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LE T. speaking of a society, an army, a na-
went, or came, or did such a thing,
he should not die. But what is deci- let. five upon the point, in the second XVII. epistle to the fame Thessalonians, written only a few months after the first, he most earnestly admonishes them not to be deceived, as if by any thing that had fallen from him, either in speech or writing, they were to imagine “ the day of God was at “ hand;” since the grand apoftaly, and other events, which required much intervening time for their accomplishment, were first to take place in the world. See 2 Theff. 1. 1, 2. Nay, he reminds them, ver. 5. that he had told them as much, “while he was yet “ with them;" that is, before either epistle was written.
P. 41. “How came it to pass that “ Christ should curse a fig tree for “ being without fruit in March ; or
LET. “ be ignorant that it was not the seaXVII. " son for figs?".
1. It is certain, in fact, that one sort of figs were ripe at that time of the year, namely, at the passover.
2. By the season of figs may be meant the season of gathering figs, as in Matt. XXI. 34. “ When the time, “or season, of the fruit drew near," that is plainly, the time for gathering the fruit, “ the Lord of the vineyard " sent his servants to receive the fruit." If therefore one sort of figs was ripe about that time of the year, and yet the time for gathering them was not fully come, Christ might with reason expect to find fruit on the tree. In construing the passage thus interpreted, as Mr. Macknight observes, the latter clause must be joined with the words he came if baply be might find
any thing thereon, and the intermediate let. words thrown into a parenthesis, thus XVII. --He came if haply be might find any thing thereon (and when he came to it be found nothing but leaves) for the time of figsm-of gathering figs—was not yet. That this is the true construction (adds Mr. M.) is plain, because the Evangelist is not giving the reason why there were no figs on the tree, but the reason why Jesus expected to find some on it. He tells us, the season for gathering figs was not yet come, to shew that none had been taken off the tree; and consequently, that hav, ing it's whole produce upon it, there was nothing improper in Christ's expecting fruit on it then. Whereas, if we shall think the reason why he did not find any figs was, that the time of them was not come, we must
LET, acknowlege, eat the tree wis curted XIII. very is properly for Laving noce,
This interpretacica nak: 2 ITE dias nece: 1117, but there is cce of the fate kind in Varks Iti. 3, 4 Where the clause, for it is terv ITE!, nately, the stone at the door of the fepuichre, does not relate to what immediately precedes is, and must be confidered parenthetically, but to the remote member-They said aming them2045, Wbo floall rell us a cay tbe fione from ibe door of tbe fepu.ebre? (and when they looked, they said the one relizat away)-for it was very great.
I cannot help here observing, once more, that when in any writer we meet with absurdities fo glaring and palpable as this and others imputed to the Evangelists, it is but doing him common justice, whoever he be, to take it