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Men then were much better Philofophers than they are now, and that the Ifraelites were then the most knowing People in the World: And if they had not, could not God foresee that this Book was to be preferved till the prefent learned Race fhould arife, and that they should be framing Schemes to detect it? Yes, certainly. Secondly, that it is imperfect; that, or the contrary, muft appear upon Trial. But indeed the true Caufe appears to be Want of understanding of the Wisdom, Power and Defigns of God, in thofe who have made these Reflections. In the Firmament of Heaven, i. e. in Heaven; for Mofes ufes the Word Heaven in a general Senfe, and as the vulgar do, who call all above us Heaven; or Air, in which Senfe the Word is taken, v. 6. or the Orbs that are above the Air, as here. Neither did Mofes make particular Mention of thofe Orbs, because he was writing a Hiftory, not Philofophy; nor would « the Jews have understood thefe Things, which even we, after fo many Obfervations made by Aftronomers, do not understand. (b) This Dirt being wiped off, upon a Suppofition that it will not be fuffered, that Mofes hall be any longer treated at this Rate:
(b) Leonardi Marii in Pentat. p. 14.
They are willing to allow him to have learned Philosophy alfo of the Egyptians, and to imagine or guefs as they do, and (as aforefaid) that the Egyptians were learned in all Sciences, and great Philofophers. But how came the Egyptians by their Philofophy? Theirs is the only Spot of Ground in the World, where no Obfervations under Ground can be made, because the Strata lie low, and are mostly covered with Rubble and Mud; and they are in a great Measure excluded from the common Course of Things, as they are above Ground, and in the Heavens, &c. in all other Parts of the World: And it will appear, that the Egyptians had the Character, juftly, of being the stupidest Monsters of all that we have any Account of. But if they will but be pleafed to confider the Queries in Job xxxvii. 4, &c. Where was thou when I laid the Foundations of the Earth? declare, &c. they will find, that as all thefe Things, upon, and in, and by which Man lives, must have been prepared for him, before he, if he had been formed, could have fubfifted; nay, if God had created a Man perfect, before, or when he created Matter, and held him up in the Air, or on the Water, or in any Place, the first fix Days, the Man would
not have been much wifer. And if he could have feen and understood every thing that was formed, and every Action that was tranfacted, and had informed his Pofterity of it, I believe, before Writing was revealed, they would have been able to give but a very blind Account of it; And 'tis not poffible we can have any true Hiftory of them from Man, as fuch, without the Revelation of that Being, who created and formed, and made them and Men and though it is very likely that God had not only acquainted Adam with the first Formation, but feveral of his Pofterity, both with what was done at the first and fecond Formation; yet before Writing was revealed, they had added fome of their own Imaginations, which loft them the chief Benefit intended by that Revelation. God, by his Prophet Isaiah, challenges the pretended Gods to give an Account, or their Account, or any other Account, than he by Mofes had given of the Beginning of the Matter, erecting the Powers, and forming this material Syftem, viz. Ch. xli. 22. Let them come and tell us what Things happened; let them declare what they are, &c. Which if they could have done, he would have allowed them to have been Gods: And if Mofes has done it truly,
'tis Evidence to Demonftration, both that there is a God, and that Mofes his Account came from him.
If it had been in the Power of the Devil to have framed any plaufible Account, either of the Formation, or of the Powers which could form and fupport a perpetual Motion, in Oppofition to that revealed, no doubt but he would have furnished his Oracles with it; and the Servants are not greater than their Mafter, as appears when the Gueffes of many Men, which are preferved out of the many which have been made and loft, in feveral thousand Years, are compared with Revelation. And if we had had no Revelation, this would have been evidently true, by the ill Succefs all proud Men have had, who have taken upon themselves to affert Imaginations, and build Structures upon them; because they have all had, and will have, the fame Fate. In the Beginning God created the Heaven and the Earth. Some Greeks who have endeavoured to prove the contrary, bave fallen into the deepest Ignorance, for Opinions that proceed only from human Reafon and Judgment, are obfcure, being involved in Darkness, and having no firm Support, are easily fhaken. No Opinion Stands afcertain with them, one contradicting ano
ther; fo that it is no Trouble to confute them, fince they deftroy each other.(c)
It is not at all strange, that neither false God, Devil, Atheift, nor imagining Men, could ever frame any Story upon this Subject, which would abide hearing, if it be confidered what Wisdom and Power was neceffary, to contrive and create proper Sorts, and proper Quantities of Atoms of Matter, and put them together in fuch Order, that they should not only continue a perpetual Motion of all the Ether, Planets, Waters, &c. but a limited, regulated Motion, &c. in Vegetables, for Food, &c. for Animals; and in the feveral Species of Animals, in Air, or Water, from the Whale to the fmallest Mite, to answer each the End of their refpective Creation, propagate their Species, &c. Solomon fhews us in Proverbs, Chap. iii. and viii. that nothing less than the infinite Wisdom of God, which he reprefents fpeaking under the Perfon of a Woman, was fufficient to contrive, create and form this Machine. And Ecclus. xlii. 24, 25. All Things are double one against another, and he bath made nothing imperfect; one thing establisheth the good of another.
(c) Max. Bibl. vet. Patr. Tom. 27. p. 26. De Euftace in Hexam.