Oldalképek
PDF
ePub

are therein ; and of thy abundant mercy makest the dead | “ 13. Upon the pious and the just, and upon the proseagain to live. Thou raisest up those who fall; thou healest lytes of justice, and upon the remnant of thy people of the the sick, thou loosest them who are bound, and makest good house of Israel, let thy mercies be moved, OʻLORD our God, thy word of truth to those who sleep in the dust. Who is and give a good reward unto all who faithfully put their trust to be compared to thee, O thou LORD of might! and who is in thy name; and grant us our portion with them, and for like unto thee, 0 our King, who killest and makest alive, ever let us not be ashamed, for we put our trust in thee.and makest salvation to spring, as the grass in the field! Blessed art thou, O LORD, who art the support and confidence Thou art faithful to make the dead to rise again to life.- of the just! Blessed art thou, O Lord, who raisest the dead again to life! “ 14. Dwell thou in the midst of Jerusalem, thy city, as

“3. Thou art holy, and thy name is holy, and thy saints thou hast promised : build it with a building to last for ever, do praise thee every daySelah. For a great king and a and do this speedily, even in our days.--Blessed art thou, o holy art thou, O God.Blessed art thou, O LORD God, most LORD, who buildest Jerusalem! holy !

“15. Make the offspring of David thy servant speedily to * 4. Thou of thy mercy givest knowledge unto men, and grow up, and flourish; and let our horn be exalted in thy salteachest them understanding: give graciously unto us know- vation. For we hope for thy salvation every day.Blessed ledge, wisdom, and understanding.-Blessed art thou, o art thou, O LORD, who makest the horn of our salvation to Lord, who graciously givest knowledge unto men!

flourish! 65. Bring us back, 0 our Father, to the observance of thy “ 16. Hear our voice, O LORD our God, most merciful law, and make us to adhere to thy precepts, and do thou, O Father, pardon and have mercy upon us, and accept of our our King, draw us near to thy worship, and convert us to prayers with thy mercy and favour, and send us not away thee by perfect repentance in thy presence.--Blessed art thou, from thy presence, 0 our king. For thou hearest with merey O Lord, who vouchsafest to receive us by repentance ! the prayer of thy people Israel.-Blessed art thou, O LORD,

46. Be thou merciful unto us, 0 our Father: for we have who hearest prayer? sinned : pardon_us, O our King, for we have transgressed “ 17. Be thou well pleased, O LORD our God, with thy against thee. For thou art a God, good and ready to par- people Israel; and have regard unto their prayers ; restore don.-Blessed art thou, O LORD most gracious, who multipliest thy worship to the inner part of thy house, and make haste thy mercies in the forgiveness of sins !

with favour and love to accept of the burnt sacrifices of Is“7. Look, we beseech thee, upon our afflictions. Be thou rael, and their prayers; and let the worship of Israel thy peoon our side in all our contentions, and plead thou our cause ple be continually well pleasing unto thee. Blessed art thou, in all our litigations; and make haste to redeem us with a O LORD, who restorest thy divine presence to Zion! perfect redemption for thy name's sake. For thou art our “ 18. We will give thanks unto thee with praise. For God, our King, and a strong Redeemer.-Blessed art thou, 0 thou art the Lord our God, the God of our fathers, for ever LORD, the Redeemer of Israel!

and ever. Thou art our rock, and the rock of our life, and “8. Heal us, O LORD our God, and we shall be healed; the shield of our salvation. To all generations will we give save us, and we shall be saved. For thou art our praise. thanks unto thee, and declare thy praise, because of our life Bring unto us sound health, and a perfect remedy for all our which is always in thy hands, and because of thy signs, infirmities, and for all our griefs, and for all our wounds. which are every day with us, and because of thy wonders, For thou art a God who healest and art merciful.--Blessed and marvellous loving-kindness, which are morning, and art thou, O Lord our God, who curest the diseases of thy people evening, and night before us. Thou art good, for thy merIsrael!

cies are not consumed; thou art merciful, for thy loving"9. Bless us, O Lord our God, in every work of our kindnesses fail not. For ever we hope in thee. And for all hands, and bless unto us the seasons of the year, and give us these mercies be thy name, o king, blessed and exalted, and the dew and the rain to be a blessing unto us, upon the face lifted up on high for ever and ever; and let all that live give of all our land, and satiate the world with thy blessings, and thanks unto thee. Selah. And let them in truth and sincerity send down moisture upon every part of the earth that is habi- praise thy name, O God of our salvation, and our help. Setable.Blessed art thou, O Lord, who givest thy blessing to lah.— Blessed art thou, O Lord, whose name is good, and to the years!

whom

it is fitting always to give praise ! “ 10. Gather us together by the sound of the great trum- “ 19. Give peace, beneficence, and benediction, grace, bepet, to the enjoyment of our liberty; and lift up thy ensign nignity, and mercy unto us, and to Israel thy people. Bless to call together all the captivity, from the four quarters of the us, our Father, even all of us together as one man, with the earth into our own land.-Blessed art thou, 'O LORD, who light of thy countenance. For in the light of thy countegatherest together the exiles of the people of Israel !

nance bast thou given unto us, o LORD our God, the law of “11. Restore unto us our judges as at the first, and our life, and love, and benignity, and righteousness, and blessing, counsellors as at the beginning; and remove far from us and mercy, and life, and peace. And let it seem good in affliction and trouble, and do thou only reign over us in be- thine eyes, to bless thy people Israel with thy peace at all nignity, and in mercy, and in righteousness, and in justice. times, and in every moment.--Blessed art thou, O LORD, who

Blessed art thou, O LORD, our king, who lovest righteousness blessest thy people Israel with peace! Amen.” and justice.

