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2. The commanding general, Cy- that the Bittern cries incessantly rus, is called by name about 200 there. years before his birth, Isa. xlv. 1-4. But we notice in the In reference to these items, Xeno- 6th and last place, the utter desphon, not only informs us that the truction of Babylon. “ It shall Medes and Persians took Babylon, never be inhabited, neither shall it but that Cyrus was the commander- be dwelt in from generation to genin-chief, whom he expressly styles, eration.” The conquest of the Medes "God's shepherd,” so forcibly was and Persians, over Babylon, occurred he struck with the divine oracle pro- A.M. 3466 ; B.C. 538. It will be nounced in reference to him by the recollected that Cyrus took the city Jewish prophet !
without even soiling one thing per3. The attack was to be made in taining to it. What, then, would the night, when the King and his have been more probable than that retinue were least in dread of danger. the Persian monarchs should make “Therefore shall evil come upon thee: Babylon the seat of their new empire ? thou shalt not know from whence it Strange as it appears to us, however, ariseth.” Isa. xlvii. 11. It will be Babylon ceased to be any longer a recollected that God had promised regal city, the Kings of Persia choosto open the gates of Babylon to his ing to dwell at Susa, Ecbatana, Per“Anointed,” Cyrus ; and we are in- sepolis, or any where else, rather than formed by Xenophon to the effect, at Babylon. that, the revelry and disorder that We are informed by Strabo, as late were in progress when Cyrus attacked as B.C. 124, that the Macedonians, the city, were the means of the gates who conquered the Persians, built a being left open, and thus, in a way city (Seleucia) close in the neighbourand manner least expected, the de- hood, for the express purpose of draw, signs of the Deity were fully accom- ing off all the remaining inhabitants plished !
from Babylon ! The new Kings of 4. And was to be received by the Persia, afterwards coming in possesMedo-Persian army from the sur-sion of Babylon, finally completed its rounding nations, Isa. xiii. 2–5. ruin. Thus, by a strange and unexAccordingly, historians tell us, the pected concourse of circumstances, Egyptians, the Thracians, the Phry- that proud city, whose preservation gians, the Lacaonians, the Philadel- should have been the chief concern phians, the Cappadocians, the Phe- of those interested in its ownership, nicians, Arabians, &c. were joined in was finally laid desolate, and became alliance with Cyrus. Then, as de- odious in the eyes of all people. clared in the passage above noted, Descending the current of time we was there “ A tumultous noise of the come to A.D. 96, during the reign of kingdoms of nations gathered toge- Antoninus. We find nothing remainther.”
ing of Babylon except the walls. 5. Babylon was to be covered with Soon after this, the Kings of Persia pools of water, in which the bittern turned the city into a park, to keep was to cry.
We have numerous wild beasts in : thus fulfilling the modern witnesses to the literal fulfil- language of the prophet, ment of this part of the prediction. beasts of the desert shall be there, Travellers tell us, that, owing to and dragons shall dwell in their pleasome strange obstruction, (the broad sant palaces.” ditches dug by Cyrus, to drain the Other historians of later date might Euphrates, I think may be regarded be referred to, as showing the conas the cause of this) two-thirds of tinued desolation of Babylon ; but we Babylon is covered in water, and pass them by, and hasten to notice the rash attempt of Alexander, the foun- the kings of the earth who have comder of the Grecian Monarchy, who mitted fornication, and lived in luxury sought to make Babylon the seat of with her, shall mourn and lament his Empire. He put an immense when they see the smoke of her burnnumber of men to work, with a view ing, and standing afar off for fear of of restoring the Euphrates to its for her torment, saying, Alas! the great mer channel ; but, under the super-city of Babylon, the strong city, for intendence of Him whose purposes in one hour is thy judgment come. are not to be frustrated, he met with “ And a strong angel took a stone, a signal defeat ;—“I will cut of like a great millstone, and dashed it from Babylon the name and rem- into the sea, saying, Thus shall Babynant.”
lon, the great city, be dashed down Babylon is occasionally visited by with violence, and never be found travellers to this day, who generally again.”
J. W. go there with an eye directed to the foregoing prophecies. Now, as ever
THE CHRISTIAN'S HOPE. heretofore, since its destruction, it remains in oblivion. It is as Sodom IF the gift of Christ is a miracle of and Gomorrah of old.-Twenty-three benevolence, and prophecy a miracle hun dred years and upwards have of wisdom, surely the resurrection of passed away since the death of the Christ is a miracle of power, and impious Belshazzar, the last of the may well be regarded as a pledge on Babylonian Monarchs. Nothing has the part of Heaven, that the reason at any time intervened to thwart any of our hop, is not an empty promise, part of the oracles of inspiration, so but a promise pregnant with the far as they relate to the fortunes of omnipotence of the godhead. In this Babylon or its inhabitants. We may way the possibilities of nature are therefore repeat, with special empha- rendered joyful certainties by the sis, the solemn affirmation of the pro- promises of revelation, and the prophet :-“ The Lord of Hosts hath babilities of philosophical conjecture sworn, saying, As I have thought, so confirmed by the well attested truths shall it come to pass, and as I have of religion. The necessities of our spoken, so shall it stand.”
common nature invoke the fact, and
J. H. J. the promise of God and the resurrecNote.-Such is an outline of the tion of the Messiah form a great and fall of ancient Babylon, the city which proper answer to those who ask of us like imperial Rome, made the world a reason of this extraordinary expectremble at her power and dominion. tancy. As the saints of the Most The doom was foretold by the divine High, we hasten to the day of God oracle more than two hundred years and the resurrection.
