페이지 이미지
PDF
ePub

Condition of the People of Israel, from their first Ori+ ginal, to the Destruction of Jerufalem, was the per: petual fulfilling of express Prophecies contained in the Books of Mofes.

பயக்ககம்

பந்தயம் பயபக்கம்

CH A P... VI.

Of the Miracles wrought by Moses. Ik

Fit be once proved, That Mofes did what is rela

ted of him in the Pentateuch, it will unavoidably follow, That he did it by a Divine Power, and that he was God's Servant and Minister zdi and that therefore whatsoever he did or wrote, as by his Direction and Command, was really so. For if there ever were or can be any such thing as a Miraclė, it must be con feffed, that the Works performed by Mofes were fuch; and therefore the only Enquiry will bec Whether they were really performed by Him: fince it is absurd to think, that God may not, upon great Realons, alter the courfe of Nature. As yd 2005 - And I thall undertake to prove, fuppofing only that there was such a Man as: Mofes, and that the Jewish Lawiwas given by him, That it is of, Davme Authority, and lands confiunod by all the Miracles which are related in the Pentateuch, to have been wrought by Mafest And that there was such a Man, and that he delivered the Lawo to the Ifraelites, is affirmed by the best Heathen Authors, as Diodorus Siculusy Strabo, and others, and wası never yet, that I have heard of, question!d by any Man: For those who will not acknowledge that Moses wrote the Books which contain it, yet confefs, that the Law it felf was of his prefcribing. But if it should be question’d, whether there ever was fuch a Man, who gave them their Law;

how

[ocr errors]

2

how absurd is it to imagine, that a new and burthensom Law, which at first was so very uneasie to them, and for which nothing but a full perfuafion of its Divine Authority, could ever have made them so zealous, should be received by any Nation, merely upon a feigned and groundless Report, that Moses had, ay some time or other, delivered it, in such a manner, and in quch circumstances, if there never had been such a Man, or such a Law-giver in the World ? Could any one, or more Men, persuade a whole Nation to this? or could a whole Nation conspire to deceive their Posterity with a belief of it ? What mighty Charm could there be in a Name never heard of before, and in a Story newly invented, that a whole Nation should presently grow fond of it? They must consider Humane Nature very little, who can fanfié any thing so unnatural.

I shall therefore take it for granted, that there was fuch a Man as Moses, and that the Jewifh Law. was given by him: And if it be once proved, that the Matters of Faat, or Miracles related of him, were indeed performed, as they are related to have been; no rational Man' can doubt but that they were brought to pass by an Almighty Power. I shall now there, fore consider the History of the Jews barely as National Records, not as written by an Inspired Author: For it will appear from them, considered on: ly as an Account of Matter of Faa, that Mofes was a Person inspired and affifted by God, and both wrote and did all by God's exprefs Will and Appointment. And if we question the Authority of the Books of Moses in this matter, when they are confidered but as National Records, it must be upon one of thefe accounts; Either, 1. Because the Matters of Fact contained in them, as they are there related to have been done, were not at first sufficiently attested. Or, 2. Because the Records themselves are feigned, and therefore the Relations there set down, are not to be

depended

depended upon. For if the Miracles be sufficiently attested, supposing the Truth of the History; then, if the History be true, the Miracles must be fo too.

1. The Miracles and Matters of Fact contained in the Books of Mofes, as they are there related to have been done, were at first fufficiently attested. The permission of Polygamy amongst the Israelites, for the encrease of that people ; the peculiar Fruitfulness of the Climate of Ægypt, where the Women are observed to bring forth often two or three, sometimes more Children at a birth; the long Lives of Mankind, ^ in those Ages; and above all, the Promise of God made to Abraham, That he would bless and multiply his Posterity in Isaac's Line, Gen. xxii. 17. caused the Children of Israel to be exceeding numerous, in a few Generations after they came into Ægypt : A Syrian ready to perish was their father; and he went down into Ægypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty and populous, Deut. xxvi. s. The fighting Men, from twenty years old and upward, that were 'numbred in the Wilderness of Sinai, in the second ycar after they came out of the Land of Ægypt, where Six hundred thousand, and Three thousand and five hundred and fifty, besides the Tribe of Levi, Num. i. 1,46, 47: And the Males of the Levites that were numbred, from Thirty Years old 'to Fifty, were Eight thousand and five hundred and fourscore, Num. iv. 47, 48. And the number of Males, from Twenty Years old and upward, which was taken in the Plains of Mcab, was Six hundred thousand, and a thousand seven hundred and thirty, besides the Levites; and thofe that were numbred of them, were Twenty, and three thousan, all males from å month old and upward, and not a man of these was numbred before in the wilderness of

