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they must have been written after the accomplishment of the latter part, being so very clear, that is about five or six hundred years after Porphyry's own death. We leave the deist to draw his own conclusion; we will not be too hard
him." P. 40. The instance to which he particularly alludes, and which fixes the stamp of divinity on the whole, occurs in the interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar's dream, the first prophecy in the book, the accomplishment of which is proved by the authority of Machiavel, and Bishop Lloyd the chronoloyer: After this follows Daniel's prophecies concerning the four great kingdoms ;-Mahomet; the seventy weeks ; and the Pope; all of which are explained, and shown to accord strictly with the event. Then follows a brief, but at the same time very forcible, illastration of the predieteå rejeetion of the Jews; which rejection, while it so particularly and wonderfully fulfils the prophetic denunciations, evinces both a providential interference, and the just severity of vindictive power. Mr. Wilkinson's concluding remarks on this subject are so happy that we shall gratify our readers by quoting them.
* The case of the Jews is a very strong one, and may be summed up in a few words : THEY ARE LIVING PROOFS OF THE MOSAIC AND CHRISTIAN DISPENSATIONS, AND THAT THESE BOTH PROCEED FROM God. If our Scriptures were unknown, or destroyed, yet a contemplative man, acquainted with the history of the Jews, and comparing that with the history of other nations ; observing them living alone in the midst of society, of marked. figures and physiognomy, in all climates and countries; a nation scattered and peeled ; a people wonderful from their beginning hitherto; a nation meted out and trodden down, whose land the rivers (i. e. hostile incursions) have spoilt; he would, from all these circumstances, have concluded them to be an extraordinary people, an exception from the rest of the world, and a phenomenon among the inhabitants of the earth. When, therefore, we find them the subject of repeated prophecies, many of which were given nearly 2000 years before their completion, and that they are now evidently protected and preserved for the fulfilment of a great and final prophecy respecting them, we are surely warranted in making that appeal to their case which the most prejudiced unbeliever can never refute. Let him, in contemplating this proof, attend to a circumstance which alone would remove from a fair and candid mind all suspicion of imposture. Of the four Evangelists, three wrote their Gospels before the destruction of Jerusalem, and when that event was by no means expected. They have recorded the prophecy of their Lord and Master. But St. John, who wrote his Gospel twenty yeats after the ruin of the Jewish nation, makes not the slightest allusion to the
VOL, XX. NOV. 1823.
exact completion of so wonderful a prediction. What can such conduct arise from but a generous conviction of the truth of Christianity, which required no additional proof to convince the honest and persuade the well-disposed,” P. 117.
The author's next appeal is to the revelations of St. John, the investigation of which occupies the remainder of the volume. He commences with the exact fulfilment of the prophecies respecting the seven Churches of Asia; and in successive chapters treats of the seals, the trumpets, the first two woe trumpets, the two Churches of the East and West, the Church Universal, the state of the Western Church, and Popery. These are discussed in a very lucid manner; and the interpretation, adopted by the author is confirmed by a reference to historical writers, particularly to Gibbon, whose infidel notions render his testimony the more valuable, in as much as it is a testimony extorted by the force of truth. On subjects so mysterious it is impossible for all to think alike; and as they were, no doubt, designedly involved in obscurity, we must believe it to be for wise purposes. Of all the books of Holy Scripture the Revelations of St. Joha are the most intricate and obscure. Set forth in the boldest figures, and allegories, and visions, and abounding with a vast and celestial machinery, they almost overpower, while they astonish, the inquirer. The awful grandeur which surrounds them, dazzles the intellectual eye; and many, through the agitation of the moment, "are tempted to throw up
the volume in despair: but a beam of light tails not to burst forth upon a steady gaze; by a continued contemplation it becomes brighter and brighter, till the light of divinity dawns upon the book, and it is found to be " the sure word of prophecy," which in part has already received its aceomplishment.
In the last chapter is a short summary of the plan of the book of Revelations, which is followed by some remarks equally pertinent and just, and the whole is concluded in the following words :
“In the struggle against the powers of darkness, the ministers of our Church have not been wanting to their duty, nor have their endeavours apparently failed. To establish the divine inspiration of the Scriptures must effectually tend to repress any rising doubts, and they themselves appeal to the sure word of prophecy, as a proof that they came from God, Whoever shall seriously consider the predictions here laid before him, uttered and recorded long before any of them were fulfilled, whilst the completion of some is now gradually going on before us, he cannot, in his heart, doubt of that inspiration. It may be, indeed, desirable to some, that they should give no account of the past and abandon all hope of the future. But, whilst they must perceive escape to be impossible, let them recollect that repentance is still practicable. Their days will, in the course of nature, soon pass away, their hour of trial will be at an end, when eternity shall receive them to happiness or to misery, as they avail themselves of this suggestion.” P. 226.
