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any Body might guess, without that Doctor's Learning, was to keep their Cloths in. He shews a great Deal of the Use of the Cista in the Orgian and Eleusinian Sacra.
Pars obscura cavis celebrabant Orgia Ciftis.
Catul. Pelei Nupr. Et levis occultis conscia Cista facris.
Tibul. Lib. 1. El. 8.
Now what a mighty Wonder is this, that these idolatrous Priests, who pretended to such an Abundance of mysterious and absconded Rites in their Superstitions, should make Use of a Chest to keep their Trinkets in, from the Eyes of the Vulgar. If they had been laid open to every Body's Eyes, all their mysterious Sacredness had been lost; which was kept up by their lying under Lock and Key. Besides, these Priests of Cybele and Bacchus were a sort of itinerant Gypsies, that carried about their Trinkets from Place to Place, and therefore they must have a Chest, or something like it, to carry their Rareeshow in ; unless you would have them put them in their Pockets. For my Part, I cannot imagine any Analogy between these Ciste and the Ark of the Covenant ; only they were both Repositories, the one for the Law, the other for the Idolaters lewd Fopperies. If the Law was to be laid up carefully, why was not a Chest a very proper and apposite Convenience for this purpose? Or why must they needs copy from Ægypt such a wonderful Contrivance ? Certainly no Nation in the World could be so stupid, as not presently to think of this themselves. But who can think without Horror, that God Almighty should institute his sacred Ark in Imitation of the lewd Cifta of the Heathen? Read but Clemens Alexandrinus's Protrepticon, and see what those Ciste were filled with, Phalli, the Pudenda Bacchi, &c. and let any modest Christian judge, if it can be supposed, that the Purity of the Divine Law could condescend to be the Ape to such horrid Debauchery:
Feafts of 6. The Reason why the Feasts of the New Moon) the New
were commanded to the Jews, was not I conceive any Moons not Ægyptian."
n. wise in Imitation of the Gentiles; but to engage them more particularly to Piety, and an Observation of the ancient patriarchal Usage. They were enjoined them as a pious Institution, that some Portion of each Division of Time might be kept holý, to give a Blessing to the rest; for as the Sabbath was set aside to be kept holy in the Week, the Passover, Feast of Tabernacles, &c. for the Year; so was the Feast of the New-Moon ordained to give a Blessing to the Month. Indeed it cannot be denied, but that the Heathens kept holy the New-Moons too, when they offered up considerable Sacrifices to the Gods, as Meursius, and Monsieur Petit have sufficiently proved, and Dr. Spencer more at large. And it is plain from that passage of Demosthenes, where he says, * that in the New-Moons all come up to the Acropolis, and supplicate the Gods to give Blessings to the City and themselves. But then I can never assent, that Moses took this from the Heathens. It rather seems to me to be a Practice of the true Worshipers of God through all Ages down from the earliest Times ; and so descended both to the Jews and Gentiles from their common Progenitor Noah. And it is yet more probable to assign these Feasts an Original in those ancient Timesa when perhaps the lụštar was the, only Year, the solar Motion being not yet sufficiently adjusted; and then the New-Moon must with them have all the Solemnity of a New-Years-Day. Which Opinion will be yet : more satisfactory, if we consider the Observation which a learned Man has made, + That God does not bid the Jews remember to keep Holy the New-Moons, as he does the Sabbath, but only gives them such Rites to observe them with, supposing they
knew, that they were to be observed before. Nor Wallhac 7. And as for Washings and Lustrations, I cannot afings. sent, that they had by any Means their Original from the
Gentiles Lustration, but were probably brought into
knew, and as for Washing Means their Origurought into
* Orat. I. in Aristog.
Jo. Cler, in Numb. 28.
Use by the first Sacrificers in the Eastern Countries; and might be as old as Noah or Adam. For Washing the Hands and the Feet was a Part of the ancient Cultus, or Neatness, which was a Preparation which was never omitted, when they enterprised any Thing which required Neatness or Reverence. Thus we find it used always before Meals in Abraham's Time; Gen. xviii. 33 19, 2. And without Doubt natural Reason would suga gests that the same Respect was owing to God Almighity, by all who approached his Altar åt a Sacrifice; and was as easy and natural a Token of the Reverence they owed to him, as putting off the shoes and bowing down. And I doubt not, but the sprinkling the Peos ple with Water mixed with the Ashes of the Sacrifice, was as ancient : It being used, not only in the Jewish; but in the Roman Şacrifices, Ovid. Fast. Lib. 4. For it was thought requisites that all, who were present, should in some Measure partake of the Sacrifice ; therefore as I shewed you before in the beginning of this Discourse, some eat of it there, and others carried Pieces of it Home with them. But in expiatory Sacrifices, for the whole People, where the Sacrifice would not suffice for all to eat of it, it was thought sufficient to mix the Ashes of it with Water, and so to sprinkle them all with it, that so all might receive something of the Expiation.
