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THE DESTRUCTION OF SODOM.
HERE we behold a most awful manifestation of divine retribution. The fearful overthrow of the cities of the plain is now going on. In the distance, Sodom is represented under the influence of the burning deluge, which descends from Heaven in streams of liquid flame. Towers are falling, palaces are overthrown, the habitations of the great and little are overwhelmed in one indiscriminate ruin. Whilst the multitude are rushing towards the principal gate, the fiery flood rolls through it from without, thus terminating the last hope of escape. It quickly overspreads the whole town, in which there remains not a living tongue to tell the tale of horror. Lot, his wife, and two daughters, have escaped from the appalling conflagration. He has just reached the little town of Zoar, which was a short distance from Sodom, and whither he was permitted to find a refuge from the anger of Omnipotence. "The sun was risen upon the earth when Lot entered into Zoar. Then the Lord rained upon Sodom and upon Gomorrah brimstone and fire from the Lord out of heaven; and he overthrew those cities, and all the plain, and all the inhabitants of the cities and that which grew upon the ground."* Lot's eldest daughter bears a vessel upon her head, containing the wine which was afterwards applied to a most unholy purpose. The mother stands at some distance behind the fugitives, having probably tarried in expectation of rescuing her daughters' husbands, and remaining too long she became an awful monument of the divine displeasure. It is supposed that some of the sulphurous shower, which was at that moment overwhelming the city, fell upon her as she stood, in defiance of God's prohibition, bewailing its overthrow, and covered her with a saline crust which quickly became so hard that she remained fixed upon the spot in an erect position, thus resembling a pillar of salt.