« ForrigeFortsett »
learnt, had I listened, which it was difficult to help see more of by-and-bye-to the buman elements doing, all the domestic and social history of the pro- around us: the strong national characteristics, which vince.
are the finest study of travellers. Of course, they Gradually, however, the talk veered round to poli. were nothing to us, these strangers-met for an hour, tics. At the word Luxembourg, a silent old gentle- and never to be met again-and yet we felt a vague man at our left hand, who had hitherto distinguished kindly interest in the honest German, who had left himself chiefly by taking out a huge pork-pie and a his household behind him and he evidently thought huge clasp-knife, upon which he and a youth opposite a good deal of ma famille and was going to spend lunched contentedly; this fat, round-faced, phlegmatic a week with his brother, settled here in France. Also person, turned round, his blue eyes glaring, and with less sympathy, but a good deal of curiosity, Festammered out a question in the worst possible contemplated these first specimens of French gentleFrench. It was answered politely, of course: and the men that we had come across--especially the younger lively French gentleman took the utmost pains to make one. He, as he talked, convinced us more than ever out his fellow-traveller's meaning. Others helped, of that I have before named, the tigerish element, and by degrees the whole carriage warmed up into which is never quite absent from the gay French sociability, and made frantic efforts at general con- nature. Looking at this man-smiling, courteous, versation. This was difficult, seeing we were two kindly no doubt in his way, yet ready on occasions French, two Germans, two English; the French to blaze up into something which one would rather could not speak a word of German or English, the have in a friend than an enemy-we comprehended Germans had no English and very little French, the how la Revolution happened, and why it has changed English boasted about six words of German, and as to into une revolution--no exceptional tempest, but a sort their French-well! the loss conceited they were on of every-day whirlwind, which comes to the French that matter the better. Under these melancholy cir- people as natural as the air they breathe. How long cumstances, the way in which we all six jabbered at the next will be staved off-who knows? one another-mutually interpreting or misinterpret- The ice once broken, it was wonderful how friendly ing, and resorting mostly to the universal language of we all became, how patient of one another's obtrusive signs and smiles-luckily, a pleasant face needs no nationalities, though the Frenchmen did give a polite dictionary-was highly creditable to all parties. The shrug or two, aside, at the German's extreme slow. more so, as everybody being of strong and diame- ' ness, and the German, walking up and down a statrically opposite politics, did not add to the calmness tion, made two pathetic confidential complaints to usof conversation.
of the impossibility of comprehending that fast-talking The Frenchmen and the elderly German imme- Frenchman,and of the extreme thinness of the diately split on the subject of Luxembourg. The Norman beer. Still, we amused ourselves much, former leant forward, his black eyes darting fire, and and got out of one another an amount of cosmopolitan his long moustache almost standing on end with ex- facts and feelings, enough to ponder and speculate on citement, and poured forth a torrent of words, happily for many a day. And when we parted-never, cor. half unintelligible. The latter sat back, glowing in tainly, to meet again in this world-it was with adicus a dumb white heat of wrath, and imitated the "click" and good wishes cordial as sincere; which, if any of of a muskot, as his only available expression of what them ever read this paper-almost an impossibility to every German meant to do to every Frenchman suppose-We hereby beg to re-indorse. rather than resign Luxembourg; at which we all And so we came, full of cheery and kindly thoughts burst out laughing, or else, in plain English (which and pleasant expectations, to the first break in our we found ourselves rapidly forgetting, and becoming journey, a small station about half-way on the Paris polyglottized), the carriage would soon have been and Havre line. The country—and lovely country too hot to hold us.
it is-lay spread out before us, with a sunshiny, wel. | Then, general and domestic politics took the lead, coming smile; the clatter of strange tongues began i and we all spoke our minds, and heard our opposite to seem less unfamiliar; we had found out that neighbours'-pretty plainly. But as this is not the French nature was human nature, just the same as :! custom in France, and as much that was said was our own. The great lesson for which one goes into a confided to English honour and English reticence, I foreign country: to like it, to be content in it, to get! will not repeat it, though it was the most interest- lover our prejudice against it, and grow humble, ing part of the journey. We turned from that smiling rather than proud, by comparisons, was beginning to Normandy-its hills and its dales, its pastures and be learnt. La belle France ! Yes, it was really su to farms, its picturesque villages, towns, and churches, us to-day. And to-morrow? But that must stand which we caught sight of in passing, and hoped to over for another paper.
