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are every day performing ordinary works that are false. For aught that we can tell—unless God expressly inform us to the contrary—there may be disembodied spirits, or unclean spirits not human, occasionally performing extraordinary works that are false. The straight course is, to try them by their fruits. For example, as to alleged "ecclesiastical” miracles. The only “ecclesiastical " miracles predicted by Christ and His apostles (in the places we have referred to) are false miracles, Satanic in their quality, fatally misleading in their effect. And the purpose of them is to support, through successful imposture, the cause of the second Beast, of the Man of Sin, of the false prophets and the false Christs. We do not need to debate about the reality of them, we can try them by the test of their scope, tendency, effect :—“Under which King?" God or Satan? Light or darkness? truth and righteousness, or, falsehood and wrong? What is the moral character, the practical tendency of the system with which they are appropriately associated, and which claims them for its own?
But there is a yet shorter way, — namely, to ascertain about the miracles of Moses and of Christ. If we find them true, we may feel that the claims of Egyptian enchanters do not concern us. If we have the sunshine, why go beyond our depth in questions that can be only about moonshine? If we have the "sure prophetic word” of God, what interest have we in inquiring about some alleged twaddle of a ghost? Thus we reason, if His Mosaic miracles be true, the Egyptian must at least be false or misleading :-"He that is not for us scattereth abroad."
THE MONUMENTS OF THE REVELATION.
THE two great monuments of the Passover and the Tabernacle are those of whose erection the full account is given in Exodus. Respectively, as “memorial” and as “testimony,” at the beginning and at the close of the exodus year, they suffice for monumental representation of that annus mirabilis. Observing them is like looking at two great Pyramids of the time of Menes before beginning to study a written History of his reign ;-supposing that those Pyramids were themselves an embodiment of the history,“ done into” a mountain of rock from Syene. But the traveller knows that there is a monument of Egypt more ancient than those Pyramids : namely, the Egyptian land itself; which is a "gift of the Nile," and which bears within itself an evidence of its creation. And we, before considering those monuments,
given to the Hebrews in the cradle of their new-born nationality, will pause to observe that particular people itself, as,
NOTE (1).-The monumental nation. Israel's condition is in some respects like that “great and terrible wilderness," which lay between the Sinaitic sanctuary of their consecration and the Canaan of their promised rest. But it is in the approach from that wilderness—et Tih—that the traveller obtains the best view of the wonderful natural temple, of the Sinai mountain system, which rises in the desert of that region. And we, desiring to look at Exodus from every point of view that may furnish illustration of the history of Israel's origin, will now approach it on the side of the general external history of Israel itself, as a nation which is a monument of its own wonderful origination.
Everything about this people is wonderful, even where the "astonishment” is akin to “desolation " if not to “hissing” (Jer. xxv. II, cp. De. xxviii. 29). And not the least wonderful thing in its history is, the fact of its continuance in clear distinctness to this hour : so that now there is an Israelitish nation far more numerous, than when David, “lifted up with pride," took the census of their multitude. It is as clear, distinct in type as when Titus led his stormers to the final assault on Jerusalem, or when Solomon delivered his great prayer at the dedication of the Temple, or when Pharaoh looked on that face of Moses which he was doomed to see no more. And the nationality is perfectly unique, as the Sinaitic face of nature, or as the old Egyptian aspect of human life. But the amazing thing is, that the nation is here alive, as when the Princess took to her kind heart that infant " of the Hebrews,” wailing in his cradle among the papyrus reeds of the Great River. It is as if the Pharaoh's magicians had been sending us telephonic daily gossip over thirty centuries of time, or the mummies had begun to speak and tell us of that awful dawning, when songs of rejoicing were borne to them from beyond the Red Sea, and they were voiceless, and all but lifeless ; petrified with horror, as they looked on the deadly sullen waters, where the chivalry of Egypt had sunk and disappeared.
