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on his enemies. No: we must refer these anathemas to his holy indignation against sin, his sympathy with the claims of God's violated law, his high view of eternal justice, as the foundation of order, harmony, and happiness, throughout the moral universe. He saw, with inspired vision, the hatred and malignity of God's enemies (for his enemies were God's enemies). He saw that the dearest interests of truth and righteousness would be sacrificed by their exemption from punishment. He saw such glorious results following the vindication of the divine law, that he invokes the execution of its penalties, at once, upon God's incorrigible enemies. This he was inspired to do. Had he done it, self-prompted, we could not have proved himguilty of speaking unadvisedly, or contrary to the dictates of humanity. For we have shown that it is right to pray for what God has expressed his determination to do, and what the interests of the universe require that he should do. But then we might have said of him, as our Saviour said of James and John, who wished him to call down fire from heaven upon the Samaritans, that" he knew not what spirit he was of." But he spake as he was inspired to speak. God seems to have intended by these passages to show us the intense hatred of sin inspired in the soul by close and devotional communion with him, and to warn sinners of their dreadful doom in thus being cut off from the sympathy of all the good. David was chosen to pen this great and awful truth, because his acknowledged, well-known piety and tender-heartedness would give great emphasis to his denunciations. We have heard it objected to all this, that the forms of expression in these imprecatory Psalms are of such coldblooded and malignant cruelty, as to preclude entertaining the idea for a moment that they were inspired of God. But it must be remembered that the Psalmist used language suited to the times in which he lived, and the oriental modes of thought and expression. The doom which he invoked upon the wicked was dreadful, and he employed the most forcible terms in setting it forth. This is true of all the
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sacred writers when speaking of the retributions of eternity. The most dire and dread imagery which can be drawn from the whole visible creation, is employed to shadow forth God's anger against the wicked, and the dreadful sufferings which await them. But how will the reality of these sufferings, in the ages of eternity, transcend all that language can depict, or the human mind conceive! The Psalmist could no more have employed frigid, passionless language in relation to so dreadful a theme, than our Saviour, when he spake of the furnace of fire where shall be weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth, the outer darkness, and the worm that never dieth. The subject demanded strong and pointed language. Tame and inoffensive expressions, words of softened smoothness, forms of speech chosen to please the ear, would have been as unsuitable to depict the terrors of God's wrath, as would be a warning, addressed in low and suppressed tones, to a traveller in the distance who was approaching some point of imminent and deadly peril. It has been further objected that the Psalmist includes in his anathemas the families of the wicked. This was both natural and proper. Treason, in that age and country, involved every member of his family in the doom of the traitor. Treason against God, in like manner, involves whole families of the wicked. God has said that he will visit the iniquities of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations; and it was in accordance with this sovereign arrangement that he inspired his servant to anathematize whole families of the wicked: "Let there be none to favor his fatherless children. Let his posterity be cut off; and in the generation following let their name be blotted out . Let the iniquity of his fathers be remembered with the Lord, and let not the sin of his mother be blotted out." A dreadful imprecation, indeed, but one which receives fearful confirmation in the history of the families of wicked men in every age and country. The children of bad men usually inherit their parents' vices, and are involved in the same condemnation, unless brought to repentance by the merciful interposition of the grace of God. It was therefore neither opposed to God's word nor the manifold and intimate relations which he has instituted between parents and children, that the Psalmist included the families of the wicked in his imprecations. We believe that we have now referred to the principal objections brought against these portions of God's word. However we may have relieved the minds of others, by the mode in which we have disposed of these objections, we certainly feel ourselves confirmed in the great truth of the plenary inspiration of the Bible, and more and more opposed to all attempts to remove difficulties, by adopting low theories of inspiration, or frittering down God's word in order to make its truths less offensive to the unregenerate heart. When rightly interpreted, the facts of revelation are harmonious, consistent, rational, defensible. The closer we adhere to them, and the more childlike the spirit with which we receive them, the more luminous and heavenly do they appear. But if, from habits of vain speculation, and an affectation of superior shrewdness and discernment in finding difficulties, we come to regard the sacred page with distrust as to its Divine origin, and a distaste for its great fundamental truths, we may rest assured that we shall involve ourselves in doubts and perplexities, whence nothing but the grace of God, in subduing our pride and in imparting to us a teachable spirit, can extricate us. ARTICLE IV. ALIENS IN ISRAEL. By Josiah K. Bcnnct, M. A., Cambridge, Mass. In recent times, not less, perhaps, than in past ages, attempts have been made to throw light upon obscure questions of public interest, by having recourse to the legislation of Moses. The practice of polygamy, for instance, has relied upon the Pentateuch for its strongest defences. The advocates of capital punishment draw arguments from the same source. Our usury laws are grounded on a Hebrew basis, and, but for that, would probably have ceased to exist in their present form. Slavery, too, seeks the venerable precedents of the Old Testament to justify its wrongs, and to silence opposition at least from the pulpit and the religious world. But there is another question, of great moment to us now, which appears to have been discussed hitherto with little reference to sacred precedents. It is a question which interests the church of God, no less than the state; the faithful minister, no less than the ambitious demagogue. It is, to the christian citizen, the inquiry: How, according to Scriptural authority, ought we to treat the strangers among its? To answer this inquiry, one naturally recurs to the law of Moses, and his application of it in the Hebrew government. To a reflecting mind, the question readily arises, whether the Strangers' Law, as it now exists in christian countries, however imperfect it may be, has, like some other branches of jurisprudence, grown up with the world, developing its principles by degrees to suit the necessities of commerce or the demands of religion; or whether it sprang into existence a perfect system, the embodiment of natural justice, animated by a living soul, which the spirit of God breathed into it in the commandment, Tfiou shall love thy neighbor as thyself.1
If it originated in the mere mercantile principle of self-love, which some philosophers have regarded as the root of nearly or quite all the regulations of society, its policy cannot be expected to be otherwise than exclusive. But if it came from benevolence, the fountain of justice, all unnecessary restraint upon the privileges of strangers must be contrary to its nature. So far as the law of aliens among the Hebrews is concerned, the preceding questions are easily answered. But it may not be amiss to examine the subject somewhat minutely, to discover not only the general principles, but also the practical application of them in the Jewish government. From the first, the Hebrew commonwealth maintained the most liberal policy towards foreigners.1 It would seem natural that two millions of slaves,2 bursting at once and with supernatural demonstrations from the tyranny of a race that held foreigners in abhorrence,8 would have excluded, most carefully, from sharing their conquests, all but their own nation,— especially their late task-masters. But at the outset, before the passage of the sea, Moses lays down the law on this subject in the language of comprehensive benevolence. He puts Hebrews and strangers, as a general rule, on an equal footing. "One law," says he, "shall be to him that is homeborn, and unto the stranger that sojourneth among you."4 This general maxim, relating more especially to the 1 Joscphus, contra Apion. II. 29, and Antiq. IV. ch. 8, sec. 21.
1 At the first census, there were found to be 603,550 males over twenty years of age and able to go to war. The tribe of Levi was not numbered. Num. 1: 46, 47. 8 Gen. 43: 32. Herodotus, Euterpe, XLI.
* Ex. 12: 49. The same rule is stated in Num. 9: 14. 15: 15, 16. So, "No soul of you shall cat blood, neither shall any stranger that sojourneth among you eat blood," Lev. 17:12. So, of eating the flesh of animals dying of disease, or torn by beasts, Lev. 17:12,13,15. The same equal application was made of the laws of marriage, Lev. 18: 26; sacrifice to Molech, Ibid, and 20: 2; blasphemy, Lev. 24: 16 (Shelomith's son); Sabbath-breaking, Ex. 20: 10 and 23: 12; meddling with the Levitcs in the service of the tabernacle, Num. 1: 51. 3: 38. 16: 40. 18: 7; homicide's asylum, Num.35: 15; and atonement for sins of ignorance, Num. 15: 26 and 29. Lev. 16:29. The rule in the text is also reaffirmed in Lev. 24: 22: "Ye shall have one manner of law as well for the stranger as for one of your own country." So, Josephus, in Ap. 2.29.