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thy neighbor's wife-neither shalt thou covet thy neighbor's house.” (Deut. v. 21.)
“ The philosophy of Moses is not that barren and fruitless one whose subtilty evaporates in empty reasonings, and whose powers spend themselves in discoveries of no use to the happiness of men ; it is not that disastrous philosophy which, with an axe in its hand, and a veil over its eyes, throws down, overturns, and destroys every thing, and builds up nothingwhich, in its impious phrenzy, makes matter its God, and which distinguishes a man from a beast only by his shape! No, it is the wise philosophy of a good man who wishes to render his fellow creatures happy.”—(Levi.)
The proofs of the divine origin and inspiration of these books are now brought within a very small compass. “ It is sufficient to establish, in the mind of every Christian, not only the authenticity of these books as the work of Moses, but also their claim to a divine origin, that the words and laws of Moses are cited by the sacred writers, as the words and laws of God. They were likewise appealed to by our Saviour and his apostles, as the work of an inspired prophet; and Christ solemnly confirmed every jot and tittle of the law, and bore testimony to the infallible accomplishment of its designs and proInises."
“ These books were, immediately after their composition, deposited in the tabernacle, (Deut. xxxi. 9, 26,) and thence transferred to the temple, where they were preserved with the most vigilant
The Jews maintained that God had more care of the letters and syllables of the law, than of the stars
of heaven ; hence every letter was numbered, and notice was taken how often it occurred. Josephus in in his work against Apion, (Book 1st, sec. 8,) maintains that, during so many ages as have already passed, no one hath been so bold as either to add any thing to them, to take any thing from them, or make any change in them. In addition to this, the Jewish literati, the Mazorites, or Mazoretes, ascertained the exact number of the verses, words, and letters of all the books of the Old Testament, and of each book, and of every section in each book, and of all its subdivisions, and made critical remarks upon the verses, words, and letters of the Hebrew text. So fully satisfied were the Israelites of the truth of the things taught by Moses, that they adopted his laws, made them the basis of their religion, and incorporated them into the very frame of their government.”—(Critica Biblica, volume I.)
The predictions contained in the 28th chapter of Deuteronomy, were there no other in the writings of Moses, compared with the past and present condition of the Jews, afford an irrefragable and everlasting proof of the justness of his claims to divine inspiration. The prophet, in the 25th verse, foretels their dispersion ; and the proof of the truth of the prediction lies in the fact that many of the Jews were taken captive by the Assyrians, the Chaldeans, the Persians, and the Romans; and that many of them are found at this day in all the four quarters of the earth. In the 29th verse he says, “thou shalt be only oppressed and spoiled evermore;" and it is well known that almost all governments have taxed or fined them in one way or other, to get their money. Henry III. of England, always taxed them at every low ebb of his fortune. One, named Abraham, paid him, at one time, five hundred pounds sterling. Another, whose name was Aaron, paid him, at differentstimes, no less than twenty thousand pounds, and his son, Edward I. having appointed a commission to inquire into crimes of all kinds, and the adulteration of the coin of the realm being imputed chiefly to the Jews, he let loose on them the whole rigor of his laws. In London alone, two hundred and eighty of them were hanged at once, for this crime; and fifteen thousand of them were robbed of their effects, and banished the kingdom.
In the 32d verse, Moses says, “Thy sons and thy daughters shall be given unto another people, and thine
eyes shall look and fail with longing for them all the day long ;" and in Spain and Portugal, the children of the Jews have been taken from them by order of the government, to be educated in the Popish religion. The fourth council of Toledo ordered that their children should be taken from them, for fear they should partake of their errors; and that they should be shut up in monasteries, to be instructed in the truths of Christianity; and when the Jews were banished from Portugal, the king ordered that all under fourteen years of age should be taken from their parents.
In the 34th verse, the prophet says, “Thou shalt be mad for the sight of thine eyes, which thou shalt see.” After the destruction of Jerusalem by Titus, some of the Jews who took refuge in the castle of Madasa, where, being closely besieged by the Romans, they first murdered their wives and children, and then one another. And a similar event happened at the castle of York, in England, in the reign of Richard I., where five hundred of them, after murdering their wives and children, set fire to the building and perished in the flames.
It was predicted by Moses, that the Jews should be sorely distressed by war and famine, and the want of all things, and that they should“ eat their own children secretly, in their distress, because of the straitness of the siege.” This remarkable prophecy was twice fulfilled--once at the siege of Samaria, in the time of Elisha, and the other during the siege of Jerusalem, by the Romans, of which Josephus gives the following afflicting account :
During the siege, there was a most terrible famine in the city, at which time, there was a certain woman, of a noble family, driven to distraction, by famine, boiled her own child, and when she had eaten half, covered up the rest, and kept it for another time.”
The remarks of Dr. Clarke, at the close of this prophecy, are so pointed, and so pertinent, though brief, that I think them very suitable wherewith to close this lecture.
“ This is an astonishing chapter ; in it are prophecies delivered more than three thousand years ago, and now fulfilling! O God! how immense is thy wisdom; and how profound thy counsels! To thee alone are known all thy works, from the beginning to the end. What an irrefragable proof does this chapter afford, of the truth and divine origin of the Pentateuch!"
ON THE HISTORICAL BOOKS.
“ If they hear not Moses and the prophets, neither will they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.” -Luke xvi. 31.
The historical books of the Old Testament, form a part of those Scriptures which were “given by inspiration of God," and are, therefore, free from error, and to be resorted to “for doctrine, reproof, correction, and instruction in righteousness.” The writers of these books every where display such an acquaintance with the counsels and designs of God, as could not have been obtained by mere human foresight or penetration; while the numerous predictions which they have recorded, and above all, the testimony of Christ and of his apostles, fully confirm their claims to inspiration.
It is evident, from an examination of the historical books, that they are collections from the authentic records of the Jewish nation. We have also the testimony of Josephus to this effect.—(Contra Apion, lib. 1.)