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ing in this situation that the fire had not reached the sanctuary, and that the possibility of its preservation still existed: he earnestly in person, besought his soldiers to put forth every exertion to save it from destruction; but with an ungovernable rage, and an ambitious fondness for plunder; neither fear nor respect could operate to keep them within the limits of their duty. The hope of booty alone carried influence with it: the golden doors, the ponderous ornaments of the Temple, and the riches within its treasury, were the only objects of their attention. But while Titus was thus intent upon the preservation of the building, one of the soldiers set fire to the door-posts; compelling him and his captains to retire with the utmost precipitation: and thus was this glorious fabric consigned to complete ruin, notwithstanding all the efforts of the conqueror to preserve it: who declared it to be a building the most beautiful and astonishing of all the works he had either seen or heard of, as well for its exquisite structure and surprising magnitude, as for the wealth bestowed upon it, and its reputed sanctity.1
should be seen
STANDING IN THE HOLY PLACE:" for the Jews having defiled the Temple with their own arms, made it necessary for the Romans to follow them into the sanctuary, so that they took it by storm, and consequently caused their military ensigns to be seen STANDING THERE.
1 Thus, according to the "sure word of prophecy," was the Temple "completely destroyed, though it was equally the wish and the endeavour ❝ of the conqueror and conquered to preserve it. The extreme rigour of the "Roman discipline, and the prompt obedience of the legions to the voice of "their commander, were in this instance violated, and an enthusiastic rage " and ungovernable fury hurried them to the work of destruction; and thus "human agents became the instruments of Divine vengeance in opposition "to their own determinations.”—Kett's Hist. Intr. Prop. i. 225. To their God they have erected a Temple of surprising magnitude and beauty. Cui Templum summæ molis pulcherrimumque extruxerunt. Dio Cass. Lib. xxxvi.
The Temple was now enveloped in flames. The soldiers seized upon all within their reach, and killed, without distinction of age or sex, to the number of ten thousand.1 As the fire extended, the cracking of the flames was but indistinctly heard above the dying groans of those whom it had overtaken. From the depth of the hill, and the extent of the conflagration, the city appeared in one entire blaze; the tumult and uproar exceeded all description. The outcries of the legions and the howling of the insurgents, when they found themselves surrounded by fire on the one hand, and the sword on the other; are subjects too shocking minutely to detail. The people on the hills, and those in the city, re-echoed each others shrieks of woe and lamentation; the flames opening the eyes of those whom the effects of the famine had nearly closed; inspiring them with fresh vigour and ability, once more, to deplore their misfortunes.2 The slaughter of the besieged exceeded in number that of the conquerors. The Romans now seeing the Temple reduced to ashes, thought it useless to save the outward gates and cloisters, or even the treasury and wardrobe; in which were deposited jewels, money, and robes, to an incredible amount.
1 A NATION OF FIERCE COUNTENANCE, WHICH SHALL NOT REGARD THE PERSON OF THE OLD, NOR SHE FAVOUR TO THE YOUNG.-Deut. xxviii. 50.
WHEREFORE, AS I LIVE, SAITH THE LORD GOD; SURELY BECAUSE THOU HAST DEFILED MY SANCTUARY WITH ALL THY DETESTABLE THINGS, AND WITH ALL THINE ABOMINATIONS, THEREFORE ALSO WILL I DIMINISH THEE; NEITHER SHALL MINE EYE SPARE, NEITHER WILL I HAVE ANY PITY. A THIRD PART OF THEE SHALL DIE WITH THE PESTILENCE, AND WITH FAMINE SHALL THEY BE CONSUMED IN THE MIDST OF THEE: AND A THIRD PART SHALL FALL BY THE SWORD ROUND ABOUT THEE: AND I WILL SCATTER A THIRD PART INTO ALL THE WINDS, AND I WILL DRAW OUT A SWORD AFTER THEM. Ezek. v. 11, 12.
2 OUR HOLY AND OUR BEAUTIFUL HOUSE, WHERE OUR FATHERS PRAISED THEE, IS BURNED UP WITH FIRE: AND ALL OUR PLEASANT THINGS ARE LAID WASTE. Isa. lxiv. 11.