THE CREED OF CHRISTENDOM.
VI.—THE SECOND COMING.
“ From thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.” The Apostles' Creed is a standing testimony to the course of ages the staple of all the religious thinking unbroken unity, in faith and hope, of all Christen- and feeling of the West, especially after general dom from the beginning. Not that it dates back to ignorance began to settle down upon it, the constant
the Apostles' days. In fact, it took four centuries use of this Creed throughout all its bounds would be i to come into the precise state in which we now have one of the chief. In our day of diffused religious
it, and its use in the public services of the Church reading and almost universal Christian profession, it was confined to the Western branch of it. But no- will be regarded by many as a mere relic of Christian thing inconsistent with any of its articles was ever antiquity. But, not to speak of those who devoutly recognised by the early churches; and it admits of utter it in the public services of their Church-on no doubt that it embodies the faith of all Christians whom the impressions it must make are surely not from the very first. Erratic forms of religious to be despised--there is a growing class for whom this thought obtruded themselves, it is true, upon some Creed, considered merely as a document of Christian of the churches, even in the Apostles' days; but, as antiquity, has a still small voice. A spirit of subtle they were faithfully exposed and unsparingly de- criticism, impatient of the supernatural, is creeping nounced in the Epistles of the New Testament, so, at present over many cultivated and earnest minds, being alien in their nature from true Christianity, whose peouliar character it is, not so much to deny as they gradually melted away, while the truths which to dissolve the truths of Revealed Religion, sublimating lay at the foundation of all Christianity were recog- and evaporating its most concrete and naked facts nised wherever the Gospel took root, and by little into little better than airy sentiment. To such this and little crystallized into what came to be denomi- | Creed, as a voice from the unbroken past for a histonated The Apostles' Crecd.
rical Christianity, has surely something weighty to The charm of this Creed lies not so much in its say-proclaiming, as it does, that in that strictly brevity and simplicity as in its purely historical cha- historical sense alone was the Gospel of Jesus Christ racter. Eschewing all "excellency of speech and of ever embraced, ever recognised, ever understood from wisdom," it sounds forth the great verities of Revealed | the beginning. Religion in the language of simple fact-intelligible alike to the rudest and the most refined. It begins The six articles of this Creed which relate to our with the fundamental truths of all religion, that Lord Jesus Christ are six links of a chain, not one of a God” is ; that He is no mere 'principle of force' which can be broken without changing the character OF 'motion,' no unconscious, impersonal spirit of and destroying the value of the whole. As all relate pature, but “the FATHER Almighty;" and that to one Person-the Incarnate Word-so the identity « heaven and earth," instead of being either eternal of this glorious Person, through all the stages of His and self-subsistent, or springing into being without incarnate history, from His assumption of our nature, any intelligent cause, were “ MADE," or brought into in the fulness of time, to His Second Advent for being, by this “God the Father Almighty." All Judgment, is emphatically expressed and kept before this is expressed in the most naked simplicity of the worshipper's mind in each successive article. language, and purely as matter of fact; the majesty As the same “ Jesus Christ, God's only Son, our of the things so affirmed being left to make their Lord, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and own impression upon those who utter them. On the born of the Virgin Mary," is He who “ suffered same principle, all that is said of Christ in the six under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and following articles of this Creed is just a summary of buried," so it is this same incarnate, crucified, dead, the facts of His life, from His first entrance into the and buried One who “ the third day rose again from world, as the Word made flesh, to His final return to the dead." In like manner, as it is the identical it in glory as the Judge of quick and dead.
