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scene rites. (Compare Hos. ix. 10.) Selden imagined that flies that stung severely all on whom they settled, it is not this idol was the same with Pluto, from Psal. cvi. 28. They improbable that Ekron was infested in a similar manner, joined themselves unto Baal-peor, and ate the sacrifices of the and that its inhabitants had a deity whom they supplicated dead. But this may mean nothing more than the sacrifices for the prevention or removal of this plague..., The Jews, in and offerings made to idols, who are properly termed dead, the time of Christ, called the prince of the devils by the name in opposition to the true God, the Creator and Preserver of of Beelzebub. (Matt. xii. 24. Luke xi. 15.) all things, who is in the Scriptures repeatedly and emphati- 4. BAALZEPHON is supposed to have been an idol, erected cally termed the living God." CHEMOSH, the abomination of to guard the confines of the Red Sea, and also the name of Moab, to whom Solomon erected an altar on the Mount of a place, where a temple was erected for the use of mariners. Olives (1 Kings xi. 7.), is supposed to have been the same 5. Dagon, the tutelary deity of the people of Ashdod or deity as Baal-peor. Servants are known by the name of Azotus, was the Derceto of the heathens. Its name signifies their lord. As the Israelites were called by the name of the a fish; and its figure is said to have been that of a man from true God (2 Chron. vii. 14.), so the Moabites are called the navel upwards, and that of a fish downwards. It is not (Num. xxi. 29.) by the name of their god, the people of Che improbable
that this idol was commemorative of the preservamosh; and other idolatrous nations were designated in a tion of Noah in the ark. similar manner. (See Mic. iv. 5.)
6. Tammuz or THAMMUZ, though an Egyptian deity, is 4. Rimmox was an idol of the Syrians, but not worship- the same as the Adonis of the Phænicians and Syrians. For ped by the Israelites': it is mentioned in 2 Kings v. 8. and this idol the Jewish women are said to have sat weeping is supposed to have been the same as the Jupiter of the before the north gate of the temple. (Ezek, viii. 14,) Lucian ancients.
has given an account of the rites of this deity, which illys5. Ashtaroth or ASTARTE (Judg. ii. 13. 1 Sam. xxxi. 10. trates the allusion of the prophet. “I saw, says he, " at 2 Kings xxiii. 13.) is generally understood to have been the Biblis, the great temple of Venus, in which are annually moon; though in later times this idol became identified celebrated the mysteries of Adonis in which I am initiated; with the Syrian Venus, and was worshipped with impure for it is said, that he was killed in the country by a wild rites. Astarte is still worshipped by the Druses of Mount boar, and in perpetual remembrance of this event, a public Libanus.
mourning is solemnized every year with doleful lamentaV. PHENICIAN IDOLS WORSHIPPED BY THE ISRAELITES. tions: then follows a funeral as of a dead body, and next
1. None of the heathen deities, mentioned in the Old day is celebrated his resurrection, for it is said, he flew up Testament, is more celebrated than Baal.
into heaven: one of the ceremonies is for women to have The word signifies lord, master, and husband; a name their heads shaved in the same manner as the Egyptians at which, doubtless, was given to their supreme deity, to him the death of Apis. Those who refuse to be shaved are whom they regarded as the master of men and gods, and of obliged to prostitute themselves a whole day to strangers, the whole of nature. This name had its original from Phe- and the money which they thus acquire is consecrated to the nicia, Baal being a god of the Phænicians : and Jezebel, goddess. But some of the Biblians say, that all those coredaughter of Ethbaal king of the Zidonians, brought this monies are observed for Osiris, and that he is buried in their deity from the city of Zidon ; for he was the god of Tyre country, not in Egypt. In order to which there comes yearly and Sidon, and was certainly the Zeus of the Greeks, and the a head made of papyrus, brought by sea, from Egypt to Jupiter of the Latins. This god was known under the same Biblis, and I myself have seen it.”. Procopius, in his comname all over Asia : it is the same as the Bel of the Baby- mentary on Isaiah, more particularly explains this rite, and lonians; and the same name and the same god went to the observes that the inhabitants of Alexandria annually prepare Carthaginians, who were a colony of the Phænicians : wit- a pot in which they put a letter directed to the women of ness the name of Hannibal, Asdrubal, Adherbal, all con- Biblis, by which they are informed that Adonis is found sisting of Bel or Baal, being the name of the deity of that again. This pot being sealed up, they commit it to the sea, country, which was according to the custom of the East, after performing some ceremonies over it, and command it to where the kings, and great men of the realm, added to their depart; accordingly, the vessel immediately steers its course own names those of their gods. In short, it seems to be a to Biblis, where it puts an end to the women's mourning. name common to all idols, to whatever country they belonged; This Syrian Venus had a temple upon the top of a mounand when it is mentioned in the Holy Writings without any tain, which was built out of the way in a by-place, in the explanatory circumstance annexed, it is usually understood midst of a wood; it was demolished by the emperor Conto be the principal deity of that nation or place of which the stantine, who put an end to all the filthy ceremonies which sacred writer was speaking.
had been performed in it. The image of this goddess, acThis false deity is frequently mentioned in Scripture in cording to Macrobius, represented a woman in mourning the plural number, Baalim (1 Sam. vii. 4.), which may either covered with a veil, having a dejected countenance, and tears signify that the name of Baal was give.i to many different seeming to run down her face. gods, or may imply a plurality of statues consecrated to that 7. The Balthylia or CONSECRATED SOTNES, adored by the idol, and bearing several appellations, according to the dif- early Phænicians, are supposed to have been the most ancient ference of places: just as the ancient heathens gave many objects of idolatrous worship; and, probably, were aftersurnames to Jupiter, as Olympian, Dodonæan, and others, wards formed into beautiful statues, when the art of sculpaccording to the names of the places where he was wor- ture became tolerably perfected. They originated in Jacob's shipped.
