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let: blefling originally intended for Esau. XU. Upon the whole, if there were an

offence, it was one that might be forgiven; and if God, notwithstanding, continued to bless Jacob, he did for. give it, and had reasons for so doing.

Ibid. “ In short, how shall we juf« tify God for the continual distinc

tion he is said to have bestowed on 66 a people, who from their own annals " appear to have been unparalleled for « cruelty, ingratitude, in urbanity, &c."

The article of cruelty, for proof of which we are referred, in a note, to the acts of Joshua, may be deferred till we come professedly to consider those acts. Their ingratitude towards God their Saviour was indeed Aagrant; but perhaps might be matched else. where. As to the charge of inurbanity, it was brought against them by Vol

taire, who spake of them as a LET, 66 wretched nation, ever ignorant, and X111. “ vulgar, and strangers to the Arts.” The following reply was made to him. When the infidels shall have duly considered it, we shall hope to be favoured with their sentiments upon

it.

“Does it become you, a writer of " the 18th century, to charge the an« cient Hebrews with ignorance? A “people, who, while your barbarous “ ancestors, whilft even the Greeks and " Latins, wandering in the woods, « could scarcely procure for themselves “ cloathing and a settled subsistence, “ already possessed all arts of necessity, “ and some of mere pleasure; who “ not only knew how to feed and “ rear cattle, till the earth, work up “ wood, stone, and metals, weave

“ cloaths,

III.

LET. "cloaths, dye wool, embroider stuffs,
XIII. " polish and engrave on precious

“ stones, but who, even then, add-
“ing to manual arts those of taste
“ and refinement, surveyed land, ap-
« pointed their festivals according to
es the motions of the heavenly bodies,
6 and ennobied their solemnities by
“ the pomp of ceremonies, by the
“ found of instruments, music, and
6 dancing; who even then commitced
“ to writing the history of the origin
“ of the world, that of their own
“nation, and their ancestors; who
“ had poets and writers skilled in all
“ the sciences chen known, great and
" brave commanders, a pure wor-
“ ship, just laws, a wise form of
“ government; in short, the only
“ one of all ancient nations, that has

« left

« left us authentic monuments of LET. “ genius and of literature. Can this XIII. s nation be justly charged with ignorance and inurbanity ?”

rance

LET.

L E T T E R

XIV..

LET. D . “Unbelievers affirm, that xiv. I. " a juft God could not punish

“ Pharaoh for an hardness of heart, of “ which he himself (God) was evi“ dently the cause."

When we meet with an assertion apparently contrary to all the truth and equity in the world, it is but common justice to any writer, human or divine, to suppose, that we mis. take his meaning, and that the expression employed to convey it is capable of an interpretation different from that which may at first present itself. We cannot, for a moment, imagine,

that,

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