T h e K i n g ’ s B u s i n e s s
The greatest of the pyramids is that o f Cheops, built 3,733 years before Christ. Its base is 755 feet each way, and its height is 451 feet. It is said to occupy thirteen acres, and contains enough stones to build a wall around France, four feet high and one foot thick. It is the greatest building in the world, as well as the oldest. The structure is built upon a rock, which forms the in terior o f the lower part. Around and upon this rock of limestone, the other stones, which were evidently quarried at Cairo and taken across the Nile, were erected. The pyramid contains three burial chambers: one for the king and children, which is in the exact center of the pyramid; a second for the queen, which is just slightly above the level of the earth; and a third for the priests, which is subterranean. All of these chambers are empty, the mumies having been long ago removed. Only the granite sarcophagus remains in the king’s chamber. All o f these chambers are reached by an entrance cut through the rock about fifty feet above the level. After a distance o f prob ably a hundred feet, the ways diverge, each going its direc tion, passages having been made in the laying up of the stone. This one single passage was walled up after the burials, so that the bodies could not be found. The king’s chamber, or hall, is 74 feet long, 17 feet wide, and 19 feet high. It is lined with granite, evidently brought from Aswan, six hundred miles up the Nile River. The granite blocks are of unbelievable size, measuring as much as 18 feet long, 6 feet wide, and 4 feet thick. These pieces are fitted so closely that it is impossible to insert a knife blade between them. O i the exterior, the workmanship is not so accurate. The joints of the limestone are not so perfect, and evi dences o f the use of cement or mortar between the blocks are frequent. The pyramids are visible at a great distance, and do not seem so large until one nears them. Distances in the desert (these stand upon the edge o f the desert) are very deceiving. Upon arriving at a small village called Mena, a camel was secured, with which to reach.and encircle the pryamid. This was a novel experience as well. Though the animal, with its colorful trappings and its string o f beads about its neck, groaned when compelled to kneel for its human freight, it negotiated the matter satisfactorily and played its part well. There is a certain gait which the driver knows how to make the camel take, which makes riding quite easy, although its ordinary walking gait is a tire some one for riding. He who determines to examine the pyramid inside and also climb to its top, had better do the latter first, for it is a strenuous thing, even though one is assisted by two or three men in climbing. The steps necessary to take are, in many instances, about three feet high, making it necessary to be pulled or pushed up, sometimes both. But barefooted men, who climb the pyramid daily, and who take great pleasure in landing their patients safely, are very careful and faithful. When one reaches the top, which is about 30 feet square, he is rewarded with a delightful view. He can see the pyramids o f Sakkara twelve miles away, the desert stretching afar, and has a wonderful view o i Cairo and the Nile, with its many canals. The writer’s trip to the pyramids had a double reward, in that he was permitted to have a brief visit with the emi nent Egyptologist, Professor G. A. Reisner, o f Harvard, who has spent thirty years in Egypt, and who has a house and studio right near the pyramids. Dr. Reisner received him cordially, and appeared pleased to discuss with him some very interesting matters concerning Egyptian history.
The pyramids have been the occasion of much theoriz ing, for there has not been known in history facilities ade quate for their construction. But they have been built, and there they stand as proofs of ancient man’s ability to do the wonderful. Some fanciful philosophizing of the great pyramid has been induged in by particular schools of religious thought. Certain mystical measurements and significant directions o f the passages of the pyramid have been made to mean cer tain things, amounting to miracle and prophecy. This is doubtless imaginary and unworthy o f much attention. The pyramids were constructed as tombs, and the matter may well be permitted to rest there. T he S phynx Cut out of the solid rock is the Sphynx. It stands very near the three pyramids at Gizeh, and is believed to be even older. It has the face o f a man and the paws o f a lion. It is 187 feet long and 50 feet across. Its face measures 30 feet from head to chin and is 14 feet wide. It was long supposed to be the representation o f the face o f Cheops, but this is now doubted. The Sphynx appears to continue as the riddle of Egypt. Much more remains to be said concerning the antiqui ties in and around Cairo. But there are other things. R ef erence is made here to the work of Christian missions. While there are other societies doing work among the Mo hammedans, the most notable is that conducted by the Board o f Foreign Missions of the United Presbyterian Church in America. As a result of this work, which began in 1854, there have grown up ten organized churches, be side ten missions unorganized. Besides this, there are con ducted twelve primary schools, a high school for boys and one for girls, and a girls’ college. These are some of the living monuments which Christianity has reared in this great Mohammedan center and in the midst of these an tiquities. He is working, we can know that, as we trust and wait, He is doing for us His “ exceeding abundantly above” measure. Dare we throw ourselves without hesitation or reserve upon the promises of the omnipotent God? Dare we trust Him when every circumstance would seem to contradict the promise upon which we have rested our hope? Dare we say, “ God has spoken, and His Word supersedes every cir cumstance, every grain of contrary evidence, no matter how feasible it may seem” ? “ God, that cannot lie,- promised.” Surely this is the privilege of the child o f God, and this is what today He is inviting us to do—-to trust His promise, and to depend upon receiving from Him not only all that we see in it, but all that He sees in it, all that is in His heart to give us. Who would dare to believe that a finite mind can really comprehend the full import of the mar velous assurance, “ He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things” ? Let us take that promise to the throne and let God interpret it for us! s Verily, He will, for the glory of His name, give the “ exceeding abundantly, above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.” He answers when we pray, and He works while we wait in praise. “ Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” G O D . . . PROMISED [Continued from page 470]
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