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number than any people, for ye were the fewest of all people h.

Of the instruments of Providence it is absurd to judge by our conceptions. The agency of men is evidently subject to his control, and what they design for evil purposes he converts to good. In the present system of things, no marked distinction is made of good or evil, only in their general effect. The sun shines and the rain falls alike on the just and the unjust. Nothing can be more clear, than that profane and profligate men are undeserving of the bounties of Providence; and there is as much reason to say of temporal blessings. Yet God is pleased to suffer. them to enjoy much more than they merit: and why then should not the Jews have been chosen for the display of divine wisdom ? In the Scripture, this people is never represented as the chosen or peculiar people of God for any merit of their own : on the contrary, in all his expostulations with them, God is represented as upbraiding them with their rebellion against an election so very extraordinary. They, it appears, were employed contrary to their own choice. Perpetual interposition was necessary to coerce and

n Deut. vi. 7.

keep them to the service of the true God; and their very reluctant obedience tended to the more open manifestation of the divine goodness and glory. That the Jews then were an inconsiderable people, is an argument of Moses ; but he makes a very different use of it. He employs it to awaken them to obedience, and to induce them to repose a trust in that great Being, the dispenser of so many blessings. It

It may be also urged, that our blefled Lord made use of ignorant fishermen as instruments to promulgate Christianity. Now that God should employ inconsiderable agents, is consonant with all the events both of nature and of human life. To prove

the consistence of the holy Scriptures, we may affert, that they form the best sources of ancient history. When we examine the books of the Old Testament, we observe that the writers, even fuppofing it to have been a human work, are good historians, and were spectators of many of the facts they have recorded. They appeal to circumstances seen by multitudes. We must be ftruck with the fimplicity of the narration, and with the marks of truth they exhibit. We see the conformity of the chronology of the holy Scriptures with that of profane history ; nay, they even serye

to correct the errors of the latter. We see a surprising harmony between these books and the most valued historians, such as Josephus and others. The books of the Old Testament alone afford us an accurate history of the world from the creation, through the line of patriarchs, judges, kings, and rulers of the Hebrews. By their aid we may form almost an uninterrupted series of events down to the birth of Christ or Auguftus, a space of about four thousand years, or even beyond. If a few interruptions occur, these are easily supplied by profane history. Such reflections must strike us as very extraordinary proofs of the agreement of the whole relation with truth, If it be faid, that this book contains some contradictions, we have these well reconciled by several persons of ability.

Every improvement in science confirms the evidences of the Scriptures. Astronomy gives its support; so that not only the sun by day, and the splendid luminaries of the night, but every

law of the celestial orbs, declares the glory of God. The heavens themselves at once prove his being, display his workmanship, and establish the truth of his divine word. Profane history contributes to confirm the truth of facred ; and, learning as it advances, clears obseurity and elucidates truth. There have been generally standing memorials of great events; but the memorials of the events of sacred history bear this remarkable character, that they were established at the very time of the facts, and were instituted in remembrance of them. Thus all the Jewish rites, whether circumcision, the feast of the paffover, the fabbath, the delivery of the law, were all appointed at the very time of the transaction; and succeeding generations acted on the testimony of their forefathers, who were present at the time of the transaction, and recorded it to posterity. For it is a strong argument of the truth and the confistence of revelation, that the principal instances recorded in the Jewish history of the miraculous acts of God performed through his human instruments, were very public; and that the institutions which arose out of them were adopted at the same time, and by the very persons who were the spectators. We have no greater evidence of any historical transaction. Here then, on the one side, we are to place well authenticated facts'; on the other, speculative conjecture and groundless. objection.

It is remarked of the Mofaic institutions, that they propose temporal promises, and that

they allude not to the rewards of a future life. Hence fome have concluded, that a future ftate of reward or punishment made no part of the motives proposed to the children of Israel. It must however be remembered, that temporal promises were peculiarly adapted to the state of the Israelites, and therefore that they are more strongly enforced. But was it not the fole object of the law to prepare the Israelites for the expectation of him, who was to bring life and immortality to light? The hope of life and immortality was therefore, with the fame consistence of design, gradually developed. To this nature itself pointed ; in this the patriarchs trusted. A future state of existence was ever the hope of the Gentile world. Our blessed Lord did not advance, he confirmed the doctrine. With this view we are to look at the confiftence of the Gospel covenant. Many passages of the Old Testament fhew that it was a general belief of those times. What said Ifaiah? The sun shall be no more thy light by day, neither for brightness shall the moon give light unto thee ; but the Lord shall be unto thee an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory i. There are many similar de

i Isaiah lx. 19.

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