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tration of the Jews to that one case of defilement by a dead body, it checked a tendency to other lustrations; and, by employing the ashes of the red heifer mixed in water, it had the double effect of dishonouring the sacred animal of the Egyptians, and undermining their veneration for the water accounted sacred by the Ibis and by magic. It is scarcely necessary to add, that by this sprinkling of a solution of the ashes of the red heifer in water, on persons defiled by a dead body, there was,

a on the one hand, a lesson given them of sanctity for the Tabernacle and Temple, since none who were polluted could enter that holy place; and, on the other, a mean of preventing the spread of contagion, which, in warm climates, becomes exceedingly active after death.

Having thus treated of the burning the red heifer, and the application of its ashes for the purification of those who had been defiled by the dead, let us next attend to the manner in which they administered the waters of jealousy to the suspected wife. In Numbers v. 11, &c. we have a simple, solemn, and

v delicate line of conduct prescribed for the wife, who, whether justly or unjustly, had fallen under the jealousy of her husband. He was to bring her to the priest, with an offering of barley without oil or frankincense; and the priest was to bring her near before the Lord, take holy water in an earthen vessel, mix some of the dust that was on the floor of the Tabernacle with the water, uncover the woman's head, and put the offering of jealousy in her hand. In this solemn condition was he to state to her the nature and consequences of her offence, if guilty ; viz. that, by drinking the water thus prepared, her “ belly would swell, and her thigh rot," and she would be a curse and an oath among her people: but if she was innocent, she had nothing to fear; adding, at the same time, that, in token of her acquiescence in these consequences, she must give her assent, by repeating these words, Amen, Amen. When this was given, the curse and her assent were written in a book, and afterwards blotted out with the bitter water, a part of which, in that state, was given her to drink. Then the matter was referred to God, as the searcher of hearts, by taking the jealousy-offering from the woman's hand, waving it before the Lord, and offering it upon the altar: after which the matter ended, by giving her the remainder of the water to drink ; leaving the event with Him who had instituted such a mean to prevent impropriety and criminality of conduct in the married state. This was the original mode of procedure, before the introduction of tradition; but, as it may not be unpleasing to notice its effect in corrupting this appointment of Heaven, we shall add the manner in which it was observed in the days of our Saviour.

If a husband, in consequence of previous suspicions, should charge his wife in the presence of two witnesses, saying, “ See thou speak not to such an one,” although she was so imprudent as to do it, she was still free to live with her husband. But if she went into that man's company, and remained with him alone in a suspected place, she was forbidden, by the traditions, the company of her husband; and he was enjoined to bring her before the Lesser Sanhedrin, or council of twenty-three, that happened to be the nearest; who, in their turn, sent them both to the Great Sanhedrin at Jerusalem, accompanied by two of the scholars of the wise, to prevent them from having any intimacy on the road, and to report the conduct of the inferior court to the

superior. But when arrived there, what did they? Did they suppose the woman innocent till they found her guilty, and treat her accordingly with humanity and delicacy? No: they terrified her with dreadful words to make her confess guilt; and if she confessed it, she was made to tear her matrimonial certificate, and depart from the council, which was equal to a divorce. But if she persisted in her innocence, “ they brought her," says the Talmud, through the east gates that are before the gate Nicanor;" that is, they must have brought her from the chamber of Gezith, which was situated in the south-east corner of the Court of Israel, along the Sacred Fence, which was on the south side of the Court of the Women, for two hundred cubits, till they came to the east gate of the Court of the Women, that was called Beautiful; where, as Rambam, upon the

passage above quoted, expounds it, “ they dragged her up and down the stairs of these gates, to bring her by weariness and fainting to confession.” If she still persisted, these Jewish inquisitors had other methods still in reserve: for she was then taken one hundred and thirtyfive cubits farther, or through the whole length of the Court of the Women, and set in the gate Nicanor, where the priest, who was to put her to the trial, took hold of her; publicly tore that part of her garments which covered her bosom, till she was exposed as far down as the heart; stripped her of her white raiment, if she chanced to have such, and clothed her in black; unloosed the tresses of her hair, and made it hang dishevelled on her shoulders ; removing any rings or jewels which she might be wearing; tied a cord around her body across her breasts in this exposed state, and whoever chose (excepting her own servants,) might come and gaze at her. Church censures, in some of the Christian churches, are often condemned as making women profligate, by destroying the remains of female delicacy, and that excellent barrier of female virtuema sense of character; but these are trifles compared with those of the Jews.


