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their pleasant palaces : and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged. For I will rise up against them, saith the LORD of hosts, and cut off from Babylon the name, and remnant, and son, and nephew, saith the LORD. I will also make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water: and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the LORD of hosts. Thus saith the LORD to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him; and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two-leaved gates; and the gates shall not be shut; I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight : I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron; and I will give thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I, the LORD, who call thee by thy name, am the God of Israel. Publish, and conceal not say, Babylon is taken, Bel is confounded, Merodach is broken in pieces; her idols are confounded, her images are broken in pieces. Because of the wrath of the LORD, it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate every one that goeth by Babylon shall be astonished, and hiss at all her plagues. Come against her from the utmost border, open her storehouses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left. One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to show the king of Babylon that his city is taken at one end. And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwelling-place for dragons, an astonishment, and a hissing, without an inhabitant," Isa. xiii. 19-22. xiv. 22, 23. xlv. 1-3. Jer. 1. 2. 13. 26. li. 31. 37.

The particulars of the siege of Babylon are detailed by Herodotus and Xenophon, two eminent heathen historians. In exact accordance with the inspired predictions of Isaiah and Jeremiah, they say, that Cyrus, with a large army of the Medes and Persians, besieged Babylon; that the Babylonians, conceiving their walls impregnable, could not be provoked to an engagement; that Cyrus contrived a snare for the Babylonians, by turning the course of the river Euphrates through the great lake;

that the waters being thus dried up, the soldiers marched to the bridge in the channel of the river; that, from the negligence of the guards, some of the gates, leading from the river to the city, were left open; that the troops of Cyrus, entering by this means, took Babylon during the night of an idolatrous festival; that its princes, nobles, and captains, being drunk with their feasting, were suddenly slaughtered, and that the glorious city, never before conquered, was thus taken without the knowledge of the king, till the posts and messengers ran with the information, which he had scarcely time to receive and understand, before he was also numbered among the multitudes of the slain. Babylon soon began to decline: its lofty walls were reduced to only a quarter of their original height; and from an imperial, it was reduced to a tributary city. Xerxes, a successor of Cyrus on the Persian throne, seized the sacred treasures, plundered the temples, and destroyed the images of precious metal. Alexander attempted to restore Babylon to its former glory; and designed to make it the metropolis of a universal empire. Ten thousand men were employed in repairing the embankments of the Euphrates, and the temple of Belus: the death of Alexander occasioned the abandonment of the work.

About a hundred and thirty years before the birth of Christ, a Parthian conqueror destroyed the fairest parts of Babylon. Several new cities, especially Seleucia, called New Babylon, were built by successive sovereigns in those regions, for the purpose of immortalizing their own names; by which the population of the old city was drained.

After the commencement of the christian era, Babylon was but very thinly peopled; and wide spaces within its walls were brought under cultivation. Babylon continued to decline, and its desolations to increase, till, in the fourth century, its walls formed an inclosure for the breeding of wild beasts; and it was thus made a hunting park for the Persian monarchs. A long series of ages succeeded, in which no record was made concerning it; while, as the prophets testified, it was approaching utter desolation.

The site on which Babylon stood has been completely ascertained; and the ruins have been visited and described by several intelligent English travellers. From being the "glory of kingdoms," Babylon is now the greatest of ruins; and after the lapse of two thousand four hundred years, it exhibits to the view of every traveller the precise scene defined by the prophets of God.

The name and remnant are cut off from Babylon. There the Arabian pitches not his tent: there the shepherds make not their folds; but wild beasts of the desert lie there, and their houses are full of doleful creatures. It is a place for the bittern, and a dwelling place for dragons it is a dry land and a deserta burnt mountain -empty-wholly desolate-pools of water-heaps—and utterly destroyed-a land where no man dwelleth-every one that passes by it is astonished.

The superstitious dread of evil spirits, and the natural terror at the wild beasts which dwell among the ruins of Babylon, restrain the Arab from pitching his tent, or shepherds from making their folds there. The princely palaces and habitations of the wondrous city, utterly destroyed, are now nothing but unshapely heaps of bricks and rubbish instead of their stately chambers, there are now caverns, where porcupines creep, and owls and bats nestle; where lions find dens, and jackals, hyænas, and other noxious animals, their unmolested retreats, from which issue loathsome smells; and the entrances to which are strewed with the bones of sheep and goats. On one side of the Euphrates, the canals are dry, and the crumbled bricks on an elevated surface exposed to the scorching sun, cover an arid plain, and Babylon is a wilderness, a dry land, a desert. On the other, the embankments of the river, and with them the vestiges of ruins over a large space, have been swept away: the plain is in general marshy, and in many places inaccessible, especially after the annual overflowing of the Euphrates: no son of man doth pass thereby; the sea or river is come upon Babylon, she is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.

Birs Nimrod, or the temple of Belus, which was

standing after the beginning of the christian era, is still to be distinguished. It has been visited and described by several modern English travellers, who have given sketches of it, from which the following is taken.



It is still worthy, from its mere immensity, of being a
relic of Babylon the great: for though a mass of ruins,
it is no less than two hundred and thirty-five feet high.
On these ruins there are vast fragments of brickwork
that have been completely molten, and they ring like
and which must have been subjected to a heat
equal to that of the strongest furnace. From the summit
of this mass may be had a distinct view of the frightful
heaps which constitute all that now remains of ancient
and glorious Babylon; and a more complete picture of
absolute desolation could scarcely be imagined.

Thus we behold the proudest works of the greatest of mortals brought to nothing, and the loftiest monuments of their power, genius, and riches, levelled with the dust, and preserved in ruins, for the purpose of illustrating and confirming the faithful testimony of the eternal God, as recorded in his most holy word. How wonderful are the predictions of his commissioned servants, when compared with the events to which they direct our minds; and what a convincing demonstrative proof do we see of the truth and divinity of the holy scriptures! With what admirable propriety does Jehovah allege this memorable

this from ancient time?

instance of his foreknowledge, in relation to Babylon, and challenge all the false divinities and their votaries to produce anything of similar import. "Who hath declared Who hath told it from that time? have not I the LORD? And there is no God else beside me, a just God and a Saviour, there is none else beside me. Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, saying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure," Isa. xlv. 21. xlvi. 10.

What an affecting lesson is afforded to us, by the blasted ruins of the temple and palaces of magnificent Babylon! Powerfully do they confirm, and illustrate, and awfully recommend, the instructive language of the apostles of Christ. "All that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, and the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life, is not of the Father, but is of the world. And the world passeth away, and the lust thereof; but he that doeth the will of God abideth for ever," 1 John ii. 16, 17.

CH. XII.-UNfulfilled ProPHECY.

THE Bible scheme of prophecy is manifestly divine. Upon this subject the foregoing chapter, on several prophecies remarkably fulfilled, will serve as a demonstration to every reflecting reader. Considered in its first dawning; its gradual advancement; its partial completion, in the overthrow of the great monarchies; the advent of the Messiah; the perfection of his mediation; the dispersion of the Jews, his enemies; the establishment of his kingdom among the Gentiles; and the prevailing influence of its saving knowledge and the fear of the LORD covering the earth, preparatory to the great day of God; prophecy is an object the most sublime that imagination can conceive, and the most important that a devout mind can contemplate.

In the Bible we behold the spirit of prophecy pervading all time; commencing so early as the first man, and extending to the final consummation of all things: we

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