“ 12. 'Let there be no hope to them, who apostatize from bilated speedily, and all the tyrants he cut off quickly; humble thou them the true religion; and let heretics, how many soever they be, and humblest tyrants !" In the Prayer Book of the Spanish and

Portuall perish as in a moment. And let the kingdom of pride guese Jews, this prayer runs thus : - "Let slanderers have no hope, and be speedily rooted out and broken in our days.-Blessed art and those who hate thee, be suddenly cut off, and all those who act wick thou, O Lord our God, who destroyest the wicked, and bringestedly be suddenly broken, consumed, and rooted out; and humble thou down the proud !3

them speedily in our days.- Blessed art thou, O Lord, who destroyest the enemies and humblest the proud!" Allen's Modern Judaism, p. 329.

• Concerning these supposed proselytes of justice, see p. 109. infra. . This is the prayer which was added by Rabbi Gamaliel against the

s i. e. The Adytum Templi, which in the temple of Jerusalem was the Christians, or as others say by Rabbi Samuel the little, who was one of his holy of holies, into which none ever entered but the high-priest once a 1 The Roman empire.

year, on the great day of expiation. From this place, after the Babylonish + The twelfth prayer, as now used by the Jews, varies considerably from divine presence, and the Urim and Thummim, which causing an imperfec.

captivity, were wanting the ark, the mercy-seat, the Shechinah' of the that above given in the Prayer Book of the German and Polish Jews, it tion in their worship in respect of what it was formerly, a restoration of stands thus :-"O let the slanderers have no hope, all the wicked be anni.'them seems to be the subject of this petition.

scholars.

CHAPTER II.

SACRED PERSONS.

SECTION I.

OF THE JEWISH CHURCH AND ITS MEMBERS.

1. The whole Nation accounted holy.-II. Members of the Jewish Church;

Hebrews of the Hebrews.—III. Proselyles.IV. Jews of the Dispersion.-V. Hellenists.- VI. The Libertines.—VII. Devout Men.–VIII. Circumcision. I. Jehovah, in his infinite wisdom and goodness, having 1. II. The first MEMBERS OF THE JEWISH CHURCH were the been pleased to prefer the posterity of Abraham, Isaac, and immediate descendants of Abraham by Isaac and Jacob, Jacob' before every other nation, and to select them from whom God, having delivered from their oppressive bondage every other people, for the purposes of imparting to them the in Egypt, chose for himself to be his peculiar people, and revelation of his will, and of preserving the knowledge and their direct issue, without any intermixture of Gentile blood worship of the true God; He is thence said to have chosen or language. These are termed by St. Paul Hebrews of the them, and they are in many passages of Scripture represent- Hebrews (Phil. iii. 5.), as opposed to the Hellenistic Jews, or ed as his chosen and elect people. And because they were those who lived among the Greeks, whose language they by the will of God set apart, and appropriated in a special spoke, and who were called Hellenists. (Acts vi. 1. ix. 29. manner to his honour and obedience, and furnished with ex- xi. 20.) Many of the latter were descended from parents, traordinary motives to holiness, God is therefore said to have one of whom only was a Jew. Of this description was sanctified them. (Lev. xx. 8. xxi. 8. xxii. 9. 16. 32.) For Timothy. (Acts xvi. 1.) Those who were born in Judæa, these reasons they are termed a Holy Nation, a kingdom of parents rightly descended from Abraham, and who reof priests, and also saints ;; and their covenant relation to ceived their education in Judæa, spoke the language of their God is urged upon them as a motive to holiness of heart and forefathers, and were thoroughly instructed in the learning practice. (Lev. xix. 2. xx. 7,8. 26. xi. 45. Exod. xxii. 31.) and literature of the Jews, were reckoned more honourable But the Jews of later times, becoming proud of these titles, than the Hellenists; and, to mark the excellence of their and of their ecclesiastical privileges, extended their charity lineage and language, they were called Hebrews ;-a name only to those of their own faith ; while towards the rest of the most ancient, and therefore the most honourable of all mankind they cherished a sullen and inveterate hatred, ac- the names borne by Abraham's descendants; for it was the counting them to be profane persons and sinners.4 This name given to Abraham himself, by the Canaanites, to sigrelative or imputed holiness of the Jews as a covenant peo- nify that he had come from the other side of the Euphrates. ple, separated and consecrated to the worship of the true A Hebrew, therefore, possessing the character and qualificaGod, was perpetual (in other words it was to subsist until tions above described, was more honourable than an Israelite, the institution of the Gospel dispensation); although the as that name indicated only that a person was a member of Jews were often extremely corrupt in their manners, as the the commonwealth of Israel, which a Jew might be, though numerous denunciations of the prophets sufficiently indicate. born and educated in a foreign country. St. Paul, indeed, Hence some of the rabbinical writers call the most wicked was born at Tarsus, in Cilicia; yet being a Hebrew of the kings of Israel and Judah holy,—holy, or righteous, and Hebrews, who received his education at Jerusalem, spoke Israelite, being with them convertible terms (compare Wisd. the language used there, and understood the Hebrew in which x. 15. 17. 20. xviii. 1. 7. 9. 20.); and in the time of our the ancient oracles of God were written, he was a Jew of the Lord the Jews held the preposterous notion, that though they most honourable class; and, therefore, when cautioning the should continue in their sins, yet, because they were the Philippians against Judaizing teachers and unbelieving Jews, offspring of Abraham, God would not impute their sins to he enumerates this privilege among those of which (if salthem.5

