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Reflections on the ruin that should come upon the Jews. 243 so sudden and conspicuous also shall the coming sect.
clxi. of the Son of man be, both in his appearance to
the destruction of Jerusalem, and to the final Mat. 28 For wheresoever judgment. (Compare Luke xvii. 24, p. 62.) XXIV. the carcase is, there and very extensive also will the desolation be; 23
will the earles, be sa- for, as I formerly told you, Luke xvii. 37, p.;
64), wheresoever the dead carcase is, there will
If our Lord urges his disciples, with such speedy and solicitous Luke haste, to flee from the sword of God's temporal judgments, how much greater diligence should we give to fiee from the wrath to come! What are any of the little interests of life, that out of re- Mark gard to them we should be willing to continue one moment longer
15, 16 exposed to a danger which may sink us into everlasting perdition and despair!
We have here a lively description of that aggravated ruin which Mat. was brought upon the Jews for neglecting Christ ; even great *xiv.27. tribulation, such as had never, from the very beginning of the world, fallen upon any other nation, nor shall ever be equalled. Thus was his blood upon them, and their children. (Mat. xxvii. 25.) May we never know what it is to have this blood crying against us for trampling it under foot as an unholy thing! (Heb. x. 29.) For surely to the Jews, who thus rejected the counsel of God against 7, 8 themselves, all these things which they suffered were but the beginning of sorrows; and the famine and sedition, pestilence and slaughter, by which so many thousands perished, served only to
m In some more distant regions, &c.] forms us, Hist. lib. 69) 50,000 were slain, There may perhaps be an oblique intiina- 500 of their fortresses were demolished, tion in this passage of the slaughter after- and 900 of their chief towns in Egypt, wards made on the Jews elsewhere, and Crete, &c. were plundered and burnt to particularly under Adrian and Trajan ; the ground: not to mention the terrible when what had been foretold by Moses things they afterwards suffered in France, (Deut. xxviii. 49, & seq.) was remarkably Italy, Spain, and other parts of Europe, fulfilled, and as an eagle flies upon its in the decline of the Roman empire : of all prey, their enemies pursued them to de. which see Dr. Jackson's Eternal Truth of struction; and the calamities they under- the Scriptures, book i. part 2, sect. 3, chap. went were such, that (as Dio Cassius in- 6, 10-13. VOL.VII.
Jesus describes the tribulation of those days. SECT: consign them over to infinitely more terrible indignation and
wrath, tribulation and anguish, which will at last fall on every soul of man that doth evil, whether Jew or Gentile. (Rom. ii. 8, 9.)
These unhappy creatures eagerly listened to the very name of a
Messiah, by whomsoever it was assumed ; wbile they rejected him 21, 22
whom God had sent hem, and who had so long, and with so much importunity, been renewing to them the offers of life and salvation. May done of us ever know the sad impatience with
which condemned sinners will wish, and wish in vain, for those Mat. overtures and messages of grace wbich they now despise ! In that xxiv. 28. sense, wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered
together : wherever there is the like unbelief and impenitence, Mark there will be in its degree the like ruin. Christ has graciously xiii. 25. told us these things before : may we humbly attend to the warning,
that none of this terror and destruction may ever come upon us !
Christ describes the total destruction of the Jewish state by strong figures, many of them literally suiting the day of judgment : to the mention of which he proceeds, declaring the particular time of it unknown. Mat. XXIV. 29—36. Mark XIII. 24–32. Luke XXI. 25–33.
LUKE XXI. 25.
LUKE XXI. 25. OUR Lord proceeded in the awful repre- A prish fire shall be
sentation of the judgments that were com- and in the moon, and
ing on Jerusalem, and said, Before this desola- in the stars; and upon xxuke, tion shall be completely come, there shall be (as tiens, with perplexity,
I told you, ver. 11) some extraordinary signs in the sea, and the waves
breaking in upon the land with an irresistible
and for looking after expectation of those calamitous things which are those things which are coming upon the land : for this shall not be like coming on the earth. former invasions or captivities, which only pro. duced some transient disorders in the state, or at
a Erpiring with fear.] This is the lic of the latest of those mentioned in the teral rendering of apotixoilw* 470 dod. writers referred to above in notes 8 and h on - The signs here spoken of seem to be some ver. 10, 11, p. 232.
