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A. M. 2513. A. C. 1491; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3763. A. C. 1648. EXOD. CH. xiil-xxxiv. 24. the same time promised to make him the father and idolatrous defection, and their adherents; which the founder of a nation as numerous, and more powerful Levites accordingly executed ; so that at this time there than these ungrateful rebels were. But so far was Moses were about three thousand persons slain. Nor did the from seeking his own interest in their destruction, that Levites, in consideration of this their laudable zeal and he threw himself at the feet of the Lord, and interceded obedience, go long unrewarded; for, upon the institution for their pardon with so much importunity, that having of the priesthood, they were appointed to the honour obtained a kind of promise of it, he took the tables and and emoluments of that office, though in subordination his servant Joshua with him, and so hastened down from to that of Aaron and his posterity. the mount.
The people, in the mean time, having seen this dreadAs soon as they were come to the bottom, Joshua hear- ful example on the delinquents, were not in a little fear ing the noise which the people were making, expressed and consternation. But Moses, the next day contented his apprehensions, that possibly there might be some himself with reproving them for their ingratitude and alarm or engagement in the camp; but Moses, who knew extreme folly, and at the same time promised them that what had happened, told him that the noise seemed to be would go up to the mount again, and try c how far be an indication of joy, rather than of war; and as they his prayers would prevail with the divine mercy, to avert drew near, and saw the golden calf, and the people sing- the punishment which they justly deserved. To show, ing and dancing about it, Moses, for indignation throw- however, how highly they had oftended God by their ing down the tables he had in his hands, brake them in wicked apostasy, he took a tent, and pitching it out of pieces; and then taking the idol calf, he put it in the the camp at a good distance, he called it the tabernacle fire, and melted it, and so a reducing it to powder, and of the congregation,' whither the cloudy pillar, (to let mixing the powder in water, to make them more sensible them see that God would no longer dwell among them,) of their folly in worshipping that for a god which was to immediately repaired; and whither Moses, whenever he pass through their bodies, he made them drink it up. wanted to consult the divine oracle, was wont to resort.
After this, Aaron was called to give an account how Nor was it long after this, that God, to comfort and he came to indulge the people in this idolatrous humour; encourage him under all the fatigue that he had with an but all the excuse that he could make turned upon their obstinate people, granted his request, and showed him tumultuous, and his timorous temper, which compelled as much of his glory as his nature was able to bear, and him to comply with their demand. But Moses' business gave him fresh orders to prepare two other tables of was, to take vengeance on the idolaters; and therefore stone, and to come up again to him on the mountain all turning from his brother Aaron, he called such to his aid alone. Moses, accordingly, early next morning, repairas had not been guilty in the late rebellion; and seeing ed to the mountain, with the two tables, and having some of the tribe of Levi adjoin themselves to him, he prostrated himself before God, implored of him to parappointed them to take their swords, to go through the don the sins of his people; which God graciously concamp, and without any respect to age or quality, friend - descended to do, and withal to make a farther covenant ship or consanguinity, to kill all the ringleaders of this with them, upon condition that they would keep his
commandments; would observe his Sabbaths, his pass
over, and other appointed festivals; and would not a This action of Moses, in melting, grinding, and pounding worship the gods of the Canaanites, nor make any this golden idol, in order to make the people drink it, is by some thought contrary to our present philosophy, and the account which alliances with the people of the country. alchymists give us of the nature of gold. The goldbeater can reduce gold to the thickness of one fifteen hundredth part of an inch, in the form of leaves, which may be easily beat into powder, thrown into a liquid, and drunk. A strong current of
CHAP. II.-Objections answered and Difficulties electricity being made to play upon gold, will cause it to burn, and be dissipated in the form of a very fine purple powder, which
