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the apostles, before the destruction of Jerusalem. Agreeably to this (8) Eufebius informs us, that the apostles preached the gospel in all the world; and some of them patled beyond the ocean to the Britannic iles. Theodoret likewise (9) affirms, that the apostles had induced every nation and kind of men to embrace the gospel, and among the converted nations he reckons particularly the Britons. St. Paul himself in his Epistle to the Coloffions (I. 6, 23.) speaketh of the gospel's being come into all the world, and preached to every creature under heaven: and in his Epistle to the Romans (X. 18.) very elegantly applies to the lights of the church what the Pfalmist said of the lights of heaven, their found went into all the earth, and their words unto the ends of the world. But how improbable, and in all human appearance impoffible was it, that a few poor fithermen and such inferior illiterate persons 1hould propagate and establish a new religion, in fo fhort a space of time, throughout the world ? Doubtless it was not inan's but God's work, and from the fame divine fpirit proceeded both the prophecy and the completion !
We have deduced the prophecies as low as to the fiege of Jerusalem; and now let us stop to make a few dhort reflections upon what hath been faid.
The first reflection that naturally occurs is the strange and surprising manner in which these prophecies have been fulfilled, and the great argument that may thence be drawn from the truth of our Saviour's divine million; but we Shall have a fitter opportunity for inlarging upon this hereafter. 1. Another reflection we may make on the fincerity and ingenuity of Christ, and the courage and conttancy of his ditciples. : Tad Jesus been an impostor, he would, like all other impostors, -have fed his followers with fair hopes and promises: but on the contrary we see, that
τον ωκεανον εαρελθειν επί p. 6 το. Edit. Paris. 1642. Και ο μονος τας καλέμενας Βρετανικας νησες.- Ρωμαιες - αλλα και - Βρετταννες και trans cceanum evalilit, ad eas intulas και απαξαπλως σαν εθνG- και γενGquæ Britan'icæ vocantur. Demont: ar@fwTown- %. 7. 2. neque folum RoEvangel. Lib. 3. Cap. 5. p. 112.
med etm-Britannos-atque, ut Edit. Paris. 1628.
femel dicam, omne hominum genus (9) Theod. Serin. 9. Tom. 4. nationesque omnes, "&c.
he denounced perfecution to be the lot of his disciples, he pointeth out to them the difficulties they must encounter, the fiery trials they must undergo; and yet they did not therefore stagger in their faith, they did not therefore, like faint-hearted foldiers, forsake their colors and desert his service. One hardly knoweth whom to ad mire most, him for dealing fo plainly with them, or them for adhering fo fteadily to him. Such instances are rarely found of opennels on one side, and of fidelity on the other.
A third reflection we may make on the sudden and amazing progress of the Gospel, that it Thould spread so far and so wide before the destruction of Jerusalem. The greatness of the work that was wrought, the meanness of the instruments which wrought it, and the short time that it was wrought in, muft force all considering men to say (Pfal. CXVIII. 23.) This is the Lord's doing, it is marvellous in our eyes. The Mohammedan religion indeed in less than a century overran a great part of the world ; but then it was propagated by the sword, and owed its success to arms and violence. But the Chriftian religion was diffufed over the face of the earth in the space of forty years, and prevailed not only without the sword but against the sword, not only without the powers civil and military to support it, but against thein all united to oppress it. And what but the Spirit of God could bid it thus go forth (Rev. VI. 2 ) conquering and to conquer? Had this counsel or this work been of men, as Gamaliel argued, (Acts V. 28.) it would have come to nought; but being of God, nothing could overthrow it.
A fourth reflection we may make (and it is the last that I shall make) that feldom any state is ruined, but there are evident signals and presages of it. Few people have their fate particularly foretold by prophets, like the Jews; nor indeed can the fate of any people be fo particularly foretold, the time, the manner, and all the circumstances preceding and succeeding, without divine inspiration. So many patages and circumstances cannot be particularly foretold unless particulariy revealed : but in the general, without the spirit of prophecy, it is po difficult matter to perceive when cities and kingdoms
are tending towards their final period and dissolution. There are as certain tokens and symptoms of a confumption and decay in the body politic, as in the body patural. I would not presage ill to my country; but when we consider the marry hainous and presumptuous fins of this nation, the licentiousness and violation of all order and disciplin, the daring insolence of robbers and smugglers in open defiance of all law and justice, the factions and divisions, the venality and corruption, the avarice and profusion of all ranks and degrees among us, the total want of public spirit and ardent passion for private ends and interests, the luxury and gaming and diffoluteness in high life, and the laziness and drunkennefs and debauchery in low life, and above all that barefaced ridicule of all virtue and decency, and that scandalous neglect, and I wish I could not say contempt of all public worship and religion ; when we consider these things, these signs of the times, the stouteft and most fanguin of us all must tremble at the natural and pro' bable consequences of them. God give us grace, that we may know (Luke XIX. 42.) at least in this our day, the things which belong unto our peace, before they are hid from our eyes. Never may such blindness happen to us, as befel the Jews; but may we (If. LV. 6, 7.) seek the Lord while he may be found, and call upon him while he is near; and return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon us, and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
HE preceding discourse was concerning the signs
of the destruction of Jerusalem, that is the circumstances and accidents, which were to be the forerunners and attendents of this great event. Thofe are already specified which passed before the fiege, and now we proceed to treat of those which happened during the fiege and after it. Never was prophecy more punctually fulfilled, and it will be very well worth our time and attention to trace the particulars.
