Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

fixed for its accomplishment is called xpov χρονα, Eμague. The wife heathens meant no more by fate, than that chain of causes, fixt in the divine counfel and decree; which produced their effects by necessary confequence. It is farther obfervable, 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 ferve him with one confent *. It is agreeable likewife to the Mofaical account, that all the earth was of one language, and one speech, before the confufion of tongues; which both prophecy and tradition promife a restoratio of.

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

* Zeph. iii. 9.

ley

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

4

ley fhall be exalted; and every mountain and hill fhall be made low. There are fome appearances, which have a tendency towards fulfilling the latter part of it, in the literal fenfe likewife-The crooked fhall be made ftraight, and the rough places plain.

To this may be added these other pasfages out of the fame prophet. He that putteth his truft in me, fhall poffefs the land, and fhall inherit my holy mountain:

And fhall fay, Caft ye up, caft ye up, prepare the way, take up the fumbling-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 ftones: Lift up a ftandard for the people.

Is this the voice of a prophet? Or, Is it not the language of a fuperintendant of the high-roads, giving his orders in modern phrafe? Which cannot be more punctually fulfilled, than this prophecy is ac

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

Cc 2

com

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

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

Difparted ftreams fhall from their chanels fly; And deep furcharg'd by fandy mountains lie,

Obfcurely

Obfcurely fepulchred. 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 erft had ftood the fummit-hill:
For time muft nature's great behefts fulfill.
Prior's Solomon, Book. I,

[blocks in formation]

1

CHA P. XI.

ΟN THE STATE OF THE PRESENT EARTH IN RESPECT OF IMPROVEMENT AND FER

TILITY.

F we confider the manifold appearances of defign, and of final causes, in the constitution and government of the world; we cannot avoid concluding, that the great Author and Moderator of it must have laid down fome certain plan, upon its first formation, which he conftantly and invariably pursues in the conduct of the whole, and every part, throughout all its

« FöregåendeFortsätt »