A TRIUMPHAL arch is a monumental structure erected in honor of some celebrated person or his deeds, or to commemorate some great event. It is supposed that they originated among the Romans. Since the building of the first in the year 196 B. C., there have arisen, in the city of Rome alone, twenty-one of these monuments. The popes have been pleased to call Rome the "Eternal City"; but this title does not hold true concerning these arches. Each succeeding century has left a smaller number than it found, and, at the present day, but few remain. But the custom of raising these arches did not perish in the city of its origin. Cities of other countries soon followed suit; and not until a late period, was this custom superseded by that of raising monuments. Paris excels all modern cities in the number and beauty of its arches. The most magnificent is the arc d’Etoile, which was built to commemorate the “victories" of Napoleon. Its height and breadth are each 150 feet. It has three arches, the central one 95 feet, and those on either side 52 feet in height. There are but two in England, one of which was erected at Hyde Park corner. It is surmounted by the equestrian statue of the Duke of Wellington, in whose honor it was raised.

In China there are said to be over 1000 of these arches, 200 of which are very beautiful. They are situated not only in cities, but on eminences along the highways leading through the empire. Some few of the less beautiful are in honor of distinguished women.

One of the finest of Roman arches is presented in the accompanying engraving. The Latin inscription on the frieze is thus translated: "The Senate and people of Rome to the divine Titus, son of the divine Vespasian the Great." Vespasian commenced the conquest of Judea; but on being called to Rome to be crowned emperor, he left the completion of the undertaking to his son, Titus. The latter terminated the war by the taking of Jerusalem, A. D. 70, about forty years after our Lord forewarned his disciples of this event.

Returning to Rome, laden with rich spoils, Titus, together with his father, enjoyed great honors at the hands of his countrymen; and this arch was erected to commemorate their success. 

In history it is mentioned as the arch of Titus. At first sight it does not appear to possess much architectural beauty; but a more careful study of its plan shows that, at the time of its erection, it was a noble structure.

History gives a description of some parts that are not seen in the picture. 

On one of the inner sides of the arch is an imposing scene, sculptured in bass-relief. It represents the emperor in his car, drawn by four horses and attended by lectors. Victory is following, bearing in her left hand a branch of palm, and with her right, placing a laurel wreath upon the conqueror's brow. The horses are led by a figure, clothed in armor, symbolizing Rome, which is followed by magistrates. Turning to the opposite side of the arch, another bass-relief meets our view. There are represented the tables of show-bread, the golden candlestick of seven branches, the tables of the law, the ark of the covenant, and other spoils taken at Jerusalem.

This monument is surpassed by only two in Italy, of which, the largest and most beautiful bears the name of Constantine. This was also built at Rome.

The erection of a Roman triumphal arch was always preceded by a pompous ceremony, called a "triumph," performed in honor of the victorious general. He was allowed to enter the city, crowned with a wreath of laurel, bearing a scepter in one hand, and a branch of laurel in the other, and riding in a chariot drawn by four horses. He was preceded by the Senate and magistrates, musicians, the captives in fetters, and the spoils. 

The procession advanced in this manner to the Capitoline hill, where sacrifices were offered, and the commander entertained with a public feast. The design sculptured on the arch of Titus undoubtedly represents a scene in his triumph.

How must the hearts of those mighty chieftains have throbbed with pride, while thus receiving the homage of the applauding multitude! Yet as we read the record of their lives on the pages of history, we are reminded that "the triumphing of the wicked is short, . . . because he hath oppressed,' and hath forsaken the poor; because he hath violently taken away a house which he builded not. . . . The heaven shall reveal his iniquity, and the earth shall rise up against him."

Each victorious Christian soldier will enjoy a triumph with which the grandest of this earth cannot be compared. Led by his divine Commander he will enter the truly "Eternal City," whose "every several gate was of one pearl; and the street of the city was of pure gold." His name will there be recorded, not on perishable monuments of stone, but in living characters, on the Lamb's book of life. 

With such a hope before us, we are led to exclaim with the psalmist, "Save us, O Lord, our God, and gather us from among the heathen, to give thanks unto thy holy name, and to triumph in thy praise."



A VERY learned man once said, "The three hardest words in the English language are, 'I was mistaken!'  "Frederick the Great once wrote to the Senate: "I have lost a great battle, and it was entirely my own fault."

Goldsmith says, "This confession displayed more greatness than all his victories."

Do not be afraid to acknowledge your mistakes, else you will never correct them; and you are really showing how much wiser you are than when you went astray.