תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

fixed for its accomplishment is called Xpov@ Erre aquer@. The wise heathens meant no more by fate, than that chain of causes, fixt in the divine counfel and decree; which produced their effects by necessary consequence. It is farther observable, that this latter part of the tradition, concerning all mankind being of one language, is agreeable to another antient prophecy, Then will I turn to the people a pure language, that they may all call upon the name of the Lord, to serve him with one confent *. It is agreeable likewise to the Mofaical account, that all the earth was of one language, and one speech, before the confusion of tongues; which both prophecy and tradition promise a restoratio

of.

· But to return to Isaiah's prophecy, with which we fet out: We have seen what may be offered in support of the former part of it in the literal sense. Every val

[blocks in formation]

ley Mall be exalted; and every mountain and hill shall be made low. There are some appearances, which have a tendency towards fulfilling the latter part of it, in the literal sense likewise-The crooked pall be made straight, and the rough places plain.

To this may be added these other passages out of the same prophet. He that putteth his trust in me, mall possess the land, and shall inherit my holy mountain : · And Mall say, Cast ye up, cast ye up, prepare the way, take up the stumbling-bock out of the way of my people*. And again,

Go through, go through the gates : Prepare ye the way of the people: Caft up, caft up, the high way: Gather out the stones : Lift up a standard for the people f. • Is this the voice of a prophet? Or, Is it not the language of a superintendant of the high-roads, giving his orders in modern phrase? Which cannot be more punctually fulfilled, than this prophecy is ac

'

* Ifa. lvii. 13, 14. . ţ Ch. lxii. 10.

Сс 2

com.

complished. For whoever confiders the great improvements made in this kingdom of late years, in straightning and repairing of roads, and in laying out of grounds, may be induced to look upon these beginnings, as an earnest of what may be done hereafter, towards the accomplishment of this predi&ion: And they, that engage in such laudable undertakings, will be encouraged to proceed with the greater spirit and alacrity; when they reflect, that while they employ themselves in this manner for the benefit of the publick ; they act under a divine commission : They carry on the designs of Providence, and contribute their endeavours to fulfill a divine prophecy: Whence they may hope for a blessing on the work of their hands.

I shall close this chapter with some lines out of our poet Prior, who, it seems, fell into this way of thinking:

Disparted streams shall from their chanels fly; And deep surcharg'd by sandy mountains lie,

Obscurely

Obscurely sepulchred. By eating rain,
And furious winds, down to the distant plain,
The hill that hides his head above the skies, -
Shall fall: The plain by flow degrees shall rise
Higher than erst had stood the summit-hill :
For time must nature's great behests fulfill.

Prior's Solomon, Book. I,

[blocks in formation]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][merged small]

ON THE STATE OF THE PRE

Sent EARTH IN RESPECT of IMPROVEMENT AND FerTILITY.

TF we consider the manifold appearances I of design, and of final causes, in the conftitution and government of the world; we cannot avoid concluding, that the great Author and Moderator of it must have laid down some certain plan, upon its first formation, which he constantly, and invariably pursues in the conduct of the whole, and every part, throughout all its

« הקודםהמשך »