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Oriental nations was borrowed from the CHAP. hieroglyphical method of writing; or whether the reverse be more confonant with truth, it is not material at present to inquire. It is fufficient for us, that, from whatever fource the custom might originate, the Afiatics perpetually veiled the most fimple ideas in a poetical drefs; and made use of fenfible objects to represent mental qualities. Such appears to be the most natural origin of that peculiar character, which belongs almoft exclufively to Eastern poetry. This ftyle of writing, corrected and chaftened by the operations of the Holy Spirit, is used by all the ancient prophets. The allegorical descriptions of Daniel, the energetic effufions of Ifaiah, and the plaintive numbers of Jeremiah, all partake of the genius of the country, in which they were compofed. When the Almighty is pleased to vouchsafe his.communications to mankind, he does not difdain to use the peculiarities of their fanguage, and to accommodate himself to their usual mode of fpeaking.

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Upon this principle, the ceremonial Law of Mofes appears to have been delivered to the Ifraelites. Ideas are clothed, as it

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SECT. were, with a bodily fubftance; and those II. things, which are comprehended by the intellect alone, are brought before the eyes in a kind of fenfible delineationa.

a The fame interpretation is given, according to Eufebius, by the High-Prieft Eleazar. Μη γας εις τον καταπεπτωκότα λόγον εισελθης, ὅτι μυιων και γαλής, η των τοιούτων χαριν περιεργεσίας ποιούμενος ενομοθετεί ταυτα Μωσης, αλλα προς άγνην επίσκεψιν, και τροπων εξαρτισμον, δικαιοσύνης ἕνεκα σεμνως παντα ανατετακται. Των γαρ πελεινων οἷς χρωμεθα, πανία ήμερα καθεστ τηκε, και διαφέρει καθαριότητι, πυροις και οσπριοις χρωμενα προς τρόφην, οἷον, περισεραι, τρυγονες, απαγαι, περδικες, ἔτι δὲ χήνες, και τα αλλα όσα τοιαυτα. Περι ὧν δε απηγορείται πελεινων, εὑρήσεις αγρια τε και σαρκοφαγα, και καλαδυναςευονία τη περι αυτα δυναμει τα λοιπα, και την τροφην εχοντα την δαπανησιν των προειρημένων ήμερων μέλα αδικίας. Ου μόνον δε ταία, αλλα και τις αρνάς και ερίφες αρπαζεσι, και τες ανθρωπες δε αδίκεσι, νεκρες τε και ζωνίας. Παράσημον εν εθετο δια τύτων, ακαθαρία προονομασας, ότι δε εςι κατα ψυχήν, οἷς ἡ νομοθεσια διατετακίαι, δικαιοσύνη συγχρησθαι, και μηδενα καλαδυνασεύειν πεποιθοτας ισχυΐ τῇ ἑαυίων, μηδ' αφαι φεισθαι μηδ ̓ ἑν, αλλ' εκ δικαιοτατου βιε διακυβέρναν, ὡς τα των προειρημένων πέλεινων ημερα ζωα, τα φυομενα των οσπριων επί γης δαπανᾳ, και ου καταδυνασεύει προς την επαναίρεσιν, ούτε των βεβηκότων, ούτε των συγγενών-Το γαρ διχηλευειν και διασελλειν όπλης ονυχας, σημειον εςι τε διασελλειν έκατα των πραξεων επι το καλως εχον. Η γαρ ισχυς των ὅλων σωμάτων μετα ενεργειας, απαρεισιν επί τες ωμος εχει και τα σκέλη. Μετα διαςολής εν άπαντα επιτελειν προς δικαιοσυνην αναγκάζει το σημειούσθαι δια τώτων. Præp. Evang. lib. viii. c. 9.

