And the LORD spoke to Moses, saying,…
Man frequently satisfies himself that he has come to an accurate conclusion merely because, on the application of what he considers an infallible test, he discovers a particular anticipated result. Often enough the test is utterly fallacious. Take an example. The tanghin, or tanguen, is the only plant of its genus, and is confined to Madagascar. Its poisonous seed is esteemed by the natives an infallible criterion of guilt or innocence. After being pounded, a small piece is swallowed by the supposed criminal. If he be cursed with a strong stomach, which retains the poison, he speedily dies, and is held guilty; if his feeble digestion rejects it, he necessarily escapes, and his innocence is considered proven. Now it is obvious to any educated mind that innocence and guilt are in no way disclosed by this process. Yet inasmuch as it has been accepted as a test, its results are unquestioned. And there are numberless instances in which English society consents to be governed by the results of tests, simply because those tests are generally accepted. Again and again it becomes important to inquire whether, supposing your test does disclose a given result, that test is really as infallible as you deem it to be? Many will be found to be only "tanghin" tests, and as such utterly fallacious.
Parallel VersesKJV: And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,