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which these founders of empires settled, or to ascertain the extent of their dominions. This, however, has been done by various authors, to the satisfaction of all competent judges; so much, at least, to my satisfaction, that had I no other proof of the authenticity of Genesis, I should consider this as sufficient. But, without the aid of learning, any man who can barely read the Bible, and has but heard of such people as the Assyrians, the Elamites, the Lydians, the Medes, the Ionians, the Thracians, will readily acknowledge, that they had Assur, and Elam, and Lud, and Madai, and Javan, and Tiros, grandsons of Noah, for their respective founders; and knowing this, he will not, I hope, part with his Bible, as a system of fables. I am no enemy to philosophy; but when philosophy would rob me of my Bible, I must say of it, as Cicero said of the twelve tables, 'This little book alone exceeds the libraries of all the philosophers in the weight of its authority, and in the extent of its utility.' Bp. Watson.
PROOFS OF THE DIVINE LEGATION OF MOSES... THE evidence the Jews had to believe the several matters related by Moses, preceding the deliverance from Egypt, was, so far as we know, no more than Moses's word; whose credit was sufficiently established, by the testimonies given to him by the Deity; but, at the same time, it is not certain that they had not some distinct tradition concerning these things. But, as to his authority, and the authority of the laws and in
stitutions given by him, they had, and their children, and we, who take it from their children, have the strongest evidence the nature of the thing is capable of. For,
1. The whole people, an infinite multitude, were witnesses of all the miracles wrought preceding the deliverance from Egypt, and of the final miracle that achieved their deliverance; in memory whereof, the passover, an annual solemnity, was instituted, with the strongest injunctions to acquaint their children with the cause of that observance, and to mark that night throughout all their generations for ever.
2. The whole people were witnesses to the miracle in passing the Red Sea, and sung that hymn which Moses composed on that occasion. which was preserved for the use of their children.
3. The whole people were witnesses to the dreadful promulgation of the law from Sinai, with which they were also to acquaint their children; and the feast of pentecost was annually to be observed on the day on which that law was given; besides that the very tables in which the ten commandments were written, were deposited in the ark, and remained, at least, till the building of Solomon's temple, and probably till the destruction of it.
4. The whole people were witnesses to the many miracles wrought, during the space of forty years, in the wilderness; to the pillar of fire and cloud, to the manna, quails, &c. a sample of the manna remained to future generations: and they were directed to relate what they saw to their children.
5. The whole people were witnesses to the framing and building of the ark and tabernacle; they were all contributors to it; they saw the cloud fill and rest upon it, and they assisted at the services performed there: and, to commemorate this, as well as their sojourning in tents in the wilderness, the annual feast of tabernacles was appointed, which in succeeding years they were to explain to their children.
As these things were absolutely sufficient to satisfy the children of Israel, then in being, touching the authority and obligation of this law, several things were added to enforce the observance, and to preserve the memory and evidence of what was to be observed.
1. The law was by Moses, at the command of God, put into writing, for the greater certainty, as well as all the directions for making the ark, the cherubim, the tabernacle, the priest's gar ments, &c. and all the rules of government, judicature, &c. with every other circumstance revealed, for directing the faith and the conduct of the nation.
2. The law was to be preserved, perused, and attended to, in the most careful manner; the priests, who were to judge in questions relating to it, must be well versed in it; the king, who was to rule over the nation, was to write out a copy of it for himself, and to peruse it continually; and the people were to write out passages of it, and to wear them by way of signs, upon their hands; and of frontlets, between their eyes; and to write them upon the post of their doors, &c. And they were to teach their children the most
notable parts of it, and particularly to instruct them in the miracles attending the deliverance from Egypt, as they sat in their houses, as they walked by the way, as they lay down, and as they rose up, &c.
3. Besides the authority that promulgated the law, there was a solemn covenant and agreement between God and the people, whereby the people became bound to keep, preserve, and observe this law, and all that was contained in it: and God became bound to be the God of the Israelitish people, to protect, and prosper them: and this covenant, towards the end of their sojourning in the wilderness, was solemnly renewed.
4. The particulars of this covenant, upon God's part, were, to give the people the good land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey, to preserve and protect them in it; to give them perpetual endurance, and victory over their and his enemies; to prosper them in all their labours; to give them the increase of their fields and flocks; and to make them a great, a happy, and a flourishing people; on condition that they kept and obeyed his law.
5. The particulars, on the part of the people, were, to serve Jehovah, and no other God, in the way directed by the law; to preserve, observe, and obey the law carefully, and exactly; and if they failed or transgressed, to submit and consent to the severe sanction of the law and covenant, which, in many instances, was, to individuals transgressing, death (to be cut off from the people); and to the bulk of the people, destruction,
captivity, dispersion, blindness, madness, &c. be sides the forfeiture of all the good promises.
6. Besides the other blessings and pre-eminences, God was, by some special visible symbol of his presence, to reside continually with the people; first, in the tabernacle, which was made in the wilderness for that end, and afterwards in the temple; whence he was to give judgment and directions, and to answer prayers and accept of
7. This covenant was also reduced into writing, and was the tenure by which the Israelites held the land of Canaan, and on which all their hopes were founded: wherefore it must in all generations be considered by them as a thing of no small
As God was the head of this state, and as the people held immediately their land of him; so he made several regulations for holding that property that are very remarkable.
1. The land was by his command divided into twelve lots, one for each tribe; and they were put in possession accordingly, to the exclusion of the tribe of Levi, who for their portion had no more than what attended the service of God's house, and some cities with suburbs, dispersed amongst other tribes.
2. Not only were the descendants of each tribe to enjoy, in exclusion of other tribes, their own lot, but the particular fields and parcels, within each tribe, were to remain for ever with the respective families that first possessed them, and on failure of the issue of the possessor, to the nearest