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tiles, as Abdiel and others suppose.
of Christm" Other sheep I have I confess in reading Romans ix, which are not of this fold, &c.” it seems at first sight to accord to show that the Gentiles were to with Abdiel's view : yet on closer partake of the same blessings with examination I cannot understand the Jews : which I conceive just,
but the Apostle to mean the Gentiles. if referred to the resurrection For in the 27th verse he says, the words that Christ spake I can
Esaias also crieth concerning not but think have a different meanIsrael," (as if he had said, Isaiah ing,—though my opinion of them also, as well as Hosea, is speaking may appear singular.
may appear singular. We cannot about Israel,)". Though Israel be but observe the preference that as the sand of the sea, a remnant Christ showed to his brethren the shall be saved :” and when we turn Jews ;-in that he did not teach in to the words in Isa. i, 9, we find any other country; that he said he that they relate to Israel (or Judah ;) came but to the lost sheep of the -how then should Paul quote them house of Israel ; that when he sent as relating to Gentiles? I am aware his disciples forth he charged them that the 25th verse of Romans ix, to go into none of the cities of the following as it does the word Gen. Gentiles ; and we find in one place tiles in the 24th verse, has a ten- he call them dogs, but in no one dency to lead one to understand it, as place that he calls them sheep : so meaning the Gentiles: butif the words that if in the text, John x, 16, he
Not of the Jews only but also of the means the Gentiles, then it is peGentiles” were in a parenthesis, it culiar, and different from all other would in my view of it express the parts of Scripture. But to me it Apostle's meaning clearer. I ob- appears nearer the truth to suppose, serve at the end of the 24th verse that Christ meant the dispersed a note of interrogation, which I am among the Gentiles : that is, the at a loss to understand : perhaps ten tribes that were carried away you can see an occasion for it.
captive and never yet returned to Abdiel, just before he mentions the Jewish fold; but who, we are this of Hosea, quotes from the positively assured, shall be restored Apostle words that exonerate the to them in the latter days, and be Jews from their dulness in appre- one people. I cannot lielp thinkhending the calling of the Gentiles; ing, that the distinction between viz.“ that in other ages was not made Jew and Gentile, so very conspicu· known unto the sons of men that ous in the Scriptures, is overlooked 'the Gentiles should be fellow and not sufficiently noticed by the · heirs, &c."
generality of christians; for though He says Peter also presses the the Gentiles are fellow-heirs with same in saying,
Ye are a chosen Jews of the same promise (not progeneration, a royal priesthood, &c.” mises) which is by Christ; yet, as We certainly ought to consider that in Romans ix, "To the Israelites Peter was writing to the Jews in pertaineth the adoption, covenants, both his epistles; and further that &c. ;" which I conceive will conno such words as royal priesthood, tinue the same to the resurrection. holy nation, &c. were ever in the All my desire is to investigate sacred Scriptures applied, as refer- and come at the truth; so that if ing to the Gentiles by any of the this lead to further search it will Apostles, or by Christ himself. abundantly satisfy, Again, Abdiel refers to the words
Sir, yours, &c.
ON THE ADVENT AND KINGDOM OF CHRIST,
Our Lord's Prophecy.
MATTHEW XXIV, XXV; LUKE XXI.
Having discussed in my last the vious connexion with the advent of meaning of the abomination of Christ; and therefore the second, desolation,” the" great tribulation, and only other, question in each of the word γενεα or
generation,” them was for A SIGN, by which and “the times of the Gentiles," I they might know when these things purpose now to commence the pro- were to be accomplished.* But in phecy, and pass regularly through Matthew the context concerns also it; chiefly following St. Matthew's the desolation of the Jewish Church Gospel for my text.
and nation, together with the adI. First we must notice the oc- vent of Christ—" Behold your house casion of it, which was the ques- is left unto you desolate : for I say tions of our Lord's disciples. These unto you, Ye shall not see me questions are differently stated by henceforth, until
until ye shall say, the Evangelists, and form in St. Blessed is he that cometh in the Mark's and St. Luke's Gospels only name of the Lord :”a and then two distinct particulars; but in St. immediately follows the circumMatthew's three. In all of them stance of the disciples pointing to however the first question is the the buildings of the temple ; to same-WHEN SHALL THESE THINGS which they seem to have been moved BE ?—which question arose from the by the very circumstance of our disciples having drawn our Lord's Lord declaring, that their house was attention to the magnificence of the to be left desolate. Accordingly, temple, and
and his taking occasion the questions as related by St. thereupon to admonish them, that Matthew have an evident reference the days were approaching when to the other matter introduced by the whole should be destroyed. him into his narrative.-1st.“ When
Now it is worthy of remark, shall these things be ?" including, (bearing as it does upon the general as I apprehend, the persecutions of principles of Scripture inspiration the disciples in verse 34 of the preand interpretation,) that the remain- ceding chapter, as also verse 38: ing questions, and the reply of our 2ndly. " What shall be the sign of Lord, are in each Evangelist made thy coming ?" (Tos ons tapuolas) consistent with the context of the spoken of in verse 39 of the prenarrative of each. There is no- vious chapter : 3rdly. And of the thing in the previous chapter of end of the world,” or rather, of the Mark and Luke that has any ob- consummation of the dispensation or age,-(ins ouvTERELAS T8 alwvos,) down to the end of verse 31. It is which they would justly consider not however greatly important: for the desolation of their house to be, my view is substantially the same in regard to the Jewish dispensa- with Mr. Begg's, in which ever way tion.* The questions of the disci- these verses
* In Mark και τι το σημειον όταν μελλη παντα ταυτα συντελεισθαι « and what the sign when all these things are about to be accomplished." In Luke Kal TI TO GENELOV όταν μελλη ταυτα γινεσθαι
ylveobal " and what the sign when these things are about to con to pass. In which observe, that the same thing is expressed by two different words, OUVTEXELObal and ylveobui ; which bears against Mr Cuninghame's distinction : see page 378 of No. Xİ.
