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their ftead; yea, and all these future events were revealed to him fo clearly, that he enumerates them in his fong, which he earnestly defired might be handed down to lateft pofterity, as a witness against them, and a vindication of his own conduct. Though from the top of mount Nebo he could take a furvey of the land of Canaan, and give fuch a lively defcription of it; yet from what mountain could he difcern the intentions of mens hearts, who were yet unborn? In what book could he meet with fuch fecrets as lay deep in the womb of time, but in the book of life; or, in other terms, but by divine revelation? Let us add to this, that what was fo foretold by Mofes was punctually performed by Joshua, without the leaft addition or diminution; which is a very strong prefumption that Jofhua did not fo much obey Mofes, as the word of God, which was fpoken by him.
The curfe which Joshua pronounced against the man that should build Jericho is too remarkable to be paffed over in filence."He shall lay the foundation thereof in his first-born, and in his youngest son shall he fet up the gates of it."-That is to say, he shall be punished with the fudden death of his children."Hiel of Bethel built up Jericho, he laid the foundation thereof in "Abiram his first-born, and fet up the gates thereof in his youngest "fon Segub. And the book of Kings further faith, it was according to the word of the Lord, which he fpake by Joshua,. "the fon of Nun."
In the books of Joshua and Judges, we find the accomplishment of thofe events which were foretold by Mofes, and the promises,. as well as denunciations, in every refpect fulfilled.-For, according as the people of Ifrael either turned away from, or fought the Lord, God raised up tyrants in Canaan, or deliverers in Ifrael. And the books of Samuel, Kings, and the prophets, were either predictions of what was to happen hereafter, or the effects of prophecies actually paft.-In short, during the whole course of
facred hiftory, there is no feafon to be found without both prophet and prophecy. And were we but better acquainted with the perfons, places, and state of affairs at that time, than we are, we fhould have a more lively and adequate idea of these things; and fince these helps are wanting, we need not wonder, that the rality of mankind read those remarkable transactions with so much remiffness and difregard.
WE fhall proceed to another remarkable prophecy, from whence we hope you may frame to yourselves fome conclufions of the utmost importance. When Jeroboam, the son of Nebat made the ten tribes fall away from Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, that they fhould have no occafion to return to their allegiance, by reforting to Jerufalem to worship there, he reared an altar in Beth-el, contrary to the law of God. "And behold, there came a man of God out "of Judah, by the word of the Lord unto Beth-el: and Jeroboam "stood by the altar to burn incense. And he cried against the "altar in the word of the Lord, and faid, O altar, altar, thus faith "the Lord, behold, a child shall be born unto the house of David, Jofiah by name, and upon thee shall he offer the priests of the high places that burn incense upon thee, and mens bones shall be "burnt upon thee. And he gave a fign the fame day, faying, this "is the fign which the Lord hath spoken; behold, the altar fhall` ❝ be rent, and the ashes that are upon it shall be poured out. And' "it came to pass when king Jeroboam heard the faying of the man " of God, which had cried against the altar in Beth-el, that he put "forth his hand from the altar, faying lay hold on him. And his "hand which he put forth against him, dried up, fo that he could "not pull it in again to him. The altar alfo was rent, and the "ashes poured out from the altar, according to the fign which the "man of God had given by the word of the Lord." This pro
phecy was fulfilled in each individual article by Jofiah three hundred years afterwards. When Jofiah, according to our history had fo done, he saw a certain tomb, and asked whofe it was, intending to have burnt the bones of him that lay there, as he had done those of the other priests in Beth-el; but when he was informed, that it was the tomb of the man of God, who had foretold those things fo many years ago, he forbad any man to touch it. Befides, as this prophecy was written fome time before the coming of Jofiah, it could be no forgery; for who could have been fo fortunate, as to hit upon his name? And if it was written after, and devised upon the event, how came the faid tomb to be made at the fame instant? Or, was there no eafier method to be found? Would it not have been fufficient to have faid Jofiah fhall come, &c. without inention of the death of the man of God, or of his meeting with the lion, or of his converfation with the prophet of Samaria? Would not what is here related have discovered the fraud had there been one? And would not the Samaritans have been able to trace the tomb from its original? But this prophecy is fo very punctual in all refpects, both as to name, place, and circumstance, that the denial of its divine author would be abfurd to the last degree. And as a further confirmation of the purity of the faid fcripture, we find it recorded, that this very man of God was flain by a lion, for turning back to eat with the prophet of Samaria, contrary to the word of the Lord: now, how very improbable is it, that he should be the author of a forgery, who to tell the truth, did not scruple to dif honour the memory of fo great a prophet, and whose fincerity, in such a variety of circumstances, was so very apparent ?
