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vince under Seleucus, that great Treasures were hid in the Temple; whereupon Heliodorus, the Treasurer, was fent to seize them.
5 Q. How did the Hand of God appear against Heliodorus in his Attempt to enter the Temple?
A. The Priests and the People made great Outcries and Supplications to God; upon which Heliodorus is reported to have seen a Vifion of a Horse, with a terrible Rider upon him, who fmote Heliodorus with his Forefeet; and two young Men appeared who scourged him forely: upon which He. liodorus fell suddenly to the Ground in Darkness and Confusion ; but being restored by the Prayers of Onias, he acknowledged the Power of God, and departed from the City. Read this story more at large, 2 Maccabees, chapter iii.
I confess it seems to have something a little fabulous in the Air of it, as also other Stories in that Book.
6 Q. How came fo good a Man as Onias to be turned out of the Priesthood ?
A. When Antiochus Epiphanes succeeded his Brother Seleucus in' the Kingdom of Syria, Jafon bribed him with a large sum of Money to turn out his own Brother Onias, banish him to Antioch, and confer the Priesthood on himself; not that he affected it as it was a religious Office, but as it included the Power of CivilGovernment, 2 Macc.iv. 7.
7 Q. What did this wicked Jason do when he was High Priest?
A. He erected a Place of Exercise at Jerusalem, for training up Youth according to the Fashion of the Greeks, and made as many of them as he could forsake the religious Customs and Usages of their Forefathers, and conform themselves in many Things to the Customs and Ceremonies of the Heathens, ver. 9, &c.
8 Q. What became of this Jason?
A. A few Years after, when he employed Menelaus bis Brother to pay his Tribute at the Syrian Court, he was supplanted by him; for Menelaus by Bribery obtained the Priesthood, and put Jason to fight.
9 Q. Did Menelaus behave himself better in his Office ?
A. He was worse than Jafon , he stole some of the Vessels of Gold out of the Temple, he went to Antioch, where he was reproved by Onias, who was yet living, for his Wickedness, and out of Revenge procured Onias to be flain.
10 . What was done at Jerusalem in the mean Time ?
A. Lysimachus being left as a Deputy by Menelaus, practised many Sacrileges on the Vessels of the Temple, which occafioned a great Insurrection in the City, wherein Multitudes on the Part of Lysimachus were wounded and flain, and the Church-Robber himself was killed.
11 Q. Did Jafon ever return again to Jerusalem?
A. When there was a false Report of the Death of Antiochus, Jason with a thousand Men all'aulted the City, and flew many Citizens, but was at last put to flight; and being driven from Country to Country, and from City to City, he perished in a ftrange Land, without the Honour of a Burial, 2 Macc. v. 5-10.
12 Q Did Antiochusthe King suffer these things to pass unresented ?
A. Upon the Report of such a Tumule in Jerusalem, he imagined that Judea had revolted, and he came upon the City, and ordered his Men of War not to spare young or old, and there were
four score Thousand destroyed in the Space of three Days.
13 Q. What Profaneness was Antiochus guilty of in the Temple ?
A. Being conducted by Menelaus into the Temple, he took away the remaining holy Vessels, the Altar of Incense, the golden Table and the Candlestick; he tore off the Golden Ornaments of the
Temple, and robbed it of the hidden Treasures, he offered a large Sow (that unclean and forbidden Beast) on the Altar of Burnt offering, and left Jerusalem overwhelmed in Blood and Mourning.
14 Q. Did he pursue this Mischief and Madness any longer?
A. Two Years after he sent Apollonius, his Collector of Tribute, with a thousand Men, who fell suddenly on the City on the Sabbath, while they were at Worship, and flew the Citizens and the Priests; he made the Sacrifices cease, led the Wo-, men and Children captive, pulled down the Houses and the Walls, built a Castle or Fortress on a high Hill in the City of David over against the Temple, to overlook and annoy them, and placed a Garrifon therein, and laid up the Spoils of the City there.
15 Q. What further Instances of Rage did Antiochus thew against the Jewish Religion?
A. He issued out an Order, that all his Dominions should be of one Religion, chiefly designing to distress the Jews : He forbid their Children to be circumcised, and forbid all Burnt-offerings and Sacrifices in the Temple of the God of Israel: He called it the Temple of Jupiter Olympius, set up his Image on the Altar, and sacrificed to it; he commanded the People to profane the Sabbath, he set up Altars and Groves, and Chapels of Idols throughout the Cities, and required them to offer
the Flesh of Swine and other unclean Beasts, and then to eat it; and he destroyed the Books of the Law wheresoever they were found. Note, This Image of Jupiter, set up on the Altar by
Antiochus Epiphanes, is supposed to be the Abomination that maketh defolate, foretold by Daniel, chap. xi. 31. as the Roman Ensign, with the Eagle on it, which was the Bird of Jupiter, set up in the Temple, was the Abomination of Desolation which Daniel foretels, Dan. ix. 27. and chap. xii 11. and which our Saviour refers to, Matt. xxiv. 15. Abomination is the common Name for an Idol in the Old Teltament; and when such are set up in the Sanctuary, it may well be called Desolation, for the Priests are driven away, and the true Worship of God
ceases. Observe yet further, that this Antiochus Epiphanes
is called by some the Jewish Antichrift; because several of the same things are foretold of him by the Prophet Daniel, which are also predicted of the Roman Antichrist, in the Christian Church, by the Apostle John.
16 Q. Did any of the Israelites comply with his Commands?
A. Though there were Multitudes who would not defile themselves, and break the Law of God, yet too many of them for Fear, and some out of Ambition to please the King, conformed to his Religion, and facrificed, and burnt Incense to Iduls in the Streets of the Cities of Judea.
17 Q. How did the King punish those that re. fused ?
A. He put the Men to Death every Month, he New several Women that had caused their Children to be circumcised, hanged the Infants about their Neck, and killed those that circumcised them. This Perfecution may be feen more at large, 1. Macc. chap. i. and iii. and 2 Macc. vi.
18 Q. What did the Samaritans do on this Occasion ?
A. When the Jews were in Prosperity, they challenged Kindred with the Jews ; but they dilowned them when they were under Persecution: And therefore on this Occasion they made no Apology to Antiochus the King, for having heretofore used the Jewish Rites ; but now having renounced them, they complied with the Heathen Religion, and desired their Temple on Mount Gerizim might be made the Temple of the Grecian Jupiter, the Defender of Strangers, 2 Macc. vi.
Sect. V. Of MATTATHIAS, the Father of the
MACCABEES, and the great Reformer.
IQ: WHEN the Persecution was so violent
in Judea, was there any eminent public Opposition made to it by any of the Jews ?
A. Mattathias, a Prieft of the Course of Joarib, who dwelt in Modin, was complimented by the King's Officers, and tempted to comply with Heathen Worship there, according to the King's Commandment; but he boldly renounced their Superftitions, and declared his Resolution to die in the Religion of the Jews, 1 Macc. ii,
2 What Instance did he give of his Courage and Zeal?
A. When one of the Jews came to sacrifice on the Heathen Altar which was at Modin, he could not'forbear to lhew his Indignation, as a Zealot, but ran and New the Man upon the Altar, and at the same Time killed theKing's chief Officer there, who came to enforce these wicked Commands.
3 Q. In what Manner did he maintain this bold Enterprize?