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they were made and in use, as Josephus shows us, book xi. chap, viii.,
treating of the reverence done by Alexander the Great to the name
of God engraven in the plate of gold on the high priest's forehead.
And Maimonides, Tractat. Sanhed. cap. x. sect. 10, says expressly
that all the eight robes of the high priest were made under the
second temple, and particularly the Urim and Thummim. How-
beit, as he says, they inquired not of God by them, because the
Holy Ghost was not on the priests. Of the ark we shall have occa-
sion to treat afterwards, and of its fictitious hiding by Jeremiah or
Josiah, as the Jews fancy. This we may observe fo-r the present,
that as it is certain that it was carried away by the Babyiouiaus,


amongst other vessels of gold belonging to the temple, either amongst
them that were taken away in the days of Jehoiakim, 2 Chron.
xxxvi. 7; or those taken away with Jehoiachin his son, verse 10 ; or
when all that was left before, great and small, was carried away in
the days of Zedekiah, verse 18: so it may be supposed to be restored
by Cyrus, of whom it is said that he returned ' the vessels of the
house of the Lord, which Nebuchadnezzar had brought forth out of
Jerusalem,' Ezra i. 7. And it is uncertain to what end was the
solemn yearly entrance of the high priest into the most holy place,
observed to the very destruction of the second house, if neither ark
nor mercy-seat were there. Neither is this impeached by what
Tacitus affirms, Hist. lib. v., that when Pompey entered the temple,
he found ' nullas Deum effigies, vacuam sedem, et inania arcana;'
for as he wrote of the Jews with shameful negligence, so he only
intimates that they had no such images as were used among other
nations, — nor the head of an ass, which himself, not many lines before,
had affirmed to be consecrated in their sanctuary. For aught, then,
appears to the contrary, the ark might be in the second house, and
be carried thence to Rome with the book of the law, which Josephus
expressly mentions. And therefore the same Abarbanel, in his
commentary on Joel, tells us that Israel by captivity out of his own
land lost DSi^K nyn''i DTiDoi r\ii.)2i on vn^' n):r\D niyb^, — ' three ex-
cellent gifts, prophecy, miracles, and divine knowledge,' Ps. Ixxiv. 9 ;
all which he grants were to be restored by the Messiah, without
mention of the other things before recited. And they confess this
openly in Sota Distinc. Egla Hampha: '•JH D"'Jnnxn D"'K''ajn inoc*»
bir\m:i CJ'lipn nn np^noj •'SX^DI nn^T; — 'After the death of the latter
prophets, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi, the Holy Spirit was taken
away from Israel.'"

It is, then, confessed " that God ceased to speak to the church in
prophets, as to their oral teaching and writing, after the days of
Malachi; which season of the want of vision, though continuing four
hundred years and upwards, is called by Haggai, chap. ii. ti, ^nx
t^yo, ' unum pusillum,' *a little while,' in reference to the continu-
ance of it from the days of Moses; whereby the Jews may see that
they are long since past all grounds of expectation of its restoration,
all prophecy having left them double the time that their church en-
joyed it, which cannot be called ^i'P ^nx^ ' a little while,' in com-
parison thereof." To return.

This was the vdXai, these the times, wherein God spake in the

prophets: which determines one instance more of the comparison,

namely, "the fathers," to whom he spake in them ; which

nTfufi. ^^^^^ ^jj ^^^ faithful of the Judaical church, from the

days of giving the law until the ceasing of prophecy in the days of



In answer to this first instance, on the part of the gospel, tlie
revelation of it is affirmed to be made in these last days, .., , ,
" Hath spoken in these last days;" the true stating of t^v V/>'>'> tsJ-
which time also will discover who the persons were to '■"'•
whom it was made, " Hath spoken to us."

