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The latter part of the Apocalypse, or more probably Is. Ixv. 17 seq., and a part of the book of Job, seem to have been the writer's prototypes in composing this paragraph. The execution of his task is certainly not unworthy of approbation.
Let us now see, how he can tread in the steps of the author of Proverbs, and of some homiletic parts of the Hebrew prophets.
CHAP. XCIII. 3 seq. “Let me exhort you who are righteous, not to walk in the paths of evil and oppression, nor in the paths of death. Choose for yourselves righteousness and a good life. Walk in the paths of peace, that you may live, and be found worthy. Retain my words in your inmost thoughts, and blot them not from your hearts ; for I know that sinners counsel men to commit crime craftily."
Again in Chap. XCV. 1 seg. “Wait in hope, ye righteous ; for suddenly shall sinners perish from before you, and you shall exercise dominion over them according to your will. In the day of the suffering of sinners your offspring shall be exalted, and lifted up like the eagles. Your nest shall be more exalted than that of the West ; you shall go up, and enter into the cavities of the earth, and into the clefis of the rocks for ever, like bares, from the sight of the ungodly, who shall groan over you, and weep like sinners. You shall not fear those who trouble you ; a splendid light shall shine around you, and the voice of tranquility shall be heard from heaven.”
Once more, CHAP. CII. 6 seq, “ Fear not, ye souls of the righteous, but wait with patient hope the day of your death in righteousness. Grieve not because your souls descend in great trouble, with groaning, lamentation, and sorrow, to the receptacle of the dead. In your lifetime, your bodies have not received a recompense in proportion to your goodness, but in the period of your existence have sinners existed; in the period of execration and punishment. And when you die, sinners say concerning you : As we die, the righteous die. What profit have they of their works? Behold, like us, they expire in sorrow and in darkness. What advantage have they over us? Henceforward we are equal. .... I say unto you sinners .... have you not marked the righteous, how their end is peace ? for no oppression is found in them, even to the day of their deaih. .... I swear to you, ye righteous, by the greatness of his (God's] splendour and glory, by his illustrious kingdom and majesty, to you I swear, that I comprehend this mystery ; that I have read the tablet of heaven, have seen the writing of the Holy Ones, and have discovered what is written and impressed on it concerning you. I have seen that all goodness, joy, and glory, have been prepared for you, and been written down for the spirits of those who die eminently righteous and good. To you it shall be given in return for your troubles ; and your portion of happiness shall far exceed the portion of the living. The spirits of those who die in righteousness, shall exist
and rejoice. Their spirits shall exult, and their remembrance shall be before the face of the Mighty One, from generation to generation. Nor shall they fear disgrace.”
After another parænetic strain of the like tenor, in chap. CIV., the writer adds :
“To the righteous and the wise shall be given books of joy, of integrity, and of great wisdom. To them shall books be given, in which they shall believe and rejoice. All the righteous shall be rewarded, who, from these, shall acquire the knowledge of every upright path. ... I and my Son will for ever hold communion with them in the paths of uprightness, while they are still alive. Peace shall be yours. Rejoice, ye children of integrity, in the truth."
Such is the strain of exhortation and promise to the righteous. The denunciations of the wicked are more protracted, and often repeated in various ways and forms. I must content myself with a few specimens.
CHAP. XI. 7 seq. “When iniquity, sin, blasphemy, tyranny, and every evil work, shall increase; and when transgression, impiety, and uncleanness also shall increase; then upon them (the wicked] shall all great punishment be inflicted from heaven. The holy Lord shall go forth in wrath and with punishment, that he may execute judgment upon the earth. In those days oppression shall be cut off from its roots, and iniquity with fraud shall be eradicated, perishing from under heaven. Every place of strength shall be surrendered with its inhabitants; with fire shall it be burnt. They shall be brought from every part of the earth, and be cast into a judgment of fire. They shall perish in wrath, and by a judgment overpowering them for ever."
