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but in their prime when the Romans were seen investing the city in warlike array. The Roman army commanded by Titus consisted of sixty thousand men ; and one of his three encampments was pitched on that very mountain from which Jesus predicted the destruction of the capital, and bewailed its doom. In fif teen days after its investment the outer wall was carried; and after nine days more, the second was taken, lost, and regained by the besieging army. Batteries were now raised for the attack of the innermost wall, but were speedily destroyed. More vigorous measures were then adopted; and all terms having been declined by the infatuated Jews, Titus determined to construct a wall of circumvallation around the whole city, that he might attack it to more advantage, and might prevent all escape from within and all succours from without; and this, though taking a circuit of nearly five miles, and flanked by thirteen towers, was completed in the space of three days. Thus literally was the prediction verified, "Thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side."
Then, when the people were hemmed in on every side, they experienced that unparalleled distress of which prophecy had given such appalling descriptions. Within a city adapted for the residence of only six hundred thousand inhabitants five times that number are supposed to have been enclosed; multitudes having come to the passover, and many having fled thither from their unprotected habitations in the provinces. To render the distress more aggravated, the resources of the people had been destroyed before the approach of the Romans, and the city itself wasted by civil strife. Three factions had maintained as many distinct stations within the walls; and, among other mad exploits, had consumed with fire store-houses filled with corn and other provisions, that would have sufficed the whole population during a protracted siege. When the enemy was actually investing the city, two factions, headed by Simon and John, continued to strive in deadly conflict; both uniting, however, in preventing the citizens from opening their gates to the Romans, and in desperate sallies and attacks on the besiegers. These factions exercised a tyranny far more malignant than that of Rome; wantonly slaughtering the people, wresting from them whatever they possessed, and even appropriating the sacred
treasures of the temple. Under the influence of these zealots all accommodation was hopeless; and every overture having been met with contempt and ribald jests, the Romans were beyond measure incensed. Many of the people attempted to escape from the city, and were taken by the besiegers, who, hoping to terrify the rest into submission, treated them with the utmost severity. The hands of some were lopped off, and they were sent back, dismembered, into the city. Multitudes, to the amount of five hundred a day, were crucified within sight of the walls, "till room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies." One fugitive having been known to swallow gold, two thousand men were slain in one night, and their bodies dissected, in the hope of finding gold within them. The carnage within the city was still more appalling. The only burial afforded to the great majority was to carry them out of the gates and cast them into the city ditch; and above six hundred thousand men were thus cast out. When they were no longer able to carry the dead out at the gates, they filled large houses with their carcasses, and closing the doors, left them to fester in the midst of the city. In the meanwhile, famine raged so fearfully that men, swollen as in dropsy, or shrunk as in wasting disease, staggered and expired in the streets; or, driven to desperation, they violently assaulted one another in the streets, or forced their way into their neighbours' houses, in hope of snatching a morsel of concealed food. They preyed, moreover, in their distress, on the veriest garbage. But there was one fact which produced a measure of horror, both among Jews and Romans, beyond everything else. woman of some rank, Mary of Bethezob, having been spoiled of all she possessed, famishing herself, and seeing her infant son famishing at her bosom, seized upon the babe in an agony of despair, and addressed him to this purport: "O thou miserable infant! for what shall I preserve thee? As a victim of famine-or of Roman slavery-or of these factions, more cruel than either? Come, be thou my food; and be thou a fury to these factions, and a by-word to the world, and so complete the calamities of our nation." She then slew her infant, deliberately roasted his flesh, ate the half at a meal, and put by the residue for a second repast. So precise was the fulfilment of Moses' prophecy respecting the delicate woman! So just was the exclamation of
ately around the holy house. When the flames burst forth, Titus rushed to the spot; but amid the crash of arms, the shouts of the soldiery, and the roar of the conflagration, his commands and threats were unheard. He now entered the central and most holy apartments of the temple, and found the edifice far more magnificent than he had anticipated; but at that very juncture, when he was making a last effort to secure the quenching of the flames, a soldier secretly applied fire to the interior door of the hallowed apartment, when the bursting conflagration compelled the reluctant general to retire ; his attendants bearing the golden table and candlestick as trophies of triumph.
