« PreviousContinue »
They should be hated by all Men for his Name's fake. 377 and shall betray one another, gard to the Gospel, when they see the Profession Sect. 160. and lhall hate one another. of it must cost them so dear; and having proved m y
Apoftates, they shall become Persecutors too, and
being in their Consciences secretly galled at the MARK XIII. 12. Now greater Fidelity of their Companions. . And Mark XIII. the Brother Thall betray the this wretched Temper shall rise to such a Brother to Death, and the Father the Son: and Child as to break thro' all the Bonds of Nature, infodren shall rise up against much that one Brother shall betray another, not their Parents, and shall cause only to Imprisonment, but to Death; and the them to be put to Death.
Father, on the one hand, shall betray Ehis) own
cause them to be put to Death without CompalLUKE XXI. 16. And ye sion or Remorse. And these Scenes, monstrous Luke XXI. Ihall be betrayed both by
by as they may seem, shall pass in your Days, and 16.
and Brethren, and Kindred, and those that pretend
the. Hand of publick and oppressive Violence.
-1 and Orders, as well as: Nations of Men, for the
(k) re shall be hated by all. Men for the sake of my Name.] That not only the Apostles, but all the primitive Christians, were in general more hated and persecuted than any other religious Seat of Men, is most notorious to all, that are at all acquainted with Ecclefiaftical History: A Fact, which might seem unaccountable, when we consider how inoffensive and benevolent their Temper and Conduct was, and how friendly an Aspect their Tenets had on the Security of any Government under which they lived.' We are not to imagine, (as Mons. St. Real weakly insinuates, in his ill digested, tho' elegant, History of the Life of Jesus, pag. 264.) that they had any peculiar Aversion to the Name of Christ. The learned Mr. Warburton has shewn beyond all Contradiction, in his masterly Manner, that the true Reason of this Opposition was, that while the different Pagan Religions, like the confederated Dæmons honoured by them, fociably agreed with each other, the Gospel taught Christians, not only, like the Jews, to bear their Testimony to the Fallhood of them all; but also with the most fervent Zeal to urge the Renunciation of them, as a Point of absolute Neceflity; requiring all Men, on the most tremendous Penalties, to believe in Chrift, and in all Things to submit themselves to his Authority : (See Mr. Warburton's Divine Legation of Moses, Vol. i. Book ii. S. 6. pag. 278, 295.) A Demand, which bore so hard especially on the Pride and Licentiousness of their Princes, and the secular Interest of their Priests, that it is no Wonder they raised so violent a Storm against it; which, considering the Character. and Prejudices of the Populace, it must be very eafy to do. · VOL, II.
Inting else to obies and they are acting
They are exhorted to possess their Souls in Patience.
1. as publick Enemies, while you are acting the 17.
most generous and benevolent Part. (Compare
your Sufferings be couragious and chearful, as Hair of your Head perifh.
utterly peris(l), or fall to the Ground unregarded.
and be calm and serene, the Masters of yourselves, tels ye your Souls.
quieting Passion. Mat. XXIV. For tho' your Discouragements are great, and MAT. XXIV. 11. And particularly on this Account, that (as I hinted be- many false Prophets shall
rise, and Thall deceive many. fore, ver. 5.) many false Prophets shall arise, and Shall deceive many; which fome will urge as a
farther Excuse for suspecting and abusing you :
such a Variety of Forms, the Love of many pro- fhall abound, the Love of
be ready to throw up the Cause which you so
dure you amidst all your Difficulties, that he who re
(1) Not an Hair of your Head shall perish.] Our Lord had foretold but just before, (ver, 16.) that several of them should be put to Death; he muff therefore here intend to assure them, that when they came on the whole to balance their Accounts, they should find they had not been Losers in any the least Instance ; but that whatever Damage they had sustained, it should be amply made up, and they at length placed in a State of entire Security. This is plainly the Import of this Proverbial Expression. See i Sam. xiv. 45. 2 Sam. xiv. II. i Kings i. 52. and Acts xxvii. 34.
