« PreviousContinue »
A Concise Harmony of the Gospels.
1. St. Luke's préface. Luke i. 1-4.
2. Christ's divinity. John 1-5.9-14.
3. John the Baptist's birth foretold, and Christ's. Luke i. 5.
4. Mary in danger to be put away. Matt. i. 18.
5. Christ's birth. Luke fi. 1-20.
6. Christ's pedigree both by father and mother. Matt. i. 1-17. Luke iii. 23. 7. Christ's circumcision; Mary's purification. Luke ii. 21-40,
8. The wise men. Matt. ii.
9. Christ disputes with the doctors. Luke ii. 41.
10. John's ministry. Matt. iii. 1-12. Mark i. 1-8. Luke iii. 1-18. John i. 6-8. 11. Christ baptized. Matt. iii. 13-17. Mark i. 9-11. Luke iii. 21-23. John i. 15-18.
12. Christ tempted. Matt. iv. 1-11. Mark i. 12-23. Luke iv. 1-13. 13. John's testimony of Christ; some disciples called. John i. 19. 14. Christ's first miracle. John ii.
15. Christ's discourse with Nicodemus, &c. John iii.
16. John imprisoned. Matt. xiv. 3-5. Mark vi. 17-20. Luke iii. 19, 20.
17. Christ converts many Samaritans, &c. Matt. iv. 12. John iv.
18. Christ preaches in Galilee. Matt. iv. 17. Mark i. 14, 15. Luke iv. 14, 15. 19. Christ preaches at Nazareth. Luke iv. 16-30.
20. Christ at Capernaum. Matt. iv. 13-16. and viii. 2-17. Mark i. 21-45. Luke iv. 31-44. and v. 12-16.
21. Christ heals a man sick of the palsy. Matt. ix. 2-8. Mark ii. 1-12. Luke
22. Christ calls Peter, &c. Matt. iv. 18-22. Mark i. 16-20. Luke v. 1-10.
4. Christ asserts his godhead. John v.
25. The disciples pluck ears of corn. Matt. xii. 1-8. Mark ii. 23-28. Luke vi.
st heals many. Matt. xii. 9-16. Mark iii. 1-12. Luke vi. 6-11. chooses and ordains his apostles. Mark iii. 13-21. Luke vi 12-19. 28. Carst's sermon on the Mount. Matt. v. 1-12. Luke vi. 20-36. 29. Matt. vi.
30. Matt. vii. 1-30. Luke vi. 37-49.
31. The centurion's servant healed. Matt. viii. 1-13. Luke vii. 1-10. 32. A widow's son raised. Luke vii. 11-17.
33. John's message to Christ. Matt. xi. 2-19. Luke vii. 18-35.
34. Chorazin and Bethsaida upbraided. Matt. xi. 20.
35. A woman anoints Christ. Luke vii. 36. and viii. 1-3.
36. Of blasphemy against the Holy Ghost. Matt. xii. 22-46. Mark iii. 22-30. Luke xi. 14-26. 29-32.
37. Christ's mother and brethren seek him. Matt. xii. 46-50. Mark iii. 31-35. Luke viii. 19-21.
43. Two blind men cured. Matt. ix. 27-34.
44. Christ teaches at Nazareth. Matt. xiii. 54-58. Mark vi. 1-6.
45. Christ journeys again to Galilee. Matt. ix. 35.
46. The apostles sent out. Matt. x. and xi. 1. Mark vi. 7-13. Luke ix. 1-6. 47. Johm beheaded. Matt. xiv. 6-12. Mark vi. 21--29.
94. The parable of the marriage feast. Matt. xxii. 1—14.
95. About paying tribute; Christ confutes the Sadducees, and puzzles the
scribes. Matt. xxii. 15-46. Mark xii. 13-37. Luke xx. 20-44.
96. The Pharisees and scribes taxed and threatened. Mark xii. 38-40. Luke xx 45-47.
97. The widow's two mites. Mark xii. 41-44. Luke xxi. 1—4.
98. Christ foretels the destruction of Jerusalem, and the Jewish state. Matz xxix. 1-51. Mark xii. 1-37. Luke xxi. 5-36.
38. The parable of the sower, &c. Matt. xii. 1-33. Mark iv. 1-34. Luke xiii. 4-18. and xiii. 18-21.
63. Christ goes to Jerusalem. Luke ix. 51. John vii. 10.
64. The seventy sent forth. Luke x. 1-6.
65. Christ at the feast of tabernacles. John vii. 11, &c.
66. An adulteress, &c. John viii.
99. The parable of the virgins and talents; the last judgment described. Matt. XX 100. Christ washes his disciples' feet, &c. John xiii.
101. The preparation for the passover. Matt. xxvi. 1-5. 14-19. Mark xiv. 1, 2. 10-16. Luke xxii. 1-13.
102. Christ institutes the sacrament of the LORD's supper. Matt. xxvi. 20, 30 Mark xiv. 17-26. Luke xxii. 14-23.
67. A blind man healed. John ix.
68. Christ the good Shepherd. John x. 1-21.
69. The seventy return. Luke x. 17.
39. A scribe will follow Christ. Mark iv. 35. Matt. viii. 18-22.
40. The disciples in a storm. Matt. viii. 23-27. Mark iv. 36-41. Luke viii. 22-25.
41. Christ heals the possessed. Matt. viii. 28-34. Mark v. 1-20. Luke viii. 26-39.
42. Jairus's daughter raised. Matt. ix. 1-26. Mark v. 21-31. and 32-13. Luke viii. 40-48. and 49-56.
103. Christ begins his consolatory discourse. John xiv.
104. Christ the true vine. John xv.
70. The efficacy of prayer. Luke xi. 1-13. 27, 28, 33, &c.
71. Against hypocrisy, carnal fear, covetousness, &c. Luke xii
72. An exhortation to repentance. Luke xiii. 1-17.
73. The feast of dedication. Luke xiii. 22. John x. 22.
74. The strait gate. Luke xiii. 23.
75. A dropsical man healed; the wedding feast. Luke xiv.
76. The lost sheep, goat, and son. Luke xv.
77. The unjust steward and rich glutton. Luke xvi.
78. Scandal to be shunned, &c. Luke xvii.
105. Christ comforts his disciples. John xvi.
106. Christ's mediatory prayer. John xvii.
107. Christ warns his disciples of their forsaking him. Matt. xxvi. 31-35. Mark xiv. 27-31. Luke xxii. 22-39. John xviii. 1, 2.
48. Herod's opinion of Christ. Matt. xiv. 1, 2. Mark vi. 14-16. Luke ix. 7-9. 49. Five thousand fed. Matt. xix. 13-21. Mark vi. 30-44. Luke ix. 10-17. John
50. Christ walks on the sea. Matt. xiv. 22-36. Mark vi. 45-56. John vi. 14-21. 51. Christ's flesh must be eaten. John vi. and viii. 1.
52. Impious traditions. Matt. xv. 1-20. Mark vii. 1-23.
53. The woman of Canaan's daughter healed. Matt. xv. 21-28. Mark vii. 24-30. 54. A dumb man healed. Matt. xv. 29-31. Mark viii. 31, &c.
