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There is a further remark, which seems to lend some additional weight to arguments which are conclusive in themselves. For on this view we may trace a kind of cycle in the most popular names, of which two were certainly titles in some cases, and the third seems to be used in Scripture as indicative of royal grandeur. We shall then have a succession of this kind-Darius the Mede, Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes; Darius Hystaspes, Xerxes or Ahasuerus, Artaxerxes; Darius Nothus, Xerxes II. or Ahasuerus, Artaxeries Mnemon. The title Artaxerxes seems then to have been assumed by Ochus and Arses in succession, and the list closes with a monarch who assumed the name of Darius.
There are two further indications that the Artaxerxes of Ezra vii. was really Artaxerxes Longimanus. The time of his accession is fixed by profane authors near the end of the Julian year. But this will exactly agree with Neb. i. ii., where the ninth month, Chisleu, in his twentieth year, precedes the first Jewish month in the same year of the king. Again, the words in Ezra vii. 23, seem a plain allusion to the tremendous overthrow of Xerxes in his Grecian expedition. That king, unlike Cyrus or Darius, the two most prosperous monarchs, had done nothing for the house of God, and there seems a direct reference to the disasters which marked his reign.
To conclude - for our space is exhausted, while a wide field of remark still remains—the leading features of the question may be briefly summed up as follows. The inspired history gives us a clear succession-Nebuchadnezzar, at least 43 years; Evil Merodach and Belshazzar, before the fall of Babylon; a short Median reign—and then Cyrus, the victor of Babylon; two short reigns, together less than 12 years; Darius, the first Persian king of that name, and an Artaxerxes, whose reign was more than 33 years, with a probable distance of 120 years from his accession to another Darius, called the Persian. On the other hand, both the Canon, the most complete and consistent account, independent of Scripture, and Herodotus and others, who were contemporary with these reigns, give us 36 years for Darius Hystaspes, who overthrew a short-lived Median usurper, Xerxes for 20 years, Artaxerxes for 41 years, and Darius Nothus for 19, A.D. 424–405. Before Hy. staspes they place Cyrus for 9 years, Cambyses for 7, and Smerdis for 7 months. If we identify Darius Nothus with the Darius of Haggai, we flatly contradict the scriptural interval for the two previous reigns, and overthrow its distinction of the two dynasties, the Median dominion of the first Darius, the independent rule of Cyrus, or even the knowledge of his existence among all contemporary writers, and the known facts of the reign of Hystaspes ;
we split up Nebuchadnezzar into two separate kings, and make them both viceroys of Darius Hystaspes, in times only just before the battle of Marathon. We suppose Herodotus to have made a king of Egypt to have been dead eighty years, who was living two years before his own lifetime, and a king of Persia to have been dead forty years, who was living when his history was finished. We invent three Cyruses, one of them later than Pericles, and unknown to Herodotus, one of them intervening between Cambyses and Hystaspes, and unknown to all historians. In short, we bury ourselves under a pile of contradictions, from which it is impossible to escape without abandoning the whole system. On the other hand, the usual chronology may be established, in its main features, by Scripture evidence alone; is confirmed by the best and fullest profane witness, the Astronomical Canon ; agrees with Herodotus in all the events of his own lifetime, and of the fifty previous years; and is quite as consistent with the Persian legends themselves, as that system, purely conjectural, which rests on these for its chief and most trustworthy foundation.
There are several other topics, on which we would gladly enter. But we trust that even these brief remarks are enough to confirm our original statement, and to prove the solid foundation of the chronology, which has been commonly received. We must reserve all further reflections to some more favourable opportunity; for the whole subject is rich with trains of interesting thought to every devout mind.
THE TWO RESURRECTIONS, IN THEIR RELATION TO
THE DOCTRINE OF ELECTION. By J. G. MANSFORD. London : Nisbet. 1846. · Those who move in the world of science are ever and anon fated to hear of some new discoverer, who has at last, he fancies, found out a veritable “ perpetual motion." But the experienced always turn on their heel, saying with a smile, “He will find himself mistaken,-Gravity will not be cheated!”
