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est dignities and honors that were conferred upon him has he experienced such rich enjoyments as in preaching the Gospel to the Indians, or to the scattered settlers of the backwoods. While enjoying life to the full with a genial hilarity of spirit that never could grow old, the thought of death was a familiar and not an unelcome one. We have often heard him converse calmly and cheerfully of the decease which he must shortly accomplish, and then address himself ardently to the duties of the hour. Isis religion had nothing ascetic in it. It was a calm, confident, holy trust. When apparently very near his end, he held the hand of the writer long, and spoke of that unfaltering trust. lle said he was “simply resting by faith on the atonement."

“I the chief of sinners am,

But Jesus died ior me."




(FIRST PAPER] Records of the Past; heing English Translations of the Assyrian and Egyptian

Monuments. Twelve volumes. London. 1874-1881. Transactions of the Soci ty of Biblical Archeology. Seven volumes. London.

1973–1881. The History of Herodotus. By GEORGE RAWLINSON. Four volumes. New York.

1880. The Fire Great Jonarchies of the Ancient Eastern World. By GEORGE RAWLIN

Three volunes, New York. 1880. Lectures uport the Assyrian Language and Syllabary. Babylonian Literature. As.

syrian Granmar. By Rev. A H. Surce. The Chaldean Account of Genesis. By GEORGE Suru. A New Edition, with Ad

ditions. New York. 1881. The Ancient Ilistory of the East. By F. LEXORMANT. Two volumes. Philadel

pist. 1871. Chaldean Jagic: Its Origin and Development. By F. LEXORMANT. London. 1877. An Archaic Dictionary from the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Etruscan Monuments

and Papyri. By W. R. Cooper. London. 1876. Studies on the Times oj Abraham. By Rev. Henry GEORGE TOUKiss. London.


The discovery of a literature from twenty-five hundred to four thousand years old, which had been buried more than two thousand years in the ruins of the dead cities of Babylonia and Assyria, the recovery of the lost languages in which it is written, and their translation into inodern tongues, are remarkable triumphs of nineteenth century scholarship. The geographical position of these mighty empires, the richness of the soil, the size and magnificence of their great cities, the wideness of their sway in the days of their glory, the influence they exerted upon carly Eastern thought and in molding and modifying religions and mythologies, the place they fill in Oriental history, and their intimate relations with the chosen people of God—these lend importance to any new discoveries which may be made concerning their early history and the thoughts which moved the hearts of their people. IIcre was the home of Abraham, “the friend of God," and, in the light of recent Assyrian discoveries, we may now believe that he carried with him in his migration to Canaan the contents of the sacred books of the kingdom of Ur, embracing the earliest traditions of the creation, the fall, the flood, the tower of Babel, and other facts recorded by liis descendants, under the guidance of the Spirit of God, in the book of Genesis.

By public and private liberality and enterprise, the literary treasures of these mighty nations have had a resurrection, and Layard, the Rawlinsons, Norris, Ilincks, Smith, Sayce, Talbot, Menant, Oppert, Pinches, Houghton, Guyard, Boscawen, Lenormant, Schrader, Delitzsch, Haupt, Ilommel, and others, have breathed into them the breath of life, and they speak to us to-day and reveal wonderful secrets concerning the political, social, and religious history of many peoples. The language in which this history is written, with its difficult syllabary and strange enneiform characters, is being slowly yet surely and thoroughly deciphered and interpreted, and already we have grammars, contributions to a dictionary, reading books, texts, commentaries, translations, organized classes, and a “Society of Biblical Archäology” devoted to the recovery of the meaning of hieroglyphic and cuneiform records of Egypt, Assyria, and other Bible lands of the East, several volumes of whose transactions show commendable learning and activity.

The labor of decipherment and interpretation is but fairly in progress. What may be revealed in the future cannot be predicted. We may, however, rely upon present results, and, whatever may be the progress of Assyrian scholarship in the future, it is probable that the main results hitherto determined, as far at least as they have reference to the Assyrian religion, will not be materially changed. It is time to gather from many sources, and put into popular form, valuable material concerning Assyrian gods and religious beliefs and practices.

The Assyrians used a mode of writing borrowed from the Accadians, who spoke a Turanian tongue. To adapt a Turanian hieroglyphic, ideographic, and syllabic alphabet to a Semitic language was found most difficult. That the mode of writing was originally hieroglyphic cannot now be questioned. “ The Turanian cuneiform writing, as science has now proved," says Lenormant, “was originally hieroglyphic, that is, composed of pictures of material objects; and these forms can in some cases be reconstructed. An inscription entirely written in these hieroglyphics exists at Susa, as is positively known; but it has not yet been copied, and is therefore unfortunately not available for study."

