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Moses was commanded to write this memorial in a book, &c. : this seems to imply some other book besides that in which Moses thus narrates the event, and his command to preserve it. The book alluded to may have been some portion of writing distinctly designed for public worship in the Jewish church, as many or most of the Psalms were ; one Psalm successively added to another ;-some are for prayer-others for praise and thanksgiving, &c.—and some historical, as 78th and 105th, which particularly allude to the time of Moses.

So also “ The Book of the Covenant,” (Exod. xxiv. 7.) which Moses read to the people, seems probably to have been a portion of Scripture distinct from his general history, or Exodus. But there is another book which Moses alludes to, in Numbers xxi. 14, called “ The Book or Narrations of the Wars of the Lord; what He did in the Red Sea, and in the Brooks of Arnon," &c. Matthew Henry, in his Commentary, allows that this was very probably the book in which Moses recorded the battle of Rephidim, as a Divine memorial. This book of the wars of the Lord proves its design and era by its title, and the events recorded ; and supposing, as the text implies, that the deliverance of the Red Sea was put on record before the battle of Rephidim, this will carry back the use of letters to the exode from Egypt ; from whence we might fairly and scripturally trace it into the Land of Idumea, among the descendants of Abraham and Esau, among whom were Job and his companions.

I wish now to shew that writing and reading in Hebrew were common attainments, and brought to a high degree of perfection at the very time when the law was given to Moses, written upon tables of stone.

Moses wrote and read to the people, as before observed, many things before receiving the tables of stone, as will be clearly under stood by perusing Exodus, beginning at chap. 19th to ver. 8th of chap. 24th, shewing that the successive events or parts were written at the time of their occurrence, or of their revelation and inspiration. Then, by perusing Exodus 24th, ver. 9th, to the end of chap. 31st, we observe that the laws and patterns of Holy things were given to Moses in the Mount before he received the tables of stone, (chap. xxxi. 18), and the peculiar care requisite regarding the minuteness, number and variety of the Holy things and services, implies that Moses wrote the whole account at the time the revelation was made to him ; and this seems to be confirmed by Exod. xxxiv. 28; for Moses “ wrote upon the tables the words of the Covenant, the Ten Commandments."

In proof that the Israelites were already acquainted with the Hebrew letters, in reading, writing, engraving, &c., we see Moses, without reference to any new revelation, or invention of letters, ordering the names of the twelve tribes of Israel to be engraved on two onyx stones ; and also the same names to be engraved separately on twelve other precious stones; and the words signifying in the Hebrew language“ Holiness to the Lord" to be engraven on a plate of gold. These names and words were to be placed upon the shoulders, breast, and forehead of the High Priest, in conspicuous situations, implying that the people could and ought to read them for their own comfort and moral good. It is also, as it were incidentally, mentioned, that this was to be done after the "work" of the engraver, like the engraving of signet, as if it were a general branch of occupation at that time (Exod. xxxvi. 1, 2, 4, 8.) That this art had risen from engraying upon wood, stone, and metal, to working upon the hardest precious stones, implies that it was generally known, and brought to the highest degree of perfection; and it is most likely the Israelites had acquired it from the Egyptians, who, in union with sculpture, practised it most extensively.

Again : while the Israelites were yet in the wilderness, Moses ordered a staff or rod of wood (Numb. xvii.) to be delivered to him from each of the tribes, having the name of the head of each tribe written or engraven upon it; and this was done for reasons, and under cir. cumstances, implying that all the people should be witnesses to the writing of the names. Exod. xxiii. 1, seems to imply that the people generally could write ; for they were enjoined not to put their hand (probably meaning signature) with the wicked to be an unrighteous witness.

My professional pursuits not having led me into a due theological view of this subject, I may have stated some things incorrectly. My chief object is to honour the Holy Scriptures, and exhibit their Divine inspiration, by removing the obstacles to their general reception.



(Continued from p. 95.) II. It is proposed to inquire, What is practicable for any civil government to do, in order to secure and protect the most advantageous enjoyment of the Lord's-day.

In designating any civil government, which must be supposed the acting party in this discussion, I shall, for brevity, generally use the term Sovereign, or the State, or the Government ; meaning by it any form of government whatever, from a simple despotism to the wildest democracy, or the closest approach to it that could be called a government at all.

