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that case, immediately succeed. Hence events; the success of the Syrians it is concluded, that Isaiah delivered against the Jews, and the embassy to Ahaz the prophecies contained in from Abaz to Tiglath-pileser, might this chapter soon, very soon, after he take up one year ; his descent upon had succeeded his father as king of Damascus, the capture of that city Judah, even in the first year of his and people, with the slaughter of Rereign. And this first year of Ahaz, zin, might be accomplished in another. according to 2 Kings xvi. 1, was the If so, this would be rather before the seventeenth of Pekah’s reign over destruction of Pekah.
Here again, Israel.
then, it may be concluded that Abaz In 2 Kings xv. 30, it is said that had not reigned three years when this Pekah was slain by Hoshea, in the event took place. That is, it was twentieth year of Jotham, son of Uz- about two years after the prophet had ziah; that is, in the twentieth year spoken unto the king, as recorded in from Jotham being inade king, for Isaiah, ch. vii. Jotham himself reigned only sixteen Now, as it is most probable that years; see ver. 33. Now Pekah began Isaiah went in unto the prophetess, to reign in the fifty-second year, that and that she conceived shortly after is, in the last year of Uzziah's reign; the predictions had been delivered to and he reigned twenty years.
Com- Ahaz, and as nine months must be pare ver. 2 with ver. 27. Jotham be- allowed for the time of gestation, the gan to reign in the second year of birth of the child Maher-shalal-hashPekah, verse 32; and by comparing baz, must have been some time in this with the last-quoted verse, it is the second year of Ahaz. Thence plain that his reign would commence reckoning forward till the time of the just after Pekah entered his second death of Rezin and Pekah, in the third year. As Jotham reigned sixteen year of Ahaz, as has just now been years, and Ahaz succeeded his father shewn, the age of the child could not in the seventeenth of Pekah, it is have been two years; very likely not hence inferred, that Ahaz began to much more than one. At that age, it reign just about, rather after than is by no means probable that he should before, the time that Pekah completed be able to cry my father and my mohis seventeenth year. Consequently ther. Consequently, according to Isa. the twentieth of Jothain will be some viii. 4, the riches of Damascus, and where in the third year of Ahaz, but the spoil of Samaria, were taken away before that year was completed. For before that time. In like manner it add to rather more than one, (Pekah may be added, that at that age the having just entered his second year,) child could not know to refuse the the sixteen years of Jotham's reign, evil and choose the good. And, therethis will give rather more than the fore, before that period, agreeably to seventeenth of Pekah. As then there Isa, vii. 16, the land which Ahaz abwould not be three years wanting to horred was left desolate of both her complete the twentieth of Jotham, kings. Thus the prediction and acthat would fall about the second, or complishment of the sign have been at farthest before the third of Abaz verified. was completed. Ahaz then had not 2. It is also said, that “within reigned three full years when Pekah threescore and five years” from the was slain by Hoshea, and the land of time of the prophecy being delivered, Ephraim left desolate of her king. “ Ephraimn shall be broken that it be
Of Rezin there is not so particular not a people.” This also we shall an account given, nor have we such verify by shewing its accomplishment. notes of time as will enable us so ex- In doing which the notes of time must actly to determine the time of his be collected from the account of the death. But from the narration given reigns of the kings of Judah and Isof it in 2 Kings xvi. 6—10, it may be rael, and from a comparison of tlie inferred, that his death must have hap- two together. That there may not In the space of two years there seems phecy, it will be proper to compute
of a sufficient length of time for the ac- rather above than under what may be complishment of all the intermediate exactly indicated.
From the time of the Prophecy being time of its exhibition, and the very delivered by Isaiah,
nature of it, could not possibly anAhaz reigned sixteen years; 2 Kings said they, not without some show of
swer any such purpose. For how, xvi. 2. Hezekiah reigned twenty-nine years, of a future event, which he was dis
reason, could a person be persuaded 2 Kings xviii. 2.
But Samaria was taken, and Ephraim posed to question, merely from being broken, that it was not a people in the told, at the same time, and upon the sixth year of Hezekiah, ch. xviii. vers. 9 same authority only, that a second -1.1. These six years then being added event, not less improbable than the to the sixteen of Ahaz's reign, this event first, should succeed it in after ages ? happened about twenty-two years after The answer has been already given, the prediction, that is, it was much with and the sign shewn to result from a in the limited time of sixty-five years, precurrence of facts, well attested by that Ephraim was broken, that it was credible witnesses, and, therefore, imnot a people.
possible to be overlooked or mistaken; From the time of the Prophecy being not posterior to, but preceding, what delivered by Isaiah,
was meant to be established by them.” Pekah reigned three years, 2 Kings xv.
