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but the famine confounded all natural passions; for those who were just going to die, looked upon those that were gone to their rest before them with dry eyes and open mouths. A deep silence also, and a kind of deadly night had seized upon the city. While yet the robbers were still more terrible than were these miseries themselves; for they brake open those houses which were no other than the graves of dead bodies, and plundered them of what they had, and, carrying off the coverings of their bodies, went out laughing, and tried the points of their swords in their dead bodies; but for those that entreated them to lend their right hand and their sword to dispatch them, they were too proud to grant their request, and left them to be consumed by the famine."* No wonder, as the historian tells us, that even the Roman general, heathen as he was, when he went around the city and beheld every where the frightful desolation and death, groaned aloud, and, spreading forth his hands, called God to witness that this was not his doing. Indeed, when he afterwards surveyed the city he had destroyed, its naturally impregnable position, its massive and lofty walls, and reflected on the immense stores of arms and other munitions of war it had possessed, and the thronging thousands by whom it was defended, he refused to take to himself the glory of the victory, openly declaring that God had fought for the Romans and delivered the Jews into their hands.
If we would appreciate the justice of this longdelayed but most appalling judgment, we must look back along the many centuries of that people's previous history, and reflect on the impious and ungrateful return they had made for all the inestimable honours and blessings with which God had crowned them. We must look “to the rock whence they were hewn, and to the hole of the pit whence they were digged-unto Abraham their father, and unto Sarah that bare them. And, tracing their subsequent career,
* Josephus-Jewish. War--book v. ch. 12.
as the two preceding lecturers have done, from this small and feeble beginning, till by God's good hand upon them they became a great and flourishing nation-a nation favoured, not only by that worldly prosperity which distinguished a land flowing with milk and honey, but with the choicest and most abundant spiritual blessings—a nation to whom pertained the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the promises—whose were the fathers, and of whom as touching the flesh Christ came, who is God over all, blessed for evermore:' and having thus called up to our remembrance how a God of grace and mercy had thus rejoiced over them, to do them good and to bless them, we have only to turn to contemplate this people, so honoured, so blessed, imbruing their hands in the blood of their own Messiah; and then we see a cause strong and sufficient why that same God, thus cast off and despised, should now, as he had long before, with a voice of solemn warning, foretold,“ rejoice over them to destroy them, and to bring them to nought.”
But the destruction of Jerusalem, as the present lecture calls upon me to show, was only the beginning of sorrows to the God-forsaken nation of the Jews. They were not only to fall by the edge of the sword, as their rejected Messiah had foretold, but were to be led away captive into all nations. To prove what havoc the sword had made among that wretched people, it is enough to state the appalling fact, that no fewer than one million one hundred thousand, a number
equal to nearly one half of the entire population of Scotland, perished in the siege alone: and at least two hundred thousand more in the remainder of the war. But it was not merely by the multitudes of the slain this visitation was distinguished. On various occasions before, the nation of the Jews had suffered from the devastations of war; and still, when the tempest had spent its fury, they had gradually recovered their strength, and again been restored to their position as an independent state, and to all the remarkable privileges by which their singular polity was characterized. . This time, however, the blow was to leave behind it effects of a more fatal and enduring kind. After the tribulation of those days"after the siege and destruction of Jerusalem by the Roman armies—the whole constitution of the Jewish government, their entire state and polity, were to be abolished, every vestige, whether of civil or ecclesiastical authority, belonging to them as a nation, was to cease. Before, however, proceeding to enter on the facts in their subsequent history, by which the truth of this statement is proved, it will be necessary to go back, and to examine with greater minuteness the ancient prophecies in which the dispersion had been so often and so clearly foretold. In the first place, then, let me invite your attention to the 28th ch. of Deut., already referred to, in which Moses holds up, in fearful distinctness, the awful consequences that would follow their forsaking of God. After enumerating the long and mournful roll of curses that would come down upon their nation, he goes on, at the 49th verse, to describe the very enemy by whose agency they were to be destroyed—all the appalling horrors that were to attend the war-the long evils by which it should be succeeded, and the manifold miseries by which, for generations, their race was destined to be overwhelmed. (Deut. xxviii. 