Front Cover
 Title Page
 Table of Contents
 The cities of Egypt
 The deserted cities of the...
 The city of Tyre
 Babylon the great
 Back Cover

Title: Lost cities brought to light
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00066163/00001
 Material Information
Title: Lost cities brought to light
Physical Description: 127, 1 p., 1 leaf of plates : ill. (some col.), map ; 17 cm.
Language: English
Creator: Kirby, Elizabeth, 1823-1873 ( Author, Primary )
Religious Tract Society (Great Britain) ( Publisher )
R. K. Burt & Co ( Printer )
Kronheim & Co ( Printer )
Publisher: Religious Tract Society
Place of Publication: London (Paternoster Row; 65 St. Paul's Churchyard; and 164 Piccadilly)
Manufacturer: Burt and Co., printers
Kronheim & Co
Publication Date: c1871
Subject: Extinct cities -- Juvenile literature -- Middle East   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- Babylon (Extinct city)   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Juvenile literature -- Middle East   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- Nineveh (Extinct city)   ( lcsh )
Juvenile literature -- Thebes (Egypt : Extinct city)   ( lcsh )
Antiquities -- Juvenile literature -- Tyre (Lebanon)   ( lcsh )
Bldn -- 1871
Genre: non-fiction   ( marcgt )
Spatial Coverage: England -- London
Statement of Responsibility: by the author of "Steps up the ladder," etc.
General Note: Elizabeth Kirby is the author of "Steps up the ladder."
General Note: Undated. Date from BLC.
General Note: Colour frontispiece printed by Kronheim & Co.
General Note: Publisher's advertisements on 1 p. at end of text.
Funding: Preservation and Access for American and British Children's Literature, 1870-1889 (NEH PA-50860-00).
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00066163
Volume ID: VID00001
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: Baldwin Library of Historical Children's Literature in the Department of Special Collections and Area Studies, George A. Smathers Libraries, University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved, Board of Trustees of the University of Florida.
Resource Identifier: aleph - 002227267
notis - ALG7564
oclc - 63067772

Table of Contents
    Front Cover
        Front Cover 1
        Front Cover 2
    Title Page
        Page i
        Page ii
    Table of Contents
        Page iii
        Page iv
    The cities of Egypt
        Page 5
        Page 6
        The sand of the desert
            Page 7
            Page 8
            Page 9
            Page 10
            Page 11
            Page 12
        The two giant statues
            Page 13
            Page 14
            Page 15
            Page 16
            Page 17
        The city of the hundred gates
            Page 18
            Page 19
            Page 20
            Page 21
        The people at work, as pictured on the monuments
            Page 22
            Page 23
            Page 24
            Page 25
            Page 26
            Page 27
            Page 28
            Page 29
        The palace of king Rameses
            Page 30
            Page 31
            Page 32
            Page 33
            Page 34
            Page 35
        The overthrow of Thebes
            Page 36
            Page 37
            Page 38
            Page 39
        The temple of the God Apis
            Page 40
            Page 41
            Page 42
            Page 43
            Page 44
        The city of the sun
            Page 45
            Page 46
            Page 47
            Page 48
            Page 49
            Page 50
    The deserted cities of the giants
        Page 51
        Page 52
        Page 53
        Page 54
        Page 55
        Page 56
        Page 57
        Page 58
    The city of Tyre
        Page 59
        Page 60
        Page 61
        Page 62
        Page 63
        Page 64
        Page 65
        Page 66
        Page 67
        Page 68
        Page 69
        Page 70
        Page 71
        Page 72
        Page 73
        Page 74
        Page 75
        Page 76
        Nineveh in her glory
            Page 77
            Page 78
            Page 79
            Page 80
            Page 81
            Page 82
            Page 83
            Page 84
            Page 85
            Page 86
            Page 87
            Page 88
            Page 89
        The remains of Nineveh
            Page 90
            Page 91
            Page 92
            Page 93
            Page 94
        The histoy of Nineveh
            Page 95
            Page 96
            Page 97
            Page 98
            Page 99
            Page 100
            Page 101
            Page 102
    Babylon the great
        Page 103
        Page 104
        Page 105
        Page 106
        Page 107
        Page 108
        Page 109
        Page 110
        The wise men of Babylon and their idols
            Page 111
            Page 112
            Page 113
            Page 114
            Page 115
        The fall of Babylon
            Page 116
            Page 117
            Page 118
            Page 119
            Page 120
            Page 121
            Page 122
            Page 123
            Page 124
            Page 125
            Page 126
            Page 127
    Back Cover
        Back Cover 1
        Back Cover 2
Full Text


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THE CITIES OF EGYPT ... ... ... ... 5




THE CITY OF TYRE ... .. .. ... 59





NINEVEH ... ... .. ... ... ... 7



BABYLON THE GREAT ... ... ... ... 10


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THlE (1ii 1 L OF EGYPT.

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many times; and
you know, perhaps, that there are more
deserts than one. A desert is a place where
there are neither towns, nor people, nor
gardens, nor vineyards. In many deserts no-
thing is to be seen but sand-sand every-
There is a little tract of waste land in our
own country, which may give you a faint idea
of one of these deserts. I mean the Dunes in


Norfolk. Here is a soft, shifting bed of sand,
ever loving and forming itself into a number
of loose hillocks, among which you might
easily lose yourself. The hillocks keep chang-
ing even while you look at them. They are
the sport of the wind, and it drifts and shifts
them about at its pleasure.
On these Dunes you look over a barren
sandy waste, in fact a little desert; but it does
not appear boundless, like the true desert.
Fancy that waste of sand stretching for miles
and miles, as far as the eye can reach. Now it
is hard and firm, now soft and yielding, and it
has treacherous places into which a man may
sink and be buried. And fancy a burning sky
glowing like a furnace, and a sun that is scarce
ever veiled by a cloud, and you have a good
picture of the desert, in which some of the
buried cities lie hidden.
The terrors of the desert are still great, in
spite of all that man can do. The caravan
slowly toils over the dreary plains. The silence
is, at times, awful. Here and there are stones
lying scattered in the path. The traveller
knows what they mean; he knows that, on this
spot, some wearied pilgrim, unable to proceed,
lay down and died, and was buried by his


companions. There, too, lie the skeletons of
animals that have perished, in their march
through the wilderness, from fatigue or
scarcity of water.

/I ._ _

The heat and the reflection of the burning
sand cause intolerable thirst. Thirst is the

The -hea-t and the reflection. of the ringg
sand cause intolerable thirst. Thirst is the


great enemy that men meet with in the desert;
for the means of allaying it are not always to
be met with. The wells are few and far
between. Often, for days together, no water
can be found. The travellers must carry with
them what they need for the journey, and if
their supply fails them they must die. It
sometimes happens that the water-skins are
emptied, the wells are dried up, and munbers
perish from thirst. At such a time, if a stream
is approached, the whole caravan rushes eagerly
towards it; men and women, chiefs and common
people, camels and horses, all mixed confusedly
together, that they may quench their raging
Sometimes the sand will rise in pillars or
columns, and speed along the ground as though
it were alive. Or the hot wind will drive it
onward, like a cloud of scorching dust. Then
the traveller -. it greatly. He calls it "the
Simoom." I am speaking now of the great
African desert, where no rain ever falls. On
its borders grow stunted trees and shrubs; for
here a shower will now and then moisten the
earth; and, in happier regions still, is found
the oasis, with its palm-trees and its wells of
water, But the true desert lies like a grim


enemy, ready to swallow up whatever of the
works of man are left in its way.
Egypt could not have existed without the
bountiful river which has been its preserver.


have fought for ages, and the battle has not
L~- ---

... -. : 1. -- .

ended yet. In places where men live and
towns flourish, the river gains the mastery;


but there are spots where the desert, like
another sea, has overflowed its bounds.
When the ancient cities of Egypt were de-
serted they were given over to the destroyer.
The hungry tyrant drew them into its clutches.
The wind of the desert brought clouds of sand
from the arid waste close by. It fell like a
shower upon the ruined temples and forsaken
palaces. Man had done his utmost to des-
troy them; now the sand made haste to cover
them up.
It fell like showers, or drifted steadily
onward, through the long days and silent
nights. It was a feeble foe. A handful of
sand! But see what it has done. It has buried
the temples and the palaces of kings 1
The great sphynx, gigantic as it is, can
barely keep its monstrous head above the bil-
lows of sand. Its body, and the temple between
its paws, lie buried, and can never be seen.
Pillars, columns, obelisks, inscriptions, all the
treasures of history, lie beneath.
The final instrument which blotted them out
was the soft, .L i ;, m ._ minute, ever-shifting sand.
In this sea of oblivion are swallowed up the
once famous cities of Thebes and of Memphis.
Others, that we shall name, have gone down


like the wrecks of once gallant vessels. The
skill of man has found them out, and laid bare
some of their secrets; but when he stays his
hand, the smooth treacherous enemy will gain
upon them and blot them out. Buried cities
they will ever remain. Such is their doom,
spoken by the Almighty; and man and nature
have helped to bring it to pass.