See Blayney's Sermon, pp. 14, 15., 27, and xvi. l, He was cut off in the third of Ahaz, by Hoshea, who began to
Exeter, reign in the twelfth year of Ahaz's reign. Sir, August 17, 1823. Consequently there was an interreign of nine years.-Hoshea reigned nine years, IN your monthly list of New Pub
you ch. xvii . ver. 1 ; Pekah reigoed three, tice a very extraordinary work by Dr.
have omitted to nomaking together twenty-one or twenty- Fletcher, a Catholic Priest, entitled, two years, agreeably to the result of the “Thoughts on the Rights and Prereigns of the kings of Judah. Thus, then, is this prediction of the prophet rogatives of Church and State.” fully verified.
I caught a glimpse of the book as
it passed through Exeter, and in that 3. It is again added, that if Ahaz cursory view of it met with assertions did not believe, surely he should not which astonisheil me and will surbe established. The Lord would bring prise those readers of the Repository upon him, his people and his father's who have not met with the publihouse, the king of Assyria and the cation. Egyptians. By them the country At page 86, he says, “ It is not would be laid desolate, the people led true that the constitution of this away captive, and every thing de- country is Protestant. It is on the stroyed. For the accomplishment of contrary much rather Catholic. When this, see 2 Chron. xxviii. 20; xxxii. it is said that the constitution is Pro1,9; xxxiii. 11; xxxv. 20—24; and testant, is the meaning of the asserxxxvi. throughout. These passages, tion this, that therefore the king and with the corresponding ones in 2 his ministers, the members of the Kings, and their parallels in several of legislature and of the government are the prophets, abundantly verify this or ought to be, the believers of the third prediction delivered in the name thirty-nine articles, or the professors of the Lord, by Isaiah to Ahaz him- of the doctrines of the Church of self.
England? Is such the import of the “I am now come to a conclusion term? No, it is not, because we of what I had to offer on this very may remark the state for ever admits plain prophecy; which appears, mé- into its councils and its cabinet, into thinks, with so much consistency, its parliament and various offices, men clearness and unity, from the begin- of very different and even opposite ning throughout, that I flatter myself religions, Calvinists, Presbyterians, we cannot be far from seeing it in its Methodists, &c., ray even soinetimes, true and proper light. I am not con- men of no religion, (for we have seen scious of the least force put upon the even this,) Socinians, Unitarians, Denatural construction or meaning of ists and unbelievers. Therefore the the words. Unbelievers can no longer consequence is, that the constitution deride us for admitting a fact for a is not Protestant in this sense, that sign, which, both on account of the men are bound in order to cnjoy the privileges of the state to profess the hers of the Established Church, the religion of the state.”
Unitarian Dissenters, knowing what There is so much confusion in the it is to be excluded from the common style of this writer, that it is not al- rights of citizens, advocated their ways easy to find out his meaning. cause. But to plead with such a per. In the above passage he discovers a son on principles of liberality and total ignorance of Protestantism, and gratitude, is to address him in a lanthe principles on which it is founded. guage he does not or will not underI had always understood that a Pro- stand. From Dr. Fletcher we can testant was one who rejected the appeal with pleasure to other Cathocorruptions of the church of Rome, lics of more enlarged and liberal and who appealed to the Scriptures as minds. To use the words of another the sole rule of faith and practice. Catholic clergyman, “ I have conThis I found asserted in innumerable versed, indeed, only with men of writers, and the truth of it is evident liberal minds, and as long as I am from the whole history of the re- permitted to choose my own comformation. In these principles, "Cal- pany, I will associate with no others. vinists, Presbyterians, Methodists, When they cease to be found, it will Socinians and Únitarians," are united be time to retire to the woods.” I with the Church of England, without have the pleasure of being well aca single exception.