When ye therefore shall see the abomination of defolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) Then let them which be in Judea, flee into the mountains. (ver. 15 and 16.) Whatever difficulty there is in these words, it
be cleared up by the parallel place in St. Luke, (XXI. 20, 21.). And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh. Then let them which are in Judea, flee to the mountains. So that the abomination of defolation is the Roman army, and the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place is the Roman army besieging Jerufalem. This, faith our Saviour, is the abomination of desolation, Spoken of by Daniel the prophet, in the ninth and eleventh chapters; and fo let every one who readeth those prophecies, understand them. The Roman army is called the abomination for its ensigns and images which were fo to the Jews. As Chrysostom affirms (1) every idol and every image of a man was called an abomination among the Jews. For this reason, as (2) Jofephus informs us, the principal Jews earnestly intreated Vitellius, governor of Syria, when he was conducting his army through Judea against Aretas king of the Arabians, to lead it another way; and he greatly obliged them by complying with their request. We farther learn from (3) Josephus, that after the city was taken, the Romans brought their ensigns into the temple, and placed them over against the eastern gate, and facrificed to them there. The Roman army is therefore fitly called the abomination, and the abomination of desolation, as it was to desolate and lay waste Jerusalem: and this army's besieging Jerusalem is called
(1) απαν ειδωλον» και σαν τυπωμα (3) κομισαλλες τας σημαιας ας το ανθρωπε παρα τοις Ιεδαιοις βδελυγμα Γερον, και θεμενοι της ανατολικης συλης εκαλείlo, omne bmulacrum et hominis αντικρυς, εθυσαν τε αυταις αιλοθι. fignis effigies apud Judæos appellabatur abo- in templum illatis pofitisque contra minatio. Advers. Judaeos V. Orat. p. portam orientalem, et illis ibi sacrifi. 645. Vol. $. Edit. Benedict,
carunt. Joseph. de Bell. Jud. Lib. 6. (2) Joseph. Antiq. Lib. 18. Cap. Cap. 6. Sect. s. p. 1283. Edit. Hud. 6. Sect. 3. Edit. Hudson.
standing standing where it ought not, as it is in St. Mark; (XIII. 14.) or standing in the holy place, as it is in St. Matthew; the city and such a compass of ground about it being accounted holy. When therefore the Roman ariny Mall advance to besiege Jerusalem, then let them who are in Judæa consult their own safety, and fly into the mountains. This counsel was wisely remembered, and put in practice by the Christians afterwards. Josephus informs us, that when Cestius Gallus came with his army against Jerusalem, (4) many fled from the city as if it would be taken presently and after his retreat, (5) many of the noble Jews departed out of the city, as out of a finking thip: and a few years afterwards, when Vespasian was drawing his forces towards Jerusalem, (6) a great-multitude fled from Jericho eis any operon into the mountainous country for their fecurity. It is probable that there were some Christians among these, but we learn more certainly from (7) ecclefiaftical hiftosians, that at this juncture all who believed in Christ left Jerufalem, and removed to Pella and other places beyond the river Jordan, so that they all marvelously efeaped the general fhipwrack of their country, and we do not read any where that so much as one of them perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Of such signal service was this caution of our Saviour to the believers ! He prosecutes the same subject in the followitig verses. Let him which is on the house-top, not come down to take any thing out of his house." (ver, 17.) The (8) houses of the Jews, as well as those of the ancient Greeks and Romans, were flat on the top for them to walk upon,
(4) ηδε δε πολλοι διαδρασκoν απο της (6) Ibid. Lib, 4. Cap. 8. Sect. 24 WoNews Ws úr woouens autix. jamque p. 1193. Edit. Hudson.. multi ex civitate diffugiebant, ac fi (7) Euseb. Ecclef. Hist. Lib. 3. continuo esset expugnanda. Jofeph. Cap. 5. cum notis Valesi. Epiphade Bell. Jud. Lib. 2. Cap. 19. Sect. nius Adversus Nazaræos. Lib. 1. 6. p. 1103
Tom. 2. Sect. 7. Vol. I. Edit. Pe(5) worãos TWD ETT uw ledaiwo tavii. Idem de Mens. et Pond. Sect, ώσπερ βαπτιζομενης νεως, απηνηχοντο TMS WOREwg. nobilium Judæorum multi, (8) See Grotius on the place, and quasi in eo eflet navis ut mergeretur, e the Miracles of Jesus vindicated by civitate veluti natando egreffi funt, Bp. Pearce, Part IV. p. 27. 28, Ibid. Çap. 20. Sect. 1. p. 1105,
15. Vol. 2.