페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

For half a century after its destruction, there is no mention of Jerusalem in history. The Jews in Egypt had revolted under Trajan, and had been subdued. The Emperor died in A. D. 117, and was followed by Adrian, who spent the greater part of his reign in journeying through the provinces of his vast empire. He appears to have been in Palestine about A. D. 130; up to which time, with slight exceptions, the Jews had remained quiet, though waiting doubtless for a favourable opportunity of shaking off the yoke of Roman oppression, and reasserting their national independence. The emperor could not but be aware of the state of feeling prevalent among them; and it was natural that he should adopt precautionary measures to secure the fidelity and quiet of the province. One of these was to disperse the remaining Jews in colonies, in various parts, especially along the northern coast of Africa. A measure, more important in its consequences, was the rebuilding of Jerusalem as a fortified place, by which to keep in check the whole Jewish population.

This determination of Adrian is assigned, by the historian Dio Cassius, as the cause of the subsequent revolt and war of the Jews, who could not bear that foreigners should dwell in their city, nor that strange gods should be set up within it. Eusebius, on the other hand, relates that the city was rebuilt, and the colony founded, by Adrian, after the revolted Jews had been once more subdued. These accounts are easily reconciled. The works had probably been already commenced, when they were broken off by the rebellion; and after this was quelled, they were again resumed and completed.

The undertaking of this renovation, then, was the signal for the Jews to break out into open revolt, so soon as the emperor had forsaken the East, apparently about A. D. 132. The long-smothered embers of hatred and discontent now burst forth into a flame which overran and consumed both the land and the people, with terrible desolation. The leader of this war was the celebrated though mysterious Barcochba, “Son of a Star.” His success at first was great. The Jews of Palestine all flocked to his standard ; the christians, also, were tampered with, but, refusing to join him, were afterwards treated with horrid cruelty. He appears to have soon got possession of Jerusalem. This is evident from the fact of the subsequent recapture of the city by the Romans; and it would seem, also, that coins (some of which are still extant) were struck by him, in the Holy City. The Romans at first made light of the rebellion, and disregarded the efforts of this despised people ; and it was not until the spirit of revolt had spread among the Jews throughout the empire, and the whole world (as Dio expresses it) was moved, that Adrian awoke from his apathy. The rebel Jews had already got possession of fifty fortified places, and nine hundred and eighty-five important villages. The emperor now collected troops from various quarters, and took measures to prosecute the war in earnest. He dispatched his best officers into the revolted country; and recalling his most distinguished general, Julius Severus, from Britain, sent him to take charge of the war in the East. The struggle was long and desperate. The Jews were numerous, and

fought with the bravery of despair. Julius attacked their smaller parties, cut off their supplies of provisions, and thus was able—more slowly, indeed, but also with less danger - to wear out their strength, and finally destroy them.

It is singular, that the siege and capture of Jerusalem by the Romans, during this war, is nowhere described, and only once mentioned by a contemporary writer. The historian Appian, in the same century, gives it a passing note; but all we know further is from the slight mention of it by Eusebius and later authors, the earliest of whom wrote two centuries after the event. The writings of the Rabbins, the repositories of Jewish tradition, are silent as to the siege, though they speak of the desecration of the site of the temple. Yet the various testimonies, although scattered, are too numerous and definite to admit of doubt as to the fact. Jerusalem must naturally have been one of the chief points of Jewish defence, and the possession of it one of the main objects of the Roman policy. Of the circumstances of the siege and capture we have no account. It was not now, as under Titus, the scene of the last great struggle of the war ; for this took place in the siege of the strong but now unknown city of Bether, described as situated not far from Jerusalem. Here the bloody tragedy was brought to a close, in the eighteenth year of Adrian, A. D. 135. Thousands and thousands of the captive Jews were sold as slaves; first at the terebinth, near Hebron, where of old the tent of their forefather Abraham had stood, and where there had long been a frequented market; afterwards at Gaza; and then the remainder were transported in ships, as slaves, to Egypt. By a decree of Adrian, the Jews were henceforth forbidden even to approach the Holy City; and guards were stationed to prevent them from making the attempt.

