of this, as one vision: only "at present acting for Christ" has nothing to say to it, because the author holds that the Apocalypse is all yet future. What follows is again without any attempt at proof, and no such connection is given in this chapter. I quite admit that after God has closed His preparatory judgments, to which men refuse ultimately to bow, but rather harden themselves against them, Christ comes forth to execute His wrath. But then this is not sending the rod of His power out of Zion, for He has not been yet set up King in Zion. The rod of His power is here sent out of heaven. Christ as King in Zion is not known in the Revelation. The judgment of the beast may introduce His reign there, but it is passed over in the most general terms possible, connected with the resurrection and binding of Satan, and the heavenly Jerusalem described. But besides, after the announcement of the destruction of Babylon, with which the vials close, but the accomplishment of which is given in chapter 18, another event takes place, wholly overlooked here, and which surely ought to interest us - the marriage of the Lamb. It is after this heaven is opened, and the rider on the white horse comes forth, and the armies which are in heaven follow Him. All this is an entirely different scene from the rod of His power out of Zion. Yet He has left His Father's throne before either of these events takes place. That is, the whole of what is stated in the Revelation, all that concerns the blessing of the church, and the glory of Him who comes forth as King of kings, and Lord of lords, is entirely left out in a book professing to describe its contents.

211 "Commission to act is given to Christ," says the author, "as soon as the ministration of the vials ends. He will then quit the throne of His Father; the rod of His power will be sent out of Zion, and He will rule in the midst of His enemies." Such is the statement of the order of events, as set forth in Revelation. And the author continues "accordingly in this chapter," etc. shewing the exactitude of the statement, adding, "the day of Christ begins when the vials terminate." Now, is it not strange that neither of the events spoken of in the above extract is mentioned in all that follows, but a large series of most important events which are entirely left out in it? It is never said that Christ is on the Father's throne here, nor that He leaves it, nor a word about the rod of His power going out of Zion; but between the end of the vials and the possibility of the rod of His power going out of Zion, all that relates to the full accomplishment of the heavenly blessing of the church with Christ, and His coming forth with the saints from heaven. In a word, all that relates to the heavenly blessing and glory of the church with Him is brought fully out in the Revelation; and no place is given to it at all in the arrangement of events by the author. His arrangement is a denial, by its silence, of all that it is the object of the Revelation to reveal as to this.

212 This is clearly very important. It is the key to the whole system of the author, which is nothing more than the exclusion of the church from its own blessings. Further, when it is said, "Behold, I come as a thief: blessed is he that watcheth," we surely get an intimation that He is coming, not to the church, but for the day of the Lord. Because that day does not overtake us as a thief. The day of the Lord comes as a thief in the night; but this has nothing to do with the church going up to meet Him, raised or changed. The day does not come on the church at all.

As to the "symbolic scene of chapter 16" being "evidently laid in Egypt." I do not doubt that there are allusions to Egypt and Pharaoh. "The song of Moses" leaves no question of this. But it is just an example of the rashness of those systematic generalisings which feed the imagination and withdraw the mind from the statements of Scripture. First of all, I find in page 227 that it is not symbolic at all. "The declarations of this chapter will be minutely fulfilled" . . . "The sea throughout the appointed sphere will become as the blood of a dead man." "I expect also that Euphrates, the river," etc. So that it is not a symbolic scene; and, if it were, how is Euphrates, and Babylon, a symbolic scene laid in Egypt? Or even fountains and rivers of waters, where in Egypt are they found? Or the appointed sphere of the sea? The sun is the nearest, for it shines there as elsewhere. Still it is difficult to say what happens to the sun is a scene laid in Egypt: the scene is not Egyptian, and (if I am to believe the author elsewhere) not symbolical. It is just imagination outrunning all Scripture. An allusion to a place puts the whole scene there, when there are positive statements quite different. The earth, sea, rivers, sun, are all smitten, symbolical or not (all are the wrath of God on the earth); and then, descending to particulars, we have the throne of the beast, Euphrates, and Babylon; and all these are a symbolical scene laid in Egypt.

That Antichrist will rise up against the Lord in a manner analogous to Pharaoh, I do not doubt; nor that Pharaoh is in many respects a type of Antichrist: but this is all. I do not attach very great importance to the idea that they are gathered at Armageddon, and that the battle is elsewhere. They are gathered to the battle, and they are gathered there; and the allusion, I have little doubt, is to Deborah's song; Judges 5:19, 20. Armageddon is a mystic name, an allusion: as indeed is Jehoshaphat in another way, meaning the judgment of Jehovah, or, whom Jehovah judges, as some explain it. This I do not dwell upon, though it be a statement, like so many others, without any proof.