risen One who “ascended into heaven, and" (now) In the earlier ages of the Christian Church, when “sitteth at the right hand of God the Father Althe heathen were coming over to it in large numbers mighty," so it is this same ascended and enthroned and in many lands, but when the ability to read for One who, at the time appointed, shall “come again," themselves, and even the opportunity, must in many and come “ from thence" where He now sitteth “to cases have been very limited, great must have been judge the quick and the dead." Thus the article the benefit of having the grand leading truths of the which is now to engage our attention has for its Gospel enshrined in a form so simple and so easily subject the last act of the great drama of our redempcommitted to memory as this Creed is, and in all the tion--the return of our Lord from heaven, to take public services of the Church resounding from the judicial account of the state and character of all lips of the converts themselves. Nor can it well be mankind and settle accordingly their eternal destiuy. dou bted that, among the means by which the great realities of a bistorical Christianity became in the Four things are expressed in this article—" He shall come,'' “ He shall come from thence," "He shall would be as corporeal and as local as the departure : come to judge,” “He shall come to judge the quick and before their own eyes had been. the dead.”
But further, He “shall so come," and " in the like
manner," * as ye have seen Him go-not only as per.'. “ He shall come.” But in what sense ? If this is / Son
this is sonally, but as visibly and as gloriously. Accordingly to be reduced to a mere figure of speech-if we are
we read, “Behold he cometh with clouds, and every to understand by it only some stupendous exercise of
cye shall see him, and they also which pierced Him." judicial power issuing from the Invisible, which is to fix
Constantly we read of His glorious “appearing,” and somehow the destinies of men--the natural meaning
of the day of “the revelation of Jesus Christ." Beof this article is entirely subverted, and the New
lievers are said to look for Him; and when it is said," ☺ Testament itself will require to be interpreted in a
“He shall come the second time,” the equal visibility, non-natural and intolerable sense. Let us see, then,
as well as personality of His second as of His first s how the second coming of Christ is held forth in the
coming is beyond doubt implied. New Testament. Passing by a multitude of passages,
In the light of these passages, it is hardly in which both the assurance that He will come and
necessary to say a word on the next point in this the purposes of His coming are expressed in every
| article: variety of form, let us, for the sake of brevity and
II. precision, fix upon one which is as explicit and pregnant as it is beautiful and spirit-stirring. The histo
“ From thence." But one passage, peculiarly er. rian of the Acts, having related what passed between
plicit, may be quoted. “The Lord Himself+ shall our Risen Lord and His disciples at His last inter
descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of view with them on earth, thus proceeds with his
the archangel and with the trump of God; and the narrative :-“And when He had spoken these things,
dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are while they beheld, He was taken up, and a cloud
alive and remain shall be caught up together
with them received Him out of their sight. And while they
in the clouds to meet the Lord in the looked steadfastly towards heaven as He went up,
air, and so shall we ever be with the Lord." behold two men stood by them in white apparel ;
A literal and local—a corporeal and visible-dewhich also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye
scent from heaven to earth of Him who now sittet gazing up into heaven ? this same Jesus, which is taken
on the right hand of God is beyond all doubt what from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as
the general tenor of the New Testament teaches w ye have seen him go into heaven.” (Acts i. 9-11.) The
| to expect, and what is meant in this article of the personal identity of the Returning with the Depart
Creed. On the glory of that second appearing, as die ing One is here expressed with marked emphasis
trasted with the humility of His first coming, the “this same,” or “this very Jesus," * shall come.
