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by fuch Laws, if they had been of their own making? or, that any Nation fhould agree in the enacting fuch Laws as must provoke all their neighbour Nations tó make War againft them? nay, by which they actually declared an irreconcilable War against seven Nations at once? For oné Nation to diftinguifh themfelves, by their Laws and Conftitutions, from all other Peo ple; to lay the very Foundations of their Govern ment, in the Difgrace and Infamy of all their neigh bour Nations; to report, that after fo many loathfome and grievous Plagues, inflicted upon Pharaoh and his People, they came out of Egypt, and at last, by the Destruction of him and his whole Army in the Red Sea, made their Escape; and that they forced their Way through all the other Nations that with flood their Paffage into Canaan, and vanquished and deftroyed them as they went; and then to proclaim a facred War against all the Nations whofe Land they were to poffefs, and many of whofe Pofterity were remaining to the time of the Captivity; and were fometimes ftruck with Terror, at the Remembrance, which was retained among them, of these Judgments,
1 Sam. iv. 8. vi. 6.) but might have been able to con fute great part of what the Ifraelites affirmed of them felves, if it had been falfe, and of a late invention': For any People, fay, to invent fuch Accounts of Themfelves and their Ancestors, and then to make fuch Laws, and to have the one believed, and the other obeyed, is altogether incredible. When they had enraged all the neighbouring Nations to their Deftruction, they obliged themselves, by their Laws, to leave all their Borders naked, thrice every Year, and to give them an opportunity to deftroy them; and no People could have lived half an Age in fuch a Condi tion, under fuch Laws, unless they had been protected by God himself, the Author of them.
It appears therefore, that as neither Moses himself, nor any Party of Men, either in his time, or after it,
could either invent, or change and falfifie the Books which are under his Name; fo it is ftill more extravagant, (if poffible) to conceit, that the whole People of Ifrael fhould either in Mofes's time, or afterwards, be confcious to fuch an Imposture, and yet that no Man fhould ever discover it, but it should to this day be concealed from all other Nations; and that neither at the time of the Divifion of the Ten Tribes, when Jeroboam was forced to fet up Altars in other Places, to keep the People from going up to Jerufalem to wor fhip, nor upon any other Occafion, this Secret, if that may be call'd fo, which must be known to fo many Thoufands, fhould ever come to light. Besides that, they could never have invented thofe Laws, by unani mous Confent amongst themselves, which they were fo hardly brought to obey; and if they had not been difobedient, they would never have pretended they were, and have invented Miracles to make it believed and if they had been never fo forward in their Obe dience, they could not have lived in the Obfervation of the Law, without a perpetual Miracle.
If then the Miracles of Mofes, and confequently the Divine Authority by which he gave his Lawoto the Ifraelites, be fufficiently attefted, fuppofing the Matters of Fact to be true, which are contained in the Pen'tateuch: And if neither Mofes himself could feign the Matters of Fact, nor any other Person or Perfons, either in his time or afterwards, could infert them, or change the Law; and the whole Jewish Nation could not at any time confpire in fuch a Fiction and Impofture: We have all the Affurance that it is poffible to have; and all that any fober Man can defire, both of the Truth of the Miracles wrought by Mofes, and of the Divine Authority of the Books penn'd by him. And it will be found, that after all the Reflections made by Infidels, upon the Credulity, as they efteem it, of others, there are none fo credulous as they; for
they reject the most certain, to believe the most incre-> dible things in the World.
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The Divine Miffion and Authority of Mofes being fully proved: From thence it will follow, 1. That God having inftituted the Jewish Government, was, in point both of Wisdom and Honour, concerned in the Adminiftration of it, and that a more efpecial and peculiar Care and Providence must be watchful over: this holy Nation, and peculiar People.. That what ever befel them, either by Prophecies or by Miracles, and the extraordinary Appointments of God, according to the Revelations made in the Law of Mofes, has, befides its own proper and intrinfick Evidence, the additional Proof of all the Miracles and Prophecies of Mofes. So that the Proof of the Divine Autho rity of Mofes's Books, is at the fame time a Proof of all the other Books of Scripture, fo far as they are in the Matter and Subject of them confequent to thefe. 3. That the Pentateuch, and the other Parts of the Old Teftament, (not to mention the New Teftament in this place) reciprocally prove each other, like the Caufe and the Effect; the Pentateuch being the Caufe and Foundation of Thefe; and These the Effect and the Confequence of the Pentateuch, and the Fulfilling the several Predictions of it.
