Imatges de pàgina

to God, because the city was taken upon the sabbath day. But in succeeding ages, it appears to be an established rule that the spoil was to be divided among the army actually engaged in battle ; those who had the charge of the baggage (as already noticed) being considered entitled to an equal share with the rest. (1 Sam. xxx. 24.)

Besides a share of the spoil and the honours of a triumph, various military rewards were bestowed on those warriors who had pre-eminently distinguished themselves. Thus Saul promised to confer great riches on the man who should conquer Goliath, and further to give his daughter in marriage to him, and to exempt his father's house from all taxes in Israel. (1 Sam. xvii. 25.) How reluctantly the jealous monarch fulfilled his promise is well known. David promised the command in chief of all his forces to him who should first mount the walls of Jerusalem, and expel the Jebusites out of the city É Kings v. 8. 1 Chron. xi. 6.); which honour was acquired by Joab. n the rebellion of Absalom against David, Joab replied to a man who told him that the prince was suspended in an oak,+Why didst thou not smite him to the ground, and I would have given the ten shekels of silver and a girdle? (2 Sam. xviii. 11.) §. hthah was constituted head and captain over the Israelites beyond Jordan, for delivering them from the oppression of the Ammonites. (Judg. xi. 11. compared with xii. 7.)

After the return of the Jewish armies to their several homes, their military was laid aside. The militia, which had been raised for the occasion, was disbanded; their warlike instruments, with the exception of such as were private property, were delivered up as the pro

of the state, until some future war should call them forth

(2 Chron. xi. o ; and the soldiers themselves returned (like Cincinnatus) to the plough, and the other avocations of private life. To this suspension of their arms, the prophet Ezekiel alludes o; 10, 11.) when he says that they of Persia, and of Lud, and of Phut, and of Arvad, were in the Tyrian army as men of war, and hanged their shields vpon the walls of Tyre. To the same custom also the bridegroom refers in the sacred idyls of Solomon (Song iv. 4.), when he compares the neck of his bride to the tower of David builded for an armoury, whereon there hang a thousand bucklers, all shields of mighty men.




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I. Raman Military Officers mentioned in the New Testament—II.
.Alhusions to the Armour of the Romans.—III. To their Military
Discipline.—Strict Subordination.—Rewards to soldiers who had
distinguished themselves.—IV. olllusions to the Roman Triumphs,

J. AT the time the evangelists and apostles wrote, the Romans had
extended their empire almost to the utmost boundaries of the then
known world, principally by their unparalleled military discipline and
heroic valour. Judaea was at this time subject to their sway, and
their troops were stationed in different parts of that country.
We learn from Josephus, that the tower of Antonia, which over-
looked the temple, was always garrisoned by a legion of soldiers;
and that, on the side where it joined to the porticoes of the temple,
there were stairs reaching to each portico, by which a company,
band, or detachment descended, and kept guard (x,voroia), in those
porticoes, to prevent . tumult at the great festivals. The com-
manding officer of this force is in the New Testament termed the o:
tain, the chief captain of the band, and the captain of the temple. (John
xviii. 3. 12. Mark xv. 6. Matt. xxvii. 27. 64, 65. Acts x. 1. xxi.
31, 32.37–40. Acts iv. 1. and v. 24.) It was the Roman captain
of this fort, whose name was Claudius Lysias, that rescued Paul
when the Jews were beating him and intended to kill him. (Acts
xxi. 31. xxii. 4. xxiii. 26.) -
-The allusions, in the New Testament, to the military discipline,
armour, battles, sieges, and military honours of the Greeks, and
especially of the Romans, are very numerous; and the sacred writers
have derived from them metaphors and expressions of singular pro-
priety, elegance, and energy, for animating Christians to fortitude
against temptations, and to constancy in the profession of their holy
faith under all persecutions, and also for stimulating them to perse-
vere unto the end, that they may receive those final honours and that
immortal crown which await victorious piety.
II. In the following very striking and beautiful passage of St.
Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians (vi. 11–17.), the various parts of
the panoply armour of the heavy troops among the Greeks and
Romans (those who had to sustain the rudest assaults) are distinctly
enumerated, and beautifully applied to those moral and spiritual
weapons with which the believer ought to be fortified. Put on the
whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles
of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against
principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of
this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore
* De Bell. Jud. lib. v. c. 5, $8. Ant. Jud, lib. xx, c. 4. $3.

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take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done, all to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breast-plate of righteousness; and your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all,” taking the shield” of faith, wherewith you shall be able to quench all the fiery darts" of the wicked, and take the helmet" of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.


