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approached the end of life, his love been in the habit of attending our of the Church and devotion to her school and church. William Dent had service increased in ardour and attention. not been amongst us so long, but for He undertook the office of Treasurer, the about five years he had been with us. duties of which he discharged with the They had both the reputation of being utmost care and exactitude. He mani. able and fearless sailors, and though fested increased affection for each of the different in their temperaments were members of the Church, and a growing general favourites amongst those who desire for its unity and peace. On my knew then. French was thoughtful own visits to this Society he occasionally and somewhat reserved ; Dent was imwrote to me privately, informing me of pulsive and somewhat boisterous. Yet any passing events which were occupy. the two were warm friends, and two ing or agitating the public mind, and mates. They sailed together last winter ; suggesting subjects which might be and at the close of this last yachting most usefully discussed from the pulpit. season they again took berths in one His demarture is to me the loss of a ship—the Lanarkshire.' On October friend with whom I had long held 19th they sailed for the Black Sea, and pleasant intercourse, and to this Society on the return voyage got as far as the of an esteemed and honoured member. Gulf of Lyons, where they encountered Our loss is his gain, and in this is our bad weather. On the 28th December consolation in our affliction.”
heavy seas were washing the decks, and On Sunday, the 17th inst., a special a hurt
wiel a hurricane was blowing ; and it beeame discourse, addressed especially to young
necessary for the storm staysail to be mien, was given in the New Jeru
bent. The men on watch refused to do salem Church, in memory of Joseph
it, and the two Brightlingsea mates, who French and William Dent, who were
knew no fear, volunteered for the work. washed overboard from the Lanarkshire They performed it, and thus secured the peo, osth. The church was crowded sa
dar safety of the ship, when a heavy sea to its utmost capacity, and many were washed over the young men with the unable to obtain admission. The text
sail to which they were clinging. They was from 9 Samuel i. 23: “In death
struggled gallantly, but no help could they were not divided." The preacher
er be afforded them, and they sank. True marked: The presence of death in any mates were they in work and pleasure, in form is naturally associated with orief duty and danger, and “in death they were It is right that we shon fol the
not divided.” When the sad news came anet of the visible ties that bind us to ne
t here a gloom was thrown over the whole those we lore, The Woni of God is full parish. We shall all miss them, and be of comfort to those that mourn, and sort!
sorry for missing them; and if heartfelt Mill of hope for those that griere ; and
end sympathy can do anything to lessen the nein foruds us to surrow. Sorrow
sorrow of those who loved them most, at the loss of our dear ones does not
I know that that sympathy is heartily Hey imply a doubtine of dirine given. They were young men of whom meny; for stor may be sanctified to
their parents might well be proud-they our l' ** if we look urwands
were a credit to the parish. They died through our tears and learn not to
nobly, doing their duty; and death has ser is the whe hare no hope, but
* not divided them from us—we do not ** than who believe in the basse S
see them now, but their love for us and w of Him whe wp at the grave
ours for thein is not lessened. Heaven v Lusarann ost Fremad is not a great way off-it is close around Win 14int were hva in the same rear,
** us now, the spirits of the departed are the firmuer in Spermber and the latter
with us to cheer us and encourage us in in the founder 18 Jasph French was a
all that is holy, and true, and good. i inte the New Church or the
-dridged from the Colchester Mercury Nei Ti Cheids, and thum a che d o g
THE ASSYRIAN-FLOOD LEGENDS. It will be remembered by most of our readers that Mr. George Smith has become celebrated in connection with the mastery and translation of cuneiform inscriptions on tablets, cylinders, bricks, etc., found in the valleys of the Euphrates and the Tigris. Great interest has naturally attached to the deciphering of the Assyrian inscriptions, for the reason that they throw light upon and confirm some of the historical statements of the Bible. The researches of Sir Henry Rawlinson resulted, in 1851, in the publication of an Assyrian version of the capture of Samaria by Sargon, the war against Hezekiah by Sennacherib, and the names of many persons and places mentioned in Scripture. The discovery in 1862 of the Assyrian eponym canon, a document furnishing the outlines of the Assyrian official chronology, and the publication in 1863 of many other discoveries, including a tablet that contained the synchronous history of Assyria and Babylonia, added fresh laurels to the reputation of Rawlinson. Various other workers, French, German and English, have verified each other's discoveries and added to the general sum of knowledge concerning these remains of ancient literature. Mr. Smith's introduction into this sort of work was in connection with the cuneiform inscriptions of the annals of Tiglath Pileser II., one of the great Assyrian kings, and his first discovery in Assyria was a curious inscription of Shalmanezer II., concerning the war between Hazael, king of Syria, and Jehu, son
Assyrian Discoveries: an Account of Explorations and Discoveries on the Site of Nineveh during 1873, 1874. By George Smith. (London : Sampson Low & Co. 1875.
