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yet the blood was still more abundant than the fire; and the slaughtered more than the slayers : for the ground was no where clear of the dead; and the soldiers, mounting on heaps of carcases, rushed on the fugitives flying in every direction.
What an awful and heart-rending illustration is this, of the prediction of Moses, respecting the Roman captivity. Deut. 28. 49-68.
“ The Lord shall bring upon thee, a nation from afar, from the end of the earth; like as the eagle flieth ; a nation whose tongue thou shalt not understand ; a nation of fierce countenance, which shall shew no respect to the old, nor pity to the young, &c. Where the miseries and horrors of the siege, thus foretold by Moses, above 1700 years before; and 900 years before the very existence of the Romans as a nation, (whose leading characteristics, of situation, language, rapidity of conquest, fierceness of countenance and unrelenting cruelty, are described, with a minuteness and precision that is altogether astonishing) are abundantly verified by the details of the great Jewish historian, from actual observation, written shortly after the catastrophe; and ever since the Roman captivity, Ă. D. 70, has the wretched remnant of the Jewish nation, still miraculously subsisting, been scattered, despised, and persecuted throughout the earth, according to the predictions of Moses.
“ The Lord will make thy plagues wonderful, and the plagues of thy seed; even great plagues and of long continuance, and sore sicknesses, and of long continuance ;' the emphatic repetition, intimating very long continuance; such as they now unquestionably are, after the lapse of seventeen centuries, at this day!"
What follows, in the next two pages, is in our author's best manner. He identifies the Gon, “ who spake by the prophets," sometimes denouncing woes against Israel, and sometimes lamenting the destitute condition and the sufferings of his sanctuary and people, with the GOD INCARNATE, who foretold the destruction of Jerusalem, and wept over that devoted city.
Dr. Hales then opens the second head of his discourse, and bravely and successfully combats the anti-providential assertions of the declamatory and assuming Volney.
“I have dwelt, (says he,) the longer on this momentous and awakening topic of national judgments fulfilled, and fulfilling, and endeavoured to trace more distinctly, and point out more minutely the whole tenor and course of the prophecies and proceedings of the RIGHTEOUS JUDGE OF ALL THE EARTH, respecting the Ninevites, and the Jews, by way of antidote against the 'active' poison and contagious influence of those dreary and desoluting doctrines of Atheism in disguise, now so
dreadfully rather Vol. VI. Churchm. Mag. June, 1804. lii
dreadfully rife, and insidiously disseminated throughout the Cone tinent of Europe, by the disorderly and perturbed spirit of a French missionary of irreligion and anarchy; asserting, --that the great and polished nations of'antiquity, the Assyrians, Babylonians, Persians, Romans, Tyrians, Sidonians, Jews, &c. flourished and rose to wealth and einpire, while they were unbelievers and idolaters : but when they became believers and Christians, they gradually sunk into decay and ruin! Volney's Ruins, chap. 2.
“ The fool hath said, in his heurt, there is no God?-And this foolish and mischievous assumption, which denies, in fact, though Dot in words, the providence of God, or bis righteous government of the universe, is founded in falsehood.”
After stating the Dictum of Revelation on this subject," the grand moral lesson inculcated through the BIBLE, or the providential history of mankind, -viz. that
FIGHTEOUSNESS EXALTETH A NATION,
Prov. xiv. 34. He adds,
20 “ Nor is all this, merely the doctrine of the Bible; it is also supported by the wisest of the Heathen and Jewish historians and philosophers.
" When Thales, the most illustrious of the Grecian sages, was asked, ' whether u mar, acting unjustly, could escape the notice of God? -No, replied he, not even in thought!
" When Chilo, another of these celebrated sages, was asked "what was Jove doing ! .--Humbling the proud, said he, and eralting the humble.'
“ The pious reflection of the father of Grecian history, Herodotus, suggested by the destruction of Troy, is most instructive and apposite.
“ The Grecians, says he, would not believe the Trojans, when they spoke the truth, (namely, that Helen was not in their power to restore, she being at that time in Egypt) heaten permitting, as I conjecture, that they should be utterly destroyed: in order
MENT IN RESERVE, FOR ATROCIOUS CRIMES." Book 2.
"And to what the great Roman philosopher, Cicero, ascribed the prosperity and conquests of the Roman republic, we learn from his oration, de Harruspicum responsis $9.
“Who is to be found so senseless, that either when he looks up to the heaven, does not observe that there are Gods, but can rather imagine that those [objects] were made by chance, which are made by so great a mind, that scarcely any one can attain by any means to the comprebension of the order and fitness of the whole; or else, when he understands that there are Gods; cannot understand, that by their providence, this mighty empire has been formed, and enlarged, and preserved ?--
“We may admire ourselves, Conscript Fathers, as much as we please, yet it was neither by numbers that (we subdued] the Spaniards, nor by strength the Gauls, nor by craft the Carthaginians, nor by tactics the Grecians, nor, in fine, by the home-bred and native good sense of this people and country, the Italians themselves and the Latins; but rather, by piety and religion ; and by this sole wisdom, namely, that we perceived that all things are ruled and governed by the providence of the immortal Gods, did we subdue all peoples and nations.”
“ Even that cunning politician, Machiavel himself, (who cannot be suspected of partiality to our cause) acknowledges, that
for severul ages together, never was the fear of God more eminently conspicuous than in that republic:' and he has admirably traced the connexion between their religion and their prosperity and happiness, in the following masterly argument.
* For religion produced good laws; good laws, good fortune, and good fortune, a good end in whatsoever they undertook.' Discourses on Livy, Lib. 1. Cap. 11.
