Billeder på siden

What has been said relative to individuals, may be said, with some little variation, respecting nations, for one is in miniature what the other is in magnitude. It is very certain that national sins have been punished with national calamities. Every person who is in any sense acquainted with profane history, will at once see, that the nations of antiquity have been extirpated. For what? Not for their virtues ; surely not, but for their wickedness have they been signally punished in this world; because, it was impossible for God to punish them in eternity, as no civil distinctions, or national associations, are to be seen there. God bore with the degenerate manners and corrupt morals of the antediluvians for many centuries, and one hundred and twenty years before he sent his judgments upon them, he commanded his servant Noah, to preach repentance to them; who faithfully pointed out their dangerous state, as rebels against the laws of heaven, but they would not listen to his benevolent admonitions. Wherefore, God sent the deluge upon them, and enveloped them all (Noah and those in the ark with him excepted) in one watery grave.

I might go on to mention the exaltation, degradation, and destruction of the Egyptians, the Trojans, the Grecians, the inhabitants of Canaan, the Assyrians, the Medes, and Chaldeans, and many others, who in their turns rebelled against God's universal law of order, and would not submit to his divine government; and were of course extirpated from the face of the earth. But our limits will not allow us to give even a compendious relation of the above nations, who were accounted invincible, and were for many years both prosperous and powerful ; and from whose appearance, one would have supposed, should have survived the ravages of time. However, we will briefly mention the downfal of three of the most prosperous and populous cities and

nations, which ever was, or perhaps ever will be in this world: I mean Babylon, Jerusalem and the Roman empire. This will answer our purpose, as well as if we particularized the history of every nation and its downfal, who have, by sad experience, proved that the great Creator will not be trifled with, either by nations or individuals. Indeed, it is very evident to every

. rational mind, that God would not, nor indeed cannot let guilty nations, much less individuals, who will not repent and reform, pass on without punishment; he can, consistent with his divine attributes, give them time and space for repentance, he can exhibit his goodness and their own ingratitude plain to their view, he can from time to time, send his servants to warn them of their approaching destruction ; this he can do, and this is all he can do consistent with his Divine law; I think I may with much propriety, go further and say, this is all he can do, consistent even with the reasonable and judicious laws of man. For nothing can be more plain, than, that if God suffereil the guilty to go altogether unpunished, he would actually be countenancing rebellion, encouraging wickedness, rendering his equitable laws only a mere sham, acting unworthy of himself, and causing his angels to disesteem his divine government. Let sinful nations and individuals, only for five minutes consider the reasonableness of this sentiment, and they will be constrained to tremble on the brink of ruin, if they continue incorrigible and impenitent. We will now, with 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 feet higher than the wall. From
the twenty-five gates on each square of the
city, went so many streets, which reached
in a direct line to the opposite gateg; of
course there were fifty streets, each fifteen
miles long, crossing each other at right an-
gles. It would take a volume to contain
an account of the astonishing grandeur and
magnificence of this extensive 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 beau-
ty, even uitr the expiration of ten thous-

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


« ForrigeFortsæt »