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another, and worse treatment from our enemies, and to have been sensible that the same God, who had of old taken the Jewish nation into his favour, had now condemnned them to destruction; tor had he either continued favourable, or been but in a leller degree displeased with us, he had not overlooked the destruction of so many men, or delivered his moft holy city to be burnt and demolished by our enemies. To be sure, we weakly hoped to have preserved ourselves, and ourlelves alone, still in a state of freedom, as it we had been guilty of no fins ourselves against God, nor been partners with those of others; we also taught other men to preserve their liberty. Wheretore, consider, how God hath convinced us that our hopes were in vain, by bringing such distress upon us in the deiperate state we are now in, and which is beyond all our expectations ; tor the nature of this fortress, which was in itselt unconquerable, hath not proved a means of our deliverance ; and even while we have fill great abundance of food, and a great quantity of arms and other necessaries more than we want, we are openly deprived by God himleit of all hope of deliverance; for that fire which was driven upon our enemies, did not, of its own accord, turn buck upon the wall which we had built ; This was the effeét of God's anger against us for our manitold lins, which we have been guilty of in a most infolent and extravagant manner with regard to our own countrymen; the punishments of which let us not receive from the Romans but íror God himself, as executed by our own hands; for theie will be inore moderate than the other. Let our wives die before they are abused, and our children before they havetaited of flavery ; and after we have slain them, let us beltow that glorious benefit upon one another mutually, and prelerve our. delves in freedom, as an excellent funeral monument for us. But first lei us deltroy our money and the fortress by fire ; for I am wellaflured thai this would be a great grief to the Romans, that they shall not be able to seize upon our bodies, and thall failof our wealih allo ; And let us fpare nothing but our provifions ; for they will be a testimonial when we are dead, tl:at we were not subdued for want of neceflaries, but that, accor. ding to our original resolution, we have preferred death before flavery.”
7. This was Eleazar's speech to them. Yet did not the opinions of all the auditors acquielce therein; but although some of them were very zealous to put his advice in practice, and were in a manner filled with pleasure at it, and thought death to be a good thing, yet had those that were most efferni. nale a commiferation for their wives and families ; and when thele men were especially moved by the prospect of their own certain death, they looked willfully at one another, and by the tears that were in their eyes, declared their dillent from bis opinion. When Eleazar saw these people in such fear, and that their souls were dejećied at lo prodigious a propolal, de
was afraid left perhaps these effeminate persons should by their Jamentations and tears enfeeble those that heard what he had faid courageously; lo he did not leave off exhorting them, but tirred up himself, and recollecting proper arguments for raising their courage, he undertook to speak more briskly and fully to them, and that concerning the immortality of the soul. So he made a lamentable groan, and fixing his eyes intently on those that wept, he ipake thus: “ Truly I was greatly miltaken, when I thought to be assisting to brave men who struggled hard for their liberty, and to such as were relolved either to live with honour, or else to die ; But I find that you are such people as are no better than others, either in virtue or in courage, and are afraid of dying, though you be delivered thereby from the greatest miseries, while you ought to make no delay in this matter, nor to await any one to give you good advice; for the laws of our country, and ot God himself, have from ancient times, and as soon as ever we could use our reafon, continually taught us, and our forefathers have corroborated the same doctrine by their actions, and by their bravery of mind, that it is lite that is a calamily to men, and not death; for this last affords our souls their liberty, and sends them by a removal into their own place of purity, where they are to be insengole of all sorts of misery ; for while fouls are tied down to a mortal budy, they are partakers of its miseries; and real.. ly, to Ipeak the truth, they are themselves dead; for the union of what is divine, to what is mortal, is disagreeable. It is true, the power of the soul is great, even when it is imprisoned in a mortal body; for by moving it after a way that is invisible, it makes the body a sensible initrument, and caules it to advance farıher in its actions, than mortal nature could otherwise do, However, when it is freed from that weight which draws it down to the earth and is connected with it, it obtains its own proper place, and does then become a partaker of