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Church-State Relations and the Book of Revelation
An Introduction to The Parousia: A Careful Look at the New Testament Doctrine of the Lord's Second Coming
by James Stuart Russell (1878) // Written by
Todd Dennis, Curator
 



 

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The Doom of the Holy City


 

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070: Clement: First Epistle of Clement

075: Baruch: Apocalypse Of Baruch

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1658: Lightfoot: Commentary from Hebraica

1677: Crowne - The Destruction of Jerusalem

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1785: Churton: Prophecies Respecting the Destruction of Jerusalem

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2001: Fowler: Jesus - The Better Everything

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By Lydia Hoyt Farmer
 (1895)

CLICK HERE FOR PDF FILE OF ENTIRE BOOK

 

THE DOOM OF THE HOLY CITY.

CHRIST AND CAESAR.

BY

LYDIA HOYT FARMER,

Author Of "a Knight Of Faith," "a Moral Inheritance,"
"a Short History Of The French Revolution," "the
Lifb Of La Fayette," " Famous Rulers And
Queens," "a Story Book Of Science,"
"the Prince Of The Flaming
STAR," ETC.

NEW YORK:

ANSON D. F. RANDOLPH AND COMPANY,
182 Fifth Avenue.

Copyright, 1895,
By Anson D. F. Randolph And Co.
John Wilson And Son, Cambridge, U.S.A.

BY SPECIAL PERMISSION,

TO THE

RIGHT HONORABLE WILLIAM E. GLADSTONE.


HISTORY, from Creation to Calvary, but more dearly still from Calvary down the centuries, points with unerring finger to One effulgent Character, He who came to give eternal life to perishing men, walked the streets of Jerusalem eighteen centuries ago, as actual an historical fact as that Nero sat on the throne of the Caesars, or that you and I tread the earth today. To endeavor to make more realistic the setting of that Wondrous and Divine Life, by painting in words the picture of that era in the world''s history, is the aim of the author of this volume; with the hope that the marvellous mission of the God Man may appear with greater vividness to some soul, and that the Sun of Righteousness may blaze forth as the Shining Centre of fast, present, and future history.

 

CONTENTS.

CHAPTER I.

Jerusalem the Beautiful. — The Strange Prophet. — The Gar-
den of Gethsemane. — The Holy of Holies 1

CHAPTER II.

Miriam, Jessica, and Aziel. — The Temple Courts. — The Hall
of Hewn Stones. — The Dove Bazaar 9

CHAPTER III.

The Pool of Siloam. — The House on Zion's Hill. — The Feast
of Tabernacles 21

CHAPTER IV.

Rambles in Rome in the First Century. — Aziel visits Rome. —
Aziel and Placidus amidst the Temples of the Imperial
City. — The Roman Forum 38

CHAPTER V.

The Ghetto. —The Palatine Palaces of the Caesars. —Nero's
Golden House. — Nero in the Theatre Pompeius ... €8

CHAPTER VI.

The Roman Games. — The Pantheon. — The Campus Martius.
— The Mamertine Prison 81

CHAPTER VII.

Famous Villas on the Quirinal, Esquiline, and Pincian Hills. —
Virgilia and Myrtilla 98

CHAPTER VHI.

The Thermae Agrippas.— The Suicide of Petronius. — The
Roman Senator. — Shocking Spectacles in Nero's Circus
Gardens 116

CHAPTER IX.

The Villa on the Cselian Hill. — The Catacombs of Rome. —
A Picture of the Social Life of Rome 137

CHAPTER X.

The Roman Christians. — A Moonlight Sail on the Tiber . . 162

CHAPTER XI.

Aziel returns to Jerusalem. — Aziel, Miriam, and Jessica in
the House of Ananus. — Florus and Queen Berenice.—

The Zealots 172

CHAPTER XII.

Cestius marches against Jerusalem. — Woe to Jerusalem! —
Wherefore should the Temple be destroyed ? — Vespasian
appointed Commander of the Roman Forces 191

CHAPTER XIII.

Places made Sacred by the Holy Footsteps of the Christ des-
ecrated by the Tramp of Pagan Armies. — The Banquet
in King Agrippa's Palace. — A Description of the Roman
Army. — Josephus and the Siege of Jotapata 226

CHAPTER XIV.

Council-of-War in the Tent of Vespasian. —Wily Stratagems
of the Besieged Jews. — Jotapata taken, and Josephus
imprisoned. — Battle on the Sea of Galilee 244

CHAPTER XV.

The Fall of Nero. — Vespasian declared Emperor, and Titus
intrusted with the Completion of the Jewish War. — Titus
advances towards Jerusalem. — Scene in the House on Zion's
Hill. — The Assembly of the People in the Xystus. — The
Zealots send for Aid to the Idumaeans 262

CHAPTER XVI.

The Terrible Tempest, and the Death of Ananus, the High
Priest.—Jessica in the Robber's Cave. — Riots among
the Zealots. — Titus before the Walls of Jerusalem . . 277

CHAPTER XVII.

Heart-rending Scenes in the Holy City. — The Sicarii attack
the Worshippers in the Temple 296

CHAPTER XVIII.

Famine and Bloodshed. — The Sisters' Sacrifice. — Jessica's
Terrible Adventure 306

CHAPTER XIX.

