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PART IV.- Historp,
HISTORY traces the progress of man from the savage state, -through the intermediate degrees of civilization, to the nearest approach to perfection,, of which social institutions are capable. It notes the effects of laws and political regulations, and records the wondrous revolutions whieh have been produced in states by external violence, and the no less astonishing ehanges which have been effected, by the gradual corruption of antient systems of government. It is history, which fixes the seal of immor. tality upon aetiuns truly great, and sets a mark of infamy on vices, which no after-age can ever obliterate. By history, mistaken merit, and oppressed virtue, appeal to the incorruptible tribunal of posterity, which renders them the justice their own age has sometimes refused them ; and without respeet of persons, condemns the unjust abuse of authority with inexorable rigour.
The pencil of history has not only delineated men in groupes ; but, selecting distinguished individuals, has drawn them in their just proportions; and, enlivening them with the colours of nature, has exhibited a selection of striking portraits for our entertainment and instruction. In contemplating the characters of nations, or of eminent persons, we seem to walk in a large gallery of family pictures, and take delight in comparing the various features of the extensive kindred, as they resemble, or differ from one another; and though long since carried down the tide of time, we find in them pleasing and instructive companions.
In order to study the history of any particular nation with advantage, the following rules should strictly be attended to,
1. We should direct our chief attention, not to the frivolous anecdotes of a court, but to the circumstances
which stamp the character, and mark the destiny of a pation.
2. We should inqnire, what has been the radical vice, or predominant virtue of the nation ?
3. What have been its naval or military achievements ?
4. What has been the improvement or deterioration of its trade and commerce ?
5. Wherein consist the excellencies and the defects of its civil and municipal institutions ?
6. The constitution, and the influence of its ecclesiastical establishments.
7. We should trace the introduction of arts and manufactures, and observe the changes wbich have taken place in manners and in laws.
These rules, of course, apply more especially to history as a study, when pursued through all its various divisions and arrangements :-from the limited nature of the present work, we shall confine ourselves, in Antient His. tory, to a concise view of the Jewish, or Sacred History, and of the four great empires, the Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman. In Modern History, our attention will be directed solely to the history of England. Select books, however, will be named, forming a complete guide to the remaining departments of moderu history: a plan which has been considered superior to that of giving a meagre 'and unsatisfactory detail of names and dates.
Select Books on the Study of History. Rollin's Belles Lettres, book IV. in vols. 3 and 4. and Priestley's Lectures on History, 2 vols. 8vo.
CHAP. I.-ANTIENT HISTORY. SECT. I._JEWISH HISTORY, TO THE SUBVERSION OF
THEIR POLITY, AND DISPERSION OVER THE WORLD. THERE are several periods in the Jewish or antient sacred history. I. The age of the antediluvian patriarchs. II. The post-diluvian age. III. The state of the Jewish nation under the judges. iV. Under kings. v. Under high priests. VI. Under the Maccabees, princes, and kings. VII. Their state under the Herodian family.
1. The age of the antediluvian patriarchs.--This period is from the creation of the world to the deluge, consisting of 1656 years. 1. Adam lived 930 years.
7. Enoch 365. 2. Seth 412.
8. Methusalem 969. 3. Enos 905.
9. Lamech 777 4. Cainan 910.
10. Noah, who lived be5. Mahalaleel 895. fore and after the deluge, in 6. Jared 962.
all 950 years. The most remarkable of these persons, were, 1. Adam, whom God formed of the earth, and gave to bim dominion over other creatures. But he, deluded by Satan, disobeyed the Divine command, by eating the forbidden fruit, and therefore, together with Eve his wife, was cast out of paradise. - The most noted of their children, are Cain and Seth : from the former, who slew his brother Abel, descended an impious race called by his name ;- from the latter, the patriarchs whose names are recorded.
2. Enoch, who, for the holiness of bis life, was translated, while living, by God. The descendants of Seth lived under the patriarchal government. But among the posterity of Cain, various societies, empires, and tyrannies arose. To these, in scripture, is applied the name of Mephilim, or tyrants. The antediluvian fathers are thought to have been ignorant of arts and letters, but they no doubt excelled in the knowledge of nature, and in agriculture. The Bible also testifies that the first city was built by Enoch : it ascribes the invention of music to Jubal, and of working in brass and iron to Tubal Cain.
II. The post-diluvian age; i.e. the men who lived after the flood. - This period includes 857 years, from the deluge to the departure of the Israelites from Egypt. Impiety increasing every day among the posterity of Cain, and the 120 years granted them for repentance, not having produced that effect, Noah, the son of Lamech, by Divine command, constructed a large ark, whither he entered with his family, and two of every kind of animals, in the year of the world 1656, and they alone were preserved from the effects of the deluge. The waters, at length, decreasing, the ark rested upon Ararat, a mountain in Arnjenia. "The whole surface of the earth is supposed to have undergone
an alteration by the violence of the waters. Shortness of life, diseases, and their concomitant train of evils, followed,
Noah liad three sons, Shem, Ham, and Japhet, whose descendants peopled the whole earth. Europe, with a part of Asia, fell to the lot of Japhet, the rest of Asia to Shem, and Africa to Chain or Han. The patriarchs after the flood were ; * A.M.
A.M. 1. Noah,
1849 2. Shein, 1558 9. Terah,
1878 3. Arphaxad, 1658 10. Abraham,
2008 4. Heber, IT 1.1723
12108 5. Peleg, 1757 12. Jacob,
i Piw2167 1787
13. Joseph, 603 9259 7. Sarug,
1819 Of these patriarchs the most remarkable were:
1. Shem, greatly celebrated because his posterity continued in the worship of the true God.
2. Abraham, who for his pity and faith, is called the father of the faithful. He passed into Canaan with bis brother Lot and his wife Sarah, by the Divine command, A. M. 2024. Thence he was driven by a famine, into Egypt; where he remained some years. Tbe rite of circumcision was iustituted in the 99th year of Abraham's life: this distinguished his posterity from other pations. A promise of the land of Canaan was made to him and bis posterity, and in his seed all the nations of the world were to be blessed...
3. Isaac, the only son Abraham had by Sarab; he was the father of Jacob.
4. Jacob, called Israel, the parent of the Israelites. He left twelve sons, founders of the twelve tribes of Israel. He went into Egypt with his children, and died there in the 147th year of his age.
5. Joseph; who, envied by his brethren, was taken away, sold, and carried into Egypt, where he was bought by Potiphar, one of Pharaoh's chamberlains. His didelity and innocence were rewarded by three years imprisonment, procured at the instigation of Potiphar's wife. He was released from confinement, that he might intex pret the king's dream, and, foretelling seven years of