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  6.


This chapter is of the last importance. I should have hoped that the mere reading of it would have sufficed for every saint to have rejected it at once. But in this dark and gloomy day we begin to feel the effect of that word, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" This chapter just acts upon the unbelief it finds in the heart, and lowers the church from all its proper glory and heavenly place.

Our mother (page 138) "is yet to be paramount in the earth, and to reign beautiful in holiness, supreme over all nations. 'I saw a woman clothed with the sun,' etc. Such is the vision of her coming glory in the earth." "This is our parent - the system to which we belong, and to which … we give the homage of our hearts." In proportion as we "consider the period when Christianity shall, in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem, be supreme in the earth." Thus, that which has the homage of our hearts is not only to be supreme in the earth (itself a strange expression for the heavenly Jerusalem, ambiguously stated as a "divinely ordered system of truth and power," so that actual heavenly place and glory are kept out of view), but it is in Mount Zion and in Jerusalem that it is to be supreme. Its place of manifestation and supremacy is quite clear; it is the earth. There may be the presence of the glory of Christ, and the unearthly glory of the risen saints; but it is in and on earth that it is all to be. And this earthly system has the homage of our hearts! I must say no system has the homage of my heart, but Christ. But my mother is "Jerusalem above," and nothing on Mount Zion and in Jerusalem. And in page 140, how are they the children of a parent so glorious? It is the woman, the mother herself, that is the object of Satan's rage. In a very general and unapplied sense I might reckon all as the woman's seed, save the millennial saints who are born in a time of power. But any application at once takes it away from all this; and if taken in this sense as Christianity, Christ can in no sense be said to be born of it. As the expression of an idea, it may be applied to all; applied prophetically, it cannot be Christianity and Christ born of it. The object is to make one system from Abel to the end of time; and this one system, what is now called Christianity - a mere casual name at a given time: - a doctrine which makes the various display of God's glory indifferent; all that could act on the affections spiritually, indifferent (the bare fact of life being in man making all equal).

153 The statements of page 141 are such as we have constantly to notice, unproved, or based on previous statements assumed to be true without proof. There is a connection between Zion and the woman. Well, what is it? Zion brings forth a child* without travail in Isaiah. The only idea there being the speed of its birth without sorrow; for all the rest that is said is imagined. In the Revelation a woman brings forth a child with travail - it is said, to be glorified in heaven; but this is all imagined too. And that is the connection. The woman being never called Zion, this is introduced by saying the woman's glory will by and by be identified with it, of which no proof at all has been advanced as yet. The woman in the Revelation is never called Zion, and all proof of reference is the fact of birth in each case. Were the woman Zion on earth, we might see some contrast.

{*There seems to me much more connection with Micah 5; but this is too extensive a point to discuss here.}

I admit in no wise "an unseen Israel." The only possible text to be quoted is "the Israel of God," in the Galatians, which I do not believe is applied as a title to the church at all. What is stated of it is all confusion. The reference in Matthew 2 15, was to the old Israel, whose promises Christ took up; but that was not the church. If the Israel, the new Israel, commenced with Him,* then the Israel of God are not all the saints from the beginning, nor any previous to Him; and thus the idea sought to be established of the Israel of God fails.** And what is the meaning of "the heavenly courts of Israel's temple"? Is Israel used as a symbol, or what, here? If it has any literal meaning, then "heavenly courts" is nonsense; if not, then Israel means nothing. "Heavenly courts of Israel's temple" cannot have much force in it. Further, in the sense of the church, it did not begin even secretly with Christ alive. He would have abode alone, had He not died. A living Christ is a Jewish Christ. Lifted up from the earth He would draw all men. The middle wall of partition remained, by the authority of God Himself, till His death.

{*But nothing at all could commence with Him down here in the flesh, because all Israel, as well as the Gentiles, were unredeemed sinners. It is denying unwittingly the necessity of redemption. Giving of life did not suffice. He must come by blood as well as by water; and this was what always straitened the heart of Jesus. He had this baptism to be baptised with. This was not a dispensational question, but a question of the necessity of redemption for all, in order to the enjoyment of the promises thereby. In the wisdom of God it could be, and was, dispensationally extended to the Gentiles; but it was essentially true that blood must be shed for all. As a Gentile, I could withal have no part till this middle wall of partition was broken down - no part in the promises: and if men are pleased to call it the Israel of God, it is quite certain that Christ could not begin it as regards Gentiles on earth - a Gentile could not be of it. But, as regards Israel also, the sure mercies of David are based on the resurrection of Christ. But "that he raised him from the dead, now no more to see corruption, he said on this wise, I will give you the sure mercies of David." So that, though He might be individually worthy, and have the power of resurrection and life in Himself, He could not commence anything while on earth. It would be life and blessing, without redemption, without blood. And such is not God's way - we may boldly say, could not be; for it is but asserting man's universal sin and unfitness.}

{**And the reader should take notice that this - in which the author entirely contradicts himself, making the Israel of God begin with Christ incarnate (not risen), and, in the same page, a system for which we and all saints have from the beginning suffered - is the main leading point of his whole system.}

154 But here the author returns to his main theme. "We need not marvel if Christianity be here presented as if bearing the name of Zion." But it is not presented as bearing the name of Zion. Nor has the slightest proof been given that the woman is Christianity. Then it is the holy and blessed system for which we and all saints from the beginning have suffered, which we now name Christianity. Here again everything peculiar to the church, the body of Christ in this dispensation, is set aside. A system going on all through got the name of Christianity, but that is all; and when this system "shall at last arise into its destined supremacy in the earth, it shall be identical with Zion," "arising in the moral grace and dignity of its high calling in the earth." Is that your hope, Christian? And really here it is too bold, because "high calling" in Scripture, as everyone knows who can read Greek, means calling above from earth;* and therefore high calling in the earth is a most thorough perversion, nullifying our calling above in the use of the very passage which directly asserts it, and making an assertion which neutralises its known force to the unconscious reader.

{*"The calling up on high," Phil. 3:14.}

155 Nor can there be any mistake here. We are told "Christianity can never have its rightful pre-eminence, till the hour comes for the mountain of the Lord's house to be established," etc. "Mountains and hills are the emblems of authoritative power." "The mountain to which we by faith are already come" will be associated with the church of the Firstborn in heavenly glory, so that the identification between ourselves and Zion will need no proof. We speak of Zion as our mountain. We belong to it as part, although the heavenly part, of the Israel of God.

The only answer is, We do not; because the apostle says, Jerusalem which is above is our mother.* The rightful pre-eminence of Christianity is not in the earth, nor at Zion. There it will be Christ and the Jews in the earthly kingdom. The saints will judge the world: but it is not to earthly Zion they belong, if the apostle has taught us aright. And what becomes here of the heavenly calling? The whole statement from beginning to end is an elaborate denial of it. A high calling in the earth, and identification with earthly Zion, is certainly not a heavenly calling. I do not even admit that they are the same principles which rule now, and then: because now it is grace, then judgment in the earth.

{*That we reckon Mount Zion, in contrast with Mount Sinai, the place of Christ's royal supremacy in the earth Son of David, when all things shall be gathered together in one in Him, and that this may be the nearest point of connection between heaven and earth, is quite true. But to use this in order to bring the church down there as its place of abode, and to take away its calling above, and make it a high calling on earth - to make that the rightful pre-eminence of Christianity, and the system connected with it our mother - is to destroy entirely the whole proper calling of the church, by bringing it down to earth while seeming to admit its heavenly glory, because the heavenly glory is placed there.}

"Zion, morally," we are told, "is not deserted - the blessed system of truth, etc., hereafter to be established upon Mount Zion, is not deserted." This "etc." is very convenient. The word added elsewhere is "power" (page 142). But is there nothing peculiar, then, in the system for which we suffer? Does "truth and power" or "truth, etc." characterise sufficiently the church of God? How do we suffer for power? or are grace and power the same thing? For "grace and truth came by Jesus Christ." Why is grace so studiously left out all through this? Is not the suffering in grace now, as Jesus did (with which the millennial saints will never have a part) the very condition which is identified with our proper heavenly glory? Is it the way that God acts on the faith of the saints, to leave this all out? or, in a word, is not the whole proper 4 system of the gospel entirely excluded in all this?

156 Then we are told "that Christianity will at that period be found in Jerusalem, is evident from Matthew 24, and various other passages." Would it not be well, on such an important point, to have cited or given a reference to one or two of these various other passages? But this we have not. As to Matthew 24, we know how it has been called in question, and I can hardly be expected to discuss it here. It is possible Christianity may be found there in such a profession of Christ as it made by the two witnesses, which suits the kingdom (that is, as the . author states, judgment, and not grace; for such is the testimony of the witnesses). But Matthew 24 does not speak at all of the church of God as such. That the church may have used it, and use it still, I fully believe. Just as Peter, in ministering Christ to the Jews as a nation, and with no reference to the church, might suffer, and possess his soul in patience, he being doubtless in and of the church, yet his ministry not apply to the church, but to the nation; because Christ died for it, and therefore the Holy Ghost must testify to it. So of Matthew 24. The church may have used it, and may use it; but its subject is not the church, but what concerns the temple, the Jewish nation, the age, Jerusalem, and the dealing of the i Lord in judgment on them, to bring in the close of the age.

So, if a testimony such as that of the witnesses be in Jerusalem before the last three years and a half, which is not the church position, I heed not whether men call it Christianity or not (though it will not be what is now called Christianity, and yet it will own Jesus to have been the Christ), they might well use the directions given also. The author considers them to preach that the Son of God had been rejected (and therefore it is to be supposed that they will own His words and instructions); and yet he holds that Christianity will be withdrawn. I think it inconsistent to place this under the beast's reign, into whose hand they say the saints are given. But whenever it is, those who own Christ rejected may well use His words; yet Christianity and the present church standing are confessedly gone.

