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time was drawing near, when that obscure prophecy was to be made plain by its accomplishment. 16. What were the followers of Christ to do, when they should see the Roman army approaching? "Then let them which be in Judea flee into the mountains." What mountains? Those beyond Jordan. Why were the Christians to flee to that mountainous region? Because it was the place of Divine appointment, where they might confidently expect to be in safety. But how could any persons escape from Jerusalem, when the Romans were surrounding the city? The God of Israel caused the Roman army to retreat for a time, that his believing children might escape. Did they escape? Yes; when the army returned, not a single Christian was remaining in the city.

17. Would there be any time to lose when the enemy was seen advancing to besiege the city? No; delay would then be dangerous in the extreme. How did our Lord enforce the necessity of instant flight? "Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house." Why was he not to come down into his house? Lest, by trying to save any part of his property, he should be surprised and slain by the Roman soldiers. How high were the houses of the Jews? See x. 27. What kind of roofs had they? See iv. 5. How could an individual make his escape from the housetop without descending into the house? By the outer staircase, which descended into the court, near the gateway.


18. What direction was given to such of the disciples as might be tilling the ground or tending cattle, when the enemy should be seen marching towards the capital? "Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes." Whither was the husbandman not to return back? To his home in the city. Why might he not return to fetch his long outer garment, without which he would have nothing to wrap himself in at night? Because the body is more than raiment; and, by delay, he might lose his life.*

What did our "Woe unto them

19. Were there not some persons whose cases would be especially unhappy? Yes. Lord predict concerning them? that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!" Why would such persons be in a most lamentable condition? Because it would be so difficult for them to flee with the necessary expedition.

20. What is the first relief, to which saints have recourse in trouble, or in the prospect of coming evil? Prayer. What is prayer? See vi. 5. When calamities are unavoidable, as in the instance before us, of what avail can it be to pray concerning them? If suffering is not averted, it may be greatly mitigated, in answer to prayer. For what were the disciples to pray? "Pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the Sabbath day." Why were they to pray that their flight might not

*Matt. vi. 25. Job ii. 4.

be in the winter? Because by the winter is meant the rainy season, when the roads would be bad, and travelling difficult. Why were they to pray, that circumstances might not compel them to flee on the Sabbath day? Lest they should be hindered in their flight. What might hinder them on that day? The Pharisaic zeal of their countrymen. How could the Pharisaic zeal of their countrymen hinder their flight? By a tradition of the elders, no Jew was allowed to travel more than three quarters of a mile on the Sabbath day. Was that tradition enforced as law? Yes. Is it right to travel on the Sabbath day? Not in every case. When is it lawful? In cases of necessity, and for purposes Would it have been lawful for the Yes; if it was

of mercy.

disciples to flee on that day?

necessary for their safety.

21. How did our Lord proceed to describe the awful scenes that would occur? "Then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be." What time is denoted by "then"? The time described in ver. 15. How is it there described? See ver. 15. Wherein did the great tribulation here spoken of consist? In all the horrors of war, famine, pestilence, and the wrath of God. Why were these complicated miseries heaped upon the Jews? For their dreadful impiety, and their rejection of the Messiah.

22. How long were these predicted horrors to last? During the siege of Jerusalem, until the city was

taken and destroyed. Was that likely to be a long time? Yes; considering the strength of the fortifications, and the fitness of the place to hold out a long siege. Who was it that shortened those days of tribulation? The Lord God Almighty, who is merciful and gracious. How did he shorten those days? By giving speedy success to the Roman arms; and by inclining the conqueror to spare the Jews that remained alive. For whose sakes did God thus shorten the sufferings of the nation? "For the elect's sake." Who are the elect? Those who are chosen of God unto eternal life. Who are thus chosen of God unto eternal life? The saints. Was it for the sake of those few, who believed on the Lord Jesus Christ, that the miseries of war, famine, and pestilence were not prolonged? Yes, and also for the sake of those who were not yet converted, but who should afterwards believe through their word.* Why were they to be spared, while yet in unbelief? That the purpose of God, according to election, might stand.+ If those days of horror had not been cut short, what must have been the consequence? "Except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved." What is meant by "there should no flesh be saved"? That the whole Jewish population would have been swept from off the face of the land. Was the destruction of life very great, so long as those dreadful days lasted? Yes; eleven hundred thousand perished in

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the siege, besides those who were slain in other places. 23. What would the Jewish people earnestly look for, in the time of their distress? Deliverance. Would any deliverer be found to rescue them out of the hands of their enemies? No. Were those persons worthy of confidence who should pretend to the character of a deliverer? No. How did our Lord caution his followers against being led away by such pretensions ? Then, if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not." 24. What need was there for this caution? there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets." Did any such pretenders put forth their claims during the siege of Jerusalem? Yes. What were their pretensions? They professed to be sent of God, to deliver the Jews from the Roman army. By what means did our Lord say, these impostors would endeavour to draw the people after them? They "shall show great signs and wonders." they work any real miracles? No. know that? Because the signs which they showed were intended to deceive. How does that prove that they were not real miracles? Because the Almighty never lent his power to the upholding of a lie. Have true miracles never been wrought but by the power of God? Never. What then is the character of those signs and wonders, which are described as the working of Satan? They are lying wonders.* Did our Lord say, that the signs

* 2 Thes. ii. 9.


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