explained. may also be thrown into water and drunk. Gold may also be dissolved in nitro-muriatic acid and drunk? By the help of That in the deserts of Arabia, and such extended plains a file, Moses might grate it into a dust, as fine as flour that is ground in a mill. But the rabbinical reason for his giving the (for there were no cities, rivers, or mountains for landpeople this gold powder to drink, namely, that he might distin- marks,) it was a general custom, before the invention of guish the idolaters from the rest, because as soon as they had the compass, to carry fire before armies, in order to drunk, the beards of the former turned red, is a little too direct their march ; and that, notwithstanding the present whimsical to be regarded.—Universal History, b. 1. c. 7. 6 This may be thought too hazardous an undertaking, and, for
use of the compass, the guidance of fire is practised a few Levites to kill 3000 of the people impracticable; but as they had God's warrant for what they did, and knew at the same c Moses indeed was by lineage and descent of the tribe of time how timorous guilt is apt to make men, they might be Levi, which though it forfeited the primogeniture and regalia, confident, that none would have courage to oppose them. Before by being concerned in the blood of the Shechemites, was neverthat Moses called any avengers to his assistance, the text tells theless dignified with the priesthood, which gave him a right of us, that he saw that the people were naked, for Aaron had approaching God, as an intercessor for a rebellious and backslidmade them naked to their shame,' (Exod. xxxii. 25.) where, if ing people. Aaron, in strictness, was both the high priest and by nakedness' we are, with some expositors, to understand their his elder brother, but besides that, he, by his imprudent comwant of arms, which they had laid aside, that they might be pliance in the business of the golden calf, had at this time not more light and nimble to dance about the idol, it is plain, that only forfeited the honour of mediation, but stood himself in need the Levites might have less trouble in slaying such a number of of an atonement: there seems to be something in the character people, loaded with liquor perhaps, and, as it usually happens in that is given of Moses' singular meekness, that might entitle the conclusion of a festival, weary with dancing and sports, him to the spirit of intercession, and make the younger, in this and without any weapons about them to make resistance.- office, be preferred before the elder.-Bibliotheca Biblica ApPatrick's and Le Clerc's Commentaries.
pend, of the Occas. Annot.
A. M. 2513, A. C. 1491; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3763. A. C. 1648. EXOD. CH. xiii–xxxiv. 24. among the caravans in the east, and by the great number | gregation, and behold the cloud covered it, and the of pilgrims, who go every year from Grand Cairo in glory of the Lord appeared, and Moses and Aaron came Egypt, to Mecca in Arabia, cannot, by any one that is before the tabernacle of the congregation, and the Lord acquainted either with ancient or modern history, be spake unto Moses, saying, Get you up from among this denied ; and had the sole intent of the cloudy pillar congregation, that I may consume them, as in a moment, been to guide and conduct the Israelites in their journeys, and they fell upon their faces; and Moses said unto there might have been more grounds for asserting, that it Aaron, Take a censer, and put fire therein from off the was a mere machine of human contrivance, and had nothing altar, and put on incense, and go quickly into the conmiraculous or supernatural in it. But when it shall gregation, and make an atonement for them, for there is appear, that this pillar of a cloud was of much greater use wrath gone out from the Lord, the plague is begun.' to the children of Israel than barely to conduct them; Now, from a bare recital of these passages, we cannot that in it resided a superior power, upon whom the name but observe, that the Israelites' pillar made quite another and attributes of God are conferred; that from it pro- appearance than any combustible matter, when set on ceeded oracles, and directions what the people were to fire, and carried upon a pole, can be supposed to do; do, and plagues and punishments, when they had done that in this pillar resided a person of divine character amiss ; and that to it are ascribed such motions and and perfections, and therefore called the Lord, the actions, as cannot, with any propriety of speech, be angel, the angel of the Lord, and the angel of his presapplied to any natural fire; it will from hence, I hope, ence,' &c.; that this person was invested with a power be concluded, that this guidance of the cloud was a real of demanding homage and observance, of both punishing miracle ; its substance quite different from that of porta- and pardoning transgressions, and to whom even Moses ble fire preceding armies ; and its conductor something and Aaron, as well as the rest of the congregation, more than a mere man.
