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devil in,” grows pale - thus betokening his disquiet state of mind.
“Hear what he was ; he swore in sight of God,
The way of death, he whispered peace.” All men of every clime, and in every city, or hamlet, now gaze and wonder at the sight, while guardian Angels whisper in the ears of the sanctified and waiting ones this is the sign of the Son of man; when instantly the cloud unfolds itself, and lo! seated on a throne like the fiery flame, whose wheels now roll in livid fire — appears the Son of man! He sends forth His Angels to gather all the jewels of His love. They have been long scattered, but the days of their dispersion are ended — they are now to be gathered to their eternal home. No more sorrow, sickness or death they have gotten the victory;'and can now triumphantly sing,
“O grave! where is thy victory ?
O death! where is thy sting? v. 32. “Now learn a parable of the fig-tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh.”
v. 33. “So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors."
As we know that summer is near by the budding of the fig-tree, so when all these things shall come to pass, we may know that the coming of the Lord is nigh. By
"all these things" is intended the signs given in the 29th verse, for these are precursors of His coming. The event of His coming is not of course included; for what propriety could there be in saying, “know that it is near,” when the event expected was already in the past?
v. 34. “Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."
What generation? Evidently the one living in the age when the signs are developed.
Let it be remembered, that the sun was to be darkened after the tribulation of those days. Hence, if it could be shown that the first part of this chapter referred to the destruction of Jerusalem, as the physical signs, namely, the darkening of the sun and moon, the falling of the stars, etc., were to be fulfilled after the tribulation of those days, they did not transpire, and consequently were not seen, by the generation then on the earth. The sentiment of the text appears to be this ; the generation, who witness the fulfilment of those signs, shall not pass off from the stage of life until the Lord shall come.
0. 35. “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”
A blessed confirmation of our faith, in order that we might have a strong consolation, and a hope like an anchor ; being assured that sooner will the frame-work of nature be broken, the glory of the constellations above our heads extinguished, and the solid globe on which we stand annihilated, than the promise of our coming king fail.
v. 36. “But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only."
In Mark xiii: 32, we read; “But of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels in heaven, neither the Son, but the Father.”
If the above passages prove that man will NEVER know anything respecting the definite time of the Lord's return from heaven, they equally prove that Jesus himself will never understand the time; for that which is affirmed concerning man, is also affirmed concerning Christ; but to suppose that the Lord will not know the time of His second glorious appearing for the salvation of His people until that day come, is to suppose that which is supremely absurd and preposterous. It is truly asserted that the Son did not then know the day and hour; for the Father had not, at that time revealed it unto Him. This appears from the declaration of our Saviour (Jno. xv: 15,) “ All things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you.” If He had received from the Father a knowledge of the day and hour when that event would take place, how could he have said, “ all things that I have heard of my Father, I have made known unto you,” when He had not communicated this knowledge unto them? It has ever been a principle of the divine economy to unfold truth as the wants of the Church demand it. This is fully illustrated in the history of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and the prophets. The prohibition given to Adam respecting the forbidden fruit was adapted to his case; but how inappropriate it would have been in the time of Noah. There was a propriety in the fiery ordeal through which Abraham passed in the offering up of his son ; but there was no necessity that the patriarch should prepare an ark for the saving of his house. Lot was required to flee to the mountains, and Moses to prophesy unto Pharaoh : but to have exchanged those requisitions, would have been an infringement on the economy of God. By this means Lot would have perished in the overthrow of Sodom, and the children of Israel would have remained in Egyptian bondage.
In keeping with this principle, the Lord gave to the Church as much truth, at the opening of the Gospel dispensation, as was essential to the development of moral character; but some sixty years after this, it was necessary that the Church should receive further divine communications of light; hence, the Revelator says:
“ The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to show unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass : and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John,"(Rev. i: 1).
In the Apocalypse, we have truths applicable to the Church in every age of the Messianic dispensation; and the unfolding of these sublime and stirring truths, together with other prophetic developments, furnishes the Church with the light she needs during her entire pilgrimage. Hence, the prophet Daniel says, “knowledge shall be increased." The wicked shall do wickedly ; and none of the wicked shall understand ; but the wise shall understand.” But it may be inquired, what shall they understand? What the prophet says he did not understand. The question had been asked, “ How long shall it be to the end of these wonders ?” To which the angel replied, “ for a time, times and an half; and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, and these things shall be
finished." In connection with this, Daniel adds, “I heard, but I understood not.” What did he not understand ? Evidently the time. Then comes in the promise, “ The wise shall understand." This language can have no force unless the people of God are to understand the time as well as the nature of the events connected with Daniel's prophecy, the chronological periods of which reach to the coming of the Lord, and the resurrection of the dead.
ye, brethren," says the Apostle, “are not in darkness, that that day should overtake you as a thief.”
v. 37. “But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be."
It is evident that, in the preceding verse, when Jesus refers to the day and hour not being known, He had allusion to the generation then living upon the earth, since He uses the verb in the present tense. “But the days of Noe were,” (past tense) so shall also" (future tense)“ the coming of the Son of man be.” Now, although the Saviour informs us that the generation then living did not know the time, yet He does declare unequivocally, that as it was in the days of Noah, so it shall be at His second coming. If, therefore, we can learn how it was in the days of Noah, we shall understand how it will be at His second appearing. The Saviour proceeds to say, (verse 38): “For as in the days that were before the flood, they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark.
“And knew not. What did they not know? The antediluvians knew that they were eating and drinking, of course; but there was something which Christ