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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



 

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 1-1000

070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

075: Barnabus: Epistle of Barnabus

090: Esdras 2 / 4 Ezra

100: Odes of Solomon

150: Justin: Dialogue with Trypho

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198: Tertullian: Answer to the Jews

230: Origen: The Principles | Commentary on Matthew | Commentary on John | Against Celsus

248: Cyprian: Against the Jews

260: Victorinus: Commentary on the Apocalypse "Alcasar, a Spanish Jesuit, taking a hint from Victorinus, seems to have been the first (AD 1614) to have suggested that the Apocalyptic prophecies did not extend further than to the overthrow of Paganism by Constantine."

310: Peter of Alexandria

310: Eusebius: Divine Manifestation of our Lord

312: Eusebius: Proof of the Gospel

319: Athanasius: On the Incarnation

320: Eusebius: History of the Martyrs

325: Eusebius: Ecclesiastical History

345: Aphrahat: Demonstrations

367: Athanasius: The Festal Letters

370: Hegesippus: The Ruin of Jerusalem

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1598: Jerusalem's Misery ; The dolefull destruction of faire Ierusalem by Tytus, the Sonne of Vaspasian

1603: Nero : A New Tragedy

1613: Carey: The Fair Queen of Jewry

1614: Alcasar: Vestigatio arcani sensus in Apocalypsi

1654: Ussher: The Annals of the World

1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

1764: Lardner: Fulfilment of our Saviour's Predictions

1776: Edwards: History of Redemption

1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

1801: Porteus: Our Lord's Prophecies

1802: Nisbett: The Coming of the Messiah

1805: Jortin: Remarks on Ecclesiastical History

1810: Clarke: Commentary On the Whole Bible

1816: Wilkins: Destruction of Jerusalem Related to Prophecies

1824: Galt: The Bachelor's Wife

1840: Smith: The Destruction of Jerusalem

1841: Currier: The Second Coming of Christ

1842: Bastow : A (Preterist) Bible Dictionary

1842: Stuart: Interpretation of Prophecy

1843: Lee: Dissertations on Eusebius

1845: Stuart: Commentary on Apocalypse

1849: Lee: Inquiry into Prophecy

1851: Lee: Visions of Daniel and St. John

1853: Newcombe: Observations on our Lord's Conduct as Divine Instructor

1854: Chamberlain: Restoration of Israel

1854: Fairbairn: The Typology of Scripture

1859: "Lee of Boston": Eschatology

1861: Maurice: Lectures on the Apocalypse

1863: Thomas Lewin : The Siege of Jerusalem

1865: Desprez: Daniel (Renounced Full Preterism)

1870: Fall of Jerusalem and the Roman Conquest

1871: Dale: Jewish Temple and Christian Church (PDF)

1879: Warren: The Parousia

1882: Farrar: The Early Days of Christianity

1883: Milton S. Terry: Biblical Hermeneutics

1888: Henty: For The Temple

1891: Farrar: Scenes in the days of Nero

1896: Lee : A Scholar of a Past Generation

1902: Church: Story of the Last Days of Jerusalem

1917: Morris: Christ's Second Coming Fulfilled

1985: Lee: Jerusalem; Rome; Revelation (PDF)

1987: Chilton: The Days of Vengeance

2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

2006: M. Gwyn Morgan - AD69 - The Year of Four Emperors

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The Truth of Christianity
proved from ancient prophecies:

and especially from
The Prophecies of Jesus Himself

By Robert Walker

Vicar of St. Winnow.

1834

CLICK HERE FOR PDF FILE OF ENTIRE BOOK

CHAPTER IV.

ANCIENT PROPHECIES FORETELLING THE
DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.
 

In treating of the prophecies which relate to the final destruction of Jerusalem, I would first draw the reader's attention to the 28th chapter of the hook of Deuteronomy, in which is an eminent instance of God's merciful kindness, when the prophets are commanded to declare God's judgments against the rebellious, in providing them with previous gracious promises towards the obedient, and with compassionate offers of favour and pardon to those who, although they have strayed, are willing to repent and return. It begins with a promise : " And it shall come to pass, if thou shalt hearken diligently to the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe and do all his commandments, which I command this day, that the Lord thy God will set thee on high above all the nations of the earth; and all these blessings shall come upon thee, and overtake thee, if thou shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God."* Then the blessings are enumerated, as the curses had been in a former chapter. At the 15th verse the curses are resumed, in case they will not be obedient to the voice of the Lord their God: " It shall come to pass, if thou wilt not hearken unto the voice of the Lord thy God, to observe to do all his commandments and his statutes, which I command thee this day, that all these curses shall come upon thee, and overtake thee." Tremendous curses immediately follow, which will fall upon them whilst they are dwelling in their own land, and they are continued to verse the 25th, where begins the scene of destruction and desolation : " The Lord shall cause thee to be smitten before thine enemies; thou shalt go out one way against them, and flee seven ways before them, and shalt be removed into all the kingdoms of the earth." Verse 32. " Thy sons and thy daughters shall

