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These desultory remarks will ward retention of custom is more now be closed with a “ cele- baneful than innovation ; and brated aphorism” which was they who reverence too much quoted in the speech from which old times, are not of the most the motto was taken : “Ą fro- service to the new.”
PUR SAVIOUR'S PROPHECY
OF THE DESTRUCTION OF JERUSALEM.
Concluded from p. 232.]
Having given a detail of the less that their temple, towards fulfilment of the prophecy of the which they worshipped destruction of Jerusalem, some quarters of the globe—that temreflections may be proper on the ple where God himself was sup, prophecy itself, and on the prin- posed to reside, should be laid cipal event.
level with the ground. This 1. This prophecy was not a was a conception which a Jew loose and general prediction, such dared not entertain, an event as a man of extraordinary fore, which he would not have dared sight might have made upon ob- to predict. serving the character of the
Saviour predicted Jews, and the situation of Judea. events of this improbable characIt is too explicit and circumstan- ter; and he impressed the extial to allow us to suppose that it pectation of them so forcibly on was no more than a fortunate con- the minds of his disciples, that jecture. Who but God himself, they were prepared to expect the or one ende wed by him, would catastrophe. Hence we find, in dare to pronounce upon the fate the epistles of the New-Testaof a nation in such unqualified ment, expressions unquestionably and irrevocable terms ? And not referring to this extraordinary only so, but to declare that the expectation. generation then living should Second. If we consider the im, not have passed away till all portance of this event to the these things should be accom- cause of Christianity, we shall plished ! Even if no circumstan- cease to wonder that it was made ces of the calamity had been the subject of so solemn a prepointed out, the mere intima. diction. The first Christians tion of the total overthrow of were Jenys; and in every place the Mosaick economy, with all' where converts were made, some its splendour, antiquity and vene- of them were of Jewish origin, ration, could not have been im- Notwithstanding their reception agined by an ordinary Jew; much of Jesus as the Messiah, they
retained a strong attachment to exemplified in their Deliverer. the Mosaick rituals, and to the They could not understand bim seat of their forefathers' worship. when he intimated the sufferings Hence it is natural to suppose our which awaited himself, or them. Saviour's prediction and its ac
When he went so
far as to precomplishment must have deeply dict the utter demolition of their interested the feelings of the ecclesiastical polity and the ruin Christian Jews at an early period. of their temple, nothing more But the event was of great im- was wanting to satisfy them, that portance to the establishment of he was either a madman or a Christianity. It was the Jewish blasphemer. On the truth of his power that persecuted Christiani- predictions, therefore, the justice ty from its cradle, and nothing of his claims seem, in a great but the supernatural guardianship measure, to have rested. If the of Heaven prevented its being events took place according to strangled at its birth. During his word, his claims as the Megthe existence of the Jews as a siah were established. This then nation, or while their ecclesias- was the triumph of Christianity. tical power was in exercise, they It was an appeal to fact which were in every place the invete- was not to be resisted. The rate enemies of the gospel. But prediction kis been fulfilled; when Jerusalem was overthrown, God has vindicated the cause Christianity may be said to have and the claims of his Son. erected its head in the world. Fourth. The destruction of
Third. The prophecy of the Jerusalem, and the present situadestruction of Jerusalem was of tion of the Jews, are circumgreat importance in establishing stances of unspeakable imporour Saviour's claims as the Mes- tance in establishing the general siah. The event was often truth of the Christian religion. mentioned by him as the coming If the Messiah, who was predictor appearance of the Son of man, ed in the Old Testament, bas not and the fulfilment was an event appeared, how is it possible that by which it was to be known one should ever arise to answer that he was indeed the Christ the description of the prophets ? of God. The great cause why From the time of their disperthe Jews rejected him was, that ion, their scattered families he did not appear in pomp as a were mingled, and their genealotemporal prince, according to the gies lost. The race of David, expectations they had formed from which the Messiah was to of the Messiah that God had spring, is as undistinguishable as promised. Instead of appearing any other race. Even their as a mighty warriour, he was tribes are confounded, and the meek and lowly. All his enco- glory of Judah has perished with miums were bestowed on quali- the rest. The expected Prince ties of mind the reverse of those was suddenly to appear in his which the Jews expected to see temple; but the temple is now
BLOOD BE ON US AND ON
no more. If then the Messiah which has no example, and which is yet to come, how is he to be yet has no limits. Wretched known ?
