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accomplishment, till Jerufalem was shut up, and furrounded by the Romans. They were therefore introduced, where, from their fituation, they might feem to have respect to the days of the war, as well as to those before it began. In this latter view, as marks of impending woe, we are now to confider them; and fome of them happened several years before the actual commencement of troubles.

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To the completion of part of this prediction the Acts of the Apostles bear witness; where we read, that the famine, foretold by Agabus, came to pafs in the days of Claudius Cefar. If this famine was not, as many imagine, confined to Judea, the chief fcene of the prophecies under confideration; there, at least, it appears to have been moft feverely felt and as we are informed by St. Paul, that the converts from Gentilifm, in various countries, fent on this occafion liberal contributions, for the relief of the brethren among the Jews'; fo we learn from Jofephus, that an eaftern queen and the king her fon, profelytes to Judaism, with generous alacrity and princely munificence,

Act. xi. 28.


i Rom. xv. 25. &c. laboured

laboured to alleviate, in the fame time of need, the diftrefs of those whose religion they had lately efpoufed *. In the fame emperor's reign there were also other famines, which afflicted Italy' and Greece".

Of peftilence, in these times, except at Rome" and at Ephefus, I find no diftinct memorial. It is the ufual attendant of famine; and might perhaps vifit Jerufalem, during the famine juft mentioned; when,

* Izates and Helena. Jof. A. J. L. XX. c. ii. §. 6. Their bones were afterwards depofited in the fepulchral pyramids which the queen had caused to be erected near Jerusalem. Jof. Ibid. c. iii. §. 3. p. 286. Paufanias (L. VIII. c. xvi.) celebrates the tomb of Helena, which he fays remained at Jerufalem, though the city was rafed to its foundations by the Romans. Eufebius (H. E. L. II. c. xii.) informs us that the pyramids were to be seen in his time.

C. 42.


In the II. and XI. of Claudius. Ufher ad A, and others place the famine of Judea in the IV. of Claudius, A. C. 44.

m IX: of Claudius, Eufeb. in Chron.

n Suetonius fays (Nero, c. 39.) 30,000 died of this pestilence in one autumn. Orofius has tranfcribed the paffage,

L. VII. c. vii.

• Philoftrat. in Vit. Apoll. L. IV. c. iv. x. This was probably in the reign of Claudius. Tacitus (Ann. L. XII. c. 50.) mentions fomething of this fort as happening, the XIth year of the fame emperor, in the army of Vologefes, in confequence of a fevere winter and fcarcity of provifions; and Jofephus fays, there was a peftilence or mortality (poga) among the Jews at Babylon in the time of Caligula. A. J. L. XVIII. c. x. §. 8.


notwithstanding the charitable donations from abroad, multitudes perished for want of fuftenance. In the fiege at least, if not before, these two calamities created fuch difmay, and made fuch havoc, that the bare recital would appall the heart, that never had melted at human mifery. But the beginning of forrows, not the extremity of woe, is the object of our prefent inquiry.

The earthquakes, which are next foretold by our Lord, happened as they are described, in divers places;" at Miletus and at Rome, in Campania and in Crete', in Macedonia and Achaia', at Laodicea' Hie

P V. of Nero, Eufeb. in Chron. There was alfo an earthquake at Apamea in the time of Claudius. Tacit. Ann. XII. 58. 9 IX. of Nero, Tacit. Annal. L. XV. c. 22. Seneca (Nat. Quæft. L VI. c. i.) places it in the Xth.

Philoftrat. in Vit. Apollon. L.IV. c. xxxiv. For that at Miletus, vide ib. Ep. Apollon. Ixviii. The earthquakes which Grotius mentions (and Whitby from him) at Smyrna, Miletus, Chios, and Samos, on the authority of Philoftratus, if he alludes to L. IV. c. vi. where the fame places are mentioned and in the fame order, either happened according to the note there (ed. Olearii) in the time of Aurelius, or poffibly in the reign of Trajan, when Orofius fays (L. VII. c. xii.) four cities in Afia and three in Galatia were overturned.

• Seneca Nat. Queft. L. VI, c. i. the year before that in Campania.

↑ VII. of Nero, Tacit. Annal. L. XIV. c. xxvii. Eufebius, who adds the two other cities (and fo Orofius L. VII. c. vii.) places it in the Xth of Nero.

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rapolis and Coloffe; in all which places the calamity might be noted both by Jews and Christians refiding there. In Judea itself, when the war was begun, but before the city was befieged by Titus, in one fearful and tempestuous night, furious winds, impetuous rain, frequent lightning, and tremendous thunder, confpiring from above with the dreadful noife of the tottering earth, presented, to the Jews within and the Idumeans without the walls of Jerufalem, fuch a fcene of horror, as was fcarcely ever seen by guilty mortals; and though the infatuated people misinterpreted this, as they did all the other figns of wrath, it was evident, fays Jofephus, that the fyftem of the world was fhaken for man's deftruction, and that it portended no mean event".

Indeed, fo wonderful were the figns and prodigies, which preceded the capture, that they are mentioned by Jofephus, when he proposes, in his exordium, the general subject of his hiftory; and, in the course of his narrative, he affigns an entire chapter to the enumeration of them'. A ftar like a fword, he informs us, ftood over the city;

" B. J. L. IV. c. iv. §. 5,6.

* Procem. §. II.

y L. VII. c. xii. ed. Rufin, in Hudson, L. VI. c. v. §. 3.&c.


and a comet blazed a whole year. Before the revolt, when the people were affembled to celebrate the paffover, fuch a light fhone round the altar and the temple, that, for the space of half an hour, the night was like day. At the fame feast an heifer, when led to be facrififed, brought forth a lamb; and the eastern gate of the temple, which was of folid brass, and was with difficulty fhut every evening by twenty men, and fecured with ftrong bolts, was feen about feen about midnight opened of its own accord; of which when the guards had informed the captain of the temple, they were scarcely, with his affiftance, able to fhut it. Not many days after this, before the setting of the fun, chariots and armed troops were feen in the clouds, over the whole land, investing the cities.

At the feast of Pentecoft, the priests going by night, according to custom, into the inner temple to perform their facred offices, perceived, at their entrance, a motion and a noife; and then heard a voice, as of a multitude, faying, Let us depart hence.

Four years before the war, the city enjoying peace and plenty, a ruftic named Jefus, at the feast of tabernacles, on a fudden exclaimed,

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