of them believed, and consorted with Paul and Silas, and of the devout Greeks a great multitude, and of the chief women not a few. But the Jews which believed not, filled with envy, took unto them certain lewd fellows of the baser sort, and gathered a company, and set all the city on an uproar, and assaulted the house of Jason, and sought to bring them out to the people. And when they found them not, they drew Jason and certain brethren unto the rulers of the city, crying, These that have turned the world upside down are come hither also, whom Jason hath received; and these all do contrary to the decrees of Cæsar, saying that there is another king, one Jesus. And they troubled the people, and the rulers of the city, when they heard these things." See, also, Acts 17: 13, But when the Jews of Thessalonica had knowledge that the word of God was preached of Paul at Berea, they came thither also, and stirred up the people.” The next question is, When were they to be punished with everlasting destruction? When the Lord Jesus should be revealed from heaven with his mighty angels, in flaming fire." See verses 7 and 8. But when was the Lord Jesus to be revealed from heaven? See, on this subject, "On the Second Coming of Christ," Section VII. See, also, on Matt. 25: 46, above. It is there shown that this coming took place at the destruction of Jerusalem. This, then, was the time when the punishment spoken of in the text was to commence. This is further evident from what is said should take place when the Lord Jesus should be revealed from heaven. At that time he was to "take vengeance on them that knew not God," &c. Compare this with John 16: 3, "They (the Jews) have not known the Father nor me." See, also, the declaration of our Lord, when speaking on the subject of the destruction of Jerusalem. Luke 21: 22, "For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.' Again, in 1 Thess. 1: 6, Paul says, "It is a righteous thing with God to recompense tribulation to them that trouble you." Compare this with Matt. 24: 21, “For then (at the destruction of Jerusalem) shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." Now, those who contend that a greater tribulation than this awaits the unbelieving Jews who persecuted the Thessalonian Christians, must of course contradict the direct and positive testimony of Jesus himself. That we have fixed upon the prse time when the Lord


Jesus was to be revealed from heaven, and when the punishment spoken of in the text was to be inflicted, is still further evident from what is said in verse 7. "And to you who are troubled, rest with us when the Lord Jesus shall be revealed," &c. Not only were those who troubled the Thessalonians to be punished with everlasting destruction when the Lord Jesus should be revealed, but the persecuted Thessalonians were to obtain rest at that time. Rest from what? Why, plainly from the persecutions which they had endured. Now, those who contend that this text relates to a judgment day in eternity, must also contend that the Thessalonians were not to obtain rest until that time. But this is contrary to fact. For if they obtained no other rest, they have long since found rest "where the wicked cease from troubling, and where the weary are at rest; " viz., in their graves. But it may be asked, "Did the Thessalonians obtain rest from their persecutions when the Jews were destroyed?" We answer, they did. The power of the persecuting Jews being at that time overthrown, the Christian churches enjoyed a long season of uninterrupted peace and rest. Hence, our Saviour, when addressing his disciples on this very subject, says, Luke 21: 28," And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh." But that this text has no reference to a future state of existence, is further evident from the following facts: 1. Paul does not say that the persecuting Jews were to be punished with everlasting destruction after death, nor in a future state of existence, nor in another world. 2. Nothing is said in the text, nor in the whole connection, about a resurrection from the dead. 3. Not one word is said, either in the text or context, about a general judg4. The whole connection shows that Paul expected that what he predicted here would take place during the natural lives of some of the persons whom he addressed. But it may be asked, "What is meant by the Lord Jesus being revealed from heaven in flaming fire?"" On this subject, see Chapter X. It is there shown that the term fire is frequently employed in the Scriptures as a figure of God's temporal judgments, and is not once used to signify punishment in another world. Again, it may be asked, "What is meant by everlasting destruction from the presence of the Lord?"" This expression is rather ambiguous; and hence, some understand it to signify that the everlasting destruction spoken