49 to the end.) These prophecies, as I have already said, were delivered before the Israelites had yet entered on possession of the land of Canaan. In the wilderness, they had already manifested that ingratitude to God, and that disposition to forget their national covenant with him, which, in a future age, were destined to bring so many judgments upon them; and it was therefore the more fitting and necessary, that the veil which hung over these judgments should have been drawn aside thus early by the hand of prophecy, to warn them of the consequences of persisting in a course of disobedience. But the warning was not addressed to that generation alone. In the successive ages of their history, other prophets were raised up, one after another, to admonish the stiff-necked and re
bellious descendants of Abraham of the certain fulfilment of all which Moses had foretold. Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Amos, Hosea, &c., and finally our Lord himself, solemnly declared the same alarming truths. Thus: “I will scatter them among the nations-among the heathen, and disperse them among the countries.” “ They shall cast the silver in the streets, and their gold shall be removed—their silver and their gold shall not be able to deliver them in the day of the wrath of the Lord—they shall not satisfy their souls, neither fill their bowels, because it is the stumblingblock of their iniquity. I will sist the house of Israel ainong the nations as corn is sifted in a sieve, yet shall not the least grain fall upon the earth. Death shall be chosen rather than life by all the residue of them that remain of this evil family-which remain in all the places whither I have driven them, saith the Lord of Hosts. They shall be wanderers among the nations. Make the heart of this people fat, and make their ears heavy, and shut their eyes, lest they see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and convert, and be healed. Then said I, Lord, how long? and he answered, until the cities be wasted without inhabitant, and the houses without man, and the land be utterly desolate.”
These prophecies, then, and very many more of the same nature might be adduced, foretell a great variety of events, and that in language so plain and unambiguous, that no one who looks into the volume of history can be at any loss to tell whether or not they have been actually fulfilled. The state of the Jews, from the siege and destruction of Jerusalem down to the present day, is matter of recorded, and authentic history; and it is only necessary to examine the facts which that history relates, in order to be impressed with an irresistible conviction, that, in writing these prophecies concerning the Jews, "holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.” In order, then, that the comparison now to be instituted between the prophecy and the history may be freed from confusion, let us proceed in it as it were step by
step-taking up the various branches of prophecy one after another, and comparing them successively with those facts of the Jewish history in which they were so signally fulfilled.
1. The first feature in the prophecy which, in the present lecture, we are called to illustrate is that which relates to the expulsion of the Jews from their native land.
When we turn to examine the history of what actually happened, we shall see how remarkably this prediction was accomplished. After the Roman general, Titus, had destroyed Jerusalem and all the other cities of note in Judea, exercising every species of cruelty upon the wretched inhabitants, slaughtering innumerable multitudes, and wasting the whole country with a universal desolation, he led away many thousands of the people as captives, and distributed them as slaves among the various provinces of the Roman empire. Still, however, the remnant of this devoted race clung with unabated fondness to the land of their fathers. It was a land given to them by God; and, too blind as they were to perceive that they had now forfeited their abused inheritance, they continued to look for'a Messiah who even yet should prove their deliverer from oppression, and the restorer of their ancient glory. An impostor, accordingly, taking advantage of the delusive expectations of his countrymen, assumed to himself the name of Barchochebas, that is the son of a star, by way of leading the people to apply to him the prophecy of Balaam in the 24th ch, of Numbers, “ There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel," and
He soon assembled a prodigious multitude of fugitive and exiled Jews upon the beloved soil of their ancient land. A revolt from their Roman masters was the consequence, and a desperate war, which their wild enthusiasm prolonged for two whole years. But this frantic effort was only the means of completing their ruin, and bringing their prophesied dispersion to its full and final accomplishment. Again the Roman armies swept with a desolating tide over the