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"and that he doeth according to his will, in the army of "heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth; and none (6 can stay his hand or say unto him, What dest thou?" Now he recovered his former countenance and form. His cour tiers went out to seek him; he was restored to his throne, and became greater and more powerful than ever. Being affected with the heartiest gratitude, he caused, by a solemn edict, to be published through the whole extent of his dominions, what astonishing and miraculous things God had wrought in his person.

One year after this he died, having reigned 43 years reckoning from the death of his father. He was one of the greatest monarchs that ever reigned in the East. He was succeeded by his son,

a ÉVIL-MERODACH. As soon as he was settled in the throne, he released Jechonias, king of Judah, out of prison, where he had been confined near 37 years.

In the reign of this Evil-Merodach, which lasted but two years, the learned place Daniel's detection of the fraud practised by the priests of Bel; the innocent artifice by which he contrived to kill the dragon, which was worshipped as a god; and the miraculous deliverance of the same prophet out of the den of lions, where he had victuals brought him by the prophet Habakkuk.


Evil-Merodach rendered himself so odius by his de bauchery, and other extravagancies, that his own relations conspired against him, and put him to death.

e NERIGLISSAR, his sister's husband, and one of the chief conspirators, reigned in his stead.

Immediately on his accession to the crown, he made great preparations for war against the Medes, which made Cyaxares send for Cyrus out of Persia, to his assistance. This story will be more particularly related by and by, where we shall find that this prince was slain in battle, in the fourth year of his reign.

d LABOROSOARCHOD, his son, succeeded to the throne. This was a very wicked prince. Being born with the most vicious inclinations, he indulged them without restraint when he came to the crown; as if he had been invested with sovereign power, only to have the privilege of committing with impunity the most infamous and barbarous actions. He reigned but nine months; his own subjects conspiring against him, put him to death. His successor was

eLABYNIT, or NABONID. This prince had likewise other names, and in Scripture that of Belshazzar. It is on good

a A. M. 3441. Ant J C. 563 2 Kings xxv. 27-30 b Beros Megasthen. A. M. 3444. Ant. J. C. 550 Cyrop. 1. i. d A. M. 3448. Ant. J. C. 555, M 3449. Ant. J. C. 555,

grounds supposed that he was the son of Evil-Merodach, by his wife Nitocris, and consequently grandson to Nebuchodonosor, to whom, according to Jeremiah's prophecy, the nations of the East were to be subject, as also to his son, and his grandson after him: "All nations shall serve him, "and his son, and his son's son, until the very time of his "land shall come."

Nitocris is that queen who raised so many noble edifices in Babylon. She caused her own monument to be placed over one of the most remarkable gates of the city, with an inscription, dissuading her successors from touching the treasures laid up in it, without the most urgent and indispensable necessity. The tomb remained closed till the reign of Darius, who, upon his breaking it open, instead of those immense treasures he had flattered himself with, found nothing but the following inscription:


In the first year of Belshazzar's reign, Daniel had the vision of the four beasts, which represented the four great. monarchies, and the kingdom of the Messiah, which was to succeed them. In the third year of the same reign he had the vision of the ram and the he-goat, which prefigured the destruction of the Persian empire by Alexander the Great, and the persecution which Antiochus Epiphanes, king of Syria, should bring upon the Jews. I shall hereafter make some reflections upon these prophecies, and give a larger account of them.

Belshazzar, whilst his enemies were besieging Babylon, gave a great entertainment to his whole court, upon a certain festival, which was annually celebrated with great rejoicing. The joy of this feast was greatly disturbed by a vision, and still more so by the explication which Daniel gave of it to the king. The sentence written upon the wall imported, that his kingdom was taken from him, and given to the Medes and Persians. That very night the city was taken, and Belshazzar killed.

Thus ended the Babylonian empire, after having subsisted 210 years from the destruction of the great Assyrian empire. The particular circumstances of the siege, and the taking of Babylon, shall be related in the history of Cyrus.

a Jer. xxvii. 7. c Dan. c. vii. e Dan. c. v. VOL, IN

b Herod.1. i. cap. 185. &c.
d Dan. c. viii.

JA.M, 3468. Ant. J. C. 536.




notice, in

the of the anci ent Assyrian empire,that Arbaces, general of the Medes, was one of the chief authors of the conspiracy against Sardanapalus: and several writers believe, that he then immediately became sovereign master of Media, and many other provinces, and assumed the title of king. Herodotus is not of this opinion. I shall relate what that celebrated historian says upon the subject.

The Assyrians, who had for many ages held the empire of Asia, began to decline in their power by the revolt of several nations. The Medes first threw off their yoke, and maintained for some time the liberty they had acquired by their valour; but that liberty degenerating into licentious ness, and their government not being well established, they fell into a kind of anarchy, worse than their former subjection. Injustice, violence, and rapine, prevailed every where because there was nobody that had either power enough to restrain them, or sufficient authority to punish the offenders But all ese disorders induced the people to set a form of government, which rendered the state more flourishing than ever it was before.