The wonder of this wonder is, the invincible tenacity of the national type, -its adamantine firmness, in a distinctness apparently ineffaceable by time: even in the bodily aspect of every man, woman, and child,
-as if Exodus had been visibly, and mysteriously indelible, on the face of every Israelitish human being that is born into the world. The mind takes in a general statement like that of Bunsen, that in Israel's exodus there began to beat the pulse of human history in the free life of nations. But when we carry that general representation into this detail, the inevitable conclusion is so startling strange that imagination refuses to obey the dictate of the judgment. We are unable to picture to ourselves as a prosaic real thing, that in this day's chaotic Hebrew baby of three months old there is that nation, which was immemorially ancient before the proudest "ancient " nation of our Christendom was cradled ; and was in distinct existence centuries before Homer, on the border of the most ancient Greek heroic age, had begun to sing “the song of Troy Divine." In great statesmen, philosophers, theologians, the thing seems credible: but in the commonplace Jew?
Yet there it is :—the exodus type, in clear distinctness, on those stirring, thriv
ing, and respected neighbours, with whom we are every day exchanging greetings and rubbing shoulders, on the street. Daniel's four empires — Babylonian, Persian, Greek, and Roman-have passed away like Nebuchadnezzar and his dream. The men, and women, and children, of those ancient peoples are, like those of monumental Egypt, only antiquities, as of a dreamland of an imaginary ghostly past. But the Israelites are here, as vividly alive as we, who “are but of yesterday”-hesterni sumus. Si monumentum quæris circumspice (" You, who are searching for a monument, look round you "). But this monument is not, like Sir Christopher Wren's, of stone. It is of human living flesh and blood : not in monumental stillness, like Hero, but in exuberant fulness of varied activity. It is so familiar to us, that we cannot realize the strangeness of it. It is eighteen centuries since the nation was crushed in Palestine, as by an Avalanche that destroys a hamlet. It consequently was flung into a Dispersion over all the world. The fragments were everywhere “afflicted, tossed with tempest” (Is. liv. II), as the sands are rolled in every sea, or the dust is the sport of every wind. But still, in every particle, there, in clear distinctness uneffaced and ineffaceable, is the exodus national Hebrew type. They mingle freely with other peoples in their common life of occupations and recreations; wearing their garb, speaking their tongues, practising their manners and their customs. And yet, in any human population upon earth, a Jew or Jewess is, by the least observant of mankind, distinguished at a glance from every other creature under heaven.
1. The Passover.
NOTE (2).--- Leslie's "four marks." In order to be demonstrated by such an institution as an historical reality, the event needs only to have marks which we will indicate by the words, visibility, publicity, memorial observance, and contemporaneousness of institution-professed in the observance. 1. Visibility,—the alleged event must be a sensible event, such that it could have been observed with man's eyes and ears ; and 2. publicity, it must be such as could have been observed in its occurrence by a sufficient number of witnesses. On these two marks we need not dwell : the deliverance of Israel, with the death of Egypt's first-born, was of course not a thing “ done in a corner (Act. xxvi. 26): it took place in the personal knowledge of two nations (one of which is here to bear witness still). 3. Of third mark, memorial observance, there is no doubt. The very form of observance, as laid down in this Book (Ex. xii. 25–27), which the Israelites have always accepted in its prescription of this form as a law, includes a distinct rehearsal of the essence of the great event. The spiritual essence of it, what took place in the mind of God, passing over Israel, so that they escaped the common doom of death, cannot be perceived with the bodily senses. But the fact of Israel's own escape with life, and of the death-cry of the Egyptian first-born, is commemorated in the very heart of the observance; and it is a thing that could be observed with men's bodily senses, as well as any fact of ordinary experience in common life. 4. With reference to the fourth mark, Leslie makes a slip in his initial statement (he is writing in the freedom of a letter to a friend-circa A.D. 1710), which, however, does not really enter into the argument as expounded by him (he is a great master of argument). His slip consists in saying, that the memorial observance must have been instituted at the time of the alleged event. How can we know that? That implies the very thing in question. The right statement (the ground on which he really proceeds in his actual argument) is, that the observance shall profess to have come down from that primæval time. Thus, in observing the Lord's Supper, with its “In that night,” and “ till He come,” we profess to be observing what has been observed by Christians from the beginning: the observance claims, on the face of it, and in the heart of it, to have come down from the first age of Christianity. So as to the Passover-say, at the time of building the First Temple, what is required is, not any proof or allegation (of antiquity) from outside of the observance ; but only, in the nature of the observance itself, that profession of primæval antiquity, or claim to have come down from the Mosaic age.