Titus Captures the Outer Wall. — Aziel arms in Defence
of the Temple. — Jessica in her Watch-Tower. — A
Gorgeous Spectacle 312

CHAPTER XX.

Josephus expostulates with the Rebellious Jews. — Shocking
Barbarities 323

CHAPTER XXI.

Titus captures the Tower of Antonia. — Jessica and Miriam
View the Conflicts from their Roof-Terrace .... 328

CHAPTER XXII.

The Fall of the Temple. — The Capture and Destruction of
Jerusalem 333

CHAPTER XXIII.

The Triumph of Vespasian and Titus in Rome.—Jessica in
the Arena of the Roman Amphitheatre 342

CHAPTER XXIV.

Daughters of Rome and Jerusalem 356

CHAPTER XXV.

Queen Berenice and Placidus 368

CHAPTER XXVI.

Miriam and Aziel. — Placidus and Jessica. — Scene in the
Coliseum. —The Brazen Bull 375



THE DOOM OF THE HOLY CITY.

CHRIST AND CAESAR

CHAPTER I.

JERUSALEM THE BEAUTIFUL. — THE STRANGE PROPHET. —
THE GARDEN OP GETHSEMANE. — THE HOLY OF HOLIES.
 


It was the first of October, in the year of our Lord 64; and of the cities of the East, Jerusalem the Beautiful excelled them all in splendor. Herod the Great had adorned it with costly edifices, spacious forums, theatres, and gymnasiums, while graceful colonnades testified to his lavish expenditure. But the crowning achievement of his life was the rebuilding of the glorious Temple on Mount Moriab, and which was of such noble proportions that all the fanes of Rome might have been placed within its imposing courts. On this October morning Herod's Temple stood upon the hill, a poem in marble, a symphony in architectural design and coloring.

Another writerl has sketched the Temple with such vividness that we will let him paint the word-picture.

" There it stood, covering nineteen acres, and ten thousand workmen had been forty-six years in building it. Blaze of magnificence! Bewildering range of porticos, and ten gateways, and double arches, and Corinthian capitals

1 Rev. T. De Witt Talmage, D.D.

1

chiselled into lilies and acanthus; masonry bevelled and grooved into such delicate forms that it seemed to tremble in the light; cloisters with two rows of Corinthian columns, royal arches, marble steps pure as though made out of the frozen snow; carving that seemed like a panel of the door of heaven let down and set in; the fafade of the building on shoulders at each end lifting the glory higher and higher, and walls wherein gold put out the silver, and the carbuncle put out the gold, and the jasper put out the carbuncle, until in the changing light they would all seem to come back again into a chorus of harmonious color. The Temple ! The Temple! Doxologies in stone! Anthems soaring in rafters of Lebanon cedar! From side to side and from foundation to gilded pinnacle, the frozen prayer of. all ages !"

Behind the Sanctuary stood the massive Tower of Antonia, a gigantic fortress, situated on the northwest corner of the Temple, erected upon a huge rock forty cubits high.

On Zion's Hill was the gorgeous palace of Herod the Great, its white marble walls glistening in the morning sunlight like a huge bank of snow, towered and turreted, forming outlines of grace and beauty, while green groves and gardens surrounding the royal residence gave the needed touch of nature, which always enhances art. But towers and triple walls, and gleaming palaces on Zion's crest, and turreted fortresses, and spacious forums, and smiling hills, villa-dotted, and purple-mantled with the glowing fruit of myriad vineyards, all -paled before the dazzling Temple crowning Moriah's brow, whose roofs of gold, studded with golden spikes, lifted towards the blue, flashed back the sunbeam's light in shining splendor and caught the eye of the pilgrim, and riveted his gaze from whatever side he might approach this imposing city, of which it was written in the Talmuds, —

" He who has not seen Jerusalem has never seen a beautiful city."

And now above the noise of city streets, and busy throngs, and stamping beasts, and lowing of sacrificial kine, and bellowing of imprisoned bullocks soon to be slaughtered by priestly hands, and cooing of the caged doves, and bleating of unblemished lambs brought for temple offerings ; above the hum of city traffic and the buzz of gathering, gossiping groups of pilgrims, rings out a voice upon the morning air, which startles the ears of men and beasts and birds, as its mournful clarion tones swell and resound, causing the listeners to mutely question with startled glances the meaning of this strange and foreboding omen.

"Woe, woe to Jerusalem! Woe to the city and to the people, and to the Holy House! A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds, a voice against Jerusalem and the Holy House! A voice against the bridegrooms and the brides; and a voice against this whole people! Woe, woe to Jerusalem!"

"What means the cry of that bird of ill-omen?" asked a burly Levite, elbowing his way towards the Temple through the pressing crowd. " Was Jerusalem ever more prosperous since the hated Romans placed their yoke upon our sacred necks?"

"Hist, man," retorted a bystander. "Be not so rash with thy forward tongue. Perchance some evil doth portend. Hast thou not seen the star in the form of a sword, of which men whisper?"

" And dost thou not mark the comet that has not ceased to burn for a whole year? " asked another.
"Enough of stars and comets, ye fools," rejoined the Levite. "Have not stars shone before, and comets blazed? and the earth still remains, and the Jews continue to be the mighty people of God, in spite of Roman eagles and Roman yokes, and the Nazarene besides, who claimed to be the King of the Jews? But that cross on Golgotha was the only throne He ever knew."