quainted with another clergyman of This writer is not the first who has that communion in this city, who is associated the Unitarians with Deists. one of its brightest ornaments, and And if to distinguish Christianity from would be an honour to any comits corruptions, to preach and live munion, who is animated with the under the warrant of Scripture, and same liberal spirit and has expressed to inculcate sound morals on the his unqualified disapprobation of this prospect of that immortality which publication. was brought to light by the gospel,
JAMES MANNING. be a sign of Deism, Unitarians will
P. S. While the author represents have no objection to the name of the different sects of Protestants as Deists. The frequent use of these being of different and even opposite invidious aspersions, by intolerant religions, is he aware that Protestants bigots, will take out their sting. The miglt, on the same grounds, assert world is not so ready as it has been, that the Augustines, Benedictines, to follow the cry of designing men. Carmelites, Dominicans, Franciscans, To affirm the globe we inhabit to be and a variety of other sects, such as round, was deemed heresy a few the Jesuists, the Jansenists, and Moages back, and for asserting its mo- linists, are of different religions ? tion the immortal Galileo was confined in the dungeons of the Inquisition. But the term heretic has, ia
July 24, 1823.
CANNOT that ever infested religion are found to be spiritual pride, priestly ambi- ternity and the supposed mystery tion, the love of dominion, and the choose to designate the popular doc
in the Athunusian Creed; for so I spirit of persecution.
But to place us on a footing with trine, rather than by the term Tri“ Deists and Unbelievers," does not nity, which being an equivocal word, satisfy this Dr. Fletcher. He will may be, and often is adopted by pernot allow us to have any religion,
sons of different sentiments, in their He has falsely, malevolently, and
own sense. It is therefore high time without the smallest provocation, in
that this term should be discarded. sulted those who merited far other it, by not using explicit terms,
Controversialists make sad work of treatment from a Catholic. In whatever light I view his conduct, it ap; no conclusion." But-to the point.
Hence, everlasting discussion, and pears to ine weak, indiscreet and ungrateful. While the claims of the
I think that your correspondent (p. Catholics to an enlargement of their toleration was opposed by the mein
* Rev. Joseph Berington,
339) has not sufficiently attended to might seem to imply a defect in his the important distinction between a benevolence; and on the other hand, inystery or dificulty, i. e. something to consider creation as an eternal beyond the reach of our present fa- effect of an eternal cause, must ever culties, and a manifest absurdity or appear to us almost to involve a contradiction. The Scriptures allude contradiction ; we can only conclude to three sorts of mysteries ; first, that these things are among the Dithose of the kind first mentioned; vine incomprehensibles, and cry out secondly, something formerly doubtful with the great apostle upon another or concealed, but now made mani- occasion, ( the depth ?” It is of fest; and lastly, the mysteries of An- great importance to know where to tichrist, or of Babylon the great, stop, as well as when to proceed. the mother of harlots, and of the “ The meek will he guide in judgabominations of the earth.” In this ment, and the meek will he teach his latter sense, it has been well said, way.” that “there are no mysteries in the Ás to the other supposed mystegospel.”
rious doctrine of Dr. Southwood Smith In the quotation from Dr. Priestley, and other Necessarians, the subject the writer views the sublime subject being, by common consent as it were, only, in the same light in which it proscribed your pages, I shall only has been represented by the greatest skim the surface. We are under divines and philosophers. “In our great obligations to the Doctor for his idea,” says the Doctor, we consider book on “ the Divine Government.”
eternity past,” and an “eter- If he has embraced any sentiments nity to come,” the former as dimi- which are contradictory as well as nishing, and the latter as increasing; mysterious, and which in the opinion time being the isthmus or stage be- of many thinking persons, are distween them : but this is only “ in honourable to the Divine character our idea,” for eternity in the abstract, and government, no doubt they have or strict philosophical sense, bath not so appeared to him. If any one neither beginning nor ending; it is could explain a knotty point in di. invariable, or infinite duration; as vinity or philosophy, to the level of time is successive, or limited du- plain understandings, it would be ration. This appears to me to be Dr. Hartley, but many have thought the sense of the passage, and by re- his arguments upon this point weak peating the phrase " in our idea," and inconclusive. To say that the the Doctor evidently intended to point Almighty cannot carry on his plans out the modes of the Divine existence here below, without the arm of the as utterly incomprehensible by us; assassin, the depredations of the robbut this statement is so far froin in- ber, the blasphemies of the impious, volving a contradiction, that on the and the machinations of wicked statescontrary it is a self-evident proposi- men and politicians, which render tion, since nothing can be plainer the earth a scene of carnage and of than the axiom of Dr. Clarke, ex- blood ; in a word, to represent the pressed in his peculiar, concise and divine regiment or economy, with energetic language, than that, “ as regard to his creature man, as “ disomething now is, it is evident that vided against itself,” is to adopt a something always was ;” and this scheme of moral philosophy, which “something that always was," must should certainly not be hastily taken be mind, and not matter -- which is up, and which many (otherwise) orthe grand argument against Atheism. thodox writers and divines have
Your correspondent intimates that thought it necessary to discard. the Doctor has supposed " the Deity must have exerted his creative power
“ Plac'd for his trial, on this bustling
stage, from all eternity;" but he has not
From thoughtless youth to ruminating quoted the passage. This however,
age ; appears to be a topic far beyond the Free in his will, to choose or to rereach of our present faculties. If to suppose the Almighty passing an
Man may improve the crisis or abuse. eternity (so to speak) solely in the Else, on the Fatalist's unrighteous plan, contemplation of his own perfections, Say to what bar amenable were mau ?
With nought in charge, he could betray arguments which should enable them
bravely to face and cheerfully to bear And if he fell, would fall because he the sufferings and hardships to which
they would be exposed. Among other If love reward him, or if vengeance things, he reminds them of the provistrike,
dence of God, than which no consideHis recompence in both, unjust alike."*
ration is better suited to fortify the I. L.
minds of good men against the evils
and calamities of life. “ Are not two Sir, F you think the following essay, of them shall not fall to the ground
sparrows sold for a farthing? and one Ilich remains among the papers of the Rev. John Holland, of Mobberley, hairs of your head are all numbered:
without your Father ; but the very (of whom see Vol. V. p. 327,) may be fear not, therefore, ye are of more read with some advantage by those value than many sparrows." As if he engaged in the present discussion on had said, “ Be not discouraged by the Providence, it is at your service.
prospect of those sufferings of which I
have forewarned you; for nothing can That all events, both great and happen to you but under the cogni. small, are appointed by the providence zance and by the appointment of God. of God, is indisputably the doctrine His care extends to all affairs, howof the Holy Scriptures. The history ever minute and inconsiderable. Bewhich they give us of the Jews and ings, much inferior in dignity, and other nations, the incidents relating things which seem of the most trifling either to societies or to particular nature, fall under his inspection, and persons, are constantly mentioned as
are ordered and conducted by his proproceeding from God, who is fre- vidence. Be assured, therefore, that quently mentioned by our Lord him
you, and what concerns you, will not self, and by all the sacred writers, as be overlooked. He knows every thing directly concerned in whatever hap, that concerns you; and how should pens. We are apt, indeed, to regard he but know it, since he was the orithe affairs of our own race, as of pe- ginal cause of it? As he is acquainted culiar importance; and therefore as
with your sufferings, you cannot doubt worthy, in an especial manner, of the but he will reward Гуоu for them; and Divine care and superintendence. But
as they proceed from his wise and the Scriptures assure us, that not only just appointment, you ought to bear the concerns of mankind, but those them with cheerfulness and patience." also of the most inconsiderable orders
In illustration of these words I shall of existence, are managed by the Fa- endeavour to shew, that the providence ther of all. “ These all wait upon of God extends to all things, however him, and he giveth them their meat minute, and seemingly of a trifling in due season; he openeth his hand, nature. And this appears to me the they are satisfied with good.” “Be- more necessary, as I'am afraid it is hold the fowls of the air ; for they a truth not much believed, and less sow not, neither do they reap, yet our attended to by the generality of manheavenly Father feedeth them.” Nor kind. For it is now become somewhat is his goodness confined to living crea- unfashionable, and regarded as the tures; he forms and cherishes the work of a vulgar and superstitious very grass and flowers of the field, and mind, to search for providence in the clothes them with inimitable excel- daily occurrences of life, and to ascribe lence and beauty.
common and ordinary events to the But this doctrine of an universal Divine Power. There is, indeed, no providence is, perhaps, most strongly occasion that we should be perpetually asserted in our Saviour's instructions talking of God and providence ; this to his disciples, when he was sending might look like hypocrisy and affectathem out to preach the gospel. After tion, and might give reason to suspect warning them of the persecution and that we are desirous to seem very cruel treatment they should meet devout, whether we really are so or with, he proceeds to suggest several not. But though it may not be pro
per that God should be in all our * Couper's Prog. of Error. discourse, yet we ought to keep him