THERE is a period, in the history of the world,
about which we know very little. The king-
doms and nations, then in their glory, are seen
no more on the face of the earth. Very old
books have given us a few facts about them;
and more books were once written, but they
have been destroyed. There was a wonderful
library at the town of Alexandria, in Egypt.
It contained hundreds and thousands of vo-
laumes. If that library were in existence, we
should be able to answer many questions that
have puzzled the learned of all ages. We
might perhaps know the secrets of the buried
cities, and the mighty nations to which they
belonged. But a fierce Arab chief, named


Omar, once conquered Egypt, and took the
town of Alexandria. HIe caused the books to
be taken from their shelves, and used as fuel in
the public baths. It took six months to burn
them up !
This was one of the worst misfortunes that
could happen to the world of letters. The loss
of these precious volumes has made a blank in
history which can never be filled up. There
is, however, one Book that gives much of the
history we want. I mean the Bible.
In the Bible days, the ancient nations were
in their glory; their ships were sailing through
all seas, and their merchandise was carried to
the ends of the earth. The buried cities were
then standing in their full magnificence, and
you would wonder how such massive walls and
gigantic buildings could have fallen into ruins.
They seemed as if made to defy all time; but
God, by his prophets, foretold their doom, even
in the days of their prosperity. The prophet,
as he looked upon them, with their busy swarms
of people, their temples, and their palaces,
declared they should be desolate, and, as they
are now, a heap of ruins.
You will see how every word spoken of them
has come to pass!


Long before Moses lay in his ark of bul-
rushes, on the banks of the Nile, that river
flowed through a land of temples and palaces,
such as may never be seen again. One of the
most famous cities was called in the Bible
" Populous No." We shall come upon it in
our course along the ancient river. An old0
writer called it the city of the hundred gates.
We call it Thebes.
Do you see yonder giant statues sitting side
by side in their solitary grandeur ? Do you
notice their gigantic size ? The sand of the
desert has drifted round them, until it has
buried seven feet of their height. But still
they tower seventy feet on high. Each mighty
arm is seventeen feet in length; the foot itself
is equal to the stature of a giant. They sit
each on a pedestal or throne; their hands are
on their knees. Their faces are broken, and
one of them has the f1. :J Ii.-, gone. But still
they seem as if 1.-..1: forward over the great
river Nile.
Age i f,. age, they have sat there; from
before the time when the children of Israel
labored at their tasks, or the cry went through
the land that in every house of the Egyptians
was found one dead.


On the opposite bank of the river were
crowded the temples and palaces of Thebes.
Here kings and priests walked in procession;
busy throngs swarmed in the streets; all was

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"MX -_ : -* : --- -
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life and stir. The sand of the desert was kept
back by the industry of man. Where it now
spread" like a vast wreath, there were fruitful


gardens and pleasant fields. In those days, the
(v..i ..~-;.1i of the Nile did not reach the spot
where the statues sit. And they formed only a
small part of an avenue, of statues and images,
which led to one of the most splendid temples
in the world.
For nearly a mile, this gigantic avenue
stretched onwards. It was built on rising
ground. A stranger, coming down the river,
would be startled by the view of the huge
statues, and monstrous sphynxes, standing side
by side, and forming a spectacle such as will
never be seen again. Statues and temples,
priests and people, are alike gone. Only these
two figures keep their lonely watch over the
ruins of their former grandeur. One of the
statues has his name written on the stone
pedestal that serves him for a throne. He
was one of the Pharaohs, and was called
Amenoph. His name occurs in other places,
on.the ruined walls of the city. We might have
seen his likeness, but that the features are
destroyed. The Greeks gave another name to
the statue. They called it Memnon. A story
has been handed down through many centuries
about Memnon; it was said that, when the sun
began to rise over the mountains, a sound of


music was heard from the lips of the statue.
The Greeks, who were very fanciful, used to
say it was Memnon's song to Aurora, goddess
of the morning.
But a much more sensible explanation can
be given. The priests of Egypt were very
cunning, and one of them might have hidden
himself in a niche of the statue, and caused the
sound by striking the stone with an iron rod:
Even if there were no priest at all, the music
might very well be made by the wind that
rushed through the chinks in the statue, and
produced a sound like an 1Eolian harp.
In these days the Nile, in its overflow, has
crept up to the twin statues, Tamar and ChnamC,
as the Arabs call them. Then it flows round
them, and they look like islands of stone.

WHEN you have gazed your fill at the twin
statues, and pictured to yourself the avenue to
which they once belonged, you must behold
greater wonders still.
I shall introduce you to Thebes, the city of
the hundred gates, the No-Ammon of the


Bible, that was said to be "situate among
the rivers."
The men who built Thebes chose a good
position for their city. In Lower Egypt the
valley of the Nile is narrow, and there would
not have been space to display the giant edi-
fices to advantage. But there is a spot in
Upper E --l.. where the mountains, that hem
in the river, fall back, and the narrow strip of
land becomes a plain. In this plain, there once
stood the city of the hundred gates. It stood
partly on one side of the river, and partly on
the other. No trace has been found of a
bridge, and it is not clearly known whether
such a thing existed.
In one of the pictures, on the walls of a
temple, there is a scene from the life of a king.
The king is coming to the river with a number
of prisoners whom he has taken in war. The
priests and the people are on the opposite bank,
and there is a streak or band across the river
which might be "intended for a bridge." But
this is mere conjecture, and nothing certain is
known about it.
The vast temples and palaces, among which
we shall wander presently, were placed near to
the water's edge. The rest of the plain was


filled with private houses, and gardens and
The dwellings of the poorer people were not
at all grand. By the side of the mighty struc-
tures yonder, they must have looked mean and
small. Not a single remnant is left. Houses
and streets lie buried in the sand. But we can
tell from the pictures on the walls of the tem-
ples and the tombs, what they were like.
The mansions of the rich had gateways like
those of the temples. And there were columns
and obelisks, painted to look like granite. The
outer wall had battlements to it, and there
were doors with the name of the owner written
over. All round the house was a garden, full
of flowers and pleasant plants. As very little
rain falls in Egypt, the garden had to be kept
watered. And there was a lake on purpose to
supply the water. The lake was a great orna-
ment to the garden. Lotus flowers floated on
its surface, and the banks were shaded with
cool spreading trees. Here the master of the
house would come and enjoy himself, and row
about upon the water.
The garden was watered in a very simple
manner. A man had a pole or yoke across his
shoulders, and a bucket at each end; with


these buckets the water was fetched, just as we
might do now. In this way a number of slaves
were employed to keep the garden in a state of
luxuriance. It was a well-watered garden.
But, besides his town mansion, the owner would
very likely have a farm or villa outside the city.
You will be amused to hear that some of the
deeds, relating to the purchase of land about
Thebes, are in existence now. In one such
deed, the buyer and the seller have their per-
sonal appearances described, and the descrip-
tion has been handed down through all these
ages. The man who sold the land was bald,
round faced, and of a dark complexion. He
was forty-five years old. The man who was
the buyer had also a round face, but with a
flat nose, and was twenty-two years old. His
father was a leather-cutter, and the piece of land
was said to be bounded by the Royal Street."
Where now should we look for streets, or
lands, or houses ? The desert has blotted out
every vestige of them. We stand in a place of
utter silence and of solitude. The wind, as it
sweeps mournfully by, seems to repeat the
words of Scripture,* "I will make the land
desolate, and all that is therein!"
Ezekiel xxix. 8-12.


BEFORE we leave this humble part of the city,
we will take a glance at what the people are
doing. You must not :-i. I that I am trying
to picture to you Thebes as it was in the early
days of the Bible ; and you will perceive, that
almost every employment of the ancient Egyp-
tians is mentioned in the sacred volume.
In the busy scene which we have, as it were,
unburied before us, we shall see how the work-
men are plying their trades. The weaver
is at his loom. The loom is C, :,-:,..1 to the
ground by four pegs or posts, and he seems to
be drawing the thread through with his hand
instead of throwing it with a shuttle. The pro-
cess must have been very tedious; but how gay
are the colours he is weaving in It is a cloth
of divers colours, such as we read about many
times in the Bible. He weaves in the colours
as he goes along.
Joseph's coat of many colours was very likely
woven in this manner. But there was another
kind of cloth of divers colours superior to this;
it was so costly that only kings and princes
wore it.