Our readers will now be enabled to judge that Mr. Wil. kinson's volume is well calculated to attain the object he had in viewWithout any parade of learning he has compressed a great deal of useful information into a small compass. No critical discussions have been introduced respecting the application of the prophecies, for 'they would serve only to perplex the plain reader for whose sake the work was composed. The author, for the most part, treads in the steps of others, scarcely any new interpretation having been attempted; but he is by no means a servile follower, as be adheres implicitly to no particular system, and in the choice he makes pursues the guidance of his own judgment. On such points as he discusses, perfect unanimity of opinion is not to be expected; but, though in some instances we may not entirely agree with him, he is generally judicious : and, upon the whole, we strongly recommend the volume to the young and the unlearned.
Having thus expressed our sense of the general merits of the publication, we cannot conclude without pointing out what appears to us a considerable omission. We allude to the omission of the prophecies in the Old Testament relating to the life, death, doctrine, and character of our blessed Saviour. That the Hebrew Scriptures were written at least some centuries before the Christian era, and that Christ's history, setting aside the miraculous part, is faithfully recorded in the Gospel, are facts which few bave the bardihood to deny. Now, the exact correspondency between the predictions of the Jewish prophets and the events of that history, forms the strongest possible evidence to the divinity of our religion. Such an entire fulfilment, in so many and so wonderful particulars, could not be brought about by accident; and it seems impossible for any candid mind to reflect upon it, and not to exclaim, This is the finger of God! We throw out this hint in the hope tliat the omission will be supplied in a future edition.
Art. IV. History of the European Languages; or, Re
searches into the Affinities of the Teutonic, Greek, Celtic, Sclavonic, and Indian Nations.
(Continued from page 396).
It was the opinion of Dr. Murray that all the languages of
of the difficulties which attend the study of Latin etymology would be removed by having recourse to those primitive languages which are still used in the north of Europe, and by particularly reviving, among scholars, a grammatical acquaintance with the Anglo-Saxon and the other affiliated dialects of the more ancient Teutonic. The main object, no doubt, of his learned work, was to elucidate the structure of our own language, by trącing to the vocabu: lary of our Gothic ancestors a numerous class of words which, though of the most primitive use, had become extremely obscure both as to meaning and derivation; but he was occasionally induced, nevertheless, to extend the application of his principle to the Greek and Latin also, and to bring forward a variety of strong reasons for believing that the polished languages of Rome and Athens must have drawn their origin from the same source which subsequently produced the Runic and Scandinavian. Hence he paved the way for the somewhat unexpected conclusion that Demosthenes and Cicero, in their famous orations, employed only two different dialects of that rude but energetic speech which was originally spoken in the wilds of Scythia, and used by the most savage of Asiatic tribes.
No small degree of obscurity, it is admitted, continues to hang over the history of the Hellenes and Pelasgi ; and we know not whether any more plausible hypothesis has been any where maintained than that which ascribes their origin to a family of Thracians. That this latter people, again, were
Scythians, appeat's not to admit of any doubt. The autho, rity of Strabo, of Appian, and even of Herodotus, might be confidently adduced in support of such a genealogy; whilst the affinity of the Greeks with the Scythians, through their Thracian progenitors, will come to be established by means of the same facts and reasoning. Dr. Jamieson, in his “Hermes Scythicus," las endeavoured to prove that the Greeks derived both their language and the use of letters, not from the coast of Syria, but from the shores of the Black Sea, and originally, of course, from those extensive countries which are watered by the first streams of the Euphrates and Tigris. It should seem, indeed, that the current of population, accompanied with most of the arts which are necessary in the first stages of social life, had slowed from the east towards the more accessible parts of Europe : and it is worthy of remark, that traditions are still preserved among the pri. mitive and unmixed tribes of Teutonic origin, which seeni to attest their ancient connection withi Asiatic blood and manpers.
Dr. Murray was satisfied that the seat of the Teutonic tribes, before their entrance into Germany, was placed far to the north-east, probably about the lake Aral, or in the vicinity of the Ural mountains; that they never settled on the Euxine, or descended the Wolga, Tanais, or Dneiper ; but that they entered Germany at an early period by traversing at once the Russian and Polish forests. The probability of this opinion rests solely on the pure and original form of the language which at the revival of learning was found among the older branches of the great Teutonic family ;-a proof, it is alleged, that these nations have descended from the primæval race in a direct line—that they have never mixed with foreigners—and that while the Celts, Greeks, and Hindoos have all deviated more or less from the original tongue, the Teutones have adhered to it with a pertinacity which could not have been maintained but at a distance from all intercourse with the south. Again, the resemblance between the languages of Europe and of Upper Asia is so striking that our author felt no hesitation in pronouncing, on that ground alone, all the nations, in these portions of the old world, to be of one lineage, and to have sprung from one common stock; that nevertheless, as he himself adds, the different tribes, as they spread over the face of the earth, were connected by peculiar and special affinities; that the Persians and Indians, for example, must have been one people, about the time of the Assyrian empire ; and that the Slavi or Sauromatæ were northern Persians, who had crossed the Araxes, and dispos