Friday, October 18, 2019

Whately: interpreting the promises spiritually

Friday, October 18, 2019
    Feast of Luke the Evangelist
    You became imitators of us and of the Lord; in spite of severe suffering, you welcomed the message with the joy given by the Holy Spirit.
    —1 Thessalonians 1:6 (NIV)
    Now if all these things were to come to pass, the determined expectation of which caused the Jews to reject Christ,—if he should actually appear, with miraculous splendor, as the restorer of the Jewish nation, and city, and Temple, reigning over the whole world as a great earthly sovereign, and reserving peculiar privileges for his own nation,—if, I say, all these expectations should be fulfilled, to which the Jews have so long and so obstinately clung, surely this would not be so much a conversion of the Jews to Christianity as a conversion of Christians to Judaism; it would not be bringing the Jews to the Gospel by overcoming their national prejudices, but rather carrying back the Gospel to meet the Jewish prejudices; it would be destroying the spiritual character of our religion, and establishing those erroneous views which have hitherto caused the Jews to reject it.
    We may conclude, then, that all the promises and predictions in Scripture relative to the future glories of the Jews and of Jerusalem, are to be understood of the Christian church, of which the Jewish church was a figure; and all that is said of feasting and splendor, and wealth, and worldly greatness and enjoyment, is to be interpreted spiritually of the inward comfort and peace of mind, and “joy of the Holy Ghost,” which is promised to sincere Christians in this life, and of the unspeakable happiness prepared for them after death.
    ... Richard Whately (1787-1863), A View of the Scripture Revelations Concerning a Future State [1829], Philadelphia: Lindsay & Blakiston, 1857, p. 158 (see the book)
    See also 1 Thess. 1:6; John 6:15; 18:36; Rom. 8:15; Gal. 3:20
Quiet time reflection:
    Lord, Your Spirit comforts me and strengthens me always.
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