213 But, as to those standing on the sea of glass. They are as usual the heavenly part of the Israel of God. Now it is quite certain that they are exclusively those who had gotten the victory over the beast, from the presence of whose power all obedient ones had fled through the persecutions of the dragon. For we must take in both Revelation 12 and Matthew 24, or else the author would seek to confine the affair to Jerusalem. But in Revelation 12 the civilised Eden of the earth has no place for them. But this is the Egypt in question, so that the church will not have been there. It was not "their calling" (page 218), "to be on the Lord's side against all His enemies." They were called on to flee, and another testimony was raised up - "the sphere of their earthly service was closed." Indeed the whole of this is a confusion of the imagination, because the Red Sea closed all service against Pharaoh and his hosts; and hence, as a type of Antichrist and his armies, all idea of Christian testimony perishes here in all and every sense of it. And therefore there is no application of any subsequent being on the Lord's side except in glory. But with Egypt they were not to be on the Lord's side in any testimony. The command (see page 97) was too express and definite for any who were obedient to the Lord to avoid. So that there was no such place of identification with Him in service as His host during the Antichristian Pharaoh's time, nor after. The Red Sea closed Pharaoh's career. The service for the Lord of hosts came after. Here, if there were such, the service must come before: but, even so, the sphere of earthly service was closed for Christianity. Just in the dominions of this new Egypt a new testimony had been raised up. I have no doubt that the sea of glass mingled with fire (quite a new element) shewed that these had come through the tribulation, to be saved from which had been a positive promise to those that kept the word of Christ's patience. These had been in the tribulation. All that is said of Ezekiel is quite beside the mark. There was a throne above there, not on the firmament: and what had the sea of glass to do with the firmament which was over the heads of the cherubim? I would just remark here the neutralisation in this system of all distinctive position which the book of Revelation carefully shews forth. The elders are in the circle of the throne. The great multitude worship day and night in His temple. These are on the sea of glass, which was not in the temple. All this is obliterated, and this though it is positively said here that it was one special peculiar class.

214 As to the church of the firstborn emerging from that last abyss of Egyptian darkness, what we have already read in the book shews it to be all wrong. First, the church had been reaped in the harvest in Christendom, outside the sphere of Antichrist's power. So that they do not emerge from this at all. They come back to the execution of it with the Lord. We never emerge from this abyss. It seems to me clear that this triumphal song refers to chapter 14:9-12. At least, that is the last formal testimony on that head.

The writer then speaks of the nations yet unsmitten as analogous to Edom, etc. But the saints are not to smite these, nor are they to evangelise grace to them. That is done by those that escape the carnage on earth. (See Isaiah 66). And therefore all this, being on the Lord's side against all His enemies, ends with "with these prospects we shall look down from the sea of glass, the place of our sanctuary, and contemplate the results of the power of Him," etc. Was ever greater confusion? And then the author just slips into "It will be the hour of Israel's triumphant history commenced anew" - commenced in whom? Or who is "Israel" here? "Separated unto God according to the life-giving power of Him, who is the Son, consecrated for evermore, they will not again find the words of triumph die upon their lips, nor disappointment blight their expectations." Who are "they"? Can we talk of disappointment when we are in heaven and heavenly glory? Yet it is we who look down from the sea of glass as from the border of the Red Sea; or have we our triumphant history commenced anew? If it be said, Nay, it is Israel's history that is commenced anew, not ours; then how is it our triumph on the sea of glass? It is an absolute identification of the suffering but now glorified church, and Israel on earth, or it has no sense at all in any way. It is a complete confounding of the heavenly and earthly hope.

215 Further, we are told, "But now we must turn from the heavenly scene, in order to consider the hour of Egypt's strength and of Egypt's judgments, out of which they come who stand upon the sea of glass mingled with fire." But how does the church of the firstborn come out of the hour of Egypt's strength and Egypt's judgments? Will the church of the firstborn come out of Egypt's judgments? Or how, even out of the hour of Egypt's strength? The writer has taught us that they are not to be in it. That those who are on the sea of glass have passed through the hour of Antichrist's strength, is true. But this proves that they were not on earth in the proper place of the church of the firstborn. For those who kept the word of Christ's patience were to be kept from the hour of temptation; and the disciples were to flee from Judea, not to be in it, and, therefore, I suppose were not in it elsewhere.*

{*See the "Thoughts on the End of the Age," more recently published than the "Thoughts on the Apocalypse." We have "instead of escaping the tribulation as the saints will!" (page 25).}

And now as to Israel and the earth being brought unto the heavenly temple long ago: where is the proof of this? Had they been converted, surely times of refreshing would have come from the presence of the Lord, and He would have sent Jesus. But what is there of being brought to the heavenly temple in this? In speaking there he says, "the heavens must receive till the time," etc. It is a simple assertion again of the author, without the smallest iota of proof.

Further, we are told that Paul preached the same gospel. Now, speaking of these subjects, did Paul preach the gospel which Peter preached here to the Jews (and that is the whole question)? Never. "If," says the author, "Jerusalem had listened to their words, the Lord Jesus would have come." I agree to this; but Jerusalem did not listen, and Jesus did not come. And therefore it was not the same testimony which was continued, nor which another extraordinary apostle was raised up to bear, but quite another testimony on these points, which lifted up the church into union with Christ as His heavenly body, always in God's mind, but hid in Him, and now brought out by revelation.

