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derstood of his fecond coming; and then all those things are to be fulfilled, which are here foretold by the Prophet.
This Prophet continues the fame Argument in the following Chapters, even to the End. Thus much for Zachariah.
Malachi fucceeds, the laft Prophet among the Jews. He upbraids Ifrael for the multitude of their Sins, and in a particular manner reproves the Priests. But, fays he, they being purged and purified, as with Fire, fhall again appear beautiful, (c. iii. 3, 4-12, 17.) and fhall be called bleffed among all Nations, and acknowledged as the peculiar Favourites of God. Now this happy fplendid and magnificent portion did not befal the Jews at the Deftruction of Jerufalem, nor has it been their Lot at any time fince, even to this present Day.
In the third and fourth Chapters, the Prophet difcourfes concerning the Meffiah and Elias; and fome are of Opinion that he there points out a twofold coming of them both, and that from thence it appears that the Jews fhall be restored in the latter Days. Indeed I believe that a twofold coming of the Meffiab is here defigned; and that the fecond is meant in the following Words, (c. iii. 2.) But who may abide the Day of his coming? and who fball ftand when he appeareth? for he is like a Refiner's Fire, and like Fuller's Soap. And then it follows in the fourth Chapter, (v. 1.) For behold the Day cometh that shall burn as an Oven, and all the Proud, yea and all that do wickedly fhall be Stubble; and the Day that cometh fhall burn them up, faith the Lord of Hofts, &c.
I cannot help referring these fiery and terrible Proceedings to the fecond coming of Chrift; when he fhall appear in flaming Fire to confume the wicked, as St. Paul fpeaks, (2 Theff. i. 7, 8.) and
St. Peter's Expreffions are equivalent. (2 Pet. iii. 7. See alfo 1 Cor. iii. 12, 13.) Nor can I otherways understand the Words of the preceding Prophet Zachariah (c. xiv. 6, 7.) than with reference to this time of the Conflagration of the World, when Flames mixed with Smoke fhall take away the Difference between Day and Night; concerning which State of Things, and Face of Heaven, the Reader if he pleases may confult our Theory of the Earth*.
This we may affert as to the fecond coming of Chrift: But what fhall we fay as to the coming of Elias? Elias is indeed already come, but not in his own proper Perfon, but rather in his Type. For John the Baptift seems to have been the Type of Elias. He was the Forerunner of Chrift's first Appearance, as another Elias fhall be the Harbinger of his fecond coming. They agree in the fame Spirit and Offices, as the Type with the Antetype.
There have been many Difputations raised about the future coming of the Prophet Elias: It is a received Doctrine among the Jews that Elias is to come, nor is it any novel Opinion; for we find it prevailed in our Saviour's time, and was taught by the Scribes (Matt. xvii. 10. Mark ix. 11.) who fate in Mofes's Seat, and therefore according to our Saviour's Direction, (Matt. xxiii. 3.) are to be hearkened to, tho' their Manners are not to be followed. The modern Jews are of the fame Opinion, as well as many of the Chriftians.
They who deny that Elias is yet to come, fuppofe John the Baptift to be the only Elias, and that we ought not to expect any other: Indeed the Baptift for a time did fuftain the Perfon, and difcharge the Office of Elias; but if he was the only Elias (abfolutely and as to all Confideration) foretold by
Book III, Chap. XI, and XII.
the Prophet, I think he would not in exprefs Words have denied that he was Elias, when he was asked about that Matter. (John i. 21.) It feems to me more reasonable to fuppofe (as we have before hinted). that the Baptift was a Type of the prophetic Elias, which does by no means hinder the coming of another Elias in his proper time.
Malachi feems to join the coming of Elias with the Day of Judgment, and fecond coming of the Lord. For the Defcription of that great and terrible Day, which Elias is to precede, does not in my Judgment fuit (at least ultimately and fully) the first coming of Chrift, which was meek and humble.