55. Four thousand fed. Matt. xv. 32-39. Mark viii. 1-10.
56. The leaven of the Pharisees. Matt. xvi. 1-12. Mark viii. 11-21.
108. Christ's agony. Matt. xxvi. 36-46 Mark xiv. 32-42. Luke xxii. 40-46. 109. Christ's apprehension. Matt. xxvi. 47-56. Mark xiv. 43-52. Luke xxii. 47-53. John xviii. 3-11.
110. Christ's arraignment. Matt. xxvi. 57-68. Mark xiv. 53-65. Luke xxi. 54 63-65. John xviii. 12-16. 16-24.
111. Peter's denial. Matt. xxvi. 69-75. Mark xiv. 66-72. Luke xxii. 55-62. Jobra xviii. 17, 18, 25-27.
112. Christ's arraignment before the sanhedrim, Pilate and Herod. Matt. xxvii. 1, 2, 11-14. Mark xv. 1-5. Luke xxii. 66, and 71, xxiii. 1-12. John xviii. 29-38.
57. A blind man healed. Mark viii. 22-26.
58. Peter's confession of Christ. Matt. xvi. 13-28. Mark viii. 27-38. and ix. 1. Luke ix. 18-27.
59. Christ's transfiguration. Matt. xvii. 1-13. Mark ix. 2-13. Luke ix. 28-36. 60. Christ cures a lunatic child. Matt. xvii. 14-23. Mark ix. 14-32. Luke ix. 37-45.
61. Humility pressed. Matt. xviii. 1-9. Mark ix. 38-50. Luke ix. 46-50.
62. The feast of tabernacles. John vii. 2-9.
113. Christ condemned by Pilate. Matt. xxvii. 15-23. and 26-30. Mark xv.
115. Christ crucified. Matt. xxvii. 31-56. Mark xv. 20-41. Luke xxiii. 3—49.
116. Christ's burial. Matt. xxvii. 57-61. Mark xv. 42-47. Luke xxiii. 50-56. John xix. 88-42.
117. Christ's resurrection. Matt. xxviii. 1-8. Mark xvi. 1-9. Luke xxiv. 1–12.
118. Christ's appearing first to Mary Magdalene, then to others. Matt. xxviii.
Seed springing up imperceptibly,
Grain of mustard seed,
The Parables of Jesus, arranged in Chronological Order.
Barren fig tree,.
Lost piece of money,
92 The parable of the two sons. Matt. xxi. 28. 32. Mark xii. 1.
93. The vineyard let out. Matt. xxi. 33-46. Mark xii. 1-12. Luke xx. 9-19.
Rich man and Lazarus,
Pharisee and publican,
82. Lazarus sick. Luke xi. 1-16.
83. Christ foretels his passion. Matt. xx. 17-19. Mark x. 32-34. Luke xviii. 31-34.
84. The request of the sons of Zebedee. Matt. xx. 20-28. Mark x. 35-45.
85. A blind man healed; Zaccheus converted; the parable of the pounds. Matt.
Sheep and the goats,
87. Mary anoints Christ. Matt. xxvi. 6-13. Mark xiv. 3-9. John xii. 1-11. 88. Christ's kingly entrance into Jerusalem, and casting buyers and sellers out of the temple. Matt. xxi. 1-16. Mark xi. 1-11. 15-19. Luke xix. 28-38. John xii. 12-19.
89. Some Greeks desire to see Christ. John xii. 20.
90. The fig tree cursed. Matt. xxi. 17-22. Mark xi. 11-14. and 20-26. Luke xxi. 37, 38.
91. Christ's authority questioned. Matt. xxi. 23-27. Mark xi. 27-33. Luke xix. 1-8.
Calms the tempest,
Cures the demoniacs of Gadara,
79. The unjust judge and proud Pharisee. Luke xviii. 1-14.
Restores to life the daughter of Jairus,
80. Concerning divorce. Matt. xix. 1-12. Mark x. 1-12.
81. Little children brought to Christ, &c. Matt. xix. 19-30. Mark x. 13-31. Heals one possessed with a dumb spirit,
Cures an infirm man at Bethesda,
Feeds miraculously five thousand,
Capernaum. Matt. xiii. 1-23.
The Miracles of Christ, arranged in Chronological Order.
Blasts the fig tree,.
Heals the ear of Malchus,
Causes the miraculous draught of fishes,
Luke xv. 11-32.
Luke xvi. 1-12
Cures a boy possessed of a devil,
Heals a woman under an infirmity eighteen
Cures a dropsy,
Cleanses ten lepers,
Raises Lazarus from the dead,
Restores to sight two blind men,
Matt. xx. 1-16.
Luke xix. 12-27.
Luke xiii. 11-17.
Matt. xx. 30-34
INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS
ON EACH BOOK OF
THE OLD AND
THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED GENESIS.
Tas Jews call this Book Bereshith, its first word in Hebrew, which signiɓes, "In the beginning." The Syriac and Arabic versions have called it the Book of the Creation, because it furnishes us with an account of the original formation of all things. This the Greek translators meant to express by the word Genesis, which means the origin of all things, and which has been universally adopted. It is indeed the most ancient, important, and exact record of history, and affords information which cannot be derived from any other source. It comprises a period of about 2369 years. It gives us a detailed account of the order of creation; the primeval state of our first parents: ❘
their apostacy from God; the prevalency of sin in the world; and of the ge neral deluge produced by the wickedness of mankind. We are also informed how the earth was re-peopled; of the origin of sacrifices; and are furnished with an account of the lives, actions, and genealogies of the patriarchs till the death of Joseph.
This book is the fountain of every historical document, and the basis upon which both tradition and history are built; and the principles and facts which it exhibits and narrates, are referred to in many other passages of Scripture.
We are now arrived at the close of a book, in many respects the most extraordmary in the world. In antiquity, it goes back to the origin of man, and of the globe which he inhabits, while its prophetic annunciations extend to the last days." It contains an inspired record of the creation, and a retrospective view of the transactions of Providence for nearly 2000 years. These views are inGnitely preferable to any of the speculations of Gentile philosophors, either of the East or West. Its discoveries lead directly to the Author of our being, the Creator of all things; their theories sink the human mind into the bogs of idolatry, or the gulf of atheism.
of God in man's salvation. The Book of Genesis closes with the death of Jacob and Joseph, But before the scenes shut up, we have graphic and expanded views of the fate of the twelve tribes of Israel, in the prophetic blessings of their dying father; of which those relative to Judah are to us far the most interesting, as they point to Him, in whose work all the plans and promises of JEHOVAII centre and are accomplished.
