« PreviousContinue »
standing monument of the truth of our SAVIOUR 's pre. dietions ; and there is no doubt but they will continue in the same state, nor ever recover their native country, until the times of the Gențiles be fulfilled. The times of ibe Gentiles will be fulfilled, when all Gentile nations are either converted to Christianity, or condemned to destruction for rejecting it. Then, will the Jews, acknowledge their Messiah, and again be restored to their land; and so all Israel shall be saved, and become with the: Gentiles, the people of God. There are a number of predictions, scattered through the prophetic writiogs, which seem clearly to point out a future restoration of the Jews, but as these do not immediately concern us as Christians; we will at present pass them by. '.
The predictions in the latter part of this section related first to the destruction of Jerusalm, and as far as they alluded to that they were figurative; but the destruction of Jerusalem was a type of the end of the world, therefore these prophecies may be understood in their literal sense, ag referring to the great and terrible day of the LORD, the day of Judgments. Our Lord's predictions agreed with those of the ancient prophets, but were more particular and circumstantial. : 3011 Qur Lord foretold, that these things should happen immediately after the tribulations which he predicted would fall on the Jews; from which it is supposed that he meant to include all the tribulations they should endure till the time of their restoration; and by his saying they should be fulfilled before tbat getanation passed away, is understood, not only that some of the race of men who were then aliye would see the destruction of Jerusalem, but that the end of the world should bappen before the generation or nation of the Jews was extinct. The Elect is a common term in scripture for Chris
tians; therefore we may understand, that the days of extraordinary tribulation were through God's provi. dence, shortened, for the sake of the Christian Jews of those times; and also for the sake of such as God by his omniscience knew would embrace Christianity. Had that generation of Jews, who were involved in the destruction of Jerusalem, been totally cut off, many who have since been sincere followers of their MessLAH, and thus entitled to everlasting happiness in his kingdom, would never have been born *.
In the destruction of Jerusalem we have a nemorable: and awful instance of God's vengeance against a wicked nation. The SUPREME BEING, by inflicting these heavy punishments on his chosen people, has shewn that a he is not partial in his dealings. This consideration ought to be a warning to Christians, especially at a time when God's judgments are evidently abroad in the world. If we compare the present state of our own naa tion with that of the Jews, we may perceive resem. blance enough to fill us with apprehension. The Gos. pel, in which all the goodness and mercy of God through CHRIST are displayed-in which the aid and comfort of the Holy Spirit are offered to all who will diligently seek them in which all the hopes and fears of eternity are exhibited, to guard us against the temptations of șin, is not only rejected by many, but treated with a ma. licious scorn, and all our hopes and fears in CHREST represented as delusions and impositions upon the weak. ness of men. The vices and immoralities for which our
* For a more circumstantial account of the events by which these prophecies of our Lord were fulfilled,, I must refer my readers to the works from which I have extracted, viz. Bishop Newcome's Observa.. tions on our Lord's Conduct; chap. iii. Bishop Newton's Disserta. tions on the Prophecies, Vol. ij. Josephus's Antiquities of the Jew.so. TQ
LORD so severely reproved the Jews, are likewise noto. riously practised among us. The beginning of sorrorus, wars, rumours of wars, famines, earthquakes, and pestilences, sent to punish some and call others to repentance, are abroad in the world, but by too many regarded with a careless eye, or imputed to mere natural causes. But let us from these terrors of the LORD leam righteousness. Let us do our part towards completing the national reformation, which is so happily begun among us. Let us glory in our Christian profession, and implore our merciful God, for the sake of his faithful people, to save this guilty land ; and grant those who slight their blessed Redeemer, a farther time for repentance and amendment !
Let us now see what has been revealed to us concerning the fate of good and bad people in the world to come.
VISIONS WHICH ARE UNDERSTOOD TO BE PREDICTIVE
OF THE END OF THE WORLD, AND THB TUTURE STATE OF GOOD AND BAD PEOPLS.
From the Revelation of St. John.
I. I saw a mighty angel come down from heaven, clothed with a cloud, and a rainbow was upon his head, and his face was as it were the sun, and his feet as pillars, of fire.
And he had in his hand a little book open, and he set his right foot upon the sea, and his left foot upon the earth; and cried with a loud voice, as when a lion roar. eth: and he lifted up his hand to heaven, And sware by him that liveth for ever and ever, who
created heaven, and the earth, and the sea, and the things that are therein, that there should be time no longer.
But that the mystery of God should be finished, as he hath declared to his servants the prophets.
II. I saw four angels standing on the four corners of the earth, holding the four winds of the earth, that the wind should not blow on the earth, nor on the sea, nor on any tree.
And I saw another angel ascending from the east, having the seal of the living God: and he cried with a loud voice to the four angels, to whom it was given to hurt the earth and the sea.
Saying, Hurt not the earth, neither the sea, nor the trees, till we have sealed the servants of our God in their foreheads.
III. And I saw another angel fly in the midst of hea. ven, having the everlasting Gospel to preach unto them that dwell on the earth, and to every nation, and kindred, and tongue, and people.
Saying with a loud voice, Fear God and give glory to him, for the hour of his judgment is come: and worship him that made heaven and earth, and the sea, and the fountains of waters.
IV. And I heard a voice from heaven saying unto me, Write, blessed are the dead which die in the LORD from henceforth: yea, saith the Spirit, Blessed are they, for they rest from their labours, and their works do follow them.
V. And I beheld-and lo there was a great earth. quake, and the sun became black as sackcloth of hair, and the moon became as blood'; and the stars of heaven, fell unto the earth, even as a fig tree casteth her untimely figs, when she is shaken of a mighty wind,
And the heavens departed as a scroll when it is rolled together, and every mountain and island were moved out of their place
And the kings of the earth, and the great men, and the rich men, and the chief captains, and the mighty men, and every bondman, and every freeman, hid themselves in the dens and in the rocks of the mountains :
And said to the mountains and rocks, Fall on us, and hide us from the face of him that sicteth on the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb:
For the great day of his wrath is come, and who shall be able to stand.
VI. I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse: and he that sat on him was called faithful and true, and in righteousness doth he judge and make war.
His eyes were as a fame of fire, and on his head were many crowns, and he had a name written that no man knew but he himself. And he was clothed in a vesture dipt in blood : and
is called the WORD OF GOD. And the armies which were in heaven followed him upon white horses, clothed in fine linen white and clean.
And oật of his mouth goeth a sharp sword, that with it he should smite the nations : and he shall rule them with a rod of iron : and he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness and wrath of Almighty God.
And he hath on his vesture and on his thigh a name written, KING OF KINGS, AND LORD OF LORDS.
VII. I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away, and there was found ng place for them.
And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God, and the books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the book of life : and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. . And the sea gave up the dead which were in it, and