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84 PRELIMINARY OBSERVATIONS.
was not for the exclusive benefit of that people, but introductory to a dispensation, by which all the nations of the earth were to be blessed; and it enables us to trace the preparatory progress.
IV. The union of the above peculiarities in the Mosaic dispensation, presents us with strong internal evidences of its divine origin.
ON THE DOCTRINES CONCERNING THE BEING AND ATTRIBUTES OF GOD, THE DUTIES OF MORALITY, AND THE SANCTIONS OF THE MORAL LAW, AS REVEALED IN THE JEWISH DISPENSATION.
THE sacred penman commences his history by asserting the existence of One God, and ascribing to him the creation of all things. He gives us, with a sublime simplicity, a distinct account of the process of creation, as it was accomplished at different periods,-by that Word which is omnipotent,-from the darkness of chaos, to the preparation of inanimate nature for the reception of living beings; and from the creation of the inferior race of animals, to the formation of man.
Although the inspired historian particularly enlarges upon the formation of this earth, with its various inhabitants, yet, lest the creation of other worlds should be ascribed to other beings, he attributes the existence of the heavenly bo
maintained, in opposition" to, every imagined deity, thus do these Scriptures repeatedly ascribe to him all those attributes, natural and moral, or relative, which we have shewn to be so conformable to the truest reason, and essential to the happiness of man:-Eternity, Omnipresence, Power, Wisdom, Knowledge, Holiness, Justice, Truth, and Goodness in its various branches. The passages in which these perfections are ascribed to the one God, are numberless. We shall select a very few under each head. Their interesting sublimity will prevent their appearing tedious to the devout reader,
"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God." "A thousand years in thy sight, are but as yesterday when it is passed, and a watch in the night." "Of old thou hast laid the. foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands; yea all of them shall wax old like a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed;
but thou art the same, and thy years shall have
OMNIPRESENCE, AND OMNISCIENCE.
"The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." "Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or whither shall I fly from thy presence ?" "If I ascend into heaven thou art there, if I make my bed in hades, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me: Yea the darkness hides not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike unto thee."
"I am the Almighty God; walk before me." "I appeared unto Abraham by the name of
* We omit the numerous references as tedious and unnecessary.
dies to the same Almighty cause. "And God made two great lights; the greater to rule the day, and the lesser light to rule the night; and he made the stars also."
This simple and dignified narrative of Moses, has been received as a fundamental article of the public faith, by the whole Jewish people, from their first existence as a nation, to the
present hour. Through every change experienced by them, they have as a body preserved the one principle—that God is the creator of all things, immutably the same. Although a belief in the being of a great first Cause was professed in the earlier ages, preceding the existence of the Jewish œconomy, yet by this people alone did it continue to be acknowledged and preserved, for a series of ages. It was perpetually inculcated in every part of the Old Testament, in opposition to the idolatrous notions of the Gentile world. When the ten commandments were proclaimed from Mount Sinai, in a manner the most solemn and awful, they were introduced by the majestic declaration," I am the Lord thy God who have brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. Thou shalt have no other Gods before me," &c. &c. While the sacred Historians uniformly maintain the infinite importance of this doctrine, and record the