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kingdom of God is within you. To correct their mistaken no, tions, he told them, that Messiah's kingdom does not consist in any pompous outward form of government, to be erected in this or that particular country, with the terror of arms and the confusion of war; but that it consists in the subjection of mens wills, and in the conformity of their minds to the laws of God, to be effected by a new dispensation of religion, which was already bee gun. Accordingly they were not to seek for it in this or that place, saying, Lo here, or lo there ; for the kingdom of God, the new dispensation of religion productive of the dominion of righą teousness in mens minds was already begun among them, being preached by Christ and his apostles, and confirmed by innumerable miracles.
Having thus spoken to the Pharisees, he addressed his disci. ples, and in the hearing of the Pharisees prophesied concerning the destruction of the Jewish state, whose constitution, both re. ligious and civil, was the chief obstacle to the erection of his kingdom ; for the attachment which the Jews had to their constitution, was the spring of all their opposition to Christianity, and of their cruelty to its abettors. A prediction of this nature, delivered as the continuation of his answer to the Pharisees, who desired to know when Messiah's kingdom should come, plainly signified that it would first become conspicuous in the destruction of the Jewish commonwealth. But because love and compassion were eminent parts of the Lord's character, he spake of that dreadful catastrophe in such a manner as might be most profitable to his hearers. He told them first of all, that they and the whole nation should be in the greatest distress before the destruction of their constitution, and the full establishment of Messiah's kingdom; and that they should passionately wish for Messiah's personal presence to comfort them under their afflictions, but should not be favoured with it. Luke xvii. 22. And he said unto the disciples, The days will come, when ye shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and ye shall not see it. Next he cautioned them against the deceivers, which in that time of uni, versal distress would arise, pretending to be Messiah, and promising to deliver the people from the powers which oppressed them. He told them that these deceivers would luik a while in private, till by the diligence of their emissaries spreading abroad their fame, and exhorting the people to go out to them, they had gathered a force sufficient to support them. In such a case, said be, do not go forth to them, nor follow them, for by this mark you shall know them to be deceivers. 23. And they shall say to
22:09, is by most critics thought to be equivalent to o vpliv. See Xenoph. lib. 1. Cyropæd. p. 232. where things which they had along with them in the camp, are said to be sles aulw. See also Beza upon this passage.
you, See here, or see there; go not after them, nor follow them. The reason is, my coming to deliver you shall be sudden, and unexpected, and with great power like lightning; for I will come in my own strength, and no opposition whatsoever shall be able to stand in my way. I will overthrow my enemies every where with swift destruction, and establish my religion and government in a great part of the world as suddenly as lightning flies through the sky. Only before these chings, I am to suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. Luke xvii. 24. For as the lightning that lightneth out of the one part under heaven, shineth unto the other part under heaven: so shall also the Son of man be in his day. 25. But first must he suffer many things, and be rejected of this generation. In the next place, he foretold the stupidity and unconcernedness of the generation he was to destroy, comparing it to that of the old world about the time of the flood, and to that of the Sodomites before their city was destroyed by
shall it be also in the days of the Son of man. 27. They did eat, they drank, they married wives, they were given in marriage, un. til the day that Noe entered into the ark; and the flood came and destroyed them all. The people of the old world, wholly unaf. fected with the admonitions which Noah gave them while building the ark, and with the threatenings which he then denounced, went on as usual, following their ordinary occupations, and pursuing their pleasures, both lawful and unlawful, in great carnal security. And so, ere they were aware, the flood came and de
went their pleasso, ere the leavise also, they sold
they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold, they planted, they builded: 29. But the same day that Lot went out of Sodom, it rained fire and brimstone from heaven, and destroyed them all: 30. Even thus shall it be in the day when the Son of man is ren vealed. The Jewish people shall be sunk in the same carnal security, and shall suffer the like exemplary punishment, at the time when God reveals to the world, the person who was fore, told by Daniel under the denomination of the Son of man. 31. In that day, (the day when the Son of man is revealed, as it is
* Ver. 26, Tbe days of Noe, &c.] The days of Noe, in this passage, signify the days in which he preached to the old world the righteousness which they ought to have practised, and denounced the judgments of God to tall on them if they did not repent of their wickedness. By parity of Teason, the days of the Son of man signify the days in which Christ and his apostles preached to the Jewish nation, whose behaviour here is said to have been the same with that of the old world and of the Sodomites, under the preaching of Noah and Lot; they went on secure, and wholly intent upon their worldly affairs, without being in the least moved by the
gave them. For which cause these judgments fell on them, and destroyed,
expressed ver. 30.) * he which shall be upon the house-top, and his stuff in the house, let him not come down to take it away; and ke that is in the field, let him likewise not return back, namely to his house. And lest they should not have been sufficiently apes prehensive of their danger, he put them in mind of Lot's wife; insinuating that the calamities from which they were to flee, were as eminent as that from which she fled, and that to linger after they observed the signs thereof, would be as dangerous in their case as in hers. 32. + Remember Lot's wife. The example of
* Ver. 38. He cubich shall be on the house-top.} The Jewish houses were flat-roofed, and commoniy had iwo stairs, oue within, and the other with out the house, by which they went up to the roof; see Antiq. Disc. iv. Christ's meaning therefore was, that as soon as they observed the first signs of the impending ruin about to fall, they were to fly for their lives, withe out staying a moment to save their substance ; he who was on the house. top, was not to go down into his house to take away his stuff, but was to, go off by the outer passage, as the speediest way of escaping.