Let us, however, hear the conclusion of this singular trial. Persisting in her innocence, the jealousy-offering was put into her hand in a wicker basket; a little water

a was taken from the laver in an earthen vessel; some dust was taken from under the flag in the five cubit space, between the porch of the Temple and the Holy Place, and mixed with it; the curse, mentioned in Num. v. 19—22, was uttered; both it and her response were recorded in a book; they were then blotted out with the bitter water, and afterwards given her to drink. If she was afraid to drink the water, and confessed her guilt, the officiating priest poured it out, and scattered her offering among the ashes that lay below the ascent to the altar. If she refused, and yet would not confess, she was forced to take the bitter draught. If she drank the water, pursuant to the Mosaic statute, her offering was presented before the Lord, and herself dismissed as in God's hands. Nothing, perhaps, can give a more striking picture of the state of morals among the Jews, than the above alterations in the divine injunction. It is probable, that, in the first ages, these direct appeals to the Searcher of hearts were never in vain, and that guilty persons were visibly punished : but it is not equally probable, that, when corrupted by tradition, the Divine Being would give so visible a decision. Indeed, the Jews themselves seem to confess this, for they tell us, that “the operation of these waters was not immediate, but followed after, though sometimes it did not appear for two or three years; for she bare no children, became sickly, languid, and in the end died.” It is not for us to deny the truth of this assertion; but a medical person could easily shew how all these effects might have been produced by the previous treatment, although water had never been tasted.




The Passover.

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Fixed by the appearance of the new moon in March; the way the Sanhedrin

took to know this ; the times when the couriers went through the land; all the males bound to appear, with a few exceptions ; the fifteen days of preparation; three reasons assigned as the origin of the passover; manner of observing it under the Tabernacle and first Temple; lessons it taught the spiritual-minded Jews. The manner of observing it in our Saviour's days; the choice of the lambs; searching for leaven; the evening sacrifice, when killed to make room for the passover; the paschal societies, and regulations of the Sanhedrin concerning; hour at which they brought the lambs to the Temple to be killed; the three companies they formed; their manner of killing them ; the part of the lesser Hallel that was sung ; manner of singing it; the eighteen days of the year on which it was sung. Probable number of paschal lambs; the number of blasts of the silver trumpets during the killing of them ; the Court of the Priests washed when done ; regulations when the passover happened to fall on the sabbath. The paschal lambs how roasted; when and how eaten. The first cup of wine and water: prayer over it; size of the cup; the first washing of hands; manner of doing it; form of prayer during the operation. The five dishes that were brought to the table ; the bitter herbs and sauce tasted; the dishes removed, and why; the dishes brought back, with the prayers on their return. The second cup of wine and water, and second washing of hands; the unleavened bread and bitter herbs dipped in the sauce and eaten ; the prayer pronounced on the occasion; the meat and peace-)fferings eaten, with the prayer before. The paschal lamb eaten, with the prayer before it. The Apicumen, or last piece. The third washing of hands, and third cup of wine and water. The fourth cup, and the rest of the Hallel. The president's concluding prayer. A fifth cup sometimes taken but seldom. Then the great Hallel sung; what it consisted of. Passover of the second month described. Paschal feast lasted eight days; the first seen already. The duties of the second day, or first of the passover week. On that day Christ was crucified; the circumstances attending that event considered. The duties of the second day of the passover week; manner of cutting down and presenting the first-fruits of the barley harvest; Christ


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