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Although the substance of the Decalogue is thus both of natural and Divine law, yet its express promulgation by Moses at the command of God was not without its advantages.
The civil legislation regulated the relations of the people of God among themselves and with their neighbours; the ceremonial regulated matters of religion and the worship of God ; the moral was a Divine code of ethics.To answer it they take their stand on the teaching of the Master in the nineteenth chapter of St.Matthew and the parallel passages of Holy Scripture .A great want of historical perspective is shown by those, critics who judge the Mosaic Law by the humanitarian and sentimental canons of the twentieth century.A recent writer (Keane, "The Moral Argument against the Inspiration of the Old Testament" in the Hibbert Journal, October, 1905, p.In this article we shall confine our attention exclusively to the moral precepts of the Divine Law.
In the Old Testament it is contained for the most part and summed up in the Decalogue ( Exodus 20:2-17 ; Leviticus 19:3, 11-18 ; Deuteronomy 5:1-33 ).
155) professes to be very much shocked by what is prescribed in Exodus, xxi, 5-6.
It is there laid down that if a Hebrew slave who has a wife and children prefers to remain with his master rather than go out free when the sabbatical year comes round, he is to be taken to the door-post and have his ear bored through with an awl, and then he is to remain a slave for life.
This is not the same as to say that the whole of the Old Law was revealed to Moses.
There is abundant evidence in Scripture itself that many portions of the Mosaic legislation existed and were put in practice long before the time of Moses. The religious observance of the seventh day is another, and this indeed, seems to be implied in the very form in which the Third Commandment is worded: " Remember that thou keep holy the sabbath day." If we except the merely positive determinations of time and manner in which religious worship was to be paid to God according to this commandment, and the prohibition of making images to represent God contained in the first commandment, all the precepts of the Decalogue are also precepts of the natural law, which can be gathered by reason from nature herself, and in fact they were known long before Moses wrote them down at the express command of God. Paul — "For when the Gentiles, who have not the law, do by nature those things that are of the law ; these having not the law [of Moses ], are a law to themselves: who shew the work of the law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness to them" ( Romans , 15 ).
We must bear in mind that God, the Creator and Lord of all things, and the Supreme Judge of the world, can do and command things which man the creature is not authorized to do or command.