R0537-2 Where Did Moses Get That Law?

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WHERE DID MOSES GET THAT LAW?

An infidel, wishing to examine into the truth of the Christian religion, inquired of an elder of the Presbyterian church as follows: „What books, sir, would you advise me to read?” „The Bible,” said the elder. „I believe you do not understand me,” resumed the unbeliever, surprised in his turn; „I wish to investigate the truth of the Bible.” „I would advise you, sir,” repeated the elder, „to read the Bible; and,” he continued, „I will give you my reasons: Most infidels are very ignorant of the Scriptures. Now, to reason on any subject with correctness, we must understand what it is, about which we reason. In the next place, I consider the internal evidence of the truth of the Scriptures stronger than the external.” „And where shall I begin?” inquired the unbeliever, „at the New Testament?” „No,” said the elder, „at the beginning—at Genesis.”

One evening the elder called and found the unbeliever at his house or office, walking the room, with a dejected look, his mind apparently absorbed in thought. He continued, not noticing that any one had come in, busily to trace and retrace his steps. The elder at length spoke: „You seem, sir,” said he, „to be in a brown study; of what are you thinking?” „I have been reading,” replied the infidel, „the moral law.” „Well, what do you think of it?” asked the elder. „I will tell you what I used to think,” answered the infidel. „I supposed that Moses was the leader of a horde of banditti; that, having a strong mind, he acquired great influence over a superstitious people; and that on Mount Sinai he played off some sort of fireworks, to the amazement of his ignorant followers, who imagined, in their mingled fear and superstition, that the exhibition was supernatural.” „But what do you think now?” interposed the elder. „I have been looking,” said the infidel, „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.”

„I have been thinking,” he proceeded „where did Moses get that law? I have read history; the Egyptians and the adjacent nations were idolaters; so were the Greeks and Romans; and the wisest and best Greeks or Romans never gave a code of morals like this. Where did Moses get this 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.”—Selected.

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— October, 1883 —