might fall down on their faces, and pay obeisance, withThe first mention that is made of this phenomenon is in out the imputation of idolatry. The whole tenor of the the thirteenth chapter of Exodus, where Moses, describ- narration, in short, seems to denote, that every one in ing the route which the Israelites pursued, tells us that 'the congregation looked upon the pillar as something they took their journey from Succoth, and encamped awful and tremendous, and the person residing therein at Etham, at the edge of the wilderness, and the Lord above the rank and dignity of any created essence : and went before them, by day, in a pillar of a cloud, and, by therefore, the most general opinion is, that he to whom night, in a pillar of fire :' and what we are to understand these divine appellations, divine powers, and divine by the Lord, that went before them,' we are advertised honours are ascribed, was the eternal Son of God, with in another place ; * • Behold I send my angel before a troop of blessed angels attending him in bright and thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the luminous forms ; and who, either by the display or conplace which I have prepared. Beware of him, and obey traction of their forms, could make the cloud they his voice; provoke him not, for he will not pardon thy inhabited either condense or expand itself, either put on transgression, for my name is in him,' that is, my name a dark or radiant appearance, according as the great Jehovah, which is the proper and incommunicable title Captain of their host signified his pleasure. For to of God. Another place wherein we find this pillar of suppose that mere fire, without any supernatural direca cloud mentioned, is in the 14th chapter ; ' and the tion, could appear in different forms at the same time, angel of God, which went before the camp of Israel, with darkness to one sort of people, and light to another, removed, and went behind them, and the pillar of the is a thing incongruous to its nature. cloud went from before their face, and stood behind For how many purposes this miraculous pillar might them, and it came between the camp of the Egyptians, serve the Israelites, it would be presumption to deterand the camp of Israel, and it was a cloud and darkness mine ; but this we may say with safety,—That besides to them, but it gave light to these.' There is, in the its guiding them in their journey, it was of use to same book, another place where this pillar is taken notice defend them from their enemies, that they might not of, and that is in the 33d chapter, where God being assault them; of use to cover them from the heat of the highly offended at the people's impiety in making the sun in the wilderness, where there were few trees, and golden calf, refuses to conduct them any longer himself, no houses to shelter them; and of use to convey the and proposes to depute an angel to supply his place : divine will, and to be, as it were, a standing oracle *« When the people heard these evil tidings, they mourn- whereunto they might resort upon all occasions. In ed ;-and it came to pass, as Moses entered into the this cloud, we are told expressly, that 'the Lord aptabernacle, the cloudy pillar descended and stood at the peared from the tabernacle; from this cloud, that 8 he door of the tabernacle, and the Lord talked with Moses. called Aaron and Miriam to come before him; and out All the people saw the cloudy pillar at the tabernacle of this cloud again, that he sent forth the expresses of door, and they rose up, and worshipped, every man his wrath, as well as the tokens of his love, among the at his tent door. We have occasion to mention but whole congregation : and therefore this cloud could, one place more, and that is in the 16th chapter of Num- at that time, be nothing else but the vehicle of God, as bers, where the people murmured for the loss of Korah we may call it, or the place of his majestic appearance. and his company : 5. And it came to pass, that when the Nor is the conjecture improbable, that from this very congregation was gathered against Moses, and against instance the poets first took the hint of making their Aaron, they looked towards the tabernacle of the con- gods descend in a cloud, and arrayed with a bright A. M. 2513. A. C. 1491; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3763. A, C. 1648. EXOD. CH. xiii-xxxiv. 24. However this be, it is certain, that the Jews were his 3 6 sending down manna upon them, and giving them persuaded of the divinity of their guide ; otherwise they food from heaven :' nothing of his“ raining flesh, as thick would not have expressed such undissembled sorrow and as dust, and feathered fowls, like as the sand of the sea;' concern upon hearing the news of his intention to leave nothing of his amazing descent upon Mount Sinai, when, them : nor could Moses, with all his authority, have in the lofty words of the Psalmist, 4. he bowed the ever prevailed with them to wander so long in the wil heavens and came down, and it was dark under his feet; derness, exposed to so many dangers and hardships, he rode upon the cherubim, and did fly; he came flying had they been satisfied that it was no more than a man, upon the wings of the wind; he made darkness his secret with some fire, elevated upon a pole, that was their con- place, his pavilion round about him with dark water, and ductor. It may be allowed, indeed, that a multitude of thick clouds to cover him ; there went a smoke out of his such fiery machines might be of service to an army in a presence, hail-stones, and coals of fire, so that the earth march; but the thing is utterly inconceivable, how a trembled and quaked, the very foundations also of the company of six hundred thousand men, besides women hills shook, and were removed.' The wilderness, in and children, and no small number of associates, short, was the scene which God had made choice of for together with all their cattle, could receive any great the display of his almighty power and goodness: thero benefit from only one of these, which, at a moderate it was, that he “ laid bare his arm,' as he calls it, to the distance, would diminish into a small light, and at a Israelites ; that every day he took care of their ineat larger be quite lost; or every moment was in danger of and drink, and indeficiency of their clothing; and had being blown aside by the wind, or extinguished by the he not detained them there so long, he had not been so rain.
efulgency. Exod. xiii. 20, 21. • Exod. xxiii, 20, 21, 9 Ver. 19, 20. * Chap. xxxii. 4, &c. * Num. xvi. 42, &c. ) * Patrick's Commentary. * Deut. xxxi. 15.
