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the Army of Ægypt, unto their Horses, and to their Chariots , how he made the Water of the Red-Sea to overflow them as they pursued after you, and how the Lord bath destroyed them unto this day: And what be did unto you in the Wilderness, until ye came into this Place; and what he did unto. Dathan and Abiram, the Sons of Eliab, the Son of Reuben, how the Earth opened her Mouth, and swallowed them up, and their Housholds, and their Tents, and all the substance that was in their pollesion, in the midst of all Israel. But your Eyes have seen all the great Acts of the Lord, which he did, &c.
From hence we must suppose it impossible that these Books of Moses, (if an Imposture) could have been invented and put upon the People, who were then alive, when all these things were said to : be done,
The utmost therefore that even a Suppose can ftretch to, is, That these Books were wrote in fome Age after Mofes, and put out in his Name.
And to this, I say, That if it was so, it was impossible that those Books should have been receiv'd, as the Books of Mofes, in that Age wherein they may have been suppos'd to have been first invented. Why? Because they speak of themselves as deliver'd by Moses, and kept in the Ark from his time. And it came to pass,when Moses had made an end of writing the words: of this Law in a Book until they were finished, that Mo-. ses commanded the Levites, who bare the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this Book of the Law, and put it in the side of the Ark of the Covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee, Deut. xxxi. 24, 25, 26. And there was a Copy of this Book to be left likewise.with the King. And it shall be when he fitteth upon the Throne of his Kingdom, that be shall write him a Copy of this Law in a Book, out of
that which is before the Priests the Levites: And it shall .: be with him, and be hall.read therein all the daysof - bis Life : That he may learn to fear the Lord his
God, to keep all the Words of this Law and these Sta: tutes to do them, Deut, xvii. 18, 19.
HERE, you see that this Book of the Law, speaks of it self, not only as an History or Relation of what things were then done: But as the standing and municipal Lav and Statutes of the Nation of the Jews, binding the King as well as the People..
Now, in whatever Age 'after Mofes you will suppose this Book to have been Forged, it was impossible it cou'd be receiv'd as Truth; because it was not then to be found, either in the Ark, or with the King, or any where else: For when first Invented, every body must know, that they had never heard of it before. . And therefore they cou'd less believe it to be the Book of their Statutes, and the standing Law of the Land, which they had all along received, and by which they had been Governed. .
Cou'd any Man, now at this Day, invent a Book of Statutes or Axts of Parliament for England, and make it pass upon the Nation as the only Book of Statutes that ever they had known? As impossible was it for the Books of Moses (if they were invented in any Age after Mofes) to have been receiv'd for what they declare themselves to be, viz. The Statutes and Municipal Law of the Nation of the Fews : And to have persuaded the Jews, that they had Omr'd and Acknowledg'd these Books, all along from the Days of Moses, to that Day in which they . were first invented, that is, that they had Own'd them before they had ever so much as Heard of them. Nay, more, the whole Nation must, in an Instant, forget their former Laws and Government, if they cou'd receive these Books,, as being their FormerLaws. And they cou'd not otherwise receive them, · because they vouch'd themselves so to be. Let me ask the Deifts but this One short Question, Was . there ever a Book of Sham- Laws, which were not the Laws of the Nation, Pålm'd upon any People, since
the World began ? If not, with what Face can they say this of the Fook of Laws of the Jews? Why will they say that of them, which they confess impofsible in any Nation, or among any People ?
But they must be yet more Unreafonable. For the Books of Moses have a further Demonstration of their Truth, than even other Lam-Books have : For they not only contain the Laws, but give an Historical Account of their Institution, and the Practice of them from that Time : As of the Passover in Memory of the Death of the First-Born , in Ægypt : And that the fame Day, all Num. viii. the First Born of Israel both of Man and 17, 18. Beast, were by a perpetual Law, dedica. ted to God : And the Levites taken for all the Firstborn of the Children of Israel. That Aaron's Rod. which budded, was kept in the Ark, in Memory of the Rebellion and wonderful Destruction of Korah, Dathan, and Abiram ; and for the Confirmation of the Priesthood to the Tribe of Levi. As likewise the Pot of Manna, in Memory of their having been fed with it 40 Years in the Wilderness. That the Brazen Serpent was kept (which remain’d to the Days of Hezekiah. 2 King xviii. 4.) in Memory of that'wonderful Deliverance, by. only Looking upon it, from the Biting of the Fiery Serpents. Num. xxi. 9. The Feast of Pentecost, in Memory of the dreadful Appearance of God upon Mount Horeb, &c.
