Matthew 24


Christ foretells the destruction of the temple, 1, 2.

His disciples inquire when and what shall be the sign of this

destruction, 3.

Our Lord answers, and enumerates them-false Christs, 5.

Wars, famines, pestilences, and earthquakes, 6-8.

Persecution of his followers, 9.

Apostasy from the truth, 10-13.

General spread of the Gospel, 14.

He foretells the investment of the city by the Romans, 15-18.

The calamities of those times, 19-22.

Warns them against seduction by false prophets, 23-26.

The suddenness of these calamities, 27, 28.

Total destruction of the Jewish polity, 29-31.

The whole illustrated by the parable of the fig-tree, 32, 33.

The certainty of the event, though the time is concealed, 34-36.

Careless state of the people, 37-41.

The necessity of watchfulness and fidelity, illustrated by the

parable of the two servants, one faithful, the other wicked,



This chapter contains a prediction of the utter destruction of

the city and temple of Jerusalem, and the subversion of the whole

political constitution of the Jews; and is one of the most

valuable portions of the new covenant Scriptures, with respect to

the evidence which it furnishes of the truth of Christianity.

Every thing which our Lord foretold should come on the temple,

city, and people of the Jews, has been fulfilled in the most

correct and astonishing manner; and witnessed by a writer who was

present during the whole, who was himself a Jew, and is

acknowledged to be an historian of indisputable veracity in all

those transactions which concern the destruction of Jerusalem.

Without having designed it, he has written a commentary on our

Lord's words, and shown how every tittle was punctually fulfilled,

though he knew nothing of the Scripture which contained this

remarkable prophecy. His account will be frequently referred to

in the course of these notes; as also the admirable work of Bishop

Newton on the prophecies.

Verse 1. And Jesus went out, and departed from, the temple]

Or, And Jesus, going out of the temple, was going away. This is

the arrangement of the words in several eminent manuscripts,

versions, and fathers; and is much clearer than that in the common

translation. The Jews say the temple was built of white and

green-spotted marble. See Lightfoot. Josephus says the stones

were white and strong; fifty feet long, twenty-four broad, and

sixteen thick. Antiq. b. 15. c. xi. See Mr 13:1.

Verse 2. See ye not all these things?] The common text, and

many manuscripts, have ουβλεπετε, Do ye not see, or consider?

But the negative particle is omitted by several excellent

manuscripts, by the Coptic, Sahidic, Armenian, Ethiopic, Slavonic,

Vulgate, and Itala versions, and by some of the primitive fathers,

who all read it thus, see, or consider all these things.

There shall not be left here one stone] These seem to have been

the last words he spoke as he left the temple, into which he never

afterwards entered; and, when he got to the mount of Olives, he

renewed the discourse. From this mount, on which our Lord and his

disciples now sat, the whole of the city, and particularly the

temple, were clearly seen. This part of our Lord's prediction was

fulfilled in the most literal manner. Josephus says, War, book

vii. c. 1: "Caesar gave orders that they should now demolish the

whole city and temple, τεπολιναπασανκαιτοννεωνκατασκεπτειν,

except the three towers, Phaselus, Hippicus, and Mariamne, and a

part of the western wall, and these were spared; but, for all the

rest of the wall, it was laid so completely even with the ground,

by those who dug it up to the foundation, that there was left

nothing to make those that came thither believe it had ever been

inhabited." Maimonides, a Jewish rabbin, in Tract. Taanith, c. 4,

says, "That the very foundations of the temple were digged up,

according to the Roman custom." His words are these: "On that

ninth day of the month Ab, fatal for vengeance, the wicked Turnus

Rufus, of the children of Edom, ploughed up the temple, and the

places round about it, that the saying might be fulfilled, Zion

shall be ploughed as a field." This Turnus, or rather Terentius

Rufus, was left general of the army by Titus, with commission, as

the Jews suppose, to destroy the city and the temple, as Josephus


The temple was destroyed 1st. Justly; because of the sins of

the Jews. 2dly. Mercifully; to take away from them the occasion

of continuing in Judaism: and 3dly. Mysteriously; to show that the

ancient sacrifices were abolished, and that the whole Jewish

economy was brought to an end, and the Christian dispensation


Verse 3. Tell us, when shall these things be?] There appear to

be three questions asked here by the disciples. 1st. When shall

these things be? viz. the destruction of the city, temple, and

Jewish state. 2dly. What shall be the sign of thy coming? viz. to

execute these judgments upon them, and to establish thy own

Church: and 3dly. When shall this world end? When wilt thou come

to judge the quick and the dead? But there are some who maintain

that these are but three parts of the same question, and that our

Lord's answers only refer to the destruction of the Jewish state,

and that nothing is spoken here concerning the LAST or judgment


End of the world] τουαιωνος; or, of the age, viz. the Jewish

economy, which is a frequent accommodated meaning of the word

αιων, the proper meaning of which is, as Aristotle (De Caelo)

observes, ETERNAL. αιων, quasi αειων continual being: and

no words can more forcibly point out eternity than these.

See Clarke on Ge 21:33.

Verse 4. Take heed that no man deceive you.] The world is full

of deceivers, and it is only by taking heed to the counsel of

Christ that even his followers can escape being ruined by them.

From this to Mt 24:31, our Lord mentions the signs which should

precede his coming.

The FIRST sign is false Christs.

Verse 5. For many shall come in my name] 1. Josephus says,

(War, b. ii. c. 13,) that there were many who, pretending to

Divine inspiration, deceived the people, leading out numbers of

them to the desert, pretending that God would there show them the

signs of liberty, meaning redemption from the Roman power: and

that an Egyptian false prophet led 30,000 men into the desert, who

were almost all cut off by Felix. See Ac 21:38. It was a just

judgment for God to deliver up that people into the hands of false

Christs who had rejected the true one. Soon after our Lord's

crucifixion, Simon Magus appeared, and persuaded the people of

Samaria that he was the great power of God, Ac 8:9, 10; and

boasted among the Jews that he was the son of God.

2. Of the same stamp and character was also Dositheus, the

Samaritan, who pretended that he was the Christ foretold by Moses.

3. About twelve years after the death of our Lord, when Cuspius

Fadus was procurator of Judea, arose an impostor of the name of

Theudas, who said he was a prophet, and persuaded a great

multitude to follow him with their best effects to the river

Jordan, which he promised to divide for their passage; and saying

these things, says Josephus, he deceived many: almost the very

words of our Lord.

