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the yoke, agreeably to the words of the patriarch Isaac, in his blessing to Esau.
Thus we find, that the distress of Esau, arose from the circumstance of his father Isaac, having solemnly, by an offering before the Lord, confirmed the temporal power on Jacob and his posterity. This order of things was given to the supreme patriarchal king, or head of the true worship of God, from the beginning of the most ancient church to the time of Abraham. For he was ranked as a patriarchal prince, by the king of the country, when he went into Egypt. Gen. xxvi. 16. “ And Abimelech said unto Isaac, go from us : for thou art much mightier than we.”
We are by this means enabled to make a proper distinction, between the birth-right of Esau, and the blessing of Jacob; and to account for the distress of the first-born of Isaac, who had solemnly renounced the right of primogeniture, as it respected the coming of the Messiah from him. He looked only for temporal power, which had, contrary to his expectation, and even the intention of Isaac, been confirmed by sacrifice on Jacob, from whom the Messiah was to descend in the believing line, in which the true worship of God was preserved. This also appears from the original words, Ish taam, which are translated, “a plain man ;' but these words literally translated, read thus, a man of perfection, alluding to the true worship of God, which was perfect worship, in contradistinction to that of idols, to which Esau was attached. The septuagint render the Hebrew nearer to its true meaning by aTheOTOS, without guile :' thus they apply the original words to the man, but the Hebrew refers to the perfection of the true worship of God, instead of referring to Jacob. From which it must appear, that as Jacob believed in the fulfilment of the promise,
that the Messiah should come to redeem man, it was said with propriety, “ I loved Jacob, and I hated Esau.”
THE PATRIARCH JACOB
Now became the visible head of the true church of God, and the sacred writings of the ancient churches, remained with him, such as the book of the wars of Jehovah, the book of Jashur, and others mentioned by the venerable penman, Moses. Jacob and his twelve sons, left the land of Canaan, and took up their abode in Egypt, until, by a divine power, they were delivered and restored to their own land.
But an objection has often been made by deists, to this part of scripture; viz. when the promise was made to Abraham, we read; “ Know of a surety, that thy seed shall be a stranger in a land that is not theirs, and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them, four hundred years. But in the fourth generation, they shall come hither again ;" but it appears, that they were only two hundred and fifteen years in the land of Egypt.
It is not strange that deists have objected to this, when many commentators have given different statements respecting it. If, however, we add the years of Koath, Amram, and Moses, it will show that they could not have been in Egypt four hundred years. Koath, the son of Levi, then a child, went with his father into Egypt, and died, aged 133 years; his son Amram, the father of Moses, lived 137 years; and Moses was eighty years old when he led the Hebrews out of Egypt: these added together, make no more than 350 years. From this number when he went into Egypt, we must subtract
the age of Koath, the years that Amram lived with his father Koath ; and the years that Moses lived with Amram ; which would reduce the number 350, to 215 years, this being the time they lived in Egypt.
Paul reckons, that from the first promise made to Abraham, to the promulgation of the law in the first year of the Exodus, 430 years, 215 were expired, when they went into Egypt. These are computed from the time of Abraham's arrival in Canaan, viz. twenty five years from the time of the promise to the birth of Isaac, sixty years to the birth of Jacob, Gen. xxy. 26. who was 130 when he stood before Pharaoh, xlvii. 9. being 215 years of their sojourning in Canaan, before they went into Egypt. From this, which is the scripture statement, it appears that they were exactly 215 years in Egypt.
NAMES AND AGES OF THE PATRIARCHS
OF THE THIRD ORDER.
Born. Died. Aged. ABRAHAM . . . . 2008 2183 175 ISAAC . . . . . 2108 2288 180 JACOB . . . . . 2168 2315 147 LEVI..... 2255 2392 137 MOSES ..... 2433 2553 120
Moses, therefore, was the last of the patriarchs : he was the son of Amram, born in Egypt, during their persecution. Amram was the grandson of Levi, who had lived upwards of thirty years with Isaac, so that he had
received all his information, as well as the sacred writings, from the patriarchs.
THE WORSHIP OF THE ANCIENT GRECIANS
Has been said by some writers to have descended from the Egyptians, Babylonians, and Arabians. But it does not appear, that we can, with any degree of certainty, trace the Grecian mythology so far back as the time of Moses. We have authority, however, for concluding that their altars were first sprinkled with the waters of Canaan, after the Hebrews had returned from Egypt.
We certainly are not authorized to charge the most ancient Greeks with polytheism, or with worshipping a plurality of gods. It appears from all their writers, that they acknowledged but one God only, the Maker and Preserver of the world. Homer describes the gods at one time as asleep on their couches,
All but the ever-wakeful eye of Jove."
Pythagoras says, “ God is one, and all in all, the light of all powers, the beginning of all things, the torch of heaven. Father, life, mind, and motion of the universe.” Empedocles, “ From this one entity, proceed all things that have been, are, and shall be.” The same bibletruth was supported by Parmenides, Thales, Anaxagoras, and others of that age. Socrates was put to death for asserting the unity of God; and Plato observes, “God is that entity, which hath being in himself, the beginning, middle, and end of all things." Jamblicus,
"God is sufficient in himself, goodness itself, the fountain, and root of all things, intelligent, and intelligible.” Proclus, “ King of all things, the only God, who produceth all things of himself, the end of ends, and first cause of all operations." Simplicius, “ from him proceeds all light, all truths from the divine truth, the beginning of all beginnings, the source and origin of all goodness, the cause of causes, God of gods." Plotinus the Platonist, and Porphyry his successor, with the rest of that sect, write to the same effect.
The unity of God was also asserted by the Stoics. Epictetus says “ There is but one God, the Governor of all things, who is not ignorant of our works, words, and thoughts." This great truth was acknowledged by all the ancient Greek theologians : Chrysippus, according to Plutarch, says, “there cannot be any other beginning, but from Jupiter, who is the nature and providence of all things." Also Aristotle and his followers acknowledge 66 an infinite and eternal Mover, the Cause of causes, the Father of the gods and men, the Preserver of the world." Orpheus says, “ The great King is seated in heaven, he is invisible, yet seeth all things.”
All the Greek writers agree, in stating the ancient Grecians to have had one supreme and eleven subordinaie gods viz. Jupiter, Saturn, Bacchus, Apollo, Mars, Minerva, Diana, Juno, Venus, Ceres, Mercury and Vulcan. These, in after-ages, or at the time of Homer, about 1000 years before Christ, appear to have been worshipped by them. The truth is, when the Hebrews came out of Egypt, the Greeks being neighbours, had heard how the twelve tribes were delivered, and by what mighty power they conquered the land of Canaan. This was, no doubt, the reason why the Greeks committed · these deities to the pages of their mythology: who were