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quotations with the following extract from Skelton, which as it will prove the most intelligible to the generality of your readers, is that alone which I shall produce ;-his authorities properly so called, will be found in his Collectanea.-Vol. iv. p. 522.
“ A short time before the Jews were carried captives to Babylon, Ezekiel the prophet, as you may read in his 8th and 9th chapters, was favoured with an extraordinary vision of God, and heard six men or angels, to whom the Lord or I am had given Jerusaleni in charge, called forth. One of these was cloathed in lines, the priestly garment, and had writing instruments in his hands. The other five carried destroying weapons in theirs. In the bearing of the prophet', the Lord or Christ, commanded the man in linen to go through the midst of Jerusalem, and set á mark, pamely the letter Taal, which answers to T in our alphabet, upon the foreheads of all that sighed and bewailed the abominations done in that city, and then commanded the other five to follow him and kill all the rest, but not to come near those that were marked. Thus stands the passage in Hebrew
But why the particular letter or mark is not set down in our translation, I do not know, unless because the Jews and Samaritans have changed the shape of the letter, which we know they did since the days of Ezekiel. . Certain it is, however, that St. Jerome, at once the most learned and judicious of the Eastern Fathers, hath observed, that the letter in the true ancient Hebrew alphabet, was a' X. It is to me equally certain, that the mark which the servants of God were ordered to receive in their foreheads, Rev. vii, was a X, so early given to every Christian'at admittance into the Church, pursuant to our Saviour's command. How it came to pass, that the Egyptians, Arabians, Indians, before Christ came among us, and the inhabitants of the extreme Northern parts of the world, e'er they had so 'much as heard of him, paid a remarkable veneration to the sign of the cross, is to me unknown, but the fact itself" is known. In some places this sign was given to men accused of a crime, but acquitted ; and in Egypt it stood for the sign or signification of eternal life." (Skelton's Appeal to Common Sense, p. 45.)*
* Skelton's opinion concerning the mark impressed on the foreheads of the palm bearing multitude in the 7th chapter of Revelation, derives considerable confirmation from the structure of the Apocalypse. There is undoubtedly a manifest reference made by St. John, to the prediction of Ezekiel. Sir Isaac Newton' bas very satisfactorily shown the analogy between the whole imagery of the Apocalypse, and the book of the law of Moses, and the worship of God in the temple. He has likewise noticed the allusions' made by St. John to the practice of ammarcoling :-" The seven angels,” says he, “ to whom, these epistles were written, answer to the seven amarcholim, who were priests and chief officers of the temple."— And again, " In one of Ezekiel's vision's when the Babylonian captivity was at hånd, six men appeared with slaughter weapons ; and a seventh, who appeared among them clothed in white linen, and a writer's ink horn by his side, is commanded to go through the midst of Jerusalem, and set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abominations done in the midst thereof; and then the six men, like the angels of the first six trumpets, are commanded to slay those men, who are not marked. I conceive therefore, that the hundred and forty-four thousand are sealed, to preserve them from the plagues of the first six trumpets ; and that at length by the preaching of the everlasting gospel, they grow into a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues ; and at the sounding of the seventh trumpet come out of the great tribulation with palms in their hands ; the kingdoms of this world, by the war to which that trumpet sounds becoming the kingdoms of the Lord and of his Christ. For the solemnity of the great Hosanna was kept by the Jews upon the seventh or last day of the feast
It should be borne in mind, however, that the veneration paid to this sign in Ireland during Pagan times, was distinctly connected with the rite of anointing. It was in this respect that I trace in this instance a conformity between the Irish and Hebrew usage: I may add further that this remarkable sign is yet to be seen carved on our most ancient monuments; and some of the Druidic armlets and bracelets occasionally dug up in our bogs, together with other valuable ornaments of the same origin, are often completely stamped over with the sacred t, being in such cases, I conclude, designed for the use of those, who had been previously samaced, and ammarcholed. This usage alone appears to me to offer the strongest presumptive evidence, that our countrymen owe their origin to captive and exiled Israel. Wherever we find arbitrary institutions existing, we may rest satisfied that the coincidence is the result, not of any unaccountable fortuity, but of deliberate design; and that the people amongst whom those in. stitutions are found, however widely separated by time or space, must either have originally enjoyed such an intimate intercourse with each other as led to the adoption of the same usages ; or else they must derive their descent from a common ancestry. I apprehend that no nation ever adopted the usages of despised Israel. The descendants of Jacob were so far from giving new institutions to other countries, that they evinced on the contrary a fatal inclination to abandon their own sacred rites and observances for those of the heathen around them. The presumption, therefore, in this case, is in favor of the descent of our Celtic tribes from the people of the God of Abrabam.
