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and Prayer, and servently to implore its Protection against their impious and idolatrous Enemies.
The haughty General of the Jjsyrians, who had besore met with little or no Opposition, being informed of these martial Preparations of the Jew* and ot their Resolution to withstand him, was greatly surprized and incensed rherear, and therefore immediately calls a Council of War, wherein he enquires who, and what they were; wherein their Strength consisted; who was their King, and who commanded their Army?
Now it happened, amongst thofe who had submitted to Holofertus, and joined him with ther Forces, was one Achior, Captain of the Ammonites, who gave him a sull, but succinct Account, of the Origin, Re:igion, Tranfactions, Sufserings, and astonishing Deliverances of the Jfwst from their being in Bondage to Pharaoh, till that Day; concluding the whole with this faiutary Advice, to attack them if they had any W.*y sinned against their God ; bur, if not, to let them alone, and pass them by, lest he should desend them, as he had so often done betore, and they should be deseated shamesully, and become the Scorn of the World. This ingenuous, bold, and sincere Answer, not only highly displeased Hotaftrnts, but the whole Assembly, insomuch, that tney demanded to have him put to Death i and declared on the contrary, especially the Monti tei anAEchmitts, theirNeighbours, but most inveterate Enemies, that the Jews were a despicable People, who had no Strength in them, and whom Hiis/ernes, wim his Army, might not only easily defeat, but utterly destroy, or carry away captive.
The Tumult, however, being at last appeased,
the proud Holefernei, who had already come to a
Resolution within himself what he would do; in or.
D 6 der der to shew the greater Contempt, not only of the Jiii's themselves, but of Achior, who had repretenttd their Goo as able io desend them, and even of that God himself, thus haughtily addressed himself ro that Captain: Andiiuho art ihcut Achior, and the Writings if Ephraim, that th"u hast prophesied among]} us as Today, and hast said that 'we should not make iVmr with the People of Israel, because their God ivill defend them? And ivho is Gon, but Nebuchad. eZ23r? He ivillfend his Power, and he will destroy them front the Face of the Earth; and their G o vshall not deliver them: But 'we his Servants ivill destroy them as one Mani for they are not able to sustain the Pmvcr of our Horsesi
After this insolent and.blasphemousSpeech, with much more to the fame Purpofe, to shew how little Doubt he had of overcoming, and utterly extirpa-. ting the Jews, in spite of the Assistance of their God, he tells Achior, *« He shall see his Face no. "more; till 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 "B ill cause him to be delivered up to the Jeivs,and "he shall not be destroyed, till be is destroyed to"gerher with them" Accordi'gly, he- krpt his Word, immediately ordering his Servants toconvey him directly to the Passes, and there leave him, that he might fall into the Hands of the Inhabitants of Bethulia, which.was done forthwith.
But what was the Effect of all this- Insolence and vain Boasting in this impious and iiophane lixalfer of himself against the Almighty, hs Creator? Why, the great Lord of Heaven ar,d Earth laughs him to Scorn, and delivers him into the Hands of Judiths a weak Woman-; making her Beauty a Snare (or him, wherewith to in trap his Lise, insomuch that, whilst he thought carnally to have enjoyed joyed her, and for very Rapture at the Expectation thereof, had indulged himself highly in Feasting and Revelling, even beyond his ordinary Custom, the Fumes of the Wine, whereof he had drank to Excels, getting into his Head, lulled him into a found Sleep, from which he was never to awake, till his guilty and blasphemous Soul launched into a dreadful Eternity.
In short, tl;at couragious Heroine, the fair Judith, whom he intended to have desiled, and made a Prey to his silthy Lust, being lest alone in hisTenr, and taking Advantage of his Intoxication, became a sussicient instrument, in the Hands of that. God whom he had impiously set at Desiance, to chastise his audacious Blasphemy, and contemptuous Violation of the First Commandment; by severing that haughty Head from, his Body, with his own Falchion, which he had dared to exalt against the Most High. Such was the miserable End of this insolent Blasphemer, which was followed by the shamesul Deseat of his numerous Army, by that Handsul of Jews, whom he had so highly contemned; and the hanging up his liseless Head,upon the Walls of Be" tbulia, to become the Gaaingstock and Maygame ol all the People of Israel.
