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power of the devil. Such also were those of [k] Jacob, who specifies the time of the Messiah's coming; and of [2] Daniel, who points out in a very particular manner the express time of the Messiah's suffering, and the consequences of his death.

There are Prophecies of another kind, which we may call historical, that foretel temporal events; and these are usually predictions and types of other events, which are more important and spiritual. We have seen several of this sort in the history of Sennacherib, whereof the prophet Isaiah had long before specified abundance of circumstances, which are not to be met with in the historical books. There is another very famous prediction in the same prophet, concerning the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, who is expressly mentioned by name two hundred years before he was born, and foretelling the deliverance of the people of the Jews. It is easily discernible, that these two great events, which include almost all the Prophecies of Isaiah, the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem under king Hezekiah, and the conquest of Babylon, with the subsequent deliverance of the Jews in captivity there, were the figure and pledge of other events relating to religion.

One might refer to a third sort of Prophecies what I am now going to explain, whereof one part is purely historical, and the other purely spiritual. It is the famous prediction of Daniel

, occasioned by the image 'made up of different metals. I chuse this in preference to the rest, as it peculiarly relates to a part of profane history, of which I shall soon treat.

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Occasioned by the Statue of different Metals. WHILST Daniel' was very young, the king of Babylon had a mysterious dream, of which he lost the distinct idea, but however preserved a con

à (k] Gen. xlix. 30.

(1) Dan, ix. 24, 37. 24

fused

fused notion of it, that troubled him. He required therefore of the wise men of Babylon, that they should tell him what it was he had forgot, and withal give him the interpretation of it, under the penalty of heing put to death, in case they failed: Daniel, who was included in the general order, with three young Hebrews, who were exposed to the same danger, had recourse to prayer, and learned [m] by divine revelation what he could not know by any natural means, and [n] all the wise wien of Babylon had agreed was otherwise impossible to be known.

Thou, O king, then, says Daniel to him, sawest, “and behold a great image: this great image, whose “ brightness was excellent, stood before thee, and " the form thereof was terrible. This image's head “ was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, “his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, “ his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest, “ till that a stone was cut out without hands, which “smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron or “ clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, " the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken " to pieces together, and became like the chaff of “the summer threshing-floors, and the wind car“ried them away, that no place was found for them; " and the stone that smote the image became a great " mountain, and filled the whole earth."

To this first revelation Daniel added the interpretation of the dream. "Thou, O king, said he, art “ this head of gold; and after thee shall arise another “ kingdom inferior to thee, which shall be of silver; ” and another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule

over the whole earth. And the fourth kingdom " shall be strong as iron; and as iron breakețh in “ pieces and subdueth all things, shall it break in

pieces and bruise." He then explains what was meant by the feet being part of iron and part of clay, and thus goes on, “And in the days of these kings " shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which [m] Dan. ii. 19, 28.

[n] Ver. 11,

« shall

" shall not be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not s be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces " and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand “ for ever."

This Prophecy of Daniel's has two parts, and may be considered as historical and spiritual. In the first he plainly points out the four great monarchies; of the Babylonians, where Nebuchadnezzar actually reigned; of the Medes and Persians; of the Greeks and Macedonians; and of the Romans; and the very order of their succession is a proof of it. In the second he describes the kingdom of Christ, or the church, in magnificent terms, which was to survive to the ruin of all the rest, and to subsist to all eternity.

A Christian master in explaining these Prophecies, should be very careful to make youth sensible of the evident proof they contain of the truth of their religion. From whence could Daniel learn this succession and order of different monarchies? [0] Who could discover to him the change of empires, but he who is Lord both, of empires and the terms of their duration, who has fixed all things by his decrees, and reveals the knowledge of them to whom he pleases by a supernatural lights

As youth are also to be instructed in profane history, it will be expedient, upon occasion of the Prophecy I have just mentioned, to make them observe that the same prophet [p] has elsewhere described the four great monarchies under the figure of four beasts; and to dwell some time upon another prediction mentioned in the following chapter, relating to Alexander the Great, which is one of the clearest and most circumstantial in the whole scripture.

