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They persecute the late king's friends. The queen dying
appoints Hyrcanus to succeed her. Aristobulus his bro-
ther seizes the kingdom. Hyrcanus aroused by Anti-
pater makes war against Aristobulus. Impiety and vice

I of the people. The brothers apply to Pompey. The

sanctuary besieged by the Romans in conjunction with

the party of Hyrcanus. Reflections

. 252

LETTER XLIII.

Pompey succeeds in taking the temple. He profanely

enters the most holy place. Demolishes the walls of

Jerusalem. Makes Hyrcanus tributary. Takes Aris-

tobulus and his sons captives. Gabinius alters the form

of government in Judea. . Aristobulus escapes from

Rome, and with his sons causes new commotions. Sa-

crilege of Crassus. His punishment

260

LETTER XLIV.

Aristobulus and his son Alexander put to death. Prospe.

rity of Antipater. Advancement of his sons Phasael and

Herod. Insolent conduct of the latter towards the San.

hedrim. The walls of Jerusalem rebuilt by permission

of Julius Cæsar. Reflections. .

267

LETTER XLV.

Antipater treacherously poisoned. His death avenged by

Herod. Disturbances in Judea. Antony coming into
Syria, favours the sons of Antipater, Invasion of the
Parthians. They assist Antigonus. Deposition of Hyr.
canus. Death of Phasael. Antigonus made king, Herod

Page

going to Rome to solicit aid for Aristobulus, is made

king of Judea by the senate

271

LETTER XLVI.

Herod, assisted by Antony, makes war against Antigonus.

Defeats Pappus. Celebrates his marriage with Mari-

amne. Takes Jerusalem. Prevails on Antony to put

Antigonus to death. Reflections .

279

LETTER XLVII.

Opposition of the people to Herod. Ananelus made high

priest. Hyrcanus returns to Jerusalem. Aristobulus

brother to Mariamne raised to the high priesthood. He-

rod procures his death. The cruelty and jealousy of

Herod alienate Mariamne, and cause great distress in his

family. He puts his beloved wife to death. His re-

morse and sickness

284

LETTER XLVIII.

Death of Alexandra. Infringements of Herod. Conspi-

racy against him. He rebuilds Samaria. Famine and

pestilence in Judea. Herod's marriage. He builds

Cæsarea. Sends his two sons to Rome. His idolatrous

flattery to Augustus very displeasing to his subjects. 293

LETTER XLIX.

Herod undertakes to rebuild the temple. Return and

marriage of his two sons. Malice of Salome and Phe-

roras against them. Herod sends for Antipater. Brings

his sons to trial before Augustus, who acquits them.

New troubles in his family. The temple dedicated.

Herod, slandered by Syllæus, falls under the displea-

sure of Augustus. Recovers the favour of the emperor.

Puts his two sons to death. Reflections. The angel

appears to Zecharius .

299

LETTER L.

Herod quarrels with his brother, who conspires with An-

tipater. Death of Pheroras. Discovery of Antipater's

plot. The temple of Janus shut. The angel Gabriel

appears to the Virgin Mary. Christ is born at Bethle-

hem. Arrival of the wise men. Herod murders the in-

nocents. Antipater returns from Rome. He is put to

death. Miserable end of Herod. Division of his king-

dom. Archelaus, reigning tyrannically, is deposed.

Judea made a Roman province. The Lord Jesus Christ

comes to his temple. Prophecies fulfilled. Vain ex-

pectation of the Jews. Promises respecting them. So-

ciety for their conversion. Our duties towards them. 307

NOTES

317

HISTORICAL INTERVAL

BETWEEN

THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.

INTRODUCTORY LETTER.

MY DEAR ROBERT, Among the books I lately sent you was one containing a series of letters on the Church Catechism,* and other subjects connected with your profession as a member of the Church of Christ. Though not in the first instance addressed to you, I trust you will consider them as especially intended for your use, as my godson, mentioned in the first of them. I hope you will read them with earnest prayer to Almighty God, that, by the influence of his Holy Spirit, they may be conducive to the good of your immortal soul. It is now your turn to be addressed ; and, as I am not likely to have frequent opportunities of conversing with you, I shall adopt the epistolary mode of writing; because it will subject you to the reading of only a distinct portion at one time, and also give you opportunities of proposing questions, or offering remarks on the subjects I shall recommend to your notice. I was much pleased to

* A Sponsor's Gift.

B

you are

observe, in my late visit, that you have a sincere and ardent desire to improve in the various studies pursuing; but more particularly was I gratified to find that

you are not negligent as to the “ one thing needs ful," as to the attainment of that knowledge by which you may become “ wise unto salvation.”. Your daily private reading of the word of God is a practice so likely to prove of everlasting import, that I trust nothing will ever prevail on you to relinquish or intermit it. The letters I mentioned may be useful to direct you

in this profitable study; and I shall be always ready to afford you any other assistance in my power. Your knowledge of ancient history is doubtless extensive; because, in the course of your classical studie it is almost continually presented to your attention. But profane history is not the most ancient, any more than it is the most important: these two qualities are com: bined in sacred history alone; in the history of God's people contained in the Bible. I have furnished you with a chart of ancient history, which will assist you in a collation of the two branches, sacred and profane e and in order to carry you forward in the pursuit, I now propose to direct your attention to that period wherein the character of inspiration no longer distinguished the records of the Jewish nation ; to that period whick forms a connexion between the history and prophecies of the Old Testament, and the wonderful events and fulfilments recorded in the New Testament. It will be your part, my dear boy, to decide whether my efforts be useful and acceptable in this instance: if they prove so, I shall very likely extend them to other subjects connected with your spiritual improvement. But let us remember that no efforts on my part, nor application of God's pre

on yours can be profitable without the blessing of God's Holy Spirit to direct, enlighten, and sanctify us; guiding our hearts and lives in the

way cepts, and bringing our souls to an entire confidence in his mercy through Christ the only Saviour. That you may have grace to seek this inestimable blessing, and that my endeavours may be made profitable to you, is the sincere prayer of di ,

Your very affectionate, ni Dei11

&c. &c.

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MY DEAR ROBERT, In order to afford you a concise and clear' account of the events which befell the Jews during their captivity in Babylon, and after their return from it, I shall go back to the reign of Jehoahaz, the immediate successor of Josiah, King of Judah ; for, though there is much of their subsequent history contained in the Bible, it is either blended with the writings of the prophets and rulers, or related by the apochryphal writers, in such a manner as to lose the clearness and continuity which are needful to render history intelligible to young minds. I presume you are well acquainted with the history of the kings of Israel and Judah; if not, I would advise you to study it in the Bible itself. Your Chronology of the Bible will help you in tracing the successions, and the Key I lately sent you will direct you to the chapters in which the several reigns are recorded. The destruction of Jerusalem, and the captivity of Judah, had long been foretold by the prophets ; yet

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