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FROM HIS BIRTH TO HIS CRUCIFIXION, RESURRECTION, AND ASCENSION.
Also the Lives, Travels, Doctrines, Sufferings, and various Martyrdoms of the Holy Evangelists, MATTHEW, MARK, LUKE and JOHN; with the Lives of the Holy Apostles, and other Disciples; particularly ST. PETER, PAUL, ANDREW, JAMES the Great and Less, PHILIP, BARTHOLOMEW, SIMON, JUDE, MATTHIAS, BARNABAS, STEPHEN, TIMOTHY, TITUS, &c. who were made Instruments, by Divine Grace, in promoting the Establishment of Christianity, the Foundation whereon are built all our Hopes of Eternal Salvation.
TO WHICH ARE ADDED,
A summary View of the great Difference between the Law as delivered by MOSES and the PROPHETS, and the Gospel under CHRIST and his APOSTLES. Also the connexion between the OLD and NEW TESTAMENTS, with a clear DISPLAY of the great TRUTHS of DIVINE REVELATION.
THE VARIOUS OBSERVATIONS, COMMENTS AND ILLUSTRATIONS,
Of the most learned BISHOPS, DIVINES, Ecclesiastical and other authentic, ancient and modern Historians, who have hitherto written on the subject.
The whole calculated to Enlighten the Understanding, purify the Heart, and promote that Knowledge, by which we may obtain Happiness in this World, and eternal Salvation in that which is to come..
NEW AND COMPLETE
FROM THE BABYLONISH CAPTIVITY, TO THE BIRTH
[INCLUDING A PERIOD OF 588 YEARS.]
Demetrius, the nephew of the late Antiochus Epiphanes, claims the crown of Syria, which he obtains, and orders Antiochus Eupater and the regent Lysias, to be put to death. Alcimus, the high-priest, represents the Jews in a very unfavorable light to Demetrius, who thereupon sends Bacchides, the governor of Mesopotamia, with an army into Judea, in order to carry on the war against them. The perfidy and cruelty of Alcimus the high-priest to his brethren. Bacchides returns to Antioch, and leaves Alcimus commander of his forces against the Jews. Judas Maccabeus obliges Alcimus to leave Judea, and fly to Antioch, upon which Demetrius sends another army into Judea under the command of Nicanor, with strict orders to destroy Judas and his followers. Nicanor enters into a treaty of peoce with the Jews, which is rendered ineffectual by the baseness of Alcimus. Nicanor marches against Jerusalem, but is attacked by Judas, his army defeated, and himself slain. Judas enters into a league of friendship with the Romans. He engages the army of the Syrians under the command of Bacchides and Alcimus, from the superiority of whose numbers he is defeated and slain. His brother Jo
nathan succeeds him in the command of the Jewish forces, makes a brave stand, and afterwards forms a treaty of peace with Bacchides. Alexander, the son of Antiochus Epiphanes, usurps the kingdom of Syria, in which he is joined by Jonathan, who, among other favors bestowed on him by Alexander, is appointed to the office of high-priest. Alexander engages the army of Demetrius, obtains a complete victory, and kills his antagonist. The son of Demetrius endeavors to revenge his father's death, and to divest Alexander of the Syrian throne. He gains over to his interest Apollonius, the governor of Cælo-Syria, who, to oblige Jonathan to quit Alexander's party, marches against him with a considerable army. Jonathan engages him, and obtains a complete victory. Alexander, in conjunction with Ammonius his favorite, concerts a plot against the life of his father-in-law Ptolemy Philometer, which proves abortive. Ptolemy engages Alexander, defeats his army, and obliges him to fly into Arabia, where Zabdiel the king of that part of the country, cuts off his head and sends it to Ptolemy. Ptolemy dies of the wounds he received in the battle with Alexander, and Demetrius obtains quiet possession of the Syrian empire.
AFTER Antiochus Eupater had for some time been on the throne of Syria, Demetrius, the son of Seleucus Philopater (elder brother to Antiochus Epiphanes) laid claim to the crown. In the very year that Antiochus, the uncle of Demetrius, died, he was defeated in a pitched battle by the Romans, and taken prisoner, upon which his nephew Demetrius, who happened to be with him, and was then a child, was, to secure his uncle's liberty, sent as an hostage to Rome; and in consequence of his absence at the time of his uncle's death, Antiochus Eupater was declared king without the least opposition.
