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Settle it therefore in your hearts not to meditate be fore what ye answer.
For I will give you a mouth and wisdom, which all adversaries shall not be able to gainsay nor resist. And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.
The brother shall betray the brother to death, and the father the son, and children shall rise up against their parents, and shall cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake. But there shall not an hair of your head perish. In your patience possess ye your souls.
For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.
And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars; and upon the earth distress of nations with perplexity, the sea and the waves roaring.
Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth: for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect's sake those days shall be shortened.
Immediately after the tribulation of those days, shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken.
And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven; and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory.
And he shall send his angels, with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.
Now learn a parable of the fig-tree: When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:
So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.
Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass till all these things be fulfilled.
Heaven and earth shall pass away,
not pass away.
but my words shall
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS.
A full explanation of the prophetical discourse, which our LORD delivered at this time, cannot be given without anticipating the history of those events to which it related; but, in a proper place, we will examine it particularly at present, it will be sufficient to mention, that he predicted the destruction of the Jewish nation. In answer to his disciples' enquiry," When those things would be? And what would be the sign of his coming, and of the end of the world?" He told them, that the Gospel would first be preached in all the world: this, according to the usual mode of speaking at that time, might mean the Roman empire, which was regarded as the whole world, for the Romans had then no intercourse with any people but those they had conquered.
Our LORD gave his disciples particular directions how to conduct theniselves, when they saw the destruction of the Jewish nation approaching; and encouraged them to persist in the truth, and to be stedfast in their attachment to him, by assurances, that all the cruelty and hardships which their persecutors should inflict, would finally prove a public and honourable testimony of their uprightness and integrity, and the goodness of their cause. Our LORD knew, that when these tribulations
shall fall upon the Jews, they would, as he had formerly predicted, begin to seek for their MESSIAH to deliver them; he therefore warned his disciples, that they might not be deluded, and informed them, that the coming of the Son of Man would be very different from that of those impostors; for he should not appear personally on earth, but send judgments from heaven, sudden and rapid as lightning, on all his foes, from one end of Judea to the other: while those false Messiahs would retire into deserts and secret places, in order to form confederacies and raise armies. Our LORD informed his disciples, that after the tribulation of those days the sun should be darkened, and the moon should not give her light, and the powers of heaven should be shaken. These are strong figurative expressions, such as had frequently been used by the antient Prophets, to describe the ruin of kingdoms; and may be understood to mean the entire dissolution of the whole church and nation of the Jews, which would be a certain sign of the SON OF MAN dwelling in heaven: agreeably to a prediction which our LORD alluded to in a former discourse with the Pharisees," that he should sit at the right hand of GOD, till he had made his enemies his footstool." The judgments he should then inflict, would naturally cause all the tribes to mourn; and ought to be considered as an earnest of his second coming at the end of the world, to pass sentence on the wicked, and gather the just to himself. The latter part of our LORD's discourse is generally supposed to refer to his second coming, when it will be literally fulfilled, as it agrees with other passages of Scripture, which lead us to believe that all things will be changed; and though in this place our LORD's words appear to be figurative, we may safely apply to his second advent every expression that agrees with other plainer predictions concerning it.
ADMONITIONS CONCERNING WATCHFULNESS.
From Matt. Chap. xxiv.-Mark, xiii.—Luke, xxi.
BUT of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels in heaven, but my Father only. But as the days of Noah were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
For as, in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noah entered into the ark;
And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.
Take ye heed, watch and pray: for know not when the time is.
For the Son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch.
therefore (for ye know not when the master of the house cometh: at even, or at midnight, or
in the morning,)
Lest coming suddenly, he find you sleeping.
And what I say unto you, I say unto all, Watch,
And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting, and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.
For as a snare shall it come upon all them that dwell on the face of the whole earth.
Watch ye therefore, and pray always, that ye may be accounted worthy to escape all these things that
shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of man. Let your loins be girded about, and your lights burning.
And ye yourselves like unto men that wait for their lord, when he will return from the wedding, that when he cometh and knocketh, they may open unto him immediately.
Blessed are those servants, whom the lord, when he cometh, shall find watching: Verily I say unto you, that he shall gird himself, and make them sit down to meat, and will come forth and serve them.
And if he shall come in the second watch, or come in the third watch, and find them so, blessed are those
And this I know, that if the good man of the house had known what hour the thief would come, he would have watched, and not have suffered his house to be broken through.
Be ye therefore ready also: for the Son of man cometh at an hour when ye think not.
Then Peter said unto him, LORD, speakest thou this parable unto us, or even to all?
And the LORD said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?
Blessed is that servant, whom his lord, when he cometh, shall find so doing. Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.
But, and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants, and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken ;
The lord of that servant will come in a day when lie looketh not for him, and at an hour when he is not