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the fact, and a few of its circumstances; as in his addresses to the Pharisees, and in the pathetic lamentation over Jerusalem when he beheld it from the mount of Olives". And when the women who stood round the cross wept for him, who had so lately wept for their country, he repeated some of the alarming intimations with the expressive exhortation, "Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children." On each of these several occasions he distinctly pointed at the same event, but scarcely ever in the same form, and always with an allusion to some different circumstances. But in the longest of all his predictions, delivered to his disciples in private, he described the circumstances which would precede, attend, and follow that signally calamitous event, with a wonderful but awful precision. Yet "that generation did not pass, till all was fulfilled;" and the fullest confirmation was given to the declaration of Jesus, which he connected with these predictions, "Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away."

It was also declared by Jesus, that his Gospel should first be extensively preached throughout

a Luke xvii. 20.
c Ibid. xxiii. 28-31.
Matt. xxiv. 35.

Matt. xxiii.

b Luke xix. 43.

Mark xiii. 31. Luke xxi. 33.

the Roman empire; that the "kingdom of God, which should be taken from the Jews, would be given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof;" that he must bring together" into one fold, and under one Shepherd," sheep of "other folds;" and that "many would come from the east, and from the west, and sit down with Abraham and Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of God, while the children of the kingdom were cast out." Hereby he announced the accomplishment, in a manner which the Jews were not prepared to expect, of the divine promise given to Jacob at Bethel. "I am the Lord God of Abraham thy father, and the God of Jacob; the land whereon thou liest, to thee will I give it, and to thy seed; and thy seed shall be as the dust of the earth, and thou shalt spread abroad to the west, and to the east, and to the north, and to the south; and in thee and in thy seed shall all the families of the earth be blessed'."

That the commission given by Jesus to "teach all nations" will one day be effectual, and that "the Gospel will be preached in the whole world," and "the fulness of the Gentiles come in," we retain the assured and consolatory hope. But as

• Matt. xxiv. 14; xxi. 41-43. John x. 16. Matt. viii. 11. Luke xiii. 29.

'Gen. xxviii. 13, 14.

we see not as yet "obedience to the faith among all nations," so, in this very circumstance, do we recognize the prescience of Jesus, reaching to every age of that Church, of which he has declared, that "the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." For he also announced to his disciples, that "the Jews would fall by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations; and that Jerusalem would be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled"." This prophecy has continued to receive its accomplishment for nearly two thousand years. The Jews who were then carried captive, have ever since remained, and still do remain, in the same dispersed, despised, and often persecuted condition. Jerusalem is still trodden down of the Gentiles; because the time of the Gentiles is not yet fulfilled. Yet has the Gospel of Jesus, though rejected by the Jews, and though opposed by Gentiles, not been arrested in its progress. Those who first promulgated it, did endure the various sufferings, and met with the unbelief and hatred, of which their Master forewarned them. But, through their labours and writings, the Gospel, like the "leaven hid in three measures of meal," to which Jesus compared it, has ever

a Matt. xvi. 18.

b Luke xxi. 24.

c Matt. x. 17, 18; xxiii. 34; xxiv. 9. John xv. 20; xvi. 2.

since continued and extended its beneficent influence in the world, and we doubt not will finally leaven the whole. Already has the grain of mustard-seed" sown in Judea, become a tree, and many nations have reposed under its shadow, and nestled among its branches".

These prophecies, and their accomplishment, are of themselves sufficient to establish the prophetic character of Jesus, had he delivered no other. Their fulfilment had not begun in his own life-time, and some of the most important were not fulfilled until after the death of all those who have transmitted them to use. Yet their correctness is proved both by the history of past ages, and by the present state of the Christian Church, of the Jews, and of the world. It is, however, obvious, that the accomplishment of these had no share in producing that faith in Jesus as the Messiah, and that patience and tranquillity in the midst of sufferings, which the Apostles did undoubtedly derive from some prophecies of their Master; and the production of both which results he expressly assigned as his motive for the delivery of them, as we shall hereafter shew. But the notice of these may have prepared us with

d Matt. xiii.

St. John, who survived the destruction of Jerusalem, and probably wrote after it, has not mentioned the prophecy respecting that event, which the earlier writers so carefully recorded.


fuller confidence to proceed to the consideration of others, the accomplishment as well as the delivery of which we learn from the New Testament, and some of which more directly tend to prove the divine mission of Jesus as the Messiah.

II. Some predictions of a detached character which Jesus delivered, received an almost immediate accomplishment. Such was the declaration to his disciples, a few days before the raising of Lazarus. "Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but

I go that I may awake him out of sleep." Soon after "he said unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead. And I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe." To Martha also Jesus said, when he first met her, "Thy brother shall rise again ;" and again at the grave, when he had ordered the stone to be removed, and she began to expostulate with him, " Said I not unto thee, that, if thou wouldest believe, thou shouldest see the glory of God?" The event itself also was preceded by an address to the Father, with the avowed design that they might see that it was done with his approbation and by his power, and that thus they might believe that the Father had sent him." And doubtless that conviction would be much strengthened by the circumstance, that he in this manner foretold it3.—A similar effect would

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a John xi.

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