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shews that they had no true notion of thein. Thus much is certain, that there was a great conformity between the Effenes and Pythagoreans; as there was between the Sadducees and Epicureans; and the Pharisees
and Stoicks (*). . There is frequent mention of Profelytes in the New
Of the Profelytės. Testament, and therefore it will be proper to add here a word or two about them. They were heathens that embraced the Jewish Religion, either in whole, or in part, for there were two sorts of them. Some were called the profelytes of habitation, or of the gate, because they were allowed an habitation among the children of Israel, and were permitted to live within :heir gates. These were not obliged to receive or oblerve the ceremonial law, but only to forsake idolatry, and to observe the feven precepts, which, as the Thalmudists pretend, God gave to Adam, and afterwards to Noah, who transmitted them to pofterity. The ist of those precepts forbids idolatry, and the worshipping of the pars in particular. The 2d recommends the fear of God. The 31 forbids murder. The 4th adultery. The 5th theft. The 6th enjoins respect and veneration for magistrates ; and the 7th condemns eating of
ftes with the blood. This lait, the Rabbins tell us, was added after -: God had permitted Noah to eat the Aesh of animals. Of this kind of
i proselytes are supposed to have been Naaman the Syrian, the eunuch bei is longing to Candace queen of Ethiopia, Cornelius, Nicholas of Antioch,
and several others mentioned in the Acts. These proselytes were not looked upon as Jews, and therefore it doth not appear that there was any ceremony performed at their admission. Maimonides expresly says, that
they were not baptized. Then The other profelytes were called profelytes of the covenant, because they
were received into the covenant of God by circumcision, which was it named the blood of the covenant, because, according to St. Paul (b), inen
by it were bound to observe the ceremonial law. They were otherwise I called profelytes of righteousness, on account of their acknowledging and & observing the whole ceremonial law, to which the Jews and the Pharisees
in particular, attributed the cause of our being accounted righteous bea'
relates * For a full and particular account of each of these fects, See Dr. Pris déaux, Con. Part II. B. v. under the year 107.
(b) Gal. v. 3. : (i) John vi. 44. (k) Maim. de profelyt,
(m) Jof. Antiq. l. xill. C, 17
relates how Hyrcanus obliged the Idumeans to turn Jews, The Rabbins will have it to be of a very ancient date. Some of them carry it up as high as the time of Moses. And St. Paul seems to have been of the same opinion, when he saith that the “Ifraelites were baptized unto Moses (n).” But after all, as the children of Ifrael were not profelytes, though they had been guilty of idolatry in Egypt, the words of St. Paul cannot admit of any other than a figurative fenfe. The baptism of proselytes may then very properly be said to have owed its rise to the Pharisees, who had very much augmented the number of purifications and washings. It is manifest from the gospel, that it was usual among the Jews, to admit men to the profession of a doctrine by baptism. For the Pharisees do not find fault with John's baptism, but only blame him for baptizing when he was neither the Messiah, nor Elias, nor that prophet..' When therefore this fore-runner of the Messiah baptized such persons as he disposed and prepared to receive him, he did no more than practise a thing that was common among the Jews, but his baptism was consecrated and authorized by a voice from heaven (6).
The profelytes were baptized in the presence of three persons of diftinction, who stood as witnesses. To this Jesus Chrift seems to allude, when he ordered his disciples to “ baptize in the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost;" and St. John, when he speaks of the three witnesses of the Christian religion (p). The profelyte was asked, whether he did not embrace that religion upon some worldly view; whether he was fully resolved to keep and observe the commandments of God; and whether he repented of his past life and actions ? John the Baptist did exactly the same to the Pharisees and Sadducees that came to his baptism (q). Maimonides relates, that the miseries and persecutions which the Jewish nation was then exposed to, were also represented to the profelyte, that he might not rafhly embrace their religion. Jefus Christ dealt almost in the same manner with the fcribe, who was willing to become his disciple (r). When the profelyte had answered all the questions that were put to him, he was instructed in the principal articles and duties of religion, and the rewards and punishments annexed to the breach or obscrvance of them in the world to come, that is, eternal life and death. It is evident from the question which the young man in the gospel put to fus Christ (s), “Lord, what shall I do that I may inherit eternal lifc?” that this truth was already acknowledged and received among the Jews. It is upon the account of these inkructions that were given to profclytes before their being baptized, that the word baptism is sometimes taken in scripture for the instructions themselves, and that to baptize in some places signifies to teach, or make disciples. For this very reason undoubtedly it was, that baptilm is by some ancient writers filed enlightning.