• Deut. xxviii. 1, 2.

be given to another people, and thine eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all the day long, and there shall be no might in thine hand. The fruit of thy land, and all thy labours, shall a nation which thou knowest not eat up ; and thou shalt be only oppressed and crushed always, so that thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see." After the 47th verse the most appalling threatenings are denounced. " Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness, and with gladness of heart, for the abundance of all things, therefore shalt thou serve thine enemies, which the Lord shall send against thee, in hunger, and in thirst, and in nakedness, and in want of all things; and he shall put a yoke of iron upon thy neck, until he have destroyed thee. The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle flieth ; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand; a nation of fierce countenance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young. And he shall eat the fruit of thy cattle, and the fruit of thy land, until thou be destroyed; which also shall not leave thee either corn, wine, or oil, or the increase of thy kine, or flocks of thy sheep, until he have destroyed thee. And he shall besiege thee in all thy gates, until thy high and fenced walls come down, wherein thou trustest, throughout all thy land, which the Lord thy God hath given thee. And thou shalt eat the fruit of thine own body, and the flesh of thy sons and of thy daughters, which the Lord thy God hath given thee, in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee ; so that the man that is tender among you, and very delicate, his eye shall be evil towards his brother, and towards the wife of his bosom, and towards the remnant of his children which be shall leave, so that he will not give to any of them of the flesh of his children whom he shall eat, because he hath nothing left him in the siege, and in the straitness, wherewith thine enemies shall distress thee in all thy gates. The tender and delicate woman among you, which would not adventure to set the sole of her foot upon the ground for delicateness and tenderness, her eye shall be evil towards the husband of her bosom, and toward her son, and toward her daughter, and toward her young one that cometh out from between her feet, and toward her children which she shall bear, for she shall eat them, for want of all things, secretly, in the siege and straitness wherewith thine enemy shall distress thee in thy gates, if thou wilt not observe to do all the words of this law that are written in this book, that thou mayest fear this fearful and glorious name, THE LORD THY GOD."* I have copied largely from this remarkable prophecy, because the commentators in general believe it to have been a prediction especially of the final destruction of Jerusalem, and of the whole land of Judea, by the Romans, and because the Jewish historian, Josephus, has given the particulars of that terrible event, the sacking of Jerusalem by the Roman armies, in nearly the words of the prophecy. The reasons why this prophecy is believed to have particularly foretold the final destruction of Jerusalem are, that it said, " The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth;" whereas, the Chaldean invasion from Babylon, is generally spoken of as coming from the north; moreover, the Babylonian captivity was particular, they were carried away

 

• Deut. xxviii. 58.

captive into Babylon, and it was also confined in time. After 70 years they were to return, and did return into their own country. But this was to be of long continuance. " Then the Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance ; and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance."* The long continuance is repeated; and, instead of their being carried away captive into any particular place, at the 64th verse it is said, " The Lord shall scatter thee among all people, from one end of the earth even to the other. And among these nations shalt thou find no ease, neither shall the sole of thy foot have rest; but the Lord shall give thee there a trembling heart, and failing of eyes, and sorrow of mind. And thy life shall hang in doubt before thee ; and thou shalt fear day and night, and shalt have none assurance of thy life. In the morning thou shalt say, Would God it were even; and at even thou shalt say, Would God it were morning; for the fear of thy heart wherewith thou shalt fear, and the sight of thine eyes which thou shalt see."f

* Deut. xxviii. 59. t Deut. xxviii. 64-67

These prophecies were spoken above fifteen hundred years before the final destruction of Jerusalem. We know the facts, that Judea was desolated by the Roman army, and its chief city laid waste, about 40 years after the death of Christ, and that the people were scattered throughout all the countries of the known world; moreover, that they have continued in this state, mixed with, yet separated from every other people, during the long space of 1800 years.