157 Having said thus much on this point, I return to the proper subject of the chapter, namely, the reducing the heavenly calling of the church to the level of the earthly Zion. We have the most distinct enunciation of it in page 145: "There is an appointed hour of Satan's power; and, until that hour is past, the place of the children of Zion will not be sustained here. He owns them indeed as worthy of the same name of excellency which will by and by be given to those who shall be born of Zion, when she shall bring forth before she travaileth," etc.

Here there is no mistake. It is an honour to the saints of the church of God to get the same name of excellency as those who bear the future earthly glory. Their place is not sustained here. That is reserved for those by and by born without travail (that is, in Zion); but still they are counted worthy of the same name of excellency. Is not Zion said to be our place here? And, instead of some better thing being reserved for us, and our suffering here, because we are not of the world as Christ was not, being the road to that better and heavenly and eternal weight of glory in the heavenly Jerusalem which is our mother, we are allowed to hope (though we have not the earthly Jerusalem sustained) to have as good a name, nay, to bear it as if that honour of sustained Zion belonged to us. Is this the church's place? That, as regards their sojourn on earth, and the kingdom, they may for a season have mysteriously taken Zion's place, and be counted for Jerusalem's children, is very possible, and I believe it: but to make it a high calling to be there, and our special privilege to get as high in excellency of name as those that belong to it on earth hereafter, is nothing more nor less than to deny the heavenly calling entirely. It is in vain to add it is a better glory than the mere glory of earth; because this is only to say they are better than Babylon. They will be taken to have the glory of God. But what is this? Ruling all nations with a rod of iron. Be it so. We know from the promise to Thyatira, that the church will have this glory. But, though the church participates in all the display of Christ's glory - even that in which He shall, according to the decree, sit on Mount Zion, as King, ruling all nations with a rod of iron, is this our portion, our city, our excellent name, rightful pre-eminence, our parent who has the homage of our hearts?

158 Again, we find, "Nothing can more distinctly shew how all the features which marked the morning of our dispensation in Jerusalem continue unchanged on to its dark closing hour. This generation shall not pass away, until all be fulfilled." What is the meaning of this passage introduced here? "We find Christianity still bringing forth with sorrow in Jerusalem, still watched against by the same great enemy, and her children not allowed to grow up, and prosper in the earth."

Now is the character of the church, judged of according to the heavenly calling as preached by Paul, bringing forth in Jerusalem? Earthly Jerusalem? Did this continue unchanged? or was it all broken up and dispersed, and another ministry called out for the Gentiles, or not? It is in vain for opponents to say, Paul preached the same gospel. As regards the doctrines of salvation and eternal life, no one ever raised a question on it unless themselves. But is bringing forth in Jerusalem the characteristic of the heavenly calling of the church? "All the features which marked the morning of our dispensation in Jerusalem continue unchanged." It is quite clear that the special ministry of Paul is entirely set aside.

Either the author must admit that the Pentecostal church was Jewish, or he must admit that Jerusalem had nothing to say to it, nor any other mountain; and that bringing forth in sorrow in Jerusalem was not a feature which characterised it - the only feature which is mentioned here. Further, he holds that our dispensation continues on till Christ rise up to judgment for the destruction of Antichrist. But then, during the dark closing hour of the three years and a half, Christianity does not bring forth in Jerusalem at all. It is withdrawn. So that even so, his statement is all contradictory. And what generation is not to pass away? The Jewish unbelieving generation? But what then? No one thinks it will. Still, testimony is to be withdrawn from them - nay, as such (as Peter preached to them in Acts 3) withdrawn from them long ago. At the end a "new testimony" is raised up to them, though the church be yet upon earth. So that the relationship of the church with that generation (which must be what is meant here by the morning of our dispensation continuing unchanged, and this generation not passing away, if it has any meaning at all) is quite changed and ceases altogether, before all is fulfilled. The features that marked the morning of our dispensation are entirely changed, according to the author himself, before all is fulfilled.

159 The truth is, the associations of Christianity with Israel or the Jews - founded (if I may venture so to speak) on the obligation the Holy Ghost was under in virtue of the promises of God and the intercession of Christ - ceased within the period of Scripture history. Wrath was come upon them "to the uttermost"; it was no longer discipline, that is, in hope they might bend their neck. It could no longer be said, "It was needful that the gospel should be first preached to you, and seeing ye count yourselves unworthy of eternal life, lo, we turn to the Gentiles." The "to the Jew first" has ceased: no one now applies it, and very justly. They do not deny it; but it has had its accomplishment. And Acts 28 closed this solemn and wonderful history of the patience of God with His poor stiff-necked people, beloved, yet disobedient, so that wrath should come upon them to the uttermost; and the "Lo, we turn to the Gentiles" has its large and full accomplishment.

The patience of God was perfect, but the features of the dispensation are entirely, yea, I may add, confessedly changed, and in that particular part of it (which is here in question) had its accomplishment. That the Jews will be in the first line again as regards the church, I do not believe. It would be reversing the judgment and ways of God pronounced upon them. We know neither Jew nor Greek, but grace towards all. But in the latter day testimony it will be so. There will be bringing forth (at any rate testimony) in Jerusalem, with reference to the setting up of Christ's power there - to the kingdom - to His sovereignty in power over the world; and here the Jews and a "certain standing in Jerusalem" will be in prominency. We believe it: but a certain standing in Jerusalem was not certainly Paul's testimony. Hence I do not believe that this is properly a church testimony, nor as such a church standing, for this is not a certain standing in Jerusalem. Whether it be called Christianity, I do not insist on; because (at any rate for the first three years and a half) Christ will be owned by the witnesses to it, and yet it will not be Christianity such as we speak of now.

"The man-child, born in Jerusalem," is not the church calling, as taught in Paul's epistles, though they may be mystically reckoned her sons. But further, judgment* begins to be executed because of Satan's dealings (not the beast's) against this testimony (which thus precedes the end by three years and a half), which is a new sort of testimony to the earthly kingdom and glory in Jerusalem,** "testifies to the near coming of the kingdom of God" in that place. This is not the case now. It is the time of grace, and the day of salvation - the time in which the accuser of the brethren is not cast down. So that we have the whole scene and manner of God's actings changed, in consequence of a new testimony and Satan's actings in respect of that testimony, at least three years and a half before the end.

{*Page 147 "Thoughts, etc."}

{**I do not say the witnesses (though I am disposed to believe it is), because the author puts them in the last three years and a half, and I am here reasoning on what he admits.}

160 The statement seems to me to vary from the chapter; but I take it as it stands. I say "vary from the chapter," because the author speaks of "Satan's bringing the power of the ten kingdoms against the man-child, born in Jerusalem"; whereas he is only watching by the woman to devour it, and it is taken out of the way, and he then persecutes the woman. He is not allowed to do anything with the child, or bring any power against it. He is against the woman, though in vain.

But note further: the woman "denotes Christianity." The male child representing Christians as heirs of a certain standing in Jerusalem, and the remnant of the woman's seed, may be Christians any where or in any circumstances. "The man-child is evidently an emblem denoting peculiar position," "and that in Jerusalem." So that we have here a peculiar position differing from "Christians anywhere or in any circumstances," and that a position in Jerusalem, "a standing lost" or "not occupied on earth," but "occupied in altered and more glorious circumstances in heaven" - founded on a special testimony at that day, a testimony in Jerusalem, and acting principally at any rate on Israel; and to this Matthew specially refers (I add from that chapter that the gospel of the kingdom will go out to all nations before the end come); but it is different from "Christians anywhere or in any circumstances." So that it is not here (very clearly) the common church position taught by Paul. For it is quite certain that this did not testify to the man-child in this peculiar position born in Jerusalem.

161 Further, we have (considering the known arguments, and the arguments of this same page on the point) this singular statement, that, "If we were to apply this passage to past circumstances, we might say that when the Pentecostal church was scattered, the man-child (although then allowed a little to increase in stature) was taken from the earth, but the remnant of the woman's seed continued - scattered and persecuted." It has been said, 'Truth is mighty and win prevail.' The Pentecostal church then was in a peculiar position, and that in Jerusalem. Its standing was lost, or at least not allowed to be occupied on the earth, they being heirs of a certain standing in Jerusalem. Well, what else has been alleged as to them but this? But then, if this position was not allowed to be occupied on earth, and this man-child of the morning of our dispensation in Jerusalem was allowed indeed to increase in stature, but then taken from the earth - how, even as to this very point, for so it is, do all the features which marked the morning of our dispensation in Jerusalem continue unchanged on to its dark closing hour? What it began with was all put a stop to - was "not allowed to grow up," or at least only "a little to increase." It is resumed (this peculiar position in Jerusalem) at the end, but surely not continued unchanged. We find it not "still," but "again."

I do not believe that God will again by the church set aside the condition and heavenly calling out of Jerusalem, into which it thus passed when the peculiar position and standing in Jerusalem ceased, in order by it to set up this standing again. But there will be before the last three years and a half such a peculiar position and standing taken in Jerusalem, in title and testimony different from the present standing and testimony of the church, of which in certain respects (while admitted to be itself the church) the Pentecostal church was an example. I believe that in the Pentecostal church (though God had begun and fully recognised the church in it) God still lingered in mercy over the associations with Jerusalem, and that founded on the prayer of Jesus on the cross. He was willing to consider they did it through ignorance, as Peter testifies, Acts 3. Hence the associations were not at once broken. But they rejected this mercy, and the church passed distinctly into its own proper heavenly place as the body of Christ, of which the ministry of Paul is the great expression - I might add, the only direct revelation, as it is its grand topic. He calls himself minister of the church to fulfil (or fill up, complete) the word of God. I do not believe that we, as the church, having and knowing this standing, are to go back to the peculiar position and standing in Jerusalem, though God may have lingered over it. But I believe that when the time comes (known to Him), God will raise up a testimony in the midst of His ancient people, referring to this standing in Jerusalem.

