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ing, that he trusted in the Lord God of Israel. [8] The scripture adds, that he carried this virtue farther than any of the kings of Judah, who came after him, or went before him. Faith indeed was never put to so long and so severe a trial. All was against him. It looked like folly to wait any longer for the assistof heaven, when all was desperate, and to refuse upon a single man's word either to submit to the king of Assyria, or to employ any foreign aid. But depending strongly upon the word of God, he continued firm, as though he had seen the Invisible, and relied upon the promise by firmly persisting in an unvariable hope, without suffering himself to be enfeebled by any of the most pressing motives. The event justified his conduct. When the protection of God was manifested at last by the entire destruction of the army of the Assyrians, he who the night before was looked upon by all as weak and senseless, became on a sudden in the eyes of the same judges the wisest man in the world, for having trusted in the Almighty. Thus it will always be, and whosoever shall put their trust in God, shall never be confounded,

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VIII. THE DELIVERANCE OF JERUSALED THE

FIGURE OF THE CHURCH,

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The principal advantage to be drawn from this history, is to compare what here befel Jerusalem with what has befallen the church in all ages, to see its dangers, its remedies, and the promise of a certain victory over all its enemies. One verse of the fortyseventh Psalm, which is undoubtedly prophetical, and respects this event, may assist us in making the comparison, Ialk about Zion, and go round about her, and tell the towers thereof. It is the prophet that speaks in the name of the prince and the heads of the people, who after so sudden and miraculous a deliverance, exhorts the rest of the citizens to go round Je.

[8] 2 Kings xviii. s. z 3

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salem within and without, to be witness themselves of the good condition of the fortifications. See, said they to them, whether the enemy has made so much as one single breach, if they have broke down one tower, or can boast of airy advantage gained over the vigilance and strength of him, who is the protector of it. [h] Circumdate Sion, & circuite eam; numerate turres ejus.

The church from its birth has been often attacked, besieged on every side, and to all outward appearance ready to perish. But all its enemies have had the fate of Sennacherib; and after many fears and troubles, her faith has remained always pure, her doctrine has prevailed over all errors, her foundations have been unshaken, and she has never been found to have sufiered any loss, or been obliged to give up any of her tenets, or to depart from the ancient tradition which serves her as a rampart against new enemies that continually succeed one another,

Thus it will be in all ages, and it will be an equal misfortune to attack the church, or to despair of God's protection of it, and to think it stands in need of human succour to defend it. All those, who thought thus of Jerusalem, perished; but the faith of those

, who waited for God's assistance, and did not doubt of his promises, saved' them, and enriched them with the spoils of their enemies,

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WE may distinguish Prophecies into two sorts. Some are purely spiritual, and relate only to Jesus Christ and the church Of this sort is the first and most ancient of all, when God, after Adam's fall, cursed the serpent, and declared that [i] the seed of the woman would bruise liis head, i. e. the Saviour of the world, who should one day come to destroy the [6] So S. Jerome translates ibis verse. [i] Gen. iii. 15.

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power of the devil. Such also were those of [k] Jacob, who specifies the time of the Messiah's coming; and of [2] Daniel, who points out in a very particular manner the express time of the Messiah's suffering, and the consequences of his death,

There are Prophecies of another kind, which we may call historical, that foretel temporal events; and these are usually predictions and types of other events, which are more important and spiritual. We have seen several of this sort in the history of Sennacherib, whereof the prophet Isaiah had long before specified abundance of circumstances, which are not to be met with in the historical books. There is another very famous prediction in the same prophet, concerning the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus, who is expressly mentioned by name two hundred years before he was born, and foretelling the deliverance of the people of the Jews. It is easily discernible, that these two great events, which include almost all the Prophecies of Isaiah, the miraculous deliverance of Jerusalem under king Hezekiah, and the conquest of Babylon, with the subsequent deliverance of the Jews in captivity there, were the figure and pledge of other events relating to religion.

One might refer to a third sort of Prophecies what I am now going to explain, whereof one part is purely historical, and the other purely spiritual. It is the famous prediction of Daniel, occasioned by the image

of different metals. I chuse this in preference to the rest, as it peculiarly relates to a part of profane, history, of which I shall soon treat.

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THE PROPHECY OF DANIEL.

Occasioned by the Statue of different Metals.

WHILST Daniel was very young, the king of Babylon had a mysterious dream, of which he lost the distinct idea, but however preserved a con(k] Gen. xlix. 10.

(4) Dan, ix. 247 ? 7.

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fused notion of it, that troubled him. He required therefore of the wise men of Babylon; that they should tell him what it was he had forgot, and withal give him the interpretation of it, under the penalty of heing put to death, in case they failed: Daniel, who was included in the general order, with three young Hebrews, who were exposed to the same danger, had recourse to prayer, and learned [m] by divine revelation what he could not know by any natural means, and [n] all the wise wen of Babylon had agreed was otherwise impossible to be known.

“ Thou, O king, then, says Daniel to him, sawest, “and behold a great image: this great image, whose “ brightness was excellent, stood before thee, and “ the form thereof was terrible. This image's head

was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, “his belly and his thighs of brass, his legs of iron, “ his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest, “ till that a stone was cut out without hands, which “smote the image upon his feet, that were of iron or

clay, and brake them to pieces. Then was the iron, " the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold broken “ to pieces together, and became like the chaff of “the summer threshing-floors, and the wind car“ried them away, that no place was found for them; " and the stone that smote the image became a great “ mountain, and filled the whole earth."

To this first revelation Daniel added the interpretation of the dream. " Thou, O king, said he, art " this head of gold; and after thee shall arise another

kingdom inferior to thee, which shall be of silver; ” and another third kingdom of brass, which shall rule “ over the whole earth. And the fourth kingdom " shall be strong as iron; and as iron breakesh in " pieces and subdueth all things, shall it break in

pieces and bruise. He then explains what was meant by the feet being part of iron and part of clay, and thus goes on, And in the days of these kings " shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which [m] Dan. ii. 19, 28.

[n] Ver. 11.

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“shall not be destroyed; and the kingdom shall not
* be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces
" and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand
« for ever.

This Prophecy of Daniel's has two parts, and may
be considered as historical and spiritual. In the first
he plainly points out the four great monarchies; of
the Babylonians, where Nebuchadnezzar actually
reigned; of the Medes and Persians; of the Greeks
and Macedonians; and of the Romans; and the very
order of their succession is a proof of it.

In the second he describes the kingdom of Christ, or the church, in magnificent terms, which was to survive to the ruin of all the rest, and to subsist to all eternity.

A Christian master in explaining these Prophecies, should be very careful to make youth sensible of the evident proof they contain of the truth of their religion. From whence could Daniel learn this succession and order of different monarchies? [0] Who could discover to him the change of empires, but he who is Lord both, of empires and the terms of their duration, who has fixed all things by his decrees, and reveals the knowledge of them to whom he pleases by a supernatural lights

As youth are also to be instructed in profane history, it will be expedient, upon occasion of the Prophecy I have just mentioned, to make them observe that the same prophet [p] has elsewhere described the four great monarchies under the figure of four beasts; and to dwell some time upon another prediction mentioned in the following chapter, relating to Alexander the Great, which is one of the clearest and most circumstantial in the whole scripture.

The prophet, [9] after having expressed the monarchies of the Persiansand Macedonians under the figure

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of [] He changeth the times and [p] Chap. vii. the seasonş, he removeth kings and [9] And behold a ram, which setteth up kings: he revealeth the had two horns, and the two horns deep and secret things, and the were high, but the one was higher light dwelleth with him. Dan. ii. than the other. .. And behold an 21, 22.

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