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phets, and the records of the former may be rectified by a comparison with those of the latter.
3d, The Authentic Period, from the first year of Cyrus, B. C. 537, to the birth of Christ. In this period the Sacred writings are themselves confirmed by the Greek and Latin historians.
Besides these great divisions of time, we may specify ten periods by which Ancient History, whether Sacred, or Profane, may be subdivided, and with a reference to which the Tables accompanying this work have been arranged. They are as follow:
First Period of Ancient History, from the CREATION OF THE WORLD, to the UNIVERSAL DELUGE, containing 1656 years. It relates wholly to the history of the Antediluvians, recounts the creation and fall of man, the promise of redemption by " the seed of the woman," B. C. 4004, the universal corruption of the human race, and the destruction of all but Noah and his family by the waters of the flood, B. C. 2348-the only authentic record of which is to be found in the first six chapters of the Book of Genesis (see Sacred History and Prophecy, 1st Period of each.)
Second Period of Ancient History, from the DELUGE to the CALL OF ABRAM, containing 427 years. It is confined principally to Sacred History; describes the repeopling of the earth by the sons of Noah, its division among them, the dispersion of their descendants from Babel, B. C. 2247, the separation of Terah and his family from their idolatrous ancestors, B. C. 1926, and the renewal of the covenant of grace already made to Adam, confirmed to Noah, and intailed in the family of Shem, (see Table of Prophecy, 1st and 2d Period, B and D) and the call of Abram, B. C. 1921-the records of which are to be found in the Book of Genesis, from the sixth to the twelfth chapter.
From Gen. x., we derive also the only authentic records of the first settlements of the descendants of Noah in Asia, Africa, and Europe, as laid down in the Table of Prophecy, under the prophetic curse and blessing of Noah upon his sons (see the Table, 2nd Period, C, D, E*.) This period, as far as it relates to Profane History, is buried in almost total obscurity, and the few events inserted in the Table, are designed only to serve as rallying points, whence to date the empires which, in after ages, sprung out of these settlements, as the founding of Babylon by Nimrod, B. C. 2246, of Egypt, (which though independent of Babylon will yet to a certain degree be identified with that Empire as a Ham-ite settlement) by Menes, B. C. 2188, and of Sicyon, the earliest Grecian state, B. C. 2088.†
Third Period of Ancient History, from the CALL OF ABRAM to the EXODUS, containing 430 years. In Sacred History it comprises the travels and trials of Abraham, and the history of his sons Isaac, Ishmael (with the Arab tribes springing from him) and the six sons of Ketturah, from whom came the Midianites. Also of Lot, the progenitor of the Ammonites and Moabites, of Esau, the father of the Edomites, and Jacob with the twelve tribes of Israel. It relates the several revelations of God to the afore-mentioned Patriarchs, the commencement of the Egyptian bondage, B. C. 1920, the institution of the rite of circumcision, and the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah, B. C. 1897, the persecution of the Israelites in
* The patriarch Job is supposed by many authors to have lived during this period, in which case his book will illustrate the state of religion, learning, manners, &c. of these times-(see Prophecy, 2nd Period.)
The foundation of the Empire of China, by Fohi (who could be no other than Noah) also belongs to this period.
Egypt, B. C. 1577, and their miraculous deliverance under Moses, B. C. 1491, the accounts of which will be found in Gen. from ch. xii. to Exod. xii. The evangelical promise made, in the first period, to Adam (Gen. iii. 15.); confirmed to Noah (ch. ix. 9.) and Shem, ver. 26, in the second, is, during the third, expounded to Abram in precious "promises." Typifying the Messiah, he is distinguished as the founder of "a great nation, as a "blessing," in whom "all the nations of the earth should be blessed. (Gen. xii. 2, 3,; xviii. 18; Gal. iii. 9, 9.) In the offering up of his son, he was made to feel (as a father) the great love of God to his creatures, in giving his beloved son to die for the salvation of sinners; and to anticipate the resurrection from the grave, in the restoration of Isaac, (Gen. xxii. 1-18.; Heb. xi. 17-19) (see Table of Prophecy, Third Period, F.)—these revelations are confirmed to Isaac, (G.) and Jacob, (H.) to whom also the descent of the Messiah from the tribe of Judah was revealed, Gen. xlix. 10. 1 Chron. v. 2.