One of the wisest and most learned men of the last century was Sir Wil liam Jones, whose researches into Eastern literature were unexampled, and remain unrivalled. This great man, it appears, in the early part of life, was We have here the elements of universal history, which furnish evidence of tempted to infidelity; but he esteemed it no small advantage that his rethese most important truths: that God hath made of one blood all the na- searches had corroborated the multiplied evidences of revelation, by confirm tions that dwell upon the earth;"-" that He made man upright, but he hathing the Mosaic account of the primitive world." As his last hour came on, he Bought out many (corrupt) inventions;"-that He whom man offended, found out retired into un inner apartment alone, and died in the act of prayer. But be the incans of his salvation, and even in his sentence of condemnation mingled fore his death he left this testimony to the truth and excellency of the Scripthe promise of redemption. Here we have an authentic record of that most awful tures, particularly of the Old Testament: "I have regularly and attentively judgment -the universal deluge; also the renewal and re-peopling of the world. read the Holy Scriptures, and am of opinion, this volume, independent of its The scene now contracts from Noah to Shem: from Shem to Abraham: divine origin, contains more sublimity and beauty, more morality, more imand from Abraham to Israel. The history of the Bible becomes more select; portant history, and finer strains of poetry and eloquence, than can be collected it is the history, not of the world, but of the church; and the affairs of other from all other books, in whatever language or age they may have been comnations are only adverted to as they become connected with the great design posed." Ld. Teignmouth's Life of Sir W. Jones.
THE SECOND BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED EXODUS.
Tug name EXODUS is borrowed from the Septuagint, and means departure: | immediately formed into a connected history; nor is it of the least importance
OF MIRACLES, PARTICULARLY THOSE OF MOSES.
"A Miracle is a sensible suspension or controlment of, or deviation from, the koown laws of nature By these laws God governs the world He alone established, and He alone, therefore, can suspend them. Effects which are produced by the regular operation of these laws, or which are conformable to the established course of events, are said to be natural: and every palpable deviation therefrom, a miracle."
It is commonly objected, that a miracle is beyond our comprehension; and ts, therefore, contrary to reason. But many objects, which are continually preserted to us, are no less inscrutable and mysterious. Every science we study, presents these Magnetism, Galvanism, Electricity, &c.; and no question is more so, than the principle of vitality in man; but because we cannot comprehend this, are we to deny that we are living creatures?
Hume, the great opponent of the doctrine of miracles, contends, that they ELV contrary to experience." That they are contrary to our experience, is only to say that we have never witnessed any and is to reason like the Emperor of China, who denied the existence of ice and snow, because he bad Dever seen them: that is, they were contrary to his experience. But in how mall a portion of time and space is our experience circumscribed? Could we beast the age of the Jew of Jerusalem, it might give some weight to our experience; yet, during the age of miracles, had he lived in the other hemis phere, or even but a few score leagues distant, they might all have happened without his knowledge; that is, without coming within the sphere of his ex
Besides historical facts, this Book contains the institution of the passoverthe moral law-the miracle of manna in the wilderness-the gushing rock of Horeb directions for building the Tabernacle and mercy-seat, and for forming the priestly vestments; most of which circumstances, in their prominent points, had a typical reference to the New Testament dispensation, as is largely shown by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews.
quisite after they have been long established? The Jewish economy was introduced by a host of miracles, and some of them were continued for forty years. After it was firmly established, and the early part of the Old Testament written, they were, comparatively, few. Again, at the commencement of the Christian dispensation, the whole world was sunk into idolatry: and the philosophers and literati, if they did not themselves believe the popular supersti tions, encouraged the vulgar in the belief. At first, therefore, miracles were equally necessary as in the days of Moses: but when the Scriptures were completed, and widely circulated, they gradually ceased, and are now unne
But the most important point in this controversy is, to fix certain criteria, or marks, to distinguish between true and false, or pretended miracles: this is most essential, before we can depend on any miracles, as the evidence of a divine mission, which is the end proposed in the case before us the miracles of Moses. The criteria laid down by the celebrated Leslie, ("Short Method with a Deist,") and generally adopted by Christian advocates, are the following:1. He contends, every true miracle must be submitted to the outward senses, as seeing, hearing, &c. 2. It must be performed before competent witnesses. 3. The memory of it must be preserved by certain monuments, or authentic records or perpetuated by a certain institution, which. 4. Must have origina ted at the time the transaction is reported to have occurred. Now, let us apply these criteria, as a test of the miracles wrought and attested by Moses. 1. They were all submitted to the sight, and several of them, (as the insects, botches, This objection goes upon the principle, that the experience of every age is &c.) to the feeling, hearing, &c. 2. They were wrought before the king, uniform than which nothing can be more absurd or false, while we see every his court, and all his learned men, or magicians. 3. The memory of them is thing around us changing. Climates change. The sea invades the land, in one preserved in the national records of the Jews, and some of them in the wricountry in another, it retires and leaves it dry. How then shall the experitings of the Gentiles. 4. The truth of them is farther certified by the Passover, ence of one age be the standard of all others. an institution purposely intended to preserve the memorial of one of them, Besides have there not been different dispensations, the Patriarchal, the (the death of the first-born,) and which may be traced up to the very time. Jewish and the Christian? And might not that kind of evidence be necessary But an argument may be adduced in defence of these miracles, which can to trodnce the Jewish and Christian dispensations, which is by no means re- hardly apply to any other-they were wrought in competition with, or opposi Tallades to the wandering Jew, who, in the last century, travelled through Europe, tion to, all the wise men of Egypt, at that time distinguished for wisdom and pretending to have been present at the crucifixion of our Lord. science above all nations.
INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
[MOSES, having in the Book of Genesis described the Creation of the World the Origin of Nations, and the peopling of the earth, details in the Book of EXODUS the Commencement and Nature of the JEWISH CHURCH and POLITY, which has very properly been termed a Theocracy, in which Jehovah appears not merely as their Creator and God, but as their King. Hence this and the following books of Moses are not purely Historical; but contain not only laws for the regulation of their moral conduct and the rites and ceremonies of their religious worship, but judicial and political laws relating to government and civil life. A part of these has been detailed in this book; and an account given of the erection of a superb royal palace, the tabernacle, in which Jeho vah was pleased to dwell, or manifest his especial presence, by the shechinah, or glory, appearing between the Cherubim. The stupendous FACTS, connected with these events, are fully attested by every succeeding writer of the Sacred Scriptures, as may be clearly perceived by consulting the References and notes; and many of the circumstances are confirmed by the testimony of heathen writers.
ODUS of the Israelites from Egypt, and their miraculous PASSAGE OF THE RED SEA, are attested by PALEMON and CHEREMON, MANETHO, BEROSUS, ARTAPANUS, STRABO, DIODORUS SICULUS, NUMENIUS, JUSTIN, and TA CITUS. The tradition mentioned by Diodorus, among the Ichthyophagi, who lived near the Red sea, that the whole bay was once laid bare to the very bottom, and that the waters afterwards returned to their accustomed channel with a most tremendous revulsion, is not extinct to the present day. The inhabitants of the neighbourhood of Corondel, according to Dr. SHAW, preserve the remembrance of a mighty army having been once drowned in the bay which PTOLEMY calls Clysma. The very country where the event happened, in some degree bears testimony to the accuracy of the Mosaic narrative. The Scriptural Etham is still called Etti; the wilderness of Shur, the mountain of Sinai, and the country of Paran, are still known by the same names; and Marah, Elath, and Midian, are still familiar to the ears of Arabs. Several writers, particularly ORPHEUS, in the verses ascribed to him, speak of the delivery of the TWO TABLETS OF THE LAW from God, and of the institution of the Hebrew rites. Add to this, that many of the notions of the heathen respecting the appearance of the Deity, and their religious institutions and laws, were borrowed from this book; and many of their fables, as has been partially shown, were nothing more than distorted traditions of those events which are here Ex-plainly related by Moses.]—Bagster.
NUMENIUS, a Pythagorean philosopher, mentioned by EUSEBIUS, speaks of the OPPOSITION OF THE MAGICIANS, whom he calls Jannes and Jambres, to the miracles of Moses. Though the names of these magicians are not preserved in the sacred Text, yet tradition had preserved them in the Jewish records, from which St. PAUL, (2 Ti. iii. 8.) undoubtedly quotes. The
THIRD BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED LEVITICUS.
"And if ye shall say, What shall we eat the seventh year? behold, we shall not sow, nor gather in our increase. Then I will command my blessing on you in the sixth year, and it shall bring forth fruit for three years. And ye shall sow the eighth year, and eat yet of old fruit until the ninth year, until her fruits come in, ye shall eat of the old store." (xxv. 20-22. Yet, we do not find, in the whole history, a single complaint that this extraordinary promise failed of an exact accomplishment. The twenty-sixth chapter likewise contains an evident prediction of the present state of the nation of Israel, which amidst all its dispersions and oppressions has hitherto been preserved a distinct people, Leviticus contains little history, except the awful death of Nadab and Abi- apparently in order to the performance of the promises made them in the close hu, the sons of Aaron, as soon as consecrated, for irreverence in their sacred of the chapter. It seems peculiarly useful, in this skeptical age, to introduce office and it principally consists of ritual laws, delivered to Moses from above each book in the sacred volume, by some notice of those prophecies found in it the mercy-seat, during the first month after the Tabernacle was erected; though which have received an evident accomplishment, many ages after the time moral precepts are frequently interspersed. In these ceremonies the gospel when we have full proof the books were extant; as this tends to establish, not was preached to Israel and the solemn and exact manner, and the many re- only their authenticity, but also their divine authority, far more than human petitions, with which they are enforced, are suited to impress the serious mind testimony can do.-In addition to this we may observe, that the sacred wriwith a conviction, that something immensely more important and spiritual, ters, in all the subsequent parts of Scripture, and even our Lord, as well as ins than the external observances, is couched under each of them. We are indeedapestles, quote or refer to this book in language which proves, both that it is thus taught, that all true religion must be grounded on divine revelation, and the genuine work of Moses, and also that the statutes contained in it are the be regulated by it; and not be left in any degree to human invention: yet one word of God; the two points which many, called Christians, seem at present inspired apostle calls the legal institutions beggarly elements" and "the ready to concede to skeptics and infidels. (2 Chron. xxx. 16. Ezra vii. 6, 12. law of a carnal commandment;" and another allows, that they formed "a Mati. viii. 4. Luke ii. 22-24. Rom. x. 4, 5. Comp. Lev. xxvi. 12. with 2 Cor. vi. yoke which neither they nor their fathers were able to bear."-But if we look 16. and Lev. xix. 19. with Gal. v. 14.) Let us therefore adhere to the testimony carefully into the New Testament, we shall be convinced, that these ordi of these unexceptionable witnesses, and study it as a part of the oracles of nances, which to numbers appear so unmeaning and unreasonable, were not God;" and very important instruction will be derived from it, even to us in this only shadows of good things to come." but real prophecies; which, being remote age, though we are no longer under the obligation of its ritual appointexactly accomplished in the gospel, prove the book in which they are found to ments."-T. Scott. be divinely inspired. It is not known how far the Israelites observed the singular law concerning the sabbatical year, and that of Jubilee, which, it is evi dent, were very frequently neglected; but no impostor would have ventured to enact such statutes; much less to have committed himself by these words: CONCLUDING
THIS Book is called LEVITICUS, because it chiefly contains laws and regulations respecting the duties of the Priests and Levites, though many of them refer also to the body of the people. The New Testament teaches us to consider many of these rites of sacrifice and purification as typical of the atonement of Christ, and the purifying influences of the Holy Spirit. How far the body of the people saw into the spiritual meaning of these rites, it is difficult to say. Unbelievers, most likely, did not trouble themselves about it; and be lievers would penetrate their design, more or less, in proportion as they were enlightened.
[Thus terminates this most interesting and important book; a book contain ing a code of sacrificial, ceremonial, civil and judicial laws, which, for the purity of their morality, the wisdom, justice, and beneficence of their enactments, and the simplicity, dignity, and impressive mature of their rites, are perfectly unrivalled, and altogether worthy of their Divine Author. Sacrif cing was a mode more ancient than idolatry or the institutions of Moses; but among the heathen various superstitious customs were introduced, which were wholly excluded from the religion of the Hebrews. In these laws, in which we find the most minute circunstances of the act of sacrificing prescribed, there is no mention of any thing preceding the slaying of the animal, except its being sound and of a proper age. It was not brought with any garlands. No cakes of barley and salt were put upon its back. No wine was poured upon its horns. No hair was taken from its forehead to be cast into the fire on the altar. And nothing is said about inspecting the entrails, with a view to divination, which was a principal object in all the heathen sacrifices. All the rites and ceremonies of the Mosaic law are at once dignified and expressive. They point out the holiness of their Author, the sinfulness of man, the necessity of an atonement, and the state of moral excellence to which the grace and mercy of the Creator have destined to raise the human soul. They include, as well as point out, the gospel of the Son of God; from which they receive their consummation and perfection. The sacrifices and oblations were significant of the atonement of Christ; the requisite qualities of these sacrifices were emblematical of his immaculate character; and the prescribed mode in the form of these offerings, and the mystical rites ordained, were allusive institutions, calculated to enlighten the apprehensions of the Jews, and to prepare them for the reception of the gospel. The institution of the high priesthood typified Jesus the Great High Priest, called and prepared of God, who hath an unchangeable priesthood, and is able to save to the uttermost all that come unto God by him. The prohibition of meats as unclean taught the avoidance of what God prohibits; and the various kinds of uncleannesses, with their correspondent expiations, illustrated the necessity and importance of internal purity and true holiness. The very best comment on this book is furnished by the inspired Apostle PAUL in his epistle to the Hebrews; and, on the other hand, that epistle, as well as numerous passages of the New Testament, would be absolutely unintelligible without this portion of the Sacred Volume.J - Bayster.
We here subjoin (from Calmet's Dictionary, and Horne's Introduction) the outline of a HEBREW CALENDAR, with Hints on the Seasons in Pa lestine:
I. TIZRI, or Ethanim, the first month of the Ciril Year, (which was the only year before the Exodus,) began about the middle of our September, and ended about the middle of October, nearly answering to our September,
The few events mentioned in this book, and all the laws delivered, are supposed by Usher and others to have been within one month, answering to part of April and part of May, in the year of the world 2514, or 1490 years before the Christian era.
