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they deem it safe for them to alter their conduct ; but as for the people, they had a great inclination to desert to the Romans : accordiogly, some of them sold what they had, and even the most precious things that had been laid up as treasures by them, for a very small matter, and swallowed down pieces of gold, that they might not be found out by the robbers ; and when they had escaped to the Romans, went to stool, and had wlierewithal to provide plentifully for themselves : for Titus let a great number of them go away into the country whither they pleased. And the main reasons why they were so ready to desert were these, that now they should be freed from those miseries which they had endured in that city, and yet should not be in slavery to the Romans : however, John and Simon, with their factions, did more carefully watch these men's going out, than they did the coming in of the Romans; and if any one did but afford the least shallow of suspicion of such an intention, his throat was cut immediately.
2. But as for the richer sort, it proved all one to them whether they staid in the city, or attempted to get out of it; for they were equally destroyed in both cases; for every such person was put to death under this pretence, that they were going to desert, but in reality that the robbers might get what they had. The madness of the seditious did also increase together with their famine, and both those miseries were every day anflamed more and more ; for there was no corn which any where appeared publicly, but the robbers came running into, and searched men's private houses : and then, if they found any, they tormented them, because they had denied they had any, and if they found none, they tormented them worse, because they supposed they had more carefully concealed it. The indication they made use of, whether they had any or not; was taken from the bodies of these miscrable wretches ; which, if they were in good case, they supposed they were in no want at all of food ; but if they were wasted away, they walked off without searching any farther : nor did they think it proper to kill such as these, because they saw they would very soon die of themselves for want of food. Many there were indeed who sold what they had for one measure ; it was of wheat, if they were of the richer sort, but of barley, if they were poorer. When these had so done, they shut themselves up in the inmost rooms of their houses, and eat
the corn they had gotten ; some did it without grinding it, by reason of the extremity of the want they were in, and others baked bread of it, according as necessity and fear dictated to them : a table was no where laid for a distinct meal, but they snatched the bread out of the fire, half-baked, and eat it very hastily.
3. It was now a miserable case, and a sight that would justly bring tears into our eyes, how men stood as to their food, while the more powerful had more than enough, and the weaker were lamenting (for want of it). But the famine was too hard for all other passions, and it is destructive to nothing so much as to modesty ; for what was otherwise worthy of reverence was in this case despised ; insomuch that children pulled the very morsels that their fathers were cating out of their very inouths; and, what was still more to be pitied, so did the mothers do as to their infants ; and when those that were most dear were perishing under their hands, they were not ashamed to take from them the very last drops that might preserve their lives : and while they eat after this manner, yet were they not concealed in so doing ; but the seditious every where came upon them immediately, and snatched away from them what they had gotten from others; for when they saw any house shut up, this was to them a signal that the people within had gotten some food ; whereupon they broke open the doors, and ran in, and took pieces of what they were eating almost up out of their very throats, and this by force : the old men, who held their food fast were beaten, and if the women hid what they had within their hands, their hair was torn for so doing ; nor was there any commiseration shewn either to the aged, or to the infants, but they lifted up children from the ground, as they hung upon the morsels they had gotten, and shook them down upon the floor. But still were they more barbarously cruel to those that had prevented their coming in, and had actually swallowed down what they were going to seize upon, as if they had been unjustly defrauded of their right. They also invented terrible methods of torments, to discover where any food was, and they were these ; to stop up the passages of the privy parts of the miserable wretches, and to drive sharp stakes up their fundaments; and a man was forced to bear what is terrible even to hear, in order to make him confess that he had hut one loaf of bread, or that he might discover an handful of barley-meal that was concealed; and this was done when these tormentors were not themselves hungry ; for the thing had been less barbarous, had necessity forced them to it ; but this was done to keep their madness in exercise, and as making preparation of provisions for themselves for the following days. These men went also to meet those that had crept out of the city by night, as far as the Roman guards, to gether some plants and herbs that grew wild; and when those people thought they had got clear of the enemy, these snatched from them what they had brought . with them, even while they had frequently entreated them, and that by calling upon the tremendous nanie of God, to give them back some part of what they had brought; though these would not give them the least crumb, and they were to be well contented that they were only spoiled, and not slain at the same time.
