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THOUGHTS ON MATTHEW XXIV. 14–41. In the former part of the chapter our was not set up at the destruction of Lord appears to have been speaking in Jerusalem, and has yet to be set up by a more general way, in answer to the the Antichrist (I believe) during the last three questions of the disciples in tbe or seventieth week of Daniel (see ch. ix. third verse, “Tell us when shall these 27). It may have had a partial fulfilthings be? and what shall be the sign ment by Antiochus, but that that could of thy coming ? and of the end of the not have been its accomplishment is world (or age)? which may have had a evident, because our Lord speaks of it partial fulfilment at, and prior to, the as future. Moreover, by Antiochus and destruction of Jerusalem. And then at Vespasian the Jews were oppressed and the 14th verse he begins to speak more scattered; but when this verse is fulparticularly, "And this gospel of the filled Daniel's people, that is, the Jews, kingdom shall be preached in all the will be delivered (see Dan. xii. 1). world for a witness unto all nations; and Ver. 21. “For then shall be great then shall the end come.” Now the tribulation, such as was not since the preaching of the gospel to the heathen beginning of the world to this time, no, by missionaries, I think is not a fulfil- nor ever shall be.” Luke writes thus
, ment of this Scripture ; for I take the “For these be the days of vengeance, gospel here to be a different thing from &c. (see ch. xxi. 22—24), and alludes the gospel of the grace of God. It is cnly to the destruction of Jerusalem; the gospel of the kingdom, which was ard from verse 25 to 33 the Scripture the gospel preached by our Lord and by Luke runs parallel with Matt. xxiv. His disciples up to His rejection by the 29—41). But Luke's 22nd verse does Jewish nation (see Matt. iv. 23; and ix. not convey the same truth as Matthew's 35; also Luke x. 7).
21st verse. Luke refers to the destruc. The gospel of the grace of God com- tion of Jerusalem, and Matthew to the * menced on the day of Pentecost; but time of “ Jacob's trouble
(see Jer. this gospel of the kingdom in this 14th xxx. 7; Joel ii. 11; and Dan. xii. 1). verse will be as it is said “for a wit- Ver. 22. “And except those days
in the last days, and is the same should be shortened, there should no as is recorded in Rev. xiv. 6 and 7, filesh be saved: but for the elect's sake “And I saw another angel fly in the those days shall be shortened.” The elect midst of heaven, having the everlasting here I understand not to be the mystical gospel to preach unto them that dwell body of Christ, but the elect remnant of on the earth, and to every nation, and the Jews who shall escape that terrible kindred, and tongue, and people, saying time of judgment, the third part menwith a loud voice, Fear God, and give tioned in Zech. xiii. 8, 9. The elect glory to Him, for the hour of His judg- are here spoken of three times. In ver. ment is come, and worship Him that 22, as the objects of His care in the great made heaven and earth, and the sea, and tribulation ; in ver. 24 they are prethe fountains of waters.”
served amidst the deceits and corruption Ver. 15. “When ye therefore shall of false Christs and false prophets ; and see the abomination of desolation spoken again in ver. 24, as gathered into His of by Daniel the prophet stand in the kingdom, and to Zion, from all places of holy place (whoso readeth let him under their dispersion, when Christ their king stand): then let them which be in shall have returned from heaven with Judea flee to the mountains.” I take power and great glory (as in ver. 30). this to be future, and not a matter of Ver. 26, 27, contains a caution or history, as some suppose.
Luke has warning, that if it should be said Christ it, “And when ye shall see Jerusalem is in the desert, or in the secret chamcompassed with armies, then let them bers, not to believe the report; for His which are in Judea flee to the moun- appearing would be visible and manifest tains,'
, &c. (Luke xxi. 20——24), which to all. For as the lightning cometh out was fulfilled at the invasion by Titus of the east, and shineth even unto the Vespasian, and is of course a matter of west, so shall also the coming of the Son history. The abomination of desolation of Man be. This Soripture (ver. 20
27) I take to be in its application en- | And that the Scripture is Jewish is tirely Jewish, and not Christian; for no evident from the following verse, for the intelligent Christian expects or is look. fig-tree is always emblematical of the ing for Christ to come in judgment or in Jewish nation (see Joel i. 7; Luke xiii. 6). glory first, but to be caught up to meet Ver. 34. “Verily I say unto you, Him in the air, in order to return with This generation shall not pass, till alí Him in judgment and in glory (see these things be fulfilled;" that is, this 1 Thess. iv. 16-18).
race shall not pass away, not what is Ver. 29, 30, refer to the signs and commonly understood by generation, precursors of His coming, and His ap- because the things foretold have not pearing in the clouds of heaven with yet transpired. power and great glory.