4. A few years afterwards, under the reign of Nero, while Felix

was procurator of Judea, impostors of this stamp were so frequent

that some were taken and killed almost every day. Jos. Ant. b.

xx. c. 4. and 7.

The SECOND sign, wars and commotions.

Verse 6. The next signs given by our Lord are wars and rumours

of wars, &c.] These may be seen in Josephus, Ant. b. xviii. c. 9;

War, b. ii. c. 10; especially as to the rumours of wars, when

Caligula ordered his statue to be set up in the temple of God,

which the Jews having refused, had every reason to expect a war

with the Romans, and were in such consternation on the occasion

that they even neglected to till their land.

Verse 7. Nation shall rise against nation] This portended the

dissensions, insurrections and mutual slaughter of the Jews, and

those of other nations, who dwelt in the same cities together; as

particularly at Caesarea, where the Jews and Syrians contended

about the right of the city, which ended there in the total

expulsion of the Jews, above 20,000 of whom were slain. The whole

Jewish nation being exasperated at this, flew to arms, and burnt

and plundered the neighbouring cities and villages of the Syrians,

making an immense slaughter of the people. The Syrians, in

return, destroyed not a less number of the Jews. At Scythopolis

they murdered upwards of 13,000. At Ascalon they killed 2,500.

At Ptolemais they slew 2000, and made many prisoners. The Tyrians

also put many Jews to death, and imprisoned more: the people of

Gadara did likewise; and all the other cities of Syria in

proportion, as they hated or feared the Jews. As Alexandria the

Jews and heathens fought, and 50,000 of the former were slain.

The people of Damascus conspired against the Jews of that city,

and, assaulting them unarmed, killed 10,000 of them. See Bishop

Newton, and Dr. Lardner.

Kingdom against kingdom] This portended the open wars of

different tetrarchies and provinces against each other. 1st. That

of the Jews and Galileans against the Samaritans, for the murder

of some Galileans going up to the feast of Jerusalem, while

Cumanus was procurator. 2dly. That of the whole nation of the

Jews against the Romans and Agrippa, and other allies of the

Roman empire; which began when Gessius Florus was procurator.

3dly. That of the civil war in Italy, while Otho and Vitellius

were contending for the empire. It is worthy of remark, that the

Jews themselves say, "In the time of the Messiah, wars shall be

stirred up in the world; nation shall rise against nation, and

city against city." Sohar Kadash. "Again, Rab. Eleasar, the son

of Abina, said, When ye see kingdom rising against kingdom, then

expect the immediate appearance of the Messiah." Bereshith Rabba,

sect. 42.

The THIRD sign, pestilence and famine.

It is farther added, that There shall be famines, and

pestilences] There was a famine foretold by Agabus, (Ac 11:28,)

which is mentioned by Suetonius, Tacitus, and Eusebius; which came

to pass in the days of Claudius Caesar, and was so severe at

Jerusalem that Josephus says (Ant. b. xx. c. 2.) many died for

lack of food. Pestilences are the usual attendants of famines: as

the scarcity and badness of provisions generally produce epidemic


The FOURTH sign, earthquakes or popular commotions.

Earthquakes, in divers places.] If we take the word σεισμοι

from σειω to shake, in the first sense, then it means particularly

those popular commotions and insurrections which have already been

noted; and this I think to be the true meaning of the word: but if

we confine it to earthquakes, there were several in those times to

which our Lord refers; particularly one at Crete in the reign of

Claudius, one at Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, Samos. See Grotius. One

at Rome, mentioned by Tacitus; and one at Laodicea in the reign

of Nero, in which the city was overthrown, as were likewise

Hierapolis and Colosse. See Tacit. Annal. lib. xii. and lib.

xiv. One at Campania, mentioned by Seneca; and one at Rome, in

the reign of Galba, mentioned by Suetonius in the life of that

emperor. Add to all these, a dreadful one in Judea, mentioned by

Josephus (War, b. iv. c. 4.) accompanied by a dreadful tempest,

violent winds, vehement showers, and continual lightnings and

thunders; which led many to believe that these things portended

some uncommon calamity.

The FIFTH sign, fearful portents.

To these St. Luke adds that there shall be fearful sights and

great signs from heaven (Lu 21:11.) Josephus, in his preface to

the Jewish war, enumerates these. 1st. A star hung over the city

like a sword; and a comet continued a whole year. 2d. The people

being assembled at the feast of unleavened bread, at the ninth

hour of the night, a great light shone about the altar and the

temple, and this continued for half an hour. 3d. At the same

feast, a cow led to sacrifice brought forth a lamb in the midst of

the temple! 4th. The eastern gate of the temple, which was of

solid brass, and very heavy, and could hardly be shut by twenty

men, and was fastened by strong bars and bolts, was seen at the

sixth hour of the night to open of its own accord! 5th. Before

sun-setting there were seen, over all the country, chariots and

armies fighting in the clouds, and besieging cities. 6th. At the

feast of pentecost, when the priests were going into the inner

temple by night, to attend their service, they heard first a

motion and noise, and then a voice, as of a multitude, saying, LET

US DEPART HENCE! 7th. What Josephus reckons one of the most

terrible signs of all was, that one Jesus, a country fellow, four

years before the war began, and when the city was in peace and

plenty, came to the feast of tabernacles, and ran crying up and

down the streets, day and night: "A voice from the east! a voice

from the west! a voice from the four winds! a voice against

Jerusalem and the temple! a voice against the bridegrooms and the

brides! and a voice against all the people!" Though the

magistrates endeavoured by stripes and tortures to restrain him,

yet he still cried, with a mournful voice, "Wo, wo to Jerusalem!"

And this he continued to do for several years together, going

about the walls and crying with a loud voice: "Wo, wo to the city,

and to the people, and to the temple!" and as he added, "Wo, wo to

myself!" a stone from some sling or engine struck him dead on the

spot! It is worthy of remark that Josephus appeals to the

testimony of others, who saw and heard these fearful things.

Tacitus, a Roman historian, gives very nearly the same account

with that of Josephus. Hist. lib. v.

Verse 8. All these are the beginning of sorrows.] ωδινων,

travailing pains. The whole land of Judea is represented under

the notion of a woman in grievous travail; but our Lord intimates,

that all that had already been mentioned were only the first pangs

and throes, and nothing in comparison of that hard and

death-bringing labour, which should afterwards take place.

