1. The glory of Israel's wealth spread over the whole earth, and the surrounding nations became envious.
2. But the Most High himself led the victorious arms of the Hebrews, and the Pagans did not dare to attack them.
3. Unfortunately, man is prone to err, and the fidelity of the Israelites to their God was not of long duration.
4. Little by little they forgot the favors he had bestowed upon them; rarely invoked his name, and sought rather protection by the magicians and sorcerers.
5. The kings and the chiefs among the people substituted their own laws for those given by Mossa; the temple of God and the observances of their ancient faith were neglected; the people addicted themselves to sensual gratifications and lost their original purity.
6. Many centuries had elapsed since their exodus from Egypt, when God bethought himself of again inflicting chastisement upon them.
7. Strangers invaded Israel, devastated
the land, destroyed the villages, and carried their inhabitants away into captivity.
8. At last came the Pagans from over the sea, from the land of Romeles. These made themselves masters of the Hebrews, and placed over them their army chiefs, who governed in the name of Cæsar.
9. They defiled the temples, forced the inhabitants to cease the worship of the indivisible God, and compelled them to sacrifice to the heathen gods.
10. They made common soldiers of those who had been men of rank; the women became their prey, and the common people, reduced to slavery, were carried away by thousands over the sea.
11. The children were slain, and soon, in the whole land, there was naught heard but weeping and lamentation.
12. In this extreme distress, the Israelites once more remembered their great God, implored his mercy and prayed for his forgiveness. Our Father, in his inexhaustible clemency, heard their prayer.
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