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the Constitutions. The principal fault, in point of doctrine, belonging to the Pharisees was'a zeal for the traditions of the elders; and though this unwritten law was, as we may well suppose, a heap of lies, nonsense, and superstition, they paid more regard to it than to the word of God.

But, if we consider the ignorance and corruption which then prevailed amongst the Jews, we must acknowledge that the Pharisees and their disciples were by no means the worst part of the nation.

St. Paul bears them this testimony : According to the straitest (the exactest) sect of our religion,' says he, 'I lived a Pharisee.'

Our Saviour declares concerning them : The Scribes and Pharisees sit in Moses' seat : all .therefore whatsoever they bid you observe and do, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works, for they say and do not.'

In many places of Scripture, where it is said, Do this, but do not that; or, This shall be, but that shall not be ; the words are to be understood, not absolutely, but comparatively : so that the meaning here may be ; Of the two, it is better and safer to do what the Scribes and Pharisees teach than what they do ; for their doctrine, even such as it is, is preferable to their practice; and particularly when they interpret the precepts of Moses, that is, the written law, not the oral law, and the traditions of the elders. The Pharisees asserted the souls immortality, and a life to

In this they deserved some praise when compared with the Sadducees, who rejected these doctrines. It is not unreasonable to suppose that this belief, though mixed with erroneous notions, might have an influence upon their be. haviour, and make them in some respects and upon some occasions better than those who thought that the soul and body perished together.

To this belief and this disbelief of a future state may perhaps be ascribed the different behaviour of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees after the ascension of our Lord : for then

come.

t Matt. xxiii. 2.

The Scribes and Pharisees : that is, says a learned friend of mine, the Scribes, who were so by their profession, and were Pharisees by their sect. The Pharisees, as Pharisees, did not sit in the seat of Moses : the Scriles did, whether Pharisees or not.

the resurrection of Christ, and the general resurrection of the dead, and a day of judgment and retribution, was constantly and particularly taught by the apostles; and therefore the Sadducees were their opposers and persecutors, whilst the Pharisees were more inclined to protect them and side with them ; and many of the first Jewish converts to Christianity seem to have consisted of this sect.

But as Christ during his ministry often preached against the traditions of the Pharisees, and denounced woes against them, they were his chief adversaries.

It may be asked, why Christ did not more frequently cen. sure the faults and errors of the Sadducees, who were worse than the Pharisees? One reason seeins to have been this, that the Pharisees were the most numerous and the most learned sect, and had the greatest influence over the common people ; therefore it was most expedient that the reformation should begin amongst them, and that their followers and admirers should be undeceived, and cautioned not to repose too great a confidence in them.

Another reason was, because the peculiar defects of that sect soon crept into Christianity, and remain in it to this day; but the Sadducees were a sect which declined and came to nothing, or to very little, after the destruction of Jerusalem. Most of the Sadducees who escaped that calamity probably became apostates and Pagans, a change for which they were too well prepared ; and most of the Jews at this time are of the sect of the Pharisees.

The bad character which is given in the Scriptures of the Pharisees, ought not to be extended to all who were of that party. It is enough if the majority of them, if the most eminent in authority, were very wicked. There were without question several among them mistaken in many things, and carried into faults by the prevailing notions of the sect, yet men of sincerity, and of virtuous dispositions.

Notre Seigneur a témoigné plus de mépris contre les Pharisiens que contre les Sadducéens. C'est aux Pharisiens qu'il en veut en tout et par tout, c'est contre eux qu'il lance ses plus séveres censures, c'est eux qu'il tâche de

* Justin indeed mentions the Sadducees in his Dial. with Trypbo. See Basnage Hist. des Juifs, ii. 7.

they bid

the Constitutions. The principal fault, in point of doctrine, belonging to the Pharisees was'a zeal for the traditions of the elders; and though this unwritten law was, as we may well suppose, a heap of lies, nonsense, and superstition, they paid more regard to it than to the word of God.

But, if we consider the ignorance and corruption which then prevailed amongst the Jews, we must acknowledge that the Pharisees and their disciples were by no means the worst part of the nation.

St. Paul bears them this testimony :' According to the straitest (the exactest) sect of our religion,' says he, 'I lived a Pharisee.'

Our Saviour declares concerning them : The Scribes and Phariseest sit in Moses' seat : all therefore whatsoever

you

observe and do, that observe and do ; but do not ye after their works, for they say and do not.'

In many places of Scripture, where it is said, Do this, but do not that; or, This shall be, but that shall not be ; the words are to be understood, not absolutely, but comparatively : so that the meaning here may be ; Of the two, it is better and safer to do what the Scribes" and Pharisees teach than what they do ; for their doctrine, even such as it is, is preferable to their practice; and particularly when they interpret the precepts of Moses, that is, the written law, not the oral law, and the traditions of the elders. The Pharisees asserted the soul's immortality, and a life to

In this they deserved some praise when compared with the Sadducees, who rejected these doctrines. It is not unreasonable to suppose that this belief, though mixed with erroneous notions, might have an influence upon their behaviour, and make them in some respects and upon some occasions better than those who thought that the soul and body perished together.