162 But the question is, Is the church to give up its standing, and to take this peculiar position connected with the earthly Jerusalem, or hold that which it has had as born of Jerusalem which is above, since, by the scattering of the Pentecostal church, the position of the man-child ceased to be occupied on the earth? It is a serious question. I trust the saints may understand now what the difference about the heavenly calling is. Can they in faithfulness surrender that which places them properly and exclusively as their city in Jerusalem above, and descend to Jerusalem on earth, as belonging to it, and having a peculiar position and standing in it, as born there, as millennial saints will be?

I confess I find the language on page 147 painful. To talk of God holding power, in virtue of the sacrifice of Christ, to be the friend of the accused, is speaking as Scripture never speaks. That He could not receive the guilty consistently with His justice otherwise, every Christian fully and gladly owns: but to talk of God's holding power in virtue of anything - and I would say specially of Christ's sacrifice, as if it were not the fruit of His own common counsel alone - is offensive, I judge, to the spiritual mind and ear. The author does not talk of consistency with justice, for he goes on to say, "He hath not yet put forth in acts of vengeance, not even against Satan himself." How does this question of justice apply here? Is power to cast out the accuser in virtue of Christ's sacrifice? That sacrifice is the answer to his accusations while he is there. All this is in order to confine it to the idea of the accuser (when accusations would doubtless, though often false, have truth enough to condemn us justly), in order that it may not appear that Satan was cast out of heaven entirely as to his authority of prince of the power of the air. But the dragon, that old serpent, which is the devil and Satan (i.e., accuser and adversary), was cast out of heaven by power and his angels with him. If he were setting aside accusation, then indeed it would be in virtue of Christ's sacrifice. But it is power; and holding power is not in virtue of Christ's sacrifice. And it is expressly said, that as serpent, dragon, devil and adversary, he and all his angels are cast out to the earth by power - angelic power. Of course, thereby the accuser was gone, and the joy of those concerned in it is declared. Nor is it said "Christ's brethren," as the author states. I do not say they are or are not; but I say he has felt it necessary to change what the chapter states. But all this is the effect of having a system. How is it that righteousness and justice permit Satan and his angels to be in heaven? and what change is there in righteousness and justice, the church being yet upon earth, as the author holds, which causes him to be cast down? What is meant by the souls of the righteous being cognisant of circumstances in heaven? Of the departed righteous, or the living? And what is there in chapter 7 about it? Chapter 7 contains the hundred and forty-four thousand sealed, and the great multitude come out of the great tribulation.

163 And now I would ask the reader to examine pages 144-146, and say whether he can say here in page 143 what are the Christians and Christianity persecuted when Satan was cast down. The Christians are the man-child; but where is the persecution of the man-child, in the chapter, after Satan was cast down? Yet in pages 145, 146, it is this. But the man-child was not there at all. We have already seen that no proof at all is given that the woman is Christianity. But we may note here, that if it be, it is allowed no home in the Roman earth. It is driven to the distant desert, in the bosom of uncivilised darkness. Yet, first, it was the earth helped the woman and swallowed up the flood the dragon cast out of his mouth. Further, it must be remembered that according to the system of the author, there is Russia, which is Christendom, the United States, and Sweden, and the far greater part of Germany, Prussia, and Poland (not to speak of Scotland and Ireland), which form no part of this civilised Roman earth. So that this uncivilised darkness is rather poetry than fact. But there is another difficulty. We have been referred to Matthew 24. But then the direction is, "Then let them which be in Judea flee to the mountains." How is this a chasing out of the civilised Roman earth? It is just flight to the mountains, because of what is set up in Jerusalem bringing the days of tribulation and vengeance.

164 Finally, let us remember here, that the Pentecostal church had a peculiar position analogous to that of the man-child, which "is a symbol which would not," says the author (page 153), "I think, be used of any Christians out of Jerusalem; nor of them except in peculiar circumstances, both as to unity, power of testimony, and bearing on their nation. It is only in Jerusalem that the child of Zion can obtain its proper standing of strength."* Let us remember "that when the Pentecostal church was scattered, the man-child was taken from the earth"; and, further, that this man-child is to have, according to the author, this place in Jerusalem again (though Scripture says nothing of this), and that it cannot be used of any other Christians; and we shall see how far the attacks on the statement of the Pentecostal church having a Jewish character, are reasonable. But, what is much more important, we shall also see that, this Pentecostal church being scattered, and something to arise again which cannot be used of any Christians, out of Jerusalem, there is clearly a standing and place proper to us in the interval distinct from this, which knows nothing of Jerusalem nor of Jews - a heavenly standing which leaves aside all those questions altogether, has a heavenly Jerusalem for its mother, does not even know Christ after the flesh; and that question is, Are we to give up this, our proper heavenly place, which God has given us, as testified and opened out to us by the apostle Paul, for that which cannot be used of Christians out of Jerusalem and bears necessarily on the nation of Israel? For my own part, through God's grace, I surely will not. But this is the question.

{*I ask, in passing, Can that be said of the church of God, as Paul speaks of it?}

This is what it is sought to lead us to.*

{*I think it quite impossible for any one, seriously reading in the Lord's presence, Revelation 12, not to see that the casting out of the dragon, the old serpent, from heaven, and the celebration of the victory, as a past thing, of the brethren, not only by blood, but by testimony, so that heaven and its inhabitants were to rejoice, and the dragon thereon begins to persecute the woman, implies an entire change in the condition of the saints, and testimony of God.}

As to the notes. "A woman." This statement is quite unfounded in the general way in which it is given. Cities are called women in and out of Scripture - Jerusalem, Tyre, Babylon, and so on: and when a system is attached to a city, the name may pass to the system. But that does not prove that, when Scripture says a woman, it means the moral system of a city: though cities may be sometimes called women, women do not therefore mean cities. Thus Hagar and Sarah are the two covenants; Rebecca, I doubt not, the church: and so of others. Woman as a type means a principle on which a system is formed; as man is the actor, faithful or not, in that system.

165 But be it so, that the woman is to "be regarded as the expression of the glory of that system which is by and by to be the earth's system, through and in Jerusalem." Is the glory of the earth's system in Jerusalem the church's, or, if you please, Christianity's place? - Christianity's as it belongs to me? Here is the grand question. Heavenly glory, in a word, the distinctive heavenly calling, is taken away. That is not to be at all the earth's system in Jerusalem. Is Jerusalem to be in heavenly glory? Look at it, prosper under it, it may; but it is not to be in it. And see how it is all swamped in one. "To say that it represented the glory of the church of the firstborn merely, would be too limited. To confine it to the glory of Israel on the earth, would be too narrow likewise. It represents the glory of a system of truth, government, order, etc., wherewith the church and Israel are alike connected, although the earthly medium of its manifestation will be Israel in Jerusalem." Let us only remember that the woman is Christianity too.

But here it is not heavenly glory, being like Christ. It is a system of truth, government, order, the church and Israel alike in it; and the earthly medium of its manifestation is Israel in Jerusalem. I suppose the world will not know in Christ's glory given to the saints that the Father sent the Son. But if it is through and in Jerusalem, and Israel in Jerusalem, that the glory of the system which "we now call Christianity" is to be manifested, with which the church and Israel are alike connected; what becomes of the church and its distinctive position? Are saints really prepared to receive this, to give up absolutely and entirely the proper manifestation of heavenly glory in the church?

But, further, to confirm this we have the sun and stars compared. The star is distant and unearthly glory: the sun is what is prepared for earth. But then, first, it cannot be the church and Israel at the same time in the same and like glory.

166 But "consequently, when Christ first appears in the fulness of divine glory, in the glory of the Father, His own glory, and the glory of the holy angels, He is symbolised by a star. I am the bright and morning star." "It is to flesh and blood terrible glory, and in it He will exercise the destructive judgments whereby the day of the Lord will be ushered in." How unceasing and assiduous the effort to exclude the church from any proper separate and bridal joy! It is fit to make one weep, and wish one's eyes fountains of tears, to see the unweariedness of the effort to destroy all this.

So the day star arising in our hearts* means the executing terrible judgments on the adversary. "I am the bright and morning star" (harbinger, I should have thought, of joy, and light, and blessing, after a dark and gloomy night) are destructive judgments. But where is it said (to come to its proof) that the star is Christ appearing in the fulness of divine glory? Or where is it said Christ appears as a star? Or is it not strange that a star should be the fulness of divine glory, and the sun a sort of inferior earthly glory to eclipse by the coming in of day that fulness of the divine glory? And how, if it be a distant and unearthly glory, the glory of the Father, and His own, etc., is it shewn in the exercise of destructive judgments upon earth? I suppose it is not distant or unearthly when He shall stain all His garments in blood. And is our distant and unearthly glory to be destructive judgments, and His glory in Israel to be gracious and benign? Where is this system leading us?

{*I reject utterly the attempt to change the translation here.}

When Israel washes his feet in the blood of his enemies, and the tongue of his dogs is red through the same - when the praises of God are in his lips, and a two-edged sword in his hands - when He makes Judah His goodly horse in the day of battle, out of whom come the battle-axe and every weapon of war - when He has bent Judah for Him, and filled the bow with Ephraim - when they shall grow up as calves in the stall, and tread down the wicked under the soles of their feet - when his horn shall be iron, and his hoof brass, and Zion shall break in pieces many people; what glory do they share in then? Is that distant and unearthly, or the gracious and benign display of glory? Did the writer take the trouble of reading only the passage he has quoted? If not, I will cite it for him, and for those who may follow such statements without giving themselves the trouble of doing so: "But unto you that fear my name shall the Sun of righteousness arise with healing in his wings; and ye shall go forth and grow up as calves of the stall; and ye shall tread down the wicked, for they shall be ashes under the soles of your feet in the day that I shall do (this), saith the Lord of hosts." And this is the passage quoted to prove that benign and gracious glory belongs to Israel as under the influence of the Sun of righteousness, and destructive judgments to the church as having the bright and morning Star!

