Apr 22, 2012

The Law of Moses

    An unbeliever of acute mind sought an acquaintance with the truth of the Bible and began to read the Book of Genesis. When he had reached the Ten Commandments, he said to a friend, "I will tell you what I used to think. I supposed that Moses was the leader of a horde of bandits; that, having a strong mind, he acquired great influence over superstition, that the exhibition was supernatural. I have been looking into the nature of that law. I have been trying to see whether I can add anything to it or take anything from it, so as to make it better. Sir, I cannot. It is perfect.
"The first commandment directs us to make the Creator the object of our supreme love and reverence. That is right. If He be our Creator, Preserver, and Supreme Benefactor, we ought to treat Him and none other as such. The second forbids idolatry-that certainly is right. The third forbids profanity. The fourth fixes a time for religious worship. If there be a God, He surely ought to be worshiped. It is suitable that there should be an outward homage, significant of our inward regard. If God be worshiped, it is proper that some time should be set apart for that purpose when all may worship harmoniously and without interruption. One day in seven is certainly not too much, and I do not know that it is too little. The fifth defines the peculiar duties arising from family relations. Injuries to our neighbor are then classified by the moral law. They are divided into offenses against life, chastity, property, and character; and I notice that the greatest offense in each class is expressly forbidden. Thus the greatest injury to life is murder; to chastity, adultery; to property, theft; to character, perjury. Now, the greater offense must include the less of the same kind. Murder must include every injury to life; adultery, every injury to purity; and so of the rest. This moral code is then closed and perfected by a command forbidding every improper desire in regard to our neighbors. I have been thinking, where did Moses get the Law?
"I have read history. The Egyptians and the adjacent nations were idolaters; so were the Greeks and Romans; the wisest and best Greeks or Romans never gave a code of morals like this. Where did Moses get that law which surpasses the wisdom and philosophy of the most enlightened ages? He lived at a period comparatively barbarous; but he has given a law in which the learning and sagacity of all subsequent time can detect no flaw. Where did he get it? He could not have soared so far above his age as to have devised it himself. I am satisfied where he obtained it. It came down from heaven. I am convinced of the truth of the religion of the Bible."
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