If you wish to see this class of workpeople,
you must look into the palace of the king.
Here, ladies of high rank, and their maidens,
are busy with their needles; they are em-
broidering the lovely colours we admire so
much, on the cloth, by hand. Often the sump-
tuous garment, when it was finished, was given
as a present.
When the mother of Sisera looked out of the
lattice, she hoped to see her son returning in
triumph, and bringing his spoils with him. She
was thinking of these very garments when she

"To Sisera a prey of divers colours of needlework,
Of divers colours of needlework on both sides,
Meet or the necks of them that take the spoil."

But besides this gay apparel, the Egyptians
loved to adorn themselves with jewels. The
goldsmith carried on a brisk trade in the city.
Many of the earrings, and bracelets, and arm-
lets, were of solid gold, and very massive. A
gold chain was worn by the king; and, if you
remember, Pharaoh put one round the neck of
Joseph as a mark of his favour.
When the children of Israel were thrust
out of Egypt, in the night,- they borrowed all


the jewels they could of their neighbours; and
they were said on this account "to spoil the
Besides the jewels, you would see in the
goldsmiths' workshop the most elegant baskets
of silver and gold. These were used in the
palace of the king, and the servants used to

E -= -- _


carry them about on their heads. The chief
baker in Joseph's dream had three baskets
on his head. The common people could not
afford the costly jewels worn by the rich and
great. They had to be content with ornaments
of glass; and here was another busy trade car-


ried on in the city. The worker in glass had
as much as he could do; his glass beads were
almost as good as those made of precious stones;
indeed, you could hardly tell the true from the
false. A great many. of these beads have been

(. 7 ,-.:'.
ri '- ^

found in the tombs, or round the necks of the

The glass maker was also very clever at
making little images of glass. They were used
,i '- ,, ', -" ..


found in the tombs, or round the necks of the
The glass maker was also very clever at
mating little images of glass. They were used


either as charms or as idols, and were often put
among the folds of the mummy's dress. Even
the great coffin, or sarcophagus, in which some
king was buried, was covered over with a coat-
ing of glass to give it a glazed look, so that the
pictures with which it was covered could be
seen more clearly.
The glass worker would also supply house-

(-.- ..:, ..

,. S "- 1".


holds with cups and vases and bottles, which
looked like the finest porcelain; and even the
seal rings of which we hear so much were
sometimes made of glass.
The potters and the brickmakers were all


carrying on their respective employment.
One picture of brickmakers at work is believed
to represent the Jews making bricks, as de-
scribed in the book of Exodus.
The mummy makers, or embalmers of the
dead, had a street to themselves; their houses
were full of patterns made in wood, and which


were intended to represent the body and the
i t!, i.. nt modes of embalming it.
In the most expensive mode, the body, after
being prepared, was filled with sweet spices,
such as myrrh and cassia; and it was wrapped


in long strips of cloth, so long that one strip
was found to measure more than two hundred
yards; and the strips were gummed so tightly
down, that it was no easy matter to pull
them off.
The maker of the mummy case was a dif-
ferent person from the embalmer, and had a


separate trade. Only the richer class of people
could afford to patronise him. His cases were
made of wood, and the upper part was shaped
like the head and face of a person. There
was a great deal of painting and varnishing


about the case, and it was covered with figures.
There was also an inner case, within which the
mummy was placed, and here it lies nearly as
perfect as it was when the embalmer put it
there, two thousand years ago !
It is rather a relief to quit this gloomy street,
and wander for a moment into the rich corn-
fields close at hand; for in many of these
ancient cities, fields and vineyards were actually
within the walls. Men are reaping the corn
by cutting off the ears, and carrying them
away in baskets. There are vast granaries
where it is stored up, and the brickmakers use
the straw for their bricks, and the cattle have
it for fodder.
And yonder are the wine makers treading
out the grapes. You may fancy you hear
their joyous shouts as they spring up and
down, holding by ropes fastened over their
heads. The red juice runs out in plenty
through the sides of the vat, and men are
bringing the purple clusters in baskets. The
grapes were not very l'..utilii in Egypt, and
there was great rejoicing when the grape har-
vest was ripe; and crushing the fruit in the
winepress was esteemed a time for mirth and
1:;:1,.:.. It was the worst threat that could


be uttered, that of the prophet, The readers
shall tread out no wine in- their presses; I
have made their vintage shouting to cease."*



WHEN a city has been deserted and half-
buried for ages, there is sure to be a difficulty
in settling every fact concerning it. The hun-
dred gates of Thebes have given rise to a great
deal of conjecture among learned men.
The poet, Homer, talked about them in
his "Iliad." He said that Thebes was the
richest city in the world. And in time of war
Isaiah xvi, 10.


it could send two hundred warriors in their
chariots from each of its gates.
Some people have thought that by the gates
were meant those wonderful gateways, each
with two vast towers, which stood before the
temples. After this lapse of time, it is not
possible to decide the question. But whether
it were so or not, the city well deserved its title
of "the hundred-gated Thebes," It is almost
beyond the reach of our fancy to conjure up
the mighty temples which once stood on either
side of the river. The granite, of which they
were built, came from a place more than a
hundred miles to the south of Thebes. Here
was a district, called Syene, where a number of
quarries formed a storehouse for the Egyptian
workmen. A granite, called Syenite, was
brought from here. Indeed, it was a most
important place, in the old days we are speak-
ing of.
You would wonder how such immense blocks
could be moved to so great a distance; but
from ancient history we get a glimpse of how
it was done. We are told, that two thousand
men were employed to move one single block !
And the number of blocks used for each temple
was scarcely to be reckoned.


Men were always toiling in these quarries in
order to adorn and beautify the city. A huge
mass, intended probably for an obelisk, lies at
this very day, upon the road just where they
had d i .--. 1 it.
Before every temple were two rows of
sphynxes. The sphynx was, as perhaps you
know, a figure with the body of a lion and the
head of a man or of a woman. The sphynxes
of Thebes had, some of them, the heads of
Yonder palace is called the Ramesium: the
name is given to it from King Rameses. It
was a temple and a palace too. Here religious
ceremonies were performed, and here the king
Before we enter, there is something we must
pause to look at. A statue lies broken on the
ground; perhaps the largest ever known. If
you measure it across the shoulders you will
find that it is more than twenty feet in breadth;
each of its toes is a yard in length. Even as
it lies broken on the ground, a mere ruin, the
traveller gazes at it in wonder.
The outer walls of the building are covered
with sculptured figures. Some of the vast
columns still remain. Grave and solemn figures


stand with folded hands looking down, as it
were, upon the broken statue at their feet.



The great hall within the palace must have
been splendid indeed. Forty-eight pillars sup-
ported the ceiling; the tops of the pillars are
carved into the form of plants and flowers that
grow on the banks of the Nile; they were
painted with brilliant colours. Here we see the
lotus, and the papyrus, and many other plants.
It is a kind of garden carved in stone.
The hall was lighted by open -p.'r:' left at
the top of the roof. Here the blue sky was
seen, and the golden sunshine of l'81-1 would
stream in upon the carving and upon the
pictured walls. In every picture you see King
Rameses; every I. i,.' .. is a scene from his life.
That -igi i v.-hi.: towers high above the rest
is the king. Here, too, you see -i ,ny of the
fIlgtfil images or idols that the Egyptians
were foolish enough to worship. In one place
the king is receiving a sword from the gods.
And you see his battles, and his victories, and
his prisoners, and all the acts that he did; you
may read them as in a book.
And learned men can make out an inscrip-
tion which says, It is the will of the gods that
the palace should stand as long as the sky."
The inscription remains as if to mock at the
ruined scene around. For the gods of the


Egyptians were idols of wood and stone: they
had no power to keep the palace standing.
It has fallen in spite of them, and is, as you
see, an utter desolation.
But here is another room in the palace. It
is called the library, and has, on the ceiling,
a picture relating to the study of the stars.
Books were, no doubt, kept here in the days
that are gone. By the word books I mean
those curious rolls made of the papyrus, and
which were written all over with figures of
men, and birds, and animals. Each figure was
meant to represent a word, and this mode of
writing by pictures is called hieroglyphics.
Many of these rolls of papyrus have been found
in the tombs of the kings, and in various other
places. The writing is as fresh as if it had
been done yesterday.
The size of the Ramesium when in its glory
was immense. It was six hundred feet long
and two hundred broad. The pillars, and there
were a hundred and fifty of them, were thirty
feet high. What kind of men were those, we
ask, who planned such works as these ?