It is remarkable, that fome of the Pythagorean prohibitions are explained by Hierocles in a precisely fimilar manner. Διο και εν τοις συμβολικοις παραγγελμασι επιτατετο τινων αποχή, μείζονα μὲν καὶ καθολικότερον εχεσαν τον προηγέμενον νουν. ἑπομένως δε και το μερικε τότε απειργεσα, οὗ αν την μνημην ἑκατοῖς



That, which is a metaphor or an alle- CHAP. gory in the writings of the Prophets, becomes a practical hieroglyphic in the due performance of the Levitical ordinances. The mysteries of the fpiritual world are represented by their correfponding natural objects; and future events are darkly exhibited in the fignificant rites of the Mofaical difpenfation. Without this key to unlock the hidden meaning of the Pentateuch, the whole ritual contained in it will be utterly unintelligible; and will feem to confift only of a burthenfome round of unmeaning ceremonies. But when confidered, according to the rules of Oriental compofition, as an allegorical or hieroglyphical description of certain future tranfactions, the wonderful contrivance and wifdom of the whole inftitution will be apparent.

ποιείται· οἷον, μηραν ζω: μη εσθίειν. Τετο δὲ οὕτωσι λεγόμενον, ενος τινος αφισησιν ήμας των περι γην, και τετου σμικροτατου" εαν δε εις το πολυνουν της Πυθαγορικης βαθύτητος απιδης, την όλην της γενέσεως αποχην, δ ενος τινος αισθητου διδαχθηση--Κατα δὲ τον αυτον λόγον, και το θνησιμαίων απέχεσθαι δειν, θεωρήσωμεν το μεν όλον της θνητης φυσεως απειργειν ήμας ηδη δε και της των αθετών και ανιερων σαρκων μεταλήψεως· δίκαιον γαρ των συμβολικων νουθέτησεων και το προφερομενον φυλατίειν, και το εισω νούμενον. Εκ γαρ της συνεχές τε φαινομενου τηρήσεως ή των μειζόνων μελεταίαι κατορ θωσις. HIERON. in Aur. Carm. Pythag. ver. 67.


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The different ceremonial obfervances of the heathens were generally commemorative of benefits conferred upon them by their deified ancestors; and the rites ufed upon these occafions were emblematical of the obligations, which they had received. Of this nature was the Egyptian festival defcriptive of the lofs and the finding of Ofiris; and the Syrian rites performed in remembrance of the death and revival of Thammuz. The flight and difperfion of fome powerful and ancient tribe was handed down to pofterity by the emblem of the hero-gods being forced to take fhelter under the difguife of various animals which animals, we accordingly find, are for the most part defcriptive of the imaginary attributes of those deities. And in the fingular ceremonies of the Egyptian Baris, the prefervation of mankind from the waters of the deluge is obfcurely reprefented. In all these cases, the observance bore a certain analogy and resemblance to the event which occafioned it; but it was conftantly more or lefs fashioned upon the plan of hieroglyphical representation.

b Bryant's Anal. vol. iii. p. 248.
Ibid. vol. ii. p. 218.



Now, if it may be permitted to com- CHAP. pare profane things with facred, the ordinances of the Mofaical difpenfation are the converse of the Pagan festivals; the latter are commemorative of past, the former are emblematical of future events. To fay, that the heathen ceremonies were entirely arbitrary, and totally unconnected with matters of fact, would juftly be deemed an unwarrantable affertion. But much more fo would be the belief, that an allwife God appointed the ritual of the Jewish church, without any determinate meaning and defign. It is utterly incredible, that those obfervances fhould effentially, and per fe, be pleafing to the Almighty, who is a fpirit, and must therefore be worshipped in spirit and truth. Though fome may probably have been enjoined with a view of more effectually feparating the Ifraelites from their idolatrous neighbours, yet this is far from being the case with them all; and unless a fatisfactory account of their meaning can be given, it is in vain to attempt to reconcile fuch an inftitution to reafon.

Revelation, however, fully explains itself with regard to this matter. Scripture will

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