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must acknowledge, that if this point could be proved to satisfaotion, there would be no argument against such plain matter of fact; it would certainly convince him, and he believed would be the readiest way to convince every reasonable man, of the truth of revelation.
It was this occasion, my Lord, that first gave rise to these Dissertations, which were originally drawn up in the form of some sermons. But since that time, they have been new-modelled, much altered and much enlarged, and confirmed by proper authorities. And though some of them only are here published, yet each dissertation may be considered as a distinct treatise by itself. It is hoped indeed, that the whole, like an arch, will add strength and firmness to each part; but at the same time care hath been taken, that the parts should have strength in themselves, as well as a relation to the whole, and a connexion with each other. The publication therefore of some parts cannot be improper; and the others shall go to the press as soon as an indifferent share of health, constant preaching twice a day, and other necessary duties and avocations will permit me to put the finishing hand to them.
Every reader must know, Your GRACE and every scholar must know more especially, that such works are not to be precipitated. They require time and learned leisure, great reading and great exactnesss, being disquisitions of some of the most curious points of history, as well as explications of some of the most difficult passages of scripture. And I should not presume to offer any of them to Your GRACE, or to submit them to the public censure, if they had not been first perused and corrected by some of my friends, and particularly by three of the best scholars, and ablest critics of this age, Bishop Pearce, Dr. Warburton, and Dr. Jortin ; who are also my friendly coadjutors in my edition of Milton: and as they excel in all good learning themselves, so they are very ready to promote and assist the well-meant endeavours of others.
When the other parts shall appear, they shall likewise beg Your Grace's patronage and protection. And in the mean time may Your GRACE's bealth be re-established and continue many years for the good of this church and nation.
It is nothing to say that it is my earnest wish: it is the wish of all mankind : but of none more ardently than,
May it please Your GRACE,
INTRODUCTION. Prophecy one of the strongest proofs of revelation, 1. A history of prophecy desired by
Lord Bacon, ib. The consequence plain from the believing of prophecies to the be lieving of revelation, ib. The objection that the prophecies were written after the events, groundless, and betrays great ignorance, or something worse, 2. The truth of prophecy may be proved by instances of things fulfilling at this very time, 3. The evidence drawn from prophecy, a growing evidence; miracles the great proofs of revelation to the first ages, prophecies to the last, ib. The necessity to which infidels are reduced, either to renounce their senses, or to admit the truth of revelation, 4. Most of the principal prophecies of scripture will be comprehended in this work, as well as several most material transactions in history, ib.
NOAH'S PROPHECY. Very few prophecies till Noah, 5. Noah's drunkenness, and the behaviour of his sons
thereupon, 5, 6. In consequence of their different behaviour he was enabled to foretel the different fortunes of their families, 6, 7. The prophecy, 7. Not to be understood of particular persons, but of whole nations, 8. The curse upon Canaan, a curse upon the Canaanites for their wickedness; the wickedness of the Canaanites very great, ib. The curse particularly implies the subjection of the descendants of Canaan to the descendants of Shem and Japheth, 9. The completion of this shown from the time of Joshua to this day, 10. À different reading proposed, of Ham, the father of Canaan, instead of Canaan, 11. The curse in this larger sense also, shown to be fulfilled from the earliest times to the present, 12, 13. The promise to Shem of the Lord being his God, how fulólled, 13. The promise of enlargement to Japheth, an allusion to his name, 14. How fulfilled both in former and in later times, 15. The following clause, and he shall dwell in the tents of Shem, capable of two senses, and in both punctually fulfilled, 15. Conclusion; a mistake of Mr. Mede corrected, 16. Lord Bolingbroko censured for his indecent reflections on this prophecy, 17. His ignorance about tho Codex Alexandrinus ; his blunder about the Roman historians ; his sneer about believers refuted, 18. Condemned by himself; had great talents, but misapplied them, 19.
THE PROPHECIES CONCERNING ISHMAEL.