+ Ver. 32. Remember Lot's wife.) This unfortunate woman had been informed by angels of the destruction of Sodom, and promised deliverance : but was expressly forbidden to look back on any account, in the time of her flight, because it was proper they should fee speedily, in the faith of the Divine declaration, and perfectly contented, or at least endeavouring to be so, that they had escaped with their lives. Nevertheless, she presumed to entertain doubts concerning the struction of her wicked ac quaintance, perhaps because she did not fully believe the angel's message or because she thought that God might repent himself of the evil he had threatened. Moreover, being inwardly sorry for the loss of her relations and goods, and at the same time not sufficiently valuing the kindness of God, who had sent his angels to preserve her, she lingered behind her huse band, discontented and vexed, allowing him and his two daughters to ens ter into Zoar before her, (Gen. xix 26.) and thereby laying a temptation in Lot's way to look back upon her, on account of the danger she was ex. posing herself to. But no sooner had the good man, with his believing chiidren, entered the place of their refuge, than God poured out the fille ness of his wrath upon the offending cities. The thunder, the shricking of the inhabitants, the crashing of the houses falling, were heard at a distance. Lot's wife, not yet in Zoar, was at length convinced that all wae lost, and being exceedingly displeased, she despised the gift of her life; for in contradiction to the angel's command, she turned about and looked at the dreadful devastation, probably also bewailed her perishing kindred and wealth, ver. 14. But her infidelity, her disobedience, her ingratitude, and her love of the world, received a just though severe rebuke. In an instant she was turned into a pillar of salt, being burnt up by the flames, out of whose reach she would not fly, and so was made a perpetual monument of God's displeasure to all posterity. Her looking back, though in itself a thing indifferent, yet as it was done contrary to the Divine prohi. bition, and expressed such a complication of evil dispositions, was so far from being a sinall sin, that it fully deserved the punishinent inflicted on is. And this punishment was the more necessary, as it shewed all the inhabitants of Canaan, that the deliverance of Lor and his family from the vengeance of Sodom, was wrought in honour of their righteousness; a signal instance of which they gave on this occasion, in their leaving So. dom, together with their nearest relations, and all their substance, at God's command. Moreover, thi manifestation that was now made of their faith
Lot's wife was very fitly produced by our Lord as a warning to his disciples, and to all his hearers. For if any of them, through an immoderate love of the world, should linger attempting to save their goods, after they were admonished from heaven of their danger, by the signs which prognosticated the destruction of Jerusalem ; or if, through want of faith, any of them fancied that. the calamities predicted to fall on the nation, would not be eie ther so great or sudden as he had declared, and did not use the precaution of a speedy flight to save their lives, such might see in Lot's wife an example both of their sin and of their punishment. 33. Whosoever shall seek to save his life, shall lose it; and whoseever shall lose his life, shall preserve it. As, in the whole of his discourse, our Lord is speaking of the temporal calamities that were to befal the Jewish nation, his words in this 33d verse must be interpreted accordingly. Whosoever, in order to save his life, shall fee into the city, because it is strongly fortified and garrisoned, shall meet with the destruction which he is flying from; whereas, they shall be safe who fee into the open towns and defenceless villages, which in the opinion of many may be thought equal to a throwing away their lives. 34. I tell you, in that night there shall be two men in one bed; the one shall be taken, and the other shall be left. S5. Two women shall be grinding together; the one shall be taken, and the other left. 36. Two men shall be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left. The whole of this affair shall be directed in an especial manner by the providence of God, for the minds of your enemies shall be so over-ruled, that in cases where two persons are equally in their power, one of them shall be carried off, and the other left to make his escape. 37. And they answered and said unto him, Where, Lord, shall all these things happen? And he said unto them, Wherescever the body is, thither will the engles be gathered together. As eagles find out, and gather round a carcase, so wherever wicked men are, the judgments of God will pursue them; and particularly, in whatever part of the land any number of the unbelieving Jews are, there will the Romans, the exécutioners of the Divine vengeance upon this nation, be gathered together to destroy them. The expression is proverbial, and will appear to have been beautifully applied, when it is remembered that the Romans bore in their standards the figure of an eagle ; and that a certain kind of eagle called triqx von Tigwv, mentioned by Aristotle, Hist. Animal. ix. 32. is found to feed on carcasses.
