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- and gave orders that the Jews should not be interrupted in the work;
that the expenses of the building should be defrayed out of the tribute money collected from the provinces west of the Euphrates; that bul. locks, rams, lambs, wheat, salt, wine, and oil, should be furnished for the daily services of the altar and the temple; and that any who would attempt to interrupt the work, should be hung upon a gallows constructed from the timber of his own demolished dwelling.
This decree was promptly executed by Tatnai and Shethar-boznai. The Lord, also, by the most special indications of his providence, and by sundry communications from Haggai and Zechariah, greatly strengthened the hands and encouraged the hearts of Zerubbabel, Joshua, and all the people. The work progressed rapidly; and the house was at length finished on the third day of the month Adar, in the sixth year of Darius; which was about twenty years after its foundation was laid by Zerubbabel under the reign of Cyrus. The temple was then dedicated; and on the fourteenth day of the next month, the passover was celebrated with great joy and solemnity.
In many respects the second temple was greatly inferior to the first. The ark of the covenant, the Shekinah or symbol of God's presence, the Urim and Thuramim, the sacred fire that ever burned upon the altar, and the holy anointing oil, were all wanting in the temple of Zerubbabel. But these things were more than supplied by the Desire of all nations.
“Thy famous temple Solomon,
Messiah's presence graced it more." The Persian empire attained its greatest limits in the reign of Darius Hystaspes. He subdued the revolted Babylonians; added Thrace and India to his dominions; quelled an insurrection of the lonians; made some conquests in Scythia; and was about to lead an army into Greece to punish the Athenians and to vindicate the glory of the Persian arms, when death put an end to his long and useful reign. He died at Susa or Shasan, the capital of his dominions, 485 B. C., leaving to his son Xerxes the throne and government of the empire.
Xerxes was the fourth king after Cyrus; and therefore, the person of whom it was said by the angel, that he would be distinguished by the great abundance of his riches; and that through the influence of his wealth, he would stir up all against the realm of Grecia. This prophetic account of Xerxes, is fully sustained by the testimony of eontemporary and subsequent historians. The revenue of Persia at that period, was immense. India alone, the twentieth prefecture of the empire, paid into the royal treasury one Euboic talent of gold per day, or three hundred and sixty per annum, according to the Persian mode of reckoning time. This, in our currency, would amount to
not less than fonr millions eight hundred and sixty.one thousand eight hundred dollars. And when we take into consideration the spoils of so many conquered nations, and the revenue of the other provinces, the account of Justin and Herodotus no longer appear te belong to the marvellous. Concerning the wealth of Xerxes, the former says: “If you consider this king, you may praise, not the general, but his riches; of which there was so great an abundance in his kingdom, that when rivers were dried up by his army, his wealth remained unexhausted."
Xerxes spent the first two years of his reign in regulating his domestic affairs, and reducing to subjection the revolted Egyptians; but the next three years were devoted to stirring up all against the realm of Grecia, and making preparations for the war. Aeeording to Herodotus, the following nations accompanied Xerxes into Europe: the Persians, Medes, Cissians, Hyrcanians, Assyrians, Chaldeans, Bactrians, Sacae or Scythians, Indians, Arians, Parthians, Chorasmians, Sogdians, Gandarians, Dadicoe, Caspians, Sarangae, Pactyes, Utians, Mycians, Paricanians, Arabians, Ethiopians from both Asia and Africa, Libyans, Paphlagonians, Ligyes, Matienians, Mariandrians, Syrians, Phrygians, Armenians, Lydians, Myscians, Bythinians, Meionians, Milyae, Moschians, Tibarenians, Mares, Alarodi, Sas. pires, and some others from the islands adjacent to the continent. Besides these, there followed him of the European nations, the Thracians, Paeonians, Eordi, Bottiaeans, Chalcidians, Brygi, Pierians, Macedonians, Perrhoebi, Aenianes, Dolopians, Magnesians, and Achaeans; so that when he arrived at Thermopylæ, his army amounted to two millions six hundred and forty-one thousand six hundred and ten fighting men; and at least as many more servants and workmen of different ranks and occupations; making a grand total of five millions two hundred and eighty-three thousand two hundred and twenty men, who followed Xerxes into Greece. And the same historian adds: “But of women who made bread, and concubines, and eunuchs, no one could mention the number with accuracy; nor of draught.cattle and other beasts of burden; nor of Indian dogs that followed, could any one mention the number, they were so many. Therefore I am not astonished, that the streams of some rivers failed; but rather, it is a wonder to me how provisions held out for so many rayriads. For I find by calculation, if each man had a choenix of wheat daily, and no more, one hundred and ten thousand three hun. dred and forty medimni* must have been consumed every day; and I
* The medimnus was a Greek measure of about 11 gallons and 7,15 pints. The daily allowance of wheat must, therefore, according to this estimate, have amounted to about 164,044 bushely.
have not reckoned the food for the women, eunuchs, beasts of burden, and dogs."
This immense host was brought from the east. But the west was also stirred up against the realm of Grecia. According to Herodotus, the Carthagenians and other nations of western Africa and Europe were employed in the service of Xerxes. While he was invading Greece, Hamilcar led an army of three hundred thousand Carthagenians, Phoenicians, Lybians, Iberians, Ligyans, Elisycians, Sardinians, and Cyrnians, against the Greek colonies of Italy and Sicily. So fully and unequivocally does the testimony of this heathen historian confirm the prediction of the angel, made and recorded concern. ing one of the most celebrated events of profane history, fifty-three years before it actually occurred.