8 Num. xii. 5.
kind. It may be considered farther, that before this The Scriptures everywhere represent the Israelites people were to be admitted into the possession of the going out of Egypt with a high band, marching in a inheritance which God had promised them, all matters regular order, and "covered by God, in the day, with a were to be adjusted between him and them; and to this cloud, and led, all the night through, with a light of fire;' | purpose laws were to be given, ordinances instituted, but a sufficient company of link boys, placed in a regular and covenants sealed; but a work of this importance order to illuminate each column as they moved, would could nowhere be so conmodiously transacted as in the have certainly been of more use, and made a much retirement of the wilderness. Here it was that God, in better appearance, than this pretended mixture of smoke the bush, talking with Moses, gave it as a token of his and flame, smothering from an iron pot, at the end of a promise, that the people after their deliverance should long pole. For from any heart I cannot conceive what come to Mount Horeb, and there worship him ; and fit manner of comparison there can be between the dark, it was, that such an engagement on God's part should fuliginous smoke arising from a culinary fire, and the now receive its accomplishment. And since it was no glorious, heavenly, and bright appearance of that more than requisite, that a nation designed for such burning pillar of fire, which,' as the author of the book peculiar favours from God, should be held some time in of Wisdom expresses it, was both a guide of their a state of probation, before they were admitted to it, unknown journey, and an harmless sun to entertain them and until the people, whom they were appointed to reject, honourably.'
had filled up the measure of their iniquity, and were ripe The Scripture indeed assigns but one reason for God's for extirpation; therefore it is, that Moses calls upon conducting the Israelites by the way of the wilderness, them to remember all the way, which the Lord their which was so much about, to the land of Canaan, and God led them, for these forty years, in the wilderness, that is,-An apprehension that the Philistines, through to humble them, and to prove them, and to know what whose country they were to go, being a bold and warlike was in their hearts, whether they would keep his compeople, would, in all probability, have disputed the mandments or no.' passage with them, which the others, destitute of arms These cominandments, it must be owned, were delias they were, and having their spirits broken with a long vered to the Israelites with all the ensigns of horror, servitude, were in no condition to make good : but as which the Psalmist, so lately quoted, has described ; but the almighty power of their conductor was sufficient to that there is no ground to suspect any deceit in this make them superior to all such obstacles, we may well wonderful occurrence, is manifest from Moses' dealing suppose, that a farther end which the divine Providence so openly with the people in this matter, and suffering might have herein, was to manifest his glory and good-them to go up into the mountain, after the Lord had ness by his constant attendance upon them in this departed from it. · When the trumpet soundeth long, luminous appearance, and by the many wonderful works they shall come up to the mount. This is the signal which he did to oblige them to his service.
