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Reuben. The birth and age of the Patriarchs from Adam to Noah, make the world 1656 years old at the flood; and the postdiluvian register places Abraham's birth in the year 2008. When he was called out of Ur of Chaldea he was seventyfive years old, at which time the covenant confirmed of God concerning the Messiah was given to him. That covenant, Paul says, was just four hundred and thirty years before the giving of the law; which sums of seventy-five and four hundred and thirty, or five hundred and five added to 2008, makes the world 2513 years old at the giving of the law. Forty years after the law they entered Canaan ; that was in the year of the world 2553. They were under Judges four hundred and fifty years. Saul and David reigned each forty years : and that makes the world 3083 years old, when David died. Thence to the seventh of Artaxerxes it was four hundred and seventy years; and thence to Messiah's birth, four hundred and fifty-sevenin all, four thousand years.
Olympas. I cannot question you farther on this subject at present; but we shall hear you again on this chronology. Thomas, does the Septuagint age of the world coincide with the Jews' Bible and our common text?
T'homas. No, sir. According to the Greek version of the Seventy the world was 5872 years old when Jesus Christ was born, and is now 7719
William. And the Samaritan age of the world at Christ's birth was 4700, making the world now 6546 years old.
Eliza. How comes it to pass that the Septuagint ffers so much from the Hebrew ?
Olympas. From the creation to the flood the Septuagint gives two thousand nine hundred and sixty-two years, and from the flood to Abraham's birth, ten hundred and seventy-two. These two discrepancies make a great differeuce. Indeed, the matter is not susceptible of a full and satisfactory development so far as we have yet seen. The Protestants take the Hebrew text, according to which we make the interval from the first to the second Adam four thousand years only. Repeat, William, the six ages of the world, of which I have sometimes spoken to you.
William. lst. From Adam to the deluge, 1556.
2nd. From the deluge to Abraham's entrance into Canaan, four hundred and twenty-seven
3rd. From Abraham's induction to the Promised Land to the Exodus, four hundred and thirty years, 2513.
4th. From the Exodus to the founding of the Temple, four hundred and eighty years, 2993.
5th. From the foundation of the Temple to the Babylonish captivity, four hundred and twentyfour years, A. M. 3416.
6th. Thence to the birth of Christ, five hundred and eighty-four years, 4000.
Olympas. We must reserve something on chronology for another lesson. Meanwhile, as time had a beginning it must have an end; and that is infinitely more interesting to us than its commencement.
Thomas. I have been thinking much upon the age of the world since our last meeting.
Having to choose amongst three I am at a loss to decide. According to the Septuagint it is now seven thousand seven hundred and fourteen years old. According to the Samaritan it is six thousand five hundred and forty-two. According to the Hebrew, five thousand eight hundred and forty-six.
Reuben. And I am as much perplexed with the common era as you are with the three; for according to the common Bible, I can only make the world three thousand nine hundred and fortysix years old at the Christian era.
Olympas. Let us have your date.
Reuben. Abraham was born in 2008, called in 2083; thence to the law, four hundred and thirty; thence to the building of the temple, four hundred and eighty; thenee to the captivity, four hundred and twenty-six; captivity, seventy; thence to the Messiah, four hundred and fifty-seven-in all, three thousand nine hundred and forty-six. I find from 1 Kings vi. 1, the temple was builded in the four hundred and eightieth year from the exodus from Egypt. And we are certain that the exodus was, according to our common Bible, in the year 2513. To which add four hundred and eighty, and we have 2993, to the fourth
of king Solomon.
Now all the reigns from the fourth of Solomon to the Captivity are as follows: --Solomon thirty-six ; Rehoboam, seventeen;
Abiram, three; Asa, forty-one; Jehoshaphat, twenty-five; Jehoram, five; Ahaziah, one; his mother, six; Joash, forty; Amaziah, twenty-nine; interregnum, eleven ; Azariah, fifty-two; Jotham, sixteen; Ahaz, sixteen ; Hezekiah, twenty-nine ; Manasseh, fifty-five; Ammon, two; Josiah, thirtyone; Jehoahaz, three months; Jehoiakim, eleven years—in all, four hundred and twenty-six years and three months, when the Captivity commenced. This continued seventy years.
Thus we brought down to 3489. From the going forth of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem to the Messiah, four hundred and fifty seven-in all, 3946.
Olympas. But this falls short of the time usually adopted as the Christian era, fifty-four years. We Protestants arrange the times as follows:- The giving of the law, as agreed on all hands, was in A. M. 2513; thence to the founding of the temple, four hundred and eighty years, 1 Kings vi. l; thence to the end of the Kings, four hundred and twenty-four
and thence to the Messiah, five hundred and eighth-four years—in all four thousand
As general view this is according to the Hebrew Bible and the common text, the most correct chronology. There are some difficulties, it is true, on every view of the chronology of the world that is derived from the Hebrew text; but fewer in this than any other of which I have any knowledge.
Our Saviour on this representation of the matter, was born at the close of the fourth day, or Millenium of the world, which more exactly corresponds, with the order of the creation week. Light was created on the first day; but the sun, or radiating
centre of the system, was not perfected till the fourth day. Until a more apposite season, we reserve what yet remains on the subject of sacred chronology as compared with other systems, and proceed to the temptation. Eliza will read the fourth chapter of Luke.
[The chapter being read, the subject of the temptation was first propounded.]
Eliza. It was not until after the Saviour's baptism that Satan sought to turn him aside.
Olympas. Place in order all the items which you have of the Saviour's previous history, Reuben.
Reuben. He was circumcised on the eighth day. He was afterwards dedicated to the Lord in the temple as the law enjoined in reference to the first-born. He is next seen at the age of twelve in the temple, sitting among the Doctors, hearing them and asking them questions. He continues subject to his parents to the age of thirty, and then proceeds to the Jordan to the Baptist John, and is immersed by him in that river in honour of God's institution. Then he is publicly declared the Son of God by the voice of his Father speaking from heaven. The Spirit next in a bodily form descends upon him and takes possession of him ; and after this he is envied by Satan, who, finding him in the wilderness fasting and communing with God for full forty days, assailed him with all his power in the form of three subtle and powerful temptations.
Olympas. How beautiful and instructive this order! Birth, circumcision, dedication, instruction, submission to his parents, baptism, adoption,