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20.

Pretended Messiahs would attempt to deceive them. 385 chosen, (those Days shall be order it in his Providence, that those Days shall be Se&. 161. fhortned.) (Mat. XXIV. shortened; for he hath ftill Purposes of Love to22.]

Mark XIII. ward the Seed of Abraham, which shall at length take Place; (Rom. xi. 26.) and in the mean Time, he will make their continuing a distinct People, a Means of confirming the Faith of Christians in

succeeding Ages (k).
21 And then, if any Man And therefore, as these are the Counsels of the 21
Thall say to you, Lo, here is Divine Wisdom concerning this People, do not
believe him not." [Mar. expect, that when Calamity begins to threaten
XXIV. 23.)

them, he should raise up for them any miracu-
lous Deliverer; and if any one fall then say to you,
Behold, the Messiah [is] bere; or behold, [be is)

there, do not believe (it.] (Compare Luke xvii. 23.
22 For false Christs, and pag. 189.) For as this unhappy People, who 22
false Prophets shall rise, and are now so obstinately rejecting me, will to the
fhall shew [great] Signs and last support themselves with vain Hopes of that
if it were possible, they thall Kind, and be ready eagerly to hearken to every
deceive the very Elect. ] bold Impostor ; false Mefiahs, and false Propbets
[MAT. XXIV. 24.] shall arise, and shall pretend to bewo great Signs

and Prodigies (i), managed with so much Art, as
might, if [it were] posible, be sufficient to deceive
even the very Elect, and to pervert my sincere
Followers and Disciples themselves; tho' indeed
their Hearts shall be lo established by Divine

Grace, as finally to be secured from the Dan-
23 But take ye heed: be- ger. But be ye cautiously upon your Guard 23
bold, I have foretold you all against so dangerous an Imposition; for behold, I
Things.[Mat.XXIV.25.] bave expressly foretold you all these Things; that

comparing the Event with the Prediction, your
Faith may be established, by those very Circum-

stances, which in another View might have a TenMar.XXIV.26.Where- dency to shake it. Therefore if they fall 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 Messiah, and he is now gathering his Forces about

sart,
him in the Wilderness for the Deliverance of his

People,

(k) Their continuing a distina 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. Nó 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.) S. 2. and Euseb. Ecclef. Hift. lib. iv. cap. 6. See also Grotius, on Mat, xxiv. 24. VOL. II.

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(m) In

386

Where the Carcase is, the Eagles will gather together. Sect. 161. People, do not go forth to join yourselves to his fart, so not forth : behold,

Followers ; [or) if they shall say, Behold, she is be is in the secret Chambers, Mat. XXIV.: 26.

in the secret Apartments of some particular Friend,
where he is waiting to give Satisfaction to those
that desire it, do not believe (it,] nor give your-

selves the Trouble so much as to enquire into the
27 Affair. For you know, there is, and can be 27 For as the Lightning

no other Messiah but me; and when I appear, it cometh out of the Eaft, and
will be in a sudden, amazing, and irresistible fo Thall also the Coming of
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; so sudden, and conspicu-
ous also pall the Coming of the Son of Man be,
both in his Appearance to the Destruction of fe-

rufalem, and to the final Judgment. (Compare
28 Luke xvii. 24. pag. 189.) And very exten-

five also will the Desolation be; for, as I former- Carcase is, there will the
ly told you, (Luke xvii. 37. pag. 191.) where- Eagles be gathered together.
joever the dead Carcase is, there will the Eagles na-
turally be gathered together ; and where-ever the
obstinate Enemies of my Kingdom are, they shall
be fought out, and destroyed : And here in par-
ticular I will send the Roman Eagles against them,
who shall consume and devour them as a help-
less Prey, not only at Jerusalem, but over the
Face of the whole Country; and afterwards in
some mote distant Regions, where the greatest
Numbers of Jews are settled (m).

28 For wherefoever the

ز

IMPROV EM E N T.

Luke xxi. 21.

2-1

F our Lord urges his Disciples, with such fpeedy and solicitous Haste,

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

are

(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 Nain, 500 of their Fortresses were demolished, and goo of their chief Towns in Egypt, Crete, &c. were plundered and burnt to the Ground : Not to

rrible Things they afterwards suffered, in France, Italy, Spain, and other Parts of Europe, in the Decline of the Roman Empire: Of all which see Dr. Jackson's Eternal Truth of the Scriptures, Book i. part 2. feat. 3. chap. 6, 10,—13.

Mark xiii.

15, 16.

