withdrawn. For general miracles, either of destruction, or deliverance, miracles affecting the entire state of the Jewish people, were no longer wrought. The days of Moses and Joshua were past; but the days of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Daniel, that is, of the enlarged prophetic revelation, intervene; and theirs was a time when not only more of prophecy was given, but more of it was accomplished. It was in a constant course of fulfilment. It furnished therefore to religion a reinforcement of evidence.

6. I know not with what feeling others may read the afflictions, overthrow, slaughter, and dispersion of God's ancient people, his only Church in the world, delivered into the hand of barbarons enemies, with the utter extirpation of the one part of it, and the suppression and bondage of the other; or how they may reflect upon the apparent severity of his judgment upon his own adopted people, the dishonour of his name among heathens, or the afflicted condition of his upright and virtuous servants, whose faith and integrity were cast upon these times of perturbation, and tried in the furnace; but I think the impression made upon serious minds in a review of this scene of things will be of no ordinary sort, nor exempted from some degree of pain and amazement. When Christian Churches suffer in their temporal safety, or are shaken in their peace, the case is different. For Christianity stands upon other promises revealed. The capti

vity, devastation, and public orphanhood of the Jewish Church was a far more perplexing phenomenon—the trials, joined with it, of the constancy and faith of good men, more severe.

One book of Scripture there is, in which God has pleased to preserve the memorial of this great struggle of religion, both in its public and its private state; wherein every feeling, and every reflection, adapted to such a scene, are recorded and expressed to the life. It is the short volume of "the Lamentations" of that Prophet who lived in the midst of it; a book which is the perfect moral history of those times, and of religion, in its public and its interior personal trials; a book of a more profound and exquisite feeling than can be equalled in any of the most boasted of uninspired writings, and of the most exact delineation on the whole question of the dark and fearful visitation of God, under which his Church and People were cast.

But after taking a full view of this troublous state of things, turn to the Prophets: see what they had already disclosed, and were continuing to dis close, both concerning the Pagan kingdoms, and in their renewed and enlarged promises of the Gospel dispensation. All that revelation which shewed God's controlling power over those kingdoms, proving them to be the regulated instruments of his Providence, and marking the appointed periods,

the particular rise and fall, of many of them; all that other revelation which discovered the prospect of the Gospel, and opened more largely its doctrines and mercies; were fitted, in union, to support the cause of Religion, and to administer consolation and instruction to the minds of men who were willing to seek it. It is plain, that the prophetic revelation, at this great æra of it, corresponded to the difficulties, perhaps I might say, the decays, of the Jewish Covenant. When the apparent visible ruins of the elder dispensation were most likely to perplex and alarm, Paganism could not triumph, the Gospel could not be despaired of. In the very heart of the Captivity, in the abyss of the Babylonian bondage, Daniel weighed and numbered the kingdoms of the earth. There also he measured the years to the death of the Messiah, and marked the place of order, assigned, in the succession of the empires of the world, to the establishment of his kingdom.-Great and instructive revelations; fitted alike to uphold the Jewish Religion, and to sustain the expectation, and complete the prophetic evidence, of the Christian.




AFTER some observations upon that part of Prophecy which was seen in its fulfilment, at the expiration of the Captivity, I shall proceed to consider what was further given, from that time till the mission of the Prophets ceased.

First, of what was fulfilled. When Cyrus became master of Babylon, the prophecies of Isaiah were shewn or communicated to him, wherein were described his victory, and the use he was appointed to make of it in the restoration of the Hebrew people*. "In the first year of Cyrus, king of Persia, "(that the word of the Lord by the prophet Jere"miah might be fulfilled) the Lord stirred up the


spirit of Cyrus, king of Persia, that he made t

Ezra i. 1, 2.

"proclamation throughout all his kingdom, and also "in writing, saying, Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, "the Lord God hath given me all the kingdoms of "the earth, and he hath charged me to build him an "house at Jerusalem, which is in Judah. Who is "there among you of all his people? his God be “with him, and let him go up to Jerusalem, &c.” The word by the prophet Jeremiah, here referred to by Ezra, is the term of Seventy years. The charge which Cyrus himself confesses to have received is the prediction of Isaiah. Some prophecies there are, which, under given circumstances, tend to work their own accomplishment. The prediction in question concerning Cyrus may be reckoned partly of this kind, if we look at it from the time when he was master of Babylon, and beginning to apply his policy to the affairs of his kingdom. From that time, the conformity of his action to the prophecy may be thought to have been a natural, or very reasonable compliance with the dictate and impulse of such a prediction, which spoke to the honour of his victory, and dignified his liberation of the Hebrew people, a humane and generous act, in itself not alien from his nature, with the sanction of a divine command. But yet there was a supernatural direction upon him, a direction which prompted his mind and incited his act; God so expediting the fulfilment of his word, wherein he had said, "He is my shepherd, " and shall fulfil all my pleasure." Accordingly the Restoration was instant. It was one of the imme

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