setting up and anointing with oil the stone which he had The false gods of Palestine and the neighbouring nations used for a pillow, as a memorial of the heavenly vision with were called Baal in general; but there were other Baals which he had been favoured (Gen. xxviii. 18.), and also to whose name was compounded of some additional word, such serve as a token to point out to him the place when God as Baal-peor, Baalberith, Baalzebub, and Baalzephon. The should bring him back again. The idolatrous unction of first of these has already been noticed in the preceding stones, consecrating them to the memory of great men, and page.
worshipping them after their death, must have prevailed to a 2. BAALBERITA was the idol of the Shechemites (Judg: great extent in the time of Moses, who therefore prohibited viii. 33.); and the temple of this deity was their arsenal and the Israelites from erecting them. (Lev. xxvi. 1.) The public treasury. As the Hebrew word Berith signifies a practice of setting up stones as a guide to travellers still covenant or contract, this god is supposed to have had his exists in Persia and other parts of the East.8 appellation from his office, which was to preside over covenants, contracts, and oaths. In like manner, the Greeks had
3 See Harmer's Observations, vol. iii. pp. 323–325.
* In his treatise De Deå Syria. Op: tom. ix. pp. 89–91. edit. Bipont. their Zeus Opxecos; and the Romans, their Deus Fidius.
6 Eusebius de Laudibus Constantini, pp. 736, 737. edit. Reading. 3. BAALZEBUB or BELZEBUB was the god of the Ekronites 6 Saturnalia, lib. i. c. 21. (2 Kings i. 3.), but the origin of the name (which in Hebrew
• Dr. A. Clarke on Gen. xxviji. 18.
8 In the course of Mr. Morier's journey in the interior of that country, denotes the god of flies) it is difficult to ascertain. As the he remarked that his old guide "every here and there placed a stone on a vicinity of this country was long after infested with minute conspicuous bit of rock, or two stones one upon the other, at the same VI. BABYLONIAN AND ASSYRIAN IDOLS.
time uttering some words which” (says this intelligent traveller) “I learnt 1 Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. v. pp. 32. 453—459.
were a prayer for our safe return. This explained to me, what I had fre9 May it not be presumed that the ancient inhabitants of Ireland were a quently seen before in the East, and particularly on a high road leading to Phænician colony, from the appropriation of the round towers, found in a great town, whence the town is first seen, and where the eastern traveller that island, to the preservation of the Baal-Thinne, or sacred fire of sets up his stone, accompanied by a devout exclamation, as it were, in Baal? On this subject, the further prosecution of which is foreign to the token of his safe arrival. The action of our guide appears to illustrate the rlar of the present work, much curious and antiquarian information is col. vow which Jacob made when he travelled to Padan-Aram. (Gen. xxviii. lected in the notes to "Thc Druid," a Dramatic Poem, by Thomas Crom 18-22.) In seeing a stone on the road placed in this position, or one stono well. London, 1832, 8vo.
upon another, it implies that some traveller has there made a vow or a the guised in human form, deigned to visit mortals, and contraveller should sit down and make a thanksgiving; in both cases setting • Pliny, Nat. Hist. lib. xvi. c. 40. up a stone as a memorial.” Morier's Second Journey, p. 84.
represented as a woman, whose upper part was hung round 1,2. BEL and NEBO are Babylonian deities mentioned in with breasts, emblematic of the prolific powers of nature. Isa. xlvi. 1. Bel (the Belus of profane historians) was most Her image is said to have fallen down from Jupiter (Acts probably a contraction of Baal, or the Sun. The planet xix. 35.); whence some expositors have conjectured that it Mercury has the name of Nebo or Nebu among the Zabi- was an áërolite or atmospheric stone. But Pliny describes the ans: it is found also in the composition of several Chaldæan image as having been made by one Caneti as from the wood names of persons, as Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuzaradan, &c. &c. j of the vine. This notion of certain statues having descended
3. MERONACH is supposed to have been a Babylonish on earth from the clouds to represent particular divinities, monarch, who was deified after his death.2
and to inspire devotion
in their temples, was very common 4. NisRoch was an Assyrian idol, adored by Sennacherib. in the heathen world. The palladium at Troy, and the statue (2 Kings xix. 37. Isa. xxxvii. 38.) Perhaps it was the solar of Minerva at Athens, like this of the Ephesian Diana, are lire, to whose anger he probably attributed the destruction said to have dropped from the skies. The avarice of priests of his army before Jerusalem; and whom he was in the act forged these stories to dupe and fleece a blind and bigoted of adoring, when he was assassinated by his sons.3 people. The same ridiculous tale the Romans were taught
