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the usual abuse of power ; and gave to that people the longest and most uninterrupted course of prosperity that any
Nation enjoyed. It is no wonder, therefore, that this should make MONARCHY (as it did) the first favourite form of Government, in all places civilized by the aid of Egypt.
4. But, the theologic principles of Egypt led Moses to the invention of a THEOCRACY.— Without doubt those principles, as we shall see hereafter, occasioned its easy reception amongst the Hebrews. there is one circumstance in the case that shews its invention must have been of God, and not of Moses. For the ground of its easy reception was the notion of local tutelary Deities. But this notion, Moses, in preaching up the doctrine of the one true God, entirely took away. This, indeed, on a supposition of a DIVINE LEGATION, has all the marks of admirable wisdom ; but supposing it to be Moses's own contrivance, we see nothing but inconsistency and absurdity. He forms a design, and then defeats it; he gives with one hand, and he takes away with the other.
II. But it may be farther objected,—“That, as it was the intention of Moses to separate these people from all others, he, therefore, gave them those cross and opposite institutions, as a barrier to all communication."
To this I answer, 1. That were it indeed God, and not Moses, who projected this SEPARATION, the reason would be good. Because the immediate end of God's separation was twofold, to keep them unmixed ; and to secure them from idolatry : and such end could not be effected but by opposing those fundamental principles of Egypt, with the doctrine of ONE God, and the institution of a THEOCRACY. But then this, which would be a good reason, will become a very bad objection. Our Deist is to be held to the question. He regards Moses as a mere human Lawgiver.
But the sole end which such a one could propose by a separation, was to preserve his people pure and unmixed. Now this could be effected only by laws which kept them at home, and discouraged and prevented all foreign commerce : and these, by the same means, bringing on general poverty, there would be small danger of their being much frequented, while they laboured under that contagious malady. This we know was the case of Sparta. It was their Lawgiver's chief aim to keep them distinct and unmixed. But did he do this by institutions which crossed the fundamental principles of the Religion and Policy of Greece? By no means. They were all of them the same. The method he employed was only to frame such Laws as discouraged commerce and foreign intercourse. And these proved effectual. I the rather instance in the Spartan, than in any other Government, because the end, which Moses and Lycurgus pur
. See note FFFFF, at the end of this book.
sued in common, (though for different purposes) of keeping their people separate, occasioned such a likeness in several parts of the two Institutions, as was, in my opinion, the real origin of that tradition mentioned in the first book of Maccabees, That there was a Familyrelation between the two People.
2. But, secondly, as it is very true, that the mere intention of keeping a people separate and unmixed (which is all a human Lawgiver could have in view) would occasion Laws in opposition to the customs of those people with whom, from their vicinity to, or fondness for, they were in most danger of being confounded ; so, when I insisted on those Anti-Egyptian institutions, which I gave as a certain proof of Moses's Divine Legation, I did not reckon, in my account, any of that vast number of ritual and municipal laws, which, Manetho confesses, were given principally in opposition to Egyptian customs. *
This a mere separation would require : But this is a very different thing from the opposition to FUNDAMENTALS, here insisted on ; which a mere separation did not in the least require.
III. But it may be still further urged, “ That resentment for ill usage might dispose Moses to obliterate the memory of the place they came from, by a Policy contrary to the fundamental Institutions of Egypt.” Here again our objecting Deist will forget himself. 1. He hath urged a CONFORMITY in the law to Egyptian Rites ; and this, in order to discredit Moses's Divine Legation : and we have allowed him his fact. Whatever it was therefore that engaged Moses to his general OPPOSITION, it could not be resentment : for that had certainly prevented all kind of conformity or similitude.
2. But, secondly, such effects of civil resentment, the natural manners of men will never suffer us to suppose.
We have in ancient history many accounts of the settlement of new Colonies, forced injuriously from home by their fellow-citizens. But we never find that this imbittered them against their Country-institutions. On the contrary, their close adherence to their native customs, notwithstanding all personal wrongs, has in every age enabled learned men to find out their original, by strong characteristic marks of relation to the mother city. And the reason is evident : INNATE LOVE OF one's COUNTRY, whose attractive power, contrary to that of natural bodies, is strongest at a distance ; and INVETERATE MANNERS which stick closest in distress ; (the usual state of all new Colonies) are qualities infinitely too strong to give way to resentment against particular men for personal injuries.
* Ο δε πρώτον μεν αυτοίς νόμον έθετο, μήτε προσκυνείν θεούς, μήτε των μάλιστα εν Αιγύπτω θεμιστευομένων ιερών ζώων απέχεσθαι μηδενός, σάντα τε θύειν και αναλούν συνάπτεσθαι δε μηδενι σλήν των συνωμοσμένων. τοιαύτα δε νομοθετήσας και πλείστα άλλα, μάλιστα τους Αιγυπτίοις εθισμούς εναντιούμενα.-Αpud JosEPHUM Contra Apion. lib. i. pp. 460, 461, Haverch. ed.
It is not indeed unlikely but that some certain specific Law or custom, which did, or was imagined to contribute to their disgrace and expulsion, might, out of resentment, be reprobated by the new Colony. And this is the utmost that the history of mankind will suffer us to suppose.
On the whole, therefore, I conclude that Moses's EGYPTIAN
LEARNING IS A STRONG CONFIRMATION OF THE DIVINITY OF HIS
The second part of the proposition is no less evident, That the laws instituted in compliance to the people's prejudices, and in opposition to Egyptian superstitions, support the same truth with equal strength. Had Moses's Mission been only pretended, his conduct, as a wise Lawgiver, had doubtless been very different. His business had been then only to support a false pretence to inspiration. Let us see how he managed. He pretended to receive the whole frame of a national Institution from God; and to have had the pattern of all its parts brought him down from Heaven, to the Mount. But when this came to be promulged, it was seen that, the cereMONIAL LAW being politically instituted, partly in compliance to the people's prejudices, and partly in opposition to Egyptian superstitions, several of its Rites had a reference to the Pagan superstitions in vogue. This, as we see, from the objection of the ignorant in these times, might have been an objection in those. And as an Impostor could not but have foreseen the objection, his fears of a discovery would have made him decline so hazardous a system, and cautiously avoid every thing that looked like an imitation. It is true, that, on enquiry, this unfolds a scene of admirable and superior wisdom : but it is such as Impostor could never have projected; or at least would never have ventured to leave to the mercy of popular judgment. We conclude, therefore, that this conduct is a clear proof that Moses actually received the Institution from God. Nor does this in anywise contradict what we have so much insisted on above, That a mere human Lawgiver, or even an inspired one, acting with free agents, is necessitated to comply with the passions of the People ; a compliance which would necessarily induce such a relation to Egypt as we find in the ritual Law: for we must remember too what hath been likewise shewn, that the ends of a divine and human Lawgiver, both using the common means of a SEPARATION, are vastly different ; the latter only aiming to keep the people unmixed; the former, to keep them pure from idolatry. Now, in both cases, where the People are dealt with as free agents, some compliance to their prejudices will be necessary. But as, in the Institution of a human Lawgiver pretending only to inspiration, such compliance in the RITUAL would be subject to the danger here spoken of; and as compliance in the FUNDAMENTALS,
such as the object of Worship, a future State, and mode of civil Government, would not be so subject ; and, at the same time, would win most forcibly on a prejudiced people, to the promoting the Legislator's end; we must needs conclude that these would be the things he would comply with and espouse. On the other hand, as a divine Lawgiver could not comply in these things; and as a RITUAL, like the Mosaic, was the only means left of gaining his end; we must conclude that a divine Lawgiver would make his compliance on that side.
1. Let me only add one corollary to our BELIEVING ADVERSARIES, as a farther support of this part of the proposition ;
- That allowing the Ritual-law to be generally instituted in reference to Egyptian and other neighbouring Superstitions, the divine wisdom of the contrivance will be seen in redoubled lustre.” One reason, as we have seen above, of the opposition to the notion of such a reference is, that the RITUAL LAW WAS TYPICAL, not only of things relating to that Dispensation, but to the Evangelical. This then they take for granted; and, as will be shewn hereafter, with good reason. Now an Institution of a body of Rites, particularly and minutely levelled against, and referring to, the idolatrous practices of those ages ; and, at the same time, as minutely typical, not only of all the remarkable transactions under that Dispensation, but likewise of all the great and constituent parts of a future one, to arise in a distant age, and of a genius directly opposite, must needs give an attentive considerer the most amazing idea of divine wisdom.* And this I beg leave to offer to the consideration of the unprejudiced Reader, as another strong INTERNAL ARGUMENT THAT THE RITUAL LAW WAS
NOT OF MERE HUMAN CONTRIVANCE.
2. Let me add another corollary to the UNBELIEVING Jews. We have seen at large how expedient it was for the Jews of the first ages, that the Ritual or ceremonial Law should be directed against the several idolatries of those ages. It was as expedient for the Jews of the later ages that this Law should be TYPICAL likewise. For had it not been typical, God would have given a Law whose reason would have ceased many ages before the Theocracy was abolished : and so have afforded a plausible occasion to the Jews for changing or abrogating them, on their own head.
Hear what the learned Spencer says on this occasion : “ Atque hac in re Deus sapientiæ suæ specimen egregium edidit, et illi non absimile quod in mundo frequenter observamus : in eo enim, notante Verulamio, dum natura aliud agit, providentia aliud elicit ; nam frondibus quas natura, consuetudinem suam retinens, parit, utitur proridentia ad cæli injuriaş a fructu tenello propulsandas. Pari modo, cum Hebræoruin natio, consuetudinem suam exuere nescia, ritus antiquos impense desideraret, Deus eorum desiderio se morigerum præbebat; sed eorum ruditate et impotentia puerili ad fines egregios et sapientia sua dignos utebatur. Sic enim ritus antiquos populo indultos, circumstantiis quibusdam demptis aut additis, imniutavit, ut rerum cælestium schema repræsentarent, oculis purgatioribus facile percipiendum; adeo ut Deus puerilibus Israelitarum studiis obsequens, divina promoveret."-- De Legibus Heb. Rit. p. 218.
3. Let me add a third corollary to the UNBELIEVING GENTILES. The Law's being typical obviates their foolish argument against Revelation, that the abolition of the Mosaic religion and the establishment of the Christian in its stead, impeaches the wisdom of God, as implying change and inconstancy in his acting; for by his making the Law typical, the two religions are seen to be the two parts of one and the same design.
The great Maimonides, who first * explained the CAUSES of the Jewish Ritual in any reasonable manner (and who, to observe it by the way, saw nothing in the Law but temporal sanctions), was so struck with the splendour of divinity, which this light reflected back upon the law, that in the entry on his subject he breaks out into this triumphant boast, EA TIBI
DUBITARE QUEAS ET
DIFFERENTIAM HABEAS QUA
POSSIS INTER ORDINATIONES LEGUM CONDITARUM AB HOMINIBUS
ET INTER ORDINATIONES LEGIS DIVINÆ.
Thus the Reader sees what may be gained by fairly and boldly submitting to the force of evidence. Such a manifestation of the divinity of the Law, arising out of the Deist's own principles, as is sufficient to cover him with confusion !
And what is it, we lose ? Nothing sure very great or excellent. The imaginary honour of being original in certain Rites (considered in themselves) indifferent ; and becoming good or bad by comparison, or by the authority which enjoins them, and by the object to which they are directed.
The Deist indeed pretends that, in the things borrowed from Egypt, the first principles of Law and Morality, and the very tritest customs of civil life, are to be included. The extravagance of this fancy hath been exposed elsewhere.† But as it is a species of folly all parties are apt to give into, it may not be amiss to consider this matter of tradUCTIVE CUSTOMs a little more particularly.
There is nothing obstructs our discoveries in Antiquity (as far as concerns the noblest end of this study, the knowledge of mankind) so much as that false, though undisputed Principle, that the general customs of men, whether civil or religious, in which a common likeness connects, as in a chain, the Manners of its inhabitants, throughout the whole globe) are traductive from one another. When, in truth, the origin of this general similitude is from the sameness of one common Nature, improved by reason, or debased by superstition. But when a custom, whose meaning lies not upon the surface, but requires a profounder search, is the subject of inquiry, it is much easier to tell us that the users borrowed it from such or such a people,
• In his More Nevoch. pars iii.- And see note GGGGG, at the end of this book. Vol. i. book ii.