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382 He warns bis Disciples to flee from the Danger. Sect. 161. Battlements at the Top of the House, go down into Top, not go down into the
Ć House, neither enter therey the House, nor enter into it, to take away any Thing, :
y I Ding, in, to take any Thing out of Xlll. tho ever so precious, out of his House ; but let his House. [MAT. XXIV.
him go down by the outer Stairs, as the shortest 17.
Way, lest he should linger to his own Destruction. . 16 And let not him that is at work in the Field, and 16 And let him that is hath laid aside his upper Garment as an Incum
in the Field, not turn back
again for to take up his Garbrance, go back so much as to take his Clothes, if
?s, i ment. [MAT. XXIV. 18.] they are not just at Hand (c); left the Enemy
1hould surprize him, before he can recover them. Luke XXI. (Compare Luke xvii. 31. pag. 190.). In a LUKE XXI. 22. For
Word, let every one flee for his Life, and reckon these be the Days of Vengehimself sufficiently happy, if he can escape with
ance, that all Things which
are written may be fulfilled. it, tho' in the most naked and destitute Circumstances: For these are Days of most terrible Vengeance, to which most of the Threatenings of the Prophets, even from the Days of Moses, do ultimately refer; and they shall be so full of Distress and Misery, that all the most dreadful Things which are written in them, may then be said to
be compleatly fulfilled (d). Mark XIII. But more
But more especially there will be Woe and MARK XIII. 17. But 17. Terror to them that are with Child, and.to them Wo to them that are with
Child, and to them that give that give Suck in those Days; as their Incumbrances Suck in those Days.[MĂT. will be peculiarly great, and they that are with XXIV. 19. LUKE XXI. them will be driven in a wild Confternation to 23.-) consult their own Safety, to the Neglect of those whom common Humanity might teach them to guard and assist.
And therefore pray, that no additional Cir- 18 And pray ye that your cumstances of Difficulty may attend you; as for
(c) Go back to take his Clothes.] These are as strong Expressions as one can imagine, to urge the speediest Retreat. It is indeed observable, that this whole Discourse abounds with very lively Figures of Oratory, and is heightened with the noblest Beauties of Description. Were it necessary to produce Authorities, to prove that Husbandmen laid aside their upper Garment when at Work, they might be found in Elsner ; (Observ. Vol. i. pag. 109, 110.) but that learned Critick has impaired the Beauty of the Text, by interpreting it as a Caution not to go Home to fetch them. Not to turn back implies, fleeing directly without going back (as we speak in the Country,) so much as a Land's Length to take them up; and lo it rises on the former Verje.
(d) May then be said to be compleatly fulfilled. Among many admirable Things to be found in that great Original, Dr. Jackson's Credibility of the Scriptures, I cannot but reckon that Part of it, in which he shews, how exactly the Prophecies of Mofes were accomplished in the Slaughter and Dispersion of the Jews, in, and quickly after, this fatal War with the Romans. See the Passages quoted below, in Note (m).
Originho Thews, howers, in, and.qui
Great Tribulation would be in those Days.
383 Flight be not in the Winter, Instance, that this your precipitate Flight may Sect. 161. neither on the Sabbath
h; not be in Winter, when the Roads are bad, and
W Day.] [Mat. XXIV, 20.] the Days short and dark; nor on the Sabbath-Mark XIII.
fo much Extremity.
of any more (e); as no People ever have been,
and so inexcusable a Series of Impenitence and LUKE XXI. 24. And Infidelity. And therefore they fall fall by the Luke XXI. they shall fall by the Edge of Edge of the Sword in Multitudes, both within 24. the Sword, and shall be led away Captive into all Na- and without the City; and the Consequence of tions: and Jerusalem shall all shall be, that the miserable Remnant which surbe trodden down of the vives the general Carnage, shall be carried away
Captive into all the most distant Nations of the
(e) Such as the like has not been, nor ever shall be.] This Josephus expressly asserts to have been Fact; and whoever reads his Account, or even that judicious Abstract from him which Eusebius has given us, (Ecclef. Hit. lib. iii. cap. 5, 6.) will see a sad Illustration of all this; and criminal and detestable as the Yewish Nation now was, will hardly be able to forbear weeping over those complicated Miseries brought upon them, by Plagues, and Famine,
comics Microwhowhom hemsp and Fires, occasioned by the Siege, and by the Carnage made, not only by the Romans, but by the yet greater Cruelties of the Seditious and Zealots within the City,' who really acted the Part of so many incarnate Fiends, rather than of Men.
o They fall fall by the Edge of the Sword, and mall be carried Captive &c.] It is well. known, (according to Josephus,) chat Eleven hundred thousand Jews were destroyed in this War; and near an Hundred thousand taken Prisoners, and (acccording to Deut, xxviii. 68.)? sold for Slaves at the vilest Prices. See Yoseph. Bell. Jud. lib. vi. cap. 9. (al. vii. 17.) S. 3.
