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that he must not be suffered to possess the Land which he had been so many years, in so great dangers, leading the People of Israel to enjoy;
though he doth not conceal how desirous he was to pass over Jordan, Deut. üi. 23, &c. The History of his Death is like that of his Life, related with a peculiar kind of native sims plicity : He is not said to be taken up into Heaven, as Enoch and Elijah were, and as the Romans feigned of Romulus, but to die ; and his Sepulchre was hid, to prevent the Superftitious and Idolatrous Veneration which might have been paid to the Remains of so Great a Person. And tho he had Sons, yet they were but private Men, no otherwise known to us, than as they were his Sons; the Government he conferred upon Joshua, one of another Tribe. Moses therefore was the farthest of any Man from Vain-glorious, or Ambitious and Aspiring Designs; and could propose no other Advantage to himself, but the fulfilling the Will of God, in delivering his Commandments to the People of Israel, and following his Directions in his Conduct and Government.
Aaron was of a different Temper from Moses, and was envious of him, and both Aäron and Miriam murmured against him. It is so notorious, that there could be no contrivance between them to deceive the Peo ple; that it was the immediate and visible Power of God, which kept Aaron as well as the rest in obedience to Moses. Upon Moses's absence, Aaron complied with the People, in making a Golden Calf; and his two eldest Sons offered: Itrange Fire before the Lord, which he had not commanded; for which they were both destroyed by Fire miraculously ifsuing out from the Presence of the Lord : And Aaron held his peace, knowing that this Punishment was inflicted by God himself, and having nothing to reply to Moses, when he declared to him the Justice of it. And both Aaron and his other two Sons are forbidden, upon pain of Death, to moum for them, Levi X. 1, 2, 3,6
At last, by the Commandment of God, Aaron goes up into Mount Hor, to die there, not being permitred to enter into the Land of Promise.
Thus Mofes and Aaron were sometimes at disagrees ment, Aaron envying Moses : Aaron lost two of his Sons, by a signal Judgment from Heaven ; and Mor fes advanced neither of his; and both Moses and Aaron died by the particular Appointment and Command of God, for their Offences against him, never enjoying, nor, for some time before, expecting to enjoy the Land of Promise ; Numb. xx. 12. Deut. i. 37. And therefore, as they could never have performed what they did, but by the Almighty Power of God ; só they could have no Motive or Inducement to attempt it, but his Command and Promise of Afliftance revealed to them.
S the Books entitled to Moses are confessed by
all to be of the greatest Antiquity; so we have it confirmed to us by the Authority of Heathen Writers themselves, that the Books which go under his Name, are indeed of his writing; besides the unanimous Testimony of the whole Jewish Nation, ever since Mofes's time, from the first writing of them ; which is infinitely better proof of their being Authentick, and entitled to the true Author, than can be pretended for any Books but the Holy Scriptures. Divers Texts of the Pentateuch imply, that it was written by Moses; and the Book of Joshua, as well as other Books of Scripture, import as much; and though some Passages have been thought tp imply the contra
ry, yet this is but a late Opinion, and has been fufficiently confuted by learned Men,
It is observable, whoever wrote thefe Five Books, that there is no Partiality fhewn to any one whomso ever. Naab is said to be overcome with Wine, and expofed to the mockery of one of his Sons. Lat is defcribed not only to have been drunken, but to have lain with his own Daughters. "Abraham himfelf de nies his Wife twice; and Ifaac imirates him in it. Jacob gets the Bleffing, by fraud and fubtilty, from his Brother Efau. Foseph's Brethren fell him into Ægypt ; and he, when he is there, learns to swear by the Life of Pharaob. The Faults of Aaron, and of Moses himfelf, (as I have already observed) are not concealed. On the other fide, particular notice is taken how Melchizedeck blessed Abraham, and received Tythes of him: And without all contradiction, the kefs is kleffed of the better, Heb, vii. 7. The Advice of Jethro is recorded; and the Prophecies of Balaam himself are pun&ually fet down. It was no Design of the Şacred Pen-man to write a Panegyrick upon any Man, but to represent the Failings and Infirmities, as well as the Excellencies of each Person; and to fhew by what various Methods the Providence of God brought to pass his gracious Defigns; how he turnid Evil into Good, and made ufe even of the Infirmities and Sins of Men, to accomplifh his Purposes.
