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vince under Seleucus, that great Treasures were hid in the Temple; whereupon Heliodorus, the Treasurer, was fent to seize them.
5Q. How did the Hand of God appear againft Heliodorus in his Attempt to enter the Temple?
A. The Priefs 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 Heliodorus fell fuddenly to the Ground in Darkness and Confufion; 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 confefs it seems to have fomething 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 fucceeded 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.
7Q. What did this wicked Jafon do when he was High Prieft?
A. He erected a Place of Exercife at Jerufalem, for training up Youth according to the Fashion of the Greeks, and made as many of them as he could forfake the religious Cuftoms and Ufages of their Forefathers, and conform themselves in many Things to the Cuftoms and Ceremonies of the Heathens, ver. 9, &c.
8 Q. What became of this Jafon?
A. A few Years after, when he employed Menelaus his Brother to pay his Tribute at the Syrian Court, he was fupplanted by him; for Menelaus by Bribery obtained the Priesthood, and put Jafon to flight.
9 Q. Did Menelaus behave himself better in his Office?
A. He was worse than Jafon; he ftole fome of the Veffels 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 Q. What was done at Jerufalem in the mean Time?
A. Lyfimachus being left as aDeputy by Menelaus, practifed many Sacrileges on the Veffels of the Temple, which occafioned a great Infurrection in the City, wherein Multitudes on the Part of Lyfimachus were wounded and flain, and the Church-Robber himself was killed.
11 Q. Did Jason ever return again to Jerufa lem?
A. When there was a falfe Report of the Death of Antiochus, Jafon with a thousand Men affaulted 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.
12Q DidAntiochus the King fuffer thefe Things to pass unresented?
A. Upon the Report of fuch a Tumult in Jerufalem, 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 fourfcore
fourfcore Thousand deftroyed in the Space of three Days.
13 Q. What Profanenefs was Antiochus guilty of in the Temple?
A. Being conducted by Menelaus into the Temple, he took away the remaining holy Veffels, 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 Jerufalem overwhelmed in Blood and Mourning.
14 Q. Did he pursue this Mischief and Madnefs any longer?
A. Two Years after he fent Apollonius, his Collector of Tribute, with a thoufand Men, who fell fuddenly on the City on the Sabbath, while they were at Worship, and flew the Citizens and the Priefts; he made the Sacrifices ceafe, led the Women and Children captive, pulled down the Houfes and the Walls, built a Caftle or Fortress on a high Hill in the City of David over-against the Temple, to overlook and annoy them, and placed a Garri fon therein, and laid up the Spoils of the City there.
15 Q. What further Inftances of Rage did Antiochus fhew against the Jewish Religion?
A. He iffued out an Order, that all his Dominions should be of one Religion, chiefly designing to distress the Jews: He forbid their Children to be circumcifed, and forbid all Burnt-offerings and Sacrifices in the Temple of the God of Ifrael: He called it the Temple of Jupiter Olympius, fet up his Image on the Altar, and facrificed to it; he commanded the People to profane the Sabbath, he fet up Altars and Groves, and Chapels of Idols throughout the Cities, and required them to offer the
the Flesh of Swine and other unclean Beafts, and then to eat it; and he destroyed the Books of the Law wherefoever they were found.
Note, This Image of Jupiter, fet up on the Altar by Antiochus Epiphanes, is fuppofed to be the Abomination that maketh defolate, foretold by Daniel, chap. xi. 31. as the Roman Enfign, with the Eagle on it, which was the Bird of Jupiter, fet up in the Temple, was the Abomination of Defolation 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 Teftament; and when fuch are set up in the San&uary, it may well be called Defolation, for the Priests are driven away, and the true Worship of God ceases. Obferve yet further, that this Antiochus Epiphanes
is called by fome the Jewish Antichrift; because feveral of the fame Things are foretold of him by the Prophet Daniel, which are alfo predicted of the Roman Antichrift, in the Christian Church, by the Apoftle John.
16 Q. Did any of the Ifraelites 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 fome out of Ambition to please the King, conformed to his Religion, and facrificed, and burnt Incenfe to Idols in the Streets of the Cities of Judea.
17 Q. How did the King punish those that re-. fufed?
A. He put the Men to Death every Month, he flew feveral Women that had caufed their Children to be circumcifed, hanged the Infants about their Neck, and killed thofe that circumcifed them. This Perfecution may be feen more at large, 1.Macc. chap. i. and iii. and 2 Mace. vi.
18 Q. What did the Samaritans do on this Occafion?
A. When the Jews were in Profperity, they challenged Kindred with the Jews; but they difowned them when they were under Perfecution: And therefore on this Occafion 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 defired 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.
1QWHEN the Perfecution was fo violent in Judea, was there any eminent public Oppofition made to it by any of the Jews?
A. Mattathias, a Prieft of the Courfe 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 Refolution to die in the Religion of the Jews, 1 Macc. ii.
2Q What Inftance did he give of his Courage and Zeal?
A. When one of the Jews came to facrifice on the Heathen Altar which was at Modin, he could not forbear to fhew his Indignation, as a Zealot, but ran and flew the Man upon the Altar, and at the fame 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?