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THE SACRED CABINET.

66

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To the Reader.

THE editor of THE SACRED CABINET, in introducing his little charge to his fellow christians, would say a few words explanatory of his views.

This work will be chiefly, and indeed almost entirely composed of select literature; the only dependance for originality resting on the gratuitous contributions of friends, with an occasional article issuing from the spontaneous exercise of his own thoughts upon important subjects suggested by experience and observation. This statement, while it involves, as the editor would desire, the renunciation of all save the humblest literary pretensions on his own part, yet seems to admit of the highest merit in the work itself.

It is his belief, that many of the most sterling religious works are still either generally inaccessible, or almost entirely hid in obscurity. It will therefore be his agreeable and solicitous endeavor to make the most valuable selections, containing the choicest fruits of the greatest minds that have ever been employed in the cause of Revealed Truth: nothing but what is in accordance with that truth being on any account allowedly admitted. With these views he hopes to present a work, which, though humble, will be acceptable to ALL Christians, and be found a source of spiritual edification and worthy enjoyment.

The Dignity and Glory of Christ.

DR DWIGHT.

THIS divine person was from everlasting, underived, independent, all-sufficient, and unchangeable in his being, wisdom,

goodness, and power. All things were the work of his hand, and lay beneath his feet. At the head of a kingdom, filling immensity and eternity, "he was ;" and, in comparison with him, "there was none else." "All nations before him were as nothing, and were counted unto him as less than nothing and vanity." Angels in his presence veiled their faces, and archangels durst not attempt to penetrate the unapproachable light with which he clothed himself as with a garment. obey him was their highest honor; to please him was their greatest happiness. In his service they employed all their powers, and found all their transports. Suns lighted up their fires at his bidding; systems rolled to fulfil his pleasures; and, to accomplish his designs, immensity was stored with worlds and their inhabitants.

To

If

"All things were" not only "made by him," but "for him." They were his property; they were destined to fulfil his pleasure. When he looked on all the beauty, greatness, and glory, conspicuous in the beings which compose, and which inhabit, the universe, he beheld nothing but the works of his own hands, reflecting the boundless beauty, greatness, and glory, which, in forms and varieties infinite, were treasured up from everlasting in his own incomprehensible mind. he chose to bring into existence any additional number of creatures, to display new forms and varieties of power, wisdom, and goodness, pre-existent in his own perfect intellect, his choice would instantaneously give them being. To the universe which he had made, he could, with infinite ease, add another, and another; and fill with worlds, and suns, and systems, those desolate wilds of immensity, where the wing of angels never ventured to rove, and whither no created mind ever sent out a solitary thought. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace.

2

Jerusalem ;*

ITS HISTORY FROM THE TIME OF CHRIST,

AND ITS PRESENT CONDITION.

but none

THE war which ended in the destruction of Jerusalem and
the subversion of the Jewish nation, first broke out in the
Its origin may be
year 66 A.D., and terminated in 71 A.D.
distinctly traced to the oppressive and insulting measures of
Gessius Florus, the procurator of Judea, who was unquestion-
ably the worst Roman governor the Jews ever had. He re-
ceived his appointment from the emperor Nero in the year
65. This man was not the first tyrannical, cruel, or avaricious
governor which the Jews had received from Rome;
were so tyrannical and cruel in principle, nor any so insatiably
avaricious as Florus. There were no means whatever at which
he scrupled in order to fill his coffers. As one instance, we
may mention, that the robbers which for some years greatly
abounded in Judea, well understood that they might carry
on their depredations with perfect impunity, provided they
consequence
a share of their plunder. The
the
gave governor
was, that they rapidly increased in numbers and daring. From
this and other causes, the condition of the people became so
miserable, and life and property so insecure, that great num-
bers emigrated to foreign countries, being no longer able to en-
dure the miseries they suffered at home. When Florus saw
that he had made himself thoroughly detested, and that the
Jews were likely to complain against him to his superiors, he
adopted the deep and atrocious policy of driving them to re-
volt, that their cries for justice might be drowned in the clash
of arms-that in their greater crimes his own might be for-
But to lay the
gotten. In this he but too well succeeded.
entire blame of the war on the procurator, would be to take
a very superficial view of the transactions of this eventful time.
The cause lay far deeper-it lay in the condition and state of
feeling of the Jewish nation, which afforded the governor
suitable materials on which to operate: and if these had not
existed, his attempt probably would not have been made, or,
if made, would have proved abortive.

Even in the time of Christ, the Jews were highly dissatis-
fied with their condition under the Romans; so that they even
doubted whether their submission were not in itself unlawful,
and whether the assertion of their independence were not a
duty, the neglect of which involved a want of due reliance
upon

Him who had been their Strong Deliverer of old; but

PICTORIAL BIBLE; Charles Knight and Co., London.-A work abounding with information valuable to all Christians.

With our next will be presented a very beautiful view of Jerusalem, taken from Light's Travels.

upon the whole, they were disposed for the present to
wait a little, not more from expediency, than because they
doubted that the time for exertion was fully come until the
ardently expected Messiah should appear, to lead them on to
victory and independence. They did not however wait very
mans; and their eagerness made them but too ready to listen
patiently. Their expectations were well known to the Ro-
to the dreamers, false prophets and pretended Messiahs, who
partial disturbances and insurrections from time to time; so
promised them great things. This and other causes led to
that upon the whole the Jews were looked upon as bad and
turbulent subjects by the Romans, who fully returned upon
them the dislike with which they were themselves regarded.
The measures of Florus did but kindle into a general blaze
the fire which had smouldered long, and which had thrown
forth a brief and partial flame more than once before.