167 Yes, the bright and morning Star does belong to the saints, and its glory is distant and unearthly. But destruction and terror upon earth are not distant and unearthly, though they be terrible to flesh and blood, and not so till they come sudden and near. The Sun of righteousness shall heal Israel, but shall place the power of righteousness and judgment there, according to the principles of God's association with them. But the bright and morning Star is not terrible. It is the sweet and blessed sign to them that watch, that the day of blessing is coming in. It anticipates the day; it is joy and gladness rising in the heart that has watched, whether in hope or possession. And such is Christ before He appears. The Sun will arise on the world, and men will stand in the light, for blessing or for judgment. For the sun is always supreme glory, under whatever circumstances. The star is before the day, the joy of those who watch. The unwakeful world, who sleep in the night, see it not. Where is it ever said that Christ appeared as the star? or where is a star connected with judgment? And if it be His Father's glory, where is it ever said that He will give us that? He that is as the light of the morning is to be just. I can conceive nothing more painful to a saint than to know that destruction is to be his share in glory; grace and benignity Israel's.

Further, while the woman is clothed with the sun (supreme glory, certainly, however near), she is crowned with the unearthly glory of the heavenly city: but then it is a mere distant and comparatively obscure thing. It is a wonder, if the sun be there in all its gracious and benign glory, that the stars are wanted to give effect to the holy system of truth and power - I suppose as inferior agents to the supreme glory of Jerusalem. "Truth and power paramount in the earth" - but, after all, grace is not to enter into their service. Terrible destruction ushering in the day is their part; the grace is reserved for Israel and Jerusalem.

168 The rest of the note will be to be discussed elsewhere. It is secretly laying down a principle, which, received as here in the mind, will serve to prove something elsewhere. But proofs must be scriptural, or it is but man's mind at work: only one remark is needed here - that it is in nowise drawn from Scripture. It is not true, in fact, absolutely; but if the systems are the governing powers before Antichrist, and the systems are represented by the heads, it is quite clear the writer is all wrong if we follow Scripture, because Antichrist does not sweep away the heads at all. It is a system of the author's (which may have a certain element of truth in it), not of the Apocalypse.

What is the meaning of the next note? Does the fell sweep of the dragon's power cast down from heaven those who are to be there prospectively? Or when cast from heaven to earth, if it be the saints, what does it mean? Or what is the encouragement? For it is never said they get up again. It is said, called to suffer. But how is casting down from heaven by the dragon's tail suffering? But stars being saints in a distant and unearthly character, not inferior authorities or powers, as usually taken; all this unaccountable confusion must be added, in order to be consistent.

The next note I have sufficiently treated. Only it is quite clear that it is not the church's place in unity, heavenly unity, if it cannot be used of any Christians out of Jerusalem. Nor do I see how a child seen born in heaven, and caught up to God and His throne, signifies Christians persecuted at Jerusalem.

Where does the Scripture state that the casting down of Satan is consequent on his interference with the progress of Christianity at Jerusalem? So says the author, It appears. Where does it appear? Not in Revelation 12, because his persecution of the woman is consequent on his casting down. He is seen above, ready to devour; and, the child of power being prepared and caught up, war begins in heaven; but there is not a word about Jerusalem there. There is not, that I can see, the slightest appearance of such a view here, but quite another order of things. The divine mind, seeing the purpose of the dragon, and having prepared the man-child who is to wield the power, whoever that be, begins to execute its purpose; though it may leave the woman on earth awhile, the object of Satan's ineffectual malice.

169 "The priesthood of Christ will not cease to be exercised for us when our accuser is cast down."

First, it is not said our accuser, but "the accuser of our brethren." And are we not to have the place of those in heaven, when all this special scene goes on at Jerusalem about symbols which cannot be used of any Christians out of Jerusalem?

And surely the casting down of the accuser must make an amazing difference in the exercise of Christ's priesthood. They are supposed no longer to have to overcome him by the blood of the Lamb, and the word of their testimony - this they had accomplished. And why are the dwellers in heaven called upon to rejoice so? Who are they? The inhabitants of the earth are hardly the church as such, i.e., in its proper heavenly character as sitting in heavenly places; otherwise it would be worse off by the casting down of Satan. The victory over him, thus celebrated, would be a woe to it. Their brethren had overcome him in trial, and this is celebrated with joy. This can hardly mean that they were in a much worse case down here, with the same spiritual conflicts continuing. And such is the supposition of the author. They have still to wrestle against the spiritual wickednesses, and, besides that, they have, if they be not now clear from Satan as dwellers in heaven,* woe increasedly upon them down here. Further, it is said, we shall not "cease to wrestle against evil spirits when he is cast down," etc. "We are not said to wrestle in heaven against evil spirits; but to wrestle against evil spirits who are [now] in heaven." Is it ever said we are to wrestle against them on earth? But what an entire inapprehension of the force of all the apostle's statements, and how constant the effort to undo the proper heavenly position of the church! How can we wrestle against spiritual wickedness in heavenly places when there are none there? It is in vain to say they are as bad when on earth. Worse, if you please; but it is not the same state of things. God has begun to act in judgment, and cast them down from their high estate, from the place where they dwelt in power, and where the church's place and glory and blessings are stated to be. This wrestling is spoken of in the Ephesians, where it is said that we are blessed with spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ - that we wrestle with spiritual wickednesses in heavenly places. Can these two things be thus contrasted when there are no spiritual wickednesses there? We sit in heavenly places in Christ. We are a witness to principalities and powers in heavenly places of the manifold wisdom of God. All has its own character and place - the mischievous power of Satan in heavenly places, and our blessings there. And we are told that his casting down thence will make no difference! And why is "now" added? The statement is characteristic in Ephesians: our spiritual blessings are there; our spiritual enemies are there. Supposing I were to add spiritual blessings (now) in heavenly places, its incongruity would be seen, because it is manifestly characteristic, and not merely a matter of time. And the expressions are identical: the introduction of "now" makes it a mere matter of time, as if there were nothing characteristic in power in Satan's being there with his angels. But this is a manifest perversion of the passage. And when it is said, "Satan will still continue to be the prince of the power of the air," it is not a perversion, but a denial of Scripture: for he is said to be cast into the earth, and therefore he is not prince of the power of the air.

{*I do not say that no saints may be among the inhabiters of earth, for I do not doubt some spared, and therefore not rejected of God, and elect, will be mixed up with the earth in that day: but they are not dwellers in heaven, as the church is called to be.}

170 I am at a loss to know how the liberality of the day tempered the attack on Christianity at the French revolution. However, it is immaterial, as there is no question here.

I have considered sufficiently elsewhere the testimony "of," or "to," Jesus Christ. I only recall that the spirit of prophecy is the testimony of Jesus. The spirit of prophecy is not the gospel; but that is the way the testimony of Jesus is considered in the Revelation.*

{*As to the critical remark, I am again obliged to say that it is more than questionable. I had not examined it particularly previously, so that I should have been disposed to let it pass as immaterial. But, being stated here, I have examined it. There is no example that I can find of a witness to a person being used with a genitive of the person. It is almost always used with the preposition "peri." When this preposition is left out, it is the dative, of which there are some examples in the New Testament: for the genitive of the witnesses and peri of the subject of witness, they are too numerous to quote. It is said, John bore witness to the truth; and Demetrius hath good report. (John 5:33; 3 John 12; see also 3 John 3, 6.) I may add from Herodotus (2, 18), my witness for the counsel. Grammars give this; but I suspect it is an instance of another principle. There is an additional confirmation of this (even if 1 Corinthians 1:6 were so taken) in the beginning of the Apocalypse, where Christ sent and signified what He had received of God, and the prophet bears record of the word of God, and of the testimony of Jesus Christ. Here it cannot, I apprehend, be doubted that the testimony of Jesus Christ is the testimony which He gave or sent and signified: and this is confirmed by the "all things [not 'and all things'] that he saw." This testimony of Jesus Christ was the same thing as the spirit of prophecy. It was one and the same testimony. The spirit of prophecy was the testimony of Jesus Himself, in whose hands soever it might be. So that I have no doubt that it is of, and not to, Jesus. This would be so far material, that it would shew that the testimony alluded to in these passages was the prophetic testimony. No doubt the gospel was the testimony of Jesus. He is the truth, whatever the subject or instrument of testimony. But the general thought here was the prophetic testimony. Nor do I think it otherwise even in verse 9, because of the words "kingdom and patience." But I do not insist at all on this, because all true testimony is Christ's testimony. The only ground I can find at all for reading "to Jesus," is the exceptional ground that the preposition peri is sometimes left out, and the genitive retained. Of this I have found one example in a case of witnessing: - when they call Homer as a witness of, etc., leaving out peri. But I think it will hardly be alleged that this exception to the habitual use of the word is uniformly followed in the Apocalypse, in face of the evident force of chapter 1:1-2. Wahl gives as certain what I have here alleged.

171 CHAPTER 13

I should have thought that on certain points, such as the four empires, I may say universally received among those who have studied prophecy, no remarks would have been called for. But here also, by the unparalleled carelessness of assertion which characterises this book, almost every statement is wrong. I suppose it arises from the author's mind being so absorbed by the Antichristian empire, and thus forming a system as regardless of geographical facts as we have found it to be of Scripture statements, and grammar itself. I do trust this will not be considered harsh, but I say the simple truth when I affirm that I never met with a book like this in its assertions.

The prophetic and Roman world are not at all the same things. About half the prophetic earth (confining that term to the four empires) is outside the Roman world; besides which (though I have no objection at all to this distinction of the prophetic earth treated of in Daniel, because it is connected with the times of the Gentiles, and the giving power to them during the disowning of Jerusalem), it is well to remember that a vast portion of the prophecies apply to other subjects and other countries: so that we must not suppose the prophetic earth to mean the earth of which prophecy treats, but merely that portion of the earth given up to the Gentiles during a certain prophetic period, in which Jerusalem was set aside, and the power of the house of David broken - that rod despised as every tree. If we do not recollect this, the whole book of Ezekiel, for example, will be left out of prophecy. Nor is it all by any means that would be. There are Nahum, Jonah, Amos, and a very great portion of other prophets, which are occupied with other countries, or with Israel or Judah under other aspects.

