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trated by the language of St. Paul at Miletus to the elders of the church : (Acts xx. 22:) " And now, behold, I go bound in the spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that may befall me there : save that the Holy Ghost witnesseth in every city, saying, that bonds and afflictions abide me. But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy.” This was the settled feeling of his mind. And so it appeared, not long afterwards, when Agabus, in a prophetic spirit, came forward, and “ took Paul's girdle, and bound his own hands and feet, and said, Thus saith the Holy Ghost, So shall the Jews at Jerusalem bind the man which owns this girdle, and shall deliver him into the hands of the Gentiles.” (Acts xxi. 10.) This was a sudden trial, and proved the fixed resolution of the heart. He persevered, “ nothing wavering:" he shook off the entreaties of his friends, answering, “ What
" mean ye to weep and to break my heart?" What if bonds and persecutions do await me? ready, not to be bound only, but to die at Jerusalem for the sake of the Lord Jesus."
Let the same principle be established and inherent in us all, ready to start forward and dictate a like reply to every unworthy suggestion. It is the trying of our faith. And,“ know this, that the trying of your faith worketh patience. But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing.".
“ I am
4 James i. 3, 4.
THE DISCIPLES ARE WARNED OF THE DESTRUC.
TION OF JERUSALEM.
LUKE xxi. 20—28.
(Matt. xxiv. 14–31. Mark xiii. 14—27.)
20. And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh.
21. Then let them which are in Judea flee to the mountains; and let them which are in the midst of it depart out; and let not them that are in the countries enter thereinto.
22. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled.
23. But woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days ! for there shall be great distress in the land, and wrath upon this people.
24. And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations ; and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.
It was plainly declared by our Lord in the beginning of his prophecy, which was before considered, that the first preachers of the gospel, and those who believed in them, would not be exempted from persecution. The enmity of Satan, and of evil men bis instruments, would be exerted against them : so that all the world should see that the Christian faith was established « not in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” 1
But a visitation was impending over the guilty land of Judea, in whieh it was not just that the Christians should be involved. “ That the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from God :" 2 that the righteous who had received the Messiah, should be as the wicked who had rejected him. Therefore they are warned. The time and means of escape are pointed out to them.
When they should see Jerusalem compassed about with armies, when the eagles should be gathered together, then let them leave the carcase, for God had abandoned his holy city, and her desolation was drawing nigh. For these be the days of vengeance, that all things which are written may be fulfilled: the things foretold by Moses fifteen hundred years before, “ when the Lord should scatter them among all people, from the one end of the earth even to the other:", when they should be led away captive into all nations, and Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles.
It is known to us all how wonderfully this has been accomplished, and is still accomplishing. Other nations have been conquered, have been overrun by enemies, and those who survived the calamity have gradually melted away. or the conquered and the conquerors have become blended and united, till the one could no longer be distinguished from the other. The Jewish people form a single exception.
Led captive into all nations, they have become
1 1 Cor. ii. 5.
2 Gen. xviii. 25.
3 Deut. xxviii. 64.
sign to all nations, and “an astonishment, a proverb and a by-word : " + separate in language, in manners, in religion, in appearance, from all those with whom they are concerned in the daily transactions of life: strangers and foreigners in the country to which by birth and residence they belong. “ It is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes."
Wherever we see an individual remnant of the Jewish stock, we see a proof of the truth of God's word, which none of our adversaries are able to gainsay or resist.”
The end, however, is not yet. Jerusalem is still trodden down of the Gentiles. It is, and generally has been, under the power of those who are alike enemies of the Jewish and the Christian name. But a period seems to be hinted at, when this desolation shall no longer be. Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled. When the purposes of God respecting other nations have had their full accomplishment, then, perhaps, he “shall plant the Jews again upon their land, and they shall never be pulled up.”5 “ Jerusalem shall be safely inhabited :” and the promise of the prophet Ezekiel shall be verified, (xxxvii. 21-25,) “ Thus saith the Lord God: Behold I will take the children of Israel from among the heathen, whither they be gone, and will gather them on every side, and bring them into their own land; and David my servant shall be king over them: and they all shall have one shepherd : they shall also walk in my judgments, and observe my statutes, and do them. 4 Deut. xxviii. 37.
5 Jer. xxiv. 6.
And they shall dwell in the land that I have given unto Jacob my servant, wherein your fathers have dwelt : and they shall dwell therein, even they, and their children, and their children's children for ever: and my servant David shall be their prince for ever.”
This, however, is among the secret things which time must unfold. The prophecy is as yet “a light shining in a dark place,” till the events of God's providential government disclose his counsels to our view.
25. And there shall be signs in the sun, and in the moon, and in the stars : and upon the earth distress of nations, with perplexity; the sea and the waves roaring ;
26. Men's hearts failing them for fear, and for looking after those things which are coming on the earth : for the powers of heaven shall be shaken.
27. And then shall they see the Son of man coming in a cloud, with power and great glory.
28. And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads ; for your redemption draweth nigh.
When God's judgments are upon the earth, then appears the blessedness of those who have believed and acted upon his word. Perplexity and alarm should pervade the Jewish nation : men's hearts failing them for fear, when their enemies approached, when they were threatened by an overwhelming force, when they were hesitating between the signs of God's anger, and a presumptuous confidence in his protection. Till at last the Son of God proved himself what he claimed to be, “the