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say, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.” “ He cometh in the name of the Lord,” was a familiar phrase to the Jews, used to express distinctly the visible appearing of their Lord Christ; to which they usually added, Hosanna—a word used to express distinctly the glory of the reign of Christ iheir King.
And whilst then his followers were shouting « Hosanna-blessed is he that cometh in the . name of the Lord blessed be the kingdom of David our Father that cometh in the name of the Lord-Hosanna ;" thinking that the kingdom of God should immediately appear; he answered, “O, Jerusalem, Jerusalem, behold, your house is left unto you desolate. And verily I say unto you, ye shall not see me, until the time come when
blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.”
This must be an appearing of Christ, otherwise than by the pouring out of his Spirit; for such a sight of him Jerusalem had at Pentecost, and yet their house is desolate. The sight of him therefore which shall end their desolation will be a different thing ; for in this sense they were to see him no more, till the day of their repentance, when their desolation should end.
He that was to “come in the name of the Lord”-that was “ blessed out of the house of the Lord,"*mbad often visited his house, and, meeting a very unkind reception, now bids it a long adieu ; but in the woful threatening encloses a promise that it should not be forever.
* Psalm cxviii. 26.
Once more he would come, and then all the Jews, in the same manner as the few believers now, would meet him with open arms, and with hosannas welcome him home.
A Jew could understand this prophecy in no other sense, than as connecting their conversion and his second coming. And in this sense it was understood by the disciples ; for Peter, in his discourse to the Jews, Acts iii., carefully timed their conversion and the blotting out of their sins, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord, and he shall send Jesus Christ. His words are, “ Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that
may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. And he shall send Jesus Christ, which before was preached unto you, whom the heaven must receive, until the times of restitution of all things, which God hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy prophets, since the world began."
Here, the restoration of the Jews, and the coming of Christ, are connected in the strongest manner possible. Their sins shall be blotted out when the times of refreshing shall come; which must be expected only from the presence of the Lord, in the person of Jesus Christ; for, until he shall come, their house must be desolate. What all the prophets have spoken of as the restoration of the Jews, or, as Jerusalem restored, is here called the times of refreshing, and the restitution of all things ; when they shall repent, and their sins shall be “blotted out," and Jesus Christ shall be revealed from heaven in his glory, as the heaven now receives him.
Another event, immediately connected with the coming of Christ, is the final destruction of Antichrist.*
This may be seen in 2 Thessalonians ji. 8. The Lord shall consume the Man of Sin, who is the same with Antichrist, “ with the spirit of his mouth, and shall destroy" him with the brightness of his coming.”
If it be doubted whether the word coming be used here in a proper sense, let it be observed, that the apostle is here discoursing, beyond all doubt, concerning the proper coming of Christ, and that most certainly he used the saine word Ins rapsoias, coming—to convey such an idea in the first verse ;t and no note or sign being given of the variation of its meaning, it could not be used to convey a different idea in the eighth verse, and be intelligible : for, if the same words be used in a discourse for different things, without some distinguishing mark of the difference, they can give no instruction.
We are sure the apostle Paul did not use words in this manner: nothing can be more unwarranted from the style of his writings than to suppose he used the word coming, in the first verse, for the proper coming of Christ, and in a few following verses, before he left the subject,
* " The second coming of the Lord will be at and for the destruction of the Man of Sin, and the extinction of the Roman monarchy under the Papal form of it.”Mather's Life, page 141.
+ If any should doubt whether the words “coming of our Lord Jesus Christ,” in the first verse, mean his sec. ond and proper coming, let them look back into the first chapter, 7, 8, 9, and 10th verses, and attend to the con. Dection, and they must be satisfied.
without the least intimation of varying its meaning, used it again for his word and Spirit, or for some event of Divine Providence, we know not what.
Why should we make the apostle dark and unintelligible, when discoursing to his brethren, in the most familiar style, of the time of the coming of Christ, exactly in the same manner as Christ himself discoursed of the same thing; not pointing it out directly, but as immediately connected with an event of great notoriety?
It should farther be observed in this passage, that the apostle, undertaking expressly to show why the coming of Christ should not then be immediately expected, gives this reason, and this only: there must come a falling away first, and that Man of Sin be revealed, the son of perdition,” and have his time; but why did he not add, and that glorious millennium also must first come, and the kingdom of Christ and the saints be revealed ? Is not the reign of Christ and the righteous as important an event as the reign of Antichrist and the wicked ? Did it not as much deserve the apostle's notice? Was it not as much in his remembrance ? For certainly, if this also had been to take place before Christ's coming, to have mentioned it would have been as much to his purpose.
Why, we ask, did the apostle, when expressly pointing out what must delay the day of Christ, stop a whole millenary, or thousand years, short? What reason can be given for such an omission ? Or if the mention of one was sufficient for his purpose, why was not the millennium instanced in, rather than the antichristian apostasy, as the later and the greater event, and clearer proof ?But it may also be observed, that this is the case in every place in the New Testament where the events preceding the coming of Christ are noted.
The Lord himself distinctly rehearsed the great events to take place before his second coming, and, among others, the great falling away which the apostle mentions here, and “that wicked”—“the abomination of desolation ;' but said not a word of the millennium: yea, he so connected his coming with this notorious apostasy, that it should seem impossible the millennium were to intervene. See Matt. xxiv. “ When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place (whoso readeth, let him understand)---For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders, insomuch that (if it were possible) they shall deceive the very elect. Behold I have told you before. Wherefore, if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert, go not forth ; Behold, he is in the secret chambers, believe it not. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west, so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” See also Mark xiii. “Then, if any man shall say to you, Lo, here is Christ, or, Lo, he believe him not. For false Christs and false prophets shall arise, and shall show signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect. But take ye heed; behold I have foretold you all things. But in those days, after that tribulation, the sun shall be darkened, and the