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letter, s, is equivalent to st; but whether as an s or as an st, it is the initial of the word Satanas, Satan, or the adversary, (§ 444.) Taking the two first names in the genitive, and the last in the nominative, we have the following appellation, name, or title: xplotoũ Túlov gatavās, the adversary of the cross of Christ, a character corresponding with that of certain enemies of the truth described by Paul, Phil. iii. 19: “Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is their shame; who mind earthly things:"—pretended disciples, apparently, whose views in matters of faith must be the opposite of those set forth by the apostle in the former part of the chapter from which this description is quoted.
Any doctrine, or principle of doctrine, tending to represent the intervention of a divine propitiation as unnecessary; or militating with a belief and trust in the vicarious sacrifice of Jesus, as the only hope of salvation, must be an adversary of the cross of Christ. Of this character, we consider every principle of self-righteousness; every doctrine tending to exalt self, or to represent man as the author of his own salvation. No doctrine, or principle of doctrine, accordingly, can be admitted into the service of self, or form a constituent part of the system of self-dependence, unless it possess this leading feature of hostility to the atoning sacrifice and justifying righteousness of the Son of God. Such, we may suppose, figuratively speaking, to have been the opinion of the false prophet; for which reason he caused every subject of the beast to receive in his forehead, or in his hand, the mark, the name of the beast, or the number of his name; that is, the character of selfishness, the name of self, or the impress (the number) of an adversary of the cross of Christ ;—these three marks being in fact so many equivalents-characteristic features of the same anti-Christian principles.
The doctrines of truth, on the other hand, possess especially the characteristic of glorifying God alone, giving to him the glory due unto his name; bearing in their foreheads the seal or mark of the name ($ 517) of the Father of the Lamb.
THE MAN OF SIN.
Having considered the ten-horned beast of the Apocalypse identic with the man of sin, described by Paul, it appears expedient to exhibit the train of reasoning, through the instrumentality of which our own views have been formed upon the subject. For chis purpose, the following analytic sketch is subjoined :
2 THES. ii. 3-12. Let no man deceive you by any means: Mή τις υμάς εξαπατήση κατά μηδένα for (that day shall not come,) except there τρόπον· ότι, εάν μή έλθη η αποστασία come a falling away first, and that man πρώτος και αποκαλυφθή ο άνθρωπος της of ein be revealed, the son of perdition; αμαρτίας, ο υιός της απωλείας και αντικείwho opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worship- μενος και υπεραιρόμενος επί πάντα λεγόped; so that he, as God, sitteth in the μενον θεόν ή σέβασμα, ώςτε αυτόν εις τον temple of God, showing himself that he is ναόν του θεού [ως θεόν] καθίσαι, αποGod. Remember ye not, that, when I δεικνύντα εαυτόν, ότι έστι θεός. Ου μνηwas yet
I told you these things? μονεύετε, ότι έτι ών προς υμάς ταύτα έλε And now ye know what withholdeth that he might be revealed in his time. Εοι γον υμίν ; Και νύν το κατέχον οίδατε, εις the mystery of iniquity doth already work: το αποκαλυφθήναι αυτόν εν τω εαυτού καιonly he who now letteth (will let,) until ρώ. Το γαρ μυστήριον ήδη ενεργείται της he be talken out of the way. And then ανομίας, μόνον ο κατέχων άρτι έως εκ μέσου shall that Wicked be revealed, whorm the γένηται. Και τότε αποκαλυφθήσεται ο άνLord shall consume with the spirit of his oμος, δν ο κύριος Ιησούς αναλώσει το πνεύmouth, and shall destroy with the bright- ματι του στόματος αυτού και καταργήσει ness of his coming. (Éven him,) whose Coming is after the working of Satan, with τη επιφανεία της παρουσίας αυτού· ου εσall power, and signs, and lying wonders,
τιν η παρουσία και ενέργειας του σατανά and with all deceivableness of unright- εν πάση δυνάμει και σημείοις και τερασι eousness in them that perish; because ψεύδους και εν πάση απάτη της αδικίας they received not the love of the truth, εν τοις άπoλλυμένους, ανθ' ών την αγάπην that they might be saved. And for this της αληθείας ούκ εδέξαντο εις το σωθήναι cause God shall send them strong delu- αυτούς. Και διά τούτο πέμψει αυτούς και sion, that they should believe a lie: that they all might be damned who believed θεός ενέργειας πλάνης, εις το πιστεύσαι αιnot the truth, but had pleasure in unright- τους τα ψεύδει, ένα κριθώσι πάντες οι μη