Where are golden girdles the excellency of divine power? These bowls had not surrounded the golden altar. They were given by one of the four beasts. All the arrangement and statements on the subject in this page are the imagination of the author. In page 227, of course, everyone must judge whether it is literal or not. I would only remark that, when it suits the object (page 171),* earth is of wider extent than world (Roman world): here it is exactly Roman world, though the use of it be identical. But what is the appointed sphere in which the sea becomes like the blood of a dead man? and what is literally the blood of a corpse like? Surely sea is contrasted with earth here. And what is every living soul dying in the sea? And indeed "the sea" is used most generally; and why is it omitted to notice that the rivers and fountains (I suppose in the Roman earth) become blood as well as the sea - blood as of a corpse? And if the sun scorch men literally with fire, the contents of the golden bowl must be poured literally upon it. And if "the kingdom of Antichrist be full of darkness and anguish, so that men will gnaw their tongues for pain, and blaspheme the God of heaven because of their pains and their sores, and that they have nothing but blood to drink" - how is it that after this they "rest (being gathered by devils) in all the proud consciousness of undisputed greatness"? or how is it the fairest scene of collected glory that the earth had ever witnessed - "the beautiful clusters of earth's fairest plant"? These poor creatures, full of pains, sores, and anguish, smitten of God, their kingdom plunged in darkness! And how in undisputed greatness, if the king of the south has pushed against him already, and the king of the north with chariots, and horsemen, and many ships? Let the reader remember sailing in what sea. The truth is, this book is nothing but the indulgence of the most unbridled imagination making a system of its own.

{*In all the rest of that chapter the earth is treated as Roman earth.}

216 That unclean spirits will go out, I doubt not; but that they go out at the bidding of Antichrist, etc., I do most entirely. "First to Armageddon, and then to the battle," is not scripture. As to Babylon, we will discuss it when the subject is completely before us, when we shall find statements as unfounded as on everything else.

To turn to the notes. "Whenever angels are mentioned as being the agents, it is a sign that the present dispensational period in which God is acting for Christ has not yet terminated." The reader will recollect that this is the church period or dispensation, and that it closes with Christ's rising up from Jehovah's throne. It is, I suppose, clear that Christ has risen up when He comes to receive the saints to Himself in the air. Now turn to page 204, where we have the description of the harvest in which the saints of Christendom are gathered into the garner. "He (the Son of man) comes in glory and in divine majesty." "We are not here taught as to the means employed by the Son of man to give effect to that power here symbolised by the sickle. But from another part of Scripture we learn that the reapers are the angels." Again (page 207) "so as soon as He descends into the air, and the earth is spread before Him, to receive the hour of its visitation, His first act will be to judge that which is bearing His name, 'judgment begins at the house of God.' He will send forth His angels, and they will separate the tares from the wheat," etc. I believe the author has misinterpreted and misconceived the whole ways of God as to this, from beginning to end, in identifying Matthew 13 and Revelation 14, and I might add Joel 3: but I am examining here the details of this book. Now it is clear here that the Son of man employs the angels, that He is descended into the air, and therefore, I suppose, He has left the throne of His Father. In the note before us the employing of angels is a proof that the present period in which God is acting for Him is not closed. The writer is wrong in all - wrong in attempting so to define the period, wrong in the way he interprets the employment of angels, and wrong in the way he connects the two. His whole system is wrong, and statement after statement made just as it suits the idea of the moment, and the point sought to be proved. Look at Matthew 24:30, 31, and see what such a statement as that of this note comes to.

217 Does anyone allege what is said (page 204), "but He comes still as the servant of the Most High God - and therefore an angel comes forth from the temple that was seen in heaven," to shew that it was the Most High God that was acting for Christ, as if He were still sitting on God's throne till His enemies were made His footstool? I can only say such an attempt to cover the inconsistency would be worse than the inconsistency itself, and a mere attempt to maintain the credit of a system at the expense of the known contradiction of Scripture, and this book's statements about it. "He comes in glory." He is not therefore sitting on God's throne - that throne acting for Him till His enemies be made His footstool. Servant or not of the Most High, I suppose when judgment begins (page 207), it is the Son of man Himself that is acting.

218 The rest of the note is confusion. God acts by angels for His wrath. Be it so. Then comes the wrath of the Lamb, and then He will sit down "upon His throne"; and then, instead of angels for wrath, saints, attended by angels, will issue from the temple. But do not saints come forth with Jesus, when He "comes to execute wrath,"* as in chapters 17:14 and 19:14, all which, we are to note, happens after He has judged all Christendom? The marriage indeed of the Lamb had come, so that on the author's system it must be so, the harvest being of Christendom, and the beast not in it at all. So that He had come to receive the saints, judge all the wicked in Christendom, casting the tares into the furnace, before heaven opened for Him to come forth to judge Antichrist.

{*This single consideration upsets all the author's statements about the harvest (absurd enough through the notion that ripened tares are no tares at all): for on his system the angels only are with Him when the tares are judged, which he considers (contrary to Scripture) to be a momentary act. But on all this head one of his statements is only more contradictory than another.}

And where is it said that saints will be attended by angels when they issue from the temple? Though their issuing indeed from the temple is an idea not found in Scripture.

Again, how is fire living holiness? It is judicial holiness - killing holiness therefore. Our God is a consuming fire. The fire tries every man's work what it is.

Again, where are the waters of the sea used as an emblem of destructive power from God? They are used sometimes as the rage or overflowings of the people (which no doubt destroy), great and tumultuous actings of men, and hence trial also; but where as destructive power from God blotting out of the land of the living?

