Oof. I thought I’d never get through these three sections. And dear ol’ Hosea gets rather wordy.
164. Christ’s coming and the â€œdreadful dayâ€ the same. But I deem it expedient to ship that not only the coming of Christ, as pointed out in these scriptures, took place in that generation, but also that the â€œgreat and dreadful day of the Lordâ€ which was to burn as an oven, by which all the â€œproud, yea, and all who did wickedly become stubble,â€ also came in that generation. And that this day was the end of the world, of which Jesus spake (Matt. xxiv.). Furthermore, that we have the following account of the same end of the world in Matt. xiii. 40-42. As therefore the tare are gathered and burned in the fire; so shall it be in h the end of this world. The Son of man shall send forth his angels, and they shall gather out of his kingdom all things that offend, and then which do iniquity, and shall cast them into a furnace of fire; there shall be wailing and gnashing of teeth! And moreover that within the same specified period all the dreadful judgments which he denounced were fulfilled.
165. Those to whom Christ spoke to see those things. Keep in mind how carefully Jesus stated, in the passages above quoted, that some of them to whom he spake should live to see the time of his coming with his angels to render unto every man according to his works, and pass to an examination of other passages. Matt. x. 23: â€œBut when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another; for verily, I say unto you, ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come.â€ Here take particular notice of the following circumstances: 1st. The divine master is giving his disciples special directions, in relation to the prudence which they would need to exercise while accomplishing the labors to which he had appointed them. 2d. For a season this caution would be necessary on account of the persecutions to which the disciples would be exposed; but they were encouraged to expect a change for their benefit, when Jesus should come, according to his promises. In support of his fact, see Luke xxi. 28-32. â€œAnd when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh. And he spake to them a parable; Behold the fig tree, and all the trees: when they now shoot forth, ye see and know of your own selves that summer is now nigh at hand. So likewise ye, when ye see these things come to pass, know ye that the kingdom of God is nigh at hand. Verily I say unto you, this generation shall not pass away, till all be fulfilled.â€ 3d. The divine master certifies his disciples that they should not have passed over the cities of Israel till he should come. This was fixing his coming within the time of their ministry. Look next at the war which Jesus denounced on his enemies, the Jews, as recorded (Matt. xxiii.). After a lengthy and a most severe annunciation of war on the scribes and pharisees, Jesus brings this last address to them to a close, as follows: â€œFill ye up then the measure of your fathers. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers! How can ye escape the damnation of hell? Wherefore, behold I send unto you prophets, and wise men, and scribes; and some of them ye shall kill and crucify; and some of them shall ye scourge in your synagogues, and persecute them from city to city; that upon you may come all the righteous blood, shed upon the earth, from the blood of righteous Abel unto the blood of Zacharias, son of Barachias, whom ye slew between the temple and the altar. Verily, I say unto you, all these things shall come upon this generation. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them which are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not! Behold your house is left unto you desolate. For I say unto you, ye shall not see me henceforth, till ye shall say blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.â€ Let the reader be careful to observe that according to this passage the damnation of hell and all the war here denounced were to come on that people in that generation.
After Jesus had finished this tremendous address which he delivered to the Jews, in their temple, the last time he spake there, we are informed chapter xxiv. 1st and 6th that â€œJesus went out and departed from the temple; and his disciples came to him, for to show him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, see ye not all these things. Verily, I say unto you there shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
166. The discourse in the temple again fixes the time. This assurance which Jesus gave to his diciples, [sic] that of that beautiful temple not one stone should be left upon another that should not be thrown down, was in reference to what they had just heard him state in the temple concerning its desolation. â€œAnd as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?â€ Here be careful to observe that the things of which the disciples spake when they asked, when shall these things be? were those things of which Jesus had just spoken in the temple. In his reply to the questions which his disciples asked him, Jesus is careful to give clear and definite answers. He first warned them against being deceived by many who would come in his name, and deceive many. Chap. xxxiv. 6. etc. [Should be Matthew 24:6 â€“ Ed.] â€œAnd ye shall hear of wars, and rumours of wars: See that ye be not troubled; for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.â€ It seems proper, in this place, to ask what Jesus meant by the end, which he said, â€œis not yet.â€ Surely the true answer to this question is found in the questions which his disciples asked him, to which he was then answering. The questions which they asked him were the following. â€œWhen shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?â€ It was he end of the world which Jesus said in verse 6th, â€œis not yet.â€ Jesus goes on to give further particulars concerning events which would come to pass before the end of the world; and speaks of the rising of nation against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and of earthquakes in diverse places. Also of the persecutions which the disciples should suffer; but tells them, verse 13, â€œHe that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved:â€ and then adds, â€œAnd this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations, and then shall the end come.â€ That is the end of the world of which the disciples asked their Master. I have often heard preachers attempt to describe the end of the world, and its attendant circumstances, with zeal and vehemency, in which they would speak of the dissolution of the earth, the dissolving of the sun, of the moon, and the stars; of the resurrection of all the dead, and of their coming to judgment; of the august appearance of Jesus surrounded with a multitude of the heavenly hosts, who are to wait on him while he sits in judgment to decide the destinies of the whole human family forever and ever. This scene they lay altogether in what they call eternity. Such being the views entertained by the objector, he feels confident that the coming of Christ, at the end of the world, could not have taken place in that generation. But I would respectfully invite him to attend to certain descriptions which Jesus gave of the end of the world, and of certain circumstances which would attend it. He goes on thus: â€œWhen ye, therefore, shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand) then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains: let him which is on the housetop not come down to take anything out of his house. And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days! But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day! For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.â€ Concerning this description let us carefully note several particulars. 1st. Jesus gives his disciples to understand that at this end of the world they would see the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place. If we turn to Daniel we may be satisfied whether the prophet spake of what would take place in this state of man’s existence, or what is commonly called eternity. See Dan. ix. 26. â€œAnd after three score and two weeks shall the Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.â€ Chap. xii. 11. â€œAnd from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate, set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.â€ Such descriptions may well apply to the calamitous wars which wasted the Jews, overthrew their city, and planted the Roman standard in the temple of God, even in the holy place. But I hardly think the objector will be disposed to apply such representations to events which are to take place in a future state. 2d. At the end of the world of which Jesus spake to his disciples, and when they should see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, he told them who where in Judea to flee into the mountains. This advice was undoubtedly very judicious, if the occasion of their flight was the dire calamity of war; but if the occasion were the annihilation of the material universe, the resurrection of all the dead, and the assembling of the whole human race to the solemnities of what is called the eternal judgment, it is difficult to understand how security could be obtained by fleeing into the mountains. 3d. Jesus signified to his disciples that the end of the world would be a season of difficulty which would be augmented if it should happen in the winter or on the sabbath. These suggestions were very correct if they referred to temporal inconveniences; but it would be difficult to understand how to apply them to scenes in the invisible world. 4th. Jesus gave his disciples to understand that the troubles which would come in the people at the end of the world, would fall with particular inconvenience on such as should at that time be with child or should give such to their infants. I have little doubt that our objector will see that these circumstances may apply much better to temporal inconveniences endured by females, during the terrible storm of war and the conquest of their city, than to any event in eternity of which we read in the scriptures.