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ters S. P. O. R. were written on the Roman Standard for Senatus Populus Que Romanus, i e. the Roman Sepate and People. Jesus Christ our Saviour hath been called a Fif, in Greek IXOTE, by the Fathers, because these are the first Letters of those Greek Words, Jesus Chrif, God's Son, the Saviour.
SECT. VI. Of the JEWISH Government
under the MACC A B EES of Asmo 'N E ANS: and first, of the three Bro
ther's JUDAS, JONATHAN, and SIMON.
IQ. W HAT valiant Actions did Judas and
! his Brethren do in Defence of the Law, and against the Perfecutors? A. He won many Battles against King Antiochus and his Generals, and incouraged himself and his Soldiers in the Name of God whensoever they began to faint.
2 Q Where are these Acts of Judas and his Brethren recorded ? A. The earliest Account of them is found in the first and second Books of Maccabees...
Herë note, That the first Book of Maccabees is a very accurate and excellent History, and comes nearest to the Stile and Manner of the sacred Writings, and is supposed to be written a little after these Perfecutions and Wars were ended : But the second Book confifts of several Pieces of much less Value: It begins with two Epiftles from the Jews of Jerusalem, but both are supposed to be fabulous Stories, and in some Parts imposible to be true, The following parts of it pretend to be an Abridgment of the History of one y ajon, it relates some of the Perfecutions of Antiochus, and the Aas of Judas ampliSed with particular Circumstances, but it is not of
- egual equal Efteem with the first Book, for it seems to affect Miracles and prodigious Events beyond reasonable Credibility.
3 Q. How did King Anticchus resent these ato tempts of Judas, and his Successes against him? A. When he went into Persia to gather the Tribute of the Countries there, he left Lyftas with half his Army, and with express Orders to destroy and root the Jews out of their Land.
4 Q. Did Lysias pursue the King's Orders ? A. Yes, with great Diligence he sought to execute these cruel Orders: His Army of forty thou. fand Foot, and seven thousand Horse encamped at Emmaus near Jerusalem, and another Army of a thousand Merchants flocked thither upon Prefumption of their Victory, with great Quantities of Silver and Gold to buy the Captives for Slaves.
5 Q. How did their wicked Counsel to destroy Israel Jucceed? A. When they were thus fecure and confident of Success, Judas and his Brethren assembled in Mimpah, fafted, put on Sack-cloth, laid open the Book of the Law before God' where the Heathens had painted their Images, cried mightily unto God for Help, founded the Trumpets, brought the Army into Order, and prepared for Battle and for Death, unless God pleased to make them Conquerors.
6 Q. What was the Event of fo much pious Zeal and Courage? A. Judas and his Army put to Aight and destroyed leveral large Parties that Lyfias · bad fent against him, they drove the Enemy out of
Jerusalem, and almoft out of the Land of Judea, and took a very large Booty both from the Army and the Merchants.
. Q. What was the first Work that Judas and his people applied themselves to upon this great Succefs? A. They went up into Mount Sion, and when they saw the Sanctuary desolate, the Altar profaned, the Gates burnt up, Shrubs and Grass
growing in the Courts of the Temple, they rent · their Clothes, fell down upon their faces, and
made great Lamentation with humble Cries to Heaven.
8 Q. Had they Power and Time to repair the Temple, and restore the Worship of God? A. Yes, they applied themselves to the Work with all Diligence, they fought out Priests of blameless Conversation to cleanse the Sanctuary, they pulled down the Altar of Burnt-offering, because the Heathen had defiled it, they built a new Altar as the Law directs with whole Stones, they made new holy Vessels, the Altar of Incense, the Table, and the Candlesticks, all of Gold, which they had taken from their Enemies, and they set all the Parts of divine Worship in order again, and offered Sacrifice according to the Law.
9 Q. How did they kindle the facred Fire on the Aliar? A. Having lost the Fire which came down from Heaven, which was kept burning on the Alfar at Jerufalem before the Babylonijh Captivity, zhey struck Fire witb ,Flints, and so kindled the Sacrifices and the Lamps, 2. Mac. x. 3.
Nore, we do not read that the second Temple ever bad this facred Fire; the Story of Jeremiab's hiding it, in 2 Mac. chap. i. is counted a mere Fable.
10 Q. Was there any thing remarkable in the Time or Day of this Restoration of Temple-Worship? A. That very Day three Years wherein the Heatben had prophaned the Altas by the Offering
of unclean Beasts on it, it was dedicated with
12 Q. Did the Worship of Ġod continue long here: after this Solemnity ? A. We are told by Historians, that it continued from this Time without' any Interruption from the Heathens till the Deo struction of the Temple by the Romans, though Jerufalem and the Temple were often in the Hands of the Heathens,
Note, Some say this was that very Feast of Dedication which our Saviour honoured with his Presence at Jerne falem, though others think it was the Dedication of Soo Lomon's Temple ; yet the Season being Winter, it raches: agrees to the Time of Maccabeus's Dedication.
13 Q. Were not the Jews at all annoyed or dia fturbed by the Enemy in this pious Work? A. There was still that Fortress built by Apollonius remaining in the Hand of the Heathens and apostàte 7ews it stood on Mount Acra, a rising Ground overagainst the Mountain of the Temple, and rather higher than that Mountain, whence the Jews received fome Annoyance in going to the Temple.
14 Q. What farther Care did Judas and his People take for their own Security? A. When they could not drive out the Enemy at once, they built up Mount Sion with high Walls and ftrong Towers, and put a Garison there to keep it, and as far as possible to secure the Priests and People when they went to worship, and to prevent the Gentiles from treading down the Sanctuary again.
15 Q. Did Judas and the People continue to en. joy Peace? 1. Though they maintained the Tem. ple-Worship, yet they were still engaged in War: For all the Nations round about them were much displeased that the Sanctuary was restored, and they attacked the Jews on every Side; but God gave Judas and his Brethren the Vi&ory in many Battles, and they returned to Jerusalem, and gave Thanks to God in Sion for his remarkable Protection of them, that they had not loft one Man, i Mac. v. 54.
16 Q. Did Judas make any more Expeditions against bis Enemies? A. He led forth his Forces against Gorgias one of Antiochus's Generals, and against the Idumeans who had been very vexatious to the Jews; and though several of the Jews were flain, yet fudas renewing the Courage of his Army by singing Psalms with a loud Voice, and rushing upon their Enemies, put them to fight.
17 Q. What remarkable Crime was found a. mong the Jews that were pain? A. When they came to bury their Dead, they found things cons fecrated to Idols under the Garment of every Jew that was sain, whereupon the People praised the Lord, the righteous Judge of Men: But with. out any Encouragement from Scripture, they of.