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II.

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 sufficient for us, that, from whatever source the custom might originate, the Asiatics perpetually veiled the most simple ideas in a poetical dress; and made use of sensible objects to represent mental qualities. Such appears to be the most natural origin of that peculiar character, which belongs almost exclusively to Eastern poetry. This style of writing, corrected and chastened by the operations of the Holy Spirit, is used by all the ancient prophets. The allegorical descriptions of Daniel, the energetic effufions of Isaiah, and the plaintive numbers of Jeremiah, all partake of the genius of the country, in which they were composed. 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 speaking.

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

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SECT. were, with a bodily fubftance; and thofe II. things, which are comprehended by the

intellect alone, are brought before the eyes in a kind of sensible delineationa.

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• The fame interpretation is given, according to Eusebius, by the High-Priest Eleazar. Μη γαρ εις τον καλαπεπτωκοτα λογον εισελθης, ότι μυιων και γαλης, η των τοιουτων χαριν περιεργεσιας ποιουμενος ενομοθετει ταυτα Μωσης, αλλα προς αγνην επισκεψιν, και τροπων εξαρτισμoν, δικαιοσυνης ένεκα σεμνως παντα

ετετακίαι. Των γαρ πετεινων οις χρωμεθα, σανlα ημερα καθεστηκε, και διαφερει καθαριοτητι, συροις και οσπριους χρωμενα προς τροφην, οίον, περιφεραι, τρυγονες, ατλαγαν, περδικες, έτι δε χηνες, και τα αλλα οσα τοιαυτα. Περι ών δε απαγορευλαι σέξεινων, ειρησεις αγρια τε και σαρκοφαγα, και καλαδυνατευονία τη σερι αύλα δυναμει τα λοιπα, και την τροφην εχοντα την δαπανησιν των προειρημενων ημερων μελα αδικιας. Ου μονον δε ταυλα, αλλα και τις αρνας και εριφες αρπαζεσι, και της ανθρωπες δε αδικασι, νεκρες τε και ζωνίας. Παρασημον εν εθετο δια τετων, ακαθαρία προονομασας, ότι δε κατα ψυχην, οίς ή νομοθεσια διατετακίαι, δικαιοσυνη συγχρησθαι, και μηδενα καλαδυνωσενειν τεποιθοτας ισχυϊ τη εαυθων, μηδ' αφαιρεισθαι μη9' έν, αλλ' εκ δικαιοτατου βια διακυβερναν, ως τα των προειρημενων σέβεινων ημερα ζωα, τα φυομενα των οσπριων επι γης δαπανα, και ου καταδυναστεύει προς την επαναιρεσιν, ουτε των ισοβεβηκοτων, ουτε των συγγενων-Το γαρ διχηλευειν και διας ελλειν οπλης ονυχας, σημειον εςι τα διατελλειν έκανα των πραξεων επι το καλως έχον.

“Η γαρ ισχυς των ολων σωμαίων μετα ενεργειας, απαρεισιν επι τ8ς ωμές έχει και τα σκελη. Μετα διασολης απαντα επιτελειν προς δικαιοσυνην αναγκαζει, τα σημειουσθαι δια τωτων. Præp. Evang. lib. viii. c. 9.

It is remarkable, that some of the Pythagorean prohibitions are explained by Hierocles in a precisely similar man.

Διο και εν τοις συμβολικoις παραγγελμασι επιτατλετο τινων αποχη, μειζονα μεν και καθολικοτερον εχεσαν τον προηγεμενον νουν: επομενως και το μερικά τοτε απειργάσα, ου αν την μνημην έκασος

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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 spiritual world are represented by their corresponding natural objects ; and future events are darkly exhibited in the significant rites of the Mosaical dispensation. Without 'this key to unlock the hidden meaning of the Pentateuch, the whole ritual contained in it will be utterly unintelligible ; and will seem to consist only of a burthensome round of unmeaning ceremonies. But when considered, according to the rules of Oriental compofition, as an allegorical or hieroglyphical description of certain future transactions, the wonderful contrivance and wisdom of the whole institution will be apparent.

ποιειται οδον, μηραν ζωα μη εσθιειν. Τετο δε ούτωσι λεγομενον, ενος τινος αφισησιν ημας των περι γην, και τετου σμικροτατου" εαν δε εις το πολυνουν της Πυθαγορικης βαθυτητος απιδης, την όλην της γενέσεως αποχην,

δι' ενος τινος αισθητου διδαχθηση-Kατα δε τον αυτον λογον, και το θνησιμαιων απεχεσθαι δειν, θεωρησωμεν το μεν όλον της θνητης φυσεως απειργειν ημας ηδη δε και της των αθυται και αναερων σαρκων μελαληψεως δικαιον γαρ των συμβολικων νουθετησεων και το προφερομενον φυλαττειν, και το εισω νούμενον. Εκ γαρ της συνεχος το φαινομενου τηρησεως ή των μειζονων μελεταίαι κατορθωσις. HIERON. in Aur. Carm. Pythag. ver. 67.

The

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The different ceremonial observances of the heathens were generally commemorative of benefits conferred upon them by their deified ancestors ; and the rites used upon these occasions were emblematical of the obligations, which they had received. Of this nature was the Egyptian festival descriptive of the loss and the finding of Osiris ; and the Syrian rites performed in remembrance of the death and revival of Thammuz. The flight and dispersion of some powerful and ancient tribe was handed down to posterity by the emblem of the hero-gods being forced to take shelter under the disguise of various animals ; which animals, we accordingly find, are for the most part defcriptive of the imaginary attributes of those deitiesb. And in the singular ceremonies of the Egyptian Baris, the preservation of mankind from the waters of the deluge is obscurely represented. In all these cases, the observance bore a certain analogy and resemblance to the event which occasioned it; but it was constantly more or less fashioned

the plan of hieroglyphical representation.

upon

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

Now,

II.

Now, if it may be permitted to com- CHAP. pare profane things with sacred, the ordinances of the Mofaical dispensation are the converse of the Pagan festivals ; the latter are commemorative of past, the former are emblematical of future events. To say, that the heathen ceremonies were entirely arbitrary, and totally unconnected with matters of fact, would justly be deemed an unwarrantable assertion. But much more so would be the belief, that an allwise God appointed the ritual of the Jewish church, without any determinate meaning and design. It is utterly incredible, that those observances should essentially, and per

se, be pleasing to the Almighty, who is a spirit, and must therefore be worThipped in spirit and truth. Though some may probably have been enjoined with a view of more effectually separating the Ifraelites from their idolatrous neighbours, yet this is far from being the case with them all; and unless a satisfactory account of their meaning can be given, it is in vain to attempt to reconcile such an institution to reason.

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

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