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u shall escape them. The appearance of them is as " the appearance of horses; and as borsemen, so shall
they run. Like the noise of chariots on the tops of “ mountains shall they leap, like the noise of a flame 4 of fire that devoureth the stubble, as a strong people " set in battle array. Before their face the people shall “ be much pained: all faces shall gather blackness. “ They shall run like mighty men, they shall climb the 66 wall like men of war; and they shall march every one
on his ways, and they shall not break their ranks. “ Neither shall one thrust another, they shall walk every
one in his path: and when they fall upon the sword, they shall not be wounded. They shall' run to and
fro in the city; they shall run upon the wall, they “ shall climb up upon the houses ; they shall enter in at " the windows like a thief. The earth shall quake before “them, the heavens shall trernble; the sun and the
moon shall be dark, and the stars shall withdraw their
" shining *.»
The fine conversion of the subjects is remarkable. The prophecy is delivered in the first chapter,--- Awake, ye drunkards, &c. and repeated in the second-Blow ye the trumpet in Zion, &c. In the first chapter, the LOCUSTS are described as a people ;
-For a nation is come up upon my land, strong and without number. But, that we may not be mistaken in the PRIMARY sense, namely the plague of locusts, the ravages described are the ravages of insects : They ky waste the vine, they bark the fig-tree, make the branches clean bare, and wither the corn and
fruit-trees. In the second chapter, the hostile PEOPLE are described as locusts :AS THE
MORNING SPREAD UPON THE MOUNTAINS,
pearance of them is as the appearance af horses, and As horsemen so shall they run, as a strong people set in battle array. They shall run LIKE mighty men, they shall climb the wall LIKE men of war. But that we may Chap. ii. ver. 1 to 10.
not mistake the SECONDARY sense, namely the invasion of a foreign enemy, they are compared, we see, to a mighty army. This art, in the contexture of the Prophecy, is truly divine; and renders all chicane to evade a double sense ineffectual. For in some places of this Prophecy, dearth by insects must needs be understood; in others, desolation by war. So that both senses are of necessity to be admitted. And here let me observe, that had the Commentators on this Prophecy but attended to the nature of the double sense, they would not have suffered themselves to be so embarrassed; nor have spent so much time in freeing the Prophet from an imaginary embarras (though at the expence of the context) on account of the same Prophecy’s having in one part that signification primary, which, in another, is secondary. A circumstance so far from making an inaccuracy, that it gives the highest elegance to the discourse; and joins the two senses so closely as to obviate all pretence for a division, to the injury of the Holy Spirit. Here then we have a DOUBLE SENBE, not arising from the interpretation of a single verse, and so obnoxious to mistake, but of a whole and very large descriptive Prophecy.
But as this species of double prophecy, when confined to the events of one single Dispensation, takes off the most plaasible objection to primary and secondary senises in general, it may not be improper to give another instance of it, which shall be taken from a Time when one would least expect to find a double prophecy einployed, I mean, under the Gospel Dispensation. I have observed, -somewhere or other, that the ECONOMY OF GRACE having little or nothing to hide or to shadow out, like the Law, it had sınall occasion for typical Rites or Celebrations, or for Prophecies with a double sense; and that therefore they are not to be expected, nor indeed are they to be found, under the Gospel.
Yet the example I am about to give is an illustrious exception to this general truth. The explanation of this
example will rectify a great deal of embarras and mistake concerning it, and, at the same time, support the general Truth. The Prophecy I mean, is that in which Jesus foretels his FIRST and SECOND COMING IN JUDGMENT, not only under the same ideas, but in one and the same Prediction, as it is recorded, in nearly the same terms, by Matthew, Mark, and Luke; though omitted by St. John, for the reasou hereafter to be given.
