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One hundred and thirty miles southeast from Smyrna, in Asia Minor, on a cluster of seven small hills, lie the ruins of a once beautiful city. Of temples and theatres and a dense population of people, naught remains to-day save piles of broken marble and a solitary graveyard. “Desolation" seems to be the first word that suggests itself to the traveller.
The ruins of Laodicea, upon the sides of the lofty chain of Messogis, are three or four miles in circumference. At the north end is an old but massive stone bridge, from which a road leads to a three-arched entrance in the city wall, parts of which still remain.
An immense amphitheatre, finished by the Roman emperor about 86 A. D., still stands, and is in an excellent state of preservation. Ten years were consumed in the erection of this amphitheatre, which is one thousand feet square and capable of seating thirty thousand people. At the entrance, on the moulding, there are the remains of a Greek inscription. It is translated as follows:
To the Emperor Titus Cæsar Augustus Vespasian, seven times Consul, son of the Emperor, the Governor Vespasian, and to the people-Nicostratus the younger, son of Lycias, son of Nicostratus, dedicated . . at his own expense-Nicostratus ... his heir, having completed what remained of the work, and Marcus Alpius Trajanus, the Pro-Consul, having consecrated it."
This inscription proves that this structure was constructed after St. John saw the vision on Patmos. A little north of the amphitheatre the remains of three theatres can be seen. One of them is four hundred and fifty feet in diameter.
There were at one time three Christian churches, but the ruins of them are in such a scattered condition that it is impossible to locate them with any certainty. .
Truly the prophecy uttered in the third chapter of Revelation has been fulfilled in the entirety of the city's destruction. There is neither house nor mosque.
Laodicea was at the height of its prosperity about the beginning of the Christian era, when it conducted, despite its inland position, an extensive trade in wool. Soon Grecian art was introduced, and later a school of medicine was founded which became known world wide.
Its decline may be attributed to the fall of the Roman empire, although constant earthquakes occurring in the locality had much to do with its depopulation. No other of the seven cities shows the marks of the visitations of God as does Laodicea.
Smyrna, one hundred and thirty miles away, still stands and is inhabited to this day, but with the exception of a few who live in the empty tombs, Laodicea is the abode of none but the foxes and eagles of the country about.
The city has some historic interest, for two important councils of the early church were held here, one of which divided the scriptural, canon from the Apocalypse, and here was the seat of a metropolitan. It is highly probable that it was the field of some of Paul's labors, although this is not yet established. The city is known to-day by the name Eskihissar, meaning “Old Castle.” It was originally known as Diospolis, the “City of Great God.”'
"It would be difficult to point out a more delightful, soul-inspiring mysteriously fascinating country on the surface of the globe than Armenia ... Withersoever we turn our steps, to the north, south, east or west, the ground we tread is holy. It is history-stratified.-E. H. B. Lanin, London, England.
RMENIA, now in the most part subservient to the B Turkish Empire, is the fountain-head of antiquity. She is most ancient among the ancient-a land of awe and marvels. Her shrines, rocks, rivers, valleys and mountains -silent witnesses of pre-historic contentions and of changing fortunes-are replete with memorials which date back to the beginnings of the life and growth of infant humanity. The murmuring of her soft breezes wafts to the listening ear the sweet strains which once rose from the terrestrial para-dise to mingle with the melodies of the celestial-a land where man first communed with his God!
In the earliest ages of the world, long before the nations and peoples of recorded history existed and flourished, the human race had its home in Armenia. Here was spoken a common language, here was a common monotheistic religion and civil government, and from here, when the race
* From a lecture delivered by the author in Y. M. C. A. Hall, Cleveland, Ohio, November 2, 1892.
grew and multiplied, were scattered her people over all Asia and Europe.
The position of Central Armenia, at the opening between the Caspian and Black Seas, facilitated the immediate extension of the post-diluvian people. Some writers on the Aryan controversy claim that the Hindookoosh mountains form the oldest home and distributing point. We contend that geographical position, Holy-writ, modern history, scientific research, archæology and tradition favor Armenia as the primitive home from which eastern and western Aryans originated. Mt. Ararat, where, according to the testimony of the scriptures, Noah's ark rested, is in the central province of Armenia. Some yet question whether the mountain of the flood is the Ararat of Armenia, and thus shift and drift the poor old ark from its restful abode, hither and thither-some to Mount Meiru of India, some to the Kurdish mountains of Central Asia.
What more decisive proof can we have of the diluvian narrative than the clear and precise topographical reference in the scriptures-Gen. viii., 4: "In the seventh month, on the seventeenth day of the month, the ark rested upon the mountains of Ararat." Remarkably harmonious are our indigenous traditions with Biblical document. There is a commemoration of the fact in the name of a village at the entrance to the glen on the northeast foot of Mount Ararat, called Arghuri, meaning "he planted the vine," where the Noah's vineyard is still pointed. Iu 1840 a tremendous catastrophy buried the oldest village and the vineyard; however, it is alleged that a vine stock planted by the patriarch's hand (Gen. iv., 2) still bears grapes. Not far from Arghuri is Manard, “the mother lies here," referring to the burial ground of Noah's wife. In a little distance is the city of Eravan, "visible," where the rescued righteous first beheld the dry land when the immense ocean of the ravaging waters subsided. Then the town Nakchvan “first habitation," indicating the primeval dwelling of man.
In these traditional spots the simple and credulous Christian of Armenia believes as manifest traces of the diluvian period. Mount Ararat is known among them as "masis,” or “the mother of the world.” It was also held by the ancient geographers that she was the center of the world. The Persian traditions, too, in regard to this mountain, are quite parallel with those of the Armenian. They call it Kuhi-Nuh,“the mountain of Noah.” Thus not only have we the evidence of the Bible, but our traditions and the testimony of the old geographers are sufficient proof to sustain us in our belief that Armenia was the cradle of the human race.
Let me trace our country to still earlier periods. It was a prevailing view among the ancient Latin and Greek interpreters of the Bible, that after the flood, the human race, through righteous Noah, found a safe home in the very region which had sheltered its cradle. Surely the Divine wisdom had a lesson to teach the erring man, in restoring him the same abode from whence he has been once ban