From the calamities of the nation in general, our Lord passes to

those of the Christians; and, indeed, the sufferings of his

followers were often occasioned by the judgments sent upon the

land, as the poor Christians were charged with being the cause of

these national calamities, and were cruelly persecuted on that


Verse 9. Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted]

Rather, Then they will deliver you up to affliction, ειςθλιψιν.

By a bold figure of speech, affliction is here personified. They

are to be delivered into affliction's own hand, to be harassed by

all the modes of inventive torture.

Ye shall be hated of all nations] Both Jew and Gentile will

unite in persecuting and tormenting you. Perhaps παντωντωνεθνων

means all the Gentiles, as in the parallel places in Mr 13:9-11,

and in Lu 21:12-15,

the Jewish persecution is mentioned distinctly. Ye shall be

delivered up to COUNCILS and be beaten in SYNAGOGUES, and ye shall

stand before governors and kings for my name's sake-be not

anxiously careful beforehand what ye shall speak-for ye are not

the speakers, but the Holy Spirit will speak by you-I will give

you utterance and wisdom, which all your adversaries shall not be

able to contradict or resist. We need go no farther than the Acts

of the Apostles for the completion of these particulars. Some

were delivered to councils, as Peter and John, Ac 4:5. Some were

brought before rulers and kings, as Paul before Gallio, Ac 18:12,

before Felix, Acts 24, before Festus and Agrippa, Acts 25. Some

had utterance and wisdom which their adversaries were not able to

resist: so Stephen, Ac 6:10, and Paul, who made even Felix

himself tremble, Ac 24:25.

Some were imprisoned, as Peter and John, Ac 4:3.

Some were beaten, as Paul and Silas, Ac 16:23.

Some were put to death, as Stephen, Ac 7:59,

and James the brother of John, Ac 12:2.

But if we look beyond the book of the Acts of the Apostles, to the

bloody persecutions under Nero, we shall find these predictions

still more amply fulfilled: in these, numberless Christians fell,

besides those two champions of the faith Peter and Paul. And it

was, as says Tertullian, nominis praelium, a war against the very

name of Christ; for he who was called Christian had committed

crime enough, in bearing the name, to be put to death. So true

were our Saviour's words, that they should be hated of all men for

his NAME'S sake.

But they were not only to be hated by the Gentiles, but they

were to be betrayed by apostates.

Verse 10. Then shall many be offended, and shall betray one

another] To illustrate this point, one sentence out of Tacitus

(Annal. l. xv.) will be sufficient, who, speaking of the

persecution under Nero, says, At first several were seized, who

confessed, and then by THEIR DISCOVERY a great multitude of others

were convicted and executed.

Verse 11. False prophets] Also were to be raised up; such as

Simon Magus and his followers; and the false apostles complained

of by St. Paul, 2Co 11:13,

who were deceitful workers, transforming themselves into the

apostles of Christ. Such also were Hymeneus and Philetus,

2Ti 2:17, 18.

Verse 12. The love of many shall wax cold.] By reason of these

trials and persecutions from without, and those apostasies and

false prophets from within, the love of many to Christ and his

doctrine, and to one another, shall grow cold. Some openly

deserting the faith, as Mt 24:10; others corrupting it, as

Mt 24:11; and others growing indifferent about it, Mt 24:12.

Even at this early period there seems to have been a very

considerable defection in several Christian Churches; see

Ga 3:1-4; 2Th 3:1, &c.; 2Ti 1:15.

Verse 13. But he that shall endure] The persecutions that

shall come-unto the end; to the destruction of the Jewish polity,

without growing cold or apostatizing-shall be saved, shall be

delivered in all imminent dangers, and have his soul at last

brought to an eternal glory. It is very remarkable that not a

single Christian perished in the destruction of Jerusalem, though

there were many there when Cestius Gallus invested the city; and,

had he persevered in the siege, he would soon have rendered

himself master of it; but, when he unexpectedly and unaccountably

raised the siege, the Christians took that opportunity to escape.

See Eusebius, Hist. Eccles lib. iii. c. 5, and Mr. Reading's note

there; and see the note here on Mt 24:20.

Verse 14. And this Gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in

all the world] But, notwithstanding these persecutions, there

should be a universal publication of the glad tidings of the

kingdom, for a testimony to all nations. God would have the

iniquity of the Jews published every where, before the heavy

stroke of his judgments should fall upon them; that all mankind,

as it were, might be brought as witnesses against their cruelty

and obstinacy in crucifying and rejecting the Lord Jesus.

In all the world, ενολητηοικουμενη. Perhaps no more is meant

here than the Roman empire; for it is beyond controversy that

πασαντηνοικουμενην, Lu 2:1,

means no more than the whole Roman empire: as a decree for

taxation or enrolment from Augustus Caesar could have no influence

but in the Roman dominions; but see on Lu 2:1.

Tacitus informs us, Annal. l. xv., that, as early as the reign of

Nero, the Christians were grown so numerous at Rome as to excite

the jealousy of the government; and in other parts they were in

proportion. However, we are under no necessity to restrain the

phrase to the Roman empire, as, previously to the destruction of

Jerusalem, the Gospel was not only preached in the lesser Asia,

and Greece, and Italy, the greatest theatres of action then in the

world; but was likewise propagated as far north as SCYTHIA; as far

south as ETHIOPIA; as far east as PARTHIA and INDIA; and as far

west as SPAIN and BRITAIN. On this point, Bishop Newton goes on

to say, That there is some probability that the Gospel was

preached in the British nations by St. Simon the apostle; that

there is much greater probability that it was preached here by St.

Paul; and that there is an absolute certainty that it was planted

here in the times of the apostles, before the destruction of

Jerusalem. See his proofs. Dissert. vol. ii. p. 235, 236. edit.

1758. St. Paul himself speaks, Col 1:6, 23, of the Gospel's

being come into ALL THE WORLD, and preached TO EVERY CREATURE

under heaven. And in his Epistle to the Romans, Ro 10:18,

he very elegantly applies to the lights of the Church, what the

psalmist said of the lights of heaven. Their sound went into ALL

THE EARTH, and their words unto the END of the WORLD. What but

the wisdom of God could foretell this? and what but the power of

God could accomplish it?