But to comprehend the full import of this Prophecy, it will be proper to consider the occasion of it. Jesus, after having warmly upbraided the Scribes and Pharisees whom he found in the Temple, with their superstitious abuses of the Law; with their aversion to be reformed; and their obstinate rejection of their promised Messiah ; left them with a dreadful denunciation of the ruin * then hanging over their Civil and Religious Policy. His Disciples, who followed him through the Temple, greatly affected with these threats, and yet possessed with the national prejudice of the Eternity of the Law, pointed as he passed along, at the Temple Buildings, and desired him to observe the stupendous solidity and magnificence of the Work. As much as to say, “Here are no marks of that speedy destruction which you have just now predicted: on the contrary, this mighty Mass seems calculated to endure till the general dissolution of all things.” To which, Jesus, understanding their thoughts, replied, that in a very little time there should not be left one stone upon another, of all the wonders they saw before them. And from thence takes occasion to prophesy of the speedy destruction of the Jewish Nation. But as the bare prediction of the ruin of that splendid Economy would be likely to scandalize these carnal-minded men, while they saw nothing erected in its stead; by their Messiah and Deliverer, it seemed good to divine Wisdom to represent this destruction under the image of their Messiah's coming to execute judgment on the devoted City, and of * Matt. xxiii. Mark xii. 34. - Luke xvi. 25.;
his raising a new Economy on its ruin; as was done by the establishment of the Christian Policy
But yet, as this was to be unattended with the circumstances of exterior grandeur, He relieves the picture of the Church-militant, erected on his coming TO JUDGE JERUSALEM, with all the splendours of the Churchtriumphant, which were to be displayed at his second coming TO JUDGE THE WORLD. And this, which was so proper for the ornament, and useful for the dignity of the Scene, was necessary for the completion of the Subject, which was a full and entire view of the Dispensation of Grace. Thus, as Joel in one and the same description had combined the previous ravages of the Locusts with the succeeding devastations of the Assyrians, 60 hiere, Jesus hath embroidered into one Piece the intermediate judgment of the Jews, and the final judginent of mankind T.
Let us now see what there was in the notions and language of the Jewish People, that facilitated the easy introduction of the secondary sense; and gave the style, which was proper to that sense, an expressive elegance when applied to the primary.
The Jews, besotted with their fancied Eternity of the · Law, had entertained a notion that the destruction of Jerusalem was to be immediately followed with the de struction of the World. This made the closeness in the connexion between the primary and secondary sense of the descriptive prophecy, easy and natural; and as it made the two destructions scarce dividual, so it left no room to distinguish, in any formal manner, between the first and second coming in Judgment.
The old prophetic language was of equal use and advantage to interweave the two senses into one another, which the notion here mentioned had drawn together and combined. · The change of Magistracy, the fall of King
* See Julian, or.a Discourse concerning his attempt to rebuild the Temple. t Matt. xxiv." Mark 'xiii. Luke xxi,
doms, and the revolutions of States, are described in the old language of inspiration, by disasters in the Heavens, by the fall of Stars, and by eclipses of the greater Luminaries. This admirably served the purpose of conveying both events under the same set of images; indeed, under one and the same description; namely, the destruction of Jerusalem in the FIGURATIVE sense; and the destruction of the world in the LITERAL.The sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light: and the stars of heaven shall fall, and the powers that are in heaven shall be shaken. And they shall see the Son of man coming in the Clouds with great power and glory
So that we see, the representation of a double sense in this Prophecy hath all the ease, and strength, and art, which we can conceive possible to enter into a sacred information of this nature. And the close contexture of its parts is so far from obscuring any thing in the two great correlative pictures, portrayed upon it, that it serves to render each more distinct, and better defined. Different indeed in this from most of the Jewish Prophecies of the same kind: And the reason of the difference is obvious. In the Jewish Prophecies, the secondary sense, relating to matters in another Dispensation, was of necessity to be left obscure, as unsuitable to the knowledge of the time in which the Prophecy was delivered. Whereas the first and secondary senses of the Prophecy before us, were equally objective to the contemplation of Christ's Disciples; as the two capital parts of the Dispensation to which they were now become subject.
But it will be said, “That before all this pains had been taken to explain the beauties of the double sense, we should have proved the existence of it; since, according to our own account of the matter, the magnificent terms employed, which are the principal mark of a SECONDARY sense, are the common prophetic Language to express the subject of the PRIMARY : And because, • Mark xiii. 24-26. Matt. xxix, 29, 30.!'