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And besides the care that was taken for the Prefervation of the Books of the Law, there were publick Memorials of the principal Miracles enjoined; such was the Feast of the Passover, in remebrance of the Angel's paffing over the Ifraelites, when he slew the First-born of the Ægyptians ; and the Feast of Tabernacles, in remembrance of their dwelling in Tents in the Wilderness ; fuch was the confeffion and commemoration of those that offered the First-fruits;* fetting forth the Mercies of God; in bringing them out of the Land of Ægypt with a mighty hand, and with an out-stretched arm, and with great terribleness, and with higns, and with wonders, Deut. xxvi. 8. and such were the Brazen Serpent, the Ark, and the Tabernacle: These were things seen and observed, or known by all; and they could not be introduced after Moses's time, becaufe there could be no pretence for it; since they who inaoduced them, most suppose them to have been before, at the very time when they designed first to introduce them." The Urim and Thummim was both a constant Miracle, and a constarit Attestation to the Law, by which it was ordained. And it appears, that the Priests who were to examine and judge of Leprosie either in Persons or Things, were fecured from the Infection of it, though it were in fectious to all others : And their constant Service could not be performed without a y miraculous Dif
Thus it is evident, That there is all the Proof which it is pollible to bring in any case of this nature, that the Books of Moses could not be falsified by any Man, or Party of Men whatsoever ; since the Nature and Institution of the Law it felf did effe&tually pro vide against all Impostures; and the Jews had all the affurance that it is possible for any People to have,
y Vid. Lightfoot’s Prospect of the Temple,, C. 34. , 2030,
that the Books of Moses are the same which he wrote and left behind him. And this inspired them with such a zeal for their Law, as to sacrifice their Lives in vindication of it; whereas there was no Book whatsoever, as Josephus observes, amongst the Heathens, which any Man amongst them would not rather a thousand times see destroyed, though it were in never so much esteem with them, than he would suffer for it: Which shews, that the Jews were fully convinced of the Divine Authority of their Law, from all the Evidence above-mentioned; and were perfuaded, that it is the same which Moses delivered, and left behind him.
3. The Pentateuch could not be invented nor fallified by the joint Consent of the whole Nation, either igi Mofes's time, or after it. For how is it possible that such a thing should have been concealed from all other Nations? and, that a whole Nation should know of the Imposture, and no Man ever discover it, nor any Apostate ever divulge it, but they and their Posterity hould always profess, that they believed the Law to be revealed to Moses by God himfelf, just as we now have it in the Pentateuch? that under all Affiations and Adversities, they should impute their Sufferings to the violation of the Law; and that sa many fhould die, rather than depart from it ? Upon the R
Revolt of the Ten Tribes, Jeroboam would certainly have discover'd it, if he had but fulpe&ęd any such thing as an Impoftyre, or-could þut have hoped to make the People believe that the Laws of Moses were not of Divine Institution, but of Hu mane Invention and Contrivance : byt, he Lupposed the Truth of its Divine Original, whilft he tempted the People to the transgression of it; Behold thy Gods, o Ifracla which brought thee up out of the land of Ægypt, 1 Kings xii. 28. he supposes them brought out of the Land of Ægypt, and brought out by a Divine Power ; and endeavours to persuade them, that the two Calves
which he had set up in Dan and Bethel, were the Gods who-delivered them, and by whose Authority the Law was given them; and that therefore either of those Places was as proper to sacrifice in, as JeriJaleń: which however absurd it were, yet he did not think fo absurd, as to endeavour to make them believe that their Law it self was no better than an Impofture: he had fome hopes to succeed in this Proje&; and the Event News, he understood the Temper and Principles of the People he had to deal with; but the other was too gross for him to attempt.
The true Prophets of Israel were ever as zealous for the Law of Moses, as the Prophets of Judah; and the False Prophets of either Kingdom, never durft deny its Authority: thefe Falfe Prophers'affronted and contradicted the Prophets of the Lord, but they ever owned the Law, and pretended to speak in the Name of that God who had deliver'd it to Mofes.
