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the 9th chapter of Daniel, however, I was much struck with the 34th verse, as containing a proof that the book supplies what I could not find elsewhere. No professing Christian can, I think, for a moment doubt that the seventy weeks there mentioned are weeks of years, i. e. stand for a period of time neither less nor more than 490 years. The fulfilment of the prophecy, according to the undoubted testimony of sacred and prophane history, seems to establish this as an indisputable fact upon the surest grounds; and, therefore, the unerring authority of God's own explanation of the mind of the Spirit in this remarkable instance, fully warrants us, I conceive, in applying the same course of interpretation to the other similar expressions in the prophecies of this wonderful book. There is, moreover, such a striking coincidence in many points between it and the book of Revelations, both as to the terms of prophetical language used, and the subjects and periods of time on which they treat, that I think the rule which applies to the one, must belong to the other also. To a student of prophecy, this can need, I think, no demonstration; and thus, then, we have a safe and sure guide to "the times and seasons" of the mysterious events there spoken of. We must not, however, I think, follow our guide in some parts, and then, for our own convenience, stop short and forsake his direction in others. So long, indeed, as we have only to interpret the 1260 days-42 months-or time, times, and the dividing of time, mentioned in the Apocalypse, all is well, and seems to answer with wonderful exactness. But what are we to do, upon this principle of interpretation, with the 1000 years spoken of in chapter xx. 4? Are we to put a day for a year in this place also, and to understand that the millenium is to continue for a period of 360,000 years?-or, if not, by what right, or with what fairness, can we interpret days to signify years in the former parts of the book, and reject that meaning here?
The period of Nebuchadnezzar's banishment, seven times, as it is called, Dan. iv. 32-34, and the marginal rendering of chapter xi. 13, plainly, I think, and sufficiently prove, that the times of Daniel are years; but, if so, how can those years, consistently with the principle above laid down, from chap. ix. 34, mean, in all the other prophetical parts of Daniel, and the Revelations, periods of 360 years, and in Rev. xx. 4, periods of 360 days only? To be consistent, should not all be interpreted alike? Nebuchadnezzar's own seven times, it is true, could certainly not have been prophetic years, but the ordinary periods of time known by that name. I question, however, whether this one instance, relating merely to the case of a single individual's life, will justify the usual interpretation of Rev. xx. 4.
Perhaps some of your better informed correspondents may be able to throw some light upon this interesting and obscure subject. It does not, indeed, seem to affect the question respecting the time of the second coming of Christ, whether that is to be before or after the millennium. As I am on the subject, however, perhaps I may be allowed to ask one question relative to that great and in
teresting event. In 1st Thess. v. 2-2d Pet. iii. 10-and Rev. xvi. 15, it is declared distinctly, that the coming of the Son of Man will be "as a thief in the night," that is, suddenly-at an hour least expected, and at a time when the world is most unprepared. From 1st Thess. v. 4, however, it is evident that the second coming of Christ will not be "as a thief" to true Christians—“ but ye brethren," says the Apostle, "are not in darkness, that that day should overtake YOU as a thief."
If, then, the second advent of the Son of Man is not to take place until after the millennium, when the whole world is Christianized, and all men brought to the knowledge and practice of true religion, how can he possibly come as a thief in the night, when all are prepared to welcome and receive him, and no longer any in darkness? Does not this, then, seem to point out the time of Christ's appearance as previous to that happy period when "the knowledge of the glory of the Lord shall cover the earth, as the waters cover the seas?" But again-If the universal reign of Christianity take place first, how is it possible that the state of the world should be such as our Lord himself (Matt. xxiv. 36-51) declares it will be at his coming? On the other view, however, viz. that he will come to execute judgment on an unbelieving, impenitent world, and to set up a kingdom of righteousness in the midst of an ungodly generation, who are "eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage," regardless of every thing but earthly pursuits and present enjoyment, the language and declarations of the sacred volume are perfectly intelligible and consistent. Luke xviii. 8, "When the Son of man cometh, shall he find faith on the earth?" seems to me clearly to point out the state in which the world will be found, when, according to ch. xvii. 30, (with which this passage and the parable to which it belongs are directly connected) "the Son of man is revealed." There will be at that time we may trust, many wise virgins who shall be found watching and waiting for their Lord's coming, but the generality of mankind will be still lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God, and living in a state of impenitence and infidelity. I confess, therefore, I cannot see how the universal reign of true religion can well be supposed to precede and usher in the second coming of the Lord, consistently with these passages which speak of his coming as a thief in the night, and describe the state of the world at the time as wholly unmindful of Him. Oh reader, then, whatever others do, may we be enabled to abide the day of his coming, and through grace, to stand when he appeareth. Let us therefore, now, "watch and pray, lest we enter into temptation." "The judge standeth at the door."
'ATTACHMENT OF IRISH SERVANTS.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
SIR-Perhaps the following little narrative may be amusing to some of your readers; it exhibits in a strong light the attachment of an Irish servant to his master.
