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is no help for it, and you must be patient: it is only for one night. I am fatisfied I am on my journey to Rome, and to be fure was it worfe, Rome is an object worth fuffering fomething in its purfuit; fo, till fupper comes, and to prevent me from being afraid of fpirits, I will write on, and inform you that the road from Sienna hither is in length fix pofts, the laft poft exceflively bad. The grim inhabitants of the palace, who feem as if defcended from the Cyclops, have just been with us to announce the long wifhed for approach of the fopper, which is upon its march from the kitchen. Supper is over; it confifted of a difh of eggs, which I had ordered to be boiled in the fhell; but, alas! they were all rotten: then appeared an animal, which I am fure would have puzzled the moft ingenious author that ever wrote upon zoology to fay what fpecies of winged creature it had been.. It had extended legs and wings, was black, and appeared to have been dislocated alive; they infifted upon its being a poularde; had they afferted it to have been a grifiin, I fhould have been inclined to believe it; fome wretched bread, of what date I know not, and fome fauce made with ftinking oil concludes the bill of fare-the wine poisonous-the water muddy.-Goodnight. For me, if fleep should kindly lend her aid, may I dream of a piece of English bread and cheese, and a draught of fmall beer. My little barbett is fo difcontented and crofs, that the barks inceffantly at the howling of the wind, and difdains to eat.

LETTER XLIII.

S. Sebaftiano alle Catacombe, fituated on the Appian way, was founded by Conftantine the Great, in honour of this faint; who is reprefented lying in his tomb, pierced with arrows. The fculpture by Giorgetti. The portico of this church is fupported by fix antique columns of a very rare fpecies; two of them of white granite, and two of green, with uncommon fpots in them. The catacombs are the vasteft, and the most noted in the neighbourhood of Rome. We explored them accompanied by a ragged ill looking fellow, whofe bufinefs is to fweep the church, and thew thefe filent manfions of the dead. One of our footmen was fent of a message, the other followed us. We were provided with little wax candles, and defcended the ftaircase, each carrying a lighted bougie; the others were for provi fon, left any of thofe already lighted fhould burn out or extinguish. Having, at length, reached the bottom, after no very agreeable defcent, we found ourfelves in a labyrinth of very narrow paffages, turning and winding inceffantly; most of thefe are upon the flope, and, I believe, go down into the earth to a confiderable depth. They are not wider than to admit one perfon at a time, but branch out various ways like the veins in the human body; they are alfo extremely damp, being practifed in the earth, and caufed our candles to burn blue. In the fide niches are depofited the bodies (as they fay) of more than feventy-four thousand martyrs. These niches are mostly closed by an upright flab of marble, which bears an infcription deferiptive of their contents. Several are alfo buried under thefe paffages, whofe graves are fecured by iron grates. We followed our tattered guide for a confiderable time through the paffages; at last he flopt, and told M- if he would go with him to a certain

Souterrain

Souterrain just by, he would fhew him a remarkable catacomb. At that moment I was ftaring about at the infcriptions, and took it for granted that M was really very near, but after fome moments I alked the footman, who was ftanding at the entrance, if he faw his mafter; he replied in the negative, nor did I hear any voice: this alarmed me; I bid him go forward a little way, and that I would wait where I was, for I feared lofing myself in this labyrinth in attempting to get out, not knowing which way they had turned. I waited a little time, and finding the fervant did not return, called out as loud as I could, but, to my great difappointment, perceived that I fcarce made any noife; the found of my voice, from the dampnefs of the air, or the lownefs of the paffages, remaining (as it were) with me. I trembled all over, and perceived that my bougie was near its end; I lighted another with fome difficulty, from the shaking of my hands, and determined to go in fearch of M- myself, at any hazard; but figure to your felf the horror that seized me, when, upon attempting to move, I perceived myself forcibly held by my cloaths from behind, and all the efforts I made to free myself proved ineffectual. My heart, I believe, ceafed to beat for a moment, and it was as much as I could do to fuftain myself from falling upon the ground in a fwoon. However, I fummoned all my refolution to my aid, and ventured to look behind me, but faw nothing. I then again attempted to move, but found it impracticable. Juft God, faid I, perhaps Mis affallinated, and the fervant joined with the guide in the perpetration of the murder, and I am miraculously held faft by the dead, and fhall never leave these graves. Notwithstanding fuch dreadful reprefentations that my frighted imagination pictured to me, I made more violent efforts, and in ftruggling, at laft difcovered, that there was an iron grate, like a trap door, a little open behind me, one of the pointed bars of which had pierced through my gown, and held me in the manner I have related. I foon extricated myself, and walking forward, luckily in the right path, found M who was quietly copying an infcription, the guide lighting him, and the fervant returning toward me with the most unconcerned afpect imaginable. I had the difcretion to conceal my fright as much as I was able, and only expreffed, with fome impatience, my defire of returning into the open air. M, who is ever complaifant to my wishes, inftantly complied; and as we were retiring, the poor guide whom my imagination had represented as an affaffin, told us, that there was a pit amongst the catacombs of which the bottom could never be discovered; and he had been told, that formerly a great many people had been abused, robbed, and flung into it. I thanked God, inwardly, that he had not told me this ftory earlier. Having entered the carriage, I determined within myfelf, that this vifit to the catacombs fhould be my last.'

