Page images

of the Gentiles be fulfilled.' And accordingly Jerusalem has never since been in the possession of the Jews, but hath constantly been in subjection to some other nation, as first to the Romans, and afterwards to the Saracens, and then to the Francs, and then to the Mamalucs, and now to the Turks.

Titus, as it was related before, commanded all the city as well as the temple to be destroyed;* only three towers were left standing for monuments to posterity of the strength of the city, and so much of the wall as encompassed the city on the west, for barracks for the soldiers who were left there in garrison. All the rest of the city was so totally demolished, that there was no likelihood of its ever being inhabited again. The soldiers who were left there, were the tenth legion, with some troops of horse and companies of foot, under the command of Terentius Rufus. When Titus came again to Jerusalem in his way from Syria to Egypt, and beheld the sad devastation of the city, and called to mind its former splendour and beauty, he could not help lamenting over it, and cursing the authors of the rebellion, who had compelled him to the cruel necessity of destroying so fine a city.§ Vespasian ordered all the lands of the Jews to be sold for his own use; and all the Jews, wheresoever they dwelt, to pay each man every year the same sum to the capitol of Rome, that they had before paid to the temple at Jerusalem. The desolation was so complete, that Eleazar said to his countrymen: "What is become of our city, which was believed to be inhabited by God? It is rooted up from the very foundations, and the only monument of it that is left, is the camp of those who destroyed it, still pitched upon its remains. Some unhappy old men sit over the ashes of the temple, and a few women reserved by the enemy for the basest of injuries."¶

The first who rebuilt Jerusalem, though not all exactly on the same spot, was the Roman emperor Ælius Adrian, and he called it after his own name Ælia, and placed in it a Roman colony, and

*Joseph. de Bell. Jud. lib. 7, cap. 1, sect. 1. edit. Hudson.

+ Ibid. sect. 2.

+ Ibid. cap. 2.

§ Ibid. cap. 5, sect. 2.

Ibid. cap. 6, sect. 6.

* Πω γεγονεν ἡμῖν ή τον Θεον έχειν όκιςην πεπιςευμενη; πρόρριζος ἐκ βάθρων ἀνηρπαςαι, και μόνον ἀυτης μνημεῖον ὑπολελειπται, το των ἀνηρηκότων αυτην ςρατοπεδον, ἔτι τοις λείψανοις ἐποικων, πρεσβυται δε δυσηνοι τη σποδω τε τεμένως παρακαθηνται, και γυναίκες ὀλίγαι προς ὑβριν ἀισχιςην ύπο των πολεμίων τετηρημεναι. Quid de ea factum est, quam Deum habitasse credidimus? Radicitus ex fundamentis evulsa est, et id solum ejus monumentum relictum, castra scilicet illorum a quibus excisa est jam reliquiis ejus imposita. Senes vero infelices templi cineribus assident, et paucæ mulieres ad turpissimam pudoris injuriam ab hostibus reservatæ. [Translated in the text.] Ibid. cap. S, sect. 7, p. 1322.

dedicated a temple to Jupiter Capitolinus in the room of the temple of the true God. While he was visiting the eastern parts of the empire, he came to Jerusalem, as Epiphanius informs us,t forty seven years after its destruction by Titus, and found the city all levelled with the ground, and the temple of God trodden under foot, except a few houses: and he then formed the resolution of rebuilding it, but his design was not put into execution till towards the latter end of his reign. The Jews, naturally of a seditious spirit, were inflamed upon this occasion into open rebellion, to recover their native city and country out of the hands of heathen violators and oppressors : and they were healed by a man called Barchochab,§ a vile robber and murderer, whose name signifying the son of a star,' he confidently pretended that he was the person prophesied of by Balaam in those words, Numb. xxiv. 17,— 'There shall come a star out of Jacob, and a sceptre shall rise out of Israel.' They were successful in their first enterprises through the neglect of the Romans; || and it is probable, as the rebellion was raised for this purpose, that they made themselves masters of Ælia, or the new Jerusalem, and massacred or chased from thence the heathen inhabitants, and the Romans besieged and took it again; for we read in several authors, in Eusebius,¶ in Jerome,** in Chrysostom, and in Appian‡‡ who lived at that time, that Jerusalem was again besieged by the Romans under Adrian, and was entirely burnt and consumed. However that be, the Jews were at length subdued with most terrible slaughter; fifty of their strongest castles, and nine hundred and eighty-five of their best towns were sacked and demolished ;§§ five hundred and eighty thousand men fell by the sword in battle, besides an infinite multitude who perished by famine, and sickness, and fire, so that Judea was almost all desolated. The Jewish writers themselves reckon, that doubly more Jews were slain in this war, than came out of Egypt; and

* Dionis Cass. Hist. lib. 69, p. 793, edit. Leunclav. Hanov. 1606.

