« FöregåendeFortsätt »
send peace on earth: I am come, not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law. And a man's foes shall be they of his own household.” This effect may arise either from the nature of the thing communicated, or from the natural repugnance in the human heart, to the communication. Now what is there in the genuine Gospel of Christ calculated to produce the above effects? We confidently affirm, nothing. Is it, we would ask, the proclamation of pardon from the Almighty to the rebellious sons of men, through the atonement of His son? Is it the command to love God with all our heart and our neighbour as ourselves ? Is it the commands and exhortations to mercy, kindness, benevolence, humility, charity, long-suffering, to return good for evil ? &c. There is nothing in the nature of these things calculated to produce such effects. We must then look for the cause elsewhere; and that will be found in the heart of man. · The identical same language may be used by liberty! I am come (liberty may say) not to send peace on the earth, but war! For behold the blood spilt of old on the plains of Italy, and the shores of Greece, for liberty.—Behold Albion's chalky hills stained with the blood of Britons, for liberty.-Behold the rivers of blood spilt in France, Spain, Poland, and last, though not least, in America, all for liberty!—Is liberty therefore an evil? Is there any thing inherent in liberty to cause this strife and war ? No! But in the hearts of tyrants and despots, there is the cause. In the very same way, Christ, whose mission was a mission of peace and good will from God to men, in endeavouring to disseminate the great truths connected with the best interests of man, produced difference and dissension. See Persecution. Gospel.
- PENTATEUCH. This is the title given to the five books of Moses, and is a Greek word, which signifies, five books or volumes. The Pentateuch forms to this day, but one roll or volume in the Jewish manuscripts, being divided only into paras-chioth and siderim, or larger and smaller sections. This collective designation of the books of Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, is of very considerable antiquity; and the names of which are evidently derived from the Greek.
That these books were written by Moses, is most satisfactorily proved, by every evidence that the nature of the case could possibly admit: and this is legal evidence. Thus it is proved.
1. By the language in which they were written.
2. By their containing a system of CEREMONIAL and MORAL Laws which, UNLESS. THE AUTHORITY OF ALL HISTORY be rejected, were observed by the Israelites from the time of their departure out of Egypt, till their dispersion at the taking of Jerusalem.
3. By the united HISTORICAL TESTIMONY of Jews, and Heathens, which attests their genuineness and authenticity
4. By their CONTENTS.
As to the first. “It is an undeniable fact, that Hebrew ceased to be the living language of the Jews soon after the Babylonish captivity; and that the Jewish productions after that period, were in general either Chaldee or Greek. The Jews of Palestine, some ages before the Christian Era, were unable to comprehend the Hebrew original, without the assistance of the Chaldee paraphrase; and it was necessary to undertake a Greek translation, because that language alone was known to the Jews of Alexandria. It necessarily follows, therefore, that every book which was written in pure Hebrew, was
ritten a 1st ancient any con.
composed either before or about the time of the Babylonish captivity. This being admitted, we may advance a step farther, and contend that the period which elapsed between the composition of the most ancient, and the most modern, book, of the Old Testament, was very considerable; or, in other words, that the most ancient books of the Old Testament were written a length of time prior to the Babylonish captivity, which took place upwards of six HUNDRED YEARS BEFORE CHRIST!
No language continues during many centuries in the same state of cultivation; and the Hebrew, like other tongues, passed through the several stages of infancy, youth, manhood, and old age. Now, upwards of a thousand years elapsed between the time of Moses, and Malachi, the last of the Old Testament Prophets. Moreover, the circumstances of these two Sacred writers differed vastly. Moses was born and educated among the Egyptians; therefore we would naturally expect that his writings, although in the Hebrew tongue, would abound with Egyptian words and idioms: this is exactly what critical Hebrew scholars have proved to be the case! Therefore, no one, under any other general circumstances, than Moses was, could have written in Moses's style: therefore he is detected to be the author of those books, by his very style! His very language betrays him! Is there any occasion for further proof?
Lastly, it is remarkable in tracing the different books of the Old Testament up from Moses to Malachi, we discover just such an alteration of language, and just such peculiar idioms and phrases, (Egyptian, Syriac, Arabic, Chaldee and Greek,) as we would expect from the change of circumstances, and change of connections with other nations, which the Jews had throughout this period!
As to the second The Moral, and Ceremonial Laws,
were not only observed by the Jews since ever there was an account of the existence of a Jew, up to the destruction of Jerusalem; but were attributed, with common consent, by all Jews to Moses, as their inspired Lawgiver, and servant of the most high God. If we begin tracing backwards from the present day, up to the days of Joshua, (1451 years before Christ, we can point out, through almost every age, Jewish and Heathen authors, sacred and profane, who designated Moses as the great Jewish Law. giver. And if we turn our attention to Jewish ceremonies, we can likewise trace them all up to the days of Moses. Is this no proof that Moses was the author of the Pentateuch? I pity the man who is so weak in understanding as to be able to withstand this evidence!
Every book of the Old Testament implies the previous existence of the Pentateuch: in many of them it is expressly mentioned; allusion is made to it in some, and it is quoted in others. These contain a series of external evidence in its favour, which is hardly to be confuted, and when the several links of this argument are put together, they form a chain which it would require more than ordinary abilities to break. In the first place, no one will deny that the Pentateuch existed in the days of Christ and his Apostles, for they not only mention it, but quote it. (Matt. v. 27; Mark, x. 3, xii. 26; Luke, x. 25, xxiv. 44; John, vii. 19, viii. 5; Acts, xxviii. 23; 1 Cor. ix. 9; 2 Cor. iii. 15.) This we admit, (reply the enemies of truth;) but you cannot therefore conclude that Moses was the author, for there is reason to believe that it was composed by Ezra. Now, unfortunately for them, Ezra himself is evidence against them; for, instead of assuming to himself the honour which they so liberally confer on him, he expressly ascribes the book of the law
Book of which te Leviteshe priests;
to Moses! “They set the priests" (said he,) “ in their divisions, and the Levites in their courses, for the service of God, which is in Jerusalem, as it is written in the book of Moses." (Ezra, vi. 18; iii. 2.) Further, the Pentateuch existed before the time of Ezra: for it is expressly mentioned during the captivity in Babylon, by Daniel (ix. 11. 13,) and before Christ 537 or 538 years! Again, long before that event it was extant in the time of Josiah, (2 Chron. xxxiv. 15,) and was then, (624 years before Christ), of such acknowledged authority, that the perusal of it occasioned an immediate reformation of the religious usages, which had not been observed according to the word of the Lord, to do after all that is written in this book.” (2 Chron. xxxiv. 21. It was extant in the time of Hosea, king of Israel, (678 years before Christ),—for a captive Israelitish priest was sent back from Babylon (2 Kings, xviii. 27,) to instruct the new colonists of Samaria in the religion which it (the Pentateuch) teaches. .
By these Samaritans the book of the law was received as genuine, and was preserved and handed down to their posterity, as it also was by the Jews, as the basis of the civil and religious institutions of both nations.
It was extant in the time of Jehoshaphat, king of Judah, before Christ 912 years, (2 Chron. xvii. 9,) who employed public instructors for its promulgation.
And since the Pentateuch was received as the book of the Law, both by the ten tribes, and also by the two tribes, it follows as a necessary consequence that each received it BEFORE they became divided into two kingdoms, that is nearly A THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE CHRIST.
Moreover, the whole Jewish history, from the time of their settlement in Canaan, to the building of the temple