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various height and extent; but on a nearer survey, fragments of bricks and pottery, figured tiles and decayed walls, show the former residence of man. Six miles from Hillah to the south may be traced the greatest ruin in the neighborhood, called by the natives Birs Nemroud, and supposed by Rich and Porter to be the remains of the temple of Belus. The names of Mujillebé, Amran and Kasr have been assigned to the principal mounds on the north; all of which are of vast size and objects of deep interest, but the latter is mainly important from its marking the site of the royal palace. The walls here standing, which are eight feet in thickness, are composed of the finest material; and so well have these fragments retained their original beauty, that when first seen they look like the work of modern times. An old and solitary tree, situated three hundred feet from these walls, is all that now reminds the traveller of the princely groves that waved in the hanging gardens; and no other trace is seen upon the ruins of that green drapery with which nature often mantles the crumbling works of art. The inhabitans of Hillah say that it is dangerous to pproach either Mujillebé or Kasr after sunset, because those spots are haunted; and persons less superstitious than modern Arabs might imagine,
that spirits of the past would indeed dwell within those colossal ruins.
As we linger among these giant foot-prints of departed empire, let us remember with reverence and fear that Almighty Being, who can thus humble the pride and the power of nations. In the morning twilight of Revelation, His prophets, who stood upon the mountains of observation, denounced Divine retribution against the impious and the idolatrous. But although these early harbingers have disappeared before the sun-light of the Christian dispensation, we yet have, proceeding from the Holy Oracle, a sure prophecy against tyranny and sin. The roll of fallen empires, which have trampled upon weakness and oppressed humanity, is not complete. The ruined cities, destined to declare through ages the terrible doom that awaits national wickedness, are not all numbered. And whatever clouds may rest upon the world's unwritten history, this at least we know— that boundless wealth, and luxuriant harvests, and broad domains, and mighty ramparts, can never avert a country's fall, unless the people be virtuous and free, and the pillars of the state be established upon the immutable foundations of Justice and Truth.
MOSES SMITING THE ROCK.
BY REV. N. L. FROTHINGHAM, D. D.
THE rock, before which Moses is here represented with his people around him, proved to be a memorable place in the Hebrew annals, and one of deep and melancholy interest in the life of the Hebrew chief. It was here that he buried Miriam, his prophetic sister, in the sands of the desert; and it was here the decree was pronounced against himself, that for his mistrust and petulance, through which he had failed to sanctify the Lord in the sight of the children of Israel, he should not be permitted to lead them in to possess the promised land, towards which their march was directed. This point of their ancient history deserves attention, from the frequency with which it is alluded to, both in the Old and the New Testament. It leads forward the mind also to religious thoughts, that are distinct from the literal story, but most naturally suggested by it.