II. The Sacred Dance was common to the Jews and the ancient Irish. Religious dances it is true were practiced by some of the Eastern heathen nations around Judea, and traces of the usage are to be found in other places. What is remarkable, as proving presumptively the identity of the Hebrew and Irish nation, is the similarity of names given by both people to this dance. The following account is from Vallancey :
“ On all these occasions, the ceremony concluded with a Deasol or dance to the right hand, generally called Leibe avvy Laib, saltatio, spectaculum ; x synt Chila, Tripudium, Chorea ; but when not propitious the priests blew the nu Sax Tut abhal, that is, blowing with a horn for a curse. (See Aruch, p. 69. Moed Katon, p. 60.) And then the dance was to the left, but in the former case to the right. Deasamhail signifies to the right hand, and Tuathamhail to the left, in Irish, which gave occasion to think those names originated from the ceremony ; but Deasol is the spot Dissal of the Jews, (L. Zemach David, p. 41,) i. e. qualifying the pag dis or dance in the by Sal or shade, for it was
of tabernacles; the Jews upon that day carrying palms in their hands, and crying Hosanna."-Observat on Apoc. of St. John, p 266,
It should be noticed that Walton corroborates Jerome's opinion concerning the ancient shape of the Hebrew tau ; and observes, that Azariah in his Hebrew alphabet gives a double figure, one such as is now used, and another in the form of St. Andrew's cross. In the Vatican alphabet also, which was published by Roccha, the tau is likewise in the form of a cross.
always performed round the temples (quere altars ) under the shades of the groves, a custom still preserved by the Jews on the feast of the Tabernacles.".
The single stone round which the Irish danced was called Gulan, a manifest derivation from 752 Gela, Chald, for exultatio. The name is still preserved in many parts of the country, and Smith in his History of Cork calls them Goulan.
" Then they said, behold there is a feast of the Lord in Shiloh, therefore go and lie in wait in the vineyards, and if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, (la chol be mecholoth) Judges xxi. 19. From S507 Chalal to bore is Sabo Chalil a pipe or hollow musical instrument, ordinarily used in singing or dancing, and from thence bona Machol in the 31st Psalm for dancing. The Irish word is Ceol. See Hammond on the Psalms, &c.” 66 One Hebrew name. of this dance is 27 Chag, in Irish Cuig, signifying round about." +
The feast above referred to was probably that of tabernacles, as Abarbinel concludes, when the rejoicing was so great on gathering in the fruits of the earth. This rejoicing, especially on the drawing of water from Siloam, was accompanied with piping and dancing and singing. The joy on this occasion was so unbounded it became a proverb, that if you never witnessed the rejoicing at the drawing of water, you never saw rejoicing in all your life. Kimchi adds, that it may have been the feast on the day of atonement, when the daughters of Israel went to dance in the vineyards according to the words of the Rabbins.
III. One of the most singular customs of the ancient Druids, was their use of the breastplate of justice. Keating's account of this wonderful ornament is as remarkable as the ornament itself. In his records of A. D. 4, he informs us that
“ Moran (son of Maon) the upright judge, had the JODHAN MORAIN ; this ornament was worn on the breast, and if any one gave false sentence, the Jodhan Morain would close round the neck, till he had given the proper verdict ; and it would do the same if put on the breast of a witness, if he was delivering false evidence. Hence it became a proverb, to threaten a witness with the lodhan Morain in hopes of forcing the truth from him."
This was a far superior instrument of torture to the thumb-screw of Scotland. The monk further informs us concerning this miraculous extracter of truth, that when worn round the neck it was endued with so wonderful a virtue,
“ That if the judge pronounced an unjust decree, the breast-plate would instantly contract itself, and encompass the neck so close, that it would be impossible to breathe ; but if he delivered a just sentence, it would bang loose upon bis shoulders.”
Justice must, doubtless, have been well administered on such occasions, and the modern ermine is surely a poor substitute for so honourable a collar-how much forensic toil and skill must such an acquisition have saved. Well may poor Paddy sigh for so serious a loss; well may he boast his hereditary love of justice; and consider the imperfection of our modern courts of judicature, a national grievance. But it is not with these fabled properties
of the breast-plate of judgment, I am anxious to detain you.The story was in probability dressed up in this fashion, as Vallancey suggests, in consequence of the various meanings attached to Jodhan and its cognate words, as follows :
Jodh Jodhan, a cbain, collar, gorget, breast-plate.
Jodhah, a shutting, closing, joining. That a breast-plate was anciently worn by the Druids in the character of judges, to which supernatural properties were attributed, there can, I believe, be no question. It appears equally certain, that it bore the name given to it by Keating–I conceive that all your readers will further agree with Vallancey in pronouncing it to have been a studied transcript of the breast-plate of Aaron, when they read the following letter, which was addressed to the General, by an eminent Hebraistą
“Sir, I find wovon jwif chosen bammispat, or the breast-plate of judgment, named yoga yog' Joden Moren, by Rab. Joda in Talmud Sanbedrim, p. 134. And in Comm. Ein. Jacob, p. 150, it is derived from the imperfect verb wur, w bich he says is Moren, and wovo be says is the same as Jodep, and he adds, that the words Urim and Thummin have the same signification ; but Rab. Simon in Ejus. p. 135 and 151, more plainly says it is Moren Joden, which according to Rab. Solomon Jarchi, is also Joden Moran ; Rab. Meir calls it Doen Moren. The Rabbis in Talmud say, that the Messias shall be called Joden Muren, for he shall be the judge, as in Isaiah xi. Thus, Sir it is very plain that the Irish name is derived from the Chaldee Chosben Hamishpat, or Joden Muren.* I am, &c.
