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Thy displeasure.' "They drew me out of many waters.' Their whole national existence was a thanksgiving, a votive tablet, for their deliverance in, and from, and through the Red Sea” (“History of the Jewish Church," by A. P. Stanley, D.D., pp. 123128).

III. The impossibility of persuading the Jewish nation, in any subsequent age, to receive the miracles as true, if they had been false.

To illustrate the force of this part of the argument, let it be supposed that some learned pundit had recently composed and published a “History of Scotland," professing to give a true narrative of the doings and exploits of our Scottish forefathers during the last ten or fifteen hundred years. Suppose that he commenced his "history" by informing us that, at some remote period, our forefathers had come originally from France, numbering half a million of men, besides women and children, and a “mixed multitude" of strangers; and that they were under the direction of a great leader, who conducted them across the Straits of Dover on dry land, and who afterwards led them round, among the hills and dales of England, for forty years, by a pillar of cloud and fire; and that during all that time he gave them bread from heaven, and water from the rocks; and that he sent fiery serpents among them to punish their insubordination, and made the earth open her mouth and swallow up

alive all those who disputed his authority. Suppose, further, that this historian, or romancer, informed us that, at the end of the forty years, our forefathers crossed the Tweed in a body on dry land, and then took possession of Scotland. And suppose, still more, that he also informed us that, ever since that time, the Scottish nation, at the request of the said leader, had offered up sacrifices, and kept solemn festivals every year to commemorate their ancient exploits, and observed a jubilee every fiftieth year, and a great many other ceremonies, which he described as being still the usages of Scotland. Well, would he be likely to succeed in persuading the nation that all this was true? Possibly there might be some credulous individuals who would believe it all; for in these days of Mormonism and spirit-rapping, there is nothing too absurd for some men to swallow. But would any man of common sense believe such a “history?" Would the whole nation believe it? Would they not say, “We never heard of such things before; our fathers never told us of them, and we find no such usages or customs prevailing amongst us?” And would not the almost universal verdict upon the learned pundit be, “ Either he is a fool, or he takes us to be fools ? "

This illustration may serve to show the utter impossibility of persuading the Jewish nation, at any period subsequent to the time of Moses, that the miracles were really performed by him, if they never were. To persuade them of this would require and imply at least as great a miracle as any of those which the infidel denies. For, passing from illustration to proof, let it be observed how the case actually stands. To indicate this, we may briefly advert to the historical aspect of the question.

Now every one knows that, at this moment, the Jewish people are dispersed among all the nations of the earth ; not mixed with any, but separate from all, and still “ a peculiar people.” But go where you will, you find that every Jew not only glories in his ancestry, but reveres Moses, and receives his books as true, and regards them as “the oracles of God.” This the nation has done, as all history testifies, during at least the last eighteen hundred years. During all that time they have generally, if not universally, read the law of Moses in their synagogues every Sabbath day; and the fathers have taught their children what they themselyes had received from preceding generations. It may be said indeed that recently, infidelity has been making progress among the Jews, in some quarters. This, however, only proves the influence exerted upon them by their contact with those habits of thinking which happen to prevail in the particular land of their adoption. But it is something wholly strange and novel, as well as exceptional; and it can in no degree invalidate the harmonious testimony of the nation during the eighteen centuries which have elapsed, since they were in possession of a country which they could call their own.

We can, however, go much further back than the time of Christ, and trace the existence, and the recognition by the nation, of the five books of Moses, through all the preceding fourteen centuries up to the very time of Moses himself. For not only did Josephus write a history of the Jews, which embodies the leading facts recorded in the Old Testament, and the traditions which were current among the Jews previous to the destruction of Jerusalem; but about 280 years before Christ, the Old Testament itself (at the very least the Pentateuch), was translated from Hebrew into Greek by learned Jews in Egypt; and this Septuagint version made Jewish history familiar to the most civilised nations of antiquity, long before Christ was born.

Then, about five hundred years before Christ, being the period of the Babylonish captivity, we find that the books of Moses were not only in existence, but were well known and highly revered by the whole nation. For Zerubbabel, and Ezra, and Nehemiah, who at three different times led many of the people back to Jerusalem, rebuilt the temple, restored the worship of God, and regulated all the institutions of the nation, expressly "according to the law of Moses ;” and they made pointed and solemn appeals to that law as their authority and rule, to which the people readily and heartily submitted.

Moreover, at a period still further back, or about seven hundred years before Christ, we find that the Samaritans, who occupied the places of the ten tribes after these had been carried away into Assyria, and who corrupted the worship of God by idolatry, revered the five books of Moses, and regarded them as Divine. And as there was bitter and constant enmity between the Jews and the Samaritans, the one would be a check upon the other, so as to prevent the reception of any spurious writings. Even at this day, on and around Mount Gerizim, there are those claiming to be descendants of the ancient Samaritans, who possess the Pentateuch, and who observe many of the customs and ceremonies enjoined by Moses.

Here also we may notice the remarkable confirmations of the truth of this part of the Bible history, which have been furnished by the explorations of Layard, Smith, and others at Nineveh, and more particularly by the recent discovery of the “Moabite Stone.” This stone, or rather this triumphal tablet, the diction and spirit of which are thoroughly biblical, appears to have been erected by King Mesha to Chemosh, the national deity of the Moabites, in gratitude for the victories which he enabled them to obtain over the Israelites under Ahab (circa B.C. 896).

The inscription on the stone, which is written in almost

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