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of was to come from the Lord. Others, that the everlasting destruction consisted in being banished from the presence of the Lord. In either case it can make no difference. If the first opinion is the true one, then it signifies that the punishment spoken of was to come from God. If the latter, then this punishment consisted in being banished, in some sense, from the presence of God. Well, "What sense was this?" On this subject, see Chapter XIV. It is there shown that this banishment of the Jews from the pres ence of God consisted in their being driven from the land of Judea, from the city of Jerusalem, and from the holy temple, where God's presence was supposed particularly to dwell. Once more. It may be asked, "What everlasting destruction was it which the Jews were to suffer?" We answer, it was the entire, total, and absolute destruction of the Jewish people as a nation. They were driven from their country, and for eighteen hundred years have been de prived of their civil and ecclesiastical institutions, and have been subject to the laws, institutions, and government of other nations.

To the views which we have presented on this text we know of but one plausible objection. It has been objected, "How could the Thessalonian Christians, or the Jews living in Thessalonica, be at all concerned or interested in the destruction of Jerusalem, or the dispersion of the Jewish nation, seeing they lived so far from the scene of that event?" To this we reply, that at the destruction of Jerusalem there was to be a special manifestation of Christ's interference in behalf of his followers. The fulfilment of Christ's prediction in relation to that event would establish his claims to be the "Sent of God" beyond the possibility of a doubt. Then, the persecuting power of the Jews was to be overthrown, and the Christians delivered from those cruelties which they had suffered from their hands. Then, the kingdom of God was to come with power, and Christianity be permanently established in the earth. Hence, it could not but be a subject of interest to all the Christian churches throughout the then civilized world, wherever such churches had been established. Besides, Jerusalem was destroyed at a time when the Jewish people were partaking of a great national feast in that city; and, undoubtedly, many Jews from Thessalonica were there some of whom suffered in that destruction; and all the rest, whether there or at Thessalonica, suffered, in common with their country.

men, in becoming a proverb, a by-word and an hissing, throughout the whole earth,*

*It has been further objected, that "no such rest as our argument supposes was enjoyed by the primitive Christians immediately after the destruction of Jerusalem. On the contrary, they were only delivered from the persecutions which they had endured from the Jews to suffer still greater persecutions from the Gentiles."

In answer to this, I shall state, and undertake to prove, the following historical facts, viz. :—

1. The principal part of the persecutions endured by the Christians, from the time of the commencement of the public ministry of Christ to the time of the destruction of Jerusalem, was waged by the unbelieving Jews. No matter whether this persecution was waged in Greece, or Rome, or Judea, the Jews were the prime movers and instigators in almost the whole of it. No person conversant with the history of the Christian church, contained in the book of Acts, will be disposed to dispute this; but, if authority is demanded, here it is. Mosheim says, that "So exceedingly great was the fecundity of the Jewish people, that occasionally multitudes of them had been constrained to emigrate from their native country; and, at the time of Christ's birth, the descendants of Abraham were to be met with in every part of the known world. In all the provinces of the Roman empire, in particular, they were to be found in great numbers. The Jews out of Palestine, in the Roman provinces, did not yield to those in Jerusalem, in point of cruelty to the innocent disciples of Christ. We learn from the history of the Acts of the Apostles, and other records of unquestionable authority, that they spared no labor, but zealously seized on every occasion, for stimulating the magistrates against the Christians, and setting on the multitude to demand their destruction.". - See Mosheim's Commentaries on the Ecclesiastical History of the First Three Centuries, vol. 1, p. 105, and Mosh. Eccl. Hist., vol. 1, p. 69.

2. The first persecution against the Christians, which was authorized by any heathen power, was that under Nero, the Roman emperor, in the year 64. See Dwight's Dictionary of the New Testament, p. 150. This was six years before the destruction of Jerusalem. Jerusalem was destroyed in the year 70, when Vespasian was Emperor of Rome. Vespasian reigned nine years, and was succeeded by his son Titus, who reigned two years. Under neither of these emperors was there any persecution against Christians. These facts are so well known as to require no proof.