which God himself gives them ; whereas, had there been According to the course of the country, Moses might any fallacy in the phenomenon, Moses would have have marched the people a much shorter way; but then, debarred them from going up for ever. And therefore, we had heard nothing of the “ angel of God's presence' as we need not doubt but that several upon this signal visibly preceding them; nothing of his dividing the sea went up, we cannot but think, that the cheat would have to facilitate their passage ; nothing of his overwhelming soon been discovered, had there been any marks of a their enemies in those very floods, which to them were natural eruption of fire discernible upon the top of the a kind of wall on each side; nothing of his drawing mountain. out rivers of water from the stony rock; nothing of Those who give us an account of volcanos, or burning A. M. 2513. A. C. 149!; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3763. A. C. 1648. EXOD. CH. xii-xxxiv, 24. mountains, do all agree in this, as the nature of the thing upon the earth, is usually attended with such like harb indeed seems to require it,' that on their tops they have ingers. always an open mouth, which the ancients called crater, Sundry lawgivers, no doubt, have pretended to a famithrough which they belch out their flames; and that after liarity with their respective deities, as well as Moses did the fire is expended, it will still appear in the form of a with the God of Israel; but, besides the attestation of monstrous gap, even unto the end of the world. And miracles in his favour, which none of them laid any claim therefore, since all travellers, both ancient and modern, to, we may venture to put his character upon this issue, who have taken an accurate survey a of the Mount Sinai, namely, the excellency of his laws, above what Athens, could never discern the least appearance of any such or Lacedemon, or even Rome itself ever had to produce. gap, but, on the contrary, a continued surface, whereon For what a complete system of all religious and social there stands at present a little chapel of St Catherine ; virtues do the ten commandments, delivered on the all this supposed contrivance of Moses, to make a Mount, contain, taking them, as we ought to do, in their natural volcano pass upon the people for the majestic positive as well as negative sense. In the second of presence of God upon the sacred mount, can be deemed these, indeed, there is a passage, of God's visiting the no other than a crude, nonsensical fiction, wherein the sins of the fathers upon the children,' which seems to lovers of infidelity are found to show their ignorance, as bear a little hard upon his mercy and justice ; but this is well as their malice, when they pretend to tax this rela- entirely owing to the mistake of our translation. For if tion of Moses, representing God's appearance in a flame the preposition lamed, and hal, which we there render of fire, in thunder, and lightning, &c., with any incon- upon, may, * according to the sense of some critics, be gruity, or invent any groundless stories to account for rendered by, or in favour of; then may the words now it; since nothing can be more agreeable to the ancient under consideration be properly translated, “God's divinity, or common notions of the heathen world, 6 than punishing the wickedness of the father, By or in FAVOUR that the apparition of their gods, whenever they descend of the children.” In the former of these senses,
3 Ps. lxxviii, 24, &c. Psxviii, 9, &c. 5 Exod. iii, 12. 6 Deut. viii, 2.
. Exodxix. 13.
! Ps. lxxviii. 14. and cv. 39.
? Wisd. xviii. 3.
David's murder and adultery was justly punished by his
favourite, but wicked son Absalom ; and in the latter, Nicholls' Conference, part 2. p. 279.
the meaning will be, that God frequently inflicts remarka The mountains of Sinai and Horeb are promiscuously used able judgments upon a wicked father, in order to deter by the sacred historian, by reason of their contiguity; and yet it his children, even to the third and fourth generations, is certain, that they are two different places. Sinai, which the Arabians at this day call Tor, or the Mountain, by way of emi- from the like provocations. nence, or otherwise, Gibel Mousa, the Mount of Moses, stands What more just, as well as merciful constitution could in a kind of peninsula, formed by two arms of the Red Sea, there be devised, than to ordain cities of refuge for the one of which stretches out towards the north, and is called the innocent manslayer to fly to, thereby to avoid the rage Gulf of Kolsom; the other towards the east, and is called the Gulf of Elan, or the Elanitish Sea. Sinai is at least one-third and ungovernable fury of the dead man's relations, who, part higher than Horeb, and of a much more difficult ascent; according to the custom of those times, were wont immewhose top terminates in an uneven and rugged space, capable of diately to revenge their kindred's death, and thereby to containing about sixty persons. Here, as we said, is built the little chapel of St Catherine, where it is thought that the body of gain time to prepare a plea in his own vindication ; this saint rested for 330 years, but was afterwards removed to which, if it was found insufficient, and the man adjudged the church which is at the foot of the mountain. Not far from guilty of wilful murder, could not, according to the tenor this chapel issues out a fountain of good fresh water, which is of the same law, secure him from being dragged even looked upon as miraculous, because it is not conceivable how water +from the horns of the altar ?' can rise from the brow of so high a mountain. Horeb is to the west of Sinai, so that at sunrising the shadow of Sinai entirely
