which is its blood, you shall not eat.-5. And surely your blood for your lives shall I require; at the hand of every beast shall I require it, and at the hand of man; at the


deserve no regard. The desire of enjoin- blood is the soul; and of Pythagoras, that ing this important doctrine, may have in- the soul is nourished by the blood. The duced the prudent legislator to yield the vital principle, or the soul lies in an unmore readily to the encroaching custom of substantial breath; it is invisible; and eating animal food. The very command, moves the organism after laws which will that man should subject the animals to eternally remain a secret, known to the himself, and rule over them (i. 28), ex- Creator alone: but as its visible represencludes the idea of animal-worship; the tative, the blood was considered, in which lords cannot lower themselves to be the physical power is concentrated: for a slaves; those who decide over the destiny diminution of blood is attended with a of the beasts, cannot expect from them decrease of the vital powers, and at last their fate; and, in order to be humane with dissolution and death. The breath to animals, it is not necessary to raise is purely spiritual, and comes from God; them to the rank of gods. Thus, the the blood is a physical element, of earthly creation offers other collateral truths of material; the former is indestructible, the highest importance; the earth, the and escapes, when the latter is sheil;" water, the sun, and the stars are all created but as it has once been the medium things, called into being by the sole com- through which the vigour of the sonl mand and will of God; it was, therefore, manifested itself, it is an object of sacredimpossible to deify or to worship them. ness, and is, not inappropriately, itself

5—7. But though God declared man called the soul. But it is remarkable, the ruler over the animals, he did not that the Bible never attributes to the blood allow him dominion over his fellow- a higher mental power, nor does it ever creatures. He did not sanction any form identify the blood with the spirit, but of slavery; “Man over man he made invariably represents it as the principle of not lord: such title to Himself reserving, physical life. Blood would defile the earth human left from human free.” If, there- if it remained unpunished; not only a fore, bloodshed practised against animals man who has murdered must suffer death, was permitted on account of human but a beast also, which in the fury of its “hard-heartedness," the whole severity nature has shed human blood, must be of the Divine wrath was poured out against removed from the earth; the principle, that him who kills a fellow-man. The blood “ he who sheddeth nian's blood, by man of a human being cries for revenge to shall his blood be shed,” is of universal heaven; the soul of the slain raises its application, and admits of no exception; voice; the blood of the innocent victim for the murder of a man is the destruchangs at the skirts of the murderer's tion of one who bears the Divine image: garments; the blood is identical with the it is a crime against the majesty of God life of the individual itself. This view Himself. This is the inexorable retaliawas not unfamiliar to other ancient na- tion of the Mosaic law. It was dictated tions; for in the Egyptian hieroglyphics, both by justice and necessity; and this the hawk, which was believed to feed severity was, in the age of Noah, the upon blood alone, represents the human more indispensable for the safety of the soul; Aristotle considered the blood as human race, as in general the exercise of the seat of the soul; whilst Empedocles merey had been proclaimed by God. But limited it to the blood of the heart; Vir- let us pursue that ordinance more deeply, gil speaks of an effusion of the “purple and try to seize its internal motive. soul"; it was the doctrine of Critias, that The criminal code of Moses knew only

of man.

hand of the brother of every one shall I require the life

6. Whoso sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed: for in the image of God made He man. 7. And you, be fruitful and multiply; increase abundantly on the earth, and multiply thereon.-8. And God spoke to Noah, and to his sons with him, saying, 9. And, behold, I establish My covenant with you, and with your

two principal modes of punishment, a pecuniary fine and capital punishment: imprisonment, with or without hard labour, was never resorted to. Prisons for public offenders were nowhere ordered by Moses, though they were, in later periods, introduced by the arbitrariness of the kings; and detention of an accused till the judicial decision was pronounced, is once mentioned in the Pentateuch. In so primitive a legislation as that of Moses, the complicated and expensive system of incarceration could find no place; the maintenance of prisons would have required a perfectly different organization; they were utterly impossible in the forty years of the wandering life in the desert; and the example of Moses was in this, as in many other respects, the guiding principle for succeeding generations. Now, the punishment of murder by a pecuniary fine, which is admitted by the Mohammedan law, would not only be revolting to all feelings of justice, but it would be extremely dangerous for the safety of society, it would destroy the equality of the rich and the poor before the law, and would necessarily lead to a fatal deterioration of public morality. The stability of the state demands that an insidious murderer should be removed and made innoxious; it would be a fatal offence against the first elements of civil government, not to prevent so dangerous a criminal to repeat his nefarious violence. But since a pecuniary fine is utterly objectionable, there remained, for the Mosaic system, no other alternative but death. But the principles pervading the Law are not rigid and inflexible; they were applied after their spirit rather than their letter, and they were adapted to the nature of the individual cases. A few observations will raise this opinion beyond a doubt. Strict measure for measure is the fundamental idea of the penal code of