“JOHN JOS. HEIDECK, “ Temple-Bar, 1st July, 1783.
“ Prof. Ling. Oriental.” The legend constructed by the Irish from the history of the Aaronical breast-plate demonstrates with sufficient plainness, that they laid claim to the Urim and Thummim, which belong to the Holy One. They even preserved these peculiar names in their language. They also considered, that God revealed himself in the three other remarkable ways noticed in Scripture—by Nebuah, or vision-by Ruach Haccodesh, or inspiration of the Spirit ;-and by Bath-cól, the daughter of a voice, or an echo. They gave to these different modes of revelation the proper Scriptural names, only varying the last to Mac-Col, or the Son of a voice. They also gave to an oracle the name of Breith-call, corresponding with the Chaldee xsp003 Birath-Kola, the Daughter of a voice. URAM or Urm in Irish signifies to resolve; TUMAM to enquire into diligently and so to distinguish. “ Ireland till lately abounded with Tamans. I knew,” says Vallancey,
a farmer's wife in the coun. ty of Waterford, that lost a parcel of linen ; she travelled three
•“ The Irish word is often written Jodh, and I think has the same meaning as Urim, viz. an oracle. Heb. 7) iad, oraculum, prophetia, as in Ezek. iii. and xxij. And the iad of the Lord was there upon me; iad is a hand, and thus it is translated in tbe English ; but the Commentators all explain the word by prophetia Domini.” - Vallancey.
days journey to a Taman, in the county of Tipperary-he consulted his Black-book, and assured her she would recover the goods; the robbery was proclaimed at the Chapel, offering a reward, and the linen was recovered ;-it was not the money but the Taman that recovered it.” In fine, as the Urim and Thummin were not to be resorted to for private purposes or on ordinary occasions, amongst the Jews; so
our Hibernian Druids never consulted the Jodhan Morain, but in the courts of Justice, or on affairs of state ; to all their decrees Urraim, i. e. implicit obedience was paid.”
A golden ornament beautifully chased, and weighing twentytwo guineas, which was found in a bog of Mr. Bury's in the county Limerick, was, correctly I believe, pronounced by Vallancey to be a true Joden Morain, and has been figured by him in his Collectanea, vol. iv. Another may be seen in the shop of Mr. Peter, Graftonstreet, Dublin; and others have been dug up in different parts of Ireland at various times.
IV. The salutations of the Irish corresponded with those of the Jews.
We find the kiss prevailing amongst the males to the present day in Ireland. I have seen strong athletic men, hard visaged, and long acquainted with the rubs of fortune, when unexpectedly meeting in a provincial town, after a long separation, run together with a great impetus, and kiss each other, the shillelagh in hand, as affectionately, as mother ever kissed an only son. In the Bereshit Rabba, sect. 70, three descriptions of kisses are distinctly noticed, as having been formerly used by the Jews
Neshik Pherkin, osculum magnificentiæ et dignitatis.
Neshik Koributh, osculum propinquitatis. I refer your readers to Vallancey, vol. iii. p. 545. for proof that the ancient Irish were acquainted with these distinctions. What it is most material to notice is, that every other description of kiss amongst the Hebrews was described under the name of Neshik tephalut. Now we shall find traces of both these words in kindred senses in the Irish language.
“ Neshik, the Hebrew for kiss, is from the same verb, that is to approach to come close ; in Irish neasacd, signifies contiguity ; neasa, next; pog.neasacd a kiss pressed hard on the lips." While corresponding with tephalut, we find that “faluth or foluth was the osculum salutationis, made by kissing the tips of the fingers to every person they met; from whence lut now implies respect ; dean do lut, make your bow. or courtesy. The common salutation of the man or the woman of the house, to a person entering, is still made by failte, i. e. welcome, I salute you ; cuirim failte, (i. e. falut) I greet you."-(Vall.)
II. We notice next a phrase employed by the Irish, as a parting salutation, of evident Hebrew origin-rlán leact, or leat, health, or peace be with you, an expression which with the addition of the words go brać is so familiar with the lovers of Irish melody and treason—they have too often been united. Leat was more correctly written leact—“Leachd is the proper word, when implying to take in the hand, or about you in possession, as beir leachd sin, take that (thing) with you. 125, lacad in Hebrew, signifies the