* An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,' may covers Horeb. At the foot of this mount there is a fountain, which seem to us, who live under a milder dispensation, a rigid supplies water to the monastery of St Catherine, and about five and severe decree ; but then we may observe, that it was or six paces from it, they show us a stone, about four or five feet no more than what was thought reasonable in other high, and three broad, which, as they tell us, is the very same from whence Moses caused the waters to gush out. It is of a
nations, and obtained a place among the c celebrated spotted grey colour, stands by itself, as it were, and where no Roman laws of the twelve tables. It was in soine measure other rock appears, and has twelve holes about a foot wide, from necessary to restrain quarrelsome and unruly tempers whence it is thought that the water came forth which the Israelites from violence; and in case that death did not ensue, the did drink.-Calmet's Dictionary, under the word Sinai. 6 That fire and lightning should attend the presence of God,
law was always mitigated, and the talio commuted for a is a notion so frequent in the most ancient and oriental theology, pecuniary mulct. that it might possibly give occasion to the worship of fire among
Several of the Jewish laws, which to us may seem the Chaldeans and Persians; to the Magi, among the Cappado- frivolous, had a valid reason for their institution at first, cians called Purrethi, which Strabo mentions, and to the vestal if it were but to discriminate them from other nations, fires among the Greeks and Romans, as well as ancient Britons. and to guard them against the common infection of idol" When you behold the formless sacred flame boundingly gleaming from earth's black abysses, then hark to the voice of Fire," atry. The wearing of linsey-woolsey was probably a say the Chaldaic oracles: and as for earthquakes, or shaking of proud, fantastical fashion of the heathens at that time, mountains, this is no more than what all nations suppose have which the Jews were forbid to imitate. An ox and an ever come to pass, upon God's manifesting himself at any time; for it is not only the Psalmist who tells us, that the earth shook, ass were not to be coupled together in the same carriage, and the heaven dropped at the presence of God;' but in the description which Virgil gives us of the approach of Phæbus, he
* Le Clerc's Commentary in locum. does in a manner translate the words of Moses, “ All things 2 Sam. xi. and some following chapters. • Exod. xxi. 14. seemed on a sudden to quake, even the halls and laurel trees of c Aulus Gellius sets down this law of the twelve tables in this the god; the whole mountain around was trembling, and the manner:-"Whoever breaketh a member of the body, unless he tripos groaned in the inner recesses of the temple."-See come to terms with the injured, let him suffer the same prulishNicholls' Conference, part 2.
A. M. 2513. A. C. 1491; OR, ACCORDING TO HALES, A. M. 3763. A. C. 1648. EXOD. CH. xiij-xxxiv. 24. with this merciful intent, that one beast of greater the robe of the one was made of scarlet, blue, and strength might not strain a poor creature of less beyond purple woollen cloth, only embroidered with wreaths of its ability; and as sowing the ground with mixed seeds, fine linen; but the garment of the other was made of in some men's opinion, is an effectual way to wear it out, linen only, because it was unlawful, * as Herodotus tells it was therefore a practice prohibited, in commiseration, us, for the Egyptian magistrates to wear any thing else. if I may so say, to our mother earth, as well as to set When the tables of the covenant were delivered to bounds to the husbandman's covetousness; though, as Moses, it seems no more than requisite, that some care others imagine, these three injunctions, as they stand should be taken of them; and if so, what could be a more altogether in the same place, might perhaps have some- apposite contrivance for that purpose than a chest ? thing emblematical in them, besides the precept, to make Moses, even by his enemies, is reputed a very cunning men have a greater abhorrence of all venereal mixtures, man; but they certainly mean it as a compliment, and contrary to nature.
not his due, if they think him not capable of so small a It is an injunction which God often inculcates to his contrivance as this, without copying from the Egyptian people the Jews, ' After the doing of the land of Egypt, cista, wherein the priests were wont to lock up their wherein ye dwelt, ye shall not do : and after the doing religious trinkets from the eyes of the vulgar; and as of the land of Canaan, whither I bring you, ye shall not for the cherubim which overshadowed this ark, there do: I am the Lord your God, ye shall therefore keep certainly seems nothing analogous, but rather a partimy statutes and my judgments ;' which words seem to cular opposition in these to the Egyptian idolatry. imply, not only that the idolatrous rites of the Gentiles For, whereas their temples were generally filled with were forbidden, but that those of God's appointment the images of monkeys, calves, and serpents, were made in direct opposition to them; and to this sentations of real animals, which, according to the purpose we find the Roman historian representing the natural deism of those times, they fancied to be parts Jews as a people whose religious rites were so contrary and exhibitions of the Deity; Moses here ) orders figures to all the world besides, that what in others was most to be made, which had little or no resemblance of any sacred, they accounted profane, and allowed as lawful thing in the world, and were expressive of the angelical what other nations were wont to abominate.