πιστεύσαντες τη αληθεία, αλλ' ευδοκήσαντες
εν τη αδικία. In the preceding chapter of this epistle, the apostle had given a vivid description of the coming of the Lord, from the terms of which it was very
natural for the Thessalonians to suppose this coming to be an event taking place in a literal sense in their own day. It seems, besides, from other passages of the New Testament, to have been a very common apprehension of Coristians of that age, that the final manifestation of Christ was something immediately at hand; hence, we may suppose that there was, with many, a cegree of disappointment, and a wavering of their faith, and perhaps even on soine occasions a relapse into paganism. By the scoffer it was said, What has become of the promise of his cominy? while the impatient disciple exclaimed within himself, Why are his chariot wheels so long delayed? While others, hardened by the forbearance, used the language of the unfaithful servants : “Our Lord delayeth bis coming.” To guard against this disappointment and its effects, the explanation of the passage under consideration appears designed.
The word translated now, in our common version, at the commence. ment of this chapter, would be better rendered but or and ; as it is the ordinary Greek conjunction Šť, (Lat. autem, G. & L.) With this alteration, bearing in mind that the division into chapters and verses is no part of the original composition, we perceive the connection between the two representations here ;—as if the apostle had said, The Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven with flaming fire, for which cause we pray for you,
, &c., but we beseech you not to be shaken in your faith because he does not appear immediately ; for you are to understand that, prior to his appearance, there must be a detection and exhibition of the existence of a spirit, power, or principle, of an entirely opposite character. The revelation of this opposing power, he tells them, is to be a preliminary operation in the manifestation of Christ. The apostle then explains further, that there is something which for a time lets or prevents, and which will let or prevent the making of this preliminary revelation. The inference, accordingly, is, that although the Lord Jesus delayeth his coming, this coming, whatever be its nature, will certainly take place. Meantime, the attention of the disciple is to be directed to the detection of the opposing spirit here described, as this detection is to be instrumental in the revelation so much desired.
* Except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.'—The word rendered falling away, inoordoia, has been adopted in our language, (apostacy,) and perhaps expresses, as it is commonly understood, all that was intended to be conveyed in this passage by the original : Except there come first an apostacy—a falling away
from the truth—some egregious error in matters of faith. The primary meaning of the term is applicable to the conduct of an individual leaving his party, or to the revolt of a number of individuals against the lawful authority; but, from the connection, it is evident that it is not in this primary sense, but in something analogous to it, that the word is to be taken. The primary mean
ing of the term, however, is expressive of an open revolt or rebellion, something declared or manifested, as distinguished from a mutinous disposition, or secret conspiracy. So, we suppose the apostacy here contemplated to be not merely the existence of a departure from the truth, but the manifestation of such a departure ;-the falling away may have existed in fact for a long time; as another apostle says, “Even now there are many Antichrists.' The coming of the Lord was not delayed in the time of Paul, because the error itself did not then exist, but because it was not yet openly manifested. There was already a falling away or departure from the faith amongst many who professed to be followers of Christ ; but the apostacy, or open repudiation of the truth, was yet to take place.
* And that man of sin be revealed.'— The apostacy consists in the revelation of the man of sin, not merely in his existence; as the open revolt of a party is a revelation of the previous rebellious spirit of the conspirators. The man of sin may have been in existence from the creation of the world, but in the time of the Thessalonians he was yet to be revealed. The whole connection of the passage shows us that this man of sin is noi literally a man, or human being ; it is something personified as a man. Common sense immediately suggests this application of the term.
