Изображения страниц

besides the sea to defend her, she was fortified with a wall of 150 feet in height, and of a proportionable thick. ness. She heaped up silver as the dust, and fine gold as the mire of the streets, being the most celebrated place in the world for trade and riches, the mart of nations as she is called, conveying the commodities of the east to the west, and of the west to the east. But yet Behold the Lord will cast her out, and he will smite her power in the sea, and she shall be devoured with fire. Ezekiel had likewise foretold that the city should be consumed with fire, I will bring forth a fire from the midst of thee, it shall devour thee, and I will bring thee to ashes upon the earth, in the sight of all them that behold thee, Ezek. xxvii. 18. And accordingly Alexander besieged, and took, and set the city on fire. The ruins of old Tyre contributed much to the taking of the new city: for with the stones, and timber and rubbish of the old city, Alex. ander made a bank, or causeway from the continent to the Island, thereby literally fulfilling the words of the prophet, They shall lay thy stones, and thy timber, and thy dust in the midst of the water, Ezek. xxvi. 12. Alexander was seven months in completing this work, but the time and labor .were well employed, for by means thereof he was enabled to storm and take the city.

At the time Alexander reduced Tyre, great numbers of the inhabitants, as in the former siege, passed over the Mediterranean to the islands and countries adjoining. Both Diodorus Siculus and Quintus Curtius testify that they sent their wives and children to Carthage; and upon the taking of the place the Sidonians secretly conveyed away fifteen thousand more in their ships. Happy were they who thus escaped, for of those who remained behind the conqueror slew eight thousand in storming and taking the city, caused two thousand afterwards to be crucified, and thirty thousand he sold for slaves. They had before sold some of the captive Jews, and now it was returned upon them according to the prediction of Joel, The children also of Judah, and the children of Jerusalem have ye sold ; Behold I will return your recom, pence upon your own head, and will sell your sons and your daughters, Joel iii. 6, 7, 8.

TOE. iii.

[ocr errors]

When the old city was taken, the Tyrians received their kings afterwards from Babylon; but when the new one was conquered by Alexander, their king held the sovereignty by his appointment. The cases are, in many respects, alike; but the city recovered much sooner from the calamities of the last siege than the first. In the space of nineteen years it was able to withstand the fleets and armies of Antigonus, and sustained a siege of fifteen months before it was taken: a plain proof (as Dean Prideaux observes) “ of the great advantage of trade: for “ this city being the grand mart where most of the trade 6 both of the east and west did centre, by virtue hereof “ it was that it soon after revived to its pristine vigor."

There should come a time when the Tyrians would forsake their idolatry, and become converts to the true religion and worship of God. The Psalmist is thought to have hinted as much in saying, The daughter of Tyre shall be there with a gift, Psal. xlv. 12. And again, The kings of Tarshish and of the isles shall bring presents, Psal. lxxii. 10. Zechariah, when he foretels the calamities which the Tyrians and neighboring nations should suffer from Alexander, at the same time predicts their conversion to the true God; but he that remaineth, even he shall be for our God, Zech. ix. 7. This prediction is more fully expressed by the prophet Isaiah, who says,

And her merchandize ali her hire shall be holiness to the Lord: it shall not be treasured, nor luid up: for her merchandize shall be for them that dwell before the Lord, to eat sufficiently, and for durable clothing, Isaiah xxiii. 18.

The Tyrians were greatly addicted to the worship of Hercules, as he was called by the Greeks, or of Baal, as he is denominated in scripture. But in process of time, by means of some Jews and proselytes living and conversing among them, many were converted to the Jewish religion; so that a great multitude of people from the sea coast of Tyre und Sidon came to hear our Saviour and to be healed of their diseases, Luke vi. 17. And when St. Paul, in his way to Jerusalem, came to Tyre, he found disciples there who were inspired and prophesied; and with them he tarried seven days, Acts xxi. 4.

During the time of Dioclesian's persecution, the Tyrians were such sincere converts to christianity that many of them suffered the most horrid deaths, and died martyrs to the religion they then professed.* After the storm of persecution was blown over, they (under their bishop Paulinus) built an oratory, or rather a temple, for the public worship of God, the most magnificent and sumptuous in all Palestine and Phænicia. On this occasion Eusebius, on commenting on the passage of Isaiah, And her merchandize and her hire shall be holiness to the Lord, says, “ Since a church of God hath been “ founded in Tyre, as well as in other nations, many of “ its goods gotten by merchandize are consecrated to the “ Lord, being offered to his church, (as he afterwards

explains himself) for the use of the ministers of the 6 altar or gospel, according to the institution of our Lord, " that they who wait at the altar should live of the “ altar." In like manner speaks St. Jerome, “ We may 66 behold churches in Tyre built to Christ: we may see “ their riches that they are not laid up, nor treasured, 6 but given to those who dwell before the Lord. For “ the Lord hath appointed, that they who preach the 66 gospel should live of the gospel."