To this belief and this disbelief of a future state may perhaps be ascribed the different behaviour of the Pharisees and of the Sadducees after the ascension of our Lord : for then

come.

t Matt. xxiii. 2.

"The Scribes and Pharisees : that is, says a learned friend of mine, the Scribes, who were so by their profession, and were Pharisees by their sect. The Pharisees, as Pharisees, did not sit in the seat of Moses : the Scriles did, whether Pharisees or not.

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from one error into another to the end of the sentence; and made the Essenes wonderful people indeed, and like Milton's angels, who void what they eat by insensible perspiration. The sense is : "The Essenes used so plain and spare a diet, that they had no occasion to disburden on the sabbath, a day which they kept as a day of rest, and which they spent in singing religious hymns.'

The Essenes and Pharisees agreed in one respect very well, in being superstitious observers of trifies; and the author of the Constitutions seems to have had some portion of the same spirit. “La nation Judaïque a été livrée à un tel esprit de puériles et de chimneriques observances, que leurs plus graves docteurs ont étendu le rituel jusques aux actions les plus machinales, comme est celle d'aller au privé. Malheur à qui ne sçait pas bien s'orienter; car les quatre points cardinaux de l'horison ne sont pas également favorables. Je ne puis dire qu'en Latin le reste de leurs ridicules superstitions.'_Dixit R. Akiba, Ingressus sum aliquando post Rabbi Josuam in sedis secretæ locum, et tria ab eo didici. Didici 1, quod non versus orientem et occidentem, sed versus septentrionem et austrum, convertere nos debeamus. Didici 2, quod non in pedes erectum, sed jam considentem, se retegere liccat. Didici 3, quod podex non dextra sed sinistra manu abstergendus sit. objecit ibi Ben Hasas : Usque adeo vere perfricuisti frontem erga magistrum tuum ut cacantem observares ? Respondit ille, Legis hæc arcana sunt ad quæ discenda id necessario mihi agendum fuit.' Ex Barajetha, &c. “ Voilà un merveit

. leux docteur, qui, même sur sa chaise percée, expliquoit sans dire mot les mystères de la loi.' Akiba.

Hammond, in his notes on 1 Cor. v. 5. speaking of the diseases and torments which in the apostolical times seized those persons who were excommunicated, and delivered up to Satan, says, “ Josephus simile quidpiam inter Essenos fuisse dicit, his verbis,' &c. Upon which Le Clerc remarks: Quod Josephus de Essenis refert id potest ita intelligi, ut excommunicatus ex mærore interiisse dicatur, non miraculosa vi excommunicationis ; quod tamen, si credidisset Josephus, non esset nefas ei fidem abrogare.

It happens well for Josephus that he has not affirmed 60

Ad hæc

Bayle, Dict.

mam.

foolish a thing. He only says, Τους δε επ' αξιοχρέοις αμαρτημασιν αλόντας εκβάλλουσι του τάγματος και δε έκκριθείς, οικτίστώ πολλάκις μόρα διαφθείρεται. τοις γαρ όρκους και τοις έθνεσιν ενδεδεμένος, ουδε της παρά τοις άλλοις τροφής δύναται μεταλαμβάνειν, ποηφαγών δε και λιμό το σώμα τηκόμενος διαφθείρεται. διο δή πολλούς ελεήσαντες εν ταις εσχάταις αναπνοαϊς ανέλαβον, έκανήν έπί τοις αμαρτήμασιν αυτών την μέχρι θανάτου βάσανον ηγούμενοι. «Deprehensos vero in peccatis gravioribus ex ordine suo ejiciunt, isque cui contigit e cætu ejici, non raro mortem obit miserri

Nam juramentis et ritibus obligatus ne aliorum quidem escis uti potest; sed dum herbas comedit, corpus fame tabescit, atque ita interit. Quam ob rem etiam ipsi plurimos miserati, extremum jarn agentes spiritum receperunt; pro peccatis satis pænarum, quod ad mortem usque fuerint cruciati, dedisse existimantes.' B. J. II. viii. 8.

We see here that the excommunicated Essenes died, neither of any miraculous distemper, nor yet of grief, but were starved to death, because they dared not to eat with other people, being bound by the oaths which they had taken; oaths which were superstitious, stupid, and unlawful.

One branch of the Essenes had a most uncharitable opinion of the female sex, and thought that a woman could scarcely be found who was faithful to her husband ; and therefore they would not marry. How could they observe the commandment which says, 'Honour thy father and thy mother,' who entertained such hard sentiments of their mothers?

It is a conjecture of Van Dale, which, whether it be true or not, is ingenious and plausible, that Sadduceism owed its birth to the traditionary doctrines of the Jews. These traditions were so excessively impertinent, sạch quintessential, treble-refined folly, and yet so dogmatically enforced by haughty Pharisees and prating doctors as importances, that some of the nation, who could not endure to be treated at this overbearing rate, rebelled, and became free-thinkers ; and flew out as far into the opposite extreme, and rejected the soul's immortality as a doctrine not clearly delivered in the Scriptures, supported by tradition, and proceeding from that muddy fountain of everlasting nonsense. Mi. serable spirit of contradiction! Because a man would deprive

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