66 For now is before its accomplishment. The Christ arisen from the dead, and beevent was sudden, effectual, and come the first fruits of them that permanent in its consequences. Nor slept.” will it be otherwise with Babylon The doctrine of the resurrection is the Great, the mother of harlots an exceedingly defensible one, and that now is. Because she has said therefore the Apostle justifies it by in her heart, “ I sit as a Queen, and the most powerful and original arguam not a widow, and shall not see ment. He puts it in the balances of sorrow :" therefore in one day shall the sanctuary with other things which her plagues come-death, and mourn- might seem to be opposed to it, and ing, and famine ; and she shall be proves it is equal-yea, and weightier burned with fire, for strong is the than they all. If on the one hand Lord God who judgeth her. And the sins of one man have been attrib
uted to all-on the other hand, the than the former. It ascends to the sins of all have been attributed to one. heaven of heavens. It rises from the So, he proceeds,“ Since by a man visible to the invisible—from the nacame death, by a man came the resur- tural to the spiritual—from flesh and rection of the dead ; for as by Adam blood to spirit and the kingdom of all men die, so by Christ shall all be God; for corruptible bodies may not made alive.” This is weighing the inherit an incorruptible kingdom. world in scales, and the affairs of Has Christ, then, come once for mankind in a balance. There is no sinners—and will he not come again sublimer reasoning than this in the for his saints ? Has he come once Bible, or out of it. It is the justifi- for Israel according to the flesh, and cation of all God's ways with men, will he not come again for Israel acfrom the first to the last. It is as if cording to the spirit ? Has he come gold scales were let down out of hea- to sow, and will he not return to reap ? ven from God, and the affairs of men Does he plant an orchard, and not in Adam and in Christ opposed to eat the fruit thereof? Has the scedeach other. The resurrection is shown time alone pleasure for him ? Has to be the weightier doctrine. Life is he no joy in harvest ? Does he not superior to death—Christ to Adam. delight in the ingathering ? Has the
The resurrection, or the immor- shouting of the harvest home no joys tality of the body, is defended on ano- for him ? Has he saved his people ther principle-on faci rather than from sin, and will be not save them on justice-namely, that there are in from death ? Has he not shed his the universe things spiritual as well blood for us, and will he not share as things material. There are in the his inheritance ? Is this inheritance works of God an order of things that greater than the heir ? Has he given is corruptible, and another of things us the latter, and will he withhold the that is incorruptible—there are the former? Is there anything equal to dishonored and the glorious—the weak himself ? “ If God has not withheld and the powerful—the animal and his own Son, but freely given him up the spiritual--two Adams--two bodies to death for us all, how will he not -two spirits—the earthly and the with him also freely give us all heavenly. And as in the order of things ?” Oh ! let us tread lightly creation the one is before the other, the bosom of mother Earth ! The matter before mind, the animal before jewels of the Almighty lie there—the the spiritual, and the earthly before wealth of Christ is treasured up there the heavenly-it is in harmony with —riches deposited by the Spirit of the law of progress which character- God lie there—there are Abel and izes the universe, that man who has Noah, the holy patriarchs—Abraham, shared through Adam of the suffer- Isaac, and Jacob with his sons—the ings of the one, should ultimately, great legislator, Moses, is there the under Christ, ascend into the enjoy- brave patriots who, through faith in ments of the other—that the corrupti- God, won kingdoms, lie there. Here ble should put on incorruption, and in the dust, waiting the breath of the mortal put on immortality—and heaven, slumber the mighty dead that death, who has destroyed all, Gideon, and Barak, and David, and should himself be destroyed; and Sampson, and Jephthah--the godly of mortality, that has assaulted even the three ages, and of two grand churches godhead in Christ, should be swallow- -yea, of two worlds ! ed up of life by Christ.
The resurrection, then, is before us, The second argument for the im- the promise and the power. The fact mortality of the bodies of the righteous itself is like a grand gold chain let is, if it were possible, still more subtle I down from heaven to link man's soul
to God's throne. The promise is God so loved the world, that he sure, and the power is seen in the gave his only begotten Son, that resurrection of Christ ; let us, there- whosoever believeth on him might fore, make ourselves familiar with the not perish, but have everlasting life. weighty power of God, as developed John iii. 16. in Christ's resurrection ; let us make God sent not his Son into the ourselves familiar with what Paul world to condemn the world, but that styles the power of his resurrection ; the world through him might be and we shall at last feel that as the saved. Verse 17. power is equal to the promise, the pro- I declare unto you the Gospel, that mise will prove equal to the fact.-Christ died for our sins, according to Protestant Unionist.
the Scriptures ; and that he was
buried; and that he rose again the CHRISTIANITY AND THE
third day, according to the Scriptures. HOLY SPIRIT.
