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trembling for such an attempt, but urged as it were by a preternatural impulse, threw a burning brand in at the golden window, and thereby set fire to the buildings of the temple itself. Titus ran immediately to the temple and commanded his soldiers to extinguish the flames: but neither exhortations nor threatnings could restrain their violence. They either could not, or would not hear; and those behind encouraged those before to set fire to the temple. He then turned his thoughts to the holy place: this he was so anxious to preserve that he commanded his soldiers even to be beaten for disobeying him; but their anger, and their hatred of the Jews, and a certain vehement warlike fury, overcame for once their reverence of their general, and their dread of his commands. A soldier in the dark set fire to the doors, and thus, as Josephus relates, the temple was burnt against the will of Cæsar."

E. For it was the will of one greater than Cæsar. O Mamma, how wonderful all this is! But I little thought, when you were giving me such an interesting account of the building of the second temple, that I should ever hear so melancholy a one of its destruction. I remember your telling me that some of the old Jews wept when they saw the second temple, because they were thinking of the first. How much more would they have wept could they have seen ail this! But please to go on, Mamma.

M. I must go on with the good bishop's account then. He tells us that, after this, Terentius Rufus, who was left to command the army at Jerusalem, did with a ploughshare plough up the foundations of the temple. Thereby was literally fulfilled our Lord's

prophecy, that there should not be left one stone upon another, and at the same time those words of Micah, "Therefore shall Zion for your sakes be ploughed as a field." Eusebius too, an historian of the Church who lived about three hundred years afterwards, affirms "that the temple was ploughed by the Romans, and that he saw it lying in ruins."

E. And the city, Mamma?

M. It shared the same fate, being burnt and destroyed as well as the temple. Of this you may read most interesting and full accounts by and bye. I shall now notice to you another circumstance predicted by our Lord, which was the rising up, during the troubles of Jerusalem, of many false prophets, and many who should pretend to be the very Christ. "Many," said our Lord, "shall come in my name, saying, I am the Christ, and shall deceive many." To show you how this was fulfilled, I will read you another passage from the same learned writer. "Within a little time this part of the prophecy began to be fulfilled. For very soon after our Saviour's decease, appeared Simon Magus, and bewitched the people of Samaria, giving out that himself was some great one: to whom they all gave heed from the least to the greatest, saying, This man is the great power of God.' boasted Himself likewise among the Jews as the Son of God-and there were several more beside Him." I pass over several other particulars expressly foretold by our Lord and most strikingly fulfilled, leaving them for your own perusal, when you shall be able to enjoy the delightful book from which I have now been reading to you-Bishop Newton's excellent and interesting work upon the prophecies. But, perhaps,

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you would like to hear the end of all, as regards the Jews and the Christians.

E. Yes, Mamma. You said, I think, that the Christians were to be sadly persecuted, but strangely delivered. Do tell me how this was fulfilled.

M. We learn, Edward, even from the acts of the Apostles, how soon and how grievously the Christian Jews began to be persecuted; and that in most exact fulfilment of our Saviour's words. He said, for instance, to the Apostles, "Before all these things," that is, before the signs which should go before the destruction of Jerusalem, "before all these things they shall lay their hands upon you," and again, "they shall deliver you to the councils." Now turn to the fourth chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, and read the first seven verses.

E. "And as they spake," &c. But of whom is this said, Mamma? Who were the persons who were set in the midst of the council?

M. It appears that they were the Apostles Peter and John, who are mentioned by name as two of the four who asked Jesus privately that question respecting the overthrow of the temple, which led to the solemn prophecy that we have been considering. It was then added respecting the Apostles, that they should be delivered into prisons, should be afflicted, should be beaten in the synagogues, be brought before rulers and kings: nay that some should be put to death. Now in the Acts we read of the imprisonment of St. John, St. Peter, and St. Paul. St. Paul repeatedly, in his Epistles, tells us of his afflictions; and indeed the whole lives of the Apostles were for the most part but a series of trials: so that if in this life only they had

enjoyed a hope in Christ, they would have been of all men most miserable. The same St. Paul was five times beaten by the Jews, besides being beaten thrice in heathen places, as he expressly tells us himself in a passage of his Epistles, which is indeed a striking comment upon our Saviour's prophecy.


But with the prophecy of suffering, there was a prophecy also of deliverance. "He that shall endure unto the end," said our Saviour, "the same shall be saved;" and, "there shall not an hair of your head perish." And so in the accounts we have in the Bible of the persecutions of the disciples, we read continually of their deliverance out of them: even angels are sent to rescue them, as in the case of St. Peter and St. John; an earthquake opens the prison doors, as in the case of St. Paul and Silas; and deliverance is extended in the midst of the flames, as in the wonderful case of St. John, not to speak of the extraordinary preservation continually of St. Paul, and I dare say of many of the disciples, among all those different perils which he so eloquently describes.

But beyond all it is a most remarkable fact that none of the Christians perished in the destruction of Jerusalem. Our Lord had particularly told His disciples, that, when the miseries which He foretold should come upon Jerusalem, they were to flee into the mountains; and this advice was wisely remembered by the Christians when His words came to pass. We are told by Josephus of the numbers that fled whilst these terrors were coming on. We learn also from the historians of the Church, that when Vespasian approached Jerusalem with his great army, all who be

1 2 Cor. xi. 23-27.

lieved in Christ left the city and removed to Pella and other places beyond the Jordan; so that they all marvellously escaped the general shipwreck of their country. Indeed there is every reason to believe that not so much as one of the Christians perished in the destruction of Jerusalem!

E. How wonderful, Mamma! But I fancied that Jerusalem was encompassed with armies.

M. So she was: and yet the providence of God ordered it so that the Christians should escape. Several times the Roman generals drew off their forces, and departed at the very moment that they were expected to take the city by storm. Sometimes one event at Rome, and sometimes another led to this, as you will read more fully by and bye; but so it was, for so God ordered it; because not one hair of a Christian's head might perish. These delays were most gracious opportunities afforded to the Christians for escape. Indeed they seem evidently to have been made on purpose for them. For after they were gone, Titus built such a wall around the city that it became quite impossible for a Jew to escape. No one could go in or out, unknown to the enemy. So you see we do not want encouragement to serve God, and then to trust in Him to take care of us. How safe are those whom He defends!

E. David was quite right when he said: "He that dwelleth in the defence of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. A thousand shall fall beside him, and ten thousand at his right hand, but they shall not come nigh him."

E. I see that our Lord's prophecy, not only of suffering but deliverance, was indeed fulfilled; now will

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