VII. IDOLS WORSHIPPED IN SAMARIA DURING THE CAP- to believe concerning their Ancilia or sacred shields, which TIVITY.
their history represents to have fallen from heaven in the The deities noticed in the preceding pages are the chief reign of Numa Pompilius.? idols anciently adored in Palestine; but there were other The Romans, also, it is well known, worshipped the virfalse gods worshipped there, which were imported into tues and affections of the mind, as Justice, Fidelity, or Good Samaria, after Shalmaneser had carried the ten tribes into Faith, Hope, Fortune, Fame, &c.; and the same superstition captivity, by the colony of foreigners which he sent to prevailed among the inhabitants of Malta, on which island occupy their country. These men brought their idols with Paul was shipwrecked. When they saw a vencmous serpent them. The men of Babylon had their Succoth-benoth, which fasten on the hand of Paul, they concluded that he was a was the Babylonish Melitta, in honour of whom young murderer, whom vengeance—more correctly the goddess Axu women prostituted themselves. The men of Cuth or Cutha (Diké or Vindictive Justice)—had not permitted to live. (Acts brought their Nergal, or the Sun: it was represented by a xxviii. 4.) We learn from the mythological poet Hesiod, that cock, which animal was dedicated to Apollo, or the Sun. the Greeks had a female deity of this name.8 Nay, the The men of Hamath had Ashima ; a deity of which nothing superstition of the Pagans went so far as to worship the certain is known. The rabbinical writers say, that it was gods and goddesses of all countries, even those which they compounded of a man and a goat; consequently it answered knew not. Thus there was at Athens an altar consecrated to the Pan of the Greek and Roman mythology. The peo- to the gods and goddesses of Europe, Asia, Libya, and to ple of Sepharraim brought Adrammelech and Anam melech, the unknown God; which gave St. Paul occasion to deliver already noticed. The Avites brought Nibhaz and Turtak, that admirable discourse in the Areopagus, which is related which probably are two different names of the same idol. in Acts xvii. 23–31.9 As Nibhaz in Hebrew and Chaldee signifies quick, swift, IX. Very numerous are the allusions in the Sacred Writrapid; and Tartak in both languages denotes a chariot, ings to the idolatrous rites of the heathen, and to their perthese two idols together may mean the sun mounted on suasions concerning their power and influence. A few only his car.
of these can be here noticed. In Lev. xxvi. 1. Moses prohibits the Israelites from setting 1. With regard to the opinions which were entertained up any Image of Stone, literally, figured stone, or stone of concerning their gods :a picture, in their land. This prohibition was directed against (1.). The heathens had generally a notion, that all deities the hieroglyphic figures or stones of the Egyptians, the were local, and limited to a certain country or place, and meaning of which was known only to the priests. With had no power any where else, but in that country or place; and these stones idolatry was practised. In Egypt they were thus we read in ? Kings xvii. 26. that the colonists sent by regarded as the god Thoth , the god of sciences, and so late the king of Assyria to Samaria in place of the Israelites attrias the time of Ezekiel (viii. 8–11.) we find an imitation of buted their being plagued with lions to their not knowing this species of idolatry common among the Jews. Accord- the manner of the god of the land. In conformity with this ing, therefore, to that fundamental principle of the Mo- notion, Jonah (who lived in the midst of the mixed multisaic policy, which dictated the prevention of idolatry, it tude of Gentiles, that had forced themselves into the district became absolutely necessary to prohibit stones with hiero- of Galilee, with their various forms of worship) seems to have glyphic inscriptions. Besides, in an age when so great a considered Jehovah as the local god of Judæa; and in order propensity to idolatry, prevailed, stones with figures upon to escape from his presence, he rose up to flee unto Tarshish, ihem which the people could not understand, would have and went down to Joppa. (Jonah i. 3.), So also in 1 Kings been a temptation to idolatry, even though they had not been xx. 23. it is said that the servants of the king of Syria perdeified (as we know they actually were) by the Egyptians. suaded their master, that the gods of the Israelites were The walls of the ancient temples, particularly that of Ten- gods of the hills; hearing, perhaps, that the law was given tyrā, and also the tombs of the kings in Egypt, are covered on Mount Sinai, that the temple was built on Mount Sion, with such hieroglyphics; which it is impossible to see and and that they delighted to worship on high places; and therenot be struck with the necessity of the injunction contained fore they imagined that they would have the advantage by in Deut. iv, 15–20.5
fighting the Israelites in the plain. It is not unlikely that VIII. The idols mentioned in the New Testament are, doubt- such of the Israelites who were murmurers in the wilderless, known to every classical reader. It will, therefore, ness (being those among them who were most tainted with suffice briefly to state here, that Jupiter was the supreme idolatry) entertained the same opinion, and believed that deity, or father of the gods, among the Greeks and Romans; God was a local deity and his power limited ; for in this Mercury was the god of eloquence, and the messenger of manner it is that the Psalmist represents them reasoning the other deities. The inhabitants of Lystra, in Lycaonia, with themselves,Can God furnish a table in the wilder struck with the miracle which had been wrought by St. Paul, ness? Behold he smote the rock that the waters gushed out, and considered him as Mercury, from his eloquence, and Barnabas the streams overflowed, but can he give bread also ? Can he proas Jupiter, probably from his being the more majestic person of vide flesh for his people? (Psal. xxviii
. 19, 20.) the two, and consequently, answering to the prevalent notions (2.) All the nations of antiquity, especially in the East, which they had imbibed from statues concerning him. The supposed the Deity to be surrounded by light so dazzling as Diana of the Greeks and Romans was worshipped with to overpower all mortal vision. This mode of speaking was, most solemnity at Ephesus, where she is said to have been in a later age, transferred to the divine majesty and perfecthanksgiving. Nothing is so natural in a journey over
a dreary country, ties." (Psal. civ. 1—3. Ezek. i. 1 Tim. vi. 16.).0
tions, as being utterly incomprehensible to the human faculas for a solitary traveller to sit down, fatigued, and to make the vow that Jacob did :-If God will be with me, and keep me in the way that I go, (3.) “ Another common opinion which prevailed among and will give me bread to eat and ruiment to put on, so that I reach me the heathens, was, that sometimes the immortal gods, disthat on first seeing the place which he has so long toiled io reach
1 Harwood's lotrod. vol. ii. p. 360. See also Biscoe on the Acts, vol. i. '1 Gesenius's Hebrew Lexicon, by Gibbs, p. 85. col. 2. p. 407. col. 2. p. 307. and Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. vii. pp. 21, 22. · W. Lowth, on Jer. 1. 2.
8 Opera et Dies, v. 254-258. - Brown's Antiq. of the Jews, vol. ii. p. 32.
. On the subject of this altar, see rol. i. pp. 196, 197. • Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iv. pp. 54–59.
