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Persia, taking this opportunity to resume their liberty,
-he resigned all endeavour or desire for conquest, and gave himself to an idle and vicious course of life. After many acts of most excessive cruelty, hated and despised by his people, he was murdered while sleeping by a eunuch of his palace, in the 21st year of his reign. B.C. 464.
The assassin placed Artaxerxes, the third son of Xerxes, on the throne, after persuading him to murder his elder brother. This Artaxerxes, surnamed Longimanus, from the unusual length of his hands, is the Ahasuerus of Scripture, who married the Jewish Esther. He had yet another brother with whom he had to contest the succession; but finally prevailed, and being settled in peaceable possession of the throne of Persia, he held feasts and rejoicings at Susa for 180 days. It was during this time that the story of Esther and Mordecai took place, for which we need but refer our readers to Holy Writ; as told in the book of Esther it is already familiar to them.
Another revolt in Egypt now claimed the king's attention: a large army was dispatched thither, but meeting their invincible enemies, the Athenians, who had repaired to the assistance of Egypt, they had small chance of suc
It was at this time that Themistocles, disgraced and banished from his country, came to the Persian court, was most generously supported by the prince, and finally poisoned himself, to avoid being sent by his tector with the command of an army against his native country--as we shall more particularly relate in the history of Athens. Artaxerxes repaired in person with a second force to Egypt, and was eventually successful—though six years elapsed before the Athenians could be driven out of that country, then again submitting to the Persians. The Persians had next to encounter the Athenians in the island of Cyprus, hitherto pertaining to
Persia. Artaxerxes, weary of war with an unvanquishable foe, came at length to an accommodation on these terms--that the Greek cities of Asia should be free that no Persian ship should enter the Grecian seas, and no Persian general come by land within three days march of those seas—and that no Athenian troops should commit hostilities in the territories of Persia. Thus ended a contest that from the first burning of Sardis by the Athenians, had lasted fifty years, and caused the death of countless multitudes on either side.
In the 37th year of this long reign, the Peloponnesian war broke out between the Lacedæmonians and Athenians, as will be told elsewhere. The aid of Artaxerxes was solicited by both—but the Persians had had enough of Grecian warfare, and it does not appear that the king returned them any answer till the war had lasted seven years; when he sent an ambassador to Lacedæmon with a letter, wherein he told them, that among the many embassies he had received, he did not understand what they wanted of him, and desired, if they had proposals to make, 'a proper messenger might be sent to his court. This ambassador was taken prisoner by the Athenians on the way, and carried to Athens, where the utmost attention was paid him, to conciliate his master's favour—the year following he was sent back with citizens of Athens to attend him in character of ambassadors to his prince. On landing in Asia, they received news of Artaxerxes' death, whereupon the Athenians took leave of the Persian and returned home. Artaxerxes had reigned fortyone years.
He had been more favourable to the people of Israel than any of their Persian masters, as we have mentioned elsewhere. B.C.: 423.
A contest, as usual, arose among the sons for the succession. Xerxes reigned first, and then Ochus, but both were murdered within eight months. A third son, named Arsites, had then the throne, and assumed the name of Darius. Revolts in Egypt, Media, and Arabia, occupied the whole of his reign, though generally in the issue suc
cessful--sometimes engaged in assisting the Greeks against each other, and sometimes invaded by them, he enabled the Lacedæmonians to put an end to the Athe
This Darius was surnamed Notus, and died after a reign of nineteen years, succeeded by his son Arbaces, under the name of Artaxerxes Mnemon. B.C. 405.
The history of Persian royalty now becomes painful to peruse, by reason of the excess of guilt and most disgust. ing cruelty with which it is interwoven. The misery and confusion that arose from the incestuous marriages of the princes with their sisters, and even sometimes their daughters—the enmity, jealousy, and intrigue of the women, and the murders and adulteries that ensued
upon them, were such as might be expected--but the unnatural and revolting stories of Parysatis, Statyra, and Roxana, and other princesses of this abandoned court, can afford us in the perusal nothing but disgust; therefore we pass them over.
Cyrus, the younger, a brother of the present king, much distinguished in his father's reign, was at this time engaged against Artaxerxes, and brought over to his assistance that army of Greeks, whose ever memorable retreat under command of Xenophon, after the prince had fallen in battle, makes so conspicuous a figure in Grecian story. B.C. 401.
ON SELECT PASSAGES OF SCRIPTURE.
Thou shalt remember that thou wast a bondman in
Egypt, and the Lord thy God redeemed thee thence. -Deut. xxiv. 18.
W110 forgets it? Even all of us else should we not pervert as we do the judgment of the stranger-we
should not be so hard in dealing out judgment towards each other, so eager to condemn, so slow to excuse. Admit that they be strangers living in error, ignorance and sin, having, as we believe, no portion yet assigned them in the land of promise--serving other masters and obeying other lords. Is it reasonable that we should deal with them rudely and speak of them with bitterness—be pleased to detect their faults, and eager to expose them-unwilling to acknowledge their virtues, or concede to them the affection they deserve of us? There are some religious people, who speak of those they consider not to be so, as if they were a different race of beings from themselves; they cannot pronounce their names without an epithet of contempt, or meet their eye without an expression of anger. Nay, but consider! What are they that you are not? Sinnersso are you: without merit, without birth-rightso are you. Nay, but remember! Are they careless, unrighteous, unbelieving—the slaves of their own passions and the world's delusions, wearing yet the yoke of folly they have inherited, contented in their bondage of time and sense, forgetful of their Father's house and of his pleasant land? Remember that thou wert so tooand if, as thou thinkest, thou art not so now, it is because the Lord thy God redeemed thee and set thee free. Be not high-minded, but fear. Thou art no greater thing than the sometime bondman of Egypt, bought with a ransom thou didst not pay—thou hast no right to show scorn to any one—and now that thou seemest to be something, if one should examine thee closely, there are more marks of thy slavery on thee than of thy freedom. Remember and go softly—and when thou seest a sinner go by thee, bow thy head and speak kindly, for he is even thy fellow.
Where shall I fly then from thy presence. WHITHER fly I? To what place can I safely fly? To what mountain? To what den? To what strong
ferez sentir interieurement n'être qu'une recherche de moi-même. Quand je me sentirai porté à faire làdessus quelque sacrifice, je le ferai gaiement. J'agirai avec confiance comme un enfant qui joue entre les bras de sa mère; je me réjouirai devant le Seigneur; je tacherai de rejouir les autres. Loin de moi donc, O mon Dieu, cette sagesse triste et craintive qui se ronge toujours la balance en main pous peser des atomes, de peur de rompre ce jeûne interieur. Vous voulez qu'on vous aime uniquement; voilà sur quoi tombe votre jalousie : mais quand on vous aime, vous laissez agir librement l'amour, et vous voyez bien ce qui vient véritablement de lui. Je jeûnerai donc, O mon Dieu, de toute volonté qui n'est point la vôtre; mais je jeûnerai par amour dans la liberté et dans l'abondance de mon
SAVIOUR'S SERMON ON THE MOUNT.
LECTURE THE SIXTEENTH.
Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where
moth and rust do corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal : but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light—but if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is within thee be darkness, how great is that dark