Of the Assyrian Empire, during this period, nothing is authentically known. Egypt wa remarkable as the seat of learning, of the nature or extent of which, we have however little means of judging; though from the accounts of its buildings, &c. we may infer the progress of the arts and sciences. Of Greece, including Asia Minor, we have only to remark the foundations of the separate states of Argos, B. C. 1856; Athens, B. C. 1556; Troy, B. C. 1546; Sparta, B. C. 1516; and Thebes, B. C. 1493; and some miscellaneous circumstances belonging rather to mythology than history.
Fourth Period of Ancient History, from the EXODUS to the TAKING OF TROY BY THE GREEKS, containing 307 years. In sacred history it comprises the wanderings of the Israelites in the wilderness-the institution of the Jewish law, civil as well as ecclesiastical, B. C. 1490-the conquests of Joshua, and the settlement of the tribes in the
lot of their temporal inheritance-their five first servitudes under the idolatrous nations, and their conduct under the judges' appointed by God to deliver them; all which is related in the books of Exodus, from ch. xiii. of Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges, to ch. xii." The book of Ruth also belongs as an episode to this period, the sacred records of which form a typical history of gospel truths and ordinances, (see Prophecy, 4th Period ;) but as new light, we must remark that by Moses, the Saviour of the world is described as "a prophet like unto himself,” Deut. xviii. 15; that is, a Jew by birth, of the middle class of the people; holding immediate intercourse with God; performing miracles; a mediator and a lawgiver. Let us also particularly observe the law for the cleansing of the leper, (Lev. xiv.) and the sacrifice of atonement, (Lev. xvi.), the first, plainly foreshewing the efficacy of the blood of Christ for the cleansing of the particular sins of individuals; the second, the satisfaction made to the justice of God by the death of Christ, and the taking away of the sins of the whole world by him, (ver. 21, 30.)—The lifting up of the brazen serpent in the wilderness, seems the first intimation of the manner of the Saviour's death, as the method of cure to those bitten by the fiery serpents points to the manner in which Christians avail themselves of the substance, of which this was the shadow, (Numb. xxi 5-9,)-look* unto me, and be ye saved all the ends of the earth." (Isa. xlv. 22. Wis. xvi. 5-12.)
The Assyrian Empire exists in the scale of time, but of its history, during this period, we have no authentic records. Herodotus places here (B. C. 1230) the accession of Ninus, who is frequently confounded with the first founder of Assyria-Dr. Hales calls him Ninus II.-Blair omits him altogether. Of Egypt little more is known; some authors
• Believe and trust in; see Cruden's Concordance, on the word serpent; also that article, Fourth Period of Prophecy in this work.
place here the reign of Sesostris,* 1308, and impute to him achievements that do not correspond with the character of these early times.
Greece is lost in fable,† yet specifies the foundation of Corinth, B. C. 1388.-The life of Theseus, by Plutarch, may illustrate this period of Grecian history.-Minos, the Cretan lawgiver, flourished in this age, B. C. 1406.-Italy (peopled from Greece) sends out colonies into the island of Sicily, B. C. 1285.
Fifth Period of Ancient History, from the TAKING OF TROY BY THE GREEKS to the FOUNDING OF SOLOMON'S TEMPLE, containing 192 years. It carries on the history of the Israelites through their sixth and seventh servitudes; their rejection of the Theocracy, and appointment of a temporal king, B. C. 1095. The entire reigns of Saul and David, and the beginning of that of Solomon. The records of this period will be found in the book of Judges, from ch. xiii., the two books of Samuel, the 1st of Kings, to ch. vi., the 1st of Chronicles, and the 2nd to ch. i. The prophecies of Nathan and David, in the Psalms, will illustrate the gradual progress of divine revelation; to the latter it is promised that the Messiah shall be of his family, and “the fruit of his body," Ps. cxxxii. 11. The Psalmist is divinely inspired to foreshew the sufferings of Christ, Ps. xxii. 1-18; xxxi. 9-18; lxxxix. 38-51; his resurrection, Ps. xvi. 10; xvii. 15; xlix. 15; lxxiii. 24; his ascension into heaven, and the subjection of all things
"There is no date perhaps in the whole range of profane chronology, more disputed than that of the age or accession of Sesostris. Epochs have been assigned by Eusebius, Usher, Marsham, Newton, Jackson, Larcher, and Playfair; the extremes differing near 600 years.-Hales's Annal. vol. iii. p. 464. Dr. Hales gives the above date from Diodorus.-Blair gives 1485 B. C.
The Iliad and Odyssey of Homer are said to illustrate the existing state of Grecian manners, during this period.