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the utmost brevity, as our limits will not permit us to enlarge, give some account of the famous city of Babylon. It was built in a spacious plain, and was by the river Euphrates, divided into two parts; the walls were eighty-seven feet thick, three hundred feet high, and four hundred and eighty furlongs in circumference; in addition to this amazing wall, a vast ditch of water surrounded the walls on the outside. The city was exactly four-square, on each square were twenty-five gates of solid brass, between every two gates were three towers, each of which were ten fees higher than the wall. From the twen. ty-five gates on each square of the city, went so many streets, which reached in a direct line to the opposite gates of course there were fifty streets, ear fifteen miles long, crossing each ot! at right angles. It would take a volu to contain an account of the astonish: grandeur and magníficence of this e. tensive city; the superb houses, the lofty and costly palaces, the justly celebrated hanging gardens, the prodigies of
sculpture and architecture, but above all, the amazing temple of Belus, which had in it a golden statue forty feet high ; all these only formed a small part of the riches, power, and pomp of this great city. One would have supposed that it would have retained its strength and beauty, even after the expiration of ten thousand years. But alas! the mighti. ness of this city was only equalled by the wickedness of its inhabitants, and the haughtiness of its rulers, whose cruelty to the Israelites for seventy years, was exceeding great. Idolatry, impiety, oppression, and crimes of every description were committed by them. God did certainly bear with their manners for a number of years, but his justice, though :low was sure. When he saw that they
ould not repent and reform, he made "terrible example of them to future
herations; for, notwithstanding the gnitude of their walls, and the inancibility of their fortifications, they were demolished by the command of God, so that a trace of them was scarce. ly left. In due time, when God would
wait no longer for their repentance and reformation, when the cup of their ini. quity was full, he commanded Cyrus, after the noted conquest of the Lydians, to besiege Babylon. Surely Cyrus must have been stimulated and encouraged in this great enterprise, by God himself, for in addition to the amazing strength of the city, it appears that it was stored with twenty years' provisions; however, it is certain, Cyrus was not discouraged in his design, though the Babylonians insulted and laughed at his romantic attempts, (as they supposed) from the tops of their walls. When God wills the destruction of a people for their wickedness, he can soon find secondary means to accomplish his designs, which would never enter into the heart of man to conceive. This was ex. emplified in the present case. The particular time is mentioned in Scripture, when destruction was brought upon Babylon, as follows: Belshazzar, the king, made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before them. Then they brought the vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God, wbich was at Jerusalem; and the king and bis princes, his wives and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine in them, and praised the gods of gold and silver, of brass, of iron, of wood and of stone. While this superstitious king was spending the night in debaucbery, there came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick on the plaister of the wall of the king's palace; and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote. Then the king's countenance changed,
and his thoughts troubled him, so that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against the other. Then he cried aloud to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans and the soothsayers ; but they could not read the wri. ting; until Daniel was sent for, who interpreted the writing : wbich, in some measure, eased the king's troubled mind; perhaps he thought the awful threatening would not be executed for a considerable time, or he disbelieved the prophet altogether, or placed such reJiance in the strength of Babylon for safety, that he banished the awful warning from his mind, and put off the consideration of serious matters till a more convenient season; he feared also to dis. turb the general joy of the present festi. tival : however, it is certain, after Daniel and the astrologers were gone, the company sat down again to drink and be merry, and continued so till Cyrus interrupted them with the glittering drawnswords of his soldiers, in the following manner : Cyrus, some time before the above festival was celebrated, being informed that the Babylonians always passed the night, on such occasions, in drunkenness and debauchery, commanded his soldiers to draw a line of circumvallation round the city, with a very deep ditch; by this maneuvre, he made the Babylonians believe, that his intention was to reduce the city by famine; by which means they were lulled into a fatal security. On the night of the above festival, Cyrus made his troops open the great receptacles or ditches, on each side of the town; by this means, .