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as (8) Basnage says, are beggars, and live upon alms. The Jews fay, that when the Messiah Thall come, the city will undergo a conflagration and inundation in order to be purified from the defilements, which the Christian and Mohammedan have committed in it; and there. fore they choose not to settle there. But the writer just mentioned assigns two more probable and natural reasons. “One is, that the Mahommedans look upon " Jerusaleın as a holy place; and therefore there are

a great many Santons and devout Muflulmen, who " have taken up their abode there, who are perfecutors “ of the Jews as well as of the Christians, so that they “ have lefs tranquillity and liberty in Jerusalem than in ** other places : and as there is very little trade, there is “ not much to be got, and this want of gain drives them

away.”

By thus tracing the history of Jerufalem from the destruction by Titus to the present time, it appears evidently, that as the Jews have been led azeuy captive into all nations, fo Jerusalem hath been troden down of the Gentiles. There are now alınost 1700 years, in which the Jewish nation have been a standing monument of the truth of Christ's predictions, themselves dispersed over the face of the whole earth, and their land groaning under the yoke of foreign lords and conquerors : And at this day there is no reason to doubt but they will continue in the fame state, nor ever recover their native country, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. Our Saviour's words are very memorable

, Jerusalem Jhall be troden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. It is still troden clown by the Gentiles, and confequently the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled. When the times of the Gentiles thall be fulfilled, then the expression implies that the Jews fhall be restored: and for what reason, can we believe, that though they are difperfed aniong all nations, yet by a constant miracle they are kept distinct from all but for the farther manifestation of God's purpofes towards them. The prophecies have been accompliihed to the greateft exact

(8) Basnage Hir. of the Jews, B. 7. Chap. 24. Sect. jo.

F 3

ness

ness in the destruction of their city, and its continuing still subject to strangers, in the dispersion of their people, and their living still separate from all people; and why should not the remaining parts of the fame prophecies be as fully accomplished too in their restoration, at the proper season, when the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled? The times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled; when the times of the four great kingdoms of the Gentiles

, according to Daniel's prophecies shall be expired, and the fifth king-' dom or the kingdom of Christ shall be fet

up

in their place, and the saints of the most High fhall take the kingdom, and posess the kingdom for ever, even for ever und ever. Jerusalem, as it hath hitherto remained, fo probably will remain in fubjection to the Gentiles, until these times of the Gentiles be fulfilled; or as St. Paul exprefseth it, (Rom. XI. 25, 26.) until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in; and so all Ísrael shall be jured, and become again the people of God. The fulness of the Jews will come in as well as the fulness of the Gentiles

. For (ver. 12, &c.) if the fall of them be the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles; how much more their fulness ? For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this myjiery, that blindness in part is happened to Ifrael, until the fulness of the Gentiles be came in: And so all Ifrael shall be saved,

XXI.

THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED,

PART IV.

CHEN we first entered on an explanation of our

of Jerusalem, comprised chiefly in this 24th chapter of St. Matthew, it was observed that the disciples in their question propose two things to our Saviour, first when

should

should be the time of his coming or the destruction of Jerusalem, and secondly what should be the signs of it, (ver. 3.) Tell us when shall these things be, and what shall be the signs of thy coming, and of the conclusion of the age. The latter part of the question our Saviour answereth first, and treateth at large of the fogns of the destruction of Jerufalem from the 4th verse of the chapter to the 31st inclusive. He toucheth upon the most material passages and accidents, not only of thofe which were ta forerun this great event, but likewise of those which were to attend, and immediately to follow upon it: and having thus answered the latter part of the question, he proceeds now in verse 32d to answer the former part of the question, as to the time of his coming and the destruction of Jerusalem.

