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nezzar King of Babylon, after it had stood about 400 years.
of these Kings of Judah several were very exact observers of the law of Moses, as Hezekiah and Josiah ; others pretty well in the main, as Asa, Jehosaphat, and Uzziab; but most of them very impious, running headlong into all the idolatries of the heathens that were round about them; by which the people were at last fo corrupted, especially under Manasses's long and wicked reign, that God destroy'd them for a time, by subjecting them to the Babylonians, who burnt their chief city, and carry'd them away captives for the space of seventy years.
During that seventy years the Jews were wholly under the subjection of the Babylonians, who sent governors of their own into Judæa to take care of the country. At the end of that time, Cyrus the Persian having taken Babylor, sent the Jews back again into their own land to rebuild their Temple, and to live after their own laws, which they did in all matters that were consistent with the fovereignty of the Kings of Persia, who kept that still entire in their own hands.
In about 21 years after their return, the Jews, with some difficulty, got up a second Temple, every way inferior in glory to the first; the samaritans gave them the most trouble in their work, of whom some short account will not here be amiss.
To le continued in our next Journal.
A PERPETUAL COMMENTARY on the Re
velation of St. John ; with a Preliminary Discourse concerning the Principles upon which the said Revelation is to be understood; by Charles Daubuz, M. A. late Vicar of Brotherton in Yorkshire. Newly modell’d, abridg’d, and render'd plain to the meanest Capacity; by Peter Lancaster, A. M. Vicar of Bowden in Cheshire, and some time Student of Christ Church in Oxford. Printed for the Au. thor, and sold by W. Innys at the West End of St. Paul's.
T is for several ages that the Revelation of
St.John has employ'd and exercis’d the minds of learned men, nevertheless we shall scarce find any one who has better explain'd and treated of this subject in a manner so ingenious, as in the method contain'd in the book now before us.
1. He begins with a Synopsis.
2. Afterwards a Preliminary Discourse concerning the Principles upon which the Revelation is to be understood.
3. He gives the Rules whereby it is to be explain'd.
4. He likewise has given us a Symbolical Dictionary.
5. After which follows an Explication in order of the whole book.
This is all that was necessary to be said of the book in general ; nevertheless we think it necessary to give an Extract of the Preliminary Discourse, taking notice of the Rules, and lay before our reader the Synopsis.
As to the first Article, our author gives a fine account, how in the first Ages the symbolical or Hieroglyphical characters, whereby (for want of others) things memorrble might be committed to laling monuments, were contriv’d by the wiseft men, and that they were used by the Ethiopians, Egyptian Priests, and Americans, before the Europeans discover'd their continent. Now from this difficult kind of writing arose a fymbolical way of speaking amongst the Eastern nations ; first in their mysterious or religious speeches, then in vulgar matters.
Such a way of their expression giving a certain majesty and beauty to their thoughts, was retain’d by them even after the invention and use of letters.
Hence it comes, says our author, that most of the oriental languages, and most of the ancient Poets, affect this way.
And hence it is, says he, in condescension to the
ways of men, that the said kind of style is so often used by the facred writers, and in a manner wholly adapted in the Revelation by St. John, to whom the great events, relating to the Christian Church, were, for reasons of the greatest moment, and fufficiently obvious, represented in visions, evidently consisting of the like kind of fymbols, and whose language there
fore, in conformity thereto, is for the most part Symbolical.
For the better understanding of the said Revelation, our author wou'd have any one acquainted with the main principles upon which the first inventors of the symbolical Character and language founded the signification of their symbols, all the several kinds of symbols which they us'd being us’d by St. John, viz.
I. Such single Symbols as are taken from the heavenly Bodies, as the Sun, Moon, and Stars. The signification of this sort of symbols, pursuant to our author's mind, is to be deduced from the union which the Egyptians, Chaldeans, and others, supposed there was between the worlds, invisible, natural, and political : To make it plainer, the ingenious author goes on in the following manner.
" As they (he means the Egyptians and Chal" deans) look'd upon the heavens, and the parts " thereof, as representatives and symbols of the « invisible divinities --The supreme, and its “ Angels and Ministers ; so in process of time,
they began to think the visible fymbols to be " the Deity it self; and its Angels, whose glo
ry and majesty, as well as offices and works,
they believed did appear in the Sun, Planets, " and Stars, and in their motions, revolutions, “ relations, or aspects.”
Then to ground their adoration of the natural or visible world, they supposed an intimate union between the visible bodies in heaven, and the invisible deities; and to ground their judiciary astrology, (to which they were very much addicted) they supposed the political world likewise united to the two former by such concate
nations from the supreme to the lowest, that the affections of the superior links reach'd the inferior throughout the same chain.
From this fupposed union between the three worlds they concluded, when any of the heavenly bodies in any kind of vision were seen affected, that this portended and signified the affections of the parts of the inferior and political world.
And because the Gods (and consequently the heavenly bodies) came under the notion of powers of the world, and all Monarchs and Princes came under the notion of powers in the inferior world, as Vicegerents of the Gods; they therefore represented the powers in the inferior world by the symbols of the celestial gover
And therefore in the symbolical character and language, the Sun was the symbol of a King as a chief governor of a Kingdom; or of a father, as the chief governor of a family. The Moon was the next in the dignity ; and the Stars the symbols of inferior governors; which is exactly agreeable to the interpretation in Scripture of Joseph's fymbolical dream, in which he saw the Sun and the Moon, and eleven Stars, pay obeysance to him ; the Sun being there explain'd of Jacob, the father of the family; the Moon, of Jacob's wife, as being the next to him in power; and the eleven Stars, of his eleven fons, as being the inferior governors of his houshold.
II. Such single Symbols as are taken from the rest of visible works of nature, as animals, mountains, feas, rivers, and the like.