The remaining facts must be very briefly told. The soldiers wearied themselves with the work of slaughter; and the city, as well as the temple, was destroyed-three towers only being left, as monuments of the Roman conquest. Upwards of a million Jews were slain in the course of the war; and Jerusalem was, literally, laid even with the ground. What manner of stones soever they were of which the temple was constructed, not one was left upon another. The Jewish Talmudist tells us that the very foundations were torn up with the ploughshare; so exactly were Micah's words fulfilled. They shall fall," saith the Lord, " "by the edge of the sword, and be led away captive into all nations." "The Lord," said Moses," shall bring you into Egypt again with ships; and there shall ye be sold unto your enemies for bondmen and bondwomen, and no man shall buy you." The facts were in exact correspondence with these predictions. Nearly a million of captives were taken; many were slain in the games celebrated in honour of Vespasian and Titus; many were sent to the public works in Egypt; the slavemarkets of the provinces were glutted; and fourteen thousand perished with hunger-part of them rejecting food in sullen despondency, and part left to famish through the forgetfulness or design of their keepers.
These prophecies are still in course of fulfilment. Jerusalem is still trodden down by the Gentiles; and the mosque of the false prophet occupies the reputed site of the temple. Still are the people wanderers, found in every land, and everywhere a by-word. Their case is without parallel: as a mighty river, having its sources in ages far remote, we might expect to see this people long retaining their distinctness, and that, after
Jesus, "Woe unto them that give suck in those days!"
After this, what need I to speak of prodigies? Yet prodigies were foretold in the prophecies of this event, and are recorded by its historians. Fearful sights were seen in the heavens; the concussion of earthquake was experienced; the ponderous gate of the temple-court is said to have burst open at midnight of its own accord; the priests officiating at Pentecost, within the temple, are reported to have felt a shaking and heard a rushing, when these words were pronounced, as if by the retiring Deity, "Let us remove hence." A further relation is given by the Jewish historian, which wears the air of unquestioned authenticity. A rustic coming to the feast of tabernacles, seven years before the siege, suddenly elevated his voice, and exclaimed, “A voice from the four winds-a voice against Jerusalem and the temple! And ever afterwards he went about the streets of Jerusalem, vociferating, "Woe, woe, woe!" This cry he continued day and night, month after month, and year after year. They scourged him, but at every stroke he exclaimed, " Woe, woe to Jerusalem! He continued to reiterate this dismal cry during the progress of the siege, till one day towards its close, taking his station on the wall, he added to his usual exclamation, "Woe to myself!" immediately upon which he fell dead, smitten by a missile discharged from the Roman engines.
We hasten to the catastrophe. The prediction of Jesus, in which he foretold the utter destruction of the city and temple, was fully verified. Titus would fain have spared both, especially the latter; but the Jewish zealots rejected, in their infatuation, every overture, till the Roman soldiers became exasperated beyond all control. The temple was the citadel in which the zealots defended themselves; and when the tower of Antonia was taken, they themselves, to cut off the communication, fired the cloisters adjoining it. The battering-ram and scaling-ladders were now applied to the western gate of the inner court; fire at length forced a passage, and another portion of the cloisters was consumed. Titus, solicitous to preserve at least the sanctuary itself, and fearing lest the flames should reach it, commanded them to be quenched; but, instead of this, a soldier, rising on the shoulders of his comrade, threw a firebrand in at a golden window, communicating with the rooms built immedi
seventeen centuries, is a miracle. The lapse of ages, the operation of climate, the varieties of government, the fierceness of persecution, the acquisition of wealth, the increasing amenity of liberal opinions-all leave the Jew unaltered. The same everywhere in aspect and character, he is everywhere the butt of scorn. The poet joins the buffoon in holding him up to ribald contempt; and the very school-boy-he knows not why-hoots him as he goes. He is a monument attesting the inspiration of prophetic Scripture; though himself an unbeliever, his very unbelief separates him as a witness to the truth which he rejects; and the attestation is at once intelligible to the weakest intellect, and irrefutable by the strongest. If one should rise from the dead, he could not furnish evidence more unquestionable.-Ely's Winter Lectures.