1 Ephes. vi. 13. ‘Aravra karspyarauswot. This verb frequently signifies to despatch a foe, totally to vanquish and subdue an adversary. So it should be translated in this place. Ov auroxopla kgroup yagaro: Whom he despatched with his own hand. Dion. Halicarn. tom. i. p. 99. Oxon. 1704. IIavra roxshua karspyagaHovot : Having quelled all hostilities. Idem, p. 885. Me6' oig on troX\ovc roMeulovg raragyaote: By which you have vanquished many enemies. Polyaenus Stratag. p. 421. Lugd. 1589. Herpac affarovs quénow rarelpyagapuny. Idem, p. 599. Casaubon Taupo, ayptov—rat, Yepot uova, Karelpyaqueva!; He despatched a wild bull only, with his hands. Appian. vol. i. p. 201. X. 1670. See also pp. 5.291. 410. 531. Tollii. The word here used by the apostle has also this signification in Dion Cassius, Josephus, and Philo. * Eri raow, after all, or, besides all: it never signifies above all. Avros & raxeour ori ragt ötagaway: After all, he himself passed with difficulty. Plutarch, Cesar. p. 1311. edit. Gr. Stephan. Ayovra rowrov rmv oaxayya, uera ravra rove irrels, ori raat 3s rookevopopov : First, he led up the phalanx, next the cavalry, after all the baggage. Polybius, & 664. Casaubon. Eiri traoru &e Aoat; evvea kat remoapakovra kai unvac Čvo: After all, Assis reigned forty-nine years and two months. Josephus contra Apion. p. 445. Havercamp. 3 The shield here intended (3vpsoc) is the scutum, or large oblong shield of the Romans, which was made of wood covered with hides, and derived its name from its resemblance to a door (3vpa). As faith is that Christian grace, by which all the others are preserved and rendered active, it is here properly represented under the figure of a shield; which covered and protected the whole body; and enables the believer to quench—to intercept, blunt, and extinguish, as on a shield—the fiery darts of the wicked one, that is, all those evil thoughts, and strong injections, as they are termed, which inflame the passions of the unrenewed, and excite the soul to acts of transgression. * Bon renupuusva. These dreadful weapons were frequently employed by the antients. IIvoopa rošovuará, Appian. p. 329. Iluppopots oivroic BaAXeo6at. #. cydides, tom. ii. o, xi. p. 202. Glasg. Towvc, a auov, exsic rvpoevraç otorovc. £, aypus outpov, exeic rup Oppian. Kovny, lib. ii. ver,425. According to Ammianus Marcellinus (lib. xxiii. c. 4) these fiery darts consisted of a hollowed reed, to the lower part of which, under the point or barb, was fastened a round receptacle, made of iron, for combustible materials, so that such an arrow had the form of a distaff. This was filled with burning Naphtha ; and when the arrow was shot from a slack bow, (for if discharged from a tight bow the fire went out,) it struck the enemies' ranks and remained infixed; the flame consuming whatever it met with ; water poured on it increased its violence; there were no other means to extinguish it but by o earth upon it. Similar darts or arrows, which were twined round with tar and pitch, and set fire to, are described } Livy (lib. xxi. c. 8), as having been made use of by the inhabitants of the city of Saguntum, when besieged by the Romans. * On the tops of the antient helmets, as well as in those now in use, is a crest or ridge, furnished with ornaments; some of the antient helmets had emblematic ures, and it is probable that Saint Paul, who in 1 Thess. v. 8. terms the helmet the hope of salvation, refers to such helmets as had on them the emblematic re!. of hope. His meaning therefore is, that as the helmet defended the ead from deadly blows, so the hope of salvation (of conquering every adversary, and of surmounting every difficulty, through Christ strengthening the Christian,) built on the promises of God, will ward off, or preserve him from the fatal effects of all temptations, from worldly terrors and evils, so that they shall not disorder he imagination or pervert the judgment, or cause men to desert the path of duty, to their final destruction. WOL. III. 28