"Perhaps not, thou prating Levite!" said a Roman soldier, then passing. "That Nazarene, though dead, as you claim, seems still to have much power; for even in Caesar's household He has been called the Divine Son of God. I know not what it means, for I have to do with war, not religions; but I have met the followers of the Nazarene in all climes, and neither Roman legions, nor racks of torture, nor burning stakes, can force them to deny their faith."

"Peradventure thou art also a believer?" sneered the Levite. " And who art thou that pretendest to know more than a holy Jew of that episode on Calvary? "

"My father was the Roman centurion at that cross," replied the soldier, reverently.

"Ah! doubtless that weak fellow who was so frightened at the darkness occasioned by the eclipse that his terror made him believe the crucified malefactor was' the Son of God,' as rumor has it. Well, over thirty years have passed, and the Temple still stands, and will continue, in spite of the dead Nazarene's declaration that it should be destroyed."

"Beware, Levite!" rejoined the Roman. "Strange things have happened, as the Nazarene did foretell, and stranger yet will happen, if I mistake not certain signs in the Imperial City."

" I care not for thy Rome, nor Roman legions!" cried the Levite. "The Jews will yet be masters of the world."

"It might not be good for thy bodily safety, should such seditious words come to the ear of mighty Caesar," rejoined the Roman soldier, Placidus, as he turned from the Levite, who continued his way towards the Temple, where the people were gathering, and around which they were erecting their booths of branches ; for this October morning was to usher in the memorable Day of Atonement, which preceded the Feast of Tabernacles.

As the early morning sun gilded the crest of the Mount of Olives, a solitary pedestrian had emerged from the shade of the olive groves, and began the descent of the declivity. His clothing was made of the skins of wild beasts; his long, gray hair and white beard were unkempt; his face was haggard, and his eyes were cast upon the ground in meditation; he carried in his right hand a staff, and in his left a scroll; his sandals were coarse and worn. Where the mantle of skin was parted in front, there was revealed an under garment of sackcloth. The appearance of the wayfarer denoted extreme sorrow. Now and again, as his lifted head was turned towards Jerusalem, his eyes were eloquent with a hopeless grief, an overwhelming woe, his soul shrouded in deep despair. But no selfish sorrow was apparent. He cast no ashes upon his head, nor rent his garments in sign of personal bereavement. His glance, when not cast upon the ground, was riveted upon the Holy City, towards which he was slowly approaching; and as he murmured, "Woe to Jerusalem! Woe to the Holy City!" in tones so hopelessly mournful, even the birds, twittering in the branches of the olive-trees, ceased for a moment their morning carol, seemingly hushed to silence by such an unusual wail of human woe.

As the wayfarer passed out of the Garden of Gethsemane, and continued his course through the Valley of Jehoshaphat, great crowds of people were already entering the gates of the city, on their way to the Temple.

The prophet was still separated from the throng as he slowly walked through the Vale of the Tombs. Pausing at the Tomb of Absalom, the prophet opened his scroll, and attentively perused it for a few moments. Then he murmured aloud, —

" It is written! It is fulfilled! Woe to Jerusalem! Woe also to me! for I stood in my youth beside that Holy Cross, and mocked with the passers-by, crying, 'If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross!' — and even as I jeered, the Dying One opened his marvellous eyes and looked upon me; and straightway my soul was thrilled with horror, as though a sword had pierced my heart; and I knew He was the Holy One of God. I have searched the Scriptures, and in Him the prophecies are fulfilled. It is laid upon me to cry, Woe to Jerusalem! Woe to the Holy House! for they shall utterly be destroyed; for they cast out the Son of the Most High God!"

Closing the scroll, the prophet continued his walk. Passing by the Tomb of Zechariah, he paused by the Tomb of Saint James, and, resting beneath the portico, supported by slender pillars, he once again gazed long and mournfully upon the city of Jerusalem, exclaiming, —

"Woe to the city and to the people! Jerusalem shall be left desolate! Graves! graves! naught but graves!"

Again he resumed his walk, and passing through the Vale of Tombs, at length reached the gates of the city, and for a time was lost in the moving crowds of people.

Passing in and out of this centre of eastern trade and commerce, were caravans of camels, laden with ivory, cinnamon, rich spices, gorgeous Oriental fabrics, and various articles of traffic from other eastern countries. Other caravans were slowly approaching the city from the direction of Jericho, —that "City of Palms," which Herod the Great had restored to much of its former magnificence, in the erection of fortifications and royal palaces; for though the palace of Herod had been partially destroyed by fire, it had been rebuilt by Archelaus. And on this October morning the highway to Jericho was gay with frequent groups of pedestrians; bands of Roman soldiers; camels with their loads of balsam, for which the country of Jericho was famed, and multitudes of Jews going up to Jerusalem, bearing branches of olive, palm, pine, willow, and myrtle trees ; for the Israelites were commanded to dwell in booths, or tents, during the seven days of the Feast of Tabernacles.

And again that bodeful cry rang out upon the air, " Woe to Jerusalem! Woe to the Holy House!"

"What means that, father?" asked a young Jewish maiden of one of the chief priests, called Ananus, as he passed through the Court of the Gentiles into the Temple, preparatory to entering upon his solemn duties on this memorable day of sacred observances.

