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groundless Stories to account for it ; seeing this is now thing but what is agrecable to the ancient Divinity, and the usual Sentiments of most Nations in the World. And so as for the Earth-quake, or shaking of the Mountain, it is no more than what all Nations have thought has come to pass at the Presence of God. As Pfal. lxviii. 8. The Earth book, the Heavens also dropped at the Prefence of God. And Pfal. civ. 32. He looketh on the Earth, and it trembleth. And Virgil in his Description of the Ape proach of Phoebus, does in a manner but translate the Words of Mofes.
tremere omnia visa repente,
all Things do feem to quake, .. .
So whenever the Coming of Hecate is described, as in Theocritus's Pharmaceutria, &c. Qr when any great Deity appears, as that great Demogorgon which Lucan mentions, Lib.3, the Earth is always said to tremble.
paretis, an ille
But after all, here was not the least Ground to fufped any Deceit in this wonderful Occurrence; for Mofes deals very openly with the Ifraelites in this Matter, and suffers them to come up into the Mountain after the Lord had departed thenice. And there is a Signal given them when they shall venture to come. When the Trumpet foundet h long, they shall come up to the Mount, Exod. xix. v. 13,
Now if there had been any Thing of this pretended Vula cano in the Mountain that Moses had cheated them with, to be sure Moses had forbid them to come up to the Mountain altogether; for their viewing those natural Eruptions afterwards would have laid open the Cheat as much, as if they had been present, when Moses gave out he was receiving his Law from God, who exhibited him felf in that Appearance.
Phil. But still, Credentius, there is another of this Leo gislator's A&ions, which sticks much in my Stomach ; and that is his making the Jews believe, that by a divine Power he turned the Waters of the Red-Sea into two folid Walls standing up on each side of the Ifraelites, to let them pass through upon the dry Ground. But to say nothing of the Pleasantness of this Miracle : Methinks this was but a Cast of the Legislator's Cunning, to coin a Miracle out of the Sea's Low-water. For it is a Tra. dition among the Ægyptians, that Moses being a little more subtile than the ignorant Fews, or the Ægyprians which pursued him, understood the exact Time of the Tide of that Sea, and so carried over upon the Ebb his People safe, whilst the Ægyptians were lost for lack of better Observation. * Which Thought so wrought upon the learned Fosephus, that he allowed the same to be done by Alexander, in passing the Pamphylian Sea.' Or how. ever this Miracle is much lessened, if we assert with a great many of the Divines, that the Ferws did not cross the Sea ; but only went in a little Way, and came out again on the fame Side; and then ignorant Folks that lived far off from the Sea, might be imposed upon at the fame Rate, every Time 'tis Low-water with us.
Cred. It is a Wonder at this Time of Day that you witty Gentlemen, who are endeavouring to settle all Things upon a new Bortom, should he beholden to one of old Porphyry's Cavils to bespatter our Religion; or to an idle Tale of the Ægyptians. But in answer to these Insinuations,
* Ant. Lib. 2. Cap . .::T4
s. I am
The Ifrae- . 1. I am of Opinion, there is no Reason to think, but lites did not that the Ifraelites passed quite through the Chanel of the pass rounds
ng Sea from one Shore to the other. For the only Reason the Head of of the Si- which gave Rise to the other opinion, was the Relation nus. of the Journeys of the People, Numb. xxiii. where, v.6.
it is said that they departed from Succoth, which is on the
Ægyptian's Side of the Red-Sea, and pitched in Etham, and from thence moved to Pi-hahiroth, paffed through the midst of the Sea into the Wilderness, and so went three Days
Fourney into the Wilderness of Etham. Whence they cons clude that Etham, and the Wilderness of Ethan, must needs be on the fame Side of the Sea ; and consequently the Fews did not march cross the Sea, but only through one Side of it, in a Semi-circle, and out again a little higher on the fame Side. But this is contrary to the express Words of Scriptnre, which say, they paffed through the Middle of the Sea. 'And as for the Difficulty about Es tham, that is fairly solved, by allowing only two Ethams, the onea Town which they encamped at, on the Ægyptian Side, the second on the Arabian Side, a Wilderness. In: stances of which are common enough in Scripture and prophane Histories. But if we must needs have the Wilderness of Erbam denominated from the Town, Mr. Le Clerc * has ingeniously guessed that Etham, the Town, was situated nigh the upper Part of the Sinus Arabicus, and gave Denomination to a great Desert which surrounded the Head of that Bay, and reached down a considerable Way on both sides.' So that tho they marched from the Wilderness of Etham cross the Bay, they would be
only in another Part of the Wilderness of Erkam still. Tle Waters 2. Neither do I see any Reason to assert that the Wa.
ters were miraculously consolidated; or that they did in Hand ered.
a literal Sense stand on an Heap, or crect like a Wall. But only God sent a strong Wind, as the Text says, which blew back the Tide and all the Waters, which covered the Sands over against Pi-hahiroth, farther towards the Ocean; leaving fome Waters Aagnating towards the Head of the
derness of Ethon de But if we must needcripture and
Sinus, all along towards the Mediterranean Sea. So that by
3. Nor did this come to pass by any natural Wind, Not beas .but by a miraculous one, which the Scripture says was back by a
natural sent immediately by God, for that Purpose. For no Hi- Wind. stories give Account, that ever since that Time, the Waters were so blown out, which must have often come to pass, if the Cause had been natural ; nay more frequently of late than formerly, the Waters of all Creeks and Sinus's being more shallow in these later Ages of the World, than in the centuries which were nigher to the Deluge. But if
Flonds on the Heart of rical Expreffio tihem, it mu
fuch Ebbs had been so natural and frequent as the Infidels
turn back upon the Ægyptians, in their full Fury. . Alexan
4. It does not make any Thing against the Truth of der's Paf- this Miracle, that Alexander panied his Army over the sing the Streights of the Pamphylian Sea; for those Streights are Pamphy- naturally dry at every low Water ; which I believe Fose. lian Streiebts, phus was ignorant of, which made him compare it with 30 Parallel. this great Occurrence in the Mofaical Expedition. Now
of that Matter Strabo writes thus *, About Phaselis there.