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met with, that, before he left Jerusalem, he assembled the people, and bid them ask any favour whatsoever. They only begged to live according to their own laws, and to be exempt, the seventh year, from their usual tribute, as their law forbad them, on that year, to sow their fields. This request was immediately granted; upon which the high-priest farther besought him to grant the like favour to the Jews in other parts of his dominions: he also indulged them in this particular.
He had scarcely quitted Jerusalem, before he was waited on, with great pomp, by the Samaritans, who expected to be refused nothing that they should ask, as they had freely submitted to him, and cast off their oath of allegiance to Darius. They humbly intreated him to do them the honour to visit their city. The king courteously thanked them, but said, that he was immediately going into Egypt, and had no time to lose. They then besought him to exempt them from paying tribute, every seventh year. Alexander asked them if they were Jews? They made an ambiguous answer, which the king, not having time to examine, suspended the matter till his return. Thus, George, you see that those who honour God, he will honour; but those who despise him shall be lightly esteemed.
Alexander next marched into Egypt. The Egyptians, being tired of the Persian yoke, submitted to him, and he became master of the country without opposition. He treated the people with great humanity and kindness, and built a city, which, after his own name, he called Alexandria ; appointing one of their countrymen governor, and permitting them to enjoy their own laws and customs. He also transplanted many of the Jews into this new city, granting them privileges and immunities equal to those enjoyed by the Macedonians.
Two years after the battle of Issus, Alexander gained another victory over Darius at Gaugamela in Assyria, and took possession of Arbela, Babylon, Susa, and Persepolis, where he found immense riches. Then, resolving to march into Persia, he appointed Archelaus governor of the city of Susa, with a garrison of three thousand men. Here he left Darius's mother and children. He then proceeded to Ecbatana, the capital of Media. Darius had left this city only five days before. Alexander ordered Parmenio to lay up the treasures of Persia in the castle under a strong guard, and then went in pursuit of Darius, who was betrayed and slain by Bessus, one of his own court. He was found in a solitary place, by a Macedonian, lying in a chariot, his body run through with spears, and he in the
agonies of death. Alexander came up at Year of the World the instant of his departure, and, commise
rating his unhappy end, pulled off his military cloak, and threw it on Darius's body, ora dering him to be embalmed, and his coffin to be adorned with royal magnificence, and sent to his mother, that he might be interred with the honours paid to the Persian monarchs, and be entombed with his ancestors. Thus ended the Persian empire, after having existed two hundred and six years, from the time of Cyrus the founder of it.
Alexander, after he had endured many hardships, and encountered amazing difficulties, to be master
of the world, fell a victim to intemperance, at the age of thirty-two, having reigned twelve years. He left an infant son, who, for a the World time, had the name of king; but his dominions were at length divided among four of the captains, or generals of his army.
This partition had been predicted above two bundred years before, by the prophet Daniel ; and no efforts of human wisdom could frustrate the divine decree, After yarious contests, the division was settled in the following manner: Cassander obtained Macedonia and Greece; Lysimachus acquired Thrace and Bithynia, with some of their neighbouring provinces ; Seleucus had Syria, and the northern and eastern provinces in Asia; and Ptolemy governed Egypt, Arabia, Colosyria, and Palestine, or the Holy Land. But this partition was not fully established till above twenty years after the death of Alexander.
The Egyptians and Syrians were continually at war with each other, which occasioned inuch trouble to the Jews, whose country lay between those two nations; by which means they fell successively into the hands of various masters,
The short account I have given you of Alexander, I doubt not, will excite your curiosity to read his whole history, which will furnish entertainment for your leisure bours; and I hope you will be able to distinguish between the good and bad qualities of that prince. I would particularly point out, for your imitation, his filial affection, which was strongly expressed upon receiving a letter from Antipater against his mother. He said, Antipater does not know that one single tear shed by a mother will obliterate ten thousand such letters as this. That such sentiments may be deeply impressed on the heart of my dear boy, is the earnest wish of
His affectionate aunt.
MY DEAR GEORGE,
YOUR observations, in answer to my letter pleased me much. It is only by making suitable reflections on the subjects that come before us, that we can entertain any rational hope of improve
When we read the military exploits of an Alexander or a Cæsar, the rapidity of their conquests, and the splendour of their triumphs, have a tendency to dazzle and mislead the judgment; but the qualities that excite our esteem, and are worthy of our imitation, in those celebrated characters, are certainly as amiable, though not so generally noticed, when they appear in the lower walks of life. We will now resunie our history.
Jaddua the high-priest died, and was succeeded by his son Onias. After his decease, Simon, his son, succeeded him. From his piety towards God, and his affection to his countrymen, he obtained the name of Simon the Just. At his death, he left a son, who was very young, called Onias, on which account Eleazar, Simon's brother, took upon him the priesthood.
Prolemy, surnamed Soter, king of Egypt, being about to invade Cyprus, determined first to make himself master of Syria and Judea, then governed by Laomedon, the final partition of the
Year of empire not having as yet taken place. the World The Jews would not violate their engagements to their governor, though he was defeated by Ptolemy, who was advancing into Judea. Enraged at their resistance, Ptolemy marched to Jerusalem, and, seeing they were determined 10 defend it, he formed the siege, which would have given hinn much more trouble, had it not been for an idea which the Jews entertained, that if they defended themselves on a sabbath-day, they should violate their law. Ptolemy was informed of this, and took the advantage of it, by making a general assault on that day: the Jews scrupulously declining resistance, the city was taken without difficulty.
Josephus says, that Ptolemy seized on the city by stratagem: for he entered it on a sabbath-day under pretext of offering sacrifice; and while the Jews, who suspected nothing, were spending the day in ease and idleness, he surprised the city, the Jews, making no resistance, and made the citizens captives. Ptolemy at first treated the Jews at Jerusalem and in Judea with great severity. He carried a hundred thousand of them captive into Egypt. But, on reflection, he was convinced that their steady adherence to their governors rendered them worthy of his confidence; and he advanced thirty thousand of the most distinguished among them to