Queen  Semiramis And Babylon.

Nearly four thousand years ago lived a 

celebrated Queen named Semiramis. Her 

husband,  King Ninus, at his death left his

 kingdom and treasures in her possession, and

 she resolved that her name should be 

remembered in future ages. For this purpose she

 built the beautiful city of Babylon. Situated in a

 broad, rich plain, on both sides of the river 

Euphrates, very near the centre of her vast 

dominions, the proud Queen soon made her 

favorite abode the wonder of the world. Two 

millions of men were employed

for many years in beautifying it. The city was

laid out in the form of a square, fifteen miles

long on each side, and the whole was surrounded

by a wall eighty-seven feet thick, and three

hundred and fifty feet high. This wall was of

brick, cemented together by bitumen, a kind of

slime found in the soil of that country. Outside

the wall was a broad deep ditch, filled with

water, which helped defend the town. On each

side were twenty-five gates of solid brass, open

through the day but closed at night. A beautiful

bridge joined the streets that were divided

by the river. Costly palaces and elegant temples

were found on every side. The inhabitants

did not believe in the true God, but worshipped

idols; the most famous of these idols was called

Baal, and the temple in which he stood was

filled with golden vessels, worth one hundred

millions of dollars more money than one person 

could count in a lifetime.

After the death of Semiramis, one of the

kings of Babylon married a princess of Media.

Her own home had been among high mountains,

and the low flat country whither her husband

had brought her was very disagreeable to

her. She pined to see the hills of her father's

land, and every day grew more and more 


At length her husband caused a great

many hanging gardens to be constructed, that

she might fancy herself once more in her old

home. Arches four or five hundred feet high were

built of solid stone; over these were spread thick

sheets of lead, to prevent the moisture from

oozing through; then earth was laid on them

so deep that the largest trees might take root

and grow. These gardens cost immense sums

of money, and many years of labor, and yet,

when finished, they were far less beautiful than

the common hill of our own country. Man's

most perfect work cannot equal the simplest

creation of God.

When we think of Babylon, with its high

walls, its straight broad streets, the beautiful

river winding through it, each bank shaded by

the drooping willows, its glittering palaces and

dazzling temples, its high gardens, with their

fruits and flowers, we do not wonder that it has

been so famous.

We read of it in the Bible as the "lady of

kingdoms," "tender and delicate," "the golden

city," the son of the morning," and in all other

ancient history it is spoken of in terms of praise.

Where is it now? If we were to travel in that

distant land, where this great city once stood,

we should find almost nothing left on the spot

to tell us that it has ever been.

Its inhabitants for many years were rich and

prosperous; God blessed them in their 

undertakings, but they would not see his hand in

their prosperity, nor believe in his name. Then

he visited the land in his wrath, and destroyed

the strong and glorious city.

Cyrus, King of Persia, came with a great

army to take possession of it, more than five

hundred years before Christ came into the

world. Provisions sufficient to last for twenty

years were stored within it, and the walls were

so high and strong that the inhabitants only

laughed at his folly, and spent their time in

feasting and pleasure. But Cyrus was not

 discouraged; he ordered large numbers of 

workmen to prepare a channel into which they

 might turn the waters of the Euphrates, and 

when, after months of toil, this great labor was

 finished, he led his soldiers by night into the

 city through the dry bed of the river, and 

surprised and killed the King in the midst of 

his revelry.

If we read the Bible carefully, we shall find

that all this was foretold more than two hundred

years before Cyrus was born. In the thirteenth

chapter of Isaiah, we are told that God

spoke to the Prophet, saying, "And Babylon,

the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the 

Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God

 overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah. It shall never

 be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from

 generation to generation; neither shall the

 Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the

 shepherds make their fold there. But wild 

beasts of the desert shall be there; and their

 houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and 

owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance 


These words were written nearly three thousand

years ago, and they have all been fulfilled:

Babylon is indeed a place of wild beasts and

poisonous serpents; no shepherd dares to rest

there, no human being finds his home there.

Alexander the Great determined to rebuild

the city and reside there, but he died before his

workmen had accomplished much of their 

difficult task, and no one has since undertaken


The curse of God rests on the spot.

As God's word in relation to Babylon has

been thus proved true by the events of history,

so we know that in every other respect it is

equally sure. He that said unto that wicked

city, "Evil shall come upon thee," has declared

to each of us, "He that believeth on the Son

hath everlasting life; and he that believeth not

the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God

abideth on him." Ought we not to learn a lesson

of wisdom from this subject, and, ere it is

too late, flee by a living faith to Christ, our

Saviour and Redeemer? 

American Messenger