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accusations made against him. Upon a full hearing, both of his crimes and vindication, the emperor deprived Archelaus of his dominions, confiscated his goods, and banished him to Vienne in France.
The dominions of Archelaus were now reduced into the form of a Roman province, and ruled by a governor of the emperor's appointment, called a Procurator, but, in some cases, subject to the governor of Syria. The power of life and death was taken out of the hands of the Jews, and placed in the Roman governor; by which it evidently appeared that the sceptre was departing from Judah. Their taxes also were paid more directly to the Roman emperor. The persons appointed to collect them were called Publicans, who, on account of the office they held, were treated with the utmost contempt and aversion by the Jews, among whom, it seems, the very name of publican was considered as a term of reproach. Thus there were two alterations in Palestine between our Saviour's birth and baptism; first, the division of the whole country between Heroa's sons, and then, the subjecting of the most considerable part of it, Judea, Samaria, and Idumea, to Roman governors. Coponius was the first governor of Judea. The
death of the emperor Augustus took place Year of our Lord about the time when Gratas the fourth
governor entered on his office. Augustus was succeeded by Tiberius, the third Roman emperor. Gratus continued eleven years in his government of Judea without any public disturbance. Upon his return to Rome, Pontius Pilate was sent governor in his stead, a person too much like his
Year of our Lord
master Tiberius, of a fierce implacable temper. He wintered his army at Jerusalem, and in the night sent in Cæsar's standards, in contempt of the Jewish law, which forbids images; for which reason, the former governors made 'their entries without the standards. When the people came to the knowledge of it, they went to Pilate, who was then at Cæsarea, beseeching him to remove the images out of their city ; but, he not attending to their request, they continued their solicitations for many days. At length he appointed to meet them. Whilst they were presenting their petition at his tribunal, he gave a signal to some troops he had previously placed in ambush, who instantly came out and surrounded them. Pilate then threatened the Jews with instant death, if they did not give up their suit, and immediately repair to their houses. But they, instead of being terrified into submission at the sight of the soldiers, prostrated themselves on the earth, presenting their naked throats, and declaring, they would rather die than see their law violated. Pilate was so struck with the esteem and veneration they expressed for their law, that he dismissed them, and removed the standards from Jerusalem.
After this, Pilate seized on the money deposited in the temple, and employed it in bringing water by conduits into the city. Though this was undoubtedly of advantage to the people, they were by no means satisfied with this alienation of the sacred treasures, looking upon it as a very great sacrilege. Pilate, when he came into the city, having had previous intimation of the discontent of the
people, caused his soldiers to be secretly armed, to mingle among them in private apparel, and to fall on them with large clubs, upon a signal given. This horrid deed was perpetrated in the presence of Pilate, whilst he sat upon his tribunal: many died of the blows, and others were trodden to death in the confusion. Thus severely did Pilate exercise his government over the Jews.
Nothing material occurred during this period, in the tetrarchy of Philip, or in that of his brother Herod, who appear to have suled with more moderation than many of their predecessors. Of the private character of the latter we can, however, form no favourable idea; for, having divorced his own wife, the daughter of Aretas king of Arabia Petræa, he married his brother Philip's wife. Being reproved for this and other enormities by John the Baptist, he caused him to be put in prison, and afterwards beheaded, as you may read in the gospels.
At the third passover after our Saviour's baptism, according to the most probable accounts, Pilate took occasion to chastise that turbulent set, the Galileans, mentioned in the 13th chapter of Luke. When they came to Jerusalem to sacrifice, the governor sent soldiers into the temple, who put many of them to the sword in the time of their offerings; thus mingling their blood with that of their sacrifices. About the same time, a tower in the city, called Siloam, fell down and slew eighteen persons.
The Jews at this time, George, were favoured with a great and shining light, whom they despised, choosing darkness rather than light, because their
deeds were evil. To fill up the measure of their iniquities, in the following year, they endeavoured totally to extinguish this light, by conspiring against the Lord of life and glory, whom they delivered up to Pontius Pilate. to be crucified. But, on the third day, the blessed Jesus burst the bands of death, and rose triumphant from the tomb. He continued on earth forty days, after which, in the presence of his disciples, he ascended to heaven, where he ever liyeth to intercede for all that believe in his name.
The wonderful resurretion and ascension of our blessed Saviour becoming the common discourse of all Palestine, Pilate was obliged to acquaint his master Tiberius with this extraordinary event, informing him that he had heard of many miracles performed by Christ, and that in consequence of bis having risen again after he had been dead, he was by many believed to be a God.
Tiberius, receiving so authentic an account, referred the matter to the senate, with the view of securing their assent to the enrolment of Christ among
their deities; but they rejected the proposal, conceiving perhaps some disgust at not having been individually consulted upon the business, previous to its appearing before them in that public form: the emperor, however, persisted in his judgment, and threatened all the accusers of the christians with death. Thus this religion, now in its infancy, had an opportunity of spreading itself in the Roman empire. This relation George, though doubted by some, is confirmed not only by Eusebius and Orasius, but also by Tertullian and Justin Martyr, in their
Apologies; the latter of whom, for the proof of our Lord's miracles, appeals to the journal book of Pilate, then extant. About this time Philip the Tetrarch died, having reigned thirty-seven years.
He was of our Lord quite a contrary disposition to his father,
living peaceably in his own dominions. He had the welfare of his subjects so much at heart, that, (as Josephus informs us) whenever he walked abroad, he was attended by a few select friends, with the seat of justice carried after him, that, if any persons applied to lin for redress, he might, without delay, examine their cause, punish the guilty, and acquit the innocent. As he left no children to inherit his estate, the emperor took possession of it, and united his dominions to the government of Syria, then under Pomponius. About two years after, the emperor made Vitellius governor of Syria.
At the passover, Vitellius went up to Jerusalem (probably to see that solemn festival) where he had power superior to Pilate. He was treated with great respect by the citizens; in return for which he remitted some imposts, and gave the priests the charge of their own sacred garments and utensils, which were formerly kept in the castle of Antonia, adjoining to the temple, under the power of the Roman governor.
Before he departed, he made Jonathan, the son of Annas, high-priest, and deposed Caiaphas after he had been ten years in that office. It is said that Caiaphas shortly after dispatched himself.
The same year, there was a disturbance, which