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and to shew the abhorrence they had of their sins the plainer by their outward appearance. * Thence too external purification is called sanctification, because it makes those observe, at least, an outward purity, who draw near to holy · things. Nay, one may venture to say, that cleanliness is a natural consequence of virtue; since filthiness, for the most part, proceeds only from sloth and meanness of spirit. .
Besides, cleanness is necessary to preserve health and prevent sickness, especially in hot countries: accordingly we find people generally cleaner there. Heat inclines them to strip themselves, to bathe, and often change their clothes. But in the cold countries we are afraid both of the air and water, and are more. benumbed and sluggish. It is certain, the nastiness in which most of our lower sort of people live, especially the poorest and those that are in 'towns, either causes or increases many distempers. What would be the consequence then in hot countries, where the air is sooner corrupted, and the water more scarce ? Besides, the antients made but little use of linen; and woollen is not so easy to be cleansed. . .
Here let us admire the wisdom and goodness of God, who gave his people laws that were useful so many different ways: for they served altogether to inure them to obedience, to keep them from superstition, to improve their manners, and preserve their health. Thus, in the formation of plants and animals, we see many parts serve for different uses. Now, it was a matter of consequence that the precepts that enjoined cleanliness should make a part of their
religion; for as they related to what was done within doors, and the most secret actions of life, nothing but the fear of God could keep the people from transgressing them. Yet God formed their conscience by these sensible things, and made it familiar to them to own that nothing is hidden from him, and that it is not sufficient to be pure in the eyes of men alone. Tertullian understands these laws so, when he says, He has precribed every thing, even in the common transactions of life, and the behaviour of men both at home and abroad, so far as to take notice of their very furniture und vessels ; so that meeting every where the precepts of the law, they might not be one moment without the fear of God before them. And afterwards, to aid this law, which was ruther light than burdensome, the same goodness of God also instituted Prophets, who taught marims worthy of him :* WASH YE, MAKE YE CLEAN, PUT AWAY THE EVIL OF YOUR DOINGS FROM BEFORE MINE EYES, &c. So that the people were sufficiently instructed in the meaning of all these ceremonies, and outward performances.
This is the foundation of those laws which order bathing and washing one's clothes after having touched a dead body, or unclean creature, and upon several other accidents. Thence comes the purifying of vessels by water or fire, and of houses where there appeared any corruption, and of women after child-bearing, and the separation of lepers ;ç though the white leprosy,
which is the only sort mentioned in Scripture, is rather a deformity than an infectious disease. *
It belonged to the priests to separate lepers, to judge of other legal impurities, and order the manner of their cleansing. Thus they practised a branch of physic; and though physicians are sometimes mentioned in Scripture,t it is probable surgeons are meant: for the antients made no distinction betwixt these two professions, The law speaks of them, when it condemns him that hurts another to pay the physician's charges:1 and in other places we read of bandages, plaisters, and ointments ;$ but no where, that I can tell, of purges, or a course of physic. King Asa, who had the gout, is blamed for putting too much confidence in physicians. Perhaps the Israelites still followed the same maxims, as the Greeks of the heroic ages, when physicians, as Plato informs us, applied themselves to nothing but healing wounds by topical remedies, without prescribing a regimen ; supposing that other illnesses would be prevented or easily got over by a good constitution, and the prudent management of the sick; as for wounds, they must of necessity happen sometimes from divers accidents, even in the course of hard labour only.
The Israelites avoided conversing with strana gers, and it was a consequence of those laws that enjoined purifications and distinction of meats, For though most of their neighbours
had similar customs, they were not altogether the same. Thus, an Israelite had always a right to presume, that any stranger he met with had eaten swine's flesh, or sacrifices offered to idols, or touched some unclean beast. Whence it came, that it was not lawful to eat with them, nor to go into their houses. This distance was also of consequence to their morals, serving as a fence against too great a familiarity with strangers, wnich is always pernicious to the generality, and which was still more so at that time because of idolatry. The Egyptians were strict observers of this maxim: the Scripture takes notice that they would not eat with the Hebrews:* and Herodotus says, they would neither salute a Greek, nor make use of his knife or plate. The Mahometans have several customs of the same nature at this day; but the Hindoos have more, and observe them with the greatest superstition.
They did not keep at an equal distance from all sorts of strangers, though they comprehended them all under the name of Goim or Gentiles. They had an aversion to all idolaters, especially those that were not circumcised: for they were not the only people that practised circumcision; it was used by all the descendants of Abraham, as the Ishmaelitęs, Midianites, and Idumeans; and the Ammonites and Moabites that were descended from Lot, The Egyptians themselves, though their original was in no case the same with the Hebrews, looked upon circumcision as
a necessary purification, and held those unclean that were not circumcised.* As for the Israelites, they bore with the uncircumcised that worshipped the true God, so far as to let them dwell in their land, provided they observed the laws of nature, and abstinence from blood. But if they got themselves circumcised, they were reputed children of Abraham, and consequently obliged to observe the whole law of Moses. The Rabbins call these last proselytes of justice; and the faithful that were not circumcised, they call proselytes by ubode, or Noachides, * as being obliged to observe no precepts but those that God gave to Noah when he came out of the ark. In Solomon's time there were one hundred and fifty three thousand proselytes in the land of Israel.
The strangers that the Israelites were most of all obliged to avoid, were the nations that lay under a curse, as descended from Canaan, whom God had commanded them to root out. I find none but them, as I said before, with whom it was not lawful to marry. I Moses married a Midianite. S Boaz is commended for having
* Selden de Jure Nat. + 2 Chron. ii. 17
Exod. xxxvi. 16. Deut. vii. 3. § If our author's comment is right, Dr. Warburton is mise taken, in saying Solomon transgressed a law of Moses, when he married Pharaoh's daughter. Div. Leg, book iv. sect. v. 2d Edit. And Dr. Jortin' might less admire Theodoret's parallel between Moses and Christ, in that the former married an Ethiopian woman, and the latter espoused the church of the Gentiles. There was nothing so particular in the marriage of Moses ; anıl if there had been, the similitude, I think, would have been closer, if Moses had married two wives, for the Jews were the first-fruits of the Gospel. See Dr. Jortin's Remarks on Eccles. Hist, vol. i. p. 209.