And what is the meaning of "purification unto life"? Where is such an idea in Scripture? That historically waters did destroy, is quite true: but waters are not used for destruction. That waters purify, is true too: but purification unto life is quite an unscriptural idea. That we, without being the Israel of God, shall enjoy final deliverance and priesthood, is most sure.

219 As to the note on "King of nations." The reading seems to be adopted by all; so I have nothing to say on it. But the principles of the note are to be examined. For they are of much importance, and tend (as everything in the book) to the depreciation of the church of God, or rather of the grace of God to the church - "that he might shew in the ages to come the exceeding riches of his grace in his kindness towards us by Christ Jesus."

I do not dwell on the alleged suitableness to the song of Moses. The song of the Lamb is forgotten in the explanation. If the next page be consulted, it will be found that "just and true are thy ways," which is here connected with King of nations, is interpreted in an entirely opposite manner to what is made of the song of Moses here; and that what is said of Moses' song here is attributed to the other part, "Great and marvellous are thy works," as being just what the saints have therein said. But this, though shewing how little moral reason there is in all these assertions, I pass by as assertions that involve no important principle.

The first thing I have to remark is again the oft-recurring expression of the Israel of God, as being the whole body owned of God in heaven and earth. This has been repeated so very very often, that the reader will have got the habit of using it in this sense in his mind, and so lose the sense that it is quite unfounded. The expression is used once in Scripture, and with no possible connection with the subject, or the millennial state at all. It is found in Galatians 6:16, where, false teachers having sought to introduce Judaism among Christians, the apostle (having closed his reasonings and exhortations on the subject, and shewn what was really valuable, namely, the new creature) says, "As many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and upon the Israel of God" - evidently in contrast with fleshly Judaism, which the false teachers were seeking to introduce. But they were those then and there owned of God as His Israel; and there is not an idea of the millennium, nor any gathering of all into an Israel of God in heaven and in earth. Such a thought is never found in Scripture anywhere. It is well to remember this - that it is merely an idea, an unscriptural association, of the author.

The church is proved "a constituent part of the Israel of God." And symbols or expressions prove it. This Israel of God, of which the church forms a constituent part, is a dream of the author's. It is a scriptural expression, but not used as he uses it, so as to make the church a mere constituent part of some other body. It certainly is not thus that Scripture ever speaks. The church is the body of Christ, and not a constituent part of anything, save (with Christ as head) of the redeemed universe in the time of its glory.

220 And then what is the proof? Why, that Jewish things are used as types, or symbols as the author calls them. And what then? Who denies it? Why does the use of circumstances of the fleshly Israel prove that the church is a constituent part of another Israel? We keep the paschal feast typically or figuratively. Well, and what then? I repeat. What does that prove? "Sons of Aaron." We are priests - everyone owns that: and if it be merely that, in the whole creation, to all on earth, and I add even ostensibly to the unconverted during the millennium, we hold the place of priests: nobody will deny that. We are the children of the heavenly Jerusalem which is above. And what does that prove but just that we are a separate people, having a Jerusalem of our own? As to children of Abraham, and branches in the Abrahamic olive tree - I have already considered it. It is of more importance than the others, which really are of none.

There is one general principle, owned of all who believe John 3, that for earthly blessings as well as for heavenly, a man must be born again, must have the new creature. But it does not follow thence that if this be necessary for all association of man with God, even in the lowest place, that there can be no special place of glory. It would as much set aside degrees in glory as anything else, and I should pretend to be necessarily as exalted as Paul, because I was born again. But this is not so. The principle is quite false. There is a difference, and every man shall receive his own reward according to his own labour, though all be saved and born again.

But, branches in the olive tree and Abraham's seed. Well, how are we Abraham's seed? By being in Christ: that is, that we take the place of the promises down here, as Israel especially will hereafter, and therefore succeed them, and they us, as heirs of promises down here. Yet still God had reserved some better thing for us. We do so in virtue of being in Christ, who is in the highest sense Abraham's Seed. But we are in Him in a way that makes us His body, His bride, as His own flesh. And it is quite clear that the principle alluded to has nothing to do with our highest privileges, because it is, as I have already remarked elsewhere, the own olive tree of the Jews, the seed according to the flesh, loved even in their unbelief for the fathers' sake.

221 Further, it is a principle which is false in another way. It is only their own olive tree as descendants of Abraham specially called out as father of many nations down here before God. Now all the saints before Abraham will, I doubt not, be in glory. Yet they were not of this olive tree, or else the Jewish question never could have been raised. The question of Romans 9, 10 and 11, is the Jewish question, and so in Galatians, and to which the Israel of God evidently alludes. That the saints will be in a certain relation to Israel yet dwelling in the earth, everyone who has received the doctrine of the Lord's pre-millennial advent believes. But the author leaves the reader here to draw some important conclusion from it as to his system: whereas it proves exactly nothing, and is believed as much by those who utterly reject his system, and believed more accurately and more scripturally: that is all. But it is true of all the world as of Israel. Yet here again this does not put Israel in the same place down here with all the world, because all saints will be born again. Nor does this latter truth set aside the special distinctive promises made to Israel, no more than the far more important distinctions which are true about the heavenly church.

