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Mofes died on mount Nebo; Chrift, on mount Calvary.

This comparison was, in a great measure, made by learned Rabbis, which is one ftrong argument against them in favour of Chrift. You will find it nearly thus, as quoted by Reland, "Rabbi Barachia, faid in the name of Rabbi Ifaac; as was the first redeemer Mofes, fo fhall the latter Meffiah be; of the first, it is written, that Mofes placed his wife, and fons upon an afs; fo alfo fhall it be of the latter, as it is written, he fhall be poor fitting on an afs. Of the first it is written, that he brought down Manna from Heaven; thus alfo of the latter in the 72d pfalm. Of the first it is recorded, that he companded the waters to accompany his people in the defert; of the latter, Joel. 3. A fountain fhall proceed from the house of God, and water the valley of Chittiin.

SKETCH

SKETCH III.

OF THE INVENTION OF LETTERS:

WAS then writing the discovery of

Mofes I believe not: Or was that moft wonderful art immediately revealed to him by God? If this had been the case, I fhould imagine that fo extraordinary a circumstance would have been worthy of relation amongst other miracles. But we do not read that the Israelites expreffed any aftonishment at fuch an event; which had it been a recent discovery, might be expected.

The principal teftimony which antiquity affords in favor of Mofes in this point, is taken from Eupolemus in Eufebius, who fays, that Mofes was the firft wise man, and the first who delivered letters to the Jews, from whom the Phoenicians received them, aş

as the Greeks did from the Phoenicians: but when we confider the words themselves, which are thefe, Ευπόλεμος δε φησι τον Μωσην πρωτον Σοφον γενέσθαι, και γραμματα παραδέναι τοις Ιεδαίοις πρωτον, &c. we may obferve that the word apadera means no more than to exprefs the tranfmitting, or rather the transferring of an art, which had been previously known to others, nor can we argue from thence that Eupolemus was of opinion that Mofes was the inventor of letters.

Sir Ifaac Newton fays, "When the Edomites fled from David, with their young king Hadad, into Egypt, it is probable that they carried thither alfo the ufe of letters for letters were then in ufe among the pofterity of Abraham in Arabia Petræa, and upon the borders of the Red Sea, the law being written there by Mofes in a book, and in tables of ftone long before: for Mofes marrying the daughter of the priest of Midian, and dwelling with him forty years, learned them among the Midianites; and Job, who lived among their neighbours the Edomites, mentions the writing down of words in his days."-Chronology, page 209.

Montfaucon gives us this teftimony (which is inadmiffible) from Cofmos, a learned Egyptian, who, in the year of our Lord, five hundred

and

and thirty-five, had travelled through the eaftern countries : "Cum fcriptam a deo legem accepiffent Ifraelito, ibi primum literas edidicerunt ceu quieto quodam literario ludo ufus deus, ipfos totis quadraginta annis exarandis literis exerceri fivit: quamobrem in deferto Sinai, inque omnibus manfionibus, videre eft lapides omnes ex montibus delapfos literis hæbraicis infcriptos, ut ego qui ifthac iter habui, testificor; quas infcriptiones Judæi quidam, qui ipfas legerant, narrabant nobis ita habere.Profectio talis.-Ex tribu tali-Menfe tali.—

"When the Ifraelites had first received the written law from God, they alfo acquired the knowledge of letters; and God permitted them to be exercifed in the defart, in cultivating that knowledge as in a retired fchool wherefore, in all their various resting places, I teftify from my own obfervation, that all the ftones which had fallen from the mountains, were infcribed with Hebrew letters, which infe iptions as they have been interpreted to us, by certain Jews who had read them, were as follows:- fuch a March-fuch a Tribe-fuch a Month."

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There is fomething, I fay, in this account, which carries an air of improbability with it.

From

From the learned character given of Cofmos, we might well fuppofe him incapable of resting fatisfied with the information he might expect from prejudiced Jews, when he himfelf was capable of copying these infcriptions, which would have evidently fhewn what the form of these ancient letters were. But the relation of this matter would make us believe, that the infcriptions mentioned were in the form of the prefent Hebrew letters; which circumftance alone is fufficient authority to difcredit the whole. For it is not difficult to prove, that the prefent Hebrew letters are not the fame which Mofes firft, made ufe of, but very different. It is faid that Ezra changed the old Hebrew character, which was the fame of the Phoenician, for the Chaldean; and this has been the opinion of moft learned men, fays the author of the Connections, on good grounds: "For there are many old Jewifh fhekels ftill in being, and others of the fame fort are frequently dug up in Judæa, with this infcription, in Samaritan letters-Jerufalem Kedofha-that is, Jerufalem the holy : which infcription fhews that they could not be the coins of the Ifraelites of the Ten Tribes, nor of the Samaritans who after fucceeded them in their land ;

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