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you indeed leave them a wretched inheritance. Are you shocked at the cruelty of those parents who of old devoted their children to the murderous Moloch? Tremble, left you be found chargeable with cruelty ftill more fatal, as terminating in the destruction of their immortal fouls.
What encouragement have you to love that gracious God, who “ keepeth mercy for thou“ fands!”
Let your prayers daily reach the throne in behalf of your beloved children. Let them daily witness your holy conversation. Both may be blessed of God, as means of their eternal salvation. What comfort must it afford you, if you be instrumental in bringing them to the participation of that mercy which he extends to yourselves !
Let those, who are the children of wicked parents, avoid their evil example. Nor is this enough. The Lord requires of that you be humbled in his fight on account of their iniquities. He requires, that you should come to his throne with this language in your lips, as procceding from the heart : " We have finned si with our fathers.--Me lie down in our shame, « and our confufion covereth us : for we have “ finned against the LORD our God, we and our.
fathers, from our youth even unto this day, “ and have not obeyed the voice of the LORD our 6! God 9.'!
g Pfal. cvi. 6.; Jer. iii. 25,
On the Desiruction of the Nations of Canaan.
Preliminary observations. This Punishment consistent with Divine Justice.-Contained a signal display of Wisdom, and even of Goodness.--Objections answered.
It has been commonly urged by Deists, as a powerful argument against the truth of the Old Testament, that it is utterly inconceivable that. God should enjoin the Israelites to exterminate the nations of Canaan. The idea, it has been faid, is totally irreconcilable with divine justice, and with the other perfections of Deity. Hence it has been inferred, that God never gave any such command ; and of consequence, that those writings, in which it is ascribed to him, must be a gross impofition upon mankind.
But let us attend to the primary fact. These nations were either destroyed, in part at least, by the Ifraelites, or they were not.
It is scarcely fupposable, that any will adopt the latter hypothesis. How can it otherwise be imagined, that the Israelites got possession of the country formerly belonging to the Canaanites ? That the Israelites were not the first inhabitants, appears unde
niable, niable, not only from the constant acknowledgment of this people, but from various vestiges in profane history. Some of these have been formerly considered. Were it necessary, a variety of others might be produced. According to Procopius, a celebrated writer of the sixth century, many of the Girgashites, Jebusites, and other Canaanitish nations, settled at Tingis, now Tangier, in Africa, There," he says, “ nigh a large “ fountain, appear two pillars of white stone, ha“ ving this inscription engraved on them in Phe“nician characters, We are those who fled from “ the face of Joshua, the son of Nave, the rob“bert.” Whatever may be thought of this inscription, his testimony with respect to Canaanites settling in that part of the country, is confirmed by different writers. Augustine, Bishop of Hippo in Africa, testifies, that “if any of the “ boors in the neighbourhood of Hippo or Car
thage was asked who he was, or of what coun“try, he answered that he was a Canaanites." Eufebius also afferts, that the Canaanites, who were routed by Joshua, led colonies into Africa, and settled at Tripolit. Even Mela the geographer, who flourished in the reign of Claudius Cæfar, and who had been born in the neighbourhood of Tingis, admits that the Tingitanians were Phenicians u, This I need scarcely fay, was the name by which the inhabitants of Palestine were generally known among other nations. The Greek
r Vandalic. lib. 2.
Chron. lib. m.
s Ap. Bocharti Chanaan, lib. i. c. 24.
poet Nonnus, from fome authors whose works are now lost, assures us, that Cadmus the Phenician made a very successful expedition into these parts of Africa. “ Philiftus of Syracuse, a writer of “ good authority, who lived above three hundred " and fifty years before Christ, relates, that the “ first traces of Carthage, were owing to Zorus “ and Charchedon, two Tyrians or Phenicians, " thirty years before the destruction of Troy, ac“cording to Eusebius v.”
If it be admitted that the Israelites destroyed or expelled the Canaanites, so as to get possession of the principal part of their land ; to every candid inquirer, it will appear neceffary to adopt the scriptural narrative of this conquest as the only true one. For, if this be rejected, it seems impossible to form any hypothesis on this subject that will even have the air of probability.
It cannot be supposed that the Ifraelites vanquished the Canaanites from their superior bravery or skill in the use of arms. For although every other nation hath discovered the greatest reluctance to renounce any portion of military glory, to which either in former or later times they could exhibit any claim, the Ifraelites have still ascribed their victories on this occasion to divine power. However zealous for the honour of their ancestors, they have said in all their succeeding generations; “ We have heard with our ears, 0 " God, our fathers have told us, what work thou "didst in their days, in the times of old. How
“ thou y Anc. Univ. Hift. vol. xvii p. 220.
“ thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, “ and plantedst them; how thou didst affict the “ people, and cast them out. For they got not “ the land in possession by their own sword, nei. “ther did their own arm save them: but thy
right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy “ countenance, because thou hadít a favour unto “ them w." Not one of their writers, in a single instance, attempts to ingratiate himself with his nation, by employing any other language. This conduct, so directly contrary to that of every other people, nay, to the fixed principles of human nature, manifefts the fullest and most impressive conviction of the truth of what they affert.
It is irrational, indeed, to suppose that the Ilraelites should be equal to the Canaanites in mi. litary power. The former, it is admitted on all hands, were in a state of Navery in Egypt. The Ifraelites themselves acknowledge, that they were afraid to encounter the Canaanites, because they were mightier than they ; that they murmured at the report of the spies who were sent to view the land ; that they refused to enter into it; and that on this account God' destroyed them in the wilderness.
No one, surely, will venture to affert, that the Israelites overpowered the Canaanites in consequence of their superiority as to numbers. An undisciplined multitude could have done little against a varicty of nations so inured to war, as to have chariots of iron, and, according to the strong
metaphors w Psal. xliv. 1.-3.