10 Robinson's Gr. Lexicon to the New Test. voce Aaporitos. Bloomfield's 3 Jowett's Christian Researches in the Mediterranean, pp. 132. 134. Annotations on the New Test. vol. viii. pp. 286, 287.
versed with them. According to their theology, Jupiter and having played the harlot, that is, worshipped idols on every Mercury accompanied each other on these expeditions. Agree-high mountain, and under every green tree. Nor were only ably to this notion, which universally obtained among the mountains, woods, and valleys appointed for the worship of Pagans, we find that the Lycaonians, when they saw a mi- false gods; almost every thing else, among the Pagans, bore racle performed upon a helpless cripple, immediately cried the marks of idolatry. Herodotus says, that the Pheniout in the last astonishment,- The gods are come down unto cians, who were the greatest seamen in the world, adorned us in the likeness of men ! (Acts xiv. 11.). Instantly Paul the heads and sterns of their ships with the images of their and Barnabas were metamorphosed, by their imaginations, gods; and Luke (Acts xxviii. 11.) has observed, that the into Jove and Mercury, who, according to their creed, were vessel which carried St. Paul from Malta to Syracuse had inseparable companions in these visits. These heathens (as the sign of Castor and Pollux; and it is not improbable, that we have already intimated) recognised Jupiter in Barnabas, the vessel in which Europa was carried away had the sign because, probably, his appearance and person were more of a bull, which gave occasion to the poets to say, that Jupispecious and striking; and Paul, whose bodily presence was ter carried her away under that shape. weak, but whose public talents and rhetoric were distin- 4. The statues of the deities were carried in procession, guished, they persuaded themselves could be no other than on the shoulders of their votaries. This circumstance is disMercury, the eloquent interpreter of the gods.”!
tinctly stated by Isaiah, in his masterly exposure of the (4.) Further, when persons were wrongfully oppressed insanity of idolatry. (xlvi. 7.) In this way do the Hindoos and afflicted, the heathens believed that the gods interfered at present carry their gods; and, indeed, so exact a picture in their behalf. The tokens of their presence were earth- has the prophet drawn of the idolatrous processions of this quakes, the opening of doors, and the loosing of their bonds.2 people, that he might be almost supposed to be sitting among In this manner God bore a miraculous testimony of his ap- them, when he delivered his prediction to the Jews.10° It was probation to his faithful servants Paul and Silas, when im- also customary to make shrines or portable models of the prisoned at Philippi; and the knowledge of this fact will temples of those deities which were the principal objects of account for the extreme fright of the gaoler, which termi- worship, and to place a small image therein, when they tranated so happily for his salvation. (Acts xvi. 25—29.)3 velled or went to war, as also for their private devotions at
2. Although the priesthood constituted a distinct class of home. From the celebrity of the temple of Diana at Ephepersons among the Jews, yet
among the Romans, and it sus, it is but natural to suppose, that there would be a great should seem also among the Greeks, they did not form a demand for models of it, which would become a kind of subseparate order. Among the Romans they were chosen from stitute for the temple itself, to such of her votaries as lived among the most honourable men in the state. In the eastern in distant parts of Greece. It is evident from Acts xix. 24 provinces of the Roman empire, persons were annually —27. that the manufacture of such shrines proved a source selected from among the more opulent citizens to preside of great emolument to Demetrius, and the artisans employed over the things pertaining to religious worship, and to exhibit by him, who might naturally expect a brisk demand for their annual games at their own expense in honour of the gods, in models, from the vast concourse of worshippers who were the same manner as the ædiles did at Rome. These officers present at the annual solemnization of the games in honour received their appellations from the districts to which they of Diana : which demand not equalling their expectations, belonged, as Syriarch (Euplupans), Phæniciarch (DCXvixk2pXns), Demetrius might ascribe his loss to St. Paul's preaching and the like: of course, in proconsular Asia, they were called against idolatry, as the apostle had now (Acts xix. 8. 10.) Asiarchs (Apiusxe). The temple of Diana at Ephesus was been more than two years at Ephesus; so that all they which erected at the common expense of all the Grecian cities in dwelt in Asia heard the word of the Lord Jesus, both Jews and Asia Minor. It is evident from Acts xix. 31. that at that Greeks.11 The tabernacle of Moloch (Amos v. 26.) is supvery time they were solemnizing games in honour of Diana, posed to have been a portable temple or shrine, made after who was one of the great celestial deities (the dii majorum the chief temple of that “ horrid king," as Milton emphatigentium of the Romans), and who was, therefore, called the cally terms him.12 GREAT GODDESS, by the recorder or town-clerk of Ephesus. “When the heathens offered a sacrifice to any of those (Acts xix. 35.)5. This circumstance will account for St. numerous divinities which they worshipped, it was usual on Paul's being húrried before the tribunal of the Asiarchs. this sacred solemnity, in which religion and friendship were
