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A REMARKABLE PASSAGE

From a Dialogue between Justin Martyr, and Trypho, a Jew, respecting the Millennium, or the Thousand Years of the kingdom of Christ, corrected and illustrated by Notes.

TRYPHO.

Now tell me the truth. Do you expect and confess, that this place, Jerusalem, is at length to be re-established, and your people to be collected together, and brought out with joy, together with Christ, and the patriarchs, and the prophets, and with these who are of our race, or even some of those who were proselytes before the coming of Christ? Or do you go to such a length, as to confess these things, that you may appear to exceed us in doubtful questions?

JUSTIN.

I am not reduced to such straits, O Trypho, as to speak differently from what I think. I have already confessed to you, and before also, that I, and indeed many others with me, believe that it will come to pass, as you fully know. But on the contrary, I have signified to thee, 443that many who are [not7070Mede has a note to allow that the negative ought here to be introduced.] of the pure and pious sentiment of Christians do not acknowledge this; for I pointed out to thee those who are called Christians, but are atheists, and impious heretics, because they teach all manner of blasphemous, impious, and foolish doctrines. But that you may know that I say this not only among you, I shall compose a work, as soon as I can, of these our disputations; wherein I shall insert, that I profess this very doctrine, which I acknowledge in your presence. For I am determined to follow, not men and human doctrines, but God, and the instruction delivered by him. For although you have had a verbal communication with some who are called Christians, and do not confess this, but dare to speak evil of the God of Abraham, and the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, and who say that there is no resurrection of the dead, but that as soon as they die, their souls are received into heaven, do not suppose that these are Christians; since, if any one think rightly, he would not say that the Sadducees were Jews, nor similar heretics of the Genistæ, and Meristæ, and Galileans, and Hellenists, and baptised Pharisees (not to tire you with hearing all I think); but those who were 444indeed called Jews, and sons of Abraham, and who confessed God with their lips, but their hearts (as God himself exclaims,) were far from him.

Ἐγώ δὲ καὶ εἴ τινές εἰσιν ὀρθεγήμονες κατὰ πάντα Χριστιανοί.”

“But I and all Christians, who are of the orthodox opinion,” both acknowledge that there will be a resurrection of the flesh, and a thousand years’ (reign) in Jerusalem, renewed, and adorned, and enlarged, as the prophets Ezekiel and Isaiah and others declare7171Note by Mede.] If you except the principal articles of faith, I know not whether a similar testimony can be found to any Christian dogma. It is a great previous argument in its favour, that all the orthodox thought the same in the age next to the apostles. Justin became a Christian about thirty years after the death of St. John, in which time it is very probable many were alive who had heard the apostles teach..

For thus .Esaias speaks of the time of those thousand years, (Isa. c. lxv. v. 17, &c.) “For there shall be a new heaven, and a new earth, and the former shall not be remembered, nor come into mind. They shall find joy and exultation in .that which I create. For, behold, I make [for] Jerusalem an exultation, and [for] my people a joy,” &c. to the end of the chapter.

But, as to that expression, “For according to 445the days of the tree of life7272In the Hebrew it is simply הָעַצ, but the Septuagint has τοῦ ξύλου τῆς ζωῆς, to which the Chaldee paraphrase assents. Justin seems to have thought that the life resulting from the tree of life, or of man in the state of Paradise, would have been a thousand years, then to have been translated into a happier state and condition. But in consequence of Adam’s sin, neither he nor any of his posterity attained that number of years, but died within that great day.—Mede., are the days of my people,” he subjoins, “In these words we understand the thousand years to be mysteriously signified.” For as it was said to Adam, in the day in which he should eat of the tree, he should die, we know that he did not complete a thousand years. We know likewise (he proceeds,) that saying, that “the day of the Lord is as a thousand years,” relates to this subject.

And a certain man among us, whose name is John, one of the twelve apostles of Christ, in that Revelation which was exhibited to him, prophesied that those of us who were faithful followers of Christ, should pass a thousand years in Jerusalem, and afterwards should be the universal, and (to say it at once) the eternal resurrection of all together, and the judgment, in which our Lord also said, that “they should neither marry nor be given in marriage, but be equal to the angels,—being the children of God, as of the resurrection.” For we have prophetic 446gifts still existing among us up to the present time, &c.

Another Passage referring to the same subject.

After a Discourse on the great Day of Judgment, (which he calls τὴν μεγάλην ἡμέραν τῆς κρίσεως,) when the Jews should have mourned for Christ, whom they pierced, and when Christ himself, inaugurated after the order of Melchisedech, should have become the judge of quick and, dead, he immediately subjoins, “At whose second coming, do not imagine that Esaias, or the other prophets inform us, that sacrifices of blood or of libations were to be offered upon the altar, but true and spiritual praises and, thanksgivings.

447
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