Perhaps I ought not wholly to forego the mention of what is conceivably within the scope of the natural power of a government to do, by the application of its coercive might for the execution of whatever enactments it had been pleased to make. Laws might be made prohibiting all trafficking, all working, public and private, on the Lord'sday; all travelling, visiting, walking abroad for health and recreation, and all amusements : and commanding all persons, with a few insuperable exceptions, to frequent certain places of public worship; and, in the hours of interval, to carry on domestic and secret religious duties. Such laws might operate by a well organized machinery of civil officers, who should be authorized and empowered to enter all habitations, from the palace to the cottage, the garret, and the cellar. And the penalties might be various sufferings in purse or person, which would be no paltry trifles, like the five-shilling fines of an Act of Charles II., (which, when once paid, is a kind of licence for contempt and violation of the law all the day long); but such fines or castigations as would make sure of the submission of princes and peers, and all down to the lowest peasants and artizans. This ideal sketch will be thought a strange imagination, unnecessary and foolish to be made : but, let me be allowed to say, that something very much like it would be the result of an honest attempt to apply the Jewish law of the Sabbath, since the abrogation of the Mosaic economy. All persons, however, who will reflect, must be convinced that it would be utterly impracticable.

But the following measures, or some like them, I conceive, are practicable.

The object is, to secure to the well-disposed subjects of the State a quiet enjoyment of the day of rest, with the undisturbed opportunity of attending to religious duties, public and domestic.

In order to this end, all public works, as they are at the absolute disposal of the Sovereign, and all worldly employments and amusements, so far as they come under the public eye, should cease through the whole day; as a day is commonly understood among men, that is, from morning to night. This would include the cessation of all public carriages, and all post-deliveries, not in London only, but in every other part of the kingdom. Some method might be established for the allowance of exceptions, proved to be works of necessity or mercy. I am aware that this representation of a state of things will be ridiculed and scorned at, as the offspring of a weak mind, the dream of a poor and visionary enthusiast. But, I do think that a close examination of all the details would prove the nullity of the objection. That the difficulties would be great and almost insuperable, I am obliged to admit; but, that they would, in a very happy measure, be overcome, I am sanguine enough to hope, if the means, which it is now incumbent upon me to describe, were put into action with fidelity, impartiality, and perseverance.

III. This is the remaining part of our inquiry, and it will involve the answer to the question proposed, “Why we are nationally to recognize the Christian's Sunday, any more than the Jew's Saturday?"

i. In every country which possesses the light of Christianity, it is the first, the absolute, the indispensable duty of the Sovereign, to be himself, or herself, a REAL CHRISTIAN. No excuse, from high station or low, will stand now, at the bar of pure reason, or hereafter, at the bar of God the Righteous Judge, for disbelief of the Gospel, or disobedience to it; or, in other words, for continuing in an unconverted state. The Sovereign, or the members of government, be they one or many, ought each to be able to say, “I am a disciple and servant of the Lord Jesus Christ. To Him I am determined to yield my obedience. A part of that obedience is my conscientious care to promote the holy interests of my own soul, and of my family, and all within the circle of my power of fair and benign persuasion. The sacred observance of the Lord's-day is necessary to that object. No creature has a right to intervene between me and my God. His I am, and Him I will serve. I serve my country in the conscientious and laborious discharge of my official duties, through six days of the week. More than that, you have no right to require of me; except in some case of evident necessity, and I am ready to yield to such a demand. Farther I cannot go. The Lord's day is my own ; and I am determined not to part with it, but to keep it holy, according to my conviction of the duty which I owe to God, to my own soul, and to the influence of my example.”

What could be said to a Ruler thus minded? Have any persons a right to put compulsion upon him? The attempt would be persecution and tyranny; and he would (for, by the supposition, he is a genuine Christian,) die a martyr, rather than yield.

The Sovereign influences all the inferior officers of a government, as the main-spring of a watch affects all its other works. To a very great extent, this influence would be felt and practically responded to; politically, from the necessity of the case ; and morally, from the gentle but mighty and majestic force of example.

