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indefinite a meaning to it here. But, still, this authority will not answer the purpose of the editor of the Eclectic, in proving that these are not the days spoken of, because they are evil days and these days are good days, and that "the whole tenor of prophecy" describes the last days as good days: for Calvin holds directly the opposite, and says, that although the term does mean the whole Christian dispensation, "potius qualis futura sit regni Christi conditio, docet. Multi enim imaginabantur beatam nescio quam pacem, et immunem omni molestia." We maintain most unequivocally, that, search for the fulfilment of the prediction when and where you please, the interpretation is not the true one which does not find it, not amongst heretics, but amongst the religious of the day, be it when it may. In this opinion also Calvin agrees: "Notandum est de quibus loquatur; neque enim externos hostes, qui ex professo Christi nomen oppugnant, sed domesticos perstringit, qui censeri volunt inter ecclesiæ membra. Nam eousque suam ecclesiam exercere vult Deus, ut intus tales pestes in sinu suo gerat, etiamsi eos fovere horreat." We conclude our extract with his caution, "nostrum est aperire oculos, ut cernamus qui digito monstrentur."
We need scarcely say, that we strongly recommend this volume of Mr. Irving to the attentive perusal of all; not only on account of the merits of the work itself, but because we know of no other from whence the same information can be derived those, therefore, who want to know the true character of the best part of the world at the present time, or who desire an able commentary on a portion of prophecy to which the Holy Ghost has called our attention with very peculiar earnestness, we strongly advise to peruse this volume. We have not noticed any of the misrepresentations which the religious magazines have made of the doctrines it contains, because we did not wish to discuss subjects of such importance in an incomplete manner; but we must say upon this point, that there is a wilful perversion of Mr. Irving's direct and published sentiments, which it is impossible to reconcile with honesty or with veracity. We know not in what manner to treat persons capable of such conduct but this we know, that the men who can wilfully sit down, month after month, to write what cannot be mistakes, but are intentional falsehoods, respecting the creed of a minister of God's word, have no more right or title to be called or treated as Christians, than men living in open uncleanness, drunkenness, or any other abomination: and we hold it a distinctive feature of the present day, not that theologians are coarse in their language, but that men shall be esteemed Christians because they follow the fashion of the profane world in abstaining from sensual pleasures of the lowest kind, while they
continue in the indulgence of slander and malevolence: and this we assert to be the case of those magazines which hold up Mr. Irving to public execration as teaching a reprobation distinct from the punishment of human guilt; that God is, in a moral as well as in a physical sense, the author of evil; and that his theology has come upon him, not in the ordinary way of study and research, but by distinct revelation. Evan. Mag. p. 599.
TO THE EDITOR OF THE MORNING WATCH.
MR. EDITOR-I cannot refrain from addressing a few lines to you, to express the cordial satisfaction with which I hail the annunciation of a work like yours, devoted to the candid and impartial discussion of subjects connected with the Prophetical Scriptures. If ever there was a time when the Prophecies of Holy Writ ought to be humbly studied and deeply considered, it is assuredly the present; and if ever there was a time when such a work as yours was called for, it is now. It is the desideratum of the day in which we live. It is an undoubted and a most lamentable fact, that, amidst the numerous Reviews, Magazines, and other periodical works which abound in this country, there is NOT ONE, with which I am acquainted *, that is disposed to set before its readers the subject of Prophetical interpretation in a fair and impartial manner. The Editors and Reviewers in these publications impose their own ipse dixit on their readers, instead of presenting them with a fair statement of the arguments used on each side of the important question at issue.
That, however, I may not seem to deal in general charges without proof, I will call your attention to the manner in which certain publications on Prophecy were treated in "the Christian Guardian" for the month of December last. At the head of the article stands the following list of books to be reviewed :
"The Rev. A. Keith's Evidence of the Truth of Religion derived from the literal Fulfilment of Prophecy."
"Mr. Faber's Sacred Calendar of Prophecy."
"Ben Ezra's Coming of Messiah in Glory and Majesty."
"Dialogues on Prophecy."
"Hon. and Rev. G. Noel's Inquiry into the Prospects of the Christian Church."
"Dr. Hamilton's Defence of the Scriptural Doctrine of the Second Advent of Christ, &c."
"Papers read before the Society for the Investigation of Prophecy." Now, in the above list there are two works which decidedly take one side of the question now at issue before the Church on the subject of the Millennium, and four which advocate and argue for the other. What, then, might a reader, anxious to gain information on the subject, have reasonably expected? Assuredly that a fair statement of the arguments used by the respective authors would be given, and fair extracts made from their works, that the reader might form some judgment of their several merits. But what is the actual fact? Copious extracts are given from the works of Mr. Faber and Dr. Hamilton, and stamped with the reviewer's approbation, while the old rule of audi alteram partem has been entirely forgotten. The writer merely observes, that he will briefly advert to the other publications; and then, enumerating all but Mr. Noel's, he adds, that the time spent in reading them has been very ill em.
* The Jewish Expositor is by far the best in this respect.
ployed; and so shuts them up. To Mr. Noel's work a few separate remarks are devoted, for the purpose of offering some empty compliment on his amiable spirit, and of adverting to his interpretation of our Lord's words to the thief on the cross (which have nothing, in fact, to do with the main question); and so his book is dismissed, like the rest, without a single quotation. Now I ask, Is this fair, impartial, Christian? What are we to infer from this method of proceeding? Why, either that the Reviewer never read the works in question, which I shrewdly suspect (notwithstanding his whining over his lost time); or else, that, having read them, he was afraid to give an honest statement of their contents. But what is an anonymous reviewer, that the Christian Church is to pin its faith on his opinion on such a momentous subject as this?
I would earnestly entreat the readers of every Review or Magazine which thus partially and unfairly deals with writers on unfulfilled Prophecy, to free themselves from the miserable bondage, and to read the works alluded to for themselves, and weigh well the arguments they contain, together with the writings of those who take an opposite view; and then to search the Scriptures with humility, teachableness, and prayer, to see which authors speak most according to the word and to the testimony.
I am most thankful to you that in the work which you have announced we have the prospect of one in which this great question will be fairly treated. Truth can only be elicited by an open and candid discussion, conducted in a Christian spirit. Those who are really desirous of ascertaining the truth, and of adopting it when it is ascertained, will never be averse to such an investigation. May the God of truth guide and bless your proposed publication, and make it conducive to enlighten and edify His church!
This is the sincere prayer of one who hopes (if spared) to be
Your constant Reader,
Some articles for which we have not had room, will appear in our next Number. We return thanks to the Rev. J. J. HOLMES, and Rev. A. ADDIS, and shall take early occasion of noticing their communications.
Miscalculations, incident to a new undertaking, have disturbed the proportion between the several departments of our first Number.
It is our intention to notice scarce old books on Prophetical subjects; and we shall be obliged by extracts from rare works, especially on the Apocalypse. We request our Correspondents to send their papers six weeks, at the least, before the day of publication, that we may have time to examine them; and we beg that they would give us permission to publish their names.
CONTENTS OF NO. II.
On the Text and Versions of the Holy Scriptures
Interpretation of all the Old-Testament Prophecies quoted in the
On the Theology of the Periodical Journals of the present Day. 243
Letter to the Editor-on the first and second Resurrection-with
Remarks on the Communication of W. D. in the MORNING
Remarks on the Period assigned in Scripture for the Restoration