by T. De Witt Talmage

Dr. T. DeWitt Talmage
Dan. 11: 32

Antiochus Epiphanes, the old sinner, came down
three times with his army to desolate the Jews,
advancing one time with a hundred and two trained
elephants swinging their tusks this way and that, and
sixty-two thousand infantry, and six thousand cavalry
troops, and they were driven back. Then, the second
time, he advanced with seventy thousand armed men, and
had been again defeated. But the third time he laid
successful siege until the navy of Rome came in with
the flash of their long banks of oars and demanded
that the siege be lifted. And Antiochus Epiphanes said
he wanted time to consult with his friends about it,
and Popilius, one of the Roman ambassadors, took a
staff and made a circle on the ground around Antiochus
Epiphanes, and compelled him to decide before he came
out of that circle; whereupon he lifted the siege.
Some of the Jews had submitted to the invader, but
some of them resisted valorously, as did Eleazer when
he had swine's flesh forced into his mouth, spit it
out, although he knew he must die for it, and did die
for it; and others, as my text says, were enabled to
do exploits.

An exploit I would define to be a heroic act, a
brave feat, a great achievement. "Well," you say, "I
admire such things, but there is no chance for me;
mine is a sort of a humdrum life. If I had an
Antiochus Epiphanes to fight, I also could do
exploits." You are right, so far as great wars are
concerned. There will probably be no opportunity to
distinguish yourself in battle. The most of the
brigadier-generals of this country would never have
been heard of had it not been for the Civil War.
General Grant would have remained in the useful but
inconspicuous work of tanning hides at Galena, and
Stonewall Jackson would have continued the quiet
college professor in Virginia. And whatever military
talents you have will probably lie dorma ...

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