172 Further, it is a great mistake to say that the prophetic earth is situate geographically round the Great or Mediterranean Sea. The first two empires only just reached its borders* in their utmost conquests; and the body of their empire was far, far away from it. Nor, though Emmanuel's land be the centre of the prophetic earth, can it be the centre of the Roman earth, if the coasts of the Great Sea be its boundaries; because it is situated at one extremity of it. How is the Roman world "the birth-place and centre" of Persia as an empire? Persia never was in it at all. And the limits assigned to the Roman earth by the author leave out half the city of Babylon, and a great part of the province of Babylonia, and all the richest part of its territory (among the rest, I apprehend, Shinar). Nineveh also was outside it. The commencement of the grandeur of the prophetic earth (that is, Babylon) had no connection with the Great Sea. The next empire was further east still; and the third, which had its origin not far from the Mediterranean, pushed all its conquests eastward from it, as far as Judea, and never held but that extremity of it which had been in the hands of the Persians. Four-fifths of the Mediterranean were never visited even by the third or Grecian empire; the Romans alone surrounded it by their conquests and power. So that the whole statement is wrong. That it is now a principal scene, though it can hardly be called the centre (for there is not a single dominant power which can be said to be seated on its coasts) of the world's energies, is very true.

{*In a subsequent tract, by another author, it is said that these beasts symbolise a monarchy bordering on the Mediterranean and having Jerusalem under its dominion. This, though strained as to the Mediterranean, may be all very true. But morally it has nothing whatever to do with it; because, in Daniel, the beasts come up from the sea, which the first two certainly did not from the Mediterranean. And see page 177.}

173 Nor is it true that God has never interfered to hinder the onward progress of human counsels. The irruption of the northern and Germanic hordes laid waste the Roman, without substituting another, empire. That it accomplished God's counsels there is no doubt; but that it destroyed for a thousand years the European and all civilisation, and, save for one reign (Charlemagne), all concentrated empire, is equally certain; and the latter is not to this day restored. So that, while I do not doubt that man will set himself up against God, this setting up of man in admiration of his unhindered glorious progress from Nebuchadnezzar onward, is unfounded. It is astonishing how anyone could state (when we consider the barbarous subversion of the Roman empire, when no one knew what to count on a moment, and the effects of which last to this day), that from the days of Nimrod the onward progress of human counsels has never been hindered. That there will be a man of sin, who will concentrate the energies of man and the power of Satan, all who would be interested in these pages believe. Still I find no such account in Scripture as is here given of him; nor do I believe that this high coloured exaltation of him comes from God. That men will be given up to him, we know from Scripture; but it will need strong delusion, so that they should believe a lie.

Let the reader take any part of scripture, and see if the beast or the man of sin be presented by the Spirit of God in this way. I do not doubt that the faculties of man will in him be in many respects in their highest exercise. It is natural to suppose that it will be so in one who exercises such extended and paramount influence; though, indeed, this in its worst aspect they are led to do by another agent and mouth-piece of the enemy, almost overlooked in this chapter, and yet far more deeply mischievous in what he does. "If we can conceive - the intellect of statesmen, poets, and orators, such poets, etc. - all varieties of intellectual power, etc. - we may form some conception of the glory of this great one of the earth." Why are we to conceive all this?

Where does Scripture thus present the beast? That certain characteristics of the three preceding empires were found in the last is true. But I am not aware that this fascinating power is anywhere attributed to him; and it seems to me a serious thing to ascribe to anyone as affording him this fascinating power, without the authority of the word of God - what cannot be used without God's permission to exalt any. I see the fascinations of Satan connected with his coming; but this is attributed, in the chapter we are considering, to another person, the second beast or false prophet, and not to the first beast or imperial power. Deceivableness of unrighteousness I find in them that perish. But where is it said that the scattered intellect of former ages will be centred in the imperial beast, or its head, the man of sin? I do not see but that this is the creature of the writer's imagination. Great things, war, blasphemies, are attributed to him in Revelation 13 and Daniel 7; self-exaltation, doing according to his will, utter disregard of God, dividing the land for gain,* in Daniel 11. Setting up to be God in the temple of God, opposing and exalting himself, Satan's working, powers, signs, lying wonders, will be there, and all deceivableness of unrighteousness. I say, "will be there," because it would seem from Revelation 13 wrought rather before him than by him. And delusion from God will be upon those who did not receive the love of the truth that they might be saved. Such are the serious statements made concerning this man of sin, this son of perdition.

{*"Dividing the land for gain" is rather the Antichrist, false Messiah, or second beast of Revelation 13. But the identity of the Antichrist and man of sin with the first beast was assumed by all when these remarks were written. The same remark applies to page 175, 176 partially.}

174 But though I do not doubt his great capacities for the sceptre and the throne, and using probably all the arts which such persons may be supposed to use to flatter and amuse the passions of men; still, strong and energetically drawn as the picture of this "individual man" is in the "Thoughts," I cannot recognise it in Scripture, and this is what I seek. If there be such a one, where is it? I do not exactly find the soberness which can judge of this, and which I believe the Spirit of God gives, when I read (page 160), "fallen man is but a poor weak thing apart from Satan," and in page 155, the chapter beginning "There is a wonderful energy in unregenerate man." I do not mean to say that there may not be explanation,* and a reconciling by explanation of these two statements. But there is a haste in making the two, which does not savour of quiet scriptural enquiry. Besides, in this picture of the man of sin, not one single scripture is quoted, except for Satan's delusions, which is only an accompaniment. So that when it is said that "the glories of intellect and taste, of war and conquest, of the genius as well as the majesty of sovereign rule, are found, for the first time, in perfect and harmonious combination," a picture is drawn by the author, not by Scripture: and I doubt very much indeed that God permits in evil any such perfect and harmonious combination. At least there is none such in Scripture: no proof is given.** The characters given there are much darker and more evil - evil, deadly evil. "The elegance of the refined Greece" was not even to be found in Macedon, whose leopard wing passed over half the world, faster almost than the flight of man's ambition would have led it, to a goal where there was nothing left to conquer. Nor have the children of light who have received the love of the truth anything to say to the delusions by which the disobedient world is seduced. They are not sent to them.

{*In page 155 it is stated, "I might perhaps say given by Satan," but in page 160 it is positively asserted that he is but a poor weak thing apart from him. In the first passage the wonderful energy is seen in unregenerated man, stimulated and aided, perhaps given. Instead of energy, it is asserted positively in the second that he is very weak. All I complain of here is the uncertainty and haste of the statement within five pages' distance.}

{**I feel that morally this is a very important point. To exalt the instrument of Satan in the most glowing terms, ascribing to it the perfect and harmonious combination of every faculty God has given to man, without scripture warrant, is a very serious thing. The evil and impotency of Satan is what is usually spoken of in the New Testament to God's children. When spoken of elsewhere, the colours are very dark - blasphemy, oppression, pride, unrighteousness, connected with Satan's lying power, and setting up to be God: these are the characters attached to the beast in Scripture. Nothing of this is found in the author's description. Nor do I think it seems quite a just expression to say Satan's peculiar hour, without explanation of the hour, which is the consequence of his being cast out of heaven for ever, so that all belonging to heaven rejoice in it. That it is the hour of his great wrath on earth is true.}

175 When the author says that "this is he through whom the dragon makes war with the remnant of her seed," it is a statement entirely unsupported by Scripture.

I believe that we get, chapter 17, not an earlier but a more general history of (not Antichrist, but) the beast. For it is unwarrantable to call the beast absolutely Antichrist, though Antichrist may wield his power at a given period. Being more general, it is true, it does not confine the history to the latter period of his being, as chapter 12, but shews who the beast was that was there; and so far is earlier. Chapter 17 is a description, not a history, and includes all his closing history* as well as the rest. The connection of chapter 12 with chapter 17 in historical time is therefore quite unwarranted. It would be absurd to connect them in such a way, as to suppose a dragon with seven heads and ten horns, and a beast with seven heads and ten horns at the same time. But they are not at all so brought together in Scripture. If the ten horns had not given their power to the beast (Antichrist) yet, he had not the virtual power of the Roman empire. Satan had not yet given him his power, and his throne, and great authority. If Satan held it himself and afterwards gave it to him, they did not hold it together.

{*Indeed, as far as historical existence is attributed to the beast, it is only the closing period as in chapter 13. The ten horns have power one hour with the beast, in chapter 17:11-14. The "yet is" is the time in which he is presented. I might give an account of Napoleon as lieutenant of artillery before Toulon; but the Napoleon I am describing is Napoleon the emperor.}

176 Besides, if the seven heads of the dragon were crowned, that is, if he hold the power of the systems, then (the beast not being in the exercise of his power with the horns) how does he, the beast, hold the systems uncrowned, not himself uncrowned, but his heads? The systems can hardly be crowned and uncrowned at the same time. It is not the dragon crowned and the beast not, but both having seven heads and ten horns, and the heads crowned on one and not on the other. And this is explained in the note as the "systems ruling," "during the time the systems are crowned": so that putting them crowned on the dragon, and uncrowned on the beast at the same time, cannot stand.

Besides, the horns and the beast are to have their hour together: the power and authority are not yet given to the beast as such. He is not even yet called up out of the sea, according to the author's system, for that is his character here given. And in chapter 17 he is so far from possessing virtual power (for we have seen manifest power was not yet given him), that the woman rules him - he was the governed party.

Further, seven heads are seven systems. Why? Here is the only answer I can find: "Systems are ruling now, and will through the whole Babylonish period, until," etc. But this is merely explaining the author's views of present things by using the statements of the Apocalypse for them, and not expounding the Apocalypse. The seven heads are seven mountains. Are mountains systems in symbolic language? "And there are seven kings." Are they systems? "Mountains are the emblems of authoritative power" (page 143). I might say, perhaps, seats of power; but are these systems authoritative powers? They may exercise a very great influence on those who hold power, but they are not in themselves authoritative power. Supposing systems now rule. Why are the dragon's heads systems?