Abraham favored with several revelations ; those concerning Ishmael, or the Ishmaelites,
20. The promise of a numerous posterity, how fulfilled, 20, 21. The promise of twelve princes, how fulblled, 21. The promise of a great nation, how fulfilled, ib. The saying that he should be a wild man, how fulfilled, 22. The saying that bis hand should be against every man, and every man's band against him, how fulfilled, 22. The saying that he snould dwell in the presence of all his brethren, how fulfilled, 23. The Ishmaelites, or Arabians, have from first to last, maintained their independency, 24.- Against the Egyptians and Assyrians, 24.- Against the Persians, 25.-Against Alexander and his successors, 25.--Against the Romans, 26. Their state under Mobammed, and since his time, and now under the Turks, 28. Dr. Shaw's account of them, 29. Bishop Pococke's, ib. And Mr. Hanway's, 30. Conclusion, 30, 31. Wonderful that they should retain the same manners for so many ages, 31. More wonderful that they should still remain a free people, ib. The Jews and Arabs in some respects resemble each other, 32, 33.
THE PROPHECIES CONCERNING JACOB AND ESAU.
More propbecies concerning the posterity of Isaac than of Ishmael; the promise of tho
blessed seed, how fulfilled, 33. The promise of the land of Canaan, how fulfilled, ib the promise of a numerous posterity, how fulfilled, 34. The promises concerning Esau and Jacob, not verified in themselves, but in their posterity. 35. Comprehend
several particulars, 36. I. The families of Esau and Jacob, two different people and
nations, ib. II. The family of the elder subject to that of the younger, 37. III. Io
situation and other temporal advantages much alike, 38. IV. The elder branch de-
lighted more in war and violence, but subdued by the younger, 40. V. The elder at
one time shook off the dominion of the younger, 41. VI. In all spiritual gifts and
graces, the young ersuperior, and the happy instrument of conveying the blessing to al
dations, 42. Conclusion, 43. The prophecies fulfilled in the utter destruction of thx
An opinion of great antiquity, that the soul, near death, grew prophetic, 44. Jacob
upon his death-bed foretold his sons what should befal them in the last days, the
meaning of that phrase, 45. Jacob bequeaths the temporal blessings to all his sons,
the spiritual to Judah, 46. The prophecies concerning several tribes, how fulfilled,
46. The temporal blessing, how fulfilled to Judah, 47. The spiritual blessing, 48.
I. An explanation of the words and meaning of the prophecy, 49-53. The sceptre
shall not depart from Judah, explained, 49. Nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
explained, 50. Shiloh in all the various senses of the word shown to be the Messiah,
51. Le Clerc's singular interpretation, 52. Jews as well as Christians have by
Shiloh generally understood the Messiah, ib. And unto him shall the gathering of
the people be, capable of three different constructions, 53. II. The completion of the
prophecy. 54-58. Judah hereby constituted a tribe, or body politic, and so con-
tinued till the coming of the Messiah and the destruction of Jerusalem, 54, 55. The
latter clause fulfilled in the first sense, and the people gathered to the Messiah, 56,
Fulfilled in the second sense, and the people gathered to the Messiah, 57. Fulfilled
in the last sense, and the people gathered to the Messiah before the sceptre's departure,
ib. The prophecy with regard to Benjamin fulfilled, ib. Conclusion that Jesus is
the Messiah, 58.
The gift of prophecy not always confined to the chosen seed, or to good men, 59. Ba-
laam both an heathen and an immoral man, ih. A ceremony among the heathens to
curse their enemies, 60. The story of Balaam's ass considered, 60–63. A proper
sign to Balaam, 62. The prophecies render the miracle more credible, 63. The
style of his prophecies beautiful, ib. His prophecy of the singular character of the
Jewish nation, how fulfilled even to this day, 64. His prophecy of their victories
much the same as Jacob and Isaac's, 65. His prophecy of a king higher than Agag,
how fulfilled, 65-67. His preface to his latter prophecies explained, 67. His pro-
phecy of a star and sceptre to smite the princes of Moab, how fulfilled by David, 68.
Who meant by the sons of Sheth, ib. His prophecy against the Edomites, how ful-
filled by David, 69. This prophecy of the star and sceptre applied by most Jewish
and Christian writers to the Messiah, 70; but primarily to be understood of David,
72. His prophecy against the Amalekites, how fulfilled, 72–74. His prophecy
against the Kenites, and who the Kenites were, 74. How fulfilled, 75. His pro-
phecy of ships from the coast of Chittim, ib. The land of Chittim shown to be a
general name for Greece, Italy, and the countries and islands in the Mediterranean,
76—78. How afflict Asshur, 78. How afflict Eber, and who meant by Eber, ib.
How perish for ever, 79. Conclusion, 80.
MOSES'S PROPHECY OF A PROPHET LIKE UNTO HIMSELF.
Musca bath not only preserved several ancient prophecies, but hath likewise inserted
several of his own, 80. His prophecy of another prophet like unto himself, ib. I.
