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hence the Prophet takes a very natural Hint, and raifes his Thoughts to the Contemplation of the great Afflictions or Judgments that were to come upon the whole World in the latter Days, of which that of the Jews was a little Sketch or Reprefentation; that Nation in the prophetical Books often standing for the whole World. Thus in like manner the Holy Prophet David, whofe Pfalms are almoft nothing else but a continu'd Defcription of the Glories and Beauties of the Meffiah's Kingdom, begins very often with the Thoughts of his Suc*See bis ceffor Solomon, intending (*fays the Learned Univerfal Bishop of Meaux) to celebrate the Glory of his Hiftory, Son, when on a fudden he is tranfported beyond

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himself, and carried far away, contemplating him who was greater than Solomon both in Glory and Wifdem. 'Twas this infpir'd him with that inimitable Eloquence, to fing the triumphant Praises of our dear Redeemer, and the Glory of that Virgin Church which he fhould conftiture upon the Earth at his Second Coming; to which (as I have before Thewed) it chiefly had refpect, and which was most beautifully fhadowed out, and represented to us, by the Theocratical Oeconomy of the Jewish Church under that Illuftrious Monarch.

II. THE Second Objection is, That this jection an- is an hyperbolical lofty way of Speaking, fwer'd. reellently who did often exprefs particular Things in much in ufe amongst the Oriental Writers,

very copious extenfive Terms, and with an Air of Univerfality. In answer to this, I muft own I am very cautious of admitting

Hyperboles

Hyperboles in Scripture, where the literal Senfe is not impoffible in Nature. I confider, that as God's Thoughts are not as our Thoughts, fo neither are his ways of Expreffion. like our ways. And though it muft be acknowledged, that as God made use of weak Inftruments to declare his Will to Mankind, fo He left a great deal to them as to the manner of expreffing or delivery of it; from whence proceeds that great Variety of Stile that appears amongst the Holy Writers. Yet I make no queftion, but that the Holy Spirit, under whofe Government and Direction they were, did take care fo to direct them, that the Prophecy, Reproof, Exhortation, or whatever elfe was the Subject of their Difcourse, might not be more obfcured than the Nature and Design of the Thing did require; which it muft neceffarily be, if this latitude of Expreffion be allow'd. It muft alfo be acknowledg'd, that there are many Expreffions purely Hyperbolical, of which many Inftances might be produced; yet they may eafily be diftinguifhed, by being uncapable of a literal Meaning, which can never be faid of the Cafe before us; forafmuch as the Holy Spirit has, in the aforecited 25th Chapter of Jeremiah, been very exact in a particular Enumeration of Nations and People, even of all the Nations that are upon the Face of the Earth. So then, in answer to those who fancy that the fublime Expreffions of the Prophetical Writers, was entirely owing to the warmth of their Fancy and Imagination, or to fome peculiar

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peculiar Advantage of their Language; I muft own, I cannot but think that the Ancient Learning, in the Schools of the Prophets, was very different from ours; and that the Literati among them had their Notions and Ideas of Things very different from ours. I cannot think that their Learning confifted fo much in barren Theories, logical Niceties, and barren Speculations; which are fo far from being Truth it felf, that they are very often at the moft remote diftance from it. I cannot think that the Modern Learning of the Schools, was even that celebrated Egyptian Learning, which was fo much fought after, and admired by the better and wifer part of Mankind; in the fearch of which Pythagoras spent fo many Years; and at last travelled into AÆgypt, and fubmitted to the painful Rite of Circumcifion, rather than be disappointed of his Expectations; and the refult of this Labour and Travel was, that he attained to a very great Degree of Natural and Divine Knowledge. This was that Knowledge in which Mofes was faid fq; li- to be learn'd, whilft he was educated in cèt Cœli Pharaoh's Court, and which made him regione remotus, Mighty both in Word and Deed, Acts 7. 22. Mente * I rather think that the Knowledge of the Deos adi- Holy Prophets, or Seers, confifted in a it, etquæ more deep and intimate Knowledge of God negavit and Nature, in fuch Degrees as they were Vinibus capable of receiving them, or God was humanis, pleafed to communicate them: They in oculis ea the Sight of God's Spirit faw into the pe&oris haufit. Depths of the Spiritual World; they faw

Natura

Ovid.

into

into the Great End, Purpose, and Defign of the Eternal Love, which as a Clew guided them through all those infcrutable Labyrinths of Providence, in which so many weak and ignorant Searchers have been baffled and loft. They faw that wonderful Harmony, that furprifing Correspondence, that is betwixt all the Difpenfations and Revelations of God; and how the leffer, and feemingly contemptible Occurrences in the Church, throughout all Ages, did (like the leffer Wheels in Ezekiel's Chariot, Chap. 1.) move in a perfect Union and Concurrence with the greater, according to the Will and Direction of the Great Mover and Director; which Confideration may be alfo not a little confirm'd by Teftimonies of many eminent Heathen Writers, who had a traditional Knowledge of many great and furprising Truths and Do&trines of this Nature: See particularly the Learned Mr. Dodwell's Differtation of the Tabula Cali of the Ancients *. Instead * Dr. then of rejecting the plain and literal Grabe's Spicileg. Meaning of the Holy Writers, under pre- ... tence of their being Figurative and Hy- 339. perbolical, we fhould rather endeavour to fearch into the Depths which they defign'd, and fo not cramp the Spirit" of Prophecy, by measuring with our own Line, which is indeed much too fhort: No Man knoweth the Things of a Man, but the Spirit of a Man that is in him, &c.

S 5. THERE fhall be then Wars and 5. The End Fightings; and those General and Univer-or Design of fal, over all the Kingdoms and Nations thofe De folations.

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that

that are upon the Face of the Earth, which fhall begin the Accomplishment of those many Prophecies, which foretel the utter Deftruction of the Wicked, the rooting out of their Seed, and the planting in of the Meek and the Righteous in their ftead. This seems to be the great Meaning of the 37th Pfalm; where the Prophet perfuades the Church of God, in fome eminently perillous time, when the Wicked profper and are mighty, and plot the Destruction of the Righteous, to be patient and wait on the Lord; and not to fret at their Profperity, nor to be afraid of their Devices, v. 7. adding, that in a little time, The Wicked fhall not be, and the Evil-doers fhall be cut off; but that the Meek, and they that wait upon the Lord, fhall inherit the Earth, and fhall be refreshed in the multitude of Peace, V. 9, 10, 11. Which Pfalm, however fome have confin'd it to fome particular Affliction of the Prophet David, making it to be rather an Act of Hope and Confidence, than a Prophecy; yet our Bleffed Lord himself feems to have determin'd it against them, having quoted, verfe 11. as *Matth. a Prophecy yet to be accomplished in the laft times of refreshing, when Righteoufnefs and Truth fhall flourish in the Earth, in oppofition to the prefent World, which (St. John 1 Ep. 5. 19. fays) lyeth in Evil. This I own is ultimately to be understood of the great Deftruction of Antichrift; yet not exclufively of thefe leffer Defolations, which the Princes and Rulers of the Earth fhall bring upon themselves; till finally by the juft Vengeance of God, the Wicked fhall be

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