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Deuteronomy vii.

1 When the Lord thy God shall bring thee into the land whither thou goest to possess it and hath cast out many nations before thee.

2 Thou shalt smite them, and utterly destroy them; thou shalt make no covenant with them, nor shew mercy unto them:

3 Neither shalt thou make marriages with them; thy daughter thou shalt not give unto his son, nor his daughter shalt thou take unto thy son.

4 For they will turn away thy son from following me.

5 But thus shall ye deal with them; ye shall destroy their altars, and break down their images, and cut down their groves, and burn their graven images with fire.

6 For thou art a holy people.

7 The Lord did not set his love upon you, not choose you, because ye were more in number than any people; for ye were the fewest of all people:

8 But because the Lord loved you, and because he would keep the oath which he had sworn unto your fathers, hath the Lord brought you out with a mighty hand, and redeemed you out of the house of bondmen, from the hand of Pharaoh king of Egypt.

WITH the seven nations that God cast out, the children of Israel were commanded to make no covenants, nor matrimonial alliances lest they should fall into idolatry. As men are more given to wandering in strange countries than women these injunctions are intended specially for them. Adam Clarke says, the heart being naturally inclined to evil, the idolatrous wife would more readily draw aside the believing husband, than the believing husband the idolatrous wife. That being the case, could not the believing wife with her subtle influence have brought over the idolatrous husband? Why should she not have the power to convert to one religion as well as another, especially as there was no choice between them. There could not have been anything worse than the Jewish religion illustrated in their daily walk and conversation, as described in their books, and if the human heart naturally inclined to evil, as many converts might have been made to the faith of Moses as to any other.

With this consideration it is plain that if the Jews had offered women any superior privileges, above any other tribe, they could have readily converted the women to their way of thinking. {p. 129} The Jewish God seems as vacillating and tempest-tossed between loving and hating his subjects as the most undisciplined son of Adam. The supreme ideal of these people was pitiful to the last degree and the appeals to them were all on the lowest plane of human ambition. The chief promise to the well-doer was that his descendants should be as numerous as the sands of the sea.

In chapter ix when rebellion at Horeb is described, Aaron only is refered to, and in chapter x when his death is mentioned, nothing is said of Miriam. In the whole recapitulation she is forgotten, though altogether the grandest character of the three, though cast out of the camp and stricken with leprosy, in vengeance, she harbors no resentment, but comforts and cheers the women with songs and dances, all through their dreary march of forty years.

Deuteronomy x.

18 He doth execute the judgment of the fatherless and widow, and loveth the stranger, in giving him food and raiment.

19 Love ye therefore the stranger: for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt.

The sacred fabulist has failed to give us any choice examples in which the Jews executed just judgments for widows or fatherless girls; on the contrary in all their dealings with women of all ranks, classes and ages they were merciless and unjust.

As to the stranger, their chief occupation was war and wholesale slaughter, not only of the men on the battlefield, but of innocent women and children, destroying their cities and making their lands desolate. A humane person reading these books for the first time without any glamour of divine inspiration, would shudder at their cruelty and blush at their obscenity.

Those who can make these foul facts illustrate beautiful symbols must have genius of a high order.

Deuteronomy xii.

18 But thou must eat them before the Lord thy God in the place which the Lord thy God shall choose, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates: and thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God in all that them puttest thine hands unto.

19 Take heed to thyself that thou forsake not the Levite as long as thou livest upon the earth.

If women have been faithful to any class of the human family

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it has been to the Levite. The chief occupation of their lives next to bearing children has been to sustain the priesthood and the churches.

With continual begging, fairs and donation parties, they have helped to plant religious temples on every hill-top and valley, and in the streets of all our cities, so that the doleful church bell is forever ringing in our ears. The Levites have not been an unqualified blessing, ever fanning the flames of religious persecution they have been the chief actors in subjugating mankind.

E. C. S.

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