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of two beasts, [r] thus clearly explains himself: “ The ram, which thou sawest, having two horns, " 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, {s) 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 kingilom shall 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 ac. and 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. ] Ver. 5.

Dan, viji. 22, (1) And a mighty king shall stand

[u] Joseph. Hist. Jud. lib. ir. up, that shall rule with great do- c.8.


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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 spec-
tacle, 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 of-
fered 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 empire of the Persians, which gave Alex-
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 may 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 pro-
phets, 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 con-
clude this article concerning Prophecies.

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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.


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And if there had been no connection betwixt the near and remote events, by the predictions which were to be accomplished during the interval, the distance between the two extreines would have rendered their Prophecies useless, the first being forgot, and the last not expected.

By the accomplishment of the first the prophet acquired a just authority, and induced an expectation of the fulfilling of those that followed. These added to his authority an entire certainty, that his knowledge came from God, and that what was revealed, with reference to the most distant times, would as infallibly come to pass, as what had been foretold concerning times that were nearer. The public monuments attested what was already fulfilled, the memory of it was handed down to the children; and these connecting what fell out in their days with what had fallen out in the times of their fathers, left to their posterity a profound veneration for the propbets who had foretold it, and a firm confidence that all that was contained in the rest of their predictions would as certainly be accomplished.

Thus their books have deservedly been looked upon as divinely inspired. The proof was certain, and suited to the capacity of all mankind. They gave credit to what was to come from what they saw at present. They were persuaded the revelation came from God, because it was infallible, and passed all human understanding; and they would have made a quite contrary conclusion, if any of the events had not answered the prediction. “ Hear now this word, that I speak in " thine ears,” [.x] said the prophet Jeremiah to a man that pretended to be sent from God, “and in the ears “ of all the people. The prophets, that have been " before me and before thee of old, prophesied both “ against many countries, and against great kingdoms " of war, and of evil, and of pestilence. The pro

phet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of

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" the prophet shall come to pass, then shall the pro

phet be known, that the Lord hath truly sent him.”

This then was their rule; a rule plain and easy, as capable of being applied with certainty by the common people as persons of great abilities, and wherein it was not possible for either to mistake.

The little time their ordinary studies leave youth, does not admit a great number of historical or prophetical facts to be explained to them in any great ex

But if a judicious choice was made of them, and they were put upon reading some every year, and these attended with reflections suited to their understandings, this small number in my opinion, might very much contribute to inspire them with a great reverence for religion, give them a great taste for the holy scriptures, and teach them in what spirit, and with what principles they ought to read them when they shall have leisure.


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I SHALL follow the same order upon this head, as I have observed in treating Sacred History; that is, I shall first lay down some principles, which may be useful to direct youth in the study of Profane History; and afterwards apply them to some particular facts by reflections annexed.

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THESE principles may be reduced to six or seven; to reduce this study to order and method: to observe what relates to usages and customs : to enquire particularly and above all things afier the truth: to endeavour to find out the causes of the rise and fall


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of empires, of the gaining or losing of battles, and events of the like nature: to study the character of the nations and great men mentioned in history: to be attentive to such instructions as concern moral excellency and the conduct of life: and lastly, carefully to note every thing that relates to religion.

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ONE thing, which may very much contribute to the bringing this study into order and method, is to divide the whole body of an history into certain parts and intervals, which at once present the mind a kind of general plan of the whole history, point out the principal events, and shew us the series and duration of them. These divisions must not be too many, lest they throw us into confusion and obscurity.

Thus, the whole time of the Roman history, from Romulus to Augustus, which takes in seven hundred and twenty-three years may be divided into five

An. U. C. 1. The first is the reigns of the seven kings of Rome, which lasted two hundred and fortyfour years.

245. The second is from the establishment of the consuls to the conquest of Rome, and takes in an hundred and twenty years. It includes the establishment of the consuls, the tribunes of the people, the decemvirs, the military tribunes with consular power, the siege and conquest of Veii.

364. The third is from the sacking of Rome to the first Punic war, and takes in an hundred and twentyfour years. It concludes the conquest of Rome by the Gauls, the wars with the Samnites, and against Pyrrhus.

An. U. C. 488. The fourth is from the beginning of the first to the end of the third Punicwar, and takes in an hundred and twenty years. It includes the first

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