Page images

“ 'till ISRAEL overcome:" So call IS A AC's (y) Son, the third from ABRAHAM, and from him his whole Descent, who thus shall win CANAAN, shall be called Israel, or ISRAELITES.

HERE ADAM interposed, and said to the ArchAngel: Gracious Things thou haft revealed to me, thou Enlightener of my Darkness, who art fent from Heaven ! and chiefly hast informed me of those, which concern just ABRAHAM and his Seed: Now I first find my Eyes truly opening, and my Heart a great deal eased, which was once much perplexed with Thoughts of what would become of me and all MANKIND : But now I see his Day, in whom all the Nations of the Earth shall be blessed; a Favour unmerited by me, who, by forbidden Means, sought after forbidden Knowledge: Yet this I cannot comprehend, why to those, among whom God will deign to dwell here upon Earth, are given fo many and various Laws; for so many Laws argue, that there are so many Sins among them: How can Gop reside with such

To whom MICHAEL made this Reply: Doubt not, but that Sin will find Place among them, as being begotten of thee; and therefore was Law given them, to make their natural Depravity appear, by stirring up Sin to fight against Law; that when they

() Ifaac; Heb. i.e. Laugb- Angel rescued him, and he offerter; because his father and Mo. ed a Ram in his Stead, &c. Ifaac ther laughed at the Strangeness was born A. M. 2048, died A. of the Promise of a Son, when M. 2228, being 180 Years old. his father was 100, and the Seven Men were predicted and was 90 Years of Age, Gen. xviii. called by their Names, before 12, 15. He was the only Son they were born, viz Tomael, of Abraham by Sarab, and Ifaac, Sampson, ofiah, Cyrus, Heir of the divine Promile. Yohn the Baptifl, and Jesus God commanded bim to offer Cbrif. To these St. Jerom adds him in a Barnt Offering, but an Solomon, from 1 Chron. xxii. 8,9.

[blocks in formation]

see that Law can discover Sin, but not remove it, (except by those shadowy and weak Expiations, the Blood of Bulls and Goats) they may conclude, that some Blood more precious must be paid for MAN; the Just for the Unjuft : That in such Righteoufness, imputed to them by Faith, they may find Justification towards God, and Peace of Conscience; which the Law by Ceremonies cannot appease, nor MAN perform the moral Part; and not performing it, can not live: So that Law appears imperfect, and is only given, with a Purpose to resign them, in the Fullness of Time, up to a better Covenant ; being led from the Shadow of Types to Truth : from Flesh to Spi: rit; from the Iinposition of strict Laws, to free' Ac, ceptance of large Grace; from fervile Fear, to filial Fear; from Works of Law, to Works of Faith. And therefore Moses, though highly beloved of GOD, shall not (being but the Minister of Law) lead his People into the Land of CANAAN; but JOSHUA (2), whom the GENTILEs call. Jesus, bearing his Name and Office ; who shall quell the Adverfary Serpent, and bring back Man through the

j. e.

(z) Joshua or Jehoshua ; Heb. his many wonderful Victories

A Saviour of the Lord. over them. The Jours from He was first called Horea and the firkt Entrance into Canaan . Iefus, but all from the same under Jobue to the Babylonik Hebrew Root. The Son of Nun, Captivity, lived in Canaan aand Successor of Moses, and bout 855 Years. After the grand General of Israel: He Restoration, to the Destruction vanquished the Canaanites, and of their Temple, City, and diftributed their Land among the Nation by the Romans, in the twelve Tribes. He was born in 2d Year of refpafian, and 73d Egypt, A. M. 2404, 92 Years of Jefus Cbrifl, about 639 after the Death of folepl; was Years more ; in all


Years. their General about 18 Years, But their total and final Exconquered 31 Kings, put the If pulsion out of that Land was raelites in peaccable Poffeffion, in not 'till 60 Years after that. fix Years Time, and died aged But the Kingdom of Ifrael, from 110 Years. The Phoenicians its Separation from Judab to the called him Hercules, i. e. The End of it by Salmanafer, lasted Glory of Heroes ; because of but 250 Years..


World's Wilderness, who had wandered long there, safe to an eternal Paradise of Rest. Mean while, they placed in their earthly CAÑA AN, shall dwell á long Time, and prosper; but when national Sins interrupt their publick Peace, provoking God to raise them up Enemies, from whom, upon their being penitent, he as often faves them; first by Judges, (a), then under Kings; "of whom the second (renowned both for Piety and warlike Deeds) shall receive an irrevocable Promise, that his regal Throne shall endure for ever: All the Prophets shall prophecy the like; that of the Royal Stock of David (6) for so I name this King) shall rise a Son, which is the Seed of the Woman, which has been foretold to thee ; and which, as I have already informed thee, shall be foretold to ABRAHAM, as one in whom all Nations shall put their Trust; he shall be foretold to Kings, and himself shall be the last of Kings; for of his Reign there shall be no End. But, first there must ensure a long

