« EdellinenJatka »
versal, so the Tradition of it has obtained amongft all Nations. Nothing is more celebrated in the Writings of the Poets, nor can any Event of equal Antiquity boast of lo many concurring Testimonies to support it. Not that sacred History derives any additional Strength from such foreign Recommendations ; but the Mind is pleased to see Truths in which it takes a real Interest, confirmed by the Annals of Nations who had not any such Motives to engage their Belief of them.
P. Here, as I remmber, ends your first Period of ancient History. And indeed the Deluge very naturally offers a new Epocha. The repeopling of Nations after lo general a Destruction looks like a second World rising out of the Ruins of the former. Proceed therefore, and give me some Account of the Affairs of this new People. Years of ibe G. To the Times following after the Deluge World."
we must refer some considerable Changes in the na ordinary Course of Nature. So universal a Shock The Deluge. doubtless caused great Alterations in the At
1656. mosphere, which now took a Form not so friendly to the Frame and Texture of the human Body. Hence the Abridgment of the Life of Man, and that formidable Train of Diseases which have ever since made fuch Havock in the World. The Memory of the three Sons of Noah, the first Founders of Nations, has, we find, been preserved among the several People descended from them. Japhet who peopled the greatest Part of the West, continued long famous under the celebrated Name of Japetus. Ham was revered as a God by the Egyptiars under the Title of Jupiter Hammon. And the Memory of Sem has ever been
held in Honour among the Hebrews his Descen1757. dants. The first considerable Dispersion of Man
kind was occasioned by the Confusion of Languages, fent among them by God, upon their engaging in 2 vain Attempt of building a Tower, whose Top might reach to Heaven. As the Earth, after the Deluge, was over-run with Woods, which became the Haunts of wild Beasts, the great Heroism of those Times consisted in clearing the Ground, and extirpating these Savage Monsters, that held Mankind under continual Alarms, and hindered thein from enlarging their Habitations." Nimrod acquiring great Reputation in this Way, is thence called by Moses a mighty Hunter before the Lord. As his Enterprizes of this Kind foon made him considerable, and naturally tended to pouze Ambition in the Heart of Man, we find him aiming at Dominion over his Fellow - creatures, and establishing
suppo we may began toch was alfar back dithe Accounts
his Authority upon Conquest. Such was the first Begin, ning of Kingdoms. Nimrod founded his at Babylon, where the vain Attempt to build the 1771. famous Tower had been made. - Much about the fame Time the Foundations of Nineveh were laid, and several other ancient Kingdoms established. They were but of small Extent in their first Beginning, as is easy to suppose. In Egypt alone we meet with four Dynasties' or Principalities; Thebes, Thin, Memphis, and Tanis. To this Age also we may refer the Origin of the Egyptian Laws and Policy. Already they began to distinguish themselves by their Astronomiçal Knowledge, which was also cultivated with no less Ardour among the Chaldeans;; for so far back did their Observations of the heavenly Bodies reach, according to the Accounts sent from Babylon to Aristotle by Calisthenes the Philosopher. You will readily suppose that if the speculative Sciences began by this Time to be cultivated, those practical Arts that tend to the Ease and Accommodations of human Life would not lie neglected. Noah had doubtless preserved all the Inventions of the old World; but as the Face of Nature was confiderably altered by the Deluge, new Contrivances must be adapted to their present Circumstances. Hence Agriculture, Architecture, and the Art of polishing Mankind, are found to have flourished very early in the Western Parts of the World, where Noah and his Descendents first settled. In Proportion as we remove from them, we meet with nothing but Barbarity and a favage Wildness. Even Greece itself, which led the Way in Arts and Sciences to the other Exropean Nations, was wholly unacquainted with the most neceffary Concerns of human Life, till Strangers arriving from the Eastern Countries, brought along with them the Knowledge of those more improved Nations. But tho' Arts and Sciences thus flourished in the East, the Knowledge of the truc God seems to have decayed very early. Tradition introduced many absurd Notions into Religion, and made Way for those gross Ideas of the Deity that soon overspread the World. The Number of false Divinities multiplied exceedingly; and this was what gave Occasion to the Vocation of Abraham.