I am very fenfible that this Argument is of no Force with those who think that all the Predictions of Malachi, in thefe two Chapters (iii.. and iv.) were fulfilled at the Deftruction of Jerufalem, and the following Slaughter of the Jews; but with others it will be of weight. But the Restriction of thefe Words of the Prophet to the Deftruction of Jerufalem pleafes me the lefs, because I fee the fame Expofitors extenuate feveral Places of the New Teftament, which plainly speak about the Day of Judgment and Chrift's fecond Appearance, and wrongfully apply them to the Calamities of thofe times. Among which are fuch Places as we have before taken notice of, and others of the like Nature, which carry the fame Senfe, and fometimes the very Words alfo. Nor can I perfuade my felf that the Prophet meant nothing but the Deftruction of Jerufalem, when he foretels that the wicked fhall be trodden down like Ashes, and the Jews be restored to a happy Eftate; fince at the Destruction of Jerusalem, the Jews were fo far from being happy, that all who know any thing of History can tell they were plunged into the fevereft Calamities.
Befides, Chrift himself fays, Elias truly fall firft come (denoting future time) and restore all things, (Matt. xvii. II.) which feems to refer to his fe cond coming; fince John the Baptist was dead when our Saviour uttered thefe Words; and that Reftitution of all things will not commence till the fecond coming of Christ. (Acts iii. 21.)
Laftly, to conclude this Subject, we have many of the Fathers of the Chriftian Church concurring with us in our Opinion about the coming of Elias. It would not be worth while to produce them all but we shall fet down the Words of Justin Martyr*.
"Muft we not understand that the Word of "God has foretold us that Elias is to be the Har"binger of that great and terrible Day, that is the "fecond coming of the Meffiah? Trypho readily "confents to this. And, I fay, our Lord in his "Sermons delivered the fame Doctrine, when he "affirmed that Elias was to come. And we know "that this will be when our Lord Jefus Chrift "fhall appear in celeftial Glory. Before whofe "former Manifeftation there went a Herald, St. "John the Baptift, a Prophet of your kind; who "was endued with the fame Spirit of God that had "been in Elias."
Thus you see how Juftin Martyr understood the Words of Chrift and Malachi. To him we may add St. Auguftint, who fays that this Opinion was common in the Hearts and Mouths of the Faithful.
"It is (fays he) a very common and celebrated "Notion, in the Hearts and Mouths of the Faith
* Dial, cum Tryphone. Οὐχὶ τῆς Φιβεράς ο μεγάλης έμα
+ De Civit Dei Lib. XX. c. 29.
"ful, that by this Elias we are to understand some "great and wonderful Prophet, who in the laft
Days, before the Judgment, fhall perfuade the "Jews to believe in the true Chrift; having explained the Law to them. See Tertullian*, Chryfoftom, Theodoret and others.
For these and fuch like Reafons, they who grant that Elias is yet to come before the dreadful Day of the Lord, will, I fuppofe, hardly deny that he will appear to convert and restore the Jews (to whom the Prophet fays he is to be fent.) For this Converfion and Reftauration, than which there cannot be any greater or more illuftrious, if it does not principally concern them, that is the Tribes of Jacob, as the Son of Syrach expreffes it; (Ecclef. xlviii. 10.) yet at least they will be partakers of the general Salvation. Then at laft will the Fathers and Sons confent, and the Patriarchs and their Defcendants, confefs that Jefus of Nazareth is the only Saviour, the alone Meffiah, and common Lord of Jews and Gentiles.
And then shall the Chriftians and Jews be reconciled. The latter being the natural Children of Abraham, and the former his Seed by Faith, as St. Paul fpeaks in his Epiftles to the Romans and Galatians. (Gal. iii. 7.) And to ftrengthen and confirm their Minds in this double Union and Converfion, there will, I fuppofe, be occafion for the Prefence of Elias, or fome fuch Prophet, to bring about this glorious Revolution.
Thus we have collected many Testimonies of the Prophets, concerning the Reftauration of the Jews, efpecially the more exprefs ones, and explained them to the utmost of our Ability. But we leave the Knots to be unfolded by the fame Elias. Now
* De Anim. c. XXXV. & de Refurrect. Carn. c. XXII. I think