"I know not, Miriam, my daughter," answered the father. " Perchance it is the voice of some lunatic from the mountains. Fear not! It means naught to the mighty Jewish nation."

And Ananus ascended the steps leading from the Court of the Gentiles into the Court of the Women, and having passed through the Beautiful Gate, which divided the two enclosures, he proceeded through the Nicanor's Gate, which was of Corinthian brass, all the rest of the gates of the Temple being of wood covered with plates of gold and silver, and then entered the Court of Israel, or Court of the Jewish Men.

Through this court, now thronged with worshippers, the High Priest passed into the Court of the Priests, and having entered into one of the priests' cloisters, he there bathed, according to ceremonial law, and fully dressed himself in the holy white linen garments, appointed for the sacred ceremonies of this memorable Day of Atonement, which occurred on the 10th Tishri, when the High Priest alone, of all the days of the year, should enter the Holy of Holies.

The entrance to the Holy Place was through a twoleaved gate covered with plates of gold, over which was twined a colossal golden vine, of which the clusters of grapes were formed of precious stones, — rubies, emeralds, the topaz, amethysts, and others of various hues and brilliancy; for each year the Jews added grapes or golden leaves to this wondrous vine, until it had become a marvel of the world.

And when the shining gates were opened, the High Priest lifted a gorgeous curtain of Babylonian tapestry, of blue, scarlet, yellow, and purple, embroidered with the symbols of the constellations of the heavens, the colors also being of significant meaning, the scarlet signifying fire; the fine flax, the earth; the blue, the air; and the purple, the sea.

Within this Holy Place stood the Altar of Incense, before the sacred Veil, which concealed the Holy of Holies. Here also was the Golden Candlestick, sevenbranched, where in Solomon's Temple had stood seven golden candlesticks. And here, too, was the Table of Showbread, of solid gold, together with the other golden tables upon which were placed the golden vessels used in the services of the Temple.
CHAPTER II.

MIRIAM, JESSICA, AND AZIEL. THE TEMPLE COURTS. —

THE HALL OF HEWN STONES. THE DOVE BAZAAR.

Miriam, the daughter of Ananus, one of the chief priests, together with her younger sister, Jessica, attended by their faithful nurse, Rachel, who was the constant guardian of the two motherless maidens, formed a group a little apart ivom the crowds thronging the Court of the Gentiles.

Miriam was a typical daughter of the Jews, — beautiful as Rebecca, graceful and stately as Queen Esther, brave as the Miriam of old, for whom she had been named, faithful as Hannah, the mother of Samuel, filial as Ruth, and as devout as Eunice, the mother of Timothy.

A transparent white scarf partly draped her head, crowned with its raven locks, for the Jewish maidens might display their wealth of braided or curled tresses. On her low, broad brow fell the golden coins which formed a part of a Jewish maiden's dower ; while the same precious coins were garlanded across her swelling bust, modestly hidden by folds of scarlet crape, held in place by a richly embroidered linen girdle, from which fell in graceful folds the silken skirt of her pale blue tunic, which was partially concealed by a mantle of Persian design.

Her white throat was clasped by a necklace of rare pearls, caught by an emerald of priceless value. As the eldest daughter of a rich and powerful priest, her attire was becomingly costly; while her younger sister, a maiden of some twelve summers, was clothed simply in garments of white, with a girdle and mantle of dark blue.

Old Rachel wore a cloak of brown, which so shrouded her figure that naught else was visible of her costume, save the white cotton turban wound round her head, and forming a sort of veil as it hung upon each side of her face. This article of dress was known among the ancient Hebrews as the wimple.

The feet of Miriam and Jessica, partly visible beneath the tunic, were encased in shoes of soft leather, adorned with little bells. This foot-covering was worn only by the higher classes of the Jews. Rachel wore the customary sandal, with a sole of wood, and straps of leather made from the skin of the camel.

As Miriam and Jessica, accompanied by Rachel, were about to enter the Court of the Women,(the "Azarath Nashim " of the Temple), beyond which no woman must penetrate into the more sacred precincts of the Sanctuary, a youth joined them.

At this moment, once more that doleful cry rang through the air, " Woe! woe to Jerusalem! " and the voice was near, even at hand; and Miriam beheld with affright the old prophet, who had now reached the Temple, where his bodeful lamentation had arrested the attention of the crowds around him.

Just as Aziel, the Jewish youth, accosted Miriam and her sister, the prophet had been seized by the bystanders, who were proceeding to bind him, to lead him before the Sanhedrin, which would shortly assemble in the "Lishcath Hag-gazith," or Hall of Hewn Stones.

" What means this terrible curse, Aziel?" asked Miriam, not yet wholly recovered from the fright occasioned by the unusual cry, but evincing her relief at the sight of this young friend by a smile of welcome; disclosing her pleasure by the tell-tale blushes deepening the rich tint of her cheeks, while the shadows lightened in her large dark eyes.

"I know not, Miriam. But I think not, with yonder crowd, that the man is a disturber; for I feel a dim presentiment that he is rather a prophet sent to warn this nation," answered the Jewish youth, after he had gracefully uttered the Jewish " Shalom" of the Talmuds, ("Peace be with thee!")