of Omri, king of Israel, and the tribute which the latter paid to Shalmanezer in the eighteenth year of his reign. Other discoveries rewarded the labours of Mr. Smith in this department, until, in 1872, he had the good fortune to find some tablets containing several portions of a Chaldean account of the deluge. Many will remember the public excitement produced by the publication of the fragments. Continued investigation satisfied him that the fragments really formed a part of a series, in which was narrated the history of a Ninevitish hero, to whom Mr. Smith gave the provisional name Izdubar, but whom he now firmly believes will prove to have been no other than the Nimrod of the Bible ; and he further concluded that this series contained in all twelve tablets. Inasmuch as the fragments in the possession of the British Museum had been brought by Layard from the Mound of Kouyunjik, it was obviously not improbable that continued researches in the same mound might be rewarded by the discovery of the missing, and possibly of additional, tablets. The proprietors of the Daily Telegraph volunteered one thousand guineas for prosecuting the search, and Mr. Smith was appointed to the duty. A further sum of one thousand pounds was subsequently granted for a second search by the authorities of the British Museum, and Mr. Smith's adventures, as well as the results of his labours, so far as bis translations have as yet extended, are recorded in the volume now before us.
Among the most interesting of the fragments of tablets discovered by Mr. Smith, are those which have enabled him to piece out and extend the Chaldean version of the story of the deluge and its context, to which he still gives the title, “ The Izdubar, or Flood series of legends." The account which he published in 1872 was the translation of the eleventh tablet in the series of twelve, and about one-third of that tablet was either wholly effaced, sadly mutilated, or even absent, while the other tablets were in still worse condition. In his excavations in Kouyunjik, however, Mr. Smith recovered many new portions of these inscriptions, and he is therefore now enabled to give a much fuller rendering of the version than in 1872. He has already identified six out of the twelve tablets—the 5th, 6th, 9th, 10th, 11th and 12th, besides portions of several of the others, though much is still lacking to complete the version. The chances of their ever being obtained, however, grow yearly fewer and fewer. These Izdubar legends, Mr. Smith believes, were composed during the early Babylonian empire, more than 2000 years B.O. ; the tablets declary themselves to be only a copy of the more ancient composition.
So far as the inscriptions have been translated it would appear that Izdubar, or Nimrod, if Mr. Smith's supposition is well founded, a great hunter or giant, obtained the dominion of the district round Babylon, and afterwards drove out some tyrant who ruled over Erech, adding this region to his dominion. Later on he sent and destroyed a monster which preyed on the surrounding lands; and a seer or astrologer named eabani came to his court at Erech, becoming his close friend. Together Izdubar and Heabani destroyed various other wild animals, and conquered a chief named Humbaba, who ruled in a mountainous district, full of pine trees. Another chief, Belesu, was next conquered, and another monster, “the divine bull," was afterwards killed. Izdubar was now at the height of his power, ruling the whole valley of the Euphrates and the Tigris, from the Persian Gulf to the Armenian mountains. Misfortunes then set in; Heabani was killed by a ferocious animal, “ tamabukku," and Izdubar was smitten with a loathsome disease, which seems to have been a kind of leprosy. The king then set out on a pilgrimage to the sea-coast to be cured of his disease, and, after various adventures, he met with Hasisadra, a deified hero, who had escaped the flood. This hero narrates to the king the story of the deluge, “the concealed story and the judgment of the gods ;” informs him how to get rid of his disease, and the latter then returns to Erech, to mourn over his friend Heabani. The legends close with a petition to the gods for Heabani, who, after his death, is in the lower region of the departed, or hell. Hea, one of the gods, at length listens to this prayer, and releases Heabani, who then rises to heaven.
