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No one, who believes in the existence of a God, can doubt the Divine Knowledge of all Things past, present, and to come, or the Divine Power to reveal those things to men in such measure, and on such occasions, as Divine Wisdom directs. To God, the past, the present, and the future, must be the same. - He views the greatest and most wonderful events in their remotest causes; the longest series appears but as one object to his allfeeing eye, and the whole scheme of those events is altogether presented to the Divine Mind, of which mortals only catch a glimpse, and survey the broken parts. But while the prescience of the Almighty is universally acknowledged, his fuperintending Providence is frequently denied. Plunging into the abyss of metaphysical abstraction, man tries in vain to fathom its depth with the Thort line of his finite understanding; and, unable to reconcile the superintending and directing Providence of God with his
ideas of the free will of man, the mists of doubt conceal this rock of consolation, hope, and joy, to which the Scriptures point as his security; and he either struggles comfortless against the ills of life, or coldly refigns himself to the laws of fate, or the fluctuations of chance. To believe, that the Almighty Creator is also the constant Governor of the universe, is a point of confiderable importance to human happiness; and to establish this doctrine upon folid ground is of considerable importance to the interests of Religion. It is the design of this work to draw conviction from the sacred source of Prophecy. – But here it may be asked by those who freely acknowledge the power of God to declare his will to mankind by a special Revelation, whether it clearly appears, that he actually has done so ? A fatisfactory answer to this very serious question will be found in an attentive examination of thofe writings, which the Jewish and the Christian Church agree in believing to be prophetic, And many others have been given. - The certainty of Revelation has been variously as well as repeatedly proved. It is not the de fect in proof, but the want of investigation, that produces infidelity. For notwithstanding the pretensions of the present age to zeal
for truth, who now will even read the laborious researches of her faithful advocates, Chillingworth, Stillingfleet, Pearson, Hooker, Warburton, Cudworth, Leland, or Butler? Even Maurice is neglected", though the charms of novelty, of poetic fiction, and of a florid style unite to decorate the pillar, which he has paa tiently built up in her support, from a quarry, which her enemies have long considered as their exclusive property. It is forgotten, that while nothing is more easy, than to bring forward a multitude of objections in a “very small volume, it is absolutely impossible to answer them within the same compass; and the generality of readers, it is to be feared, imagine that those objections, which almost daily issue from the press, in the form best calculated for extensive circulation, are the discoveries of this enlightened age; whereas they are in fact only old arguments and objections, furbished up with the polish of modern writing, or the spirit of modern wit and falsehood, and have long ago been proved to have neither weight nor value. Let it however be be remembered, that a truth once proved, is
. Since the first publication of this work, the neglest abovementioned has ceased to be so great a subject of complaint.
proved for ever. No rational mind will admit it possible for the utmost force which objections can muster to overthrow a single demonstration, or what Dr. Jeremy Taylor has shown to be nearly of equal strength, a moral certainty.
These considerations have urged me to try whether one, argument, which I consider as proving incontrovertibly both the certainty of Revelation and its chief design, could not be compressed within narrow limits in such a manner, as to strike, and not tire the attention. And it is with the earnest hope of accomplishing this great object, that I shall lay before the reader fome few of the most remarkable Prophecies, capable of the shortest and plainest application, in two distinct classes, and subjoin the facts, which have fulfilled them. The relation of these facts I shall take from the most authentic and approved historians, both ancient and modern; and confirm every statement by observations, authorized by writers distinguished for their learning, penetration, judgment, and impartiality, in order to give indisputable authority to each application of the Prophecies to the events, stated as their accomplishment, and to the çonclusions, that will be deduced from them.
First Class. — Prophecies which have been fulfilled, -- down to the subversion of the Jewish government.
SECOND Class. — Prophecies relating to the reign of Antichrist, and the reign and final triumph of the Messiah.
The Prophecies which I have selected for the First Class will be shewn to have been accomplished, by the events to which they are referred, in the fullest sense, and most accurate manner. It will be proved, that the facts recorded have precisely agreed with the facts predicted, and the time, when time is mentioned in the Prophecy, with the time predicted.
The Prophecies I have chosen for the Second Class, are such as are in part fulfilled, and are, therefore, so far established upon safe ground by past time, and accomplishment; and are thus rendered more clearly and certainly proper objects of our attention and inquiry. But as I shall consider them with a' părticular view to the present state of the world, and shall be led to offer an opinion relative to the connexion, which they appear to have as parts of one Power, and to B 3