Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

.' Bayle, which confirm or illustrate, what he has said in the first part of his Book. . . .

We'll give an Account of the second and third
Part of this book in the two next Journals.

ARTICLE XIII.
Observations upon the Prophecies of Da-

piel, and the Apocalypse of St. John, * in two Parts, by Sir Isaac Newton. London. 4to. pp. 323. 1733. Printed by J. Darby, and T. Browne, and fold by J. Roberts, &c.

HE Name of Sir Isaac Newton prefix'd I to a Book is enough to stir' up the Curiolicy, not only of the Learned, but of all sorts of Readers : and cho'chis be a posthumous Work, which the Author in all likelihood did not design for the Press, yet we may venture to say, that the Reader will find here a great many curious Observacions, and some Thoughts intirely new. The whole Work is divided into two Parts ; the first, which is by far the largest, contains the Observations upon Daniel, and consists of fourteen Chapters: the second, upon the Apocalypse, contains but three Chapters.

CHAP. I. Is an Introduction concerning the Part I. Compilers of the Books of the Old Testament : Sir Isaac shews here, that the Pentateuch, we now have, is the fame Book of the Law, thac was extant in the days of David and Solomon ; Ance the Affairs of the Tabernacle and Temple were ordered by them according to the Law of this Book, and David in the 78th Psalm, admo

i nishing

nishing the People to give ear to the Law of God, means the Law of this Book ; for in describing how their Forefathers kept it not, he quotes many historical Things out of the Books of Exodus and Numbers. : ;

'Tis well known, that there are in the Pentateuch several things, which could not be written by Moses himself; The Pentateuch, fays our Author, is composed of the Law and the History of God's People together, and the History has been collected from several Books, such as were the History of the Creation, composed by. Mofes a, the Book of the Generation of Adam b, and the Book of the Wars of the Lord. These were publick Books, and therefore not written without the Authority of Moa ses and folua; and Samuel had leisure, in the Reign of Saul, to put them into the form of the Books of Moles and Jofua now extant. The Reader may eafily think what our Author says upon the other Books of the Old Testament ; he supposes they were collected by Ezra from ancient Materials ;, we'll only fet down here, what he offers with regard to Daniel..“ The “ Book of Daniel, says he, is a Collection of Pa“pers written at several times ; the fix laftChap"ters contain Prophecies, written at several "times by Daniel himself; the six first are a o Collection of historical Papers, written by 0others.' - The fourth Chapter is a Decree of "Nebucadnezzar. The first Chapter was writ65 ten after Daniel's Death; for the Author says, " that Daniel continued to the first Year of Cy"rus; that is, to his first Year over the Pera fians and Medes, and third Year over Babylan, " And for the same Reason, the fifth and fixth

.. . si in binnen “Chapa * Exod. ii. 4. ib. v. 1. Numb.xxi, 14.

6. Chapters were also written after his death; «t for they end with chefe Words; So this Dasniel profpered in the Reign of Darius, 'and in the " Reign of Cyrus the Perlian. Yet thofe Words " might be added by the Collector of the Pa6 pers, whom I take to be Ezra." The remaining part of this Chapter is worth reading, and fhews that our celebrated Author was as good a Christian, as he was known to be a profound Mathematician and Philosopher.

CHAP. II. Treats of the Prophetic Language. This Language is taken from the Analogy between the World natural, and an Empire or Kingdom confider'd as a World politic. Ace! cordingly, the whole World natural consifting of Heaven and Earth, fignifies the whole World politic, consifting of Thrones and People; and the loweft part of the Earth, called Hadesor Hell, fignifies the lowest and most miferable part of the People ; whence afcending towards Heaven, and descending to the Earth, are put for rising and falling in Power and Honour, &c. In the Heavens che Sun and Moon aré by Interpreters of Dreams put for the Perfons of Kings and Queens; but in facred Prophecy, which regards not single Perfons, the Sun is put for the whole Species or the Race of Kings, in the Kingdom or Kinga doms of the World.politic, fhining with regal Power and Glory : the Moon for the Body of the common People, consider'd as the King's Wife; the Stars for subordinate Princes and great Men, or for Bishops and Rulers of the People of God, when the Sun is Chrift ; Light for the Glory, Truch; and Knowledge wherewith great and good Men shine and illuminate

others;

others'; Darkness for Obscurity of Condition, and for Error, Blindness, and Ignorance, Esc.' As this whole Chapter confifts only of such Alsertions as we have quoted, we cannot give a larger Abstract of it without transcribing the whole ; we shall only observe, that our Author does not alledge any Argument to support his Affertions ; however, they deserve the Attention of the Reader, and if they are found true, they will give a great Light to the Writings of the Prophets.

CHAP, III. Treats of the Vision of the I. mage composed of four Metals. The Prophecies of Daniel, says our Author, are all of them related to one another, as if they were but several Parts of one general Prophecy, given at several times. The first is the easiest to be understood, and every following Prophecy adds something new to the former. The first was given in a Dream to Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon, in the second Year of his Reign, (ree Dan. ii. 31-45.) we find nothing particular in the Explication of this Prophecy ; we'll only observe, that Sir Isaac does not explain the latter part of it, when Daniel says, that the God of Heaven mall set up a Kingdom, which mall never be destroyed, &c. . Commentators understand this of the Kingdom of Christ, but our Author is intirely silent with regard to this last Kingdom. ;

; :

..

CHAP. IV. Of the Vision of the four Beasts. In this Vision bche Prophecy of the four Empires, vizi of the Babylonian, Persian, Greek, - and Roman, is repeated with several new Ad

i: ditions : Dap. vii.

ditions : The first Béast was like a Lion, and had Eagle's Wings, to denote the Kingdoms of Babylonia and Media, which overthrew the Allyrian Empire, and divided it between them, and thereby became considerable, and grew into great Empires. A Man's Heart was given to the Lion, that is, says our Author, it was humbled and subdued, and made to know its human State. i

The second Beast was like a Bear, and re. presents the Empire of the Persians. This Beast raised itself up on one side, the Persians be-, . ing under the Medes at 'the Fall of Babylon, .. but presently rising above them. And it bad three Ribs in the Mouth of it, between the Teeth of it, to signify the Kingdoms of Sardes, Baby· lon, and Egypt, which were conquer'd by it, but did not belong to it, and it devoured much Flesh, that is, the Riches of those three Kingdoms.

The third Beast was the Empire of the Greeks s it was like a Leopard, to signify its Fierceness; and had four Heads and four Wings, to signify that it should be divided into four Kingdoms; which happened accordingly, when after the Death of Alexander the Great, the Governours of Provinces put Crowns on their own Heads, and by mutual Consent reigned over their Provinces ; Cassander over Macedon, Greece, and Epirus ; Lysimachus over Tbrace, and Bithynia ; Ptolemy over Egypt, Lybia, Arabia, Cælosyria, and Palestine ; and Seleucus over Syria.

The fourth Beaft, says our Author, was the Empire which fucceeded that of the Greeks, and this was the Roman. This Beast was exceeding dreadful and terrible, it had great

iron

« ZurückWeiter »