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386 § 309. MoRAL TENDENcy of The INSTRUCTIONs
spects, erroneous, provision was made, that the book of the Law should be publickly read once every seven years in the Taberna- . cle; on which occasion, not only parents could correct the errours, which they might have cherished, but the children also could determine, whether the instructions they had received, were coincident with the truth.
To sum up what we have further to say in a word; we observe that the names, which were applied to the supreme Being, viz. JEHovah, THE God of ABRAHAM, Isa AC, AND JAcob; that their residence in the land of Canaan, that one sacred tabernacle, one high priest, one family of priests, one tribe of Levites; that even the tithes and sacrifices, the redemption of the first born, the system of impurities and purifications, and other things, which were prescribed in the Law, perpetually admonished the Hebrews, that God was the sole ruler of all things, even that God, who had brought them out from Egypt into the land of their present residence, and had commanded all these things to be observed.
Compare particularly Deuteronomy 26:1–11, and Exodus 10: 1, 2. 12:25–28. 13:4—16.
The Hebrews were commanded, moreover, to commit to memory the song recorded in the 32d of Deuteronomy, that it might be a perpetual monitor of their duty, and in case they failed in duty, of the consequences, which would follow.
§ 309. ON THE MoRAL TENDENCY of THE INSTRUCTIONS AND INSTITUTIONs of Moses.
When we remember, that Moses prefixed to those instructions, and Laws, and the ritual, of which he may be considered especially the author, the Book of Genesis, which is so abundant in instances of moral discipline, we shall be justified in expecting to find, that what has been termed “the Mosaic religion,” will not be deficient in respect to its moral tendency. Our expectations are by no means disappointed. We are every where taught in the Laws of Moses, that God is the creator and governour of the universe, to whom all men owe obedience and gratitude. We find, moreover, that he in particular teaches his countrymen, the Hebrews, that they were bound to devote themselves to God by obligations, which were multipli
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ed and peculiar; since they had received from him such distinguished favours, and the promise of others at a future period, Exod. 20: 2. Lev. 11:45. 25: 38. Deut. 4: 32–40. 5: 24–28. 6: 12, 13, 20–25. 7: 6–11. 8: 1–6, 10–18. 9:4, 5. 10: 12. 11:1. 26: 1–10, 32:6. They are, accordingly, commanded to love God, with all the heart and mind and strength, not only as the governour of the universe, and the benefactor, in numberless ways, of all mankind, but to love him also, as their own especial deliverer and friend. And, as the result of such gratitude and love, they are required to obey his laws, and this in truth for the additional reason, that without such obedience, they would not deserve the kindness of God, and would not be in a situation to receive any further benefits from his hand, Deut. 6: 4, 5, 11: 1, 13, 14. 13:4, 5. They are not only admonished to abstain from those kinds of
food, which were reckoned unclean, but also to keep themselves free from moral defilements, and to be pure and holy, even as God is holy, Lev. 11:45. 20:26. Deut. 14: 1, 2, 21. Lev. 19:2. 20: 7, 8.
They are taught to love their neighbour on, as themselves, Lev. 19:18; not only the Hebrew, but the stranger also, Lev. 19: 33, 34. Exod. 22:20, 21. 23:9, 12. Num. 15: 14. Deut. 10: 18, 19. 24: 17, 27: 19.
Hatred and revenge are prohibited, Exod. 23: 4, 5. Lev. 19:16 —18. Deut. 23:7, 8, comp. Job. 31: 29–31.
Cruelty and inhumanity to servants are guarded against, Exod. 20: 10, 11. 21: 2–11, 20–26. Lev. 25: 39–53. Deut. 5: 14, 15. 12: 18. 15:12–15. 16: 11–14, 23: 15, 16. 25: 4. comp. Job 31: 13–15. The exhibition of kindness to the poor likewise, to widows, and orphans is inculcated, Exod: 22:25, 26. Lev. 19: 9– 13. 23:22. 25: 5, 6. Deut. 12: 5–7. 14:22–24. 15:7–15. 16:10 —12. 26: 11–15. 27: 19.
As an incitement to deeds of kindness of this sort, the people .
