« السابقةمتابعة »
ning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden under foot, whose land the rivers have spoiled, to the place of the name of Jehovah of Hosts, the mount Zion."
At the present period, we may repeat, at all events, no apology can be necessary for any attempt to illustrate their history. Without venturing into the regions of prophecy, it seems difficult for any man, with his Bible in his hand, to behold the passing events of the world, without anticipating that some extraordinary manifestation of God's purposes rapidly approaching. We may perhaps be told that during the political life of Napoleon, the prophets were at work, and that they foretold wonderful events which never came to pass, and excited expectations which have never been realized. Be it so, What wonder? If the Jews themselves, with the Old Testament in their hands, could not comprehend their own prophecies when actually fulfilled, how much more difficult must it be for those who live now, to predict with precision, the events which are not yet accomplished. Did the scoffing and the jesting of the antediluvians, during the one hundred and twenty years in which Noah was building the ark, divert the purpose of God in overwhelming the world with the deluge? Did the refusal of the Jews to listen to John the Baptist disappoint the first advent of the Messiah? Or did their rejection of the mission of Jesus prevent its fulfilment ; or their disregard of his warnings the destruction of their city and nation? Saint Peter was well aware that a time
* Is. xviii. 2, 3.7. Upon which chapter see a most admirable letter
would come when the same blindness would again take place; when he thus addressed his fellow Christians66 Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of his coming? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation."
Well, then, might good, learned, and judicious writers misapprehend the features of the late momentous era, or might derive from them conclusions which have not been realized; but is any one so blinded as to imagine, that the extraordinary transactions of the periods preceding and succeeding the French revolution, tended to no important object; or that such object has passed away? The time will arrive when they will find their error. And it is impossible to contemplate the present state of the Turkish empire, the extraordinary ukase of the emperor of Russia, and the late more extraordinary proceeding of the Roman pontiff,
without expecting that some wonderful era is
* 2 Peter, iii. 3, 4. Jer. v. 12, 13.
+ It may be well for that arch-deceiver to recollect the declaration of the great Frederick of Prussia, as he is called" that he never knew any sovereign or state meddle with the Jews without burning their fingers" And when they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people, he suffered no man to do them wrong; yea, he reproved kings for their sakes, saying, Touch not mine anointed, and do my prophets no harm." And who shall say
1 Chron. xvi. 20–22.
rapidly approaching. So strong is this feeling upon some vigorous and intelligent, not puny and enthusiastic, intellects, that when they take their pen in hand to promulgate their opinions, they proceed currentissimo calamo, lest the events they anticipate should occur before their embryo publication arrive at maturity.
It is not, however, the object of the following compilation, for the writer aims at no higher title, to enter into the discussion of such questions; but it has appeared to him, that a work shewing a clear and succinct consecutive account, of the rise and fall of the kingdoms of Judah and Israel, illustrated by such notices as may be found of them in the profane writers and in ancient and modern travellers, was still a desideratum, and might be serviceable to fix a steady belief in divine revelation in the minds of young people; and excite a general interest as to the future prospects of a race, who not only stand in such a relation to the great author of the universe, as no other nation under heaven can lay claim
that every descendant of Abraham in his day is not, nolens volens, a standing witness for Jehovah ? "I am very sore displeased with the heathen that are at ease; for I was but a little displeased, and they helped forward the affliction."* And what a reproach is it not to Christian princes and Christian bishops, as they call themselves, when even an avowed infidel like Frederick, either from motives of policy, or the restraining providence of God, was induced to bear an unwilling testimony to the truth of divine revelation, which they themselves hesitate not to disregard and despise.
to; but in whose destinies, as we have before remarked, there can be no doubt those of every other nation in the world are more or less involved.
The preceding remarks were written before the Editor had seen or read Mr. A. Keith's work on the Evidences from Prophecy, and his Signs of the Times; and aware as he is how very imperfect his own publication is, and of how much improvement it might be susceptible in the hands of a person of greater learning, and more information and leisure; yet he shall feel satisfied his labour will not be lost, and that he has rendered a sufficient service to the cause of Christ and his holy religion, if he produces no other effect, than introducing the valuable and highly important publications of Mr. Keith to the notice of some, who otherwise might never have heard of them. And if it should please the supreme disposer of all human events, that this new form of tracing the national history of his venerated ancestors, should be the means of attracting but one single Jew to a more serious consideration of the prophecies relating to the character, the miraculous. birth, the life, the death, the resurrection, and the glorious ascension of their own and only Messiah, the LORD JESUS CHRIST; and to a saving acquaintance with the precious doctrines of the Gospel, then the gratification of the Editor will be complete indeed.
Jan. 1, 1833.
FROM the time that God called Abraham out of Ur,* of
the Chaldees, and said to him, "I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee, and make thy name great, and thou shalt be a blessing: and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse him that curseth thee; and in thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed;"+ it may be considered that the eye and providence of Jehovah were more especially set upon this holy patriarch and his future progeny. The communications with which he and his immediate descendants, Isaac and Jacob, were favoured from time to time by the Angel of the Covenant, establish the existence of this relation to the death of Joseph, when an interval takes place in the Sacred History of probably 120 years, during which, the Holy Spirit does not inform us what were the dealings of God with the Children of Israel.
From the birth of Moses, however, we have a detailed and minute account of the extraordinary proceedings of Jehovah towards the descendants of Abraham, in Egypt, at the Red Sea, in the Wilderness, at Jordan, and in their progress and settlement in the land of Canaan, according to his promise to Abraham, 430 years before, "Unto thy seed will I give
The Edessa of the Greeks, and now called ORFAH.-Buckingham's Travels in Mesopotamia, vol. i. 88.
+ Gen. xii. 2, 3. Burder, O. L. 34.