Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

human sagacity and foresight that our Saviour foretold these events; or, had he even hazarded a conjecture respecting a war with the Romans, and the siege of Jerusalem, yet he could only have done this in general terms ; he could never have imagined or invented such a variety of minute particulars as he did predict, and as actually came to pass. . It is, indeed, of great importance to observe the surprising assemblage of striking circumstances which Christ pointed out in this prophecy. They are much more numerous than is commonly supposed, and well deserve to be distinctly specified. They may be arranged under three general heads. The first consists of those signs that were to precede the destruction of Jerusalem. | And these signs were, false Christs, false prophets, rumours of wars, actual wars, nation rising against nation, famines, pestilences, earthquakes, fearful sights, the persecution of the apostles, the apostacy

of some Christians, and the treachery of Q S - others,

others, the preservation of Christ's faithful disciples, and the propagation of the Gospel through the whole Roman world. The second head is the commencement of the siege. Under this head are specified the distinguishing standard of the Roman army, the eagle, with the images of the gods and their emperor affixed to it. The idolatrous worship paid to this standard, called the abomination, for so it . was to the Jews. The planting of this standard near the holy city, and afterward in the very Temple. The desolation which the Roman armies spread around them. The escape of the Christians to the mountainous country round Jerusalem. The inconceivable and unparalleled calamities of every kind which the wretched inhabitants endured during the siege; and the shortening of those days of vengeance on account of the Christians. The third head is the actual capture of Jerusalem by the besieging army. And

And here it is foretold, “ that not one stone of its magnificent buildings should be left upon another;” that the Temple, the Government, the state, the polity of the Jews, should be utterly subverted ; and, lastly, that all these things should happen before the then present race of

men should be extinguished. If, now, we collect together the several particulars here specified, they amount to no less than twenty-two in number. A larger detail of minute circumstances than is to be found in any other of our Lord's prophecies; and all these we see actually fulfilled in the history of Josephus, and other ancient writers; and it is extremely remarkable, that his description of the siege of Jerusalem, like this prophecy, is more minutely circumstantial and more spread out into detail, than the account of any other siege that we have in ancient history. It should seem therefore as if this historian was purposely raised up by Providence to record this memorable event, and to verify our Saviour's Q 4 predictions. predictions. And, indeed, no one could possibly be better qualified for the task. than he, from his situation and circumstances, from his integrity and veracity, and, above all, from the opportunities he had of being perfectly well acquainted with every thing he relates. He was born at Jerusalem, under the reign of the emperor Caligula, and about seven years after our Lord's crucifixion. He was of a noble family; on his father's side descended from the most illustrious of the high priests; and on his mother's side, from the blood royal. At the age of nineteen, after having made a trial of all the different sects of the Jews, he embraced that of the Pharisees; and at the age of twenty-six he made a journey to Rome, to obtain from Nero the release of some Jewish priests, who had been thrown into bonds by Felix the procurator of Judaea. He succeeded in this business; and on his return to Jerusalem found his countrymen resolved on commencing hostilities against the Romans, from which he endeavoured to dissuade them; but in vain. He was soon after appointed by the Jewish government to the command of an army in Galilee, where he signalized himself in many engagements; but at the siege of Jotapata was taken prisoner by Vespasian, and afterwards carried by Titus to the siege of Jerusalem, where he was an eye-witness of every thing that passed, till the City was taken and destroyed by the Romans. He then composed his History of the Jewish war, and particularly of the siege and capture of Jerusalem, in seven books; which he first wrote in Hebrew, and afterwards in Greek, and presented it to Vespasian and Titus, by both of whom it was highly approved, and ordered to be made public. And it is in this history that we find the accomplishment of all the several facts and events relative to the siege and the destruction of Jerusalem, which our Saviour foretold forty years before they happened, and which have been above recited. This history is spoken of in the highest terms

by

« FöregåendeFortsätt »