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could Moses be apprised of it? Was it by ins spiration? If so, he was under the direction of an higher power, and his mission by divine authority; which is granting the point in ques-* tion. Add to the articles above mentioned the variouş ordinances about burnt-offerings, peace-offerings, and sin-offerings; also concerning offerings of atonement; and of general atonement to be made with blood by the highpriest for all the people; the redemption of the first-born, and the ransom which every man was to pay for his own soul. Nor must the feaşts, or festivals, be omitted; the feast of the Sabbath, of Pentecost, of the Passover, the feast of Trumpets, and of the New Moon; and the feast of Expiation. Also the sabbatical year and year of Jubilee, the redemption of servants and the redemption of lands; and above all, the redemption of : souls. I omit many other
"Exodus xxxiv. 20. and Numb. xviii. 15, 16. : * Exodus xxx. 12.
? And Aaron shall make an atonement upon the horns of it (the altar) once in a year, with the blood of the sin-offering of atonements: once in the year shall he make atonement upon it throughout your generations to make an atonement for your souls. Exodus xxx. 10, 15. . - And this shall be an everlasting statute unto you, to make an atonement for the children of Israel for all their sins once a year, Levit. xyi. 34. also ver. 11.
ordinances; to which we know of nothing similar in Egypt, nor in any other country, The heart of man could not have devised them. If then there was a particular meaning in these laws, and a secret allusion, and they were not merely rites of arbitrary institution, the secret purport must relate to events in the womb of time, with which Moses was not acquainted. Or if he were acquainted, then the same conclusion follows here as before; he must have had the intelligence by inspiration; and consequently, what he did was by Divine appointment. The internal evidence, we see, is wonderful, and not to be controverted. The only way to get rid of it is to set aside the external, and say that the whole is a forgery. But this is impossible ; the law still exists, and must have had a beginning. It is kept up by people of the same race as those to whom it was first delivered, and from whom it has been uniformly transmitted without any interruption. This people have now lost their polity, and have been for ages in a state of dispersion. And as there are many things in the books of Moses said concerning both them and their forefathers, every thing which was predicted
has been literally fulfilled. They are probably as numerous now as they were of old, but widely dissipated; being in the midst of nations, yet separate from them; preserved by providence for especial purposes : and particularly to afford attestation to those divine oracles, in which they are so signally pointed out.
Let us make one or two inferences more before we conclude. If these laws were of human invention, and this history of the Israelites the contrivance of Moses, what could be his reason for introducing so many difficulties and delays? Why did he not describe the Israelites as advancing to immediate conquest, and fix them at once in the land of Canaan? If it had been in his power to invent the history, he would surely have done honour to his people. But no historian ever placed his nation in so unfavourable a light. Yet he had every thing, good and bad, at his option. His tablet was before him, ready to receive any tint. Why did he deal so much in gloom and shade, when he could have en
lightened his characters with some more pleasing colours ? We meet with a continual de tail of discontent and murmuring, of disobe. dience and rebellion towards God, and of punishments in consequence of this behaviqur. At one time there fell three thousand men for their ' idolatry, At another time, upon the rebellion of Korah, a large family, by the earth's opening, was swallowed up quick; and two hundred and fifty men were consumed by an eruption of fire. At the same time a plągue broke out, and carried off fourteen thousand and seven hundred persons. Another judgment in the same way carried off no less than twenty-four · thousand. All this is said to have been brought upon them for their not attending to God's signs and wonders, and for their disobedience to his express commands. But what signs or what wonders could they attend to, if in reality there were none displayed? And how could they infringe any immediate commandment if the Deity never interfered? If there were no truth in these facts, for what end could Moses introduce them to the disparagement of his brethren? It is
* Exod. xxxii. 28. 1. *Numb. xvi. 32. 3 Ibid. ver. 35.
4 Chap. xxv. 9.
well known how disaffected they were at times towards him, so as even to meditate his death; yet he wrote these things, and what he wrote he read before them. Attend to his words which he spake to them, when they rose up against Joshua and Caleb, and were going to murder them. Numb, xiy. 28, 29, 31, 32, As truly as I live, saith the Lord, as ye have spoken in mine ears, so will I do to you ; Your carcases shall fall in this wilderness; and all that were numbered of you, according to your whole number, from twenty years old and upward, which have murmured against me. But your little ones- them will I bring in. But as for you, your carcases they shall fall in this wilderness. Was this the way to gain good will? could these threats conciliate their favour? He must have been upholden in all he said, and in all he did; and there was a sanction to his law from above, or he could not have succeeded, nor even escaped their malice. The people would not have submitted to such painful institutes, nor have stoned a man for gathering sticks upon a particular day. Their rage would have been vented upon the author of the law.