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vent is not far off, and to himself it has already taken place. It is plain that this advent is by the medium of faith, and therefore many will not believe it; indeed, it may well be said, under this view of the subject, “ when the Son
of Man cometh, shall he find faith on the " earth
: In the seventeenth chapter of St. Luke, our Lord also says, “ For as the lightning that “ lighteneth out of the one part under heaven, “ shineth unto the other part under heaven; so “ shall also the Son of Man be in His day. But FIRST MUST HE SUFFER MANY THINGS AND BE
And as it was in the days of Noe, so shall it be also in “ the days of the Son of Man. They did eat,
they drank, they married wives, they were "given in. marriage, until the day that Noe “ entered into the ark, and the flood came and destroyed them all,” &c.*
Now, it appears to this writer, that both of the advents are described in the above Scripture. The first is an incognito, as it were, to those who have not faith, and not an open revelation; and this is figuratively implied by a
REJECTED OF THIS GENERATION.
* It is a remarkable text in the fifteenth chapter of Revelations, that “ The temple of the tabernacle, of the “ testimony in heaven, was opened; and no man was able to “ enter into it, until the seven plagues of the seven angels
coming in clouds; the clouds of heaven, not of the earth. The second advent is an open revelation, manifest to all, like the lightning's flash. It may, no doubt, be plausibly said, that the expression “this generation," must mean the Jews who crucified our Lord; but I believe it means the “ generation of vipers," as St. Jobn Baptist calls the Pharisees, and Sadducees, or in other words, the hypocrites : and infidels of all ages *.
Moreover, the progress of the dispensation of truth, during the spiritual or cloudy advent, until the arrival of the period of the bright unclouded advent of open revelation, is compared to the dispensation of the days of Noe. The patriarch builded his ark, preaching righteousness and repentance, during the term of one hundred and twenty years. Then came the flood, and destroyed all who had not entered the ark. The flood answers to the second advent of open revelation in flaming fire. The prophecy ends by saying, “Even thus shall it be “ in the day when the Son of Man is revealed.”.
* The word generation does not always mean a literal race of men in Holy Scripture. Thus in Genesis, vi. it is said, “ These are the generations of Noah : Noah was a just man, and perfect in his generations, and Noah walked " with God." These are generations of spirit ; for we know that his generations after the flesh were not perfect, vix. Ham, the accursed.
It seems to be generally supposed, that our Lord meant to intimate in the eighteenth chapter of St. Luke, where he says,
“ When “ the Son of Man cometh, shall he find faith on « the earth ?" that at His coming openly to judgement, He should find very few, either nations or individuals, who would openly profess Christianity as a faith, or religion. But a more careful examination of the subject of the context will show, that He is there speaking of “ God's own elect, who cry “ unto Him, day and night," and not of any open infidels, or of the world at large, except generally; for there could be no doubt about them; because He says,
66 and shall not God avenge His own elect, &c. ? I tell
HE “ will avenge them speedily. NEVERTHELESS, « when the Son of Man cometh, shall He find
faith on the earth ?" He cometh (as it appears) to deliver and avenge his own elect. But when he cometh, even they will not believe (at least for a while) that it is He.
" The temple of the tabernacle of the testimony “ in HEAVEN* is opened,” as it were, to
* If there be an universal analogy between spiritual and natural things, then the spiritual heaven is contained in the Word of God, and especially the New Testament. But the earthly tabernacle of the spiritual temple of heaven is the natural visible creation, in the same manner as the body of man is the tabernacle of his spirit. See 2 Cor. v. Also,
speak figuratively, as an ark; but they cannot enter into it, until certain caustic plagues have
Hebrews, viii. and ix. From all which it appears by the interpretations of analogy, that natural things of the visible creation, form an earthly tabernacle, which contains, in types or figures, a similitude of the testimony, which is hid in the mysteries of the spiritual heaven; which mysteries are opened, when it pleaseth the Lord, by the medium of a universal analogy, or by immediate inspiration, as in the Prophets.
1. The natural, or symbolical, or typical heavens, or solar system, and stars; including our atmosphere, as a kind of common ground, or point of union between our heaven and earth.
to be types Supposed
1. Of the spiritual heavens, which contain the spiritual world; also, the written Word of God, which contains heaven, earth, sea, and the lower regions, in words full of spirit and life," viz. The Law, and the Gospel; Moses, and Jesus Christ; the
moon, and the sun ; the light of z ,
right reason, and the light of divine revelation; the light of nature, or of the earth ; the greater light to rule the day and the lesser light to rule the night of spiritual ignorance; also the stars of light, or preachers and prophecyers. Also in a lower and subordinate degree, the rational intellect or spirit of man, as an atmosphere, and common point of union between men and pure spirits.
burnt away the callous of the evil heart of unbelief. Therefore there must be some kind of disguise in His coming, as a trial of their faith, and also as a corroborator of it by a gradual developement.
If there is any foundation of truth in the foregoing observations, then all who think so will see, that the doctrine of an universal analogy, between the visible and invisible things of God, may be most important to all men, and very edifying and consolatory to those who believe and understand it.
But I anticipate, that many if not all my readers, will here put the following searching questions to me: viz. What good has analogy done to you? or what benefit have you derived from it, beyond the mere notion (whether true or false) that it is the key of knowledge? Has it made you a more humble conscientious be
2. The natural, or 2. The moral earth, or the symbolical, or typical body of man, with all its memearth with its animals, bers, appetites, and affections ; waters, and its at. also his rational intellect, as the mosphere, as a com- highest part of man, and the mon point of connec- lowest part of that polluted tion with its heaven. heaven, in which, by nature, reigns
" the prince of the power of the “air, the spirit that now worketh “ in the children of disobedience."