Imatges de pàgina

Laws against false witness. He foundation of them is in that of the decalogue, False wit, .

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbour Yonefs. Wherein we shall only observe, that the word which our versions render speak, fignifies, according to the original, to answer to an interrogation, such as the judges exacted from persons summoned to give evidence in any cases that came before them, either by oath, or bare examination. The judges were bound to abide by the testimony of two or three witnesses, especially in capital cases, a single one not being fufficient to condemn any man? (C).

Laws against coveting another's property. THE

HE tenth precept of the decalogue, Thou shalt not

covet thy neighbour's house, wife, &ca, is justly esteemed, by the Jewish doctors, the prop and foundation of all the other laws of the second table, and he that observes this, is in no danger of breaking the rest. Whether

* Exod. xx. 16. xxiii. 2. Deut. v. 20. z Deut. xvii. 6. · Exod. xx. 17. Deut. v. 21. The person so oppressed might death, as was hinted before, let appeal to the judge, and he the case in question be what it cause them to be restored : but would. It required, besides, of we do not find, that any other the judges, that they should be punishment was ordain'd against very strict in examining the witthe delinquent (46). We omit nesses (49), their character, and several other laws of the same the nature of the evidence ; in nature, which the reader may order to prevent, as far as por. fęe among their negative pre: fible, the guilty being acquitted, cepts (47)

or the innocent condemned. (C) To deter men, therefore, The Talmudists have collected as much as poflible, from giving several laws relating to the duty false evidence, the law con- of judges, which lie dispersed demned a false witness to the in the writings of Moses, and fame punishment which he added several very judicious exwouid have indicted on the in- positions, for which we shall nocent (48); and if examined refer the reader to the authors, upon oath, and proved for- themselves (50). fworn, he was to be put to (46) Deut. xxiv. 10. 17,

(47) Vid. præc. 150, ad 196,8 (48. Deut. xix. 15, 16,6 seq. (49) Ibid, ver. 18. (50) Tract. sanbedr. Maim. i: eund. præc. neg. 194. ad 218.


& seq.

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the antient Jews understood it in that strict and refined sense which the gospel doth, or only of such overt acts as tended to the procuring of ariy thing by unlawful means, is not easy to determine. The Talmudifts, however, condemn by it the very desire formed and indulged in the heart, though it doth not proceed to actione.

An abridgment of some other mixed laws relating to

food, raiment, planting, sowing, decency, and cleanness; and of such diseases as excluded men

from common society. 1.0F all the food prohibited by the Mofaic law, blood

may be reckoned in the first place, that prohibition being as old as the delugef: for God, having, immediately after it, given Noah the liberty of eating the flesh of animals, as is most generally supposed &, forbad, at the same

time, under very severe threatenings, the eating not only Against the blood itself, but the flesh, also, mixed with it; that is, cating of of any animal, either strangled, or killed by any other way blood.

than by drawing the blood thoroughly from it (D). Accordingly, we find it no less exprefly forbidden by Moses, in several places, not only to the Israelites, but to the strangers that lived among them h, even under pain of death. • Vid. præc. neg. 158.

f Gen. ix. 4, & feq.

go Vid. sup. vol. i. p. 259.

h Levit. xvii. 10, & feq. Deut. xii. 23, & seq.

(D) The reason given in the was not only enforced by the text is, that blood is the life of Mofaic law, but, also, retained the animal; by which is meant, by the gospel, and injoined to that no animal can live without its profelytes from Gentilism(51). it. But it is not improbable,that This law, we are told, by a the end and design of this pro- modern traveller (52), is fill hibition was, that it might be a strictly observed by some eastern kind of acknowlegement that churches, not, as our author our privilege for killing, and says, by virtue of the law of cating the Relh of those living Mofes, but of the apoftolic cacreatures, is not derived to us non, 'which has been kept, ever from the law of nature, which fince, by the eastern, and, for seems rather to be against it, but several ages, by the western from an express permiffion from church, and confirmed, by fethe author of nature. And this veral councils, from time to seems to be the reason why it time. (51) Vide Aals xv. 28. (52) Ludolph, hiß. Æthiop, l. iii. c. I. num. şi.


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God seems even to put it on the level with facrificing one's seed to Moloch, when he threatens to set his face against him that transgresjes in either case ; which expresfion is not used in any other prohibition : only, under this typical dispensation, God is pleased to give a new reason for this interdiction ; namely, that it is the blood (which is also the life) of the victim, that makes atonement for fin ; pursuant to which, the tabernacle, with all its utenfils, was at first purified with it; the covenant between God and the people was ratified with it, and without blood there could be no remission for fini; all which the apostie fitly applies to that of CHRIST under the gospel k.

Next to the blood, was forbidden likewise the flesh of Unclean, a considerable number of beasts, fowls, fishes, and rep-meats. tiles, which were therefore to be deemed unclean. This distinction, however, of clean and unclean, can hardly be fuppofed to have its origin from the Mofaic law, and to have been used proleptically, when the divine historian mentions it even before the food l : but we shall not repeat what has been said on that subject in another place *; neither shall we enter into a nice scrutiny about those animals thus forbidden, but refer the curious to the learned Bochart's elaborate treatise on that fubjectm, and mention only the general rule which Mofes has given to distinguish the clean from the unclean », which the reader may

fee in the following note (D).


h Levit. xvii. 11. k Ibid. ver. 13, & feqq.

Hierozoic. past.

i Heb. ix. 22, & alib. paf. 1 Gen. vii. 2. Sup. vol. i. p. 239n Levit. xi, 1, & feqq.

