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"seditious coming in, demanded, with menaces of "death without mercy, an immediate supply of provisions, the smell of which had attracted them to her "house; upon which she produced the remainder of "her child. This', said she, 'is in truth my son whom "I have just dressed and as I have eaten of it, why "should you pretend to be more nice, or more tender "than a mother? But if you make any scruple of con"science at the oblation: as I have already fed upon "a part of it, you may leave the rest for me." At this
UPON THE GROUND FOR DELICATENESS AND TENDERNESS, HER EYE SHALL BE EVIL TOWARDS HER CHILDREN WHICH SHE SHALL BEAR; FOR SHE SHALL EAT THEM FOR WANT OF ALL THINGS, SECRETLY IN THE SIEGE AND STRAITNESS, WHEREWITH THINE ENEMY SHALL DISTRESS THEE IN THY GATES.- -Deut. xxviii. 56, 57.
THOU SHALT EAT THE FRUIT OF THINE OWN BODY, THE FLESH OF THY SONS AND OF THY DAUGHTERS, WHICH THE LORD THY GOD HATH GIVEN THEE, IN THE SIEGE. Deut. xxviii. 53.
WOE UNTO THEM THAT ARE WITH CHILD, AND TO THEM THAT GIVE SUCK IN THOSE DAYS! FOR THERE SHALL BE GREAT distress in THE LAND AND WRATH UPON THIS PEOPLE.-Luke, xxi. 23.
FOR BEHOLD! THE DAYS ARE COMING, IN THE WHICH THEY SHALL SAY— BLESSED ARE THE BARREn, and the WOMBS THAT NEVER BARE, AND THE PAPS WHICH NEVER GAVE SUCK.-Luke, xxiii. 29.
(1) It seems that this woman destroyed her infant, deeming it either more honourable or preferable that it should suffer death in its earliest age, than run the hazard of being murdered by other hands, or of enduring hardships in the event of its surviving, that might, to an elevated mind, be more intolerable than even death itself: but though destruction were inevitable, yet this conduct was neither properly to be considered noble, or such as might have been expected from a worshipper of the true God; from one who, enlightened by revelation, should have had a knowledge, and, consequently, a hope of better things. This event, with all its circumstances, stands without a parallel in the page of History; though the actions of the wife of Asdrubal, the Carthaginian General, in the last stage of the siege of Carthage, afford no very distant resemblance to it, while they exhibit a nobler instance of a spirited mind; particularly when it is remembered that her conduct, unlike that of the Jewess, was such as did not militate against the religious
"the wretches, although inured to murder, recoiled "with horrour at a sight so barbarous and inhuman; "and this occurrence was the only one at which they were known, during the time of the whole siege, to "have evinced any feeling that might distinguish them from the most ignorant and brutal of their species."
The report of this horrid event from being quickly spread about the city, soon reached the ears of the Romans, who, in general, either pitied or hated the people for it. Titus heard it with astonishment, and protested by his Gods, that he had done all he could to make the Jews easy, as well as happy in their lives, their liberties, and their fortunes. "If," said he, "they "will tear each other in pieces rather than live in union among themselves; who can help it? If they prefer "war to peace, or famine to plenty; nay, if they will persist in destroying their Temple, which I have "endeavoured
principles of her country.—When Asdrubal, to save his own life, surrendered himself to Scipio, abandoning his wife, children, and adherents, to their fate; the former, though it were then in her power to have followed her husband's example, called upon Scipio to punish Asdrubal's treachery; and then, while upbraiding him for his perfidy, cut the throats of her children, and throwing them into the flames, now raging around her; rushed into the midst of them herself.-Vide Appian's Hist.
THE LORD HATH MADE GOOD HIS WORD,WHICH HE PRONOUNCED AGAINST US.— TO BRING UPON US GREAT PLAGUES, SUCH AS NEVER HAPPENED UNDER THE WHOLE HEAVEN, AS IT CAME TO PASS IN JERUSALEM, ACCORDING TO THE THINGS THAT WERE WRITTEN IN THE LAW OF MOSES, THAT A MAN SHOULD EAT THE FLESH OF HIS OWN SON AND THE FLESH OF HIS OWN DAUGHTER.
Baruch, ii. 1, 1, 2, 3.
THE HANDS OF THE PITIFUL WOMEN HAVE SODDEN THEIR OWN CHILDREN: THEY WERE THEIR MEAT IN THE DESTRUCTION OF THE DAUGHTER OF MY PEOPLE.-Lament. iv. 10.
(1) DAUGHTERS OF JERUSALEM! said our Saviour bearing his cross-wEEP NOT FOR ME, BUT WEEP FOR YOURSELVES AND FOR YOUR CHILDREN. Luke, xxiii. 28.
