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"tian superstitions: and that many of the "laws given to them by the ministry of "Mofes were inftituted, partly in compliance to their prejudices, and partly in oppofition to thofe fuperftitions." The fame Author fhews, that the figurative language of the prophets was, in fact, an application of the Egyptian hieroglyphics; God not difdaining to convey knowledge to mankind by that mode of fpeech to which they had been accustomed, and which was therefore the most intelligible to them".
This being premised, it only remains to be inquired, what the Egyptians, and it may be added, the whole Eaft along with them, understood by the hieroglyphic of a ferpent. If we examine the Bembine table, nothing there occurs fo frequently, or with fo great apparent veneration paid to it by the furrounding figures, as a compound hieroglyphic, confifting of a globe with a ferpent and wings iffuing from it. But, according to Dr. Stukeley, this hieroglyphic was the emblem of the Supreme
Divine Leg. b. iv. fect. 6.
Being. The circle reprefented the great CHAP. Author of all things; the ferpent, the Son, IV. who is fometimes ftyled the Word, and fometimes the Wisdom of God; and laftly, the wings fymbolized the Spirit, which, according to the Egyptians, pervades and animates all things.
The expofition here given is not the mere phantom of a romantic imagination: the following authorities are cited by Dr. Stukeley, to prove, that the ferpent was almost univerfally the emblem of God. "Our oldest heathen writer, Sanchoniathon, fays, the Phenicians called it, Aga"thodemon, the good angel. Epies the
Phenician, in Eufebius, pronounces it a "most divine animal. Maximus of Tyre writes, that the ferpent was the greatest "fymbol of the Deity, in moft nations, even among the Indians. Sigifmond, in "his Muscovite history, fays the like of "the Samogetians in the northern parts of "that vaft empire; and Goguin, in his "Sarmatia of the Lithuanians-The fym
It is remarkable, that the Egyptians called this part of the hieroglyphic, Ptha, which fignifies the Word.
"bol of the fnake and circle we fee on "innumerable Egyptian monuments. Always it holds the uppermoft, the first, " and the chief place, which fhews its high dignity. Mr. Selden says, this figure, in "abbreviated writing among the Greeks, fignifies the Deityd." It may be added, that to this day it is ftill confpicuous in the front of all the temples in the Thebais, as abundantly appears from the plates which embellish the volumes of those who have travelled into that country. From what has been faid, we can be at no lofs how to interpret the meaning of the Egyptian emblem Ptha, which Mofes elevated upon a pole, and which Chrift, the true Word of God, declared to be typical of himself.
Such are the mysterious events, which happened during the pilgrimage of the Ifraelites through the wilderness; and to make the parallel between the Jewish and Christian legiflators yet more complete, as
Abury, chap. xi. See also chap. xii. and xvi.
• Mr. Bryant treats this subject in a manner fomewhat fimilar, in his Differtation upon the Plagues of Egypt.
Mofes died in fight of the land of promife, CHAP. and delegated his power to his fucceffor IV.: Jofhua; fo did Chrift die before the ministry of the Gospel was finished, and left the propagation of it to his fucceffors the Apostles. And as Joshua fubdued the idolatrous nations of Canaan, not by the exertions of his own unaffifted valour, but by the fupernatural affiftance of the Almighty; fo did thofe holy men receive miraculous powers from heaven, to enable them to combat with fuccefs the idolatry of the Heathens.
Laftly, Mofes, as if fearfully prefaging the obftinate blindness of the Jews, minutely describes, and compares to himself the great Prophet who was deftined to fucceed him; a Prophet, not armed with the terrors of thunder and avenging fire, but trusting only to the ftill fmall voice of truth and reafon. "The Lord, thy God, "will raise up unto thee a Prophet from "the midst of thee, of thy brethren, like "unto me; unto him ye fhall hearken; according to all that thou defiredft of "the Lord thy God in Horeb, in the day "of the affembly, faying, Let me not hear again the voice of the Lord my God, "neither
SECT." neither let me fee this great fire any II. "more, that I die not.
It is in vain to say, that this prediction may relate only to prophets in general; for which of the prophets resembled Moses, except Chrift? Unless the prophet in queftion was a lawgiver, the prediction could not relate to him, because he would differ from Mofes in the moft diftinguishing part of his character. But Chrift alone, of all the prophets, had that high commiffion vefted in him; we cannot therefore reasonably entertain a doubt of Christ's being the Prophet alluded to by the Jewish Legiflator.
7. The whole of the Law being written for an enfample to the Chriftian world, we shall find thofe lamentable diffenfions, which continually rend the church, fet forth in a most striking manner by the inspired Author of the Pentateuch. Korah, a turbulent factious Levite, in conjunction with Dathan and Abiram, two of the Laity, fteps forward, and charges his law
Deut. xviii. 15.
Eufeb. Demon. Evang. lib. i. c. 3. & lib. ix. c. II.