Were we to infert all the entertaining paffages which we are tempted to select from these letters, we fhould find the limits of a whole Review too narrow to contain them.

ART.

ART. V. An Efay towards an Interpretation of the Prophecies of Daniel. With occafional Remarks upon fome of the most celebrated Commentaries on them. By Richard Amner. 8vo. Svo. 35. Johns. fon. 1776.

T

HE prophecies of Daniel are a very important part of the fcriptural canon, and yet, on various accounts, obfcure and difficult. Every new attempt to fix and illuftrate their meaning deferves attention; though in this department of biblical criticism great abilities are required, nor can the most ingenicus expect fuccefs without a confiderable degree of patience and perfeverance. However commentators have differed with respect to the immediate defign of particular predictions, they have very generally agreed in fuppofing that there is, at leaft, a partial and ultimate reference in one or other of these prophe-. cies to the times of the Meffiah. But the Author of the Effay now before us has proceeded farther than most of his predeceffors,, and altogether appropriated Daniel's predictions to the circumftances and times of the Jewish people, previous to the introduction and establishment of Chriftianity. We are far from wifhing to retain any evidence in favour of Christianity which we have always deduced from the celebrated prophecy of Daniel, if it cannot be fupported by just criticifm; nor have we any apprehenfion that it will fuffer from a liberal and judicious inveltigation.

Our Readers are well apprized, that the commentators on the book of Daniel have been divided into two claffes: the famous Mr. Mede, who has been followed by Sir Ifaac Newton. and many others, confiders this book as "the facred calendar, and great almanac of prophecy," or in other words, "a prophetic chronology of times, meafured by the fucceffion of four. principal kingdoms, from the beginning of the captivity of It rael, until the Mystery of God" in his providential difpenfations "thall be finished." Whereas Grotius, on the contrary, and who has been followed on his part by Le Clerc, Prideaux, Calmer, and others of no lefs reputation, is able to difcover little more than an ancient perfecution of the Jews in them."

Our Author has adopted the system of Grotius, and literally adhered to it, till he comes to his explication of the prophecy, in chap. ix. ver. 24-27. We have carefully compared his interpretation with that of Grotius in his Commentary on the Book of Daniel, and find very little variation or enlargement; except in a few inftances, where he has availed himself of Grotius's references and of the affiftance of later writers. He apprehends, that all the prophecies terminate in the grievous perfecution and oppreffion which the Jews fuffered from Antiochus Epiphanes; and accordingly, with Grotius for his guide, he Rev. Aug. 1776.

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examines the cotemporary history of neighbouring nations, as far as the Jews were in any way connected with them, and with a view of afcertaining the fenfe and intention of the feveral predictions, which he explains.