Old Style; and so the other months. 1st. The feast of Trumpets (New Year's Day.) Levit, xxiii, 24, 25, 10th. The great day of atonement. Levit. xxiii. 27, &c. 15th. The feast of tabernacles, which lasted seven days, and the eighth was a holy convocation. Levit. xxiii. 34, &c. 23. The dedication of Solomon's Temple. 2 Chron. vii. 10. On the same day the Jews conmemorated the giving of the law by Moses. The early or former rains, in Palestine, begin about the end of this month, but last only a few days, when the ploughing season follows. The days very hot; the nights cold.
II. MARCHESVAN, (October and November.) In this month grapes were gathered, and wheat and barley sown.
III. CHISLET, or Casleu. (November and December.) 25th. The feast of dedication, which lasted eight days. This was instituted by Judas Maccabeus, in memory of cleansing the second Temple, 1 Macc. iv. 52-59; and sanc tioned by the presence of Christ, John x. 22. The heats abate by day, and the nights grow still colder.
IV. TEBETH, (December and January.) Weather very cold, with rain or snow.
VI. ADAR, (February and March) 14th and 15th. The feast of Purim, for lots,) in memory of the nation's deliverance from destruction, in the time of Esther. Esther ix. 20-22. Much rain and snow.
VII. ABIB, or NISAN, the first mouth of the Ecclesiastical Year, (March and April.) 14th. The Passover commences, and lasts seven days. Exod. xii. and xiii. 15th. The feast of unleavened bread. Levit. xxiii. 6. 16th. The sheaf of the new barley harvest offered. Levit. xxiii. 10. In this month the weather is temperate; toward the end, usually, the spring or latter rains fall, and swell the Jordan. Barley ripe at Jericho, though wheat is not yet in ear. VIII. IJAR, (Jyar) or Zif. (April and May.) Toward the end, the latter rains cease. Barley cut down, and whent begins to ripen. IX. SIVAN, (May and June.) 6th. The feast of Pentecost, which lasted a week. This is sometimes called the feast of weeks, being seven (or a week of) weeks after the Passover; the feast of harvest, &c. Exod. xxiv. 32. Levit. XXI. 14. Summer commences this month with the wheat harvest.
X TAMMUZ, (June and July.) Weather intensely hot. Early figs and apples ripen.
XL. AB, (July and August.) The heat at its height. Dates ripen at Jericho. XIL ELUL. (August and September.) 7th. Dedication of the walls of the Temple by Nehemiah. Neh, xit. 27, &c. Sky serene and fair. Figs, olives, and grapes ripen. The original Jewish Year was Solar, like ours; as was also that of the Egyptians. It contained 11 months of 30 days, according to Calmet; and the 12th contained 35. It is also thought that they had occasionally an intercalary month, which followed Adar, and was called Ve-Adar or the 2d Adar; but we have no account of this in Scripture.
THE FOURTH BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED NUMBERS.
THE name of this Book is derived from the title it bears in the Vulgate, by the Jews into ten parasha, and thirty-two sederim; and in our Bibles conNUMERI, which is a literal translation of the Greek ARITHMOI, its title in sists of thirty-six chapters. It comprehends the history of between thirty-eight the Septuagint; so called from its containing an account of the numbering and thirty-nin years; containing an account of the enumeration of the people, and marshalling of the Israelites. Like the preceding books, it takes its He- their formation into a regular camp; the census of the Levites, and their sepa brew name from a distinguishing word in the commencement: being frequently ration for the service of the tabernacle; the purification of the camp: the law called WYDABBER, end he spake, from its initial word; but, in most Hebrew of the Nazarites and form of blessing the people; the offerings of the princes; Bibles, its title is BEMIDEAR, in the wilderness, which is the fifth word. the consecration of the Levites; the celebration of the passover; regulations for There can be no doubt that Moses was the author of this book; and from ch. fixing and removing the camp; the journey of the Israelites through the wilderxxxvi. 13. it would seem that he penned it in the plains of Moab. It is dividedness to the land of Moab; the transactions in the plains of Moab.
OF THE OLD AND NEW TESTAMENTS.
Tut's terminates the book of Numbers; a book containing a series of the most astonishing providences and events. Every there and in every circumstance God appears: and yet there is no circumstance or occasion, which does
THE FIFTH BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED DEUTERONOMY.
ALL the Books of Moses are, by the Jews, denominated from their first words in Hebrew; the names we have given them are borrowed from the Septrazat, and are expressive of their contents. The name of this fifth Book of Moses. Deuteronomy, means a second law, or rather a second delivery of the same law, which is rendered the more interesting, from the intermixture with it of many pathetic admonitions, and even many important prophecies. It ontains, also, a history of the last month of the life of Moses, with an aczert of his death, which, in all probability, was subjoined by Joshua, his
not justify those signal displays of his grace and mercy; and in every rela tion, we perceive the consistency of the divine intentions, and the propriety of those laws which he established.
sistance, is inferred, both from the reason of the denunciation, and from several facts attending its execution. The reason given why they were to be cut off is, "That they teach you not to do after all their abominations :" which reason would be set aside by their submission and acknowledgment of the God of Israel. The facts referred to are the following: After the conquest of the country, we are told, "There was not a city that made peace with the children of Israel, save the Hivites the inhabitants of Gibeon: all other they took in battle. For it was of the Lord to harden their hearts, that they should come against Israel in battle, that he might destroy them utterly." (Josh, xi. 19, 20.) This, surely, implies that they had the opportunity of peace, if they had thought proper to accept of the proposed terms. That the Lord hardened their hearts, I consider as a judicial blindness inflicted on them for their repeatedly hardening their own hearts against him, as was the case with Pharaoh and others. (See Cottage Bible, Exodus, chap. vii.) So Maimonides supposes they rejected the first offers of peace, and the Lord punished them by refusing them any farther opportunities.
1. The first thing to be considered is the sovereignty of God, whose are the Irves and properties of all his creatures. Most unquestionably, the Almighty Las in thsolite right over his creatures, even considered as innocent, to place e dispice them wherever he thinks proper; and to take away the life he oraminated, where he has given no assurance to the contrary.
The case of the Gibeonites seems to confirm this, inasmuch as it is difficult to conceive that the oath and covenant made with them, under the circumstances of deception, should have been so sacred, if the order for their extinction had admitted no limitation. The preservation of Rahab, also, (Josh. iii. 12-14.; vi. 22, 23.) and a family of Bethel, (Judges i. 25.) with some other instances, (1 Kings ix. 20, 21.) incline strongly to this exposition.
