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Luke, cannot be given, and the whole has, so evident a reference, to the fallacious hopes which were entertained, by every Jew, the disciples of Jesus themselves, not excepted, of their Messiah being a temporal Prince, who was to lead them to conquest and to empire, that no doubt can exist that Jesus had them immediately and exclusively in his view !

In the closest connection with the coming of the Son of Man, mentioned by St. Matthew, in the 27th verse, and in the subsequent part of the chapter, so accurately explained, to mean a destruction, similar to that which had happened in the time of Noah,--our Lord proceeds to state, by a proverbial -expression, by what means this destruction would be effected, ver. 28. For wheresoever the carcase isthere will the eagles be gathered together. * 66 If the Reader calls to mind,” says Bishop Hurd, “ the prediction of our Lord, as it is elsewhere " expressed, without a figure—When ye shall see Jerusalem encompassed with armies, Luke xxi. 20. and compares it 's with the event, he will hardly make a doubt whether

eagles, in those figurative predictions which respect the "same subject, namely, the destruktion of Jerusalem, were

not intended by our Lord to denote the Roman armies." + Archbishop Newcome likewise remarks, upon this passage, that " besides the proverbial allusion to birds that sagaciously só discover carcases and greedily devour them, there seems “ likewise to be a beautiful reference to the Eagle, as the 6 Roman Standard." Observ.

p. 194. The extent of this awful desolation, mentioned in the preceding part of the chapter--the Evangelist goes on, in the 29th and following verse, still farther to delineate, in figurative, but strong language. Immediately after-or more properly withor, in connection with I the tribulation of those


* In St. Luke, when our Lord had been describing this calamity which was to befall the Jews, his Disciples asked him; Where Lord? where shall " this happen ? To which he replied, Wheresoever the body is, thither will the " Eagles be gathered together. If then his words contain any direct answer to " the question, they must be understood as pointing out the place and “ extent of the calamity. 'Jortin's Remarks on Eccles. Hist. p. 26. Vol. I. + See Hurd on the Prophecies. Vol. I. p. 167.

Archbishop Newcome has remarked that " in Mark--the expression “ is---BUT IN THOSE DAYS, after that tribulation, &c. Hence,” says he, “ it follows that the words cannot be applied to the day of Judgement.” Sec Archbishop Newcome's Observations, 249. Mr. Keit 'says---immediately 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 the Heavens shall be shaken, and then shall appear the sign of the Son of Man in Heaven ; and then shall all the tribes of the earth-or rather of the land-mourn, and they shall see the Son of Man, the Messiah, coming in the clouds of Heaven, with power and great glory.


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The language of St. Luke, it must be observed, is some'what less figurative, and may, of itself, very properly, be considered as a good interpretation of the more splendid de'scription of St. Matthew, chap. xxi. 25, 26, 27. And there Slall be signs in the Sun, and in the Moon, and in the Stars ; and upon the earth, distress of Nations, with perplexitythe sea, and the waves thereof, roaringMens' hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the Earth ; for the powers of the Heavens shall be shaken, and then shall they see the Son of Man, the Messiah, coming in a cloud, with power and great glory. *

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be translated,' amidst; which is the more remarkable, as he refers our Lord's Prophecy---not to the destruction of Jerusalem only---but to the end of the World. See Kett on Prophecy, p. 246,

* “ There should,” says Archbishop Newcome, be straightness of “calamity among those nations which rose against each other, with inex«'tricable' necessity, every object of terror striking them, every

element “ seeming armed against them: men nearly expiring through fearful expectation of what impended over their country ; for the whole frame of the “ Jewish Constitution, both civil and religious, should totter to its foun" dation." See Archbishop Newcome's Observations, pages 250, 251; In this valuable work the Reader will find a more accurate and ample detail of the exact agreement of our Lord's predictions of the destruction of Jeruz salem with the events accompanying it, than is to be found perhaps, in any other Writer. And he very justly remarks, " that without such a general " view of the history of that event, there are expressions in our Lord's vesi Prophecies relating to it, of which the Reader could not have an adequate