Then shall the end come.] When this general publication of the

Gospel shall have taken place, then a period shall be put to the

whole Jewish economy, by the utter destruction of their city and


Verse 15. The abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel]

This abomination of desolation, St. Luke, (Lu 21:20, 21,) refers

to the Roman army; and this abomination standing in the holy place

is the Roman army besieging Jerusalem; this, our Lord says, is

what was spoken of by Daniel the prophet, in the ninth and

eleventh chapters of his prophecy; and so let every one who reads

these prophecies understand them; and in reference to this very

event they are understood by the rabbins. The Roman army is

called an abomination, for its ensigns and images, which were so

to the Jews. Josephus says, (War, b. vi. chap. 6,) the Romans

brought their ensigns into the temple, and placed them over

against the eastern gate, and sacrificed to them there. The Roman

army is therefore fitly called the abomination, and the

abomination which maketh desolate, as it was to desolate and lay

waste Jerusalem; and this army besieging Jerusalem is called by

St. Mark, Mr 13:14,

standing where it ought not, that is, as in the text here, the

holy place; as not only the city, but a considerable compass of

ground about it, was deemed holy, and consequently no profane

persons should stand on it.

Verse 16. Then let them which be in Judea flee into the

mountains] This counsel was remembered and wisely followed by the

Christians afterwards. Eusebius and Epiphanius say, that at this

juncture, after Cestius Gallus had raised the siege, and Vespasian

was approaching with his army, all who believed in Christ left

Jerusalem and fled to Pella, and other places beyond the river

Jordan; and so they all marvellously escaped the general shipwreck

of their country: not one of them perished. See on Mt 24:13.

Verse 17. Let him which is on the house top] The houses of the

Jews, as well as those of the ancient Greeks and Romans, were

flat-roofed, and had stairs on the outside, by which persons might

ascend and descend without coming into the house. In the eastern

walled cities, these flat-roofed houses usually formed continued

terraces from one end of the city to the other; which terraces

terminated at the gates. He, therefore, who is walking on the

house top, let him not come down to take any thing out of his

house; but let him instantly pursue his course along the tops of

the houses, and escape out at the city gate as fast as he can.

Any thing] Instead of τι, any thing, we should read τα,

the things; which reading is supported by all the best MSS.,

versions, and fathers.

Verse 18. Neither let him which is in the field return back]

Because when once the army of the Romans sits down before the

city, there shall be no more any possibility of escape, as they

shall never remove till Jerusalem be destroyed.

Verse 19. And wo unto them (alas! for them) that are with

child, &c.] For such persons are not in a condition to make their

escape; neither can they bear the miseries of the siege. Josephus

says the houses were full of women and children that perished by

the famine; and that the mothers snatched the food even out of

their own children's mouths. See WAR, b. v. c. 10. But he

relates a more horrid story than this, of one Mary, the daughter

of Eliezar, illustrious for her family and riches, who, being

stripped and plundered of all her goods and provisions by the

soldiers, in hunger, rage, and despair, killed and boiled her own

sucking child, and had eaten one half of him before it was

discovered. This shocking story is told, WAR, b. vi. c. 3, with

several circumstances of aggravation.

Verse 20. But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter]

For the hardness of the season, the badness of the roads, the

shortness of the days, and the length of the nights, will all be

great impediments to your flight. Rabbi Tanchum observes, "that

the favour of God was particularly manifested in the destruction

of the first temple, in not obliging the Jews to go out in the

winter, but in the summer." See the place in Lightfoot.

Neither on the Sabbath-day] That you may not raise the

indignation of the Jews by travelling on that day, and so suffer

that death out of the city which you had endeavoured to escape

from within. Besides, on the Sabbath-days the Jews not only kept

within doors, but the gates of all the cities and towns in every

place were kept shut and barred; so that their flight should be on

a Sabbath, they could not expect admission into any place of

security in the land.

Our Lord had ordered his followers to make their escape from

Jerusalem when they should see it encompassed with armies; but how

could this be done? God took care to provide amply for this. In

the twelfth year of Nero, Cestius Gallus, the president of Syria,

came against Jerusalem with a powerful army. He might, says

Josephus, WAR, b. ii. c. 19, have assaulted and taken the city,

and thereby put an end to the war; but without any just reason,

and contrary to the expectation of all, he raised the siege and

departed. Josephus remarks, that after Cestius Gallus had raised

the siege, "many of the principal Jewish people, πολλοιτων

επιφανωνιουδαιων, forsook the city, as men do a sinking ship."

Vespasian was deputed in the room of Cestius Gallus, who, having

subdued all the country, prepared to besiege Jerusalem, and

invested it on every side. But the news of Nero's death, and soon

after that of Galba, and the disturbances that followed, and the

civil wars between Otho and Vitellius, held Vespasian and his son

Titus in suspense. Thus the city was not actually besieged in

form till after Vespasian was confirmed in the empire, and Titus

was appointed to command the forces in Judea. It was in those

incidental delays that the Christians, and indeed several others,

provided for their own safety, by flight. In Lu 19:43, our Lord

says of Jerusalem, Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee,

and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side.

Accordingly, Titus, having made several assaults without success,

resolved to surround the city with a wall, which was, with

incredible speed, completed in three days! The wall was

thirty-nine furlongs in length, and was strengthened with thirteen

forts at proper distances, so that all hope of safety was cut off;

none could make his escape from the city, and no provisions could

be brought into it. See Josephus, WAR, book v. c. 12.

Verse 21. For then shall be great tribulation] No history can

furnish us with a parallel to the calamities and miseries of the

Jews:-rapine, murder, famine, and pestilence within: fire and

sword, and all the horrors of war, without. Our Lord wept at the

foresight of these calamities; and it is almost impossible for any

humane person to read the relation of them in Josephus without

weeping also. St. Luke, Lu 21:22,

calls these the days of vengeance, that all things which were

written might be fulfilled. 1. These were the days in which all

the calamities predicted by Moses, Joel, Daniel, and other

prophets, as well as those predicted by our Saviour, met in one

common centre, and were fulfilled in the most terrible manner on

that generation. 2. These were the days of vengeance in another

sense, as if God's judgments had certain periods and revolutions;

for it is remarkable that the temple was burned by the Romans in

the same month, and on the same day of the month, on which it had

been burned by the Babylonians. See Josephus, WAR, b. vi. c. 4.