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

(a) Juages; Lar. The He.

was the Son of Fife of Bethlebrows call chem Sophehim ; from hem, a Shepherd, the second King whence the Carthaginians, Athe of Ifrael, anointed King about nians, and others, called their fifteen Years of Age, A.M. 2881. civil Magistrates Suffeles. Those and after many Troubles came Judges were Men of extraordi. to the Throne, being thirty nary Piety, Virtue, and Valour, Years old ; he reigned forcy raised up upon extraordinary Years and fix Months. He dja Occasions, for the Deliverance ed in the seventieth Year of his and Defence of the People. Age ; and was buried most magThey were 22 in Number, (but nificently by King Solo:on. Hiro hers reckon only 12, begin- canus, the High Priest, found ning with Othniel, Judg. iii. 9.) three thousand Talents in his and continued, from Mofes to Sepulchre, three hundred Years Saul, their firft King, about the afterwards, and Herod found a Space of four hundred and cwen vaft Treasure in it, many Ages ty-six Years. After them there after that. Three thousand were twenty-two Kings of Ju- Talents were worth 50731. 155. dah, in the Space of five hundred 7 d. But his vast Treasure aYears, to the Babyloni Captivity. mounted to 547,500,000 l.

(b), David; Heb. i. e. Belo. Sterling; and in Silver to above Jedi' because he was pious, up

342,000,000 1.

See I Chronoa right, and beloved of God. He Eee 2


xxii. 14.

[ocr errors]

Succeffion; and his next Son, famed for Wealth and Wisdom, shall enshrine the Ark of God in a glorious Temple; 'till then resting under the Cloud, or wandering in Tents. Such Kings follow him, as Part shall be chronicled bad, Part good ; but mostly bad ; whose foul Idolatries, and other Faults added to the Sins of the People, will so incenie God, that he will leave them, and expose their Land, their City, his Temple, and his holy Ark, with all his sacred Things, a Prey and Scorn to that proud City, whose high Walls thou fawest left in Confusion; thence called BABYLON There he lets them live in Captivity the Space of seventy Years; then brings them back again; remembring Mercy, and his covenant sworn to David, Being returned from BABYLON, by the Leave of Kings who were their Lords, whose Hearts God disposed, they first rebuild the House of God, and live for a while moderate, in mean Estate; 'till grown rich and populous, they grow factious. But the Diffention first Iprings among the Priests ; Men who attend upon the Altar, and who mostly should endeavour to keep Peace : Their Strife brings Pollution upon the Temple itself; at last they seize upon the Scepter, and pay no Regard to the House of David: Then they lose it to a Stranger, to HEROD (e), that the true anointed King, the MESSIAH, might be born, debarred of his Right : Yet a Star appearing at his Birth, which had never before been seen in Heaven, proclaims him come; and guides the wise Men of the East to him, who enquire the place where he was, to offer Incense, Myrrh, and Gold: A folemn Angel tells the Place of his Birth to the simple Shepherds, as they kept Watch by Night ; they gladly halte thither, and there was a

[ocr errors]

(c) Here Herod" the Great, to in by the Romans, who had subAscalonite or Idumaan. He was dued the Teus ; for then the the first foreign Prince that ever Scepter actually departed from reign'd in Judas, deputed there. the House of King David.

Multitude of the Host of Heaven, praising God, and singing Songs of Joy. A Virgin shall be his Mother, but he shall be begot by the Power of the MOST High! He shall descend his hereditary Throne, and the Bounds of his Kingdoin shall be that of the whole Earth; but his Glory shall extend to the utinost Heavens.

Michael left speaking; perceiving Adam so full of Joy, that if he had not vented it with Words, it would, like Grief, have occasioned him to burft out into Tears ; - fo he addressed these to the Angel:

O PROPHET! foretelling Gladness and future Good, to the utmost that can be desired or hoped for ; now I understand clearly, what with all the Power of my Thoughts I have often searched in vain ; why the great REDEEMER that we expect, should be called the Seed of WOMAN: Hail Virgin Mother, high in the Love of Heaven! yet thou shalt proceed from my Loins, and from thy Womb shall proceed the Son of the most high GOD; fo God unites with Man. Now is the Time for the Serpent to expect his final Defeat, with mortal and everlasting Pain. When, and where, will their Fight be? And tell me, I pray thee, what Stroke shall bruise the Heel of the Con

queror ?

To whom MICHAEL made this Answer : Do not imagine, that they are to fight as it were in a Duel, or that there will be real Wounds given, or received, in such Places as the Head or Heel : The Son of God does not join Manhood to the Godhead, that so he may overthrow thy Enemy with more Strength: Nor is Satan so to be overcome, whose Fall from Heaven (which was a deadlier Bruise) did not disable him from giving thee thy Death's Wound; which he, who comes to be thy Saviour,

« PreviousContinue »