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self, went to bishop Lloyd, of whom he had then the greatest opinion, both as to his skill in chrqnology and the scriptures, and particularly in the scripture-prophesies; and this, in order to see, whether it might not be fit for him to insert some of his predictions from those prophesies into a preface to those sermons; that upon their completion they might be of service to christianity; upon some of which prophesies he also himself preached part of his second year's sermons; as his relation, who is now in possession of those sermons, as well as another friend of mine who heard some of them, have informed me; though he never printed them ; the reason of which will appear by what follows. For, upon his application to the bishop, and the bishop's frank and open answers, he was so far from being satisfied, that he immediately began to suppose, that his disappointment arose from the sacred books of Daniel and the Revelation themselves, and not only from his own, or the bishop's misunderstanding them. He was offended, that the bishop understood a day in the prophesies to denote a year in their completion; as all expositors had done before him, and as the ancient language of prophesy plainly imply'd. [See Esay on the Revelation, 2d Edition, page 5-18.] Nay, so greatly was he offended at this interpretation, that he long afterward bluntly asked Sir Isaac Newton himself with whom I had brought him acquainted about A. D. 1696.) who thus expounded the prophesies also, whether he could demonstrate the same. Sir Isaac Newton was so greatly offended at this, as invidioully alluding to his being a mathematician ; which science was not concerned in this matter; that he would not see him, as Dr. Bentley told me himself, for a twelvemonth afterward. Nay, so far did he carry this matter, as to persuade the learned Mr. Daubuz, though in the way of banter only, but

such

such a banter as Mr. Daubuz did not perceive, that he ought to demonstrate this exposition, not a posteriori only, as did others; but a priori also ; which he injudiciously attempted to do, in the preface to his Exposition of the Apocalypse; which exposition yet, on account of the great critical faga-, ! city of its author therein shewed, Dr. Bently had in high esteem. He pretended also, that there had never been a version of Daniel made by the Septuagint interpreters; which yet is notoriously known to have been several times quoted by the most ancient fathers; altho' this was afterwards banished out of the church, by Tbeodotion's version. Nay, when Dr. Bentley was courting his lady, who was a moft excellent christian woman, he had like to have lost her, by starting to her an objection against the book of Daniel, as if its author, in defcribing Nebuchadnezzar's image of gold, Daniel vi. to be 60 cubits high, and but 6 cubits broad, knew no better, than that mens height were 10 times their breadth, whereas it is well known to be not more than 6 times. Which made the good lady weep. While the statue, with a pedestal, might easily be 10 times high, even supposing

it were a figure of a man ; which yet is not at all · in the text. It might be an idol standing on the

top of a pillar; as there is, I remember, one in old Persepolis, as the cuts of it in one of our latter travellers demonstrates, He aimed also to pick a quarrel with some small niceties in Daniel's chronology ; and supposed the book to have been written after, the time of Onias, the high priest; and that this Onias was Daniel's Mesiab; and the Naughter of this Onias at Antiocb was the cutting off the Meffab. Dan. ix. 26. 2 Maccabees ii. 34, 35. In short, he was very desirous to get clear of the authority of the book of Daniel. Yet, when he was put in mind how our blessed Saviour exprelly quoted this book,

as

as written by Daniel the prophet himself, Matt. xxiv: 9. Mar. xiii. 14. Luke xxi. 20 ; he told Dr. Clarke, from whom I had it, that at first this made his Hairs stand an End: but that at last he pretended that was done only ad bominem, as we speak; or by way of condescension to the Jewish prejudices. He also tried to run down the Apocalypse, as not written by the apostle John; tho’ I told him it agreed to his own character of St. John's ftile, which he had observed to have much fewer particles of connection, such as Ev, dè, yap 4. t. X than the other evangelists. He also talked ludicrously of this author's beads and borns. And he also tried to find some persons or times to which the author might allude ; as he had fancied of Onias for Daniel. However, he confessed, that he had not then been able to do it, but hoped he should find it some other time. These accounts I had from his own mouth. But what he said of Isaiah's naming Cyrus so long before he was born, viz. that he supposed it an interpolation, I had at second-hand from a learned bishop: But it so exactly agrees with what I had from his own mouth, concerning Daniel and the