Verse 22. Except those days should be shortened] Josephus

computes the number of those who perished in the siege at eleven

hundred thousand, besides those who were slain in other places,

WAR, b. vi. c. 9; and if the Romans had gone on destroying in this

manner, the whole nation of the Jews would, in a short time, have

been entirely extirpated; but, for the sake of the elect, the

Jews, that they might not be utterly destroyed, and for the

Christians particularly, the days were shortened. These, partly

through the fury of the zealots on one hand, and the hatred of the

Romans on the other; and partly through the difficulty of

subsisting in the mountains without houses or provisions, would in

all probability have been all destroyed, either by the sword or

famine, if the days had not been shortened. The besieged

themselves helped to shorten those days by their divisions and

mutual slaughters; and by fatally deserting their strong holds,

where they never could have been subdued, but by famine alone.

So well fortified was Jerusalem, and so well provided to stand a

siege, that the enemy without could not have prevailed, had it not

been for the factions and seditions within. When Titus was

viewing the fortifications after the taking of the city, he could

not help ascribing his success to God. "We have fought," said he,

"with God on our side; and it is God who pulled the Jews out of

these strong holds: for what could machines or the hands of men

avail against such towers as these?" WAR, b. vi. c. 9.

Verse 23. Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo here is

Christ] Our Lord had cautioned his disciples against false

Christs and prophets before, Mt 24:11; but he seems here to

intimate that there would be especial need to attend to this

caution about the time of the siege. And in fact many such

impostors did arise about that time, promising deliverance from

God; and the lower the Jews were reduced, the more disposed they

were to listen to such deceivers. Like a man drowning, they were

willing to catch even at a straw, while there was any prospect of

being saved. But as it was to little purpose for a man to take

upon him the character of the Christ, without miracles to avouch

his Divine mission, so it was the common artifice of these

impostors to show signs and wonders, σημειακαιτερατα; the very

words used by Christ in this prophecy, and by Josephus in his

history: ANT. b. xx. c. 7. Among these Simon Magus, and

Dositheus, mentioned before; and Barcocab, who, St. Jerome says,

pretended to vomit flames. And it is certain these and some

others were so dexterous in imitating miraculous works that they

deceived many; and such were their works, that if the elect, the

chosen persons, the Christians, had not had the fullest evidence

of the truth of Christ's mission and miracles, they must have been

deceived too: but, having had these proofs, they could not

possibly be deceived by these impostors. This is simply the

meaning of this place; and it is truly astonishing that it should

be brought as a proof for the doctrine (whether true or false is

at present out of the question) of the necessary and eternal

perseverance of the saints! How abundant the Jews were in magic,

divination, sorcery, incantation, &c., see proved by Dr. Lightfoot

on this place.

Verse 25. Behold, I have told you before.] That is, I have

forewarned you.

Verse 26. If they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the

desert] Is it not worthy of remark that our Lord not only

foretold the appearance of these impostors, but also the manner

and circumstances of their conduct? Some he mentions as appearing

in the desert. Josephus says, ANT. b. xx. c. 7, and WAR, book ii.

c. 13: That many impostors and cheats persuaded the people to

follow them to the desert, promising to show them signs and

wonders done by the providence of God, is well attested. An

Egyptian false prophet, mentioned by Josephus, ANT. b. xx. c. 7,

and in the Acts, Ac 21:38,

led out into the DESERT four thousand men, who were murderers, but

these were all taken or destroyed by Felix. Another promised

salvation to the people, if they would follow him to the DESERT,

and he was destroyed by Festus, ANT. b. xx. c. 7. Also, one

Jonathan, a weaver, persuaded a number to follow him to the

DESERT, but he was taken and burnt alive by Vespasian. See WAR,

b. vii. c. 11.

As some conducted their deluded followers to the DESERT, so did

others to the secret chambers. Josephus mentions a false prophet,

WAR, b. vi. c. 5, who declared to the people in the city, that God

commanded them to go up into the temple, and there they should

receive the signs of deliverance. A multitude of men, women, and

children, went up accordingly; but, instead of deliverance, the

place was set on fire by the Romans, and 6,000 perished miserably

in the flames, or in attempting to escape them.

Verse 27. For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and

shineth even unto the west] It is worthy of remark that our Lord,

in the most particular manner, points out the very march of the

Roman army: they entered into Judea on the EAST, and carried on

their conquest WESTWARD, as if not only the extensiveness of the

ruin, but the very route which the army would take, were intended

in the comparison of the lightning issuing from the east, and

shining to the west.

Verse 28. For wheresoever the carcass is] πτωμα, the dead

carcass. The Jewish nation, which was morally and judicially


There will the eagles] The Roman armies, called so partly from

their strength and fierceness, and partly from the figure of these

animals which was always wrought on their ensigns, or even in

brass, placed on the tops of their ensign-staves. It is

remarkable that the Roman fury pursued these wretched men

wheresoever they were found. They were a dead carcass doomed to

be devoured; and the Roman eagles were the commissioned devourers.

See the pitiful account in Josephus, WAR, b. vii. c. 2, 3, 6, 9,

10, and 11.

Verse 29. Immediately after the tribulation, &c.] Commentators

generally understand this, and what follows, of the end of the

world and Christ's coming to judgment: but the word immediately

shows that our Lord is not speaking of any distant event, but of

something immediately consequent on calamities already predicted:

and that must be the destruction of Jerusalem. "The Jewish heaven

shall perish, and the sun and moon of its glory and happiness

shall be darkened-brought to nothing. The sun is the religion of

the Church; the moon is the government of the state; and the

stars are the judges and doctors of both.

Compare Isa 13:10; Eze 32:7, 8, &c."


In the prophetic language, great commotions upon earth are often

represented under the notion of commotions and changes in the


The fall of Babylon is represented by the stars and

constellations of heaven withdrawing their light, and the sun and

moon being darkened. See Isa 13:9, 10.

The destruction of Egypt, by the heaven being covered, the sun

enveloped with a cloud, and the moon withholding her light.

Eze 32:7, 8.

The destruction of the Jews by Antiochus Epiphanes is

represented by casting down some of the host of heaven, and the

stars to the ground. See Da 8:10.

And this very destruction of Jerusalem is represented by the

Prophet Joel, Joe 2:30, 31, by showing wonders in heaven and in

earth-darkening the sun, and turning the moon into blood. This

general mode of describing these judgments leaves no room to doubt

the propriety of its application in the present case.

The falling of stars, i.e. those meteors which are called

falling stars by the common people, was deemed an omen of evil

times. The heathens have marked this:-

Saepe etiam stellas, vento impendente videbis

Praecipites coelo labi, noctisque per umbram

Flammarum longos a tergo albescere tractus.

VIRG. Geor. i. ver. 365.

