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salem; hence we find, in Acts vi. 9, synagogues belonging to the Alexandrians, the Asiatics, the Cilicians, the Libertines, and the Cyrenians, which were erected for such Jewish inhabitants of those countries or cities as should happen to be at Jerusalem.

It does not appear from the New Testament that the synagogues were of any particular form. The building of them was regarded as a mark of piety, as we learn from Luke vii. 5; they were erected within or without the city, generally in an elevated place, and were distinguished from the proseuchæ, which were places for prayer in the open air, by being roofed. Each of them had an altar, or rather table, on which the book of the law was spread; and on the east side there was an ark or chest, in which the volume of the law was deposited. The seats were so arranged that the people always sat with their faces towards the elders, and the place where the law was kept; and the elders sat in the opposite direction, that is to say, with their backs to the ark and their faces to the people. The seats of the latter, as being placed nearer the ark, were accounted the more holy, and

hence in the New Testament they are called "the chief seats in the synagogue," which the Pharisees loved to occupy. (See Matthew xxiii. 6.) The women were separated from the men, and sat in a gallery inclosed with lattices, so that they could distinctly see and hear all that passed without being themselves exposed to view.

For the maintenance of good order, there were in every synagogue certain officers, whose business it was to see that all the duties of religion were decently performed therein. These were:

1. The Ruler of the Synagogue. It appears from Acts xiii. 15, compared with Mark v. 22, and Luke viii. 41, that there were several of these rulers in a synagogue. They regulated all its concerns, and gave permission to persons to preach. They were always men advanced in age, and respected for their learning and good character. The Jews termed them Hacamim, that is, sages or wise men, and they possessed considerable influence and authority. They were judges of thefts, and similar petty offences; and also had the power of inflicting punishment on those whom they . reckoned to be rebellious against

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of the church, because, as their messenger, he spoke to God for them. Hence also, in Rev. ii. and iii., the presiding ministers of the Asiatic churches are termed "angels."

3. The Chazan appears to have been a different officer from the Sheliach Zibbor, and inferior to him in dignity. He seems to have been the person who, in Luke iv. 20, is termed the minister, and who had the charge of the Sacred Books.

The religious service performed in the synagogue on the Sabbath, and other holy days, consisted of three parts, namely, prayer, reading the Scriptures, and preaching, or exposition of the Scriptures. Certain forms of prayer, of which there are nineteen, are required to be said by all Jews without exception, who are of age, three times every day, either in public, at the synagogue, or at their own houses, or wherever they may happen to be.

The second part of the public service, the Reading of the Scriptures, is of three sorts:(1.) The reading of what is called the Kirioth-Shema, or Deut. vi. 6-9; xi. 13-21; Numbers XV. 37 41. This reading or recital is preceded and followed by several prayers and benedictions, and, next to the

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saying of the nineteen prayers above mentioned, is the most solemn part of the religious service of the Jews. Believing the commands in Deut. vi. 7 and xi. 19 to be of perpetual obligation, they repeat the Shema every morning and evening. (2.) The whole law was divided into sections, one of which was allotted to each Sabbath of the year, beginning with the first Sabbath after the feast of tabernacles. (3.) Certain portions of the prophetical writings, which were termed Haphtoroth. When Antiochus Epiphanes conquered the Jews, about a hundred and seventy years before the Christian era, he forbade the public reading of the law in the synagogues, on pain of death. The Jews, in order that they might not be wholly deprived of the Word of God, selected from other parts of the Sacred Writings, fifty-four portions, which were called haphtoras, from a word which signifies, he let loose, opened; for though the law was forbidden them, yet the prophetic writings were left open; and therefore they used them in place of the others. The sections of the law, and the haphtoroth, or sections of the prophets, have been read together ever since

the days of the Maccabees, in the various synagogues belonging to the English, Portuguese, Italian, Dutch, and German Jews.

The third and last part of the synagogue worship was Exposition of the Scriptures, and Preaching to the people out of them. In Luke iv. 15-22, we have an account of the observance of this service in the time of Christ. From this passage we learn that when Jesus came to Nazareth, His own city, He was called upon, as a member of the synagogue there, to read the haphtorah, that is, the section out of the prophets for that day; which appears to have been the fifty-first, and to have commenced with the first verse of the sixty-first chapter of Isaiah. He then stood up (as was customary, at least for the officiating minister to do out of reverence for the Word of God) to read, and unrolled the manuscript until He came to the lesson, which having read he rolled it up again, and gave to the proper officer. He then sat down and expounded it, agreeably to the usage of the Jews. When Jesus entered any synagogue of which He was not a member, (and it appears He always attended the synagogue

on the Sabbath-day, wherever He was,) He taught the people in sermons after the law and the prophets had been read.

The Sacred Writings, used to this day in all the Jewish synagogues, are written on skins of parchment or vellum, and, like the ancient copies, rolled on two rollers, beginning at each end: so that, in reading from right to left they roll off with the left, while they roll on with the right hand.

The synagogues, however, were not only places set apart for prayer, they were also schools in which youth were instructed. The teachers sat upon elevated benches, while the pupils stood at their feet or before them; which circumstance explains St. Paul's meaning, (Acts xxii. 3,) when he says that he was brought up at the feet of Gamaliel.

Those who had been guilty of any notorious crime, or were otherwise thought unworthy, were cast out of the synagogues, that is, excommunicated, and cut off from partaking with the rest in the public prayers and religious offices there performed; so that they were looked upon as mere heathens, and shut out from all benefit of the Jewish religion; which exclusion was

esteemed scandalous. We are told that the Jews came to a resolution, that whoever confessed that Jesus was the Christ "should be put out of the synagogue." (John ix. 22.) And therefore, when the blind man who had been restored to sight, persevered in confessing that he believed the Person who had been able to work such a miracle could not have done it if He were not "of God," they "cast him out." (John ix. 33, 34.)

The Cut represents the interior of a modern synagogue, Divine service being supposed to be going on. The men sit covered, and the female portion of the congregation is accommodated in galleries apart.

F. F. E.


YOUTH of eighteen or nineteen years sat at an open window, with a look of perplexity on his face, caused apparently by a letter he held in his hand. After sitting thus for some minutes, he muttered to himself,-"Yes, I must go; if I don't, Brown and Smith will be laughing at me, and calling me 'righteous over much; and, after all, there's no great harm in it, for

I'll go to church in the morning, and it's only to be a sail down the river and spend the rest of the day in the country." Still he pressed his hand upon his forehead for an instant, and then, rising hastily, said: "There's no use in bothering about it, I must go."

As he rose, his eye lighted on the setting sun, and the expression of his countenance changed; a sweet yet half-sad look played on his face-his thoughts were elsewhere, another scene was before his eyes. The dark street had disappeared, and in its stead a neat country cottage had risen. In thought he was there; once more he saw the hills that rose near that cottage home; once more the blue waters of the distant lake glistened before him; once more he sat in the cottage garden with his widowed mother, and watched the setting sun. And again

that mother's words sounded in his ears, "John, don't forget your God, and He'll not forget you. Remember His Sabbathday, 'to keep it holy.' Though 'sinners entice thee' to break it, 'consent thou not.' O! when you're tempted to do wrong, don't forget to pray. Never let the sun go down on a prayerless day. May the God of the

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