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New Holland ; that they were subsequently enslaved by the aboriginees of Mexico; that afterwards they can icd on an extensive trade in cotton with Greenland ; and that we borrowed the custom of keeping the Sabbath, and of baptism, and the Lord's supper from the Chinese-Could such a history set aside our veritable history ? Could it be received by our people, even had we no history except tradition? Such an account would, at a thousand points, contradict many reliable traditions ; and then the simple fact that, like the book of Mormon, it would have no precursor, would be sufficient to secure for it a verdict of condemnation from every honest and sane mind.
Now had any prophet, in the days of Isaiah or Malachi, forged the Pentateuch, and the other books of the Old Testament, to say nothing of the uniformity of style which must have enstamped it with the seal of falsehood, it certainly would have been difficult, to have persuaded the Jews that their fathers, from the time ascribed to Abraham, had circumcised their children, kept the Sabbath, and the passover, taught their children the law, and observed all other forms of the Jewish ritual. However credulous the Jews might have been, this would have been impossible.
Every other book of the Old Testament, implies the previous existence of the Pentateuch. The most of them, quote from it, many of them refer it to Moses, and all make such incidental and apparently undesigned allusions to it, that no one can believe such allusions made in relation to a work that had no existence. Added to these proofs, we may observe that many of the most celebrated heathen writers of antiquity, refer to the writings of Moses. As we purpose in the course of these discourses to dwell
upon this subject more at length, we shall now present but a very few testimonies. Longinus, born B. C. 250, says: Moses was no ordinary man, and as he conceived so he wrote.” Numerius, of Syria, born B. C. 200, says :“What is Plato but Moses speaking in the Attic dialect.” In like manner, the most famous enemies of Christianity, during the first two or three centuries, amongst whom were Porphyry and Julian, refer to the writings of Moses as his genuine productions. We therefore come to the conclusion that our present English version of the Bible, is the same volume which was first printed, and acknowled ged by the early Christians; and that our Old Testament, which was used by Christ and his disciples, is the volume written by Moses and the Prophets, and contains the veritable history of the Jewish people.
Only one question now remains to be answered. Has this book been preserved so uncorrupt, that its character as a revelation, has not been affected? We reply, that much more care has been taken to preserve this book uncorrupt, than there has been to preserve Homer, Virgil, Anacreon, Demosthenese, or Cicero, and yet, no one supposes that either of these authors have been materially corrupted. Place the Bible then by their side, and give it a common trial with other ancient books. This is all we ask in its behalf.
The Jews ever kept a copy of the law deposited in the ark, the whole of which was read before all the people, at least every seventh year, (Deut. 31 : 10, 11,) the King was specially commanded to make a copy for himself, and the the Jews observed the utmost carefulness in copying their
sacred writings. It is not possible then, that they have been materially changed. They have been the same unadulterated record to all past generations, so that we may say, in the language of the text, “One generation shall praise thy works to another."
A BRIEF AND GENERAL ACCOUNT OF THE BIBLE.
SO THEY READ IN THE BOOK, IN THE LAW OF GOD DISTINCTLY, AND GAVE THE SENSE, AND CAUSED THEM TO UNDERSTAND THE READING. -Neh. 8: 8.
The book, the law of God, was the five books of Moses. The expression may now be applied to the entire Bible. They gave the sense, that is, they translated it from Hebrew to Chaldee, which latter language the Jews had learned in Babylon. They caused the people to understand the reading, that is, they so paraphrased, and commented upon
the original text, as to bring its true sense to the comprehension of the most ordinary minds.
The text, therefore, is suggestive of all connected with the Bible, as respects its nature and its meining.
We may embrace the subject of our lecture in the question; What is the Bible ?
The Bible consists of two volumes called the Old and New Testaments. They contain 66 distinct books, 39 of which belong to the Old, and 27 to the New Testament. It contains in English, 1189 chapters, 31,173 verses, 773,692 words and 3,567.180 letters. The Old Testament was divided into chapters by IIago Caro A. D. 1240, into verses by Mordecai Nathan A. D. 1445, and the words
and letters were carefully numbered by the Massorites about the sixteenth century.
The following table, showing how many times each letter of the Hebrew Alphabet, is used in the Bible, may not be uninteresting: Aleph, 42,377 Teth, 11,052 Pe, 22,725 Beth, 38,218 Yod, 66,420 Tsadi, 21,882 Gimel, 29,537 Caph, 48,253 Koph, 22,972 Daleth, 32,530 Lamed, 41,517 Resch, 22,147 He, 47,554 Mem, 77,778 Shin, 32.148 Vanv,
76,922 Nun, 41,696 Tav, 59,343 Zain, 22,867 Samech, 13,580 Cheth, 23,447 Ain, 20,175 Total, 815,140
Thus it appears that in the Hebrew Old Testament there are just 815,140 letters.
Horne says that the Massorites “noted the verses where something was supposed to be forgotten ; the words which they believed to be changed; the letters which they deemed to be superfluous; the repetitions of the same verses ; the different reading of the words which are redundant or defective; the number of times that the same word is found at the beginning, middle, or end of a verse; the different significations of the same word; the agreement or conjunction of one word with another; what letters are pronounced, and what are inverted, together with such as hang perpendicular, and they took the number of each, for the Jews cherish the sacred books with such reverence, that they make a scruple of changing the situation of a letter which is evidently misplaced; supposing that some mystery has occasioned the alteration. They have likewise recorded which is the middle letter of the Pentateuch, and which is