When it is said, Israel will not be of the earth any more than the church of the firstborn, it is partly true and partly false. Israel, as Israel, will be of the earth, and Isaiah 65 proves that some will be wholly so, though such will be cut off when manifested. But the spared remnant, and all who really enjoy millennial blessedness, will be born again, and that life which they receive will not be of the earth. It will be the new creature. But it is true of everyone else then and now, and has nothing particularly to do with Israel. But the very passage (if passage were needed) which specially proves it calls this whole state of things earthly, in contrast with heavenly things which belong to the church; and therefore, though they have a life which is not of the earth, their whole condition and state will be then earthly, in contrast with what is heavenly.

Nor is it at all true that the moment when the church receives its actual, Israel will receive its virtual, deliverance. There is no connection in Scripture between the actual placing the church in its heavenly glory, and the quickening of individual Israelites, which is their virtual deliverance; nor is this latter the placing Israel as a nation or a body in the place of their earthly glory as purposed of God. The statements we have already considered as to the Jews - Ezekiel 20 as to Israel, Isaiah 66 - all prove the contrary, as indeed do Ezekiel 36 and 37. It is never said that Israel are to be individually born again at the coming of the Lord to receive the church; nor all individually born again at the same time; nor all restored at the same time, if public manifestation be referred to; but the contrary in the chapters I have cited. That they have their life from Christ, I do not doubt. That the resurrection of Christ secures to them the sure mercies of David, we are expressly taught in Acts 13. But it is never said they are of the one body, nor the bride of Christ in glory. They* are not His body, the fulness of Him that filleth all in all.

{*I speak here of the millennial state.}

222 That all things will be headed up in Him in earth and heaven, all admit, and thus far they will have one centre; but so will all creation; and earthly and heavenly are definitely distinguished in this very passage - we having part in the heavenly.

Besides, this statement is a contradiction to itself. In the beginning of the sentence, Ephesians 1:10 is applied to the millennial state of the Jews. In the end of the passage it is said to be a dispensation which is not then yet come, and in which the millennial arrangements cease. In the beginning the author, speaking of the millennium, says, "they will have one centre (for all things have been headed up in Him)" referring to Ephesians 1:10, and a few lines lower down, "when the dispensation of the fulness of times has come, and the millennial arrangements ceased." It is rather too bad to have two opposite explanations in the same paragraph. It is in vain to say it is in both, because the passage is treated as speaking of a time not come, during the millennium, and in which the millennial arrangements cease.

I do not believe that the passage applies to the post-millennial state, which cannot properly be called a dispensation, for it is eternity; and the heading up all things to be administered by Him in whom we have received an inheritance who have first trusted (or pre-trusted) in Christ (that is before His manifestation in glory), evidently speaks of the special time of Christ's administration as the glorified Man, and our association with Him in that glory. The fulness of times itself is not an expression for eternity. That would not be called "times" or "seasons," and the heading up all things in the man, as administrator, is not God being all in all, and the Son subject, as in 1 Corinthians 15, Revelation 21; and this view of the passage is completely confirmed by verses 22, 23. That Christ will be the centre of all in heaven and earth in the millennium is clear; but this does not hinder the church being in the proper, special, peculiar place of the bride, the body of Christ, the fulness of Him who filleth all in all when He is in glory. Israel moreover has its place as Israel, distinct, and in many respects in contrast. "They are" not "together engaged in the government of the earth."

223 Nor is it ever said that Israel will govern the earth at all. That they are the favoured glorious nation on the earth, where the government of Christ is placed which extends over the earth, is true: but they do not govern nor judge the earth. It is the heavenly saints who do this. They are governed by Christ, who will be "great to the ends of the earth," and "all nations call him blessed." That they will celebrate the ways of God in justice and judgment, I fully believe. But what then? There is nothing at all like the knowledge, the anticipative knowledge, of the mind of Christ, and of His glory, which we find in verses 9-11. When the things are accomplished, they will understand them and celebrate them.

But the peculiar character of the church's place is to know and celebrate them before by faith - not to know the justice and judgment merely which are the habitation of His throne, but His counsels and thoughts. The mind of Christ is more than the works or the ways of God in judgment. It is all His counsels in Christ. Who hath known the mind of the Lord that he may instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ. "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit, for the Spirit searcheth all things, even the deep things of God." Thus it is we have the mind of Christ - as Joseph yet unexalted was the interpreter of the revelations of God. And Christ is the wisdom of God, and the power of God. Power will be displayed hereafter; we have but samples of it now, the display of which confirmed faith. But Christ is made unto us wisdom: and if in infirmity we know only in part, still, as regards the object of knowledge, and the source of knowing, the whole wisdom of God is in Christ, and we have an unction from the Holy One, and know all things - we have the mind of Christ. But it is never said that Israel has the mind of Christ. They will see the displays of His power, recognise and celebrate them. But is that having the mind of Christ as we have it? The Egyptians knew what Joseph knew, when the things came: but had they the mind of Joseph?

224 The Holy Spirit will be poured out on all flesh in the millennium. They will prophesy and see visions; but, though the lump is holy, it is not that separate consecrated first-fruits. The Holy Ghost will enable them to enjoy, but will not in identity with the sufferings of Christ make saints the vessel of the outgoings of His heart in the sorrow of a i groaning world, nor in the joy of its deliverance by power, as the day when their love is answered. They will profit by the answer themselves, but they will not as in the love which has thought of others, though in it itself "according to God." This place they will never have, they can never have. It is reserved for us who have gone before the day of His power, and fore-trusted in Him. Blessed privilege! If sovereign grace has given it us, shall we disown or depreciate it?

