45. Jesus announces his second coming; but he does not say he will return with a carnal body, neither that the Consoler will be personified in him. He presents himself as coming in spirit, in the glory of his Father, to judge the good and wicked, and render to each one according to his works, when the time shall be accomplished.
This saying, “I tell you the truth, some who are standing here will not taste death before they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom,” seems a contradiction, since it is certain that he has not come during the life of anyone of those who were present. Jesus could not, however, be deceived in a prophecy of this nature, and above all in a contemporary fact which concerned him personally. At first it is necessary to demand if his words have always been faithfully rendered. One can doubt it when one thinks that he has written nothing himself; that a compilation of his teachings has not been made until after his death. And, when one sees the same discourse nearly always reproduced in different terms by each evangelist, it is an evident proof that they are not the textual expressions of Jesus. It is also probable that the sense has been sometimes altered in passing through successive transitions.
On the other hand, it is certain, that, if Jesus had said all that he could have said, he would have explained all things in a distinct and precise manner which had not given place to any equivocation, as he does it for moral principle; whilst he must have veiled his thoughts upon subjects which he has not judged proper to propose to them. The apostles, persuaded that the present generation must be the witness of that which he announced, must have interpreted the thought of Jesus according to their idea. They have been able, consequently, to draw from it a more absolute sense of the present than he has perhaps intended to convey himself. Whatever it may be, the fact is there, which proves that the circumstances have not happened as they have believed they would.