New Testamont is equally explicit. It will be, And, as if to fasten additional attention upon this
seeins, a threefold glory. “He shall come in Pa feature of the case, the words are, “ This very Jesus
own glory, and in His Father's glory, and in the which is taken up from you into heaven," who was
glory of the holy angels.” I “ His own glory" actually standing amongst you and speaking with you
means not only that Personal “glory and honour when He was parted from you and sublimely rose up
with which He has been “crowned," as the vic-* from the midst of you, a cloud of glory at length re
torious Redeemer, and now sitteth at the right hand ceiving Him out of your sight—“this very Jesus,"
of the Majesty on high, but the glory, no doubt, of and no other, “shall come.” His physical frame, on
that august office which He comes to execute as Judge which new laws were stamped at His resurrection,
“The glory of His Father" is probably something may haply be still more sublimated and etherealised
by which it will appear to all that He brings with as He rises upwards, “far above all heavens," to
Him a commission from the Eternal Father ; that Hi attemper it to the celestial element which it is hence
who hath seen Him coming to judge hath seen the forth to breathe; but still, they are emphatically
Father in His Person coming for that end, and the assured, “ this very Jesus, who was taken up from
that in His person “God is Judge Himself." "The them into heaven," and no other, “shall come."
| glory of the holy angels” can be no other than the That, beyond all doubt, fixes the literal, corporeal. glory of being attended by “ thousand thousand" and local descent of “the Man Christ Jesus,” to be
them “ministering unto Him, ten thousand tirs the thing meant by the two shining ones, when they
ten thousand standing before Him," in all that came to comfort the sorrowing disciples as they
radiance, to do him honour, arrange the stately *** gazed wistfully and with rapt amazement upwards
companiments of the great scene to be enacted, 130 after their departed Master. Nor could they under
execute with alacrity and delight His every com
mand. stand anything else by this heavenly assurance than that they were to get their own beloved Lord back
But let us now come to the purpose of this Hy to them again in His own proper Person. In fact,
second coming :the expression “ into heaven” is thrice repeated in one verse, as if to put it beyond doubt that the return * Ούτως ελεύσεται δν τρόπον εθεάσασθε, κτλ.
| Avtos • Kúpios, 1 Thess. iv. 16, 17. • Oūros ó 'Invous.
i Luke ix, 26.
To that question no categorical answer can be given, “He shall come to judge." This final Judgment because it depends on the clearness and strength of must be carefully distinguished from all previous | the conviction which men are thought capable of exercises of Divine judicial authority. The Bible is reaching, without Revelation, that they are under a full of such. God is said to “judge the righteous” moral and retributive system. It is only as the when at any time He interposes providentially for natural conscience is quickened into life-only as it their deliverance from oppression or evil ;* and He is educated into intelligent perceptions of right and is said to “ judge" the wicked when He inflicts upon wrong-only as it is made to feel that there is a them righteous vengeance, reducing them to their moral government of the world—that any definite proper level, or bringing them as a party to nothing.t apprehension of a general judgment can be attained. Even the exercise of sovereign authority and rule in At the same time there is in the breasts of all men, general is in Scripture expressed by the term judge independently of Revelation, such a preparation for ment, because much of it consists in judging between receiving right views on this subject, that no sooner right and wrong-vindicating the one, and putting do the preachers of the everlasting Gospel proclaim down the other. Thus Samuel, the last of the to the heathen, as a message from heaven, that there “judges” of Israel before the regal office was insti- is to be a general judgment, than the unsophisticated tuted, is said to have "judged Israel all the days of and earnest among them, however rude, find an echo his life." I And hence the entire reign of Messiah, to it within their own breasts, and are ready to wel. “ the Prince of Peace," is held forth, especially with come it as a faithful saying and worthy of all accepreference to its resistless triumphs, and its univer- tation. Thus far does nature itself testify to a coming sality in the latter