This happened about four hundred and twenty. Years of the fix Years after the Deluge, and in the 2793d Year of the Yulian Period. For then it was, that ad Epocba. the several Ñations of the Earth walking after the vocation their own Ways, and forgetting him that made of. Abraham. them; God, to hinder in some measure the Pro- 2083. gress of this universal Depravation, resolved to separate for himself a chosen People. Abraham was called to be the ,
Father of this distinguished Race. God appeared to him in the Land of Canaan, where he purposed to establish his Worship, and the Pofterity of that eminent Patriarch, whom he promised to multiply as the Stars of Heaven, and the Sand upon the Sea-shore. It is remarkable of this Father of
· the chosen Nation, that tho' abounding in 2094 Wealth, and pofTefled of a Power which had proved an Over-match for that of several Kings united, he yet adhered to the Manners of ancient Times, and contented with the Simplicity of a Pastoral Life, discovered his Magnificence no otherwise, than by the most unbounded and
extensive Hospitality. It was in his Time that 2148. Inachus, the most ancient of all the Kings
mentioned in the History of Greece, founded the Kingdom of Argos. After Abraham, we read of Isaac his Son, and Jacob bis Grandson, who no less distinguished themselves by a Simplicity of Manners and steady Faith in God. Nor did they miss of the Reward due to their Piety. The same Promises were renewed to them, and they equally experienced the Favour and Protection of Heaven. Ifaac blefled Jacob to the Prejudice of his elder Brother Esau, and tho'
deceived in Appearance, only fulfilled the Council 42456 of God. Ejau is also mentioned in Scripture by the Name of Edom, and was the Father of the Idomeans, of no small note in history. - To Jacob werc born the twelve Patriarchs, Fathers of the twelve Tribes of Israel. Among them Jofeph holds a distinguished Place. The Train of Accidents by which he became first Minister to the King of Egypt, plainly speaks the immediate Interposition of Providence, which was thereby preparing for the Accomplishment of the Promises made to Abraham. For to this was owing the Settlement of Jacob's Family in that part of Egypt, of which Tanis was the Capital, and where the Kings took all the Name of Pharaoh. Jacob a little before his Death calling his
Children together, made that celebrated prophe4393 tick Declaration of the future State of their Posterity, in which he particularly discovered to Judah the Time of the Mefliah, and that he was to issue from his Loins. The Family of this Patriarch became in a short Time a great People, insomuch that the Jealousy of the Egyptians being rouzed by so amazing an Increase, they began to lay them
under heavy Oppressions. At length God sends 2433. Moses into the World, delivers him from the
Waters of the Nile, and makes him fall into the Hands of Pharaoh's Daughter, who educates him as her own
2433. Waters of aughter,
Son, and instructs him in all the Learning of the Egyptians, About this Time the People of Egypt fent out Colonies into several Parts of Greece. That of 2448. Cecrops founded twelve Cities or rather Villages in Aitica, of which was composed the Kingdom of Athens, where the Egyptian Laws and Religion where introduced by the Founder. Not long after happened that famous Flood in Theffaly under Deucalion, which the Greek Poets have confounded with the universal Deluge. Hellen, a Son of this Deucalion, reigned afterwards in Thesaly, and gave his Name to Greece. Much about the same Time, Cadmus the Son of Agenor came with a Colony of Phænicians into Baotia, and founded the ancient City of Thebes. · Mofes in the mean time advanced in Years, and being dri- 2473. yen from the Court of Pharaoh, because he opposed the Persecution of his Brethren, Aled into Arabia, where he fed the Flocks of his Father-in-law Jethro forty Years. It was here that he saw the Vision of the burning Bush, and heard the Voice of God 2513. calling to him to go and deliver his Brethren from the Slavery of Egypt. He obeyed the Divine Admonition, and wrought all those Wonders in the Court of Pharach, of which we have so full an Account in Holy Writ. And this brings us to the 4th Period of our History
P. Let me interrupt you here a Moment, now that we are got among the Egyptians, who seem by this Time to have been a powerful People. I have heard much of their wise Constitutions, their great Knowledge in the Sciences, their Pyramids, Obelisks, Temples, and other illustrious Alonuments of Wealth and Grandeur. Were they arrived at this Degree of Eminence among Mankind, in the Age we are speaking of ?
G. In a great measure they were. It is said of Moses by Way of Commendation, that he was instructed in all the Learning of the Egyptians. You have seen them sending abroad Colonies civilizing barbarous Nations, and introducing among them the Constitutions of a just Policy. These are Proofs sufficient both of their Power and Wisdom. Many of their amazing Works, as the Labyrinth, the Lake of M&ris, &c. are indeed of later Date, yet it is certain that the Pyramids were built before the Times we are speaking of. Nor is the Opinion of some learned Men, that the Israelites during their Oppression were employed in this Service, altogether without Foundation ; more especially when we conUder the Nature of the Slavery under which they groaned,
which evidently refers to the carrying on of some considerable Designs in Architecture. But to return to our History. Years of tbe. In the 856th Year after the Deluge, the 430th
orld. from the Vocation of Abraham, and the 3223d ab Eporba of the Julian Period, Moses led the Children of The Departure Ifrael out of Egypt, and received the Law from out of Egypt. God himself upon Mount Sinai. In his Progress
2513. thro’ the Wilderness to the Land of Canaan, he instituted by God's Appointment and Direction, the whole Tabernacle Service. We find him also establishing a Form of Civil Government among the Tribes, in the framing of which he was affifted by the Counsel of his Father-in-law 7ethro. During these Transactions in the Wilderness, the Egyptians continued sending out Colonies into divers Na
tions, particularly Greece, where Danaus found 2530. Means to get Posession of the Throne of Argos,
driving out the ancient Kings descended of Ina2553. chus. Upon the Death of Mofes, Joshua succeed
ed, who began and nearly compleated the Conqueft of Canaan. After him we meet with a Succession of Judges. Unhappily the Israelites, after the Death of the Elders that knew Joshua, forgot the God of their Fathers, and were feduced into the Idolatry of the bordering Nations. This drew down heavy Chastisements from above, and they were fold into the Hands of cruel Oppressors. But when in their Distress they called upon God, he failed not from Time to
Time to raise up a Deliverer. Thus Othniel put 2599. an End to the Tyranny of Culhan King of Me
sopotamia, and 80 Years after Ehud delivered them 2679. from the Oppression of Eglon King of Moab.
Much about this Time Pelops the Phrygian, the Son of Tantalus, reigned in Peloponnesus, and gave his Name to that famous Peninsula. Bel or Belus, King of the Chile deans, received from his People Divine Honours. The Jews ensfaved or victorious, according as they honoured or forsook their God, experience many Vicissitudes of Fortune, as may be feen in the Histories of Deborah and Barak, of Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, &c. This Age is considerable for many great Revolutions among the Heathen Nations. For according to the Computation of Herodotus, who seems the most exact and
worthy of Credit, we are here to fix the Foun2737. dation of the Asyrian Empire under Ninus the Son
of Beius, 520 Years before the building of Rome, and in the Time of Deborah the Prophetess. He established the Seat of it at Nineveh, that ancient City already famous