71. BRIEF ANALYSIS.
We read in Matthew:
The disciples came to Jesus, and showed Him the buildings of the temple; and Jesus said unto them, Verily, I say unto you, there shall not be left here one stone upon another, which shall not be thrown down. And the disciples said unto Him, tell us when these things shall be, especially what shall be the sign of Thy coming, and of the consummation of the age (Matt. 24:1-3).
At this day the learned clergy and laity understand by the destruction of the temple, its destruction by Vespasian, and by the coming of the Lord, and the consummation of the age, they understand the end and destruction of the world. But by the destruction of the temple is not only meant the destruction thereof by the Romans, but likewise the destruction of the present church; and by the consummation of the age, and the coming of the Lord at that time, is meant the end of the present church and the establishment of a New Church by the Lord.
That these things are there meant, is evident from the whole of that chapter from beginning to end, which treats solely of the successive decline and corruption of the Christian church, even to its destruction, when it is at an end. That by "the temple," in a limited sense is meant the temple at Jerusalem; in a wide sense the church of the Lord; in a wider sense the angelic heaven; and, in the widest sense, the Lord as to His Human may be seen in The Apocalypse Revealed (n. 529). That by "the consummation of the age" is meant the end of the church, which comes to pass when there does not remain any truth of doctrine from the Word that is not falsified, and thus consummated (n. 658, 676, 750, of the same work). That by "the coming of the Lord" is meant His coming in the Word, and at the same time the establishment of a New Church instead of the former consummated one, evidently appears from His own words in the same chapter, from verse 30 to 34; as likewise from the last two chapters, 21 and 22, of Revelation, where also are these words:
I, Jesus, am the Root and the Offspring of David, the bright and morning Star. And the Spirit and the Bride say, Come; and let him that heareth say, Come; and him that thirsteth let him come. Yea, I come quickly: Amen, even so come, Lord Jesus (Rev. 22:16-17, 20).