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A. D. 400.
solitude, though by indirect means, and without asing any violence; that it might more manifestly appear to be the hand of God, rather than the hand of man, which brought about her destruction.
IV. She was so totally forsaken, that nothing of her was left remaining but the walls. And to this condition she was reduced at A. D. 96.
the time when Pausanias wrote his remarks upon
Greece.* Illa autem Babylon omnium quas unquam sol aspexit urbium maxima, jam præter muros nihil habet reliqui. Paus. in Arcad. pag. 509.
V. The kings of Persia finding their place deserted, made a park of it, in which they kept wild beasts for hunting, Thus did it become, as the prophet had foretold, a dwelling-place for ravenous beasts, that are enemies to man; or for timorous animals, that flee before him. Instead of citizens, she was now inhabited by wild boars, leopards, bears, deer, and wild asses. Babylon was now the retreat of fierce, savage, deadly creatures, that hate the light, and delight in darkness. Wild beasts of the desert shall lie there, and dragons shall dwell in their pleasant palaces.f
St Jerome has transmitted to us the following valu
able remark which he had from a Persian monk, that he had himself seen what he related to him. Didicimus à quodam fratre Elamitâ, qui de illis finibus egrediens, nunc Hierosolymis vitam exigit monachorum, venationes regias esse in Babylone, et omnis generis bestias murorum ejus ambitu tantùm contineri. In сар.
Isa. xiii. 22.
VI. But it was still too much that the walls of Babylon were standing. At length they fell down in several places, and were never repaired. Various accidents destroyed the remainder. The animals which were to be subservient to the pleasure of the Persian kings, abandoned the place; serpents and scorpions remained, so that it became a dreadful place for persons that should have the curiosity to visit, or search after, its antiquities. The Euphrates, that used to run through the city, having no longer a free channel, took its course another way; so that in Theodoret's time there was nothing more than a very stream of water left, which ran across the ruins, and, not meeting with a slope or free passage, necessarily degenerated into a marsh.
În the time of Alexander the Great,i the river had quitted its ordinary channel, by reason of the outlets and canals which Cyrus had made, and of which we have already given an account; the outlets being badly stopped up, had occasioned a great inundation in the country. Alexander, designing to fix the seat of his empire at Babylon, projected the bringing back of the Euphrates into its natural and former channel, and had actually set his men to work.
* He wrote in the reign of Antoninus, successor to Adrian. | Isa. xiii. 21, 22.
Euphrates quondam urbem ipsam mediam dividebat; nunc autem fluvius conversus est in aliam viam, et per rudera minimus aquarum meatus fluit. Theodor. in cap. I. Jerem. ver. 38, 39. 0 Arrian. de Exped. Alex. li. viii.
But the Almighty, who watched over the fulfilling of his prophecy, and who had declared, he would destroy even to the very remains and footsteps of Babylon [I will cut off from Babylon the name and remnant,*] defeated this enterprise by the death of Alexander, which happened soon after. It is easy to comprehend how, after this, Babylon being neglected to such a degree as we have seen, its river was converted into an inaccessible pool, which covered the very place where that impious city had stood, as Isaiah had foretold : 1 will make it pools of water.t And this was necessary, lest the place where Babylon had stood should be discovered hereafter by the course of the Euphrates.
VII. By means of all these changes Babylon became an utter desert, and all the country round fell into the same state of desolation and horror; so that the most able geographers at this day cannot determine the place where it stood. In this manner God's prediction was literally fulfilled : I will cut off from Babylon the name I will make it a possession for the bittern, and pools of water; and I will sweep it with the besom of destruction, saith the Lord of hosts. I myself, saith the Lord, will examine with a jealous eye, to see if there be any remains of that city, which was an enemy to my name, and to Jerusalem. I will thoroughly sweep the place where it stood, and will clear it so effectually, by defacing every trace of the city, that no person shall be able to preserve the memory of the place chosen by Nimrod, and which I, the Lord, have abolished. I will sweer
it with the besom of destruction saith the Lord of hosts.