+ Epiphan. de Mens. et Pond. cap. 14, p. 170, vol. 2, edit. Petavii.

Dionis Hist. ibid.

§ Euseb. Eccles. Hist. lib. 4, cap. 6. Vide etiam Scaligeri Animadvers, in Eusebii Chron. p. 216.

Dionis. Hist. ibid.

Euseb. Demons. Evang. lib. 2, cap. 38, p. 71, lib. 6, cap. 18, p. 286, edit. Paris. 1629.

** Hieron. in Jerem. xxxi. col. 679; in Ezek. v. col. 725; in Dan. ix. col. 1117; in Joel i. col 1340, vol. 3, edit. Benedict.

+ Orat. v. advers. Judæos, vol. 1, p. 645, edit. Benedict.

Appian. De Bell. Syr. p. 119, edit. Steph.; p. 191, edit. Tollii.

§§ Dionis Hist. ibid. p. 794.

that their sufferings under Nebuchadnezzar and Titus were not so great as what they endured under the emperor Adrian.* Of the Jews who survived this second ruin of their nation, an incredible bumber of every age and sex were sold like horses, and dispersed over the face of the earth. The emperor completed his design, rebuilt the city, re-established the colony, ordered the statue of a hog in marble to be set up over the gate that opened towards Bethlehem, and published an edict strictly forbidding any Jew upon pain of death to enter the city, or so much as to look upon it at a distance.§

In this state Jerusalem continued, being better known by the name of Ælia, till the reign of the first Christian emperor, Constantine the Great. The name of Jerusalem had grown into such disuse, and was so little remembered or known, especially among the Heathens, that when one of the martyrs of Palestine, who suffered in the persecution under Maximin, was examined of what country he was, and answered of Jerusalem, neither the governor of the province, nor any of his assistants could comprehend what city it was, or where situated. But in Constantine's time it began to resume its ancient name; and this emperor enlarged and 'eautified it with so many stately edifices and churches, that Eusebius said, more like a courtier than a bishop, that "this perhaps was the new Jerusalem, which was foretold by the prophets." The Jews, who hated and abhorred the Christian religion as much or more than the heathen, assembled again, as we learn from St. Chrysostom, to recover their city, and to rebuild their temple :** but the emperor

* Author libri Juchasin scribit Hadrianum duplo plures Judæos in hoc bello trucidasse quam egressi sint ex Ægypto. Alius libro qui inscribitur 'aba, quem Drusius laudat in Præteritis, Non sic afflixisse eos Nebuchadnezarem neque Titum, sicut Hadrianus imperator. [The author of the hook Juchazin, narrates that Adrian put to death in this war, more than twice as many Jews as came out of Egypt. Another, in a book entitles Malche-Rome, which Drusius commends in his Annals, saith that neither Nebuchadnezzar nor Titus afflicted them so much as the emperor Adrian.] Mede's Works, b. 3, p. 443.

Hieron. in Jerem. xxxi. col. 679; in Zach. xi. col. 1744, vol. 3, edit. Benedict. Chron. Alex. p. 596.

Euseb. et Hieron. Chron. Ann. 137.

§ Euseb. Hist. lib. 4, cap. 6. Hieron. in Is. vi. col. 65, vol. 3, edit. Benedict. Justin. Mart. Apol. Prim. p. 84, edit. Par. p. 71, Thirlbii.

Euseb. de Mart. Palæst. cap 11.

Η Ταχα που ταυτην ἦσαν την δια προφητικών θεσπισματων κεκηρυγμένων καινήν και ναι ερυσαλημ. Atque hæc forsitan fuerit recens illa ac nova Hierusalem, prophetarum vaticiniis prædicata. [Translated in the text.] Euseb. de Vit. Const. lib. 3 cap. 33. ** Chrysostom. Orat. v. advers. Jud Sect. 11. p. 645. Orat. vi. sect. 2. p. 651, vol. 1 edit. Benedict.

with his soldiers repressed their vain attempt; and having caused their ears to be cut off, and their bodies to be marked for rebels, he dispersed them over all the provinces of his empire, as so many fugitives and slaves.