If the argument be a good one, it obviously is of very great value. Leslie applies it to the resurrection of Christ. And a real demonstration of the historical reality of such events as that resurrection, and Israel's wonderful deliverance, at once turns whole libraries of infidelity into waste paper. Now Conyers Middleton (circa A.D. 1750), a very keen antiquarian scholar, of a naturally sceptical bent, who distinguished himself by exposing traditionary illusions in connexion with the history of Bible religion in the world, confessed that, after having had his eyes about him for twenty years, he had been unable to discover so much as one event not really historical that has Leslie's four marks.
Leslie might say, that such an event is inconceivable. That is the point of his contention. He does not say that an event that has not the marks may not be historically real. What he maintains is, that any event which has them all must be really historical ; that it cannot be otherwise ; that it is impossible for an event without historical reality to have the four marks. And this we may perceive if we imagine an attempt to set the Passover observance on foot for the first time at any period later than the Mosaic age, -say, in Solomon's time. We can see, as soon as we think of the matter, that such a later origination of the festival would have been simply impossible. There would be a fatal obstacle in the nature of the observance itself, as claiming to be of primæval antiquity. That is to say, it said to all Israel of Solomon's time, – You and your fathers have been always observing this festival yearly until now. How could any one believe that? Leslie, in his lively way, puts the case of a man's proposing, as the rite, that every one should every year cut a joint off one of his fingers. How could men be got to believe that they and their fathers had been doing this thing every year? The non-observance in the wilderness itself (Am. v. 25) is only non-appearance of the stream at the very fountain. The argument carries us to the fountain. It shows us that the observance dates from the Mosaic age. And that suffices for the conclusion in question.
2. The Tabernacle-of “testimony." Simplex munditiis ! - this untranslatable expression appears to mean, a noble simple beauty, of which the distinctive is the beauty of simple nobleness. The realized ideal of a spiritual beauty in material form appears to be in that wilderness Dwelling of Jehovah, the “man of war,” Israel's Captain of salvation, Redeemer King and God. The distinctive office of the Tabernacle was, to set forth the abiding spiritual significance of the appearances at Israel's wonderful origination into nationality, while the Passover kept recalling to men's memory, with proof, the wonderful history of that origin as a fact. But even in order to be a continuous testimonial instruction, the Tabernacle was effectively an historical remembrancer. And in some respects it has been a more effective memorial than even the Passover.
For while the Passover has, in respect of form, passed away, it may be said that the Tabernacle, in respect of its essential form (cp. Platonic morphē, and see the true tabernacle in He. viii. 3, the archetypal), not only is imperishable, but has become more fully manifested among men on account of the evanescence of the material fabric; as the saintly soul—the man—is seen more clearly when the body wears away. Though the conventional ascription of “frailty” to the Tabernacle is a mistake, yet in destination it was natively an evanescent thing, like those passing shadows, “ever becoming, never being” (Plato), through which there flit across our mind in time the eternal “ideas," whose proper home is the bosom of God. This Platonism of Redemption, as a thing eternal, manifested temporally through an “example and shadow,” is the essence (He. viii. 5) of that Epistle to the Hebrews which essentially is exposition of the Tabernacle (only, according to Hebrews, the thing revealed is emphatically by will of God.—See on Covenant, pp. 70 sqq.). And it is by means of the evanescent material that the “example and shadow” have caused to dwell among us (Jn. i. 14) what essentially is eternal spirit (He. ix. 14). In effect, the way into the holiest is ever “new” (prosphatos, with an original reference to the condition of a sacrifice that is newly slain), as the way of ships upon the sea ; and that, by means of the material fabric which is antiquated (that way thus is literally, “through the veil”). The Mosaic Tabernacle gave place to the Temple; and both, to the Synagogue or
congregation;" but in so doing they have introduced us to the temple's Lord, the Word who is God (Jn. i. 1), and who (ver. 14) was made flesh and dwelt among us (lit., “tabernacled in us,' dwelt in our manhood) full of grace and truth ; (so that) we beheld His glory, the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father.
Still seeking fresh approaches of interest to our study of Exodus,