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God contains all things, and is a being every way perfect and happy, self-sufficient, and supplying all other beings; the beginning, the middle, and the end of all things. He is manifest in his works and benefits, and more conspicuous than any other being whatsoever ; but as to his form and magnitude he is most obscure. All materials, let them be ever so costly, are unworthy to compose an image for him, and all arts are unartful to express the notion we ought to have of him. We can neither see nor think of any thing like him, nor is it agreeable to piety to form a resemblance of him. We see his works, the light, the heaven, the carth, the sun and the moon, the waters, the generations of animals, the productions of fruits. These things hath God made, not with hands, not with labour, nor as wanting the assistance of any to co-operate with him ; but as his will resolved they should be made and be good also, they were made, and became good immediately. All men ought to follow this being, and to worship him in the exercise of virtue ; for this way of worship of God is the most holy of all others.
24. There ought also to be but One Temple for One God; for likeness is the constant foundation of agreement. This temple ought to be common to all men, because he is the common God of all men. His priests are to be continually about his worship, over whom he that is the first by his birth is to be their ruler perpetually. His business must be to offer sacrifices to God, together with those priests that are joined with him, to see that the laws be observed, to determine controversies, and to punish those that are convicted of injustice; while he that does not slib. mit to him shall be subject to the same punishment, as if he had been guilty of impiety towards God bimself. When we offer sacrifices to him we do it not in order to surfeit ourselves, or to be drunken ; for such excesses are against the will of God, and would be an occasion of injuries, and of luxury ; but by keeping ourselves sober, orderly, and ready for our other occupations, and being more temperate than others. And for our duty at the sacrifices themselves, we ought, in the first place, to pray * for the common wel
* We may here observe how known a thing it was among the Jews and heathens, in this and many other instances, that sacrifices were still accom! panied with pravcrs: whence most probably came those pl
phrases of the sacri fice of prayer, the sorrifice of praise, the sacrifice of thanksgiving. Hower fare of all, and after that for our own; for we are made for fellowship one with another, and he who prefers the common good before what is peculiar to himself is above all acceptable to God. And let our prayers and supplications be made humbly to God, not (so muchi] that he would give us what is good, (for he hath already given that of his own accord, and hath proposed the same publicly to all, as that we may duly receive it, and when we have received it may preserve it. Now the law las appointed several purifications at our sacrifices, whereby we are cleansed after a funeral, after what sometimes happens to us in bed, and after accompanying with our wives, and upon many other occasions which it would be too long now to set down.---And this is our doctrine concerning God and his worship, and is the same that the law appoints for our practice.
25. But then, what are our laws about marriage ? That law owns no other mixture of sexes but that which pature hath appointed of a man with his wife, and that this be used only for the procreation of children. But it abhors the mixture of a male with a male; and if any one do that, death is its punishment. It commands us also, when we marry, not to have regard to a portion, nor to take a woman by violence, nor to persuade her deceitfully and knavishly, but to demand her in marriage of him who hath power to dispose of her, and is fit to give her away by the nearness of his kindred ; for, says the Scripture. A woman is inferior to her husband in all things.* Let her, therefore, be obedient to him ; not so, that he should abuse her, but that she may ackoowledge her duty to her husband; for God hath given the authority to the husband. An husband, therefore, is to lie only with his wife whom he hath married; but to have to do with another man's wife is a wicked thing, which, if any ventures upon, death is inevitably his punishment: no more can he avoid the same who forces a virgin betrothed to another man, or entices another man's wife. The law moreover, enjoins us to bring up ali our offspring, and forbids women to cause abortion of what is begotten or to destroy it afterward; and if any women appears to have so done, she will be a murderer of her child by destroying a living creature, and diminishing huInan kind: if any one, therefore, proceeds to such fornication or murder, he cannot be clean. Moreover, the law enjoins, that after the man and wise have lain together in a regular way, they shall bathe themselves; for there is a defilement contracted thereby both in soul and body as if they had gone into another country; for indeed the soul, by being united to the body, is subject to miseries, and is pot freed therefrom again but by death ; on which account the law requires this purification to be entirely performed.
er, those ancient forms used at sacrifices are now generally lost to the no small damage of true religion. It is here also exceeding remarkable, that although the temple at Jerusalem was built as the only place where the whole nation of the Jews were to offer their sacrifices, yet is there no men tion of the sacrifices themselves, but of prayers only, in Solonion's long and famous form of devotion at its dedication, i Kings viii. 2 Chron. vi. See also many passages cited in the Apostolical Constitutions, vii. 37. and of the War above, B. vii. ch. v.8 6. vol. vi.
* This textis no where in our present copies of the Old Testament.
26. Nay indeed, the law does not permit us to make festivals at the births of our children, and thereby afford occasion of drinking to excess; but it ordains, that the very beginning of our education should be immediately directed to sobriety. It also commands us to bring those children up in learning, and to exercise them in the laws, and to make them acquainted with the acts of their predecessors, in order to their imitation of them, and that they might be nourished up in the laws from their infancy, and might neither transgress them, nor have any pretence for their ignorance of them.
27. Our law hath also taken care of the decent burial of the dead, but without any extravagant expenses for their funerals, and without the erection of any illustrious monuments for them ; but hath ordered that their nearest relations should perform their obsequies and hath shewed it to be regular, that all who pass by when any one is buried should accompany the funeral, and join in the lamentation, It also ordains, that the house and its inhabitants should be purified after the funeral is over, that every one may thence learn to keep at a great distance from the thoughts of being pure, if he hath been once guilty of murder.
28. The law ordains also, that parents should be hon. oured immediately after God himself, and delivers that son who does not requite them for the benefits he hath received from them, but is deficient on any such accasion, to be stoned. It also says that the young men should pay due respect to every elder, since God is the eldest of all beings, It does not give leave to conceal any thing from our friends, because that is not true friendship which will not commit all things to their fidelity, it also forbids the revelation of secrets, even though an enmity arise between them. If any judge takes bribes, his punishment is death; he that overlooks one that offers him a petition, and this when he is able to relieve him, he is a guilty person. What is not by any one entrusted to another, ought not to be required back again. No one is to touch another's goods. He that lends money must not demand usury for its loan. These and many more of the like sort are the rules that unite us in the bands of society one with another.
29. It will be also worth our while to see, what equity our legislator would have us exercise in our intercourse with strangers ; for it will thence appear, that he made the best provision he possibly could both that we should not dissolve our own constitution, nor shew any envious mind towards those that would cultivate a friendship with us. Accordingly our legislator admits all those that have a mind to observe our laws so to do, and this after a friendly manner, as esteeming that a true union, which not only extends to our own stock, but to those that would live aster the same : manner with us : yet does he not allow those that come to us by accident only, to be admitted into communion with us.
30. However, there are other things which our legislator ordained for us beforehand, which of necessity we ought to do in common to all men; as to afford fire, and water, and food to such as want it; to shew them the roads ; por to let any one lie unburied. He also would have us treat those that are esteemed our enemies with moderation ; for he doth not allow us to set their country on fire, nor permit is to cut down those trees that bear fruit ; nay farther, he forbids us to spoil those that have been slain in war. He hath also provided for such as are taken captive, that they may not be injured, and especially that the women may not be abused. Indeed, he hath taught us gentleness and humanity so effectually, that he hath not despised the care of brute beasts, by permitting no other than a regular use of them, and forbidding any other; and if any of them come to our houses, like supplicants, we are forbidden to slay them : nor may we kill the dams, together with their young ones ; but we are obliged, even in an enemy's country, to spare and not kill those creatures that
labour for mankind. Thus hath our lawgiver contrived to teach us an equitable conduct every way, by using us to such laws as instruct us therein; while at the same time he hath ordained, that such as brake these laws should be punished, without the allowance of any excuse whatsoever.
31. Now the greatest part of offences with us are capi. tal; as if any one be guilty of adultery; if any one force a virgin; if any one be so impudent as to attempt sodomy with a male, or if, upon another's making an attempt upon him, he submits to be so used. There is also a law for slaves of the like nature that can never be avoided. Moreover, if any one cheats another in measures or weights, or makes a knavish bargain and sale, in order to cheat another; if any one steal what belongs to another, and takes what he never deposited, all these have punishments allot. ted them; nor such as are met with among other nations, but inore severe ones. And as for attempts of unjust bebaviour towards parents, or for impiety against God, though they be not actually accomplished, the offenders are destroyed immediately. However, the reward for such as live exactly according to the laws, is not silver or gold; it is not a garland of olive brauches or of smallage, nor any such public sign of commendation ; but every good man hath his own conscience bearing witness to himself, and by virtue of our legislator's prophetic spirit, and of the firm security God himself affords such an ope, he believes that God hath made this grant to those that observe these laws, even thorigh they be obliged readily to die for them, that they shall come into being again, and at a certain revolution of things shall receive a better life than they had enjoyed before. Nor would I venture to write thus at this time were it not well known to all by their actions, that many of our people have many a time bravely resolved to endure any sufferings, rather than speak one word against our law.
32. Nay indeed, in case it had so fallen out, that our dation had not been so thoroughly known among all men as they are, and our voluntary submission to our laws had not been so open and manifest as it is, but that some body had pretended to have written these laws himself, and had read them to the Greeks, or had pretended that he had met with men out of the limits of the known world, that had such reverent notions of God, and had continued a long time in the firm observance of such laws as ours, I cannot