the Pentateuch; and yet it is certain that the law of "eye for eye, tooth for tooth,” etc., was clearly understood to mean, that pecuniary compensation was exacted for the mutilation of a member. Involuntary homicide was not punished with death, as among the Arabs; here the severe rule, “ he who sheddeth man's blood, by man shall his blood be shed,” found no application; a safe flight was permitted to the cities of refuge, which approach, indeed, in their nature, the nearest to imprisonment, although the stay in those cities was not deemed ignominious, but the effect of an inscrutable Divine decree. It is, therefore, perfectly in accordance with the spirit of the Mosaic law, to suppose that capital punishment would have been changed into some other mode of removing the criminal from society, if such expedient had existed, or had been in harmony with the popular notions. For we must remind the reader, that the civil laws of Moses generally reform old institutions, rather than create new ones. It is, for instance, unquestionable, that although Moses was strongly averse to the barbarous custom of revenge of blood, he did not deem it possible to abolish it, but was contented with bringing it into reasonable limits. Sometimes he exercised this principle of conformation even in purely moral laws, as, for instance, by not interdicting polygamy, though clearly and empbatically representing monogamy as the highest form of matrimony. Further, the Mosaic laws, though severe in punishing, never intend to take revenge. Hence it follows, that though the introduction of imprisonment, which had been so hateful to them in the Egyptian legislation, would have been abhorrent to their national sentiments, it would in every respect have been efficient. For it frees the citizens from the dangerous presence of a felon, and is a

10. And with every living creature that

seed after you;

continued and deterring punishment for right to take cognisance of the crime; and an atrocious crime. Excluded from the the murderer remained unpunished and contact with the world, toiling in un. unmolested. Moses wished to prevent ceasing fatigues, which perpetually re- such enormities; he proclaimed as a demind him of his misdeed, and clearly cided principle, that every murder must conscious of the horror with which his be avenged; that no blood must remain name is regarded, the imprisoned mur- unatoned; the murderer must, in all cases, derer suffers greater torments than an suffer the deserved punishment, whether instantaneous death, necessarily facilitated the relatives take the initiative or not.by the progress of humanity, can possibly After the diminution of the human race inflict. Nor is the retaliation wanting by murderous atrocity has been interwhich is certainly expressed in our text dicted in the most solemn terms, as it (ver. 6). Liberty is, according to the would counteract the Divine blessing, the Mosaic conceptions, the seal of our promise of a rapid increase is repeated Divine nature; to serve no other master with an abundance of synonymous exbut God alone, was the glory of the pressions (ver. 7); which “covenant” was Hebrew citizen; those who preferred not forgotten in later times (Lev. xxvi. 9). slavery were branded with a mark of 8–17. The last traces of the universal ignominy; they lost, thereby, that Divine flood had disappeared; Noah had testified stamp; they were degraded and deprived his piety and gratitude by a magnificent of every higher claim. Slavish impri- sacrifice, which God had accepted with sonment, therefore, is essentially also a benevolence; solemn blessings had been forfeiture of the Divine image, and would pronounced upon the animal creation and be an equivalent and appropriate punish- upon the human race, and sacred duties ment of the offender, who by malice and were enforced as the first conditions for violence has destroyed the Divine image the permanence and happiness of regenein a fellow-man.

rated society. God had even promised, We have proposed this opinion after that He would never again punish the carefully weighing its details; for no more earth with a similar calamity, but that important legal question agitates the pre- henceforward the regular course of nature sent generation than that regarding capital should be uninterruptedly preserved (viii. punishment; and we leave it to the re- 21,22). The covenant between God and flecting reader to judge how far, according man was thus concluded; and nothing the arguments here brought forward, the was left but to ratify it. This gracious act Mosaic law is decisive for or against it. is now performed with repeated and heartThe stress of the prohibition expressed in cheering promises; and the Divine love, our text seems to lie on quite a different which is in future to preside over hupoint. In many ancient polities, the pu- man destinies, sends its first genial rays. nishment for murder was left to the ven- The animals are naturally included in this geance of the kinsmen of the victim, be- beautiful decd of conciliation; they had cause their zeal was supposed to be more also been smitten by God's anger; they are efficient than any vigilance on the part of now to share His mercy: the earth, man, the state could be. But, the relatives and animals, are bound together in a mysmight, in some instances, be base, or terious but indestructible tie. But it might indifferent, or bribed by the assassin; in seem, that a covenant is reciprocal; that, such cases, even the authoritics had no therefore, Gud granted these promises only

is with you, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth with you; from all that go out of the ark, to every living being of the earth. 11. And I shall establish My covenant with you; and no more shall all flesh be annihilated by the waters of a flood; nor shall there any more be a flood to destroy the earth. 12. And God said, This is the sign of the covenant which I give between Me and you, and every living creature that is with you,

