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use the language of Scripture, in one night, slew one hundred and eighty-five thousand of his army. He returned to his own country greatly chagrined ; and to divert the attention of his subjects from this disgrace, he exercises on them every species of cruelty; so that his own family became disgusted at his conduct, and shortly assassinated him in the temple, while prostrated before his god Nisroch. ..
6. Few facts are known of the Assyrian empire; and some have even doubted, but without reason, the existence of it. But notwithstanding the obscurity in which the history of this nation is involved, it is generally believed, that the empire was founded about the year 1800 of the world, and continued about fourteen hundred years from its foundationor about seventeen hundred, if we reckon to the destruction of Babylon. The Assyrian empire, however, did not exist in its zenith of power this length of time ; for it was at first, like most nations, small, and rose from that condition by degrees. Besides, it did not long retain the power and political importance which it thus acquired. Intestine divisions and provincial apostasies frequently weakened its strength; and, finally, the Babylonians and Medes, inhabitants of two provinces, united against and destroyed Nineveh, the capital, and became themselves, in a measure, distinct and independent nations.
7. Babylon, like Nineveh, soon fell into the hands of its enemies. In the year of the world 3466, Cyrus the king of Persia, took the city of Babylon, by turning the river Euphrates, and marching his troops through its former channel, while the people were celebrating a grand festival. From this period, Babylon experienced a rapid decay, till it was taken by Alexander the Great, about two hundred years after. He, with a view of making it the seat of his empire, had determined to restore it to its ancient splendor ; but dy. ing suddenly, the work ceased. His successors abandoning this proud capital for ever, it continued to decline, till it be
What was the effect of his defeat, when attempting the reduction of Jerusalem ?--At what time did the Assyrian empire commence ?How long did it exist ?-Who took and destroyed Nineveh ?-When was it ?-Who took Babylon ?-How was its conquest effected ?After the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, who attempted to make it the capital of his empire What was its condition after the death -f Alexander?
came desolate. Not the smallest vestige of it now remains ; and the exact place where it stood is unknown.
8. The splendor and greatness of Nineveh and Babylon, as of all other great cities of early times, consisted chiefly in their public buildings. The dwellings of the great mass of the people were little better than wretched hovels-with-out, unornamented; and within, unfurnished. Indeed, Nineveh and Babylon contained little worthy of notice, except their walls, towers, temples, palaces, and superb structures of royalty. How incomparably more magnificent are the modern cities of London or Paris, when viewed as the abodes of men! Here are seen, monuments of every art and science; the astonishing effects of commerce ; opulence and independence reigning among all classes; the diffusion of knowledge ; the reign of science; freedom and plenty. h 9. The Assyrian empire rose, flourished, and fell, while
the world was in its infancy. Few maxims of its government have reached our times ; few incidents have escaped oblivion ; and those which have, are doubtless tinctured with the stream of tradition, passing through long and bewildering tracks of time. From what we can gather from such dubious lights, we are led to conclude that the fabric of ancient mo
narchical governments was very simple. It may be expresswed in a few words, sovereign power, and absolute subjection. | Where the monarch chanced to be an amiable character, the i condition of the subject was very tolerable ; but power so unrestrained in the hands of a bad man, produced the most dreadful tyranny.
THE RUINS OF BABYLON.
Kept their night-clatter still ;
Does Babylon now exist ?-Is the exact place of its situation known to us ?-How do Nineveh and Babylon compare with modern cities? * Of Bagdad.
The bittern's boom came far,
Distinct in darkness seen, Above the low horizon's lingering light Rose the near ruins of old Babylon. Once, from her lofty walls, the charioteer Look'd down on swarming myriads ; once she flung Her arches o'er Euphrates' conquer'd tide, And through her brazen portals when she pour'd Her armies forth, the distant nations look'd As men who watch the thunder-cloud in fear Lest it should burst above them.-She was fallen! The queen of cities, Babylon, was fallen! Low lay her bulwarks—the black scorpion basked In palace courts—within the sanctuary
The she-wolf hid her whelps.
Is yonder huge and shapeless heap, what once
The Assyrian slaves ador’d?:
Spreads o'er the blasted plain. .
Euphrates rolls along,
Through the broken portal,
Cautious he trod, and felt
The jackal started at his steps ;
The stork, alarmed at sound of man, From her broad nest upon the old pillar top,
Affrighted, fled on flapping wings ;
The adder in her haunts disturbid, Lanc'd at the intruding staff her arrowy tongue.
Twilight and moonshine, dimly mingling, gave
An awful light obscure-
An awful light obscure,
Broad length of lofty wall,
Whose windows lay in light,
Rude outline on the earth
Reclin'd against a column's broken shaft,
He stood and gaz'd around.
The ruins closed him in
He stood and gaz'd awhile,
Then, through the ruin'd street,
1. The Egyptians are among the earliest nations of which we have any account. The Mosaic writings represent Egypt, about 436 years after the flood, a flourishing and well regulated kingdom. This circumstance is sufficient evidence, that Egypt was peopled soon after the flood, in order to have become a well regulated kingdom, at the time mentioned by
What is the antiquity of the Egyptians ?-What was the condition of the Egyptians, 436 years after the flood, according to the Scripture account of them ?-What may be inferred from their being a well regulated kingdom at that period ?
the inspired writer. The nature of the country also itself affords a presumption of the great antiquity of the empire, it and its early civilization. From the fertilizing effects of the waters of the Nile, it is probable that agriculture would be to more early practised here, than in regions less favored by face nature.
2. Although the Egyptian history is much connected with fable, it is pretty well ascertained, that the Egyptians were considered as the most enlightened people in the world ; and to that the other ancient nations were much indebted to them for their knowledge in arts and sciences. The Egyptiansa instructed the Greeks-the Greeks performed the same office is to the Romans—and the latter have transmitted much of ve that knowledge to the world, of which we are in possession to this day. The Egyptians were probably the first who made any considerable, if not the first who made any ad. Ir vances in geometry, astronomy, and medicine; and it is in generally supposed, they made no mean proficiency in architecture, painting, and sculpture.
3. The government of Egypt was a hereditary monarchy. The powers of the monarch were limited by constitutional laws; yet in many respects his authority was extremely de spotical. The penal laws were uncommonly severe. Funerals rites were not conferred, till an examination was had, and a judicial decree passed approving the character of the deceased. The characters even of the sovereigns were subjected to this inquiry. There was also an extraordinary regulation in Egypt regarding the borrowing of money. The borrower gave in pledge the body of his father, which was deprived of funeral rites if he failed to redeem it.
4. The husbandmen devoted their whole attention to agriculture ; and the son continually succeeded the father in his occupation-thus they became the most famous for tillage, of any people in the world. The shepherds also followed !
What presumptive evidence does the nature of the country furnish, that Egypt was settled at an early period ?-What is the state of the Egyptian history ?-In what were the Egyptians superior to the con. temporary nations ?-How has the learning of the Egyptians been transmitted to us ?-Of what sciences were the Egyptians considered the discoverers, or if not the discoverers, the first who cultivated them to any considerable degree ?-In what arts did they make proficiency ?- What was the government of Egypt?-What singular cus. tom had they, relative to the interment of the dead ?-And what in regard to the borrowing of money ?