In the Book of Genesis, we have a short Account of the most memorable and remarkable Things, which had paft, to the times of Mofes ; as the Creation of the World, the Institution of the Sabbath, the Fall of Man, the Promise of the Meffah, and the Custom of offering Sacrifices as Types of his Death: who first committed Murther, and who first brought in Polygamy; the Invention of divers Arts, the Flood, the Confusion of Tongues ; che Original of the several Nations of the World, with the Chronology of the whole: all which is comprehended in a little Com
pass, but a larger and more particular Account is gim ven of Abraham and his Family : For here the Scene begins to open to the main Design of the Work, the Book of Genefis being as an Introduction to the rest of the Pentateuch, and containing fuch things as were requisite to be premised. And in the beginning of the History of Abraham, it is noted, that the Canaanite was then in the land, Gen. xi. 6. even at that very time when Abraham erected an Altar to the Lord, ver. 7. this being a great Enconragement to the Ifraelites, to excite them to follow the Example of their Father Abraham, who worshipp'd the True God, in a publick and folemn manner, in that Land which they were now going to poffefs, and amongst that People which they were now to drive out, and which, at that time when the Land was promis'd them, were the Inhabitants of it; and God, who had protected Abraham in fo signal a manner, would no less alift them.
And if we consider those things particularly, wherein Moses himself is concern'd as an Agent, as well as an Hiftorian, there can be no pretence for any Man to doubt, but that at least the principal Points of the History of Moses are true; that is, that Mofes was the Governor or General of the People of Israel, who conducted them out of Ægypt; that they travelld for many years in the Wilderness; that they fought di-. vers Battels with the several Nations who oppos'd their journeying into the Land of Canaan; and, that Moses gave them the Laws which we find there recorded. These are the chief Points of the History of Mofes, which are, as it were, the Foundation of all the reft; the rest being but as Circrimstances to thew the Manner of doing it, and the Power by which all this was done. And that these main Points are true, it was never deny'd by those Heathens themselves wlio most reproach'd and vilify'd the Fewish Nation: They acknowledg’d that Mofes was the great General and
Law-giver of the Israelites; they own'd that the Ifraelites came out of Ægypt; they could deny nothing of the History it self, but only gave wrong Accounts, partly out of Ignorance, and partly out of Malice and Design, of the Manner and Means by which this was effe&ed, and the Reasons and Occasions upon which it came to pass. From the Books of Josephus against A pion, in which he gives an Account of what the most ancient Authors of other Nations have deliver'd concerning the Jews; and from what the latter Heathens, Strabo, Tacitus, Justin, and others, after the Jews became so odious and contemptible in the Eyes of all Nations, have written; it is evident, that the great and fundamental Points, as to the Matters of Fact, are confess’d ; and the only Dispute is concerning the Manner in which they were brought about, and the Means whereby all was effe&ted.
Now we take the Histories of all other Nations, rather from themselves, than from Foreigners and Strangers to their Affairs, or profess’d Enemies; and it were extreme Partiality to admit the Accounts we have of the Jewish Affairs, from Authors who liv'd so much too late to have any certain Information of the things they write about, and who, upon every occafion, fhew such Disaffection to their Name and Nation, and contradict each other, and themselves too, as Josephus shews; it would, I say, be notorious Partịality to follow such Authors, rather than credit the Jewish Records attested and deliver'd down to us by the unanimous Approbation and Testimony of the whole Nation.
And when I come to consider the Miracles wrought by Moses, I shall prove, that they were of that nature, and perform'd in such a manner, as that they could not be feign'd or counterfeit at first, nor the Account given of them in the Pentateuch falsified afterwards; and therefore these Five Books of Moses must be ge