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habitatas fuisse, quarum caput Sodoma adhuc LX stadiorurn habeat superstitem ambitum : terræ autem tremoribus et ignis aquarumque calidarum, et bituminosarumâc sulphurearum eruptione extitisse lacum, saxa ignem concessisse, urbium alias absorptas, alias ab iis, qui cunque fugere potuerunt, derelictas. Eratosthenes contra sentit, regionem stagnis intus conceptis subductam, maxima ejus parte factis eruptionibus retectam fuisse ; quemadmodum et mare.* In agro etiam Gadareno est aqua quædam pessima ex lacu, qua de. gustata, pecora pilas, ungues et cornua, amittunt."
(Strabonis Geographia. Casaubon. p. 764.)
Such, in conclusion, are some of the considerations, which have occurred to me in connection with the questions proposed by Prof. Robinson. Others might be easily added,
* It is a remarkable fact, mentioned by Mr. Lyell, that Strabo has anticipated the modern geologists in some of their most popular and best supported theories. In the 2d book of his geography, speaking of the causes which have buried marine shells in the earth at such great elevations and distances from the sea, he remarks: “ It is not because the lands covered by seas were originally at different altitudes, that the waters have risen, or subsided, or receded from some parts and inundated others. But the reason is, that the same land is sometimes raised up, and sometimes depressed, and the sea also is simultaneously raised and depressed, so that it either overflows or returns into its own place again. We must therefore ascribe the cause to the ground, neither to that ground which is under the sea, or to that which becomes flooded by it, but rather to that which lies beneath the sea, for this is more moveable, and, on account of its humidity, can be altered with greater celerity.” Again: “It is proper to derive our explanation from things which are obvious and in some measure of daily occurrence, such as deluges, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions, and sudden swellings of the land beneath the sea ; for the last raise up the sea also ; and when the same lands subside again, they occasion the sea to be let down. And it is not merely the small, but the large islands also, and not merely the islands, but the continents, which can be lifted up together with the sea; and both large and small tracts may subside, for habitations and cities, like Bure, Bizona, and many others, have been ingulfed by earthquakes.” (S. Geog. p. 1707.)
but my remarks have already been too much extended, and I must bring them to a close. Whenever Syria, Palestine, and Arabia, especially the region of the Dead Sea, shall be exam. ined by a scientific geologist, I have no doubt that so many facts will be brought to bear upon the theory of Voltaic agency having been the means employed by the Almighty, in the destruction of the cities of the plain, as to place it beyond all reasonable doubt. Indeed, in the present state of our knowledge, no other theory can be reconciled with the Scripture account of the catastrophe, and the facts already ascertained. If I have aided, in any degree, in throwing light on a subject which, it seems to me, has been involved in unnecessary doubt and mystery, the object of the present essay will have been attained.
New-York, Feb. Ist, 1840.
BAPTISM:—The Import of Bantico.
By Rev. Edward Beecher, President of Ilinois College, Jacksonville, Illinois.
(Concluded from page 66.]
§ 14. In Heb. 9: 10, a fair view of the scope and connexion of the passage requires Bantiquot to be used as synonymous with καθαρισμοι.
In this case the word does not indeed relate to the ordinance of Christian Baptism, but to Mosaic purifications. Yet it is still a religious use of the word; moreover it is applied with reference to those very usages, of which I have spoken, as adapted to cause the word Buntiw to pass from its original, to the secondary sense, to purify. Hence it is an example of great weight in the case, and, as might have been expected, it has been strongly contested. But with how little reason I shall endeavor to show.
The scope of chapters 8, 9 and 10, is to show that the purifications, legal and moral, provided by Christ for the conscience and the heart, had, in themselves, a real efficacy, and were, therefore, entirely superior to those of the Mosaic dispensation, which related only to the body, and could produce no purity but such as was merely external and sym. bolical. Let now the following things be noticed.
1. Those things only are spoken of in the whole discussion, which have a reference to action on the worshippersthat is, the whole passage relates to the effects of the Mosaic ritual entirely on persons, and not on things. The gifts, the sacrifices, the blood of sprinkling, the ashes of a heifer sprinkling the unclean, all relate to persons.
2. The Bantiquoi are spoken of as enjoined, as well as the other rites. But of persons, no immersions at all are enjoined under the Mosaic ritual. As this fact does not seem to have been noticed, as it ought, and as many assume the contrary, it is necessary to furnish the proof of this assertion,
It lies in this fact, that no washing of persons is ever enjoined by the word 329, to immerse, even in a single instance, nor by any word that denotes immersion—but as I think without exception by the word yon, which denotes to wask or purify, without any reference to mode.
Those who read the English version might suppose that, where the direction to bathe occurs, immersion is enjoined; but in every such case the original denotes only to wash.