Reflections on the Ruin that Bould come on the Jews. 387 are any of the little Interests of Life, that out of Regard to them we Sect. 161. Thould be willing to continue one Moment longer exposed to a Danger, which may sink us into everlasting Perdition and Despair !

We have here a lively Description of that aggravated Ruin, which was brought upon the Jews for neglecting Christ; even great Tribulation, Mat. xxiv. such as had never from the very Beginning of the World fallen upon any 21. other Nation, nor shall ever be equalled. Thus was his Blood upon them, and their Children. (Mat. xxvii. 25.) May we never know what it is, to have this Blood crying against us, for trampling it under Foot as an unboly Thing! (Heb. x. 29.) For surely to the Jews, who thus rejected the Counfel of GOD against themselves, all these Things which they suffered were but the Beginning of Sorrows; and the Famine and Sedition, Pestilence Ver. 7, 8. and Slaughter, by which so many Thousands perished, served only to consign them over to infinitely more terrible Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and Anguish, which will at last fall on every Soul of Man that doth Evil, whether y cw, or Gentile. (Rom. ii. 8. 9.)

These unhappy Creatures eagerly listened to the very Name of a Mef- Mark xiii. fiah, by whomsoever it was assumed; while they rejected him whom 21, 22. God had sent them, and who had so long, and with so much Importunity, been renewing to them the Offers of Life and Salvation. May none of us ever know the fad Impatience, with which condemned Sinners will with, and wilh in vain, for those Overtures and Messages of Grace, which they now despise ! În that Sense, wheresoever the Carcase Mat. xxiv. is

, there will the Eagles be gathered together : Where-ever there is the 28. like Unbelief and Impenitence, there will be in its Degree the like Ruin. Christ has graciously told us these Things before : May we humbly attend Mark xiii. to the Warning, that none of this Terror and Destruction may ever 23. come upon us!

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Christ describes the total Destruction of the Jewish State

by strong Figures, many of them literally suiting the Day of Judgment; to the Mention of which he proceeds, declaring the particular Time of it unknown. Mat. XXIV. 29, -36. Mark XIII. 243---32. Luke XXI. 25,---33.

LUKE XXI. 25.

LUKE XXI. 25.
AND there shall be Signs (sentation of the Judgments that were com-

UR Lord proceeded in the awful Repre- Sect. 162. in the Sun, and

Luke XXL. Moon, ing on Jerusalem, and said, Before this Desola

25. Ссс 2

tion

Luke XXI. 25.

388

Jesus describes the Tribulation of those Days. Sect. 162. tion fall be compleatly come, there mall be (as Moon, and in the Stars; and

? I told you before, ver. 11.) some extraordinary upon the Earth Distress of

Signs in the Sun, and in the Moon, and in the the Sca, and the Waves roase
Stars; Eclipses, Comets, and surprizing Mete- ing;
ors; and on the Earth there shall be Anguish and
Distress of Nations; the Sea, and the proud Waves

thereof, roaring, and breaking in upon the Land
26 with an irresistible Inundation ; Wbile Men 26_Mens Hearts failing
shall be almost expiring with Fear (a), and over- them

for Fear, and for lookwhelmed with the fad Expectation of those cala- ing after those Things which mitous Things which are coming upon the Land : For this shall not be like former Invasions or Captivities, which only produced some transient Diforders in the State, or, at most, an Interruption in the Government for a few Years; but it shall be attended with such a total Subversion of it, and with such vast, extensive, and lasting Ruin, that it shall be a most lively Emblem of the Deso

lation of the whole World at the Last Day. Mat. XXIV.

For immediately after the Affliction of those MAT. XXIV. 29. Im-
Days, which I have now been describing (6), the mediately after the Tribula-
Sun Mall as it were be darkened, and the Moon Sun be darkned, and the
Mall nat seem to give her usual Light; and the Moon shall not give her

Stars Mall fall from Heaven, and the Powers of Light ; and the Stars shall
the Heavens, all the mighty Machines and strong Powers of the Heavens shall
Movements above, fall be maken and broken in be shaken. [MARK XIII.
Pieces (C); that is, according to the Sublimity of 24, 25. LUKE XXI. —26.]

that

29.

(a) Expiring with Fear.] This is the literal Rendering of anafuxoutwv ano 2068.

- The Signs here spoken of seem to be some of the latest of those mentioned in the Writers referred to above, in Notes (8) and (h) on ver. 10, 11. pag. 374, 375.