And oft before tempestuous winds arise

The seeming stars fall headlong from the skies,

And, shooting through the darkness, gild the night

With sweeping glories, and long trails of light.


Again the same poet thus sings:-

SOL tibi signa dabit: solem quis dicere falsum

Audeat? Ille etiam coecos instare tumultus

Saepe monet: fraudemque et operta tumescere bella

Ille etiam extincto miseratus Caesare Romam,

Cum caput obscura nitidum ferrugine texit,

Impiaque aeternam timuerunt saecula noctem.

Ibid. ver. 462.

The sun reveals the secrets of the sky,

And who dares give the source of light the lie?

The change of empires often he declares,

Fierce tumults, hidden treasons, open wars.

He first the fate of Caesar did foretell,

And pitied Rome, when Rome in Caesar fell:

In iron clouds concealed the public light,

And impious mortals found eternal night.


Verse 30. Then shall appear the sign of the Son of man] The

plain meaning of this is, that the destruction of Jerusalem will

be such a remarkable instance of Divine vengeance, such a signal

manifestation of Christ's power and glory, that all the Jewish

tribes shall mourn, and many will, in consequence of this

manifestation of God, be led to acknowledge Christ and his

religion. By τηςγης, of the land, in the text, is evidently

meant here, as in several other places, the land of Judea and its

tribes, either its then inhabitants, or the Jewish people wherever


Verse 31. He shall send his angels] τουςαγγελους, his

messengers, the apostles, and their successors in the Christian


With a great sound of a trumpet] Or, a loud-sounding

trumpet-the earnest affectionate call of the Gospel of peace,

life, and salvation.

Shall gather together his elect] The Gentiles, who were now

chosen or elected, in place of the rebellious, obstinate Jews,

according to Our Lord's prediction, Mt 8:11,12, and Lu 13:28,29.

For the children of the kingdom, (the Jews who were born with a

legal right to it, but had now finally forfeited that right by

their iniquities) should be thrust out. It is worth serious

observation, that the Christian religion spread and prevailed

mightily after this period: and nothing contributed more to the

success of the Gospel than the destruction of Jerusalem happening

in the very time and manner, and with the very circumstances, so

particularly foretold by our Lord. It was after this period that

the kingdom of Christ began, and his reign was established in

almost every part of the world.

To St. Matthew's account, St. Luke adds, Lu 21:24,

They shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shalt be led away

captive into all nations; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down by

the Gentiles, till the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled. The

number of those who fell by the sword was very great. ELEVEN

HUNDRED THOUSAND perished during the siege. Many were slain at

other places, and at other times. By the commandment of Florus,

the first author of the war, there were slain at Jerusalem 3,600,

Jos. WAR, b. ii. c. 14. By the inhabitants of Caesarea, above

20,000. At Scythopolis, above 13,000. At Ascalon, 2,500. At

Ptolemais, 2,000. At Alexandria, 50,000. At Joppa, when taken

by Cestius Gallus, 8,400. In a mountain called Asamon, near

Sepporis, above 2,000. At Damascus, 10,000. In a battle with

the Romans at Ascalon, 10,000. In an ambuscade near the same

place, 8,000. At Japha, 15,000. Of the Samaritans, on Mount

Gerizim, 11,600. At Jotapa, 40,000. At Joppa, when taken by

Vespasian, 4,200. At Tarichea, 6,500. And after the city

was taken, 1,200. At Gamala, 4,000, besides 5,000 who threw

themselves down a precipice. Of those who fled with John, of

Gischala, 6,000. Of the Gadarenes, 15,000 slain, besides countless

multitudes drowned. In the village of Idumea, above 10,000 slain.

At Gerasa, 1,000. At Machaerus, 1,700. In the wood of Jardes,

3,000. In the castle of Masada, 960. In Cyrene, by Catullus

the governor, 3,000. Besides these, many of every age, sex, and

condition, were slain in the war, who are not reckoned; but, of

those who are reckoned, the number amounts to upwards of 1,357,660,

which would have appeared incredible, if their own historian had

not so particularly enumerated them. See Josephus, WAR, book ii.

c. 18, 20; book iii. c. 2, 7, 8, 9; book iv. c. 1, 2, 7, 8, 9;

book vii. c. 6, 9, 11; and Bp. Newton, vol. ii. p. 288-290.

Many also were led away captives into all nations. There were

taken at Japha, 2,130. At Jotapa, 1,200. At Tarichea, 6,000

chosen young men, who were sent to Nero; others sold to the number

of 30,400, besides those who were given to Agrippa. Of the

Gadarenes were taken 2,200. In Idumea above 1,000. Many besides

these were taken in Jerusalem; so that, as Josephus says, the

number of the captives taken in the whole war amounted to 97,000.

Those above seventeen years of age were sent to the works in

Egypt; but most were distributed through the Roman provinces, to

be destroyed in their theatres by the sword, and by the wild

beasts; and those under seventeen years of age were sold for

slaves. Eleven thousand in one place perished for want. At

Caesarea, Titus, like a thorough-paced infernal savage, murdered

2,500 Jews, in honour of his brother's birthday; and a greater

number at Berytus in honour of his father's. See Josephus, WAR,

b. vii. c. 3. s. 1. Some he caused to kill each other; some were

thrown to the wild beasts; and others burnt alive. And all this

was done by a man who was styled, The darling of mankind! Thus

were the Jews miserably tormented, and distributed over the Roman

provinces; and continue to be distressed and dispersed over all

the nations of the world to the present day. Jerusalem also was,

according to the prediction of our Lord, to be trodden down by the

Gentiles. Accordingly it has never since been in the possession

of the Jews. It was first in subjection to the Romans, afterwards

to the Saracens, then to the Franks, after to the Mamalukes, and

now to the Turks. Thus has the prophecy of Christ been most

literally and terribly fulfilled, on a people who are still

preserved as continued monuments of the truth of our Lord's

prediction, and of the truth of the Christian religion. See more

in Bp. Newton's Dissert. vol. ii. p. 291, &c.

Verse 32. Learn a parable of the fig-tree] That is, These

signs which I have given you will be as infallible a proof of the

approaching ruin of the Jewish state as the budding of the trees

is a proof of the coming summer.