that blessed power, and thole abilities which are then every way incapable of being hindered in their operations. It continues invifible, indeed, to the eyes of men, as does God himselt; for certainly it is not itself seen, while it is in the body ; for it is there after an invisible manner, and when it is freed from it, it is still not leen. It is this soul which hath one nature, and that an incorruptible one allo; but yet is it the cause of the change that is made in the body ; for whatsoever it be which the foul touches, that lives and flourishes, and from whatsoever it is remov. ed, that withers away and dies ; such a degree is there in it of immortaliiy. Let me produce the state of sleep as a most evi. dent demonftration of ihe truth of what I say ; wherein fouls, when the body does not distract them, have the sweetest reit depending on themselves, and conversing with God, by their alliance to him ; they then go every where, and foretel many Jucurities before hand. And why are we afraid of death, while We are plealed with the rett that we have in sleep? And how
absurd a thing is it to pursue after liberty while ye are alive, and yet to envy it to ourselves where it will be eternal ? W e . therefore, who have been brought up in a discipline of our own, ought to become an example to others of our readiness to die. Yet, if we do stand in need of foreigners to support us in this matter, let us regard those Indians who protets the exercise of philosophy ; for these good men do bui unwilling. Jy undergo the time of life, and look upon it as a necessary fervitude, and make hafte to let their souls loose from their bodies : Nay, when no misfortune presles them to it, nor drives them upon it, thele have such a delire of a life of immortality, that they tell other men betorehand that they are about to de. part; and nobody hinders them, but every one thinks them happy men, and gives them letters to be carried to their famil. iar friends (that are dead; so firmly and certainly do they believe that souls converse with one another in the other world l. So when these men bave heard all such commands that were to be given them, they deliver their body to the fire; and, in or. der to their getting their loul a separation from the body in the greatest purity, they die in the midft of hymns of commendations made to them: For their dearest friends conduct them to their death more readily than do any of the rest of mankind conduct their fellow-citizens when they are going a very long journey, who at the same time weep on their own account, but look upon the others as happy persons, as lo soon to be made partakers of the immortal order of beings. Are not we, there. fore, alhamed to have lower nutions than the Indians ? and by our own cowardice to lay a base reproach upon the laws of our country, which are so much desired and imitaled by all mankind? But put the case that we had been brought up under another per suasion, and taught that life is the greatest good which men are capable of, and that death is a calamity; however, the circumAtances we are now in ought to be an inducement to us to bear such calamity courageously since it is by the will of God and by necessity that we are to die; for it now appears that God hath made such a decree against the whole. Jewish nation, that we are to be deprived of this lite which she knew] we would not make a due ule of. For do not yon alcribe the occasion of our prelent condition to yourselves, nor think the Romans are the true occasion that this war we have had with them is become so destructive to us all. These things have not come to pass by their power, but a more powerful caule hath intervened, and made us afford them an occasion of their ap. pearing to be conquerors over us. What Roman weapons, 1 pray you, were thole, by which the Jews of Cefarea were flain? On the contrary, when they were no way disposed to rebel, but were all the while keeping their seventh day festival, and did not so much as lift up their hands against the citizens of Celarea, yet did those citizens run upon them in great crowds, and cut their throats, and the throats of their wives and children, and this without any regard to the Romans themselves, who never took us for their enemies till we revolted from them. But some may be ready to lay, that truly the people of Celarea had always a quarrel against those that lived among them, and that when an opportunity offered itself they only satisfied the old rancour they had against them. What then shall we say to those of Scythopolis, who ventured to wage war with us on account of the Greeks ?' Nor did they do it by way of revenge upon the Runang when they acted in concert with our countrymen. Wherefore you lee how little our good. will and fidelity to them profited us, while they were Nain, they did iheir whole tamilies, after the most inhuman manner, which was all the requital that was made them for the aslift. ance they had afforded the others : For that very same deftruction which they had prevented from falling upon the others, did they suffer themselves from them, as