Messengers should be sent to assemble his elect,
245 most, an interruption in the government for a few years; but it shall be attended with such a total subversion of it, and with such vast, extensive, and lasting ruin, that it shall be a most XX1. 26. lively emblem of the desolation of the whole
world at the last day. Mat. XXIV. 29, Immediately after the For immediately after the affliction of those days, Mat.
XXIV. tribulation of those which I have now been describing', the sun sha!í
29 days, shall the sun be as it were be darkened, and the moon shall not darkened, and the moon shall not give her
seem to give her usual light ; and the stars shall light; and the stars fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens, shall fall from heaven all the mighty machines and strong movements and the powers of the above, shall be shaken and broken in pieces; heavens shall be shaken. (MARK XIII, 24,
that is, according to the sublimity of that pro25. LUKE XXI.—26.] phetic language to which you have been accus
tomed, the whole civil and ecclesiastical consti
tution of the nation shall not only be shocked,
lestial army which shall appear in the air mar-
b Immediately after the effliction of those may be a remote, though not an immedays.] Archbishop Tillotson, and Bren- diate reference. nius, with many other learned interpre c The sun shall be darkened, &c.] It was ters, imagine that our Lord here makes customary with the prophets, as it still the transition from the destruction of Je- is with the eastern writers, to describe the Tusalem, which had been the subject of utter ruin of states and kingdoms, not only bis discourse thus far, to the general judge in general by an universal darkness, but ment : but I think, as it would, on the also by such strong figures as those here one hand, be very harsh to suppose all used, which all have their foundation in the sufferings of the Jewish nation, in all that way of speaking. Compare Isa. xiii. ages, to be called the tribulation of those 10; xxxiv. 4, 10; 1x. 20; Jur. xv. 9; days ; so it would, on the other hand, be Ezck. xxxii. 7, 8; Joel ii. 30, 31; ni. equally so to say that the general judg. 15; and Amos viii. 9. ment, which probably will not commence d Coming in the clouds of heaven.] Sud. till at least a thousand years after their re- den and irresistible destruction, in which storation, will happen immediately after much of the hand of Gorevidently appears, their sufferings; nor can I find any one is (as Dr. Whitby justly observes) often instance in which sufiws is used in such expressed by God's coming in the clouds : a strange latitude. What is said below (compare Psal. xviii. 9; 1. 3, 4 ; xcvii. 2, (in Mat. xxiv. 34; Mark xiii. 30; and 3; civ. 3 ; Isa. xix. 1; xxvi. 21; Ixvi. Luke xxi. 32 ; p. 247) seems also an un 15.) But I think the celestial appearances answerable objection against such an in- described by Josephus (as above, notel, on terpretation.-I am obliged therefore to Luke xxi. 11, p. 232) lead us into the exexplain this section as in the paraphrase ; actest interpretation of this text, and greatthough I acknowledge many of the figures ly illustrate the propricty of these exused may with more literal propriety be pressions here, applied to the last day, to which there Hh2
Ile delivers the parable of the fig-tree. SECT. them that the angels of God, and the great Lord clxii.