AN AFFECTIONATE SPIRIT.
"Oh! cast then not
Affection from thee! In this bitter world
But ever take for thy heart's motto,
WE occasionally meet with individuals who deem an indulgence in affectionate feelings as a mark of weakness-the offspring of a soft head and a foolish heart. Some men will return from a long journey and greet their families with distant dignity and reserve, moving about among their children with the coolness of an iceberg, surrounded by its broken fragments. They carry along with them an atmosphere not only chilling but freezing.
There is not a more unnatural sight on earth than a family without hearts. Children thus reared are ofttimes but half human-having understanding without affections. And when they leave home, if such a place can be called by this endearing name, they enter upon life selfish, cold, and stony-hearted. True, there may be some noble exceptions, where young persons of both sexes will break away from such chilling and deadening influences, and exhibit an affectionate spirit. Would that the instances were not so rare in our world!
For one, I would as soon embrace a stick of wood, a bar of iron, a lump of cold clay, a cake of ice, a block of adamant, or one of New Hampshire's granite rocks, as some persons within the circle of my acquaintance; about as much im
pression would be made in one case as the other. Oh, give me for bosom friends those who have warm hearts, an affectionate nature, and that strong love which gushes up fresh and free from the soul's lowest depths. When two such meet, heart touches heart; they feel "at home" with each other after but a short acquaintance, and their souls almost melt into one another, by a sort of spiritual magnetism. Some there are, in this cold bleak world of ours, whose hearts are so full of affection that they are ofttimes tempted to overleap the boundaries of common usage, and greet every one with a kiss of charity," nor would it be contrary to Scripture so to do.
A parent had better extinguish his children's eyes than take away their hearts. Who that has experienced the joys of friendship, and knows the worth of sympathy, would not rather lose all that is beautiful in nature's scenery, or all that is great in intellectual acquirements, than be robbed of the hidden treasures of the affections.
God loves, tenderly loves, the children of his family; the beatings and throbbings of his great heart are sensibly felt through the universe, showing how incompatible is man's small degree of love with the exceeding fulness of his affection.
Love is the religion of heaven; it is the very element of paradise, the atmosphere in which angels delight to breathe. The joys of affection, of congenial spirits, are the joys which animate the throng and inspire the harps of that better land. Whatever else man may be stripped of, O leave him his heart. Without this he is unfit for earth or heaven.
Dear friend, whoever thou art, indulge, I pray you, in the warm and gushing emotions of filial, parental, fraternal love. Think it not a weakness. God has the largest and the warmest heart in the universe. He is all heart. "God is love." Fear not, then, to enlarge your heart's capacities, to give vigour to its exercises. Love as extensively and as intensely as you can. Be passionately attached to friends, but don't idolize. Love everybody and everything that is lovely. Let it be the studied object of your domestic culture to become possessed of warm hearts and ardent feelings.
"Let's be kind to each other; The night's coming on, When friend and when brother Perchance may be gone."
Oh, I would be good; I would be kind; I would be beloved; I would fence in a happiness with friends; I would share others' sorrows, others' joys. Rejoice, says inspiration, rejoice with those that do rejoice, and weep with those that weep. In the beautiful language of the poet :
"Let us love one another-not long may we stay In this bleak world of mourning-so brief is life's day;
CHEAP MINISTERIAL AID.
