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God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because that on it he had rested from all his work which God created and made;' although the blessing and sanctification, i. e. the religious distinction and appropriation of that day, were not actually made till many ages afterwards. The words do not assert that God then ' blessed' and ' sanctified' the seventh day, but that he blessed and sanctified it for that reason; and if any ask why the Sabbath or sanctification of the seventh day was then mentioned, if it was not then appointed, the answer is at hand: the order of connection, and not of time, introduced the mention of the Sabbath, in the history of the subject which it was ordained to commemorate. This interpretation is strongly supported by a passage in the prophet Ezekiel, where the Sabbath is plainly spoken of as given (and what else can that mean but as first instituted?) in the wilderness (Ezek. 20: 10, 11, 12). Nehemiah also recounts the promulgation of the Sabbatical law amongst the transactions in the wilderness; which supplies another considerable argument in aid of our opinion (Neh. 9: 12—14)."1 We have thus exhibited this argument at length, that its strength or weakness may be the more readily discovered. The first thing which strikes us in the survey of this entire passage, is the at least apparent violence done to the narrative in the book of Genesis. Paley may well lay great stress upon this narrative, as creating, if not as he asserts, "the whole controversy upon the subject," at least an important part of it. But, certainly, it seems to demand the existence and exigencies of some preconceived theory, to account for the gloss which he has put upon it. Who that had no such theory to defend, would imagine the sacred writer here to describe a transaction, which, according to the supposition, had not occurred for two thousand five hundred years afterwards? It would not be asserted by Paley, or any of those who occupy the same side in this controversy, that the interpretation thus given to this passage is the one which would naturally present itself to any one of ordinary intelligence upon the first perusal of it. We will not allege, in

1 Vide Palcy's Principles of Moral and Political Philosophy, Book V. Chap. 7. deed, that the obvious, or seemingly obvious, import of a passage is always the true one. But if there be no dispute respecting the terms employed (and there is none here), and if the subject matter be of easy comprehension (as in the present instance), then, the onus probandi rests upon those who would reject the obvious for the more recondite construction. Here is an historical statement; and the only question is, Does Moses, after describing the work of the six days, suddenly, and without any intimation, alter his style, when he comes to describe the procedure of the seventh day? and, using a highly rhetorical figure does he set down in connection with the record of this procedure an event which did not take place until twenty-five centuries had elapsed? We have said without intimation; but it should be added, also, in the face of the fact, that the whole, being a plain narrative, would inevitably be differently understood by all who might read it apart from the light of such an hypothesis as the one now under examination. This, assuredly, is not what we might have expected to discover in any book, written beneath the guidance of the divine Spirit, and intended forjthe instruction of the unsophisticated in all ages. We utterly deny, then, that "it was natural in the historian, when he had related the history of the creation, and of God's ceasing from it on the seventh day, to add" the words in question, unless they are expressive of an event which actually occurred at the creation. And to state, in the way of argument, that Moses does " not assert that God then blessed and sanctified the seventh day," but simply that he did so for a certain reason, is to be guilty of a species of sophistry very unworthy the gravity which becomes the discussion of such a theme. How could he have conveyed more lucidly the idea that this was done then, than by recording it, as he does other things, in the past tense, and also in immediate connection with that very cessation from work, on the part of God, which it was designed to commemorate? True, he assigns the reason of this consecration; but he does this in such a manner as to imply, that as the reason existed from the beginning, so also did the consecration. And it is but natural to ask, What ground could there exist for the appointment of such a memorial in after ages, which did not operate "from the foundation of the world?" On the whole, it does appear to us, that, until all the principles of sound criticism are abandoned, and we are at liberty by a dexterous and convenient application of the figure prolepsis to convert history into prophecy at our pleasure, we cannot adopt the interpretation which this celebrated writer has so strenuously advocated. We can understand what is meant by the total rejection of this inspired record, or by the reduction of it to the rank of a mere myth; but we are at an utter loss to understand the position which accepts its divine authority, and acknowledges this opening portion of Genesis to be the narrative of real transactions, and yet, to serve the purposes of a theory, would mutilate and distort its obvious meaning, and that in