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" like unto Moses;" and consequently it muft appear, that his Law was not to be of perpetual obligation, but was intended to be superseded by one that was to be of the greatest consequence to mankind; as the Almighty announced its future promulgation, even at the time when he gave his express commands to his chosen people. The Law of Moses was confined to the children of Israel; the Law of Chrift was universal, designed to illuminate every part of the earth, and to fulfil the promise originally made to Adam, and repeated to Abraham. The promise of another Lawgiver and Prophet was a continuation of the great chain of Prophecy, intended to keep in the view of the contemporaries of Moses and the succeeding generations, the assurance of the coming of the Messiah,
CLASS CLASS 1.
CHAPTER THE FOURTH,
The Fulfilment of the conditional Promises and
Threats pronounced by Moses to the if
raelites. If we consider Moses as a patriot, an historian, a philosopher, and a founder of a ftate, independently of his character as “ a Prophet and a Teacher
Y.W. fent from God,” it will be acknow. B. ČE: ledged that he stands unrivalled in : 1491. the annals of mankind. Of all lawgivers he was the most virtuous and the most sublime. In times of the most remote antiquity, when the grosseft corruption of manners and the most irrational and cruel superstition prevailed in all the surrounding nations, this great Leo gislator arose to confirm his countrymen in the worship of the true God, and give them A rule of conduct, in which religious; moral, G4
and civil duties were so intimately blended, as to preclude any attempt to separate them, and to which their descendants have con, tinued to adhere for above 3200 years. His laws are transmitted perfect to the present age, whilst nothing remains of the productions of other legislators but a few fragments and the names of their authors. A great part of the inhabitants of the globe revere them, and have adopted them in many points into their own civil and religious institutions. .
But it is not possible to account for the fuperior wisdom, the perfect consistency, and the fingular fate of the laws of Moses, without the acknowledgement that he re, ceived them, by an especial revelation for an especial purpose, from God himself. The uninterrupted attachment indeed of the Jews, and the general veneration in which Mofes and his laws have eyer been held, have arisen from the perfuafion, that this great Legislator waş divinely inspired : a persuasion founded upon the fubļime nature of his laws, the miracles he wrought to establish in his countrymen the belief of their divine origin, the solemn and tremendous sanctions which he propheti. cally annexed in confirmation of their divine authority, and the fulfilment of the conditional
promises and threats to which every age has successively borne witness. This last cir. çumstance may be considered as proving not only the divine mission of the Jewith Lawgiver, but as proving also the constant superintendance of God over the people he had chosen to distinguish by this, peculiar difpensation, according to the promise, which, as we have seen, was given to Abraham, ; To this point then we shall at present confine our attention. i ii ;;:, . . ;
Mofes, after he had delivered particular instructions relative, to political and religious duties, and had fixed the particular punishments and rewards which were best calculated to secure public order and domestic happiness, pronounced in the most explicit terms to the Ifraelites, that prosperity, peace, and abundance should be the certain national rewards of their piety and observance of the Divine commands; and that misery and war, at
* « The Lord thy God hath chosen thee to be a special people unto himself, above all people that are upon the face of the earth." The Lord did not set his love upon you, nor choose you, because you' were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people; bat because the Lord loved you.” Deut. vii. 6, 7, 8. See likewise 1 Cor. i. 27. James ii. 5.
tended with every public calamity and private affliction, should be the certain national pu. nishments of their disobedience. Predictions in general do not include such an alternative; fince they have commonly a view to one fixed train of events, and to no other. But we here find a twofold condition proposed, and the event was to be determined by the manner in which the Israelites should act "I call heaven and earth to record this day against you,” said their great Lawgiver, “ that I have set before you life and death, blessing and curfing; therefore choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live;" The fanctions thus annexed to the objects of choice, are peculiar to the laws of Moses. Other lawgivers had a view only to the immediate punishment of any individual sub. ject;--the Hebrew Legislator goes much farther: his declarations are extended to the future fortunes of his people in their collective and national capacity. He marks out the precise mode in which they were afterwards to be happy or miserable, and the particular circumstances in which they were to be involved in the course of a long series
of ages. No legislator, who was not in, *. fpired, could possibly have anticipated a hif.