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CLEAN AND UNCLEAN,
An Attempt to explain to Christians the Wisdom, Morality, and Use of that Institution.
IN TWO PARTS,
He is not a Few which is one outwardly,
Rom. ii, 28.
T being difficult to foresee what a Reader will expect from the title of this Disquisition, it may be useful to inform him, that while I was revolving the matter of it in my mind many years ago, I was curious to know how the subject, according to my own sense of it, would appear to a Jew. It was not long before an opportunity offered. I met with a young man of that persuasion, who having been engaged with a printer at Amsterdam, for the Hebrew language, was something of a scholar, and appeared to have a good command of the Old Testament in his memory, with as much freedom of speech and ingenuity as is to be met with amongst that sort of people.
To this person I applied myself; and when I had satisfied my curiosity, I committed to paper the particulars of our Conversation, with which I shall here present the Reader, that he may understand the design of the following sheets. But then I must request him
not to blame me, if I do not make my Jew more sensible than I found him; and also if I take the liberty of exhibiting our discourse in its natural terms, though more agreeable to the familiarity of a private conversation, than to the formality of a deliberate treatise.
Christian. You Jews have a great aversion to Swine's flesh: pray tell me what is your reason for it?
Because it is forbidden in our Law.
Christian. But why was it forbidden? what harm is there in it?
Jew. Because the Swine does not chew the cud.
Jew. Sir, you know it is so ordered in our Law; it was God Almighty's will, and we are not obliged to account for it.
Chr. But if the Laws of God are not unreasonable in themselves, you should consider their intention. The service of reason is surely more acceptable to God than the service of ignorance; which is like that of the Beasts, who obey the will of their Creator without knowing what they do. One would wonder how any rational creature can be zealous in the observation of such a service.