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things of the Elders, and chief Priests, and Scribes, and be killed, Mark x. 33, 34. And Matth. xx. 18, 19. he foretells more particularly the manner of their proceedings against him, that the chief. Priests and Scribes should condemn him to death : but that they should not put him to death, but deliver him to the Gentiles, to mock, and scourge, and crucify him, which was afterwards done by Pilate the Roman Gover. nor. He foretold likewise the manner how this should be brought about, Matth. XX. 18. that he should be betrayed into the hands of men. And he did particularly point out before-hand the man that was to betray him, Matth. xxvi. 23. He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me. He foretold that his disciples should forsake him, Matth. xxvi. 31. All of you fall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will (mite the Mepherd, and the Deep shall be scattered. And when Peter declared his confident resolution to stick to him, he foretold that he should deny him, with very particular circumstances of the time and manner of it Mark xiv. 30. This night before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice : Which was all punctually accomplished.
2. He punctually foretold his resurrection, with the circumstances of it, that he should rise again the third day, Matth. xvi. 21. and that after he was risen, he would go before them into Galilee, Matth. xxvi. 32. which was accomplished, Matth. xxyiii. 16.
3. He foretold likewise the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Apostles in miraculous powers and gifts, Luke xxiv. 49. Behold I send the promise of my Father upon you, but tarry ge in the city of Jerusan lem, until ye be endowed with power from on high. He specifies the place where the Holy Ghost should delcend; and what the effects of this descent of the Holy Ghost upon them should be; he tells them particularly, Mark xvi. 17, 18. And these signs Mall fol. low them that believe : in my name mall they caft out devils, and they mall speak with new tongues ; they mall take up Serpents, and if they drink any deadly thing, it mall not hurt them; they fall lay
hands on the sick, and they Mall recover. All which was punctually fulfilled in the second of the Acts, and the following part of that history. .
There are yet two other instances of our Saviour's prophetical fpirit, which I mentioned; but those I reserve to the next discourse.
The evidences of the truth of the Christi
2 Cor. iv. 3, 4. But if our gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are
loft: In whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, left the light of the glorious gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, mould shine unto them.
The fifth sermon on this text.
T Am considering the fourth evidence which those 1 who lived in our Saviour's time had of his di
vine authority, viz. the spirit of prophecy pro: ved to be in him, and made good by the accomplishment of his predictions. I gave five instances
1. Those which foretold his death and its circumstances.
2. Those which foretold his resurection, and its circumstances.
3. Those which foretold the descent of the Holy Ghost upon the Aponiles, with the circumstances thereof.
These three I have considered, and now proceed
4. The next instance therefore of our Saviour's prophetical spirit, is his foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, with the circumstances of it. Now because this is one of the greatest instances of our Saviour's prophetical spirit, and so particular a predi&tion, so punctually answered by the event, therefore I shall insist the longer upon it: Especially be. cause I look upon it as one of the most convincing arguments that can be brought against the Jews for the truth of our religion.
And in order to our clearer proceeding in this mata ter that I am speaking to, I shall do these three things :
First, Explain the series and order of chis predi&tion of our Saviour's concerning the destruction of Jerusalem.
Secondly, Expound the particulars of it, as we find them in Matthew 24. compared with the other two Evangelists that wrote of it, St. Mark and St. Luke.
Thirdly, Make some reflexions upon this predidion, and the punctual accomplishment of it; from which it may appear of what force this argument is for the conviction of the Jews of the truth of our religion.
First, I shall explain the series and order of this prediction concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, And this is necessary, because it seems to most interpreters to be so intermingled with a prophecy of Christ's last coming at the end of the world, that it is no easy imatter to separate those two prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world. Besides that it is incumbered with some óther difficulties, arising from some particular express fions in this famous prediction of our Saviour's. · From the 34th verse of the 23d chapter of St. Mat. thew, to the 29th of the 24th chapter, there is a clear prediction of the destruction of Jerusalem, with the preceeding signs, and concomitant and subsequent circumstances of it: But at the 29th verse, the pro. phecy of che end of the world seems to be delignedly joined to it: for the evangelift says, Immedi. ately after the tribulation of those days, the sun shall VOL. X.
be darkened, &c. Where he enumerates dismal signs, and forerunners of the dissolution of all things : But it is now 1600 years since the destruction of Jerusalem, and yet the world is not at an end. How is it then that the Evangelist says, Immediately after the tribulation of those days ? This is the first difficulty. . Secondly, After this prophecy of the end of the world, we find those words in all the three Evangelists, Verily I say unto you, This generation mall not pass away, till all these things be fulfilled. As if not only the destruction of Jerusalem, but the end of the world were to happen in that age. This is the other difficulty.
But notwithstanding all this, I doubt not but by comparing the three Evangelists together, to make the series and order of these prophecies very clear.
In order whereunto, we are to consider that our Saviour in this prophecy foretells three things very distinct in time :
1. The destruction of Jerusalem.
2. The fate and condemnation of the Jewish nation after this desolation, and during their captivity among the Gentiles, among whom they were to be scattered. And this we have clearly and fully expressed by St. Luke, xxi. 23, 24. There fall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people; and they all fall by the edge of the sword, and mall be led awang captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the time of the Gentiles be fulfilled. So that this prediction comprehends from the destruction of Je. Tusalem all the time of the captivity of the Jews among the Gentiles, which we see is not yet expired, and God alone knows how long it shall last. And then,
3. Forerunning signs of the end of the world, which the Evangelists say shall happen after the tribulation of those days; that is, when God hath made an end of punishing the nation of the Jews. And this seems to me wholly to clear and take off the first difficulty.
As to the second, namely, That after the prophecy of the end of the world, we find these words added by our Saviour, Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all these things be ful. filled, which seems to intimate, that the end of the world should happen in that age. For the answering of this, I shall not berake myself to that refuge which some have done, by explaining these words thus, this generation, that is, this nation shall not pass away, shall not be utterly destroyed, but shall remain scattered up and down the world, as a monument of God's displeasure against them, till the end of all things. For though the expression pevec äuty, this generation, may well enough be translated this nation, this race of people; yet the precedent words will not admit this interpretation; for it is said in the verse iminediately before, so likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near,
something very near at hand, which necessarily confines it to that generation.
Therefore the plain folution of this difficulty is this, that our Saviour ends his prediction of the destructi. on of Jerusalem, and the end of the world, at the 311t verse, where he says, that the son of man mall Send his Angels with a great found of a trumpet, and they fall gather together his clect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other. And then he makes some reflexions upon what he had foretold concerning the destruction of Jerusalem, and the end of the world.
(1.) As to the destruction of Jerusalem, he tells them a parable of the fig-tree, that by the purting forth of its leaves, we know chat the summer is nigh; so likewise when ye shall see all these things, namely, all those signs which I have given you of the destruction of Jerusalein,know that it is near, even at the doors, and then he adds, Verily I say unto you, this generation Shall not pass away until all these things be fulfilTed; that is, many of those who are now alive, shall live to see all those signs which I have mentioned. And then,