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dust." Ver. 15, 16, " And every soul that eateth that which died of itself, or that which was torn with beasts, whether he be one of your own country, or a stranger, he shall both wash his clothes, and bathe himself in water, and be unclean until the even. Then shall he be clean. But if be wash not himself, nor bathe his flesh, then he shall bear his iniquity."
I might add other texts. But these appear to be sufficient. These prohibitions are delivered equally to the children of Israel, and to strangers that sojourned with them. And the penalty of transgression is that of being "cut off from his people." Therefore this sojourning stranger was one, who had joined himself to the house of Israel, or the Jewish people, by circumcision. Otherwise he could not have been cut off from them. I do not now quote any more places at length. But I would refer to Numb. xv. 13—16, and 25-31.
Eighthly. If observing the above-mentioned precepts of the sons of Noah qualified men to reside in the land of Israel; I presume it must have been lawful for Jews to converse with them: and that they might do so, without contracting any legal impurity.
Nevertheless, St. Peter was shy of conversing with Cornelius of Cesarea. When he came to his house, he told him and his company," they knew how it was an unlawful thing for a man that is a Jew to keep company, or come unto one of another nation." Acts x. 28. And when St. Peter was come back to Jerusalem," they that were of the circumcision contended with him, saying; Thou wentest in to men uncircumcised, and didst eat with them," ch. xi. 2, 3.
Of that centurion it is said, " that he feared God, with all his house, that he gave much alms to the people, and that he prayed to God always." Cornelius therefore was not a transgressor of any of the precepts of the sons of Noah. He was not an idolater, nor a blasphemer, nor unjust and rapacious nor did he indulge himself in the practice of abominable filthiness. And yet, we see, from authentic evidence, that it was not lawful for a Jew to converse with him. Indeed, he lived at Cæsarea, a part of the land of Israel. But so did many idolaters, at that time, under the Romans. It was not then in the power of the Jews to exclude any men, who were admitted by their masters.
Once more, ninthly, the seven precepts of Noah, or the sons of Noah, can afford no help for explaining the regulations of the council at Jerusalem. For there is no resem
blance between them. Nor have they any relation to each other. The Noachic precepts are all of the moral kind, as was shown just now: those of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem are, all of them, things indifferent, as will be shown hereafter.
And if the seven precepts of Noah are an invention of modern Jews, as some learned men of the best understanding have argued, it is great pity, that so much regard has been shown to them by christians, who profess a zeal for truth, and are desirous to know the right interpretation of the scriptures. Though they are pompously called precepts of Adam and Noah, as if they had been delivered to the first man that lived on this earth, and to him who escaped the deluge, from whom all who have since lived on this earth are descended; they are, in this system and collection, a modern invention, and were unknown to Christ's apostles. We might as well attempt to explain the scriptures by the decrees of the council of Trent, or the synod of Dort, as the apostolic decree by these seven precepts.
III. THAT THERE WAS BUT ONE SORT OF JEWISH PROSELYTES. I have spoken my mind concerning the Noachic precepts. I should now proceed to consider the first question, proposed by our Author at the head of this Dissertation. To whom the apostolic decree was directed.
But this question I have answered" formerly. It was directed to all Gentile converts whatever. The letter is inscribed, Acts xv. 23, "to the brethren, which are of the Gentiles in Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia." To them the Epistle was inscribed, to them it was sent, and to them it was delivered by the messengers, who carried it from Jerusalem. And afterwards. Acts xvi. 1-4, when Paul and Silas left Antioch," they came to Derbe, and Lystra-And as they went through the cities, they delivered them the
in I desire the reader to look back to p. 302, note. I add here the judg
ments of others.
Mihi dubiæ sublestæque fidei videtur quidquid Judæi de his Noachidarum præceptis, eorumque antiquitate et origine tradant--Nam si Adamo in paradiso, vel Noachi filiis, fuerunt mandata; cur de iis in sacris literis, et Josephi scriptis, est silentium? D. Salom. Deyling. Observation. Sacrar. P. secund. &c. Obser. 38. sect. 9. p. 465, &c.
