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one God, so there is only one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus--that it is lawful to fill the world with rebellions and treafuns, with perfecutions and massacres, for the sake of religion and the church; when St. James affures us, (I. 20.) that the wrath of man worketh not the righteoufrels of Goil; and when Chrift maketh univerfal love and charity the distinguishing mark and badge of his disciples, (John XIII. 35.) By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another-I say thould any man affert these things so directly contrary to reason and to the word of God, and vouch ever fo iany miracles in confirmation of them, yet we should make no fcruple to reject and renounce them all. Nay we are obliged to denounce anathema against the teacher of such doctrins, though he were an apoftle, though he were an angel from heaven: and for this we have the warrant and authority of St. Paul, and to show that he laid pecu- . liar stress upon it, he repeats it twice with great vehemence, (Gal. I. 8, 9.) Though we or an angel from heaven preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed. As we said before, So say I now again, If anyone preach any other gospel unto you, than that ye have received, let him be accursed. Indeed the miracles alleged in support of these doctrins are such ridiculous incredible things that a man must have faith, I do not say to remove mountains, but to fwallow mountains, who can receive for truth the legends of the church of Rome. But admitting that any of the Romih miracles were undeniable matters of fact, and were attested by the best and most authentic records of time, yet I know not what the Bishop of Rome would gain by it, but a better title to be thought Antichrist. For we know that the coming of Antichrist, as St. Paul declares, (2 Theff. II. 9, 10.) is after the working of Satan with all power and signs, and lying wonders, and with all deceivableness of unrighteousness : and he doeth great wonders in the night of men, according to the prophecy of St. John, (Rev. XIII. 13, 14.) and deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he hath power to do. Nor indeed is any thing more congruous VOL. II.



and reasonable, than that God (2 Theff. II. 10, 11.) should send men strong delusion, that they should believe a lie, because they received not the love of the truth, that they might be saved.

But to return from this digression, though I hope neither an improper nor unedifying digreffion, to our main subject.

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E are now come to the last act of this dismal tra

gedy, the deftruction of Jerusalem and the final diffolution of the Jewish polity in church and 'state, which our Saviour for several reasons might not think fit to declare nakedly and plainly, and therefore chooseth to clothe his discourse in figurative language. “He

might possibly do it, as (1) Dr. Jortin conceives, to “ perplex the unbelieving perfecuting Jews, if his should ever fall into their hands, that they “ might not learn to avoid the impending evil.” Immediately after the tribulation of those days, Jhall the fun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the ftars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens Shall be shaken. Commentators, generally understand this and what follows of the end of the world and of Christ's coming to judgment: but the words inmediately after the tribulation of those days Mhow evidently that he is not speaking of any distant event, but of something immediately confequent upon the tribulation before mentioned, and that must be the destruction of Jerusalem. It is true, his figures are very strong, but no stronger than are used by the ancient prophets upon similar occafions. The prophet Isaiah speaketh in the fame man

(1) Dr. Jortin's Remarks on Ecclesiast. History, Vol. 1. p. 75.

ner of Babylon, (XIII. 9, 10.) Behold the day of the Lord cometh, cruel both. with wrath and fierce anger, to lay the land desolate; and he shall destroy the finners thereof out of it. For the stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and the moon shall not cause her light to Jhine. The prophet Ezekiel speaking in the fame manner of Egypt, (XXXII. 7, 8.) And when I shall put thee out, I will cover the heaven, and make the

stars thereof dark; I will cover the fun with a cloud, and the moon Jhall not give her light. And the bright lights of heaven will I make dark over thee, and set darkness upon thy land; faith the Lord God. The prophet Daniel speaketh in the same manner of the slaughter of the Jews by the little horn, whether by the little horn be understood Antiochus Epiphanes or the power of the Romans; (VIII. 19.) And it wared great even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host, and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them : And the prophet Joel of this very destruction of Jerusalem, (II. 30, 31.) And I will shew wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood and fire and pillars of smoke. The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the Lord come. Thus it is that in the prophetic language great commotions and revolutions upon earth, are often represented by commotions and changes in the heavens.