Luke and piety, was rendered still more conspicuous hy the judgment inflreed on the faulty member of the family, who was cut off for her impiety, The interposition therefore of Providence in behalf of Lot and his child dreri, was a proper contrast to the destruction of Sodom, and accompanied it with singular propriety, the one showing the great regard which God hath for good men, while the other testified his extreme displeasure with sinners.
Luke xviii. 1. * And he spake a parable unto them, to this end, i. e. to teach them that men ought always (martori, frequently) to pray, and not to faint, xao mein SxxcxEWY, and not to tire or fog. It sometimes happens, that after men have often prayed for any particular blessing, they desist, because God does not immediate jy grant them their petition. To shew them the evil of this, and 7 to recommend perseverance in prayer, our Lord spake the fol lowing parable. 2. Saying, There was in a city a judge, which feared not God, neither regarded man. This magistrate being governed by atheistical principles, had no inducement from religion to do justice ; at the same time, being very powerful, he did not regard what men said or thought of him ; wherefore, in all his decisions, he was influenced merely by passion or interest. 3. And there was a widow in that city, and she came unto him, saying, Avenge me of mine adversary. This widow having no friends to assist her, could neither defend herself from injuries, nor obtain satisfaction for them when committed; hence in an instance where she was greatly oppressed, she found herself obliged
• Ver. 1. And he spake a parable unto them, &c.) easys de xul nagubengo aulous. The particle de, plainly implies that this parable has a relation to the preceding discourse, and was delivered at the same time. The even. gelist says, it was designed to shew that men ought always to pray, and not to faint, that is, cught frequently to pray, for so the word tartde signifies, John xviii. 20. The figure is carried still higher in the epithet given to the morning, and evening sacrifices, which, because of their frequency, are called a continual burni-offering. And in allusion to this, men are directed to pray without ceasing, i Thess. v. 17. And Anna is said not to have departed from the temple, but to have served God with fastings and prayers night and day, Luke ji 37. i. e, she attended constantly in the temple at the stated hours of prayer ; for she came in while the parents of Jesus were presenting him to the Lord. It is plain, therefore, that the parable was spoken to recommend not continual praying in the strict sense of the words, but frequency, rarnestness, and pers verance in the duty; especially when the subject of our prayers is a matter of a public nature, tending evidently to the glory of God, and to the good estate of his church on earth ; and being delivered on this occasion, was designed to inspire the disciples with carnestness and perseverance in their prayers, particular. ly for the coming of the Son of nani, to destroy the Jewish constitution, notwithstanding God should long defer the accomplishment of their de sire. The coming of Christ to destroy the Jewish pation, is in this and other passages of scripture (Luke xxi. 28. Heb. x. 25. James v. 7. 1 Pet. iv. 7 ) spoken of as a thing exceedingly to be wished for by the disciple in those days. The reason was, the Jews in every country being their bitterest persecutors, were the chief opposers of the Christian religion.
To recommend perseverance in prayer.] Our Lord often, in the course of his ministry, recommended frequency, earnestness, and perseve. rance in piaver. not because the Divine Being is tired out with our importunity, but because it is both an expression and exercise of our firm belief and confidence in his goodness, without which it would not be fit for God to bestow his blessings upon us, nor wouki we be capable of receiving and using them. Thus in his sermon on the mount, Matt. vii. 7-5. 26. Luke xi. 8. $ 85. See the Paraph. on the latter of these passages, g 85.