VIII. God was not satisfied with causing all these alterations to be foretold, but to give the greater assurance of their certainty, thought fit to seal the prediction of them by an oath. The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, Surely, as I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.|| But if we would take this dreadful oath in its full latitude, we must not confine it either to Babylon or to its inhabitants, or to the princes that reigned therein. The malediction relates to the whole world: it is the general anathema pronounced against the wicked; it is the terrible decree, by which the two cities of Babylon and Jerusalem shall be separated for ever, and an eternal divorce be put between the saints and the reprobate. The Scriptures that have foretold it, shall subsist till the day of its execution. The sentence is written therein, and deposited as it were, in the public archives of religion. The Lord of hosts hath sworn, saying, As I have thought, so shall it come to pass; and as I have purposed, so shall it stand.
What I have said of this prophecy concerning Babylon is almost all entirely taken out of an excellent treatise upon Isaiah, which is still in manuscript.
* Isa. xiv. 22. | Ib. xiv. 23.
Nunc omnino destructa, ita ut vix ejus supersint rudera. Baudrand Isa. xiv. 22, 23. || Ísa. xiv. 24.
What followed upon the taking of Babylon. Cyrus,* having entered the city in the manner we have described, put all to the sword that were found in the streets: he then commanded the citizens to bring him all their arms, and afterwards to shut themselves up in their houses. The next morning, by break of day, the garrison which kept the citadel being apprised that the city was taken, and their king killed, surrendered themselves to Cyrus. Thus did this prince, almost without striking a blow, and without any resistance, find himself in peaceable possession of the strongest place in the world.
The first thing he did was, to thank the gods for the success they had given him. And then, having assembled his principal officers, he publicly applauded their courage and prudence, their zeal and attach;inent to his person, and distributed rewards to his whole army.t After which he represented to them, that the only means of preserv ing what they had acquired was to persevere in their ancient virtue; that the proper end of victory was not to give themselves up to idleness and pleasure; that, after having conquered their enemies by force of arms, it would be shameful to suffer themselves to be over come by the allurements of pleasure; that, in order to maintain their ancient glory, it behcved them to keep up amongst the Persians at Babylon the same discipline they had observed in their own country and for that purpose, to take a particular care to give their children a good education. This (says he) will necessarily engage us daily to make further advances in virtue, as it will oblige us to be diligent and careful in setting them good examples : not will it be easy for them to be corrupted, when they shall neither hear nor see any thing amongst us, but what excites them to virtue, and shall be continually employed in honourable and laudable exercises.
Cyrus committed the different parts and offices of his government to different persons, according to their various talents and qualifications ;f but the care of forming and appointing general officers, governors of provinces, ministers and ambassadors, he reserved to himself, looking upon that as the proper duty and employment of a king, upon which depended his glory, the success of his affairs, and the happiness and tranquillity of his kingdoin. His great talent was to study the particular Character of men, in order to place every one in his proper sphere, to give them authority in proportion to their inerit, to make their private advancement concur with the public good, and to make the whole machine of the state move in so regu, lar a manner, that every part should have a dependance upon, and mutually contribute to support each other; and that the strength of one should not exert itself but for the benefit and advantage of the
* Cyrop. I vii. p. 192.
t Cyrop. I. vii p. 197, 200.
rest. Each person had his district, and his particular spnere of business, of which he gave an account to another above him, and he again to a third, and so on, till, by these different degrees, and regular subordination, the cognizance of affairs came to the king himself, who did not remain idle in the midst of all this motion, but was, as it were, the soul to the body of the state, which, by this means, he governed with as much ease as a father governs his private family.
When he afterwards sent governors, called satrapce,* into the provinces under his subjection, he would not suffer the particular governors of places, nor the commanding officers of the troops maintained for the security of the country, to be dependant upon those provincial governors, or to be subject to any one but himself; in order that, if any of these satrapæ, elate with his power or riches, made an ill use of his authority, there might be found witnesses and censors of his mal-administration within his own government. For there was nothing he so carefully avoided, as the trusting of any one man with absolute power, well knowing that a prince will quickly have reason to repent his having exalted one person so high, if all others are thereby abused and kept under.