1 Cor. xv. 1-4. RESPECTED READER—By Christi- This is a true, or faithful saying, anity is intended that system of means and worthy of all acceptation, that which our Heavenly Father has most Christ Jesus came into the world to wisely adapted for man's salvation. It save sinners. 1 Tim. i. 15. is found in the gospel of Jesus Christ, Here, then, we have presented to as recorded in the New Testament. us the love of God, the gift of Christ,
Man, you are aware, is so organised his death, burial, resurrection, and that he can believe, love, reform, fear, ascension to glory-facts left upon hope, and rejoice. Now, God has record for our belief. And when we given a system containing facts for duly consider their import, and the belief - Love exciting or begetttng marvellous evidences by which they love, and leading to repentance, are sustained, it is eminently calcucommands enjoining obedience-lated to call into existence faith, hope, threatenings leading to fear-pro- love, and obedience. mises creating hope, and causing great That God exists, is an immutable enjoyment. In other words, a system truth. That he created the universe has been given to convert, control, by his infinite power and wisdomand comfort the sinner. This system the emanation of his goodness is God has provided. It is exactly astonishing — that he should conadapted to the character, condition, descend to associate himself with and organization of man. Christianity man, assuming his nature— volunis, then, a system of means arising tarily surrendering himself to die as out of the gospel, every way worthy a sin-offering-to rise again from the of its divine author, respecting whom dead-to ascend up into heaven in it is testified, “GOD is LOVE." unison with the Divinity, there to be
exalted a Prince and Saviour, to We all say that facts are stubborn reign King of the universe things. Truths and facts are not the marvellous beyond expression ; yet
All truths are not facts, yet such is the fact. all facts are true. A fact is something done or said. It is a truth that God exists ; but when he said, “ Let Greater love hath no man than there be light, and there was light,” | this, that a man should lay down his we are furnished both with a truth life for his friends. and a fact. To make this subject Hereby perceive we the love of distinct and clear to the mind, the God, because he laid down his life following wonderful facts are pre- for us. sented for our belief :
Ye know the grace of our Lord
SECOND: THE GOSPEL IS A SYSTEM
Jesus Christ, that though he was Be not conformed to this world, rich, yet for our sakes he became but be ye transformed by the renewpoor, that we, through his poverty, ing of your mind, that you may prove might be made rich.
what is that good, and acceptable, Herein is love, not that we loved and perfect will of God. Rom. xii. 2. God, but that he loved us, and sent Set your affections on things above, his Son to be the propitiation for and not on things on the earth. Col.
iii. 2. We love him, because he first Add to your faith, courage to loved us.
courage, knowledge—to knowledge, God is love ; he that dwelleth in temperance—to temperance, patience God dwelleth in love.
-to patience, godliness—to godliness, Or despisest thou the riches of his brotherly kindness - to brotherly goodness, and forbearance, and long- kindness, charity. 2 Peter i. 5-7. suffering, not knowing that the good- Love not the world, nor the things ness of God LEADETH thee to repent of the world : if any man love the
world, the love of the Father is not Thus the love of God operates in him. 1 John ii. 15. upon the heart, changes the affections, and leads to repentance.
Fear not them which kill the body, THIRD: OF COMMANDS.
but are not able to kill the soul; but First, to control the actions of rather fear him who is able to destroy sinners ; second, the actions of saints. both soul and body in hell. Mat.
The first time the gospel of Jesus x. 28. Christ was preached in this world, To them who are contentious and those who heard the joyful procla- obey not the truth, tribulation and mation cried out, “Men and brethren, anguish upon every soul of man that what shall we do?” The idea of doeth evil-upon the Jew first, and men being saved by faith alone had also upon the Gentile. Rom. ii. 9. not then entered into the world. He is the author of eternal salvaHence the peremptory command :- tion to all who obey him. Heb. v. 9.
Repent and be baptized every one The Lord shall be revealed from of you for the remission of sins.” heaven with his mighty angels in Acts ii. 38.
flaming fire, taking vengeance on Repent and be converted, that them that know not God, and obey your sins may
be blotted out. Acts not the gospel of our Lord Jesus iii. 19.
Christ. 2 Thess. i. 7-8. He commanded them to be baptized in the name of the Lord. Acts These excite our hope, and lead to
high expectations and great enjoyGo ye into all the world and preach ment. The remission of sins-adopthe gospel to every creature. Hetion into the family of God—the inthat believeth and is baptized shall dwelling of the Holy Spirit—that all be saved: he that believeth not shall things shall work together for good be condemned. Mark xvi. 16. while in this world—the certainty of
These commands, be it observed, a resurrection from the dead, and of apply to sinners. The gospel contains eternal life in the world to come. another class of commands addressed I go, said Jesus to his disciples, to to those who have obeyed the first, prepare a place for you, and if I go by virtue of which they have changed and prepare a place for you, I will their state, and passed from death come again and receive you to myself unto life, having been regenerated and —that where I am, there ye may be adopted into the family of God. also. John xiv. 2–3.
FIFTH: THE GOSPEL PROMISES.