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strange land, following the advice, and attaching herself to the fortunes of the mother of her deceased husband.
With regard to the two books of Samuel, it is generally admitted, though the Deist appears to be ignorant of this, that Samuel did not write any part of the second, and only a part of the first of them. I suppose (says the wise and good Dr Hartley, who was a firm believer in Revealed Religion) that the Pentateuch consists of the writings of Moses, put together by Samuel, with a very few additions that the books of Joshua and Judges were in like manner collected, and the book of Ruth, with the first part of the first book of Samuel written by him: that the latter part of that book, and the whole of the second, were written by the Prophets who succeeded him, suppose Nathan and Gad that the books of Kings and Chronicles are extracts from the records of the subsequent Prophets concerning their own times, and from the public genealogical tables made by Ezra : that the books of Ezra and Nehemiah are collections of like records, some written by Ezra and Nehemiah, and some by their predecessors: that the book of Esther was written by some eminent Jew, in or near the times of the transactions there recorded, perhaps Mordecai; and the book of Job by a Jew, of an uncertain time; the Psalms by David, and other pious persons; the books of Proverbs and Canticles, by Solomon, &c. &c. +
+ Observations on Man. Compare 1 Chron. xxix. 29. 2 Chron. ix. 29, xii. 15, xx. 31, and say whether it be pos sible for writers to give a stronger evidence of their veracity, than by referring their readers to the books from which they had extracted the materials of their history.
"The two books of Kings," the Deist asserts, "are little more than a history of assassinations, treachery, and wars. And, undoubtedly, many of the Kings of Israel and Judah were very wicked persons. But their wickedness did not spring out of their religion; nor were the Israelites chosen to be the people of God, because they were wicked; or wicked, because they were chosen. The Deist, however, deems the flattering appellation of "God's chosen people " a lie, which "the priests and leaders of the Jews invented to cover the baseness of their own characters, and which Christian priests (sometimes as corrupt, and often as cruel) have professed to believe!" Now, the maker of a watch, or the builder of a ship, is not to be blamed, because a spectator cannot discover either the beauty or the use of disjointed parts. Exactly in the same manner may we reason concerning the acts of God's special providence. If we consider any one act, such as that of selecting the Jews, unconnected with every other act, it may excite doubts concerning his wisdom or his benignity. But if we connect the history of the Jews with that of other nations, from the most remote antiquity to the present time, we shall discover that they were selected for the general good of mankind; being as a beacon upon the top of a mountain, to warn them from idolatry, and light them to the sanctuary of the true God.
Because the drying up of Jeroboam's hand, the ascent of Elijah into heaven, the destruction of the children who mocked Elisha, and the revival of a
dead man, * (which are all recorded in the book
* 1 Kings, xiii. 4. 2 Kings, ii. 11, 24, xiii. 21.
of Kings,) are not mentioned in the book of Chronicles, the Deist disbelieves them all. But sure. ly it is a very erroneous mode of reasoning, from the silence of one author concerning a particular event, to infer the want of veracity in another, by whom it is related; particularly in the present case, since the Chronicles (as was before observed) are only a supplement, or an abridgement, of preceding works. And what will the Deist say to the prophecy delivered at the very time of the drying up of Jeroboam's hand (975 years before Christ) about the overturning of his idolatrous altar, 1 Kings, xiii. 2; when upon consulting 2 Kings, xxiii. 15, 16, which refers to facts occurring 350 years after the delivery of that prophecy, he finds that it was fulfilled in all its parts?
As to his elaborate calculation of the date of the book of Genesis, founded upon the account of the Kings of Edom, inserted in Gen. xxxvi. 3139, (which has, indeed, already been answered,) his argument, properly stated, stands thus :-" A few verses in the book of Genesis could not have been written by Moses; therefore, no part of that book could be written by him!" A child would deny his therefore.' Again :- A few verses in the book of Genesis could not have been written by Moses, because they speak of kings in Israel; therefore, they could not be written by Samuel, or Solomon, or any one who lived after there were kings in Israel, except by the author of the book of Chronicles!' Lastly:-' A few verses in the book of Genesis are, word for word, the same with a few verses in the book of Chronicles; therefore, the author of the former must have taken them from the latter!' And why
not the author of the latter from the former, as he has also taken many other genealogies, supposing them to have been inserted by Samuel? Such are his " lame and impotent conclusions!
At length the Deist comes to two books, Ezra and Nehemiah, which he allows to be genuine, giving an account of the return of the Jews from the Babylonian Captivity about 536 years before Christ and yet these books, he asserts, are 66 thing to us!" The very first verse of Ezra says, The prophecy of Jeremiah was fulfilled. Is it "nothing to us" to know, that Jeremiah was a person, to whom the Supreme Being had communicated a knowledge of future events? Is it " nothing to us" to know, that upwards of five hundred years before Christ, the book of Chronicles, Kings, Judges, Joshua, Deuteronomy, Numbers, Leviticus, Exodus, and Genesis, are all referred to by Ezra and Nehemiah as containing authentic accounts of the Israelites from Abraham downward? Is it " nothing to us, in short, to know that we have a true history of that nation, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the Law, and the service of God, and the promises; whose are the fathers, and of whom (as concerning the flesh) Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever? * Instead of deeming the Old Testament, with the Deist, a "collection of lies and blasphemies," it may on the other hand from its internal evidence, as well as from the confirmation which is given to *Rom. ix. 4, 5.
it by the most ancient profane historians and by the present circumstances of the world, be pronounced the oldest, the truest, the most comprehensive, and the most important of histories. It supplies more satisfactory proofs of the being and attributes of God, and of the origin and the end of human kind, than were ever attained by the deepest researches of the most enlightened philosophers.
That the author of the book of Ezra, however, though admitted to be genuine, may not escape without a blow, the Deist, by a petty parade of arithmetical skill, affects to show, that the total amount of the Jews who returned from Babylon does not correspond with the particulars: as if Ezra, a man of eminent learning, could not have added together forty or fifty small numbers! * Is he ignorant, that the Hebrews denoted numbers by letters; and that, from the great similarity of several of the letters to each other, it was extremely easy for the transcriber of a manuscript to mistake a for a (2 for 20), a à for a 3 (3 for 50), a for a (4 for 200), &c.?
Upon the subject of an evil being, who, under the name "Satan," the Deist falsely asserts, is only once mentioned in the Bible, and that in the book of Job," it may be remarked that the belief of such a being has prevailed universally.
* Ezra, ii. 3—64.
† Job. i. 6. But see 2 Sam. xix. 22. 1 Kings, v. 4, where the word rendered "adversary" is in the original, Satan. Indeed, it seems probable that this root was introduced into the Hebrew and other Eastern languages, to denote "an adversary," from its having been the proper name of the great enemy of mankind.