2. This nght will appear stronger and more incontestable, when it is added, 6. Nor is the destruction to be attributed to Israel wholly, even as instruthat all mankind are sinners; a fact so glaring, that it can hardly be denied ments. The Lord himself, partly by storms and tempests, partly by noxious by any man in his right senses, however it may be palliated or dissembled. insects, and partly by inspiring terror into the minds of the inhabitants, exSeme fare proofs of this are numberless; and those from fact infinite. To deny pelled and destroyed, perhaps, more than the Israelites themselves. In obeyfit sinners are justly obnoxious to punishment, is to deny the course of jus-ing the divine injunction, they, therefore, only concurred with the providence fre To demand for them mercy, is a contradiction in terms; for mercy de- of God, which went before, and, by the display of Almighty power, prepared risdale is no more mercy. But is it not cruel to involve infant children in this their way whithersoever they were called to go. (Exod. xxiii. 27, 28. Josh. promiserious man? Let common sense give the answer. Would there be merey X. 11, &c.) ispaning a thousand orphan infants, without a mother's breast, or a father's Does the earthquake or the ocean spare them? Certainly not. In all tawral calamities their fate is mixed up with that of their parents. 3. The kamed Jacob Bryant maintains, that "The Canaanites were cer * Jindy usurywers, and had acted in open defiance of God's ordinance, by seizing the find appropriated from the beginning to the children of Israel." Deut. xxxii. S.) In the Eusebian Chronicle of Scaliger, mention is made of Caan, the son of Ham, first making an innovation in the world. "He trespassed upon the rights of his brethren, and seized upon the land, which had Sen a gropriated to God's future people. (See Gen. xii. 6. and Notes.) . When, therefore, the Ismelites were brought to Canaan, they came to their a plantance, and those who usurped their property knew it, and knew by whom it had been appointed."
4. The seven nations of Canaan were early corrupted and depraved. They koran z from, the guity and accursed race of Canaan, the son of Ham; and so early as the time of Abraham, they were marked out for punishment in "the fourth generation." their iniquity being "not yet full." (Gen. xv. 16.) This was a warming given them; and it appears, in the case of Rahab, and by the new act of the Gibeonites, that they were by no means unacquainted with the danger, though it made no salutary impression on their conduct. (Josh. #. 9-13 : 1x. 3. &c.) On the contrary, they are charged with gross idolatry, astoral lewdness, and the most detestable cruelties, sacrificing their own chikina both unto Baal and Moloch. (Exod. xxxiv. 10-16; Le. xviii. 19-28.) 5 After the time of God's forbearance was expired, they had still the alterative either to flee elsewhere, as, in fact, many of them did; or to sur render thems ives, and renounce their idolatries, and serve the God of Israel; m which ease, there is reason to believe, the sentence of extirpation would not have been executed. It is thought by many commentators, both Jewish and Christian, that the Israelites were bound to make overtures of peace to every ite or town which they attacked, and to spare their lives on condition of they becoming tributary. The passage on which this hypothesis is founded, is sa follows: When thou comest nigh unto a city to fight against it, then Pekin peace unto it. And it shall be, if it make thee answer of peace, and santo thee, then it shall be, that all the people that is found therein shall be tributaries unto thee, and they shall serve thee. And if it will make no pene with thee, brit will make war against thee, then thou shalt besiege it; and when th› Lend thy God hath delivered it into thine hands, thou shalt smite Thus much may here suffice for vindicating Moses and Joshua, and the ry made the reof with the edge of the sword. But the women, and the little children of Israel, in obeying the command of Heaven, especially with the conunes, and the cattle, and all that is in the city, even all the spoil thereof, shalt stant miracle of the pillar of cloud and fire before them: for it is most certain, the take unto thyself; and thou shalt eat the spoil of thine enemies, which that their faith was built on miracles; and for those miracles we have the the Lord thy God hath given thee. Thus shalt thou do unto all the cities that same authority as for the conquest of Canaan, and the massacre of her chilare very far off from thee, which are not of the cities of these nations. But of dren. If, then, miracles be denied, so may the conquest of Canaan, the althe e tes of these people, which the Lord thy God doth give thee for an inhe-leged cruelties of the Israelites, and the whole of their ancient history. In mane, thou shalt (ie, in the like case of their obstinacy) save alive nothing short, infidelity as to the Bible, leads to scepticism as to all ancient records ; Lathreatheth," &c. (Deut. xx. 10-19.) and would reduce to one common blank all universal history, prior to the pro sent age.
That tais utter destruction was to take place only in cases of obstinate re
As the Children of Israel were now engaged in a sanguinary conflict with the devoted nations of Canaan, and were pledged to their extirpation, this sets a proper place to examine the authority under which they acted, and, so far as may be necessary, to vindicate their conduct; or rather, to vindicate the God of Israel, under whose authority they acted, from the charge of cruelty and injustice: not only as respects their attack upon the Canaanites, but also as to their taking vengeance upon some other nations, who brought destruction upon themselves by attacking Israel.
THUS ends the Book of Deuteronomy, and with it the PENTATEUCH, Com Prely called the LAW OF MOSES; a work every way worthy of God its author, and only less than the NEW TESTAMENT, the Law and Gospel of our Leland Saviour Jesus Christ. Its antiquity places it at the head of all the whitites in the world; and the various subjects it embraces render it of the most importance to every part of the civilized world. Its philosophy, his 19TH Recrophy, and chronolory entitle it to the respect of the whole human tare; while its system of theology and religion demonstrably prove it to be a revelation from God. The Law of Moses is more properly the Law of Jchorah, forach yehneah, the grand title of the Pentateuch. Could we conceive Moses to have been the author of this system, we must consider him more than mortal:-no wisdom of man has ver yet invented such a Code of Lains. Hu merit, however, has been disputed, and his laws severely criticised, by persons whose interest it was to prove religion a cheat, because they had none theme. To some, whose mental taste and feeling are strangely perverted, every thing in heatherism wears not only the most fascinating aspect, but arrears to hay claim to, and possess every excellence; and hence they have cald en Confucius, Menu, Zoroaster, and Mohammed himself, to dispute the I'm with Moses! On this cabinet in general, it may be just necessary to remark, that the utmost that can be said of all laws, merely human, is, that they restrain vices, through the terror of punishment. God's law not only restrains vice, but it infrom vittur. It alone brings man to the footstool of his Maker; and keeps ham dependant on the strong for strength, on the wise for wisdom, and on the merrifal for grace. It abounds with promises of support, and salvation for the present life, which no false system dared ever to propose: every where. Mo
in the most confident manner, pledges his God for the fulfilment of all the exceeding great and precious promises, with which his laws are so plentifully
7. Doubtless God might have destroyed these nations without the co-operation of the Israelites; by lightning and tempest, by inundation or earthquake, or by a sweeping pestilence; and either way, unquestionably, their women and children would have been involved in the same common ruin, (as always is the case ;) and who dare say unto the Almighty, What doest thou? But he chose to employ human agents, probably to inspire them with the greater horror against those scenes of idolatry and vice, which, by their being the instruments of punishing, would be necessarily disclosed to them. (Levit. xviii. 29.)
8. The Almighty has, in fact, executed judgments on mankind far more severe than this. Though the inhabitants of Canaan are reckoned seven or eight nations, their whole country was much less than England, not containing more square miles than the single county of York: and what is this to the drowning of the world? a fact attested by all ancient histories, divine and human, and confirmed by innumerable monuments of the event. And even in our own times, the earthquake at Lisbon, and, more recently, that at Aleppo; the cholera morbits in India, the yellow fever in America, and inundations in various parts of the world, have swept away thousands of our fellow-creatures at a stroke, without even that discrimination which the case before us offers; for we know, that not only were children involved in the same ruin with their parents, but, in some of those cases, also the righteous with the wicked.