177 Besides, the author has elsewhere made out six, lamely enough, I think (page 239) - political, military, civil, religious, commercial, educational systems - where, note, the word is used in quite another sense; for these words are merely generally characteristic. There might be five political systems, and so on. Besides, some political system predominates always, and some civil; so that there is no sense in giving it as peculiar that a system should govern. But let that pass. Of these six systems one turns out to be the woman, who rides the beast and governs him, so that he does not wield its power: nor is it a very intelligible system to make seven crowned heads together, and one of them as an exclusively dominant system governing the whole. At any rate, there is not one word to prove that the heads are systems, but that the author says systems rule now. But there is more than this.

The dragon does not call up any one from the sea at all. It is attributing providential power to Satan. Further, it is well that the unlearned reader should know that "he stood" upon the sand of the sea, instead of "I stood," though declared summarily here to be the right reading, is rejected by Griesbach, Scholz, and Tischendorf. Mr. Tregelles's system may be right: but the question can hardly be disposed of thus. To raise a system of interpretation on a reading hitherto rejected by those who have most elaborately examined it, and that with different systems of recension, must at least leave grave doubts in the mind of a considerate person. Further, the expressions used in Daniel for the great sea are not at all the same as the Great Sea, when the Mediterranean Sea is spoken of. I do not believe that the expression is ever used of the Mediterranean. That is called great in Joshua 1:4, etc. Daniel employs the Hebrew word (Rab), meaning, I think we may say, a multitude of waters: and in this general sense of the great sea, it is used without any article - the four winds of heaven striving upon great waters. The Great Sea is used with the article - the Sea, the great one (Heb. - ha yam ha gadol). And it is quite evident that the passage in Daniel (to which I dare say the passage in Revelation refers, though not at all to any where the Mediterranean Sea is spoken of) speaks of the origin of these empires from the sea of unformed peoples. We have already seen that at least two of the great empires did not commence near the Mediterranean at all. So that the sense here would not at all be calling up from the Mediterranean a formed known power, not one of which ideas are found in Daniel, nor here. Satan gives him his authority when he rises up out of the sea. But this is all that is said.

178 I have already remarked upon the leopard. It is the swiftness of Alexander's conquests, and not the civilisation of Greece, that is in question. Is it true that the refinement and elegancies of civilisation have found no home but in Greece? And if in chapter 17 neither the leopard nor bear nor any likeness be found, the time is found when the horns reign with the beast. At any rate the whole system of being called by Satan as a known suited power from west to east, is totally foreign to the statements of the chapter, or any idea contained in it.

I do not see on what ground it is said that the beast and Satan are to act together in parity of glory; nor do I at all like the spirit of page 166. But I examine the accuracy, rather than judge the spirit of this work now. There is plenty of evil, no doubt, in saints mixing up with what the author alludes to. Does it not seem a rude thing to say that Christianity is one of the heads of the beast, which head being healed (not another substituted for it), all the world wonder after the beast, because the wounded head was healed? Is it a scriptural way of stating things to say that the substitution of Antichristianism for Christianity is healing the head of the beast? Christianity having been that head? Besides, then the wounded head is the second beast. For this is the new ecclesiastical influence. And, further, it would be the dragon who wounded his own head; for the systems were crowned on his heads, and he as yet has not given the power to the beast; and he it is who destroys and drives out Christianity. (See page 148.) And the mischief is done to this head before Antichrist rises (see note to page 167) so that it was really his own crowned head the dragon slew. If so, the war against Christianity is clearly not merely at Jerusalem, nor the scene in Palestine; because neither the ten kingdoms nor the seven heads are in Palestine. The locality of the second beast I do not doubt; but this is not the question here. It is well to remember here that the author separates entirely the seven kings of chapter 17 from the seven heads. If there be any connection, his system is an utter absurdity from beginning to end.* And, bad as the Greek superstitions may be, to say that they are as bad or worse than Rome - this constant palliating Rome, or making anything more important, I do not believe to be of God: nor representing the evil (for evil there is) which may be going on in the East now, as being a more developed form of the mystery of iniquity in its religious forms, than popery, or what is acting in the West.** It all clearly misleads the mind from the growing evil, which the rest is evil as tending to.

{*So impossible, that, on that supposition, theocracy is a head of the beast. For theocracy in Israel is one of the seven kings which have hitherto been supposed to answer to the seven heads.}

{**The truth is, the most active agent in the East, as in the West at this moment, is popery. In schools and colleges supported by France in the Levant, to maintain its political influence; and by multitudes of priests sent to India and China; and other analogous efforts in central Asia, every catholic has thereby the rights of a French subject in the Levant and Asiatic Turkey.}

179 But there is another very material objection to all this system of heads, etc. That is, that this religious system being one of the heads, and evidently (according to the statements we are discussing) an eminently important one, it is now one of the ruling systems, and governs the kingdoms, and will do so through the whole Babylonish period. The systems are what are crowned, not the horns (page 177); they regulate the kingdoms (page 162). But (page 175) "these are principles little suited, even to this incipient Babylonish period, as we may see if we watch the present relation of the crown of France to the popedom. The crowns of the ten kingdoms will assert their supremacy, and the religious systems that are respectively under them, whether Greek, Roman, or Anglican, must have to fall into the second place." Now, this is not during the reign of Antichrist, because he rises with his head already wounded unto death (page 167); that is, Christianity has been destroyed, "is gone" entirely, and all religious influences swept away, as far as our present subject is concerned. So that it is during the Babylonish time that they must learn to fall into the second place. But if the crowns of the ten kingdoms, during this period, will assert their supremacy, and force the religious systems to fall into the second place, how is it that they are not crowned at all during this period; and that the very principle of the period is, that the systems are crowned (of which this religiousness is one, and a most important one) and govern them? Page 175 subverts page 177, because it really is the exercise of man's mind on the present state of things, and occasional passages adapted to it, and not the explanation of Scripture itself.

180 I have already spoken of 'the habitable world' being translated the Roman world, and the earth being used for a larger sphere (both assertions being quite unwarranted), and the inconsistency of its use here with the assertion, that the period of the churches was entirely past. It seems to me also, that the statement of page 172 is quite unfounded, and moreover contradicted by the note to page 164. The lion, leopard, and bear do not act on, though they may have the principle which increasingly prevails, and will "during the whole Babylonish period," for which men are educating, and under whose influence men act now, and which "are the objects of modern pursuit." The tendencies "of the hour" clearly are not what "fall under the symbol of the lion, the leopard, and the bear." And though in the note to page 164 it is said that Antichrist will not destroy the utilities, yet in page 258 the whole system is destroyed. At all events, what is cultivated now is not what falls under the symbol of the lion, the leopard, and the bear. If the lions' dens, and the mountains of the leopards,* in the Canticles, mean Antichrist, or his system, how is it the place of our present sojourn, or applicable to the church now, when the leopard does not yet exist?

{*Or what is the mountain of elegant Grecian civilisation? for that is the leopard, from which the bride is called in the Canticles.}

I believe myself that the seven heads are the completeness of power in different forms, which are seen in the worldly power of Satan. When the beast is in his last form, there is division into ten kingdoms, which give their power to him. But as to those ten kingdoms several things are to be remarked. First, Antichrist rises as a little horn after the others, becomes more haughty looking than all, and subdues three of them. This itself is a proof that the accounts we have in the Revelation are more characteristic than historical.

181 Next, Daniel 8 proves nothing about it. The division into four is mentioned; but nothing is said as to the latter day of them, beyond the expression of the latter time of their kingdoms, and a little horn came out of one of them. But I do not at all believe this little horn to be Antichrist. I do not make any objection to anyone's believing it; but it is not proved here, and I am entirely convinced it is not. Nor do I think Daniel 11 allows of the two chief monarchies being viewed as under Antichrist. They make war as kings of South and North upon him. Next, the quotation of chapter 9 makes me suppose that the assertion here is based on his taking away the daily sacrifice. But I apprehend the marginal reading in chapter 8 to be indubitably the right translation - "from him," and not "by him"; and in that case "him" refers to the prince of the host. And this is entirely confirmed by the expression, "the place of his sanctuary," which is certainly not the little horn's.

The Hebrew is certainly properly "from him." The only case in which it is used for "by" is quite another sense; as we might say, "he died from eating poison," or "by eating poison"; but otherwise the word means "from" and not "by."*

{*I should translate the next verse, "And the daily [sacrifice] was given over to an appointed time of trouble, because of transgression." But I leave this to more competent judges. The change of gender in verse 11, "magnified," is much to be noted. "It" agrees with the little horn again in the middle of verse 12. Verse 11 and half of verse 12 are evidently a parenthesis. But I have discussed this elsewhere.}

The study of Daniel has convinced me that we are in more ignorance as to the historical details of Antichrist than we suppose. As to his moral description, it is plain enough in Scripture. I do not believe any one competent to make such a systematic statement as is attempted by the author. It saves the mind a deal of trouble, as all hypotheses do; it has only the misfortune of not being true. The fact of the subduing of three horns alters historically the whole matter, and a good deal the moral system too. It is not noticed in this chapter.

The progress of a general absorbing system into the Roman empire, of what composed it, at least the Western, and acting on the Eastern, I suppose is generally received; but still it is untrue of part as to fact, as it is unwarrantable to say, "so will it be with Turkey and Syria very soon, and Babylon will be their head and centre." I strongly doubt this in many parts of it. It ought to be proved and not asserted. There are many reasons which render me doubtful of the absorption of the Grecian and Eastern part into the body of the beast. It would certainly seem that they are treated independently in the book of Daniel, and other prophecies. "The Assyrian," for example, occupies a very much more prominent place than Antichrist in the prophecies which precede the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar.

182 As to the next note, it is strange to say, "he is symbolised merely by a little horn." Is nothing said about this little horn, nor about more than its insignificant rise? His look is more stout than his fellows, and he casts down three horns. If Revelation 13 comes after, then clearly the ten horns never historically give their kingdom to the beast, for there remain but seven.

