« السابقةمتابعة »
to come to pass, they might then take comfort and courage; for that their redemption, that is, their deliverance from their most rancorous and inveterate enemies, drew nigh, and that, as they could judge, by the natural progress of vegetation, when summer was nigh at hand, so likewise, when they should see thiese things come to pass, they might be certain, that the establishment of the new covenant of the kingdom of God amongst men, would very soon commence, in the signal destruction of its first great opposers, and the consequent entire abolition, of the old covenant of Moses.
But there remains unnoticed another cir: cumstance of this prophecy, which could not be written after the event, because it is at this day fulfilling, and as surely as it is the dictates of divine truth, will continue to be so for some time longer.
6 Jerusalem," says the prophet,
66 shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be “ fulfilled.” The meaning of this last ex. pression no Jew can be at a loss to understand; he knows that it always signifies, till the measure of their iniquities is full, according to the ordinary course of God's providential forbearance with mankind. Thus the
tines of the Canaanites were not fulfilled till 400 years after God had promised Abraham, that he would give their land to be an inheritance to his posterity ; the times of the Jews themselves were fulfilled 40 years after their crucifixion of Jesus Christ: and, according to the prophecies of the Gospel, the times of the Gentiles will be fulfilled 1260 years after the perfect establishment of the fabulous and blasphemous superstition, ordained by the Emperor' Constantine, in those European states, 'which compose what once was the body of the Roman Empire. That Jerusalem hath hitherto continued in the state here described for full seventeen centuries, every Jew can testify, who must so far bear testimony, even against his will, to the truth of this prediction; and there is not the least apparent probability, that its condition will be altered, till the world shall see that grand revolution in human affairs take place, at the period denominated, in all the Christian scriptures, the coming of Jesus Christ, and the establishment of the kingdom of God upon the earth.
The parable of the vineyard and husbandmen also, in the twentieth chapter, is evidently prophetic of the same event, viz: that
in return for their fathers' cruel treatment of the old prophets, and for that death which he knew awaited himself at their hands, God would extirpate their nation from their native land, and give it up to be possessed by other people ; teaching them that he was the object of the prophecy of David, contained in the 118th Psalm, and, though rejected by them, who ought to have been the willing builders, would be made the head corner stone of that new religious edifice, which the Almighty had decreed, should be erected amongst men; and adding, according to the constant tenor of his prophecies on the same subject, whosoever shall fall on that stone “ shall be broken, and on whomsoever it shall
fall, it will grind him to powder," that is, will utterly destroy him.
The last prophecy of our blessed Saviour, recorded in the Gospel according to Luke, being, together with the history of its wonderful accomplishment, within ten days after the prediction, professedly written long after the event, can, of itself, afford no satisfactory evidence to us of his veracity, or divine authority, as a prophet; but to his disciples, who were the objects of it, it could not fail to yield the fullest conviction of the truth and hea.
venly origin of that new religion, they were commanded to preach to the world, at the same time, that it peculiarly qualified them for their commission ; I mean the promise of their being baptised, according to the decla, ration of God, by his prophet the Baptist, with the holy inspiration and with fire; for so Luke himself explains it, in the first chap. ter of the Acts, where the transactions of Jesus, from his resurrection to his ascension, are related more particularly and at large. “Be“hold,” says he, c. xxiv. v. 49, “I send the “ promise of my
upon you : but tarry -"ye in Jerusalem, until ye be endued with
power from on high.”.
The candid reader is intreated to observe, that, in the conversations between our Lord and his disciples, previous to this prophetic promise of the effusion of the holy inspiration, wherein Luke informs us he pointed out to them the completion of those predictions in the Old Testament, which related
personally to himself and to the preaching the New Covenant of the Gospel, it is particularly insisted on, that its promulgation was destined to begin at Jerusalem ; that, on the day of his resurrection, he manifested himself to Peter, at Jerusalem, and to the two disciples, as they went to Emmaus; and that, on the subsequent evening, that is, according to the Jewishcomputation of time, on the beginning of the second day of the week, he appeared to all the eleven apostles, and the hundred other disciples who accompanied them, in the city of Jeru. salem ; that he continued to instruct and converse with them, in the same city and its neighbourhood, for forty days after his resurrection, and, immediately before his miraculous ascension, commanded them to tarry in the city of Jerusalem till they received the promised gift of supernatural inspiration ; and that they accordingly did so, and continually frequented the temple, to offer their praises and thanksgivings to Almighty God, for all the wonders of which they had been witnesses. The apostles, therefore, never departed from Jerusalem, from the resurrection to the day of Pentecost.