Most expositors suppose that this expression, " The last days," is
a periphrasis for the times of the gospel. But it doth not appear
that they are anywhere so called; nor were they ever known hy
that name among the Jews, upon whose principles the apostle pro-
ceeds. Some seasons, indeed, under the gospel, in reference to sotne
churches, are called " The last days," 1 Tim. iv. 1,2 Tim. iii. 1 ; but
the whole time of the go.spel absolutely is nowhere so termed. It
is the last days of the Judaical church and state, which were then
drawing to their period and abolition, that are here and elsewhere
called " The last days," or " The latter days," or " The last hour,"
2 Pet. iii. 8; 1 John ii. 18; Jude 18. For,—

1. As we before observed, the apostle takes it for granted that
the Judaical church-state did yet continue, and proves that it was
drawing to its period, chap. viii. ult., having its present station in
the patience and forbearance of God only, without any necessity as
unto its worship or preservation in the world. And hereunto doth
the reading of the words in some copies, before intimated, give tes-
timony, 'Et' io^drov ruv ri/ji>spuv rouruv, — " In the end (or " ex-
tremity") " of these days;" which, as the event hath proved, can no
way relate to the times of the gospel.

2. The personal ministry of the Son, whilst he was upon the earth
in the days of his flesh, is here eminently, though not solely in-
tended : for as God of old spake in the prophets, so in these last
days he spake in the Son; that is, in him personally present with
the church, as the prophets also were in their several generations,
chap. ii. 3. Now, as to his personal ministry, he was sent to " the
lost sheep of the house of Israel," Matt. xv. 24 (to whom also alone
in his own days he sent his apostles, Matt. x. 5, 6) ; and is therefore
said to have been " a minister of the circumcision for the truth of
God," Rom. XV. 8, being in the last place sent to the same vineyard
unto which the prophets were sent before, Matt. xxi. 37. The words
there used, " Last of all he sent unto them his Son," are exegetical
of these, " He spake in the Son in the last days."

3. This phrase of speech is signally used in the Old Testament to
denote the last days of the Judaical church. So hy Jacob, Gen.
xlix. 1, " I will tell you that which shall befall you ^Vp. nnns?, _
« in the last days:" which words the LXX. render, 'E't ieyar-^^ r5»
i^tj^ifm, the words here used by the apostle; the days pointed unto
by Jacob being those wherein the Messiah should come before
Judah was utterly deprived of sceptre and scribe. Agam, by Balaam


the same words are used to signify the snme time, Num. xxiv. 14,
where they are rendered 'Et' isy^dTov tuv Tifitpuv, *' In the end of the
days," as many copies read in this place. And in all the prophets
this is the peculiar notation of that season, ^''^)>} ^''ID^, Mic. iv. 1,
Isa. ii. 2, "In the latter" (or "last") "days;" and nyn\-| NH, " the He
hajediah," prefixed, noteth that course of days that was then ininning,
as Dent. xxxi. 29, " Evil will overtake you D'P^n nnnsn "_" in the
end of those days." And the promise of the conversion of some of
the Jews by David their king is annexed to the same season, IIos.
iil 5. From these places is the expression here used taken, de-
noting the last times of the Judaical church, the times immediately
preceding its rejection and final ruin. Hence Manasseh, lib. iii. de
Resurrect, cap. iii., tells us out of Moses Gerundensis, IDXJB' DIPD 72
n'^'C'Dr] niO""^ sin D^D^■I nnnsn 12; — "In every place that mentions the
'latter days,' the days of the Messiah are to be understood ;" which
saying of his is confirmed by Manasseh himself, though attended
with a gloss abominable and false, that is purely Judaical. The
days of the Messiah and the days of the end of the Judaical church
are the same. And these words are expressly also used by R. D.
Kimchi, Comment, in Isa. ii. 2; who honestly refers all the words of
that prophecy unto the Messiah.

It is not for nothing that the apostle minds the Hebrews that the
season then present was the " last days," whereof so many things were
foretold in the Old Testament. Many of their concernments lay in
the knowledge of it: which, because they give great light unto the
whole cause, as stated then between him and them, must be opened
and considered. The sum is, that the end of their church and state
being foretold to be a perpetual desolation, Dan. ix. 27, the last
days being now come upon them, they might understand what they
were shortly to expect and look for. The end of the Jews being a
people, a church, and kingdom, was to bring forth the Messiah,
whose coming and work must of necessity put an end to their old
station and condition. Now, because herein is enwrapped the most
infallible demonstration that the Messiah is long since come, the
apostle mentioning the last days to intimate that upon necessity he
must be come in them, I shallTurther open his design in this matter,
but with briefness, having been large on this head in our Prolego-
mena, and for their sakes who by any difficulties may be deterred
from the consideration of them.