if they had been ready to be the actors against them. It would be too long, for me to speak at this time of every destruction brought upon us ; for you cannot but know, that there was not any one Syrian city, which did not slay their Jewish inhabitants, and were not more bitter enemies to us than were the Romans themselves : Nay, even those of Damascus,* when they were able to allege no tolerable pretence against us, filled their city with the most barbarous daughters ot our people, and cut the throats of eighteen thousand Jews, with their wives and children. And as to the multitude of thole that were sain in Egypt, and that with torments allo, we have been informed they were more than fixty thousand; those indeed being in a foreign country, and so naturally meeting with nothing to oppole against their en. emies, were killed in the manner forementioned. As for all those of us who have waged war against the Romans, in our own country, had we not sufficient reason to have sure hopes. of victory ? For we had arms, and walls, and fortrelles so prepared as not to be easily taken, and courage not to be moved by any dangers in the cause of liberty, which encouraged us all to revoli from the Romans. But then, these advaniages suffi. ced us but for a short time, and only raised our hopes, while they really appeared to be the origin of our miseries ; for all we had hath been taken from us, and all hath fallen under our enemies, as if these advantages were only to render their viltory over us the more glorious, and were not disposed for the preservation of those by whom these preparations were made. Aad as for those that are already dead in the war, it is reasonable we should esteem them blested, for they are dead in defending, and not in betraying their liberty ; but as to the multitude of those that are now under the Romans, who would not pity their coadition ? and who would not make hite to die, beiore he would luffer the same mileries with them ? Soine of them have been put upon the rack, and tortured with fire and whip
pings, and so died. Some have been half devoured by wit beaits, and yet have been reserved alive to be devoured by them a second time, in order to afford laughter and sport 'to our enemies ; and such of those as are alive fill, are 'to be looked on as the most miserable, who being so defirous of death, could not come at it. And where is now that great city, the metropolis of the Jewish nation ? which was fortified 'by so many walls round about, which had so many fortresses, and large towers to detend it, which could hardly contain the inftruments prepared for the war, and which had so many ten thousands of men to fight for it? Where is this city that was believed to have God himself inhabiting therein ? It is now demolished to the very foundations, and hath nothing but that monument of it preserved, I mean the camp of those that hath destroyed it, which ftill dwells upon its ruins; some unfortu. nate old men also lie upon the ashes of the temple, and a few women are there preferved alive by the enemy, for our bitter shame and reproach. Now, who is there that revolves these things in his mind, and yet is able to bear the fight of the fun, though he might live out of danger ? Who is there so much his country's enemy, or so unmanly, and so desirous of living, as not to repent that he is still alive? And I cannot but with that we had all died, betore we had seen that holy city demolished by the hands of our enemies, or the foundations of our holy temple'dug up atter fo protane a manner. But since we had a generous hope that deluded us, as if we might perhaps have been able to avenge ourselves on our enemies on that account, though it be now become vanity, and hath left us alone in this distress, let us make hafte to die bravely. Let us pity oor. * felves, our children, and our wives, while it is in our own power to shew pity to them ; for we * were born to die, as well as those were whom we have begotten; nor is it in the power of the most happy of our race to avoid it. But for abuses, and flavery, and the sight of our wives led away after an igno. minious manner, with their children, these are not such evils as are natural and necessary among men ; although such as do not preler death before those miseries, when it is in their power so to do, must undergo even them on account of their own cowardice. We revolted from the Romans with great preten. sions to courage, and when, at the very last, they invited us to preserve ourselves, we would not comply with them. Who will not, therefore, believe that they will certainly be in a rage at us, in case they can take us alive? Miserable will then be the young men, who will be strong enough in their bodies to fustain many torments; milerabie also will be those of elder years, who will not be able to bear those calamities which young men might sustain. One man will be obliged to hear the voice of his lon implore help of his father, when his hands
* Reland here sets down a parallel aphorism of one of the Jewish rabbins, “ We are born that we may die, and die that we may live."