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and brings back the good fruits of the land for the souls delights,-nor with that love which clusters sweetly, and closely, and constantly around the person of the eternal Son of God. There is something real, something permanent and certain, in all these. Whether is more real the water sprinkled on the child in the holy sacrament of baptism, or the cleansing power of the blood of Christ, of which the water is the symbol ? And whether are more real the bread and wine used in the sacrament of the Lord's Supper, or the bliss-bringing sacrifice of Christ, and the blood “shed for many for the remission of sins” ? There might be doubts as to the answer to these questions, in the minds of those who have a religion without faith—a religion whose foundation is in man's homage to current public opinion ; but there can be no such doubts on the part of those who have believed with the heart that Jesus is the Son of God.
The abiding character of the riches of grace in Christ is even more striking. The words of our Saviour, “Because I live, ye shall live also,” fix not only the certainty of salvation to all who believe, but they indicate its durability. Jesus shall abide for ever, as the eternal Son of the Everlasting Father, and the existence of the believing soul is linked up with his. Thus the implied contrast in the word “durable” between the two kinds of riches. A man may have the wealth of the world, and may either not have the heart to use it, as the miser, or disease may be sapping the foundations of the life of the body, and casting such a gloom over the soul as to give it a distaste for the things of earth. But how widely different with the durable riches! While they are with us in health, deepening and chastening our joy, they are equally ours in disease, in sorrow, and sickness. All up through the much tribulation which is affirmed of the heirs of glory, they run in a line parallel with our sorrows, and going with us into the valley of the shadow of death, they shed light on the soul's path there—and into the swellings of Jordan, they keep the heart above its proud swelling billows—and into "the many mansions,” they continue still parallel with the soul's eternity. What more could any soul crave than this ?
The “Wisdom of God” says that these riches are with him : « With me are durable riches." What we know of his character comes thus to give additional value to what he gives. As the wisdom of God, he knows all the wants of all men; as the power of God, he can supply them all ; as the righteousness of God, he has provided for us an everlasting righteousness, and is true to all his promises concerning it; and as the grace of God, he is willing that all should hasten to him, to “buy the gold tried in the fire." Brother, is not this blessed ? One who is brought out, even before the Old Testament Church, in the eternity and excellency of absolute Godhead, and also in the perfect sympathy of unfallen, sinless manhood, comes near to the fallen, the sinful, the lost, and says—"Believe on me, close with me, receive me. I have durable riches to give you-a portion corresponding to the wants of your grand spiritual being and its great capacities. Live for me-I am thy brother, not less than thy God, and thy God not less than thy Saviour. I cause them that love me to inherit substance."
He thus holds out to us the rich gifts of his grace in order that we might be attracted to him; and that being made his, folded in the arms of covenant love, we should shew forth his glory in declaring to others the unsearchable riches in Christ. And thus personally enriched, not only will we seek to be like him, in the leading outline of our characters, but every gift he bestows, every grace which, in the many-sidedness of its influence, he gives, and every faculty of good-doing which we have received, will shew to others the full image of Christ on it. When the winter sun looks forth brightly from the cold gray sky, it not only sheds brilliancy on the great masses of pure snow, but as you look athwart the broad plain, or up the mountain side, you see both every snow-flake and every side of the crystals of every snow-flake glancing back the full image of the sun. And thus, in every word, and look, and act of the Christian in his intercourse with others, should the full image of Christ appear. Thus he will have power to commend Christ's grace to many, and thus the Church, esteeming him as precious, will attract men away from the degradation of the heart-idolatry of material riches, to Him who says, “With me are durable riches and righteousness."
RAWLINSON AND LAYARD'S DISCOVERIES
IN ASSYRIA AND NINEVEH.
OUR readers will not expect us to give, in the short space at our disposal, anything more than a short outline of the intensely interesting discoveries which have been made in the regions of ancient Assyria within these few years. These important discoveries were made chiefly by MAJOR (now COLONEL SIR HENRY) RAWLINSON, and AUSTEN HENRY LAYARD, Esq., now M.P. for Aylesbury. We place the name of Rawlinson first, because he had discovered the method of reading the ancient inscriptions on the sculptured rocks of Persia, which furnished the key of the Ninevite inscriptions, before those latter inscriptions had been disinterred; while to Layard must be ascribed the merit of having discovered and explored the ruins of Nineveh.
In the year 1835 RAWLINSON happened to be stationed for a time at Kermanshah, on the western frontier of Persia, with some disposable leisure in which to employ his active and intelligent mind. He had heard that Professor Grotefend had deciphered some of the names of the early Persian kings from inscriptions found on rocks at Persepolis; but in his solitary position he could neither obtain a copy of the Professor's alphabet, nor ascertain what inscriptions had been examined in framing it. But his curiosity was aroused, and his energy was irresistible. He copied the tablets of Hamadan (the ancient Ecbatana) with his own hand, and set himself to the task of analysing
them without aid from any quarter. He soon found that these tablets consisted of two trilingual inscriptions, and that the characters coincided throughout, except in certain groups, which he concluded must represent proper names, so arranged as to suggest that they indicated a genealogical succession. These proved to be the names of Hystaspes, Darius, and Xerxes; and thus he obtained the commencement of an alphabet. It was known that the language of ancient Persia was either what is called the Zend, or was closely allied to it; and this, with some assistance from the Vedic Sanscrit, gave the basis of the language. In 1837 he copied the entire Behistun inscription, so far as it remains undefaced; and in 1846 a complete translation of that great inscription was published in the Journal of the Asiatic Society, with a memoir on the Persian cuneiform inscriptions. Almost all these inscriptions are both trilingual and triliteral; that is, they are engraved in three different languages, and each language has its peculiar alphabet. These Sir Henry Rawlinson terms the Babylonian, Median, and Persian. The Babylonian appears to be the most ancient, and gives the key of the Assyrian; the Median has some northern peculiarities, from which it might be termed Scythian; and the Persian displays a close affinity with the language of the Zend, and is thus the medium of the deciphering process, as the Coptic was of the ancient Egyptian. The labours of Rawlinson were very valuable with relation to the ancient and hitherto unknown inscriptions in Persia; but they soon acquired an additional and unexpected value.
Mr Rich, the British resident at Baghdad, after a very careful exploration of the ruins of Babylon, had directed