John McQuirk.

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reach so far; or, at least, the influence of liquor
dealers hinders any provision, except what they
themselves provide.

It is said that opportunity makes the thief : if money
and jewels and diamonds were exposed on every
corner, who can doubt that robberies would be more
prevalent? In like manner, facility of supply makes
the drunkard. A short time since a very forcible
argument was used against scattering, as opposed to
localization, of certain houses of another kind: it
was truly designated as spreading the defilement,
with the imminent risk of ruining the innocent and
unwary. I cannot understand if the same argu-
mentation should not be applied to the everywhere
present liquor store. For of course it multiplies the
temptation. I am not making any comparison be-
tween the respective natures of the two places. I am
only arguing that as facility of supply increases the
demand in the one case, so it does in the other. If al-
cohol were not so easily had, it could not be so read-
ily and generally consumed. How^ever subtly lo-
gicians may distinguish between cause and occasion
and circumstances and the drinker's own culpability,
etc., the indisputable, practical fact stands, that if
the liquor stores were not so many the drinking
habit would not be so prevalent ; that it is the liquor
store that makes the drunkard, as any other occasion
of sin makes the sinner. If there are those, as
doubtless there are, who would abuse alcohol and get
drunk, even if there were no saloons, the number
would be comparatively small; and there is no rea-


son to provide for those who could so easily provide
for themselves. The vice should not be propagated
or the whole community demoralized for the supply
or the gratification of a few. The occasion of temp-
tation should be curtailed as much as possible.
Where there is so much exposure alluring to this
forbidden vice, be sure that. the demand is much
larger than it otherwise would be : lessen the danger
and hide the exposure, and you diminish crime and

I have only touched upon a few of the causes of in-
temperance. There are many others ; they will occur
to yourselves. The remedies are suggested by the
causes. In the case where the child is born with the
tendency to alcohol, much good will be done by dili-
gently watching over it when young, not allowing
it to frequent w^here liquor is at hand or persons
addicted to its use. Such a child, and no child,
should be sent to procure for others such beverages,
or even to enter such resorts. Nor does it lessen, but
rather augments, the crime to conceal the vessel ; for
such concealment is confession of the guilt implied.
The child instinctively feels that exposure shunned
is vice confessed. The parent that sends his child to
a liquor store for such purpose, should be put out of
the community. He teaches the child to drink; it
reasons that what is good for the parent cannot be
bad for itself. Meeting men drunk, or half drunk,
or w^omen, the child becomes familiarized with the
danger. I am not now speaking of other perils that
the child runs; and which I leave to your general
apprehension. The poison which the child may have
inherited is not to be stimulated by taste or smell or


eating or drinking of anything that can rouse the
latent virus. I have read that candy, especially the
inferior quality usually sold to children, is an inci-
pient cause of creating a thirst for alcohol ; it is said
to contain certain ingredients that produce a longing
for drink, strong or weak, as the case may be.


''Think not that I will accuse you to the Father.
There is one who accuseth you, Moses, in whom ye
trust. For if ye did believe Moses, ye would be-
lieve Me also; for he wrote concerning Me. But
if you believe not his writings, how will ye believe
My words?" St. John v; 45-47.

These are the words of Jesus Christ. And by
them the Divinity of the Mosaic Revelation is evi-
dently declared. By them Moses is declared a proph-
et in that he wrote of Jesus Christ. By them the
similarity of the Mission of Moses with that of
Christ, is declared in that, "if they believed Moses
they would also believe" Him.

The New Testament and the Old go together;
they bear witness to one another; they complement
one another; they prove one another. If one is true
the other is true, for one declares the truth of the
other. To put out of sight the argument for the
Divinity of the New Testament drawn from the
prophecies, of which it was the fulfillment, lest to

*The author, in this Tract, acknowledges his indebted-
ness to Hooke, a distinguished Irish theologian and Doctor
of the Sorbonne, in the 18th century.


the Strictly logical we should seem to prove the Old
Testament from the New and the New afterwards
from the Old ; we say that Christ came into the
world and proved His mission by miracles ; and hav-
ing thus demonstrated His character as the Son of
God, He declared the Mosaic Revelation divine.
Everything, then, that proves the truth of the New
Testament goes to show the truth of the Old. The
two are linked together, they blend together ; the
Old Testament without the New is an inexplicable
book; the New without the Old is deprived of a
great part of its evidence.

