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FULFILMENT OF PROPHECIES.
only remaining proves the utter destruction of the rest. The words of the prophet, Jer. 1. 2, are realized, Merodach is broken in pieces." Keith supposes this may be applied to the state of the Mujelibé, once probably the palace of " Merodach," the title or name common to the ancient princes of Babylon. "Bel is confounded;" this is equally applicable to the state of the Birs Nemroud, now a confused, mis-shapen
The foregoing conjectures respecting the masses of ruins agree with the description of Babylon by Herodotus, who visited the city about B.C. 440; he describes the palace on one side of the river, and the temple of Belus on the other. Berosus speaks of two palaces, one builded by the ancient kings; the other, adjoining it, builded by Nebuchadnezzar, corresponding with the situation of the Mujelibé and Amram.
The fulfilment of prophecy with regard to Babylon has been very remarkable. While it was in the height of its power and glory, and even before it had arrived at that height, the prophet, speaking by Divine inspiration, described its present state of desolation with minuteness and fidelity. This was more than a hundred years before an enemy had approached its gates; and several centuries before the mighty city began to decay to any considerable extent. So far back as about B.c. 700, and before its high and palmy state had begun, the prophet Isaiah gave the following description of Babylon as it now is, Isa. xiii. 19-22;
And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, The beauty of the Chaldees' excellency,
Shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never be inhabited,
Neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to genera
Neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there;
Neither shall the shepherds make their fold there.
But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there;
And their houses shall be full of doleful creatures;
PROPHECIES OF THE DESTRUCTION
And satyrs shall dance there.
And the wild beasts of the island shall cry in their desolate houses,
And dragons in their pleasant palaces:
And her time is near to come,
And her days shall not be prolonged.
The prophet was directed to personify this glorious city as the daughter of the Chaldeans, condemned to ignominious labour, silence, and darkness, Isa. xlvii. Its destruction would be rapid and unexpected, notwithstanding all vain confidence, and the encouragement of her "astrologers, stargazers, and monthly prognosticators," ver. 13. Read the denunciation against these false foretellers of future events, with the express declaration, that "they shall not deliver themselves from the power of the flame," ver. 14; and wonder that any one in a Christian land should listen to the like delusions. The "monthly prognosticators," probably were those who predicted events to come, like The almanack makers of later times; and, painful to say, the most popular and widely sold almanack in England, at the present day, contains "monthly prognostications," to which, though every year falsified by events, its circulation appears to be mainly owing! Contrasted with this desolate daughter of Babylon, reference is made, Isa. xlix. 13-26, to the daughter of Zion. The loving-kindness and mercy of the Most High towards her is beautifully described.
Jeremiah accurately predicted many of the circumstances which attended the siege and capture of Babylon, he also was directed to give some notice of its future state. These are declared, Jer. xxv. 12—14;
And it shall come to pass, when seventy years are accomplished, that I will punish the king of Babylon, and that nation, saith the Lord, for their iniquity, and the land of the Chaldeans, and will make it perpetual desolations. And I will bring upon that land all my words which I have pronounced against it, even all that is written in this book, which Jeremiah hath prophesied against all the nations. For many nations and great kings shall
serve themselves of them also: and I will recompense them according to their deeds, and according to the works of their own hands.
Also other particulars will be found in Jer. 1. and li., where it is expressly stated, that, "because of the wrath of the Lord it shall not be inhabited, but it shall be wholly desolate." And of this, once the most fertile of all lands, long has been realized the prophetic denunciation,
Cut off the sower from Babylon,
And him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest. The sea is come up upon Babylon:
She is covered with the multitude of the waves thereof.
Not only has Babylon been overrun by the enemy, in the figurative language of prophecy, but literally, when the river overflows its banks: at which time, as Rich states, the ruins are inundated so as to render many parts of them inaccessible, the valleys and low grounds being turned into morasses; while the same spots at other times, and the summits of the ruinous heaps at all times, are as "a desert, a dry land, and a wilderness." Her idols are confounded, her graven images broken, and the fragments are still often turned up among the ruins. We have not space to go through each article of comparison between Babylon in its state of glory and in its ruinous heaps. The records of the human race do not present a more striking contrast. Mignan says, "I cannot portray the overpowering sensation of reverential awe, that possessed my mind while contemplating the extent and magnitude of ruin and destruction on every hand."
Queen of the golden east! afar
For ever fled, thy princely shrines
And vanished their imperial state;
E'en as the pageant of a dream,
That floats unheard on memory's stream.
Fallen is Babylon! and o'er
The silence of her hidden shore,
Where the gaunt satyr shrieks and sings,
ARTAXERXES LONGIMANUS-ESTHER MADE QUEENEZRA CONDUCTS THE SECOND LARGE DIVISION OF THE JEWS TO JERUSALEM-REFORMATION EFFECTED-THE CANON OF THE SACRED SCRIPTURES ARRANGED.
ARTAXERXES LONGIMANUS began to reign B.C. 464. The commencement of his reign was unpromising to the Jews. The rebuilding of Jerusalem was stopped by an application from Rehum, Shimshai, and others, in the name of the Samaritan colonies and officers. They alleged that Jerusalem was of old a rebellious and bad city, hurtful to kings and princes, exciting seditions, on which account it had been destroyed, but the Jews were now rebuilding it. A decree was issued, commanding that the work should be stopped; on receiving which, the adversaries went to Jerusalem and made the Jews to cease by force and by