Imatges de pàgina

which are full of little bells that tinkle as they walk or trip along.' The licensed prostitutes whom Dr. Richardson saw at Gheneh (a large commercial town of Upper Egypt), were attired in a similar manner.” It was a particular injunction of the Mosaic law that the women shall not wear that which pertaineth unto a man, neither shall a man put on a woman's garment. (Deut. xxii. 5.). This precaution was very necessary against the abuses which are the usual consequences of such disguises. For a woman drest in a man's clothes will not be restrained so readily by that modesty which is the peculiar ornament of her sex; and a man drest in a woman's habit may without fear and shame go into companies where, without this disguise, shame and fear would hinder his admittance, and prevent his appearing. In hot countries, like a considerable part of Palestine, travellers inform us, that the greatest difference imaginable subsists between the complexions of the women. Those of any condition seldom go abroad, and are ever accustomed to be shaded from the sun, with the greatest attention. Their skin is, consequently, fair and beautiful. But women in the lower ranks of life, especially in the country, being from the nature of their employments more exposed to the scorching rays of the sun, are, in their complexions, remarkably tawny and swarthy. Under such circumstances, a high value would of course be set, by the eastern ladies, upon the fairness of their complexions, as a distinguishing mark of their superior quality, no less than as an enhancement of their beauty. We perceive therefore, how natural was the bride's self-abasing reflection in Cant. i. 5, 6, respecting her tawny complexion, (caused by exposure to servile employments,) among the fair daughters of Jerusalem; who, as attendants on a royal marriage, (we may suppose) were of the highest ranks.” VIII. To change habits and wash one's clothes were ceremonies used by the Jews, in order to dispose them for some holy action which required particular purity. Jacob, after his return from Mesopotamia, required his household to change their garments, and go with him to sacrifice at Bethel. (Gen. xxxv. 2, 3.) Moses commanded the people to dispose themselves for the reception of the law by purifying and washing their clothes. (Exod. xix. 19.) On the other hand, the rending of one's clothes is an expression fiequently used in Scripture, as a token of the highest grief. Reuben was the first we read of, who, to denote his great sorrow for Joseph, rent his clothes (Gen. xxxvii. 29.); Jacob did the like (ver, 34.); and Ezra, to express the concern and uneasiness of his mind, and the apprehensions he entertained of the divine displeasure, on account of the people's unlawful marriages, is said to rend his garments and his mantle (Ezra ix. 3.); that is, both his inner and upper garment: this was also an expression of indignation and holy zeal; the high-priest rent his clothes, pretending that our Saviour had spoken blasphemy. (Matt. xxvi. 65.) And so did the apostles, when the people intended to pay them divine honours. (Acts xiv. 14.

1 Dr. Clarke's. Travels, vol. v. p. 320., 8vo, edit. Morier's Second Journey in Persia, p. 145. Ward's History, &c. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. pp. 329. 333. 2 “This is the only place in Egypt, where we saw the women of the town deck. ed out in all their finery. They were of all nations, and of all complexions, and regularly licensed, as in many parts of Europe, to exercise their profession. Some of them were highly painted, and gorgeously attired with costly neck-laces, rings in their noses and in their cars, and bracelets on their wrists and arms They sat at the doors of their houses, and called on the passengers as they went % in the same manner as we read in the book of Proverbs.” Ivi. (-33] (Richardson's Travels, vol. i. p. 200.) The same custom was observed by Pitts, a *oy boore at Cairo. See his account of the Mahometans, p.99, *Fry's Translation of the Song of Solomon, p. 36.

The * of mourning among the Jews were chiefly sackcloth and haircloth. The last sort was the usual clothing of the prophets, for they were continual penitents by profession: and therefore Zechariah speaks of the rough garments of the false prophets, which they also wore to deceive. (Zech. xiii. 4.) Jacob was the first we read of that put sackcloth on his loins, as a token of mourning for Joseph (Gen. xxxvii. 34.), signifying thereby that since he had lost his beloved son, he considered himself as reduced to the meanest and lowest condition of life.

