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who were unconnected with it, should now, looking on its change feel emotions of regret? and if strangers were thus affected, how natural was it for the Jews in aftertimes, when visiting this spot, to pour out their tears where so many of their forefathers, kindred, and connections had shed their blood ! 1
i We shall see, towards the conclusion, that the unhappy Jews, when subject to the Greek Emperours, were obliged to bribe the soldiers for permission to weep over its remains.
THE ROMANS TAKE THE TOWER OF ANTONIA, AND
MAKE AN UNSUCCESSFUL ATTACK UPON THE TEMPLE.... TITUS ADDRESSES THE JEWS.... ANOTHER ASSAULT MADE UPON THE TEMPLE, AND WITHOUT EFFECT....THE STATE OF THE FAMINE IN THE CITY DESCRIBED.... A MOTHER PUTS HER CHILD TO DEATH
WITH A VIEW MORE PARTICULARLY TO STIGMATIZE
THE SEDITIOUS..., A THIRD UNSUCCESSFUL ATTEMPT MADE UPON THE TEMPLE.... THE ROMANS CALL A COUNCIL OF WAR.... THE LAST ATTACK UPON THE TEMPLE SUCCEEDS....THE SURROUNDING BUILDINGS ARE SET ON FIRE.... TITUS ENTERS THE TEMPLE.... THE TEMPLE IS BURNT, AND A DREADFUL CARNAGE OF THE JEWS ENSUES....SIX THOUSAND PEOPLE KILLED, WHO ARE ASSEMBLED BY AN IMPOSTOR.
All previous arrangements being made, Titus commenced an attack upon the third wall, but his efforts during the first day were of little avail, as the battering rams made but a slight impression upon this stupendous fortification. His exertions, however, were continued with unwearied application during the day, at the close of which they were suspended only till the returning light summoned them anew. The following morning presented the accomplishment of that, which he had in vain laboured to effect: some of the foundation stones having been disjointed by the repeated shocks
of the engines; caused the wall above, in the course of the night, suddenly to give way. Various were the effects the sight of this had upon the minds of both parties: the Romans conceived this wall to have been the only remaining barrier between them and the city, and were, therefore, at first sight elated by its unexpected downfal, and then as suddenly disappointed by the appearance of another, apparently of equal strength : while the Jews experiencing the contrary feelings, were now dejected at the success of the enemy, and now encouraged at the chagrin they manifested at finding another impediment to their progress : at the same time, gaining confidence from the reflection that the tower of Antonia would still yield them that protection it was so capable of affording; they stood upon their defence.
Titus perceiving the mortification of his troops, commanded them to assemble around him, that he might by reviving their hopes, inspire them with patience to bear up against every disappointment, and perseverance to accomplish his ultimate designs. After enforcing the example of constancy and valour displayed by the Jews, in their struggles under horrours the most complicated, and sufferings the most intolerable; and instigating them to revenge the deprivations brought upon them by the madness of the besieged: he adverted to the supposed glory and immortality which awaited those who valiantly died in arms, in these remarkable words, exhibiting in one view, the notions entertained by these heathens of death, and their conceptions of a
1 Here again, Titus, like Nebuchadnezzar, “ brake down the walls of “ Jerusalem round about.”—2 Kings, xxv, 10.
future state. “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 s 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? ”l
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