day, as a glorious and continued judgment. But it is Revelation alone which converts exercise of righteous judgment in the earth. “Behold dim apprehensions and feeble impressions into defithe days come, saith the Lord, that I will raise untonite convictions, felt certainties, rooted principles of David a righteous Branch, and à King shall reign action. Revelation alone assures us that the moral and prosper, and shall execute judgment and justice administration under which mankind are now placed in the earth. In His days Judah shall be saved, is at a definite period to be wound up by a grand and Israel shall dwell safely, and this is the name scene of righteous and universal judgment; and Rewhereby He shall be called, The Lord our Right- | velation alone discloses to us the Agent by eousness." "He shall judge thy people with righteous- this judgment is to be administered, the august cirness and thy poor with judgment. The mountains cumstances with which it will be invested, the prinshall bring peace to the people, and the little hills ciples on which it will be conducted, and its awful by righteousness. He shall judge the poor of the issues. people, He shall save the children of the needy, and The statements of the Old Testament on this subshall break in pieces the oppressor.” “Say among ject, though less definite than those of the New, are the heathen, that the Lord reigneth; the world also entirely in harmony with them. Hear but two of the shall be established that it cannot be moved; He weighty utterances of the Preacher:-“Rejoice, o shall judge the people righteously.” §
young man, in thy youth, and let thy heart cheer thee In what respect now does “ judgment," as these in the days of thy youth, and walk in the ways of passages speak of it, differ from that Judgment which thine heart and in the sight of thine eyes : but know Christ is to execute at His Second Coming ? The that for all these things God will bring thee into essential principle of judicial authority is found in judgment.” “Let us hear the conclusion of the both cases. It is this, in fact, and this alone, which whole matter: Fear God, and keep His command. justifies the use of the same terms in describing both. ments; for this is the whole [duty] of man. For God But they differ, notwithstanding, as widely as pos. will bring every work into judgment, with every sible. All previous exercises of Divine judgment, secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be even the most stupendous, are of a TEMPORAL nature: evil." * But it is in the New Testament that we the Last Judgment will be ETERNAL. All previous expect to find the most explicit and circumstantial exercises of judical authority are of a partial nature : information on this subject; nor do we fail to find the Last Judgment will be complete and conclusive. there all that we could reasonably desire, as the folIn other words, no previous judgment will have re- lowing summary of its teaching will sufficiently show. spect to the whole of every case, and so is not, and 1. The judgment will take place at a definite, though cannot be, all the judgment wbich the subjects of it unrevealed period of time. “He hath appointed a day" have to expect; whereas this Judgment, embracing (said Paul to the Athenians on Mars' Hill)" in the the secrets of the heart, and deciding upon all that which + He will judge the world." This is emphatimen are and have done in the body, is necessarily cally termed “the day of judgmont,” once and again, final, irreversible, and eternal.
by our Lord himself, and by the Apostles Peter and What, it may be asked in the first place, is the John. It is called “the great day" because of the amount of nature's testimony to a future judgment ? unparalleled greatness of its transactions; also “the * Deut. xxxij. 36. Psalm vii. 11; lxxvi. 9.
* Eccl. xi. 9; xii. 13, 14. + Gen. xv. 14. Acts vii, 7. Psalm ix, 16.
† Acts xvii. 31; éomnDev wwépar er n. 1 1 Sam. vii. 15.
| Matt. x. 15; xi. 22, 24; xii. 36. 2 Peter ii. 9. Jer. xxiii. 5, 6, Psalm lxxii. 2–4; xcvi. 10. 1 John ii. 17.
day" and "that day," as being the day of all days. * to hold forth the catholic verity which by this famiIn a word, it is called “the day of the Lord," "the liar phraseology of the Bible is, as we believe, deday of the Lord Jesus,”'t because then for the first noted. The heart cannot easily rest, we think, in time will the Lord Jesus asgume His most august such a view of the day of judgment as complicates' functions, and for the first time be recognised by the it with a protracted series of events totally diverse in whole world in His true character.
