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subverted, was prepared for the faithful and righteous, through the immediate promise of The Mes
The outé Nělde 18 aicóvos, therefore, (i. e. the full final end of the perfecting and compleating of the aion, mentioned Matthew, ch. xxiv. ver. 3, and ch. xiii. ver. 49.) may very well be understood to be the conclusion of the very state of things that was promised and pointed out, and, of God's mercy, ordained still to take place on earth before its final diffolution; đTÒ notabonis cóo us, even immediately after the first derangement of the form and fasion of things in this world. Directly after which sad event the promise of redemption was made to our first parents.
And I cannot omit adding, before I finish this Note, that there is one very remarkable verse in the Psalms, which plainly thews, according to the ideas of the LXX, what the true force and meaning of the word AION is: and that, when used in the fingular number, it does not mean eternity, but only a certain valt determinate period in the order of succesion of ideas ; of which periods we may conceive the duration of this earth, from the creation to its final destruction, (or change from this present state,) to be one.
The verse is Psalm cxlv. ver. 13. and is thus rendered in our version :
Thy kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and thy dominion endureth throughout all generations.
But in the Septuagint (both in the Alexandrian and Vatican copy) it is
“Η βασιλεία σε βασιλεία πάντων των αιώνων:
Thy kingdom is a kingdom of all the aions : and thy dominion [endureth] in every race and generation.
From hence, therefore, we may plainly perceive, that the LXX thought the word alwyros not sufficient to convey the real and just idea of eternity, (knowing it might convey the idea of only one of the great æras in the order of succession ;) and on that account, when they intended really to express eternal duration, they were forced to have recourse to the expression wouTWD Twv ciwwe, of all the aions ; which fignifies the same as ty's ocidas, used by our Lord Himself at the end of His Divine Prayer ; and as εις τες αιώνας των αιώνων, uted
збі, , by the Holy Prophet and Apostle John, in the Revelations, ch. xi. ver. 15.
The utmost extent of the meaning of the word alwvios seems to be-a duration that may be of one or more aions; and that may even possibly extend throughout all succeeding aions : but the latter sense is not necessarily implied, without the addition of εις τες αιώνας των αιώνων, Or of σάντων των αιώνων.
And the full idca of the extent and duration of our present aion, as far as we may gather from the intimations of Divine Prophecy throughout the Holy Scriptures, seems to be ;---that, after what has already come to pass on carth, there will still be, at some certain period, a state of great trouble and disorder universally prevailing in the world *; which will be succeeded by the Second Coming of our Lord, the beginning of the Resurrection, and the universal prevalence of true Christianity, and of peace and happiness on the face of the earth,
* It is, perhaps, at present needful to add, that this Note was written in the year 1787.
for a very long and undetermined space of time ; (during which the state of things spoken of by our Lord to Nathanael will take place, and there shall be a free intercourse between the inhabitants of heaven and of earth ;)—but that, at last, there shall be a second falling away, of some of those generations which shall be dwelling upon earth, and of fome of such spirits as are not perfected :-in consequence of which will come the end of the Day of Judgement; the final separation of the just and of the unjust; the destruction of the present configuration of this globe by fire (as foretold by St. Peter) ;- The second death ;-and the total end of this aion, by the removal of all the servants of God to another orb, and habitation, (probably the Sun ;) where of course the whole scene and appearance of the universe around must be changed from what it appeared as feen from this earth; and the whole must seem to the new inbabitants of that orb lite. rally new heavens, and a new earth.
This second state appears to be what is properly called aionian life, or the life of the aion to come ;which all the just shall partake of ;-whilst possibly our earth, in remotely ensuing periods of time, may undergo another renovation, for the use of another yzved, another race of beings.
ARRANGEMENT OF THE SERIES OF EVENTS;
IN THE BOOK OF THE REVELATIONS.