Isaiah, in those events which he foretelleth concerning the kingdom of the Meffiah, and the calling of the Gentiles, feems rather an Evangelift than a Prophet. And when he threatneth Jerufalem with the captivity of Babylon, or confoles them with the hopes of their deliverance, he utters his predictions, as one, who had been
an eye witness to them both: "For he faith not, the Lord will do, "the Lord will call,-the Lord will destroy, &c." But he doth, -he calleth, he deftroyeth.-Nay, and oftentimes-" he hath "done, he hath called, he hath destroyed,”—and so forth; as though he spake of facts rather than of things that were but only near their accomplishment.
However, if any should still cavil at thofe prophecies, we would afk by what spirit could Ifaiah say," I am the Lord that maketh « all things ;—that faith of CYRUS, he is my fhepherd, and shall "perform all my pleasure; even faying to Jerufalem, thou shalt be "built; and to the temple, thy foundation fhall be laid.-And. "again, thus faith the Lord to his anointed, to Cyrus, whose right-hand I have holden, to fubdue nations before him; and I "will loose the loins of kings to open before him the two leaved gates, and the gates fhall not be fhut: I will go before thee, and. "make the crooked places ftraight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in funder the bars of iron; and I will give "thee the treasures of darkness, and hidden riches of fecret places; "that thou mayft know, that I the Lord, which call thee by thy "name, am the God of Ifrael. For Jacob my fervant's fake, and “Ifrael mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name: I have “furnamed thee; though thou haft not known me." How many wonders do thefe few words contain? In what lofty and remarkableterms are the actions which this great prince was to perform, and the deliverance he was deftined to bring about in favour of the. people of Ifrael defcribed? And how punctually did the almighty perform his promife, by putting the mightiest kingdoms of the: earth under his subjection?
The prophet Ifaiah, with great exactness, foretels, not only the captivity of the people of Ifrael, the facking of the city, and the overthrow of the temple; but the destruction of the Chaldeans by the Perfians, and the building up of Jerufalem and the temple by
them again. Suppose we should allow it poffible for a man to have a tolerable forefight of events, the accomplishment whereof is near at hand; yet surely, with the deepest penetration, he cannot fee fome hundreds of years before him, nor pry into affairs; during the whole continuance of a mighty monarchy, as Isaiah doth, who calleth Cyrus by his name, a hundred years before he was born, to deliver Ifrael. Let the greatest enemies of the truth confult their own consciences, and tell me what artful contrivance, what ftratagem there could be in those things? They cannot fay, thefe prophecies were forged upon the event. For by the removal of the Jews to Babylon, the laws, prophecies, and writings of Ifrael, which were common among that people, were conveyed into divers places of the world; among which, they had this prophecy before Cyrus was born. And as this was in divers men's hands, it was impoffible to be a forgery.
Moreover, the prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel, though they were in places far remote from each other; the one in Jerufalem, the other in captivity at Babylon, foretel the very fame events. Jeremiah, however, is the more wonderful in this particular; for he prophefieth expressly, that the people who were carried away captive should be brought home again at the end of threescore and ten years, notwithstanding the improbability of fuch a revolution: and yet he afferts it with fuch confidence, that one might fay, he led them by the hand into Jerufalem. And the event was anfwerable; for at the expiration of that term, the people were carried home again, as if Cyrus had been sent on purpose to verify the prophet's prediction.
The prophecies of Daniel likewife cannot but be a very convincing argument of the divine authority of the sacred scriptures, fince they are fo very plain, that he rather feemeth an historian, than a prophet; for he speaketh of the tyranny of Antiochus, the profanation of the temple, and several other important articles, which came to