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ing that heaven and earth may pass away, but that one jot or tittle of God's word cannot pass away
till all be fulfilled. Of the descendants of Ishmael, the Arabs, it was written, some six thousand years ago, that each should “be a wild man; his hand against every man, and every man's hand against him," and that he should “dwell in the presence of his brethren." Gibbon, the foe of Christianity, unconsciously bears witness to God in history, when he states, “The arms of Sesostris and Cyrus, and Pompey and Trajan, could never achieve the conquest of Arabia ;” and when he says, “The Arabs are armed against mankind;" and at this day, says Sir Robert Porter in his travels, “The Arabs are still a wild people, dwelling in the presence of all their brethren, unsubdued, and unchangeable—one of those mysterious facts which establish the truth of prophecy.
Of Egypt it was written, upwards of two thousand years ago, “Egypt shall be the basest of kingdoms; I will make the land waste by the hands of strangers : there shall be no more a prince of the land of Egypt; it shall be the basest of kingdoms." Gibbon, the historian, ignorant of the prophecy, and declaiming against the very existence of God, thus writes : “The constitution of Egypt condemns the natives to
perpetual servitude, under the arbitrary dominion of strangers and slaves." Volney writes : “Deprived, twenty-three centuries ago, of her natural proprietors, she has seen her fertile fields successively a prey to the Persians, the Macedonians, the Romans, the Greeks, the Arabs, the Tartars." "In Egypt there is no middle class; a universal air of misery is manifest in all the traveller meets."
Tyre was once the London of the ancient world. “It was,” says Volney, “the theatre of an immense commerce, the nursery of arts.” Upwards of two thousand years ago, God thus spake of it in prophecy : “I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up. And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers, I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock. It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea.” The Chaldeans, and finally the Greeks under Alexander, came up against it. Alexander formed a mound from the main land, out of the materials of old Tyre, and literally, in the words of the prophet, scraped off her dust, and buried it in
There is left scarce a ruin of Tyre. A rock is all that remains, on which modern fishermen dry their nets. In the words of Vol
ney, "It contains fifty or sixty families, who live obscurely on the produce of their little ground, and a trifling fishery." Thus there is seen in history the shadow of Him who inspired the prophecy; and while his voice is heard sounding in the one, his hand is seen acting in the other.
A remarkable evidence of Providence fulfilling prophecy is furnished in the interesting volumes of Mr. Layard, which describe the city of Nineveh and its remains. Let us hear God in prophecy first, and next see God fulfilling that prophecy as narrated by Mr. Layard. Nahum i. 8,-"But with an overrunning flood the Lord will make an utter end of the place thereof;" verse 14,—“I will make thy grave.” Nahum ü. 10,—“She is empty, and void, and waste.” Nahum iii. 7,—“All they that look upon thee shall flee from thee and say, Nineveh is laid waste.” Zephaniah ii. 13,-"The Lord will stretch out his hands against the north, and destroy Assyria, and will make Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness;" verse 14,“Desolation shall be in the thresholds ;” verse 15,—“How is she become a desolation." Let us now read God fulfilling prophecy, making visible by His power the word that He spake in wisdom and truth.
“Were the traveller to cross the river Euphrates to seek for such ruins in Mesopotamia
and Chaldea as he had left behind him in Asia Minor or Syria, his search would be vain. The graceful column rising above the thick foliage of the myrtle, the ilex, and the oleander—the gradients of the amphitheatre covering the gentle slope, and overlooking the dark blue waters of a lake-like a bag—the richly carved capital or cornice, half hidden by the luxuriant herbage — are replaced by the stern shapeless mound rising like a hill from the scorched plain, the fragments of pottery, and the stupendous mass of brickwork occasionally laid bare by the winter rains. He has left the land where nature is still lovely, where, in his mind's eye, he can rebuild the temple or the theatre, half doubting whether they would have made a more grateful impression on the senses than the ruin before him. He is now at a loss to give any form to the rude heaps upon which he is gazing. Those of whose works they are the remains have left no visible traces of their civilization or of their arts—their influence have long since passed away. The more he conjectures, the more vague the result appears. The scene around is worthy of the ruin he is contemplating. Desolation meets desolation ; a feeling of awe succeeds to wonder, for there is nothing to relieve the mind, to lead to hope, or to tell of what has gone by. These huge mounds of Assyria made a deeper impres
sion on me
-gave rise to more serious thoughts and more earnest reflection-than the temples of Baalbec, or the theatres of Ionia.'' *
The words of the traveller are the echo of the prediction of the prophet; and throughout his statement he conveys what he felt, and what is precisely the impression that is made from reading the words of Nahum and Zephaniah.
After describing the human-headed, winged lions and bulls, Mr. Layard, struck with the coincidence between the prophet's words, uttered nearly three thousand years ago, and the facts he records, thus expresses himself :
“I used to contemplate for hours these mysterious emblems, and muse over their intent and history. What more noble form could have ushered the people into the temple of their gods ? What more sublime images could have been borrowed from nature by men who sought, unaided by the light of revealed religion, to embody their conception of the wisdom, power, and ubiquity of a Supreme Being ? They could find no better type of intellect and knowledge than the head of the man-of strength than the body of the lion-of rapidity of motion than the wings of the bird. These winged humanheaded lions were not idle creatures, the offspring of mere fancy; their meaning was writ
* Layard's Nineveh, chap. 1., p. 7.