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Is it possible to doubt this people's conviction of the Divine authority of the Law of Moses, and the Divine inspiration of their Prophets ? Can any, rational ground be assigned for this conviction, except the continuity of positive evidence?
Cyrus, who was thus to " proclaim liberty to the captive, and to “ break their bonds
in funder,” was also announced as the .." scourge” of their oppressors. He was to
"! take the city of Babylon,” and to “ cast down the throne of the Chaldees.” The mighty conqueror of the East was to “ give glory to the God” of the obscure and captive children ! of Israel," for the victories and the dominions he had obtained by his arms; and to “ publish among the Gentile nations, the greatness and the power of the Lord Jehovah,” whose name, from the success of the Babylonians against his chosen people, they had ignorantly blasphemed, and levelled with the imaginary deities of the numerous kingdoms, which had fallen victims to Assyrian tyranny:
Could any thing but absolute conviction of the truth of the wonderful history of the Jewys, and demonstrative evidence of the ac
curate fulfilment of the Prophetic word of their God, have induced the enlightened Cyrus to send forth an ediet for such a purpose to the nations, who would probably esteem it as derogatory to his own glory?
The fate of Babylon was distinctly pronounced at the same distance of time, and the causes of her exemplary punishment particularly explained as a warning to all generations, who are folemnly called upon to remember both the Prophecy and the Judgment against the city which had impioufly“ striven against the Lord :”—“Remember the former things of old : for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me, den claring the end from the beginning, and from antient times the things that are not yet done, faying, My counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasureh.”
“ Sit thou filent, and get thee into darkness, O daughter of the Chaldeans; for thou shalt be no more called the lady of kingdoms. Behold, I am against thee, O destroying mountain, which destroyest the whole earth, for thou art proud against the Lord, against
Ilaiah xlvi. 9, 10.
the Holy One of Israel. I was wroth with my people, I have polluted mine inheritance, and given them into thine hand, O Asyrian, the rod of mine anger: howbeit thou meanest not fo, nor doth thine heart think so, but it is in thine heart to destroy, and cut off nations not a few. — Thou sayest, Are not my princes altogether kings — shall I not, as I have done to Samaria and her idols, so do to Jerusalem and her idols ? — Thou didst show my people no mercy, upon the antient hast thou very heavily laid the yoke, and thou faidst, I shall be a lady for ever -- Thou hast trusted in thy wickedness; thou hast said, None seeth me: thy wisdom and thy knowledge it hath perverted thee, and thou hast said in thine heart, I am, and none else besides me- therefore shall evil come upon thee, thou shalt not know from whence it riseth: and mischief shall fall upon thee, thou shalt not be able to put it off: and desolation shall come upon thee suddenly, which thou shalt not know-Thou didst not lay these things to heart, neither didst thou remember the latter end of it - Wherefore it shall come to pass, that when the Lord hath performed his whole work upon Mount Zion and on Jerusalem, I will punish the stout heart of the King of Assyria, and the glory of his high looks; for he faith, By the
strength of my hand I have done it, and by my · wisdom, for I am prudent — Shall the ax boast itself against him that heweth therewith ? — Go up, O Elam; besiege, O Media ; all the fighing which she was the cause of have I made to cease. Recompence her according to her work— because it is the vengeance of the Lord, the vengeance of his Temple - the day of the Lord is at hand, a day cruel with wrath and fierce anger to lay the land desolate; behold I will punish the King of Babylon, as I have punished the King of Alfyria [in the destruction of Nineveh] I will cut off from Babylon the name and the remnant, from generation to generation shall it lay waste.”
What a description is this of the Prescience, the Omnipotence, the retributive Justice, and the over-ruling Providence of God, directing all things, even the opposing springs of human action, to execute the uniform design of his unchanging will! Can the best wrought veil of Metaphysics obscure these radiant characters of Truth? Can the utmost strength or art of Infidelity prevent their indelible impresfion on the mind of unsophisticated man, when thus united with the power of Facts .. is i Ifaiah xlvii. 5. x. 5, &c. 13
CLASS CLASS T.
CHAPTER THE SEVENTH.
The Appearance of the Messiah according to
the precise Time predicted by Daniel 537 Years before his Birth:
DANIEL was favoured with many revelations of the Divine will, and supported by the Divine power in a very remarkable manner. He was honoured with the first distinctions in the court of Persia, and his piety and his wisdom were equally conspicuous. In one point he differs from all other Prophets, and becomes an object of attention peculiarly interesting to us; for to him was communicated the exact time when the Mefliah would appear: and he likewise predicted the time of many of the principal events which were to take place after the establishment of the Messiah’s-kingdom, with such accuracy,