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fered up his devotions at the monuments of the old prophets, and presented the Christian priests with as much money as was sufficient to buy them provisions for six months; and having stayed there one night, he went to join his army at Gaza. From that time to this, the "Othman emperors have possessed it under the title of Hami, that is, of protectors, and not of masters :"* though they are, more properly, tyrants and oppressors. Turks, Arabians, and Christians of various sects and nations, dwell there out of reverence to the place; but very few Jews; and of those, the greatest part, as Basnage says, are beggars, and live upon alms. The Jews say, that when the Messiah shall 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 therefore they choose not to settle there. But the writer, just mentioned, assigns two more probable and natural reasons. "One is, that the Mohammedans look upon Jerusalem as a holy place: and therefore there are a great many Santons and devout Mussulmen, who have taken up their abode there, who are persecutors of the Jews, as well as of the Christians, so that they have less 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 Jerusalem, from the destruction by Titus to the present time, it appears, evidently, that as the Jews have been led away captive into all nations,' so Jerusalem hath been 'trodden down of the Gentiles.' There are now almost 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 same state, nor ever recover their native country, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' Our Saviour's words are very memorable, Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' It is still trodden
[It was at the time neglected and deserted on account of the miserable state of its sacred ruins, being inhabited by a few Christians only, and not by the Jews, its former possessors; who, as a punishment for their crimes, were then exiles in every part of the world having no fixed residence or country they could call their own. Loaded with the igno miny and reproach attached to the name of Christians, they pay to the kings of Egypt heavy tribute for the possession of the holy sepulchre.]
* --Et ses successeurs l'ont possedée jusqu'a present sous le titre de Hami, c'est a dire, de protecteurs, et non pas de maitres, [Translated in the text.] Herbelot. p. 270.
+ Basuage's Hist. of the Jews, book 7, chap. 21, sect. 10.
down by the Gentiles, and consequently the times of the Gentiles are not yet fulfilled. When the times of the Gentiles' shall be ‘fulfilled,' then the expression implies, that the Jews shall be restored and for what reason, can we believe, that though they are dispersed among all nations, yet, by a constant miracle, they are kept distinct from all, but for the farther manisfestation of God's purposes towards. them? The prophecies have been accomplished, to the greatest exactness, 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 same 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 kingdom,' or the kingdom of Christ, shall be set up in their place, and the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.' Jerusalem, as it has hitherto remained, so probably will remain in subjection to the Gentiles, until these times of the Gentiles be fulfilled ;' or, as St. Paul expresseth it, Rom. xi. 25, 26,—until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in: and so all Israel shall be saved,' 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 mystery, that blindness in part has happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in: and so all Israel shall be saved.
THE SAME SUBJECT CONTINUED.
WHEN we first entered on an explanation of our Saviour's prophecies, relating to the destruction 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 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 sign 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 signs' of the destruction of Jerusalem from the 4th verse of the chapter to the 31st inclusive. He toucheth upon the most material passages and incidents, not only of those which were to 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 32nd 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 summer; 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 show that he hath been speaking all this while of the destruction of Jerusalem, he affirms with his usual affirmation, ver 34, Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till alĮ these things be fulfilled!' It is to me a wonder how any man can refer part of the foregoing discourse to the destruction of Jerusalem, and part to the end of the world, or any other distant event, when it is said so positively here in the conclusion, All these things shall be fulfilled in this generation.' It seemeth as if our Saviour had been aware of some such misapplication of his words, by adding yet greater force and emphasis to his affirmation, ver. 35,— ' Heaven and earth shall 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 shall be and the other shall not be, when the meaning is only that the one shall happen sooner or more easily than the other. As in this instance of our Saviour, Heaven and
earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away,' the meanning is, Heaven and earth shall sooner or more easily pass away than my words shall pass away; the frame of the universe shall sooner or more easily be dissolved than my words shall not be fulfiled: 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.'
In another place he says, Matt. xvi. 28,-There are some stand ing here, who shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom:' intimating that it would not succeed immediately, and yet not at such a distance of time, but that some then living should be spectators of the calamities coming upon the nation. In like manner he says to the women, who bewailed and amented 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 sufficiently 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 less 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 of heaven, but my Father only.' The word wpa is of larger signification than hour ;'* and besides it seemeth somewhat improper to say' 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 knoweth no man,' but 'Of that day and season knoweth no man,' as the word is frequently used in the best authors both sacred and profane. It is true our Saviour declares, All these things shall be fulfilled in this generation; it is true the prophet Daniel hath given some intimation of 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 conclusion 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 disciples to pray, that their flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath-day;' the 'day' not being known, they might pray that their flight be not on the 'sabbath-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, saith our Saviour, ver. 37, 38, 39, so shall it be now. As then, they were eating and drinking, marrying and
'pav hic non diei particulam sed latius sumpti temporis ambitum intelligo, &c. [ consider pa here not as a part of a day; but a portion of time, taken in a larger sense. Grot. in locum.
giving in marriage, till they were surprised by the flood, notwithstanding the frequent warnings and admonitions of that preacher of righteousness: so now they shall 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 predictions and declarations of Christ and his apostles. Then shall two be in the field, the one shall be taken and the other left: Two women shall be grinding at the mill.' Dr. Shaw, in his travels, makking some observations upon the kingdoms of Algiers and Tunis, in p. 297, that" women alone are employed to grind their corn, and that when the uppermost mill-stone is large, or expedition is required, then only, a second woman is called in to assist." This observation I owe to Bishop 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 distinction between such as are not at all distinguished now. Some shall be rescued from the destruction of Jerusalem, like Lot out of the burning of Sodom; while others, no ways perhaps different in outward circumstances, shall be left to perish in it.
The matter is carried somewhat farther in the parallel place of St. Mark; and it is said not only that the angels were excluded from the knowledge of the particular time, but that the Son himself was also ignorant of it. The 13th chapter of that evangelist answers to the 24th of St. Matthew. Our Saviour treateth there of the signs and circumstances of his coming, and the destruction of Jerusalem, from the 5th to the 27th verse inclusive; and then at verse the 28th he proceeds to treat of the time of his coming and the destruction of Jerusalem. The text in St. Matthew is, 'Of that day and season knoweth no man, no not the angels of heaven, but my Father only. The text in St. Mark is, 'Of that day and season knoweth no man, no not the angels which are in heaven, neither the Son but the Father.' It is true the words &de ó voç, neither the Son,' were omitted in some copies of St. Mark, as they are inserted in some copies of St. Matthew: but there is no sufficient authority for the omission in St. Mark, any more than for the insertion in St Matthew. Erasmus and some of the moderns "are of opinion, that the words were omitted in the text of St. Matthew lest they should afford a handle to the Arians for proving the Son to be inferior to the Father :"* but it was to little purpose to erase them out of St. Matthew, and
* Proinde suspicor hoc a nonnullis subtractum, ne Arianis esset ansa confirmandi Fi lium esse Patre minorem, &c, Erasm. in loc. [Translated in the text.]