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nationality, her glory, her laws, all trampled under foot by the heathen power that over-ran the land. But to Salome this must have been rather a source of rejoicing than of grief. Judging by her acts, she never loved Judæa, nay, had shared her brother's resolution to hurl it from its proud supremacy as the chosen kingdom of the Lord-and this was done. The banishment of Archelaus gave the government into the hands of Roman procurators; and two years afterwards Salome closed her iniquitous career, leaving all her cities to the empress Julia, thus confirming our assertion, that neither by birth nor adoption, character nor feeling, was she a daughter of Jerusalem.
Glad to quit such a subject of dissatisfaction and pain, we leave to our readers' own minds all reflections on the character of Salome, bidding them only remember, that, awful as is the picture of female depravity, it is truth, not fiction, and therefore demands our serious consideration as to the origin of these over-spreading crimes. The seeds of wickedness are so small as to be invisible, religion only can destroy them ere they are discovered; and Salome knew not God.
HELENA, QUEEN OF ADIABENE.-BERENICE.
THIRTY years passed: the miseries of Judæa and her hapless people increased. The Law of Moses was still, indeed, the religion of the country; in some hearts pure and spiritual as it had been given, in others, burdened with superstition, violence, and minutiæ, wholly foreign to its beautiful consistency: in others fast giving place to the customs and habits of the Romans. Darknessmoral, intellectual, and spiritual—had gathered over the nation as a whole. God had left them in His wrath to pursue their own hardened course; but even at this period, when the true religion seemed fast fading from the earth, a ray of reviving lustre beamed exactly in confirmation of the consoling theory, that God never leaves Himself without witnesses upon earth.
Helena, queen of Adiabene, a district beyond the Tigris, had embraced Judaism. An independent sovereign, whose dominion over her own subjects was absolute, and whose actions owned no supremacy but her own will, this act must have been both voluntary and from conviction. It could have had no ulterior motive in ambition, for Judæa was not only under iron subjection to the Romans, but devastated by famine and disease. Izates, the son of Helena, had been sent by his father, Monobazus, to be educated at the court of Abenerig, king of Characene, a district on the Persian Gulf. While there, he became acquainted with Ananias, a Hebrew merchant, who, in his commercial character, had frequent access to the women's apartments, and never lost an opportunity of inculcating the tenets of his faith. Izates, who had married the daughter of Abenerig, appears to have been present at these conferences, and also became a convert, by a curious coincidence, at the very time that his mother, Helena, embraced the religion also. So earnest was Izates in the cause, that, on his return to his country, and accession, after his father's death, he insisted on being received into the covenant of Abraham, against the advice of his mother, and even Ananias, who appears to have accompanied the young monarch as his chosen counsellor and friend. Izates had not the right of primogeniture to his father's crown; and knowing that he had very many enemies in the partizans of his brothers, Helena, though an earnest convert herself, feared that such a public departure from the religion of his country would create sedition and rebellion in his people. Izates at first yielded to her counsel; but his inclinations receiving fresh incentive from the representations of Eleazar, a learned Galilæan Jew, and his own impressions of a frequent and earnest study of the Law of Moses, he was received into the covenant of Abraham, and no evils followed; for, to use here the words of Josephus, “ it was God who hindered what they feared from taking effect, and preserved both Izates himself and his sons from many dangers, and procured their deliverance when it seemed impossible, demonstrating thereby, that the fruit of piety does not perish, for those who have regard for Him, and for their faith upon Him only.”.
But Helena's conversion is of more importance to our present subject than that of Izates. Her zeal was so earnest, her faith so heartfelt, that, when her natural anxiety was calmed by the peace and prosperity which followed her son's profession of Judaism, she requested his permission to make a journey to Jerusalem, and worship at the holy temple there. This was, at that time, no trifling undertaking. Travelling was dangerous and fatiguing; Judæa in constant petty warfare, and almost exhausted by a severe and long-continued famine. But Helena, who appears a woman of great energy, did not hesitate to incur all these evils, so that she could but offer her sacrifice of thanksgiving in the chosen house of God. Izates readily acceded, making lavish preparations for her journey according to her rank, bestowing on her large sums of money; and, in the true spirit of the religion they had both professed, which so inculcated filial respect and love, he himself accompanied her great part of her journey.
The famine raging in Jerusalem would have terrified away any less zealous convert; but Helena quietly took up her abode in the distressed city, making it her business to relieve the sufferers by munificent gifts both of food and money. She despatched some of her household to Alexandria, to purchase large quantities of corn, and others to Cyprus, for a cargo of dried figs; and, both inissions accomplished with unusual promptness, and relief most judiciously bestowed, the memory of Queen Helena long lingered with the oppressed people; and her acts are recorded by Josephus with a feeling and impressiveness which are not often found in his details. Izates too, on being informed of the famine, sent large sums to the principal men in Jerusalem. Both himself and his mother appeared eager to demonstrate the truth and sincerity of their conversion, by their earnest endeavours for the good of the Jewish people; a striking contrast to the conduct of those Idumæan proselytes, whose only desire had been to Romanise the people, and amalgamate with the heathen, both their religion and their laud.
How long Helena dwelt in Jerusalem does not appear; but, from the good she accomplished, and the magnificent tombs, or pyramids, which she erected about three furlongs from Jerusalem, we are led to suppose that she had adopted the country as well as the religion for her own, and dwelt there the greater portion of the remainder of her life. Her strong affection for Izates demanded a powerful incentive to her living apart from him, and that incentive appears to have been, the delight of worshipping the Eternal in his temple; the privileges of obeying every tittle of his law more faithfully and precisely than she could have done in her own land, and the constant kindness and good works to the Hebrew people, with which she proved her piety and zeal. The death of Izates, after a prosperous reign of twenty-four years, caused the deepest affliction to his mother, for not only were they bound together by the adoption of the same creed, which drew the human affections still closer than merely natural ties; but Josephus alludes to him as a most dutiful and affectionate son. One consolation, however, she had ; the privileges and principles of Judaism were not all lost to her country, by the death of Izates. The crown of Adiabene went to Monobazus, her eldest son, who had also embraced