Aziel was related to the family of Joseph of Arimathaea, and was a descendant of a long line of pious Israelites. Like Absalom, he was of that rare type of Jew appearing now and again in Jewish chronicles; for Aziel was fair of countenance, with brown locks glinting to gold in the sunlight, and eyes of violet blue, the symbol of truth.

He wore the Hebrew "Chatuk," or tunic of linen, which fitted the figure, and came down to the feet. His " Talith," or robe, was of purple silk, girdled with a broad band of linen embroidered in divers colors; while his golden locks, perfumed with the costly ointment of spikenard, which among the Jews was not a sign of effeminacy, but rather of rigorous attention to the laws of purification, fell beneath the white linen "Sudar," or turban, and hung upon his broad shoulders in luxuriant curls.

The Jew did not, like the Roman, display his muscular strength and physical proportions by the short, sleeveless tunic; but, nevertheless, Aziel's manly beauty of form and fine contour of limb and shoulder were not wholly concealed by the flowing robe, or long tunic, for the girdle held the mantle in graceful and convenient folds, so as not to interfere with his free gait and manly proportions.

He indulged in no extravagance of dress, though the materials were handsome and costly, as became his rank; but his youth was betokened by the ornamental stick, or cane, with its carved pomegranate upon the top, rather than the plainer staff carried by the older and more sedate Jews.

A signet ring, upon a finger of his right hand, bore the seal of his illustrious family; while his purple mantle was bordered at the four corners with the fringed "Cicsith," as commanded in the law.

At a signal from the prefect of the Temple, Aziel entered with Miriam, Jessica, and Rachel, through the Beautiful Gate, into the Court of the Women, and they proceeded to deposit their Temple offerings in the receptacles provided for them. Thirteen gates led into this court from the Chel, or open space which separated the Court of the Women from the Court of the Gentiles. Before each one of these gates stood chests, called in the Talmuds "Shophraroth" (rams' horns, or trumpets), because of their narrow necks. Each chest was for a different object, indicated by an inscription in the Hebrew tongue.

Miriam and her sister deposited their offerings in the chest holding the money for turtle doves, while Aziel put a handful of silver shekels into the first chest, and a golden coin into the fourth and sixth boxes; and with a parting salutation to Miriam, he passed beyond, through the Gate of Corinthian Brass, into the " Azarath Yisrael," or Court of the Israelites.

From this court were visible the solemn services performed by the priests in the inner "Azarath Cohanim," or Court of the Priests,and into which none else might enter.

And now the ringing of the little golden bells which bordered the robe of the High Priest became audible, as he came back from the priests' cloister, where he had laid aside the white linen garments in which he had performed the special duties of the Day of Atonement, and resumed his customary priestly robes.

The solemn services of the Day of Atonement having been completed, the people returned to their respective homes, preparatory to erecting the booths of the branches of willow, palm, myrtle, olive, and pine, in which they were to dwell during the coming Feast of Tabernacles, on the 15th Tishri.

And now let us follow the strange prophet, whose name was Joshua, into the Hall of Hewn Stones, whither he had been led as a disturber of the peace, to answer his accusers before the bar of justice, presided over by the distinguished and powerful assemblage of learned Rabbis and priests composing the -Sanhedrin.

There were three places in the Temple where it was lawful to sit for discussion. The first was at the Gate of Susa; the second, at the Gate of the Court of the Gentiles; and the third, in the first half of the Hall of Hewn Stones.

As for forty years before the destruction of Jerusalem, according to the Talmuds, the Sanhedrin had ceased to meet in the part of the Hall of Hewn Stones included in the Court of Israel, we must follow the prophet into that portion of the Basilica reached through the Chel. Around the Hall, upon a raised platform, sat the seventy-one members of the Sanhedrin, in a half circle. The Nasi, or President of this body, the Supreme Court of the Jews, had been in past times chosen on account of his eminence and wisdom; but the office became, at length, an honor to be bought by the most wealthy. Often it was held by the High Priest. The "Father of the House of Judgment," or Vice-President of the Sanhedrin, sat at the right hand of the President.
Into this august assembly the strange prophet had been brought by his accusers.

"Why dost thou disturb the peace of the city?" asked the President, who, in this instance, was also the High Priest of Jerusalem.

But the prophet was deaf to all questions and to all accusations, repeating only his weird and bodeful lamentations,—

"Woe to the Holy City, and to the Holy House! A voice from the east, a voice from the west, a voice from the four winds! Woe! woe to Jerusalem!" Neither would he give any account of himself.

"What thinkest thou, Ananus?" inquired the High Priest, of the Father of the House of Judgment, which place of honor was held by the father of Miriam.

"It may be he is some lunatic from the mountains," responded Ananus; "nevertheless, it were doubtless better to insure his silence by scourge or punishment, lest his doleful cry raise a riot in the city."

"That is wise counsel," answered the High Priest; "in these troublous times it were good to keep such brawlers well muzzled."

Whereupon, the Sanhedrin condemned the prophet to be scourged. But when he was laid hold upon, and taken to the place of scourging, the prophet uttered not one word of supplication for himself, insomuch that the soldiers marvelled, and he ceased not to cry as before.