I do not deny that where the washing of the body, or of the flesh, or of all the flesh is enjoined, it would probably be done, if most convenient, by immersion or bathing. But I affirm that there is no washing of the person enjoined in the whole ritual, which could not be performed wherever there was water enough to wash the body all over, in any way, even though bathing or immersion was out of the question. Why should it not be so ? Could Moses suppose that at all times, and in all circumstances, while in the desert, during journeys, at home and abroad, every man who became unclean, in various and numerous ways specified in the ritual, would be able to bathe or to immerse himself ? Even when best supplied with the means of bathing it could not be expected, that every family, rich or poor, and however situated, would be able to have a private bath. Nor could it be expected, that every running stream or rivulet would SECOND SERIES, VOL. III. NO. II.
be deep enough to bathe in. But such was the benign regard of God to all these possible contingencies, that he did not enjoin immersion at all; but only a total washing, such as could be performed in any brook, or running stream,—or in any suitable vessel at home.
If any doubt whether this is the true view of the import of yon, let him take a Hebrew Concordance and trace it through the whole of the Old Testament, and he will have abundant proof. He will find it used to denote the washing of any thing, in any way,-of the feet, the hands, the face, the body, or the mind. Its translation in the Septuagint denotes how wide its range of meaning is ;-for it is at one time lova, at another viato, and at another aluvw, just as circumstances may seem to require. If ever it is applied in cases where bathing was probably performed, the idea depends not at all on the word, but on the circumstances of the case. So a Baptist writer thinks that, in the case of Pharaoh's daughter, Ex. 2: 5, the word denotes bathing. It may be true that the daughter of Pharaoh did, as a matter of fact, bathe herself,- but all our evidence of it lies in the fact, that she went down to the Nile, and not at all in the word yon, and therefore our translators have very properly rendered it wash.
I would quote passages to illustrate all these assertions, did not the proof lie so plainly on the surface of the whole usage of the word that I do not suppose any one, who has investigated the subject, will think of denying it. Let any one, who desires to see a specimen of proof, examine, in the original, Gen. 18: 4, and 43: 31, Lev. 14: 9, Ex. 29: 17, Is. 4:4, Ps. 26: 6 and 73: 13, Is. 1: 16.
Nor is the washing of the clothes, so often spoken of, enjoined by a word denoting immersion. In all such cases, da is used, which denotes merely to wash, a word commonly confined to the washing of clothes. But it is sometimes also applied to the washing of the mind, as in Ps. 51: 4, 9, (English version Ps. 51: 2, 7,) Jer. 4: 14, Jer. 2: 22.
It is perfectly plain therefore, that, whatever was the practice of the Jews, no immersions of the person were enjoined, and the whole Mosaic ritual, as to personal ablution, could be fulfilled to the letter, without a single immersion. I do not doubt that immersions were common, but nothing but washings of the body was enjoined-and immersions
31, Leof proofing it.", who has
fulfilled the law, not because they were immersions, but solely because they were washings. Of course, as yo had only the sense to wash, even in case of bathing, Borrícw would tend to the same.
3. Even where immersion was convenient, and, a priori, probable, it was not deemed essential to complete and thorough purification, or to an entire washing of the body. This I infer from the account given in Tobit 0: 2, of the washing of the young man. We are told that he went down to the river-To 88 TODAQLov xatebn--for what? To immerse himself of course, the advocates of immersion will reply. Whole volumes of argument, as we all know, depend on going down to a river. But, how was it ? did he go down to immerse himself ? Hear the writer : xoteßn nepix.vonoba.. He went down to wash himself all around, -just as a man stands in a stream and throws the water all over his body, and washes himself by friction ; a mode of washing much more thorough than a mere immersion, and corresponding much more nearly to the import of the word yan.
Let it not be supposed that I regard this as an actual fact. The story may be true or false, and yet be equally in point to illustrate the ideas of the age, in which the writer lived. If he was a Jew, as all admit, and was writing of Jews, it is enough. He would of course write in accordance with the views of his day. He may indeed, after his nepixàvois, have immersed himself, and very probably he did. But he did not go down for an immersion,—but for such a washing as could be performed in any stream, even though immersion was out of the question. I regard the incidental testimony of a case like this, as of far more worth than the formal testimony of the Rabbis of a later age, as to the importance attached, by the Jews, to immersion, which learned writers have so copiously adduced. For the testimony of later Jews, as to the times preceding the fall of Jerusalem, needs to be received with much doubt and suspicion. But on an incidental statement of this kind, of so early a date, no reasonable suspicion can rest.
4. The only immersions enjoined in the Mosaic law were immersions of things to which no reference can be had here, -as vessels, sacks, skins, etc. In this case no act was performed, that had any tendency to affect the worshipper, but only the thing immersed. But in all this passage,