Imatges de pàgina
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said to have been delayed “ because the iniquity of " the Amorites was not full,” Gen. xv. 16. We read in Deut. xii. 29. &c. “ When the Lord thy “ God Ihall cut off the nations from before thee, “ whither thou goest to poffefs them, and thou “ succeedest them, and dwellest in their land: « take heed to thyself that thou be not fnared by “ following them, after that they be destroyed from “ before thee, and that thou enquire not after " their gods, saying, How did these nations serve “ their gods? even fo will I do likewise. Thou 6 fhalt not do so unto the Lord thy God; for " every abomination to the Lord which he hateth, « have they done unto their gods : for even their “ sons and their daughters they have burnt in the « fire to their gods :" Deut. xii. 2. &c. " Ye 6 fall utterly destroy all the places wherein the “ nations which ye shall possess served their gods, 6 upon the high mountains, and upon the hills, «s and under every green tree. And you shall

overthrow their altars, and break their pillars, « and burn their groves with fire, and you shall “ hew down the graven images of their gods, " and destroy the names of them out of that " place.”

That their motive for this was not the lust of plunder, is evident from the orders which they received, and with which they complied, not to take the silver and the gold belonging to their idols, but

to

to destroy it utterly, Deut. vii. 25. “ The graven « images of their gods shall ye burn with fire: er thou shalt not desire the silver or gold that is on " them, nor take it unto thee, left thou be snared “ therein : for it is an abomination to the Lord 66 thy God. Neither shalt thou bring an abomi“ nation into thy house, lest thou be a cursed thing « like it: but thou shalt utterly detest it, and " thou shalt utterly abhor it, for it is a cursed 66 thing.”

Nor were they the inhabitants of Canaan only who were to be extirpated on account of their idolatry; for the Israelites themselves were to have as little mercy shewn them on the same account, Lev. XX. I. " And the Lord spake unto Moses, say« ing, Again thou shalt say to the children of Il« rael, Whosoever he be of the children of Israel, « or of the strangers that sojourn in Israel, that “ giveth any of his feed unto Molech; he shall “ surely be put to death: the people of the land " Thall stone him with stones.” Deut. xiii. 6. &c. “ If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy “ son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, “ or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, en“ tice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve “ other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, “ nor thy fathers : namely, of the gods of the " people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of

o the " the earth, even unto the other end of the earth; " thou shalt not confent unto him, nor hearken “ unto him, neither tall thine eye pity him,

neither thalt thou spare, neither shalt thou con.“ ceal him; but thou shalt surely kill him; thine « hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, " and afterwards the hand of all the people. And " thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die; 66 because he hath fought to thrust thee away from 66 the Lord thy God, which brought thee out of 66 the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage. « And all Israel shall hear and fear, and shall do « no more any such wickedness as this is among or you. If thou shalt hear say in one of thy cities, of which the Lord thy God hath given thee to “ dwell there, saying, certain men, the children 66 of Belial, are gone out from among you, and « have withdrawn the inhabitants of their city, “ saying, Let us go and serve other gods (which “ ye have not known). Then shalt thou enquire " and make search, and ask diligently: and be. os hold, if it be truth, and the thing certain, that - such abomination is wrought among you : 66 Thou shalt surely smite the inhabitants of that 66 city with the edge of the sword, destroying it " utterly, and all that is therein, and the cattle 66 thereof, with the edge of the sword. And thou « shalt gather all the spoil of it into the midst of 6 the street thereof, and thalt burn with fire the

66 city, 56 city, and all the spoil thereof every whit, for " the I.ord thy God: and it shall be an heap for 66 ever, it shall not be built again. And there 66 shall cleave nought of the cursed thing to thine " hand : that the Lord may turn from the fierce66 ness of his anger, and shew thee mercy, and “ have compassion upon thee, and multiply thee, 66 as he hath sworn unto thy fathers; when thou 66 shalt hearken to the voice of the Lord thy God, 66 to keep all his commandments which I com66 mand thee this day, to do that which is right in " the eyes of the Lord thy God.”

These were certainly severe and awful measures, but they are abundantly vindicated by the confideration of the evils which they were intended to prevent. These evils were indeed of the most alarming nature, defeating the very end of the whole Jewish constitution, which was especially calculated to preserve the knowledge and worship of the one true God amidst a general defection from it, and to put a stop to the progress of the most abominable and destructive vices, which was the necessary consequence of that defection.

The divine displeasure at idolatry was likewise exprefled by the utter destruction of all the idola. trous nations of antient times, viz. the Canaanites, Egyptians, Syrians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Tyrians; and also by the repeated captivities, and other awful judgments, which never failed to be inflicted upon the Israelites themselves, whenever they revolted from the one true God.

inflicted

In the New Testament these awful denunciations of the judgments of God against idolatry, are not repeated with respect to the Jews, because that people had been effectually cured of their proneness to idolatry by the Babylonish captivity; but we see the same sentiments kept up, and referred to, upon every proper occasion, and very pressing exhortations and cautions are given to the Gentile churches, respecting this subject. Our Lord replies to his tempter, by quoting the books of Mofes, Mat. iv. 10. “ Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, " and him only shalt thou serve." The abstaining from meats offered to idols, was one of the necessary things which all the apostles enjoined upon the Gentile converts, Acts, xv. 29. The apostle Paul most earnestly and affectionately warns the Corinthian converts on this subject, 1 Cor. x. 7. “ Nei“ther be ye idolaters as were some of them :" (that is the Israelites) v. 14. " Wherefore my 6 dearly beloved, flee from idolatry:" v. 19. " What say I then? that the idol is any thing, or " that which is offered in facrifice to idols is any " thing? But I say, that the things which the « Gentiles facrificed, they sacrifice to demons*,

For so it ought to have been tranflated,

and

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