If not a man literally, neither can it be any body of men, in a literal sense, as the description subsequently given would not apply to such a body or collection of human beings. To understand the figure, however, we must understand what would be the signification of the term man of sin, in a literal sense. It is evident that it is not merely a sinner, or the sinner, that is here contemplated; for the revelation had been made of old time, and was so referred to repeatedly by this apostle, that all have sinned ; that there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and sinneth not. Christ, it is said, came into the world to save sinners, even the chief of sinners ; yet we cannot suppose
he came to save that which is here denominated the man of sin ; especially, when it is said in the eighth verse of this chapter, that this wicked is to be consumed and destroyed by the coming of the Lord.
The Greek term dungría, primarily signifies a missing or mistaking; (Donnegan ;) a taking of that which is false for that which is true, (error, Thuc. i. 32, Rob. Lex.) The epithet here employed might, therefore, more properly be rendered, the man of error; the man of sin of Paul thus corresponding with “ the spirit of error” (rò avęõuce ris ahirns) of the apostle John ;—the first appellation expressing the nature of the thing spoken of, the last the nature of its influence upon others, (the power of delusion.) It is not merely error in the general that is here contemplated, it is a peculiar error in matters of religious doctrine, the worst of errors ;the fountain and source of all errors—an erroneous principle, from which, perhaps, every departure from Christian faith originates.
This man of sin is also termed “the son of perdition.” The son or child must be the offspring ;—this evil spirit would seem to be, therefore, the offspring of perdition, rather than the parent or cause of it. But, by metonymy, the term perdition may be put for that which causes perdition ; thus this evil spirit is the offspring of that which causes perdition. That which causes perdition, in a doctrinal sense, is the spirit or power of accusation, under the law bringing the sinner to justice, subjecting him to the full penalty of his transgressions ;-a power spoken of in Scripture as Satan, or the Devil—the legal adversary or accuser. This man of sin may be, accordingly, considered the offspring of Satan, the accuser ; owing his existence to Satan, as the beast from the sea, in the book of Revelation, was indebted for his power to the dragon. The appellation, son of perdition, occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures, except where it is applied to the traitor Judas, and where it would seem to indicate an individual destined to perdition, (John xvii. 12:) “ Those that thou gavest me I have kept, none of them is lost, but the son of perdition ; that the scripture might be fulfilled.” We cannot suppose, however, that the term, as used by Paul, is intended merely to indicate the man of sin as destined to perdition, for this is afterwards expressly described. There may be, nevertheless, a strong analogy between the characteristics of the traitorous apostle and those of this traitorous principle ; the one betraying bis Master with a kiss, the other betraying the cause of the Redeemer under the garb of professed adherence to the faith of the gospel.
• Who opposeth and exalteth himself above all that is called God, or that is worshipped.'-To make one's self equal with God, according to the Jewish construction of the crime, is blasphemy against God; and such we have supposed to be the blasphemy of the ten-horned beast of the Apocalypse, (Rev. xiii. 4–6.) He made bimself, both directly and indirectly, through the false prophet, and through the fabrication of his image, an object of worship; his character corresponding very precisely in this respect with that of the man of sin. In fact, we can hardly read the descriptions of these two subjects without taking their identity as granted.
In remarking upon the apocalyptic beast, we have shown that if a man represent himself to be the efficient author of his own salvation by his own righteousness or merits, or by some propitiation of his own, he virtually makes himself in appearance equal with God. We may add here, that he makes himself, in the same sense, superior to God; for if the law of God condemn, it is God that condemns; and if man justify when God condemns, man must be superior to God;~the case supposed by the prophet being reversed, (Is. 1. 8,) as also that stated by the apostle, (Rom. viii. 33, 34.) The law of God condemns the sinner. If we suppose this sinner, then, to make some propitiation of his own equal to counteracting this con