4. These were the afflictions which the lower sort of people suffered from these tyrants’ guards; but, for the men that were in dignity, and withal were rich, they were carried before the tyrants themselves; some of them were falsely accused of laying treacherous plots, and so were destroyed; others of them were charged with designs of betraying the city to the Romans; but the readiest way of all was this, to suborn somebody to affirm, that they were resolved to desert to the enemy. And he who was utterly despoiled of what he had by Simon, was sent back again to John; as of those who had been already plundered by John, Simon got what remained ; insomuch that they drank the blood of the populace to one another, and divided the dead bodies of the poor creatures between them: so that although, on account of their ambition after dominion, they contended with each other, yet did they very well agree in their wicked practices; for he that did not communicate what he got by the miseries of others to the other tyrant, seemed to be too little guilty, and in one respect only ; and he that did not partake of what was so communicated to him grieved at this, as at the loss of what was a valuable thing, that he had no share in such barbarity.
5. It is therefore impossible to go distinctly over every instance of these men's iniquity. I shall therefore speak my mind here at once briefly, that neither did any other city ever suffer such miseries, nor did any age ever breed a generation more fruitful in wickedness than this was, from
the begioning of the world. Finally, they brought the Hebrew nation into contempt, that they might themselves appear comparitively less impious with regard to strangers. They confessed what was true, that they were the slaves, the scum, and the spurious and abortive offspring of our nation, while they overthrew the city themselves, and forced the Romans, whether they would or no, to gain a melancholy reputation by acting gloriously against them, and did almost draw that fire upon the temple, which they seemed to think came too slowly : and indeed, when they saw that temple burning from the upper city, they were neither troubled at it, por did they shed any tears on that account, while yet those passions were discovered anong the Romans themselves. Which circumstances we shall speak of hereafter in their proper place, when we come to treat of such matters,
How the Jews were crucified before the walls of the city. Concerne
ing Antiochus Epiphanes. And how the Jews overthrew the banks that had been raised by the Romans,
ö 1. So now, Titus's banks were advanced a great way, notwithstanding his soldiers had been very much distressed from the wall. he then sept a party of horsemen and ordered they should lay ambushes for those that went out into valleys to gather food. Some of these were indeed fighting men, who were not contented with what they got by rapine ; but the greater part of them were poor people, who were deterred from deserting by the concern they were under for their own relations; for they could not hope to escape away, together with their wives and children, without the knowledge of the seditious ; nor could they think of leaving these relations to be slain by the robbers ou their account ; nay the severity of the famine made them bold in thus going out: so nothing remained but that, when they were concealed from the robbers, they should be taken by the enemy, and when they were going to be taken, they were forced to defend themselves for fear of being punished ; as after they had fought, they thought it too late to make any supplications for mercy; so they rere
first whipped, and then tormented with all sorts of tortures before they died, and were then crucified * before the wall of the city. This miserable procedure made Titus greatly to pitty them, while they caught every day five hundred Jews ; nay, some days they caught more: yet did it not appear to be safe for him to let those that were taken by force to go their way, and to set a guard oyer so many, he saw, would be to make such as guarded them useless to him. The main reason why he did not forbid that cruelty was this, that he hoped the Jews might perhaps yield at that sight, out of fear lest they might themselves afterwards be liable to the same cruel treatment. So the soldiers, out of the wrath and hatred they bore the Jews, nailed * those they caught, one after one way, and another after another, to the crosses, by way of jest, and when their multitude was so great, that room was wanting for the crosses, and crosses wanting for the bodies.
2. But so far were the seditious from repenting at this sad sight, that, on the contrary, they made the rest of the multitude believe otherwise ; for they brought the relations of those that had deserted upon the wall, with such of the populace as were very eager to go over upon the security offered them, and shewed them what miseries those underwent who fled to the Romans; and told them, that those who were caught were supplicants to them, and not such as were taken prisoners. This sight kept many of those within the city who were so eager to desert, till the truth was known : yet did some of them run away immediately as unto certain punishment, esteeming death from their eneinies to be a quiet departure, if compared with that by famine. So Títus commanded that the hands of many of those that were caught should be cut off, that they might not be thought deserters, and might be credited on account of the calamity they were under, and sent them in to John and Simon, with this exhortation, That “they would now “at length leave off [their madness), and not force him to “ destroy the city, whereby they would have those advan“ tages of repentance, even in their utmost distress, that
* Reland very properly takes notice here, how justly this judgment came upon the Jews, when they were crucified in such multitudes together, that the Romans wanted room for the crosses, and crosses for the bodies of these Jews, since they had brought this judgment on theinselves by the crucifirion of their Messia's.