(8) Jerusalem shall be trampled down by the Gentiles.] Their Land was sold, and no Jew was allowed to inhabit there; (a Rigour never used, that I know of, towards any other People conquered by the Romans;) nay, they might not come within Sight of Jerusalem, or rather of Elia, the Name given to the new City, when the Foundations of the old were
384. Those Days Mould be shortened for the sake of the EleEt. Sect. 161.the Times appointed for these Triumphs and In- Gentiles, until the Times of w sults of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled, and the Day the Gentiles be fulfilled. Luke XXI.
XI. come, when GOD shall remember his antient
People in Mercy (h). Mark XIII. And during the Wars which are to bring MARK XIII. 20. And
on this sad Catastrophe, except the Lord had Mort- except that the Lord had ened those Days, no Flesh could be saved; the whole thould be saved: but for the
shortned those Days, no Flesh Nation would be utterly exterminated from the Elect's fake, whom he hath Earth, and the Name of Israel no longer be had in Remembrance (i): But for the Elect's fake, zehom be bas graciously chosen to be at length Partakers of the Blessings of his Gospel, God will so
plowed up. A Heathen Temple was built, where that of GOD had stood; and a Turkish Molque pollutes it to this Day. So remarkably was the Hand of God upon them. And it is well known, by the Testimony of a Heathen Writer, (who ridiculously ascribes it to a fatal Resistance in the Element,) that Julian's impious Attempt to rebuild their Temple, and settle them in Jerusalem again, in professed Contempt of this Prophecy, was several Times miraculously defeated by the Eruption of Balls of Fire, which consumed the Workmen. See Ammian. Marcell. lib. xxiii. cap. 1. pag. 286.
(b) Till the Times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.] It is much easier to vindicate the Authority of the Words narpar sOvay from the Objection of Dr. Mill, (Proleg. pag. 133.) chiefly founded on their being omitted in the Cambridge Manuscript, than to determine the Signification of them. I cannot suppose, with Mell. Le Clerc and L Enfant, that by the Accomplishment of the Times of the Gentiles, we are to understand the Time when Constantine put an End to the Gentile Idolatry in Jerusalem, and established the Christian Worship there. (Euseb. Vit, Conft. lib. iii. cap. 26.) It seems reasonable to suppose, that here, as in most other places, the Gentiles are opposed to the Jews; and consequently, that all the Period, between the Destruction of Jerusalem, and the Restoration of the Jews to their own Land, so expressly foretold in Scripture, is here intended. (See lja. xxvii. 12, 13. Ezek. xi. 17. xx. 40, 42. xxxiv, 13. xxxvi. 24, 28. xxxvii. 21,- 28. xxxix. 28, 29. Hof. iii. 5. Amos ix. 14, 15. and Zech. xiv. 10, 11.) With this indeed is connected the bringing in, what St. Paul calls, the Fulness of the Gentiles : Rom. xi. 25, 26. But unless it could be proved, (which I do not recollect,) that the Inhabitants of Palestine shall then peaceably surrender it to the returning Yews, it seems most natural to suppose, the Time of the Gentiles here signifies, the Time when they shall be visited and punished; which is the Sense, in which this very Phrase, and others nearly parallel to it, frequently occur in the Old Testament ; as Brennius justly obferves. (Compare Ezek. xxx. 3. as also Jer. xxvii. 7. 1. 27. Ezek xxi. 25, 29. xxii. 3, 4.) And if it be so, it feems an Intimation, that the Turks, or some other Antichristian Power, may continue poffessed of the Holy Land, till the Restoration of the Jews; for one can hardly suppose, their way into it should then be opened by the Conquest of a Christian Nation.