"A leopard." The fourfold division of the empire is here incorrect. After the various wars between the generals, the death of Antigonus (I pass over Perdiccas, Eumenes, etc.) the fourfold division was Greece, Thrace, Syria, and Egypt. Asia Minor was not one. If Egypt and Syria are excluded by chapter 11, they are excluded from subjection to the beast also. But I have already said I do not believe Daniel 8 applies to Antichrist. But this is to be discussed as the fairest subject of enquiry, on which, for my part, I should be glad to hear all the author, or anyone, had to say.

In the next note Daniel 7:23 is a misprint for 8:23, of which I have just spoken. I have to add that I do not believe Daniel 11:41 applies to Antichrist, but to the king of the north. I feel pretty clear upon this; but as I once supposed myself that it was Antichrist, I cannot be surprised that others do. I am pretty confident that both I myself was and that the author is wrong. But it is a point on which everyone can enquire and judge. As to Zechariah, I agree.

As to days and years, I will not enter into this controversy here. The author steps very easily over it, saying, "the passage that has been commonly quoted." He must be very ignorant of the controversy on the subject, or have a very treacherous memory. The grand hinge of the controversy rested on Daniel 9 - the seventy weeks: a difficulty out of which the adversaries of the year-day system have never been able to get. It is very certain, and nobody denies it, that the ordinary word for weeks is there used for weeks of years.

183 Then, as to "facts" and "principles," the author is clearly wrong; because John says, "Even now are there many antiChrists, whereby we know that it is the last time": so that this great fact of the close is applied to facts and persons in the apostle John's day. And I suspect we shall find a good many facts used for the latter day which certainly had an accomplishment in facts in a measure in the Old Testament, as Babylon, Solomon, Sennacherib, and many others. But then this is another question. Symbols are not exactly facts; and it is quite possible that they may express principles fully embodied in certain ultimate facts, and partially in certain others; and that is the way John uses the term Antichrist. Historical accuracy is not found in the Revelation; for we learn from Daniel that three horns fall, of which there is not a word said in the Revelation, and therefore the principle, the basis of the author's reasoning, fails. He has no right to call symbols facts. He may apply them to facts. He may be right or wrong in his application; but that is a certain use he makes of these symbols; but the symbols are not facts. Antichrist is never mentioned in the Revelation: I do not doubt there are symbols which apply to him, but this is another matter. So there is no little horn in Revelation - another historical fact which is not found. We get, on the other hand, an eighth head, which is of the seven, which is the beast. While, as we have seen, three horns historically fall in Daniel, in moral principle and system the ten horns have power one hour with the beast. So that the statement here insisted on is a misconception of the very nature of the Revelation; I do not at all doubt its accuracy, or its fulfilment in facts: but on the technical rigidity of the author it cannot be. We have seen its impossibility in the trumpets - making a star called Wormwood make the waters bitter, settled by "waters and all that they symbolise will be found to be bitter"; and how the darkening the third part of the sun made it not shine for a third part of the day, not settled at all.

The word of God will not lend itself to the narrow systems of man's mind. If a system was required for Antichrist, either it did exist (or else John was wrong in saying there were many), or else we must come to the conclusion that the mere rigid arrangement of the author as to Antichrist and his system is unsound: which is, I do not doubt, the solution of the difficulty. It is a question between the author and the apostle's statement. When the author talks of Antichrist's own peculiar system, and his destroying another, it must be remembered that he is only speaking of his own peculiar views about the matter. The insuperable difficulty is one of his own making. He assumes the beast to be literally Antichrist all through, and, therefore, he cannot exist only during the twelve hundred and sixty days. That is, if he be literally Antichrist* all through: but then, this is exactly the question. No doubt, when the contrary is assumed as true, the difficulty is insuperable. For my own part, I do not admit it at all. Nor does the author, because it is a well known influential power, who has had one of his heads wounded, etc., who is set up, and sets up the system. So that the beast is not the Antichristian beast all through. And his history (call it principles, or facts, as you please) - his history does extend in the Apocalypse beyond the twelve hundred and sixty days: how far, I do not enquire here. As to "his tabernacle," I have only one remark to make; that is, that the dragon had been dwelling in heaven, and now was cast out of it.

{*I do not believe the first beast to be the Antichrist, but as the twelve hundred and sixty days apply to the first beast, the argument remains valid and the same.}

184 We now come to 2 Thessalonians 2, and more new translation; to which I decidedly prefer the English, the only decidedly faulty word being worse in the new translation I will give a translation I made myself, without reference to this controversy, as affording in the shortest way my judgment of the passage. Some words will be found different from the authorised version, where the sense is the same. It being for my own accurate study of Scripture, of course, I did not follow the English translation.

"But we beseech you, brethren, by the coming - or presence (parousia) - of our Lord Jesus Christ and our gathering together to him, that ye may not be quickly unsettled in mind, nor troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter as of us, as if the day of the Lord was here. Let no man deceive you in any manner, that [it will be so]* without the apostasy's coming first, and the man of sin's being revealed, the son of perdition, the opposer and exalter [of himself] above everyone called God, or object of veneration (sebasma). So that he** shall seat himself in the temple of God, shewing himself that he is God. Do ye not remember that, being yet with you, I told you these things? And now ye know what withholdeth,*** so that he should be revealed in his own time. For the mystery of lawlessness is already working: only there is a withholder at present until he be out of the way. And then shall the lawless one be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus**** shall destroy***** with the breath of his mouth, and abolish****** with the appearing of his coming."

{*Or, as usually pointed, for [it will not be].}

{**Some copies read "as God."}

{***Or the hindrance.}

{****Some copies omit "Jesus."}

{*****Some copies read "consume."}

{******Or "annul."}

185 Now, as to the critical differences, I do not attach very great importance to the translating the Greek 'huper' "by" or "concerning." But I think the English translators undoubtedly right. There is no doubt at all that it is a regular known use of the preposition. The truth is, it is its commonest use. I do not mean that in this common use it is always used with words of entreaty, but that it is used with them in its most ordinary sense, that is, "on account of"; which, with words of entreaty, we generally in English render "by" meaning "by reason of." "I beseech you, on account of the coming of our Lord Jesus and our gathering together unto him." When it is a motive, we say "for the sake of"; but the sense is really the most common usual sense of huper, to which the English word "for" most nearly answers, adding idiomatically "sake of" in certain cases.

And now I will put the question in another shape. When huper is used with words of beseeching, as it is here, is not its natural regular sense "by" or "for the sake of"?* Whereas it is quite certain from many examples that the preposition used for concerning with erotao, to ask, is peri, and not huper See Luke 4:38; 1 John 5:16; John 16:26, and several times in chapter 17. I suppose that no one will dispute that its regular sense with a word of beseeching is "by", and therefore I conclude that the English translators were right, and the author wrong.

{*There is a case where it is probably used in the sense of "instead of," though Wahl takes it in the sense of beseeching "by"; but as I doubt his correctness, I do not use it as an example to contradict the author. Wahl was led, no doubt, by the known fact that it is the regular sense of huper with words of beseeching, as the translators have taken it. But the presbeuo huper seems, I apprehend, to control it in 2 Corinthians 5:20. So that "I beseech you for Christ" means "in Christ's stead," as in the English translation. If not, it is a case in point. The passage is in 2 Corinthians 5, "we beseech for Christ." One of the Gregorys, however, uses this identical expression for "we beseech you by Jesus." The author formerly insisted on "on behalf of."}

186 As to having to choose between "on behalf of" and "concerning," it is perfectly ridiculous.

The only plausible ground to make "concerning" allowable is its use in 2 Corinthians 12:8, where the word however is not erotao (to ask). Nor do I think that huper could be used with a long subject stated, about which he was entreating them. It would be peri: whereas, after stating the subject, huper toutou I can well understand. Finally, "by" is the regular translation of the Greek. Thus Luther also translates it. It may admit of discussion; but I believe the English translation right.

The remark on chapter 5:2 is utterly futile, because in English we do not say unsettled "from" your mind, but "in" your mind, where it is a question of quiet stability. "Shaken from your understanding" is not English: that is all.

The next remark, on verse 2, is subtle enough, that the Thessalonians were wrong in expecting the Lord or the end immediately; and we are told that the word is used "in connection with wrongness of expectation of the end being immediate." Now the sentiment against which this remark is directed is, not that the end is immediate, but a distinction between the Lord's receiving the church, and the end; so that the church may be always waiting for the Lord, though it affix no date to the end. See 2 Thess. 2:2.

"Be troubled" is used in Matthew 24:6 and Mark 13:7, exactly as it is used here - that present troubles should not make them think the end near, or the day of the Lord come. It is not wrong expectation in either case, but trouble from present circumstances alarming the mind, and taking away its security, so as to give it fears as if the day of the Lord were there. "When ye hear of wars and rumours of wars, see that ye be not troubled." It was clearly a trouble arising from disturbing causes actually and sensibly in operation.

187 Further, the word "set in" is given as the literal meaning of the word, and "present" as its secondary sense, in order to furnish the idea of a setting in out of sight and absent, which might be supposed in the mind. Now firstly we have seen that the Greek for to be troubled, is used in the passages cited in connection with actually present alarming circumstances, which they heard of as then going on on earth. And, moreover, I deny totally the expression "set in" to be a literal or any translation of the Greek which in the English in 2 Thess. 2:2 read at hand or present. "To stand in" is the literal sense, as we say of a month "the third instant" meaning the present month: and, secondary or not, it is perfectly certain that it is always used in Scripture for "present" in contrast with future or absent. These are the passages where it is found: Romans 8:38; 1 Corinthians 3:22; 7:26; Galatians 1:4; 2 Timothy 3:1; Hebrews 9:9.* Anyone can examine these passages and see what present means. And, as the author says, "There is no example of this word being used to signify the approach of anything that is not yet existent" - and I add, that is not present. Now if it was only set in in heaven, it was just its approach to them, which this word cannot mean. And I apprehend that the Greek for be troubled and be shaken in mind, as in 2 Thess. 2:2, would not be used of persons in tribulation, who "had been taught" "that they would be delivered as soon as the Lord descended into the air." Is the comfort and joy that would produce, if even unwarranted, expressed by these words? It is quite certain that 'be troubled' is used for the alarm occasioned by present things, not by joyful expectation, where it is used in Scripture.