THE ruin of Thebes did not happen all at
once: it came slowly on, age by age. For
many centuries, each king as he ruled, improved
and beautified the capital. Temple after temple
was built, till the city became one of the won-
ders of the world.
But at last its glory began to decline.
The kings of Lower Egypt came into power,
and carried away the seat of government to
another city. This was a great blow to the
prosperity of Thebes. One of these kings is
mentioned in the Bible; he is Shishak, who
fought against Rehoboam and plundered Jeru-
salem. He brought to Thebes the golden
shields that Solomon had hung up in the
But the greatest misfortune that befell the
city was when Cambyses, king of Persia, con-
quered Egypt. The Persians worshipped the
sun, and held idols in abhorrence. Cambyses
was a furious prince; many people thought he
was mad. He went through the land, over-
throwing its temples, and pulling down its
statues. He came to Thebes and did all he
could to rifle its tombs and destroy its palaces.


But even after this had been done the city
began to recover. Many of its palaces were
still standing. These parts of the city are now
wretched little villages that have sprung up
where was once the mighty Thebes. The vil-
lages, peopled with Arabs, are called Carnak,
and Luxor, and Medinet Abou.
At each of these places are the ruins of the
most magnificent halls and temples that the
world ever saw. The temple at Carnak re-
mained for a long time unbroken: it had twelve
entrances, each through a colossal gateway,
and on the sides of the gateway were gigantic
statues sitting or standing.
The temple itself was so vast that it covered
more than a mile of ground; and you ap-
proached it by one of those wonderful avenues
of sphynxes that reached for two miles across
the plain.
I can give you by mere words but a faint
idea of the grandeur of Carnak. Part of the
"hall of columns" is still standing; and when
Napoleon the First with his army came in
sight of it, they stopped as if struck with
amazement. Then the soldiers gave a shout of
admiration, and clapped their hands ; they had
never even imagined such a sight.


I should tell you that some of the most
beautiful sculptures in F v.'f are found in this
"hall of columns." One is of King Shishak,
- --_- -.-._.._ --- -


-__ '-_ .. --ii
'ii- "'' 1i'9 '


dragging along his prisoners: these are thought
to be the Jews whom he had brought from
Jerusalem. The generals of Alexander the
--- _ --- '=- --'- =- .,, _- _, ,, "-: '7 ,
,',' 11 -'lu -' L I-' !_: : % 5- '.[I ."


Great had the (..!1L1. of seeing the temple
of Carnak in its beauty; they saw also the
temple at Luxor and the one at Medinet Abou.
All three were standing in their days.
Alexander freed the people of Thebes from
the tyranny of the Persians. And then began
the race of the Ptolemies, about whom you
read in history.
These were modern days, compared to the
ancient times of which we have been speak-
ing. Thebes was still in a state of outward
grandeur, and the Ptolemies improved and
beautified it.
But now came the final step to the doom
which was iri1.. ,,;l,:-'; the inhabitants of
i''. I... rebelled against one of the Ptolemies.
They were 1L -i:1. -A in their city, and took
refuge in their temple palaces. In these
strongholds they defied the king for three
years; but they were reduced by famine, and
overpowered by numbers.
You can fancy what happened in the end.
The city of the hundred gates was given up
to pillage; the gigantic buildings, the temples,
and the columns were overthrown, and leftin
the state in which you see them now; over
their wrecks the sand of the desert has kept


slowly drifting. There are no busy hands to
keep it back, or to reclaim fields and gardens
from the waste. The once "Populous No" is
a city buried and deserted.

THERE was a time, as we have seen, when the
kings of Egypt dwelt at Thebes. But a change
took place by degrees in the country. One of
the kings turned the" course of the river, and
caused it to flow towards the desert. A piece
of land at the mouth of the Nile was reclaimed,
and formed what is called the Delta.
Canals were cut all over the country to drain
it, and in the end a city was built called Mem-
phis. It stood on the left bank of the Nile,
opposite to Cairo.
It was intended to be a royal city, and here
the kings took up their abode. When M. iql;.
was in its glory it was sixteen miles in extent.
It was the seat of learning and of science.
Kings and warriors, philosophers and men of
letters, flocked hither. Its vast temple, called
by the Greeks the Serapeum," has been partly


unburied. An avenue of sphynxes led to it,
all of which have, for ages, been lost in
sand. Close by the Serapeum was the abode
of Apis.
You will smile when I relate to you the
story of Apis. He was worshipped as a god
from one end of Egypt to the other. But his
home was at Memphis, in the beautiful temple
which was then standing.
Apis was nothing more than an ox. The
priests had the care of him from the time of
his birth. I told you how cunning they were.
They pretended that Apis had certain marks
on his body by which he might be known to be
a sacred animal.
He had a square mark on his forehead, an
eagle on his back, and a mark like the sacred
beetle under his tongue. For the Egyptians
worshipped even a beetle! The priests are
suspected of making the marks themselves.
At any rate, when the old Apis died, or was
secretly drowned, they produced another, which
had the right marks upon his body.
And then came a number of feasts, and pro-
cessions, and rejoicings. The new Apis was
taken on the river in a splendid boat, gaily
adorned, with curtains, and sparkling with gold.


They conducted him to the temples of Thebes,
and kept him there for many days. After
that, he was brought back to Memphis, and
took up his abode in the temple. The people
were allowed to gaze at him through a window,
and it was thought a great honour to do so.
Apis was considered sacred to the moon and
to the stars, and he was supposed to cause the
(-.: i H. -.ig .~f the Nile. The country was said
to owe its fertility to the god A pis.
When Cambyses was in the city of iTM. f-i'.!_
he met, in the streets, a procession of priests
leading Apis to his dwelling. The sight made
him so angry, that he drew his sword and killed
Apis on the spot.
The mummy pits, we see yonder, were the
burying-places of the numerous tribe of Apis.
His body was embalmed and placed there with
as much honour as if he had been a king. His
tombstone was set up in the palace, with the
date of his birth and of his death. These
tablets are of great use to learned men in h:; r!g
the time of certain events.
Where is Memphis now ? Once the rival of
Thebes, and the riches and grandeur of which
caused it to be the first city in the world?
All you can behold are yonder mounds of


earth, and a little village called Gisa, quite of
modern growth. The whole of the city is
underground, buried in its own ruins.
We read much in the Bible of the idolatry
of the Egyptians. We know that the children
of Israel were inclined to worship images; in
spite of the threatening of the Most High.
They were always setting up their golden
calves, for they had been reared in the very
cradle of idolatry.
I have taken you into the land of idols.
You have seen their temples, their processions,
and their gods. No creature so mean but the
Egyptian would worship it. The snake, the
beetle, the ox, the bird called the ibis, even a
plant, a.feeble rush, was adored! The reason
of this gross idolatry can easily be traced. It
lay at the very root of their religion. The
priests appear to have taught the doctrine of a
Supreme Being, the Author and Sustainer of
all things. They also taught the doctrine of
the immortality of the soul, and of future
rewards and punishments.
But there was gross error mixed with their
belief. They did not view the Creator as a
Spiritual Being, dwelling in the high and holy
place, and separate from the works He had


made. They thought that He dwelt in those
works, and was part of them, as the soul dwells
in the body. So that every portion of the
universe, the sun and moon, the animals, even
the plants, might be worshipped as parts of the
From this error sprang the idolatry of Egypt.
The priests had great learning, and were skilled
in many sciences, but they kept their know-
ledge to themselves. The mass of the people
were in ignorance, and worshipped all kinds of
creatures as gods, without any reference to the
Supreme Being.
Numbers of animals were considered sacred,
and the people were taxed to support them.
In Thebes, and the country round, this tax was
not paid. The inhabitants refused to contri-
bute to the maintenance of the cats and dogs,
birds and crocodiles, that their fellow-country-
men adored.
We read, you remember, in the New Testa-
ment, that a young child was brought down
into Egypt, by Mary his mother, to escape
from the fury of King Herod. That young
child was Jesus ('!I ;-, the Son of God, who
stooped to become a babe, that He might be our
Saviour. He revealed to us the true God, and


taught us to pray to Him as Our Father.
When He returned from Egypt to His own
country, the words of the prophet Hosea were
fulfilled: "Out of Egypt have I called my
Son."* The idols of Egypt have been abo-
lished, and its cities have perished; but there
are thousands, yea, millions of men, women,
and children, throughout the whole world, who
love and serve this Saviour, and pray to God
the Father in His name.
The prophets, as we have seen, foretold the
destruction of the idols. And they also fore-
tell that a period will come, when the kingdom
of Jesus Christ will prevail and cover the earth
as the waters cover the sea. Then, all that is
evil will flee away as shadows before the sun.
Should we not pray that this kingdom may
be set up in our hearts, and that He may reign
over us, whose right it is ?

