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lible word of God; we allow the latter to be the fallible calculations of learned men.
No doubt some parts of the thirty-sixth chapter of Genesis were inserted long after the death of Moses. The compiler of the books of Chronicles abridged several genealogies from Genesis ; and he continued the list of names far beyond the times of Moses, in the latter part of the first chapter. In consequence, probably, some transcriber subjoined these additions to the genealogies in the thirty-sixth of Genesis, where they have stood to this day. Studious men have always been aware of the difficulty; and the ' Age of Reason' has not shewn that any new solution of it is wanted.
The assiduity of infidels may perhaps hereafter discover a few more instances of the same kind: but, instead of wondering that such trivial variations have taken place in these ancient records, we may be astonished that they have been so well preserved, that the most acute critics can discover no alteration of any importance to our faith and practice.
As king Zedekiah is spoken of in the second book of Chronicles, Mr. P. (taking it for granted that these books were written before the book of Genesis, because the verses above mentioned were taken from the first book,) concludes that Genesis was not extant till after the captivity; and that the first book in the Bible' was written three hundred years after Homer's Iliad.3 He must mean the first book in order, not the most ancient book : for he allows David and Solomon to
have written some parts of the works ascribed to them.
But will any man seriously contend, on such slight grounds, that the books of Moses were penned after the captivity, when the whole religious system and civil polity of the Jews, for nearly a thousand years before, had been rested on those books; and all the other writers, perpetually referred to them; as it is manifest from all the histories, Psalms, and prophecies of the Old Testament, many of which Mr. P. allows to have been written before the captivity?
In fact, the line of David is in these books brought down four generations lower than the time of Zerubbabel :1 and, if this too were written before the books of Moses, the Jews had not a written law till within about four hundred years before Christ! but at that time the whole nation, by some unaccountable infatuation, was led to receive the works of an anonymous impostor as sacred books, which they and their fathers had always possessed, read, and obeyed, for above a thousand years ! or, at least, to allow that they had always suffered severe punishment, whenever they disregarded or disobeyed them! He who can believe this has no right to declaim against either ignorant priests or their credulous dupes.
Mr. P. does not seem to have made up his mind, as to the period when he should allow the Jews to have been in actual possession of the books of Moses. Such an explicit declaration would indeed subvert his cause : for it would be far easier
"1 Chron. ii.
· P. ü. p. 32, 33.
to meet a direct charge, than vague and varying insinuations on the subject.
Mr. P.'s ingenious scheme for subsisting about two millions of people, for forty years, on a kind of mushroom, will doubtless amuse some readers, and with them may invalidate the divine authority of the books of Moses !
Moses lived till Israel was possessed of the countries before governed by Sihon and Og; and he died in the plains of Moab, over against Canaan : why then might he not write, “The children of “ Israel did eat manna till they came to a land in“ habited: ... they did eat manna till they came “ to the borders of Canaan?"] And what cause is here given for Mr. P. to exclaim against the lies and contradictions of the Bible?
The historian remarks, that “ the man Moses “ was meek above all men which were upon the 6 face of the earth." * Therefore,' says Mr. P.
Moses could not be the writer; for to boast of 'meekness is the reverse of humility, and a lie in
sentiment.'-But meekness in this connexion is opposed to an irascible disposition ; and the meekness of Moses is mentioned as an aggravation of the offence committed by Aaron and Miriam, and as a reason of the Lord's interposition to plead his cause against them. To speak truth of ourselves is not always vain-glorious boasting; nay there are occasions on which a man may mention his own meekness and gentleness, in consistency with the decpest humility. Our Lord himself said “ I “am meek and lowly in heart:" and, though in
! Exod. xvi. 35.
? Numb. xii.
fidels, who seem to think themselves exclusively warranted to proclaim their own virtues, may
despise this remark; yet Christians will reverence the example, and not wonder that Moses, having impartially recorded his own faults, should be led by the Holy Spirit to mention this excellency of his character. Some indeed think that a blameable lenity was intended; and others seem to admit that the words were inserted by another hand: but I see not the least occasion to have recourse to such suppositions ; for the readiness with which Moses forgave the offenders, and the earnestness with which he prayed for Miriam, illustrate the account given of his unassuming and gentle disposition.
The size of the bedstead of Og the king of Bashan,' and the place where Moses says it was kept, furnish Mr. P. with another demonstration. He seems to think it self-evident that all accounts of giants must be fabulous; and consequently that the Bible is a fable. But men are now sometimes seen considerably above eight feet high, and proportionably large : authentic histories mention those of a still greater size : and a well-attested relation of men ten or twelve feet high would not be incredible ; for none of our reasoning can shew this to be impossible. Somewhat also may be allowed for royal ostentation in a bedstead fifteen or sixteen feet long: as Alexander the great ordered his soldiers to enlarge the size of their beds, that they might give to the Indians in sueceeding ages an idea of his soldiers as men of enormous stature. My philosophy, Bishop Watson
Deut. iii. 11.
2 P. ii. p. 17.
says, ' teaches me to doubt of many things; but . it does not teach me to reject every testimony ' which is opposite to my experience. Had I been
born in Shetland, I could, on proper testimony, · have believed in the existence of the Lincoln‘shire ox, or of the largest dray-horse in London ;
though the oxen and horses in Shetland had not • been bigger than mastiffs.'-As to the place where the bedstead of Og had been deposited, even if Rabbah were never taken till the days of David, (which cannot be proved ;) yet Moses might know that the Ammonites had seized upon the bedstead, or bought it of the Israelites, and reserved it as a curiosity in their capital city. But, suppose the passage in question were added as a note many years afterwards, how does this invalidate the authenticity of the books of Moses ?
The fourth commandment, as it stands in the fifth chapter of Deuteronomy, varies from the original law recorded in the twentieth of Exodus : hence it is inferred that the writer of these books received his materials from tradition, or invented them himself.1 But impostors do not admit such apparent inconsistencies, which may at all times be avoided with very little trouble: so that they are rather proofs of the writer's conscious integrity. In fact, Moses, when delivering a most impressive and pathetic exhortation, did not confine himself to the words which he had recorded as a historian. The people very well knew the original ground for hallowing the sabbath, in honour of the Creator: and he felt himself at
· P. ii. p. 9.