« PreviousContinue »
PAGE Arch of Titus (from a Photograph) - - - - 2 Coin of Titus (Gesner's Thesaurus) - - - - 3 Titus Apotheosis (Bartoli's Admiranda) . - . 69 Keystone (Desgodetz' Edifices Antiques) . - . 72 Part of the Frieze (Bartoli's Admiranda) . - . 75 Vespasian Coins (British Museum) . - - . 77 First Tablet, Titus Triumphant (Bartoli, Ibid.) . ... 79 Second Tablet, the Temple Spoils (Bartoli, Ibid.) . 83
Shewbread Table and Trumpets (Reland, De Spolis). 93 Seven-branched Candlestick (Reland, Ibid.). - . IO3 INTRODUCTION
It is no exaggeration to say that the Fall of Jerusalem is the most significant national event in the history of the world. The fact that the Lord Himself connected it with His own Passion is suff1cient to establish its supreme importance (John ii. 19). The destruction of the Temple was indeed involved in His death. That which had been in the past the shrine of the Presence of God among His people was necessarily doomed to final desolation when 'the more perfect Tabernacle' had been faithlessly and fatally violated.
There is a still further connexion between the two events. The Passion was the condition of the Resurrection: the destruction of the Temple was the condition of the establishment of the Catholic Church. As long as the Temple remained, a Catholic Church was impossible. The venerable traditions of the Divine life of Israel would, in other words, have checked the free development of the life of Christendom. We have only to remember what has been the disastrous effect of the imperial traditions of Rome upon the Christian Society in order to estimate what it would have suffered from the continuance of the Temple. But, in apostolic language, the Lord 'came'; and the Spirit found His home among the first-fruits of the nations.
We do not, however, as I think, commonly realize the momentous consequences of the catastrophe, or study with adequate care the details of a history which the Romans themselves wished to bring to a different end. In this respect the impressive and scholarly narrative of Canon Knight will open many fruitful lines of thought to the student. He will find as he follows the tragic incidents that God fought against Israel, as Titus himself confessed, and fulfilled His will through Roman armies. The overthrow of ' the holy city' will then gain its true spiritual significance, and it will not seem strange that the priests believed they heard ' on entering the Temple on the night of the Pentecost, a few weeks before its fall, the voice as of a multitude, We are departing hence.'
The noble Arch of Titus, erected after his death, itself continues the lessons of Divine government.