{*The writer states that "it is frequently used in the Apocryphal books and always in this sense." I find it from an extract of Trommius used six times in the Apocrypha; two, from circumstances, I cannot find. [The first is by Trommius given as "3 Esdras 5:72" (and by Schleusner as 47). It is really Esdras 5:46, which reads "when the seventh month was at hand (not near, but) come." The second is in the same book, chapter 9:6. 'All the multitude sat trembling because of the winter then present,' not merely approaching however near.] The other four are: 1 Maccabees 12:44 - where it means existing or subsisting; 2 Maccabees 3:17, the same thing, the grief 'he had now at heart,' present then; 2 Maccabees 4:43, there was a judgment or trial (or was instituted); 2 Maccabees 12:3, 'as if no ill win were existing.' "Present" or "existing" is its regular force. Sometimes "set in" might answer, as winter is set in, that is, is actually or fully come. It would be curious if "standing in," which is its etymological meaning, left the question unsolved "where"?}

188 As to the apostasy, I agree it must not be confounded with the mystery of iniquity: though its principles are at work therein, so that it may be morally called so very justly; and Scripture speaks in a way analogous to this. See Jude. "These are they," etc. But it is much more unwarrantable on the other hand, to say that it will not take place apart from the personal manifestation of the man of sin. There is no scripture whatever for this, nor any proof that it is true. That it is the apostasy of man as man, I do not deny, because that is true of man as man already, and it will then be fully manifested; but it is not what is meant by apostasy at all. It most clearly and evidently refers to Christianity, and nothing else; but as the others will be manifest, I need not discuss this further.

As to criticism, "And ye know that at present," etc. I have no hesitation in saying that it is quite wrong: the original statement in 2 Thess. 2:6 is most certainly not the Greek for "ye know what now hinders," but for "now ye know the hindrance," or "what hinders," as the English version has rendered it. The "now" of the succeeding verse 7 is quite another word, in Greek ('arti') meaning at present, or, for the present, with which the "then" of verse 8 is in contrast Moreover, if I were to say "at present," or "now you know," emphatically as to them, it would no way imply that in future they would not, but that they had not in time past.* Moreover, in the Greek of 2 Thess. 2:6, there is no ellipse at all. It is as plain a Greek sentence as can be well written, saying and meaning "and now ye know what hinders." Nor do I understand what all this mystification of Greek is; for the doctrine that there was now a hinderer which would be removed, and then the lawless one be manifested, is very plainly stated (v. 7, 8). And I know no reason why there is so much about this, unless the author is jealous of the Thessalonians knowing well what we, as to the literal application, are ignorant about. I believe the wisdom of God threw it purposely thus in mystery, though I do not say spiritual intelligence may not find His thoughts about it in the word.

{*Only just apply the author's rule to John 17:7.}

189 The next note, on "that which holdeth fast," is entirely wrong. The Greek does not necessarily imply what the author states. For the unlearned reader I quote two passages that will clearly shew it. Acts 27:40, "made toward shore." Luke 14:9, "thou begin with shame to take the lowest room." I suppose that was not "holding fast." It means just possessing, as 2 Corinthians 6:10, holding, keeping, and hence, if there be danger of losing, holding fast. But "the exercise of forcible or violent power" does not the least enter into its meaning. I may keep things by that, of course, in some cases. Here it is just simply, what it is translated, withhold or restrain. The author has not understood the opinion which he combats, and which I am not going to defend here. If the church remains here, and the Spirit of God consequently on earth, God does, and does by the Spirit as a Spirit of government and providence, restrain the world from being given up to Satan. The powers that be are maintained, which are of God; whereas it is Satan gives his throne to Antichrist. This falls in with the idea of the primitive Christians, that the power of the empire was the restraining thing; for which reason they prayed for its preservation, thinking that when it fell, Antichrist would come. As to the church, and the Spirit in the church, remaining in the exercise of their proper powers until the end of the age, that is just the point in question, and cannot be therefore stated as a proof - especially by the author, who holds that in the sphere here treated of, "their scene of earthly service will be closed," Christianity withdrawn, and a new testimony raised up where the church and the Spirit in the church had been. So that the church and Spirit do not act in testimony where this Antichristian power is. It is the time of apostasy, when another witness is raised up.

As to Zechariah 5:8, it is not said "he cast on the mouth of the ephah again" at all. It was then put on the mouth of the ephah, which was transported to the land of Shinar. Now this makes all the difference. The lead was not lifted up to shew the woman to the prophet; that is, it was not an evil long restrained by something existing all the while to keep it down. It was then shut up to carry it elsewhere, to set it on its own base. It might have had a fair name before; but now it was to be built at Shinar on its own base, not go on in the land. But all this has neither more nor less to do with 2 Thessalonians 2 - incorrect as the statements are in themselves.

190 As to this passage itself, the Thessalonians, who were suffering sore persecution, had been bewildered, or were in danger of being bewildered by some one; not as if Christ was there, or they with Christ, which is what they had been taught to expect (and by which, or concerning which, the apostle beseeches them) but "as if the day of the Lord was come" - not approaching - but come, present. Now the day of the Lord is constantly used for a time of trial and trouble, from which the coming of the Lord and our gathering together to Him is to exempt us. The day will not come on us unawares: we are of it.

Let the reader take a concordance and search for passages under the day of the Lord, and he will find them terror and dismay, judgment calculated to trouble and shake the mind; and further, that this expression by no means implies the presence of the Lord. I do not doubt that this will be the full accomplishment of the thing itself. But the judgments of God, inflicted by instruments of His hand as scourges, are constantly called the day of the Lord. And the Old Testament prophets take various occasions to awaken this alarm in the minds of the people. Thus Joel, for example. Now it is perfectly intelligible that these false teachers, instruments of the enemy, should have given, or sought, to give, this colour to the trials and persecutions under which the Thessalonians were lying.

The day of the Lord being set in in heaven would not have disturbed them in this state, for it was to be their deliverance and rest. But the false teacher's interpretation of the trials might be very well connected with the way the day of the Lord is always spoken of in the Old Testament. The thought of gathering together unto Him, to which the apostle refers, would at once dispel the delusion. That this being shaken or moved by the tribulation, was clearly the danger of the Thessalonians is evident, as we see, 1 Thessalonians 3:3-5. The enemy had tried to work on this, not by excited hopes, but by excited fear and uneasiness. The day of the Lord is not used in the preceding epistle, as alleged here. The whole statement at the commencement of page 183 is inaccurate. The day, moreover, will not commence secretly in heaven. This is never called the day of the Lord in Scripture, in any form or manner whatever. The day of the Lord is always what happens to man in judgment down here. The Greek word in 2 Thess. 2:2. cannot refer to such a setting in, because it means "present" - present to the persons concerned, by which they were beset. We shall know what is in heaven, as to the Lord's presence, by being caught up to meet Him there. It is not a sign down here we have or want: our blessed sign is being there ourselves with Him.

191 Having changed "present" to "set in," and "set in" being interchangeable with "commence" we have now the author's own translation changed to suit his object better, given in inverted commas. I believe that day will not commence till the son of perdition be revealed, because that day is judgment on the earth, and he that above all is to be judged, must surely be there; but nothing that passes in heaven is ever referred to as the day of the Lord. If so, let the passage be cited. All this is merely the confusion of the author.

Furthermore, God has not "made known by His servant Daniel that it would be the blasphemy of the last apostasy that would cause His throne of judgment to be set in heaven." There is no such statement in Daniel, but quite a different one. After setting the thrones, it is said, "I beheld then, because of the great words, etc. - I beheld till the beast was slain." Moreover, there is another serious point in this. If the day commences by the secret setting of the throne in heaven because of the blasphemy, it is certain that it is after the setting of the throne that the Son of man is brought before the Ancient of days. So that the day of the Lord, though its power may be exercised by Christ afterwards, exists previous to His receiving the power. I would refer the attentive reader to the distinction in Daniel 7:22. "The Ancient of days came." But the truth is, the use of the day of the Lord for something passing in heaven is a totally unscriptural use of it.

I have omitted to state that the words, "as if we had said that the day of Christ had set in," are a pure insertion of the author. Their object is thus to attribute the feeling exclusively to some testimony of the apostle as to what passed in heaven, and not to a false interpretation (pretended to be of him) of the circumstances the Thessalonians were in. It is just simply an addition to the word of God. And, moreover, it presents a totally false idea of the passage in general; because certainly "neither by spirit," and I think probably "neither by word," do not apply to Paul; whereas the author makes all rest upon what Paul might have said, which alters the whole sense of the passage. They were not troubled by spirit as if Paul had said. A pretended letter might allege his statements; but a pretended or false spirit would be acting on the present state of the Thessalonians' circumstances.

192 On the whole, the translation and the criticisms of the author on this passage, as well as his interpretation, I have no hesitation in saying (and the reader has the proofs), are entirely wrong. The meaning of the Spirit of God in the passage seems to me very clear. Save the word "at hand" for present, of which the passages I have quoted (and they are all in which the word is used in the New Testament) will enable the reader to judge, the authorised English translation is a perfectly satisfactory one of the passage; unless you except the insertion of "will let" (v. 7) instead of saying, "Only there is now (or at present) a letter (or one who letteth)," which does not the least alter the sense. Whereas the author's translation entirely changes the plain sense of the passage, by unwarrantable meanings given to words, and supplying ellipses as he understands them, and inverting the plain order of the words themselves

One point I admit he may fairly discuss, though I do not agree with him; that is, if huper means "by" His coming, or "concerning." He is quite wrong in confining us to the choice of meanings he does; because "beseeching by" is a regular known meaning of the word; but he may of course adopt a meaning which the Greek bears perhaps, though others may judge it wrong.