To these proofs we shall only add, that as Tyre consecrated its merchandize and hire unto the Lord, so it had the honor not only of being created into an arch


• Those who may be desirous of being fully acquainted with the particulars of these persecutions, as well as those exercised, in different and in all parts of the world, on the christians, are referred to an excellent work lately published, entitled, The NEW BOOK OF MARTYRS; or COMPLETE CHRISTIAN MARTYROLOGy. Containing an authentic and genuine Historical Account of the many dreadful Persecutions against the Church of Christ, in all Parts of the World, by Pagans, Jews, Turks, Papists and others, from the earliest ages of the Church to the present period. By the Rev. Henry Southwell, L. L. D. Author of the Universal Family Bible. This Work is published in 40 numbers, (Price Six pence each) every one of which is adorned with one or more beautiful copper plates, representing either the mode of torturing and tormenting Christians for their constancy, putting them to death for their faith, or displaying some general scene, in which Pagan Barbarity, and Popish Cruelty are exhibited in the most striking manner. Printed for J. Çooke, No. 17, Pater-noster Row.

bishopric, but was the first archbishopric under the patriarchate of Jerusalem, having fourteen bishops under its primacy; and in this state it continued several years.

6. But, after all, Tyre was to be totally destroyed, and become a place only for fishers to spread their nets upon. When the prophets denounced the destruction of any city or country, it was not intended that such denynciation should take effect immediately. It was threaten. ed that Babylon should become a desolation without an inhabitant, but many ages passed before it was reduced to that condition; it decayed by degrees, till at length it came to nothing. In like manner Tyre was not to be ruined and desolated all at once. Many events were to happen previous to its final destruction, and before the prophecies of Ezekiel could be fully accomplished. Thus saith the Lord God, Behold, I am against thee, O Tyrus, and will cause many nations to come up against thee, as the sea causeth his waves to come up; And they shall destroy the walls of Tyrus, and break down her towers; I will also scrape her dust from her, and make her like the top of a rock: it shall be a place for the spreading of nets in the midst of the sea; for I have spoken it, saith the Lord God, Ezek, xxvi. 3, 4, 5. And again, I will make thee a terror, and thou shalt be no more; though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou never be found again, ver, 21.

The prophecies of Tyre, like those relative to most other places, were to receive their completion by degrees. Nebuchadnezzar destroyed the old city, and Alexander employed the ruins and rubbish in making his causeway from the continent to the island, which henceforwards were joined together. “ It is no wonder, therefore, (as Bishop Pocock observes) that there are no signs of the ancient city; and, as it is a sandy shore, the face of every thing is altered, and the great aqueduct in many parts, is almost buried in the sand,” So that as to this part of the city, the prophecy hath been literally fulfilled. Thou shalt be built no more; though thou be sought for, yet shalt thou nerer be found again,

It may be questioned whether the new city ever arose to that height of power, wealth, and greatness, to which

it was elevated in the times of Isaiah and Ezekiel. It received a great blow from Alexander, not only by his taking and burning the city, but much more by his building of Alexandria in Egypt, which in time deprived it of much of its trade, and thereby contributed more effectually to its ruin. It had the misfortune afterwards of changing its masters often, being sometimes in the hands of the Ptolemies, kings of Egypt, and sometimes of the kings of Syria, till at length it fell under the dominion of the Romans. It was taken by the Saracens about the year of Christ 639, in the reign of Omar the third emperor. It was retaken by the christians during the time of the holy war in the year 1124, Baldwin, the second of that name, being then king of Jerusalem, and assisted by a fleet oi the Venetians. From the christians it was again taken in the year 1289 by the Mamalucs of Egypt, under their Sultan Alphix, who sacked and razed this and Sidon and other strong towns, that they might not ever again afford any harbor or shelter to the Christians. From the Mamalucs it was again taken in the year 1516 by Selim, the ninth emperor of the Turks; and under their dominion it continues at present. But, alas! how fallen, how changed from what it was formerly! Instead of being the centre of trade, and frequented by the merchant ships of the east and west, it is now become an heap of ruins, and visited only by a few poor fishermen. So that as to this part likewise of the city the prophecy hath been literally fulfilled, I will make thee like the top of a rock; thou shalt be a place to spread nets upon.

The description given of this once opulent and magnificent city by Mr Maundrell, in his journey from Aleppo to Jerusalem, is as follows: “ This city (saith he) stand“ing in the sea upon a peninsula, promises, at a distance, “ something very magnificent. But when you come to it,

you find no similitude of that glory for which it was so 6 renowned in ancient times, and which is described by " the prophet Ezekiel, chap. xxvi. &c. On the north side 6 it hath an old Turkish ungarrisoned castle; besides 5 which you see nothing here but a mere Babel of broken 56 walls, pillars, vaults, &c. there being not so much as 56 one entire house left: its present inhabitants are only a


« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »