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rcassume his Gaiety, and continue the Debauch, as it nothing had happened, and he was in sull Security. Accordingly, we sind, though this Circumstance is omitted in Daniel, that it is particularly taken Notice of in l/aiab, xxi. 5, immediately after his having described, as above, ver. 3, 4, Btl/Aaxzar's extraordinary Consusion and Consternation. Pi tpare the Table, fays he, -watch in the WatchTo-zver; cat, drink. Neither is this at all surprizing, if we consider what an Insidel that Monarch wi!, and how prone the best Men ate, by Nature, to Unbelies.
Afrer having given the necessary Orders, therefore, for keeping a strict Watch, it could no more enter into his Head, that there was any Possibility the City should be surprized that very Night, and himself slain, than it could into any one of ours, were we even to be assured of it, by the Mouth of a Prophet, that Fisty Thoufand French would enter the Kingdom in Four and twenty Hours, when we had no other Intimation of any such Design, than that they had drawn down such a Body of Forces into the Neighbourhood of Calais and Boulogne,
Should we rot greatly distrust the Veracity of such a Propher, though otherwise a Man o! an unblemished Lise and Character? Should we not even call him an idle Drearer, Visionary, and Enthusiast; and should we not Iay, that after having deceived himself into a Belies, that his Reveries, proceeding only from I digestion, were the Fruits of Divine Inspiration, he wosnow endeavouring to pals them as such, upon us? Should we not a-k whether these Forces had Wings; and if nor, v. here .he Vessels were to transport them? In short, should we not treat both such a Prophet, and his Message, with the utmost Contempt? We certainty ly should; and yet we should be more inexcusable i 1 so doing, than Belshazzar was on this Occasion. We prosess a Belies in the only true God; he did not; and the Surprize of Babylon that Night, when there was not the least Appearance of Dan-' ger, seemed an Ev;nr,humanly speaking, as improbable and impossible, as that such a Body of the French, should come unawares upon us.
If it be faid a Miracle was wrought, to convince him of his approaching Difaster, we grant it: but then let it be considered, he had no certain Rule whereby to distinguish a true Miracle from a raise one; and, for aught he knew to the contrary, the Hind-writing might only be the Efsect of Art-Magick, or the Delusion of hisSenses; nay, as the Interpretation thereof was very difagreeable to him, it wa^ but natural for him to be willing to flatter htm!elf rhat it was so; and more especially, as the Cbaldears were reckoned famous for that Art, and as Daniel, who had explained the Writing, was thought to excel them all therein, and even was appointed Master over them.
All tsiis being considered, it was no such Wonder, that the wretched Btl/hazzar, by the Perswasi in of his flittering Courtiers, shou'd so far recover nis Spirits, as to go on with the Debauch, and put off all farther Thoughts of that alannipg Denunciation for the present: What Probibility was thereof the Enemy's pilling the Euphrates, oenetrattng into the Heart of so vast a City, which wa« several Miles, and advancing even to the Palace, before any Notice was given of tneir Approach, in the short Space of one Night i And yet all this, and more, is to be justly apprehended, by every Nation,*which has God for its Enemy: Gates shall not only be lest open, and unguarded, but Walls shall fall down, and not Rivers alone, but Seas Hull be dried up, and afford a fase Passige, if the Almighty speaks the Word ; and this, some People would do well to keep always besore their Eyes.
But, to return from whence we have digressed: The unhappy BeIJhazxar, being thus lulled again into a sull and fatal Security, and intlead of making a right Use of this awakening and mercisul Warning, in breaking off his Sins by Repentance, and humbling himself besore an angry Gon, which might possibly have delayed the impending Judgment; having relapsed and plunged asresh into all Manner of Sensuality and Debauchery, thereby provoking anew the Displeasure of iheAlmigbty, the Lord determines no longer to have Patience with him, but to cut him off in the midst of his beastly Pleasures, immersed, as he was, in Drunkenness and U',cJeanness. Accordingly we sind, in rhe very some Verse, wherein it is faid, as by the King and his Courtiers; Prepare the Table, ivatch in thelVaichTmmer.eat, drink: There immediately follows, as the Voice of God himself, Arise, je Princes, amint the Shield.