a Matt. xxiii, 38, 39.
are taken: I shall ples were probably shaped according therefore state my reasons for differto their previous expectations of the ing with him on the point in quesmanifestation of Messiah's kingdom tion, and leave them with the Reader. and glory; for we can hardly sup- First, there appears to be a repose them to have had, at this petition of some of the circumstances particular moment only, a correct herein mentioned, as occurring at view of the order in which the the end of the great tribulation; three events inquired of were to
which we have seen from Luke xxi, 24 take place.
extends itself throughout the Gentile II. Verses 4 to 14 of St. Mat times. I refer to the coming of false thew's Gospel comprehend the next prophets. (Compare verses 11 & 24.) portion of our subject. These are Secondly, in the parallel verses of considered by Mr. Beggt to form St. Luke there is inserted at verse an outline of the whole substance of 11, in connexion with the earththe prophecy, down to the very end; quakes, &c. “ fearful sights and and that then our Lord reverts back great signs from heaven. These to the commencement, and dwells would also be repeated, accordmore minutely on important par. ing to Mr. Begg's view, at verses ticulars. I must acknowledge, that 24 and 25 of Luke: but I hold it this appears to me to be a frequent important to keep these occurrences mode of communicating prophetical distinct. Thirdly, the whole is truth, as was justly illustrated by the susceptible of an easy interpretation writer of the “ Original notes on the as applicable to events transpiring Apocalypse” at page 348. I think whilst the Jewish polity existed; as also that verse 13 is designed to be may be readily proved from Scripaccommodated to the circumstances ture and profane history. of believers at all periods. But there With regard to the false christs are reasons which nevertheless in and other deceivers, mentioned both duce me to think, that the whole of in verses 5 and 1l, Josephus names these verses had their fulfilment some (as Theudas and the Egyptian, prior to the desolation of Jerusalem; see Acts xxi, 38,) and says, that and that the prophecy is with little they became so numerous during deviation chronologically regular the procuratorship of Felix, that he
* In our Lord's reply the word relos is invariably used, instead of ovvtalece ; but I do not, as some, consider any distinction is intended, and that telos refers to the end of the Jewish polity only, whilst i, ovvtelela 78 alwvos regards the termination of the Christian dispensation. In Heb. ix, 26 eri OUVTELEQ Twv alwvwv (in the plural, which one would conceive must more decidedly mark the end of the latest dispensation) must from the context be necessarily connected with the end of the Jewish dispensation ; and I apprehend the context must always determine its meaning.
+ I would once for all refer to the whole of his able work on these chapters.--viz. " Letters to a Minister of the Gospel on his and other Interpretations of Our Saviour's predicted Return, recorded Matt. xxiii, xxiv, XXV, &c." Nisbet, London.
| Mr. Begg takes the heaven of verses 24, 25 in a literal sense : but I differ from him on this point toto cælo, as will presently appear.
daily put some to death.b Whitby period during which the Jews still also mentions Simon Magus and possessed some ecclesiastical auDoritheus among the number of thority. false christs.c The
I pass on to the 14th verse ;wars, the actual insurrections and " And the Gospel of the kingdom contests, the famines, pestilences, shall be preached in all the world and earthquakes (or commotions*) for a witness unto all nations ; which follow in verses. 6, 7, are
" and then shall the end come.' I equally remarkable, as described by have no doubt but this is one of the Josephus, Tacitus and others; as special signs of the latter days; but likewise the supernatural prodigies I ground it upon Rev. xiv, 6, 7, and mentioned by St. Luke. Scott says not on this text, for this I conon all these particulars—“ It suffices sider to have been fulfilled prior 'to observe, that by the concurrent to the destruction of Jerusalem. St.
