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and Prayer, and fervently to implore its Protection' against their impious and idolatrous Enemies.
The haughey General of the Asyrians, who had before met with little or no Opposition, being informed of these marrial Preparations of the Jesus, and of their Resolution to withstand him, was greatly surprized and incensed therear, and therefore immediately calls a Council of War, wherein he enquires who, and what they were ; wherein their Strength confifted; who was their King, and who commanded their Army ?
Now it happened, amongst those who had submitted to Holofernes, and joined him with their For. ces, was one Achior, Captain of the Ammonites, who gave him a full, but succinct Account, of the Orie gin, Religion, Transactions, Sufferings, and asto. nishing Deliverances of the Jews, from their being
in Bondage to Pharaoh, till thar Day ; concluding - the whole with this faiutary Advice, to actack them
if they had any way sinned against cheir God; but, if not, to let them alone, and pass them by, left he should defend them, as he had so often done before, and they should be defeated shamefully, and become che Scorn of the World. Tois ingenuous, bold, and sincere Answer, not only highly displeared Holofernes, but the whole Assembly, insomuch, that they demanded to have him pur to Dearh ; and declared on the contrary, especially the Moa. bites and Edomites, their Neighbours, but most invere. rare Enemies, that the Jews were a despicable Peo. ple, who had no Sirength in them, and whom Ho. lofernes, with his Army, might not only easily dee' fcai, but utterly deftroy, or carry away captive.
The Tumult, however, being at last appeared, the proud Holofernes, who had already come to a Resolucion within himself what he would do; in or.
der to show the greater Contempt, not only of the Jous themselves, but of Achior, who hard reprelented their God as able so defend them, and even of that God himself, thus haughtily addressed : himself to that Caprain: And wbo art ihcu, Achior, and the Hirelings of Ephraim, that thou hast prophefied amongsi us as Today, and has said that we foould not make War with the People of Israel, because their God will defend them? And who is God, but Nebuchadrezz31 ? He will send his power, and be will. destroy them from the face of the Earth; and their GODhall not deliver them : But we bis Servants will. defiroy them as one Man, for they are not able to sustain the poruer of our Horses:
• After this insolent and blasphemous Speech, with much more to the fame. Purpose, to fhew how litrle Doubt he had of overcoming, and utterly excirpa.. ting the Jews, in spite of the Affittance of their GOD, he tells Achior, He shall see his Face no. "moré eill he takes Vengeance of that Nation ;. " and bids him be of good Heart, if he verily « thinks they shall not fall into his Hands, for he << will cause him to be delivered up to the Jews, and " he Mall not be destroyed, till he is.deltroyed 10“ gether with them.". Accordir gly, he kept his Word, immediately ordering his Servants to convey him direaly to the Palles, and there leave him, that he might fall into the lands of the Inhabitants of Bethulia, which was done forth with.
But what was the Efect of all this Infolence and vain Boasting in this impious and prophane Exalter of himself against ihe Almighty, his Creator ? Why, che great Lord of Heaven and Earth laughs him to Scorn, and delivers him into the Hands of Juditb, a weak Woman; making her Beauty a, Snare for him, wherewith to inqrap his Lite, infomuch that, whild he thought carnally to have eti
joyed her, and for very Rapture at the Expectation thereof, had indulged himselt highly in Feasting and Revelling, even beyond his ordinary Custom, the Fumes of the Wine, whereof he had drank to Excess, getting into his Head, lulled him into a sound Sleep, from which he was never co awake, till his guilty and blafphemous Soul launched into a dreadful Eternity.
In short, ibat couragious Heroine, the fair fue dith, whom he intended to have defiled, and made a Prey to his falchy Luft, being left alone in his Tent, and taking Advantage of his Intoxication, became a lufficient Inftrument, in the Hands of that GOD whom he had impiously fer at Defiance, to chastise his audacious Blasphemy, and contemptuous, Vio. lation of the First Commandment; by levering that baughty Head from his Body, with his own Fal. chion, which he had dared to exalt against the Mop High. Such was the miserable End of this insolent Blafphemer, which was followed by the shameful Defeat of his numerous Army, by that Handful of Jews, whom he had so highly contemned; and the hanging up his lifeless Head upon the Walls of. Be thulia, to become the Gazingtock, and Maygame of all the People of Ifrael.
