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land of Judea-fifty cities, which had begun to recover from their previous desolation, were razed without one exception to the ground; and, in addition to the immense numbers who fell by disease, by famine, and by fire, five hundred and eighty thousand Jews are said to have been slaughtered by the sword! The remainder were dragged into banishment, and scattered among all nations; and it is a memorable and conclusive proof of the completeness with which the prophecy was vindicated as to the expulsion of the Jews, that an edict was issued by the Roman emperor Adrian, declaring it to be a capital crime for a Jew to set his feet upon the ground where Jerusalem had stood, and prohibiting them from entering into the land of Judea. Thus, as it had been foretold, “every city was forsaken, and not a man dwelt therein. They were rooted out of their land in anger and in wrath and in great indignation."
2. The second feature in the prophecies now to be illustrated, deserving of special notice, is the fact, that this exile of the Jews from the land of Canaan, under God's righteous judgments, was to endure for many generations; their “plagues were to be not only upon them, but upon their seed, even great plagues, and of long continuance.” They were to abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice, and without an image, and without an ephod, and without teraphim." Now, although the long period of seventeen hundred years, with all its varied vicissitudes and revolutions, has gone by, since the Jews were driven from Judea; they have never, durring that long lapse of time, been allowed to regain possession of it. Nor ought the fact, in reviewing this part of the subject, to be omitted, that when Julian, the apostate, a Roman emperor, about three hundred years after the destruction of Jerusalem, determined to rebuild the temple, and to restore it to the Jews-in infidel defiance of what the Divine word had foretold—the daring enterprise called down such extraordinary tokens of the Divine displeasure as none could misunderstand. Balls of fire bursting from
the spot on which the workmen were employed, drove them in confusion and terror from the place; and though urged, and often attempting to return, they were so scorched by the fiery element, and the place was rendered so inaccessible by the effects of the convulsion, that the attempt was for ever abandoned. The historical testimony on which this striking incident has been handed down, it is impossible to doubt or question. It is related with great minuteness by Ammianus Marcellinus, one of Julian's own officers; himself an unbeliever, and therefore nowise inclined to vindicate Christianity. And the whole circumstances were indeed so notorious, that no attempt was then made to dispute them, even by atheists themselves. No hand, not even that of the mighty Emperor of Rome, ruling though he did over half the world, could build up that which God had determined to destroy. Jerusalem, by His unalterable decree, was to be trodden down of the gentiles, until the times of the gentiles should be fulfilled. Accordingly, the city and kingdom of ancient Israel has been the spoil of all other nations. After the decliving power of the Romans disabled them from holding it any longer under their iron yoke, about the commencement of the seventh century, it became the prey of the furious Arabs, mustered under the banner of the impostor Mahomet, who seized and trampled it under foot. They, in their turn, were succeeded by the Fatimite Monarchs of Egypt, from whose power it was afterwards wrested by the hands of their own rebellious governors. Next came the infidel Saracenst and Christian crusaders of the middle ages, whose long and ferocious wars cast a yet deeper and darker shade of desolation over that unhappy land. They were followed by the fierce and cruel Mameluke horsemen of Egypt. Subsequently, it was ravaged by the
* See also Sozomen L. 5. c. 22. Socrates L. 3. c. 20. Theodoret L. 3. c. 20. Philostorgius L. 7. 99. Also Jewish testimonies to the same event cited in Wagenseil carmen. Lipmanni confutatio, p. 231, 232.
+ Jerusalem was surrendered by Sophronius to the Caliph Omar, A. D. 637, in the year of the Hegira 16. See Ockley.
savage Tamerlane and his Tartar hordes from the interior of Asia. And last of all, it has fallen into the hands of the Ottoman Turks, whose government has ever been one of the most rapacious and tyrannical upon earth. And thus, while Judea has been unceasingly the sport and the prey of every spoiler, we are still left, at the close of seventeen long centuries, to say of its own exiled inhabitants, in the beautiful and touching language of the poet
“ Tribes of the wandering foot and weary breast,
Yes, in their relentless cruelty and hard-hearted impiety, they once, in a day of merciful visitation, which they despised, left that same language to be employed by their own Messiah. “ The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, but the Son of man hath not where to lay his head.” Verily, there is a God that judgeth on the earth. By an awful but righteous retribution, they have been made to drink of that very cup of bitterness, which they blasphemously dared to put into the hands of their Lord! and this leads me to the third point to be illustrated.