Verse 34. This generation shall not pass] ηγενεααυτη, this

race; i.e. the Jews shall not cease from being a distinct people,

till all the counsels of God relative to them and the Gentiles be

fulfilled. Some translate ηγενεααυτη, this generation, meaning

the persons who were then living, that they should not die before

these signs, &c., took place: but though this was true, as to the

calamities that fell upon the Jews, and the destruction of their

government, temple, &c., yet as our Lord mentions Jerusalem's

continuing to be under the power of the Gentiles till the fulness

of the Gentiles should come in, i.e. till all the nations of the

world should receive the Gospel of Christ, after which the Jews

themselves should be converted unto God, Ro 11:25, &c., I think

it more proper not to restrain its meaning to the few years which

preceded the destruction of Jerusalem; but to understand it of the

care taken by Divine providence to preserve them as a distinct

people, and yet to keep them out of their own land, and from their

temple service. See on Mr 13:30. But still it is literally true

in reference to the destruction of Jerusalem. John probably lived

to see these things come to pass; compare Mt 16:28, with

Joh 21:22; and there were some rabbins alive at the time when

Christ spoke these words who lived till the city was destroyed,

viz. Rabban Simeon, who perished with the city; R. Jochanan ben

Zaccai, who outlived it; R. Zadoch, R. Ismael, and others. See


The war began, as Josephus says, Ant. b. xx. c. 11. s. 1, in the

second year of the government of Gessius Florus, who succeeded

Albinus, successor of Porcius Festus, mentioned Ac 24:27, in the

month of May, in the twelfth year of Nero, and the seventeenth

of Agrippa, mentioned Acts 25 and 26, that is, in May, A. D. 66.

The temple was burnt August 10, A. D. 70, the same day and month

on which it had been burnt by the king of Babylon: Josephus, Ant.

b. xx. c. 11. s. 8.

The city was taken September 8, in the second year of the reign

of Vespasian, or the year of Christ 70. Ant. b. vi. c. 10.

That was the end of the siege of Jerusalem, which began, as

Josephus several times observes, about the fourteenth day of the

month Nisan, or our April. See War, b. v. c. 3. s. 1, c. 13.

s. 7; b. vi. c. 9. s. 3.

Dr. Lardner farther remarks, There is also an ancient

inscription to the honour of Titus, "who, by his father's

directions and counsels, had subdued the Jewish nation and

destroyed Jerusalem, which had never been destroyed by any

generals, kings, or people, before." The inscription may be

seen in GRUTER, vol. i. p. 244. It is as follows:-










For this complete conquest of Jerusalem, Titus had a triumphal

arch erected to his honour, which still exists. It stands on the

Via Sacra, leading from the forum to the amphitheatre. On it are

represented the spoils of the temple of God, such as the golden

table of the show-bread, the golden candlestick with its seven

branches, the ark of the covenant, the two golden trumpets, &c.,

&c.; for a particular account see the note on Ex 25:31. On this

arch, a correct model of which, taken on the spot, now stands

before me, is the following inscription:-





"The Senate and People of Rome, to the Divine Titus, son of the

Divine Vespasian; and to Vespasian the Emperor."

On this occasion, a medal was struck with the following

inscription round a laureated head of the emperor:-IMP.erator

J.ulius VESP.asianus AUG.ustus. P.ontifex M.aximus,

TR.ibunitia, P.otestate P.ater P.atrice CO.nS.ul VIII.-On the

obverse are represented a palm tree, the emblem of the land of

Judaea; the emperor with a trophy standing on the left; Judea,

under the figure of a distressed woman, sitting at the foot of the

tree weeping, with her head bowed down, supported by her left

hand, with the legend JUDAEA CAPTA. S.enatus C.onsultus. at the

bottom. This is not only an extraordinary fulfilment of our

Lord's prediction, but a literal accomplishment of a prophecy

delivered about 800 years before, Isa 3:26,

And she, desolate, shall sit upon the ground.

Verse 36. But of that day and hour] ωρα, here, is translated

season by many eminent critics, and is used in this sense by both

sacred and profane authors. As the day was not known, in which

Jerusalem should be invested by the Romans, therefore our Lord

advised his disciples to pray that it might not be on a Sabbath;

and as the season was not known, therefore they were to pray that

it might not be in the winter; Mt 24:20.

See Clarke on Mr 13:32.

Verse 37. - 38. As the days of Noah-they were eating and

drinking] That is, they spent their time in rapine, luxury, and

riot. The design of these verses seems to be, that the desolation

should be as general as it should be unexpected.

Verse 38. See Clarke on Mt 24:37.

Verse 39. And knew not] They considered not-did not lay Noah's

warning to heart, till it was too late to profit by it: so shall

it be-and so it was in this coming of the Son of man.

Verse 40. - 41. Then shall two men-two women-one shall be taken,

and the other left.] The meaning seems to be, that so general

should these calamities be, that no two persons, wheresoever

found, or about whatsoever employed, should be both able to effect

their escape; and that captivity and the sword should have a

complete triumph over this unhappy people.

Two women shall be grinding] Women alone are still employed in

grinding the corn in the east; and it is only when despatch is

required, or the uppermost millstone is heavy, that a second woman

is added. See Wakefield, and Harmer, Obs. vol. i. 253. That they

were formerly thus employed, see Ex 11:5, and the note there.

See also Isa 47:2.

Verse 41. See Clarke on Mt 24:40.

Verse 42. Watch therefore] Be always on your guard, that you

may not be taken unawares, and that you may be properly prepared

to meet God in the way either of judgment or mercy, whensoever he

may come. This advice the followers of Christ took, and therefore

they escaped; the miserable Jews rejected it, and were destroyed.

Let us learn wisdom by the things which they suffered.

Verse 43. If the good man of the house had known] "As a master

of a family who expected a thief at any time of the night,

would take care to be awake, and ready to protect his house; so

do ye, who know that the Son of man will come. Though the day and

hour be uncertain, continue always in a state of watchfulness,

that he may not come upon you unawares." WAKEFIELD.

Verse 45. Who then is a faithful and wise servant] All should

live in the same expectation of the coming of Christ, which a

servant has with respect to the return of his master, who, in

departing for a season, left the management of his affairs to him;

and of which management he is to give an exact account on his

master's return.

Here is an abstract of the duties of a minister of Christ.

1. He is appointed, not by himself, but by the vocation and

mission of his Master.

2. He must look on himself, not as the master of the family, but

as the servant.

3. He must be scrupulously faithful and exact in fulfilling the

commands of his Master.