vation were to be obtained by them) he might have confidence The apostles being Jews by birth, though they wrote in in the flesh. (Phil. iii. 4, 5.) The privileges of the IsraelGreek, have retained their national idiom, and have borrowed ites, which were very highly esteemed by all Jews, are the Old Testament phraseology, which they have applied to enumerated by St. Paul in his Epistle to the Romans, in a Christians, in order to convey to them accurate ideas of the very animated manner. magnitude of God's love to them in Christ. Thus the apos- All the posterity of Jacob were anciently called Israel, or tles not only call them disciples and brethren, that is, friends Children of Israel, from the surname of that patriarch, until united in the same profession of faith by bonds equally close the time of king Rehoboam: when ten tribes, revolting from as those of brothers, having one Lord, one faith, one baptism, this prince and adhering to Jeroboam, were thenceforth but, because all true Christians are by the will of God set denominated the House of Israel : while the two tribes of Judah apart and appropriated in an especial manner to his honour, and Benjamin, who remained faithful to the family of David, service, and obedience, and are furnished with extraordinary were styled the House of Judah. After the captivity, most helps and motives to holiness, they are, therefore, said to be of those who returned and rebuilt Jerusalem and the temple, sanctified (1 Cor. i. 2. vi. 11. Heb. ii. 11. x, 29. Jude 1.); and restored the rites of the Mosaic worship, having sprung and are further styled holy, holy brethren, a holy nation and from the kingdom of Judah, the term Jews became a general saints. 6

appellation for all the inhabitants of Palestine, and afterwards 1. This section is principally derived from Schulzii Archäologia He. for those who were descended from them. (Dan. iii. 8. Esth. braica, lib. ii. c. 1. de Ecclesia Judaica ejusque Membris ; together with iij. 3. 2 Macc. ix. 17.) And in this extensive sense the Beausobre and L'Enfant's Introd. to the New Test. (Bishop Watson's word is employed in the New Testament.9 Coll. of Tracts, vol. iii. pp. 205, 206.) Ikenii Antiq. pp. 343-347. Stosch. Compend. Archæol. Economicæ Nov. Test. $$ 32-36. Edwards on the

III. Although the constitution of the Jewish polity and Authority, &c. of Scripture, vol. ii. pp. 313–330. Alber, Inst. Herm. Vet. the laws of Moses allowed no other nations to participate in Test. tom. i. pp. 181–186.; Carpzovii Antiq. Hebr. Gentis, pp. 39–50. ; Jen. nings's Jewish Antiquities, book i. ch. 3. Mr. Allen has given an interest It has been remarked that Greek words ending in 1945 imply inferiing account of the mode of circumcision that obtains among the Jews of ority. Thus the 'EXYves (Hellenes) were distinguished from the Frayver. the present time in his “Modern Judaism," pp. 283–296.

T** (Hellenist£); the former imply pure or native Greeks, who spoke the Compare Deut. iv. 37. vii. 6. X. 15. 1 Kings viii. 22. et seq. 1 Chron. Greek tongue in its purity; and the latter, Jews or others sojourning xvi. 13. Psal. cv. 6. xxxiii. 12. cv. 43. cvi. 5. cxxxv. 4. Isa. xli. 8, 9. xliii. 20. among the Greeks, who spoke the Greek language according to the He xliv. 1, 2. xlv. 4. and Ezek. xx. 5.

brew idiom. These were the 'Exasvirta, Hellenists or Grecians who • Compare Exod. xix. 6. Lev. xi. 44, 45. xix. 2. xx. 26. Deut. vii. 6. xiv. murmured against the Hebrews. (Acts vi. 1.) “Pythagoras divided his 2. 21. xxvi. 19. xxviii. 9. xxxiii. 3. 2 Chron. vi. 41. Psal. xxxiv. 9. 1. 5. 7. disciples into two classes. Those, who were capable of entering into the Ixxix. 2. cxxxii. 9. cxlviii. 14.

spirit and mystery of his doctrine, he called ITugay opsios, PythagoREANS ; • Apud Ipsos fides obstinata, misericordia in promptu, sed adversus those, who were of a different cast, he termed Iluózy oprótki, or Pythagoomnes alios hostile odium. Such is the character of the Jews given by the RISTS. The former were eminent and worthy of their master; the latter, Roman historian, as they were in the time of our Saviour (Tacit. Hist. lib. but indiferent. The same distinction is made between those who were V. c. 5. tom. iii. p. 267. edit. Bipont.); which is abundantly confirmed by called ÄTTIXOUs, or Attics, and ATTIXtras or AtticisTS,--the pure and the sacred writers. See Matt. ix. 10, 11. xxvi. 45. Gal. ii. 15. 17. 1 Thess. less pure Greeks, as between those called 'Earnyas and Examvietas, Hel. ii. 15, 16.

lenes and Hellenists, pure Greeks, and Græcising Jews." lamblichus • See Whitby on Matt. iii. 9.

de vita Pythag. c. 18. and Schoettgen, cited by Dr. A. Clarke on Acts vi. 1. 6 See Col. iii. 12. 1 Thess. v. 27. Heb. iii. 1. 1 Pet. ii. 9. Acts ix. 32. 41. . See Drs. Whitby, Doddridge, Macknight, A. Clarke, or Messrs. Scoli, xxvi. 10. Rom. i. 7. xii. 13. xv. 25, 26. xvi. 15. 1 Cor. i. 2. 2 Cor. i. 1. xiii. 13. Henry, &c. on Rom. ix. 4. and Phil. iii. 5. Phil iv. 22. Eph. i. 1. Phil. i. 1. and Col. i. 2.