Thus Cyrus established a wonderful order with respect to his military affairs, his treasury, and civil government. In all the provinces he had persons of approved integrity,t who gave him an account of every thing that passed. He made it his principal care to honour and reward all those that distinguished themselves by their merit, or were eminent in any respect whatever. He infinitely preferred clemency to martial courage, because the latter is often the cause of ruin and desolation to whole nations, whereas the former is always beneficent and useful. He was sensible that good laws contribute very much to the forming and preserving of good manners; 1 but, in his opinion, the prince, by his example, was to be a living law to his people. Nor did he think a man worthy to reign over others, unless he was more wise and virtuous than those he governed: he was also persuaded:ll that the surest means for a prince to gain the respect of his courtiers, and of such as approached his person, was to have so much regard for them. as never to do or to say any thing before them, contrary to the rules of decency and good manners.
Liberality he looked upon as a virtue truly royal; T nor did be think there was any thing great or valuable in riches, but the pleasure of distributing them to others. I hüe prodigious riches, ** says he to his courtiers, I own, and I am glad the world knows it; but you may assure yourselves, they are as much yours as mine. For to what end should I heap up wealth? For my own use, and to consume it myself? That would be impossible, even if I desired it. No: the chief end I aim at is to have it in my power to rewurd those who
* Cyrop. I. viii. p. 229. Ibid. p. 209. T Ibid. 209. ** Ibid. 225.
t Ibid, 204.
$ Ibid. 205.
|| Ibid. 201.
serve the public
faithfully, and to succour and relieve those that will acquaint me with their wants and necessities.
Creesus one day represented to him,* that by continual largesses he would at last make himself poor, whereas he might have amassed infinite reasures, and have been the richest prince in the world. And to what sum, replied Cyrus, do you think those treasures might have amounted? Creesus named a certain sum, which was immensely great. Cyrus thereupon ordered a short note to be written to the lords of his court, in which it was signified to them that he had occasion for money. Immediately a much larger sum was brought to him than Cræsus had mentioned. Look here, says Cyrus to him, here are my treasures; the chests I keep my riches in, are the hearts and affection of my subjects.
But much as he esteemed liberality, he laid a still greater stress upon kindness and condescension, affability, and humanity, which are qualities still more engaging, and more apt to acquire the affection of a people, which is properly to reign. For a prince to be more generous than others in giving, when he is infinitely more rich than they, has nothing in it so surprising or extraordinary, as to descend in a manner from the throne, and to put himself upon a level with his subjects.
But what Cyrus preferred to all other things, was the worship of the gods, and a respect for religion.t Upon this therefore he thought himself obliged to bestow his first and principal care, as soon as he became more at leisure, and more master of his time, by the conquest of Babylon. He began by establishing a number of Magi, to sing daily a morning service of praise to the honour of the gods, and to offer sacrifices; which was always practised amongst them in succeeding ages.
The prince's disposition quickly became, as is usual, the prevailing disposition among his people; and his example became the rule of their conduct. The Persians, who saw that Cyrus's reign had been but one continued chain and series of prosperity and success, believed that by serving the gods as he did, they should be blessed with the like happiness and prosperity: besides, they were sensible it was the surest way to please their prince, and to make their cour to him successfully. Cyrus, on the other hand, was extremely glad to find them have such sentiments, being convinced, that whosoever sincerely fears and worships God, will at the same time be faithful to his king, and preserve an inviolable attachment to his person, and to the welfare of the state. All this is excellent, but is only true and real in the true religion.
Cyrus, being resolved to establish his chief residence at Babylon, a powerful city, which could not be very well affected to him, thought it necessary to be more cautious than he had been hitherto,
| Ibid. p. 204.
Ibid. I. vil p. 196
* Cyrop. I. viii. p. 210. VOL. II. N