"In all essential blessings (we are told) the calling of Israel then so nearly resembles that of the church of the first-born now, that they may truly be said to be its successors. We are the first-fruits, they the lump." The passage is clearly misapplied. They as to calling on earth were the first-fruits, and we the lump. They are not the lump of which we are the first-fruits in heaven; for in the time of glory we are in heaven, and they are on earth. Nor will they even be glorified together with Christ, whatever their eternal blessedness may be. They have not suffered with Him. This may seem a trifling thing to the author. It is not to the Scriptures, nor I believe to the saint's heart who is led in this by the Spirit of God.

We have succeeded Israel on earth: are we in the same condition? Israel will succeed us again. But that says nothing at all as to the consequences of the difference of our position as so succeeding. And when it is said, "If the root on which we are now growing gives holiness to us, they will be graffed in on the same root," etc. It is never said we are graffed in on the same root. It is all a confusion. Nor is it ever said that what they are graffed in gives holiness. If it had been Christ the root giving holiness, could they have been broken off, and then graffed in again? Or how could it have been called "their own olive tree"? The author has confounded the source and root of promises (which indeed gives holiness, makes us partakers of His holiness), and the depositary of them here below, elect and called.

225 That they will partake of life from Christ, all at first, and all called of God afterwards, is not questioned: but that is not the question here. If resemblance is traced, so is contrast. "Because thou hast seen, thou hast believed: blessed are those who have not seen, and yet have believed." And I wot that those whom Jesus calls blessed are blessed. "That we might be to the praise of His glory who first trusted in Christ." "If we suffer with him we shall reign with him." And therefore when it is said, "in whose government they are engaged together," it is quite contrary to Scripture (and see all John 17).

One thing is quite clear from all these statements of the author, and that is, the anxious desire to reduce the heavenly saints to the level of the earthly. A few casual expressions which may suppose something else may be found, but the constant laborious effort is to say that all are alike.

As to the details, I have no reason for opposing the idea that they are called children, but I do not believe it. They do enter into a place very analogous to that of Christ on earth, except His rejection. They are much associated with Him there. So far from analogy I might suppose it. But it would be questionable if this went beyond those that suffered, and were removed from earth: for, "if children then heirs, heirs of God and joint-heirs of Christ." And this during the millennium they certainly are not; because it is to this that is attached the condition "if so be that we suffer with Him, that we may be glorified together." All this I leave to the consideration of the reader. The only passage quoted, or which can be quoted, is one from Hosea, which I do not believe applies to them - for this reason, that where Paul refers to these passages of Hosea, he quotes this and another as to the Jews: when Peter refers to them, he quotes only that other, which has distinct reference to Israel's blessings. This makes me think that the Spirit of God had a covert reference to the Gentiles, and therefore He says "there" when it was said to them. Peter does not quote this when he refers to the prophecy, though he uses chapter 2:23, as does also Paul as to the called of the Jews, as we have said, and as is evident to me, chapter 1:10, of the Gentiles.

226 This passage being disposed of, there is absolutely no other.* The nation is figuratively called God's son - His firstborn; and Ephraim, a dear son, a pleasant child. But this has nothing to do with the matter at all. It has nothing to do with individual sonship and the Spirit of adoption. The passage quoted is used of the house of Israel, not of the individuals who compose it. But this is as distinct as possible to the spiritual mind.

{*Isaiah also says in a figurative way, "bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth."}

As to the quotation of 1 Corinthians 15, I have already spoken of the word "in." That in Christ all will be made alive, and that in the sense of partaking of life they are in Christ, I do not doubt. Still, the use of this passage is untenable, because it speaks of resurrection, and very distinctively indeed of those that are Christ's, at His coming, which the author insists is specifically and exclusively the moment of His arriving at which they are raised. If so, no other resurrection is spoken of in that chapter. Nor is any resurrection to life spoken of but one - the resurrection of life, and then another, the resurrection of judgment. The truth is, the reasoning is a mere blunder. In Christ all will be made alive is a very different thing from saying all made alive are in Christ; nor does one prove the other. Do not let the reader be startled as if I supposed some were alive who were not in Christ. But here is the importance of a remark which as to reasoning is undoubtedly true.* If we take the scriptural use of the term made alive, in 1 Corinthians 15, it applies to resurrection only; and then the fullest distinction possible is drawn between those whom the author seeks to identify. That is, the Holy Ghost applies it to making alive from an actual state of death, wherein there is nothing common to us and them. If it be applied to spiritual life in general, if "in Christ" be used of union, then they are alive already and have not to be made alive if they are in Christ. Applied to the resurrection, it is very simple. But if it be used of spiritual life, there is no doubt they have it from Christ; but if in Him, they have not to be made alive. The argument as an argument is unsound, most certainly illogical and unsound. About that there can be no difference in those who are accustomed to reason.