IX. A prodigious number of sumptuous and magnificent habits was in antient times regarded as a necessary and indispensable part of their treasures. Horace, speaking of Lucullus (who had pillaged Asia, and first introduced Asiatic refinements among the Romans), says, that, some persons having waited upon him to request the loan of a hundred suits out of his wardrobe for the Roman stage, he exclaimed—“A hundred suits! how is it possible for me to furnish such a number : . However, I will look over them and send you what I have.”—After some time, he writes a note, and tells them he had five thousAND, to the whole or part of which they were welcome."

This circumstance of amassing and ostentatiously displaying in wardrobes numerous and superb suits, as indispensable to the idea of wealth, and forming a principal part of the opulence of those times, will elucidate several passages of Scripture. The patriarch Job, speaking of riches in his time, says:–Though they heap up silver as the dust, and prepare raiment as the clay. (Job xxvii. 16.) Joseph gave his brethren changes of raiment, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment. (Gen. xlv. 22.)” In allusion to this custom our Lord when describing the short duration and perishing nature of earthly treasures, represents them as subject to the depredations of moth. Lay not up for yourselves TREASUREs on earth where moth and rust do corrupt. (Matt. vi. 19.) The illustrious apostle of the Gentiles, when appealing to the integrity and fidelity with which he had discharged his sacred office, said—I have coveted no man's gold, or silver, or Appanel. (Acts xx. 33.) The apostle James, likewise, (just in the same manner as the Greek and Roman writers, when they are particularising the opulence of those times) specifies gold, silver, and garments, as the constituents of riches.—Go to now, ye rich men; weep and howl for your miseries that shall come upon you. Your gold and silver is cankered, and your GARMENTs are moth-eaten. (i. v. 2, 3.) It appears from Psal. xlv. 8. that the wardrobes of the East were plentifully perfumed with aromatics: and in Cant. iv. 11. the fragrant odour of the bride's garments is compared to the odour of Lebanon. With robes thus perfumed Rebecca furnished her son Jacob, when she sent him to obtain by stratagem his father's blessing. And he (Isaac) smell. ed the smell (or fragrance) of his raiment and blessed him, and said, See the smell of my son is as the smell of a field which the Lond hath blessed. (Gen. xxvii. 27.) In process of time, this exquisite fragrance was figuratively applied to the moral qualities of the mind; of which we have an example in the Song of Solomon, i. 3.

| Horat. Epist. lib. i. ep. 6. ver. 40–44.

* Presenting garments is one of the modes of complimenting persons in the East, See several illustrative instances in Burder's Oriental Literature, vol. i. pp. 93, 94.


Like the fragrance of thine own sweet perfumes
Is thy name, -a perfume poured forth.”

Dr. Good has quoted the following passage from Moschus, in which the same idea occurs with singular exactness: — row apoporos oëpm TeX0St Kat Atipwros exauvvro Aapov airpmy. Idyl. B. 91 Whose heavenly fragrance far exceeds The fragrance of the breathing meads. Dr. Good's Translation of Solomon's Song, p. 123. 2 Dr. Good's version.


I. Marriage accounted a Sacred Obligation by the Jews.-II. Polywamy ..". of Concubines.—III. Nouptial Contract, and Espousals.-IV. Nuptial Ceremonies.—W. Divorces.

1. MARRIAGE was considered by the Jews as a matter of the strictest obligation. They understood literally and as a precept, these words uttered to our first parents, be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. (Gen. i. 28.) The prospect they had, and their continual expectation of the coming of the Messiah, added great weight to this obligation. Every one lived in the hopes that this great blessing should attend their posterity; and therefore they thought themselves bound to further the expectance of him, by adding to the race of mankind, of whose seed he was to be born, and whose happiness he was to promote, by that temporal kingdom for which they looked upon his appearance.