· Robinson's and Parkhurst's Lexicons, voce loud4105.

their sacred rites, yet they did not exclude from them such dered as a new-born infant. Thus Maimonides expressly persons as were willing to qualify themselves for conforming says: 3—“A Gentile who is become a proselyte, and a servant to them. Hence they admitted PROSELYTES, who renounced who is set at liberty, are both as it were new-born babes ;6 the worship of idols and joined in the religious services of and all those relations which he had while either Gentile or the Jews; although they were not held in the same estimation servant, now cease from being so." as Jews by birth, descent, and language, who, we have just On the proselytism of the Jews, Jesus Christ appears to seen, were termed Hebrews of the Hebrews. During the have formed the principal qualities which he required in the time of Jesus Christ, the Jews, especially the Pharisees, proselytes of his covenant." “ The first condition of prosegreatly exerted themselves in making proselytes to their lytism among the Jews was, that he, who came to embrace religion and sect.1

their religion, should come voluntarily, and that neither force Calmet, and some other learned men after him, have dis- nor influence should be employed in this business. This, tinguished two kinds of proselytes, namely, 1. Proselytes of also, is the first condition required by Jesus Christ, and the gate, who dwelt either in or out of the land of Israel, which he considers as the foundation of all the rest. if any and worshipped the true God, observing the seven precepts man be willing (u Tus Jense) to come after me. (Matt. xvi. 24.) of Noah, but without obliging themselves to circumcision The second condition required in the Jewish proselyte was, or any other legal ceremony; and, 2. Proselytes of justice or that he should perfectly renounce all his prejudices, his of righteousness, who were converts to Judaism, and engaged errors, his idolatry, and every thing that concerned his false themselves to receive circumcision, as well as to observe the religion, and that he should entirely separate himself from whole of the Mosaic law. There does not, however, appear his most intimate friends and acquaintances. It was on this to be any foundation in the Scriptures for such a distinction: ground that the Jews called proselytism a new birth, and nor can any with propriety be termed proselytes, except those proselytes new born and new men, and our Lord requires who fully embraced the Jewish religion. The Scriptures men to be born again, not only of water but by the Holy mention only two classes of persons, viz. the Israelites or Ghost. (John iii. 5.) All this our Lord includes in this word, Hebrews of the Hebrews above mentioned, and the Gentile let him renounce himself-stupcuo'w favtov. (Mark viii. 34.) converts to Judaism, which last are called by the names of To this the following scriptures refer; Matt. x. 33. John iii. strangers and sojourners, or proselytes.

3.5. 2 Cor. v. 17. -The third condition, on which a person In the initiation of proselytes to the Jewish religion, ac- was admitted into the Jewish church as a proselyte, was, cording to the rabbinical writers, the three following obser- that he should submit to the yoke of the Jewish law; and vances were appointed, namely, circumcision, baptism, and patiently bear the inconveniences and sufferings, with which the offering of sacrifices; all of which, except circumcision, à profession of the Mosaic religion might be accompawere performed by the women, as well as by the men, who nied. Christ requires the same condition, but, instead of the became proselytes.

yoke of the law, he brings in his own doctrine, which he 1. Circumcision (the import of which is more fully ex- calls his yoke (Matt. xi. 29.) and his cross (Matt. xvi. 24. plained in pp. 110, 111.) was the seal of the covenant into Mark viii. 34.), the taking up of which implies not only a which the proselyte entered with God, and of the solemn bold profession of Christ crucified, but also a cheerful subprofession which he made to observe the entire law of Moses: mitting to all the sufferings and persecutions to which he and if the proselyte were a Samaritan, or of any other nation might be exposed, and even to death itself.—The fourth conthat used that rite, blood was to be drawn afresh from the dition was, that they should solemnly engage to continue in part circumcised.

the Jewish religion, faithful even unto death. This condi2. The second ceremony was Washing or Baptism; which tion Christ also requires, and it is comprised in this word let must be performed in the presence of at least three Jews of him follow me.” (Matt. xvi. 24–26. Mark viii. 34–37.) distinction, and in the day-time that nothing might be done Iỹ. In consequence of the Babylonish captivity, the Jews in secret. At the time of its performance the proselyte de- were dispersed among the various provinces of the great clared his abhorrence of his past life, and that no secular Babylonian empire ; and though a large portion of them motives, but a sincere love for the law of Moses, induced returned under Zerubbabel, it appears that a considerable him to be baptized; and he was then instructed in the most part remained behind. From this circumstance, as well as essential parts of the law. He promised, at the same time, from various other causes, it happened, in the time of our to lead a holy life, to worship the true God, and to keep his Lord, that great numbers of Jews were to be found in commandments.