In like manner, every ten or even every five years, we are favoured with some new scheme, for rendering the doctrine of Election tolerable to human pride. We cannot smile on such sucjects, but we can answer, as succinctly as the philosopher, “Omniscience will not be eluded.”
For the whole question is one of whether the attributes of God are perfect or not. If the Divine Omniscience be perfect, then every single act, word, and thought of every human being now living, or that ever will live, is entirely known; and has been known from all eternity. And what is and has ever been, entirely and absolutely known as a thing which certainly will happen, cannot be reduced to the rank of a thing which may happen.
This, we apprehend, is the centre or turning-point of the doctrine of Election. There is nothing unknown to God ;- either of things which have been, or which are, or which shall be. And to know, is to permit,-even such awful facts as sin, Satan, and hell, —for none will deny God's power to annihilate such facts, if He saw it right to do so. And this is all the “Reprobation” that we dare venture to believe or to assert.
But if every thing is thus certain beforehand, what room is there for human effort or human choice?
Let every man's daily walk answer this question. If my child is dangerously ill, do I not entirely believe, that God most certainly knows, whether she will recover, or die of the disorder? And more,—that if she dies, it will be because He does not see fit to heal her? Yet does this conviction at all lessen my anxiety or diminish my exertions ? Shall I not seek for the ablest physicians,—the tenderest nurses,—the best air, food, and medicine;and why? Because I love the child, because the thought of losing her is exceedingly painful,—and because we all naturally shrink from pain, and do all we can to put it away from us..
One single passage of St. Paul's life shews us both of these principles, -faith, and feeling,-actively at work. In St. Paul's voyage, at the crisis of danger, he says to the captain,
“ I exhort you to be of good cheer: for there shall be no loss of any man's life among you, but of the ship. For there stood by me this night the angel of God, whose I am, and whom I serve, saying, Fear not, Paul; thou must be brought before Cæsar : and, lo, God hath given thee all them that sail with thee. Wherefore, sirs, be of good cheer: for I believe God, that it shall be even as it was told me." (Acts xxvii. 22-25.)
Yet immediately after, we find him saying,
“Except these” (the sailors) “ abide in the ship, ye cannot be « saved."
But it is time that we said something of Mr. Mansford's work. His theory is, we suppose, in one respect new; for he unites Baxterianism with Millennarianism. He will not reject the doctrine of Election, for he finds it in the Bible: he will not believe, nevertheless, that any man is “ called,” without being quite able to obey the call. But the whole mystery, he thinks, is solved in the xxth of Revelations.
The original difficulty he thus states : “The Arminian stands upon his freedom of the will; and thinking it necessary in order to maintain this, that a personal election should have no place in his system, denies that there is any such thing; and thus casts a stumbling-block in the way of him who finds in his Bible irresistible evidence in favour of such an election. The ultra-Calvinist, on the other hand, standing on his election, and contending that to the election only belong the invitations and promises of the gospel, throws his, and a far more dangerous stumblingblock, in the way of the anxious inquirer. The latter, perhaps, is told that he has no concern with the decrees of God; that it is his part to believe and to act as if there were no such revelations, and to leave the issue to God, who will vindicate his own ways in due time—a pious conclusion, and the best advice which, under the circumstances, can be given, and which has answered the purpose with many a humble mind. But there are minds of an order not to be thus pacified. It is in vain to argue with such, that there must be mysteries in religion; that both in the being and the ways of God there must be things incomprehensible to his creatures ; and that he will assuredly make his paths plain, and justify all his ways. Granted, (such a mind as the one I am supposing may answer,) that there must be mysteries in the being and ways of God which finite minds cannot see through, and before which my wisdom consists in bending with submissive faith. Such, for instance, is the mystery of the triunity of the Godhead. My natural reason rises in rebellion at the reception of such a truth; but even reason, when a little subdued by the strength of the evidence, acquiesces in the possibility, mysterious as it is, that three divine persons or essences may, in some way incomprehensible to me, be united in one being. But if, instead of the mystery being presented to me in this shape, it be contended that three make five, and that with three persons only there are five Gods, my reason asserts her prerogative of distinguishing a mystery from a simple incongruity -possible truth from palpable error; and assures me at once that here is, indeed, a flat impossibility. Just so with the common interpretation of the doctrine of election. When I read that God has a revealed purpose of rescuing in an especial manner, independent of themselves, a certain portion of the human race from the ruin incident to all; and when, with this fact strong on my mind, I read further and find that all are invited to come and share in
the salvation provided for all, without exception of any, my reason, as in the case of the Trinity, prompts an act of rebellion against this twofold and apparently incongruous revelation, and asks in what possible way it can be made consistent with itself."-(pp. 49, 50.)