What prophet was here particularly intended, 81-84; the Messiah principally, if
not solely, 81; proved from the conclusion of the book of Deuteronomy, ib. from
God'n declaration to Miriam and Aaron, 82; from the text itself, 83; from this pro.
phet's being a lawgiver, ib. from fact, ib. II. The great likeness between Moses and
Christ, 84-88; Christ resembled Moses in more respects than any other person ever
did, 84; the comparison between them as drawn by Eusebius, 85; as enlarged and
improved by Dr. Jortin, 86–88; bis conclusion from thence, 88. III. The punish
ment of the people for their infidelity and disobedience to this prophet, 88, 89.
Prophecies of Moses abound most in the latter part of his writings, 90. The 28th of
Deuteronomy a lively picture of the state of the Jews at present, ib. Prophecy of
their enemies coming from far, how fulfilled, 91 ; prophecy of the cruelty of their
enemies, how fulâlled, ib. Of the sieges of their cities, 92. Of their distress and
famine in the sieges, ib. Of women eating their own children, 93. Of their great ca-
lamities and slaughters, 94. of their being carried into Egypt, and sold for slaves at
a low price, 95. of their being plucked from off their own land, 96. Of their being
dispersed into all nations, 97. Of their still subsisting as a distinct people, ib Of
their finding no rest, 98. Of their being oppressed and spoiled, "ib. Of their
children being taken from them, 99. Of their madness and desperation, ib. Of their
serving other gods, 100. Of their becoming a proverb and a by-word, of the long
continuance of their plagues, 101. Conclusion, ib.
Other prophecies relative to the present state of the Jews, 102. I. The prophecies con-
cerning the restoration of the tribes of Judah and Benjamin, and the dissolution of the
ten tribes, 102–109; the restoration of the two tribes foretold to be after seventy
years, fulfilled at three periods, 102; the ten tribes to cease from being a people
within sixty-five years, 103; the prophecy how fulfilled, 104 ; what is become of
them since, and where they are at present, 105; vaia conjectures of the Jews there-
upon, 105-107; not all returned with the two tribes, nor all swallowed up and lost
among the heathen pations, 107 ; whether they reinained, or whether they returned,
they ceased from being a distinct people, and were all counprehended under the name
of Jews, ib; the reason of this distinction between the two tribes and the ten tribes,
108. II. The preservation of the Jews, and the destruction of their enemies, 109–111;
the preservation of the Jews one of the inost illustrious acts of divine providence, 109;
nor less the providence of God in the destruction of their enemies, 110; not only
nations, but single persons, lll. III. The desolation of Judea, another memorable
instance of the truth of prophecy, 111-116; foretold by the prophets, 112; the pre-
sent state of Judea answerable to the prophecics, no objection from hence to its having
been a land flowing witb milk and honey, 113; the ancients, Heathens as well as
Jews, testify it to have been a good land, ib.; Mr. Maundrell's account of its present
state, 114; Dr. Shaw's, 115. IV. The prophecies of the infidelity and reprobation of
the Jews, how fulfilled, 116–118. V. of the calling and obedience of the Gen-
tiles, 118. This revolution effected hy incompetent persons, and in a short time, 119.
The prophecies concerning the Jews and Gentiles bave not yet received their entire
completion, 120. What have been accomplished a sufficient pledge of what is to come,
121. Conclusion, dissaading all persecution, and recommending humanity and charity
to the Jews, 121–123.
Some prophecies relating to other nations which had connections with the Jews, 123 ;
want of ancient eastern historians to clear up the prophecies, 124; the Assyrians
terrible enemies to both Israel and Judah, ib. Isaiah's prophecy against the Assyrians.
125. Nineveh, the capital of the Assyrian empire, a most ancient city, 126 ; an ex-
ceeding great city likewise, and the scripture account confirmed by heathen authors,
126—128: like other great cities very corrupt, 128; but the king and people re-
pented at the preaching of Jonah, 129; some inquiry who this king was, and at what
time Jonah prophesied, ib.; their repentance of short continuance, for Nahum not
long after foretold the destruction of the city, ib. some inquiry when Nahum prophe-
sied, 130 ; Nineveh accordingly destroyed by the Medes and Babylonians, 131; some
jaquiry, by whom particularly, 131–133; Nahum's prophecies of the manner of its
destruction exactly fulfilled, according to the accounts of Diodorus Siculus, 133-5
Nahum and Zephaniah foretold its total destruction contrary to all probability, 185
these predictions fulfilled according to the accounts of the ancients, 136; According
to the accounts of the moderns, 137. Conclusion, 138.