{*The author's use of it is merely the logical error of converting a universal affirmative into a universal negative: one of which he is not uncommonly guilty.}

227 If then I take the scriptural use of the passage, I find the exactly opposite account from the author's; that is, I find a special and peculiar distinction of classes. It is not true that all will die and be made alive. It is never said that the saints in the millennium will: I do not believe myself that they will. The use of the word alive in 1 Corinthians 15 goes to shew that the apostle is only speaking of resurrection. If it be anything else, it merely amounts to saying that the life of Christ is in all the finally blessed, which nobody denies. The truth is, the words "in Christ" do not imply union, though union may exist. This is evident from the passage itself, because "in Adam" is not union. All who come into resurrection to life, do so through the power of Christ, and by the life of Christ; but all do not come into resurrection to life, because we shall not all die. And it is never said that those here treated of, that is, the millennial saints, will die, nor is their resurrection ever spoken of directly. So that the argument from the passage wholly fails. When the apostle wrote, it was needful to treat this question, because death was not considered as the natural portion of the saints as now: Christ was looked for to come and receive the saints.

It is never said "they are baptised by the same Spirit." That He will be poured out as the latter rain, I do not doubt. But what is stated here is an unscriptural statement. The unity of the body into which we are baptised will not exist during the millennium. The Jews and Gentiles will be distinct as heretofore. I have already spoken of the olive tree, which is Abraham as heir of promises, and then his seed. They could not call Christ their olive tree, and be cut off, and graffed in again, in a real living spiritual sense. "We are married to the Lord-so will they." Does the author mean to say that they will be the bride, the Lamb's wife? If not, why thus, by the vague term Lord, seek to destroy and efface the special blessing of the church? We are never said to be married to the Lord, that is, to Jehovah. It is Christ, the Lamb, who is the bridegroom of the church. We are members of His body, of His flesh, and of His bones. Is not this a different thing from saying, "Thy maker is thy husband; the Lord of hosts is his name"? Because the Spirit of God has taken the images of the Old Testament to represent the far superior blessings of the heavenly family and bride, to shew that they had come into the place of blessing, perfectly bringing out the difference, the author would reduce all the plainly taught blessings and glories of the church to an equality with the figures from which illustrations are drawn. Though indeed as to the marriage, it is from Adam more than from Jewish images.

228 The differences are merely "circumstantial and official" - that is all by which the Holy Ghost acts in our hearts. All the joy, the privilege, that which Christ has pronounced blessed, suffering with Him, reigning with Him, His willing that we should be where He is, the blessedness and holiness of those who have part in the first resurrection - all, all by which Christ has spiritually touched the springs of hope in the soul, is withered in this system to circumstantial and official differences - unessential - the author does not say none. The best answer is: - The whole New Testament from the gift of the Holy Ghost (even much of it before) is occupied about them, to act on our hearts by them, save about three passages where the eternal state is mentioned, namely, a passage in 1 Corinthians 15, "God shall be all in all"; 2 Peter 3; Revelation 21:1-8 That the millennial saints will have to look for a new heaven, and a new earth, is true; and evidently it is to the exclusion of our proper hopes by this that the author's statements tend. It yet remains to be proved, that there will be no difference then. There are very strong passages to shew there will: but into this I do not enter. But even when the author says "So will they," on what does he found this in Scripture? It seems to me an evil thing, when God has not been pleased to unfold to us the state of soul of the saints then (and He has not) to use our apprehensions of them, even supposing they are just, as a peremptory argument to establish a system whose object is to reduce our feelings and blessings to the level of theirs, and so destroy the influence of the special hopes God has given us.

As to the man-child, supposing there is an allusion to the manner of bringing a people into heavenly glory, and another people into earthly glory, how does this prove that the difference is merely circumstantial? I should rather say the resemblance was circumstantial. Nobody denies that figures of the Old are used in the New, though greatly changed. It is the use of this to destroy the difference in the counsels of God which is so objectionable. Corresponding in figurative circumstances is not denied to a certain extent, though only a shadow, and not the very image. But is that only a circumstantial difference? Aaron's family had an everlasting priesthood; they went into the holy place, not without blood; they had a priesthood of Urim and Thummim; but suppose I were to conclude from all this, that the difference between Christ's priesthood and this was merely circumstantial and official? This is what the author is doing. Because the circumstances are figuratively the same, "the language, types, and symbols," he concludes that there is a circumstantial difference and an essential identity. Would not any reasonable person conclude that there was a circumstantial assimilation, and a real difference, essential as to the state of things, though life might be in all? And the truth is, that in the strict use of the word essential, the differences are essential. An essential quality is that without which a thing would not be what it is; and heaven cannot be heaven if it is earth, nor earth earth if it be heaven. As to Israel's heavenly and glorified priesthood, we have already seen on what it rests. And why Israel's? Are the Gentiles to have none in that day?