This difficulty Mr. Mansford apparently thinks to have been insuperable, until the xxth chapter of Revelation was written; for there, for the first time, he finds a key. That key is thus described :
“As we come into the clearer light of a posterior revelation, the mists which hang upon it recede, inasmuch as that revelation discloses the existence of two distinct parties, who are to be judged at different times, and in a different manner. 'If we reject this testimony, the question becomes more vexed, and the difficulties thicken as we approach the closing scene, where, if anywhere, we might expect to find them removed; but where, as commonly understood, they may be said to concentrate. If it is found that there are here indeed two parties placed in widely different circumstances, with just the difference in character and position which may explain all that had been said of both, either separately or conjointly, before this great distinguishing feature and privilege of a first resurrection had been distinctly revealed, the question proposed may be considered as answered in the negative.
* The simple fact of the existence of these separate parties thus perspicu. ously revealed to us, if nothing more were said of them, might help to correct our mistakes, and to relieve our perplexities, respecting the Scripture statements of an election by grace and man's final and impartial judgment. But there is more; and in examining what is here said of these parties, and tracing the correspondence between these statements and the previous ones referred to, I trust it will be found, that nothing which we can reasonably desire is wanting to establish that correspondence; and thus to give increased brightness and distinctness to the revealed purposes of God and the prospects of the assured believer; to clear away a heavy cloud from the inquiring but humble and over-anxious believer; and to strip the scoffer of what has ever been one of his most effective taunts against evangelical truth."-(pp. 16–18.)
“If we now go back to see what had been made known by previous in. spiration respecting those thus elected and registered in the book of life
from the foundation of the world,' or 'before the world began,' we find them to be the chosen,' the predestinated,' and the 'adopted' (Ephes. i. 4,5) -the elect' (Titus i. 1, 2)—the 'called according to his own purpose (2 Tim. i.9);-in other words, the saints, or elect church."-(p. 20.)
“From this chain of Scripture testimony is to be gathered,-1. That by comparing Rev. xx. with Dan. vii. the first resurrection saints are not confined to those of a specific epoch, or to a particular mode of death, and that the saints of both correspond in the leading feature of judging or reigning over the kingdom. 2. That the king-priests of St. John are the same as the royal priesthood of St. Peter. 3. That both answer to the regenerate and the chosen or elect people. 4. That these are the redeemed by the blood of the Lamb out of all nations and in all ages,-'the prophets,' as well as the New Testament saints. 5. That these all, receiving their reward at the coming of Christ, correspond with the resurrection saints of the Apocalypse:
“To these, that is, to those of the elect who had passed into the state of death before the resurrection, must obviously be added those who, if they had died before this event, would have been raised with their brethren, but who alone, of all the earth, will enjoy the privilege of not tasting death at all, and who, by a momentary change, as in the twinkling of an eye, will be transformed into the same glorious state reserved specially for the elect. And it is to be remarked, that in that sublime account of the resurrection given by St. Paul, in 1 Cor. xv., these two parties of beatified saints are the