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in all parts of it, and embrace it. And hence the ruin of the one must be also the ruin of the other. "The abomination of desolation" had been set up where it ought not by the erection of the Roman standards, together with their eagles, in the holy place. And these were to the Roman soldiers objects of idolatrous worship, and to the Jews an abomination or idol, and also the signs and instruments of the desolation of their city and of their church. And in the Christian city and temple of God, the Jerusalem of the gospel, or the catholic church, the worship of Mahomet, the true and great abomination of desolation has been set up; that false prophet and impostor having feigned himself the living image and plenipotentiary of the almighty and invisible God, and hence became the great idol of his followers and of the world, as God sitting in the temple of God and shewing that he is God," and also, and of course, the grand enemy and destroyer of the true temple of God, or of Messiah's church. He is, therefore, justly denominated" the abomination,” that is, the idol of desolation, or that maketh desolate. Sophronius, the intelligent patriarch of Jerusalem, in some degree saw and acknowledged this sense and completion of the prophecy, when, on that city being taken by the Saracens, he exclaimed, "This is the abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet." And this was the early and general opinion and tradition of the Christian
church. "He (Antichrist) will come to desolate the world, for he is the abomination of desolation *."
All those false prophets who deceived the Jews, and misled them to their ruin, are made on this occasion the types and precursors of those subsequent impostors, who, under Mahomet, the great false Christ, and the arch-impostor, have, above all others, cajoled and deluded the world, and oppressed and devastated the church; and the wars, tribulations, and signs from heaven, which preceded the ruin of the Jewish church, are the omens and preludes of the greater wars, tribulations, and signs from heaven, which are to precede the great and fatal day of final wrath and retribution. The suddenness, too, of the one visitation is made to shadow and to foretoken the far more sudden, more tremendous, and unexpected ruin of the world and of the church, which will then be in some degree co-extensive with it, and will occupy it. That day will come as a snare upon them that dwell upon the face of all the earth," and "as a thief in the night;" and if the prophecy has been so notoriously and so awfully realized and confirmed in the type, who will question or dispute its adequate and absolute completion in the antitype? who will doubt the truth and certainty of that event, whereof we have had already the sign, the pledge, and the assurance?
ἥξει επ' ερημια του κόσμου, βδελυγμα γαρ εστι της ερημω σEwC. Greg. Nazianzen. Oratio 47.
Nor is this absurd and unreasonable; the Scriptures may have other senses besides the immediate and literal one, because, as Selden has observed, "God understands all things at once, but man's writing has but one true sense, which is that which the author meant when he writ it." And seeing that Esau was the type of the literal seed of Abraham, as Jacob was the type of his spiritual and promised seed, that is, of all believers in every age of the church; if Idumea, in the xxxivth of Isaiah, is made to represent the nominal and the literal seed of Abraham, or the unbelieving Jews, that celebrated prophecy will correspond with, and illustrate in many respects, this prophecy of our blessed Lord, as will also the threatened ruin of Bozrah and of Edom, in his lxiiid chapter; and they both seem to be referred to and quoted in part by St. John, in the Apocalypse, as the types and forerunners of the last and general judgment. That the eleventh chapter of the Romans does not contradict, nor in the least oppugn nor interfere with, that scheme and exposition of the prophecies which has been adopted in these pages, and which is the general doctrine of the New Testament, that they who are Christ's are Abraham's seed and heirs according to the promises, and the true Israel, the Israel of God, will easily appear, if we consider the manner of St. Paul, and the motive wherewith that chapter was written: viz. to soften and to make palatable
the harsh and bitter truths he had quoted in the preceding chapter from the prophets, not choosing, for various reasons, to express them in his own words, and upon his own authority; and which he does not afterwards in any degree retract or deny. He seems, likewise, to have wished to repress the pride and the scorn which the gentile converts were likely to entertain, and indeed have entertained, in all ages, for the stiff-necked and unbelieving Jews. He does not therefore fail to admonish them also, and to allege to them that Israel was not cast off without limitation, and without distinction; for he himself was one of that people; and, consequently, that they were not rejected universally and indiscriminately, but by reason of their own personal unbelief, and individual disobedience; and hence, when any of them repented, and believed the Gospel, they would be immediately and indubitably accepted of God, notwithstanding the general unbelief and degradation of the nation. And, in order still farther to subdue the aversion and contempt felt by the Gentile church for those unfortunate outcasts, who, not only THEN, but also in all subsequent ages, have seemed equally odious to God and man, he adds, that “blindness in part is happened to Israel," which is manifestly a softening of what he had before said, that the number of the blinded was as the sand of the sea: and in the same way, "If some of the branches have
been broken off," whereas it was the great majority of the nation. This blindness, however, of Israel, he predicts, would promote the belief of the truth, and the enlargement of the church; which it did in many ways, contrary to all human reasonings, and all finite foresight, derived from the appearances and probabilities of the case; and was therefore justly styled "a mystery" by the Apostle: For the Jewish law, which was a great stumbling-block to the Gentiles, was more easily got rid of. And the Apostles and first preachers of the Gospel, being rejected by the Jews, turned henceforth to the Gentiles, and had with them a more extensive field of action, and more rapid and abundant success. The Jews, besides, always bore a marked and decided testimony against idolatry, and in that way materially assisted in the diffusion of the truth, the subversion of polytheism, and the establishment of the church; for their converts from heathenism, or the proselytes of the gate, were often among the first to embrace the faith of the Gospel, and to become the disciples of Christ: and, moreover, they were then, as now, a standing miracle in support of it, by the completion of those prophecies which concerned them. It was therefore justly called "a mystery," that this blinded and hardened Israel should be, notwithstanding, the means of the conversion of the Gentiles, the prosperity of the church, and the consequent salvation of the world; but experience has proved the