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DIVINE LEGATION OF MOSES
AVING now examined the CHARACTER of
the Jewish People, and the TALENTS of their Lawgiver, I come next to consider the NATURE of that Policy, which by his ministry was introduced amongst them. For in these two enquiries I hope to lay a strong and lasting foundation for the support of the third general proposition, That the doctrine of a future state of rewards and punishments is not to be found in, nor did make part of the Mosaic Dispensation.
We find amongst this people a Policy differing from all the Institutions of mankind; in which the two Societies, civil and religious, were perfectly incorporated, with GOD ALMIGHTY, AS A TEMPORAL GOVERNOR, at the head of both.
The peculiar administration attending so singular a frame of Government hath always kept it from the knowledge of superficial observers. Christian writers, by considering Judaism as a Religious policy only, or VOL. y.
a Church; and Deists, as a Civil policy only, or a State; have run into infinite mistakes concerning the reason, the nature, and the end of its laws and institutions. ' And, on so partial a view of it, no wonder that neither have done justice to this amazing economy. Let us suppose, the famous picture of the female centaur by Zeuxis, where two different Natures were so admirably incorporated, that the passage from one to the other, as Lucian tells us *, became insensible; let us, I say, suppose this picture to have been placed before two competent judges, yet in such different points of view, that the one could see only the brutal, the other the human part; would not the first have thought it a beautiful horse, and the second, as beautiful a woman; and would not each have given the creature supposed to be represented such functions as he judged proper to the species in which he ranked it? But would not both of them have been mistaken ; and would not a sight of the whole have taught them to rectify their wrong judgments ? as well knowing that the functions of such a compounded animal, whenever it existed, must be very different from those of either of the other, singly and alone. From such partial judges of the Law therefore, little assistance is to be expected towards the discovery of its true nature.
Much less are we to expect from the Jewish Doctors: who, though they still keep sheltered, as it were, in the ruins of this august and awful Fabric; yet patch
* Την θήλειαν δε ίππε γε της καλλίσης, ούαι μάλισα αι ΘετΠαλαι είσιν, αδμητες, έτι και άβαλου: το δ' άνω ημίτομον, γυναικός, σάκαλον, -και η μίξις δε, και η αρμογή των σωμάτων, καθο συνάπλεται και συνδείται τη γυναικείο το οπτικόν, ηρέμα, και εκ αθρόως μέλαβαίνεσα, και εκ προσαγωγής τεεπομένη, λανθάνει την όψιν εκ θαλέρο, εις το έτερον Owuloguém. Zeuxis, c. 6. tom. i. p. 843. Edit. Reitzii, Amst. 410, 1743
with the same barbarity of taste, and impotence of science, that the present Greeks are wont to hide themselves amongst the mouldering monuments of Attic power and politeness. Who, as our travellers inform us, take a beggarly pride in keeping up their claim to these wonders of their Ancestors magnificence, by white-washing the Parian marble with chalk, and incrusting the porphyry and granate with tiles and potsherds.
But least of all shall we receive light from the fantastic visions of our English Cocceians *; who have sublimed the crude nonsense of the Cabalists, sa long buried in the dull amusement of picking Mysteries out of letters, into a more spiritual kind of folly; a quintessence well defecated from all the impurities of sense and meaning.
Therefore, to understand the nature of the Jewish Economy, we must begin with this truth, to which every page of the five books of Moses is ready to bear witness, That the separation of the Israelites was in order to preserve the doctrine of the Unity, amidst an idolatrous and polytheistic World. The necessity of this provision shall be shewn at large hereafter f. At present we only desire the Deist would be so civil as to suppose there might possibly be a sufficient cause.
But now, because it is equally true, that this sepa• ration was fulfilling the promise made to ABRAHAM their Father; these men have taken occasion to represent it as made for the sake of a FAVOURITE PEOPLE I. And then again, supposing such a partial distinction to be inconsistent with the divine attri
• The followers of Hutchinson.
+ In the ninth book. See the first volunie of the Divine Legation,