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(D) Of beasts, whatever and yet flew, as the bat. Of did both chew the cud, and fishes, all that had fins and divide the hoof, was to be fcales were lawful, and all that reckoned clean ; and what wanted either were forbidden. ever did not both these, as the Of infects, all that had wings {wine, which divideth the hoof, to raise itself from the earth but doth not chew the cud, might be eaten ; but whatever or Sthe ,camel, hare, rabbeti did only crawl on the earth, which chew the cud, and do was unclean. Lastly, che fat not part the hoof, was for- of the clean beasts was forbidbidden, as unclean. Of fowl, den, not because it was unclean, all carnivorous birds, such as

much less because it is hard of the eagle, vultur, and the digestion ; which is the reason like ; all that had four feet, some authors give for this,



Raiment. Moses has left no positive laws relating to dress, except that which belonged to the priests, of which we have spoken elsewhere, and where he orders the people to wear blue fringes to the borders of their garments, for a remembrance, that they were now no longer to live after their own will, but after the commands of God', As to those of the negative kind, the two most considerable are, those which forbid the promiscuous habit of both sexess, and the weaving of two different ftuffs, such as linen and woolen, in the fame garmentt; the first is supposed to have been designed to prevent the shameful abuses which might attend such' unnatural disguises, and the second to prevent unnatural and dangerous intermixtures, confusion, &c. (E).


8. Ibid. ver. 5

* Numb. xv. 38, 39. Deut. xxii. 12. 1 Ibid, ver. 11.

and blood, and swines, and must be purified, and the perother flesh, being also forbid. fon who touched them was to seeing their laborious life and wash himself, and be unclean healthy constitution made them until evening. A well, howmore capable to digest them, ever, a fountain, or any large than many among ours, and receptacle of water, were not other nations, who lead an in- defiled by it, but only the perdolent life, and yet can eat of fon who took the unclean them all, without any incon- creature out of them (3). venience. But the reason is (E) To the same purpose given in the text, namely, be- are those which relate to lowCause in all facrifices, the fat ing divers feeds, or planting was to be burnt upon the altar, divers kind of trees in the fame as appertaining unto God (1). field; or forbid to plow with The flesh of beasts torn in pieces, a mixture of cattle, such as an or that died of themselves, was ox and an ass (4). , Cleanness likewise forbidden (2). All that and decency, though so neneeds to be further added, with cessary in hot climes, that there respect to unclean animals is, needs hardly any law to enforce that though the touch of them, them, are yet injoined by while alive, was not defiling, Mofes under severe penalties, yet that of their carcases was ; as well as the neglect of those insomuch that even the vessels proper ceremonies, which he and liquors, into which it fell, had injoined to those who had were made unclean by it; the li- laboured under any defilement, quors were to be thrown away; in order to their purification. the vessels, whatever they were, We have already spoken of this

(1) Vide Levit. iii. 14, & fe97 (2) Exod. xxii. 31. Levit. xvii. 15. (3) Ibid. xi. 32, & feqq. (4) Deüt. xxii. 9, & feqq.


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But, of all the diseases mentioned in the last note, the leprosy was reckoned the most defiling (F); for which

Leprofy. reason

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latter under another head, and more corrosive and dangerous
shall only mention the chief of nature in hot climates than in
the former : they were such as cold ones. They observe three
forbid, all matrimonial com- kinds, or rather degrees of it.
merce for one certain time af- The first of these, namely,
ter, child-birth; during the whilft it is, as it were, in its
monthly periods, or after any infancy, may be easily cured :
accidental weakness of that the second, when it has com-
kind ; in men, nocturnal pol- municated itself to the blood,
lutions, running fores, ulcers, cannot be mastered without
gonorrheas, and such-like; great difficulty, and a long re-
whatever was touched by any gimen of diet and physic: the
person fo defiled, whether laft, which is when it is grown
chair, bed, table, or any other inveterate, and has fixed itself,
utensil, was also to be deemed and corroded the folid parts, is
unclean, and to defile those that reckoned incurable. However,
touched them; and all were to Monsieur Tournefort, who had
be purified according to the seen it in the Levant, thinks
law." In both sexes likewise, it rather a kind of venereal
the touching of a dead body, disease; and that, if taken in
cárcase, or any unclean thing, time, it might be cured by the
had the same effect.

same method. But be that as
(F) Moses distinguishes three it will, it is certain, that this
forts of leprosy, namely, that leprosy must have been suffi-
of the body, garments, and of ciently known by the Israelites
houses. The first of these is in Egypt, since Moses speaks
a cuticular disease, not unlike both of the disease and its
an invecerate itch or scurvy, marks, as of things which
which occafions a violent itch-

were plain and obvious.
ing pain ; and whether caused The leprosy of the garments
by some prolific animalcula is supposed to have been owing
communicated by the touch, or to some defect in the manage-
by corrosive vitrioline falts ment of the wool, kins, and
(though the former seems the stuffs, of which they were
most probable), will in time made ; those manufactures be-
corrode the flesh, even to the ing then very imperfect. The
bone. We shall not difguft our heat of the climate, and per-
readers with repeating the haps many other things, might
marks which he gives of that contribute still more towards it.
diftemper (42); nor with what Mofes has likewise described
some physicians have wrote the marks of this kind of le-
concerning it; but only ob- profy: they were spots, either
serve, that it is of a much of a reddish or greenish hues

(42) Vide Levit. xiii. per 106, ·

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