Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

Of the Portuguese about thirty two were killed, and three hundred wounded.

Almeed, notwithstanding this success, was afraid left the fleet might receive fome damage that night, and therefore ordered it to be withdrawn from the city. Next day Melichiaz sued for peace; for Mirhocem had fled into the kingdom of Cambaya. The conditions of the peace were, that all the Portuguese prisoners should be restored, and all the fultan's soldiers and ships, which had escaped out of the fight, inmediately delivered up. These being complied with, he fet fail for Cochin'

In the mean while, by the arts of an abandon’d set of men, there happened a great breach betwixt Almeed and Albuquerque. During the altercations occasion d hereby, Fernando Coutign, a nobleman of great courage, arrived in India ; he had with him fifteen ships, on board which were 1500 foldiers. He was receiv'd by Almeed with great respect, and contributed not a little to bring about a reconciliation between him and Albuquerque. The homewardbound ships being got ready, and Almeed having resign'd the government to Albuquerque, set sail for Lisbon, but, unfortunately, was killed in his way thither by the favages near the Cape of Good Hope, where they had stopped at a watering-place. Thus died the brave Almeed in the fixtieth year of his age ; after having gain'd great renown during the four years he was viceroy of the Indies.

After Almeed's departure, Coutign delivered to Albuquerque Emmanuel's letters; wherein his majesty ordered them, with united strength, to carry on the war againit the Zamorin of Calicut, and the other enemies of the Portuguese, in India, and that in this affair Albuquerque should act in concert with Ceutign. But as the exploits of the justly.celebrated Albuquerque make a great part of the second volume, we shall defer our account of them till another opportunity.

ART. XXIV. Observations on the second Vision of St. John,

&c. 8vo. 2 5. Noon.

IN

Nour Review for December 1749, we gave an account

of this ingenious author's observations on the first vision of St. John, His observations on the second, which he has given us in a kind of paraphrase on the fourth and fifth chapters of Revelations, make up but a small part of the performance now before us, which consists chiefly of four

differtations

differtations. In the first of these he treats of the authority of the Book of Revelations, and endeavours to prove, that John the Apostle was the author of it. In his second difsertation he endeavours to shew when this book was written, and with regard to this point he follows Sir Isaac Newton's opinion of the early date of it, and shews that the arguments brought by Mr. Whifton against it are inconclusive. In the third he confiders the manner of prophetical inspiration, which he tells us is two-fold, dream and vifion : the last of these, or the wakeful vision, as he calls it, is what he principally treats of. On this subject he observes the following particulars.

1. That in and under the cover of various images, and artificial representations, God was pleased usually to fignify supernatural and divine truths, to his servants the Prophets. • Thus, says he, he condescended to allure Abraham of his

Iness to fulfil his promise, by ratifying the covenant with him, when, according to the folemn custom of the country, observed by the party who swore, he, by a smoaking furnace, and a lamp of fire, passed between the pieces of the divided animals, Gen. xv. 17.

2. The most part of the objects presented, or things seen, were hieroglyphical or symbolical, i, e. they were to ftand, not for themselves, nor for beings, persons, and things exactly of their form, and figure, and circumstances ; but for beings, persons, or things, whose attributes and qualities might, as far as the subject required, be aptly expressed by them. Thus Gabriel tells Daniel, The ram which thou saweft, having two berns, are, i. e, represent, the kings of Media and Persia, Dan. viii. 20. And St. John was instructed in the mystery of this, Rev. i. 20. The seven ftars are, i. e. represent, the angels of the seven churches; and the Jeven candlesticks, which thou saweft, are, i. e. represent, the seven churches. There was always some fitness or aptitude in the things seen, to express the things represented by them. Indeed in some cases this was fo very apparent, as to need little explanation. Of this

Of this kind was the vision which appeared to Paul in the night at Troas, of a man, probably, in the Macedonian habit, who prayed to him for help; which made him and his companions, immediately endeavour to go into Macedonia, asuredly gathering, that the Lord had called us to preach the gospel unto them, Acts xvi. 9. 10.

3. This manner of instruction is very comprehensive and emphatical, containing a great deal of matter under a few characters, and signifying that, by a figure or repre

sentation,

sentation, which could not be easily, nor properly, exprefsed without a great many words. To comprehend persons and things, as well as to conceal them from the common and ordinary fight of dull, inattentive readers, is one great use of hieroglyphics and images, in the prophetical books. And, in respect to this, the ancient mysteries seem to agree which prophetic vision; probably they were an imitation thereof: for the Pagan theologers and mystagogues were wont to represent all moral and divine truths, by fymbols and hieroglyphical characters.

