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moment mentioned. But this will be no difficulty, when it is observed, that a diference is to be made between going to consult a Prophet, and his coming to declare some future event: in this last case presents were made after the exercise of the prophetic gift. So when the man of God came out of Judah, to cry against the altar at Bethel, after he had denounced the judgments of God,
The king said unto the man of GOD, come home with me, and refresh thyself, and I will give thee a reward, 1 Kings, xii, 7; so after Jerusalem was taken, the captain of the guard gave to Jeremiah victuals and a reward, Jer. xl. 5. Now it is visible the case of Daniel much more resembles these, than the case of those to whom they applied to learn future events- Arioch brought in Daniel before the king in haste, and said thus unto him, I have found a man of the captives of Judah, that will make known unto the king the interpretation. Dan. ii. 25. - But the third thing is apparently the great difficulty--the offering sweet odours unto the Prophet. This is supposed to be a thing appropriated to God, or those that were imagined to be gods. But why is this supposed ? It is certain that odours were often made use of in the East merely for civil purposes, and without any idolatrous intention whatsoever. They are so still.
And because something may very probably be learnt from their present customs of this
sort, explanatory of this command of Nebuchadnezzar, let us, a little more distinctly than we have hitherto done, consider the various ways in which they make use of perfumes, and also the several views they have in making use of them.
When Maillet * was received by some of the chief officers of Egypt, as consul of France, he was regaled with sweet odours in more ways than one, odoriferous waters being poured out on his hands, and perfumes put upon coals, and the smoke of them presented to him. This is the account he gives of his reception at Alexandria. « After the usual compliments, they brought mc black water, and afterwards white, (coffee that is, and sherbet,) to which succeeded sweetmeats. They after that presented me a bason, over which I washed my hands with odoriferous waters, which were poured upon me by an officer of the Aga. Lastly, they brought the perfume, and covered me with rich cloth, to make me the better receive it."
This last circumstance is expressed with so much brevity, that it is really obscure. Dr. Pococke, who attended an English consul at Cairo, gives this account of a Turkish visit, in the beginning of his first volume, which may serve to explain Maillet's. According to him then, the entertainment at these visits corsists of a pipe, sweetineats, coffee, sherbet ; and at going away, rosc-water, which they * Let. 1. p. 6:
y P. 15. . ? Hasselquist tells us that the red roses of Egypt, which . are common in the gardens; at Rosetta and Damata, are of
sprinkle on the hands of the guest, with which he rubs his face, after which incense is brought, which he receives leaning forward, and holding out his garment on each side to take the smoke. The rich cloth then that Maillet speaks of was, it seems, some kind of veil used to prevent the too speedy dissipation of that delicious smoke.
The Egyptians may be thought to be a people more luxuious than their neighbours: perfumes however are used in other places of the East, as we learn from Dr. Russell, whose account as being more particular still, shall not be omitted. “ Coffce,” he says, “made very strong, without either sugar or milk, is a re freshment in high esteem with every body; and a dish of it, preceded by a little moist sweet meat, (commonly conserve of red roses, acidulated with lemon juice,) and a pipe of tobacco, is the usual entertainment at a visit. no very strong scent, for which reason the water distilled from them is of no great value at Cairo; but he gives & very different account of that drawn from the white, which are cultivated, he says, in considerable quantities in the province of Fayhum. The flowers are, it seems, of a pale, colour, not quite white, but rather inclining to red; they are double, being frequently of the size of a man's fist; and emit the most fragrant odour of any he had seen. From this sort, he says, an incredible quantity of water is distilled every day at Fayhum, and sold in Egypt, being exported even to other countries. An apothecary at Cairo bought yearly 1500lb. (about 180 gallons.) which he caused to be brought to the city in copper vessels lined with wax, selling it to great profit in Cairo. The Eastern people use the water in a luxurious manner, sprinkling it on the head, face, hands, and clothes of the guests they mean to honour, afterwards perfuming them with frankin' cense, wood of aloes, &c. p. 248, &c.
If they have a mind to use less ceremony, the sweetmeat is omitted; and if they would shew an extraordinary degree of respect, they add sherbet, (some syrup, chiefly that of lemon, mixed with water,) a sprinkling of rose or other sweet-scented water, and perfume with aloes-wood, which is brought last, and serves as a sign that it is time for the stranger to take his leave."
Even the Arabs present a pipe, coffee, sweetmeats, and perfumes, when they are visited, according to the curious editor of the Ruins of Balbec, and d'Arvieux;' who speak also of their pouring odoriferous waters on the face and hait, and who take particular notice of the wrapping up the head among them in a veil, on account of the perfume.
They make use too of odoriferous oils. So Hasselquist tells us, that the Egyptians put the flowers of the tuberose into oil, and by this means give the oil a most excellent smell, scarcely inferior to oil of jessamine. In another page he mentions their laying flowers of jessamine, narcissus, &c. in oil,' and so
· P. 81. 5 P. 4. c Voy, dans la Pal. p. 251. d P. 288.
. • P. 267. i This oil, he tells us, is the oil of Behen, which emits no scent or smell at all, and therefore he supposes it very proper for preparing odoriferous ointments and balsams, and that it is on this account much used by the inhabitants of the East. All this is well enough: but when he adds, that this undoubtedly was that with which Aaron was anointed, he appears to be extremely mistaken; the Scrip. tures directing the sacerdotal ointment to be made with oil of olives, Exod. xxx. 24 : but this is not the only place, where he shews himself to be a much better paturalist than divine.
making an odoriferous ointment, which those that love perfumes, apply to the head, nose and beard. This indeed seems to be the most ancient way of using perfumes in a liquid form. We have no account in the Scriptures, at least no clear account, so far as I recollect, of the using odoriferous waters, but fragrant ointments are frequently referred to. Accordingly it is supposed by the curious, that the distillation of these delicious waters is comparatively a modern invention ; but the mixing oil and odoriferous substances together, we know, is as ancient as the days of Moses; and we find by Hasselquist, continues to be made use of still, notwithstanding the introduction of distilled perfumes.
Sweet odours then are at this day used in the Levant, in different countries, and among very different sorts of people, and that both in a liquid form, and in that of smoke, and this without the least idolatrous design.
Besides what appears in these citations, we find, by another passage of Dr. Pococke, that it is a mark of importance when persons are treated with perfumes by the great; for describing an English Consul's waiting on the Pasha of Tripoli, on the Pasha's return from a journey to meet the Mecca caravan, he says, " that sweetmeats, coffee, and sherbet, were brought to all, but the Consul alone was perfumed and incensed.” Whereas, when the same company waited presently after on the Caia, or the chief minister of the Pasha, they were