BEFORE we take our leave of Egypt, I must
point out one solitary object. A stately column
rises yonder from the midst of a clump of trees.
Hosea xi. 1; Matt. ii. 15,


Part of its base is buried in the earth. The

-- A

I '

I -I


I .- ...... .,

"'.- i-

K .-_ . ,,' "- i':
- > _... ...r ,4:
-" 1 -! ,-,

"-- i" :i . -' i 1 ; .- i, -" -' '.

column is of red granite, and has on it the


usual picture writing, and the name of the
king who erected it.
He was one of those monarchs who adorned
and beautified the city of Thebes. Part of the
temple of Carnak was built by him.
We are far away from Thebes now. The
spot where we stand is in Lower Egypt, some
miles north of Cairo. We are again in soli-
tude and silence. Nothing meets our view but
the lonely column and a few mounds of earth.
The mounds once formed a causeway or eleva-
tion on which stood a famous city. It was
the "On" of the Bible, the Heliopolis, or
City of'the Sun. It was the seat of all the
learning and wisdom of the nation. Here
were temples and schools where the priests
explained the rites and mysteries of their
religion. Science,-literature, law, and all the
curious arts of E -:. 1.t, were taught here. It was
considered the fountain-head of knowledge.
We may well pause to call up a few of the
scenes which took place in the City of the Sun.
Two of the most noted characters in holy writ
are linked with it-Joseph and Moses.
Joseph is connected in every way with
Egypt. One of the caravans from the desert
brought him, a friendless and forsaken youth,


left by his brethren to die, and afterwards
sold to the travelling Ishmaelites. He was a
slave in one of the very cities we have been
describing, trod its streets, and looked upon
its giant splendours.
We moot with him, again, in one of the
palaces of the Pharaohs. The gold chain is
put upon his neck, and he rides in a chariot
such as we see depicted on the walls of the
This place, so desolate, but then teeming
with life, was where Joseph came to fetch his
bride. Her father was the priest, or prince, of
On. The feet of Moses trod this very ground.
He was taught in these schools the science and
the lore of Egypt.
In one of the rolls of papyrus, Moses is
thought to be spoken of. He is said to be the
"infant who owed his life to those who res-
cued him;" alluding, no doubt, to that touching
scene in his history when Pharaoh's daughter
found him in the little ark of bulrushes by the
river Nile.
He was afterwards spoken of as "a magician,"
and as having gained "great power over the
wretched people of Shem," meaning the He-
brews, who were then in bondage. This same


magician is said to have led out the people of
Shem from their work, and to have been pur-
sued by the Egyptian host. Then the roll tells
us of a terrible catastrophe having happened
to the Egyptians, and that the flower of their
army perished in the abyss.
It has taken learned men their whole life-
time to make out the writing on the rolls; but
the trouble is amply repaid when we come
upon a record such as this !
We have but to bring before our minds the
ancient glory of Egypt, and we shall know
something of the scenes amid which the youth
of MIoses was spent. He had been brought up
in all the luxury of palaces, such as Thebes
and Carnak. He had beheld the mighty avenues
of images, the processions, the solemn pomp
of the Egyptian worship. He had seen the
oppressed Hebrews toiling under their daily
task. With them he need have had nothing
to do. He was the adopted son of Pharaoh's
All the pleasures and honours of the land
were at his command. But God gave him
grace to turn away from these. When he came
to manhood, he refused to be called the son of
Phli..: ,i's daughter. He chose to cast in his


lot with the people of God, in their suffe4ugs
and hardships, esteeming the reproach of
Christ greater riches than the treasures of
Egypt." At length, Moses became the deliverer
of his people, and with many signs and wonders
led them to the promised land.
This ancient spot, with its lonely pillars,
recalls to us those days so long passed away.
Heliopolis is now no more. Its ruins lie
buried under these neglected mounds. Its lore,
its pomp, and its religious worship have alike
departed. Its very language is forgotten.
Happily for us, a purer faith has dawned
upon the earth. The children of Israel were
taught God's law amid the thunders and
lightning of Mount Sinai. In these days
God has spoken to us by his Son. The law
came by Moses, but grace and truth came by
Jesus Christ."



i' ,. ]



HEN f..--,:. was old and stricken
'I in years, he was led up into a
'',,-, ; mountain to behold the promised
land. There it lay, spread out
Before him, a land of olive-trees
S and vineyards; and which, in the
poetical language of the East,
was said to flow with milk and honey. The
productions of this fair country were on a
grand scale. When the spies sent by Joshua
brought home a cluster of grapes, it required,
we are told, two men to carry it.
The inhabitants of Canaan were armed men,
fierce and terrible. There dwelt the giants of
old. Moses, in the view granted him from the
mountain top, no doubt beheld the walled cities
reared by the men of Canaan. Many a heart


fainted for fear of them, when the time came
to take possession of the land. But God went
with the armies of Israel, and nothing could
withstand them.
We are going to visit the very land over
which the aged Mloses gazed. '-- i,..:- as it
may seem, some of the cities of Canaan are
thought to be yet standing just as when the
old giants left them. They are not buried
cities, though some of them are choked up
with rubbish; but they are deserted. No man
passes by that way, except the stranger that
comes from a far land," and the wandering
Arab, the robber of the desert.
They were once the principal cities in a
flourishing and mighty kingdom. Its name
was Bashan. If you look on the map of Pales-
tine, you will find it at once. Its fields were
rich in pasture, and spread like a plain to the
foot of Mount Hermon. Its oaks were famous.
You may see them even now, dotting over the
landscape. The oaks of Bashan, and its flocks
and herds, are spoken of many times in the
Old Testament; and the men who lived in
Bashan are described by the sacred writer.
We are told they were giants-in fact, the
land is called the land of giants; and the


buildings I shall describe to you could scarcely
have been erected by men of the usual size and

