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Of this kind are the Miracles in which the Deity immediately interposes, to vindicate the Credit of his own Predictions, when impious men have publicly combined to defeat and dishonour them.
The most eminent of this Class was the miraculous interposition of Heaven, which defeated Julian's attempt to rebuild the JEWISH TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM.
When God found it expedient or necessary, in order to preserve the Memory and keep up the Knowledge of himself amidst a corrupt world, running headlong into Polytheism and Idolatry, he chose a single Family, which, when spread out into a Nation or People, was to become the public repository of his holy Name, till the ful. ness of time should come, when, as he promised by himself, all the earth Mould be filled with the glory of the Lord *.
This family was of the seed of Abraham which, in compliance with the religious notions of those times, he was pleased to adopt for his peculiar People, under the idea of their tutelar Deity, or the God of Abra.
bam, Isaac, and Jacob; and, the more effectually to secure the great end of their feparation, assumed, likewise, the title and office of their King or civIL GOVERNOR ; having, first of all, communicated himself to them, as the Maker and Governor of the Universe.
Hence, the Religion he gave unto this People came under the idea of a Law; and the Law, amongst them, was, in the strictest sense, RELIGION, as having all the sanctions of a divine Command.
From this short account of the JEWISH CONSTITUTION it appears, that RELIGION, which, elsewhere, had properly and justly particulars only for its subjects, had here the nation or community. And what, elfewhere (as far as concerns the divine origin of Religion), is only a private matter, was here a public. For the Deity being both their tutelary God and Civil Governor, the proper object of his care was, in either çapacity, the collective Body.
Hence it follows, that the principal Rites of the Hebrew Religion and Law were to be performed in some determined Place.
For the ideas of a tutelary God and civil Governor implied a local Residence; and a national aft, arising from the relations springing out of these qualities, required a fixed and certain habitation for its celebration; and both together seemned to mark out the Capital of the Country for that use.
Such a practice, which the nature and reason of things so evidently point out, the Institutes of the Jewish Lawexpressly direct and enjoin.
During the early and unsettled times of the Republic, the Sacrifices prescribed by its Ritual were directed to be offered
up the door of an ambulatory Tabernacle ; but when the People had perfected the Establishment ordained for them, and a magnific TEMPLE was erected for religious Worship, then their SACRIFICES were to be offered in that place at Jerusalem only.
ow, SACRIFICES constituting the efsentials of their Worship, their Religion could not be said to exist longer than that celebration continued. But Sacrifices were to be performed in no place out of the 1
Walls of their TEMPLE. So that when this holy place was finally destroyed, according to the prophetical predictions, the INSTITUTION itself became abolished. Nor was any thing more consonant to the genius of this Religion, than the assigning such a celebration of its principal Rites. The Temple would exist while they remained a People, and continued Sovereign. And when their Sovereignty was lost, the Templeworship became precarious, and subject to the arbitrary pleasure of their Masters. They destroyed this Temple: but it was not till it had lost its use. For the Rites, directed to be there celebrated, were relative to them only as a free-policied People.
So that this was, in reality, a total ExTINCTION of the Jewish Worship. How wonderful are the ways of God! This came to pass at that very period when a new Revelation from Heaven concurred with the blind transactions of civil policy, to supersede the Law by the introduction of the Gospel : the last
great work which completed the Scheme of HUMAN REDEMP
To confound this admirable order of Providence, was what induced the EMPEROR JULIAN to attempt the REBUILDING the JEWISH TEMPLE OF JERUSALEM. The vanity of the attempt could be only equalled by its impiety: for it was designed TO GIVE THE LIE TO God, who, by the mouth of his Prophets, had foretold that it should never be rebuilt. Here then was the most important occasion for a miraculous interpofition, as it was to defeat this mad attempt. And thus in fact it was defeated, to the admiration of all mankind.
But as a large and full account of the whole affair hath been already given to the Public, in a Work entituled JULIAN, or a Discourse concerning the Earthquake and fiery Eruption which defeated that Emperor's Attempt to rebuild the Temple at Yerusalem ; thither I refer the learned Reader, who will there meet with all the various evidence of the Fact, abundantly sufficient to support and establish it; together with a full confutation of all the cavils opposed to its cer. tainty and necessity.