The reader will readily call to mind some of the gravest passages in the Hebrew prophets, when he reads the following:
Chap. XCIII. seq. “Wo to those who build up iniquity and oppression, and who lay the foundation of fraud; for suddenly shall they be subverted, and never obtain peace. Wo to those who build up their houses with crime ; for from their very foundations shall their houses be demolished, and by the sword shall they themselves fall. Those who acquire gold and silver, shall justly and suddenly perish. Wo to you who are rich, for in your riches have you trusted ; but from your riches shall you be removed, because you have not remembered the Most High in the days of your prosperity. You have committed iniquity and blasphemy, and are destined to the day of the effusion of blood, to the day of darkness, and to the day of the great judgment. This I declare and point out to you, that he who created you will destroy you. When you shall fall, your Creator will not shew mercy to you, but rejoice in your destruction."
The following strain seems almost an echo of Jeremiah's voice :
Chap. XCIV. 1 seq. “O that my eyes were clouds of water, that I might weep over you, and pour forth my tears like rain, and rest from the sorrow of my heart! Who has permitted you to hate and to transgress? Judgment shall overtake you, ye sinners. . . . Wo to you who shall be so bound by execrations, that you cannot be released from them; the remedy being removed from you on account of your sins. Wo to you who recompense your neighbour evil; for you shall be recompensed according to your works. Wo to you, ye false witnesses, you who aggravate iniquity ; for you shall suddenly perish. Wo to you sinners, for you reject the righteous; for you receive or reject at pleasure those who commit iniquity ; and their yoke shall prevail over you."
Again in chap. XCVI. 19 seq. “Ye are destined to the day of the great judgment, to the day of distress, and the extreme ignominy of your souls. Wo to you, ye obdurate in heart, who commit crime and feed on blood. Whence is it that you feed on good things, drink, and are satiated ? Is it not because our Lord, the Most High, has abundantly supplied every good thing upon the earth? To you there shall be no peace. Wo to you who love the deeds of iniquity. Why do you hope for that which is goud? Know that you shall be given up into the hands of the righteous, who shall cut off your necks, slay you, and shew you no compassion. Wo to you who rejoice in the trouble of the righteous, for a grave shall not be dug for you. Wo to you who frustrate the word of the righteous, for to you there shall be no hope of life. Wo to you who write down the word of falsehood, that they may hear and not forget folly. To them there shall be no peace, but they shall surely die suddenly.”
One specimen more is all that can be allowed. After several paragraphs similar to what has been already quoted, the final judgment is thus introduced.
Chap. XCIX. 1 seq. “In those days the angels shall descend into the places of concealment, and gather together in one spot all who have assisted in crime. In that day shall the Most High rise up to execute the great judgment upon all sinners, and to commit the guardianship of all the righteous and holy to the holy angels, that they may protect them as the apple of an eye, until every evil and every crime be annihilated. Whether or not the righteous sleep securely, wise men shall then truly perceive. And the sons of the earth shall understand every word of that book, knowing that their riches cannot save them in the ruin of their crimes. · Wo to you, ye sinners, when ye shall be afflicted on account of the righteous in the day of great trouble ; shall be burned in the fire ; and be recompensed according to your deeds. Wo to you, ye perverted in heart, who are watchful to obtain an accurate knowledge of evil, and to discover terrors. No one shall assist you. Wo to you sinners; for with the words of your mouths, and with the work of your hands, have you acted impiously; in the flame of blazing fire shall you be burned.”? Such is the strain of promise, exhortation, and threatening, in the closing part of the book before us. Passages like to these are scattered through the whole work; but no where are they so long or so uniform and uninterrupted as here:
I must of necessity be very brief, after extracts so copious as those already presented, in the exhibition of other parts of the book. The superstition of the writer in matters of angelology and demonology may be shewn in a short extract.