As most of our Readers, who are converfant with this kind of literature, have eafy accefs to the valuable commentary of Grotius, we fhall only join iffue with our Author where he leaves him; as he does in interpreting the prophecy above referred to. Grotius applies it to the Meffiah and the subsequent ftate of the Jewish nation; Mr. Amner explains it in the following manner: Seventy weeks or fedens;" that is, feven times the feventy years, or number of years, which thou haft been turning over in thy thoughts and meditating upon; (ver. 2.) ← are abbreviated upon thy people and upon thy holy city;' that city and people whom thou haft been fo vehemently and concernedly praying for :- for finishing the tranfgreffion,' or defection; which has been more than once mentioned *, and to which there seems here a very ftrong reference:- and for making an end of fins, and reconciliation for iniquity' in general, by not any longer exacting the punishment of them :

and for bringing in the righteoufnefs of antiquity,' or of the earlier and more virtuous ages of the Jewish ftate; and which, if continued in, would have prevented all thefe prefent diforders and punishments:- and for fealing up, or closing the prefent vifion, or series of vifions and prophecy,' by the complete and entire fulfilment of them :- and for anointing the most holy place, or holy of holies. Very evidently meaning, by all this variety and emphafis of expreffion, that none of the events which are mentioned in them, and about which he had been fhewing fuch very great anxiety, would completely come to pafs till that feafon.

As that which follows goes on to explain, with yet greater force and perfpicuity, know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the word,' of which thou waft thinking, (ver. 2.) for the reftoring and building Jerufalem, unto the the Meah Prince, or the Anointed Prince,' as Cyrus is exprefsly called, and as fuch prophefied of, in Ifaiah xlv. I; add alfo chap. Ixiv. 26, 27, 28.— shall be seven weeks,' that is, of years; or fo many times feven years; the phrafeology being to be explained by verfe the fecond, to which the reference is made, and in which years and not days are spoken of.

And threescore and two weeks, ftill reckoning from the fame going forth of the word, or æra, the street shall be built again, and the wall,' that is, the walls and streets of JerufaTem, though in troublous times,'-or notwithstanding the

Chap. xi. 30. Chap. viii, 23.

trouble

trouble of them. Moft probably referring to that oppofition which the Jewish people at first met with from the Samaritans, and their other unkind neighbours.

"

And after the threefcore and two weeks fhall Meffiah,' that is, another Meffiah or Anointed Perfon, be cut off,'-meaning the good high-prieft Onias, who was mentioned formerly,but not because of himself,' or of any demerit and male-adminiftration of his own, deserving or requiring fuch punishment: -And the people of the Prince that fhall come, meaning Epiphanes, fhall deftroy the city, and the fanctuary, and the end thereof fhall be with a flood,' that is, with the overwhelming violence and rapidity of one, as the fame metaphor has been obferved to fignify in these prophecies already and unto the end of the war defolations are determined,'-for which fee the eleventh chapter, and the commentary upon it, in various places. And he fhall confirm the covenant with many,' or make a firm covenant with many, in the one, or last, or remainder week; in which there may poffibly be a reference to his ftipulations and intrigues with the apoftates who were men<< tioned formerly;-fee chap. xi. 30, and the note upon ver. 22,

and in the midft of the week he fhali caufe the facrifice and oblation to cease, and by the overspreading of the abominations,” for which also see the fame eleventh chapter, and the facts which are there mentioned upon ver. 31,- he fhall make defolate, even until the confummation, or finishing, and that that is determined be poured out upon the defolate:'-or in other words, until that that is determined fhall be done'; as the fame idea was expreffed formerly *.

"

With refpect to the times, which are mentioned in this prophecy, Mr. Amner observes first, that from the going forth of the commandment or word of the Lord concerning Jerufalem to Jeremiah in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, and firft of Nebuchadnezzar †, to the appearance of Cyrus in a public character, and as the leader and general of the united forces of the Medes and Perfians against Babylon, was precifely the first of the three periods which the text mentions; that is, a period of forty-nine years, or of feven weeks of years. See Prideaux's tables, or any other annalift's.

And that if again we reckon from the fame æra,-fixty and two weeks of years more, or fo many times seven years, will bring us to much about the time of the murder of Onias before-mentioned.-Granting this, it may be observed in the third place, that from the time of the murder of this good high-prieft to that of the restoration of the Jewish affairs, and cleaning of their temple by Maccabæus, was about one week' more of thefe years, as may be seen by again confulting the

• Chap. xi. 36.

↑ Jer. xxv. 1, 2.

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