" God having from the foundation of the world promised to bring
forth the ' Seed of the woman,' to work out the redemption of his
elect in the conquest of Satan, did, in the separation of Abraham
from the rest of the world, begin to make provision of a peculiar
stock, from whence the Seed of the woman should spring. That this
was the cause and end of his call and separation is evident from



hence, that immediately thereupon God assures him that ' in liis
seed all the kindreds of the earth should he hlessed/ Gen. xii. I-:3
xxii. 18 ; which is all one as if he had expressly said to him, ' For
this cause have I chosen and called thee, that in thee I might lav a
foundation of hringing forth the promised Seed, hy whom the
is to be taken away, and the blessing of everlasting life procured,'
as Gal. iii. 13, 14. For this cause was his posterity coiitiimed in a
state of separation from the rest of the world, that He mi<-ht .seek a
godly seed to himself. Num. xxiii. 9; Mai. ii. 15: for this did
he raise them into a civil, regal, and church state, that he might in
them typify and prefigure the offices aud benefits of the promis.d
Messiah, who was to gather to himself the nations tliat, were to be
blessed in tlie seed of Abraham, Gen. xlix. 10; Ps. xlv. ; Hos. iii. .') ;
Ezek. xxxiv. 23. And all their sacrifices did but shadow out that
great expiation of sin which he was to make in his own person, as
hath been already proved.

" Things being tiius di.sposed, God promised unto them that their
civil political state, their condition as a peculiar nation and people,
should be continued until the coming of the Messiah, Gen. xlix. 10;
Ezek. xxi. 27. And this was made good unto them, notwithstand-
ing the great oppositions of those mighty empires in the midst of
whose devouring jaws they were placed, with some such short inter-
cisions of the actual administration of rule them, as, being
foretold, impeached not the promise. They lost not their civil state
until He came unto whom was ' the gathering of the nations.' After
that, though many of the individuals obtained mercy, yet their being
a nation or people was of no peculiar use, as to any special end of
God. Therefore was it immediately destroyed and irrecoverably
exterminated. From that day God in a wonderful manner blasted
and cuised all their endeavours, either for the preservation of what
they then had, or for its recovery and restoration when lost. No
means could ever retrieve them into a people or nation on the old
account. What may be hereafter on a new, God knows. The end
of the days was come ; and it was to no purpose for men to endea-
vour to keep up that which God, having accomplished the utmost of
his design by and upon, would lay aside. And this season was fully
evidenced to all the world by the gathering of the peo]>le to the
Shiloh, or the coming in of the nations to partake in the blessing of
faithful Abraham, Mic. iv, 1, 2.

" Of their church-state there were two principal parts, — the temple
itself, and the worship performed in it. The first of these (as was
the tabernacle) was set up to typify him in whom the fulness ot tiie
Godhead should dwell bodily; and the latter the same person, as he
was himself to be the great high priest and sacrifice. Both
also were to be continued until the coming of the Messiah; but by


no endeavours afterwards. Hence was that promise of the glory of
tlie second house, built after the captivity, and restored by Herod,
becrause of his coming unto it who was signified by it. Hag. ii. 9;
Mai. iii. 1. He was to come whilst that temple was standing; after
wliich it was to be of no more use. And therefore Ezekiel describes a
third and spiritual temple to succeed in the room thereof. The con-
dition of their sacrifices was the same. Therefore Daniel, foretell-
ing the coming of the Messiah four hundred and ninety years after
the captivity, adds that upon his death the daily sacrifice must cease
for ever, and a total desolation ensue on all the things that were
used, for the end accomplished, Dan. ix. 24-27. The nation, state,
temple, sacrifices, being set apart, set up, and designed for no other
end but to bring him forth, he was to come whilst they were stand-
ing and in use ; after which they were none of them to be allowed a
being upon their old foundation. This is that which the apostle
pointed at in mentioning the last days, that they might consider in
what condition the church and people of the Jews then were.