A celebrated divine has observed, that nothing can be more extraordinary than the existence of this people in their dispersion to this time. The fact is visible to all the world, that when all the great nations of the earth, that have existed in it throughout the lapse of time—the Assyrian, the Chaldean, the Macedonian, the Greek and Roman nations—are obliterated, this singular people remain, cherishing their ancient religion, and their own peculiar customs, and retaining their distinct character during so many revolving ages. What proof can be wanting that this wonderful prodigy is nothing less than the ordinance of God ?

The prophecy that I have quoted, uttered so many hundred years before it was in any respect fulfilled, may be fairly taken as applicable to all and each of the terrible judgments that fell upon this nation, for their repeated rebellions against the God of their fathers, by worshipping strange gods, and for their continued iniquities. It may refer to the miseries endured by the ten tribes of Israel, in the siege of Samaria; to their being carried away captive by the Assyrians; and to their utter desolation. It may also be presumed to have predicted the destruction of Jerusalem by Nebuchadnezzar, and the captivity in Babylon of the two chosen tribes of Judah and Benjamin. But it has been well observed, that the prophecy can never be justly said to have had its completion, without taking in the last invasion of Judea by the Romans, and the entire destruction that followed; this alone can have perfectly fulfilled the impressive prophecy just now quoted, as well as that which is found in the following chapter, to which I must refer the reader, only quoting the concluding threatenings if they shall refuse to keep the covenant, and to obey the commandments that are written in the book of the law. " So that the generation of your children that shall rise up after Fs

 

you, and the stranger that shall come from a far land shall say, when they see the plagues of that land, and the sicknesses which the Lord hath laid upon it, and that the whole land thereof is brimstone, and salt, and burning, that it is not sown nor beareth, nor any grass groweth therein, like the overthrow of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah and Zeboim, which the Lord overthrew in his anger and his wrath; even all the nations shall say, Wherefore hath the Lord done thus unto this land? What meaneth the heat of this great anger ? Then men shall say, because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers, which he made with them when he brought them forth out of the land of Egypt. For they went and served other gods, and worshipped them, gods whom they knew not, and whom he had not given unto them. And the .ariger of the Lord was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book. And the Lord rooted them out of the land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day."*

• Deut. xxix. 22-28.

In a note on the 22d verse, Bishop Patrick observes, ' The wickedness of the Jews was the more provoking, because they had such an example as the Lake of Sodom continually before their eyes, and yet persevered in their evil ways, till they brought the like judgments upon all Judea. This was more exactly fulfilled in the last destruction of the Jews by the Romans, than in their first by the Babylonians; for the whole land was laid waste, and deserted by its inhabitants, and made a den of thieves, being brought to desolation by repeated returns of war; more especially in the time of Adrian, when Julius Severus made such a devastation, for the whole country was turned, in a manner, into a wilderness.'*

As some of the Prophets prophesied from one to two hundred years previous to the Babylonian captivity, and others during the accomplishment of that remarkable and interesting event, it is not to be wondered at that their prophecies, foretelling the evils that were to fall on their nation for their sins, were chiefly applicable to the impending ruin; and that they belong to

• See Mant's Bible.

the overthrow and captivity that awaited both Israel and Judah, from the Assyrians and the Babylonians. But there appears no motive why they should be thus limited, unless where some reason occurs that may make it necessary to confine them to these subjects.

In the 24th chapter of Isaiah, are threatened terrible, and what are called in the contents of the chapter, " doleful judgments of God upon the land;" upon which Bishop Lowth observes, ' The subject of this chapter, some refer to the desolation caused by the invasion of Shalmanazer; others by that of Nebuchadnezzar; and others to the destruction of the city and nation by the Romans. Perhaps it may have a view to all of the three great desolations of the country. The Prophet chiefly employs general images; such as set forth the greatness and universality of the ruin to be brought on, involving all orders and degrees of men, changing entirely the face of things, and destroying the whole polity, both religious and civil.'*

The accordance of the Old Testament with what we learn from the New, respecting the

• Note on Isaiah xxiv. 1.—Mant.

present state of the Jews, and their final acceptance, will, perhaps, be best shown by considering a few of those passages, of which the Prophets are full, relative to the promises that God will not cast away his people, but that a remnant shall be left, and that they shall finally return triumphantly under the dominion of the Lord their God.