Another Inftance, full as remarkable, and indeed rather more of the Divine Vengeance, upon the Breakers of this Law, was, in the Person of Helio.. do: us, Treasurer to Seleucus Philopater, King of Sy= ria, who being sent by that Monarch, upon an In.. formation from a traiterous Jew, of the immense. Treasure that was lodged in the Temple of Jeru. falem, to fetch away chat. Sacred Depofitum, and being accompanied by a numerous Guard for that: Purpose, when all Intreaties and Remonftrances availed nothing, to prevent so sacrilegious an Ara, Lempt, was miraculously opposed by Hearen izselt,
which undertook the Defence of that awful Place. For, behold, just as he was forcing his Way into the Treasury, there appeared to them the Figure of an high.metrled Sreed, richly caparisoned, where. on was mounted a Man in compleat Armour, all of Gold, which, rearing up, ftruck at Heliodorus fiercely with his Fo:e-feet; and at che same Time were feen cwo young Men, of exquisite Beauty, who ftanding on each side of the Treasurer, lashed him feverely with Whips, till he fell speechiess to the Ground.
Thus was this audacious Prophaner of God's -holy Temple, and Affronter of the Majesty of Heaven, though 'attended by a numerous Train of Guards, chastised in the moft exemplary Manner, and reduced to a most miserable Condition, with our its being in the Power of any of them, either to prevenc it, or afford him any Afiftance; but, calt to the Ground, speechless, and without any Sign of Life, he lay a wretched Object to behold, and manifest Instance of the Divine Power, with: out any Possibility of Reliet, till the venerable High Prieft, good Onias, whose earnest Represenrations he had before despised, was prevailed on to become his Inrercessor with that God, whom he had so heinoully insulted, for Pardon and Mercy. Nor did the King himself, who had ordered this Sacrilege to be commicced, and who, notwithstanding this miraculous Disappointment, was inclinable still to perfift in his impious Delign, had he not been difswaded from it by his Treasurer, escape with Impunity.
In effect, as his Inclination to persevere in the fame Wickedness, not deterred from ir, by fuch visible Marks of the divine Displeasure, as had been manifested on Heliodorus, confiderably ago gravated biś Guilt, and thewed a Disposition to op
pose even Heaven itself, the Almighty made the very Man, whom he had commanded to plunder the Temple, his Instrument to execure his Vengeance, for thac execrable Attempt, upon the Head of chat wicked Prince who had ordered ir. Accordingly, that Traytor, taking Advantage of the Absence of the two next Heirs to the Crown, (one of whom, Demetrius, the King's Son, had been sent to Rome as an Holtage, in lieu of Antiochus Epipbanes, young. er Brocher to Seleucus, who had resided there in that Capacity thirteen Years, but was now wanted at Home, though not yet arrived ;) that T'raytor He. liodorus, we say, taking Advantage of this their Absence, imagined he might easily make use of this commodious Interval, to set up for himself; and this he did by poisoning his Master, Seleucus Philopater, and seizing upon his Crown; which, however, he did not usurp long, being driven from it by the Kings Eumenes and Attalus, who feated Antiochus Epiphanes upon it. Such was the Issue and Reward of that intended Sacrilege, and unjuft Rapine, both in the Treasurer who endeavoured to execute it, and the Tyrant who commanded it; both being made memorable Examples of that Divine Indig. nation, which hangs continually over the Heads of all those who dare audaciously prophane the Temple of the Most High, and by so doing, new chemselves notoriously guilty of breaking che Firt Come mandment.
The next Instance we shall produce of the dread. ful Consequences of transgressing this sacred Law, fhall be in the Person of Antiochus Epiphanes beforementioned, Brother and Succeffor to Seleucus Philopater, whom he also followed in his facrilegi. ous Attempts, and miserable End This ouiragious and most execrable Tyraár, who became a no less remarkable Monument of the Divine Veageance than the foregoing, not taking Warning by