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LECT. I.

Applied to our general argument.

general

We conceive, therefore, that we are now entitled to apply the remarkable coincidence between the sentence in all its parts, and the facts of the human condition and history, to the argument in which we are engaged. Have we not a marked and most accurate fulfilment of the

very words of the sentence attributed by Moses to the Supreme Being ? And is there any probability that such a sentence would have been invented for the purpose of imposture? Or could any fabricator or deceiver be supposed likely to fall upon a statement so peculiar in its nature, so uncalled for, and yet so accurately and comprehensively anticipative of all that has transpired, and is transpiring, in connexion with the history of our race?

Certainly, to say the very least, it was highly improbable that the fabricator of a false religion should have gratuitously ventured upon such delicate ground. The utterance of general principles of the description involved in the Mosaic account, would have been cautiously avoided by any one who wished his system to be free from objection, and secure from the peril of collision with facts and experience.

Neither can any thing be less likely, than that Moses should be possessed of sufficient knowledge of the human condition, to enable him to extract the laws in question from what he observed. We know that knowledge of this kind was not accumulated

And the acquaintance with facts

Improbable thai an impostor would stale it.

in that age.

which Moses, or any other wise man, might have LECT. I. had in those times, could by no means have supplied data for a rule which was to be applied to all mankind through all ages.

Mere human science, had it been much more extensive than we know it really was, never could have emboldened any one safely to lay down such comprehensive and accurate principles.

This insight, therefore, into the human condi- Implies sution, is so perfect, so strikingly minute, charac- knowledge. teristic, and particular, that he must be a daring reasoner who would venture to attribute its accuracy either to the natural penetration, or the acquired science of the sacred author. Nothing can be more foreign from the general character of human research, observation, or scientific discovery, than the decisive, oracular, and yet simple air of the Mosaic statement. Who could, for a moment, suspect the writer of delivering, in these sentences, the result of mere human observation or of philosophic induction ?

There seems, then, to be no alternative left to The alternaus, but either at once to concede to this extraor- objectors. dinary man the inspiration he professes, and of which we have already traced several striking evidences, or to conclude, that the statement under review is another of those successful conjectures, which have already multiplied upon us, as we have proceeded, without a single occasion to place even a solitary fact or sentence to the opposite side of the account. It would, indeed, be a

tive left to

LECT. 1. singular case of human sagacity, to find all its

conjectures thus happy; a case which could not,
indeed, be paralleled in the history of the world.
But the supposition cannot be maintained in
reference to any of the statements of Moses,
because they anticipate facts which must either
have defied conjecture altogether, or else have
suggested conjectures of an opposite description.
To
suppose

him a mere happy speculator in these matters, and to admit, thereby, that his speculations have all come true, would again involve us in far greater difficulties than the frank admission, that they are such comprehensive, such accurate, such far-seeing statements, as can be accounted for only on the ground of his having enjoyed divine inspiration.

But we will not yet enforce this conclusion, nor attempt to drive our opponents on the dilemma to which, we presume, the still greater force of evidence yet behind must finally reduce them.

LECTURE II.

THE MOSAIC STATEMENT OF NATURAL AND PHYSICAL FACTS

RELATING TO THE CREATION AND THE HUMAN RACE,
COMPARED WITH THE DISCOVERIES OF

SCIENCE,

THE RECORDS OF HISTORY, &c.

(Continued.)

Traces of a universal deluge— The covenant with Noah

The Rainbow, &c. — Tower of Babel — Confusion of languages — Origin of nations — Tripartite division of mankind - Traditions of the place whence the human tribes originally diverged — Principal divisions of the human family – Prophecy of Noah respecting the national charaeter and condition of the races derived from his three sons, &c.

In our former Lecture we traced some important Lect. II. and highly interesting coincidences, which history Introduction. and the researches of scientific men have esta- tive nature blished between various facts of nature and the ment. very early statements of the Mosaic record. We endeavoured to show how these coincidences bear

of the argu

LECT. II. upon the inspiration of the sacred writer. In

entering upon the consideration of some further
verifications of the same class, not less important
and interesting, allow me, in brief, to remind
you, that the whole argument they are intended
to sustain is one of accumulation. Justice cannot
be done to the sacred volume, unless it is borne
in mind that every separate coincidence, clearly
established, not only possesses the weight of its
own independent evidence, but that it both gives
and receives strength by its harmony with others.
It renders those already established more forcible,
and itself derives much additional value from its
combination with them. The ancient and well
known simile of the bundle of sticks appropriately
illustrates this observation. If we could draw out
and easily break each separate stick, yet we could
not break the whole when bound together. The
argument from the harmony of facts, when viewed
in connexion with the testimony of the record, is
of this description.
Traces of a universal Deluge, as ascertained by

Science. The narrative of this event, as given by Moses, narrative or is affecting and solemn in the highest degree. It

possesses all the marks of simple truth, and appears in perfect harmony with all the other events included in the general statement of the creation, the fall, and consequent degeneracy of mankind. The account of the deluge is fuller and more

Characters of the Mosaic

the deluge.

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