3. The first persecution against the Christians, after the destruction of Jerusalem, was that under Domitian, the Roman emperor, in the year 94 or 95; and this was of but short duration, and was not severe. Fleury says, "The Emperor Domitian persecuted the Christians at the latter end of his reign." And, speaking of a certain declaration of the writer of the book of Revelation, to the church of Smyrna, he says, "He encourageth them, and foretelleth that some of them will be in tribulation during the space of ten days, which undoubtedly happened in the reign of Domitian, which was short, and not violent.". Fleu. Eccl. Hist., vol. 1, b. 2, p. 151. Tillemont says that Dodwell thought "this persecution (as it related to the Christians) proceeded no further than banishment, and not to death, nor even to torments."-Till. Eccl. Mem., vol. 2, p. 413. That this was the first persecution after the destruction of Jerusalem is evident from the testimony of Eusebius. He says, speaking of Domitian, that he "appointed himself successor of Nero in hatred and war against God."- Euseb. Eccl. Hist., b. 3, chap. 15. In regard to the time of this persecution, although

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13. Heb. 6: 1, 2, Therefore, leaving the principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on unto perfection; not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, and of faith toward God, of the doctrine of baptisms, and of laying on of hands, and of resurrection of the dead, and of eternal judgment.

This language was addressed by Paul to the Jewish converts to Christianity. By examining it with the connection, it will be seen that Paul was warning the Hebrew Christians of the consequences

Mosheim in his Ecclesiastical History states, that "it began in the year 93 or 94;" yet, in another work written on a review of that, he says "it began about the year 94 or 95."— Mosh. Com., vol. 1, sect. 36 Tillemont be lieves, on the authority of Eusebius and Jerome, supported by Juvenal and Lactantius, that it began in the year 95. - Till. Eccl. Mem., vol. 2, p. 413. Nerva succeeded Domitian in the year 96, so that this persecution must have been short. After the death of Domitian, the church enjoyed rest from persecution until after the close of the first century. Milner says, "Nerva, Domitian's successor, published a pardon for those who were condemned for impiety, recalled those who were banished, and forbade the accusing of any men on account of impiety or Judaism. Others, who were under accusation or under sentence of condemnation, now escaped by the lenity of Nerva. This brings us to the close of the century, in which we behold the Christians, for the present, in a state of external peace."— Miln. Ch. Hist, vol. 1, p. 105.

4. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the Christians in Judea enjoyed a season of quiet and rest of more than sixty years' continuance. Tillemont says, "It was under the government of St. Simeon, that the (Christians) Jews left Jerusalem by God's order, before that city was besieged in the year 70, and withdrew beyond Jordan into the city of Pella. After the destruction of Jerusalem, the Christians returned thither, and appeared with reputation by reason of a great number of prodigies and miracles, so that the church of Jesus Christ flourished again there, being composed of a great number of Jews who had embraced the faith, and thus continued until the city was destroyed again in the last years of Adrian.” — Till Eccl. Mem., vol. 2, p. 145. Adrian died, and was succeeded by Antoninus Pius, in 138; so that the time the Christians had the peaceful occupancy of Jerusalem and Judea was more than sixty years. Milner says, "The congregation of Christian Jews were commanded by an oracle, revealed to the best approved among them, that, before the wars began, they should depart from the city, and inhabit a village beyond Jordan, called Pella. Thither they retired, and were saved from the destruction which soon after overwhelmed their countrymen; and, in so retiring, they at once observed the precept, and fulfilled the well-known prophecy of their Saviour. The death of Nero, and the destruction of Jerusalem, would naturally occasion some respite to them from their sufferings; and we hear no more of their persecuted state till the reign of Domitian, the last of the Flavian family, who succeeded to the empire in the year 81. He does not appear to have raged against the Christians, till the latter end of his reign." Miln. Ch. Hist., vol. 1, p. 104. Gibbon says, "The Jewish Christians, who united the law of Moses with the Christian religion, remained in solitude in Pella about sixty years, enjoying the comfort of visiting the Holy City, which they yet loved and revered. They were vastly outnumbered by the Christians from Gentile nations, who rejected the Mosaic ceremonies

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