nature only, which every one knew was subordinate to Now, if the Mosaic laws and ceremonies were given to God's. So little congruity is there to be found between the Jews, as barriers against idolatry, and formally the Egyptian and Jewish laws and ceremonies, less repugnant to the customs of the heathens, we may appeal to any sober and considerate man, whether it be
• B, 2. c. 37. consistent with good sense, or congruous to truth and 6 What the particular figure of these cherubim was, it is hard reason, that God should make laws exactly contrary to to imagine at this distance. Grotius, indeed, and some others, the Egyptians and other pagan nations, showing thereby, in his vision, c. i. 5. and x. 15., which he calls cherubim, that
have ingeniously conjectured, from the creatures seen by Ezekiel that he hated the very semblance of their rites, and yet they had the face of a man, the wings of an eagle, the mane of a at the same time take the rise of his institutions from the lion, the feet of an ox; and by this they will have the dispensacustoms and practice of these pagans : nay, whether ittions of divine providence, by the ministry of angels, symbolically gives us not such an idea of God, as reverence to his represented; the lion exhibiting the severity of his justice; the
eagle the celerity of his bounty; the man his goodness and tremendous majesty will not suffer me to name, ' to mercy; the ox the slowness of his punishment; which comes, as represent him making up all the vain, ludicrous, super- the Greek proverb says, Bosíqu trods, with an ox's foot. - Nicholls' stitious, impious, impure, idolatrous, magical, and diabo-Conference, part 2. lical customs, which had been first invented, and after- Indian priests, wear bells about them like the Jewish high priest,
c To this purpose, we are informed, that the brahmins, the wards practised by the most barbarous nations, and were alone allowed to go into the inward part of the temple, and out of these patching up a great part of the religion were like him obliged to marry virgins. Slaves there have their which he appointed his own people.
ears bored through; a perpetual light is kept in their temples, and It cannot well otherwise be, but that, in matters of barbarous Tartars have many things not unlike the Jews; for they
cakes are set before their idols like shewbread. Nay, even the tradition, which have equally descended among all nations celebrate their new moons with songs and computations; they perhaps from Noah, a man of some learning and fancy bewail their dead thirty days; they breed no hogs, and punish may form a similitade between the religious rites and adultery with death. The like may be said of the people of usages of one people with another ; but it would really Mexico keep a perpetual fire in the temples ; and the Charibeans
the new world. Those of Jucatan are circumcised; those of rack one's invention to find out the great agreement celebrate the new moon with the sound of a trumpet, and abstain between the Jewish high priest and the Egyptian chief from swine's flesh: and therefore if a similitude in ceremonies is justice ; since the Urim and Thummim of the one was a admitted as a valid argument, we may as well say that the piece of cloth, about a span square, beset with jewels,
Jews had their laws and religious ordinances from any of these,
as that they had them from the Egyptians.- Nicholls' Conferbut the Alathea, as they call it, of the other, was a
ence, part 2. golden medal, representing the figure of a bird ; since Exod. xxviii. 33. • Bells.' “ The bell seems to have been a
sacred utensil of very ancient use in Asia. Golden bells formed · Lev. xviii. 3, 4. * Tacitus, b. viii. c. 4.
a part of the omaments of the pontifical robe of the Jewish high Edwards' Survey of Religion, vol. 1.
priest, with which he invested himself upon those grand and a Exod. xxviii. 30. “The Urim and the Thummim.' There peculiar festivals, when he entered into the sanctuary. That robe was a remarkable imitation of this sacred ornament among the was very magnificent, it was ordained to be of sky blue, and the Egyptians; for we learn from Diodorus, (b. 1. p. 68. ed. Rhod.) border of it, at the bottom, was adorned with pomegranates and and from Ælian, (Var. Hist, b. 14. c. 34.) that “their chief gold bells intermixed equally, and at equal distances. The use priest, who was also their supreme judge in civil matters, wore and intent of these bells is evident from these words:— And it about his neck, by a golden chain, an ornament of precious shall be upon Aaron to minister, and his sound shall be heard stones called truth, and that a cause was not opened till the when he goeth in unto the holy place before the Lord, and when supreme judge had put on this ornament."-ED.
he cometh out, that he die not. The sound of the nunierous