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ON THE FULFILMENT OF MATTHEW XVI, 28,
IN THE TRANSFIGURATION.
To the Editor of the Investigator. standing here which shall not taste Sir,
of death, till they see the Son of In common with your correspon- man coming in his kingdom :" or dent Abdiel, I entertain no doubt as Mark expresses it, till they of the fulfilment of the prediction have seen the kingdom of God come in Matt. xvi, 28, and its parallels, in with power.” Immediately on this our Lord's transfiguration before his follows the history of the transthree disciples : and I regard the in- figuration. terpretation as equally obvious and Now it is evident, as Whitby satisfactory. The difficulty, how- justly observes, that the coming ever, which is frequently expressed intended in the introductory verses in private discussion on the suh- is Christ's second and glorious ject by sincere inquirers after advent, when “He shall judge the prophetical truth, and the fact that quick and dead at His appearing commentators almost universally ex- and His kingdom."* And I would plain the passage differently, proves
differently, proves insist on it, as almost a necessary that to other persons the interpre- consequence, that it is of the tation contended for does by no same glorious advent that Christ means approve itself as satisfac- speaks when He declares, that tory; and consequently, that it needs
were standing there who should confirmation.
not die till they had seen it." CerIt is with this object that I beg to tainly this is the natural inference offer to your readers the sugges- from the context. And nothing, but tions following
the impossibility of otherwise exAs a preliminary to the right un- plaining the passage in question, derstanding of the prediction, it is can justify an interpreter in affixing important to mark the context which to the words, coming of the Son introduces it. Whosoever shall of man,” in two successive and
be ashamed of me and of my closely connected verses, two mean' words in this sinful and adulte- ings entirely different. rous generation, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when He mind a sufficient objection against shall come in His own glory, and those interpretations which refer us in His Father's, and of the holy for the fulfilment of the prediction angels. For the Son of man shall in question to Christ's ascension come in the glory of his Father into heaven,-to the consequent dewith His anyels; and then He shall scent of the Holy Spirit and exten• reward every man according to his sion of the Gospel kingdom,—or to ' works.”—Then comes the predic- the judicial destruction of Jerusation that we are considering; “Ve- lem, t-as comings of the Lord rily I say unto you there be some Jesus which, severally, all or one at
* 2 Tim. iv, 1.
+ Of Bishop Horsley's extraordinary interpretation I say nothing, as I conceive the learned prelate could scarce have expected any to be satisfied with it. If I remember right, he supposes Judas to have been the disciple specially intended by our Lord: and INVESTIGATOR, No. VII.
least of the apostles lived to wit- Isaiah, vi, 1. “ I saw the LORD sit
What may be the authority ting upon a throne high and lifted in any case for applying to these
And the Seraphim cried events such a phrase as that of “the out unto one another and said, ' Son of man coming with power in “Holy, holy, holy is JEHOVAH of · His kingdom,” I have yet to learn. hosts; the whole earth is full of The passages usually cited to au- · his glory. Then said I, Woe is thorize such an application of the 'me! for mine eyes have seen the words are, as is known to most of King, the Lord of hosts." your readers, disputed passages; and Ezek.xi, 1 &c. "The Spirit brought all admit a very different construc- me to the east gate of the LORD'S tion. But, if the context of the pre- house : and behold at the gate five ceding verses fixes the meaning of the and twenty men, among whom I words, coming in His kingdom,” saw Jaazaniah, the son of Azur, in v. 27, to Christ's second and glo- and Pelatiah, the son of Benaiah, rious advent, then it is undeniable 'princes of the people. And He said that here, at least, the interpreta- ' unto me, Son of man prophesy. tions fail.
* And it came to pass when I proBut how then, it will be asked, phesied, that Pelatiah, the son of can the prediction be explained, Benaiah, died.” seeing that the disciples did all soon John viii, 56. " Your father taste of death, and that the coming Abraham rejoiced to see my day; of their Lord in glory is an event and he saw it, and was glad.” still future?
Rev. XX, 12.
And I saw the The key to the right interpreta- dead, small and great, stand betion is, as I conceive, to be found fore God." in other Scriptures; from which we It was in vision that Michaiah saw learn, that they who saw a thing or pre-acted the scattering of Israel ; event prefigured or pre-acted in Isaiahı, the glorification of the Lord vision, were not unfrequently said Jesus as King of all the earth ;* to see the thing or event itself. A Ezekiel, the death of Pelatiah as he few examples will place this beyond prophesied; John, the gathering of doubt.
the quick and dead to judgment; 1 Kings xxii, 17. “And Mi- and probably,--though with this chaiah said, I saw all Israel scat difference, that he saw the event tered upon the hills, as sheep that pre-acted in type,—Abraham, the day have notashepherd. And the LORD of Christ. † r. said. These have no master.” &c. In the same way they might be
with this meaning to the prediction ; that in comparison with the horrors of the second death which Judas should experience at Christ's second coming, the miseries of his first death would be as nothing ;-s0, indeed, as that in the comparison he might be said “ not to taste of death till he saw the Son of man coming in His kingdom !!"
