Archelaus ruled Judaea with such injustice and cruelty, that, after nine years, he was summoned to Rome and exiled to Vienne in Gaul, and Judaea became a Roman province under the prefecture of Syria. The supreme judicial authority was exercised by the Jewish Sanhedrim, the great ecclesiastical and civil council, composed of seventy-one persons presided over by the high-priest. The Sanhedrim, under the name of chief priests, scribes, and elders of the people, now took the lead in all public transactions pertaining to the internal administration of the province, being inferior only to the tribunal of the governor, who resided in Caesarea.
Meanwhile the long expectation of the Jews, especially during the reign of Herod, of a promised Deliverer, was fulfilled, and one claiming to be the Messiah appeared,—not a temporal prince and mighty hero of war, a greater Judas Maccabaeus, as the Jews had supposed, but a helpless infant, born in a manger, and brought up as a peasant-carpenter. Yet he it was who should found a spiritual kingdom never to be destroyed, going on from conquering to conquer, until the whole world shall be subdued. With the advent of Jesus of Nazareth, in which we see the fulfilment of all the promises made to the chosen people from Abraham to Isaiah, Jewish history loses its chief interest. The mission of the Hebrew nation seems to stand accomplished; the conception of one, holy, spiritual God was kept alive in the world until, in “the fulness of time,” the mighty Romans subdued and united all lands under one rule, drawing them nearer together by great highroads; the flexible Greek language gave all peoples a common tongue, in which already the Hebrew Scriptures had been familiarized among scholars; the life and teachings of Jesus entered with vital power into the heart and brain of those devoted followers who recognized him as the Christ,—the revelator of the universal fatherhood of the One true God; and thenceforward Christianity becomes the great spiritual power of the world.
DIED, ABOUT 67 A.D.
THE SPREAD OF CHRISTIANITY.
The Scriptures say but little of the life of Saul from the time he was a student, at the age of fifteen, at the feet of Gamaliel, one of the most learned rabbis of the Jewish Sanhedrim at Jerusalem, until he appeared at the martyrdom of Stephen, when about thirty years of age.
Saul, as he was originally named, was born at Tarsus, a city of Cilicia, about the fourth year of our era. His father was a Jew, a pharisee, and a man of respectable social position. In some way not explained, he was able to transmit to his son the rights of Roman citizenship,—a valuable inheritance, as it proved. He took great pains in the education of his gifted son, who early gave promise of great talents and attainments in rabbinical lore, and who gained also some knowledge, although probably not