Greece, and all the other parts of the Roman empire, which Baptism was also administered to the children of prose- at that time had no other limits but those of the then known lytes who were born before their parents became proselytes, world. It was of the Jews DISPERSED AMONG THE GENTILES and generally at the same time with their parents : but it was or Greeks, that mention is made in John vii. 35.: and to them not administered to children born after that event, because Jesus Christ is also supposed to have alluded when he said the parents and their offspring were considered as Israelites, that he had other sheep (John x. 16.), but without excluding clean from their birth, and therefore were brought into cove- the Gentiles, who also were to enter into his sheepfold, or nant by circumcision alone.4

be admitted into his church. To these dispersed Jews it 3. The third ceremony to be performed was that of offering was, that Peter and James inscribed their respective episSacrifice.

tles; the former to those who were scattered through Pontus, And it was a common notion among the Jews, that every Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia Minor, and Bithynia (1 Pet. i. 1.); person who had duly performed them all was to be consi- and the latter to the twelve tribes who were dispersed through

Compare Acts vi. 5. xiii. 43. and Matt. xxiii. 15. with Josephus, Ant. out the then known world. (James i. 1.) The Jews who Jud. lib. xiji. c. 9. $ 1.and lib. xx. c. 3. $ 4.

were assembled at Jerusalem on the day of Pentecost, were These precepts are by the Jewish doctors termed the seven precepts of the

dispersion. (Acts ii. 5—11.). of Noah, and (they pretend) were given by God to the sons of Noah. They are as follows:-1. That man should abstain from idolatry ;-2. That they

V. There were also Jews who lived in those countries should worship the true God alone ;-3. That they should

hold incest in where Greek was the living language, and perhaps spoke abhorrence ;-4. That they should not commit murder ;-5. Nor rob or steal;6. That they should punish a murderer with death;-7. That they 5 Lightfoot's Hebr. on Matt. jii. 6.; Wetstein on John iii. 2.; and Whitby should not eat blood, nor any thing in which blood is, consequently, nothing on John iii. 4, 5, 6. Some learned men have supposed that our Lord alluded strangled. “Every one," says a living Jewish writer, that observes to this rabbinical tradition when he reproached Nicodemus with being a these seven commandments, is entitled to happiness. But to observe them master in Israel (John iii. 10.), and yet being at the same time ignorant how merely from a sense of their propriety, is deemed by Maimonides insuffi. a man could be born a second time. But it is most probable that Jesus cient to constitute a pious Gentile, or to confer a title to happiness in the Christ referred to that spiritual meaning of circumcision which is noticed world to come; it is requisite that they be observed, because they are in p. 110. notes, infra. The arguments on the much disputed question, divine commands." See Allen's Modern Judaism, p. 107.

Whether baptism was in use, or not, before the time of our Saviour, are 3 These two classes are very frequently mentioned in the books of Mo- reviewed by Carpzov in his Apparatus Antiquitatum Sacrarum, p. 49. anıl ses; thus in Lev. xxv. we have the children of Israel" (ver. 2.) and "the by Dr. Jennings in his Jewish Antiquities, book i. c. 3. It may not be strangers that sojourn” among them. (ver. 45.) See also Ezek. xiv. 7.- irrelevant to remark that the learned Dr. Campbell refers our Lord's cen“Every one of the house of Israel, or of the stranger that sojourneth in sure of Nicodemus, not to the rabbinical notion above mentioned, but Israel, that separateth himself from me, and setteth up idols in his heart." rather to his entire ignorance of that effusion of the Spirit which would take It is evident that, by the stranger," in this passage, is meant a proselyte place under the Messiah, and which had been so clearly foretold by the who had been converted to the worship of Jehovah, otherwise he could prophets. Translation of the Four Gospels, vol. ii. p. 516. 3d edit. not have been separated from him. Schulzii Archæol. Hebr. ut supra 6 In allusion most probably to this custom, St. Peter addresses the Ile. Jennings's Jewish Antiquities, book i. ch. ii. pp. 63–0. Dr. Lardner las brews who had recently embraced Christianity, as new-born babes (1 Ep: remarked that the notion of two sorts of proselytes is not to be found in ii. 2.), because they

had been born again not of corruptible seed, but of any Christian writer before the fourteenth century; see his arguments at incorruptible, even the word of God which liveth and abideth for ever. large, Works, vol. vi. pp. 522–533. 8vo. or vol. iii. pp. 397-400.410. and vol. (i. 23.) xi. pp. 313–324. 8vo. or vol. v. pp. 435—493.410. This

observation renders Dr. A. Clarke, on Mark viji. 34. it probable that the twelfth prayer of the Jews in p. 107. supra, is not of so 8 Philo, de Legatione ad Caium, p. 1031. et in Flaccum, p. 971. Josephus, early a date as is commonly supposed.

Ant. Jud. lib. xvi. c. 6. lib. xji. c. 3. lib. xiv. c. 10. Cicero Orat. pro Flacco • Lightfoot's Hor. Hebr: on Matt. iii. 6.

c. 28.

no other. These are distinguished in the New Testament and no longer as the slaves of Egypt. The knowledge of from the Hebrews or native Jews, who spoke what was then this circumstance beautifully illustrates Eph. ii. 11-13.; called Hebrew (a kind of Chaldaico-Syriac), by the appel- where St. Paul, describing the wretched state of the Gentiles lation of HELLENISTS, or Grecians as they are termed in our before their conversion, represents them as aliens from the authorized English version. These in all other respects commonwealth of Israel, and, consequently, excluded from were members of the Jewish church; they are repeatedly, all its privileges and blessings.. Thirdly, circumcision was mentioned in the Acts of the Apostles, and it was a party of an open profession of the worsh of the true God, and, conthe Hellenistic Jews that requested to see Jesus.!

