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Judah's marriage was not solemnised before the 27th year of his age ;-neither was Pharez. born before the expiration of 20 years more, and 27+20=47: which obvious and short operation continues the reckoning to within two years of Jacob's removal with his whole family from Palestine to Egypt; in which expedition, Pharez, Hezron, and Hamul, are mentioned among the threescore and fix fouls who accompanied Jacob and his descendants, from the 12 patriarchs. Much more natural it is to postulate, that these and many other names, now extant in the xlyith chapter of Genesis, were taken from records of a subsequent date, to fill deficient

{ xodid 4. The generations posterior to the chtrarea inte Careet, and prior to the birth of David, are but four, and the interval in time 406 years; cach son must there, fore have been born at or after the rooth of his father's life. In four fucceflive instances such incidents are improbable, especially on the popular hypothesis, that natural life was reduced to its present standard so early as the egress from Egypt. Such incoherent principles and contradictory decisions, found criticism must not only explode, but re-establish self-confiftent truths.

FROM natural phenomena the sacred annals derive confirmation. Memorials of a deluge once universal exist in every climate. The acomplishment of predictions, which threatened the desolation of several cities, some of them never to be rebuilt, is recorded in authentic history, though difficult it is to ascertain the names of fome, or the fire of others. Of many notable



g terms in computation, commemorative erdinances were appointed at the time, and remain to this day ;--the weekly sabbath from the creation, the Passover and other periodical solemnities of Judaisın from the Exodus, the Feast of Purim, &c. No such credentials occur in the annals of paganism. The vaunted achievements of Semiramis, Sefoftris, Alexander, Auguftus, &c. are not perpetuated by memorials, in a continuous series, from the ages in which they lived to the present times.

The antiquities of Egypt have been carried thousands of years beyond those of the Hebrews; those of Chaldea, hundreds of thousands; and those of China, millions ; but their wildly exorbitant computations rest on no scientifical principles. Their several dynasties, confructed without regard to a first point of reckoning, to natural measures of time, or combinations of its integral parts ; to generations, in a continued progression ; or to historical incidents ; exhibit every aspect of allegory, fi&tion, and deliberate forgery:

With the like characters of incredibility, though of an inferior degree, is the chronology of the Gr. Pentateuch chargeable. It enlarges the count of years from Adam to Abraham by almost fifteen centuries, Not the least vestige of evidence occurs, or can be produced, to justify the conjecture, that the Mosaical numbers in the fifth and eleventh chapters of Genesis were greater in the days of Ptolemy Philadelphus than in our Bibles now; or that they have been abbreviated in the intermediate ages. The Alexandrian Trandators,

misled by the incredible antiquity, which the Egyptian
priests ascribed to their monarchy, rashly adventured to
falfify the true Mosaical chronology, not by changing
the genuine numerical notations, but by adding one
century to the age of several patriarchs at the nativity
of their specified sons. In the ivth century of the
Christian era was the fraud discovered, and in part
TeClified, by Jerome, in his vulgate Latin version. His
authority, however, was inadequate to remove the pre.
judices in favour of a scheme established by prescription.
The Jews at last, adhering to the Mofaical text, with-
drew their regard from its faulty version; and the
western churches of Christendom, adopting Jerome's
Latin Pentateuch, received unawares the true Hebrew
chronology. Yet the Protestants at the Reformation
generally approved the amplified numbers of the Alex-
andrian interpreters. About the middle of the past
century, A. B. Usher restored the Hebrew computa-
tion, which Whiston and certain later writers have
ventured once more to explode. Were this version,
now preferred to the original, in every other respect
superior to reprehension, in one view it is exceptionable.
Moses was the first who instructed mankind concerning
the origin of the world, the time of its formation, and
the history of the first ages. No stress is here laid on
the evidences which authenticate his special and pecu-
liar commission, to testify that the universe is the
production of wisdom, goodness, and power, all ade-
quate to the existing phenomena. With respect to pri-
ority of time, harmony of parts, congruity with nature,


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and every circumstance of credibility, whether intrinsic or adventitious, his report has every criterion of truth. Neither the Scribes who executed the Samaritan copy, nor the commissioners who fabricated the Greek version, and, from sinister views, corrupted the original numbers of the Pentateuch, have the least claim to implicit belief, much less to preferable credit. On the moral character of witnesses always depends the validity of their testimony. That of Moses is superior to every suspicion of deficient or fallacious materials, artfully connected to mislead a credulous multitude.

What though his account of events and dates was not compiled from records of former times ! Originality is not an infallible criterion of impofture. Counterfeit coin implies a pre-existent model. It must be noted, that Moses could not impofe on his contemporaries a fi&titious history. By his arrangements above 2500 years had elapsed from the creation to the passage over the Red Sea. From Adam to Noah tradition had passed through but 9 stages in 15] centuries, a term scarcely equivalent to three of our generations, as now compressed within the limits of a single century. Shem the son of Noah lived five centuries after the birth of his son Arphaxad, and consequently died in che both of Isaac, which is the year of Jacob's birth, co-incident with A. M. 2159. Levi, the son of Jacob, conversed with his own grandson, Amram, the father of Moses. So that from Jacob to Moses, both excluded, are but two generations during the lapse of 420 years before the Exodus ;-a period, not much

exceeding cxcceding 60 years of traditional history. As the memory of the patriarchs, collectively, was in the ages prior to alphabetical composition, the treasury of authentic historical truth, impossible it was for Moses to escape detection, if he had pretended to contradict the universal report of uncorrupted tradition, .

INCREDULITY may still remonftrate, that tradition could not preserve pure and unvitiated the contents of the Mofaical history, during the currency of twentyfive centuries.

It is replied, that the history of the world's origin could not be known without a supernatural communication. To Adam it was first of all revealed. Who will venture to deny, that it was, if need were, repeated to Moses ? A late * translator of the primeval history scruples to admit the divine inspiration of the writer. Let him enjoy all the credit and comfort of his own paradox.

In the writings of Moses, as in the other volumes of the facred code, are recorded many things, which human fagacity could not foresee. The Lawgiver of the Hebrews, in particular, foretold the specifical punishments reserved for that people, if they should degenerate into idolatrous practices, and reject the GREAT PROPHET, to be raised


their brethren. They contracted that guilt, and underwent the awful judgements, which had been denounced. The dispersed and forlorn condition of their posterity, at this day,

from among

• Geddes,


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