As the prophet Joshua could not be restrained by the punishments inflicted upon him by the Sanhedrin, the rulers of the people led him before Albinus. Festus was dead, and Albinus was procurator in his place. Herod the Great was dead, and his kingdom had been allotted by Augustus to Archelaus, Herod Antipas, and Philippus. The fall of Archelaus left the throne of Judea and Samaria without a direct claimant, and the Emperor attached it to the Roman dominions. The general administration of the country was through the proconsul of Syria, but the provinces were more directly governed by an imperial procurator, who then dwelt at Caesarea Philippi.

Both Augustus and Tiberius respected the peculiar prejudices of the Jews. When Pontius Pilatus entered Jerusalem with the Roman standards flying, upon which the image of the Emperor was displayed, which the Jews considered a national insult, as they were forbidden by their law to make any images, thereupon they made complaints, and Tiberius commanded Pilate to withdraw the offending images.

The Emperor Caligula, however, demanded of the Jews that they should allow his statue to be set up in Jerusalem, which decree had already been carried out in other cities of the Empire.

This command of the Emperor was sent to a certain Publius, prefect of Syria; but as soon as the Jews were informed of it, they assembled at the town of Tiberias, whither they had been convened by Publius, and when he endeavored to enforce the decree of the Emperor, the multitude of the Jews cried out,—

"We will die rather than our law should be broken!"

"Will ye, then, war with Caesar?" said Publius, to which one of the chief among the Jews replied,—

"For Caesar and the Roman people twice a day do we sacrifice, but if he erects these images, he must first destroy the whole Jewish nation; and we now present ourselves, our wives and children, ready for the slaughter."

This heroic stand of the Jews in defence of their religious laws so moved Publius that he dismissed the assembly. But Caligula, incensed that the Jewish nation should thus defy his authority, gave directions that a colossal statue should be made of himself, and that it be placed in the Holy of Holies, in the Temple at Jerusalem, having inscribed upon it his own name, with the title of Jupiter.

The report of this atrocious sacrilege was received at Jerusalem with wild manifestations of astonishment and horror. But the speedy assassination of the tyrant prevented the consummation of this infamous deed.

While Judea and Samaria were thus annexed to the Roman province, Galilee and the outlying regions of Peraea and Ituraea were suffered to remain under their native rulers; and the dominions of Herod the Great became once more united under a single sceptre.

At this time Nero had been for ten years emperor. In 52 A. D. , the Emperor Claudius appointed Herod Agrippa II., the son of Herod Agrippa I. and Cypros, a grandniece of Herod the Great.. to the tetrarchies formerly held by Philip, the son of Herod the Great, with the title of king. Nero afterwards enlarged the dominions of Agrippa by the addition of several cities, and Agrippa erected costly buildings both at Jerusalem and Berytus.

Agrippa had also added an apartment to the old Asmonean Palace, which stood on the eastern brow of the Upper City, and commanded a full view of the interior of the Courts of the Temple. As the Jews saw this desecration of the Sanctuary (for it was a law of the Rabbis that none should build his house high enough to overlook the Temple), they built a wall on the west side of the inner quadrangle. This wall not only intercepted the palace of Agrippa, but also the view from the outer cloisters, in which the Roman guard was stationed during the festivals. Thereupon both Festus, who was then procurator, and King Agrippa complained to Nero. The Jews pleaded that, once built, it was a part of the Temple, and it would be sacrilegious to remove it. Nero admitted their plea, but retained as hostages the High Priest and treasurer, who had headed the deputation to Rome.

Such is a brief outline of some of the political events preceding the time of our story.

Albinus being now procurator, the prophet was brought into his presence.

"Who art thou, and whence didst thou come, and why sayest thou these things?" asked Albinus.

But the prophet Joshua answered him not a word, but ceased not to make lamentation over the city.

The governor then caused him to be scourged, even to the laying bare of his bones; but the prophet used neither entreaties nor tears.

At length, Albinus, judging the man to be mad, let him depart. So Joshua, the strange prophet, returned to the mountains; but, as we shall see, this was not the last heard of his direful cry.

This time being the Feast of Tabernacles, preparations continued in Jerusalem for the observance of all its sacred ceremonies. The services of the Day of Atonement, which preceded the Feast of Tabernacles, being over, the people gathered in the Xystus, which was the Forum, or Pnyx, of the city of Jerusalem. The Xystus was in the valley called the Valley of the Cheesemongers, or the Tyropceon. This valley separated the Upper City on Mount Zion from the Temple on Mount Moriah, on the one hand, and from the Lower City on Mount Acra, on the other. Zion of the Holy Hill was usually spoken of as including the Temple Hill.

Jerusalem, as we all know, was built on four hills, — Zion, Moriah, Acra, and Bezetlia. At the time of Christ, Bezetha was still without the walls, although the slopes were dotted with many buildings, and Calvary lay between Mount Zion and Bezetha. At the time of our story, Bezetha had been enclosed by what was called the third wall. On Zion, in the Higher, or Upper, City, rose the palace of the king. On Moriah was the Temple. Zion was the old city, — the city of David; and, in the time of Christ, included the whole of the southern part of Jerusalem.

In the TyropO3on, or valley between these hills, was the Xystus, and Council Hall, while above was a bridge uniting the Temple Hill to the Upper City.

From Temple Hill a magnificent view of the city of Jerusalem could be obtained, — the Upper City lying to the left, and the Lower City to the right; while in front was the Tyropceon Valley, with the great square of the Xystus crowded with the various nationalities that flocked to Jerusalem, for trade, pleasure, or on sacred pilgrimages.