The nation of the Medes was then divided into six tribes Almost all the people dwelt in villages, when Dejoces, the son of Phraortes, à Mede by birth, erected the state into a monarchy. This person seeing the great disorders that prevailed throughout all Media, resolved to take advantage of those troubles, and make them serve to exalt him to the royal dignity. He had a great reputation in his own coun-try, and passed for a man not only regular in his own conduct, but possessed of all the prudence and equity necessary for a governor.

As soon as he had formed the design of obtaining the throne, he laboured to make the good qualities that had been observed in him more conspicuous than ever: he succeeded so well, that the inhabitants of the village where he lived made him their judge. In this office he acquitted himself with great prudence; and his cares had all the success that had been expected from them; for he brought the people of that village to a sober and regular life. The inhabitants of other villages, whom perpetual disorders suffered not to live in quiet, observing the good order Dejoces had introduced in the place where he presided as judge, began to apply to

q.A. M. 3257. Ant. J. C. 747.

6 Herod. 1. i, f. 95.

him, and make him arbitrator of their differences. The fame of his equity daily increasing, all such as had any affair of consequence, brought it before him, expecting to find that equity in Dejoces, which they could meet with no where else.

When he found himself thus far advanced in his designs, he judged it a proper time to set his last engines to work, for the compassing his point. He therefore retired from business, pretending to be over fatigued with the multitude of people that resorted to him from all quarters; and would not exercise the office of judge any longer, notwithstanding all the importunity of such as wished well to the public tranquillity. Whenever any persons addressed themselves to him, he told them, that his own domestic affairs would not allow him to attend to those of other people.

The licentiousness which had been for some time restrained by the judicious management of Dejoces, began to prevail more than ever, as soon as he had withdrawn himself from the administration of affairs; and the evil increased to such a degree, that the Medes were obliged to assemble, and deliberate upon the means of curing so dangerous a disorder.

There are different sorts of ambition: some, violent and impetuous, carry every thing as it were by storm, hesitating at no kind of cruelty or murder; another sort, more gentle, like that we are speaking of, puts on an appearance of moderation and justice, working under ground (if I may use that expression) and yet arrives at her point as surely as the other.

Dejoces, who saw things succeeding according to his wish, sent his emissaries to the assembly, after having instructed them in the part they were to act. When expedients for stopping the course of the public evils came to be proposed, these emissaries, speaking in their turn, represented, that unless the face of the republic was entirely changed, their country would become uninhabitable; that the only means to remedy the present disorders was to elect a king, who should have authority to restrain violence, and make laws for the government of the nation. Then every man could prosecute his own affairs in peace and safety; whereas the injustice that now reigned in all parts, would quickly force the people to abandon the country. This opinion was generally approved; and the whole company was convinced, that no expedient could be devised more effectual for curing the present evil, than that of converting the state into a monarchy. The only thing then to be done, was to choose a king; and about this their deliberations were not long. They all agreed, there was not a man in Media so capable of governing as

Dejoces; so that he was immediately with common consent elected king.

If we reflect in the least on the first establishment of kingdoms, in any age or country whatsoever, we shall find, that the maintenance of order, and the care of the public good, was the original design of monarchy. Indeed there would be no possibility of establishing order and peace, if all men were resolved to be independent, and would not submit to an authority, which takes from them a part of their liberty, in order to preserve the rest. Mankind must be perpetually at war, if they will always be striving for dominion over others, or refuse to submit to the strongest. For the sake of their own peace and safety, they must have a master, and must consent to obey him. This is the human origin of government. " And the Scripture teacheth us, that the Divine Providence has not only allowed of the project, and the execution of it, but consecrated it likewise by an immediate communication of his own power.

There is nothing certainly nobler or greater, than to see a private person, eminent for his merit and virtue, and fitted by his excellent talents for the highest employments, and yet through inclination and modesty preferring a life of obscurity and retirement: than to see such a man sincerely refuse the offer made to him, of reigning over a whole nation, and at last consent to undergo the toil of government, from no other motive than that of being serviceable to his fellow citizens. His first disposition, by which he declares that he is acquainted with the duties, and consequently with the dangers annexed to a sovereign power, shows him to have a soul more elevated and great than greatness itself; or, to speak more justly, a soul superior to all ambition: nothing can show him so perfectly worthy of that important charge, as the opinion he has of his not being so, and his fears of being unequal to it. But when he generously sacrifices his own quiet and satisfaction to the welfare and tranquillity of the public, it is plain he understands what that sovereign power has in it really good, or truly valuable; which is, that it puts a man in a condition of becoming the defender of his country, of procuring it many advantages, and of redressing various evils; of causing law and justice to flourish, of bringing vir tue and probity into reputation, and of establishing peace and plenty and he comforts himself for the cares and troubles to which he is exposed, by the prospect of the many benefits resulting from them to the public. Such a governor was Numa, at Rome; and such have been some other emperors, whom the people found it necessary to compel to accept the supreme power.

Rom. xiii. 1, 2.

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