Several of the writers who allude to the capture of Jerusalem under Adrian, speak of the city as having been laid a second time in ruins, and utterly destroyed. But this circumstance stands in direct contradiction with the known purpose of Adrian to rebuild the former city ; a purpose which he afterwards accomplished, and which he had probably begun to carry into execution before the war broke out, since this is assigned as the very cause of the war. It must also be remembered, that the writers, who thus speak, all lived some three centuries or more after the event. Nor does a greater credit seem due to the relation of Jewish writers, which is also repeated by Jerome, that the governor of the province, Titus Annius Rufus, caused the plough to be passed over the site of the ancient temple, in order to desecrate it for

There is no evidence that the Romans ever applied this symbol of perpetual doom to the sites of single edifices; and further, Adrian is expressly said to have erected a temple to Jupiter upon the same spot, a circumstance entirely inconsistent with such a desecration; and Julian, two centuries later, the zealous protector of ancient superstitions, encouraged the Jews themselves to undertake the rebuilding of their temple. Both these accounts, therefore, would seem rather to belong to the legendary inventions of a later age.

The work of rebuilding the city would appear to have been resumed

ever.

immediately after the close of the war, if not before. In A. D. 136, the emperor Adrian celebrated his Vicennalia, on entering upon the twentieth year of his reign. On such occasions, which heretofore only Augustus and Trajan bad lived to see, it seems to bave been customary to build or consecrate new cities, or else give to former cities new names. At this time the new Roman colony, established upon the site of the former Jerusalem, received the names of Colonica Ælia Capitolina; the former after the prænomen of the emperor, Ælius Adrianus; and the latter in honour of the Jupiter Capitolinus, whose fane now occupied the place of the Jewish temple. The place became to all intents a Roman and pagan city ; Jupiter was made its patron god; and statues of Jupiter and Venus were then, or later, erected on sites which afterwards were held to be the places of the crucifixion and resurrection of our Lord. The city was probably strongly fortified.

(To be continued.)

ICEBERGS.

until the morning.

Our ship was now all cased with ice,-hull, spars, and standing rigging; and the running rigging so stiff that we could hardly bend it so as to belay it, or, still worse, take a knot with it; and the sails nearly as stiff as sheet iron. One at a time, (for it was a long piece of work and required many hands,) we furled the courses, mizen topsail, and fore top-mast stay-sail, and close-reefed the fore and main top-sails, and hove the ship to under the fore, with the main bauled up by the clewlines and buntlines, and ready to be sheeted home, if we found it necessary to make sail to get to windward of an island. A regular look-out was then set, and kept by each watch in turn;

It was a tedious and anxious night. It blew hard the whole time, and there was an almost constant driving of either rain hail, or snow. In addition to this, it was as thick as muck," and the ice was all about us.

The captain was on deck nearly the whole night, and kept the cook in the galley, with a roaring fire, to make coffee for him, which he took every few hours, and once or twice gave a little to his officers; but not a drop of anything was there for the crew. The captain, who sleeps all the daytime, and comes and goes at night as he chooses, can have his brandy and water in the cabin, and his hot coffee at the galley; while Jack, who has to stand through everything, and work in wet and cold, can have nothing to wet his lips, or warm his stomach. This was a "temperance ship,” and, like too many such ships, the temperance was all in the forecastle. The sailor, who only takes his one glass as it is dealt out to him, is in danger of being drunk : while the captain, who has all under his hand, and can drink as much as he chooses, and upon whose self possession and cool judgment the lives of all depend, may be trusted with any amount, to drink at his will. Sailors will never be convinced that rum is a dangerous thing, by taking it away from them, and giving it to the officers ; nor that, that temperance is their friend, which takes from them what they have always had, and gives them nothing in the place of it. By seeing it allowed to their officers, they will not be convinced that it is taken from them for their good ; and by receiving nothing in its place, they will not believe that it is done in kindness. On the contrary, many of them look upon the change as a new instrument of tyranny. Not that they prefer rum. I never knew a sailor in my life, who would not prefer a pot of hot coffee, or chocolate, in a cold night, to all the rum afloat. They all say that rum only warms them for a time; yet, if they can get nothing better, they will miss what they have lost. The momentary warmth and glow from drinking it; the break and change which is made in a long dreary watch, by the mere calling all hands aft, and serving of it out: and the simply having some event to look forward to, and to talk about, give it an importance and a use which no one can appreciate who has not stood his watch before the mast. On my passage round Cape Horn before, the vessel that I was in was not under temperance articles, and grog was served out every middle and morning watch, and after every reefing of top-sails ; and though I had never drank rum before, and never intend to again, I took my allowance then at the capstan, as the rest did, merely for the momentary warmth it gave the system, and the change in our feelings and aspect of our duties on the watch. At the same time, as I have stated, there was not a man on board who would not have pitched the rum to the dogs, (I have heard them say 80 a dozen times) for a pot of coffee, or chocolate; or even for our common_beverage —"water bewitched, and tea begrudged,” as it

The temperance reform is the best thing that ever was undertaken for the sailor; but when the grog is taken from him, he ought to have something in its place. As it is now in most vessels, it is a mere saving to the owners, and this accounts for the sudden increase of temperance ships, which surprised even the best friends of the cause. If every merchant, when he struck grog from the list of the

expences of his ship, had been obliged to substitute as much coffee or chocolate, as would give each man a pot-full when he came off the top-sail yard, on a stormy night,-I fear Jack might have gone to ruin on the old road.

But this is not doubling Cape Horn. Eight hours of the night, our watch was on deck, and during the whole of that time we kept a bright look-out: one man on each bow, another in the bunt of the fore yard, the third mate on the scuttle, one on each quarter, and a man always standing by the wheel. The chief mate was everywhere, and

was.*

The proportions of the ingredients of the tea that was made for us, (and ours, as I have before stated, was a favourable specimen of American merchantmen), were, a pint of tea, and a pint and a half of molasses, to about three gallons of water. These are all boiled down together in the "coppers,” and before serving it out, the mess

is stirred up with a stick, so as to give each man his fair share of sweetening and tea-leaves. The tea for the cabin is, of course, made in the usual way, in a tea-pot, and drank with sugar.

commanded the ship when the captain was below. When a large piece of ice was seen in our way, or drifting near us, the word was passed aloug, and the ship’s head turned one way and another; and sometimes the yards squared or braced up. There was little else to do than to look out; and we had the sharpest eyes in the ship on the forecastle. The only variety was the monotonous voice of the look-out forward_"Another island !"-" Ice ahead !”—“ Ice on the lee bow!” -" Hard up the helm !”—“Keep her off a little !”—“Stead-y !”.

In the mean time, the wet and cold had brought my face into such a state that I could neither eat nor sleep; and though I stood it out all night, yet, when it became light, I was in such a state that all hands told me I must go below, and lie-by for a day or two, or I should be laid up for a long time, and perhaps have the lock-jaw. When the watch was changed I went into the steerage, and took off my hat and comforter, and showed my face to the mate, who told me to go below at once, and stay in my berth until the swelling went down, and gave the cook orders to make a poultice for me, and said he would speak to the captain.

I went below and turned-in, covering myself over with blankets and jackets, and lay in my berth nearly twenty-four hours, half asleep and half awake, stupid from the dull pain. I heard the watch called, and the men going up and down, and sometimes a noise on deck, and a cry of “ice, but I gave little attention to anything. At the end of twenty-four hours the pain went down, and I had a long sleep, which brought me back to my proper state; yet my face was so swollen and tender that I was obliged to keep my berth for two or three days longer. During the two days I had been below, the weather was much the same that it had been,-head winds, and snow, and rain ; or, if the wind came fair, too foggy, and the ice too thick, to run. At the end of the third day, the ice was very thick; a complete fog-bank covered the ship. It blew a tremendous gale from the eastward, with sleet and snow, and there was every promise of a dangerous and fatiguing night. At dark, the captain called all hands aft, and told them, that not a man was to leave the deck that night ; that the ship was in the greatest danger; any cake of ice might knock a hole in her, or she might run on an island and go to pieces. No one could tell whether she would be a ship the next morning. The look-outs were then set, and every man was put in his station. When I heard wbat was the state of things, I began to put on my clothes to stand it out with the rest of them ; when the mate came below, and looking at my face, ordered me back to my berth,

saying, that if we went down, we should all go down together, but if I went on deck I might lay myself up for life. This was the first word I had heard from aft, for the captain had done nothing, nor inquired how I was, since I went below.

In obedience to the mate's orders, I went back to my berth ; but a more miserable night I never wish to spend. I never felt the curse of sickness so keenly in my life. If I could only have been on deck with the rest, where something was to be done, and seen, and heard ; where there were fellow-beings for companions in duty and danger

« 이전계속 »