To discover the evidence of this demonstration, as confirmed in
our Prolegomena, I shall here also briefly add some considerations
of the miserable entanglements of the Jews in seeking to avoid the
argument here intimated unto them by the apostle. " It is a com-
mon tradition among them that all things were made for the Mes-
siah; whereby they do not intend, as some have imagined, the whole
old creation, but all things of their church state and worship. So
the Targum, Ps. xl. 8, in the person of the Messiah, ' I shall enter
into life eternal when I study in the volume of the law ^^Tn3ni<^
^n^lDDX,' — ' that was written for my sake.' By 'the law' they un-
derstand their all. All depended on their Messiah, all was written
for him. They see by experience that there was a coincidence of all
these things in the last days, when Jesus came. No sooner had he
done his work but sceptre and scribe departed from Judah; they
ceased to be a church and nation. The temple, which the Lord
whom they formerly sought came to, was destroyed ; their sacrifices,
wherein they trusted, caused to cease; and the nations of the earth
were gathered into the faith of Abraham. From that time they
have no more been a people, nor have had any distinction of tribes
or families, temple, priesthood, or sacrifice, nor any hope of a retrieve-
ment into their pristine condition. Let us then see what course
they do or have taken to. countenance themselves in their infidelity.
Two ways to relieve themselves they have fixed on: —

" ]. Granting that the Messiah was to come to their government
and worship, they laboured to keep them up, and to restore them
being cast down, that so they might prolong their expectation of as to come which indeed was already past. This, in the righteous
and holy providence of God, proved the means of their ruin; for


their endeavour to maintain their liberty, rule, and government, after
the coming of the Messiah, was the cause of the utter overthrow of
all rule, authority, and public worship amongst them, by Vespasian
and Titus his son. Their endeavour to restore themselves into a
state and people, under their false Messiah Bar-Cochba, was the means
of their utter desolation from all hopes of being a people and nation
any more, by Adrian ; as also of their extermination for ever out of
that country, wherein they were separated from all nations for tliat
end which God appointed unto them. After this, once more, — still
to avoid the thoughts that the Messiah was come, and had put an
end unto their former condition, — they endeavoured, and were en-
couraged by Julian the emperor, to rebuild their temple and restore
their sacrifices. And this attempt also God turned to their further
confusion ; lor whereas in former days, in the building of the tem[)le,
he encouraged and supported them against all ditficulties and oppo-
sitions, being now upheld and strengthened by the favour and wealth
of the Roman empire in the same work, he sets himself against
them, and scatters them with no less indignation than he did the
builders of Babel of old. When he would have a temple amongst
them, he punished them with famine for building their own houses,
and suffering his to lie waste. Hag. i. 2-11. Now they may build
houses for themselves where they please; but if they take in hand
to build a temple God is against them. In this state they have now
continued for sixteen hundred years; and were not blindness come
upon them to the utmost, they could not but see that it is not the
will of God that they should be a people, state, or church, on the
former account, any more. What then is become of their Messiah,
who was to come unto them whilst they were a state and church,
seeing they were so, by their own confession, only for his sake? This
puts their later masters to their last miserable shifts; for, —

" 2. Contrary to the evident nature of all things relating to them
from the appropriating of the promise to the family of Abraham,
contrary to the whole design of the Scripture, and to the express
testimonies of it before mentioned, with many other to the same
purpose, they deny that their Messiah was to come to them, or at
least to abide with them, for the work whereunto he was destined,
whilst their state, temple, and sacrifices continued. In the manage-
ment of this shift of unbelief, they are wofully divided amongst

" (1.) For the continuance of their state until the coming of the
Messiah, Gen. xlix. 10, some say that by 'Shiloh' the Messiah is not
intended ; who are confuted by their own Targums, all rendering the
word Messiah, and by the constant tradition of the elder doctors.
Some say that by the * sceptre and scribe' the rod of affliction and m-
Rtruction only is intended; which is a gloss evidently contrary to

VOL. XII. — 2


the design of the prophecy, to the use of the words in all places
where their sense is not restrained by evident circumstances, to the
Targums, and to all d\d writers; assertuig that which was not pecu-
liar to Judah, nor true in itself, that tribe having for so long a sea-
son enjoyed as flourishing a condition as any people in the world, — •
as good as the Jews look for under the Messiah. Their state, then,
is utterly gone, and tlieir Messiah, as it seeras, not come.

