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Christ's Second Coming

Christ's Second Coming

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Dec 04, 2013
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08/16/2014

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CHRIST'S SECOND COMING BY Rev. F. D. HUNTINGTON, D.D.Second Sunday in Advent. " 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 com^th out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be." — Matt, xxiv. 26, 27. I SHALL assume that there is some interest on your part, and at the same time some uncertainty, as to what the Scripture teaching of the future coming of the Son of Man really is. Both have always been found to exist among Christians, though the interest of the question has been much livelier and more general at some particular periods of the Church than others, being generally strong-est in times of great social disturbance and danger, like the several epochs of persecution under the Roman em-perors, the first uprising of modern liberty in conflict with European despotism, the struggles between the people and the crown in England, involving the integrity of the national Church, in the middle and latter part of the seventeenth century, and again in the great social and political agitations of our own day. Such intensely wrought states of the public mind naturally direct the attention forward to the final issue, giving activity and acuteness to the sense of future change, somewhat as the  jar of the atmosphere by travel on the highway, or the
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 jostle of machinery, is said to quicken in deaf persons 12 Christ's second coming. the sense of hearing. But there never was a time when the true followers of Christ were indifferent to His prom-ise of meeting them face to face, and receiving them into a wider fellowship and an everlasting kingdom. There are some real difficulties, we ought candidly to acknowledge, in discovering how much the inspired writings were intended to reveal. Hence we shall lay it down at the outset, and remember it all along, that there are two provinces to he kept entirely distinct. One is the province of what the Scriptures plainly and undoubt-edly declare, as by all Christians to be believed, and as being in some way necessary to a complete life and god-liness. The other province includes much matter less essential, matter of inference and construction less vitally related to the edifying of the soul and its salvation, where room is given for a lawful difference of interpre-tation, and for variety of opinion. Even here we all have the duty of investigation, and the responsibility of it; truth is never a matter of indifference; every topic that the Bible touches deserves a reverent regard. Yet the dividing line is one that ought to be respected, and in relation to few subjects more than this one. Revela-tion tells us with wonderful clearness what all men ought
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to believe and ought to do. The disclosure to us of necessary doctrine and duty, if not obvious at first sight in every part, can be understood on a very reasonable amount of pains, even by unlettered and common minds, if the attempt is lighted up by that inward illumination of the Holy Spirit which shines on our darkness in answer to prayer. But round about this region of posi-tive teaching, resting on absolute authority, there lies another region, still scriptural, of intimation and sugges-tion, of allusion and probability, of things half unveiled, prospects dimly disclosed and intended so to stand till 13 we are lifted into loftier places and broader light, perhaps till we have " open vision for the written word." These shadows and half-lights of Kevelation, these things seen as through a glass darkly, have their divine uses and even their peculiar glories in the exercise of our patience, the feeding of simple faith, and the discipline of humility. The mischief is that curiosity and audacity are often tempted to take what belongs to this matter of religious suggestion and throw it over into the province of dog-matic assertion, requiring to be received as religious fact, and perhaps with some defined theory of the fact, what God meant us to behold only with wonder, trust, and hope. The mischief is manifold. It intermixes mortal mistakes with God's unadulterated truth. It
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