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Nor had these men of Macedon", who
came, And, spite of Memnon?, laid proud Persia low, Less mercy
a people, whom the scheme Of the Almighty had decreed should know
His will divine, midst all the Pagan show And worldly vanity which round them reign'd.
How woeful, that the chosen here below Had not in after years rever'd-maintain'dThat righteous path th' Omnipotent ordaind!
however, that, according to Plato, though at a later period, in Greece, the inhabitants allowed the introduction of those gods or heroes, they called Jupiter, Saturn, Neptune, &c. &c., they had once a more pure worship, when they paid adoration to the great orbs of heaven. Nay, there are those who assert, that neither the ancient Egyptians, nor the Phænicians, nor the Greeks themselves, had any images for a long time, in their earliest ages, nor even temples.
1 Neither did the Jews suffer from the Macedonian conquerors, after the Persians were subdued.
2 Alexander found a bold opponent in Memnon, Darius's general, in the conquest of Persia ; who, after the defeat at Granicus, and when Ephesus and Sardis had submitted, made a most strenuous defence at both Meletus and Halicarnassus, but soon after sank under disease at Mitylene, when the whole of Persia fell under the dominion of the Macedonians. B. C. 330. Josephus informs us, that Alexander himself granted the Jews particular privileges.
Jews conquered by the Romans.
At length, as ages rolld and rapine rag'd,
When one Great Nation made the world its own,
Were chain'd resistless to th’ imperial throne" ;
1 Judea was conquered and made a Roman province by Pompey, who established Hyrcanus as governor, and took Aristobulus with him to Rome to grace his triumph. It was not long after this that Herod the Great, an Idumean, and much patronized by Anthony, got permission to assume the name of King of the Jews; and, though a tyrant to his subjects, added lustre in some measure to the Jewish nation. He repaired the temple, and procured for himself the favour of Cassius and Cæsar. It was at his death that Augustus divided the government of Judea between the sons of Herod, but, nine years after, dissatisfied with their conduct, sent them into exile.
3 It was in A. D. 66, that Jerusalem was besieged by Cestus Gallus, but who soon after raised the siege without any apparent cause. Many Christians at this time became alarmed and left the city; and their caution was not unrewarded; for, in A. D. 71, owing to a vain and foolish opposition to the Roman power by the Jews, Vespasian sent his son Titus to prosecute the war, the issue of which is so well known. Notwithstanding the obstinate resistance of the inhabitants, Jerusalem was burnt to the
To tell where stood the beauty of the world,
The heathen shuddered.
It were a theme for Bardling far too grave
To tell how quak'd the earth, how rent the veil, When He, who liv'd to heal, had died to save !
And e'en the heathen shudder'd ? and grew pale !
It were a theme too sad for Raymond's tale
O'er what the heavenly choir were known to wail :
bosoms bled, and hearts were wrung, When first in Judah the dread knell was rung !
ground; and, in spite of Titus's attempt to save the Temple, not one stone of it was left on another. According to Josephus, eleven thousand Jews perished during the siege, and those who were taken were made slaves. It would appear, however, that many Jews remained in their own country till the time of Adrian, when they again revolted, and made war against the Romans. Finally, those who were not destroyed were entirely dispersed, and are yet scattered over the world.
1 Lamentations of Jeremiah, chap. ii. verse 15.
2 St Matthew, chap. xxvii. verse 54,
Then, wayward, wretched, and most harden'd race,
Was the curs'd crisis of thy madness come;
Thou yielded’st up thy God to martyrdom!
What, then, didst thou not lose ? thy shrine, thy dome,
Become an odium !-E'en the sacred Tome,
Didst thou the Bible's self almost disclaim.
The wrath of Heaven, no longer to be staid,
Care, caution, pardon, all bestow'd in vain ;
1 There are two Hebrew books called by the name of Talmud, the Jewish and the Babylonish ; the first of which, however, is that which the
1 Jews most prize. It contains their traditions and ceremonies, which are replete with much absurdity, and not a few impieties; yet no one can pretend to be a schoolmaster or teacher of any description, who is not a complete master of it. Of this Talmud, Maimonides made an abstract, which consists only of the resolutions made in it. This last mentioned work is
Those laws transgress’d for thee expressly made,
A God of justice could no more refrain.
So were ye doom'd to turmoil, toil, and pain; Dispers’d', and driv’n like chaff before the wind;
Thy cities waste, thy fields an arid plain ; Each state distrustful of thy faithless mind, Thou earliest chosen, and thou longest blind ! !
By God condemnd, how were they spurn’d by man !
But say, was their religion aye the cause ?
called by the Jews Yad-Hachazakah, and is justly admired for its clearness and arrangement. On this account Maimonides is reckoned by the Christians one of the best Jewish authors.
1 It would seem, according to Milman (Hist. of Jews, book xxviii.), that the Jews have greatly increased in number in Palestine within the last few years. In Safet and Jerusalem alone he tells us there are ten thousand. By the same work, it appears, that there may be, in all, in the world, two millions of Jews, one million of whom are in the Turkish dominions; but we should be led to think that there are more than that num. ber in the world, since Poland alone is said to contain three millions, a number which often not a little embarrasses the operations of government. In Great Britain the number of Jews has been reckoned at twelve thou. sand, by some at twenty-five thousand.
2 Jeremiah, chap. xviii. verse 16; Ezekiel, chap. v. verse 10.