See also Lardner's Antient Jewish and Heathen Testimonies, upon the same subject. And it is very concisely observed by Dr. Jortin, “, that the History of the Jewish War by Josephus; seems to be a * Commentary upon the Prophecies of Christ. Josephus, , amongst other “ particulars, gives a distinct account of the fearful sights and great signs * from Heaven which preceded the destruction of Jerusalem, and Tacitus " has confirmed the narration of Josephus. If Christ had not expressly foretold this, many who give little heed to portents, and who know that “ Historians have been too credulous in that point, would have suspected " that Josephus,exaggerated, and that Tacitus was misinformed ; but as the 6 testimonies of Josephus and Tacitus confirm the predictions, of Christ, * so the predictions of Christ confirm the wonders recorded by these Histo “ rians." Sec Jortin's Remarks. Vol. I. p. 41.


* idea. See p. 237.

But whatever importance there may be, in these observations, most certain it is, that our Lord, in St. Matthew's account, uses a language to describe the effects of the calamities which were approaching, which, as Jews, could not but have been extremely familiar to the Disciples, and indeed, to every few, who paid any attention to the Prophetic Writings ; for it was in terms similar to his, that the antient Prophets, constantly described the effects of those calamities, which, at different periods of their History, had been inflicted

upon the Nations of the Earth, whether they related to Jews or Gentiles. This has been noticed, by the most able Divines, and will be abundantly evident, from the following instances, taken from passages which are, beyond dispute, descriptive of temporal calamities, and of temporal calamities ONLY.

The Prophet Isaiah, speaking of the destruction of Babylon, says, chap. xiii. 9, 10. Behold the day of the Lord cométhcruel, both with fierce anger and wrath-to lay the land desolate: And he shall destroy the sinners thereof out of it ; for the Stars of Heaven, and the constellations thereof, shall not give their lightthe Sun shall be darkened, and the Moon shall not give her light.

The same Prophet describes the destruction which was to come upon Idumea, in language, as strong as can well be imagined. Chap. xxxiv. 4, &c. All the host of Heaven shall be dissolved, and the Heavens shall be rolled together as a scroll: and all their host shall fall down, as a leaf falleth off from the vine, and as a falling fg, from the fig tree. Upon another occasion, he uses a similar language, ch. xxiv. 19, 20. The earth is utterly broken downthe earth is clean dissolved the carth is moved exceedingly--ihe earth shall reel to and fro like a drunkard, and shall be removed like a cottage-the transgression thereof shall be heavy upon it. It shall fall, and shall not rise again Then the Moon shall be confounded, and the Sun ashamed. *


* The observation of Archbishop Newcome appears to be very accurate. 56 The clearness of our Lord's Prophecies,” says he,“ deserves to be in. si sisted on.

They are generally delivered to his Disciples in plain histo“ rical language. Where figures occur, which happens very rarely, they

are such as the Easterns were accustomed to, in their discourse and sacred writings. There is nothing obscure, or ambiguous, like the Antient

* Oracles;

The Prophet Ezekiel, announcing in the name of God, the future ruin of Egypt; says, chap. xxxii. 7, 8. When I shall put thee out I will cover the Sun with a cloud, and the Moon shall not give her light ; All the bright lights of Heaven will I make dark, over thee, and set darkness upon thy land, saith the Lord God.

In the Prophecy of Joel, there is a passage which is particularly deserving of the Reader's attention, as it seems to be descriptive of this very calamity, of the destruction of Jerusalem, predicted by our Lord. Chap. ii. 1, 2, 3, 10. Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, and sound an alarm in my holy Moun. tain-Let all the inhabitants of the land tremble--for the day of the Lord cometh--for it is nigh at handma day of darkness and gloominess-a day of clouds and thick darknessinas the morning spread upon the Mountains a great and a strong peopl-there hath not been ever the like-neither shall be any more after it, even to the years of many generations. A fire devoureth before them, and behind them a flame burneth. The Earth shall quake before them--the Heavens shall tremble the Sun shall be dark, and the Stars shall withdraw their shining.