Now and then drop a short note to your minister just to make him acquainted with something which you believe he does not know, and which you conceive is desirable he should know. There are a variety of incidents and circumstances; and even ideas, which you may be familiar with, whilst your pastor may be altogether ignorant of their existence; and it is not improbable, that, if these scraps of information were known to your minister, he might in due course turn them to good account. In these communications two things must be borne in mind:-First, brevity. A long introduction, such as "I hope you will excuse the liberty I have taken," &c., should not appear in these notes; but simply the fact or incident, in a concise and intelligible form; and when this is done leave off, of course adding your name, that there may be authority for what is communicated. Secondly, do not expect a reply. Be content to know that you have attempted to aid your minister, and leave it with him to make use of your information or not as he may deem best. Perhaps the following may show my meaning, and serve as specimens in the WITNESS:
Lessons by the Way; or, Things to Think On.
when he received the liquor, but shortly afterwards he was seen at the alehouse, and before night he was brawling in the street.
"Dear Sir,-A few young men, who are somewhat influential, have recently broached infidel principles in this locality; and I have reason to fear, that the minds of some of your youthful hearers are unsettled through their efforts. The persons I refer to have gathered their views chiefly from the publications of the Socialists. I enclose you a tract which has been extensively circulated among young men. "Yours, &c.
"Dear Sir,-It strikes me that many of your hearers would be greatly benefited at the present time, were you to preach from this or some similar passage: 'We ought to obey God rather Yours, &c.
Some fade ere 't is noon, and few linger till eve; Oh! there breaks not a heart but leaves some one to grieve;
And the fondest, the purest, the truest that met, Have still found the need to forgive and forget; Then, Oh! though the hopes that we nourish'd decay,
Let us love one another so long as we stay. There are some sweet affections that earth cannot buy,
That cling but the closer when sorrow draws nigh,
And remain with us yet, though all else pass
"Dear Sir, I have observed two individuals in a somewhat secluded part of your place of worship, who evidently feel the power of truth under your ministry; I have conversed with them, and hope soon to introduce them to your notice. Yours, &c.
"Dear Sir,-A man, given occasionally to intemperance, was rewarded with a glass of wine at the house of a professor of religion, for some little service done; he was quite sober VOL. IV.
'T is to love one another so long as we stay."
THE BEST NEWS.
SOME years ago, a son of Abraham, who annually visited the town of Loughborough in the way of business, called upon the venerable father of the late Dr. W. Yates, of India,-a man of eminent piety and simplicity of manners. As he entered, he said, "Well, Mr. Yates, what is the best news in the town to-day?" The good man looked up, and in his own peculiar way said, "The best news that I know is, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chief." The poor Jew, doubtless not expecting such a reply, was very angry, and went away in a rage. Whether or not he has yet believed that this is the best news, I cannot tell. Reader! have you? W. H.
THE GREAT UNITY. SIR,-Among other American ministers who left their far-distant homes to prove, by their attendance at the late Conference, their desire to promote an Evangelical alliance, were the Rev. Ebenezer Mason and the Rev. Erskine Mason, two of the sons of the late Rev. John M. Mason, of New York, the author of "A Plea for Catholic Communion in the Church of God," and whose visits to this country in 1802, and 1816 and '17, will, while memory shall last, be affectionately remembered by all who had the pleasure of his acquaintance. Perhaps you may think the following extract from a letterwhich, on the eve of his departure from England upon his last visit, he wrote to a friend in London-worth inserting in the CHRISTIAN WITNESS. S. G.
"Liverpool, 1st Oct. 1817.
"My dear Sir,-One of the last duties I have to perform before my feet quit English ground
for ever, is to express to you my gratitude for the friendly offices you have so abundantly performed toward me. I trust I shall not forget how much I owe to that Christian charity which makes love to our Lord and Redeemer a sure passport to the heart. May it increase more and more. It is unseemly, most unseemly, to be searching for moles and pockpits in a face beaming with the image of the first-born. Believers are often tied with packthreads by their little fingers into small unions; but the great unity which binds their hearts together, and will last when the packthreads shall be destroyed by a touch of the fire, is their unity in the Son of God. Comparatively speaking, I see no other sectarianism worth fighting for; and they who fight well for that enduring hardness as good soldiers of Jesus Christ,' have but little leisure or inclination for the small and unpurposed business of subaltern skirmishes and squabbles.