But, perhaps, it may be said, “This is a Utopian vision, which may not soon be realized : and are we to wait till it shall be realized ? Is nothing to be done towards the obtaining of our end? The persons exercising government, in all countries, have been too generally irreligious. We are obliged to take men as they are. What we want is some kind of state-machinery which ungodly men may and will work ; men whose religion is merely an outside show, a profession of Chris. tianity, not in heart and spirit, but founded upon form and custom, policy and worldly interest.” To this, my reply is, I cannot give a recipe for "gathering grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles :" nor can I consider it as an acceptable service to God, or a means which he will approve for the promotion of his kingdom among men, that we should prescribe, support, and cherish a hypocritical pretence to religion. What must be the effect, upon the large scale, of giving religious and moral laws to the community, but of which the law. givers are manifest violators ?-I can, therefore, admit no coercive means, nor any bribing inducements.

ii. It is the duty of Sovereigns to seek out and employ, in all departments of the national service, from the station of prime minister to that of the custom-house officer, those persons who are the most likely to serve the public interest faithfully and efficiently. The presence of all other qualifications, in a competent degree, is indispensable : but those requisites being supposed, it is the certain truth that real Christians will perform every duty with a care and fidelity which cannot be expected from men who make no conscience of acting religiously. A wise government will employ such servants to the utmost extent that it can. By a steady course of acting, yet avoiding all fa. voritism and inequitable partialities, the number of such Christians in the service of the state would perpetually increase. But such men will never sacrifice their Lord's day ; of which the blessing to them infinitely exceeds all earthly enjoyments. It follows, that a government, for its own and the nation's welfare, must take effectual care that this valuable class of men be upheld in the secure possession of rights (not privileges, for privileges are in their own nature narrow and partial,) which belong to them as human beings, as subjects of the Crown, and as disciples of Christ. The country cannot have the advantage (and a glorious advantage it would be) of such men to be its servants, unless it will pay them their price; and that price is the secure enjoy. ment of the Lord's-day.

iii. A regard, supremely earnest, to the favour and blessing of God, is the duty of every Government, in order that the very purposes of government may be answered. “Righteousness exalteth a nation; but sin is the reproach of any people ;” and, if not forsaken, will bring ruin upon them. In proportion as sincere, conscientious, and practical religion prevails, will the elements of national happiness be acquired, preserved, and caused to work in the most efficient manner. This is the case, upon a principle which both theory and historical facts abundantly demonstrate, the connection between cause and effect, in morals as well as in physics. If the superior and most influ. ential members of a Government manifest a contempt of religious obligations, the inferior servants of the State are likely to follow their example; or we may rather say, that by a moral necessity they will do so. Every instance of what the ignorant world deems petty and venial sins, opens the way, and presents temptations and facilities to other and more heinous transgressions. All principles of resistance become weakened; but the wicked habits are multiplied and strengthened, in proportions constantly increasing. The theory of the case, and all experience, prove that Sabbath-breaking involves a peculiarly marked and audacious contempt of God, and of all those institutions by which a sense of moral obligation is kept up among men.

It is a primary moving power ; it sets in action many wheels of wickedness, and each one of them gives motion to many others of the complicated machinery of human action. The sins to which Sabbath-breaking directly leads, those of voluptuousness and licentiousness, sap the principles of ordinary honesty, and impair the effect of the selfish prudence which keeps many persons from acts of fraud or violence for the unlawful obtaining of property. Hence Aow malversations in public trusts, and many kinds of perfidious delinquency: and the whole combination of mischiefs falls back upon the criminal statesmen and rulers, who set the chief example. The heart and conscience of every one, in all stations, become more and more insensible ; and every step in sin betrays so many others. “His own iniquities shall take the wicked himself, and he shall be holden with the cords of his sins." These are the natural punishments of sin, personal and social. But also the righteous Ruler of the world will not fail to send, in this life, positive punishments upon wicked nations or smaller communities. They read history to little purpose, who do not find an abundance of such lessons in it. Hence, it is the duty of all to infer that, if God be insulted and dishonoured, retributive judgments, in such manner and measure as his supreme wisdom shall ordain, will assuredly be inflicted. Be the manner and measure what they may, they will be adapted and applied with unerring efficacy, to give sensible demonstrations that “ Woe is unto the wicked; it shall be ill with

If the design of government be the public welfare, the first duty of government is to prevent or remove every thing that will obstruct or destroy that welfare : and the neglect of the Lord's-day is to be reckoned among the most direct and effectual means of such obstruction.

But, to my humble judgment, it appears impossible that a course conducive to this effect can be taken, except in the way which I have endeavoured to describe ; namely, that the actual conduct and example of rulers shall recommend their laws. If it be not so, such laws cannot but appear to the public to be the offspring of hypocrisy, and to have in them the nature of fraudulent imposition ; and thus they will be despised.

iv. Government owes to itself, to all the means and causes of the

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