Demetrius was now in the twenty-third year of his age, and thinking that Antiochus Eupater possessed that dignity to which himself was entitled, he determined to put in his claim, and, if possible, make himself master of the Syrian empire. The first step he took towards effecting his design was, to apply to the Senate of Rome for their assistance, and as an inducement to their granting his request, he told them, that, having been bred up in that city from his childhood, he should always look on Rome as his country, the senators as his fathers, and their sons as
his brothers. This, however, had not the desired effect, for the Senate, paying a greater regard to their own interest than the claim of Demetrius, and judging it more advantageous to them to have a boy reign in Syria (as Antiochus Eupater then was) than a man of mature understanding and discernment (as they knew Demetrius to be) refused to give him any assistance, notwithstanding the pretensions he made of being justly entitled to the sovereignty of the Syrian empire.
This disappointment, however, did not intimidate Demetrius, who, in order to execute his designs, escaped from Rome, with a full resolution of risquing his fortune in his own country. Having landed at Tripolis in Syria, he informed the inhabitants of his being the right heir to the crown, and that he was sent by the Roman senate, who would support his pretensions to take possession of the kingdom. This story being universally credited by the people of Tripolis, they readily espoused the cause of Demetrius, who, having raised a few forces in that city, marched towards Antioch, in his way to which he made himself master of many capital places, and the people, giving up Eupater's cause as lost, went over to him in such numbers, that he soon found himself at the head of a very considerable army.
So universal was the disaffection of the people towards Eupater, and so prepossessed were they in favor of De metrius, that when they heard of his approach near Antioch, the soldiers in the city seized Eupater and the regent Lysias, with a design of delivering them up to Demetrius as soon as he should arrive. Demetrius, however, did not think proper to see them, but gave orders that they should be immediately put to death. This was accordingly done, soon after which Demetrius entered with his army into Antioch, amidst the universal acclamations of the people, and, without any farther opposition, became thoroughly possessed of the Syrian empire.
Soon after Demetrius was settled on the Syrian throne, the base and perfidious Alcimus (whom Antiochus Eupater had constituted high-priest, but who was never, by the Jews, acknowledged as such on account of his apostacy) in order to ingratiate himself in the favor of the new
king, went and implored his protection against Judas Maccabeus and his party, whom he accused of being enemies to the kings of Syria, fomentors of sedition, and persecutors of his faithful subjects.
In consequence of this representation, Demetrius, who, from the situation of Alcimus, was readily induced to give credit to all he said, was so exasperated, that he immediately ordered Bacchides, a very powerful man, and governor of Mesopotamia, to march with an army into Judea; and, having confirmed Alcimus in the office of high-priest, joined him in the same commission for carrying on the war against the Jews.
On their arrival in Judea, the Scribes and Doctors of the law, alarmed at so formidable a force, met together in order to consult, and fix on the most proper methods to be taken in so critical a state of affairs. After some deliberation it was at length agreed to send deputies to Bacchides and Alcimus, in order to bring matters to a peaceable accommodation. The Jews, having obtained the promise of a safe-conduct, accordingly dispatched the deputies, who were sixty in number, on the business; but no sooner did the perfidious and cruel Alcimus get them in his power, than he ordered them all to be instantly put to death, thereby violating the promise he had made for their safety, and thereby justly incurring the hatred and detestation of his brethren.
A short time after this, Bacchides returned to Antioch, leaving Alcimus in Judea, with some of his forces, to protect and defend him. In this situation the views of Alcimus were directed fully to secure himself in the office of high-priest, to effect which, he endeavored to ingratiate himself with the people by fair words and obliging behavior. This so far answered his purpose, that he soon doubled the number of forces that had been left him by Bacchides; but they consisted chiefly of renegadoes, who destroyed all the Jews who were friends to Judas wherever they found them.
As soon as Judas understood the cruelties exercised by the people under the command of Alcimus against his brethren in Judea, he marched from Jerusalem in order to give him battle; but Alcimus, knowing himself to be