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thenceforth becomes so closely united, we shall less confuse the events of each, by not again separating them.

Astyages, the son of Cyaxares, called in Scripture Ahasuerus, succeeded his father: he reigned thirty-five years, during which occurred the inroad of the Babylonians under Evil-Merodach, as we have related above. Cyrus then for the first time attended his grandfather to the battle, and greatly distinguished himself.

To him succeeded Cyaxares II., the uncle of Cyrus. In his reign Babylon was taken, and it is said in Scripture to have been taken by the Medes; as Cyrus, during his uncle's life time, held the command of the army and the management of affairs in subserviency to him, who was considered as supreme governor; though to the valour of Cyrus all the victory was attributable. Ancient historians have pleased themselves with adorning the character of Cyrus, and describing in him rather their own ideal of princely perfection, than what they knew this valiant prince to be. The ground-work of their tale and the principal events need not to be doubted, confirmed as they are by the sacred words of Scripture; but most modern criticks, as well as more ancient ones, reject as fable the minute particulars of his education and character. Such as it is, the tale has been most beautifully told, and so often repeated, that we must suppose our readers familiarly acquainted with it; therefore shall speak of it but slightly, and so far as the truth of it is not disputed.

Cyrus appears to have been born B.C.599, one year later than Cyaxares, the brother of his mother Mandane, and afterwards his associate in the kingdom. The first twelve years of his life were passed with his parents in Persia, where he was educated in the Persian manner, nursed to hardships and privations, and such exercise as might fit him for the toils and fatigues of war. When twelve years old he was taken by Mandane to the court of his grandfather, Astyages, in Media. During the time of his residence there, the sweetness of his temper, the pobleness of his conduct, and constant endeavour to oblige those around him, gained him the affection of the Medes, and the attachment of the leading men at court; á popularity that contributed in no small degree to his future greatness. His first essay in arms we have already mentioned, as occurring at sixteen years of age. The next year he returned to his father in Persia, where he remained till he was forty years of age; when Cyaxares, who had succeeded to Astyages in Media, called him to his assistance against the Assyrians, Lydians, and various other people of Asia, combined in arms against him. Cyrus arrived with an army of 30,000 Persians, and was appointed commander of the united forces. Many years of active warfare ensued, from which unbounded glory reverted to Cyrus. The king of Armenia was first subdued then Croesus, the king of Lydia, and his ally the king of Babylon. In these wars, Cyrus reserved all the horses that were taken for himself, to form cavalry for the Persian army; the richest of the booty he set apart for Cyaxares; all the prisoners he allowed to return to their respective countries, prescribing no other condition than that of surrendering their arms, and engaging not to serve again against him or his allies. Cyrus next determined to enter the Assyrian territories, which he ravaged, took many cities, and showed himself twice before the walls of Babylon, but did not at that time besiege it. Returned into Media, he held consultation with his uncle as to their future measures, the conquest of Assyria being now the object of ambition. Meantime the Babylonians and Lydians too were preparing, and again coming forth with their troops. Cyrus met them with an army of 196,000 horse and foot-besides these he had 300 chariots armed with scythes, each chariot drawn by four horses abreast, covered with trappings that were proof against missive weapons : he had also a number of other chariots of a larger size, on