9. Lastly, the employing one nation to punish another, is so far from being singular, that it is the usual method taken by the most High in the administration of his providence. (Psalm xvii. 13. Isa. x. 5, &c.) Thus were Israel themselves punished when they became disobedient and idolatrous, Nor was this done with less severity, except as to absolute extirpation, which was plainly inconsistent with the divine plan. For surely, from the foundation of the world, no judgments were more severe, no calamities more dreadful, than those inflicted upon the Jews, especially by the Romans. And the Assyrians, the Persians, and the Romans, were as certainly appointed to punish the Jews, as were the Jews the Canaanites; only, they had not the like written warrant to produce. Among all uncivilized nations, war is connected with massacre and devastation; as at this day between the Turks and Greeks, who are both fulfilling the divine decrees, though they know it not, nor have any such intention.
interspersed and while they were obedient they could say, "Not one word hath failed us, of all the good things which the Lord our God spake concerning u." Who that dispassionately reads the Pentateuch, that considers it in itself, and in its reference to that glorious Gospel which it was intended to introduce, can for a moment deny it the palm of infinite superiority over all the systems ever framed or imagined by man? Well might the Israelitish people triumphantly exclaim, "There is none like the God of Jeshurun!" and with what striking propriety does the glorious legislator add, "Happy art thou, O Israel who is like unto thee? O people, saved of the Lord ?"
Finally, the treasures of wisdom and knowledge, which are amassed in these five books, have enriched the whole civilized earth, and, indeed, greatly promoted that very civilization. They have been a kind of text-book to almost every writer on geology, geography, chronology, astronomy, natural history, ethics, jurisprudence, political economy, theology, poetry, and criticism, from the time of Moses to the present day. Books to which the choicest writers and philosophers in Pagan antiquity have been deeply indebted; and whien were the text-books to all the prophets-books from which the flimsy writers against Divine Revelation, have derived their natural religion, and all their moral excellence-books written in all the energy and purity of the incomparable language in which they are composed, and lastly, books, which for importance of matter, variety of information, dignity of sentiment, accuracy of facts, impartiality, simplicity, and sublimity of narration, tending to improve and ennoble the intellect, and ameliorate the physical and moral condition of man, have never been equalled, and can only be paralleled by the GOSPEL of the Son of God! Fountain of endless mercy, justice, truth, and beneficence! how much are thy gifts and bounties neglected by those who do not read this late; and by those who having read it, are not morally improved by it, and made wise unto salvation.
INTRODUCTORY AND CONCLUDING REMARKS ON EACH BOOK
THE BOOK OF JOSHUA.
IT is not certain whether this book received its name from Joshua as the author, or as the hero of it. It is reasonable to believe that Joshua wouid keep minutes of events in which he had so considerable a share and yet, as several passages occur in this book which were evidently written after his time, it is likely that some subsequent prophet, most probably Samuel, col lected and arranged these memorials, and added those passages which Joshua could not have written, and which yet must have been written before the times of David and Solomon. (See chap. xv. 63.; xvi. 10.)
However this may have been, "The Book of Joshua (as Dr. Clarke ohserves) is one of the most important writings in the Old Covenant, and should never be separated from the Pentateuch, of which it is at once both the continuation and completion. Between this book and the five books of Moses, there is the same analogy as between the four Gospels and the Acts of the Apostles. The Pentateuch contains a history of the acts of the great Jewish legislator, and the laws on which the Jewish church should be established. The Book of Joshua gives an account of the establishment of that church in the land of Canaan, according to the oft-repeated promises and declarations of God. The gospels give an account of the transactions of Jesus Christ, the great Christian Legislator, and of those laws on which his church should be established, and by which it should be governed. The Acts of the Apostles give an account of the actual establishment of that church, according to the predictions and promises of its great Founder."
The foundation of the Jewish church and polity being laid, there are two peculiar circumstances, which, though they have been already hinted at, now claim a more distinct remark.
1. The Hebrew government, as just established, was a Theocracy: that is, God (Theos) was himself the Supreme Governor of the nation; the high priest his prime minister (if we may so speak ;) and Joshua, and his successors, the udges, his commanders in chief. Every tribe had its elders, who were magistrates, or members of the police; and the army was officered in the same way, by commanders of tens, of fifties, of hundreds, and of thousands. (Exod. xviii. 21. Deut. i. 15.) These were in all cases to abide by the written Mosaic law; and if any case occurred which that did not appear to reach, the high priest was to put on his mysterious breast-plate, and to appear before the most holy place, (withou-side the vail,) and there to receive an oracular answer. This was the original constitution of the Hebrew government; but as it was foreseen that a kingly government, and a human monarch, would be required in process of time, provision was made for such a change, as we have seen in the 17th chapter of Deuteronomy, and latter part. Still, however, the choice was with the Loid; and when chosen, the king had no right to make any alteration in the laws; but in all difficult cases, himself, as well as the judges, was to ask counsel of God, by the medium of the high priest. (1 Sam. xiv. 37.)
The Hebrew government, though divine, appears founded in covenant be tween God and Israel; (Exod. xix. 3-6. Deut. xix. 10-13.) the fundamental principle of which was, the worship of Jehovah, and the utter extirpation of idolatry from all the land of Israel. The sanctions of this law, both in its rewards and punishments, were all temporal, (as among ourselves,) and necessarily must be so, as nations have no existence in a future state. This does not prove, however, that the Hebrews had no knowledge of such a state, though it is probable that the bulk of the nation acted as little under its influence as the mass of nominal Christians among our countrymen.
The doctrine of a future state among the Hebrews, (as the progress of truth generally is,) was like the rising of the sun, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day." It is impossible to account for the faith and piety of the early patriarchs, on the supposition that they knew nothing of a future state. Could Abel or Noah walk with God, as they are represented to have done, under the impression that the moment of death should separate them from him for ever? Could Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, die in faith, as the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (chap. xi) informs us they did, without any assu rance of an hereafter? Could Moses "esteem the reproach of Christ greater riches than all the treasures of Egypt," because he had respect to the recompense of reward," when his whole life was a series of afflictions,"plies, when he was not even suffered to set his foot within the promised land, had he not looked for a better country, even a heavenly" one? Indeed the apostle hath fully decided this question, when he tells us, God hath" prepared for them a city" for what city was prepared for these venerable patriarchs, except that New Jerusalem to which we all aspire? Indeed, it is ridiculous to suppose that any man can live under the impression of a religious principle, who expects at his death to perish like a dog.
II. We are called to consider the true nature of the Hebrew Ritual. The enemies of revelation describe it as a mere round of ceremonies, unmeaning, if not ridiculous; but the learned and ingenious Lowman, who has deeply inves tigated this subject, has shown that it was calculated to answer the most im
portant purposes; as, in particular, to represent the true character of the Dents, and to guard the Israelites against idolatry. On this subject we shall quote the following interesting extract, from his Rationale of the Hebrew Ritual."
