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E'en in recital their portentous crimes,
neque Votis, piare fas habet, gens superstitioni obnoxia, religionibus adversa. Visæ per cælum concurrere acies, rutilantia arma, et subito Nubium igne collucere Templum. Expassæ repente delubri Fores, et audita major humanâ Vox, Excedere deos: simul ingens Motus excedentium. Quæ pauci in Metum trahebant: Pluribus Persuasio inerat, antiquis sacerdotum Literis contineri eo ipso Tempore fore ut valesceret Oriens, Profectique Judæâ Rerum potirentur. Quæ Ambages Vespasianum et Titum prædixerant. Lib. 5. chap. 13. Histor.
“ At that time there were prodigies, which a peo. ple who were superstitious, and not religious, did not think proper to appease by sacrifice or by prayer. Armies were seen to rush together in the air, glittering arms appeared, and the temple shone with a sudden light from Heaven. At once the doors of the temple flew open, and a voice more than human was heard to declare that the gods had left the place; at the same time there was a great motion as of their departing, which affrighted many. More however were persuaded that it was declared by their antient prophets, that at that time the East should grow powerful, and the rulers of Judea ob. tain universal dominion. Which ambiguous oraeles foretold Vespasian and Titus.”
'Twas there (Ah horrid deed!) with hunger wild,
At last, though long with-held by frantic deeds,
Line 167 &c. The particulars of this feral wickedness, of which while we read we shudder, are fully described by Josephus. It is mentioned here to show that the prophecy of Moses (for which, see beginning of the preface) was fulfilled.
It fires the place, which forces yells of griet,
Yet when they saw the sacred house on fire,
Ah! what avail'd, as Heav'n its fall had doom'd!
Line 211. See a description of the Temple in Josephus's Jewish Antiquities.
Where stood the wrath-struck city did appear, 220
As if no dweller ever had been there.
And as our Saviour his disciples told,
Line 225, &". Josephus in the wars of the Jews la, this description of the destruction of Jerusalem, according to the translation by L'Estrange, book 7. chap 18.
“ This was in fine ile illue of the siege, and when the soldiers had neither rapine nor bloodshed for their spleens to work upon, (as they would not have been idle if they had had matter) Titus ordered them to lay the city and temple level with the ground and leave nothing standing but the three famous turrets, Phasael, Hippicos, and Mariamne, that overtopped all the rest, and a piece of a wall to the westward of the town, where he designed a garrison; the towers to remain as so many monuments to posterity of the Roman power and conduct in taking them. This order was punctually executed, and all the re:t laid so flat, that the place looked as if it had never been inliabited. This was the end of the Jerusalem faction, a mad and seditious people, and this was also the end of the most glorious city in the universe."