(m) In your Patience pollefs ye your Souls.] Tho' the Word xlessas does often fignify, to acquire, or procure; (see Mat. x. 9. Aets i. 18. viii. 20. xxii. 28.) yet I cannot suppose, with Brennius, that our Lord intends here chiefly to intimate, that Fortitude and Compofure of Spirit might have a Tendency to secure their Lives, as it would enable them calmly to deliberate on the several Circumstances which might arise. I cannot but think, that the Sense, which the accurate and pious Dr. Wright gives of this Pallage, in that excellent Piece of Christian Philosophy, his Discourse on Self-Porefron, (pag. 4, 5.) is much more natural, as well as more noble ; as if our Lord had said, “By keeping the Government of your own “ Spirits in these awful Scenes, which will bear down so many others, you will secure the “ most valuable Self-Enjoyment, as well as be able most prudently to guard against the Dan« gers which will surround you."
The Gospel fhould first be preached in all the World. dure unto the End, the same folutely endures all these Extremities, and perseveres Sect. 160. hall be saved. [MARK to the End, Mall finally be saved, and shall have his v e XIII.-13.] , Life given him as a Prey. (Compare Mat. x. 22.)
2.). 13, 14. 14 And this Gospel of the And know for your farther Encouragement, Kingdom Thall be preached that all their Rage shall not be able to dein all the World, for a Wit
i stroy the Interest in which you are embarked,
you, that this glorious Gospel of the Kingdom of
IMPROV E M E N T.
THE whole of this Prophecy most evidently shews us, how vain
I and dangerous it is to trust in External Privileges, and to cry out, as these foolish and wretched Yews did, - The Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, the Temple of the Lord, are these Buildings; when of this stately and magnificent Structure, within less than half a Century Mat. xxiv.2. after it was finished, not one Stone was left on another undemolished.
So particular a Prediction, when compared with the Event, must surely confirm our Faith in Christ, as the great Prophet which was to come into the World. And we shall see Reason to admire the Wisdom and Goodness of Divine Providence in giving us, almost by a miraculous Preservation of the Author, such a Commentary on this Prophecy, as is delivered down to us in the Works of yosephus, which throw a much
adhaebias; in Pontus, Galatia, manches, by John; in Parparts of Asia, by Barth by Thomas ;
(n) This Gospel h all be preached in all the World, &c.] The Accomplishment of this extraordinary Prophecy is admirably illustrated by Dr. Arthur Young on Idolatry, Vol. ii. pag., 216, 234. It appears from the most credible Records, that the Gospel was preached ". Idumea, Syria, and Mesopotamia, by 'Yude; in Egypt, Marmorica, Mauritania, and Other Parts of Africa, by Mark, Simon, and yude ; in Ethiopia, by Candace's Eunuch, and Matthias ; in Pontus, Galatia, and the neighbouring Parts of Asia, by Peter ; in the TerDoties of the Seven Afiatic Churches, by John; in Parthia, by Matthew; in Scychia, by
hip, and Andrew; in the Northern and Western Parts of Asia, by Bartholomew; in Perpia, by Simon and 7 ude; in Media, Carmania, and several Eastern Parts, by Thomas ; Warothe vast Tract from Yerusalem to Iconium, by Paul, as also in Italy, and probably in
painz,Gaul, and Britain : In most of which Places Christian Churches were planted in less wan Thirty years after the Death of Chrift, which was before the Destruction of Jerusalem.
380 Reflections on the Signs of the Destru&tion of Jerusalem. Sect. 160. stronger Light upon it, than if they had been written by a Christian on
Purpose to illustrate it. Luke xxi. Let us bless God, that our own Eyes have not seen such Desolations 10, 11. : and Ruins, such Commotions in the natural and moral World, such DifMark xii. sentions in civil Life, such Persecutions and Hatreds amongst the nearest 12, 13. Relatives, under the Pretence of propagating Religion ; which however
propagated, is nothing, without that Love, which is so often made the
first Victim to it. Mat. xxiv.
