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him from walking, nor doing what he pleases." W' " This augments the import of the passage in Isaiah, who speaks of the Gentiles bringing children thus ; so that distance is no objection to this mode of conveyance, since they may thus be brought on horseback from among the peoples," however remote.”

In Persia, a son never sits in the presence of his father or his mother ; even the king's son always stands before him; and is regarded only as the first of his servants. Y This is the reason that Rachel addressed her father in these words : '"* Let it not displease my lord, that I cannot rise up before thee." · Illegitimaoy was reputed a dishonour in ancient Greece, from the time her infant states began to submit to the control of laws and regular government. The state of public feeling in that country is indicated with great clearness by Agamemnon in his exhortation to Teucer to fight bravely, because his gallant conduct would reflect honour upon his father, for whose credit he ought to have a more tender concern, sinče, notwithstanding his illegitimacy, he had been carefully educated under Telamon's own eye, and in his own house. The argument proceeds upon the fact, supposed to be well known to Teucer, that the care and indulgence which he had enjoyed under his father's roof, was by no means common in those times. Besides the use of the particle rig after Nodov, clearly establishes an inequality between legitimate children and bastards : the words of Homer are :

Παίρι τε σω τελαμώνι ο σέτρεφε τυλθον εονία
Και σε νοθoν πια εονα κομισσατο ώ ει. εικών Il. lib. viii, 1. 281.

* Voy, au Mont. Liban. p. 72.
* Calmet, vol. iii,

y Morier's Trav. vol. i, p•

286. 2 Ibid. p. 134. Gen. xxxi, 35.

A bastard among the Greeks was even despised and exposed to public scorn, on account of his spurious origin; for Ion, the son of Apollo by Creusa, the wife of an Athenian king, is introduced by Euripides, complaining of his hard fortune in being illegitimate :

Ιν' εισπασεμαι δυω νoσω κεκτημενος, ξα
“ Then where shall wretched I intrude myself,
Who am on two accounts most desperate
A bastard son, and of a stranger too ?
And to complete my most opprobrious fate,
Am most infirm : on these accounts shall I
Be there despised, and made a public scorn.

n." In Persia the son of a concubine is never placed on a footing with their legitimate offspring; any attempt made by parental fondness to do so would be resented by the relations of the legitimate wives, and outrage the feelings of a whole tribe.b

The Jewish father seems to have bestowed as little attention on the education of his natural children as the Greek: he seems to have resigned them, in a great measure, to their own inclinations; he neither checked their passions, nor corrected their faults, nor stored their minds with useful knowledge. This is evidently implied in these words of the apostle : “ If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons ; for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not ? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards and not - To restrain the licentious desires of the heart, Jehovah by an express law, fixed a stigma upon the bastard, which was not to be removed till the tenth generation; and to

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a Potter's Gr. Antiq. vol. ii, p. 338. Þ Malcom's Hist. of Persia, vol. ii, p. 571.

. Heb. xii, 7, 8.

shew that the precept was on no account to be violated, or suffered to fall into disuse, it is immediately repeated, “ A bastard shall not enter into the congregation of the Lord; even to his tenth generation shall he not enter into the congregation of the Lord.”d

Persons who had no lawful issue, were allowed to adopt whom they pleased, whether their own natural sons, or (by consent of their parents) the sons of other men. At Athens, foreigners being excluded from the inheritance of estates within their territory, upon their adoption, were made free of the city. The adopted person had his name enrolled in the tribe and ward of his new father; he was invested with all the privileges and rights of a legitimate son, and obliged to perform all the duties belonging to the latter. Being thus provided for in another family, he ceased to have any claim of inheritance or kindred in the family which he had left, unless he first renounced his adoption. This custom the Greeks borrowed from the eastern nations, or perhaps brought it with them from Asia, when they first crossed the Hellespont, and settled in Europe.e, Pharaoh's daughter adopted Moses for her son; and Mordecai received Esther into his house, and acknowledged her as his own daughter. To this ancient custom the Spirit of God sometimes alludes in the sacred Scriptures ; and borrows the name by which it was distinguished, to intimate the high station and valuable privileges which the sinner attains in the day of conversion. The Father of mercies adopts his children, when he graciously admits strangers and foreigners, as all the de: scendants of Adam are become, into the state and relation of sons, through Jesus Christ, in whom they believe,

? Potter's Gr. Antiq. vol. ii, p.

d Deutxxiii, 2.

e

342.

99

eousness.

upon whose blood and righteousness they rely for pardon and acceptance; “ for to as many as received him, to them gave

he power to become the sons of God; even to them that believe on his name." “ They are justified freely by his grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus." They are regenerated by the power of the Holy Ghost, and are brought, through his powerful and saving influences, into an affectionate and submissive temper of mind towards God as their reconciled Father. They have a right to all the privileges of sons; they are made partakers of a divine nature ; nourished with the sincere milk of the word ; kept by his almighty power ; guarded by his ministering angels ; clothed with the garments of salvation, and adorned with the robe of right

He gives them an understanding to know the gospel, and makes them wise unto salvation; he visits their sins with stripes, and their iniquities with chastisements; he admits them to fellowship with himself, and with his son Jesus Christ; he makes all things work together for their good; he guides them with his counsel while they live, and afterwards receives them to glory.

But while some, by adoption, are raised from a state of meanness and penury to sudden affluence and honour, others by a severe reverse are depressed into long or perpetual bondage. The fate of war, a long series of domes. tic: calamities, the fraud or violence of a too powerful neighbour, or other causes, have in almost all

ages,

involved no inconsiderable portion of the human race: in the miseries inseparable from a state of servitude. : Among the oriental nations, slavery seems to have existed from the remotest times. The holiest and the most benevolent of men did not consider it as a crime to detain their fel.

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low-creatures in this degrading condition. The servants of Abraham appear to have been all of this class ; and the privilege of keeping slaves was extended to his posterity by the laws of Moses. The number of slaves, or servants as they are called in our translation, seems never to have been very great at any period of the Jewish history, because the moderate extent of their inheritances, and their own frugal and industrious habits, rendered a numerous establishment unnecessary ; yet some Israelites, we are told by the inspired writer, had not less than twenty servants; and the number in other families was perhaps still greater. The slaves in the Hebrew commonwealth were either Jews by birth, or Gentiles in descent, that became afterwards proselytes to the religion of their masters, or at least renounced idolatry, and conformed to the precepts of Noah. The laws which regulated the acquisition and treatment of slaves, are stated with sufficient clearness and precision in the Mosaic code, and have been explained at great length by Lewis and other writers on Jewish antiquities. In Greece, the unhappy beings that were reduced to a state of slavery, were wholly in the power and at the disposal of their masters, who were thought to have as good a title to them as to their lands and estates. In the land of promise, they were viewed in the same light; the very bodies of those slaves that were obtained by purchase from the surrounding nations, or by conquest, and of their children, they had a right to bequeath after their death; and had the same power and dominion over them as they had over their lands, their goods, or their cattle. A servant, says the Talmud, is like a farm in respect of buying, for he is bought with money, or with a writing, or by some service done, as a pledge or pawn.

A servant bought by service, looses the buyer's shoe ; carries

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