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Tertullian, and many others well known to the learned, who ought to be received as indisputable witnesses to a fact of this nature.
It is almost four thousand years since the Pentateuch was written ; and never has it been denied to be the work of Moses till modern times. It is true, Aben Ezra, a Jew of considerable note, about the year 1200, first supposed that these books had been written in the time of the Kings; but then be considered them as inspired writings, let who would be the author of them, and received them as absolute truth. It never entered into his head to disbelieve the facts recorded in them, or to doubt their being the commandments of God.
Within the present century Woolston, Col. Jins, Tindal, Shaftsbury, and Bolingbroke, with a number of others, copied Aben Ezra's objec- tions; and without his faith, endeavoured to impose them upon the public, as solid objections to the truth and authenticity of the Old Testament. Aben Ezra had been long since fully answered ; and now these champions of infi. delity again brought forward a number of pious and learned men, who obviated every colour of argument or proof, and silenced the objections by fair conviction for a time.
But it was not long before Voltaire, the late king of Prussia, Rousseau, and others, again retailed out these old exceptions new vamped up, threatening destruction to all the tenets of revelation. The force of truth, howeyer, prevailed against these adversaries, and for a time the enemies to revealed religion seemed to avoid coming out to public view.
Of late years there have been some powerful attempts to bring foru ard objections, not only to the Pentateuch, but to the whole of the sacred writings. And these have also been so ably answered by men of acknowledged piety, virtue, and good sense, that the Scriptures are, if possible, established on a firreer basis, in the view of the thinking part of the world, than they were before; it being an established fact, that the truth will ever appear the stronger, the more it is investigated.
But is there any thing improbable or unnatural in attributing the Pentateuch to Moses as its inspired author, on the evidence adduced for this purpose ? From the necessities of mankind under their then known circumstances, as has already been shown, it canpot justly be denied but that God must have given some kind of a revelation of himself and his will, with regard to religious worship and other necessary knowledge, to Adam and the antediluvian patriarchs,
Their lives were lengthened out to a great"age, perhaps to answer the important purposes of tradition among others. Tradition was the most natural, probable, and easy mode of conveying down necessary truths received from God, from generation to generation, before letters were known in the world.
It is most likely, therefore, that by this means the few and simple religious principles necessary for man in the infancy of the world, with the attendant history of their creation, and the divine conduct afterwards towards them, were communicated: from Adam to Abraham by the inter-, vention of not more than two or three other persons; and about the same number might have extended it down to Moses. ' Methuselah was about 300 years old when Adam died, and therefore not unlikely to be possessed of all Adam's knowledge of those great and interesting events that had been communicated to him as the head of his race.
. Shem was almost 100 years old when Methu-. selah died, and therefore might well have been informed by him, as he had been by Adam, Shem lived till Abrahain was above 100 years old, who undoubtedly received from him the necessary instruction in every thing that related to the worship and knowledge of the one ever
living and true God, and his dealings with the fathers since the creation, as Abraham was remarkable from his youth for a faithfuil attachment to the service of God, in opposition to every species of idolatry.
Abraham lived till Jacob, the son of Isaac, was 16 years old, and might have taught him the leading principles of religion. .
Jacob lived till Levi was 67 years old, and undoubtedly gave him all the instruction he could.
Levi lived till Amram the father of Moses and Aaron was far advanced in age, and must. have furnished him with every information in his. power.
It was a prominent feature in Abraham's great character, that he would teach his chil. " dren, and his children's children after him, whatever he knew of the one true God. It was therefore to be expecied, that not only his knowledge in essential matters should be communicated, but that it should be religiously preserved in his family till the time of Moses ; so that he inight have been an inspired historian, and at the same time have had a general traditiona! knowledge of the principal truths of revelation from his ancestors. The people also for whojn he wrote inust have been tolerably good judges,
by this means, of the truth of his account of early transactions, according to the tradition they had received, as well as of the evidences of his special divine mission.
Whatever, therefore, befel the children of Israel, either by prophecies, miracles,' or the extraordinary appointments of God, according to the revelations made in the law of Moses, has, besides its own proper and intrinsic evidence, the additional proof of all the miracles and prophecies of Moses ; so that the proof of the divine authority of Moses's books is, at the same time, a proof of all the other hooks of Scripture, so far as they are in the matter and subject of them consequent to these.
«« The Pentateuch, therefore, and the other books of the Scriptures, reciprocally prove each other, like the cause and the effect; the Pen- ' tateuch being the cause and foundation of them, and they are the effect and consequence of the Pentateuch, and the fulfilling the several predictions mentioned therein."-Vide Age of Revelation.
That we are daily witnesses of the fulfilment - of suine of the prophecies of Moses is beyond
all doubt; the scattered situation of the Jews in this country, as well as in alınost every other, being a most remarkable evidence of their truth.