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abideth forever." And 2 John 2. "for the truth's sake which dwelleth in us, and shall be with us forever." Phile. 15.
On all these texts, where this phrase, eis ton aiona, occurs, we would remark, that it is used in a similar sense as olim in the Old Testament, where it is said of certain cities, that they should be an heap, or a desolation forever; such as the example of the fig-tree, which passages Dr. Campbell renders" let no fruit grow on thee henceforward." It is also used to express the period of a man's life-time, as in the Old Testament. The servant or slave may be sold, or the year of release may set him free, but the son abideth forever, or all his days. And whoever compares John 14: 16. with verses 1-5. and with verse 12. may see reason to think that our Lord's meaning was the comforter I shall send you will not, like me, leave you before you die, but will continue to be with you all your days. Was not this the way Christ was to fulfil his promise, Matth.. 28: 20. in being with his disciples unto the end of the world or age? See on this text below. Besides, when Paul said he would eat no flesh while the world standeth, did he mean any thing more than all the days of his life? In this sense Macknight understands him. I would merely suggest it for consideration, if his meaning is not, I will eat no flesh while the age or Jewish dispensation endures, which was then vanishing away. I should think the above Greek phrase, is also used as in the Old Testament, to signify throughout your generations. Such seems to be its sense in Luke 1: 55. and also where the word of the Lord is said to endure forever, 1 Peter 1: 23, 25. and comp. Heb. 9:14. But to see what is the meaning of the phrase, see the Seventy's version, from whence it is taken. Eis ton aiona is the rendering there of olim in a vast number of instances, which it would be tedious to
enumerate. See the quotation from Pierce, on Col. 1:26. above.
The phrase, eis tous aionas, is used in the following places, and is rendered forever and for evermore. Matth. 6: 13. "for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory forever." Luke 1: 33. "And he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever." Rom. 1:25. "and served the creature more than the creator, who is blessed forever." Rom. 9: 5. "who is over all God blessed forever." And 11: 36. "to whom be glory forever." And 16: 27. "to God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ forever." 2 Cor. 11:31. "the God and father of our Lord Jesus Christ who is blessed for evermore." Heb. 13: 8. "Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever." 1 Tim. 6:16.
In the following texts, the phrase eis tous aionas occurs, and is joined with ton aionon, and rendered "forever and ever," in ascriptions of praise to God and to Christ. Thus for example, Gal. 1: 5. " to whom be glory forever and ever." The same for substance is repeated in the following texts, which it is unnecessary to quote. Philip. 4: 20. 2 Tim. 4: 18. Heb. 13: 21. 1 Peter 4: 11. and 5:11. Rev. 1: 6, 18. 4: 9, 10. 5: 13, 14. 7: 12. 10: 6. 11: 15. 14:11. 15: 7. 19: 3. 20: 10. and 22: 5. It occurs also in 1 Tim. 1: 17. in an ascription of praise to God, which I shall quote, as it requires some notice. "Now unto the king eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever." When God is here said to be the king eternal, most people think the apostle meant to describe the endless duration of the divine being. But on this text let us hear Macknight,.who thus writes. "Now to the king eternal. Perhaps, Τῳ δε βασιλει των αιώνων, may be better translated, to the king of the ages, namely, the age before the law, the age under the law, and the age under the
Messiah. According to this translation, which is perfectly literal, the apostle's meaning is, To him who hath governed the three dispensations under which mankind have lived, so as to make them cooperate to the same great end, the pardoning of sinners, and who is immortal, &c. be honor, and glory forever, ascribed by angels and men." There is no cause for alarm with good people, that these views are attempting to do away the eternal duration of God, for surely his endless existence is independent of the meaning of a Greek word, whether you give it a limited or an unlimited signification. Besides, in this very passage he is called the "immortal (aftharto) God." In some copies it is the athanato, or undying God. No one can doubt that Macknight's rendering is a literal, correct one. The apostle is then rendering praise to God, who is king throughout all the ages, that before the law, under the law, and the age also of the Messiah. This king purposed an eternal purpose, Eph. 3: 11. which Macknight thus renders, according to the disposition of the ages, which he made for Christ Jesus our Lord." See his whole note on Eph. 3: 11. part of which 1 shall only quote. Alwv, age, is a word of various signification. Here, in the plural, it denotes the dispensations of religion under which mankind have been placed; namely the Patriarchal, in which a Saviour was promised; the Mosaical, in which he was typified; and the Christian, in which he was manifested in the flesh, and preached to the world, as come. All these ages or dispensations, the apostle saith, God planned and brought to pass for the sake of Christ Jesus; that is, to prepare mankind for his reception. Rom. 16; 25. Tit. 1: 2. (see the note on that verse,) xeovos arvio, signifies the ages of the law, or Mosaic dispensation. And Eph. 3: 9. Col.