3. The treatment, namely, which, during their exile, the prophecies had foretold, the Jewish nation should receive.
Upon this point the prophecies are most minute and specific; and, in reviewing the corresponding history, we shall find that every detail of the predictive description has been literally realized. With regard to their condition and treatment during the ages of their dispersion, it was declared that a sword should be drawn out after them”—that they should “find no rest for the sole of their feet”—that “their avarice, the stumbling-block of their iniquity, should prove their misery”-that they should be spoiled evermore”-that " a trembling of heart and sorrow of mind should be their portion." Let us, then, com
pare with these predictions the recorded historical facts by which they were fulfilled. The first and second centuries of the Christian era saw them, as I have already described, twice rooted out of their own land: and even in the lands into which they were carried as exiles, they had no rest for the sole of their feet, for they were expelled from kingdom to kingdom, until they were literally scattered among all nations. In the third century, they were exposed to a bloody persecution under the authority of the Roman emperor Severus. In the fourth, the great Constantine, though a convert to Christianity, not only employed the imperial power to suppress the revolts which oppression had often produced, but cruelly commanded the ears of the unfortunate Jews to be cut off, and dispersed them as vagabonds over the earth, bearing with them, whithersoever they went to their terrified kindred, the dreadful mark of their infamy and their suffering. In the fifth century, though the Roman empire was then governed by Justinian, one of the wisest and most enlightened of her monarchs, the wretchedness of this unhappy race was aggravated by increased severities. About this time they had begun to settle in considerable numbers in Alexandria, a great commercial city of Egypt. But the very appearance of their temporary repose seemed to be sufficient to rekindle against them the fierce spirit of a relentless persecution. The sword was again drawn out after them, and they were driven from their place of shelter, and hunted like wild beasts over the face of the world. Their synagogues were abolished—they were prohibited from performing their religious worship, even in the very dens and caves of the earththeir testimony was declared to be inadmissible in any court of law—and they were deprived even of the right of bequeathing their property to their successors. And when these most oppressive enactments instigated the unhappy Israelites to insurrectionary tumults, beheading and confiscation were the terrible means that were unsparingly exercised to reduce them to submission. But it is unnecessary, and would take up too much time to go over, minutely, the whole course of their history: suffice it to say, that every succeeding age, whatever amelioration it may have brought to the condition of other men, brought nothing but fresh miseries and hardships to the Jews. Christians, Mahometans, and heathens, however much they disagreed in all other things, seemed to unite with one consent in oppressing the descendants of Abraham. And, however different, and even opposite, were the laws and policy of the various nations of the earth, there was one point upon which the legislation of them all was entirely agreed—that the wretched and despised Israelites should be everywhere and at all times the subjects of spoil and oppression. “They were everywhere,” says Mr. Hallam, a very accurate and judicious historian, quoted by Dr. Keith, in his well known and admirable work on fulfilled prophecy—a work to which all who wish full information on the subject of this lecture, ought to have recourse-“the objects of popular insult and oppression, frequently of a general massacre. A time of festivity to others was often the season of mockery and persecution to them. It was the custom at Toulouse to smite them on the face every Easter. At Beziers, they were attacked with stones from Palm Sunday to Easter-(that is, for a whole week)-an anniversary of insult and cruelty generally productive of bloodshed, and to which the populace were regularly instigated by a sermon from the Bishop. It was the policy of the kings of France to employ them as a sponge to suck their subjects' money, which they might afterwards express with less odium than direct taxation would incur. It is almost incredible to what a length extortion of money from the Jews was carried. Philip Augustus released all Christians in his dominions from their debts to the Jews, and afterwards banished the whole nation from France.” Indeed, they were banished no less than seven times from that kingdom alone. From Spain they were expelled with a banishment so rigid and unsparing, that not less than one hundred and seventy thousand families were driven from that