Abbildungen der Seite
PDF
EPUB

strange Rites, what wonderful Stories did he impole upon his Brechren under the Sanction of, Thus faith the Lord. 'Tis evident to every Man who reads his History, that if it had not been for his Cunning and Policy, his Power and Arms, he had never established his grievous Religion, a Religion which taught the Jews to worship God with Pagan Rites (b). No sooner had he esta

blished

(b) We begin our Account of Moses's Priestcraft, or Art of establishing his Religion, with his Murder of the Egyptian; be. cause it is the first Exploit this great Man did, Exod. ii. 11, 12. " And he [Moses] spied an Egyptian smiting an Hebrew, one 56 of his Brethren." Now this Smiting was no other than boxing or striking with the Hand. " If a Man smite thee on the 66 Cheek turn to him the other also. And they smote him with « the Palms of their Hands." Boxing, or mutual Combat, is a manly Way of fighting; and it is certain, this Egyptian and this Hebrew would soon have given over as either of their Strength failed. If the Egyptian had intended to have killed the Hebrew the Words would have read thus : $ And he spied an Egyptian killing for about to kill] an Hebrew. A Quarxel very often happens between two, and they fall to Blows, without any Design or Intention to kill one another. Ver. 12. * And he Mofes] looked this Way and that Way, and when he

faw no Man, he New the Egyptian, and hid him in the Sand. Where is observable, First, The Cunning and Fear of Mofes, he looked this way and that way : he was conscious to himself that he was about to perpetrate an Act which was against the Laws of the Egyptians, Murder. Secondly, . When he saw that there was no Man, he flew the Egyptian. Now for Mofes's Bravery : The Egyptian and the Hebrew were closely engaged in mutual Combat, at Fifty-cuffs, as we say, Moses with some Weapon of Destruction comes behind the Egyptian and stuck it in his Back. This is plain, because the Egyptian and Mofes did not fight together, if they had, the Historian would have taken Notice of it. If it be said, that the Egyptian would have killed the Hebrew, I think it would have become Mofes to have prevented him; not by murdering of him sily, which was unmanly, but by parting of them, as he was a Man of great Strength. Thirdly, Moses being somewhat sensible of his Sin, bid the Egyptian in the Sand, and undoubtedly bid the Hebrew

lay

blished the Priesthood in the House of Aaro, · but he fets, one Tribe to live upon the other

Tribes. These were, Gentlemen, their Study was to explain and expound the Law, and

. fo

[ocr errors]

say nothing of the Murder. This is the first Publick Act of Moses's. Notwithstanding the Secrecy wherewith Mofes com-. mitted this Murder it was known the next Day, vir. 13. and even the Hebrews themselves abhorred the Act, ver. 14. Pharaob hearing of it, sought to bring Miles to Justice and public Punishment as a Murderer, but Mojès fed into Midian from the Dominions of Pharaoh, ver. 15. When Mofes was in this strange Country, where his abominable Crime was a Secret, he behaved so well, that he got the Favour of seven Virgins at once, ver. 10--20. And was afterwards married to one of them, named Zipporah, yer. 21. which Act of his was contrary to the Custom of the Hebrews; for no Hebrew should marry a Stran. ger. The Office of Moses was no other than this: He was Yerbro's Herdsman or Grazier, Ch. iii. 1. Thus employed on the Back-side of a Desert, and alone, he says he saw a fiery: fiaming Angel in a Bush, ver. 2. he says the Lord observed his Motions, and called to him out of the Bush, ver. 4. I observe, that for the Truth of this, we have only Mofes's ipfe dixit, and I think a Man may chuse whether he will čelieve a Murderer. From this Verse to the twentieth contains a Dialogue between God (I say 7eibro) and Mofes, which any Man may believe if he will. Before Moses ends this Chapter in the two last Verses he introduces God as teaching the Children of lfrael (especial. ly the Women) to cheat : " And it shall come to pass, that 6 when ye go, ye shall not go empty. But every Woman « shall borrow of her Neighbour, and of her that fojourneth < in her House, Jewels of Silver, and Jewels of Gold, and « Raiment: and ye shall put them upon your Sons, and upon 66 your Daughters, and ye shall spoil the Egyptians." He who can believe that the Lord God of Heaven and Earth said these Words, has such a Stock of Credulity, that he is fit to receive Transubstantiation, Infallibility of Church and Pope, and all the absurd Doctrines and Legends that have been invented by Cunning Men and Priests from the Beginning of the World to this Day. The Beginning of Chap. iv. relates two wonderful Things done in an obscure Place. Aaron, Mjes's Brother, is recommended to Mofes as a proper Person to speak what he Thould bid him, ver, 14). 15. and Mofes was to be to dron as

so they did, 'ill they quite gloss'd it away, they filld their Theology with Legends, and their Talmud was had in greater Reputation than the Law itself, insomuch that our Saviour says of

them,

a God, or instead of God, ver. 10. Mofes was to exercise his Imagical] Rod, ver. 17. And, ver. 24. he says, that the Lord · met him, and sought to kill him ; so that Moses and his God are of one Principle, Exod. ii. II, 12. compared with Exod. iv.' 24. Zipporab, Fethro the Priest's Daughter, Moses's Wife, is the first Priestess, and accordingly circumcises dexterousy, ver. 25. Mofes and Aaron undertakes jointly to perform Wonders, ver. 27--91. Chap. vii. 1, 2. represents God as commanding Aaron to sware to whatever Mofes should say, ver. 6, 10. At the Beginning of Chap. x. Moses introduces God as giving a Reason why he had wrought such Wonders as are recorded in the foregoing Chapters, viz. that the Israelites might brag of them to their Posterity, sufficient indeed! The Egyptians at length expelled the Hebrews out of their Land, Chap. xii. 31. And going out " they did according to the Word of Moses, and as they borrowed of the Egyptians, Jewels of Silver, Jewels of " Gold, and Raiment, and they spoiled the Egyptians.” Ob. serve the Difference of the two Relations, here this Theft or Cheat is said to be commanded by Mofes, and so it was, and not by God, as is represented falsely, Chap. iv. 21, 22. and this Thest or Cheat of theirs made them run away as fast as they could by Night as Thieves, ver. 30. Pharaoh pursues the Hebrews for this Robbery, Chap. xiv. 5, &c. Mores afraid that Zipporah should know too much, sent her and her two Sons to Fethro, Chap. xviii. 2. but Jethro brought them to Mofes and made him keep them, ver. 6. And Mofes was glad perbro was come to him, ver. 7. and tells him how far his good Advice (as I suppose) had succeeded, ver. 8. Fethro rejoyced at these good Tidings, and taught Moses and Aaron to facri. fice, and to burn Beasts, &c. for God, ver. D--12. Having counselled and taught him so far, Fethro proceeds to instruct him in the Art of Government, how he Thould separate himfelf from the rest of the People, and appoint Rulers under him, and become a King or Prince. It is plain, I think, that Fethro made Mofes a King, as well as a Priest, and when a Man is both a King and a Priest, he may easily become a Prophet, i.e. foretell what he will do hereafter, ver. 13--26. Mofes having learned from jetre his Lęsra, and settled a firm Correspon

dence

them, they taught for DoEtrines, the Command-. ments of Men. And this was no more than what Aaron was guilty of, he ordered the Wonien to take the Golden Ear-rings out of the

Ears

dence with him, let him depart into his own Country, ver. 27, and proceeds to Business alone upon Mount Sinai, as Chap. xix. It is observable, that Hethro commands Moles before he left him, Chap. xviii. 20. saying, “ Thou shalt teach them Laws co and Ordinances.” Moses certainly asked his Father, who had longer exercised the priestly Function and Myitery than he, to give him Instructions, which he freely did. He puts them in force, Ch. xix. XX. &c. appoints Aaron a Priest, Ch. xxviii. I. an Account of his Trappings, ver. 2. to the End, and conse-, crates him Priest, Chap.xxix. I, QC. Thus equipped and constituted we shall not say any th ng more concerning Aaron under this Note : But proceed to take Notice of the Affertion contained in the Oration, concerning the Burdens, 80°C. Moles imposed upon the Jewish People, under the Sanction of, «Thus « faith the Lord.” I need only beg the Reader to look into these Four Books of Mofes, viz. Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, and as to the Truth of this Affertion, I promise him entire Satisfaction. Only I add, my single Opinion is, that these Rites and Ceremonies were not initituted by the God of Heaven, but ty 7etbro and Mofes, and that the Words, " Thus faith the Lord: As the Lord commanded Mofes : ” should be read: Thus saith Fethro ; As 7ethro commanded Moses. Because it was common in those Days to call Priests and Princes, or sacerdotal Chiefs, such as Ferbro was, Lords ; Thus Sarah called Abraham Lord. Besides, these Rites, 8c. could not be imposed upon the Hebrews by fehovah ; because the Prophet says, representing God as speaking agreeable to the Purity of his Nature. " To what Purpose is the Multi66 tude of your Sacrifices unto me? faith the Lord : I am full " of [i.e. I loath] the Burnt-offerings of Rams and the Fat “.of fed Beafts, and I delight not in the Blood of Buldocks, or 66 of Lambs, or of He-goats. Who hath required this at your

Hands ? Oblations, Incense, New-moons, appointed Feasis, " Sabbaths, folemn Meetings and Afsemblies is Abomination " to Me, Isa. viii. 11---14. And St. Peter says, that Circumcision and the Mosaic Rites, were a Yoke which neither our Fathers nor we were able to bear, Afts XV, TO. I farther observe, That Mofes delivered his Laws by Pieces, 25 he and

fethro

suld be reade it was commiels, such as less there

Eers of their Sons and their Daughters, and he would make them a God. And they did so, and Aaron made them a Calf, sI am glad it was noi a Lamb, for then the Christian Divines of

all

Fethro thought fit and proper as to Time and Place. This appears from the whole History. Nay, I think it would be unreasonable to expect from any Man, the Perfection of an Art at once, it must require Timé and Policy. I am certain, that if the Roman Clergy thought proper to introduce new Doctrines, new Rites and Ceremonies, they would consult their Fathers, [the Pope, the Cardinals) the Archbishops and Bishops, (as Mofes at every Turn did 7 ethro) in order to learn from their Age and greater Experience the Art and Mystery of Innovation.

I entirely agree in the Character the Judicious Dr. Berriman gives of Mofes, Vol. II. p. 132, where he says, that "he verin ly was faithful in all his House, as a Servant, as a Minister, as one that acted under the Command and Direction of another, and delivered his Laws as the Result of the divine Appointment. Which Words (with the Doctor's Leave) I paraphrase thus: “ Moses was really a Friend to the Jewish People and faithful to the Intereft of them, for when he saw an Egyptian smiting one of his Brethren he slew him, and hid him in the Sand. Being obliged thro' the Hatred the Egyptians bore him for this Murder to fly to fethro the Heathen Priest, he behaved so faithful in the Truft of Grasier under that Great Man, that Fethro gave him his Daughter Zipporah to Wife. Which Inti. macy with 7erbro grew so great, that as he had found him faithful in secular Things was minded to try him in relation to religious. Here also 7ethro his Father found him faithful as a Minister or Ambassador from him to the Hebrews, and as one that regarded those Laws and Ordinances, in imposing them on his Brethren, which his Father Jethro cominanded and instructed him in. Moses finding Success, was soon endued with the political Art, and thought proper, when among his Brethren, to pursue the Advice of ethro, he continually delivered his and 7etbro's Laws as agreeable to and consonant with the Laws of Divine Appointment and Ordinance, i.e. those Laws which are the Religion of Nature: If the Doctor should think I have made too free with his Words: I desire to be in: formed what is meant by Moses's being faithful in all his House; if this Expression does not relate to the House of Hethro, in

which

« ZurückWeiter »