The laws of Constantine, and of his son and successor Constantius, were likewise in other respects very severe against the Jews: out Julian called the Apostate, the nephew of Constantine, and successor of Constantius, was more favourably inclined towards them; not that he really liked the Jews, but disliked the Christians, and out of prejudice and hatred to the Christian religion resolved to reestablish the Jewish worship and ceremonies. Our Saviour had said that Jerusalem should be trodden down of the Gentiles;' and he would defeat the prophecy, and restore the Jews. For this purpose he wrote kindly to the whole body or "community of the Jews.' "'* expressing his concern for their former ill treatment, and assuring them of his protection from future oppression; and concluding with a promise, that "if he was successful in the Persian war, he would rebuild the holy city Jerusalem, restore them to their habitations, live with them there, and join with them in worshipping the great God of the universe."+ His zeal even exceeded his promise; for before he set out from Antioch on his Persian expedition, "he proposed to begin with rebuilding the temple at Jerusalem, with the greatest magnificence. He assigned immense sums for the building. He gave it in charge to Alypius of Antioch who had formerly been lieutenant in Britain, to superintend and hasten the

• Juliani Epist. 25. Indaiwy Tw xow. [Translated in the text.] p. 396, edit. Spanhe mii.

+ - ένα καγω των Περσών πόλεμον διορθωσάμενος, την ἐκ πολλων έτων ἐπιθυμωμένην παρ' ὑμῖν ἔδειν οικεμένην πολιν ἁγιαν Ιερεσαλημ, ἐμοις καματοις ἀνοικοδόμησας οίκησω, και ἐν ἀντη δοξαν δωσω μεθ' ύμων τω T.—Quo et ipse Persico bello ex animi sententia gesto, sanctam urbem Hierusalem, quam multos jam annos habitatam videre desideratis, meis laboribus refectam incolam, et una vobiscum in ea optimo Deo gratiasagam. [Translated in the text.] Ibid. p. 398.

+ Ambitiosum quondam apud Hierosolymam templum, quod post multa et interneciva certamina obsidente Vespasiano posteaque Tito ægre est expugnatum, instaurare sumptibus cogitabat immodicis: negotiumque maturandum Alypio dederat Antiochensi, qui olim Brittannias curaverat pro præfectis. Cum itaque rei idem fortiter instaret Alypius, juraveretque provinciæ rector, metuendi globi flammarum prope fundamenta crebris as sultibus erumpentes, fecere locum exustis aliquoties operantibus inaccessum: hocque modo elemento destinatius repellente, cessavit inceptum. [He purposed at an enormous expence, to rebuild the magnificent temple at Jerusalem, which had been with difficulty destroyed after many bloody battles in the siege which was commenced by Vespasian, and continued by Titus He gave it in charge to Alypius, &c. as in the text.] Amm. Marcell. lib. 23, cap. 1, p 350 edit. Valesii. 1681.

work Alypius set about it vigorously. The governor of the prɔvince assisted him in it. But horrible balls of fire bursting forth near the foundations, with frequent assaults, rendered the place inaccessible to the workmen, who were burnt several times: and in this manner the fiery element obstinately repelling them, the enterprise was laid aside." What a signal providence was it, that this no more than the former attempts should succeed and prosper; and that rather than the prophecies should be defeated, a prodigy was wrought even by the testimony of a faithful heathen historian? The interposition certainly was as providential, as the attempt was impious and the account here given is nothing more than what Julian himself and his own historian have testified. There are indeed many witnesses to the truth of the fact, whom an able critic hath well drawn together, and ranged in this order: "Ammianus Marcellinus a Heathen, Zemuch David a Jew, who confesseth that Julian was divinitus impeditus, hindered by God in this attempt: Nazianzen and Chrysostom among the Greeks, St. Ambrose and Ruffinus among the Latins, who flourished at the very time when this was done: Theodoret and Sozomen orthodox historians, Philostorgius an Arian, Socrates a favourer of the Novatians, who wrote the story within the space of fifty years after the thing was done, and whilst the eye-witnesses of the fact were yet surviving."* But the public hath lately been obliged with the best and fullest account of this whole transaction in Dr. Warburton's Julian, where the evidence for the miracle is set in the strongest light, and all objections are clearly refuted, to the triumph of faith and the confusion of infidelity.

Julian was the last of the Heathen emperors. His successor Jovian made it the business of his short reign, to undo as much as was possible, all that Julian had done: and the succeeding emperors were generally for repressing Judaism, in the same proportion as they were zealous for promoting Christianity. Adrian's edict was revived, which prohibited all Jews from entering into Jerusalem, or coming near the city; and guards were posted to enforce the execution of it. This was a very lucrative station to the soldiers: for the Jews used to give money for permission to come and see the ruins of their city and temple, and to weep over them, especially ou the day whereon Jerusalem had been taken and destroyed by the

Whitby's General Preface, p. xxviii.

+ Augustini, Serm. 5, sect. 5, tom. 5. p. 23, edit. Benedict Antwerp. Sulpicii Severi Hist. lib. 2, p. 99, edit. Elzevir, 1656.

[ocr errors]
« PreviousContinue »