8. After so many Ages from the first Use of Temples, Nor the it is a very difficult Matter exactly to ascertain the Ori-Tempie. ginal of them. 'Tis true, Herodotus says; the Ægyptia ans first invented them, because the Greeks derived moft of their Customs from that Nation; and therefore the Greek Writers seldom ferch the Original of any Thing any farther. I am apt to think that there was not a general Use of Temples, till such Tiine as Idolatry spread over the World, and had dedicated the Tombs of Heroes to a superstitious Use. But yet long before this, and as ancient as the Noachical Times, there were not wanting Temples, or Houses dedicated to a religious Use. For good Men in all Ages have used a religious Worship in Publick, even in Enos's Time, when Men began to
call upon the Name of the Lord in publick Congregations, after Mankind was considerably increased ; and therefore in great Cities and setled Polities, the Convenience of Temples for appointed Places to meet together in, and to defend from the Injuries of the Weather, could not be long wanting. The ancientest Places of religious Worship I take to be Groves; which were used by the Patriarchs, and were lawful Places of Worship till such Time, as by Reason of the idolatrous Superstition they were applied to, they were taken away by the Mosaical Law. So Lucian fays, That Woods and Mowtains wert first confecrated to the Gods, Lib. de Sacrif. And Pling speaking of Trees says, Hac fuere Numinum Templa, pril coque ritu fimplicia Rura etiam nunc Deo præcellentem Årba rem dicant. These were formerly the Temples of the Gods, and those rural Places which maintain the ancient and fimple Rites, are wort to dedicate an extraordinary Tree to fome God. Thus, Gen. xxi. 23. Abraham planted a Grove
in Beersheba, and called there on the Name of the Lord, the · everlasting God.. And it probably was in a Grove, where
Abraham designed to sacrifice Isaac, and where the Ram was caught in a Thicket by his Horns, Gen. xxii. 13. And fo probably was the place where Facob slept, Gen. xxviii. 22. which he says, shall be called the Honfe of God. Not that from hence it can be concluded, that there were no Temples at that Time, because the Patriarchs did not use them. For they living a pastoral unsettled Life, could not have Convenience to build them, and were therefore contented with the inore ancient Custom; but this very last Text implies, there were at that Time Temples or Houses of God, because Facob, metaphorically, calls that Stone or Place so, which is an undoubte ed Allusion to the Temples of those Times. And in all Probability Noah built a Temple presently after the Flood, for the Convenience of religious Worship. He is in Scripture expressly said, to have built an Altar, Gen. viii. 20. which is directly contradictory to Herodotus, who makes the Ægyptians Inventors of Altars too. And why he might cot build a Temple, as well as an Altar, I see no Reason. Nay, prophane History gives a great deal of Incouragement to the Conjecture that he did. For Lucian in his Description of the famous Syrian Temple before-mentioned, says, 'Os per mor doi a gúraniwa zón Excat sa tò iggis, &c. Most Men say that this Temple was built by Deucalion, namely, that Deucalion in whoje Time the Deluze happened. So that this ancient Tradition makes Temples as old as the Flood, and does confirm, that Noah was the first Builder of Temples. And Fanus, whom learned Men will have to be another Name for Noah too, is said by Macrobins out of Zeno, Primum in Italià Templa fecisse, Ritus institæisse Sacrorum, Lib. I. Sat. cap. 9. He first built Temples in Italy, and instituted sacred Rites. So that upon the whole, there is vastly more Reason to think, that the Use of a Temple among the Jews came rather down to them by patriarchal Tradition, than that it was copied from the Ægyptian Idolatry.
And I doubt not, but that a great many Usages in Other NAthe Jewish Law, came the fame Way, and were taken tions haze up both by the Heathens and them from their common like Progenitors; and sometimes it may be by Chance and Femijh. ordinary Convenience. And I dare say, a learned Man might as easily prove, that the Jewish Ceremonies were derived from any other Nation, where the like are to be found, as the Ágyptians. * Philostratus describes the Vesta ments of the ancient Indian Priests just like the Jewish; and says they use Oil in their Consecration. And t Strabo says it is a great Crime there (as among the Jews) to offer a maimed Vi&tim ; that they have a Lex Talio nis, and that there is a Law, that no Indian should be a Slave. The Brachmans, the Indian Priests, wear Bells about them like the Jewish High-Priest. Slaves there have their Ears bored through, and a perpetual Light is kept in their Temples ; Women and new-born Children are unclean, till they are purified with Lustrations. They punifh Incest and Adultery with Death. Only the vil. Ap. Lib. 3. Cap. 4. + Str. Lib. 15. X?