And besides, these Remembrances of particular A&tions and Occurrences, there were other folemn Irftitutions in Memory of their Deliverance out of Ægypt, in the General, which included all the Pare ticulars. As of the Sabbath. Deut. s. 15. Their dayly Sacrifices, and yearly Expiation, their NewMoons, and several Feasts and Fafts. So that there were Tearly, Monthly, Ifeekly, Daily Remembrances, and Recognitions of these things.
Anu not only fo, but the Books of the same Mofes tell us, that a particular Tribe (of Levi)
was Appointed and Consecrated by God as his Prielts ; by whose Hands and none other, the :: Sacrifices of the People were to be offer'd, and these solemn Institutions to be celebrated. That it was Death for any other to approach the Altar. That their High Priest wore a Glorious Mitre, and magni. ficent Robes of God's own Contrivance, with the miraculous Urim and Thummim in his Breast plate,
whence the divine Responses were given. Numbers That at his Word, the King, and all the xxvii. 21. People were to go out, and to come in.
That these Levites were likewise, the Deut. xvii. Chief Judges, even in all Civil Causes, 8. to 13. and that it was Death to resist their I'Chr.xxiii. Sentence. Now when ever it can be
suppos’d that these Books of Moses were
forg'd, in fome Ages after Mofes, it is impossible they could have been received as True, unless the Forgers could have made the whole Nation believe, t' at they had received these Books from their Fathers, had been instructed in them when they were Children, and had taught them to their Children, moreover, that they had all been circumcised, and did circumcise their Children, in pursuance to what was commanded in these Books, that they had observed the yearly Passover, the weekly Sabbath, the. New-Moons, and all these several Feasts, Fasts, and Ceremonies commanded in these Books : That they had never eaten any Swines Flesh, or other Meats prohibited in these Books : That they had a magnificent Tabere nacle, with a visible Priesthood to Administer in it, which was confined to the Tribe of Levi ; over whom was placed a glorious High-Priest, cloath'd with great and mighty Prerogatives, whose Death
only could deliver those that were fled Num. XXXV. to the Cities of Refuge. And that 25. 28. these Priests were their ordinary Judges, even in Civil Matters : I say,
was it possible to have persuaded a whole Nation of Men, that they had known and Pra&ti fed all these Things, if they had not done it ? or, Secondly. To have receiv'd a Book for Truth, which said they had pra&tised them, and appeal'd to that Practice? So that here are the Third and Fourth of the Marks above-mentioned : But now let us descend to the utmost Degree'. of Supp fition, viz. That these Things were Pra&ised, before these Books of Moses were Forg'd; and that there Books did only impofe upon the Nation, in making them believe, That they had kept these Obfervances in Memory of such and such Things, as : were inserted in those Books..
WELL then, let us proceed upon this Supposition, (however groundless) and now, will not the same Impoffibilities occur, as in the former Case For , First, This must suppose that the Jews kept all these Observances in Memory of Nothing, or without knowing any thing of their Original, or the Reason why they kept them. Whereas these very Obfervances did express the Ground and Reason of their being kept, as the Pasover in Memory of God's Paf. fing over the Children of the Ifraelites, in that Night wherein he sew all the First-burn of Ægypt, and so of the Reft.
BUT Secondly, Let us suppose, contrary both to Reason, and Matter of Fatt, That the Fews did not know any Reason at all why they kept these Observances ; yet was it possible to put it upon them, That they had kept these Obfervances in Memory of what they had never heard of before that Day, whenfoever you will suppose that these Books of Moses were first Forged ? For Example, suppose I shou'd now forge some Romantick Story, of strange Things done 1000 Years ago, and in Confirmation of this, should endeavour to persuade the Christian World, that they had all along, from that Day to this, kept the Firs-Day of the Week in Memory of