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tories, the Holy Bible ; otherwise he might, as it seems to me, have supported his opinion by that unexceptionable authority.

The Supreme Being had been pleased to nourish up a single family, by continued acts of his attentive providence, 'till it became a great people : and having rescued them from bondage by many miracles performed by his servant Moses, he personally delivered to that chosen fervant, in presence of the whole nation, a constitution and code of Jaws for their observance; accompanied and fanctioned with promises of great rewards, and threats of severe punishments, as the consequence of their obedience or disobedience.

This constitution, though the Deity himself was to be at its head (and it is therefore called by political writers a Theocracy) could not be carried into execution but by the means of his ministers;


Aaron and his fons were therefore commiffioned to be, with Moses, the first eftablished ministry of the new govern, ment.

One would have thought, that the appointment of men who had distinguished themselves in procuring the liberty of their nation, and had hazarded their lives in openly opposing the will of a powerful monarch who would have retained that nation in slavery, might have been an appointment acceptable to a grateful people; and that a constitution, framed for them by the Deity himself, might on that account have been secure of an universal welcome reception. Yet there were, in every one of the thirteen tribes, some discontented, restless fpirits, who were continually exciting them to reject the proposed new government, and this from various motives.

Many still retained an affection for Egypt, the land of their nativity, and these, whenever they felt any inconveni, ence or hardship, though the natural and unavoidable effect of their change of situation, exclaimed against their leaders as the authors of their trouble ; and


not only for returning into Egypt, but for stoning their deliverers *. Those inclined to idolatry were displeafed that their golden calf was destroyed. Many of the chiefs thought the new conftitution might be injurious to their particular interests, that the profitable places would be engrossed by the families and friends. of Moses and Aaron, and others equally well-born excluded f:-In Josephus, and the Talinud, we learn


66 And they ga

* Numbers, chap. xiv.

Numbers, chap. xvi. ver. 3. “thered themselves together against Mofes and

against Aaron, and said unto them, ye take too, much upon you, seeing all the congregations are “ holy, every one of them,—wherefore then lift ye

up youselves above the congregation."


some particulars, not so fully narrated in the scripture. We are there told, " that Corah was ambitious of the priesto “ hood; and offended that it was confer" red on Aaron ; and this, as he said, by “the authority of Moses only, without the

consent of the people. He accused Moses “ of having, by various artifices, frau“ dulently obtained the government, "and deprived the people of their liber“ties ; and of conspiring with Aaron to

perpetuate the tyranny in their family. “ Thus, though Corah's real motive was “ the supplanting of Aaron, he perfuaded « the people that he meant only the pub“ lic good ; and they, moved by his in“ finuations, began to cry 0116,— Let

us maintain the common liberty of our

respetive tribes ; we have freed our« selves from the slavery imposed upon “ us by the Egyptians, and shall we suf“ fer ourselves to be made slaves by • Moses? If we inust have a master, it


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“ were better to return to Pharaoh; us who at least fed us with bread and s onions, than to serve this new tyrant;

who by his operations has brought us « into danger of famine.' Then they o called in question the reality of his

conference with God ; and objected to " the privacy of the meetings, and the “ preventing any of the people from being “ present at the colloquies, or even ap“ proaching the place, as grounds of great

fufpicion. They accused Mofes also of “ peculation; as embezzling part of the gol“ den spoons and the silver chargers, that “ the princes had offered at the dedication “ of the altar *, and the offerings of gold « by the common people at, as well as “ most of the poll tax *; and Aaron “ they accused of pocketing much of the

* Numbers, chap. vii.
* Exodus, chapter xxxv. ver. 22.

Numbers, chap. iii. and Exodus, chap. xxx.


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