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to find at least the ruins of an ancient edifice. So strong is this impression, that some writers have wittingly or ignorantly palmed off on credulous readers old castles or piles of stone as the very relics of Apocalyptic churches. The fact is, we have no evidence that any of those churches possessed a building, and if they did, no trace of them can be identified to-day.
The second and third chapters of the Book of Revelation are devoted to the epistles to the seven' churches. These consist largely of commendations, warnings and prophecies:-commendations for meritorious labor and faithfulness, warnings against sins already existing or against future evils, and prophecies concerning the sure punishment that will follow the failure to profit by the given admonitions. As the traveller visits these old cities he can not fail to be impressed in the literal fulfillment of Apocalyptic prophecies, and as he stands amid the crumbling ruins that, as the dead camp fires, are left in the onward march of the triumphant kingdom, he is filled with hallowed emotions.
Let it not be forgotten, as we gaze upon the fragments of columns and cornices that were once parts of noble structures, that the admonitions and warnings originally directed to the seven churches may be applied with no less force and meaning to the churches of our day.
THE EPISTLE TO THE CHURCH OF EPHESUS.
REV. 11, 1-7.
FIRST CHURCH. Unto the angel of the Church of Ephesus write: These things saith He that holdeth the seven stars in His right hand, Who walketh in the midst of the seven golden candlesticks;
I know thy works, and thy labour, and thy patience, and how thou canst not bear with them which are evil; and thou hast tried them which say they are apostles, and are not, and hast found them liars:
And hast borne, and hast patience, and for My Name's sake hast labored and hast not fainted.
Nevertheless I have somewhat against thee, because thou hast left thy first love.
Remember therefore from whence thou art fallen, and repent, and do the first works; or else I will come unto thee quickly, and will remove thy candlestick out of his place, except thou repent.
But this thou hast, that thou hatest the deeds of the Nicolaitans, which I also hate.
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 tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God.
The Temple of the Goddess Diana! The Temple of tradition and history, of song and poetry, that is what renders Ephesus great in the eyes of the modern traveler. But if you expect to see extensive remains of the great temple, you are disappointed. Time has dealt more harshly with this wonder of the world than with the Temple of the Sues at Baalbec. We must be content to look upon its ancient site and imagine it as it has been described by others, who, centuries ago, looked upon its beauty and grandeur.
But although description can afford us no adequate conception of what the temple once was, yet a brief history might be interesting, as we contemplate the city so associated with its existence.
Going back nearly three thousand years to the founding of the city by Androclus, the last King of Athens, we find
the first of six temples, which one after another were destroyed.
The great temple was founded in 541 B. C., and is associated with the number seven, not only in being one of the seven wonders of the world, but also as being the seventh temple erected on the same site to the Goddess Diana. A very interesting tradition, which we would like to believe, tells us that a shepherd, caring for his flocks on the slopes of Mt. Prion, one day saw a fragment of stone rolling down the hillside, broken off above by the horn of a ram. Picking it up, he found it to be a piece of the finest marble, and this discovery gave to the builders plenty of the best material, close by, with which to construct the temple. Ctesiphon drew the plans, which, under the successive execution of famous artists and architects, consumed all of two centuries and a quarter, over seven generations, in erection. All Asia liberally contributed to its adornment. The entire structure was made of marble save the roof, which was of cedar, and the gates of finely carved cypress. The columns, we are told, were of one piece of fine Parian marble. One hundred and twentyseven of these, each sixty feet high, were erected in the memory of as many kings, by whom they had been presented.
To form some idea of its vastness, let the reader remember that the great Parthenon at Athens was not one-fourth as large. The basement was so high as to require ten steps to ascend to the entrance. The aim of the architects and builders was not only beauty but durability, and as the ground of the site was very marshy, so selected because less liable to earthquakes, it became necessary to have a sound bedding upon which the foundation of so great an edifice might firmly rest. A concrete was accordingly formed of charcoal well rammed down with pieces of wool, which served the purpose.
On the sixth of Hecatomaboen (July) this wonder of the world was burned by Herostratus-an Ephesian fanatic, who sought to immortalize his name. On the same night, history tells us, occurred the birth of Alexander the Great, by which the magic of the time was greatly stirred, as they considered this occasion of his birth a sign of disastrous fortune to the world.
The temple was rebuilt in a far grander style than the former. Women poured in their jewels to adorn this sacred shrine. Its columns of jasper, its Ionic pillars of carved cypress-wood, painted by the most renowned of Greek artists, presented to the human eye a wonder of unsurpassed grandeur.
It seems incredible that time, unaided, can have so utterly destroyed this mass of material. We cannot believe it. Loads of marble have probably been carried away for residences, still more may have found its way to the new capitol of the Byzantine emperors, in compliance with their orders; perhaps some of the beautiful pillars to-day adorning St. Sophia, the admiration of the world, are fugitives from the temple that Alexander in ecstacy gazed upon; we do not know, but we do know that to-day not one stone of remembrance stands on the site once graced by the great temple of the Ephesians to the Goddess Diana.
The Gate of Stadium, the Aqueduct and Castle can easily be distinguished from other ruins.
The ancient Ephesus was situated in a valley, or, more properly, a wide and deep hollow. To the west is the sea,