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tions were raised, and every other preparation made, necessary for their own defence, and for dislodging the enemy. The first onset was made upon the north-west side of the city; when Simon, who had hitherto exerted his energies only against his own countrymen, relinquished this mode of civil warfare to meet the common enemy without the gates. His undaunted bravery inspired his party with a universal spirit of courage. The Romans had endeavoured to raise banks, which from being above the height of the walls, might command those parts of the city against which they were placed; and thus assist the engines below, in the
1 AND WHEN YE SEE JERUSALEM ENCOMPASSED WITH ARMIES, THEN KNOW THAT THE DESOLATION THEREOF IS NIGH.-Luke xxi. 20. This passage, to which I have already alluded, explains more particularly the sign mentioned by Daniel, of THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION STANDING IN THE HOLY PLACE; by which was meant both the appearance of the Roman army before the walls, and the besieging the holy city; for as an additional proof, that the ensigns and images of the Romans were abominations in the eyes of the Jews; Josephus states, that Pilate, coming with a band of Roman soldiers into Jerusalem, brought the carved images of Cæsar, which were on the ensigns, into the city (Antiq. 18. iii. 1), in violation of the Jewish laws; but as soon as the people knew it; on their earnest application they were removed. It was on this account that the former Governors came into the city with ensigns, destitute of those ornaments.
No Image is to be seen at Jerusalem, their Gods they esteem indescribable, as being invisible.-Tum quosque temporis nullum Hierosolymis simulacrum extabat: nimirum suum illum Deum ineffabilem invisibilemque existimantes.-Dio Cass. xxxvi.
Ecce negabant (Judæi) fas esse signa in solo Judææ conspici, quia in signis, multæ essent imagines.-Grotius.
Artabanus transgressus Euphratem, aquilas et signa Romana, Cæsarumque imagines adoravit.-Suetonius.
Numina Legionum et bellorum Dii, signa et Aquilam amplexus religione sese tutabantur. -Tacitus.
Religio tota Castrensis signa venerater, signa jurat, signa omnibus Diis perceponit.-Tertul. Apol. xvi. p. 162.
object of making a breach.1 The Jews, aware of the destructive influence of these operations, exerted every nerve to render them useless; their assaults were made with an intrepidity inconceiveable, whilst with an enthusiasm nothing could resist; numbers, leaping from the walls upon the machines themselves, urged every effort to destroy them, together with those who persisted in their application: at the same instant, a larger body sallying out from the Tower Hippicus, skirted by the walls till they broke suddenly upon the enemy, and after a vigorous attack and as desperate a resistance on both sides, the Romans were driven to their entrenchments; their works and engines were seized, and every method for destroying them prepared; when Titus, unexpectedly coming up at the head of a detachment of his troops, rescued his machines from destruction, and drove the assailants back to the city; having cut off by his own hand twelve of the leaders in their retreat. The Romans at length having established and fortified their towers, began to gain every advantage for which they were designed: their success served only to renew the efforts of the enemy, whose courage prompted them to such exertions, as had they been contending with any but experienced veterans, would have carried victory before them: but the steady discipline of the legions was irresistible, and their exertions manifested such superior power and address, that the Jews were thrown into utter confusion. In the mean while missile weapons, firebrands, and stones
1 The engines worked by the 10th legion were capable of throwing stones, weighing 113 pounds, to a distance of more than two furlongs, or a quarter of a mile; and with so great a force, as to do considerable injury to those some way behind it. Bell. Jud. 5. vi. 3.
of an enormous size, showered down in torrents upon the city. Animated by the brave example of their General, the soldiers felt inspired with equal courage; and bringing their battering rams to bear upon the first of the outer walls; soon effected a breach, through which they rushed with unrestrained impetuosity.1 Here they were exposed to perils which at first sight appeared insurmountable; surrounded on all sides by the enemy, and within reach of engines from every quarter; there seemed but little probability that they could long maintain their ground: but to retreat in this early stage would have raised the spirit and expectation of the Jews; who instead of being appalled with dread by the vigour and success of the first encounter, would have been animated to make a still more obstinate resistance. To confront, rather than avoid dangers which seemed to lead to the possession of so much wealth; was a feeling inherent at that time in the breast of almost every Roman :2 blind therefore, to every obstacle, and unmindful of every disadvantage, they carried on their attacks with such unabated spirit, that the Jews were put to flight on all . sides invigorated by success, and impetuous to pursue the enemy, they struck a general consternation in the minds of the besieged; of which they would have found it difficult to divest themselves, had not Titus, satisfied with the possession of the first wall, recalled his soldiers for the purpose of effectually destroying it.
"1 AND HE SHALL BESIEGE THEE IN ALL THY GATES, UNTIL THY HIGH AND FENCED WALLS COME DOWN, WHEREIN THOU TRUSTedst." Deut. xxviii. 52.
This took place on the 15th day of the siege, about the 7th of May. 2 This principle was far from being disinterested; too many, as even Tacitus has given us reason to believe," poscebantque pericula, pars virtute, "malti ferociâ et cupidine præmiorum."
Hist. v. 11.
Thus it was that Titus, ignorant that he was executing the will of him, whose word should remain even though the heavens and the earth should pass away; encompassed with his army, and laid siege against Jerusalem. The Jews little suspecting another more terrible Nebuchadnezzar in the person of the Roman General; little imagining that in his army they beheld another more sanguinary race of Babylonians; at length became unmindful of their own internal feuds, and resisted every attempt at encroachment on the part of the invaders. Regardless of every offer to capitulate or establish peace, they were the foremost to bring judgment upon themselves, and destruction upon the city; in contending, unprepared as they were, with an army composed of troops inured by long service and rigid discipline, to the arts and hardships of war; and who were gazing on the golden prospects of spoil and plunder, which in the event of victory, seemed to offer a certain recompence for every exertion. Blind to their own interest, and confident of security in their embattled bulwarks, and the protection of the God of "Abraham their father," the Jews defied the threats and despised the offers of the enemy; who, though unable to stagger the belief that the Almighty was still watching over the preservation of his heritage, must, in a considerable degree, have shaken their boasted confidence in the security of their ramparts, by the success of this encounter, and the demolition of their frontier.1
1 UNTIL THY HIGH AND FENCED WALLS COME DOWN WHEREIN THOU TRUSTEDST. Deut. xxviii. 52.
TITUS' SUCCESSFUL ATTACK UPON THE SECOND WALL.... ENCAMPS WITHIN THE FIRST, AND OFFERS TERMS
OF PEACE....THESE BEING REFUSED, A SECOND AS
SAULT IS MADE, AND THE SECOND WALL TAKEN........ THE FAMINE WITHIN THE CITY DESCRIBED, AND THE HORROURS ATTENDING IT.
TITUS now pitched his within the compass of the first wall, keeping himself beyond the reach of the engines, stationed to defend the second. The factions still smothered their mutual animosities to direct, more effectually, their exertions against the common enemy. Alarmed at the progress the Romans had already made, and the success with which their first enterprise had been crowned, they became infuriated, and sallied out in numbers to give them battle; but the cool intrepidity of the legions was not to be subverted by the impulses of heat and passion: the Jews, therefore, were constantly defeated, and driven back to their fortifications, while their adversaries were rendered incapable of making any impression upon the wall, defended as it was, by that boldness so characteristic of the Jews, when exasperated by misfortunes, or made frantic by despair. Some, from fear of their Tyrants, or from indifference to life under horrours every where surrounding them, exposed their persons to the greatest dangers others, still encouraged by expectations of