" endeavoured to preserve; their own children are food good enough for such parents." He determined, therefore, from this time to bury their iniquities in their ruin, and not leave a city where mothers devoured their own offspring; and where the fathers were still more impious in keeping up the war, after so many demonstrations of the wrath of heaven."
After these disgusting manifestations of the unparalleled miseries of Jerusalem; it would be useless, if not impossible, to produce any other circumstance by which, in description, a stronger idea of the ravages of famine could be pourtrayed.
(1) Bell. Jud. 6, iii. 4.
(2) From these repeated declarations of the moral sensibility of Titus, we are led to think that Josephus made them without a strict regard to fidelity, with a view to ingratiate himself into that Emperour's favour: though the testimony of Tacitus, Suetonius, and other writers, seems to corroborate the truth of these eulogia. It has, however, upon no insufficient grounds, been objected against his character, that he was not always possessed of feelings equally humane; as his sacrifice of two thousand five hundred Jewish captives at Cæsarea, who were burnt, or made to fight with wild beasts, seems to exemplify; but it must be remembered, that this was not more to be imputed to his cruelty than to the barbarity of the age in which he lived, when it was customary to punish capital delinquents in this way; and the occasion on which these unhappy Jews were made to suffer, was the celebration of the birth day of Domitian, the brother of Titus. It may also be mentioned, that when the Senate and people of Antioch besought him to banish the Jews from that place, he denied the request, because as their own country was desolate, "they had not where," it may be said, in our Saviour's language," so much as to lay their heads." On this denial, the Senate and people prayed that the Jews might, at least, be divested of the few privileges they then enjoyed; this, however, Titus would not allow; so that "for the elect's sake, those days (of persecution) were shortened." Vide Bell. Jud. 7, v. 2.
This latter circumstance fulfilled also the prophecy of Moses: AND YET
FOR ALL THAT, WHEN THEY BE IN THE LAND OF THEIR ENEMIES, I WILL NOT CAST THEM AWAY, NEITHER WILL I ABHOR THEM, TO DESTROY THEM UTTERLY. Levit. xxvi. 44.
Titus now ordered the battering rams to be played against the western cloisters of the Temple; these he worked with incessant application for six days successively, when he found the buildings proof against all his energies. He then had recourse to his scaling ladders, and to the use of other engines that seemed to promise the means of accomplishing his designs against the firm and stately fortifications; but every exertion met with a similar failure: thinking, therefore, that by his endeavours to spare the surrounding buildings of the Temple he only sacrificed his own men; he ordered them to set fire to the gates; when the raging and devouring element taking a hold, too firm to be resisted, quickly reached the adjacent galleries. This was such a surprise to the Jews, that they stood staring at each other in wild astonishment, incapable of attempting any effort to prevent the conflagration; so that it continued with unabated fury throughout the remainder of that day and the succeeding night, and consequently many of these outward buildings were entirely consumed.
Titus perceiving from every circumstance, that by protracting the siege, he exposed his soldiers to stratagems and hazards, so insiduously contrived and executed, that the losses he sustained were of a nature to demand an immediate application of decisive measures; summoned a council of war from among the commanders of his army, some of whom were of opinion, that no permanent security could be established without the intire demolition of the Temple; as independent of the veneration the Jews pretended to profess for it, it had, during the siege, been converted into a fortress of defence. They recommended,
however, in the event of the Jews abandoning it, to preserve the fabric; but if the enemy persevered in resistance, they should consider that the impiety of burning it would not attach itself to the Romans, but to those who compelled them to adopt so painful, but necessary a resource. To these suggestions, Titus made this reply." If the Jews will be obstinate and turn a "Temple into a citadel, shall I revenge the stubbornness of a rebellious people, by laying the most mag"nificent fabric in the universe in ashes for their sakes? "It would be an affront to the dignity of Rome itself "to think of depriving the empire of so illustrious an "ornament." 991
The Jews commenced a violent attack upon the enemy, without loss of time, but were defeated and driven back to the Temple; where they were afterwards closely confined. Titus withdrew to Antonia with a resolution to attack the Temple with the whole of his army on the following morning. The next day, therefore, the assault was made: the Romans with the golden prospect of plunder actually before their eyes, put forth every exertion to secure it; while the Jews, exasperated that an army of a Gentile nation should aspire to the possession of that Temple which for so many ages had been consecrated to their exclusive worship; fought with renovated ardour: but their efforts could not stand against the determined spirit of the enemy, who had now driven them to the inner court. One of the soldiers here mounted an elevated place, from whence he threw a firebrand and set the whole building in a flame. The cries of the Jews, now clinging
(1) Bell. Jud. 6, iv. 3.