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hundred were slain before their provinces were subjugated, and an immense number made prisoners : amongst whom was Josephus, the historian of the war, who was governor of the two Galilees, and who defended them with skill and bravery. The Romans, having conquered the provinces, approached to assault Jerusalem, which was then a dreadful scene. The sound of war was heard through all her gates; regardless of the approaching foe, the Jews had turned their arms against each other; three several factions were busily engaged in the work of slaughter and destruction. Eleazar and the Zealots seized the temple; John of Gischala and his followers occupied its out-works; and Simon, the son of Gorias, possessed the whole of the lower, and a great part of the upper, town.
Jerusalem was built on two hills; the highest, on which stood the temple, was called the upper town, and the other the lower: between these lay a valley covered with houses; the suburbs of the city were extensive, and encircled by a wall; two other walls also surrounded Jerusalem, the interior one of remarkable strength. Neither of the three factious parties had any just claim to supremacy or power, though all contended for dominion, and fought for plunder. The Zealots were the smallest party, but, from their situation, possessed the advantage: they sallied from their strong holds to attack John, who seized every opportunity of assaulting Simon; thus John maintained a double war, and was often obliged to divide his forces, being attacked by Eleazar and Simon at the same time. In these furious contests, no age or sex was spared; the slaughter was dreadful. When either party was repelled, the other set fire to the building, without any distinction. Regardless of their contents, they consumed granaries and store-houses, which contained a stock of corn and other necessaries of life, sufficient to maintain the inhabitants during a siege of many years; but nearly the whole was burnt, and this circumstance made way for a calamity more horrid than even war itself. Famine soon showed her meagre form, and all classes felt the dreadful effects of a scarcity of food. Such was the iniserable state of Jerusalem when the Roman general Titus (son of the reigning emperor, Vespasian,) prepared to attack the city. The sight of a powerful foreign foe at their gates, with all the artillery of war, could not quell the factions within ; it is true, when closely pressed by the Romans, the three parties joined to repel the common enemy, but no sooner had they breathing time, than the spirit of contention
arose, and they resumed the slaughter of each other : thus they maintained a fierce contest with the besiegers, and, at the same time, seized every oppor. tunity of destroying each other. The misery of the city was soon beyond precedent, from the dreadful effects of famine; the price of provisions became exorbitant, and, when no longer offered for sale, the houses were entered and searched, and the wretched owners tortured till they confessed where the slender pittance was concealed ; at length the distress became so great, that persons parted with the whole of their property to obtain a bushel of wheat, which they eat before it could be baked, or even ground ; and happy was he who could catch a morsel of meat, half roasted, half raw, from the fire. No kind of cruelty was omitted in search of food : at length their sufferings were so severe, that the wretched inhabitants were necessitated to search the vaults and sinks for sustenance, and even fed on articles too offensive to be named. The ties of nature and humanity were forgotten, the wife seized the food from her husband, the child from the parent, and even the mother from her infant.* The excruciating pain of famine so far
* Deut. xxviii. 48–59.
overpowered the tenderest and finest affections in nature, that a woman, descended from a rich and respectable family, even killed, boiled, and ate, her own child, a son in all the artless and endearing simplicity of infancy! Well may the British mother tremble at the horrid sound, and pity the wretched Israelitish female, thus sunk below the brute. Pestilence now stalked abroad, for the air was tainted by the dead : though no less than six hundred thousand dead bodies were carried out of the city during the time Titus encamped before the walls, yet there was an incredible number who had no friends to bury them, and their bodies were enclosed in large buildings, or laid in heaps in the open air. “ O Jerusalem, thou didst drink at the hand of the Lord the cup of his fury, thou hast drunken the dregs of the cup of trembling, and wrung them out" even desolation, destruction, famine and sword, “thy houses rifled, thy women ravished ” by Jewish ruffians, and the city at length taken by the Roman general. Titus had again and again offered the Jews honourable terms of capitulation; but they rejected all his overtures with proud disdain, and when his soldiers took the city, exasperated at the hardships they had endured, they spared neither sex, age, or rank. Sword and fire destroyed Jerusalem and her children, and closed this horrid war, in which one million one hundred thousand Jews were slain, and ninety-seven thousand made prisoners.,
The Lord shall bring a nation against thee from far, from the end of the earth, as swift as the eagle fieth ; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand ; a nation of fierce counte. nance, which shall not regard the person of the old, nor show favour to the young.-Deut. xxviii. 49, 50.
And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, if thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within
and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.Luke xix. 41-44.
JUDEA was not conquered by the neighbouring Asiatic states, but by the Roman, Europeans of a “ fierce and warlike countenance,” who knew not the Jewish language, and regarded not “ the persons of the old, nor showed favour to the young.” It will not be difficult to trace the Roman soldiers in this