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The city, thus surrounded; the famine, as might be expected, was excessive. Houses were filled with bodies of women and children, and the streets choked with the putrid corses of aged and infirm men. Even they who survived, were in so emaciated a condition, as to be destitute of strength sufficient to attempt the burial of their dead. In this abyss of misery, grief was silent, and lamentation was not heard: all pains and passions were smothered in the weakness of long endured hunger. Others, who waited for that relief which the arm of death could only give, stood gazing with tearless eyes and ghastly looks, at those whose sufferings were already terminated. The city was wrapt in a profound and universal gloom; but these scenes, awful as they were, and dreadful as they appeared, were less deplorable than those immediately succeeding them. Houses so lately the habitations of the strong and wealthy, but now the noisome dwellings of the dead, were again broken into and explored. Here the monsters of faction and cruelty, not yet sated with the life-blood they had shed, or satisfied with the violence they had offered to these mangled bodies while the spark of life existed, now stripped them of
A TRENCH ABOUT THEE, AND COMPASS THEE ROUND, AND KEEP THEE IN ON EVERY SIDE.-Luke xix. 43.
I WILL CAMP AGAINST THEE ROUND ABOUT, AND WILL LAY SIEGE AGAINST THEE WITH A MOUNT, AND I WILL RAISE FORTS AGAINST THEE.-Isaiah xxix. 3. Then were the words of Ezekiel actually fulfilled-THE SWORD IS WITHOUT,
AND THE PESTILENCE AND THE FAMINE WITHIN HE THAT IS IN THE FIELD SHALL DIE WITH THE SWORD; AND HE THAT IS IN THE CITY, FAMINE AND PESTILENCE SHALL DEVOUR HIM.-Ezekiel vii. 15.
1 THE CITY OF CONFUSION IS BROKEN DOWN: EVERY HOUSE IS SHUT UP THAT
NO MAN MAY COME IN.-Isaiah xxiv. 10.-Josephus repeatedly mentions that the houses were filled with the dead carcasses, and then shut up.
the useless and little covering that remained, and once more assaulted them with every indignity that wantonness could devise, or brutality inflict. 1
When the Jews were no longer able to endure the putrid corruption of the dead, orders were issued to have them buried at the public charge; but for want of room to dispose of them, these impious wretches cast them headlong from the walls into the vallies beneath,2 presenting a spectacle of so horrid a nature, that when Titus, surveying the different posts of his army, found the ditches filled with the dead carcasses, emitting a continued pestilential vapour; he fetched a deep sigh, and stretching out his hands to heaven, appealed to his Gods that he was innocent of the sight before him, the Jews having brought the entire guiltof it themselves.3
1 Josephus further describes the inhumanity of these wretches," who cruelly tormented those who were not yet dead, but on the eve of expiring;、 by plunging swords into every part of their bodies, so that no stroke proved immediately fatal."-Bell. Jud. 5. xii. 3.
2 THEREFORE BEHOLD, THE DAYS COME, SAITH THE LORD, THAT THIS PLACE SHALL NO MORE BE CALLED TOPHET, NOR THE VALLEY OF THE SON OF HINNOM; BUT THE VALLEY OF SLAUGHTER. AND I WILL MAKE VOID THE COUNCIL OF JUDAH AND JERUSALEM IN THIS PLACE; AND I WILL CAUSE THÈM TO FALL BY THE SWORD BEFORE THEIR ENEMIES, AND BY THE HANDS OF THEM THAT SEEK THEIR LIVES: AND THEIR CARCASSES WILL I GIVE TO BE MEAT FOR THE FOWLS
OF THE HEAVEN AND FOR THE BEASTS OF THE EARTH.-Jer. xix. 6, 7.
THUS SAITH THE LORD, EVEN THE CARCASSES OF MEN SHALL FALL AS DUNG UPON THE OPEN FIELD, AND AS THE HANDFUL AFTER THE HARVESTMAN, AND NONE SHALL GATHER THEM.-Jer. ix. 22.
s Titus is said throughout this siege to have given proofs of great humanity and feeling, but this has been questioned by those who are well aware that even the flattering title given him by Suetonius (Amor et delicia humani generis), that he was the love and delight of mankind, was not, as many have presumed, conferred upon him for his conduct at Jerusalem, but at Rome; and then, not till some time after this siege: indeed it appears that neither he or his father were thought well of at Rome, till they had obtained the purple.
