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Mucius Scævola, who lost the use of his right hand by burning it in the presence of Porsenna, king of Etruria, whom he had attempted to assassi
In matutinâ nuper spectatus arena
Mucius, imposuit qui sua membra focis,
Abderitanæ pectora plebis habes.
Nam, cum dicatur, tunicà presente molesta,
Ure manum; plus est dicere, Non facio.-Epigram. lib. x. Ep. 25.
You have perhaps, lately seen acted on the theatre Mucius, who thrust his hand into the fire: if you think such a person patient, valiant, and stout, you are a senseless dotard. For it is a much greater thing, when threatened with the troublesome coat, to say, I do not sacrifice, than to obey the command, Burn the hand.' This troublesome coat, or shirt, was made like a sack, of paper or coarse linen cloth, either besmeared with pitch, wax, or sulphur, and similar combustible materials, or dipped in them; which was then put on the Christians, who in order to be kept upright, the better to resemble a flaming torch, had their chins severally fastened to stakes fixed in the ground.* At the same period, many of the most illustrious senators of Rome were executed for the conspiracy of Lucan, Seneca, and Piso; many of whom met death with courage and serenity, though unblest with any certain hope of futurity. With the Christian alone was united purity of manners amidst public licentiousness, and purity of heart amidst universal relaxation of principle; and with him only was found love and good will to all mankind, and a patience, and cheerfulness, and triumph in the hour of death, as infinitely superior to the stoical calmness of a Pagan, as the Christian martyr himself to the hero and the soldier. After such scenes as these was the 2d Epistle to Timothy written, probably, the last which St. Paul ever wrote; and, standing on the verge of eternity, full of God, and strongly anticipating an eternal weight of glory, the venerable Apostle expressed the sublimest language of hope and exultation:-'I am now ready to be offered, and the time of my departure is at hand. I have fought a good fight, I have finished my course, I have kept the faith. Henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge shall give me at that day; and not to me only, but to all them also that love his appearing.' (ch. iv. 6—8.) Surely every rational being will be ready to exclaim, 'Let me die the death of the righteous, and let my latter end be like his!' This then being written to St. Paul's most intimate friend, under the miseries of a gaol, and with the near prospect of an ignominious death, which he suffered under the cruel and relentless Nero, it is peculiarly valuable to the Christian church as exhibiting the best possible evidence of the truth and reality of our holy religion, and affording a striking contrast between the persecuted, but confident and happy Christian, and the ferocious, abandoned, and profligate Roman.†
• See Lardner's Heathen Testimonies, chap. vi. vii.
3. From the multitude of minutely particular circumstances of time, place, person, &c. mentioned in the Books of the Old and New Testament.
The Book of GENESIS comprises the history of about 2369 years, at the least computation, containing an account of the Creation, and the institution of the Sabbath, (ch. i. ii.); the original innocence and fall of man, (ch. iii.); the history of Adam and his descendants, with the rise of religion, and the invention of arts, (ch. iv.); the genealogy, age, and death of the Patriarchs until Noah, (ch. v.); the general defection and corruption of mankind, and the preservation of Noah amidst the general Deluge, (ch. vi. vii.); the renovation of the world, (ch. viii.); the history of Noah and his family, and God's covenant with him, (ch. ix.); the re-peopling and division of the earth, (ch. x.); the building of Babel, the confusion of tongues, and the dispersion of mankind, (ch. xi.); the life of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and Joseph, (ch. xii.—1.)*
The Book of EXODUS embraces the history of about 145 years: containing an account of the cruel persecution of the Israelites under Pharaoh, with their wonderful increase, (ch. i.); the birth, exposure, preservation, education, and exile of Moses, (ch. ii.); his call and divine mission to Pharaoh, for the deliverance of his brethren, (ch. iii. iv.); the miracles performed by him and his brother Aaron, the hardening of Pharaoh's heart, and the infliction of the ten plagues on the Egyptians, (ch. v.―xi.); the institution of the Passover, and the departure of the Israelites from Egypt, (ch. xii.-xiv.); their miraculous passage through the Red Sea, the destruction of the Egyptian army, and their thanksgiving for their deliverance, (ch. xiv. xv. ver. 1-22.): their subsequent journeyings in the wilderness, their wonderful sustenance and guidance, and their idolatry and frequent murmurings against God, (ch. xv. ver. 23.-— xviii.); the promulgation of the law from Mount Sinai, and the erection of the tabernacle, (ch. xix.—xl.)†
The Book of LEVITICUS comprises, at the utmost, only the transactions of a month, and treats of meat, burnt, and peace offerings, (ch. i.—iii.); of offerings for sins of ignorance, (ch. iv. v.); of trespass-offerings for things knowingly committed, (ch. vi. vii.); of the consecration of Aaron and his sons, and of the priests, (ch. viii. ix.); of the sin of Nadab and Abihu, (ch. x.); of clean and unclean animals, (ch. xi.); of the purification of women, (ch. xii.); of laws concerning the leprosy, (ch. xiii. xiv.); of certain uncleannesses, (ch. xv.); of the great day of atonement, (ch. xvi.); of the place of offering sacrifices, and of things prohibited, (ch. xvii.); of marriage, (ch. xviii.); of various laws mentioned in Exodus, (ch. xix.); of the sin of consulting wizards, &c. (ch. xx.); of the mourning, &c. of the priests, (ch. xxi.); of their infirmities, &c. (ch. xxii.); of the sabbath, and the great annual festivals, (ch. xxiii.); of the oil for the lamp, the shew-bread, &c. (ch. xxiv.); of the sabbatical
year, year of Jubilee, &c. (ch. xxv.); of idolatry, vows, &c. (ch. xxvi. xxvii.)*
The Book of NUMBERS Comprehends the history of between thirty-eight and thirty-nine years; containing an account of the enumeration of the people, (ch. i.); their formation into a regular camp, (ch. ii.); the census of the Levites, and their separation for the service of the tabernacle, (ch. iii. iv.); the purification of the camp, &c., (ch. v.); the law of the Nazarites and form of blessing the people, (ch. vi.); the offerings of the princes, (ch. vii.); the consecration of the Levites, (ch. viii.); the celebration of the passover, (ch. ix.); regulations for fixing and removing the camp, (ch. x.); the journey of the Israelites through the wilderness to the land of Moab, (ch. xi.-xxi.); the transactions in the plains of Moab, (ch. xxii..xxxvi.)†
The Book of DEUTERONOMY embraces the history of a period of five weeks, or one lunar month, from the first day of the eleventh month of the fortieth year of the Exodus, to the seventh day of the twelfth month. As the Israelites were about to enter the Promised land, and many of them had not witnessed the various transactions in the wilderness, Moses recapitulates the principal occurrences of the forty years, now almost elapsed, and shews the necessity of fearing, loving, and obeying God, (ch. i.-iv.); repeats the moral, ceremonial, and judicial law, and confirms the whole in the most solemn manner, (ch. v.-xxx.); appoints Joshua as his successor, and delivers a copy of the law to the priests, (ch. xxxi.); prophesies of things which should come to pass in the latter days, (ch. xxxii.); blesses each of the tribes prophetically, (ch. xxxiii.); and then, having viewed the whole extent of the land from the top of Nebo, yields up the ghost, and is buried by God, (ch. xxxiv.) ↑
The Book of JOSHUA comprises the history of about seventeen years, or, according to some chronologers, of twenty-seven or thirty years; containing an account of the commission of Joshua as the general of the Israelites, (ch. i.); the history of Rahab and the two spies, (ch. ii.); the miraculous passage of the Jordan, (ch. iii. iv. v.); the conquest of Canaan under Joshua, (ch. vi.-xiii.); the division of the conquered country among the different tribes, (ch. xiv.-xxi.); the return of the two tribes and a half beyond Jordan, (ch. xxii.); the assembling of the people and first address of Joshua, (ch. xxiii.); his last address and counsels; death and burial of him and Eleazar, &c. (ch. xxiv.) §
The Book of JUDGES comprises the history of about three hundred years; containing an account of the interregnum after the death of Joshua, (ch. i.—iii. 4.); the introduction of idolatry among them by the idol of Micah, (ch. xvii. xviii.); the history of the Levite of Ephraim; the murder of his concubine by the Benjamites; and the war of the other tribes
• Comprehensive Bible, Introduction to Leviticus. Idem, Introduction to Deuteronomy.
+ Idem, Introduction to Numbers.
Idem, Introduction to Joshua.
with them in consequence, (ch. xix.-xxi.); the servitude of the eastern Israelites under Cushan Rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, and their de-. liverance by Othniel, (ch. iii. 5—11.); their servitude under Eglon, king of Moab, and their deliverance by Ehud, (ch. iii. 12-30.); the deliverance of the western Israelites by Shamgar, (ch. iii. 31.); the servitude of the northern Israelites under Jabin, king of Canaan, and their deliverance by Deborah and Barak, with their triumphant song, (ch. iv. v.); the enslaving of the eastern and northern Israelites by Midian, and their deliverance by Gideon, (ch. vi.-viii.); the usurpation and death of Abimelech, (ch. ix.); the administration of Tola and Jair, (ch. x. 1—6.); the oppression of the Israelites by the Ammonites, and their deliverance by Jephthah, (ch. x. 7.—xii. 7.); the administration of Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon, (ch. xii. 8—14.); the birth of Samson; the oppression of the Israelites by the Philistines, and their deliverance by Samson, and his death, (ch. xiii.—xvi.)*
The Book of RUTH contains an account of the sojourning and death of Elimelech and his two sons in the land of Moab; the return of his wife Naomi to Bethlehem with her daughter-in-law Ruth, (ch. i.); the gleaning of Ruth in the fields of Boaz, by whom she is kindly treated, (ch. ii.); the conduct of Ruth, in consequence of the advice of Naomi, by which means she obtains a promise of marriage from Boaz, if a nearer kinsman should decline it, (ch. iii.); the marriage of Boaz and Ruth, the kinsman having refused it; the birth of Obed; with the genealogy unto David, (ch. iv.)†
The FIRST Book of SAMUEL contains an account of the birth of Samuel (ch. i.); with the thanksgiving song of Hannah, (ch. ii. 1-10.); the mal-administration of Eli's sons, (ch. ii. 11-36.); the call of Samuel, and the denunciation against Eli's house, (ch. iii.); the capture of the ark by the Philistines, and the completion of God's judgment against the house of Eli, (ch. iv.); the chastisement inflicted on the Philistines for retaining the ark, (ch. v.); its return, and the punishment of those who profaned its sanctity, (ch. vi.); the repentance of the people at Mizpeh, and the subduing of the Philistines, (ch. vii.); the election of Saul for a king, in consequence of the ill-advised desire of the Israelites, (ch. viii, -xii.); the wars of Saul with the Philistines, (ch. xiii. xiv.); his sins and rejection, (ch. xv.); the anointing of David, (ch. xvi.); his victory over Goliath, (ch. xvii.); his unjust persecutions by Saul, (ch. xviii. -xxvii.); the death of Samuel, whom Saul consults by means of the witch of Endor, (ch. xxviii.); the defeat, death, and burial of Saul and his sons, &c. (ch. xxix.-xxxi.) ‡
The SECOND Book of SAMUEL comprises a period of nearly forty years, from A. M. 2949 to 2989; containing an account of David's receiving intelligence of the death of Saul and Jonathan, with his lamentation over
Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to Judges.
