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its former grandeur. Most of the marble that composed it has been carried away by the Turks.
At a turn in the river, parts of the wall that belonged to the famous palace of Croesus still stand. This palace or "Gerusia," a massive and impressive structure, was the residence of the wealthy Croesus of history. Two chambers still remain in perfect condition. The walls of this edifice, ten and one-half feet in thickness, were built of brick and faced with the finest marble.
As our eye scans the city, in the plains below we notice what were formerly the basements of buildings, rising above the ground. These basement walls were once many feet below the surface, and their present condition is due to the inundations and storms which have gradually washed away the ground about them.
Sardis is noted in history as a capitol of the ancient kingdom of Lydia, and also as a repository of the immense riches of Croesus.
The Lydians are supposed to have taught the world how to coin gold and silver.
When Sardis was at the height of prosperity, Solon walked among its magnificent buildings, and Xerxes made it the headquarters of his large army during the winter preceding his invasion of Greece.
It is not certainly known when or by whom Christianity was introduced into Sardis, although some claim that St. John preached there. It was to this church St. John was commanded to write:“Be watchful and strengthen the things which remain that are ready to die, for I have not found thy works perfect before God."
Historical Sardis is no more. Its churches have perished, and not so much as their ruins can be discovered to-day.
Temples that were once the finest in the world have met destruction by earthquake and fire; the gorgeous palace of Croesus is the abode of the owl and the jackal, and the streets that once swarmed with a busy and prosperous population are to-day deserted.
THE EPISTLE TO THE CHURCH OF PHILADELPHIA.
REV. III, 7-15.
And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: These things saith he that is holy, he that is true, he that hath the key of David, he that openeth and no man shutteth; and shutteth, and no man openeth;
I know thy works: behold I have set before thee an open door, and no man can shut it: for thou hast a little strength, and hast kept my word and hast not denied my name.
Behold, I will make them of the synagogue of Satan, which say they are Jews, and are not, but do lie; behold, I will make them to come and worship before thy feet, and to know that I have loved thee.
Because thou hast kept the word of my patience, I also will keep thee from the hour of temptation, which shall come upon all the world, to try them that dwell upon the earth.
Behold, I come quickly: hold that fast which thou hast, that no man take thy crown.
Him that overcometh will I make a pillar in the temple of my God, and he shall go no more out: and I will write upon him the name of my God, and the name of the city of my God, which is New Jerusalem, which cometh down put of Heaven from my God: and I will write upon him my new name.
He that hath an ear, let him here what the Spirit saith unto the churches.
Taking Smyrna as a starting point, and traveling eastward in the valley of Hermus, called by Homer on account of its beauty the "Asian Meadow," we reach the suburbs of Philadelphia, a distance of 68 miles from the seacoast.
The city, founded and named by Attalus Philadelphus, is beautifully located upon a plain at the foot of the Mount Tmolus range, near the southern bank of the river CogaThe water of this river is peculiarly suited for dyeing purposes, and consequently the city is the resort of numbers of Armenian merchants.
The best view is obtained from the eastern slope of Mount Tmolus. There, at the outskirts of the city, extensive vineyards can be seen stretching away in the dis
Massive walls once closed the city in a square, but are now in a ruined condition. With this exception, Philadelphia is almost entirely free from ruins of any sort, most of the buildings standing to-day having been erected in comparatively recent years. This can be accounted for by the fact that earthquakes are frequent and destructive, making it impossible for buildings to stand any great length of time.
One and one-half miles from the city wall, the traveller is shown a monument said to be erected of the bones of Christians who dared to resist the invading Turks about the vear 1291. Whether or no this monument is made of Christian bones, it is true that the Philadelphian Christians have always proved themselves zealous in their religion, and have always defended their city from the depredations of in vaders.
There are twenty-five so-called Christian churches, but services are confined to five of this number. What was once the most prosperous, the Church of St. John," is now converted into a Turkish mosque, and the worship of God is supplanted by the Mohammedan faith.
The Philadelphian was the purest of all the seven churches when St. John wrote, and, considering the harassing invasions to which they have been subject, the people have well preserved their pristine purity of religion.
THE EPISTLE TO THE CHURCH OF LAODICEA.
REV. III., 14-22.
And unto the angel of the Church of the Laodiceans write: These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God:
I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot; I would thou wert cold or hot.
So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spew thee out of my mouth.
Because thou sayest, I am rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing; and knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked :
I counsel thee to buy of me gold tried in the fire, that thou mayest be rich; and white raiment, that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see.
As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten; be zealous therefore and repent. Behold I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him and will sup with him, and he with me.
To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my father in his throne.
He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.