of those heavenly hosts, are set as it were in arMat. ray against them. And, to pursue the allusion, 31 And (then) he XXIV. as at the great day the angels shall in a literal shall send his angels,
with a great sound of 31 sense assemble all bis saints together, so also he
a trumpet, and they shall then send forth his messengerse with the shall gather together great sound of bis gospel, as of a loud trumpet, bis elect from the four and they shall assemble his elect from the four of heaven to the other, winds, even from one end of the heavens to the (from the uttermost other, or from the utmost part of the earth one part of the earth, to the
uttermost part of hea. way to those climates which lie under the utter
[MARK XIII. most part of heaven the other way; and multi- 27.] tudes of all nations shall obey the summons, though the Jews have ungratefully and foolishly despised it; and the Son of man shall be honoured and trusted by millions now unborn, when this wicked and perverse nation is perish
ed in their rebellion and infidelity. And when LUKE XXI. 28. And Luke these things begin to come to pass, be not you gin to come to pass,
when these things beXXI. 28. terrified and dismayed, but rather cheerfully then look up, and lift
look upwards', and lift up your heads with joy up your heads; for your and assurance ; for whatever happens, you
nigh. be secure ; and as soon as you see the first appearance of these signs, you may comfortably conclude that your complete redemption and deliverance draws nigh8; for many of you will be safely brought home to the haven of eternal peace before these storms are ended, and the
rest of you will not long survive them. 29 And, further to illustrate what he had been 29 And he spake saying, he spake to them a very easy and familiar to them a parable,
[Now] behold (and parable, saying, Behold now, [and] learn a para- learn a parable of the
e Send forth his messengers.) Most trans Aicted state. See Raphel. Annot, ex Herod. lations, as well as our own, greatly obscure p. 270. this text, by rendering the word afyaxs & your terlemption draws nigh.] As the angels; for though it generally signify those resurrection is the time when we shall in fact celestial spirits who are on great occasions be fully redeemed, or delivered from all the the messengers of God to our world, it is sad consequences of sin, and therefore is well known that the word refers not to their called the redemption of our boilies, (Rom. nature but to their office; and is often ap- viii. 23 ; compare Eph. iv. 30, and Hos. plied to men, and rendered messengers. See xiii, 14): so in a less proper sense the deMark i. 2; Luke vii. 24, 47; ix. 52; liverance from all the toils and sorrows, 2 Cor. viii. 23; Piril. ii. 25; and Jam. ii. temptations and infirmities, of this sinful 25. In some of which places it signifies, and calamitous life, may, on the like prin. as here, preachers of the gospel, who were ciples, be called redemption. And if we sent sorth to carry on God's great design of may judge of the length of the apostles' uniting all his chosen people in one society lives by the extent of their labours, though under Christ, as their common head. Eph. we know not the time when many of them i. 10.
died, there is reason to conjecture it was f Look upwards : avaxutal.] This is not till' about this period; which, by the an expression which admirably suits the way, would be an argument they were now load of labour and sufferings under which most of them young men. the apostles would be depressed in this af.
The generation shall not pass till all were fulfilled. 247 fig-tree, and all the ble from the example of the fig-tree, and all the sect. trees: (Mat. XXIV; other trees that drop their leaves in the winter :
When buds appear upon the fig-tree, and its su When shis branch branch is now become tender, and the sap rising XX1.30.
yet tender, and) in the other trees, they shoot forth their young
shall see all these 31 31 So likewise ye, things come to pass, may assuredly know that the
see destruction of the Jewish state, and the ad-
gospel shall be propagated all abroad, and take
yourselves it shall never be destroyed.
Mark all these things be fulfilled"; for what I have fore-
told concerning the destruction of the Jewish
live to see it all accomplished with a dreadful 33 Heaven and earth exactness : And the rest may die in the assur-33 shall pass away; but
ance of it: for another and yet more awful day my words shall not
shall come when, in a literal sense, heaven and XXIV. 35. Mark earth shall pass away, and the whole fabric of XIII. 31.)
this visible world shall be dissolved before my
which shall succeed these transitory scenes. MARK XII. 32. But
But though Jerusalem shall be destroyed be. Mark of that day, and that fore the generation disappear, yet of that great
XIII. S2 hour,
decisive day which is appointed for the dissolu-
h This generation shall not pass away our Lord intended to say they should con. antil all these things be fulfilled.) Though tinue a distiuct people to the judgment iluy. Brennius, and Mede (in bis Works, p. 752), What I have expressed in the paraphrase is have here the honour to be followed by so plainly the most obvious sense of the words, great an authority as Dr. Sykes (of Chris. and seems to me an evident key to the tianity, p. 60), yet I must beg leave to say whole context, especially when compared that I cannot think the texts they collect with Mat. xvi. 23. There le somme stunding sufficient to prove that by this generation here, which shall not taste of death, till they (nyersa quin] we are here to understand see the Son of man coming in his kingdom. the Jewish nalion through all ages; as if Şee note i, on that text, Vol. VI. p. 409.