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that the Scriptures no where express, in explicit terms, any such thing. But admitting this fact, which we do, are we hence to conclude that the Scriptures, in no sense, afford any light upon this subject 2 By no means; nor, as we shall prove, is the want of an explicit declaration of this fact any argument to disprove its full, precise, actual revelation. In order to this, it is only necessary to observe that there are in Scripture several other points of equal, and, indeed, if considered in connection with a knowledge of their adaptation to the wants of the church practically, of much greater importance, which are, nevertheless, left to stand upon the same ground, as matters of faith and of Christian observance, with the subject now before us. For instance : — The Divine institution of the Christian Sabbath — the Divine right of infants to baptism in the Christian Church—and of both sexes to participate in the symbols of the Holy Eucharist, are received by them upon the grounds of inference only, there being no explicit authority in Scripture for their belief. If, then, similar authority can be adduced from Scripture to prove that God has assigned a limited and definite period to his sabbatical rest, is it not the privilege — yea, more, is it not the duty of the Christian to know it ! Yes, my brethren, and this duty, if I mistake not, rests with a fearfully accumulated responsibility on us, “ Upon whoM THE ENDs of THE world ARE come !”.' This objection to our inquiries removed, and assuming, as we now do, that the subject under consideration is fully susceptible of inferential proof from the Scriptures, before we advance to the argument as predicated of them, let us cast a sort of birds-eye glance over the opinions which have prevailed in all ages and among different nations, heathen, Jewish, and Christian, respecting this subject. And, 1. The most ancient Brahmenical sages, speaking of the creative energies and the repose which ensued, of the Almighty, write thus – “He, whose powers are incomprehensible, having created the universe, was again absorbed in the Supreme Spirit, changing the time of energy for the time ef repose.” And, they add, “his night of repose continues as long as his day: ”* i. e., of creative labor. “Similar in principle was the doctrine of the ancient Persians and Etruscans,” particularly the latter, who affirm, that “the world was formed in the course of six periods; each period comprehending a millenary: (i. e., a thousand years:) while six thousand years are allotted for a seventh period, viz., that of its duration.” " 2. “Of the Jewish writers, Rabbi Ketina, as cited in the Gemara or gloss of their Talmud, said, “that the world endures six thousand years.”* “It was the opinion” also “of the house of Elias,” (supposed to be Elias the Tishbite,) about two hundred years before Christ, “that the world endures six thousand years; two
1. 1 Cor. x., 11.
thousand before the Law, two thousand under the Law, and two thousand under the Messiah.” " 3. Of the Christian writers, St. Barnabas in the first century thus comments upon these words of Moses: “And God made in six days the works of his hands, and he finished on the seventh day, and he rested in it, and sanctified it.” This it signifies: — that the Lord God will finish all things in six thousand years; for a day with him is as a thousand years: as he himself testifieth, saying, “Behold this day shall be as a thousand years.” Therefore, children, “says he,” in six days, i. e., in six thousand years, shall all things be consummated.”” Lactantius says, “Because the works of God were finished in six days, it is necessary that the world should remain in this state six ages, i.e., six thousand years.”” “Cyprian, A.D. 252 (in his exhortation to martyrdom, Sec. ii., p. 179,) says, that in the creation of the world seven days were spent, and in those seven days seven thousand years were figuratively included; ” “ the last seventh of which is to be understood of the millenial rest. Bishop Latimer, (at the head of the Reformation, in his sermon, “The Day of Judgment,”) observes, “The world was ordained of God to endure, as Scripture and all learned men agree, six thousand years,” i.e., to endure in its present condition.” To the above I add in conclusion, the testimony of the distinguished Faber. “The divine Sabbath,” says he, “is a period of not less duration than six millenaries,” “ i.e., six thousand years. Now, respecting these authorities we admit, that the Hindoo sages, with the Persians, do not affix a definite period to the Almighty's night of repose. The Etruscans, however, do thus fix it. Nor do we refer to these as direct proof, but simply to show, that these heathen philosophers expanded the duration of that period which we designate as the sabbatical rest of God, greatly beyond that of a natural day. Hence, as such, there is to say the least a most striking coincidence of their views with the opinions both of Jewish and Christian writers. Let us now see what is to be gathered from ScripTURE, on this subject. Here, we at once admit, and that most unhesitatingly, the full force of all those passages, which, taken separately or collectively, represent “times and seasons” as connected with the course of God's dispensations to men, as hidden from their view. We will take for instance, the following, by way of illustration: — 1st. The question of the disciples to Christ, “Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel 2 And his answer. “It is not for you to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in his own power.”” 2nd. The following and similar passages, which, we remark, are very numerous. – The prophet Isaiah exclaims, “Howl ye, for the day of the Lord is at hand.” “ St. Paul says, “the time is short.” St. Peter says, “The end of all things is at hand.” “ St. James says, “Behold, the Judge standeth at the door.”” St. John, personating Christ, says, “Behold, I come quickly.” “ Christ said to his disciples, “watch, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.” “ St. Peter says, “The day of the Lord will come as a thief in the night.” And, finally, and above all, Christ says to his disciples, “But of that day and that hour KNoweTH No MAN, no, not the angels which are in heaven, neither the son, but the Father.”” Now, with these passages in view, however much of uncertainty is admitted to accompany our knowledge of the commencement and termination of “times and seasons,” all admit that “God knoweth.” All admit that He whose divine omniscience sees “the end from the beginning,” “hath determined the times before appointed.” But the prevailing opinion among Christians is, that at no time and in no sense has God ever revealed these “times and seasons” to us, nor will the period ever arrive in time, when he will so reveal them. In opposition to this acknowledged popular view of this subject however, there is a small class of Biblical Expositors, who, in perfect consistency with all that can be claimed for the passages above quoted, as shrouding “times and seasons” in the broad mantle
1. Pym, p. 111. 2. Pym., p. 111, 112. 3. Pym., p. 112. ~ 4. Pym. p. 113. 5. Ib., p. 113.