Daniel says nothing concerning the success of this expedition; and therefore, it is not important that we should enter into the details. Suffice it to say, that the battle of Himera deprived Xerxes of all farther aid from his western allies; and that those of Thermopylæ, Sal. amis, Platea, and Mycale, fully convinced this proud and haughty monarch that it was vain for him to attempt farther the subjugation of Greece. He hastened back to Susa, and gave himself up to pleasure, luxury, and debauchery.
“Ah! what a life thus spent? and what are they
OUR PROGRESS.* We have now entered upon the thirty-fourth year of our editorial existence. For the first seven years of this period we aimed our efforts against such errors as we deemed most inimical to the cause of truth. They were, at the time, the popular errors of Protestant Christendom, and, consequently, most influential in hiding from the minds of the people that "form of sound words' which we regarded as the only instrumentality that Heaven would bless for the restoration of Primitive Christianity in its doctrine and practice.
Having in this preparatory step succeeded, even beyond our most sanguine expectation, in bringing before the minds of the people, and
* The reader will perceive, that in speaking of “Our Progress," we have • reference, not to ourself, but to the labors of Elder A. Campbell.
SERIES IV.-VOL. y.
to the conviction and joy of thousands of our cotemporaries, the primitive gospel and order of the Christian church, we at length found ourselves standing upon a more commanding eminence, from which we saw, or thought we saw, in the distance, evident signs of our approach to that happy period, so long and so ardently desired by the saints of the Most High, called the millennial glory of the church. Accordingly, taking our reckoning from this point, and with reference to the object before us, we set our compass, spread our canvass, chose our motto, and set sail for the desired haven.
If we had any peculiar qualifications for the work which we had assigned ourself, it was to be found in the deep conviction that there had been a great departure from the truth, as taught by Christ and his apostles; and with this conviction, a firm persuasion, that if the apostolic gospel were proclaimed again in its ancient simplicity, it could not fail of restoring Christianity in all its pristine power and glory. That before its risen power, the darkness of error would be dissipated, as the pestilential fogs of the morning before the glorious orb of day.
The last twenty-five years have given a very general prevalence to the primitive gospel, not only in our own happy country, but it has found its way into Europe, Asia, and the Isles of the nations. Hum. ble, therefore, as our labors have been in the cause of truth and righteousness, we feel that they have not been in vain; nay, that they have been signally blessed, in emancipating many of our perishing race from the entangling and bewildering systems of religious error im• posed on them in lieu of the glorious gospel of the grace of God, as. well as freeing multitudes of the careless and unconverted from the bondage of sin, who have been made to rejoice in the assurance of pardon and in the hope of future blessedness.
Such demonstrations of the saving power of the apostolic gospel have we often witnessed, which have greatly emboldened and encouraged us in our work of faith and labors of love. Of one thing we feel assured-and he who doubis the tenability of the ground of our assurance let him try us—that the original apostolic gospel has been, within the last quarter of a century, fully restored to the world in all its simplicity, purity, and power.
All that is wanting to its ultimate, complete, and universal triumph over every false system and refuge of lies, is, that it be now carried, by competent missionaries of the cross, to every city, town, hainlet, and cottage of every country, nation and language.
Already Catholic Italy, Mohammedan Turkey, and idolatrous China, are eagerly asking for the Bible. The power of the Beast and
the false Prophet is already so far crippled, that neither dares to unsheath the sword of religious persecution against its subjects.
The strong and vigorous mind of Lutheran Germany no longer does homage to the Articles of the Augsburg Confession, nor yields assent 10 the dogma of infant rantism. The one they regard as proscriptive, intolerant, and an unjustifiable attempt to fetter that freedom of thought which they claim in right of their spiritual descent from their illustrious Reformer. The other they repudiate on the ground of its literary puerility, and the holding of it as forfeiting all just claims to literary, philological, and biblical distinction.
These are some of the signs of the times that augur better things in reserve for the nations of the earth, shortly to be accomplished. Not the least ominous of these is the feeling that pervades the religious minds of the two most enlightened nations of the civilized world, viz: that we need a purer version of the inspired Word. The very feeling itself indicates progression in the right direction.
Since the days of Wickliffe, no religious reformation has been effected without the aid of a new or improved translation of the Holy Scriptures. But the attempt has often been regarded as a temerity worthy of death. The blood of Tyndale yet cries for vengeance.
And even now, in the midst of the 19th century, the present attempt at revision of the King's Version is not without some risk to the religious reputation of not a few of the most pious and learned men of the age. Although the need is generally acknowledged, and the attempt to respond to the wishes of the people is regarded as respectful and kind, yet there are those who would keep the consciences of the people, that are ready to denounce the attempt as wicked, and those who make it as innovators, reckless, and irreverent.
Could, however, such men see, that, Jannes and Jambres like, they resist the dissemination of the pure and unadulterated Word, they would not certainly be emulous for the fame of those of olden time, who built the monuments of the prophets whom their fathers had put to death.
Let them take heed, therefore, that while they are loud in the praise of Wickliffe, Jerome, Luther, Tynúale, and all that host of worthies, they do not take part with their persecutors, in opposing a like good work now being performed for our cotemporaries. For, assuredly, no one of any solid pretentions w biblical learning and criticism, would hazard his reputation by maintaining that our present version of the Bible is a faithful reprint of the ideas expressed in the inspired Originals. “Happy is he who condemneth not himself in that which he approveth."
We hail, therefore, the revision movement of the American Bible