The people now labouring under the accumulated horrours of famine and despair, looked with an eye of jealousy upon the easy enjoyment of the enemy, who, with little difficulty, were able to procure every kind of provision from Syria and the neighbouring provinces. Their supplies were so plentiful, that several, from a cruel ostentation, went up to the walls, irritating the want on one side, by displaying the abundance on the other. But all was ineffectual! Nothing could now operate on the feelings of the seditious Jews. Titus, therefore, from motives of compassion to the remainder of the miserable people, determined to pursue with indefatigable assiduity, his new operations; and to carry them forward with all possible dispatch. For this purpose he again raised mounds, similar to those recently destroyed, with the exception of the one before Antonia; the magnitude of which was now considerably increased. The woods in the neighbourhood of the city, were immediately employed as materials best adapted to the construction of these, and of every description of warlike implements. Thus occupied, the minds of the Romans seemed to have turned from the contemplation of the state of their enemies, to the pursuit of objects, calculated only to display national skill and ingenuity. Busied in raising fortifications, and in the construction of various complicated and destructive engines, they appeared to have laid aside all present hostilities, with a view more effectually to secure future conquest: heedless of what was passing within the walls, they were unconscious of having inspired any additional dread by the appearance of their works; till many of the Jews foreseeing distress even greater than that which they had already
suffered, deserted to the Romans; some making their escape by leaping the walls; others, under pretence of attacking the enemy with stones; and the rest, by the application of various other stratagems: but here, by avoiding one kind of misfortune, they fell into another not less dreadful; for the surfeit of provisions in the camp proved more immediately fatal than the want of them in the city. Famine had so long preyed upon them, that in the midst of plenty it was too difficult to controul the appetite, or check the importunate demands of hunger, till the enervated powers of nature, overburdened and exhausted, gave way to death. Scenes, alas! of more complicated wretchedness might still be developed; but among all the objects of calamity and distress, none can surely exceed in abhorrence that of a fugitive Jew, surprised among the Syrians, in the act of searching for gold he had swallowed purposely to conceal. The report of this discovery, flying through the camp, soon reached the knowledge of the Syrians and Arabs, who suspecting the Jews in general of having secreted their gold, by an application of the same disgustful means; ripped open ten thousand of them in one night to procure the hidden treasures: "than which," says the historian," it does "not appear to me that any misery, more terrible, ever "befel the Jews."1 Titus was so transported with anger, at the brutality of this action, that he was on the point of ordering his horse to surround and put the Syrians to immediate death, had not the number of the
1 Bell. Jud. 5. xiii. 4.
THEY SHALL CAST THEIR SILVER IN THE STREETS, AND THEIR GOLD SHALL BE REMOVED; THEIR SILVER AND THEIR GOLD SHALL NOT BE ABLE TO DELIVER THEM IN THE DAY OF THE WRATH OF THE LORD: THEY SHALL NOT SATISFY THEIR SOULS, NEITHER FILL THEIR BOWELS; BECAUSE IT IS THE STUMBLING BLOCK OF THEIR INIQUITY.-Ezek. vii. 19.
guilty so greatly exceeded that of the murdered: discovering too, that many of his own soldiers were implicated in the crime; he first severely reprimanded the auxiliaries and those of his own men concerned with them, and then threatened death, without mercy, to any one who should be found afterwards committing a similar offence.
Thus even without the walls, the Jews, in this instance, sought in vain for that refuge and protection which seems hardly ever to have been withheld from them by the desire or command of Titus; so that the number of the slain in the camp was comparatively very small, and indeed not such as to be mentioned, when it is considered how many thousands perished in the city: for on the testimony of one of the commanders of the gates, who afterwards espoused the cause of the Romans, it appeared from the period of the encampment of Titus before the town, to that day; a space of time rather exceeding two months, there passed through his gate, one hundred and fifteen thousand and eight dead bodies, and these only such as fell in his department to notice, and consequently exclusive of those thrown over the walls. It appeared afterwards upon the computation of many distinguished persons who deserted, that six hundred thousand poor people were carried out of the gates, besides others in a much greater number, who having no friends to bear their bodies without the city; were piled in heaps and shut up in houses.1 As an instance of the scarcity of provisions at this time, it may be mentioned; that wheat, where it could be pro
1 EVERY HOUSE IS SHUT UP THAT NO MAN MAY COME IN.
Isaiah xxiv. 10.