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of the word "mourning" in this passage? It denotes that they would beat upon their breasts, as persons frantic with grief. What would occasion this bitter distress? The awful experience of God's avenging justice. What event would take place during this season of public calamity? "And they shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." Are we to understand, that the Son of Man would then actually appear in the clouds of heaven? No; the language is symbolical. What do you mean by symbolical? See verse 29. Of what is a cloud the symbol? Of a vast multitude. * What are the multitudes here represented by "clouds ?" The Roman legions. What is a legion? A vast body of soldiers. 31. What did our Lord further predict concerning the Son of Man? "And he shall send his angels, with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other." What do these words set forth? The means, that should then be used, for the spread of the Christian faith. What is the meaning of the word "angel"? Messenger. Who would send his angels, or messengers? "The Son of Man." What messengers are here intended? The Apostles and Evangelists. Apostle? See viii. 14.

What is an

What is an Evangelist?

One who publishes glad tidings.

Was every

Apostle an Evangelist? Yes. Was every Evan

* See "cloud" in the sense of multitude, Isaiah lx, 8. & Heb. xii, 1.

gelist an Apostle? No; there were only twelve, who had the peculiar commission and authority of Apostles. What was the trumpet with which these angels were to be sent forth? The report of the Gospel. What is the report of the Gospel? That God is in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them.* What effect would follow the publication of this gracious message? That a Church would be gathered unto the Lord Jesus Christ, composed of the "elect" of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues.

32. Did our Lord say any thing to point out the period when these things should take place? Yes; he described it plainly. Why did our Lord give particular indications of the time when these predictions would be fulfilled? Because the disciples had enquired: When shall these things be? In what manner did our Lord proceed to answer that inquiry ? He taught them by a parable. What is a parable? See xiii. 3. From what object, in nature, did our Lord select his imagery? From the fig-tree. from the fig-tree? Because it was a most suitable image; and our Lord could see many fig-trees growing near him, as he sat on the mount of Olives. Did Jesus usually draw his lessons from surrounding objects? Yes.t What is here said of the fig-tree? "When his branch is yet tender and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh." 33. What is the application of the parable? "So

* 2 Cor. v. 19.

+ See Mat, v. 14. &c. &c.


likewise that it is near, even at the doors." What is meant by "all these things" which they should see? All the calamities that were coming upon the Jews.* And what might be known to be near, whenever those predicted calamities should take place? The kingdom of God.+ What is the kingdom of

ye, when ye shall see all these things, know

God, in this sense? The reign of Messiah, or the the Gospel dispensation. 34. What more did our Lord say, to point out and limit the time of the fulfilment of these predictions? "Verily, I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled."

the meaning of "Verily"? See v. 18. generation? See xii. 41.

What is What is a

What particular gene


ration must have been intended by our Lord? race of Jews living at that time. Did our Lord mean to say, that all the Jews of his time should live to see those things fulfilled? No; but those things were to happen so soon, that many, then living, would see their accomplishment. What may we learn from this declaration of our Lord? That it cannot be right to apply any of the foregoing verses to the end of time and the day of judgment. Why so? Because, whatever may be their import, the TIME of their fulfilment is clearly limited. Limited to what? To the lifetime of those, who were contemporary with Christ and his Apostles.

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35. How did our Lord further confirm the faith of his "Hea

disciples in the truth of these declarations? ven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away." What did the Jews believe concerning the heaven and earth passing away? That such a thing could never be. What did our Lord tell them to regard as truly impossible? That his words should pass away unfulfilled. Would the phrase here employed convey that sense to the mind of the Jews? Yes. How so? They had no stronger way of expressing impossibility than by an allusion to the passing away of heaven and earth.* 36. What more could the restless curiosity of the human mind desire to know, concerning the period of Christ's coming and kingdom? The very day of the year, and the hour of the day, when these things should be fulfilled. Did our Lord ever give sanction to unbridled curiosity? No; he often repressed it.† How did he repress it, on the present occasion? By saying: "But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only." 37. To what did our Lord compare the moral aspect of the times that were coming upon the Jews? To the days of Noe. Who was Noe? Noah, who was

saved at the deluge.

ing the days of Noe?

What is declared concern

"As the days of Noe were,

so shall also the coming of the Son of Man be.” Of whom did our Lord speak under the title of the

*See v. 18.

+ John xxi. 21, 22. & Acts i. 6, 7.

Son of Man?

See verse 27.

To what coming

did he here refer? See verse 27. 38. What description is here given of the days of Noe? "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." Is there anything wrong in simply eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage? No. Why, then, are these things spoken of, as marking the character of the age ? Because the people thought of nothing but sensual gratification. 39. What was the consequence of such a sensual and ungodly manner of life? They "knew not, until the flood came, and took them all away." Knew not what? That death and endless ruin were at hand. Had they never heard that the flood would come, and that there was no safety but in the ark? They must have heard these things; for Noah was a preacher of righteousness among them.* Why then did they not foresee and prepare for the coming danger? Because they were disobedient.† What event did our Lord say would surprise the ungodly, as much as did the flood, in Noah's time? also the coming of the Son of Man be."

"So shall

In what

respects would the destruction of Jerusalem be like the flood in Noah's time? It would be equally unlooked for and overwhelming.

40. What did our Lord then declare, for the comfort of his faithful followers? The doctrine of a particu

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