" (2.) Wliat say they unto their temple, that second house where-
unto he was to come, and so render the glory of it greater than that
of the former? Hag. ii.; Mai. iii. Of old they unanimously agreed
that he was born whilst the temple stood, or that day that it was
destroyed, as Aben Ezra confesseth on Isa. liii. Many stories out of
them might be told to this purpose, — where he was born, how, and
of whom, to whom it was revealed by the ?1p"n3, who saw him,
where he was disposed of, where he is; but being all the fancies of idle,
curious heads and unbelieving hearts, — which St Paul calls jSiQriXoug
xai ypawdsig fMvi)ovg, 1 Tim. iv. 7, ' profane and old wives' fables,'' — we
shall not trouble the reader with them. Abarbanel, who in corrupt-
ing the prophecies concerning the Messiah hath a reach beyond
his fellows, affirms that Haggai speaks not of the second, but of a
third temple, to be built under the Messiah; but this is nothing but
a bold contradiction of the prophet, who three or four times signally
declares that he spake of that house which was then building, which
their eyes saw, and which so many contemned as not to be compared
with the former: chap. i. 4, ' This house;' chap. ii. 7, ' This house;'
verse 9, ' This house;' so verse 18. Others say that the glory of that
house did not consist in the coming of the Messiah unto it, but in its
duration and continuance; for it stood ten years longer than the for-
mer. But this also is contrary,^ — [1.] To tlie catholic persuasion of
their forefathers, Targums, Talmuds, and all ancient doctors. [2.] To
experience; for what could the miserable languishing of ten years
by that house, whilst it was by their own confession ' a den of thieves,'
contribute unto it to enable it to vie for glory with that wonder of
the world, the temple of Solomon ; in comparison whereof their fore-
fathers thought it no more than some ot them of old thous^ht them-
selves compared to the sons of Anak? [3.] To the truth, athrming
that the glory of that house was to consist in the coming of the Lord,
"^vhom they sought, the desire of all nations, unto it." All which
things are vindicated in our Prolegomena.

" o. Their temple being utterly destroyed, as well as their state,
and their Messiah not yet come, what think they of their sacrifices?
Daniel tells them that he was to come, and to be cut off, before
the ceasing of the daily sacrifices; but they must confess that all
sacrifices are long since utterly ceased, for surely their offering of a
cock to the devil on the day of expiation is no continuance of them.


Some say that the Messiah intended by Daniel was king Agrippa,
whom Vespasian slew at Rome. But this obstinacy is intolerable.
That a semi-pagan, as Agrippa was, should be their Messiah, so
honourably foretold of, is a figment which, whatever they pretend,
themselves believe not. Nor was Agrippa slain or cut off, but lived
in peace to the day of his death. The most of them know not what
to say, but only object that the computation of Daniel is dark an<l
obscure, which Christians themselves are not agreed about;" concern-
ing which I must refer the reader to our Prolegomena, as also for
the full and large handling of the things here by the way only
touched upon.

This makes it evident who were the persons who were spoken
unto in these last days, " To us;" that is, the members of
the Judaical church who lived in the days of the pergonal
ministry of Christ, and afterwards under the preaciiing of the gospel
unto that day, chap. ii. 3. The Jews of those days were very apt to
thirdc that if they had lived in the times of the former prophets, and
had heard them delivering their message from God, they would have
received it with a cheerful obedience; their only unhappiness, they
thought, was that they were born out of due time as to prophetical
revelations. This is intimated of them. Matt, xxiii. 30. The apostle,
meeting with this persuasion in them, minds them that in the reve-
lation of the gospel God had spoken to themselves, — the thing they
so much desired, not questioning but that thereon they should be-
lieve and obey. If this word, then, they attend not unto, they must
needs be self-condemned. Again, that care and love which God
manifested towards them in speaking immediately unto them re-
quired the same obedience, especially considering the manner of it,
so far excellinsf that which before he had used towards the fathers ;
of which afterwards.

And these are two instances of the comparison instituted, relating
unto times and persons.

Tlie next difference respects the manner of these several revela-
tions of the will of God, and that in two particulars; for, — 1. The
former was made -KoXviMipwg, " by divers parts," one after the other.
The branch of the antithesis that should answer hereunto is not ex-
pressed, but implied to be a^rat, or Icpdva^, " at once."

no>.i;//£f w;, " bv many parts," and so, consequently, at „ ,
sundry times. The gradual discovery ol the muid and
will of God, by the addition of one thing after anotiier, at several
seasons, as the church could bear the light of them, and as it was
subserving unto his main design of reserving all pre-eminence to the
Messiah, is that which is intended in this expression. How all Uii.s
is argumentative to the apostle's purpose will instantly appear. Take

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