each of which was placed a tower eighteen or twenty feet high, and in every tower twenty archers : these chariots were drawn by sixteen oxen yoked abreast. Then there were a great number of camels, each one mounted by two Arabian archers, the one looking towards the head, the other toward the binder part of the camel. This ponderous armament is said to have been met by one twice as numerous under Croesus. The engagement lasted till night, maintained by the bravery of some Egyptian troops in the pay of Croesus, after all the rest were vanquished. These at length yielded, and were settled by Cyrus in his own dominions. Croesus and his forces retreated to Sardis, the other allies returning to their homes. Cyrus immediately invested Sardis, and by the treachery of a slave, was enabled to take the citadel by surprise. Little resistance could then be made. The first care of Cyrus was to save the town, one of the finest in Asia, and he offered security to all who would deliver up their treasures: the inhabitants readily complied with this condition, Croesus setting them the example by giving up bis immense treasures. It has been stated, that this prince, whose excessive wealth has passed into a proverb, was at first condemned to death: but while ascending the pile on which he was to be burned, he recollected what Solon the Athenian had said to him ; when displaying before that philosopher the treasures of his kingdom, he had warned him that no man's portion of happiness in life could be estimated till he had died, by reason of the reverses to which he was exposed. In the vivacity of this recollection, Croesus repeated aloud the philosopher's name; thus exciting the curiosity and compassion of Cyrus, who spared his life, and left him the title and authority of king in Lydia, under no restriction but that of not making war. Croesus was afterwards made the companion of all his expeditions, either from the partiality or the policy of the Persian prince.

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Babylon was now the only city that held out against the conqueror—the height and immense thickness of the walls, and the means of resistance within, made it seem almost impossible to take it. We have related above the manner in which Cyrus succeeded, after waiting two years in vain before the walls. Cyrus and Cyaxares concerted together the disposal of this their new dominion. Assyria was divided into one hundred and twenty provinces, and the government of them given to persons who had distinguished themselves in the war. About two years after this Cyaxares died; and also Cambyses, king of Persia; by which Cyrus came into possession of the kingdoms of Media and Persia, as well as that of Assyria, which he had conquered, B.C. 536. It was now that Daniel showed to Cyrus the prophecy concerning himself that had been written by Isaiah under direction of the one true God, the God of the Hebrews, hundred and twenty years before his birth. Cyrus could not resist a proof so positive that it was the God of Israel to whom he owed his greatness; and he so acknowledges it in the decree for releasing the Jews from captivity. We have related in the history of that people the circumstances of their leaving Persia.

After seven years of splendid tranquility, every enemy subdued, and all the country his, from the river Indus to the Ægean Sea, from the Euxine and Caspian to the Arabian Ocean, equally beloved by his own subjects and those he had subdued, Cyrus died in the seventieth year of his age. From his first taking the entire command of the armies of both kingdoms, he had reigned thirty years -from the reduction of Babylon, nine—from the time of becoming sole monarch on the death of his father and uncle, seven years. The manner of his death is not agreed upon by historians of antiquity. Some will have him to have been slain in battle with the Scythianssome by a wound received from an Indian-others with more probability affirm that he died in his bed: all agree that he was buried at Pasargada in Persia, where his

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monument was to be seen in the time of Alexander, History has left no blot upon the character of Cyrus, nor recorded one action that admits of blame. Great and good, therefore, above all other conquerors, we must suppose him to have been—the especial and favoured instrument of Heaven we know he was—and however much historians may have pleased themselves with embellishing and perfecting his character to their own taste, we must hold in high estimation a prince against whom no one has found any thing evil to record. B.C. 529.

REFLECTIONS
ON SELECT PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE.

But we are sure that the judgment of God is according

to truth.-ROMANS Üï. 2. There is nothing so rare in this imperfect world as justice between man and man; and yet there is no feeling so painful, so oppressive, so galling to man, as the sense of injustice-personal injustice; and certainly none which so completely poisons the spring of life within us. It discourages our exercise of the talents committed to our charge-it clogs every exertion with the conviction of uselessness-deadens every aspiration after excellence and distinction with the sense of hopelessness-in short, it hangs a dead weight round our necks, chains down our best faculties; and not only that-it calls forth the bad as well as checks the good-envy, hatred, revenge, uncharitableness, prejudice, have here their source-our judgments of others are perverted and soured. Virtuous indignation is a dangerous, misleading sound, and is seldom without the baser alloy of one or the other of the above, and finally resolves itself into misanthropy and pride. We feel disposed to shut ourselves up from the world that knows not how to appreciate us; and, above all, to make

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