229 As to the note on the Greek, hosios, the word is used for favour, benignity, gracious goodwill. It is this word is used in the expressions, "His mercy endureth for ever"; "forsake their own mercy"; "I will sing of the mercies of the Lord for ever," Psalm 89. It is interesting here, because it is the same word used in the singular in verse 19: "Thou spakest in vision to [query if it should not be 'of' or 'about,' as in the title of Psalm 72] thy holy one," where the word is different from verse 18, the Holy One. The same word is used in the sure mercies of David; Isaiah 55:3. The reading is more doubtful. I am disposed to think the received reading right, that is hosios. The God of mercy or favour, as in Jonah 2:9, and Psalm 144:2: compare Psalm 62:12, for the spirit of the passage we are speaking of. The whole tenor of their song savours very much of the Old Testament, for the Lamb's wrath is of the same character. The reader may with a concordance search out the passages where mercy and truth are used together in the Psalms. Mercy is always the same word. But as to the reading, these references confirm the conviction that it is hosios. Still there is not quite the certainty which the author presents in the note. The very great majority of MSS read hagios, and one of the three ancient. I suppose the other two read hosios, though they are not actually cited in the books I can refer to. C contains this passage; Griesbach gives it as a questionable reading, but the evidence not such as to induce him to change the text. I would add that in Psalm 43 an "ungodly nation" is a nation "not chased"; not having this character of grace.

230 "Clothed in fine linen." All that is said about this, Greek and Hebrew, is mere confusion. Properly speaking, the Hebrew word 'bad' (which means originally separated in parts, or to be alone) signifies thread, and then linen. This, being white, may often be used for purity. The Hebrew shesh means properly white, and thus is used for linen sometimes, if it be not rather cotton.* It is used for white marble, Canticles 5:15; Esther 1:6. And in Exodus 39:28 we have linen breeches of fine twined linen, that is, breeches of bad or shesh, thus wholly subverting the alleged distinction as in the intention of Scripture. This was for Aaron and for his sons. For which dispensation here bad was of shesh. If we refer to Ezekiel 27:7-16, we shall find that "buz" (from which probably Bussinos*) came from Syria, and shesh from Egypt The shesh was used for sails, and buz for what was costly. Shesh being from Egypt makes plain its use in the tabernacle, where, observe, it was used for the outward court as much as for Aaron's robes, as his and his sons' robes were made of bad as of shesh, yea, of bad of shesh. I apprehend that it is more likely Bussinos comes from buz, and not from shesh. In Leviticus 6:10 (Heb. 3) we have the breeches of bad, chapter 16:4, and so Exodus 28:42, the same word is used, we know that they were made of shesh. Further, in Ezekiel 9, Daniel 10, we have it used for an angelic manifestation as man. So here the angels are clothed with linen. And how is it applied in Ezekiel and Daniel to this dispensation?

{*It appears that by recent microscopic examinations it has been ascertained (at least what has been found in Egypt) to be linen.}

As to Bussos,* it is vain to say "it belongs to the next dispensation when seen," etc. For it is used in two passages as far as I can discover in the New Testament: Revelation 19:8, 14, and chap. 18:12, 16. Bussos is used in Luke 16:19. In Revelation 19:8 and 14 it is used for the armies that followed Christ. But then its use is to be proved for this; and there is no other passage to prove it by, unless passages where it cannot have this signification, as Revelation 18, where it is used of Babylon, where, it is hardly, I suppose, used for beauty and excellency of character (in Hebrew, shesh); and in Luke 16:19, an analogous word is used for the clothing of the rich man who went to hell.

{*Bussinos (and Bussos, Greek), are used for "fine linen" in Luke 16:19; Rev. 18:12, 16; 19:8, 14.

231 Further, Bussinos is used for the Hebrew buz in 1 Chronicles 15:27; byssus for bad (said to mean linon) in the same verse fine linen; and for shesh in Genesis 41:42. Though in the Pentateuch it is used for shesh. The result of the examination, therefore, sustains in no way the statements of the author.

The conclusion from chapter 16:7 is curious. The scripture says, taking the reading proposed as the right one, the altar said; and then it is assumed that it was the souls spoken of before, and that shews that they were still in their disembodied state! Well, I should think it was the altar if Scripture says so, and not the souls. If it implies anything, it implies that they were gone. But it implies nothing about them, that I see. The altar, which had witnessed all the blood of these sacrifices for Christ, bore witness of the justice of the judgment that fell on their persecutors. Conclusions thus drawn are indeed easy to arrive at.

The note on the throne of the beast is almost equally without force. The king of Babylon says that he will set his throne above the stars of God, and that he will sit, at Jerusalem: but why that makes Jerusalem the throne of the beast, it would be hard to tell.

As to the note on the kings of the East, it will come under Babylon; only I remark that what is given as "I think," in the note is stated with certainty in the text (page 227). I will only say in passing that Isaiah 13 being the day of the Lord, the saints must be gathered before. But the author is mistaken, I have no doubt, in his division of Isaiah 13, and in his use of "day of the Lord": but this I reserve for the discussion of Babylon.

As to the note on Armageddon (see Judges 5:19), I have touched on it already. They are gathered to the battle, and they are gathered to Armageddon, which is a symbolic name. There is no such place mentioned in Scripture. I apprehend it is so of Jehoshaphat. I also dissent from the interpretation of Daniel 11. However I once thought myself that the passage did relate to Antichrist, but I believe it to be the king of the North who is spoken of.

232 The use of the Greek translated "the habitable earth" for the Roman world, we have seen is entirely unproved. I see no reason at all to think it is. It is very much oftener used in another sense; but all these uncertain points are necessary to the author's system, because this is his counter gathering against the Eastern kings. If they fall, his system falls: but they are wholly unproved.