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venture to say“it shall never be inhabited from generation to generation ?" Answer-God. He said so, and so it has been.
6. But the Bible goes on to say that it should be in. habited by the bittern, a water-fowl ; nay, the book de. clares that it should become pools of water. When did this happen? Answer—In comparatively modern days. Some singularly spontaneous obstruction of the Eu. phrates caused its overflowing, and travellers tell us that two-thirds or more of Babylon is now “ pools of water for the bittern to cry in.”
We have not exhibited half the items of history fore. told concerning Babylon; but we have noticed enough to remind us of the difference between a vague predic. tion and a prophecy whose particulars are minutely mentioned. The man of great mind, and in other respects extensive information, who spake against this prophecy, had acquainted himself with none of these particulars, nor with any of a similar character abound. ing in the book of God; he only knew enough to make him doubt, to raise difficulties in his mind. Thus far his religious information extended, and no further. This is unquestionably the fact with many of the ora. tors, statesmen, and leading characters of the present day. They have been pressingly engaged in their worldly pursuits. It seemed to them as though they had no time for such research. They indeed had but little love for this kind of labour ; but of this last truth, perhaps they are unconscious. Yet many, it is to be feared, are influenced by them, as was a female of the state of Tennessee. Her husband kept a public house of much resort. Her friends were much surprisd to hear her avow that she had cast away the Bible. When asked
her reasons, she said that those of the brightest minds and highest attainments the land contained, spoke even deridingly of it as they sat at her table. She considered them much abler to judge in such cases than she was, and refused all further love or reverence for the Man of Gethsemane! We quit for a time the history of Babylon, but we have not done with it. We must proceed to notice other cities and their fate, and then to call these different cases up severally, as so many steps by which we ascend to the summit of an interesting consideration.
THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
ITEM III.—The city of Tyre.--If the reader will con. sult the prophets of the Old Testament, he will find the overthrow of this city foretold, the manner of the siege, the name of the conqueror, the number of years
before it should resume its former splendor, and its second fall. But these things we will not dwell upon; we attend to those particulars which belong to more modern times, or which took place as it were but yesterday.
1. When a city subsisting by commerce is overthrown, if the many streams of her lucrative trade shall cause a speedy elevation to more than ancient magnificence, the mind of calculating shrewdness might conjecture that if spoiled again, the winds of traffic might blow wealth and power once more into her ports. The ships of Tyre floated over the seas, and her second growth almost resembled magic. The Lord said she should be destroyed
and never built again. Two thousand years are passed, but the riches and splendor of Tyre are no
2. The Lord ordered Ezekiel to say, “I will scrape her dust from off her, and make her like the top of a rock.” In the siege of Tyre by Alexander the Great—it having been rebuilt on an island a half mile from the shore, and surrounded by a wall one hundred and fifty feet in height—"a mound was formed from the continent to the island, and the ruins of old Tyre afforded ready materials for the purpose. The soil and rubbish were gathered and heaped ; and the mighty conqueror, who afterwards failed in raising again any of the ruins of Babylon, cast those of Tyre into the sea, and scraped her very dust from off her.”
3. It was declared by the prophet, more than twenty-three centuries since, “ It shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea.” Should the desolation be as complete as that of Babylon, who shall carry their nets there to dry them? “The whole village of Tyre," said Volney in his Ruins,"contains only fifty or sixty poor fa. milies, who live obscurely on the produce of their little ground, and a trifling fishery ;" and Bruce describes Tyre as a rock whereon fishers dry their nets."
We ask the reader once more to treasure up these facts until we shall have mentioned others, so as at last to bring them all into one view.
THE SUBJECT CONTINUED.
ITEM IV.-Damascus -“ It shall be a ruinous heap." Damascus has not been blotted out, so that no one dwells there ; it is not a naked rock; it is not pools of water; it is not peopled by wolves and foxes. This is not the way in which Damascus is mentioned in the Book of books. But it has been ravaged and desolated again and again. It was reduced by Alexander; by the Romans; and especially by the Saracens in the year 713, who “miserably devastated it ;” and by Tamerlane in 1396, who
put its inhabitants to the sword without mercy.” It has been made a ruinous heap;" and still exists
“the external appearance of most of the buildings being very mean-of some exceedingly so— while many of them are very elegant within.”
For several chapters we have been preparing to exhibit the truth that scoffers of the later days are unac. quainted with Bible facts. We are now almost ready to make the application.
If you will go to any number of judges, legislators, physicians, counsellors, &c. &c., who speak against the sacred book, and ask them some such questions as we are about to specify, you will be able at once to understand the strange assertion, that the learned are included in the class of the wilfully ignorant.
We will here ask the reader some questions, such as he may ask
any who now live, and who now deride the Bible.
Questions. The Hebrew prophets were ordered to utter their denunciations against all the nations round
about for their wickedness. They spake of their hills, rivers, villages, cities and governments. If these prophets only conjectured or guessed that the events they foretold might or would come to pass, then may we not ask, with some degree of wonder at least, Suppose it had been said of some other city beside Babylon, that it should become pools of water and never more inhabited ? May not our curiosity be somewhat excited when we notice, that of the thousand proud and wicked cities around, the prophet did not happen to write these things of any, Babylon excepted? And had they been written of any other one city, town or village, that was or has been
upon the face of the earth, we know of none where their truth could be seen. These, and the other particu. lars we have noticed, came to pass many centuries after these books of prophecy were written, according to infi. del authority, or after unbelievers wrote against them.
May we not inquire, with some degree of wonder, Suppose some writer of the Old Testament had happened to conjecture and write concerning Damascus, Sidon, Jerusalem, Jericho, Nineveh, or any city, town or village, except Tyre, that the soil on which it stood should be scraped away, and fishermen's nets rest upon its naked. ness, who could point to its accomplishment ? On the broad surface of the earth, or along the protracted shores of the ocean, the prophet was surely fortunate, to hit upon the only spot where these things did happen. Long and dreadful calamities were threatened to Jerusalem; but suppose it had been said that owls and tigers should inhabit pleasant palaces there, how many thou. sands now would clap their hands, rejoicing that such a conjecture was ever made. Suppose some one, two thou. sand years ago, had ventured to guess that the time