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But the kingdom is one, under one supreme Head, in all ages and countries, however distant from the time and place where first it began; and every fignal enlargement of its borders, whether immediately, by the converfion of multitudes, or by consequence, from the overthrow of enemies, may be considered as having been either directly intended, or more remotely implied, in the prayer for this kingdom's propagation and furtherance. Several events of this fort, besides those above noticed, are foretold in the Gospels, and other books of the New Testament. But none is more frequently alluded to, none more minutely described, than the destruction of the city and temple of Jerusalem. The prophecies, therefore, respecting that period, and other points closely connected with it, I shall endeavour, with God's blefling, to state and illustrate in the ensuing lectures.
True it is, these prophecies, from the days of their accomplishment to the present time, have frequently been examined with care, and enforced with ability. But a subject, which affords such a direct and convincing proof of the truth and divinity of our holy religion, can scarcely be too often reviewed, or unseasonably urged.
Treading in a beaten track, exploring a region so often described and so well known, it was the preacher's wish, that the reports and observations should, nevertheless, be his own.
He surveyed therefore, as it were, the face of the country, he collected and confidered the historical facts, before he inquired, how others had applied them. Hence, if the account to be offered shall in some points differ from, and in others agree with, former writers; as such diversity will not proceed from a spirit of innovation, so neither will the coincidence be the result of blind deference to respectable authority. The testimony of conviction alone can be valuable. The remark therefore, which shall appear just, will not be given up, though it may
be proposed with more diffidence, when others have thought differently ; nor will observations always be retrenched, because they have occurred to others before, but rather be urged with greater boldness, as being supported by those, who have with skill and attention confidered the subject. '
! Ημεις κ μεντοι όσους συνετυχομεν ταυτα γνoντες εκεινω, 8κ εξα. λεφομεν εκ των ημετέρων, αλα πολυ ηδιου παραδοσομεν αυτα τους φιλοις, νομιζοντις αξιοπισοτεροι είναι, ότι κακανος κατι τανται και μια Eyrar, iTFixos av, Xen. de Re Equest,
In conducting this argument, a point which has often been proved, and which the Jews themselves, with whom at present we are chiefly concerned, do not deny, will be taken for granted; namely, that the books of the New Testament were written at the time generally supposed, and by the persons whose names they. bear. This being allowed, if the prophecies contained in them have been punctually fulfilled, the consequence is undeniable, That they are of heavenly original.
It was the observation of a young man in Tully, with regard to the great question of the soul's immortality, that whilst he read the treatise of Plato on the subject, he was convinced by his reasoning ; but when he laid down the book, and revolved the matter with himself, his afsent vanished. So numerous,
be presumed, or so perplexing were the difficulties, which the state of things then presented to his mind, that they effaced the impressions made by philosophy.
The case, in the present instance, is far otherwise. Read the arguments of those, who
* Tuscul. Quæft. L. I. c. xi.
have defended Christianity; the demonstration is clear, your conviction full. Step forth from your closet, and cast your eyes abroad, your
belief is confirmed. View the works of creation, they cry out, There is a GoD; survey the moral world, and the revolutions of kingdoms, they resound, There is a providence. Look
upon the people, that once were the Lord's ; see them continue, as it was foretold of them, though dispersed, yet not loft, though persecuted, yet not destroyed ; what do they but proclaim, by their infidelity now, as they shall one day, we trust, in their conversion acknowledge, “Great and marvelous are thy works, Lord God Almighty; just and true are thy ways, thou King of saints.”
To Him therefore, to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost," three persons in one adorable and undivided Godhead, be ascribed, by us and by all creatures, “ blessing and honour and glory and power"” now hence, forth and for evermore! Amen.
Rev. v. 12.
S E R M O N
M AT Ť. XXIV. 14.
This gospel of the kingdom Sall be preached in
all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.
T is needless to prove, that by the end
here mentioned we are to understand, not the final dissolution of the world, but the destruction of the temple, and the Jewish state. To this, the question of the apostles, in the beginning of the chapter, relates ; and to this confessedly belongs the whole of the context before, and several verses after, the words now read. The parallel paffage, in St. Mark, is, “ The gospel must first be published among all nations *;" where « first" can allude to nothing, but the subject in