Our Saviour proceedeth in the fame figurative stile (ver. 30.) 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 Mall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory. The plain meaning of it is, that the destruction of Jerusalem will be such a remarkable instance of divine vengeance, such a signal manifestation of Christ's power and glory, that all the Jewish tribes shall mourn, and many will be led from thence to acknowledge Christ and the Christian religion. In the ancient prophets, God is frequently described as coming in the clouds, upon any remarkable interpofition and manifestation of his power; and the fame description is here applied to Christ. The destruction of JeE2


rusalem will be as ample a manifestation of Christ's power and glory, as if he was himself to come visibly in the clouds of heaven.

The fame fort of metaphor is carried on in the next verfe. (ver. 31.) And he shall send his angels with the great found of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. This is all in the stile and plırafeology of the prophets, and stript of its figures meaneth only, that after the destruction of Jerufalem, Chrift by bis angels or ministers will gather to himself a glorious church out of all the nations under heaven, The Jews thall be thrust out, as he exprefseth himself in another place, (Luke XIII. 28, 29.) and they shall come from the east, and from the west, and from the north, and from thë fouth; and shall fit down in the kingdom of God. No one ever so little verfed in history needeth to be told, that the Christian religion spread and prevailed mightily after this period; and hardly any one thing contributed more to this success of the gospel, than the destruction of Jerusalem, falling out in the very manner and withi the very circumstances so particularly foretold by our blessed Saviour.

What Dr. Warburton hath (2) written upon the same fubject will much illustrate and enforce the foregoing exposition. “ The prophecy of Jesus, concerning the

approaching destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, is “ conceived in such high and swelling terms, that not

only the modern interpreters, but the ancient likewise, “ have fuppofed, that our Lord interweaves into it á “ direct preiliction of his fecond coming to judgment. Hence arose a current opinion in those times, that the “ consummation of all things was at hand; which hath “ afforded an handle to an infidel objection in these, in

finuating that Jefus, in order to keep his followers “ attached to his service, and patient under sufferings, “ flattered them with the near approach of those re“ wards, which completed all their views and expecta“ tions. To which, the defenders of religion have op

(2) Warburton's Julian, Book 1. Chap. 1. p. 81, &c. 2d Edit.

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pored posed this answer, That the distinction of Mort and “ long, in the duration of time, is lost in eternity, and “ with the Almighty, a thousand years are but as yesterday, &c.

“ But the principle both go upon is false; and if er what hath been laid be duly weighed, it will ap

pear, that this prophecy doth not respect Christ's second coming to judgment but his first; in the aboli" tion of the Jewish policy, and the establishment of the " Christian: That kingdom of Christ, which commenced

on the total ceasing of the theocracy. For as God's

reign over the Jews entirely ended with the abolition “ of the temple-Service, so the reign of Chrift, in spirit " and in truth, had then its first beginning.

“ This was the true csiablishment of Christianity, not " that effected by the donations or conversions of Con" 'ftantine. Till the Jewish law was abolished, over " which the Father presided as king, the reign of the Son could not take place; because the sovranty of " Christ over mankind, was that very sovranty of God e over the Jews, transferred, and more largely .ex" tended.

“ This therefore being one of the most import" ant æras in the economy of grace, and the most " awful revolution in all God's religious difpenfations ;

we see the elegance and propriety of the terms in “ question, to denote so great an event, together with " the destruction of Jerusalem, by which it was effected: " for in the old prophetic language the change and fall " of principalities and powers, wliether fpiritual or civil

, " are fignified by the thaking heaven and earth, the “ darkening the sun and moon, and the falling of the " stars; as the rise and establishment of new ones are

by processions in the clouds of beaven, by the found " of trumpets, and the assembling together of hosts and congregations."

This language, as he observes (3) in another place, was borrowed from the ancient hieroglyphics. “For as

(3) Divine Legation. Vol. 2. Book 4. Sect. 4.

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