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divine deliverance, fought with equal bravery; whilst those, attached to the person and cause of Simon, were ready to execute his projects under risks the most daring and hazardous. On the other hand, the Romans, proud of that discipline which seldom failed to ensure them conquest, and ambitious of the applause of their chief, exerted their utmost energies to intimidate and defeat the enemy. An instance of their enthusiasm at this time, and of their thirst for military glory, is exemplified in the character of Longinus, one of their commanders; who approaching with a body of men against the Jews, burst singly from the ranks into the thickest of the enemy, and having made those immediately around his person, to start backwards by the surprise of so unexpected an encounter, slew two of them in an instant; the second falling by the very dart which had been the instrument of fatality to the other and having thus effected his purpose, with an activity truly astonishing, regained his former station in the ranks. This action would have led the ambition of others to aspire at signalising themselves by feats of equal danger, had they not been restrained by Titus ; who gave them to understand that he did not regard the accomplishment of hazardous designs, prompted by a mad indiscretion, as any indication of that true courage, which alone was characterised by cool deliberation and firmness. This bravery, however, was opposed by artifice, as well as by a blind impetuosity on the part of the Jewish people; till Titus, worn out by deceptions, which had too long trifled with his feelings, renewed his exertions with such success, that after four days continued warfare, he gained the second wall; entering the breach at the head of a thousand
of his chosen men. The Jews fled dismayed in all directions: having lost the two first objects of their contention, they perceived too plainly, that the army whose encroachments they had hitherto endeavoured to oppose, was endued with a spirit of perseverance and ardour not to be resisted, but by equal fortitude and zeal: upon which they collected themselves together with a determination to confront every danger, and tọ hazard every means of checking the advances of the invaders, if not in driving them back to their entrench
In the mean while Titus, with a view once more to offer terms of capitulation, kept back his soldiers from further pursuit. Thinking that he had now given a sufficient proof of his superiority over the factions, and that if instigated to it, he could give still greater proofs of his power; it seemed to him the most seasonable opportunity for evincing the motives by which he had been actuated to attack them; and at the same time to exhibit a convincing assurance, that his object was not to destroy, but to bring them to their allegiHis army, therefore, received orders to protect all who came over to his standard; to give quarter to every Jew whether armed or not, and to practise, indiscriminitely every act of clemency. In vain were these injunctions given, in vain were offers of conciliation made; the factious leaders were too obstinate to listen to any pacific measures. They pretended that the designs of Titus were deceitful, and his real intentions masked in the semblance of pity and compassion; that terms of peace were suggested by his cowardice, and his seeming virtue by despair. The zeal of the parties was buoyed up by these false represen
tations; some gaining courage from the belief of their reality; others intimidated by threats, assumed that fortitude they could not feel: when John and Simon combining these with their own forces, as they had previously determined, poured down from the heights upon the enemy with so much impetuosity, that Titus aware of their intentions, and seeing no possibility of keeping his ground with so small a force, against the thousands every where surrounding him, as well as with a view of sparing the valuable lives of his veteran troops, sounded a retreat, and retired through the breach by which he had so recently entered.
The preparations for a second assault engaged the industry of the legions, and the skill of their commander the three following days; during which time, intestine dissentions in the city broke out with increased violence. The factions which had so lately united their forces, now called up their former resentments, indulging a hope that the enemy would not hazard a second attempt: for says Josephus, "GOD HAD BLINDED THEIR MINDS,1 for the transgressions "of which they had been guilty, so that they neither "considered the superior force of the Romans, nor "perceived the visible approach of famine so rapidly advancing. Hitherto they had maintained them"selves at the expence of public misery, and had "drank, as it were, the very blood of the city; but
poverty had long seized upon the greater part of "the citizens, many of whom died for want of the 66 common
1 These words of the Historian, that “God had blinded their minds,” very strongly mark the precision of the prophecy of Moses-THE LORD
SHALL SMITE THEE WITH MADNESS AND BLINDNESS.
Deut. xxviii. 28.
66 common necessaries of life; while the destruction "of the common people was regarded as a public "benefit."1
Titus again resumed his projects, and shortly returned to the attack; the former breach was chosen for the scene of action, where by incessant discharges of missile weapons, and the determined energies of the legions; the Jews, after three days unwearied opposition, were once more routed and driven from the ramparts. The fourth day exhibited the besiegers, not as before, in a partial possession of a station which they could not well maintain; but occupied in laying this hardearned fortification level with the ground.2 The towers on the south side were garrisoned, and every advantage sought, by which the last assault upon the remaining wall might be carried with effect. Wearied with the exertions already made, they admitted a temporary relaxation, with a view to give leisure to recruit their own strength, and to afford the Jews time to reflect upon the posture of their affairs: that they might convince themselves by the manner in which they had been so often and so decisively defeated, that Titus held a superiority which no Jewish power could resist; and that their only alternative was to conclude a peace upon equitable terms, before he resorted to still more vigorous measures. The legions therefore were drawn up around the wall in the sight of the besieged, with
1 Bell. Jud. 5, viii. 2.
2 AND NOW GO TO: I WILL TELL YOU WHAT I WILL DO TO MY VINEYARD; I WILL TAKE AWAY THE HEDGE THEREOF, AND IT SHALL BE EATEN UP; AND BREAK DOWN THE WALL THEREOF, AND IT SHALL BE TRODDEN DOWN: AND I WILL LAY IT WASTE IT SHALL NOT BE PRUNED NOR DIGGED; BUT THERE SHALL COME UP BRIEKS AND THORNS: I WILL ALSO COMMAND THE CLOUDS THAT THEY RAIN NO RAIN UPON IT.
Isa. v. 5, 6.
an intention to display that force and discipline, which by striking them with consternation, might be attended with effects beneficial to themselves, and desirable to Titus. Four days were suffered to elapse before any hostile measures were adopted; but on the fifth, no overture from the Jews being made, the army was divided, and the forces so disposed that a premeditated attack might be attempted, which had the destruction of the upper city and the temple for its avowed object. Both sides resorted to former stratagems, but without effect on the part of the Romans; who though not dispossessed of any advantages previously obtained, were unable to make any further impression; the Jews stoutly maintaining their ground, and defending the remaining wall with that obstinacy, which every individual feels when contending for an object, with the loss of which, his last and only hope must vanish. The offensive efforts of Titus receiving a check here, induced him to pursue other means than those hitherto exerted; for which purpose, he laid aside compulsatory, to adopt persuasive measures; and sent Josephus within hearing of those stationed on the walls, to address them in a speech; in which he showed them the absurdity of contending against the Romans, since their nation had evidently been deserted by that God, who, had they been engaged in a good cause, would have rescued them now, as he had their ancestors upon similar occasions. He therefore recommended them to
1 Bell. Jud. 5, ix. 2.
Christ on approaching Jerusalem BEHELD THE CITY AND WEPT OVER IT, SAYING, IF THOU HADST KNOWN, EVEN THOU, AT LEAST IN THIS THY DAY, THE THINGS WHICH BELONG TO THY PEACE! BUT NOW THEY ARE HID FROM THINE EYES!
Luke xix. 41, 42.