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off from the Jews, no provision could be carried into the city, no person could come out unknown to the enemy.
Our LORD foretold, that the destruction of Jerusalem should be attended with greater distress than had ever been known before, from the beginning of the world. And history informs us, that the calamities and miseries of the Jews during the siege were beyond parallel. Rapine and murder, famine and pestilence within ; fire and sword, and all the terrors of war without. These cala. mities were so severe, that had they continued, they must have consumed the whole Jewish nation; but God so ordered the course of his providence, that these dread. ful days were shortened. Titus, desirous to put a speedy end to the siege, that he might return to Rome, resolved to proceed with the utmost vigour; and the Jews, by burning their provisions and deserting their strong holds, had so weakened themselves, that they were not able to resist such measures, which were, as our LORD fore. told, sudden and unexpected.
So great was the number of dead bodies thrown over the walls, that Titus raised up his hands to heaven, and -called God to witness, that this extreme misery arose from themselves, and not him; yet the Jewish soldiers marched against the Romans over heaps of their own dead, without horror or commiseration.
And now the Romans advanced their last engines against the walls. The besieged made a vigorous de. fence, though the famine was so severe, that the soldiers were compelled to eat their belts, their shoes, the skins of their shields, and dried grass.
Titus and his army, however, entered the city, and assaulted the Temple itself. As his battering.rams made no impression on it, he ordered that the gates should be . burnt; and the fire soon spread to the adjoining porti.
coes. He had resolved in council to preserve the Tem. ple entire, as a monument of honour to himself, and therefore commanded his soldiers to extinguish the fire ; but God had condemned it to the flames : and one of the soldiers unmindful of the command of his general, as if urged by Divine impulse, seized some of the burning materials, and with the assistance of another soldier, who raised him from the ground, threw it into the golden window of the Temple towards the north. And notwithstanding Titus ordered his soldiers to stop. the progress of the flames they pretended not to hear him, and exhorted the foremost ranks to spread the con. flagration. A dreadful scene ensued. The Roman sol. diers to gratify their hatred of the Jews, dealt death and slaughter on all who came in their way, Thousands of men, women, and children, were burnt, Multitudes, half dead before with famine, perished by the sword, and the ground could not be seen for carcases. Titus: then held a conference with the Jewish rulers, who te quired to be dismissed into the desert with their wives and children, having sworn not to resign up their pera sons to him. Titys, enraged that they should prescribe conditions to their conqueror, delivered them up to the i fury of the soldiers, who burnt a great part of the city, of which they were in possession, The Jews still rea's fused to submit, and retired to the higher city, where they behaved like sayages. Here the Romans attacked them, and made, a breach in their walls. They were then seized with sudden fear; and quitting towers im. pregnable to any force, betook themselves to subterraneous, passages. By thus going into the holes of rocks and into the caves of the earth, they expressed the greatest consternation, and in effect said to the moun. tains, “ Fall on us, and to the hills, Cover us.". The
Romans stood amazed at their victory. So many Jews were slain, that the whole city was drenched with blooda In the evening the slaughter ended, and the flames in. creased. When Titus viewed the strength of their fortifications, he-made use of these words, We have fought with the assistance of God. It was God who drove the Jews out of their forts: for what could the hands of men or the force of machines effect against these towers ?" And when he had utterly destroyed the city, he left those towers as a monument of that fortune which confede. rated with him.
After this, Titus gave orders that the seditious should be put to death; but the tallest and most beautiful youths were reserved for Cæsar's triumph. The rest of the multitude, above 17 years of age, were sent to the works in Egypt, or as presents through the provinces, to perish by the sword, and by wild beasts in the theatres, Those under the age of seventeen were sold—11,000 pe. rished by famine. The number of all the captives taken throughout the war was 97,000 ; and of those who were destroyed through the whole siege, were 1,100,000,and the greatest part of these were from different countries ; for they came from every quarter to the passover, and were suddenly shut up by the war.
Our Lord predicted, that so the lightning cometh from the east, and shineth also unto the west, so should the coming of the Son of man be; and it is said, that the destruction of Jerusalalem began in the east, and went on westward.
The Romans having completed their conquest, burnt the extremities of the city, and dug up the walls, leaving nothing standing but some of the highest towers and a part of the wall; for the pioneers so effectually levelled the remainder of the city to the ground, as not to leave those who approached it any proof that it had ever been
inhabited. Thus were our Lord's prophecies fulfilled, Thine enemies shall lay thee even with the ground, and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; and what is remarkable, the destruction of the temple happened on the same day of the year in which Nebuchadnezzar burnt the first Temple.
Our LORD assured his disciples, that not a hair of their head should perish; and history informs us, that not one Christian was involved in the destruction of Jerusalem : therefore, his promise certainly alluded to that time, and not to the persecutions they were both before and after. wards to endure for the sake of the Gospel.
Our Lord foretold, that the Fews sheuld not only fall by the edge of the sword, but that many should be led away cap. tive into all nations. They have been successively in subjection to the Romans, the Saracens, &c. and have never possessed their city since its overthrowby Titus, but still re. main dispersed among all nations, and yet a distinct people.
Our Lord predicted, that Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be ful. filled. The first who attempted to rebuild Jerusalem was the Roman emperor Ælius Adrian, 47 years after its destruction by Titus. He called the city he built Ælia, and placed a Roman colony in it. The Jews upon this occasion rebelled, and through the neglect of the Ro. mans gained possession of it ; but it was again besieged by the Romans, and burnt to the ground. There was a dreadful slaughter of the Jews at this time; and of those who survived, an incredible number of every age and sex, were sold like horses, and dispersed over the face of the earth. The emperor rebuilt the city, peopled it as before, and caused a statute of a hog in marble to be placed
gate that opened towards Bethlehem; and pub. lished an edict, forbidding any Jew upon pain of death to enter into it, or so much as to look upon it at a distance.
In this state Jerusalem continued till the reign of the first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great. Its an. cient name was almost totally forgotten amongst the heathens ; but in Constantine's time it was once more called Jerusalem, and the emperor adorned it with many stately edifices. The Jews again assembled to recover their city, and rebuild their temple; but Constantine, who was very severe against them, repressed them, and caused their ears to be cut off, and their bodies marked for rebels, and dispersed them over all the provinces of his empire as slaves. But Julian, the succeed. ing emperor, called the Apostate, was more favourably inclined to them from his prejudice against the Chris. tians; and in order to defeat our LORD's prophecy, he resolved to re-establish the Jewish religion, and join with them in worship. He assured the Jews of his protection and assistance, and even assigned great sums for the building of the Temple ; and gave it in charge to Aly. pius one of his lieutenants, who set about it vigorously; the governor of the province also assisted. But horrible balls of fire frequently bursting forth near the founda. tion, rendered the place inaccessible to the workmen, who were repeatedly burnt, and the enterprize was laid aside. This account is attested both by Christian and. heathen writers.
The succeeding emperors were in general enemies to the Jews, and after various revolutions Jerusalem fell into the hands of the Turks, who still possess it under the title of Protectors, though they are more properly tyrants and oppressors. Forks, Arabians, and Christians of various sects, dwell there out of reverence to the place, but very few Jews, and of those the greatest part are beggars, and live upon alms. For nearly 1800 years, the Jewish nation has been a