My health is growing rapidly better; and I hope to resume, on my return, my loved employment in the service of the best of Kings. Frederick of Prussia's maxim was, pay well and flog well; but our King, the Prince of the kings of the earth, pays magnificently and never flogs when our good does not imperiously require it; at least I can bear my testimony, that, when I have been looking for castigation, because I felt that I deserved the halberd, his way, O most gracious! has been to break me down with new kindnesses. Filled be my mouth with his praise and his honour all the day long! May you walk, my dear friend, in the light of his countenance, and be exalted in his righteousness, as becometh one of the people who know the joyful sound!"
THE following anecdote was told to me by a gentleman, who had it from the lips of the lady's daughter who was the eye-witness. I have no reason to think it has appeared in print. If therefore you judge it suitable for the CHRISTIAN WITNESS, I shall be glad to see it so preserved. I am yours, very faithfully,
JOHN BICKERTON WILLIAMS. The Hall, Wem, Feb. 5th, 1846.
The Rev. George Whitefield was apt in the pulpit, and had great facility in doing it, to imagine what persons would think upon the passage of Scripture he selected for meditation; and sometimes this was so striking as to convey to his hearers an impression of almost supernatural knowledge. A respectable lady, who heard him in Scotland preach on Matt. xxv. 10: "The door was shut," being placed near two dashing young men, but at a considerable distance from the pulpit, witnessed their mirth; and overheard one say, in a low tone, to the other, "Well, what if the door be shut, another will open." They so turned off the solemnity of the text. Mr. Whitefield had not proceeded far when he said, "It is possible there may be some careless, trifling person here to-day, who may ward off the force of this impressive subject by lightly thinking, "What matter if the door be shut, another will open.'" The two young men were paralyzed, and looked at each other. Mr. Whitefield proceeded: "Yes, another will open. And I will tell you what door
it will be it will be the door of the bottomless pit the door of hell!-the door which conceals
MINISTERIAL ENCOURAGEMENT. DURING a recent missionary tour through the principality, an English minister, from one of the midland counties, was greatly encouraged to labour with renewed patience and perseverance in the vineyard of his Lord and Master, by the following pleasing testimony which was borne to his labours at a large public missionary meeting. He thus writes to his venerable and beloved mother, the widow of a late devoted and successful minister in the west of England: "An intelligent young man, a student from one of our colleges, in the course of a short speech, remarked, that ministers were not always aware of the usefulness of their labours. For instance, Mr. S-, who is now on the platform, was preaching in a town nine years since, when visiting this part of the country. There was then a thoughtless young man in the congregation who heard him, and that to his profit; for the sermon was the means of his conversion. He became a member of the church, and went to college to prepare for the ministry. He has long been wishing to see Mr. S since that time, but has not been gratified till this hour. That young man is the speaker to whom you are listening.' This statement, delivered in a very touching manner, drew tears from many eyes, and from mine among the rest; and constrained me to remark, that it was worth my while to come more than two hundred miles to hear such an interesting and gratifying communication. To God be all the glory!"
ORDER PLEASING TO GOD.
I PERSUADE myself, that the bountiful and gracious Author of man's being and faculties, and all things else, delights in the beauty of his creation, and is well pleased with the industry of man, in adorning the earth with beautiful cities and castles; with pleasant villages and country-houses; with regular gardens, and orchards, and plantations of all sorts of shrubs and herbs, and fruits, for meat, medicine, or moderate delight; with shady woods and groves, and walks set with rows of elegant trees; with pastures clothed with flocks, and valleys covered over with corn, and meadows burdened with grass, and whatever else differenceth a civil and