gross violation of all the laws which guide the historian's and chronologist's pen. It has been alleged, though it forms no part of Paley's argument, that, in the early records of the Bible, localities are designated by names which they had not received for ages subsequently to the period adverted to in the narrative. But the answer to this is manifest. What possible analogy can there be between the employment of the existing names of mountains, rivers, cities, in a relation which speaks of these same mountains, rivers, cities, in former periods, and the representing an event as having taken place in the annals of the world, long before it actually occurred? In the one case, the narrative is rendered more clear by the very identification which results from this method, and no misconception can arise. In the other case, confusion is inevitable. Deception is practised, and practised upon system; and that in reference not to so unimportant a thing as the chronology of a name, but in reference to the chronology and the existence of a fact, whose date and origin vitally affect the views we entertain of the economy of religion. Suppose it were the business of a writer to portray the former condition of some city of our land, whose name has been altered in modern times, or whose ancient name has sunk into oblivion; would it be felt that any of the proprieties of topography were violated by the use of the modern designation? But should the same writer, transferring some conception of the present age back to past eras, so set forth the substantial verities which he records as to invest them with a meaning and aspect which did not belong to them in the past, but which they have borrowed from the present, and do all this without a note of warning, or any break in the continuity of the narrative, would it not be at once felt that the writer had ceased to deserve our confidence, because he has violated, wholly violated, the integrity of history? And yet this is precisely what has been done by Moses, according to the showing of Paley, in the passage that has now passed under review. But let us now advance to what this author deems the account of "the"first actual institution of the Sabbath." And, employing a just analysis, it will be found, if we do not greatly err, that the sixteenth chapter of the Book of Exodus implies that the Sabbath was known to the Israelites before the period which it describes; and if so, then it could have been only in consequence of its original appointment at the creation, for we certainly read of no other promulgation of it, antecedent to the solemn and august enthronement it received on Sinai. This chapter, as we understand it, might seem to have been written for the express purpose of meeting the objections which would, in after times, be preferred against the primitive establishment of the sacred day. It will be observed that it records events which transpired a month after the exodus, and some short time, probably a fortnight, before the people came to Sinai. We learn that they murmured for want of bread. "Then said the Lord unto Moses: Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no." A certain test of obedience is here proposed, and a law or standard of obedience indicated. But what law? and in reference to what? The answer will be found in a subsequent portion of the chapter (verses 27 to 30). Now, surely, the hardiest opponent of the primeval appointment of the Sabbath will not venture to say that Moses inserted all this, in anticipation of an ordinance to be afterwards established? The only question is, Was there anything in the previous communications of God with Moses, and of Moses with the people, which might be fairly regarded as the proclamation of a sabbatic law, now for the first time introduced? In vain do we explore the narrative for a shadow of foundation for such a thing. All that the Most High had said, in addition to the words already quoted, was: "And it shall come to pass that, on the sixth day, they shall prepare that which they bring in, and it shall be twice as much as they gather daily." Not a word is here uttered respecting the Sabbath, although this is the place where, if this "transaction in the wilderness" marks the era of its commencement, we might have expected to find the statute of institution. But the very absence of any direct reference to the Sabbath here, taken in connection with what precedes and follows, is full of meaning. In these Divine words, there is an evident implication as to some existing and recognized law; one so well known to Moses as to require no more explicit notice. The double provision of the sixth day being stated, there is no reason assigned for this exceptional case; and that simply, as it would seem, because the reason was so patent to him as to require no formal announcement . The hiatus, if it could be thought such, would be filled up by the instantaneous remembrance of the ancient custom of dedicating the seventh day to hallowed repose. And thus silence is here more expressive than words; and we are thrown back upon the primeval law as that which alone can solve the enigma, and explain the grave and otherwise unaccountable omission. Then, the progress and sequel of the narrative will be found to harmonize with the view now taken. We read, that "on the sixth day they gathered twice as much bread, two omers for one man; and all the rulers of the congrega

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