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the other; and at last he was left with only one other, whom he persuaded to submit with him to the Romans. Thus was he saved from the most imminent deftruction; and he himself efteemed it, as it certainly was, a fingular instance of divine providence. As Vefpafian and Titus seem to have been raised
up and preserved for the completion of these prophecies, lo might Josephus for the illustration of their completion. For the particular pailages and transactions, by which we prove the completion of these prophecies, we derive not so much from Chriftian writers, who might be sufpected of a design to parallel the events with the predictions, as from Ileathen authors, and chiefly from Josephus the Jewish historian, who tho' very exact and minute in other relations, yet avoids as inuch as ever he can the mention of Christ and the Christian religion. He doth not so much as once mention the name of falje Christe, though he hath frequent occafion to speak largely of false prophets; so cautious was he of touching upon any thing, that might lead him to the acknowledgment of the true Christ. His filence here is as remarkable, as his copioufuess upon other subjects. It is indeed very providential, that a more particular detail, a more exact history is preserved of the destruction of Jerufalemn, and of all the circumstances relating to it, than of
any other matter whatsoever transacted so long ago: and it is an additional adrantage to our cause, that these accounts are transmitted to us by a Jew, and by a Jew who was himself an eye-witness to most of the things which he relates. As a general in the wars he muit have had an exact knowledge of all transactions, and as a Jewish priest he would not relate them with any favor or partiality to the Christian cause. His history (1) was approved by Vespasian and Titus (who ordered it to be published) and by king Agrippa and many others, both Jews and Ronians, who were present in those wars. He had likewise many enemies, who would readily have convicteil hím of any falsification, if he had been guilty of any. He designed nothing less, and yet as if he had de
(1) Josephi Vita, Se&t. 65. Contra Apion. Lib. 1, Sect. 9.
figned nothing more, his history of the Jewish wars may serve as a larger comment on our Saviour's prophecies of the destruction of Jerufalem. If any one would com-. pare our Saviour's words with that writer's history of the whole war, as (2) Eufebius very well observes, he could not but admire and acknowledge our Saviour's prefeience and prediction to be wonderful above nature, and truly divine.
'The predictions are the clearest, as the calamities were the greatest which the world ever faw: and what hainous sin was it, that could bring down such heavy judgments on the Jewish church and nation? Can
other with half fu mnch probability be assigned, as what the fcripture assigns, their crucifying the Lord of glory? As St. Paul exprefseth it, (i Thef. II. 15, 16.) They both killed the Lord Jesus, and their own prophets, and perfecuted the apostles, and fo filled up their fins, and wrath : came upon them to the uttermost. This is always objected as the most capital fin of the nation : and upon reflection, we shall find really fome correspondence between their crime and their punishment. They put Jesus to. death, when the nation was affembled to celebrate the. passover; and when the (3) nation was affembled too. to celebrate the passover, Titus fhut them up within the walls of Jerusalem. The rejection of the true Messiah . was their crime ; and the following of false Meffiahs to their destruction was their punitbment. They fold and bought Jefus as a slave; and they themselves were after- . wards fold and bought as slaves at the lowest prices. They preferred a robber and murderer to Jesus, whom they crucified between two thieves; and they themselves (4) were afterwards infested with hands of thieves and robbers. They put Jesus to death, left the Romans (2) συγκρινας
τις τας τε σωτερος predictionem fervatoris noftri, eamque ημων λεξεις ταις λοιπαις τε συγΓραφιως vere divinam et fupra motum ftupenisopuctos Tabs Wet T8 WarTOS Tonery, dan effe fateatur. Éuleb. Eccler. Hift. πως εκ αν αποθαυμασειεν, θειαν ως Lib. 3. Cap. 7. αληθας και υπερφυως παραδοξον την (3) Joseph. de Bell. Jud. Lib. 6.
pogi Wolv TE 446 mpopaino ir TE ONTtipos Cap. 9. Sect. 3. et 4. Euseb. Hitt. Lib. ημων ομολογησας. Quod fi quis ferva- 3. Cap. 5. toris noftri verba cum iis comparet, (4) Joseph. ibid. Lib. 2. Cap. 4o. quæ ab eodem fcriptore de universo et 13. Lib. 3. Cap. 8. Lib. 4. Cap. 3. bello commemorata funt, fieri non po- Lib. 7. Cap. 8, &c. test quin admiretur præscientiam ac
should come and take away their place and nation; and the Romans did come and take away their place and nation. They crucified Jesus before the walls of Jerusalem; and before the walls of Jerusalem they themselves were crucified in fuch numbers, that it is (5) faid room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies. I Thould think it hardly possible for any man to lay these things together, and not conclude the Jews own imprecation to be remarkably fulfilled upon them, (Mat. XXVII. 25.) His blood be on us and on our children.