Apocalypse, that I have no doubt of the truth of it. Nor need any one hereafter wonder at Dr. Bentley's Scepticism, as to both the Old and New Testament. But take notice, that I only say Scepticism, not Infidelity. For I take the evidence for the truth of the Bible to be so prodigiously strong, in all original authors, that no persons, fo learned as Dr. Bentley and Dr. Hare, can, I believe, by any temptation, proceed further than Scepticison: How much farther soever comparatively ignorant and unlearned writers, I mean, such as Collins, Tindal, Toland, Morgan, and Chubb, may have proceeded in their grosser degrees of infidelity.

As to Dr. Bentley's grand dispute with Mr. Boyle, and his learned friends at Oxford, about

the the epistles of Phalaris, which was esteemed then so important, that the great bishop Lloyd was drawn into the chronological part of it; and which then made a mighty noise in the world; I cannot but wonder, that any serious clergymen should satisfy themselves to divert from their sacred employment, and enter into such useless and trifling speculations. Laymen, I allow it, 'may divert themselves as well with such literary amusements, as with hunting, or hawking: but for clergymen, who are to give themselves wholly co sacred matters, I Tim. iv. 15. To avoid foolish and unlearned questions, knowing that they do gender strifes. 2 Tim. ii. 23. How they can satisfy their consciences in so doing, if they be in earnest in their religion, is hard, exceeding hard, to say. • If any wonder, that I added Dr. Hare to Dr. Bentley, as a kind of sceprick, I shall give my reasons for so doing. Tho'when I first published my Esay on the Revelation, Dr. Hare greatly attended to it (which essay had also preserved a courtier, a friend of mine, from infidelity for a great while; and which, among other books upon the prophecies, had intirely recovered the late lord Abercorn, a confiderable member of the Royal Society, from his scepticism or infidelity; as he fully owned to me himself long before his deach:) yet did Dr. Hare so accustom himself to talk ludicrously of sacred matters; (which Mr. Rundle greatly complained of to me, when I first introduced him to Dr. Cannon and his acquaintance.) He was for laying wagers about the fulfilling of scripture-prophecies, in the same ludicrous way: nay, when he wrote abour the difficulties and discouragements to the study of the scriptures, he could not forbear doing it after a ludicrous manner, tho' he seemed then co mean it very honestly : he was greatly familiar with Dr. Cannon, one of the greatest scepticks that ever was

born.

born. He put such a slight upon our most au- . thentick historian Jofephus, in the preface to his psalms, which hardly any but such scepticks ever do. Nay, he once blabb'd out to me, that grand secret which I suppose Dr. Cannon had asserted : viz. that “ He feared Christ and his apostles were

so weak, as to depend on the double sense of “ prophecies for the truth of christianity:" such as Grotius, and all our late modern commentators admit of; and which even such still later learned men as bishop Chandler, and Dr. Clarke, made use of; till I, upon Sir Isaac Newton's original suggestion, shewed them the contrary. It now fully appearing, that such foolish expositions were so far from being used in the first or second centuries, that they are no older than the fourth ; and were indeed mainly introduced by the learned 7erome, in order to apologize for some knavish quotations of his out of his Hebrew copies. [See Sacred History of the New Testament, page 334, 335.] And I well remember, that when I once told Dr. Hare, that I feared Dr. Cannon had made him a sceptick, his reply was, That he was not so great a sceptick as Dr. Cannon. No, said I, you are a better scholar: for as Dr. Cannon thought mathe. maticks themselves, with Sir Isaac Newton's philosophy built thereon, to be uncertain, as being no mathenatician himself; Dr. Hare being a pretty good mathematician, could not go so great a length with him. But as for Dr. Cannon, he was so thorough a sceptick in religion, that had not my lord Townshend prevailed with him to the contrary, he was once resolved to have cast off his gown and caffock; and refused to have allowed himself to be a clergymnan any longer ; yet would he join with the church in figning the chirty-nine articles, without believing them, as legal qualifications for preferment only, and join wich the Athanafian creed

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