sequently, an abjuration of idolatry; on this account we are VI. During the time of our Saviour there was a consi- told that during the persecution of Antiochus the heathen put derable number of Jews resident at Rome: Josephus esti- to death those Jewish women who had caused their children mates them at eight thousand; and Philo, who relates that to be circumcised ;s and such Jews as apostatized to heathey occupied a large quarter of the city, says, that they were thenism took away as much as possible every vestige of circhiefly such as had been taken captive at different times, cumcision. As this rite was an open profession of the Jewish and had been carried into Italy, where they had subsequently religion, some zealous converts from that faith to Christianity acquired their freedom, and were called LIBERTINES. The strenuously urged its continuance, especially among those synagogue of the Libertines, mentioned in Acts vi. 9. is, by who were of Jewish origin; but this was expressly prohisome critics, supposed to have belonged to this class of bited by St. Paul. (1 Cor. vii. 18.) Jews. 2

Lastly, circumcision was appointed for mystical and moral VII. In consequence of this dispersion of the Jews through- reasons: it was, as baptism is with us, an external sign of out the Roman empire, and the extensive commerce which inward purity and holiness: hence these expressions of they carried on with other nations, their religion became "circumcising the foreskin of the heart,” the circumcision known, and the result was the prevalence of a somewhat of the heart," the circumcision made without hands,” the purer knowledge of the true God among the Gentiles. Hence " uncircumcised in heart,” &c. so often occurring in the Scripwe find, that there were many who, though they did not tures. adopt the rite of circumcision, yet had acquired a better know- The sacrament of circumcision was enjoined to be observed ledge of the Most High than the pagan theology furnished, on the eighth day (Gen. xvii. 12.), including the day when and who in some respects conformed to the Jewish religion. the child was born, and that on which it was performed; and Of this description appear to be the " Devout Men who feared so scrupulous were the Jews in obeying the letter of the law, God,” who are frequently mentioned in the New Testament,3 that they never neglected it, even though it happened on the and particularly the pious centurion Cornelius, of whom the Sabbath-day., (John vii. 22, 23.) This they termed " driving sacred writer has given us so pleasing an account. (Acts x.) away the Sabbath.” If they were obliged to perform circum

VIII. All these persons, with the exception of the last cision, either sooner or later, it was considered as a misforclass, were members of the Jewish church, participated in tune, and the circumcision so administered, though valid, its worship, and regulated themselves by the law of Moses was not deemed equally good with that done on the eighth (or at least professed to do so), and by the other inspired day; and when this ceremony was deferred, it was never Hebrew books, whence their sacred rites and religious in- used to drive away the Sabbath. It was for this reason that struction were derived. No person, however, was allowed St. Paul accounted it no small privilege to have been circumto partake of the sacred ordinances, until he had undergone cised on the eighth day. Accordingly John the Baptist (Luke the rite of CIRCUMCISION. This rite is first mentioned in i. 59.) and Jesus Christ (Luke ii. 21.) were circumcised Gen. xvii. 10–12., where we read that it was a seal of the exactly on that day. There was a peculiar fitness in the covenant which God made with Abraham and his posterity. circumcision of Jesus Christ: for, as the Jews reckoned it Afterwards, when God delivered his law to the children of dishonourable to associate with uncircumcised persons (Acts Israel, he renewed the ordinance of circumcision, which from xi. 3.), it was necessary that he should be circumcised in that time became a sacrament of the Jewish religion. Hence order to qualify him for conversing familiarly with ther, and the protomartyr Stephen calls it the " covenant of circumci- also for discharging the other duties of his ministry. Besion" (Acts vii. 8.); and Jesus Christ also ascribes its insti- sides, as the Messiah was to be descended from Abraham, tution to Moses, though it was derived from the patriarchs. whose posterity were distinguished from the rest of mankind (John vii. 22.) Besides the design which God proposed to by this rite, he received the seal of circumcision to show that himself in establishing this ceremony, he appointed it for he was rightly descended from that patriarch : and as every some other ends, suited to the circumstances of the Israelites; person that was circumcised was “ a debtor to the whole law”. a brief consideration of which will illustrate many important (Gal. v. 3.), it was further necessary, that Jesus Christ the passages of Scripture. In the first place, it included in it so true Messiah should be circumcised; because, being thus solemn and indispensable an obligation to observe the whole subjected to the law of Moses, he was put into a condition to law, that circumcision did not profit those who transgressed. fulfil all righteousness, and redeem those who were under the (Rom. ii. 25.). Hence the Jews are in the Scriptures fre- law. (Gal. iv. 4, 5.) quently termed the circumcision, that is, persons circumcised, At the same time that the child was circumcised, we learn as opposed to the uncircumcised Gentiles, who are styled the uncircumcision (Rom. iii. 1. 30. iv. 12. Gal. ii. 7–9. Eph. ii.

$ 1 Macc. i. 63. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xii. c. 7.

