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fanatical inhabitants; and already, even at the accession of Agrippa the Second to his limited sovereignty, every thing portended that miserable consummation which at no distant period closed the temporal scene of Hebrew hope and dominion.

Every succeeding day witnessed the progress of that ferocious sect founded on the opinions of Judas the Gaulonite, who acknowledged no sovereign but Jehovah, and who constantly denounced as the greatest of all sins those payments or services by means of which a heathenish government was supported. In prosecuting their revolutionary schemes, they esteemed no man's life dear, and set as little value upon their own. Devoted to the principles of a frantic patriotism, they were content to sacrifice to its claims the clearest dictates of humanity and religion; being at all times ready to bind themselves by an oath that they would neither eat nor drink until they had slain the enemy of their nation or of their God. This was the school which supplied that execrable faction, who added tenfold to the miseries of Jerusalem in the day of her visitation, and who contributed more than all the legions of Rome to realize the bitterness of the curse which was poured upon her devoted head.

A succession of unprincipled governors, who were sent forth to enrich themselves on the spoils of the Syrian provinces, accelerated the crisis of Judea. About the middle of the first century, the notorious Felix was appointed to the government, who, in the administration of affairs, habitually combined violence with fraud, sending out his soldiers to inflict punishment on such as had not the means or the inclination to bribe his clemency. An equal stranger

to righteousness and temperance, he presented a fine subject for the eloquence of St Paul, who, it is presumed, however, made the profligate governor tremble, without either affecting his religious principles or improving his moral conduct.

The short residence of Festus procured for the unhappy Jews a respite from oppression. He laboured successfully to put down the bands of insurgents, whose ravages were inflicted indiscriminately upon foreigners and their own countrymen; nor was he less active in checking the excesses of the military, so long accustomed to rapine and free quarter. Agrippa at the same time transferred the seat of his government to Jerusalem, where his presence served to moderate the rage of parties, and thereby to postpone the final rupture between the provincials and their imperial master. But this brief interval of repose was followed by an increased degree of irritation and fury. Florus, alike distinguished for his avarice and cruelty, and who saw in the contentions of the people the readiest means for filling his own coffers, connived at the mutual hostility which it was his duty to prevent. In this nefarious policy he received the countenance of Cestius Gallus the prefect of Syria, who, imitating the maxims of his lieutenant, studiously drove the natives to insurrection, in order that their cries for justice might be drowned amid the clash of arms.

But he forgot that there are limits to endurance even among the most humble and abject. Unable to support the weight of his tyranny, and galled by certain insults directed against their faith, the Jewish inhabitants of Cesarea set his power at defiance, and declared their resolution to repel his injuries by


force. The capital was soon actuated by a similar spirit, and made preparations for defence. Cestius marched to the gates and demanded an entrance for the imperial cohorts, whose aid was required to support the garrison within. The citizens refusing to comply, anticipated the horrors of a siege, when after a few days they saw, to their great surprise, the Syrian prefect in full retreat, carrying with him his formidable army. Sallying from the different outlets with arms in their hands, they pursued the fugitives with the usual fury of an incensed multitude; and, overtaking their enemy at the narrow pass of Bethhoron, they avenged the cause of independence by a considerable slaughter of the legionary soldiers, and by driving the remainder to an ignominious flight.

Nero received the intelligence of this defeat while amusing himself in Greece, and immediately sent Vespasian into Syria to assume the government, with instructions to restore the peace of the province by moderate concessions or by the most vigorous warfare. It was in the year sixty-seven that this great commander entered Judea, accompanied by his son, the celebrated Titus. The result is too well known to require details. A series of sanguinary battles deprived the Jews of their principal towns one after another, until they were at length shut up in Jerusalem; the siege and final reduction of which compose one of the most affecting stories that are any where recorded in the annals of the human race.


On the Literature and Religious Usages of the Ancient Hebrews.

Obscurity of the Subject-Learning issued from the Levitical Colleges Schools of the Prophets-Music and Poetry-Meaning of the Term Prophecy-Illustrated by References to the Old Testament and to the New-The Power of Prediction not confined to those bred in the Schools-Race of False Prophets-Their Malignity and Deceit-Micaiah and Ahab-Charge against Jeremiah the Prophet-Criterion to distinguish True from False Prophets -The Canonical Writings of the Prophets-Literature of Prophets-Sublime Nature of their Compositions-Examples from Psalms and Prophetical Writings-Humane and Liberal SpiritCare used to keep alive the Knowledge of the Law-Evils arising from the Division of Israel and Judah-Ezra collects the Ancient Books-Schools of Prophets similar to Convents-Sciences-Astronomy-Division of Time, Days, Months, and Years-Sabbaths and New Moons-Jewish Festivals-Passover--Pentecost Feast of Tabernacles Of Trumpets-Jubilee-Daughters of Zelophedad Feast of Dedication-Minor Anniversaries-Solemn Character of Hebrew Learning-Its easy Adaptation to Christianity-Superior to the Literature of all other Ancient Nations.

THERE is no subject on which greater obscurity prevails than that of the learning and schools of the Hebrews, prior to their return from the Babylonian captivity. The wise institution of Moses, which provided for the maintenance of Levitical towns in all the tribes, secured at least a hereditary knowledge of the law, including both its civil and its spiritual enactments. It is extremely probable, therefore, that all the varieties of literary attain

ment which might be deemed necessary, either for the discharge of professional duties or for the ornament of private life, were derived from those seminaries, and partook largely of their general character and spirit. An examination of the scanty remains of that remote period will justify, to a considerable extent, the conjecture now made. It will appear that the poetry, the ethics, the oratory, the music, and even the physical science, cultivated in the time of Samuel and David, bore a close relation to the original object of the Levitical colleges, and were meant to promote the principles of religion and morality, no less than of that singular patriotism which made the Hebrew delight in his separation from all the other nations of the earth.

Our attention is first attracted by the several allusions which are scattered over the earlier books of the Old Testament to the Schools of the Prophets. These were establishments, obviously intended to prepare young men for certain offices analogous to those which are discharged in our days by the dif ferent orders of the clergy; maintained in some degree at the public expense; and placed under the superintendence of persons who were distinguished for their gravity and high endowments. The principal studies pursued in these convents appear to have been poetry and music, the elements of which were necessary to the young prophet when he was called to take a part in the worship of Jehovah. In the book of Samuel we find the pupils performing on psalteries, tabrets, and harps; and in the first section of the Chronicles it is said that the sons of Asaph, of Heman, and of Jeduthun, prophesied with harps, with psalteries and with cymbals. For

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