An early promise of their restoration is found in the chapter following that which I have lately quoted as containing curses, and enumerating the evils that would befal them, if they continued rebellious and disobedient. " And it shall come to pass, when all these things are come upon thee, the blessing and the curse which I have sot before thee, and thou shalt call them to mind among all nations, whither the Lord thy God hath driven thee; and shalt return unto the Lord thy God, and shalt obey his voice according to all that I commanded thee this day, thou and thy children, with all thy heart and with all thy soul, that then the Lord thy God will turn thy captivity, and will have compassion upon thee, and will return and gather thee from all the nations whither the Lord thy God hath scattered thee. If any of thine be driven out unto the utmost parts of heaven, from thence will the Lord thy God gather thee, and from thence will he fetch thee; and the Lord thy God will bring thee into the land which thy fathers possessed, and thou shalt possess it^ and he will do thee good, and multiply thee above thy fathers."*

On these verses Dr. Hales observes, ' that the restoration of the Jews to their own country is plainly predicted at the destined end of their captivity; but it should seem that their conversion to Christ is to be the preliminary condition of their acceptance with God.' This is plainly seen in both the Old Testament and the New; and on this ground the prophecies of the Jewish Prophets, which speak of the final restoration of their nation, are so intermixed with the conversion of the Gentiles, that they cannot be separated.

In the 11th chapter of Isaiah is a remarkable prophecy of the recovery of the remnant of God's people joined with the appearance of the Messiah and the conversion of the Gentiles: " And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse,

• Deut. xxx. 1—5. See the whole note in Mant.

which shall stand for an ensign of the people ; to it shall the Gentiles seek; and his rest shall be glorious. And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea; and he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth."*

This prophecy cannot be interpreted respecting the return of the Jews from Babylon, because so many places are mentioned distant from each other; because supposing the prophecy to be applicable to the ten tribes, and supposing them, after the destruction of the Assyrian empire, to have been scattered throughout the nations of the earth, yet they have never been recalled, and therefore the prophecy must look forward to a future time, even to the general restoration of the Israelitish nation. Fi

• Isaiah xi. 10—12.

nally, the prophecy can intend nothing less than the conversion of the Jews to Christ, because the root of Jesse, evidently meaning the Messiah, is represented as present, and the Gentiles seeking to him, which last was not the case whilst he was on earth, the gospel not having been preached to the Gentiles until after his death.

If we take a retrospective view of this subject, every impartial enquirer must allow, that a very powerful argument for the truth of the gospel history arises from it. That the Jews are in a State of general dispersion is an undeniable fact, and no prophecy was ever more truly fulfilled than that which I have quoted from the book of Deuteronomy : " Even all the nations shall say, Wherefore has the Lord done this unto this land ? What meaneth the heat of this great anger ? Then men shall say, Because they have forsaken the covenant of the Lord God of their fathers,"* &c.

The Prophet Isaiah is justly called the evangelical Prophet, because he treats almost minutely of the future kingdom of the Messiah. In the 53d chapter of his prophecy, which has

• Deut. xxix.

been already noticed, in the meeting between Philip and the Eunuch, the sufferings of Christ, his death, and burial are distinctly foretold. That Jesus of Nazareth lived in the time of Tiberius Csesar and Caligula, emperors of Rome, and that he assumed the character of the Messiah, cannot be denied; that he suffered an ignominious death under Pontius Pilate, the Roman governor, is equally well attested ; and that, within forty years after his death, Jerusalem was destroyed, and the nation of the Jews dispersed, is altogether undeniable. Without going into other concurring evidences for the truth of Christianity, these connected proofs bear a striking testimony to its authenticity ; and it is incumbent on unbelievers to shew, if they sincerely desire to know the truth, how these remarkable appearances exist, of prophecies uttered more than two thousand years ago, fulfilled and fulfilling by extraordinary facts unfolding themselves during successive ages; the prophecies, and their completion, agreeing, supporting, and proving one another.

The passage which I have quoted, from the Prophet Isaiah, plainly shews that the restoration of the Jews is closely connected with the conversion of the Gentiles; I shall therefore forbear at present to produce further prophecies from the rest of the Prophets' predictions of the first-mentioned event; and shall postpone their production till we come to the consideration of, what the Apostles call, " The mystery of Christ, which, in other ages, was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy Apostles and Prophets by the Spirit; that the Gentiles should be fellow heirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the Gospel."*

I proceed, therefore, to examine the prophecies of Jesus himself, foretelling the destruction of Jerusalem, and the ruin that was to overtake the land and its inhabitants.

• Ephes. iii. 3-6.

CHAPTER V.

PROPHECIES OF JESUS FORETELLING THE
DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.
 

It must be evident to all that Jesus, in the course of his ministry, laboured to correct the pernicious doctrines of the Scribes and Pharisees, which had been corrupted by their traditions. When they asked him, " Why do thy disciples transgress the traditions of the elders, for they wash not their hands when they eat bread ? He answered and said unto them, Why do you also transgress the commandment of God by your tradition ? For God commanded, saying, Honour thy father and mother, and he that curseth father or mother, let him die the death. But ye say, Whosoever shall say to his father or his mother, It is a gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me," meaning, 1 have dedicated to sacred purposes the sum that would have been applied to the support of my parents, " and honour not his father and mother," that is, support them not, " he shall be free. Thus," says our Saviour, " have ye made the commandment of God of none effect by your tradition."*

This conversation elicited from our Lord, in few words, a developement of the pure principle of morality. " Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man, but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man."f

Our Lord's answer, when he was told that the Pharisees were offended at this saying, is worthy of particular observation, and seems to show that he thought them incorrigible, and to be given up to their own blindness : " He answered and said, Every plant which my heavenly Father hath not planted shall be rooted up. Let them alone ; they be blind leaders of the blind; and if the blind lead the blind, both shall fall into the ditch."J

In the following chapter he warns his disciples to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees,

» Matt. xv. 2—6.
f Matt. xv. 11. J Matt. xv. 13, 14.
 

and Sadducees, which, as they afterwards understood, was meant as a caution against their doctrine.* Some of our Lord's parables are also directly pointed against these perverters of the law ; and their extirpation is threatened in language which they fully understood. In the parable of the vineyard let out to husbandmen is pourtrayed, in terms not to be mistaken, the fate of the Jewish nation: and how impressive is the whole parable ? " Last of all, he sent unto them his son, saying, they will reverence my son. But when the husbandmen saw the son, they said among themselves, This is the heir, come let us kill him, and let us seize on his inheritance ; and they caught him, and cast him out of the vineyard, and slew him. When the Lord, therefore, of the vineyard cometh, what will he do unto these husbandmen ? They say unto him, he will miserably destroy these wicked men, and will let out his vineyard to other husbandmen, which shall render him their fruits in their seasons. Jesus saith unto them, did ye never read in the scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become

» Matt. xvi. 6 and 11.

the head of the corner: this is the Lord's doing and it is marvellous in our eyes. Therefore say I unto you, The kingdom of God shall be taken from you, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof." The Evangelist observes, " when the Chief Priests and Pharisees had heard his parables, they perceived that he spake of them. But when they sought to lay hands on him, they feared the multitude, because they took him for a prophet."* Here our Saviour evidently predicts his own death, as preceding the vengeance that was to fall upon the wicked husbandmen, who would cast him out of the vineyard and slay him.

In the 23d chapter of St. Matthew, Jesus again cautions his disciples, and, with them, the multitude, against the doctrine and the evil examples of the Scribes and Pharisees; and points out, in many particulars, the errors of which they were guilty, and the manner in which they made void the law of God by their traditions. The woes denounced were forcible and alarming, but such as were called for by their hypocritical pretences to religion, whilst

• Matt. xxi. 37-46.

they omitted the weighty matters of the law, judgment, mercy, and faith. I cannot deny myself the pleasure of transcribing the comment of Archbishop Newcome upon this part of the chapter. He says, ' In this last address of our Lord to the Scribes and Pharisees, every one must be struck with the severity of his reproofs. His reproofs were stern, but just; indignant, but dictated by virtuous indignation ; earnest and vehement, but the grave language of insulted majesty; of perfect goodness, detesting vice; and of perfect knowledge, penetrating all its disguises and aggravations.'*

At the 34th verse, our Saviour foretels the fate of those men whom he should send to preach unto them. Behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill, and crucify;,and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel, unto the blood of Zacharias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation." Then comes our Lord's tender and beautiful apostrophe over the fate of Jerusalem : " O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chicken under her wings, and ye would not. Behold, your house is left unto you desolate."*

* Note on Matt, xxiii. ].—Mant.

