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And they shall not take of thee a stone"for a corner, •or a stone for foundations; but thou shali be desolate forever, saith the Lord.

Though Babylon should mount up to heaven, and though she should fortify the height of her strength, yet from me shall spoilers come unto her, saith the Lord.

For thus saith the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel; The daughter of Babylon is like a threshing-floor, it is time to thresh her: yet a little while, and the time of her harvest shall come.

ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.

These predictions are selected from the prophecies of Isaiah and Jeremiah: those of the first were written 130 years before the captivity of Judah, when the Medes were a very inconsiderable people, forming only a province of the Assyrian empire.

We find from these prophecies, that one principal cause for which Gon determined to send such signal judments on the Babylonians, was, that He foresaw they would abuse the power He should put into their hands, and insult over those whom he should still consider as His people. This does not seem to have been the case so much under the first kings of Babylon, to whom the Jews were in subjection; but it will appear to have been very particularly so in respect to the last who was suffered to reign. This, indeed, was not the only crime which the Lord foresaw the Babylonians would be guilty of; Divine prescience perceived a number of others which would contribute to fill the Measure of their iniquity, particularly that of idolatry.

SECTION

SECTION LV\

SHE PROPHETIC COMMANDS OF THE LORD OP HOSTS CONCERNING THE DESTRUCTION OP BABYLON.

From Jeremiah, Chap. 1, li.

Put yourselves in array against Babylon round about: all ye that bend the bow shoot at her, spare no arrows: for she hath sinned against the Loud.

Shout against her round about: she"hath given her hand: her foundations are fallen, her walls are thrown down: for it is the vengeance of the Loud: take vengeance upon her; as she hath done, do unto her.

Cut off the sower from Babylon, and him that handleth the sickle in the time of harvest: for fear of the oppressing sword they shall turn every one to his people, and they shall flee every one to his own land.

Go up against the land of Merathaim, even against it, and against the inhabitants of Pekod; waste and utterly destroy after them, saith the Lord, and do according to all that I have commanded thee.

The Lonn hath opened his armoury, and hath brought forth the weapons of his indignation-: for this is the work of the Lord God of hosts in the land of the Chaldeans.

Come against her from the utmost border, open her store-houses: cast her up as heaps, and destroy her utterly: let nothing of her be left.

Slay all her bullocks; let them go down to the slaughter: woe unto them! for their day is come, the. day of their visitation.

Call together the archers against Babylon: all ye that bend the bow, camp against it round about; let none

thereof tfiereof escape: recompense her according to her work; according to all that she hath done, do unto her: for1 she had been proud against the Lord, against the Holy One of Israel.

Therefore shall her young men fall in the streets, and all her men of jvar shall be cut off in that day, saith the Lord.

Make bright the arrows; gather the shields: the Lord hath raised up the spirit of the kings of the Medes : for his device is against Babylon, to destroy it; because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his temple.

Set up the standard upon the walls of Babylon, make the watch strong, set up the watchmen, prepare the ambushes; for the Lord hath both devised and done that which he spake against the inhabitants of Babylon.

Set ye up a standard in the land, blow the trumpet among the nations, prepare the nations against her, call together against her the kingdoms of Ararat, Mini, and Ashchenaz; appoint a captain against her, cause the heroes to come up as the rough caterpillers.

Prepare against her the nations with the kings of the Medes, the captains thereof, and all the rulers thereof, and all the land of his dominion.

And the land shall tremble and sorrow: for every purpose of the Lord shall be performed against Babylon, to make the land of Babylon a desolation without an inhabitant.

The mighty men of Babylon have forborne to fight, they have remained in their holds; their might hath failed, they became, as' women: they have burned her dwelling-places; her bars are broken.

One post shall run to meet another, and one messenger to meet another, to shew the king of Babylon, that his city is taken at one end;

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Anil that the passages are stopped, and the reeds thejrliave burned with fire, and the men of war are affrighted.

In their heat I will make their feasts, and I will make them drunken, that they may rejoice, and sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the Lord.

I will bring them down like lambs to the slaughter, like rams with he-goats.

And I will make drunk her princes, and her wise men, her captains, and her rulers, and her mighty meu; and they shall sleep a perpetual sleep, and not wake, saith the king, whose name is The Loud of hosts.

Thus saith the Lord of hosts; The broad walls of Babylon shall be utterly broken, and her high gates shall be burned with fire; and the people shall labour in vain, and the folk in the fire; and they shall be weary.

ANNOTATIONS And REFLECTIONS.

How awful it is to read these commands of the Lord of Hosts, to assemble the forces destined for his service in the destruction of Babylon! The description is so lively, that it is needless to comment on it.

The circumstances mentioned in this Section were literally fulfilled, as we shall shortly read. It will be proper to recal the attention of the reader to Belshazzar, whom we left closely besieged in Babylon.

SECTION LVI.

THE REIGN OF BELSHAZZAR.

From Daniel, Chap. v.

Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thoa

sand of his lords, und drank wine before the thousand.

Belshazzar, whilst he tasted the wine, commanded t» bring the golden and silver vessels, which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which* was in Jerusalem: that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.

Then they brought the golden vessels that were takes out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them.

They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood and of stone.

In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaister of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote.

Then the king's countenance was changed, and hi» thoughts troubled him, go that the joints of his loins were loosed, and his knees smote one against another.

The king cried out to bring in the astrologers, the Chaldeans, and the sooth-sayers. And the king spake and said to the w'se men of Babylon, Whosoever ehall read this writing, and shew me the interpretation thereof, shall be clothed with scarlet, and have a chain of gold about his neck, and shall be the third ruler in the kingdom.

Then came in all the king's wise men: but they could not read the writing, nor make known to the king the interpretation thereof.

Then was king Belshazzar greatly troubled, and his countenance was changed in him, and his lords were astonished.

Now the queen by reason of the words of the king and his lords, came into the banquet-bouse: and the queen spuke, and said, O king, live for ever: let not thy thoughts trouble thee, nor let thy countenance be changed.

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