On 1 Thessalonians "The past time is here put for the present, as is plain from this, that the wrath of God had not yet fallen on the Jewish nation. The version which our translators have given of this phrase, namely, to the utmost, is improper. For, though the calamities brought on the Jews, by the Romans, were very great, they did not utterly destroy them. On 1 Peter "That the apostle is not speaking here of the difficulty of the salvation of the righteous at the day of judgment, will be evident to any one who considers, 2 Pet. Yet they were preserved ; for so Christ promised, Matt.
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On 1 Thessalonians "The past time is here put for the present, as is plain from this, that the wrath of God had not yet fallen on the Jewish nation. The version which our translators have given of this phrase, namely, to the utmost, is improper.
For, though the calamities brought on the Jews, by the Romans, were very great, they did not utterly destroy them. On 1 Peter "That the apostle is not speaking here of the difficulty of the salvation of the righteous at the day of judgment, will be evident to any one who considers, 2 Pet.
Yet they were preserved ; for so Christ promised, Matt. But the ungodly and wicked Jews were saved neither in Judea, nor anywhere else. The phrase, if I mistake not, signifies the heavenly country promised to Abraham and his spiritual seed. Wherefore, as oikoumene, the world, Lk. For that this is the true meaning of the expression is plain from Philippians 3. In like manner Romans 4. In Matthew 6.
See Gal. Clarke gives this double application as far as chap. Scott, on the latter part of chap. Clarke, on xxv. Hammond gives a double application to this verse, and applies all which follows, to the general judgment: while Bishop Pearce admits that Jesus continued to speak of the destruction of Jerusalem as far as ver. My concern with these epistles appeared to me too considerable, to overlook what a writer of his eminence has said upon those passages, which have fallen within my plan.
But though I cannot, upon a careful perusal of this part of his work, agree with him in every thing he says, concerning the different comings of Christ mentioned in the New Testament; yet it has given me great satisfaction to find him saying, "that the Apostles, by the coming of Christ, which they represented as at hand, when they wrote their epistles, meant his coming to establish his spiritual kingdom over all people, nations, and languages, and not his coming to put an end to the world; it is evident from what Christ himself told them, Matt.
These observations are supported by many passages from the New Testament, which the reader will find in Dr. But notwithstanding we agree upon this part of the subject, yet we differ widely in our ideas of some passages in the two epistles, which he has applied to the day of final judgment, but which, I think, relate to the approaching destruction of Jerusalem; particularly upon I Thess.
In the preface before mentioned, this respectable writer has, with great judgment and ability, exposed and confuted the opinion of some great men; that the Apostles entertained an idea that the day of final judgment was then near at hand; which he very justly stiles, a most pernicious error. But it appears to me, that it was farther necessary, effectually to vindicate the character of the Apostles, to show that they, none of them, by their writings, gave any reason to suppose, that they had such an opinion.
Almost all the commentators assert, that the Thessalonians actually did mistake the Apostle, and imagined that he spoke of its being at hand. And if St. Paul, in the 5th chapter of his Ist epistle, spoke of the day of judgment, he could not well have chosen a language better calculated to raise such an idea in their minds.
Verse I ! The fault therefore, according to this interpretation, was not in the Thessalonians, but in the Apostle who wrote so, that he could not be understood in any other sense; and as a proof of it, almost all the commentators have supposed him to speak of the day of final account, though they do not, for obvious reasons, allow that he spoke of it, as being near at hand.
But the truth, I believe, is, that both the character of the Apostle, and of the Thessalonians, are free from all imputation of blame in this matter. They neither of them ever entertained such an opinion as has been attributed to them; but the one wrote with a clearness and perspicuity, which was perfectly intelligible to the other.
And Dr. If I have failed in this, I confess, I have laboured to very little purpose, and can neither understand the Apostle here, nor in the 2nd chapter of the subsequent epistle, which is generally agreed is closely connected with it.