CHA P. VII.
Of Joshua and the Judges, and of the Miracles and Prophecies under their Government.
T is generally agreed, that Joshua himself was the Author of the Book under his Name: And fome, who are of another Opinion, yet acknowledge that it
muft be written by his particular Order, in his Lifetime, or foon after his Death. The Land was defcribed by Cities in a Book, which was brought to Joshua, Job. xviii. 8, 9. The nature of the thing it felt required, that the Divifion of the Land of Canaan amongst the feveral Tribes, fhould forthwith be committed to Writing: For no People can be named, who had the ufe of Letters, that trufted the Boundaries of their Lands to Memory; and there is no delay to be used in fuch Cafes: Joshua therefore, who did by Lot set out the Bounds of the Tribes, at the fame time put them down in Writing; which he left upon Record to Pofterity, to prevent Difputes, and to be appeal'd to, in cafe any Controverfy fhould arife. But the bare Diftribution of the Land was not to be transmitted, without an Account of the miraculous Conquefts of it, which might difpofe them to be contented with their feveral Lots, and remind them of their Duty, in the poffeffion and enjoyment of a Land, in which they were fettled by the immediate Hand of God.
The Book of Joshua appears to have been written during the Life-time of Rahab, Jofh. vi. 25. and of Caleb, Jofh. xiv. 14. and by one who paffed over Jor dan when its Waters were cut off: For none, but one who had been prefent, could properly have faid, until we were paffed over, Jofh. v. 1. and to have been written (in part at least) by Joshua himself, and annex'd to the Law of Mofes, chap. xxiv. 26. But the five last Verfes, giving an Account of the Death of Joshua, and of what follow'd after it, were added by fome of the Prophets, probably by Samuel, who, according to the Jewish Tradition, is the Author of the Book of Judges, where we find the fame things repeated concerning the Death of Joshua, Judg. ii. 7.
The Books of Judges and a Ruth are reckon'd by the Jews as one Book; and the Book of Judges is reckon'd
Origen. ap. Eufeb. Hift. 1. 6. c. 25. Hieron. Præf. in lib. Reg.
among the Books of the Prophets, Mat. ii. 23. Judg. xiii. and it feems to be entitled to Samuel, Acts iii. 24. where Samuel is mention'd as the firft of the Prophets, that is, the first Author of the Books written. by them: For which reafon, he is likewife by the
Jews accounted the firft of the Prophets. That the Book of Judges was penn'd before the taking of JeruJalem by David, we may learn from Judg. i. 21.
After the Death of Mofes, Joshua undertakes the Government and Conduct of the People of Ifrael, according to God's Appointment, and his Inveftiture to it by Mofes, Num: xxvii. 22. who alfo foretold the great Succefs that afterwards attended him, Deut. i. 38. and at his firft entrance upon the Government, God gave to him the fame Divine Atteftation that had before been given to Mofes, in their Paffage through the Red-Sea: And the Lord faid unto Joshua, This day will I begin to magnifie thee in the fight of all Ifrael, that they may know, that as I was with Mofes, fo I will be with thee, Jofh. iii. 7. And for a certain Demonftration that the living God was among them, and would give them Victory over the Seven Nations, and Poffeffion of their Land, the Priefts did, by God's Appointment, bear the Ark before the People': And, according to the exprefs Prediction of Joshua, as foon as their Feet were dipt in the rim of the water, in the time of Harveft, when the River Jordan is at the higheft, and overflows all its Banks, the Waters divided themfelves; thofe above flood on one fide in heaps, and thofe below were cut off and fail'd, the Priefts ftanding with the Ark in the midft of the Channel, upon dry Ground, 'till all the People were paffed over, and until every thing was finished that the Lord commanded Joshua to Speak unto the People, according to all that Mofes commanded Jjbua, Jofh. iv. 10. Now, it is an
b F. Sim. Suppl. to Leo of Modena, c, 1.