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to the expected leader, to the child about to be born of Octavia the sister of Cæsar, the widow of Marcellus and at the birth of the child, wife of Antony.
And whatsoever we may say as to the application of the prediction of the Sibyl, or of the verses of Virgil, the prediction had most certainly been made long before ; for the Eclognes of Virgil were written, published and recited on the stage, between thirty and forty years before the birth of Christ. It has never been pretended that the Cumæan Sibyl had any knowledge of the Hebrew Scriptures, or had ever heard of them, and it is almost equally certain that Virgil had no acquaintance with them. And for the purposes of this argument it is sufficient to show, that Virgil, forty years before the event, voiced in immortal verse the nniversal looking forward of all mankind to the birth or appearance of a Deliverer who should be more than human in all his attributes and of divine descent. Even Virgil must give way to the splendidly inspired imagery of Isaialı, but with that in our mind, how can we do less than wonder at the predictions of the Sybil or of the Roman poet:
The years approach, by Sibyl sage foretold,
Astrea comes, old Saturn's holy reign,
Peace, virtue, justice, now return again.
The golden age this infant shall restore
For thee, O child, spontaneous earth shall pour
Each field shall breathe Assyria's rich perfume,
And sweets ambrosial round thy cradle bloom, With milk o'er charged the goats shall homeward speed, And herds secure from mighty lions feed. The baleful asp and speckled snake shall die,
* The Sisters to their spindles said-Succeed Yo happy years, for thus hath Fate decreed !
Assume thy state! thy destined honors prove
Dear to the gods! O progeny of Jove!
And all with joy th' approaching age embrace ! So spake the Sibyl interpreted by the poet, and the Jew and the Gentile, in the several lights accorded to them, awaited the event. We should not perhaps lose sight of the fact that Cumæ was a Greek colony, nor of the further fact that more than two hundred years before the birth of Christ some Egyptian Jews had made the translation of the Scriptures, known as the Septuagint. There could have been however, at that early age, no general knowledge of them, seeing that there was only the slow process of copy. ing by hand, without much aptitude for writing, or many conveniences, such as we have now in pens, ink and paper; and added to that the general inability to read what had been written.
But not only had the Jew and the Greek, the Roman and the Egyptian a looking forward to a Deliverer, by a birth more than human if not quite divine; but in the East, from the deserts of Arabia, and perhaps still beyond, in a more mythical east, of which we know absolutely nothing, except that wherever it was, even there they were watching and waiting. And these wise men, magicians, or seers from this far off and unknown land, saw “his star in the east," and came to worship. Who told them to watch for a star, and what sort of star was to be the sign of his coming ? Nowhere in the Hebrew Scriptures is there any hint of this sort given, unless the allusion to a star coming out of Jacob, be so held—no rising star heralded to the Jew the coming sacred birth; no prophets had foretold it, further than that the event was to happen in “the fulness of time.” Whence then had these Eastern Magi this learn. ing? They were so sure it was " His Star," that not only was the long journey undertaken, but they provided themselves with gold, frankincense and myrrh for worship and for gifts.
We see therefore, that from the days when Moses encountered the magicians of Egypt, and Balaam attempted his enchantments against Israel, and the Cumæan Sibyl wrote her predictions upon the forest leaves ; to the days when wise-men, Magi, came from “the east” by the guiding of a star, known to no others, there have been some persons, outside the line of chosen and commissioned prophets, to whom have been vouchsafed glimpses of coming events and ihe possession of preternatural power. Bearing these things in mind, and also the literal exactness with which Mother Shipton's predictions have been fulfilled, we are prepared to pay deep consideration to her most momentous outgiving.
As it was two thousand years ago, so to-day, the world is waiting and watching in anxious uncertainty. There is a universal feeling that a change is impending. before, when there was the hope of a Deliverer—but there is now rather a fearful looking forward to judgment. Writers on, and students of the prophecies of the Hebrew Scriptures agree that we are approaching the end of all prophetic revelations. It is, as many estimate the time, the year of the world 6006, the end of the sixth millennium.