Mr. Smith says that “ during the early Babylonian monarchy, from B.C. 2500 to 1500, there are constant allusions to these and similar legends. The destruction of the lion, the divine bull, and other monsters by Izdubar, are often depicted on the cylinders and engraved gems, and Izdubar in his boat, on his pilgrimage to Hasisadra, is also on some specimens. The legend of the flood is likewise alluded to in the inscriptions of the same epoch, and the city of the ark' is mentioned in a geographical list, which is one of the oldest cuneiform inscriptions we possess.” Of course, while assigning the date of 2000 B.C. for the production of these tablets, Mr. Smith means, not that the legends originated at that time, but that they were then copied, and he believes that they were originally composed near the time of Izdubar, who, he thinks, was the Biblical Nimrod, who was the representative of the beginning of empire, a type of the great conquerors who succeeded him. His history appears to have formed “ a national poem to the Babylonians, similar in some respects to those of Homer among the Greeks." Izdubar became afterwards regarded as a deity, and Mr. Smith found at Nineveh part of a tablet inscribed with a prayer addressed to him. The ruins of Erech, his city, still remain; it was also called Unuk or Anak; it is mentioned in Gen. x. 10, and in the 23rd century before Christ it was captured by Kudur-Danhundi, king of Elam, who carried off the then famous image of Ishtar or Nana, which was in its chief temple, and which, after remaining in Elam for 1635 years, was restored to the temple of Erech by Assurbanipal.
Some of the details of the inscriptions are extremely interesting. Erech, the city gained by Izdubar, seems to have been under the special tutelage or protection of Ishtar, the Assyrian Venus, Ashtaroth, Astarte, the “Queen of Heaven," the personification of the morning star. This goddess, it appears, sought to secure the love of Izdubar, but was repulsed by him. Ishtar thereupon ascended to the highest heaven, and besought Anu, the chief, the celestial god, her father, and Anunit, her mother, for vengeance against Izdubar, who “despises my beauty, my beauty and my charms," and Anu, in compliance with her wishes, made the “divine winged bull,” which, however, was slain by the all-conquering Izdubar. But “the goddess injurer of men upon him struck, and in his limbs he died.” Ishtar, that is, afflicted his body with a loathsome disease, and she subsequently caused the death of Izdubar's chosen friend Heabani by means of an animal with an untranslatable name. Izdubar thereupon begins his journey to find Hasisadra, son of Ubaratutu. He has a dream given to him by Sin, the Moon god, which, however, is lost; then he sees some giants with their feet resting in hell, and their heads reaching and supporting heaven, and who are supposed to guide and direct the sun at its rising and setting. These giants advise Izdubar to consult Hasisadra, whom one of them calls his father, and relates that this hero is immortal, established in the company of the gods, and has the knowledge of life and death. These giants direct Izdubar how to find Hasisadra. The long and toilsome journey is next described. Unfortunately only fragments of this part of the legends can be here and there made out The journey is divided into stages of “kapus," lengths of six or seven miles; “the road is shrouded in darkness, there is no light upon it;" and a fresh adventure is met at each succeeding stage. At the ninth stage Izdubar comes to "splendid trees covered with jewels.”