Thomas Whittemore: Notes and Illustrations of the Parables (1832)

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Some recent authors have expressed much surprise, that Universalists of the present day should apply so many passages of the New Testament to the destruction of Jerusalem.


Notes and Illustrations of the Parables of the New Testament, Arranged According to the Time in Which They Were Written

By Thomas Whittemore
1832


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” It is a circumstance which confirms our application of the parable, that the Son of man sends forth his angels to destroy his enemies, for this language is invariably applied, in the New Testament, to the destruction of Jerusalem, whenever that event is described. “

“The reapers are the angels. What did Jesus intend by the angels? Familiar traditions have confined the application of this word almost exclusively to superhuman beings; but surely the attentive reader of the Bible need not be informed that the term angel is precisely synonymous with messenger, and that it is applied not only to mankind, but even to inanimate objects. Jesus always represented himself, when coming to destroy the Jewish state, as being attended with angels. ” For the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his angels; * * * verily I say unto you, there be some standing here which shall not taste of death till they see the Son of man coming in his kingdom.” Matt. xvi. 27, 28. Mark viii. 38 and ix. 1. Luke ix. 26, 27. Here the coining of Christ, with his angels, is confined to that generation. On another occasion Jesus said, ” they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven, with power and great glory : and he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet,” to which he immediately adds, ” this generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.” Matt. xxiv. 30, 31, 34. See also Matt. xxv. 31 and 2 Thess. i. 7. It is a circumstance which confirms our application of the parable, that the Son of man sends forth his angels to destroy his enemies, for this language is invariably applied, in the New Testament, to the destruction of Jerusalem, whenever that event is described.

In the parable before us the angels, or messengers, were to be the agents of destruction to the enemies of Christ; and by comparing this 13. These are also called the elect in Matt. 22, 24. And Ecclesiastical history informs us, that by a divine admonition the faithful Christians, retired from Judea before the rain of it by the Romans, and were preserved. See Matt. iii. 12. xxiv. 22. Luke xxi. 18, 36.