+ Idem, Introd. to Ruth.
them, (ch. i.); his triumph over the house of Saul, and confirmation in the kingdom, (ch. ii.-iv.); his victories over the Jebusites and Philistines, (ch. v.); the bringing up of the ark to Jesusalem, (ch. vi.); the rejection of David's purpose for building a temple, with his prayer on the occasion, (ch. vii.); his victories over the Philistines, Ammonites, Syrians, &c. (ch. viii.-x.); his sin in the matter of Uriah; the divine judgment pronounced against him; his repentance and pardon; with the birth of Solomon, (ch. xi. xii.); his domestic troubles in consequence; the sin and fratricide of Amnon, (ch. xiii.); the rebellion and death of Absalom, and David's mourning on the occasion, (ch. xiv.-xviii.); the return of David, with the quelling of Sheba's insurrection, (ch. xix. xx.); his punishment of the sons of Saul, and last war with the Philistines, (ch. xxi.); his psalm of thanksgiving, his last words, and his mighty men, (ch. xxii. xxiii.); his offence in numbering the people; its punishment; with his penitence and sacrifice, (ch. xxiv:)
The FIRST Book of KINGS comprises a period of 126 years, from A. M. 2989 to 3115; containing an account of the latter days of David, and inauguration of Solomon, (ch. i.); David's charge to Solomon, and death, (ch. ii. 1—11.); Solomon's reign to the building of the temple, (ch. ii. 12. -iv.); his dominion, and preparations for the temple, (ch. v.); the building of the temple, and Solomon's house, (ch. vi. vii.); the dedication of the temple, (ch. viii.); God's covenant with Solomon, (ch. ix. 1-9.); the transactions during the remainder of his reign, and his death, (ch. ix. 10. -xi.); the accession of Rehoboam, and division of the two kingdoms, (ch. xii. 1..19.); the reigns of Rehoboam over Judah, and Jeroboam over Israel, (ch. xii. 20.-xiv.); the reigns of Abijah and Asa, kings of Judah, and of Nadab, Baasha, Elah, Zimri, and Ahab, kings of Israel, (ch. xv.-xxii. 40.); the reign of Jehoshaphat, (ch. xxii. 41. ad fin.)†
The SECOND Book of KINGS contains an account of the reigns of Jehoshaphat and of his associate Jehoram, kings of Judah, and of Ahaziah and Joram, kings of Israel; the translation of Elijah, and the designation of Elisha as his successor, and the miracles wrought by him, (ch. i.—viii. 2.); the reign of Jehoram alone, and of Ahaziah, kings of Judah, and of Jehoram, king of Israel, (ch. viii. 3-29.); the appointment of Jehu as king of Israel, who slays Jehoram, and reigns in his stead; the death of Ahaziah, king of Judah, and the usurpation of Athaliah, (ch. ix.—xi. 3.) ; the reign of Jehoash, king of Judah, and the reigns of Jehoahaz and Jehoash, kings of Israel; the death of Elisha, and the miracle performed at his grave, (ch, xi. 4.—xiii.); the reigns of Amaziah, Azariah, or Uzziah, and Jotham, kings of Judah, and of Jehoash, or Joash, Jeroboam II. Zechariah, Shallum, Menahem, Pekahiah, and Pekah, kings of Israel, (ch. xiv. xv.); the reign of Ahaz, king of Judah; the termination of the interregnum in the kingdom of Israel by Hoshea, the last sovereign, in the ninth year of whose reign, the ten tribes are carried captive to Assyria,
+ Idem, Introd. to First Kings.
Comprehensive Bible, Introd. to Second Samuel.