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plicated tortures. Women were dragged by the hair of their heads for attempting to keep or to conceal any article, however trifling or necessary to their existence; while infants were lifted from the ground, as they clung to the morsels they had gotten. In short, no species of brutality or outrage was left unpractised, where the remotest possibility existed of gaining the smallest quantity of nourishment.1 Every idea or sense of feeling was banished and forgotten; the maddening frenzy of the seditious carrying them on to the commission of acts, at the mention of which, humanity stands aghast, and which are too horrible and disgraceful to be recorded. Dreadful as is the contemplation of these scenes, no reflection is more painful, than that these savage tormentors were not instigated at that time, by the cravings of hunger to commit enormities of such a magnitude, for which necessity might perhaps, have been adduced as offering some degree of palliation; but it was purely a wanton exercise of inhumanity, as they themselves had six days provision in store. 2 "But," continues Josephus, "it is impos"sible distinctly to relate every instance of the depra
vity of this people. I shall, therefore, only candidly "and briefly speak my mind; that no city ever suffered "such misery, nor did any age ever produce a genera"tion more replete with wickedness than this, from "the beginning of the world."
1 As a fountain casteth out her waters, so she (Jerusalem) casteth out her wickedness: violence and spoil is heard in her; before me continually is grief and wounds.
2 Bell. Jud. 5. x. 3.
Jer. vi. 7.
OH! WICKED AND PERVERSE GENERATION, WHO SHALL WARN YOU AGAINST, THE WRATH TO COME.
Matt. iii. 7.
s Bell. Jud. 5. x. 5.
Providence in mercy to mankind has so seldom visited them with famine, that happily, it is difficult for us to conceive the extent of the wretchedness which is said to attend that grievous dispensation. That it gradually produces derangement of mind with the loss of animal strength, appears probable from reflecting on natural causes, as well as from the description of its effects, afforded us by the historian, in the dreadful instances to which he here bears such acknowledged testimony. That it should not, in its earliest stage, have brought the Jewish sufferers to a just sense of their national and individual depravity, would surely have afforded subject of astonishment; were it not evident from this, and other indications, that "even as they "did not like to retain God in their knowledge; God gave them over to a reprobate mind," by which they were led on headlong to destruction.
THE JEWS DESERT TO TITUS....TERMS OF CAPITULATION AGAIN OFFERED, AND AGAIN REJECTED....THE ROMANS RECEIVE A CHECK....A COUNCIL OF WAR CALLED....THE WHOLE CITY SURROUNDED BY A WALL....THE FAMINE AT THIS PERIOD DESCRIBED.... THE EXCESSIVE CRUELTY OF THE SOLDIERS TOWARDS THE JEWISH DESERTERS.... FORTIFICATIONS RAISED, AND THE WOODS AROUND THE CITY CUT DOWN.
DURING the time that Titus was carrying on the operations of this siege; the extreme wretchedness and distress of the Jews made many of them so desperate, that parties were found in the night wandering secretly around the Roman camp, in search of food and casual nourishment. They were intimidated from desertion altogether, apprehensive that their absence and supposed escape might furnish the factions with a pretence for murdering their wives and children; that by such an example, others might be deterred from entertaining ideas of flight. On the other hand, it would have been difficult, and too likely to have betrayed their intentions, had they attempted to take their families with them.
1 GO NOT FORTH INTO THE FIELDS, NOR WALK BY THE WAY, FOR THE sword, AND THE ENEMY, AND FEAR is on every side. Jer. v. 25.
It unfortunately happened, that as often as these parties ventured out they were captured by the enemy; who after exposing them to tortures, crucified them in the sight of the besieged. This barbarity was far from being congenial to the feelings of Titus, who is said to have practised this severity with peculiar reluctance; as a day seldom passed without taking five hundred prisoners but as the Jews had declined entering into a treaty, and had opposed all peaceable overtures with obstinate and inveterate zeal; Titus found it neither safe to discharge so many obdurate prisoners, nor could he spare, from his comparatively small army, a sufficient number to watch over or protect them: indeed, he had principally hoped, that the terror of such barbarity might be the means of inducing the Jews to comply with the terms he had offered. These reasons were of sufficient weight in the mind of a heathen conquerour, a stranger to the purity of that religion, which prefers the exercise of mercy to sacrifice; to justify an expedient, speciously deemed necessary, by which a sentence of crucifixion was passed on hundreds, and as immediately executed by those, whose savage ferocity characterised them as Roman soldiers. The victims, therefore, were nailed in several ways and postures; while the barbarians not contented with this mode of shewing their hatred, aggravated the tortures they inflicted, by scorn and cruel mockings. So great was the number of these pitiable sufferers, that room was wanted for more crosses, and crosses for bodies," so that they, says Archbishop Tillotson, "who "had earnestly cried against our Saviour CRUCIFY HIM! "CRUCIFY HIM! were now made by God to eat the "fruit of their own ways, and were filled with their
"own.desires." So far however, was the horrour of this cruel and useless spectacle from softening or intimidating the minds of the seditious, that it produced, not unnaturally, a result of a contrary tendency: for the friends and relations of the fugitives, and those who had appeared to favour a capitulation, were dragged to the walls of the city, and shewn the fate they might expect, if they went over to the Romans. They were positively assured, that those whom they beheld in chains and crucified, were not prisoners of war, but deserters, who had in vain solicited mercy and protection. Titus, as soon as he was informed of this circumstance, having mutilated some of his prisoners, that this severity might prevent Simon from regarding them as deserters; sent them back to tell their own story: 2 advising them, at the same time, to terminate that war, which, if persisted in, would compel him to have recourse to other measures for the complete destruction of the city; though he assured them that it was not too late, by an immediate submission, entirely to preserve their lives, their country, and their Temple.
The Jews again scornfully rejected the offer, imprecating the bitterest curses on the heads of Titus and Vespasian; and declaring with one voice their contempt
1 Sermon ccxl.
Bell. Jud. 5. xi. 1.-Here was a self-evident correspondence between their crime and their punishment. They who had formerly crucified Christ before the city of Jerusalem, were made to suffer the same death within sight of the same walls.
2 HE THAT ABIDETH IN THIS CITY SHALL DIE BY THE SWORD, BY THE FAMINE, AND BY THE PESTILENCE: BUT HE THAT GOETH OUT AND FALLETH TO THE CHALDEANS THAT BESIEGE YOU, HE SHALL LIVE, AND HIS LIFE SHALL BE UNTO HIM FOR A PREY. Jer. xxi. 9.
The prophecy applies as forcibly to this, as to the former destruction,