The Accadians entered Accad from Elam at a period far back in the mists of antiquity. At first they seem to have used papyrus as writing material, but the earliest recovered monuments of their language are written or stamped clay tablets. They were conquered by the less cultured Semites, who appeared in Sumir or Shinar previous to 2000 B.C. These Semites were called Casdim, or“ conquerors,” (Assyrian, casidi,) in the Old Testament. Their language was Babylonian, with which Assyrian is closely allied; their religion resembled that of the authors of the Himyaritic inscriptions.

For some time the Semites dwelt with the Accads on terms of tolerable friendship, in general confining themselves to north-western Chaldea, while the Accads kept nearer the sea. From the latter the Semites borrowed not only their mode of writing, but also much of their religion and many of their arts and sciences. After ome centuries the Accads pletely subdued, and their language ceased to be spoken probably not later than 1600 B.C.

The archaic literature has been preserved on clay tablets. After having been stamped with the arrowhead characters, the tablets were baked, and sometimes covered with a clay coating and baked the second time. Upon the removal of the outer coating a double impression of the writing is revealed. The tablets are of all sizes, “ from an inch long to over a foot square.” They are most frequently found in a fragmentary condition, and the task of restoration is very great. They were arranged according to subjects in libraries, had titles stamped upon them, and were carefully catalogued.



In the royal library of Nineveh there were more than ten thousand volumes or tablets.

The first library of Chaldea, according to Berosus, was established in the antediluvian Pantibiblia, the capital under Amelon, the third fabulous king. Sisuthrus, the Chaldean Noah, by command of Kronos buried his books at Sippara to be recovered after the deluge. The library of Erech, to which belonged the epic of Izdubar and the story of the flood, was the most ancient of which we possess any positive knowledge. The library of Cutha gave a legend of the creation and war of the giants; that of Larsa or Senkereh has yielded a number of mathematical tablets. Sargon I., (“the genuine rightful king,”) who bore the title “ king of justice,” (cf. Melchizedek,) was a noble patron of learning, 2000 B.C. He conquered the whole of Babylonia, and established his capital at Agan'. Ilere he founded a great library celebrated for its works on astronomy and astrology, one of which consisted of no less than seventy-two books. Berosus seems to have translated it into Greek. There was another important library at Calah. The royal library at Nineveh, belonging to Assurbanipal, which las yielded most of the rich literary treasures now being de. ciphered in the British Museum, was the most celebrated. Assurbanipal encouraged the study of the dead Accadian language, and caused grammars and dictionaries to be compiled and translations to be made. It has been remarked that the Assyrians anticipated the Hamiltonian method of teaching languages by many centuries. Copies of the works to be found in the library at Aganè were made and distributed among the libraries of Assyria. During the period of great literary activity many new works were also produced.

This royal library was most thoroughly organized, and must have been extensively patronized. We have even recovered some of the rules of the librarian. Chiefly through the labors of Mr. George Smith these tablets were unpacked, examined, ticketed, and pieced together. “Historical and mythological documents, religious records, legal, geographical, astronomical and astrological treatises; poctical compositions, grammatical and lexical disquisitions, lists of stones and trees, of birds and beasts, copies of treatises, of commercial transactions, of correspondence, of petitions to the king, and of royal proclamations, such were the chief contents of this strange old library. The larger portion of the religious and poetical works were translations from Accadian, the original text being generally given side by side with the Assyrian rendering." *

The library at Babylon may have been founded by Khammuragas, the first of the Kossaean kings, who overthrew the Sargon dynasty. Sennacherib carried most of its contents to Assyria when he took the city, 695 B.C. Assyriologists have awaited with great interest literary discoveries in Babylonia, the home of Assyrian art, science, and religion. They have not been disappointed. In his expedition of 1880–81, Mr. Hormuzd Rassam recovered records and copies of religious texts from the ruins of temples and palaces of Babylon, Borsippa, Sippara, and Cutha. The records found in Jumjuma in 1874 prove this mound to be the site of the great commercial exchange of Babylon.

“ These tablets show that for a long period, probably several centuries, the family of the Beni Egibi were the leading cominercial firm of Babylon, and to them was confided all the business of the Babylonian Ministry of Finance. The building, whose ruins are marked by the mound of Jumjuma, was the chancellerie of the firm, and from its ruins come the records of every class of monetary transactions. The documents being all most carefully dated and compiled, are of great value to the chronologist and histo rian; while to the student of Babylonian civilization they are of the highest importance. From the tax receipts we learn how the revenue was raised by duties levied on land, on crops of dates and corn, on cattle, hy imposts for the use of the irrigation canals and the use of the public roads. The insight into the component elements of social life, ranging from the king and princes, the priests and soldiers, down to the lowest peasant and slave, is such as is hardly afforded by the records of any other nation. By the aid of these records we can almost picture the motley crowds of citizens and countrymen who gathered in the court-yard of the great Babylonian bankers. Then, as now, in the same land, the tax-gatherer was an extortionist; and many a petition was lodged against his claims.” +

* “ Babylonian Literature," p. 16.

+ The London “Times,” Aug. 27, 1881. Fourth SERIES, VOL. XXXV.-7

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