As we have lingered on Temple Hill while the crowds were hurrying down to the Xystus, intent on their various occupations, we notice again the group we have already described. The Jewish maiden, Miriam, and her sister Jessica, accompanied by old Rachel, at this moment emerged from the outer courts of the Temple.

"You remember, Rachel," remarked Miriam, "that we must go to the Dove Bazaar, on the Mount of Olives, to procure our Temple offerings for to-morrow. Let us proceed thither before the shadows fall. I have here in my girdle pieces of silver which will suffice for their purchase."

"Peradventure Aziel of Arimathaea will not be loath to
lend us his company over the bridge," rejoined Rachel, as she perceived the youth approaching, and was not averse to her young charges having so gallant a protector as they passed beyond the walls of the city.

As Aziel was an old friend, his family having been acknowledged by the family of the fair Jewess as intimate friends for generations, he was privileged to approach and salute the maidens.

"Thou goest not home, Miriam?" inquired Aziel, as he joined the group.

"Not yet," replied Miriam; "I must go to the Dove Bazaar beyond the Kedron."

"Let me go with thee thither," said Aziel, stepping by the side of the girl, whose soft, black eyes, needing no help of "Kohl" to add lustre to their radiance, were only partially concealed by the white gauze veil half shrouding their loveliness. Meanwhile, Jessica and Rachel followed a few paces behind.

They did not descend into the Valley of Jehoshaphat, containing the tombs, where we first beheld the prophet Joshua, but crossed the Kedron by a bridge connecting the Temple with the Mount of Olives. Along this road the priests of the Temple had opened various shops, or bazaars, the income of which belonged to the powerful family of Annas, the Sadducean. The most noted of all these shops was a bazaar erected under two magnificent cedar-trees, frequented by clouds of doves-. This was the Dove Bazaar, and, according to the Talmuds, these birds sufficed to supply the pigeons for sacrifice for all Israel.

Peradventure, under these very cedar-trees, Mary, the mother of Jesus, purchased the doves which she offered in the Temple after the birth of the Divine Babe.

It was but a few minutes' walk outside the walls of Jerusalem to the Valley of the Kedron, and by the bridge from Temple Hill the distance was even less.

As the long ceremonies in the Temple had occupied much of the day, the sun was nearing its setting, as the party, having purchased the doves, which Rachel carried in two small basket-like cages, again turned their steps towards the city.

"As the sun is not yet down, and the city gates will still be open, let us return by the valley," said Aziel to Miriam, desiring to prolong his conversation with the maiden, whom he evidently admired. It had been rumored, also, that Ananus, the father of Miriam, would ere this have proposed the betrothal of these two young friends, for the approval of the Sanhedrin, of which body he was "The Father of the House of Judgment," but that Aziel was reputed to be a Christian, while Ananus still held to the faith of his fathers, being a strict Sadducee.

CHAPTER III.

THE POOL OF SILOAM. THE HOUSE-ON ZION'S HILL. THE

FEAST OF TABERNACLES.

As the home of Miriam, she being the daughter of one of high rank, was in the Upper City on Mount Zion, in descending the Mount of Olives they did not pass through the Garden of Gethsemane, but entered by the Gate of the Fountain, near the beginning of the saddle-shaped projection of the Temple Hill, supposed to be the Ophel of the Bible.

As Aziel and Miriam, together with Jessica and Rachel, approached Siloam, the setting sun flooded Mount Moriah with gorgeous rays, bathing the white marble colonnades of the Temple with ruby light, touching its roof of gold with a blaze of glory so resplendent as to recall to the mind of the devout Jew the wonderful descriptions of the awesome effulgence of the marvellous Shecliinah, which no longer manifested its transcendent glory in the Holy of Holies.

The Pool of Siloam was not then the ruin it now is; then, groves and gardens flourished around it. In the gardens bloomed the rose of Sharon and the lily of the valley, while the useful rue bordered the garden walls. Here and there in the grass near this sacred Siloam might have been seen the gorgeous scarlet lily of the east, the Lilium Chalcedonicum, while the purple lily of Palestine swayed gracefully in the evening breeze. It is supposed that one of these beautiful flowers was referred to by Christ as the lily of the field, with which "Not even Solomon in all his glory" could be compared, for in his magnificent robes "he was not arrayed like one of these."

The Pool of Siloam was a favorite resort of the Jews. Its shady groves of willows, clustering vines, and sacred waters, together with the view of the king's luxuriant gardens, where the grape-vines were trained upon the trunks of the fig-trees, giving force to the emblem of domestic happiness, as represented by "dwelling under one's own vine and fig-tree," rendered the spot delightful; where oaks lent their grateful shade from the noonday sun, while, in the gardens near, the pistachio-trees, for which Palestine was famous, furnished their harvest of spicy nuts.

There, too, the myrtle flourished. Not the humble vine we know, but a stately shrub, with green, shining leaves, and snow-white flowers bordered with purple, emitting a fragrance more exquisite than that of the rose. The date palms waved their feathery plumage, and in the paradise of the king's gardens, the apricot, quince, and citron trees abounded, while orange groves perfumed the air with the delicious fragrance of their snowy blossoms. The pale, gray-green leaves of the olive-trees formed a fitting background to the brighter tints of the fig-trees, while the crimson flowers of the low pomegranates rose little higher than the white blossoms of the tree-myrtle.

Over the garden wall wild roses clambered; lilies clustered near the fountain; the blue-eyed flower of the flax mingled with the star-shaped blossom of the star of Bethlehem on the hillsides and in the valleys; while the many mustard-trees or shrubs furnished seeds for the linnets, goldfinches, sparrows, starlings, blackbirds, songthrushes, corn-buntings, pipits, and green finches, which abounded in Palestine. The solitary blue thrush, eschewing the society of its own species, flitted here and there in pairs, but shunned the noisy chatterers on the mustardtrees.

Were these the birds referred to by the Psalmist as "the sparrow that sitteth alone upon the house-top"? Solomon's fleet had brought peacocks to Jerusalem, and these gorgeous birds paraded in stately grandeur through the various walks of the king's gardens.

At this October season, not all these various blossoms were in bloom, but were numerous enough to fascinate the gaze, and slacken the footsteps of the wayfarer as he entered a vale of loveliness, ere he continued his walk up the hillsides leading to the Higher City.

Aziel and Miriam had seated themselves upon the upper step of the stairway leading down to the Pool of Siloam, while Jessica and Rachel stooped to gather clusters of the stars of Bethlehem, — Jessica attracted by the loveliness of the white blossoms, but prudent Rachel gathering the bulbous roots of the plant, which were sometimes used for food.

Aziel and Miriam had been speaking of the strange cry of Joshua, the prophet; and Aziel said, —

" I have been watching for some time the signs of the times; peradventure some ominous event portends. This last terrible conflagration in Rome has raised grave rumors regarding the Emperor Nero, and reports have confirmed the stories regarding Caesar's iniquitous burning of the Christians, whom he accused of having set fire to the city, to conceal his own connivance in the plot of wholesale destruction, which he thought necessary in order to obtain sufficient space for erecting his contemplated gorgeous structures."
 

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WHAT OTHERS HAVE SAID

"The Critic" (1896)
"Religious Novels have no prescriptive right to be dull and commonplace. We sometimes suspect that the authors of pious tales take for granted the indulgence of a pious public. The subject of the history of Jerusalem from a period shortly antecedent to the time of Christ up to the destruction of that city by the Romans has been a favorite theme for the religiousstory writers. It Would be difficult to imagine any new method of treating that period. "The Doom of the Holy City: Christ and Caesar," by Lydia Hoyt Farmer, is a story of the sort to which we have adverted, and it is not as bad as the worst of its class that we have seen. The English is decent and the plot is fairly managed in conformity to what we have learned of the historical events of the period. The scene of the story is laid, of course, in Jerusalem, but now and then we are taken to Rome, and there our author's knowledge of Roman antiquities is used to ornament her pages. We advise this book for a Sunday-school or parish library. (A. D. F. Randolph & Co.)" (The Critic, Vol. 25)

 



About the Author

FARMER, Lydia (Hoyt), journalist aud author, was born in Cleveland, O., daughter of James M. and Mary Ella (Beebe) Hoyt. Her grandfather, Alexander M. Beebe, LL.D. of New York city, was a fellow-student with Washington Irving and Martin Van Buren, in the law-office of Judge Ogden Hoffman. Her maternal great-grandfather was Dr. Ogilvie, for fifty years rector of Trinity parish in New York city. She was educated in Cleveland, at private and public schools, where she early evinced strong talent in music, art and literature, and became an accomplished linguist. Since 1884 she has engaged in writing, beginning by contributing prose and verse to the leading newspapers and popular magazines. In 1896 she was appointed to the editorial staff of the "Boston Ideas," to write weekly criticisms under the heading " Flashes from Literature." She has also contributed reviews to the "Arena." She has published: " A Story Book of Science " (1886); " Boys' Book of Famous Rulers " (1886); "Girls' Book of Famous Queens" (1887); "The Prince of the Flaming Star" (1857); " The Life of Lafayette " (1888); " A Short History of the French Revolution " (1889); "A Knight of Faith" (1889); "A Moral Inheritance" (1890); "What America Owes to Women "(1893); " Aunt Belindy's Points of View" (1894); "The Doom of the Holy City "(1895), and "The Nero of the Nineteenth Century." "The Doom of the Holy City "was by permission dedicated to W. E. Gladstone, who had written a letter in commendation of her former work, "A Knight of Faith." "Aunt Belindy's Points" was described in the "Bookman"as "marked by shrewd wit, keen observation and broad characterization," and a critic in "Current Literature" wrote: "In Lydia Hoyt Farmer's popular little book of typical sketches, humorous philosophy, fashionable faux pat and quaint logic form the setting for a pleasing love-story, interwoven with mauy bright bits of amusing dialect and social fads, which give constant change of scene, and afford artistic shadings and picturesque portraiture." The Boston "Journal of Education" said: "The works ot Lydia Hoyt Farmer improve steadily, which is rarely true with writers who do so much and along such varied lines." She is the wife of Elihu Jerome Farmer, of Cleveland, O., aud has two sous and a daughter.

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Date: 26 Sep 2010
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Excellent novel. Would make a great movie by an independent production company. Keep Hollywood out of it.
 

 

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