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cient profane writings in existence, were written by the person whose name they bear, and, in the times to which they are referred? or what stamps genuineness upon the fragments of poetry and of history, which have escaped the ravages of time, and have descended to us from very remote ages! It is much easier to cavil, and to dispute the genuineness of an ancient work, than to prove it to be the production of the reputed author. These objeetions, however, bave, I think, been satisfactorily set aside in a remark of one of the ancient fathers, quoted by Dr. Watson: St. Austin,' says he, teasoned well, when, in vindicating the genuineness of the Bible, he asked What proofs have we that the works of Plato, Aristotle, Cicero, Varroz and other profane authors, were -written by those whose names they bear; unless it be that this has been an opinion generally re- sceived at all times, and by all those who have lived since these authors ? That Moses was the author of the books of the Jewish scriptures, commonly called the Pentateuch; and that he was the leader and lawgiver of the Jews, was the common belief of all antiquity. Of the heathen writers who have borne testimony to the books of Moses, we may mention Diodorus Siculus, and Juvenal, the Roman satiristo : The former travelled into Egypt and Syria, and into all the countries of the Eastern world, in order to collect materials for history. The testimony of the heathen satirist is remarkable,
inasınuch as it gives a characteristic description of -the Jew in his firm adherence to the commands and rites of the Mosaic law, and to the worship of
the one living and invisible God.* But more than all, and still more ancient, is a splendid proof of the veneration in wbich the Jewish scriptures were held, by Ptolemy. Philadelphus, King of Egypt, who caused the Old Testament to be translated into Greek, which translation is known by the name of the Septuagint version. This event, which proves to us in what high veneration the Jewish scriptures were held, even among the heathen, took place about two hundred and eighty years before Christ, or about one hundred and fifty years after the time of Malachi, the last of the prophets, who, according to the learned Dr. Kennicott, completed the canon of scripture. In fact, that the books of Moses are, beyond.comparison, the most ancient writings in the world, coming down to us from the times set forth in the history, has been the uniform faith of the wisest and best men of every age. It was left for comparatively modern men to cavil at a history which has stood the test of upwards of three thousand years, and to tell us that this history is a forgery.
The passage alluded to, is thus rendered by our poet Dryden.
• The Jews, like their bigotted sires before,
Dryden's Juvenal, Set, 14.
*** From heathen; let ús turn to Jewish, testimony. Dr. Watson quotes the following from a confession of faith, drawn up for the Jews, in the eleventh century, by Maimonides." "Out of only thirteen articles of which it consists, two of them have respect to Moses; one affirming the authenticity, the other the genuineness, of the books. The doctrine and prophecy of Moses is true. Lz-The law that we have was given by Moses. This has been the faith of the Jews throughout all times of their texistence, whether in prosperity or adversity, whether in the country of Judea for in the land of the stranger, 2 whether in ancient times or in the
present day." The same author proceeds to show "What powerful internal evidence for the genuineness and authenticity of the scripturest is derived from the frequent references niade by later writers to those who were more ancient. For instance: In the last chapter of the book of Joshua itris related, that Joshua assembled all the tribes of Israel to Sechem; and there, in the presenee tof the elders and principal men of Israel, he recapitulated, in a short speech, all that God had done for their nation, from the calling of Abraham to that time, when they were settled in the land which God had promised to their forefathers. In finishing his speech, he said to them_Choose you this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served, that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell, but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord. And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the
Lord to serve other gods. And Joshua said, ye are witnesses against yourselves that ye havé cho sen you the Lord to serve him. And they said, we arenwitnesses. So Joshua made a covenant with the people that day, and set them a statute and an ordinance in Sechem, and Joshua wrote these noords in the book of the Law of God's, Here is a proof of two things first, that there was then, a few years after the death of Moses, existing a book called The Book of the Law of God, the same, without doubt, which Moses had written, and committed to the custody of the Levites, that it might be kept in the ark of the covenant of the Lord, that it might be a witness against them :secondly, that Joshua wrote a part, at least, of his own transactions in that very book, as an addition to it. It is not a proof that he wrote all his own transactions in any book; but it is submitted to the judgment of every candid man, whether this proof of his having recorded a very material transaction, does not make it probable that he recorded other material transactions ; that he wrote the chief part of the book of Joshua; and that such things as happened after his death, have been inserted in it by others, in order to render the history more complete.' . The genuineness of the book of Joshua, and its priority in time to the first book of Kings, are proved by a quotation occurring in Ist Kings, xvi. 34. •In Ahab's days did Hiel the Bethelite build Jericho: he laid the foundation thereof in Abiram his first-born, and set up the gates thereof in his youngest son Segub, according to the word
of the Lord, which he spake by Joshua the son of Nún. pan In like manner are the genuineness and authenticity of, at least, the first book-of Samuel established, by a reference made to it in the Chronicles ; thus, 1st Chron. xix. 29. Now the acts of David the king, first and last, behold they are written in the book of Samuel the seer.' In fact, in the later books of the Jewish scriptures, there is a general and frequently recurring quo. tation from, and reference to, those which are more ancient; which proves to us, both their real antiquity, and the great estimation in which they were held; and, at the same time, precludes all suspicion of any collusion on the part of designing men, to impose upon the world a series of forged annals, of false miracles, and pf pretended prophecies, as the history of the word, and of the providential works, of God
I shall close this part of our evidence with a brief account of the manner in which the books of the ancient scriptures were collected and preserved, together with a few remarks tending to show that they have descended to us unicorrupted.
; "The first canon or catalogue of the sacred books was made by the Jews; though the original author of it cannot be satisfactorily ascertained. It appears however certain, both from tradition and internal evidence, that the five books of Moses, called the Pentateuch, were collected into one body within a short time after his deaths since Deuteronomy, which is, as it were, the abridgment and recapitulation of the other four, was laid