3. We learn from various profane authors that High Places, harmoniously interwoven and united with each other, for all or eminences, were considered to be the abode of the heathen the sacrificers to have their temples adorned with chaplets os deities, or at least as the most proper for sacrificing; and, flowers,—and the victims, loo, that were led to the altar, therefore, sacrifices were offered either on the summits of were dressed with fillets and garlands. Abundant examples mountains or in woods. Thus it was the custom of the of this custom are found in almost every page of the Greek ancient Persians to go up to the tops of the loftiest mountains, and Roman classics. The Lycaonians, who recognised Juand there to offer sacrifices to Jupiter,-distinguishing by piter in Barnabas, and Mercury in Paul, and, believing that appellation the whole expanse of heaven. Further, themselves honoured with a visit from these divinities, from as most of these sacrifices were accompanied with prostitu- the miracle which Paul had wrought in restoring a cripple tion, or other impure rites, they seem to have chosen the to the full use of his limbs, intended to show their veneramost retired spots, to conceal their abominations. On this tion of this illustrious condescension to them by celebrating account, and also to obliterate every vestige of, or temptation a public and solemn sacrifice, and decked themselves, and 1o, idolatry, the Israelites were commanded to offer sacrifices the victims they intended to immolate, in this manner.13' "The to Jehovah, only and exclusively in the place which he should priest, therefore, of Jove, whom it seems they worshipped appoint (Deut. xii. 14.); and were also prohibited from as the guardian of their city, and whose temple stood a little sacrificing in high places (Lev. xxvi. 30.), and from placing way out of the town, immediately brought victims and a grove of treesă near his altar. (Deut. xvi. 21.) The profi- chaplets of flowers to crown the apostles, agreeably to the gate Manasseh, however, utterly disregarded these prohibi- pagan rites,—and in this manner advanced towards the door tions, when he built up again the high places, and reared of the house, where the apostles lodged, designing to sacriup altars for Baal, and made a grove. (2 Kings xxi. 3.). Thus fice to them. This custom, here mentioned, was in conformity Isaiah (Ivii. 4, 5.) reproached the Israelites with the like pre- with the heathen ritual. All wore garlands at a heathen varication, when he said, Are ye not children of transgression, sacrifice, both the people and the victims."!5 a seed of falsehood, in flaming yourselves with idols under every 5. When the victim devoted to the sacrifice was brought green tree, slaying the children in the valleys under the clifts of before the altar, the priest, having implored the divine favour the rocks 2 And Jeremiah (iii. 6.) reproaches them with and acceptance by prayer, poured wine upon its head; and was termei a libation, the victim was instantly led to the pas appears from Psal. ii. 12. There is an idolatrous rite menslaughter. To this circumstance St. Paul, knowing the time tioned by Ezekiel, called the putting the branch to the nose of his martyrdom to be very near, has a very striking allu- (Ezek. viii. 17.), by which interpreters understand, that the sion; representing this rite, which immediately preceded worshipper, with a wand in his hand, touched the idol, and the death of the victim, as already performed upon himself, then applied the wand to his nose and mouth, in token of implying that he was now devoted to death, and that his worship and adoration. There appears to be this difference, dissolution would speedily follow. I am now ready to be however, between the idolatry of the Jews and that of other offered, says he (2 Tim. iv. 6.): literally, I am already poured nations, viz. that the Jews did not deny a divine power and out as a libation, the time of my departure is at hand. A providence; only they imagined that their idols were the insimilar expressive sacrificial allusion occurs in Phil. ii. 17. termediate causes, by which the blessings of the supreme Yea, says the holy apostle, and if I be POURED out upon the God might be conveyed to them; whereas the heathens sacrifice and service of your faith, I joy and rejoice with you believed that the idols they worshipped were true gods, and all
after the performance of this solemn act of religion, which 1 Dr. Harwood's Introd. vol. ii. p. 359,
Elsner, in his notes on Acts xvi. 26. has shown, by a series of most apposite quotations, that each of these things was accounted a token of 8 Hist. I. iii. c. 37. 9 Biscoe on the Acts, vol. i. pp. 326, 327. the divine appearance in behalf of those who suffered unjustly, and who 10 Ward's History, &c. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 330. were dear to the gods.- Observationes Sacræ, vol. i. pp. 441-411.
11 Biscoe on the Acts, vol. I. pp. 301, 302. 304. 3 Biscoe on the Acts, vol. i. p. 313.
19 See Dr. Clarke's Travels, vol. vi. pp. 215–218., for some curious infor. Grotius, Hammond, Poole's Synopsis, Wetstein, and Doddridge on mation concerning the portable shrines of the ancients. Acts xix. 31. Riscoe on the Acts, vol. i. pp. 303, 301. Robinson's Greek 13 Aets xiv. 13. Then the priest of Jupiter, which was before their city, Lexicon, voce Agitpxns.
brought oxen and garlands unto the gates, and would have done sacrifice * See Elsner's Observationes Sacræ, vol. i. pp. 460, 461.
unto the people. 6 Herodotus, lib. i. c. 131.
14 ΙΙρο της πόλεως. Ιbid. Το ΠΡΟ ΤΗΣ ΠΟΛΕΩΣ Ασκληπιειον. The temIn Sir William Ouseley's Travels in the East (vol. i. pp. 359-401.) the ple of Æsculapins which was before the town, or a little way out of the reader will tind a very learned and very interesting memoir on the sacred city. Polybius, lib. i. p. 17. edit. Hanov. 1619. trees of the ancients, which illustrates inany important passages of sacred- 18 Dr. Harwood's Introduction, vol. ii. p. 301. Wetstein and Dr. Á Clarke WILL
on Acts xiv. 11-15.
. In this passage he represents the faith of the Philip- had no higher conceptions, having no notion of one eternal, pians as the sacrificial victim, and compares his blood, will- almighty, and independent Being. ? ingly and joyfully to be shed in martyrdom, to the libation In the account of the decisive triumph of true religion over poured out on occasion of the sacrifice.?