Babylon as well as Nineveh an enemy to the people of God, 139 ; a very great and very
ancient city, ib.; considerably improved by Nebuchadnezzar, 140 ; one of the
wonders of the world, ib.; Isaiah and Jeremiah foretold its destruction, 141; prophe-
cies of Cyrus the conqueror of Babylon, fulfilled, 142; the time of the reduction of
Babylon foretold, ib., several circumstances of the siege foretold, 143; besieged by
the Medes and Elamites or Persians, ib. ; Armenians and other nations united against
it, 144; the Babylonians hide themselves within their walls, ib. ; the river dried up,
145; the city taken during a feast, 146; the facts related by Herodotus and Xeno-
phon, and therefore no room for scepticism, ib.; the prophets foretold its total desola-
tion, 147; these prophecies to be fulfilled by degrees, 148; its state under Cyrus, ib. ;
under Darius, 149; under Xerxes, 150; under Alexander and afterwards, 150;
the accounts of it since that time, by Diodorus, Strabo, Pliny, 152; Pausanias, Maxi-
mus Tyrius, Lucian, and Jerome, 153; accounts of later authors, of Benjamin of
Tudela, Texeira, Rauwolf, 154; Peter de la Valle, Tavernier, 155; Mr. Salmon, Mr.
Hanway, 156 ; by these accounts it appears how punctually the prophecies have been
fulfilled, ib. Conclusion, such prophecies a convincing argument of the divinity of
the scriptures, and likewise instances of fine writing, and of the spirit of liberty, 167.
Tyre another enemy to the Jews, its fall predicted by Isaiah and Ezekiel, 159; the pro-
phecies relate to both old and new Tyre, ib. ; a very ancient city, 160; the daughter
of Sidon, but in time excelled the mother, and became a mart of nations, 161 ; in this
flourishing condition, when the prophets foretold her destruction, for her pride, and
wickedness, and cruelty to the Jews, 162; several particulars included in the pro-
phecies, 163. 1. The city to be taken and destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and the
Chaldæans, 164. II. The inhabitants to pass over the Mediterranean, but to find
no rest, 165. III. The city to be restored after seventy years, 168. IV. To be
taken and destroyed again, 169. V. The people to forsake idolatry, and become
converts to the true religion, 171. VI. The city at last to be totally destroyed, and
become a place for fishers to spread their nets upon, 173; these prophecies to be ful-
filled by degrees, 174; a short account of the place from the time of Nubuchadnezzar
to the present, ib. ; Huetius's account of it, 175; Dr. Shaw's, ib.; Mr. Maundrell's,
176. Conclusion, with some reflections upon trade, 176-7.
Egypt famous for its antiquity, 178; no less celebrated for its wisdom, ib.; the parent
of superstition as well as the mistress of learning, 179; had such connections with
the Jews, that it is made the subject of several prophecies, ib. ; the phrase of the
burden of Egypť considered and explained, ib. I. Its conquest by Nebuchadnezzar
foretold by Jeremiah and Ezekiel, 181; how fulblled, 181–183. II. Its conquest
by the Persians foretold by Isaiah, and how fulfilled, 183–187. III. Its conquest
by Alexander foretold by Isaiah, and at the same time the spreading of the true re.
ligion in the land, 187; how fulfilled, 189—191. IV. The prophecy of Ezekiel that
it should be a base tributary kingdom, 191; the truth of it shown by a short deduc
tion of the bistory of Egypt from that time to this, 192—199; its state under the
Babylonians, 192; under the Persians, 193; under the Macedonians, 195; under the
Romans, ib.; under the Saracens, with the burning of the Alexandrian library, 196;
under the Mamalucs, 197; under the Turks, 199; no one could have foretold this
upon human conjecture, ib. Conclusion, with some reflections upon the characters of
the Egyptians as drawn by ancient and modern authors, 200.
NEBUCHADNEZZAR'S DREAM OF THE GREAT EMPIRES.
Some prophecies relating to more remote nations, 201; the genuineness of Daniel's pro-
phecies denied by Porphyry and Collins, but sufficiently vindicated, 202; the credit of
Daniel, as a prophet, established by prophecies fulfilling at this time, 203; Daniel's first
prophecy, his interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, with the occasion of it, ib.;