The prophecies of the Old Testament were ful-
filled in the New ; the promises of the Old were made
good in the New ; the symbols and sacrifices and
types of the Old received embodiment and substance
in the New. The greatest concord prevails between
Moses and the other prophets of the Old and the
teachings and ordinances of the New. So manifest
an evidence of their truth is this mutual interdepen-
dence of the two Testaments, that Huetius, who has
written a most learned demonstration of the truth
of the Gospel, has done but little else than to place
in parallel columns the predictions, and promises,
and facts of the Old Testament, and the teachings
and facts of the New ; thence drawing a demonstra-
tion nothing short of geometrical for the divinity of
both Old and New Testaments.

In coming to consider the Divinity of the Mosaic
Revelation, what strikes us first is the strong resem-
blance, in many points, existing in the lives of Moses
and Jesus Christ. Moses found his countrymen
immersed in paganism and adoring idols. He re-


claimed them ; forbidding such worship under sever-
est penalties. He taught them the existence of One
true God, Whom alone they should adore and love.
Jesus came into the world and found men worship-
ping the unknown God, and sunk in all the errors
into which reason, left to itself, had degraded them.
He recalled them from their errors, taught them the
Unity and Trinity of God, and made known to them
the true religion and the eternal principles of morals.
Moses had established among the Jews a God-given
form of government, and formed from them a
chosen nation. Jesus established a Church to carry
on His work, and introduced into the souls of men
a supernatural life into which He poured His vital-
izing grace throught the channels of the Sacraments.
Moses had taught men the creation of the world, the
immortality of the soul, its supernatural destiny.
Jesus complemented these truths by those of the
Gospel. Even as the life of Moses, as the one pre-
dicted the liberator of his people, was sought by
Pharaoh and miraculously preserved : so was the
life of Jesus, as the predicted King of the Jews,
sought by Herod and miraculously preserved
Moses performed miracles : so did Jesus. Moses
fed the Israelites in the desert : Jesus fed in the
desert five thousand men with a few loaves and
fishes. Moses walked through the Red Sea, the
Jews following: Jesus walked on the waters, Peter
following. Moses fasted forty days : Jesus fasted
forty days. Moses descended from the Mount with
his face transfigured by the glory of God's coun-
tenance : Jesus was transfigured on Thabor. Moses
cured the leprosy of Mary, his sister : Jesus with a


word cured the man struck with this plague. Moses
calmed the sea from a violent south wind : Jesus com-
manded, and there came a great calm. Moses aj>-
pointed Jesu Nave as his representative : Jesus ap-
pointed Peter. Moses appointed seventy disciples
to rule the people : Jesus appointed seventy disciples.
Moses sent twelve men to explore the promised land :
Jesus sent twelve men to promulgate the Gospel and
to teach the world. Moses declared, Thou shalt not
kill : Jesus said, Thou shalt not be even angry with
thy brother. Moses taught, Thou shalt not commit
adultery : Jesus, Thou shalt not look after a woman
to lust for her. Moses, Thou shalt not steal : Jesus,
Thou shalt give thy goods to feed the poor.

The marks of Revelation are to be found in
the characters of those authorized to teach it, in the
doctrines revealed, and in the manner of its promul-
gation : that is, if miracles are wrought, and proph-
ecies fulfilled, and prophecies uttered afterwards
to be fulfilled. We come now to apply these marks
to the Mosaic Revelation ; and, first of all, as to the
character of him who received it from heaven, and
taught it to the Jews. From what I have already
said touching Moses, you have no doubt been led
to form a very exalted opinion of his character and

The marks of a good man are piety towards God,
leading him to worship and love in spirit and in
truth and without guile ; love of man, leading him to
show towards his fellows all those duties of justice
and charity and benevolence which he wishes to be
practiced towards himself; a zeal for virtue, ingen-
uousness in confessing his own offences, and those


of whom he is the leader and guide, and readiness
in punishing them; and in aU things and ahvays
candid and unassumed simphcity. The marks of a
bad man and impostor, are impiety towards God,
faithlessness towards men, a desire to conceal his
vices and, if possible, make them wear the mask of
virtues; to prefer himself, his interest and pleasure
to the public good ; to seek the good will and favor
and applause of men by fawning, flattery, cringing
and empty speech.