The sense of the latter must be governed by that of the former. Macknight has observed, in his commentary upon the 2d chapter of the 2d epistle; that the Apostle reprobates the opinion imputed to him, that he thought the day of Christ was at hand.
But I can find no traces of such a reprobation in his assertion, that that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first," but only that it was not so near at hand, as some had insinuated to the Thessalonian Christians. But this matter will, I think, be put beyond all doubt, by placing before the reader, at one view, the language of our Lord, as recorded by St.
Luke, and that of St. Paul, in the chapter before us. Luke xxi, 8, 9. And he Christ said, Take heed that ye be not deceived: for many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ, and the time draweth near: go ye not, therefore after them.
But when ye shall hear of wars and commotions seditions be not terrified: for these things must first come to pass; but the end is not immediately. II Verse 1. Now we beseech you brethren, by or concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and our gathering together unto him. Verse 2. That ye be not soon shaken in mindm or be troubled, neither by spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. Verse 3. Let no man deceive you by any means; for that day shall not come, except there come a falling away first, and that man of sin be revealed.
James Mackjcight was bom on the 17th of September, His father Mr. William Macksight early displayed very popular talents as a preacher; and having, it is said, accidentally officiated in the church of Irvine, some time after the death of the former incumbent, he gave so much satisfaction to die hearers that he was soon appointed to supply the vacant charge.
In this situation he continued during life, universally esteemed for genuine piety, purity of morals, and integrity of character. He married Elizabeth Gemmil, daughter of Mr. Mackxigut afterwards inherited in right of his mother. By this marriage Mr. The notes he then took from the Lectures on Logic and Moral Philosophy, before he was sixteen, still remain among his papers, and afford remarkable indications of the same acuteness and soundness of judgment which afterwards characterized his theological writings.
Having completed the usual course of academical discipline at Glasgow, Mr. Mackmght went to Leyden, in order to prosecute the.
While he staid in Holland, he had an opportunity of procuring many valuable books written by foreign divines, which afterwards assisted his own labours in explaining Scripture. After his return to Scotland, having received from the Presbytery of Irvine a license to preach the gospel, he was chosen to ofliciate at the Gorbals, near Glasgow ; a situation which at that time could be held by a licentiate of the Church, before being ordained to the pastoral function.
On this occasion, one of the candidates was Mr. Hubert Hbmiy, afterwards the well known historian of Great Britain. From the Gorbals Mr. Macknight went to Kilwtnning, in consequence of an invitation from Mr. Here he conducted himself with such propriety, that hie character began to be established ; and, on the death of Mr.
Fisher at Maybole, he obtained the vacant living there, with the concurring wish of the heritors and people. Of this charge, accordingly, he was ordained as minister on the 10th of May, At Maybole Mr. Mackmgiit continued sixteen years, and discharged the" duties of the pastoral office with such assiduity and kindness, that when he left it, he carried with him the allbctions and regret of all his flock.
It was at Maybole that, amidst his professional occupations -in a populous charge, Dr. Mackxight composed the first and second of his Works.
Of the former, indeed, on the Harmony of the Gospels, it appears from his papers, that the plan had been conceived by him so early as the third or fourth year of his attendance at the university, and from that time he began to collect materials for the publication.
The first edition of this book was published in This edition appeared in Its object is, to illustrate and confirm, both by argument and by appeal to the testimony of ancient authors, what are commonly arranged under the three great titles of the Internal, the Collateral, and the Direct Evidences of the Gospel History.
By these publications Dr. The University of Edinburgh conferred on him among the first who obtained that distinction in Scotland the degree of Doctor of Divinity ; and he was chosen Moderator of the General Assembly of the Church of Scotland in During the course of the same year he was translated to the parochial charge of Jedburgh, in which he remained about three years, and where he received from his people the most flattering tokens of respect and kindness.
In he was elected one of the ministers of Edinburgh. His first charge was the Parish of Lady Ycsters, from which he was translated in to the Old Church, where he continued during the remainder of his life. The lives of the learned commonly oflcr little else to our curiosity, than the simple record of their studies and writings. This observation, often made, is peculiarly applicable in the present instance.