1: 26. dives, signifies the Jews, living under that dispensation."
There are a few more texts, in which the words. everlasting and eternal occur, to which we shall now pay some attention, in connexion with these quotations. When God is called the king of the ages, the question occurs-What ages? According to Ewing and others, the answer is, the age before the law, the Mosaic age, and the age of the Messiah. The king of the ages then, disposed, or appointed the ages, for Christ Jesus. Before the Mosaic age, a promise of life was given in Christ Jesus, Tit. 1: 2. This we shall see more fully afterwards. It was promised to our first parents; also to Abraham, that in his seed all the families of the earth should be blessed. This was done during the patriarchal age. During the Mosaic age, the law was added to the promise until the seed should come. Many things connected with this dispensation, we have seen, were called everlasting, but which, having answered the purpose for which they were added to the promise, have vanished away. The age of the Messiah succeeded it, but it is to be succeeded by no other. When the end of times, Christ is to deliver up the kingdom to God sa father, which appears to be at the resurrection of se dead, 1 Cor. 15: 24-29. Several things during Se reign or kingdom of Messiah in this age, is called everlasting or forever. His kingdom is called "the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ," 2 Peter 1:11. And surely it may be called so, with more propriety than many things under the Mosaic age or dispensation, for this kingdom is not to be superseded by another taking its place, for when it closes it is said" then cometh the end."
The gospel of the kingdom of the Messiah, is called "the everlasting gospel preached to the nations," Rev. 14: 6. And why is it called everlasting? Be
Icause it shall be preached as long as the kingdom of the Messiah shall continue, which shall be to the peHence it is said, the word of riod called the end. the Lord endureth forever, 1 Peter 23. And Christ promised that the spirit or comforter should abide with his disciples forever, and is called the eternal spirit, Heb. 9: 14. Some copies, however, only read holy spirit. Such as believe the everlasting gospel, and enter into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord Jesus Christ, receive "everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, 2 Thess. 2: 16. Or, as Macknight says "that is, the means of never failing consolation." To be so highly honored is thus expressed by Peter, 1st. Epistle 5: 10. "The God of all who hath called us unto his eternal glory by grace, Christ Jesus." Let it be observed, that eternal glory is not said to be a future thing, but that to which Peter says they were already called. They receive the promise of eternal inheritance, Heb. 9:15. If the land of Canaan was given to Israel, and called an everlasting inheritance, as it often is in the Old Testament, how much more might the inheritance in the kingdom of Jesus Christ bestowed on Christians, F called an eternal inheritance? It should be rous lected, that the apostle was writing to Hebrewswhom such language was familiar. Besides, this, e shall afterwards see, is the same that our Lord ca. And is i enjoying eternal life in the world to come. not the same that Paul calls inheriting the kingdom of God and of Christ, 1 Cor. 6: 9, 10. Gal. 5: 21?
The new covenant or dispensation, like the covenants under the Mosaic age, is called the everlasting And surely it may be called so, for it is not to vanish away, and give place to a new and betChrist's blood ter covenant, like that of the old. was that by which this new covenant was confirmed, and is called the blood of the everlasting covenant, Heb.