-=-_ ~-

-. _-- -:-' -- _- -- .-

.3 -


strength. The children of Israel spoke of
themselves as grasshoppers by the side of the
men of Canaan.
Bashan is perhaps the oldest kingdom in the
world. It stretches back farther than human
.... ~ ~ ~ 3 .- ..' _,_. .-; --,
~~~ I:_ : : :- -_ _,
-- _-- -- % -'--" .r- :r-

world. It stretches bnaek farther than human


research can reach. All we know of it is told
us by the word of God.
Who has not hear d of Og, king of Bashan ?
He ruled over a large portion of Canaan, from
the river to the desert; and he resolved to
defend his kingdom, and drive out these
strangers who had come to attack it. He drew
up a formidable army, with all his mighty
men of valour. He thought to strike terror
into the children of Israel; but God fought
for His people, and the giant king was slain.
After the battle, his capital city, Edrei, was
taken and given to pillage. The Bible speaks of
the gigantic size of the bedstead of King Og.
By degrees Bashan was conquered, but some
of its ancient tribes still remained. They had,
it is true, to quit their rich pastures and pleas-
ant fields ; but they hid in the rocky caves and
recesses of Hermon, and continued to exist
there. David met with them in his exile. He
married a daughter of one of their chiefs, who
became the mother of Absalpm. To this very
day these rocky caves are the abode of wander-
ers and exiles. They are like cities of refuge;
whoever reaches them, no matter what his
crime may be, is safe as long as he remains
hidden in their fastnesses.


A good man (the Rev. J. L. Porter) once
turned his steps to this land of wonder and of
interest. He had his Bible in his hand, and as
he travelled on he read the history of Bashan.
When he reached a certain place darkness
came on. It rained heavily, and there seemed
no shelter for the night. But he could faintly
perceive what looked like buildings.
The guide stopped, and he thought they were
going to halt among the ruins. He asked the
guide if it were possible to get shelter from the
rain. Oh, yes," replied the guide, there is
a house ready for you. The place is full of
houses. It is a city."
Strange as it may seem, the traveller found
himself. in the midst of a city, which he
believed to have been built by the great dwel-
lers in Bashan. There were the houses, just as
the old Canaanites had left them. Houses which,
perhaps, were standing when, ages ago, Moses
gazed over the promised land. Then, they were
occupied by warriors and by men of renown;
now, the owl shrieks from the lonely tower,
and the wild beast of the desert dwells there.
The houses, are rude and simple. There is
none of the splendour of Thebes or of Memphis.
They were built for strength, and were suited to


the people who dwelt there. The material is
solid stone; the walls are blocks of stone. The
roof is constructed of the same massive blocks
or slabs; placed side by side. A stone cornice
runs round the room. The door is stone, and
turns easily in its sockets; the window has a
stone shutter. The town consisted of many
houses, some larger and some smaller. But
they were all built on the same principle.
Can you not understand the feelings of the
traveller as he stood in the deserted mansion?
There was neither ruin nor decay; but the
race that built it had for ages passed away.
There was literally "no man," the highways
were deserted.
All over the country are scattered these
cities, known even now by their Scripture
names. There is Bosrah, and Argob, and
Kenath, and hundreds more; cities once
fenced with high walls, and gates, and bars.
There are still the old streets, the deserted
terraces, the overgrown vineyards. It seems
like a dream or a fiction; but the fact remains
the same. They are "without man," with-
out inhabitant and without beast."
"For the cities thereof shall be desolate,
without any to dwell therein (Jer. xlviii. 9).



., F you look at the map of Palestine
you will find a strip of land run-
S ning the whole length of the sea-
S coast. At the northern end it
'' becomes very narrow, and is shut
S in, as it were, by the mountains of
Carmel and Lebanon. This narrow strip of
land, in the old days, was called Phcenicia. It
was peopled by the sons of Canaan, and the
inhabitants were therefore called Canaanites
When the children of Israel drove out the
people of the land, they do not appear to have
meddled with Phoenicia. Its wealth and power
remained-the same as it had ever been. The
Israelites would even trade with their wealthy
neighbours, and seek their aid when any very
skilful artificer was needed. I should tell you


that the Phoenicians were noted for their com-
merce and ships, as England is now. Phoenicia
has been called the England of the old world.
Two cities flourished in great glory on the
coast of Phoenicia, I mean Tyre and Sidon.

S-- "7------- --,- -
-. .. .... _


Sidon was the oldest city of the two, and
Tyre was, in the beginning, a colony founded
by the Sidonians ; but it soon became of more
importance than the parent city< It was the


queen of nations spoken of in the Bible, the
joyous city; the mart of the world."
There is an account given of Tyre by the
prophet Ezekiel,* and it reads like a poem.
He describes her markets and her fairs, to
which every kind of merchandise was brought.
Here were all the sweet spices of the East;
all precious stones, coral, emerald, and agate.
Here were gold and silver, and iron and tin,
and lead. Here was honey, and oil, and balm.
Here were purple garments, and rich apparel
stored in chests of cedar. Here were ivory and
ebony, and horses and mules, and wine and
wheat, and white wool, and almost everything
that can be named.
The merchants of Tyre sang her praises in
all lands. Their ships were built of the
choicest woods; fir-trees and cedars were
taken for the masts, and oaks of Bashan for
the oars; the benches were of ivory; and the
sails were of fine linen with embroidered work
from Egypt, and with ornaments of purple and
blue. Wise men were said to be their mariners
and pilots.
But even while the prophet beheld all this
pomp and splendour, these crowded fairs and
Ezek. xxvii.


sumptuous vessels, he declared that the city
would become deserted, and a place of rocks
on which the fisherman would spread his nets
to dry.


If you go to the spot where Tyre once stood,
what meets your view ? Nothing can be more
desolate. There aro some ruins, a wretched


village, and some smooth rocks, on which the
fishermen have spread out their nets.
Her vessels are gone, and her merchandise
ceased. There is neither buying nor selling
in her streets; there is neither pomp, nor glory,
nor riches. All have passed aw.y like a dream!
You may well ask where is Tyre, the queen of
nations ? Except these few ruins, she lies buried
beneath; there you might, indeed, find her
shattered temples and columns.
At one time, some men employed in digging
for stones, came upon the remains of Tyre.
They found a statue, and a portion of a temple.
No doubt many of her temples might be re-
vealed should the veil be lifted from the fallen
city. But the traveller can only walk over the
spot where Tyre once was, but now is not.
Only one portion of the old sea wall of Tyre
remains. When in its grandeur it was a
hundred and fifty feet in height, and of a great
breadth. The stone which is left is seventeen
feet long and six feet thick. It remains just as
the workmen left it when they built the walls
ages and ages ago. The waves dash against it,
and have done for thousands of years; but it
resists them yet, and may do to the end of


Let us turn from this ponderous ruin, and
glance at those fragile shells that lie scattered
on the shore. They, too, are a remnant of
ancient Tyre. The Tyrian purple, once so



famous, was produced by them. No one cares
for the purple now. The shells, once gathered
with such industry, lie neglected on the beach.
There are no vessels in the forsaken harbour.
All is ruin and desolation; for the Lord had
.-- .S__---? -. .- _. -_ - -


said he would make of Tyre "a desolate city,
like the cities that are not inhabited." *
Tyre was built partly on the mainland and
partly on an island. For a long time these
were distinct places, and the Tyre on the main-
land was the most ancient. In after years, as
you will see, a causeway was made from the
island to the land.
In the early days there was a great friendship
between the Kingof Israel and the King of Tyre.
They were like neighbours living side by side.
When King Solomon came to the throne, his
neighbour, Hiram, king of Tyre, wrote to con-
gratulate him, Solomon replied to this letter
by saying that David, his father, had wished to
build a temple to the Lord; he had not been
able to do so, because of his constant wars.
But now King Solomon thanked God that he
was at peace, and had leisure to begin the
work. He wished King Hiram to send some
of his men to I..,iHif., Lebanon to cut down the
timber, for they were more skilful than his
own people.
The T' it L monarch sent his workmen to
cut down the cedar and the c(.-l' '-I-- as
Solomon wished. There were thirty thousand
Ezek. xxvi. 19.


of these workmen. They made the wood into
rafts, and sent it by sea to some convenient
place from which it could be carried to Jeru-
Some time after, when the temple was nearly
finished, King Solomon sent again to Tyre for
a workman. The name of the workman was
also Hiram, and he was a worker in gold, and
in silver, and in brass. He made all the orna-
ments for the pillars, and the pomegranates and
the lily work. Also the basins, and the layers,
and the molten sea, and all the choice articles
required in the worship of the temple.
The King of Tyre is said to have given his
daughter in marriage to King Solomon. He,
too, was building temples, but they were, in
honour of the heathen gods Jupiter and
Many princes reigned after King Hiram;
but the wickedness of the people became very
great; and they added to it by an act of cruelty
to their neighbours the Jews. The later kings
of Tyre seemed to forget the friendship between
Hiram and David. On one occasion, they took
some of the Jews captive and sold them as
This unjust deed caused the anger of God to


be kindled against them. A great enemy was
raised up in the person of Nebuchadnezzar,
king of Babylon. He came with his army,
his horsemen, and his engines of war, and laid
siege to Tyre. But the Tyrians had the reputa-
tion of being wise men. They had made a
kind of refuge for themselves, to which they
might escape from the fury of the King of
Tyre had been as fond of sending out colo-
nies as the mother city, Sidon, had been. Her
colonies were in "Tarshish and the isles."
The "isles" were in the Mediterranean Sea;
and Tarshish was 'a city of Spain. To these
places of refuge they intended to flee.
When they heard the noise of the engines
that were to batter down their walls, they lost
no time. They gathered together their gold
and silver and treasures, and put them on
board some of their beautiful ships. Then
they sailed to the "isles" for safety. The
