صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

• Üen.

iii. 17,

AC those which were essential to human life, and which men ▲ M. ii. 15. knew from their original, as those they had afterwards 18, 19. invented. Those first arts which men learned immeIbiv. diately, and probably from their creator, were agriIb. iii. culture, the pastoral fart, that of

iv. 2.





clothing themselves, and, perhaps, that of building houses of their Chald. accommodation. And indeed, do we not trace the commencement for these arts from those places of the Hie- east from whence mankind was propagated?









Egypt The tradition of the universal deluge prevails over Hist. all the earth. The ark, wherein the remnant of mankind was saved, has ever been celebrated in the east, mase 1 particularly in those places where it rested after the deluge. Many other circumstances of that famous de story are to be found marked in the annals and tradiArtions of ancient nations; the times agree, and every Antiq. thing answers as far as could be expected in so remote l.ic. 3. a piece of antiquity.


Med &

Ap Jos

4. & li.



1. ix.

Ev. c.



or the


NEAR the deluge are to be ranged the decrease of Eus. man's life, the alteration of diet, and a new food sub- Noal, Præp stituted in place of the fruits of the earth; some oral deprecepts delivered to Noah; the confusion of langua- second Plut at the tower of Babel, which was the first monu- the ges Plusne ment of the pride and weakness of men; the portion 1656. of the three sons of Noah, and the first distribution of 1657. lands.





aquat. Lucian de Dea

The memory of those three first fathers of nations has still been preserved among men. Japetus, who 2548. peopled the greatest part of the western world, has




continued famous there under the celebrated name of
Japheth. Ham, and his son Canaan, have been no
less noted among the Egyptians and Phoenicians; and
the memory of Shem has ever lasted with the He-
brew people, who are descended from him.

A little after this first division of mankind, Nimrod, a man of a fierce and violent disposition, becomes the first conqueror; and such is the origin of conquests. Gen. x He set up the throne of his kingdom at Babylon, in the same place where the tower had been begun, and


age of



A. C. already raised to a great height, but not so high as A. M. man's vanity wished it. About the same time Nineveh was built, and some ancient kingdoms established. They were but petty in those early times, for in Egypt alone we find four Dynasties or Principalities, those of Thebes, Thin, Memphis, and Tanis; this last was the capital of the lower Egypt. To this time we may also refer the commencement of the laws and polity of the Egyptians, that of their pyramids which stand to this day, and that of the astronomical observations, as well of that people as of the Chaldeans. So we may trace 1771. up to this time, and no higher, the observations which Por the Chaldeans, who were, without dispute, the first phyr observers of the stars, gave in Babylon to Calisthenes Simp. for Aristotle.



lib ii.


Every thing begins: there is no ancient history Calo wherein there do not appear, not only in those early ages, but long after, manifest vestiges of the newness of the world. We see laws establishing, manners polishing, and empires forming. Mankind by degrees get out of their ignorance, experience instructs them, and arts are invented or perfected. According as men multiply, the earth is closer and closer peopled; they pass mountains and precipices; they cross rivers, and . at length seas, and establish new habitations. The earth, which at the beginning was but an immense forest, takes now another form, the woods cut down make room for fields, for pastures, for hamlets, for towns, and at length for cities. Men learn to catch certain animals, to tame others, and to inure them to service. They were obliged at first to encounter wild beasts. The first heroes signalised themselves in those wars. These occasioned the invention of arms, which men Gen. x turned afterwards against their fellow creatures. Nimrod, the first warrior, and the first conqueror, is called in scripture, a mighty hunter. Together with animals, man acquired also the arts of managing fruits and plants; he bended the very metals to his use, and gradually made all nature subservient to it. As it was

[ocr errors]


III Epoch. The call




natural that time should cause many things to be in- A. M.
vented, it must also cause others to be forgot, at least
by the greater part of mankind. Those first arts, which
Noah had preserved, and which we also find always
flourishing in the countries where mankind was first es-
tablished, were lost according as men removed from
them. These behoved others either to learn them
anew in process of time, or those who had preserved
them, must have carried them again to the rest.
Therefore do we see every thing come from those
lands that were always inhabited, where the principles
of the arts remained entire, and even there were daily
made many important discoveries. The knowledge of
God, and the memory of the creation were preserved
there, but began to decay by degrees. The ancient
traditions were now falling into oblivion and obscurity;
the fables, which succeeded them, retained but gross
ideas of them; false deities multiplied; and this gave
occasion to the calling of Abraham.