in return for certain pledges on the part of the human family; and it has been asserted, that the laws just enjoined, regarding the blood of animals, and murder, form the duties of man, the observance of which alone secures the perpetuity of the covenant. But this opinion rests on a misconception of the spirit of this section. The great principle which it teaches is, that God's mercy watches benignly over human affairs; that it gives all blessings, although man may not deserve them on account of his sins; His justice has been merged in His love; He knows the weakness of human nature, and is, therefore, aware how little He can expect from its energy; but He is also conscious of its Divine longings, and does not fear any more an unnatural or permanent aberration from the path of rectitude. He confides in the power of the human mind, and has compassion with the frailty of the human heart, which He knows cannot long revolt against the gently commanding voice of virtue. Individuals may degenerate into monsters, but mankind in general cannot obliterate the Divine image impressed on every countenance. God, therefore, demanded no counter-promise or pledge when He concluded, through Noah, His covenant with the whole human race; although He made His covenant with individuals or single nations strictly dependent on their piety and obedience. This distinction is clear in itself, and is obvious in many Biblical passages. When the prophet Isaiah dilates upon God's unceasing mercy towards Israel, and promises its final redemption, he continues: "For this is as the waters of Noali to me; for, as

I have sworn that the waters of Noah shall no more come over the earth, so have I sworn no more to be angry or wroth with thee." God extends here to Israel the same unlimited grace which he had guaranteed to mankind in general, in the confident hope, that His people would no more forget Him and His Law, For, their land had been converted into a desert, and the people had been carried into captivity, because they had neglected His precepts, or “destroyed the eternal covenant,” which they had made with God when He revealed, and they had promised to keep, the Law, or the “ Book of the Covenant." In this alliance between God and Israel there was, indeed, reciprocity; and it was dissolved as soon as the latter ceased to walk in the ways of piety. — The “covenant” of God is frequently only the kindness which He bestows; thus, when He intended to destroy the earth by water, He “made a covenant with Noah" (vi.18), which implied a promise of deliverance from the floods; and, in our passage, God does not only make a covenant with the human family, but also “ with every living creature, of the fowl, of the cattle, and of every beast of the earth” (ver. 10), a sufficient proof, that the promises of the Noachic covenant were not reciprocal. It is, then, not only eternal (viii. 22), but universal; it applies to the whole earth; it is made with all living beings; some parts of this planet's surface may be desolated by the Divine anger; tribes may be extirpated, and nations be dispersed; but “all flesh shall no more be destroyed" (vers.Il, 16, 17).

And the rainbow shall serve as the

for eternal generations: 13. I have set My bow in the clouds, and it shall be for a sign of a covenant between Me and the earth. 14. And it shall come to pass, when I bring clouds over the earth, and the bow is seen in the clouds: 15. I shall remember My covenant, which is between Me and you and every living creature of all flesh; and the water shall no more become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16. And if the bow is in the clouds, I shall look

sign of this perpetual covenant. Well might a reflecting mind look with wonder at the marvellous arch, which in magic swiftness, and in more magic colours, encompasses the still cloudcorered part of heaven; whilst the radiant sun sends his glorious beams from the other part, already restored to its usual serenity. Its beauty delights the eye, whilst its grandeur elevates the mind; it teaches the omnipotence of God, but still more His love; when the flashes of lightning have ceased, and the roaring of the tempest is silent, its chaste brilliancg falls like morning dew on the desponding heart; admiration and gratitnde mingle in the breast; and when the pearly bow then appears, like an eternal bridge, to connect heaven and earth, the soul rises on the soft wings of veneration, disturbed by no doubt, and awed by no fear, to those regions where love and beauty never cease.—Almost all anciert nations, therefore, have connected religious ideas with the appearance of the rainbow. The Greeks considered it generally as the path on which Iris, the messenger of the king and queen of Olympus, travelled from heaven to earth; Homer describes it as fixed in the clouds to be a sign to man, either of war or of icy winter. But Iris herself was very frequently identified with the rainbow, and she was considered to be the daughter of Thaumas (Wonder) by Electra (Brightness), the daughter of Oceanus, which parentage describes appropriately the nature and origin of the rainbow. Her usual cpi. thets are “swift-footed," and goldwinged”; and tho probable etymology of

her name points either to the external, or, perhaps, to the internal connection between earth and heaven, between man and the deity; and thus she is the conciliating, the peace-restoring goddess, and is represented with the herald-staff in her left hand.–The Persians seem likewise to have connected the ofice of divine messenger with that phenomenon; for an oll picture represents a winged boy on a rainbow, and before him kneels an old man in a posture of worship. The Hindoos describe the rainbow as a weapon in the hands of Indras, with which he hurls flashing darts upon the impious giants, and the Chinese consider it as foreboding troubles and misfortunes on earth; but the former regard it as also the symbol of peace, which appears to man when the combat of the heavens is silenced. These analogies are sufficient to prove the generality with which higher notions were attached to the rainbow; they account for its application in the Pentateuch to a very remarkable purpose; they explain why the New Testament represented the rainbow as an attribute of the Divine tlurone (Revel. iv. 3), or of angels sent as mes. sengers upon the earth (Revel. x. l); but they are likewise clear enough to manifest in this point also the great superiority of Biblical conceptions. In the Mosaic narrative every superstitious element is banished; it serves no other end but to remind God of His merciful promise never again to destroy the earth and its inhabitants; it is indeed appointed more for God than for the sake of man; God sces it, and remembers thus the everlasting covenant with the carth; and it

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