And this Divifion of the Ten Tribes made it impoffible afterwards for either the Kingdom of Ifrael, or of Judah, to make any Alterations in the Books of Moses; becaufe there was so great emulation and enmities betwixt the two Kingdoms,' that they could never have agreed to insert the fame Corruptions; and if either of them had attempted such a thing, it would foon have been discovered by the other and therefore the agreement of the Sama itan with the Hebrew Pentateuch; is plain argument that they are but different Copies of the fame Book, and that it is undoubtedly genuine. The Children of Israel; notwithstanding their great proteness to Idolatry, never caft off the Law of Moses as they would certainly have done, being so often brought into Bondage by their neighbour Nations, if they had not been well affured of the Authority of that Law which they transgress'd; but they were reduced to the Obedience of the Law, by the Oppreffions of Idolatrous Nations they hoped for Deliverance upon their Repentance, according
to the Promises made in it, and could by no Temptațions or Torments be persuaded or forced to renounce it: But the long Captivity in Babylon wrought a perfect cure in the Jews, as to their inclination to Idolatry; which could never have been, unless by their own experience, in seeing the Prophecies fulfilled, and by other Arguments, they had been fully convinced of the Truth of their own Religion beyond all others.
If, it had been of their own Invention, the People would have made their Law, in every respect, more favourable to themselves; they would not have clogged it witbburthensom Ceremonies to distinguish themIclves from the neighbour Nations, to whose Idolatries they were so long prone, and from which these Cer remonies were designed to restrain them. They who
for a long time fo fond of the Idolatries of the Heathen, would never have invented Laws so uneasie to themselves, and so contrary and odious to other Nations; they would never have framed them themselves, and then have pretended a Divine Revelation for those Laws with which they were so little pleased. They would never have exposed themselves to the whole World, through all Ages, as a stubborn and rebellious People, notwithstanding, so many and so convincing Miracles so long wrought amongst them. The Miracles which I have mention’d, were most of them Judgments upon the Israelites, for their Dif obedience; and they would never have fet down these Miracles, but would rather have left them out, though they were true, as disgraceful to their Nation. For thus Fosephus has omitted some things, to avoid the Scandal which, he was aware, would have been given to the Heathen, by a full and pun&ual Relation of the whole History of the Jews, as it is described in the Books of Moses. And they could be as little ignorant as Josephus, what would prove disgraceful to ihem, and what would make for their Honour and
Renown; and when the design of these supposed Forgeries and Falsifications must have been to advance the Glory of the People of Israel, they would never have made such as these. No, if they had made any AF terations, it would have been, to strike out those numerous Paslages which are fo reproachful to their Nation, and to have inserted others, which might raise the Fame and Glory of Themselves, and of their Ancestors; and to have changed those Ceremonies that were so burthensome and so singular, for those which would have been more easie to themselves, and might have recommended them to the good opinion and esteem of the neighbour Nations. But when so refractory a People became so zealous for such a Law, so uneasie at first, and so distaftful to them; it is an undeniable Argument, that they had the greatest Assurance of its Divine Original, and that they would neither falfifie it themselves, nor suffer others to falsifie it.
The People of Israel must be supposed to be unanimous to a Man, in the making these Laws, if they were of their own making; for if any, one had diflented, he could not fail of Arguments to draw others after him. In making Laws, the Interests and Conveniences of the Law-makers are always the Motives for the enacting them; and befides the Publick Honour and Welfare of the Nation, which too often are less consider'd, the particular Interest of every single Man would have made him concerned to put a stopto such Laws. No People can be supposed to consent to the making Laws, by which they are forbidden to fow their Land every Seventh Year, and are commanded to leave their Habitations, and to go up to the capital City, from every part of their Country, thrice in a Year: No People could agree to enact such Laws of their own Contrivance; because none could fublift in the Observation of them, without a Miracle. How can we conceive it possible for any people to sublilt