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vice that he had served against it. I have given him the land of Egypt for his labor, wherewith he served against Tyre, because they wrought for me, saith the Lord God.” A reward of the same kind is also given to this powerful instrument of Providence in the present day. The mystical Egypt, and all its unavailing multitude, and its wealth, are given him for a prey. “He shall stretch forth bir hand also upon the countries, and the land of Egypt shall not escape. But he shall have power over the treasurer of gold, and of silver, and over all the precious things of Fgypt.” This is briefly expressed by the stone striking upon “the feet” of the great image, (the Roman ecclesiastico-political empire,) “which 70/67"e of iron and clay,” and breaking them to pieces; when presently all the several parts which had made up the whole image fell in one after another, like comets into the sun, and made so many additions to the stone ; “and it became a great mountain (thereby,) and filled the whole earth" (or Roman empire.)
* Dan. xi. 42.
Cyrus, another glorious destroyer of men, is mentioned by name in prophecy, a hundred years before his birth, not so much on account of his piety, or humanity, or other eminent virtues, (notwithstanding Xenophon has given a labored encomium of him. For other authors have drawn his character and exploits in very different colours,”) but because of the eventual good to the afflicted jews, which resulted from his successful ambition, and his attainment of the empire of the world. The great cruelty, and bloodshed, and havoc of mankind, by which his power was acquired, is signified in the emblem chosen by the spirit of prophecy (in Danielf) to represent the Persian empire, and CYR Us, its first monarch. “And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it, between the teeth of it, and they said unto it, arise, DEvou R MUCH FLESH.”
* Herodotus, Justin, and Valerius Maximus report, that Cyrus came to a miserable en , being killed in battle by Tomyris, queen of Scythia ; his head was cut off and thrown into a vessel filled with blood, with this taunting reproach of his cruelty.—“Satia te sanguine, Cyre,”—“ ow take thy fill of blood, Cyrus.” The bear, as commentators think, was chosen (in Daniel) for his emblem, on account of its crucity and voraciousness of flesh.
+ Dan, vii. 5,
Yet as the scripture takes notice of extraneous characters, only so far as the church and true people of God would either suffer, or be benefited by the eminent predominaney of their power, the character of Cyrus stands high in the prophetic page; and God calls him “his shepherd,”—because in consequence of his decree, the jews were re-established, and their city and temple rebuilt;and “his servant,” though he was an heathen, on account of the ready obedience be gave to the will of the God of Israel, as soon as it was notified to him, by prophecies committed to writing, and of high established reputation, long before his birth. * “Thus
* The homage which was thus paid to the God of Israel by Cyrus, an heathen prince, at the expence of the strongest prejudices of the Persian Nation, and in contradiction to the first principles of the Magian religion, in which he had been bred, was thus acknowledged in sacred prophecy with the
respect and reward it deserved.
saith the Lord to his anointed, to CYRUs, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him, and I will loose the loins of kings, to open before him the two leafed gates, and the gates shall not be shut. I will go before thee, and make the crooked places straight: I will break in pieces the gates of brass, and cut in sunder the bars of iron. And I will give thee the TREASUREs OF DARKNEss, and HIDDEN RIches of secret places, that thou mayest know that I the Lord, which call thee BY THY NAME, am the God of Israel. For jacob my servant's sake, and Israel mine elect, I have even called thee by thy name:
Light and DARKness were the two first principles, or gods, of the worshippers of fire: yet in the very prophecy which was shewn to Cyrus, (in which he had been named long before his birth, and to which he yielded the obedience of faith, so acceptable to God,) the supreme and sole Daily of jehovah, and the vanity of all other gods is proclaimed; and more particularly, that the two gods of the Persians were nothing more than the mere creatures of his Omnipotence, “I am the Lord, and there is none else, there is no God beside me: I girded thee, though thou hast not known me. I form the light, and create darkness, &c.”—Isai. xlv. 5, 7–See Lowth's note in loc.— Hyde de relig. vet. Pers. cap, xxii.
I have sirnamed thee, though thou hast not
It is evident therefore that the great instruments of God's Providence have been ghosen by the almighty Ruler for the execution of his purpose, of chastising the impenitent and incorrigible, and succouring the humble and believing, not on account of their religious merits, and great humanity, but rather for opposite qualities in them, and their greater fitness thereby for the work whereunto he sends them, without their knowledge. It is owing to peoples not having considered these matters in this point of view, (which I am confident is the only true and correct light in which they can be placed, consistently with the attributes of God, and the declarations of prophecy,) that we hear such unbecoming and desponding apprehensions fall from the lips of men of great intelligence, and the best hearts towards religion of any in the world. “How can these things be #" can it be consistent with a wise
* Isai. xlv. 1. &c.