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pafs fome hundreds of years after his decease, as of transactions fome time elapfed. And if there be any fo fcrupulous as to dispute the Jewish chronicles, wherein it is recorded, that the prophecy of Daniel was read to Alexander the great, when he first entered into Jerufalem, to fhew him what was foretold of him; yet it cannot be denied, but that, when Ptolemy caused the scriptures to be translated, the prophecy of Daniel was extant, and was tranflated with the refidue, long before the tyranny of Antiochus, which is as plain a proof of its validity as can be required.
We shall pass by a multitude of the prophecies of Daniel, to make room for the mention of one in particular, which was very furprising, and truly remarkable. In the very firft year of the reign of Darius, Daniel faid unto him; "Behold, there fhall ftand up yet three kings in Perfia, and the fourth fhall be far richer than "they all: and by his strength, through his riches, he shall stir up "all against the realm of Grecia." These few sentences contain the history of near one hundred and threescore years. How could the wisest man on earth foresee how many kings fhould fucceed him on the throne, and much less foretel the actions of the fourth.But hear him further:-" And a mighty king, faith he shall stand up, that shall rule with great dominion, and do according to his "will." How plainly doth this point out Alexander's coming out of Greece against Darius ?" And when he shall ftand up, adds "he, his kingdom shall be broken, and shall be divided towards "the four winds of heaven, and not to his pofterity; for his king"dom shall be plucked up." What hiftorian could have painted the monarchy of Alexander in more lively colours, which was but as a flash of lightning that paffeth from the weft unto the east, and concluded in itself, fince it was divided into many kingdoms, to wit, Macedonia, Thrace, Syria and Egypt, and conferred on princes that were not of his race? Had any one been disposed to have
have made an abstract of the hiftory of the monarchy of Greece, could he have done it in more proper words than the foregoing?
Since these things are beyond difpute, what manner of men must they be, who oppose themselves to fuch full conviction; and will not allow those writings to come from God, which bear fuch an inconteftible stamp of their divine original; and record fuch things, as neither men nor angels could ever pry into, and nothing less than infinite knowledge could foretel?
We have purpofely declined fpeaking of the many prophecies. relating to the miffion of St. John the Baptift, or the life, paffion, death and refurrection of our bleffed Redeemer; because, as thofe momentous articles are fo well known, a repetition of them would be needless to thofe, who either attend the fervice of the church, or confult the facred fcriptures in their closets; and if any have been hitherto incurious in affairs of fo high a concern, they cannot fail of meeting with fufficient fatisfaction, if they will but be perfuaded to make proper enquiries.
Having laid before you this inconteftible evidence of the divine authority of the facred fcriptures, it will be needlefs, I prefume, to enlarge on this topick for its confirmation.-It will be no fmall fatisfaction, however, to the ferious believer, to confider the purity of the gospel doctrine; the forgiveness of injuries, which is there fo. ftrongly infifted upon, and that brotherly love, which is there likewise so pathetically recommended, as to be made the characteristic of our profeffion: fuch arguments as these must, doubtless, have their proper weight; and upon a comparison of the christian system. with that of any other we must earnestly cry out with St. Peter,"To whom shall we go?-Thou haft the words of eternal life."
To conclude, though we have brought a variety of other arguments to demonstrate the divine authority of the facred books; yet the PROPHECIES therein recorded, and the testimony of prophane authors
authors concerning the completion of them, is, in our opinion; fo full a proof, that none but men of the most confummate obftinacy can withstand such strong conviction.
"Let us then, who have heard with our ears, what our fathers "have declared: to wit, the noble works that thou, O Lord of hosts, haft accomplished in their days, and in the old time before "them, be unfeignedly thankful for such inestimable mercies, and "let us with heart and voice approach the throne of grace and fay, "O Almighty God, who haft built thy church upon the founda❝tion of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the "head corner-stone; grant us so to be joined together in unity of fpirit by their doctrine, that we may be made an holy temple acceptable unto thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen."