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not written by Moses; but besides that his arguments themselves are futile and weak, his attempt was plainly made too late. After the genuineness of the Pentateuch had been clearly established by the concurring testimony of Jews, and of Pagan historians for more than two thousand years, no argument could disprove it. As well might some writer undertake, a thousand years hence, to prove that Gibbon is not the author of the history of the Roman empire. No candid mind which knows the logical force of evidence and examines this subject thoroughly, will have any more doubt that Moses wrote the Pentateuch, than that Xenophon wrote the Anabasis, or Cæsar the Commentaries, or Tacitus the Annals, or Marshall the Life of Washington.
The Pentateuch properly closes with the 33d chapter of Deuteronomy, containing the dying addresses of Moses, which, together with the concluding chapter, was appended to the Mosaic record, probably by Joshua or the Jewish Synagoglie.
The next portion of Sacred History commences with Joshua, and extends through a period of one thousand years to the time of Ezra and Nehemiah, who were cotemporary with Herodotus the father of profane history. This added to the twenty-five hundred years of the Pentateuch, makes thirty-five hundred years.
So that we are indebted to the
Bible for our only connected authentic history of mankind, for more than half the period which has elapsed since the creation. Traditions, broken fragments of history, and fabulous legends abound, as we have seen, in ancient pagan authors; but there is no authentic chain of credible history during that whole period, excepting the Bible.
The general proof of the authenticity and genuineness of the Sacred History from Moses to the prophets, commencing with Joshua, is so similar to that of the Pentateuch, that the same arguments are applicable to both, and need not be repeated.
The remainder of the Old Testament, including the books of Job, the Psalms, and the prophets, are partly historical, partly prophetical, partly preceptive and doctrinal, and partly devotional. The evidence of their authenticity and genuineness is the same as that of the preceding books. Respecting the author of the book of Job, learned men are not agreed; but it has ever held a place in the sacred canon, and is recognized as belonging there by the inspired writers..
All the canonical books were preserved by the Jews with most sacred diligence; a particular tribe was even consecrated to this express purpose. Besides the copies in use, extra copies were carefully kept in the archives of the temple, to which no person was admitted.
The manuscripts were
transcribed with a very severe caution and subjected to a most vigilant scrutiny. The alteration of a letter would condemn the copy.
The whole of the Old Testament was translated from its original Hebrew and Chaldee into Greek at Alexandria, nearly three hundred years before the Christian era. This translation is called the Septuagint, and is still extant. Many passages in the New Testament quoted from the Old, are taken verbatim from the Septuagint; which proves that the Septuagint was in use at the time the New Testament was written.
The Samaritan Pentateuch, still extant, is also very ancient, and agrees essentially with that of the Jews; and considering the enmity that existed between the Jews and the Samaritans, it is hence a strong confirmation of the genuineness of the original Pentateuch.
The Jews in their dispersion over the world still preserve the Scriptures of the Old Testament as sacred, and read them in their synagogues "every Sabbath day.” Notwithstanding the explicitness with which the prophets predicted Messiah's advent and crucifixion, together with the subsequent dispersion and wretchedness of the Jews for their rejection of Christ, they still maintain the sacredness of these writings, and thus witness for the Bible against themselves.
It doth truly surpass all human marvel, that
such a collection of writings should have originated in such a source, and should have thus triumphed over all the ravages of time and come down to us entire, through the lapse of three thousand years. Egypt and Arabia and Persia were also learned nations, cotemporary with and subsequent to the Jews; and in respect to all human science, far surpassed them. They even claimed to monopolize the treasures of intellectual wealth. Theirs were the schools and halls of science; theirs the history, poetry and philosophy; and theirs the productions which promised to live and descend to posterity. Yet the fruits of their intellect have nearly all perished from the world, and of the feeble fragments which survive, excepting perhaps a little Arabian poetry, there is nothing which has any power over the minds of modern ages. They are laid aside to rust and be forgotten. While the Writings which we have contemplated, have not only survived in all their freshness, but have ac, quired increasing strength, and are continually developing new treasures of beauty and glory. No philosophy can explain this but that of an inspired apostle; they are the “ ORACLES OF GOD."
THE New Testament does not teach a different religion from that of the Old. If it did, both could not be true; for both could not harmonize with nature, as of course a true religion must. Nor indeed could either be true, since the New Testament recognizes the Old as divine; so that if the
false, the other must be false, and if the one is true, the other must be true also.
The New Testament is a completion of the same great scheme commenced in the Old. It is a more full and bright development of the character of God and of the principles of his moral government. Thus Christ said, “Think not that I came to destroy the law and the prophets, that is the Scriptures of the Old Testament; I came not to destroy, but to fulfill.” I suppose that the entire