idolatry, related in 1 Kings xviii., we have a very striking After the usual portions of the victims had been burnt on delineation of the idolatrous rites of Baal; from which it the altar, or given to the officiating priests, the remainder appears that his four hundred and fifty priests, or prophets, as was either exposed by the owner for sale in the market, or they are termed, employed the whole day in their desperate became the occasion of giving a feast to his friends, either rites. The time is divided into two periods, 1. From mornin the temple or at his own house. Meat of this description, ing until noon, which was occupied in preparing and offering termed awna Jure, or meats offered to idols, in Acts xv. 29., the sacrifice, and in earnest supplication for the celestial fire, was an abomination to the Jews; who held that not only those (for Baal was unquestionably the god of fire or the sun, who partook of such entertainments, but also those who and had only to work in his own element), vociferating, 0, purchased such meat in the market, subjected themselves to Baal
, hear us (1 Kings xviii. 26.); and, 2. They continued the pollution of idolatry. The apostle James, therefore, from noon until the time of offering evening sacrifice (the time recommends, that the Gentile Christians should abstain from when it was usually offered to Jehovah in the temple at Jeruall meats of this kind, out of respect to this prejudice of salem), performing their frantic rites. Jewish Christians; and hence he calls these meats excogmusetil, They leaped up and down at the altar, 4 that is, they danced pollution of idols, that is, meats polluted in consequence of around it with strange and hideous cries and gesticulations, their being sacrificed unto idols. (Acts xv. 20., compare also tossing their heads to and fro, with a great variety of bodily 1 Cor. viii. 1. 4. 7. 10. x. 19. 28.) It appears from Judg. contortions, precisely as the Ceylonese do to this day. In ix: 27. that feasting after sacrifice in the temples of idols like manner the priests of Mars among the Romans danced was not unknown to the Shechemites.
and leaped around the altars of that divinity, from which cir6. Singing and dancing were the general attendants of cumstance they derived their name,--Salii. And it came to some of these idolatrous rites: thus, the Israelites danced pass at noon that Elijah niocked them : had not the intrepid before the golden calf. (Exod. xxxii. 19.) To this day, dancing prophet of the Lord been conscious of the divine protection, before the idol takes place at almost every Hindoo idolatrous he certainly would not have used such freedom of speech, feast. But their sacrifices were not confined to irrational while he was surrounded by his enemies : And said, Cry victims: it is well known that the practice of offering human aloud! Oblige him, by your vociferations, to attend to your victims prevailed to a great extent;' and among the Ammon- suit.—Similar vain repetitions were made by the heathen in ites and Phænicians they were immolated to propitiate the time of our Saviour, who cautions his disciples against Moloch and Baal; and children were in some manner dedi- them in Matt. vi. 7.?—For he is a god—the supreme God; you cated and devoted to them. The idolatrous worshippers are worship him as such ; and, doubtless, he is jealous of his own said to make them pass through the fire ; denoting some rite honour, and the credit of his votaries. Either he is talkingof dedication and purification. This was most expressly he may be giving audience to some others; or, as it is renforbidden to the Israelites. (Lev. xviii. 21.) In this manner dered in the margin of our larger Bibles,-he meditateth—he Ahaz devoted his son (2 Kings xvi. 3.); but as Hezekiah is in a profound reverie, projecting some godlike schemeafterwards succeeded his father on the throne of Judah, it is he is pursuing--taking his pleasure in the chase-or he is on evident that he was not put to death. From the declarations a journey–having left his audience chamber, he is making of the psalmist (cvi. 36-40.), and of the prophet Ezekiel some excursions—or peradventure he sleepeth and must be (xvi. 21. xx. 26. 31.), it is however, certain that many hu- uwaked.-Absurd as these notions may appear to us, they are man victims were thus barbarously sacrificed.
believed by the Hindoos, to each of whose gods some partiThe adoration or worship which idolaters paid to their gods cular business is assigned, and who imagine that Vishnoo did not consist barely in the sacrifices which they offered to sleeps for months in the year, while others of their deities are them, but likewise in prostrations and bowings of the body ; often out on journeys or expeditions. Accordingly the thus Naaman speaks of bowing in the house of Rimmon. priests of Baal cried aloud, and cut themselves, after their man(2 Kings v. 18.)" It was also a religious ceremony, to lift up ner. This was not only the custom of the idolatrous Israelthe hand to the mouth and kiss it, and then, stretching it out, to ites, but also of the Syrians, Persians, Indians, Greeks, throw as it were the kiss to the idol : both this and the former Romans, and, in short, of all the ancient heathen world. ceremony are mentioned in 1 Kings xix. 18. And so Job, in Hence we may see the reason why the Israelites were fororder to express his not having fallen into idolatry, very ele- bidden to cut ihem:elves, to make any cuttings in their flesh for gantly says, if I beheld the sun while it shined, or the moon the dead, and to print any marks upon themselves. (Deut. xiv. 1. walking in brightness, and my heart had been secretly enticed, 3 On the subject of the idolatrous worship of the heathens, the editor or my mouth hath kissed my hand, &c. (Job xxxi. 26, 27.); of Calinet's Dictionary has accumulated much interesting information. for to kiss and to worship are synonymous terms in Scripture,
See the Fraginents, particularly Nos. 107. 185. 212, 213.
. 26. 1 Parkhurst's Gr. Lexicon, p. 621. Harwood, vol. ii. pp. 219, 220. Drs. 5 From the statement of a Ceylonese convert to Christianity (who was Clarke and Macknight on the passages cited.