The prophet, [9] after having expressed the monarchies of the Persiansand Macedonians under the figure of two beasts, [r] thus clearly explains himself: “ The ram, which thou sawest, having two horns,

of [-] He changeth the times and [p] Chap. vii. the seasons, he removeth kings and (9] And behold a ram, which setteth up kings: he revealeth the had two horns, and the two horns deep and secret things, and the were high, but the one was higher light dwelleth with him. Dan. ii. than the other. .. And behold an

he-goai came froin the west, on the

face

21, 22.

are the kings of Media and Persia: and the rough goat is the king of Grecia; and the great horn that is between his eyes, is the first king.'

What can the most obstinate incredulity object to a Propheey so clear and evident as this? By what means did Daniel see that the empire of the Persians was to be destroyed by that of the Greeks, which was so absolutely improbable? - How could he know the rapidity of Alexander's conquests, which he describes so beautifully by saying, [8] that he touched not the earth? non tangebat terram? How could he know [t] that Alexander would have no son to succeed him? that his empire would be divided into four principal kingdoms ? that his successors would be of his own nation and not of his kindred? and that out of the ruins of a monarchy so suddenly raised, should be formed distinct estates in the east and west, the north and south?

In explaining this Prophecy to youth, they must not forget to observe to them what (u] Josephus the historian says upon the occasion of Alexander's entry into Jerusalem. This prince advanced towards the city in great indignation against the Jews, who had declared in favour of Darius, and assisted him with their troops. The high priest Jaddus, in consequence of a revelation which had been made him, went in procession to meet Alexander, cloathed in his pontifical robes, with all the other priests in their proper vestments, and the Levites in white. As soon as Alexander saw him, he bowed down himself to the ground before him, and face of the whole earth, and touched minion..., and his kingrom sball not the ground... And when he be broken and shall be divided towas come close to the ram he was wards the four winds of heaven : moved with choler against him... and not to his posterity, nor acand cast him down to the ground, cording to his dominion, which he and stamped upon him with his ruled. Dan. xi. 34. feet. Dan. viii. 3, &c.

Four kingdoms shall stand up out [r] Ver. 20, 21.

of the nation, but not in his power. [s] Ver. 5.

Dan. viji. 12. ( And a mighty king shall stand [u] Joseph. Hist. Jud. lib. 11. up, that shall rule with great do- c.8.0

worshipped

worshipped the God whose minister he was, and whose venerable name he bore on his forehead. And whilst all around him were astonished at so surprising a spectacle, the king declared," that the king of the Jews had appeared to him in Macedonia, in the same habit his high-priest wore, had encouraged him to cross the Hellespont, and assured hiin he would march at the head of his army, and secure him the conquest of the Persian empire. Alexander surrounded by the priests, entered Jerusalem, went up into the temple, and offered sacrifices to God in the manner the high-priest directed. He then shewed him the book of Daniel, in which it was written, that a Grecian prince should destroy the einpire of the Persians, which ander great satisfaction.'

Though this were only a matter of bare curiosity, so agreeable and entertaining a piece of history, such evident and surprising Prophecies, might'well deserve to be related to youth. But how much miay. it turn to the service of religion, 'to make them observe the wonderful harmony and connection it has pleased God to place between the different predictions of the prophets, whereof 'some, as I have already taken notice, are of use to confirm the rest, and all together form a degree of evidence and conviction, to which nothing can be added? And with this reflection I shall conclude this article concerning Prophecies.

gave Alex

REFLECTIONS UPON THE PROPHECIES.

If the prophets had only foretold events at a distance, mankind must have waited long, before they could know whether they were prophets or no, and they could have no authority during their lives.

If on the other side, they had foretold only events that were nigh at hand, they might have been suspected of coming at the knowledge of them by natural means, and there might have seemed the less reason to believe, that they spoke by the spirit of God.

And

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