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in private, so as to be little known to the world; bat when they were but a few, even a few, and strangers in the land where they sojourned, they went from nation to nation, and from one kingdom to another people, and God suffered no man to do them wrong, but reproved even kings for their sakes.* The name of Abraham was eminently famous in most nations of. the then inhabited world; and I cannot but think it probable, that the kings of many countries might greatly mistake the design of God toward him and his descendants, as the Jews themselves afterward* did, when they came to have a nearer expectation of their Messiah, and imagined that he was to be a mighty temporal prince to subdue all their enemies. In this manner the early kings might misinterpret the promises to Abraham, and think that in time his descendants were to cover the foce of the earth, and to be the governors of all nations. I cannot say whether the Hittiles might not in some measure be of this opinion, when they styled Abraham (Nesi Elohim)', Rw«tet/r itaqa. &e« say the Lxx, i. e. a prince from or appointed by God; and perhaps Abimelech might apprehend that Abraham's posterity would in time become the possessors of his country; and being willing to put off the evil for at least three generations, he made a league with him, and obtained a promise, that he-would not afflict his people, during his time, nor in the days of his son, or his son's son.r Thus the promises, and < ■ '■ -.
» Psalm cv. 12, 13, 14. * Gen. xxiiu «.
r Gen. xxi. 23.
the prophesies to Abraham and his children, might be thought to run contrary to the views and interests of the kings and heads of nations; and they might therefore think it good policy to divert their people from" attending too much to them. And for this end, they being in their kingdoms the chief directors iii religion, they might, upon the foundation of literature, and human science, form tfttch schemes of augury, astro1logy, vaticination, omens, prodigies and enchantments, as the magicians of Egypt became famous for, in order to make religion more subservient to theiT interests; and' in these they proceeded from one step to another1, in v?hat they undoubtedly thought to be the result of rational enquiry; until in Moses' time the rulers of the Egyptian nation, who Were then the most learned body in the world, beguiled by the deceit of vain philosophy, and too politically engaged to attend duly to any arguments which might convince them of their errors, were arrived at so intrepid an infidelity, fhnt the greatest miracles had no effect upon them. I am sensible that these points have been set in a different light by some writers; but perhaps there may be reason to re-efcanvihe them. The Pagrtn divinations, aits of prophesy, and all their sorceries1 and enchantments, as Wei! as their idolatry and worship of false gods Were founded, not upon superstition, but upon learning and philosophical study; riot upon too great a belief of and adherence to revelation, but upon a pretended knowledge of the powers of nature. Their great and learned men erred in these points, not for want of free-thinking, such as they called it; but their opi
nions upon these subjects were in direct opposition to the true revelations which had been mnde to the world. and might be called the deism of these ages; for such certainly was the religion of the governing and learned part of the heathen world in these times. The unlearned populace indeed in all kingdoms adhered, na they thought, to revelation; but they were imposed upon, and received the political institutions of their rulers, invented by the assistance of art and learning, iustcad of the dictates of true revelation. In thU manner I could account for the beginning of the heathen idolatries in many nations. They took their first rise from the governors of kingdoms having too great a dependance upon human learning; and entertaining a conceit, that what they thought to be the religion which nature dictated, would free them from some imaginary subjections, which they apprehended revealed religion was calculated to bring them under. Length of time, advance of science falsely so called, and political views, had carried on these errors to a great height, when God was pleased in a most miraculous manner to deliver his people from the Egyptian bondage ; to re-establish true religion among them, and to put the priesthood into different hands, from those who had hitherto been appointed to exercise th« offices of it. But the pursuing these subjects, must belong to the subsequent parts of this undertaking.
ABRAHAM goes to Egypt 101
Separates from Lot 103
Rescues Lot from captivity 10S
Received the promise of a son 107
Went to Philistia 112
Tempted to offer Isaac 118
Married Keturah 128
The accounts which profane writers give of him . ibid
His contemporaries in the heathen nations 133
He, and his descendants, worshipped two distinct
Divine persons 443
Before his time, no appearances of Gon or Angels 480
He knew the Lord, by his name Jehovah 462
Aetaeus, king of Attica 327
Adrichomius, his mistake about the situation of Seir . 248
Amphictyon, king of Attica 312
Amphictyones, their rise, constitution, and council.. 338
their gods 7301
Areopagus, the rise and constitution of that court ... 334
Argos, the rise of that kingdom 325
Astronomy, its use in the ancient agriculture 154
Athlius, first king of Eles 327
Atlas, lived where, and when 326
BELUS, son of Neptune, went to Babylon 291
Not the same as Bclus, the successor of Nimrod. 297
CADMUS built Thebes 313
Mistakes about his time ibid.
When he lived 314
Whether he was a Phoenician or an Egyptian.... 316
Canaan, its first kingdoms erected upon principles of
Cat, why consecrated by the Egyptians 349
Cecrops came to Attica (Sig. If) 299
The time of his reign settled ibid.
His people at first not numerous 309
Cedrenus, his opinion about Betas 295
Chedorlaamer, king of Elam, who 103
Chinese, their government, when first settled 158
Chronus, Abraham, so called by the heathens 126
Circumcision enjoined Abraham, &c no
Corinthian history begins where 327
Ciphers, the Egyptian, why invented. /...... 361
DANAUS came into Greece 322
Obtained the kingdom of Argos 323
Dedicated the image of a wolf to Apollo 377
Deluge, none in Attica in the times of Ogyges, nor
in Thessaly in the reign of Deucalion 329
EGYPTIAN kingdoms, not founded at first upon
despotic authority 175
Their ancient constitution, what 176
Astrology ....•..■. 411
Their consecrating animals 348
When they began this practice ibid.
For what reason 349
They canonized their heroes 350
Their most celebrated hero-gods, who ibid.
Upon what account they deified them 352
They did not deify men newly dead 355
Their hieroglyphies not their most ancient letters 263
■ They perplexed their ancient history, how 368
Their fables about Isis and Osiris 370
Their theology arose from their learning 373
Their errors in religion, how occasioned ibid.
Erichth'eus, by some writers mistaken for Erichthonlus 312
Esau, his children set up a kingdom 262
His character.. , 266
Ethiopians^ when they first settled near to Egypt 399.
Came from India 400
Exodus out of Egypt, when 503
Faith, the only principle upon which the men of the