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the fact that temporal duties of honest necessity and genuine charity are in the highest sense things of God, but surrendering freely to Him whatsoever we have upon His call, and fearlessly leaving it to Him to see that whatsoever is needful for us in temporal matters shall not

fail us.

LXXXVI.

“And as He went out of the temple, one of His disciples saith unto Him, Master, see what manner of stones and what buildings are here! And Jesus answering said unto him, Seest thou these great buildings? there shall not be left one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."-St. Mark xiii. 1, 2.

Exposition.—Isaac Williams says: “From the incident recorded of the poor widow's alms, we may suppose that our Lord, when He had finished His public teaching, still lingered about the temple, as if unwilling to leave it for the last time, knowing that when He had left it, their house would be indeed desolate. And those His last words, which spoke of her desolation, hung heavily on the ears of His disciples; for although they were in some degree darkly spoken, and they could not comprehend their full meaning; yet, from the words themselves, and from the manner in which they were uttered at the close of all, and as the

awful summing up of all the woes, they could not but catch some general impression and dark foreboding of the fate that awaited the temple. It was therefore (as Origen, St. Chrysostom, St. Hilary, and Theophylact suppose), in consequence of these expressions that, as our Lord was departing from the temple, they made the remark on its beautiful structure, as if to express their surprise, or to win His commiseration: for to them it was connected not only with all their individual and national predilections, but with every hallowed association. So sanctified had it been by the Almighty of old, and their religion itself so local and bound up with that spot, that they looked upon it with an awful reverence beyond what we can understand; and that reverence increased by their own piety.

He left that temple to destruction, says St. Hilary, because 'an eternal temple was being consecrated for an habitation of the Spirit, which was man, through knowledge of the Son, and confession of the Father, and obedience to their commands.' And perhaps (as Origen considers it) this, which was done with regard to the visible temple, was a type also of His departing from a human soul, when after much teaching and many warnings of His Spirit, pleading within, He departs from it, leaving it to desolation, and then to destruction :-not

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withstanding its exquisite structure for His abode, its natural and acquired gifts. Behold, Master, what affections, what knowledge, what powers of thought and reason are here! But when He has departed they will be all overthrown."

And Swete: "Art thou looking at these great edifices, that is, do they fill and satisfy the eye, shutting out other objects of vision? The disciples are warned that the pride, which as Jews they naturally felt in this grand spectacle was doomed to complete humiliation. ... The Lord's saying is the more remarkable because Titus made every effort to check the conflagration; it was only when this was found to be impossible that he permitted the work of destruction to be completed. Theophylact mentions that some in his day asserted that the old walls had not been completely demolished, and the great bevelled stones, still to be seen in situ at the south-east corner of the Haram Wall, and near Robinson's arch, attest this fact. But while a part of the substructure remains, the buildings on the platform of the temple, to which our Lord referred, are wholly gone; not a stone there is left in its place."

Sadler says: “It is scarcely possible to form even a remote idea of what the magnificence of these buildings must have been. The principal

porch, or covered cloister, was longer, broader, and higher than York minster, our largest English cathedral. This huge section formed one side of the square enclosure, in the midst of which was the most sacred part, the holy place, and holy of holies, all which were built on a platform of such a height that at a distance it would seem towering over the surrounding porches by those entering Jerusalem. “Whatever the exact appearance of its details may have been', says Ferguson, 'it may safely be asserted that the triple temple of Jerusalem—the lower court standing on its magnificent terraces—the inner court raised on its platform in the centre of this, and the temple itself rising out of this group and so crowning the whole-must have formed, when combined with the beauty of its situation, one of the most splendid architectural combinations of the ancient world.' The only things left of the ancient temple are the stones of the foundations of the terraces which were then buried. Of that which was above ground, to which our Lord alluded, His words were fulfilled to the letter. The whole army of Titus seems to have been employed in razing it to the ground, so that every city of the world should take warning how it rebelled against the power of Rome.”

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