* We learn from John xii, 41, that Isaiah in this vision saw Christ's glory : and from those expressions of the Prophet, “ mine eyes have seen the King ;'' and of the Seraphim, " the whole earth is full of his glory ;" we infer that it was a presigurative vision of Christ as the universally acknowledged King of this lower world. So bishop Lowth observes ; 6 The vision related to His future kingdom, when the veil of separation was to be removed, and the whole earth was to be filled with the glory of God, revealed to all mankind."
t« The day of Christ” will appear from the comparison of many Scriptures to mean generally the day of Christ's second manifestation, and universal establishment of His kingdom. Here it includes, probably, the eternal day during which the kingdom will last.
The occasion of Abraham's seeing it appears to have been when on Mount
said to see the glorious manifesta Moses,” it is said in special contrast, tion of Christ in His kingdom, who I will speak mouth to mouth, even saw it prefigured and pre-acted on apparently and notin dark speeches; the mount of transfiguration. For
and the similitude of the LORD shall -as the learned and pious - he behold,” And so Theodoret on Mr. Baxter has it in his chapter Ezekiel i, 5, says; ÓTe BK « On the sensible manifestation of εθεωρον των αορατων τας φυσεις οι Christ's kingdom in the transf- θεσπεσιοι προφηται, αλλ' εικασματα guration," appended to the Dying Tiva. And again; Πανταχα ο θειος Thoughts,-Christ having promised προφητης το ομοίωμα τιθησι, διδασκων Some of his disciples a sight of his ήμας σκιαγραφιαν τινα
των θειων kingdom coming in power, did give τεθεασθαι, και 8κ αυτην των αορατων them“ such a glimpse of it as Moses
But in the transfigurahad of the back parts of God's glory.” tion the disciples beheld not sym
But when I speak of the transfi- bols but realities; not the pre-acting guration as a prefigurative vision in visionary resemblances, but the only of Christ's second coming, - pre-acting in fact, though onasmaller such as that they who saw it might scale, of the wonders of Christ's be said, as in the cases just cited, second coming : and they beheld to have seen Christ's second coming this not in a trance, but with their itself,—-I am speaking much below eyes open. (ETOTTAI, 2 Pet. i, 16.) the truth and grandeur of the sub- With their bodily eyes they beheld ject. For it should be remembered, the KING," as all shall at the last that the visions in which things see Him, “in His beauty:" with their distant or future were revealed to bodily eyes they beheld the risen the prophets were of various cha and changed saints, Moses and Elijah, racters, and with various degrees of with bodies also glorified, brought to similitude to the things represented. meet Him: with their bodily eyes Generally it was in symbolic repre- they beheld that cloud of the Father's sentations, and in resemblances sha- excellent glory, which shall attend His dowy and unsubstantial, that the second coming, overshadowing Him : thing signified was represented to and out of the cloud heard the voice the Seer ; —as in the revelations, of the Ancient of days attesting to probably, to Michaiah, Ezekiel, and His excellence; delegating, as it St. John. So it is written in the
were, to Him the kingdom, and reBook of Numbers, (chap. xii, 6,) of quiring all to pay Him homage God's general revelations to the
Hear ye Him !! prophets ; “ If there be a prophet Of twoobjections, that I have seen among you, I the LORD will make
to the interpretation I am advocatmyself known to him in a vision and ing, one advanced by Whitby is, that will speak to him in a dream :"—the in the transfiguration there was no Prophet's bodily senses being lock- rewarding men according to their ed on the occasion. Whereas “with works, in accordance with what is
Moriah he received back as from the dead Isaac the heir of the “promises,” and type of that greater Heir of all things, whose actual dying on the same mountain, strange as it might appear to the patriarch, was necessarily to precede His inheriting. The angel that called to Abraham out of heaven, and emphatically renewed the promises, Thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies, and in thy seed shall all nations of the earth Bless themselves,” (vide Scott, ad loc.) did then, probably, enlighten the eyes of the patriarch to see the Anti-type's history in that of the type. For he called the name of the place JEHOVAH Jireh ; or (such, it is said, should be the translation)“ In this mount the Lord shall appear."