It was near the end of the year 1782 when Captain Cthe East India Company's service set out from Calcutta to Orixa, attended by five native soldiers and his own servant; they had proceeded some days' journey from Calcutta, when having passed the Ganges, they drew nigh to Balassar: the evening being sultry and dry, they approached a rivulet to quench their thirst, when suddenly was heard a dreadful howling from a neighbouring jungle, and immediately after an immense tiger burst out, and rushed to the spot where one of the soldiers was stooping down to drink, but immediately on his perceiving the ferocious animal he plunged into the river; it then directed its course towards where Captain C was taking some refreshment, with his servant beside him, he immediately discharged a rifle which was lying by his side at it, but without effect, he then ordered the men who were at some distance behind, to fire, but by some accident, only two of the guns went off, of which one struck the infuriated animal upon the hip, but very slightly, after which, with one bound, it came up where the Captain was recharging his rifle, seized him by the cloak, and immediately rushed with him into the jungle. The horror of his attendants at this sight could not be described, but more particularly that of his faithful servant, who never once thinking of the danger he exposed himself to, followed the tiger into the midst of the jungle, where he overtook him before he had gone far; (the cloak of its prey entangling on the brushwood) he had in his hand a small hatchet, with which having aimed a blow at the tiger's back, he gave it a severe wound, that at once caused him to let go his prey, which having done, he made a spring at the servant, infuriated doubly by excessive pain, but he having retreated a few steps backwards and at the same time discharging a pistol he took from his belt, at the breast of the tiger, which taking effect, he uttered a hideous howl, and fell at his feet on the ground; he then seized his master in his arms and carried him to the open ground, he having fainted through the excessive terror and pain of the wounds which he had received, on being dragged through the underwood; but when recovered, and his wounds examined, he was found not to have suffered at all from the bite of the tiger, it having seized him by the waist-his cloak and the belt of his sabre are supposed to have saved him. When they returned the next morning, they found the tiger in the same place, although life was not entirely extinct.
The captain recovered, and lived to reward his faithful servant by presenting him with a commission in which he behaved with equal bravery and magnanimity. J.K.M.
ON LAY PREACHING.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER,
SIR-As a lay member of the Established Church, and one sincerely attached to its doctrines and discipline, I shall feel obliged by an answer from one of your correspondents to the following Queries, on what is called "Lay Preaching."
I will suppose it to be generally acknowledged, that lay-men do not act out of their proper sphere, or contrary to rule, in the interesting work of Sunday-school teaching. They have even been allowed to instruct classes of adults without any objection being raised against them. Some, however, are in the habit of lecturing or speaking to the children collectively, before they separate. I should wish to know if this practice be considered lawful and proper; and if not, wherein does it differ from the preceding cases, so as to constitute the one an improper act, while the others are highly approved of?
Or-suppose that a number of adults, say from twenty to thirty, are brought together for religious instruction, either upon the Lord's day or upon a week day, is it contrary to the laws and discipline of the Established Church, for a lay-man to read and expound to them a portion of the Word of God; and may he not occasionally, in family or social worship, explain to his family, friends, and domestics, and endeavour, to the best of his ability, to impress upon them the sacred truths contained in the portion of Scripture which may be read?
I will, however, suppose another case which frequently occurs. A lay-man goes into a prison or an hospital, and collects together one hundred or perhaps two hundred of his fellow-sinners to hear the Word of life: Is it wrong for him to speak to them collectively on the important concerns of eternity, either from a chapter of the Bible or a text, and if so, where is it forbidden, and what other course may he lawfully follow, in his endeavours to do good?
The twenty-third article says "It is not lawful for any man to take upon him the office of public preaching or ministering the sacraments in the congregation, before he be lawfully called and sent to exercise the same.' What is the meaning of public preaching here, and are any of the cases I have mentioned within its limits? Or, does the article merely exclude from preaching in the congregation, (or church) those who are not lawfully called to the work of the ministry?
A satisfactory answer to these queries will be highly acceptable to many of your readers, as well as to your humble servant,
ON THE MILLENNIUM.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.
MR. EXAMINER-As I perceive that you devote a portion of your space to a subject which now attracts considerable attention, I wish, if permitted, to ask a few questions of a correspondent, who has kindly undertaken to state briefly the doctrines of the Millenium. I wish to understand these doctrines, and have read some works on the subject, but am much at a loss, and find in what your correspondent has written several difficulties. Perhaps others of your readers have found the same, and that simply pointing them out might tend to throw some light on this important and interesting subject.
Your correspondent speaks of a punishment brought on the Lord's people of old, because they knew not the time of their visitation. Here I am at a loss, because he seems to call unbelieving Jews the Lord's people; but our Lord says, "Ye believe not because ye are not of my sheep." "Ye are not of God, ye are of your father the devil....The synagogue of Satan." St. Paul is equally clear, "All are not Israel that are of Israel." "Shall God cast away his people whom he foreknew? God forbid; the election hath obtained it and the rest were blinded" "He is not a Jew that is one outwardly." "There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus." "Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's elect." "The day of the Lord so cometh as a thief, but ye brethren are not in darkness that that day should overtake you as a thief." I cannot reconcile your correspondent's statement with these passages; and I do not wish to suppose he confounds unbelievers with the Lord's people, to give a seeming importance and awfulness to his favourite opinions.
I observe his expression, "the time," is marked emphatically, as if to intimate that a neglect of the prophetic time was the great crime of the Jews. How is this known? When John Baptist came "the Jews sent priests and Levites to ask him, art thou the Christ?" when the wise men came "all Jerusalem was troubled." Our Lord also speaks of the people not understanding the signs of the times," If I had not come and spoken unto them they had not had sin." "If I had not done among them the works which none other man did."
When I apply the observation to our own times, I am more at a loss. I do not find in Scripture any exhortation to look out for a particular time, but many dissuasions from it. Our Lord exhorts his people to watchfulness by the circumstance of their being ignorant of the time of his coming; "Watch, because ye know not.... Of that hour knoweth no man, no not the angels in heaven, not the Son of man (it makes no part of his revelation as Messias)....it is not for you to know the times and the seasons.' "If the good man of the house had known he would have watched." Our Lord seems also to explain what it is to watch: "Occupy till I come."