Imatges de pàgina

This year was to be celebrated with the greatest tokens of joy, because it was designed to put them in mind of their Egyptian servitude, and to prevent their imposing the like on their brethren. But, whatever joy the masters and land-holders might outwardly express, we need not doubt but that of the flaves and poor was fincere, at the thoughts of their approaching deliverance. 'Tis truç, this was not to take place till the tenth day of the month, otherwise called the day of expiation, which was therefore kept as a solemn fast; but, during the nine preceding days, the flaves were wholly exempt froin doing any work for their masters, and spent that time in eating, drinking, and other diverfions, and wore garlands about their heads, as the Romans did during their saturnalia ; and, as foon as the tenth day was: come, the lanhedrin caused the trumpet' to found all over the land , upon which they were restored to their hiberty at that very instant, and the rest to their possessions.

• Vide MAIM, halak shemita veyobel. was to be the jubiler, it will rest, he uses only that sound follow, that the land must have number to express the uneven had two fabbaths, or lain fal- one of forty-nine. There is low two years, which is thought indeed hardly any other way of an unreasonable supposition, reconciling the difference of since, without a miracle, it Mofes's expreffions; and one mult, in all likelihood, have may add, that as the folemnity caused a dearth in the land. began on the firit month of the This Cunaus insists very much civil, which was the seventh upon, in favour of the forty- of the sacred year, it might ninth year, though he passes be called indifferently the farby the great difficulty above. ty-ninth, or fiftieth year, withmentioned, as of no weight; out any contradiction or disbut we think this objection of culty. What convinces us furthe gwo concurring fabbaths ther, that this is more than may be more easily answered, bare conjecture, is, that Mofes For, in the first place, those makes use of the same calcuwho are for the fiftieth year, lation for the feast of pentecoft. do rightly enough observe, The analogy which seven that there is no necessity for weeks of days bear to seven supposing, that the land refted weeks of years, is obvious to two years, seeing the law- every understanding : now, as giver's intention, seems fully it is plain, that the pentecost answered by the repose of one, did not begin on the forty: and that upon the account of ninth, but on the fiftieth day, ics being labbatical ; and that so we fee no reason why the therefore when Mofes fays, that same may not be allowed with the fiftieth hell bc a year of respect to the jubilee.

"It is plain, the defign of this ordinance was to prevent the too great oppression of the poor, as well as their being liable to a perpetual Navery. By this means also their lawgiver restrained the rich from accumulating Jands upon lands, and preserved, as much as possible, the freedom and order of lfraelitis families, and a kind of equality with respect to their possessions, than which nothing could more effectually inspire them with a particular fondness for their country and patrimony, whilst they knew, that this last could never be alienated from their posterity above the space of half a century at the most. ·

Expia. Th


Expiation-day, or day of atonement. THIS is the last solemn day, that was of divine insti

tution. It differed from all the rest, in that they were days of joy and thanksgiving ; but this, a day of fafting, humiliation, and confession of sins, and the only one of that kind of divine appointment", if we except that occasional one, which God injoined the Israelites, after their setting up the golden calf € (S), but which we

do & Levit. xxiii. 26, & fega.

• Exod. xxxiii. 4, & feqq.

(S) And yet we do not find (59), and many others, shews one word of fasting on that it to have been discovered by folemn occasion of humiliation, the light of reason ; but benor even on tbis day of expia- cause the very course of nature tion, unless we suppose it to seems to give it a fanction; for be implied in the words, af- when men are visited with any filling your souls. However, it sensible affliction, or threatened would be absurd to deny, that with any immediate danger, it fafting had been in use long never fails of palling the apbefore Moses's time, because he petite, and inclining them to has not taken notice of its faft. And what evinces that being practised by any of the this practice was well known old patriarchs ; or, that it was among the Israelites, is, the not intended as part of solemn many instances which we meet humiliation, because it is not with from Moses's time. Thus, expressed in so many words. after their unexpected defeat The contrary seems rather to before Hai, Joshua and all the follow from his filence, not elders of lfrael continued proonly because the early cufton Atráte before the ark from of fafting among the beathens morning till night without eatapon all particular occafione, ing or drinking (60); the same 29 in the case of the Ninevites was practised by the eleven