6 See Lev. xxvi. 41, 42. 11. Phil. iii. 5.); the abstract being put for the concrete. ii. 25–29. Col. ii. 11. Acts vii. 51. Circumcision was that rite of the law by

Deut. x. 16. xxx. 6. Jer. iv. 4. ix. 25, 26. Rom. Thus, our Saviour is called the minister of circumcision: and which the Israelites were taken into God's covenant; and (in the spirit of therefore St. Paul says, that whoever is circumcised, is bound it) was the same as baptism among Christians. For, as the form of baptism to keep the whole law. (Gal. v. 3.) For the same reason

expresses the putting away of sin, circumcision was another form to the

The Scripture speaks of a "circumcision made without Jesus Christ was circumcised, that he might be made under hands," of which that made with hands was no more than an outward sign, the law, to fulfil the promise of the Messiah, and redeem which denoted in the putting off the body of the sins of the flesh," (Col. i. those who were under the law. (Gal. iv. 4.). Secondly, as

11.), and becoming a new creature; which is the sense of our baptism. Of

this inward and spiritual grace of circumcision the apostle speaks expressly only circumcised persons were deemed to be visible members in another place He is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that celebrate the great festivals, particularly the passover. On inwardly, mod.ircumcision is that of the heart, in the spirit

and not in the this account it was that Joshua commanded all the Israelites, circumcision, as a sacrament, was invented after the preaching of the Goswho having been born in the wilderness remained uncir-pel, when the veil was taken from the law; but this doctrine was only en. cumcised, to undergo the rite of circumcision, previously to own law; for thus did Moses instruct the Jews, that there is a “foreskin of their entering the land of Canaan (Josh. v. 4. 6. 9.); on the heart" which was to be " circumcised” in a moral or spiritual

way, which occasion God told them that he had removed or rolled before they could be accepted as the servants of God; and again, that the away the reproach of Egypt from them; in other words, that with all their soul,” (Deut. x. 16. and xxx. 6.); which was the same as to they should tbenceforth be regarded as hís peculiar people, I say, that he woulu give them what circumcision signified, making thein

same effect.

Jews inwardly, and giving them the inward grace with the outward sign,

without which the letter of baptism avails no more now than the letter of • John xii. 20. See also Acts vi. 1. ix. 29. and xi. 20. and the commenta circumcision did then : and we may say of the one as said of the other, tors on those passages.

“He is not a Christian which is one outwardly, and baptism is not the pui2 Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xvii.c. 11. (al. 13.) lib. xviii. c. 3. (al. 4.) $$ 4, 5. ting away the filth of the flesh by washing with water, but the answer of Philo de Legat. ad Caium, p. 1014. Tacitus, Annal. lib. ii. c. 85. Sueto- a good conscience towards God.(1 Pet. lii. 21.) Rev. W. Jones on the nius in Tiberio, c. 36. Wolfius on Acts vi. 1. has detailed the various Figurative Language of Scripture. (Works, vol. iii. pp. 77, 78.) On this opinions of learned men respecting the Libertines.-See pp. 251, 252. subject Dr. Graves has some excellent remarks, in his Lectures on the supra.

Pentateuch, vol. i. pp. 241–250. See also an excellent discourse of Bishop

Beveridge, entitled "The New Creature in Christianity." Works, vol. ii. • Calmet has an elaborate disquisition on the origin and design of cir. Serm. xix. p. 417. et seq. Svo edit. qumcision. Dissertations, tom. i. pp. 411–422.

Macknight and Whitby on Luke il. 21.

i See Acts xiii. 43. 50. xvi. 14. xvii. 4. 17. and xviii. 7.

from the Gospel, that it was usual for the father, or some removed, to take care of all the instruments and sacred vessels near relation, to give him a name. Thus John the Baptist belonging to it, and when the army pitched their tents to set and Jesus Christ both received their names on that day. them up again. (Luke i. 59. ii. 21.) It appears, however, that the Jews For the more regular performance of the several duties had several names during the period comprised in the evan- belonging to the tabernacle, the whole business was divided gelical history. Thus it was customary with them, when between the Kohathites, the Gershonites, and the Merarites. travelling into foreign countries, or familiarly conversing with The first were principally concerned in carrying the ark and the Greeks

and Romans, to assume a Greek or Latin name sacred vessels belonging to the tabernacle under the conduct of great affinity, and sometimes of the very same significa- of Eleazar the priest (Num. iv. 16.), which being the most tion with that of their own country, by which name they honourable employment, was given to them most probably were usually called among the Gentiles. So Thomas was ont of respect to Moses, who was descended from this family. called Didymus (John xi. 16.); the one a Syriac and the The Gershonites and Merarites, under the direction of Ithaother a Greek word, but both signifying a twin. (See Acts mar, had the burden and charge of every thing else belongi. 23. xii. 12. 2 Pet

. i. 1. Col. iv. 11. &c.) Sometimes the ing to the tabernacle, as the coverings, hangings, woodwork, name was added from their country, as Símon the Canaan- cords, pins, &c. (ver. 24—34.) When the Israelites were ite, and Judas Iscariot (Matt. x. 4.); but more frequently encamped, these three families of Levites were to pitch their from their assuming a new and different name upon particu- tents round three sides of the tabernacle, and Moses and lar occurrences in life. (See 2 Chron. xxxvi. 4. 2 Kings Aaron with their sons round the fourth quarter; by which xxiv. 17. John i. 42.) The same practice obtains in the means they were so disposed, as to be each of them as near East to this day.