“ And the following argument of Josephus, the great Jewish historian, against the Atheistical philosophers of that age, drawn from the exact completion of ancient prophecies, is equally conclusive against their modern successors.
" And from these, may the Epicureans be convicted of error, who reject Providence from the concerns of life, and honour not the Deity with the superintendance of human affairs, nor admit, that the universe is governed by the BLESSED AND IMMORTAL BEING for the permanency of the whole; but who say, that the world goes on at random, without Director or Councellor.' — From the events then, foretold by Daniel, they seem to me greatly to err from the true opinion, who assert, that the Deity exercises no providence about human affairs.'
“ Such are the admirable sentiments of this pious and learned Jew, whom I strongly suspect, from several passages of his writings, remarkably consonant both to the language and spirit of the New Testament, to have been' almost a Christian.' (See his celebrated character of Jesus CHRIST, vindicated, in point of authenticity, in THE INSPECTOR.)
“ And his profound observations, respecting the remarkable inattention and ignorance of mankind, about the divine predictions, occasioned by the blindness and obduracy of the Jeus concerning the long-predestined doom of their city and nation,are equally intitled to attention now. Would to God, they were altogether inapplicable to the present generation of our countrymen!
“ These have I recorded, as fully sufficient themselves, to explain to the ignorant, the nature of the Deity: that it is various and manifold, and that all things happen in season and in order; and that it foretells things to come, and especially the ignorance and unbelief of mankind; whereby they are accustomed to foresee nothing of what is to happen; whence, they are betrayed, when off their guard, into calamities ; and then, (into despondency,] as if the attempt to extricate themselves, was impracticable on their parts.”
“ Besides the revolutions of empires, both Heathen and Christian; the revolution of churches, since the first planting of Christianity, furnish additional matter of triumph to the Infidel: • Where,' says he, exultingly,' where is the promise of CHRIST, that the gates of hell should not prevail against his Church ?---are not the Churches of the Holy-land, Asia, and Africa, founded by the Apostles and their successors, long since fallen into decay and ruin; and Christianity supplanted either by Islamism or Paganism?
« The melancholy and disgraceful fact of the decay and extinction almost of genuine Christian Faith, in those benighted countries, where the light of the gospel once shined with such splendor, is indeed notorious. But such idle gainsayers, or prejudiced scoffers, blinded by their prejudices, are unable to distinguish between the Holy Church Universal militant here upon earth,' and as it subsists in particular communities.
" An established church, in any country, is not Christianity itself (with which it is sometimes confounded by indiscreet zeal) but a useful mean, if properly regulated, of teaching and promoting Christian knowledge and practice, throughout the nation; but the best and wisest human institutions may gradually be abused, and fall into decay. Thus, when the established churches of the Holy Land, of Asia, and of Africa, ceased to preach and practise the pure gospel faith, and blended it with the corruptions of false philosophy, and the superstitions of Heathenism, their lamps' (as expressly threatened by Christ himself) were gradually' extinguished ;' and they are now sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, immersed in the most deplorable ignorance, and groaning under the most cruel slavery and inexorable’despotism ; because they neither contended for,'nor kept the faith committed to the saints.
* “ He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches." Rev. 2. 7.
" And whosoever reads with attention that awful admonition of our LORD, throughout, addressed to the seven churches of Asia Minor, will find abundant cause to dread the extinction of
the lamps of the churches of Europe, likewise, for their similar corruptions and apostacy!
“ There is one fatal symptom of approaching ruin, which scems to pervade the whole, and from which, the purest, alas ! is 'not exempt; the lukewarmness of the church of Laodicea (most appositely referred to in the Epistle, for the solemn service of this day,) thus reprobated by our LORD.
“ I know thy marks, that thou art neither cold nor hot : I wish that thou wert either cold or hot! So then, because thou art luke-warm and neither cold nor hot, I am about to spue thee out of my mouth.” Rev. 3. 15–16.
“ And the doom of Laodicea in which there was a flourishing church in the primitive ages, seemeth to have been more severe and terrible than that of almost any other of the seven churches: For it is now utterly destroyed, and forsaken of men; and is become an habitation only for wolves, foxes, and jackalls, a den of dragons, snakes, and vipers !” Bishop Newton, Proph. III. p. 39.
“ And the pious and profoundly learned Mede, one of the firmestpillars of the Church of ENGLAND, thus expresses his apprehensions, founded on the woeful prediction of the persecution and death of the two faithful witnesses of the Law, and of the Gospel, “ when they have finished their testimony' to an inattentive and apostate world. Rev. 11. 3–9.
“ Either I am mistaken, or the Apocalypse too plainly intimates, that shortly before the downfal of the Beast (or Papal Antichrist) the whole reformed uorld, will be oppressed (but for a very short time) and (I shudder to say,) entirely subverted !” p. 924. and he elsewhere more fully expresses his sentiments.
“ I conceive not this clades testium (or destruction of the witnesses) to be such as should extinguish the persons, (or whole materials, as I may so speak) of the reformed churches ; but the public fabrick of the reformation"---" namely, an extermination of the reformed pastors out of their places and churches; and not a general extermination of the reformed people, which are too many to be dealt with according to former violence; and shall remain to terrify the Beast, and revenge the clades of their prophets." pp. 761, 766.
And he obliquely hints at the shameful spoliation of ecclesiastical property, which disgraced the commencement of the Reformation.
“ Moreover, there is a sin, whereof the whole body of the reformation is notoriously guilty; which, nevertheless, is accounted no sin, and yet, such an one, as I know not whether God ever passed by without some visible and remarkable judgment. This seems to call for a scourge before Antichrist shall go down ; and may be, as far as I know, this feared clades testium. I will not name it, because it is invidious; and I am not willing to be