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bought them, having diffused itself over most of the Asian and African Churches, the swift Destruction which was foretold by St. Peter, was brought upon them by the Saracens, who in a (hort Time over-run the greatest part of Asia and Africa, desolated their Cities, destroyed their Churches, and laid waste ,ma-* ny fruitful Countries; so that in many Respects, there seems to be a great Resemblance between the Calamities that fell upon the ten Tribes by the Assyrians, and those that were brought upon the Christian Church by the Saracens.
The two Tribes which remained (who, notwithstanding aH the Calamities that came upt>n the ten Tribes, and the many Warnings they had given them from Heaven by several Prophets, would not be reclaim'd from their Fondness for Idols) were carried Captive to Babylon, their Temple plundered and burnt, their Cities, and Countrey laid desolate. The Parallel, to which is the State of the remaining part of the Eastern or Greek Churches, into which the grossest Idolatries were introdue'd under Christian NaYnes; and so obstinate were the Ecolesiastics in carrying on this Impiety, that notwithstanding all the Attempts that were made by some of the Greek Emperors to suppress Idolatry, it was not only openly profess'd, butavow'd and establish'd in the Greek and Latin Churches.
This was soon followed by the terrible Vengeance that fell upon the Greek Empire and Churches, by the Turks, who took Constantinople 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 Jerusalem. But this Suggestion is submitted to the Consideration of those who are more vers'd in Ecclesiastical History than I pretend to be.
What is to be the Fate of the Mystical Babylon, and the Antichristian Empire, by whose Idolatries, Impieties and Tyranny the Church has been so long
polluted and oppress'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 Mystical Babylon will fall and be no more.
I am sensible that this Attempt of comparing the Holy Scriptures may by some be thought a needless Undertaking, since there are so many References in the Margin of the greater Bibles; but many of them relate only to "Words of the fame Signification; and beGdes, how few of those who have them, will be at the Pains of turning from one end of the Bible to the other to compare them?
I have endeavour'd to keep the Historical Part entire, but have omitted many Chapters relating to the particular Laws and Customs of the Israelites, inserting chiefly such as are referred to in the New Testament, and other Parts of the Scripture.
The History of their Kings contained in the Books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles are abstracted, only inserting those Chapters out of these Books wher.e the (ame Matters of Facts are most fully related j in many Places the Contents only are inserted, so that the Chapters at length may be easily found and turned to. To which is added some part of the Book of Jeremiob and Daniel, which contain the Relation of Pacts nor. express'd elsewhere.
Though the Holy Scripture instructs us in all Things necessary to our everlasting Salvation, and affords the greatest Comfort and Support in our Passage to it, yet such is the Pride and Perversenefs of some Men, that they chuse to be guided by their own weak Reason, rather than submit to the Direction of the Divine Revelation. But it is no Wonder that those who are indulging their vicious Inclinations, should hate that Light, which not only reproves, but denounces nounces eternal Vengeance against all Ungodliness and Unrighteousness of Men.
The Reasoning upon Righteousness and Judgments to come, by a Prisoner at the Bar, threw once a. Roman Governor into a Fit of Trembling; it is frorri these Pangs that Men of vicious Lives are endeavouring to skreen themselves by Infidelity, and the Hopes that their Souls and Bodies will expire together j 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 persuaded 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 sensible is here imperfectly perform'd, (for I do not pretend to Criticism-,) shall by the Blessing of the Almighty be of the least Use, either in giving Encouragement to any to read the Scriptures with Attention, or shall afford them any Assistance in the right Understanding of them, so that they may take Delight in the Law of God, and medicate therein Day and Night, my Labour will be fully recompensed; for the very Searchies into these Treasures of Divine Wisdom and Knowledge, afford such Delights as are not easily to be express'd.
If it shall please the Almighty to prolong my Life, I will endeavour to pursue the same Method in Relation to the Psalms and the New Testament, in which I have made some Progress.
The Tranflation of the Letter from the Earl of Mirandola to his Nephew, contains so much true Piety, and such strong Reasons for the Practice of it, and so fully recommends the reading of the Holy
Scriptures with Diligence and Attention, that I have added it to this Essay.
That the Almighty may bless and succeed your pious Endeavours in encouraging, instructing, and maintaining the Children educated in the CharitySchools, and that you may reap the Fruits of your Labours here, by seeing these Children become useful, honest, and religious j and that you may* receive the Reward of your pious Charity hereafter, is the hearty Prayer of
'The Translation of a Letter from the Earl
os MlRANDOLA and CoNCORDIA,
to his Nephew, then an Officer in the slrmy, of the Emperor Charles the Fifth. ,
This Earl was esteemed the most beautiful Person 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.
THAT you are surrounded with Temptations to do Evil, and to violate the Rules of Piety you have laid down for the Conduct of your Life, oughe 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 Passage, 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 justly too; for where is the Hope of Glory, if there is none of Vitlory? 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