Ver. 36-44. Such will be the sudVer. 31. “And He shall send His denness and uncertainty of the event, angels with a great sound of a trumpet, that of the day or hour knoweth no man, and they shall gather together His elect no, not the angels in heaven, but my from the four winds, from one end Father only. As it was in the days of of heaven to the other.” There is no Noe, so it will be when the Son of Man thought here of resurrection, nor the appears; men will be going on in unberapture of the living saints at the Lord's lief, eating and drinking, marrying and coming. At the first resurrection the giving in marriage, until overtaken by just will hear His voice and come forth sudden judgnient. The flood came and (John v. 284
-see a sample in John xi. took them all away; so shall also the 43, “Lazarus, come forth"); and they, coming of the Son of Man be. Then with the living saints, will be caught up shall two be in the field; the one shall together to meet the Lord in the air (1 be taken, and the other left. Two grindThess. iv. 16, 17). But here, in this ing at the mill; the one shall be taken, 31st verse, the sounding of the trumpets and the other left. The taking away is for the gathering of the scattered here mentioned, I believe, is not the election of Israel home to the land; see taking away for blessing, but for the well-known Scripture Isa. xxvii
. 12, judgment; as in the case of Noah and 13, “ And ye shall be gathered one by his family, they were preserved, whilst one, O ye children of Israel. And it the wicked were all taken away by the shall come to pass in that day, that the flood. Luke (xvii. 37), speaking of great trumpet, shall be blown, and they this same time, says, (and also Matt. shall come which were ready to perish xxiv. 26), “Wheresoever the body is, in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts thither will the eagles be gathered togein the land of Egypt, and shall worship ther." Eagles being birds of prey, the the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusa- passage evidently refers to judgment. lem.” Also Zech. ii. 6, which is almost Some have said that this was accomthe exact language of our Lord in ver. plished when the Roman eagles were 31 of Matthew, "" Ho, ho, come forth, before Jerusalem at the destruction of and flee from the land of the north, saith that city by Titus; but then some fled, the Lord; for I have spread you abroad and the rest were either destroyed or as the four winds of heaven, saith the led away captive, and none were left: Lord.” Moses had spoken of the dis- so that I consider it to be still future, persion of Israel (Deut. xxviii. 64); and and not a matter of history. And that our Lord here speaks of their restora- all from ver. 14 to 41 is yet a subject of tion (see also Isa. xi. 12), “And He prophecy, and concerns principally the shall set up an ensign for the nations, Jewish nation, when they will be again and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, restored to the promised land in unbeand gather together the dispersed of lief. The remnant which will be saved, Judah, from the four corners of the or preserved as Noah was, amidst the earth.” The elect here, then, I take to terrible tribulation that awaits the Jews, be Israel, as in ver. 22 and 24. That will believe on the Lord Jesus when the elect here mentioned are not the they see Him come a second time, and saints is evident, from the preceding say, “Lo, this is our God, we have verse 30, because when the Lord comes waited for Him; we will rejoice and be with
power and great glory, His saints glad in His salvation." will come with Him (see Zech. xiv. 5). I Islington.
BY JAMES SMITH, CHELTENHAM.
Only Jonathan and David knew the matter."-1 Sam. xx. 39. David was in great danger from the soul. As David afterward sung, bis jealousy and enmity of Saul. Jonathan love was wonderful, passing the love of had no suspicion of his father's design, women. But the love of Jesus was more but he agrees with David to endeavour wonderful, for He loved us more than to ascertain it, and to let him know. His own soul, and therefore He laid The plan was laid; Jonathan went to down His life for us. court; Saul manifested his murderous The secret between David and Jonaintention. Jonathan was grieved, and I than consisted in a covenant of salvation, came out into the field with his armour- a plan to save David's life, an agreement bearer, to warn David by shooting an to devise means that he may not die;
The lad was sent to gather up and there is such a secret between Jesus the arrows, and carry his master's in- and us, and we may trace out an analogy struments into the city; then David too. Jonathan stood up before his father came forth, and Jonathan proved the to plead for David; and Jesus stood up depth of his friendship, and the con- in the everlasting. covenant to plead for stancy of his love.
“The lad knew not us: therefore it is said, “He made inanything; only David and Jonathan tercession for the transgressors." knew the matter."
than shot the arrow from his bow to Jonathan was David's superior, being arouse, alarm, and inform David of his the king's son. His name signifies danger; and Jesus sent the arrow of “given of God," or “the gift of the conviction right home to our hearts, Lord.” He was heir-apparent to the arousing, alarming, and informing us of throne. He may represent Jesus, who our danger. We were alive without the is the Son of God, the brightness of His law once, but when the commandment glory, and heir of all things. He is also came, sin revived, and we died. Then God's unspeakable gift. And what a all hope of salvation by works was given gift! A gift that comprehends every up, and the sentence of death was felt other gift, and comprehends every good in all its dreadful power. The arrow of thing. Its greatness is unsearchable. Jonathan brought David out of his hidWe are therefore warranted
to conclude, ing place, to bow and weep before him ; that as God has given it, He will now so the arrow of conviction brought us freely give us all things. And it was out of our false refuges, and brought us given freely, without solicitation, and to the feet of Jesus. There we confessed without deserts. Given to be our our sins, there we wept and deplored Saviour, our portion, and our everlasting our lost condition, and there we sought all. Given absolutely, to be for our for pardon. Only David and Jonathan good, and to be ours for ever.
were present, while Jonathan manifested David was the son of Jesse, com- his sympathy, and displayed the greatparatively a poor man. His father was ness of his love. So, only Jesus and the a farmer or grazier, and David had kept sinner were together, when pardon was his sheep. He was now driven out from proclaimed, reconciliation was effected, home, and sentenced to death by the and salvation was brought home. The king; but he was greatly beloved by sympathy of Jesus excited the strongest the king's son. He may represent the hopes; but the love of Jesus brought sinner, quickened by the Spirit, but still assurance and peace to the soul. Oli, under the law, and therefore condemned how sweet was this first secret interview already. He is indeed poor, yet he is between Jesus and the soul ! How beloved; and beloved, not by Jonathan, sweet, how pleasant the tears we shed ! but by Jesus. Loved with a love more How humbling, how elevating the joys strong, more tender, and more lasting ; we feel! Jonathan sent David away in and yet Jonathan loved Lava s his own peace, with his blessing, to enjoy safety.
Jesus never, strictly speaking, sends us | We can only conceive of heaven as the away ; and yet we leave his presence perfection and perpetuation of the same. with the peace of God in our hearts, Beloved, is there any secret in your with the Divine blessing resting upon religion? Anything that you cannot our souls, and saved in the Lord with put into words, or make intelligible to an everlasting salvation.
the carnal man? Or does your religion There is a secret in religion which no consist merely in ceremonies, services, one knows, which no one can know, but and the performance of religious duties? the believer. It is made up of con. If the latter, it is sad, legal drudgery; fidence in God, grace flowing from God, and you are only in the position of a power imparted by God, and joy akin to servant working for life, which you
will the joy of God. Alas! how many pro- never obtain by working. If the former, fessors are like Jonathan's lad, of this your religion is pleasant, attractive, and divine secret they know not anything. delightful; and you are no more a serThey never felt their danger, were never vant, but a son: and if a son, then an drawn to the feet of Jesus, never wit- heir of God through Christ. You have nessed His sympathy or felt His love. the spirit of adoption within you, the They pick up the precept as the boy presence of Jesus with you, and the picked up the arrow, and go away into prospect of glory before you. Your the city ; while the believer comes forth sweetest seasons are often when alone to enjoy soul-humbling, soul-saving com- with God; your highest joys flow from munion with Jesus. The best part of a sense of union with Christ, and perfect religion is realized and enjoyed by the acceptance with God; and you serve the soul when it is alone with God. "Then Lord without fear, in holiness and righour pardon is sealed; then our fears are teousness before Him. You have Christ scattered; then our hopes are confirmed; formed in the heart, you hold the prothen our hearts are broken with a sense mise of eternal life in the hand, and you of his love; then we rejoice with joy rejoice in hope of the glory of God. unspeakable and full of glory; then Reader, rest not in a common-place the soul seems to flow into the hosom of religion; be not satisfied without heartGod, and the love of God flows into the work. See to it that you have the grand heart, under the operation and direction secret, as it is written, “The secret of of the Holy Ghost. Oh, sacred seasons ! the Lord is with them that fear Him, oh, delightful manifestations! Oh, what and He will show them His covenant.” elevating emotions are then enjoyed !
ALL FOR OUR GOOD.
ROMAxs viii. 28.
Though His frown may now attend,
And darken His designs; Trust Him till you see the end,
!'is there His wisdom shines ; Though to sight it be unknown,
Faith can see it euding well ; Light is for the righteous sown,
Gladness shall his bosom swell..
Child of God, your fears dispel,
Though dangers hover nigh;
And darkness veils the sky;
Good shall out of evil flow;
Order from confusion grow. Clouds and darkness all around,
May hide your God from view; Yet He shall be faithful found,
And to His covenant true ; Though His hand you see not here,
Each event it still controls; Every wave which now you fear,
At your Father's bidding rolls.
Go: shall work out His design,
His purposes shall stand;
When guided by His hand.
In a stream of love upite;
'Till the stream is at its height.
“ By their fruits ye shall know them.”—Matt. vii. 20. ANOTHER friend to the Gospel Magazine, which is, after all, only " as the soundanother sincere, humble-minded believer ing brass and the tinkling.cymbal.” in the truths advocated in its pages, has always of a thoughtful, retiring dispobeen called away to his eternal rest. sition, he was early a student of God's Death has of late been busy in the Word, obtaining therefrom, by the wide world around us. Among those teaching of the Spirit, a knowledge of who have yielded to the sway of this, himself and his own heart, seeing himman's last enemy, though not neces- self to be a sinner, in need of salvation sarily the "king of terrors,” are some from the wrath to come. And if we may of the readers and supporters of this judge from the life, of the nature and Magazine, and of the various objects for progress of the work within, we may which it so earnestly pleads from time well believe that he was taught of God to time.
the Holy Ghost to "repent and believe,” Of this number there was not one to "lay his sins at Jesus' feet;" placing who was wont to read with a greater his whole trust and confidence in the desire to profit; not one who took more work and merits of the crucified Reinterest in the progress of a good work deemer, in that "eternal redemption" and undertaking, than the late Mr. Jolin wrought out on Calvary for all true Ashworth, of Richmond Grove, Long- believers. Diligently and prayerfully right, Manchester, who was called away did he study that Word, the entrance of from earth, and earthly things (some- which giveth light; and the influence what suddenly at the last), in the early that Word possessed over him was duly part of the past month. He " came to evidenced, of late more especially, in his
however, “in a full age, daily life and conversation. “By their like as a shock of corn cometh in in fruits ye shall know them.' his season (Job v. 26).
His was a character which, though Of him it might with truth be said, known and read of all with whom, either he was, according to his ability, and the in business or society, he came in conopportunities afforded him, a "doer of tact, is yet difficult to describe, owing, the Word, and not a hearer only " (Jas. in some measure, to the continued i. 22). Plain and unpretending in his reserve which, to the last, formed part general demeanour, he led a life of quiet of his very nature. Not easy of access usefulness, sounding no trumpet before to strangers, and even to intimate him, letting not his left hand know what friends not over communicative, he was his right hand did; but seeking to liable, perhaps, sometimes to be mis" adorn the doctrine of God his Sa- taken for what he really was not, a viour in all things.' None could be person of morose disposition. Even to more conscious of his short-comings in the members of his own family, little endeavouring to "run the race that was was said on any subject; and seldom set before him ;” and, doubtless, he was was it that the workings of his mind often tempted, through constitutional ill were made visible to any of them. Yet health, and the infirmities resulting from not one of them doubted that “the one it, to " write bitter things against him- thing needful,” was constantly in his self.”. But none could be more desirous thoughts, and the main subject of his of living to the glory of Him who had later meditations. called him “from darkness to light, and Averse to controversy in itself, but from the power of Satan unto God.” decided in his views of truth, he believed
Throughout the whole of his life, that what is brought forward in the which was extended to the three score Magazine is only a reflex of the great and ten of the Psalmist, there was a doctrines shadowed forth, and fully consistent avoiding, and inveterate dis-, developed, in the Scriptures, from Gene like, of that noisy outside profession sis to Revelation, Christ the beginning