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To the readers of Millennial Tidings, I would say, that faithful study of the Holy Scriptures, with humble, persevering prayer, will render the subject laid before you familiar and pleasant, if you are sincerely desirous to follow Jesus Christ, the great Ultimo of Millennial glory, through evil and good report, through all unavoidable persecutions, and beyond works to eternal rewards. When I say, “faithful study of the Holy Scriptures,
"I mean the manner of the noble Bereans, “to see if these things are so;" not with a self-sufficient presentiment that these things are not so.” Supposing any of you have been led by “the traditions of men,” either by preachers in your pulpits, or by the productions of learned commentators on the Bible, to believe in a spiritual reign of the Lord Jesus Christ, you will feel a shock like a house falling about the head, when the literal or personal ap: pearing of Emmanuel comes before you. If settled in the opinion that your belief is certainly true-if determined that no farther search after truth is necessary, you resist conviction that "possibly I am wrong, " and abandon my tidings as heresy, let me tell you in the fear of God, that you are unprepared faithfully to search his sacred Word. No person can do this, with a prejudiced and biassed mind; and right conclusions that concern this momentous theme of prophecy will not be drawn. All labour in searching the Scriptures, with the influence of
predetermined self-conceit abiding on the mind, that the popular millennium system of “spiritual reign," and the conversion of Jews by Gentile ministrations of the Gospel of Christ, must be true, will prove in the result, a "beating the air.” Prejudice and self-conceit urged the Jews to reject the first advent of Christ in person; and I think the same evils are operating on the Gentiles, to prevent them from receiving the doctrine of his glorious Epiphany, to reign as Man and God upon the earth, in that same individual body, which was crucified through weakness, but raised by mighty power on the appointed Day. The doctrine, too, directs a blow against all systems of men, that are connected with the word religion, at the present day. If it is true that Jesus Christ returns to this world, to reign one thousand years before he judges the “dead, small and great," universally, there follows a train of astonishing events from thence, that effectually mars the glory of professing Gentiles; for the Jews are set over them as teachers, and not. placed at their feet as scholars. This is not pleasant to the Gentiles. They have supposed themselves able to teach Judah her duty, forgetting that Apostolic power was insufficient to the work; and that the conversion of the Jews was to be preceded by the shaking of Heaven and earth, and to commence at the return of the Lord.
I am clearly convinced that the tables are turned; and that “blindness in part has happened to the Gentiles," until (not the fulness of the Jews) but the fulness of Almighty wrath be come upon them. In the day when men are calling upon the "rocks and mountains to fall on them," I am certain the blindness is off, and when it is too late to work honestly with God's holy word, many will unavail
ingly cry, O that I had faithfully searched the Scriptures of truth; and marked the prophecies, prefaced with “thus saith the Lord!"
I have exerted myself to the utmost, in bringing it to you in this humble form. May it be made a blessing to humble and hungry souls.
The following remarks on the glorious appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ, were published in the Morning Watch, or Quarterly Journal on Prophecy, and Theological Review, of September, 1830. I present it in this number of Millennial Tidings, for the “edification and comfort” of Believers in the Truth, as it is in JESUS, and pray likewise, that partially awakened, partly convinced, and halting souls, may be profited by this true and sensible labour of love. There is sufficient of it expressed in plain English, to assist the teachable lovers of JESUS, who know nothing of Greek or Latin, while the scholar is reproved for his neglect of his privilege. “He that hath ears to hear let him hear” -“Behold he cometh."
H. L. Philadelphia, February, A.D., 1839.
F ON THE EPIPHANY OF OUR LORD JESUS CHRIST; AND
THE GATHERING OF HIS ELECT.
“In the 24th chapter of Matthew, and at the third verse, we find the disciples of our Lord inquiring, among other particulars, What should be the sign of his repouois, or presence? and to this question there is no direct answer returned, unless it be in the 30th verse. The information, however, which we receive, in that and the preceding verses, is to the following effect: That immediately after an unparalleled tribulation, “such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor never shall be,' the sun shall be darkened, the moon shall not give her light, the stars shall fall, the powers of the heavens
shall be shaken; and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in the heaven. We must either admit, then, that the appearance of the Son of Man in the firmament, or heaven, is the sign of his repovels, his advent, or presence; or else, as I have said, that there is no direct answer given in this chapter, nor (as I think) in any other, to the question of the disciples, as quoted above.
“And, again, it seems impossible to affix any definite meaning whatever to these words, 'the sign of the Son of Man in heaven,' unless we understand his visible presence there to be what is referred to by the expression the sign.' For, as in Matt. xii. 39, not Jonah's sign, but Jonah the sign, is signified by the words the sign of the Prophet Jonah;' and as in Acts iv. 22 (To snussen TÕUTO TWS 145905) we understand the healing itself as the thing called to supusov, the miracle, or sign; and as in Rom. iv. 11, by the words onesov Tepstopeñs
, we understand, not properly A sign of circumcision, but circumcision the sign, received by Abraham; so in the text before us we must likewise understand, not properly 'the sign of the Son of Man in the heaven, but the Son of Man in the heaven THE SIGN of his advent.
“Hence I conclude with perfect confidence, that there shall be such an appearance of the Son of Man in the heaven, or the sky (Gen. i. 8); a proper επιφανεια (apparentia quæ est superne et in summo. Scapula), an EPIPHANY, of the Son of Man; preceding his repouria, his advent to the earth, or presence thereon, by a certain period of time, during which all the tribes of the earth shall mourn. As it is written: 'And then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn; and they shall see the Son of Man coming (171) upon the clouds of heaven, with