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"lon is, that we cannot learn either by ancient writers "or modern travelers, where this famous city ftood, "only in general, that it was fituated in the province of "Chaldæa, upon the river Euphrates confiderably above "the place where it is united with the Tigris. Travelers "have gueffed from the great ruins they have difcovered "in feveral parts of this country, that in this or that place Babylon once ftood: but when we come to examin nicely the places they mention, we only learn that they are certainly in the wrong, and have miftaken the "ruins of Selucia, or fome other great town."

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Mr. (3) Hanway going to give an account of the fiege of Bagdat by Nadir Shah, prefaceth it in this manner. "Before we enter upon any circumftance relating to the 'fiege of Bagdat, it may afford fome light to the fub

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ject, to give a fhort account of this famous city, in "the neighbourhood of which formerly stood the me"tropolis of one of the most ancient and moft potent "monarchies in the world. The place is generally "called Bagdat or Bagdad, though fome writers pre"ferve the ancient name of Babylon. The reafon of "thus confounding thefe two cities is, that the Tigris "and Euphrates, forming one common ftream before they difembogue into the Perfian gulph, are not unfrequently mentioned as one and the fame river. It is "certain that the prefent Bagdat is fituated on the Tigris, but the ancient Babylon, according to all his"torians facred and prophane, was on the Euphrates. "The ruins of the latter, which geographical writers 'place about fifteen leagues to the fouth of Bagdat, "are now fo much effaced, that there are hardly any veftiges of them to point out the fituation. In the "time of the emperor Theodofius, there was only a great park remaining, in which the kings of Perfia "bred wild beafts for the amufement of hunting."

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By thefe accounts we fee, how punctually time hath fulfilled the predictions of the prophets concerning Babylon. When it was converted into a chafe for wild beafts to feed and breed there, then were exactly accom

(3) Hanway's Travels. Vol. 4. Part 3. Chap. 19. p. 78. VOL. I. N


plifhed the words of the prophets, that the wild beasts of the defert with the wild beafls of the islands fhould dwell there, and cry in their defolate houses. One part of the country was overflowed by the river's having been turned out of its course and never reftored again to its former channel, and thence became boggy and marfhy, fo that it might litterally be faid to be a poffeffion for the bittern and pools of water. Another part is defcribed as dry and naked, and barren of every thing, fo that thereby was alfo fulfilled another prophecy, which feemed in fome measure to contradict the former. Her cities are a defolation, a dry land and a wilderness, a land wherein no man dwelleth, neither doth any fon of man pass thereby. The place thereabout is reprefented as overrun with ferpents, fcorpions, and all forts of venomous and unclean creaturés, fo that their houses are full of doleful creatures, and dragons cry in their prefent palaces; and Babylon is become heaps, a dwelling place for dragons, an astonishment and an hiffing without an inhabitant. For all thefe reafons neither can the Arabian pitch his tent there, neither can the fhepherds make their folds there. And when we find that modern travelers cannot now certainly difcover the fpot of ground, whereon this renowned city once was fituated, we may very properly fay, How is Babylon become a defolation among the nations? Every purpose of the Lord hath he performed against Babylon to make the land of Babylon a defolation without an inhabitant: and the expreffion is no lefs true than fublime, that the Lord of hofts hath fwept it with the befom of deftruction.

How wonderful are fuch predictions compared with the events, and what a convincing argument of the truth and divinity of the holy fcriptures! Well might God allege this as a memorable inftance of his prefcience, and challenge all the falfe gods, and their votaries, to produce the like. (If. XLV. 21. XLVI. 10.) Who hath declared this from ancient time? who hath told it from that time? have not I the Lord? and there is no God elfe befide me, a juft God and a Saviour, there is none befide me; Declaring the end from the beginning, and from ancient times the things that are not yet done, faying, My counfel fhall ftand, and I will do all my pleasure. And indeed where can you

find a fimilar instance but in fcripture, from the beginning of the world to this day.

At the fame time it must afford all readers of an exalted taste and generous fentiments, all the friends and lovers of liberty, a very fenfible pleasure to hear the prophets exulting over fuch tyrants and oppreffors as the kings of Affyria. In the 14th chapter of Ifaiah there is an Epinikion, or a triumphant ode upon the fall of Babylon. It reprefents the infernal manfions as moved, and the ghofts of deceafed tyrants as rifing to meet the king of Babylon, and congratulate his coming among them. It is really admirable for the feverest strokes of irony, as well as for the fublimeft strains of poetry. The Greek poet (4) Alcæus, who is celebrated for his hatred to tyrants, and whofe odes were animated with the fpirit of liberty no less than with the spirit of poetry, we may prefume to fay, never wrote any thing comparable to it. The late worthy profeffor of poetry at Oxford hath eminently diftinguished it in his (5) lectures upon the facred poefy of the Hebrews, and hath given it the character that it justly deferves, of one of the moft fpirited, most fublime, and most perfect compofitions of the lyric kind, fuperior to any of the productions of Greece or Rome: and he hath not only illuftrated it with an ufeful commentary, but hath alfo copied the beauties of the great original in an excellent Latin Alcaic ode, which if the learned reader hath not yet feen, he will be not a little pleased with the perufal of it. Another excellent hand, Mr. Mason, hath likewise imitated it in an English ode, with which I hope he will (6) one time or other oblige the public.