——ʻ peregrinus tuus, qui in portis tuis.'] LXX. Int. & πρoσŋλvτos d πароκων ἐν σοι. Notum quidem est, quid Rabbini de proselytis sentiant, quidve olim ab Hebræis veteribus ex iis postulatum fuisse existiment. Sed cum multa aut prorsus fingunt, aut ex sui ævi moribus judicent, tutum non est iis omnia credere. Cleric. in Ex. xx. 10.
And indeed the modern Rabbins are of small authority in all such matters ⚫ of remote antiquity.' Whiston, note, upon Josephus, of the Jewish War, B. VI. ch. v. 3. n See Vol. vi. ch. xviii.
decrees to keep, that were ordained by the apostles and elders, which were at Jerusalem." And that the decree was designed for all Gentiles, appears from the words of St. James, who proposed it; ver. 19, "Wherefore my sentence is, that we trouble not them, which from among the Gentiles are turned to God." And long after this, when St. Paul was come again to Jerusalem, the same James, the residing apostle in that city, says to him, ch. xxi. 25, “ As touching the Gentiles, which believe, we have written, and concluded."
And from the beginning all christians every where, for a good while, supposed themselves to be bound by them, and did observe them, as we know from many ancient authors still extant. But since the fourth century, they have been little regarded by those christians, who used the Latin tongue.
Moreover, I did formerly P allege a passage of Mr. Hallett, arguing very clearly and strongly to the like purpose.
I did likewise at that time argue, that there never were, in ancient times, among the Jews, two sorts of proselytes; and that all those men, who, in the Old Testament, are called proselytes, or strangers, or strangers within thy gates, were men circumcised. I have here added more arguments to the same purpose in the observations upon the Noachic precepts.
I must therefore entreat those learned men, who say the regulations of the apostles and elders at Jerusalem were sent to uncircumcised Gentiles, whom they call proselytes of the gate, to give some better proof that there were such men, than they have yet done. Otherwise, I must still think their scheme chimerical, and without foundation.
They are the more obliged to do this, because upon many other occasions, they bring in those half-proselytes, in their explications of the scriptures.
To call any uncircumcised men Jewish proselytes, as our learned author does here, though such men are never called proselytes in the New Testament; nor, as I think, in the Old; is unwarrantable, and unbecoming men who profess to be inquirers after truth."
• See the chapter of St. Cyprian, before referred to, Vol. iii.
Dr. Ward is not alone in this way of speaking. Dr. Hammond's paraphrase of Acts x. 2, in Le Clerc's Latin version, is thus: Hic Cornelius erat Judaïcæ religionis proselytus-licet circumcisus non esset. I do not see how any men of judgment and candour can approve of this. For a paraphrast ought not to add to the original. See by all means Dr. Doddridge's note, upon that text.
An uncircumcised proselyte appears to me to be as truly an impropriety and contradiction, as an uncircumcised Jew. For a proselyte is a Jew by religion, though not by birth.
I am arguing with my late learned friend whose Dissertations are before me. But I ought to be understood to argue with all others, who have adopted the same senti
It is not to be expected, that I should repeat here what I saids formerly. But if I could contribute any thing farther toward clearing up this point, I should willingly add a few more observations.
I then said, I did not believe that the notion of two 'sorts of Jewish proselytes can be found in any christian 'writer, before the fourteenth century, or later.'
I shall now add, I cannot at present say certainly, which is the most ancient commentator, in whom I have met with it; whether Cardinal Cajetan, or Alphonsus Tostatus, or another. For I cannot now refer to the place. I either made no written extract, or have lost it. But I well remember to have read in some commentator about their times, this observation. Some say, there were two sorts of Jewish proselytes, but it is a mistake. There was but one. That is proof, that the notion of two sorts of proselytes was then embraced by some.