Having thus equipped the spiritual soldier with the divine panoply, the oi. proceeds to show him how he is to use it; he therefore subjoins—Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance. The Greeks and other antient nations, we have already observed, offered up prayers before they went into the battle. Alluding to this, Saint Paul adds the exhortation to believers, praying always at all seasons and on all occasions, with all prayer (more correctly, supplication for what is good) and deprecation of evil; and watching thereunto— being always on their guard lest their spiritual enemies should surprise them—with all perseverance, being always intent on their object, and never losing sight of their danger or of their interest." In the Epistle to the Romans, the apostle, exhorting men to renounce those sins to which they had been long accustomed, and to enter upon a new and holy life, uses a beautiful similitude borrowed from the custom of soldiers throwing off their ordinary habit in order to put on a suit of armour. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us put on the ARMoUR of light.” (Rom. xiii. 12.) In another passage he represents, by a striking simile, in what manner the apostles were fortified against the opposition with which they were called to conflict in this world. By the word of truth, by the power of God, by the ARMoUR of righteousness on THE RIGHT HAND AND on THE LEFT. (2 Cor. vi. ; III. It is well known that the strictest subordination and obedience were exacted of every Roman soldier. An allusion to this occurs in Matt. viii. 8, 9.; to understand which it is necessary to state a few particulars relative to the divisions of the Roman army. Their infantry were divided into three principal classes, the Hastati, the Principes, and the Triarii, each .." which was composed of thirty of: companies, and each manipulus contained two centuries or hundreds of men: over every company were placed two centurions, who however were very far from being o in rank and honour though possessing the same office. The triarii and principes were esteemed the most honourable, and had their centurions elected first, and these took precedency of the centurions of the Hastati, who were elected last. The humble centurion, who besought the aid of the compas. sionate Redeemer, appears to have been of this last order. He was: man under authority, that is, of the Principes or Triarii, and had none under him but the hundred men, who appear to have been in a state of the strictest military subordination, as well as of loving subjection to him. I am, said the centurion, a man under authority, having soldiers under me, and I say to this man, Go, and he goeth, and to another, Come, and he cometh; and to my slave (To dow ow). 1 Drs. Chandler, Macknight, and A. Clarke, on Eph. vi. 11–17. In the fifth of Bishop Horne's Discourses (Works, vol. v. pp. 60–72) the reader will find an admirable and animated exposition of the Christian armour. * Arobeusta ra toya row osorovc rot evövowpeda ra &rAarov owror. Fulgentiao

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Do this, and he doeth it. The application of his argument, addressed to Christ, seems to be this?—Is I, who am a person subject to the controul of others, yet have some so completely subject to myself, that I can say to one, Come, and he cometh, &c., how much . more then canst thou accomplish whatsoever thou willest, being under no controul, and having all things under thy command." *There are two striking passages in Arrian's Discourses of Epictetus, which greatly illustrate this speech of the centurion —Speaking of the Saturnalia, he says—“We agreed to play Agamemnon and Achilles. He who is appointed for Agamemnon says to me—“Go to Achilles, and force away Briseis."—Igo.—“Come.’—Icome.” Again, discoursing on all things being under the divine inspection, he says:– “When God commands the plants to blossom, they bear blossoms. When he commands them to bear seed, they bear seed. When he ommands them to bring forth fruit, they put forth their fruit. When he commands them to ripen, they grow ripe. When he commands them to fade and shed their leaves, and to remain inactive, and involved (or contracted) within themselves, they thus remain and are inactive.” * Nor is the military subordination adverted to by the centurion without its (almost verbal) parallel in modern times in the East:— Kirtee-Ramah, a captive Ghoorkha chief, who was marching to the British head-quarters, on being interrogated concerning the motives that induced him to quit his native land and enter into the service of the Rajah of Nepal,—replied in the following very impressive manner:—“..My master, the rajah, sent me : He says to his people, to one, “Go you to Gurwhal;’ to another, “Go you to §.s. Or to any distant part.”—“JMy Lord, thy slave obeys; it is DoNE.’—None ever inquires into the reason of an order of the rajah.” In his Epistle to Timothy, who appears to have been greatly dejected and dispirited by the opposition he met with, St. Paul animates him to fortitude, and among other directions encourages him to ENDURE HARDship as a good soldier of Jesus Christ § Tim. ii. 3.)— and what hardship a Roman soldier supported, the following passage in Josephus will abundantly evince. It is the most striking commentary upon this text that was ever written. “When they march out of their encampment, they advance in silence and in great decorum, each man keeping his proper rank just as in battle. Their infantry are armed with breast-plates and helmets, and they carry a sword on each side. The sword they wear on their left side is by far the longest, for that on the right is not above a span's length. That select body of infantry, which forms part of the general's life-guards, is armed with lances and bucklers, but the rest of the phalanx have a spear and a long shield, besides which they bear a saw and a basket, 1 Dr. A. Clarke on Matt. viii. 9. * Arrian's Epictetus, book, i.e. 25. § 1. (Mrs. Carter's translation, vol. i. p. 113) 3 Ibid. book i. c. 14. Raphelii Annotationes in Sacram Scripturam, ex Hero

doto, &c. vol. i. pp. 242, 243. - * Fraser's Notes on the Hills at the foot of the Himala Mountains, p.226. Lon

don, 1820. 4to.

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