specified in the 27th verse as cha- body, according to the working, (evepracteristic of the coming of the yelay, rendered in our Liturgy "the Lord intended. But how could mighty working,') whereby He is Whitby forget that a partthe first able even to subdue all things unto part of the so rewarding men on the Himself.” Well might Peter dwell great day is to consist in the reward- so expressly on the power maniing the righteous, and the public fested, as well as the majesty, in this admission of them to a participation wonderful vision, as it dwelt on of their Lord's glory;—even as Moses his recollection long after. and Elijah were then admitted ? have not followed cunningly de
Another objection, that we find in 'vised fables, when we made known Poole, dwells on the power” with ' to you the power and coming of which the disciples were to see God's our Lord Jesus Christ; but were kingdom come, as a particular un- 'eye witnesses of His majesty. For fulfilled in the vision of the transfi- He received from God the Father guration. But, surely, never till the · honor and glory, when there came last day will mortal eye behold such such a voice to Him from the exvisible power in exertion, as then cellent glory, 'This is my beloved served to mark that anticipative ma- Son in whom I am well pleased.' nifestation of the KING in His king- This voice which came from heaven dom ! power which in a moment ar- we heard, when we were with Him rayed the Lord's body of humiliation in the holy mount.” in more than solar brightness; With this, the best of commenpower which opened the gates of hades taries on the Gospel narrative, I conand of the grave, and summoned clude. It is to my mind in itself a Moses as one of the first fruits of the conclusive testimony to the fact of resurrection, and Elijah of saints that the transfiguration having been inshall be changed to attend and share tended as an anticipative represenhis glory ;-power which brought tation of the power and glory of down heaven to earth, and the taber- Christ's second coming.
If that nacle of God, even the Father, among event be regarded in any other light, men! The working of the very same such as a mere general attestation energy was then seen which St. to the truth, Messiahship, and esPaul describes as characteristic of sential dignity of Christ, I must beg Christ's second coming; "thechang- to say that the Apostle's allusion is ing of man's vile body, that it might stript of all its point, and of most of be fashioned like unto His glorious its force and beauty.
E. * I take this opportunity of submitting to your more learned readers, whether the translation of the ensuing verse in this chapter of St. Peter should not be altered. Και εχομεν βεβαιοτερον τον προφητικον λογον, is rendered in the received version, "We have also a more sure word of prophecy.” The comparative more sure,” in this position, implies a comparison between the evidence from the transfiguration and the evidence from prophecy; as if, though the former was strong, it was excelled in strength by the latter. This comparison I cannot believe that the Apostle intended. I would propose therefore construing exw in the sense of katexw, to hold fast : just as it is construed in 2 Tinm. 1, 13, υποτυπωσιν εχε υγιαινοντων λογων. " FIold fast the form of sound words." Then the translation would be, “And we hold faster the word of prophecy;"' i. e. of prophecy on the subject of Christ's coming. We grasp it with firmer faith ;' firmer on account of the all-convincing light and evidence which was shed on that great subject in the transfiguration. The expression is very similar to that in Heb. iii, 6.“ Whose house are we, if we hold fast the confidence of the hope firm unto the end :: the original standing thus, ει την παρρησίαν της ελπιδος μεχρι τελος βεβαιαν κατασχωμεν.
REMARKS ON DANIEL XII, 12, 13,
Proving from them a Resurrection and the Advent of Christ previous
to the Millennium.
To the Editor of the Investigator. Jesus Christ, will precede the Millen
nium. For the 13th verse is as folSir,
lows:-“ But go thou thy way till There can be no doubt, that num- the end be ; for thou shalt rest, and hers are employed by the inspired • stand in thy lot at the end of the Writers to fix the commencement days.” If therefore Daniel is to and termination of the prophecies, sleep in Jesus, (which thou shalt which they have delivered : and, rest
rest” clearly implies,) and is to though there may be various opin- stand in his lot at the end of the ions, as to the beginning and com- days, (that is, have his part in the pletion of a prediction; yet, with resurrection :-and what can standrespect to the prophecy which I am ing in his lot signify but this ?) and led to consider, no one has, I believe, these 1335 days, as we have before ever questioned, that it has com- shewn, will expire before the Milmenced many centuries ago, and lennium ; it is very manifest from that it must terminate before the this, that the first resurrection, and Millennium.
consequently the coming of Christ In Daniel xii, 12, we read— will precede the Millennium. For “ Blessed is he that waiteth and all acknowledge, that at the coming
cometh to the thousand three hun- of Christ the resurrection will take • dred and five and thirty days.” It place; and Daniel pronounces him is the opinion of many eminent wri- blessed, who comes to the 1335 ters on prophecy, that this period of days :- Why? Because he will then 1335 prophetical days must be dated have part in the first resurrection. from Anno Domini 533, and conse- St. John tells us the same thing, quently that it will terminate in
Rev. xx, 6; Blessed and holy is 1868; which opinion I conceive is - he that hath part in the first resurstrongly corroborated by the present rection.” state of the times : but no one has Tlus for the expression, ever intimated, that the 1335 days shalt rest, and stand in thy lot,” will terminate subsequently to the we have no other sense than what Millennium.* If then the 1335 has been given ; which is I conceive days have never been supposed by evident from the Scriptures which any writer to expire after the Mil- declare, that all believers, who die . lennium, we may safely conclude, previous to the coming of our Lord, that the 1335 days will terminate shall rest or sleep in Jesus ; and at previous to the Millennium ; and his coming shall stand in their lot, from this conclusion it will be evi- or, in other words, have their part dent, that the first resurrection, and in the first resurrection. consequently the coming of our Lord
* Mr. Faber is an exception to this remark. ED.