The well-known tradition among the Jews, and which was almost universally held among the early Christians, that the Messiah was to come at the end of the sixth millennium, has never lost its hold upon the human mind. Whether it was a sweet reminiscence from the Garden of Eden, learned by him who had talked face to face with the Lord, and handed down. through the patriarchs ; or whether it was only an inference drawn from the six days of creative work and the rest on the seventh, it is impossible to tell ; but the fact remains. The key of the prophecies has not been put into our hands; the time the Father hath kept in His own power. But there are indications of the end, unconsciously provided by those who most strenuously deny the truth of the Scriptures, and the generally received theory of the moral government of the world. As for example:
1.-" The advanced thought of the day” is saying openly, what the fool said only in his heart—" There is no God."
2.--The Biblical account of the solar system, of the making and formation of the world, of the creation of man, and of his departure hence, are attacked with every weapon known to the scientist, falsely so called. 3.-The
guess of the creature is set up against the word of the Creator.
4.-There are corruption and venality in high placesthe governments of the world are in the hands of the inoney changers--the greed for gold has infected the statesman and the churchman, and has made the patriot a mere politician.
5.-Men are in high places in the church, whose views and opinions are in no wise in accord with the orthodox fathers and the teachings of the Bible.
6.-Christianity is now the fashion, and the World, the Flesh and the Devil are its patrons and supporters and corrupters:
All these are apocalyptic indices of the end. But what that ending shall be, and of what it is the beginning, no man can know.
So too we are nearing the third cycle of two thousand years.
At the end of the First came the call of Abraham, at the end of the Second the birth of Messiah, and now at the end of the Third what shall be the coming?
The twelve hundred and sixty years of Mohammedan power, dating from the Hegira of the prophet, will come to a close in eighteen hundred and eighty.one—the inches of years in the royal chamber of the great Pyramid are almost told off-the years of the weeks of the prophet Daniel are drawing to a close-the constellation Dracon is hastening in the grand march of the heavenly bodies, to its place beneath the feet of Aries.
But in an especial manner also the number 9, the number of Fatherhood and of Judgment enters into all the mathematical constructions of eighteen hundred and eighty-one. Although not in itself a perfect number, yet it contains more curious properties than any other. The figures which compose its multiples, if added together are alway a multiple of 9. And any number large or small, if multiplied by 9, will give a result which when the digits composing it are added together until they are reduced to one, that one will be 9. For example: 47x9=4+2+3=9. Or 765 x9=6+8+8+5=2+7. Or 450 x 9=4+0+5+0=9. Or a multiple 450 x 3=1+3+5+0=9. “So” says an acute writer, “it is a number of finality and of judgment. It is also the number of Man, man being the last and most perfect of God's works, and judgment his peculiar attribute. Multiplied by the 5 of the covenant it is 45, the number of Adam ; which if again multiplied by 10 becomes 450, the grand chronological term of the Patriarchs, Judges. Prophets, Kings and Scribes. It is a factor of all the great dates of judgment, namely, of the Flood, the Doom of Sodom, the Overthrow of Pharaoh, the Captivity, and the Final Desolation."
If we take 1881 it divides by 9 without a remainderthe first two figures and the last two divide by 9 without a remainder. If we add the first two figures the sum is 9, if we add the last two the sum is 9—and finally the two sums together are 99, which is the sum of our Lord's solemn “Amen!"
JOHN G. FREEZE.
NOTE. We have printed this Article as being interesting in itsell. It is right, however, to inform our readers that there is little doubt that the lines affixed as having been written by Mother Shipton, are very different from the original prophecy. The following extract from an editorial in the New York “Journal of Commerce" will show this :
Mother Shipton was a veritable character who lived more thun three hundred years ago, and uttered a number of so-called prophecies. They were,