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"With respect to myself," said he, “I "shall for the present waive any personal commenda"tion on those who die in war, and the mention of "that immortality which is designed to reward men, falling in the display of martial bravery; at the same time, I cannot forbear to speak of the unhappiness "of those who are of a contrary disposition, and die in "time of peace of some bodily disease; whose souls "and bodies are condemned together to be extinguished in the grave. What thinking man is there among
you, who knows not that the soul, when severed "from the mortal body by the sword in battle, is wafted by the æther, that purest of all elements, to the "regions of the stars; and is there united in joyful "communion with that bright society, becoming either "demi-gods, or propitious heroes, shining from thence
upon their posterity below? Who knows not, that "those souls which waste away with the infirmities of "the body, are lost in the obscurity of perpetual night; "death blotting out their names and memory from the "recollection of all: while it annihilates both body and "soul, be they ever so free from the corruption, or so unpolluted from the defilements of the world?"1
The encouraging voice of their General led many of the soldiers to attempt the greatest difficulties; particularly that arduous one of first ascending the breach: an undertaking to which some flew with more impetuosity than judgment, and consequently became victims to their rashness. It was now discovered that the interior wall, which had occasioned so much alarm, was, from the haste in which it had been thrown up, little calculated to obstruct the passage of an enemy; a small party,
(1) Bell. Jud. 6, i. 5.
party, therefore, of the Roman guard, actuated by that thirst for glory with which they had been so effectually inspired, made their way at midnight to the tower Antonia; and having surprised and killed those who kept the watch; took possession of the wall. Hence sounding a trumpet, they gave a signal which was immediately answered by Titus, at the head of a chosen body of his soldiers. The Jews taking the alarm, imagined, in their fear, that the whole army of the Romans was suddenly come upon them; and conceiving all resistance to be in vain, abandoned the defence of the wall, and hastened to the protection of the Temple; where they were soon encountered by the Romans, in a conflict of so sanguinary a nature, that, it was not till day-break that Titus discovered the impossibility of contending against the numbers by which he was on all sides assailed. In this encounter at the porch of the Temple, now defended by all the might and vigour of an infuriated people; a Roman centurion, named Julian, displayed an act of such surprising courage, that the historian in honour of his memory, has recorded with the circumstance, the high commendation bestowed upon it by Titus and his army. -While the Romans were endeavouring to gain the disputed entrance to the Temple, this man, sword in hand, with a strength of body, at which all were astonished, forced a passage through the thickest of the Jews, dealing slaughter among those who at this time were in fact the conquerors: they gave way to him on all sides; and whether in their astonishment, or from supposing that such activity and might were more than human, they stood panic struck for an interval, and then, infuriated, rushed upon him. Notwithstanding this, he continued to press forward; and though beset on
all sides, would in all probability have escaped to Titus, had not his iron studded sandals slipped upon the marble pavement, and laid him prostrate amidst the enemy: for some time he defended himself with unparalleled agility, sheltering himself with his shield and armour from many of the attacks of his adversaries; yet his situation was too confined, as well as too difficult of access, to receive any assistance from his fellow soldiers perceiving this himself, he yielded to his fate, leaving an example of that uncommon courage so much admired and practised by the Romans.
Titus was now compelled to retreat, but not before he had effectually secured Antonia. Orders were issued to raze many of the foundations of this hold, for the purpose of opening a communication with the Temple; and of eventually gaining an access, by which the army might better contend for its possession. Fourteen days after the commencement of these hostilities, the offering called, "the daily sacrifice," ceased, from the want of priests to offer it.' Titus failing in his
(1) This was on the 17th of Tamur, or July, A D. 70, when, according to the prediction of Daniel,-" IN THE MIDST OF THE WEEK HE SHALL CAUSE THE SACRIFICE AND OBLATION TO CEASE," ix. 27; that is, after three days and a half of years, or three years and a half, these were to cease; which exactly happened; for from February, A. D. 67, when the war commenced under Vespasian, to July, A.D. 70, when this occurred, comprehends the assigned space of time.
FOR THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL SHALL ABIDE MANÝ DAYS WITHOUT A KING, AND WITHOUT A PRINCE, AND WITHOUT A SACRIFICE, AND WITHOUT AN IMAGE, AND WITHOUT AN EPHOD, AND WITHOUT TERAPHIM.-Hos. iii. 4.
LAMENT, LIKÉ A VIRGIN GIRDED WITH SACKCLOTH, FOR THE HUSBAND OF HER YOUTH. THE MEAT-OFFERING AND THE DRINK-OFFERING IS CUT OFF FROM THE HOUSE OF THE LORD; THE PRIESTS, THE LORD'S MINISTERS, MOURN. —GIRD YOURSELVES, AND LAMENT, YE PRIESTS; HOWL, YE MINISTERS OF THE ALTAR: COME, LIE ALL NIGHT IN SACKCLOTH, YE MINISTERS OF MY GOD: FOR THE MEAT-OFFERING AND THE DRINK-OFfering is wITHHOLDEN FROM THE HOUSE OF YOUR GOD.-Joel, i. 8, 9, 13.
his object to effect an opening to the Temple, invited John to a fair battle; this he not only rejected, but accompanied the refusal by the propagation of a second report, that the Romans had with studied cruelty murdered all deserters without distinction. This accusation Titus immediately refuted by exhibiting his captives on the fronts of the ramparts. These were instructed to address their countrymen with an endeavour to persuade them, if they would not surrender the city, to consign the protection of the Temple to Cæsar; who would preserve it unpolluted from the power and profane indignities of the seditious: but in the event of an obstinate resistance; that Titus would himself burn that sacred edifice which they formerly had so much revered; although he had determined to do it, only in the last extremity. This application was treated with the accustomed indignity by the factions."
The Temple was already strewed with dead bodies, the Sanctuary had been profaned by assassins, and such was the extravagance of the besieged, that their enemies appear to have paid more reverence to their rites, than even they themselves. There was not a soldier throughout the army, who had not, at that time, a more than equal veneration for the Temple and the Divinity worshipped there, with any that Jerusalem could boast. Grieved, therefore, at the obstinate conduct of the wretched Jews, Titus once more addressed them, and his words on this occasion are so remarkable, when we consider them to have been spoken by a heathen to a religiously enlightened people, that they deserve to be perpetuated.
(1) Who shall come down against us? or who shall enter into our habitations?-Jer, xxi, 13,
Have ye not, ye wicked miscreants! prohibited "that holy place from being invaded by any one, on "account of its indisputable sanctity? Have ye not "written upon the columns and partitions, inscriptions "both in Greek and Latin, declaring it unlawful for any foreigner to enter the limits of the inclosure immediately surrounding it? Have we not ourselves "shewn our regard by making it death to any man, "whether Jew or Roman, to pass those bounds? How comes it then, ye impious wretches, that the sanctuary is thus profaned by assassination and murder, "and defiled with blood, foreign and domestic? I appeal to all the Gods of my country, and to the Divinity who lately inhabited your holy Temple, but "alas! who has now forsaken it; I appeal to my army;
to the Jews who are joined with me; and to your66 selves; that I am innocent of all these abominations: "and I do sacredly protest, that if ye will quit this holy place; no one shall approach to offer it indig'nity: at all events, it will be my endeavour to preserve and protect your Temple, whether it be your "wish or not."
This speech met with the same disdain that had marked the reception of every other: finding the Jews divested of even common regard, either for the Temple or themselves; Titus was compelled again to take up arms. With this view he ordered an attack to be made upon the enemy at midnight, but as the scene destined for
(1) The Temple itself was encompassed by a stone wall, as a partition; on which was written an inscription forbidding any foreigners to enter it under pain of death.-Vide Antiq. 15, xi. 5.
Foreigners might enter no further than the Court of the Gentiles.
(2) Bell. Jud. ii. 4.