Млскмыгг which can be made the subject of narration. Besides performing the ordinary duties of the pastoral function, a minister of Edinburgh, in virtue of his office, is much occupied with public meetings on business of various kinds, especially the management of the different charitable foundations which have long been the boost of the capital of Scotland.
Among other objects of snch official care is the Fund established by Act of Parliament for a Provision to the Widows and Children of Ministers in the Church of Scotland. As one of the Trustees appointed by the Act, he had long taken a leading part in conducting the business of this charity ; and when the growing prosperity of the Fund had paved the way for an increase of its capital, Dr.
Macknight was nominated by the Trustees, along with the celebrated Dr. After the death of Dr. Wbbsteh, Dr. Mackxioht was appointed joint Collector with Sir H.
Moxchikfp Wf. The line of conduct which Dr. But after mature deliberation, with that manliness and self-decision which marked his character, he adopted the principles that wore to regulate his future conduct in the Church Courts ; and, throughout life, he acted steadily on that system of ecclesiastical policy which, for many years past, has guided the decisions of the General Assembly.
At the same time, he firmly resisted whatever appeared to him as any infringement on the constitutional law or practice of the Church ; and accordingly, when some of his friends seemed to wish for the abolition of calls, as an unnecessary form in the settlement of ministers, he moved and carried a resolution of the Assembly, relative to certain overtures on the subject, then under the discussion of the house , " Declaring, That the moderation of a call in settling ministers, is ajrecable to the immemorial and constitutional practice of this Church ; and that it ought to be continued :" a resolution which was afterwards converted into a Declumtory Act, and printed as such in the proceedings of the Assembly for that year.
Of Dr. Macknight it may in general on this head be recorded, that no member of the Church to which he belonged ever, perhaps, entertained more just or profound views respecting the great fundamental principles of her constitution and laws, or concerning the nature and distinctive powers of her several judicatories ; and that in relation to the business which usually occupies the General Assembly, either in its judicativc or in its legislativo capacity, he always formed a clear, sound, and decisive judgment.
On this account he was often consulted by the leading members of that Court ; and, on several important occasions, his professional advice and assistance were of essential service to the magistrates of Edinburgh, with regard to the ecclesiastical arrangements of the city.
But what chiefly engaged his mind, and occupied his time, after he became a minister of Edinburgh, was the execution of his last and greatest work, on the Apostolical Epistles; which was published in , in four volumes quarto. Respecting this work it is perhaps not unworthy of being told, that it was the result of the unremitting labour of almost thirty years ; that notwithstanding his numerous professional avocations, the author, while composing it, was seldom less than eleven hours every day employed in study ; and that before it came to the press, the whole manuscript had been written no less than five times with his own hand.
Млгкшинт was highly indebted to the patronage of the Duke of Grafton ; and after the work made its appearance, he received the most honourable testimonies of approbation from many of the Bishops and respectable dignitaries of the Church of England, as well as from the ablest divines of all descriptions. After the publication of this work, Dr.
Books by James Macknight
Mr William Macknight early displayed very popular talents as a preacher; and having, it is said, accidentally officiated in the church of Irvine, sometime after the death of the former incumbent, he gave so much satisfaction to the hearers, that, in consequence of a general wish expressed by the parishioners to the patron, he was soon appointed to supply the vacant charge. In this situation he continued during life, universally esteemed for genuine piety, purity of morals, and integrity of character. Mr James Macknight, the subject of this memoir, received the rudiments of education at the school of Irvine; and about the age of fourteen, was sent to the university of Glasgow, where he studied with great approbation from his teachers, on account of his diligence and proficiency. The notes he then took from the lectures on logic and moral philosophy, before he was sixteen, still remain among his papers, and afford remarkable indications of the same acuteness and soundness of judgment, which afterwards characterized his theological writings.
Macknight, James (DNB00)
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James Macknight’s Commentary on the Apostolic Epistles (6 vols.)