(i) Except the Lord had hortened those Days, no Flesh could be saved; &c.] Such were the Quarrels that prevailed among the Jews, that Numbers of them were destroyed by one another; and the whole Country was become a Scene of such Desolation and Bloodshed, that not only those who were fhut up in Jerusalem, but the whole Jewish Nation would have suffered much more by the longer Continuance of the Siege, considering how much the same Spirit prevailed among them in other Places.— Mr. Reading, in his Life of Chrift, pag. 309. understands the Days being mortened for the EleEl's fake, of the Preservation of the Christians at Pella, whose Safety he supposes to have depended on the shortening of the Siege, and whom he takes to be the Elečt intended here. (See Dr, Whitby on Mark xiii. 20.) — Of the special Providences by which the Siege was shortened, fee Grotius on Mat, xxiv, 22.,
(k) Their Pretended Messiahs would attempt to deceive them. 385 chosen, [those Days Mall be order it in his Providence, hat those Days Wall be Se&t. 161. Ahortned.] (Mat. XXIV. hortened; for hė hath ftill Purposes of Love to w 22.]
ward the Seed of Abraham, which shall at length mar
succeeding Ages (k).
them, he should raise up for them any miracu-
there, do not believe sit. (Compare Luke xvii. 23. 22 For falle Chrifts, and pag. 189.) For as this unhappy People, who 22 . false Prophets shall rise, and are now so obstinately rejecting me, will to the Thall Thew (great] Signs and last support themselves with vain Hopes of that Wonders, ( insomuch that, if it were poffible, they thail Kind, and be ready eagerly to hearken to every deceive the very Elect. ] bold Impostor ; false Meffiabs, and false Prophets (MAT. XXIV. 24.] shall arisè, and Mail pretend to beco great Signs
and Prodigies (Ū), managed with fo much Art, as
Grace, as finally to be secured from the Dan-
have expressly foretold you all these Things; that
stances, which in another View might have a TenMAT. XXIV.26.Where- dency to shake it. Therefore if they all say Mat, XXIV. fore, if they shall say unto unto you, Behold, we have found the expected 26. you, Behold, he is in the De- Meffiah, and he is now gathering his Forces about
People, (k) Their continuing a distinct People, a Means of confirming the Faith of Chriftians, &c.] This I have shewn at large in my Ten Sermons, Ser. x. pag. 277,-279. and the Reader may see the Remark farther illustrated, by Mr. Addison, Spectat. vol. vii. N° 495. and in Burnet's Four Discourses, pag. 8,—10.
(1) False Messiahs and false Prophets mall arise, &c.] This is not a mere Repetition of what was said before, in ver. 6. (pag. 374.) but relates to those Impostors, who appeared during the Time of the Siege ; of which see Joseph. Bell. Jud. lib. vi. cap. 5. (al. vii. 11.) §. 2. and Eufeb. Ecclef. Hift. lib. iv. cap. 6. See also Grotius, on Mat, xxiv. 24. VOL. II.
386 Where the Carcase is, the Eagles will gather together. Sect. 161. People, do not go forth to join yourselves to his fart, go not forth : behold; m Followers ; [or) if they shall say, Behold, she is} be is in the secret Chambers,
believe it not.
where he is waiting to give Satisfaction to those
selves the Trouble so much as to enquire into the
no other Messiah but me; and when I appear, it cometh out of the Ealt, and will be in a sudden, amazing, and irresistible so Ihall also the Coming of
shineth even unto the West; Manner ; and as the Lightning breaks forth from the Son of Man be. the East, and shines in a Moment even to the West Part of the Horizon; fo fudden, and conspicuous also Mall the Coming of the Son of Man be, both in his Appearance to the Destruction of fe
rusalem, and to the final Judgment. (Compare
five also will the Desolation be; for, as I former- Carcase is, there will the
Luke xxi. 21.- F our Lord urges his Disciples, with such fpeedy and solicitous Haste,
1 to flee from the Sword of God's Temporal Judgments, how much greater Diligence should we give to flee from the Wrath to come! What
(m) In some more distant Regions, &c.] There may perhaps be an oblique Intimation in this Passage, of the Slaughter afterwards made on the Jews elsewhere, and particularly under Adrian and Trajan; when what had been foretold by Mofes (Deut. xxviii. 49, & feq.) was remarkably fulfilled, and as an Eagle flies upon its Prey, their Enemies pursued them to Destruction ; and the Calamities they underwent were such, that (as Dio Caffius informs us, Hift. lib. 69.) 50,000 were sain, 500 of their Fortresses were demolished, and 900 of their chief Towns in Egypt, Crete, &c. were plundered and burnt to the Ground : Not to mention the terrible Things they afterwards suffered, in France, Italy, Spain, and other Parts of Europe, in the Decline of the Roman Empire: Of all which fee Dr. Jackson's Eternal Truth of the Scriptures, Book i. part 2. feet. 3. chap. 6, 10,–13.