people! What has been your The present circumstances of crime? The traveller as he wanthe Jews all over the world, ders over Palestine, and calls which have continued 1800 your · history to remembrance, years-circumstances so pecu- is lost in wonder till he ascends liar and unparalleled, seem to in the hill where the Lord of glory dicate some great transgression, was crucified by your fathers, the the effects if not the guilt of image of the cross bursts upon which are not wiped away. his fancy, and that fearful exclaCompare their situation with that mation occurs to his mind, of any other people, and you find no parallel. They seem to CHILDREN !” and thus the misbe reserved to confirm the very tery is resolved, the judgments gospel which they rejected, to of Jehovah are vindicated. testify to facts to which they From the fearful fate of a nawould not listen, to keep uncor- tion once so mighty, let us learn rupted those very prophecies to bow down before that Provi.. which foretold their present fate, dence which directs the destiny and to bear eternal witness to of empires. What has often been, their authenticity.
may again be, and there is not a What then was the great crime man on earth who is uninterested of this unhappy people ? The in the fate of the nation to which sufferings of that generation he belongs. If the Jews were among whom our Saviour ap- punished for their treatment of a peared, would seem a fable in Saviour in whom they did not history, were they not so cir- believe, what have those to excumstantially related. Every pect who profess to believe in thing in the history of the Jews him, and still live in disobedipoints to a singular providence; ence to his commands ? a desolation has come upon them
FACTS INTERESTING TO HUMANITY.
GREAT exertions have been of the existing laws, and to made in Great Britain to reform prove that publick executions the penal code, or to abolish ma- tend rather to multiply than to ny of the sanguinary laws which diminish capital offences. have long existed in that coun- By one writer it is stated, that try. For this humane purpose the sanguinary laws of Great a variety of facts and arguments Britain“ award death for no are exhibited in the Philanthro- less than one hundred and sixty pist, to shew the evil tendency different offences.” The same
writer states that five children “ lads of nineteen.” Having were condemned to death at the stated a number of facts relating Old Bailey, Feb. 16, 1814, for to the case, he observes :burglary and stealing; that the “ The extraordinary circumyoungest was eight years old, stance of five men being executand the oldest but twelve ; that ed at once, for one offence, atthe next day five more were sen- tracted vast multitudes of peotenced to transportation for steal- ple, of the lower order, from all ing cheese from a shop, and the parts of the country. To see five oldest of these was but fifteen. of their fellow creatures hanged Upon these facts the writer rea- was as good as a horse-race, a sons as follows:
boxing-match, or a bull-baiting. “ Facts like these are surely If nothing was intended but to an indication that something is amuse the rabble, at a great loss radically wrong. Notwithstand- of their time and a considerable ing the severity of our laws, the expense, the design was daily Newspapers are continual- doubtediy effected. If a publick ly giving evidence of multiplied entertainment was not the object, atrocities; and it is now high it may be asked, what benefit time to inquire, whether the sys- has a single individual derived tem we have been pursuing, is from beholding the destruction the best that could be devised of these miserable victims ?” for the prevention of crime and He adds, Perhaps that questhe protection of society." tion may be answered by stating
“Now if it can be proved, as that many of the spectators, imit certainly may, that a vast mediately afterwards got intoxiproportion of the victims to our cated ; and some cried out to criminal laws, have, through the their companions, with a signineglect of society, been suffered ficant gesture in allusion to the to be trained, from their very in- mode of punishment, “ It is but fancy, in crime, while by very a ten minutes job !" If such be simple and practicable arrange- the sentiments excited on the ments they might have been in- very spoi, it cannot be supposed itiated in virtue, it will be diffi- to be more salutary at a distance; cult to avoid the conclusion that and notwithstanding the sacrifice they have been unjustly dealt of those five men, the people of with; and that a heavy respon- Shropshire must still fasten their sibility rests upon those who, doors.” having the power to save, have ** If bouse-breakers should neglected to exert it.”
learn to think light of human Another writer, to show the life, and adopt the precaution of inutility of publick executions, committing murder the next time and their deleterious influence, they commit a robbery, since the states a case that had recently danger of detection would be less occurred, of five persons who and the punishment no greater, were hanged at the same time, what will the inhabitants of the for burglary, two of whom were country have to thank for it, but
this very spectacle ! a spectacle demands the serious considerawhich cannot soften one heart, tion of the Christian and the but may harden many; which Philanthropist. For it is believconfounds moral distinctions, and ed that those who have had opdraws away publick indignation portunity to attend publick exefrom the guilt of the offender, cutions, and are disposed to reto turn it against the severity of flect on what usually occurs on the law."
those occasions, will be sensible, It affords pleasure to reflect that such scenes have little tenthat in our country a far less num- dency to prevent crimes, or to ber of sanguinary laws are in force improve the morals of society. than are complained of in Great The laws of a state may be reBritain;
and that publick execu- garded as a good thermometer for tions are far less frequent. But ascertaining the character of its whether, even in the United citizens. The more humane the States, there is not room for im- laws, the more humane the peoprovement, is a question which ple.
When pleasure lags at musick's strain;