We Christians cannot indeed be guilty of the very fame offense in crucifying the Lord of glory: but it behoves us to consider, whether we may not be guilty in the same kind, and by our fins and iniquities (Hebr. VI. 25.) crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open frame; and therefore whether being like them in their crime, we may not also resemble them in their punishment. They rejected the Messiah, and we indeed have received him: but have our lives been at all agreeable to our holy profession, or rather as we have had opportunities of knowing Christ more, have we not obeyed him less than other Christians, and (Hebr. X. 29.) troden under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the covenant wherewith we are fanctified an unholy thing, and done despite unto the spirit of grace? The flagrant crimes of the Jews, and the principal fources of their calamities, in the opinion of (6) Jofephus, were their trampling upon all human laws, deriding divine things, and making a jest of the oracles of the prophets as fo many dreams and fables : and how hath the same spirit of licentiousness and infidelity prevailed likewise among us! How have the laws and lawful authority been insulted with equal infolence and impunity? How have the holy scriptures, those treasures of divine wisdom, not
(s) και δια το σπληθος χωρα τε ενε- και τας των προφητων θεσμες [ΑΙ, λειπετο τοις σαυρους, και ταυροι τοις χρησμος] ώσπερ αγυρτικας λογοποιίας Wadow. et propter multitudinem fpa- Xazvazov, et ab illis quidem omne jus tium crucibus deerat, et corporibus humanum conculcabatur, divina autem cruces. Ibid. Lib. 5. Cap. 11. Sect. 1. quæque deridebantur, et prophetarum P. 1247.
oracula ut præftigiatorum commenta (6) κατεπατειτο μεν εν σας αυτους fubfannabant. Ibid. Lib. 4. Cap. 6. Secuos av@gwwwv, syexato do va Sirds Sect. 3. p. 1118. Edit. Hudson. VOL. II.
only only been neglected, but despised, derided, and abused to the worst purposes? How have the principal articles of our faith been denied, the prophecies and miracles of Moses and the prophets of Christ and his apostles been ridiculed, and impiety and blasphemy not only been whispered in the ear, but proclaimed from the press? How hath all public worship and religion, and the administration of the facraments been slighted and contemned, and the fabbath profaned by those chiefly who ought to fet a better example, to whom much is given, and of whom therefore much will be required? And if for their fins and provocations (Rom. XI. 21, 20.) God spared not the natural branches, tuke heed left he also spare not thee. Because of unbelief they were broken off, and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, bui fear. God bore long with the Jews; and hath he not bore long with us too? But he cut them off, wlien the measure of their iniquities was full; and let us beware left our measure be not also well-nigh full, and we be not growing ripe for excision. . What was faid of the church of Ephesus, is very applicable to us and our own cafe, (Rev. II. 5.) Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thout repent.
ST. PAUL'S PROPHECY OF THE MAN OF SIN
S our blessed Saviour hath cited and appealed to
drawn from the fame fountain. St. Paul's and St. John's predictions are in a manner the copies of Daniel's originals with some improvements and additions. The same times, the fame persons, and the same events are described by St. Paul and St. John as well as by Daniel ; and it might therefore with reason be expected, that there
hould be some fimilitude and resemblance in the principal features and characters.
St. Paul hath left in writing, besides others, two most memorable prophecies, both relating to the fame subject, the one concerning the man of sin, the other concerning the apostasy of the latter times, the former contained in the fecond Epistle to the Theffalonians, and the latter in the first Epistle to Timothy. The prophecy concerning the man of fin, having been delivered first in time, inay fitly be considered first in order: and for the fuller manifestation of the truth and exactness of this prediction, it may be
proper Ist to investigate the genuin sense and meaning of the passage; 2dly to show how it hath been mistaken and misapplied by fome famous commentators; and 3dly to vindicate and establish what we conceive to be the only true and legitimate application,
I. In the firtt place it is proper to investigate the genuin sense and meaning of the passage; for a prophecy must be rightly understood, before it can be rightly applied. The apostle introduces the subject thus, (2 Thef. II. 1, 2.) Now we beseech you, brethren, by the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, and by our gathering together unto him, That ye be not foon haken in mind, or be troubled, neither by Spirit, nor by word, nor by letter, as from us, as that the day of Christ is at hand. The preposition, which is translated by, ought rather to have been translated concerning, as it fignifies (1) in other places of scripture, and in other authors both Greek and Latin. Now we beseech you, brethren, concerning the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ
, and our gathering together unto him. For he doth not beseech them by the coming of Christ, but the coming of Christ is the subject of which he is treating; and it is in relation to this subject, that he desires them not to be disturbed or affrighted, neither by revelation, nor by message, nor by letter, as from him, as if the day of Christ's coming was at hand. The phrases of the corn
(1) So it is rendered Rom. IX. 27. ngazaban éx EyXwga, de omnibus scribers Hoaias dengan UMER TY Iogana, Efaias non datur. Virgil Æn. I. 750. Multa also crieth concerning Ifrael. See like- Super Priamo rogitans, Super He&tore wile 2 Cor. I. 7. VIII. 23, 24, &c. multa. Galen, Lib. 1. ad Glauc. imeg TATWY G 2