are told to remember, that they themselves were of old strangers and servants in the land of the Egyptians; an exhortation, which implies the knowledge and the admission of the duty of doing to others, what we wish dome to ourselves, and of not inflicting on others, what we should ourselves be unwilling to suffer. It may be remarked, furthermore, that the Hebrews were forbidden to
388 § 309. MoRAL TENDENcy of THE INstauctions
exercise cruelty to their animals, Exod. 20:10, 11. 23:11, 18. 34: 26. Lev. 22:28. 25: 7. Deut. 14:21. 22:6, 7, 10. 25: 4. The people are coi:\manded not to curse the deaf, and not to cast an obstacle in the way of the blind, Lev. 19:14. Deut. 27: 18. They are fobidden to utter falsehoods, Exod. 23: 1–7 ; and are admonished not to go about among the people in the character of tale-bearers, as they will have done their duty, by informing the guilty persons of their faults in private, and only have made themselvers partakers in their guilt, by giving to those faults an unnecessary publicity, Lev. 19:16. They are not left at liberty to utter curses against those magistrates, who, in their estimation, have been unfavourable to them, Exod. 22:27, 28. They are commanded to avoid all fraud, as an abomination in the sight of God, Deut. 25: 13–16; when they have found any property, carefully to inquire out its owner, and restore it, Deut. 22:1, 3; and to keep themselves guiltless not only of fornication, adultery, incest and bestiality, but of all impure concupiscence, which are great crimes in the sight of Jehovah, Lev. 18; 1–30. Deut. 23: 18, 19. 22:5. Exod. 20: 7. The obedience, which was due to the civil Laws, was urged on the ground, that they originated from that merciful and holy Being, who is the creator and the governour of all things, Lev. 11: 44. 18:3–5. 19:10, 12, 14, 18, 25, 28, 30–32, 34, 37.22; 3, 8, 30–– 33. 23:22, 43. 25: 17, etc. Moses, accordingly, in reference to this subject, viz. obedience to the civil Laws, never fails to remind the people of their divine origin, and teaches them, that, unless those Laws are observed, as religious, as well as civil institutions, it will be of no avail. Consult particularly the passages, which follow, and which are worthy of a repeated perusal, Deut. 4: 1–40. 5:1–6, 25. 8:1–19. 10: 12. 11:1. 29: 1. 30: 20. Numerous sacrifices were insisted on, not, in truth, for any supposed worthiness in the sacrifices themselves, but, because they were an indication of a grateful mind, because they presented a symbolick representation of the punishment due to transgressors, and uttered, as it were, an impressive admonition, that all sins were to be avoided. Sacrifices, accordingly, and other ceremonies are never esteemed, in themselves considered, of much consequence. On the contrary, it is expressly said, that
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God does not have respect to gifts and offerings, and that vows are not necessary, Deut. 10: 17. 23:22, 23. A person, who had made a vow, could free himself from the performance of it, by paying a certain amount, to be estimated by the priest, and, furthermore, the power was lodged in the master of a family of making void the vows of his wives and daughters, Lev. 27: 1–33. Num. 30: 2–14.
Particular forms of words, to be used in prayer, are not found among the instructions of Moses, [and the probable reason of it, as represented in the original German, is, that such forms of words would have been too near an approach to the superstitious forms employed in charms, and incantations among the neighbouring idolatrous nations, and might have led to unpropitious consequences.] Still there is what may be considered in some respects an exception to this statement, for we find a form of words prescribed for the benediction in Numbers 6:24–26, and also for the return of thanks in Deut. 26: 1–10, 13–15.
Promises of temporal good, and threats of temporal evil were necessary in an age, in which the knowledge of a future life was limited and obscure. But they are no more obstacles to moral discipline and instruction, than like threats and promises are, at the present day, to the moral education of our offspring. Furthermore, the threats and promises, of which we speak, may be considered, as addressed to the Jews, as a people, rather than as individuals, and, in this way, as making a part of the civil polity; and, after all, they are in themselves an evidence that God approves what is moral, and condemns what is immoral and corrupt, and it is in this way, that he governs the universe.
The religion of Moses, therefore, had a good moral tendency; it disciplined many men, whose characters, for their moral elevation and worth, are fit subjects of admiration. If it had defects, let us have the candour to acknowledge, that they are to be attributed in a measure to the circumstances of the times, and the gratitude to confess, that its deficiences have been amply supplied by the gospel of Jesus Christ.
390 § 310. Respecting Types.
§ 310. On The Question, “ WHETHER THERE ARE TYPES IN THE LAws of Moses?”
That there are historical and moral types in the Laws of Moses, is evident from the Passover, and from the Feast of tabernacles, Exod. 12: 1–13, 16. Lev. 23: 4, 8. Deut. 16: 1–8.; also from the rite of circumcision, and the gold mitre of the high priest, for a typical import is expressly assigned to these last by Moses himself. Consult Exod. 28: 38, and Deut. 10: 16. 30:6.
But whether there are to be found in the writings of Moses what are termed prophetical types, has been a subject of very great contention. We see in the discussions, which have arisen upon this subject, the tendency, which there is in men to rush from one extreme to another; and because types of this kind were formerly too much multiplied, the wisdom of these latter days has taken upon itself boldly to deny the existence of any such types at all.
One thing, however, seems to be certain, that the whole Mosaic discipline, taken in connexion with the promises made to the patriarchs, was not only introduced to preserve and transmit the true religion, but implied and intimated something better to come. Those better times were not hidden from the sight of the prophets, and, in age after age, and with much frequency, they predicted them in their poetry. But express, and insulated types of Christ, or of the Christian Church, known to be such by the ancient Hebrews, do not appear to be found in the Laws of Moses. Still it is a question worthy of further investigation, than has hitherto been bestowed upon it, Whether God, through the instrumentality of Moses, did not so order certain events and ceremonies, that they should be discovered to be typical at the coming of Christ, and in this way facilitate the conversion of the Jews to the Christian system 7 Compare my Hermeneutican generalem Veteris et No. vi Foederis, $ 15, 16. p. 43–48.
NotE. [As the subject of the TYPEs of the Old Testament is one, which has not failed to interest, to a considerable degree, the feelings of many in this country, I take it for granted, that it will not be deemed out of place, to subjoin to this section the opinions