But not only in this particular, but in general the fcriptures, though often perverted to the purposes of ty

(4) Hor. Od. II. XIII. 26.

Et te fonantem plenius aureo,
Alcæe, plectro, &c.

Quintil. Inftit. Orat. Lib. 1. Cap. 1.
Alcæus in parte operis aureo plectro
merito donatur, qua tyrannos infecta-
tur: &c.

(5) Lowth Prelec. XIII. p. 120, &c. viget per totum fpiritus liber excelfus, vereque divinus; neque deelt

quidquam ad fummum hujufce Odæ fublimitatem abfoluta pulchritudine cumulandam: cui, ut planè dicam quod fentio, nihil habet Græca aut Romana pcefis fimile aut fecundum. Prælec. XXVIII. p. 277, &c.

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(6) Mr. Mafon hath fince pub. lifhed this with fome other Odes in 1756.


ranny, are yet in their own nature calculated to promote the civil as well as the religious liberties of mankind. True religion, and virtue, and liberty are more nearly related, and more intimately connected with each other, than people commonly confider. It is very true, as St. Paul faith, (2 Cor. III. 17.) that where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty or as our Saviour limfeif expreffeth it, (John VIII. 31, 32.) If ye continue in my word, then are ye my difciples indeed; and ye shall know the truth, and the truth fhall make ye free.




NOTHER city that was an enemy, to the Jews,

and another memorable inftance, of the truth of prophecy, is Tyre, whofe fall was predicted by the prophets, and particularly by Ifaiah and Ezekiel. But it hath been queftioned among learned men, which of the Tyres was the fubject of thefe prophecies, whether Palatyrus or old Tyre that was feated on the continent, or new Tyre that was built in an iland almoft over againft it. The trueft and beft anfwer: I conceive to be, that the prophecies appertain to both, fome expreffions being applicable only to the former, and others only to the latter. In one place (Ezek. XXVII. 3.) it is defcribed as fituate at the entry of the feu; in others (ver. 4. and 25.) as in the midst of the feas, or according to the original in the heart of the feas. Sometimes (Ezek. XXVI. 7, &c.) it is reprefented as befieged with horfes and with chariots; a fort, a mount, and engins of war, are fet against it: at other times (If. XXIII. 2, 4, 6.) it is exprefly called an iland, and the fea, even the ftrength of the fea. Now it is faid (Ezek. XXVI. 10.) By reafon of the abundance of his horfes, their duft shall cover thee, thy walls Jhall Jhake at the noife of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the


thariots when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. Then it is faid (ver. 12.) They hall break down thy walls, and deftroy thy pleasant houses, and they shall lay thy ftones, and thy timber, and thy duft in the midst of the water; and again (Ezek. XXVIII, 8.) They shall bring thee down to the pit, and thou shalt die the deaths of them that are flain in the midst of the seas. The infular Tyre therefore, as well as the Tyre upon the continent, is included in thefe prophecies; they are both comprehended under the fame name, and both spoken of as one and the fame city, part built on the continent, and part on an iland adjoining. It is commonly faid indeed, that when old Tyre was clofely befieged, and was near falling into the hands of the Chaldæans, then the Tyrians fled from thence, and built new Tyre in the iland: but the learned (1) Vitringa hath proved at large from good authorities, that new Tyre was founded feveral ages before, and was the ftation for fhips, and confidered as part of old Tyre; and (2) Pliny fpeaking of the compafs of the city, reckons both the old and the new together.

Whenever the prophets denounce the downfall and defolation of a city or kingdom, they ufually defcribe by way of contraft its prefent flourishing condition, to fhow in a stronger point of view how providence fhifteth and changeth the fcene, and ordereth and difpofeth all events. The prophets Ifaiah and Ezekiel obferve the fame method with regard to Tyre. Ifaiah fpeaketh of it as a place of great antiquity, (XXIII. 7.) Is this your joyous city, whofe antiquity is of ancient days? And it is mentioned as a ftrong place as early as in the days of Joshua, (Josh. XIX. 29.) the strong city Tyre, for there is no reafon for fuppofing with (3) Sir John Marfham, that the name is ufed here by way of prolepfis or anticipation. Nay there are even heathen authors, who fpeak of the infular Tyre, and yet extol the great an

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