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do not find to have been made annual by. Moses, or observed by the people till after the captivity, when they became so religious, that they appointed as many fasts for the miscarriages and misfortunes that had happened to their nation before it, as filled near the fourth part of their calendar f ; but this is not the proper place to speak of them. Those who conjecture, that this expiation-day was ordained in memory of the golden calf, limit the de sign of it too much, seeing it appears rather instituted to expiate the sins of the whole nation, both public and private, but more paracularly those of the foregoing year. This is to be plainly inferred from the name which Moses gives it (T), as well as from the confession of fins, and other remarkable ceremonies, which he injoined to be used on that day, of which we are now going to speak.

f Vide Mishn. megillatk tahanith, per tot. LAMY, CAL.

MET, & al.

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tribes upon another occasion the day of expiations or atone(61); by all the people at ments ; because on that day Mizpeb, in token of their re

atonement made pentance for having served for the fins of the whole fore. Bealim, and other strange gods going year, and of the whole (62); and more particularly people. For which reason the by David, in hopes of saving Talmud calls it, by way of exthe life of the child he had got cellence Di', yama, the day ; by Bathsheba (63). And by and perhaps, likewise, from a these, and many more inftances tradition they had, that it was of the like nature, it appears, on that day that Adam began that they not only abstained to repent of his transgression, from eating and drinking, but and God was reconciled to him from all other things that might (65). For the world, and consefresh either the body or mind. fequently our first parents, acAccordingly, the Misana for. cording to them, were created bids these fix things on these on the first day of this month, fix days, eating, drinking, as we have seen before; their bathing or washing, anointing, tranfgression and punishment putting on of shoes or sandals, followed immediately after, and matrimonial intercourse and so, consequently, their re(64); for every one of which pentance ; for which reason they quote one or more prece. Tome of them think, that this dents out of the sacred books. day was appointed in memory

(T) The original calls it of the fall (66). onis or,rom bakiphurim,

(61) Judges XX. 26. (62) Sami vii, 6. (63) 2 San. Xü. 16 (94) Troyoma.

(65) Rab. Eleazar, in Tolmiude, Vick Aberb, coment, is Levil, xxii. (66) Pide vul,... D: 126

Wc We shall say nothing of the typical relation it bears to the grand expiation wrought under the gospel; that being out of our province.

It was to begin on the evening of the ninth day of the seventh month, and to laft till the evening of the tenth, during which time they were obliged to abstain from all labour and pleasure, and to continue in the work of mortification, under the penalty of being cut off from among their people. They were likewise to hold a folemn convocation, to confess their fins, and to offer a peculiar facrifice for them by fire 8.

The high-priest's office on this day was still more for Temn and awful. It was the only time in the whole year on which he was permitted to enter into the most holy place, under pain of sudden death from the LORDh; and therefore he was obliged to prepare himself for this grand ceremony in that extraordinary manner which was prescribed by God himself, as follows: he was first of all to wash himself, not his hands and feet only, as at other times, but his whole body. The Talmud adds, that he was to abftain, during feven whole days, from all matrimonial commerce, and from every thing that might cause an accidental pollution, and thereby render him unfit for this duty i ; secondly, his mitre, breaft-plate, and other priestly ornaments, were to be fet aside on that day, and he only to appear cloathed in linen ; this garb confifted only in a linen mitre or cap, a coat, breeches, and a girdle. He was in the third place to offer, as soon as he came to the holy place, a young bullock for a finoffering, and a ram for a þurnt-offering, for himself and his whole house, confeffing his and their fins over them, After this, he received from some of the heads of the afsembly a couple of kids for a fin-offering, and a ram for a barnt-offering, for the whole congregation. Then were two goats set before the tabernacle, and the highpriest caft lots for them, which of the two should be facrificed on that day, and which fhould be sent away : and this latter was called Hazazel (U), or scape-goat.

He & Levit. xxiï. 27, & feqq.

. Ibid, xvi. 2. | Vide præc. affirm. 209.

(U) We have here followed from Ty, a goat, and 518 to our version, and the generality go, or to escape ; in which of commentators, who dèrive they have followed the Septuathe word SYNTY, Ghazazel, gint, who have rendered is


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