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unto you in Horeb out of the midst of the fire."e The dogma, that the Supreme Being is a spirit—the highest spirit - incorporeal -and neither may nor can be represented by any likeness, is of the greatest moment. He is elevated above all the passions, free from all the foibles, exempt from all the frailties which degrade man. Let it not be objected, that we find in the Holy Bible many instances where corporeal attributes are imputed to God, where it speaks of God's anger, revenge, jealousy― of God's rising and moving; for bear in mind, that the Bible being written for men, the Lord descends therein to the level of human understanding, of human apprehension and human conception, and

גדול נביאים שמדמים צורה-assumes human language

"it is a great thing that the prophets were permitted to assign the image of man to the Creator who created man in his image." But those expressions must be purged and purified in our minds from all gross associations; for "to whom will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him?" There is none, either in the heaven or in the earth, who can be compared or likened unto him.

To fear God signifies, thirdly, to trust in and worship God. The fear of God also differs, in this respect, from the fear of any other power-that generally we cannot have confidence in him whom

• Deut. iv. 15.

* Ber. Rabba, 27. Moreh 1:46. Isa. xl. 18.

we fear; but the more we fear God the more our confidence in him must increase in strength. When we are convinced that with God is power which can give, and goodness which will give-that we owe to him alone all the benefits of our past

בעל הנס אינו מכיר and our present that very often

"he who is the object of a miracle, at first does not perceive it",-such discovery of God's omnipresence, infinite goodness and kindness, must be a new ground of hope, of trust, and of cordial submission. We feel ourselves bound to worship him alone and none else; we feel it incumbent on us to lift up to him every day thanks, praise

thanks for the - בקשה and supplication ,תהלה

past, praise for the present, and supplication for the future. It is true, that by uplifting our voice to heaven, we cannot convey to the Almighty any new knowledge; for he knows everything before we call, he hears before we cry. But though we cannot work a change in God, we can work a change in ourselves by making ourselves fit subjects for his benevolence, kindness and mercy, and qualifying us to receive his blessing.


But we must not only worship God at certain hours or periods; but our whole life must be one

h Nidda 31, a.

Our daily prayers embrace these three parts.
Isa. lxv. 24.

long spiritual service-we must keep God's commandments continually.

The Divine revelation is the next fundamental article of our faith. Observe, my brethren, they are His commandments. They are not the production of man, the offspring of mental contemplation, the fruit of human intellect: but, they are the superhuman communication from God, confirmed by miracles, and bestowed upon our forefathers in their own presence. Our holy religion is not a mystic revelation, a sealed book, a concealed communication; but it is founded on the fact, that six hundred thousand men saw and heard, and perceived

רק השמר לך ושמר נפשך מאד: it with all their senses Take heed to * פן תשכח את הדברים אשר ראו עיניך

thyself, and keep thy soul diligently, lest thou forget the things which thine eyes have seen... especially the day that thou stoodest before the Lord thy God in Horeb... when the Lord spake unto you out of the midst of the fire." If the evidence of two witnesses is sufficient to prove the truth of a statement, even though the life of a man depend on that evidence, how much more has the strong testimony of such a multitude of individuals a claim upon our credence, confidence, and conviction. If the evidence of strangers, whose motives are unknown, is entitled to belief when affirming a common occurrence, how much

k Deut. iv. 9-14.

more does the solemn fact testified by our ancestors,by our parents, who had a parental interest and desire not to mislead us, but to direct and to give us the best advice, the best inheritance,' deserve our firm belief.


Besides, the commandments have their evidence, bear their godly character in themselves. Though we may not know the reason of each separate law and statute; yet, thus much is obvious, that they are all for our good. "Now, Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him, and to keep the commandments of the Lord, and his statutes which I command thee this day (1) for thy good." The commandments have for their aim and tendency, either duty towards God, or towards ourselves, or towards our fellow-creatures; but they have generally man, the whole man for their purpose, either his body or his intellect, his mind or his spirit. We ask you, my brethren, must not a law of which love towards God" is the sun, the centre-as it were, the heart of its heart, the soul of its soul-a law which commands love towards our first benefactors, the representatives of God-our parents, love towards our wife, m Deut. x. 12, 13. Maimonides Hilchoth Jesod Hathora, ii. 1-4.

1 Kusri, i. 87-89. " Deut. vi. 5.

• Exod. xx. 12.

Lev. xix. 3.

Ibid. xxx. 17. Jer. xxxv. 5-8.

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Deut. v. 16.

Prov. xxiii. 22.

Malachi, ii. 14-16. Jebamoth, 63, a; Sota,

P Gen. ii. 24. 12, a; Baba Metzeah, 59, a.

children, and family; love towards the stranger, orphan, and widow;" love towards our country, whose air we breathe, whose language we speak, whose soil feeds us, and whose laws pro. tect us, and finally, love towards all our fellowmen," so that Hillel considers the last as the basis of all commandments* - must not such a law intend our good? Must not a law, which enjoins obedience consistent with the other laws of God, to the sovereign, to superiors, judges, to instructors and teachers, regard for the aged and experienced, the learned and the virtuous-must not such a law promote our temporal welfare? We ask further, a law which descends even to the feelings of the lower animals, and forbids to


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1 Deut. vi. 7. Ibid. xi. 19. Isa. xlv. 4. Jer. xxxi. 15. Sam. xix. 1. Ibid. xxi. 10.

'Lev. xxv. 49.

cap. 31.

Isa. lviii. 7. Jebamoth, 62, b. Shemos Rabba,

* Exod. xxii. 21. Ibid. xxiii. 9. Lev. xix. 10. Ibid. xxiii. 22. Deut. xvi. 14.

Deut. xxiv. 19-22. Exod. xxii. 22-24.

Rambam, Hilchoth Nachaloth, at the end.

"Deut. xxiv. 19. Job, xxix. 13. Jer. vii 6.

Jer. v.


Zech. vii. 8-10.

▾ Jer. xxvii. 7. Ibid. xxix. 17. Ibid. xi. 9. 2 Sam. i. 10.

1 Kings, v. 27. Dan. vi. 2, 3.

Kethuboth, 110, b.

Neh. ii. 3. Berachoth, 17, a.

Lev. ix. 18. Ibid. xix. 7, 18. Deut. xxvii. 24. Isa. xxxiii. 15-16. Ibid. lviii. 6-8. Micah, vi. 8.

* Sabbath, 31, a. Sifra Kedoschim, 4: 12.

Amos, v. 4. Ps. xv.

Jerus. Nedarim, 9:4.

Eccl. viii. 2. Jer. xxvii. 17. Ezek. xvii. 11-16. Prov. xxiv.
Aboth. 3:2. Berachoth, 58. Baba Kama, 112.
Sifri to Deut. 1:7.

21. Ezra, ix. 9. Shevuoth, 44.

* Exod. xxii. 24.

b Aboth, 4: 12.

Joreh Dea, 242.

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Maim. Hilchoth Malachim, 4: 1.
Pesachim, 113, b.

e Lev. xix. 32.
Sanhedrin, 99, b.

Kedushin, 33, a.

d Kedushin, 33, b.

f Ps. xv. 4.

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