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We have not the vocal, but we have a written oracle, which by its moral instructions and solemn sanctions is to guide and influence the conduct both of rulers and citizens.
Though there is a similarity in some respects, yet in other respects there is a difference between the Jewish and the American governments. In the latter there is a power of making laws and imposing taxes. the former the laws were already made, and the taxes, or means of supporting religion and government, were permanently fixed and ascertained by divine authority. The whole nation was a body of soldiers, and every man, when called forth to war, went at his own expense. The chief business of the government was to deliberate and determine on matters of peace and war, public defence, and other great national concerns.
The discontents of the people under their free government, changed it, in a course of years, into a monarchy. Foreseeing this change, God expressly or dered, that whenever they should set a king over them, they should select for the kingly office one of their own people; and that he should write out for himself a copy of the divine law, and keep it by him for his direction in the administration of his government. Under the monarchy, which the people were anxious to obtain, they were, for the greater part of the time, very unhappy; for their kings were generally wicked, unprincipled, irreligious men, and the people were easily corrupted by so high an example.
The religious constitution of this nation, besides the injunction of moral duties, which it considered as of principal importance, required a great multitude of ceremonial observances and periodical festivals, for the administration of which a competent number of officers were appointed. The ritual law descends to many minute particulars, some of which appear trivial and useless, and were attended with considerable labour and expense.
But, as our author has clearly shewn, they were wisely adapted to the habits and circumstances of that people, and to their peculiar situation, and were the best guards, that could be devised, to secure them from the idolatries and superstitions of surrounding nations, by whom they were always in danger of being corrupted; and, on the whole, they were happily calculated to preserve the knowledge and worship of the one supreme God, to promote peace and union among themselves, and to enforce the practice of all moral duties.
On circumcision, which, as a seal of God's covenant, was instituted under the patriarchal, and continued under the Jewish dispensation, and on the weekly Sabbath, which began at the creation of man, and was revived by Moses and placed among his moral precepts, our author treats more largely, than on some other institutions, and points out their usefulness and their continuation in substance, though with some variance of form, under the dispensation of Christ.
He next shews the importance of God's early and visible mani
festations of himself to his people, and the manner in which these manifestations were made; the nature and use of the tabernacle and temple; the appointment and qualifications of the ministers of the sanctuary; their induction into office, and their respective duties; and he answers several inquiries relative to the Jewish priesthood.
He explains particularly the duties of the prophets, the manner of their education, and the use and design of their ministry, which was to reprove the people for their corruptions, warn them of impending judgments, call them to repentance, shew them the subservience of the ceremonial to the moral law, and predict the grand events which related to posterity, to the Gentiles, and to the gospel dispensation; and he subjoins a vindication of the character and writings of the prophets against the cavils and objections of infidels.
He gives a better account, than can easily be found elsewhere, of the several sects, which appeared among the Jews, in and near the time of our Saviour, and shews their rise and origin, and their distinguishing tenets and manners.
He shews how the numerous rites and ceremonies of the Hebrew ritual gradually unfolded the more perfect dispensation of the gospel.
These "Lectures on Jewish Antiquities" were to have been followed by a course of Lectures on "Ecclesiastical History." We painfully regret that this design was arrested in the beginning by the hand of a righteous and sovereign Providence.
Particular extracts from the work, which we have reviewed, we thought unnecessary, as we trust the whole work will be extensively read; and in a work so uniformly important and instructive, and in which there is so little preference of one part to another, it is difficult to make selections.
Of the style and manner we need say no more than this: Doctor Tappan has written like himself, with perspicuity, correctness and energy.
The Lectures were happily adapted to the design of their institution; and are well worthy of the perusal of ministers, students in divinity, and Christians in general. They cast light, not only on the subjects chosen for elucidation, but also on many obscure passages of the Bible. They lend their aid to display the evidences of the divine origin both of the old and new Testament, and give a full answer to the cavils of infidels against the divinity of the Mosaic institutes.
As the Doctor studied conciseness, he has, in a summary way, passed over some matters, on which, we think, he might have enlarged to advantage. The conquest of Canaan, and the extermination of its inhabitants he justifies by the warrant given to the Jews by him, who is the Sovereign of the universe. This certainly is a sufficient Ꭱ Ꭱ Ꮁ
Lastly; he compares the character and institutions of the Hindoos with those of the Hebrews; and proves, that the institution of the Hebrews could not be derived from the Hindoos, or from any other human
Vol. III. No, 11.
a gentleman called at my gate. As
friends last evening, a gentleman call-
Thus the Lord enabled me to redeem my note, dismiss the Indian with pleasure and in full confidence
To the Patrons of Litera
THE President and Fellows of Middlebury College, in the State of Vermont, respectfully represent the situation of the Institution under their immediate trust and guardianship, and solicit the opulent and liberal to aid them in promoting the interests of Literature and Religion. The Legislature of Vermont, having considered that the State was almost wholly destitute of the means of education, granted, A. D. 1800, to a number of individuals, the Charter of a College at Middlebury; but were unable to extend to it the hand of public bounty.
A commodious building for the, accommodation of students was immediately prepared. A well selected Library of near seven hundred volumes, and a small Philosophical Apparatus, have been procured for the use of the students. Competent In- I structors are obtained and permanent- me ly established. Forty-six alumni of the the College have been admitted to the ro Degree of Bachelor of Arts. The ho number of under graduates is about the sixty. The progress of the Institu- of tion has more than equalled the ex-wi pectations of the most sanguine of its go friends. It has depended for its suc- tion
These "Lectures on Jewish Antiquities" were to have been followed by a course of Lectures bernacle on "Ecclesiastical History."
intment We painfully regret that this design was arrested in the begin ning by the hand of a righteous and sovereign Providence.
Particular extracts from the
to the work, which we have reviewed, we thought unnecessary, as we trust the whole work will be extensively read; and in a work so uniformly important and innistry, structive, and in which there is people so little preference of one part them to another, it is difficult to make call selections.
them of the style and manner we remo- need say no more than this: redict Doctor Tappan has written like elated himself, with perspicuity, cor, and rectness and energy.
and The Lectures were happily
dents in divinity, and Christians
way, passed over some matters,
the on which, we think, he might
This certainly is a sufficient
justification. But we think the conquest may be farther vindicated by the rules and usages of nations, not merely in that rude and barbarous age; but also in our own more civilized times.
The Doctor has mentioned the appointment of cities of refuge for the manslayer; but has not assigned the reasons, arising from the then prevailing customs of the world, for this hu
mane and kind institution, nor pointed out its moral and religious design.
If some of our obliging correspondents would favour us with a dissertation on each of the subjects mentioned by the Reviewer, he would oblige the Editors, and, we believe, he would also gratify our readers.
Tenth meeting of the Congregational Missionary Society in the Counties of Berkshire and Columbia.
AGREEABLY to appointment, the tenth annual meeting of the Congregational Missionary Society in the Counties of Berkshire and Columbia was holden at the meeting house in Pittsfield, Sept. 15th, 1807; at the opening of which a sermon was delivered by the Rev. Silas Churchill of New-Lebanon.
At this meeting several new members were added to the Society, which was gratefully noticed, by the friends of the missionary interest, as a token of good from the Head of the church.
The Trustees made a report of their doings from the time of their appointment, viz. from Sept. 1806, to Sept. 1807, which received the appro bation of the Society.
The Report is as follows:
The Trustees of the Missionary Society request the attention of the members to the following account of missions for the last year, and of their doings in the discharge of the trust which has been committed to them.
The missionaries, respecting whom information is now to be communicated, are Rev. Nathaniel Turner, Mr. Ebenezer I. Leavenworth, Mr. Levi Parsons, Rev. Alvan Sanderson, Rev. Enos Bliss, Rev. Azel Washburn, Rev. Oliver Ayer, Rev. Jeremiah Osborn, and Rev. Samuel Shepard.
Rev. Mr Turner's mission was for 16 weeks in the north-western
Counties of the state of Vermont, and the new settlements west of Lake Champlain. His journal has been received, by which it appears, that he travelled 900 miles, preached 97 times, attended 19 conferences and church meetings, and 8 lectures preached by other ministers. He administered the sacrament of the Lord's supper twice, baptised 12 infants and one adult, visited and conversed with nearly 200 families on religious subjects, and received in contribution for the Missionary Society $10,2.
From Mr. Leavenworth's journal it appears, that he performed a mission of 12 weeks in the Counties of Luzern and Wayne, that he rode 734 miles, preached 59 times, attended 22 conferences, and visited 153 families and 4 schools. He received in contribution from the people among whom he laboured $26,6.
Mr. Parsons' journal has been received, from which it appears, that he performed a mission of 10 weeks in the western Counties of the state of New York; that he rode upwards of 500 miles, preached 53 sermons, attended 5 conferences, visited 3 schools, made numerous family visits, and received in contribution $12,76.
From the journal of Rev. Alvan Sanderson, who performed a mission of 12 weeks in the north western Counties of Vermont, it appears that