Obrazy na stronie
PDF
ePub

God, and it thoroughly God, which some of the

*How," says he, " ought a proselyte now to be received? Whenany one offers himself, if upon a strict enquiry it appears, that the motives to his conversion are pure, he shall be asked this quest tion: What have you seen in us, which inclines you to become a proselyte? Don't you know, that the Israelites live now in sorrow and re: proach, that they are exiles, are dispersed abroad, and are laden every day with fresh miseries? I he answers; I know all this, and yet think myself unworthy of being received among them, he must be admitted. ' And then he shall be taught the principal articles of religion, the unity of God, and the prohibition of idolatry, in which he must be thoroughly instructed. And among the commandments of God, which are taught him, both some of the most and some of the Jeast importance shall be mentioned, but briefly. To which shall be added, the punishments annexed to the breach of these precepts. It shall be said to him, Are you sensible that before you embrace' religion you may eat fat, and not observe the sabbath? And that if after you are become a proselyte, you eat fat, you will be excommunicated, and if you break the sabbath, stoned? But nevertheless these punishments are not to be mentioned to him, but with a great deal of prudence, lest the terrible idea they give him of religion, should turn him from the right way. Men must first be won over by gentle methods; they must, as the Scripture expresses it, be drarun with the cords of a man, with bands of lore.*

* Hos. xi. 4...

Anat

" And as he must be instructed in the doctrine of punishments, so likewise in that of rewards. It shall be declared to him, that the observance of the law will gain him an immortal life in the other world, and that none are truly wise and just in this, but they who know the law and keep it. For, it shall be added, that a future life is reserved only for the righteous, which are the Israelites; and that if they are unhappy in this world, this very thing shews that they will be eternally happy in the next. It is not necessary that they should enjoy the same happiness upon earth that other people do; their corrupt inclia nations might lead them either into pride or error, and they might by that means lose the reward of the world to come. Jeshurun, as says the Scripture, waxed fat, and kicked.* So that, God does not punish the Israelites, with design to destroy them. No, they shall be preserved; and it is the Gentiles which shall be destroyed. It is proper to enlarge upon this subject, that his love and zeal may be doubled thereby.

“If he alters his resolution, and no longer desires to be a proselyte, he shall be left at his liberty. If he perseveres, circumcision must not be deferred. And if he has been already circumcised, the blood of the covenant must be drawn afresh from the wound. And then time shall be given him for his cure, after which he must be baptized.

“ Three chosen men shall stand before him, when he is in the water, and shall again propose to him some of the commandments of the law.

It is pro is the GemiNo, they elites with so that,

[merged small][ocr errors]

If it be a woman, women shall put her into the water, the doctors shall instruct her while she is in it, and then they shall go out, and turn away their eyes from her, while she comes out of it."

CHAP. II.
Names and Divisions of the Holy Land.

S to names, the country of the Hebrews has had several. It was first called the land of Ca. naan, from Canaan the son of Ham, whose posterity possessed it. It was afterwards called Palestine, from the people which the Hebrews call Philistines, and the Greeks and Romans (corruptly) Palestines, who inhabited the sea. coasts, and were first known to them. And it likewise had the name of the land of promise, from the promise God gave Abraham of giving it to him; that of the land of Israel, from the Israelites having made themselves masters of it; that of Judea, from the tribe of Judah, which was the most considerable of the twelve, and the only one that remained after the dispersion ; and lastly, the happiness it had, of being sancti, fied by the presence, actions, miracles, and death, of Jesus Christ, has given it the name of the holy land, which it retains to this day..in

As it has happened to other countries, with respect to the inhabitants and their cities, so likewise to this. It has often changed its inhabitants and masters; several of its cities have been ruined, and several of them new-built; and

it has been divided in several different manners, in the various revolutions it has undergone. : For it was differently divided, 1. By its antient inhahitants; 2. By Joshua; 3. By the Romans; 4. In the time of Christ; and 5. By Herod. : But it is not so, as to its rivers and mountains; they are neither of them subject to change. Jordan is almost the only river in the Holy Land ; the others are rather brooks, or rivulets. This river divides Judea ; for it has its rise among the mountains of Libanus, and after having run through the Sea of Galilee, loses itself in the Dead Sea, which is the other extremity of the land of Judah, towards the south. It took its name from the city of Dan, in whose neighbourhood it rises; for Jordan, or Jourdain, is the same thing as if it was said, the river of Dan. , The Sea of Galilee, which Jordan runs through, is but a lake; but the Hebrews, give the name of sea to any great collection of waters. : The same may be observed of the Dead Sea. It is a great lake, which the Greeks call Asphaltitis, on account of the bitumen it abounds with ; and the Jews call it the Dead Sea, because fish 'cannot live in its; It was in this place, which is now covered by the lake, that the city of Sodom and Gomorrah stood. After Jordan are reckoned, Jarmach in the country of the Gergesenes, which rises among the mountains of Gilead; and Kirmion, near Damascus, otherwise called Amanach, or Abana ; to which are added Pharphar, which runs down from mount Hermon ; Kishon, which was in the tribes of Issachat and Zabulun; Arnon, which comes from the mountain of the same name, and runs into the Dead Sea; and Jabok, which falls into Jordan.

This country has several mountains; the most famous of which are, Libanas and Antilibanus, to the north; the Mountains of Gilead, those of the Moabites, Hermon and Arnon, to the east; the Mountains of the Desert, to the south; and Carmel, the Mountains of Ephraim, and the Mountains of the Philistines, to the west. And there are likewise some in the middle of Judea, as Tabor, Gerizim, Ebal, Sion, Moriah, Hebron, and what the Gospel calls, the Mountains of Judea. But to return to the divisions before mentioned. .

1. When Abraham went into the land of Ca. naan, it was inhabited by eleven sorts of people, who, as Moses tells us,* took their names from the eleven sons of Canaan. They were these:

The Sidonians, descended from Sidon; they possessed the cities of Sidon, Tyre, Jokneam, and Acon, since called Ptolemais.

The Jebusites, from Jebus their parent, since called the Philistines; their cities were Lachish, Gath, Ekron, Ascalon, Azotus, Gerar and Debir.

The Amorites, descended from Amor; who had the cities of Nabah, Heshbon, Bozrah, and Ramoth-Gilead. ...

The Girgashites, from Girgas; they had the cities of Damascus, Maachathi, Geshur, Zobah, Teman, Ashteroth, and Edrei. · The Hivites, from Heveh; their cities are Je.. rusalem, Jericho, Ai, Bethel, Gilead, Libnah, Makkedah, and Bezer.

Ptolemai yre, Jok

called thebusites,

[ocr errors][merged small]
« PoprzedniaDalej »