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safeguards against the danger of contracting familiarity with them, which can be provided. Dietetical considerations, it is not less evident, were included in the reasons of this distinction; the health of the body, especially in some climates, being better provided for by the use of some kinds of food, than of other kinds. Moral relations may also be included in the distinction; though it must be confessed, that many of the explanations which have been given of particular enactments of this branch of the Mosaic statutes, are more fanciful than reasonable. Dr. Townley has assigned a distinct section to the last class of reasons, but without any enlargement of their number, as we find them in preceding authors, or any augmentation of their weight. The cloven hoof may be supposed to figure the distribution of rewards and punishments, with about as much propriety as appears in some other allegories which the Author has cited or referred to; but we cannot perceive in these examples, any proof of the moral purpose of the Legislator in ordaining the distinctions on which they are founded. The anti-idolatrous design of the distinctions, and their obvious tendency to preserve the people on whom they were enjoined, in a state of separation, were, in reality, a part of the moral relations which the Hebrew legislation comprehended.
The Reasons for the prohibition of eating Blood, are enumerated by Dr. Townley, in his fifth Dissertation, as Moral, Physical, and Typical. On the permanency of the prohibition, we agree with him in opinion, that the supporters of the affirmative side of the question adduce a series of arguments, which, to say the least of them, are exceedingly plausible and deserving of attention. The prevention of idolatrous practices, may be, perhaps, excluded from the reasons which we find assigned in the chapter before us, as being a local and temporary
But if, among the moral reasons why blood was to be poured out, and not to be eaten, it appears that, by this means, the Israelites might be deeply and constantly impressed with the important truth, that God is the sole Author and Disposer of Life; this reason must be still valid, and the interdict as obligatory on all mankind, and at all times, as it could be binding on an Israelite. And if the obligation remains inviolate, as Dr. Townley states, (p. 79,) the question cannot be, as he elsewhere represents, (p. 86,) sub judice,-undetermined. We notice this discrepancy, not for the purpose of raising the question relating to the prohibition of eating blood, into any undue importance, but that we may remark on the impropriety, of which an example is thus brought before us, of ascribing solemn consequence to a position, and then impairing the force of the representations on which it rests, by an admission of their dubiety. No contradiction can be more complete, than that which these two statements exhibit. If an obligation remains inviolate, the practice to which it binds, cannot be of optional consideration. The prohibition of eating blood is more ancient than the date of the Mosaic legislation, and stands apart from the prescriptions of a religious ritual. It is a precept of Divine authority (Gen. ix. 4.), given to mankind without any accompaniments by which its obligation might be limited; and when introduced into the Hebrew code, it was not restricted to Israelites, but extended to all foreigners residing among them. (Lev. xvii. 10.) The Apostolic decision too (Acts xv. 20. 29.) must be regarded as of some moment in the determination of this question.
The written Law, contained in the Pentateuch, is distributed by Jewish Lawyers into 613 precepts; which they divide into two classes: the negative, comprising 365 precepts prohibitory of unlawful things; and the affirmative, including 248 precepts enjoining things to be done. These precepts, Maimonides has arranged into fourteen classes; of which the following summary forms the tenth chapter of the present volume.
• The first class includes those precepts which contain the Fundamental Articles of Fuith. To which are added, those which relate to Repentance and Fasting. Of the utility of precepts of this nature, th can be no doubt
• The second class comprehends the precepts respecting Idolatry; to which belong also, those relating to Garments made of different materials; to Vines of different kinds ; and to the Fruits of trees produced during the first three years after being planted. The general reason for this class of precepts is, that they are designed to confirm and perpetuate the doctrines necessary to be believed.
• The third class relates to the Reformation of manners. For morality is necessary for the due regulation of mankind, in order to promote the perfection of human society and conduct. • The
fourih class embraces the various precepts respecting Alms, and Loans, and Debts ; and those which are allied to them, as those which relate to Valuations of property; to Things anathematized; and to Judgements concerning loans and servants. The benefit of precepts of this nature, is experienced by almost every one; for a man may be rich to-day, and to-morrow he or his posterity be poor ; and the man who is poor to-day may be rich to-morrow.
• The fifth class is composed of those precepts which prohibit injustice and rapine ; the utility of which is evident.
• The sixth class is formed of the precepts respecting Pecuniary Mulcts; as, for instance, those adjudged for Theft, Robbery, and Falsewitness. The necessity and advantage of all the precepts of this nature are easily perceived; for if rogues and villains were suffered to go unpunished, there would be no end to the number of rascals of this description, nor to the depredations they would commit. Remission or suspension of punishment in these cases, is not, as some have foolishly imagined, Clemency and Mercy; but rather Cruelty, Inclemency, and Political Ruin. True Clemency is what God has commanded ; “Judges and Officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates." (Deut. xvi. 18.)
• The seventh class includes the precepts relating to Pecuniary Judgements, arising from the mutual transactions of trade and commerce; such as those of Lending, Hiring, Depositing, Buying, Selling, &c. The utility of precepts of this sort is very evident; for, as it is necessary that men should engage in mercantile concerns, and embark their property in them, so it is equally necessary that equitable rules should be established for the direction of trade, and for a just and proportionate valuation of property.
• The eighth class comprehends the precepts respecting Holy Days; as, the Sabbath, and various Festival Days. The causes and reasons of them are given in the Law itself, which, as we shall afterwards shew, teaches us that they serve, either for the confirmation of some article of faith, or for the recreation of the body, or for both.
• The ninth class includes other parts of the Divine Worship; as the recital of Prayer, the reading of the Shema, or, “ Hear, o “ Israel,” and various other acts of a similar nature, which all serve to confirm the doctrines of the Love of God, and of what is to be attributed to Him, or to be believed concerning Him.