It was far from the design of the ritual to teach only a ceremonial holi ness; the intention of it appears plainly to set the holiness of God, as one of his governing perfections, in a full and strong light; to teach the high importance of being holy, as God is holy, as well as of being holy because God is holy; but this intention of the ritual will appear more clearly as we proceed.
THE Book of Joshua is one of the most important documents in the Old Tes- | tament. The rapid conquest of the Promised Land, and the actual settlement of the Israelites in it, afford a striking accomplishment of the divine predictions to Abraham and the succeeding Patriarchs; and, at the same time, bear the most unequivocal and ample testimony to the authenticity of this sacred book. Several of the transactions related in it are confirmed by the traditions current among heathen nations, and preserved by ancient profane historians of undoubted character. Thus there are ancient monuments extant, which prove that the Carthaginians were a colony of Syrians who escaped from Joshua; as also that the inhabitants of Leptis in Africa came originally from the Sidonians, who abandoned their country on account of the calami
"The wisdom of the ritual, to make the knowledge it teaches concerning the one only true God more useful, teaches him to be merciful, at the same time it represents him to be a holy God, therefore proclaimed his name, 'The Lord, gracious and merciful, long-suffering, abundant in loving kindness, goodness, and truth; keeping mercy for thousands, forgiving iniquities, transgressions, and sins." Not only is God represented as gracious and merciful, but his mercy and grace are exemplified in pardoning iniquity, transgressions, and sins; or all kinds of offences committed against him. The ritual, to encourage the hope of a sinner in the mercy of God, teaches him that there is mercy with God, that he may be feared; that when he shall return unto God with his whole heart, he shall be received graciously, and restored to favour. This ritual yet farther instructs in the wise method wherein God has appointed to show mercy, supporting, at the same time, the honour of his perfections and government. The ritual therefore appointed propitiatory sacrifices, or atonements, washings and purifications, to teach the guilt of sin, the punishment due to sin from a holy God, and righteous governor of the world; to teach the sinner to honour God by such acknowledgment and confession, which was to accompany his sin-offering and atonement; and also to express his hope in the mercy of God, his trust in the promise of God, that, returning to God with his whole heart, his sin shall be forgiven. Hence the Psalmist concludes, For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy, to all them that call upon thee. It is observable, that the Hebrew ritual encouraged the Hebrew nation to hope for mercy and favour as God's favourite people." Mr. Lowman proceeds
"In ake manner, the whole ritual very plainly taught, that a pure heart, as well as clean hands, were requisite in the worship of Jehovah. The very washings, which purified from the filthiness of the flesh, taught, by an easy meaning, the necessity of being cleansed from all filthiness of the spirit, to appear in the presence of the most holy God. The ritual actions were manifestly designed to express a moral and spiritual meaning. The bare consideration of the ritual itself, the general use of ritual actions in those times, the exposition of the ritual in the oth parts of their law, and by their pro hets, put it out of all doubt, that the outward actions were always to be accompanied with inward suitable tempers and affections."
Nor was this all. The Hebrew ritual must be considered as "a plan of a better state of religion in the times of the promised Messiah," as is fully shown by the inspired author of the Epistle to the Hebrews, who proves at length that all the Levitical sacrifices had reference to the atonement offered by our Saviour; and that the tabernacle, and all its noly utensils, in one way or other prefigured Christ, or some circumstance connected with Christianity. We have already noticed this as respects the paschal lamb, the scape-goat, the red heifer, and various other types; and when we come to the above Epistle, we shall have occasion to enter more fully into the subject; in the mean time, what is here said, may be enough to justify the divine character of the Mosaic ritual. There is one circumstance, however, which demands our particular attention; namely, the minuteness and exactness with which all the directions must be complied with, and that under the severest penalties. How is this to be accounted for? There may be reasons unknown to us; but the following seems obvious and important. The apostle Paul represents the Jews before Christ as in a state of nonage, and under the law as a "schoolmaster." (Gal. ii. 23-25.) Now this not only suggests a state of severe discipline, but imthat, like children, they were to be taught obedience on the authority of the schoolmaster, without being acquainted with the reasons on which his precepts were founded, and thus taught a system of implicit obedience, a circumstance of the highest importance in our Christian education; for as the apostle to the Hebrews argues, if, when children, we were subjected to the discipline and instruction of parents and preceptors, who chastised us for their pleasure, much rather should we be "in subjection to the Father of spirits, and live." (Heb. xii. 7-9.)
The writer of this book is not known; but is generally supposed to have been the prophet Samuel, the last of the Judges, who resigned his authority, by the people's desire, to Saul, their first monarch. Hence it is repeatedly said. "In those days there was no king in Israel" which plainly indicates that the kingly government had begun hefore this book was written.
The history of this book is supposed to commence about 1443 years before
Moses died, and Joshua succeeded him, in the year of the world 2553, and 1451 years before the birth of Christ, as it is commonly reckoned. But respecting the time of the death of Joshun there is some doubt, as there are various dates fixed to that event, by different commentators.
ties with which it was overwhelmed. PROCOPIUS relates, that the Phenicians fled before the Hebrews into Africa, and spread themselves abroad as far as the pillars of Hercules, and adds, "In Numidia where now stands the city Tigisis, (Tangiers,) they have erected two columns, on which, in Phoenician characters, is the following inscription:-- We are the Phoenicians, who fled from the face of Jesus (or Joshua) the son of Naue (Nun.)" The overthrow of Og, king of Bashan, and the Anakim, is considered as having given rise to the fable of the overthrow of the giants; and the tempest of hail-stones was transformed by the poets into a tempest of stones, with which Jupiter overwhelmed the enemies of Hercules in Arim, exactly the country where Joshua fought with the children of Anak.
THE BOOK OF JUDGES.
THE term JUDGES, (Hebrew, Shophetim) was originally applied to those | Christ, and to extend over a period of nearly 320 years, to the time of Eli. It is whom Moses, by the advice of his father-in-law Jethro, appointed to assist sufficiently evident that the people soon degenerated, but it may be justly inferhim in hearing and redressing the complaints of the people; they also formed red from circumstances, that the degeneracy was not universal, nor continued a kind of Legislature under Moses, and from them, in after times, originated throughout the whole period. The first sixteen chapters seem to follow nearly in the Jewish Sanhedrim. The Judges here mentioned, were not only magis- chronological order, from the death of Joshua to the death of Samson, but trates, and some of them prophets, but generally military chiefs, and avengers the last five chapters contain some distressing incidents, which form a sort of of the people. Some appear to have exercised their office only in particular appendix to the former part of the history. tribes, or districts, while the authority of others was more general and extensive. Of the former, some may have been contemporary.
The learned Dr. Graves remarks," By a superficial reader of the sacred his tory, the whole period under the Judges may be easily mistaken for an unin terrupted series of idolatries and crimes, from his not observing that the lapses which incurred punishment, and the divine deliverances which attended repent ance, are related so fully and distinctly as to occupy almost the whole narrative; while long periods, when under the government of the Judges, the people followed God, and the land enjoyed peace, are passed over in a single verse. as productive of no event which required a particular detail."