But though I cannot now say where I met with that observation, I have by me divers extracts made from Alphonsus Tostatus, who" flourished in the fifteenth century, and died in the year 1454. From which extracts it appears, that himself acknowledged but one sort of Jewish proselytes, and that by" strangers within their gates, and sojourners,' he understood men circumcised, who had embraced the Jewish religion.
Upon Exodus, ch. xii. he says, ' A native is he, who was born in the Hebrew religion, having a Hebrew father. A sojourner is one, who comes from Gentilism into the Jew'ish religion.'
Upon Exodus xx. explaining the fourth commandment, he says, That by " strangers within thy gates" are meant
See Vol. vi. ch. xviii.
u See Du Pin, and Morery.
Indigena dicitur, qui in
Hebræorum ritu natus est, quia patrem Hebræum habebat. qui ad colendum verum Deum transit, ad ritum Judaïcum veniens de Gentilitate. In Ex. cap. xii. Qu. lviii. T. II. p. 160. E. Colon. Agrip. 1613.
"Advena, qui est intra portas tuas.'] Id est, etiam observabunt diem sabbati advenæ de Gentilitate conversi ad Judaïsmum. Et isti sunt intra portas tuas, id est, intra portas civitatum tuarum. In Ex. xx. Qu. xiv.
'converts from Gentilism to Judaism. They also must ob'serve the sabbath. They dwell within thy gates, that is, within the gates of thy cities.'
Upon Matt. xxiii. 15, he saysProselyte denotes a man converted to Judaism. The Jewish people consisted of two parts. Some were Jews by ancient descent, and 'were called the children of Israel; others were converted from among the nations to Judaism. And these were
called by three names, sojourners, strangers, and proselytes. Those two divisions are very common in the books of Moses: "the children of Israel, and the strangers that
sojourn among you :" particularly in the seventeenth chapter of Leviticus; that is, such as were Jews by birth, or such as were converted to Judaism. So also Ezek. xiv.
1, "Every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in Israel, which separateth himself from me, and setteth up his idols in his heart." It is evident, that by the stranger is meant a proselyte, who had been converted to God. Otherwise he could not be separated 'from him.'
I have transcribed but a small part of his notes upon Matt. xxiii. 15, which are large, and well deserve to be read by such as have opportunity. So far as I am able to judge, he always speaks agreeably to the true tenour of the Mosaic law, and is altogether unbiassed by modern Rabbinical interpretations.
I cannot say whether Erasmus was acquainted with the notion of two sorts of proselytes, or not. He speaks very judiciously in his comment upon Matt. xxiii. 15. Where he says: Proselyte is a Greek word, equivalent to stran
ger. For so the Hebrews called those whom they received 'from other nations into communion with them.'
Philip Melancthon also was a learned man. He was born in 1497, and died in 1560. I think, we may be posi
* Dicendum est, quod proselytus denotat hominem conversum ad JudaïsJudæi autem distinguebantur in duo, quia quidam ex origine primà erant Judæi; et isti vocabantur filii Israël. Alii erant conversi de Gentibus ad Judaïsmum; et isti vocabantur tribus nominibus. sc. advenæ, peregrini, et proselyti. Et ista duo nomina sunt multum usitata in libris Moysis; sc. homo de filiis Israëlis et de advenis, qui peregrinantur inter vos. Lev. xvii. id est, sive sit de Judæis ex genere, sive de illis qui conversi fuerunt ad Judaïsmum. Ezech. xiv. Homo de domo Israël, et de proselytis, quicunque advena fuerit in Israël, si alienatus fuerit a me, et posuerit idola sua in corde suo. Ex quo apparet, quod erat jam conversus ad Deum, qui proselytus est, quia alias non potuit a Deo alienari, &c. In Matt. cap. xxiii. Qu. 87. p. 325.
› Proselytus Græca vox est, πpoσŋλvroç, nobis advena.' Sic enim dicebatur Hebræis, quem ex alienâ natione in suæ legis consortium receperant. Erasm.