The great Commanders, and mighty Men of Warj ffi" h un«ier the Conduct and Guidance o1' the Almighty him'el'; th"y meet with no Opp Iitior,; they enter the Cii,', and penetrate even to the Pa'ace, «h'ch is in the Heart thereof, and several Miles from rhcGales, besore any Notice is given oft'ieir Approach; the numerous Garrison, which consists of a mixed Multitude of different Nation^, surprized ,ind dismayed, instead of making any Resistance, betr.ke themlelves to flight, and escape as fast as they can to their own Countries; whilst the Babylonians, who continue faithful, and are demoted li Destruction, undergo a genera' Massacre, themselves, their Wives, and Children; and their Houses are given up to be plundered.
Nay, as if it is not enough for the Punishment of so impious a Nation, and th.ir facrilegious King, that no Mercy is to be extended to any one of them, not even to sucking Babes, or Infants in the Womb, the Women are likewise to be abandoned to the Licentiousness and Lust of the Soldiers, besore they have the Consolation of being put to Death: Ot all these Particulars, though no Mention is made thereof in Daniel, we are minutely informed in the Prophet Isaiab; even to the to:al Extinction cf the Koyal Family, and the Denial of so much as Burial to Belfl>az.zar himself; see Chap. xiii. to the End, and Chap. xiv. from Verse 4, to 27 inclusive. Such was the Chastisement and Desolation of that vast and magnisicent C'ty in general, for their inhuman Cruelty to the lsraclitts, and of their haughty and superlatively wicked Tyrant in particular, for his unparalleled and more than monstious Attempt to insult over the Majesty of Heaven, and his therein notorious Breach of the First Commandment.
The next Instance we shall produce, 0/ the signal and exemplary Vengeance of Heaven, upon the Trangressors of this Law, shall be that'of Holofernest that haughty and blasphemous General of the rfffyrians, in the Reign of a iormvtNtbuchsdatzzar; Lr this seems to have been the Name assumed by all the dsjyrian Monarchs, as Pharaih was by those of Egypt, and Cæsar by the Emperors of Romt. This Prince, who is called in Prophane Hiflory> SaasJuchiivs, having gained a great Victory ovefArphaxad, or Afhraartes, King of the Mtdes, ivherein the latter was himself slain; after having, dedica-. ted tour Months to Feasting and Revelling, recalling to Mind, how he had vowed to take Revenge upon all those Nations, who, having been sent to for that Purpnse, had resused r<J.join him with the'.r Forces in his Expedition against the Medei, appointed the besorementio-'cd Huh/ernes General of D s al* his Armies; and sent him with a prodigious Body of Pi Oo, s to put that his Vow in Execution : Giving him, at the fame Time, a strict Charge not to spue any who ofsered to make the least Resinance.
Having received this Command then, this General set out at the Head ot an Hundred and Twenty . Thoufand Foot, and Twelve Thoufand Horse, fully determined punctually to execute the Will of his Master. Accordingly, having over run a great Part of Asia Minor, and all Syria, with incredibleRapidity, and having put all to the Sword, who dared in the least to oppnse him, he struck such a Terror inso lyre aud Sidon, and all the neighbouring Nations, that they sent Ambassadors to him, with the humblest Ofsers of Submission, imploring him for Peace, even upon his own Terms. And it is very possible, the ft-uis themselves might have followed their Examp'e, but that Holo/ernet, in order to curry Favour with his Master, and willing even to exceed his Commands, at least, as far as appears, had subjoined another Condition of Obedience,' to which all thofe who were inclined to lay. down their Arms, were to submit.
This was, that all the Nations who acknowledged Nebuchadntxzar as their Sovereign, should likewise worship him as theirGoD. Now this was an Article,with which the Ji-ws of thofe Days, who had lately severely suffered for Idolatry, and were then zealous for the £;'w'«gLoRD, neither could nor would by any Mean* comply; wherefore they prepare in Time fir their Desence, by storing themselves with Provision, and fortifying the Passes, so that it was no easy Matter to get at them. Besides this, they have recourse to another Method, no less effdtuil and prevalent than the former; which was to humble themselves before Heaven by Fasting