The third ceremony performed at the admission of a profelyte, was a facrifice, which generally confiftcd of two turtle-doves, and two young,
(n) 1 Cor. x. 1. (2) Matth. iii. 7
(o) Joho i. 33. (p) 1 John v. 8. -lo. (r) Matth. viii. 20. (s) Luke xviii. 18,
reckoned a few.ulthed from the proof those of right for
pigeons. When the proselyte had gone through all these ceremonies, he was looked upon as a new-born infant; he received a new name, and no longer owned any relations in the world. To this there are frequent allutions in the New Testament (t). Such a proselyte was thenceforward reckoned a Jew, from whence it appears, that when we find in the Acts the Jews diftinguished from the proselytes (u), it is to be understood of the profelytes of the gate, and not of those of righteousness. But though they were looked upon as Jews, yet it is manifest from the thalmudical writings, that they were admitted to no office, and were treated with great contempt. Which was a moft inexcusable piece of injustice, especially from the Pharisees, who being extremely zealous in making profelytės (x), ought in all reason to have dealt gently and kindly with them, for fear of creating in them an aversion to their religion.
Of the Holy Things.
THE oblations and sacrifices of the Jews, deserve to be set at the
T head of their holy things. It is evident from the offerings of Cain and Abel, that facrificing is as ancient as the world. It is not well known whether they offered those facrifices by the positive command of God, or of their own'accord; reason and religion teaching them that nothing could be more just, than for them to profess fome gratitude to their munificent benefactor for the manifold advantages they received from his bountiful hand.
This last opinion is the most probable for the following reasons : 1. Had God given any such command, the sacred historian would undoubtedly have mentioned it. 2. Though God had appointed sacrifices under the law, yet it appears from several passages of the Old Testament, that he had instituted them, not because this kind of worship was in itfelf acceptable to him, but for some other wise reasons; either because it was a shadow of things to come, or else adapted to the circumstances of the people of Israel. He even faith expressly by his prophet Jeremiah (a), that in the day when he brought the children of Israel out of Egypt, he gave them no commandment concerning burnt-offerings and lacrifices. Now it is not at all probable that God would have spoken in that manner concerning sacrifices, if he had enjoined them to the first inhabitants of the world immediately after the creation. 3. If sacrificing had been ordained from the beginning, as a worship acceptable to God in itself, it would not have been annulled by the gospel. This annulling of it manifestly shews, that the end and design of the sacrifices
John iii. 3. Luke xiv, 26. 2 Cor. v. 16, 17. 1 Pet. ii. 2. (x) Acts ï. 10, xiii. 43.
(*) Matth. xxiii, ig. (a) Jer. vije 22,
to the first meni of God, the facroth of them the ja that good dispewards
Top of the the fup the
under the law ceasing upon the coming of Jesus Christ, whose death and sacrifice was typified by those sacrifices, as St. Paul teaches us, the gospel brought men back to a spiritual service, and to the religion of the mind. The author of the epistle to the Hebrews says indeed (b), that “by faith Abel offered to God a more excellent sacrifice than Cain ;” but this very passage may serve to prove, that God did not enjoin facrifices to the first men. For if by faith we were to understand obedience to the revealed will of God, the sacred writer might have said it of Cain as well as of Abel, since they had both of them the same revelation. It is then plain, that by faith here we are to understand that good disposition of a grateful mind, which being fully persuaded that God rewards piety, freely offers to him the first fruits of the benefits which it hath receįved from him, as we have observed in our note on that place. This was a natural and a reasonable service, especially in the infancy of the world, when mankind had not perhaps a true notion of the nature of the supreme being. This hath been the opinion of the greatest part of the Jewish doctors, and of the ancient fathers of the church. But how true it is, we shall not go about to determine..
