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Commendation after the work has been read will be unnecessary, and if offered previously might be deemed gratuitous; nevertheless, it is certainly proper to say, that in several English publications this volume has been spoken of in terms of high approbation, while it is also due to the author, as well as to the public, to notice a letter from Prof. Lee, of the University of Cambridge, (Eng.) in which he expresses the opinion, that the plan and execution of these Lectures is among the happiest specimens of biblical instruction within his knowledge.
To this sentiment the writer most fully responds, and would only add, that these Lectures are equally adapted to instruct and edify the unlearned as well as the learned ; the Sabbath school teacher, or the member of a Bible class.
The recent visit of Dr. Cox to this country, has justly endeared his memory to a large circle of christians and philanthropists, and it cannot be doubted that thousands, who have seen his face, will delight to peruse a work which the author has conducted through several editions in his native country.
It is characteristic of Scripture biography to record the censurable actions of good men, as well as their virtues and graces; the entire omission of the former, therefore, in the account of Daniel, leads to the conclusion, that he was a person of pre-eminent excellence. It is not merely, however, from evidence of this negative character, but from the exhibition of extraordinary qualities of the highest order, that he has been usually regarded as one of the most perfect of human beings. Daniel was a descendant of the kings of Judah. He flourished during the reigns of several Babylonish and Median monarchs, till the period of the conquest of Babylon by Cyrus. The book which bears his superscription, and of which he was the probable author, contains a mixture of history and prophecy.
Josephus states that this volume was shown to Alexander the Great when he was at Jerusalem. The interest it awakened in the conqueror's mind, might have been such as to induce his favorable treatment of the Jews, after having shown some exasperation against them, in consequence of their refusing, as it was said, to supply his army with corn, during the siege of Tyre.
Verse 1.—In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah came Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon unto Jerusalem, and besieged it.
2.—And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand, with part of the vessels of the house of God, which he carried into the land of Shinar, to the house of his god; and he brought the vessels into the treasure house of his god.
The date of this overthrow of Jerusalem, which commenced in the third, and terminated in the fourth year of the captivity of Jehoiakim, may be fixed with sufficient certainty, A. M., 3398, or about 600 years before the Christian era.
What a melancholy picture does the history of our race exhibit; a picture not only of sufferings, but of mutual wrongs' Sin has embroiled mankind in endless hostilities, and filled the whole earth with violence. Families discordant, cities besieged, and nations at war, -are the events that replenish those volumes with tragical narrations, which ought
to have presented to us the annals of benevolence, friendship, and improvement. The success of Nebuchadnezzar is expressly attributed to the providence of God. It arose from his “determinate counsel and foreknowledge.” In numberless instances wherein we can discern nothing but the operation of human passions, there is in reality an all-controlling superintendence and agency: some profound design which the foresight of man in vain attempts to pursue through its mysterious ramifications, or even to perceive in its incipient form, is to be accomplished, which it may be, other times shall develope, and other generations witness; or results are in prepara
tion, which, lying concealed for ages from our view, shall only eluerge from the darkness of
time, amidst the bright and wonderful revelations of eternity. The narratives of Scripture differ from those of common history in this, among other respects, that the revolutions of empires, and the contentions of states, are noticed only so far as they concern the kingdom of heaven, or affect the interests of the people of God. Hence the minutest circumstances, and the smallest movements acquire importance and rise into grandeur; but, dissociated from this connexion, the greatest and the most splendid sink into insignificance. Should any one be tempted to inquire whether God had not forgotten his covenant with