4. Tho' the inspiration created, or occafioned a new scene, or presented new images to the eye, or mind of the enlightened person, this was done without eradicating the paffions, or disturbing the superior faculties, which were always affected by, and cmployed on the objects, in the same natural manner, as if they were really existent material things. This may be exemplified in the case of Moses, who, when he looked, and behold, the bush burned with fire, ard the bush was not consumed ; faid, I will now turn afide, and see this great fight, why the bujh is not burnt. Exod. lli. 3.- Many initances might be collected, wherein hope and fear, joy and sorrow, and all the passions and affections, have been occasionally excited, and the mind as rationally and properly exercised in, or by a vision, as by objects and facts, real and natural. This is a consideration of some weight and moment, and sheweth'the dignity of this kind of inspiration. The visions of the true prophets would never have sunk into contempt, as they have done among many, if the manner of them, as connatural to the human faculties, had been well attended to, altho’ designing knaves, and religious madmen might have pretended to the like favour from God. But,

5. From the exhibition of imagery, and the instruction' of the prophets in this way, the character of Seers seems to have been applied to them. 1 Sam. ix. 9. Before-time in Ifrael, when a man went to enquire of God, thus he spake, Come, and let us go to the Seer : for he that is now called a Prophet, was before-time called a Seer.

1 6. We have reason to think, that (if some things relating to prophetical men, recorded after an historical manner, were not scenical, and transacted in vision) the prophets conceived their notions of supernatural truths by vi. fion and imagery, even where they give no particular de. scription of the things Jeen. The prophetical rapture of David, expressed Psal. cx. I. The Lord said unto my Lord,

[ocr errors]

fit thou at my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footftool, discovered fomewhat of this kind. Probably he had often seen the likenefs of the glory of the Lord, in vision, that presence of which he often speaks, Psal. xvi. 11. xvii. 2, 15. and might behold the honours decreed for his son and succeffor, at the right hand of the sacred personage.

From all that has been said, one may be affisted to form some answer to the following questions: As, 1. Can an inspired person be certain of his instructions ? Anjw. Yes, he may be as certain, as he is of what he fees and bears : those fenses being his security, so far as they may be depended upon, that he is under no delusion.

2. Can he be certain of the agency of some supernatural being with him, or upon him? Answ. A person truly inspired may be certain thereof. I grant indeed, a crazy distempered person may fancy he fees and hears a thousand things that are the effects of his disorder. And if such an one should act the prophet, tell strange things, and denounce judgments in the name of the Lord ; he should have the fame regard paid to him, as if he were to act the general, or the king ; i. e. be taken proper care of, as a distempered person. But if the prophet be a sober man, (as I suppose all prophets to be) he must be certain of several particular circumstances, belides those of time, place, business, company, &c. when the hand of God came upon him: for he must be certain of that surprize, which the sudden change of objects, their novelty, form, or grandeur, muft occasion. This indeed he may sensibly feel, by the hurry and waste of his animal spirits, by the joy or forrow, and other like affections and emotions of his body and mind, the effects of which may continue upon him for some time, as is usual to a person in some great or sudden furprize, in the ordinary way. And he may also be certain, that what has occurr'd to him, or what he was caused to see, was extraordinary and supernatural, For (besides that the objects, were often rare and uncommon, or of such a peculiar form and figure, as exists no where in nature ; ) when the prophet finds the scene is suddenly changed; that the objects, persons, and things he had just been conversant with, are withdrawn, he must find that they could not arise from, and belong to the place. Thus he may be certain of some superior agency. 3. Can he be certain that the vision is of God, and not the work of fome other, or evil being? To this I answer, perhaps, at first the prophet cannot tell, any more than a person who, when he first fees another, knows not who or what he is, VOL. VI.

P

Sa1.el,

!

Samuel, at first, knew not the voice of God, 1 Sam. ii. What then? Inspired persons were not always easy and credulous. Abraham requires a fign, and one vision, is succeeded and confirmed by another. Gen. xv. When the vifion related to fomething improbabic, or incredible, they defired farther satisfaction by fome token or other.

• As to the power of evil invisible beings, to inspire and play tricks upon mankind, the world is pretty well satisfied both of them and their power. The history of heathen cracles, as well as the frauds that have been discovered of christian Monks and Friars, have given so just ground for fuipicion, that more than ordinary evidence must be produced, before a prudent man will assent to stories of their agency.

Who beat and bruised St. Anthony, when he fhut himself up in a tomb, I know not: but his perfonal confiets with devils, as well as raptures and visions, were so very extraordinary, particularly, when he saw himself with, out himself, that it is pretty evident either himself, or the writer of his life, relates fallhoods. The church of Rome has always been stocked with visionaries. Where faith ufurps the throne of reason; and inordinate praying and fasting, and castigations of the body pafs for genuine acts of piety, no wonder indeed if in fome the animal spirits are disturb'd, and the fibres of the brain become impressive and yielding to whatever images a warm fancy or guilty fears may raise. The French Prophets, and other enthusiasts, who pretend to high degrees of revelation, may, I believe, be acquitted of holding correspondence with spirits of any great capacity. Their violent distortions and agitations of body, hums, and see-faws, are of the artificial and mechanical kind; and by no events that answer to their predictions, or by the things revealed being common, trite, and jejune, if not' rcpugnant to reason and common sense ; as well as by their temperature of body, party attachments, and other like circumfiances, it may be eafily guefied that the principles from whence their aflatus arise are low and fpurious.'

In our author's fourth differtation, he endeavours to account for the origin, and application of the character of the Lamb of God to Jesus Chrift: and in an Appendix makes several remarks on a species of prophecy, distinct from, and superior to vilion and dream, as advanced in a late eflay on 2 Peter i. 16, &c. See Review, Vol. v. p. 89.

Art.

[ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »