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ture be the word of God, Christianity must be true. From what hath been advanced, we may also remark, that whilst we learn to admire the forbearance and long-suffering of God towards the Jews, we should, at the same time, stand in awe of the divine judgments; lest we also come under the same condemnation. God bore long with the Jewish nation, but when the measure of their iniquities was full, he cut them off. How long had these thankless and unholy people been the objects of his tenderest care! For more than two thousand years they engrossed the peculiar regard of the most beneficent providence; and during the three years of our Lord's public ministry, his preaching and his miracles had but one object and one aim; the instruction and the salvation of this thoughtless and disobedient people. For their sakes, he who was rich became poor, that they through his poverty might be rich ; for their sakes, he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. He died, that they might not perish, but have everlasting life. How entirely, then, is the perdition of the Jews to be ascribed to themselves ! How unreasonable and shocking would be the opinion, that the Lord Jesus, thus merciful and gracious, could by any necessitating power, have fixed their reprobation from all eternity, and yet, at the same time, have thus wept and lamented on what, in that case, must have been the unavoidable consequences of his own sovereign decree. My brethren, let us take heed that we resemble not the Jews in their offences; lest we also resemble them in their punishment. It is true we cannot, as Christians, literally be guilty of the same offence, in crucifying the Lord of glory; but it behoves us to consider, whether by our sins and iniquities, we may not, to use the words of the apostle, Crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame.” They rejected the Messiah, we have received him ; but, my brethren, have our lives been agreeable to our profession? or to quote the language of the same apostle, may we not, by our sins, at this moment be treading under foot the Son of God, and be doing despite to his Spirit.” “God,” saith St. Paul,“ spared not the natural branches, take heed lest he also spare not thee. Because of unbelief they were broken off; and thou standest by faith. Be not high-minded, but fear.” And let us reflect for our encouragement, that he who wept over that city and its inhabitants, who were so shortly to experience the fulfilment of his threatenings, will fulfil no less circumstantially the promises of his grace to all that believe; and that without respect of
persons. He will fulfil his word, on which he hath caused us to trust. He will save to the very uttermost all who come with penitent and contrite, with believing and obedient hearts unto God by him ; for the word of the Lord endureth for ever, and they who put their trust in him shall never be ashamed.
THE SUBJECT OF PROPHECY CONTINUED.
“ And 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?”—Matt. xxiv. 3.
ONE of our modern travellers, the late Dr. Clarke, professor of Mineralogy in the University of Cambridge, who but a few years since visited Jerusalem, has the following passage respecting the Mount of Olives. “So commanding is the view of Jerusalem, afforded in this situation, that the eye roams over all the streets and around the walls, as if in the survey of a plan or model of the city. The most conspicuous object is the mosque, erected upon the site and foundations of the temple of Solomon.” How exactly, my brethren, does this description agree with the notice which St. Mark incidentally takes of the situation of the Mount of Olives,
as being “over against the temple ;” and how natural was it for the disciples from such a situation, with the temple and city of Jerusalem thus full in their view, to renew the discourse with our Saviour; and may we not add, what a strong confirmation does this evidently unstudied coincidence between these circumstances and the accounts of the evangelists afford of the truth of the gospel history. The testimony of Dr. Clarke on this subject in another part of his work, is highly interesting and most satisfactory. His remarks are as follows. “Upon the third of July, we began our journey to Jerusalem; intending first to visit all those places in Galilee rendered remarkable by the life and actions of Jesus Christ. We had early resolved to make the sacred scriptures our only guide, throughout this interesting territory; and the delight afforded by the internal evidences of truth in every instance, where their fidelity of description was proved by a comparison, surpassed even all that we had anticipated. Such extraordinary instances of coincidence, even with the customs of the country as they are now exhibited and so many wonderful