• The tenth class contains the precepts respecting the Sanctuary and its Ministers, Vessels, and Instruments. The utility of these precepts has already been noticed.
• The eleventh class embraces the precepts concerning Oblations. We have also previously shewn the necessity and peculiar propriety of these ordinances at the period when they were first enjoined.
• The twelfth class comprehends those precepts which concern Pollutions and Purifications; the general design of which is to prevent persons from entering rashly into the Sanctuary; and to teach them that reverence, and honour, and fear which are due to it.
. The thirteenth class is composed of the precepts which relate to Prohibited Meats, and of other precepts of a similar nature. Vows and the Law of the Nazarite belong also to this class, the general design of which is, to lay restraint upon the appetite, and to check the immoderate desire of dainties and delicacies.
• The fourteenth class is formed of the precepts relating to Unlawful Concubinage. Circumcision, and the Pairing of beasts of different species, are also included in this class. The objects of these Laws evidently is, to coerce libidinous desires, to prevent their immoderate gratification, and to guard men against the pursuit of them as their principal aim, which is too general a practice of foolish worldlings.
• There is also another division of the precepts worthy of notice, viz.: -into those which regard God and Man; and those which relate to Man and Man. In the first (second) part will be included those precepts that are contained in the fifth, sixth, seventh, and part of the third classes ; whilst the second (first) part will embrace the rest. For all the precepts, whether affirmative or negative, the design of which is to inculcate any article of faith, to urge any virtuous action, or to reform and amend the morals of men, are said to be betwixt God and Man; although, it may be well to remark, that even these do, ultimately and after many intervening circumstances, lead to those occurrences which take place between man and man.
• Having thus indicated the different classes of the precepts, I shall now endeavour to explain the causes and reasons of them, so far as any of them may appear useless or obscure ; except with regard to a few of them, whose design I have not hitherto been able to discover.' p. 193—197.
The spirit of the Jewish Laws is invariably in favour of the beneficial use of property, and was intended to cherish the feelings and exercise of beneficence. Maimonides, in treating of the precepts respecting Estimations, Lev. xxvii., remarks, (p. 223,) that all of them have a tendency to lead men to liberality, and, instead of giving place to avarice, to contemn
riches for the glory of God; the greater part of the evils and • misfortunes which happen among men, arising from avarice ' and ambition, or too great an eagerness to amass wealth.' The same spirit pervades the laws of the Christian dispensation. Its provisions are all in accordance with humane and generous habits; and its precepts direct all who assume the profession which connects their hopes with its blessings, to do good to all men as they have opportunity. Covetousness, it denounces as idolatry, and declares, that no covetous man, who is an idolater, has any part in the kingdom of Christ. No vice is more the object of its reprobation, than avarice; no crime is more branded with ignominy, or threatened by severer denunciations of Divine displeasure. Selfishness of every kind is in direct opposition to its spirit; and no man can be more an alien from the temper which is in accordance with Christian principles, than he who gives place to avarice. In too many instances, however, is this species of selfishness cherished and manifested. In Christian communities, there are to be found persons who, with ample means of doing good, perform no act of beneficence. Penurious feelings and parsimonious habits are their dishonourable distinctions. No record of their beneficence is ever to be discovered. They lay up treasure for themselves, but are not rich towards God. No man liveth
to himself', is a Christian maxim which they entirely subvert. The deception must be great, and the illusion strong, which can permit persons whose cherished habits are those of covetousness, to regard themselves as examples of Christian influence. In the Christian law, there are no compulsory statutes, as in the Hebrew code, which can be enforced to induce compliance with its requirements; but no temporal sanctions are to be compared with those which furnish the professors of Christ's religion with motives of conduct. Where those sanctions are acknowledged, it is reasonable to expect the proof of their efficiency. But how shall it be believed that a professor of the Christian Faith is living in the expectation of being united with those who have done good', and who shall come forth to the resurrection of life',-whose temper and whose acts are a negation of benevolent principles, and who, with ample means of doing good, lives in selfishness, the slave of avarice? Why should there be any hesitation in pronouncing upon his character as condemned already'?
ART. VI. 1. Four Sermons : Two on Man's Accountableness for his
Belief (second edition); and Two on the Responsibility of the Heathen : with an Appendix, containing Strictures on an Article in the Westminster Review. By Ralph Wardlaw, D.D. 12mo.
pp. 192. Price 3s. 6d. Glasgow. 1827. 2. The Nature and Extent of the Christian Dispensation, with Re
ference to the Salvability of the Heathen. By Edward William
Grinfield, M.A. 8vo. pp. 462. Price 12s. London. 1827. 3. The Balance of Criminality; or Mental Error compared with Immoral Conduct ; addressed to Young Doubters.
By Isaac Taylor, Minister of the Gospel, Ongar. 12mo. pp. 178. Price
3s. 6d. London. 1828. 4. Discourses in Vindication of the Christian Faith, and on the Re
sponsibility of Man for his Belief. By Isaac Barrow, D.D. To which is prefixed, a Preliminary Essay, by the Rev. Alexander
Keith. 12mo. pp. Ixxvi. 215. Price 5s. 6d. Edinburgh. 1828. THA "HAT Man, for his religious opinions, is answerable to
• God alone'*, and, that to God he is answerable for his opinions, and will have to answer, are propositions so perfectly in harmony with each other, that the assertion of the former almost of necessity involves the admission of the latter. And yet, strange to say, it has been deemed by some modern advocates of religious liberty, the best way of establishing the great • truth', that man is not accountable to man for his belief, to deny that he is, as regards his belief, a free or accountable agent. In order to prove that mental error and unbelief are not legitimate objects of civil punishment, it has been contended, that they are not morally blameworthy or criminal.
* See the article on the Romish Controversy in our last Number,
VOL. XXIX. N.S.