However it be, it is certain that the sacrifices of the law were of di. vine institution. Besides their being figures of things to come, as we are assured in the gospel they were ; God's design in appointing them was moreover to tie up the people of Israel to his service, by a particular kind of worship, but which should not be very different from what they had been used to; and also to turn them from idolatry, and to keep them employed, that they might have no leisure of inventing a new kind of worship. And indeed if we reflect upon the great quantity, and prodigious variety of the sacrifices of the law, as well as upon the vast number of ceremonies that were enjoined, we shall have no reason of wone dering at what St. Peter says, Acts xv. 10.
The Jewish doctors have distinguished the sacrifices into so many different forts, that the following their method could not but be tedious and ungrateful to the reader. We shall therefore just touch upon their general divisions. They have divided them into sacrifices properly, and facrifices improperly so called; the last were so named, because though they were consecrated to God, yet they were not offered upon the altar, nor even in the temple. Such were, i. The sparrows, or two clean birds that were offered by the priest in the houses of the lepers for their cleansing, by sacrificing one, and letting'the other go (c). 2. We may rank among these the heifer, whose head was struck off to expiate a murder, the author of which was unknown (d). 3. As also the red heifer that was burned by the priest without the camp; whose ashes were saved to put in the water, wherewith those that had been defiled, by touching a dead body, were wont to purify themselves (e). 4. And
(b) Hebr. xi. 4. - (c) Levit. xiv. 49, 50, &c. Concerning these ceremonies, see Spencer of the Jewish ceremonies, Dif. 1. ij, 15. and iii. 10. (d) Deut. xxi.
(?) Num, xix. 2.
Jastly, the Azazel, or (*) scape-goat, which was sent into the wilderness loaded with the lins of the people (f).
As for the sacrifices properly so called, and known by the general name of corban, that is, a holy gift, they may be divided into two general parts; into bloody or animate, and into unbloody or inanimate sacrifices. Tke first were of three forts, viz. whole burnt-offerings, fin-offerings, and peaceofferings. Some were publick, and others private ; there were some appointed for the fabbaths, the solemn feaits, and for extraordinary cases or emergencies. Before we give a particular account of each of them, it will be proper to set down what was common to them all. 1. Sacrifices in general were holy offerings, but the publick ones were holiest. 2. It was unlawful to sacrifice any where but in the temple. 3. All facrifices were to be offered in the day-time, never in the night. 4. There were only five forts of animals which could be offered up, namely, oxen, sheep, goats; and among birds, pigeons and turtle-doves. All these animals were to be perfect, that is, without spot or blemish. 5. Certain ceremonies were observed in every sacrifice, some of which were performed by those that offered it, as the laying their hands on the head of the victim, killing, flaying, and cutting it in pieces, and washing the entrails of it; others were to be done by the priests, as receiving the blood in a veflel appointed for that use, sprinkling it upon the al tar, which was the most effential part of the sacrifice, lighting the fire, setting the wood in order upon the altar, and laying the parts of the victim upon it. 6. All sacrifices were falted.
(*) A holocauft, or whole burnt-offering, was the most excellent of all the sacrifices, since it was all consecrated
Wholeburnt. to God, the victim being wholly consumed upon the altar; "
offerings. whereas some parts of the others belonged to the priests then upon duty, and those that had offered the victim. Accordingly it is one of the most ancient, since we find it offered by Noah, and Abraham, but with what ceremonies is unknown, and also by Job, and Jethro the father-in-law of Moses (g. It is commonly supposed that Cain and Abel also offered this kind of sacrifice, which was chiefly intended as an acknowledgment to almighty God, considered as the creator, governor, and preserver of all things ; and this undoubtedly was the reason why no part of it was reserved. This sacrifice was notwithstanding offered upon other publick and private occasions, as to return God thanks for his benefits, to beg a favour from him, or atone for some offence or pollution. Whole burnt-offerings, like the other facrifices, were either publick or private. The same animals were offered in these, as in the
(*) The learned are not agreed about the meaning of the word azazel. According to some, it was the name of a mountain. According to others, it signifies going, or sent away. Others will have it to mean a devil. Concerning this goat, see Dr. Prideaux Conn. P. II. B. I. near the beginning.
(f) Lev, xvi. 8.
(*) The Greik word holocaus? (odoxarçor) signifiez what is entirely confimed by fire. Phil. de Vict. p. 648.
(8) Gen. viii. 20. xxii. 13. Job. i. 6.