formerly one of the principal high-priests of Budhoo) Dr. A. Clarke has 2 The Egyptians had several cities, which were termed Typhonian,- described the manner
and invocations of the pagan inhabitants of that such as Ileliopolis, Idithya, Abarei, and Busiris,-where at particular sea. island (Cougient. on 1 Kings xviii.), to which we are indebted for part of sons they inmolated men. The objects thus devoted were persons of the present elucidation of the rites of Baal; and his account is confirmed bright hair and a particular complexion, such as were seldom to be found by Dr. John Davy, in his Travels in Ceylon. among that people. Hence we inay conclude that they were foreigners; 6 Jain dederat Saliis (a saltu noinina ducunt) and it is probable that while the Israelites resided in Egypt, the victims Armaque et ad certos verba canenda modos.--Ovid. Fast. iii. 387, 388. were chosen from their body. They were burnt alive upon a high altar, On the custoin of dancing around the altars of the gods, the reader will and thus sacrificed for the good of the poople: at the conclusion of the find much curious information in Lomeier's treatise De veterum Gentilium sacrifice, the priests collected their ashes, and scattered them upwards in Lustrationibus, cap. 33. pp. 413. et seq. the air, -most likely with this view, that, where any of the dust was wafted, The infuriated worshippers of Diana all rith one voice about the space a blessing might be entailed. By a just retribution, Moses and Aaron were of two hours cried out, “ Great is Diana of the Ephesians." (Acts xix. 31.) commanded to take ashes of the furnace (which in the Scriptures is used Not to multiply unnecessary examples, see
an illustration of these vain, as a type of the slavery of the Israelites, and of all the cruelty which they repetitions in the Heautontimoreumenos of Terence, act v. scene l. experienced in Egypt), and to scalter them abroad towards the heaven are informed by Servius that the ancient heathens, after stipplicating the
Exod. x. 8, 9.), but with a different intention, viz. that where any the particular deity to whom they offered sacrifice, used to invoke all the gods smallest portion alighted, it might prove a plague and a curse to the un- and goddesses, lest any one of them should be adverse to the suppliant. grateful, cruel, and infatuated Egyptians. Thus there was a designed con. Servius in Virgil
. Georg. lib. i. 21. (vol. i. p. 178. of Burmann's edition, fra t in these workings of Providence, and an apparent opposition to the Amst. 1746. 4to.) For a remarkable instance of the "vain repetitions" of superstition of the tinies. Bryant, on the Plagues of Egypt, p. 116. On the modern Mohammedans, see Dr. Richardson's Travels in the Mediter. the prevalence oi hunan sacrifices in ancient times, see vol. i. p. 5. and ranean, &c. vol. i. pp. 462—464.
8 Ward's History, &c.
of the Ilindoos, vol. ii. p. 324.
8 1. ACCOUNT OF THE JEWISH SECTS MENTIONED IN THE NEW
2. The Pharisees contended that God was in strict justice TESTAMENT.
bound to bless the Jews, and make them all partakers of the I. The Pharisees.-II. The Sadducees.—III. The Essenes. them eternally happy, and that he could not possibly damn
terrestrial kingdom of the Messiah, to justify them, to make IV. The Scribes.-V. The Lawyers.-VI. The Samaritaus.–VII. The Herodians.-VIII. "The Galilæans. IX. any one of them! The ground of their justification they de
rived from the merits of Abraham, from their knowledge of The Zealots.—X. The Sicarii.
God, from their practising the rite of circumcision, and from I. The PHARISEES were the most numerous and powerful the sacrifices they offered. And as they conceived works to sect of the Jews. The precise time when they first appeared be meritorious, they had invented a great number of supereis not known : but, as Josephus' mentions the Pharisees, rogatory ones, to which they attached greater merit than to Sadducees, and Essenes, as distinct sects, in the reign of the observance of the law itself. To this notion St. Paul Jonathan (B. c. 144—139), it is manifest that they must have has some allusions in those parts of his Epistle to the Romans been in existence for some time. Calmet is of opinion that in which he combats the erroneous suppositions of the Jews.? their origin cannot be carried higher than the year of the 3. The Pharisees were the strictest of the three principal world 3820, corresponding with the year 184 before - the sects that divided the Jewish nation (Acts xxvi. 5.), and Christian æra. They derived their name from the Hebrew affected a singular probity of manners according to their verb vnd (PHARASH) to separate; because they professed an system, which however was for the most part both lax and uncommon separation from the apparel and customs of the corrupt. Thus, many things which Moses had tolerated in world to the study of the law, and an extraordinary devotion civil life, in order to avoid a greater évil, the Pharisees deto God and sanctity of life, beyond all other men. Hence termined to be morally right; for instance, the law of retaliaone of them is represented as thanking God, that he was not tion, and that of a divorce from a wife for any cause. (Matt. as other men are ; and St. Paul, in his masterly apology be- v. 31. et seq. xix. 3—12.) During the time of Christ there fore king Agrippa, terms them aspi Bertutn ceperis, the most were
two celebrated philosophical and divinity schools
among rigorous sect, in our version rendered the most straitest sect. the Jews, that of Schammai and that of Hillel. On the (Acts xxvi. 5.) They were not restricted to any particular question of divorce, the school of Schammai maintained, that family or class of men : there were Pharisees of every tribe, no man could legally put away his wife except for adultery: family, and condition. The credit which they had acquired the school of Hilel, on the contrary, allowed a divorce for by their reputation for knowledge and sanctity of life early any cause (from Deut. xxiv. 1.), even if the wife found no rendered them formidable to the Maccabæan sovereigns; favour in the eyes of her husband,-in other words, if he saw while they were held in such esteem and veneration by the any woman who pleased him better. The practice of the people, that they may be almost said to have given what Jews seems to have gone with the school of Hillel. Thus direction they pleased to public affairs.? They boasted that, we read (in Ecclus. xxv. 26.), “ If she go not as thou from their accurate knowledge of religion, they were the fa- wouldest have her, cut her off from thy flesh; give her a bil? vourites of heaven ;3 and thus, trusting in themselves that of divorce and let her go ;” and in conformity with this docthey were righteous, despised others. (Luke xi. 52. xviii. trine, Josephus, who was a Pharisee, relates that he repu9. 11.)
diated his wife who had borne him three children, because Among the tenets inculcated by this sect, we may enume- he was not pleased with her manners or behaviour. rate the following ; viz.
