« السابقةمتابعة »
bought them, having diffused itself over most of the Afian and African Churches, the swift Destruction which was foretold by St. Peter, was brought upon them by the Saracens, who in a fhort Time over-run the greatest part of Afia and Africa, defolated their Cities, deftroyed their Churches, and laid waste many fruitful Countries; fo that in many Refpects, there feems to be a great Refemblance between the Calamities that fell upon the ten Tribes by the Affyrians, and thofe that were brought upon the Chriftian Church by the Saracens.
The two Tribes which remained (who, notwithstaning all the Calamities that came upon the ten Tribes, and the many Warnings they had given them from Heaven by feveral Prophets, would not be reclaim'd from their Fondnefs for Idols) were carried Captive to Babylon, their Temple plundered and burnt, their Cities, and Countrey laid defolate. The Parallel, to which is the State of the remaining part of the Eafern or Greek Churches, into which the groffeft Idolatries were introduc'd under Chriftian Names; and fo obftinate were the Ecolefiaftics in carrying on this Impiety, that notwithstanding all the Attempts that were made by fome of the Greek Emperors to fupprefs Idolatry, it was not only openly profefs'd, but avow'd and establish'd in the Greek and Latin Churches.
This was foon followed by the terrible Vengeance that fell upon the Greek Empire and Churches, by the Turks, who took Conftantinople the Capital City of the Empire; in the Siege and Sacking of which, are many Circumstances which very much resemble the Calamities that befel the Jews in the Siege and taking of Jerufalem. But this Suggeftion is fubmitted to the Confideration of those who are more vers'd in Ecclefiaftical History than I pretend to be.
What is to be the Fate of the Mystical Babylon, and the Antichriftian Empire, by whofe Idolatries, Impieties and Tyranny the Church has been fo long
polluted and opprefs'd, is very exprefly foretold
both by the Apostles and Prophets; so that although
this Empire has had a longer Continuance than all
the four other great Monarchies, yet there is all the
Reason to believe that the Myftical Babylon will fall
I am fenfible that this Attempt of comparing the
Holy Scriptures may by fome be thought a needless
Undertaking, fince there are fo many References in
the Margin of the greater Bibles; but many of them
relate only to Words of the fame Signification; and
befides, how few of those who have them, will be
at the Pains of turning from one end of the Bible to
I have endeavour'd to keep the Historical Part en-
tire, but have omitted many Chapters relating to the
The Hiftory of their Kings contained in the Books
Though the Holy Scripture inftructs us in all Things
neceffary to our everlasting Salvation, and affords
the greatest Comfort and Support in our Paffage to
it, yet fuch is the Pride and Perverfenefs of fome
Men, that they chufe to be guided by their own weak
Reason, rather than fubmit to the Direction of the
Divine Revelation. But it is no Wonder that those
who are indulging their vicious Inclinations, fhould
hate that Light, which not only reproves, but de-
nounces eternal Vengeance againft all Ungodliness and Unrighteousness of Men.
The Reasoning upon Righteoufnefs and Judgments to come, by a Prifoner at the Bar, threw once a Roman Governor into a Fit of Trembling; it is from these Pangs that Men of vicious Lives are endeavouring to fkreen themselves by Infidelity, and the Hopes that their Souls and Bodies will expire together; and this is the Opiate, upon which their fancy'd Happiness depends.
It is too apparent, that Infidelity is become the fashionable Vice of this Age; but I am perfuaded nothing can more effectually tend to the putting a Stop to it, than the pious Care which you take of the Charity-Schools, where Children are taught both to believe, and do as the Gospel requires.
If the Harmony of the Holy Scriptures which I have attempted to make, and am very fenfible is here imperfectly perform'd, (for I do not pretend to Criticism;) fhall by the Bleffing of the Almighty be of the leaft Ufe, either in giving Encouragement to any to read the Scriptures with Attention, or fhall afford them any Affiftance in the right Underftanding of them, fo that they may take Delight in the Law of God, and meditate therein Day and Night, my Labour will be fully recompenfed; for the very Searchies into these Treasures of Divine Wisdom and Knowledge, afford fuch Delights as are not eafily to be exprefs'd.
If it shall please the Almighty to prolong my Life, I will endeavour to purfue the fame Method in Relation to the Pfalms and the New Testament, in which I have made fome Progrefs.
The Tranflation of the Letter from the Earl of Mirandola to his Nephew, contains fo much true Piety, and fuch ftrong Reafons for the Practice of it, and fo fully recommends the reading of the Holy Scriptures
Scriptures with Diligence and Attention, that I have added it to this Effay.
That the Almighty may blefs and fucceed your pious Endeavours in encouraging, inftructing, and maintaining the Children educated in the CharitySchools, and that you may reap the Fruits of your Labours here, by feeing thefe Children become useful, T honest, and religious; and that you may receive the Reward of your pious Charity bereafter, is the hearty Prayer of
Your most Humble Servant,
The Tranflation of a Letter from the Earl of MIRANDOLA and CONCORDIA, to his Nephew, then an Officer in the Army, of the Emperor Charles the Fifth..
This Earl was esteemed the most beautiful Perfon of that Age, and a Man of the most exalted Genius.
He quitted all his great Employments in the Imperial Court. He died in the Flower of his Age, about the Year 1494.
HAT you are furrounded with Temptations to do Evil, and to violate the Rules of Piety you have laid down for the Conduct of your Life, ought neither to be the Subject of your Wonder, your Grief, or you Fear: For how much greater would the Wonder be, if to you the Way to Heaven was broad and easy, when all Mankind have found it narrow, and a Paffage, not to be gained without much Labour and Difficulty? Can you imagine that there are now no more Allurements in the World, no Spiritual Enemies to encounter, or no carnal Affections to be overcome?
But St. James fays, Rejoice, when you fall into divers Temptations, and very juftly too; for where is the Hope of Glory, if there is none of Victory? Or how can there be a Victory, when there is nothing to conquer? Tell me, my dear Nephew, if any of the Things of this World are to be obtained without