Moses had all these virtues and none of these
vices. His works breathe the most tender piety
towards God; he begins with praise of the Divine
power and goodness shown in creation, which he
magnificently describes. The first and fundamental
law of the Judaical Kingdom w^as, "Hear, O Israel,
the Lord your God is one ; thou shalt love thy Lord
thy God with thy whole heart, and soul, and
strength. These words shall be in thy heart, and
thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy house
and going on a journey, sleeping and waking."
How he taught his people mutual love was showm
in the generosity and well-doing which ever char-
acterized the Jews towards each other. His love of
virtue was shown by all the laws which he passed
for the extirpation of vice and the encouragement
and cultivation of virtue. In him there was no guile,
no disguising what he was, no assuming what he
was not; he had in an eminent degree that lofty
simplicity, which belongs to the noblest minds. He
was ingenuous in confessing his sins, and punishing
himself for them. He says little of himself but of
what concerns his faults; of the glorious things


which he had done in the serxice of Pharaoh when
he led the Egyptian armies to victory against the
Ethiopians, he says notliing. In brief, he gives such
an account of himself that one would imagine it was
the work of an enemy; so si>aring in his praise, so
severe in his censure. His manner of speech is frank
and honest, not of that meretricious kind which is so
often used to gain credit for a lie. He preferred not
himself to the good of his country, but sacrificed
himself for it. He undertook the liberation of his
fellow countrymen against every human hope, be-
cause God urged him. He was not fond of ruling,
and gave no signs of ambition. In his whole life he
endured nothing but trouble and affliction. Seeking
not himself, he gave the priesthood to Aaron ; show-
ing no envy, he made Josue, from a different tribe,
a leader of the people. He sought not the good will
or applause of his people by flattery, or remissness
in punishing their faults. On the contrary, with
constancy and firmness, he reprimanded both people
and princes for their errors and sins. Even those
of his own family did not escape the punishment
which they deserved. Such was the character and
virtues of him whom God raised up to teach men the
Revelation which He vouchsafed to make. And,
surely, we find him to be a man not unworthy of his
mission. We can even regard him as one whom
God would pr()l)ably make use of for such a puri^ose.
We come now to the character of the doctrines
which he taught. The substance of the Mosaic law
is the Decalogue, which is as w^ell the substance of
the law of Christ. In it there is nothing against the
natural law, nothing against the law of conscience,


nothing against the inborn dictates of honesty and
truth, nothing against the hght of the intellect, noth-
ing giving license to the human heart. In a word,
it has none of the disqualifications which are fatal
to the claim of a revelation that contains them. On
the contrary, it has all the positive marks which
serve as strong presumptive evidence of the Reve-
lation which possess them. It is the very expression
of the natural law, reflected in man's heart and in-
telligence. It harmonizes with and encourages and
cultivates everything that heart and mind and con-
science by their inborn light teach. The Ten Com-
mandments are not the expression of any arbitrary
will (so to speak) on the part of God. They are
the expression of what is necessary in very nature,
and which man should obey even if the Decalogue
had never been promulgated. It commands what is
intrinsically good, it forbids what is intrinsically bad.
All religion consists in our duties to God, His wor-
ship and love; to our neighbor, justice and charity;
and to ourselves. And all these duties are expressed
in the law of Moses. It infinitely surpasses all the
summaries of natural law drawn up by all other
legislators. There is no duty which we owe to God
which is not contained in the first three Command-
ments. There is no duty which we owe to ourselves
and to our fellows which is not contained in the last