In whatever point of view the condition of the Jews be at
this time regarded, it is exceedingly difficult to see any thing
that is not painful and distressing. The nation was divided
into parties which regarded one another with implacable ha-
tred and bitterness, that often broke forth into acts of mur-
derous violence. Perhaps the history of no country offers a
parallel to the party violence which at this time raged in Ju-
dea. It was the duty of the procurator to have kept this
party spirit under, or at least to have prevented its more
violent excesses; but in the contentions of the people he found
a ready means of enriching himself, by levying contributions
on, and accepting bribes from, the adverse parties in turn.
He therefore rather sought to foment than to allay their diffe-
rences-particularly when it became his policy to drive the
nation into open revolt. He looked on with pleasure to see
the Jews themselves working the destruction which he desired
to bring upon them. The people generally were fretful and
turbulent, ready to give heed to any delusion, and to act upon
Even the chief priests
it. There was no order, no peace.
formed themselves into a faction, opposed, on the one hand,
to the inferior priests, and on the other to the principal lay-
The former found adherents among the people; and
from words the two factions often proceeded to blows and the
throwing of stones; while the inferior clergy, finding the
tithes on which they lived taken violently away by the ser-
vants of their superiors, were compelled to resist, in order to
preserve the means of subsistence. The land was also over-
run by robbers and murderers. The former, often acting in
powerful bands, devastated the country with fire and sword;
while the latter, who arose in the time of Felix (53—60 a.d.),
and were never after extirpated, were regular assassins.
They were called Sicarii, from the short dagger (sica) which

men.

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they employed. They wore this under their garments, and, mingling in a crowd, would dispatch their victim, and conceal themselves among the multitude. In this manner they not only disposed of their own enemies, but were quite ready, for pay, to perform the same atrocious service for any other persons who thought proper to employ them. And they were employed even by Roman governors, on the one hand, and Jewish high priests on the other.

After this general statement we may return to the progress of the revolt.

In the year 66 A.D., an edict from the emperor was received at Cæsarea, by which the Greek and Syrian inhabitants were gratified by being placed in the first rank of citizens, above the Jews, who had hitherto enjoyed that privilege. This was followed by gross insults, from the favored parties, upon the religion of the Jewish inhabitants. Then ensued commotions, quelled by the Roman troops: and the result was, that the Jews withdrew their sacred books from the synagogue and carried them to Narbata, a place about two miles from Cæsarea. For this decided measure, Florus threw into prison several of the principal Jews who had gone to Sebaste (Samaria) to lay their grievances before him. This oppressive act created a great sensation throughout Judea, and particularly at Jerusalem; in the midst of which a demand was received from the procurator for seventeen talents from the treasury of the Temple. This raised a tumult in the city, in which reproaches and imprecations were publicly heaped upon the tyrannical governor. Florus himself arrived to enforce his demand, and hearing of what had happened, demanded that the persons who had joined in the reproaches cast upon him should be delivered up to him. He would listen to no explanations; and, in revenge, gave his soldiers permission to plunder the upper market. They not only did this, but pillaged many private houses, and slew their inhabitants. Many of the best citizens were also dragged before the procurator, and, by his orders, scourged and crucified. Under all this the chief priests and principal citizens exerted themselves to keep the people quiet; and they succeeded for the time but the crisis came when Florus attempted to enter the temple with his soldiers. The people could not bear this profanation, and resisted with such bravery and success, that the Romans retired to the royal castle for refuge. Florus, having kindled the flame of rebellion, withdrew from the city, and sent notice of what had occurred to his superior, Cestius Gallus, prefect of Syria, who thereupon set his army in motion against the revolters.

In the mean time king Agrippa (the "almost Christian") arrived at Jerusalem, and successfully exerted himself in pa

cifying the people, and persuading them to remain subject to the Romans. But soon after, when he advised them to continue obedient to Florus, until another procurator should be appointed, they assaulted him with stones, and drove him from the city. The inhabitants then divided themselves into two great factions, the one being for continued obedience and submission to the Romans, and the other determined to persist in rebellion. The former took possession of the upper city, while the latter held the lower city and the Temple. The two factions often fought desperately against each other, and with varying success. The revolters were soon headed by Menahem, a son of the notorious Judas of Galilee, who came with a band of well-armed robbers and others. He assumed the title of king, and took the direction of the siege of the royal castle, in which the Romans were shut up; and this with such success, that the latter surrendered, on condition of being allowed to depart in peace. This was very readily granted on oath; but no sooner did the Romans lay down their arms than they were all massacred, except their commander Metilius, who became a Jew to save his life. This, and some other of the more atrocious transactions of the war, took place on the sabbath; and on the very same day there was a general massacre of the Jews at Cæsarea. This last event enraged the provincial Jews beyond endurance, and the war became general throughout the country, which presented one scene of bloodshed and confusion. The Jews assembled in great numbers, and pillaged and devastated the towns chiefly occupied by the Syrians, on both sides of the Jordan; in revenge for which the Syrians massacred those Jews who dwelt in their cities, sparing only the proselytes to the Jewish faith, whom they did not yet venture to attack, and who remained the objects of their hatred and fear. Thus every city was divided against itself the whole country streamed with blood, and was rent by the most savage commotions nor was the flame confined to the Jewish provinces, but extended to Syria, Egypt, and other neighboring countries, in whose towns Jews were settled in considerable numbers. Although this general provincial rising was not primarily against the Romans, they were necessarily mixed up with the general strife, particularly from the part they took, and the transactions which had recently occurred. The Jewish insurgents cut to pieces the Roman garrison at Cypros, near Jericho; and obliged the soldiers stationed at Macharus to yield up that strong fortress.

Thus the land was pervaded by the "wars and rumors of wars" to which our Saviour appears to refer in Matt. xxiv.; but, as he adds, "the end was not yet.”

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