« PreviousContinue »
lation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven; and the powers of heaven shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the son of man in heaven,"—that is, after the tribulation caused by the destruction of Jerusalem and the dispersion of the Jewish nation throughout the world, by which they should suffer exceedingly, then shall the kings and governors of nations be put down and destroyed, -the great men and nobles, and other distinctions of rank and dignity should fall from their political standing--their titles and orders be abolished, and all the powers and authorities of their political heaven, or civil and religious hierarchies be shaken, so as to remove every opposition and obstruction to the improvement of the people in religious knowledge, by which a way should be prepared for the approach of the prince of peace, or the sign of the son of man in heaven; that is, his visibly coming in power and authority over the nations of the earth. This shall bring about the other part of this prophetic denuncia. tion, “ that all the tribes of the earth shall mourn, when they shall see the son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory, and he shall send his angels (or messengers) with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect, from the four winds, from one end of the heavens to the other.” Add to this magnificent description, the parable of the ten virgins, and his declaration to the Jewish Sanhedrim, when he was arraigned before them, “ hereafter ye shall see the son of man sitting on the right hand of power and coming in the clouds of heaven”—and in consequence of this great event, he warns his church, to " watch therefore, for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come—therefore be ye also ready, for in such an hour, as ye think not, the son of man cometh_blessed is that man, whom his Lord, when he cometh shall find so doing; but, and if the evil servant shall say in his heart, my Lord delayeth his coming"-(Have not many who call themselves christians, as well as unbelievers, great reason to class themselves with objectors, and to fear the awful consequences) “ the Lord of that servant shall come in a day when he looketh not for him, and in an hour that he is not aware of."
Our Lord also in the last distressing moments of his life, when taking leave of his beloved family, after having established the ordinance of his supper, assured them that “ he would not drink thenceforth of that fruit of the vine, until that day when he should drink it new with them, in his Father's kingdom.")
ACCORDING TO MARK.
THE Evangelist Mark, not only confirms the predictions of our Lord and Saviour as above recited, but adds to and enforces them, when he records the assertion of his master, " whosoever shall be ashamed of me and my words in this adulterous and sinful generation, of him also shall the son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of his father, with his holy angels." __And he warns his disciples and followers, “ that when they shall hear of wars and rumors of wars, they should not be troubled, for or because such things must needs be, but the end shall not be yet; for nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there shall be earthquakes in divers places, and famines and troubles and there shall be fearful sights and great signs from Heaven, and Jerusalem shall be trodden down, of the gentiles, until the times af the gentiles be fulfilled.
These are but the beginning of sorrows, for the gospel must first be published among all nationsbut in those days, that after tribulation, the sun* shall be darkened and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken--and then shall they see the son of man coming in the clouds with great pow. er and glory; verily I say unto you that this nation, (as it should have been rendered) shall not pass away, till all these things be done.*Take ye heed, watch and pray, for ye know not when the time is, for the son of man is as a man taking a far journey, who left his house and gave authority to his servants, and to every man his work, and commanded the porter to watch and what I say unto you, I say anto all, watch."-And in the institution of the Lord's supper, he ended it with saying, “ verily I will not drink any more of the fruit of the vine, until that day when I shall drink it new in the kingdom of God." --And when Jesus was arraigned before the high-priest, he asked him, “ art thou the Christ, the son of the blessed? And Jesus said, I am, and ye shall see the son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven,"
* This cannot mean a literal darkening of the sun, or the falling of the stars from Heaven—for whither should they fall P-Most of them are many times larger than this earth and could not fall on it.
Mr Mede says, “In the prophets every kingdom and body of government, resembleth the world--and the parts also, the heavens, the earth-the stars serve for that repreesntationvid. Isaiah, li.-15, where this speech is of the deliverance wherewith God delivered the people of Israel out of Egypt, that of them he might found a kingdom or commonwealth for himself in the land of promise-out of which also, it will not be hard to gather, what that new heaven and new earth may be in the same prophet, ch. lxv. 17, and lxvi. 22d.--to wit, a. new world of the same form_according to this representation therefore, Heaven in the prophetical notion shall express whatever is lofty in the state of any kingdom or eommonwealth by the earth, that which is inferior--the stars those who attain and bear place in that height, by which reason the sun and the moon, the principal lights in heaven, will point out the first and chiefest majesty and dignity of a kingdom and the next in order."-Vid. also Haggai ii. 6,7, 21, 22, Jerm. iv. 23d. Isaiah li. 15, 16. xxxiv. 2, 5,
• Mr, Mede in his reply to Mr Hayne, who applied this sentence of Christ to the destruction of Jerusalem, says,
whilst you endeavor, in this manner to establish a ground for the first coming of Christ, you bereave the church of those principal passages in the scriptures, whereon she hath always grounded her faith in the second coming-2dly. You ground all this on the ambiguity of the word generation whereas
genea signifies not only ætas, but gens, natio progenies