1.Columell. de Re Rust. 1. 3. c. 8. Plin. Hift. 1. 7. c. 3. Aul. Gell . 1. 10. C. 2

Sinai, chap. xxvi. 91,62,64... And those of the other Sex must be supposed to have been about the same number, when both these Accompts were taken: In all, reckoning Men, Women, and Children and Servants, the Number is computed at Three Millions. '.

3. And all this People, the Parents, and the Children; who, as they died, grew up in their stead, were conducted, for Forty Years together's by a conftant course of Miracles wrought continually in their sight. God took him a nation from the midst of another nation, by temptations, by signs, and by wonders, and by

war,

and by a mighty hand, and by a stretched-out arm, and by great terrours, Deut. iv: 34: They could not be ignorant, whether there were Miracles wrought to proÇure their Deliverance out of Ægypt; these were publick and notorious both to the Ifraelites and the Ægyptians; the Magicians were not able to do the like with their Inchantments, but were forced to confefs, This is the finger of God, Exod. viii. 19, and they were of that nature, and of such mighty consequences that they could not fail, of being particularly taken notice of, when two Nations were so much concerned in the Effects and Events of them. The Children of Israel had been Witneffes of Ten Plagues inflicted succeskive ly upon the Ægyptians in the most remarkable manner that can be conceived, to procure their Deliverance; and when Pharoah pursued them, as they were going away, it was impossible for them to escape from him but by Miracle; the People were in the greatest confternation, they wished themselves again in Ægypt, and made such: Expoftulations with Moses as it was natural for Men in that condition to make, and such as thewed, that, upon the first opportunity, they would have been ready to deliver up Mofes, to secure themselves, and make their peace with Pharaoh: And they said unto Mofes, Because there were no graves in Ægypt, haft thou taken us away to die in the wilderness? Wherefore haft thou dealt thus with us, to carry ris forth

out

out of Ægypt? Is not this the word that we did tell thee in Ægypt, saying, Let us alones that we may serve the Ægyptians? For it had been better for us to serve the Ægyptians, than that we should die in the wilderness, Exod. xiv. 11, 12. But the Hraelites were purposely brought into this Distress, by God's exprefs Will and Command, that he might get him honour upon Pharaoh, and upon all his hoft; upon his charipts, and upon his horsemen, ver. 17 And the Sea being divided at Moses's lifting up his Rod, the Children of Israel went in the midst of it upon dry-ground, and the waters were a wall unto them on the right hand, and on the left, ver. 22. And could they be ignorant whether they walk'd in the Water, or upen dry Land?, whether they were the Men that had escaped, or whether they had been all drown'd? The Words are express, that the Wa ters were on both sides of them, in their paffage, and that they were separated to make way for them; which could not fall out by any ebbing of the Sea, for then they would have had Water but on one side of them; whereas now the Waters stood equally on both hands: The floods stood upright as an heap, and the depths were congeal'd in the beart of the sea, Exod. xv. 8. And nothing cap be fupposed more abfurd, than it is to imagine that neither the Egyptians nor the Israelites Thould understand the nature of the Red-Sea, but that the Course of the Tide should be known only to MoJes. 6. There is no Man of Judgment, says m a very

judicious Writer, that can think that Pharaoh and Se the Ægyptians, who then excell'd all Nations in the 4. Obfervations of the Heavenly Motions, could be ç ignorant of the Fluxes and Refuxes of the Sea, in " his own Country, on his own Coasts, and in his s own most traded and frequented Ports and Havens; S and wherein his people having had so many

Hun

im Sir W. Ralegh. Pt. I. I. 2. 6. 3. $.9...

66 dreds

« 이전계속 »