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up in memory of it, but some outward actions be performed.
IV. That such monuments, and such actions, or observances, be instituted, and do commence,
from the time that the matter of fact was done.
3. The two first rules, make it impossible for any such matter of fact to be imposed upon men, at the time when such matter of fact was said to be done ; because, every man's eyes and senses would contradict it. For example ; Suppose any'man should pretend, thạt yesterday, he di, vided the Thames, in presence of all the people of London, and carried the whole city, men, women, and children, over to Southwark, on dry land ; the waters standing like walls, OR both sides : I say, it is morally impossible, that he could persuade the people of London, that this was true, when every man, woman, and child, could contradict him, and say, That this was a notorious falsehood ; for that they had not seen the Thames so divided, or had gone over on dry land. Therefore, I take it for granted, (and, I suppose, with the allowance of all the Deists in the world) that no such imposition could be put upon men, at the time when such public matter of fact was said to be done.
4. Therefore, it only remains, that such matter of fact might be invented some time after, when the men of that generation wherein the thing was said to be done, are all gone; and the credulity of after ages, might be imposed upon, to believe that things were done in former ages, which were not.
And for this, the two last rules secure us, as the two first rules in the former case : for,, whenever such a matter of fact came to be in- , vented ; if not only monuments were said to remain of it, but likewise, that public actions and observances were constantly used, ever since the matter of fact was said to be done ; the de. ceit must be detected, by no such monuments appearing ; and, by the experience of every man, woman, and child, who must know that no such actions, or observances, were ever used by them. For example-Suppose I should now invent a story of such a thing done a thou. and years ago; I might, perhaps, get some to believe it : but if I say, that not only such a thing was done, but that, from that day to this, every man, at the age of twelve years, had a joint of his little finger cut off ; and that every man in this nation, did want a joint of such a finger ; and that this institution was said to be part of the matter of fact done so many years ago,
and vouched as a proof and confirmation of it, and as having descended, without interruption, and been constantly practised, in memory of such matter of fact, all along from the time that such matter of fact was done ; I say, it is impossible I should be believed in such a case ; because every one could contradict me, as to the mark of cutting off a joint of the finger ; and that being part of my original matter of fact, must demonstrate the whole to be false.
III. Let us now come to the second pointto shew, that the matters of fact of Moses, and of Christ, have all these rules or marks before.
mentioned ; and that neither the matter of fact of Mahomet, or what is reported of the Heathen deities, have the like ; and that no imposture can have them all.
1. As to Moses ; I suppose it will be allowed me, that he could not have persuaded 600,000 men, that he had brought them up out of Egypt, through the Red Sea ; fed them forty years, without bread, by miraculous manna ; and the other matters of fact recorded in his books ; if they had not been true; because every man's senses, that were then alive, must have contradicted it: and, therefore, he must have imposed upon all their senses, if he could have made them believe it, when it was false, and no such things done. So that here are the first and second of the above-mentioned four marks.
For the same reason, it was equally impossible for him to have made them receive his five books as truth, and not to have rejected them, as a manifest imposture, which told of all these things as done before their eyes, if they had not been so done. See how positively he speaks to them, Deut. xi.
28." And know ye this day : for I speak not with your children, which have not known, and which have not seen the chastisement of the Lord your God, his greatness, his mighty hand, and his stretched. out arm; and his miracles, and his acts, which de did in the midst of Egypt, unto Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and unto all his land; and what he did
unto the army of Egypt, unto their horses, and to their chariots ; how he made the water of the Red Sea to overflow them as
they pursued after you, and how the Lord hath destroyed them unto this day ; and what he did unto you in the wilderness, until ye came unto this place ; and what he did unto Dathan and Abiram, the sons of Eliah, the son of Reuben : how the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their housholds, and their tents, and all the substance that was in their possession, in the midst of all Israel. But your eyes have seen all the great acts of the Lord, which he did,"? &c.
From hence we must suppose it impossible that these books of Moses, if an imposture, could have been invented, and put upon ple who were then alive when all these things were said to be done.
The utmost, therefore, that even a suppose can stretch to is, That these books were wrote in some ageafter Moses, and putout in his name.
And to this I say ; that if it was so, it was impossible that these books should have been received as the books of Moses, in that age wherein they may have been supposed to have been first invented. Why? Because they speak of themselves as delivered by Moses, and kept in the ark from his time.
66. And it came to pass, when Moses had made an end of writing the words of this law in a book, until they were finished ; that Moses commanded the Levites which bare the ark of the covenant of the Lord, saying, Take this book of the law, and put it in the side of the ark of the covenant of the Lord your God, that it may be there for a witness against thee.” Deut. xxxi. 24, 25, 26.