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eloquently descriptive character. No nation excelled them in their military prowess, or in the rapidity of their conquests. In comparatively a very short period of time, they extended their empire over all the then civilised part of the globe. The insignia of their legions was not more descriptive of their valour, than of the unexampled rapidity of their movements. The celebrated motto of Cæsar, “ I came, I saw, quered,” was neither of a doubtful, or boasting, character. Their career was indeed " as swift as the eagle flieth.” No nation or people did long withstand the fierceness of their attacks, or the persevering energy of their generals. In their triumphs over their enemies, they frequently displayed a ferocity happily unknown in modern warfare. The most distinguished of their captives, without regard to age or sex, were dragged in triumph, amidst the shouts of the conquerors, and the insults of the rabble. Often, when exasperated by the protracted defence of a brave people struggling for their existence, instead of respecting such patriotic efforts, they inflicted the most horrid barbarities upon the unresisting and unbappy objects of their vengeance; and a slaughter, indiscriminating in its fury, and dreadful in its results, marked the blood-stained progress of the licentious
soldiery, who “ regarded not the person of the old, nor showed favour to the young.” History informs us, that the Romans, under Titus and Vespasian, after a protracted siege, unparalleled in horror, and sanguinary beyond example, at length became masters of this once-favoured spot; and if we compare the predictions of Christ with the events which occurred, and followed at the taking of this devoted city, we sahll be struck with the coincidence of the declaration, and its awful fulfilment.
His foreknowledge of the dreadful calamities which should precede and accompany the destruction of Jerusalem, caused our blessed Saviour, when he beheld the city, to weep over it: and, surely, if this oncefavoured race had then known the day of its visitation, the Lord would have turned from his fierce anger ; but these things" were hid from their eyes.” Having rejected the Lord of Glory, they were given over to judicial blindness, and the Lord brought upon them
a nation from afar” to execute his vengeance. Jerusalem was “ trodden down by the Gentiles,” and there was great distress upon the land, and wrath
upon the people.” The sword and the spear from without, and famine and pestilence and civil discord within, were indeed unto them “ the beginning of
sorrows." The predicted day was now come, when their “ enemies should cast a trench about them, and compass them round, and keep them in on every side.” Their walls of strength, their beautiful palaces, and their magnificent temple, were laid with the ground.” Not “ one stone was left upon another that was not thrown down; and all the princes and the nobles, the ruler and the ruled, the priest and the people, and “ the children within thee,” either “ fell by the edge of the sword,” or were led away captive into all nations,” for there was
great distress in the land, and wrath upon the people.”
Therefore shall Zion for your sake be plowed as a field, and Jerusalem shall become heaps, and the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.—Micah iii. 12.
“ Walk about Zion, and go round about her, tell the towers thereof, mark ye well her bulwarks, consider her palaces,” are they still “ beautiful for situation?” Is Jerusalem yet the “joy of the whole earth?” Within “her walls peace once reigned, and prosperity within her palaces." But how changed the spot ! desolation and dismay reign in undisturbed possession, where elegance and art displayed their richest and most curious productions. Jerusalem is fallen--war destroyed her palaces, and levelled her temple the fire which consumed that magnificent city was kindled by the hand of civil discord-the desolating element that blazed with awful glare, amidst the splendid sanctuary, was first lit by Jewish hands—and the enfuriated Roman soldiers applied the torch, which ultimately destroyed the temple of Jehovah. The Jews having burnt the greater part of the galleries around the temple, and the Roman soldiers set fire to the remainder, Titus commanded his troops to extinguish the flames; but no sooner were his orders executed than a Roman soldier threw a fire-brand into the temple, and the interior was instantly in a blaze; the flames spread with rapidity, and not all the commands, threatenings, or entreaties, of the Roman general, and his officers, were effectual to preserve the building. Whilst some were endeavouring to check the furious element, others set fire to several of the door-posts; the scene was dreadful; the Jews were filled with astonishment and horror, and their conquerors with fury. Amidst the crackling of the fire were heard the shouts of the
victors, and the cries of the vanquished; the shrieks of the wounded, and the groans of the dying. The ground on every side was strewed with dead; while the courts flowed with Jewish blood, the fire raged above; the conflagration was awful, and the massacre dreadful.* Jerusalem and its walls were destroyed, the temple levelled, and the Jews conquered, in the second
year of the reign of Vespasian, on the same month and day as Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the former city and temple. The last temple, once celebrated for its magnificence, is now no more,
That building which, by the solidity of its construction, seemed to defy the mouldering hand of time, soon became a heap of ruins, and “the mountain of the house as the high places of the forest.” + Titus, before he withdrew his troops, commanded them to reduce the city and temple to a level with the ground, and they left not one stone upon another,” to mark the spot where the temple stood. So strictly was this order executed, that the demolished city scarcely appeared to have been the residence of human crea
* Matt. xxiv. 21, 22.
+ The walls were composed of the most durable kind of white stone, of massive size, each stone being twelve feet high, eighteen broad, and thirty-seven and a half in length,