When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, will you at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?
If not for them, then for whom? Yet every age has had those who profess to be in the secret. They were in the Thessalonian Church, and Paul had to warn the disciples there to be on their guard against them. When Gallus renewed the persecution carried on by Decius thought the judgment close at hand, and Milner remarks on this, "God hath made the present so much the exclusive object of our duty that He will scarce suffer His wisest and best servants to gain reputation for skill and foresight by any conjectures concerning the times and seasons which He hath reserved," etc. More than a generation ago an Edinburgh reviewer was not speaking without cause when he said of men who could see in the Apocalypse the current condition of Europe, and who told a British statesman to adopt that book for a political manual, that they were carrying on madness "upon too sublime a scale for our interference. We were brought up in the humble creed of looking at the prophecies chiefly in connection not with the future, but with the past; where a cautious divinity, looking backward, might shadow out marks of anticipation and promise, and lead our faith by marks of Divine foreknowledge, to an apparent accomplishment of the Divine will. But to use them as this year's almanack; to put the millennium backwards and forwards, according as the facts of the last twelvemonth have falsified the predictions of the last edition; to jeopardise the State rather than tolerate a policy which might spoil a favourite criticism on some ambiguous text is to turn the apocalyptic eagle into the cuckoo of the spring." Horace Smith had his fling at "Dr. C., who one month writes a book to expound the Apocalypse, and next month Another to refute his own argument." The thoughtful and erudite author of "Small Books on Great Subjects" professes an ever-increasing disinclination to the study of prophecy, further than in its great features, remarking that man is not formed for the knowledge of futurity, and that it is seldom that he knows how to make use of it, being too apt to put himself in the place of God, and instead of looking on the affairs of the world as a course of things directed to the final amelioration of the human race, to denounce this or that men, sure or man as impious, this or that event as a judgment on evildoers. Wycliffe and Luther both expected the judgment in their century, Napier at the close of the nineteenth, and Sir David Lindsay at the close of the twentieth. These ventures serve to bring to nought the wisdom of the wise, and to show what false steps may be confidently taken in a darkness that is not felt; for if felt it would crave warier walking.
(J. Jacox, B. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: When they therefore were come together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel?