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spoken, were just as many as had written—proving that Samuel and other inspired men, though we cannot point to the writings severally of each, have, somewhere or other, had their share in the writings of the Old Testament.*
22. Ezra and Nehemiah.t] These two books anciently composed one volume.
Ezra was ready scribe in the law of Moses; and, by the universal consent of antiquity, acted the part of an inspired editor of all the Jewish scriptures that
1 Chr. xxix. 25.--Eccl. ii. 9. 1 Chr. i. 24.- Luke üži, 36. 2 Cbr. i. 12
ii. 9. ii. 4.-Matt. i. 3.
iii. 14.-Matt. xxvii. 51. ii. 9. i. 3.
ii. 15.–Jer. lii. 21. ji. 16, 17. i. 11, 12
v. 13.-Ps. cxxxvi. v. 2.-Micah v. 2.
vi. 16. cxxxii. 12. Matt. ii. 6.
vi. 18.-Is. Ixvi. l. vi. 14.-Neh. xi. 11.
Acts vii. 49.
vi. 32.—John xii. 20.
Acts viii. 27. xvi. 34. cvi. 1.
vi. 36.-Prov. xx. 29. cvii. I.
Eccl. vii. 20. cxviii. 1.
James iii. 2. cxxxvi. I.
1 John i. 8. xviii. 8.-2 Chr. iv. 15.
yi. 41.-Ps. cxxxii. 8, 9. xxi. 30.
vii. 21.–Jer. xxii. 8, 9. xxiii. 6.
viii. 14. ix. l.-Matt. xii. 42.
Luke xi. 31.
xx. 20.-Is. vii. 9. xxviii. 4.-Ps. lxxvii. 68. xxi. 7.-Ps. cxxxii. 11. xxviii, 6.-2 Chr, i. 9.
xxxii. 1, &c.- Is. xxxvi. I, xxix, 11.-Matt. vi. 13.
&c. 1 Tim. i. 17
xxxii. 8.-Jer. xvii. 5. Rev. v. 13.
xxxii. 24.- Is. xxxviii. 1. xxix. 15.-Ps. xxxix, 12. xxxiii, 7.-Ps. cxxxii. 14. Heb. xi. 13.
Xxxvi. 22.-Ezra i. 1. 1 Pet. ii. 11.
Jer. xxv. 12, 13. Ps. xc. 9.
xxix. 10. xxix. 25.-2 Chr. i. 12. + We might remark, in passing, a monumental evidence for the books both of Ezra and Daniel, in the tinge or mixture of the Chaliaic with the Hebrew in their composition.
were extant in his time. That he was the author of the book of Ezra, is collected from the frequent occurrence of his name in the first person. hath extended mercy unto me before the king ; and I was strengthened,” Ezra vii. 27, 28. “ And at the evening sacrifice, I arose up from my heaviness; and I fell upon my knees,” Ezra ix. 5. The prayer is in the first person; and, when ended, the narrative is resumed of Ezra in the third person (Ezra x. 1). He uses the first person also in Ezra viii. 15, &c. The canonical authority of this book is argued from its unexcepted place in all the ancient catalogues—from the implication of it with the prophecies of Haggai and Zechariahand from the illustration which it sheds on the prophecies of both. Compare particularly the first chapter of Haggai, and the third and fourth of Zechariah with the fifth chapter of Ezra. Anu there are other scriptural references besides in favour both of this book and that of Nehemiali. “ Thus saith Cyrus king of Persia, The Lord God of heaven hath given me all the kingdoms of the earth; and He hath charged me to build hir. an house in Jerusalem, which is at Judah,” Ecra
“ That saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd, and shall perform all my pleasure; even saying to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be built ; and to the temple, Thy foundation shall be laid,” Is. xliv. 28. “Thus saith the Lord to his anointed; to Cyrus, whose right hand I have holden, to subdue nations before him," Is. xlv. 1. “I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways,” Isaiah xlv. 13.-" Then the prophets, Haggai the
prophet, and Zechariah the son of Iddo, prophesied unto the Jews that were in Judah and Jerusalem, in the name of the God of Israel, even unto them,” Ezra v. 1.
- In the second year of Darius the king, in the sixth month, in the first day of the month, came the word of the Lord, by Haggai the prophet, unto Zerubbabel the son of Shealtiel, governor of Judah, and to Joshua the son of Josedech, the high priest, saying," Haggai i. 1. “ In the eighth month, in the second year of Darius, came the word of the Lord unto Zechariah the son of Barachiah, the son of Iddo the prophet, saying," Zech. i. 1.*
23. Esther.] This book is by many ascribed to Mordecai ; and he must certainly have been the original writer of, at least, some of its contents. See Esther ix. 20, 27. Its being said that he “ wrote these things,” may possibly be an ascription of the whole book, or at least the greater part of it, to him.
We have no very satisfactory or decisive references to this book from other parts of scripture. Its canonical authority rests on the circumstance, of its having been canonized by the Jews; and by many of the Christian fathers, as well as the council of Laodicea. We cannot
* See further Ezra i. 1.-Jer. xxv. 12.
xxix. 10. ii. 1. -Neh. vii. 6. ii. 2.
vii. 7. ii. 6.
vii. 11. ii. 10. vii. 15. ii. 18. vii. 24. ii. 20.
vii. 25, ii. 24. vii. 28.
Ezra ii. 40.-Neh. vii. 43.
ii. 55. vii. 57.
Matt. i. 12.
Luke üi. 27. vii. 14.-Esther 1. 14. Neh. ix. 29.-Rom. x. 5.
Gal. iii. 12.
assign for it much of that particular evidence, which we have been employed in accumulating, for the benefit of all the books which go before it. But it shares with them in the general arguments adduced at the beginning of this chapter-to which might be added, the certain chaste and simple dignity, which is characteristic of all the canonical writings; and by which they stand remarkably contrasted with the legendary and untasteful style that often breaks forth in the writings, even of the best of the Apocryphists.
24. Job.] We now enter on the books called poetical-all of which, along with certain others, are ranked by the Jews among the Hagiographa. Should any be led by this to imagine a lower degree of inspiration for these books—then, to countervail this injury, it is certain that, in favour of most of them, we have the greatest amount of scriptural, which, we repute, is the greatest amount of the best sort of evidence. The depositions of the New Testament to the Psalms, and the prophecies of Daniel, are greatly more than a counterpoise to any mischief which might be apprehended for certain of the Old Testament scriptures, from the fanciful distinctions of the later Hebrews—a distinction, after all, that proceeds more on some imaginary difference in the mode of inspiration, than on any difference in the qualities of the products—the properties of absolute authority and trueness being ascribed, without exception, by the Jews, to one and all of their scriptures. And we are not to conceive, because the interval between Esther and Isaiah in our
Bible is filled up by the books called poetical, that these comprise all the sacred poetry to be found in the Old Testament. The fifteenth chapter of Exodus—the song of Moses in Deuteronomy, and of Deborah and Hannah in the books of Judges and Samuel—the lamentation of David over Saul and Jonathan, with those other effusions of his in the seventh chapter of 2 Samuel, and the sixteenth of 1 Chronicles-beside the many enrapt compositions of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Jonah, Habakkuk, and others—are all in the strain and spirit of highest poetry. That such a mode of composition is not inconsistent with the purposes of revelation, is obvious from the repeated sanctions given in scripture both to music and poetry-as in the service of the temple—and even in the New Testament, where we are recommended to the use of psalms and hymns and spiritnal songs; and thus to make melody in our hearts to the Lord. The book of Job, however, is the first of those books, in the order of our Bible, to the whole of which the designation of poetical is given. His character as an inspired man seems to be decisively attested, both by Ezekiel and James-particularly the former, when he ranks him with the patriarch Noah and the prophet Daniel. “ Though these three men, Noah, Daniel, and Job, were in it, they should deliver but their own souls by their righteousness, saith the Lord God," Ezekiel xiv. 14, and again in verse 20. “ Ye have heard of the patience of Job, and have seen the end of the Lord,” James v. 11-a testimony which seems to establish the literal truth of the history, in opposi