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now seen trampling without pity or remorse, upon the putrid bodies of their late relatives, friends, and fellow citizens. Wading through streams of blood, they seemed while in the act of holding out defiance to their enemies, to reproach the Almighty for delaying that punishment which too conspicuously hung over them; and for which they awaited, with sensations of indifference and contempt: in short, it was evident that they fought less for conquest, religion, or freedom, than for the annihilation of their nation, their temple, and themselves.
The mind of the Romans was still bent upon the completion of their surprising projects, though they were for some time distressed for the want of materials to finish their works. The woods in the immediate vicinity of the city had been already cut down for the purposes of war; but as it now appeared probable that the city itself would, from the obstinacy of the besiegers, shortly be stripped of its wealth and grandeur; Titus no longer considered the beauty of the country, but seemed determined that its appearance should wear as gloomy an aspect as the capital: he ordered, therefore, his soldiers no longer to spare one, more than the other; and such was the zeal and labour of the army to obey the commands of their general in this destructive order; that all the woods within ninety furlongs of Jerusalem were cut down: and in the course of one and twenty days all necessary operations were finally completed.1
So dismal a change in the prospect around was
(1) FOR THUS SAITH THE LORD of hosts, hew ye Down TREES AND CAST A
MOUNT AGAINST JERUSALEM: FOR THIS IS THE CITY TO BE VISITED: SHE IS WHOLLY OPPRESSION IN THE MIDST OF HER.-Jer. vi. 6.
never before seen; one of the most delightful countries under Heaven, surrounded on all sides with the most beautiful gardens, plantations, and buildings, was now converted into a barren waste; where not a tree, a shrub, or a building, were left to mark the traces of its former beauty. All was desolation and ruin, and strangers who had seen it before, could not forbear weeping at its lamentable and altered appearance. This description of the desolation of the country, strongly marks the application of the words of Isaiah. The subject is mournful, but the language of the prophet is beautifully descriptive; while that of the historian is pathetic, and with regard to the prediction, circumstantially apposite.-" Your country is desolate!
your cities are burnt with fire! your land, strangers "devour it in your presence! and it is desolate as over"thrown by strangers! and the daughter of Zion is left, as a cottage in a vineyard; as a lodge in a gar"den of cucumbers, as a besieged city!"*
Jerusalem so lately in point of situation," the joy of "the whole earth;" is now like a pyramid in the desert, wonderful to gaze on; while all around is waste, barrenness, and desolation, filling the mind with a mixture of mournfulness and awe. If the Saviour of the world, foreseeing this appearance, could, on approaching the city weep over it; where is the surprise that even they who
(1) Bell. Jud. 6, i. 1.
Beautiful for situation, the joy of the whole earth is Mount Zion.-Psalm, xlviii. 2.
HOWL, FIR-TREE; FOR THE CEDAR IS FALLEN; BECAUSE THE MIGHTY IS SPOILED. HOWL, OH YE OAKS OF BASHAN! FOR THE FOREST OF THE VINTAGE 18 COME DOWN.-Zech. xi. 2.
(2) Ch. i. 7-9.
who were unconnected with it, should now, looking on its change, feel emotions of regret? and if strangers were thus affected, how natural was it for the Jews in aftertimes, when visiting this spot, to pour out their tears where so many of their forefathers, kindred, and connections had shed their blood!1
(1) We shall see, towards the conclusion, that the unhappy Jews, when subject to the Greek Emperours, were obliged to bribe the soldiers for permission to weep over its remains.
THE ROMANS TAKE THE TOWER OF ANTONIA, AND MAKE AN UNSUCCESSFUL ATTACK UPON THE TEMPLE....TITUS ADDRESSES THE JEWS....ANOTHER ASSAULT MADE UPON THE TEMPLE, AND WITHOUT EFFECT....THE STATE OF THE FAMINE IN THE CITY DESCRIBED.... A MOTHER PUTS HER CHILD TO DEATH WITH A VIEW MORE PARTICULARLY TO STIGMATIZE THE SEDITIOUS....A THIRD UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT MADE UPON THE TEMPLE....THE ROMANS CALL A COUNCIL OF WAR....THE LAST ATTACK UPON THE TEMPLE SUCCEEDS....THE SURROUNDING BUILDINGS ARE SET ON FIRE....TITUS ENTERS THE TEMPLE.... THE TEMPLE IS BURNT, AND A DREADFUL CARNAGE OF THE JEWS ENSUES....SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE KILLED, WHO ARE ASSEMBLED BY AN IMPOSTOR.
ALL previous arrangements being made, Titus commenced an attack upon the third wall, but his efforts during the first day were of little avail, as the battering rams made but a slight impression upon this stupendous fortification. His exertions, however, were continued with unwearied application during the day, at the close of which they were suspended only till the returning light summoned them anew. The following morning presented the accomplishment of that, which he had in vain laboured to effect: some of the foundation stones having been disjointed by the repeated shocks
of the engines; caused the wall above, in the course of the night, suddenly to give way.' Various were the effects the sight of this had upon the minds of both parties: the Romans conceived this wall to have been the only remaining barrier between them and the city, and were, therefore, at first sight elated by its unexpected downfal, and then as suddenly disappointed by the appearance of another, apparently of equal strength while the Jews experiencing the contrary feelings, were now dejected at the success of the enemy, and now encouraged at the chagrin they manifested at finding another impediment to their progress: at the same time, gaining confidence from the reflection that the tower of Antonia would still yield them that protection it was so capable of affording; they stood upon their defence.
Titus perceiving the mortification of his troops, commanded them to assemble around him, that he might, by reviving their hopes, inspire them with patience to bear up against every disappointment, and perseverance to accomplish his ultimate designs. After enforcing the example of constancy and valour displayed by the Jews, in their struggles under horrours the most complicated, and sufferings the most intolerable; and instigating them to revenge the deprivations brought upon them by the madness of the besieged: he adverted to the supposed glory and immortality which awaited those who valiantly died in arms, in these remarkable words, exhibiting in one view, the notions entertained by these heathens of death, and their conceptions of a future
(1) Here again, Titus, like Nebuchadnezzar, "brake down the walls of "Jerusalem round about."-2 Kings, xxv. 10. K k