At this time there were collected in one of the galleries, a vast concourse of women, children, and mixed people, to the number of six thousand. This gallery, before Titus could give orders to the contrary, was set on fire by the brutal fury of his soldiers ; in consequence of which many of these ill-fated creatures were suffocated; others were killed by throwing themselves over; and the remainder burnt to death; so that not one of the whole multitude escaped. These were assembled by an impostor, who pretending to have a mission from the Almighty, brought upon the too credulous Jews, this summary destruction: they were commanded by this man, in the name of God, to repair immediately to the Temple, giving them an assurance that they should there receive an infallible proof of divine favour and protection.1 These pretensions to revelation were commonly practised by the factions with a view to keep the body of the people firm against immediate dangers. Such were the gradual advantages of the enemy,
1 "It is remarkable," observes Bishop Porteus, "that Christ foretold not only the appearance of these false prophets, but the very places to "which they would lead their deluded followers." These were the desert and the secret chamber; an Egyptian collected and deceived thirty thousand Jews in the WILDERNESS, and this impostor six thousand others in a gallery, or SECRET CHAMBER.-WHEREFORE IF THEY SHALL SAY UNTO YOU, BEHOLD HE IS IN THE DESERT, GO NOT FORTH; BEHOLD HE IS IN THE SECRET CHAMBER, BELIEVE IT NOT. Matt. xxiv. 26.
2 Bell. Jud. 6, v. 4.
THERE SHALL ARISE FALSE CHRISTS AND FALSE PROPHETS, AND SHALL SHEW GREAT SIGNS AND WONDERS, INSOMUCH THAT IF IT WERE POSSIBLE THEY SHOULD DECEIVE THE VERY ELECT. Matt. xxiv. 24.
"So that they who had despised the true Prophet," says Reland," were deservedly abused and deluded by false ones."
I AM COME, says our Saviour, IN MY FATHER'S NAME, AND YE receive me NOT; IF ANOTHER SHALL COME IN HIS OWN NAME, HIM YE WILL RECEIVE. John v. 43.
enemy, and such the rapid advances of desolation against the persevering, but ill-fated heritage of Israel. Here, instead of that abundant flow of milk and honey which had been so often promised, and till now, so punctually bestowed upon the chosen people of this land; bloodshed and famine prevailed: whilst ploughshares, by a fatal reverse, were converted into swords, and pruning-hooks into spears; and even the sacred implements of the Temple into those of an unhallowed sacrifice. That Temple too, so lately the source of all spiritual and earthly joy, and the habitation of Divinity, now polluted by massacre, and defiled by the unholy trespass of heathen footsteps; is deserted by Omnipotence, and left with the remnant of its worshippers to be purified by fire; whilst another more glorious Temple rises from its ashes, so extensive as to embrace the world itself; one not made by hands, for "its builder "and maker is God." One, into which this vanquished people, punished with temporary blindness, will not enter "until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled,” when all flesh shall flow into it, and there shall be peace upon Israel.
THE SIGNS AND PORTENTS PROGNOSTICATING THE DESTRUCTION OF THE CITY AND TEMPLE ENUMERATED...TITUS PROCLAIMED IMPERATOR... THE PRIESTS OF THE TEMPLE PUT TO DEATH....THE THIRD WALL TAKEN, AND THE UPPER CITY ENTERED AND BURNED....JOHN AND SIMON, THE LEADERS OF THE FACTIONS, ARE IMPRISONED...THE NUMBER OF THE INHABITANTS AND OTHERS SLAIN AND MADE CAPTIVES ....THE WHOLE CITY LAID IN COMPLETE RUIN, AND THE ROMANS RETURN TO THEIR CAPITAL.
JOSEPHUS states a variety of præternatural events to have preceded the final destruction of the City and Temple of the Jews. He mentions that four years before the war with the Romans, a common peasant began on a sudden impulse to cry out, "a voice from "the east! a voice from the west! a voice from the "four quarters of the world! a voice against Jerusa"lem! against the Temple! and all men and women "newly married. A voice against the whole body of "the people!" From that time he never ceased day and night to repeat, "Woe to the People! woe to Jerusalem!" No other words came from his lips. At the solemn festivals he uttered the same menaces, upon which he was seized by the populace and dragged to the Roman magistrate, to whose questions he made no other reply