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to recover their liberties, and have a prince of their owu to reign over them ? But, as is the prophecy, so is the event. For not long afterwards, Egypt was conquered by the Babylonians; and after the Babylonians, by the Persians; and after the Persians, it became subject to the Macedonians; and after the Macedonians, to the Romans ; and after the Romans, to the Saracens, and then to the Mamelukes, and is now a province of the Otto. an empire.”
But it is also said by the prophet, that a great prince should be sent by God, to deliver Egypt from the Persians, and that peace and plenty should be restored for a time, and that the true religion should be known in thatcountry. These things came to pass under Alexander the Great, and some of the Ptolomys, his successors. Many of the Jews dwelt in Egypt at this time, and were highly favoured by the prince. They were allowed to exercise their own faith, and even to build a temple after the model of that in Jerusalem. By these means the Hebrew religion became so honourable in Egypt, that a translation of their scriptures was made into the Greek language, under the auspices of the king. This translation is called the Septuagint, because it is said to have been made by seventy or seventy-two learned Jews.
Historians are not agreed as to the precise time when Nineveh was destroyed; but the fact is incontrovertible. Nineveh is completely swept away, “ that its place is not known !” Who
Who now, when the curiosity and enterprize of man has penetrated every spot almost on the surface of the globe-who is be that has seen those mighty walls that encircled sixty miles-whose height was one hundred feet, with fifteen hundred towers of two hundred feet in
height, and so broad that three chariots could drive abreast
upon them-or who can say that he has discovered even the spot where once they stood ?
Of the site of Babylon, “the glory of the kingdoms," "the golden city,” there is almost as much uncertainty! Heaps of ruins are found on the Euphrates, where it is believed she held her proud domain; but whether they are the remains of her superb edifices, or of some other ancient city, cannot now be ascertained. The place, however, is the resort of doleful creatures," according to the prophecy. 6 The Arabian cannot pitch his tent there, neither can the shepherd make his fold there !"
FANNY. Were these nations destroyed solely for their oppression of the Jews ?
MRS. M, No, certainly ; although that is assigned as one cause, yet their vices were abundantly enormous to subject them to the severest vengeance of Heaven. Nor were they less cruel to one another: one hundred and sixty years after the prophecy of Isaiah, and fifty-six after a similar prediction by Jeremiah, when Babylon was taken the second time by the Medes and Persians, in consequence of their rebellion against their masters, and after a siege of twenty months—the exasperated victor, in revenge of their protracted opposition, ordered three thousand of the principal citizens to be crucified. (B. C. 516.)
CATHERINE. Every act of Supreme Wisdom must have an end : but I do not see what good purpose could be effected by pfedictions concerning these nations, inasmuch as 'not being delivered to themselves, they could not operate in bringing them to repentance.
Mrs. M. The light of nature, without the aid of prophecy, might have restrained their gross inmorality.
Reason was not uncultivated amongst them; they had poets, historians, and philosophers ;* and if they were ignorant of the prophecies, it was in some measure their own fault. They had always much intercourse with the inhabitants of Palestine, both before and after the captivity, and many of the latter were scattered throughout Egypt, and the Assyrian empire; so that they were not without opportunities of knowing the true God, and his denunciations against their impiety. Nor are these casual privileges alone their accusers. In the reign of Zedekiah, the last king of Judah, Jeremiah sent a long and circumstantial prophecy against Chaldee to that people, by the hand of Seraiah, the chamberlain of the palace, who was going thither on public business_commanding him 40 read it aloud to them, and then binding it to a stone, to cast it into the Euphrates, as a type of their fall, to rise no more! But to us who have lived to see Tyre in ruins, and the mighty Babylon swept away—the prophecies are inestimable! for to us, they establish the credibility of the messengers whose chief errand was of far higher moment: and in their cotemporaries, who had not this advantage, the same confidence was inspired by a multitude of predictions whose accomplishment they witnessed.
CATHERINE. Some things, however, were foretoldsuch as the immediate death of Hezekiah, and the destruction of Nineveh in forty days, which did not come to pass; were not such failures calculated to disturb their faith in the prophecies ?
Mrs. M. Not at all ; because the denunciation in these instances was clearly conditional ; and, must rather
* Herodotus and Thucydides were contemporary with Ezra and Nehemiah.
be considered as threatenings of the penalty incurred by Hezekiah and the Ninevites, than as absolute decrees. We may be sure that the design was to awaken them to a sense of their guilt, because we are told that the evil was averted by their penitence and their prayers. Whatsoever is determined by Him who has the uncontrolled power to execute, must assuredly come to pass, because liability to change would argue imperfection in Deity: a possibility altogether inadmissible. The absolute decrees of the great Supreme may exercise our faith, but “ except ye repent, ye shall all likewise perish,” is to us the practical admonition.
CATHERINE. The events you have related are tănly the fullest evidence to the authenticity of the Scriptures ; and to the witnesses and the actors must have car. ried conviction. But to us, they are like a dream. The immense length of time that has elapsed since their occurrence has a tendency to weaken their effect on the mind-and it is yet more unfortunate, that an opportunity is thereby offered for the assertion, that the fact was antecedent to the prophecy.
Mrs. M. Such, indeed, is the feeble constitution of our nature: but the abundance of testimony completely refutes the objector; whilst to us, the fleeting images of the dream, which we are sure did once exist, are contipually restored by the hourly accomplishment of other prophecies before our own eyes. The actual condition of the Jewish nation at this day, so precisely accordant with
declaration of the prophets, would, in the absence of every other proof, establish their divine inspiration. Moses, on the banks of the Jordan, before their entrance into Canaan, reminded them of their repeated “ covenant with
God, to keep his commandments, and his statutes, because he had taken them to be a peculiar people, and had made them high above all nations in praise, and in name, and in honour;" and most affectingly enumerated the various blessings which should follow their obedience. But if they did turn aside from their God, that then, the reverse of all these blessings should come to pass, and in the end, that they should " be rooted, out of their land, and strangers should possess it—that they should be scattered among all people upon the face of the earth-that among these they should find no ease, but should be only oppressed and crushed always, and that these plagues should be of long continuance."
These terrible words of Moses, together with many others of the same import, were spoken three thousand years ago, and the same things were afterwards predicted by later prophets. Seven hundred years before the birth of our Saviour, Hosea said, “ the children of Israel shall abide many days without a king, and without a prince, and without a sacrifice.” Now here are prophecies that have been fulfilling for eighteen hundred years and are daily fulfilling. The Israelites have been rooted out of their own land, they have been dispersed into all the nations--there is no inhabited place where they are not foand, nor have they lived in “ ease” and honour any where. The
soul is sickened at the histories of their sufferings. Thousands and millions of these injured people have been destroyed by the cruelty and rapacity of their rulers, so that had they not been most signally preserved a standing miracle to the world, the yery name of
* Deut. 28..