Yet too plainly do we see, in one Form or another, Iniquity abounding, and the Love of many waxing cold. Let us endeavour to revive on our own Hearts a deep and lasting Impression of Divine Things; and remember, whenever we are tempted to let go our Integrity, that it is be alone, who endures to the End, th
Whatever our Trials are, let us chearfully confide in the Protection Luke xxi. of Divine Providence; nor let us despair of those continued Influences
of the Blessed Spirit, which may animate us to the most difficult Services, and support us under the most painful Sufferings. Let us therefore in Patience possess our own Souls, and maintain that Composure and Steadiness of Spirit, as those that know how much more valuable it is, than any Enjoyment which can be taken away, or any Temporal Interest which can be brought into Question :
the Destruētion of Jerusalem, and the extream Severity of
LUKE XXI. 20.
• LUKE XXI. 20. Sect. 161ņ U R Lord, having proceeded thus far in his AND when ye shall see O Discourse, added some more immediate
hediate A Jerusalem' compaffed Luke XXI. Signs, by which the near Approach of this ter- bomination of Desolation,
with Armies, [and the Arible Destruction might be determined ; and said, spoken of by Daniel the When you shall fee Yerusalem encompassed on every Prophet,] [MAR. standing Side with the Roman Armies, [and] the Abomi
where it ought not] [in the
Holy nation of Desolation, spoken of by Daniel the Propbet, (Dan. ix. 27.) standing where it ought not,
Jesus declares the nearer Signs of this Destruction. 381 Holy Place, (whoso readeth, and displayed in an Holy Place; that is, when the Sect. 161 let him understand,)] then Standards of their desolating Legions, on which know that the Desolation thereof is nigh. [Mar. they bear the detestable Images of their Idols, Luke XXL. XXIV. 15. MARK XIII. are planted on holy Ground (a); then know that
S: 20. 14.-)
the Desolation thereof is just approaching. And,
pearing; and the whole Context is of great Im21 Then let them which portance (6). Now I say, when you see this are in Judea, flee to the Signal, then let them that are in Yudea, flee, Mountains; and let them
as fast as they can, from the fortified Cities and
Jerusalem stands, depart immediately out of it,
and all its Sanctity, will not secure its Inhabitants. MARK XIII. 15. And Let every one therefore retreat as fast as pof- Mark XL let him that is on the House- fible, and let not him that is taking the Air on the 15. Top,
(a) Planted on holy Ground.) Not only the Temple, and the Mountain on which it ftood, but the whole "City of Jerusalem, and several Furlongs of Land round about it, were accounted holy. (See Mat. iv. 5. Vol. i. pag. 11.)— It is remarkable, that by the special Providence of God, after the Romans under Ceftius Gallus made their first Advance towards Jerusalem, they suddenly withdrew again, in a most unexpected, and indeed impolitic Manner ; at which yosephus testifies his Surprize, since the City might then have been easily taken. By this Means they gave, as it were, a Signal to the Christians to retire; which in regard to this Admonition they did, fome to Pella, and others to Mount Libanus, and thereby preserved their Lives. See ofeph. Bell. Fud. lib. ii. cap. 19. (al. 24.) $. 7. and Eufeb. Eccl. Hift. lib. iii. cap. 5.- Of the Idolatrous Standards in the Roman Armies, fee Grotius's excellent Note on Mat. xxiv. 15.
(6) The whole Context is of great Importance.) If any wonder, that so important a Prophecy is not more frequently infilted upon in the New Testament, I think we may justly answer, that it was not proper for the Apostles to urge it; as the exact Commencement and Termination of the Seventy Weeks was a nice Controversy out of their Way, and not capable of being fully cleared up to the Populace, with whom they were chiefly concerned ; and as several of the Events referred to in it had not their compleat Accomplishment, till some Years after most of their Writings were published. But that the Period is long since elapsed is certain, however it might be reckoned; as Dr. Bullock has excellently shewn. See his Vindication, book ii. chap. 4. 5. 6. prig. 216,–218. and Dr. Sykes of Christianity, ch. 16. pag. 297-301.