Doubtless this last sentence contains both a judgment and a prophecy, and means that the time of mercy was past, and that their city and temple would be destroyed. It is added, " For 1 say unto you, Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."t

This prophecy is supposed, by some commentators, to have been fulfilled when Christ came in the clouds of heaven to execute judgment on the unbelieving Jews by the destruction of their city and country; but it appears to me that it may, with more probability, be referred to their final restoration, which we know, from the whole tenor of scripture, we are to expect, and when Christ will come, not to execute vengeance, but to bring again the sheep that were lost, when, with joyful and exulting hearts, they may cry out, " blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord."

* Matt, xxiii. 34— °" t Matt, xxiii. 39.

The same may be said of that remarkable prophecy in the Prophet Zechariah: " I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplication, and they shall look on me whom they have pierced."* This passage is quoted by St. John in his gospel, who, speaking of Christ's crucifixion, says, " these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. And again another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced."f Archbishop Seeker says, ' By the wonderful preservation of this one and only people, distinct from all others for so many ages, Providence has left room for the season here foretold; by looking on him whom they have pierced, and mourning, they shall rise again, and be as life from the dead.':): St.

* Zech. xii. 10. t John xix. 37.

1 Note on Zech. xii. 10, Mant.

G

John, also, repeats the expression in the Revelation : " Behold, he cometh with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they, also, that pierced him ; and all kindred of the earth shall wail because of him."*

This supplies a strong additional argument, for the passage under consideration having respect to the second coming of the Messiah, when " all Israel shall be saved," because the learned are agreed that the Revelation could not have been written sooner than twenty years after the destruction of Jerusalem. In the chapter we have been considering the, Jew's are sentenced to desolation, and in the 24th chapter, Christ describes particularly the manner in which this judgment would fall upon them.

The natural way in which the subject is introduced is worthy of notice. " Jesus went out, and departed from the temple, and his disciples came to him for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? Verily I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another that shall not be thrown down.

And as he sat upon the Mount of Olives, his disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world ?"* For Christ's answer to his disciples, and his representation of the miseries that would fall upon his nation, I must refer the reader to the remainder of the chapter; nor shall I make any remark upon it, excepting to observe, that the sufferings of its inhabitants during the siege of Jerusalem surpassed all description, and were, indeed, " such as were not from the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be."f

After having cast out them that sold sheep and oxen, and the money changers, from the temple, saying, " Make not my Father's house a house of merchandise," the Jews said unto Jesus, " What sign showest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things ? Jesus answered and said unto them, Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up. Then said the Jews, Forty and six years was this temple in building, and wilt thou rear it up in three days?"*

* Matt. xxiv. 1—3. t Matt. xxiv. 21.

G2

This saying was at the time obscure not only to the Jews, but, probably, also to the disciples. The Evangelist John, therefore, explains it by saying that " He (our Lord) spake of the temple of his body." The Evangelist adds, " When, therefore, he was risen from the dead, his disciples remembered that he had said this unto them, and they believed the scripture, and the word which Jesus had

said."t

It was this speaking of the destruction of the temple of his body by Jesus to the Jews publicly which probably gave rise to a general prejudice against him, for his prediction of the utter destruction of the Jews' temple was given privately to his disciples; and it was also, probably, the ground of the evidence which the two witnesses gave at his trial, who deposed, " this fellow said, I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to build it in three days;" as, also, of the taunt of those who passed

• Johnii. 18—20. t John ii. 21,22.

by during his crucifixion, " who reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, Thou that destroy est the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Likewise, also, the chief priests mocking him, with the scribes and elders, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save; if he be the king of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him, for he said, I am the Son of God."*

It is obvious, therefore, that the whole nation had no expectation, in the appearance of their Messiah, of anything less than a triumphant conqueror, who would deliver them from their subjection to the Romans, and that when they saw him assuming a different character—meek and lowly of heart, and teaching them humility; paying tribute himself, and exhorting them to pay tribute to Caesar; condemning their vain pretences to religion, and instructing them in the true principles of religion and

• Matt, xxvii. 39—43.

morality—their hopes were blasted, their expectations were disappointed, and they could cry out, with one voice, " Away with him, away with him, crucify him ;"* and under this savage cry was transacted the doleful tragedy that secured the salvation of the world.

* John xix. 15.

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