(6) Immediately after the Affliction of those Days.) Archbishop Tillotson, and Brennius, with many other learned Interpreters, imagine, that our Lord here makes the Transition from the Destruction of Jerusalem, which had been the Subject of his Discourfe thus far, to the General "Judgment: But I think, as it would, on the one hand,

be very harsh, to suppose all the Sufferings of the Jewish Nation in all Ages, to be called the Tribulation of those Days; so it would, on the other hand, be equally so, to say, that the General Judgment, which probably will not commence till at least a Thousand Years after their Restoration, will happen immediately after their Sufferings ; nor can I find any one Instance, in which Eubeas is used in such a ftrange Latitude. What is said below, (in Mat. xxiv. 34. Mark xiii. 30. and Luke xxi. 32. pag. 391.) seems also an unanswerable Objection againit such an Interpretation. I am obliged therefore to explain this Section as in the Paraphrase; tho' I acknowledge many of the Figures used may with more literal Propriety be applied to the Last Day, to wich there may be a remote, tho' not an immediate Reference.

(c) The Sun shall be darkened, &c.] It was cnstomary with the Prophets, as it still is with the Eastern Writers, to describe the utter Ruin of States and Kingdoms, not only in general by an universal Darkness, but also by such strong Figures as those here used, which

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Messengers should be sent to assemble bis Elect.

389 that Prophetic Language to which you have been Sect. 162. accustomed, the whole Civil and Ecclesiastical Con

stitution of the Nation shall not only be shocked, 30 And then shall appear but totally diffolved.

And then all there evi- Mat. XXIV. in Heaven : and then thall dently appear such a remarkable Hand of Provi- 30. all the Tribes of the Earth dence in avenging my Quarrel upon this sinful mourn, and they shall see People, that it hall be like the Sign of the Son the Clouds of Heaven, with of Man in Heaven at the Last Day; and all the Power and great Glory. Tribes of the Land shall then mourn, and they shall (MARK XIII. 26. Luke fee the Son of Man, coming as it were in the Clouds XXI. 27.)

of Heaven (d), with Power and great Glory; for
that Celestial Army, which shall appear in the
Air man halled round the City, Thall be a fure
Token to them, that the Angels of God, and

the great Lord of those Heavenly Hosts, are set,
31 And [then) he shall as it were, in Array against them. And to 31
Sound of a Trumpet, and pursue the Allusion, as at the great Day the An-
they fhall gather together his gels shall in a literal Senfe assemble all his Saints
Ele& from the four Winds, together ; so also be shall then send forth bis Mef-
from one End of Heaven to Sengers (e) with the great Sound of his Gospel, as
most part of the Earth, to of a loud Trumpet, and they shall assemble his Eleet
the uttermoft Part of Hea- from the four Winds, even from one End of the Hea-
ven.] [MARK XIII, 27.]

vens to the other, or from the uttermoft Part of the
Earth one Way, to those Climates which lie un-
der the uttermot Part of Heaver the other Way:
And Multitudes of all Nations shall obey the
Summons, tho' the Jews have ungratefully and
foolishly despised it ; and the Son of Man shall
be honoured and trusted by Millions now unborn,
when this wicked and perverse Nation is perished

in

all have their Foundation in that Way of speaking. Compare Isa. xiii. 10. xxxiv. 4, 10. Ix. 20. Jer. xv. 9. Ezek. xxxii. 7, 8. Joel

. ii. 30, 31. iii. 15. and Amos vili. 9. (d) Coming in the Clouds of Heaven. ] Sudden and irresistible Destruction, in which much of the Hand of God evidently appears, is (as Dr. Whitby justly observes,) often expresied by God's coming in the Clouds: (Compare Psal. xviii. 9. 1. 3, 4. xcvii. 2, 3. civ. 3. Isa. xix. 1. xxvi. 21. Ixvi. 15.) But I think, the Celestial Appearances described by Josephus, (as above, Note (b) on Luke xxi. 11. pag. 375.) lead us into the exactest Interpretation of this Text, and greatly illustrate the Propriety of these Expressions here.

le) Send forth his Messengers.) Moft of the Translations, as well as our own, greatly obfcure this Text, by rendering the Word as years, Angels ; for tho'it generally signify those Celeftial Spirits, who are on great Occasions the Messengers of GoD to our World, it is well known, that the Word refers, not to their Nature, but to their Office; and is often applied to Men, and rendered Messengers. See Mark i. 2. Luke vii. 24, 47. ix. 52. 2 Cor. viii. 23. Phil. ii. 25. and Jam, ii. 25. In some of which Places it signifies, as here, Preachers of the Gospel, who were to carry on God's great Design of uniting all bis chosen People in one Society under Chrift, as their common Head. Eph. i. 10.

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