Vol.VIII No.II Pg.6
April 1971

By Prideauxs Test

Robert F. Turner

There never was an imposture, in the world (says Dr. Prideaux, Letter to the Deists) that had not the following characters:

1. It must always have for its end some carnal interest.

2. It can have none but wicked men for its authors.

3. Both of these must necessarily appear in the very contexture of the imposture itself.

4. That it can never be so framed, that it will not contain some palpable falsities, which will discover the falsity of all the rest.

5. That wherever it is first propagated, it must be done by craft and fraud.

6. That when entrusted to many persons, it cannot be long concealed.

1. The keenest-eyed adversary of Moses has never been able to fix on him any carnal interest. No gratification of sensual passions, no accumulation of wealth, no aggrandizement of his family or relatives, no pursuit of worldly honour, has ever been laid to his charge.

2. His life was unspotted, and all his actions the offspring of the purest benevolence.

3. As his own hands were pure, so were the hands of those whom he associated with himself in the work.

4. No palpable falsity has ever been detected in his writings, though they have for their subject the most complicate, abstruse, and difficult topics that ever came under the pen of man.

5. No craft, no fraud, not even what one of his own countrymen thought he might lawfully use, innocent guile,... can be laid to his charge. His conduct was as open as the day; and though continually watched by a people who were ever ready to murmur and rebel, and industrious to find an excuse for their repeated seditious conduct, yet none could be found either in his spirit, private life, or public conduct.

6. None ever came after to say, We have joined with Moses in a we have feigned a Divine authority and mission, we have succeeded in our innocent imposture, and now the mask may be laid aside. The whole work proved itself so fully to be of God that even the person who might wish to discredit Moses and his mission, could find no ground of this kind to stand on. The ten plagues of Egypt, the passage of the Red Sea, the destruction of the king of Egypt and his immense host, the quails, the rock of Horeb, the supernatural supply by the forty years manna, the continual miracle of the Sabbath,.... together with the constantly attending supernatural cloud; ... all invincibly proclaim that God brought out this people from Egypt; that Moses was the man of God, chosen by Him and fully accredited in his mission; and that the laws and statutes which he gave were the offspring of the wisdom and goodness of Him who is the Father of Lights, the fountain of truth and justice, and the continual and unbounded benefactor of the human

(From Adam Clarke, notes on Ex. 18)