The other phrase, -The powers of the Heavens shall be shaken, used by all the three Evangelists, is likewise agreeable to antient phraseology, and to that language which the Prophets made use of, when predi&ting temporal calamities, and particularly that of the destruction of Jerusalem. In the passage just quoted from the Prophecy of Joel, it is said, --The Earth shall quake before them--the Heavens shall tremble. And in Isaiah, the Prophet says, chap. ii. 19. They shall go into the hol's of the rocks, aud into the caves of the Earth ; for fear of the Lord, and for the glory of his Majesty, when he ariseth TO SHAKE terribly the Earth. And the same expression is made use of again in chap. xiii, 13. I will shake the Heavens, and the Earth shall remove out of her place, in the wrath of the Lord of Hosts, and in the day of his fierce anger.

The Prophet Haggai has likewise, a very remarkable passage to this purpose. “ The Prophet," says Mr. Dillinger, " is commanded by God to speak to Zerubbabel, Governor " of Judah, saying---I will shake the Heavens and the Earth, “ Oracles ; except where lie purposely concealed his meaning from the Jews, “ under figure or parable. To his Disciples he spake with great plainness " and perspicuity. See his Observations: p. 263.


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chap. ii. 21. This the Prophet himself illustrates, when it " is said, in the 22d verse, I will move Heaven and Earth, " and overthrow the throne of kingdoms, and destroy the " mighty realms of the Nations. Here, says Mr. Michaelis, in

his Explanation of the Epistle to the Hebrews, sect. 352, it “ is quite impossible to take the moving of Heaven and Earth, “ otherwise than as of wars, and a political shaking, by which

kingdoms shall sink, and kingdoms rise. Great wars are

sometimes compared with a heaven and shaking storms, “ and sometimes with an earthquake. And the oriental Poet, * in the description of it, sometimes makes even the heavens po to fall." *

Upon this subject, likewise, the great Sir Isaac Newton, has observed, " that in sacred Prophecy--the darkening, smiting, or setting of the Sun, Moon, and Stars, is put for " the ceasing of a kingdom, or for the desolation thereof, “ proportional to the darkness. Darkening the Sun, turning " the Moon into blood, and falling of the Stars, for the Te same,” And the late Bishop Warburton has remarked, that this language was borrowed from the Antient Hieroglyphics; for, says he, “ as in hieroglyphic writing, the Sun, Moon, ” and Stars, where used to represent States and Empires,

Kings, Queens, and Nobility-their eclipse and extinc

tion, temporary disasters, or entire overthrow, &c.--so, $ in like manner, the holy Prophets call Kings and Empires

* Dr. Clarke, says Dr. Benson, has very well paraphrased verse 29. For, immediately after these fatal wars, and the destruction of Jerusalem

by the Romans, the whole Jewish polity, government, laws, and religion, “ shall be utterly destroyed.” And Mr. Le Clerc's Note appears to be very accurate, “ Ce sont des expressions figureès, qui marquent dans les Prophetes “ la ruine des Etats à l'occasion desquels ils les emploģent. Esaie " s'en sert ch. xiii. 10. en ecrivant la ruine de Babilone &c ch. xxiv. 23.

en parlant de celle des Royaumes voisins de la Judèe. Ezekiel decrit le " meme la desolation de l'Egypte, ch'xxxii. 7. Jesus Christ ne veut donc “ dire autra chose, si non que la Republique Judaique seroit detruite " pour toujours." in loc. Archbishop Newcome also has favored his Readers with the following passage from Maimonides. “ Quando Vaticinatur “ Esaias de Gentis alicujus destructione vel de populi alicujus magni interitu, " sit stellas cecidisse, coelos interisse, & contremiscere solem obscuratum, “ terram vastatem & commotam esse. Maim: More Rev. 265." See Archbishop Newcome's Observations, p. 250. And to mention no more--Bishop Newton says, " that in the Prophetic language, great commotions and revolutions upon * earth, așe often represented by commotions and changes in the Heavens." See his Dissertations on the Prophecies, Vol. II. P. 395 3d Edition.

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