Moreover, the law of Moses supplies all the needs
and answers all the questions of the heart and mind.
And as it is this which chiefly calls for a Revelation,
it constitutes strong presumptive evidence of the
Revelation that vouchsafes it. The law of Moses


solved the mystery which every man finds in himself
of the struggle between his mind and his members,
by declaring that this unnatural conflict is due to the
original estrangement of man from God, and to the
consequent withdrawal of Divine grace. It solved
the mystery of human society, by declaring man's
origin and final destiny ;iby teaching him the mieans by
which he might be lifted to that supernatural plane
which would lead to his supernatural end ; by mak-
ing known a means by which he, having sinned,
might be reconciled to God by faith in a Redeemer
to come. It taught the correct worship of God, and
the eternal principles of morals. It raised him, by
the mysteries of nature which he could not compre-
hend, to believe the supernatural mysteries of re-
ligion. And all this is taught by that simple, short,
comprehensive method of faith in the prophets and
other divinely authorized teachers, by which the
truths of Religion are best made known and brought
home to all men.

We come now to consider the manner in which
the Mosaic Revelation was authenticated : by mira-
cles and prophecies ; and first, as to the prophecies
which Moses fulfilled. If you read the xvth Chap-
ter of Genesis you will find everything that Moses
afterwards did, foretold to Abraham by Almighty
God in that mysterious dream into which he was cast
after He had declared to Him that He would make
him the father of His chosen peopfle. In this prophecy
are declared all the future fortunes of the Hebrews :
the unexpected birth of Isaac, the wonderful multi-
plication of the race, their wandering and slavery,
their liberation after four hundred years, the judg-


ments to be visited upon the Egyptians, their op-
pressors; the Jews going forth from Egypt laden
with Egyptian spoils, their return in the fourth
generation, their possession of the land of Canaan.
This prophecy was well known to the Jews before
the days of Closes. The rite of circumcision, esta-
blished to preserve the memory of the Covenant with
Abraham on occasion of the prophecy, was enough
to remind them of it. Moreover, Jacob dying
in Eg"ypt wished that his body should be returned
to Canaan, because he knew of the prediction
that the Israelites would one day occupy that land.
Besides, but four hundred and thirty years passed
from Abraham to Moses, so that the memory of it
could be easily preserved. But a few generations
would span that period. iMoses lived a long time
with Amram his father, who was contemporary with
Joseph. Joseph was the son of Jacob, Jacob son
of Isaac, Isaac son of x\braham. The remembrance
of the prophecy could be easily preserved. We can-
not suppose that Joseph and his brethren were ig-
norant of what had happened to Abraham. And
the time was so short that, if Moses had been the
first to mention that prediction, the people who had
never before heard of it would have protested against
him. Especially is this the case, since Moses also
records things disgraceful to the ancestors of some
of the tribes, as the disinheritance of Ruben and
Simeon Levi by their father Jacob. If the predic-
tion had not been made, they would have been stung
with the reproach and would have denounced the
forger of history and the author of pretended pre-


These seven predictions were wonderfully ful-
filled. First : "Not this Eleazar of Damascus, the
son of the steward of thy household, shall be thy
heir, but my servant born in my house." Which
was fulfilled in the birth of Isaac, born of Sara, long-
past child-bearing. Secondly : "Look up to heaven
and number the stars, if thou canst; so shall thy
seed be" ; and this in later chapters confirmed : "Thou
shalt no longer be called Abram, but Abraham, be-
cause I have appointed thee the father of many na-
tions." This was fulfilled in the prodigious multi-
plication of the Jewish people. One hundred and
twenty years are required by the ordinary laws of
nature to double a race. Yet the Jews during their
Egyptian bondage were doubled every fifteen years.
Thirdly : It was predicted that they should be en-
slaved four hundred years : and for four hundred
years they were enslaved. Fourthly: That after
that time they should be liberated: and after that
time they were liberated. Fifthly : That they should
return in the fourth generation (which in this place
means a century) : and in the fourth generation they
returned to Canaan. Sixthly: That the judgments
of God should fall upon the Egyptians : and they
fell in the shape of the ten plagues. Seventhly : That
they should possess the land of Canaan : and they
came into possession of the land of Canaan. Here,
then, was the prediction of all that Moses did. He
was instrumental in almost all the events here pre-
dicted. Almighty God had declared them to Abra-
ham four hundred years before. Hence we con-
clude that Moses was divinely sent, and that his
Revelation is accordingly divine.