testimony of ancient historians, Paul says to the Colossians, that ' and the judgement of modern " the Gospel was come unto them, ' learned men, the period alluded to as in all the world ;'g and again,
was distinguished from all others, so that it was preached to every crea' which went before and which have ture which is under heaven :”h which
followed, by such events as are passages are decisive as respects a • here predicted." Yet they are fulfilment adequate to the meaning warned, that the end (which I take of the text. It is also remarkable, to refer to the great overthrow of the that this preaching of the Gospel Jewish polity) was not yet; and (which is only instanced by Matthat these are only the beginning of thew and Mark) is the only circumsorrows; (v. 8) which words appear stance which in Mark's narrative of manifestly intended as a contrast to this prophecy is not placed in a régthat great tribulation which fol- ular parallelism with the same events lowed, and the period of which is noticed by Matthew. He inserts it called “ the days of vengeance.”e at verse 10, as a parenthesis between
That the followers of Jesus were the warning, that they should be depersecuted and delivered up to syn- livered up to the synagogues, and agogues and councils to be beaten, the direction, not to premeditate (as they were first warned in chap. when delivered up : as if to point xxii, 34, and here in verses 9-11,) out, that this persecution should be must be known to all who are ac- connected with the preaching the quainted with the Acts of the Apos- Gospel to all nations, and afford tles.f I only observe, that the par- additional opportunity of bringing ticular reference to their suffering their testimony before kings and these things in the synagogues, rulers.t (See v. seems to limit the fulfilment to the III. Verses 15-28 will form the
b Joseph. Ant. B. XX, c. v & viii: and Jewish War, B. xx, c. 13.
c Joseph. Ant. B. xviii, c. 9; XX, 2; War, ii, 10; iv, 4. Tacitus, Annal. xii, xiv; Hist. v. See also Acts xi, 28.
d See in loco. e See the parallel places Mark xiii, 9-12 and Luke xxi, 12-16. f Acts iii, v, vii, viii, xii, xvi, xvii, xviii, xxi to the end. 8 Col. i, 6. h Ibid. i, 23.
* So Dr. Adam Clarke is most inclined to interpret celouO1, from its original gelw, to agitate. The history of those times shows, that in either sense it was fulfilled.
+ I would here notice that the word then, as used in this prophecy, must not be always understood in an ordinative sense, as if the event it introduces must necessarily
next portion for our consideration. with perplexity : viz. synchronous The tribulation which is the subject with the passing away of the Jewof them has been so fully discussed ish tribulation.* in my last essay, that I trust I need To return to the passage in Matnot repeat it here. I shall only beg thew more immediately under conto remind the Reader, (as an im- sideration : I see no reason to devi. portant circumstance to be kept in ate from the ordinary interpretation view in the interpretation of this of verses 16–-20; which seem to me chapter,) that I have proved this clearly to contain a direction, how time of affliction to be connected the disciples were to act, as soon as with that mentioned in Daniel xii ; they should see the abomination of who there speaks of the termination desolation standing
in the holy of that period of wrath, which place; (i. e. Jerusalem compassed in St. Luke's account of this pro- with armies ;) by which they were to phecy begins with Jerusalem being understand, that the desolation compassed with armies, (when the thereof” (i. e. of Jerusalem) was people fall by the edge of the sword nigh. Luke xx, 21. To these di. and are led away captive into all rections warnings are added to stir nations,) and terminates only with up the
up the disciples to prayer, watchthe fulfilment of the Gentile times.
and decision: showing This is the more important, inas- what promptitude they must use much as it determines the period (v. 17) when they were menaced when those signs are to be with the danger; how questionable hibited, mentioned in verse 29. the possibility of escape would be Matthew says,
immediately rendered to those labouring with after ;" (evfewg òe ueta tnv Orciv.) child ; and how necessary it was Mark makes it so immediately, that for all to pray that this compassing
In those days, after that of Jerusalem should not take place tribulation :” whilst St. Luke makes in the winter or on the sabbath no discrimination at all, but con- day. In the first instance the roads, nects it at once with the tribulation I presume, would be broken up, by the words, “ and there shall be so as to render flight more difficult ; signs in the sun, &c.” (v.25.) In and in the second, they would be his narrative all that is contained in exposed to molestation from the verse 22 and six following verses of pharisaical zealots, should they be Matthew's account is omitted; so observed to exceed the limits of a that verse 25 joins on immediately sabbath day's journey. to the words—“ until the times of In verse 22 it is declared, that exthe Gentiles be fufilled ;” as much
as much cept those days should be shortened, as to intimate, that then there shall there should no flesh be saved ; but be this so
distress of the Gentiles for the elect's sake those days shall
follow next in order of succession. As a proof of this St. Matthew says, (v. 9) “ then shall they deliver you up, &c." St. Luke however has it ; " but before all these, they shall lay hands, &c." adverting to those same commotions, wars and pestilences, that are connected by Matthew with the word then.
* There is no article before the word Gentiles in the original in either instance. The passage stands literally thus :-" Jerusalem shall be trodden down by Gentiles, until times of Gentiles be fulfilled ; and there shall be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of Gentiles with (or in) perplexity, sea and waves roaring." The context shows that the style of this passage requires the article to be uniformly supplied, and that the Gentiles of verse 25 are identical with those of verse 24.