as conveniently they could to their respective charges. Such However necessary circumcision was while the ceremonial was the office of the Levites in the time of Moses. Afterlaw remained in force, it became equally indifferent and un- wards, when the Israelites were settled in the promised land, necessary on the abrogation of that law by the destruction this employment of the Levites, in carrying the tabernacle of the temple. Until that time the apostles allowed it to be and its utensils, ceased; and therefore David and Solomon performed on the Jewish converts to Christianity; but they appointed them to new offices. They were chiefly indeed expressly prohibited the imposition of such a yoke on the employed about the service of the temple: but during their necks of the Gentile converts: and therefore St. Paul, who recess, while they were not in attendance there, they were has fully proved how unprofitable and unnecessary it is dispersed through the whole country, and employed in the (1 Cor. vii. 19.), thought it proper to have Timothy circum- service of the state as well as of the church. David made cised, because his mother was of Jewish extraction (Acts xvi. six thousand of them officers and judges (1 Chron. xxiii. 4.); 1-3.); though he would not, on the other hand, allow this they also took care to instruct the people where they resided ceremony to be performed on Titus, because he was a Greek in the Mosaic law, by expounding the several parts of it; (Gal. ii. 3.) :-thus giving to the church in all ages a most and, according to the Jews, they kept the public records and excellent pattern, either of condescension or resolution, in genealogies of the several tribes. insisting upon or omitting things indifferent according to the In the business about the temple some of the chief amongst difference of times and circumstances.

them had the charge of the sacred treasures. (1 Chron. xxiii. 20.) Others of a lower rank were to prepare the shew-bread and unleavened cakes, with the proper quantity of flour for

the morning and evening service. (1 Chron. xxiii. 29.) From SECTION II.

which text it appears also that they had in their custody

within the sanctuary the original standard for weights and ON THE MINISTERS OF THE TEMPLE AND OTHER ECCLESIASTICAL measures, liquid and dry, according to which every thing of

this kind was to be regulated. Hence it is we often read in

Scripture of the shekel of the sanctuary, not that there were I. Of the Levites.-II. The priests, their functions, mainte- two sorts of shekels, one sacred and another civil, but be

nance, and privileges.—III. The high-priest.His functions, cause weights and measures, being reckoned among the dress, and privileges.-Succession to the pontifical dignity. sacred things, were kept in the sanctuary, as they were in -IV. Officers of the Synagogue.-V. The Nazarites; na- the temples of the Pagans, and afterwards in Christian ture of their vows.—Vĩ. The Rechabites.-VII. The pro- churches. Many of the Levites were likewise employed phets.

as porters, to guard the gates and passages into the temple.

(1 Chron. ix. 17.) Others were more honourably employed The Jews, on the establishment of their republic, had no às singers, and were to stand every morning to thank and king but Jehovah himself; and the place appointed for their praise the Lord, and likewise in the evening, (1 Chron. xxiii. sacrifices and prayers was at the same time both the temple 30.); and this we find they did in a very solemn manner at of their God and the palace of their sovereign. This circum- the dedication of the temple. (2 Chron. v. 12, 13.) The stance will account for the pomp and splendour of their wor- whole body of the Levites in David's time amounted to ship, as well as the number, variety, and gradations in rank thirty-eight thousand, from thirty years old and upwards of their ministers; which were first established by Moses, (1 Chron. xxii. 3.), of which number he appointed four-andand afterwards renewed by David, with increased splendour, twenty thousand to attend the constant duty and work of the for the service of the temple. To this service the tribe of temple; and these being divided as the priests were into fourLevi was especially devoted, instead of the first-born of the and-twenty courses (as appears from 1 Chron. xxiii. 24. and tribes of Israel, and was disengaged from all secular labours. 2 Chron. xxxi. 17.), there were one thousand for each week. The honour of the priesthood, however, was reserved to the Six thousand again were to be officers and judges, as already family of Aaron alone, the rest of the tribe being employed mentioned, four thousand for porters, and four thousand for in the inferior offices of the temple : so that all the priests singers. (i Chron. xxiii. 4,5.) The four-and-twenty courses were Levites, but all the Levites were not priests.

of singers are mentioned in 1 Chron. xxv. 8–31. This disI. Originally, the tribe of Levi was divided into the three position of them was afterwards confirmed by Solomon when families and orders of Gershonites, Kohathites, and Mera- the temple was finished (2 Chron. viii. 14.); and all these rites (1 Chron. vi. 16, &c.), but afterwards the LEVITES were had their chiefs or overseers as well as the priests. (Ezra divided by David (1 Chron. xxiii.) into four clases. Their viii. 29.) The duty of the porters was not only to be a miliprincipal office was to wait upon the priests, and be assisting tary guard upon the temple, but also to take care that no to them in the service of the tabernacle and temple; so that person who was unclean or uncircumcised might enter the they were properly the ministers and servants of the priests, court of the Israelites. (2 Chron. xxiii, 19.) And however and obliged to obey their orders. (Num. iii. 9. 1 'Chron. mean their employment was, yet it was the pious desire of xxiii. 28.) But the particular duties incumbent upon them David, rather to be a door-keeper in the house of God, than to were different in the time of Moses, while the Israelites were dwell in the tents of wickedness. (Psal. lxxxiv. 10.) The in the wilderness, from those which they had to discharge order of singers was instituted by David, and it appears that afterwards, in the days of David and Solomon. In the the whole book of psalms was composed for this kind of wilderness the tabernacle was always in a moveable con- devotion. David (by whom the greatest number was comdition as well as the Israelites : and at that time the chief posed) directed many of them to the chief musician, for this business of the Levites was, when the Israelites journeyed, very purpose, that they might be used in the service of the to take down the tabernacle, to carry it about as the host house of God. And we have one particular instance in which · See Harmer's Observations, vol. iv. pp. 431–433.

9 Novels of Justinian, nov. 128. cap. 15.

OR SACRED PERSONS.

« ElőzőTovább »