We come now to consider the miracles which
Moses wrought in attestation of his divine mission.
When he was called by God, he w^as attending his
flocks in Egypt. He saw a bush which was burning,
and yet was not consumed. He approached and
heard a voice commanding him to^ ''Take off his
shoes, for the ground he walked upon was holy."
The voice declared to him that it was the voice of
God; that for a long time He had compassionated
the condition of the Israelites, ground under the
tyranny of the Egyptians ; and called upon Moses to
undertake their liberation. The voice again assured
him that it was God he heard, and declared to him
the success of his mission, by turning his rod, cast
upon the ground, into a serpent ; and by bidding him
to put his hand into his bosom, which Moses did,
and it came forth covered with leprosy ; and by
commanding him to replace it, and it came forth,
and it was like his other flesh. Moses could no
longer hesitate in the enterprise which God im-
posed upon him. His brother Aaron was given
to him as companion and helper.

They presented themselves to Pharaoh; declared
their heaven-sent mission; and, in proof of it, Aaron
cast his rod upon the earth ; and it was immediately
turned intO' a serpent. Pharaoh called upon the Egyp-
tian priests to match that miracle. And they cast their
rods upon the earth ; and these were changed also in-
to serpents. Thus far Providence permitted demon-
iacal power to go. Aaron's rod now devoured their
rods. Thus God supplied a means by which the true
miracle could be discriminated from the diabolical.
But Pharaoh's heart was hardened, and he did not


let the Israelites go. Then Moses lifted his rod,
and turned the rivers of Egypt into blood which con-
tinued for seven days. The Egyptian priests pro-
cured some water, and changed it in like manner.
This was the first Plague. Still the heart of Phar-
aoh was hardened. Then followed the Plagues of
frogs, of gnats, of flies, the murrain among the cat-
tle, of boils, of hail, of locusts, of darkness, and
finally, of the massacre of the first born of every
Egyptian family. Even though some of these won-
ders would seem to be within the laws of nature,
yet that may be miraculous which is within those
laws, because of the circumstances in which it is per-
formed. When we consider the cause in which these
Plagues were inflicted, ending with the slaughter by
the avenging Angel (clearly miraculous), we must
believe that the rest also were divine interpositions.
It was not till the avenging Angel had passed
through every house in Egypt, slaying the first-born
of every family, save the Israelites, that Pharaoh
was softened, and that the Israelites went forth
to sacrifice in the desert. They set out six hundred
thousand men, with their wives and families, laden
with Egyptian spoils. But, at once Pharaoh relented
and determined to pursue them and force them
back. He overtook them on the banks of the Red
Sea. Here the Israelites were hemmed in by the
sea on one side, and the mountains on the other,
while hotly pursued by their enemies on the rear.

The Jews, by that necessary law of nature which
leads men suffering under any present misery to look
back with regret, longing for the time when they
suffered more dreadfully ; and by that other law not


less universal, by which men, because of some pass-
ing suffering, rise against those who have sought to
do them the greatest service, forgetful of the abid-
ing good to come; so now the Jews murmured
against Moses. He reminded them that the God Who
had done such wonders for them in Egypt was still
their God ; and was even now ready to stand by them
and bring to a happy issue the work of their libera-
tion, which He had inspired. Turning to the sea
and raising his rod over it, the waters at once parted,
forming into walls, as it were, on each side, and ex-
posed the bed of the sea dried up. He called upon
them to follow him, and they marched safely through
to the other side. The Egyptians, seeing them go-
ing through the parted sea, followed; and, when
their whole army was in that abyss formed by the
retreated waters, the sea at once rushed back to its
bed, overwhelming these and their arms and pro-
visions. The Jews gave thanks to God for this mir-
aculous delivery from the hands of their enemies.
From the time of their leaving Egypt a miraculous
cloud went before them, which by day was a pillar
of cloud and by night a pillar of fire. This also
attended them during their sojourn in the desert.

Online LibraryJohn McQuirkSermons and discourses (Volume 3) → online text (page 30 of 43)