FOUR hundred twenty six years after the deluge, when men walked every one in his own way, and grew ing of forgetful of him that made them, that great God, to ham. Stop the progress of so great an evil, in the midst of Third corruption begun to set apart a chosen people for himself. ́Abraham was made choice of to be the stock 1921. and father of all believers. God called him into the 2095. land of Canaan, where he intended to establish his worship, and the children of that patriarch, whom he had resolved to multiply as the stars of heaven, and as the sand of the sea. To the promise he made him of giving that land to bis offspring, he added somewhat far more glorious, and this was that great blessing which was to be extended to all the nations of the world in Jesus Christ proceeding from his race. It was that Jesus Christ whom Abraham honours in the person of the high priest Melchisedec who presents 2. 3. him; it is to him he pays the tithe of the spoil he }, had won from the vanquished kings; and it is by him he is blessed. Though possessed of immense riches,


vii. 1,




A. C. and of a power which equalled that of kings, Abraham A.M. preserved the primitive manners; he led always a plain and pastoral life, which, however, wanted not its magnificence; and this that patriarch showed par1958. ticularly by exercising hospitality to all men. Heaven 2148. furnished him with guests; angels imparted to him the counsels of God; he believed, and in every thing approved himself full of faith and piety. In his time Inachus, the most ancient of all the kings acknowledged by the Greeks, founded the kingdom of Argos. After Abraham we find Isaac his son, and Jacob his grandson, imitators of his faith and simplicity in the same pastoral life. God repeats to them also the same promises he had made to their father, and conducts them, as he had done him, in all things. Isaac blesseth Jacob, to the prejudice of Esau his elder brother, and though deceived in appearance, he in effect executes the counsels of God. Jacob, whom God protected, in every thing excelled Esau. An angel, with whom he had a mysterious wrestling, gave him the name of Israel, whence his children are called Israelites. To him were born the twelve patriarchs, fathers of the twelve tribes of the Hebrew people; among others Levi, from whom were to proceed the ministers in sacred things; Judah, from whom was to spring, together with the royal race, the Christ, king of kings, and lord of lords; and Joseph, whom Jacob loved above all his other children. There new secrets of divine providence are disclosed. We see before all things the innocence and wisdom of young Joseph, ever an enemy to vice, and careful to reprove it in his brethren; his mysterious and prophetical dreams; his brethren jealous, and jealousy a second time the cause 1728. of a parricide; that great man sold; the fidelity he observes to his master, and his admirable chastity; 2287. the persecutions it draws upon him; bis imprisonment and constancy; his predictions; his miraculous deliverance; that famous interpretation of Pharaoh's dreams; the merit of so great a man acknowledged;








A. C. his exalted genius and upright heart, and the protec- A.M. tion of God, who gives him rule wherever he is; his foresight, wise counsels, and absolute power in the kingdom of the lower Egypt; and this the means of preserving his fatber Jacob and his family. That family favoured by God is thus settled in that part of Egypt, whereof Tanis was the capital, and whose kings took all the name of Pharaoh. Jacob dies, and 2315 a little before his death he makes that celebrated prophecy, where, in discovering to his children the state of their posterity, he points out particularly to Judah the times of the Messiah, who was to spring from his race. The house of that patriarch in a little time becomes a great nation; this prodigious multiplication excites the jealousy of the Egyptians; the Hebrews are unjustly hated, and unmercifully persecuted : God 1571. raises up Moses their deliverer, whom he saves from 2433. the waters of the Nile, and makes him fall into the hands of Pharaoh's daughter: she brings him up as her own son, and causes him to be instructed in all the wisdom of the Egyptians. In those days the peo1556. ple of Egypt settled in divers parts of Greece. The 244 colony which Cecrops brought from Egypt built twelve cities, or rather twelve towns, whereof he composed the kingdom of Athens, and there he established Marm. the gods together with the laws of his country. A seu E little after happened Deucalion's deluge in Thessaly, ra Att. confounded by the Greeks with the universal flood.



Hellen, the son of Deucalion reigned in Phthia, a country of Thessaly, and gave his name to Greece. His people, before called Greeks, took ever after the name of Hellenes, though the Latins have preserved their ancient name. About the same time Cadmus, the son of Agenor, carried a colony of Phoenicians into Greece, and founded the city of Thebes in Boeotia. The gods of Syria and Phoenicia came into Greece with him. In the mean time Moses was growing up. When forty years old, he despised the riches of the court of Egypt, and, touched with the afflictions of his


« السابقةمتابعة »