Hence celibacy was esteemed a great reproach in Israel: for, besides that they thought none could live a single life without great danger of sin, they esteemed it a counteracting of the divine counsels in the promise, that the seed of the woman should bruise the head of the serpent. On this account it was that Jephthah's daughter deplored her virginity, because she thus deprived her father of the hopes which he might entertain from heirs procreated by her, by whom his name might survive in Israel, and consequently, of his expectation of havin the Messiah to come of his seed, which was the general desire of all the Israelitish women. For the same reason also sterility was re

arded among the Jews (as it is to this day among the modern

£j as one of the greatest misfortunes that could befal any woman, insomuch that to have a child, though the woman immediately died thereupon, was accounted a less affliction than to have none at all : and to this purpose we may observe, that the midwife comforts Rachel in her labour (even though she knew her to be at the point of death) in these terms, fear not, for thou shalt bear this son also. (Gen. xxxv. 17.)

From this expectation proceeded their exactness in causing the brother of a husband, who died without issue, to marry the widow he left behind, and the disgrace that attended his refusing so to do: for as the eldest son of such a marriage became the adopted child of the deceased, that child and the posterity flowing from him, were, by a fiction of law, considered as the real offspring and heirs of the deceased brother. This explains the words of Isaiah, that seven women should take hold of one man, o we will eat our own bread, and wear our own apparel, only let us be called by thy name to take away our reproach. (Isa. iv. o This was the reason also why the Jews commonly married very young. A virgin was ordinarily married at the age of puberty, that is, twelve years complete, whence her husband is called the guide of her youth (Prov. ii. 17.), and the husband of her youth (Joel i. 8.); and the not giving of maidens in marriage is in Psal. lxxviii. 63. represented as one of the effects of the divine anger towards Israel. In like manner, among the Hindoos, the delaying of the marriage of daughters is to this day regarded as a great calamity and disgrace." II. From the first institution of marriage it is evident that God gave but one woman to one man : and if it be a true, as it is a common observation, that there are every where more males than females born in the world, it follows that those men certainly act contrary to the laws both of God and nature, who have more than one wife at the same time. But though God, as supreme lawgiver, had a power to dispense with his own laws, and actually did so with the Jews for the more speedy peopling of the world, yet it is certain there is no such toleration under the Christian dispensation, and therefore their example is no rule at this day. The first who violated this primitive law of marriage was Lamech, who took unto him two wives. (Gen. iv. o Afterwards we read that Abraham had concubines. (Gen. xxv. 6. And his practice was followed by the other patriarchs, which at last grew to a most scandalous excess in Solomon's and Rehoboam's days. The word concubine in most Latin authors, and even with us at this day, signifies a woman, who, though she be not married to a man, yet lives with him as his wife: but in the sacred writings it is understood in another sense. There it means a lawful wife, but of a lower order and of an inferior rank to the mistress of the family; and therefore she had equal right to the marriage-bed with the chief wife (Gen. xxix. 14–16.); and her issue was reputed legitimate in opposition to bastards; but in all other respects these concubines were inferior to the primary wife : for they had no authority in the family, nor any share in household government. If they had been servants in the family, before they came to be concubines, they continued to be so afterwards, and in the same subjection to their mis. tress as before. The dignity of these primary wives gave their children the preference in the succession, so that the children of concubines did not inherit their father's fortune, except upon the failure of the children by these more honourable wives; and therefore it was, that the father commonly provided for the children by

* The most importunate applicants to Dr. Richardson for medical advice, were those who consulted him on account of sterility, which in Egypt (he says) is still tonsidered the greatest of all evils. “The unfortunate couple believe that they are bewitched, or under the curse of heaven, which they fancy the physician has the power to remove. It is in vainthat he declares the insufficiency of the healing art to take away their . Thej hang round, dunning and importuning him, for the love of God, to prescribe for them, that they may have children like othorpeo, ple: 'Give one children, or I die, said the fretful Sarah to her husband; ‘Give me children, or I curse you,' say the barren Egyptians to their physicians.” Dr. Rich-, ardson's Travels along the Mediterranean, &c. vol. ii. p. 106.

* Ward's History, &c. of the Hindoos, vol. ii. p. 327.

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