4. Further, they interpreted certain of the Mosaic laws 1. They ascribed all things to fate or providence, yet not most literally, and distorted their meaning so as to favour so absolutely as to take away the free will of man, though their own philosophical system. Thus, the law of loving fate does not co-operate in every action. They also believed their neighbour, they expounded solely of the love of their in the existence of angels and spirits, and in the resurrection friends, that is, of the whole Jewish race; all other persons of the dead (Acts xxiii. 8.): but, from the account given of being considered by them as natural enemies (Matt. v. 43. them by Josephus, it appears that their notion of the immor- compared with Luke x. 31–33.), whom they were in no tality of the soul was the Pythagorean metempsychosis ; respect bound to assist. Dr. Lightfoot has cíted a striking that the soul, after the dissolution of one body, winged its illustration of this passage from Maimonides. An oath, in flight into another; and that these removals were perpetuated which the name of God was not distinctly specified, they and diversified through an infinite succession, the soul ani- taught was not binding (Matt
. v. 33.), maintaining that a mating a sound and healthy body, or being confined in a man might even swear with his lips, and at the same modeformed and diseased frame, according to its conduct in a ment annul it in his heart! So rigorously did they underprior state of existence. From the Pharisees, whose tenets stand the command of observing the Sabbath-day, that they and traditions the pecple generally received, it is evident that accounted it unlawful to pluck ears of corn, and heal the the disciples of our Lord had adopted this philosophical doc- sick, &c. (Matt
. xii. 1. et seq. Luke vi. 6. et seq. xiv. 1. et seq.) trine of the transmigration of souls; when, having met with Those natural laws which Moses did not sanction by any a man who had been born blind, they asked him whether it penalty they accounted among the petty commandments, were the sins of this man in a pre-existent state which had inferior to the ceremonial laws, which they preferred to the czased the Sovereign Disposer to inflict upon him this former, as being the weightier matters of the law (Matt. v. punishment. To this inquiry Christ replied, that neither his 19. xv. 4. xxii. 23.), to the total neglect of mercy and vices or sins in a pre-existent state, nor those of his parents, fidelity. Hence they accounted causeless anger and impuro were the cause of this calamity. (John ix. 1—4.) From desires as trifles of no moment (Matt. v. 21, 22. 27—30.); this notion, derived from the Greek philosophy, we find that they compassed sea and land to make proselyteslo to the Jewduring our Saviour's public ministry, the Jews speculated ish religion from among the Gentiles, that they might rule variously concerning him, and indulged several conjectures, over their consciences and wealth : and these proselytes, which of the ancient prophets it was whose soul now ani- through the influence of their own scandalous examples and mated him, and performed such astonishing miracles. Some characters, they soon rendered more profligate and abandoned contended that it was the soul of Elias; others of Jeremiah ; the New Test. vol. ii. p. 355. To this popular notion of a transmigration while others, less sanguine, only declared in general terms of souls, Dr. 11. aseribes the alarm of Herod, who had caused John the that it must be the soul of one of the old prophets by which Baptist to be beheaded, when the fame of Christ's miracles
reached his these mighty deeds were now wrought. (Matt. xvi. 14. Herod was a Sadducee, and, consequently, disbelieved a future state. His Luke ix. 19.).
alarm, therefore, is rather to be attributed to the force of conscience which
haunted his guilty mind in despite of his libertine principles. 1 Ant. Jud. lib. xiii. c. 5. & 9.
* See Rom. i.--xi. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xvii. c. 2. $4. De Bell. Jud · The high reputation and influence of the Pharisees are strikingly lib. ii. c. 8. $ 4. Justin. Dialog. cum Tryphon. Pirke Aboth. illustrated by the following anecdote :-When Alexander Jannæus lay on 8 Life of himself, $ 76. Grotius, Calmet, Drs. Lightfoot, Whitby, Dod his death-bed, about eighty years before the Christian æra, his queen dridge, and A. Clarke (on Matt. v. 30. et seq. and Matt. xix. 3. et seq have Alexandra having expressed great anxiety on account of the exposed state all given illustrations of the Jewish doctrine of divorce from rabbinical in which herself and sons would be left, the dying monarch recommended writers. See also Selden's Uxor Hebraica, lib. iii. c. 22. (Op. tom. ii. col. her to court the Pharisees, and delegate part of her power to them. 782—786.) Alexandra followed this advice; and the Pharisees, availing themselves of 9 "A Jew sees a Gentile fall into the sea, let him by ng means lift him the opportunity, made themselves masters of the government, and dis out: for it is written, 'Thou shalt not rise up against the blood of thy posed of every thing as they pleased. Josephus, Ant. Jud. lib. xiii. c. 15. neighbour.' But this is not thy neighbour." Works, vol. ii. p. 152. $ 5. c. 16. $1. Bell. Jud. lib. i. c. 4.
10 Justin Martyr bears witness to the inveterate malignity of the prose• Ibid. lib. xiii. c. 5. $9. lib. xviii. c. 2. 63. De Bell.
Jud. lib. ii. c. 8. $14. lytes of the Pharisees against the name of Christ, at the beginning of the Acts v. 39, 39.
century. "Your proselytes,” says he to Trypho the Jew (p. 350.), Ibid. lib. xviii. c. I. $3. De Bell. Jud. lib. ii. c. 8. $ 14. lib. iii. c. 8. $5. "not only do not believe in Christ, but blaspheme his name with twofola The author of the Book of Wisdom (ch. viii. 20.) seems to allude to the more virulence than yourselves. They are ready to show their malicious same doctrine, when he tells us, that, being good, he came into a body un- zeal against us; and, to obtain merit your eyes, wish to us reproach, and
torment, and death." See further Dr. Ireland's Paganism and Christianity * Dr. Lightfoot's Works, vol. ii. pp. 568, 369. Dr. Harwood's Introd. to compared, pp. 21–23.
3 Ant. Jud. lib. xvii. c. 2. $4.