their nature-events which awaken an interest of By a "day" of judgment we are not, of course, to their own, very different from those of the judgment. understand a day of just twenty-four hours. Dani- | It is when we regard judgment as the one object of festly, it is not the duration of the judgment which is “that day," interposed between the past and the intended by the word “day,” according to our stand- future of the human race, adjudicating on their past, ard or any other. It is just a definite period for a and determining their future—it is thus, we think, definite action-even as this present period of the that it harmonises best with all the “ fearful lookings Gospel, from the day it was first proclaimed until it for of judgment and fiery indignation " which haunt shall be no more needed, is called “the accepted time, the ungodly, and all the joyous anticipations of those the day of salvation." | For aught we know, the | who love Christ's appearing. whole process of judgment may be a very short one. 2. The Judge will be Jesus Christ. it might even be conceived to be instantaneous—but On this point-quite peculiar to Revelation-the it may also be a protracted process. Yet on either New Testament is most explicit and abundant. supposition the word “day” is equally suited to Hear it from the Judge's own lips. “The Father convey what alone we understand to be meant by it judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment in this connection. But this latitude of meaning must unto the Son, that all men should honour the Son not be allowed to cover too much. We make this even as they honour the Father. For as the Father il remark with reference to one of the theories by which hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son some esteemed writers try to reconcile the personal to have life in Himself, and hath given Him reign of Christ on carth after His Second Advent, I authority to execute judgment also, because He is including the dispensing of salvation to the millen- the Son of man,” “The Son of man shall come in nial nations, with the Scripture views of the day of the glory of His Father, and with the angels; and judgment. Availing themselves of the Apostle's then shall He reward every man according to his statement, that "a thousand years are with the Lord works.” “When the Son of man shall come in as one day," they think that “the day' of judgment His glory, and all the holy angels with Him; then will extend over the entire millennium, and salvation shall He sit upon the throne of His glory. And among the millennial nations be going on at the same before Him shall be gathered all nations, and He time. But this seems to us to be totally inconsistent shall separate them one from another, as a shepherd with any proper sense of the word "day" as applied divideth his sheep from the goats. And He shall to the judgment. Though the duration of the judg- set the sheep on His right hand, but the goats on ment is certainly not denoted by that word, the the left. Then shall the King answer and say untou definiteness of the purpose to which it will be devoted them on His right hand, Come, ye blessed of my undoubtedly is. As “ the day of salvation" means Father, inherit the kingdom," &c. “Then shall He that salvation is the great and characteristic work of say also to them on the left hand, Depart from Me, this Gospel day, 80 " the day of judgment” must be ye cursed, into everlasting fire," &c. * Hear now! understood to imply that the great and characteristic the Apostles. “He commanded us" (said Peter to work of that day will be judgment. And as our Lord Cornelius and his company) “to preach unto the said of His first coming, “I came not to judge the people, and to testify that it was He which was world, but to save the world,” which surely means ordained of God to be the judge of quick and dead." that the time for the one was not that of the other, “ He hath appointed a day" (says Paul, in a passage and that both could not go on simultaneously toge- already quoted) “in the which He will judge the ther,--so may it with equal propriety be said of His world in righteousness by that Man whom He hath second coming: He will not come to save the world, ordained.” “God" (says the same apostle)" shall but to judge the world. In short, according to the judge the secrets of men by Jesus Christ, according uniform teaching of Scripture, the one of these is pre- | to my Gospel.” “I charge thee before God and the paratory to the other, since it furnishes the mate-Lord Jesus Christ, who shall judge the quick and the rials for it. While salvation lasts, judgment cannot dead at His appearing and His kingdom.”+ Finally, come; but as soon as judgment comes, salvation, in among the last words of the last book of the Bible the nature of the case, ceases. Our object in these are these words of the Lord Himself: “And behold, remarks, however, is not controversial. We wish I come quickly, and my reward is with me, to give merely to fix definitely the sense in which the word every man according as his work shall be." "day" is, and is not, applied to the judgment, and! What an august and beautiful arrangement is
* Jude 6. 1 Cor. iii. 13. 2 Tim. i. 12.
John xii. 47.
John v. 22, 23, 26, 27. Matt. xvi. 27. Matt. xxv. i 2 Cor. i. 14. / 31—34, 44.
† Acts x. 42 ; xvii. 31 Rom. ii. 16. 2 Tim. iv. 1 ! | Rev. xxii. 12.