He begins with observing that the signs which he had given would be as certain an indication of the time of his coming, as the fig-tree's putting forth its leaves is of the approach of funmer; (ver. 32, 33.) 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, or he is near, even at the doors. He proceeds to declare that the time of his coming was at no very great distance; and to thow that he hath been fpeaking all this while of the destruction of Jerusalem, he affirms with his usual affirmation, (ver. 31.) Verily I say unto you, This generatim shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled. It is to me a wonder how any man can refer part of the foregoing discourse to the deftruction of Jerufalem, and part to the end of the world, or any other distant event, when it is faid fo positively here in the conclusion, All these things shall be fulfilled in this gene- ration. It seemeth as if our Saviour had been aware of fome fuch mifapplication of his words, by adding yet greater force and emphasis to his affirmation, (ver. 35.) Heaven and earth Mall pass away, but my words shall not pass away, It is a common figure of speech in the oriental languages, to say of two things that the one thall be and the other fhall not be, when the meaning is only that the one shall happen sooner or more eafily than the other. As in this instance of our Saviour, Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away, the meaning is, Heaven and earth thall fooner or more easily pass away than my words thall pass away ; the frame of the universe shall sooner or more easily be diffolved than my words shall not be fulfilled: And thus it is expressed by St. Luke upon a like occasion, (XVI. 17.) It is easier for heaven and earth to pass than one tittle of the law to fail.

than

In another place he says (Matt. XVI. 28.) There are fome standing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom : intimating that it would not fucceed immediately, and yet not at such a distance of time, but that fome then living thould be spectators of the calamities coming upon the nation. In like manner he says to the women, who bewailed and lamented him as he was going to be crucified, (Luke XXIII. 28.) Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children : which fufficiently implied, that the days of distress and misery were coming, and would fall on them and their children. But at that time there was not any appearance of such immediate ruin. The wisest politician could not have inferred it from the then present state of affairs. Nothing Jess than divine prescience could have certainly foreseen and foretold it.

But still the exact time of this judgment was unknown to all creatures, (ver. 36.) But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the angels in heaven, but my Father only. The word woo (1) is of larger fignification than hour; and besides it feemeth somewhat improper to fay Of that day and hour knoweth no man; for if the day was not known, certainly the hour was not, and it was superfluous to make such an addition. I conceive therefore that the passage should be rendered, not Of that day and hour knowcth 10 man, but Of that day and featon knoweth no man, as the word is frequently used in the best authors both facred anci profane. It is true our Saviour

(1) 2pæv hic non dici particulam sęd latius sumti temporis ambitum intel. igo, &c. Grot, in locuin,

declares,

declares, All these things shall be fulfilled in this generation; it is true the prophet Daniel hath given fome intimation o'the time in his famous prophecy of the seventy weeks: but though this great revolution was to happen in that generation ; though it was to happen towards the conclufion of seventy weeks or 490 years to be computed from a certain date that is not easy to be fixed; yet the particular day, the particular season in which it was to happen, might still remain a secret to men and angels; and our Saviour had before (ver. 20.) advised his difciples to pray, that their flight be not in the winter, neither on the subbath-day; the day not being known, they might pray that their flight be not on the fabbath-day; the season not being known, they might pray that their flight be not in the winter. As it was in the days of Noah, faith our Saviour, (ver. 37, 38, 39.) fo fhall it be now. As then, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, till they were surprised by the flood, potwithstanding the frequent warnings and admonitions of that preacher of righteousness : so now, they ihall be engaged in the business and pleasures of the world, little expecting, little thinking of this universal ruin, till it come upon them, notwithstanding the express predica tions and declarations of Christ and bis apostles. Then Jhall two be in the field, the one shall be taken, and the other lejt: Two women shall be grinding at the mill. : Dr. Shaw in his travels, making fome observations upon the kingdoms of Algiers and Tunis, says in p. 297. that “wo“ men alone are employed to grind their corn, and that “ when the uppermoft millitone is large, or expedition " is required, then only a fecond woman is called in to “ aslift.” This obfervation I owe to Bithop Pearce.-Two women shall be grinding at the mill, the one shall be taken, and the other left. (ver. 40, 41.) That is, Providence will then make a diftinction between fuch, as are not at all diftinguished now. Some thall be rescued from the destruction of Jerusalem, like Lot out of the þurning of Sodom; while others, no ways perhaps different in outward circumstances, shall be left to perish. in it. The matter is carried fomewhat farther in the parallel

place

WO-,

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