Another Instance, sull as remarkable, and indeed rather more of the Divine Vengeance, upon the Breakers of this Law, was, in the Person of Heliodotus, Treasurer to Seleucus Pbilopater, King of Syria, who being sent by that Mprarch, upon an Information from a traiterous Jew, of- the immenseTreasure that was lodged in the Temple of Jerusalem, to setch away that siqred Depofitum, and being accompanied by a numerous Guard for that Purpofe, when all Intreatier and Remonstrances availed nothing, to prevent so facrilegious an Attempt, was miraculously opposed by Heaven itself,
which undertook the Desence of that aw fa I Place. For, behold, just as he was forcing his Way into the Treasury, there appeared to them the Figure of an high.mcttled Steed, richly caparisoned, whereon was mounted a Man in compltat Armour, all of Gold, which, rearing up, struck at Heliodorut siercely with his Fo:e-seet ; and at the fame Time were seen two young Men, of exquisite Beauty, who standing on each Side of the Treasurer, lashed him severely with Whips, till he sell speechless to the Ground.
Thus was this audacious Prophaner of God's - holy Temple, aod Affronter of the Majesty of Heaven, though 'attended by a numerous Train of Guards, chastised in the most exemplary Manner, and reduced to a most miserable Condition, without its being in the Power of any of them, either to prevent it, or afford him any Assistance; but, cast to the Ground, speechless, and without any Sign of Lise, he lay a wretched Object to behold, and manisest Instance of the Divine Power, without any Possibility of Relies, till the venerab e High Priest, good Onias, whose earnest Representations he had besore despised, was prevailed on to become his Intercessor with that Gon, whom he had so heinoufly infuiied, for Pardon and Mercy. Nor did the King himself, who had ordered this Sacrilege to be committed, and who, notwithstanding this miraculous Difappointment, was inciinable still to persist in his impious Design, had he not been disswaded from it by his Treasurer, escape with Impunity.
In essect, as his Inclination to persevere in the fame Wickedness, not deterred from ir, by' such visible Marks of the divine Displeasure, as had been manisested on Helioderus, considerably aggravated his Guilt, and shewed a Disposition to oppnse pofe even Heaven itself, the Almighty made the very Man, whom he had commanded to plunder the Temple, his Instrument to execute his Vengeance* for that execrable Attempt, upon the Head of that wicked Prince who had ordered it. Accordingly, that Traytor, taking Advantage of the Absence of the two next Heirs to the Crown, (oneof whom, Demetrius, the King's Son, had been sent to Rome as an Hostage, in lieu of Antiochus Epiphanes, younger Brother to Seleucus, who had resided there in that Capacity thirteen Years, but was now wanted ac Home, though not yet arrived ;) that Traytor flVliodorus, we fay, taking Advantage of this theirAbscnee, imagined he might easily make use of this commodious Interval, to set up for himself; and this he did by poisoning his Master, Sekuais Philopater, and seizing upon his Crown; which, however, he did not usurp long, being driven from it by the Kings Eumenes and Atta/us, who seated Antitxbus Epiphanes upon it. Such was the Issue and Reward of that intended Sacrilege, and unjust Rapine, both in the Treasurer who endeavoured to execute it, and the Tyrant who commanded it; both being made memorable Examples of that Divine Indignation, which hangs continually over the Heads of all thofe who dare audaciously prophane the Temple of the Most High, aud by so doing, shew themselves notoriously guilty of breaking the First Convmandment.
The next Instance wefliall produce of the dreadsul Consequences of transgressing this facred Law, fhail be in the Person of Antiochus Epiphanes beforementioned, Brother and Successor to Seleucus Philopater, whom he also followed in his sacrilegious Attempts, and miserable End This outragious and most execrable Tyrant, who became a no less remarkable Monument of the Divine Vengeance than the foregoing, not taking Warning by