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former, we have the clearest proofs from their internal character, and the evidence of reason; so have we the highest assurances in testimony of the latter. Isidore, of Pelusium, among the ancients, and M. Tillemont and Archbishop Tillotson, among the moderns, as quoted by Lardner, place this fact in the clearest point of view. 66 If you have a mind," says the former of these writers," to know what punishment the wicked "Jews underwent, who ill-treated the Christ; read the "history of their destruction written by Josephus; a "Jew indeed, but a lover of truth: there you may see "the wonderful story, such as no time ever saw from "the beginning of the world, nor ever shall see: "for that none might refuse to give credit to the history of their incredible and unparalleled sufferings, "truth found out not a stranger, but a native; a man fond of their institutions, to relate them in a "doleful strain."

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"God has been pleased," says M. Tillemont, "choose for our information in this History, not an Apostle, nor any of the chief men of the Church, "but an obstinate Jew, whom neither the view of the "virtue and miracles of the Christians, nor the know"ledge of the Law, nor the ruin of his religion and

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country, could induce to believe in, and love the "Messiah, who was all the expectation of the Nation. "God has permitted it to be so, that the testimony "which this Historian gave to an event, the mystery "of which he did not comprehend, might be rejected, "neither by Jews nor Heathens; and that none might "be able to say that he had altered the truth of things, to favour Jesus Christ and his Disciples."

() Lib. 4, p. 75. (*) Ruine des Juifs, Art. 1, p. 722.

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The words of Archbishop Tillotson on this subject are these:-"We have this matter related not by a Christian, who might be suspected of partiality, and "a design to have paralleled the event with our Sa"viour's prediction; but by a Jew, both by nation and "religion; who seems designedly to have avoided, as "much as possibly he could, the very mention of the "Christian name, and all particulars relating to our "Saviour; though no Historian was ever more punc"tual in other respects."

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Bishop Newton's opinion may be adduced in this place with peculiar propriety, as it is at once conclu"It is indeed very providential that a more par"ticular detail, a more exact history is preserved of "the destruction of Jerusalem and all the circumstances "relating to it, than of any other matter whatsoever,

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transacted so long ago; and it is an additional advantage to our cause that these accounts are trans"mitted to us by a Jew, and by a Jew who was himself an eye witness to most of the things he relates. As a "General in the Wars, he must have had an exact "knowledge of all transactions, and as a Jewish Priest "he would not relate them with any favour or partiality "to the Christian cause. His History was approved by

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Vespasian and Titus (who ordered it to be published) and by King Agrippa and many others, both Jews and Romans, who were present in those wars. He had like"wise many enemies, who would readily have convicted "him of falsification, if he had been guilty of any. "He designed nothing less, and yet, as if he had de

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(1) Sermon No. 186.

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may serve as a larger comment on our Saviour's "Prophecies of the destruction of Jerusalem."

In testimony of the accuracy and correctness of Josephus in respect to historical narration, we have in addition to the opinions of many of the most learned on the subject, that of the well known Scaliger, who speaking of Josephus, says" He might confidently affirm, that he was the most careful and correct of all Writers, that not only in the Jewish affairs, but in "all foreign matters, more credit may be placed upon "his testimony than upon all the Historians of Greece "C or Rome."

Upon the whole it must be allowed that the writings of Josephus are of very considerable importance, not merely as they form the only Jewish History now extant; but as the events they record were witnessed by an author, who was zealous of the honour of his Country, and entertained throughout the whole of his life the greatest veneration and regard for the Temple, its Worship, and all the peculiarities of the Mosaic Law: an Author who has, with singular care, although quite unintentionally, so illustrated the predictions of Christ, that Jerome has called him, and with considerable reason, "a Christian Writer."

CHAP.

(') Dissertation on the Prophecies, vol. ii. p. 326. (3) Diligentissimus και φιλαληθεςτατος omnium Scriptorum de quo nos hoc audacter dicimus, non solum in rebus Judaicis, sed etiam in externis tutius illi credi quam omnibus Græcis et Latinis Historicis.-Jos. Scal.

We may most securely rely, says Bishop Porteus, on every thing he tells us respecting the siege of Jerusalem; and nothing can more completely demonstrate the truth of our blessed Lord's predictions than the uncorrupt, impartial, and undesigned testimony given to their completion by this justly celebrated Historian.-Lect. xx.

CHAPTER 1.

ORIGIN OF THE ROMAN POWER IN JUDEA, WITH ITS CONTINUANCE TO THE TIME OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM....THE CHARACTER OF TITUS.

THE Jewish Nation, on its return from the Babylonish Captivity, continued under the protection of Persia till the time of Alexander; after which period it became tributary to the Kings of Egypt and Syria, according as their respective influences preponderated: when at length, Antiochus Epiphanes by reducing these countries, brought Judea under his dominion.' The extreme rigour and severity which he impiously exercised over the Jewish people, so imbittered their subjection to his yoke; that being tempted to express unusual demonstrations of joy at the false rumour of his death, they brought upon themselves his high resentment and carrying a powerful army with him against Jerusalem, he took it by storm.

The cruelties and excesses which he there committed, were so oppressive and extensive in their nature; that the inhabitants were driven to seek refuge from the violence of his fury, into the secret recesses of

caverns

(') The Prophecies of Daniel and Ezekiel referred to him, and all the predicted abominations were accomplished by his wicked and licentious actions. Vide Dan. vi. 21, 25.-viii. 10, 25.-xi. 28, &c. and xii. 1, &c.-Also Ezek. chapters xxxviii, xxxix.

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caverns and the holes of rocks. The religious rites were now trampled down, the Temple stripped of its riches, and the altars profaned by the grossest indignities; so that the public worship was discontinued' till A. C. 167, when Matthias, a Priest eminent for his piety and resolution, having collected an army of six thousand men, undertook, to free Judea from the oppression of a foreign yoke, and restore the worship of the God of Israel; but being very old when he began this important and arduous work, he did not live to see its completion. At his death Judas Maccabæus succeeded to the command of the army; and after a short time, having purified the Temple and re-established the true worship; defeated the Syrians in several engagements, and driving them out of Judea, transmitted the authority he had acquired to his own family, who continued to retain it for many years.3

Judas

(1) "There shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a "Nation, even to that same time." Dan. xii. 1.-Vide 1 Maccabees, chapters i. to vii. and Dan. vii. 21, 25.

(*) He was the head of the Asmonean family, which was afterwards called the MACCABI, from his bearing on his standards the letters M. C. B. I. being the initials, according to our translation, of the Hebrew words signifying "Who is like unto thee among the Gods, Oh Jehovah ?"-Exod. xv. 11. In the same manner that the Romans embroidered their S. P. Q. R. upon their standards.

(3) "How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the Sanctuary and the Host to be "trodden under foot? And he said unto me-Unto two thousand and three "hundred days; then shall the Sanctuary be cleansed." Dan, viii. 13, 14. "And they offered Sacrifice according to the Law upon the new Altar of "burnt offerings which they had made. Look at what time and what day "the heathen had profaned it, even in that was it dedicated with songs and "citherns, and harps and cymbals." 1 Mac. iv. 53, 54.

"Now," says Josephus," it so happened that these things were done on the very same day on which their divine worship had fallen off, and was "reduced

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