4. His fidelity must be ever accompanied by wisdom and prudence.

5. He must give the domestics-the sacred family, their food; and

this food must be such as to afford them true nourishment. And

6. This must be done in its season. There are certain portions of

the bread of life which lose their effect by being administered

out of proper season, or to improper persons.

Verse 46. Blessed is that servant] His blessedness consists in

his master's approbation.

Verse 47. He shall make him ruler over all his goods.] O

heavenly privilege of a faithful minister of Christ! He shall

receive from God a power to dispense all the blessings of the new

covenant; and his word shall ever be accompanied with the

demonstration of the Holy Ghost to the hearts of all that hear it.

Much of a preacher's usefulness may be lost by his unfaithfulness.

Verse 48. But, and if that evil servant] Here are three

characters of a bad minister. 1. He has little or no faith in the

speedy coming of Christ, either to punish for wickedness, or to

pardon and sanctify those who believe. It may be, he does not

outwardly profess this, but he says it in his heart, and God

searches his heart, and knows that he professes to teach what he

does not believe. 2. He governs with an absolute dominion,

oppressing his colleagues and doing violence to the followers of

Christ. And shall begin to smite, &c. 3. He leads an irregular

life does not love the company of the children of God, but eats

and drinks with the drunkards, preferring the tables of the great

and the rich, whose god is their belly, and thus feeds himself

without fear. Great God! save thine inheritance from being

ravaged by such wolves!

Verse 50. The lord of that servant] Here are three punishments

which answer to the three characteristics of the bad minister. 1.

A sudden death, and the weight of God's judgments falling upon

him, without a moment to avert it: this answers to his infidelity

and forgetfulness. He shall come in a day in which he looked not

for him. 2. A separation from the communion of saints, and from

all the gifts which he has abused: this answers to the abuse of

his authority in the Church of Christ. 3. He shall have tears and

eternal pains, in company with all such hypocrites as himself: and

this answers to his voluptuous life, pampering the flesh at the

expense of his soul.

Verse 51. Cut him asunder] This refers to an ancient mode of

punishment used in several countries. Isaiah is reported to have

been sawed ASUNDER. That it was an ancient mode of punishment is

evident from what Herodotus says: that Sabacus, king of Ethiopia,

had a vision, in which he was commanded μεσουςδιαταμειν, to cut

in two, all the Egyptian priests, lib. ii. And in lib. vii. where

Xerxes ordered one of the sons of Pythius μεσονδιαταμειν, to be

cut in two, and one half placed on each side of the way, that his

army might pass through between them. See Raphelius also, in his

notes from Herodotus and Polybius. This kind of punishment was

used among the Persians: see Da 2:5; 3:29. Story of Susannah,

ver. 55, 59. See also 2Sa 12:31, and 1Ch 20:3. It may also

have reference to that mode of punishment in which the different

members were chopped off seriatim, first the feet, then the hands,

next the legs, then the arms, and lastly the head. This mode of

punishment is still in use among the Chinese. But we find an

exact parallel among the Turks, in the following passage from W.

Lithgow's Travels, p. 153. London 4to. edit. "If a Turk should

happen to kill another Turk, his punishment is thus: After he is

adjudged to death, he is brought forth to the market place; and a

blocke being brought hither of four foot high, the malifactor is

stript naked, and then laid thereon with his belly downward; they

draw in his middle together so small with running cords that they

strike his body a-two with one blow: his hinder parts they cast to

be eaten by hungry dogs kept for the same purpose; and the

forequarters and head they throw into a grievous fire, made there

for the same end. And this is the punishment for manslaughter."

This is the very same punishment, and for the same offence, as

that mentioned by our Lord, the killing of a fellow servant-one of

the same nation, and of the same religion.

THE reader has no doubt observed, in the preceding chapter, a

series of the most striking and solemn predictions, fulfilled in

the most literal, awful, and dreadful manner. Christ has foretold

the ruin of the Jewish people, and the destruction of their

polity; and in such a circumstantial manner as none else could do,

but He, under whose eye are all events, and in whose hands are the

government and direction of all things. Indeed he rather declared

what he would do, than predicted what should come to pass. And

the fulfilment has been as circumstantial as the prediction.

Does it not appear that the predicted point was so literally

referred to by the occurring fact, by which it was to have its

accomplishment, as to leave no room to doubt the truth of the

prediction, or the certainty of the event by which it was

fulfilled? Thus the wisdom of God, as also his justice and

providence, have had a plenary manifestation.

But this wisdom appears, farther, in preserving such a record of

the prediction, and such evidence of its accomplishment, as

cannot possibly be doubted. The New Testament, given by the

inspiration of God, and handed down uncorrupted from father to

son, by both friends and enemies, perfect in its credibility and

truth, inexpungable in its evidences, and astonishingly

circumstantial in details of future occurrences, which the wisdom

of God alone could foreknow-that New Testament is the record of

these predictions. The history of the Romans, written by so many

hands; the history of the Jews, written by one of themselves;

triumphal arches, coins, medals, and public monuments of different

kinds, are the evidence by which the fulfilment of the record is

demonstrated. Add to this the preservation of the Jewish people;

a people scattered through all nations, yet subsisting as a

distinct body, without temple, sacrifices, or political

government; and who, while they attempt to suppress the truth, yet

reluctantly stand forth as an unimpeachable collateral evidence,

that the solemn record, already alluded to, is strictly and

literally true! Who that has ever consulted the Roman historians

of the reigns of Vespasian and Titus, the history of Josephus, and

the 24th chapter of St. Matthew's Gospel, and who knows any thing

of the present state of the Jews over the face of the earth, or

even of those who sojourn in England, can doubt for a moment the

truth of this Gospel, or the infinite and all-comprehensive

knowledge of Him who is its author! Here then is one portion of

Divine Revelation that is incontrovertibly and absolutely proved

to be the truth of God. Reader! if he, who, while he predicted

the ruin of this disobedient and refractory people, wept over

their city and its inhabitants, has so, minutely fulfilled the

threatenings of his justice on the unbelieving and disobedient,

will he not as circumstantially fulfil the promises of his grace

to all them that believe? The existence of his revelation, the

continuance of a Christian Church upon earth, the certainty that

there is one individual saved from his sins by the grace of the

Gospel, and walking worthy of his vocation are continued proofs

and evidences that he is still the same; that he will fulfil every

jot and tittle of that word on which he has caused thee to trust;

and save to the uttermost all that come unto the Father by him.

The word of the Lord endureth for ever; and they who trust in him

shall never be confounded.

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