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tian advocates for prayer have injured the argument by insisting , so much te they have done , on its tendency to generate moral habits , and induce a virtuous life , independently of human petitions reaching the ears of , the
Almi g hty . It is an apologetical strain ; which the stronger view of the subject , presented by the injunctions of our Saviour and by the infinity of the Divine attributes , seems to render fu * tile , or at the best a sceptical supererogation .
I must claim the indulgence granted to the elder Cato in his frequent denunciation of a rival state ; and observe , that the God who heareth prayer , whose presence I acknowledge , and whose mercy I invoke , is the one and indivisible Jehovah—as in the Lord ' s
Prayer , that pearl above all price and inestimable legacy to Christians . Did a triple deity , an assemblage of three divine persons in my oratory , ever cross ray mind in the act of devotion , what a dissipation of the mental powers , when they should be most intense
and collected , would ensue ! The bifronted Janus was an object of worship more cognizable than a Trinity in Unity . It is consoling , however , to reflect on the gradual disrepute into which this anomaly is falling . Nor should we be surprised at the clamours raised in consequence ; for , at what
time are the noise and the confusion on board so great , as when a bark is in peril and the mariners conscious of it ? BREVIS . i
by way of doing a thing that was acceptable to him . " Verse 37 . •* Had she been to be sacrificed , the apprehension of a violent cnficed , the apprehension of a violent
death would , no doubt , have been more upon her mind than merely dying a virgin . She was devoted to pass a single life , though there does not appear to have been any proper obligation to do sfo "
Verse 39 . ** When any persons were devoted to God , so that he might be said to have a right to take their lives , as was the case with respect to all the first-born of the Israelites , who were spared when those of the Egyptians were destroyed , a redemption was
accepted , and no doubt this was the case here , as an equivalent for the life of his daughter . This would have satisfied the law , without devoting her to a single life . But , perhaps , he might think himself obliged to deprive himself as much as he lawfully could of
any satisfaction he might have received from her or her offspring : she being no longer his , but given to God , as Samuel was by his mother . Had this young woman been really sacrificed , the father must have taken her to the national altar , and the priests must have hilled her and presented the
blood . And what priest would have done this ? His killing' her with his own hands would not have been a sacrifice , according to the intent and meaning of his vow , but a murder , for which his own life would have been
forfeited . If the conduct of Jeptha in devoting his daughter to death could be justified , any other person might have murdered another after a previous similar vow . For the law of Moses would no more authorize a person to
kill his daughter , than it would any other person . The vow was not to devote any thing to destruction , but to offer it as a burnt-offering ; and a vowonce made could not be changed . "
These comments appear to me extremely pertinent ; for the degeneracy of the Jewish nation at that period , as instanced by the annotator , would scarcely lead us to the admission that
an act so utterly abhorrent from the Jewish ritual could on any supposition have taken place . I own that the statement of Josephus , who mi g ht have been expected to solve this difficulty by a simitar interpretation to
— ^ p ^—Sir , ON reading the candid and ingenious remarks of N ., ( 594—597 , ) respecting the nature and issue of Jeptha ' s vow , I turned to the " Notes
on scripture" of Dr . Priestley : as his commentary on this portion of Scripture history contains some suggestions which appear to meet satisfactorily the acute otyections of the .. * ' Annotator on passages of the Old Testament , ** perhaps you will allow me to transcribe them for tjie consideration of your readers .
Judges xi . 31 . " This must , no doubt , be understood of something that it was lawful to sacrifice . No worshiper of the true God would intend to act contrary to his express prohibition ,
Jeptha * s Sacrifice . ? 03 >
Monthly Repository (1806-1838) and Unitarian Chronicle (1832-1833), Dec. 2, 1820, page 703, in the Nineteenth-Century Serials Edition (2008; 2018) ncse.ac.uk/periodicals/mruc/issues/vm2-ncseproduct2495/page/15/