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which threatened a total apostasy, then, and then only, were they checked in their sinful career by preternatural interpositions. The miracles performed during the Babylonish captivity were few, but momentous; and they operated according to the natural influence of striking events, upon the minds of their sovereigns the Chald ans, upon surrounding nations, as well as upon the captives.

It is also remarkable that, in the performance of these miracles, natural means were rendered the mediums of operation, wherever there was an obvious adaptation. In the miracles performed before Pharaoh, many of the judgments inflicted corresponded with the calamities incident to the climate of Egypt, and the peculiarities of the country.* The miracle consisted in the extent and boundaries of their operation; the most distressing of them being confined to the Egyptians; their being produced upon a particular occasion, and to answer a particular purpose ;--being predicted ;-a pause being allowed for consideration, and their being removed at the instant of intercession. When the destructive swarms of locusts were introduced, Moses stretched forth his rod over the land of Egypt, and the Lord brought an east wind all that day, and all that night, and when it was morning the east wind brought the locusts." Upon the temporary remorse, and at. the earnest intreaty of the panic-struck Pharaoh; "the Lord turned a mighty west wind, which took away the locusts, and cast them into the Red Sea; there remained not one locust in all the land of Egypt.” The passage of the Israelites through the Red Sea was in like manner effected by the power of an eastern wind, which prepared a dry path, and it was by the influence of a western wind that the waters were made to return opportunely, and overwhelm their

* See Note P.

pursuers. These modes, adopted by the great God of Israel, are perfectly consonant with his character as the sovereign agent through universal nature; but they are directly contrary to the expectations of the inconsiderate, and the pretensions of every impostor. He who has pre-ordained whatever shall come to pass, reveres his own wise arrangements; he will not interrupt the course he has appointed, until the exigencies or follies of mankind, shall have rendered a temporary interference necessary for the object in view, and most conducive to their good : nor will he exert new powers where those in existence can be rendered efficient. Silly mortals

are always wanton in the display of their a sumed powers. They aim at exciting perpetual and universal admiration. Not being the crea. tors of the universe, they impiously triumph in their pretended power over its laws, upon the most trivial occasions; without reflecting that he who ordained, holds them sacred upon the most important. These are facts, which, if they diminish the wonderful, render our ad. miration of the divine direction permanent and reverential. If we admit fewer facts of the miraculous kind, we believe them the more firmly. Our belief in the truth of a divine revelation, is not founded on the accurate representation of minuter circumstances of an individual miracle, but upon the importance of the object, unity in the plan, consonance in the execution, and final accomplishment of a purpose which, in its very nature demanded occasional exertions, beyond the limited influence of physical laws. But to suppose an uninterrupted series of miraculous interferences, for the space of fifteen hundred years, is to suppose a regular succession of interruptions to a pre-ordained succession of natural events. It introduces one series of constituted laws in place of another, to the destruction of a miracle. Let us acknowledge that all is of God, and we

need not be anxious to distinguish in every case, whether each event proceeded from the natural course of things, his secret and consequently unknown influence, or the more open and terrific manifestations of his


III. The characters and conduct of the principal agents employed, are correspondent with the divinity of the Jewish dispensation, and with no other hypothesis.

That Moses received his commission from God, and was under his direction in the execution of it, is manifest from various circumstances which cannot be satisfactorily explained, upon the contrary supposition. Moses, could not wish to aggrandize himself, for he was aged; nor his family, for he earnestly intreated the Lord, that his son might not succeed to his honours. The primary object was not to lead a large multitude to invade and conquer, for the sole purposes of ambition. It was to counteract the prevalence of idolatry, by preserving a selected people from being totally corrupted by its baneful influence. The Israelites were appointed to possess the oracles of the true and living God, in opposition to the oracular fallacies of superstitious impostors

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which inundated the world ; and to maintain pure morality, in opposition to the vicious

practices 'encouraged by false religions. To mote this object was truly worthy of God; but the accomplishment of it was inconsistent with the character of an uninspired chief. The enterprise demanded a full assurance in the existence of such a God, in the necessity of moral rectitude, and a firm confidence in the divine support. It is perfectly distinct from the projects of worldly ambition; and it requires different principles for its execution. Exalted piety, implicit obedience to the divine mandates, perpetual solicitude for the religious and moral purity of the people committed to his charge, a deep concern at their impieties, and unremitted efforts to reclaim them, are pre-requisites for the execution of such a commission; and these were possessed by Moses in an eminent degree. But they could not possibly dwell in the breast of an impostor, or exist in a man merely actuated by the principles of worldly ambition. These principles operated with equal power, when all the hopes of worldly grandeur must have subsided. In his last moments, anxiety lest the people should apostatize from Jehovah their God, was predominant in the mind of Moses; and he composed an hymn

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