siege of Tyre had been so long it had
almost wearied out the enemy. The Bible
tells us that "every head was made bare, and
every shoulder peeled," by reason of the hard-
ships inflicted upon the people. The siege
lasted thirteen years, and then at last Tyre


was taken, and the soldiers of King Nebuchad-
nezzar forced their way into the city. But
they had little reward for their pains; most of
the treasures had been taken away, and the
city partly despoiled.
The king had no "wages for his labour."
But although many of the Tyrian people had
escaped to the isles," they had no rest. The
prophet had declared it should be so, and his
words came literally true. A doom seemed to
be on Tyre and her colonies. Carthage was
one of the most famous cities founded by the
Tyrians; and you know the mournful story
of Carthage and her wars with the Romans.
In the end, Carthage became a ruined and a
buried city.
After many years the Tyrians came back to
their home, and in spite of past troubles the
city began to revive. Her fairs were again
famous for their merchandise; and her sump-
tuous vessels, with their sails of purple and fine
linen, went through all seas. She was again
"the joyous city, the mart of nations."
But her i' I": did not last long; another
enemy was raised up against her. Alexander
the Great, king of Macedonia, came with his
army and encamped round about Tyre.


Again, the people thought of their "isles,"
and many of them fled thither. These were
fortunate, indeed; for evil days were coming.
The city was taken by storm, and one of those
terrible sacks took place such as we know
nothing about in modern days. Two thousand
of the wretched captives were crucified by order
of the conqueror, and many more were sold for
slaves. Thus was fulfilled the prophecy of
Joel, Behold, I will return your recompense
upon your own heads, and I will sell your sons
and your daughters." *
The old city of Tyre was pulled down by -
Alexander, and made a complete ruin. He
used the materials to build a causeway joining
the island to the mainland.
Tyre was now subject to the King of Mace-
donia, and was ruled by a monarch chosen by
him; but still she began once more to struggle
into life. Her wonderful fairs and markets
began again to draw merchants from all parts
of the world; her vessels still plied their
course over the waters; her purple garments
were still worn by kings and priests.
The city had been given to idolatry. Her-
cules had been worshipped under the name of
Baal-a name often mentioned in the Bible
Joel iii. 4, 8.


The noble and stately temples, now no more,
had been reared to false gods. But after a
time, the Tyrians seemed to have learned a
purer faith from their neighbours the Jews.
When our Saviour was on earth, teaching
and working miracles, a vast multitude came

-.. _.- %- ,

fit" : ... "- -

and to be healed of their diseases.
.. : -

from the coasts of Tyre and Sidon to hear him,
and to 'be healed of their diseases.
That was a Tyrian woman who followed our
Saviour with such perseverance, beseeching


him to heal her daughter, and to whom he
said, I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of
the house of Israel." "Yes, Lord," was her
reply, yet the dogs eat of the crumbs which
fall from their master's table."
St. Paul had many converts at Tyre, and
a church was even built for the worship of
God. But with all this, the doom had been
spoken and was slowly creeping on.
The commerce of Tyre, once so famous, began
to decline. A new city had been built by
Alexander the Great, and called Alexandria.
This new city drew away the trade from Tyre,
and speedily brought the once joyous city into
a kind of decay.
Tyre was always changing masters. Now it
belonged to Egypt, now to Syria, and now to
Rome. The Crusaders fought for it with the
Turks, and made it a battle-field. When, at
last, the Turks obtained possession of it, they
sacked and pulled it down, lest it should shelter
the Christian army.
Thus, step by step, the prophecy has been
"They shall destroy the walls of Tyre, and
break down her towers." Thou shalt be
built no more: for I the Lord have spoken it." *
Ezek. xxvi. 14.


We read that when our Lord was upon the
earth, He began to upbraid the cities wherein
most of his mighty works were done, because
they repented not: Woe unto thee, Chorazin!
woe unto thee, Bethsaida! for if the mighty
works, which were done in you, had been done
in Tyre and Sidon, they would have repented
long ago in sackcloth and ashes. But I say unto
you, It shall be more tolerable for Tyre and
Sidon at the day of judgment, than for you." *
Thus he exhorted those cities to take warn-
ing by the fate of Tyre and Sidon. And the
same warning comes to us. We have not
indeed seen our Lord's mighty works or heard
his voice; but the message of salvation from
his lips has come to us, and we have heard of
his death upon the cross to deliver us from sin
and eternal death. The youngest child, who
reads this book, knows more about God, and is
under far greater obligations to serve him, than
the wisest amongst the thathen. Let the ruins
of Tyre and Sidon warn us against neglecting
the grace of God, or resisting his Holy Spirit.
He, who will come at last to judge the whole
earth, has declared that if we do so, it will be
more tolerable for Tyre and Sidon, for Sodom
and Gomorrah, than for us.
Matt. xi. 21.




HLi a city or nation, in these old
i worldd times, had become very
Wo kicked, one of the prophets of
: ---. the Lord would be sent to cry
u i Lt against it.
Often, as in the case of Tyre
or of Thebes, he would foretell
its entire destruction. There was a city called
Nineveh, which was one of the most ancient
in the world. But it had become as wicked as
any. The inhabitants were given up to their
sins and their idolatry; and God sent a prophet
named Jonah to cry out against them.
The message, given to Jonah, was very strik-
ing. He was told to'declare that in forty days
Nineveh would be utterly destroyed.


Jonah was one of-the earliest of the prophets.
The time, of which we are speaking, was sup-
posed to be about the time when King Jehu
reigned in Israel.
Nineveh had long been a great and mighty
city. It had flourished for many ages; and
had become so vast in size, that it was a three
days' journey to go round it, or, as some think,
even to go through it. Its walls were a hun-
dred feet in height, and so broad that three
chariots could drive abreast upon the top.
These mighty walls were strengthened with
towers placed at intervals. Each tower was
two hundred feet in height, and there were as
many as fifteen hundred of them. There is
not a vestige of these great walls remaining.
The city was built on the banks of the
river Tigris. Between this river and the Eu-
phrates was a rich and fertile plain. Indeed,
it was so rich and so luxuriant that it was sup-
posed to be the site of the garden of Eden.
This was one of the most interesting spots in
the world. Besides its extraordinary fertility,
it was noted for being the dwelling of mankind
immediately after the deluge, and the place
from whence the sons of Noah went forth to
people the earth. It was the birthplace of


many of the Scripture characters, such as Abra-
ham, Sarah, Lot, Rebecca, and the sons of

/ -1' i .' i -

aram, Mesopotamia, or the Land of'inar.

it is spoken of in the Old T-.estament Padan-
ai am .. Nesopotami, r the L'"nd ~f .hinar.


The Land of Shinar formed part of the great
Assyrian kingdom, of which Nineveh was the
Nineveh had attained to the height of power,
and riches, and luxury. Its palaces and its
buildings were splendid and vast as those of
the hundred-gated Thebes.
As we have tried to picture to ourselves
Thebes in its glory, so we will endeavour to
recall the deserted and buried city of Nineveh.
We will draw back the veil from the past, and
look upon the pomp and glory that presented
themselves to the sight of Jonah, when he was
sent to declare that "yet forty days, and Nine-
veh shall be overthrown and destroyed."
Within the vast and colossal walls there
were palaces and temples of equal vastness.
They were not built of the same material as the
red granite of Thebes. The huge lions that
guarded the entrance were carved in a kind of
alabaster, that was found cropping up in ridges
on the plain. The immense slabs that formed
the walls were of this alabaster, and were carved
over with figures. Here, as at Thebes, were
depicted scenes from the life of the king, and
the story of his wars and his victories.
As we stand in this vast chamber, let us


glance at the doorways, which conduct to other
halls and chambers of equal size and grandeur.
.- 1 -They are formed
-. i. by colossal figures
such as are met
with nowhere else.
S"' 'The figures are
: -.-'those of mighty-
winged bulls, with
.-.I human heads and
..: ,- .';-. wings as of an
eagle. Nothing
S- can be more ma-
Sjestic than their
Jl appearance, carv-
.' ed as they were
." 1I | in alabaster, and
painted with bril-
'. liant colours. The
Si 'i' i head of the man
was supposed tore-
present knowledge;
I ,* the body of the
Animal, strength;
___ and the wings of
the eagle, speed.
The floor, over which we walk, is made of the


same material: it consists of slabs of alabaster,
and is covered with figures and characters.
The ceiling reminds us of many a description
in the Bible of just such a chamber. It was



celled with cedar, and painted with ver-
The choicest trees were used for the wood-
work. And the ceiling appears to have been
divided into squares, and painted with flowers


and figures. It would sometimes be inlaid with
ivory, and its beams be adorned with gold and
You can judge a little from this descrip-
tion what the wealth and luxury of the city
must have been.
Indeed the riches of Nineveh are spoken
of in the Bible as very great. There is
said to be "no end of store;" and "spoil of
gold and silver" is promised to the enemies of
the city. All kinds of precious metals were
found in the mountains that bounded the plain;
and here, as at Tyre, were skilful workmen,
and carvers in gold, and silver, and ivory; and
here too were the purple and embroidered gar-
ments, and the sumptuous dresses that were so
much prized in the days of old. These deserted
and buried palaces echoed to the tread of kings
and of priests. Here was the glitter of golden
ornaments, the sparkling of cups and vessels
of gold, the mirth of feasts, and the notes of
The plain of Nineveh was like a well-watered
garden. It was a land of corn, and wine, and
oil. It had precious perfumes, and cotton, and
the sugar-cane. It had vineyards and orchards;
and, like the ancient Canaan, might be-said to


flow with milk and honey. To Nineveh, this
city so rich and powerful, and teeming with
people, was Jonah sent with his message-
"Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be over-
It seems as if, at first, he was afraid to go.
"How could a solitary man," he appears to

1 .hi


have argued, "stand in the midst of such a
throng, and declare such a threat as this ?"
