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tributary to the king of Assyria, he came up against Jerusalem, but the Lord heard the cry of his repentant people, and the proud defiance of the God of Sabaoth by the Assyrian. The angel breathed upon his armed hosts, and they perished,
"Like the leaves of the forest when summer is green,
That host with their banners at sunset were seen :
And there lay the steed with his nostril all wide,
And the widows of Ashur are loud in their wail,
Such was the direct infliction of punishment upon Assyria by the hand of God.
When Judea's sins had finally deprived her of heavenly aid, at a later period, Jerusalem was taken, the temple plundered, and the people were carried to the east as slaves. Thus the captivity of the kingdom of Judah was completed, as the reward of her sins against the King of kings.
At length a rebellion of Media and Babylonia destroyed by force the Assyrian empire. Babylon then rose by the sword, and became the inheritor of the Hebrew slaves, and the golden vessels of the temple. Confident in her power, her king gave a feast, and sent for the sacred vessels for sacrilegous use. While he raised a. consecrated golden vessel to his impious lips, a heavenly hand wrote on the wall, Mene, mene, Tekel, Upharsin, and the dominion, the spoils, and the captives of Assyria passed to the Persian conqueror Cyrus.
“Belshazzar's grave is made,
The shroud his robe of state,
Who knoweth the place of Babylon ? Where are her gates of brass—her lofty walls—her towering battlements, and glittering domes? Where are her embattled hosts and her gold clad kings? All are gone. War has been there, and desolation in her desert reigns alone.
In their entire history, the Jews present a striking illustration of national suffering for national sin. In their severe calamities and multiplied afflictions, the hand of heaven is apparent. They teach us the existence of general moral laws—the violations of which, have called down upon this offending people the just punishments of the Almighty.
We come to the examination of Roman history, which fully confirms our doctrine. The Roman and the eastern or Byzantine empires, cover twenty-two centuries; and this iron commonwealth, when Augustus assumed the royal purple, ruled one hundred and twenty millions of people, sixty millions of whom were slaves, captured by force or fraud in war-and a large portion of the residue were composed of conquered and tributary nations. The extent of the Roman empire was about three thousand miles by two thousand, and included Britain, Gaul, Spain, Germany, Macedonia, Greece, Egypt, Numidia, Carthage, Sicily and various other countries. In solidity, extent, and duration, the Roman dominion surpassed all ancient states and empires. The prophet might well have proclaimed an iron rule, when the image of that power passed before the eye of the holy
From a small city, the Romans extended their authority, by aggression and violence, over the Italian nations, and in a few centuries, all Italy became subject to Rome. As their territory was extended by conquest, one portion of the lands of the enemy were seized for public use, ther portion was assigned by law to, and divided among
the Plebeians. The Patricians, forming a hereditary Senate, first of one hundred, and at a later period, of three hundred, held after the ex
pulsion of the kings most of the powers of the State
The Consuls, though nominally elected by the people, were for a long period Patricians; and subsequently senatorial influence controlled these elections. The Assemblies of the people, as well as the Senate, possessed and exercised legislative power, after they had by violence established the office of Tribune of the people. But in every age of the commonwealth, Patrician influence or Patrician swords directed the democracy of Rome. This influence was less felt in the first
of the Republic, when the Romans were owners in fee simple of lands, and independent proprietors. As her conquests extended, she assumed to own the persons and property of the defeated; and the Patricians by purchase of slaves, and encroachment on the public domains, soon became large and rich proprietors, depending for support and power only on their slaves, plantations, and here. ditary honors. Slavery thus destroyed the mutual, natural, and necessary dependence of the Patrician and Plebeian—the morals of the rich, and the industry of the lower orders. With loss of industry, and with devotion to war, the common people lost their property, which, by purchase passed to the great Patrician slaveholders. The wars not only ruined the common free Romans,
by transferring to slaves the industrial pursuits of Italy, and to their masters, the rewards of all branches of industry; but they enriched by robbery and bribery the Senators and Roman generals. In the days of the Gracchi, those true friends of the Roman people, an attempt was made to take from the rich, a part of the public domain, which they held contrary to the Licinian law, and to reestablish the impoverished Italians as owners of the soil. The Patricians put down these patriotic and noble efforts of the Gracchi, by killing them and more than three thousand of the people. The Roman sword, which had prostrated and robbed mighty nations, cut down forever the power of the Plebeians, and consigned them to indolence, poverty, corruption, and misery. Sylla of the aristocracy, and Marius of the democracy, continued this bloody civil war, and after them came Pompey and Cæsar, with their intestine war, and then the Triumvirate, with their terrrible contests, which changed the Roman oligarchy into an imperial tyranny. While Roman robbers were fighting for the spoils of pillaged nations, they naturally disregarded all right of liberty and property in Italy. Sylla and those who succeeded him, took Roman life and property at will, and made the Romans feel the same evils they had inflicted on prostrate nations. Slavery brought upon