After representing a combination of 200 angels to cohabit with the fair daughters of men, and naming 18 of their leaders, the writer thus proceeds :
Chap. VII. 10 seq. “ Then they took wives, each choosing for him. self; whom they began to approach, and with whom they cohabited ; teaching them sorcery, incantations, and the dividing of roots and trees, [i. e. the selecting of such medicaments as were adapted to purposes of sorcery. And the women conceiving brought forth giants, whose stature was each three hundred cubits. These devoured all which the labour of men produced; until it became impossible to feed them; then they turned themselves against men in order to devour them; and began to injure birds, beasts, reptiles and fishes, to eat their flesh one after another, and to drink their blood. Then the earth reproved the unrighteous."
Next he represents the evil and apostate angels as teaching all kinds of the curious mechanic arts; also as teaching sorcerers, the dividers of roots, the solution of, sorcery, the observers of stars, signs, astronomy, the motion of the moon, etc. [i. e. all kinds of peculiar human knowledge proceeded from the apostate angels.] Chap. viii,
In chap. xv. he represents the progeny of the giants as being demons or evil spirits, who are therefore utterly excluded from heaven.
In chap. xxii. Enoch is represented as being carried by the angel who accompanied him to “ another spot," i. e. a different one from the prison of the sinning angels, which he had just seen. Then he thus proceeds:
“I saw on the west a great and lofty mountain, a strong rock, and four delightful places. Internally it was deep, capacious, and very smooth; as smooth as if it had been rolled over; it was both deep and dark to behold [i. e. difficult to be seen). Then Raphael, one of the holy angels who were with me, answered and said: These are the delightful places where the spirits, the souls of the dead, will be col.
lected. For them were they formed, and here will be collected all the souls of the sons of men. These places in which they dwell shall they occupy until the day of judgment, and until their appointed period. Their appointed period will be long, even until the great judgment. And I saw the spirits of the sons of men who were dead ; and their voices reached to heaven while they were accusing. [Comp. Gen. 4: 10. Rev. 6:9, 10) .... I inquired ... respecting the general judgment, saying Why is one separated from another? He answered: Three separations have been made between the spirits of the dead, and thus have the spirits of the righteous been separated, namely, by a chasm, by water, and by light above it. And in the same way, likewise, are sinners separated when they die, and are buried in the earth, judgment not overtak. ing them in their lifetime. Here their souls are separated. Moreover, abundant is their suffering until the time of the great judgment, the castigation, and the torment of those who eternally execrate (God and the saints), whose souls are punished and bound there for ever and ever. And thus has it been from the beginning of the world. Thus has there existed a separation between the souls of those who utter complaints (the righteous), and of those who watch for their destruction, to slaughter them in the day of sinners. (Comp. Luke 22; 53). A receptacle of this sort has been formed for the souls of unrighteous men and of sinners; of those who have completed crime, and associated with the impious whom they resemble. Their souls shall not be annihilated in the day of judgment, neither shall they arise from this place. Then I blessed God."
These passages give us deeply interesting views of current opinion among the Jews of the first century, or at least among the Christian Jews of that period. The critical and doctrinal use which can be made of them, will suggest itself to every one who is accustomed to reflect on subjects of this nature.
I must be indulged in a brief specimen of the author's conceptions, respecting the origin and causes of several phenomena in the natural world.
Chap. XXXIII. XXXIV. “Thence I advanced toward the north, to the extremities of the earth, [comp. the Hebrew 1787 OEN, N. Test. Tà répata tñs yñs], and there I saw a great and glorious won. der, at the extremitics of the whole earth. I saw there the heavenly gates, opening into heaven; three of them distinctly separated. The northern winds proceeded from them, blowing cold, hail, frost, snow, dew, and rain. From one of the gates they blew mildly; but when they blew from the two other gates, it was with violence and force. They blew over the earth strongly .... I saw three gates open to the south, from which issued dew, rain, and wind. Thence I went to the extremities of the heaven eastward; where I saw three heavenly gates open to the east, which had smaller gates within them. Through each of these small gates the stars of heaven passed on, and proceeded to