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the heavens should pass away with a great noise, and the elements should melt with fervent heat, and the old earthly tabernacle with its works should be burnt up, for there was at once a shouting of the Roman Legions, (this was what John had reference to, and again they said Alleluia, and her smoke. rose up forever, and ever,) who were marching all together, and a sad clamour of the seditious, death and hell, who were now surrounded with fire and sword. The people above were beaten back upon their enemies, and under a great consternation, and sad moanings at the calamities they were under. The multitude also in the city joined in this outcry with those that were upon the hill, and besides many that were worn away by the famine, and their mouths almost closed, when they saw the fire of the holy house, they exerted their whole strength, and broke out into groans and
outcries, again all the mountains round about the city and augmented the force of the noise. Here was sad lamentation, when they saw the smoke of her burnings. John refers to this time. See Rev. xviii: 9. And the kings of the earth, who have committed fornication and lived deliciously with her, shall bewail her, (remember, this was the woman who rode upon the scarlet colored beast,) and lament for her, when they shall see the smoke of her torment, saying alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city, for in one hour is thy judgment come. And the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her, for no man buyeth her merchandise any more. And they cast dust upon their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying alas, alas, for in one hour is she made desolate; for in her was found the blood of the prophets
nd of saints, and all that were slain
upon earth. Josephus tells us that the misery itself was more terrible than the outcries, and the moanings of the Jews.
For one would have thought that the hill on which the temple stood was seething hot, so that the blood of the slain rose up with the blaze, and appeared as high. This was the blood of that vine that the God of Jacob brought up out of Egypt, and planted in Canaan, and the production of that vine had become the poison of dragons. Here the angels were casting this vine into the great wine press of the wrath of God. John refers to this very time. See Rev. xiv: 17-20. And another angel came out of the temple which is in heaven, he also having a sharp sickle. And another angel came out from the altar, which had power over fire; and he cried with a loud voice to him that had the sharp sickle, saying, Thrust in thy sharp
sickle, and gather the clusters of the vine of the earth; for her grapes are fully ripe. And the angel thrust in his sickle into the earth, and gathered the vine of the earth, and cast it into the great wine press of the wrath of God. And the wine press was trodden without the city, and blood came out of the wine press, even unto the horse-bridles, by the space of a thousand six hundred furlongs. The prophet says, concerning this vine, that their wines had become the poison of dragons; this brought on them the great day of the wrath of God Almighty, when the blood of the grape was pressed out.
Josephus tells us, the cause of this great quantity of blood was, the Romans killing so many, for those that were slain, were more in number than those that slew them, for the ground did no where appear visible, for the dead bodies of the Jews that lay on it,
but the soldiers went over heaps of those bodies, as they ran upon such as fled from them.
Here were the angels reaping and gathering the vine of the Jewish earth, and pressing out the blood of the grapes in the great wine press of the wrath of God, and binding the tares in bundles and burning them, which Christ speaks of in his parable of the wheat and tares. He said he would send his angels and gather the tares at the end of the world and burn them in fire. The end of the world, was the end of the law dispensation; this was the end that Christ mentioned; the same as the apostle speaks of,-Christ appeared once in the end of the world to take away sin, by the sacrifice of himself. This was the end of the Jewish dispensation, or age.
Josephus says, that after the Romans had gotten within the walls of the city, there were about six thousand that fled;