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bring you to the knowledge of Christ: to teach you to love and serve him?
You are most, if not all of you, Christians. You bear the name of Christ. But that name will not save you, unless you do as he teaches. Let it therefore be the prayer of your hearts and the endeavour of your lives to do all his commandments: to be pure as he was pure; and holy as he was holy.
And now to God, &c.
St. Matthew xxiv. 1, 2,
And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple, and the disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down.
The 24th Chapter of the Gospel by St. Matthew gives us an account of what our Saviour told his disciples would happen to the Jews, and to their great city, Jerusalem. The disciples shewed to our blessed Lord, the buildings of the temple, which was as grand and mighty a building as any in the world. It was a most beautiful temple. You can have no idea of it. You have never seen any thing like it. Jesus tells them, that the time was coming, when not one stone would be left upon another. The Jews behaved very wickedly in refusing to receive Jesus Christ, and in crucifying him. And as a punishment for this great sin, God was pleased to destroy their city and temple, and to scatter them over the face of the whole earth. What is very surprising it was forty years nearly before this happened, that our Lord declared that it would happen. And he was so particular in the account he gave of it, that we can only suppose he knew what was to happen, in consequence of his being the Son of God. Had he been a mere man, he could not have known, and so well, things that were to take place almost forty years after he was crucified.
The people who treated the Jews so severely, and ruined them so utterly, were called Romans. They had conquered the country some time before, and held it in subjection. They used to send governors to command it. Pontius Pilate was one of these governors. But the Jews rebelled so often, and obeyed so badly, that the king or emperor of the Romans was obliged to make war on them, and ruin them entirely. He sent a general, called Titus, with a large army, who complied with his orders in destroying thousands of these unhappy people. I have read to you from the desk this evening the whole of the chapter, which gives us this melancholy account: and I tell you, (and the account was given by one who was present) that every thing happened just as our Saviour said it would be. In the place, where the temple was built, the Roman general caused that
the ground should be ploughed, and so one stone of the foundations was not left upon another. Before this sad event took place, there were many false Christs, that is, cheats who pretended to be Christ and to deliver the Jews. They, poor creatures, were very apt to believe the false Christs, though they would not believe the true one, and by so doing rebelled against the Romans, and provoked their vengeance. There were many earthquakes at that time. Famine often happened, and with it came a raging sickness and pestilence. All these were the beginnings of sorrows. For after these, the city was closely besieged, and surrounded by the enemy. No provisions were suffered to be sent into it. The people were in so starving a condition, that a Jew, who was present, (as I said before) and gives an account of every thing, says that some women even ate their own infant children. Hunger forced them to so barbarous an act. At last the city was taken, the temple (as I