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From flower to flower, so he from land to land;
While fancy, like the finger of a clock, .
THE TOWER OF BABEL.
1. It is not, in the least, to be doubted, that Noah and his family, for some years after the flood, continued to reside in the neighborhood of the mountains of Armenia, where the jark had rested. But his descendants, in course of time, having a numerous progeny, the greater part of them quitted this place, and, directing their course eastward, came at length to the plains of Shinar, on the banks of the river Euphrates. Attracted by the convenience of its situation, and the natural fertility of the soil, they resolved not to proceed any further, but to make this their fixed place of residence.
2. Having formed this resolution, in order to render themselves famous to future generations, they determined to erect a city, and in the city a building of such stupendous height as should be the wonder of the world. Their principal motives in doing this, were, it is supposed, to keep themselves together, in one body, that by their mutual strength and councils, as the world increased, they might bring others under their subjection, and thereby become masters of the universe.
3. The idea of the intended tower gave them the most singular satisfaction, and the novelty of the design induced
Is it supposed that Noah ard his family continued any time near the place where the ark had rested ?-Where did they go on leaving this place ?-In what way did they become determined to distinguisha Shemselves on settling in the plains of Shinar?
them to enter upon its construction with the greatest alacri ty. One inconvenience, however, arose, of which they were not at first apprised, namely, there being no stone in the country with which to build it. But this defect was soon supplied by the nature of the soil, which, being clayey, they soon converted into bricks, and cemented them together with a pitchy substance, called bitumen, the country produeing that article in great abundance.
4. As the artificers were numerous, the work was carriedra on with great expedition, and in a short time the walls were raised to a prodigious height. But the Almighty being dis satisfied with their proceedings, thought proper to interpose, and totally put an end to their ambitious project; so that the first of their vanity became only a monument of their folly and weakness.
5. Though the descendants of Noah were at this time escu ceedingly numerous, yet they spoke the same language.-I order, therefore, to render their undertaking ineffectual, and to lessen the towering hopes of these aspiring mortals, the Almighty formed the resolution of confounding their language. In consequence of this, a universal jargon took place, and the different dialects caused such a distraction of thought, that, incapable of understanding or making knowla to each other their ideas, they were thrown into the utmost disorder.
6. By this awful stroke of divine justice, they were not only deprived of prosecuting their intended plan, but of thelt greatest pleasure a social being can enjoy, namely mutual converse and agreeable intercourse. We are not, however, to suppose, that each individual had a peculiar dialect of language to himself; but only the several tribes or families, which are supposed to have been about seventy in number. These detaching themselves according to their respective dialects, left the spot, which, before the consequences of their presumption, they had considered as the most delightful on
What inconvenience did they experience at first in building their city and tower?-How did they obviate the inconvenience of no, having stones with which to build ?- Did they commence their contemplated work ?-Was God pleased with their design ?-In what way did he manifest his displeasure, and stop their work?Is it supposed, that in the confusion of language on this occasion, every individual was made to have a dialect of his own ?
earth, and took up their temporary residences in such piaces as they either pitched on by choice, or were directed to by chance.
7. Thus did the Almighty not only defeat the designs of hose ambitious people, but likewise accomplished his own, by having the world more generally inhabited than it otherwise could have been. The spot on which they had begun o erect their tower, was, from the judgment that attended so ash an undertaking, called Babel (afterwards Babylon,) which, in the Hebrew tongue, signifies confusion. . 8. The confusion of tongues, and dispersion of the family of Noah, happened 101 years after the flood, as is evident
rom the birth of Peleg, the son of Heber (who was the great-grandson of Shem,) and was born in the 101st year after that
nemorable period. He received his name from this singular circumstance, the word Peleg, in the Hebrew language, sig
aifying partition, or dispersion. E 9. The descendants of Noah being now dispersed, in proiess of time, from their great increase, they scattered themselves o distant parts of the earth, and, according to their respecive families, settled in different parts of the world. Some ook up their residence in Asia ; some in Africa; and others n Europe. By what means they obtained possession of the jeveral countries they inhabited, the sacred historian has not informed us. It is, however, natural to suppose, that their 'espective situations did not take place from chance, but from nature deliberation ; and that a proper assignment was made f such and such places, according to the divisions and sublivisions of the different families.
10. When Babel was confounded, and the great
What good effects did the Almighty accomplish from this confusion of language ?-What is the place called, where it took place ?At what time was this memorable event ?-Are we informed in "what way the descendants of Noah took possession of the several countries they afterwards inhabited ?-What is probable on this subject ?
To all the nations. Ample was the boon
THE ASSYRIANS. 1. The Assyrians, or Syrians, inhabited the country whicl was first settled by Ashur, a son of Shem, and afterward taken by Nimrod, a grandson of Ham. Assyria is now? part of Persia, The Assyrian was one of the four universa monarchies, and was the first empire that ever existed. Hei kings usually styled themselves, by way of eminence, king of kings ; and it is probable, from the most correct account: of that remote period, that, in power, they were surpassed by none, and equalled by few, if any, of the contemporary po tentates.
2. Nineveh, the capital of Assyria, and Babylon, the ca pital of Babylonia, a province of Assyria, were two of the most memorable cities of which we have any account in his tory. Nineveh was built on the Tigris, and is supposed in have contained no less than a million of inhabitants. It was surrounded by a wall, one hundred feet high, and so thick that three carriages might be driven abreast on the top of it. Babylon was built over the Euphrates, and was sur rounded by a wall 87 feet in thickness, 360 feet in height, and 60 miles in circumference. This city was nearly square, and contained one hundred brazen gates, twenty-five on each side.
3. The building of Nineveh has been ascribed both to Nimrod and Ninus his son; and, it is probable, that the former began, and the latter completed it. It was undoubtedly named in honor of Ninus. Babylon is said to have
Who first settled ancient Assyria ?-Who next took possession of it ?-Of what country is it now a part ?- What was the political importance of Assyria ?-What title did her kings assume?-What two memorable cities did Assyria contain ?-_Where was Nineveh situated ?--How many inhabitants did it contain ?-How was it surrounded ?_Where was Babylon situated ?- What was the height of the wall that surrounded it?-How large its circumference ?-What was its form ?-Under whose direction was Nineveh built ?
been built by Semiramis, the widow of Ninus. After the death of her husband, she became determined to eclipse his glory, by building a city that should surpass Nineveh. This she attempted in enlarging and rendering magnificent the city of Babylon ; and she succeeded so well in the attempt, | as to have been called by some its founder. She is represented to have employed, in this vast enterprise, two millions of men, which were collected out of all the provinces of her extensive empire.
4. Nimrod, as well as Semiramis, has been called the founder of Babylon ; but, it is believed with confidence, there can be little if any doubt with the intelligent historian, that Babylon and Babel are the same. Its origin is therefore to be ascribed to the foolish vanity of those persons named in Scripture, who desired to build a tower and a city, that should render their memory immortal. It is probable, however, that this ridiculous design being defeated by such an astonishing prodigy as none could be the author of but God himself, every body abandoned the place, which had given him offence; and that Nimrod, in company with his friends and confederates, was the first who afterwards settled therein, and encompassed it with walls-beginning, in this place, the powerful empire, which has excited the interest of all succeeding ages, and of which he was the first chief.
5. The kings of Assyria were numerous, which necessarily resulted from the long continuance of the empire ; yet nothing besides the names of a large part of them is transmitted to us. The reign of Sennacherib may be considered, on some accounts, the most interesting of any which history has preserved. This prince's ambition and power seemed to threaten the neighboring nations, with that oppression, which nothing but the will of God could resist. After ravaging Egypt, he returned and besieged Jerusalem. But, while encamped before that place, a destroying angel, to
Who raised Babylon to its most renowned state ?-_Why did Semiramis thus enlarge and adorn this city ?-How many persons is she said to have employed in the work ?-What was the origin of Babylon ?-Who is supposed to have taken possession of Babel or Babylon, after the confusion of language ?- What may be said generally of the Assyrian kings ?-Which one of them, whose life and reign are recorded, is deserving of particular notice ?-What important circumstances particularly distinguished the reign of Sennacherib?