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constructed, and, although the city looks quite picturesque from a distance, these dirty streets spoil one's first impression of the city's cleanness. At one time the residences were built of stone, but on account of the many destructive earthquakes, it has been found more economical to use wood. Smyrna is a city of considerable commercial importance, and on any week-day long lines of camels can be seen filing in and out of the city loaded with cotton, raisins, figs and fresh fruits. Indeed, Smyrna is the chief seaport in Asia Minor, and has the advantage of a good harbor, which, in ancient times, was said to be self-closing.
The Bezenstein, or market-place, is of considerable interest to the foreigner with its large stock of goods of all kinds.
Another place of interest is the Homerium, a library dedicated to Homer.
Smyrna has a population of over 200,000. Gas works, street cars and several railroads are the evidences of her prosperity. It contains twelve churches-three Greek, three Catholic, four Protestant and one Armenian. There are also four newspapers, one of which is Armenian.
From the fact that the city was the seat of one of the churches to which St. John was commanded to write, and because of its many historical and religious associations, the name of Smyrna will live on, long after the city itself has passed away.
THE EPISTLE TO THE CHURCH OF PERGAMOS.
REV. II. 12-17.
And to the angel of the church in Pergamos write: These things saith he who hath the sharp sword with two edges:
I know thy works and where thou dwellest, even where Satan's seat is : and thou holdest fast my name, and hast not denied my faith, even in those days wherein Antipas was my faithful martyr, who was slain among you, where Satan dwelleth.
But I have few things against thee, because thou hast there them that hold the doctrine of Balaam, who taught Balak to cast a stumbling-block before the children of Israel, to eat things sacrificed unto idols, and to commit fornication.
So hast thou also them that hold the doctrine of the Nicolaitans, which thing I hate.
Repent; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will fight against them with the sword of my mouth.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the spirit saith unto the churches: To him that overcometh will I give to eat of the hidden manna, and will give him a white stone, and in the stone a new name written, which no man knoweth saving he that receiveth it.
The valley in which Pergamos reposes is one of the most fertile in the world. The modern Pergamos, situated beneath a precipitous hill on the banks of the Caucus, occupies the same site as the ancient cities.
Third in importance in Asia Minor, Pergamos owes her prosperity to the commercial advantages afforded by her connection with the seaboard, twenty miles distant.
He who first mentions Pergamos in history is Xenophon. In his ‘Anabasis' he tells us that Lysimides, a great general, built a castle and defences at the summit of the hill, back of the city, in which to hide his treasures. In
later years this hill became the acropolis of Pergamos, and, to-day, the ruins of walls lie scattered about, whose architecture tells that they were erected by the Greeks many centuries ago.
Among other interesting remnants on the acropolis are the remaius of a palace inhabited by various kings, for Pergamos was once the flourishing capital of the surrounding provinces. Eumenese, its greatest king, contributed much to the city's prosperity, presenting it with a valuable library of two hundred thousand volumes, which was the rival of Alexandria's in Egypt. With this library, Pergamos rapidly grew to be one of the most influential cities of the East, and, because of its culture, came to be known as the “Eastern Athens."
There are some walls still standing, near the river's edge, which some suppose to have formed the building which contained the library; but this is highly improbable, for its architecture would rather betray it to have been a Grecian church. Two towers rise on either side, in which it would seem stood altars devoted to the Grecian religion. In later years, this structure was converted into a Christian church, the “Church of St. John." Fragments of marble and pieces of Corinthian pillars lie all around this Basilica, but the marble is gradually being carried away for tombs in the neighboring Turkish gravevard.
To the antiquarian, Pergamos is filled with interesting relics. Very curious, to the general traveler, are the tunnels beneath the streets, and even houses, in which a great many people had their homes, as the Turk expresses it, “neither on earth nor in heaven." These tunnels are built so strong and durable that foundations of large buildings rested upon them.
A river flows through the center of the city, across which are thrown five massive bridges, marvels of art and beauty. Their history can be read in their architecture, for the main structure is Grecian and the repairs Roman, and by this alone it is easy to tell which had the later ascendency.
But most unique and ingenious was the amphitheater in the western part of the town, with a river flowing through its center, and so constructed as to be filled with water, no doubt for the display of aquatic spectacles.
What John writes concerning Pergamos is the most interesting of all the epistles to the churches. It speaks of “Antipas, my faithful martyr, who was slain among you where Satan dwelleth.”
Tradition relates that Antipas was put to death in a horrible manner, namely, by being placed in a brazen bull and slowly roasted.
The city was famous also for her heathen temples dedicated to Zeus, Apollo, Athens, Jupiter, Minerva, Venus and Bacchus, all standing in a sacred grove. (Tacitus, "Annal,” III., 63; Xenophon, “Arab," VII., 8-23.)
John also speaks of Pergamos as being the place “where Satan's seat is." Much of the religion of the people of Pergamos was connected with impurity and licentiousness, and the worship of Aesculepius prevailed largely, to which John may have referred; but now, as at that time, there are those that hold fast to Christianity, and the Church still flourishes.
THE EPISTLE OF THE CHURCH OF THYATIRA.
REV. II: 18-29.
And unto the angel of the church in Thyatira write: These things saith the Son of God, who hath his eyes like unto a flame of fire, and his feet are like fine brass :
I know thy works, and charity, and service, and faith, and thy patience, and thy works; and the last to be more than the first.
Nothwithstanding I have a few things against thee, because thou sufferest that woman Jezebel, which calleth herself a prophetess, to teach and seduce my servants to commit fornication, and to eat things sacrificed unto idols.
And I gave her space to repent of her fornication, and she repented not.
Behold, I will cast her into a bed, and them that commit adultery with her into great tribulation, except they repent of their deeds.
And I will kill her children with death; and all the churches shall know that I am He that searcheth the reins and hearts, and I will give unto every one of you according to your works.
But unto you I say, and unto the rest in Thyatira, as many as have not this doctrine, and which have not known the depths of Satan, as they speak; I will put upon you none other burden.
But that which ye have already, hold fast till I come.
And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:
And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers: even as I received of my father.
And I will give him the morning star.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.