His faith in God failed him; he even toek his
place in a vessel about to sail for Tarshish, and
fled from the presence of the Lord !
I need not remind you, that God met with


him and crught him back in a miraculous
manner. Then, a second time, the message
was delivered to him. He was told to go
down to Nineveh, and declare the same words
-" Yet forty days, and Nineveh shall be over-
This time the prophet did his Mii r's bid-
ding. He came to Nineveh, that great city,
and cried out in her streets the message on
which he had been sent. It was an awful mes-
sage, and the people might well be startled
as they stopped to listen. The king in his
chamber of cedar and vermilion heard it and
trembled. He put off his broidered garments
and his ornaments of gold and silver. As the
Bible tells us, he and his people "believed
God." And he put on sackcloth and sat in
ashes, and proclaimed a solemn fast through-
out the land. His nobles and his subjects were
forbidden to taste either food or water. They
were to cry unto God for mercy.
"Who can tell if God will turn from his
fierce anger, that we perish not ? "
We should scarcely believe, if the Bible had
not told us, that Jonah was displeased when
the Almighty consented to spare Nineveh.
Looking round upon her swarming people,


her streets and her palaces, one should imagine
the threatened doom must have been fearful to
But Jonah was angry : he thought his words
had not come true. And he went and sat under
a gourd to see what would happen. The gourd
had sprung up, it is thought, in a miraculous
manner, to afford the prophet a shade from the
scorching sun. And we are told that Jonah
was "exceedingly glad of the gourd."
But the Almighty was about to teach him a
lesson. A worm came in the night, and de-
stroyed the gourd. The sun and wind beat on
the prophet's head, and he fainted. Then he
said, "It is better for me to die than to live."
But God made him a reply that you have, no
doubt, read many times : Thou hadst pity on
the gourd, which came up in a night and
perished in a night: and should not I spare
Nineveh, that great city, wherein are more
than six score thousand persons that cannot
discern their right hand from their left, and
also much cattle ?"
Our Lord Jesus Christ spoke to the Jews of
the history of Jonah at Nineveh. Then cer-
tain of the scribes and of the Pharisees an-
swered, saying, Master, we would see a sign


from thee. But he answered and said unto
them, An evil and adulterous generation seek-
eth after a sign; and there shall no sign be
given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonas:
for as Jonas was three days and three nights
in the whale's belly; ;so shall the Son of man
be three days and three nights in the heart of
the earth. The men of Nineveh shall rise in
judgment with this generation, and shall con-
demn it: because they repented at the preach-
ing of Jonas; and, behold, a greater than Jonas
is here."
Jonah being three days in the whale's belly
was a type and prophecy of our Lord's death,
burial, and resurrection on the third day. And
the repentance of the Ninevites, at the preach-
ing of Jonah, was a lesson to all who hear or
read the words of Jesus, that they too should
repent. Jonah warned the people of Nineveh
of the ruin and destruction of their city; but
Christ warns us of the danger, yea, the cer-
tainty, of eternal death if we neglect the salva-
tion He offers us. Jonah, though a prophet,
was only a weak and sinful man. But Christ
is greater than Jonah. The Son of God himself
calls us to repent. Jonah undertook a long
and difficult journey that he might warn the

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Ninevites; and he grudged them the mercy
they received. Christ came down from heaven
to die .upon the cross, that we might find
mercy. He wept over his enemies; he prayed
for his murderers. He says to us, How
shall ye escape, if ye neglect so great salva-
tion "

IT was by the *courage and zeal of 1Vr.
Layard that the very stones and bricks of
Nineveh were brought to light. Some of her
gigantic winged figures have been unburied
and conveyed to England. They are now in
our British Museum, and people gaze at them
with wonder and delight.
For a long time, no one could guess the
exact spot where Nineveh had stood. The once
populous city, with its walls a hundred feet
in height, and with its gates and towers, was
gone, as it seemed, for ever !
If you turn to the writings of the prophet
Nahum, you will see that this was clearly fore-
told. The city is spoken of as "empty, and
void, and waste;" "her chariots burned, and
the voice of her messengers heard no more."


The Jewish historian, Josephus, thought
that Nahum lived in the time of Jotham, king
of Judah, and prophesied about one hundred
and fifteen years before the destruction of
Nineveh. Yet Nahum gives a very exact de-
scription of it, as we shall see presently.
Even in very early days, Nineveh had become
a city of the past. People searched in vain for
a trace of her ancient glory. On the plain
where once she stood, the Arab now feeds his
flock, and there are a few wretched villages.
These are all the inhabitants of a spot once
teeming with busy swarms of men.
The Arabs were accustomed to point out to
the traveller a long mound of earth, which
they called Jonah's grave." And they would
also show him a huge mass of soil, and brick,
and rubbish, like a tower, and declare it was
the remains of the tower of Babel.
Other mounds were scattered at different
places along the bank of the river Tigris. And
farther still, was a very great mound fifty feet
in height. All these mounds were looked upon
as having to do with the remains of Nineveh
or of Babylon. And the Arabs used to say that
carved figures were to be found within them,
buried amongst the bricks and rubbish. But


we are indebted to Mr. Layard for nearly all
we know about the ruins of Nineveh. He was.
the first to open the mounds, and bring to light
the images of the winged creatures, that once
stood in the halls of the Assyrian city.

1. :
'" ", "k
-- ,, -. ,-

The mound, or tower, called Birs Nimroud,
was the spot where Mr. Layard began his


labours. It stands on the lonely plain, where
the Arab pitches his tent. Part of the year
only can he feed his flock there; then grass
grows, and wild flowers cover the huge ruin,
and give it a kind of beauty. But for the re-
maining months the plain is "dry like the
wilderness." No rain falls, and the parched
sand sweeps over it as though it were a desert.
The ruin itself is made up of broken bricks,
and pottery, and rubbish of every description.
Here the men began to dig, in the hope of
finding traces of the ancient city; and very
soon it was so. Their spades and mattocks
struck upon some of those slabs of alabaster
of which we have been speaking.
The slabs were covered with inscriptions,
and formed the upper part of a room, the
walls of which were of brick such as are
found in the ruin. It was a kind of brick
much used in Assyria; and was made of
clay and chopped straw, dried in the sun.
The bricks formed only the framework of the
wall; the slabs of alabaster were placed over,
and hid them so completely that no one could
guess they were there. When the slabs were
fixed, the artist began his work of carving the
inscriptions. Here were the very inscriptions


themselves as perfect and as fresh as when he
left them.
It would not have been so, if the slabs had
been exposed to the air. The alabaster is much
more perishable than the granite of Egypt;
but it is thought that the roofs of the build-
ings fell in very soon after they were deserted,
and before the inscriptions had time to fade or
crumble. Ever since they have been completely
buried, and kept from all exposure to the air.
The chamber opened out, by doorways, into
other rooms and halls. It was part of one of
the ancient palaces of Nineveh.
By-and-by, more wonders were brought to
light. The men, with their spades and mat-
tocks, unburied one of the gigantic winged
bulls, that for ages had been hidden in dark-
ness and oblivion.
Slowly, the vast human head, white with age,
seemed to rise above the earth. The Arabs
screamed and shouted with excitement, and
Mr. Layard himself must have felt emotion at
this rich reward of his labours.
By degrees, many of these winged creatures
came to light; and ornaments of ivory, and
different relics of the byegone race, were
found And as the digging went on, the


form and size, and even the buildings of the
city could be guessed at. And from the in-
scriptions on the slabs, all kinds of information
was given about the men who once lived and
reigned, and bought and traded, and feasted
and worshipped, where now all is desolation
and ruin.

A HISTORY of Assyria was once in existence,
but it has been lost; and for want of it our
knowledge is very scanty indeed. Most of the
information we possess is derived from the
sculptures which have been unburied, and from
a few bricks and stones containing inscriptions.
We can glean something of the manners and
dresses, and religion of the people; but for
the greater part of their history we must refer
to the Bible; for the Jews were very much
mixed up with the people of Assyria. The
Jewish writer, Josephus, tells us that the
Assyrians once were masters of Asia. That
was as far back as the time when Sodom and
Gomorrah were in their full prosperity.
Five kings or chiefs governed the territory


of these two cities, and the Assyrians made war
upon them. In the course of these wars, a
battle was fought at the very place where the
two cities were .lt.V. .-,il,-, destroyed by.fire
from heaven. In this battle a prisoner was
taken whose name is familiar to you-I mean


Lot, the nephew of Abraham. Lot had chosen
the rich plains of Sodom to dwell in, which
were "well watered, and as the garden of the
Lord." The Dead Sea now covers the spot.


When Abraham heard of the misfortune of
his nephew, he came with all his household
and his servants, more than three hundred
men, and rescued him. As Abraham returned
from this battle, he met, as we are told, Mel-
chisedec, king of Salem, who brought forth
bread and wine, and blessed him in the name
of the Lord.
The founder of Nineveh was Asshur, son of
Shem. The Bible says, "Out of that land
went forth Asshur, and founded Nineveh."
This was very far back indeed; immediately
after the building of Babel, and only sixty
years after the flood.
SThe kings of Assyria are mentioned many
times in the Bible; they were constantly
attacking the Jews.
King Hezekiah had to pay Sennacherib a
vast sum of money to induce him to retire.
He even stripped the plates of gold from the
doors and pillars of the temple, and gave them
to him. This did not prevent the Assyrian
monarch from coming again, with a great army,
and laying siege to Jerusalem. Then God
sent his angel, and smote the camp of the
Assyrians, so that they were all dead men.
The overthrow of Nineveh was foretold in

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